Friday, October 30, 2009

Today's Posts

Lonely Man Sues Deodorant Company: "I Used it for Seven Years but No Girl Came."

Axe products (deodorants, scents, body wash, etc. which are sold as Lynx in some parts of the world) have made an awful lot of money for their parent company, Unilever. But they certainly have had their problems as well.

There was the 12-year old British boy who died last year after using one of the company's products. And there was a rash of injuries stemming from teenagers using the products as inhalants and as makeshift flame throwers.

There was also a lot of controversy over the highly provocative nature of the company's advertising along with their bold claims that Axe/Lynx products provided their male users with just what they needed to attract women. The ads openly promoted sexism and promiscuity...along with the pitch that women would be extraordinarily attracted even to the nerdiest men who used Axe.

Well, that leads us to Vaibhav Bedi, a 26-year old Indian man who poses the company their latest problem. For Mr. Bedi has brought a lawsuit against Axe because after seven long years of using their products, he's not satisfied. In fact, he's so unsatisfied, he's asking £26,000 for "depression and psychological damage" caused by the lack of any of the touted Lynx effects.

Says the lonely Mr. Bedi, "The company cheated me because in its advertisements, it says women will be attracted to you if you use Axe. I used it for seven years but no girl came to me."

Axe hoped that the court would dismiss the case but officials have ordered forensic laboratory tests on dozens of his half-used Lynx body washes, shampoos, antiperspirants and hair gels.

And Ram Jethmalani, India's leading compensation litigator, suggested that it would be bad business for Unilever to try and cast Mr. Bedi as a hopeless geek which no products could help anyway. Said Jethmalani, "There is no data to substantiate the supposition that unattractive and unintelligent men don't attract women. In fact some of the best looking women have been known to marry and date absolutely ghoulish guys."

"I'd suggest that the company settles this issue out of court."

Persecution of Religious Believers Worsens

Here's just three updates from Forum 18 which underscore the sad fact that the governments of the world are making of it an ever more intolerant, unjust place.

1) The Prosecutor who authorised a six-hour raid on a Protestant Sunday worship service in a private home in eastern Belarus has refused to explain why it happened. "It was an official action and I can't discuss it," Vitaly Kovalev, Prosecutor of the Chausy District, told Forum 18 News Service. He also refused to say what will be done with boxes of Bibles, Christian books and films confiscated during the raid, or whether the church's pastor, Irina Marshalkovska-Grik, will face further action.

Anna Danisevich, an official of the district Ideology Department, led the raid with four police officers and three "witnesses" as some 20 church members were singing hymns. Danisevich denied the raid was a raid. "We acted strictly in accordance with the law. We live in a democratic state," she claimed. Asked why she and officials stayed at the house for six hours, she told Forum 18: "To prevent them from continuing their worship service."


2) Turkish religious communities as diverse as the Alevi Muslims, Catholics, the Greek Orthodox, Protestants, and the Syrian Orthodox Church have seen no significant progress in 2009 in resolving long-standing property problems, Otmar Oehring of the German Catholic charity Missio notes in a commentary for Forum 18 News Service.

Hopes
were high, following meetings with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama's address to the Turkish Parliament, that some progress on this aspect of freedom of religion and belief would be made. But there has been, for example, no progress on recognising Alevi Muslim cem houses and continuing legal cases against the Mor Gabriel Syrian Orthodox Monastery, while two recent victories in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have not led to the recovery of confiscated property.

3) Uzbekistan has fined three Baptists a total equivalent to 260 times the monthly minimum wage each, allegedly for tax evasion and teaching children religion illegally, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. The three have consistently insisted that the charges are fabricated, and one suggested to Forum 18 that the real reason for the charges was to remove the Baptist Union's leadership. This is supported by the three having also been banned from all administrative and financial activity for three years - which may stop them playing any organisational role in any religious community.

It is unclear what practically this ban means, as the authorities refuse to explain it to either the Baptists or Forum 18. The verdicts come as Uzbekistan continue encouraging intolerance of people exercising freedom of religion or belief, for example in a Justice Ministry seminar on "overcoming human trafficking, religious extremism and missionary activity." Sharing beliefs is a criminal offence in Uzbekistan, and the state-run media are suggesting that this is also so in "many other" unnamed countries...

Hannah Giles: What the MSM Is Missing About the ACORN Scandals

Hannah Giles, the aspiring (yet already much accomplished) journalist behind the ACORN prostitution/tax evasion sting, is now writing for Town Hall. And doing a fine job of it too.

Check out her latest column which explores just a few of those titillating tidbits connected to that ACORN expose' story that the mainstream media has totally ignored.

Do All Chinese Leaders Look Alike to White House Communications Director?

Remember how Anita Dunn's justification for describing Mao Tse-Tung as one of her two favorite philosophers, a figure she often turns to for guidance, was that Republican strategist Lee Atwater also quoted Mao a lot?

Well, not only was that as limp and irrelevant an excuse as you could find, it turns out that it was but another bonehead play for Team Obama's Communications Director.

Because not one example of Atwater quoting Mao can be uncovered.

But he did quote frequently from The Art of War, the famous book ascribed to the ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu. In fact, Atwater supposedly carried a well-used copy of the book around with him.

Mao Tse-Tung? Sun Tzu? The two men held completely contrary philosophies and were separated by more than a thousand years.

But they are both Chinese.

Apparently that was close enough for Anita Dunn.

Where was the media on this one? Had Dunn been a Republican, the pundits and late night comedians would have feasted on this for a month.

The Stimulus Bill Stimulated Nothing (Except a Lot of False Hope)

Christina Romer, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, told Congress on Oct. 22 that most of the economic growth from President Obama's stimulus package has occurred already. This underwhelming revelation presents an opportune time to evaluate what - if anything - has been accomplished by the $239 billion that already has been doled out. The results are depressing.

Read the rest of this detailed Washington Times report to find out just what the vaunted (and monstrously expensive) stimulus bill has failed to accomplish.

There's plenty here for you to include in your next letter to Senator Ben Nelson and other "moderate" Democrats about the disaster their party is bringing to America.

