Thursday, August 29, 2013

Will Smith as President Obama?

Search your feelings.
The worst thing about Obama's presidency is knowing Will Smith will play him in the eventual biopic and win an Oscar.
You know it to be true.

how much is a McDonald's worker worth? guest-starring Mel Whitlock

Taking off the Gloves...One Big Ass Reason I Have a Problem With $15 an Hour Minimum Wage for Burger Flippers

Aside from the more obvious economic reasons that make the foolish narrative of flipping burgers now the example of "blue collar work," there is a more pressing issue that I have as a degree holding college graduate.

From 2002-2010, I spent off and on time working to pay for going to college; in the process I amounted a crap load of loans (not as bad as others thankfully) that looking back, had I known then what I know now, I would have never taken those loans out in the first place!

Currently, I am still in the process of securing a viable job in my career field because my job changes like the wind, depending who takes over the program! As a college graduate who has spent years working those low-level jobs that do not require a high school education; it personally appalls me to think that such a job should be demanded and treated as a "blue collar" type of employment!

I am not knocking anyone who is working that type of job in Wal Mart, Wendy's or wherever; all I am saying is that this is a slap in the face to anyone who spends time going to school "JUST TO MAKE A JOB $15.00" an hour.

Its not go to work, you flip a burger, you go home. I mean seriously....$15 an hour, get the hell outta here with that!

Strike if you want to, but when these companies start using machines to do your "$15.00 an hour labor" don't worry, the government will take care of you! The day flipping burgers becomes a standard for financially running a household is the day I am going to demand every dime back for my college education

-- Mel Whitlock

four Bush Doctrines starring Charles Krauthammer and Sarah Palin

This article is not on the National Review Online site anymore and it was a small devil to retrieve from

It Was Gibson’s Gaffe
Which made the smug condescension all the more precious.

By Charles Krauthammer

“Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she
agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what
he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed
her that it meant the right of anticipatory self-defense.’ ”
New York Times, September 12
Informed her? Rubbish.

The Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today.

He asked Palin, “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?”

She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, “In what respect, Charlie?”

Sensing his “gotcha” moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, he grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine “is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense.”


I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of The Weekly Standard titled, “The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism,” I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to Congress nine days later, Bush declared: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.” This “with us or against us” policy regarding terror — first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan — became the essence of the Bush doctrine.

Until Iraq. A year later, when the Iraq War was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of pre-emptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.

It’s not. It’s the third in a series and was superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of Bush foreign policy and the one that most distinctively defines it: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush’s second inaugural address: “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

This declaration of a sweeping, universal American freedom agenda was consciously meant to echo John Kennedy’s pledge that the United States “shall pay any price, bear any burden . . . to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” It draws also from the Truman doctrine of March 1947 and from Wilson’s 14 points.

If I were in any public foreign-policy debate today, and my adversary were to raise the Bush doctrine, both I and the audience would assume — unless my interlocutor annotated the reference otherwise — that he was speaking about Bush’s grandly proclaimed (and widely attacked) freedom agenda.

Not the Gibson doctrine of pre-emption.

Not the “with us or against us” no-neutrality-is-permitted policy of the immediate post-9/11 days.

Not the unilateralism that characterized the pre-9/11 first year of the Bush administration.

Presidential doctrines are inherently malleable and difficult to define. The only fixed “doctrines” in American history are the Monroe and the Truman doctrines, which came out of single presidential statements during administrations where there were few conflicting foreign-policy crosscurrents.

Such is not the case with the Bush doctrine.

Yes, Palin didn’t know what it is. But neither does Gibson. And at least she didn’t pretend to know — while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, “sounding like an impatient teacher,” as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes’ reaction to the phenom who presumes to play on their stage.

Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist.

© 2008, The Washington Post Writers Group

National Review Online -

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I have a Dream

Bill Clinton MLK speech artifact thing

Bill Clinton's MLK bit about "voting should be as easy as buying an assault rifle" is proof that libs can lie with impunity. It is FAR easier to vote than to buy an assault rifle. Or is Clinton saying that people need ID and a background check to vote? Scumbag.
-- Warner Todd Huston

George W. Bush on 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

Office of George W. Bush
Dallas, Texas
August 28, 2013


Laura and I are proud to join our fellow Americans in commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

When Reverend King came to Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1963, his purpose was to hold our Nation to the standards spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. He called all of us to live up to that document’s fundamental promise and the underpinning of our founding – that all of us are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with thousands gathered around him, Dr. King looked out over the American capital and uttered simple, powerful words that changed the hearts of millions. The dream he had spread a message of hope, justice, and brotherhood that took hold in the hearts of men and women around the world.

Our country has come a long way since that bright afternoon 50 years ago; yet our journey to justice is not complete. Just to the East of the Lincoln Memorial, where President Obama will speak on Wednesday, stands the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. There on the National Mall our President, whose story reflects the promise of America, will help us honor the man who inspired millions to redeem that promise.

Dr. King was on this Earth just 39 years, but the ideals that guided his life of conscience and purpose are eternal. Honoring him requires the commitment of every one of us. There’s still a need for every American to help hasten the day when Dr. King’s vision is made real in every community – when what truly matters is not the color of a person’s skin, but the content of their character.

