Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Re: Talking Points defined

Oh this one is a keeper!  Thanks for sharing this Mark!  I will add this to  (As Michael calls it) my  "Stupid/Fallacy"  pictures file!
 
<Grin>!
 


On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM, THE ANNOINTED ONE <markmkahle@gmail.com> wrote:

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Talking Points defined


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South Carolina House passes bill making ‘Obamacare’ implementation a crime


Kevin Gutzman via David Kramer:
This minute, students in my WCSU "American Constitutional History" course are assigned to read Calhoun's "Exposition and Protest*" Funny coincidence.

* http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=683&chapter=107117&layout=html&Itemid=27
xxx

South Carolina House passes bill making 'Obamacare' implementation a crime
By Jessica Chasmar
The Washington Times
Thursday, May 2, 2013

The South Carolina state House passed a bill Wednesday that declares President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be "null and void," and criminalizes its implementation.

The state's Freedom of Health Care Protection Act intends to "prohibit certain individuals from enforcing or attempting to enforce such unconstitutional laws; and to establish criminal penalties and civil liability for violating this article."

The measure permits the state Attorney General, with reasonable cause, "to restrain by temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction" any person who is believed to be causing harm to any person or business with the implementation of Obamacare.

Earlier this year in her state of the state address, Gov. Nikki Haley said that South Carolina does not want and cannot afford the president's plan, "not now, not ever."

"To that end, we will not pursue the type of government-run health exchanges being forced on us by Washington," she said. "Despite the rose-colored rhetoric coming out of D.C., these exchanges are nothing more than a way to make the state do the federal government's bidding in spending massive amounts of taxpayer dollars on insurance subsidies that we can't afford."

The nullification bill moved on to the state Senate Thursday and referred to the Committee on Finance. As of Oct. 2, the bill is still residing in the Senate.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/2/south-carolina-house-passes-bill-making-obamacare-/#.UlU8zoO-j5c.facebook

Re: Our First African American President

Now that is indeed apt !!

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013 2:09:21 PM UTC-6, Travis wrote:






Our First African American President

October 9, 2013 By Frontpagemag.com

 

Print This PostPrint This Post

of

Attribution for photo and quote: Click here.

 



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Fwd: High Noon: Obama & The Senate Must, And Will, Surrender To The Heartland




http://clashdaily.com/2013/10/high-noon-obama-senate-must-will-surrender-heartland/

 

High Noon: Obama & The Senate Must, And Will, Surrender To The Heartland

By Donald Joy / 9 October 2013

The pressure is on, the stakes are extremely high, and the clock is ticking towards the hour of reckoning. With the nation's borrowing limit about to be reached only ten days from now, the country and the financial markets are starting to freak out about the week-long deadlock over funding the federal government.

Very soon, the Tea Party and Main Street U.S.A. will prevail over Hyde Park/Haight-Ashbury socialism in this standoff over paying for Obamacare and for federal operations. Obama and his allies will blink.

First of all, our cause is just. Obamacare is not even a legitimate piece of legislation–explained further below–and we have most of the country on our side. The majority of Americans simply don't want the 3,000-page nightmare of job-killing, checkbook-busting, bureaucratic central planning and control-freak tyranny that is Obamacare. And more and more people are waking up to the fact that their personal, private medical decisions will be handed over to faceless, big-government thugs at distant desks if the ill-conceived law is allowed to be implemented. Even Sarah Palin's predictions about "death panels" were accurate.

Key republican leaders have repeatedly shown that they are acting in good faith by coming to the negotiating table with compromises (delaying key aspects of Obamacare instead of outright defunding it) and offers of reasonable modifications to their positions, only to be met with obstinate, bad-faith refusal to meet halfway on the part of democrats and Obama.

Obamacare was never a legitimate bill to begin with: The Supreme Court having ruled that the heart of it is actually a tax, and the Constitution decrees that all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives–Obamacare originated in the Senate. Far from receiving bi-partisan support, it was rammed down the throats of Americans as a purely partisan democrat project. In its final form, not one single republican in the House of Representatives or Senate voted for it. That is not how honest, representative government is conducted.

Further evidencing the treachery that saw Obamacare forced through without the consent of those governed, one of the key senate votes to dishonestly foist it on us all came from a person who blatantly cheated his way into a U.S. senate seat in 2008–Al Franken in Minnesota.