Obama's "Diplomacy" Brings Honduran Thug Back to Power

Scott Johnson from Power Line on the deplorable news that the United States is forcing a deal that makes Honduras accept Manuel Zelaya as its president --

"It is perfectly fitting that the signal diplomatic triumph of President Obama's first year in office is the restoration to power of the lawfully deposed Honduran thug and friend of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and Hugh Chavez. It is inimical to the national interest of the United States. It is a setback for the supporters of democracy in the beleaguered country of Honduras. And it is a defeat for those who believe in the rule of law."

ObamaCare: What's Really In Those 1,990 Pages (And Yes, Abortion Is Still In There)

* "The House Democrats' health care overhaul bill released Thursday creates a government-run insurance program, provides insurance coverage to 96 percent of all Americans and sets the stage for major battles over politically risky cuts to Medicare, new taxes, high spending and the hot-button issues of abortion and immigration." (Washington Times)

* "The new House health care bill (H.R. 3962) unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) yesterday clocks in at 1,990 pages and about 400,000 words. As written, the bill purports to cost only $1.05 trillion over the first ten years and is paid for by over $700 billion in tax increases and cuts to Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug payments. But as troubling as those numbers are, the scariest thing about the bill is the solid foundation it lays for a complete government take over of the health care sector of our economy." (Conn Carroll, "The Pelosi Blueprint for Government-Run Health Care," The Foundry, NRO)

* "Just as Americans United for Life had expected, the new House health care bill unveiled this morning includes the Capps Amendment language added during the Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up. This bill will explicitly allow federal funding of abortion through the public option and permits federal subsidies to go to private insurance plans that cover abortion. The bill also ensures that at least one health insurance plan must cover abortion in every area of the country." (Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest)

* "The word 'report' appears 364 times and 'tax' is used 214 times -- and while some of those refer to bookkeeping such as tax years, the bill does raise several key levies, such as a 'surcharge' of 5.4 percent on individual taxpayers who earn $500,000 or couples with incomes of $1 million.

Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, said the bill uses the word 'shall' 3,425 times, which he said was an indication that a lot of new mandates are being imposed. Among them is a requirement that chain restaurants print directly on their menus how many calories each item contains.

The bill also takes care of some long-languishing measures, such as reauthorizing the Indian Health Service, which has been kicking around for the past decade and was most recently held up by a fight over abortion." (Washington Times)

* "The Medicare end-of-life planning provision that 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said was tantamount to "death panels" for seniors is staying in the latest Democratic health care bill unveiled Thursday. The provision allows Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling to help beneficiaries deal with the complex and painful decisions families face when a loved one is approaching death.

For years, federal laws and policies have encouraged Americans to think ahead about end-of-life decisions, and make their wishes known in advance through living wills and similar legal documents. But when House Democrats proposed this summer to pay doctors for end-of-life counseling, it touched off a wave of suspicion and anger. Prominent Republicans singled it out as a glaring example of government overreach.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, at the time a lead negotiator on health care legislation, told constituents at a town hall meeting they had good reason to question the proposal. 'I don't have any problem with things like living wills, but they ought to be done within the family," he said. "We should not have a government program that determines you're going to pull the plug on grandma.'" (Fox News)

* "The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday a U.S. House health-care system re-write would extend health insurance to 96% of the nonelderly U.S. population by 2019, and spend $1.055 trillion to do so...The costs of the bill are fully offset by cuts to existing spending programs-- including the Medicare Advantage and other programs--saving $426 billion through 2019, and by tax increases raising $572 billion over that time, CBO said. In fact, the combined impact of provisions in the bill would be a net deficit reduction of $104 billion in the next decade, according to CBO." (Martin Vaughan, Dow Jones Newswire)

* "Whole industries and banks are biting the dust; unemployment lingers close to double-digits; government deficits rise like a mountain of nuclear waste; the communist Chinese are buying up our debt in anticipation of God knows what kind of future demands; and more soldiers die needlessly while the President dithers with his golf game. Purely mad social engineers -- Obama, Pelosi, & Reid -- are on a determined march toward nationalizing one sixth of the entire American economy. Their scheme will have far-reaching effects on one hundred percent of the men, women and children in this country. The whole idea is patently ridiculous, especially in light of the host of other impending disasters.

But the fact that these Democrat power-mongers are attempting to foist upon us a system already tried-and-failed so many times in so many places pushes the current national healthcare debate into the realm of pure lunacy.

As one of Einstein's most oft-quoted bits of genius reminds us, doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results, is insanity." (Kyle-Anne Shiver, "Democrats' Healthcare Scheme Is Pure Insanity," American Thinker)

* "It runs more pages than War and Peace, has nearly five times as many words as the Torah, and its tables of contents alone run far longer than this story.

The House health care bill unveiled Thursday clocks in at 1,990 pages and about 400,000 words. With an estimated 10-year cost of $894 billion, that comes out to about $2.24 million per word. .

And for some members, that may not be enough...

And for those who cry 'read the bill,' beware. There are plenty of paragraphs like this one:

'(a) Outpatient Hospitals – (1) In General – Section 1833(t)(3)(C)(iv) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(t)(3)(C)(iv)) is amended – (A) in the first sentence – (i) by inserting “(which is subject to the productivity adjustment described in subclause (II) of such section)” after “1886(b)(3)(B)(iii); and (ii) by inserting “(but not below 0)” after “reduced”; and (B) in the second sentence, by inserting “and which is subject, beginning with 2010 to the productivity adjustment described in section 1886(b)(3)(B)(iii)(II)'.

The section deals with 'incorporating productivity improvements into market basket updates that do not already incorporate such improvements,' if that helps." (Jonathan Allen, Politico)

* "The first red flag about the new bill is simply the size of it, at 1,990 pages in all. That's much larger than any of the previous House bills. 'The era of the 1,000 page bill is over,' said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) sarcastically on the Senate floor.

I'm not going to say I read every page, but I flipped through every one of them. It is mind numbing for sure. But I did come up with a few interesting thoughts along the way.

One trouble spot is still likely to be abortion. The language in the bill is exactly the same language that was narrowly approved in the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which over three dozen Democrats say is unacceptable." (Jamie Dupree, KRMG)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's Posts

What Is Vital Signs Ministries Up To...Besides That Blog?

Have any of you wondered what Vital Signs Ministries is involved in BESIDES the blog? Well, take a look at the October LifeSharer letter right here.

