With an increasing number of mass shootings in recent months, we are urged by law enforcement officials to keep an eye out. Report anything suspicious. “If you see something, say something” we are regularly told. The problem is, that in too many instances, the alarms raised by concerned citizens are falling on deaf ears.
The most recent blatant example of a failure to respond came last week as 17 teachers and students were gunned down in Parkland, Florida. The FBI received several credible tips that a graduate of Parkland High school, Nikolas Cruz, was posting disturbing social media postings that he wanted to become a “professional school shooter” and had a desire to kill people. The FBI admitted it had failed to investigate even though there are only 12 “Nikolas Cruz” in the country. So much for “see something, say something.”
In the same case, the local sheriff admitted to receiving over 20 calls about the dangers of the shooter. No action was taken. The Parkland public defender, whose office is representing Nikolas Cruz, said: “This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter. If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multi-system failure.”
In the Nassar molestation case of teenage gymnasts, the doctor molested more than 40 young girls after the FBI had been notified. One of the gymnasts who complained to the FBI told The New York Times: “I never got a phone call from the police or the FBI during that time. Not one person. Not one. Not one. Not one.” She saw something and said something, but got no response.
How about Devin Kelley, the mass murderer at the small church in Texas. While in the Air Force, he talked openly about killing his superiors, illegally snuck a gun on his military base, was charged with assault and escaping from a psychiatric hospital, attacked his wife with a gun, hitting and choking her, fractured the skull of his baby stepson, and became a convicted felon. Yet after all this, he still was allowed to buy a number of guns. Many saw something and said something, but there was no response.
We know about mass shootings here in Louisiana, A killer named John Houser, who had a long history of violence and mental illness traveled to Louisiana from Georgia. Houser had been ordered to a psychiatric hospital by a Georgia judge in 2008, which should have prevented him from even buying a gun. But then he went to an Alabama pawnshop and bought a 40-caliber, semiautomatic handgun. Georgia and Alabama are both saying the other state should have done more to stop Houser from purchasing the gun considering his checkered mental condition. So what good was it to “see something, say something?”
As I wrote in a column last year, some 48,000 convicted felons and fugitives lied about their criminal history, a federal offense, so as to pass the background checks and purchase guns illegally. How many of these 48,000 were prosecuted for making false statements? A total of 44. The Justice Department’s response was that it was “prioritizing prosecutions to focus on more serious crimes.” More serious crimes? What could be more serious than getting thousands of potential killers off the streets who lie to get a weapon?
It’s all well and good to have these national campaigns that tell the public to keep their eyes open and report suspicious activity. Some will argue that this leads to a big brother mentality, but it’s just the price we have to pay in the this violent day and age.
But if you “see something and say something,” you expect that federal and state law enforcement agencies will give such information a serious look. Too often, such important information gets ignored or falls through the cracks. Americans deserve a lot better.
Peace and Justice
Multiple states are reporting “early” allergy seasons.
We still have a month left of winter yet grass is sprouting, leaves are growing and flowers are blooming. Add warmer than normal temperatures to the mix and this is the perfect recipe for an early allergy season.
Allergy season usually begins with the start of Spring in March. Yet many may start their symptoms as early as February if they are allergic to what’s blooming.
Tree pollens start first in January and then taper off in April. Grass pollen starts to rise in February and March. Finally weed pollens join the party by the Spring and extend through the Summer and Fall.
Here are your questions answered:
Allergies are the result of the immune response to a foreign particulate that our body senses. One could be allergic to pollen, dust, dander, food, insects, mold, metals, transfused blood, grafts, medicine and anything the body senses as a foreign intruder. Even though these may be individually harmless, a hypersensitivity reaction occurs as a result of their intrusion into the body. IgE antibodies find the allergen (intruder) and activate mast cells in the tissue and basophils in the blood. When these cells get activated, they release substances to help protect the body, including histamines, leukotrienes, and cytokines. These help the body attempt to sneeze and cough the allergen out, wall off the antigen, signal more antibodies, or produce tears and nasal secretions to flush it out.
Symptoms of allergies could include any or a combination of the following:
Colds may have very similar symptoms to allergies. However they are different.
The common cold is caused by a virus. When one gets infected by the virus they may feel malaise, fever, and achy. This does not occur with allergies.
Moreover, nasal secretions from allergies are usually clear. In a cold, the mucous could be thicker and with color.
The same holds true with sputum. During an allergy the cough may have little to no mucous and if so, be light colored. Thick mucus could be a sign of an infection.
