Gun shows are great places to meet kindred spirits and at the last one I went to I met David Dietrich who is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He was selling a fantastic range of Trauma items (although I admit he got my attention with a small pack on his stall labeled “Vasectomy Kit.”) Anyway, I asked him to come up with something that would really be of use to you guys and he produced a doozy. Check this list out. Thanks David, this is really useful.
Most people likely think about equipment for trained specialists in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) when they hear “Trauma Kit.” Other terms used are “Blow-Out Kit,” and “Individual First Aid Kit” (IFAK). However, they would be wrong. Such kits are instead designed to be used by the first responder, whether he is a police officer, infantryman, or just a Good Samaritan.
A Trauma Kit is a far cry from a typical First Aid Kit. While the latter is designed to support minor injuries and medical issues, the former is essential for saving someone’s life in the next ten minutes. That means such kits are focused on major bleeding from gunshots, stabbings, and amputations. In addition, they address breathing obstructions from anaphylaxis or massive tissue damage.
For the purposes of post-disaster preparedness, a Trauma Kit provides coverage where there will likely be no medical services for some time. That means we will be on our own. We ourselves may be not only the first responder, but also the last. So, acquiring and learning to use the components of such a kit is a critical capability. This is one reason why so many military combatants have survived serious wounds in our recent wars.
One axiom is indisputable – all bleeding stops. The question becomes, how it will stop? Do you want to let it stop on its own, after the casualty has bled out, or do you want to play an active role, stopping the bleeding yourself in sufficient time for the casualty to become an asset once again? The Trauma Kit provides a means to that end, through various included devices.
So, what does a Trauma Kit look like? First of all, it is relatively small, easily carried on a belt, armor plate, or in a backpack. Secondly, it does not usually contain the items we expect to see in First Aid Kits. Rather, they include tourniquets, pressure bandages, blood clotting agent, occlusive dressing, tension pneumothorax needle, and nasopharyngeal airway. There may be a few other odds and ends as well, but those are the basics.
Let’s take a look at components of a trauma kit, to better understand why they are used:
Tourniquet. There are many designs and brand available, from simple rubber tubing to complex windlass or ratcheting designs. But, they all have one purpose – to constrict or eliminate blood flow to the bleeding extremity. While these used to be a tool of last resort, military experience has proven their worth in saving lives as the tool of first choice. If properly applied and combined with other devices, they can be safely removed later.
Compression (Pressure) Bandage. There are several commercial brands out there, typically based on the original Israeli Bandage. As the tried and true method for staunching blood flow is pressure and elevation, their purpose is to maintain pressure at the injury site, as well as provide a clotting medium. This is accomplished through an integrated dressing and pressure device. The hands are then left free to perform other functions. Here are some examples of commercially available Pressure Bandages:
Hemostatic (Clotting) Agent. There are mainly two commercial brands out there, found in three forms. These are QuikClot and Celox, using sponges, gauze wraps, or poured granules. The key component is either a clay mineral (kaolin), used in QuikClot, or a crustacean derivative (chitosan), used in Celox. Both types interact with blood plasma to rapidly form clots. They work independently of blood platelets or thinning drugs.
Occlusive Dressing (aka Chest Seal). Several brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are designed to block inhalation through the thoracic cavity, rather than normally, into the lungs. If such a condition, known as a “sucking chest wound,” is allowed to continue, the lung on that side will likely collapse, putting pressure on the aorta and heart, resulting in painful breathing and associated circulatory problems.
Tension Pneumothorax Needle (TPN). Several brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are designed to release air and/or fluid pressure in the external thoracic cavity that may lead to the same conditions described under Occlusive Dressing above. So, this device is for closed, versus open chest wounds. The TPN is probably the most difficult of all the Trauma Kit devices to apply, and should by studied and practiced.
Naso-Pharyngeal Airway (NPA)
Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used to maintain breathing in the event of an airway blockage due to anaphylaxis or tissue damage. They are basically comprised of a stiffened rubber tube, beveled on one end and enlarged into a bell shape on the other. Assisted by accompanying water-based lubricant, they are fully inserted into a nostril up to the bell.
Compressed Gauze. Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used primarily to absorb and aid in the clotting of blood. Almost always comprised of cotton, they are the most versatile Trauma Kit component. And it cannot be overstated that you can never have enough gauze. Additional uses include absorbing other bodily fluids, covering burns and lacerations, wrapping dressings, and securing splints.
Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used primarily to cut away clothing and other accessories (eg bra underwire) to quickly access the point of injury. Their unique design provides a safe and easy method to cut through almost anything, including coins! The major take-away regarding arterial bleeding is that saving clothing comes in a distant second to saving a life.
Medical (Duct) Tape. This ubiquitous resource really comes into its own in a medical kit. Not only can it be used to secure bandages and dressings, but it also has applications for foot care (eg prevention and treatment of blisters), wrapping splints, making snow goggles, and repairing medical gear and other items. Mini rolls, primarily for storage purposes, are the best configuration. Don’t leave home without them!
Medical Gloves. These are included in Trauma Kits primarily to protect the responder, not the patient. Bodily fluids can carry many dangerous diseases, and having additional barriers during treatment may keep the responder from becoming a casualty. In addition, they may preclude the need for further cleansing following treatment. Simple glove removal and disposal may be sufficient action under tactical conditions.
This is important not only for recording information on a Casualty Card, but also for marking other information, such as the date and time of a tourniquet application. Such marking can be on the device itself, or even on the forehead of the patient. There are other uses for such pens, such as taking notes on environmental conditions, and descriptions of agents (eg animals, plants, suspects) involved.
Casualty Response Documentation Tool (CRDT).
This is an event recording card, containing information describing patient and injury, treatment (including drugs) administered, mental state, circulation, respiration, mechanisms of injury (MOIs), medical conditions, and overall patient medical status, from routine to critical. It’s always good to keep track of what’s happening in such cases, for reference prior to future treatment.
Pouch. Typical military kit dimensions are 8 inches long by 6 inches wide by four inches deep when full. It uses the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) to fasten to Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) configured backpacks. Made of rugged Cordura nylon, this Pouch can be used under adverse environmental and tactical conditions. It should be readily accessible for immediate use.
Other Components. A number of other items may be included in a Trauma Kit for various reasons. For example, if the owner would like to access the kit for minor injuries, and not dip into important trauma components, then adhesive bandages may be included. In addition, medications (eg aspirin) should be considered. Sterile wipes and water for cleaning wounds, flashlight for nighttime, and CPR shield round out the list.
David Dietrich is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He has been preparing for uncertainty since he was a youth, recognizing that backpacking is about smaller, lighter, and multi-capability. His experiences in the Boy Scouts and military have given him an appreciation for the real meaning of the Scout Motto – “Be Prepared.” Today, David runs a disaster preparedness business that is focused on the creed – helping you help yourself. It is about delivering resources, training, education, and consulting in preparation for a failure of civility. Prepared people are survivors.
Pulling that trigger is something you need to have thought about BEFORE you ever have to do it. Could you shoot a kid? No? Could you shoot a kid with a gun aimed at your wife? Maybe? Could you shoot a pregnant woman? Never? Could you shoot a pregnant woman with a gun to your kid’s head. Would you shoot a gunman threatening a clerk in a convenience store if you’re safely hiding at the back and in no immediate danger? Could you shoot your wife? Are you going to risk your life for a stranger? Are you willing to endure the court case? The massive hit to your finances? To even, possibly, have to move town because people won’t believe that what you did was necessary. So many ifs, right?
Here are the steps that COULD follow a defensive shooting:
Local law enforcement supervisors
Detectives – In some places the ADA will be dispatched
See what I mean. Being the hero can get you in a whole world of trouble? That’s why I am probably only going to draw and shoot if I’m saving someone with the same last name as me.
Reporting a defensive shooting
So you pulled the trigger. You need to prepare for how you would report a defensive shooting. Rule No. 1. Don’t incriminate yourself. The 911 operator is not your friend but is trained to keep asking questions which are being recorded. Keep it simple.
Report there’s been a shooting.
Give them your name and the address you’re at
Tell them who is in the house/building. (Maybe send the kids next door if they are present.)
Describe any injuries and whether you need EMS
Describe yourself, your clothes. Put your weapon on the floor or in clear sight. (Unless you are using it to subdue a criminal.)
If you are insured with an organization that provides an attorney, call them. If you have an attorney call them.
Tell the police the bare minimum. Be cooperative but spare the details. Say only:
Officer, I was in fear of my life/my family member was threatened and at risk of losing their life. (You would not pull the trigger to save property. The fallout is NOT worth it for something insured or inanimate.)
I will sign the complaint.
Be helpful and show them what the assailant used to attack you.
Introduce any witnesses.
Tell them you are invoking the Fifth Amendment until you have had time to talk to your attorney and calm yourself down. You should say you’ll be back within 24 hours to talk to them. Be prepared to be arrested. And be prepared to spend a long time being questioned.
Remember to say: “If he/she survives I want to press charges.” Remind everyone that you’re not the aggressor here.
File under “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. ~Kelly”
In the age of heavily restricted migration, passport control seems a natural prerogative of the state. The idea of abolishing passports is almost unthinkable. But in the 20th century, governments considered their “total abolition” as an important goal, and even discussed the issue at several international conferences.
The first passport conference was held in Paris in 1920, under the auspices of the League of Nations (the predecessor of the United Nations). Part of the Committee on Communication and Transit’s aim was to restore the pre-war regime of freedom of movement.
Indeed, for much of the 19th century, as an International Labour Organisation report stated in 1922:
Migration was generally speaking, unhindered and each emigrant could decide on the time of his departure, his arrival or his return, to suit his own convenience.
But World War I brought harsh restrictions on freedom of movement.
In 1914, warring states of France, Germany, and Italy were the first to make passports mandatory, a measure rapidly followed by others, including the neutral states of Spain, Denmark, and Switzerland.
At the end of the war, the regime of obligatory passports was widespread. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which established the League of Nations, stipulated that member states commit to “secure and maintain freedom of communications and of transit.”
Freedom of movement was on the agenda at the Treaty of Versailles. Imperial War Museum London
Fences are easier to build than to dismantle. The 1920 Paris conference recognised that restrictions on freedom of movement affect “personal relations between the peoples of various countries” and “constitute a serious obstacle to the resumption of normal intercourse and to the economic recovery of the world.”
But its delegates also assumed that security concerns prevented,
for the time being, the total abolition of restrictions and the complete return to pre-war conditions which the Conference hopes, nevertheless, to see gradually re-established in the near future.
To facilitate freedom of movement, participants agreed instead to establish a uniform, international passport, issued for a single journey or for a period two years. This is how we ended up with the format of the passports we use today.
Participants also decided to abolish exit visas and decrease the cost of entry visas.
Close But No Cigar
During the conferences that followed, several resolutions again highlighted the goal of abolishing passports, but concluded that the time was not yet right. In 1924, the International Conference of Emigration and Immigration in Rome maintained that “the necessity of obtaining passports should be abolished as soon as possible” but in the meantime advocated other measures to facilitate travel. These measures included an increase in the number of offices delivering passports, allowing emigrants to save time and money. Delegates ultimately decided that a return to a passport-free world could only happen alongside a return to the global conditions that prevailed before the start of the first world war.
