Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On Critical Thinking

Kevin Friery Questions from the Floor
By nature, critical thinking leads to more questions than answers. For a skilled critical thinker, issues are rarely simple. Because critical thought requires approaching a problem from many angles and many perspectives, solutions tend to come in shades of gray rather than black and white. 

People who are not inclined towards critical thinking, have a much greater tendency to see things in terms of black and white. For them, conforming to a solution posed by the group with whom they identify is easy and even the obvious "right thing to do." They may interpret the failure of critical thinkers to do likewise as "crazy" or "stupid."

Critical thinking does not come naturally to humans. It requires ongoing training and self-discipline. The difference between the skilled critical thinker and the average thinker is as dramatic as the difference between the physique of a pro body builder and the average physique.

Teach's Precepts for Critical Thinking:

1. High levels of certainly often correlates to low levels of critical thinking [1]
Examples from the Left and the Right of failure to critically evaluate the issue:
1. On the Left: "All of my friends at the health food store say that immunizations are dangerous and cause autism. There are scientific studies that prove it. Immunizations are part of a conspiracy generated by the medical industrial complex."
In truth, there was a single flawed study linking immunization to autism. The results have not been replicated, and overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the need for immunization reflects the consensus of the scientific community. So, if you believe that immunizations are bad, this belief is likely based on anecdotes, your need to conform to the group with whom you identify, and on your intuitive feelings of paranoia.
2. On the Right: "The guys on Talk Radio say that climate change is a myth. Many scientists agree. The whole global warming thing is a conspiracy perpetrated by liberal scientists who want grant money."
Actually, there has never been a more researched natural phenomenon in history than climate change. Overwhelming scientific evidence supports the validity of climate change caused by human activity and this view is supported by a consensus of the scientific community. If you believe that climate change is not occurring or that it is not caused by human activity, this belief is likely based on anecdotes, your need to conform to the group with whom you identify, and on your intuitive feelings of paranoia. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.short
That said, alternative theories to the scientific consensus are a VERY good thing. On occasion, the scientist who opposes the consensus will find strong opposing evidence. As opposing evidence accumulates and eventually outweighs supporting evidence, the scientific consensus will shift to the new position. So, if and when evidence opposing immunization and opposing climate change theory accumulates to the tipping point, good critical thinkers (like the scientific community) will shift to the new position.

I was once trying to teach a particularly difficult theory to a class. About half the class understood the theory and the other half didn't get it. When polled, 100% of the students who understood the theory said they agreed with the theory while 100% of those who failed to understand the theory described it as "stupid." It takes time and effort to become informed on complex issues and no effort at all to have a gut level response. Ironically, the informed individual is more likely to be uncertain about his/her position than is the uninformed individual.

2. Objective evidence and logic outweigh popular views and intuition

3. "Feelings" are not evidence. "Common Sense" is not evidence. "Faith" is not evidence. "How I was raised" is not evidence. "Anecdotes" are not evidence.
4. Changing positions when opposing evidence outweighs supporting evidence is the hallmark for critical thought.
5. Ego is the greatest obstacle to critical thought.

[1] "Critical Thinking and Emotional Intelligence." Critical Thinking and Emotional Intelligence. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

Resolution to Be Less Tolerant in 2015

I plan to be less tolerant of Bullies who camouflage insecurity by feeding cowardly egos on the suffering of the weak and less fortunate.

I plan to be less tolerant of Bigots. They are cruel and stupid, more animal than human. I will not eat at the same table with one and would prefer not to drink from water fountains used by these filthy creatures.

I plan to be less tolerant of Homophobes. Their obsession with what other adult human beings do in the privacy of their bedrooms is twisted and perverted. They should be excluded from any role where they have influence over children, be it parent, clergy, teacher, or scout leader.

I plan to be less tolerant of people who think the statement, “That's just how I was raised,” excuses bad behavior. As children we have no choice but to comply with the norms of our families and cultures. As adults it is our sacred responsibility to improve the world by meticulously evaluating the values and “morals” on which we were raised and discarding any that cause harm or suffering to others.

