It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators, both in Louisiana and throughout the country. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually be the ones to do the drawing, anyway?
The problem is one of gerrymandering, where district lines are not drawn to reflect geographical or political balance, but to favor the incumbent or some other partisan choice. When legislators do the redistricting, the norm seems to be that the state ends up with meandering footprints meticulously designed, it would seem, to ensure that no incumbent will face serious opposition, regardless of how the political winds are blowing. As one local political observer said, “Think about it this way. In elections, people choose their legislators. In reapportionment, legislators choose their people.”
Gerrymandering, by the way, means to manipulate the electoral boundaries for political gain so as to give undue influence to an incumbent or other favored candidate. The name comes from Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1812 created winding districts that looked like salamanders to favor incumbents. Thus the convoluted word – “gerrymandering.”
What most voters want to avoid is the self-dealing by legislators where voting districts slash across communities of interest and geography. A blatant example of winding, disjointed gerrymandering is the Louisiana third congressional district. It winds from the Mississippi border south of New Orleans though the southern part of Jefferson Parish and all the way through south Louisiana up to Lafayette, some 300 miles in length.
So the question for Louisiana voters is this: Are they that concerned that the legislature is, for all practical purposes, creating their own voters? Is this healthy in the Bayou State — or in any other state? Many think it’s not.
So what are the alternatives? What are other progressive states doing to transfer the power of redistricting to a system less driven by self-interest? Fourteen states have assigned the task to officials or panels outside the state legislature. And independent redistricting wears the cloak of good-government reform, as long as a consensus can be built on just who will serve on such panels. How do you pick the members? How can such a system be put in place that assures voters the final result will be fair, non-partisan, and keep local interests balanced?
Louisiana has a number of bright people with solid business and educational backgrounds that are capable of taking on this controversial task. There are several respected demographers in the Bayou state, and a number of well-qualified professors at Louisiana universities. Retired judges fit the category as well as representatives of some of the state’s good government groups.
When I was first elected to the Louisiana legislature back in 1971, legislative redistricting had taken place just months before. But the reapportionment plan did not pass federal court muster and was thrown out just weeks before the primary election date. Ed Steimel was head of the Public Affairs Research Council at the time and was appointed by federal judge Frank Polozola to serve as a “special master” to redraw the district lines. Based on Steimel’s rework, the old plan was thrown out and the new court-ordered plan was put in place. There was general agreement that the Steimel Plan was fair and kept the district more cohesive and less spread out. (It must have been good as I won my senate seat easily in the first primary.)
One idea would be to create a Louisiana Fair Reapportionment Practices Commission. Let nominations for serving on the Commission come from the legislature, the Supreme Court, the good government groups like PAR and CABL, the various college boards, and perhaps a key business group or two. Then put all the submissions in a hat and draw out eleven names to serve as members to begin their work right after the new census data is made available.
The goal for such a commission is simple – put the important issue of redistricting into the hands of those with non-partisan interests, instead of those who in the past have been allowed to define the terms of their own cartel. Simply put, it’s just wrong for legislators to draw these districts and then run in them. There needs to be a better way.
Peace and Justice
A study finds many Vietnam veterans may have contracted liver flukes decades ago that could now cause pancreatitis, liver disease and/or bile duct cancer.
The Department of Veterans Affairs commissioned a study that looked at bile duct cancer and liver flukes that may have been ingested by veterans while on tour in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
This was in response to a story reported by the Associated Press in which 700 cases, of cholangiocarcinoma, bile duct cancer, were seen in VA facilities over the last 15 years.
The current small study looked at 50 blood samples, finding 20% of which to be positive for liver flukes. Most participants were not aware they were infected. If infection did later lead to cancer, symptoms would come late in the diagnosis.
Tropical medicine specialist, Sung-Tae Hong, from Seoul National University in South Korea, stated he was “surprised” by the results and admits to more research needing to be done.
Cholangiocarcinoma is still rare, however if Vietnam veterans are at increased risk due to their fish consumption while on duty, they need to be followed closely by their medical provider. Stool tests could be done to look for parasite eggs, and blood tests may look for antibodies fighting the infection.
Liver flukes are parasites that infect the liver and bile duct. There are multiple species. The disease Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica cause is called fascioliasis. Symptoms may range from none to severe liver disease. But the liver flukes associated with bile duct cancer include Opisthorchis viverrini, O. felineus, and Clonorchis sinensis. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs:
The irritation and scarring caused by liver fluke infection can lead to bile duct cancer.
