November 30, 2010

get this...joke

Jack Kemp

 

From an American Thinker article on lifting the light bulb ban:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/will_the_light_bulb_ban_inspir.html

Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) campaigning to advance his chances in ascending the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee now says he'd open hearings to reconsider the phase out of incandescent light bulbs.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45360.html

His first witness should be Dennis Miller, who quipped on his radio show about dreaded CFLs, the most ballyhooed replacement for incandescents, " I don't care what my electric bill is. I haven't worked my entire life so that my living room can look like a Soviet Bloc stairwell during a James Bond fight scene."  A good line for Miller to express humorously what most people are thinking.

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Washington set to control your light switch

Dana Mathewson

There are a few satirical touches here, but it's basically serious.  And we'd better get serious and make sure it doesn't come to pass.  http://biggovernment.com/tslagle/2010/11/29/washington-set-to-control-your-light-switch/#more-200997

On a personal note: Martha and I played a service at a retreat run by one of the largest churches in town a few summers ago, during which period they were "test driving" a program whereby the local electric company could reduce their power a bit depending on demand -- in return for a reduced rate.  All during the service the lights kept flickering, and so did the PA system.  It was not, shall we say, conducive to worship.  The following year they (the church, not the electric company) had opted out of the program.

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Analyzing policy

Dana Mathewson

When one wishes to do so, more deeply than in a two-page article, it is always good to have a master of the subject at hand to guide us.  Back in the 1970's we had as our master the great Henry Kissinger.  However, I remember Dr. Kissinger as being a "hard read;" a man speaking, as it were, to others on his level and leaving me, the "man in the street," if you will, often unsure of quite what he was saying, in the end.

With that in mind, I find it very fortunate that today we have a man like John Bolton around to edify us.  He has a wonderful grip on what is happening around the world, and a splendid ability to communicate it in such a way that after we have read him we often feel "Well, of course -- anybody can see the truth in that."  Except that we couldn't, until he pointed it out to us.

Case in point: this long but essential article from Standpoint, titled "Decision Time For Barack Obama."  Bolton being who he is, there are no political axes being ground here.  This is an expert speaking to someone who needs his expertise.

http://standpointmag.co.uk/features-december-10-decision-time-for-barack-obama-john-bolton-mid-term-elections?page=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0

A few particularly good paragraphs, isolated:

"Significantly, decisions about Afghanistan strategy and troop levels will inevitably have a major impact on Pakistani political stability. Sixty-three years since partition and independence, Pakistani democracy remains fragile and the internal threat from radical Islam is growing, both in civil society and the military. Obama deserves credit for highlighting the continuing risks to Pakistan, which is certainly not an easy place to make progress against the jihadists. But the summer 2011 prospect of cutting and running from Afghanistan only underlines the risks of dangerous repercussion across the Durand Line. This is not the time to go wobbly. Should Pakistan, with its substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons, fall into the hands of radical Islamists, the proliferation implications would be profound, both on the subcontinent and worldwide."
[...]
"The President's nearly two years of effort to restart direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians was never realistic and was not declared formally dead before November 3 only to avoid political embarrassment. Obama shares the basic European analysis that progress on Israel-Palestinian issues will assuage the Muslim world and reduce terrorism. This view has always been erroneous and in any case Obama has failed. There is no sign he has a Plan B, or that the chasm of disagreement between Israel and what passes for non-terrorist Palestinian leadership has any near-term prospect for resolution. "
[...]
"Speaking of the Western hemisphere, successive US Presidents have not paid adequate attention to Washington's nearest neighbours. The situation is darkening and not just because of Hugo Chávez. On the southern border, America's most pronounced problem may no longer be illegal immigration but the growing strength of Mexico's drug cartels. When Secretary of State Clinton said in September that Mexico reminded her of Colombia 20 years ago, she was, incredibly, explicitly contradicted by Obama within days. Not only is Mexico's drug violence (29,000 killed in the last four years in drug-related incidents) spilling into Arizona and Texas, but the very fabric of Mexican civil society is being torn apart. Already widespread police and judicial corruption is now exacerbated by increasing physical attacks on local officials and police forces. Even journalists are murdered or intimidated. Just as in Colombia two decades ago, the Mexican government may soon be unable to control large portions of its territory. If Colombia's drug cartels were threats to hemispheric stability and America, requiring major military operations to control, just think about such a cauldron directly abutting the southern border. "
[...]
And finally, for my friends who are convinced that Hillary Clinton's political career is kaput, he says (emphasis mine):
"The big Washington guessing game is whether Hillary Clinton will leave State, perhaps to challenge Obama for the 2012 Democratic nomination, despite her recent disavowals. Whether she exits or not, Mrs Clinton has not been significant in major Administration decisions and often seems uncomfortable with her portfolio, except for economic and social development issues. Nonetheless, she and her husband remain one of the Democrats' most astute political teams, and their political careers are far from over. "

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November 29, 2010

MLK Memorial in DC has Chinese workers

Jack Kemp

Introduction:
Here is a piece based on information in a Washington Post article, about an independent union workers' investigation on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial using stone masons from China. It says a foundation hired them, but there are many behind the scenes questions here as to why the Obama administration look the other way while a Washington union's workers would get short changed. I raise further questions in the body of the article and I've sent feelers out to people who know Washington better than I do and could possibly dig up some more answers. I don't have a budget to go to Washington and hang out long enough to get answers myself. But I wanted you all to see what I have so far.

ARTICLE:

It doesn’t get more ironic – and iconic – than this. In building a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall (above the northwest side of Washington’s Tidal Basin), the current administration has looked the other way as a group has foregone the hiring of American stone masons from the Washington local of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union and imported scab stone masons from China.

According to the Washington Post – and a union worker investigation:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2...

“In September, the foundation building the $120 million memorial on the Mall promised in writing to use local stonemasons to assemble and install the 159 blocks of granite that will make up two massive sculptures at the center of the site, including one bearing King's likeness.

But when construction of the sculptures began three weeks ago, it appeared that the foundation had reneged. Jacobberger, a wiry 32-year-old former bricklayer from Delaplane, was asked to find the Chinese laborers who were brought in to work on the King memorial and determine whether they were being exploited.”

SECTION OMITTED

“If all went well, Jacobberger would finally know what the workers were paid and what their living conditions were like. His suspicion was that they were not being paid anything close to the prevailing wage for an American stonemason - $32 an hour, plus $12 an hour in benefits.

Bassan's efforts might not mean more jobs for American masons, but union members had demanded that their leadership do something. The possibility that cheap imported labor was being used to build any portion of the King memorial was anathema to them. King was assassinated in 1968 while in Memphis to support a sanitation workers strike.

The use of Chinese workers at the memorial is also deeply unsettling for a union that has had a hand in building every major monument in Washington since the end of the Civil War.”

END OF QUOTE

Now this is the National Mall in Washington. The national unemployment rate is officially close to ten percent and probably over seventeen percent. Technically a foundation is the one hiring the workers from China, but who can believe that the federal government and the Obama administration don’t have the power and the interest to both oversee and voice objections to no American and/or union stone masons, black or otherwise, working on this project? Is the District of Columbia a Right to Work State? Perhaps the Obama administration is showing us once again – through their bumbling - who their real constituency is: their US bondholding friends in Beijing. It would be interesting to know whose idea it was to hire these Chinese workers – and did the people who donated money to build this Memorial know their funds would not see there way to any American stone workers’ paychecks. It definitely needs further investigation by some union or news organization which can afford to travel and spend time in Washington to get some answers, such as local DC groups. These Chinese stone masons may start a trend, displacing union and minority workers on future stone masonry projects in the US.

