Category: Where Did You Hear That?


Dear Readers,

I welcome to this forum, guest blogger and Senior Partner of The Saugus Group, Jeffrey M. Moritz, who has some sobering thoughts about the current IRS scandal making the news. 

Do not be fooled.  The IRS scandal is much more serious, much more dangerous a precedent, much more insidious about the reaches of unbridled assumption of power, and much closer to the White House than you might believe.  According to many reports I have read, research I have conducted, and words from them included in this writing, I wish to give credit here for their brave words and unwavering pursuit of the truth. 

The surprising admission by a high-ranking Internal Revenue Service official that the agency targeted tea party and other conservative groups can be seen as a tactical move designed to stave off a deeper investigation of the scandal. Washington insiders say the Obama administration is engaged in a classic tactic called a “modified limited hangout” or MLH — a term that dates back to the Nixon presidency.

An MLH is “a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in hopes of ending a probe and preventing exposure of more important or damaging information”.  The idea is to admit to some wrongdoing, but not all and certainly not the really bad stuff, in hopes of deflating press and public demands for more investigations.  In English – deliberate obfuscation, or in science fiction terms, a “tactic of mistake”.  The term arose during a March 1973 discussion between President Nixon and his top advisers.  It has been reported that Nixon outlined to John Dean a report that Dean would create, offering a misleading view of the White House staff’s role in events surrounding the Watergate burglary. When Dean said, “It’s a limited hangout,” John Ehrlichman piped in: “It’s a modified limited hangout.”

This IRS scandal has all the earmarks of an MLH.

In March 2010, the IRS began targeting tea party and other conservative groups for closer scrutiny, demanding paperwork and other materials from the groups that delayed their approval  for tax-exempt status.  Most of what they asked for is precluded by IRS procedural rules in the IRM (Internal Revenue Manual) such as requesting donor and member lists, contents of educational and prayer material, transcripts of radio/TV interviews, copies of social-media posts, details on “close relationships” with political candidates, and  printed copies of speeches. My understanding is those issues have already been litigated several times in Federal court.  Also note that was the time these organizations were ramping up to help defeat Obamacare and Obama’s coming re-election.  Until they had the tax exempt status they could not technically accept funds needed to ramp up their opposition.  When donors were subsequently contacted by the IRS or in some cases the FBI, they were intimidated from donating, and worse, from participating in their constitutional right to freedom of expression and assembly. 

A congressional committee last year asked then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman about allegations regarding targeting that apparently had been forwarded to congressional representatives from their constituents.  He told the committee the agency wasn’t targeting conservative groups.  He lied.  He resigned, or was asked to, in late 2012, and Steven Miller became acting IRS commissioner so they could blame his predecessor. 

Then in early May of this year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report confirming the targeting to congressional investigators, but not to the public.

Apparently fearing the release of the upcoming Inspector General’s report, IRS officials decided, or were encouraged through Treasury, to engage in an MLH to control the spin. They had to or it would become obvious the White House knew about the targeting in 2010.  You cannot convince me that someone in the White House wasn’t watching Shulman’s Congressional testimony and didn’t prep him for the hearing in 2010.

On May 10, 2012 Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt-status division, admitted that the targeting had taken place. She denied stalling the approval of groups based on ideology  and said some progressive groups also were selected for further scrutiny.  A red herring.  She asserted that the targeting had not been centrally planned and was carried out by lower-level “front-line people” in the Cincinnati office.  She lied to Congress and the move backfired — the admission by Lerner only served to spark public outrage and encourage investigators to dig deeper.

These “front-line” people in Cincinnati are not exactly GS-11 pay grades.  Most are seasoned IRS employees at the GS-20 levels and are well trained and hand picked for their positions because of their knowledge.  The truth has come out that the cases in question were referred to Washington for “special handling” even though they tried to cover it up by having the responses come from several offices. 

Any IT person can tell you that he who controls the electronic correspondence and location of the sender is in charge of the message.  Almost all correspondence goes through the IRS’ IT department before going out so as to properly keep all information within the case file; a move to protect the system from tampering. My question is why not all letters coming from Cincinnati where the tax-exempt division is headquartered and the applications filed?  The answer is they cannot control the electronic file contents once it is assigned to an agent until the agent releases it.  The IRS keeps everything – right or wrong. So the correspondence written in their name would eventually be seen by the agent the next time the agent opened the file.  Easy – create a fictitious employee and email, create a file, send the correspondence, and bury the file in 200 trillion terabytes of data. Easy if you have the keys and no one is looking.

