The happiest country in the world


Mountain bikers bathing in hot river, Reykjadalur valley, Iceland © Henn Photography/Getty Images Mountain bikers bathing in hot river, Reykjadalur valley, IcelandDenmark’s residents are the most satisfied with their lives, according to the Better Life Index released Monday. According to the study, published annually by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States failed to crack the top 10 for the fifth consecutive year. The Better Life Index rates the 34 OECD member nations, as well as Brazil and the Russian Federation, on 22 variables that contribute to overall well-being, including income, education, housing, health, and life satisfaction. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the countries with the highest life satisfaction score. Copenhagen, Denmark. A healthy job market is one of the most important factors contributing to higher life evaluations. Employment rates — the percentage of the working-age population that is employed — were higher in each of the 10 countries with the highest life satisfaction score than the average employment rate for the countries reviewed. Conversely, countries with relatively unhealthy job markets had lower life satisfaction scores. Unemployment rates were above 8.5% in seven of the 10 least happy countries, while they were lower than 7% in all but two of the happiest countries. Healthy labor markets not only help promote job security, but also they can contribute to workers’ mental health. Romina Boarini, head of well-being and progress measurement in the OECD’s statistics division, noted that, “unemployment and fear of job loss are detrimental to [a worker’s] mental health.” Feeling connected to one’s community is another factor in a country’s happiness. In all but one of the happiest countries, at least 90% of respondents reported having a quality support network that they could rely on in times of need. “People are social creatures and get pleasure from spending time with others,” Boarini said. Good personal health, too, can contribute to a person’s happiness. In New Zealand, tied for the seventh happiest country, 90% of people surveyed considered themselves in good health, the highest proportion of all countries reviewed. Additionally, in all but one of the happiest countries, more than 70% of respondents said they were in good health, all higher than the 36 country average of 68% of people in countries reviewed. In the United States, life satisfaction rebounded after two years of falling in the rankings, largely due to the country’s improving labor market. Despite the recession erasing a majority of wealth in the country, households had an average net worth of $146,000, by far the most among countries reviewed. Boarini warned that U.S. life satisfaction may be misleading, however, as the data are based on a small sample. In previous years, lower life satisfaction in the U.S. was attributed to income inequality. “We do know the more unequally the income is distributed, the lower the life satisfaction.” In fact, the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, has worsened in the U.S. in recent years. The U.S. still has one of the worst Gini coefficients in the OECD.

These twins can teach us a lot about racial identity
Jenée Desmond-Harris

Lucy and Maria Aylmer as children (YouTube) © Provided by Lucy and Maria Aylmer as children (YouTube)

“There’s a set of biracial twins in the UK who are turning heads because one is black and the other is white.” That’s how the New York Post introduced a profile of Lucy and Maria Aylmer, 18-year-olds whose father identifies as white and whose mother is “half-Jamaican” (and, we’re to assume, thinks of herself as black). It’s just the most recent story of fraternal twins born with such dramatic variations in complexion they’re seen by many — and even see themselves  — as members of two different racial groups. Each of these situations and their accompanying striking images, is a reminder of how fluid and subjective the racial categories we’re all familiar with are.

What “black and white twins” can teach us about race: it’s not real

Lucy and Maria’s story, and all the other sensational tales in the ” Black and White Twins: born a minute apart” vein are actually just overblown reports on siblings who, because of normal genetic variations that show up in more striking ways in their cases, have different complexions. But they’re fascinating because they highlight just how flimsy and open to interpretation the racial categories we use in the US and around the world are. Even the Post’s description of the Aylmer twins is clumsy, asserting that they’re each “biracial,” but stating in the very same sentence that one is white and the other is black. And the fact that the two, despite having the same parents,  see themselves as belonging to two different racial groups ( “I am white and Maria is black,” Lucy told the Post) proves that there’s a lot more than biology or heritage informing racial identity. It’s a reminder that the racial categories we use are fickle, flexible, open to interpretation, and have just as many exceptions as they do rules when it comes to their criteria for membership— that’s why they have been described as “not real,” meaning:

  • They’re not based on facts that people can even begin to agree on. (If we can’t even get a consensus that people with the same parents are the same race, where does that leave us?)
  • They’re not permanent. (If Lucy decides one day, like many other people with similar backgrounds, that her Jamaican mother is black and therefore, so is she, who’s to stop her?)
  • They’re not scientific. (There’s no blood test or medical assessment that will provide a “white” result for Lucy and a “black” one for Maria.)
  • They’re not consistent (Other twins with the same respective looks and identical parentage as these twins, might both choose to call themselves black or biracial.)

For more on this, read 11 ways race isn’t real , and watch this short video.

“Not real” doesn’t mean not important

Of course, none of this changes the fact that the concept of race is hugely important in our lives, in the United States, in the UK where the twins live, and around the world. There’s no question that the way people categorize Lucy and Maria, and the way they think of themselves, will affect their lives. That’s because, even though race is highly subjective, racism and discrimination based on what people believe about race are very real. The racial categories to which we’re assigned, based on how we look to others or how we identify, can determine real-life experiences, inspire hate, drive political outcomes, and make the difference between life and death. But it’s still  important to remember that these consequences are a result of human-created racial categories that are based on shaky reasoning and shady motivations. This makes the borders of the various groups impossible to pin down — as the “black and white” twins demonstrate — and renders modern debates about how particular people should identify futile.

Two Shooters in Denmark One dead for drawing Mohammad

Emergency services gather outside a venue after shots were fired where an event titled “Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression” was being held in Copenhagen, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015.

Danish police say they now believe there was only one shooter in the attack on a Copenhagen cafe that left one person dead and three police officers wounded during a free speech event. After initially searching for two suspected gunmen, Copenhagen police said Saturday that “preliminary interviews indicate there was only one perpetrator.” Denmark’s security service called the shooting “a likely terror attack.” Police released a blurred photograph of the suspect wearing dark clothes and a scarf covering part of his face.

Armed with U.S. weapons, infamous militia beating ISIS

AL MUQDADIYAH, Iraq – In Al Muqdadiyah they’re celebrating victory over ISIS. “Run away ISIS, we’ll crush you,” the soldiers chanted, a week after they drove out the extremists.

The Badr Brigade chants as they celebrate a recent victory against ISIS

But these soldiers are not part of Iraq’s National Army. Instead, they’re volunteers with a Shiite Muslim militia known as the Badr Brigade. “Our guns all come from the Iraqi Defense Ministry,” said Badr Brigade Commander Essam Yahya Hussein, who ran a grocery store before he joined the fight six months ago.

The U.S. spent $20 billion training and arming the Iraqi army. Now many of its weapons are in the hands of these unchecked militiamen.

CBS News correspondent Holly Williams

But with the Iraqi army in disarray, they have the best track record of defeating ISIS in central Iraq. The villages around Al Muqdadiyah are battle scarred and the local people have all fled. The battle for Al Muqdadiyah lasted four days, and when ISIS was finally defeated its fighters fled over hills where they’ve now regrouped.The Badr Brigade may be effective, but they were born of Iraq’s bloody civil war and their notorious death squads are implicated in the torture and murder of thousands of Sunni Muslims. Last week, they were accused of shooting more than 70 unarmed Sunni men in Al Muqdadiyah- a video appears to show the aftermath. “It’s not true,” said the militia leader when we asked him about the alleged massacre. “The civilians are our brothers.” Despite their murky past the Badr Brigades are being given unprecedented power by Iraq’s Shiite dominated government. General Ali Al-Wazir commands the Iraqi Army’s 20th Battalion, but now he and his men – along with their American weapons and equipment – have been put under the command of the leader of the Badr Brigade.