Two parasites are commonly involved. One is Opisthorchis verrini, which is found in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The other is Clonorchis sinensis, which is common in rural areas of Korea and China.
Eating raw or undercooked fish infected with these parasites introduces the pathogen into the GI system where it can hide out in the liver and bile ducts for decades.
In 2007, Sripa et al discussed how close to 600 million people were at risk of being infected with liver flukes.
In 2011, Lim et al wrote, “More than 35 million people worldwide are infected. The exceptionally high incidence of cholangiocarcinoma in Thailand and Korea is attributed to the high prevalence of liver fluke infection in these areas.”
In addition to ingesting undercooked contaminated fish, liver flukes can infect multiple mammals, such that eating infected cattle or sheep liver (if undercooked) could transmit the parasite. Ingesting vegetables washed with contaminated water could introduce the fluke into a person as well.
Medical News Today recommends boiling all untreated water and to avoid water from a stream near where cattle and sheep live.
Although some people with liver flukes may exhibit no symptoms at all, some may incur:
Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes
According to cancer.net, the 5 year survival, meaning living 5 years past diagnosis, is 30%, assuming the cancer stays locally. If the cancer spreads to regional lymph nodes prognosis for 5 year survival drops to 24%. Distant spread of the cancer reduces the 5 year survival rate to 2%.
Anti-Parasitic medications, such as triclabendazole, have proven effective against Fasciola. Praziquantel has been effective in fighting Opisthorchis infections.
You just know that any business wants to reduce its tax burden as much as it can. Without doubt, Apple has a huge number of accountants at its beck and call to find ways to reduce its corporate income tax bills by billions of dollars.
But Apple’s methods of handling its taxes have been the subject of severe criticism, more so with the release of the so-called Paradise Papers, leaked to a German newspaper, which contain documents purportedly revealing how the rich and the famous manage their offshore cash. Apple was included in the list, but it wasn’t the only company whose finances came into question. Other companies reportedly include Facebook, Twitter, Disney, Uber, Nike, Walmart and even McDonalds.
I mean, it’s a huge list. But with Apple in the crosshairs, the company claimed that the data contained in those papers wasn’t accurate or misleading, that it pays more taxes than any company on the planet, and that it “pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world.”
As the U.S. Congress debates revisions to the country’s complex and confusing tax laws, ways might be sought to convince domestic companies with huge offshore cash hoards to repatriate that money. You also expect Apple to deny that it does anything but obey the law, even if it has to be done creatively. But some corporations pay no tax at all, including GE. So the billions Apple remits might indeed be, as they claim, more than the others.
Which brings us to the fact that, a few weekends ago on The Tech Night Owl LIVE, we featured outspoken commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn. The main focus was on taxes, and whether Apple is unfairly reducing its corporate tax burden by strategic parking of its huge offshore money hoard. Apple has selected the small island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, which has ties to the UK. Jersey is also the birthplace of actor Henry Cavill, famous for portraying Superman on the big screen.
In a series of statements, Apple claims that it pays billions of dollars in taxes every year, and that it is complying with the law regardless of the skepticism about such practices, but Kirk doesn’t believe it. The discussion shifted from taxes to electric cars, as Kirk explained that he owns a Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Among the models mentioned is the somewhat pricy BMW i3, and the new compact-sized Tesla, the Model 3, which is still confronting problems in ramping up production.
You also heard from prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who talked about the ongoing fear-mongering from some members of the media about the iPhone X and its Face ID and other features. Bob explained that, despite the advertised backorder situation, he was able to buy one from his mobile carrier and receive it on the day it was released. But will he keep it? He appeared to be skeptical of its perceived advantages, but will make a decision while he still has time to return it for a refund. He said he is also holding off publishing a review while he considers its value. Bob also discussed the use of iPads in major league baseball, and how it may have helped the Houston Astros win the World Series. He also said that you shouldn’t be in a rush to install a new OS on your Mac, iPhone or iPad, and maybe wait a short while to make sure there aren’t any serious bugs that’ll cause you trouble. You can listen to the entire show here.