Laura and I thank the King family and all who work to carry on the legacy of a great man and the promise of a great Nation. May we continue to march toward the day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected. And may God continue to bless America.

# # #

Fuzzy Koloth

Green Hawaiian punch, Tequilla, Bombay Gin, half shot of Vodka, and a splash of apple juice over the rocks to sweeten the edge.

I believe the first three had a shot of Tequila rose in it and the apple juice helped take the edge off; but after the Tequila rose ran out (someone helped themselves to the bottle), we left the juice in as a sweetener.

I *think* the exact mix was 2 shots gin, 2 shots tequila, 1 shot tr, half shot of vodka, stir, add ice; splash apple juice over the ice.

Alan Thicke's son

Robin Thicke is the Nickelback of the Hip Hop World.
-- David Riddle

Broncos at Spartans

Opening Day and home game
Western Michigan
Day: Friday
Date: Aug. 30, 2013
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET


Radio: Spartan Sports Network

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

another manufactured war

Does this one come with a warranty?

ambitious teenager insults American Presidents

I admit I laughed when he said he would bring competence and accountability to the table, as contrary to the Present President and a number of his predecessors. On the other hand when I hear a teenager express a high-level of ambition for his adult career I tend to roll my eyes. Guys like that end up being more like John Kerry than Harry S Truman.
I felt a little pain for Alex Trebek. It was like he did not quite disagree but he knew he could not say so, given his antipartisan obligations as game show host.
I swear do the chum(ps) on Sharktank actually watch Sharktank?

Rush Limbaugh and secret Democrat confessions

I don't know when this was recorded. It was published August 26.
I still hate Rush referring to the President and his Administration as "the regime", using the connotative meaning of the word rather than a denotative.

what Miley Cyrus needs

This whole thing amuses me and saddens me.  Of course what really saddens me is that so many people watched the VMA that people saw this live and posted about it live on on Facebook.

I don't remember what I was doing.  I think playing video games. 

This is what I missed
I don't believe I missed much. Yet there remains doubt I will ever see the entire performance or the entire video.

I understand the artistic intent. The attempt to embrace or project sexuality by contrasting it with imagery from childhood and innocence feels more off-putting than smart though. Needless to say she is far from Hannah Montana.

The problem I have with this sort of thing, and this Gawker article launches a sort of defense of this "outing of sexuality", is that it is all so very redundant in a career where Miley Cyrus has already been dancing on stage for years in revealing costumes, cut high to show as much of her legs as possible while cut low for maximum cleavage. She has paraded on beaches wearing bikinis before. If she was ever using sex to sell her product she has been doing so for years.

If there are any problems to be had it is that this just looks so stupid and I cannot imagine the stupidity is intentional. It fits into a pattern of projection of expectation. She wants us to think she is sexy while there is an inability to convince us all. For my part I just think the short hair is an abomination. The rest is simply boring.

The UK Daily Mail has photos and descriptions of the VMA horror, describing it as a nude-colored latex bra etc.  I think I have scene it described as a bikini somewhere on Google. You might ask why I waste time writing about this.  I write about this (while wasting time) because somehow our culture has allowed this person to become so well-known that she did something insignificant and stupid yet those actions were significant because so many of us saw it and commented on it.  We (well not me) imbued her with such significance artificially that we allowed her actions to become imbued with similar significance.  If we did not allow Hannah Montana to be the household name then certainly Miley Cyrus would not have made anyone uncomfortable and definitely would not be a poor role model, if that is what concerns parents now.

To be completely upfront Miley Cyrus was inevitably going to transform herself into a thing that resembles a sexual being.  You should have seen it coming and dismissed the ramifications from your household years ago.  Thankfully it is stupid.  So why does something so stupid gather so much attention in a world where the United States may just go to war with/in/over Syria?  The Onion tells you it is because the audience demands the attention be given and the media outlets do what they do for advertising revenues. The Onion is exactly right.  So am I.

Now for something you'll really enjoy.
Miley Cyrus made quite a buzz on the VMA's I heard. I was going to see what it was all about so I tried to watch her performance online. I couldn't watch the whole thing. It was stupid and she sucks. She needs a good voice and some boobs. I miss the good old days of real performers. People stopped making good music when the guitar solo died.
-- Angela Rigas

I've had this rant for a while - but there is something sinister with Disney/Nickelodeon promoting 11 yr. old girls as sex objects and then watching them implode years later -- Jamie Lynn Spears, Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes. .. When Jamie Lynn Spears (Britney's sister) was 11 she appeared in her first Nickelodeon commercial and she was dressed up as a generic cheerleader and she was introducing herself to the viewers and she talked about what she liked to do while doing ridiculously exploitive cheers and I thought, "Who's directing this? Charlie Sheen?" .. five years later, she's 16 and pregnant - and MTV had a reality show called "16 and pregnant" .. sigh
-- Tom Gantert
It's time for Miley Cyrus to let Jesus take the wheel.
--Rob Macomber

Friday, August 23, 2013

milk and avocados

A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk and if they have avocados, get 6.
A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk.
The wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?"
He replied, "They had avocados."

