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dkf's Journal
dkf's Journal
December 16, 2012

How does someone look a little child in the eyes and shoot him?

I hate to say it but he must have been desensitized by our culture of movies and especially video games.

If every day was consumed by playing games where you look other humans in the eye and shoot them, it becomes much too normal.

I am not one for banning things so I am not advocating any government action. But this could be part of the puzzle to determining who is potentially dangerous.

We search out terrorists. Maybe we need to start putting the pieces together to understand who is a potential mass murderer.

December 15, 2012

The term "brilliant outcast" alone shows how messed up our society is.

Our brightest kids should be helped in every way to realize their potential. It pains me to realize how we waste the gifts of our young people because they don't have the social ease we expect from everyone.

If only we had programs that could nurture our geniuses and fast track them. It would be a win win for them and for society.

December 15, 2012

Adam Lanza couldn't feel pain.

A “longtime” family friend said Lanza had a condition “where he couldn’t feel pain.”

“A few years ago when he was on the baseball team, everyone had to be careful that he didn’t fall because he could get hurt and not feel it,” said the friend. “Adam had a lot of mental problems.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/adam-lanza-20-deeply-disturbed-kid-article-1.1220752#ixzz2F93Du0oc

December 15, 2012

Can Mental Screening Predict Mass Murder?

Psychologists say that predicting the intent among individuals to commit mass murder remains incredibly difficult, if not impossible — especially with mass killings having many different patterns and representing rare events. TechNewsDaily previously spoke with an expert on psychopaths who explained the challenges despite his optimism in using psychological screening.

"If you study 100,000 people, three might go out and kill someone else," said Kent Kiehl, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of New Mexico. "There's really not a good way to predict that single individual."

Kiehl previously spoke regarding a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort to predict a person's state of mind related to suicide and murder. The DARPA project focused on preventing suicides among U.S. military members, but it also considered the idea of predicting the intent to murder. [Military Wants 'Minority Report' for Suicide Prevention]

A combination of screening tools could identify people most at risk of violence and allow psychologists to begin helping them earlier, Kiehl said. Regular screenings with a questionnaire or interview could act as the first screening stage, so that individuals who trigger a red flag might undergo additional screening with neurocognitive computer tests and games.

But ordinary Americans would have to agree to the idea of undergoing psychological screening on a semi-regular basis. They would also have to give up additional privacy if they wanted psychologists to examine broader risk factors in their personal lives for the sake of improving predictions.


December 15, 2012

You can blame gun owners or blame the mentally ill...

The thing is you can realistically stop neither.

Do background checks really prevent these things? I'm not sure.

Like taxes this is the price we pay for living in a free society.

So no we don't lock up people with mental illnesses unless they are an imminent danger to themselves or others. Nor do we prevent the "law abiding citizen" from getting a gun.

December 13, 2012

Income Malaise of Middle Class Complicates Democrats’ Stance in Talks

WASHINGTON — The income stagnation that has hit the middle class in the last decade is complicating the Democrats’ position in the fiscal talks, making it more difficult for them to advocate across-the-board tax increases if a deal falls through.

Many Democrats have derided the expiring tax cuts as irresponsible since President George W. Bush signed them a decade ago. Yet the party is united in pushing to make the vast majority of them permanent, even though President Obama could ensure their expiration at year’s end with a simple veto.

That decision reflects concern over the wage and income trends of the last decade, when pay stagnated for middle-class families, net worth declined and economic mobility eroded. Democrats who generally would prefer more tax revenue to help pay the growing cost of Medicare and other programs are instead negotiating with Republicans to find a combination of spending cuts and targeted tax increases for higher incomes.

The income and wealth trends of the last decade also create a longer-term dilemma for the party. By advocating the continuation of most of the Bush-era tax cuts, Democrats might find themselves confronting deeper-than-comfortable cuts to spending programs that aid the poor and middle class down the road.