An allergic sore throat will seem more dry and scratchy. A sore throat from a cold is more uncomfortable and less easy to soothe.
Allergies may persist or be cyclical. Cold symptoms will usually subside after a few days and rarely persist longer than 10 days.
Yes and no. Allergies should not in and of themselves cause an infection. However they may make one more vulnerable for a virus or bacteria to take over. Hence a bronchitis, sinus infection, or pneumonia could uncommonly follow an asthma attack.
As stated previously, if one is susceptible to colds, an allergic attack could make them vulnerable. Moreover if one suffers from asthma, an allergy attack could incite an asthma attack. Very rarely would we see a life threatening anaphylaxis to an allergen such as pollen.
Avoiding, or decreasing exposure to the allergen is key. We suggest the following:
Local tree, ragweed and grass pollen counts can be obtained here.
“…after the Massacre in Littleton, CO, I realized that as a member of this generation that kills without remorse, I had a duty to challenge all of my elders to explain why they have allowed things to become so bad.” -Marcy Musgrave
Just last week, I was taking the time to speak about school shootings and the pharmaceutical companies, as well as the indoctrination taking place in public schools on my national radio broadcast.
I also took the time to bring forth warnings to parents as to what their kids were and are facing and what it is that their kids are being subjected to on a 5-day a week basis in public schools. I shared a letter to the editor from a student warning what would happen if her generation, and those upcoming, were ignored by their parents and elders.
The following letter from college student Marcy Musgrave in the editorial section of the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, May 2, 1999.
Generation NEXT has some Questions I am a member of the upcoming generation--the one after Generation X that has yet to be given a name. So far, it appears that most people are rallying behind the idea of calling us Generation Next. I believe I know why. The older generations are hoping we will mindlessly assume our place as the "next" in line. That way, they won't have to explain why my generation has had to experience so much pain and heartache. "What heartache?" you say. "Don't you know you have grown up in a time of great prosperity?" Yeah, we know that. Believe me, it has been drilled into our heads since birth. Unfortunately, the pain and hurt I speak of can't be reconciled with money. You have tried for years to buy us happiness, but it is only temporary. Money isn't the answer, and it is time for people to begin admitting their guilt for failing my generation. I will admit that I wasn't planning to write this. I was going to tuck it away in some corner of my mind and fall victim to your whole "next" mentality.
But after the Massacre in Littleton, CO, I realize that as a member of this generation that kills without remorse, I had a duty to challenge all of my elders to explain why they have allowed things to become so bad. Let me tell you this: These questions don't represent only me but a Whole generation that is struggling to grow up and make sense of this world. We all have questions; we all want explanations. People may label us Generation Next, but we are more appropriately Generation "Why?"
"Why did most of you lie when you made the vow of 'til death do us part'?" "Why do you fool yourselves into believing that divorce really is better for the kids in the long run?" "Why do so many of you divorced parents spend more time with your new boyfriend or girlfriend than with your own children?"
"Why did you ever fall victim to the notion that kids are just as well off being raised by a complete stranger at a daycare center than by their own mother or father?" "Why do you look down on parents who decide to quit work and stay home to raise their children?" "Why does the television do the most talking at family meals?" "Why is work more important than your own family?" "Why is money regarded as more important than relationships?"
"Why is 'quality time' generally no longer than a five-to-10-minute conversation each day?" "Why do you try to make up for the lack of time you spend with us by giving us more and more material objects that we really don't need?" "Why does your work (in the form of a cell Phone, laptop computer, etc.), always come with us on vacations?"
"Why have you neglected to teach us values and morals?" "Why haven't you lived moral lives that we could model our own after?" "Why isn't religion one of the most important words in our household?" "Why do you play God when it comes to abortion?" "Why don't you have enough faith in us to teach us abstinence rather than safe sex?" "Why do you allow us to watch violent movies but expect us to maintain some type of childlike innocence?" "Why do you allow us to spend unlimited amounts of time on the Internet, but still are shocked about our knowledge of how to build bombs?" "Why are you so afraid to tell us 'no' sometimes?” "Why is it so hard for you to realize that school shootings, and other violent juvenile behavior, result from a lack of your attention more than anything else?" Call us Generation Next if you want to, but I think you will be surprised at how we will fail to fit into your neat little category. These questions should, and will, be asked of the generations that have failed us. Written by Marcy Musgrave, a junior at Texas A&M University. [YouTube Video]
It is amazing to me that another tragedy like that of the school shooting in Florida on Wednesday has to take place before people awaken to what is happening in our country today. This will, of course, last for 3 to 4 days and Americans will be diverted once again.
