Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday 09-30-15

In God we trust, all other pay cash

Gallup: More Americans Say Federal Government a Threat

The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is there for a simple reason: Our Founding Fathers wisely understood that even a national government of supposedly limited powers could overstep its bounds and infringe upon the rights of the people. In the landmark Heller decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the Founders considered the Second Amendment a failsafe that would provide the people with the means “to oppose an oppressive military force if the constitutional order broke down.”
Whatever else can be said about the efficacy or integrity of the government these days, America is fortunate that its people still have ample means to seek peaceful redress of grievances. Yet a new poll shows that the Founders’ concerns about the overreaching tendencies of centralized power remain on the mind of many U.S. citizens. Gallup reported on Monday that the share of Americans saying that the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens” has risen from 30 percent in 2003 to 49 percent today.
Those who believe the government poses a threat say that it does so in a wide variety of areas, ranging from the feeling that the government wields too much power in general, to numerous specific concerns. Gallup notes, however, that “[t]he most frequently mentioned specific threats involve gun control laws and violations of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, mentioned by 12% who perceive the government to be an immediate threat.” That was a greater percentage of Americans than those expressing concern over government surveillance of Americans’ email and phone activities, Obamacare, and encroachments on freedom of religion and other First Amendment rights.
Gallup also reports that during the four-year gap between its 2006 and 2010 polls, the share of Democrat and Democrat-leaning respondents believing the government posed a threat decreased from 59 percent to 26 percent, while the share of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents holding the same opinion increased from 24 percent to 63 percent. For that reason, Gallup concludes that party affiliation tends to determine whether a person perceives a threat, with Democrats more likely to having felt threatened during the presidency of George W. Bush and Republicans more likely to having the same opinion since Barack Obama took office.
However, Gallup’s numbers show that adherents of both parties are more threatened by government power under Obama than they were during the Bush administration. Comparing responses from the two parties by averaging the results of the four polls taken during each administration shows that Democrats are four points more suspicious of government under Obama than Republicans were under Bush. The poll also shows that, overall, Republicans are more threatened by the government under Obama than Democrats were under Bush.
But make no mistake.  Any way you break down the numbers, a growing number of people of all political persuasions see the Obama administration as a threat to our freedoms.
Gallup’s take-away from its polls is that “the persistent finding in recent years that half of the population views the government as an immediate threat underscores the degree to which the role and power of government remains a key issue of our time. . . . From the people’s perspective, then, a focus on the appropriate role for government should be at the forefront of the nation’s continuing political discourse and should be a key point of debate in the current presidential election campaigns.”
The United States is unique in its commitment to an armed citizenry. It is also unique in the level of personal freedom and self-determination enjoyed by its citizens. We don’t think that’s a coincidence. We also don’t think it’s any surprise that more Americans are feeling concerned about a government that increasingly signals it doesn’t trust them with their fundamental freedoms, including the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
One solution, of course, is provided by Article II of the Constitution, which details the manner in which Americans are to elect their president. We again have the opportunity to exercise that sacred freedom next year. Candidates on both sides of the aisle have already begun articulating their views on the Second Amendment, and gun owners should be paying close attention. If Americans again elect an executive who does not hold the trust of the people, we will have only ourselves to blame.
See where this is heading (or beheaded) sorry for the bad joke.  This what is in  for store here if they don't wise up soon.
Interfaith outrage?
Supporters of the Islamic State (IS) on Twitter condemned American Muslims’ participation in interfaith activities with Pope Francis amid his U.S. visit.
On September 25, 2015, a user by an Arabic-language username translating to “Come Come,” called such Muslims “coconuts,” a term used by jihadists to insult moderate Muslims:
“I wonder how many coconuts attended today’s inter-religious prayer service led by Pope in NYC. They all need to take shahadah again.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday 09-29-15

Mind reading, shades of the Minority Report

Feds Developed App That Predicts ‘Psychological Status’ of Americans

$8.9 million NIH study led to mobile system for ‘real time behavior monitoring’
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a system that can predict the “psychological status” of users with smartphones and hope to private companies to bring the invention to the market.
The technology appeared on a list of NIH inventions published in the Federal Register that are now available to be licensed by private companies. The government allows companies to license inventions resulting from federal research in order to expedite their arrival on the marketplace.
The system uses smartphones to ask people how they are doing mentally during the day and based on the results can “deliver an automated intervention” if necessary.
“The NIH inventors have developed a mobile health technology to monitor and predict a user’s psychological status and to deliver an automated intervention when needed,” according to the notice published Wednesday. “The technology uses smartphones to monitor the user’s location and ask questions about psychological status throughout the day.”
“Continuously collected ambulatory psychological data are fused with data on location and responses to questions,” the NIH said. “The mobile data are combined with geospatial risk maps to quantify exposure to risk and predict a future psychological state. The future predictions are used to warn the user when he or she is at especially high risk of experiencing a negative event that might lead to an unwanted outcome (e.g., lapse to drug use in a recovering addict).”
The NIH said the technology has potential commercial applications for “real-time behavior monitoring” and “therapeutic delivery of an intervention via a mobile device.”
Researchers developed the system from a project that tracked the mood and cravings of drug users in Baltimore. The $8.9 million federal study sought to develop algorithms that could “automatically detect behavioral events (such as episodes of drug use or stress) without requiring self-report.”
The NIH said the app is currently being used for drug addiction interventions, but that the “inventors are also seeking to test the technology for other health applications.”

