Tag Archives: science

Obama Gave Chinese Solar Producer Suntech $337 Million…Now Bankrupt

With so many of these green energy boondoggles it looks like this – Obama hands over tax-dollars to a fund raiser who is an owner in a junk “green energy company”. Said owners pay themselves in a big way, give big money to Democrats and go out of business.

As of last November (2012) there were 50 such companies. Obama Administration emails released show how green energy money was steered to Obama cronies with sham, junk bond companies.

Christine Lakatos at Green Corruption:

A jaw-dropping revelation came to light in December 2011 by the Trib Total Media, yet it was ignored by the media and even missed by those of us watching the solar world unfold.

© SunTech via Treehugger.com

China’s major solar panel companies — whose low-cost products led some American factories to close, helped create the Solyndra controversy and spawned talk of a trade war — were bankrolled in the United States by the world’s largest investment banks.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, USB Investment Bank and others raised $6.5 billion for seven young Chinese solar panel makers in the mid-2000s by underwriting their securities on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, a Tribune-Review investigation has found.

The Trib goes on, “It’s not clear how the idea of using offshore tax havens to get listed on U.S. exchanges developed. But the Trib learned through SEC reports how Chinese solar companies grabbed onto the idea.” The first was Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., now the world’s largest solar company. It began operating as a Chinese company in May 2002, and by 2004 reported sales of $85.3 million…”

However, Bloomberg News reported last week, “Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) [was] forced to put its Chinese solar unit into bankruptcy last month, “becoming the latest casualty of a painful slump in the global solar industry,” wrote Townhall.com. But Bloomberg noted that Suntech “began that slide into insolvency in 2009 when customers linked to the founder couldn’t pay their bills and the company booked the sales as revenue anyway, regulatory filings show.”

What most don’t know is that Suntech is a tiny fraction of “Obamanomics Outsourced,” whereas his administration is responsible for steering billions in stimulus funds (and other “green” money) to foreign companies and shipping green jobs overseas. This is clearly a broken 2008 energy campaign promise, but worse, a violation on how the 2009 trillion-dollar stimulus package was sold –– to create jobs and grow the economy here in America.

Read more HERE.

4th Grade Writing Assignment: I am willing to give up my constitutional rights in order to be more secure…

As we have said time and time again. Not a few days ever goes by where we do not see crap like this coming from our public schools.

School lesson willing to give up const rights paper-620x362.jpeg

It gets better. When called on it the school said that the students just wrote this on their own. Does anyone seriously believe that after a lesson on the Constitution fourth graders just penned this on their own?

Via The Blaze:

The words are written in crayon, in the haphazard bumpiness of a child’s scrawl.

“I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.”

They’re the words that Florida father Aaron Harvey was stunned to find his fourth-grade son had written, after a lesson in school about the Constitution.

Harvey’s son attends Cedar Hills Elementary in Jacksonville, Fla. Back in January, a local attorney came in to teach the students about the Bill of Rights. But after the attorney left, fourth-grade teacher Cheryl Sabb dictated the sentence to part of the class and had them copy it down, he said.

The paper sat unnoticed in Harvey’s son’s backpack for several months until last week, when his son’s mother almost threw it away. The words caught her eye in the trash, and she showed it to Harvey, who said he was at a loss for words. He asked his son, who said Sabb had spoken the sentence out loud and told them to write it down. Harvey said he asked some of his son’s classmates and got a similar answer.

“Everybody has their opinions,” Harvey told TheBlaze. “I am strongly for proper education, for the freedom of thought so you can form your own opinion and have your own free speech in the future… [but] the education is, ‘when was the Constitution drafted, when was it ratified, why did this happen, why did we choose to do this…all these things, why did they particular choose those specific rights to be in our Bill of Rights.’”

Texas Public University Professor Forced Students to Create Anti-Second Amendment Propaganda

Not a few days go buy when we don’t see a story like this coming from our public schools.

Via Campus Reform:

Midwestern State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Betty Stewart confirmed to Campus Reform Friday the school has launched an investigation into professor Jennifer Yucus’ conduct after a student filed an official complaint on Thursday.

According to the complaint, obtained by Campus Reform, the professor compelled students in her graphic design class to create artwork opposing firearms on campus and opposing pro-gun legislation currently pending before the Texas state legislature.

The professor then used the artwork students created online to publicize an anti-gun petition entitled “MSU is anti-Concealed Carry on Campus” and on a now deleted Facebook page opposing firearms, says the complaint.

“On Monday, April 1, around 7 PM (class was 5:30 – 8:20), Jennifer Yucus, Assistant Professor of Graphic Art/Design, compelled students from her Computers For Artists class to advocate in favor of a political petition opposing firearms on campus, in opposition to a pair of bills currently before the Texas legislature, using personal art materials and MSU resources,” reads the complaint.

“Several of my classmates were uncomfortable with the assignment and either quietly or openly expressed this,” it continues. “Professor Yucus asked students to rationalize objections by thinking of it as a job from an employer (or words to that effect).”

The complaint adds that Yucus “did require all works to include the URL to the petition” she had created and adds that students were photographed while crafting the posters to give the illusion of youth support.

“Professor Yucus took photos of her students in the process of drafting and creating the posters, but did not say how these would be used,” says the complaint. “The posters were then hung in the hallways of the Fain Arts building, giving the impression of student support.”

Some of the photos later appeared on an anti-gun Facebook page that appeared to have been created by Yucus. The page appeared to have been deleted after the complaint was filed, but Campus Reform was able to capture the posted images before they were removed.

According to the complaint, Yucus used her official university-issued e-mail address to later forward a URL to her petition to the entire class.

State law in Texas appears to forbid professors at public universities from using their authority to compel others to advocate for political causes.

“A state officer or employee may not use official authority… to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination of a candidate or to achieve any other political purpose,” reads subsection C of 556.004 of Government Code, Title 5, entitled “Open Government, Ethics.”

 

Mike Adams’ UNC-Wilmington First Amendment Lawsuit Heads to Trial

It is about time!

Via William Creeley at FIRE:

In April 2007, Professor Mike Adams of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington filed a federal lawsuit against his institution, alleging that he had been denied promotion in part due to political viewpoints he had expressed in columns written for non-university publications. Nearly six years and one successful appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit later, a federal district court has ruled that Adams’ First Amendment claim may proceed to trial.

Adams’ April 2007 complaint, filed with the cooperation of the Alliance Defense Fund (now the Alliance Defending Freedom), accused UNC-Wilmington officials of violating his First Amendment rights by denying his promotion on account of his expression as a conservative columnist. Adams also alleged that he had suffered religious discrimination and an equal protection violation.

Three years later, in a March 2010 ruling, a federal district court rejected Adams’ claim of First Amendment retaliation, finding that the columns constituted speech “made pursuant to his official duties” as a professor and were thus not protected by the First Amendment. The court reached its decision by relying on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006). In Garcetti, the Court ruled that public employees do not enjoy First Amendment protections when engaging in speech pursuant to their official duties. Applying Garcetti‘s holding to Adams’ case, the district court determined that the columns could not be cited as grounds for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment.

From a faculty speech standpoint, the district court’s ruling was very problematic, as I explained here on The Torch a few years back:

We here at FIRE found the district court’s ruling against Adams deeply worrying. For one, we felt the facts provided significant support for Adams’ First Amendment claim. But even more ominously, the district court’s reliance on Garcetti made the ruling against Adams just the latest in a quicklygrowing string of Garcetti-based defeats for public university faculty members. The problem with Garcetti is that in lessening First Amendment protections for public employees generally, it particularly impacts faculty members, whose speech in fulfilling teaching and research duties differs greatly from the speech of, say, district attorneys, police officers, or public administrators. Because while the government as employer may reasonably expect a significant amount of control over the public speech of district attorneys, that same amount of control over the scholarly research and teaching of public university faculty members is inappropriate and amounts to an infringement on academic freedom.

To address this exact concern, Justice Anthony Kennedy inserted a crucial caveat into the majority opinion he penned in Garcetti, writing:

There is some argument that expression related to academic scholarship or classroom instruction implicates additional constitutional interests that are not fully accounted for by this Court’s customary employee-speech jurisprudence. We need not, and for that reason do not, decide whether the analysis we conduct today would apply in the same manner to a case involving speech related to scholarship or teaching.

Justice Kennedy thus specifically and explicitly declined to extend Garcetti‘s analysis to bear on cases involving the speech of public university faculty, reserving the question. Unfortunately, in application, Justice Kennedy’s careful carve-out has been largely disregarded by courts, and Garcetti‘s impact on faculty speech has been so significant in recent years that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) mounted a campaign to push back against Garcetti and what it has deemed “judicial hostility or indifference” to academic freedom.

Adams appealed the district court’s ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In support of Adams’ appeal, FIRE joined an amici curiae brief with the AAUP and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, asking the Fourth Circuit to recognize Garcetti‘s inapplicability to Adams’ situation.

