Sunday, January 31, 2010

Removed, or Just Relabeled?

National Post Editorial Board: Women's Studies is still with us
Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If the reports are to be believed, Women's Studies programs are disappearing at many Canadian universities. Forgive us for being skeptical. We would wave good-bye without shedding a tear, but we are pretty sure these angry, divisive and dubious programs are simply being renamed to make them appear less controversial.

The radical feminism behind these courses has done untold damage to families, our court systems, labour laws, constitutional freedoms and even the ordinary relations between men and women....

Read more: The National Post (Canada)
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A Swede Writes: What's Right About America

After a steady but unnourishing diet of America-bashing by the dinosaur media, it's refreshing to read something positive for a change. Hat tip: Free Republic

What is, still, right about America?
01/31/2010 | WesternCulture

Posted on Sunday, January 31, 2010 8:03:11 AM by WesternCulture

Is USA still to be viewed as the leading nation on Earth?

Yes and if anyone of us here in "Old" Europe (I'm Swedish) would claim it sooner is Britain, France or Germany, they're either lying, joking, ignorant or downright insane.

But this is not why most intelligent Europeans supports the US (and believe me, there are hundred of millions of us).

We participate in the WOT and seek cooperation with America because Western Civilization is one and we won't forget what you did for us during three major wars (the Cold War included) last century.

Let's all forget Chirac though.

Some members of this forum accuse me of being an America basher. I don't bother a lot. In one way, I can understand those who do so (especially after having posted somewhat provoking articles entitled things like "What's wrong with America? etc), on the other hand, most people here seem to understand that I love the US and view America as the closest ally we Western Europeans have in this cold, dark universe.

I just have to watch "Cops" in order to find out that everything is not right about America, but at the same time I'm very well aware that everything beautiful and friendly I remember from my, so far, one and only visit to the US was not a hallucination.

I'm not saying America is better than Europe, but there are a lot of things we Europeans could learn from the ideals and the spirit that has made America great.

The fact that Americans could learn a lot from great European minds like Einstein, Goethe, Schiller, Leonardo da Vinci and Rabelais does not make this less true.

Each European school child ought to study men like Lincoln, Reagan, Benjamin Franklin and find out what they stood for.

It's true that the average European family enjoys a clearly lower standard of living than that of its American counterpart (the Griswolds:)).

We Euroweenies also have a huge problem with Muslim immigration and low fertility rates (luckily enough, even European Muslim immigrants display low fertility rates. For instance, in the largest city in Scandinavia, Stockholm, Muslim areas can't keep up with the parts of the city dominated by non-Muslims in this domain. Sad, isn't it:)).

When it comes to Economics, Americans strike me as much more clearsighted and insightful than especially Continental Europeans.

Yes, there are parts of Europe, like Ireland and my corner of the continent where people are not afraid of achieving GDP growth, but every time I leave Scandinavia and enter the part of Europe "south of the border", I feel trifle depressed as I don't sense that I'm surrounded by a spirit of optimism and belief in the future any longer.

There are many individual exceptions, like dear friends of my family down in former DDR who today have a very nice house and all that but, more importantly, believe in hard work and feel free to speak their minds where ever the go in their own, magnificent, country.

Europe must turn its back on Socialism and not least silly strikes once and for all. Whatever one thinks about Berlusconi, he will go away sooner or later, but not because Italians sabotage their own economy.

If my continent at large wishes to enjoy the same kind of material standard of living as average families do here in Sweden, there is no other way to go than Capitalism.

Most people are not aware that Sweden has more successful multinationals per capita than more or less every country, but this is actually true and furthermore it is the main reason Swedes live so much better than people do in Cuba and North Korea. We Swedes definitely believe in Capitalism. We owe everything to it!

There are different sorts of Capitalism (in this sense I'd say it's very interesting to compare Japan, Sweden and America btw), but even if my nation is different from America in many ways the prosperity both Swedes and Americans enjoy basically derives from a spirit of entreprenuership, know-how and old fashioned work ethics. Values that, for some strange reason, seem to have been abandoned in some parts of Western Civilization nowadays.

Europe has a huge production capacity and I can't see any basic reason why the average family in France or Italy could not own a nice Volvo, BMW, SAAB, Audi or M-B, a nice, well built house and a summer house on top of that like the average Swedish family today does (even if we too have unemployment, poor single mothers, people who drive around in wrecks etc).

In the 1970s, a large portion of the people here in the Nordic countries believed in Socialism and high taxes.

In the 1980s things began to change.

I recall the former finance minister of Sweden, Feldt, describing our taxation system of that time as "perverted".

Presently, the Swedish government is lowering taxes, despite the "so called" crises like we use to say here in Volvo Land.