Message from the Bones of a Broken Pirate

We are here to remind you of who you are.
You are temporary.
You are broken.
You are parts that fit together less and less comfortably
You are a sputtering, coughing stream of semi-consciousness
See how easily the veneer peels away and exposes your frailty?
See how your posture mimics a sail on a still afternoon?
You are the scent of stale, empty space
Hear your voice deepen and crack like an old wooden hull?
There is no place to hide, but you try to hide
You are afraid
You are dishonest
What would happen if you forced your crooked frame into the light of day?
Dare you take a peek at what is real?
Would you die of shame?
Can you neutralize the mechanisms that imprison you?
You made the locks so strong
And you love them so

Its Not Really a "Stream" of Consciousness

Until very recently, consciousness was considered sort of a “black box,” a mysterious phenomenon too complex to even attempt to explain in any objective manner. However, new theories are beginning to shine a light on the nature of consciousness. The following is my interpretation of how consciousness operates.

“Stream of consciousness,” is a misleading and ultimately inaccurate metaphor. “Hive of consciousness” or “city of consciousness” is a better fit for our current understanding of the phenomenon. “Stream” implies a linear progression, thoughts moving forward single file. Human thought patterns more closely resemble a popcorn popper than an assembly line.

Consider my average morning. The alarm clock goes off and I enter a vague level of wakeful consciousness. The following blur of thoughts emerges in no particular order:

“Where is that alarm clock ugh I hate that noise my back hurts it’s cold outside no way its already 6:30 I have to pee man I don’t want to get up my mouth is so dry shit its cold in here I have so much to do today I bet the dog needs to go out what time is my first class ok five more minutes”

In less than few seconds, this barrage of thoughts has been condensed into a gut feeling, the cognitive shortcut that automatically tallies up every thought and feeling I have in reaction to the alarm going off and prompts me to act…   “I want more sleep,” so I hit snooze.

Hundreds of thoughts whirl in a nonsensical storm of neuronal firings. Then, they are bundled into chunks called gut feelings, and the gut feelings sometimes prompt us to take some kind of action. The whole process is very quick and very constant.

If we use the analogy of a factory, it would look something like this:
  1. Different objects (thoughts) are thrown from all directions into a hopper
  2. At varying levels of hopper volume, the objects are bagged up (gut feelings)
  3. The bags are conveyed to three different locations
  4. Most of the bags will go to the incinerator (the forgetting process)
  5. Some, will be warehoused for later use (memory)
  6. And, the remaining bags will trigger the “on” switch for any of a wide array of machines (taking some kind of action)

In the same way that our bodies are composed of millions of cells living out their lives as tiny coordinated components of the universe that make up your physical self, your consciousness is composed of millions of random thoughts firing from different parts of the brain and living out their sparks of existence as coordinated components of the universe that is your conscious self.

Personal Mythology: What's Your Theme?

Luca Masters Sand Castle
Freud was keen on the influence of early experiences on personality development. Recently, I explored memories of my own solitary, fantasy play themes from childhood. I chose solitary play, when a child is playing alone with only simple toys and his/her imagination, because the manifestations are a pure reflection of the child's inner world. What I found was a fascinating consistency in patterns that have endured throughout my life! I discussed the phenomenon with my girlfriend who was, likewise, able to recognize play themes that became woven into the very fabric of her personal identity and sense of purpose.

I grew up on the coast of South Carolina. My parents took me to the beach as regularly as parents from other places might have taken their kids to the park. After swimming, body surfing, and feeding some of my snacks to the seagulls, I always built an elaborate sand castle with multiple walls and moats to protect it from the incoming tide. I gained huge satisfaction from re-fighting this losing battle of frantically fortifying my creation against ever advancing waves. The theme of the underdog, bravely taking on impossible odds and fighting until the end resonated deep inside me.

At home, I liked to play smash up derby with my toy cars. I would repeatedly crash two cars together in head-on collisions until one of the cars capsized. The winner would be the car that landed with all four tires on the ground. Some cars were “good guys” others were “bad guys.” My favorite car was the oldest, most beat-up vehicle in my collection. The dilapidated car was an old veteran of the game, battle worn and over the hill, but with such heart that, win or lose, it would fight with its last ounce of strength.

Fighting for the underdog continues to provide a deep sense of meaning in my life. For good or ill, I equate suffering for a good cause to nobility. I have always considered myself peculiar in that, while “winning” in a challenge is nice, it has never been my top priority. For me, "fighting the good fight” takes precedence above all else. Giving my best effort and enduring whatever difficulties that might emerge, represent my gut level measures of success. Winning and goal achievement are wonderful, but of much less importance than giving my all.