Michigan State Spartan 2013 football schedule

Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
08/30/13 vs. Western Michigan TV East Lansing, Mich. 8:00 p.m. ET
09/07/13 vs. South Florida TV East Lansing, Mich. 12:00 p.m. ET
09/14/13 vs. Youngstown State TV East Lansing, Mich. 2:00 p.m. ET
09/21/13 at Notre Dame TV Notre Dame, Ind. 3:30 p.m. ET
10/05/13 at Iowa * Iowa City, Iowa 12:00 p.m. ET
10/12/13 vs. Indiana (Homecoming) * East Lansing, Mich. 12:00 p.m. ET
10/19/13 vs. Purdue * East Lansing, Mich. TBA
10/26/13 at Illinois * Champaign, Ill. 3:30 p.m. ET
11/02/13 vs. Michigan * East Lansing, Mich. TBA
11/16/13 at Nebraska * Lincoln, Neb. TBA
11/23/13 at Northwestern * Evanston, Ill. TBA
11/30/13 vs. Minnesota * East Lansing, Mich. TBA

the Scourge of every comedian

Tom Gantert:
I'm posting this not because it is funny or because some YouTuber named it "George Carlin's Greatest Moment." ... I'm posting it because it's not only NOT funny, but there isn't one joke in this 3:20 rant. And I'm not picking on George Carlin, who was a great comic, because this happens to EVERY comedian. Carlin, Sam Kinison, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock. What happens? They stop telling jokes, believe that fame has made them something better than they are and they start lecturing us. Comedians are like rock bands - you get four good years and then they just hang around.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Allen West cannot be President of the United States

Shawn McElhinney thinks anyone who is convinced that Allen West has a ghosts of a chance of winning the presidency should stop sniffing paint thinner immediately! 
Someone who cannot win re-election in a favourably gerrymandered congressional district cannot win statewide let alone nationwide. 
He lost a district that Mitt Romney won, a district with a Cook PVI of R+3. What that means is the district runs about three points ahead of the national candidate in terms of its political alignment and despite that advantage, West STILL lost.

the Washington Monument does not look anything like the guy!

I paraphrase a Jeff Dunham quote about visiting Washington, DC, as thus:
Idiots live here... the Washington Monument! Looks nothing like the guy! More like a tribute to Bill Clinton
Gavin Witter responds
Funny, the Washington Monument has always been controversial. Jefferson and the Republicans thought building monuments to Washington would turn him into a king...somehow forgetting that he was dead and therefore no risk. Some people didn't like the austerity of its design. Originally there was supposed to be a colonnade around the outside because the nakedness frightened Victorians. But the biggest critics were the Know Nothings who interpreted it as a papist symbol, owing to the many ancient obelisks found in Rome. Today most people love it. It seems strikingly modern--always ahead of its time but intensely classical too: a fitting tribute to one Founder who put the theory of the Revolution and Constitutionalism into effective practice.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Maps are awesome

Here are forty maps. Very educational.

Rachel Parent versus Kevin O’Leary

Apparently Rachel Parent, a fourteen-year-old child, spanked noted sourpuss Kevin O'Leary. I honestly did not know that Mr O'Leary had this show or was this sort of television personality, definitely not on this scale or this level of fame... in Canada. But I am only Half-Canadian and that half does not watch Canadian television.
There are cogent reasons she stomped him.
how did this 14-year-old succeed? She did some very big things right.

1. She didn’t let O’Leary change the debate.

More than once in the interview, O’Leary pushed to expose Parent as ignorant and anti-science. The savvy 14-year-old would have none of it. She was laser-focused on her issue of labeling GMO food and brought her answers back to that repeatedly.

2. She refused to engage in hypotheticals.

O’Leary used some hypothetical situations, including one in which nutrient-enriched rice, called “golden rice,” was being fed to starving communities around the world. When he asked what she would say to malnourished children about GMOs, Parent was ready. Rather than play into O’Leary’s hypothetical example, she used facts about the rice and explained why it wasn’t effective.

3. She ignored his insults.

O’Leary more than once alluded to Parent’s youth and even accused her of being disingenuous. A particularly low point for O’Leary was when he accused Parent of becoming a “shill” for groups that want to use her, saying, “You’re young, you’re articulate, you’re getting lots of media, and I’m happy for you on that. But I’m trying to figure out whether you really deep down believe this.” Even with that, Parent never sank to O’Leary’s level in the debate.

4. She knew what she was walking into.

Parent was obviously familiar with O’Leary, but she did more than just come prepared for a spirited debate. She did her homework. At one point, O’Leary brought up a documentary his daughter had produced about the GMO debate. Parent had already seen it and offered to clarify some of the points made in the film.

5. She brought on the challenge.

Parent smartly realized that her credibility would soar if she could effectively debate the hostile O’Leary. She was right.

Coffee kills in a black bitter hot way

So now coffee is linked to a higher rate of death? I don't think there is anything left in the world that isn't associated with a higher rate of death. Except perhaps tofu. And I'm not eating that.

Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fox News Sunday Power Player of the Week - April 1, 2012 - Ben Carson

Fox News Sunday is a Sunday morning news show on all the broadcast television Fox affiliates.  It has a final segment almost every week called the Power Player of the Week.  The name is self-explanatory.  For the week of the April 1 back in 2012 the Power Player is, no surprise, Dr Ben Carson.

