Saturday, May 30, 2009
In every trial — every single trial — judges solemnly instruct American citizens who are compelled to perform jury duty that they will have a sworn obligation to decide cases objectively — without fear or favor. If a person is unwilling or unable to do that, if the person believes he or she has a bias or prejudice, especially one based on a belief that people are inferior or superior due to such factors as race, ethnicity, or sex, the person is not qualified to be a juror.
I recommend reading the rest.
Now, what are the odds of a Republican bringing this up with the media, let alone during the confirmation hearings?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thousands of patients could undergo unnecessary spinal operations because of new NHS guidelines on treatments for lower back pain, warn experts.
NICE, the group which spent £4.5 million on PR and only £3.4 million on actually assessing new medicines (their actual role), has told doctors not to recommend therapies which have little evidence to support them- MRI scans, X-rays, ultrasound and steroid injections. So if there is some underlying problem with your back, you may not discover what it is because doctors are being told not to send you for expensive scans. A relative of mine, for example, suffered from some terrible back pain and it was only after some months of agony that doctors discovered a tumour in her back. Under these new guidelines, a diagnosis like that may not be made until it's too late.
Now, many patients who fail to respond to initial treatment could miss out this intermediate stage and proceed straight to risky spinal fusion operations.NICE estimates the NHS will make annual savings of £33million on back injections and £11million on MRI scans.
Costs which will be eaten up by NICE's approved replacement treatments- which include "acupuncture, manual therapy such as physiotherapy, or exercise."
NICE estimates the NHS will make annual savings of £33million on back injections and £11million on MRI scans.
However, it will spend £24million extra on acupuncture and £16million extra on manual therapy, making the cost-cutting aspect negligible.
A £4 million saving- but at what cost to the patient told to go for acupuncture rather than an MRI to discover the root cause of their pain?
Dr Ron Cooper, past chairman of the group and a consultant pain specialist in Northern Ireland, said: ‘I have never known so many pain medicine specialists to be so furious. More patients will end up having more expensive surgery, which is unnecessary, risky and has worse results.
‘NICE made it difficult for us to submit evidence to a committee on which there was not one experienced pain physician.
‘The guidelines will make us the laughing stock of Europe, Australia and the U.S. where pain specialists will continue to have full access to a wide range of treatments.’In short, in an effort to control costs, intermediate treatments (including important investigative tools) are being denied to patients and some people who may not need it will be told to have surgery.
"Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend it [freedom], knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks...Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth.
Here's yet another example of how much universities value freedom-
A student who wants to form a gun-rights group at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) has been threatened with disciplinary action for her efforts. Student Christine Brashier has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help after reporting that administrators banned her informational pamphlets, ordered her to destroy all copies of them, and told her that further "academic misconduct" would not be tolerated.
And now they do it all on their own, without any government coercion.
That's progress for you.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Close to 200 prisoners will cycle around next month, watched by scores of guards on bicycles, in the first penal version of the Tour de France, authorities said Monday.
The 196 prisoners will cycle in a pack and breakaway sprints will not be allowed. They will be accompanied by 124 guards and prison sports instructors. There will be no ranking, the idea being to foster values like teamwork and effort.
They will complete 1,400 miles before finishing in Paris. Unlike the regular Tour, this will not be a race as the prisoners have to ride in a pack.
We're only a couple of steps away from turning this into a sci-fi movie- upgrade the bicycles to motorcycles, arm the prisoners and make it an elimination race. Death Race could have some serious competition.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Westminster City Council granted planning permission for the 10ft bronze sculpture to be erected outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
In discarding the rule, the council stated-
'Regardless of politics, nobody can dispute that President Reagan was a true ally of this country.'
In addition, to recognise his part in ending the Cold War, a piece of the Berlin Wall will be installed in front of the statue. Amazingly, the US Embassy in London is less than impressed.
However occupants at the U.S. Embassy have given the statue a frosty reception.
An embassy spokesman told The Times newspaper: 'This is not something that we have requested or actively tried to get brought about.
When asked if the embassy would take the statue with it when it leaves Grosvenor Square for its new head-quarters in Nine Elms, the spokesperson said: 'It’s not our statue.'
I'll bet he'd be saying something else if it were a statue of Obama. Instead he comes off sounding like some petulant child.
Friday, May 22, 2009
It's still crazy hard and I hate that there's no good place to stand where the zombies can't come charging at you from three different directions at once.
Anyway, now that I've gotten that off my chest, here's the news on the next map pack- out some time in June.
The map is called Shi No Numa which is Japanese for Zombie Swamp. Why the change from German nomenclature I don't know- perhaps this one should be called Imperial Japanese Zombies? There will be Perk machines, new achievements/trophies, flaming Hell Hounds and a mysterious weapon called the Wunderwaffe DG-2. There's a great deal of speculation on the gaming boards that this is a Vampir- an StG-44 with night vision device mounted- but I'm not convinced. Why give an existing weapon a new and made-up designation? I'm hoping it's something more along the lines of the Ray Gun.
Not long to the release date now and I can't wait. Nazi Zombies is, without a doubt, an utterly awesome game.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The federal government is spending $178,000 to better understand why drug-abusing prostitutes in Thailand are at greater risk for HIV infection, an endeavor taxpayer watchdogs are calling a huge waste of American taxpayers' money.
Something of an understatement.
The NIH funds many studies that focus on HIV risk and prevention in hopes that it can lay the vital groundwork for developing treatment and intervention plans to thwart the deadly AIDS virus.
Now, why would female and transgender prostitutes who also abuse drugs have higher than normal rates of HIV? Hmm, that's a real puzzler. It's also difficult to think of some way of reducing the rates in a group of people who regularly engage in risky sex and risky drug use? Oh, if only there was some clue to solving this enigma.