Thankfully, the Fourth Circuit did just that. Reversing the district court’s dismissal of Adams’ claims, the court wrote that “the district court applied Garcetti without acknowledging, let alone addressing, the clear language in that opinion that casts doubt on whether the Garcetti analysis applies in the academic context of a public university.” Continuing, the Fourth Circuit observed:

Put simply, Adams’ speech was not tied to any more specific or direct employee duty than the general concept that professors will engage in writing, public appearances, and service within their respective fields. For all the reasons discussed above, that thin thread is insufficient to render Adams’ speech “pursuant to [his] official duties” as intended by Garcetti.

[…]

Applying Garcetti to the academic work of a public university faculty member under the facts of this case could place beyond the reach of First Amendment protection many forms of public speech or service a professor engaged in during his employment. That would not appear to be what Garcetti intended, nor is it consistent with our long-standing recognition that no individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment.

The case was remanded back to the district court for further proceedings.

Last Friday, March 22, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard issued an order denying the UNC-Wilmington defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding that Adams “has brought forth evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that his speech was a substantial or motivating factor in the decision to deny tenure to plaintiff.”

National Research Council: Telling both sides “confuses children”

Once again, never does a week go buy were we do not see the most fantastic idiocy coming from the public education sector.

Even many of the authors of the now thoroughly discredited UN IPCC report on global warming, which abandoned even basic academic standards, have called out the report for what it is, the entrenched far left public education establishment is cramming it down children’s throats.

[Editor’s Note – Be sure to see the video at the following link – Lord Christopher Monckton lecture at the Heartland Institute: Global warming alarmists have lost the argument both scientifically and rhetorically.]

Via The Daily Caller:

Climate change may soon be coming to every classroom in the country.

Pending nationwide science standards will recommend that K-12 students at public schools learn about climate change to help fill a knowledge gap concerning the subject, while skepticism will be discouraged.

“Only one in five [students] feel like they’ve got a good handle on climate change from what they’ve learned in school,” Mark McCaffrey of the National Center for Science Education told NPR, adding that many teachers will also need climate change science training. “So the state of climate change education in the U.S. is abysmal.”

New science standards are being developed by the National Research Council with help from 26 states to identify science that “all K–12 students should know,” according to the website promoting the standards.

It has been almost 15 years since the last time the National Research Council and the American Association for Advancement in Science published recommendations on which states base their standards.

“There was never a debate about whether climate change would be in there,” says Heidi Schweingruber of the National Research Council. “It is a fundamental part of science, and so that’s what our work is based on, the scientific consensus.”

Schweingruber added that much consideration was put into how to teach what can be a depressing topic and not alarm students.

“We’ve heard stories of students who learn about climate change,” said McCaffrey. “Then they go home and tell their parents, and everybody’s upset because the parents are driving their kids to the soccer game, and the kids are feeling guilty about being in the

NPR notes that educators say the controversy surrounding climate change encourages many teachers to avoid the topic or show competing viewpoints — like Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” against the British documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” — which they say just causes more confusion about the issue.

Read more HERE

California “Millionaires Tax” to treat mentally ill, used for other purposes…..

No matter what the tax is, it is sold to help fund “the children”, “the sick”, “the disabled”…. and what kind of sick greedy capitalist bastard are YOU to oppose it!! YOU HATE CHILDREN!!

The good ole “bait and switch” is almost the oldest trick in the book, and is used by the left as a matter of routine.

[Editor’s Note: For more on how the Proposition 63 Tax was a failure and how the resources were misused and eventually misappropriated to pet projects click HERE.]

Mercury News – Prop 63 hasn’t solved California’s mental health care crisis:

If President Barack Obama wants a model for solving the nation’s mental health care crisis, he needs to find a better one than California.

Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg urged Obama to adopt California’s Proposition 63 as the nation’s model following the tragic shootings in Newtown, Conn., which raised awareness of mental health as well as gun control issues. Steinberg has asked Obama to consider matching dollar for dollar the money that states put into their mental health programs.

Proposition 63, approved by voters in 2004, was sponsored by Steinberg. It has, indeed, been good at raising money. The 1 percent tax on millionaires’ incomes has netted more than $8 billion over eight years.

But what does California have to show for it? Fewer psychiatric hospital beds, fewer doctors treating patients and fewer clinics across the state. An estimated 750,000 California adults failed to receive mental health treatment they needed last year.

And if California is making any progress in reducing the use of its jails and prisons to warehouse the mentally ill, it’s news to us. About half of the counties in the state have no inpatient psychiatric services.

The formula for distributing Proposition 63 money allocates significant amounts to counties for new programs for new patients rather than older but still-needed programs for longtime patients. And last year’s budget cuts made matters worse. While Proposition 63 raised $1 billion in dedicated funding, the Legislature took $798 million of nonrestricted money away from other mental health programs.

The result is a two-tier system in which a wave of new programs is flush with cash while long-standing programs serving the vast majority of patients are crunched for money.

“If we could fund the programs we need, we could greatly reduce the number of people in our jails and prisons,” says Jessica Cruz, executive director of California’s branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who supports the Proposition 63 programs but thinks more money is needed for others. “We could help reduce the number of mentally ill crowding our hospital emergency rooms and the homeless wandering our streets.”

A Department of Justice study found that 56 percent of state prisoners and 64 percent of local jail inmates have symptoms of serious mental illnesses. And 75 percent of those inmates received no treatment while incarcerated. Three out of every four people with serious mental illnesses can be successfully treated for a fraction of the annual cost of $47,102 of housing an inmate in California’s prisons.

Cruz notes that only 2 percent of mentally ill people are violent. If California could reach them before their problems manifest themselves in horrific fashion, we could make communities safer, save taxpayers money any improve the lives of thousands who now have nowhere to turn for help.

Lindsey Graham destroys Eric Holder (video)

Senator Lindsey Graham is a strange fellow. At times he is capable of inspiring moments of clarity where he really does “get it” and at other times he is not on Planet Earth. This is one of the better moments. This is also an example of why Eric Holder is the most radical and incompetent Attorney General in the nation’s history.

Obama Administration kills 3,900 power plant jobs in Texas.

The Obama Administration has been using the EPA and the permitting process to make easy permitting for friends and campaign donors, but a GOP state like Texas gets the hand. This is the type of bnana republic abuse of power that is so typical with this administration. Welcome to Chicago.

Washington Examiner:

Chase Power, the parent company behind the $3 billion Las Brisas coal power plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, announced yesterday that it was cancelling the project.

“Chase Power … has opted to suspend efforts to further permit the facility and is seeking alternative investors as part of a plan of dissolution for the parent company,” Chase CEO Dave Freysinger told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Freysinger made it very clear who was responsible for the projects death. “The (Las Brisas Energy Center) is a victim of EPA’s concerted effort to stifle solid-fuel energy facilities in the U.S., including EPA’s carbon-permitting requirements and EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for new power plants,” he said.

The Las Brisas power plant had been part of a larger Las Brisas Energy Center project planned for Corpus Christi’s Inner Harbor. Economists had projected that in the first 5 years of construction and operation the project would create as 1,300 direct and 2,600 indirect jobs. Now none of those jobs will exist.

Notre Dame Prof: Silent Minority Aids America’s Destruction

And she is right. With the leadership of the GOP seeming to be all over the place, and an RNC that isn’t leading a rhetorical, philosophical, or policy battle; traditionalists, conservatives and those simply wanting some fiscal and regulatory sanity feel like people without a party, and for some they feel like aliens on their own country, but in reality such people are the majority.

[Note: The staff of Political Arena resides in South Bend, Indiana, the home of the University of Notre Dame, although we have no affiliation with the university.]

Ryan Lovelace at The College Fix:

When Laura Hollis, a Notre Dame University business and law professor, looks at America’s path forward, she cannot help but see a dead end.

“Many people say to me, ‘If it gets worse than this, I’m not sure we can survive it,’ and I’m inclined to agree with them,” Hollis said in an interview with The College Fix. “It’s never been as bad as it is now.”

Hollis, who in addition to her professorship is a popular conservative columnist and political commentator, is the author of a post-election column titled “Post Mortem” that went viral across America. It was reposted on many websites, spread like wildfire across social media sites, and emailed far and wide, landing in mom-and-pop inboxes across the nation.

In fact, just as recently as Dec. 28, the popular left-leaning political blog Daily Kos posted an “open letter to Laura Hollis” denouncing her piece.

This ongoing whirlwind of a world wide web debate was prompted by Hollis’ Nov. 8 column, which analyzed the state of the union the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected.

It argued, among other things, that: conservatives are outnumbered; they’re losing the culture war; too many Americans are immature, seeking only self-gratification; and the so-called Republican War on Women played a role in the election outcome.