My girlfriend's early fantasy play involved pretending to organize elaborate fashion shows. Her role was always to provide support and encouragement to aid her imaginary friends in successfully “starring” in the shows. For my girlfriend, her own inner knowledge of the importance of her contributions and NOT recognition from others defined nobility of character. As an adult, creativity, fashion, and working “behind the scenes” continue to shape her personal sense of meaning.

What were the themes of your fantasy play as a child? Do those themes continue to play out in your adult life? I would love to hear your stories.

Robin Williams

One in four people with bipolar disorder will die by suicide. Abby Hoffman, Phil Ochs, Ernest Hemingway, and Robin Williams all suffered from mental illness. Complicating factors in these deaths are the intrinsic resistance patients have to complying with medical treatment, and well meaning but poorly informed friends and family who reinforce the idea that treatment is unnecessary in all but the floridly psychotic.

I have known two good people who took their own lives and in each case there was a denial of the seriousness of mental illness both by the victims and by the people who loved them.

Psychiatric medicine is still in its infancy. It requires patience and good communication between practitioners and patients. Psychiatry is not snake oil and it is not a conspiracy to "drug people up." Like any serious medical treatment, a cost/benefit analysis should be employed and second opinions should be procured.

The world loses many brilliant minds and kind hearts unnecessarily to mental illness. Think twice before you tell someone to stop or refuse medical treatment for mental illness.

Wealth Distribution in the US if there were 100 People and the GDP was $1000


1 person gets $430

4 people get $72.50 each

15 people get $14 each


80 people get $0.87 each

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chicago Marathon & Race Gear to Africa


$2,230 of $3,000
Raised by 23 people in 2 months
Donate Now


Created May 12, 2015
Erica Schwarting

Monday, October 13, 2014

Notes on Patriotism from an American Atheist

In his book, Capture the flag: a political history of American patriotism, Woden Teachout distinguishes American patriotism from American nationalism.[1] American nationalism requires love and support for our country. I relate nationalism to the commitment one feels for a favorite sports team. Regardless of who is playing on the team, who is coaching the team, who owns the team, and how well the team is doing this season, the fan proclaims, “My team is the best!” Likewise, regardless of the foreign policies of this country, domestic policies of this country, and data on how this country ranks in the world on myriad issues, the nationalist proclaims, “America is the best!” Nationalistic flag waving support for any and all military actions initiated by the US, regardless of the moral grounding of these actions, very much resembles a sports fan rooting for his/her favorite team. The mantra of the American nationalist is, “AMERICA, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!”

Conversely, the focus of American patriotism is love and support for the ideals of our country. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution articulate these values:

·         Popular Sovereignty: The people are the ultimate source of the authority for the government. It derives its right to govern from their consent.
·         Majority Rule and Minority Rights: While decisions are ultimately made by the majority, these decisions may not infringe on the rights of the minority
·         Limited Government: The powers of government are limited by law and kept in check through separated and shared powers, due process of law, and leadership succession through elections
·         Basic Rights: Life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.[2]

As an atheist and a skeptic, I have a deep appreciation for the incisive simplicity of these principles. True American patriotism, by its very nature, prohibits nationalism. A true American patriot holds government accountable to the people. The Iraq War, which ultimately killed between 144,745 and 166,468 civilians and orphaned over half of Iraq’s children, was initiated despite the CIA’s “best Intelligence” indicating Saddam Hussein did NOT have weapons of mass destruction.[3]  A war precipitated by ignoble motivations is tantamount to mass murder and should be repellant to a real American patriot.

There is a significant correlation (.78) between the nature of legislation passed in the US and the desires of the economic elites in America.[4] There is a near zero correlation (.03) between the nature of legislation passed in the US and the desires of the average citizen in America.[5] These statistics demonstrate that popular sovereignty does not currently exist in the US! The American patriot is outraged by such information that cuts to the heart of our democracy. The nationalist may shrug it off as, “just politics.”

A true American patriot ensures that minority rights are protected. The Constitution is very clear on this point. However, disregard for the rights of minorities are in the news every day. African Americans represent 13.2%[6] of the US population, but are arrested at a rate “10 times higher than people who are not black.”[7] Unfairness to any minority group is repugnant to a true patriot, but may be seen as trivial to the nationalist.

