CHARLES MURRAY’S “Coming Apart,” the book that’s launched a thousand arguments this winter, is a brilliant work with an exasperating conclusion. What’s brilliant is Murray’s portrait, rich in data and anecdote, of the steady breakdown of what he calls America’s “founding virtues” — thrift and industriousness, fidelity and parental responsibility, piety and civic engagement — within America’s working class, and the personal and communal wreckage that’s ensued.
What’s exasperating is what the author suggests policy makers can do about the social crisis: in essence, nothing.
Or at least nothing realistic. Instead, Murray argues that our leaders should embrace his own libertarian convictions, scrap all existing government programs (and the dependency and perverse incentives they create) and replace them with a universal guaranteed income. This is a fascinating idea; it’s also fantastically impractical, and entirely divorced from American political realities. Which means that it’s divorced from any possibility of actually addressing the crisis that Murray so vividly describes.
That said, much of the criticism that “Coming Apart” has received from liberals is exasperating as well. Murray’s critics accuse him of essentially blaming the victim: the social breakdown he described may be real enough, they allow, but it’s an inevitable consequence of an economic system that Republicans have rigged to benefit the rich. In the liberal view, there’s nothing wrong with America’s working class that can’t be solved by taxing the wealthy and using the revenue to weave a stronger safety net.
SCOTUS To Rule On Affirmative Action Might be nice if they said no more affirmative action, not just for colleges, but for everything in the USA.
NATO Commander Apologizes for Soldiers’ Handling of Korans in Afghanistan Why are we always apologizing to the freakng islamics? Screw them and the hell with their book! These are people who burn churches, crosses and bibles and NEVER apologize to anyone!
(Daily Mail) — It is the fear of every party guest, turning up in an outfit not suited to the dress code.
And unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, her slip up was witnessed by top government officials from across the globe.
Wearing a lime green shirt, the Secretary of State was placed in the middle of the foreign ministers – all dressed in crisp white shirts – for a G20 ‘family photo’ in Los Cabos, Mexico.
The word RACISM has no meaning if this is NOT racist!
Can you imagine if George Bush, or some other white president, had created an ad like this asking all whites to join together to help him get elected. The left and blacks would have gone ballistic and screamed racism. This is certainly the same thing only in reverse. And this is from an individual that is supposed to be the president of everybody!! What a joke.
(again, the republican party should be ranting and raving and making damn sure this is kept in front of ALL people! IMHO)
“Propulsion,” the nine-year-old says as he leads his dad through the gates of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “I just want to see the propulsion stuff.”
A young woman guides their group toward a full-scale replica of the massive Saturn V rocket that brought America to the moon. As they duck under the exhaust nozzles, Kenneth Wilson glances at his awestruck boy and feels his burden beginning to lighten. For a few minutes, at least, someone else will feed his son’s boundless appetite for knowledge.
Then Taylor raises his hand, not with a question but an answer. He knows what makes this thing, the biggest rocket ever launched, go up. And he wants—no, he obviously needs—to tell everyone about it, about how speed relates to exhaust velocity and dynamic mass, about payload ratios, about the pros and cons of liquid versus solid fuel. The tour guide takes a step back, yielding the floor to this slender kid with a deep-Arkansas drawl, pouring out a torrent of Ph.D.-level concepts as if there might not be enough seconds in the day to blurt it all out. The other adults take a step back too, perhaps jolted off balance by the incongruities of age and audacity, intelligence and exuberance.
As the guide runs off to fetch the center’s director—You gotta see this kid!—Kenneth feels the weight coming down on him again. What he doesn’t understand just yet is that he will come to look back on these days as the uncomplicated ones, when his scary-smart son was into simple things, like rocket science.
15 Secrets the Emergency Room Staff Won’t Tell You
This insider information from doctors, nurses and paramedics will astonish you–and could save your life.
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She knows we are not the Land of the Free!
