On Tuesday, the European Commission for Competition reported that it will initiate an investigation into Apple, Inc. for alleged anti-competitive practices regarding the Cupertino, California, company’s negotiations with book publishers. Such an inquiry is authorized by Article 11(6) of the EU’s Anti-trust Regulation. That measure reads in relevant part:
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column titled "Free to Die" (9/15/2011), pointed out that back in 1980, his late fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman lent his voice to the nation's shift to the political right in his famous 10-part TV series, "Free To Choose." Nowadays, Krugman says, "'free to choose' has become 'free to die.'" He was referring to a GOP presidential debate in which Rep. Ron Paul was asked what should be done if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Paul correctly, but politically incorrectly, replied, "That's what freedom is all about — taking your own risks." CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer pressed his question further, asking whether "society should just let him die." The crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of "Yeah!", which led Krugman to conclude that "American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions." Professor Krugman is absolutely right; our nation is faced with a conflict of moral visions. Let's look at it. If a person without health insurance finds himself in need of costly medical care, let's investigate just how might that care be provided.
The City of New York Department of Education allows different sorts of groups to use school facilities for after-school activities. But is God allowed in any of those activities? Is God allowed at all on the campuses of New York City schools? The Bronx Household of Faith outgrew its meeting places in private homes. It applied, in 1994, for the right to meet in Public School 15 in the Bronx for Sunday services. This started a long legal battle with the city, which just ended when the Supreme Court declined to review lower court decisions that had upheld the city of New York’s ban on the evangelical congregation using the school. Ten years ago, it seemed the organization would win its fight. In a case in the Medford, New York School System, the Good News Club had won the right to use space in public school for after-hours activities even though prayer, Bible lessons, and scripture reading were included in those activities. The Bronx Household of Faith could also take some heart from the fact that it was not the only religious organization that had been using school facilities. An estimated 60 churches in 2009 were using school facilities, and that number was growing. The city estimates that in the last school year 160 congregations used schools to meet. This is not free:
Donald Trump told Bret Baier on Fox News’ "Special Report” last Friday that he might still run for President this election cycle. "If I endorse somebody, I’m with that person," he said. "But if somebody else gets in who I think is somebody that I don’t think is appropriate for the job, [who] I don’t think would [do] well and would maybe not be a good president, and if the economy continues to be bad, I would run as an independent, yes."
Much of the alarmism about alleged climate change is predicated on computer models purporting to demonstrate that global surface temperatures are rising at an alarming rate and are certain to cause all manner of disaster, from droughts and frigid winters to floods and scorching summers. But how reliable are these models and their forecasts? Not very, says the BBC’s environment correspondent, Richard Black. He maintains that the models currently in use offer wildly divergent forecasts of Earth’s climatic future, particularly when it comes to “precise indications of what the future holds for your farm, your street, your village” — so much so that, regardless of one’s climate-change persuasion, he can find data to support his position.
Conservative radio talk-show host Glenn Beck eviscerated presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's phony conservative credentials in a December 6 interview, forcing a flagrant Gingrich flip-flop on subsidies and revealing Gingrich's support of an individual healthcare mandate, limits on carbon emissions, and ties to Freddie Mac during the housing bubble.. Beck led off the tough-but-cordial interview with a clip of Gingrich claiming that the federal government's regulation of healthcare was acceptable. "I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican," Gingrich said in the footage, "on health, where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lead and that regulatory leading is okay." Beck responded in a civil but firm tone that "Regulation and the government scares the crap out of me, and I think most Tea Party kind of leaning conservatives. And Theodore Roosevelt was the guy who started the Progressive Party. " It only went downhill from there for Gingrich, who came out for federal healthcare and OSHA-style regulations. Gingrich had tacked on the following conservative, market-oriented sound-byte to the end of his on-air reply justifying why federal intervention in healthcare is necessary: "I’m against government trying to pick winners and losers."
