Suffer No More

Millions of diabetes sufferers face the daily grind of frequent and painful skin prick tests to monitor their blood sugar levels.

Now researchers have developed an innovative alternative that could reveal the same information in the blink of an eye.

A team from The University of Akron have developed a contact lens that senses glucose which is the blood sugar in tears, the natural fluid that bathes the eye.

If sugar is not being metabolized properly and glucose concentration builds up in the body, the contact lens will detect a problem and change color.

“It works just like pH paper in your high school chemistry lab”, said Dr Jun Hu.

“The sugar molecule literally acts like the proton in a pH test, displacing a color dye embedded in the lens, and the lens changes color.”

Usually when you dissolve sugars in water you can’t see them. Dr Hu has used a molecule, called a probe, that binds well to sugars that they then combined with a dye. When sugar concentrations rise the sugar binds to the probe and knocks the dye loose, causing a color change.

The person wearing the lens wouldn’t notice the change unless they looked in the mirror, so the team are now designing an app that will calculate sugar levels from a camera phone snap of the eye.

Dr Hu said, “This device could be used to detect subtle changes in blood sugar levels for tight management of diabetes. It can also be used to identify patients with pre-diabetic conditions, allowing early diagnosis that is crucial for preventing diabetes from advancing.”

“The convenience of contact lenses could boost patient compliance to blood sugar testing, as it will reduce discomfort, inconvenience, and even cost.”

“In addition, blood sugar also changes rapidly throughout a normal, active day, so a device that can monitor glucose many times in a day will provide diabetic patients with a very powerful tool in combating such a damaging condition.”

The lens is currently at the prototype phase but scientists say they could be commercially available within three years if all goes well.

The next step will be to check that the dye binds completely to the contact lens and does not leach as this could be dangerous to the eye.

Joke of the Day

A highly timid little man, ventured into a biker bar in the Bronx and clearing his throat asked, “Um, err, which of you gentlemen owns the Doberman tied outside to the parking meter?”

A giant of a man, wearing biker leathers, his body hair growing out through the seams, turned slowly on his stool, looked down at the quivering little man and said, “It’s my dog. Why?”

“Well,” squeaked the little man, obviously very nervous, “I believe my dog just killed it, sir.”

“What?” roared the big man in disbelief. “What in the hell kind of dog do you have?”

“Sir,” answered the little man, “it’s a little four week old female puppy.”

“Bull!” roared the biker, “how could your puppy kill my Doberman?”

“It appears that your dog choked on her, sir.”

Scrubba Dub Dub

Several media outlets have again pulled or edited already-published articles about the activities of President Barack Obama’s daughter, even though the stories appeared to pose no active security risk to the first family.

On Thursday, 14-year-old Malia Obama attended a concert by the British boy band One Direction at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., flanked by Secret Service agents who attempted unsuccessfully to blend in with the crowd of mostly pre-teen girls.

At one point during the concert, the boy bands’ teen heartthrobs sang, “You’re insecure, Dunno what for, You’re turning heads when you walk through the door” — words that managed to take on some meaning for Malia, who looked less than enthused by the presence of multiple middle-aged federal agents at her side.

On Friday, the story was picked up by the liberal website The Huffington Post, which ran the headline, “Malia Obama, One Direction Fan: First Daughter Attends Boy Band Concert with Secret Service in Tow.”

Within hours, the entire post was scrubbed from the site without explanation, and the post’s URL was hastily changed to direct users to the site’s celebrity section.

The next day, news aggregation website Buzzfeed ran a story on the event, accompanied by a picture of Malia in attendance at the concert. The headline was “Malia Obama Goes to the One Direction Concert with the Secret Service,” and the story’s picture showed Malia standing awkwardly in front of a scowling male Secret Service agent, with what appear to be two additional female Secret Service agents standing to her right.

