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Kevin D. Williamson: The Emerging Junta

obama-blue-linear

The IRS’s illegal actions — and its efforts at cover-up — undermine the foundations of our government.

This article identifies the legitimacy problems facing the U.S. government at this time in our nation’s history better than anything I’ve read all year. Though it offers little comfort, the explanation of the known facts is essential reading. News articles about the IRS’ abuse of power too often focus on play-by-play details and neglect to include this overview. I will confess to more than a little despair, but I appreciate the work Williamson does here to build in the required context. Read the whole thing here.

For NROKevin D. Williamson writes:

I will confess to a little despair over the relatively mild reception that has greeted the evidence, now conclusive and irrefutable, that the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of senior leaders affiliated with the Democratic party, was used as a political weapon from at least 2010 through the 2012 election. It may be that the American public simply does not care about the issue; it is always difficult, if not impossible, to predict what issues will seize the electorate’s attention, or to understand why after the fact. It may be that the public does not understand the issue, in which case a brief explanation of the known facts may be of some use.

Here is what happened. In the run-up to the 2012 election, senior IRS executives including Lois Lerner, then the head of the IRS branch that oversees the activities of tax-exempt nonprofit groups, began singling out conservative-leaning organizations for extra attention, invasive investigations, and legal harassment. The IRS did not target groups that they believed might be violating the rules governing tax-exempt organizations; rather, as e-mails from the agency document, the IRS targeted these conservative groups categorically, regardless of whether there was any evidence that they were not in compliance with the relevant regulations. Simply having the words “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” (a reference to one of Glenn Beck’s many channels of activism) in the name was enough. Also targeted were groups dedicated to issues such as taxes, spending, debt, and, perhaps most worrisome, those that were simply “critical of the how the country is being run.” Organizations also were targeted based on the identity of their donors. Read the rest of this entry »


The Hammer: VA Internal Investigation Should Involve Justice Department

Charles Krauthammer said the Obama administration needs a “high-speed internal investigation” of the Veterans Affairs scandal. The investigation needs to involve the Justice Department “or it looks like another classic administration cover-up..”..(read more)

National Review Online

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[VIDEO] The Great Society’s Triumph and Tragedy

The Great Society was launched on May 22, 1964, during Lyndon Baines Johnson‘s address at the University of Michigan. The speech was a milestone in American history, heralding fundamental changes that advanced racial equality while also decisively expanding the scale and scope of government. It is no exaggeration to say that the Great Society created the foundation for America’s modern welfare state. Half a century later, has America achieved Johnson’s vision?

LBJ-BW


McCarthy: Carl Levin Wielding Executive Power A Danger to Peoples Liberty

McCarthy: YouTube


Philippines says China appears to be building airstrip on disputed reef

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

Chigua (Johnson South) Reef

Chigua (Johnson South) Reef

The Philippines accused China on Wednesday of reclaiming land on a reef in disputed islands in the South China Sea, apparently to build an airstrip, only a day after Washington described Beijing’s actions in the region as “provocative”.

If confirmed, the airstrip would be the first built by China on any of the eight reefs and islands it occupies in the Spratly Islands and would mark a significant escalation in tensions involving several nations in the area.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, an area rich in energy deposits and an important passageway traversed each year by $5 trillion worth of ship-borne goods.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the area.

Philippine Foreign ministry spokesman Charles Jose told Reuters that China had been moving earth and materials to Johnson South Reef, known by the Chinese as Chigua…

View original 436 more words


Reality Check: Following the Government’s Nutritional Advice Can Make you Fat and Sick

RADIUS IMAGES/CORBIS

RADIUS IMAGES/CORBIS

For City JournalSteven Malanga writes:

Last October, embarrassing e-mails leaked from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene disclosed that officials had stretched the limits of credible science in approving a 2009 antiobesity ad, which depicted a stream of soda pop transforming into human fat as it left the bottle. “The idea of a sugary drink becoming fat is absurd,” a scientific advisor warned the department in one of the e-mails, a view echoed by other experts whom the city consulted. Nevertheless, Gotham’s health commissioner, Thomas Farley, saw the ad as an effective way to scare people into losing weight, whatever its scientific inaccuracies, and overruled the experts. The dustup, observed the New York Times, “underlined complaints that Dr. Farley’s more lifestyle-oriented crusadesshakedown are based on common-sense bromides that may not withstand strict scientific scrutiny.”

