By baldilocks

The governmental–read: Obama Administration–response to Bridgegate and its (lack of) response to Benghazi are not the least bit surprising. (By the way, I prefer the moniker Bridgeghazi.) The GOP is the enemy. What part of “boots on their necks” and “revenge” was unclear? But this dichotomy is a mere symptom of the chaos which now reigns.

For decades now, many people have been watching what's going on in this country and noting each offense to this nation and to its founding principles. But to take all of the offenses, connect them, and come to an ugly conclusion is daunting.

That ugly conclusion is that progressives have been poised to appropriate this country for a long time, a good hundred years. We had a defense against, but we turned away from it, believing that defense was unnecessary. That defense is known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

From the moment we turn God out of the public sphere, it's been downhill. Heck, mere months after the decision, JFK got his head blown off on national television. Think of all the things which have happened since then–things which are the result of God removing the hand of protection on this country.

The event which made me sit up and take notice to the rot in this country was the pseudo-prosecution of Sandy Burger. I worked in intel for a number of years and if I had done what he did, I would have done time. But, because he is one of the anointed, he was fined $50,000–pocket change on that level and probably paid by those who put him up to boosting and destroying classified files–and did time sitting doing his no-doubt usual cocktail party circuit.

It was a harbinger of the lawlessness that was to come.

Now we have the ultimate judgment of God upon our country, the evidence of the supposition that He has withdrawn His protection from us: Barack Hussein Obama. And with President Obama have come idiots, the treacherous, the sycophants, the infiltrators and the pillagers. And, with him have come brazen acts of tyranny by the dozen. With him has come the hollowing out of our earthly protection: our military. With him has come the treachery to our friends and the sidling-up to our enemies.

With him has come chaos.

And with every single stab at the body of our Constitution and the philosophical body of it, comes this implicit assertion: “We can do anything we want and, if you, the People, don't like it, we couldn't care less.”

I can't blame people for not wanting to face the fact that we are beset on all sides by our enemies. But when we stopped acknowledging God, He stopped acknowledging us. It's a frightening thing, if one has no source of hope. I do, and I pray to Him daily. And I pray that others will turn back to Him as well–or turn to Him the first time.

That's why I'm not afraid and it's the only reason.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen's Harem, is due in January 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

Ever wonder how many .gov websites are geared toward children?  Lemme tell ya, there are quite a few.  Ben's Guide

Ben’s Guide, brought to you by the Superintendent of Documents in the U.S. Government Printing Office, provides pretty comprehensive listings, by both subject and agency.  If you click over and give a scroll, you’ll get an idea of the wide range.

Some of the sites are not a surprise–like the DEA wanting to make sure our children know drugs are bad, m’kay?

Of course, the EPA has lots of educational material on how you too can sacrifice your quality of life while people like Al Gore burn more fossil fuel than a small town.  Behold the silliness that is Energy Star Kids.  You can save the planet by turning off your electronics, boys and girls!

Hi!  I look cute and harmless while I teach your kids to worry about how much water they use!
Hi! I look cute and harmless while I teach your kids to worry about how much water they use!

Witness the misleading nature of a happy lil water drop:  “As our population grows, more and more people are using up this limited resource.”  Ain’t he cute, the way he ignores the water cycle and implies that water is nonrenewable?

Recycle City is another typical government page for kids.  The only thing that would surprise me would be to learn that children actually use and enjoy the “Dumptown Game.”

Credit is due to whoever wrote the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids section on greenhouse gasses.  They had the integrity to use the word may while discussing climate change.

The EPA, on the other hand, goes straight into “settled science” mode in the official Student Guide to Global Climate Change:

“The Earth is getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels. . . . Warmer temperatures are causing other changes around the world, such as melting glaciers and stronger storms.”  Emphasis mine.

Two sites are in competition for Worst Advice Ever:  The Great Bully Round-up by the Center for Disease Control, and the Kids’ Place at the Social Security Administration.  I just don’t know which is worse:  telling children that Social Security is their piggy bank, or advising them to inform a bully, “I don’t do this to you.  You should really think about that.”

The CDC needs to leave anti-bully campaigning to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The .gov kid sites are not all bad.  The U.S. Mint’s H.I.P. Pocket Change has loads of online games that look promising.  (The acronym stands for “History In your Pocket.”)  Kids.gov has a bunch too.   The Department of Energy’s Science Education page is actually, well, educational.  I wouldn’t mind trying the Federal Trade Commission’s mall shopping game.  And as much as I hate to admit it, letting children share their very own recipes at the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate is a cute idea.  The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s site is in need of a makeover, but I like the canary story.

