Saturday, December 16, 2017

Trump To MS-13: 'We Will Throw You The Hell Out Of The Country'


Posted: Dec 15, 2017 9:10 PM

Earlier today, Leah covered President Donald J. Trump’s graduation speech to new law enforcement officers at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He lambasted a “dysfunctional immigration system” that allows in "the worst of worst." Yet, President Trump’s comments on MS-13 gang members drew the most applause.

Referring to the “lottery system” President Trump said:
“You think the country is giving us their best people? No,” he added, referencing the lottery program. “What kind of a system is that? They come in by lottery. They give us their worst people, they put them in a bin, but in his hand when he’s picking him are really the worst of the worst. 
"Congratulations, you’re going the United States, ok? What a system."
Turning to gang violence, he had a specific message for MS-13 gang members. MS-13 is a violent El Salvadoran gang and drug cartel with a heavy presence in the United States. 
“To any member of MS-13 listening, I have a message for you,” the President told the officers and their families. “We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, we will throw you the hell out of the country," Trump said.
"Somehow I like it better than jail," he said to applause. "Jail, we have to take care of 'em. Who the hell wants to take care of 'em? You know the jail stuff is wonderful, but we have to pay for it, right," he continued.
"We don't want 'em," adding, "We don't want 'em. They're getting out of here. Our cities should not be sanctuaries for criminals. They should be sanctuaries for Americans."
In May of 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 1,378 people during a nationwide crime sweep known as "Operation New Dawn." This operation was the largest of its kind. 
In Washington, D.C., authorities arrested 52 individuals that were gang members. However, 29 of those individuals were  a part of MS-13. 

Thank You Mr Meads, Townhall, and President Trump.

Here's A Look At The Final GOP Tax Bill

Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
9:48 PM 12/15/2017

Republicans unveiled the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act early Friday evening, paving the way for their first major legislative win of the 115th Congress.

GOP lawmakers are expected to pass legislation providing the largest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 31 years before the end of next week.

The $1.5 trillion tax package includes seven individual tax brackets falling at 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent. The plan reduces rates for the majority of Americans and small businesses, with top income earners seeing their rate drop from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

While GOP lawmakers aimed to make the cuts permanent, the individual rate deduction is slated to expire in 2025.

In addition to lowering individual rates, the bill doubles the standard deduction, allows for the deduction of state and local taxes up to $10,000, expands the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 — which is fully deductible up to $1,400 for families making under $400,000 — and allows homeowners to deduct mortgage interest on their first and second homes up to $750,000.

Personal exemptions would be eliminated under the plan. The Alternative Minimum Tax would also remain in place for individuals, although repealed for corporation, but increases the exemption for individuals up to $500,000 and joint filers up to $1 million.

The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty would be eliminated in 2019 under the package and the estate tax exemption would be doubled.

Pass-through businesses would see their effective marginal rate capped at 29.6 percent. Business owners would be able to deduct 20 percent on the first $315,000 of joint income with safeguards being in place to prevent individuals abusing the lower rate for their wage income.

Corporations would see a drastic cut — with the rate dropping from 35 percent to 21 percent, slightly higher than Republicans’ initial goal of 20 percent — effective Jan 1. The reduction to the corporate rate, unlike the individual rates, would be permanent.

Multinational corporations who hold assets abroad would pay a one-time deemed repatriation tax on fixed assets and cash at 8 percent and 15.5 percent respectively.

The House is expected to bring the bill to the floor Tuesday with the Senate following on Tuesday and Wednesday after completing up to 10 hours of debate.

Thank You Ms Burfke and the DC.

Seasons' Greatness: New York Fed Nowcast Hits 4.0% GDP Growth

John Carney15 Dec 2017

The Trump economic boom is picking up steam as American heads into the final weeks of the president’s first year in office.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Nowcast, which attempts to estimate economic output based on the latest releases of data, now says GDP appears to be growing at a 4% annualized rate in the fourth quarter. That is the highest level on record for the Nowcast, which was launched just two years ago.

The Nowcast was revised up primarily due to positive impacts of revisions of earlier data, the New York Fed’s website said Friday.

A similar tool from the Atlanta Fed was also revised up earlier this week to 3.3 percent. The Atlanta Fed measure has a track record of being considerably more pessimistic about growth than the New York Fed’s Nowcast.

If the Nowcast turns out to be on track, the fourth quarter will see the economy grow far more than most major forecasts had expected. A survey of economists completed at the end of the third quarter saw economic growth coming in at just 2.5 percent.

Thank You Mr Carney, Breitbart, and President Trump.

Peril Resides In The Promise of Gene Editing

Washington Post
Nathan Gardels December 15 at 12:43 PM

Corrective intervention in the human genome promises the elimination of genetically induced disease, bolstering of the human immune system, and extended longevity. As Nobel laureate and former president of Caltech David Baltimore said to The WorldPost in the video above, we already understand enough to create humans in which a range of ailments are edited out — and scientists have only been at it for less than a century.

Yet if that process trespasses ethical boundaries agreed upon today by responsible scientists, it could change the human genome forever by altering the “germline” — gene sequences inherited and passed down through generations. That could be for the better, but quite possibly for the worse, since the interrelated genetic functions developed over the long history of evolution remain unknown, despite the advances Baltimore notes.

While the ethical and regulatory focus of concern has been on “designer babies” or threats to the human germline, the high risk of unintended consequences also applies to editing the genes of other life forms, from mice and mosquitos to microbes.

Read More.

Thank You Mr Gardels and Wash Po. 

No one's found a Schizophrenic or Bipolar gene yet. If someone gene edits a real physical problem back into line, even if the fix only works for a few weeks, you can bet the rent the Behavioral Scientists will be taking Their crack at 'Editing' mental illness genes.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Trump To Remove 'Climate Change' As A National Security Threat

Watts Up With That?
Anthony Watts / 7 hours ago 

This is encouraging news:

The Trump administration will reverse course from previous Obama administration policy, eliminating climate change from a list of national security threats. The National Security Strategy to be released on Monday will emphasize the importance of balancing energy security with economic development and environmental protection, according to a source who has seen the document and shared excerpts of a late draft.

“Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” a draft of the National Security Strategy slated to be released on Monday said. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”

President Obama made climate change, and the burdensome regulations that accompany its focus, a primary focus of his administration, including in his National Security Strategy released in 2015. “[W]e are working toward an ambitious new global climate change agreement to shape standards for prevention, preparedness, and response over the next decade,” that report said.