Transcending Faith - Ben Carson Testimony

Uploaded on Apr 3, 2011 Growing up in dire poverty in Detroit, Michigan Dr. Ben Carson faced a challenging childhood. At the age of 33 Dr. Carson went on to "...become the youngest major division director at the Johns Hopkins medical institutions." Dr. Carson is the author of "Gifted Hands", "The Big Picture", "Take the Risk", and "Think Big". He is also the founder of The Carson Scholars Fund @ along with his wife, Candy. Through his relationship with Jesus Christ and his TRANSCENDING FAITH Dr. Carson is able to have success beyond measure. Music by : Steve Soulbasics - "I Got Jesus" Sue Stonebender - "Legendary Grace"

Ben Carson - Hour of Power Interview

From 2008
Uploaded on Oct 7, 2008 Ben Carson's Interview with Robert A. Schuller at Crystal Cathedral Ministries. For the complete interview visit

Ben Carson on Fox News July 2012

Ben Carson was on Fox News July 1, 2012
He was speaking as an expert in his field regarding a facet of the President's economic plan.

Ben Carson - Caring Award Interview


Prof. Dr. Ben Carson zu Gast in Deutschland

I have no idea what is going on.  This will take hours for you get through.

Dr. Ben Carson - Achieving Total Health

September 4, 2004

Ben Carson on Thought Complex

From 2010

Ben Carson - the power of the mind

Taken from the film, 'Four Chambers' by Imanuel Goncalves and OMG Media.

Ben Carson - Commencement Keynote 2012 Emory University

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery
The Johns Hopkins University Children's Center

Dr. Ben Carson on Health Disparities and Health Care Reform

From November 2012

agree to disagree

Self- righteousness is an absurdity. We are all too messed up and sinful to hold that position.
-- Mary Ann McGuire
What frustrates me most are people new to politics that believe anyone who disagrees with them must be evil. That's a form of childishness that we must get over.
-- Stephen R. Maloney
It is critical we talk civilly about controversial issues to ebable us to move forward and solve our nation's ills. It bothers me when people say to "sweep these topics under the rug" because they are contentious. If we don't learn how to speak respectfully to one another when we hold opposing viewpoints, it won't matter what else we do, our problems will return upon the first disagreement and reopen the fissure. My hope is that we can get Americans to accept we are unique individuals who will not always agree on all points and that this is "ok." Then, I believe, we have a chance to once again become that great nation I believe is our destiny. It is up to us voters, and to our political leadership, to set the example. We can be upset, even angry, but that does not excuse bad behavior no matter what the "other side" is doing. Growing up my parents, and probably many others, would say to their children: Just because your friend jumped off a bridge doesn't mean it is a good idea for you to do it. Let's not fall into the negativity trap, or the one that has people devolving into a who hates who or what the most pattern. We can come together as one people given the opportunity. That notion has not died in America. I saw it in our people, unified as a nation, after 9-11. We have to find the key to working together again so we can move past the hard times we are experiencing and regain our American identity.
-- Daria Novak

Friday, August 16, 2013

the Miracle of the Mystery Priest

Philip Hoppe says
The first headline was awesome and amazing:

Mysterious priest miraculously appears, disappears at crash scene

Everyone began to wonder. Was it really a priest or was it an angel? How he had come and gone was unknown and the prayer and anointing he offered seemed to bring peace to the situation.

Then came the answer in another headline:

Mystery priest in Missouri rescue comes forward

The priest was in fact a priest, Father Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City. He had come, parked, walked over, talked to the sheriff, prayed with the girl, and then left.

Oh, since the story was reported on so much due to the angel angle, I suppose the news agencies will report that the priest was in fact was a real priest. But what if there had never been any question about it? What if the rescue workers knew the priest personally right away? Would any have ever heard of his involvement?

I doubt it. That seems all too ordinary. And yet, we must be reminded from this story how God works almost every time he works. He works through means. Can God do miracles? Absolutely. Does he send angels? Of course. But is it any less amazing and miraculous when he sends a priest who happened to be driving by? No.

God does his work almost always through normal means. Pastors, words, water, bread, and wine. Teachers, farmers, trash men, etc. And when he works through means, we should be just as excited and thankful as when he in that rare case does something without earthly means.

Everybody wants an angel. They got a priest. Actually what they got was God’s mercy in the midst of a mess. And that is worthy of much praise directed heavenward.
Dave Akerly replies
The story is no less amazing. Not so sure his proximity was any coincidence.

love and serve your wife

So if you think that the wife is the loser because she is told to fear her husband, remember that the principal duty of love is assigned to the husband, and you will see that it is her gain. “And what if my wife refuses to obey me?” a husband will ask. Never mind! Your obligation is to love her; do your duty! Even when we don’t receive our due from others, we must always do our duty.
-- Homily on Ephesians 5:22-23 by St. John Chrysostom

Ben Carson - University of Texas MB Commencement

From 2007

"Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story"

A 2009 biopic on TNT

Gifted Hands

from 1991, a documentary


Ben Carson - Liberty University Convocation

On March 28, 2012 at Convocation, North America's largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Dr. Ben Carson, American neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, shared with Liberty University students his life story and how important it is in your life to stand up for what you believe in.
Dr. Carson is a gifted neurosurgeon and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush in 2008. He has received over 60 honorary doctorates and is the author of four bestselling books: Gifted Hands, The Big Picture, Take the Risk, and Think Big.
Liberty University is a rightwing institution, one of the more politically praised 'Christian school', founded by Jerry Falwell, although the concept as has outlived the man and become a fine institution.

