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Items filtered by date: October 2021


From what we were told by Andy’s boss, James Comey, Andy’s admitted leaking of FBI information to the MSM was NOT authorized by Comey… Comey said under oath that he NEVER told anybody to leak information! That includes Andy McCabe!


McCabe testified he did in fact leak information to the Press…but with James Comey’s direction! Both cannot be telling the truth…If McCabe was told by Comey, to break the law…McCabe, in my opinion, knew or should have known better, and should have refused! I heard his testimony before Congress! It seems both should be Indicted on their own confessions alone…what do you think?


It’s interesting to note that James Comey put Martha Stewart in jail for lying to him!


I believe lying to Congress, under oath, is much more serious than lying to a sole FBI Agent. Working Criminal Agents, are lied to every day they work! These two FBI characters, McCabe and Comey, knew or should have known that every step they took across the line was a felony and violated more than just Title 18 USC, and if the allegations are true, they also violated their oath of office, the Federal Rules, and more!


Andy’s boss,James Comey, in January 2017, said that the Steele Dossier… the sole basis for the FISA wiretaps and the Mueller-Russia-President Trump criminal investigations… is “salacious and unverified” and was paid for by Hillary Clinton, President Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election!


If that was true in January 2017, months after that exact same Dossier, was used as the FOUNDATION for the initial FISA Wire taps on Carter Page, it was then also “salacious and unverified”, when Andy McCabe and James Comey, signed their names to the Carter Page Wire    Tap Application Documents!  Those Documents were put “before” the FISA Court, under oath by McCabe and all the other affiants/signers…that the information was True and Accurate… to the best of their ability AND resulted in the issuance of a Court Ordered wiretap against US Citizens and a Campaign of a Presidential Candidate, all when Comey, Strzok and  McCabe most certainly knew or should have known the Dossier was “salacious, unverified and paid for by Trump’s opponent Clinton”  !  I’ve taken that oath many times for Affidavits before many Federal Courts. Its serious business and people have been fired and jailed, FOR LYING TO THE COURT.



Many times we would hear from the Bureau, Courts and USA’s Office to be careful about forgetting Exculpatory Evidence. “The biggest lie is the UNTOLD truth”! They were referring to Exculpatory evidence…evidence that goes to prove innocence and not guilt! I believe that had the FISA Court known that the Steele Dossier was “salacious and unverified” and paid for by Clinton’s Campaign, the FISA Court would never have issued any wiretap Court Orders for anything or anybody…NEVER ! Taking it a step further and just based upon what FBI Director Comey has stated about the entire Carter Page debacle, that warrant should NEVER have been issued!



I firmly believe that no Federal court in this Nation, would issue a wiretap order based upon the hearsay, lame, asinine, wanting information in that application…none…thank God and thank our Constitution. The… “WHY was the FISA Court Order even issued” …has, to my knowledge, never been answered and should be resolved! In my opinion, that Court Order was to monitor US Citizens protected against unlawful Search and Seizure, the 4th Amendment!!



Those who were monitored, as a result of those unlawful wiretaps, I believe, could take legal action in Civil Court for apparent violations of their Civil Rights against unlawful Search and Seizure by all the signers! The facts that Mueller’s investigation found NOTHING is excellent evidence for the plaintiffs!



Do you wonder why they, didn’t look to Title 3 USC for wire taps?

There’s basically 2 ways to monitor a US citizen’s “wire” conversations and they are Title 3  USC and the FISA.



The FISA was created in 1978 after numerous complaints to Congress regarding warrantless search warrants and wiretaps. In Fact the Watergate investigation uncovered many of the same including warrantless searches of Congressman…that’s all it took and in 1978 FISA was created and placed restrictions on many actions including ,the monitoring of US citizens inside the US!!



The difference in requirements is astronomical in law enforcement terms… FISA being a piece of cake, and Title 3 being a walk through the most dangerous desert with no water, bear traps, trip wires and undrinkable water when you are ready to quit…and that’s the easy part! I ‘ve worked on all aspects of many Title 3 applications from several, single field offices to the largest fraud case in FBI history out of the Indianapolis field office. That major investigation, involved almost every field office in the FBI and even involved the theft and recovery, of Elvis Presley’s jet…that was an aside and unrelated case that popped up during the wire!