In it you'll learn a bit about my recent UNMC talk, the revival of our Mercy Ministries, our sidewalk counseling, my teaching and preaching of the last few weeks, VSM's Russian-language web site, the picket of the NU Regents' meeting, the next Book It! discussion, my next trip to West Africa, and a lot more.

These Didn't Make the Cut for "Best Criminal Disguises"

The fellows shown here are not presenting the cheapest in Halloween wear -- these are the "disguises" they came up with before breaking into an apartment in Carroll, Iowa. They were caught soon after leaving the scene of the crime after driving down the main street of this small town -- with the black ink still all over their faces.

The men were reported by a witness as wearing what appeared to be holsters so they were arrested at gunpoint. But it turns out that neither man was armed. Except, one assumes, for a couple of heavy duty Magic Markers.

The system went easy on the fellows, charging them with only second-degree attempted burglary. In addition, the driver of the getaway car (undecorated) was also charged with DUI. Nevertheless, the bond for each was a measley $7,500 (surety accepted) and so both dudes are out on the street.

Just in time for trick and treating.

ObamaCare Forces Seniors to Become "Clunkers"

Everyone knows that if you don't pay to maintain and repair your car, you limit its life. The same is true as human beings age. We need medical care to avoid becoming clunkers -- disabled, worn out, parked in wheelchairs or nursing homes.

For nearly a half century, Medicare has enabled seniors to get that care. But ObamaCare is about to change that, by limiting what doctors can provide their aging patients.


The Senate Finance Committee health bill released last week controls doctors by cutting their pay if they give older patients more care than the government deems appropriate. Section 3003(b) (p. 683) punishes doctors who land in the 90th percentile or above on what they provide for seniors on Medicare by withholding 5 percent of their compensation.


This withhold provision forces doctors to choose between treating their patients and avoiding government penalties. HMOs used the same cost-cutting device in the early '90s until it was deemed dangerous to patients and outlawed. Now, lawmakers want to use it against the most vulnerable patients, the elderly. This bill and four others under negotiation also would slash about $500 billion from future Medicare funding....


Cuts in future Medicare funding -- what Obama calls "savings" -- will mean less help in coping with aging and possibly shorter lives. Do we really want to treat our seniors like clunkers?


Read Betsy McCaughey's whole essay here in the New York Post. It's a very thoughtful, well-argued warning.

Quick Hits

* Yet another development that TEAM Obama is feeling queasy about is Senator Arlen Specter (formerly a longtime RINO who finally "got honest" and joined the Democrat Party) being in "a world of trouble" as he tries to win a sixth term next year. Only 23% of registered voters support him. That's the lowest his approval ratings have ever been.

* The Washington Times reports on some very expensive cronyism from our selfless, pure and idealistic President, "High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times.

One top donor described in an interview with The Times being given a birthday visit to the Oval Office. Another was allowed use of a White House-complex bowling alley for his family. Bundlers closest to the president were invited to watch a movie in the red-walled theater in the basement of the presidential mansion."

* Barack Obama, as "sensitive" to criticism as was another Chicago celebrity, Al Capone, has sent forth one of his minions (U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder) to get a TV ad killed because it criticizes his opposition to a popular scholarship program for poor children in the District of Columbia.

* "New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows. More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.

The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out. "The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource -- people," the report said.

What's worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes."...

Happy Halloween from ACORN and Your Corrupt Congress

Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota has a wake-up call you're not going to like.



Guys, this is a double outrage: ACORN still getting tax money and the collusion between Congress and the MSM to lie to the American people.

Call your Congressmen and Senators now.

The Homosexual Agenda Continues Its Advance in Britain

With the U. S. Congress just approving yet another extension of the homosexual nature of "hate crime," it is an appropriate moment to check in on Great Britain to see just where we're headed.

From the Christian Institute in the U.K. comes a couple of updates.

One describes a television news reporter (with obvious approval of his editor who let the story air) not only describing as a "hate crime" a Christian grandmother who wrote a letter objecting to a "gay pride" parade, but then the reporter likened her attitude to those who murdered a homosexual man last September. Protests of the TV station's unjust behavior have fallen on deaf ears.

And, just in case you think that TV newsroom is merely an aberration, you should know that the local police investigated the grandmother for writing that letter, calling it a "hate incident."

Aha. There goes the freedom to speak of homosexuality in the same terms as the Bible does.

The second story from CI is also alarming given 1) the soaring rates of infection in the blood of homosexual men and 2) the ever-increasing malfeasance of the medical bureaucracy in Great Britain.

Fresh attempts are being made to overturn a longstanding safeguard which stops blood donations from men who have engaged in sexual activity with other men.
Under current rules a man who has had anal intercourse with another man is not allowed to donate blood because such sexual behaviour is medically dangerous.

The National Blood Service (NBS) says overturning the rules would “result in a fivefold increase in the risk of HIV-infected blood entering the blood supply”.


But the Government Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (Sabto) is meeting today to review the issue as part of an official review of the policy...


Earlier this year gay campaigners used a Pride London event to press the NBS to lift the ban after branding it “prejudiced."

NFL Commish Fumbles Away His Character...Again

There was Roasting Weasel in Congress yesterday as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was put on the grill by Iowa Republican Steve King. King's polite but direct questions showed Goodell's hypocrisy, absurdity and meanness in a light that Goodell just couldn't escape.

After watching the video clip below, you may be moved to write a note of your own to the NFL Commish and perhaps make a call or send a letter of appreciation to Steve King as well.

I did.

In fact, you can read the text of those messages which I print following the clip.



National Football League
Attn: Roger Goodell, Commissioner
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear NFL Commissioner,

Your unprofessional and unfair slander against Rush Limbaugh (already disgusting) was made even worse yesterday when you were confronted for your hypocrisy and distorted sense of political correctness by Iowa Congressman Steve King. He gave you a manly way out of the mess you had made; namely, an apology to Rush Limbaugh and an admission that your standards for NFL owners (e.g., Fergie and J-Lo being part owners of the Miami Dolphins) are, in fact, anything but what you have piously claimed.

You not only refused to do the right thing yesterday, but you continued to suggest that Limbaugh was a racist -- even though the contrary evidence was right in front of you! You fumbled badly, Mr. Goodell. You showed yourself to be without honesty, without sound judgment, without class.

