Saturday, May 9, 2009

I had never wanted my baby to die; I only wanted to get rid of my “problem.”

Heartbreaking and courageous testimony over at Domestic Divapalooza from someone who has been there. H/T Secular Heretic:

After a quick examination, my abortionist told me that I would have to have the abortion done within the next 24-hours or I would be outside the limit of the law. Of course this wasn’t true, but I didn’t know that then. Abortions are legal throughout all three trimesters, right up to the day before birth, and I was still well within the second trimester. He just used this little lie to pressure me into making a quick decision.

The second lie [the abortionist told me] came during my “counseling session,” when I asked, “What are you going to do to me if I have this abortion?” All he did was look at my stomach and say, “I’m going to take a little fluid out, put a little fluid in, you’ll have severe cramps and expel the fetus.” “Is that all?” I asked. “That’s it.” “O.K.,” I said. It was only later, after the abortion had begun, that I was to learn that what he described as “cramps” was actually the labor process. These “severe cramps” were not just going to make my pregnancy magically disappear. Instead, I was going to go through all the motions of normal childbirth–water breaking, labor pains, etc. The only difference was that the baby I would deliver would be dead.

After telling me I had to have the abortion within the next 24-hours, Dr. F- scheduled me for a saline abortion in the hospital that same afternoon. Ironically, a little while after my abortion a nurse who worked at the hospital told me that Fong always scheduled his abortions for the same day that the patient contacted him. At one time he had admitted patients to the hospital the night before the surgery so that they could be observed and their food intake limited. But when some of his patients had changed their minds during the night, sometimes after questioning nurses about what actually would happen, he began to insist on doing the abortions immediately. Too many patients, and profits, were slipping out the front door. (more)

Friday, May 8, 2009

A "stealth enactment" of the Fairness Doctrine

Watch for the "Fairness Doctrine" debate to be replaced by the term "localism." Though this is nothing new per-se Judicial Watch has the documents from the FCC showing it has not gone away and is still very much a consideration:

While President Obama is on record opposing the return of the Fairness Doctrine, which is viewed by many as an attempt to squelch the free speech of conservatives in the media, these documents show that the FCC is considering alternative proposals that may also regulate free speech in the media under the professed goal of "diversity."

For example, in December 2007, the FCC proposed new "localism" measures to force broadcast stations to offer programming more "responsive to the needs and interests of the communities that they are licensed to serve." These proposed measures, highlighted in a document entitled, "The Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Approved Rulemaking," included a requirement that broadcasters, "provide 3 hours per week of locally-produced program," and that licensees establish "permanent advisory boards (including representatives of underserved community segments)." The FCC noted that these measures would become part of the application renewal process to make sure broadcasters "meet their responsibilities."

Problems with "localism" are highlighted in a legal memo written by Kathleen Kirby of the law firm Wiley Rein and submitted to Rosemary Harold, serving as legal counsel to FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. In the document, which was distributed internally at the FCC, Ms. Kirby advises that the Fairness Doctrine "would do well to stay dead." Ms. Kirby then turns her attention to "localism," advising that such a policy could represent a "stealth enactment" of the Fairness Doctrine. (more)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Levi's and Sodomy

What does the Levi's jean company have to do with sodomy? Find out on my post Levi's Jeans and Sodomy at Bedlam or Parnassus.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why Keep an Eye on the Flu

I know, I know we have about had it up to here and there and back again with the talk about this or that flu. To the point where many are discussing the possibility that this is/was much ado about nothing. People who I respect and who are much smarter than I am (certainly doesn't narrow the field by any stretch, does it?) have suggested that we are perhaps not getting the whole story and perhaps the thing is overblown.

If you are in this group may I commend to you two very informative blogs which you can find on the left hand side of my own toward the top of the page.

The first is Effect Measure a blog by scientists who look at this stuff day in and day out and not just when its in the news.

The second, which I have read a great deal of today is titled the Avian Flu Diary, which also is keeping tabs on the current virus.

