Sunday, December 19, 2010

Edgar County's Ed Motley sworn in, history made

A guy to watch: Sheriff Ed Motley.

The Telegraph: Can't learn a foreign language? Not true, say scientists

All it takes is saying the word over-and-over; 160 times. One word at a time I guess.
All one needs to do is listen to a word 160 times over that period, found Cambridge neuroscientists.

After that the brain will have formed a whole new network of neurons specifically tasked with remembering that word.

The process happens far quicker than previously thought, they found.

Dr Yury Shtyrov and his team made the discovery after placing electrodes on the heads of 16 healthy volunteers to monitor their brain activity.

First they recorded the pulses generated when they listened to a familiar word. Then the volunteers were made to listen to a made-up word, over and over again.

Initially the brain had to work hard to recognise the new word. But after 160 repetitions over 14 minutes, the new memory traces were "virtually indistinguishable" from those of the already familiar word, said Dr Shtyrov.

He said: "What this suggests is that practising language is important. Every little helps.

Dekalb Daily Chronicle: Hultgren gets committee assignments in U.S. House

The Chronicle on Hultgren's committee assignments,
Republican Randy Hultgren has been selected to serve on the Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when he arrives in Congress next year as the representative for the 14th Congressional District.

Hultgren had expressed interest in the energy and commerce committees, as well as the financial services committee. In the Transportation Committee, he would have hands-on work with railroads – including following the Canadian National purchase of the EJ&E railroad – aviation, roads and public works projects.

Hultgren beat Democratic incumbent Bill Foster in the November election for the 14th Congressional seat. The 14th Congressional District contains much of DeKalb County.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Klocek v. DePaul University: The Silver Lining

A press release on the Klocek case plus a link to Marathon Pundits thoughts on the case:

Sad time to be a DePaul Alum...

On Monday, November 29, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court decided not to hear Professor Thomas Klocek’s appeal, bringing an end to his five-year suit against DePaul University for destroying his reputation.  The case had been litigated in the Circuit Court for years in front of a number of different judges: two of which ruled Klocek properly stated valid claims against DePaul; the last of which, however, unexpectedly threw the entire case out on the eve of the trial in 2009.  The Appellate Court was unwilling to disturb any of the Circuit Court’s holdings, issuing a short order, rather than a published opinion, simply rubber-stamping the Circuit Court result. 
As those who have followed the case may recall, little more than six years ago, Klocek was a well respected part-time professor at DePaul’s School for New Learning who, as DePaul’s own Father Kevin Collins put it, was “more likely to talk an ear off about religious and historical fine points than mean to offend” and was “as gentle as he was opinionated and on the erudite side.”  This gentle and erudite man, who had enjoyed a fourteen year unblemished record of teaching diversity and culture courses to working adults at DePaul apparently talked about religious and historical fine points with the wrong groups (the Students for Justice in Palestine and the United Muslims Moving Ahead) on the wrong campus.  What he understood to be a simple, albeit contentious, dialogue lasting all of five minutes with the student activists about their pet issues, turned out to be beyond DePaul’s threshold for academic freedom.
The students with the help of the Council on American and Islamic Relations quickly filed complaints with the administration demanding Klocek’s removal, and in a rush to a politically correct judgment, DePaul caved.  Instead of caving privately with an eye to Klocek’s rights and reputation, DePaul’s administration, without a hearing or even notice to Klocek of the students’ charges against him, made a public spectacle of defending the students from the professor who had dared to “dishonor” their perspective and “assault” their beliefs.  Though DePaul later claimed Klocek was suspended for his conduct and not his views or his speech, Dean Susanne Dumbleton, Klocek’s supervisor, ruled that “No one should ever use the role of teacher to demean the ideas of others or insist on the absoluteness of an opinion, much less press erroneous assertions.”