Of course, it's never to late for a true apology. So, come on. You certainly know now (if you didn't before) that Rush Limbaugh did not make those statements that were so viciously attributed to him. And you know that your statements regarding the morality of NFL owners were disingenuous and hypocritical. And finally, you know that your posturing against Rush shows a craven cowardice towards the baser elements of the media.

Do the right thing. Apologize and get your act together.

Washington D.C.
1131 Longworth Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.4426

Dear Rep. King,

Thank you for your polite and principled confrontation of Roger Goodell in last Wednesday's Congressional hearing. His slanderous action against Rush Limbaugh was exposed as was his lack of judgment, honesty and class. You gave him a manly way out of the mess he had made of his reputation; namely, a simple apology for "rushing to judgment" based on bogus quotes and acknowledging that there are double standards in place regarding NFL ownership. But he didn't avail himself of that opportunity you kindly offered him. Indeed, he persisted in portraying Limbaugh as a racist. Too bad for him.

But kudos to you. It was a courageous thing to do...and the right thing. So, from just one of your many admirers across the Missouri here in Nebraska, I thank you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today's Posts

Charles Krauthammer: Bold Principles, Boldly Stated

DER SPIEGEL invited Charles Krauthammer in for an interview and despite biased questions, Krauthammer delivered one of the most thoughtful, undaunted and well presented analyses of the Obama administration (as well as other things) you're going to find.

I urge you to read it in its entirety. But, since I know some of you are so on the run and won't do that, I'll print a few excerpts.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Krauthammer, did the Nobel Commitee in Oslo honor or doom the Obama presidency by awarding him the Peace Prize?

Charles Krauthammer: It is so comical. Absurd. Any prize that goes to Kellogg and Briand, Le Duc Tho and Arafat, and Rigoberta MenchĂș, and ends up with Obama, tells you all you need to know. For Obama it's not very good because it reaffirms the stereotypes about him as the empty celebrity.


SPIEGEL: Why does it?


Krauthammer: He is a man of perpetual promise. There used to be a cruel joke that said Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be; Obama is the Brazil of today's politicians. He has obviously achieved nothing. And in the American context, to be the hero of five Norwegian leftists, is not exactly politically positive...


SPIEGEL: Should he have turned down the prize?


Krauthammer: He would never turn that down. The presidency is all about him. Just think about the speech he gave in Berlin. There is something so preposterous about a presidential candidate speaking in Berlin. And it was replete with all these universalist clichés, which is basically what he's been giving us for nine months.


SPIEGEL: Why do Europeans react so positively to him?


Krauthammer: Because Europe, for very understandable reasons, has been chaffing for 60 years under the protection, but also the subtle or not so subtle domination of America. Europeans like to see the big guy cut down to size, it's a natural reaction. You know, Europe ran the world for 400 or 500 years until the civilizational suicide of the two World Wars. And then America emerged as the world hegemon, with no competition and unchallenged. The irony is America is the only hegemonic power that never sought hegemony, unlike, for example, Napoleonic France. Americans are not intrinsically imperial, but we ended up dominant by default: Europe disappeared after the Second World War, the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991, so here we are. Of course Europeans like to see the hegemon diminished, and Obama is the perfect man to do that.


SPIEGEL: Maybe Europeans want to just see a different America, one they can admire again.


Krauthammer: Admire? Look at Obama's speech at the UN General Assembly: "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation." Take the first half of that sentence: No nation can dominate another. There is no eight year old who would say that -- it's so absurd. And the second half? That is adolescent utopianism. Obama talks in platitudes, but offers a vision to the world of America diminished or constrained, and willing to share leadership in a way that no other presidency and no other great power would. Could you imagine if the Russians were hegemonic, or the Chinese, or the Germans -- that they would speak like this?...


SPIEGEL: You have called him a "young Hamlet" over his hesitation about making a decision on Afghanistan. However, he's just carefully considering the options after Bush shot so often from the hip.


Krauthammer: No. The strategy he's revising is not the Bush strategy, it's the Obama strategy. On March 27, he stood there with a background of flags, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on one side and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the other, and said: "Today, I'm announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." So don't tell me this is revising eight years of Bush, he's not. For all these weeks and months he's been revising his own strategy, and that's okay, you're allowed to do that. But if you're president and you're commander-in-chief, and your guys are getting shot and killed in the field, and you think "maybe the strategy I myself announced with great fanfare six months ago needs to be revised," do it in quiet. Don't show the world that you're utterly at sea and have no idea what to do! Your European allies already are skittish and reluctant, and wondering whether they ought to go ahead. It's your own strategy, if it's not working, then you revise it and fix it. You just don't demoralize your allies...

What They're Saying...

* Byron York -- "As promised, Barack Obama is bringing change to America. He's making it more Republican." ("Obama's Big Change: He Moves America to the Right," The Examiner, October 27)

* J.C. Arenas -- "Today, Politico ran a story that discloses that Obama has already played golf as many times in nine months as Bush did in almost three years, but golf isn't his only game of choice. Various media sources have recently covered the president's basketball games at the White House. We already knew that Obama was a sports fan, but the Baller-in-Chief seems to be more concerned with victory on the greens and hardwood than on the battlefield.

We've read about the president and first lady's weekend in Chicago - taken while an urgent stimulus package sat on his desk unsigned. We've also looked from the outside in at their nights out in Paris, New York City and failed trip to Copenhagen. But have we read anything about a successful stimulus, recovery in the job market, the passing of any key legislation, or a decision about the war in Afghanistan? Have we been entertained with any stories about how the president's apologizing to the world for our "sins" has helped advance American interests? Anything about how the president's call for nuclear disarmament has changed the minds of rogue nations?

No, you won't find any of those stories on the front page. Instead we get fundraising, golf, and basketball. Who would complain if we were talking about Brad Pitt or Justin Timberlake in between movies or albums? No one, why? Because neither is the President of the United States. Barack Obama is. Obama is not some celebrity performing artist who can fly around the world in between projects and sip chi-chi's on the beach while he collects royalty checks. Obama is the leader of a nation that is currently engaged in two wars and handicapped by a faltering economy, increasing unemployment, a weakening dollar, and unsustainable debt. Has Obama presented any viable solutions to change the course of any of those problems? No, so you'll have to excuse me for not celebrating another "Yes We Can!" chant at a $30,000/plate fundraiser, his declining handicap, or his improving jump shot." ("A President of Leisure," American Thinker, October 26)

* James Taranto -- "Hang on a second. It has now been 51 weeks since Obama was elected president, and more than nine months since he took office, and he's just now getting around to asking the [Afghanistan] 'questions . . . that have never been asked'?