In order to monitor any person‘s wire conversations in the USA, a Title 3 search warrant must be obtained…period…the only exception is ,FISA!



In a Title 3 there must be very specific, substantial, verified, crimes committed and very specific individuals for whom you must have substantial, verified Probable Cause (PC) that they committed those crimes and prove that, all other efforts have failed to prove the case or there is clear and eminent danger to the public. The efforts must be substantiated, with very time consuming, man power commitments such as 24 hour surveillances, detailed examinations of phone records, financial records, pen registers and on and on …all of which require their own search warrants and all of which have failed to provide the necessary PC!



The biggest hurdles involved, are that there must already be a crime and you can’t prove who did it and you need verified, substantial undisputable PC to obtain a warrant. You may ask …”Then why bother getting a wiretap”? Good question…the answers to those questions usually involves danger…danger to the public in a Bank Robbery for example…where a gang, that is doing armed bank take overs and shooting cameras, tellers, or customers during robberies. A cop killer fugitive like Joanne Chesimard or her BLA Paramore, Twymon Myers or a kidnapping case…get the idea?



I never worked a FISA case nor ever applied for any type of FISA wiretap but I have read the law.

First of all, FISA is intended to nail foreign Agents operating in the US who we believe intend to do harm to US! Remember, by law the FBI is prohibited from conducting investigations     OUTSIDE the US and the CIA is similarly prohibited INSIDE the US!



As I stated above, Title 3 requires a crime and verified and un-salacious Probable Cause (PC)… that the defendants, committed a crime…none of which…the FBI had!



The FISA was created in 1978…because of “abuses by government”, with numerous complaints to Congress, regarding abuses of warrantless wiretaps and searches of citizens and members of Congress, under the guise of Foreign Counter Intel gathering…hence the FISA appeared into law with rules protecting citizens. Sounding familiar? In fact warrantless wiretaps and searches uncovered during the Watergate debacle pushed the legislation forward.



In FISA, the over-hear of US Citizens was prohibited except under certain specific circumstances and their identities must be protected…masked! Although PC was needed, for the FISA warrant, it didn’t have to be a “crime” and the PC test did not stand up to the Title 3, PC requirements! It could be to prevent a terrorist actor attempt to see if a crime was about to be committed! Great idea…but open to abuses, by unscrupulous politicians with hooks into law enforcement Agencies?!



According to the signors of the FISA application, ALL they had was the Steele Dossier, which was, in my opinion, a second rate, fabricated, 2nd and 3rd hearsay, “unverified and salacious” document paid for by Hillary Clinton, to discredit Trump. That’s all they had for their FISA Search Warrant. If they had more…shame on them and where is it?



Remember… THEY said that all the evidence they had, to the best of their ability, was in those affidavits.



Keep in mind that Hillary Clinton actually signed a written contract with the DNC giving Clinton 100% control of the dispersal of ALL DNC funds, she actually owned the DNC, read the agreement, it’s on line!



Do you believe that neither McCabe, Peter Strzok nor James Comey, all signors of the Search Warrant Applications, didn’t know that?



FISA was created to STOP exactly what they did!

It was also reported by the MSM, that McCabe took evidence from Huma Abedene husband’s computer (felony ex-convict Weiner)… and kept it in McCabe’s desk…for months…before turning it in. That’s grounds for dismissal for anybody else!



By the way …how did Huma get that info from the State Dept and bring it home and put it on that computer and why was the file folder named “Just in Case”…? Just wondering!?

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J. Gary DiLaura

retired FBI RED

Published in Politics

The Republican Ascendancy of the 1920s is associated with a return to conservative politics with the presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

Harding, who was elected president in the election of 1920, initiated an era of conservative government based upon policies that were rooted in constitutional limited government.

Harding was a constitutional conservative who revered the American Founding. He described the Constitution as “the very base of all Americanism, the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ of American liberty, the very temple of equal rights.” Harding was a conservative nationalist who placed the interests of America first.On Nov. 2, 1865, Warren Gamaliel Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio. A conservative in a Republican Party that also had a progressive wing, Harding served in the United States Senate before winning the presidency. He supported President William Howard Taft in the Republican civil war of 1912 that split the GOP when progressives bolted to join former President Theodore Roosevelt in the Bull Moose Party.