Even if the Swiss, the inhabitants of the Nordic Countrises (Finland + Scandinavia) and the Liechtensteins might not be overly impressed by the prosperity of ordinary Americans, USA is the wealthiest part of the world in case you don't view Scandinavia as a "part" of the World.

This is something Americans indeed ought to be proud of, as poverty actually is Hell and Christianity teaches us not only to fear God and act morally, but also to be productive and strive for material well being.

I don't wish to trade what I have here in Scandinavia for anything (and yes, I actually like Swedish winters; snow is something beautiful and you can use ice together with orange juice and vodka - great fun). But I would like to live and work at least for a year or so in the US.

Back to Christianity.

Even though things like church attendence is a joke in my country and many other parts of Europe as well, I doubt Christianity ever will "fade away" in my nation or any other one here in Europe. It's in our blood, in our hearts and in our history.

However, I think Europeans in general would benefit from attending a traditional American church and discuss religion and other matters with the members of it. I absolutely wish to do so next time I visit America.

Next issue.

Concerning politics, I can easily see why many true Americans dislike Obama. On the other hand, his costly healthcare reforms can be stopped/have been stopped and America will survive him just like USA survived Carter.

USA has taught the world that large governments does not necessarily equal prosperity and military strength.

Quite contrary, USA has been extremely successful in both of these regards despite being a nation founded on the small government principles and individual freedom.

Not only Europeans, but Americans themselves as well as people all over the world should study the history of America and reflect upon what Americans actually mean when they honor the idea of "freedom for all". Even as a child, I personally was very aware they weren't talking about the right to eat fast food and shop at big malls even if this indeed is a part of American culture.

But isn't it true that most Europeans usually side with Liberal American politicians and fail to understand that Republicans usually have very good points?

Yes and no, Carter and other left wing American politicians are popular over here in Europe, but they're not invited to my home. Everyone who sincerely loves freedom and true independence is.

Today, many Europeans admit that Reagan did the right thing. I would say even a larger share of the Europeans will admit this in the future.

Some people associate the year of 1984 with horror (thinking of the novel by George Orwell), but in the world of politics as well as that of economy 1984, was a wonderful year. Reagan jumpstarted the American economy and even Liberals and Socialists were beginning to understand that just perhaps, Communism would be defeated.

I feel like it's 1984 again. Both in America and Europe support for Socialism and big government solutions is dwindling and the economy seems to be on the right track. Chirac is gone and together with the non-Western nations that oppose Islamofascism we will triumph in the WOT!

Happy days are here again?

Islamofascism isn't defeated yet and parts of the world like Michigan and Southern Italy will continue to face mass unemployment for years to come, but on the other hand there are many signs that the world ecomomy is gearing up for steady growth.

Skål/Cheers to everyone here and if you ever visit Gothenburg, Sweden, feel free to contact me, I'll take you on a tour in my wonderful Volvo (although my next car, perhaps, will be a SAAB - as I can't afford a Koenigsegg:)

From me and every other sane European:

God bless America!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Atheist Group Objects to Mother Teresa Stamp

Here we go again! The "Freedom from Religion Foundation" once again displayed its militant (and intolerant) side by urging its members to boycott the U.S. Postal Service's proposed stamp to honor a humanitarian giant who is respected by people of all faiths on what would have been her 100th birthday, according to this FOX News story.

Friday, January 29, 2010

India and Russia Cooperate on Stealth Fighter Project

India and Russia's Sukhoi design bureau are budgeting $10 billion to develop the T-50 PAKFA stealth fighter, according to "The distinguishing features of the FGFA (fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft) will be stealth technology, composite materials, thrust-vectoring, advanced radars and sensors, and the ability to supercruise (achieve supersonic speeds without the use of the afterburner).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Liberty Events" Web Site Steers Conservatives to Political Activities

Last night, while attending a public showing of President Obama's first State of the Union address sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, someone connected with Coalition for a Conservative Majority, Colorado Springs (CCM-COS) told me about "Liberty Events." I agreed with him that there was a real need for a clearinghouse of this nature, as we conservatives start ramping up, comparing notes, and working together to put America on the right track again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good News Stories

1. "Chemical Ali" (Ali Hassan al-Majid) has his date with the gallows! BBC News has the story. This song keeps playing in my head:


Ding-dong the witch is dead

Which old witch? The wicked witch!

Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead

Wake up you sleepyhead

Rub your eyes, get out of bed

Wake up the wicked witch is dead

She's gone where the goblins go,

Below - Below - Below

Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.

Ding Dong's the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low

Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead!

2. Prison inmates take up a collection for 2-year-old girl killed by a truck, so that her family can buy a proper headstone.