December 12, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: The Medicare doc fix

(RNN) - Perhaps one of the most unknown consequences of jumping off the fiscal cliff is the possible enforcement of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, controlled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, enacted a stipulation several years ago intended to prevent too many people from going onto Medicare. In order to do so, Medicare officials began cutting Medicare pay rates to physicians by between 0.5 and 1 percent.

These cuts, however, never went into effect thanks to a so-called "Doc Fix" in which physicians continued to be paid at the current rate. If the country goes off the fiscal cliff, it's possible the Doc Fix cuts would go into place all at once.

Consequently, doctors would experience about a 27 percent cut in what Medicare will pay.

The cuts may be a necessity for the success for the White House-backed Affordable Care Act. Commonly referred to as Obamacare, the healthcare plan is dependent on these cuts in order to properly fund it.


December 12, 2012

France's Jean-Marc Ayrault slams flight of the 'greedy rich'

Jean-Marc Ayrault's outburst came after France's best-known actor, Gerard Dépardieu, took up legal residence in a small village just over the border in Belgium, alongside hundreds of other wealthy French nationals seeking lower taxes.

"Those who are seeking exile abroad are not those who are scared of becoming poor," the prime minister declared after unveiling sweeping anti-poverty measures to help those hit by the economic crisis.

These individuals are leaving "because they want to get even richer," he said. "We cannot fight poverty if those with the most, and sometimes with a lot, do not show solidarity and a bit of generosity," he added.

"Thankfully, few are seeking exile to exempt themselves from being in solidarity with fellow Frenchmen."


December 9, 2012

On The Fiscal Cliff And A Constitution In Crisis

The Political Foundation of the status quo in America is based on a Grand Bargain of Complicity between the top 25% who pay approximately 90% of the taxes, and the bottom 50% who draw on the benefits that come from government. James Madison in the "Federalist Papers" outlined this complicity in the "Tyranny of the Majority". What is becoming painfully evident is that the political elite in America have falsely over-promised on the entitlements that can be delivered, which is now surfacing in the political turmoil of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations and has the potential to quickly lead towards a constitutional crisis.

Meanwhile the very top 1% of Americans, that pay 25% of the taxes and control most of the productive wealth in the nation, are securing and exercising increasing powers within the government, through what is becoming increasingly identified as 'Crony Capitalism" and "Corporatocracy". Thomas Jefferson also warned us about this potential constitutionally destabilizing influence which could emerge within the structure of the 'separation of powers'.

Out of a population of 315 million, presently only 115 million Americans have full time, non-government funded jobs. This is the same as 12 years ago and before an additional 33 million students, immigrants, single parents of others attempted to enter the workforce. It is now fracturing the social compact and the revealing the delusion of the American dream being available to all who are willing to work for it. There is no work, and certainly insufficient work which pays a wage which will support what is expected as a middle class standard of living.

This Grand Bargain is now rapidly fraying as 75 million baby boomers begin retiring and find the promises made to everyone cannot possibly be met. As the Fiscal Cliff crisis is blatantly bringing to the public's attention, for those who can read between the carefully crafted lines, funding for Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, National Security and Interest on the debt is consuming more than can be realistically raised through taxation.

To collect enough tax revenue to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. Expropriating the entire income of the top 25% of households that pay almost 90% of the tax and all corporate taxes would only bring in $6.7 trillion.


December 9, 2012

Beijing and Shanghai each have more multi-millionaires now than Los Angeles

New data from WealthInsight shows that Beijing and Shanghai each have more multi-millionaires now than Los Angeles. The study measures the segment of the population worth $30 million or more, known in wealth-industry parlance as "ultra-high-net-worth individuals."

Beijing has 1,318 people in that group. Shanghai has 2,028. Both are higher than Los Angeles, which has 950 people worth $30 million or more.

New York still towers over the others when it comes to the ultra-highs, with 2,929 people worth $30 million or more. (Read more: More Than 300,000 Millionaires Would Go Off 'Cliff')

The question, of course, is whether this rapid global shift in wealth from West to East and from developed to emerging markets, will continue on its current pace.

WealthInsight predicts that number of millionaires in the BRIC countries will grow by 76 percent by 2016. That's more than double the growth rate of the past four years.


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