Saturday, March 19, 2011

663 Illegal Aliens From Countries With Ties to Terrorism Arrested Along Southwest Border in 2010, Senator Says

Unemployment Actually 10.2 Percent, 1 in 5 Workers Can’t Find Full-Time Job, Says Gallup

MSNBC Touts Washington Post Columnist 'Taking Apart' GOP Budget Argument by Claiming U.S. 'Not Broke'

Liberal Frank Rich Finally 'Gets Sick of His Own Voice,' Quits NY Times

Eight Out of Ten Illegal Aliens Apprehended in 2010 Never Prosecuted, Says Border Congressman

U.S. Debt Jumped $72 Billion Same Day U.S. House Voted to Cut Spending $6 Billion

Elena Kagan Needs to Recuse Herself from Health-Care Case, Says Author of Virginia Law

Waivers for Obamacare Not Based on Political Considerations, Obama Administration Official Says

State Department's Delay on Canada-U.S. Oil Pipeline Costing Thousands of Jobs, Billions in Tax Revenue, Pipeline Advocates Say

Bloomberg: U.S. Needs Immigration and Tort Reform

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Michael Bloomberg
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (AP Photo)
( - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Congress must pass immigration and tort reform to get health care costs under control. He was responding to a question about House Republicans voting for a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds implementation of the Democrats' health care law.
Last month, Bloomberg predicted that the Republicans would cut off funds for the implementation of the health care law. asked Bloomberg, “The news today is that with the health care law, the Republicans did not defund it in the CR, and you in the past predicted that they would defund the health care law...
Bloomberg responded, “Well, I hope the people understand we have to provide health care but the issue is what kind of health care we have to sit back and take a look. We have to find some ways to reduce our costs. We can’t spend 25 percent of our budget on health care and you got to really question whether we’re doing the right things. In Western Europe, they spend about $3,300 per capita.”
He continued, “We spend $7,000 per capita. They have a life expectancy two years greater than us so it’s a question of what we’re doing. How we’re spending the money, what are the big cost drivers. I think you need immigration reform and tort reform if you’re ever going to get costs under control but I think everybody understands in this country, we’re not going to let anybody lie down on the streets without getting health care. If they need health care, particularly in New York City we do, we make sure you get the best health care.”
Bloomberg’s comments were made at Research America’s annual advocacy awards ceremony where he was honored with a leadership award for his dedication to public health issues. also asked Bloomberg if he thought the Republicans should defund the current health care law in the next Continuing Resolution (CR).
“I don’t want to get into the politics of Washington and partisan politics. I feel very strongly that we have to find a way to make sure that everybody gets health care,” he responded.
“We also have to find ways to do it affordably and I think people should have some reason to use health care responsibly and not just waste the public’s money but on the other hand we have to make sure there’s some public money for those that are not as fortunate as you and I.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Obama WILL NOT Be Re-Elected Next Year

