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Feel Good Story of the Year

Maybe not No. 1, but considering the miserable pub the NFL has had for the last few months (very much deserved), a very high contender. And very, very worth your time.

First, the background:

A very nice move, unexpected from a team not known for making them (they’re not called the Cincinnati Bungles for nothing).

Now, grab a hanky:

Well, it turns out Devon Still can play football a little bit. So the Bengals promoted him to the main squad. They happened to play in New England last night, and this was our tribute to Devon and Leah Still last night:

Sometimes, players can be on the same team even if they’re wearing different color jerseys.

That was the case for a brief moment during last night’s matchup at Gillette Stadium when the Patriots honored Bengals player Devon Still and his four-year-old daughter Leah, who is battling cancer.

During the third quarter, the Patriots Cheerleaders unzipped their pink jackets – worn in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – to reveal Devon’s jersey, as a video tribute to his daughter and other children fighting cancer played on the big screen.

“I was surprised,” Devon said after the game. “I didn’t know they had the jerseys on. And then they played the video. It definitely made it emotional to see the cheerleaders take off their jackets and to see the jerseys definitely took it over the top for me.”

The tribute was planned after Leah’s story made national headlines when Devon, originally cut from the Bengals, was signed to the team’s practice squad to ensure he had health insurance to cover his daughter’s treatment. Soon after, a video of Devon giving Leah a pre-surgery pep talk went viral, touching people around the world, including the Patriots organization.

With the Bengals coming to town, the team wanted to show its support of Devon and Leah, and, as Cheerleaders Director Tracy Sormanti said, “change the NFL for just a minute.”

That they did. If only for a moment.

The jerseys worn by the women were purchased with 100 percent of the proceeds going to cancer research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Patriots owner Robert Kraft also donated $25,000 to the hospital in Leah’s name.

“That’s great,” Devon replied when informed of the donation. “It’s great how everybody has been stepping up, not just from [Cincinnati], but across the country. It has just been amazing, and it is great for the cancer community.

“We came here to play a football game with an opposing team, and I didn’t expect them to show the support that they did today. It was amazing what they did today. It shows the fight is more than about football.”

This wasn’t a great week the the Pats either (until the beating we laid on Cincy last night). But all sports fans—I hope more than sports fans—can take heart from our example.


Reprimitivization Update

I know President Obama and John Kerry are convinced that we live in the 21st century, and that such brutish behavior as beheadings and anschlusses are passé. But, really, when you look at the world as it actually is, more people are invested in decapitation and other aspects of jihad than in golf and kite boarding. It shouldn’t be so—it’s an offense to all we hold dear—but boy is it ever so.

Just like in this day and age, we shouldn’t bleed out our eyeballs till we die.

But we do, sad to say:

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is much worse than official figures show, and other countries are unintentionally making it harder to control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden told CNN on Tuesday.

The call for action came as a missionary organization announced that another one of its doctors working in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus.

“We’ve seen outbreaks of Ebola before. This is the first epidemic spreading widely through many countries, and it is spiraling out of control,” said Frieden, who recently returned from a trip to the region. “It’s bad now, much worse than the numbers show. It’s going to get even worse in the very near future.”

Those of us who’ve been familiar with Ebola (and its companion virus, Marburg) since reading Laurie Garrett’s The Coming Plague took some solace from knowing that outbreaks tended to burn out quickly. Since the disease is communicable only by contact with the bodily fluids of one infected, and since those infected tended to die fast, eruptions of the disease were necessarily limited.

But maybe it wasn’t the disease that contained itself, so much as the world that contained the disease:

Making it worse, Frieden said, is that other countries are turning their backs on those coming from countries where the outbreak is strongest, even if they don’t realize it.

Measures to restrict flights and border crossings into the countries facing the outbreak were designed to contain the spread, but are having a paradoxical effect, he explained.

“What we’re seeing is a spiraling of cases, a hugely fast increase in cases, that’s harder and harder to manage,” he said. “The more we can get in there and tamp that down, the fewer cases we’ll have in the weeks and months to come.”