“America is on a horrific bender; has been for some time now,” Hollis wrote. “The warning signs of our fiscal profligacy and culture of lack of personal responsibility are everywhere – too many to mention. We need only look at other countries which have gone the route we are walking now to see what is in store. … I see the country I love headed toward its own ‘rock bottom,’ and I cannot seem to reach those who are taking it there.”

In an interview this week with The College Fix, Hollis said feedback she’s received from that piece has led her to believe millions of Americans feel as if they have no voice. But the answer, she argued, is not to cower in the corner and give up.

“Speak up,” Hollis said. “Because being polite does not mean being silent.”

First and foremost, the culture war must to be addressed, she said. It’s time to stop worrying about stepping on people’s toes or hurting people’s feelings, she said.

Some Republican and conservative commentators argued after the election the solution to regain the White House, Congress and the country is to become more moderate, acquiesce to the social norms promulgated by the Left.

Bad idea, Hollis said.

“We have to decide we need to change the tone and tenor of culture in the country,” Hollis said. “In order to change the culture, you have to be a part of the culture.”

Take, for example, the alleged War on Women. During the presidential campaign, women’s rights discussions served as a façade for something more sinister, she said. What appeared to be a discourse about access to birth control was really about expanding abortion services and physician-assisted suicide, Hollis said.

“I’m pro-better choice—all choices are not equal,” Hollis said. “If my father is suffering from advanced dementia, I don’t have the right to smother him with a pillow.”

Hollis said advances in science have provided new and startling information about life from conception through natural death that every American should learn. This is one example of the kinds of things that could help turn the culture war tide in conservatives’ favor.

Hollis said “the left” has become politically adept at demonizing people, but it is important for all Americans to understand everyone wants to make things better, she said.

While Hollis’ first point in her “Post-Mortem” work declared Americans who champion free enterprise are outnumbered by those who want free stuff, she said that did not mean throw in the towel.

“No matter where you are, that can be ground-zero for changing things,” Hollis said.

Government spends $100,000 studying to see if Jesus died for Klingons (not kidding)

And remember – YOU don’t pay enough in taxes according to Democrats…

Worf is not pleased
Worf is not pleased…

Jaci Greggs:

Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) latest report on spending by the Department of Defense shows, among other things, defense spending used for a lecture series involving fictional alien species.

“Did Jesus Die for Klingons too?” was just one session at a recent workshop funded by the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency:

Further, DARPA paid nearly $100,000 for a strategy planning workshop on the 100 Year Starship project last year included an interesting discussion involving the Klingons, a fictional alien species who were villains and then later allies of humanity in the Star Trek series. The session entitled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” featured philosophy professor Christian Weidemann of Germany’s Ruhr-University Bochum who pondered the theological conflict to Christianity if intelligent life was found on other planets. (page 17)

At another DoD-funded gathering, the brainstorming sessions covered topics such as how to make deep space travel most efficient, how scientists would go about creating a “warp bubble,” and whether or not humans would need to wear clothing during space travel.

Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill Packed with Unrelated Spending & Goodies for Politicians

But hey, lets worry about that so called “fiscal cliff” (it should be called taxmageddon)…. and by the way, YOU Need to pay more taxes….

Now if Bush had done this……

New York Post:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s $60.4 billion request for Hurricane Sandy relief has morphed into a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska, The Post has learned.

The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.

Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”

Matt Mayer of the conservative Heritage Foundation slammed the request as an “enormous Christmas gift worth of stuff.”

“The funding here should be focused on helping the community and the people, not replacing federal assets or federal items,” he said.

73% of new jobs created are government jobs…..

John Nolte is on a roll lately with columns that are just home runs as far as content and quality of analysis. Read this one carefully.

John Nolte:

While the media pants with exhilaration over a dip in the unemployment level that was created by over a half-million people giving up and dropping out of the workforce, a deep-dive into the employment numbers also reveals that it’s mainly government workers benefitting from what meager job growth we are seeing. Over the last five months, 73% of all jobs created were government jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate for government workers plunged to 3.8% in November — which is considered full employment.

Even though deficits rule the day at every level of government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 847,000 new jobs created since June, a full 621,000 were government jobs. In November alone, 35,000 new government jobs were created.

In other words, as the labor participation rate plummets to a thirty year low — which means we have fewer taxpayers — we’re not only increasing the number of taxpayer-funded jobs, but the government is using the creation of these jobs to juice the employment numbers in a way that makes it look as though the job situation is actually improving.

Naturally, none of this would be possible without a compliant media working overtime to bring out the pom-poms and cover up what’s really going on.

Let me tell you something, if Obama had an “R” after his name and creating the exact same economic results, the media would make damn sure the public was familiar with what “labor participation rate” means. [Emphasis ours – Political Arena]

Youth Unemployment Highest Since WWII

Ben Shapiro:

Barack Obama has made quite a hubbub over the course of his presidency about education for young students, and jobs for young workers. Unfortunately, it seems he’s failed on both counts. According to a recent study produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Now, there are now 6.5 million “disconnected” young people in America – “disconnected” being defined as neither in school nor employed, and “young people” being defined as 16-24 years of age. Young people now have the lowest employment rate since World War II.

In California alone, there are nearly a million young people who are “disconnected”: 850,000. Since 2000, that number has jumped a staggering 35 percent. Meanwhile, California’s overall employment rate for people aged 16-19 clocks in at just 18 percent; its high school graduation rate is a paltry 76 percent.

It’s mental health that is the problem, not guns – UPDATED

by Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton

Liberal activists stopped new laws in Connecticut that could have helped Adam Lanza get the mental help he needed…..

[Political Arena Editor’s Note: Before we get onto the the disturbing details, this very writer has a great deal of experience in helping treating a schizophrenic. I have pretty much seen it all. As well as read the articles, dealt with good doctors and as well as the bad ones who just “don’t get it”. I have dealt with the insurance issues, legal issues and the social issues of it. As much as any non MD can be I am an expert, and in fact, my understanding of schizophrenia exceeds most doctors simply because of my experience.

With that said,  I was lucky in that most of the time mine wanted treatment because she was getting the “Clive Barker” treatment behind her eyes and that scared her. Some patients resist treatment and that is where the legal system must back parents up and must help the patient even if it is against their will. D.J. Jaffe has a GREAT editorial about changes in the law that can help such patients – LINK ]

There is little doubt that not only was Adam Lanza Autistic (Asperger’s syndrome – this disorder has no history of causing violence), but he was also suffered from extreme depression and/or schizophrenic disorder as he fits the profile like a glove.

What is schizophrenia?

It is not multiple personality disorder as is so often shown on television. Schizophrenia acts to change how your brain perceives what the five senses tell it. The signals to the brain intermix with the schizophrenic’s perception of reality, with ones own imagination, and even memories such as what one has seen in a movie.

What the schizophrenic sees, feels, and hears sometimes becomes a jumble. At other times one can hallucinate and/or hear voices. Those with schizophrenia have a hard time relating with others because they mispercieve the nonverbal cues that are so crucial in interpersonal communication. If the disorder is pronounced enough the direct verbal cues may also be mispercieved.

The mind tries to make order out of the chaos. The mind does not wish to accept that you are crazy so the schizophrenic invents these elaborate conspiracies to attempt to rationalize what they are going through. Since schizophrenia usually is accompanied with a cognitive skills disorder the conspiracies do not seem too outlandish to one so affected. During a psychotic episode the cognitive skills disorder causes the reasoning ability to be drastically impacted.

iStock_Schizophrenia_

Most normal people can look at a problem of moderate complexity and come to the same conclusion. The schizophrenic will come to a different, completely irrational conclusion, and if you don’t agree with them YOU must be crazy, because to them it is so obvious. For Example:

Three plus seven is 18 and I can prove it by counting the clouds outside. If you can’t see that than you are either an effing idiot or a liar.

So, and think about this for a moment, for mentally ill people such as Jarrod Loughner who perpetrated the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona, in his schizophrenic mind he had to shoot Giffords and her party because reason demanded it.

In more severe cases the schizophrenic may hear voices, see people who aren’t there and have conversations with them that are as real to them as can be. For some schizophrenics the life they live behind their own eyes is like a Clive Barker horror movie that they can never escape from without treatment.

Those who get the right help can usually be treated with the proper medication. Those who do not usually try to self medicate with drugs or alcohol to try to cope.

To compound the problem, there are a great many family doctors who simply “don’t get” schizophrenia and I have personally encountered a staff psychiatrist at a hospital who could not comprehend the condition. Why? Largely because of “Normalcy Bias”. In a nutshell, those with “Normalcy Bias” apply their ability to reason to everyone else and assume that simply because the person with the bias can make out the situation with relative ease, that the schizophrenic patient must also, so therefore the patient is just lying, or acting out for attention etc. They will ask things like, “Well if you heard things then how come you don’t now” and “you are all better now you faker?” Those with schizophrenia and associated conditions have episodes where the problem is much worse, and much better. Stress can bring about a psychotic episode even over the effects of medication.