I have seen this happen first hand, we are turning into a nation of zombies

Eyes down, minds elsewhere, ‘deadwalkers’ are among us

You have seen the zombie-like creatures walking among us. In fact, you may be one of them, moseying along with your eyes fixated on that tiny screen that rests in the palm of your hand.
Americans overwhelmingly think this is okay. It’s not.
“It’s just really dangerous,” said Deborah Hersman, who heads the National Safety Council and is former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. “Everybody walking down the sidewalk either has their headphones on or is looking down at their phone. It’s a sad commentary on our society when you look at how distracted people are.”
By now, everyone knows that talking or texting while driving can get you killed. But the fact that 3,154 people died and an estimated 424,000 were hurt in 2013 is evidence that a great many people are willing to ignore the advice to keep their attention on the road.
News that you could get hurt or even die while walking around — made oblivious to your surroundings by your cellphone obsession — isn’t very like to be more persuasive. But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and an emerging body of research to back up those warnings.
“Some data suggests that at any given moment on the streets of America, 60 percent of pedestrians are distracted while walking, meaning either on the phone or doing something on their phone,” said Alan S. Hilibrand of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “It’s a bit of a startling number.”
Hilibrand, vice chairman of orthopaedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, has seen evidence of what he calls “digital deadwalkers” on center-city streets.
“We’ve had people come into the emergency room who were hit by cars,” he said. “They’re looking at their phone and not paying attention to the fact that a vehicle is making a turn.”
In a bizarre tragedy a few blocks from Hilibrand’s hospital in May, a 68-year-old woman visiting from Texas was said to be looking down at her iPad as she crossed a street in the city’s Chinatown. She was hit by an amphibious duck boat filled with tourists and died of head injuries.

As mobile devices have become more ubiquitous, the number of emergency room visits by distracted walkers has climbed steadily. Some of the best information is a bit out of date, but it gives a sense of the trend. In 2005, 256 pedestrians injured while using phones received hospital treatment, a number that grew sixfold by 2010.
“I would say the really rapid explosion and proliferation of these devices has taken off in the last five years, so I suspect the numbers have jumped quite a bit,” said Hersman, whose National Safety Council compiled data from several different reports in its annual statistical safety profile.
One surprise was that more than half of injuries happened while people were fixated on their cellphones while walking in their homes. Overall, more than two-thirds of the injured were women, and slightly more than half were under age 40. More than 20 percent were age 71 or older.
“I do it if there’s not a lot of people around,” said Courtney Thomas, 32, when his communion with his cellphone was interrupted on 12th Street NW, just below H street, in the District. “I’ve seen videos of people falling into fountains and running into signs, so I look up every couple of seconds.”

One Chinese city, Chongqing, home to more than 9 million people, has put up satirical “no cellphone” lanes on the sidewalk to remind people their distraction can be dangerous and annoying.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that Americans have grown comfortable using their mobile devices in public, and nowhere more so than “while walking down the street,” which 77 percent said was generally okay.
“I was just checking something my brother sent me on e-mail,” said Cameron Ratliff, 27, as he crossed 11th Street NW at G Street recently. “Usually, if I look at it, it’s when I’m stopped at a crosswalk. I’ve never run into anything.”
Hersman said it’s hard for most people to ignore their phones.
“We’re dealing now with an addiction to these electronic devices that is, frankly, all-consuming,” she said. “When something beeps or buzzes or dings or vibrates, it really is as compelling as someone tapping you on the shoulder. People are being conditioned to engage in these activities and they get immediate gratification for that. Our brains get a hit of dopamine every time we open a message.”
Kwasi Frye, who works for a D.C. firm that makes apps for mobile devices, was making his way down 11th Street NW recently, his eyes fixed on his cellphone. He was asked whether he usually looks at his phone while moving down the sidewalk.
“Yeah,” Frye said, “but unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to talk right now. Could we do this over e-mail?”

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday 09-28-15

Some Vermonters may get religion as vaccine outs narrow

FILE - In this April 20, 2012, file photo, nurse Catherine Craige draws a chickenpox vaccination in Berlin, Vt. Vermont parents who don't want their kids vaccinated can take a "philosophical exemption" for the last time in 2015, as Vermont became the first state to do away with the...
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Parents in America’s least devout state may be forced to find religion if they want to exempt their kids from getting vaccinated.
Vermont earlier this year became the first state to remove a philosophical exemption allowing parents to skip the immunizations required to enroll in school but keep the religious exemption in place.
And while some states require evidence — a statement of religious beliefs, for instance — to support the claim that a child should be exempt for religious reasons, Vermont requires only checking a box on a form next to the word “religious.”
“The vast majority who used the philosophical exemption are planning to or are being forced to use the religious exemption,” said Jennifer Stella, president of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice.
Vermont, which historically has had one of the country’s lowest rates of students fully compliant with the recommended vaccination schedule, is the first state to preserve the religious exemption while doing away with the philosophical one, according to research complied by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Vaccine Information Center. Earlier this summer, California joined West Virginia and Mississippi as the only states without any personal belief exemption.
Because Vermont is first down this particular path, there’s no answer to the question of whether states see a new-found interest in religion upon removing the philosophical exemption. But Shawn Venner and Aedan Scribner, who are raising their 8-month-old daughter, Zelda, in Cabot, said the issue may spark a revival.
“I grew up here in Cabot, and would love my daughter to be able to go to the same school I did,” said Scribner. “But to get her into that school I’m going to have to do something like convert religiously.”
The couple said they are not opposed to all vaccines for their daughter, but strongly support choice in the matter.
There’s been talk among friends of starting a new religion, Venner said, “a religion that says we’ll pretty much have a choice.”
As it stands now, Vermont is something other than a hotbed of religious fervor. A study released in May by the Pew Research Center found 37 percent of Vermonters described themselves as “unaffiliated” with any religion — the highest in the country. Time magazine reported last year on poll results from the Gallup organization in which 22 percent of Vermonters — the lowest in the country — described themselves as “very religious.”
Four percent of Vermont’s school children in kindergarten through 12th grade advantage of the philosophical exemption last year, according to state figures. Only 0.2 percent used the religious exemption, less than the 0.3 percent who qualified for a medical exemption.
Christine Finley, immunization program manager for the state Health Department, told The Associated Press the department will launch a public education campaign this winter to ensure parents are aware the philosophical exemption will disappear effective July 1, giving families time to schedule the needed doctors’ appointments for children to get caught up on their shots.
Schools and child care centers around Vermont — both public and private, or “independent,” as they are called in state law — “will be sending out notices to families that this is coming,” Finley said. “This is the new law, and this is what we need to be doing.”
Finley said the Health Department will release data in May that is likely to present the first clear picture of how many families are shifting from the philosophical exemption to a religious one.
“I think we’ll know a lot more next year and that will give us a sort of baseline understanding going forward,” said Jill Remick, a spokeswoman for the state Agency of Education.
School nurses are on the front lines of Vermont’s efforts to get nearly all kids fully immunized. Several said they expect some families that do not want their children fully vaccinated may simply switch to the religious exemption.
Such a switch would seem suspicious because of the timing, said Claire Molner, nurse at the Proctor Junior/Senior High School. Some families object not to all, but to one or some vaccines, she noted.
But Molner said nurses with whom she’s spoken don’t want to be placed in a position in which they are asked to judge the sincerity of someone’s religious belief.
“I don’t think I can sit there and be the arbiter of somebody’s faith,” Molner said.

