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Politics
05/13/2010
IconBarack Obama and Joseph Biden are both fishing for the women's vote - especially disenchanted Hillary Clinton feminists.' Biden has insisted that Republicans, including Sarah Palin, represent a step backwards for women.'But when you look at the labor market data from the Census Bureau (as Professor Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago has in a new study), to figure out " the amount and reasons for women's progress in the labor market since the 1960s" something very interesting is revealed. (Wall Street Journal 9/12/08). In 1988, the last full year of Republican Ronald Reagan's administration, wage growth for women working full-time throughout the year improved by 8.3% from the end of the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter. "Johnson, Carter, and Clinton were all Democrats, yet none of them witnessed much labor-market progress for women during their administrations:' eight years of Reagan, four years of George H.W. Bush, and six years of George W. Bush." The Nixon-Ford administrations were the only Republican administrations that didn't make it to this list of forward momentum for women.'In the Quarterly Journal of Economics , August, 2008, Professor Mulligan and Yona Rubenstein (from Brown University) calculated the statistics that showed women's annual wage growth relative to men's:'Under Republican administrations, women's annual wage growth relative to men was .0.87% under George W. Bush, 1.4% under George H.W. Bush, and 1.6% under Ronald Reagon.' Under Democratic administrations, women fared less well.' Their annual wage growth relative to men was 0.21% under Bill Clinton, 0.04% under Jimmy Carter, and minus 1% under Lyndon Johnson.'I like that color lipstick, especially if the kids are grown or Daddy is home with the kidlets. More >>

Tags: BudgetFeminismFinancesPoliticsSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI am extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party.' I will still vote for Senator McCain, because I am very concerned about having a fundamental leftist, especially one who is a marvelous orator, as President.At first, I thought it amusing that McCain picked a pretty, smart, and tough female to counter the racist/sexist accusations going back and forth between parties.' I remember how Oprah Winfrey got caught in the cross-fire as she stepped up to the political table to support Obama with pride that a black man could rise to such heights in the USA, only to get slammed by feminists who told her it was gender, not race, that she should back.' Understandably, Ms. Winfrey pulled back from it all.Forget gender and race.' I'm frankly and sadly caught in the dilemma of having to balance policy versus example in touting a candidate for the office of the First Family.' I was ferociously attacked (what's new?) when I spoke out strongly against Bill Clinton's dalliances in the Oval Office.' That situation quickly turned into a debate whether "private has anything to do with public."' Nonsense.' Role models are very important.' Children and young adults look to those who are visible and successful as a road map of what is acceptable behavior and emulate those actions over the morals and values their parents and churches have taught and tried to reinforce.' It's a tough go these days, when the "bad that men or women do" is used for entertainment purposes without judgment, or is excused because of political or financial considerations.I'm stunned - couldn't the Republican Party find one competent female with adult children to run for Vice President with McCain?'' I realize his advisors probably didn't want a "mature" woman, as the Democrats keep harping on his age.' But really, what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?I am haunted by the family pictures of the Palins during political photo-ops, showing the eldest daughter, now pregnant with her own child, cuddling the family's newborn.' When Mom and Dad both work full-time (no matter how many folks get involved with the children), it becomes a somewhat chaotic situation.' Certainly, if a child becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital, and you're on the hotline with both Israel and Iran as nuclear tempers are flaring, where's your attention going to be?' Where should your attention be?' Well, once you put your hand on the Bible and make that oath, your attention has to be with the government of the United States of America.I am positively moved that neither Sarah nor her daughter were willing to terminate the lives of their unborn children.' This is in sharp contrast to Obama's statement that "When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include...which should include abstinence education and teaching children...teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual.' But it should also include - it should also include other, you know, information about contraception, because, look, I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old.' I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals.' But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." (March, 2008) So, one Vice Presidential candidate and her daughter demonstrate, under conditions of great stress, that babies are valued human beings, not punishment.' However, that same VP candidate came forth in April of 2008 with a proclamation for "Family Child Care Week," in which she wrote: "These professionals are positive role models for the children they care for and the communities they serve." Clearly, Palin sees the need for positive role models.' I suggest that they be Mommy and Daddy, and not the hired help.Child-care facilities are a necessity when mothers and fathers (when they exist at all) are unwilling or incapable of caring for their offspring.' Unfortunately, they have become a mainstay of the feminista mentality that nothing should stand in the way of a woman's ambition - nothing, including her family.Any full-time working wife and mother knows that the family takes the short end of the stick.' Marriages and the welfare of children suffer when a stressed-out mother doesn't have time to be a woman, a wife, and a hands-on Mommy. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPoliticsSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconWhile the terrorist groups Hamas and Fatah fight for dominance in the Palestinian regions, one of their means of demoralizing each other actually concerns the issue of facial hair. The Jerusalem Post reports that Hamas has resumed its policy of shaving the mustaches of rival Fatah members to humiliate them as a form of punishment in its struggle to assert dominance over Palestinian politics.In response, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades issued a statement strongly condemning the use of shaving as punishment.'I can only imagine the uproar and the blogosphere going crazy if it had been American military who shaved a jihadist's mustache in order to get valued information. More >>