Out-of-work US Blacks may never hear of this story – unless the Republican National Committee publicizes this story, perhaps even in a video. Michael Steele – and your friends - are you reading this? At the very least, tour guides taking groups to the MLK Memorial in the future should point out the facts of who built the place.

In 2004, Al Gore boasted of his mother singing him to sleep with the “Look for the Union Label” song (the lyrics were actually first composed when he was 27 years old). Now, it seems, it is the overseers at the Obama administration who are lulling the union rank and file to sleep with this maneuver that just so happens to honor the Administration’s cronies in Beijing at the expense of out of work American workers.

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ICE; Obama's Internet Police

Timothy Birdnow

The Federal Government has begun seizing domain names of websites that they claim violate copyright laws. According to The Hill:

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/130763-homeland-security-dept-seizes-domain-names-

"The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names over the past few days, according to TorrentFreak.

ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.

The sites are replaced with a note from the government: "This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations."'

End excerpt.

So, ICE is busy attacking websites in advance of S3804, the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) which is still moving through the Senate. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-3804

Why, must I ask, is ICE not busy enforcing, oh, I don't know, border Infringement and identity counterfeiting, as is their duty?  Why are they chasing electronic shadows instead of dangerous invaders from across our borders?  I suppose Snoop Dog has more money to complain about losing the revenue from his eternal copyright on his cultural sewage than do the Arizona ranchers who have their property destroyed by invading Mexicans, and money talks, for certain. Still, it is hard to fathom that the primary enforcer of the U.S. border is busy with this sort of thing.

And it is being done WITHOUT the law in place. Now why is that?

I can answer that; the Obama and his minions in Congress want to get their hands on the internet. They have been pushing for some time for regulations on the internet, and now they are making their move. How long before any weblog that uses even a piece of a copyrighted story will be considered a "pirate" and shut down? How long before Conservative HQ moves on their radar?  How can a Drudge, or a Newsmax, survive if they begin going after the disseminators of information?  This is the logical starting place; it sets the precedent that government may censor content on the internet.

And yet there are Chinese spies busy on the internet all the time, and ICE doesn't seem to be after them. There are real dangers, yet the Obama Administration chases after people sharing music. Odd. I would say that, at the very least, the entertainment industry - which raises lots of cash for the Democrats - has called in their debt. That's the best of it. I suspect more sinister motives myself.

It doesn't start with the gulag; it starts with something reasonable. Shut critics up because they are "uncivil". Once the precedent has been established incarceration is next, and eventually you have an archipelago of prisons filled with political inmates.

That is the road to serfdom; it, like Hell, is paved with good intentions. Moderate restrictions, like goldfish, will fill their entire environment when fed. (Goldfish become quite large if they have an unrestricted diet, much like the government.)

What is especially interesting is that the Obama Administration has proceeded with enforcement without a law, and yet he has railed against foreign internet restrictions as somehow oppressive.
http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/120779-obama-vows-to-preserve-open-internet

Geese, gander, and sauces Mr. Obama. The broad language of the Bill defines a violation as:

"Definitions- For purposes of this Act--

(1) an Internet site is ‘dedicated to infringing activities’ if such site--

(A) is otherwise subject to civil forfeiture to the United States Government under section 2323 of title 18, United States Code; or

(B) is--

(i) primarily designed, or has no demonstrable commercially significant purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator, or by a person acting in concert with the operator--

(I) to offer goods or services in violation of title 17, United States Code, or that enable or facilitate a violation of title 17, United States Code, including but not limited to offering or providing access in a manner not authorized by the copyright owner or otherwise by operation of law, copies or phonorecords of, or public performances or displays of works protected by title 17, in complete or substantially complete form, by any means, including by means of download, streaming, or other transmission, provision of a link or aggregated links to other sites or Internet resources for obtaining access to such copies, phonorecords, performances, displays, goods, or services; or

(II) to sell or offer to sell or distribute or otherwise promote goods, services, or materials bearing a counterfeit mark, as that term is defined in section 34(d) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. 1116(d)); and

(ii) engaged in the activities described in subparagraph (A), and when taken together, such activities are the central activities of the Internet site or sites accessed through a specific domain name;"

End excerpt.

No commercially significant purpose or use other than to offer goods or services in violation of title 17?  Can that not be applied to opinion-based websites? In legal matters one must take great care to define exactly what you mean, and this could be argued to mean all manner of disagreeable speech.

The disturbing thing about this is it has bipartisan support. http://www.richards-realm.com/listings/Photo-Galleries/All/1

Among the GOP members who voted for it are Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch, Jon Kyle, and Jeff Sessions. Apparently these incumbents learned nothing from the last election.

But I must reiterate; the bill is just that, not having yet been voted on by the Senate. So why is BHO enforcing it prematurely?

This is illustrative of the vision of Obama; he sees himself not as executive of the law but as king, ruling by the force of his authority. In America we do not act where laws are not in place.

But that has never stopped this gang.

 

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Patriot's Prayer

Jack Kemp forwards this:
 
Patriot's Prayer
An American Creed
GrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary
By Don Feder
Thanksgiving 2010

•   I am an American. After God, my highest loyalty is to this country.

•   I believe America cannot remain one nation unless it is under God. America is no accident. From the beginning, it was intended by the Author of Liberty to fulfill a special role. We couldn’t have gone from 13 disparate colonies clinging to the Atlantic coast to the world’s last remaining superpower in little more than 220 years without the guiding hand of Providence.

•   Along with the Founding Fathers, I believe religion is the foundation of liberty, morality and representative government. The First Amendment was meant to protect religion from government and not the reverse. What’s called the separation of church and state (words found nowhere in the Constitution and which would have confounded its drafters) is used not to separate church and state, but affect a divorce between government and Judeo-Christian values.

•   I believe in the United States Constitution and in the system of government it established – one of limited powers, inalienable rights, a balance of power and ordered liberty. I believe that the Constitution can only be amended as specified therein and never by judicial whim.

•   I believe you don’t have to be the dean of a law school or a Supreme Court Justice to understand the Constitution, just someone who has a sense of history, is logical and understands that words have objective meaning.

•   I believe in a judiciary that interprets law, not one that makes law. Judges who distort the Constitution’s plain meaning to achieve their own ends have substituted their will for that of the voters and the Founders. They are enemies of the Constitution and the people, and should be impeached and removed from office.

•   I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed in the Second Amendment and which is based on the right to life and the right to defend one’s life, family and property. Private ownership of guns is the protector of hearth and home and the guarantor of liberty.

•   I believe in the right to life, from conception to natural death. It is the sacred duty of the state to protect innocent human life. Legalized abortion (state-sanctioned killing) is the beginning of the unraveling of the social order, which soon leads to euthanasia, infanticide and the rationing of medical services. It is an affront to the law of God and jeopardizes the rights of all.

•   I believe in the free-market system as both the most efficient way to provide for human needs and the only economic system compatible with human rights and dignity. The free market is as American as the Constitution. It has brought unparalleled prosperity to this nation and opportunity to its citizens. Today, government is trying to kill that system to achieve utopian ends like “spreading the wealth.” Advocates of the omni-state detest capitalism for its impartiality. In place of a system which rewards hard work, ingenuity and risk-taking, it wants rewards based on political power, payoffs and favoritism.