Who funds the trillion dollar plan of the U.N.'s new global goals?

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As world leaders brandish a hard-fought new set of global goals designed to improve lives in all countries, the question of who foots the trillion-dollar bill remained open on Saturday as financial pledges started rolling in.
The United Nation's 193 member countries on Friday adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a roadmap to end poverty and hunger, fight inequality and conquer climate change over the next 15 years, or 800 weeks.
The goals tackling issues in both rich and poor countries replace an earlier U.N. action plan, the Millennium Development Goals, which focused mainly on poverty in developing nations.
While aid funds and debt relief were key for the millennium goals, there is wide recognition of the need for other sources for the estimated $3 trillion a year needed to enact the SDGs.
The World Bank, with other development banks, coined the phrase "Billions to Trillions" to illustrate the challenge.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Angel Gurria said private sector participation was critical while governments need to strengthen tax and regulatory systems to encourage investment.
"Without the private sector, it is not going to happen, as we have budgetary constraints in every country," Gurria told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.
"You'll have a lot of pledges but you'll need a framework to allow the flows (of finance) to then happen naturally."
A July conference in Addis Ababa addressing SDG funding issues made clear that private sector as well as philanthropic foundations had a major role to play, with private enterprise the main source of economic growth and job creation, outsizing donor nation funds.
Meanwhile the world's richest nations again committed to a target of earmarking 0.7 percent of gross national income for overseas development assistance - although few meet that level in practice - which now stands at about $135 billion a year.
Pledges of funding started to roll in during the U.N. three-day SDG summit that ends on Sunday.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced more than $25 billion in initial commitments over five years from 40 countries and more than 100 international organizations to help end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents.
Contributions to boost funding for gender equality powerment included $5 million from Chinese e-commerce giant the Alibaba Group and $1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled an initial pledge of $2 billion with aims to increase that to $12 billion by 2030.
Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said the agenda would not be achieved without business - and that meant ensuring stability and good governance in countries to support big partnerships.
"Business is attracted to where there is a solid and able environment and basic rule of law, commercial law, dispute resolution, peaceful and inclusive societies," said Clark, the former New Zealand prime minister.
"For us, it's fundamentally not about financial contributions that business makes to U.N. agencies. It's about shared values ... the way business does business. Is it inclusive, and is it sustainable?"
Centerpiece to funding talks has been a focus on helping countries boost their domestic resources by improving tax collection and attacking tax evasion and illicit cash flows.
While some criticize this as tinkering with a broken global tax system, Gurria said SDG funding does not need new initiatives but can build on and improve existing structures.
He called for a team of "tax inspectors without borders" to build trust in countries' systems and boost investment.
"If you get it right, you can get trillions," Gurria said.
But it is agreed that funding alone was not enough to achieve the global goals, with policy changes needed to support the priorities.
Michael Green, executive director of the Social Progress Imperative which analyzes countries' progress on social measures, said economic growth alone would not meet the SDGs, which deal with subjects ranging from energy subsidies to developing genebanks.
"The SDGs are about political will and inclusion," Green told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "We have the resources if we use them properly for this is not just about money."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday 09-26-15

Have A Doughnut: FDA Scare Debunked by Study

The quality of baked goods and processed foods is slated to take a hit over the next few years, since the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that trans fats will be phased out of the foods we enjoy. But a new study has exposed the trans fat worry as junk science-based.

Trans fats are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that are solid at room temperature. Some are natural and some are manmade. They have been long been a key ingredient in products like margarine, doughnuts, microwave popcorn, cookies, coffee creamers, ready-to-use frostings and much more. Trans fats help make products creamy and have a much longer shelf-life than their alternative, lard.
Where did the trans fats scare come from? As it became obvious in the 1990s that the health scare over dietary saturated (animal) fats was entirely bogus, a couple of Harvard researchers decided to shift the scare over saturated fats to trans fats.
Walter Willett and Albert Ascherio thus began a crusade to demagogue trans fats. They published a number of studies and then published reviews of their own studies condemning trans fats as a cause of heart disease. The studies were readily embraced without question by the food nanny establishment, which never misses a chance to scare us about the food we eat.
Eventually, a panel of food nannies at the National Institute of Medicine concluded that there was “no safe level” of trans fat consumption. Finally last June, the FDA revoked the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for trans fats claiming that eating food with trans fats “increased risk of coronary heart disease by contributing to the buildup of plaque inside the arteries that may cause a heart attack.” The same ill-fated claim had been previously made about saturated fats, which is why consumers switched from butter to margarine in the first place.
Now come government-funded German researchers who have had the guts to publish in the European Heart Journal their politically incorrect and myth-shattering results.
Studying more than 3,200 people for an average of ten years, the researchers measured the trans fatty acid composition of their blood cell membranes and compared those levels with cardiac disease outcomes. Neither natural nor industrial trans fats were statistically associated with adverse cardiac outcomes.
This is not unexpected as there never has been any credible evidence that trans fats are associated with heart disease. The Willet/Ascherio series of studies were all exercises in cherry-picked statistical noise. No study contained reliable data on how much trans fats (or really anything else) any study subject consumed or what other confounding risk factors for heart disease the study subjects may have had. No heart attack had ever been biologically or medically determined to have been caused by trans fats.
While clinical studies indicate that eating trans fats temporarily raises LDL (so called “bad”) cholesterol and temporarily lowers HDL (so-called “good” cholesterol), this is a transient physiological phenomenon without demonstrated long-term effect. Not only does no one really understand cholesterol —  despite the “good” and “bad” monikers —  any physiological effect (even drinking water) can be mindlessly extrapolated into a health risk.
Time has nothing but expose food nannies for the frauds they are. Long-demagogued animal fat, cholesterol, and salt, for example, have all been rehabilitated by science and reality, though they remain lodged in the fact-free food nanny doghouse.
Like all successful long-term grifters, the government-funded food nanny establishment has been able to survive despite its many failures because it has been able to successfully shift public focus from one new scare to another. By the time reality catches up with the old scare, the new scare is already way down the road, with a gullible and/or complicit media greasing the skids.
Consumers pay a heavy price from these scares through misplaced and unnecessary worry, higher food costs, fewer choices and worse tasting food. Billions of dollars of taxpayer money are spent propping up scares in order to maintain the reputation of the government-university food nanny industrial complex.
Cut its funding. Cut the scares. Pass the doughnuts.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday 09-25-15