Japanese fart scrolls prove that human art peaked centuries ago
Approximately 200-400 years ago during Japan’s Edo period, an unknown artist created what is easily the most profound demonstration of human aesthetics ever committed to parchment. I am referring to He-Gassen a.k.a. ??? a.k.a. “the fart war.” In this centuries-old scroll, women and men blow each other off the page with typhoon-like flatulence. Toss this in the face of any philistine who claims that art history is boring.
Gassy competitions weren’t limited to the scenes of He-Gassen (which is hilariously named in retrospect). Fart wars were also used to express displeasure at the encroaching European influence in Edo Japan — artists would depict Westerners being blown home on thunderous toots.
Know that the below scenes contain more than a few disrobed body parts, but it’s nothing worse than what you see in your average art museum (save for the roiling cyclones of rump mist, that is). You can read the full He-Gassen at Waseda University. And for more old-school blue humor, see these examples of ancient graffiti.
“Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit that we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.” — President Barack Obama, February 23, 2009
Three years ago, Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit by half. He has failed. Not only has he failed, he has made it worse.
First, let’s address Obama’s claim that he “inherited” the deficit. As you can see in the numbers provided by the Office of Management and Budget, the deficits under President Bush peaked in 2004, and than began to decline. The budget deficit in 2007 – the last budget approved by the Republican Congress before Nancy Pelosi became speaker – was $160 billion. When the Democrats took over, the deficit exploded. So, yes, Barack Obama inherited a huge deficit from the Democrats in Congress.
Show them this: When those lefties say it is Bush’s Fault!
One thing I’ve learned in the year I have spent tracking General Motors cum Government Motors (GM) – and all its Crony Socialist, green non-energy “energy”, flammable absurdities – is the fact that the car media are every bit the Leftist open-channel steno pool as are the political media.
And with President Barack Obama running for reelection in large part on the utterly failed “success” of the $85 billion auto bailout, the car and political media have by now achieved fully melded fusion.
The examples are myriad.
The press in parrot-unison hail Obama for having “saved” the auto industry.
But always somehow fail to report that we have lost (at least) $23.6 billion on the (mis-ad)venture.
Or that Obama handed an additional $68 billion of our coin – to two companies with a combined market value of around $8 billion. How’s that for new math?
The press in parrot-unison back Obama’s excoriation of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney for suggesting GM and Chrysler file for bankruptcy.
But always somehow fail to report that Obama…had GM and Chrysler file for bankruptcy. Just as Romney recommended. But Obama did so only after handing them an additional $68 billion of our money. Which is not at all like what Romney suggested.
Correct me if I (and Romney) are wrong, but GM and Chrysler could have gone bankrupt – for free. Companies and people do it all the time – with especial frequency here in the Age of Obama.
Read the article here.
Yes, CATS do rule the internet!
The UK woman who has two vaginas has attracted the attention of a Los Angeles-based film production company. Hazel Jones, 27, has the condition uterus didelphys, where she has two wombs and two cervixes.
Vivid Entertainment CEO Steven Hirsch, wrote to Miss Jones offering her $1 million and a flight to Los Angeles with first class accommodation if she decided to star in one of Hirsch’s movies. The blonde High Wycombe woman told ITV’s This Morning programme she was comfortable with having the condition, despite the fact she had to effectively lose her virginity twice.
Mr Hirsch’s Californian-based company became the first studio to introduce celebrity sex films, showing footage of Pamela Anderson and then-husband Tommy Lee and Kim Kardashian. They have even offered reprieved Amanda Knox a career in the porn industry as well as Casey Anthony a part in the industry almost as soon as she was found not guilty in the murder trial of her daughter Caylee Anthony.
Some interesting events have been transpiring in Georgia over the last few weeks. At least, that is, in the right wing blogosphere’s view — the mainstream media orchestrated a complete blackout. And it wasn’t because big media missed the show, since I personally saw them holding the spotlights and cameras. The footage was simply left on the cutting room floor.
