American Elephants

The Shocking Cost of Childcare. Who Knew? by The Elephant's Child

According to a report in The Fiscal Times, last year it cost more for a family to send an infant to full-time daycare than it did to send a student to public college in 31 states, and even if you don’t have a college student — you have heard about the cost of college.

The cost of full-time licensed daycare was called unaffordable (the study defined that as 10 percent of state median income) in 38 states for infant care and 23 states for a four-year old.

In New York, the most expensive state, full-time licensed daycare set a family back more than $16,500 a year, and in Mississippi, the least expensive state, the price tag was $5,500. Ouch!

How did things get so out-of-whack? To afford a home in many cities, or even a decent apartment, often requires two salaries. Because families need two salaries, moms have to work. Because moms have to work, the impetus is to have fewer children.

A declining birthrate puts pressure on tax revenue, and countries invite more immigration — a situation that in Europe has caused massive Muslim immigration.Muslims have a significantly higher birthrate and according to demographics, Europe will be Muslim by 2050. Will we then be largely Mexican in 2050?

The Obama administration’s answer is child care grants to states for low income families, increasing the tax burden on families who don’t qualify as low income. More Government, and/or more dependence on government is always the response of the Obama administration. But there are always consequences and sometimes they are not at all what was intended. Less regulation, less government and more individual freedom is what is needed.

If I were in charge, I’d be trying to encourage more industry and business in America’s smaller cities. Not one-factory towns, but helping smaller communities to grow instead of putting all the emphasis on large cities. I suspect that a good life is more apt to be found in smaller town America. I’ll bet there is not such a  desperate need for two incomes, and child care is probably cheaper as well.

The Victims of the Fort Hood Massacre Will Soon Be Eligible to Receive the Purple Heart. by The Elephant's Child

Major Nidal Hasan shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is Great,” and went on a shooting spree November 9, 2009, that left 13 dead and more than 30 injured. The Obama administration designated the massacre as “workplace violence” for obscure reasons, apparently balking at designating part of the U.S. the equivalent of a battlefield. It has been suggested that it was an attempt to not contradict a president who had stated that al Qaeda’s reach and influence were shrinking.

For 5 years families and their congressional allies had butted heads with the Obama administration. Army Major Hassan ‘s shooting spree was clearly linked to the broader war on terror that the U.S. has been fighting overseas.

Now the victims of the Fort Hood shooting will soon be eligible to receive the Purple Heart, as Congress is pushing ahead with a policy change that will officially recognize domestic terrorism as an issue. Hasan was sentenced to the death penalty in 2013, but the appeals process will last for years.

The criteria for the new medal will apply to all military members injured or killed at Fort Hood as well as two soldiers attacked in a 2009 shooting outside an Arkansas recruiting office.

Classifying the shooting as a terrorist attack would open up more benefits to the families of those who were killed, including combat-related compensation. Survivors would get benefits like priority care at VA facilities or waived copays.

Calling the massacre of 13 people and wounding of 30 more “Workplace Violence” has always been deeply offensive. This is a welcome, though belated, correction.

The Epithets Of Politics Are Usually A Case Of Pot/Kettle by The Elephant's Child

Center For Disease Control Reports Highest Number Of Measles Cases In 20 Years

What got me started was a column by Margaret Wente in The Globe and Mail about the progressive war on science.

An epidemic of whooping cough has broken out in California. Not long ago, this ancient scourge had been banished by modern medicine. But now it’s back, thanks to people who believe modern medicine is dangerous.

These folks are not ignorant backwoods hicks. Many of them have advanced degrees. They live in some of the nicest neighbourhoods on Earth – places like Marin County, Napa and Malibu. But they believe that vaccines cause autism or worse. Immunization rates in some of the more fashionable California schools resemble those in the more backward parts of Africa. At the Valley Waldorf City School in Lake Balboa, for example, 88 per cent of students don’t have the standard vaccination.

Nearly 9,000 people in California have come down with whooping cough this year, and a handful have died. Repeated pleas from public health officials have gone unheeded. “Children are the victims of our ignorance,” vaccination expert Paul Offit wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “An ignorance that, ironically, is cloaked in education, wealth and privilege.”

“It’s important, especially for parents, to understand the potential consequences of preventable, infectious diseases.” Here’s a doctor’s take on the anti-vaccine movement.

If you Google “Anti-Science,” you will find, for the most part, Democrats accusing Republicans of being ‘anti-science’ most often because the Republicans dare to challenge their belief that Global Warming is going to destroy the earth.

Then this morning, at breakfast, I was reading the copy on the tub of margarine I bought because my grocery store quit carrying my favorite margarine. “We Pledge that 100% of the ingredients sourced for this Smart Balance® Buttery Spread are Non-GMO.” Won’t buy that one again!  Ditto: ‘Organic,’ ‘Natural,’ ‘Gluten-Free,’ ‘Gelatin-Free,’and other bogus claims.

Republicans are assumed to be backwoods fundamentalists who don’t believe in global warming, don’t believe in stem cell research, oppose abortion, don’t believe in evolution, believe the earth is flat, and are in general, knuckle-dragging ignoramuses.

In 2006, Grist called for Nuremberg-style trials for climate skeptics.  Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has lashed out at global warming skeptics declaring “This is treason and we need to start treating then as traitors.” A writer at Talking Points Memo advocated that global warming “deniers” be executed or jailed (he later retracted). In the 1970s many American scientists were convinced that a new ice age was imminent. Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, was one of them, but he was a big believer in a crisis of overpopulation too.

George W. Bush limited embryonic stem cell research to existing lines. Democrats erupted in fury, but it became clear that embryonic stem cell treatment was dangerous and caused cancerous tumors, and didn’t work.

Those who are not convinced that global warming is an imminent catastrophe are “skeptics,” not “deniers.” They are perfectly aware that the climate is constantly changing, and care about the evidence from observation — not flawed projections from computer programs about 50 and 100 years in the future. The climate hasn’t warmed for 18 years, and we seem to be having a cold spell. Is it a new ice age, or just a temporary blip? Unfortunately, we can’t project the future beyond 4 or 5 days, and that’s not always right.

A new science scandal has been exposed  revealing that four scientists decided in advance to blame pesticides for the decline in honeybees, and seek a ban without bothering with the evidence that would support such a ban.

The Obama administration, incensed that some people don’t believe in the urgency of spending billions to allay global warming dangers, will launch a new initiative to distribute “climate literacy and  “science-based” information to schools. Climate control brainwashing in the schools. Schools in Texas and California are implementing “Meatless Mondays“an agenda-driven propaganda campaign that they suppose will be better for the environment.

“The media framing for stories about fiscal responsibility now involves portraying Republicans as “anti-science” when they object to handing out fat research grants for stupid projects.” And so it goes. When one (me) objects to the EPA’s ubiquitous claim of children dying from asthma as the rationale for every power-grab, you can be sure to be categorized as anti-science.  Watch for it.

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