Regardless, Ben Carson is awesome and demonstrates thus.

Penn State - A Conversation with Ben Carson

This interview was uploaded and filmed over three years ago and demonstrates how significant Dr Carson was before he became a right-wing icon of sorts.

In other words he was always awesome but only in 2013 did Republicans notice (and not necessarily for the correct reasons).

What did Hillary Clinton accomplish?

Barbara Bush (George W's daughter) says Hillary Clinton is "unbelievably accomplished," implying she would make a good president. So why have a Republican Party? Do Democrats endorse Republicans? She didn't say what Hillary has accomplished: Middle East peace? Russian re-set? Benghazi? Hillarycare which was rejected by a Democratic Congress?
-- Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas versus Ben Carson

Columnist and everpresent political pundit Cal Thomas questioned the appropriateness of the particulars of Dr Carson's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Well, he declared the need for an apology.
Our politics have become so polarized and corrupted that a president of the United States cannot even attend an event devoted to drawing people closer to God and bridge partisan and cultural divides without being lectured about his policies.
Last Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ben Carson, director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, broke with a 61-year-old tradition and publicly disagreed with some of the president's policies, such as "ObamaCare," taxation and the national debt...
Several in the audience of 3,000 applauded Carson's remarks, which must have made the president feel even more uncomfortable.
I am no fan of the president's policies, but the National Prayer Breakfast is billed as one of the few nonpolitical events in a very political city. Each year, the co-chairs, one Democrat and one Republican from either the House or Senate, put aside their political differences, as they do in weekly gatherings, to pray for the nation's leaders.
Carson, who spoke at the same event several years ago, has a compelling and inspirational personal story. He and his brother grew up in Detroit. His parents divorced when he was three. His mother kept an eye on her children and made them turn off the TV and read books. Carson said he did poorly in school and was mocked by classmates until he later caught the learning bug. He retold part of that story, but it was overwhelmed by his criticism of the president's policies.
Carson is a great example of what perseverance can accomplish and his success is a rebuke to the entitlement-envy-greed mentality. By lowering himself to mention policies with which he disagrees, he diluted the power of a superior message.
His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion. It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president's policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom. I'm wondering if the president felt drawn closer to God, or bludgeoned by the Republican Party and the applauding conservatives in the audience (there were many liberals there, too, as well as people from what organizers said were more than 100 nations and all 50 states)... Whatever happened to propriety?
If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president's policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him.
Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing "victory laps" and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive. That's not the point. While many might agree with his positions (and many others don't as shown by the November election results), voicing them at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of the president was the wrong venue.
Organizers for this event tell speakers ahead of time to steer clear of politics, but Carson apparently "went rogue" on them. I'm told organizers were astonished and disapproving of the critical parts of Carson's keynote address. The breakfast is supposed to bring together people from different political viewpoints and cultures. It is supposed to bridge divides, not widen them.
If this and future presidents think their policies will be prey for political opponents at the prayer breakfast, they might decide not to come. That would be too bad for them and too bad for the country.
Paul Zummo, writing for The American Catholic, launches a defense for the ambush and of the victory laps.
There are several reasons why this criticism is unwarranted, and why Dr. Carson should proceed with his “victory laps.” First and foremost, we have turned these occasions into sanguine, boilerplate affairs. What exactly is the purpose of this event? To mouth pious cliches about religion while not deigning to offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities? Dr. Carson did not insult the president, but rather he touched upon very serious issues and offered opinions based on his experience in the field. One would think such honesty and forthrightness would be welcome, but there are certain people among us who think the 11th Commandment is “Thou shall not offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities.” In a world where passive-aggressive disobedience is de rigueur, (see Fr. James Martin’s twitter feed to get a sense of what I’m talking about), it’s refreshing to see someone state their case with no apology. Okay then, you might say, it’s still not the appropriate venue. After all, this an event centered around religious dialogue. Dr. Carson’s subject matter had nothing to do with prayer or religion. Au contraire. To begin with, many of the people criticizing Dr. Carson would have similarly bellyached had he concentrated solely on “social” issues such as abortion. More importantly, it’s a false dichotomy to suggest that economic issues must be kept separate from the social ones. I have rebuked a certain strain of thinking on the right that suggests we need to get away from social issues and instead focus solely on economics. As I’ve said countless times, we cannot divorce social conservatism from economic conservatism. Well, the reverse is true. Those who favor certain socially conservative policies or attitudes – opposition to abortion, a desire to strengthen families, etc. – make a grave mistake when they turn around and embrace leftist economic policies. Just as social libertinism fosters cultural attitudes that lead to left-wing economic policies, statist (or corporatist, or whatever adjective you want to throw out) economic policies foster a cultural milieu that is an affront to what social conservatives desire. In other words, it’s a two-way street. If you want stronger families, don’t encourage economic policies that help chip away at the family. Sexual “liberty” breeds the conditions for single parenthood and the need for a welfare state. But a welfare state encourages attitudes that lead to sexual libertinism. Finally, if we’re honest about all this pablum of “promoting dialogue,” then what’s wrong when someone gets up in a public forum and expresses disagreement with a very public person sitting in the audience? Again, Dr. Carson was in no way disrespectful, and his words could have been addressed to politicians in both parties. Is President Obama so sensitive that he can’t handle someone expressing reservations about some of his policies? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. Of course we don’t want these events turning into completely partisan affairs. But perhaps the question we need to ask is why is what Dr. Carson said considered to be partisan? Is Dr. Carson emblematic of societal polarization, or is the person sitting to his left the real sign of how disagreeable our politics have become that we can’t even address substantive issues in a meaningful way without it being considered divisive?
I would tend to agree that this stuff needed to be said. There are two problems, mind you. The first is that once the doctor follows this path he engages in a partisan engagement. He ceases to be merely a critic of the President nad policy, but a set principled defender of certain the positions. The second problem is what would ultimately become of Dr Carson. He would become, or has become, "boilerplate" in his own personalized way. The difference between Dr Carson and an average political pundit would end up being eloquence and intelligence, and that does not matter if the message ends up being the same.