Georgia is home to some brave citizens who dared to challenge, under state law, President Obama’s constitutional eligibility to run for a second term. The three cases stipulated that Obama was not qualified as a “natural born” citizen because his father was not a US citizen. As reported here on American Thinker in a series of columns, the administrative judge found for the defendant, and last week, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp upheld the ruling — that Obama’s name should appear on Georgia’s 2012 ballot.
That decision was rendered even though Obama and his attorney, Michael Jablonski, failed to respond to a valid subpoena, and neither appeared at the January 26 hearings. In the initial stages of the challenges, Jablonski filed motions to dismiss, which were denied. The day before the hearings, Jablonski delivered a defiant letter, over Judge Michael Malihi’s head, to the secretary of state, warning that neither he nor Obama would attend. Neither the judge nor Kemp seemed to mind, however. Nor did the media.
As a witness to the hearings, I fully expected the mainstream media to report on the events with the usual “birther” ridicule, but I was astonished to find virtually no coverage at all. Perhaps because the challenges highlighted the less sensational points of statutory construction, judicial precedent, and constitutional law — aspects of “birtherism” that do not fit the mainstream narrative of crazy “birthers” and conspiratorial theories of a Kenyan birthplace.
Or maybe — the media did not want to draw attention to the disconcerting fact that Obama and his defense team turned their backs on legal procedure and the judiciary of a state.
Read the article here.
FBI Director Mueller secretly met on February 8 at FBI headquarters with a coalition of groups including various IslamoFascist and militant Arabic groups who in the past have defended Hamas and Hizballah. At this meeting, the FBI revealed that it had removed more than 1000 presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that was deemed “offensive to Muslims.”
Investigative Project The FBI did not reveal what criteria was used to determine why material was considered “offensive” but knowledgeable law enforcement sources have told the IPT that it was these radical groups who made that determination. Moreover, numerous FBI agents have confirmed that from now on, FBI headquarters has banned all FBI offices from inviting any counter-terrorist specialists who are considered “anti-Islam” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups.
Read the article here.
Does Michelle Obama really over-satiate herself on adipose-inducing feasts while lecturing kids to clean up their diets?
Yes, according to the most scientific study to date.
Obviously intending to counter Michelle’s critics, food writer Marian Burros, working for POLITICO, treated herself to lunch and/or dinner at “the 33 or more restaurants in the Washington area” where Michelle has grazed in Washington since her husband took office.
Can you imagine? Such diligence and sacrifice.
The result is a classic unintended scientific finding. Burros appears to have set out to prove that Mrs. Obama eats like an undernourished wild rabbit, citing the “vitriol” poured on her concerning her food habits by “anti-Obama blogs.”
In fact, Burros finds – though she doesn’t acknowledge it – that the excess weight Michelle is usually carrying around was not put there by a mysterious and unwelcome Act of God.
She eats poorly.
Burros discovers and celebrates that Michelle does eat vegetables. But that’s like saying a murderer sometimes commits burglaries. The problem is with Michelle’s core diet, much of which seems to be fried, sitting on a bone, or infested with sucrose.
Here at White House Dossier, we have a little fun with Michelle’s marked proclivity to overeat and overeat and serve unhealthy food to guests again and again, while pointing out the hypocrisy of her simultaneously telling others how to eat.
Not since Richard Simmons’s paunch protruded over his skimpy shorts has a worse Apostle of the path to health presented themselves to the public.
Here is something that the republican party should run, replacing the phrase “the Bush Administration” with the “Obama Administration.”
Went to the gym this morning (that is now a normal thing for myself and my wife, go each morning, excepting sundays) and I will tell you, there is nothing at that gym remotely like the following:
One would think that these two liberal nuts would go with the majority of Americans when it comes to vote id. But no, they are on a mission to ruin our country to allow all illegals to vote, drive, get money from the government, and more. The two men above should be removed from office ASAP!