The sad fact is that I was refused, for a very short time by a school district in Boca Raton, Florida, not for tearing down their values and what we see in our Constitution, but for reinforcing them.
Young people are illegally indoctrinated by the federal government and then these same politicians, who push for the federal government’s illegal indoctrination in public schools, are the first ones to call for gun control after a tragedy occurs. Hopefully, people in this country do realize that a majority of school shootings are in “gun free” zones, which in itself it illegal. Funny how this does not happen in schools with armed guards.
Going back, Obama had illegally implemented an extensive overhaul of public education from kindergarten through high school, bypassing Congress (again), the voice of the American people, and inducing states to agree to major changes that none of his predecessors attempted.
Apparently, Barack Hussein Obama, the self-proclaimed “Constitutional Scholar,” hasn’t taken the time to read Article 10 of the Bill of Rights. The federal government has no business whatsoever in the education of American schoolchildren.
This was all done by implementing Common Core Standards in 46 states and D.C., drowning students with mostly “informational text” and historical documents.
Some of the non-fiction texts that will be implemented into school curriculum are “FedViews,” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2009) and “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” published by the General Services Administration.
Jamie Highfill, the Arkansas 2011 middle school teacher of the year, said, “I’m struggling with this, and my students are struggling. With informational text, there isn’t that human connection that you get with literature. And the kids are shutting down. They are getting bored. I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen.”
The curriculum change in public schools has been a downward spiral for many years. America has been so dumbed down that 700,000 students per year graduate without the ability to read their own diplomas.
Add to students’ confusion the innumerable amount of errors in school textbooks ranging from misinformation to omission of facts or outright lies. These “errors” can be found in virtually every subject, especially in math, science and history.
In Texas, the State Board of Education found a total of 109,263 errors in math textbooks reviewed for use in 2008 alone. Yes, I said 109,263 errors. The board had to go so far as to place a possible fine of $5,000 per error found if they were not fixed by spring of the same year.
In textbooks all across America, science (the study of creation) is well-known for being laced with the dangerous theory of evolution, which wars against Christianity, the Bible, God and His Law, which is the foundation of our republic.
In Virginia, a state review committee found a slew of errors in many history textbooks. A committee of five historians caught errors ranging from the incorrect year John Rolfe married Pocahontas to quotes that do not even appear in historical records. One book illustrated Virginia soldiers in the Revolutionary War wearing red coats, when in fact they wore blue. Another textbook erroneously stated many colonial Americans were illiterate. In fact, literacy rates were extremely high.
Retired Library of Virginia historian Brent Tarter wrote in his review of one textbook, “Our Virginia,” “I also found some very significant omissions, some internal inconsistencies, and some erroneous or questionable descriptions and analyses of historical events. Some are so ludicrous and difficult to explain that I cannot understand where the misinformation came from.”
In recent years, American public schools have also been indoctrinated with the Muslim religion. Studies have shown over 500 historical errors in public school textbooks, giving an Islamic slant to our youth.
As a result, our youth are subject to the following teachings:
• Learning to become a Muslim
• Fasting for Ramadan
• Learning the five pillars of Islam
• Memorizing verses from the Quran
• Adopting a Muslim name
• Staging a Jihad (war against non-Muslims)
As I said, the federal government of the United States of America has no lawful authority over the education of the young.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Second, the reason this is happening is that 86 percent of the American people who call themselves Christian conservatives are the ones sending their kids into public schools to be indoctrinated in a worldview they claim they despise.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The Lord commanded parents to train their children in the way they should go, not the federal government.
The good news is we still have the freedom to do the right thing. These are our kids, not the federal government’s.
As a forewarning, you might want to bless this generation while you have time to do so. If you don’t, they will be there to curse you.
“The philosophy taught in the classroom in one generation will be the taught in government in the next.”
This explains what we are dealing with today. I tried to tell you.
Skeletal muscle insulin resistance is the root cause of reactive elevated insulin levels. Muscle utilizes fatty acids for fuel, rather than glycogen converted to sugar. We only have several thousand calories stored in muscle as glycogen, but many hundreds of thousands potentially stored as fatty acids in adipose tissue, both white and brown fat under skin and around internal organs. This adaptive change probably arose several hundred thousand years ago, to survive famines and ice ages. It is the famine response triggered by mineral depleted soils, high sugar and carbohydrate diets, and stress hormonal responses.