“In some ways, [climate change] is akin to the problem of terrorism and ISIL,” Obama said at climate talks in Paris in 2015. During a weekly address, Obama said “Today, there is no greater threat to our planet than climate change.”

In September 2016, President Obama released a memorandum requiring federal agencies to consider the effects of climate change in the development of national security-related doctrine, policies, and plans. All of this alarmed critics concerned with more pressing security risks.


Read more at The Federalist

December 15, 2017 

Thank You Mr Watts.

Five Years Of Antarctic Temperature Fraud At NASA

The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

This is 'too cool'. Go get 'em readers!

NASA graphics. 

Watch them change from cooling to warming just like cheap Christmas Tree Lights.

HT to

Why We Should Worry About China

Tyler Durden

Trump Spearheads New Effort to Combat Chinese Trade Exploitation

Adam Kredo
December 15, 2017 1:40 pm

New national security strategy places focus on ending China's trade wars

President Donald Trump is placing new focus on targeting China's exploitation of the international trade system, putting the issue front-and-center in his newly released National Security Strategy, according to new information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and multiple sources briefed on previously unreported details of the administration's new policy.

As part of Trump's newly issued strategy to tackle pressing national security priorities, in a document known as the NSS, the White House is planning efforts to combat China's longstanding practices to exploit the international trade system and harm the U.S. economic stature, according to these sources, who said the plan places renewed focus on the ties between economic security and national security.

The Free Beacon was briefed about this previously unreported portion of the NSS ahead of the formal unveiling of the plan scheduled for Monday.

Trump, a vocal critic of China's unfair trade policies, is said to have directed senior White House national security officials to target China and other countries who exploit the international trade system, according to White House insiders.

Economic prosperity and national security are inextricably linked in the White House's view, according to these sources who said previous administrations had failed to adequately highlight this angle in their own National Security Strategy documents.

"For the last several decades, no public policy issue has been of more concern to Donald Trump than unfair trade practices that put both American workers and business owners at a disadvantage," one source close to the White House and briefed on the NSS told the Free Beacon. "Years before he ran for president he's been a strong critic of Chinese business practices—but he's been even more critical of US policymakers who have done little to address this as an issue of America's economic health."

"So it's natural to find that the National Security Strategy stresses this," the source explained. "Over the last few administrations of both parties, we've pretended that our nation's economic security is a less important thing than say, climate change or in the number of parties running for parliamentary elections in the Middle East. This National Security Strategy is a much-needed corrective, largely because it returns us to common sense and away from ideological abstractions."

Two specific passages in the focus on efforts by China and other countries to exploit the international trade system and harm U.S. economic interests.

"The United States helped to expand the liberal economic trading system to countries that did not share our values in the hopes that these states would liberalize their economic and political practices, and provide commensurate benefits to the United States," the new White House NSS language states. "Experience now suggests that these countries distorted and undermined key economic institutions without prompting significant reform of their economies or politics."

Economic wars are just as dangerous as military ones, according to the Trump administration.

"Today, that economic system is under stress," the new strategy states. "It continues to serve our interests, but it must be reformed to help workers prosper, protect innovation, and reflect the principles upon which that system was founded. American prosperity is also threatened by an economic competition playing out in a broader strategic context."

A second source briefed by the White House on the new strategy told the Free Beacon that Trump played a personal role in ensuring that China and other bad trade actors are included in the new national security vision.

"This is Trump's document through and through, but perhaps nowhere more than the emphasis on restoring economic security," the source said. "Over and over, the strategy explains the links between economic prosperity and national security, and how predatory economic behavior from rivals like China directly threatens our ability to protect ourselves and our interests."

Thank You Mr Kredo, Free Beacon, and President Trump.

America's Longest Serving Bomber - B 52 - Sets New Record For Most Smart Bombs Dropped On An Enemy

Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
2:34 PM 12/15/2017

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, America’s longest-serving bomber, set a new record when it unleashed hell against terrorists on a combat mission in Afghanistan last month, according to the Department of Defense.

During an expanded strike mission, B-52 bombers dropped 19 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) on the Taliban in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command spokeswoman Capt. AnnMarie Annicelli told The strategic bombers were targeting opium and heroin facilities to cripple the revenue stream.

The Air Force “used B-52s with their new conventional rotary launcher,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, the director of NATO’s Resolute Support mission explained Tuesday. “Of note, it was the single most — largest number of precision munitions ever dropped from a B-52.”

Bunch revealed that the U.S. military now has the authority to take the fight to the enemy in a new way. Under the Trump administration, the military now has greater freedom and independence with regard to how it chooses to engage the enemy.

“The new strategy highlights that this is a new war,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The gloves are off. We’ve got now these authorities we need to be able to go and target the Taliban network … That is our new strategy going forward and it’s definitely been a game-changer and the Taliban is definitely feeling it.”

“All the areas where they thought they were safe and they are no longer so,” he said.

Since the start of this year, B-52 bombers have dropped around 1,500 unguided and guided munitions on enemy combatants, AFCENT told

The fight in Afghanistan has raged for 16 years, and despite American efforts, the Taliban still has a tight hold on Afghanistan. A little less than half of Afghanistan’s districts are either controlled by the Taliban or contested, Reuters reported in October, citing a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Accuracy? Use the link. Watch the video.

Thank You Mr Pickrell and the DC

Medicare Fails To Recover Hundreds of Millions of Dollars In Lab Overcharges

Kaiser Health News
Fred Schulte December 15, 2017

Five years ago, Companion DX Reference Lab hoped to cash in on cutting-edge genetic tests paid for by Medicare.

The Houston lab marketed a test to assess how a person’s genes affect tolerance for drugs such as opiates used to treat chronic pain. It also ran DNA tests to help treat cancer and urine screens to monitor drug abuse.

But the lab went bust last year after Medicare ordered it to repay more than $16 million for genetic tests health officials said were not needed.

Companion Dx is one of at least six clinical labs mired in bankruptcy court after Medicare alleged they improperly billed the government for unnecessary urine, genetic or heart disease tests expected to cause hundreds of millions dollars in losses to taxpayers, an investigation by Kaiser Health News found.


Liquid Gold: Pain Doctors Soak Up Profits By Screening Urine For Drugs

As the nation’s bill for drug and genetic tests has climbed to an estimated $8.5 billion a year, there’s mounting suspicion among health insurers that some testing may do more to boost profit margins than help treat patients.