That same weekend on our other radio show, The Paracast: Gene and Chris present MUFON Executive Director Jan C. Harzan. He discussed the state of UFO research, and what the organization has learned in its 48 years of existence; it was founded in 1969 as the Midwest UFO Network. He’ll also discuss concerns about MUFON’s policies and staff shakeups, and about the reasoning behind the controversial 2017 symposium that featured lectures on the alleged U.S. secret space program and some especially outrageous speakers. Harzan is a 37-year veteran at IBM, and holds a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering. He’s been Executive Director of MUFON since 2013. You can listen to the entire show here.
IS APPLE FINALLY GETTING THE LOVE FROM CONSUMER REPORTS?
Consumer Reports magazine claims to be incorruptible because it buys all the products it tests and retail, and won’t allow companies to use its reviews in their advertising. On the surface, it all sounds credible. But I’ve long felt that its test results are often unfairly skewed against Apple. Are corporate politics at play?
Indeed, Apple has had a curious history with CR, and you can decide whether it’s received fair treatment. Consider the iPhone 4, released in 2010. Do you remember AntennaGate? If you held the handset in a certain way, reception quality would nosedive. You could see the signal strength dip precipitously in YouTube videos of the time, and it appeared to be a potential source of trouble.
So Steve Jobs sarcastically remarked that you should hold it differently. That suggestion went over like a lead balloon, so Apple invited the media to a press conference where they actually allowed some of them to tour its multibillion dollar antenna test facility. According to Jobs, other smartphones exhibited similar symptoms when held in certain ways, and Apple posted videos of telling examples, but CR still decided not to recommend the iPhone 4. Other mobile handsets were not similarly downgraded.
Although Jobs claimed the phenomenon was due to the laws of physics, Apple still offered free bumper cases for a time, which certainly eliminated the problem. Next year’s model, the iPhone 4s, in addition to the debut of Siri, sported a redesigned antenna symptom designed to reduce signal loss when you held it the “wrong way.”
The next purported scandal was BendGate. Amid reports that the iPhone 6 Plus might be unduly prone to bending under such conditions as placing it in your back pocket, CR decided to see if Apple did it again. But they didn’t. Tests indicated that its resistance to bending was acceptable and comparable to other mobile gear. But the following year, Apple made moves to strengthen the aluminum case on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to make it even more difficult to bend one.
That takes us to the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. CR has a peculiar method of testing battery life that involves loading some test sites from a server repeatedly with browser caching off. It’s not that people use browsers that way, except for development purposes.
On the Mac, that involved invoking Safari’s Develop menu, again something few people do in the real world, and deactivating caching. This evidently triggered an obscure macOS Sierra bug that caused repeated loading of web icons. So battery life was inconsistent, and CR said it couldn’t recommend the new MacBook Pros.
In turn, Apple realized it had a problem on its hands and reached out to CR. At the end of the day, a minor OS update fixed the problem, and the MacBook Pro achieved extremely high battery rates as a result even if they were, as I said, entirely unrelated to what normal users would achieve. It was, therefore, now recommended.
In passing, you can no longer disable the cache in Safari for macOS High Serra, although the cache can be emptied.
On the day the iPhone X went on sale, CR placed “secret shoppers” in the lines at Apple Stores to buy a dozen of them. They were quickly added to the test queue.
According to CR: “Based on those early impressions, the new iPhone makes good on Apple’s promise of delivering something bigger and better.”
In a very positive early review, the iPhone X survived drop tests that have caused other gear, including some copies of the Samsung Galaxy S8, to self-destruct. The OLED display was found to deliver superior performance, “with deep blacks and accurate colors.”
Face ID? Evidently CR had few problems with it under normal use. For the most part, it worked as advertised, except for extreme situations where someone pulled a baseball cap down to their eyebrows, caught a look at the iPhone X while it was placed beneath a table, or when glancing at it from the side while driving.
Aside from those edge cases, it did seem that Face ID “rarely stumbled.” CR didn’t mention the twin test, where identical or near-identical twins might fool the device. In other words, it was as close to perfect as one might expect for such a product. After all, Touch ID doesn’t work all the time.
The magazine’s preliminary conclusion? “With its starting price of $999, the iPhone X isn’t a purchase to take lightly. But it’s worth mentioning that the costs of high-end components—such as OLED displays and 4K video cameras—are pushing other phones, such as those made by Apple’s rival Samsung, closer to the $1,000 mark, too.”
