“Bad luck”

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck”.


Poll: Record high number oppose ObamaCare

A record high number of registered voters (59%) oppose ObamaCare and a record low number (36%) favor it. Interestingly, the increase in opposition comes from Democrats and independents. 30% of Democrats, up from 22%, oppose the law. Among independents, 64% (up from 53%) oppose it.

Some apparent reasons for opposition to the law include the fact that majorities think the new law will increase their taxes (63 percent), increase their insurance costs (62 percent) and increase the federal deficit (56 percent).

Meanwhile, just one voter in five thinks Obamacare will increase the quality of their health care (19 percent).  More than twice as many expect the quality of their care to get worse (39 percent) and another 37 percent think it will stay the same.

  • By 42%-27% voters think that Obama’s policies have hurt, not helped, the economy
  • A whopping 74% feel as if the country is still in a recession
  • By 55%-30% they think cutting taxes and reducing regulations would help the economy
  • 55% vs 37% think that long-term unemployment benefits discourage people from trying to find work
  • A majority (52%) think the government should provide unemployment benefits for at most one year

This couldn’t happen here, right? RIGHT?

Every so often I come across a story about a horrendous abuse of power by police. I say to myself, “I hope that couldn’t happen in NH.” The following happened in New Mexico, but I would like to think it could never happen anywhere in the United States.

A man was stopped for not coming to a complete stop when exiting a parking lot. An officer thought the man was clenching his buttocks and decided that was probable cause to search for drugs. On that flimsy evidence the police obtained a search warrant that allowed for an anal cavity search. They took him to a hospital for an x-ray, which showed no trace of hidden drugs. That is when it got worse:

  • Doctors at that hospital refused to perform an anal search, saying it would be unethical, so police took the man to a hospital in a different county – where the search warrant was invalid.
  • Doctors at the second hospital did the anal search and found nothing.
  • They then gave him an enema, searched the stool and found nothing.
  • Then a second enema and even a third enema – nothing
  • Another x-ray – nothing
  • They then prepped him for surgery, sedated him, and did a colonoscopy. Again, nothing was found.

All this without any consent of their “patient”.

If police can arrest someone just for the way they appear to be standing, and if doctors can perform medical procedures without any consent, then we live in a police state.

Not surprisingly, the man sued the city, the individual police officers, the hospital, and the doctors. The city settled for $1.6 million; the hospital has not yet settled. The settlement and national outrage over this incident may prevent a recurrence; that’s the good news.

The bad news is that it is the taxpayers who end up paying the bill. Whenever the government settles a case for their officers’ outrageous behavior, it is the taxpayers who suffer. It ought to be the wrongdoers who are punished.

Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?

A psychology professor suggests the conventional school system is “failing our children and our society”.
It’s no wonder that many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators either left school early (like Thomas Edison) or said they hated school and learned despite it, not because of it (like Albert Einstein).
Most students—whether A students, C students, or failing ones—have lost their zest for learning by the time they’ve reached middle school or high school. … when the children were in school … they were often bored, anxious, or both. Other researchers have shown that, with each successive grade, students develop increasingly negative attitudes toward the subjects taught, especially math and science.
Research has shown that people of all ages learn best when they are self-motivated, pursuing answers to questions that reflect their personal interests and achieving goals that they’ve set for themselves. Under such conditions, learning is usually joyful.
This amazing drive and capacity to learn does not turn itself off when children reach five or six. But we turn it off with our coercive system of schooling. The biggest, most enduring lesson of our system is that learning is work, to be avoided when possible.

Chicago readers, can anyone help?

Is there anyone from Chicago who can help this woman:

I lost my job a year ago. I am still unemployed and was barely living on $143/week (net) Unemployment Insurance with some food stamps. My slumlord decided to raise the rent. I told him I couldn’t afford it because I had lost my job, but I could pay half ($200). He took me to court and had me evicted. I had been renting a room in his townhouse for 3-1/2 years where he and his family lives. They all know what a decent clean woman I am, but he kicked me out on the street anyway. I had nowhere to go. No family to turn to. My so-called friends (that I’ve known for many years) turned their back on me and never offered me their couch to sleep on, including one woman who had been homeless many years ago with 2 small children! Apparently they’d rather see me risk my heath and safety by living on the street. For 5 weeks I slept on CTA buses and trains. I chose to do this instead of going to a homeless shelter where I would put up with addicts, psychos and BUGS; it was safer and cleaner on buses and trains. After the first week I developed edema due to the fact I was always either sitting or standing; never allowing for proper circulation. In the 4th week I started getting sick (flu/cold). Chicago is cold in November, etc. On 24 November an acquaintance took me into her home, a 3 bedroom apartment. I currently sleep in my own (warm!) room. Unfortunately, she plans to go out of town 25 January for the entire weekend and doesn’t want anyone in the apartment. I still have nowhere to go so I’ll be living on the streets again — literally; my monthly bus pass expires on the 24th. I can’t afford to buy another one.

I am NOT a bum; I don’t even consume alcohol or drugs; don’t smoke, either!
OF COURSE, I am looking for a job! Anything! But who will hire a 58 y.o. woman?
I have also been going to agencies to find decent bug-free housing. There are thousands of people on the waiting lists. What little belongings I have left are in public storage. What happens if I can’t pay February’s rent? I lose all that, too? I can’t afford to replace the items, especially the irreplaceable sentimental items. Must I be further punished by not receiving extended Unemployment Benefits? I want to live. Just like you do. I want a decent job and to live in my own decent apartment. I still want to look forward to retirement.

Do you get my point?

Thank you.

That was her comment to my earlier post about extended unemployment. I would love to show her that voluntary interactions can help her get a job and a place to live faster than government can.

If you can help, please let me know. Faith Marie left a Yahoo email address (which I don’t feel free to post publicly) so I can contact her.

Extending unemployment benefits can hurt the unemployed

A strange thing happened when North Carolina slashed unemployment benefits. People got jobs. Unemployment fell to its lowest level in five years. 

Economists have observed this behavior for decades. The unemployed are most likely to find a job when their unemployment benefits are about to run out. 

Their new job may not be as good as they want but any job is better than staying unemployed. Someone who is unemployed for more than six months is at risk of never finding a job again. 

When “compassionate” politicians extend unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks, the unintended consequence is often to condemn recipients to permanent unemployment.

Could people regrow lost limbs?

Many species can regrow limbs or even more. A flatworm can grow a replacement head and brain. A Mexican salamander can regenerate everything even its spinal cord. And young humans can grow back a sliver of a fingertip.
Michael Levin thinks that humans someday will be able to regrow limbs. Levin is director of the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts University. His research specialty is bioelectricity and he has had some amazing results in developmental biology.
The work of his team has so far been with amphibians such as tadpoles. This spring they will start working with mice. If the techniques work on mammals, the research may someday turn into drugs and medical devices that let humans regenerate limbs, eyes, etc.
H/t Instapundit.com