Political correctness has simply gone too far. Now, an elementary school in Texas has not only banned any reference to Christmas from its “winter” party, students are not even allowed to wear red or green. What is happening to this country?
The story takes place in Frisco, Texas at Nichols Elementary School. As Fox 4 News in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area reports, a parent of one of the students contacted local State Representative Pat Fallon. The parent forwarded Fallon an e-mail from the school’s PTA which described the rules for the school’s “winter” party. The rules specified:
* No reference to Christmas or any other religious holiday
* No red, green or Christmas trees
* Nothing that will stain the carpet.
His paper, “The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States,” published in the December issue of the Journal of American History, examines how the now-ubiquitous bushy-tailed critters found homes in American cities, and how their presence there altered people’s conceptions of nature and community.
Benson explains that though many people may think that squirrels have simply persisted in urban landscapes since Europeans arrived in the U.S., their presence is actually the result of intentional introductions.
“By the mid-19th century, squirrels had been eradicated from cities,” he said. “In order to end up with squirrels in the middle of cities, you had to transform the urban landscape by planting trees and building parks and changing the way that people behave. People had to stop shooting squirrels and start feeding them.”
Tidbits of information from federal health officials — especially figures that show improvements at HealthCare.gov — have become a key tool in the effort to “reboot” the law in the eyes of the public.
But the limited nature of the releases has created conflict with the media and put the spotlight on outstanding areas of concern for the rollout, such as the enrollment site’s back end.
It’s not unusual for politicians to put out numbers that bolster their case. Democrats, for example, have been infuriated with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who they say has selectively dripped a series of redacted documents about the rollout.
Still, strategists cautioned that the administration’s approach could backfire as the public remains skeptical about the healthcare law.
“Given the level of suspicion, if they’re not as candid as possible, they’re going to get burned,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist and former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
I just finished a detailed comparison of my current grandfathered health insurance plan from Kaiser Permanente (kp.org), a respected non-profit healthcare provider, and Kaiser’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) options. I reviewed all the information and detailed tables of coverage and then called a Kaiser specialist to clarify a few questions.
First, the context of my analysis: we are self-employed, meaning there is no employer to pay our healthcare insurance. We pay the full market-rate cost of healthcare insurance. We have had a co-pay plan with kp.org for the past 20+ years that we pay in full because there’s nobody else to pay it. …
… In other words, I have 30+ years of knowledgeable experience with the full (real) costs of healthcare insurance and what is covered by that insurance. …
… The closest equivalent coverage under Obamacare is Kaiser’s Gold Plan. The cost to us is $1,937 per month or $23,244 a year. The Gold Plan covers medications ($50 per prescription for name-brand, $19 for generics) and free preventive-health visits and tests, but otherwise the coverage is inferior: the out-of-pocket limits are $6,350 per person or $12,700 for the two of us. Lab tests are also more expensive, as are X-rays, emergency care co-pays and a host of other typical charges. Specialty doctor’s visits have a $50 co-pay. …
While all eyes have focused on Detroit’s record bankruptcy, an economic crisis is deepening in Puerto Rico that many experts say may be far more harmful to the U.S. economy.
Puerto Rico has been mired in economic recession for almost eight years, with public debt skyrocketing to $70 billion and unemployment climbing to 14 percent, higher than that of any U.S. state. The island’s debt load accounts for 93 percent of its GDP.
Many economic experts worry that Puerto Rico could default on its debt, having a potential direct impact on mainland United States.
In September, Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank announced it would cut bond sales after investors pushed the yield on Puerto Rico bonds above 10 percent. The island’s general obligation bonds have been hovering at just above near-junk status. That worries economic experts who note that many Americans’ retirement funds include Puerto Rico bonds.
The kingdom remains on edge following several days of street clashes during demonstrations aimed at overthrowing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and curbing the political influence of her brother Thaksin.
Demonstrators and police in the Thai capital have been observing a temporary truce since Wednesday ahead of the birthday celebrations for King Bhumibol, who is treated as a near-deity by many in the Southeast Asian country.
Kamooneh had plugged an extension cable from his Nissan Leaf into an exterior outlet at Chamblee Middle School in Georgia while watching his 11-year-old boy play tennis, according to The Verge and originally reported by Atlanta’s 11 News.
A police officer appeared and told him he was going to charge him with theft for taking power from the school. Sure enough, police arrested Kamooneh at his house 11 days later and made him spend more than 15 hours in jail.
Irfan Khan, a 40-year-old Muslim, emigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 1994 and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
He is the son of a 78-year-old south Florida imam who was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a judge in August for funneling more than $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban.
Hafiz Kahn was convicted in March on four counts of providing money and support to the group, which the United States considers a terrorist organization. He had faced a maximum of 60 years in prison, and prosecutors sought a 15-year sentence.
The number of U.S. battlefield fatalities exceeded the rate at which troop strength surged in 2009 and 2010, prompting national security analysts to assert that coinciding stricter rules of engagement led to more deaths.
Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration says that, in 2011 alone, tax cheats were able to steal or falsely obtain some 285,000 employee identification numbers, which the IRS uses to identify a taxpayer’s business account.
In all, the IRS could be issuing around $2.3 billion a year in these sorts of false payments — or around $11.4 billion over a five-year span.
… so that I could spend a hour stomping through knee deep snow and cut my own.
Christmas trees are pretty unpopular, right?
The House must think so, since its farm bill would pave the way to set up a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. Its purpose would be “to enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.”
Kim Kardashian, the centre of all evil in the universe, has managed to annoy even her most ardent followers with a new money and fame generation scheme in which she uses a charitable cause to help bulk up her pre-tax profits. Not just any charity either, but one for survivors of a typhoon.
Shigeru Echigo, 36, the former head of Deutsche Securities’ pension fund sales team, was arrested on bribery charges along with a former pension fund manager for a Japanese trading house, a Tokyo Metropolitan Police official said in a statement read out over the telephone.
Mr. Echigo spent at least 900,000 yen on food and drink, golf and overseas travel for Yutaka Tsurisawa, a pension fund executive for Mitsui, from April to August last year, according to the statement. The favors were meant to express thanks for some 1 billion yen in financial products Mr. Tsurisawa had purchased from Deutche Securities, and to encourage the executive to keep up those purchases, the statement said.
A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into the building which made way for gunmen in another car to storm the premises and occupy part of the complex, before it was retaken by security forces.
Unconfirmed reports suggested the gunmen took advantage of construction work that was taking place to carry out the attack.
Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is the first to observe two crocodilian species — muggers and American alligators — using twigs and sticks to lure birds, particularly during nest-building time.