Recently in Politics Category
Amendments to the U. S. Constitution following the Bill of Rights. An interesting presentation because it includes five amendments that were sent to the States by Congress but which were not ratified, and notes questions about the validity of the ratification of other amendments.
There's a gap between Americans' experience of the economy and the rosy reports they hear from Washington. Tinkering with definitions is an easy way for government officials to make their economic performance look better than it really is, and it's a game that has been going on for years. Economist John Williams provides alternative calculations of key economic statistics, seeking to correct for the distortions that have been introduced into the numbers by nearly every administration since JFK's. From the site's primer:
"The first regular reporting of now-popular statistics such as gross national/domestic product (GNP/GDP), unemployment and the consumer price index (CPI) began in the decade following World War II. Modern political manipulation of the government's economic data began as soon as practicable thereafter, with revisions to methodology often incorporating positive reporting biases. As a result, investors and most economists, relying on the government's data, often miss underlying economic reality. "
Another article explains how the method for calculating the consumer price index has changed -- "CPI no longer measures the cost of maintaining a constant standard of living" -- and why it is to government's benefit to minimize the stated rate of inflation.
What's green on the outside and red on the inside? A watermelon? No, it's the climate alarmist protest movement. Zombie, the intrepid chronicler of way-out lefty protests in the San Francisco Bay Area, presents a thorough photo-documentary of the "People's Climate Rally" in Oakland, showing that the event was organized and dominated by explicitly socialist and communist groups arguing for "system change not climate change," a slogan promoted by Socialist Party USA. The ideological diversity of the march ranged from Leninists to Trotskyites, from Maoists to Castroites. Zombie noted two things you could find at every booth: Copies of the Communist Manifesto and anti-Israel material.
Via People's Cube, which writes, "The issue is never the issue, the issue is always the revolution."
A fascinating theory expounded by Zombie, the chronicler of far-left craziness. Progressives are lying about their motives with respect to gun control, abortion, climate change, junk food taxes, plastic bag bans, the welfare state, affirmative action, and nanny-statism, but conservatives are wrong about their true hidden motives. "Nanny statism is the modern progressive version of Jim Crow: regulations whose real intent is to oppress blacks, but now hidden behind the smiley-face mask of universal oppression."
How to build your own pretty election-result maps, shaded by county (or by precinct).
Daniel Greenfield shares video of a classic SNL sketch: "Dukakis After Dark" with Jon Lovitz as Michael Dukakis and Phil Hartman as Teddy Kennedy. And this quote from producer Lorne Michaels: "Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it's funny."
If you hear your candidate utter any of these phrases, don't bother volunteering for him, don't bother giving him money.
A surgeon explains how the Federal Government's requirement to use standard coding for Medicare reimbursement has led to the bureaucratization of the entire medical profession: "The coding system was supposed to improve the accuracy of adjudicating claims submitted by doctors and hospitals to Medicare, and later to non-Medicare insurance companies. Instead, it gave doctors and hospitals an incentive to find ways of describing procedures and services with the cluster of codes that would yield the biggest payment. Sometimes this required the assistance of consulting firms. A cottage industry of fee-maximizing advisors and seminars bloomed....
"As the third party payment system led health care costs to escalate, the people footing the bill have attempted to rein in costs with yet more command-and-control solutions....
"Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, protocols and regimentation were imposed on America's physicians through a centralized bureaucracy. Using so-called 'evidence-based medicine,' algorithms and protocols were based on statistically generalized, rather than individualized, outcomes in large population groups....
"What began as guidelines eventually grew into requirements. In order for hospitals to maintain their Medicare certification, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began to require their medical staff to follow these protocols or face financial retribution....
"These rules are being bred into the system. Young doctors and medical students are being trained to follow protocol. To them, command and control is normal. But to older physicians who have lived through the decline of medical culture, this only contributes to our angst."
Links to eulogies of the late controversialist and journalist, including one by his brother Peter Hitchens.
The Occupy movement is experiencing the lessons of history and the development of civilization the hard way. (Via Ace of Spades HQ.)