John Mauck of Mauck & Baker, attorneys for Thomas Klocek, had this statement:  “On behalf of Professor Klocek and Mauck & Baker, we express sincere appreciation for the hundreds of e-mails of support, prayers, and financial contributions.  We do not think justice was done in this case.  By faith we take consolation in realizing that justice was not done in the trials of John the Baptist, Yeshua, Stephen, or Paul yet God brought about extraordinary blessings from those legal “defeats.”  Dan Gruber, a strong supporter of Professor Klocek, particularly in his defense of Israel, has reflected from a biblical perspective on this battle.  His reflections can be found here.  Mr. Gruber is a renowned scholar on Israel and has authored several books including: The Separation of Church & Faith: Copernicus and The Jews, The Church and Jews: The Biblical Relationship, and Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah: The Origins of Rabbinic Authority.
Tom Ciesielka
TC Public Relations
312-422-1333 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              312-422-1333      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Elect Randy Hultgren at the St Charles Illinois Town Hall December 11, 2010

St Charles Mayor DeWitt said this was the first time ever a sitting Illinois US Senator paid a visit to St Charles. Kirk and Hultgren spent an hour and a half fielding questions from a standing room only crowd at the Norris center in St Charles. The video below is Kirk responding to a question from a Progressive Democrat on China, Trade, and losing American jobs. The two heads just in front of my camera belonged to Tea Party activists from Huntly. Interesting to hear their reactions to the question and Kirk's response.

More pics in a bit. Hultgren did a stellar job fielding a question from a young Hispanic Student from Glenbard West on the Dream Act.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Obama walks out of his own Presser and leavs Bill Clinton to take questions

Obama leaves about 10:57 because he's keeping Michelle waiting at the White House Christmas Party. It's pretty startling thing to see. This is the whole White House version of the press conference. Pretty foolish thing for Obama to have done. Makes him look awfully detached and weak on a key issue effecting our economy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Specialist Bowe Bergdahl: the Hostage President Obama should be concerned about instead of the GOP

Offensive to hear the Commander in Chief accuse fellow Americans of Hostage taking when the Taliban still hold an American GI: Specialist Bowe Bergdhal, hostage.

That's tone deaf to an extreme.

Arlene Jones: No city sticker - No run for mayor!

I've heard local MSM pundits mock this, but it's a big deal for City Residents to shell over for these stickers. If Rahm was a Chicago resident, he should have paid for one. Not to mention filing an Illinois tax return. Via Arlene's facebook,
Wait a second! Rahm claims HE IS A RESIDENT OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO. EVERY CHICAGO RESIDENT HAS TO BUY A CITY STICKER! THAT IS PLAIN BS about taking car to Washington and then buying a sticker when you returned. What about the JUNE 2009-2010 STICKER? Rahm is showing that he wants to only play by his own rules. No city sticker - No run for mayor!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Multi-talented felon testifies against Sarno -

Multi-talented felon testifies against Sarno -

A Cheerful hood,
In a cheerful, nasal voice, Knight described with a scholarly warmth his role in more than a dozen holdups and burglaries he committed with alleged members of Sarno's crew — often laughing as he recalled mishaps and sometimes mangling the pronunciation of the Italian surnames of his alleged co-conspirators.

Co-defendant Mark Hay, a serial burglar and prison pal of Knight's who also testified against Sarno, mentored him in robbing jewelry stores, Knight said. Alleged fence Mark Polchan, who is on trial with Sarno, taught him how to identify quality stones, he said.

When Knight was robbing a store, he would wear stage makeup, wigs and false beards. He smiled as he described how he once arrived at Polchan's Justice home after a holdup and Polchan remarked, "Wow, you really don't look like yourself."

Knight testified that another Sarno co-defendant, Samuel Volpendesto, took a keen interest in Knight's chemistry skills after watching Knight make his own fireworks at a July 4 party in 2002. Knight said Volpendesto quizzed him on making bombs, asking how to make a device that would blow out the windows on a building without damaging the structure.

Speaker Pelosi Censures Charlie Rangel

I like Rangel. But I like a lot of far less than perfect people. Rangel's a classic example of not knowing when it's time to move on.

Welcome to the National Veterans Art Museum

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Health Care Reform: Cutting Supply of Care to reduce Costs of Care?