General Ali Al-Wazir walks with CBS News correspondent Holly Williams

“But you’re national army and he’s part of the Badr organization,” I said. “He was given the job by the prime minister,” General Al-Wazi told me. “Everybody knows it.” As for Iran, its officials have admitted that their Quds special forces are fighting against ISIS in Iraq. That means, in Iraq, the U.S. is on the same side as both Badr – an infamously brutal militia – and Iran. It’s a connection that shows just how complicated the battle against ISIS has become.

Do you know the constitution our bill or rights?


How many of us actually know our rights stated by the Constitution and the bill of rights .I know I didn’t until I began to question the actions of entities who didn’t have my best interest at heart this lead to a plethora of questions and the thirsting hunger and desire for answers and are a few of the questions.I’m intrigued with the framework /health of the nation and their long term affects bills and laws being passed. Are our constitutional rights and are the representatives in Washington  sincerely reflecting the needs and desires of all their constituents.(not just the ones with money.)
I’m concerned about the amount of laws passed each year.Have our constitutional rights become an option instead of the standard?If America were a pie and we keep cutting away at this pie at some point will we cross the 50% mark and we extend from freedom into socialism headed towards communism?
As a nation have we settled accepting mediocrity and sub par products and performance?Given our  history of gradual decline and acceptance of substandard quality.(For example American produced products(cars) which are expected to break faster and deteriorate sooner than the overseas counter parts. Has our drive and infatuation with money setting the stage for us to self implode.Given the tumultuous nature of  our global conflicts and the opaque nature of the enemy,Why not adapt and overcome changing the rules to limit our liability?( like Australia you must be a citizen to own a business there) We sell our assets to the highest bidder (for example housing ,land,businesses) to foreign entities who might not have our best interest at heart.How are we addressing our overseas debt and foreign investors. We are easily entertained while being diverted from quality,loyalty and self sufficiency and the intimate secrecy to keep our nation safe.Where are we headed? What are law makers doing and why?We should be fully informed and constantly aware…Open Book policies across the board inclusive of agency waste,unchecked organizations with outdated and inefficient mandates.I’ll be exploring this in the months to come. I’ve found a few interesting facts that might cause you to pause and ask questions.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Amendment XI

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Amendment XII

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;

Amendment XIII

SECTION. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Amendment XIV

SECTION. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Amendment XV

SECTION. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Amendment XVI

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Amendment XVII

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

Amendment XVIII

SECTION. 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Amendment XIX

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Amendment XX

SECTION. 1. The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Amendment XXI

SECTION. 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Amendment XXII

SECTION. 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.

Amendment XXIII

SECTION. 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:

Amendment XXIV

SECTION. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Amendment XXV

SECTION. 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Amendment XXVI

SECTION. 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Amendment XXVII

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.



September 18, 1951
Carson resides in Baltimore County, Maryland.
For most of his adult life, Carson has been recognized as a prominent and well-respected physician, but only recently has he strayed into the political arena. His politically charged comments at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast made him a conservative media darling. Carson is making a 2016 presidential run.
“I detest politics, to be honest with you. It’s a cesspool. And I don’t think I would fare well in that cesspool because I don’t believe in political correctness and I certainly don’t believe in dishonesty.” — February 7, 2013, at the National Prayer Breakfast


2016 election candidates

Who’s in? Who’s out? CNN Politics gives you a guide to the field of potential candidates for the 2016 presidential race.

  • D
  • ALL
  • R
Joe Biden
Jeb Bush

Ben Carson

Lincoln Chafee

Lincoln ChafeeDEMOCRAT
Chris Christie

Chris ChristieREPUBLICAN
Hillary Clinton

Hillary ClintonDEMOCRAT
Ted Cruz

Carly Fiorina

Jim Gilmore

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey GrahamREPUBLICAN
Mike Huckabee

Bobby Jindal

John Kasich

Martin O'Malley

Martin O’MalleyDEMOCRAT
George Pataki

Rand Paul

Mike Pence

Rick Perry

Mitt Romney

Marco Rubio

Bernie Sanders

Rick Santorum

Donald Trump

Scott Walker

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth WarrenDEMOCRAT
Jim Webb