The NIH spends $29 billion each year to help fund thousands of health studies, including many overseas initiatives.
Oh, and they're also studying suicide patterns in young men and women...in China. Apparently the NIH doesn't seem to realise that they are a US institution funded by US citizens. I think too- I think this is right, correct me if I'm wrong- that Argentina, Thailand and even China have their own governments which can, if they so desire, spend their own money on these particular research programs.
Your tax dollars at work, folks. And, as they say on FARK, still no cure for cancer.
Go check it out (and check the archives for any you may have missed) and then help spread the word!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
To increase public safety and reduce the threat to domestic security by including persons who may be prevented from boarding an aircraft in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and for other purposes.
In other words, if your name appears on the No Fly list you will be denied the right to keep and bear arms. As David points out, the list is far from perfect: Teddy Kennedy himself was affected by this when his name appeared on the list-
While he worked to clear himself, Kennedy kept having to wait in terminals at Reagan National, Boston's Logan International and at least one other airport, his staff said. All of the flights were on US Airways. When the senator checked in at the counter, airline employees told him they could not issue him a boarding pass because he appeared on the list. Kennedy was delayed until a supervisor could be summoned to identify him and give approval for him to board the plane.
Even though he's a famous US Senator, it still took him three weeks to have his name (which had been used as an alias by a terrorist apparently) removed from the list. What do you suppose it would take- in time and effort- to have your name taken off the list and have your seized firearms returned to you? Under such circumstances I would say that three months would be an overly optimistic evaluation.
One last thing, McCarthy does know she's a member of Congress in America doesn't she?
On Nancy Pelosi avoiding the media this weekend-
That's because the foot in your mouth doesn't get any tastier no matter how much you wiggle the toes.
On Ruger offering an AR rifle, complete with 30-round magazines-
Did you hear? Ruger's gone carbon-neutral. Yup, they've wrapped ol' Bill “No Honest Man Needs A Handgun Smaller Than A Canned Ham” Ruger Sr.'s corpse in copper wire and lined the coffin with magnets, and now the whole plant is off the grid.
On the McCain-Obama match-up-
A rudderless GOP tendered up the lamest candidate imaginable, with the looks of Amonhotep III, a completely demagnetized policy needle, and all the public speaking skills of Marcel Marceau, and even with the most charismatic presidential candidate to make it to the finals since 1984, you still only got 52% of the vote.
On the SPAS-12-
An innovative Italian fowling piece that could malfunction in both semiauto and slide-action modes. As an added bonus, on the early versions the safety wasn't. Plus it had ergonomics apparently designed for people with hands that could palm basketballs and two elbows per arm.
On an article about a gun "buy back" -
The tone of the article is so supine, so docilely toothless, that it leaves one in slack-jawed amazement that someone so obviously ovine could operate a keyboard with their little cloven hooves.
And that's just a quick sampling from what's on the front page at the moment. Her crown remains firmly unassailable from all and sundry.
All of which leads me to this, a comment by Mark Hemingway over at NRO, which struck me as being particularly Tam-esque,
You can read the transcript here, but as to be expected, you could probably give yourself a pre-frontal lobotomy with a screwdriver that's accidentally been dropped in the toilet and come off more coherent than Joe Biden.
If you head on over there and check out what Biden did come out with, you'd be forgiven for thinking for a few moments that you'd clicked on a link to The Onion and not NRO.
If you ever hear someone talk muddle-headed, rambling, nonsensical drivel I think it's now safe to say that they're "pulling a Biden".
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
President Barack Obama's proposed new fuel and emission standards for cars and trucks will save billions of barrels of oil but are expected to cost consumers an extra $1,300 per vehicle by the time the plan is complete in 2016.
Obama on Tuesday planned to announce the first-ever national emissions limits for vehicles, as well as require a 35.5 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standard.
Boy, is that rich - coming as it does from a guy who drives around in an 8 mpg behemoth and who flies globally in a massive jet accompanied by a huge staff and security detail. Saving the environment is for you chumps, not the President.
Anyone who has ridden an escalator and bothered to pay attention has seen – and likely ignored – little signs suggesting riders hold the grimy handrail.
Bela Kosoian, a 38-year-old mother of two, says when she didn't hold the handrail Wednesday she was cuffed, dragged into a small holding cell and fined.
Travelling down the escalator, she was looking for her fare in her bag when a police officer told her to hold the rail. When she told him she didn't have three hands he demanded to see her ID so that he could write her a ticket. That's when she argued with him.
The officers handcuffed her and threw her into a small holding cell. The officers searched her bag and gave her a $100 ticket for failing to hold the banister and another $320 ticket for obstruction.
The handcuffs bruised Ms. Kosoian's wrists and an officer's boot scraped skin off the top of her foot.
I guess Canada has solved all of the really serious crime for police to concentrate on matters like this.
And note too that her original "crime" is considered to warrant a lesser fine than her refusal to kowtow to the cop's authority.
But social services don't seem to always be so concerned about "the good of the children".
Social workers put the rights of a teenage sex offender over those of the foster family whose children he went on to abuse, a report has found.
The married couple who welcomed the 19-year-old into their home were not told of his sexual interest in minors.They only discovered the truth after he raped their two-year-old son and molested their nine-year-old daughter.
Why did they put this family's children at such risk?
Yesterday, social services admitted they had withheld the information because they considered the paedophile to be 'the one in need of protection'.
Sure, a paedophile needs protection- so let's put him in a home with young children and not tell their parents.
The boy had sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, had exposed himself and touched a young boy sexually at a care hostel and had faced allegations five years earlier of 'sexually inappropriate behaviour' with a young boy.
And yet he was not locked away where he posed no further risk to children. The staff who made the decision to withhold information from the foster family face losing their jobs, but their boss won't-
Three members of the council's 'leaving care' team now face dismissal and could be struck off the social workers register following-further investigation into their decisions
After apologising to the devastated family, director of social services Philip Evans refused to resign, insisting he should stay on to bring in improvements.