3. Sixteen doctors and nurses in Colorado Springs have volunteered to be the first wave of volunteers to bring desperately-needed healthcare professionals and supplies to Haiti.

4. Thousands of Iraq or Afghanistan vets who were given the bum's rush out of the military due to PTSD may be eligible for benefits as a result of a class action suit. Source: AP/MSNBC article

Information on lawsuit:

National Veterans Legal Services Program:

PTSD Information Center:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Having Solved All of Colorado's Problems, Democratic Legislator Targets High Schools With Native American Mascots

The Denver Post ran this story of political correctness run amok:

A state lawmaker wants high schools with American Indian mascots to get approval to continue using them from a state board.

Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora, who is one-quarter Comanche, said she doesn't want to ban team names. But she said she's concerned with American Indian mascots that are caricatures — "with a funny nose or something" — and wants communities to have a "healthy dialogue about their heritage."

Williams introduced a bill this week that would require all public and charter high schools with Indian mascots to "either cease using the American Indian mascot or obtain approval for the continued use of the American Indian mascot or another American Indian mascot from the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs."

Senate Bill 107 also includes a provision that schools would be fined $1,000 a month if they used Indian mascots past July 2013 without commission approval....

Read more:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are You Smarter Than a Border Collie?

Stanley Coren made a list of 110 dog breeds. Here are the top seven and bottom five:

Here are the smarties:
No. 1: Border collies
No. 2: Poodles
No. 3: German shepherds
No. 4: Golden retrievers
No. 5: Dobermans
No. 6: Shetland sheepdogs
No. 7: Labrador retrievers

And the dumb heads:

106. Borzoi
107. Chow Chow
108. Bull dog
109. Basenji
110. Afghan Hound

Beware of Aliases

According to this American Thinker article, the California branch of ACORN is changing its name to ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment). With 37,000 dues-paying members, it is one of the strongest elements of ACORN. No word on whether they will repudiate their corrupt practices and sin no more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown Wins Massachusetts Senate Seat

Republican Scott Brown has shaken the Democrats to their roots by winning the Senate seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. The accompanying cartoon is not too far-fetched, given Barack Obama's short time as a senator before announcing that he would run for President.

A Man Who Deserves More Hits on Google

The latest issue of "Cutting-Edge Conservatism" (Vol. 6, No. 4, dated 19 January 2010, is dedicated entirely to the late Dr. Thomas E. "Ted" Miller, Maj., USAF. Here's a sample of what I wrote about him:

The “Cutting-Edge Conservatism” newsletter was established as a living memorial to Dr. (Maj., USAF) Ted Miller (1959-2005), founder and first editor of the “Network of Patriots” newsletter. He left such a distinctive personal stamp on it that after his passing we came to the conclusion that it was best to retire that name and come up with something else.

But the “Network of Patriots” was more than just another conservative newsletter – it brought together men and women who are not ashamed to stand up for America. He may have left us nearly 5 years ago, but his love of country, willingness to fight for what is right, and commitment to the values that made the USA great lives on in our hearts, so he has achieved one form of immortality.

It is with the deepest regret that I met Ted only once, talked with him on the phone a few times, and usually communicated with him via e-mail. Serving as co-editors of the newsletter for a time was far from ideal, as I’m a great believer in unity of command and am truly amazed that our strong personalities did not clash very often.

Here are some things that I should have mentioned earlier about his achievements. One of the proudest moments of his life was when his daughter Ashley was accepted as a cadet at the Air Force Academy. At the funeral we were told that towards the end of his life he developed a DoD-mandated training program that was held up as a model for other service academies to follow! We heard about many other achievements; thus his passing was a great loss not only to his family, friends, and colleagues, but to the United States Air Force as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rush Forced to Defend Himself Again

It had to come to this: Rush Limbaugh, who has contributed generously to charitable causes, made the following statement:

"They are constantly trying to discredit people like me, rather than debate us on issues. Nobody here ever said don't donate. We just pointed out you already contribute to the government with your income taxes. If you want to donate above and beyond that, go through a charity that's constantly on the ground in Haiti, or the Red Cross, if you want to go that route or whatever. Nobody said do not donate, which is what is being reported. I've had so many e-mails over the weekend: 'Rush, the press is castigating you unfairly. You know what you ought to do Rush? You ought to donate a million-dollars, make it public or you ought to ask all the liberal media to ask what they individually have donated and then promise to double it. It would probably cost you 20 bucks.' That was the funniest one I've seen."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Team Rubicon to the Rescue

The BLACKFIVE blog is receiving reports from Team Rubicon, citizens who served in the Army or Marine Corps and are now banding together to use their collective expertise to help the many victims of the Haiti earthquake. More information about their work, and how to contribute to their cause, can be found on the Team Rubicon site.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A New Plug for Shrink Rap Radio

For a few months, I have been part of the "Shrink Rap Radio" underground, eagerly downloading & listening to an astonishing variety of experts. It is moderated by Dr. David Van Nuys, who could teach professional journalists a thing or two about asking interviewees probing, well-researched, and pertinent questions.