•   I believe in limited taxation to pay for the constitutional functions of government. As government takes more and more of an individual’s income (through taxation, regulation and inflation), it robs him of his time, his labor, and ultimately his life – turning citizens into subjects. What we have today isn’t taxation as envisioned by the Founders, but plunder or serfdom.

•   I believe the rich have as much right to their property as the rest of us. A system that penalizes the most productive among us retards economic growth and is a denial of equal treatment, on which this nation was founded.

•   If left unchecked, I believe the National Debt and mega-deficits will demolish the economy and lead to a catastrophe on the order of the Great Depression. The National Debt is like a runaway train barreling down a track, picking up speed as it goes, hurtling toward a precipice at the end of the line. For the 60 years before 2008, federal revenue averaged 17.9% of Gross Domestic Product and spending averaged 19.6%. With a runaway leftist in the White House, we’re now spending 25% of GDP, and collecting about 15%. It used to be said that we owed it to ourselves. Now, we owe a large part of it to the Chinese and Saudis, who will one day make demands that endanger our national security. Eventually, even Washington’s ability to borrow will reach its limits. Then it will inflate the currency to the point where our economy, built on debt, comes crashing down. Say hello to Germany, 1921-1923.

•   I celebrate America’s heroes, history and heritage. I believe America has been the greatest force for good in the world for more than two centuries. Ask the penniless immigrants whose descendants achieved success in every field. Ask the Belgians, the people of Normandy, the Filipinos, the South Koreans and even the Japanese and Germans, whose cities and industry we rebuilt after World War II. Ask those liberated from Dachau and Buchenwald, who shed tears on the uniforms of American soldiers who saved them. A denial of American exceptionalism is based on ignorance, indoctrination or malice.

•   I believe we need to begin teaching patriotism again. For decades, Hollywood, the news media, public education and academia have been enemy territory. Elitists have indoctrinated generations to blame-America first. This needs to be countered by a concerted effort to teach the young what America really means, and why love of this country is thoroughly justified.

•   I believe political correctness is killing our country.  National security, law enforcement and social stability are now subordinate to group sensitivity and spurious claims to equality. Scrutinizing passengers who are most likely to commit terrorist acts is decried as racial profiling. Recognizing the reality that married couples (men and women) do society’s vital work is said to offend those with alternative lifestyles. The military becomes a laboratory for social experiments. To raise the self-esteem of the aberrant, we willingly sacrifice cohesion and combat effectiveness. Political correctness has become a national suicide pact that ordinary Americans never agreed to.

•   I believe in public service, not career politicians – those who primarily serve themselves, at the public expense. The idea of an individual holding elective office for a quarter-century or more is obscene. It’s hard to say which is more of a threat to representative government: those who crave political power so much that they cling to it with a death-grip, or an electorate so feckless that it repeatedly gives it to them.

•   I believe in the America of individual liberty, patriotism and honor. I believe in the America of George Washington and John Adams, of Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, of Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan.

•   I honor the brave men who fought to defend America, as well as those who fight today – from Concord to Yorktown, from Gettysburg to San Juan Hill, from the Argonne to the Bulge, from the Chosin Reservoir to the Tet Offensive, from Kuwait to Kabul. Politicians talk about freedom. Columnists write about it. Members of our armed forces bleed and often die to defend it.

•  I stand with the Pilgrims, the Puritans and the Pioneers, the earliest settlers on these shores and the intrepid Americans who pushed west, settling this vast continent – with the farmers and ranchers, the merchants and mechanics, the workers, entrepreneurs and inventors. America is a monument to their perseverance and vision.

•   I believe a nation that cannot defend its borders has surrendered its sovereignty. Immigration issues should be decided by the American people based on the national interest – not by political elites and activist judges, based on expediency, a misguided altruism, multicultural fantasies or a sense of guilt. The Statue of Liberty says “give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” not give me your criminal class, your mooches, and those who refuse to assimilate -- all of them here illegally. I am outraged by driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal aliens. This isn’t compassion but a slap in the face to hard-working, law-abiding Americans, including the immigrants who came here legally.

•   I believe America’s language is English. Along with our common ideals, it’s the glue that holds together a diverse people. From the Mayflower Compact to the Declaration of Independence, from Washington’s Farewell Address to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, from the Constitution to the latest Congressional enactment, America’s story has been written and spoken in English. I reject anything that detracts from the primacy of our mother tongue – including bilingual education, bilingual ballots, “press 1 for English,” and every other form of language pandering.

•   I believe American identity is based on belief not blood – heart and head – not race, religion or ethnicity. An American is identified by what he believes, not the happenstance of birth. Everyone who believes what Americans have always believed, everyone who fights for America, is an American, regardless of how he worships, where he was born, or the color of his skin. In the words of Shakespeare’s Henry V: “For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”

•   I believe we need to stop dividing Americans along the lines of race and ethnicity and start uniting them. The more the nation is polarized as us-versus-them, the less likely we are to hang together in times of trouble. Multiculturalism and racial-identity politics teach minorities that they are members of a race, ethnicity or community first, and Americans second -- if at all. We need an electorate which will vote not as Latinos, blacks, workers, retirees, businessmen, etc., but as Americans for America.

•   I believe the chattering class is rife with treason – not treason as defined in law, but treason of the heart. They repudiate the ideals on which this country was founded, identify with our enemies and believe our history is an unbroken saga of exploitation, oppression, and imperialism. To justify their hatred of America, they re-write history and obsess about our mistakes, while ignoring our triumphs. The traitors in our midst run the gamut from the clergyman who calls on God to “damn” America and the college professor who glorifies the murder of American soldiers, to the filmmaker who uses his art to slander his country and the actress who made propaganda broadcasts for the enemy in time of war and lied about the treatment of American prisoners. If they despise America so much, why would it would take a bunker buster to get them to leave?

•   I believe defending America must be the first priority of our national government. We live in a world of prowling predators – barbarians with weapons of mass destruction. Thus it has been. Thus it will be, as long as human nature endures. The principal role of government is to protect us from savages at home and abroad. Liberty is guarded by men who walk the ramparts. Much as we may wish it were otherwise, a world at peace is a dangerous delusion. Pacifism, disarmament and internationalism are as irrational as imperialism and aggression.

•  I believe that, ultimately, American security rests on the family. Families keep America strong. The family is the incubator of civic virtue. At its best, it passes patriotic values to the next generation. As much as our military, the family guards the flame of liberty. Who undermines the family – including marriage – subverts America.

•   I believe Israel and America share a unique bond. In the course of human history, they are the only two nations where the vision preceded possession of the land. American values stretch back to Sinai, and come to the West through Jerusalem, Rome and Geneva. Absent Ancient Israel’s encounter with God, there would have been no America. To turn our back on Israel would be to betray ourselves.

•   I believe Islam is the deadliest foe confronting America. Terrorism is almost the exclusive province of Islamists. Islam is the religion of peace the way German is the language of diplomacy. Orthodox Islam is an ideology at war with American values – religious tolerance, equality before the law and non-aggression. September 11, 2001 was not Islam’s declaration of war on America, but a milestone in a clash of civilizations that’s been going on for over 1,300 years. What fascism was during the ‘30s and ’40s, what communism was from 1917 through the Cold War, Islamism is today.