In Geneva in 1926, Polish delegate, Franciszek Sokal, opened proceedings by bluntly asking the parties to adopt “as a general rule that all States Members of the League of Nations should abolish passports”.
At that time, passports and visas were still regarded as a serious obstacle to freedom of movement, as a Mr Junod from the International Chamber of Commerce said:
Could not the Conference adopt a resolution contemplating the abolition of passports at the earliest possible date? Public opinion would regard this as a step in the right direction.
But by then, most governments had already adopted the uniform passport and some of them saw it as an important document that was meant to protect emigrants. As the Italian delegate reminded the conference that conditions had changed after the war and the passport was “particularly necessary as an identification document for workers and their families; it provided them with the protection they needed, enabled them to obtain permits of sojourn.”
Another delegate alluded to the Soviet Union when he refused to restore the pre-war regime. He said:
Conditions had changed so much since the war that everyone had to take into consideration a good many things they could formerly ignore.
Discussions about passport abolition resumed after World War II.
In 1947, the first problem considered at an expert meeting preparing for the UN World Conference on Passports and Frontier Formalities was “the possibility of a return to the regime which existed before 1914 involving as a general rule the abolition of any requirement that travelers should carry passports.”
But delegates ultimately decided that a return to a passport-free world could only happen alongside a return to the global conditions that prevailed before the start of the first world war. By 1947, that was a distant dream. The experts advised instead a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements to attain this goal.
World leaders were still talking about banning passports as late as 1963, when the UN Conference on International Travel and Tourism recognised “the desirability, from both an economic and social point, of progressively freer international travel.” Once again, it was estimated that “it is not feasible to recommend the abolition of passports on a world-wide basis.”
Now, neither the public nor governments consider passports as a serious obstacle to freedom of movement, though any would-be traveller from Yemen, Afghanistan or Somalia would no doubt argue differently.
It takes less than a century, it seems, to see the absence of freedom as a natural condition.
Speranta Dumitru is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris Descartes. She is a laureate of Foundation for Social Sciences and held a Chair on Social Ethics at CERLIS, CNRS.
The traditional system of education was designed in the industrial age and is now outdated and ineffective. It is outdated and relates to the needs of the industrial age. Obedience, rote learning and, as we all know, liberal politics are the curriculum of today.
This is an interesting look at HOW education should be handled.
So, the virtue signalers at Citibank say they won’t do business with people who sell handguns to under-21s. Frankly, there was no way I was sending my 19-year daughter off to live in an apartment WITHOUT a firearm to protect her and I think these companies making political capital out of people’s safety are utter asshats. (I cancelled all my Citicards today.)
But all the fuss reminded me of this great Glock and Gunny video. Watch it before YouTube takes down all the gun ad videos.
The Squirrel says: Under federal law, the minimum age to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer is 21. But the age limit drops to 18 if the gun is being purchased from a private, unlicensed seller, which could be a neighbor or someone online, or at gun show.
For long guns, which includes rifles like AR-15s and shotguns, the minimum age of purchase from a licensed dealer is 18 under the federal law. But there’s no minimum age to purchase a long gun from a unlicensed seller.
Armed guard in Maryland, police in Texas remind the nation sometimes the only way to stop determined killers is lethal force, not Democrat-organized walkout rallies
An armed resource officer and first class deputy, Blaine Gaskill, responded with lethal force to stop a shooting at Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Md. The gunman is dead and, sadly, the girl he shot has also passed, while another boy caught in the crossfire was listed as in stable condition with a bullet wound to the leg.
Far away, in Austin, Texas, as police surrounded the mail bomber responsible for six bombings that killed two and injured six others, ready to shoot him if necessary, the bomber killed himself, blowing himself up.
The school resource officer in Maryland and police in Austin are the real-life heroes who have reminded the nation that sometimes the only thing that can stop a determined killer is lethal force.
To prevent future shootings or bombings, then, will require armed guards to harden otherwise soft targets like schools to minimize the loss of life when these tragic incidents happen. If the question is how to save as many lives as possible when faced with a cold-blooded killer, it’s to kill him first — every time.
It’s common sense. In Latin, the saying was “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” That is, if you want peace, prepare for war.
Some might not have the stomach for this sort of thing but that’s what it will take. Every time.
If a potential killer thinks that if he tries to go to a school to shoot people, he’ll be riddled with bullets, that can and will deter future attacks. Otherwise, the shootings stand out very much as copycat murders, exploiting the soft targets of gun-free zones.
As those charged with the responsibility of securing our own communities, as parents, we either heed these lessons and secure our schools or our kids could be next. This is a matter every city and town must address, as security is first and foremost the local community’s responsibility.
Compare that solution with those apparent students who organized a national school walkout on March 14. What specific, life-saving proposals did they call for?
Every Town for Gun Safety, which walkout groups are promoting, vaguely proposes“common-sense public safety laws” that “respects the Second Amendment.” But really, it’s about more background checks that are already used in gun purchases, overturning concealed carry laws and inexplicably opposing armed guards to secure locations. The group doesn’t want communities to defend their schools.
Why not? Even if one supported more gun control restrictions, there more than 300 million guns in this country. If every proposal Every Town is calling for was enacted, somebody, whether a police officer or armed citizen, would still be needed to stop a determined killer dead in his tracks.
Nationalschoolwalkout.us, where students can organize their own walkouts — another is planned for April 20 — is even vaguer about what the call to action is, writing, “We’re protesting the violence in schools and the lack of change that has occur[r]ed to stop that. The day is also a time for students to interact on an elevated platform they have never had before. It is a day of discourse and thoughtful sharing. Bringing together communities and students to get a national discussion rolling.”
And if “action” doesn’t happen, the group promises, “we won’t tolerate any more inaction on this issue. And if cowardly politicians fail to act, young people will show them the consequences of letting so many Americans die by voting them out in November.”
So, it’s not about securing the schools, it’s about mobilizing public outrage and generating a get out the vote operation for Democrats. How do we know it’s partisan?
You read that right. The group is based on the success of the tea parties in 2009 and 2010. On their site, they write, “Like us, you probably deeply disagree with the principles and positions of the Tea Party. But we can all learn from their success in influencing the national debate and the behavior of national policymakers.”
The agenda is simple. Stall action on President Donald Trump’s agenda in Congress this year, and then vote in the Democrats in November. The walkouts organized after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. in February was simply an opportunistic reaction by Indivisible and other already-formulated groups.
So, really, the national school walkouts are a way of building the group’s mailing lists for the big push in November for the Congressional midterms. The group’s website clearly states, “National School Walkout is movement powered and led by students across the country. Event registration and a map of events for the April 20th school walkouts are hosted in-kind by the Indivisible Project team.” Organize a walkout or participate in one put on by Indivisible and you’ll probably be added to their database to receive action alert communications on their wheelhouse of issues.
Responsible school administrators can make up their own minds. But these walkouts are not tea parties being organized by adults in their spare time. They are disrupting educational activities to elect Democrats. It’s absolutely partisan and they should not be occurring during school hours. These events should be cancelled and the organizers looked into for disrupting official government functions like public schools, a punishable offense in most states.
First Amendment rights notwithstanding, time and place restrictions on speech in public schools are there for this very reason, and State attorneys general and the Justice Department, which can look into the fact this is occurring across state lines, should investigate. Local communities need not tolerate their school districts being platforms to elect one political party over another.
In the meantime, while Democrats are busy organizing turnout for the Congressional midterms — which will not stop a single determined killer — communities would be well advised to do the one thing that actually does work. Post guards to secure locations and shoot the killers first. Don’t leave the children defenseless.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
Update: More armed guards on their way!
“Clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus,”
In addition to the new backpack policy, students and school staff will also be required to wear IDs at all times while on campus according to a letter sent to parents by Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie.
Safety and Security Measures – Now and Ongoing
All safety protocols for routine school operations are being reinforced at all schools. This includes requiring students and staff to wear identification badges while on campus; locking classroom doors at all times; locking and securing exterior doors and gates throughout the day; being vigilant in monitoring the campus throughout the day; and conducting emergency preparedness and response training for faculty, staff and students on a regular basis.
The District actively conducts code red training, which is the foundation of active-shooter training, throughout the school year at all schools. We are working with law enforcement agencies to evaluate the protocols and frequency of code red training and drills for all schools for the next school year.
The District is in the process of upgrading real-time surveillance camera systems at all schools. The work will be completed by June 2018. This work is being funded through the District’s current capital budget funding sources.Safety and Security Measures – To be Completed
The District has expedited the completion of Single Point of Entry measures for campus visitors, which use fencing and door systems to limit access to one entrance. This work will be completed at all schools by the end of this calendar year or the first quarter of 2019 at the latest. This work is being funded through the District’s current capital budget funding sources.
With the approval of recent legislation, the state will provide the District with approximately $8.5 million to place a minimum of one School Resource Officer in each school beginning in the 2018/19 school year.
With the approval of recent legislation, the state will also provide the District with approximately $6 million to expand mental health services beginning in the 2018/19 school year.
The District will develop a Districtwide Security Risk Assessment for all schools by August 2018 and compete for a share of a $98 million statewide allocation to fund, in whole or in part, the costs associated with improving the physical security of school buildings. The state anticipates awarding grant funds to approved school districts in the first quarter of 2019.
The District will convene working groups and task forces to garner suggestions from citizens in our communities.
Despite the media and amnesty proponents on both sides of the aisle declaring illegal immigrants don’t commit crimes, a recent report from CNS News should shut down the amnesty debate. After reviewing several Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reports, CNS found the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) routinely ignores massive numbers of possible identity theft. According to the report, there were 1.2 million cases in 2017 in which illegal aliens filed tax returns using Social Security Numbers (SSN).
Why are the IRS and Congress ignoring a problem costing American citizens billions of dollars and countless years to fix?
This is not the typical identity theft most people think of, but employment identity theft. Employment identity theft is when someone uses another person’s identity to get a job. The IRS can identify the theft through the ITIN/SSN mismatch process. The process detects instances in which an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is listed as either the primary or secondary Taxpayer Identification Number on form 1040, and the Form W-2, included with the return has an SSN.
What is most infuriating about the recent report is the lack of enforcement of federal law. The IRS found 1.3 million cases of employment-related identity theft between 2011 and 2016. But in the same time frame, the IRS made 20,986 prosecution recommendations with only 4,329 being recommended for identity theft.
The list of crimes being committed by the millions of illegal immigrants is numerous:
18 U.S. Code 1028 – Fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information (identity theft)
18 U.S. Code 1341 – Frauds and swindles (mail fraud)
18 U.S. Code 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio, or television (wire fraud)
18 U.S. Code 371 – Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States (conspiracy)
Every day American citizens are investigated, charged, and convicted of these crimes. Why should illegal immigrants be any different?
What no one on Capitol Hill or the media is talking about, is the damage a stolen identity can do to a person. It may not seem like much to use someone else’s identity to get a job, but it can take years to get the official records corrected. Home loans are denied, interest rates rise, and jobs are denied when there is an identity theft problem. It is hard to find someone that has not been impacted by identity theft, including myself:
Several years ago, a friend of mine separated from the military. He and I were training for a contracting job with the State Department. After training, as we were getting ready to deploy, he was told he could not go because an update to his security clearance, which he previously possessed, found someone had stolen his identity. This honorably discharged Marine Scout Sniper was being denied a job because someone stole his identity. That’s how serious stolen identities are.