Medicare has slashed fees for urine tests and tightened coverage of some genetic screens, which can cost Medicare $1,000 or more per person. Private insurers, who mostly have paid these bills without question, also are taking a more penetrating look at spending on the controversial lab work.

Yet, getting these firms to repay Medicare and private insurers remains a formidable challenge. While some doctor-owned labs have dodged collection efforts for years, several testing firms deeply in debt to Medicare appear to have few assets to repay overcharges dating back years, court records show.

“Medicare shouldn’t be paying for dubious tests, but the time to catch that is in the very beginning when [labs] are asking for payment,” said Steve Ellis, vice-president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. “They need to increase oversight so the dollars don’t go out the door in the first place.”

Continue Reading.

Thank You Mr Schulte and KHN.

FCC Kills Net Neutrality

Huge win for Free Speech and a return to the Constitution!

Elizabeth Harrington
December 14, 2017 2:40 pm

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules that imposed greater regulation over the internet.

On a party line vote, the FCC approved Chairman Ajit Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom proposal, which repeals the 2015 Title II rules. Net neutrality, for the first time in history, classified internet service providers as utilities, rather than information services.

"Following detailed legal and economic analysis, as well as extensive examination of comments from consumers and stakeholders, the Commission reversed the FCC's 2015 heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband internet access service, which imposed substantial costs on the entire internet ecosystem," the FCC said. "In place of that heavy-handed framework, the FCC is returning to the traditional light-touch framework that was in place until 2015."

The vote was briefly halted when the FCC meeting room had to be evacuated due to a security threat. Net neutrality supporters have engaged in a heated campaign against Pai since he announced intentions to roll back the rules earlier this year.

A man was arrested for making a death threat against Republican congressman John Katko over the net neutrality issue. Pai and his family received numerous threats, and alt-left groups involved in the violent riots during the inauguration targeted Pai's neighborhood.

The FCC said ISPs will again be classified as an "information service" under Title I of the Communications Act, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2005. Mobile broadband internet services will also be reinstated as private mobile services by the FCC.

Net neutrality led to regulatory uncertainty, less investment in broadband, and hampered innovation among smaller ISPs in rural areas, the FCC said. Capital expenditure in broadband declined by 5.6 percent since Title II was adopted two years ago, which amounted to over $3.6 billion in lost investment.

Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom will still require ISPs to disclose to their consumers if they block or throttle traffic over their networks.

"The FCC's action today has restored the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission to act when broadband providers engage in anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts or practices," the FCC said.

Republican FCC commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr joined Pai in voting for repeal. Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel dissented.

The vote came three weeks after Pai released his proposal to the public, a contrast from the previous administration. The vote to put net neutrality in place was shrouded in secrecy, as former chairman Tom Wheeler did not release the text of the nearly 400-page rule until two weeks after the FCC voted to approve it.

Republicans offered widespread praise for the FCC vote, including House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

"I support an open internet, but there is a better way to ensure consumer protections without disrupting the free flow of information and innovation that has made it a cornerstone of the 21st Century economy," Rogers said. "The heavy-handed rules from the Obama administration stifled investment in rural communities, like those in Eastern Washington, and created uncertainty for ISPs in meeting the requirements of those rules."

"What I want is for everyone to come to the table to find a bipartisan, legislative solution that will protect consumers while not harming investment, innovation, and free-market principles," she said. 

This entry was posted in Issues and tagged Net Neutrality. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Ms Harrington and Free Beacon.

Trump Cuts 22 Regs For Every New One

Elizabeth Harrington
December 15, 2017 5:00 am

The administration has cut 22 regulations for every new rule introduced, President Donald Trump announced at the White House Thursday.

Agencies and departments issued 67 deregulatory actions and imposed only three new rules in fiscal year 2017, according to senior administration officials. The number far exceeded Trump's goal through his executive order to cut two old rules for any new regulation proposed.

While making the announcement, Trump stood beside a mountain of paperwork that makes up the Federal Register. A piece of red tape connected a much smaller pile, which represented the regulatory code in 1960.

"Within the first eleven months, we canceled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions, more than any previous president, by far," Trump said. "And you see the results, when you look at the stock market, the results of companies, and when you see companies coming back into our country."

"Instead of eliminating two old regulations for every one new regulation, we have eliminated 22" he said. "Twenty-two. That's a big difference. We aimed for 2 for 1, and in 2017, we hit 22-1."

A senior official said the administration deregulatory moves were taken in careful and mindful ways and have saved $8.1 billion in lifetime net regulatory costs.

Trump said regulations related to worker protections, clean air, and water would remain. The administration is targeting the "ever-growing maze of regulations, rules, restrictions" that have "cost our country trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, and devastated many industries," he said.

The roll back in regulations is a stunning contrast to the Obama administration, which imposed a record 600 major regulations, adding rules that cost the economy $100 million or more at a rate of every three days.

The Trump administration has withdrawn or delayed 1,579 planned regulatory actions. This includes 635 regulations that were withdrawn, 244 regulations that were made inactive, and 700 regulations that were delayed.

The administration will be more ambitious next year, with Trump promising to get the Federal Register to 1960 levels. The Federal Register is 185,000 pages today, and was only 20,000 pages in 1960.

In fiscal year 2018, agencies and departments have committed to cutting $9.8 billion in lifetime costs for regulations, saving $686.6 million per year.

"We're going to cut a ribbon because we're getting back below the 1960 level," Trump said, holding a pair of gold scissors. "And we'll be back there fairly quickly." 

This entry was posted in Politics and tagged Donald Trump, Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Ms Harrington, Free Beacon, and President Trump.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Most Editors of Medical Journals Receive Industry Payments: Report

Retraction Watch
Allison McCook
Nov 8, 2017

When examining the roles of conflicts of interest in academic publishing, most research focuses on transparency around the payments authors receive. But what about journal editors? According to a new Peer J preprint, two-thirds of editors at prominent journals received some type of industry payment over the last few years – which, at many journals, editors are never required to disclose. (The findings echo those reported by another recent paper in The BMJ, published six days later.) We spoke with Victoria Wong at The Queens Medical Center in Hawaii, first author of the Peer J preprint.

Retraction Watch: In studies of academic integrity, most people concentrate on the authors who submit to journals, and on the articles published by journals, as a way to assess the integrity of science publications. What drew your attention to the individual editors and their possible influence on the process?