In the 1920 presidential election, Harding campaigned on a “return to normalcy,” which translated into an abandonment of the progressive domestic and foreign policies associated with President Woodrow Wilson and a return toward constitutional limited government. He also campaigned on the slogan of “America First.”

Harding, just as with President William McKinley, ran a “front porch” campaign and thousands of people visited his home. At his home, Harding would give speeches and greet visitors. Al Jolson even wrote and performed a song, “Harding You’re the Man for Us,” at the Harding home. Harding won the election in a landslide.

Once in office, Harding rejected the imperial presidency of Wilson and selected several notable leaders including Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury, Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, and Charles Evans Hughes, as Secretary of State.

President Harding’s first major challenge was to pull the nation’s economy out of depression at the end of World War I. In the “forgotten depression” of 1920-1921, the nation faced 11.7% unemployment and much economic uncertainty. In the process, the national debt had escalated because of the war, tax rates were extremely high, and government spending was out of control.

The solution that Harding utilized was to restore the economy by stimulating the private sector by reducing regulations and slashing tax rates. The historian Paul Johnson in Modern Times wrote that the short-lived depression was the “last time a major industrial power treated a recession by classic laissez-faire methods…”

As president, Harding believed and advocated for economy in government. Harding called for reduced spending, tax reduction, and paying down the national debt. Reform was brought to the federal budget process with the Budget and Accounting Act. Although the federal government has increased dramatically in size in comparison to Harding’s time in office, he still had to say no to demands to increase spending.

Harding, along with Treasury Secretary Mellon, advocated for a conservative fiscal policy. This included reducing both spending and tax rates. As a result, “federal spending was cut from $6.3 billion in 1920 to $5 billion in 1921 and $3.2 billion in 1922. Federal taxes fell from $6.6 billion in 1920 to $5.5 billion in 1921 and $4 billion in 1922,” noted Jim Powell, senior fellow with the Cato Institute. Harding also started to chisel away at the national debt.

Harding also appointed pro-business individuals to regulatory agencies and he nominated conservatives to the Supreme Court. Some of President Harding’s Court appointments included Chief Justice William Howard Taft and Justice George Sutherland, both of whom are considered judicial conservatives. Harding also advocated a policy of civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans.He also pushed for and achieved limiting immigration through reform, and he addressed the importance of Americanization and citizenship. In terms of foreign policy, Harding took a more nationalist approach. It is often assumed that Harding was an isolationist, but this is untrue. Harding and Secretary of State Hughes led the Washington Naval Conference, which led to disarmament in the aftermath of WWI.

Harding also placed the interests of America first in terms of trade by supporting the protective tariff. Harding believed that a tariff would benefit and protect American industry, agriculture and labor. “I believe in the protective tariff policy and know we will be calling for its saving Americanism again,” stated President Harding. The Fordney-McCumber tariff was passed as a result.

The Harding economic program, which was continued by President Calvin Coolidge after his death, was responsible for creating the roaring economy of the 1920s. Coolidge would continue to reduce spending, tax rates and pay down the national debt.

President Harding deserves reconsideration just as historians have given President Ulysses S. Grant, whose administration was also marked by scandal. Scandals did occur in Harding’s administration, but he was not personally connected.

Many of the policy challenges that the nation is being confronted with today could be solved by following the principles and polices of President Harding. Harding’s conservative nationalism is an example for today’s policymakers.

President Harding, just as with President Donald Trump, believed in America First and American exceptionalism. As Harding said, we are forever devoted “to safeguard America first, to stabilize America first, to prosper America first, to think of America first, to exalt America first, and to live for and revere America first.”

John Hendrickson
The Center Square

Published in Politics

You can see Fall colors all over Fort Myers Beach – the different-colored license plates from across the nation on cars driven by seasonals and tourists! With visitation rapidly increasing, the iconic Mound House is boosting its hours of operation from three to five days a week, now being open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though it does close on November 25 & 26 to observe Thanksgiving.