An example of the weird way the Feds approach the high costs of care not be adding to supply, but by cutting supply.  Solving the problem of the scarcity of care, by making care more scare.  In this case the care is Durable Medical Equipment for seniors.
North Carolina’s leader in home medical equipment advocacy and education, NCAMES, is mobilizing its membership base to support efforts led by Rep. Sue Myrick (R - NC, 9th District) to have the Federal government address fatal flaws in a bidding program affecting thousands of seniors and patients in need beginning in January 2011. The bidding program decides which home medical equipment companies can service patients who use Medicare to pay for their equipment

Copies of a November 24 letter co-signed by Rep. Myrick and Rep. Bruce Braley (D - IA, 1st District) which was sent to Donald Berwick, M.D., Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), were distributed to hundreds of NCAMES member companies statewide. In the letter, Reps. Myrick and Braley press Dr. Berwick about a recent study revealing that more than 40 percent of the companies selected by CMS’ flawed bidding program to provide HME services are financially unstable and unable to provide necessary medical supplies.
“The bidding program managed by Dr. Berwick’s agency is killing small businesses across North Carolina and needlessly endangering thousands of home medical equipment patients,” Beth Bowen, NCAMES Executive Director, said.
According to Bowen, testimony at a Congressional Subcommittee hearing this past September was overwhelmingly against the CMS bidding program, with example after example given of its negative effects such as forcing home health care patients into institutional care. Bi-partisan support for halting the bidding program has been growing over the past few months, Bowen said, with elected officials like Rep. Myrick pushing CMS harder to address concerns.
For example, Rep. Myrick pointed-out in her letter that many contract winners chosen by CMS actually have credit limits of less than $10,000, are on credit hold, or are so far behind on their payments that their accounts have been turned over for collections or legal process.
The CMS bidding program, “has a poor track record” Myrick wrote, emphasizing that seniors will have difficulty obtaining the supplies and services they need, and “The new system could drive out quality suppliers who have reliably served seniors in the past.”
And here's Don "PJ" Berwick's response to Congress via Bid News Blog,
WASHINGTON — AAHomecare reports that in his first appearance at a Nov. 17 hearing on health reform before the Senate Finance Committee, CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D., singled out national competitive bidding program as an example of how the federal government can save money.

When Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, questioned him about projected savings under the Affordable Care Act, Berwick responded that the costs of DME had fallen 32 percent in “the trial” (Round 1) of the bid program, “returning something like $150 million I think back to beneficiaries in those nine trial areas.”

According to AAHomecare, “Berwick focused only on short-term savings attributable to the bidding program and not on the sharp reduction in patient choice and access to quality care that will result from the misguided program and the badly designed bidding system.”
Focused only on short-term savings. Next step is reduce demand-for-care to meet the reduced supply-of-care and Liberalism's getting pretty raw about how to reduce demand for care.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Paul Krugman's Conscience of a Liberal: Bring on the Death Panels.

Via Net Hentoff: Real Death Panels Are Coming Our Way
NEW YORK Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in economics and an influential New York Times columnist, also has a blog, "The Conscience of a Liberal." On ABC's "This Week" (Nov. 14), during a discussion on balancing the federal budget against alarming deficits, he proclaimed the way to solve this problem is through deeply cost-effective health care rationing.

"Some years down the pike," he said, "we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes." That would mean the U.S. Debt Reduction Commission "should have endorsed the panel that was part of the [Obama] health care reform."

Sarah Palin was one of the first, and the most resounding, to warn us of the coming of government panels to decide which of us -- especially, but not exclusively, toward the end of life -- would cost too much to survive.

She was mocked, scorned from sea to shining sea, including by the eminent Paul Krugman for being, he said, among those spreading "the death penalty lie" as part of "the lunatic fringe." (Summarized in "Krugman Wants 'Death Panels,'" Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Nov. 15.)

Soon after he had left the ABC studio, someone must have alerted Krugman that -- gee whiz -- he had publicly rooted for death panels!

Swiftly, on his blog, Krugman admitted he had indeed said those dreaded words, but:

"What I meant is that health care costs will have to be controlled, which will surely require having Medicare and Medicaid decide what they're willing to pay for -- not really death panels, of course, but consideration of medical effectiveness and, at some point, how much we're willing to spend for extreme care."

"Extreme care," Professor Krugman? To be defined by government commissions, right?
Extreme Care... Liberalism as we've known it spent. That's the Death Panel at work now. The idea and conscience have gone bankrupt and no extreme care's going to revive the ideological corpse.