Thanks, Devil Mouse, But I Think I’m Good

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I had bantered about the idea of seeing The Return of the Jedi Rise of Skywalker with someone; this, in spite of my previous swearing off of SW, Disney, and movies. (She’s a sweetie). But, I think she’ll live without it. I will and healthily.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that you provide at your venue box office and online, and at other appropriate places where your customers will see it, a notice containing the following information: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker contains several sequences with imagery and sustained flashing lights that may affect those who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or have other photosensitivities,” said Disney’s letter, as reported by THR.

The Epilepsy Foundation also issued a statement noting that for about 3 percent of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or certain visual patterns can trigger seizures. For those who are sensitive to lights, the foundation advised having a friend watch the movie first, who could then accompany and alert which scenes to avert one’s eyes during.

Yes! I have a certain sensitivity to bright lights and dim bulbs. So, I’ll avert my eyes now. Thanks for the alert, DM. Shame that I’ll miss the lavender Wookies or whatever.

The Goose that Laid the “Illegal” Golden Egg

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We all know that gold is only supposed to flow OUT of America. This doesn’t cut it.

At a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio called illegal gold mining in Latin America a “direct threat” to U.S. national security that has become “far more lucrative than drug trafficking” — and noted that billions of dollars worth of the illicit precious metal is entering American consumer markets through Miami.

“There is a major human toll if we do not get control of this problem,” said Rubio, citing a cornucopia of evils unleashed by illegal mining including human trafficking, corruption, disease, mercury poisoning, drug smuggling, widespread deforestation in the Amazon basin and the enrichment of powerful criminal groups and rogue governments like Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela.

But American consumers are scooping up gold with little awareness of where it comes from or who gets hurt. The metal is used not only by the jewelry industry but also in electronics such as smartphones and tablets. Rubio said 58 percent of imported U.S. gold comes from Latin America. Miami International Airport, the closest U.S. port to Latin America, has long been the nation’s leading gateway of gold.

It’s almost like the people want a gold standard or something. I wonder why? It surely couldn’t be the Fed continuing to flood the world with fiat. Every day, the same headline.

What is it with Saudis and Flight Training?

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Possible links to terrorism. You think?

An aviation student from Saudi Arabia opened fire in a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, killing three people in an attack the Saudi government quickly condemned and that U.S. officials were investigating for possible links to terrorism.

The assault, which ended when a sheriff’s deputy killed the attacker, was the second fatal shooting at a U.S. Navy base this week and prompted a massive law enforcement response and base lockdown.

I guess we should be grateful this wasn’t the work of the real terrorists, white nationalists. Better ban flight schools.

And Even More Ed Stats

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Michael Snyder picks up where Dr. Williams left off – Chinese students are 4 grade-levels ahead of their pitiful Amerikan counterparts. And,

We were once a great light to the rest of the world, but today a large chunk of our population can barely read, write, speak or function in society. Just consider the following numbers…

#1 One recent survey found that 74 percent of Americans don’t even know how many amendments are in the Bill of Rights.

#2 An earlier survey discovered that 37 percent of Americans cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment.

#3 Shockingly, only 26 percent of Americans can name all three branches of government.

#4 During the 2016 election, more than 40 percent of Americans did not know who was running for vice-president from either of the major parties.

#5 North Carolina is considering passing a law which would “mean only scores lower than 39 percent would qualify for an F grade” in North Carolina public schools.

#6 30 years ago, the United States awarded more high school diplomas than anyone in the world. Today, we have fallen to 36th place.

#7 According to the Pentagon, 71 percent of our young adults are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military because they are either too dumb, too fat or have a criminal background.

#8 For the very first time, Americans are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than they are in a car accident.

#9 One study discovered that one-third of all American teenagers haven’t read a single book in the past year.

#10 A recent survey found that 45 percent of U.S. teenagers are online “almost constantly”.

#11 Today, the average American spends 86 hours a month using a smartphone.