This was the 2nd entry on a series about Ben Carson.  This is Part 2 of the Rise of Ben Carson series.

the Rise of Doctor Ben Carson

Every year the Fellowship Foundation holds its National Prayer Breakfast. This is no big deal by itself. It is even a common expectation for the President of the United States to attend and he usually does (at least as far as I am aware). This year was no different in that respect. It is a nonpartisan, very nonpolitical event in a very political city and the tradition is where people put aside their differences and have an event respecting an occasion. Apparently some on the Left feel it is awful that a POTUS may attend an event for/of "the Religious Right". What nonsense.

On February 7, 2013 this changed. Dr Ben Carson, the Pediatric Neurosurgery Director at the John Hopkins Hospital spoke.
What makes this unique and strange it is that he confronted the President directly over his awful policies and did so very boldly and very eloquently. As a result of this he became a political rock star. Many self-titled "Conservatives" (they would be true Conservatives but their imprudence disqualifies them in my view, but I still may like them as friends and respect that they are Patriots) quickly proclaimed this man must be elected President in 2016. Such declaration stinks of desperation.

 This was not the beginning for Dr Carson but it is the event that brought him to the public eye.

the Conduit malware attacked my system

15-year-old on a Death Panel

Anthony Stokes is a fifteen year old kid that has only months to live because of a bad heart.  Normally such a person is on a heart transplant list.  Because of some medical misbehavior on his part (probably his parents fault for neglecting to properly parent him), the young Mr Stokes is sadly tagged as "noncompliant" and will be refused a heart. This is sad.
his hospital refuses to put him on the transplant list. Why? Doctors told the family it was because of Stokes' "history of noncompliance": "They said they don’t have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups," his mother says)... The hospital says it is "continuing to work with this family and looking at all options regarding this patient's health care." Transplant lists typically have strict guidelines for potential additions, and patients who are considered a serious risk for non-compliance—i.e., those who might refuse or be inconsistent with follow-up care—may be denied space.
The sadness, genuinely, is that he has the heart problem to begin with, not that he is being refused a heart.  The truth is that there are limited amount of these donor hearts and less donated hearts to transplant than there are people that need them.  That means that doctors literally choose who lives and who dies. This choice is, as far as I know, not based on the quality of the human being (usually) but whether or not medical history and/or evidence suggests that the person will take care of his transplanted organ adequately in all medical respects, and not die anyway, therefore wasting the organ that could have been used on someone that would not reject it through bad behavior.

The Gawker author, however, "Max Read", is not very bright.  He insists that the reason the kid will die is not because of a medical reason but because the kid has bad grades.  Apparently someone whose motives I question told him that and Max did not question the motives because he is taking those words as gospel.  To that end the guy has decided to write a sympathetic sob story attempting to cast a Georgia hospital as a hive of villainy for not giving this kid life.
 Stokes is 15. Georgia allows its residents to seal or expunge their juvenile records, enshrining into law the principle that underage "trouble with the law" is not a past indicator of future behavior—certainly not any more than "bad grades" might be. If the government of Georgia is willing to give Stokes a chance at a full and free adult life, why can't Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta?
Essentially Max is putting the sob story as truth above the more likely facts.

Now let's apply actual reason.
Heart transplants are very sensitive surgeries and there are thousands of people on the national transplant list. Everyone who has ever had a family member waiting for a transplant knows that hospitals take this stuff VERY seriously. If you don't take your meds or engage in unhealthy behavior (eating bad foods, drinking, drugs, physical overexertion, etc.). This kid violated their instructions. This is not a sympathy case. Its really sad, but actions have consequences. When you are getting a second chance at life you don't miss your follow-up appointments and you don't violate the doctors order that are giving you that second chance.
I do not want to be an actual jerk about this but there is a cold reality to this whole thing. And don't get me wrong, there is no angle at which this not sad.  I'm just saying the sadness starts with the heart problem.  If Mr Stokes is passed up for a heart, presumably someone's life is saved for that choice.
the history of noncompliance with his meds is the issue here. The post-transplant med and restricted activity regimen is brutal, and past noncompliance is generally a good indicator of future noncompliance. Noncompliance will trash the heart, which means that not only this kid will die, but also the kid who didn't get a heart because it went to him instead.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Historical Life Expectancy Statistics Myths