In an article published in The Washington Examiner on August 6th, 2012, Byron York reported that 1,099 felons voted in that race for the Minnesota senate seat which, in the final analysis, was decided by only 312 ballots. At the time of York's article, 177 people had been convicted of election fraud in that race alone, with another 66 people awaiting trial! York's findings in his 2012 article are nowhere to be found mentioned in the Wikipedia entry for that controversial senate election, which treats the entire matter as if it were concluded in 2010, with scant and dismissive mention of the election fraud matter, which in 2010 was far from being fully investigated and prosecuted.Without Franken's vote, Obamacare would have been thwarted in the Senate back in 2010. Franken's erstwhile opponent in the senate race, Norm Coleman, would have supplied the needed additional republican vote to kill it dead, if he had been recognized as the legitimate winner of the election that he was in 2008. Some may recall that after the polls closed and the initial ballot results were announced in that race, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes. That was before democrat operatives started finding boxes of uncounted ballots in the trunks of their cars, all of them somehow for Franken. Surprise, surprise. Such is how democrats push their left-wing programs forward.And that is also why the sleazoid democrat ideologues (and RINOs in the Senate) will eventually face their reckoning. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I still believe that there is a spiritual trump card called Justice, and that those in congress who mainly represent the millions and millions of Americans in "flyover country" do hold that card.Speaker of the House John Boehner has been convinced to join and lead the good fight, as championed by the incomparably superb and brilliant Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Reasonable people are realizing that the staunch GOP hardcore opponents of Obamacare are working tirelessly on behalf of the best interests of all Americans.

Time is running out. With Godspeed and good faith, I trust that we will soon gain the begrudging acquiescence of democrats and their petulant leader, a man who has relied on underhanded Chicago-style tactics his entire political career. It's time to call his hand. He has no choice but to come to the table and bargain, because neither right nor the people are on his side.


Read more at http://clashdaily.com/2013/10/high-noon-obama-senate-must-will-surrender-heartland/#tDRb1w5MObC4Kr7H.99



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Fwd: Debt Limit, Huh: Unfunded Liabilities Dwarf $16.7 Trillion 'Ceiling'







Debt Limit, Huh: Unfunded Liabilities Dwarf $16.7 Trillion 'Ceiling'

Posted By Myra Adams On October 9, 2013

President Obama and the Treasury Department are demanding that Congress raise [1] the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling so that the government can continue borrowing in order to pay its current obligations before the October 17 deadline. However, and known to far too few citizens, $16.7 trillion is a fraction of the total national debt [2] owed by our government. Missing from the discussion about raising the limit on the government's credit card are trillions in unfunded liabilities [3] that the United States of America simply will not ever be able to pay.

What exactly are unfunded liabilities? They are payments the government knows it owes in the future, including the future costs of Medicare, Social Security, and the prescription drugs of Medicare Part D. You can follow the unfunded liabilities tab on the U.S. Debt Clock [4] website — right now, this site estimates our unfunded liabilities to be $125.7 trillion. In 2017, if current trends continue, the site's "Debt Clock Time Machine" estimates unfunded liabilities will reach $153 trillion.

Amazing as it seems (and no private firm would ever contemplate such deceitful accounting), these trillions in unfunded liabilities are not itemized on the current U.S. Treasury balance sheet. However, due to a demographic bulge comprising 28% [5]of the total U.S. population now reaching retirement, these mounting "unfunded" obligations can no longer be ignored. The first crop of post-war children from 1946 began turning 65 in 2011 at the rate of 10,000 [6] a day. This pace will continue until 2029, when the last group of boomers born in 1964 turn 65.

Our government will struggle to generate enough tax revenue to pay for what is owed and promised, but 76 million rapidly aging baby boomers overwhelm the number of younger workers paying into the system. Eventually, between the interest on the debt and the benefit payments themselves, there will be no money left in the federal budget for anything else.

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wrote in its 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook report [7] released on September 17:

Choices For The Future

The unsustainable nature of the federal government's current tax and spending policies presents lawmakers and the public with difficult choices. Unless substantial changes are made to the major health care programs and Social Security, those programs will absorb a much larger share of the economy's total output in the future than they have in the past.

Yet the phrase "unsustainable nature" isn't heard often from our current administration and media. This climate could lead to our national "demise" because Medicare, Medicare Part D, and Social Security are not going to change. Whenever there is talk of reforming these programs, a national outcry follows.

