A complementary commercial winner-and-loser pair has emerged from the disclosure of the NSA’s domestic data dragnet, one that would surely bring a thin-lipped smile to the face of Eric Arthur Blair, the English Democratic Socialist who wrote as George Orwell: While Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), the defense contractor that employed leaker Edward Snowden, has seen its stock plummet since the revelation of its connection to the scandal, Amazon’s (AMZN) sales of “1984,” Orwell’s classic dystopian novel of surveillance and control, have skyrocketed.
The LA Times reports that sales of the book, which concerns a discontented propagandist working for the Ministry of Truth in a time of endless war, are up 5,771 percent as of Tuesday morning. From a sales rank of 12,507 in the days before The Guardian published top-secret government documents provided by Snowden, “1984″ has risen to crack Amazon’s top 200.
When women start doing what men have traditionally done, yours is a civilization of the setting sun. This is brought to mind when pondering a recent Pew Research Center study showing that women are now the primary or sole breadwinners in 40 percent of American households. You may have heard the story — it created quite a stir on Fox News, with Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly (who became quite hysterical) taking exception to male colleagues’ warnings about the development’s sociological implications. But if these two ladies, and the other critics, had reacted rationally and not emotionally, they would realize what is obvious.
The rise in female breadwinners is a sign of a civilization in decline.
Let’s start by first examining the study. While the term “breadwinner” conjures up images of pleasingly plump paychecks, the real story here is the rise of poor single mothers.
Among the 40 percent of women in the breadwinner group, 63 percent are single mothers. This isn’t surprising, since the rate of single motherhood has risen from about 4 percent in the 1940s to 41 percent today (72 percent in the black community). So what kind of “bread” are we talking about? Writes Amy Langfield of CNBC, “The median income for a single mother who has never been married was $17,400 as of 2011.” And, obviously, having large numbers of single mothers, with essentially fatherless children, struggling to make ends meet isn’t good for the women, the children, or the society as a whole.
The picture looks better for the married 37 percent of the breadwinner group, but only by comparison. Twenty-nine percent of these women’s husbands are unemployed. Moreover, Pew describes these women as older, college-educated, and white. Translation: they’re the one-child wonders. These are often women who postpone childbirth in deference to careerism and then, perhaps after dropping a tidy sum at a fertility clinic, have their sole son or daughter. Why does this warrant mention? Because as the documentary Demographic Winter points out, this phenomenon is a significant contributing factor to the plummeting birth rates among Western peoples. Outside New Zealand, there isn’t one major European-descent group with a replacement-level birth rate. And for all you secular-feminist chauvinists so proud of your cultural hegemony, what do you think happens to values that cause people to erase themselves?
So why can’t the Megyn Kellys of the world perceive the rise in female breadwinners as the warning sign it is? Because their feminist dogma teaches that any female “gain” relative to men is positive, and any criticism of it is blind male chauvinism. These are the people who cheer girls’ “better” performance in schools even though this is largely attributable to boys’ worsening performance (and improved female test scores aren’t relevant, because the exams, like the boys, have been dumbed down). It’s a mindset that would consider it a good thing if women won every future marathon because men either lost their legs or stopped running.
And that is the point. If a warring nation must move a few divisions from the southern front to shore up the northern, it isn’t a victory for those divisions; it means the war effort is waning. And if the divisions’ generals view it as a personal victory because they’ll have the opportunity to distinguish themselves, they’re self-centered and ignorant.
The New York Times editorial board, which twice endorsed President Obama and has championed many planks of his agenda, on Thursday turned on the president over the government’s mass collection of phone data — saying the administration has “lost all credibility.”
The grey lady’s editorial section lately has shown frustration with the administration’s civil liberties record. It has criticized the escalation of the lethal drone program, and it lashed out after the Justice Department acknowledged seizing reporters’ phone records last month.
The report that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone records from millions of Verizon subscribers appeared to be the last straw.
An editorial published late Thursday said the administration was using the “same platitude” it uses in every case of overreach — that “terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us.”
The editorial continued: “Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility.”
A gay couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a wedding cake to honor their Massachusetts ceremony, and alleging that the owners have a history of turning away same-sex couples.
As more states move to legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions, the case highlights a growing tension between gay rights advocates and supporters of religious freedom.
“Religious freedom is a fundamental right in America and it’s something that we champion at the ACLU,” said Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the group in Colorado, which filed the complaint on behalf of the couple. “We are all entitled to our religious beliefs and we fight for that. But someone’s personal religious beliefs don’t justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere.”
The attorney for Jack Phillips, one of the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, sees it differently.
“We don’t believe that this is a case about commerce. At its heart, this is a case about conscience,” said Nicolle Martin. She said the matter is important because it will serve as an example for future cases across the country as more gay couples gain legal recognitions for their relationships.
“It brings it to the forefront. I just don’t think that we should heighten one person’s beliefs over and above another person’s beliefs,” she said.
During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Tuesday, six witnesses were called to testify about their groups being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service.
The witnesses were from various conservative, Tea Party, pro-life, pro-marriage, and other patriotic groups.
Although the Democrats on the committee were given the opportunity to call up a witness from a liberal group targeted by the IRS, they declined, according to Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich.