#12 Overall, the average U.S. adult “logs 6 hours, 43 minutes of total screen time daily”.

#13 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.

#14 During one seven day period last summer, a total of 16,000 official complaints about human feces were submitted to the city of San Francisco. And apparently the problem is very real because one investigation found 300 piles of human feces on the streets of downtown San Francisco.

#15 Every 24 hours, more than a third of all Americans eat fast food.

#16 Less than half of all Americans know which country used atomic bombs at the end of World War II.

#17 Even though we fought a war in Iraq for eight long years, 6 out of 10 young adults cannot find Iraq on a map of the Middle East. And that same survey found that 75 percent of our young adults cannot locate Israel.

#18 Today, the average college freshman in the United States reads at a 7th grade level.

Are you convinced yet?

As a society, we have become exceedingly “dumbed down”, and we can even see this at the highest levels of our government. Just take a look at some of the people we have representing us in Congress. If George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were alive today, what do you think that they would make of our current crop of politicians?

When our founders spoke, their language was so elegant. But of course we couldn’t have politicians speak to us that way today because nobody would be able to understand what they were saying.

Our society is literally in a death spiral, but nobody seems to have a way to stop it.

Educating our children properly is one of the most basic things that needs to be addressed, but unfortunately the left has total control of our public schools now, and that means that there is no hope of a major turnaround any time soon.

In fact, there is no hope of a turnaround, now or later. Only Dr. Ironsides has the solution.

UPDATE: I looked through the cited survey and found it riddled with global-speak. Still, if even the deliberate system’s metrics show a problem, there’s a problem.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Agendas

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I suspected, still suspect, and have suggested to some friends (sorry if I left the readers out) that the DNC will release certain pictures in the event that Mayor Pete becomes a threat to Pocohantas. However, I didn’t think it would be a picture of him ringing a Salvation Army bell. But that appears to be a major crime in the bloodshot eyes of the LGVP&C brigade.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is facing criticism online from some members of the LGBTQ+ community and gay rights advocates after images of the South Bend, Ind., mayor volunteering with the Salvation Army resurfaced online Tuesday.

LGBTQ+ publication Out published a story Tuesday with some of the critical tweets, which spurred more pushback from some activists who called out the Democrat for volunteering with an organization that has a history of opposing gay rights.

“I know the photos are two years old, but still, I can’t help but wonder if Mayor Pete just looks at what LGBTQ activists have been working on for years and then chooses to spite it (e.g. Salvation Army, Chick-fil-A, queer media in general, etc.),” tweeted Zach Ford, press secretary for the Alliance for Justice, with a link to the Out story.

They really hate each other, maybe more than they hate us. I think the “queer media” reference regards anything on TeeVee, da moovees, or any mainstream publication. And, the “etc.” of course encompasses the primary goals of pedophilia and cannibalism. I trust  OTHER pictures might be on standby somewhere if needed.

More and More Stats on Education Fraud

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Dr. Williams has them as usual.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, only 37% of white high school graduates tested as college-ready, but colleges admitted 70% of them. Roughly 17% of black high school graduates tested as college-ready, but colleges admitted 58% of them. A 2018 Hechinger Report found, “More than four in 10 college students end up in developmental math and English classes at an annual cost of approximately $7 billion, and many of them have a worse chance of eventually graduating than if they went straight into college-level classes.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “when considering all first-time undergraduates, studies have found anywhere from 28 percent to 40 percent of students enroll in at least one remedial course. When looking at only community college students, several studies have found remediation rates surpassing 50 percent.” Only 25% of students who took the ACT in 2012 met the test’s readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math and science).

