• ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS ARE UNSURPRISINGLY DIAGNOSED AS TROUBLE. “Research is mounting that low- and no-calorie sweeteners may not be a great choice for dieters. A recent 9-year study of seniors found that diet-soda drinkers gained nearly triple the abdominal fat – 3 inches.” Two hundred times sweeter than sugar, no-calorie packets apparently “interfere with a natural ability to regulate incoming calories, which leads to sugar cravings and weight gain… Another study of 9,500 people who said they drank one can of soda daily also found a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes) than those who didn’t drink diet soda.“  [TIME – Mar 30, 15]
  • AN UGLY, SHAMEFUL AND IMPORTANT STORY: IBM’s strategic alliance with Nazi Germany helped create and manage the enabling technologies of WWII and the Holocaust – “from the identification & cataloguing of programs in the 1930s to the selection & extermination campaigns of the 1940s.” Edwin Black is an award-winning, 10-times Pulitzer-nominated investigative reporter who (with a team of over 100 researchers in seven countries) located hard documents which substantiate an undeniable fact: after the outbreak of WWII, the IBM corporation leased equipment and provided employee support teams – officed in Berlin and in the death camps – which were central to the operation of the Third Reich. 457 pages & document exhibits of horrendous history as to how and why America’s most powerful company of the times took “an opportunistic ride on Hitler’s tail.” IBM AND THE HOLOCAUST is available in paperback and well worth at least skimming.
  • “FEDERAL PROFLIGACY GOES CASCADING ON.” The annual ‘Government Efficiency and Effectiveness’ report, presented to the Senate last month by the Gov’t Accountability Office, found ineptitude throughout, including: (1) “improper payments from misplaced generosity” of nearly $125 billion last year to recipients of Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Credit;  (2) “Fragmented data storage and needless duplication” in I.T. systems – for example, Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are each “developing from scratch, two separate electronic health-record systems, even though they will basically serve the same people”; (3) A tri-agency weather satellite system scrapped after $5 billion paid out over 16 years; (4) IRS focus on “less productive groups” of taxpayers, while unpaid taxes from tax-dodgers “exceeded $450 billion in 2006, the most recent year for which data is available from IRS” (huh??!).  And the beat goes on.   [THE ECONOMIST – Mar 21, 15]
  • AND “THERE IS NOTHING ON THE HORIZON THAT WILL DEAL WITH THE REALITY OF BLOATED UNFAIRNESS of our federal government. Neither party is facing the fact of our own slow demise of political and economic power… For those who scream that we need to allow the free market to determine our future, there are a few harsh realities. First, there is no free market here or in most places on earth: a tax rate scheme that favors some forms of making money over others, allowing companies to inflict measurable environmental damage but forcing taxpayers to bear that economic burden, farm insurance subsidies, tilting the playing field in favor of big business and affording them tax loopholes and access to capital denied to mid and small-business – all suggest that the market is anything but free. Government created or allows those anomalies, but there is almost no appetite in the current Congress to deal with any of this, setting the stage for another bubble and another international financial downfall… treading water, ignoring our future and kicking the can down the road, at which time it may be too late to stem the decline… a horrific tragedy we call the Decline of Western Civilization.” [UNSHRED AMERICA.COM – Mar 20, 15]
  • PHOTOSHOP HAS ESSENTIALLY ELIMINATED TODAY’S ABILITY TO RELY ON THE ‘LEGITIMACY’ of video, film or photos. Check this out: http://www.flixxy.com/do-not-believe-everything-you-see-on-video-or-film.htm?utm_source=nl
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  “When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.”    -Richard Dawkins

“There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”  – Ayn Rand

Around $9 billion was ‘bet’ on the NCAA basketball tournament last month by roughly 12.6% of the nation’s population.  This compares to $3.7 billion contributed by .2% of Americans to influence the 2014 midterm elections.