Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The 21st century: We are living in a world turning upside-down

Human beings have been consuming coffee for decades, at least, and perhaps for centuries. But despite the drink’s long and loved history, a story in the newspaper last Friday informed us coffee drinkers that the beverage harbors harmful elements that can cause cancer. Who knew?

Well, according to a legal action begun some eight years ago, everyone and anyone associated with coffee products – such as roasters, distributors, and retailers – should have known that because processing coffee beans releases a carcinogen in miniscule amounts, they should have warned the public.

Interestingly, the plaintiff is not the one with the burden of proof resting on its shoulders. In this case the age-old maxim “innocent until proven guilty” has been turned upside-down, and that duty has been shifted to the defendants by state law.

The judge in the case, in (where else?) California, ruled, “Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.” The judge somehow holds the defendants guilty of not proving something that plaintiffs did not allege, and leaves the plaintiffs to celebrate not having to prove their case. Nevertheless, coffee sellers now must label their product with a cancer warning, despite the carcinogen being removed from the “possible carcinogen” list.


Citing Pennsylvania Act 31, a law addressing child abuse recognition and reporting, a dental office threatened to report a child patient’s mother to social services or law enforcement agencies if she did not schedule appointments for "regular professional cleanings."  This law allows the very people who provide services to report parents to authorities if they do not do business with the providers according to a schedule created by a professional dental association.

Here is yet another age-old saying brought to the fore: the fox guarding the henhouse. Beyond the open invitation for unscrupulous dental offices to act in their own interest rather than in that of their patients, we have potential interference from government when parents’ decisions on dental care differ from that of dentists, who collect fees for those services.

There should be no legal penalty or threat if a parent fails or decides not to follow the schedule, unless real and significant harm to the child results.


The Trump administration has decided to add a question to the 2020 Census form asking the person filling out the form if she/he is a citizen. And guess who doesn’t like that? Primarily Democrats/liberals.

Counting non-citizens, including illegal aliens, in the census can affect such things as how many congressional districts states may have. Having more non-citizens counted in a state might cause it to have an additional district that it otherwise would not have.

Researchers have found that if citizens-only were counted, Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, which have large immigrant populations, would lose eight congressional seats, collectively.

J. Christian Adams, of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, observed: "Only citizens should be given political power. Our current system leads to noncitizens being allocated political power in legislatures at the expense of citizens." "It's critical that the next redistricting cycle account for the citizen residents of districts so urban centers do not unfairly profit from the political subsidy that higher noncitizen populations provide," he said.


Rumors about leftist indoctrination by teachers in many colleges across the country are not at all unusual, but it is also present in public schools. Few instances, however, are as obvious as this one.

“For this assignment, you are writing a letter to the lawmakers of the United States. The purpose of this letter is to pressure lawmakers to have stricter gun laws in the United States. Your letter should contain at least five complete sentences. Make sure that you use proper grammatical skills when writing your letter,” read the assignment by a social studies teacher to his students at Hampton Middle School, Hampton, GA.

Well, at least the indoctrinator had the good sense to ask for proper grammar, even if it was as an afterthought. Whether he sent the letters to lawmakers or not, he was way out of bounds assigning students to take a particular position, particularly on a red-hot topic like the gun debate. How could a trained professional be so blind and dumb as to assign his students something so blatantly politically biased?


With all the hoopla about supposed collusion by Russians in the 2016 presidential election that some believe helped Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, you may have gotten the idea that this was a new wrinkle in U.S. elections. But thanks to a friend and reader of this column, who provided a copy of The Christian Science Monitor from the mid 1940s, we see that isn’t at all the case.

In October of 1945 a front-page story tells of the Russian Congress of Industrial Organizations Political Action Committee openly supporting congressional candidates. Democrat candidates. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats denied the news. A Russian English-language newscast openly denounced Republicans and said their election might be the end of democracy in America. The broadcast was in Russia, but The New York Times printed an account of the broadcast.

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