The Justice Department on Friday entered the divisive national debate over new state voting laws, rejecting South Carolina’s measure requiring photo-identification at the polls as discriminatory against minority voters.
The decision by Justice’s Civil Rights Division could heighten political tensions over the new laws, which critics say could depress turnout among minorities and others who helped elect President Obama in 2008. A dozen states this year passed laws requiring voters to present state-issued photo identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Although Democratic governors vetoed four of the measures, liberal and civil rights groups have raised alarms about the remaining laws. Opponents of the laws say they would discriminate against minorities and others, such as low-income voters, because some don’t have the necessary photo identification and lack the means to easily obtain ID cards.
Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, several of the states that enacted voter-identification laws are required to receive federal “pre-clearance” to ensure that the changes don’t affect minority political power.
In its first decision on one of those new measures, the Justice Department said Friday that South Carolina’s law will discriminate against minority voters, though the department declined to take a position on whether the alleged discrimination was intentional. The law, passed in May and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley (R), requires voters to show a driver’s license or one of several other forms of photo identification.
UNESCO says won’t fund Palestinian magazine praising Hitler
After children’s magazine publishes article on girl’s dream in which Hitler tells her ‘Jews spread destruction all over the world,’ cultural agency’s director tells Abbas membership means ‘sharing values of tolerance, respect for others’
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced it would pull funding for a Palestinian children’s magazine due to anti-Semitic content.
The magazine, Zayzafouna, published an article in February written by a teenage girl who presented four role models: a medieval Persian mathematician, a modern Egyptian novelist, the Muslim warrior Saladin, and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
In the article, the author has Hitler telling her in a dream that he killed Jews “so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world.” He advises her to be “resilient and patient concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.”
“Thanks for the advice,” the narrator responds.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that “membership of UNESCO goes beyond raising the flag” at the organization’s headquarters. “It means sharing values – the values of tolerance, respect for others,” she said. UNESCO member states voted to accept the PA as a member in October.
Read it all HERE.
(hey, this is the UN, so I am sure some part of it will continue giving the magazine money)
The Christmas story offers important lessons about Christian motherhood and vital lessons on fatherhood.
The Christmas narratives of Jesus’ conception, birth and infancy found in the Books of Matthew and Luke are generally read in church and Sunday school lessons each season. Joseph Parker, who pastors African Methodist Episcopal (AME) churches in the South, points to Matthew 1 and 2 for insight into fatherhood, then and now.
The man appointed as the human father of Jesus was Joseph, who Parker notes was in a difficult position for a father in his time because of his betrothal to Mary, who was carrying the baby Jesus, the Son of God. However, Parker points out that Joseph’s role was very meaningful and crucial to God’s plan.
“God is able to use Joseph in some very powerful ways,” Parker explains. “Joseph listens to God for himself and on behalf of his family — and as he hears from God, he obeys. He guides his family. He protects his family. He watches over his family. He’s a role model for his family as well.
“And so God didn’t need to send a million angels to protect Jesus,” the pastor comments. “All he needed was one faithful father who would hear from God and do what God told him. That’s all God needed to protect the Messiah of the world.”
In just these two chapters out of the entire Bible, Parker believes this aspect of the Christmas story details vital lessons to guide today’s fathers.
As for a model of motherhood, Parker suggests people read Luke 1 and 2 with the understanding that Luke is a doctor. So the details with which Luke shares about pregnancy for both Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, come alive from that perspective.
Read the article here.
If nothing else, Joe Biden got the attention of the Afghan insurgents. “Look,” the U.S. vice president tells Newsweek’s Leslie H. Gelb in the magazine’s latest issue, “the Taliban per se is not our enemy“. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests.” Active and former members of the group’s senior leadership have one question: why didn’t the White House say so sooner?