Neither is this kids’ stuff new.  The federal government has aimed its informational messaging towards children for a long time.  The whole “let’s get our youth fit!” thing started when Eisenhower was presidentSmokey Bear has been around since 1944, and thanks to him we all know that only we can prevent forest fires.

But guys, come on.  Some federal agencies just don’t need a kids’ page.  I mean, the Veteran’s Administration?  And must it include cheesy games?  Let’s see . . . there’s the Disaster Master game at FEMA.  (Being a hero is fun!)  There are games hosted by Twitchy the Tourette Cat Broadband the Cat over at the FCC’s kid zone.  The CIA games, hosted by a Cool Spy Chick, include an aerial analysis challenge.

The trend just keeps on growing.  The U.S. Postal Service is teaming up with SpongeBob to teach children how to send snail mail.  And the latest federal agency to add a webpage just for da littles?  Drum roll please . . .

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . .

The Transportation Security Administration!

Stop Screen and Go
Stop Screen and Go

Via Lily Dane at The Daily Sheeple, we learn that TSA.gov now includes “TSA Kids” and a “Fun Page.”  Click on over to The Daily Sheeple and compare the “Stop, Screen, Go” cartoon propaganda at TSA Kids to actual experiences of some unfortunate children screened by TSA.  The excellent TSA News Blog has a long list of additional examples like poor Lucy Forck, lest you think the cases are isolated.

Lucy Forck Detained by the TSA
Lucy Forck

I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that you have to try to make a frightened toddler walk through the metal detector on his own, if the agent is in the mood to watch your two-year-old try to climb up your legs while screaming himself sweaty and beet-red.  At least until a supervisor comes over and shows you a little mercy.

But I haven’t yet revealed the worst part of all: TSA.gov’s section for kids does not yet feature any video games.

TSA needs to get with the program.  Stat.   I bet we can all pitch some great game ideas.  Like Patdown Party or Baby Stroller-and-Gear Breakdown-Then-Reassemble-While-Putting-Shoes-On Race.

Or . . What’s In Grandma’s Underwear?

I better stop now.  Add your own TSA video game suggestions in the comments!

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday, and we have so far moved the ball only $22 dollars toward a full paycheck.

While part of that is a new subscriber which moves us closer to our goals in a permanent way one new subscriber still doesn’t do the trick to permanently secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager.

But lets focus on the positive with 13 tip jar hits of $25 we will get our first full paycheck of 2014.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

That new subscriber means we’re now only 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis. It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

What do you say?

Beanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD – monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthly

Illinois Blago

People who follow politics often argue which state is America’s corrupt, but my state, Illinois, almost always comes up as one of the contenders for that dis-honor.

In this space two months ago I offered my thoughts as to why Illinois is so dominated by mendacious politicians.

Now I’m looking at a potential but cure for this disease.

On Friday former Chicago alderman Ambrosio Medrano was given a 10 1/2 year federal prison sentence for his role in a kickback scandal. Tomorrow he’ll be sentenced again in a separate case–both schemes involve Cook County’s public health care system.

In 1996 Medrano pleaded guilty for accepting a bribe from a city contractor. He was the first of six crooked City Council members reeled in by the feds in the Silver Shovel corruption probe. The Southwest Sider is the only Chicago alderman convicted more than once. That’s a big achievement–since 1972 thirty-one members of the Chicago City Council have been found guilty of crimes.

Medrano wept at his 1996 sentencing and he wept again Friday. But in ’96 Medrano received only a 2 1/2 year sentence. He probably would have wailed for hours if he was handed a 10 1/2 year stay in the house-of-many-doors that first time. But then perhaps he would have learned his lesson–even if out of fear–and pursued an honest living upon his release from prison. And perhaps a stiff sentence would have served as warning to nascent corrupt Illinois pols, such as then-state representative Rod Blagojevich. The hair-brained former Illinois governor is now marking time in a Colorado federal prison–Blago was sentenced to 14 years. It was the second-longest political sentence ever given to a Prairie State elected official–and that record-holder was a judge who fixed murder trials. 

What about that Illinois public corruption cure? I just wrote about it. Ten or fifteen year sentences for crooked elected officials should be the norm. In fact, dishonest public-sector employees should receive similar terms in the pokey.

The fear of God–or of a long stay in a prison–by public workers and elected officials can finally reform Illinois.

So far nothing else has worked.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Sunday, a new week which is a good thing because the last two weeks have not been very successful.

Well that’s not entirely true, we’ve had fair traffic but not only have we failed to make goal to secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager the first two weeks combined didn’t manage to come up to a single week’s goal

But we’re back again, with a $345 goal for the week to try and start to move the ball forward toward getting the mortgage and the writers paid this month.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

Of course if we can get 58 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.

What do you say?