A stolen identity can ruin a person’s life. Why is Congress trying to grant amnesty to people hurting American citizens?
The first thing that should happen is the IRS must make criminal referrals to the Justice Department for cases of identity theft. The DOJ must then move to prosecute and deport any illegal immigrants that committed identity fraud. This cannot continue, the lack of punishment for committing multiple felonies only invites more lawlessness.
Congress must also act. It must move to pass E-Verify. E-Verify will ensure illegal immigrants cannot be hired. The ITIN program must also be abolished. The program is filled with fraud and abuse costing taxpayers billions a year in improper payments. This must be done before any agreement is worked out on the DACA program or amnesty for Dreamers. Before any deal is done, Congress must demand an audit of potential DACA recipients and Dreamers to find out who amongst the group committed identity theft. Congress cannot reward identity theft with a green card.
Congress and the federal government need to show the American people they matter.
Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.
This is an amazing technique. Filmed back in the 1920s and 30s, these are Belgian horse fishermen trawling up shrimp. I wonder if anyone still fishes this way?
Filmed on August 12, 1934 and on July 18, 1929. Koksijde (Belgium), Coxyde, North Sea coast in the southwest of the Flemish province of West Flanders. Oostduinkerke. De Panne (Belgium), La Panne. There’s a great piece at Atlas Obscura here.
O Canada – the land of moose and snow, where the drugs are cheap, the people are notoriously nice, and the maple syrup farmers are clapped in irons.
Anyone who dares to sell more than five litres of their boiled tree sap faces a prison sentence and a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Apparently it is unacceptable for a person to take something from a tree – A. Tree. – put it in a bucket, turn it into magic-tasting sugar, and give it to someone else in exchange for monies, without a government-mandated middle man swooping in on a snowmobile to take most of the sugar, some of the monies, and all of the credit.
A Membership You Can’t Refuse
The maple syrup farmers of Québec have been saddled with compulsory membership to the Federation of Québec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ, according to the native French abbreviation) since 1990. The Federation holds monopoly rights over all maple syrup produced in the province, controlling wholesale distribution and prices. Anyone who dares to sell more than five litres of their boiled tree sap on their own farm or to local grocery stores faces a prison sentence and a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The problem isn’t even that Quebecois farmers are forced to choose between different Syrupy Overlords. There is only one, and everyone has to join – or else.
The syrup farmers’ protest is worthy of a cloak-and-dagger spy movie – directed by Mel Brooks.
Have you ever dipped your bacon in syrup? There’s no turning back.
Angele Grenier and her husband, decades-long syrup farmers, have been smuggling their contraband syrup to the neighboring province of New Brunswick. In the dark of the night, they load barrels onto trucks and sneak across the province border to market freedom. For this terrible black market act of choosing their own customers and prices, Angele is one of Canada’s most wanted women.
She has appealed the charges brought against her by the FPAQ, and her case is being taken up by the Supreme Court. Angele started a fundraising campaign just last week to help pay for her court costs so she can continue to fight for the right to export her product as she chooses, and to give her children and other farmers “maple freedom.”
Anything but the Maple
As a New Englander, I feel very strongly about maple syrup. Breakfast and the entire season of winter… and spring… and autumn… are intrinsically connected to maple syrup in my mind. (Have you ever dipped your bacon in syrup? There’s no turning back.) When we visited the sugar shacks in the mountain woods, it never occurred to me that the farmers, whether there or in Canada, would ever not be in charge of their own business.
In Montréal they had the most wonderful maple inventions – hard maple candies that looked like maple leaves, soft maple sugar molded into a myriad of shapes, even maple syrup ice cream. My ten-year old self would have nearly cried at the thought of all those things being snatched away from my mouth by a “mafia,” as Angele calls the FPAQ. I probably still would.
It’s easy to take the free market for granted. But once there’s a Maple Syrup Federation, what’s next? A Men’s Club for Cheese? The People’s Organization for Doughnuts? The Federal Bureau for Coffee? What would life be like with all of these things suddenly federally limited to a sole distributer, on pain of economic death?
So for all the people thinking of moving to Canada (like all those No-Trumpers): do your market research first. And beware the Maple Mafia.
Given the impact therapy dogs can have on student well-being, schools and universities are increasingly adopting therapy dog programs as an inexpensive way of providing social and emotional support for students.
It’s important to note therapy dogs are not service dogs. A service dog is an assistance dog that focuses on its owner to the exclusion of all else. Service dogs are trained to provide specific support for individuals with disabilities such as visual or hearing difficulties, seizure disorders, mobility challenges, and/or diabetes.
There are also animal-assisted activities, which is an umbrella term covering many different ways animals can be used to help humans. One example is to facilitate emotional or physical mental health and wellbeing through pet therapy or the presence of therapy dogs. These activities aren’t necessarily overseen by a professional, nor are they specific psychological interventions.
Research suggests using therapy dogs in response to traumatic events can help reduce symptoms of depression, post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.
So, what can happen psychologically for people using therapy dogs?
The human-animal bond
The human-animal bond can impact people and animals in positive ways. Research shows therapy dogs can reduce stress physiologically (cortisol levels) and increase attachment responses that trigger oxytocin – a hormone that increases trust in humans.
Dogs also react positively to animal-assisted activities. In response to the human-animal bond, dogs produce oxytocin and decrease their cortisol levels when connecting with their owner. Often dogs feel the same when engaging in animal assisted activities as if they were at home, depending on the environmental context.
enhanced relationships with peers and teachers due to experiencing trust and unconditional love from a therapy dog. This in turn helps students learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships.
Despite these known benefits, many schools choose not to have therapy dog programs due to perceived risks. These range from concerns about sanitation issues to the suitability of dog temperament when working with children. But therapy dogs and owners are carefully selected and put through a strict testing regime prior to acceptance into any program.
The main reason for the lack of take up has been linked to the limited research into the benefits of therapy dogs in schools.
Benefits of therapy dogs at university
Researchers have found university students reported significantly less stress and anxiety, and increased happiness and energy, immediately following spending time in a drop-in session with a dog present, when compared to a control group of students who didn’t spend any time with a therapy dog.
Generally, therapy dog programs rely on volunteer organisations. One example is Story Dogs, who currently have 323 volunteer dog teams in 185 schools across NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, SA, WA, and ACT. In total, they help 1,615 children each week.
Research into these programs is needed to help further understand the impacts of therapy dogs, especially on student learning and academic outcomes. Lack of funding is setting this research back. University partnerships are one solution to address this.
TheCousinDan shows you how to give yourself stitches after an injury. No need to go to an expensive Emergency department if you can follow correct procedures, handle a bit of pain, and your wound isn’t too bad.
The Squirrel says: I have purchased suture kits at gun shows. (And from Dave at getemergencyready.com) They look way less scarring than Dan’s fishing line and sewing needle kit! Also remember, that taking stitches out can be difficult and painful. You may want to ask a friend! Also remember that for small wounds, in an emergency, Crazy Glue can be your friend.
AND YES, OF COURSE YOU SHOULD GO AND GET A PROFESSIONAL TO DO IT.
As you know, I am way more concerned about our cavalier attitude to inorganic resources than I am to re-growable, sustainable organic ones. We chuck batteries away in their millions. We scrap computers, cameras and catalytic converters. All of them contain scarce and rare earth elements that are truly limited in supply (unless we can mine asteroids ~ and I’m all for that!). So, I was fascinated by this article. Of course we don’t address what happened if we suck Lithium out of our seas, but for now, it’s a fascinating look at a by-product of desalination.
Thanks to desalinization we can take the salt out of sea water. In many places, this is an important ability, either because there is no water, or their sources are growing low.
But desalinization traditionally uses massive amounts of energy (which also makes it massively expensive). Which is why, even in cities by the sea, we don’t see much desalinization today.
But a team of scientists from Australia and the US has developed a new water desalination technique that can not only make seawater fresh enough to drink, but can also recover lithium ions for use in batteries. It’s a new technology, a membrane for filtering seawater that mimics the membrane of a living cell. This new filter doesn’t require forcing the water through it (which is what takes all that energy and costs all that money) – but still does the work of producing clean, drinkable water – straight out of the sea.
But this new membrane has another plus as well. It turns out that seawater has a lot of lithium in it, and this new process can filter out that lithium. That’s good because this is the same lithium that goes into lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries – the batteries that run laptops when they’re not plugged. Also cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, and cordless power tools (like sanders, drills, hedge trimmers). And yes, electric car batteries too. Which means, like clean drinking water, the demand for lithium is also putting pressure on the supply.
So you might say truly, this is a magic membrane, that might be the answer to two critical shortages at once. And the starting point for this magic – is toluene. Now, if you don’t know what that is, you’re not alone. Toluene is a petrochemical, made from petroleum, working quietly in the background. In this case, toluene is used in step one of a series of chemical reactions, which eventually gets us to a zeolitic imidazolate framework, which is the basis of the new membrane filter.
And it’s not just lithium. Damian Palin proposes an idea for seawater: Mine it for other minerals we need, with the help of some collaborative metal-munching bacteria.
This past Saturday I drove down to the local gun store in my quaint mountain town to pick up some bismuth shells, just in time for an early morning Sunday hunt. As I perused the impressive selection of bird bashers, a small fracas in my periphery began rising to a twangy crescendo. I rounded a rack of turkey calls to investigate, and found a few grizzled local woodsmen huddled around a fuzzy monitor bolted to the ceiling, barking the ghostly specter of Sean Hannity through its pixelated display. The men stirred.
“Paid Protesters!” One grumbled.
“George Soros!” Exclaimed another.
Arguments against the state were shelved more often than not in favor of presentations on a seemingly endless parade of ‘passive’ social injustices.
I winced and felt the hot flush of embarrassment creep across my face as the screen danced with black-clad anarchists, gleefully smashing windows and tossing trash cans. Overpowered with nostalgia, I thought back to the sparse coffee shops and dimly-lit dish pits where my comrades and I would plot our insidious coups, against the oppression of plate glass windows and aluminum trash cans, and couldn’t help but laugh at the idea that global billionaires were somehow tugging on the puppet strings. I’m afraid the truth is far more desperate.
I spent nearly a decade of my young life in ‘hard’ left movements. I spent my teens printing zines, organizing, squatting, and worshipping the ironically “bourgeois” intelligentsia that pandered to our leftist sensibilities. At the core of my ideology was a burning desire for liberty and an intense distrust of the state. In the beginning, I might saunter into the local cooperative and find an impassioned debate over the legitimacy of insurrectionary movements abroad, or the most practical way to pirate electricity without being discovered. Over time, the fiery rhetoric became dogma, penetrating my psyche right down to its id. I saw the state’s oppression in everything and everyone. I noticed behavioral patterns of violence and subjugation that seemed to reproduce to infinity. And through this new countenance, the changing face of leftism was obscured to me.