Obese individuals have not only elevated insulin levels fasting and after meals, but counter-insulin hormones, glucagon and cortisol. The pancreas makes insulin but also glucagon, that promotes liver conversion to sugar, especially overnight. Cortisol pushes sugar upward countering surging insulin, and comes from the adrenals, showing a mild stress hormone response to swinging blood sugar levels.
The solution to Obesity and Diabetes is dietary, metabolic, specific kinds of exercise. Paleo and Ketogenic diets lower insulin stimulation, with low glycemic index dietary foods. Supplements that lower insulin resistance in muscles and other target organs to a lesser extent, lowers insulin output. Special supplements lower Glucagon and Cortisol, counter-insulin hormones, and thus lower sugar production. Excess glucose production is converted to fatty acids, that link on glycerol to make triglyceride or fat, that is exported from the liver to adipose tissues.
Supplements that reverse type 2, or insulin resistant hypothyroidism can raise metabolic rate, suppressed by elevation of Reverse Thyroid Hormone RT3, that can be lab evaluated. Core temperature will return to normal when Free RT3 levels are reduced. It can be monitored with an alcohol Geratherm or two digit Electronic oral thermometer, in the AM, before getting up, as muscle twitches will produce some heat to core temperature. The best exercise is non-traumatic vibration platform exercise with resistance bands or small hand weights to boost metabolic activity and fat burning actions, release NO nitric oxide, and raise GH Growth Hormone levels.
Stay well with wise natural care of functional metabolic medicine
Dr. Bill Deagle, MD, AAEM, ACAM, A4M
Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year, with consumers spending more than $18 billion a year buying cards, chocolates, flowers, and teddy bears. But what no one admits to is it is one of the most anxiety producing and miserable holidays of the year.
When you’re single the last thing you need to be reminded of is just that….you’re single. Valentine’s Day inundates us with the “normalcy” of being in a relationship such that anyone who’s single feels there’s something wrong with them. Single people feel forced to shut off the TV, avoid shopping, avoid others and remain indoors for the week surrounding Feb. 14th.
If you’re married, and have been so for some time, Valentine’s Day reminds you of how much you are lacking in sex and romance. But worse yet, you are now compelled to do something for Valentine’s Day. No credit for spontaneity. No credit for being romantic, since the whole world seems to be celebrating Valentines. And… it’s all pain, no gain. If you mess up, and your gift or celebration is not very romantic, you’re in the dog house. And if you forget about the holiday all together…Whoa Nelly…..
When one thinks of candy they think of chocolate, lollipops, vibrant colors…..Valentine’s heart candy is the worst candy out there. They’re pale, hard, practically crack your teeth, not very tasty and force you to read them before you eat.
Don’t give me anymore work to do. You could be pretty high maintenance. And what if I’m not ready to commit?
Valentine’s Day gifts are made to be publicized. And even if you gave your sweetheart the gift in private, it will be posted on social media or broadcast at work the next day. In fact, not sending the gift to their work could be a major faux pas.
If you’re single, use this holiday to celebrate the friendships you have. Make it a singles night out and celebrate your freedom. Or make a friend feel special by sending a “friend” valentine. These could include: a bottle of wine, a stuffed toy (with no heart attached), a book, a gift certificate, a funny poem/ desk calendar.
Since the gift of spontaneity has already been hijacked by this holiday, do something creative and unpredictable. Candlelight dinner, a poem, luxury bath, weekend trip, something sappy…..but do it right and you’ll get bonus points.
Here’s the silver lining. Most Valentine’s Day gifts/gestures do not have to cost a lot. Valentine’s Day is about the heart and showing one how much you care. So a note, poem, song, personalized song list, or even a cute little doodle can go along way.
We make the mistake of thinking men want what we want. Let’s take cologne for that matter….men don’t want to smell like perfume or “parfume”y….they like smelling like men. Forcing them to use toilet water is not cool.
Another common gift given to men is a shaving set. Does the average man like shaving, let alone every day? Top that off with wasting an opportunity for them to get a cool gift with one that includes shaving products??? Cruel, just cruel.
For men, many prefer steak for dinner, time alone in their man cave, or sex. I think that’s about it. Pretty easy.
So hope this helps you get through Valentine’s Day anxiety free and worry free.
And remember…. its only one day…just one day…. and will all be over Feb. 15th.
The president last week suggested that the nation establish a yearly military parade to honor the service and the sacrifice of the current military and our veterans. He spoke of it as “a unifying moment for the country.” Almost immediately, the Trump naysayers jumped all over the idea as nothing more than “pandering patriotism.” “Tanks, but no tanks,” was the opinion of the Washington Post.