But of course.
The millions of CCTV cameras on Britain's streets have done virtually nothing to cut crime, Home Office research has revealed.
Cameras in town centres, housing estates and on public transport 'did not have a significant effect', a report concluded.
It found that the only offence that was heavily reduced by their presence was theft from vehicles in car parks.
But will we see them being removed from our streets before further money is wasted? Don't hold your breath.
A paedophile who was being monitored by police and was already on the sex offenders register, went on to abuse a four-year-old girl.
He had been convicted of sexual assault and gross indecency with underage girls- but instead of locking him up where he posed no further threat to the most vulnerable segment of society, the authorities let him walk free- and their system failed dramatically.
The police watchdog upheld a complaint, adding that the force failed to take appropriate action, 'endangering the welfare of the children living there'.
They also found 'organisational failings within the force's management of sexual offenders'.
But despite the fact that a four year old girl was assaulted because of those failings, no officers will be held accountable and punished.
In other words, they failed to perform their duty- but because this particular police force's whole system was lacking, nothing is being done. As the police complaints body states,
'This little girl has suffered a traumatic experience and I hope that the family take some comfort that lessons have been learned from this to try and stop something similar going wrong in the future.'
Basically, we messed up and allowed your four year old to be abused by an already convicted paedophile but we hope it won't happen again. Oh, and no one will face any kind of sanctions for the fact that our whole system was a failure. Not the specific officers in question or their superiors.
And as for the two police officers who the commission found to have failed, what of them?
'Gwent Police has fully accepted the IPCC investigation findings and conclusions. I have also agreed with the force that while two police constables would receive management advice, no other individual officer should face misconduct action because of the organisational failings.'
Management advice is the "punishment" for two police officers failing in their duty to adequately monitor a convicted child abuser who went on to assault a four year old.
And I see that no senior officers will be held accountable for the so-called "organisational failings" of Gwent police. Apparently, no one is responsible for that.
And one other thing- this man was originally convicted in 1998 and then again, for this crime, in 2007. So what did the judge have to say about it all-
'There is a high risk you will continue to seek out and sexually assault young female children.
'In my judgement, there is a clear risk you will physically injure those children and given your selection in this case of a very young child, there is a substantial risk of causing serious physical risk to young children.'
And the judge's sentence?
An indeterminate sentence with a minimum tariff of three years.
It's not only the police who are to blame- it's the courts that allowed this man out of prison after his first conviction and who have again issued a too lenient sentence- after three years are up he will again be eligible for parole.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Preposterous? Absolutely- and completely untrue. But it does seem that some in Hollywood are considering making a similarly bizarre casting choice.
Jamie Foxx, the African-American actor, singer and comedian, has been named as a potential contender for the role of Frank Sinatra in Martin Scorcese's biopic of the entertainer.
Sure, I just just see cinema audiences queuing up to see this one. While they're at it, why not cast Harrison Ford as Barack Obama and Will Smith as John McCain in a film about the last campaign?
So long as we're being "colour blind".
Anyway, this looks good-
Friday, May 15, 2009
Compared to the same period last year violent crime in North Wales has increased by 18 per cent, burglaries have risen by nearly 8 per cent and robberies have rocketed by an amazing 115 per cent.
So, what's a police force to do?
Police have been ordered to go on litter patrol in a bid to boost the number of people nicked for minor offences.
Officers will be forced to ditch their uniforms and go out undercover in plain clothes in an attempt to hit performance targets.
However cops are furious over the move - because they don't even have the powers to issue on-the-spot-fines.
Instead, they will have to radio a PCSO - a lower ranking officer - to attend the scene to slap the offender with a £50 to £80 penalty.
Brilliant- instead of tackling real crime, police are being forced to meet pointless targets instead.
Is it any wonder the country's in the state it is?
Isn't political correctness wonderful?
And get this-
The British Association for Adoption and Fostering sets rules and organises training for social workers across the country.
The organisation strongly supports the legal requirement that the perceived interests of children are paramount and the wishes of would-be parents are of minor importance.It insists that children go to homes only of adoptive parents of the same race.
Gay couples- fine. Mixed race families- verboten.
And the whole concept of gay adoption didn't fulfil its intended purpose-
Until Tony Blair's 2002 Adoption Act, children could be adopted only by married couples or single people.
Mr Blair argued that the reform would increase the proportion of the 60,000 children in state care who win new families through adoption.
But the numbers have actually fallen. Since 2004, adoptions from care have dropped from 3,800 a year to 3,200.
And because of social workers' opposition to mixed-race families-
Black children are missing out because there is a shortage of black couples wishing to adopt, yet social workers oppose sending them to non-black families.But, hey, these rules are for the good of the children.
A man who tried to carry out a citizen's arrest on youths who he said were attempting to break into allotment sheds was himself arrested by police.
Phil Hennessey, 44, was arrested in Medway on suspicion of assault and carrying a weapon, and bailed until July. He spent a night in custody.
Hat tip to Smallest Minority. And, yeah, you really should read that Überpost™©®!
After the President unveiled his budget, I heard Americans complain, oh, it's another Jimmy Carter, or LBJ's Great Society, or the new New Deal. You should be so lucky. Those nickel-and-dime comparisons barely begin to encompass the wholesale Europeanization that's underway. The 44th president's multi-trillion-dollar budget, the first of many, adds more to the national debt than all the previous 43 presidents combined, from George Washington to George Dubya. The President wants Europeanized health care, Europeanized daycare, Europeanized education, and, as the Europeans have discovered, even with Europeanized tax rates you can't make that math add up. In Sweden, state spending accounts for 54% of GDP. In America, it was 34%—ten years ago. Today, it's about 40%. In four years' time, that number will be trending very Swede-like.