•   I believe America needs patriots as never before. Defeatism and disengagement are unacceptable. Each of us owes this country far more than we can ever repay. To withdraw from the fray is a betrayal of the patriots who came before us – the Continental soldiers who left bloody footprints in the snow on Washington’s retreat from New York, the patriots who starved and froze at Valley Forge, the patriots who stormed Cemetery Ridge (and those who held the ridge), the Lost Battalion of the Argonne, the Marines on Guadalcanal, the heroes who landed on Omaha Beach under withering fire, the Battling Bastards of Bastogne, those who fought with the sword and those who fought with the pen, those who first beheld this blessed land with tear-filled eyes, and those who refused to give up when all seemed lost.

•   God bless America, if not for ourselves then for our fathers. If this generation is less worthy of His blessing, may He remember the generations that came before us, going back to Plymouth and Jamestown. God make us worthy of your blessings. When we live up to our national motto – In God we trust – then will we truly deserve to be blessed.

Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com

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November 28, 2010

An Earlier Pope states a preference for smaller Government

Jack Kemp

Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and not the Problem
by Jay Richards

Chapter 2 - What Would Jesus Do?

P.51

Just as it is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to a group what private initiative and effort can accomplish, so too it is an injustice for a larger and higher association to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed effiiently by smaller and lower associations. This is a fundamental principle. In its very nature the true aim of all social activity should be to help members of a social body, and never to destroy or absorb them.

- Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (1931)

A NOTE FROM TIM:

Quadragesimo Anno is Latin for "In the 40th Year" and was Pius XI's encyclical. It was so named because it was 40 years after Leo XIII's "Rerum Novarum", which dealt with the condition of workers in the world.

The Encyclical can be read here:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19310515_quadragesimo-anno_en.html

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Climate craziness cools in Cancun

Dana Mathewson

Love that alliteration, don't you?  It appears that all the frenzied rhetoric about climate change is increasingly being ignored -- or being revealed as nothing more than a fancy scheme to redistribute the world's wealth.  And with the state of many of the world's larger economies these days, people increasingly have other fish to fry.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/27/climate-craziness-cools-in-cancun/

One wonders (if one has nothing better to do, that is) what the Algore must be thinking.  Indeed, he's probably out looking for another massage person to release... whatever it is.  Oh, yeah, it was his chakra, wasn't it (whatever that is)?

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They're learning from their mistakes

Dana Mathewson

The mark of successful political movements: examine what you did wrong and fix it.  Vet your candidates thoroughly, for one thing.  Sharron Angle and Christine O-Donnell were, perhaps, not the strongest candidates that could have been chosen.  Let's not do that again.  http://www.urgentagenda.com/PERMALINKS%20V/NOVEMBER%202010/26.TEA.HTML

Good lessons indeed.  2012 should be an even better year for us.

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A Biblical Perspective on Alcohol

Dr. Don Bailey

The Christmas holidays are here once again and most everyone will be rushing
about shopping for gifts, and decorating homes inside and out.  Christmas is
a time of great festivity: socializing with family and friends; feasting on
delicious foods and drinks; and parties of various kinds.  Cocktail parties
will be much in vogue during the season; cocktail is a mixture.  In this
case, cocktail is a mixture of the most desired drink during the holidays,
alcohol, with whatever ingredient one chooses.  Alcohol, of course, is a
spirit intended to lift the spirits of those who depend on it for making the
holidays merrier.  In fact, history has proved that enjoyment of the
Christmas season, for the most part, has become dependent on the drug.  But
alcohol not only saturates the Christmas season,it also soaks the other 11
months.

The Drug Alcohol Abuse Resource Center states: “Forty-four percent of the
adult U.S. population (aged 18 and over) is current alcohol drinkers who
have consumed at least 12 drinks in the preceding year.  Although most
people who drink do so safely, the minority who consume alcohol heavily
produce an impact that ripples outward to encompass their families, friends,
and communities.”

Alcohol drug abuse programs throughout America have much to say concerning
the problem, but one writes, “What does the Bible say about people who drink
alcohol?  I assure you this is not for me.  I gave up alcohol when I had
children and had to grow up very quickly.  I know it states:  "A drunkard
shall not inherit the kingdom of Heaven."  But, I am surrounded by people,
who act as if, drinking is "life" to them.  I try to help them, but I lack
the right words of wisdom.  Some of them attend church, but the alcohol
seems to cloud the rest of their week.  The Bible says that a drunkard shall
not inherit the kingdom of God.  What does the Bible have to say about
alcohol?”

The above quote, "A drunkard shall not inherit the kingdom of Heaven." is
taken from I Corinthians 6:9-11, which is a list of the different classes of
individuals who will not, according to the Bible, enter the kingdom of God:
" Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor
revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”  Paul reminds
the Corinthian Christians that were it not for the change that had been
wrought in their lives, they would still be on the list, for they too had
been guilty of practicing the same sins.  "And such were some of you.  But
you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name
of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

Let us keep in mind that the individuals listed above had no inheritance in
the kingdom of God until the Lord Jesus had changed their lives; once that
change took place, their names were erased from the list.  So what we are
talking about here is that everyone on the list will miss the kingdom of God
unless they are born again, no matter what class he or she finds
themselves--drunkards or otherwise.  Jesus himself said " ... unless one is
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.... unless one is born of the
water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:1-8 NKJV).
Again, people will not miss the kingdom of God because they do all those
things mentioned above, but because they do not know Christ as Savior.
Admittedly, many of us were on the list before we came to Christ and, in one
or more of the classes mentioned.

Now, to the question: "What does the Bible have to say about alcohol?"  It
has much to say, most of which is not good.  And I doubt very much when we
get to Heaven if there will be one cocktail party where people will be
standing around holding a drink of alcohol in their hands trying to think of
something to say, while at the same time, trying to appear as persons of
distinction, so as to impress one another.  A teenager writes:

"This year, my father changed his name to Gerard.
He wore a chef’s hat on our Christmas card.
Our tree looked like the Eiffel Tower
While we waited for the dinner hour.
As the children drank their Shock-O-Lots,
Adults sipped fine wine, like some big shots."

There are two conditions relative to alcohol in the Bible: (1) soberness,
and (2) drunkenness.  A brief study of each will reveal which is the better
life-style, especially for the Christian.  Is it better to live a life of
sobriety or one of drunkenness?

I. Soberness

Now, when thinking of soberness we must consider degrees.  When you drove to
work today were you aware that most of the drivers you met coming from the
opposite direction were sober?  But how sober?  Some were completely sober,
but others were not as sober.  Possibly some were a little high while others
were "loaded to the gills," and you were very fortunate to have arrived
safely at your destination.  Probably your safe arrival can be attributed to
the fact that most were sober; thank the good Lord.  Let's look at the
different degrees of soberness.

1. Abstinence

To abstain from anything that is harmful to one or others is certainly the
wisest course one can take.  Another word is teetotaler.  The highest degree
of soberness is no drinking at all? kind of like; if you don’t want to get
pregnant, don’t have sex.  King Solomon said that he tried cheering himself
with wine but found it meaningless, just chasing the wind.  I am sure he
would have been much happier had he tried something other than wine, women,
wisdom (his own wisdom), and wealth (Eccles. 2:1-11 NJKV).  If he had had it
to do over, he would have probably abstained from all four of those
pleasures.