One of Southwest Florida’s most-beloved historic attractions, the Mound House traces its roots to the ancient Calusa of over 2,000 years ago. The Town of Fort Myers Beach operates the Mound House as a museum complex and cultural and environmental learning center that offers numerous educational programs each month, including for kids. The oldest standing structure on Estero Island is at 451 Connecticut Street with overflow parking at 216 Connecticut. Admission is $10 for ages 13 & up, $8 for students with IDs, $5 ages 6 to 12, and 5 & under free, with Town residents receiving a 50% discount. The Mound House enforces Social Distancing guidelines at all programs and recommends that all unvaccinated visitors wear masks. For information, reservations, and a monthly programs schedule, call 239-765-0865 or see

FREE “Newton Beach Park Guided Beach Walk”
For all ages every Tuesday and Thursday weather permitting at 9 a.m.; no program on Thursday, November 25, for Thanksgiving.

This twice-weekly free outdoor nature program is different every single time, as the “Guided Beach Walks” have a simple premise – the groups walk roughly a half-mile down the beach and back, discussing whatever you find that particular morning. Meet at the thatched hut closest to the beach, with Social Distancing in place. Bring sunscreen, shoes to get wet, sunglasses, and hat. No reservations necessary; while free, parking is $3-per-hour, with one hour generally enough. Newton Beach Park is mid-island at 4650 Estero Boulevard.

“Garden Tour”
For all ages each November Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday at 10 a.m.; no program on November 25 for Thanksgiving.

Stroll through the Mound House gardens to discover how its unique plants conserve water and protect wildlife, while learning how the Calusa and other Native Americans used them in their daily lives. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission; Mound House members free, with Social Distancing guidelines in place.

“Shell Mound Tour”
For all ages every Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; no programs on Thursday & Friday, November 25 & 26, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.

If you dig archaeology, the Mound House’s signature program is for you! Tour the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound led by the interpretive staff as you explore the site’s archaeology to unearth clues about this ancient society. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission; Mound House members free, with Social Distancing guidelines in place.

“Untold Stories Tour”
For adults on Thursdays, November 4, 11 & 18, all at 2 p.m.

The Mound House is the oldest standing structure on Fort Myers Beach, with an intriguing cast of characters who called it home, from farmers to casino owners; scientists to developers! Learn about their individual stories along with a good dose of island history on this guided tour through the Mound House Museum, native gardens, and majestic grounds. Adults $15; Mound House members free.

“Full Moon Kayak Tour”
For ages 12 & up on Friday, November 19, at 4 p.m.

This unique tour offers kayakers the rare opportunity to experience the backwaters of the Estero Bay in the quiet of twilight by the light of the full moon! Participants explore the estuary’s tidal creeks, winding mangroves, and abundant wildlife illuminated by the full moon. Weather permitting and reservations required at; $45-per-person with Mound House members $15. The Mound House provides all paddling equipment with a maximum of 12 people per tour and Social Distancing in place.

“Archaeology: Can You Dig It?”
For all ages on Tuesday, November 23; Wednesday, November 24; and Saturday, November 27, all at 10 a.m.

Learn what it takes to be an archaeologist! Handle real artifacts and discover how archaeologist study past cultures in a program that is perfect for families. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission, with Mound House members free.

For dates and times for the “Cool Calusa Tools,” “Family Fun Kayak Tour,” “Latino History Tour,” & “Mangroves by Kayak Tour” programs, telephone the Mound House at 239-765-0865 or see

Gary Mooney

Published in Outdoor
Sunday, 07 November 2021 20:35

MARVEL and Baseball




Minor League Baseball and Marvel Entertainment announced a promotional three-year partnership at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, home of the “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” exhibit.

Starting next season, the program will feature 96 different Minor League clubs across all four levels hosting one or more super hero theme nights involving popular Marvel characters -- complete with specialized jerseys, of course -- along with other Marvel-themed activities and promotions taking place throughout the games. The deal was facilitated by AthLife, Inc, Marvel’s longtime sports representative

The event series is officially called "Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond" and will also come with its own run of comic books, which will be distributed at participating ballparks. "Co-branded merchandise and other surprises will be unveiled in 2022."