By Steve Eggleston

Before I begin disassembling the December jobs report, I need to provide an update on the lawfare against conservatives here in Wisconsin. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the current judge overseeing the John Doe investigation has quashed subpoenas against the Walker campaign and three conservative groups, including two of the largest and most-active groups. That will leave a mark.

Speaking of leaving marks, nobody outside of the White House focused solely on the drop in the official unemployment rate to 6.7%, a level not seen since before Barack Obama became President. That is because of two reasons – the Labor Force Participation Rate of 62.8% has not been this low, other than October 2013, since March 1978, and the 78,000 jobs created is the lowest number since January 2011.

There is no shortage of charts showing how deep the Obama economy has cratered the job market. Sean Davis at The Federalist froze the LFPR at the 65.7% it was in June 2009 when the Great Recession “ended”, and calculates that the unemployment rate would be nearly 11%. The person behind I Took The Red Pill charted the employment-population ratios over the last 19 years, and found that an average of 63.3% of the population was employed in the 12 years of Republican control of at least 2/3rds of the elected branches of government, compared to 58.6% now. Perhaps my favorite chart comes from Hot Air commenter agmartin, which shows an unemployment rate of roughly 9% had the LFPR followed the track predicted in 2002 and reflected the normal retirement pattern of the elders and continued work of the under-55 part of the populace.

Another commenter at Hot Air, Chris of Rights, asked what the unemployment rate would have been during the George W. Bush Presidency had the LFPR been as low as it is now. 45 of the months between 2001 and 2008, including all of 2001 and 2006, would have had no unemployment because the employment-population ratio was at least the 62.8% the LFPR is now, and the worst month of the Bush Presidency, December 2008, would have had a 2.5% unemployment rate.

Once again, the “prime working age” population, those between 25 and 54, took the sputtering economy on the back pocket. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, only 80.7% of the “prime working age” population participated in the workforce last month, with 76.1% of that population holding jobs. Outside of October’s tie, the LFPR was lower than any point since September 1984. Since that statement regarding last month’s “prime working age” LFPR was “…since November 1984”, that is a regression.

Meanwhile, while the percentage of the “prime working age” population working was the fifth-best of the Obama administration, behind the first four months of the administration, it was worse than every month between November 1984 and April 2009. I somehow doubt we are voluntarily returning to the era of 1-worker/2-adult households.

On a year-over-year, seasonally-unadjusted basis, while there were 2,395,000 more people eligible to be in the workforce and 1,363,000 more people employed in December 2013 than there were in December 2012, the workforce shrank by 496,000 and the number of people not in the workforce grew by 2,893,000 as 1,860,000 fewer people were counted as unemployed. The growth in the 55-64 and 65-and-older age groups, 732,000 and 1,460,000 respectively, does not satisfactorily explain away this phenomenon.

While there were 2,191,000 more jobs in December 2013 than in December 2012, that number lags behind the job growth in 2012. The difference between the number of jobs and the number of employed is the largest in recent history, made all the more puzzling by the fact there were 147,000 fewer people holding multiple jobs in December 2013 than in December 2012.

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Olimometer 2.52

(DTG) Speaking of Ugly it’s Saturday there are only 17 hours left to this pay week and we remain $217 shy of making this week’s paycheck & payroll.

That’s ugly, but if you want to get real ugly if we combine last week’s tip jar with this one we STILL would not make this week paycheck & payroll.

That’s ugly squared.

But there is a way out of ugly.  and if 9 of you can spare $25 to DaTipJar we will be back on track to make the mortgage and the payroll and start 2014 off on the right note.

Remember if we can get those 58 1/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week. Help make sure this blog can fight without fear all year long.




 

By Pastor George Kelly:

In 2008, the American people elected Senator Barack Obama as the first president of African-American ancestry.

Mr. Obama’s election win was a combination of different factors. The American people were upset with many different issues of the Bush II beleaguered Presidency. Wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq; the debacle known as “Hurricane Katrina”’; explosive growth in the National Debt ; a Wall Street financial meltdown – and a perceived culture of corruption that engulfed the Republican party that controlled both houses of Congress.

President Obama was handed the keys to the White House and he and his Democratic party were given overwhelming majorities in both the US Senate and House of Representatives. President Obama promised bold action on a number of domestic fronts that had allegedly been neglected during the previous 8 years when George W. Bush was the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The new president took his mandate and proceeded to pass a Stimulus bill, Cash for Clunkers, and the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) Mr. Obama was also blessed with a national press corps that virtually fawned and cheered over his every political move. Life was a bed of roses for the newly installed President.