The New Social Justice
Social Justice was always a welcome addendum to anti-statist leftism for me. I gladly assumed the mantle and answered the call to march for police accountability, for women’s rights, for the ethical treatment of gays. The concept of ‘intersectional Social Justice’ was then a contentious one among many left-wing radicals, seen by many as a willful distraction from the core anti-statist message of our ideology, and worthy of only a small devotion. To focus too heavily on social issues was said to the be the resting place of sleepy liberals. And liberals, perhaps even as much as skinheads or the police, were the bane of the radical left. They meant to co-opt our movement and reacquaint us with their ineffective and self-aggrandizing brand of sedition and hoped to lasso a few of us back into the electoral process (abstaining from which was radical dharma at the time). They were, in short, a generally unwelcome addition to our ranks, and would usually turn their backs at the first mention of truly anti-statist politik.
I had more exposure than most to the left-wing radical “scene,” as it were, traveling to convergence spaces and conferences, worker-owned collectives and the like. I noticed a shift in the demographic makeup of the movement that became more pronounced with time. Character archetypes abound in the radical sphere, from crusty professors to dreadlocked primitivists, (and that leftist holy grail, the disaffected executive, living, perhaps, in a yurt or some otherwise subversive structure on some land that probably doesn’t belong to him), became more and more sparse. There was a new contingent of leftists, a new archetype that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. (The radical space was not exactly adept at coalition-building, keep in mind). These new figures were polished, soft-speaking, and shied away from the hardline agitprop of resistance. Gone were the ‘zines adorned with flaming police cars, replaced by new editorials that opined the importance of gender fluidity and other obtuse concepts. A new language began to congeal, an especially elitist dialectic that almost required translation to English.
The left was consumed by this new drive to expose the innate bigotry of the majority.
The new language was accompanied by new tactics. Affinity meetings that were once hotbeds of dissent began to seem more like kangaroo courts. Arguments began to spring from the nascent well of discontent, and “accountability” hearings were the new norm, a process more often than not designed to elucidate the accused’s latent homophobia or racism. Arguments against the state were shelved more often than not in favor of presentations on a seemingly endless parade of ‘passive’ social injustices.
The old radical paradigm, in rudiment, went like this: “America was founded upon slavery, therefore America is racist, We are here because we disagree with racism.” The implied understanding was that because we had all found each other through our mutual disgust with what we had determined was a racist system that unfairly penalized minority populations, then we had already rejected a racist worldview. Thus our deliverance and rebirth occurred. It was understood to be innate to our shared ideology, and therefore our collective will could be focused and our mutual intent had been decided. This formed the basis for an arguably unified front that could be assembled and directed at will. But this mutual understanding was being corroded by a new, pernicious force that had infested every corner of the space. Anti-fascist organizers were no longer satisfied by directing their ire towards governmental institutions or hate groups and instead turned the looking glass inward. The toxic rancor of racism was found in our own ranks, by God!
Racism was found by the New Left to be inherent in all “whites.” (Racism is now said in the left to be a confluence of power and bigotry. Minorities, lacking the key ingredient of power, are exempt from this distinction.) Cis-gendered people (those of us who identify with our birth sex) were asked to “make space” for those that were not. Special privileges to be heard were conferred to the most oppressed within the group. This led to a bizarre new struggle within the movement over who might lay claim to being the most truly oppressed. The left was consumed by this new drive to expose the innate bigotry of the majority, especially within our own sphere. Where activists were once excommunicated over allegations of collusion with the authorities, they were now cast out frequently by accusations of complacent prejudice.
Friend and Foe in the New Left
Truth be told, I do not disagree with many of these indictments of mainstream culture. Inequities are certainly rampant in our society and must be illustrated and corrected. But the new face of the radical left seemed to be devouring itself. Where we had once in unison identified the state as the malevolent genesis of our oppression, our peers were now the true oppressors. The state apparently had not been oppressing us nearly as much as we had been oppressing one another. Anecdote became empirical, and experiences became the radical eucharist. Personal accounts of bigotry were now to be equivalent to universal and incontrovertible truth. A culture of martyrdom arose wherein victimhood was conflated with benevolence.
The left has lost its traction by alienating average people.
In the time before this new left, the directive was crystal clear: to illustrate the oppression of the state as it occurs to most everyone in the country, in the form of endemic poverty, uncorrected sickness, bankrupt free trade agreements, and the formation of a global police state. Organizers could mobilize radicals en masse to demonstrate against these societal evils, recalling the controlled chaos of the Seattle WTO demonstrations, or the significant uprising in Miami against the FTAA in 2003. The scene had now become almost entirely disjointed, and the former amalgamation of radicals ceased to exist. The radical left had become an especially tiresome arm of the progressive centrists, now content to lobby the state for greater societal controls rather than demand its abolishment.
There was only a small faction of anti-statist minded radicals left in the fray, and it was in them (and me) that the responsibility to carry on the tradition of rejecting the state and fighting for liberty. Instead, they clung to the antique tactics of property destruction and rock-tossing. The problem being, these tactics were complementary ones, meant only to supplement a coherent and organized radical left movement that had ceased to exist. They were to be an organ of outrage designed to counterbalance a cogent and heady vanguard of intellectual radicals. These radicals have become dinosaurs, defecting for the higher moral ground of the new left lest they fall victim to the witch hunt.
A Wayward Movement
The left has lost its traction by alienating average people and turning its intent towards social issues that are codified for inclusion. And of course, their argument is no longer to abolish the state, but to beg for benevolence at the feet of a corrupt government. I could not fathom how a group of people could move in a linear fashion from the idea that the central state was incorrigibly corrupt to the notion that we could somehow force it to provide for our interests. In a time of endemic poverty, I could no longer bear the guilt of selfishly aligning myself with a movement that seemed less concerned with exposing a secret war in the Middle East than it was with exposing my friends and peers as patriarchal villains.
In my last dark days with the left, I pleaded for objectivity, reason, rationale. These requests fell on deaf ears and nearly always resulted in a collective tongue lashing against my perceived ignorance. Why, they demanded, could I not accept that my perspective was being undermined by my ‘whiteness’? Why, if I was so committed to change and righteousness, could I not separate the evil archonic male desire from my true self? My positions, they would argue, had become tainted, infected by my hetero-ness, my maleness, my caucasian-ness. The whole world was a giant quagmire.
It occurs to me from time to time, usually in the throes of insomnia, that the state may have supplanted these contentious narratives within the space to misdirect and discredit the radical left, although this possibility has ceased to be relevant. The sad truth to behold is that the last actors in the space took to the streets to smash Starbucks’ windows and foolishly posture when they should have been pleading with their peers to reconsider a truly anti-statist perspective. In a last hurrah of hedonistic self-satisfaction, they have delivered the final blow to the radical left.
Evan Stern is an American Entrepreneur from Providence, Rhode Island. He has worked internationally with currency experts and economists to develop new methods of value exchange and is a vocal proponent of the complementary currency movement.
Manned flight is impossible. Computers will never be smaller than a house. Space flight is “utter bilge.” The food pyramid.
One doesn’t have to look far to find embarrassing, peer-reviewed, max-credentialed, decades-held-as-orthodoxy proclamations by the most respected experts in the world.
Every single successful business idea or invention heard orders of magnitude more of “Not interested,” “No,” “It’s doomed to fail,” or “It’s impossible,” than “Yes.”
Usually, the greater the paper, “official” expertise, the more likely to be wrong about the future. All that purchased prestige is backward looking. Conferred by mostly stagnating bodies on those who’ve mastered and regurgitated the past with the most accuracy.
It’s not surprising that experts on the past, frozen in time and protective of their rear-view knowledge, would be most confidently blind to the possibilities of the future.
Does this mean expertise is a meaningless concept?
Of course not. It’s tremendously useful. Especially when two conditions hold:
It’s earned by the value of outcomes produced
It’s accountable to the ever-changing market
The more it’s earned by politicking, rule-following, Inner Ring seeking, and “paying dues,” the less trustworthy. The less directly accountable to the right-now and shifting market—the more protected via subsidies, cult-like yes-man status, and competition killing—the less trustworthy.
Knowledge about what is and what works as demonstrated in practice is a sounder place to seek expertise than theoretical knowledge about what might or might not be possible.
I’d trust a mother of four’s expertise on the experience of childbirth more than a medical professional who’s studied birth but never been there live, let alone given birth. Especially if that professional earned their accolades by sucking up to the stuffy status quo, protected from profit and loss signals, and automatically assumed to be right in the popular imagination.
Wherever possible, look for outcomes over opinions, and market accountability over stagnant status.
Though the gun-control crowd doesn’t seem to care even when you point out that their talking points are nonsense.
This next image arrived in my inbox a few days ago. I imagine the women calling the cops also failed this IQ test.
Next we have an apparently genuine sign from one of the student protests against civil liberties. Astoundingly, this girl doesn’t realize that she has everything wrong. The White House is filled with armed personnel and her school is the gun-free zone.
And we know from this cartoon whether bad people prefer unarmed victims. I guess we’ll call the student Exhibit A in the case against government-run schools.
This next item isn’t humorous, but I’m including it solely because I hope it’s a true story rather than an urban legend. If anybody knows, please share details in the comments section.
I like this next item because libertarians seem to be the only ones who value both the 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment.
Given how California has drifted so far to the left, this next joke my turn into reality at some point. Well, even they’re not that foolish, but I can’t help but hope it might happen.
Last but not least, this item from Reddit‘s libertarian page does make me wonder about my left-wing friends. They despise Trump, yet they want to citizens to be disarmed.
The Republican versus Democrat split in the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District special election was a virtual tie between Rick Saccone and Conor Lamb, with Lamb getting the slight edge.
It was a district that President Donald Trump carried by 20 points in 2016, but on the other hand, is one with a slight voter registration advantage for Democrats.
It’s also a district that is being eliminated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s latest redistricting scheme. Come November its geography won’t matter for the Congressional midterms.
So, what is the takeaway from this race? President Trump’s trade policies remain overwhelmingly popular in Pennsylvania.
Beneath the razor thin margin between the two parties is an overwhelming consensus in western Pennsylvania in favor of Trump’s call for “fair and reciprocal” trade. A mandate. Trump owes his presidency to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, and the silver lining in this result is that he should be in solid shape in these states headed into 2020. Trump remains popular in the district.
Both candidates nominally backed Trump’s 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum, with more than 99 percent of the vote going to the candidates who favored trade protection.
If there was a candidate in favor of the globalist position on trade, it was Libertarian candidate Drew Miller, who drew less than 1 percent of the vote. In western Pennsylvania, there is almost no constituency for that line.
If Saccone had not adopted the Trump position on trade, and if Trump and the national party had not come to the rescue for the campaign for funds and crowds, he would have been shellacked.
It tells Democrats how they might want to run their races in 2018, running more Blue Dog, Joe Manchin-style Democrats that were once prevalent in their caucus. Time will tell how that plays out in the coming months, as the national Democrat party moves further to the left.
White House Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn resigned over the issue.
Could that gut reaction by the GOP establishment against the President have made a difference in Pennsylvania? By all accounts, Saccone was an underwhelming candidate who lacked fundraising ability, organization and did not have any momentum to speak of until Trump came to the district the weekend before the election.
If you were a voter on the fence in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, Saccone’s appeals could have sounded insincere. His campaign website and letter does not even mention the trade issue. The material hardly mentioned jobs too. Instead it was more a boilerplate Republican platform, not something tailor made for Pennsylvania.