"This partnership is more than about driving attendance -- it's about fans of the Minor Leagues and Marvel getting to experience baseball in a whole other way with Marvel character appearances, Marvel-themed uniforms, social media engagement, storytelling, in-stadium graphics to name just a few," said AthLife, CEO Jon Harris, "Of course, it would not be Marvel if we were not holding some things back, so expect some surprises along the way."

MLB vice president of Minor League business operations Kurt Hunzeker. added “MiLB’s new partnership with Marvel Entertainment brings together two storied brands who create memories that are passed down from generation to generation. The possibilities with this partnership are endless and we look forward to some incredibly creative content, merchandise and promotions."

Marvel has a long history of superhero team-ups, dating back to its first comic book in 1939 that introduced the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner. That began in the comics with the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy, among many others, and has extended through the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began in 2008 with Tony Stark and Iron Man.

Like any good origin story, this is just the start of fans getting to know Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond. Twists and turns and endless possibilities await both Marvel true believers and Minor League Baseball fans in 2022 and beyond.

"We have only just started exploring the new Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond universe of content," Hunzeker added, "and we cannot wait to explore the endless possibilities and potential integrating Marvel’s award-winning creativity with Minor League Baseball’s award-winning creativity to tell new stories about our players, teams, communities, and most of all our fans, starting with the 2022 season."

“Over the past few years, we have seen the fans of Minor League Baseball truly embrace Marvel-themed games, so having a nearly league-wide partnership will allow us to take creativity and storytelling to the next level,” said Mike Pasciullo, Marvel Entertainment’s Vice President, Product Development and Marketing – Brand, Franchise & Sports. “And it wouldn't be Marvel if we did not have a few major surprises to unveil along the way!”

As part of the wide array of custom content it will create for the new initiative, Marvel will create a “Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond” comic book for MiLB fans that will be distributed in participating MiLB ballparks throughout the partnership. Co-branded merchandise and other surprises will be unveiled in 2022.

Our local Minor League Team ... Fort Myers Mighty Mussels will be participating in the Marvel partnership.

Fans may visit for the latest information/updates on the “Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond” series.

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Published in Outdoor
Sunday, 07 November 2021 20:25

Is the 17th Amendment in Danger of Repeal?

Some Constitutional Amendments end up merely clarifying or adjusting elements of governance. Others were transformational. The 17th Amendment joined the latter group.

Article 1, Section 3 of the unamended U.S. Constitution established the method for selecting senators as follows: “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof…” The 17th Amendment in 1913 revised the process: “…two Senators from each State, elected by the People thereof…” i.e. directly elected by the people.

Does the Amendment deserve continued support, or should we consider going back to the original process? Am I beating a dead horse by bringing this subject up? Perhaps, but more than any time in our history, today’s politics and governance seems nuanced, conflicted, and subject to examination.

These responsibilities are unique to the Senate: ratifying international treaties and agreements; approving Supreme Court justices and other presidential nominations; and conducting impeachment trials. Considering these unique responsibilities, along with their more familiar bicameral lawmaking duties, begs the question, “Who should be the Senate’s constituents?”

Senators are ultimately accountable to those who select them. The U.S. is a republic, with checks and balances. The Constitution sets up centers of power and influence both among the three Federal branches of government, as well as between the U.S. government and states. This is clarified in the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United

States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Founders set up our government as a republic, which allows for representative governance, rather than a pure democracy. It also features an element of “federalism” in which dual sovereignty is established between the federal government and states. And both are accountable to “we the people.” Superimposed on the three government branches is separation of powers and its inherent “checks and balances.”

The constitution clearly established dual sovereignty federalism. True to that form of governance, the Founders took the opportunity to build on the concept when setting up the selection process for representatives and senators. Members of the house were to be elected directly by the people of their state. Senators were to be selected by the state legislatures. Both represent an obvious bow to the Founders’ concept of dual sovereignty federalism.

Arguments favoring the original process for selecting senators make theoretical sense:

• Promotes federalism, state authority, guarding against federal overreach, and controls size of the federal  government.

• Enhances state sovereignty and influence relative to the federal government.

• Gives states a chair at the table of federal policy making. This is important because individual citizen’s      issues may be different than collective state issues.