[Steven Malanga’s book Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer is available at Amazon]

Under Farley and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York’s health department has been notoriously aggressive in pursuing such “lifestyle-oriented” campaigns (see the sidebar below). But America’s public-health officials have long been eager to issue nutrition advice ungrounded in science, and nowhere has this practice been more troubling than in the federal government’s dietary guidelines, first issued by a congressional committee in 1977 and updated every five years since 1980 by the United States Department of

A British physician calls for an end to the war against saturated fat that began in the 1970s after saturated fat intake was linked to heart disease. Among the research cited is evidence that the saturated fat in dairy products may be protective against heart risk. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Agriculture. Controversial from the outset for sweeping aside conflicting research, the guidelines have come under increasing attack for being ineffective or even harmful, possibly contributing to a national obesity problem. Unabashed, public-health advocates have pushed ahead with contested new recommendations, leading some of our foremost medical experts to ask whether government should get out of the business of telling Americans what to eat—or, at the very least, adhere to higher standards of evidence.

Until the second half of the twentieth century, public medicine, which concerns itself with community-wide health prescriptions, largely focused on the germs that cause infectious diseases. Advances in microbiology led to the development of vaccines and antibiotics that controlled—and, in some cases, eliminated—a host of killers, including smallpox, diphtheria, and polio. These advances dramatically increased life expectancy in industrialized countries. In the United States, average life expectancy improved from 49 years at the beginning of the twentieth century to nearly 77 by the century’s end. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Top U.S. Veterans Health Care Official Resigns Amid Scandal

Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 15, 2014. REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

(Reuters) – The top health official at the Department of Veterans Affairs resigned on Friday amid a growing scandal about healthcare delays that has also seen calls for the ouster of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Shinseki, in a statement, said he accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, the VA’s undersecretary for health who had already been expected to retire, and acknowledged the need to ensure more timely treatment of America’s military veterans.

“As we know from the veteran community, most veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care,” Shinseki said.

He stopped short of blaming Petzel for delays, however, and did not explicitly say why Petzel resigned. In a statement last September, the VA said Petzel already had planned to retire in 2014 and it was taking steps to find candidates to replace him.

Read the rest of this entry »


Alaska man uses Neosporin to treat gunshot wound to head, doesnt get help for 5 days

Neosporin-Warning

ANCHOR POINT, Alaska, May 16 (UPI) — Alaska residents are known to be very self-reliant, but one man took that to the extreme by waiting five days to seek medical attention for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“No treatment before today other than he put Neosporin on the wounds”

Instead of going to the hospital, an Anchor Point man treated his “serious but not life-threatening” wound with Neosporin and other supplies he had on hand.

Workers at South Peninsula Hospital alerted Alaska State Troopers when the 43-year-old man came in for treatment on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »


[Photo] Flight Deck of The Space Shuttle Endeavour

flight-deck

Exploring Space : Photo


Venture Capital Firm Appoints Machine Intelligence as a Board Member

machine-intelligence

Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it’s an “equal member” that will uncover trends “not immediately obvious to humans” in order to make investment recommendations. This is probably an attempt to attract media attention, but it could truly be the start of a larger trend; it’s the world’s first software program to be appointed as a board member. The move could also herald a new direction in the way venture capital is done. The tool was developed by Aging Analytics UK who’s licensing it out to DKV, a capital fund that focuses on companies developing therapies for age-related diseases and regenerative medicine. DKV will use VITAL (Validating Investment Tool for Advancing Life Sciences) to analyze financing trends in databases of life science companies in an effort to predict successful investments. Read the rest of this entry »


The impossible anatomy of Godzilla

gozilla-anatomy

The impossible anatomy of Godzilla

Popular Mechanics


[VIDEO] History: Rare Footage Shows Brave Struggle of FDR Walking

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Rare film footage featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt walking to his seat at a baseball game helps dispel the myth that he tried to hide his disability and shows the courage it took to go about his daily life, experts said Friday.

“Here is FDR going to a stadium full of people. Even the simple act of going to a baseball game required a great deal of logistics and preparation.”

– Bob Clark, deputy director of FDR’s Presidential Library and Museum

The clip shows FDR, who was paralyzed from the waist down by polio in 1921, grasping a rail with one FDR-with-canehand while being supported on the other side by an assistant. FDR used a wheelchair because he could walk only with braces on his legs and the support of a cane.

“Here is FDR going to a stadium full of people,” said Bob Clark, deputy director of FDR’s Presidential Library and Museum. “Even the simple act of going to a baseball game required a great deal of logistics and preparation.”

Former Major League Baseball player Jimmie DeShong shot the film at the 1937 All-Star game in Washington. On Thursday, the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg announced it had acquired the clip from the family of DeShong, a native of the state’s capital city. Read the rest of this entry »


Climate McCarthyism: The Scandal Grows

mouthFor Breitbart.com,  reports: Professor Lennart Bengtsson – the scientist at the heart of the “Climate McCarthyism” row – has hit back at his critics by accusing them of suppressing one of his studies for political reasons.

The paper, which Prof Bengtsson wrote with four co-authors, suggested that climate is probably less sensitive to greenhouse gases than is admitted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and that more research needs to be done to “reduce the underlying uncertainty”. However, when submitted for publication in the leading journal Environmental Research Letters, the paper failed the peer-review process and was rejected.