Victoria Wong: Since reading JG Ray’s 2002 editorial “Judging the judges: the role of journal editors,” I’ve been interested in studying journal editors as a group: their qualifications, their training, and their biases. When you think of the process behind how science gets published and how to keep that process objective and unbiased, there are many safeguards in place. The focus of these various restrictions and reporting requirements, however, is largely on scientist authors and those who peer review their work. But journal editors are the ones who choose which manuscripts are sent out for peer review, who those peer reviewers are, and ultimately decide what gets published and what doesn’t. Because of their large role in shaping science, the biases of journal editors should be under closer scrutiny. Presently, there are only vague recommendations regarding medical editor conflict of interest by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which stand in marked contrast to very specific declaration requirements for authors.

RW: Almost two-thirds of the “top-tier” physician-editors in your sample received industry payments of some form over the course of the study period, August 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016. Within each specialty, editors received more in payments than the average doctor — the opposite of what you predicted. Although there were big ranges in payments, some of the extremes appear to be concerning. For instance, in an average year, 4 out of 10 editors received payments; more than 1 in 7 were given more than $10,000 — to them directly, not their institution. Are these numbers concerning to you?

VW: Yes, these numbers are concerning and suggest we’d like to know more about the editorial activity of physician-editors with significant financial conflicts of interest, such as manuscripts that they accepted and rejected. The higher payments to editors compared to all doctors within the field was initially surprising, since there is a desire to think of academic endeavors like journal editing as unbiased and non-commercial. That said, medical editors are generally leaders and experts in their academic field, so it makes sense that their opinions would be most respected by practicing clinicians and thus, most important to producers of medical products.

RW: Which fields showed higher payments than others?

VW: Cardiology stood out as a field in which a large majority of United States-based cardiologists (both physician-editors and all physicians in the field) received general industry payments, with 44% of cardiology editors in our study receiving over $10,000 in payments in the year 2015. When a majority of top-tier editors in the top five cited cardiology journals are receiving industry payments, there is certainly a concern for the potential of financially driven decision making at the expense of good science, so mandating transparency becomes even more important.

RW: Looking at your Figure 2, it looked like payments dropped in 2016, and larger payments (>$5,000) have been dropping overall year to year. Do you think that increased calls for transparency might have anything to do with this, or the economy, or is there some other factor?

VW: Though it’s difficult to illustrate a trend with only three years of complete data, it is possible that this is the exact effect the Physician Payments Sunshine Act was supposed to produce. With increased transparency about financial conflicts of interest, it is now easier to shine a spotlight on the biases of physician practices from research to prescribing practices, and of course, scientific publication.

RW: You suggest banning all editors-in-chief from receiving industry funds, but wouldn’t this be an undue burden for burgeoning journals where an editor’s salary might not be sufficient to allow physicians to limit their research or practice? Isn’t it somewhat advantageous to have editors with direct research involvement/knowledge?
VW: It would be ideal for most editors to have some significant research experience, but not at the expense of losing objectivity and transparency. The more funds that come from industry, the greater the likelihood that editorial decisions are not objective. It is unfortunate that we’re discussing the incomes of the very people who are the gatekeepers of the medical research that drives health care policy and expenditure, yet our current system does not think it important enough to provide them with a dedicated and unbiased source of income to do this job.

RW: You made an important point that the disclosure requirements for authors are (as a rule) far more stringent than those for editors, and some journals do not seem to have any disclosure requirements for editors. Part of your recommendations are that journals/publishers adopt a conflict of interest/financial disclosure process at least as vigorous as they have for authors. Have you spoken with journals/publishers to see how receptive they are to this idea?

VW: Ultimately, this type of policy change is within the purview and authority of organizations such as the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Council of Science Editors (CSE). These committees have created sets of scientific publication guidelines with recommendations on topics such as authorship, scientific misconduct, and conflicts of interest. I would like to see additional guidelines related to journal editor oversight come out of our study results.

RW: We noticed a recent paper in The BMJ that also looks at industry payments to physician journal editors. How is this study different from yours?

VW: We read the BMJ article with interest, as their study group collected data from the same Open Payments database we used. Our study included complete 2013 to 2016 Open Payments data for editors of the top five journals from each of seven disciplines, whereas their study examined 2014 Open Payments data for editors of the top two journals from each of 26 medical disciplines. Our nearly four years of data allowed for tracking of trends over time. Additionally our deeper focus on fewer disciplines allowed for side-by-side comparison between physician-editors and all physicians within their field.

The BMJ study group chose their top journals based on impact factor, whereas we chose journals based on total citations, which allows for measurement of a journal’s impact within the full universe of citations by all medical journals.

The Open Payments database includes three types of payments, the third category of which is “Associated Research Funding.” This category is defined as “Payments to a research institution or entity where a physician is named as a principal investigator on the research project.” This category was excluded by the BMJ study, but we felt it was important to include in some of our calculations. Although this money is not being pocketed directly by the physician-editor, it remains beneficial to them indirectly through their institution and thus is a potential source of bias when they are making manuscript decisions.

Ultimately, both our studies picked up on the one physician-editor who received greater than a $10 million industry payment in a single year, and both studies came to a similar conclusion: A strong recommendation for increased transparency in editor conflict of interest.

Thank You Ms McCook, Ms Wong, and Retraction Watch.

Coming Attractions: How The Biggest Political Scandal In History Will Play Out In 2018

American Thinker
By Thomas Lifson

A lot of frustration has been expressed – on these pages and elsewhere – over the slow pace of progress in unraveling the Deep State coup against Trump. But, “the process of uncovering the worst political scandal in American history” as I called it a couple of days ago, needs to be done the right way, or else it will founder under the waves of abuse that will pour from the media and political branches of the establishment. Not only must legal niceties be observed, the rollout of information must be undertaken with a strategy in mind. Each step builds on the previous, and addresses the probable response.

When Rod Rosenstein evaded the answers being sought in a Congressional hearing and deferred to the Inspector General investigation underway, I thought it a reasonable response. Even though Rosenstein is now a hate-object for having appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel. The IG, Michael E. Horowitz, is no political stooge. (For background on the Inspectors General, see Ed Lasky here and here. There are unsung heroes of our constitutional republic among them, hero-federal bureaucrats.)

And letting any of the IG's cats out of the bag early could have serious consequences.