Even now, after a decade of fighting the Americans, the group’s leaders tend to say they have nothing against the United States as a country—although they remain as committed as ever to resisting the U.S. occupation of their homeland. “We are not natural enemies of each other,” says Khazi Habibullah Fauzi, who served as the Taliban’s charge d’affaires in Saudi Arabia before the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. “We became enemies because of an external factor—namely Osama bin Laden, who was not an Afghan. Now he is gone, and the Taliban have little or nothing to do with Al Qaeda.” [...]
But not surprisingly the Taliban are also deeply embittered by Biden’s statement. “Biden is talking both sense and nonsense — if we are not your enemies, then what are you doing in Afghanistan?” the operative complains. “Is this some kind of joke, to say we are not your enemy after you occupy our country, imprison us in cages and kill tens of thousands of our people? We didn’t invite you here, and we never wanted to become your enemy.”
Taliban fighters in the field take an even tougher stance. “When I first heard the statement I laughed,” says a 30ish Taliban subcommander from southern Afghanistan. “I wondered if this was an American joke.” He and others are far from ready to forgive and forget. “You are only saying we are not enemies now because we have put up such a strong and unbeatable resistance,” the subcommander says. “Before 9/11, I didn’t hate America, But after ten years of war, after the bombings and atrocities, I now think the U.S. is enemy No. 1. And I’m proud to say that.”
Now what is going on here? Raffles, illegal donations, what? Is this even legal by federal law? How come the Justice Dept. is not investigating this? Oh, that is so dumb, the DOJ is linked to Obama’s asshole. He farts, they yell Racism!
(Fox News) — Actress Eva Longoria says she will have dinner and an “intimate conversation” on how to help U.S. President Barack Obama win reelection in 2012 with the winners of a raffle which people can enter by making at least a small contribution to his reelection campaign.
Longoria discussed her dinner pledge in an email sent out on Thursday by Obama’s reelection campaign to millions of Democratic voters nationwide within the framework of the president’s fundraising drive for the 2012 contest.
“In 2008, like so many of you, I dedicated a lot of my time to help Barack Obama win the presidency,” the message begins.
“Now, with 2012 around the corner, I wanted to get ready for the next election by sitting down for an intimate conversation with supporters like you to talk politics and the role we’ll play to win the 2012 election,” Longoria says.
The only condition for qualifying to be in the running to win the dinner with the star of the popular television series “Desperate Housewives” is to donate $3 or “whatever you can” to Obama’s reelection campaign.
So what are the brits going to do about these people?
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s international development minister says there are now more people from the UK training for terrorism in camps in Somalia than anywhere else in the world.
Andrew Mitchell said Thursday that Somalia poses a major threat, which may now be greater than the risks once posed by camps in Pakistan’s border regions.
Mitchell said “there are probably more British passport-holders engaged in terrorist training in Somalia than in any other country in the world.”
It follows warnings from the heads of Britain’s spy agencies about Britons training alongside Al-Shabab militants in Somalia.
WTF? Spend our tax dollars overseas to fund abortions? This is wrong on so many levels! These democrats are stupid and should be voted out!
Democrats in the House have written a new letter to pro-abortion President Barack Obama urging him to do more to spend taxpayer funds on paying for abortions in foreign countries and promoting abortion counseling.
The Democrats say they believe the Obama administration is too literally applying the Helms Amendment, which prohibits direct taxpayer funding of abortions in foreign countries using taxpayer-funded foreign aid. The liberal members of the House want the Obama administration to review the amendment and funding to determine if abortion counseling, information and abortions themselves can be legally paid for under a looser interpretation of the law.
“We are concerned that improper implementation of current foreign-assistance restrictions may be impeding our ability to provide even more effective and life-saving information and services,” they wrote in the letter, which The Hill obtained. “In particular, we are concerned that the Helms Amendment — which restricts but does not prohibit abortion funding — is being implemented as though it were an absolute ban.”
Note to all: Do not watch television programs that show you from start to finish how sausage, lunch meat, cat food and dog food, and other food items are made. Watching one now where they take WHOLE FISH of all sorts. Then puree the entire mess. Geesh….and then it ends up in various food products we eat.