There's much more- I recommend it all.
Antoniette Santopadre of Valley Stream was expecting a $250 stimulus check. But when her son finally opened it, they saw that the check was made out to her father, Romolo Romonini, who died in Italy 34 years ago. He'd been a U.S. citizen when he left for Italy in 1933, but only returned to the United States for a seven-month visit in 1969.
A careless error? Not really-
The Santopadres are not alone. The Social Security Administration, which sent out 52 million checks, says that some of those checks mistakenly went to dead people because the agency had no record of their death. That amounts to between 8,000 and 10,000 checks for millions of dollars.
An estimation evidently- the figure could conceivably be larger. So, the cheques were sent out to people in the system who hadn't yet been flagged as deceased?
The strange thing is, some of the checks were made out to people -- like Romonini -- who were never even part of the Social Security system.
So where did the names and addresses come from? Voter registration forms?
The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.
All well and good. But this caught my attention-
Ten minutes into arrant mayhem in this town near the Mexican border, and the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran, has already taken out two people, one slumped in his desk, the other covered in blood on the floor.
The responding officers — eight teenage boys and girls, the youngest 14 — face tripwire, a thin cloud of poisonous gas and loud shots — BAM! BAM! — fired from behind a flimsy wall. They move quickly, pellet guns drawn and masks affixed.
So, in these days of Islamic terrorism, illegal aliens and drug-fuelled border violence- they even mention responding to campus shootings- the scenario they're training on involves a "disgruntled Iraq war veteran"?
Information I have received from reliable sources says the Zeta criminal organization is stepping up its ruthlessness on our side of the border. Mules who if detected would previously abandon contraband they were smuggling, must now, under threat of death for failure, protect the drug shipments they are carrying rather than abandon them. To do this, they have been ordered to carry weapons.
Expect more violence, more deaths...and more calls from Democrats demanding that Mexican drug runners being armed requires the disarmament of US citizens.
While you're there make sure to also read about the lies being peddled by American politicians and their lackeys in the media about US guns in Mexico.
The young man in question, Zachary Boyd, joined up because of the 9/11 attacks.
“We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we’re proud of it,” boasted Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, to the Las Vegas Sun this week.
Michelle Malkin has much more on the links between SEIU and Obama's administration. It's well worth reading. What caught my attention was this-
SEIU’s enforcers have set aside another $10 million to un-elect any of its political beneficiaries who abandon their pledges to do the union’s legislative bidding. The campaign money was raised by slapping an extra $6 per-member fee on top of regular dues payments – and funneled straight to the union’s political action committee.
And, of course, there had to be a blatant case of "do as we say, not as we do".
Meanwhile, after spending a fortune to put Barack Obama in office, the union laid off a third of its D.C. field staff (in violation of its own employment protections, according to the workers) due to…budget troubles.
MINISTERS have admitted they messed up by letting hordes of eastern Europeans into Britain.
They said the country’s public services are struggling to cope with the influx of immigrants.
But why? Surely, you might ask, they would have made plans, worked out how much these public services could cope and then made allowances in the number of immigrants permitted in? Well, if someone with half a brain had been in any position of responsibility this would have happened. Instead we had Labour in power so they simply threw the borders open and hoped for the best.
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas last night admitted: “We got it wrong.” Ministers believed just 5,000 eastern Europeans would come here every year when the EU opened its borders to the “A8 nations” in 2004.
But 120,000 have flooded in every 12 months.
Labour's response seems to amount to saying, "oops".
A Louisiana driver was stopped and detained for having a “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker on his vehicle and warned by a police officer about the “subversive” message it sent, according to the driver’s relative.
And this police officer thinks he's working in which country exactly?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The justice system was branded a farce today after two burglars were allowed to walk free from court - despite being caught in the act on camera.
Serial criminals Matthew Clark, 28, and Stefan Poyster, 21, were pictured breaking the rear window of a semi-detached house with a crow bar.
The 'brilliant' digital photographs, taken by a brave neighbour, clearly showed the pair in action.
Photographed as they broke in before stealing around £1400 worth of goods. Despite this real-time evidence of their crime- and their prior criminal record- a judge let them walk free because new sentencing guidelines:
They told judges to bear in mind an offenders' 'dependency' when considering sentence, and suggested a community order may sometimes be more appropriate.
In other words, if you're a drug addict the message is you can get away with breaking the law to feed your habit.
What Einstein thought that was a good idea?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As a practicing oncologist, I am forced to give patients older, cheaper medicines. The real cost of this penny-pinching is premature death for thousands of patients -- and higher overall health costs than if they had been treated properly: Sick people are expensive.
If NICE concludes that a new drug gives insufficient bang for the buck, it will not be available through our public National Health Service, which provides care for the majority of Britons.
Partly as a result of these restrictions on new medicines, British patients die earlier. In Sweden, 60.3 percent of men and 61.7 percent of women survive a cancer diagnosis. In Britain the figure ranges between 40.2 to 48.1 percent for men and 48 to 54.1 percent for women. We are stuck with Soviet-quality care, in spite of the government massively increasing health spending since 2000 to bring the United Kingdom into line with other European countries.
Government spending on the NHS has increased dramatically in the past few years but the government has singularly failed to make that spending cost-effective due to layers of bureaucracy and an obsession with monitoring government-mandated targets.
There is a good reason NICE has attracted interest from U.S. policymakers: It has proved highly effective at keeping expensive new medicines out of the state formulary. Recent research by Sweden's Karolinska Institute shows that Britain uses far fewer innovative cancer drugs than its European neighbors. Compared to France, Britain only uses a tenth of the drugs marketed in the last two years.
