February 6, 2019

*U.S. Ranks Only No. 12 on World Index of Economic Freedom:

The annual publication from the Heritage Foundation, the Index of Economic Freedom, has just been released. Like the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World and, to a lesser extent, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, the Heritage Foundation survey is filled with interesting data on economic liberty in various nations.

We’ll start by sharing the global map. It’s good to be green, especially dark green. But it’s bad to be orange, and even worse to be red.

Sadly, there are only six “free” jurisdictions. Unsurprisingly, Hong Kong and Singapore are at the top, and I’m also not surprised to see New Zealand and Switzerland in the next two positions. What’s especially impressive is that four of the six jurisdictions managed to increase their score.

  *Holocaust Paradox: Long Lives for Those Who Survived:

Living through a horrendous event, like confinement in a concentration camp or prisoner-of-war camp, does create health problems serious enough to shorten most people’s lives. But those who survive also seem to have other characteristics — perhaps a stronger immune system and a more optimistic outlook than the general population — that tend to make people live longer. New research suggests that such resilience can often overcome scarring.

The most comprehensive evidence on Holocaust survivors comes from a new analysis in the American Medical Association publication JAMA by a team of Israeliresearchers. It compared Holocaust survivors born in Europe between 1911 and 1945 who later moved to Israel to people born in Palestine over the same period. The sample included more than 38,000 Holocaust survivors and a comparison group of almost 35,000 Israelis born in the territory that became their country in 1948. Data on both the survivors and the control group came from the Maccabi Healthcare Services, which provides health insurance to about a quarter of the Israeli population.

The results show that the camp survivors had higher rates of hypertension, cancer, dementia and obesity than native-born people of the same age and sex. For example, 83 percent of the survivors had hypertension, compared to 67 percent of the control group. Whether the Holocaust experience caused these differences is unclear, but they are consistent with my elementary school teacher’s statement.

The surprising part is that despite being in worse health, the Holocaust survivors lived 7.1 years longer — their average age at death was 85 years, compared to 78 among the control group. Those differences persist even after adjusting for socioeconomic status (Holocaust survivors tend to be poorer than their contemporaries), sex and other factors. Some other research has similarly found longer lives among survivors.

 *DISGRACE! – Typhus Epidemic Worsens in Los Angeles:

A veteran Los Angeles City Hall official is one of the latest victims of an epidemic of the infectious disease typhus that continues to worsen across LA County. For months, LA County public health officials have said typhus is mainly hitting the homeless population.

But Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood, a veteran prosecutor,  says she was diagnosed with typhus in November, after experiencing high fevers and excruciating headaches. “It felt like somebody was driving railroad stakes through my eyes and out the back of my neck,” Greenwood told the I-Team. “Who gets typhus? It’s a medieval disease that’s caused by trash.”

*Ben Stein: Stalin, Hitler ‘Came to Power Promising Same Things Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Promising’:

Democrat Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising Americans the same thing brutal dictators promised, and those promises are never realized, Ben Stein explained in a Fox News Channel interview this week.

Stein, an economist, lawyer and writer, warned that, when politicians promising to punish success in the name of equality obtain power, their policies invariably have terrifying results:

“We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that StalinHitlerMao Tse Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Miss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising.” That led to mass murder, led to dictatorship, and led to genocide. “These promises are old promises, and they invariably lead to bad things. The promise of saying to the people do what you can within the law to make your life better and your family’s life better, that system works extremely well. Capitalism is a system that allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people.”

 *Men ‘Face MORE Discrimination than Women’: Global Study Claims Males Receive the Raw End of the Deal with Harsher Punishments:

Women are better off in more countries than men are, a new study has found.  A method that assesses the forms of hardship and discrimination facing men and women has revealed males have it harder in 91 countries out of 134. Women were disadvantaged in only 43. The study looked at 6.8 billion people around the world and scientists developed a new way of measuring gender inequality.

The UK, the US and Australia all discriminate against men more whereas ItalyIsrael and China are harder environments for women, according to the study. Researchers say this is due to men receiving harsher punishments for the same crime, compulsory military service and more occupational deaths than women.


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Who Is a Free Thinker? – A person who forms opinions on the basis of reason, independent of authority or tradition, especially a person whose religious opinions differ from established belief.


Americans eat over 4.5 billion tacos per year. That’s enough to stretch 490,000 miles, which is to the moon and back.


Lions can run up to 50 mph, but only in a straight line and only for a few seconds at a time. Consequently, lions get as close as they can to their prey before they start the chase.


A bathroom in Starbucks since the company invited non-customers to use the bathrooms. The company has received many complaints both from customers and staff.


Shields and Brooks on Northam photo scandal, abortion and border standoffs — https://youtu.be/oUNPW1o6GLM


Singer Norah Jones along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners. 

Within living memory, political polarization had at least something to do with issues, but in the age of social media it’s almost entirely about social type. It’s about finding and spreading the viral soap operas that are supposed to reveal the dark hearts of those who are in the opposite social type from your own. It’s about finding images that confirm your negative stereotypes about people you don’t know. It’s about reducing a complex human life into one viral moment and then banishing him to oblivion.

You don’t have to read social theory on this phenomenon; just look at the fracas surrounding the Covington Catholic High School boys. For those of you vacationing on Mars this past weekend, a video went viral showing a group of boys, many of them in MAGA hats, surrounding an older Native Americanman who was banging a drum.

Donald Trump’s signature, which he enjoys displaying after signing bills and executive orders, is unusually big, sharp and jagged. It’s like the lines a seismograph makes during an earthquake, or what a polygraph shows when you’re telling a whopper. Lately it has looked bigger and sharper. He’s in a crisis he summoned. There is now a plan to reopen the government for three weeks. His numbers are down. His foes, delighted at his struggle, refused to help him get out—even as they claimed concern that employees were going without pay and air-traffic controllers are calling in sick, even when the longer the shutdown, the likelier something really bad would happen.

The State of the Union address was to be sacrificed. It is fair that the president would not give the address—and that the House speaker not leave Washington, even to visit troops—during a shutdown in which others, not they, suffered. But it would have been much better if both sides had met and issued a statement: “We acknowledge that a shutdown is always the result of failure, and while it continues the president and the Congress will forgo benefits of office. We will continue to talk and attempt to end the impasse. As soon as we do, this important address will take place.”

They couldn’t say that because they weren’t talking. Which was amazing in itself, and a scandal.


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