Tags: MilitaryPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Beijing officials have distributed 4.3 million copies of an etiquette book, outlining rules on good manners and foreign customs, including rules about what not to wear," according to The Wall Street Journal (8/1/08)' "Among the no-nos:' more than three color shades in an outfit, white socks with black shoes, and pajamas and slippers in public." It should be interesting for the Chinese citizens who obey these rules to see the foreigners in sweat pants, jeans and flip-flops.Another issue for the Chinese government is the crackdown on any protesting during the Olympics.' China just doesn't want to look bad to the almost half-million tourists who are there for the festivities.' According to the Associated Press, probably several thousand Chinese protestors have already been locked up for the duration so they don't behave "inappropriately."' Also, protestors had to apply for permission to demonstrate some five days in advance and had to acknowledge that they would not harm national interests.' They were supposed to be relegated to one of three parks which are several miles from the main Olympic stadium, but in a report on Saturday, August 8 in the Los Angeles Times , the three parks where demonstrators were to be allowed were totally quiet.' There were no signs of protest areas or of protesters, and, according to the Times ,' there were more security personnel than visitors at the parks.' Foreigners who protested over the past week were deported, and the heavy security measures have forced most of the demonstrations to be held in other countries, including Tibet, India, Hong Kong, England, France, and Germany. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConsciencePoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconBeing able to breathe seems to be a high priority for Olympic athletes - and in Beijing, that's going to be a bit of a challenge.' However, according to Associated Press sources, China is working hard at it....cough...cough.Last week, Beijing's air pollution index dropped to 44 from its more typical number which is double that.' A reading below 50 is considered "good," and between 51 and 100 is "moderate," but "moderate" is still above the World Heath Organization's guidelines for healthy air.Their polluted air has prompted the government to begin drastic measures, including the halting of most construction, the closing of machinery, chemical and construction factories, and the imposition of restrictions on half the city's 3.3 million vehicles.'Many of the 10,500 Olympic athletes are heading to South Korea, Japan and other places to avoid Beijing's air for as long as possible.' This is a kind of "reverse doping," as the impact of the city's pollution on the health and performance of these athletes is in question.Yet another risk is that of Islamic terrorism.' Some of you have been led to believe that jihadism is a reaction or reasonable payback to America and her friends for being bad, bad places.' So it might seem strange to you to find out that a Muslim group, claiming responsibility for a series of explosions in Chinese cities, is allegedly planning to attack the Beijing Olympic Games. According to the AP, "earlier this year, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said it had disrupted two plots to attack the Olympics.' It claimed one group had been planning to kidnap athletes, foreign journalists, and other visitors, while a second had been manufacturing explosives and was plotting to attack hotels, government offices, and military targets in Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities...." Just yesterday we heard about sixteen Chinese policemen who were killed in an attack on a border post in the Muslim region of Xinjiang.As if that were not enough, the Chinese government was planning to censor the' Internet during the games.' Reporters already in Beijing have been unable to access scores of web pages - particularly politically sensitive ones that discuss Tibetan succession and Taiwanese independence, as well as the sites of Amnesty International, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers.Oh, you should know that the International Olympic Committee quietly agreed to the Internet limitations...that is, the blocking of sites that were not Games-related.' There was such an uproarfrom other countries, however, that China has backed off on this deal, and on Friday, the Chinese government announced that it will not censor the Internet during the competition.In 2001, when China won the right to host the Games, it made the commitment that it would improve its record on human rights and provide athletes with clean air.' Without Friday's announcement (made only because of outside pressure), that would have made the score zero for two. More >>