Modern drugs are restricted or forbidden altogether because of cost- and health professionals are essentially forced to make medical decisions based not on what is best for their patient but on what a bureaucrat says they can spend.
It's a system that is plainly killing people. A system that Democrats want to impose on America. Here's a reminder of the kind of thinking which government officials engage in when health care has to be rationed-
the chilling explanation offered by Sir Michael Rawlins, head of Britain’s National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness (NICE), for his nation’s low cancer survival rates. The British National Health Service, he is quoted as saying in the NEJM last November, has to be fair to all patients, “not just the patients with macular degeneration or breast cancer or renal cancer. If we spend a lot of money on a few patients, we have less money to spend on everyone else.”
NICE, for those of you outside of the UK, is the agency which spent £4.5 million on communications in 2007, but only £3.4 million on their main task of assessing new medicines-
The money forked out on press officers, marketing executives and consultants included £25,000 on top public relations firm Weber Shandwick to defend NICE's ban on Alzheimer's drugs.
It could have paid for 5,000 Alzheimer's sufferers to get £2.50-a-day drugs for a year. Alternatively it would have funded nearly 200 patients with advanced kidney cancer to have a drug for 12 months that would double their life expectancy.
In other words, they'd rather let people die than use their limited budget effectively on actually treating patients. With the NHS continuing to let people down, MPs collected a staggering £93 million in expenses last year and, just recently, the government announced that they wanted to charter private jets to fly the PM and Foreign Minister around the globe at staggering cost.
First of all a very graphic, violent game coming to the PS3, Prototype. I'm an X-Box guy myself but this trailer is worth watching- particularly if you like the post-apocalyptic, mutant, zombie genre. Think I Am Legend if Will Smith had mad super-parkour skills and the ability to grow blades out of his hands.
Next up is the trailer for Gamer, Gerard Butler's next movie. Basically, a new game has been created where the gamers use mind control technology to manipulate real people in battles. This one looks very impressive.
While you're over there be sure to have a good look around- Quiet Earth is one of the top movie websites around. There's an awful lot of great material there, not all of it related to the post-apocalyptic genre.
Quite old, need an expensive treatment that will only give you an extra year of life with your loved ones? Tough luck and say goodbye Grandpa- bureaucrats in Washington have decided that your extra year isn't worth the money.
So let’s go back to the issue of comparative effectiveness, which we’re supporting. That’s where that can have a big impact. It’s not only there, but that’s where the waste is. That’s where people are using technologies that really either don’t work at all or keep people alive for for very limited [time] and [at] very high cost. Hospice is one option, but we do need take account of the cost — you know, I hate to say it, the cost-benefit of some of the things we do.
Here's the video-
Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is threatening to pull state business from Wells Fargo & Co. unless the bank stops trying to liquidate a company that makes suits for President Barack Obama.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 23. It employs about 3,000 workers represented by the Service Employees International Union.
Union officials say the bank should help since it received a $25 billion federal bailout.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
“Making the decision to regulate CO2 under the CAA for the first time is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities,” says one comment in the memo....“Should EPA later extend this finding to stationary sources, small businesses and institutions would be subject to costly regulatory programs such as New Source Review.”
The stimulus bill that didn't, the gargantuan budget, the coming health care plan- and now this.
It'll be a miracle if there still is a US economy in four years time.
President Obama’s nominee for the Treasury Department’s top legal job still can receive almost $3 million in pay over the next three years from one of the nation’s largest financial-services companies under a compensation plan approved by government ethics lawyers.
Madison’s case has serious ethical issues. Madison’s deferred compensation comes from an entity which stands to benefit from his presence at Treasury. Their lobbying of Treasury makes that pretty obvious, and Madison as general counsel can certainly influence the decisions made by Treasury regarding pensions, regulation and enforcement in the financial-services industry, and so on. It makes an appearance of special interest and influence, the very kind of appearance that Obama the candidate criticized for two years before winning the presidency.
And then this-
Need a job? Under President Barack Obama, as with presidents before him, it doesn’t hurt to have the right last name.
Obama’s promise of changing Washington hasn’t extended to banishing the age-old practice of giving plum posts to relatives of your top supporters — as he’s done with the relatives of a half-dozen well-connected Democrats.
Anyone with at least a passing familiarity with Chicago or Beltway politics will know that this is the same old nepotism, and anyone who has studied Obama’s rhetoric and actions knows it to be the same old hypocrisy on government reform.
Make sure to read both posts for all the details. The longer his Presidency continues, the deeper and deeper the hypocrisy grows
That enough hope and change for all you Obama supporters out there?
Fearless Leslie Shott, 34, confronted the hooded youth after he burst into a shop brandishing an airgun.
The yob pointed the pistol at Leslie's face but the brave welder simply grabbed the barrel, wrestled him to the ground and told him: ''How dare you point a gun at me.''
As they waited for the police the 19-year-old started sobbing and BEGGED forgiveness from shop owner Mohammed Ullah.
But, of course, this being modern Britain the bravery of this man is not matched by the good sense of our criminal justice system-
The youth has been released on police bail.
Yep, an armed robber is set free again almost immediately.
Husbands are allowed to slap their wives if they spend lavishly, a Saudi judge said recently during a seminar on domestic violence, Saudi media reported Sunday.
Arab News, a Saudi English-language daily newspaper based in Riyadh, reported that Judge Hamad Al-Razine said that "if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment."
Al-Razine "also pointed out that women's indecent behavior and use of offensive words against their husbands were some of the reasons for domestic violence in the country," it added.
Now, where could he have gotten the idea that beating your wife was acceptable?
Here we have an example of the President of the United States using his power to favour a certain segment of society. Not only has he strong-armed investors into losing out on what was legally due to them in favour of the auto-workers union, he is now withholding funds from California- again, so that union workers can benefit.