But that's not really fair to Obama. After all, he has a busy schedule, what with golf games and pitching the International Olympic Committee and date nights and Democratic fund-raisers and health care and the U.N. Security Council and Sunday morning talk shows and saving the planet from global warming and celebrating the dog's birthday and defending himself against Fox News and all." ("While the President Golfs," Wall Street Journal, October 27)

* Senator Tom Coburn -- "If the first lesson is to get serious about the deficit, the second lesson for the White House is to go back to first principles and conduct this effort with more maturity and less partisanship.

When Barack Obama launched his campaign in 2007 he said, "... it's not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It's the smallness of our politics ... We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans."

Why then, on the eve of the most important domestic policy debate in a generation, are the President's advisers talking about Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? Is this really a common interest and concern among Americans? Would the average voter consider this form of politics to be big or small?" ("Lessons for the White House from the Doctor," Real Clear Politics, October 27)

* George Joyce -- "I recently learned that the Obamas had graced their dog ‘Bo’ with a dog house shaped birthday cake made out of veal – that’s right, veal – the most expensive item on many a restaurant menu.

Winter is approaching and many American families find themselves struggling with severe job loss and a rather bleak vision of the normally festive holiday season. But over at the White House nothing is too good for the nation’s pampered first pet. Says Michelle: 'We had a really sweet celebration – [Bo] got a doghouse cake made out of veal stuff and he had his brother Cappy come over and we had party hats.'

Veal stuff? Veal calves are usually brought straight from the auction arena by veal producers and placed immediately into a 2 by 5 foot stall. The calf lives so confined for the next 3 or 4 months unable to move and eats nothing but an iron poor liquid diet designed to prevent its tender meat from becoming too dark. The anemic calf is then taken away and slaughtered.

Veal gourmets might dispute Kant’s conclusion above but consider the following: if George and Laura Bush had been party to an effort to construct a dog house birthday cake made out of veal wouldn’t the left (and PETA) be screaming about cruelty and insensitivity at the White House, especially during these difficult economic times?" ("Let Them Eat Veal," American Thinker, October 27)

"So What if Rocco Landesman is a Bootlicker? Landesman is Also an Idiot."

By now you've probably heard about Rocco Landesman, President Obama's handpicked chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and his amazingly foolish statement last week that "Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar."

But if you haven't yet read Scott Johnson's brief take on Landesman's speech over at Power Line, do so now. It's priceless.

And, oh yes -- John Steele Gordon's post at Commentary Magazine is also a must-read on this matter.

Ted Nugent: Look Out for Fedzilla!

...We are indeed living in strange times with even stranger people running our government. The inmates are running the asylum. I'm afraid to report that 1984 is no longer a movie. Don’t know about you, but I’m not planning to star in the sequel to Soylent Green.

We have fools on both sides of the political aisle who believe man-made carbon is smothering the planet instead of placing the blame on both the warming and cooling of the planet on the true culprit -- the sun. What seventh grade science student does not know this?


Still others believe we can tax and spend our way to prosperity, even though people with a fundamental grasp of balancing their personal checkbook understand that spending more than you take in is a lesson in kamikaze economics.


Even though Fedzilla has bankrupted -- bankrupted -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the O Administration wants to place your health care under the care of Fedzilla. Only a fool would endorse the very system that has ruined every thing it has placed its greedy, power-hungry, unaccountable bureaucratic fingers on...

(Ted Nugent, "Light ‘em Up, Fox News," Human Events, October 27)

What's a Moralphobe?

Scanning my Facebook page yesterday, I came across a nifty and practical new word that business advisor/musician David Nabity just invented.

The word is "moralphobe" and, as Dave describes it, means "a person who reacts very negatively to the suggestion that something may be immoral, especially if they think it is O.K. This is usually followed by verbal attack and senseless argument to justify something is moral, when it is not."

Given the frequency with which secularists strike out at those who dare to introduce religion, traditional values or morality into a discussion, I find that a very useful word indeed. Thanks, Dave.

Where's the Press Scrutiny of President Obama's Broken Promises about the Flu Vaccine?

Mark Tapscott over at The Examiner points out yet another aspect of the media's outlandish double standard.

Hardly a negative word has been uttered in the mainstream media this week about President Obama and the shortage of swine flu vaccine shots, despite assurances from his administration in September that an "ample supply" would be available by "mid-October."

But five years ago when it was George W. Bush in the White House and sufficient supplies of flu vaccine were not available in a timely manner, folks in the media were jumping all over the administration.

This Ain't No Way to Run a Railroad. Or Health Care.

Among the endless things the government needs your money for is to subsidize Amtrak, its nationwide rail network (well, semi-nationwide anyhow). You probably thought that after scaling down of service, the development of new technology, and the price of gasoline which might make travelers consider the train, Amtrak was turning a tidy profit and able to take care of itself.

Wrong.

41 of Amtrak's 44 routes lost money in 2008.

And the money you paid to keep them going is shocking.

Even in the heavily traveled northeast corridor, Amtrak trains are losing money. The Northeast Regional lost almost $5 per passenger. But that's nothing compared to the Sunset Limited running from San Antonio and Los Angeles. American taxpayers subsidized that route at the rate of $462 per passenger!

And now these guys want to run America's health care system?

Your Wednesday Tea Break (The Technology Explosion)

The video clip I offer for today's tea break isn't light entertainment but rather a 5-minute presentation that will provide as much startling, provocative information as you can likely take in. You may want to watch it again with your second cup. Or just ponder a few of its remarkable pronouncements.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today's Posts

Cute But Clueless (Like Too Many of Our Politicians, Journalists and Educators)

The Democrat Party: Tying Up Your Life With Every Government String Possible

Over at the Foundry (run by NRO) they have a nifty video clip of Barney Frank (when debating Ralph Nader) deliver this remarkably candid line, “We are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the area of regulation.”

Gulp.

The AARP Is Looking Out for Itself, Not for Seniors

Here's something to remember (and pass on to your pals) when you see those high-dollar, high-pressure ads from the AARP touting government-run health care; namely, that AARP is poised to make millions of dollars in royalties when Obamacare becomes the law of the land.