These blogs explain both past outbreaks, present outbreaks and possible future outbreaks and goes along way toward explaining the confusing picture that often arises and why we cannot ignore even "mild" outbreaks:

...As we continue to try to sketch out the descriptive epidemiology -- the spectrum of severity, who is getting sick, what is the incubation period, where is disease happening -- the recommendations and judgments of CDC, WHO and local agencies will change in response. That may be confusing or unsettling but it is the only rational way to proceed. We are all learning as they go along, and in some cases, making it up as we go along....

...35 of the 279 cases in the US have been hospitalized, and two patients in Canada are reported severely ill. The fever, headache and joint and muscle pains characteristic of this and all influenza can be miserable and keep you out of work or school for a week or more and feeling lousy for weeks after that.

Relatively benign isn't benign, unless your comparison is a stay in the intensive care unit or a fatal outcome.... (Effect Measure- Swine Flu-Where we are)

Further examples of the good info below. In addition to learning the difference between "shift" and drift" and why it matters, they have provided an excellent description of the "Liverpool Flu" which to me, more than anything, underscores and explains why the CDC and WHO need to watch these things so carefully.

With a novel influenza virus suddenly appearing at the end of our flu season in the Northern Hemisphere, all eyes will be on the Southern Hemisphere over the next few months to see how `fit’ the virus is, and to get some idea of what our next flu season may bring.

The A/H1N1 has the potential to mutate (drift) or re-assort with other flu viruses (shift), which could result in a more virulent strain. The more people (and other hosts) who acquire the virus, the more chances the virus has to evolve.

Of course the virus could lose virulence, or even its ability to spread, as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.

While the public’s attention is on this new, emerging virus, scientists have long known that abrupt changes can occur even in well established seasonal flu viruses.

The infamous `Liverpool Flu’ of 1951 has faded from most people’s memory, but for about 6 weeks a super-virulent strain of flu swept out of north western England, killing at a rate faster than the pandemic of 1918.

I chronicled the details of this outbreak last October in
Sometimes . . . Out Of The Blue, but briefly: for about 6 weeks the UK (and to a lesser extent Canada), saw a horrific rise in flu fatalities in 1951.

This `rogue flu’, for reasons we don’t fully fathom, disappeared as suddenly as it appeared.

While we are learning more every day, there is still a great deal that scientists do not understand about how influenza viruses spread and evolve.
(Shift Happens)

Did I mention that the blogs are also timely and updated often?

Proving that timing is everything, a couple of hours later we are getting reports of a newly discovered mutation in the seasonal H3N2 virus that may be clouding the A/H1N1 picture.

Maggie Fox, Science Reporter for Reuters, brings us the story.
Second strain of flu may complicate picture-study
06 May 2009 15:02:09 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Mutations seen in seasonal flu strain
* May have caused Canadian late-season outbreak
* May complicate picture in Mexico
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters) - A second strain of influenza, one of the seasonal strains, may have mutated and may be complicating the picture in Mexico, Canadian researchers reported on Wednesday.

Obama prepares to throw Israel under the bus

Sanity from across the pond. The UK Spectator offers some keen insight on the Obama administration's abandonment of Israel:

... White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly told the Israel lobbying group AIPAC on Sunday that efforts to stop Iran hinged on peace talks with the Palestinians. General James Jones, National Security Adviser to Obama, reportedly told a European foreign minister a week ago that unlike the Bush administration, Obama will be ‘forceful’ with Israel. Ha’aretz reports:

Jones is quoted in the telegram as saying that the United States, European Union and moderate Arab states must redefine ‘a satisfactory endgame solution.’ The U.S. national security adviser did not mention Israel as party to these consultations.

Of course not. If you are going to throw a country under the bus, you don’t invite it to discuss the manner of its destruction with the assassins who are co-ordinating the crime....