How could a dyed-in-the-wool conservative be so enthused by a podcast series originating from a part of California that's so infested with liberals? The sad fact is, I frequently have to apologize for the primitive state of mental health services in Colorado Springs (it's even worse in the rural counties of our state), and there are even clergymen in our community who subscribe to the "demon possession" theory! One of the best tools we have to help our people is information - we need to be kept up-to-date on the latest cutting-edge research and treatment techniques to fight the epidemic of PTSD-related incidents in nearby military bases, an unacceptably high suicide rate, and the criminalization of mental illness that all too often happens around here. While working with people transitioning out of the criminal justice system, I tell them there is more to life than being just another revenue stream for the Department of "Corrections."

Some of the interviews I particularly liked:
#211 - "Resurrection After Rape" with Matt Atkinson
#207 - "Life-Changing Lessons from Hard-Core Cons" with Dana Houck
#19 - "The Predictive Errors of Political Experts" with Philip Tetlock

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Every Time Disaster Strikes, This Warning Has to Be Issued

FOX News has issued this warning about scam artists trying to cash in on the mass outpouring of sympathy for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sealing Her Doom

Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general running as a Democrat to fill the late Ted Kennedy's seat, couldn't have come up with better words to alienate the many Catholics in her state, according to the Washington Times' "Water Cooler":

Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.

Martha Coakley: No we have a separation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

Martha Coakley: (……uh, eh…um..) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.

UPDATE: According to a Wall Street Journal article by John Fund, Ms. Coakley obviously slept through the block of instruction that clearly states, "Say whatever you like about your opponent, but when in Boston, leave Fenway Park alone!!!"

...perhaps her worst error was appearing to have dissed baseball fans who congregate at Boston's Fenway Park, a Massachusetts shrine even in the off-season. Asked to answer charges that she wasn't campaigning hard enough, she fired back: "As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?" (An ad for her GOP opponent Mr. Brown showed him shaking hands in front of the ballpark.)

The crack drew an instant response from former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, who attacked Ms. Coakley for being one of those pols who are "so far out of touch with their constituents it's laughable and pathetic."

Orphanages Aren't All Bad, Says Alumnus

A broadcast from an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (and the high probability that it will receive an influx of children after the earthquake) makes this Wall Street Journal article by Richard B. McKenzie timely. Here are some excerpts:

Last month, Duke University researchers issued the first report on their multiyear study of 3,000 orphaned, abandoned and neglected children in developing countries in Africa and East and South Asia. About half were reared in small and large "institutions" (or orphanages) and half in "community" programs (kin and foster care). Contrary to conventional wisdom, the researchers found that children raised in orphanages by nonfamily members were no worse in their health, emotional and cognitive functioning, and physical growth than those cared for in their communities by relatives. More important, the orphanage-reared children performed better than their counterparts cared for by community strangers, which is commonly the case in foster-care programs....

I watched the Gingrich-Clinton debate with a personal interest, having grown up in an orphanage in North Carolina in the 1950s. I wrote a column for this newspaper defending my own orphanage and others like it: "Most critics would like the public to believe that those of us who went through orphanages were throttled by the experience. No doubt, some were. However, most have charged on." The children at Barium Springs Home for Children worked a lot and didn't get the hugs many children take for granted, but we did get advantages that many children today don't get—a sense of security, permanence and home.

I was shocked by the number of orphanage alumni who called, faxed or emailed in agreement. What's more, many added, "My orphanage was better than yours," which made me wonder if the experts knew what they were talking about.

During the past decade I have surveyed more than 2,500 alumni from 15 American orphanages. In two journal articles, I reported the same general conclusion: The orphanage alumni have outpaced their counterparts in the general population often by wide margins in almost all social and economic measures, including educational attainment, income and positive attitude toward life. White orphanage alumni had a 39% higher rate of college graduation than white Americans of the same age, and less than 3% had hostile memories of their orphanage experiences. University of Alabama historian David Beito replicated the study with several hundred alumni from another orphanage, reaching much the same conclusions.

Five years ago, George Cawood directed a documentary, "Homecoming: The Forgotten World of America's Orphanages," for which crews traveled to four orphanage homecomings where the aging alumni gathered by the hundreds to celebrate their childhood memories. The producers and cameramen were amazed at the fond memories the alumni reported and feared that they had not filmed enough bad memories to achieve the "dramatic tension" needed to keep audience interest. Nevertheless, I am proud to have been executive producer on the project, because the filmmakers produced an award-winning, honest and powerful oral history of orphanage life that has since aired on many PBS stations across the country....

