Thursday Funny: The airport greeter

Obama welcomes ISIS

H/t FOTM’s maziel


Debt Under Obama Up $8,000,000,000,000

Remember, raising the debt is unpatriotic!

obama turkey

The day before Thanksgiving, CNS News reported this wonderful story:

“The debt of the federal government has now increased by more than $8,000,000,000,000 during the time President Barack Obama has been in office, according to the official debt numbers published by the U.S. Treasury.

The total federal debt, which was $18,722,746,583,118.03 at the close of business on Monday, now equals about $159,007 per household. It has increased approximately $68,756 per household during Obama’s presidency.”

Try not to choke on these numbers with  your mashed potatoes and gravy:

“…when Obama was inaugurated, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08. On Nov. 23, 2015, it was $18,722,746,583,118.03 Thus, so far in Obama’s presidency, the federal debt has increased $8,095,869,534,204.95.”



Brad Pitt: “We don’t always know best so let’s check ourselves”

The agnostic philosopher actor, Brad Pitt, was working hard last week walking the red carpet to promote his new movie The Big Short, which he also produced. From IMDB the movie is about “four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble and decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.”

Brad PittThe film deals with the credit and housing collapse of 2007 – 2010 and clearly raises Pitt’s ire. He said, “This entitlement that you can make money off the backs of others without being responsible to what it’s doing to them or what it could do to them drives me crazy,” he told Confidenti@l. “The fact that no one was held accountable after this mass failure drives me crazy so I wanted this story told. I’m really proud to be able to tell this story.

He also has some also had some “words of advice” for voters in the upcoming presidential election. “Don’t be so emotional,” he cautioned. “Don’t see the world from our own backyard. Understand everyone has self-interest and that we are now in a community. We are not an island and we don’t always know best so let’s check ourselves.

“Let’s check ourselves?” What is he referring to? The Syrian refugee crisis? Newsbusters claims that Pitt was referring to the American people to stop being so closed-minded about the foreigners in their panic after the Paris attacks. Americans somehow think they’re an island of xenophopic egotists.

So let’s look at how Pitt takes care of his “self-interest” shall we? I carry because I can’t afford to travel with a big bodyguard (or several of them), as the Pitts typically do, all over the world.

pitt family

pitt family2

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Maddox

And looks to me that the Pittts have PLENTY of room to welcome some refugees:

Château Miraval, owned by the Pitts

Château Miraval, owned by the Pitts

The Pitts own this wonderful chateau and vineyard, located in France. Their chateau has 35 rooms and is surrounded by gardens with a moat, fountains, ancient aqueducts, a pond and a chapel. Plenty of room for the “women and orphan” refugees to run around and relax. Or is his chateau “an island”?

But I’m sure Brad knows best. Typical Hollyweird elitist hypocrite.

h/t Newsbusters


What chronic stress does to your brain and the foods that bust stress

Dr. Mercola warns that “Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor.”

Have you noticed that when you’re under great stress, you become forgetful?

That’s because, in addition to inflammation, chronic stress actually changes our brain and how it functions.

Lizette Borell reports for Medical Daily, Nov. 11, 2015, that the stress we face day in and day out can eventually develop into chronic stress, at which point it will begin to change your brain. In TED-Ed’s latest video, “How Stress Affects Your Brain,” Madhumita Murgia shows how being overworked or having arguments at home can affect the size and structure of the human brain, as well as how it functions.

Stress starts in the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, where a series of interactions between endocrine glands in the brain and the kidneys take place. This controls how your body responds to stress. For example, when your brain detects a stressful situation, your HPA axis is instantly activated and releases the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for a fight-or-flight response.

High levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time have notable effects on the brain:

  1. Heightened cortisol levels can cause electric signals in the hippocampus — the center for learning, memories, and stress control — to deteriorate, inhibiting activity in the HPA axis, and weakening a person’s ability to control stress.
  2. Excess cortisol levels can cause your brain to shrink, resulting in a loss of synaptic connections between neurons and the shrinking of the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that regulates behaviors like concentration, decision-making, judgement, and social interactions.
  3. Cortisol may also cause the hippocampus to produce less brain cells, which could make it harder for you to learn and remember things.
  4. That, in turn, can set the stage for more serious mental health problems, like depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s important to take control of your stress before it takes control over you. Decreasing stress levels will increase the size of the hippocampus and improve memory.

There are many ways to reverse what cortisol does to the brain, such as exercising or praying/meditating.

bowl of oatmeal

There are also foods we should eat, some of which — comfort foods like a bowl of warm oatmeal that boost levels of serotonin — calm us down. Other foods can actually reduce the levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and stress hormones that take a toll on our bodies over time.

A healthy diet, therefore, can help counter the destructive effects of stress by shoring up our immune system and lowering blood pressure. Below are foods that are stress-busters (source: WebMD):

1. Complex Carbs

All carbohydrates prompt the brain to make more serotonin, the feel-good chemical. Complex carbs, being longer to digest, give a steady supply of serotonin. Good choices include whole-grain breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals, including old-fashioned oatmeal. Complex carbs can also help you feel balanced by stabilizing blood sugar levels.

2. Simple Carbs

Dietitians usually recommend steering clear of simple carbs, which include sweets and soda. But in a pinch, these foods can hit the spot. They’re digested quickly, leading to a spike in serotonin. Still, it doesn’t last long, and there are better options. So don’t make these a stress-relieving habit; you should limit them.