Sundance of Conservative Treehouse has a must-read column today, analyzing the pattern of disclosures from the IG. In Sundance’s words, “It looks just like a prosecutor laying out his case.”

Consider what is at stake; and further consider that you were given the task of revealing the outcome of an investigation of such consequence. How would you introduce the findings to the larger U.S. electorate? Given the timing of the releases from the IG’s investigation, I think that’s what we are seeing in the past two weeks. A prosecutor laying out his case over the course of multiple media cycles. (snip)

There is a pattern in the released OIG information and how we retrieve it from the media.

♦Ahead of FBI Director Christopher Wray appearing before congress the IG released the information about FBI Agent Strzok and his mistress FBI/DOJ Attorney Lisa Page.

♦Just before Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe was going to appear before congress the IG released information about DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr.

Andrew McCabe ducked out of the hearing, and will now appear next week. Boy-oh-boy that one should be interesting. If he’s still employed. (anticipating more releases here)

♦Just before DOJ Asst. AG Rod Rosenstein appeared before congress the IG released the actual text messaging information from Agent Strzok and Lisa Page.

See the pattern?

Sundance lays out what I have been thinking of as a story arc, the broad picture of where this can be expected to develop, given the facts as we know them at the moment. I am always conscious that President Trump is a master showman with a specialty in reality TV. He thinks in terms of story arcs.

The OIG is laying out the case for further inquiry, investigation and more importantly questioning, of each of the aforementioned officials. (snip)

…the IG is laying out his prosecutable case before the American public via TV and congressional appearances. In my humble opinion none of this is accidental. This is strategic white hat distribution of material that is immensely important to the larger U.S. electorate. The subject matter is so consequential, it needs to be absorbed in small digestible portions.

We should be hearing from the IG in the early part of next year, in time for this to start to unfold in TV prior to the November midterm elections.

Sundance looks ahead the next couple of steps, toward prosecution, and followsthe potential chain upward. Momentum, and consequently timing, is critical because of the expected all-out resistance. Watergate was nothing compared to this.

Thank You Mr Lifson and American Thinker.

Grassley Fires Off Scorching Letter To DOJ After Anti-Trump Texts Reveal Burner Phone "Insurance Policy"

by Tyler Durden
Dec 14, 2017 9:44 AM

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley fired off a letter late Wednesday to the DOJ, asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to explain several disturbing revelations contained within anti-Trump text messages sent between FBI investigators Peter Strzok and his FBI-Attorney mistress Lisa Page - both of whom were central to the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia probe, and both of whom were removed from Robert Mueller's Special counsel when their text messages came to light. Rosenstein appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to answer questions about Strzok, Page and Mueller's investigation.

Rosenstein stood by Robert Mueller's investigation, telling lawmakers dismayed at a trove of damning text messages that he is "not aware of any impropriety" on the Special Counsel (which is stacked with anti-Trump Democrats, who have reportedly also sent anti-Trump messages), saying "I think it's important that when we talk about political affiliation... The issue of bias is something different," adding "We recognize we have employees with political opinions. And it's our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions. And so, I believe that Director Mueller understands that and he is running that office appropriately."

Grassley raised serious concerns in his letter to the DOJ addressed to Rosenstein, as just two of over 10,000 (!?) text messages referred to an "insurance policy" against a Trump presidency, and a special phone they used "when we talk about hillary because it can't be traced."

Grassley's letter reads:

"Yesterday, the Justice Department released a subset of text messages requested by the Committee. The limited release of 375 text messages between Mr. Peter Strzok and Ms. Lisa Page indicate a highly politicized FBI environment during both the Clinton and Russia investigations. For example, one text message from Ms. Page proclaims to Mr. Strzok, “God(,) Trump is a loathsome human.

Some of these texts appear to go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency. Mr. Strzok writes the following to Ms. Page:

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…

Presumably, “Andy” refers to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. So whatever was being discussed extended beyond just Page and Stzrok at least to Mr. McCabe, who was involved in supervising both investigations

Another text from Ms. Page to Mr. Strzok on April 2, 2016, says the following:

So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about hillary because it can’t be traced, you were just venting bc you feel bad that you’re gone so much but it can’t be helped right now.

That text message occurred during Mr. Strzok’s involvement in the Clinton investigation and days before he interviewed Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills on April 5, 2016 and April 9, 2016, respectively. Thus, the mention of “hillary” may refer to Secretary Clinton and therefore could indicate that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page engaged in other communications about an ongoing investigation on a different phone in an effort to prevent it from being traced."

Grassley then asks the following questions of the DOJ:
On what date did you become aware of the text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page and on what date were they each removed from the Special Counsel’s office?
Are there any other records relating to the conversation in Andrew McCabe’s office shortly before the text described above on August 15, 2016? [the "insurance policy" text] If so please produce them to the Committee.
Please provide all records relating to Andrew McCabe’s communications with Peter Stzrok or Lisa Page between August 7, 2016 and August 23, 2016.
What steps have you taken to determine whether Mr. Strzok, Mr. Page, and Mr. McCabe should face disciplinary action for their conduct?
My understanding is that the Inspector General’s current investigation is limited to the handling of the Clinton email matter only. What steps have you taken to determine whether steps taken during the campaign to escalate the Russia investigation might have been a result of the political animus evidenced by these text messages rather than on the merits?
Has the Department identified the referenced “that phone” Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page used to discuss Secretary Clinton? What steps has the Department taken to review the records on this other phone that allegedly “can’t be traced.” If none, please explain why

Grassley also tweeted "FBI owes answers abt "insurance policy" against Trump victory," adding "...why would senior FBI leaders use secret phones that "cant be traced" to talk Hillary?"

Grassley grilled Senate Democrats last week for their unwillingness to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration, stating that the Democrats on the committee he oversees "only want to talk about [President] Trump."

There are two major controversies plaguing the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI right now. On the one hand the Trump Russia investigation, and then on the other hand the handling of the Clinton investigation. Any congressional oversight related to either one of these topics is not credible without also examining the other. Both cases were active during last year's campaign. Both cases have been linked to the firing of the FBI Director.

These questions go to the heart of the integrity of our federal law enforcement and justice system.

With Chuck Grassley on the warpath in the Senate, and the House Intel Committee chasing down FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, one has to wonder how long the FBI and DOJ are going to be able to maintain this farce before shutting it down - especially if in fact other members of Mueller's team also sent anti-Trump messages as journalist Sara Carter has claimed.