In a show of what can only be described as Brass Balls, yesterday President Obama jerked on the stimulus money, setting the hook, which will now allow him to control the state’s budget. Specifically, $74 million dollar budget cuts to the pay of unionized home healthcare workers.
In other words, Obama is doing the same thing to California that he is doing to the auto and banking industries. Do what we want, because we gave you money. You took money, therefore we own you. The citizens of California are unimportant. The projects that would be paid for with the $7 billion, also not important. The taxpayers, many yet to be born, that are paying for the stimulus cash, definitely not important. The home health care union workers, who I’m sure would rather take a pay cut than lose their jobs, they’re important.
As Atlas Shrugs reported, SEIU actually spent $18 million dollars campaigning for Barack Obama. (UPDATE- SEIU now puts the figure at more than $60 million dollars.)
The unions own Obama. It's that simple. Not only has he taken a vast sum of money from one group and given it to another but he threatened to abuse the power of his office to get his way.
I can only imagine the 24/7 screeching if Bush had intervened in private business and then a state budget to demand that a group which strongly supported him received preferential treatment. Especially in such a manner as this.
One last thought- it's clear from all economic indicators that the stimulus has failed in a dramatic way. Unemployment, for example, is worse now that it would have been had the stimulus bill not been passed.
So, where are the commentators in the MSM blasting the government for a trillion dollar plus deficit with more to come? Where are the Republicans- who voted against the stimulus- saying, "I told you so"? Why aren't they kicking up a huge fuss about this? The reason we were told the bill had to pass before anyone had even read it was so that it could get to work straight away and save jobs- well, here we are and unemployment is getting worse, the economy isn't growing and the deficit is getting bigger and bigger.
Come on, GOP- is it so hard to explain why Obama, Reid and Pelosi got it so wrong at such colossal expense??
A few excerpts. First of all on the qualities Obama is specifically seeking-
Time and again, Obama has called for judges who do not put their private political views aside when deciding cases. In choosing a replacement for Justice David Souter, the president says, he will seek not just "excellence and integrity," but a justice whose "quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles," would be "an essential ingredient" in his jurisprudence. In an interview last year, he said he would look for judges "sympathetic" to those "on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless."
And just one of the arguments for why this is such a terrible and dangerous idea and precedent-
JUDICIAL dispassion - the ability to decide cases without being influenced by personal feelings or political preferences - is indispensable to the rule of law. So indispensable, in fact, that the one-sentence judicial oath required of every federal judge and justice contains no fewer than three expressions of it: "I . . . do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me . . . under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God."
Jacoby discusses this further- such a notion also contravenes the Constitution, for example- and I strongly suggest you not only read it but pass it along.
One can only imagine the howling outrage on the Left if President Bush has suggested selecting judges who would prefer one segment of society over another.
I can only hope that Republicans not only block any such appointees- that is, those who believe that they should violate their oath of office- but make the reasons very clear to the public at large.
Justice must be blind to the preferences of one segment of society- otherwise the very word has no meaning. Obama, as a former law professor, should know better.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.
Quite why the government thinks it's their business to spend American dollars on Argentinian drunken gay sex and Chinese drunken prostitution is beyond me.
Incredible- you wouldn't think that the US was in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression to see how Washington is spending your money right now.
Perhaps Obama needs to have another "line by line" look at just what the NIH is spending US tax dollars on.
After the Obama administration released the OLC memos on enhanced interrogation techniques, our British allies must have figured that the US would not object to publicizing the techniques used on Binyam Mohamed, now in the UK after being released from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama clarified his position on exposing intel techniques in a letter to the Brits that more or less told them to do what he says, and not what he does. Eli Lake reports that Obama threatened to cut off cooperation between American and British intelligence if a British court publishes a seven-paragraph memorandum outlining Mohamed’s treatment.
Not only that, but they threatened the UK's relationship with other nations-
“Public disclosure of this information, reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the United Kingdom’s national security. Specifically, disclosure of this information may result in a constriction of the U.S.-U.K. relationship, as well as U.K. relationships with other countries.”
Quite aside from the fact that this isn't the smartest way to conduct diplomacy- threatening an ally- doesn't the Obama administration realise that the information sharing between the UK and the USA is a two way street?
The plot to blow up airliners flying between the UK and the US, for example, was foiled by UK security services- with some collaboration with the US.
If Obama cuts off the UK like this then not only does he risk destroying the relationship with a long-standing ally, but he also threatens the safety of both British and American civilians.
Another example of the "mad man theory" of his Presidency?
A pensioner was murdered with a rubber mallet after disturbing a teenage burglar, a court heard today.
George Thornley, 68, was bludgeoned with the hammer and slashed with a kitchen knife as he fought the 16-year-old who broke into his home in Clifton, Lancashire, to steal his car keys, Preston Crown Court heard.
Under British law if you keep a weapon on hand in preparation for just such an incident, even if said weapon is a cricket bat, you are more than likely to be charged for assaulting the perpetrator.
A BRAVE dad was beaten to death after he confronted a group of drunken yobs outside his home — just two weeks before his wedding.
Craig Wass, 39, was attacked with a BRICK, GOLF CLUBS and pieces of WOOD in the frenzied beating on a quiet cul-de-sac.
He had just gone out to ask them to keep the noise down. Under British law it is illegal to carry any kind of defensive weapon in public- even pepper spray is outlawed.
MURDER cops are investigating after a 16-year-old boy was shot dead at a pub.
Police were sent to the Robin Hood pub in Stretford, Manchester, following reports of shots being heard shortly before midnight.
The lad, named as Giuseppe Gregory, was driven to Trafford General Hospital with gunshot wounds to the head, it was claimed.
He later died from the injuries. Under British law all semi-auto rifles and cartridge-fed handguns are banned- those few firearms which can be purchased are strictly licensed and regulated. Since the gun bans were enacted, the country has seen an increase not only in violent crime but in gun crime. If the intent of the gun bans was to reduce gun crime it has been a disastrous failure.