However, things began to happen that tore away at President Obama’s aura of invincibility. There were alleged scandals with selling guns to Mexican terrorists (Fast and Furious); the IRS abuses of targeting political opponents (conservative groups); the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and several other Americans in Benghazi – while the Ambassador-to-the United Nations Dr. Susan Rice ostensibly went on the major Television Networks and said that an anti-Islamic video was responsible for the carnage in Benghazi.

Through these “alleged scandals,” the White House never fully took responsibility when their narratives collapsed – especially when it was shown that it was Al Qaeda and not an anti-Islamic video that led to the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi.

It appears that the Washington, D.C. National Press Corps appears to be curiously pliant behind the Administration’s lack of candor. With the exception of the bungled Web Site accompanying the launch of the Affordable Care Act that the press corps had not gone after President Obama with anywhere near the zest and zeal that they did when George W. Bush was in the White House.

This brings us to the current situation with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and the George Washington (GWB) bridge scandal.

It has been duly noted that officials within the Christie administration engaged in petty politics by exacting retribution on a Democratic mayor Mark Sokolich in Fort Lee for his failure to endorse Governor Christie in his bid for re-election. It seems that key members in Governor Christie’s inner circle arbitrarily closed down some of the key access lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge.

For his part, Governor Christie categorically denies that he had any knowledge of these events. Governor Christie for his part has fired key aides and has accepted full responsibility for the actions of his subordinates.

The National Press Corps has descended upon Trenton, New Jersey as if it were Washington, D.C. – as they should. It is the prerogative of the fourth estate – the Press Corps – to be feisty and to get to the bottom of the story. If Governor Christie lied, then he deserves to be exposed. Over the last couple of days there has been a flurry of news stories on the GWB mess and “who knew what and when did they know it.”

Conversely, one can only ask why the National Press Corps has not shown the same level of curiosity in ferreting out the facts concerning the debacles of “Fast and Furious,” “Benghazi,” the “IRS targeting of conservative groups” – and the President’s broken promise of “if you like your Health Plan you can keep it.”

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Olimometer 2.52

(DTG) Speaking of Ugly it’s Saturday there are only 17 hours left to this pay week and we remain $217 shy of making this week’s paycheck & payroll.

That’s ugly, but if you want to get real ugly if we combine last week’s tip jar with this one we STILL would not make this week paycheck & payroll.

That’s ugly squared.

But there is a way out of ugly. and if 9 of you can spare $25 to DaTipJar we will be back on track to make the mortgage and the payroll and start 2014 off on the right note.

Remember if we can get those 58 1/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week. Help make sure this blog can fight without fear all year long.




By A.P. Dillon

Last week we looked at Moral Monday in North Carolina and how it’s now spreading to neighboring states.  I mentioned that was not a bug but a feature. In this installment, we’ll look at the union ties to Moral Monday, a quick look at a movement I’ve dubbed Occupy 2.0 and how the AFL-CIO’s “Organize the South or Die” campaign all figure into the mix.

Occupy 2.0

We’re going to start with this little label I’ve started for the coordinated Fast Food strikes we’ve seen happening in various cities around the country. I’ve called this movement Occupy 2.0 since it seems to be just a rebranding of the original Occupy. In fact, I think I state as much in the first article I did about Occupy 2.0 where I dissected the group behind the first strikes in New York. That group was NY Communities for Change (NYCC) and I wrote about it here in McRaging In NYThrough a little digging I managed to track NYCC back to ACORN and tie it to Occupy Wall Street.

All of these groups are backed by unions. You might recognize shiny storefront groups like Fight for 15, Action Now,  Raise Up, Low Pay is Not OK and Living Wage.  Dig even a little, you’ll find the connection. Raise Up and Low Pay Is Not OK seem to be connected.  I go into detail about these two in my article Occupy 2.0: Fast Food Worker Protest In Charlotte, Durham.  What I do know is the Raise Up, at least in NC, is Moral Monday:

Picketing in front of Art Pope owned Maxway in Raleigh @ncnaacp @NCStateAFLCIO Forward Together, Not One Step Back! pic.twitter.com/jJzFJLGq6l

— Raise Up For 15 (@RaiseUpfor15) December 18, 2013

Let’s Review

  1. Raise Up is the NC AFL-CIO & Moral Monday tied.
  • Low Pay Is Not Ok is out of NYC. Low Pay is Not OK is tied to The Other 98%, which is the “infrastructure partner” of US Uncut.
  • US Uncut is run by Carl Gibson, the professional arrestee/agitator arrested at Moral Monday in NC and also at the ALEC Moral Monday Coalition protest in Chicago.

Does your head hurt yet trying to follow this web?  Well, take an aspirin because it’s not over yet.