In a strongly-worded statement to U.N. members, the president of Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Joanne Liu, criticized the “global coalition of inaction” in response to the Ebola outbreak.

“States with the required capacity have a political and humanitarian responsibility to come forward and offer a desperately needed, concrete response to the disaster unfolding in front of the world’s eyes,” Liu said. “Rather than limit their response to the potential arrival of an infected patient in their countries, they should take the unique opportunity to actually save lives where immediately needed, in West Africa.”

So, one person is yelling at us for not doing enough to help West Africa, and the other laments that we can’t do more because West Africa won’t let us in to help. Oh well.

May I just borrow from black draft-dodgers during Vietnam? Ain’t no infected fruit bat (the suspected host of the virus) ever passed my lips. Why do I have to save West Africa? I wish them well, but if a job is worth doing at all is worth doing well, I’m sure as hell not stopping at field hospitals. I want strip malls, delicatessens, Caterpillar earth movers, bleach, and DDT. And two-ply toilet paper. And I’m not kidding.

I can’t save your world if it’s not worth saving, and I don’t know that it is. (I don’t know that it isn’t.) I know this makes me a monster, that some lovely people may die from my indifference—but millions have died when I cared deeply, so what the hell? You want to survive, find your own girls, kill Muslim terrorists before they kill you, stop eating fruit bat, and get your hands on DDT, lots of it. Seriously, if you take these few simple steps, you’ll want to thank me later. You won’t have to, but you’ll want to.

You’re welcome. And welcome to the world as it seems really to be: a hell-hole without tee times, wet suits, tan suits, and any sense of modernity. Today is the Dark Ages. Hope for better tomorrow.


Can You Top This?

Hey, ISIS!

Eat our dust!

The Islamist terror group Boko Haram kidnapped at least 97 men and boys and killed 28 people this week in a raid on villages in Borno State in northeast Nigeria, a local leader and residents said Friday.

Boko Haram gunmen also injured 25 others during the raid in which scores of homes were burned, the sources said.

We just reported last night that the ISLAMIC State had made off with Yazidi women with the intent to breed them. That’s all we need is competition among crazed Islamists. How long before Louis Farrakhan abducts a Montessori kindergarten class? (Just kidding, Lou!)

Hey, whatever happened to the #girls, anyway?

Yesterday, 14 August, marked four months since the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, Borno state. Very little concrete information is available about their whereabouts, and in the propaganda war over who is in control in northern Nigeria, terror group Boko Haram seems to be one step ahead of Nigerian security forces.

Reports last week that the girls were sighted by United States (US) drones in a remote open field have still not been verified, and analysts have been questioning both the veracity of the information and the motive for releasing such information to the public. Is Boko Haram indeed winning against an ineffective Nigerian government, or is the correct information just not filtering through?

Clearly, the international media have moved on to the Ebola outbreak and other stories from Africa. The heavy reliance on US and Europe-based networks and agencies allows for news priorities in Africa to be driven by their consumers, rather than those in Africa.

Oh, boo-hoo. Pardon us for caring. The Chibok girls got more pub than Robin Williams’ suicide. They had their 15 minutes, but no news is no news. If it bleeds, it leads, the old news adage goes, so no wonder the Ebola story has muscled

If you want to feel better about these appalling crimes against humanity, just tell yourself that this is nothing new, but the way it’s always been.

Comments (2)

Calling Lizzie Warden!

Income inequality is growing! We need you!!

Lizzie Warden with an axe
Gave the economy 40 whacks.

When the job was nicely done
She gave the rich 41.

U.S. jobs pay an average 23% less today than they did before the 2008 recession, according to a new report released on Monday by the United States Conference of Mayors.
In total, the report found $93 billion in lost wages.
Jobs lost during the recession paid an average $61,637. As of 2014, jobs in the same sectors paid an average of $47,171 annually.
“Under a similar analysis conducted by the Conference of Mayors during the 2001-2002 recession, the wage gap was only 12% compared to the current 23%–meaning the wage gap has nearly doubled from one recession to the next,” stated the Conference of Mayors in a statement.
The report also found that 73% of metro area households earn salaries of less than $35,000 a year.
President Barack Obama, who is on a two-week vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, has yet to comment on the dour economic findings.