A true American patriot supports the separation and limitations of power in government. Laws like Citizens United nullify the checks and balances put into place by the framers of the Constitution to ensure that power is never in the hands of a privileged few. When the economic elite fund politicians from both sides of the isle at all levels of government, there is no longer any real separation of power. Any process that undermines our democracy is an outrage to a patriot. Nationalists, however, will continue to wave the flag and shout, “We’re the best!”

A true American patriot supports the natural rights of everyone everywhere to live freely and pursue their own happiness. Freedom is a fragile and complex notion. Initially, a capitalistic, free-market economy is a healthy environment to foster freedom. However, anyone who has played the game Monopoly knows that it always ends the same way. One player will own everything, while the other players have nothing. Monopoly is an unrestrained capitalist, free-market economy. In the real world, if a society wishes to preserve freedom, capitalism must have checks and balances that continuously even the playing field. Regulations on banking, Wall Street, and others at the top of the food chain protect liberty and freedom for the average citizen.

The fundamental values outlined in the Constitution are forever in the hearts of true American patriots. American liberals and American conservatives should also be American patriots. Nationalists wrapped in the American flag, who claim patriotism, need to be outed for what they really are.

[1]  Teachout, Woden (2009). Capture the flag: a political history of American patriotism. New York, New York, USA: Basic Books. p. 230. 
[3] Taylor, Peter. "Iraq War: The Greatest Intelligence Failure in Living Memory." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.
[4] Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I. Page. "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest
Groups, and Average Citizens." Perspect. Polit. Perspectives on Politics 12.03 (2014): 564-81. Web.
[5] Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I. Page. "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest
Groups, and Average Citizens." Perspect. Polit. Perspectives on Politics 12.03 (2014): 564-81. Web.
[6] "USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau." USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

[7] Heath, Brad. "Racial Gap in U.S. Arrest Rates: 'Staggering Disparity'" USA Today. Gannett, 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Focus on the Family Predicts 101 Outcomes from an Obama Presidency

by guest blogger, Bonnie Cleaveland, PhD

Bill Maher pointed out that in 2008, Focus on the Family wrote a letter to supporters predicting what could happen if President Obama were elected. It's written in the past tense, as if it was 2012 and these (disastrous!!!) things had already happened. The ones that came true (or partially true – I was generous) are in boldface. The original letter is much longer http://www.wnd.com/files/Focusletter.pdf.

Either god is only 8% correct, or the voices that Focus on the Family hears in their heads are not really god. And therein lies the problem with believing that the voices in your head are god speaking to you.

Here are the 101 predictions, 8 of which are true or partially true.

1. "Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more."

2. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens announced they would step down from the Supreme Court....President Obama nominated two far-Left, American Civil Liberties Union-oriented judges, and the Democratic Senate confirmed them quickly."

3. "Justice Kennedy resigned...His replacement – another young liberal Obama appointment – gave a 5-4 majority to justices who were eager to create laws from the bench"

4. " Justice Scalia unexpectedly announced his resignation due to health reasons and by October 2009 another Obama appointment took his oath and joined the court."

5. " …the six liberal justices... decided cases in light of their understanding of the needs of society, and they took more and more precedents not from the U. S. Constitution but from international laws. From the end of 2009, Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito have been constantly outvoted 6-3, and they are essentially powerless. It might be 20 or 30 years before enough new appointments could be made to change the far-Left dominance of the Supreme Court."

6. The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme Court’s stunning affirmation, in early 2010, that homosexual “marriage” was a “constitutional” right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex “marriage” violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution."

7.  Suddenly, homosexual “marriage” was the law of the land in all 50 states, and no state legislature, no state Supreme Court, no state Constitutional amendment, not even Congress, had any power to change it. The Supreme Court had ruled, and the discussion was over.

8. This was a blatant example of creating law by the court, for homosexual “marriage” was mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, nor would any of the authors have imagined that same-sex “marriage” could be derived from their words. But it just followed the precedents that had been set by state supreme courts in Massachusetts (2003),2 California (2008)3 and Connecticut (2008).

9. “President Obama repeated his declaration that he personally was against same-sex “marriage”, but he told the nation there was nothing he could do.”

10. “After that decision, many other policies changed, and several previous Supreme Court cases were reversed rather quickly — raising the question, “Is America still the land of the free?””

11. “The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.”