2. Temperance

Temperance is another degree of soberness.  Temperance means that if one
drinks at all, it should be with control.  When Paul wrote to the Ephesians
he said, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be
filled with the Spirit...."  (Eph. 5:18 NKJV). The word filled (Greek,
plerousthe) means just that, filled, but the word actually is meant to
convey the thought of being controlled by the Spirit rather than being
controlled by wine.  To be drunk is to be out of control.  Paul's desire for
the Ephesians was that the Spirit would have complete control of their lives
so that they would overcome the habits to which they had become accustomed
before they knew Christ.  To paraphrase Paul: If He (the Spirit of Christ)
is in full control you won't lose control.

3. Moderation

The degree of moderation means, not too much wine.  Paul reminded Timothy
and Titus that, overseers, deacons, and older women were not to take too
much wine.  "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a
bishop, he desires a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the
husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable,
able to teach; not given to wine...."  (I Tim. 3:1-3; Titus 1:7 NKJV).
"Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much
wine..."  (I Tim. 3: 8  NKJV).  "...  The older women likewise, that they be
reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine ... (Titus 2:3
NKJV).  For each of these Paul means, easy does it.

4. Clear-headedness

The last degree of soberness is that of a clear head.  No one wants to try
and perform with a beclouded head.  There is nothing worse than attempting a
task in a state of utter bewilderment, confusion and disorientation.
Individuals in the position of authority and responsibility would do well to
leave alcohol in the bottle; otherwise, it will be difficult to stay
focused.  Proverbs has some good advise: "Kings should not drink wine or
have a craving for alcohol.  When they drink, they forget the laws and
ignore the rights of the people in need.  Alcohol is for people who are
dying, for those who are in misery.  Let them drink and forget their poverty
and unhappiness" (Prov. 31: 4-7 GNB).

If one adheres to the four degrees: abstinence, temperance, moderation, and
clear-headedness, drunkenness can be avoided.  Abstinence is the safest and
surest.  Any degree below that may put one at risk.  The worst alcoholics
(drunkards) became what they are because they took the first drink.  Maybe
it was a little nip at first, but eventually it led to guzzling.

II. Drunkenness

Drunkenness is the result of abusing the drug, alcohol.  Drugs ruin lives.
Alcohol ruins lives.  Persons who use the drug excessively will eventually
destroy themselves and others if the habit is not broken.  It is not only
destructive to the body, but it also demoralizes the self, the inner-person
(the psyche = soul)?that part that says, "I am I."  What does alcohol do to
the self--to me?

By having personally used alcohol for many years, and having observed and
counseled others who have abused the substance, I know that it affects the
self in the following ways:

1. Loss of Self-Control

The loss of self-control means a loss of the senses. Sight becomes blurred
and other people look like trees walking and all outlines of definition
become indistinguishable,like a photograph out of focus, the eye cannot be
sure of anything it sees; speech becomes slurred and eventually turns into
utter gibberish; the sense of touch disappears and leaves one benumbed; the
sense of smell loses the ability to differentiate between fragrances, aroma
is overcome by the reeking stench of alcohol; and taste is difficult because
the tongue has turned into nothing but a slobbering numb blob in the mouth.

Worse yet, the loss of self-control causes one to act like a monkey.  One
time, before my father became a Christian, he had gone on a drunken binge
and did something really weird and funny.  My mother heard a strange sound
around 11 p.m. and went to investigate, only to find that he had stripped
off his clothes and thinking that he was getting in bed, tried to get in the
washing machine.  "Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish.  Its stupid
to get drunk"(Prov. 20:1, GNB).  It makes you do stupid things (stupid is,
stupid does).  Another time, my mother saw this great hump under the kitchen
linoleum, when all at once the hump began to move.  Sure enough, it was my
drunken father who had crawled under the floor-cover, all the way to the
center of the room, in order to retrieve a twenty-dollar bill he had hidden
in order to by whisky. Mother was furious.  She did not appreciate his
breaking up her linoleum.  It’s amazing what one won’t do for a drink.  I
heard a man say,  “My little ole lady (speaking of his wife) will spend
$100.00 on groceries and there won’t be a drink in the house.”

Moreover, the inability to control oneself leads to loss of temper, which
may cause harm to loved ones such as wives, husbands, children, relatives,
and friends.  I used to know a man (a neighbor) who was one of the kindest
most loving fathers one could ever know, but when he was under the influence
of alcohol his whole personality changed; he turned into a raging bull, beat
his wife to a pulp, broke up all the furniture and dishes, and frightened
his children almost to death.  This happened like clockwork, every Friday
night, only because he would not get his way for one reason or another.
Another neighbor, in his 40s and the father of a young boy, who frequented
the beer joints in the neighborhood, spent his time "picking fights" with
teen-age boys.  Solomon raises a question about such as he: "Whose heart is
filled with anguish and sorrow?  Who is always fighting and quarreling?  Who
is the man with bloodshot eyes and many wounds?  It is the one who spends
long hours in the taverns, trying out new mixtures" (Prov. 23:29-30--TLB).

Now, would monkeys really conduct themselves like the aforementioned
behavior?  The following poem says it all:

Three Monkeys in a Coconut Tree

Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree,
Discussing things as they’re said to be,
Said one to the others, "Now listen you two"
There’s a certain rumor that can’t be true”,
That man descended from our noble race,
The very idea, it’s a dire disgrace.

No monkey has ever deserted his wife,
Starved her babies and ruined her life.
And you’ve never known another monk,
To leave their babies with another to bunk.
Or pass them on from one to another,
Till they scarcely know who is their mother.

And another thing you will never see,
A monk build a fence around a coconut tree,
And let the coconuts go to waste,
Why, if I put a fence around this tree,
Starvation would force you steal from me.

Here’s another thing a monk won’t do,
Go out at night and get on a stew.
Or use a gun, a club or a knife
To take another monkeys life.
Yes, man descended, the honoree cuss,
But brother, he didn’t descend from us
                                 ?Anon

2. Loss of Self-Respect

I ministered to alcoholics up and down the streets of skid row in Chicago
and knew many professionals who had lost jobs, businesses, fortunes, and
families through divorce, all because of alcohol.  One such man had been a
cameraman for MGM Studios in Hollywood and owned a successful construction
company, but lost it all through the use of rotgut whisky.  King Solomon has
some good advice for individuals such as he, "O my son, be wise and stay in
God's paths; don't carouse with drunkards and gluttons, for they are on
their way to poverty" (Prov. 23:19-21, TLB). I had the opportunity to see
him come to Christ and reunite with his wife and children, but when I first
met him he had lost his self-respect to the point that he was ashamed to
approach me outside The Pacific Garden Mission of Chicago, where I was
preaching at the time.  One night he finally decided to talk to me, and from
then on the Lord began changing his whole outlook on life and himself.  The
Lord can and will restore one's dignity and self-esteem that has been lost
as the result of alcohol addiction.  Once again a person can regain a sense
of self-worth.  "Show me someone who drinks too much, who has to try out
fancy drinks, and I will show you someone miserable and sorry for
himself...." (Prov. 23:29, GNB).

3. Loss of Self-Awareness

Loss of self-awareness includes, not only falling into a state of
unconsciousness, but also having hallucinations and delirium tremens.  He or
she losses contact with self and reality, sees and hears things that aren't
really there, like: pink elephants with bright blue eyes; pretty butterflies
flitting here and there while trying to catch them (this actually happened
when I was preaching at a rescue mission in Chicago), monsters with big red
eyes, little men swinging on chandeliers, and little green men crawling up
and down walls and walking upside-down on ceilings.  Such conditions are
also described in the Bible. “Don’t let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine
deceive you.  For in the end it bites like a poisonous serpent; it stings
like a viper.  You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things.
You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast.
And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.  I didn’t even know it
when they beat me up.  When will I wake up so I can have another drink?
(Prov. 23:31-35 NLT).