As in the case of Jarrod Loughner, the signs were there, lots of people including parents, teachers, administrators and even police saw them and yet, no one took the appropriate action.

The UK Daily Mail published a quite complete bio of Adam Lanza that shows that he fit the profile of someone with a schizophrenic or similar disorder. Here are excerpts:

Crazed killer Adam Lanza was a ‘ticking time bomb’ who suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome and was painfully shy and awkward, former classmates said yesterday.

Last night, a troubling portrait began to emerge of the ‘Goth’ loner, who dressed all in black and was obsessed with video games.

Goth like “death music” with theses about rejection, suicide, and the horrors of the world seem appealing to schizophrenics as in some ways it is how they perceive their own world. Some video games are popular with schizophrenics because in them they can have some control over their reality and create dramatic scenarios , again, in which unlike in the real world, they have some control.

Others say Lanza used to be a mild-mannered student in high school, making the honor roll, and living with his mother, Nancy Lanza, who in turn loved playing dice games and decorating their upscale home for the holidays.

‘No one is surprised. He always seemed like he was someone who was capable of that because he didn’t really connect with our high school, with our town.’

Another former school friend, Jamie Crespo, 19, said: ‘He used to hang with the freaks, guys who dressed in trench coats.’

Other students remember him walking through school dressed in black, carrying a black briefcase.

Family friends said Lanza’s problems started to escalate when his parents divorced in 2008 after 18 years together.

His father Peter, a wealthy executive for General Electric, who is believed to earn $1 million a year, moved out of the family home in 2006, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.

One of Lanza’s former classmates spoke of his ‘noticeable decline’ after his parents’ divorce. ‘He was a loner at school and hyper intelligent,’ he said. ‘But in recent years he disappeared off the radar.

‘The word is that he was badly affected when his parents split and that might be what pushed him over the edge.’

‘He was always weird but the divorce affected him. He was arguing with his mother. He was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.’

In several press accounts, Adam Lanza went from a typical Asperger’s kid, to a dark, more disturbed, more isolated troubled young man. This is typical of those with schizophrenia because it tends to manifest itself after puberty. Stress tends to bring on more psychotic events and makes the condition worse.

A relative to the family said that Adam Lanza was ‘obviously not well,’ adding that he often seemed troubled.

Lanza’s aunt, Marsha Lanza, said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.

Everyone hesitated including mom and dad. As is so often the case, parents and some relatives just won’t see it. Some are shamed into inaction, some are just too proud to admit that “their offspring is schizo” because of the stigma. Some are simply in denial. “Oh he just had a bad day”, “but he only does that sometimes”, “the stressful situation made him do it”, “no really he is better now (until the next psychotic episode)”, “but what can I do”, “it’s just kids being kids” and “every kid now a days acts strange”are typical rationalities.

How long did mom (who is now dead sadly) hesitate?

The New York Daily News reports:

Less than a week before her son would launch his horrifying attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, Nancy Lanza knew “she was losing him” and that “he was getting worse.”

A drinking buddy of Lanza told The Daily News that her son Adam had long been troubled and rarely came up in conversation.

“She just looked down at the glass and said, ‘I don’t know. I’m worried I’m losing him,’” said the bar pal, who did not wish to be named, of the ominous conversation at the bar My Place in Newtown, Conn.

“She said it was getting worse. She was having trouble reaching him.”

Adam, who the coroner’s office said Sunday shot Nancy Lanza, 54, several times in the head before unleashing a nightmarish attack that killed 20 schoolchildren and six others Friday, was prone to hurting himself, the drinking buddy said.

“Nancy told me he was burning himself with a lighter. In the ankles or arms or something,” he recalled of a conversation they had about a year ago. “It was like he was trying to feel something.”

Self mutilation such as cutting and burning actually provide temporary relief to those having psychotic events of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Criminal Psychologist Dr. Alan Lipman: The FACT is that every One of these episodes Is proceeded by an undiagnosed mental illness:

UPDATE II – Unconfirmed report that Nancy Lanza was petitioning the court for conservator-ship over her son to have him involuntarily committed:

Joshua Flashman, 25, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place. Flashman, a U.S. Marine, is the son of a pastor at an area church where many of the victims’ families worship.

“From what I’ve been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed,” Flashman told FoxNews.com. “Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”

Off the cuff, I do not think this update is true. If it is where is the court petition and where is the attorney? I do think that it is entirely possible that she discussed doing this at one point. However, if Connecticut had an AOT law such as “Laura’s Law” Nancy Lanza would have been able to get Adam Lanza the help he needed with little difficulty. But who is it who actively resists such laws? Read below.

Far Left Groups Defeated Connecticut Mental Health Protection Laws Just Months Before Shooting (Via Jim Hoft):

Counter Contempt reported:

Here’s a fact you might not know – Connecticut is one of only SIX states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a type of “assisted outpatient treatment” (AOT) law (sometimes referred to as “involuntary outpatient treatment”). There’s no one standard for these types of laws, but (roughly speaking) these are laws that allow for people with mental illness to be forcibly treated BEFORE they commit a serious crime. Whereas previous legal standards held that the mentally ill cannot be institutionalized or medicated until they harm someone or themselves, or until they express an immediate intent to do so, AOT laws (again, roughly speaking) allow for preventative institutionalization or forced medication (I highly recommend reading the data cited in the link I provided in this paragraph, especially regarding what is known as “first episode psychosis”).

AOT laws vary state-by-state, and often bear the name of a person murdered by an untreated mentally ill person (“Kendra’s Law” in New York, “Laura’s Law” in California, etc.).

Earlier this year, Connecticut considered passing an AOT law (and a weak one, at that), and it failed, due to protests from “civil liberties” groups.

Most states have laws and even a 1-800 mental health hotline and free clinics to help those who are mentally ill. Arizona had such laws and facilities, but not even the local police called the number after they determined that Jarod Loughner had troubles perceiving reality. Loughner, like Lanza should have been forcibly evaluated. If evaluated, Jarrod Loughner would not have been able to buy the weapon that he bought to do his terrible deed as his evaluation would have been reported to the proper authorities.

We have gun laws that work pretty well, but no system works unless the people on the ground take action to put those laws and resources into action.

Those who engage in “Normalcy Bias” when it comes to mental illness have plenty of cover in leftist academia (also via Jim Hoft):

For Your Country posted this back after schizophrenic Jared Loughner went on his shooting rampage in Arizona that left several people dead and US Rep. Gabby Giffords seriously wounded.

It actually very hard to force people with severe mental diseases to be treated because of a range of reforms pushed by progressives starting in the 60′s:

  1. Ronald David Laing, a Scottish Psychiatrist, In the 60′s put forth the foundation of the Anti-Psychiatry movement. He maintained that schizophrenia was “a theory not a fact”. The popularity of Laing’s theories is blamed for decline in students entering the psychology profession.
  2. President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Community Mental Health Centers Act accelerated the trend toward deinstitutionalization with the establishment of a network of community mental health centers and changes in laws regarding commitment.
  3. Kenneth Kesey, wrote “One Flew over the Cukoo’s Nest” based in part on Laing’s thinking (and his own intensive use of drugs). “Kesey did not believe that these patients were insane, rather that society had pushed them out because they did not fit the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave.” The Book,play, and later the movie, portrayed a anti-psychiatry philosophy leading to a public displeasure with residential mental facilities resulting in further deinstitutionalization policies.
  4. Deinstitutioanlization led to many legal and structural changes. American public mental hospital patients declined from more than 550,000 in 1955 to fewer than 40,000 at present. The displaced patients now represent 30-50% of the homeless populations.

As a result of Laing, Kennedy, Kesey and public efforts to transform the mental health care system to be more humane, to characterize mentally ill people as “Just thinking differently”, and characterizing mental health care as some form of evil, we now have a system that makes it virtually impossible to get folks like Loughner the care they need.

Deinstitutionalization policies driven by “do good” liberals and the federal government put focus on limited bad acts. Kesey wrote a story based on his LSD induced observations in one VA mental hospital. Once his story was put into film, his small example falsely characterized the bulk of mental health care as dehumanizing and made it impossible to force the Loughners of the world to get treatment.

Critics will focus on gun control after today’s school massacre. The focus should be on failed liberal policies that excuse rather than assist extremely dysfunctional individuals.

Related:

Illinois Issues blog: Closing mental health facilities could cause other problems, opponents say

Alabama Plans to Shut Most Mental Hospitals

After closing psychiatric hospitals, Michigan incarcerates mentally ill

Illinois Mental Hospitals to Turn Away Thousands of Patients

We here at Political Arena are the last to look for government to offer up solutions, but in the case of the mentally ill, most do not have insurance and need state assistance for treatment. Only by education and treatment on a level comparable to that which has been used to combat AIDS will this problem get seriously better.