Yesterday Vice-President Joe Biden and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry turned the thumbscrews tighter, telling Israel to stop building more settlements, dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement.

This is all not only evil but exceptionally stupid. The idea that a Palestine state will help build a coalition against Iran is demonstrably absurd. The Arab states are beside themselves with anxiety about Iran. They want it to be attacked and its nuclear programme stopped. They are desperately fearful that the Obama administration might have decided that it can live with a nuclear Iran.

The idea that if a Palestine state comes into being it will be easier to handle Iran is the opposite of the case: a Palestine state will be Iran, in the sense that it will be run by Hamas as a proxy for the Islamic Republic. The idea that a Palestine state will not compromise Israel’s security is ludicrous.

It is of course, by any sane standard, quite fantastic that America is behaving as if it is Israel which is holding up a peace settlement when Israel has made concession after concession – giving up Sinai, giving up Gaza, offering all the territories to the Arabs in return for peace in 1967, offering more than 90 per cent of them ditto in 2000, ditto again to Mahmoud Abbas in the past year -- only to be attacked in return by a Palestinian terrorist entity, backed in its continued aggression, let us not forget, by the countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which has made no concessions at all and is not being pressured to do so.

It is not the aggressor here but the victim of aggression that America is now choosing to beat up. In any sane world, one might think the Americans would be piling the pressure on the Palestinians to renounce their genocidal ambitions against Israel, to stop teaching and training their children to hate and kill Jews, to adhere to the primary requirement in the Road Map that they must dismantle their infrastructure of violence as the first step in the peace process; one might think, indeed, that they would view Mahmoud Abbas’s repeated statements that the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state to be the main impediment to peace. (more)

Iran is, predictably delighted with this turn of events:

At a joint press conference with Syrian President Bashar Assad Tuesday, Ahmadinejad boasted that “those who one day called Iran and Syria part of the axis of evil now want to develop relations with Iran and Syria.” “Circumstances are changing rapidly in our favor,” Arab media quoted him as saying. “We are on the road to victory.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets with Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, Syria on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

The Iranian leader also reiterated Iranian-Syrian support for “Palestinian resistance,” calling Israelis “destructive microbes” and saying that U.S. forces in Afghanistan were uninvited, unwelcome visitors who should withdraw. (more)

Moderate Arab states on the other hand are alarmed:

From CNSNews:
CAIRO - Washington's efforts to start a dialogue with Iran have sent ripples of alarm through the capitals of America's closest Arab allies, who accuse Tehran of playing a destabilizing role in the Middle East.

The concerns being raised by Arab leaders sound strikingly like those coming from the mouths of Israeli officials.

"We hope that any dialogue between countries will not come at our expense," said a statement Tuesday by the six oil-rich nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, who have long relied on U.S. protection in the region

Trickle Down Corruption

Remember Obama's vow of government transparency with disinteresred public servants? Like most of his campaign promises it has fallen by the wayside for the sake of political ambition. And the dems in Congress? Buoyed by this shining example have fallen in behind, or at least don't fear being out in the open as much...

From the NRO:

(After appointing "an admitted tax cheat to run the Treasury Department ....New York representative Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is under investigation for, among other things, failing to report income from his Caribbean villa.

Meanwhile, Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, got sweetheart deals from subprime lender Countrywide and has yet to adequately explain his too-good-to-be-true deal on his million-dollar “cottage” in Ireland, which he may have gotten in exchange for finagling a pardon (from President Clinton) for a felon. Oh, Dodd also secretly protected those AIG bonuses that raised such a ruckus.

Rep. Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, Nancy Pelosi’s moral authority on military matters during the Iraq war, has been revealed as a kleptomaniac of sorts, delivering as much of the federal budget as possible to various cronies and lobbyists.

Former senator John Edwards, who had an affair even as he was scoring Oprah-points as the supportive husband during his wife’s battle with breast cancer, is being investigated by the feds for the improper use of campaign funds. It looks like the silky-haired champion of the little guys may have used their donations to bribe the alleged “baby mama” into silence.