Scientists reveal flu develops in the roof of the mouth as study shows how it spreads

Bless you: The virus spreads through sneezing and coughs, scientists found

Researchers have found that flu develops in the roof of the mouth - and that it is spread through coughs and sneezes.
The key area of where flu develops is located in the soft palate separating the back of the mouth and the nasal cavity, according to new research.
Scientists have found that the inflammation associated with infection in the soft palate stimulates the sneezing and coughing, with it propelling the flu virus out of the mouth enabling it to spread easily.
Sick man coughing in a yellow blanket isolated on white
Discovery: Scientists found that flu develops at the roof of the mouth

Dr Kanta Subbarao, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US said: "Historically, the soft palate has not been examined in animal models of influenza."
Published in the science journal Nature, the research was carried out on ferrets whose mouths are similar to humans.
Anatomy of human mouth cavity. 
Breeding ground: Researchers made the discovery after experimenting with ferrets

They found evidence that a patch of mucous-coated soft tissue is a key site for the emergence of flu viruses.
Scientists continued their research by making mutations of the flu strain responsible for the 2009 influenza pandemic, a strain notoriously good at spreading from person to person.
They then used the engineered virus to infect a group of ferrets, which are widely used as a model of human influenza infection to analyse how it spread.

Most Agree With Trump on America's Lost Greatness, Bloomberg Poll Finds

A national survey finds that 72 percent of Americans say their country isn't as great as it once was —a central theme of front-runner Donald Trump's campaign.

Donald Trump, wearing his “Make America Great Again” hat, is escorted by security after a rally aboard the Battleship USS Iowa in San Pedro, California, on Sept. 15, 2015.
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Americans are “fed up” with politics, suspect the wealthy are getting an unfair edge, and think the country is going in the wrong direction, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll that lays bare the depth and breadth of the discontents propelling outsider candidates in the Republican presidential field.
The survey shows that 72 percent of Americans think their country isn't as great as it once was—a central theme of front-runner Donald Trump's campaign. More than a third prefer a presidential candidate without experience in public office.

Three of the four candidates leading the Republican field fit that description: Trump, the first choice of 21 percent of registered Republicans and voters who say they lean that way, followed by neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 16 percent, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 13 percent, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina with 11 percent.
Fiorina and Carson have seen the strongest gains among Republicans since the survey was taken a month ago. In the interim, voters have had their first extended looks at the candidates in two nationally televised debates. Fiorina's numbers, at 1 percent in the August poll, leaped by 10 percentage points while Carson jumped 11 percentage points, up from 5 percent. Trump's numbers have remained unchanged. Together, the three candidates who have never held political office account for 48 percent of the Republican vote. 
“At some level, it is a risk to elect a person with no experience in government,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “Republicans, especially, seem ready to take that risk.”
After nominating politicians with solid government resumes again and again, Selzer said, the electorate seems interested in going another direction. “They see a nation falling behind or outright failing,” she said. “Whether it is an act of courage or an act of despair, more than a third are opting to take the risk of backing a genuine outsider.”
Thirty-seven percent of Americans say they're more drawn to a presidential candidate who is a government outsider but who has also been a leader, handled complex issues, and managed teams to get things done. Among Republicans and those who lean that way, the preference for outsider candidates is even more pronounced: 51 percent, compared to  24 percent among Democrats. 
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the youngest candidate in the field and an impassioned speaker, has made an impression on voters. His 60 percent favorability rating was second only to Carson's 68 percent. Fiorina, a relative novice to the national stage, matched Bush, the son and brother of presidents, at 57 percent.
Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., is enjoying a bounce after her latest poll performance.
Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., is enjoying a bounce after her latest poll performance.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
“She's very articulate, has great control, is intelligent,” said Paula Gartside, a 50-year-old paralegal and substitute teacher in Pennsylvania who is supporting Fiorina after being impressed by her last debate performance. “I don't think she pulls any punches. What you see is what you get.”
The two candidates with the highest unfavorable ratings are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, at 42 percent, and Trump, at 40 percent. Still, those who like Trump are strongly supportive. “He's an outsider,” said Darleen Starcher, 61, a North Carolina resident who likes Trump. “He's not wanting or caring about being politically correct. He wants to make us better again. He wants to make us No. 1 again.”
The primary campaign is playing out before an electorate that's in a sour mood, with 66 percent of Americans saying the nation is headed in the wrong direction. That's the highest level recorded in a Bloomberg national poll since December 2013, when the economy was in worse shape than it is today. Given a series of choices about the greatness of America, 47 percent picked “falling behind,” while 25 percent said “failing.” Asked to name the biggest threats to American greatness, more cited “moral decay” (32 percent) and “our own lagging work ethic” (27 percent) than the rise of the Islamic State (26 percent) and competition with China (21 percent). A quarter of those responding also cited a “concentration of the nation's wealth among a very few individuals.”
Economically, the poll shows the nation's mood is bittersweet. On overall financial security, 27 percent of Americans say things are getting better, compared to 15 percent who say their situation is getting worse. The same pattern holds for job security (20 percent better, 13 percent worse) and market value of home (29 percent better, 14 percent worse). On performance of investments, 21 percent of Americans say their situation is getting worse, compared to 18 percent who say better. For all four economic indicators, the percentage of people saying they expect their situation to get better is lower than it was five months ago when Bloomberg asked similar questions.
And while a majority of 54 percent say they're moving closer, not further away, from their hopes for their career and/or finances, there are other indications of simmering economic discontents: a much larger majority—70 percent—say they see the gap between rich and everyone else as getting bigger. And 73 percent say that the tax code should be reformed so the wealthy pay proportionately more than middle-class people, a theme that's been picked up by candidates running the ideological gamut from Trump to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they're fed up with politics and think it amounts to “people playing games,” while 59 percent say the political system is broken and the nation needs to “just start over.” Yet if citizens are disgusted, they are not cynical about democracy. Only 30 percent think their vote doesn't matter and most believe that the political process is important.  Just 19 percent agree with the statement “I'm not affected by politics—it doesn't matter which party is in power.” Asked for their review of the 2016 campaign so far, 53 percent rated it “entertaining.”
The poll of 1,001 U.S. adults, including 391 registered Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, was conducted from Sept. 18-21. The margin of error on the full sample is plus/minus 3.1 percentage points