To win, Saccone needed to pick up many of the Democrat votes that Trump carried in 2016, bringing the Trump base out but also having that crossover appeal that helped Trump win in Pennsylvania. Again, in this district, Democrats had a slight voter registration edge. This could have been an easy win but it required more targeting of Democrats and Independents who have voted Republican in the past few election cycles. Remind voters that Democrats have not delivered on their rhetoric.
At the end of the day it’s about in-roads. In Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Lamb with a more moderate platform was able to bring Democrat votes home in a more conservative area. The lesson for Republicans in 2018 is to pay attention and in these swing districts build their coalitions beyond the traditional Republican base the way Trump did in 2016, and rally to the President, or pay the price in November.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. Republished with permission. Read original here.
Since 2002, the United States has sold more than $197 billion worth of major conventional weapons and related military support to 167 countries. That’s a significant chunk of our total exports.
In fact, U.S. exports account for 33% of the global military arms trade, and from 2002 to 2016, the United States sold almost $200 BILLION dollars of weapons to 167 countries around the world, with most sold to the most fragile, least free, and plagued by conflict: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But do you know where they’re ALL going? Turns out keeping an eye on all this weaponry is no easy task and our own materiel is being turned on us and our allies – or innocent people.
Some say U.S. arms sales policy is out of control. What do you think? And remember arms that go missing could turn up here and be used against us.
Leah Libresco confesses that gun control simply doesn’t work.
A columnist for Vox also is honest. Dylan Matthews starts by acknowledging that the standard agenda of the anti-gun movement is pointless.
Congress’s decision not to pass background checks is not what’s keeping the US from European gun violence levels. The expiration of the assault weapons ban is not behind the gap.
But don’t get your hopes up that Matthews is on the right side.
His problem with the incremental ideas is that they don’t go far enough.
What’s behind the gap, plenty of research indicates, is that Americans have more guns. …Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners. …And here’s the truth: Even the most ardent gun control advocates aren’t pushing measures that could close the gap. Not even close. …Obama’s plan to tackle gun violence focused on universal background checks for gun sales, banning assault weapons again, and increasing criminal penalties for illicit gun traffickers. That’s nowhere near as dramatic as taking…America’s guns off the street.
I obviously disagree, but I give him credit for honesty. Unlike other leftists who privately share the same ideology, Matthews is open and honest about his desire to eviscerate civil liberties.
Even if he understands it’s not going to happen any time soon.
…large-scale confiscation look like easily the most promising approach… Large-scale confiscation is not going to happen. That’s no reason to stop advocating it.
I think they’re all profoundly misguided, but that’s a separate issue.
Now let’s briefly contemplate what would be necessary for Mr. Matthews to get his wish of total gun confiscation.
Reason produced a mocking “five-step” video on the near-impossible actions that would be needed to achieve that goal.
But the first three steps in that video were about how difficult it is to amend the Constitution and I don’t think that’s what the left has in mind. If they ever get to the point of trying to ban guns, presumably it will be after a leftist President has put a sufficient number of doctrinaire Ruth Bader Ginsburg clones on he Supreme Court. In which case, they will simply pretend the 2nd Amendment doesn’t say what it says.
And if that happens, then presumably it will be easy to envision the fourth step, which is legislation prohibiting private ownership of firearms. After all, does anybody doubt that this is what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi actually would prefer?
But I fully agree that the fifth and final step – actually confiscating guns – would be extremely difficult.
I oscillate between being proud about the result and being disappointed that the margin isn’t 10-1 in favor of defiance.
Regardless, the takeaway from this result is that there would be pervasive and ubiquitous civil disobedience.
Moreover, it goes without saying that the people who obeyed such a fascist law would not be the criminals. So the net effect of such legislation would be an unfortunate shift in the ratio of good gun owners and bad gun owners.
In the wake of the tragic murder of 17 innocent students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students, educators, politicians, and activists are searching for solutions to prevent future school shootings.
As emotions morph from grief to anger to resolve, it is vitally important to supply facts so that policymakers and professionals can fashion solutions based on objective data rather than well-intended but misguided emotional fixes.
Are there ways to reduce gun violence and school shootings? Yes, but only after objectively assessing the facts and working collaboratively to fashion commonsense solutions.
Here are eight stubborn facts to keep in mind about gun violence in America:
Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.
The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.
A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.
Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
Each of these facts is firmly based on empirical data. Here’s a deeper look.
1. America is relatively safe, and the trend is toward becoming safer.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, violent crime has been declining steadily since the early 1990s.
The 2011 homicide rate was almost half of the rate in 1991, and according to the Pew Research Center, the 2013 gun-related death rate was half of the rate in 1993.
In the past few years, there have been minor increases in certain types of violent crimes, mainly in large metropolitan areas. However, these increases are nowhere near those seen in the 1990s and are largely related to gang activity.
It should be remembered that it takes at least three to five years of data to show true trend lines. It appears that the collective homicide toll for America’s 50 largest cities decreased modestly in 2017 after two consecutive years of increases.
2. The principal public safety concerns are suicides and illegally owned handguns.
According to the Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of America’s annual gun deaths are suicides. Since 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began publishing data, gun suicides have outnumbered gun homicides. In 2010 alone, 19,392 Americans used guns to kill themselves.
Most gun-related crimes are carried out with illegally owned firearms—as much as 80 percent according to some estimates.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports prove that the overwhelming majority of gun-related homicides are perpetrated with handguns, with rifles of any kind accounting for less than 3 percent of gun-related homicides. In 2013, 5,782 murders were committed by killers who used a handgun, compared to 285 committed by killers who used a rifle. The same holds true for 2012 (6,404 to 298); 2011 (6,251 to 332); 2010 (6,115 to 367); and 2009 (6,501 to 351).
More people are stabbed to death every year than are murdered with rifles.
A person is more likely to be bludgeoned to death with a blunt object or beaten to death with hands and feet than to be murdered with a rifle.
3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
Where do you live? Murders in the United States are very concentrated. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 50 percent of murders occur in 2 percent of the nation’s 3,142 counties. Moreover, gun-related homicides are heavily concentrated in certain neighborhoods within those counties: 54 percent of U.S. counties had zero murders in 2014.
Who is your partner? According to a recent scholarly article in the Hastings Law Journal, people recently or currently involved in an abusive intimate relationship are much more likely to be victims of gun-related homicide than is the rest of the population, especially if the abuser possesses firearms.
Are you a male between 15 and 34? The majority of standard gun murder victims are men between the ages of 15 and 34. Although black men make up roughly 7 percent of the population, they account for almost two-thirds of gun murder victims every year.
Women and children are more likely to be the victims of mass shootings and homicide-suicide shootings than they are to be the victims of a “typical” gun-related homicide.
4. The perpetration of gun-related murders is often carried out by predictable people.
5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws.
While some will argue that the guns carried by Swiss and Israeli citizens are technically “owned” by the government in most cases, this does little to negate the fact that many citizens in those countries have ready access to firearms.
Canada is ranked 12th in the world for the number of civilian-owned guns per capita and reports one of the world’s lower homicide rates—but even then, some provinces have higher homicide rates than U.S. states with less restrictive laws and higher rates of gun ownership have.
Although many gun control advocates have noted that “right to carry” states tend to experience slight increases in violent crime, other studies have noted the opposite effect.
Higher rates of concealed carry permit holders are even more strongly associated with reduction in violent crime than are right-to-carry states. The probable reason for this is that right-to-carry studies often include “open carry” states, which have not been shown to correlate with more people actually carrying or even owning firearms. Rates of concealed carry permit holders are better indicators of the number of people who actually possess and carry firearms within a given population.
Further, as with most correlations, there are many other factors that can account for increases in concealed carry permits—including the fact that people who live in already dangerous neighborhoods seek out means of self-defense. The Huffington Post noted that the rate of concealed carry permit requests in Chicago has soared in recent years after the city loosened restrictions, in large part, according to the Chicago Tribune, because law-abiding residents are increasingly worried about rising rates of violent crime in the city.
The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than it is among African-Americans, but the murder rate among African-Americans is significantly higher than the rate among whites.
Similarly, the rate of gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but urban areas experience higher murder rates.
6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ironically makes this clear with its ratings for states based on gun laws. “Gun freedom” states that score poorly, like New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, and Oregon, have some of the lowest homicide rates. Conversely, “gun control-loving” states that received high scores, like Maryland and Illinois, experience some of the nation’s highest homicide rates.
The Crime Prevention Research Center notes that, if anything, the data indicate that countries with high rates of gun ownership tend to have lower homicide rates—but this is only a correlation, and many factors do not necessarily support a conclusion that high rates of gun ownership cause the low rates of homicide.
Homicide and firearm homicide rates in Great Britain spiked in the years immediately following the imposition of severe gun control measures, despite the fact that most developed countries continued to experience a downward trend in these rates. This is also pointed out by noted criminologist John Lott in his book “The War on Guns.”
Similarly, Ireland’s homicide rates spiked in the years immediately following the country’s 1972 gun confiscation legislation.
Australia’s National Firearms Act appears to have had little effect on suicide and homicide rates, which were falling before the law was enacted and continued to decline at a statistically unremarkable rate compared to worldwide trends.
According to research compiled by Lott and highlighted in his book “The War on Guns,” Australia’s armed and unarmed robbery rates both increased markedly in the five years immediately following the National Firearms Act, despite the general downward trend experienced by other developed countries.
Great Britain has some of the strictest gun control laws in the developed world, but the violent crime rate for homicide, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault is much higher than that in the U.S. Further, approximately 60 percent of burglaries in Great Britain occur while residents are home, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., and British burglars admit to targeting occupied residences because they are more likely to find wallets and purses.
It is difficult to compare homicide and firearm-related murder rates across international borders because countries use different methods to determine which deaths “count” for purposes of violent crime. For example, since 1967, Great Britain has excluded from its homicide counts any case that does not result in a conviction, that was the result of dangerous driving, or in which the person was determined to have acted in self-defense. All of these factors are counted as “homicides” in the United States.
7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.
According to the CDC, “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.” Recent CDC reports acknowledge that studies directly assessing the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
Semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) are commonly used as self-defense weapons in the homes of law-abiding citizens because they are easier to control than handguns, are more versatile than handguns, and offer the advantage of up to 30 rounds of protection. Even Vox has published stories defending the use of the AR-15.
AR-15s have been used to save lives on many occasions, including:
Oswego, Illinois (2018)—A man with an AR-15 intervened to stop a neighbor’s knife attack and cited the larger weapon’s “intimidation factor” as a reason why the attacker dropped the knife.
8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
Lott found that, as a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population.
Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates dropped 16 percent and violent crime rates dropped 18 percent, even though the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rose by 190 percent.
Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
Concealed carry permit holders are often “the good guy with a gun,” even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives in:
John G. Malcolm is the vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, overseeing The Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law. Read his research.
Compared to general life expectancy standards, my paternal grandfather died at quite a young age. I was only four when cancer took him down in a matter of weeks, so I don’t remember much about him.
Yet in spite of this limited time, he did one thing which, in retrospect, was quite influential on my life. He opened a savings account in my name and put something in it to start me out. I wouldn’t say he singlehandedly turned me into a saver, but his gift sure helped argue for the benefits of the practice in my early years.