It’s refreshing to see a reminder that the iPhone X is not the only expensive smartphone out there. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 costs up to $960, U.S., at some dealers, although there is widespread discounting. On a monthly basis, the price difference between the Note 8 and the iPhone X is may be a dollar or two. Both offer 64GB of storage. True, the iPhone X is much more expensive if you opt for the 256GB model, but Samsung doesn’t offer anything comparable.
But I’m not reading endless blogs that Samsung is gouging its customers by selling gear for only a little less than the iPhone X. Only Apple gets dinged for a pricing decision that probably makes sense to the company’s marketers and bean counters.
Does this mean the iPhone X will be rated above the previous high scorer, Samsung, when the review is complete? In the past, iPhones have scored a tad lower than Samsung’s gear, in part, due to shorter battery life, so I suppose we’ll see.
In the meantime, it’s a promising start, and I’m curious to see where the final rating is set, considering how well it appears to have scored so far. But with CR, there could be a surprise or two that’ll reflect poorly on Apple, or the totals will be weighted questionably to somehow favor Samsung.
Mass shootings continue across the nation where no part of the country is from a “wild west” mentality. The recent loss of life has been staggering. Those slaughtered range from one-year old kids to 77-year-old adults.
A country music festival in Las Vegas was the scene of 58 people killed. In the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people were murdered in the middle of a Sunday church service. A deranged gunman in northern California killed five people just last week. And those of us living in Louisiana can look back on a series of mass killings including those executed at a Lafayette movie theatre and officers shot down on a Baton Rouge highway.
Gun rights supporters say we should arm more people, and gun control advocates call for more restrictions on gun ownership. I remember reading a book back in the 70s called “Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand: The Story of Frontier Religion.” The problem today is that the entire country is now the frontier, and there is no place that is a safety zone.
So where does responsible action begin? How about this refreshing idea? Let’s start by enforcing the present laws on the books. No new radical initiatives for the time being. The judicial system, on both the federal and state levels, has the tools to get many potential mass killers off the streets. But a number of laws are not being enforced.
Take killer 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. Kelley had no business owning a gun, yet the Air Force ignored the law and failed to enter his name in the federal database that would have prevented him from buying more guns.
Here in the Bayou State, a killer named John Houser had traveled to Louisiana from the small Georgia town of LaGrange. He had a long history of violence and mental illness. He 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.
And if you think this is bad, how about the fact that over 48,000 convicted felons and fugitives lied about their backgrounds, 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.” So killers like Devin Kelley and John Houser have free reign to gather as many weapons as the want.
If there are no specific requirements that mentally deranged individuals like Houser are reported by every state to a national database, then we can look for more mass shootings. It’s way too easy for a potential killer to obtain a gun in one state, and then travel across the country to pick and choose his victims. Congress should make reporting mandatory with penalties for those states that fail to do so. And Congress should investigate why the Justice Department lets these same killers continue to ignore the law and continue to kill.
Simply put, start by enforcing current law before clouding this issue with new restrictions. It would seem to be common sense.
Peace and Justice
Editor's note - 11/28/17: This story was mistakenly attributed to "Dr. Daliah Wachs," when in fact it was written by Bradlee Dean. The error has been corrected.
It seems that over the last couple of weeks the CIA-controlled media has, once again, succeeded in diverting the American people’s attention away from The Clintons’ Uranium Ore scandal to the fall guys that are conveniently picking up the attention for their sexual promiscuities in office, and that, at a most opportune time, Al Franken, Bill Clinton, Dan Schoen, Tony Cornish and the list goes on.
And these were the ones that have been caught!
Hopefully, this will bring to the light why this country is in the serious trouble that it is in (Psalm 9:17).
These corrupt politicians have been so emboldened to take taxpayer dollars in an attempt to cover up their sexual misconduct.
It is their job to uphold the laws of our Constitutional Republic, not tear them down (Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution).
In a time where the media has declared the guilty as innocent and the innocent as guilty, it is hard, at times, playing the arbiter when it comes to who is guilty and who is not. Yet, for the most part, when the media declares someone innocent, it usually means that they are attempting to protect the establishment players such as the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, etc… And when they declare someone guilty, you can rest assured, that they are the innocent that are bearing the accusations (John 15:20).
Last week, I wrote that the very ones who are accusing the innocent are the very ones who are guilty of the crimes. These are the corrupt politicians who are attempting to ruin men of good character while attempting to keep them out of the Washington D.C. machine.