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday 09-24-15

The Department of Homeland Security is funding a Boeing company to create a "brain chip" for its self-destructing Black smartphone that could be adapted for any device, DHS officials say.
The technology powering the devices potentially could identify the user’s walking style, for example. Officials would be alerted if the gait does not match the authorized user’s walk – a red flag the phone might have fallen into the wrong hands, officials said. 
The "secret sauce" of the mobile device is a so-called neuromorphic computer chip that simulates human learning, Vincent Sritapan, the program manager for DHS' mobile device security program, told Nextgov.
Gait recognition -- driven by the phone's accelerometer, GPS and the chip -- is but one of many kinds of continuous ID verification intended to tighten access controls on mobile devices.   
Boeing and HRL Laboratories, a software firm jointly owned by Boeing and General Motors, are partnering under a DHS project worth $2.2 million over 2.5 years. 
The companies "pretty much are leveraging user behavior information" from data gathered by sensors found on any standard consumer smartphone, Sritapan said. Those feelers could include microphones, cameras and touchpads, he added. The artificial intelligence could help agencies determine, “Are you who you say you are, and do we give you access to enterprise resources like email?” he said.
Homeland Security chose the Boeing Black for experimentation, because the company was willing to embed the chip into its device, Sritapan said.
"I would call this a high-risk, high-reward type of project," he added. "If successful, this technology can go into any device the manufacturers are willing to integrate it with" and would meet military, DHS and other federal agency information security specifications. 
Referring to the Black as "the test body," he said the government purchased the brand for "specific uses," such as secure voice calls. 

Smartphone as Test Tube
It remains to be seen whether DHS itself will buy brain chip-embedded Blacks for operations in the field. If the chip is successful at the end of a 2-year research and development period, DHS and Boeing will share the cost of a 6-month pilot program, Sritapan said. 
State Department staffers apparently plan to or are currently using the Black.
"Boeing's team will provide a two-consecutive day Discovery Workshop that includes a Boeing Black product overview, technical deep dives and a security requirements analysis," department officials said in a solicitation for a Boeing Black Secure Voice Workshop released Monday. 
Other players in the military-grade smartphone space include the similarly-named Blackphone made by Silent Circle, an encrypted communications provider co-founded by the inventor of PGP encryption and a former Navy Seal. Android-based Samsung smartphones running the firm’s Knox security software are another option for Pentagon components. 
Defense Department Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen has previously said DOD plans to test top-secret smartphones in the fall. 
The smartphone AI under development also would continuously track unusual digital transactions, like an app meddling with the operating system or a spike in network traffic, DHS officials said.
MIT Technology Review describes the way neuromorphic chips understand the world as basically cognition: "Like the neurons in your own brain, those on HRL’s chip adjust their synaptic connections when exposed to new data. In other words, the chip learns through experience."
Their low-power consumption makes the chips especially attractive for smartphones that sap batteries, experts say. 
Last fall, HRL Laboratories test-piloted a miniature drone with a Defense-funded prototype neuromorphic chip inside. The unmanned aircraft learned to recognize three different rooms it had never entered before by memorizing their wall patterns.

A Black-Blackberry Connection?
The phone in which the thinking-chip will be tested is straight out of a James Bond movie. The Black completely erases itself if it detects human or technical tampering. It looks like a common, touchscreen Android smartphone, but the hardware and software inside can be custom-tailored to an agency’s or company's specific needs. In the DHS model, the hidden innards will consist of the neuromorphic chip and associated software. 
Government smartphone stalwart BlackBerry – stepping back from device production – announced last year it will provide software services for Black. BlackBerry this month bought Good Technology, a mobile security software provider widely used in the public sector. Good and BlackBerry combined represented 19 percent of the $1.4 billion mobile management software sector last year. 
On Tuesday, Boeing officials said in an emailed statement, "Boeing has developed a secure, mobile solution that is designed to meet the needs of defense and security customers. Due to customer sensitivities, we cannot disclose who is currently using the device or considering a purchase."

This is just the tip of the iceberg,   they will get a holiday proclaimed next year, and it will honor their day.  What about Christmas that gets changed to Winter break or Easter that gets change to Spring break.  Where is the Parody?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday 09-23-15

German intelligence 'concerned' Islamists recruiting refugees

Berlin (AFP) - German intelligence warned Tuesday that the number of Islamic extremists in the country had increased sharply in recent months and expressed serious concern that they were recruiting among refugees.


