• “MORE THAN HALF OF AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS HAVE AT LEAST ONE FIREARM, AND THEY’RE NOT GOING AWAY,” according to Gallup. The rejuvenated debate over gun ‘control’ generally ignores two major and related factors in homicide rates. First, that “random mass shootings are typically suicides augmented with multiple murders as a way of dramatizing the shooter’s pain and self hatred. Copious amounts of research show that media publicity – with sensational, detailed coverage of suicides – leads to copycat crimes… as others who are depressed and suicidal and want to take a whole bunch of people with them, get the knowledge on how to pull it off.” And second, how we deal with mental illness, as the number of psychiatric beds has decreased by 75% over the past five decades and many state mental hospitals have been emptied “because they provided dreadful care… creating a de-facto policy of waiting until seriously mentally ill people commit crimes and then consigning them to prison.” Meanwhile, politicians need to look like they are doing something; California Senator Feinstein plans to introduce legislation against ‘assault’ weapons (essentially any gun with multiple-round magazines) but which ‘exempts’ 900 hunting and sporting models and millions of pre-ban weapons. [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Dec 24, 12]

REALITY-BASED PERSPECTIVE from conservative Economist Thomas Sowell – Harvard, Columbia and Univ. of Chicago PhD, now with Hoover Institute at Stanford: “If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago, and a ‘racist’ today… I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you’ve earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money… One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence… If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves… It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong… Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good… It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and medication somehow think we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

OFFICE DIVERSITY NOTE: The newest California employer mandate, AB1964, now stipulates that accommodating “bona fide religious beliefs and practices of employees… encompasses religious dress practices and grooming standards, including all forms of head, facial and body hair.” [TROY GOULD CLIENT ALERT – Jan 2, 13]

EXERCISE-OFF HOLIDAY POUNDS CAUTIOUSLY: (1) RUNNING ISN’T ALWAYS GOOD for your health. Cardiology research at St. Luke’s Heart Institute now indicates that running more than twenty miles a week or at a pace above eight miles a minute can lead to cardiac damage – especially after age 50 – since “exercise can harden the coronary artery, a condition typically seen in people who are completely sedentary.” (2) AND AVOID GRAPEFRUIT, low in calories but which apparently contains chemicals that block the ability of liver and small intestine to breakdown prescription drugs, “causing them to stay in the body longer, at higher levels, and potentially leading to overdoses… Common prescriptions for blood pressure, cholesterol-lowering statins, pain & cancer medications, some antibiotics and more than 40 other drugs also interact adversely with grapefruit… A Lawson Health Research Institute study has shown serious side effects – including gastro-intestinal bleeding, kidney damage, breathing problems, irregular heartbeat and sudden death – can occur when medication is taken even the night before,” since a small amount of grapefruit or its juice can increase the impact of an Rx tablet up to five times. [THE WEEK – Dec 14 & 21, 12]

THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Imagine enough funding to literally build a skyscraper city, then forgetting about building a sewage system to haul away the excrement from inhabitants. Oh those Arabs… http://www.boreme.com/posting.php?id+31361

‘Welfare’ recipients are still using their benefit debit cards to withdraw cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and strip clubs, reflected by a database of 200 million transfers last year in the New York City area…