In the ongoing effort by concerned parents and disillusioned educators to find ways of improving education for today’s youngsters, there’s a new kid on the block. And, from all appearances, one that is already making a mark on the learning landscape. FreedomProjectEducation (FPE), based in Appleton, Wisconsin, opened its online doors to high-school students for the first time in September. Your reporter (despite being considered an adult in some circles) decided to take advantage of the program’s offerings and further her knowledge base. So I enrolled in an FPE class. American Opinion Foundation established FPE to provide an education in the classical tradition of America’s Founders, according to the institution’s website. The heritage of classical education is one almost non-existent in America today, but one I believe to be superior. It is certainly what appealed to me in the first place. Course offerings include Latin, Logic, English Grammar and Composition, Spelling and Vocabulary, and one of my favorites, the Bible as Culture. The courses in English and Literature require students to have a thorough comprehension of works ranging from Shakespeare to C.S. Lewis, and are designed to strengthen writing skills as well. And listen to this description of the 11th grade Chemistry course: “Taught from the perspective that modern chemistry is the direct result of natural laws instituted by the Creator God, the course covers significant figures in chemistry, units, classification, the mole concept, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, acids and bases, solutions, atomic structure and more.” Not only is it demanding and interesting, but is designed in keeping with FPE’s mission to honor and promote America’s Judeo-Christian foundation.
Is the political career of New York City Comptroller John Liu, until recently considered a rising superstar, headed for the dumpster? Knowledgeable political observers inside the city’s Chinatown say that Liu’s support from the Chinese-American and Asian-American communities has plummeted in the wake of his multiple recent scandals and that he is unlikely to recover. The New American reported in October (“Communist Ties and Donor Scandal Dog John Liu's NYC Mayoral Bid”) on Liu’s mounting troubles, which have since continued to multiply. Liu’s latest blow came on December 5, when the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), which carries considerable clout and prestige in Chinatown, cancelled Liu’s fundraising gala at the organization’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan, reportedly due to concerns that the event could jeopardize the organization’s tax-exempt status and embroil it in Liu’s burgeoning fundraising problems. Those problems include the indictment and arrest last month of a major Liu fundraiser, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, in an FBI sting, for allegedly soliciting illegal funds from a businessman to be funneled through several “straw donors,” in order to avoid individual legal limits on campaign donations. To make matters worse, it appears that the illegal donations were structured to maximize the amount that Liu would receive in public matching funds — courtesy of taxpayers.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to enjoy significant success in Iowa polls. In fact, according to the latest NBC/Marist Iowa poll, Dr. Paul is currently the only candidate who can beat Obama. Meanwhile, another Iowa poll shows he has significant favorability among the other candidates. An Iowa poll published by the Des Moines Register shows Paul in second place with 18 percent of support, behind Newt Gingrich at 25 percent, but ahead of Mitt Romney at 16 percent. That same poll shows that Paul is considered highly favorable by registered Iowa voters. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign website notes, “Paul’s Iowa support has grown in the last three Des Moines Register polls from 7 percent in June to 12 percent in October to 18 percent presently. Paul is also among those whose support did not wane over the period the poll was taken.”
In a purported effort to trim $3 billion in costs, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced Monday it will move forward with a plan to terminate next-day delivery of first-class mail, including everything from letters to postcards to large envelopes. Facing the damning reality of bankruptcy, officials also plan to close the doors of more than half of the 461 processing facilities that have been vital to the effectiveness of next-day delivery. Having lost 29 percent of its first-class mail volume in the last 10 years, USPS officials view a reduction in its network of post offices and processing centers as necessary to endure the stale economy and technological advances such as e-mail correspondence and online bill-paying that have burdened revenues. "The fact of the matter is our network is too big. We’ve got more capacity in our network than we can afford," David Williams, vice president for network operations, asserted during a press conference Monday. "More importantly, we've got to set our network up so that when volume continues to drop, our network is nimble and flexible enough to respond to those volume losses." Williams assured that service standards would not change before next April. The move would lower delivery standards for first-class mail for the first time in 40 years, as the distance between post offices and processing centers will broaden.