But $222 trillion in debt [2] can't simply be worked around. Will our commentariat and government officials ever discuss our current federal budget in terms of unfunded liabilities? Fear of being honest with the American people, especially baby boomers who have paid into these programs for decades, may be the concern. Or perhaps they simply think there will somehow be enough money to make good on the benefits promised.

Millions of Americans born in the 1930s and early 1940s are also living longer than expected. For example, my father-in-law, born in 1922, at age 91 is still receiving a hefty monthly pension from that "secret" government agency he retired from in the 1970s.

America simply must begin discussing our financial outlook in terms of our cataclysmic unfunded liabilities. Perhaps if the truth were out, it would supply the political motivation needed to inflict radical change upon these nation-destroying benefit programs. During the next few weeks, as you hear politicking about raising the debt ceiling from $16.7 trillion to about $20 trillion, be aware that you are hearing only of "government-style" accounting, covering only a small fraction of the national debt.


Article printed from PJ Media: http://pjmedia.com

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/debt-limit-huh-unfunded-liabilities-dwarf-16-7-trillion-ceiling/

URLs in this post:

[1] demanding that Congress raise: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/17/us-usa-debt-idUSBRE98G0KD20130917

[2] total national debt: http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2012/12/01/economist_laurence_kotlikoff_us_222_trillion_in_debt_363.html

[3] unfunded liabilities: http://www.redstate.com/2013/02/20/why-are-we-not-talking-about-americas-123-trillion-in-unfunded-liabilities/

[4] U.S. Debt Clock: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

[5] 28% : http://www.bbhq.com/bomrstat.htm

[6] 10,000: http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/baby-boomers-retire/

[7] 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook report: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44521

 



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Fwd: Gun Control That Makes Sense





Finally Gun Control That Makes Sense

 

In 1863 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States who later died from the wound.

In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.

In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan,  President of the United States.

In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

In 1986 Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.

In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby's cafeteria.

In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.

In 1999 Larry Asbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.

In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.

In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung - Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech.

In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.

In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school.

As recently as Sept 2013, an angry Democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard.

One could go on, but you get the point, even if the media does not.  Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.

----------------------------------------------------------

Not one NRA member, Tea Party member or Republican conservative was involved in these shootings and murders.

SOLUTION:  It should be illegal for Democrats to own guns.


 



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Fwd: Our First African American President







Our First African American President

October 9, 2013 By Frontpagemag.com

 

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Attribution for photo and quote: Click here.

 



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Fwd: [New post] GO UNDERCOVER! Get a job with CAIR-Chicago





BareNakedIslam posted: "You could get rich writing a book as the authors of 'Muslim Mafia' did when they went undercover at CAIR. SEEKING FULL-TIME OFFICE COORDINATOR  Join the CAIR-Chicago team. Apply today!    CAIR-Chicago is now seeking a full-time Office Coordinator "

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

GO UNDERCOVER! Get a job with CAIR-Chicago

by BareNakedIslam

You could get rich writing a book as the authors of 'Muslim Mafia' did when they went undercover at CAIR. SEEKING FULL-TIME OFFICE COORDINATOR  Join the CAIR-Chicago team. Apply today!    CAIR-Chicago is now seeking a full-time Office Coordinator to join our team who will be responsible for meeting the administrative needs of CAIR-Chicago.  Submit […]

Read more of this post

BareNakedIslam | October 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-Yw5

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Fwd: Civilization Jihad Is the New Threat Posed by Muslim Brotherhood Inside America, Terrorism Experts Say







Civilization Jihad Is the New Threat Posed by Muslim Brotherhood Inside America, Terrorism Experts Say

Oct. 9, 2013 11:22am Sara Carter



Last year, TheBlaze TV's documentary team released the two-part miniseries The Project, exposing the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States post-9/11, and how it has successfully infiltrated key positions within the U.S. government and law enforcement.

Pro-Egyptian military supporters gather in front of the White House Aug. 22, 2013. The supporters denounced the Muslim Brotherhood while giving support to General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

In Wednesday's episode of  TheBlaze TV's investigative news magazine show For The Record, "Civilization Jihad," (8:30 p.m. ET), viewers will get an update on how the Muslim Brotherhood has been able to extend its reach from deep within the U.S. out to American foreign policy and decision-making overseas.

The episode reveals how the Muslim Brotherhood, which some say is taking control of the rebel forces in Syria and continues to wage battle for control of Egypt, has been allowed to operate freely in the United States despite its threat to national security.