By Sunday, the headline had changed to “Secret Service Agent Does Not Appear To Enjoy One Direction Concert,” and Buzzfeed had cropped the photo to remove Malia entirely, leaving only a narrow shot of the unhappy Secret Service agent. Again, the author of the post, Hillary Reinsberg, left no explanation for scrubbing Malia from the story and the picture, nor did she provide any indication to readers that it had occurred.

“I was expecting a little more than a tiny picture of half of a guys face,” Buzzfeed commenter Kyle Thompson wrote on Saturday, after the bizarre change had gone into effect.

“They had originally run a story about Malia Obama attending a One Direction concert, but apparently changed their minds when one of the first comments pointed out that journalistic protocol is that the President’s children be left alone, unless they are related to a story about the President in some way,” another commenter, Ryan Johnson, explained. “One of the clumsier things I’ve seen, well, ever.”

Major outlets like the Associated Press and AFP did not cover Malia’s appearance at the concert at all, while community-driven sites such as TMZ and The Blaze have kept their stories about the event posted, unaltered.

On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the first family was attending yet another concert — this time, they took in some Beyonce. Many sites, including The Huffington Post, omitted any mention of the Obamas in stories about the concert.

The media have run interference for the first family in the past. In March, several news sites — including The Huffington Post — scrubbed stories about Malia’s planned spring break vacation in Mexico with a dozen friends and 25 Secret Service agents.

At the time, the White House admitted it had asked that the stories be removed only for security reasons.

“From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news

Mainstream Media

 outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest,” Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, told Politico.

However, unlike the spring break stories, which were published in advance of Malia’s trip

 and may have posed a threat, the articles about the first daughter’s appearance at the One Direction concert were published only after the fact.

Additionally, despite repeatedly saying that the first family is off-limits to reporters, the Obama campaign has used images of the president’s daughters in advertisements urging the public to “help the Obamas stand up for working Americans.”

I remember the media according the Bush daughters the same respect. Right!

Attribution: Gregg Re, Daily Caller

A Flag for All

Jim Parks may be 93-year-old, but he isn’t slowing down. The former Navy sailor and World War II service member is on a mission to officially honor his fellow veterans.

Parks, who has a passion for commemorating those who have given back to the United States of America, has created a flag that serves this very purpose — a symbol that he hopes to eventually see flying in all 50 states.

Parks, who pushes on despite health problems, has stated his surprise with the fact that there are already flags for each branch of the military and for individuals who are missing in combat. But the dearth of a more general symbol to represent the many individuals who have served has been a concern to him, so he has set out on a crusade to see that this alleged wrong is righted. 

“Twenty-three million veterans that served our country: Don’t they deserve to have an emblem that represents them?, Parks recently asked. ”You always have to be optimistic. If it doesn’t work one way, try another way. So, I keep trying. I’ve come a long way in 10 years.”

Already, Parks is halfway to his goal, as 25 states have voiced support for the flag. The California state legislature was the first to take up the motion back in 2006 for what Parks has dubbed the “Veterans Remembered Flag.” The symbol, rather than singling out a specific group of servicemen and women, is intended to serve as a memorial for “past, present, and future veterans,“ while providing ”an enduring symbol to support tomorrow’s veterans today.”

For more information and to order a flag click on the following link:

In Memory

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – A History


IN THE BEAUTIFUL Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on a hillside overlooking the historic Potomac River is a Shrine that has become the mecca for not only all Americans who visit Washington but many prominent dignitaries and persons from foreign lands. It is the Tomb of America’s Unknown Soldiers, symbolizing those Americans who gave their lives in defense of the Nation’s integrity, honor and tranquility.

Following the custom inaugurated by other allied countries in World War I, the Congress on March 4, 1921, approved a Resolution providing for the burial in Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater on Armistice Day 1921 of an unknown and unidentified American soldier of World War I. The Secretary of War delegated to the Quartermaster Corps the duty of selecting the Unknown Soldier and accordingly the Quartermaster General directed the Chief American Graves Registration Service in Europe to select from among the burials of America’s Unknown Dead the bodies of four who fell in the combat area in order that one from among them could be anonymously designated as the one for burial in accordance with the provisions of the Resolution.