Former Obama State Department spokesman and retired Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby ripped the idea by saying: “This is just beneath us as a nation. We are the most powerful military on earth. We don’t need to be parading our military hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue to show that to anybody.”
I personally think a number of Trump ideas are a little loony, but in this case, he is right on the mark. America has done a poor job honoring those who served in the military. The only voices who are “pandering patriots” are the numerous chick hawks who dodged the draft yet go around with the American flag on their lapel telling us to “stand up for the USA,” as they ran for the foxholes when service to their country called.
Remember former Vice President Dick Cheney’s response when asked why he didn’t serve his country in the military? In 1989 he told the Washington Post, “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” His unpatriotic attitude is mirrored by many current members of congress who often used every trick in the book to avoid serving in the military.
Many congressmen think wearing an American flag lapel pin is some kind of fashion statement. But that doesn’t cut it to the thousands of Americans who have dedicated a portion of their lives to public service. Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy never wore lapel pins. Sen. John McCain, who was tortured for five years in a Viet Cong prison, doesn’t feel it necessary to wear his patriotism on his suit coat.
And how about General John F. Kelly, Trump’s current chief of staff? He served over 40 years in the military, fighting in the initial invasion of Iraq and in Desert Storm. And he’s a Gold Star father as his son, serving in the Marines, was killed fighting in Afghanistan. When asked why he doesn’t wear a flag pin, he responded: “I am an American flag.”
The message here is that wear a flag if you wish, but do not think this gesture substitutes for active public service to your country. Particularly in Louisiana, we need to honor those who have given so much for our freedom. The Bayou State has an exceptionally high number of war casualties who died in Iraq with 41 National Guard soldiers alone from the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team based out of Lafayette and Shreveport.
I enlisted in the 256th Infantry Brigade back in 1967. I was just out of Tulane Law School and beginning my law practice up in Ferriday, Louisiana, with my first child on the way. Since I was over 26, I was draft exempt. But I volunteered anyway serving both in the Army and 12 years in the Louisiana National Guard. Hey, I didn’t consider myself anything special. It was what thousands of Americans did. It was, to us, the American way and a call to duty.
The nation has numerous celebrations and parades on a local level for Veterans Day (November 11th) and Memorial Day (last Monday of the month), but there is no national military parade honoring those who served. You are right Mr. President. The world needs to see that America rallies around our military on a special day with a full review of all branches of the nation’s armed forces.
Veteran’s Day in November would be my suggestion. This year would celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. A national military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on November 11th? I’ll be there joining thousands of others who volunteered to serve.
Peace and Justice
For centuries, plants and their oils have been used in a variety of therapeutic settings. Today aromatherapy is a billion dollar industry. Here are your questions answered:
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to treat an ailment. Oils are extracted from plants through a variety of different methods and then formulated to be used topically or breathed in as an aerosol.
Aromatherapy has been used to treat a variety of conditions including:
to name a few.
In 2014 Azanchi et al described the anticonvulsant activity of neroli oil, finding its biologically active “constituents” may assist in the management of seizures.
The following is a table from Natural Healers describing some uses of essential oils.
Many oils may be used alone or mixed with fragrances and/or other chemicals. These many times have not be tested clinically to see their effects on the respiratory tree lining and skin. Some risks posed by the use of aromatherapy include:
At this time, we recommend avoiding aromatherapy if you have any acute or chronic respiratory conditions, severe allergies, sensitive skin, are pregnant, or are currently taking any medications that could interact with the chemicals being inhaled or absorbed.
If considering using aromatherapy we recommend consulting your medical provider first.
As we see more practitioners integrate aromatherapy into one’s medical plan, more needs to be clinically studied to determine the benefits and risks.
If you watch any number of TV dramas, no doubt you’ve run across so-called police procedural shows, such as “Law and Order: SVU.” From time to time, an episode will feature a computer expert or hacker who is talking about the “Dark Web” or “darknet.” It’s very much the equivalent of the Internet’s underworld, where all sorts of unsavory types usually hang out. There are criminals there who offer all sorts of illegal services that you’ve also no doubt heard about on those TV shows.
