Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Arizona SB1070, Obama and Holder

Why is our President siding with Mexico against out own citizens?

Can you trust this poll?

Poll after poll in recent months has indicated that Americans have a high level of concern over Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, with one poll showing fully half of the nation wants Congress to investigate the question.”

I don’t know who they are polling, but I don’t believe Americans are that worried about Obama’s eligibility to be president. Do You? Even if I were concerned, I know nothing will come of it, and it’s better to put effort elsewhere if you believe, as I do, he’s a bad president. However, something is supposed to come out tomorrow from Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. Source of story. I’m not holding my breath.

Reading Pearl Buck's Good Earth again--55 years later

I read several of Pearl Buck’s novels when I was in high school, so I probably read the Good Earth (1931) around 1956 or 1957. I don't recall that I ever saw the movie (1937). Although I couldn’t have told you the names of the characters or the plot, as I’m rereading it now for book club next Monday, each page seems familiar. Even after 5 pages, I was in awe of Buck's skill and sensitivity. What a masterful writer. As Hilary Spurling wrote:
“Buck is virtually forgotten today. She has no place in feminist mythology, and her novels have been effectively eliminated from the American literary map. In the People’s Republic of China her fiction remains unique because it accurately depicts the hard lives of an illiterate rural population ignored by the Chinese writers who were Buck’s contemporaries and subsequently obliterated from the record by Communist Party doctrine. “In China she is admired but not read,” ran a recent article in the New York Times, “and in America she is read but not admired.” Both views could do with reappraisal. “ Link
The story begins on Wang Lung's wedding day when he goes to The House of Hwang, a family of wealthy landowners to get his future wife, O-Lan, a slave. She was not pretty so she hadn't been defiled by the sons or male servants. O-Lan turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Ms. Buck in describing Wang Lung as he encounters a revolutionary during the time the family has been wrenched off the beloved land by a famine, describes almost perfectly our own revolutionaries of today--The Occupiers:
“. . . proclaimed the young teacher, “and the murderous one who stabs you when you are dead and do not know it are the rich and the capitalists, who would stab you even after you are dead. You are poor and downtrodden and it is because the rich seize everything.”

Now that he was poor Wang Lung knew full well but he had heretofore blamed it on a heaven that would not rain in its season, or having rained, would continue to rain as though rain were an evil habit. . . Wang Lung grew bold and asked,

“Sir, is there any way whereby the rich who oppress us can make it rain so that I can work on the land?”

At this the young man turned on him with scorn and replied, “Now how ignorant you are, you who still wear your hair in a long tail! No one can make it rain when it will not, but what has this to do with us? If the rich would share with us what they have, rain or not would matter none, because we would all have money and food.”

A great shout went up from those who listened, but Wang Lung turned away unsatisfied.
Still, eventually Wang Lung the peasant through hard work and some stolen jewels becomes wealthy and greedy, buys the estate in which his wife was formerly a slave, and turns away from the wife who had helped him accomplish everything.

What is high school for?

"The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Bridge Program [at The Ohio State University] assists incoming freshman with transitioning from high school to college by providing academic enrichment coursework, campus involvement, community integration, and peer mentoring. The enrichment coursework includes English, research, mathematics, psychology, economics, and calculus lab. Students also participate in study skills, career, and personal development workshops."

In 1982, 30 years ago, I had a temporary contract at the OSU Libraries to work with freshmen and undergrads at what was then "West Campus." (I have pretty good research skills, but can find no record of this financial boondoggle on the internet. I may have to ask a retired colleague.) In those days, the "bridge" was real; a bus drove the young students across the river to a special campus with fine Soviet, cereal box architecture (west campus is still there but now is primarily administrative offices) which would be user friendly with advisors and grad instructors on hand to help them adjust and make it to the next year. There was even a library there called "the learning center" instead of "library." It was to make the transition easier, not just for minorities, but for freshmen who had poor skills in math and English and might need some extra help. There was even an English lab or rhetoric workshop (forgotten it's name) tucked away on another level of the West Campus Learning Center.

I think the state was proposing stricter standards for elementary and high schools, but apparently the university is still offering make-up work for the kids so that enrollment stats look better. The graduation rate from our big city high schools is poor. Don't know what the graduation rate is for a minority student who comes on campus as a freshman so unprepared for college level work, that the first year is spent catching up. Probably FERPA covers their tail on this.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion complies with the rules set forth by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with regard to student personal and academic information. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Academic Advancement Services, utilizes the web based scheduling system, GradesFirst, to schedule retention counseling and tutoring appointments, track student participant’s academic progress, communicate with program participants, ODI staff and university professors, and generate program affiliated reports. AAS staff will utilize academic information acquired from The Ohio State University and program participants for these purposes. Student personal and academic information housed on Gradesfirst is secure and will not be shared outside of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
If anyone has some statistics on this, or even a web site I can link to about the old West Campus of the 1980s, I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

List of those Occupying for the Spring

From the Occupy crowd's "The 99% Spring" website a list of the organizers and funders. There are others I'm sure. These are the people who want to destroy the United States. Notice the number of unions. Many are funded either directly or indirectly by George Soros/Tides Foundation. Others are so wealthy on the backs of their members, they don't need it, like the UAW or AFT. These are the folks who want $18/hour minimum wage, 6 weeks vacation, and retirement at 55. These people demand no-debt repayment and completely open borders. They want home-schooling to be illegal because indoctrinating your own children is dangerous--it should be up to the government to do that.

Jobs With Justice
United Auto Workers
National Peoples Action
National Domestic Workers Alliance
New Organizing Institute
Movement Strategy Center
The Other 98%
Service Employees International Union
Rebuild the Dream
Institute for Policy Studies
PICO National Network
New Bottom Line
United Steel Workers
Working Families Party
Communications Workers of America
United States Student Association
Rainforest Action Network
American Federation of Teachers
Leadership Center for the Common Good
National Guestworker Alliance
The Ruckus Society
Citizen Engagement Lab
smartMeme Strategy & Training Project
Right to the City Alliance
Pushback Network
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Progressive Democrats of America
Change to Win
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Campaign for America’s Future
Fuse Washington
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
Citizen Action of New York
United Electrical Workers Union
National Day Laborers Organizing Network
Alliance for a Just Society
The Partnership for Working Families
United Students Against Sweatshops

Conflict resolution at UCLA

UCLA is launching a series of public lectures, academic courses and programs aimed at "fostering civil discourse" and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. In the midwest, things aren’t quite this obvious, but at least no one will be shouted down or chased off stage the way it’s done at some Ivy League schools. . . or wait. . . that did happen in 2010.

On one side is professor Saree Makdisi, a UCLA English professor, nephew of the infamous Edward Said, and a well-known anti-Israel ideologue who believes Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state, and on the other professor David N. Myers, former director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies and current chair of the history department who argues that 'Statist Zionism,' or a Jewish state, should give way to a 'global Jewish collective,' that Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state. So where are the two sides?

Looks like there won't be any conflicts to resolve after all, observes Campus Watch, a pro-Israel group. It’s just wonderful how academe solves problems.

Conflict resolution at UCLA

How 100 faculty handled the 2010 disruption of a speaker at Irvine (we were actually visiting there last spring—lovely campus)—sort of sounds like the faculty crowd defending the prostitute against the LaCrosse players at Duke:
“As faculty (David Myers was one) affiliated with Jewish Studies at the University of California, we are deeply distressed by the decision of the District Attorney in Orange County, California, to file criminal charges against Muslim students who disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech on the UC Irvine campus last year. While we disagree with the students' decision to disrupt the speech, we do not believe such peaceful protest should give rise to criminal liability. The individual students and the Muslim Student Union were disciplined for this conduct by the University, including suspending the MSU from functioning as a student organization for a quarter. This is sufficient punishment. There is no need for further punitive measures, let alone criminal prosecution and criminal sanctions.”
Rethinking the Jewish Nation by David N. Myers.