Another strong player in these fast food protests here in NC is FLOC – Farm Labor Organizing Committee. They’re basically an arm of the NC AFL-CIO. There’s also Triangle Jobs With Justice. It’s led by Adam Sotak – Moral Monday arrestee, Democracy NC’s organizing director and on the board of the “NC Vote Defenders”.  Also at Triangle Jobs with Justice is Nick Wood, who is the organizer for FLOC.

By the way, Moral Monday’s Defacto Leader was at one of the Fast Food Strikes… along with one of the NC Vote Defenders who posted this photo on their Facebook page:

 

 

Union Involvement In Moral Monday

What’s a protest without your union help? About 50 people on a sidewalk. That’s what Moral Monday was –  A handful of folks not getting much media attention even if they do get arrested. You need a bigger crowd if you want to get noticed. Well, a bigger crowd is what happened Reverend Barber called in his SEIU friends from NY.

The crowd was astroturfed; a source on the ground that day reported to me they witnessed three buses with NY and NJ license plates unloading around the corner from the North Carolina General Assembly at the June 3rd event. In fact, two prominent members of from the SEIU were arrested at a Moral Monday protest on June 3rd – Estela Vasquez and George Gresham. You can look them both up in the Civitas Moral Monday database.

Ms. Vazquez, a ‘woman of distinction‘, was also more recently arrested in Washington, D.C. during the big, loud immigration rally that took place on October 8, 2013.  For a full accounting of the SEIU in NC prior to the Fast Food strikes breaking out both in NC and other states, read an article I did back in June of 2013. That article also covers how the AFL-CIO astroturfed one of the other larger Moral Monday events in Asheville. Excerpt:

On June 24th’s Moral Monday, the AFL-CIO made sure anyone who wanted to get there had a bus to hop on as well.  Note that the President of the NC AFL-CIO, James Andrews, was voluntarily arrested on June 24th.  About 1,200 showed up for that according to police, not 3,000 or the 8,000 the NAACP was claiming. Math is hard. Note: AFL-CIO is backing Kay Hagan; main reason is Immigration.  Remember, Unions see illegal immigrants as pumping new blood into their ranks. Also, with union support like this, look for the ‘Moral Mondays’ theme to go national.

“Look for the ‘Moral Mondays’ theme to go national.”  Well, I called it last June and here we are in January 2014 with Georgia, Alabama and recently added South Carolina jumping in:

Moral Mondays in North Carolina spawned Truth and Justice Tuesdays in Alabama. When the Georgia legislature returns to session soon, a new Moral Monday protest will greet lawmakers there. Activists from a dozen states recently met in Raleigh with the founders of the Monday protests launched in response to Republican reforms in education and social services. One participant told The Associated Press that, “A lot of us are looking at it as a Southern strategy, the kind of Southern strategy that hasn’t existed in many decades.” – FayObserver.com (1/1/14)

Southern Strategy? You mean like forming a new party like the State’s Rights Democratic Party a.k.a the Dixiecrats?

Organize the South Or Die

That’s really what the campaign is called – “Organize the South Or Die“.  The NC AFL-CIO makes no bones about hiding the fact they want to take over the South. It bears noting, before moving on, that unions are scarce to none in the South. A lot of right to work states down here. Union memberships are dropping. The South is gaining in population steadily.  I suspect that infusing their numbers the true motivation behind the union involvement in Moral Mondays.  MaryBe MacMillan verifies this notion; emphasis is mine:

For decades, southern states have been “right to work for less” and have limited or denied their public employees the right to collectively bargain. Given the region’s culture and laws, unions have not invested heavily in organizing the region. And so, it’s no surprise that voters in the South keep electing state and federal officials who vote time and again against workers’ interests.

The anti-worker culture of the South has an impact far beyond the Mason-Dixon line. Southern Tea Party conservatives block progressive policies in Congress. Companies are increasingly moving to the South in order to lower labor costs and avoid union contracts. And more states are adopting the union-busting laws that originated in the South and now form the basis for ALEC model bills.

What happens in the South affects the nation, and the region’s influence will only grow as the South gains in both population and political representation. So what does that mean for the labor movement and for workers? Is our future one of greater worker exploitation, continued decline in union membership and increasingly hostile laws?

One of the major flaws of her argument is in the first emphasized sentence — especially in North Carolina. We were under Democrat control for nearly 150 years. Only recently has the Republican party taken control. Granted, North Carolina Democrats in the past were more center leaning but those centrists are long gone. Replacing them are increasingly far left leaning ones.

The AFL-CIO is leading the charge and even adopted an official resolution at their convention. The final statements of which announce their intent to assault the South:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Twenty- Seventh (27th) Convention of the AFL-CIO adopts as one of its top priorities a Southern Strategy that will include a long-term commitment to organize the South; and BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED: That the AFL-CIO strongly impress upon every one of its affiliates to adopt the same long-term commitment necessary to sustain a strong and viable workers’ movement in the Southern Region of the United States.

