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June 21, 2011

FDA Approves New Cigarette Pack Warning Graphics

The FDA is trying to scare you away from smoking with some freaky looking graphics that will make their way onto cigarette packs in September of 2012:

Smoking graphic.JPG

Click the link above to see all of the grahpics.

One might wonder: if smoking is such a bad thing (and yes, it does cause terrible health issues including emphysema and cancer), why doesn't the government ban it?

Two words: tax revenue. Government programs like the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are funded by federal taxes on cigarettes - back in 2007, the program's funding was reauthorized with a $35 billion expansion - funded by a 61 cents per pack tax increase. And, according to the Heritage Foundation, 22.4 million new smokers will be needed by 2017 to produce the revenue necessary for SCHIP.

States also like their ciggie revenue, and fret when it goes down due to more people quitting - even as they publicly vilify smokers by making it harder and harder to smoke anywhere - even in your own home.

Ironic, isn't it?

(Full disclosure: I am an on-again, off-again smoker. I tend to turn back to it during extremely stressful periods in my life.)

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June 16, 2011

Win Dinner With The One!

Got $5?

In return for a $5 donation to his reelection campaign, President Barack Obama is offering supporters a chance to participate in a raffle to win a casual dinner with him at an unstated location.

In an e-mail to supporters, the president says his campaign will raffle off four tickets for the casual dinner.

Describing the event as a casual meal among friends, the e-mail goes on to imply that the dinner will be a chance for the president and four lucky supporters to share stories and ideas about national policy.

Winners will receive free airfare and hotel accommodations should they win.

We'll pay for your flight and the dinner--all you need to bring is your story and your ideas about how we can continue to make this a better country for all Americans, says the raffle e-mail.

This won't be a formal affair, reads the solicitation. It's the kind of casual meal among friends that I don't get to have as often as I'd like anymore, so I hope you'll consider joining me.


The kind of "casual meal among friends" that Barry doesn't get to have as often as he'd like anymore? You mean like running out to scarf hamburgers with Dmitry Medvedev?

Notice he doesn't ask us lesser beings to win a chance at playing golf with him. That privilege is reserved for Sneetches with stars.

I'm tired of hearing about how Barry can't just do anything he'd like anymore, like taking long walks in the park or squeezing the fruit in the supermarket like us other everyday folks. (Tell me how often he did that!) If it's too much for you, by all means, don't run for reelection.

Sorry, but this wonderful opportunity is about $4.99 too much.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 06:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | NOBama

June 15, 2011

American Students Shaky on US History Basics

From the Wall Street Journal (via Hot Air):

The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that U.S. schoolchildren have made little progress since 2006 in their understanding of key historical themes, including the basic principles of democracy and America's role in the world.

Only 20% of U.S. fourth-graders and 17% of eighth-graders who took the 2010 history exam were "proficient" or "advanced," unchanged since the test was last administered in 2006. Proficient means students have a solid understanding of the material.

The news was even more dire in high school, where 12% of 12th-graders were proficient, unchanged since 2006. More than half of all seniors posted scores at the lowest achievement level, "below basic." While the nation's fourth- and eighth-graders have seen a slight uptick in scores since the exam was first administered in 1994, 12th-graders haven't.

According to the report, there is a silver lining: the performance of black and Hispanic students in fourth and eighth grades has improved.

Some are wondering if these pathetic scores are a result of history being pushed aside in favor of more math and science. I have another theory - just a theory, mind you, based upon my experience as a parent. Both of my daughters went to public school (the youngest is still in high school), and I shook my head when I saw what they were studying in elementary school. Very little emphasis was put on American history and the basics of our government. Instead, their formative years in school focused on studying the history and culture of other nations such as Japan, and in fourth grade they spent an entire year focusing on the American Indian (called "Native Americans" in PC speak).

I'm certainly not saying that American Indians have no part in American history. But it should be part of the whole package.

When I was in fourth grade, I recall studying the American Revolution. I even remember having to write a report on Crispus Attucks (I recall a friend drew the cover illustration for me), a black man who was the first person shot to death during the Boston Massacre in 1770.

Also, when I was in elementary school, I remember learning about the various states and their resources. How many kids today know the basis for their own state's economy, let alone that of other states in the union? They're lucky if they can even fill in a blank US map properly.

And I live in a town that has an excellent school district. It had better, for all the taxes I pay.

IMHO, the liberals who have taken over our school system don't want students to have a firm grasp on American history, and so they avoid it as long as they can get away with it. And yet we continue to question our students' overall abysmal performance in history...

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Education

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