Stop paying for abortions with my tax money

Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the United States. A third of all abortions are performed on black women. Our tax dollars are supporting this killing industry.
(COLUMBUS, OH) - Today, Ohio Right to Life and its national and state partners will testify in support of House Bill 298, legislation that will direct tax dollars away from organizations such as Planned Parenthood. HB 298, sponsored by Representatives Kristina Roegner and Cliff Rosenberger, will prioritize public funding towards local health departments and community health centers to help low-income and poor women and their children. Joining Ohio Right to Life today are representatives from the Susan B. Anthony List and Texas Right to Life to advocate for the advancement of this legislation.

"The majority of Ohioans agree that taxpayer funding of the nation's largest abortion provider is inexcusable," said Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life. "Ohioan's tax dollars should be used as a responsible safety net to help low-income and poor women."

The abortion industry and their lobbyists will recklessly claim that women will be denied health care with the enactment of this legislation. In reality, there are over 130 health districts and over 160 community health centers in Ohio that provide family planning services as well as comprehensive primary care. Groups like Planned Parenthood are only attempting to protect the taxpayer money that they have received for decades.

"Ohio women deserve access to comprehensive health care, and they aren't going to find it at abortion-centered businesses like Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not health care, and Planned Parenthood is America's largest seller of abortions," said Hon. Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List. "This common sense legislation improves the quality of health care for Ohio women by prioritizing family planning funding for entities that best serve women. We look forward to working with Representative Kristina Roegner and our friends at Ohio Right to Life to get this bill on the Governor's desk and signed into law."

The abortion industry repeatedly claims that without taxpayer funding for family planning, abortions will increase. However, since 1998, government funding and contracts to Planned Parenthood have almost doubled from $165 million per year to $363.3 million. During the same time period, abortions have increased at Planned Parenthood from 165,509 per year to 332,278.

Simply put, taxpayer funding of abortion providers and their affiliates has done nothing to help women and certainly not their unborn children. Ohio Right to Life, Feb. 28, 2012 mailing
After an abortion Planned Parenthood gives the former mother a strong dose of an antibiotic and 30 days of low dose contraceptives. The antibiotic interfers with the effectiveness of the contraceptive, and so in a few months, the woman, if sexually active, will be back and another life will be snuffed out. Half of the women who get abortions are already using some method of birth control. Abortions increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, and the birth control pills are carcinogens.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom

On March 23, 2012, concerned citizens in over 50 cities — including Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco — will gather at federal buildings for a rally with the theme, “Stand Up for Religious Freedom — Stop the HHS Mandate!”

Thousands of Americans of all faiths are expected to participate in these rallies, organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and the Pro-Life Action League, to oppose the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that requires all employers to provide free contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans. Religious leaders and other public figures will speak out against the HHS Mandate.

Stand up for Religious Freedom

Monday, February 27, 2012

Not just breast cancer, but also mental health problems

Women don't have choices if they don't have information. They also don't have choices if mama is threatening to put her on the street, and the boyfriend is promising to leave her. Doctors can't do anything about mama or the creepy boyfriend, but they can let women know the mental health dangers of abortion.

"Women who have abortions are 81 percent more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems, according to a new study published by Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. The greatest increases were seen in relation to suicidal behaviors and substance abuse.

The meta-analysis examined and combined results of 22 studies published between 1995 and 2009 and included data on 877,181 women from six countries. All 22 studies revealed higher rates of mental health problems associated with abortion for at least one symptom, and many for more than one symptom." Elliot Institute

Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–2009, by Priscilla K. Coleman, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) 199: 180-186
This review offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature. Calling into question the conclusions from traditional reviews, the results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. Consistent with the tenets of evidence-based medicine, this information should inform the delivery of abortion services.

Santorum's economic plan

Although I realize that once a man gets into office, all the campaign glorious speeches go into the file, the promises made aren't kept, and the cronies and donors fill the czar and cabinet vacancies, let's look at what he says, and then take that apart instead of what the media filters say he said with snippets out of context:

Santorum's Economic Freedom Agenda
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 27, 2012

If he could even do these 3 things, it would be a start at saving America. But only baby steps. My generation is tired. The boomers have come to expect the good life. The gen-xers want more money to go to rock concerts performed by has-beens. Next-gen and Gen-Y are stumbling around paying off college loans.

1) "Unleash America's energy. I'll approve the Keystone Pipeline for jobs and energy security, and sign an order on day one unleashing America's domestic energy production, allowing states to choose where they want to explore for oil and natural gas and to set their own regulations for hydrofracking.

2) "Restore America's competitiveness. The corporate tax rate should be halved, to a flat rate of 7.5%. Corporations should be allowed to expense all business equipment and investment. Taxes on corporate earnings repatriated from overseas should be eliminated to bring home manufacturing. I'll take the lead on tort reform to lower costs to consumers."

3) "Repeal and replace ObamaCare. I'll submit legislation to repeal ObamaCare, and on day one issue an executive order ending related regulatory obligations on the states. I'll work with Congress to replace ObamaCare with competitive insurance choices to improve quality and limit the costs of health care, while protecting those with uninsurable health conditions."
The "rein in spending" promise--well, that's the one they all fail at. Too many people work for the government, plus millions in non-profits, churches and universities slurping at the grant trough. Their lobbyists would squeal like stuck pigs if their sector were cut. I just don't know if there is a way to reverse this form of indentured servitude. Most of the stuff I read is the medical and building sectors--and they are completely chained and stuck on the plantation. "Revive housing?" How does he think we got into this mess if not 40 years of government dabbling in and manipulating housing? On that one it's back to the drawing board!

Anyone else think it's possible?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Is it judgmental to defend the unborn?

Defending the moral right of the unborn to have a life is “judgmental,” according to some Christians. But judging that the government has the legal right to take their lives and not protect them in the same way it protects the more fortunate is not judgmental? Interesting concept. It’s the same one slave owners used in the 19th century for their personal property. Some think primarily the poor and uneducated have abortions. Not sure of the statistics on that, but I do know about 50% of the women having abortions were using birth control in some form when impregnated. Planned Parenthood helps with that failure.

Was listening to a testimony Saturday morning of a woman who as a teen had 5 legal abortions at Planned Parenthood. After the last one she hemorrhaged and went to the ER where they discovered half the baby was still there. The “doctor” had stopped in the middle of the abortion, demanded more money (because she was over 12 weeks) and then when the boyfriend (same guy for all pregnancies) paid up, continued, without anesthesia. It seems PP would give her both powerful antibiotics and low dose contraceptives after each abortion, so the “pill” didn’t work right, ( so she kept getting pregnant, and killed 5 of her children. Needless to say, this woman is not afraid to name evil as evil. She started out her presentation with Reddy’s “I am woman hear me roar.”

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
One of my compassionate Christian friends (who believes in the right to choose) commented, "She was a slow learner." Blaming the victim comes in all varieties. Multiply that contraceptive failure by the thousands of teens brought the PP clinics by their mothers or boyfriends.

Do it the USSR way

“Because in the United States of America, we are greater together than we are on our own (Applause). We’re better off when we keep that basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well — you can raise a family, you can own a home, send your kids to college, put a little away for retirement — and that that promise is open to everybody. If you’re born into tough circumstances, we’re going to give you ladders to climb up into that middle class. And if you’re in that middle class, then we’re going to make sure that you’ve got the tools to, even in a changing world, have some security and some stability in your life.

That’s what we’re fighting for. That’s the choice in this election.” Obama in a campaign speech this week

Work as hard as you want making buggy whips or transcribing 11th century Latin poetry into Gaelic, and you still won’t make it financially in capitalist, free-market-decides America, but you just might scrape up enough to barely get by if Obama gives you enough government programs to feed, clothe, shelter, insure and provide walking around money. Meanwhile, his income varies between $2-$4 million annually because of book sales (with some pressure for government offices to sell them), real estate investments (the Chicago way) and other investments in capitalist enterprises.

