Friday, April 18, 2014

Life-Saving ADVICE: Go In-State For College & Be COMMUTER Student - Don't Dorm

Meningitis and other dorm scares: Vaccines for college kids

By Jackie Burrell

Is your child college bound? The pile of paperwork that arrives right around high school graduation includes a key piece of paper - a request for your child's immunization records. Colleges want to know that their students have been vaccinated against the basics - diptheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella. But increasingly, they want to know that their students have been innoculated against bacterial meningitis too.

More than 30 states urge college-bound teens to consider the meningococcal vaccine and nine - including Pennsylvania, Kansas, Louisiana, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island - require the immunization for first-time college students living on campus. Pennsylvania, for example, prohibits unvaccinated students from living on campus.

Why the emphasis on dorm dwellers?

Anyone living in crowded, communal living conditions - dorms, for example, as well as fraternities, sororities and military barracks - are at significantly higher risk for bacterial meningitis than the general population. Add in unhealthy life styles - lack of sleep, unbalanced nutrition, exposure to alcohol and second hand smoke - and the risks rise. Teens who live in dorms are six times more likely to contract the virulent disease than teens in the general population.

A fast-moving, virulent bug.

Meningococcal meningitis is a fast moving, deadly bug that kills 10 to 13% of its victims within a matter of hours or days, and leaves severe repercussions - amputation, brain damage or deafness - for up to 20% of the patients who survive. The frustrating thing is that antibiotics can knock out the disease, but the early symptoms are so general - fever, malaise, rash and a stiff neck - most victims don't even realize they have it until they are very sick indeed.

Contagion and risk.

The disease is spread via bodily fluids: coughing, kissing or by sharing a water bottle or fork. It can infect the blood, or the fluid in the spinal cord or around the brain, and symptoms can emerge in a matter of hours or days. And it spreads so quickly, a patient can die in a few hours, even with medical care. It's that speed that alarms doctors and university officials. Only 125 college students contract the disease - and five to 15 die - each year from the disease. According to the American College Health Association, up to 80% of those cases could have been avoided with the vaccine currently recommended, Menactra, which guards against two out of the three most common forms of the disease in the United States.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Partisan I.R.S. Thugs Invade Privacy Of Targeted Opponents While Doing Obama's Democrats Dirty Work

Romney donor bashed by Obama campaign now target of two federal audits By Joseph Weber

May 14, 2012: Businessman Frank VanderSloot speaks to Fox News.FNC

An Idaho businessman singled out by the Obama campaign for giving $1 million in support of Mitt Romney is now the focus of IRS and Labor Department audits.

Frank VanderSloot, in an interview with on Tuesday, said he received the initial audit notice from the IRS last month. Two weeks later, he got one from the Labor Department stating the agency would be looking into records related to foreign employees working at his Idaho Falls cattle ranch.

It might all be a coincidence, he said -- but the timing was peculiar. 

VanderSloot gave the pro-Romney money last year to the super PAC “Restore of Future.” Then in April, he was identified along with seven other donors on an Obama campaign website as “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.”

At the time, VanderSloot spoke out and accused the campaign of targeting him unfairly. Then came the audits. 

“It seems coincidental, but who knows,” VanderSloot told Tuesday. “The problem is the president made the list, and 61 days later I get the first letter. One has to ask: Is the fact I’m being shot at the result of having a target on my back? … Was the list made with that intent?”

VanderSloot expected some scrutiny, considering he is a co-chairman on the Romney campaign, and years of contributing to state and national races had already exposed him to the rough-and-tumble world of politics.  

He has also been targeted by liberal bloggers and an opposition research team that directed an investigator to poke around his local courthouse, looking at divorce records and other cases.

Yet VanderSloot, owner of the Melaleuca wellness product company,  never expected to be branded on an presidential campaign website as a “litigious, combative and bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

“I had never heard anybody say that,” said VanderSloot, who speculated the anti-gay claim is largely the result of him about 13 years ago opposing the film “It’s Elementary -- Talking about Gay Issues in School” airing on public TV because it was not suitable for viewing by young children.

“Ninety percent of my gay friends agreed,” he said.

VanderSloot was prescient in his public comments after appearing on the list, musing on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” about whether the list was perhaps a tip-sheet for media critics or federal agencies.

“Am I going to get a call from the FDA … or the IRS?” he said Tuesday, echoing his comments from the show.

Still, the 63-year-old VanderSloot doesn’t think President Obama directly ordered the audits, because simply allowing the so-called "enemy list" to be posted on the original “Keeping GOP Honest” site was enough.

“I doubt he said, ‘Let’s get these guys,’ ” VanderSloot said.