Well, on this week’s episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE, we featured Jarrod Suffecool, Intelligence Team Lead for Binary Defense, who took us on a fascinating journey through the Dark Web (darknet). You learned about the unsavory activities that include “crime-as-a-service” — professional hacking kits and criminal services (created or offered by skilled hackers) that anyone can buy or rent online, and they’re often very inexpensive. This makes it easier for less skilled criminals to pull off sophisticated attacks and scams, and we’ll see a lot of this with tax fraud rings over the next two months. You also learned about Tor, the browser used to access Dark Web. Binary Defense Systems specializes in monitoring and infiltrating criminal marketplaces on the Dark Web to protect businesses and uncover evidence of crimes.
Now it’s easy enough to download and set up Tor, and I expect the curious would want to check about what’s going on in darknet. But it’s also easy to get yourself in trouble if you don’t watch what you’re doing when exploring a dangerous neighborhood. It’s not meant as a place to have fun, unless it’s a very unusual sort of fun. I’ve checked it out from time to time, but I usually stay away.
You also heard from author/publisher Joe Kissell, of Take Control Books. Joe talked about some of the troubling problems he’s encountered with macOS High Sierra, and about the decline in the quality of Apple’s operating systems. What about reports that Apple is cutting back on planned features for iOS 12 to emphasize reliability? Also discussed: The apparent failure of Apple’s “underpromise and overdeliver” policy by postponing features in new products that aren’t ready for prime time, including the delays in expanding support for the APFS file system to Fusion drives and Time Machine. What about the complexities and reliability problems of iCloud, which is a cornerstone of Apple’s services? Joe mentioned that he’s had to backup and restore his new Mac after owning it for less than a month, and Gene talked about the very worst Mac he ever owned, one that required constant repairs from Apple in the short time he owned it.
On this week’s episode of our other radio show, The Paracast: Best-selling author Erich von Däniken and UFO researcher and biblical scholar David Halperin debate the theory of ancient astronauts, that advanced beings from other planets visited Earth in ancient times. David also continues with discussions about his very different views of UFO reality, and the causes behind related events. von Däniken is arguably the most widely read and most-copied nonfiction author in the world. He published his first (and best-known) book, Chariots of the Gods, in 1968. In the 1960s, David Halperin was a teenage UFOlogist. He grew up to become a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with special expertise in religious traditions of heavenly ascent and otherworldly journeys. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on Jewish mysticism and messianism, and a novel, ‘Journal of a UFO Investigator.”
Will Apple’s Critics Admit They Were Wrong About iPhone X?
When it comes to actual fake news, Apple is often the victim of phony stories about one thing or another. The reasons why are varied. So putting Apple in the headline, good or bad, is certain hit bait. That means more ad clicks, and more money.
But I often wonder whether some of those faux stories aren’t fueled by Apple’s competitors. Certainly they have motives, because Apple earns the lion’s share of profits in the smartphone business, lots more than even Samsung. Apple pretty much owns the smartwatch market with Apple Watch, and the iPad, with sales on the rise again, dominates tablets. You get the picture.
Obviously, there’s no clear evidence if another company is instigating those unfavorable comments or the alleged bad news that’s based on lies. But I can see where some carefully selected bloggers and so-called industry analysts might be encouraged to post reports that are deliberately manipulated to make Apple look bad. I wouldn’t suggest any transfer of money or goods is ever involved.
Consider what’s been going on since the summer of 2016. Even as speculation built over that year’s new iPhones, there were expectations of a far better 10th anniversary version. It made sense from a logical point of view, that Apple would want to create a premium model, maybe even limited production, which would observe the occasion. Perhaps new technologies would be featured, but what?
Now the early speculation may not have been fueled by any real information, but was mostly based on good guesses. Apple doesn’t always adopt new features first, so just what is missing?
OLED displays of course. Unlike LCD, OLED is more similar to plasma, once fairly common on TV sets. You get a rich picture, with deep blacks and a virtually unlimited viewing angle. The comparison is obvious. Take a regular iPhone — other than the iPhone X of course — and turn it to the side slowly and you’ll see the picture dim, with colors becoming more muted. It’s a phenomenon typical of a regular TV set except, of course, for those with OLED displays.
Why Apple avoided OLED before this may be due to getting more accurate color and reducing the burn-in problem, where remnants of constant images stick on the display. That was also true of plasma. Regardless, it seemed to make perfect sense that Apple would go there.
Understand that the presence of such a model was used as ammunition to claim you shouldn’t buy the 2016 iPhone family, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. After all, they represented modest improvements over the previous two models, so why bother? What for the “real” update?
As 2016 turned into 2017. the speculation of the 10th anniversary iPhone coalesced, though it was at first referred to mostly as the iPhone 8. OLED was a given, but since Samsung couldn’t embed a fingerprint sensor beneath the edge-to-edge display on the Galaxy S8 family, it was assumed that Apple would confront the same problem.