To the poor he promises ladders, and to the middle class tools, security and stability. But nothing beyond that, because that would require taking risks, doing without, finding people who want to back you with venture capital or loans, and postponing expensive entertainments. A woman who doesn't speak English just dropped the newspaper at my door. Perhaps she has a kid in high school or college and wants him to have extra spending money. Or maybe she is wealthy beyond her wildest dreams back home where because she was a minority or a woman she couldn't even go to school, and she sends money home to her parents. She has a car; she's probably sharing an apartment with another family of her religious or ethnic group; she may even be using a few government programs, but she's got hustle, so if there were no programs, she'd still make it. I've seen her kind before. She will make it in America. And it won't be because of transfer of wealth.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hot Chocolate

Is there any thing that tastes better on a cold windy day than a cup of hot chocolate? The other day I was at Giant Eagle and I saw the cutest display of little miniature glass bottles of chocolate milk--16 ounces costing $5.95! The bottles had a cute logo, and a tag attached--I think it said “organic,” but there was no information about where it was produced, and whether it was the cocoa that was organic or the sugar. Were the cows no-hormone? I have no idea, but $6.00 for 2 cups of chocolate milk?

I have before me a package of Nestle “Rich Milk Chocolate’ [flavor] hot cocoa mix . . . 10 envelopes for $.98. If I wanted to mix up something myself I could do it--it’s just been awhile--and it could by-pass the corn syrup solids, coconut oil, and guar gum. It has 80 calories.

So I looked up the “old fashioned” cocoa. Found one made with coffee creamer--hmmm, not so much. Then one made with an egg--256 calories!

Here’s one with 310 calories (maybe you could substitute milk for the half and half):

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk 3/4 teaspoon
vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream

The Ghirardelli Cocoa can says, cocoa, sugar and milk. I think that’s how Mom did it.

The Hersey's website has what I think I remember.

2 tablespoons sugar or 2 tablespoons Splenda sugar substitute
2 -3 teaspoons Hershey's cocoa
1 dash salt
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Who is contributing to whom?

Here’s some current information on how the PACs are raising money today. Obviously, labor is going heavily for Obama and Democratic causes. Then following is information on how the money flowed in 2008. I wonder if any of these firms have had second thoughts--probably not. Party support is about lobbying--and which party will give your industry a better break.

Be mindful of what businesses we patronize relative to their 2008 Election Cycle political donations, as reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. This shows both Democrat and Republican information!

Price Club/Costco donated $225K, 99% went to Democrats
Rite Aid donated $517K, 60% went to Democrats
Magla Products (Stanley tools, Mr. Clean) donated $22K, 100% went to Democrats
Warnaco (undergarments) donated $55K, 73% went to Democrats
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia donated $153K, 99% went to Democrats
Estee Lauder donated $448K, 95% went to Democrats
Guess, Inc. donated $145K, 98% went to Democrats
Calvin Klein donated $78K, 100% went to Democrats
Liz Claiborne, Inc. donated $34K, 97% went to Democrats
Levi Straus donated $26K, 97% went to Democrats
Olan Mills donated $175K, 99% went to Democrats

WalMart donated $467K, 97% went to Republicans
K-Mart donated $524K, 86% went to Republicans
Home Depot donated $298K, 89% went to Republicans
Target donated $226K, 70% went to Republicans
3M Co. donated $281K, 87% went to Republicans
Hallmark Cards donated $319K, 92% went to Republicans
Amway donated $391K, 100% Republicans
Kohler Co. (plumbing fixtures) donated $283K, 100% Republicans
B.F. Goodrich (tires) donated $215K, 97% went to Republicans
Proctor & Gamble donated $243K, 79% went to Republicans

Sonic Corporation donated $83K, 98% went to Democrats
Triarc Companies (Arby's, T.J. Cinnamon's, Pasta Connections) donated $112K, 96% went to Democrats

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. (chicken) donated $366K, 100% went to Republicans
Outback Steakhouse donated $641K, 95% went to Republicans
Tricon Global Restaurants (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) donated $133K, 87% went to Republicans
Brinker International (Maggiano's, Brinker Cafe, Chili's, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, Crazymel's, Corner Baker, EatZis) donated $242K, 83% went to Republicans
Waffle House donated $279K, 100% went to Republicans
McDonald's Corp. donated $197K, 86% went to Republicans
Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze) donated $121K, 89% went to Republicans
Heinz Republicans $64,000 Democrats $21,300 (John Kerry's wife's company)

Traveling and/or dining
Hyatt Corporation donated $187K of which 80% went to Democrats

Marriott International $323K, 81% went to Republicans
Holiday Inns donated $38K, 71% went to Republicans

CIA busy in Pakistan, cable reveals

For those Obama supporters who have denied the extent to which he has expanded the war into other Moslem countries in Asia, the middle-east and Africa, be sure to read today’s Washington Post.
The CIA has carried out dozens of drone strikes against Haqqani targets in Pakistan in recent years, while U.S. forces on the Afghan side of the border have killed or captured Haqqani fighters at a rapid pace — only to see the flow of militants subside temporarily and then resume.

“There’s no debate about the importance of going after Haqqani . . . and Taliban militants who launch attacks into Afghanistan,” one U.S. official said. “Support for this is universal.” "
The WaPo is careful not to give a date about when all this war against another Taliban branch began. Based on its long history of shoring up Obama, I think WaPo would have noted if it were Bush’s war—but maybe it really doesn’t know.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Escape from slavery

C. L. Bryant, the runaway slave.

The film’s central figure is Rev. C.L. Bryant, a self-professed “runaway slave. A former NAACP chapter president in Garland, TX, C.L. abandoned an organization he felt was more about political posturing, and less about civil rights. As a former Democratic Radical who escaped the bondage of Progressivism and denounced the shackles of entitlements, he has committed himself to helping others secure the blessings of liberty that are guaranteed by the Constitution with his new found conservative values.

Rev. Bryant takes viewers on an historic journey across America that traces the footsteps of runaway slaves who escaped along routes that became known as the Underground Railroad to freedom. But in the film, he travels a “new underground railroad” upon which Black Conservatives are speaking out against big government policies which have established a “new plantation” where “overseers” like the NAACP and so-called “civil rights” leaders keep the Black community 95 percent beholden to one political party.

Citing statistics that demonstrate increasingly high rates of abortion, crime, unemployment and single parent households in the black community, the film features interviews with politicians and everyday Americans including economist Thomas Sowell, Dr. Alveda King, U.S. Representative Allen West, GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain, activist Star Parker and many others. Images from national events in Washington, D.C. provide a shocking look into the mindset of the liberal left as they seek to oppress black Americans every day.Its underlying theme asks the questions: What does the black community have to show for its 95% support of the Democratic Party? Is it truly “free at last?”

From the web page

Dramatic increase in resistence to gonorrhea anti-microbials since 2006

The incidence of resistance of Gonorrhea to drugs has been soaring since 2006--and the nasty bug is becoming resistent to the antimicrobial agents.
It is time to sound the alarm. During the past 3 years, the wily gonococcus has become less susceptible to our last line of antimicrobial defense, threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea and prevent severe sequelae.

Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported communicable disease in the United States, with an estimated incidence of more than 600,000 cases annually. It disproportionately affects vulnerable populations such as minorities who are marginalized because of race, ethnic group, or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, Neisseria gonorrhoeae has always readily developed resistance to antimicrobial agents: it became resistant to sulfanilamide in the 1940s, penicillins and tetracyclines . . .
NEJM Feb. 9, 2012
The popularized accounts of this report didn't note that the increase is primarily among gay men.

The official report in NEJM first had the obligatory blame whitey and homophobia, 1) "minorities who are marginalized because of race, ethnic group, or sexual orientation, 2) hand out more condoms, more lectures, and more testing, 3) develop new drugs and tests, and 4) develop a vaccine.

Smack down from Alan Dershowitz

Two Soros beneficiaries and Obama water carriers get a smack down from Alan Dershowitz.