Since we take infant mortality into account in the statistics we use to determine average life expectancy it throws off the average.  Here is a passionate explanation.
OK, let's get rid of this misnomer that "the average lifespan of humans in 1863 was 39 years old," or " 1900 was 43 years old," or whatever other fallacy the emails or statisticians say. I mean, it sounds like if you were 39 in the 1860's you had one foot in the grave, for Pete's sake!
Well, let's clear this mess up once and for all:
In general, folks in the 18th and 19th centuries lived nearly as long as we do today. Yes, it's true. If one would take the time to read journals of the period, or census records of long ago they would find a good majority of adults living to a ripe old age.
So why is this false information being passed around as fact? Because, technically, it is true - the average life span in 1862 may have been 39 years of age. The average lifespan. Now, take into account that, up until the mid 20th century, the infant mortality rate was pretty high. Er...I mean, very high. In some areas nearly one out of every two infants died before their first birthday. And then, from one year old to five years that percentage dropped. From five to 10 it dropped again. And so on and so forth. In other words, the older you got, the chances are you would probably see life into your 60's or 70's or even your 80's, just like today. Of course, death for women during childbirth was quite high, but we, in our modern day, have been able to prevent that situation from happening almost completely.
Yes, people did die of heart attacks, consumption (TB), cancer, pneumonia, and measles. People today die of cancer, heart attacks, and pneumonia as well. But, where 100 years ago they had consumption, we have aids.
Infant mortality screws this up in the present day when we compare our life expectancy to those in other countries where we report infant deaths and enter it into the statistical pool and the other countries do not.

Here is a chart on the expectancies in age from 1850 to present day.

Life Expectancy by Age, 1850–2004

The expectation of life at a specified age is the average number of years that members of a hypothetical group of people of the same age would continue to live if they were subject throughout the remainder of their lives to the same mortality rate.
Calendar period 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
White males
18501 38.3 48.0 40.1 34.0 27.9 21.6 15.6 10.2 5.9
18901 42.50 48.45 40.66 34.05 27.37 20.72 14.73 9.35 5.40
1900–19022 48.23 50.59 42.19 34.88 27.74 20.76 14.35 9.03 5.10
1909–19112 50.23 51.32 42.71 34.87 27.43 20.39 13.98 8.83 5.09
1919–19213 56.34 54.15 45.60 37.65 29.86 22.22 15.25 9.51 5.47
1929–1931 59.12 54.96 46.02 37.54 29.22 21.51 14.72 9.20 5.26
1939–1941 62.81 57.03 47.76 38.80 30.03 21.96 15.05 9.42 5.38
1949–1951 66.31 58.98 49.52 40.29 31.17 22.83 15.76 10.07 5.88
1959–19615 67.55 59.78 50.25 40.98 31.73 23.22 16.01 10.29 5.89
1969–19716 67.94 59.69 50.22 41.07 31.87 23.34 16.07 10.38 6.18
1979–1981 70.82 61.98 52.45 43.31 34.04 25.26 17.56 11.35 6.76
1990 72.7 63.5 54.0 44.7 35.6 26.7 18.7 12.1 7.1
1992 73.2 64.0 54.3 45.1 36.0 27.1 19.1 12.4 7.2
1993 73.1 63.8 54.2 44.9 35.9 27.0 18.9 12.3 7.1
White females
18501 40.5 47.2 40.2 35.4 29.8 23.5 17.0 11.3 6.4
18901 44.46 49.62 42.03 35.36 28.76 22.09 15.70 10.15 5.75
1900–19022 51.08 52.15 43.77 36.42 29.17 21.89 15.23 9.59 5.50
1909–19112 53.62 53.57 44.88 36.96 29.26 21.74 14.92 9.38 5.35
1919–19213 58.53 55.17 46.46 38.72 30.94 23.12 15.93 9.94 5.70
1929–1931 62.67 57.65 48.52 39.99 31.52 23.41 16.05 9.98 5.63
1939–1941 67.29 60.85 51.38 42.21 33.25 24.72 17.00 10.50 5.88
1949–1951 72.03 64.26 54.56 45.00 35.64 26.76 18.64 11.68 6.59
1959–19615 74.19 66.05 56.29 46.63 37.13 28.08 19.69 12.38 6.67
1969–19716 75.49 66.97 57.24 47.60 38.12 29.11 20.79 13.37 7.59
1979–1981 78.22 69.21 59.44 49.76 40.16 30.96 22.45 14.89 8.65
1990 79.4 70.1 60.3 50.6 41.0 31.6 23.0 15.4 9.0
1992 79.8 70.4 60.6 50.9 41.2 31.9 23.2 15.6 9.2
1993 79.5 70.1 60.3 50.6 41.0 31.7 23.0 15.3 8.9
All other males4
1900–19022 32.54 41.90 35.11 29.25 23.12 17.34 12.62 8.33 5.12
1909–19112 34.05 40.65 33.46 27.33 21.57 16.21 11.67 8.00 5.53
1919–19213 47.14 45.99 38.36 32.51 26.53 20.47 14.74 9.58 5.83
1929–1931 47.55 44.27 35.95 29.45 23.36 17.92 13.15 8.78 5.42
1939–1941 52.33 48.54 39.74 32.25 25.23 19.18 14.38 10.06 6.46
1949–1951 58.91 52.96 43.73 35.31 27.29 20.25 14.91 10.74 7.07
1959–19615 61.48 55.19 45.78 37.05 28.72 21.28 15.29 10.81 6.87
1969–19716 60.98 53.67 44.37 36.20 28.29 21.24 15.35 10.68 7.57
1979–1981 65.63 57.40 47.87 39.13 30.64 22.92 16.54 11.36 7.22
1990 67.0 58.5 49.0 40.3 31.9 23.9 17.0 11.4 7.0
1992 67.7 59.0 49.6 40.9 32.4 24.5 17.5 11.7 7.2
1993 67.3 58.6 49.2 40.6 32.2 24.3 17.3 11.5 6.9
All other females4
1900–19022 35.04 43.02 36.89 30.70 24.37 18.67 13.60 9.62 6.48
1909–19112 37.67 42.84 36.14 29.61 23.34 17.65 12.78 9.22 6.05
1919–19213 46.92 44.54 37.15 31.48 25.60 19.76 14.69 10.25 6.58
1929–1931 49.51 45.33 37.22 30.67 24.30 18.60 14.22 10.38 6.90
1939–1941 55.51 50.83 42.14 34.52 27.31 21.04 16.14 11.81 8.00
1949–1951 62.70 56.17 46.77 38.02 29.82 22.67 16.95 12.29 8.15
1959–19615 66.47 59.72 50.07 40.83 32.16 24.31 17.83 12.46 7.66
1969–19716 69.05 61.49 51.85 42.61 33.87 25.97 19.02 13.30 9.01
1979–1981 74.00 65.64 55.88 46.39 37.16 28.59 20.49 14.44 9.17
1990 75.2 66.6 56.8 47.3 38.1 29.2 21.3 14.5 8.8
1992 75.7 67.0 57.2 47.7 38.4 29.6 21.7 14.8 8.9
1993 75.5 66.7 56.9 47.4 38.2 29.5 21.4 14.5 8.7
1. Massachusetts only; white and nonwhite combined, the latter being about 1% of the total.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States.
2. Original Death Registration States.
3. Death Registration States of 1920.
4. Data for periods 1900–1902, 1929–1931, 1998, 1999,and 2000–2003 relate to blacks only.
5. Alaska and Hawaii included beginning in 1959.
6. Deaths of nonresidents of the United States excluded starting in 1970.
7. Preliminary data.
Sources: Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics; National Vital Statistics Reports, vol 54., no. 19, June 28, 2006. Web: .