The speculation first had it that Apple would put Touch ID in the rear, same as Samsung. It was also suggested by some that there would be no Touch ID or any biometric, which was, at every level, a preposterous concept. Such a feature was a must-have for many functions. Apple wouldn’t casually drop it without something better, which is why facial recognition came into the picture. But development was reportedly begun long ago; it was not tossed in as a last-minute replacement.
At this point, the complaints had it that Apple couldn’t come up with anything altogether new, since other smartphones had both facial biometrics and OLED. So how does Apple make a difference?
But remember that Apple often innovates by devising ways to improve on existing technology with its unique flair.
Yet another potential complaint had it that Apple planned to gouge customers with a $1,000 price tag, which would make the presumed iPhone 8 a non-starter. It was the height of hubris to expect customers to pay even more for a premium iPhone. This speculation continued unabated even when the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 debuted at $949. That disconnect was never explained.
But even when the iPhone 8 became the iPhone X, and the real iPhone 8 ended up as a more modest refresh of the previous model, the complaints never stopped. Face ID would present privacy problems, even though it used the same secure enclave scheme as Touch ID. When it was actually shown for the first time, it turned out that the “notch,” the narrow area at the top of the unit that contained the embedded sensing technology, dubbed TrueDepth, blocked out a small portion of the edge-to-edge display. Developers had to work around it for the best presentation of their apps.
When Apple began to take orders for the iPhone X at the end of October of last year, the backorder situation rapidly worsened. As the critics claimed, it soon lengthened to five to six weeks, implying that getting one before Christmas would be hit or miss.
As is often the case with Apple, the facts kept getting in the way. For the most part, Face ID turned out to be as reliable or more reliable than Touch ID. Not perfect, but almost seamless for many users who no longer had to reach for a Home button. Indeed, there was no Home button, meaning you had to learn a few new gestures to get around, but most people appeared to adapt to them without much complaint.
In short order, Apple began to match supplies with demand, and the situation improved really fast. So if you had to get an iPhone X immediately or with a short delay, it became more and more possible.
Why? Well, instead of assuming that Apple was simply competent in managing the supply chain, it was all about a presumed lack of demand. Soon it was rumored that Apple cut parts orders big time for this quarter, thus indicating that sales were far lower than expected.
In the days ahead of the release of Apple’s December quarter financials, the stock price began to drop. Apple allegedly placed a huge bet on the iPhone X, and it lost.
Again, the facts get in the way. Once it began to ship, the iPhone X became the number of smartphone on the planet. The iPhone 8 Plus, also fairly expensive, starting at $799, was number two, and the “lesser” iPhone 8 was number three. For the quarter, Apple’s smartphone lineup beat every other mobile handset maker in total sales, even Samsung, which sells loads of product at a fraction of the price.
That average sale prices exceeded $700 confirmed the product mix, that people bought higher quantities of the larger, more expensive iPhones.
Despite all this success, Apple still sold slightly fewer units during the quarter compared to the previous year. But was due to an accident of the calendar. So in 2016, the holiday quarter lasted 14 weeks; this year it was 13 weeks. But weekly sales totals were much higher in 2017. Apple’s revenue and profits hit record levels once again.
Apple’s guidance for this quarter reveals a healthy increase over last year, although, at $60 to $62 billon, it’s still below exaggerated analyst expectations. Indeed, Apple expects iPhone revenue to grow by double digits compared to last year. That’s supposed to be good news, better news than one has a right to expect from a product entering its second decade in a saturated market.
Overall, Apple has once again demonstrated that the critics were utterly wrong about the iPhone X and the company overall. Don’t expect any retractions or apologies, though. That’s not how things work when it comes to fake news about Apple.
Gene Steinberg is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. Gene hosts The Tech Night Owl LIVE - broadcast on Saturday from 9:00 pm - Midnight (CST), and The Paracast - broadcast on Sunday from 3:00am - 6:00am (CST). Both shows nationally syndicated through GCNlive. Gene’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter is a weekly information service of Making The Impossible, Inc. -- Copyright © 1999-2018. Click here to subscribe to Tech Night Owl Newsletter. This article was originally published at Technightowl.com -- reprinted with permission.