I have sat up with individuals throughout many nights to help them as they
have gone through mental disturbances, frenzied movements, disordered speech
and utter confusion.  To watch as they reach for what is not there, and hear
them chatter like raving idiots is not what one wishes to describe, but that
is what alcohol does to the mind after prolonged use.
After looking briefly at the degrees of soberness: abstention, temperance,
moderation, and clear-headedness, I am sure all will agree that sobriety is
much better than what drunkenness causes to the self: loss of self-control,
loss of self-respect, and loss of self-awareness.  The question: "What does
the Bible say about alcohol certainly merits broader discussion.  Most of
all, one should take heed to what it says, especially if it is difficult for
one to put down the bottle after one or two drinks.

The holidays are here once again so easy with the alcohol, especially if you
are a Christian; remember Paul’s words: "And such were some of you.  But you
were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of
the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:11).

 

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Teaching Satire

Dana Mathewson

More and more, it's becoming hard to differentiate The Onion from "normal" papers.  I'm sure current and former teachers will agree with the sentiments contained herein, even if you don't use quite the same language to describe it.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/department-of-education-study-finds-teaching-these,18461/

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I Still Like Alaska

Dana Mathewson

The powers-that-be in that state are considering whether to sue Zippy and Co. over administration's plan to seize 187,000 square miles of land "to save the polar bears," who, in case you and the Democrats haven't noticed, seem to be doing OK on their own.  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/26/alaska-considers-suing-obama-plan-save-polar-bears/

The suspicion on the right is that this is actually about tying up land that could otherwise be explored for (gasp!) oil drilling, among other things that the enviro-wackos don't like.

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Somebody doesn't think the sun rises and sets on the EU

Dana Mathewson
Now I wonder where he got that idea?  Scandalous, wouldn't you say?

All kidding aside, it really is refreshing to find someone with stones like this -- I wish he'd save a few words for the dwarves currently running our little operation!   http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/11/027768.php

 

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November 27, 2010

Anthropogenic Global Second-Hand Smoking; Another Computer Lie

Timothy Birdnow

I hate junk science. Regular readers of this website - and of my articles in prestigious publications - have undoubtedly figured this out already, but it bears repeating. And in modern America we are drowning in a sea of junk science, because junk science is very useful to the ruling class, and as a result brings a great deal of money to the table of pseudo-researchers. Global Warming is the most obvious example, but there are a great many more; neurobiology and psychology are heavily infected (remember that study a few years ago about the differences between conservative and liberal brains? I do. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2007/09/junk_neuropsychology.html) and sociology has been a fraudulent enterprise from the beginning. We've had all manner of scares based on bad science; Alar scares, dioxin scares, nuclear winter, global cooling, global warming, ddt scares (giving us a ban on that most useful of pesticides), panic attacks over coffee, over milk, etc.  

And, of course, second hand smoke.

The dangers of smoking are well documented, and, contrary to popular belief, were not somehow discovered by the U.S. Surgeon General; people called cigarettes "cancer sticks" in the early twentieth century, and a review of literature prior shows that the populace was fully aware of the dangers of smoking. From the time that tobacco was brought to Europe from the New World there has been an anti-smoking crusade; many of the more puritanically-minded thought it a foul habit and perhaps sinful, since it served no useful biological purpose but to deliver pleasure to the smoker. (There has been a tradition among the more liberal Protestants to deny pleasure for it's own sake, and austerity is itself a pleasure indulged in by those who self-fladulate and punish themselves.) There has been the added distaste for tobacco by the liberals because it represented the plantation economy; a cash crop grown for the enjoyment of those who had money, often on the backs of slaves or, later, underpaid agricultural workers. Many on the Left hate tobacco to this day because they think we should be growing food to feed the poor on the lands dedicated to the great noxious weed. Oddly enough, this same righteous rabble has no problem with smoking other noxious weeds...

Here is an entry on tobacco from Wikipedia (hardly an iron-clad source, to be sure) that gives a rundown on early opposition to tobacco:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_smoking

"Frenchman Jean Nicot (from whose name the word nicotine is derived) introduced tobacco to France in 1560, and tobacco then spread to England. The first report of a smoking Englishman is of a sailor in Bristol in 1556, seen "emitting smoke from his nostrils".[3] Like tea, coffee and opium, tobacco was just one of many intoxicants that was originally used as a form of medicine.[26] Tobacco was introduced around 1600 by French merchants in what today is modern-day Gambia and Senegal. At the same time caravans from Morocco brought tobacco to the areas around Timbuktu and the Portuguese brought the commodity (and the plant) to southern Africa, establishing the popularity of tobacco throughout all of Africa by the 1650s.

Soon after its introduction to the Old World, tobacco came under frequent criticism from state and religious leaders. Murad IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1623-40 was among the first to attempt a smoking ban by claiming it was a threat to public moral and health. The Chinese emperor Chongzhen issued an edict banning smoking two years before his death and the overthrow of the Ming dynasty. Later, the Manchu of the Qing dynasty, who were originally a tribe of nomadic horse warriors, would proclaim smoking "a more heinous crime than that even of neglecting archery". In Edo period Japan, some of the earliest tobacco plantations were scorned by the shogunate as being a threat to the military economy by letting valuable farmland go to waste for the use of a recreational drug instead of being used to plant food crops.[27]
Bonsack's cigarette rolling machine, as shown on U.S. patent 238,640.

Religious leaders have often been prominent among those who considered smoking immoral or outright blasphemous. In 1634 the Patriarch of Moscow forbade the sale of tobacco and sentenced men and women who flouted the ban to have their nostrils slit and their backs whipped until skin came off their backs. The Western church leader Urban VII likewise condemned smoking in a papal bull of 1642. Despite many concerted efforts, restrictions and bans were almost universally ignored. When James I of England, a staunch anti-smoker and the author of a A Counterblaste to Tobacco, tried to curb the new trend by enforcing a 4000% tax increase on tobacco in 1604, it proved a failure, as London had some 7,000 tobacco sellers by the early 17th century. Later, scrupulous rulers would realise the futility of smoking bans and instead turned tobacco trade and cultivation into lucrative government monopolies."

End excerpt.

At any rate, there has been a centuries-long war with tobacco. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that some of the most vociferous - and repressive - anti-smoking campaigns were carried out by some of the worst sorts of dictators; Adolf Hitler was especially aggrieved with smoking, for instance.  

Which is why I find the sudden discovery of "second hand smoke" to be a wee bit incredulous.

The one thing lacking by enemies of tobacco was a justification for society to ban tobacco; in the end, it may be a horrible health choice, but it was always understood to be a personal one. Others may find the smell of smoke offensive, but that does not justify legal power being employed to ban it. Something else was needed, some overriding issue effecting the general welfare so grave that the power of the State must be mobilized.

Here is that justification. http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/health_stories/second_hand_smoke_kills/2010/11/26/363788.html

The World Health Organization is claiming over half a million deaths by second-hand smoking per year!

How do they arrive at these numbers? They do it the old-fashioned way; they make them up!