12. “It had become increasingly difficult for the Boy Scouts to find meeting places anyway, because in 2009 Congress passed and President Obama signed an expansion of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which extended federal civil rights protections to people engaging in homosexual behavior. So the Boy Scouts had already been kicked out of all public facilities.”

13. “Elementary schools now include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness of homosexuality as one possible personal choice. Many parents tried to “opt out” their children from such sessions, but the courts have ruled they cannot do this, noting that education experts in the government have decided that such training is essential to children’s psychological health.”

14. “ Tens of thousands of Christian teachers either quit or were fired, and there are hardly any evangelical teachers in public schools any more.”

15. “Many private Christian schools decided to shut down after the Supreme Court ruled that anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation extended to private institutions such as schools, and that private schools also had to obey the law and teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both morally good choices.”

16. “ There are no more Roman Catholic or evangelical Protestant adoption agencies in the United States. Following earlier rulings in New York 7and Massachusetts,8 the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that these agencies had to agree to place children with homosexual couples or lose their licenses.”

17. “Christian parents seeking to adopt have tried going through secular adoption agencies, but they are increasingly excluding parents with “narrow” or dangerous views on religion or homosexuality.”

18. “All businesses that have government contracts at the national, state or local level now have to provide documentation of equal benefits for same-sex couples. “This was needed to overcome “systemic discrimination” against them and followed on a national level the pattern of policies already in place in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.10

19. “The Bible can no longer be freely preached over radio or television stations when the subject matter includes such “offensive” doctrines as criticizing homosexual behavior. The Supreme Court agreed that these could be kept off the air as prohibited “hate speech” that is likely to incite violence and discrimination.”  

20. “ Physicians who refuse to provide artificial insemination for lesbian couples now face significant fines or loss of their license to practice medicine…”

21. “As a result, many Christian physicians have retired or left the practices of family medicine and obstetrics & gynecology.”

22. “ Lawyers who refuse to handle adoption cases for same-sex couples similarly now lose their licenses to practice law.”

23. “ All other professionals who are licensed by individual states are also prohibited from discriminating against homosexuals. Social workers and counselors, even counselors in church staff positions, who refuse to provide “professional, appropriately nurturing marriage counseling” for homosexual couples lose their counseling licenses.”

24.  “Thousands of Christians have left these professions as a result.”

25.  “ Church buildings are now considered a “public accommodation” by the Supreme Court, and churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples. If they refuse, they lose their tax-exempt status, and they are increasingly becoming subject to fines and anti- discrimination lawsuits.”

26. “While churches are still free to turn down homosexual applicants for the job of senior pastor, churches and parachurch organizations are no longer free to reject homosexual applicants for staff positions such as part- time youth pastor or director of counseling.”

27. “…President Obama invited homosexual rights leaders from around the United States to join him at the White House as he signed an executive order directing all branches of the military to abandon their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and to start actively recruiting homosexuals.

28. “As a result, homosexuals are now given special bonuses for enlisting in military service (to attempt to compensate for past discrimination), and all new recruits, and all active-duty and reserve personnel, are compelled to take many hours of “sensitivity training” to ensure they demonstrate positive attitudes toward those with different sexual orientations and practices. Any one who seems hesitant or who objects is routinely passed over for promotion.

29. “In addition, any [military] chaplain who holds to an interpretation of Scripture that homosexual conduct is morally wrong and therefore does not espouse “mainstream values,” is dismissed from the military.”

30. “High schools are no longer free to allow “See You at the Pole” meetings where students pray together, or any student Bible studies even before or after school.”

31. “The new 6-3 liberal majority on the Supreme Court followed his reasoning and outlawed any use of school property for any kind of religious meeting, even outside of normal school hours”

32. “In addition, Christian students cannot raise religious objections to curriculum material that promotes homosexual behavior.”

33. “Tens of thousands of young churches suddenly had no place to meet when the Supreme Court ruled that public schools in all 50 states had to stop allowing churches to rent their facilities — even on Sundays, when school was not in session. 

34. “ Most of these churches have been unable to find any suitable place to meet. Public libraries and public parks are similarly excluded from allowing churches to use their facilities.”

35. “Campus organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, Navigators, Baptist Campus Ministry, and Reformed University Fellowship have shrunk to skeleton organizations, and in many states they have ceased to exist.”