But you won't ever hear a British politician arguing that our right to keep arms be restored.
Environmentalist Trudie Styler is being accused of hypocrisy for hiring a private jet just to take her and her stylists to a party at the White House.
Styler - who co-founded the Rainforest Foundation 20 years ago - allegedly took the gas-guzzling jet from New York to the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
She was accompanied by an entourage of eight to help her prepare for the event, with those onboard including Manhattan-based hairstylist Antonio Prieto.
And her charity is not exactly useful either-
Sting and Trudie are big proponents of saving the rainforests.
But last year it was reported that Sting's star-studded charity concert for the Rainforest Foundation in 2006 donated only 41 percent of the proceeds to tree-saving programs.
Well-run charities typically spend 75 per cent on programmes.
So how do they compare in other ways to Al Gore- whose house used more energy in one month than the average American home did in a year?Last May, the couple were said to 'have a carbon footprint estimated at 30 times that of the average UK resident.'
Green hypocrisy- Trudi's in good company with Al Gore and even Barack Obama.
He tells you not to drive SUVs or keep the thermostat turned up or eat what you want- while his "Beast" gets eight miles to the gallon (half what a Hummer gets), he keeps the White House temperature cranked up full and he has a pizza chef fly halfway across the country to prepare dinner for him.
He chastises Wall Street for pay-levels so high that 25 year old executives were paying $100 for steak dinners and leaving exorbitant tips; while he splashed out on $100 wagyu steak for guests at the White House after blowing over a trillion dollars on a stimulus that has completely failed to stimulate anything.
And now, after blasting private industry for holding conferences in Las Vegas...he's going to jet to Las Vegas to take part in a fund-raiser for the Democrats.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Doug Powers adds, "Seeing Planned Parenthood pass the hat for a contribution on Mother’s Day is a little like watching The Pontius Pilate Foundation collect donations of hammers and nails… on Good Friday."
One of the excuses put forward by the Immigration Minister is that we can't possibly afford to allow Gurkhas to come to the UK. Funny, then, that they aren't doing everything they can about this-
AN AMNESTY allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the UK would cost a staggering £1million for each newcomer.
For the first time, the “huge, unnecessary burden” of letting up to 950,000 foreign nationals remain is revealed today by campaign group Migrationwatch.
The Labour government seems to have no problem with illegal immigrants staying in the country- people who not only have no ties whatsoever to the nation but have shown no respect for the rule of law here. On the other hand, Labour are all too worried about the cost of a relatively small number of Gurkhas- men who have put their very lives on the line for our nation and who wouldn't dream of breaking the law to enter the country.
It's a sickening double standard.
And then, dear reader, there's this- in a single year MPs milked £93 million in expenses from the taxpayer. There are so many abuses of the system that multiple blog posts would be needed to cover just a sampling of them. Let's just say that they have been using taxpayers' money to pay for everything from chocolate bars, dog food, bags of manure up to velvet rugs, renovations and even for property taxes. It's a shocking abuse of a system put in place to aid MPs who have to keep a house or flat in London while they attend Parliament. In fact, Sinn Fein/IRA MPs- who refuse to take their oath of office or even attend Parliament- are claiming the expenses-
With the party hitting back over allegations that the rental expenses were well above market rates, it was also reported that taxpayers paid for widescreen TVs and surround sound DVD systems for the accommodation.
Sinn Fein's five MPs were granted access to Commons expenses in 2001, despite their abstentionist policy towards the House.
Most controversially, this entitles them to a London living allowance now worth some £24,000 per year each.In total they have claimed £437,405 since 2001. A sum that also flights to London- even though they refuse to sit in Parliament and thus have no need to travel there at the taxpayers' expense.
But the government claims that the cost of some elderly and infirm Gurkhas cannot come to live out their twilight years in Britain because of the cost? Nevermind the difference those millions of pounds in MP expenses would have made to a health service which denies the ill certain drugs and treatments because they are too expensive.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Well, it seems like he may have missed one or two other items-
Government researchers are spending more than $400,000 in taxpayer money to hit the bars in Argentina.
The National Institutes of Health are paying researchers to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk -- and just what can be done about it.Though public health officials say that HIV/AIDS rates are higher in Washington, D.C., than in some parts of West Africa, U.S. government funds are going to help curb dangerous liaisons in Argentina's capital.
Bad enough they're paying to cruise gay bars- worse that they're doing the research in Argentina. You'd think that, just maybe, that particular area would be the concern of, oh I don't know, the Argentinian government perhaps?
It's a good thing that America isn't suffering a tremendous economic crisis with unemployment at a 26-year-high of 8.9% while taxpayers' money is wasted on a risky-gay-sex study in another nation...oh, wait....
Meanwhile, the government has no problems allowing foreigners, with no link whatsoever to Britain, and who have also committed crimes to stay here. One example are the Afghans who high-jacked an airplane en route to London and then demanded asylum here. They can stay- but old and sick war heroes cannot.
Fighting the injustice of this system, Joanna
Mr Woolas became embroiled in an extraordinary televised political pantomime with Miss Lumley yesterday after some veterans received letters rejecting their claims to live in the UK. In a bravura performance, the actress seized the initiative in her battle for soldiers' rights and reduced Phil Woolas to an abject and humiliated figure. Adopting the air of an angry schoolmistress, she sought him out at Westminster and frogmarched him to a live press conference for a very public dressing down. In the process, she effectively rewrote Government policy.
This picture says it all really-
Although, I have to say that this one (taken after Parliament voted against the government's preposterous rules) is also rather good-
Friday, May 08, 2009
A mother-of-three stabbed to death in her home called police hours before her death to report she might be attacked.