Frankly, I’m just not convinced that the incumbent President Barack Obama is going to be re-elected next year in 2012.
I think fundamentally what we are seeing is the reconfiguring of the Republican Party and the Tea Party. When they emerge less than a year from now at the beginning the official primary season (as we’re in an unofficial season already), they will be a force to be reckoned with and they will have chosen a candidate that will certainly give Obama a run for his money. I think what will be the downfall of Obama will be whomever is chosen to be the GOP candidate. If the right person is chosen then Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party will have to retrench and have to seriously rethink their strategy.
Although it was no fluke that Obama squarely won the presidency in 2008, it is also no joke that the Tea Party and GOP swept in the midterm 2010 elections. The GOP’s problem in the 2008 campaign seriously was a case of bad candidates, namely Sarah Palin. She turned out to be more of a liability than she was an asset. Seriously, most people thought she was going to be relegated to the annals of history and be nothing more than an obscure Jeopardy! answer in a few years, but instead, her blips and her folksy ways have parodied to no end. In fact, she’s famous because of a Tina Fey spoof and quote “I can see Russia from my backyard” and that was a quote Palin never made in life.
Not to mention she was teamed up with an old war horse. John McCain could have died of natural causes because he’s just that old.
This is not to say that the GOP will have an easy battle. This is Barack Obama we’re talking about. Barack the magic Negro. Honestly, this is a guy who beat the Jeremiah Wright scandal and still not only won the nomination, but won the general election. But Democrats have easily lost elections before. Need I remind anyone of Jimmy Carter in 1980? But yet again, that had more to do with the candidate who was running against him than the actual party platform.
But here are some reasons why Barack Obama will not be re-elected for a second term:
One of the most pressing issues is that Obama has presided over a jobless economic recovery.
Despite the stock markets rising to heights we haven’t seen in some years, for those of us on Main Street and certainly on Martin Luther King streets of this country, the recession is real. Neighborhoods are still abandoned because of foreclosures, foreclosures because jobs have dried up or have moved overseas. Certainly municipal and state budgets are feeling the major crisis. While balancing a state or city or county/parish budget has always been the problem, states and municipalities are recording record deficits between spending and revenues. All of which I point to job creation.
Images like this don’t bode well for Detroit, nor persons who simply need jobs.
Obama should have been less President Lincoln and more Franklin D. Roosevelt. Yes, FDR was a duly elected official of our democratic republic, he was still an autocrat and he knew it. The policies of the New Deal put people back to work! Those tactics worked, but they were never repeated. The Recession of 2008-2009 was supposedly the worse since the Great Depression during the 1930s (depending on which economist you talked to on which day of the week), but Obama was too busy acting like this was the Civil War and he had to merge the “red states and the blue states” together for some kumbaya moment. Obama even said himself in the campaign stages that he wanted to take his green initiatives and begin retrofitting abandoned factories in the old Rust Belt and start giving these people who had for a couple of generations been factory workers a place to go to work.
Then he fired Van Jones.
And the unemployment number has stayed almost the same since this whole mess started. Or rather the Obama administration has failed to move one whole percentage point. And the unemployment rate among blacks is 15.7%. Honestly, the economy and jobs was one of the major things that needed to be addressed and Obama has failed to do so.
Another major issue is Obama has failed to deliver on Iraq and Afghanistan.
We’re still involved. There’s no way in hell that we should be staring down the better end of a decade entrenched in a “war against terror.” The problem this presents for the Obama campaign is that this is slowly turning into a Vietnam-type of situation. We’re too committed to pull out, but still not invested enough to make a difference. Obama has to make a decision one way or the other because the American people don’t understand nuanced decisions. His middle-of-the-road and I’ll-wait-and-see-what-happens approach is costly: its costing American lives and it’s costing American dollars.
Finally, and I think most importantly, the GOP have to present the right candidate.
First off, the right candidate is not Sarah Palin. Thankfully she’s polling low enough in a straw poll that it’s not too much of a worry. However, what does trouble me is that Mike Huckabee is polling lower than her. Granted it’s a full ten months until the primaries begin, so the top straw poll candidates are bound to shift, so I’m not too worried. But, the GOP evidenced in 2010 midterms that they can send a message to the Democratic party and specifically to Obama.
Former Governor of
Mike Huckabee, and potential GOP nominee candidate for presidential race 2012
Honestly, seeing as how Chicagoans voted for Rahm Emanuel and the campaign he mounted was like that of Richard M. Daley which translates as no campaigning because you’re just that damn confident about victory, I’m convinced that most people aren’t listening to candidates and their issues, they’re going off who looks the best, and sounds the best and looks the most confident. Granted this may mean different things for different people, but ultimately it means it’s up to the candidate who’s nominated to run against Obama.
What the GOP realized this last go round is that it’s not so much about campaigning on the issues, or even twisting the issues to their benefit, but really how likeable is your candidate. Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell had just painted themselves as unlikeable by the time the elections came around and they summarily lost. Clearly other Tea Party members had not made the grand errors that the likes of Angle and O’Donnell had made and they came out as victors. What that means is that there is enough of a swath of the populace that will come out and vote against what is currently in office.
Is it a mandate? No, and I don’t think the GOP should lull themselves into thinking that they don’t have an uphill battle. But, the same certainly goes for the Democratic National Party. This is the party that nominated John Kerry in 2004, and he got trounced by all accounts. And the party that nominated the likes of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis. Out of what would be the last 40 years of presidents come 2012, 24 of the last 40 years have seen a Republican occupied White House. And the campaigns that the Democrats ran against the Republicans that won were simply laughable. The Democratic party, as evidenced in the 2010 midterms waited until late September, early October to start the serious campaigning for their candidates, this while the GOP and Tea Party had been going headstrong since last August.
Despite Obama’s arm’s length worth of meaningful accomplishments and achievements that have rivaled comparisons to Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society initiatives, that all amounts to a hill of beans to the family of four outside of Morgantown, West Virginia who’s still on unemployment benefits, but is against abortion and gay marriage.
I think Obama’s Achilles’ heel is still going to be the job growth. 36,000 jobs and a 0.4% knockdown on unemployment numbers isn’t nothing to really write home about. The GOP is easily going to see this and gun for it.
Obama won’t win the re-election fundamentally because he never delivered on the “change” in Washington.
He’s too middle-of-the-road against the near uber-progressive picture he presented in the campaign. Obama failed to hold the mandate that he did have when he came into office. A solid majority in the House and a super majority in the Senate–can’t ask for a better package. And he did nothing with it. He waited until it was too late to capitalize on it; he spoke softly and carried a rape whistle, not a big stick. If newspapers and headlines news stories had been writing about the “change” in Washington evidenced by an Obama administration, I wouldn’t be able to write these words I’m writing now. But everyone knows, it’s just about business as usual up on Capitol Hill, nothing has changed.
Jeremiah Wright said it best, “I’m a pastor, he’s a politician.”
Naturally, Obama’s a politician, and a politician who seems to fail to see the writing on the wall.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