“Media Matters and Center for American Progress are two extremely left-bigoted groups that are so virulently anti-Israel and anti-supporters of Israel that they’ve gone over the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz said. ”They now use the term ‘Israel firsters,’ the way anti-Catholic bigots used to use the term ‘Vatican firsters’ or ‘Irish firsters,’ as if to suggest Americans who support Israel have dual loyalty. This false charge goes back to the Bible — goes back to the Book of Esther, goes back thousands of years. It was one of Hitler’s justifications for killing the Jews: ‘Dual loyalty, they’re not good Germans, they’re not good Americans,’ whatever it is.”

Dershowitz has been vocal against Media Matters in recent days, making that charge of anti-Semitism. However, his classification of the Center for American Progress as borderline “anti-Semitic” is noteworthy because both Media Matters and the Center for Progress have received money directly from billionaire left-wing financier George Soros, who has faced similar charges in the past."
"The daily battle is waged in Media Matters’ emails, on CAP’s blogs, Middle East Progress and ThinkProgress and most of all on Twitter, where a Media Mattters official, MJ Rosenberg, regularly heaps vitriol on those who disagree as “Iraq war neocon liar” (the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg) or having “dual loyalties” to the U.S. and Israel (the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin). And while the Center for American Progress tends to walk a more careful line, warm words for Israel can be hard to find on its blogs." Weekly Standard
ThinkProgress, the Center for American Progress’ blog, is run by Faiz Shakir, who also serves as the organization’s vice president. The ThinkProgress blog has become extreme even by CAP standards, forcing Ken Gude, CAP’s national security director, to attempt to distance his center’s policy arm from its blogs. In a post jointly co-authored by Faiz Shakir and Ken Gude, the two men denied that their work was anti-Semitic, but avoided similarly ruling out that their work was anti-Israel, probably because such an assertion would have simply been unsupportable.

CAP and its various affiliated blogs have taken an enthusiastically uncritical approach to the Islamist Arab Spring and a hostile, critical approach to the State of Israel. At the ThinkProgress blog, Matt Duss described Israel’s border controls with Hamas-run Gaza as a “moral abomination” and compared the deaths of Islamist radicals who attempted to murder Israeli soldiers to the murders of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner in the South during the Civil Rights movement. Front Page

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mid-Ohio Food Bank and Upper Arlington Public Library

The cover of the slick PR magazine for the Upper Arlington Public Library shows two staffers, a stack of packaged food and boxes, plus a banner in the background about "Donate food and reduce fine" with a logo of Mid-Ohio Food Bank. I couldn't find an article in the magazine to go with the cover so I googled it. The January 31, 2011 issue of This Week Community Newspaper Upper Arlington explained it: one Saturday afternoon from 1-5 p.m. library patrons could donate one non-perishable item and get $1.00 off their fine. Other people could donate too. I wonder about the time and effort to do this. And then, did the people just pay off the rest of their fines, was that the point? If you donate a 79 cent can of beans and get $1.00 off the fine--and you spent time and gas money to get to the library, how does that work out? Or do you just take something out of the cupboard you weren't going to use anyway, like past due date noodles from Israel or canned mushrooms from China? I've worked at the food pantry, and really, the odd things people donate. . .

I have several problems with this gimmick for paying fines. First of all, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank is primarily tax supported--either by USDA food directly, by farm produce supported by the USDA, by direct payments from the federal government, by direct payments from the state government which probably dipped into a federal grant, through tax deductions given to businesses, or by donations from foundations which receive their money from gifts which are tax deductible. Second, the public libraries are also supported by local taxes. Third, the mission of the public library, a tax supported institution, is not to support other tax supported institutions. It has a very specific purpose in the community that no one else, no other organization can do. It should not be teaching people to read--the public schools do that; it should not be offering craft classes, hobbies, and art classes and other lyceum type programs--there are other community and private groups that do that.

If you can't make your case for being an outstanding library without this type of "volunteer" for the community poor, then hire a new PR staffer, or revise your fine schedule.

That reminds me, I have an overdue book. Crazy love by Francis Chan. It's a Christian book--a very rare find at the Upper Arlington Public Library. Take your food items to the collection box at your church. This is one area where I favor separation of church and state.

Unemployment could rise again

"Unemployment could rise back to 9 percent of the U.S. population in February, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday, painting a grim picture for the Obama administration, which had been temporarily buoyed by promising jobs figures at the end of January." The Hill

Now, why would that be happening since things looked good in January?

1) Killing Keystone pipeline RealClearPolitics

2) The new budget is about as transparently, blatantly anti-economy as we could ask for with higher taxes. Wall Street Journal

3) The HHS Mandate on "reproductive health" which doesn't reproduce and isn't very healthy is an obvious buy off of his support among radical, anti-life feminists, and the phony "compromise" just made the President look "compromised" after it was learned his only advisors were the pro-abortion crowd. Faith and Family

And that's just in recent weeks. The only American enjoying the good life these days is Mrs. Obama, now on her 12th vacation. No wonder she left town.

Capitalism, Corporatism, Socialism and Fascism

"Capitalism is (or was) an “economic system in which capital was privately owned and traded; owners of capital got to judge how best to use it, and could draw on the foresight and creative ideas of entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers.” The main dynamic of the market system is the relationship between the producer and the consumer. Corporatism, by contrast, brings to the fore the role of the “managerial state,” in which the government takes on an increasingly larger task in telling producers what they should produce and consumers what they should consume. This can be done in many ways, some more implicit and others more aggressive. Corporatism is distinct from socialism, because under corporatism the means of production (capital) remain in private hands. But the private firms are not simply free to respond to market signals. Instead, under a corporatist structure, the government directs firms in the ways in which they should employ their resources, sometimes through moral suasion, but more often through regulation, tax policy, and legal directives. Fascism, which uses coercion, bullying, and demagoguery to control private firms, is an extreme form of corporatism."

From Corrupted Capitalism and the Housing Crisis by Jordan Ballor, Acton Commentary, Feb. 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Could this be the new Pruitt Igoe?

In the area Hatert, at the edge of the city of Nijmegen, Netherlands, the housing corporations Portaal and Talis organize a great renewal operation. Most of the current housing does not comply with contemporary standards or needs a substantial make over.

72 apartments and a healthcare center. The irregularly shaped balconies project from each corner of the 13-storey-high tower, which was recently completed by Rotterdam studio 24H architecture. “We had a flower in mind,” says Boris Zeisser of 24H. “The balconies were designed to look like white petals and an overall organic shape was intended to evoke the image of a white rose.”

So it was with the public housing/renewal projects of the 1940s and 1950s in the United States. One of the most famous, Pruitt-Igoe of St. Louis came down in the 1970s. They had become cesspools and slum housing, festering towers of crime. Ironically, Pruitt Igoe was designed my Minoro Yamasaki, designer of the World Trade Center. Now a new film on The Pruitt-Igoe Myth "argues that the dysfunctions that prompted the Pruitt-Igoe demolition were not inevitable—that crime, violence, and vandalism were products of a negligent maintenance regime, poor financing, and poor design, as well as what New School urban studies professor Joseph Heathcott, an interviewee, characterizes as the use of public housing as a means of “planned segregation.” Freidrichs’s film is a well-crafted mix of retrospective interviews of residents and archival footage from local news sources." Howard Hosack of City Journal says the documentary is a victim of myths of its own. The fact is, the government is no better landlord than it is a step father, and the public housing actually hurt the people it intended to help. Because of preference given to single parents, fathers voluntarily left their families so they would qualify for the new housing, thus in the grand government tradition, making matters worse. ". . . blacks were robbed of the opportunity to advance through their own efforts, to build assets, and to forge communities. They—and Americans generally—continue to pay a steep price for ill-conceived projects such as Pruitt-Igoe."

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History – Film Trailer from the Pruitt-Igoe Myth on Vimeo.

People have problems with freedom

The lastest hoopla and disinformation from the left (Planned Parenthood, Democratic operatives, main stream media) demonstrates that some people have problems with the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment--protecting the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. [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.] From the beginning of recorded time the individual has tried to get out from under the authority of the tribal leader, the dictator or the King. Finally in the 18th century civilization made it to that point where the people set up a government which guaranteed all sorts of liberties to be free of government control, like speech, religion, private property, a jury trial, the right to bear arms, etc., and now we've got misinformed yahoos who are trying to drag us back to the dark ages of serfdom and slavery. They are willing to throw it away for a roll in the hay (Obama's contraceptive compromise).