It’s clear that high schools confer diplomas that attest that a student can read, write and do math at a 12th-grade level when, in fact, most cannot. That means most high diplomas represent fraudulent documents. But when high school graduates enter college, what happens? To get a hint, we can turn to an article by Craig E. Klafter, “Good Grieve! America’s Grade Inflation Culture,” published in the Fall 2019 edition of Academic Questions. In 1940, only 15% of all grades awarded were A’s. By 2018, the average grade point average at some of the nation’s leading colleges was A-minus. For example, the average GPA at Brown University (3.75), Stanford (3.68), Harvard College (3.63), Yale University (3.63), Columbia University (3.6), University of California, Berkeley (3.59).

The falling standards witnessed at our primary and secondary levels are becoming increasingly the case at tertiary levels. “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses” is a study conducted by Professors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. They found that 45% of 2,300 students at 24 colleges showed no significant improvement in “critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.”

We’ve come to the point where that diploma or degree (even from Harvard) is just a piece of paper.

That Book he mentioned:

Key Findings

  • In terms of undergraduate learning, higher education is “academically adrift.” While higher education is expected to accomplish many tasks, existing organizational cultures and practices too often do not prioritize undergraduate learning. Large numbers of college students report that they spend a very limited amount of time studying; they enroll in courses that do not require either substantial reading or writing assignments; they interact with their professors outside of college classrooms rarely, if ever; and they define and understand their college experiences as focused more on social than on academic development. Faculty and administrators, working to meet multiple and at times competing demands, rarely focus on improving instruction and demonstrating gains in student learning.
  • Gains in student performance are disturbingly low—a pattern of limited learning is prevalent in contemporary higher education. On average, gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills (i.e., general collegiate skills) during the first two years of college are either exceedingly small or empirically non-existent for a large proportion of students. Forty-five percent of our students did not demonstrate any significant improvement in CLA performance during the first two years of college.
  • Learning in higher education is characterized by persisting and/or growing inequality. There are significant differences in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills across students from different family backgrounds and racial/ethnic groups. More importantly, students not only enter college unequal; but inequalities tend to persist, or in the case of African American students, increase during students’ enrollment in college.
  • There is notable variation in experiences and outcomes across institutions. While the average trends indicate that students are embedded in colleges where very limited academic demands are placed on them and limited learning occurs in general during the first two years of college, there is notable variation across students, and particularly across institutions. Students attending certain institutions have more beneficial college experiences (in terms of reading/writing requirements, meeting with faculty, time use, etc.) and demonstrate significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills over time. We focus in particular on examining unique college experiences and significantly more encouraging learning trajectories of students attending highly selective institutions.

Easy Out for Dems?

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Not a bad idea. Therefore, the Dems probably won’t go for it.

Censure would allow the Democrats to move on: Obviously, the Speaker wants to send a strong message to her base that she hears their concerns and is acting on them. But every day that Democrats are not talking about health care is a day that they are slowly but steadily losing the election. The media has a limited attention span, and right now impeachment is king. While impeachment might excite the partisan bases on both sides of the aisle, to the vast middle that isn’t paying attention to the latest revelations that are dripping forth on the front pages of The New York Times, this is time not well spent making the case for their reelections.

Censure would be better for the country than impeachment: What the president did with his Ukrainian call is clearly not impeachable. But it wasn’t a perfect call either. We all know that partisan Democrats have wanted Trump removed from office since the very day he entered it and have come up with a variety of theories as to why he should be thrown out, from invoking the 25th Amendment to the current impeachment imbroglio.

But the American people, in their collective wisdom, through a process designed by the Constitution, put him there, and they have the right to have their voices heard to replace him, should they decide that is the correct path to pursue. Short-circuiting the people is a very bad precedent and would needlessly divide the country for generations.

In 1998, some congressional Republicans and Democrats floated censure as a possible alternative to impeachment and when I worked for the House GOP Leadership, I thought that would have been a more prudent approach.

Part of the challenge with censure is it’s not outlined in the Constitution as a way to punish the president for actions that fall short of high crimes and misdemeanors. And indeed, the only president to be clearly censured by the Congress was Trump’s hero, Andrew Jackson. He was censured by the Senate because he defunded the Second Bank of the United States. That censure was later expunged from the record by Jackson’s Whig allies late in his second term in office.