3. Oranges

Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which can curb levels of stress hormones while strengthening the immune system. In one study of people with high blood pressure, their levels of cortisol and blood pressure returned to normal more quickly when they took vitamin C before a stressful task.

4. Spinach

Too little magnesium may trigger headaches and fatigue, compounding the effects of stress. One cup of spinach helps you stock back up on magnesium. If you don’t like spinach, there are other good magnesium sources — green, leafy vegetables; cooked soybeans; and salmon.

5. Fatty Fish

Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, can prevent surges in stress hormones and may help protect against heart disease, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For a steady supply of feel-good omega-3s, aim to eat 3 ounces of fatty fish at least twice a week.

6. Black Tea

Drinking black tea can help you recover from stressful events more quickly. One study compared people who drank 4 cups of tea daily for 6 weeks with people who drank another beverage. The tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations.

7. nuts

Nuts and seeds, are good sources of healthy fats. Eating a handful of pistachios, walnuts, or almonds every day may help lower your cholesterol, ease inflammation in your heart’s arteries, make diabetes less likely, and protect you against the effects of stress. Almonds are chock-full of helpful vitamins: vitamin E to bolster the immune system, and B vitamins that can make you more resilient during bouts of stress or depression. To get the benefits, snack on a quarter of a cup of almonds every day. But don’t overdo it, though: Nuts are rich in calories.

8. Avocados

One of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure is to get enough potassium. Half an avocado has more potassium than a medium-sized banana! But watch your portion size, as avocados are high in fat and calories.

9. Raw Veggies

Crunchy raw vegetables, such as celery or carrot sticks, can help ease stress in a purely mechanical way. Munching them helps release a clenched jaw.

10. Bedtime Snack

Carbs at bedtime can speed the release of the brain chemical serotonin and help you sleep better. Since heavy meals before bed can trigger heartburn, stick to something light, such as a glass of warm skim or low-fat milk. Research shows that the calcium in milk eases anxiety and mood swings linked to PMS.

11. Herbal Supplements

There are many herbal supplements that claim to fight stress. One of the best studied is St. John’s wort, which has shown benefits for people with mild to moderate depression. Although more research is needed, the herb also appears to reduce symptoms of anxiety and PMS. There is less data on valerian root, another herb said to have a calming effect. Tell your doctor about any supplements you take, so they can check on any possible interactions.

12. De-Stress With Exercise

Lastly, though not a food, one of the best stress-busting strategies is exercise. Aerobic exercise boosts oxygen circulation and spurs your body to make feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times a week. Walking is easy! Just put your shoes on and step out of your door!

To get you motivated, here’s one of my favorite songs, from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:


Giving Thanks

prayer of thanks
Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But did you know that unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature?

In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because —

“it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.

In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.”

President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”


The United States of America is one of only ten countries that set aside a day to give thanks. In so doing, our forefathers displayed not only virtue, recognizing God’s bounty, but also practical wisdom. We now know, from scientific research, that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy and healthy. Research shows that happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to this blog with their intelligence, trenchant observation, righteous outrage, and wit.

God bless you, and may God have mercy on America,


Families earning $100,000 a year live in U.S. public housing

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011:

  • The median U.S. household income was $50,502.
  • The mean (or average) U.S. household income was $69,821.
  • 20.8% of U.S. households make $100,000 or more.

I think you’ll all agree that households with an annual six-figure income of $100,000 or more are well-off.

And yet, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 25,226 families in the U.S. live in taxpayer-subsidized public housing even though they are “over income,” i.e., they earn more income than they’re allowed to for public housing eligibility, including families earning six figures.

Mitch Blacher reports for NBC10 Philadelphia, Nov. 24, 2015, that New Jersey has 755 over income families living in public housing, while Pennsylvania has 750. In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, although the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has a 10 year waiting list with roughly 100,000 people on it, 181 families were allowed to live in PHA properties while earning six figures. 

Kelvin Jeremiah

Incredibly, PHA president Kelvin Jeremiah sees nothing wrong with families earning $100,000+ income living in taxpayer-subsidized public housing. He said, “I believe that they’re serving an important purpose. I believe that the fact that they’ve achieved some level of success while being in PHA, I want to be able to encourage that.”

Jeremiah said the 181 over income families make up a small percent of the 80,000 people living in PHA housing, and the over income families help the housing authority pay its bills: “We want those families in public housing frankly because they pay more in rent.” Jeremiah said some over income families pay as much as $1,000 a month in rent, which, of course, is still way less than what the market charges.

According to PHA’s website, rent makes up $24 million of the agency’s $371 million dollar budget.  Most of PHA’s money comes from HUD, which gave PHA more than $100 million in 2015.

A HUD spokesperson told NBC10 that Jeremiah and other public housing directors across the country “have the discretion to evict families for being over income.” The spokesperson insists that HUD “encourages” public housing directors to use the taxpayer money for “those most in need of deeply affordable housing.”

Former City Councilman Jim Kenney smiles at a comment as he is introduced to supporters in Philadelphia's City Hall's Mayor's Reception Room February 4, 2015 where he announced his candidacy for mayor. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )

Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, a Democrat, said, “I think if you’re making over the threshold to be eligible for public housing you should be gone. First we have to appoint a housing authority board that will deal with these issues and figure out how we remove people who are abusing the systems.” Kenney said he will take action once he is sworn in.

Lynette Brown-Sow

PHA board chair Lynette Brown-Sow, who is also a trustee of Cheney University of Pennsylvania, declined requests to speak to the NBC 10 for this story.


The Big Thank You

Thank you Lord Jesus…


for what you did for us 2000 years ago.


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