But my experience isn’t the only thing which suggests that an early introduction to money is more powerful than many realize. According to The Guardian, a recent study out of Cambridge University found that “adult money habits are typically set by the age of seven.” Thus, the habits families model or teach to their children – whether in spending or saving – will likely get passed on to each generation whether they are wise or not.
At the same time, the Cambridge study found that many parents are uncomfortable training their children in wise money management. In fact, “More than one in every four parents think children should take responsibility for understanding money themselves.”
Philosopher John Locke might agree – but only to an extent.
While writing his treatise on the education of children, Locke recommended children take responsibility in financial matters, but only after they had been properly trained. As such, Locke would likely advise parents to observe the following three steps when teaching financial management to their children:
1. Teach Them to Budget – According to Locke, knowing what money is coming in and what money is going out is a matter of “reason more than arithmetic.” Children should learn to manage financial accounts regardless of a family’s financial standing, Locke notes, for those who keep an eye on these matters rarely “run to ruin.”
2. Don’t Demand Exactness – For many children, keeping precise records can seem like an overwhelming task, which in the long run could serve to drive them away from wise habits instead of toward them. It is perhaps for that reason that Locke urges careful management of funds, while also making the following qualification:
“Not that I would have him set down every pint of wine, or play, that costs him money; the general name of expences will serve for such things well enough….”
3. Let Them Make Mistakes – As Locke acknowledges, children desire to use their money for many things which seem frivolous or unnecessary in the eyes of their parents. But once children have been taught to successfully manage their money, Locke advises parents to refrain from criticizing a child’s monetary decisions and simply remember what it was like to be a child.
Undergirding this admonition is the implication that with liberty comes responsibility. If parents have given their children the tools to make wise financial decisions, then they must also step back and resist the temptation to bail them out when they make poor ones.
Recent generations have struggled to gain their footing in life due to crippling debt. Would today’s parents help their children avoid such pitfalls if they taught them early in life to manage money wisely and well?
Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.
Writing last week about the opioid crisis, I suggested that, as we consider policy options for dealing with the problem, we consider that at least some part of it may reflect a spiritual, moral crisis in the country.
I noted that casualties from opioids show that they are disproportionately men, disproportionately divorced or never married, and disproportionately individuals with no more than a high school education.
We can look beyond the opioid crisis and see a broad, disturbing picture pointing to a social and spiritual crisis among our young men.
He discusses what he calls a “flight from work” in which droves of our male population have disappeared from the work force.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics just issued its new jobs report, and the results were heartening. Data shows a return to growth in jobs in the American economy and return to the work force of many who dropped out during the years following the recent recession.
The labor force participation rate of prime-age working men ages 25-54, that is, the percentage working or actively seeking work, was 89.3 percent in February 2018.
Given that this rate was down to 88.4 late in 2011, we see progress here—good news.
However, Eberstadt points out that average labor force participation rate of these prime-age working men in 1965 was 96.6 percent.
“Expressed another way,” says Eberstadt, “the proportion of economically inactive American men of prime working age leapt from 3.4 percent in 1965 to 11.8 percent in 2015, and remains at 11.5 percent today.”
By my own calculations, almost 5 million prime-age working men have disappeared from the work force.
The U.S. population of men 25-54 today is 64.5 million. If their work force participation today was 96.6 percent, as it was in 1965, 62.3 million would be working or actively seeking work. But today’s reported rate of 89.3 percent indicates that there are now 57.6 million prime-age men working or actively looking for work—4.7 million less than there would have been at the 1965 rate.
How are these millions of men who have dropped out of the work force sustaining themselves?
According to Eberstadt, they get help from friends, family, and, of course, government.
Using Census Bureau data, Eberstadt reports “as of 2013, over three-fifths of prime-age men not in the labor force lived in homes that relied on at least one means-tested program for income. Some 41 percent of these men lived on food stamps, while just over half reported using Medicaid, a noncash benefit program.”
Additional Census Bureau data, according to Eberstadt, shows that “in 2013, some 57 percent of prime-age unworking men were getting benefits from at least one government-disability program.”
What is the profile of these prime-age unworking men?
They most likely have no more than a high school diploma, are not married, have no children or are not living with children they may have, are born in the U.S., and are black.
Although overall the workforce participation rate for black men is lower than that of white men, the cultural dynamics at play are more fundamental driving factors of what’s going on than race.
For instance, Eberstadt points out that “labor-force participation rates for white men today are lower than they were for black men in 1965.”
Also, the labor force participation rates for never-married white men are consistently lower, by about 3 percentage points, than for married black men.
We are paying a large social price for the widespread collapse of Christian values—in particular, the values of marriage and family. And our young men may be disproportionately bearing the brunt of this.
Image: By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Grantez Stephens [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Alessa Love is the eldest of the three children of Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, and husband Jason Love.
While students across the country protest school shootings Wednesday with walkouts, one senior says her school in Utah is encouraging students to “walk up, not out” and show an act of kindness.
“I feel like the media tends to focus a lot on the anger, hurt, and destruction of our youth in society,” Alessa Love, who attends Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
“And I feel it would be nice to have some healing and to show some kindness and help students not feel alone or upset or hurt,” Love, 18, said, “because actually we might be able to stop the violent acts before we experience them.”
Those participating in the walkout alternative are using the hashtag #WalkUpNotOut on social media to promote the idea.
In a Facebook post Monday, Westlake High asked students to reach out to their peers by doing things such as walking up to other students who sit alone at lunch and inviting them into a group, or approaching someone who causes a disturbance in class to ask about how he or she is doing.
The school encouraged such actions as an alternative to leaving the building to protest school shootings and other crimes committed with guns.
“Frederick Douglass said, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ so just going up and talking to someone and being that friend just makes a huge difference,” Love told The Daily Signal.
Students across the country organized National Walkout Day for Wednesday to demand solutions one month after the Feb. 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, when a 19-year-old with a rifle killed 17 and wounded 17 others. They have used the hashtag #NationalWalkoutDay on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Preventing violence might be better accomplished with student-to-student outreach, Love said.
“I’m not a doctor and I’m not a politician, and so I am just a student trying to help another student and I care,” the Utah student said. “I just feel like if we can save a student from [violent] thoughts or violent acts, we can save many more from being victims. And I just feel it’s always important to be that friend and to be that person.”
Alessa Love is the eldest of the three children of Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, and husband Jason Love.
Westlake High has about 4,000 students and the school leadership hopes all of them will participate, she said, adding that students should take the challenge beyond high school.
“I just think that it can carry throughout your life, to be that friend and encourage one another and help others before they have those violent acts and they go seek a gun,” Love said. “Just to be that friend.”
Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Read original here. Reprinted with permission.
“Manipulating video with convincing reenactment.” This takes neutral video of a target and transfers expressions and words from an actor to replace the original expressions! This could be devastating if used to distort the news or political races.
It’s easier to watch than explain. We must learn to be very cautious.
Remember the Presidential campaign? When HRC was often unwell and took to wearing blue eyeshades? It looks like whatever ails her is back again.
Here she is falling, or possibly slipping on those sandals (which she kicked off), during an event in India. She’s overseas on her Blame Everyone But Me tour and recently had a pop at white woman because they’re too cowed to vote for her.
UPDATE: She later slipped and fractured her wrist in the bathtub at the five-star resort where she was staying in Jodphur, India.
Clinton was taken to a hospital in the city of Jodphur at around 5 am local time Wednesday. Clinton underwent an X-ray and a CT scan that confirmed a hairline fracture of her right wrist.
Does anyone know if there’s a medical issue here?
List of recent falls:
London hotel in October 2017 Hillary Clinton broke her toe while on a book tour in London. As she explained it: ‘I was running down the stairs in heels with a cup of coffee in hand, I was talking over my shoulder and my heel caught and I fell backwards.’
In October 2017, Clinton was in London promoting her book when she arrived on the set of a TV show wearing a surgical boot, after tripping on stairs in her hotel. 9/11 Memorial in 2016
Clinton was captured on video collapsing into the arms of her Secret Service agents after being rushed from the 9/11 memorial service at the World Trade Center last year. She later announced she’d been diagnosed with dehydration and pneumonia.
During the presidential campaign, cameras caught Clinton leaving the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan and collapsing into the arms of Secret Service agents as she got into a waiting van
Although a surgeon’s goal is to remove cancer in its entirety during excision surgery, achieving negative margins (that’s the absence of cancer cells at the outer edge of the removal) can be challenging. These doctors/surgeons developed a handheld pen-like device that rapidly identifies the molecular profile of tissues using a small volume water droplet and mass spectrometry analysis.
A water droplet is transported to a mass spectrometer, which characterizes diagnostic proteins, lipids, and metabolites. The pen was used to rapidly distinguish tumor from healthy tissue during surgery in mice, without requiring specific labeling or imaging and without evidence of tissue destruction.
They used the MasSpec Pen to do realtime molecular analysis of 20 human cancer thin tissue sections and 253 human patient tissue samples including normal and cancerous tissues from breast, lung, thyroid, and ovary.
The pen allowed them to find and identify cancers with overall accuracy of 96.3%, as well as the prediction of benign and malignant thyroid tumors and different histologic subtypes of lung cancer.
The results provide evidence that the MasSpec Pen could potentially be used as a clinical and intraoperative technology for live cancer diagnoses.
The origins of its brutally tough field gun competition lie in the Second Boer War in South Africa. The legendary story tells of the siege of the British garrison in Ladysmith in 1899. In support of the British Army, the Royal Navy landed guns from HMS Terrible and Powerful to help in the relief of the siege.
Until 1999, this endurance competition was played out at The Royal Tournament, an annual show of force from the British military (with participation from allies) at Earl’s Court, a large venue in London. It was stopped by the Labour government under Tony Blair for failing to cover its costs through ticket sales.
I’m showing you this because it’s cool. And because I was there and it was amazing! I know of several participants who are missing fingers as a result of this competition, which requires a great deal of training to make this fast.
OK, so I believe the Italians are the best at this so visit this copyrighted site for great mozzarella and ricotta recipes.
To help you through some of the processes, watch these videos. (The mozzarella lady uses a microwave at one stage which can offend purists, but if you’re just starting out I see no problem with it!
1 gallon whole milk, (not ultra high pasteurized (UHT) and preferably raw) 1/2 cup cold water, divided 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (1 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice (4 Tablespoons)) 1 teaspoon vegetable rennet (This is naturally occurring in cow’s milk from a cow that has just calved. Do not use junket rennet. Alternatives that can achieve the same result as rennet include vinegar, and lemon juice. Other options are to acquire “vegetable rennet” made from one of severalplants (thistle, nettle and mallow, to name a few), or “microbial rennet” acquired from mold. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1.) In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup cold water and citric acid. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and rennet.
2.) In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the citric acid mixture and milk, then stir well. Place it on the stove on medium-low heat, and let the mixture warm up to 90 degrees, while gently stirring.
3.) Remove from heat, and slowly stir in the rennet mixture for a few seconds. Cover with a lid, walk away from the pot, and wait for 10 minutes.
4.) Check to see if the curd resembles a soft custard or silken tofu. If not, allow the mixture to sit covered for a few more minutes. Use a long knife or long offset spatula to cut through the curd to create large chunks.