“It has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails.”

– Judith Curry

One of the peer-reviewers reportedly wrote:

‘It is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.’

This, Prof Bengtsson told the Times, was “utterly unacceptable” and “an indication of how science is gradually being influenced by political views.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Sound and the Fury — and the Tweet

Video: Protesters spoke out at the Nigerian embassy in Washington, D.C. to express their disappointment in the Nigerian government after an extremist group kidnapped nearly 300 girls on April 15th

For The Washington PostCharles Krauthammer writes: Mass schoolgirl kidnapping in Nigeria — to tweet or not to tweet? Is hashtagging one’s indignation about some outrage abroad an exercise in moral narcissism or a worthy new way of standing up to bad guys?John Shinkle/POLITICO

“As always, however, we tend to romanticize the power of the tweet…”

The answer seems rather simple. It depends on whether you have the power to do something about the outrage in question. If you do, as in the case of the Obama administration watching Russia’s slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine, it’s simply embarrassing when the State Department spokeswoman tweets the hashtag #UnitedForUkraine.

“…Try it at Tahrir or Tiananmen, in Damascus or Tehran. They will shoot and torture you, then maybe even let you keep your precious smartphone.”

That is nothing but preening, a visual recapitulation of her boss’s rhetorical fatuousness when he sternly warns that if the rape of this U.S. friend continues, we are prepared to consider standing together with the “international community” to decry such indecorous behavior — or some such.

[Read more: Will: I Can’t Believe Adults Use Hashtag Foreign Policy, ‘An Exercise in Self-Esteem’]

When a superpower, with multiple means at its disposal, reverts to rhetorical emptiness and hashtag activism, it has betrayed both its impotence and indifference. But if you’re an individual citizen without power, if you lack access to media, drones or special forces, then hashtagging your solidarity with the aggrieved is a fine gesture and perhaps even more. Read the rest of this entry »


New York Post Cover: ‘Sacked Times Editor…’

NYPOST-NYT

New York Post


Iowahawkblog: If the NYTimes pays Baquet…


[BOOKS] The Failures of the New Feminism

2014+18woman's mag

From across the pond, by way of Arts & Letters Daily, this item: Even Germaine Greer, that curmudgeonly old feminist (her words!), has found cause to rejoice: Glossy women’s magazines are on the wane..

For The New StatesmanGermaine Greer writes: The most curmudgeonly old feminist has got to be glad that in February 2012 two young women set up a blog raging about the insidious nastiness of the women’s press and got seven million hits in its first year of operation.

“Feminism in Britain has had two strands: as a media phenomenon and as an academic discipline. The vast realm of reality that lies between remains unaffected by either.”

The hope springs up that there might be sufficient angry women out there and they might be sufficiently angry to bring about actual change. But then we’ve thought that before and before any difference could be made to anything, we were told that it was over and that feminism was a dirty word again. Feminism in Britain has had two strands: as a media phenomenon and as an academic discipline. The vast realm of reality that lies between remains 41D9Lko6VIL._SL110_unaffected by either.

[Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s book The Vagenda is available from Amazon.com]

Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who set up the Vagenda blog, have now uttered a book of the same name. The title was meant to be an ironic version of the portmanteau words adopted by the lower end of the women’s press – a compound of “vagina” and “agenda” – but, like much of the wordplay on the blog and in the book, it doesn’t really work, being neither amusing nor informative. 51zLKh6TlpL._AC_SR98,95_“Vagina” is a vile name for any female orifice, because it means “scabbard”.

[Germaine Greer’s most recent book is White Beech: The Rainforest Years]

No feminist could in conscience adopt it despite the never-ending afterlife of the ghastly Vagina Monologues. A similar insensitivity besets The Vagenda, the book. The jacket design is as offensive as anything ever seen in print. It is based on the logo for the blog but with a hideous refinement; the image of a nude female from waist to nearly knee, now photographic, has a chunk ripped out of it, extending from hipbone to hipbone to below the mons pubis, forming a gaping black triangle, in which appear the words “The Vagenda” in Barbie pink. The page book-everyday-sexismdesign is almost as brutal as the cover.

[Check out Laura Bates’ book: Everyday Sexism at Amazon.com]

The writing style of the book takes its cue from the hyperbole of the magazines that are under attack and struggles to outdo it. Baxter and Cosslett (who also write the V Spot blog on the New Statesman website) tell us that, in their personal experience, “Losing your hymen is about as pleasurable as having someone rap your knuckles with a frozen veggie sausage.” Do they seriously wish us to believe that their hymen somehow got lost and that they were aware of its getting lost at the time? That is no more likely than that someone, anyone, would have rapped them on the knuckles with a sausage of any kind, much less vegetarian, much less frozen. To refer to a first episode of penetrative sex as hymen loss reveals a level of ignorance that is positively medieval. Read the rest of this entry »


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