36. “After the Supreme Court ruled that “proselytizing” speech and “worship” speech did not have the same First Amendment protection as other speech, and after it declared same-sex “marriage” to be the law of the United States, a subsequent Supreme Court decision predictably ruled that universities had to prohibit campus organizations that promote “hate speech” and have discriminatory policies. Therefore these Christian ministries have been prohibited from use of campus buildings, campus bulletin boards, advertising in campus newspapers, and use of dormitory rooms or common rooms for Bible studies.”

37. “ [Christian ministries’] staff members are no longer allowed on university property. 

38. “The only ministries allowed to function on campuses are “non- discriminatory” ministries that agree to allow practicing homosexuals and members of other religions on their governing boards.”

39. “Public school teachers are no longer free to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States.”

40.  “ Congress lost no time in solidifying abortion rights under President Obama.”
“This federal law immediately nullified hundreds of state laws that had created even the slightest barrier to abortion.

41. “States can no longer require parental involvement for minors who wish to have an abortion, waiting period, informed consent rules, restrictions on tax-payer funding or restrictions on late-term abortions.”

42. “ The act reversed the Hyde Amendment, so the government now funds Medicaid abortions for any reason.”

43. “As a result, the number of abortions has increased dramatically.”

44. “ The Freedom of Choice Act also reversed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, so infants can be killed outright just seconds before they would be born.”

45. “Nurses are no longer free to refuse to participate in abortions for reasons of conscience.”

46. “ Many Christian nurses have left the health care field rather than violate their consciences. A number of Christian nurses challenged their loss of jobs in court, but the Supreme Court ruled that medical professionals do not have the
freedom to refuse nonessential, elective care on the basis of conscience.”

47. “The same restrictions apply to doctors: Doctors who refuse to perform abortions can no longer be licensed to deliver babies at hospitals in any state.”

48. “As a result, many Christian doctors have left family medicine and obstetrics, and many have retired.”

49. “ It’s almost impossible to keep children from seeing pornography. The Supreme Court in 2011 nullified all Federal Communications Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and television broadcasts. As a result, television programs at all hours of the day contain explicit portrayals of sexual acts.”

50. “In addition, all city and county laws restricting pornography were struck down by this decision. As a result, pornographic magazines are openly displayed in gas stations, grocery stores and on newsstands”

51. “ It is illegal for private citizens to own guns for self- defense in eight states, and the number is growing with increasing Democratic control of state legislatures and governorships.”

52. “ Citizens in those areas who are discovered owning guns have been subjected to heavy fines and imprisonment.”

53. “ Inner-city violent crime has increased dramatically.”

54. “Parents’ freedom to teach their children at home has been severely restricted.” Homeschooling parents had to agree “not to teach their children that homosexual conduct is wrong, or that Jesus is the only way to God, since these ideas have been found to hinder students’ social adjustment and acceptance of other lifestyles and beliefs, and to run counter to the state’s interest in educating its children to be good citizens.”

55. “ Parents found in violation of this ruling have been subject to prosecutions for truancy violation, resulting in heavy fines and eventual removal of their children from the home.

56. “Thousands of home schooling parents, seeing no alternative in the United States, have begun to emigrate to other countries, particularly Australia and New Zealand, where home schooling is still quite prevalent.”

57. “In his role as commander in chief, President Obama has been reluctant to send our armed forces to any new overseas commitment.”

58.  “ President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and began regular withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.”

59. “Al-Qaida operatives from Syria and Iran poured into Iraq and completely overwhelmed the Iraqi security forces.”

60.  “A Taliban-like oppression has taken over in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of “American sympathizers” have been labeled as traitors, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The number put to death may soon reach the millions.”

61. “Al-Qaida leaders have been emboldened by what they are calling the American “defeat” and their ranks are swelling in dozens of countries.”

62. “President Obama directed U.S. intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first obtained a warrant for each case. “

63. “Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being tried in military tribunals, are given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be allowed access to a number of government secrets to prepare their defense.”

64. “Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe. “

65. “[President Obama] has challenged the nation to increase foreign aid to the poorer nations that were the breeding grounds for terrorism, so people could have an opportunity to escape from the cycles of poverty and violence in which generations had been trapped.”

66. “ As Vice President Joe Biden had predicted on Oct. 20, 2008, some hostile foreign countries “tested” President Obama in his first few months in office. The first test came from Russia. In early 2009, they followed the pattern they had begun in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries, starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

67. “ Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, with no military response from the U.S. or the U.N. NATO.”