What Obama is trying to do to the Catholic Church by requiring it insure its employees for birth control, sterilization and abortifacients is nothing other than an attempt to take out the only institution in the United States big enough, and organized enough to stand up to him. God knows (no pun intended) the Protestants are too fractured and struggling with in-fighting to ever take a stand for religious freedom and morality. The Catholics have been led by the nose by their liberal wing for years, and they even helped Obamacare get passed, but they seem to have awakened from a deep sleep. The church, both Lutheran and Catholic, didn't stand up to the government of the National Socialists in Germany in the 1930s. By the time the cathedrals were being decorated with Nazi banners, it was too late.

Without subtitles

Percent voting by race and age

The latest Pew Report points out some problems with the American voting system, but this graph from the Census Bureau show that among young voters (18-24), percentage of black voters has been surpassing white since the 2000 presidential election. And it was very close in 1996. In 2008 the percent of all-blacks voting (slightly over 60%) exceded all-whites for the first time.

Very interesting graphs at the Census Bureau web site, Historical Time Series Tables.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Obama and Medical Marijuana

From Rolling Stone:
“Back when he was running for president in 2008, Barack Obama insisted that medical marijuana was an issue best left to state and local governments. “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” he vowed, promising an end to the Bush administration’s high-profile raids on providers of medical pot, which is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts. “There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana,” says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “He’s gone from first to worst.””
I’ve leaned toward legalizing medical marijuana for the seriously ill for years. The stats for deaths and ER visits for legal, prescribed pain killers is horrific—especially since the drug coverage under Medicare. There are 1.2 million emergency room visits a year and a 98.4% increase since 2004. Sales of opioids in 2010 were 4 times greater than 1999. (JAMA Jan. 4, 2012) At least I haven’t heard of too many deaths from medical marijuana. Any one else?

Global warming skeptics don't deny science

"The skeptic view is that science education vis a vis climate and other environmental matters tends to be shallow, or one-sided, or politicized — in other words broken in some way and needing repair. In this way, most every prominent skeptic that works even a bit in the science/data end of things believes him or herself to be supporting, helping, and fixing science. In fact, many skeptics believe that the continued positive reception of catastrophic global warming theory is a function of the general scientific illiteracy of Americans and points to a need for more and better science education."

The Heartland so-called smoking gun

I could never get my mind wrapped around this one. It was no secret that Heartland didn't promote a lot of the man made climate change stuff, so what "strategy" was to be exposed? Anyway, the exposed document was apparently a phony.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient

New Pew Report is evidence that America’s voter registration system needs an upgrade
  • Approximately 24 million—one of
    every eight—voter registrations in the
    United States are no longer valid or
    are significantly inaccurate.

  • More than 1.8 million deceased
    individuals are listed as voters.

  • Approximately 2.75 million people
    have registrations in more than one

  • Researchers estimate at least
    51 million eligible U.S. citizens are
    unregistered, or more than 24 percent of
    the eligible population.
Read report here.

Inappropriate cleavage in the workplace

I had an eye popping experience at the city building last week. A female employee with 4 inches of cleavage and low cut t-shirt was sitting in a chair waiting on people who were standing behind the counter looking down practically to her navel. The African man next to me, probably a Muslim, finally went out to wait in the hall for his wife who was talking to the buxom employee rather than violate her with his eyes. Cover up ladies. You look ridiculous. I was embarrassed for her and our culture which creates such exhibitionism and then whines about sexism and women disrespected on the job. Save it for a party or the special man in your life. Any guy you attract dressed like that probably isn't going to be a good catch.
The way we dress has a huge effect on the way we perceive ourselves, and on the way we're perceived. Sadly, the two don't always match up.

My star candidate in the sexy dress, for example, may have looked in her mirror that morning and seen 'confident, individual, fashionable'. I saw 'bimbo, trying too hard, someone who doesn't have the sense to dress for the context in which she's going to be seen'.
Read more
The other female employee in the front office was wearing faded jeans and a hoody sweatshirt. She looked ready to go out and cheer on her grandchildren's soccer team, but at least she was covered up.

When I was a zygote

Even when I was a single cell, a zygote, everything about me was already determined in that little data set--my gender, eye and hair color, body build, intelligence and personality. All I needed was oxygen and nutrients to thrive, which I received from my busy mother who was chasing 2 toddlers--but I wasn't my mother and I wasn't my father, I was something unique and special, and not an extention or an appendage of their bodies, even though I would be a little bit like both of them. I continued to need oxygen and nutrition after I was outside Mom's womb, and which I still need and depend on from other people right up to today. I couldn't possibly survive alone in this world and neither can you. No one had the moral right to take my life then regardless of what ancient customs or modern laws such as were invented in 1973 that say otherwise, and you still don't now.

Santorum and Romney tax plans, similarities and differences

Mitt Romney has proposed permanently extending the 2001-03 tax cuts, eliminating taxation of investment income of most individual taxpayers, reducing the corporate income tax, eliminating the estate tax, and repealing the taxes enacted in 2010’s health reform legislation. . . The Romney plan would lower federal tax liability by $600 billion in calendar year 2015 compared with current law, roughly a 16 percent cut in total projected revenue.

Rick Santorum has proposed permanently extending the 2001-10 tax cuts and further reducing individual income taxes; cutting the corporate income tax rate in half; eliminating the estate tax; and repealing the alternative minimum tax and the taxes enacted in 2010’s health reform legislation. . . The Santorum plan would lower federal tax liability by about $1.3 trillion in calendar year 2015 compared with current law, roughly a 40 percent cut in total projected revenue.

More information at The Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

The U.S. still needs immigrants because our schools aren’t cutting it!

Alexander Boldyrev and colleagues at Utah State University, Logan, working with Lai-Sheng Wang and colleagues at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island have synthesized a planar boron compound that has the highest coordination number of any flat molecule, squeezing ten spoke-like bonds to boron atoms into a wheel. This astounding feat of engineering not only breaks previous records for such compounds but offers new insights into bonding, coordination and the development of boron chemistry. (Alchemist Newsletter)

Naturalized U.S. citizen Alexander Boldyrev, professor of Theoretical Computational Chemistry at University of Utah, Salt Lake City did his undergraduate and master’s level work at Novosibirsky University and PhD at Moscow State University, and his Dr. Science (highest degree in USSR) at Institute of Chemical Physics, USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow, in 1987.

Lai Sheng Wang received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Wuhan University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990. His current Vita shows 322 publications where he is the first author.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My new Macy's credit card

Today I got my new Macy's card attached to a bright red and white "Congratulations" letter--enclosed with 4 pages of tiny print with a very nasty tone. “The following terms apply to both your store account purchases and American Express account purchases. It seems there’s an entity behind all this called “Department Stores National Bank” which is known as “we”, “us”, and “our”, and I‘m “you“ and “your.”

“Payments in excess of the Minimum Payment Due will be applied in accordance with law, and payments less than the Minimum Payment Due and credits will be applied at our discretion.”

Returns and credits are not applied toward your minimum payment due. Oops. I mean--Minimum Payment Due with capital letters.

“The late payment fee for each billing cycle bill be $25; or $35 for any additional past due payment during the next six billing cycles after a past due payment.” Huh?

“We may add a returned check fee for a returned payment--electronic debit, payment check, or similar payment instrument which is returned unpaid. We may add this fee the firs time your payment is returned, even if it is not returned upon resubmission. The fee will be $25; or $35 or any additional returned payment during the next six billing cycles . . . But will not exceed that permitted by law.” Woot!

You could do a telephone transfer from a deposit account, but “we” will charge a Pay-by-Phone Fee for each such transfer. . .but “we” won’t tell how much that is unless you request this optional payment service.

If for some reason you want copies of your statements, then “we” will charge you $3.00 PER ITEM--

And if you die, and “we” fail to receive Minimum Payment Due “we” can declare the entire unpaid balance in your Account due and payable (paraphrase).