[Ed; there's a Grassley tweet and a Video at zerohedge if you want them.]

Thank You Mr Durden and zerohedge.

Boeing Execs Head To Iran As Congress Cracks Down On Tehran's Use of Planes For Terror

Adam Kredo
December 13, 2017 12:20 pm

Executives from major airplane manufacturers Boeing and AirBus will reportedly head to Iran next week to hammer down multi-billion dollar deals to sell the Islamic Republic a new fleet of commercial planes amid a congressional crackdown on Tehran's continued use of commercial aircraft to transport weapons and terrorist fighters across the region.

As controversy continues to swirl around Boeing's and AirBus's efforts to sell Iran a fleet of new jets, Congress has taken steps to mandate the U.S. government release public reports outlining Tehran's continued use of commercial aircraft for illicit terrorism purposes.

The multi-billion dollar deals with Iran have been opposed by many in Congress who have disclosed evidence that the Islamic Republic routinely uses commercial aircraft as cover when illicitly transporting weapons and fighters across the Middle East.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported in October that the Trump administration has been reviewing the sales with an increasingly critical eye, and could decline to grant Boeing the necessary licenses to complete the deal. The State Department emphasized and explained this stance on Wednesday when approached by the Free Beacon for comment.

Boeing executives were in Tehran as recently as May, when they met with a top former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) member who threatened to blow up U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region. That official, Hossein Alaei, is now the CEO of Aseman Airlines, one of the state-controlled airlines Boeing is seeking to ink a deal with.

Executives from both Boeing and AirBus will reportedly travel to Iran again next week to discuss how Tehran will finance the purchase of a new commercial fleet, which could number at least 180 planes combined.

Massoumeh Asgharzadeh, the head of Iran Air Public Relations Office, reportedly stated that Iran intends finance the new deal domestically.

"Our preference is to use domestic financial resources, but we also have the option to finance the purchases through Airbus and Boeing themselves," the official was quoted as saying in Iran's press.

As the Western airplane manufacturers continue to pursue deals with Iran, Congress took steps this week to more fully expose Iran's use of these types of planes for terrorism purposes.

Included in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a mammoth yearly funding bill for America's defense priorities, is a requirement that the U.S. government begin providing Congress with an annual report on Iran's use of commercial aircraft for illicit purposes.

The effort, lawmakers told the Free Beacon, is meant to highlight the danger of deals being pursued by Boeing and AirBus.

"Iran Air has been using their sanctions relief money from Obama's nuclear deal to fly weapons, material, and fighters directly into Syria," Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), the architect of the new effort, told the Free Beacon.

"We need a closer look into how Iran is propping up the murderous Assad regime," Perdue said. "As President Trump determines how it will proceed with regard to these commercial aircraft sales, a new reporting requirement included in the defense bill he signed into law today will help give us a better look at Iran's nefarious behavior."

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), who spearheaded the reporting requirement in the House, told the Free Beacon that Boeing and AirBus executives should not be holding meetings with Iran's hardline regime.

"The reports of Boeing and Airbus executives traveling to Tehran to sell aircraft to the Iranian regime’s airliner are outrageous," Roskam said. "In the past month, IRGC-backed forces have threatened to attack U.S. forces in Iraq and Iran’s military leadership has threatened Europe with ballistic missiles. No American company should be doing business with this regime, let alone be selling militarily-fungible jets to the terror-supporting transport-arm of the IRGC."

The State Department would not directly comment on potential licenses that may or may not be granted to Boeing, but told the Free Beacon that Iran's use of commercial aircraft for terror purposes is extremely concerning.

The Trump administration will not grant any license to sell Iran commercial aircraft unless it can be concretely proven they will not be used for illicit operations.

"We do not comment on individual OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control] specific licenses, but the administration's position is clear: We will not issue export licenses unless we are convinced the aircraft will be used exclusively for civilian passenger aviation," a State Department official told the Free Beacon.

"We condemn Iran's role in facilitating the abuses of the Syrian regime against its own people and we are very concerned with any reports that Iran may be using its commercial passenger airlines for anything other than exclusively civilian passenger aviation," the administration official said.

Under the landmark nuclear deal, the United States reserves the right to revoke any and all licenses permitting such sales if it is determined Iran is using the aircraft for nefarious purposes.

U.S. officials have emphasized this point to Iranian officials, according to the State Department official.

"Should the United States determine that licensed aircraft, goods, or services have been used for purposes other than exclusively commercial passenger aviation end-use, or have transferred to sanctioned persons, we reserved the right under the JCPOA to cease issuing – or to revoke – aircraft licenses," the official said. "We have made this point clear to Iran and other JCPOA participants." 

This entry was posted in National Security and tagged Boeing, Iran. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Mr Kredo and Free Beacon 

see also:

Johnson and Johnson, Glaxo Smith Kline Accused of Funding Groups With Ties To Islamic Terror

Free Trade Uber Alles!

Globalism: Socialism in a Business Suit.

Waiting Times For Canada's Single-Payer Health Care System Hit Record High

Ali Meyer
December 13, 2017 3:15 pm

Democratic senators including Sanders, Warren, and Gillibrand tout benefits of Canada's system as model for U.S.

Waiting times for medically necessary health care services under Canada's single-payer system have hit a record high, according to a report from the Fraser Institute.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has touted Canada's single-payer system, saying it is a model the United States should follow. He introduced a "Medicare for All" plan this past September.

"The issue that has got to be studied is how does it happen that here in Canada they provide quality care to all people, and I don't think there is any debate that the quality of care here is as good or better than the United States, and they do it for half the cost," Sanders said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) cosponsored Sanders's bill, saying she believes the measure will bring high-quality and low-cost care to Americans. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) wrote a provision in Sanders's bill allowing Americans to buy into a public plan during the transition to single-payer.

The Fraser Institute found that patients under Canada's single-payer system this year waited an average of 10.9 weeks—roughly two-and-a-half months—from the time they had a consultation with a specialist to the time at which they received treatment. Physicians consider 7.2 weeks to be a clinically reasonable wait time.

The report also found that patients' wait for treatment after referral to a specialist by their general practitioner was 21.2 weeks, or longer than four months.

"This year's wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey's history—is 128 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks," the report states.

The report, which looks at 10 provinces in Canada, found that there are 1,040,791 patients waiting for procedures. There are also high wait times to receive scans and ultrasounds. Patients waited an average of 10.8 weeks for an MRI scan and 3.9 weeks for an ultrasound.

"Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences," the report states. "Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish."

According to the report, patients experience long wait times for surgeries, waiting as long as 41.7 weeks for orthopedic surgery, 32.9 weeks for neurosurgery, and 31.4 weeks for ophthalmology.

"In certain instances, [wait times] can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities," the report states. "In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general."

Fraser points out that previous studies have found the lost economic output in waiting for joint replacement surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, MRI scans, and cataract surgery totaled $14.8 billion in 2007.

The report also notes that 46.3 percent of patients would prefer to have their procedure performed within a week if they had the opportunity to do so.

Sally Pipes, a former Canadian and president of the Pacific Research Institute, said one of the incentives for her to come to America was the growing problem with Canada's health care system.

Pipes's mother, who lived in Canada, died from colon cancer in 2005 because she couldn't get a colonoscopy. She finally received one two weeks before she died when she was hemorrhaging.

"Why is it that politicians are out there calling for single payer when we have an example of a real single payer system right north of the border and that 63,500 Canadians go abroad in order to get procedures when they think the wait times are too long?" Pipes asks. "Right now in Canada there's just over a million Canadians waiting on a waiting list to get a procedure."

"The thing that is very worrying to me is this rising call for single payer, both at the state level and nationally in the United States by Bernie Sanders and 16 other senators, a number of people in the House—116 House members want Medicare for all and yet in Canada you hear all [these] stories about the waiting times," she said.

Pipes said Americans would be appalled by the quality of the hospitals and their equipment in Canada and that is because government is calling the shots, which increases wait times and rations care. She says an example of a true single-payer system in the United States is the Veterans Administration.

"We've just seen in the last couple of years all of the problems with the VA and the waiting times for our Vets and the lack of access to the latest procedures even under the Veterans Choice Program," Pipes said. "This is what will happen if Bernie Sanders gets his way."

"I just can't imagine that Americans would tolerate waiting 4.1 weeks for a CT scan, 10.8 weeks for an MRI, and 4 weeks for an ultrasound, but that’s what happens when government is the sole provider of your health care," she said. "Canada spends 11.5 percent of its gross domestic product on health care and in order to keep that number at that level they have to ration care and deny care, and you have long waits."

Pipes also refutes Sanders's claim that Canada's system offers relatively the same quality of care at a cheaper cost.

"It isn't cheaper because Canadians pay for health care through their taxes," Pipes explains. "The average Canadian family pays anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000 a year in taxes for a system where they have to wait over five months from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist."

"There's fewer doctors relative to the population than in all but four other industrialized countries," she said. "It's last in terms of acute care hospital beds and there's doctor shortages, residency spots are down, and waiting times—this is what happens when government controls the health care system, and this is what Bernie Sanders wants for the United States."
This entry was posted in Issues and tagged Canada, Health Care, Medicare. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank You Ms Meyer and Free Beacon.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

FBI Texts Reveal 'Insurance Policy' To Prevent Trump Presidency

Deep is the swamp. Drain it you must Young Jedi.

Tyler Durden

Dem Jones Defeats Roy Moore in Alabama/Joan Rivers on Carson

Roy Moore Refuses To Concede: Will Wait On God and Let This Process Play Out.

If you think this is bizarre, . . . past being prologue and all, . . . just, . . . give it a few months.

It's not as though massive Democrat Voter Fraud hasn't happened before.

Obama Voter Fraud: Research Link Fest

And with that, here's what Used to be fall down funny in America, back when we still Had a sense of humor, . . . before we succumbed to virtually Any non-PC Speech deserving a stoning in this country.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Its Time To Re-Think Education - Part 1 (Indoctrination)

Never seen it handled with more insight and uncompromising Hell Fire.

This is a Must Read. Don't put it off.  

Only a system as ruthless and relentlessly totalitarian as our Edu/Indoctrination complex could scam the tax payers into paying them to invent Thought Crimes.

Via Zerohedge
Tyler Durden

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
– Mark Twain

As a father of two young children, my thoughts have increasingly started to center around their young lives and the future world they’ll inhabit. Such considerations quickly lead to stressful questions such as, what are the best schools in the area? Which option can provide the best environment in which to thrive? If the best options aren’t public, can we afford them? Is it worth the money? All these questions and more have filled the minds of my wife and I over the past couple of years, but lately we’ve started to ask even bigger questions, such as whether the compulsory education system as it exists in the U.S. in 2017 makes any sense in the first place. I’m increasingly starting to conclude that it doesn’t.

Before I get into that, let’s take a step back. A lot of what I do here at Liberty Blitzkrieg is highlight what’s perverse and destructive about human behavior at this time, and how things can be made dramatically better in the future. If I had to summarize my worldview concisely, I’d state that human beings at the moment are living under highly centralized, hierarchical power structures which are gamed by unethical, greedy and corrupt people at the top who exploit the masses ruthlessly.

Since the worst of humanity will always work hardest and most violently to attain power (this will always be the case), the only way to achieve lasting, positive change is to systemically move to a different model for human activity. Trying to get decent people at the top of a highly centralized power structure is counterproductive and merely a short-term solution if it can even be achieved in the first place. What we need to do is tear down and reduce centralized power as much possible in the first place. If power becomes distributed far more widely across the planet, the ability for mass control and consolidation becomes much more difficult, if not impossible.

The most significant theme of the next hundred years (at least) will be a dramatic shift toward decentralized networks in nearly all aspects of human affairs. We’ve already seen its profound impact in a dramatic decentralization of information/media content creation and distribution, and we’re starting to see its impact when it comes to currency/monetary systems. Without the arrival and viral adoption of the internet on the scene, none of this would’ve been possible. More importantly, only 50% of the planet is currently online and massive social media networks have only been going for a decade or so. If we assume the internet isn’t going anywhere, we’re only in the very, very beginning stages of how it’ll ultimately shape human affairs.

As I noted in the recent post, Bitcoin, Terence McKenna and the Future of the Internet:
I remain in awe of the implications of people across the world easily talking to one another in real time and forming global networks. We’ve become so accustomed to social media at this point many of us already take for granted how extraordinary and revolutionary it really is. Nothing like this has ever happened before in human history, and it’s hard for me not to be extremely optimistic about its impact on life here on earth over a longer time horizon.
One of the most remarkable things about humans across the world talking to one another, is it becomes increasingly difficult to manipulate distinct populations into hating each other and rallying around wars that only benefit elite sociopaths in the first place.