5.) Heat the pot again on medium, while gently stirring, until the temperature reaches 105 degrees Use a mesh strainer to remove the curds from the whey, and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cheesecloth works even better.
6.) Microwave for 1 minute, knead the curd 2 times, and drain excess whey. Microwave for 35 seconds and repeat the process 2 more times, or until the curds reach 135 degrees. Be sure to get rid of any whey each time.
7.) Sprinkle with salt, stretch, fold, and knead the cheese several times, until it appears more smooth and glossy. Fold into a ball.
8.) Serve immediately, or cover and store in the fridge in some salted whey liquid.
Don’t throw the whey away!
Ricotta cheese is made from whey that is left over from making a different cheese, like mozzarella. It is like a present from the cheese gods! Easy to make and very few ingredients.
Picture Morgan Freeman, Donald Trump or Margaret Thatcher. Most likely you can hear their voices in your mind, and the characteristic inflections that they put on certain words, as well as their tone and pitch. Even without listening to the words, when you hear someone speak you can pick up important information about them from characteristics such as how loud or deep their voice is.
At the most basic level, voices convey biological characteristics such as whether someone is male or female, their body size and physical strength, age and sexual maturity. For example, Donald Trump’s voice can signal to you that he is a man, and that he has passed middle age. But did you know that voices can also signal a person’s attractiveness, fertility and even the likelihood of them being unfaithful?
On the other hand, deeper-voiced men are also rated by women as more likely to cheat on a partner and as less trustworthy in general. Women who judge men with lower-pitched voices as more likely to cheat also prefer those men for short-term rather than long-term partners. Meanwhile, when women are breastfeeding and so currently taking care of a child, they are more likely to prefer men with higher-pitched voices than at other times.
This suggests women use something in men’s voices to try to assess how likely to cheat they are, as well as their general trustworthiness. This in turn can affect their attractiveness as a partner, depending on whether the women are drawn towards the paternal care of a potential long-term mate or just good genes.
Spotting a cheater
But can our voices really indicate whether we are likely to cheat? A recent study (it’s interesting) suggests that they can. Participants were played recordings of people speaking and were given no other background information about them, yet they successfully rated cheaters as “more likely to cheat” than non-cheaters. Interestingly, women were better at this task than men. There may be subtle signals in the human voice and/or the way in which a person speaks that can lead to accurate perceptions of a speaker’s history of infidelity
The recordings were taken from people with voices of similar pitch and attractiveness, who were of similar size and shape, and had similar sexual histories (aside from cheating). This means that none of these factors affected the results. So we currently don’t know exactly which cues the participants used to judge whether the voices came from cheaters.
It is not only women who can pick up on men’s vocal cues of good genes and likelihood to cheat, and use it to their benefit. A woman’s voice changes during her menstrual cycle when she is not using contraceptive pills. Perhaps unsurprisingly, men find women’s voices most attractive when the women are near ovulation (most fertile), than at other times of the month. This information is important to pick up on, as women do not display very explicit signals that they are fertile (unlike baboon females whose bottoms turn red, or female deer who release scents to advertise their fertility).
Voices can also signal whether someone is interested in you. In one clever study, participants were asked to judge the voices of individuals who spoke in a different language to attractive or unattractive potential partners or competitors.
The researchers found that, when talking to attractive people, men’s voices tend to reach a deeper pitch, and both men and women increase how varied their pitch is so their voices sound more dynamic than monotonous. Practically speaking, picking up on these types of cues could allow someone to decide whether a person they are talking to might be attracted to them or not.In these ways, the non-verbal characteristics of voices can play a significant role in signalling health, fertility, attraction and potential infidelity, to name a few. Picking up on these cues, alongside the many other cues we receive when talking to someone, can help us make more informed and well-rounded choices about who to spend time with and who to avoid. But the next time you find yourself listening to and judging someone’s voice for these subtle cues, remember that they are judging yours, too.
“While I will speak to the experience of the black community, I know the majority of Americans on welfare aren’t African-American. As a result, this appeal has relevance for all Americans,” writes Kay Coles James.
Washington is in a unique position to solve America’s welfare crisis for a very simple reason: Washington created it. The policy and programs it established a half-century ago have depleted people, obstructed their purpose, and extinguished their extraordinary possibilities.
The evidence of this failure is all around us. Being black and the daughter of a former welfare recipient, I know firsthand the unintended harm welfare has caused. That’s why much of what I am about to share relates to the African-American experience.
But this isn’t a problem specific to us. When it comes to welfare, the black community is merely America’s “canary in the coalmine.” What has happened to so many African-Americans can happen and is happening to any American subjected to the same failed liberal policies.
So while I will speak to the experience of the black community, I know the majority of Americans on welfare aren’t African-American. As a result, this appeal has relevance for all Americans, and it’s on their behalf that policymakers must confront and come to understand a few vitally important things.
These narratives never fail to move me deeply, and the one that strikes me to my core is this: In the days, weeks, and months following Appomattox, emancipated African-Americans could be seen walking mile after mile. They weren’t fleeing their former owners: The crime of slavery had been ended, after all. No, they were searching, often in vain, for their family members who had been ripped from their embrace and sold to other slave owners.
I can’t even begin to imagine how traumatic it would be if someone took my husband, children, or grandchildren from me. It would be unspeakable under any circumstances, let alone for the purpose of being sold into slavery. Yet that’s exactly what happened so many times before Emancipation. No wonder, then, that many freed men and women walked huge distances, searching for their lost parents, siblings, spouses, and children. So strong is the value of family that this was the first thing they did when they had the freedom to do it.
With a hunger for the education they’d been denied, freed slaves also set up schools in churches, in homes, and—famously—under the Emancipation Oak that still stands on what became the campus of my alma mater, Hampton University. They honed the skills they learned on the plantation and in the workhouse too. And they got jobs—jobs that enabled them to support their families and build the future that has enabled African-Americans like me to pursue our dreams.
What they did was extraordinary. It’s a tale of survival, of family, of faith, and of indomitable determination. Those freed slaves and their children and grandchildren built businesses, colleges, churches, and communities, and they did it not only often without government help, but often in the face of government adversity known as Jim Crow.
This history is so important for policymakers to consider because it helps make sense of the harm done to the African-American community since then by liberal policies like welfare. Consider: Since the so-called War on Poverty was launched more than 50 years ago:
Our marriage rate has plummeted, and the number of out-of-wedlock births has soared.
Children are being raised without the security of an intact family or having ever even experienced parental marriage.
Fathers are routinely rejecting their responsibilities, increasing their children’s risk of living in poverty.
Nearly 1 million black boys and girls are being raised by a grandparent, often because their parents suffer from drug abuse, have passed away, or are in prison.
It’s long been said that family is the very first Department of Health and Human Services, but in recent decades, that bedrock of our community has been broken almost as badly as it was during the days of slavery.
As Kim Holmes of The Heritage Foundation wrote in his book “Rebound”: “The welfare state … substitute[d] a check for a father, a social worker for a caring mother or grandmother, and a slew of civil rights organizations for the neighborhood church.”
My great-grandmother was enslaved, and I wonder what she would think of America today. She experienced the heartbreak of families being torn apart and sold to distant plantations.
Would she be able to understand why so many children are now growing up with only one parent?
Would she have any tolerance for all the fathers who are turning their backs on their responsibilities and walking away?
Would she have any patience for the notion that it’s “politically incorrect” (whatever that really means) to say a man and woman should be married if they’re having a child?
And would she have any doubts as to why so many fatherless teens seek in street gangs the sense of belonging they never experienced at home?
The answers are no, no, no, and no. These dysfunctions are the result of policy choices this nation has made, not the people on whom they’ve been inflicted.
That’s why the focus on welfare reform is so important. Under the so-called enlightened approach launched by the Great Society liberals, more money is doled out to people who (1) aren’t married, (2) have children, and (3) don’t work.
The misguided compassion of this liberal policy has so many unintended consequences. It deprives millions of children of the love and security they’d get from the two people they need most: their mom and dad.
Who could come up with such an idea? The kind, it seems, who apparently just couldn’t see that doing this would destroy two of the most effective defenses against poverty: work and marriage.
Instead, this approach rewards people for not working, for having kids out of wedlock, and for staying single. And guess what it’s produced? More of exactly what we’re paying for: unemployment, out-of-wedlock births, and single-parent families.
Now, ask yourself: What if I took that kind of “welfare” policy and implemented it in your family? If I said to your sons, “Sweetie, you don’t have to work; I’ll take care of everything,” and if I said to your daughters, “Sugar, you go ahead and have as many babies as you want; I’ll give you more money to take care of them,” what do you think your family would be like in 20 years?
I’ll tell you: Your sons would be lying at home and not working, your daughters would be having kids out of wedlock, and your family would be a whole lot poorer.
Is that what you want for your family? I don’t think so. Then why do we allow the government to do to other families what we wouldn’t want for our own?
The misguided compassion of this liberal policy has so many unintended consequences. It’s destroying hopes and dreams. It’s allowing despair-inducing welfare to take the place of pride-fueling work. It’s depriving millions of children of the love and security they’d get from the two people they need most: their mom and dad. And it’s causing the spark to go out for whole generations.
This is wrong. It’s gone on too long. And it must be stopped.
Fixing this won’t be easy, but with an empowerment agenda it can be done. By empowerment, I mean replacing dependence with independence, hopelessness with hope, and poverty with the power to realize our dreams. And so I’d like to offer policymakers five solutions for an empowerment agenda that will make their efforts so worthwhile.
Reinstill “achiever values” by putting a greater emphasis on empowerment and work.
America must return to what Dr. Carl Ellis Jr. calls “achiever values.” When I was a child, I watched my mother board a bus for work in the cold morning hours and return well after sunset, tired but ready to care for her own family. Her daily routine taught my brothers and me the dignity of honest work and the satisfaction of supporting her family.
Contrast that with today. We’ve spent $28 trillion on a dizzying array of government programs for poor and low-income Americans that promote non-achiever values, and millions of Americans are now dependent on the handouts of others. That’s why then-President Barack Obama’s order letting states waive the 1996 work requirement was so wrong—and why a strong work requirement is so important now.
I, of course, know that the purpose of welfare is to help people when they fall on hard luck. But shouldn’t that also mean that its goal is to help people get past those hard-luck stretches so they can get back on their feet and once again provide for their families? Of course it should, and work does exactly that.
That’s why The Heritage Foundation has long called for welfare to be a work-based system, not a one-way handout. Nine out of 10 Americans agree, but today work is almost absent from the welfare system.
We can fix that by strengthening the work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and earned income tax credit programs and extending them to food stamps too. (A bill from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, S.1290/H.R. 2832, would tackle both; a bill from Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., H.R. 2996, is a robust food stamp work requirement in standalone legislation.)
Bottom line: If you’re not too young or too old, not physically or mentally disabled, then you should be working. You need to be working. Not for us and not just for the Treasury, but for you, for your kids, and for your future.
Stop destroying the family.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late four-term Democratic senator from New York, absolutely nailed it when he said:
[T]here is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future—that community asks for and gets chaos.
He was right: Our policies have profoundly undermined marriage by reducing support when both parents are in the home. If a single mom on public assistance marries the father of her child, guess what happens to the support she’s been receiving? It gets cut—sharply.