I would vote against censure of this president, if I were in either the House or the Senate, because I think this has been a partisan exercise not worthy of the Congress. But if I were a congressional Democrat, I would prefer censure to impeachment. Impeachment would be bad for the country but probably good for the president. Censure wouldn’t be nearly as bad for the country nor nearly as good for the president.

But, they no more want to move on than the people have that collective wisdom. This all assumes, of course, that the House goes ahead with the impeachment charade – it’s already losing steam. And, again, it won’t help them with 2020.

Decline and Fall of Holiday Shopping – from TPC

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Your New 86” TeeVee Is Spying On You

Right now, while you’re reading this. Probably putting you on some list or another. I wouldn’t trust that Elf on the Shelf either.

Happy December, Friends of the Georgia Piedmont! Yeah, we have entered the final month of 2019. I hope you’re as thrilled and shocked about it as I am. And, I was just kidding about the TV. Just because it has a camera and a microphone and a transceiver and you can’t turn any of them off and the FBI says it’s spying means nothing. Have another beer, a pill maybe.

The important thing is that you bought it. Isn’t that the true meaning and spirit of this consumerist, er this holiday season? Buying things?

Last week saw another great Black Friday, the day set aside for bloated, semi-conscious Americans to shuffle aimlessly through the malls and discount stores, munching on refried lard and dropping fiat on useless junk that they won’t remember buying just four months later. Well, at least they used to shuffle psychically in order to max out the cards. The Wall Street Journal and other outlets report that this year more and more folks can’t even get up off the couch. Friday set a record $7.something Billion in online “stuff” sales – and, that was ahead of Cyber Monday (color unknown). The brick and mortar traffic was still kicking along, only a little lower and slower than in years gone by. Click on the big site or walk into the big box. Same deal.

Again, the important thing is that money gets spent. That’s what it’s for. The Noo Yaak Fed ain’t flooding $100,000,000,000+ every single day(!) (forever?) into the perfectly healthy economy for nothing.

READ AT TPC

“Fly and Drive”

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It does neither. This one is laughable.

The world’s first ‘fly and drive’ car will be unveiled Tuesday night in Miami.

It’s called Pioneer Personal Air Landing Vehicle, or PAL-V.

The car arrived in downtown Miami on Monday and will be unveiled during the pre-grand opening of the art exhibit “Paramount: The Art of Innovation and Design” as part of the 30th annual Miami Art Week.

It will be held at the Paramount Miami World Center which has actually designed a “sky-port” on top of its building for the flying car to land on.

A mock-up of a mock-up of a mockery. 0/10. Sad.

Your Faces Please

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Except they probably won’t say please. Here’s how it will work: millions of illegals come and go, at will and with no questions, documents, or obstruction; on the other hand, you, usury serf, shall jump through burning hoops only to present the mark of the beast.

The Trump administration intends to propose a regulation next year that would require all travelers – including U.S. citizens – to be photographed when entering or leaving the United States, according to the administration’s regulatory agenda.

The proposed regulation, slated to be issued in July by the Homeland Security Department, would be part of a broader system to track travelers as they enter and exit the United States.

The plan has already drawn opposition from some privacy advocates. Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, blasted the idea in a written statement on Monday.

“Travelers, including U.S. citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel,” he said.

The Trump administration contends in its regulatory agenda that the face scan requirement will combat the fraudulent use of U.S. travel documents and aid the identification of criminals and suspected terrorists.

Will no brave federal judge in Hawaii step forward and enjoin this madness? No. Go ahead and leave your CFR comments. Maybe vote or something.

UPDATE: You’ll be scanned. Incoming terrorists, grifters, and nation-wreckers won’t even have their Faceberg or Twit checked. After all, if the MS-13ers can’t locate their former victims in the new, free-range Amerika, what’s the point in coming? (And, that VA county might as well be yours, BTW).