As things stand now, people from all over the planet are examining the way the world functions and coming to the conclusion that it’s completely insane and anti-human. We live in a world where we’re told to be slaves to authority and expert judgement, despite the fact that such figures are consistently and spectacularly wrong, with their proclamations often leading to massive levels of death, destruction and economic collapse all over the world. To summarize, the world as it’s currently organized is transparently insane and cannot stand up to even the slightly degree of scrutiny. As more and more people wake up to this reality, the world will change in unimaginable ways. The earth as it stands today will be recognizable in 25 years.

Although I’ve discussed what this means when it comes to governing institutions and monetary systems on many occasions this year, one area that I’ve only begun to explore is education. As our kids creep toward the age where most children enter the school system, my wife and I have started to examine what this system looks like, and if it’s as insane as everything else about the world today. The answer seems to be, yes.

Earlier this year, I came across a 1990 speech given by famed teacher and author, John Taylor Gatto, and it completely and totally blew my mind. I highlight a few excerpts below, but cannot stress enough how important it is to read the entire thing. It’s one of the most powerful pieces of information I’ve ever shared.
Our school crisis is a reflection of this greater social crisis. We seem to have lost our identity. Children and old people are penned up and locked away from the business of the world to a degree without precedent – nobody talks to them anymore and without children and old people mixing in daily life a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present. In fact, the name “community” hardly applies to the way we interact with each other. We live in networks, not communities, and everyone I know is lonely because of that. In some strange way school is a major actor in this tragedy just as it is a major actor in the widening guilt among social classes. Using school as a sorting mechanism we appear to be on the way to creating a caste system, complete with untouchables who wander through subway trains begging and sleep on the streets.

I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my twenty-five years of teaching – that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers do care and do work very hard, the institution is psychopathic – it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to different cell where he must memorize that man and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.

Our form of compulsory schooling is an invention of the state of Massachusetts around 1850. It was resisted – sometimes with guns – by an estimated eighty per cent of the Massachusetts population, the last outpost in Barnstable on Cape Cod not surrendering its children until the 1880’s when the area was seized by militia and children marched to school under guard…

Here is another curiosity to think about. The homeschooling movement has quietly grown to a size where one and a half million young people are being educated entirely by their own parents. Last month the education press reported the amazing news that children schooled at home seem to be five or even ten years ahead of their formally trained peers in their ability to think.

I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools anytime soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what is rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution “schools” very well, but it does not “educate” – that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent, it’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing.

Schools were designed by Horace Mann and Barnard Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.

To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic – because the community life which protects the dependent and the weak is dead. The products of schooling are, as I’ve said, irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on the telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal but as human beings they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves…

It is absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety, indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, scaling you to a continuous present much the same way television does…
I could name a few other conditions that school reform would have to tackle if our national decline is to be arrested, but by now you will have grasped my thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Either schools have caused these pathologies, or television, or both. It’s a simple matter [of] arithmetic, between schooling and television all the time the children have is eaten away. That’s what has destroyed the American family, it is no longer a factor in the education of its own children. Television and schooling, in those things the fault must lie.

What can be done? First we need a ferocious national debate that doesn’t quit, day after day, year after year. We need to scream and argue about this school thing until it is fixed or broken beyond repair, one or the other. If we can fix it, fine; if we cannot, then the success of homeschooling shows a different road to take that has great promise. Pouring the money we now pour into family education might kill two birds with one stone, repairing families as it repairs children.

Genuine reform is possible but it shouldn’t cost anything. We need to rethink the fundamental premises of schooling and decide what it is we want all children to learn and why. For 140 years this nation has tried to impose objectives downward from the lofty command center made up of “experts”, a central elite of social engineers. It hasn’t worked. It won’t work. And it is a gross betrayal of the democratic promise that once made this nation a noble experiment. The Russian attempt to create Plato’s republic in Eastern Europe has exploded before [our] eyes, our own attempt to impose the same sort of central orthodoxy using the schools as an instrument is also coming apart at the seams, albeit more slowly and painfully. It doesn’t work because its fundamental premises are mechanical, anti-human, and hostile to family life. Lives can be controlled by machine education but they will always fight back with weapons of social pathology – drugs, violence, self-destruction, indifference, and the symptoms I see in the children I teach…

Independent study, community service, adventures in experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships, the one day variety or longer – these are all powerful, cheap and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force the idea of “school” open – to include family as the main engine of education. The Swedes realized that in 1976 when they effectively abandoned the system of adopting unwanted children and instead spent national time and treasure on reinforcing the original family so that children born to Swedes were wanted. They didn’t succeed completely but they did succeed in reducing the number of unwanted Swedish children from 6000 in l976 to 15 in 1986. So it can be done. The Swedes just got tired of paying for the social wreckage caused by children not raised by their natural parents so they did something about it. We can, too.

Family is the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents – and make no mistake, that has been the central function of schools since John Cotton announced it as the purpose of the Bay Colony schools in 1650 and Horace Mann announced it as the purpose of Massachusetts schools in 1850 – we’re going to continue to have the horror show we have right now. The curriculum of family is at the heart of any good life, we’ve gotten away from that curriculum, time to return to it. The way to sanity in education is for our schools to take the lead in releasing the stranglehold of institutions on family life, to promote during school time confluences of parent and child that will strengthen family bonds. That was my real purpose in sending the girl and her mother down the Jersey coast to meet the police chief. I have many ideas to make a family curriculum and my guess is that a lot of you will have many ideas, too, once you begin to think about it. Our greatest problem in getting the kind of grass-roots thinking going that could reform schooling is that we have large vested interests pre-emptying all the air time and profiting from schooling just exactly as it is despite rhetoric to the contrary. We have to demand that new voices and new ideas get a hearing, my ideas and yours. We’ve all had a bellyful of authorized voices mediated by television and the press – a decade long free-for-all debate is what is called for now, not any more “expert” opinions. Experts in education have never been right, their “solutions” are expensive, self-serving, and always involve further centralization. Enough. Time for a return to democracy, individuality, and family. I’ve said my piece. Thank you.
This above excerpts are from a speech by John Taylor Gatto accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990. Please read the entire thing and share it with the following link: Why Schools Don’t Educate.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss the concept of unschooling and why it’s captured my attention recently.

Thank You for bringing this to everyone's attention, Mr Durden.