Ah, but what Breitbart overlooks leaves out, is that fact that the Mayors are presenting this as an income inequality disaster. And therefore we need to kill the rich. Or something.

I am so turned off by our country that I don’t care if Warren becomes the next President or not. Obviously, she would be dreadful, but what more do we deserve at this point? Those of you with assets might want to think about how to protect them.

– Aggie


How’s That Reset Working, Mr. President?

A racist happy birthday message on the American Embassy in Russia:

There is a long ad in front, so here is the link to the story, as usual in the British press.

– Aggie


He’s Getting Better

Credit where it’s due, President Barack Obama isn’t a complete dipstick when mass murder occurs.

It took him only 10 seconds to interrupt his fundraising happy talk to address what “may be” a terrible tragedy—the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian plane by Russian terrorists. Forty seconds later he’s said all he has to say, and it’s back to “Good morning, Delaware!”

This may look shallow and callow to many, but remember whom we’re talking about.


It took him well over two minutes of out-shouting before he got around to mention the murder of American servicemen by a Muslim zealot. Ten seconds is a massive improvement.

I would ask what the odds are that Obama would be at two separate PR photo ops on the occasions of two separate terrorist atrocities…but when is he not at a PR photo op? Especially lately? The “bear” is constantly on the move these days, and no burger shack is safe from his unannounced assault. If he’s going to flit about the country, hitting diners, drive-ins, and dives like some sort of South Side Guy Fieri, the least he can do is to learn how to pay lip service to the reprimitivized world he helped recreate—as he wipes the ketchup and relish off his own lips.

Comments (1)

“A Tragic Era Of Lost Opportunity And Unrealized Potential”

Break out the handkerchiefs

I must confess, I do feel sorry for these young adults, sorrier even for the elders who will be dependent upon their contributions to our old age, but how could they possibly have been this stupid – twice???

The great irony of the Obama era is that the President’s base voters have disproportionately suffered from a sputtering economy, while the wealthy that Mr. Obama likes to criticize have enjoyed a booming stock market. A new study shows just how difficult this era has been for some of the President’s most loyal supporters.

Researchers at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning think tank, find that “The Great Recession has been hard on all recent college graduates, but it has been even harder on black recent graduates.”

In 2013, the unemployment rate for black college graduates ages 22-27 was a full 12.4%, more than double the 5.6% rate for all college grads in the same age range.

And for those African-American recent grads who did have jobs in 2013, study authors Janelle Jones and John Schmitt find that a staggering 56% were underemployed, meaning they were doing jobs that typically don’t require a four-year college degree. This compares to 45% underemployment among all recent graduates. For youngsters of all colors, these statistics describe a tragic era of lost opportunity and unrealized potential.

Even a career-friendly course of study isn’t protecting young graduates from the ravages of this historically slow recovery. The authors report that “for the years 2010 to 2012, among black recent graduates with degrees in engineering, the average unemployment rate was 10 percent and the underemployment rate was 32 percent.” Among all recent grads with engineering degrees, the average unemployment rate in those years was 6%, while 22% were underemployed.

This is what the children of my friends and acquaintances seem to be doing: They are remaining in college or grad school for as long as possible. But, sooner or later, once has to take that adjunct professor job(s) or put on the barista uniform. And just this morning I reminisced about the period when we were finishing school. Someone I know very well was having trouble getting an engineering job and his wife was about to give birth. He briefly considered running for Mayor of NYC on the Give Joe A Job, He’s The Only Candidate That Needs It platform, but was saved by the bell two week before k-day (Kid Day). Carter gave us a miserable economy too. But this time there is no excuse.

– Aggie

Comments (1)

A Palestinian Woman Speaks Out

This is long, but fascinating, and sad.