But What About Guns

Israeli Teacher protecting  children
Israeli Teacher Protecting Children

[Editor’s Note – While not every teacher in Israel carries a rifle, military personnel, reservists, and those with a gun license may carry a weapon openly in Israel. Israel provides armed security for most of its institutions including schools.]

While there is no question that those who are bent on destruction will often find a way to do so with or without access to firearms, sometimes access to guns, in this case stolen guns from a relative, amplifies the damage a disturbed person can cause.

It is important to examine the big picture. In Switzerland and Israel where guns are everywhere there is very little gun crime and very few mass shootings, but in areas of Europe that have gun control laws that essentially turn the citizens into mere subjects, according to studies by Dr. John R. Lott and others, per capita they have about the same number of deaths via mass shooting as the United States does. In states areas where more citizens carry guns legally there are drops in crime and gun violence in almost every instance. Put simply, criminals and those with ill intent prefer helpless unarmed victims.

England may have a virtual ban on guns, but they also have among the highest violent crime in the world, even higher than South Africa and the United States. England’s gun crime increased by 35% in the years following the ban.

In fact, it seems that the Aurora, Colorado Cinemark shooter, aside from being schizophrenic, targeted that particular theater because it had signs up announcing that it was a “Gun Free Zone”.

gun signs childrenUPDATE – When Adam Lanza discovered that armed responders were on the scene, that is when the rampage ended – “We surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that, decided to take his own life,” Mr. Malloy said on ABC’s “This Week.”

According to the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence Connecticut ranks fifth best in the country for toughest gun laws.

Dana Loesch has put together a handy list of sourced and credible statistics about gun crime in general. Notice how violent crime, according to government and academic sources, is much higher in areas where citizens are restricted from using firearms for self defense.

Those with a knee jerk reaction may blame the guns, but do they credit guns with the killing of Osama bin Laden or do they credit the Navy Seals? There is clearly a double standard at play here, and in the case of politicians who know better, the double standard is an agenda driven one.

That agenda is parroted by a liberal elite media which not only focuses on the guns due to their statist ideology, that agenda is also what results in that same elite media not reporting cases where armed citizens prevented mass shooting such as the case of Appalachian Law School, and just two days ago an armed citizen stopped a mall shooting in Portland. When the deranged gunman saw the armed citizen he took cover and then took his own life. When heroic Sandy Brook School principal Dawn Hochsprung lunged at Adam Lanza, she deserved to have the right to lunge at him with something better than a ball point pen.

Many critics are being nakedly political by blaming the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA trains every police firearms instructor and almost every civilian firearms safety instructor in the country.  The NRA runs the largest firearm safety program for kids in the country and teaches in many schools. The NRA is also the most powerful political lobby in Washington DC.

Blaming the NRA for this tragedy is like blaming anti-drug war groups for substance abuse and drug overdoses. It really does not get much more irrational than that.

Average Wait Time for Surgery in Canada 17.7 Weeks

At least it is starting to improve after years of socialized medicine bringing quality down to the gutter. Largely because of the efforts of Prime Minister Harper and his TEA Party brand of economic conservatism have been introducing reforms and partial privatization back into the Canadian Healthcare System.

Fraser Institute:

CALGARY, AB—Patients face a median wait surgery wait times in Canadaof 17.7 weeks for surgical and other therapeutic treatments in Canada, down from 19.0 weeks in 2011, according to the 22nd annual edition of Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

On a national basis, median wait times have hovered between 16 and 19 weeks since 2000, following a marked deterioration in wait times during the 1990s when surgical waits grew steadily from 9.3 weeks in 1993 to 14 weeks in 1999. This year’s median wait of 17.7 weeks is 91 per cent longer than in 1993.

“While wait times have improved since last year, Canadians are still forced to wait more than four months, on average, for medically necessary treatment. Physicians, not to mention patients, consider this unreasonable,” said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the report.

One month after the election the job losses are staggering…..

As reported by the Daily Mail, Florida restaurant owner John Metz says he will offset the costs of Obamacare by “adding a five percent surcharge to customers’ bills and will reduce his employees’ hours.”

Obamacare is so filled with senseless mandates, bureaucratic overhead and taxes that it has already driven up the cost of family health insurance by $2,500 a year and this will just get worse as more of Obamacare is implemented.

Obamacare requires businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.

The program mandates that only employees working more than 30 hours a week are covered under their employers health insurance plan, chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster are already considering reduced worker hours.

“Obviously, I’d love to cover all our employees under that insurance,” said Metz.

“But to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don’t make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.”

From March of 2010 – John Deere: We will take $150 million hit from healthcare reform; Caterpillar: We will take $100 million hit just this year. UPDATE AT&T says ObamaCare bill will cost $1 billion per year!

Democrat campaign operatives had tried to paint those businesses reacting to as just a few actors disgruntled by the election and tried to fool people into believing that Obamacare makes healthcare more affordable.

A new web site called The Daily Job Cuts is attempting to catalogue the layoffs and business closings and even though they are making a worthy full time effort to list them all, they are still only able to report a fraction of the actual job losses.

In the last month:

Aside from the evil Papa Johns, Democrat political operatives need to be prepared to also ‘boycott’ these companies who are laying off thousands of people due to Obamacare and associated taxes: Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, Longhorn Steakhouse……

…..Google, Martha Stewart Living, Pepsi, PayPal, Groupon, Best Buy, Cisco Systems, Kraft Foods, Lockheed Martin, Sears, Lexmark, Yahoo!, Dupont, Boeing, Bristol-Myers, Cummins, Smithfield Foods, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NBC/Universal, American Airlines, United Continental Holdings, JC Penney, Wausau Paper, Procter & Gamble, Texas Instruments, Pierce Manufacturing, Panasonic, Xerox, Citigroup, Atlantic City Casinos, Majestic Star Casino, RIM (Blackberry), Vestas Wind Systems, Utah American Energy, Turkey Point Nuclear Plant FL, United Technologies, Gamesa Energy, Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, Stryker Corp (A big Obama Donor), First Solar, Solel Solar Systems, LuLu Publishing, New Energy Corp, Supervalue (Albertson’s), Dana Corp, American Coal, Gamestop, Commercial Appeal, Patriot Coal, Archer-Daniels-Midland, SAS, CIGNA, 169 Shaws Supermarkets, Judson University, ATI Career Training Centers,  …

But boycotting these companies may be tough if you get sick or injured:

Nebraska Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Aveo Oncology, Kaiser Permanente, St Jude Medical, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, St Lukes Cornwall Hospital, Emanuel Medical Center, GE Healthcare, WPS Health Insurance, Lower Bucks Hospital, United Blood Services Gulf Region, NY Center for Hospice/Palliative Care, CVPH Medical Center, Ameridose, Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY, San Diego Hospice, Glens Falls Hospital NY, Wake Forest Baptist Medical NC, Southwest Vermont Health Care, St Mary’s of Michigan Hospital, Orlando Health (hospitals), Carney Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Englewood Hospital, LSU’s 7 Hospitals, Westchester Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center, NCH Healthcare System, Peace Health, Northwest Community Healthcare, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, E.J. Noble Hospital, Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley, St. Joseph Hospital, St. Josepth Hospital East, Community Memorial Health System, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Marian Regional Medical Center, Inland Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, St Vincent Health System (hospital), Mercy Health Partners’ Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, Jordan Hospital, Brattleboro Retreat (psychiatric hospital), CVPH Medical Center Pittsburg, Western Maryland Regional Medical Center (hospital), Cook Medical.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to boycott Hostess or the closings of 10 Boston area Upper Crust Pizzas, or the 200 Gamestop outlets. All are closing. There are so many closures that we just don’t have the space…

MORE:

Abbott Labs, Activision, Adventist Health, Airlines SAS, AMD, American Cotton Growers, Arcelor Mittal, American Independence Museum, Ameridose, American Airlines, American Coal, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Assc Milk Producers, Aveo Oncology, Bankia, Bechtel Power Corp, Bigpoint Games, Boston Scientific, Brake Parts, Brattleboro Retreat,
Career Education, Cigna, Commerzbank, Consol Energy in W.V., Covidien, Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY, CVPH, DEP in Tallahassee FL, DuPont, Eagle-Tribune, Emanuel Medical Center, Energizer Holdings, Ericsson, Exide Tech, First Energy, Gameforge Berlin, GenOn Energy Inc, Groupon, GT Advanced Tech, Harris’ Broadcast, Hawker Beechcraft, Hill Rom,
Hills Holdings. HMX Group, Iberia Airlines, ICM of Colwich, ING, Juniper Networks, Kinetic Concepts, Kratos Defense Security, Lightyear Network Solutions, Lonza, Majestic Star Casino, Major Wind Company, Medtronic, Mills Manufacturing NC, Momentive Inc, Monitor Group, Montco Behavioral Health, NBC, Nebraska Medical Center, Neovia Logistics Services, New Energy, Ormet, Panasonic, PayPal, Penn Refrigeration, Penske Logistics, Pepsi, Philips Electronics, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Research in Motion, Rheem Manufacturing, Sentry Foods, Shaw’s Supermarket, Shawano Foundry WI, Smith & Nephew, Smithfield Packing Co., Southeastern Container, SpaceX, SRA Intl Inc, St. Jude Medical, Sulake, Sun Media, TE Connectivity, TECO Coal Corporation, The Providence Journal Co, TMX Group Ltd., Turbocare, Oce North America, UBS, US Cellular, Volvo Trucks Pulaski County, West Ridge Mine, Westinghouse, World Media Enterprises Inc, WPS Health Insurance, Wright Patterson AFB, Wyodak Coal Mine, Yakima Reg Med Ctr Washington.