The NC AFL-CIO is already putting it into action, with a panel set up for January 29th at Duke University. It’s unclear who will be attending or speaking. If you want to see all of the groups involved in “Organize the South Or Die”, you have no further than to browse the hashtag #OrganizeTheSouth on Twitter. And we have now come full circle:

 

 

 

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and for the 2nd week in a row we start a Thursday at 30% of our weekly pay goal.

Since however reaching Thursday means over 58% of the week has passed that means we are once again in a hole.

When you think about it the hole isn’t deep at the start of a week a mere $50 a day avg will assure us of full coffers, but with only three days to go we need at least $80 a day for the next three days to make the goal with only a dollar to spare.

So While I’d be delighted to get the full $239 out of the way if we can get $140 we’ll be back on track for the week. Even a mere $80 today would be a third of the way home with three days left.

If you think my writing and that of people like AP is worth your time and money please consider hitting  DaTipJar below..

Remember if we can get those 58 1/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week. Help make sure this blog can fight without fear all year long.




 

Venezuelan actress and former Miss Universe runner-up Mónica Spear was murdered, along with her ex-husband Henry Thomas Berry, in front of their five year old daughter on Monday, the Feast of the Epiphany, while on vacation

Thomas Berry – who moved to the South American country when he was seven – and Monica Spear Mootz were held up by a gang after their car broke down on a motorway.

The couple were attacked by a gang of five men as their vehicle was being loaded on to a recovery truck.

Daughter Maya Veliz was hit in the leg and is under police protection while being treated for her injuries.

Travel firm boss Thomas, 39, died after being shot several times in the chest. Monica, a 29-year-old soap star who was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004, was hit in the armpit.

Maya’s cries eventually alerted other passerby on the unsafe, un-patrolled highway where the murder took place – a road the locals don’t travel at night.

We mourn the horrible crime, and the death of this beautiful couple on a religious holiday meant to celebrate the child Jesus Christ, but the fact is, 75 people have been murdered in Venezuela since January 1st. Venezuelan blogger Juan Cristobal Nagel names others who were murdered on Monday.

Venezuela’s official homicide rate last year was 39 per 100,000 inhabitants, but non-government organizations put the figure at nearly twice that for a total of 24,000 deaths. The murdered rate has quadrupled since the late Hugo Chavez took office in 1999 and embarked on his Bolivarian Revolution. By 2004 the interior ministry had stopped releasing official crime figures.

What is the government’s reaction to this tragedy? The Minister for Interior, Justice and Peace (yes, the guy heading the department that hasn’t released official crime stats in nearly ten years), after flying over the crime scene, declared that crime is a societal problem, and “we’re all guilty,” ignoring the deleterious decay of the justice system and its institutions.

Daniel Duquenal asks, asks,

Why is there such insecurity in Venezuela, roads or elsewhere? Because the regime does not care. Because the regime in fact wants it. Because the regime knows very well that people standing for hours in line for a few pounds of flour, or hidden at night at home after nightfall are not going to have much time or mood to be actively criticizing, and even less conspiring.

Opposition members are assaulted on the floor of the National Assembly; marauding motorcycle gangs climb over the body of a dying truck driver; beautiful families are assassinated on a dark road at night.

A country dies.

Fausta blogs on American hemisphere politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

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Olimometer 2.52

DTG: It’s Wednesday. 2014 has been here a full year and the good news is I’ve noticed a solid increase in baseline (that is non instalanche) traffic.

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Last week we didn’t make payroll, this week we’re only at 13% and despite a good amount of traffic things didn’t move a single bit.

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Nothing influences the decisions we make today more than our understanding of the past.  This influence extends to all aspects of life, from the spiritual and political to the mundane choices we make everyday.

Generally speaking, history can be divided into just two categories: the personal and the secondhand stories that society passes down.  The history that we personally experience is much more limited, but we understandably give it more weight.  After all, we bore the consequences of that experience, good or bad, so it naturally makes a bigger impact.  Experience is the hardest teacher and all that.

That’s why we tend not to notice the impact of non-personal history lessons.  We don’t feel as connected.  Yet their influence is every bit as important.

Movies are a great example of how much we can be influenced by second-hand stories.  During the two or three hours when we are learning of the characters’ histories and followings their decisions to the conclusion, we make a lot of decisions ourselves.  We decide who is the good guy, and who is the bad.  We decide who to root for.  We decide how we want the movie to end, and how we expect it to end.