UPDATE: See also Preface and Overview for the History of Orphanages Reconsidered, also by Richard B. McKenzie.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Second Banana in "Transparent" Administration and His Closed Meetings

The L.A. Times, hardly a pillar of conservatism, ran this schedule of Vice President Biden:

Here is the vice president's official schedule for today. Note especially that the vice president's meeting with the chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board is closed, meaning non-transparent.

The "pool spray" mentioned has nothing to do with aquatics. It's a coded message to media that a few select members will be allowed in to take pictures briefly -- possibly for only a few seconds -- as Biden and his guest pretend to continue their previously private conversation as if the meeting was open.


In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. These briefings are closed press.

At 11:30 AM, the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This meeting is closed press.

Afterwards, the President and the Vice President will have lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.

At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will meet with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi in the Roosevelt Room. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting; gather time is 1:45 PM in the Brady Briefing Room.

(UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: The White House issued its own report on this closed meeting. Both paragraphs are added below at the end of the VP's schedule.)

Then, at 2:15 PM, the Vice President will meet with Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. This meeting is closed press.

Another Nail in the Coffin for the Dinosaur Media

Our local "radical rag," the Colorado Springs Independent, raan the following letter to the editor that nails the Big Media's distorted priorities:

Reviewing reviews

News stations compiled their Top 10 lists of moments that made the decade. The rise of gossip media and Britney Spears shaving her head have made the list. Where are the truly monumental moments that reached past trash media and truly impacted our lives?

Somehow, Heath Ledger's death holds more weight than President Bush declaring war on Iraq. We all know what it means to pull a Columbine, as its eerie remnants echo through campus killings, including Virginia Tech.

We've learned to associate terror with skin color and culture, easily forgetting the domestic terror that happens across America. Somehow, a father slipping into his daughter's bed is less important than imposing our idea of freedom on a country thousands of miles away. Our soldiers lying dead in the sand have become the new face of patriotism.

People live in Tent City, along Interstate 25 and other areas in Colorado Springs, driven there by adjustable-rate mortgages and unemployment while our city offers $53 million in incentives to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee from moving. The poor are left to suffer and die, yet their deaths get less airtime than the increase in cosmetic surgeries.

We should look at how our media perpetuates ignorance. Realize this was a decade of indifference: that we are no longer surprised by deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan or pictures of prisoner abuse; the poor continue to suffer; children in less-affluent areas, and around the world, still get hookworm and other diseases for want of shoes, while celebrities spend over $1,000 on a pair of shoes.

Resolve, as a new decade begins, to open your eyes to these disparities. See your contribution to the media mentality that seeks to dictate importance. Recognize what is truly worth fighting for and what can be done without.

— Brandi Ballard

Colorado Springs

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake Strikes Haiti! Thousands Feared Dead in Port-au-Prince

These before-and-after photos of Haiti's presidential palace (the president and his family escaped injury) gives you an idea of the devastation that struck the capital of this already impoverished nation yesterday.

The White House Web site provided the following information:

You can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." [NOTE: The Wall St. Journal advises donors that this money will not be released until your cell phone bills are paid, which could take 30 to 90 days.] Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information. This organization has published guidelines for appropriate international disaster donations in English, Spanish, French, Greek, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Indonesian, and Farsi.

Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888-407-4747. The earthquake has disrupted telephone and cellular service, making it difficult for Haitians living in the United States to contact their families.

Catholic Relief Services committed $5 million immediately, and other Catholic Charities groups are raising money for disaster relief. The LDS Church has already sent a shipment of personal hygiene kits and supplies for newborns, and reported that all missionaries serving in that country are safe.

Meanwhile, Pat Robertson, helpful as ever, says in this video clip that the Haitians are cursed and "swore a pact to the devil." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded with these words, "It never ceases to amaze me that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that can be so utterly stupid." This just in: National Review Online ran a statement from Robertson's organization saying that he had been helping out the Haitians over the past year and just sent a million dollars' worth of medications to that troubled land.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What To Do With Books on Global Warming/Climate Change

Cartoonist Lisa Benson has the right idea on how to keep warm on a cold winter night:

Monday, January 11, 2010

s2s [sorry to say] "Teenspeak" Limited to 800-Word Vocabulary

The Daily Mail (U.K.) had this sad tale:

Teenagers have been warned they are becoming unemployable because they use a vocabulary of just 800 words.

The limited linguistic range also consists of many made up words and 'teenspeak' which has developed through modern communication methods such as text messaging and social networking sites.

Today Jean Gross, who advises the Government on children's speech, said urgent action was required to prevent children failing to find jobs because they are unable to communicate.