Four bodies of Unknown Soldiers were selected, one from each of the following cemeteries Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, Somme and St. Mihiel, and brought to Chalons where they were placed in the Hotel de Ville. The fact that the bodies selected were those of Americans was determined by the location of place of death, original burial and uniforms. The utmost care was taken to see that there was no evidence of identification on the bodies selected and no indication that their identity could ever be established.

After the four bodies were arranged in the Hotel de Ville, the next step was the matter of selecting the one from among them to represent all the Unknown American Dead. This ceremony though simple was most impressive. In view of his outstanding service, Sergeant Edward Younger, on duty with the American Forces in Germany, was given the honor of making the final selection. On Monday morning, October 24, 1921, at 10 :00 A.M. in the presence of The Quartermaster General, the Commanding General of the American Forces in Germany, the Mayor of Chalons-sur-Marne, high officers of the French Army, distinguished French citizens and eminent American and French civilians the selection was made.

While a French military band played, Sergeant Younger slowly entered the room where the four caskets were placed. Passing between two lines formed by the officials he silently advanced to the caskets, circled them three times and placed a spray of white roses on the third casket from the left. He then faced the body, stood at attention, and saluted. Officers of the French Army who saluted in the name of the French people immediately followed him.

The body lay in State for several hours watched over by a guard of honor composed of French and American Soldiers while the people of Chalons reverently paid their respects and left offerings of flowers and other tributes. After brief official ceremonies by the City of Chalons the casket was placed on a flag-draped gun carriage and escorted by American and French troops to the railroad station where is was placed aboard the funeral car in a special train for the journey to Le Havre.

Upon arrival at Le Havre, French officials, troops and citizens of the town who had gathered that they too might pay homage to America’s Unknown Soldier met the train. Accompanied by many floral tributes and escorted by French and American troops, the solemn procession moved through the City of Le Havre to the pier where the American Cruiser “Olympia”, Admiral Dewey’s flagship at the battle of Manila Bay, awaited with her flags at half mast to receive the precious cargo which she was to bring to America. Here, with ceremonies befitting the solemn occasion, the casket was turned over to the United States Navy and placed on the flower adorned stern of the cruiser for the long journey to America. Slowly and silently the “Olympia” moved from the pier and with a salute of seventeen guns from a French destroyer, to which she promptly responded, the journey of the Unknown Soldier to his homeland began.

On November 9, 1921, at 4 :00 P.M., the “Olympia” reached the Navy Yard at Washington, D. C., where the flag-draped casket was delivered by the Navy to the Army, represented by the Commanding General of the District of Washington, and escorted to the rotunda of the Capitol. Here upon the same catafalque (hearse) that had similarly held the remains of our Presidents, Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley, the body lay in State under a guard of honor and composed of selected men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

All during the next day thousands of patriotic individuals, including the highest officials of the Government, members of the Diplomatic Corps and private citizens, passed before the casket to pay homage to The Unknown Soldier who symbolized all our Unknown and the purpose for which they died.

On the morning of November 11, 1921, Armistice Day, at 8: 30 A.M., the casket was removed from the rotunda of the Capitol and escorted to the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery under a military escort, with general officers of the Army and Admirals of the Navy for pallbearers, and noncommissioned officers of the Navy and Marine Corps for body bearers.

Following the caisson bearing the flag-draped casket, walked such a concourse as had never before followed a soldier to his final resting place-The President of the United States, the Vice-President, Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, members of the Diplomatic Corps, wearers of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Senators, members of Congress, the Generals of the Armies of World War I, and former Wars, and other distinguished Army, Navy and Marine Corps officers, Veterans of World War I, and former Wars, State officials and representatives of patriotic organizations.