• Amplifies the voice of the minority, thereby discouraging a tyranny of the majority.

• Encourages more deliberation (vetting) of potential senators.

• Promotes better legislative decisions because different power bases have to agree.

• Ensures more legislative deliberation than if senators were elected directly, thereby easily swayed by      momentary whims of the electorate.

• Enhances bicameralism, by differentiating senate characteristics from those of the House of Representatives, hopefully becoming more deliberative than the House.
Many arguments in favor of the 17th Amendment are heavily influenced by practicality:

• Prior to the Amendment, there were high levels of hostilities and wrangling surrounding the selection of senators by state legislatures.

• Prior to the Amendment, subtle adjustments of procedures were made to avoid conflicts, and soon the senator selection process resembled a quasi-direct citizen election.

• Direct election reduces the influence of party machines and special interests that some perceive in state legislatures.

• Direct election is intended to reduce the potential for corruption that was perceived prior to the Amendment.

• A directly elected Senator is considered more responsive – i.e. less deliberative.
My respect for the Founders’ objectives would cause my vote to be cast in favor of the unamended original Constitution. But the impracticalities and conflicts that led to the 17th Amendment are real, and the popularity of direct elections, along with the difficulty in getting approval of two-thirds of both houses and three-fourths of state legislatures, argue against the practical reality of any repeal. Attempts to change would be futile.

The 17th Amendment is under no threat of repeal.

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Steve Bakke,
Fort Myers

Published in Politics
Sunday, 07 November 2021 20:20

A New Way of Life

Washington DC is organized crime, working for and with the war, oil, banking, pharmaceutical, insurance, tech and social media industries. Mussolini called this system fascism.

As media distract us with DC intrigues, Antifa, mass shooters and CIA-driven foreign war-sparking decoys, the chieftains of industry laugh at our ignorance and pull celebrities’ puppet strings.

As Trump scratches the surface of the Deep State, Washington DC and these industries run our lives.

Only We the People can fix this; we must first repent, then begin to act tactically and make history by simply doing the chores.

TACTICAL CIVICS™ is a new way of life: ratify the original first right in our Bill of Rights, remove Congress from Washington DC, restore the citizen Grand Jury and constitutional Militia in each state, then take back all we have lost to DC organized crime.

After 60,000 hours’ R&D by 44 volunteers, TACTICAL CIVICS™ is the only full-spectrum solution; like no other organization. Not politics. Just We The People, enforcing the Constitution at last.

Working from our homes and mobile devices, we can do what no other population, including that of Washington DC, can ever do. These essays work through the challenges and opportunities for today’s American remnant, offering a clear path forward.

Published in Politics

The ability to detect and react to the smell of a potential threat is a precondition of our and other mammals' survival. Using a novel technique, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have been able to study what happens in the brain when the central nervous system judges a smell to represent danger. The study, which is published in PNAS, indicates that negative smells associated with unpleasantness or unease are processed earlier than positive smells and trigger a physical avoidance response.

"The human avoidance response to unpleasant smells associated with danger has long been seen as a conscious cognitive process, but our study shows for the first time that it's unconscious and extremely rapid," says the study's first author Behzad Iravani, researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

The olfactory organ takes up about five per cent of the human brain and enables us to distinguish between many million different smells. A large proportion of these smells are associated with a threat to our health and survival, such as that of chemicals and rotten food. Odour signals reach the brain within 100 to 150 milliseconds after being inhaled through the nose.

The survival of all living organisms depends on their ability to avoid danger and seek rewards. In humans, the olfactory sense seems particularly important for detecting and reacting to potentially harmful stimuli.

It has long been a mystery just which neural mechanisms are involved in the conversion of an unpleasant smell into avoidance behaviour in humans. One reason for this is the lack of non-invasive methods of measuring signals from the olfactory bulb, the first part of the rhinencephalon (literally "nose brain") with direct (monosynaptic) connections to the important central parts of the nervous system that helps us detect and remember threatening and dangerous situations and substances.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now developed a method that for the first time has made it possible to measure signals from the human olfactory bulb, which processes smells and in turn can transmits signals to parts of the brain that control movement and avoidance behaviour.