According to the article in Newsmax:

"The WHO researchers looked at data from 192 countries for their study. To get comprehensive data from all 192, they had to go back to 2004. They used mathematical modeling to estimate deaths and the number of years lost of life in good health.

Worldwide, 40 percent of children, 33 percent of non-smoking men, and 35 percent non-smoking women were exposed to second-hand smoke in 2004, they found.

This exposure was estimated to have caused 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 from lower respiratory infections, 36,900 from asthma, and 21,400 from lung cancer.

For the full impact of smoking, these deaths should be added to the estimated 5.1 million deaths a year attributable to active tobacco use, the researchers said."

End excerpt

So, they ESTIMATED the deaths, the illnesses, the problems via computer models, just as they estimate the catastrophic effects of Global Warming. Essentially, they took raw data from countries around the world, many with little infrastructure to measure reasonable health statistics, and they extrapolated. There is no consideration for deaths or illnesses that may result from cultural or economic conditions; everything that fit the parameters was said to be caused by exposure to tobacco smoke. It's the old statistical game, designed to make a crisis where one does not exist. (Nobody noticed the dangers of second-hand smoke until governments got involved, strange.)

This is much like the AIDS epidemic in Africa; a diagnosis of AIDS does not require a positive HIV test, but merely a couple of symptoms associated with AIDS. It ignores the many African diseases that cause similar symptoms, thus drastically padding the AIDS statistics.

For example:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1335410

"In 1985, at a WHO workshop on AIDS in Bangui, Central African Republic, a clinical case definition of AIDS was developed for developing countries. This 1st definition contained 4 major criteria (chronic asthenia, major weight loss, chronic fever, and chronic diarrhea) and 6 minor criteria (chronic cough, persistent lymphadenopathy, herpes zoster, recurrent herpetic infection, pruritic dermatitis, and oropharyngeal candidiasis). Kaposi's sarcoma and cryptococcal meningitis were sufficient by themselves for the diagnosis of AIDS. In children, the temporary definition of AIDS consisted of 3 major clinical criteria (weight loss and/or abnormally slow growth, chronic diarrhea lasting more than 1 month, and fever lasting more than 1 month), and 6 secondary clinical criteria (generalized lymphadenopathy, oropharyngeal candidiasis, repeated common infections such as otitis and pharyngitis, persistent cough, generalized pruritic dermatitis, and confirmed maternal HIV infection). The revised Bangui definition was evaluated in 174 adult patients hospitalized at the Mama Yemo Hospital of Kinshasa, Zaire. 46% of 174 patients met the criteria of the WHO/Bangui definition. Overall, the sensitivity of the definition for HIV-1 infection was 59%, the specificity was 90%, and the positive predictive value (PPV) was 74%. However, the clinical case definition of African AIDS lacks specificity when it is applied to patients suffering from cachectic syndromes. The Bangui definition was also evaluated at the pediatric ward of Mama Yemo Hospital with 159 hospitalized children whose mean age was 33 months. 21 (13%) were infected by HIV-1. The sensitivity of the definition was 35%, its specificity was 86%, and its PPV was 26%. Although the specificity was relatively high, the low values of sensitivity and PPV underline the weakness of the Bangui clinical case definition for diagnosing pediatric AIDS cases."

End excerpt.

This same World Health Organization that has proclaimed second-hand smoke to be a mortal menace claimed that AIDS could be diagnosed in African children based on weight loss and/or abnormally slow growth, chronic diarrhea lasting more than 1 month, and fever lasting more than 1 month, evidence of any number of diseases to be found in Africa. Only 13% of the children so diagnosed at Mama Yemo Hospital actually were HIV positive, yet they made the statistics for African AIDS.

So why should we believe the Who in this instance?

The point is, we can't. This is clearly junk science.

Now, do not assume that I am some sort of proponent of smoking, or getting paid by the Tobacco Institute. I grew up in a smoking household but never took the habit (neither did one of my two brothers) and I personally find it disagreeable. My father quit, but my mother is still a smoker, even though she recently had a stroke and was quite ill. I sorrow at their smoking - or ever having smoked. Still, I do not like dishonesty, and I further dislike attempts to coerce. Many of those opposed to smoking do so to indulge their personal pique; it's Schadenfreud, plain and simple. They enjoy the pain of the smokers, whom they believe are somehow morally inferior to themselves. (Strange how many of the same indulge in even more morally offensive behavior, like sodomy or drug abuse.)  For others it is a cause to fight for, or a way to make money, or a means to status. Yes, there are good people who fight smoking because they really care about the smokers, but they are, I believe, the lessor of the anti-smoking hysterics. Much of this is about power and control. That is why we now see similar movements against fatty foods, against meat, against Dairy, etc. Tobacco was the test case.

And corrupt science is needed to justify more government intervention, more efforts to force the yoke on the public. This WHO report is entirely at the service of political ideology.

Global Warming has been overtaken by science, and that because good people were willing to stand against the tide of political correctness and fight. Still, despite the fact that the theory has largely been destroyed as a viable description of reality, the media and academics - and politicians - continue to act as though "the science has been settled" and spout apocalyptic warnings of thermogeddon. They did that with AIDs during the "gay 90's" promoting the myth of a heterosexual pandemic. They've been laboring against tobacco for a long time, and now have returned to it.

I refuse to believe a lie. I do not love Big Brother!

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Hey Big Spender; a new parody song

Jack Kemp

Hey Big Spender

The minute you got the White House
I could tell you were a man of delusions
A real Big Spender
Who signed bills so porcine
But your words showed
You were out of your mind

So let me get right to the point
I won't fall for rules by A-lin-sky
Hey, Big Spender
Spend less cash
Don't spin your lies on my TV

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And a Child Shall Lead Them

Jack Kemp

Here is the YouTube Video of the amazing speech of Quentin Cody made on Independence Mall in Philadelphia in September of 2009. I wrote about this at the Birdnow website at that time, but it didn't do him justice. Watch and listen as he reads his "Letter to President Obama," taking apart the false promises and piled on debt of the Obama administration. The man introducing him is Steve Lonegan, head of Americans for Prosperity. Quentin, this (then) pre-teen from the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, PA, could be a leading politician in about thirty years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0tf9LYSZ8I

P.S. At 1:54 to 2:14 into of the video, you will see in the audience, on the left side, a man in a tan jacket and black baseball cap writing notes as fast as he can. That is yours truly.

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November 26, 2010

Meat is Mete

Timothy Birdnow

Turns out meat isn't so bad for the environment after all.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/reviewofbooks_article/9935/

From the article:

"Long before that FAO report in 2006, vegetarians and vegans had argued that meat is a very wasteful use of land. As Fairlie shows, there is some truth in the idea that you get more food from growing crops than producing meat. For example, producing one kilo of beef really does seem to take about 10 kilos of feed, though the figure is lower for pigs and chickens. The implication that many people draw from that bald statement is that we could feed 10 times more people if we switched all land used for meat production over to growing grain.

But, as with all such things, life is just not that simple. Animals fed on grass are often occupying land that is unsuitable for growing crops. Looked at in this way, animals are extremely useful in that they take a low-value source of energy and protein - grass - and turn it into high-value foods like meat and milk. Suddenly, that ratio of 10:1 starts to change according to the degree to which animals are the only way of deriving food from certain terrains.