Tags: PoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI am relieved that the Supreme Court finally clarified that the Second Amendment permits individual gun ownership and not just for those individuals in a national militia.' However, now that there are non-lethal alternatives readily available on the market, people using their guns in self-defense are going to be under more scrutiny than before.'The states impose carefully defined limitations (known as "proportionality requirements") on the use of deadly force in self defense:' a person may use only as much force as is necessary in that immediate situation.' You can defend yourself with deadly force only to prevent death, rape, kidnapping, or bodily injury serious enough to cause long-term loss or impairment.' That gives district attorneys some potential for leeway in filing criminal charges against individuals who have used deadly force to defend themselves.Interestingly, a non -deadly weapon can be used to defend against any threat of unlawful force, which is why I've bought a Taser even though I've already taken classes and training in handgun use and safety.' The Taser fires a dart that delivers a painful electrical shock, resulting in an instant and incapacitating muscular spasm that generally gives you about 30 seconds to get out of the situation.' The Taser works anywhere on the attacker's body; bullets have to hit vulnerable spots to stop a bad guy.Advanced-model Tasers also allow you to respond from up to 35 feet away.' Using a handgun on an attacker from 35 feet away, however, raises questions as to whether "deadly force" is necessary at such a distance.My Taser is pink.....couldn't resist. More >>

Tags: PoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconBreitbart.com revealed that a select group of New York City paramedics may soon have a different kind of task:' saving the dead.' The city is considering creating a special ambulance whose crew would rush to collect the newly deceased and preserve the body so that the organs might be taken for transplant.' Top medical officials in the NYC Fire Department and Bellevue Hospital say it has the potential to save hundreds of lives.Generally in the United States, only people who die at hospitals are used as organ donors, because doctors are on hand with life-support machinery to preserve the organs and remove them before they are unusable (which can happen after only a few critical hours).The new transplant ambulance would ideally turn up at the scene of a death minutes after regular paramedics ceased efforts to resuscitate a patient.' They would have to wait for 5 minutes after a formal declaration of death, but then the team would begin work immediately, administering drugs and performing chest compressions intended to keep the organs viable.'Some of these steps may be taken before getting approval from a relative and without knowledge of the deceased's wishes regarding organ donation, but any organ removals would only be done at a hospital.' And no organs would be removed without getting the family's express consent.'U.S. opinion surveys routinely show that a majority of Americans are willing to donate their organs.' An estimated 22,000 people die at home each year in the United States, and several hundred people die every month waiting for organs.' This seems like a worthy pilot project. More >>

Tags: HealthPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhile each vehicle performs differently, a rule of thumb for maximizing fuel economy is to keep highway speed to 60 miles per hour or less.' According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exceeding 60 miles per hour severely hurts the fuel economy of most vehicles.' The agency says: "each 5 miles per hour you drive over 60 miles per hour is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon of gas." Several tips on saving fuel appear at fueleconomy.gov . More >>

Tags: BudgetFinancesPolitics
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05/13/2010
IconChina has a population control policy of one child per couple.' To encourage families to comply, population planning authorities have regularly been giving parents in rural areas amounts ranging from $8 to $17 annually for 18 years, and $144 after the parents reach 60.' Because so many children' died in the recent Sichuan earthquake, the Chinese government has decided to drop the 60 year old age requirement and will compensate the families now.China has a limited pension and health care system, so parents expect to have a heavy financial dependence on their offspring during their elder years.' For the families whose sole children died, this support is now gone, although the government has permitted these families to adopt.Recently, there were angry marches in which parents protested the shoddy school buildings in which their children died.' In some cases, the schools were the only buildings to completely collapse, according to Mei Fong, a journalist from Chengdu, China.According to some news reports, the government is considering extra compensation after authorities have concluded investigations to decide the extent of negligence in the collapse of the school buildings following the quake. More >>

Tags: divorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt is a well known fact that illegal aliens have voted in national elections.' Arizona is the only state that requires proof of citizenship - either a birth certificate or passport is sufficient proof.' This year, some 5,000 names have disappeared from the voting registry.Unbelievably, some Hispanic activists and organizations are complaining!' I don't get it.' This is a sovereign country, and one of the perks of citizenship is the right to vote for our government officials.' Persons without such legal status ought not to be able to influence an election.' These activists and organizations should be going door-to-door to make sure that their "constituency" is driven to the proper government buildings to get such proof - where it actually exists.' These same activists and organizations should report people who are breaking the law to the INS.It is a breach of trust for any political party or its members to support illegal voters and then complain about "illegal" voting.' I am not aware of any urgency within the Democratic Party in Congress to make sure that the 50% of votes from the deployed military are no longer disenfranchised. More >>

Tags: MilitaryPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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