Their results are based on three experiments in which participants were asked to rate their experience of six different smells, some positive, some negative, while the electrophysiological activity of the olfactory bulb when responding to each of the smells was measured.
"It was clear that the bulb reacts specifically and rapidly to negative smells and sends a direct signal to the motor cortex within about 300 ms," says the study's last author Johan

Lundström, associate professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. "The signal causes the person to unconsciously lean back and away from the source of the smell."

He continues: "The results suggest that our sense of smell is important to our ability to detect dangers in our vicinity, and much of this ability is more unconscious than our response to danger mediated by our senses of vision and hearing."

Karolinska Institutet

Published in General/Features
Sunday, 07 November 2021 20:12

Fathers Belong in the Picture

In yet another desperate attempt to sell the public on his failing multitrillion-dollar spending agenda, President Joe Biden released a slideshow Thursday that inadvertently betrays how the modern Democratic Party views the family. And the news isn't good for fathers, mothers, children, communities, or the nation.

In Biden's slideshow, we meet a cartoon "Linda" from Peoria, Illinois. Linda, we are told, is pregnant with her son "Leo," but we are never told where exactly Leo's father is. We see one slide in which Linda and Leo benefit from Biden's direct payments to parents. We see another slide that shows the government helping Linda pay to put Leo in daycare. And we see another slide in which Leo is placed in government-run pre-K. But again, at no point do we see Linda or Leo with the father. It is as if he doesn't exist.

Which is disappointing, because in real life, decades of research have proven what anyone with an ounce of common sense has already known for centuries: Fathers matter.

Not only are married fathers proven to help their own children achieve higher levels of education, get better jobs, and earn more income, but neighborhoods with more fathers in them have proven to have more upward social mobility than those neighborhoods dominated by single mothers.

Neighborhoods with more fathers are also safer than neighborhoods without them. Families with fathers appear to help establish a climate of order that makes entire communities less violent.

That's right -- just the mere presence of more fathers in a neighborhood helps all children in the neighborhood.

Biden's decision to leave fathers out of the sales pitch for his family policy wouldn't be so bad, except that the actual policies in his family policy make it less likely that fathers will be there for their children.

For starters, his extended payments to parents would punish mothers such as Linda who want to marry the fathers of their children. According to the Tax Policy Center, a mother making $19,000 would lose almost $1,000 a year in payments from the government if she were to get married.

A young couple making $25,000 each and wanting to get married before starting a family would also face a $4,000 penalty under Biden's plan. Those penalties would only go up as the family had children. The child care subsidies in Biden's plan contain steep benefit cliffs that would punish couples who seek the stability of marriage.

Democrats often complain that it is the Republicans who push an ideal vision of the American family on an unreceptive public. But the exact opposite is true. The public prefers a family in which the mother and the father are married, the father works full time, and the mother has the option of working full time, part time, or staying home. But the Biden agenda forces a different model on everyone.

First, it punishes all marriages, and then among those couples that are married, it gives far more benefits to the ones that have both spouses working. It gives less to families with a mother who works part time and nothing to families with a mother who chooses to work at home.

Not every family is perfect. Divorce happens. Fathers die. Single mothers work their tails off to make the best of a bad situation. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the very real benefits to children, mothers, and communities of having married fathers in the home. We should definitely NOT be enacting public policy that punishes families that do.

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Published in General/Features
Saturday, 06 November 2021 10:07

Army Corp Delays Lake O plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was scheduled to publish its recommended regulation plan for Lake Okeechobee this week, but announced late last week it would not have the 10-year proposal ready before Nov. 16.

The delay is praised by those who don’t like the plan and criticized by those who do, a schism defined by geography – east v. west, north v. south – instead of partisan politics.

After years of debate over where Lake Okeechobee discharges should flow, the Corps in July selected one of five proposals, Balanced Alternate Plan CC, to encode into its Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) for the 730-square-mile impoundment.

LOSOM was to be finalized in October and implemented by late 2022 after $2 billion in repairs to Herbert Hoover Dike are done and when the $1.3 billion, 240,000-acre-foot EAA reservoir is completed in 2027.