We can change any thing we want in this agreement--we’ll mail you the changes but only if you’ve first notified us you are moving (paraphrase).

We can assign any information you gave us to open this account to anyone we damn well please (I’m paraphrasing), and don’t come whining to us if you think we made a mistake, contact the Credit Bureau Dispute Verification, etc. Mason, OH.

And you realize all this is done from South Dakota. What?

You are only half way down the first page, and can’t even grasp was #19 says.

On to the next section:

The annual percentage rate description is so arcane, you can’t understand it, but it is calculated at 24.50% which corresponds to a Daily Periodic Rate of .06712%. But that could increase. . .

“We” can terminate the use of your Account without giving you notice in advance. . .

Then in the last third of the 2nd page is “Your Billing Rights,” in which we tell you what we will do if you think there is an error. (paraphrase)

Then the next document is about how we share your information.

Everyone we do business with; everything you do or any information you gave us.

Most Americans still pro-life

"By a 24 percent margin, 61-37 percent, Americans take the pro-life view that abortions should either be legal under no circumstances or legal only under a few circumstances. Although Gallup doesn’t specify those “few” circumstances, polling data has consistently shown that, when asked about cases such as rape, incest, or the life of the mother, a majority of Americans want all or almost all abortions made illegal — leaving only life of the mother or rape and incest as the exceptions.

“Americans are rather conservative in their stance on abortion, with 61% now preferring that abortion be legal in only a few circumstances or no circumstances. By contrast, 37% want abortion legal in all or most circumstances,” Gallup analyst Lydia Saad writes. “Over the past two decades, Americans have consistently leaned toward believing abortion should be legal in only a few or no circumstances, although less so in the mid-1990s than since about 1997, when combined support for these has averaged close to 60%.”

In fact, Gallup polling shows that, since 1994, a majority of Americans have held a pro-life view wanting all or almost all abortions made illegal — and that pro-life view has strengthened with an average of 60 percent of Americans saying that over the years." Gallup Poll

The 37% who want abortion legal in all cases (like President Obama whose views are the most extreme of any American politician extending to a born alive infant who was intended for death) may be your health insurance company or that of an organization you are supporting. Ask. Demand a change.

Shocking revelations--corruption in government!

"Overall, the [Washington] Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers. ... White House officials stress that staffers and advisers with venture capital ties did not make funding decisions related to these companies. But e-mails released in a congressional probe of Obama’s clean-tech program show that staff and advisers with links to venture firms informally advocated for some of those companies." Washington Post

Add that to the insider trading scandal and the need to even pass the STOCK Act, and you've got a pretty good idea why the general public is apathetic about changing things in Washington. Also shows why so many votes are for sale, and why dead people still vote.

Don't look for help from certain Lutherans

Today I was chatting with a Catholic lobbyist about the HHS Mandate. I told him I didn't think he'd see much support for the Bishops from the Lutherans. I explained that I checked with Lutheran Social Services about its health insurance for employees, and found out that yes, it does cover abortions in employees' health insurance. He seemed surprised, because many Protestant groups have come forward to support them. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--UALC's former synod--and LSS are doing much worse than Obama's mandate! If they step up now, they'll be total hypocrites.

I told the Vice President (of the local LSS) that I would not be contributing to Lutheran Social Services any longer and reminded her that over a third of abortions are for black women.
If the mandate were only about extending contraception coverage, exempting religious institutions would be obvious. But it's more than that. It is about bringing institutions thought to be retrograde to heel, and discrediting their morality. It is kulturkampf disguised as public health.
Read more.
Missouri Synod Lutheran is more Christ-like and Biblical in its response and may remember what happened when the German state socialists (Nazi) took over the church in the 1930s.

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran statement.
“The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod clearly understands and teaches that Jesus has directed his followers to ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar’s’ (Mark 12:17) and that secular government is used by God for the good of all society. Christian citizens recognize their responsibility to pay taxes, support the government, obey its laws, and pray for its leaders. While it is not normally within the sphere of the church to become involved in secular politics, we do recognize that individual Christians have a responsibility to exercise their rights as citizens, to express their beliefs, and to encourage the government to act in the best interest of society.

“Therefore, we encourage all of our members, as Christian citizens, to express their convictions boldly and to urge the government to be faithful in carrying out its primary responsibility to protect and preserve life. We also encourage our members, as many others in various denominations and church bodies have done, to recognize and speak out against this clear threat to the blessing of religious liberty American citizens have enjoyed since the founding of the nation.

“We also confess and affirm that if the government directs us to do something in clear violation of the will of God, ‘we must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29).”

Millstone Award 2011--STARS

The recipient of this year's Millstone Award was Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood in Albany, New York, which hired teens for $75 biweekly to "peer-educate" other teens on the benefits of unfettered sex and abortion. As part of the interview process for its STARS (Seriously Talking about Responsible Sex) program, applicants were required to attend a homosexual parade. The program was paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The organization’s Facebook page tells teens, “When you join us for the clinic, don’t forget to grab a S.T.A.R.S. bag, which includes free male and female condoms, dental dams, lube, instructions for use, and information on services.” STARS employees promote a wide variety of contraceptives, including the IUD, the Ring, condoms, foam, the diaphragm, the birth control pill, and Plan B. In another STARS video a teen counselor tells a worried teen that while the Morning After pill is available in pharmacies, “you can get it at Planned Parenthood for less money, or even free.”

The 2010 winner of the Millstone was Sr. Donna Quinn, O.P., the abortion mill escort. So what exactly is the Millstone Award? The Millstone Award is given to those who commit public scandal undermining the the health and welfare of children and young people. "Millstone Award® is a registered trademark used for Promoting Public Awareness of the Need For Protection of Children By Discouraging Unhealthy, Illegal, Unnatural and Immoral Behaviors That Place Children At Risk and owned by Woman's Christian Temperance Union."

If you hate Cheney's, let's talk about Clinton's heart instead

Michelle Malkin writes:
Two years ago this month, as public debate over Obamacare raged, former President Bill Clinton rushed to the hospital because of a heart condition. He immediately underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. It was a timely reminder about the dangers of stifling private-sector medical innovation. No one listened.

Stents don’t grow on trees. They were not created, developed, marketed or sold by government bureaucrats and lawmakers. One of the nation’s top stent manufacturers, Boston Scientific, warned at the time that Obamacare’s punitive medical device tax would lead to worker losses and research cuts. The 2.3 percent excise tax, the company said, “would be very damaging to Boston Scientific, and the medical device industry as a whole. In a nutshell, it would raise costs and lead to significant job losses. It does not address the quality of care but the political scorecard of savings.”
Read the whole article, Taxing medical progress to death.

The Foster Friess frenzy

The people who covered for a philandering golfer, various horny presidents and governors, and innumerable bisexual hunky celebrities, now have their collective panties in a knot over an innocent joke (and I think clever in its message) of Foster Friess, a wealthy supporter of Rick Santorum. Really? They just look silly. These people wink at wardrobe malfunctions that millions see, a soaring out of wedlock birth rate (43% of births in my county), push contraceptives for young teens knowing their health risks, and don't bat an eyelash at Obama's born alive abortion beliefs. And they can't take a joke about how to say No? It is such a phony way to go after Santorum you wonder how these people can sleep at night. It convinces me that the lefties are totally humorless--if a Republican told a plumber's crack joke they'd probably think he was ridiculing drug addicts.

Where are the charities that Pelosi and other pols (or Andrea Mitchell for that matter) who have become rich with insider trading and real estate deals at the tax payers' expense? Of the top ten wealthiest in Congress, I think 7 are Democrats. Take a look at what the Friess family does.
Last week my joke at the Conservative Political Action Conference generated laughter and media attention. Today on Andrea Mitchell’s show, my aspirin joke bombed as many didn’t recognize it as a joke but thought it was my prescription for today’s birth control practices. In fact, the only positive comments I got were from folks who remembered it from 50 years back. Birth control pills weren’t yet available, so everyone laughed at the silliness on how an aspirin could become a birth control pill.