It does so by using one of its most powerful weapons: civilization jihad.

"The Muslim Brotherhood in America and really around the world are like termites."

Share:

Erick Stakelbeck, a terrorism expert and author of the book "The Brotherhood: America's Next Great Enemy," compared the Muslim Brotherhood's strategy to that of "termites."

"The Muslim Brotherhood's own strategic documents reveal that Western authorities have uncovered time and time again (that the Muslim Brotherhood) talked about getting key positions in law enforcement, in the government– in the F.B.I., C.I.A., local police, state police," Stakelbeck said. "The Muslim Brotherhood in America and really around the world are like termites. They burrow into a host society. They eat away at it until the day comes where they are ready to make their move."

A prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood who had access to the White House during the Clinton years was Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, who in 1996 was charged for the very first time in the U.S. to create a Muslim chaplaincy Corps in the military and federal prisons.

Al-Moudi pleaded guilty in 2004 on financial and conspiracy charges for being a senior financier for Al Qaeda. He is serving a 23-year prison sentence.

The American businessman from Yemen also founded the American Muslim Council and was a consultant for years for the Pentagon, according to Michael Del Rosso, a national security expert for the Department of Defense and a designer of national security intelligence programs for the Pentagon.

John Guandolo, a former FBI Counter Terrorism agent, said Alamoudi's conviction and the fact that he was "identified by the government as being a financier for Al Qaeda, a very senior financier I might add," according to the U.S. government, U.S. Treasury Department– and the Department of Justice "should smack every American in the face like a two by four, that the level of gross ignorance and incompetency at that level."

It hasn't ended with al-Moudi. In fact, it's only become worse, say terror experts and analysts.

Another individual who has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States is Mohammed Majid, the president of the Islamic Society of North America, known as ISNA.

"What makes Majid so dangerous is his access, his access to the White House, to the halls of power," Stakelbeck said.

In August this year, President Barack Obama addressed the ISNA at its 50th annual convention by video message.

"Over the last half-century, you've upheld the proud legacy of American-Muslims' contributions to our national fabric and this gathering is a testament to that tradition," Obama told the ISNA crowd.

In 2007, federal prosecutors named ISNA an un-indicted co-conspirator in the terrorism-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The Holy Land Foundation was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood within ISNA and the U.S.government identified ISNA as part of a U.S. branch. The decision was upheld in 2009 because the group had "ample" evidence linking them to Hamas, another known terrorist entity fighting Israel and U.S. interests.

Majid advises Obama on Muslim related issues and counter terrorism and has met with him, Stakelbeck said.

"There were instances in which the (former) attorney general of the United States was canceling meetings — because Mohammed Majid was going to be present in the room," said Patrick Poole, terrorism and national security expert with the Center for Security Policy, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "So you've gone from just … six, seven years ago, where he was persona non grata to being probably the top adviser on Islamic and Muslim Middle East affairs issues for the Obama administration."

Guandolo, formerly with the FBI, told TheBlaze that it's going to be up to the American people to ensure that their representatives and those they appoint aren't opening the door for people working against U.S. interests.

"The American people need to take a hard look, both sides of the political aisle– at who these leaders are," Guandolo said.

He warned that the government is "providing a lot of wiggle room and, more than wiggle room, a lot of free room for these jihadis to move in the United States."


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/09/civilization-jihad-is-the-new-threat-posed-by-muslim-brotherhood-inside-america-terrorism-experts-say/

 

 



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Fwd: Women Kill More Creatively Than Men




10/09/2013 10:35 AM

Forensic Psychiatrist

Women Kill More Creatively Than Men

An Interview by Rainer Leurs

Women rarely commit murder, but forensic psychiatrist Sigrun Rossmanith has treated many female killers. She tells SPIEGEL ONLINE that women's dark side is underestimated.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Frau Rossmanith, in your book you pose the question of whether women make better murderers than men. Is that the case?

Rossmanith: They are certainly more creative than men. More inventive. Take the revenge incident that I describe in the book: An unfaithful wife from Asia passionately kisses her partner -- and in doing so slips a cyanide capsule into his mouth, which he is forced to swallow. She combines an act of love with the murder. Would a man come up with such an idea?

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Hard to say. Are women perhaps more creative with murder because they lack the physical strength for more heavy-handed violence?