Special thanks to C. Steven Tucker for helping me to build this list.

Will: Colleges have free speech on the run

Parents, what you are about to read here is commonplace on American universities today. And you may be thinking, “I am in a conservative town so not my local university”…. well you are sadly mistaken.

This very writer is from South Bend, Indiana. Mike Pence is our new governor, Jackie Walorski is our new Member of Congress, and Indiana was the first state to go to Mitt Romney in the election. Yet, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Christians, traditionalists, and conservatives face discrimination and persecution on campus.

This very writer, when faced with persecution on campus, went very high profile on campus and used a strategy of making the left fear me. Having been a radio talk show host and a person with some resources I had that option, but many traditional students don’t.

Pro-life professors at Notre Dame, the largest Catholic University in the world, are persecuted on campus because the radical left has all but taken over the institution since Father Hessburg actively recruited Marxists to work at the university.

Hundreds of thousands of communists didn’t suddenly become libertarians after the East German wall fell. They had to go somewhere and most of them ended up “teaching” our kids. There are plenty of them on almost every campus in America.

George Will:

At Tufts, a conservative newspaper committed “harassment” by printing accurate quotations from the Koran and a verified fact about the status of women in Saudi Arabia. Lukianoff says that Tufts may have been the first American institution “to find someone guilty of harassment for stating verifiable facts directed at no one in particular.”

He documents how “orientation” programs for freshmen become propaganda to (in the words of one orthodoxy enforcer) “leave a mental footprint on their consciousness.” Faculty, too, can face mandatory consciousness-raising.

In 2007, Donald Hindley, a politics professor at Brandeis, was found guilty of harassment because when teaching Latin American politics he explained the origin of the word “wetbacks,” which refers to immigrants crossing the Rio Grande. Without a hearing, the university provost sent Hindley a letter stating that the university “will not tolerate inappropriate, racial and discriminatory conduct.” The assistant provost was assigned to monitor Hindley’s classes “to ensure that you do not engage in further violations of the nondiscrimination and harassment policy.” Hindley was required to attend “anti-discrimination training.”

Such coercion is a natural augmentation of censorship. Next comes mob rule. Last year, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the vice provost for diversity and climate — really; you can’t make this stuff up — encouraged students to disrupt a news conference by a speaker opposed to racial preferences. They did, which the vice provost called “awesome.” This is the climate on an especially liberal campus that celebrates “diversity” in everything but thought.

“What happens on campus,” Lukianoff says, “doesn’t stay on campus” because censorship has “downstream effects.” He quotes a sociologist whose data he says demonstrate that “those with the highest levels of education have the lowest exposure to people with conflicting points of view.” This encourages “the human tendency to live within our own echo chambers.” Parents’ tuition dollars and student indebtedness pay for this. Good grief.

Obama Lied: Cuts Pell Grant Eligibility after Promising Opposite

This is no different than the Obama Administration targeting women’s cancer screenings for rationing while fully admitting that it will increase women’s mortality rates.

Why is it that women’s and minority health are the first to be targeted for cuts as ObamaCare takes over? Why is it that Pell Grants for college are already being targeted?  It is because those groups vote Democrat in such large numbers, that the Democrat leadership can do whatever it wants and likely keep that group secured as a voting block.

With the elite media, and in the case of the young being barraged by leftist professors,  covering for them most of the time Obama can get away with it. Do you ever wonder why inner city minorities get the worst teachers, worst schools, worst city services and worst police protection in cities and areas ran by Democrats? It is for the same reason. No matter what the Democrats do they believe they will always get 85% or better of the black vote, so they put resources in swing districts to win swing voters.

Victor Medina:

Sorry, college students. President Obama has cut your access to Pell Grants by 33%; he just forgot to mention it before Election Day.

During the recent campaign, President Obama claimed credit for increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, which provides college funds, free from repayment, to millions of students. However, an email sent out Tuesday to some Dallas college students is revealing a detail the President forgot to mention: the time a student can receive a Pell Grant has been cut, by as much as three years. With Pell Grants for the fall semester now dispersed, colleges are informing students of their options, bringing the cuts to light.

The email, sent out by the Dallas County Community College District, informed students of the changes to the Pell Grant program. It revealed that the number of semesters a student could receive a Pell Grant had been cut from 18 semesters down to 12. It is a detail likely unknown to most students; in fact, the cut in grants has gone largely unreported by the media.

The email states that the cut in eligibility was part of an education bill President Obama signed into law in 2011. “On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This new federal law states that the amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her LIFETIME will be reduced to the duration of a student’s eligibility from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent). This new law applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-2013 award year beginning July 1, 2012. (DCL-GEN-12-01)”

The cut in grant eligibility has serious ramifications for non-traditional students. Part-time students who do not receive a full semester grant may lose out on funds if they do not earn an undergraduate degree within 12 semesters. Adults who go back to school, including retraining for a new career, will also have limited access to grants.

The amount of the grant varies based on family income (with a current yearly maximum grant of $5,550). If a student gets a grant less than a maximum, and a year later finds their income level has been reduced, they will not be able to recoup the difference in the lower amounts earned in a previous year. The cut in eligible semesters makes it difficult for students to make up that gap in later years.

This cut in eligibility was never mentioned by President Obama during the campaign, and when he boasted about increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, CNN fact-checked his claim as true. While the amount of government funding to the program is going up in future years, CNN failed miserably by not pointing out the cuts in eligibility to students. The cuts could be a rude awakening to students who thought President Obama was expanding their educational opportunities.

NSA Whistleblower: Government illegally storing EVERYONE’s email and Facebook messages (video)

A good reason to have a Reagan.com email address and to use encryption.

William Binney, whistleblower and former NSA crypto-mathematician who served in the agency for decades. Virtual privacy in US, Petraeus affair and whistleblowers’ odds in fight against the authorities are among key topics of this exclusive interview.

Wired Magazine:

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

For the NSA, overflowing with tens of billions of dollars in post-9/11 budget awards, the cryptanalysis breakthrough came at a time of explosive growth, in size as well as in power. Established as an arm of the Department of Defense following Pearl Harbor, with the primary purpose of preventing another surprise assault, the NSA suffered a series of humiliations in the post-Cold War years. Caught offguard by an escalating series of terrorist attacks—the first World Trade Center bombing, the blowing up of US embassies in East Africa, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, and finally the devastation of 9/11—some began questioning the agency’s very reason for being. In response, the NSA has quietly been reborn. And while there is little indication that its actual effectiveness has improved—after all, despite numerous pieces of evidence and intelligence-gathering opportunities, it missed the near-disastrous attempted attacks by the underwear bomber on a flight to Detroit in 2009 and by the car bomber in Times Square in 2010—there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created.

In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.

Keep reading HERE….it gets scarier.

Leftist Academics Rewriting American History Schoolbooks: George Washington Nixed….

by David L. Goetsch

The fastest way to undermine a country is to undermine its history, and the best place to begin is in the nation’s classrooms where pliable young minds are easily influenced.  This is precisely what the left has been doing for decades, and with evident success.  The left has made great strides in undermining the family, taking over the public square, and dominating education at all levels.  But some of its most effective work has been in revising America’s history.  Russian philosopher Alexander Solzhenitzyn said: “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.” Patrick Buchanan said: “To create a ‘new people,’ the agents of our cultural revolution must first create a new history; and that project is well advanced.”