One such individual is Judge Roy Moore.
Conveniently, at a time when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was becoming unhinged at the prospect of Roy Moore winning the senate seat for Alabama, out of nowhere come Roy Moore’s accusers.
*Deborah Wesson Gibson was an interpreter for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. (Enough said)
Joe for America reported, The now infamous “Yearbook Signing” that Gloria Allred trotted out yesterday, along with the accuser who gave the worst acting to come out of California in decades, has multiple problems that prove it to be fake.
Then we have Darrel Nelson, the stepson of Judge Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson, who says the allegations are all lies. Nelson says he is baffled by the timing of the sexual advancement claims and voices his staunch support for the Alabama GOP Senate candidate.
“I’ve known the woman, she married my father many, many years ago. I’ve known her for a while now, and I truly do not believe that she’s being honest about this,” said Nelson.
“You, Mr. Moore, your wife, I apologize for whatever reasons she is doing this,” he added. “I am truly sorry… I stand behind you 100%!”
“To my stepmother, whatever reason you did this, I have a few questions on this,” he continued. “Why did you wait so long if this did happen? You said you were a teenager when it happened, but here it is now, how many years later? And all of a sudden you’re going to bring it up when we voted him into the House and you trying to get him [taken] out? I’m not going to have.”
Later, Nelson acknowledged that he knew he was going to get backlash from his family, but said clearing up the false allegation is worth the trouble.
“I don’t believe a word she says, but I do believe [Moore] is innocent.”
I do not believe a word of it either, and neither do the American people. This is why he was up 15 points in a recent poll concerning his run for senate.
What is important here is that when the dust settles, and these accusers are found to be false witnesses, which is a violation of law, it is not for the good of the people in this country to slap these accusers on the hand and let them go and accuse someone else. These false accusers are attempting to destroy the lives of innocent men, period.
Look at the Life of Brian Banks “Guilty until proven innocent!”
And the consequences of the accuser!
Our Founding Forefathers Did Not Tolerate False Witnesses
I discovered that our founding forefathers did not tolerate in the least degree those who bore false witness. I wrote…
Just down the street in Williamsburg where the head and arm restraint stocks, which were located right outside of the local courthouse. A historian and re-enactment actor was outside educating the people who had questions.
One question asked was: “What is the head and arm restraint stocks for?” The actor said that before and after the revolution, the local magistrates would administrate Ecclesiastical Law (Romans 13).
She went on to tell us that crime was not tolerated in the least bit by the colonies because they understood the price paid to establish their freedoms (John 15:13). The stocks were used for those who would lie or commit the act of perjury (lie under oath, Revelation 21:8).
The criminal would be punished by being thrown in jail for up to six months (1 John 3:4). A fine would have to be paid, and this all took place after their head and hands were placed in the stocks as a means of public punishment.
First, they would bind them, take the criminal’s ear and nail it with a long nail to the stock for one hour. After that hour was up, they would then go to the other side and nail the other ear to the stock for one hour.
When removing the nails, they would often slit the ear completely off, marking the offender so other colonies, as well as other cities or states, would understand that the person was not to be trusted. Thus, they fulfilled the true definition of “Earmark.”
She ended with saying that it was to teach the person to repent before God so he would not end up in hell (Matthew 3:2; Leviticus 19:17).
Can you imagine the “earmarks” we would see today in the American church, government or in businesses if these laws were still enforced? How they loved their freedoms by demonstrating zero tolerance for crime (Deuteronomy 23:14).
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Thanksgiving is here!! Good food, no school, no work, and most of all….. family!!
For many this is one of the best holidays ever!!
For some…..the most dreaded all year.
This is your very rare and valuable time off, and you have to spend all of it with people who don’t like you and you’re not particularly fond of. Four days of staying with family, (especially if they don’t let you stay a hotel and insist you stay with them), can be more than many can bear.
So here are some steps you can take to make the holidays easier.
Usually your spouse wants to avoid controversy just as much as you do. Before the encounter, huddle up and create a strategy for:
a. How to deal with insults
b. How to take a break – take the car to go grab some last-minute Thanksgiving necessities
c. Where you get to sit at the table
d. Potential arguments regarding the children and their upbringing
This gives you the much-needed reprieve at the end of the day. However, if the family insists you stay with them and 4 nights at Hotel Hell are just too much to bear, plan a “sneak away” for an evening with your wife and tell the Grandparents they will host the kid’s slumber party. Remember to thank them for the huge favor they are doing allowing you and the wife a much needed night away “from the kids” …wink…wink…..