Rossmanith: Naturally, they must compensate for a lack of physical strength. Often they render their victims defenseless in order to actually carry out the act. A frequently used tool is incidentally the knife, a distinctly European trait compared with the United States, where firearms are predominantly used. Naturally, one must also say that women rather rarely become killers. Men kill something like ten times more frequently than women.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is it true that when women kill, it's almost always friends or relatives?

Rossmanith: That's correct -- they're mostly about relationships. Women rarely kill strangers. Most conflicts arise in one's own four walls, and they can escalate. It often happens that victims, in a reversal of roles, become perpetrators.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Are you referring to women who beat their abusive husbands to death with a frying pan in bed?

Rossmanith: Exactly. Some of them have suffered a years of martyrdom. At some point they just unload all of their rage and pent-up tension; sometimes it's triggered by a banal incident. Most women murderers are first-time offenders.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You write in your introduction: "No one is immune to committing acts of insanity, including me." Why do you believe this?

Rossmanith: I believe that every person has a certain threshold. If that is overstepped, things can happen that one never would have imagined.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You call this the "dark corner of the soul," and "the dark side of a woman." Are you referring to evil?

Rossmanith: Well, evil feeds off it. This shadow is the unloved, the negative side of one's personality, with all the characterstics that aren't socially acceptable.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: But these shadow sides are not just a female feature. They also exist in men.

Rossmanith: Of course! But one already assumes that men have the potential to be violent, brutal and egocentric. They don't have to cover up that side of themselves. But we women are supposed to act as if it doesn't exist in us. The specific female problem is how to deal with this dark side. If it's always suppressed and never acknowledged, you can be overwhelmed by this dark force in drastic moments.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Have you ever been able to detect your own potential to become a killer?

Rossmanith: In my youth I went through a difficult mother-daughter relationship. I could have become guilty of more serious acts of violence. I describe one such case in my book: A daughter is growing up with a mother who is very protective of her child. She uses brute force to try to impose her will. The macabre thing is that each year, the girl is forced to buy a new rod at the market with which she is beaten throughout that year. She found this abuse deeply humiliating …

SPIEGEL ONLINE: … and eventually turns to violence against the mother?

Rossmanith: When the girl reaches puberty, she's no longer prepared to tolerate the beatings. She clutches the mother's neck, squeezes it and doesn't let go until her victim turns blue and sinks to the floor. This is the classic situation in which the relationship between victim and perpetrator is reversed.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Such incidents within a family are often particularly shocking. At the beginning of your book your report about a mother, sound of mind, who throws both of her small children out of the fourth floor of a building.

Rossmanith: That was a "War of the Roses," a fight over child custody. This woman did not want to be separated from her children under any circumstances. She followed the motto of "all or nothing." She preferred the children to be dead over having her husband be assigned custody. For this woman, that was unthinkable.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the end, you had to explain to the woman what she herself had done, because she had forgotten all memories of the act she had committed. Are such mental blackouts a female phenomenon?

Rossmanith: I wouldn't say that. I believe that is human. Because the act is irreconcilable with one's conscience, and because one has to live with it. The sentence "That wasn't me. I couldn't have done that!" is one I keep hearing from killers. One deals with it by being a stranger to oneself, so to speak. As if an alien part of one's self committed the crime.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In public there is actually very little talk about female murderers. You write that feminism is the reason for this. Could a male author have allowed himself to say that?

Rossmanith: I think I could only allow myself to write that because I'm a woman. But you know, I am a fan of feminism: It has achieved a lot. It only troubled me that women are always being depicted as more amiable and less prone to violence. In my experience that is simply not the case. In my life, I have often witnessed how incredibly hard women can be. How scheming they can be with each other. I am personally more afraid of the vengeance of women than that of men.

URL:

·         http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/forensic-psychiatrist-women-kill-more-creatively-than-men-a-926644.html

 



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Fwd: [New post] Study finds Americans really are more stupid than the average human




Dr. Eowyn posted: "For some time now and especially the last couple of days, FOTM has sounded the alarm on the abysmal ignorance and stupidity of Americans. See: "Frightening: There are Americans who don't know Obama is a Democrat," Oct. 7, 2013. "America's future: Co"
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New post on Fellowship of the Minds

Study finds Americans really are more stupid than the average human

by Dr. Eowyn

For some time now and especially the last couple of days, FOTM has sounded the alarm on the abysmal ignorance and stupidity of Americans. See:

Now there's a study showing American adults are dumber than the international average.