That’s why these policies are commonly referred to as marriage penalties. They literally and very effectively penalize mothers and fathers who get married. No surprise: They’ve caused millions of single parents to realize the smartest thing they can do is stay single.
This is more than a matter of family values. It’s about valuing family, and that’s why it’s so important that you eliminate the marriage penalties now embedded in welfare policy.
We’ve talked about ending these marriage penalties for a long time. Now, for the first time, we’ve got a serious legislative proposal to start doing that, proposed by The Heritage Foundation with Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., taking the lead.
Promote transparency about the real cost and effectiveness of the welfare state.
I mentioned earlier that government has spent over $28 trillion on welfare programs, but do you know how much it now spends each year? The answer is a stunning $1.1 trillion. Just imagine the sticker shock if every American knew. Maybe that’s the reason policymakers and the American public don’t get this information through the annual budget process.
This is a real problem. Without honest and accurate information, lawmakers and their constituents are handicapped in their ability to press for the rational policy reform that’s long overdue.
That’s why The Heritage Foundation is calling for presidential budgets to report on welfare spending in its totality. We also want the administration to release data on the actual aggregate benefits being received by individuals on welfare.
Just as important, Washington should be paying for results, not merely for process. Today, government programs generally fund services rather than the outcomes that are needed. If any business operated this way, it would soon be bankrupt. (Perhaps that’s why the U.S. federal government is more than $22 trillion in debt?)
Instead, taxpayer funds should be going only to programs that actually are delivering the outcomes—such as job placement—that they promise. And the administration should be reporting on such outcomes in detail, so that policymakers can assess which programs deserve continued funding and which should be replaced with more effective alternatives.
Be bold, and don’t back down.
When I had the privilege of serving as Virginia’s secretary of health and human resources, we passed statewide welfare reform. This was before Congress passed Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and it was against fierce resistance from the left and the media. But we did it, and we learned some important lessons that might be of value.
First, our paramount focus was to help people. Our reform policy was crafted by a 40-member Commission on Citizen Empowerment that included many current and former welfare recipients. Those fine Virginians were uncompromising. They knew firsthand how destructive welfare is, and they pushed us to enact the most conservative reforms anyone had ever seen.
Second, we took on the left and beat them at their own game. We assembled a war room where we not only responded to their attacks, but also anticipated and launched quite a few of our own. We recruited powerful advocates in all the affected communities.
We went across the state to spread the word, and we told the true stories of welfare’s impact, stories that were more heartbreaking and compassionate than anything any liberal opponent ever offered. We shared those stories throughout Virginia—with or without the media’s help.
Last but by no means least, we didn’t take “no” for an answer. Sure, the left tried to stop us. They even defeated all of our bills during the first legislative session. But we came back in the next one. Gov. George Allen promised—not threatened, promised—that he’d make their votes against welfare reform the No. 1 issue in the upcoming election, and liberals folded like a house of cards.
The result was a package of workfare, learnfare, and child support enforcement measures that had an immediate and positive result. According to an independent analysis by Virginia’s version of the Government Accountability Office, the reform enabled welfare caseloads to drop by “nearly 50 percent.” It also resulted in “a strong increase in the average percent of recipient resources that is from income and a strong decrease in the average percent of recipient resources that is from [welfare] payments.”
Importantly, our reform in Virginia also achieved budgetary savings. In fact, the same happened at the federal level. Thanks to the 1996 legislation, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is the only welfare program in which spending has been under control over the past two decades.
And all this happened despite the Congressional Budget Office, which didn’t believe reform would generate savings. Had conservatives listened to the CBO 20 years ago, there never would have been a welfare reform, but Congress—backed by the analysis of Robert Rector at The Heritage Foundation and others—had the courage to say the CBO was wrong.
Bottom line: If you’re not too young or too old, not physically or mentally disabled, then you should be working.
History has proven us correct. Work requirements reap savings in the long run. Just as we saw in Virginia, enabling welfare recipients to find work leads to fewer people depending on welfare and cost savings for taxpayers.
What that means is welfare reform works:
It replaces dependence with independence.
It enables welfare recipients to become workforce participants.
It restores pride, self-respect, and personal responsibility.
Most of all, it heals and helps the most vulnerable parents and children among us.
But I don’t need empirical evidence to tell me that welfare reform is right. I know it from my own personal experience, and that leads me to my last piece of advice for policymakers.
Remain focused on the remarkable progress that can be achieved.
In light of all the harm African-Americans have suffered from liberal welfare policy, you might think I’d be pessimistic about what the future holds for the black community. But I’m not. As angry as I am, I’m also filled with hope about what the future can and, I pray, will bring to our people and our nation.
The first reason is simple: I have faith in God, in the hope that is America, and in the human spirit. I don’t look at people and think they’re incapable of taking care of themselves or of making the right decisions. Not at all. I look at all people, no matter their age, race, gender, income, or religion, as having the vast possibilities that come from being made in the image of God.
I’m not just convinced every child has these possibilities; I’ve seen it. Spend even just a little time with 5-year-olds and you’ll see it too. They are smart. They are so creative. They are positive. And they have boundless energy.
Since all of God’s people are born with vast possibilities for growth, fulfillment, and success, what they are crying out for is an opportunity: an opportunity to grow up healthy and safe, to be nurtured by their family’s love, to study and learn, and to pursue whatever direction their dreams and talents take them.
It’s simple: If given the opportunity, every child truly can grow up (as the popular toast goes) to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, and their communities will be better, richer, and more peaceful as a result.
So I call on policymakers to pause in their work and just imagine what that America would be like.
Imagine an America where civil society flourishes, life is protected, and children grow up with the love and protection of a whole family.
Imagine an America where every parent has the opportunity to experience the pride of providing and being a role model for their children.
Imagine an America where every child—every single one—has equal access to an excellent education.
Imagine an America where liberty, equality, and opportunity aren’t just the gifts we inherited. They’re the endowment we pass on.
That’s the America we need. It’s the America we can build.
Policymakers can achieve this with an empowerment agenda. They can save lives from failed liberal policies, and they can make it possible for millions of Americans to realize their dreams.
All it takes is a willingness to take the bold action that America needs.
Kay Coles James is president of The Heritage Foundation. James formerly served as director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and as Virginia’s secretary of health and human resources. She is also the founder and president of The Gloucester Institute.
Baltimore today got the country’s inaugural location of DMG Foods (after the Salvation Army’s motto, “Doing the Most Good”). Called the first-ever national nonprofit grocery chain, the goal is to bring good food to low-income residents in the country’s food deserts, nutrition-poor areas where people have no or extremely limited access to low-cost, healthy food.
Gun-Control Activist Finds Picture of ‘Scary’ Gun looks stupid. Reality..bolt-action .22 long rifle caliber firearm, the sort legions of gun owners learned to shoot w/ & grew up around as kids. Barely a step above a BB gun & largely suitable for target practice & hunting bunnies pic.twitter.com/ct55TCErRM
The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by writer Adam Weinstein in which he argues that Second Amendment advocates “use jargon to bully gun-control supporters.” “While debating the merits of various gun control proposals,” he contends, “Second Amendment enthusiasts often diminish, or outright dismiss their views if they use imprecise firearms terminology.”
How dare Second Amendment advocates expect that those passionately arguing to limit their constitutional rights have some rudimentary knowledge of the devices they want to ban? To point out the constant glaring technical and policy “faux pas” of gun controllers is to engage in “gunsplaining,” a bad-faith argument akin to intimidation.
“If you don’t know what the ‘AR’ in AR-15 stands for, you don’t get to talk,” explains the sarcastic subhead on the piece. If you don’t know what the “AR” in AR-15 stands for, you still get to talk. But if you want to ban or confiscate AR-15s and you haven’t taken the time to learn what the “AR” stands for, then gun owners have every right to call you out.
Weinstein—and he’s far from alone—bemoans the unfairness of gun controllers “being forced to sweat the finest taxonomic distinctions between our nation’s unlimited variety of lethal weapons.” This statement is illustrative of the emotionalism and hyperbole of the debate (the notion that there’s an “unlimited variety” of firearms is absurd). But at the same time, it’s an exaggeration of Second Amendment advocates’ expectations.
As with any contemporary disputes over public policy, there will always be those who attempt to dismiss opponents who possess less expertise. It’s certainly not unique to this debate. And, no, a person should not be excluded from a conversation simply for referring to a “bullet” rather than a “cartridge,” or a “clip” rather than a “magazine.”
Then again, much of gun control policy is driven by the mechanics of a firearm. So, while not knowing what a “barrel shroud” is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy, failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you’re dishonest, unserious, or unprepared for the debate.
Take, for instance, Michael Bloomberg.
In a debate imbued with emotion, gun control advocates rely on this ignorance. When then-President Barack Obama told a crowd that a mass shooter used a “fully automatic weapon,” he wasn’t concerned with the finest taxonomic distinctions of a gun; he was depending on the yawning obliviousness of a cheering crowd. When CNN featured an alleged gun expert explaining that the AR-15 he was about to fire was “full semi-automatic,” he was making the functionality of the firearm sounded scarier to those who are ignorant about guns.
“Jargon” is words and expressions that are difficult for a layman to understand or use. Rather than using jargon, Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with “high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines” or “jumbo clips,” you’re trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise. When you claim that we need to ban “gas-assisted receiver firearms,” you’re trying to make a semi-automatic weapon sound like a machine gun for a reason.
It’s not always the mechanics either. When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision, he’s preying on policy ignorance that has little to do with gun culture. When MSNBC analyst Steve Schmidt goes on television and passionately tells an audience that it’s more difficult to buy cough medicine than an “AK-47—or 50 of them,” he’s either lying or has absolutely no grasp of how gun policy works. Either way, he shouldn’t be talking to grown-ups about firearms.
All these people use a moralistic fallacy, which is often predicated on the ignorance Weinstein rationalizes—not that it stops him from embracing the appeal to authority he condemns elsewhere.
For example, Weinstein takes Fox News personality Tomi Lahren to task for failing to mention that the family of Eugene Stoner, the AR-15’s designer and champion, claimed in 2016 that Stoner would be “‘horrified and sickened’ to see his military rifle pattern become so common in civilian households and school shootings.” You’ll notice the conflation.
Of course Stoner would be horrified that his gun was used in school shootings. But Weinstein fails to note that there’s no evidence on the record of Stoner having been “horrified and sickened” by the notion of civilians owning his gun. Since he had been selling prototype AR-15s to civilians a decade before his military model was adopted by the United States, we have no reason to believe he would be.
Perhaps that kind of discussion spurns conversation in favor of condescension. But at least it’s a debate that revolves around the veracity of facts, which is a lot more than I can say for the rest of the “gunsplaining” grievance.
David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of the forthcoming “First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History With the Gun, From the Revolution to Today.” Reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal. Read original here.
I did not know that Pfizer had stopped making antivenin (Microbus fulvius) for the Eastern Coral snake. Apparently it’s not worth their time producing the amount required for 15-20 bites per year.* So the FDA reacted by moving the expiration date of the existing vials to 2016/17.
And how about that San Francisco garter snake? It’s amazing – and not very dangerous to humans as it has toxic saliva rather than injectable venom.