And it would be a shame to let it pass that Obama’s Senate seat was put up for sale by the then-governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich. A congressional ethics board is investigating whether Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. tried to buy it.

But you know what? We ain’t seen nothing yet.

For starters, the real corruption isn’t what the media are ignoring or downplaying as isolated incidents. It’s what the media are hailing as strokes of bold, inspirational leadership. The White House, as a matter of policy, is rewriting legal contracts, picking winners (mostly labor unions and mortgage defaulters) and singling out losers (evil “speculators”), while much of the media continue to ponder whether Obama is already a greater president than FDR.

If a Republican administration, staffed with cronies from Goldman Sachs and Citibank, were cutting special deals for its political allies, I suspect we’d be hearing fewer FDR analogies and more nouns ending with the suffix “gate.”...(More)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama's Bullying

three articles which caught my eye, all with a common thread...

From HotAir:

Business Insider reports that more than one Chrysler senior creditor has corroborated Thomas Lauria’s allegation that the Obama administration threatened them with public attacks if they didn’t surrender their contractual rights. One of their sources says that the Obama team comprises some of the worst “ends justify the means” people he’s ever encountered ...

...One participant in negotiations said that the administration’s tactic was to present what one described as a “madman theory of the presidency” in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.
Well, that’s certainly reassuring. The man at the helm during one of the biggest economic crises in decades is a madman who will act in an unpredictable and irrational manner if he doesn’t get his way. It sounds like they paint Obama as either a lunatic or a petulant child....(more)
More on this from Business Insider:
The President and his team sought to avoid having Chrysler go through this process, proposing their own plan for re-organizing the company and partially paying off Chrysler’s creditors. Some bond holders thought this plan unfair. Specifically, they thought it unfairly favored the United Auto Workers, and unfairly paid bondholders less than they would get in bankruptcy court. So, they said no to the plan and decided, as is their right, to take their chances in the bankruptcy process. But, as his quotes above show, the President thought they were being unpatriotic or worse.
Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients’ money to share in the “sacrifice”, they are stealing. Clients of hedge funds include, among others, pension funds of all kinds of workers, unionized and not. The managers have a fiduciary obligation to look after their clients’ money as best they can, not to support the President, nor to oppose him, nor otherwise advance their personal political views. That’s how the system works. If you hired an investment professional and he could preserve more of your money in a financial disaster, but instead he decided to spend it on the UAW so you could “share in the sacrifice”, you would not be happy.
Let’s quickly review a few side issues.
The President's attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him. Why is he not calling on his party to "sacrifice" some campaign contributions, and votes, for the greater good? Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power.(more)
Finally from Bloomberg:
...Writers who are not pro-Barack Obama are suffering character assassination as well. George Will of the Washington Post, the nation’s senior conservative columnist, has been so assaulted by bloggers that his editor, Fred Hiatt, recently wrote, “I would think folks would be eager to engage in the debate, given how sure they are of their case, rather than trying to shut him down.”

The disconcerting thing isn’t that the bloggers or their guests did this slamming. We’re used to such vitriol in campaign time. What is surprising is that the attacks are continuing after an election.

In the past, politicians and policy thinkers tended to be magnanimous in victory. They and their friends focused, post- victory, on policy and strategy -- not on trashing individuals.
It ought to be especially true this time, given what wonders are befalling the Democrats. Between
Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Al Franken in Minnesota, it looks like the Democrats are in the process of making their Senate majority filibuster-proof. Then there’s the president’s new opportunity to mold the Supreme Court, with the resignation of David Souter.

Still, somehow, the magnanimity isn’t there. Indeed, the closer the Democrats get to total power, the nastier the commentators friendly to them have become. (more)

First Texas Resident Fatality of H1N1 Flu?

DSHS is reporting the first death of a Texas resident with H1N1 flu. A woman from Cameron County who had chronic underlying health conditions died earlier this week. the exact casue of death is till not known at this time.