It's a conflict of interest so doggone blatant that even the Washington Post is willing to report on it.

...But not advertised in this lobbying campaign have been the group's substantial earnings from insurance royalties and the potential benefits that could come its way from many of the reform proposals.

The group and its subsidiaries collected more than $650 million in royalties and other fees last year from the sale of insurance policies, credit cards and other products that carry the AARP name, accounting for the majority of its $1.14 billion in revenue, according to federal tax records. It does not directly sell insurance policies but lends its name to plans in exchange for a tax-exempt cut of the premiums...


The group's dual role as an insurance reformer and a broker has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks from congressional Republicans, who accuse it of having a conflict of interest in taking sides in the fierce debate over health insurance...


Republicans also question the high salaries and other perks given to some top AARP executives, who would not be subject to limits on insurance executives' pay included in the Senate Finance Committee's health reform package. Former AARP chief executive William Novelli received more than $1 million in compensation last year.


"We are witnessing a disturbing trend of handouts to special interests like AARP," said House Republican spokesman Matt Lloyd, referring to Democratic negotiations over health reform. "In return, AARP is lobbying for a government-run health-care bill that will pad their own executives' pockets at the expense of its own members and other vulnerable seniors."

"The Left Has Made Its Views a Form of Religion."

How is one to rationally explain the Democrats' belief that the government taking over another one-sixth of the American economy is a good thing?

The answer is religion.


Given the huge economic failures that the left itself attributes to Medicare and Medicaid and given the economic collapse or near collapse of these systems in other countries, the left's prescriptions can only be explained in one way: The left has made its views a form of religion...


Finish reading Dennis Prager's fine column here.

Law & Order Abortion Episode Proves a Big Surprise

I'm not much of a TV watcher so I didn't catch last Friday's episode of NBC's Law & Order even though I had read it was going to feature a storyline based on the murder of abortionist George Tiller.

What I didn't expect was to read afterward that pro-lifers for whom I have high regard actually liked the program and thought it carried the pro-life message about as well as any network drama in years.

Wow. I find that quite hopeful.

Here is a LifeSiteNews review. But be aware that it does contain spoilers. And that's an important thing to note if you still plan on watching the program -- which you can on iTunes right here.

And oh yeah, one other item which might encourage you to watch the episode. The abortion lobby hated it.

I'd suggest you contact the network and thank them for their even-handed treatment of the issue. Goodness knows, the pro-abortionists are certainly making a lot of noise about it and so your voice is important. Use this NBC contact page and scroll down to the Law and Order spot to send your e-mail.

My note simply read "Thank you for showing other networks how this controversial issue should be handled. You were fair and even-handed. And you presented a whale of a dramatic story! Again, my commendations for a terrific, informative and provocative program."

Conservatism Is On a Roll

William Kristol, not all that much of a rock-ribbed conservative himself, nevertheless argues that conservatives should consider themselves in high clover nowadays. For instance, the Gallup poll released Monday shows 40% of Americans call themselves conservative. That's as high as it's been in the two decades that Gallup has been asking the question. The poll also showed only 20% willing to call themselves liberals.

Kristol underscores the fact that 72% of Republicans wear that conservative label, as do 35% of independents. That's really something, especially given the fact that it was less than a year ago that the country took the risk of electing an extreme liberal as President.

Barack Obama promised us change. And he delivered. But, I'm sure, he didn't expect it to be a dramatic growth in conservatism.

What does Bill Kristol think this means for the future?

The implications of this for the Republican Party over the remaining three years of the Obama presidency are clear: The GOP is going to be pretty unapologetically conservative. There aren't going to be a lot of moderate Republican victories in intra-party skirmishes. And -- with the caveat that the political world can, of course, change quickly -- there will be a conservative Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

That nominee seems unlikely to be a current officeholder. Right now, the four leading candidates for the GOP nomination are private citizens. In a recent Rasmussen poll, the only candidates with double-digit support among Republicans were Mike Huckabee (at 29 percent), Mitt Romney (24 percent), Sarah Palin (18 percent) and Newt Gingrich (14 percent). These four are running way ahead of various senatorial and gubernatorial possibilities. So a party that has over the past two decades nominated a vice president (George H.W. Bush), a senator (Bob Dole), a governor (George W. Bush) and another senator (John McCain), now has as its front-runners four public figures who are, to one degree or another, outsiders.


To an extent this situation is the product of accidental circumstances, and it could change. But when one considers the anti-Washington and anti-political mood in the country, especially among conservatives, it's easier to see it not changing.

Indeed, I suspect that the person most likely to break into this group of front-runners would be a businessman who stands up against President Obama's big-government proposals, a retired general who objects to Obama's foreign policy or a civic activist who rallies the public against some liberal outrage. If a Republican elected official emerges, it will probably be because he or she champions some populist cause, not because that person is a fine representative or senator or governor...


The lesson activists around the country will take from this is that a vigorous, even if somewhat irritated, conservative/populist message seems to be more effective in revitalizing the Republican Party than an attempt to accommodate the wishes of liberal media elites...

CNN Is Sinking: Time to Throw 'Em a Brick

As regular visitors to Vital Signs Blog can easily guess, I'm delighted to see CNN's share of the cable TV audience plunging to new depths. In fact, the latest ratings roundup reveal that CNN's prime time shows finished dead last among the cable news networks.

The New York Times suggests that "The results demonstrate once more the apparent preference of viewers for opinion-oriented shows from the news networks in prime time."

No, that can't be it. Because CNN's "news shows" are, in fact, opinion shows themselves. They just don't admit it like Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly do.

At any rate, I find these latest ratings a cause for mild rejoicing because CNN's leftist, irreligious bias has dominated the cable airwaves for 20 years. And, for that matter, it's dominated other spheres as well -- like doctor's offices, coffee shops and restaurants, even airport boarding areas.

And despite their ratings woes, CNN still commands a tremendous amount of those venues. Old habits die hard. Thus, the office managers who routinely turn the TVs on need to be encouraged to change their ways. It's the best way to get CNN out of our hair.

So here's my suggestion. I say let's respond to CNN's sinking in a positive, pro-active way; namely, by tossing them a brick.