Post Summary

Naturally, Obama’s a politician, and a politician who seems to fail to see the writing on the wall.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The pen is mightier than the sword

The pen is mightier than the sword


Literal meaning.


it was a dark and stormy night'The pen is mightier than the sword' was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy, 1839:
True, This! -
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! - itself a nothing! -
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Caesars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! - Take away the sword -
States can be saved without it!
Bulwer-Lytton may have coined the phrase but he was preceded by several others who expressed essentially the same idea:
George Whetstone, in Heptameron of Civil Discourses, 1582, wrote "The dashe of a Pen, is more greevous than the counterbuse of a Launce."
In Hamlet, 1602, Shakespeare gave Rosencrantz the line "... many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose-quills and dare scarce come thither."
Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621 includes "From this it is clear how much more cruel the pen may be than the sword."
Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Thomas Paine in 1796, in which he wrote: "Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why are we so stupid?

Why are we so stupid?
David Kerridge, Margaret Morgan and Sarah Kerridge At a two day seminar, someone suggested the idea of a Deming tee- shirt. Asked what should be written on it, Dr Deming said: "Why are we all so damn stupid?".

Well, why are we? We hear a new "Deming" idea, and at first it sounds meaningless, or even silly. Then quite suddenly it is obvious. Now we have another problem. We rush off to tell everyone else about this wonderful insight, and they simply can't see it. The example, or the explanation, that made things clear to us does not work for them: it may even annoy them. But don't despair: there is nothing wrong with you, or them. Everyone has the same experience.

Our minds work in different ways. So to increase our own understanding, and even more to help others, we must dig deeper into our thinking. Somewhere, if we go deep enough, there are false assumptions common to most people. Don't go about telling other people how stupid they are: but when you can recognise these fallacies in yourself you can help them much more.

The Cause Fallacy

If we see something happen, we think that there must be a direct cause for it. Something moves, so something is pushing it. This was the basis of Physics for nearly 2000 years. Then Galileo discovered inertia: once anything starts moving, it goes on until something stops it.

