Random killings spark laments, but reality shows long slide in crime – CNN.com

Your reality is what you see and what you allow someone to convince you of. With the 24 hour news we now have, crime that we never saw 20 years ago is instantly on your TV or mobile phone.  Crime hasn’t increased.  Our knowledge of the smaller number of crimes has increased.

According to the FBI, the violent crime rate in the United States is about half what it was in 1992.

And between 1992 and 2011, the annual number of murders in the United States fell from 23,760 to 14,612 despite a growing population.

Rape, robbery, assault, even property crimes also fell in a well-documented decline that has gone on for years, albeit with a small upturn in 2012.

via Random killings spark laments, but reality shows long slide in crime – CNN.com.

China’s airpocalypse

While the world reaps the benefits of cheap labor and lax environmental standards which also reduces direct cost, the people of China are being killed by the air they breathe.

Look at what air pollution is doing to people in China, particularly children.  According to this report, 40% of the world’s premature deaths attributable to air pollution in 2010, 1.2 million, occurred in China.  Along with these startling numbers, kids and the elderly are also being adversely affected.  Children don’t have the built-up defenses that adults do and with the elderly I guess that you could say that theirs has worn down as they age.

Just judging by the pictures that I’ve seen and reports of the high levels of toxins in the air, it must be obvious to the average person that it can’t be healthy to live there.  Of course, in a society such as China’s there probably isn’t a lot of options regarding leaving.  While our government has its issues, we’ve largely dealt with these problems here in America, but I can’t help but wonder if we haven’t simply transferred them to these folks.  Our lakes have PCB’s hiding under the muck and many of our rivers took decades to clear out after we polluted them with our industry of the early to mid 20th century.  Air quality is much better now even in large urban areas, though it’s still not as good as we would like it to be.

The problem with dealing with the issues causing the pollution is that the world has such a lust for the goods that come so cheaply from China, I’m afraid that we won’t ever deal with the problem.  The Chinese government doesn’t seem to care about their own people in this regard and unless that changes I don’t see it getting any better anytime soon.  We are all about cleaning up our own back yard, but when we finance polluting an environment far from our own it’s easy to ignore it.  It’s really a terrible thing that we continue to enjoy the benefits of polluting another human beings air and don’t give it a second thought.

Delta warns ObamaCare will drive $100 million spike in health care costs | Fox News

Thanks for helping out, Barry.  Thanks to you, more Americans who didn’t have coverage will now have coverage. Unfortunately, many who had coverage will no longer have coverage. Thanks again to you.

The administration and other supporters of the law argue that it will expand coverage to millions, and use subsidies to help those in need purchase insurance.

But in the process, employers claim they are being forced to change or downsize policies, and reduce worker hours. The latter change is being made because a provision in the law, eventually, will mandate insurance coverage for employees working 30 or more hours — some are trimming their staff to avoid crossing that threshold.

Inside Higher Ed reported on Friday that Southern Illinois University was the latest to move in that direction, reportedly by limiting the workload of graduate assistants.

Other employers like UPS this week announced that they were planning to end coverage of workers’ spouses in part over concern about ObamaCare-tied costs.

via Delta warns ObamaCare will drive $100 million spike in health care costs | Fox News.

DHS employee spends spare time promoting race war against ‘whites’ | Fox News

A Department of Homeland Security manager in charge of buying weapons and ammunition for the government is, on the side, running an inflammatory website that throws around gay slurs and advocates the mass murder of “whites” and the “ethnic cleansing” of “Uncle Tom race traitors,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Ayo Kimathi, who calls himself the “Irritated Genie,” told his supervisors that the website was set up to sell concert and lecture videos.

via DHS employee spends spare time promoting race war against ‘whites’ | Fox News.

I’m surprised, are you?

U.S. tax dollars help fund UN ‘hate camp’ in Gaza: documentary | Fox News

David Bedein, bureau chief of the Center for Near East Policy Research, said his film crew went into the camps and found that the agency is openly advocating taking up arms against Israel.

“What UNRWA has done is to join in over the last 12 years since the new Palestinian Authority curriculum became as virulent as it is,” Bedein said. “The kids are being trained that what they must do is campaign for the Right of Return – another way of saying ‘destroy Israel.’ A UN agency should not [be supporting a] campaign to wipe out another member state of the UN, putting ideas into the minds of children that they should engage in violence to achieve these goals.”

via U.S. tax dollars help fund UN ‘hate camp’ in Gaza: documentary | Fox News.