In 1992 that bastion of liberal thought, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), received a two-million-dollar grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education to develop new standards for history books for grades five through twelve.  UCLA completed this assignment in 1997.  Since that time, its standards have had the intended effect.  UCLA’s standards for history books for public school children have resulted in the following:

  • No mention in history books of such American luminaries as Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, or the Wright Brothers. It is the lives of exceptional Americans such as these, among many other factors, that validate the concept of American exceptionalism.  Consequently, to undermine the concept, liberals must remove any reference to exceptional acts and exceptional people in American history.  
  • The founding dates of the Sierra Club and the National Organization for Women are given special significance.  In truth, the only thing that warrants inclusion of these organizations in history books is that they are considered sacred institutions by the left.
  • Instructions for teachers concerning how to teach the unit which covers the traitor Alger Hiss and the spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg encourages leeway to teach the unit either way.  In other words, teachers are given the leeway to teach the unit as if Hiss was not a traitor and the Rosenbergs were innocent.  This is the same Alger Hiss who was convicted by a jury on the basis of hard evidence, evidence that since his conviction has been validated many times over by further discoveries.  These are the same Rosenbergs who gave America’s atom-bomb secrets to Joseph Stalin.
  • The Constitutional Convention is not even mentioned.  One of the reasons for this is that the deliberations of America’s founders as recorded in numerous documents such as the Federalist Papers as well as those of the anti-federalists are clearly at odds with today’s liberal orthodoxy.  The tactic of the left is simple.  If the founder’s views do not reinforce those of the left, eliminate any reference to their views in history books.
  • George Washington’s presidency is not mentioned nor is his famous farewell address.  Rather than learn about the two terms of our country’s first president—two terms in which everything Washington did was precedent setting—students are encouraged to develop an imaginary dialogue between an Indian Leader and General Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War.  What students are supposed to learn and how students are supposed to benefit from this hypothetical dialogue is not explained.
  • The Soviet Union is commended for its great strides in space exploration, but America’s moon landing is not mentioned.
  • Teachers are urged to have students conduct a mock trial for John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil.  No mention is made of the fact that the homes of most of the students are heated by energy derived from petroleum and the gasoline in the cars driven by teachers comes from petroleum.

The new history standards developed by UCLA have had far-reaching effects.  Look at any history book written for public school students in the K-12 system and you will be appalled at what is included and what is not.  There are now history books being used in America classrooms that give more coverage to Madonna than to George Washington.  Further, America is often portrayed in the way that Barack Obama appears to view it: as a villainous nation bent on world dominance, imperialism, the perpetuation of slavery, and a variety of other evils.  What is less likely to be found is any positive coverage concerning a Constitution that guarantees the rights of everyone, including liberals who are bent on the destruction of America as the founders envisioned it.

U. Texas Journalism Prof: US Founding Fathers like “Nazi’s”,

Parents, this kind of nuttery on campus is not uncommon. Most universities pay very low wages, barely enough to pay one’s student loans, so universities tend to often attract the least capable of academics who cannot make it in the private sector, or ideologues like Prof. Jensen who are so radical that the private sector is out of their reach.

CNS News:

Forget all that turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, today should be a day of fasting and atonement for American “sin.” That’s according to Robert Jensen, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Jensen, known for his hard-left politics, also calls Thanksgiving a “white-supremacist holiday.”

Jensen’s opinion piece “No Thanks for Thanksgiving,” appeared on the far-left, Soros-connected website Alternet on Thanksgiving eve. In it, he wrote how Native Americans suffered because of the “European invasion of the Americas.” He went on to compare the Founding Fathers to Nazi Germany. “How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?” he asked.

Editor: I debated Dr. Gilarducci just as Mark Levin did

by Chuck Norton

In the video below Mark Levin very gently takes apart Dr. Teresa Gilarducci. She works for George Soros now, but before that she was an econ professor at Notre Dame. She was also on President Clinton’s Social Security task force.

When she was at Notre Dame I debated her when I was an undergrad in front of an audience, as I was the only one between IU and Notre Dame who would take the partial privatization position point of view on Social Security. Her incredible hypocrisy, that Levin exposes so well in the video below, showed itself in true form in my debate with her as well. Her “logic” is entirely political, circular and based largely on denial and misdirection. She is sweet, attractive and charming, and well knows it as she uses that as a weapon in her arsenal.

Dr. Gilarducci thought she was going to be debating a “college republican” undergrad, what she got is a former radio talk show host who passed the state exams and used to sell retirement and insurance products.

I will not outline the entire debate, but in short I did two things.

First: I outlined the Galveston Plan which has worked wonders as a legal exception to Social Security. I also pointed out the government managed, but partially privatized retirement plan that Members of Congress have which has been a great success through thick and thin. Such a plan would serve as a good model to grow at least a small percentage of Social Security to at least attempt to have a growth to pre-fund our retirement benefits.

All she would say about these partially privatized plans is that the retirees wouldn’t get the money and even though retired Members of Congress and some in Galveston were already  getting great benefits now she insisted that soon that money would vanish because only government transfer payments can be trusted. She kept saying again and again, “Until you go to get your money at retirement and it’s not there.”

Ironically in the video below, the type of plan she insisted could never work because the “greedsters” in the private sector would steal it all, is the exact same plan that she has for herself for her own retirement by her own admission.

Second: Dr. Gilarducci had written some good papers on 401K reform. She argued that too much of the 401K investment is in the employers own stock, so if the employer goes under said employee looses a lot of their retirement. As a fix she proposed that 401K laws be changed to require diversity of investment to more reliably pre-fund such retirement plans. Social Security has much the same problem as all of the eggs are in one basket, there is no diversity of investment and people’s retirement’s are not pre-funded.

So I used her own words and arguments on how to have a reliable and secure 401k, but replaced the term “401k” with “Social Security”. I used those near verbatim arguments to make most of my case.

All through the debate she insisted that (what she didn’t realize were her own arguments in her own published work) were just bad arguments from a young undergrad who just didn’t know better and that is how she treated me……until the end when I dropped the bomb that many of the arguments she so cutely poo-poohed were actually her own published work. She was floored.

Mark Levin:

During my last few shows, including as recently as yesterday, I have alerted you to Obama’s desire to nationalize your 401-k plan and eliminate your mortgage interest deduction.

Some background on the former.  Back in October 2008, I got word that Professor Teresa Ghilarducci of the New School had testified before Rep. George Miller’s committee in support of a plan to nationalize private pension plans — in particular, 401-k plans.  I not only spoke about it on my show back then, but we tracked down the professor and I conducted the first interview on talk radio.  I will discuss this at more length on my program this evening, but I thought you might want to be among the first to listen to that interview again.  Please pass it along to as many people as you can.  See below.

http://marklevinshow.com/article.asp?id=2441845&spid=32364

Two-thirds of millionaires leave Britain to avoid 50% tax rate

It is an undeniable truth of life that wealth, capital and labor go where they are treated well. It is this economic truth more than any other that prevents socialism, communism, fascism, and kleptocracy from yielding positive economic benefits in the long term.

When you raise the tax rate, people will modify their behavior to avoid paying the tax, even if that means halting economic activity. As Ronald Reagan said:

The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

UK Daily Telegraph

Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50% top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.

In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50% top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.

It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in the Budget earlier this year that the 50% top rate will be reduced to 45% from next April.

Since the announcement, the number of people declaring annual incomes of more than £1 million has risen to 10,000.

However, the number of million-pound earners is still far below the level recorded even at the height of the recession and financial crisis.

Last night, Harriet Baldwin, the Conservative MP who uncovered the latest figures, said: “Labour’s ideological tax hike led to a tax cull of millionaires.

Far from raising funds, it actually cost the UK £7 billion in lost tax revenue.

“Labour now needs to admit that their policies resulted in millionaires paying less tax and come clean about whether they would reintroduce this failed policy if they were in power.”

Mr Osborne argued earlier this year that the 50% rate was deterring entrepreneurs from coming to Britain.

British Meteorology Office: No Global Warming for 16 Years

The British Meteorology Office, commonly referred to as the “British Met” has been on the paranoid tip of global warming fraud and alarmism for years. After the Climategate scandal where “top” climate scientists own emails revealed that they were rigging some data-sets and hiding others to make it appear as if man made global warming was real resulted in more oversight and ethics rules. After years of false claims of doom and incorrect predictions the British Met is now admitting the truth.

UK Daily Mail:

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it

  • The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
  • This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996
No Global Warming in 16 Years
Research: The new figures mean that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996.

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.

This stands in sharp contrast to the release of the previous figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.

Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.

Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia [Editor’s Note – Jones is one of the busted Climategate scientists and had a long record of making over the top doomsday claims], last week dismissed the significance of the plateau, saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period from which to draw conclusions.

Others disagreed. Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’.

Democrats hope for return of the 55% “death tax” in 2013

Democrats love the death tax. It creams most small farms and small businesses while their super rich corporate donors get off the hook.  It makes family farms easy targets for big corporate buyers. It also punishes larger companies for being privately held. It is yet another tax that the little guy has to pay while the mega-corporate interests that run the Democratic Party benefit from.
Fox News:

Ranchers, farmers brace for ‘death tax’ impact

Rancher Kevin Kester works dawn to dusk, drives a 12-year-old pick-up truck and earns less than a typical bureaucrat in Washington D.C., yet the federal government considers him rich enough to pay the estate tax — also known as the “death tax.”