The majority of teenagers should have developed a broad vocabulary of 40,000 words by the time they reach 16.

Linguists have found, however, that although they may understand thousands of words, many choose to limit themselves to a much smaller range in regular conversation and on a daily basis could use as few as 800 terms.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clearing Away Misconceptions About Schizophrenia

We can thank John McManamy for steering this blogger to an enlightening article on this subject, "10 Myths About Schizophrenia."

The same "X-Ray Technician Schools" Web site has articles on:
"10 Common Myths About Suicide"
10 Myths About Domestic Violence
The 100 Most Unhealthy Foods in the American Diet
25 Amazing Health Discoveries from the Blue Zones

Blue-Dog Democrat Says Party May Lose Grip on Congress

In the Tulsa World, Dan Boren (D-OK), says that the Democrats will lose seats in Congress this year due to what he perceives as the unpopularity of some of the legislation they are trying to ram through the legislative branch, such as Obamacare and cap-and-trade. He further declared that even if the Republicans don't gain a majority, both houses of Congress will be pushed to the center, and that the Democrats should have concentrated on the economy, which is on everyone else's minds at this time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

This article courtesy of

Reid's greatest gaffes

Harry Reid's comments about Barack Obama as a "light-skinned" African-American with "no Negro dialect" are hardly the first to land him in hot water.

The Senate majority leader has a habit of speaking his mind, which can be a dangerous thing for a politician — especially for one who tends to say what he means in the bluntest way possible.

Some other memorable moments the Nevada Democrat might like to forget.

1. On the Iraq war: “This war is lost.” (April 2007)

The fallout: At the time, Reid’s comment reflected a consensus on the leftover violence in Iraq: that the United States had lost the war. With the gradual drawdown of troops and the decrease in U.S. casualties in the past two years, Reid probably wouldn’t make that comment today.

2. On Alan Greenspan: “One of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington.” (March 2005)

The fallout: At the time, Greenspan was still considered a master of the economy, and Republicans seized on Reid’s comments. But the nation’s economic woes have made the Greenspan era a little less golden in hindsight, so Reid’s comments may withstand the test of time.

3. On the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.): “I think it’s going to help us.” (August 2009)

The fallout: Reid was saying what many Democrats were thinking: Kennedy’s death will inspire Democrats to finish the job on health care. But the phrasing was inartful, opening the door to Republicans who were eager to accuse Democrats of politicizing Kennedy’s death.

4. “You know, Joe, I can’t stand John McCain.” (August 2008)

The fallout: Hard to get past that one now that McCain is back in the Senate, but it would have been harder still if he’d made it to the White House.

5. On President George W. Bush: “I think this guy is a loser.” (May 2005)

The fallout: Reminded later that he’d called the president a “loser,” Reid volunteered that he’d also called him “a liar.” He also noted that he’d apologized for the first line — but not for the second.

6. On Capitol tourists: “You can always tell when it is summertime because you can smell the visitors. The visitors stand out in the high humidity, heat, and they sweat.” (December 2008)

The fallout: If Democrats were hoping to ditch the “Washington elitist” tag, this probably didn’t help.

7. To a Las Vegas Review-Journal executive: “I hope you go out of business.” (August 2009)

The fallout: The Review-Journal blasted him, of course. And given the state of the newspaper industry — and the high unemployment rate in Las Vegas — this wasn’t received very well by the locals. Reid’s office said he was just joking. “Sometimes, my humor doesn’t go over well,” Reid told POLITICO later.

.8. On Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “Incompetent.” (June 2007)

The fallout: The comment stoked GOP criticisms that Democrats were anti-military, but Bush eventually replaced Pace.

9. On town hall protesters and agitators: “Evil-mongers.” (August 2009)

The fallout: Reid admitted in a later interview with Politics Daily that “I maybe could have been less descriptive.” But the comment pointed to a larger problem among Democrats: that they were too dismissive of town hall anger this recess.

10. On Senate opponent John Ensign: Ensign “shouldn’t be interpreting the Constitution,” because he’s a veterinarian. (1998)

The fallout: Reid barely won the 1998 election, and Ensign eventually made it to the Senate anyway, but it was an early insight into Reid’s biting words.

Read more:

UPDATE1: NewsBusters describes a "Face the Nation" broadcast, in which despite profuse apologies to President Obama and many other black leaders, Sen. Reid [who is struggling to hold on to his seat] and other Democrats will be hurt by this blunder in the upcoming election.
UPDATE2: Blogger Ed Driscoll chronicles the curious double standard the Democrats are applying to Harry Reid, and why Republicans want him to stay on as the Senate Majority Leader.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fraud Suspect Offers to Save the Country and the President

Check this out:

If Ronnie Lee Owen is telling the truth, he can save President Barack Obama from a racist plot and stop an armed revolution by Mormon extremists, if police would just let him out of jail.