– Aggie


A Day Late…

For Yom ha Shoah:

– Aggie


Joe Klein Tells The Truth About Fox News

– Aggie


Huh. The Arizona VA Kept Veterans Waiting Over A Year For Lifesaving Treatments

And falsified a list of wait times, treatments given.

The video at the CNN link starts immediately, so you might want to turn off sound before visiting link.

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.
Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:
There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

Question to BTL readers: If the government health care system causes loss of functioning or death due to long delays, who can you or your relatives sue? In the age of ObamaCare, I’d say that is a mighty important question.

Now read this carefully:

“The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.

The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, Foote said.
According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.
According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.
“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.

“So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list,” he said. “And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”

I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.

Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600.

Incidentally, has the NY Times reported on this yet? WashPost? No?

In case they’re interested in covering this, others at the VA have reported the same to CNN:

Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote’s description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.
Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, ‘Oh yeah. We’re makin’ our appointments within — within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,’ when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months,” he said.

And it is deadly:

In the case of 71-year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen, the wait on the secret list ended much sooner.
“We had noticed that he started to have bleeding in his urine,” said Teddy Barnes-Breen, his son. “So I was like, ‘Listen, we gotta get you to the doctor.’ ”
Teddy says his Brooklyn-raised father was so proud of his military service that he would go nowhere but the VA for treatment. On September 28, 2013, with blood in his urine and a history of cancer, Teddy and his wife, Sally, rushed his father to the Phoenix VA emergency room, where he was examined and sent home to wait.

Ah, go to the link and read it. This is health care in America, and it will soon affect all of us except Party Members of the Highest Rank.

– Aggie


“Terror at Passover”

Talk about your standing headlines:

An Israeli man was killed and a woman and child were wounded Monday evening, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israeli cars near the West Bank city of Hebron. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the people were members of the same family, travelling to a Passover Seder.

The 40-year-old man was critically hurt in the attack and received CPR at the scene, but succumbed his wounds. Two other people were wounded – his 28-year-old wife, who was moderately hurt, and a nine-year-old boy who sustained light wounds.

Police said that the gunfire, which came from an automatic weapon, had hit the car as it traveled on Route 35, at the junction leading to the village of Idhna.

The attack is understood to have targeted several vehicles. The IDF launched an massive manhunt in the area in the wake of the attack.

This might be an appropriate time to hear from Israel’s partners in peace:

“We in Hamas welcome the shooting action in the Hebron area, during which shots were fired at several settlers, causing the death of one and wounding of others,” said Hamas spokesman Husam Badran. “We see this action as a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against the rights of our people and the repeated assaults on the al-Aqsa Mosque and our prisoners jailed in Israel.”

Surely, John Kerry must have something to say about this murder:

I am very pleased to be attending Ambassador Dermer’s Seder tomorrow night and joining in the spirit of this festival of spring and renewal. I hope we can all draw inspiration from the spirit of the ancient Hebrews who in the Exodus stood at the precipice of the Red Sea, trembling with terror but nevertheless filled with the hope that they too may enjoy freedom and fulfill their promise as a people. And as families and friends listen tonight as the youngest child asks the table, “Mah nishtanah? — Why is this night different from all other nights?” I pray the answer will be: because this night will lead us into a year of renewed commitment to peace, freedom, and dignity for all of God’s children.

Funny, John. Very funny. Looking at Arab history, this night is different only in that it provides extra incentive for Muslims to kill Jews.

PS: In what sense is Passover a “festival of spring and renewal”? Passover, or Pesach, recalls G-d’s skipping (passing over) the houses of Jews as he rained holy terror on the Egyptians. Kerry is spouting not only nonsense, but insulting, offensive nonsense. This stuff is important, you putz!

PPS: Of course, that’s not the only insulting, offensive nonsense he spouted:

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry for recently stating that the world might not insist on significantly curbing Iran’s nuclear breakout capability, which he said indicated a “surrender” to Tehran.

“Israel opposes any solution which leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold state,” Steinitz said in an interview with Israel Radio.

“Kerry’s statements before the Senate on the matter of Iran and the current American objective were worrying, surprising, and unacceptable,” the minister said.


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