Applied to people, the "cause fallacy" means that no one will do anything unless threatened or rewarded. Applied to variation, everything has a special cause. Something has gone wrong: someone has blundered. No wonder so many mis- understandings of the Deming Philosophy arise from problems of variation and motivation. When we try to point out the obvious, we threaten the only way most people can make sense of the world.

The System Fallacy

The system controls us, and not us the system. This is very deep-rooted. It makes us feel helpless, and so hopeless. Belief that the system is fixed leads to the idea of win- lose. All we can do, without changing the system, is to adjust the control levers, to trade off one disadvantage against another.

Of course, in reality, the system is changed all the time. We individually may not be able to change a very large part of it, but together we can change a great deal. A bigger problem, perhaps, is that we are afraid to change it. Until our Profound Knowledge is deep enough to know a good change from a bad one, we should be afraid of change. We are more likely to tamper than to improve. So experience warns us not to change the system.

The Experience Fallacy

There is nothing like experience, surely? Well, as Lewis Carroll says, there is nothing like hay when you are faint. In fact, experience is very good when we want to go on exactly as before. We develop skill in handling the most frequent problems. And we all know how much more comfortable it is to be in familiar situations, handling them in familiar ways.

Unfortunately the very reason why experience is so good in an unchanging situation makes it bad when we want to make changes. We speak of "taking a fresh look": and that is just what we can not do if we have too much experience. When you first go to work in a hospital, the "hospital smell" is overpowering. After a week, you can no longer smell it. The mind has filtered out something that is always there. In the same way, experience makes invisible the things that we see every day.

Joyce Orsini was once asked "Is there any experience of applying the Deming Philosophy to plumbing?" She replied "No, you're really lucky, there's none at all". We should never underestimate the creative power of inexperience.

The Visibility Fallacy

"Out of sight, out of mind", as the proverb has it. We consistently behave as if what we cannot see does not matter. In ordinary life, this often good enough. But in running an organisation, any visible problem will soon be put right. If not, there is an invisible problem somewhere that stops people putting it right. So we should take it for granted that the most important problems are invisible.

Of course, the most common invisible problem is fear. Fear makes everyone concentrate on appearing right, in covering up, and making all the hidden problems worse. It takes courage as well as insight to make a change, however necessary, that makes things look worse in the short run.

The short-term is always more visible than the long-term, and the measurable more than the unmeasurable. In this one fallacy, we have the key to many problems. But that is true of all the others.

The Logic Fallacy

The world is a logical place isn't it? So a logical explanation persuades us even when it is obviously contrary to the facts. It is as if we need an excuse to believe our own eyes.

This is why Dr Deming, discussing the Theory of Knowledge, stresses that true knowledge is based on the power to predict the future: not simply explanation. This has been the key to scientific advance in every field. But it has not yet got through to everyday thinking. We make "obvious" assumptions, reason logically from them, and most of the time we get a good enough answer. If not, life would be impossible.

This may be the reason why many of these fallacies persist. What works well enough in ordinary life is "common sense". But as Dr Deming says "Every theorem is true in its own world. The question is, which world are we in?" If we reason from assumptions that are true in the world we know, we forget that they may be totally false in the transformed world we are trying to create.

The Lemming Fallacy

"Everyone else thinks so, so it must be right". Naturally, you feel safe if you think the same as everyone else. It must be a great comfort to the lemming as it goes over a cliff.

Of course, the majority often are right. But to make progress, you must run the risk of being wrong. One reason why the lemming fallacy is so popular is fear: conventional wisdom is safe. If you are wrong in the same way as everyone else, you can hardly be punished for it. But a stronger reason may be that most people do not know how to use a new idea: cautiously and safely, testing as you go using the Deming cycle. Hooray! we don't have to be lemmings after all. But, on second thoughts, it was rather comforting....

These fallacies are just a start: you can no doubt think of others. They all can be summed up as one great fallacy: the fallacy of common sense.