The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany's domestic security watchdog, said the number of radical Salafists had surged to 7,900 in September from 7,500 in June, and that many were trying to lure asylum-seekers into their ranks.
"We are very concerned that Islamists in Germany are trying, under the cover of humanitarian assistance, to exploit the situation of the refugees for their own ends and to proselytise and recruit among asylum-seekers," BfV president Hans-Georg Maassen said in a statement.
Germany expects to receive up to one million asylum-seekers this year, five times more than last year. Syrians, who are fleeing their war-ravaged country, form the largest group.
Maassen said that a total of 740 radical Muslims had left Germany to join jihadists in Syria and Iraq, 20 percent of them female. Around one-third of those who went to the region have returned to Germany, while about 120 of them have been killed.
He said the BfV was keeping close watch on such activities given their "significant radicalisation potential" in the migrant community.
"We are keeping a particularly close eye on unaccompanied minors among the refugees, who could be easy targets for Islamists," he said.
Maassen stressed that his office had no evidence that jihadist groups were using the large influx of refugees to infiltrate Germany.
And he said the BfV was also concerned that far-right groups were seizing on the issue of Germany's openness to refugees for propaganda purposes, saying it contained "significant potential for escalation".
Maassen warned that the risk of clashes with left-wing counter-demonstrators also "should not be discounted".

- Dawn raids-

German police carried out dawn raids in Berlin Tuesday targeting individuals suspected of inciting people to go and fight for the Islamic State group in Syria.
The raids began at 6:30 am (0430 GMT) and targeted, among others, a 51-year-old Moroccan suspected of recruiting for the jihadists, police said in a statement.
A 19-year-old Macedonian thought to be currently in Syria is also suspected of involvement in the recruitment drive, it said.
"We are looking for evidence to see whether these allegations are true," a police spokesman said. No arrests were made.
One raid was conducted at an association linked to a mosque in Berlin's central Tempelhof district, the spokesman said. Seven homes were also searched.
"We have no indications that anything was being planned in Germany," he said when asked about indications of any plot to attack targets here.
But people who go to fight in Syria "gain experience of violence there and one day or another can return to Berlin", he said.
He added that there was no link to an incident last Thursday in which an Iraqi man with a jihadist background stabbed a German policewoman before officers shot him dead in Berlin.
Germany has been spared a major Islamist attack, unlike many of its European neighbours, but the country has been called a potential target in IS propaganda.
In August, two German-speaking jihadists claiming to belong to IS threatened Germany with attacks in an execution video broadcast online.

Again this is one of the many articles I could post daily. 

ISIS Using Churches as Torture Chambers, Forcing Christians to Convert or Be Killed
Christians in Syria
A woman and a soldier loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad stand beside a damaged church in Maaloula, Syria, August 21, 2014. Residents of Maaloula, a Christian town in Syria, call on other Christian groups and minorities to stand up to the radicalism that is sweeping across Syria and Iraq. The town was regained by Syrian Army forces in April from Islamic militants, and several months later life is slowly returning to the town.
The head of a Christian humanitarian organization reports that the Islamic State terrorist organization in has turned captured church buildings into torture chambers that are being used to coerce Iraqi Christians into renouncing Christ and converting to IS' brand of radical Islam.
Christian Freedom International, a Virginia-based aid organization that provides necessities to Christians living in nations that are the most hostile toward Christianity, has released a new video that reveals alarming statistics showing the number of Christians throughout the world who are being persecuted or killed for their faith.
The video, released ahead of the organization's day of prayer on Nov. 8, explains that there are over 200 million followers of Christ who face some form of persecution in 105 of the world's 196 countries.
The video also provides an even more staggering statistic by stating that one Christian is martyred every 5 minutes because of their faith. CFI also estimates that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th and 21st centuries than in the previous 19 centuries combined.
Since the summer of 2014, the Islamic State terrorist group has taken over large territories throughout Iraq and Syria, including many predominantly Christian towns. The group has become notorious for brutally killing anyone who does not agree ideologically with the group, or refuses to renounce their religion and follow IS' extremist brand of Islam.

As hundreds of thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria have fled their homes and villages in order to spare themselves from IS' brutality, CFI President Jim Jacobson told Breitbart London that some captured Christians in Iraq have been tortured into converting to Islam inside of buildings that used to be churches.
"Islamic State militants in Iraq are using Christian churches as torture chambers where they force Christians to either convert to Islam or die," Jacobson said.
Not only is IS trying to cleanse the region of Christianity and any other religions that are not its own brand of Islam, the militant group has also destroyed ancient Christian monasteries and holy sites.
Jacobson also explained that IS is selling ancient Christian artifacts to help fund its jihad.
"Islamic State militants are also stripping the former places of Christian worship of ancient relics which in turn are smuggled to Western collectors to help fund their terrorist activities," Jacobson said.
The CFI video states that the organization's goal is to "reach the part of the persecuted Church that is the most repressed, most at risk and most isolated. In parts of the Middle East and Africa, CFI provides emergency aid, security, education, Bibles and other necessary supplies to Christians living in slavery and suffering persecution at the hands of the Islamic extremists."
In India, Hindu extremists often attack Christian villages in order to force Christians out of their homes. For the persecuted Christians in India, CFI provides clothing, drinking water and Bibles for those who've been forced to flee their homes.
"I encourage you to pray for persecuted believers," Jacobson said. "They are your Christian family throughout the world. Pray for their safety; that they would be emboldened to continue sharing the Gospel even in the face of persecution; that their persecutors would also come to know Christ as they observe the courageous witness of these believers."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday 09-22-15