There is a lot more stuff under the covers.  There is mounting and powerful evidence suggesting the IRS activities involved very high-ranking IRS officials in D.C., and they targeted  hundreds of conservative organizations — not ones simply with “tea party” or “patriots” in their organization names but conservative religious groups and any group openly opposed to Obama’s agenda as well.

Look at some of what the IRS tax-exempt status division was doing during that period. Surprise! Evidence is mounting that the Internal Revenue Service gave far better treatment to left-wing groups with data showing the agency approved dozens of liberal and progressive organizations as tax-exempt while leaving conservative groups hanging. No tea party applications were approved in a 27-month period beginning February 2010, but numerous applications from liberal and progressive groups were given tax-exempt status during the same period,” USA Today reported.  Try and convince anyone that is coincidence and not targeting.

These details come at the same time that it was revealed that the IRS expedited tax-exempt status for a charity run by President Barack Obama’s half-brother Abongo “Roy” Malik Obama, despite numerous questions about how it is run and its legal issues over the past few years. The application from the Barack H. Obama Foundation was even backdated.  Lerner signed off on the organization’s tax status in June 2011, right in the middle of the 27-month hiatus for tea-party groups, and granted it retroactive status to within a month of filing.  Wait – what filing?

In the month before the foundation was granted tax-exempt status, the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint with the IRS, asking why the group was allowed to solicit tax-deductible contributions when it had not applied for a determination.  “The Obama Foundation raised money on its web page by falsely claiming to be tax deductible. This bogus charity, run by Malik, had not even applied for tax-exempt status and yet subsequently got retroactive tax-deductible status,” complained Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. Boehm called the attempt to raise money “common law fraud and potentially even federal mail fraud.” 

On Tuesday, four days after Lerner’s admission to Congress, respected elections attorney Cleta Mitchell came forward and claimed that she has evidence the IRS scandal reaches to the White House.  She said she also is aware of nearly 100 other conservative groups that were being targeted by Washington.

“There were nearly 100 groups across the country that got the very egregious set of letters from the IRS that were almost identical in scope and wording and they came from offices all over the country, so I know of at least 85 to 90, maybe more, organizations,” said Mitchell, who represents six groups that say they have been targeted. She added that she had two clients whose groups’ purpose was to lobby against Obamacare, and both received extra IRS scrutiny. Mitchell told reporters she doesn’t believe the president or the White House is as uninvolved in the IRS activities as the administration has claimed.  “They may try to say it was low-level people,” she said. “It was not low-level people. The activities weren’t in Cincinnati. It was being directed out of Washington, and I have them on record saying that.”

We know the White House used the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, OSHA and the Labor Department to try to silence critics about Obamacare and intimidate conservative applicants for tax-exempt status. They tried to use the FCC to go after FOX News, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  When congressional action failed they excluded FOX News from the White House Press Corps.  That didn’t go over so well either when many in the press corps complained publicly.  So if we know they used those agencies, why wouldn’t they also use the IRS to try to silence political critics? 

The next day, Wednesday, May 15 is the day Commissioner Steven Miller was forced to resign.  If you watched Miller’s hearing, or any part of it, you can see his contempt for the members of the committee, especially Republicans.  His disdain and arrogance are clearly apparent.  He may think he is above the wrath of Congress, but they made him swear in, something not normally done for a senior level government official.  They did that for one simple reason. They had been lied to before by the person in the same position.  If he lies he can be criminally charged.  He should have thought about that during the hearing but plainly he thought he didn’t need to.  He does have, after all, the Attorney General, the Senate and the Presidency on his side.  But criminal contempt of Congress is not reserved to that purview. Maybe they should fire him, strip him of his pension, and place him in prison for criminal contempt of Congress until he decides his life would be much better if he told the truth – respectfully.  I wonder if any person has ever testified to Congress in a prison uniform.

In the meantime, the IRS reported that the Inspector General’s office is launching a new investigation. Who is it that said, “Always take advantage of a catastrophe.” If the Republicans are smart and the media cooperates just a little, this and Benghazi may prove to be a two-year investigation right through the next election cycle and result in jail time for some and even impeachment for others.  Also the AP matter has hit the press pretty hard.  Let’s see if their airtime, paper and print are where their mouth is, regarding freedom of the press, or if they will continue to cover for the President and the progressive agenda.  I have hope but no confidence.