~Eowyn

Dumb_And_DumberThe Associated Press reports, Oct. 8, 2013, that although it's long been known that America's school kids haven't measured well compared with international peers, a new study shows that American adults don't either.

In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday.

 

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a salesman, sorting email and comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags.

Not only did Americans score poorly compared to many international competitors, the findings reinforced just how large the gap is between the nation's high- and low-skilled workers and how hard it is to move ahead when your parents haven't.

In both reading and math, for example, those with college-educated parents did better than those whose parents did not complete high school.

 

The study, called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, found that it was easier on average to overcome this and other barriers to literacy overseas than in the United States. Respondents in the study were selected as part of a nationally represented sample.

 

Researchers tested about 166,000 people ages 16 to 65 in more than 20 countries and subnational regions. The test was developed and released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of mostly industrialized member countries. The Education Department's Center for Education Statistics participated. (Note: The website of CES is closed due to the supposed government shutdown, but not the website of Michelle Obama's pet project, Let's Move.)

 

The findings were equally grim for many European countries – Italy and Spain, among the hardest hit by the recession and debt crisis, ranked at the bottom across generations. Unemployment is well over 25% in Spain and over 12% in Italy. Spain has drastically cut education spending, drawing student street protests.

But in the northern European countries that have fared better, the picture was brighter – and the study credits continuing education. In Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, more than 60% of adults took part in either job training or continuing education. In Italy, by contrast, the rate was half that.

As the American economy sputters along and many people live paycheck-to-paycheck, economists say a highly-skilled workforce is key to economic recovery. The median hourly wage of workers scoring on the highest level in literacy on the test is more than 60% higher than for workers scoring at the lowest level, and those with low literacy skills were more than twice as likely to be unemployed.

 

"It's not just the kids who require more and more preparation to get access to the economy, it's more and more the adults don't have the skills to stay in it," said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Students leaving high school without certain basic skills aren't obtaining them later on the job or in an education program. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement America needs to find ways to reach more adults to upgrade their skills. Otherwise, he said, "no matter how hard they work, these adults will be stuck, unable to support their families and contribute fully to our country."

 

Among the other findings:

  • Japan, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Flanders-Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Korea all scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test.

 

  • The average scores in literacy range from 250 in Italy to 296 in Japan. The US average score was 270. (500 was the highest score in all three areas.) Average scores in 12 countries were higher than the average US score.

 

  • The average scores in math range from 246 in Spain to 288 in Japan. The US average score was 253, below 18 other countries.

 

  • The average scores on problem solving in technology-rich environments ranged from 275 in Poland to 294 in Japan. The US average score was 277, below 14 other countries. The top five scores in the areas were from Japan, Finland, Australia, Sweden and Norway, while the US score was on par with England, Estonia, Ireland and Poland. In nearly all countries, at least 10% of adults lacked the most basic of computer skills such as using a mouse.
  • Japanese and Dutch adults who were ages 25 to 34 and only completed high school easily outperformed Italian or Spanish university graduates of the same age.

 

  • In England, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United States, social background has a big impact on literacy skills, meaning the children of parents with low levels of education have lower reading skills.

 

  • America's school kids have historically scored low on international assessment tests compared to other countries, which is often blamed on the diversity of the population and the high number of immigrants. Also, achievement tests have long shown that a large chunk of the US student population lacks basic reading and math skills – most pronounced among low-income and minority students.

 

 

The United States will have a tough time catching up because money at the state and local level, a major source of education funding, has been slashed in recent years, said Jacob Kirkegaard, an economist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "There is a race between man and machine here. The question here is always: Are you a worker for whom technology makes it possible to do a better job or are you a worker that the technology can replace?"  For those without the most basic skills, the answer will be merciless and has the potential to extend into future generations. Learning is highly correlated with parents' education level. "If you want to avoid having an underclass – a large group of people who are basically unemployable – this educational system is absolutely key," Kirkegaard said.

 

Dolores Perin, professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, said the report provides a "good basis for an argument there should be more resources to support adults with low literacy." Adults can learn new skills at any age and there are adult-geared programs around the country. But the challenge is ensuring the programs have quality teaching and that adults regularly attend classes. "If you find reading and writing hard, you've been working hard all day at two jobs, you've got a young child, are you actually going to go to class? It's challenging," Perin said.

 

Some economists say that large skills gap in the United States could matter even more in the future. America's economic competitors like China and India are simply larger than competitors of the past like Japan.

 

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