Your tax dollars at work.  No one should be surprised by this. The UN is an antisemitic organization.  All that you have to do is watch the response when Israel is attacked (a call for calm) and when Israel fights back (condemnation of Israel for defending itself) to know that.

Reports: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation in works – CNN.com

Businesswoman Dianne York told CNN that Filner put his hands on her buttocks during a photo opportunity that followed a meeting three months ago. York said there were witnesses to what happened. She said both her advisers and Filner’s were in the room at the time.

York is the 18th woman to accuse Filner of improper conduct.

Jackson quit her job and sued the mayor in July, saying he subjected women to “crude and disgusting” comments and inappropriate touching.

Other women have accused him of touching their buttocks and putting them in a headlock and trying to kiss them, among other allegations.

via Reports: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation in works – CNN.com.

After all of this, they are working out a deal to get him to resign? Is there now way that the city council can kick him out?

If these accusations are true, and he has admitted to at least some of them, he needs to be sued for sexual harassment by many more than the one woman and he should be arrested for assault and sexual assault.  He can’t just put a woman into a headlock in order to force her to kiss him and get away with it, or can he?  Surely the citizens of San Diego won’t stand for that.

Under the Dome

Stephen King’s Under the Dome is one huge book.  I read it in Nook format over a period of about a month, a few pages at a time.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.

As is the norm for King’s books, there was a lot of good character development both before and after the real intrigue gets started.  Since this was an event that involved a whole town, there was the whole gamut of personality types involved.  Everything from trailer trash to trashy politicians to just your average Joe trying to support their families.  Of course, there were more than the average number of odd ones as well.

The story revolves around the Dome but also a crooked politician who uses his Christianity as the tool for justifying his wrongdoing.  That’s where I took issue with the premise of the book.  As much as the Dome, the story was about the corruption of Christians.  Most of the characters went to one of two churches in town.  One had a pastor who was a complete nutjob, the other church was led by a woman who didn’t even believe in God anymore.  The parishioners were mostly corrupt and had an ends justify the means attitude toward their wrongdoing.

I don’t know what Stephen King believes, but the gist of the story seems to be that there is no God and those who believe have some ulterior motive for doing so or have such a holier than thou attitude that they justify everything as God’s will for them.  “It’s ok for me to sell drugs because a portion of the money that I make goes to a Christian charity.”  Inciting a riot to help bring about the call for a single, strong leader in the town government is ok since it’s obviously God’s will for a good Christian man to lead them out of the wilderness.

One thing that I think the book points out well is the need that people feel for government to take care of them.  They are willing to put up with some abuse if you’ll take away their fear, tell them it’s going to be alright, and not make them take responsibility for themselves.  They are willing to follow the person who stands up and takes them by the collar, leading them somewhere.  Anywhere.

The thing about the story that just seemed to be too much for me was the fact that all of the would be heroes continually underestimated their enemy and one by one fell to his superior will.  Everything going the right way for the bad guy went on way too long.  Right up until the end, in fact.  The novel could have been a couple hundred pages shorter without losing the story.  There were sections where it seemed to drag on just for the sake of dragging on.  The continued success of the bad guys and failure of the good guys got as stale as the air inside the Dome.  I’ve seen this before with King’s books and I can see the point of those who said that it looked like he finally just gave it a quick, too simple ending because he got tired of writing it.  On the other hand, I didn’t really feel that way.  Sure the answer to the puzzle was simple and perhaps too elementary, but I didn’t feel like I did at the end of The Sun Dog, part of the Four Past Midnight compilation.  That did feel like he just wanted to end the story and get out of there.

If you have a lot of free time or read faster than I do and can overlook the obvious Christian bashing, Under the Dome is an interesting read.  I don’t really recommend it due to the simple fact that so much of the story revolves around a bunch of either evil or idiotic people hiding behind Christianity.

California Gov. Brown signs transgender-student bill | Fox News

“This radical bill warps the gender expectations of children by forcing all California public schools to permit biological boys in girls restrooms, showers, clubs and on girls sports teams and biological girls in boys restrooms, showers, clubs and sports teams,” Thomasson said. “This is insanity.”

via California Gov. Brown signs transgender-student bill | Fox News.

Making a small group feel more comfortable by making a larger group more uncomfortable.  That’s the liberal way!