After listening to the segment tonight, I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable. To all those who took my joke as modern day approach I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness. My wife constantly tells me I need new material—she understood the joke but didn’t like it anyway—so I will keep that old one in the past where it belongs.

I am a big fan of the ancient Jewish scripture which says “God works everything for good for those that love Him and are called to His purpose.” So maybe the good to come from the high profile reaction is a better understanding of Rick Santorum. He publicly stated he would not ban contraception; he has said if he were a member of a state legislature which introduced such a bill, he would vote against it; and he has incurred the wrath of his more conservative friends for voting to fund contraception to fight AIDS in Africa.
The good that has come out of this (God has his ways) is that now millions know who Foster Friess is and the good work he is doing around the world to save lives. I'm just sorry both Friess and Santorum didn't call out the press on their hypocrisy.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You are already paying for someone's abortion

The following comes from the state of Washington, but other states have similar documents.

If I am low-income, will Washington State medical assistance pay for my abortion?

Yes, as long as you are eligible for Medicaid coverage. Washington State Medicaid pays for abortions for women who are also eligible to receive Medicaid maternity care services. Women under 18 are covered in the same way as adult women.

Washington’s Basic Health Plan (BHP) is run by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and is available to low-income residents of Washington State. BHP also covers abortion services.

Does health insurance cover abortion?

Most health insurance plans cover abortions. Look at your insurance policy or call your insurance company to determine whether abortion services are covered by your insurance company. Your health care provider can also call ahead to find out about your coverage and what percentage of the fee your insurance will cover.

Can I get free birth control?

Most low-income women of any age can sign up for a year of free birth control under our state’s Take Charge program. To apply go to or call 1-800-770-4334. Recent changes to federal law have made it harder for some immigrant women to get free birth control under this program. For more information about public benefits available to immigrants in Washington State, go to
Some medical clinics and services provide women with free birth control depending on their income. Medicaid also pays for certain birth control for eligible women.

What is ―emergency contraception‖ (EC) or the ―morning-after pill‖?
The “morning-after pill” is the common name for emergency contraception. We will call it EC in this memo. It is also known by its brand name, Plan B®. EC is birth control pills taken after sex to prevent a pregnancy. It works best when taken within 72 hours (three days) of sex, but may prevent pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after sex. EC is NOT an abortion: it prevents a pregnancy from happening at all, and does not harm an existing pregnancy

Have you ever wondered about Agenda 21?

I've been watching and listening and wading through obfuscating language on "sustainability" for about five years. It's not conservation, or saving Lake Erie, or saving some bird species. It's a whole lot bigger than what God commanded Adam to do in Genesis, and it's not one party either, and Obama didn't invent it. He was just a kid when it got rolling, which this guy dates to 1987, but I date to Earth Day, 1970. It's pantheistic, atheistic, and openingly anti-capitalist. It's just a new road to statism, then globalism.
According to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainablists insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components; global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction.

Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, STAR Sustainable Communities, Green jobs, Green Building Codes, “Going Green,” Alternative Energy, Local Visioning, facilitators, regional planning, historic preservation, conservation easements, development rights, sustainable farming, comprehensive planning, growth management, consensus.

Who is behind it?

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (formally, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives). Communities pay ICLEI dues to provide “local” community plans, software, training, etc. Addition groups include American Planning Council, The Renaissance Planning Group, International City/ County Management Group, aided by US Mayors Conference, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, National Association of County Administrators and many more private organizations and official government agencies. Foundation and government grants drive the process.
Tom DeWeese

Moroccan, illegal immigrant, arrested for attempted suicide bombing

"Amine el-Khalifi, 29, was picked up while carrying an inoperable gun and a fake suicide vest provided to him by undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda associates, U.S. officials said. They said he entered the United States when he was 16 and was living as an illegal immigrant in Arlington, Va., having reportedly overstayed his visitor’s visa for years. . .

Before heading for the Capitol, Khalifi prayed Friday at the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Northern Virginia, but he was not a regular worshiper at the mosque, according to Johari Abdul-Malik, the prayer leader at Dar al-Hijrah. . .

The man thought he was being assisted by members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, but they were really undercover FBI agents, officials said."

Good job, whoever the undercover agents were.

Read story here in WaPo.

el-Khalifi probably got free lunch at school when he was a teen. You don't need to be a citizen, and no one asks questions.

You'd have to be really desperate

to choose reduced price meals or free meals for your children at school. Take a look at these forms. Here. and Here. and Here. A reduced price meal is possible for an income of $55,482 for a family of 6 (185% of Federal poverty level). That would be well above median income ($49,445). For free meals it is 130% of the Federal poverty level, or about $39,000. See USA Today.

Other tid-bits from different school districts:
MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

Breakfast is available at Campbell High School and costs $1.50. Lunch costs $1.75 at Griffin Memorial School and $2.00 at both Litchfield Middle School and Campbell High School. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch.

CAN HOMELESS, RUNAWAY, AND MIGRANT CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Yes, children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or e-mail xxxxxxxxxx, Director of Food Services, to see if they qualify.

Foods and beverages on campus (including vending, concessions, a la carte, student stores, parties, and fundraising) during the school day are consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and comply with legislative requirements. [Which would probably cover sack lunches which were recently in the news.]

Q: What happens if a family does not submit a Meal Benefits Application?
A: Children in the household must pay full price for breakfast and lunch.

Q: If I move to Milwaukee Public Schools from another school district where my children received free or reduced meal benefits, do I have to reapply here to continue to receive benefits?
A: Yes! If you move to MPS from another school district, you must complete a new application. Meal eligibility status does not transfer to MPS. If your children transfer from one school to another within MPS, their status would remain the same.

Obama's hostility toward religion

In case there was any doubt about the Obama administration's hostility toward religious groups and institutions, it has now redefined the loan forgiveness program to exclude religious (501c3) organizations. I didn't approve of that program because if you borrowed it, you should return it, but excluding these groups as non-qualifying, really shows his true colors. Anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-religion. Watch as they start using "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion." This rules were changed (or at least announced) after the Catholics began to push back. SMACK DOWN!

Read the story here.

"In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans aft er you have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain
public service employers. Since you must make 120 monthly payments on your eligible federal student loans after October 1, 2007 before you qualify for the loan forgiveness, the first cancellations of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017."

All the evidence shows that "public servants" earn more than employees in the private sector. Why should they be getting any special deal on paying back the tax payer?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homeless numbers, counting them

"Each year, approximately one percent of the U.S. population, some 2-3 million individuals, experiences a night of homelessness that puts them in contact with a homeless assistance provider, and at least 800,000 people are homeless in the United States on any given night." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Strategic Action Plan on Homelessness

Let that sink in. One percent. One night. Any given night. The Homeless Assistance Act was enacted in 1987 under Reagan, and it had its roots in a Task Force formed in 1983. The U.S. HHS put a plan in place in 2003 which began with a study in 2001 between HHS and HUD to end homelessness, and revised it in 2007. I've looked through some of the information including The Federal Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness, and the results look really good. But it appears the Obama Administration sort of dropped the ball. Although he did issue his own plan. The plan sets no specific goals. Uses words like "increase," "improve," and "retool," which are not measurable, and a sink hole for money. There has been a federal agency (now called United States Interagency Council on Homelessness) tasked with ending homelessness for 25 years. It meets and issues newsletters, annual reports and strategic plans. But homelessness has not ended.

Diversity and Poverty are just so Yesterday

Count 'em; count the black male presidents.

Now it's climate change, sustainability, climate neutrality, Al Gore's global warming (hasn't that been completely discredited), Earth summits, Earth Day, Kyoto, Silent Spring (which launched the deaths of millions of African children), climate science, droughts, wind storms, floods (apparently new stuff), global talks and conferences (with lots of jet travel).

"Colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to eliminate global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality. We hope you will join us in supporting the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment."