68. “President Obama has also moved to deepen U.S. ties and U.S. trade with communist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, regimes that had long enjoyed the favor of far-Left factions in the Democratic Party. “

69. “Several other Latin American countries seem ready to succumb to insurgent communist revolutionary factions funded and armed by millions of petrodollars from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.”

70. “ Iran launched a nuclear bomb that exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night Cabinet meeting, Israel’s prime minister agreed. Israel is reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain. “

71.  “The new Congress under President Obama passed a nationalized “single provider” health care system, in which the U.S. government is the provider of all health care in the United States, following the pattern of nationalized medicine in the United Kingdom and Canada.”

72. “Because medical resources must be rationed carefully by the government, people older than 80 have essentially no access to hospitals or surgical procedures.”

73. “Euthanasia is becoming more and more common.”

74. “President Obama asked Congress for a large tax increase. He explained the deficit had grown so large under President Bush, and the needs of the nation were so great, that we couldn’t afford to cut taxes.”

75. “…Obama’s economic policies have hurt the poor because they have decreased production and increased inflation and unemployment.”
 Here is what happened:

76. “Tax rates have gone up on personal income, dividends, capital gains, corporations, and inheritance transfers.”

77. “ The amount of income subject to Social Security tax has nearly doubled.”

78. “We have experienced a prolonged recession.”

79.  “ In dozens of cities, there are no jobs to be found.”

80. “President Obama increased [the rich’s] tax burden so much that many business owners decided they didn’t want to work any harder when the government was taking so much away.”

81.  “…many of these entrepreneurs have moved their money, their factories, and often themselves, overseas.”

82. “ So many jobs have been lost that welfare rolls have swelled, and President Obama is calling for more taxes to meet the needs of those without work.”

83. “… Obama’s tax bill still included “tax credits” for the lowest 40% of earners…”

84.  “ The federal budget deficit has increased dramatically under President Obama, in spite of higher tax rates. “

85. “Increasing tax rates on “the rich” did nothing to reduce the deficit because the economy shrank so much with reduced investment that the total dollars collected in taxes actually decreased — even though most people’s tax rate is now higher.”

86.  “… Congress passed and President Obama quickly signed a “card check” program that nullified the requirement for secret ballots when voting on whether workers wanted a union shop.”

87. “ Several industries are completely unionized, and prices of goods produced by those industries have shot up as a result.”

88. “World demand for oil continues to climb, and prices keep going up…”

89. “President Obama for four years has refused to allow additional drilling for oil in the United States or offshore.”

90. “Gas costs more than $7 per gallon, and many Democrats openly applaud this, since high prices reduce oil consumption and thus reduce carbon dioxide output. “

91. “…environmentalist legal challenges have prevented the construction of nuclear plants, and the courts have been leaning so far in a pro-environmentalist direction that nobody expects the construction of nuclear plants for several decades, if ever.”

92. “President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to implement strict new carbon emission standards that drove many coal-powered electric plants out of business.”

93. “The price of electricity has tripled in places like California, which also faces rolling blackouts during peak energy periods.”

94. “Through the actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress, Democrats were able to largely silence the largest source of conservative opposition: talk radio.”

95. “… all radio stations have to provide equal time to contrasting views for every political or policy-related program they broadcast by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Janet Parshall, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, and broadcasters like Dr. James Dobson. Every conservative talk show is followed by an instant rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group.”

96. “Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.”

97. “…homosexual-activist groups targeted” Christian publishers and brick-and-mortar bookstores “that had publications arguing that homosexual conduct was wrong based on the teachings of the Bible.” As a result, those evangelical publishers could no longer distribute any of their books through any of these bookstore chains. Any Christian publisher that dares to print works critical of homosexual behavior faces the same fate. As a result, several Christian publishers have gone out of business.”

98.”… Obama followed President Clinton’s precedent and fired all 93 U.S. attorneys, replacing them with his own appointments, including the most active members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

99. “The Justice Department soon began to file criminal and civil charges against nearly every Bush administration official who had any involvement with the Iraq war.”

100. “President Obama rescinded President Bush’s executive order that had prevented presidential papers from being released, and millions of pages of previously secret White House papers were posted on the Internet.”

101. “Dozens of Bush officials, from the Cabinet level on down, are in jail, and most of them are also bankrupt from legal costs.”

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