The Flu season of 2017 Holidays and early 2018 is different. H3N2, a subtype of influenza A, has been around for years but it mutated in 2014-2015 and during that flu season the mutated strain caused the majority of influenza in the United States. H3N2 is more easily spread by just being beside a person breathing within six feet. The inoculum or, load of virus, needed to infect is small, and it grows rapidly in lung tissue. This process can cause secondary lobar bacterial pneumonia rapidly putting somebody into respiratory failure, ICU, ventilator dependent or quickly become fatal. The vaccine is useless, because the new H3N2 genetics is not tracked by the current vaccine. Vaccines only create antibody to tag the pathogenic virus, and do not kill it. Only your activated T-Lymphocytes and Granulocytes kill pathogens with singlet free radical oxygen.
So what is the solution? In public places with high prevalence of influenza, wearing a Niosh N95 mask helps to protect airways. Use antipathogenic wipes that destroy the viral capsids of RNA and DNA viruses and pathogenic bacterial cell walls. Remember to keep the wipes in a Ziploc for protection. Taking natural antipathogenics to prevent viruses from attaching to cell receptors of airways, eyes, and mouth; and killing viruses before they gain a foothold and migrate to your lungs or gastrointestinal tracts.
Dr. Bill Deagle is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. Dr. Bill Deagle, MD is a member of the AAEM (American Academy of Emergency Medicine), ACAM (American College of Sports Medicine) and A4M (American Anti-Aging Association). His radio program, The NutriMedical Report, is nationally syndicated M-F from 2:00 pm -5:00 pm CST here at GCN. Dr. Bills range of nutraceuticals can be found here. For additional audio and video content with amazing material on health, geopolitics, the military, technology and conservative issues visit Deagle-Network.com. All email consults are FREE.
It’s been a bad last few weeks for the nation’s top law enforcement agency. First, an innocent hostage was shot and killed in a botched raid in Houston by an FBI shooter. Then the television movie series “Waco” debuted and revisited the FBI killings of innocent victims in both Ruby Ridge and Waco. And currently, the Bureau faces charges by members of Congress of malfeasance and even interfering in the most recent presidential election.
The FBI has a credibility problem. And for good reason. The House Intelligence Committee is investigating the mishandling of federal wiretap requests involving both the Clinton campaign and the Trump campaign. There is also the disappearance of thousands of FBI emails and efforts by certain agents to undermine both candidates.
Take a look at just some of the newspaper headlines across America.
“Evidence Suggests a Massive Scandal is Brewing at the FBI”-New York Post
“Wanted: An Honest FBI” -Wall Street Journal
“The Massive Case of Collective Amnesia at the FBI”-National Public Radio
“Scandal Ridden FBI-Must Be Abolished”-Boston Globe
The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to release a staff memo that Speaker Paul Ryan says will show that “there may have been malfeasance at the FBI.” In response, the Bureau is pleading with Congress and the President not to release the document. But with all the charges and counter charges taking place, a little transparency would seem to be in order.
Maybe we can learn a little bit from Hollywood. In the movie “Final Impact,” the President asks a reporter to hold off on a major story by saying: And I can’t appeal to your sense of what’s in the nation’s best interest?” To which she responds: “I always thought the truth was in the nation’s best interest.” The point made is to let it all out.
And how about the confrontation between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”?
Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I WANT THE TRUTH!
Col. Jessup: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
Yes we can Col. Jessup. As the Wall Street Journal editorialized this week: “The House memo is not about ‘attacking the FBI or our law enforcement professionals.’ This is about restoring confidence in a law-enforcement agency that played an unprecedented role in the US presidential election regarding both the Trump and Clinton campaigns.”
A number of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee seem to be outraged over any allegations that the FBI has a political agenda and that it can be vindictive. But as an investigative report by National Public Radio concluded last week: “As a matter of reality, the FBI has been political from its outset. The people in charge and the people in charge of the administrations under which it has served have been as political and as partisan as it is possible to be.”
History shows that from the creation of the FBI under President Teddy Roosevelt, the FBI has been used, misused, and by their own actions, insubordinate in many administrations. How long could we talk about the shenanigans of J. Edgar Hoover, Watergate, Deep Throat, Sen. Joe McCarthy, investigations of Martin Luther King, and LBJ having the FBI harass Vietnam protesters?
At the present time, there are three major congressional investigations into possible criminal activity within the FBI. Special prosecutors seem to be appointed in Washington at the drop of a hat. With the President himself under investigation by a special prosecutor, it would seem appropriate to have a similar special prosecutor appointed to fully investigate the numerous allegations of impropriety by the FBI.
Is this powerful bureaucracy worthy of America’s trust? Yes Col. Jessup, we can handle the truth. Just let the chips fall where they may.
Peace and Justice