Ms Griffiths, who was on crutches, called police at 9pm on Tuesday and is said to have been told that officers would be with her in an hour.
They didn't even bother to show up.
At 2.45 am on Wednesday, police received an emergency call saying she had been attacked and wounded.She later died in hospital from her wounds. Her three daughters were in the house with her at the time of the attack.
Ms Griffiths, who was in a relationship, was said to have been increasingly concerned about the unwanted attentions of another man.
A close friend, who asked not to be named, said: 'She called the police at 9pm and she was waiting for the police to come.
'She was expressing concern about a person and she phoned the police. She was told they would be there in an hour. They did not arrive.'
Ms Griffiths had also sent text messages to friends expressing concern about her safety.
There is a saying- when seconds count, the police are minutes away. In some cases, they may be an hour away- or they might not even bother showing up at all.
The student defensive shooting and this story are clear examples that the responsibility for your own safety should be your own- and that all lawful citizens should be able to exercise their right to defend themselves and their loved ones. In the UK the right to keep arms with which to defend oneself has been denied by the state- so that the average law-abiding citizen is defenceless in the face of aggression from criminals.
Here we had a woman at home with her children- forbidden by the state the only proven means to adequately defend herself from a more powerful male aggressor. The firearm.
I wonder how many others lives have been lost because British citizens are forbidden from using a tool which puts a lone woman on crutches, or the elderly or the frail, on an equal footing with an aggressive criminal?
For my American readers- the time to fight for your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, a right which might one day save the life of yourself or your family, is now. Before you lose it.
Jessica was diagnosed with scoliosis 16 months ago when she was having a dress fitted and the tailor spotted her crooked shoulders.
Her parents Kevin, 42, and Ange, 44, took her to the doctors and she was referred for an operation but had to wait 16 months before having surgery.
She was due to have the op just before Christmas but because of a backlog of patients she was told she would have to wait four more painful months.
During that time her spine continued to twist out of shape and she had to prop herself up on five pillows in order to get a good night's sleep.
Oh yeah- and look how wonderful our government-run health care system is too. She only had to suffer needlessly and have her life endangered for a few months longer than necessary.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
A group of college students said they are lucky to be alive and they’re thanking the quick-thinking of one of their own.
Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.
“They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.
Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.
Their intent seems clear- and no amount of gun free zones would have prevented this from happening. on the contrary, the quick thinking and courage of a single student saved their lives-
That’s when one student grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot at the invader who was watching the men. The gunman ran out of the apartment.The student then ran to the room where the second gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Calvin Lavant, was holding the women.
“Apparently the guy was getting ready to rape his girlfriend. So he told the girls to get down and he started shooting. The guy jumped out of the window,” said Bailey.
One of the would-be rapists and murderers is dead, while the other escaped. Had a single student not been armed this could very well have been a news report about the multiple rape and murder of students instead.
A prime example of why every attempt to infringe Second Amendment rights must be fought tooth and nail.
Judge Sotomayor referenced Harvard Professor Martha Minow on a couple of occasions within her speech as a former classmate. Minow was actually one of Barack Obama’s professors at Harvard Law. In fact, Minow recommended him for his first legal job with Sidley Austin where her father was a Managing Partner. And of course Sidley Austin is where Obama met Michelle.
As Verum Serum notes- it's a small world. Especially, it would, seem when you're the President of the United States. As has been noted during the campaign season Obama inhabited a remarkably small universe of liberals and radicals. Let's just add, for the record, that Sidley Austin was the legal firm linked to Bill Ayers' father- and the company which also happened to employ Bernardine Dohrn.
Sotomayor's nomination- nepotism or remakable coincidence?
Monday, May 04, 2009
Over the past few weeks, I've been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court.
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."
Oof. So she's dumb and obnoxious. Got it.
Looks like she'll fit right in with the rest of the Obama administration then...
Gordon Brown and David Miliband are to charter private jets to carry them on official business around the world.
Private flights typically cost £8,000 an hour, with the average bill for a return trip to Washington around £80,000.
For a flight to India the cost of a regular airline is £1,803 while a private jet will cost a staggering £160,000.
So how does this relate to health care? Well, while NICE denies drugs to patients based on their cost alone, the government thinks it's a good idea to fritter away tens of thousands of pounds on private jets to trips overseas. Not only is there a more cost-effective solution available, one has to ask how many of these trips are essential? What about Miliband picking up the phone or teleconferencing? Not quite so glamorous but when people are having to wait for six months for a scan on the NHS there is obviously a more pressing need for this taxpayers' money.
But no- the government (and this won't change under the Tories if they win the next election) has to have their trappings of power. That they don't agonise over how to spend every penny of taxpayers' money on their job, that they think it's fine to spend ten times more the going rate to fly to America, is a sure sign that the health and lives of the people they represent is of little concern to them. In fact, I'd be surprised if it had even occurred to a single one of them that saving a few thousand pounds here and there could transform a seriously ill person's life- if not save them outright.
And the same thing will happen in the US if Obama has his way. While people will have to wait for treatments, while they will be denied costly treatments, the government will carry on spending money like a drunken sailor.
But that money wasn't in the health care budget, they might argue if confronted. Well, we must respond- why the hell not? Why are you wasting our taxes on luxury flights instead of finding the most cost-effective solution and then transferring the unspent money in your budget over to the health care sector?
The only conclusion we can reach is that they really don't care. When was the last time a British politician declared- "I slashed my department's/office's budget and have X thousand pounds left over. Here, NHS, use it to treat the seriously ill"?
The answer is never.
And if the current administration gets their way the President, to name but one example, will still go on utterly unnecessary trips overseas with a legion of followers and security personnel at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars- at the same time the taxpayer funded health care system will deny drugs, scans and treatments to patients because the budget just can't bear it.
Senators will still go on