Thank Heavens the Cowboys are playing this Thanksgiving. Usually there is someone else in the family just as sane as you are when it comes to football, so you can immediately partner with him to get the television on and the game playing. Although this may only give you a 15 minute “out” of the family festivities, it’s 15 minutes of pure euphoria.
The most difficult part of Thanksgiving/Christmas is sitting at a table for hours and usually trapped, physically, because the chairs are pushed together so tight that you can’t push out the chair. If you ever, ever, ever had an issue with your back, knee, leg, muscle, or even pinky toe, use this as an excuse to heave the table forward so you can get up and stretch your legs. Slowly limp over to the living room where hopefully you left the football game on……
No in-law can or wants to take on your boss. So during the 7 day stent, politely excuse yourself if you need to go onto a computer, make a phone call, or drive 60 miles away for “work”. Make sure your spouse is on board with this one……
You get to leave the room and no one wants to be near you. You just gained escaping 3-5 times/hour since you need to “run” to the bathroom.
Don’t jinx yourself but this gets you out of hugs, and sloppy lipstick kisses…..
Ok this gives you a well-coordinated exit plan but what happens if they are on to you? How do you deal with the remaining, 3 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes?
When the insults and digs come, don’t feel like these personal attacks need to stick. You have enough people in your life telling you your shortcomings. The in-laws are either being redundant or telling you something that doesn’t hold true.
Millions of adults are in the exact same position as you at the same moment in time. You’re not alone. Just sneak a peek on facebook and you’ll scroll through hundreds of “Ugh!!!!”s………..
Bet your wife or coworker that you will get the most insults over the holiday than they will and write down or note every time it happens. The more it occurs, you win. Compare notes or use it as a “get out jail free card” with your spouse.
Negotiate with your spouse prior to the holiday a “free day” or “free weekend” that you will earn upon completion of a 7 day holiday with the in-laws. Plan and fantasize about this reward throughout your tour of duty to make the path easier
Since you are usually outnumbered during these family events, why not have non humans come to your aid. Dogs need to be walked, cats need to be chased, so this gives you an out and gives you a much-needed buddy during the hard times.
Look, it’s not easy, but remember why you’re there. For YOUR family. Your spouse and kids need to spend the holidays with you so grin and bear it. And remember you may be luckier than the average guy. He could be spending the WHOLE WEEK! Ahhh, you DO have something to be thankful for.
Civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson, revealed Friday that he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The 76-year-old two-time Democratic presidential candidate stated he and his family noticed changes three years ago and, “after a battery of tests, my physicians identified the issue as Parkinson’s disease, a disease that bested my father.”
His father, Noah L. Robinson, died in 1997 at the age of 88 of a heart attack and complications of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, next to Alzheimer’s, and the most common movement disorder that affects 1% of the world’s population over 60 years old. In the US, 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. It affects several areas of the brain, primarily the substantia nigra, altering balance and movement by affecting dopamine producing cells.
It was first described in 1817 by James Parkinson as a “shaking palsy.”
Common symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
Stiffness and rigidity
Tremor at rest, especially a pill-rolling tremor
Inability to move
Shuffling steps, gait
and patients may later develop…
Decrease ability to smell
Fractures from falling
Most cases are idiopathic, meaning the disease arises with no specific cause. However some cases are genetic and multiple genes have been identified that are associated with the disease.
The average age of onset is 60, but some cases may occur as “early onset”, before the age of 50, and if before the age of 20, it is known as juvenile-onset Parkinson’s.
Men appear to be more affected than women at twice the rate.
Risk may be enhanced with a history of head trauma.
Exposure to herbicides and pesticides has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s as well.
Average progression rates can last years to decades, however, earlier onset disease may manifest much quicker.
The stages of Parkinson’s are illustrated below:
Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, symptoms can be treated by a variety of measures.
Levodopa – converts to dopamine in the brain, helping replace the deficient hormone.
Carbidopa (Sinemet) – if given with levodopa prevents the latter from being broken down before it reaches the brain.
Dopamine agonists – mimic dopamine
MAO-B inhibitors – helps block the enzyme MAO-B, which breaks down natural dopamine
Other medications including COMT inhibitors, amantadine and anticholinergics
Medications to treat anxiety and depression
Deep brain stimulation – a surgeon implants electrodes into the brain, allowing stimulation of parts that help regulate movement.