We do that by suggesting to the nurse in charge of our doctor's office OR the lad who's steaming our latte at the coffee shop OR the gal behind the counter ar our local "gas and go" (where CNN is playing out on the pumps) that they change stations. "Do you know," we might begin, "that CNN is rapidly becoming the least popular cable news network? It's true. I read it in the Times. Even CNBC is beating them in the ratings. But the news network on top, and by a long ways too, is Fox News. I think you'd find yourself pleasing more of your customers (me among them) if you'd turn off CNN. It's so biased and unprofessional and yet so doggone arrogant too. So, for my two cents worth, I'd sure prefer Fox over CNN.

Or better yet, turn the stupid TV off altogether. You don't think we can't be without a talking head at least a few minutes in our day?"

And other venues? Well, way back in September of '06, I posted a brief article ("Air Travelers: CNN's Captive Audience") in which I shared ways in which you could effectively protest being forced to watch CNN when you were stuck in an airport. That post still applies.

And, on the off chance that you might be thinking that CNN isn't all that liberal, let me link you to just a few Vital Signs posts that will serve to clarify the matter: Clueless, Classless CNN (January 2, 2009); CNN Apologizes to China (April 16, 2008); and Is "God's Warriors" Enough to Create a CNN Backlash? (August 29, 2007)

So, yeah; they're that bad. Let's toss 'em a brick.

Let Them Eat Cake: British Peer Insists Vegan Diets (and Submission to Tyranny) Are the Only Ways to Save the Planet

Highbrow academic Nicholas Stern (the Baron of Brentford, a former chief economist of the World Bank and now a Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics), has a threefold message for the Western world, one that we must embrace if the planet is to be saved.

1) We must become vegetarians.

2) We must pay for the rest of the world to go green with us. (For instance, the U.K. needs to cough up £3 billion on its own -- and that's an annual payment!)

3) President Obama must come to Copenhagen and inspire the world's leaders to radically transform their countries' economies and their citizens' personal lives in order to prevent runaway climate change.

Yes, the hard science may have proved these Chicken Littles foolish. But they have persistence, power, and an overarching goal to take full control over heretofore healthy economies and heretofore free people. Under the banner of climate change, these folks are moving -- and moving quite rapidly -- towards a terrible tyranny.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's Posts

Weekend in Review

Friday morning: Claire and I drove down to Lincoln to picket the Regent meeting to protest the University of Nebraska's unconscionable push to expand embryo-destructive experiments. We were there for a couple of hours joining several pro-life champions who we have worked with for years including Julie Schmit-Albin, Mary Jane Ziola, Ann Bowen, Carolyn LaGreca, Pam McCabe and more. Including the school kids who came in from a Catholic high school outside Lincoln, we had about 45-50 pro-lifers present. (One press report said seven!) I gave interviews to the World-Herald, the Lincoln Journal-Star, the UNL student daily, and two TV stations. It was a strong and effective protest but the Regents and the NU President seem determined to head ever further into the culture of death by pursuing immoral, expensive and counter-productive experimentation. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Friday, early afternoon: Lunch in Lincoln at one of the Da Vinci restaurants. These were started and are still owned by the Knutson family of Lincoln, an outstanding Christian family who not only run great restaurants but who selflessly serve the community in many ways. (I had their chicken version of a Philly Cheese steak sandwich -- superb!)

Friday afternoon: We hustled home, set up a card table and folding chairs in the living room (we're still undergoing renovations and so we don't have the furniture set out yet), and started in on the Vital Signs Ministries LifeSharer mailing. We hoped to get a big chunk of it in the mail by 5:30 when our local post office closed. But we got it all done!

Friday night: We attended the Step Up to Life banquet as guests of Ralph and Linda Aldrich.

Saturday morning: A bit of work: Vital Signs Ministries, the Vital Signs Blog's Top Ten, study for Sunday's sermon, and housework.

Saturday afternoon: First, some shopping for my Mom. Second, sharing apple turnovers in her room while we talked, read through a couple of oversized books I had brought about Denver and Great Britain, and watched the wind blow the leaves around outside her window. We also caught the last quarter or so of the Nebraska/Iowa State game.

Saturday night: Claire and I attended the Omaha Symphony's performance at the Holland Center. It was an unusual event in which they played an original score by Rick Friend (who was present and playing the organ and piano) to accompany a large screen presentation of Universal's 1925 silent film, "The Phantom of the Opera." It was an impressive and entertaining presentation by Friend. But the orchestra spent most of the time twiddling their thumbs. Our disappointment seemed to be felt by others too because the audience's appreciation was noticeably less enthusiastic than at most performances. If you're going to do these kinds of things with an orchestra, by all means, let the orchestra star.

Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning: More work on the sermon.

Sunday morning: I took a "one-Sunday sabbatical" from my regular preaching at Faith Bible Church and preached at First Christian Church up in Blair, Nebraska. The text was a section of Luke Chapter One (verses 26-45). We received a very warm reception from the leadership and congregation alike.

Sunday afternoon: Lunch at Fernando's with Dan, Ann and Stephanie Hovanec and Pastor Daniel Sauer, his wife Kayli and their 3 kids. A delicious lunch and some very stimulating conversation.

Sunday evening: Watching Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and the rest of the New York Yankees win the American League pennant. Claire and I were both Yankee fans in our youth and we still are. So watching the game was fun. Then to bed early (well, 12:25 is fairly early for us!) because we had to get up at 6 to get ready for sidewalk counseling down in Bellevue. It was a full, diverse and very meaningful weekend. And, as always, spending it with Claire is terrific.

U.S. to Kick In Millions In New Foreign Aid Exclusive to Muslim Nations

The oil-rich Arab nations build lush palaces and entertainment complexes for their politicians and businessmen. The skyline of Dubai as shown here illustrates that fact.

But they don't bother much with their nation's poor. In fact, they think about the needs of the common people about as much as they do such niggling things as religious tolerance, political freedom, or women's rights.

But, not to worry, here comes Barack Obama with money wheedled out of the pockets of the U.S. taxpayer, that decadent dupe of the Great Satan whom the jihadists have promised to annihilate.

Last Friday the White House Friday announced a new "technology fund" exclusively set aside for Muslim nations. The U.S. will be kicking in, to start with, up to $150 million. Here's more.

Obama Insists His Czars Are To Be Treated Like...Well, Like Czars!