Solemnly through streets lined with thousands gathered to pay homage to those who died on the field of battle, the procession moved on to historic Arlington. Upon arrival at the Amphitheater the casket was borne through the south entrance to the apse where it was placed upon the catafalque. During the processional, the vast audience both within and without the Amphitheater stood uncovered. A simple but impressive funeral ceremony was conducted which included an address by the President of the United States who conferred upon the Unknown Soldier the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Following this ceremony, special representatives of foreign governments associated with the United States in World War I each in turn conferred upon the Unknown the highest military decoration of their Nation.

At the conclusion of these ceremonies the remains, preceded by the clergy, the President and Mrs. Harding and others seated in the apse, were borne to the sarcophagus where a brief committal service was held. With three salvos of artillery, the sounding of taps and the National Salute, the impressive ceremonies were brought to a close.

It was originally intended that the simple white marble Tomb placed over the grave of The Unknown Soldier immediately after the interment should serve as a base for an appropriate superstructure. Accordingly, very shortly after the ceremonies on November 11, 1921, the question of selecting a suitable monument to complete the Tomb was given consideration. It was not until July 3, 1926, however, that the Congress finally authorized the completion of the Tomb and for it, the expenditure of $50,000.

The Act referred to above provided that the Secretary of War secure competitive designs according to such regulations as he may adopt to complete the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. The Act further provided that the accepted designs should be subject to the approval of the Arlington Cemetery Commission, the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Fine Arts Commission. In accordance with the provisions of the Act, the Secretary of War prepared a program for the completion of the Tomb and invited architects of standing reputation who were citizens of the United States to submit designs. Seventy-four designs were submitted and, from among them, five were selected for further study.

The selected competitors were required to restudy their designs and prepare models of plaster of paris. When these models were received, the Jury of Award studied each one, taking into consideration the surroundings of the Tomb, the Amphitheater in which it is located and which serves as a background for it and the final effect after the completed monument was in place.

After going into the matter most carefully and thoroughly, the Jury finally recommended an anonymous design to be the winning one. When their decision had been reached a sealed envelope accompanying the design was opened and it was found that the winning design was the work of Thomas Hudson Jones, sculptor, and Lorimer Rich, Architect, of New York City.

The design selected was in the form of a sarcophagus, simple but impressive, and most appropriate for the purpose for which desired. The total height is 11 feet, the width is 8 feet at the base and 6 feet 8 inches at the top, and the length is 13 feet 11 inches at the base and 12 feet 7 inches at the top. The severity of the design is relieved by the Doric Pilasters in low relief at the corners and along the sides. The panel of the front, facing the City of Washington and the Potomac, has carved upon the marble a composition of three figures commemorative of the spirit of the Allies in the War. In the center of the panel stands “Victory”, with her palm branch to reward the devotion and sacrifice that went with courage to make the cause of righteousness triumphant; on one side a male figure symbolizes “Valor” and on the other stands “Peace.” Each of the sides is divided into three panels by Doric Pilasters, in each panel of which is carved an inverted wreath. On the back appears the inscription “Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God”. This is the only inscription appearing on the Tomb.

The marble is the finest and whitest of American marble–Yule, Colorado, marble, and same as used in the Lincoln Memorial. The Tomb is made of only four pieces of marble–the die, which is all in one piece and one of the largest ever quarried, weighing over 50 tons; the base; the sub-base, and the capstone.

An appropriation from Congress for the work was secured and on December 21, 1929, a contract for completion of the Tomb itself was entered into.

In order to provide an appropriate setting for the Tomb when completed certain changes were necessary in the grounds, roadways and landscaping in the immediate vicinity of the Tomb. To accomplish this, plans were prepared to provide an elaborate approach from the East and on February 28, 1929, Congress authorized the construction of the necessary approaches to the Tomb.

Attribution: Quartermaster Review

Kansas has a Brownback…Bone

(The Blaze/AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state’s courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group’s spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.

The new law, taking effect July 1, doesn’t specifically mention Shariah law, which broadly refers to codes within the Islamic legal system. Instead, it says courts, administrative agencies or state tribunals can’t base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.