Next, add in the role of pigs. Pigs can’t eat grass, but they’ll eat just about anything else, so they are sometimes (but not often enough in Fairlie’s view) an extremely useful means of recycling organic material that we can’t eat. That includes both human food waste and the bits of crops that we don’t eat.

We should also bear in mind that animals provide products and services beyond food that would have to be replaced if we did not use them for meat, milk, eggs and so on. In fact, in some cases food is the by-product of animal production, not the main purpose. These products include leather from the hides of cattle and goats, gelatine from bones, wool from sheep. Even when meat or milk is the main reason for rearing animals, little of the animal is wasted. Meat processors often boast that they use everything but the oink, moo or baa."

End excerpt.

I could have told them that if they'd asked.


Hat tip:
http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/

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A THANKFUL Thanksgiving

Timothy Birdnow

I had a most welcome Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgiving is intended to be a time of, well, giving thanks, and most years I devote my thanks to the same things; thankful for my family, my friends, for owning my own home, for my wonderful wife, my cats (I have three), my property in the country - the fabled Ozark Hilton, for having enough to eat, clean water to drink, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, etc.

I am most thankful for the salvation of my soul; God himself thought me of such value that He created me, and then Jesus came and died for me, then the Holy Spirit led me to Him. God has intervened directly in my life repeatedly, granting me more than one not so small miracles.

One such miracle was illustrated yesterday. I didn't think my mother was going to live through the summer. She had a stroke in June, and was at death's door through July and August. She had double pneumonia, and a bladder infection. The antibiotics she was given in the hospital killed all of her stomach flora, and she developed a nasty infection of CDIFF. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/c-difficile/DS00736 Her weight dropped precipitously, and her mind wandered to that strange hinterland that the dying inhabit. She only got out of bed to go to the bathroom, and she did that at least twelve times a day. She had terrible diahrrea, and she blew out her rectum as a result of the contractions, which she likened to labor pains. They had to operate on her, pushing the rectum back into her body and stapling it to her spine.

I was convinced she was going to die.

But then a powerful conviction came over me that I would be granted yet another miracle, that she would heal and live. She has healed, and is living!

We went to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. It was her first time going out since her illness (outside of going to church on Sunday).

She is still not completely better; she is very week on her left side, and she has swollen feet as a result of blood clots. She had to wear bedroom slippers to the restaurant, as her feet no longer fit in her shoes. Still, she was in a wonderful mood, and she ate two large plates as well as desert - not 2 month ago she had to be forced to drink ensure, which was her only sustenance. She even had a glass of wine!

I have personally witnessed more than one miracle in my life, and this is but the latest. I know; medical science saved her life, but there was a moment when I knew that she was being given to me as a gift for a time yet, and that moment was clearly a moment of miracles.  Miracles do not always have to be supernatural occurances; sometimes they can be quite small, but that only increases their power.

So this Thanksgiving was special, and I find myself thankful for the many blessings I have received, and especially thankful for the gift of my mother, who has always been a good and loving person. In fact, I have both parents, and, although they are elderly, are in remarkably good shape.

I am one lucky man.

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Another reason for that Spiritual reading list


Jack Kemp

Today some self-proclaimed agnostic wrote a piece at American Thinker about Sarah Palin, stating that she didn't push her religion like Glenn Beck who made the author feel "uncomfortable." This prompted some sorehead - whose name you'll recognize - to write a strongly worded comment.

The Comment:

Posted by: JackKemp  
Nov 26, 07:22 AM
"Although I have many beliefs in common with Beck, when he goes on the religious tangent, I am left feeling very uncomfortable in my agnosticism, as if those of us who are conservative agnostic or perhaps atheists are lacking in morality."

Mr. Simmons, Glenn Beck is not running for office or does he currently hold a political office. As for the charge of making you feel uncomfortable, go to any high school or college where they worship (that is the correct word) Darwin and despise any form of Intelligent Design, and you will see that although you are calm and reasonable in your argument here, other agnostics and atheists are not. Check out Ben Stein's movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" on attempts to defund and ruin the careers of all American scientists who openly believe in God. Although you personally may have no connection with the people Stein talks about, you are indirectly in their camp. And Glenn Beck hasn't advocated firing atheists from their non-political, everyday jobs.

When the Darwinist Mafia stops ridiculing Believer students and professionals, then we'll consider your position. And American freedom of speech doesn't guarantee you - or me - a feeling of "being comfortable." Rush Limbaugh once read in 2006 a story on the air about a boy on Long Island who felt "uncomfortable" because his school bus driver wore a red Santa hat during the Christmas (not "holiday") season, but failed to pressure the driver to remove it. It was an Amer. Thinker blog piece. I wrote it.

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A Thinker's Spiritual Christmas Reading List

Here is a reading list for people of faith with children in school. It is preceded by an explanation of why this is needed now.

Jack Kemp

Just in time for you holiday shopping need for new books and new ideas, a collection that takes Darwin and the new atheists to task in a detailed and reasoned way. Prove to your liberal associates that the only snake you handle is on the Gadsten flag.

To give you an example of why this is needed, here's a quote Nancy Pearcey's book (and Kilpatrick's), both listed below:

"For some three hundred years after the scientific revolution, Christianity and science were thought to be completely compatible and mutually supporting. Most scientists were Christian believers, and a parson collecting biological specimens was a common sight in the countryside. The stunning complexities of nature unveiled by science were not feared as a challenge to belief in God but hailed as a confirmation of His wisdom and design. Scholars as diverse as Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Galileo, Harvey, and Ray felt called to use their scientific gifts to praise to God and service to humanity. The application of science in medicine and technology was justified as a means to reversing the effects of the Fall by alleviating suffering and tedium.

Secularizing trends eventually began to threaten the harmony between science and religion, but its final collapse came abruptly in the late nineteenth century when Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution. Darwinism was implacably naturalistic, explaining life's origin and development by strictly natural causes. It was (as we saw in chapter 3) the missing puzzle piece that completed a naturalistic picture of reality. This is when historians began concocting images of "warfare" between science and religion - especally historians who hoped the victor of the conflict would be science."

SECTION OMITTED
Kilpatrick tells the story in a book aptly titled "Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong." American educators have imbibed deeply at the well of Dewey, and many toe the professional line even when their won experience shows that the method does not work.

Inventing Your Own Reality

The same teaching method is being applied to other subject areas as well. One of the trendiest fads today is called constructivist education. If knowledge is a social construction, as Dewey said, then the goal of education should be to teach students how to construct their own knowledge. Read this description by a proponent of the method:

"Constructivism does not assume the presence fo an outside objective reality that is revealed to the learner, but rather the learners actively construct their own reality."

SECTION OMITTED

This explains why schools now have classes where children construct their own spelling systems ("invented spelling"), their own punctuation and grammar rules, their own math procedures, and so on. In one state, the history standards say that by high school, students "should have a strong sense of how to reconstruct history." Isn't THAT an Orwellian phrase?
END

Pro-Faith in Education Book List

By Jay Richards -
God & Evolution: Protestants, Catholics and Jews Explore Darwin’s Challenge to Faith
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
God and Evolution

By Nancy Pearcey -
Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity

By William Kilpatrick -
Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong

By Phillip Johnson -
Darwin on Trial
Reason in the Balance
Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong About the New Atheism

ALSO a General Education Booklist:

The Conspiracy of Ignorance by Martin Gross

Illiberal Education by Dinesh D'Souza

The Worm in the Apple by Peter Brimelow

Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto and Thomas Moore

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