The White House has told Congress it will reject calls for many of President Obama's policy czars to testify before Congress - a decision senators said goes against the president's promises of transparency and openness and treads on Congress' constitutional mandate to investigate the administration's actions.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said White House counsel Greg Craig told her in a meeting Wednesday that they will not make available any of the czars who work in the White House and don't have to go through Senate confirmation. She said he was "murky" on whether other czars outside of the White House would be allowed to come before Congress.


Miss Collins said that doesn't make sense when some of those czars are actually making policy or negotiating on behalf of Mr. Obama.
"I think Congress should be able to call the president's climate czar, Carol Browner, the energy and environment czar, to ask her about the negotiations she conducted with the automobile industry that led to very significant policy changes with regard to emissions standards," Miss Collins said at a hearing Thursday that examined the proliferation of czars.

The debate goes to the heart of weighty constitutional issues about separation of powers. The president argues that he should be allowed to have advisers who are free to give him confidential advice without having to fear being called to testify about it. Democrats and Republicans in Congress, though, argue that those in office who actually craft policy should be able to be summoned to testify because they do more than just give the president advice...


(Stephen Dinan, "White House: Policy 'Czars' Won't Testify," Washington Times, October 23)

A New Environmental Wacko Target? Dogs!

You just knew this kind of thing was coming, didn't you?

Because if man is an endemic evil to the planet, why not man's best friend?

And since keeping even a medium-sized canine as a pet "damages" the environment as much as driving a gas-guzzling SUV (according to the authors of Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living), you've got to give up Fido and buy a goldfish or canary instead.

Chickens, rabbits and goats? Well, they're okay too say the authors...but only if you eat them.

"Access to a Waiting List is Not Access to Health Care."

That was the conclusion of two Canadian Supreme Court justices in evaluating their country's government-run health care system 3 years ago.

And yet this is exactly where ObamaCare will take us.

Here's the straight skinny on this matter from Investor's Business Daily.

Nebraska Newspapers Are In the Tank for ESCR -- Is It Time for You to Cancel Your Subscription?

Anyone who has been reading the Omaha and Lincoln papers in the last couple of weeks knows that they are working hand in glove with those University of Nebraska Regents who insist that the NU Medical Center expand its human embryo-destructive experimentation.

The editors of these newspapers do not bother with even a show of objectivity on the matter. They are as ignorant of the hard science involved, as stubbornly stupid to the amazing medical benefits being generated by adult stem cell research, and as indifferent to the expansion of the culture of death as is NU President James B. Milliken
himself.

A case in point of this carnal collusion is the sophomoric column written by Robert Nelson and printed in the Omaha World-Herald this weekend. It was a column so tacky, so unfounded and so unprofessional that pro-life leaders are suggesting your timely response.

You may want to write a note to the World-Herald and cancel your subscription to the paper. We did decades ago and have managed quite well without it, thank you. After all, these are not great days for newspapers and so your cancellation notice will serve as a more powerful corrective than ever to an industry that has become drunk with power -- and like other drunks, guilty of terrible acts of judgment and grossly irresponsible behavior.

Or you may simply want to write a letter of protest.

I encourage the former...but would still welcome the latter. So please write.

Relevant to this request is this action alert (which I heartily agree with) sent out today by Julie Schmit-Albin, the Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life:

Robert Nelson is a weekly columnist for the Omaha World-Herald...This column greeted us Friday morning, Oct. 23rd along with a couple other items in the OWH as pro-lifers were preparing to picket the NU Board of Regents meeting that day prior to pro-lifers speaking at the meeting on the Regents' policy on embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Nelson needs to be disabused of the notion that pro-life picketers are "zealots". Also, the pro-lifers who spoke inside the meeting all represented pro-life organizations or themselves personally.

Yes, quite the bunch of zealots we are: grandmothers, teens, babies, business folk, farmers, Nebraskans from all walks of life. (A bus of teens from Aquinas & Scotus High Schools actually joined the picket as they were scheduled to pray at the Lincoln PP clinic that morning.) If Mr. Nelson would bother to join us at the Walk for Life, Life Chain or outside the Carhart or Planned Parenthood abortion facilities he might be better educated. We won't hold our breath for that to happen so hope you will read his diatribe and write a letter to the editor to the OWH.

Pro-life people need to stand up and defend other pro-lifers who show up at places like the Regents' meetings and get attacked as "zealots" by someone so ignorant of the issue he can only emit talking points from the other side. We can excuse Mr. Nelson for his ignorance but the OWH knows better.

You can send a letter to the OWH's Public Pulse simply by e-mailing: pulse@owh.com Keep your letter to one paragraph; long letters are edited (losing their meaning) or don't run at all. You need to put your name and address on the letter (e-mail) so they can verify that it came from a real person. Anyone who holds an official capacity in a pro-life chapter/organization should state that after your name. You need to respond soon, this week. No unsigned letters can run in the Public Pulse. Thank you!

The Dems Are Lying About Health Insurance Companies

In this Halloween season, Team Obama and other Congressional Democrats want you to believe that health insurance executives are bogeymen, villains to be loathed as well as feared.

But, like so many of the con jobs the Dems are trying to pull on the public, this one turns out to a lot more "trick" than it is "treat."

And even the AP story by Calvin Woodward that made Yahoo's Fact Check headlines gets it.

Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They're all more profitable than the health insurance industry.


In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making "immoral" and "obscene" returns while "the bodies pile up."


Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.


Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.Such a public option would force private insurers to trim profits and restrain premiums to compete, the argument goes. This would "keep insurance companies honest," says President Barack Obama.


The debate is loaded with intimations that insurers are less than straight, when they are not flatly accused of malfeasance.


They may not have helped their case by commissioning a report that looked primarily at the elements of health care legislation that might drive consumer costs up while ignoring elements aimed at bringing costs down. Few in the debate seem interested in a true balance sheet.


But in pillorying insurers over profits, the critics are on shaky ground...

"The Israeli Defence Forces Did More to Safeguard the Rights of Civilians in a Combat Zone than Any Other Army in the History of Warfare."

In my weekend web browsing, I came across this arresting video clip posted by Scott Johnson over at Power Line. It shows Col. Richard Kemp testifying at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on October 16 examining the Goldstone Report. It's an example of a principled man speaking truth to power -- even when that power (the UN) is blinded by hatred and intolerance of Israel.