I invite debate and information contrary to the contents herein, but come to the table prepared because nothing in this piece is not documented.  Come with facts – not ideology.  Respectfully submitted, Jeffrey M. Moritz

 

The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter

 

laughter1Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.   Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.Quote from HelpGuide.org

My rule is, if it makes me laugh out loud, especially when I’m alone, I keep it and/or share it.  Hence, my offering of some allegedly true stories: 

AT&T fired their President after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it’s not the president who was  lacking intelligence. 

Police in Oakland , CA spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, ‘Please come out and give yourself up.’

An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the  kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts! 

A man walked into a Topeka , Kansas Kwik Stop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the  store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn’t control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words: ‘Give me all your money or I’ll shoot’, the man shouted, ‘That’s not what I said!’ 

A man spoke frantically into the phone: ‘My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart’.
‘Is this her first child?’ the doctor asked. ‘No!’ the man shouted, ‘This is her husband!’

In Modesto , CA , a man was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon.. he used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun. Unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.  In a similar incident, a man, hoping to rob his bank, wrote the “this is a stickup” note on a deposit ticket and handed it to the teller.  Unfortunately for him, the deposit ticket he used was for his own bank account.  So it didn’t take the police long to find him.

Last summer some folks new to boating, were having a problem.  No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get their brand new 22 foot boat going. It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power they applied. After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted into a nearby marina, thinking someone there might be able to tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the out-drive went up and down, and the propeller was the correct size and pitch. So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath. He came up choking on water, from his laughter:  Under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer! 

laughterSo go have a good laugh! 

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

I recently came upon the following column, written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.  The logic in his explanation rings so true to me.  I could not endorse a sentiment any more strongly than Ben Stein’s.  I hope you’ll appreciate the sentiment.

Ben-Stein-02

My confession:

 I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.   Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

 Pass it on if you think it has merit.  If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

 My Best Regards, Honestly and Respectfully,

 Ben Stein

I wish I knew who to whom to give credit for this clever bit about the all the idiosyncrasies of our language but in any case, remember this the next time you hear someone who speaks another language, struggle with ours.

 

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.  Don’t forget, we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway.  So why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? ship by truck but send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?  How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

 

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’  It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?  At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?  Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?  We call UP our friends.  And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.  We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. 

At other times the little word has real special meaning.  People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.  To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.  A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.  We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.  We seem to be pretty mixed UP aboutUP!  To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.  If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. 

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.  When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.  When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP.

 

My husband has a favorite saying:  

On The Internet No One Knows You’re a Dog

One of the most interesting and frightening things about the Internet is how it reflects society – the good, the bad and the unregulated.  I’m an unabashed free thinker so I like unregulated.  I’m a big girl; I can regulate myself, having been raised responsibly with strong Southern values and consequences.  A big thank you to my parents and the era into which I was born.

The Internet currently reminds me of an awkward teenager, young, strong, vibrant, full of promise but not quite mature enough to know right from wrong – much like the wild-West-adolescence of this unique and exceptional country we call America.  Back then the Wild West teemed with snake oil salesmen selling quick-claim deeds for non-existent gold mines.  There are similarities on some of today’s Internet sites.

It’s frustrating – this Internet, running rampant with erroneous information, slathering on emotional content in the hopes of evoking sympathy.  Recently two such e-mails prompted me to resurrect my old mantra, which used to blaze across my screen saver:  Crede, sed comproba – Trust but verify.  (Actually it’s a Russian Proverb, but I like it in Latin – authors’ prerogative.)

The first was a harmless list of quippy sayings attributed, complete with photo, to a “ninety-year-old woman named Regina Brett.”   The problem?   Regina is a very young 52; a columnist from The Cleveland Plain Dealer,  and she bears no resemblance to the photograph in the e-mail.  I wonder how she feels about being aged by forty years, never mind having her column co-opted by some anonymous spammer.  Ah, the power of the Internet.  The laziness of the recipient with a forward key (me included.)

The second e-mail was a plea for passage of the 28th Amendment wrapped in the sentimental uniform of a badly scarred war vet, interspersed with the following commentary:

No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay on retirement. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full-pay retirement after serving one term.  

If each person who receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment
to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .”

Like many, I couldn’t hit the forward key fast enough.  BUT, as the story unraveled  I discovered that it wasn’t about a wounded soldier.   Oh horrors.  Was our brave military being used to deceive?  Again?   This story was meant to discredit the Congress.