Of course it is true that common sense usually works, especially in simple problems: and many problems are simple. What is more, a great many decisions have no lasting effect. It is better to do something quickly, rather than the right thing, too late. "Use your common sense" is excellent advice.

It is different when we come to long-term decision making. The systems we deal with in management are not simple. Above all, the things that common sense can do have usually been done already. What most people call "Common Sense" is reasoning from assumptions that are deeply felt, but not stated. If we want to improve still further, we must question "obvious" assumptions. The things we have always assumed may not be true after all. But equally, if common sense contradicts what a theory says, challenge the theory. Which gives better predictions?

No wonder there is resistance to Dr Deming's ideas. He wants us to grow up: not to follow blindly, but to think for ourselves. It is painful to analyse our own stupidity, but a great mistake to deny it. There is great comfort in the old saying "In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". Let us all study Profound Knowledge, and be a little less blind.

Date: Sat, 3 Sep 1994 23:35:58 -0400
Version: 5.5 -- Copyright (c) 1991/92, Anastasios Kotsikonas
From: (Steve Buckley)
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Deming: Get Smart in 5 minutes

MESSAGE from =sta010@ABERDEEN.AC.UK 01-JUL-94 14:25
From: David Kerridge
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 14:39:31 BST
Reply-To: sta010@ABERDEEN.AC.UK
Sender: "The W. Edwards Deming Forum"

Comments please to

David Kerridge

Assistant Director of Research
British Deming Association

or to the whole list

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Houston Feed-the-Homeless Org Shut Down for Not Having Food Permit

US Houston Feed-the-Homeless Org Shut Down for Not Having Food Permit

Bobby Herring has a heart for Houston’s (TX) homeless population. He and his wife, Amanda, have provided meals to the city’s downtown downtrodden almost every night for the last year. On any given night, they can see 60-120 people in need of a meal. But two weeks ago, that ended. Not for lack of funds, lack of food, or lack of dedication, but because the government says they don’t have the proper permit.
“We don’t really know what they want, we just think that they don’t want us down there feeding people,” Bobby told the Houston Chronicle.
Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department, told the Chronicle exactly what “they” are looking for: food that’s prepared in a “certified” kitchen under the watch of a “certified” food manager. Those are the requirements for the Herring’s charity, “Feed a Friend,” to get the proper permit. But the Herrings are skeptical they will ever receive it because they don’t have the means to meet the stipulations.
The controversy started when Houston police asked them to move from their initial location downtown to a different location. Because the new location is technically on park land, the couple was shut down for not having the permits from the city health and parks departments.
The regulations and permit are essential when it comes to the homeless, Barton told the Chronicle, because “poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care.”
But the Herrings said this is something they‘ve been doing for a year and it’s never been a problem before.
“I’m just really sad,” Amanda said to the Chronicle. “I can’t believe for a year we were right out in the open and never had anybody tell us to leave, to stop, to tell us it was wrong. I’m blindsided with it.”

The homeless outreach isn’t the only ministry the Herrings are involved in. They also run an organization called Eyes on Me that reaches out to the city’s youth. Bobby, who also goes by his Christian rap name Tre9, tries to reach out through hip hop. A video on YouTube reportedly shows Tre9 hosting an outing called “Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays”:
Connie Boyd, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, said she’s happy the Herrings care as much as they do, but she also defended the city’s ordinance.
“We absolutely need more people like them who care about this vulnerable population,” Boyd told the Chronicle. “Even though their intentions are good, they ran into ordinances that are designed to protect the public. There are good reasons why they’re in place.”
Houston Councilwoman Wanda Adams told the Chronicle she would like to review of the law.
“I‘m very passionate about what they’re doing,” she said. “Somebody needs to make sure our homeless people are being taken care of. … We have to look as a city to see if there are other ways we can partner with people like this who are trying to help.”
In the meantime, the Herrings might try to find a church that already has a permit, or find another location downtown that may not require it.

Monday, March 14, 2011


"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do."-Epictetus


"Being human,I feel profoundly the necessity of putting an end to violence,and I will make sure to put an end to it in myself."-krishnamurti


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