“This bill should provide protection for Kansas citizens from the application of foreign laws,” said Stephen Gele, spokesman for the American Public Policy Alliance, a Michigan group promoting model legislation similar to the new Kansas law. “The bill does not read, in any way, to be discriminatory against any religion.”

But supporters have worried specifically about Shariah law being applied in Kansas court cases, and the alliance says on its website that it wants to protect Americans’ freedoms from “infiltration” by foreign laws and legal doctrines, “especially Islamic Shariah Law.”

Brownback’s office notified the state Senate of his decision Friday, but he actually signed the measure Monday. The governor’s spokeswoman, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, said in a statement that the bill “makes it clear that Kansas courts will rely exclusively on the laws of our state and our nation when deciding cases and will not consider the laws of foreign jurisdictions.”

Muslim groups had urged Brownback to veto the measure, arguing that it promotes discrimination. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said a court challenge is likely because supporters of the measure frequently expressed concern about Shariah law.

Hooper said of Brownback, “If he claims it has nothing to do with Shariah or Islamic law or Muslims, then he wasn’t paying attention.”

Both the Washington-based council and the National Conference of State Legislatures say such proposals have been considered in 20 states, including Kansas. Gele said laws similar to Kansas’ new statute have been enacted in Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Oklahoma voters approved a ballot initiative in 2010 that specifically mentioned Shariah law, but both a federal judge and a federal appeals court blocked it.

There are no known cases in which a Kansas judge has based a ruling on Islamic law. However, supporters of the bill have cited a pending case in Sedgwick County in which a man seeking to divorce his wife has asked for property to be divided under a marriage contract in line with Shariah law.

Supporters argue the measure simply ensures that legal decisions will protect long-cherished liberties, such as freedom of speech and religion and the right to equal treatment under the law. Gele said the measure would come into play if someone wanted to enforce a libel judgment against an American from a foreign nation without the same free speech protections.

“It is perfectly constitutional,” he said.

The House approved the bill unanimously and the Senate, with broad, bipartisan support. Even some legislators who were skeptical of it believed it was broad and bland enough that it didn’t represent a specific political attack on Muslims. “This disturbing recent trend of activist judges relying upon the laws of other nations has been rejected by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the Kansas House and Senate,” Jones-Sontag said.The measure’s chief sponsor, Rep. Peggy Mast, an Emporia Republican, also has said all Kansans, including Muslims, should be comfortable with the new law, but she did not immediately respond Friday to telephone and email messages seeking comment.Rep. Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican, acknowledged that the measure merely “made some people happy” and that a vote against it could be cast politically as a vote in favor of Shariah law.“Am I really concerned that Shariah law is going to take over the Kansas courts? No,” he said. “I’m more concerned about getting jobs to Kansas.”

The Michigan-based alliance advocates model “American Law for American Courts” legislation. Its website says, “America has unique values of liberty which do not exist in foreign legal systems, particularly Shariah Law.”

During the Kansas Senate’s debate on the bill earlier this month, Sen. Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican described a vote for the measure as a vote for women’s rights, adding, “They stone women to death in countries that have Shariah law.”

Hooper said supporters of such proposals have made it clear they are targeting Islamic law.

“Underlying all of this is demonizing Islam and marginalizing American Muslims,” he said

Too Cool for Me

The Power of Cool

by: Victor Davis Hanson

When Barack Obama two years ago joked at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that potential suitors of his two daughters might have to deal with Predator drones (“But boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: Predator drones. You will never see it coming.”), the liberal crowd roared. That failed macabre joke would have earned George W. Bush a week of headline condemnation from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Obama, in fact, has increased those judge/jury/executioner targeted assassinations tenfold during his tenure. But apparently, the combination of Obama’s postracial “cool” and the video-game nature of such airborne death — no CNN clips of charred torsos and smoldering legs, no prisoners with their ACLU lawyers in Guantanamo, no Seymour Hersh exposé on a Waziristan granny who was vaporized for being too near her terrorist-suspect grandson, no American losses for Code Pink and to demonstrate against — earned general exemption for that new liberal way of war. What bothered us about the Predator strikes in 2006–2008 was not the kills per se but the uncool nature of twangy Texan George Bush, who ordered them.