H1N1/2009 (aka swine flu): where we are
Over at Effect Measure an excellent summation about where we are with the current Flu (soon to be) pandemic. I'll let it speak for itself while I get back to work...

H1N1/2009 (aka swine flu): where we are : Effect Measure

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Monday, May 4, 2009

The First Amendment in Peril

The other morning as I arrived at work I received a call from my 13 year old son. It was a little past 7:00. His bus arrives at 7:30. I was concerned that he was ill or, more likely the case, had lost something he needed for school.

"I was just thinking how Obama is like Hitler," he said. "Well, not exactly but somethings he's doing," he explained.

"OK" I said, relieved it was nothing too serious and preparing myself for what can sometimes be the tortured logic of a 13 year old's mind.

"In Nazi Germany, they tried to restrict what radio broadcasts the people listened to," he explained. (His class has been studying the Holocaust.) "Hitler handed out radios that only broadcasted the governments views," he continued, "and some of the propaganda posters showed a person listening to other broadcasts with the word "Verrater" (Traitor) at the bottom." The poster depicted an activity the Nazis considered to be treason, the highest crime against a state and its people.

Indeed, as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum points out:

Goebbels's ministry recognized the tremendous promise of radio for propaganda. It heavily subsidized the production of the inexpensive "People's Receiver" (Volksempfänger) to facilitate sales. By early 1938, the number of radios in German homes surpassed more than 9 million, roughly one for every two German households. Three years later, this figure rose to almost 15 million, providing 50 million Germans with regular radio reception.

My son continued, "Isn't Obama trying to do the same thing by trying to shut down talk radio?"

What he was referring to of course if the so called "Fairness Doctrine," a subject we will no doubt be hearing more about as the Dems approach a filibuster proof majority.

Perhaps the call was more serious than I thought.

From WND:

This isn't the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."

It's much worse.

Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks and months:
  • a new appointment to the position of chairman of the Federal Communications Commission who will implement a plan to create "community advisory boards" of community activists to monitor the content of talk-radio programs, threatening stations that carry dissenting content with broadcast license challenges;

  • billions of additional dollars to be invested in so-called "public broadcasting" – those entities already funded and controlled by government;

  • bailouts of failing newspapers perceived as essential propaganda tools for the party.

The FCC is currently composed of two Democrat and two Republican commissioners. Obama has nominated a new chairman, Julius Genachowski, which would give Democrats a 3-2 majority once he is confirmed.

But the nominee is not just another Democrat. He's a Democrat with a plan.
Genachowski advocates creating new media ownership rules that promote a diversity of voices on the airwaves. In fact, Genachowski is credited with helping craft the Obama technology agenda, which states: "Encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum."
Translation? Government control of broadcast media – particularly the kind of talk radio Democrats find so annoying.

The party in power wants to remain in power perpetually. And to do so, like so many other power-hungry parties of the past, it seeks to control the debate and stifle dissent. (more)

"The Clearest Adoption of Weakness Since Jimmy Carter"

"The clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter." Thus said Newt Gingrich as he described the Obama Administrations program of engagement on Iran. while Obama's Chief of Staff said:

Thwarting Iran's nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The article from the Jerusalem Post goes on to say that Secretary of State Clinton made a similar statement tying Arab support to Israel's peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

The change is in full swing. From the removal of the words, "enemy combatant," "war on terror" and even "terrorist attack" (now a man made disaster) and now the veiled threat to Israel's security absent caving in to Palestinian demands. The world has been flipped on it's axis.

But Israel will defend itself with or without us. Despite a relatively high number of Israeli Jewish support (60%) (which I'll bet doesn't last long) an even larger number 66% support an attack on Iran f diplomatic and economic efforts failed to get Iran to stop uranium enrichment, and of that number, 75% would support this action even if the Obama administration were opposed. (JP)