Stem cell therapy – being investigated as a means to create dopamine-producing cells
Physical and occupational therapy
Famous People Diagnosed with Parkinson’s
Michael J. Fox
Pope John Paul II
Peanuts creator Charles Schulz
It’s been postulated Adolf Hitler suffered from Parkinson’s as well.
While 2017 isn’t over, Time magazine has already published the list of its “25 Best Inventions of 2017.” Now you’ve probably read about this already, but a little explanation is in store.
So after the iPhone X was first announced, the critics lambasted Apple for being late to the party with some of its important features. Take OLED displays, which have already appeared on Android smartphones. It’s important to note that Samsung makes the iPhone X’s display. Whatever you think about Samsung’s penchant for stealing ideas from other companies, it certainly has the chops to build the parts tech companies need, such as displays, memory and other components.
Facial recognition is also nothing new, and Face ID was attacked for being insecure and slow even before the critics had a product to evaluate. So even though reviewers, including Consumer Reports, have praised Face ID, there were complaints about privacy and other matters. The difference is that, for the most part, Apple made it work pretty much as advertised. Yes, I know about the problems with twins and some other exceptions.
The TrueDepth camera that allows Face ID to work is something altogether new and different from the rest of the pack. You can expect the competition is working full time to somehow reverse engineer this technology.
Apple also did away with the Home button, and rather than replacing it with a virtual alternative, which would probably have been the simplest scheme, they devised new iOS 11 gestures to allow you to bypass a physical or virtual button and still get things done. I grant it’s a bit of a learning curve, and it might be confusing to switch back to an iOS device with a Home button, such as an iPad. In the end, you expect the Home button to vanish from those products too as they inherit edge-to-edge displays.
When you add all this and other design factors together, it’s no wonder the iPhone X was included among those 25 products.
Yes, the Time magazine piece concedes that “some of these features first arrived on devices from Samsung and LG.” But clearly Apple made them work better, which is why it was rated “A Smarter Smartphone.” This is in keeping with Apple’s penchant to take features that originated elsewhere and improve and simplify them.
Other top-rated inventions include “Stronger, Safer Football Helmets” and “Guilt-Free Ice Cream.” If you’re dieting, the latter, Halo Top ice cream, touts from 240 to 360 calories per pint. This is in the range of a single slice of pizza from Pizza Hut and Little Caesars, but can you imagine getting a whole pie of decent size with so few calories?
Then there’s a sideways elevator! I’m serious, and this is something written about over the years in sci-fi stories. I know I mentioned it in one of my novels.
Along with being declared “smarter,” the story about the iPhone X is accompanied by interviews from Apple hardware chief Dan Riccio, and chief design officer Sir. Jonathan Ive.
While those interviews have been quoted elsewhere, call me jaded enough to regard some of the statements about Apple’s design process as corporate spin. Apple only wants you to know of its successes, and how it understood when to drop old features in a product and embrace something new.
An example is the headphone jack that was removed from iPhones last year to mixed reaction from customers and critics. We don’t talk about it all that much this year, and Android fans don’t have much of an argument to make in light of the fact that Pixel 2 phones from Google also ship without headphone jacks.
This is part of Apple’s DNA, to know when it’s time to remove old features and move on. You can date that practice back to the arrival of the very first iMac in 1998. Apple ditched SCSI, ADB and other peripheral ports, and eliminated the floppy drive. Instead, they embraced USB which, up till then, hadn’t done much on the Windows platform.
It took a few years before we no longer relied on floppies, and, with adapters aplenty, you could still use many of those old peripherals until it was time to move on.
So today it’s headphone jacks, though they may still exist on the iPad and on Macs for a while. The Home button is clearly on the chopping block, if only to keep the iOS interface consistent among all products. Face ID is also destined to replace Touch ID, perhaps as early as next year, so in that respect the new features on the iPhone X serve as a harbinger of things to come.
Indeed, some day there may not even be a Face ID to unlock your device. Maybe Apple will have an embedded EEG and read your brainwaves instead. While there may be hacker tricks to get around Face ID and Touch ID, brainwaves?
No, I have no inside information about Apple’s future plans. Consider my suggestion about brainwaves to be nothing more than a random idea.