Well heck, there’s plenty of disgraceful behavior in Washington. We don’t need to invent stuff to make that point.

Read Snopes’ full disclosure of the allegations  cited above.  Just click the highlighted, underlined links.  According to SnopesUrbanledgendTruthorfiction, and thatsnonsense, all websites supposedly dedicated to fact checking, this amendment doesn’t exist.  By that I mean no one has actually filed any such bill in the Congress.  And yet, the 28th Amendment has its own Face Book page with over 2,000 ‘likes’  – although details are noticeably absent.   Sloppiness or an assumption that if it’s on the internet it must be true?

I’m cynical enough to be wary of what my 7th grade Civics class called “glittering generalities.”   Rule one: if you want to persuade your audience by circulating these e-mail blasts, get the facts straight.  The allegations behind the amendment are apparently baseless.

If the fact checkers are accurate (there’s a concept for you)…and the conspiracy theorist in me does have a few gnawing concerns… this elaborate picture of the worst of the worst in our elected representatives is a fabrication.   HOWEVER, and this is a really big HOWEVER, on the other hand,  what if the allegations are true, and all the fact-checker websites are a fabrication designed just to keep everyone  off balance?  There go the lemmings right over the cliff.

Remember what Buttercup sings to Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore:  “Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream; Highlows pass as patent leathers; Jackdaws strut in peacock’s feathers.”

Honestly, I yearn to  critique something more simplistic, like posts with bad grammar. Try diagramming the verbiage used in this so-called amendment.  Verbs, Adjectives, Syntax.   Oh, sorry…depending on which generation started these rumors, one can easily spot the culprits by their dangling participles.  Sniff sniff.   Schools today don’t teach English or Grammar;  American History or Civics.  They teach social studies,  macrame or resource allocation.   I know I know,  I make grammatical mistakes, too.  But at least I try.   Whoops, digressing again.

Does the end justify the means?  Or do the means justify the end?  Ummmm, you tell me.  This tangled web sets my hair on fire.  I want black to be black and white to be white.  It shouldn’t matter which network you watch.  It shouldn’t matter which magazine you prefer.  Facts should be facts.  Truth is truth.  Editorials belong on the Editorial page…where we can know them for what they are.  OPINIONS.  As a former journalism student, we were taught, like Sgt. Friday, to “just get the facts ma’am.”

Currently we’re a curiously, evenly divided nation (evidenced by California’s  recent Prop28 and the incredible ads that whipsawed us from one extreme position to the other.)    The looming question is, what should we believe?  Whom should we believe?  Unfortunately we live in such murky times laced with so much convoluted information that we require an overwhelming preponderance of evidence to believe anything.  That my friends is hard work.   Right.  Our own 21st century Sturm und Drang.  Guess we’ll have to parse those glittering generalities more carefully.

All respectable southern girls were taught as they were growing up that if they really didn’t like someone, they were encourage to say with a serene smile, “She comes from such a nice family!”

Crede, sed comproba indeed!

Monday’s LA Times ran a fascinating article “suggesting that a person’s birth month is associated with characteristics such as temperament, longevity and susceptibility to certain diseases.” 

No, they aren’t talking about horoscopes (although I certainly subscribe to the characteristics one finds in astrological signs.)  These scientists say that “temperature, sunshine, seasonal foods, and winter infections can all affect the development of a baby, and as a result its future.” 

Here’s a sampling – Winter (Dec 22 – March 20) 13% of men with birthdays during this period qualified as obese, but only 9% of those born in Fall (Sept 23 – Dec 21).   The study also showed that people born in the Sumer (June 22 – Sept. 22) are more likely to be evening than morning types when compared to those born in Winter. 

Summer and spring borns, are more likely to be left handed.  (I was left handed and changed…I guess that explains a few things.)   People born in Spring (March 21 – June 21)  tend to be taller, and this group also have an elevated risk of MS.   Fall and Winter birth was associated with 53% higher odds of having a food allergy.   Also, if you’re born in the Fall, you may have a longer life expectancy.

I can tell you this, having used many different psychometric tools in my professional life as a human resource consultant,  there is something to all of these profiles.  But the one area that seems most telling –  and static –  is our temperament.  Kiersey did a great study that has been used as the basis and it’s quite telling.  We’re born with it, and it doesn’t change.  

So where do you fall?  Click on this link and check it out –   it’s a comforting way to understand your grandchildren!

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