Onward Christian soldiers — with a specially made assault rifle 

From a distance, the “Crusader” looks like any other high-powered assault rifle.
But Spike’s Tactical, the gun’s Florida manufacturer, maintains this is no ordinary AR-15 semiautomatic weapon thanks to a new feature laser-etched on the side of each model: biblical scripture.
What’s the point?
“This ensures that no Muslim terrorist will ever pick up this weapon to use it to bring harm against another person,” Ben “Mookie” Thomas, a former Navy Seal and spokesman for Spike’s Tactical, says in a video posted on YouTube. “That’s actually my favorite part of the rifle.”
The verse, printed on the weapon’s magazine, comes from Psalm 144:
“Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”
In the promotional video, Thomas says he initially floated the idea for the gun when he was asked during a company meeting about a year ago to name some technical specifications he’d like to see on a rifle. Without hesitation, Thomas, who had just come from listening to hours of unspecified news programming, blurted out an answer.
“I want a rifle that no Muslim terrorist can use to murder innocent people,” he says. “I half expected to be fired or at least not taken serious, but they took the ball and they ran with it.”
The Crusader, which retails for $1,395, also features a shield with a cross on the left side of the weapon, according to the company. The gun features three settings on the safety selector: “Peace” for safe, “War” for semi-automatic, and “God wills it,” the company notes.
The gun went on sale earlier this month and was quickly criticized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Florida (CAIR-FL), according to the Orlando Sentinel. Hasan Shibly, executive director of CAIR-FL, told the paper that out of 205 mass killings so far this year in the U.S. only one involved a Muslim.
“Is it designed for Christian terrorists?” Shibly asked. “We need to have a conversation on gun violence. There has been utter silence from gun manufacturers. It’s time for them to stop trying to make a buck on this.
BrandConnect» is content provided by our advertisers. Learn more.
Thomas told the Sentinel that America is threatened by Islamic terrorism and the weapon is a symbolic form of self-defense.
“Our goal is not to offend or alienate good people,” Thomas told the paper. “The difficult issues people have with each other need to be brought to the table. Often these are hurtful and painful but it’s important to be honest.”
In response, the CAIR-FL issued a second statement about the weapon:
“Sadly, this manufacturer’s fancy new gun won’t do anything to stop the real threat in America: the escalating problem of gun violence,” the statement said. “This is just another shameful marketing ploy intended to profit from the promotion of hatred, division, and violence.”
On its Web site, Spike’s Tactical refers to itself as a “family-owned business” that employs 40 people and was founded the day before 9/11 by Mike and Angela Register.
“Men like to accessorize their guns more than women like to accessorize their outfits,” chief executive Angela Register told the Sentinel.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday 09-21-15

If you are like most people you have at least some canned goods on your shelf–maybe you have even taken up canning your own food. Either way, canned goods are a common “staple” for many reasons. However, do you really know the truth about canned food shelf life?
Many consumers seem to have a deep trust of those magical “dates” on canned foods. I’d like to dispel some myths about that right now.
Canned foods are generally “good” far beyond the dates stated. In almost all cases, the dates stated on foods aren’t expiration dates anyway; rather, they’re “use-by” dates.tweet this
The use-by dates on cans and packages serve to protect the reputation of the food. They have nothing to do with food safety, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website clearly states:
“Use-by” dates refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly.
Actually, except for infant formula, product dating is not even required by federal regulations.
While they may not be required, generally you’ll see manufacturers use one of three types of dates, none of which is an expiration date:
  • A “Sell-By” date, which simply tells the store how long to display the product for sale.
  • A “Best if Used-By” date is what the manufacturer recommends for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
  • A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The manufacturer of the product determines the date.
Of course, manufacturers have an incentive for consumers to purchase more food, so the temptation exists for them to recommend short-term dates to encourage more frequent purchases.

Studies Prove Properly Canned Food Remains Safe

Numerous studies show that foods are viable LONG after they were canned, or after the expiration of stamped dates.
Except for infant formula, product dating is not even required by federal regulations

A fascinating study published in the Journal of Food Science reported on canned food analyzed from the Steamboat Bertrand, which sank over 100 years before in 1865.
The findings?
National Food Processors Association (NFPA) chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as when they had been when canned. The chemists added that while significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost, protein levels remained high, and all calcium values “were comparable to today’s products.”
A prepper’s remedy for the loss of vitamins is, of course, to simply store and rotate multi-vitamins in his prepping supplies.
All-American-921-21-12-Quart-Pressure-CookerCanner-0These studies don’t surprise me, for proper canning creates a vacuum that prevents microorganisms and air from entering the jar and contaminating the contents. As long as the seal is good the contents should be good, which is why I’m comfortable eating a jar of stew from my pantry—even if I canned it 20 years before. We use our trusty All American 921 pressure canner to can all sorts of meats, stews and vegetables–it’s probably my most valued self-sufficiency item.
Evidently authorities agree with my view.
In a food safety fact sheet, Utah State University Food Safety Specialist, Brian Nummer wrote:
For emergency storage, canned foods in metal or jars will remain safe to consume as long as the seal has not been broken.
In another study, NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, the chemists said the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.
So as these scientific analyses show, canned foods are an excellent option for preppers.