“I do want to note that the minority was given the opportunity to call up a witness but did not present a witness that had been affected by taxpayer activity, by IRS activity, so that’s why there is no minority witness at the table today,” Camp explained during the hearing.
Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange. But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent.
One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own.
This problem will be especially acute when the law’s main provisions kick in on January 1, 2014, leading many to worry about health insurance “rate shock.”
In a classic case of “now you tell me,” the Associated Press reports today that a whole swath of people who like their health insurance might be losing it. You see, ObamaCare requires all Americans get the equivalent of a Cadillac health plan. Millions of us don’t have Cadillac plans, which means that we are about to be in violation of government policy.
State insurance regulators say many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises this fall: cancellation notices because their policies aren’t up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama’s overhaul.
These people, and some small businesses, will have to find replacement plans _ and that has some state officials worried about consumer confusion.
The changes don’t seem to square with one of the president’s promises: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”
Can you believe this is happening in America? The government is telling us what kind of health insurance coverage we have to purchase.
Last week, the executive board of Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly gay kids into their programs, thus compromising their long standing set of Christian morals and values. When I heard about their vote, it saddened me to see them succumb to the pressures of a debauched society.
In my report last week about their compromise, I predicted that a number of church sponsored Boy Scout programs would be ended the same way it happened in Canada when they allowed the gays to go camping with them. Well, it seems the exodus has begun.
Make no mistake: by criminalizing James Rosen of Fox News for asking government employees to give him information, the Obama administration is suppressing the ability of the press to do its job. It is so egregious that even the New York Times, normally sycophants for Obama, is alarmed. The editorial board today writes:
With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.
And the Times, a member/owner of Associated Press, detects a pattern:
The Rosen case follows other signs that the administration has gone overboard in its zeal to find and muzzle insiders. The Associated Press revealed last week that the government had secretly seized two months’ worth of records for telephones used by the agency’s staff, partly to determine the source of a leak about a report involving a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen. At least two other major leak investigations are continuing. Six current and former administration officials have been indicted under the old Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the press and public. In 2010, a federal judge in Maryland sentenced a leaker to 20 months in jail while admitting that he was “in the dark as to the kind of documents” involved in the leak or what impact they had on national security.
Many conservatives have moved beyond caring what the Times thinks or writes. But the newspaper acts as a pilot fish for the rests of the media, so its position on this move toward authoritarianism is highly significant.
The Pew Research Center’s latest survey on Europeans’ attitudes toward EU politics and economics brings across one message loud and clear: Europeans are not happy. People from every major country report extreme dissatisfaction with the economy and their political leaders. Increasingly, they also share a sense that the European Union and economic integration were mistakes for their countries: only 45 percent now view the EU favorably, down from 60 percent in 2012.
The one notable exception is Germany, whose people remain the most optimistic about the European project. Despite Germans’ hand-wringing about their spendthrift neighbors, they gave the EU a 60 percent approval rating, with 54 percent believing that economic integration has strengthened their economy. This may have something to do with the fact that Germans think the EU offers the best chance for controlling reckless spending by their neighbors; Germany is the only country where support for giving Brussels more power is over 50 percent.
While many Americans were tuned into news coverage of the massive damage from tornadoes ravaging the state of Oklahoma, Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse took to the Senate floor to rail against his Republican colleagues for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators and justified his remarks by alluding to states that seek federal assistance in the wake of natural disasters.
“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”
The scandals of the Obama administration seem to be hurting not just the White House but MSNBC as well while Fox News Channel scored its second-best week of the year. After double-digit gains during last year’s presidential election, May 13-17 saw the progressive-aligned “Lean Forward” news network hit new lows as the IRS scandal erupted and revelations that the Justice Department secretly obtained AP records became public. With 350,000 viewers on average and 94,000 among the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC had its least-watched and lowest-rated total-day results of the year last week. That was also the lowest total-day demo result the network has had since the week of June 26-July 2, 2006,
Last week’s total day results were down 17% in viewers and 22% among the demo from the comparable May 14 to May 18 week of last year. In primetime, the numbers were even worse for MSNBC as a steady decline from the beginning of the year continued. The network had 570,000 total viewers and 159,000 in the demo from 8 PM to 11 PM from May 13 to May 17, 2013. That’s the lowest rated week of the year so far for MSNBC in terms of viewers and the third lowest of 2013 in the demo. The week of May 6 to May 12 was worst in the demo with 148,000 viewers when the network had 604,000 viewers on average. These latest results come as the news network’s recently launched and struggling All In With Chris Hayes hit a new viewership of 396,000 and its second lowest demo audience of just 88,000 on May 14. It also comes on the heels of MSNBC falling in April ratings from its second place ranking of the year before.
KMOV anchorman Larry Conners has been “advised” by KMOV’s parent company Belo Corp. to not make statements, post on Facebook, or participate in interviews concerning a recent controversy over Facebook comments he made about the Internal Revenue Service.
Conners has hired St. Louis attorney Merle Silverstein. Silverstein issued a letter to media outlets claiming that the corporate order “is the only reason for his silence.”
Conners wrote Monday night that shortly after he interviewed President Obama and his wife in April of 2012, the IRS “started hammering” him.
“At the time, I dismissed the ‘co-incidence’, but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members,” Conners wrote.