Which does a better job for the poor, free markets or socialism? Milton Friedman

There is no better system for eliminating poverty than the free enterprise system. Real poverty in this country is a result of bad government failures. Black teens? Lousy government schooling, minimum wage as an anti-Negro law (1978 before race terms were changed), government welfare machine which has produced poor people--encourages families to break up. Our standard of poverty is above the average income of all the people in the USSR--that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work on it, but we need to recognize the source and problem.

Architect fired by Columbus Board of Education

There's a story in the Columbus Dispatch today about the firing of an architect on a $26 million middle school renovation by the Columbus Board of Education. First the public was told there were design problems with the historic details, now that the architect has been fired. I always note articles about architects since my husband is one, and has been an associate, a partner, and a sole practitioner with his own firm since 1994. The minute I read the architect's name, I guessed the problem was affirmative action. If you are to get state or local government jobs, you have to have a female or minority firm partner with you. Apparently, the real reason he was fired had originally been covered up, so now the story is appearing. And you have to work your way almost to the end before you find out, not why he was fired, but why he was hired.
"Asked why Udeagbala's company was leading a project it wasn't qualified to complete it, Acock [architect on the oversight committee that selected him] said after the meeting that it was partly because of the district's desire to help a local black architect. . . The district's "local economically disadvantaged enterprise" program, known as LEDE, seeks to help socially and economically disadvantaged people participate in district contracts, "including African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, women and others," the policy says. Because of federal case law, the program sets only race- and gender-neutral goals for participation."
What a crock of BS! It wasn't "partly" the reason, it was the reason. You can't get a government job in the building industry if you don't partner with a minority firm, and the minority firms in turn in order to get work, partner with more experienced, non-minority firms. When I was the veterinary medicine librarian at OSU I went outside the university maintenance office (civil service) to hire a private firm painter for my library, but the bidder had to have a minority partner who did the work. He was awful, couldn't get the paint color right, and the partnering firm eventually sent in a replacement. In this case reported in the Dispatch, from the names Udeagbala partnered with, at least 2 other firms (both minority) backed out after finding out he wasn't qualified. This program of "affirmative action" on government jobs has actually hurt minorities and women. He might have become a good architect if he'd stayed in the trenches fighting the battles daily until he was ready and said no to the government.

Choosing an architect by the color of his skin or ethnicity for a building that has to withstand earth tremors, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild temperature fluctuations, snow loads, all environmental rules for health and safety, plus the complexity of renovation of a building on the historic register, is not a safe plan for the children or the staff of that school. Either he/she is qualified to do a job or he isn't. Don't put safety and design at risk to meet social goals.

Choosing a president by the color of his skin is even more dangerous--but for the whole nation, not just Columbus school children.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Uncommon knowledge--Jonah Goldberg

Ideology is not a bad thing, but conservatives realize human nature is flawed. We don’t believe we can create a heaven on earth, for instance. Cynicism allows us to focus on the good enough, not the perfect. The leftists are utopians--the mission is never accomplished, as they try to climb to perfection. Plus they think government can do this, which is why they are more dogmatic than conservatives. They don't realize that religions are an island of separateness from them; they are always the aggressor, always getting into all the nooks and crannies of society. Among Democrats, 52 percent say they “seldom” or “never” attend religious services; among Republicans, 61 percent go to church or synagogue once a month or more. Goldberg is thrilled that Barbra Streisand won't read his column in LA Times--she thinks diversity just means people who agree with her. Liberalism is the antithesis of diversity.

Black History--Thank you, Senator Dirksen

During his time in both the House and the Senate, Everett Dirksen had built a solid record in support of civil rights, having introduced a bill for a civil rights commission in the House in 1953 and worked for the 1960 civil rights bill in the Senate. Before that he had promoted antipoll tax bills (Democrats put those in place) and antilynching legislation. To Dirksen, civil rights represented an important moral issue, even though he seldom received the political support of Chicago's black voters.

Forty percent of the House Democrats VOTED AGAINST the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while eighty percent of Republicans SUPPORTED it. Republican support in the Senate was even higher. Similar trends occurred with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was supported by 82% of House Republicans and 94% of Senate Republicans. The same Democrat standard bearers took their normal racists stances, this time with Senator Fulbright leading the opposition effort.

It took the hard work of Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen and Republican Whip Thomas Kuchel to pass the Civil Rights Act (Dirksen was presented a civil rights accomplishment award for the year by the head of the NAACP in recognition of his efforts). Upon breaking the Democrat filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Republican Dirksen took to the Senate floor and exclaimed "The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment. It will not be stayed or denied. It is here!" (Full text of speech). Sadly, Democrats and revisionist historians have all but forgotten (and intentionally so) that it was Republican Dirksen, not the divided Democrats, who made the Civil Rights Act a reality. Dirksen also broke the Democrat filibuster of the 1957 Civil Rights Act that was signed by Republican President Eisenhower. (Link)

Sebilius--Who does she think she is?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, daughter of an Ohio Democratic Governor, and a former Democratic Governor herself, testified today before the Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill (February 15, 2012). The Committee is hearing testimony from Secretary Sebelius on President Obama's FY2013 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Boy! Talk about top down control.

1) She didn’t consult with the Justice Department about the legality of the mandate.

2) She didn’t consult with Catholic bishops before the Obama administration announced a change in its contraceptive coverage largely meant to appease the bishops.

3) She “assumed” American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood were consulted, but she didn’t know.

4) She didn’t reply to the 28 members of Congress who contacted her last summer and fall about the contraceptive (aka reproductive health) mandate.

Who does this woman serve? President Obama. Not us. Not the American people.

Balancing the Economic Benefits with the Environmental Impacts of Shale Energy Development

"A vast black shale formation known as the Marcellus Shale runs from Ohio and Pennsylvania into southern and eastern New York. Trapped inside that shale is a tremendous amount of natural gas, anywhere from 168 trillion to 516 trillion cubic feet. To put this number in perspective, the top estimates would make the Marcellus Shale the second largest gas source in the entire world, behind only the South Pars field in Qatar and Iran." Henrietta Post

Today there is a “webinar” at OSU "Balancing the Economic Benefits with the Environmental Impacts of Shale Energy Development" presented by Tim Considine, School of Energy Resources, University of Wyoming. The webinar is free. Figuring this might be one more presentation on how energy policies are ruining the environment (China and Russia are eating us for lunch by selling their energy), I was pleasantly surprised to find out Considine had done a presentation for Manhattan Institute and organization whose publications I trust.

Fracturing (fracking) is a big issue in Ohio—not sure about other states--but obviously it is in New York and Pennsylvania. Read what Considine has to say to New Yorkers based on his Pennsylvania experience and research. Probably similar for Ohio except the tax information and value added jobs information will be different and specific to Ohio. Very well documented with references at the end, plus hot links on the right hand side for more accessible, understandable material for the layperson. The charts on industry sectors are particularly interesting.

“The extraction, processing, and transportation of natural gas all affect the environment. However, expansion of the supply of natural gas permits the displacement of more polluting forms of energy. Estimating the net environmental impacts, therefore, requires comparing the upstream negative environmental externalities associated with gas development with the downstream positive externalities created by switching to natural gas.”
This study analyzes the economic and environmental impacts of shale gas drilling in New York and finds the net economic benefits to be significantly positive. Specifically:

  1. An end to the moratorium would spur over $11.4 billion in economic output.
  2. Some 15,000 to 18,000 jobs could be created in the Southern Tier and Western New York, regions which lost a combined 48,000 payroll jobs between 2000 and 2010.*
  3. Another 75,000 to 90,000 jobs could be created if the area of exploration and drilling were expanded to include the Utica shale and southeastern New York, including the New York City watershed. (This assumes a regulatory regime that protects the water supply but permits drilling to continue.)
  4. Localities and the state stand to reap $1.4 billion in tax revenues if the moratorium is allowed to expire.

Our findings suggest that the current shale gas drilling moratorium imposes a significant and needless burden on the New York State economy. In short, the economic benefits of developing shale gas resources in New York State are enormous and could be growing, while the environmental costs of doing so are small and could be diminishing if the moratorium is lifted and if proper policies are put into place.