Authorities haven't let him out of jail. Instead, he goes on trial next week in Gulfport, Miss., on federal fraud charges for having three fake driver's licenses and issuing phony checks.

Owen, a 41-year-old fugitive wanted in eight states, is accused of writing fake checks across the country for thousands of dollars in goods, according to court records....

Read all about it in the Mercury News.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Ancient Greeks Had a Word for This

Victor Davis Hanson has pulled it off again! Here are some excerpts from his informed and blistering critique of President Obama:

Obama gave a rather incredible press conference about his review of security lapses. When he evoked Guantanamo, the president all at once (“make no mistake about it”) (a) promised to close it, (b) promised not to send any more detainees home to Yemen, and (c) claimed it was a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda (i.e., apparently Bush’s Gulag had prompted the likes of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to try to blow up an airliner).

This is nearly unhinged....

Does Obama have any notion of what enemies say and do in war? That al-Qaeda claims this week that Guantanamo is a recruiting tool hardly makes it one. For years we heard that American troops in Saudi Arabia caused Bin Laden’s anger — and now that they are gone? If one were to collate all of Dr. Zawahiri’s constantly changing complaints — Jews supposedly in Mecca, lack of American campaign finance reform, Israel, etc. — the list would become endless. Thucydides invented a word prophasis precisely for the idea of belligerents inventing perceived grievances for their various aggressions. Would Obama really believe Hitler’s whine about Versailles as he went into the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, the low countries, Yugoslavia, Greece, Russia, etc.? At what point would Obama, our modern-day Clement Attlee and Stanley Baldwin, have ceased trying to make Versailles “right,” and instead pondered that Hitler was an aggressive thug who cloaked his endless invasions in all sorts of whines that were designed to appeal to guilt-ridden Westerners? ... [advice to reader - read the whole thing]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

There's Nothing Theoretical About This Conspiracy!

In an article at The Hill, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asserted that the process of reconciling the Senate and House versions of "healthcare reform" is displaying "historic transparency," despite the fact that no Republicans or video cameras were invited to the secret negotiations. One of her statements, we agree, is quite true: "We will do what is necessary to pass the bill."

UPDATE: A Wall Street Journal editorial says that Pelosi & Reid are making ex-Congressman Ton DeLay look almost respectable in comparison.

Monday, January 4, 2010

An Alternative to Nursing Homes for Vets

Joe Wymer, center, has opened his Winterset home to U.S. military veterans Ron Marusek, right, and Bob Fenoglio through a federal foster program for veterans.

Excerpted from a Des Moines Register article:

Iowa veterans gain freedom, family through foster program

Winterset, Ia. - If they weren't living in Joe Wymer's house, Vietnam War veterans Ron Marusek and Bob Fenoglio would be in a nursing home by now.

Marusek, 65, has terminal cancer. Fenoglio, 67, has a severe case of multiple sclerosis. Both decided to enroll in a new federal program in which veterans can choose to live with paid "foster families" instead of in an institution.

"They're awfully nice to me," Marusek said of his foster family, which includes local residents whom Wymer hires to come over and help. "They take care of you like you're gold. They treat you with respect and compassion."

Wymer smiled. "You're forgetting the best part," he said. "We're family."

"That's right," Marusek said. "I feel like Joe's older brother."

The arrangement is organized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, whose nurses and other staff members make regular visits to the foster homes. The veterans directly pay the homeowners for services, including meals, bathing, laundry, medication assistance and transportation to doctors' offices and local stores. Marusek pays $2,000 a month, which comes from his military pension and Social Security. Fenoglio, who uses a wheelchair and needs more help, pays $3,000 per month.

The idea is new in Iowa, with just four veterans living in three foster homes so far. Nationwide, about 600 veterans have participated in the program since it started in 2000 in Arkansas.

Veterans stay with their foster families an average of nearly two years, and their medical conditions often worsen with age, Edes said. More than half stay with their foster families until they die.

Wymer, the Winterset homeowner, said he was up for the challenge. He already was caring for his aging father at home, and he decided he had room and time to help two veterans. "It's a way to give something back to these guys, who we've been taking from pretty much all their lives," he said.

Wymer said the veterans' rent payments let him concentrate full time on their needs. "You don't go into this to get rich," he said. "It basically pays the bills - no thrills."

Roger Ebert Has a Lapse in Taste

Newsbusters has this story:

In a demonstration of Hollywood's quintessentially intolerant hatred of conservatives, film critic Roger Ebert took to the Twitterverse on Saturday to mock Rush Limbaugh and his sudden trip to a Hawaii hospital (h/t Big Hollywood headlines).