Last week 28-year-old, $17 billion–rich, jeans-clad Mark Zuckerberg took Wall Street for a multibillion-dollar ride, making his original buddies instant billionaires and his loyal larger circle millionaires. Note that there is no Occupy Wall Street protest at Facebook headquarters. Just as there are none at Oprah’s house or the residence of Leonardo DiCaprio, despite their take each year of between $50 and $100 million.

No one has suggested that Hollywood lower movie-ticket prices by asking Johnny Depp or Jennifer Lopez to walk away with $10 or $20 million less a year. Steve Jobs found ways to dodge taxes comparable to those deployed by any Wall Street fatcat, but he was iPad cool, and so his iPhone billions were exempt from the Occupy nonsense. Cool capitalists are immune from the neo-Marxist critique of capitalism — a racket that $40 billion–rich Warren Buffett learned late in life, but well enough, with the “Buffett Rule.”

We simply don’t mind that Google and Amazon rake in billions, but we despise Exxon and Archer Daniels Midland for doing the same. It is not that we need social networking and Internet searches more than food and fuel, but rather that we have the impression that cool zillionaires in flipflops are good while uncool ones in wingtips are quite bad.

I am sure that the tax lawyers who help Richard Branson and Mick Jagger are no less skilled at shorting the Treasury than those who work for Rush Limbaugh, but the profits of the former are okay while the latter’s are obscene. Limbaugh is a misogynist for using the word “slut” and apologizing for it; Bill Maher is a feminist for using slurs we cannot print and for which he did not apologize. One is uncool, the other very cool — as was a cynical and sarcastic David Letterman, who implied that the 14-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin had snuck into the Yankees’ dugout for quick sex with Alex Rodriquez.

The power of cool is evident also in politics. State quite correctly that you can see Russia from parts of Alaska, and you are ditzy white-trash Sarah from Wasilla; state falsely that Franklin Roosevelt addressed the nation on television in 1929, and you are just “good ol’ Joe Biden.”

John Kerry’s second married-into fortune probably dwarfs the one that Mitt Romney made himself, perhaps by a factor of ten. While we heard in 2012 that Romney wanted a car elevator in one of his many houses, we never heard much in 2004 of presidential candidate Kerry’s various mansions, boats, or assorted playthings, or how he proved to be a keen investor as a senator helping to set U.S. financial policy.

Kerry, you see, was cool. He windsurfed and wore spandex as he cycled, and found his exemption by championing the poor he rarely saw. The same was true of John Edwards of “Two Americas” fame. Do we now recall how he ran to the left of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, despite the $500 haircuts and the self-indulgent mansion, replete with “John’s room,” a hideaway with all sorts of adolescent toys? Edwards, remember, earned those spoils by charming juries in his smarmy style, and nearly destroyed the practice of obstetrics in North Carolina through his flurry of malpractice suits. No matter, Edwards was liberal, Kennedyesque, and cool — and he earned prophylaxis in the manner of JFK himself, of whose White House orgies we did not learn until a half-century later. Likewise we have been taught that there is no “power imbalance” or “insidious asymmetry” when a “mentor” has sexual relations with his young intern — as long as he is a feminist like Bill Clinton.

What, then, exactly, is this cool that allows you to earn whatever you like without censure, and then to spend it as you please without fear of public scorn?

It would seem that the disconnect is liberal politics, the coin by which one buys a sort of medieval indulgence from liberal gatekeepers in the media, academia, the arts, and the foundations that permits one to continue the pursuit and enjoyment of lucre and to indulge the baser appetites without harassment — in the manner that the medieval moneylender or sexual zealot still got to heaven by buying marble for the cash-strapped cathedral. That $20 billion–rich George Soros was a money speculator who almost destroyed the small depositors of the Bank of England and was convicted in France of insider trading matters not at all: Without his roulette-wheel billions we would not have Media Matters. Jon Corzine of MF Global cannot explain what he did with $1.2 billion of other people’s money. But there will never be a “Corzine Law.”