What about a movie with a well-executed, unexpected twist?  When it turns out that a key bit of information was withheld, the revelation at the end makes a huge impact.  Think Crying Game, The Usual Suspects, The Others, Frailty, Fight Club, and of course, The Sixth Sense. (Come on, you know you didn’t see it coming.)  the sixth sense

After the conclusion you spend the next hour in amazement, replaying scenes in your mind and trying reconcile the new bit of information with what you had already decided.

That’s just a shadow of the very real impact that real history has on us.

Here’s an interesting real world example of history’s influence.  Ani DiFranco is a music artist with a particular audience.  Both she and her audience’s understanding of the past certainly impacted her decision to cancel a ‘Righteous Retreat,’ which she had accidentally allowed to be held (gasp!) at a plantation site. Serious You Guys.  That is outrageous if you are a member of her audience.  Out-rayyyyy-jus.

(By the way Ms. DiFranco, some of the points you made were fair enough, but it won’t fly with your audienceThe Political Correctness Police give no lenience, not even for one of their own.)

Okay.  Now that we’ve established history’s pervasive impact on individual perspective and decision-making, let’s look at some examples of history that our children learn at school.

In Hillsborough County it appears that the 6th grade Social Studies textbook is Holt’s People, Places, and Change.  (It’s actually rather hard to find out what textbooks are used, and I cannot verify whether this book is still in use.)  I have a copy of this textbook, thanks to Amazon.com.  It’s coverage of U.S. history, from colonization through the Revolution and the ratification of the Constitution, is six pages long.

That’s a lot of history in very few pages.  It’s theoretically possible that more in-depth coverage takes place before or after 6th grade.  I doubt it, though.  The 3rd and 4th grade social studies books were chockfull of nothing.  Heck, I remember my own history books and classes being chockfull of nothing, with the exception perhaps of Mr. Bob Guy’s A.P. U.S. History class in 11th grade.

Back to the book.  In those scant six pages, slavery and women’s rights are mentioned twice, so there’s that narrative reenforcement.  Also, George Washington’s contribution to our nation was highlighted.

Would you like to guess which trait the authors would have General Washington remembered for?

Perseverance?  No.  Courage?  No.  Strategical prowess?  Nope.

The correct answer:  Citizenship.

Which doesn’t even make sense.  The text doesn’t even say “good citizenship.”  It just says, “citizenship.”  How, exactly, does the fact that he was a legal member of our nation make George Washington an important historical figure?

Compare that textbook to the one from the Sonlight homeschool curricula, which just happens to be the one I use:  The Landmark History of the American People.  This book’s coverage of U.S. history, from colonization through the Revolution and the ratification of the Constitution, is 80 pages long.  It doesn’t mention slavery and women’s rights even one time in those 80 pages.

Ooh, does the author wants to hide this shameful past?

Nope.  There are whole chapters devoted to these topics, later on in the two volumes.

Do you know what else the Landmark History includes, which People Places and Change does not?  The actual text of the actual documents.  Technically, the U.S. Constitution is on page 95 of People Places and Change, but it’s a tiny illegible sidebar, with the following caption:  “‘We the People’ begins this signed copy of the U.S. Constitution.”

Isn’t it awesome, the way “We the People” reinforces the socialist and communist narrative about the “People’s Party?”

Anyway.  In conclusion.  How much does the “women and slaves weren’t included!” six-page narrative influence the everyday decisions of young people today?  How much would the “George Washington’s perseverance, great courage and good judgment was key for this nation!” 80-page narrative influence that same set of young people?

That’s the part no one can quantify.  Yet, I’m pretty sure it matters.

Snow run New Year
Author on New Year’s Day

By John Ruberry

The high temperature tomorrow is expected to reach -11 in Chicago tomorrow. That’s without the windchill. We may face 48 hours of subzero weather for the first time in twenty years. About two feet of snow has fallen since New Year’s Eve where I live in Morton Grove, Illinois.

It’s snowing here as I begin this post.

Welcome to global warming–2014 edition.

Yes, I’m aware that a week of weather does not define our climate. But today’s a good day to delve into the White House global warming agenda and its War on Coal. Forty-five percent of our electricity comes from coal, which is an abundant domestic energy resource. Depending on who is doing the counting, anywhere from 207 to 285 coal plants are scheduled to close in the next decade. Citing climate change and its clean air regulations President Obama’s radicalized EPA–not our elected Congress–is behind the shuttering of these plants.

The ripple effects of the War on Coal will be widespread. With fewer coal plants, obviously there will be less need for coal miners. In a letter to the president, Democratic and Republican state legislators in Kentucky declared, “Coal is not just an energy source, it’s a way of life.”

Colorado coal train
Coal train, Colorado plains

You can make the same argument about coal and the rail industry.

Few commodities are as essential to railroads and railroad jobs as coal. Fully 25 percent of railroad revenue, one-in-five railroad jobs and 40 percent of freight cars owe their existence to coal, according to the Association of American Railroads.