Ebert was hardly alone in rejoicing Limbaugh's hospital visit--and distressed when he was given a clean bill of health. Liberals nationwide let loose the vitriol, some--including members of the hate-stricken mobs at Daily Kos and DU, as reported by P.J. Gladnick--simply wished he would expire.

Here's a sample of his tasteless Tweets:

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Rush: Hawaii is the only country where the Hawaiian shirts come in S, M, L, XL, Rush, and Sumo.

Rush: Stuck in this hospital room watching TV, I really miss Lou Dobbs. All the Oriental nurses are U.S. citizens, though.

Rush: Our US health care system is the best in the world. The nurses here in Hawaii keep offering me lays.

Rush: The Orientals here talk funny. They keep saying "howdy" and it comes out sounding like "howley."

Rush says docs found nothing wrong. They're obviously not listeners.

Now, Ebert thought up all those racist quips, so one has to wonder whether that says more about him than it does about Rush....

Islamic Extremists Must Be Laughing at Us

Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab

Much as I hate to be the bearer of such depressing news, it appears the federal government's response to the underwear bomber has been to blame the victim(s):

Mark Steyn in

"On Christmas Day, a gentleman from Nigeria succeeded (effortlessly) in boarding a flight to Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. Pretty funny, huh? But the Pantybomber wasn't the big joke. The real laugh was the United States government. The global hyperpower spent the next week making itself a laughingstock to the entire planet. First, the bureaucrats at the TSA swung into action with a whole new range of restrictions. Against radical Yemen-trained Muslims wearing weaponized briefs? Of course not. That would be too obvious. So instead they imposed a slew of constraints against you. At Heathrow last week, they were permitting only one item of carry-on on U.S. flights. In Toronto, no large purses. Um, the Pantybomber didn't have a purse. He brought the bomb on board under his private parts, and his private parts weren't part of his carry-on (although, if reports of injuries sustained in his failed mission are correct, they may well have been part of his carry-off). But no matter...."

The Hill reports heightened tensions between Democrats and Republicans over the issue of national security:

"Democrats have called the Republicans 'giddy' over the attempted plot and have blasted them for playing 'crass political' politics with national security, arguing that the American people will hold them accountable for the gross display.

“'It’s just shameful and pathetic that Congressional Republicans continue to put their beloved GOP ahead of the country no matter the issue, even in the immediate aftermath of a terror plot to blow up a plane and kill innocent Americans on Christmas,' said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Ryan Rudominer.

"If Republicans are afraid of being slammed for playing politics with the attempted Christmas Day bombing, they’re not showing it. In fact, they seem to be spoiling for a national security fight."

Here's an excerpt from Michelle Malkin's latest column:

"Yemen human rights activist and blogger Jane Novak has reported for years on how Yemeni intelligence and military officials have facilitated al-Qaida training camps — often providing 'safe houses, training and passports to the jihadists that travel to Iraq to attempt to kill U.S. troops.'

"The Yemeni government, Novak points out, has also used al-Qaida mercenaries to fight northern rebels and train tribal militias. Jihad spiritual advisor Anwar al-Awlaki, linked to the Sept. 11 hijackers and Fort Hood mass killer Hasan, also calls Yemen home — and reportedly blessed the Crotch Bomber attack, according to The Washington Times.

"Now, the Yemen government has the gall to blame the West for not providing enough assistance to stop the breeding of hundreds of future flying Crotch Bombers.

"America, unfortunately, is hardly in a position to criticize Yemen’s jihadi revolving door. ABC News reported this week that two of the four jihadi leaders behind the Christmas Day terror plot were released from Gitmo during the Bush administration in November 2007.

"(What a quandary for Bush-bashers who have stubbornly denied that Gitmo recidivism threatens our national security.) The freed detainees were shipped off to terror-friendly Saudi Arabia, where they underwent 'art therapy rehabilitation' — the ultimate bloody brainchild of the jihadi-as-victim mindset.

"In January 2009, the two 'rehabilitated' recidivists released a video vowing to wage jihad to 'aid the religion,' 'establish the rightly guided caliphate' and ' fight against our enemies.' One of the duo, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September 2008."

Friday, January 1, 2010

We Hereby Resolve...

'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions, and Michael Reagan has this one:

I am resolving to work with party activists, candidates, elected officials, organizations, donors, and conservative voters across the country to find those issues and ties that bind us as Republicans rather than revert to the internal attacks that will set back our party, and our nation, for decades to come. I am resolving to move forward, and I hope I can count on each of you to join me!

Adam Graham of Pajamas Media reminds us that being able to govern is far more important than being electable.

When Frank J. Fleming of IMAO weighs in, you can count on some tongue-in-cheek humor.