Who cares what George Clooney makes an hour, or how exactly his close friends can afford to pony up for a $40,000-a-plate dinner — when the takings will help Barack Obama feed the children? If Halliburton were wise, it would buy the shut-down Solyndra plant, make solar panels at a loss, and write the cost off as a lobbying and public-relations expense.

So cool is not obtained just through liberal politics. Images and intent are critical too. The stuffy tea-party crowd looks like the plain suburban guys and gals who sell us houses, cars, and insurance. And so, of course, they must be racist, even though their demonstrations give no proof of any such fetish. Their only oddity would seem to be a certain desire to ensure that they leave no litter in their wake for poorer custodians to clean up.

But Occupy Wall Street? That movement has produced thugs, thieves, rapists, would-be bombers, rioters, and street urchins who pollute their surroundings and cause mayhem. They act pre-modern but earn no scorn because they are cool – they sport a sort of elite grunge that suggests that the environmental-studies major at Brown empathizes with those poor for whom grime is not makeup.

Identity is key here. In general, to win exemption from the left-wing critique of America, the affluent must construct cool identities as far distant as possible from the white Christian heterosexual male, who is most culpable for creating our present affluence from ill-gotten gains. The multimillionaire Elizabeth Warren and her husband make nearly $1 million a year. They live in a home beyond the reach of 99 percent of America. And she may well have plagiarized and been dishonest about her own heritage. No matter — Warren washed away both her privilege and her sins by reinventing herself as a “Cherokee” who fights Wall Street oppressors.

So too Barack Obama. It was Obama himself, not the fringe Birthers, who first made the case that the president was born in Kenya — not because he was, but because to say now and then that he was added an exotic touch of cool to Barack Hussein Obama — a cool that a Barry Dunham born in Honolulu and prepped at Punahou would have lacked. Poor George Zimmerman — had he only called himself Jorge Zimmerman he might not have been written off as a “white Hispanic” vigilante.

Network news anchors anguished over whether George W. Bush had tried coke while thousands of African-Americans languished in jail for doing the same — but they snored when Barack Obama boasted that he had done that and much more. Push down a gay student fifty years ago as a teen, and if you are straitlaced Mitt Romney then you always were a homophobe; push away a little girl decades ago, and if you are Barack Hussein Obama, then you were struggling with identity and coming of age.

In short, millions of well-off Americans, from the entering college student to the full professor of law, from the billionaire thief to the president of the United States himself, endlessly chase cool.

And why would they not? Cool is now America’s holy grail that allows the elite and the rich not just to pursue and enjoy nice things, but to damn others who do the same.

The Bain of Our Existence

By: The Common Constitutionalist

So I guess “Venture Capitalist” or “Private Equity” are dirty words (unless it’s prefaced with Blackstone).

Years ago, Mitt Romney was a venture capitalist. If you listen to the mainstream media, you would get the impression that these companies, like private equity firm, Bain Capital, scour the countryside looking for struggling businesses. Without doing any research on the

Count Romula

companies viability, they swoop in, take over, fire everyone and sell off the carcass. That’s seems to be the way it is portrayed.

But that’s the private sector for ya. Those in private industry are looking to do one thing; make money. They don’t seem to understand that the sole purpose of the private sector is not to make a profit, but to create jobs (preferably union). Private industry is to create jobs, provide a living wage, pensions and benefits for their unionized workers and since profit is evil, all will be paid for by that large pot of gold hidden under every CEOs desk.

As an aside, I love the term “workers”. It’s such a wonderfully socialist/communist term. Like the worker bees in Woodrow Wilson’s grand “beehive” vision.

The public sector, or government, surely knows better how to invest in struggling companies.