But Apple is a company known to seek newer and better ways to do things, and ditching old, obsolete features, or features the company deems obsolete.
The critics may complain that the iPhone X doesn’t do much that’s original, that perhaps it didn’t deserve the accolades it received from Time. The apparent success of the iPhone X, and how it influences future smartphone designs, though, will probably demonstrate again that the critics are dead wrong about Apple and its abilities to innovate.
All politics formed against Christ and His Gospel end at last in the destruction of those who contrived them. –George Whitfield
It never ceases to amaze me of the absolute criminal conduct of the state-controlled media that continuously puts the cameras and microphones up to the mouths of corrupt politicians who are doing everything in their power to protect the establishment that is attempting to destroy not only Judge Roy Moore, but this country as well.
Keep in mind that those who are accusing Moore have been busted time and time again in lie after lie and scandal after scandal.
Setting the CIA-controlled media aside, which 94% of Americans claim that they do not believe (Romans 1:18), let’s cut to the chase and address those who are personally accusing and attacking Roy Moore (Revelation 12:10).
This is only the tip of the iceberg….
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that Republican candidate for US Senate Roy Moore should end his campaign for U.S. Senate in Alabama, following allegations.
“I think he should step aside,” said McConnell.
When asked by a reporter if he believed the allegations, McConnell responded: “I believe the women, yes.”
Well that’s interesting Mr. McConnell.
Let’s now take a look at McConnell himself.
We have all known for some time that many politicians have been engaged in drug trafficking while playing the hypocrite and advancing the “war on drugs.” It’s was reported (Not by the mainstream media) that the Ping May, a cargo vessel owned by the in-laws of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, was boarded by Colombian inspectors and they discovered roughly ninety pounds of cocaine in forty separate packages.
The Nation reports:
The seizure of the narcotics shipment in the Caribbean port occurred far away from Kentucky, the state in which Senator Mitch McConnell is now facing a career-defining election. But the Republican Senate minority leader has the closest of ties to the owner of the Ping May, the vessel containing the illicit materials: the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a firm founded and owned by McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.
Though Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.
McConnell’s ties to the Chaos go back to the late 1980s, when James Chao began donating to the senator. In 1993, McConnell married James’s daughter, Elaine Chao, a Republican activist and former Reagan administration official who would later serve as secretary of labor in the George W. Bush cabinet. James Chao immigrated to the United States from Taiwan, and founded the Foremost Maritime Corporation upon settling in New York. The company has grown significantly over the years, from acting as maritime agent during the Vietnam War to controlling a fleet of approximately sixteen dry-bulk cargo ships in operation today.
Or how about traitor Senator John “Songbird” McCain?
He said of Roy Moore, "The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."
Let me remind you of a piece of Songbird’s history.
The Keating Five were five United States Senators were accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators – Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, John Glenn, John McCain, and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. – were accused of improperly intervening in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., Chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of a regulatory investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB). The FHLBB subsequently backed off taking action against Lincoln. Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989, at a cost of over $3 billion to the federal government (taxpayers). Some 23,000 Lincoln bondholders were defrauded and many investors lost their life savings. The substantial political contributions Keating had made to each of the senators, totaling $1.3 million, attracted considerable public and media attention. After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB's investigation of Lincoln Savings, with Cranston receiving a formal reprimand. Senators Glenn and McCain were cleared of having acted improperly, but were criticized for having exercised "poor judgment."
Mitt Romney said, “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.”
WOW! What he told these Republicans is the very opposite of what he did (Matthew 7:16).
Just think, America, these are the ones who have been exposed and were caught.
Criminals mock society’s laws.
Your compassion for them for their crimes is a weakness that your enemies do not and will not share. Criminals thrive on the indulgences of society’s understandings. The corrupt depend upon you in your ignorance of the Constitution and the embodiment of its laws.
When you live in darkness, the only light you have is truth. It would do us all well, America, to stick to the light that not only exposes, but refuses and deals with the darkness (Ephesians 5:11).
Benjamin Franklin rightly said, “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
Finally, to those who want to play folly with the children of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and our Lord Jesus Christ, you may want to take a minute to ponder your next move before doing so (Psalm 2; Proverbs 26:27; Matthew 16:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 1:6).
Thomas Lye confessed, “I had rather stand against the canons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.”
That is a lesson the wicked will relearn once again, and very soon.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” - Psalm 2:1-5