That paragraph comes from the United Transportation Union, which endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket in 2012.

When less energy is generated, the cost of it goes up–of course that’s basic economics. Obama’s climate change agenda is not just a war on coal and other fossil fuels,  it’s also a war on American prosperity.

I just looked out the window. It’s still snowing.

It’s cold, but Obama Winter hasn’t arrived yet.

By Steve Eggleston

A week after completing a regular season that saw the fewest local blackouts of games, two, due to not “selling out” stadiums, the National Football League nearly saw three of its four playoff games blacked out. It took businesses buying thousands of tickets in Cincinnati, Green Bay, and Indianapolis after the 72-hour deadlines to sell out the games were extended, twice in Indianapolis, to end the threat of blackouts of the games on stations with broadcast signals that reach inside of a 75-mile radius circle around the stadiums.

Green Bay has sold out Lambeau Field for every game, both regular season and playoff, since failing to sell out the stadium for a playoff game following the strike-plagued 1982 season, with the regular-season sellouts extending back into the early 1960s. Indianapolis has sold out every game in its series of stadiums for more than a decade. Cincinnati, which had two of its home games blacked out in 2012, sold out Paul Brown Stadium for every 2013 game.

A bit of history on the NFL blackout rule is in order. Prior to 1973, every televised NFL game was blacked out in the city where the game was played. This irked the politicians in Washington when the 1972 Washington Redskins had a great season. They did what angry politicians are prone to do and passed a law requiring the NFL, as well as other sports leagues with national TV contracts, to broadcast a local team’s game if it sold out that game at least 72 hours prior to its start.

The law expired at the end of 1975, but the NFL, not wishing to have its antitrust exemption threatened like it was following the 1972 season, kept the basic parts of that They extended the blackout requirement to any network affiliate with a signal that reaches within a 75-mile radius circle of a stadium. The NFL also allowed teams to purchase regular-season tickets for 34 cents on the dollar, to not count unsold club or luxury box seating against the sell-out requirements, and to ask for extensions of the 72-hour deadline to move any remaining tickets. At the same time, the FCC enacted sports blackout rules that, among other things, applied the NFL’s blackout rule to cable and satellite providers inside the 75-mile circle.

The NFL modified the “sell-out” requirement in 2012, allowing teams to have as few as 85% of the regular seats sold during the regular season to avoid a blackout in exchange for a larger cut of the revenue for seats sold beyond the relaxed “sell-out” threshhold.

Because the NFL both sets the ticket prices for playoff games and retains all of the ticket revenue, neither the reduced-price team buyout provision nor the relaxed “sell-out” threshhold apply for playoff games.

That brings us to this week. I’ll speak of the Packers’ experience because I call Wisconsin home and the Packers my NFL team. There are two sets of season ticket holders because of the legacy of the Packers playing some of their games in Milwaukee. While Lambeau Field holds a bit over 80,000 after the latest expansion, only 68,000 of those seats are “general admission” seats. Even though there are somewhere north of 60,000 people on the waiting list, the face value of the tickets is in the mid-range of NFL ticket prices, between $74 and $97.

Playoff tickets, ranging from $102 to over $300 as dictated by the NFL, went on sale to season ticket holders just after the Packers lost big in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day to drop to third in the NFC North and out of the wild-card hunt, with requirements to buy all three possible home games at the highest available ticket price level and, in a change from prior years, apply any unused balance toward next year’s season ticket invoice instead of having an option to receive a cash refund.

Needless to say, that didn’t receive a good response, with fewer than 28,000 general-admission tickets sold. On Monday, season-ticket holders had an exclusive opportunity to buy just the wild-card game against San Francisco through either Ticketmaster or the mostly-unused Lambeau Field box office. At 3 pm Monday, when tickets became available to the general public, there were still 40,000 tickets.

By that time, the forecast for Ice Bowl-quality cold on a late Sunday afternoon was widely known. Apparently, the NFL and Fox failed to check the forecast before scheduling the game for a 3:40 pm Central kickoff. By 3:40 pm Thursday, there were still over 3,000 tickets available, so the Packers applied for and received a one-day extension. At 9:30 am Friday, the Packers announced they had fewer than 1,000 tickets remaining, and at 11:30 am, they announced that several local businesses and the three Fox affilates that would have been forced to black out the game (Green Bay, Milwaukee and Wausau) had purchased the remaining tickets.

Re-enter the politicians. The FCC already has a proposed rule that would allow cable and satellite providers to ignore blackout rules applied to broadcast stations. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) already have a bill that would strip the antitrust exemption of any league that does any blackout. McCain used this as an opportunity to resurrect his bill.

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Olimometer 2.52

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