The National Education Association (NEA) held its most recent convention in Chicago in July 2011. While they expressed some dissatisfaction with President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, they decided to endorse the President for a second term as the lesser of the two evils. Nevertheless, the delegates did not hesitate to approve of a resolution directing the NEA’s president to “communicate aggressively, forcefully, and immediately” to President Obama and Secretary Duncan that the NEA was appalled with Duncan. According to Phyllis Schlafly’s Education Reporter: “The resolution went on to lay out 13 charges against Duncan, including focusing too heavily on charter schools, failing to respect and honor the professionalism of teachers, weighing in on local hiring decisions, and focusing too heavily on competitive grants (i.e. Race to the Top).” The resolution was endorsed by the union’s board of directors, which gave it its highest priority. The union has been screaming bloody murder over the lay-off of teachers and support staff due to budget cuts. But even the NEA has had to trim its own budget by $14 million by downsizing its national staff.
One of the things that has struck me, when I have gone on luxury cruise ships, is that most of the passengers look like they are older than the captain — and luxury cruise ships don't have juveniles as captains.  The reason for the elderly clientele is fairly simple: Most people don't reach the point when they can afford to travel on luxury cruise ships until they have worked their way up the income ladder over a long period of years. The relationship between age and income is not hard to understand. It usually takes years to acquire the skills and experience that high-paying jobs require, or to build up a clientele for those in business or the professions. But those in the media and in politics who are currently up in arms, denouncing income inequalities, seldom mention age as a factor in those inequalities. The shrill rhetoric about differences in income proceeds as if they are talking about income inequalities between different classes of people. It would be hard to get the public all worked up over the fact that young people just starting out in their careers are not making nearly as much money as their parents or grandparents make.
“I think that the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government — they need to be run out of this country,” declared Patricia McAllister from the speaker’s platform at Occupy Los Angeles.  It’s a timeworn message, the myth of the almighty Jews behind the curtain, pulling the strings to exploit humanity and drain economies.  
In an apparent effort to raise ratings on his obscure nightly TBS talk show, displaced comedian Conan O’Brien officiated November 4 at a same-sex wedding ceremony between O’Brien’s costume designer, Scott Cronick, and Cronick’s homosexual partner David Gorshein. The “wedding,” which was televised live at the end of a week of shows taped in New York City, had family members of both men crowded onstage to witness the supposedly Jewish-style ceremony. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, which covered the story as serious news, Gorshein waited underneath a traditional Jewish chuppah, while “Cronick walked down the aisle accompanied by his favorite celebrity, Andy Cohen of Bravo.” After the pair exchanged vows of sorts, Conan declared officially (and to laughs from the studio audience), “By the power invested in me by the state of New York and the Universal Life Church, I now pronounce you husband and husband. You can kiss the groom.” The quasi-comedy episode was topped of by the couple riding off-stage atop a buffalo, escorted by a Ted Turner look-alike — in a nod to the network creator’s current business enterprise.
Pro-life counselors on location at a Milwaukee area abortion clinic said they witnessed as a young girl was forced by a guardian and a clinic employee into the facility after the girl asked the counselors for help. As reported by LifeSite News, sidewalk counselor Tobey Neuberger “said the incident occurred just before 10 a.m. outside Affiliated Medical Services [located at 1428 N. Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee], where she and two other female pro-life counselors gave a ‘very young’ African-American girl literature as she entered the clinic, and told her that she could get more information at a pro-life center across the street.”  
The radical Left in Congress is pressing Secretaries of State across the nation to oppose state changes to election laws that require voters to prove they are who they claim to be and are eligible to cast a ballot.  Nearly 200 Democrats, led by Maryland leftist Rep. Steny Hoyer, the Democrat Whip, signed a letter that went to Secretaries across the country.  States that pass photo-identification and other laws, Hoyer disingenuously argues, are “suppressing” votes and undermining “democracy,” at least as he and some of the most radical Congressmen define “democracy.”  
Nate Silver’s article in the New York Times on President Obama’s reelection chances looked carefully at three major influences that could determine the outcome in November of 2012 and concluded that the President is a slight underdog: “It is early, and almost no matter what, the election will be a losable one for the Republicans. But Obama’s position is tenuous enough that it might not be a winnable one for him.” A skilled forecaster, Silver looked at three major factors that he thinks will influence the election: approval ratings, the economy, and the President’s opponent’s ideology. At the moment the President’s negative approval ratings across the spectrum of pollsters doesn’t concern him, and he thinks that even if the economy dips further as many are increasingly predicting, the electorate is suffering from bad news “fatigue,” and more bad news won’t really count for much. When it gets to ideology, however, it is clear that if the President’s opponent can make a strong case against him, then the election is over and the President will lose. 
The inherent political and economic instability of our present time has been the subject of many books, some of which are marketed as fiction, while others are presented as nonfiction. As is often the case in times of civilizational crisis, the authors of fiction may actually have a more realistic understanding of the actual "facts on the ground" — and the substantial causes of a civilization’s woes — than is presented by the self-described political elite in their purportedly factual writings. Thus, for example, historians may wear themselves out debating the historical accuracy of speeches recorded by Herodotus or Thucydides — what actually matters the most, to the modern reader, is that such speeches present him with an opportunity to reflect upon the Permanent Things.  
A bipartisan coalition in Congress is going after a European Union scheme to impose carbon taxes on Americans flying to and from Europe, overwhelmingly approving a bill to stop the “illegal” tax. The EU’s CO2 regime is so unpopular that governments around the world and even the United Nations have also asked the bloc to back down. The European carbon plan would force all airlines flying to or from Europe — regardless of where they took off or their destination — to participate in the EU’s “Emissions Trading System.” Due to begin in January of next year, the scheme means each flight would have to acquire so-called “carbon credits” to offset the CO2 released during flight.  
Economist Gary Shilling’s claim that the U.S. economy is on the edge of deflation defies the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent announcement that inflation is high and increasing. The one form of deflation that the Federal Reserve is most concerned about, according to Shilling, is that the general price level will experience sharp declines which will turn into a self-perpetuating downward spiral as buyers delay making purchases in the hopes of paying even lower prices in the future. But there are six other forms of deflation, and five of them “are already in place in the United States,” say Shilling.  
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