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Was that as much fun for you as it was for me? Less? Tough! Let's move on.

Now you could think of this as Life Expectancy versus Life Spans, and I would too except that most articles, people, whatever, tend to use the phrases interchangeably, thus ruining the ability to be effectively pendantic and still communicate.
Life expectancy is often confused with life span to the point that they are nearly synonyms; when people hear 'life expectancy was 35 years' they often interpret this as meaning that people of that time or place had short life spans. One such example can be seen in the ''In Search of...'' episode "The Man Who Would Not Die" (About Count of St. Germain) where it is stated "Evidence recently discovered in the British Museum indicates that St. Germain may have well been the long lost third son of Rákóczi born in Transylvania in 1694. If he died in Germany in 1784, he lived 90 years. The average life expectancy in the 18th century was 35 years. Fifty was a ripe old age. ''Ninety''... was forever."
This ignores the fact that the life expectancy generally quoted is the ''at birth'' number which is an ''average'' that includes all the babies that die before their first year of life as well as people that die from disease and war. In fact, there are examples of people living far beyond the life expectancy of their time such as Democritus, Socrates, Roman emperor Augustus, Saint Anthony, Michelangelo, and Ben Franklin.
It can be argued that it is better to compare life expectancies of the period after adulthood to get a better handle on life span. Even during childhood life expectancy can take a huge jump as seen in the Roman Life Expectancy table at the University of Texas where ''at birth'' the life expectancy was 25 but at the age of 5 it jumped to 48. Studies like Plymouth Plantation; "Dead at Forty" and Life Expectancy by Age, 1850–2004 similarly show a dramatic increase in life expectancy once adulthood was reached.
 This guy says life expectancy is declining but likely science will compensate.  This guy talks about life spans lengthening now.

But let's get back to a conclusion.
By studying the graph and comparing men, women, and both genders together one can see that in the 19th century the older people got the more the likely hood that they would see life into their 60's or 70's or even 80's - just like today - and not become old and decrepit by the age of 40, as seems to be insinuated by the silly e-mails being passed around.
Please understand that I am in no way slighting the high death rate of children or of women of any era. That is and never has been my intention in writing this post. The losses of infants, children, and young mothers, just like now, was/is achingly heart wrenching.
It's only my hope to put these so-called historical facts into perspective so when anyone ever receives any of these average lifespan statistics coming through Facebook or through e-mail, that they will understand the intent is more for "shock" value rather than informational.
The older you get the more likely it seems that you will get older still.