Just imagine what would’ve become of General Motors if the government hadn’t stepped in and bailed it out with our money. GM would have been forced into bankruptcy reorganization. Union contracts would’ve become null and void and would’ve had to been renegotiated. Tragic! Many workers would’ve lost their jobs. In the private sector we would call these people dead wood, or non-essential personnel. This, of course, would have been completely heartless.

Lucky for us, our benevolent government stepped in and saved the day. They rescued the struggling healthcare auto company thus saving the jobs of many thousands of workers. Those who are students of history understand that every company that is forced to file for bankruptcy reorganization must fire every employee and shut its doors.

Thankfully that didn’t happen. Our government, with great foresight and great courage gave billions and billions of our dollars to save those union jobs. (Notice I said gave and not lent billions of dollars. We have not been paid back in full and likely never will. Bless them for that.)

In doing so, it was mandated that only about 800 Chrysler and almost 1100 GM, nonunion dealerships close. I’m sure those dealerships and all their employees were more than happy to sacrifice themselves in order to save the UAW.

It was all for the greater good. Workers of the world unite! Unless you worked for a dealership.

You see, private industry is like a casino and the private equity firms are like the high rolling gamblers that destroy everyone that stand in the way of their prize; big profits. Just ask those poor saps who work at Sealy Corp. or Staples or Sports Authority, Domino’s Pizza, Toys R Us or Dunkin Donuts, just a few of Romney’s more famous victims. Oh wait; they added thousands of jobs. Forget I said that.

Government investment in companies is where it’s at. Success stories abound.

Just look at the laundry list of prosperity from government largess.

Let’s see; give me second. I’ll think of some. Got it! How about Solyndra, Solar Trust of America, Energy Conversion Devices. Then there’s Evergreen Solar, Solar Power Industries and Spectrawatt. They took our money and parlayed that investment into viable growth companies employing many workers.

What? They all went belly up? No workers, no nothing? How could that be? I’m sure the experts in the government did countless hours of research and viability studies before handing out billions of dollars. That doesn’t sound all like our government. It sounds more like those wicked private equity firms.

In closing if I may be serious; people start and invest in business to make money. Sure, that’s not the only reason, but it’s the main reason. Someone has an idea for a better mouse trap so they start company to build the mousetraps. If they didn’t think they could make money, they wouldn’t start. They don’t set out to start a business with the aim of hiring people. That is the result of hard work and growing the business so one has to hire people.

The same goes for venture capitalists or private equity firms. They spend countless hours researching before they invest in an already struggling industry. It is of course a risk, but it is an educated risk. They don’t just throw money at something and hope for the best like the government does. They can’t afford to. Unlike the government, they don’t have unlimited funds to waste.

No matter how much research these private equity firms do, not every investment will yield success and some of the companies won’t make it. That’s called life.

It is however, almost a sure bet, that if the venture capitalist or private equity firm didn’t invest in the company, said company wouldn’t survive. With the infusion of new capital, they at least have a chance and worst-case, they may get a few more years of life that they wouldn’t otherwise have had, like GST Steel.

Go for a Quick Dip

A quick dip in this pool could well turn into a marathon. It’s the Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile.

Swimming a length in this, the world’s largest outdoor pool, would mean stroke after stroke for more than three fifths of a mile – that’s 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The enormous man-made lagoon is set halfway up the country’s Pacific coast, in the city of Algarrobo, and is filled with 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.

It also hold the Guinness record for the world’s deepest – so if you don’t feel like diving 115ft to the bottom, it might be best to bring some spare goggles.

The pool opened in December 2006 after nearly five years of construction work and is said to have set developers back as much as $1.5 billion.

And on top of that eye-watering initial cost, it takes over $3 million a year to keep it in working order.

It uses a computer-controlled suction and filtration system to suck water in from the ocean at one end and pump it out at the other, while the sun warms it to 26C (79F) – nine degrees higher than the sea.

The pool’s incredible dimensions leave the next biggest floundering in its wake, with the Orthlieb in Morocco measuring a mere 1,575ft long.

Attribution: India Times, Mail Online