And with that tax set to soar at the beginning of 2013 without some kind of intervention from Congress, farmers and ranchers like Kester are waiting anxiously.

“There is no way financially my kids can pay what the IRS is going to demand from them nine months after death and keep this ranch intact for their generation and future generations,” said Kester, of the Bear Valley Ranch in Central California.

Two decades ago, Kester paid the IRS $2 million when he inherited a 22,000-acre cattle ranch from his grandfather. Come January, the tax burden on his children will be more than $13 million.

For supporters of a high estate tax, which is imposed on somebody’s estate after death, Kester is the kind of person they rarely mention. He doesn’t own a mansion. He’s not the CEO of a multi-national. But because of his line of work, he owns a lot of property that would be subject to a lot of tax.

“Our number one goal is to repeal the estate tax, to get rid of it, not have it for every generation, when I die and my kids die and so on,” he told Fox News. “For everyone to have to re-purchase the ranch or farm over and over for each generation, that’s inherently unjust. So what we’re doing is asking our politicians to understand that and repeal the estate tax.”

That, however, is unlikely. Currently, the federal government taxes estates worth $5 million dollars and up at 35 percent. When the Bush-era tax rates expire in January, rates increase to 55 percent on estates of $1 million or more. While some Republicans want to eliminate the death tax entirely, President Obama has proposed a 45 percent rate on estates of $3.5 million and up.

“The idea behind the estate tax is to prevent the very wealthy among us from accumulating vast fortunes that they can pass along to the next generation,” said Patrick Lester, director of Federal Fiscal Policy with the progressive think tank — OMB Watch. “The poster child for the estate tax is Paris Hilton — the celebrity and hotel heiress. That’s who this is targeted at, not ordinary Americans.”

Editor’s Note – Wait just a minute. Why can’t Paris Hilton’s family pass their fortune on to their children? The Hilton’s provide a valuable service and also provide tens of thousands of good jobs. They also pay massive amounts on taxes and give to charities. Why should they be targeted for punishment by the federal government?

Where did we adopt the tyrannical Marxist idea that just because someone has it, it then becomes another’s right to take it? Do we have the rule of law or the law of the jungle?

The Democrats do not take that money to pass out to you and me, they spend the money over seas or hand it out to campaign donors and cronies just as they have dome in the emerging Green Corruption scandal.

Isn’t the “American Dream” to pass on something to your kids so they can do better than you? This is how radical the Democratic Party leadership has become.

More from Fox News:

But according to the American Farm Bureau, up to 97 percent of American farms and ranches will be subject to an estate tax where the exemption is set at $1 million. At that rate, the federal government will pocket $40 billion in 2013 and up to $86 billion in 2021. That contrasts with just $12 billion this year.

Obama Admin proposes 68 regulations per day, 6,125 in 90 days

And people wonder why jobs and wealth leave the country……

CNS News:

It’s Friday morning, and so far today, the Obama administration has posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its reguations.gov website.

In the past 90 days, it has posted 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day.

The website allows visitors to find and comment on proposed regulations and related documents published by the U.S. federal government. “Help improve Federal regulations by submitting your comments,” the website says.

The thousands of entries run the gamut from meeting notifications to fee schedules to actual rules and proposed rule changes.

In recent days, for example, the EPA posted a proposed rule involving volatile organic compound emissions from architectural coatings: “We are approving a local rule that regulates these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act),” the proposed rule states. “We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.”

Another proposed rule will provide guidance for FDA staff on “enforcement criteria for canned ackee, frozen ackee, and other ackee products that contain hypoglycin A.”  (Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica; unripened or inedible portions can be toxic.)

Some of the proposed regulations revise regulations already on the books.

The website also links to a video of a speech President Barack Obama gave at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 7, 2011, in which the president promised to remove “outdated and unnecessary regulations.”

“I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them,” the president said.

A number of groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, expect a rush of new regulations now that President Obama has won a second term:

CEI expects the EPA to move ahead on delayed rules on everything from greenhouse gas emissions to ozone standards.  “Rules from the health care bill and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill will also likely make themselves known in the weeks to come,” the group said on its website.

Canadian health care rationing ‘a crisis for Quebec women’

Montreal Gazette:

Ovarian Cancer Canada
Surgery wait times for deadly ovarian, cervical and breast cancers in Quebec are three times longer than government benchmarks, leading some desperate patients to shop around for an operating room.

MONTREAL — Surgery wait times for deadly ovarian, cervical and breast cancers in Quebec are three times longer than government benchmarks, leading some desperate patients to shop around for an operating room.

But that’s a waste of time, doctors say, since the problem is spread across Quebec hospitals. And doctors are refusing to accept new patients quickly because they can’t treat them, health advocates say.

A leading Montreal gynecologist said that these days, she cannot look her patients in the eye because the wait times are so shocking. Lack of resources, including nursing staff and budget compressions, are driving a backlog of surgeries while operating rooms stand empty. The latest figures from the provincial government show that over a span of nearly 11 months, 7,780 patients in the Montreal area waited six months or longer for day surgeries, while another 2,957 waited for six months or longer for operations that required hospitalization.

The worst cases are gynecological cancers, experts say, because usually such a cancer has already spread by the time it is detected. Instead of four weeks from diagnosis to surgery, patients are waiting as long as three months to have cancerous growths removed.

“It’s a crisis for Quebec women,” said Lucy Gilbert, director of gynecological oncology and the gynecologic cancer multi-disciplinary team at the McGill University Health Centre. Her team has had access to operating rooms only two days a week for the past year, with dozens of patients having surgeries postponed week after week.

Patients are prioritized according to need, Gilbert said, but surgical delays are still too long.

Gilbert says there are days she can’t face going into work at the Royal Victoria Hospital, a renowned cancer centre in gynecology, and dealing with crying patients. “Put yourself in their place. … I have difficulty making eye contact with patients. I am ashamed to be in such a situation.

“People are suffering. People are waiting too long,” Gilbert said. “This should not happen. No matter how good your surgery is, no matter how good your chemotherapy is, if you delay the surgery there could be a problem. The cancer grows. The cancer spreads.”

One worried patient, a mother of five children who waited three months for surgery for invasive breast cancer, said she is worried about the effects of such a long wait. After surgery, she paid $800 for a bone scan in a private clinic rather than wait five months for a scan at the Jewish General Hospital.

“They needed the scan to see what kind of treatment to give me,” said the woman, 40, who asked that her name not be published because she is starting chemotherapy this week. “The doctors are amazing but health system is not working.”

Feds fine small business $4,000 over a missing trash can lid, $70,000 over a broken car horn…

More of the same?

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

According to conventional progressive wisdom, regulation is the means by which a compassionate government protects the weak and innocent from the strong and malevolent.

Try telling that to Brad Jones.

Jones is one of the owners of Buckingham Slate, a Virginia business a little over an hour’s drive west of Richmond. The company is distinguished by the quality of the highly valued Arvonia slate it produces. And by the fact that its roots trace back almost to the Civil War. And by the fact that federal regulators smacked it with a $4,000 fine.

Over a trash can.

The offending can — or “waste receptacle,” in the words of the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s official citation — was “not covered.” What’s more, “the receptacle was full.” It “could be smelled.” There were — brace yourself — “flies fl[y]ing in and around the receptacle.” And to crown all, “management engaged in aggravated conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence” by allowing this “condition to exist.” The horror.

Buckingham Slate has racked up other fines, too — such as a $70,000 fine imposed because one of its trucks had an inoperable horn. Perhaps regulators were following the approach advocated by Al Armendariz, the former EPA official who said enforcers should “crucify” offenders to “make an example” of them, which would then make others “easy to manage.”

According to President Obama’s campaign rhetoric, Republicans have nothing to offer but “the same prescription they’ve had for the last 30 years. . . : ‘Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!’ ”

Funny stuff. But Martha Boneta isn’t laughing.

Boneta, a Fauquier County farmer, hosted a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls — an occasion for which she lacked the proper “events permit.” For this, the county slammed her with a $5,000 fine. She also got in hot water for selling items, such as yarn and birdhouses, that she had not made herself.

Outraged over how the county was treating her, local farmers showed up at a zoning-board meeting a couple of months ago with pitchforks in hand. But the demonstration was only so useful. She ended up closing her shop anyway.

Americans should place more trust in “the guiding hand of government,” according to the president and his supporters.

But try telling that to Nathan Hammock and his family. The Hammocks own a dairy farm in Museville. Because of drought, they wanted to put an irrigation pond on their property. They eventually managed to — after three years trying to get permission from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. “I think we’ve spent close to $30,000” in the process, Hammock says.

Hammock made the comment in a video you can find on the website of Rep. Robert Hurt (go tohttp://hurt.house.gov/ and click on “Videos”). Hurt, who represents Virginia’s Fifth District, has introduced legislation to let farmers farm without having to navigate a “tremendous bureaucratic maze.” It is moving through Congress — slowly.