Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Observations From the Back Row

By Rich Kozlovich

As I have stated before, I intend to follow those stories and accounts that you will not see on the news.  These are some of the articles I found interesting over the last 24 hours and are my picks of the day.

Golden Oldies: Newt and the “cancer bed divorce” myth
With Newt Gingrich continuing to surge in the polls, plenty of stories are bubbling to the surface, including things from the distant past. And let’s face it… Newt has been knocking around US politics for an awfully long time, with tales of many of his exploits being told and retold until they pass into legend. Of course, you know what they say about legends.

New Occupy plot: Flash mobs
'Alternative forms of protest' put cities, cops at disadvantage'  The Occupy movement is stepping up its confrontational tactics, plotting "alternative forms of protest," including flash mobs that can be deployed nationwide. Citing the success of last week's so-called Day of Action protests, Take to the Square, one of Occupy's main online planning forums, has devised an "Alternative Day of Action" to coincide with international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

Union Siphons Dues from Medicaid
Labor union greed and liberal Democrat corruption go hand in hand again.  The notorious Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is collecting millions of dollars each year from the State of Michigan’s Medicaid program in the form of union dues. It even collects from parents caring for their own mentally-ill children in their own home so the children won’t have to be institutionalized.   The SEIU now can claim and receive union dues from thousands, whether they want to be union members or not, because of a tricky arrangement to pay the union. It was put in place by the former left-wing Democratic governor of the state, Jennifer Granholm​.

PETA Takes Aim at Turkey, Texas: Wants Town Renamed ‘Tofurkey’
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has approached the residents of Turkey, Texas with a request: rename your town “Tofurkey” in honor of Thanksgiving.  Even if the name change to the mock meat vegan alternative is just for one day, PETA said it will draw attention to the treatment that turkeys in the U.S. suffer virtually every day of their lives.  In return, PETA said it will treat the entire town — population 421, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — to a “delicious, healthy vegan holiday feast.”

Generation Mutant: Occupiers are the Natural Spawn of the Progressive Movement
Watching the “Occupy Wall Street” mutants (as I less-than-affectionately call them) riot on Thursday as part of their “Day of Action,” I couldn’t help but notice a striking resemblance to children throwing temper tantrums. And I couldn’t help but think: Why would adults act this way?.....The only thing more prevalent among the “occupiers” than body lice is their sense of entitlement. They’re entitled to forgiveness of the college loans they willingly took out. They can trespass on private property and stay as long as they like. They claim to represent the “99 percent” of the country not among the wealthiest 1 percent. But do they?...If there is any good to come from the “Occupy” movement it’s that it can serve as a reminder of how special and important liberty is. After all, if a tiny group of committed Utopian socialists can’t create a tiny socialist Utopia when it’s just them in a park, where is this notion likely to succeed?

When Manly Virtue Died
These are difficult and perilous times for boys. A distorted culture has robbed them of virtue to measure themselves against. The good once associated with masculinity in a patriarchal society has been tossed out with the bad. This, alas, is the era of feminist ascendency........"Why are there so many boys and men who are irresponsible, unmotivated, unchivalrous, selfish, lazy?" asks Bill Bennett. "Why do so many boys and men spend so much time in pointless and soulless activities inconsiderate of others, absorbed in self or mindless technology?" He doesn't answer the question, but he gives cause for reflection in one volume with examples of man at work and play, governing, soldiering, praying, demonstrating being responsible for families. The men in the stories are not merely slouching toward technology. Times have changed, he argues, but the need for virtue and character in man has not. That's a tough sell.

Four Legacies of Feminism
They have made life -- and life for women -- worse.  As we approach the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s feminist magnum opus, The Feminine Mystique, we can have a perspective on feminism that was largely unavailable heretofore. And that perspective doesn’t make feminism look good.
  1. The first was the feminist message to young women to have sex just as men do.
  2. The second awful legacy of feminism has been the belief among women that they could and should postpone marriage until they developed their careers.
  3. The third sad feminist legacy is that so many women — and men — have bought the notion that women should work outside the home that for the first time in American history, and perhaps world history, vast numbers of children are not primarily raised by their mothers or even by an extended family member
  4. And the fourth awful legacy of feminism has been the demasculinization of men. For all of higher civilization’s recorded history, becoming a man was defined overwhelmingly as taking responsibility for a family. That notion — indeed the notion of masculinity itself — is regarded by feminism as the worst of sins: patriarchy.
In sum, thanks to feminism, very many women slept with too many men for their own happiness; postponed marriage too long to find the right man to marry; are having hired hands do much of the raising of their children; and find they are dating boy-men because manly men are so rare.  Feminism exemplifies the truth of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for — you may get it.”

Assassinating Reality
“The Kennedy cult,” Frank Rich writes in a New York Times Magazine piece, “generally gets a waiver on reality checks.” Perhaps this cultist, who confesses to finding the thousand-day presidency “beautiful, even erotic,” counted on such a waiver when writing his delusional commemoration of the 35th president’s assassination....These memes proved less enduring, and found fewer believers, than the one surrounding the Kennedy assassination. But they relied on the same template: imagine political enemies behind horrific events. The template tells us little of the events themselves but much about the political obsessions of those relying upon it. So strong is the faith of true believers that they discount inconvenient facts when they clash with the narrative. For the Frank Rich-segment of the population that relies on mindless, a priori assessments of events, the pull of a story that is comforting is greater than the pull of the story that is true.

Bureaucracy Is About Procedure, Not Outcome
A Lawyer who fell 45ft down a mine shaft died after fire chiefs refused to mount an immediate rescue operation because of health and safety fears. Alison Hume, 44, was left lying in agony in the cold and dark for eight hours with several broken bones.......Mrs Hume was still conscious but had a collapsed lung, several broken ribs and a broken sternum........While the rescue operation was in progress, group commander Paul Stewart arrived as a media relations officer. He assumed command after realising he was the most senior officer there.  His first move was to stop a paramedic who was already strapped in a harness from being lowered.  And he refused to allow colleagues to rescue her using ropes because they had not received the correct training. Mr Stewart feared they could be sued if the mission failed.   Incredibly, he told a fatal accident inquiry that the operation had a ‘successful outcome’ because the casualty was ultimately removed from the shaft.  Mr Stewart is still in the fire service and is on the waiting list for promotion to divisional commander.

Super Committee Fails!
How serious was the effort to find a bipartisan consensus on reining in the nation’s runaway debt? The last time the 12 members met was November 1st. Thus the failure to find common ground was seemingly inevitable, and beginning in 2013 “sequestration,” automatic cuts evenly divided between military and domestic spending, will kick in…….How unsustainable is the path on which the country currently finds itself? One of the more sobering assessments of where we’ve been moving for the last 48 years can be seen in this chart, which traces the explosion of government spending from 1963 to the present. What it reveals is an enormously successful nation in terms of GDP growth relative to the population: though we now have 67.6 percent more Americans than we did in 1963, GDP has expanded by 228.2 percent. Unfortunately, the chart also reveals the primary source of our fiscal troubles: annual social spending has increased by a stratospheric 739.2 percent.

The Tipping Point and the Crossroads
The United States finds itself at a crossroads, facing a stark reality it can no longer ignore or leave to future generations. We are presently on an irreversible path toward inevitable failure and second-class status. It all started forty-eight years ago, we now can see. The distance America has traveled down this road over the past forty-eight years -- a comparatively short period within the historical life of a nation -- is astounding.

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