When to Throw Canned Food Outcan food expiration

It is unlikely that you will ever be forced with the decision of whether or not to open a can that is in fact, 40 years old. However, if it has been several years and you come across a can that got lost in the pantry, it should be fine to eat, just as the above studies show. But what if the can is dented?
Just as many people have tremendous belief in expiration dates, they also were led to believe that dented cans should be avoided–even discarded. But that’s not usually the case.
But first, why the concern about dents anyway?
The primary concern is the very unlikely (but remotely possible) risk of botulism contamination.  Botulism can be a deadly illness and is caused by various strains of the Clostridium bacterium.  The bacteria thrives in low-oxygen environments (such as those in canned food) and produces a neurotoxin that can cause loss of muscle control. If it goes untreated, the illness can spread throughout the body, ultimately reaching the respiratory system.
Clearly botulisum is something to be avoided at all costs.  But what are the odds that you can get botulism from canned food? Do you know ANYONE who contracted botulism from commerically canned food?
bulging can botulismAccording to the CDC, an average of only 145 cases of botulism are reported in the U.S. each year. Of that, only 15 percent  are the result of foodborne bacteria–most botulism cases (65%) are infant botulisum (caused sometimes by feeding honey to infants). So, there are roughly 21 cases of foodborne botulism in the U.S. each year. 21. Out of over 300 million people, all of whom eat.
As you can see, botulism is VERY, VERY rare. You should worry far more about dropping the canned food and breaking your toe.
Even in the very remote case of a bout with botulism, it certainly  doesn’t mean death, as it can be treated at a hospital with antitoxins. While botulism can result in death due to respriatory failure, the fatality rate has dropped from 50 percent to three–five percent in the past 50 years. So, out of 21 cases, a three percent fatality rate would mean that one person may die roughly every two years from foodborne botulism. And that’s about what we find.
Most recently, a 54 year old person died in Ohio at an April 2015 pot-luck dinner. The likely culprit in that botulism outbreak that sickened more than 20 was potato salad made from home canned potatoes.
Do you know ANYONE who contracted botulism from commerically canned food?

And therein lies the problem with most cases of botulism. While there are, on average, 21 foodborne cases of botulism per year, most are the result of improper home canning. Of course, I don’t know how the potatoes in this instance were canned, but most likely not with a pressure canner, such as the All American 921.
All vegetables (including potatoes), all meats, etc. are LOW ACID foods, and must be canned in a pressure canner. However, many “old timers” canned those foods in water bath canners and got away with it. When you tell their children (most of whom are rapidly becoming old-timers themselves) that the foods must be pressure canned, they retort, “well my mother always did it this way, so I will too.”
Anyway, botulism is something to be aware of, but there are many more threats in your life worthy of your attention. Like…oh…not having any food stored at all.
Small dents almost always present no problem, the more important issue is the location of the dent. A can with a sharp dent on either the top or side seam should probably be discarded, because seam dents can allow the introduction of harmful bacteria.
The good news is that most dents occur harmlessly on the side. Unattractive? Yes. But unsafe? No. Even the USDA agrees with this point when they say:
If a can containing food has a small dent, but is otherwise in good shape, the food should be safe to eat. Discard deeply dented cans. A deep dent is one that you can lay your finger into. Deep dents often have sharp points. A sharp dent on either the top or side seam can damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can. Discard any can with a deep dent on any seam.
Other signs that you should check to ensure your canned foods are safe include:
  1. Make sure the can is not bulging. This occurs when harmful bacteria, such as that which causes botulism, enters and creates gas.
  2. If the can has rust near the seams, inspect carefully. But rust or dents do not affect the contents of the can as long as the can does not leak. If the can is leaking, however, or if the ends are bulged, the food should not be used.
  3. Be very cautious if the can spurts liquid or foam when opened. Not a good sign.
  4. Finally, trust your senses. If the food is discolored, moldy, or smells bad or simply doesn’t smell as it should (canned fruit that doesn’t smell fruity), then toss it. It’s not worth the risk.

Summing it Up

So what have we learned.
  1. There are no expiration dates, nor are they required. Rather, there are suggested dates by the manufacturer of when to use the food by.
  2. Canning is a very safe process that protects the food for a long time–over 100 years, if necessary. That’s a fact.
  3. Botulism is a concern, but rarely a legitimate threat. Just uses your eyes and nose to assess the food. If the can is bulging (as in the picture above), by all means dispose of it. It’s definitely not worth the risk. But if it merely has a shallow dent and the seam hasn’t been compromised, I’m sure it will pass the eyes and nose test.
  4. It’s best, in my view, if you can the food yourself, for the simple reason that you don’t have to worry about dents. Glass jars don’t dent. If the seal on the top of the jar is good, the food is good. Another reason it’s best to can your own food is that you don’t have to worry about your Mason jars being lined with bisphenol A( BPA), as many canned foods are, just like water bottles. The BPA has been linked to a rapid rise in blood pressure, and chronic exposure has been associated with heart disease. So get yourself an All American 921 pressure canner or borrow one from a friend. Buy some produce and meats from local farmers (you can find a list of farmers at and start canning your own food. You won’t have to worry about BPA, you’ll know what’s in it, when it was canned and you’ll learn a lifelong self-sufficiency skill.

Does this surprise anyone?  Will anything be done about it?

75% in U.S. See Widespread Government Corruption

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Three in four Americans (75%) last year perceived corruption as widespread in the country's government. This figure is up from two in three in 2007 (67%) and 2009 (66%).
Is corruption widespread throughout the government in this country, or not?
While the numbers have fluctuated slightly since 2007, the trend has been largely stable since 2010. However, the percentage of U.S. adults who see corruption as pervasive has never been less than a majority in the past decade, which has had no shortage of controversies from the U.S. Justice Department's firings of U.S. attorneys to the IRS scandal.
These figures are higher than some might expect, and while the lack of improvement is somewhat disconcerting, the positive takeaway is that Americans still feel fairly free to criticize their government. This is not the case in some parts of the world. Questions about corruption are so sensitive in some countries that even if Gallup is allowed to ask them, the results may reflect residents' reluctance to disparage their government. This is particularly true in countries where media freedom is restricted.
This is why it is most appropriate to look at perceptions of corruption through such lenses as the Freedom House's Press Freedom rankings. Ratings vary among countries with a "free press," including the U.S., and range from a high of 90% in Lithuania to a low of 14% in Sweden. The U.S. does not make the top 10 list, but notably, it is not far from it.
Is corruption widespread throughout the government in this country, or not?
These data are available in Gallup Analytics.
Survey Methods
Results are based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 U.S. adults each year, aged 15 and older, conducted between 2007 and 2014. For results based on the total sample of national adults in the U.S., the margin of sampling error has typically been ±4.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
For results based on the total sample of national adults across the 134 countries surveyed in 2014, the margin of sampling error ranged from ±2.1 percentage points to ±5.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.