Generally, communities east of Lake Okeechobee are pleased because the plan reduces discharges into the St. Lucie Estuary and increases flows south into the Everglades by 52% during the dry season – tactics designed to stymie blue algae outbreaks that befouled the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers in 2019.

Generally, communities west of the lake say the new plan does not ensure water supplies for agriculture and for more than 7 million Floridians and increases discharges into the Caloosahatchee.

During a meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C., with Florida’s congressional delegation organized by U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Sunrise, Corps Jacksonville District Commander Col. James Booth said after an Oct. 26 hearing, the agency had “much more feedback” than anticipated.

“It became clear we needed more time to look at that and adequately consider that information,” Booth said.

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, broke ranks with most “east side” reps – U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Stuart, is among Plan CC’s biggest boosters – by calling for further delays.
"We’re happy about the delay. But we don’t understand why it was only a two-week delay and not enough time to take into the concerns of many of the other stakeholders who feel they have not had enough time to review the modeling information,” said Frankel, a former West Palm Beach Mayor who represents much of central and south Palm Beach County.

There is “both a quality and quantity issue in terms of what’s coming out of Lake Okeechobee” and into her district, she said, adding the plan “does not take into account what would happen to Grassy Waters,” a chief water supply source “not properly considered in the LOSOM process.”

Meanwhile, Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg said the delay offers opportunities for “other forces to take us away from a positive result.”

Time is the essence in implementing a plan debated for a quarter-century, he said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
“In our view, this is the last decade to get to restoration,” he said. “Then we pivot to perpetual protection. We know there are forces out there that are really going to slow you down. They’re going to ensure there’s foot-dragging on whatever progress is being made.”

Eikenberg said while LOSOM offers different impacts and benefits for those north, south, east and west of the lake, “the tension is unfortunate” because, overall, a great milestone is set to be achieved.

"I understand each community has their own concerns, but you also have to realize Monroe County, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, they’re also looking at this for their own benefit. And they’re the beneficiary of this,” he toldlorida Politics. “The hope here is that the east and west can come together to realize they don’t need the water, they don’t want the water.”

John Haughey
The Center Square

Published in Environment

The Biden administration is reportedly considering payouts to those who crossed the border illegally. When asked about it at a press confrence, Biden didn't have any knowledge about it, (what a shocker) and said "That's not going to happen" but later his staff confirmed the possibility.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Biden administration is considering giving $450,000 to migrant children and parents separated at the border during the Trump administration. The money would go to each person, so a parent and child could receive almost $1 million, according to the WSJ’s sources. Some of the payouts could be smaller.

These potential payouts would settle lawsuits against the government that allege lasting emotional damage from the separation policy.

The American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU) which is involved in some of the lawsuits, claims the Trump administration separated around 5,500 children. Less than 1,000 claims have been filed so far, but that number will almost certainly increase if this settlement goes through.

In total, this agreement could cost taxpayers more than $1 billion.

No, this story didn’t come from a conservative parody site, like The Onion or The Babylon Bee.

Paying people who knowingly broke our country’s laws is a terrible precedent.

But along with the principle, the money involved is substantial. The military’s death gratuity program offers a service member’s surviving family $100,000. The top payout of the military’s life insurance program — which requires premiums — is $400,000. Think about the priorities here. The amount proposed per person is comparable to what the family of a soldier who died for his or her country would receive.

Then, there’s the role of liberal activist groups in creating this crisis. The Trump administration didn’t separate families to be cruel. It was required by the Flores Settlement, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals imposed in the 1990s. That required the government to release minors within 20 days if they weren’t deported. If someone claims asylum, it can take more than two months to process his or her claim. For almost two decades, the settlement only applied to unaccompanied minors. But after Central American migrants sued in 2015, the 9th Circuit said it applied to children in family units.

 The Obama administration’s solution was to release families who claimed asylum. When Trump wanted to discourage illegal immigration, he had to follow this settlement from the nation’s most liberal circuit court.

Now, the ACLU, a far left-of-center group, is suing the government for the consequences of abiding by it.

If you think illegal immigration is a problem now, just wait. The border is already a disaster. If the Biden administration approves giving checks to those who came here illegally, it will only get worse.

Published in Business

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