The Obama campaign did not return an email seeking comment. Representatives from the IRS and Labor Department also did not return requests for comment. 

The documents requested by the IRS have been turned over to his accountant, VanderSloot said, and the Labor Department audit is just getting started, but he will fully comply and expects no problems.

"I’m not worried,” he said. “We’ll be fine.”

VanderSloot also said the scrutiny has only strengthened his commitment to stay engaged in the political system.

“I am not going to stay away,” he said. “This has given me even more resolve that we need a new president.”

The long line of conservatives targeted by the IRS By John Solomon and Ben Wolfgang


The Washington Times
Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tea party groups, Franklin Graham, Christine O'Donnell, a pro-marriage group. And now Dr. Ben Carson.

The list of conservatives targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for audits, tax-exempt reviews or tax privacy breaches keeps growing, raising fresh questions in Washington about whether a scandal the Obama administration has blamed on bureaucratic incompetence and coincidence may in fact involve something more nefarious.

The latest revelation came Thursday from Dr. Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon who told The Washington Times that he was targeted for an audit just months after he gave a speech in front of President Obama that challenged America's leadership. The agency requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit.

In the end, the IRS found no wrongdoing, Dr. Carson said, but it raised his suspicions about being singled out for his speech.

"I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS," Dr. Carson said in an interview. "But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion."

Melanie Sloan, head of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and a former Justice Department prosecutor during the Clinton years, said she had not been that concerned about the IRS reviews of the growing number of tea party groups but the story of Dr. Carson's audit raised red flags.

"I have not been particularly persuaded in the past with the IRS targeting of the tea party groups. But this one seems a little odd. This certainly raises questions that I assume someone will begin to investigate," she said.

Dr. Carson, whose rise from poverty and medical work with pediatric patients were celebrated in the movie "Gifted Hands," is the latest in a growing number of high-profile figures to come forward and claim they were improperly targeted by the IRS.

The Rev. Franklin Graham and others have said either they or their organizations were singled out by the IRS, while former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said she was audited and that someone used the IRS system to access her private tax information.

On Wednesday, the National Organization for Marriage announced that it would sue the IRS, saying it has evidence that someone within the agency leaked the group's donor list to its political enemies in 2012.

As in the other instances, the organization claims no one at the IRS has been held responsible.

Calls to the IRS went unanswered Thursday. Much of the agency's staff has been furloughed as a result of the federal government shutdown.

In the past, the IRS has declined to discuss specific audits, citing privacy laws. Such instances typically come to light only when individuals or businesses divulge that they've been targeted.

That was what happened this week. During a speech in Alabama, Dr. Carson made a vague reference to having his first "encounter with the IRS."

The encounter came just four months after his speech in February at the National Prayer Breakfast, an address that brought him into the national spotlight and one in which he decried the "moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility" of the U.S. in recent years.

Since then, he has electrified the conservative world and fueled talk of a presidential run with speeches and other works, including his weekly column for The Times.

Dr. Carson said IRS agents contacted him in June and asked to look at his real estate holdings. After finding nothing that concerned them, the agents informed him that they were conducting a full audit of his finances and asked to go back an additional year to review his records, he said.

They ended the review in August after finding no problems.

"They told me everything was in good standing and left," Dr. Carson said.

Asked whether he thought the audit was a retaliation for his speech, Dr. Carson quipped: "I guess I'm surprised it took them that long."

He said the more serious issue is that the IRS has been politicized — "something that never should have happened" — and that leaves all of its activities open to suspicion.

Indeed, Dr. Carson isn't the first high-profile conservative figure to come under fire from the IRS.

Earlier this year, Ms. O'Donnell — a former Senate candidate from Delaware who rose to prominence amid heavy tea party backing — revealed to The Times that she, too, had been audited and also had her personal tax information breached.

Ms. O'Donnell's tax records were accessed by David Smith, an investigator with Delaware's Division of Revenue.

Revelations about that access, which took place in March 2010, spawned an inquiry by the U.S. Treasury Department and denials by Delaware officials that anything inappropriate had taken place.

It also has spawned a congressional investigation spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley, a powerful Iowa Republican.

Ms. O'Donnell's story, which also includes an erroneous lien placed on a home she no longer owned, broke just as the IRS inspector general acknowledged that at least four politicians or political donors have had their personal tax records improperly accessed since 2006. One of those cases involved a willful violation of federal law.

The Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

Also this year, Mr. Graham, son of legendary evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, wrote a letter to Mr. Obama in which he accused the IRS of targeting two of his nonprofit organization for political purposes.

Mr. Graham heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, a worldwide relief group.

In his letter, Mr. Graham said he believes "someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us."

My IRS tax records were breached, misused against me -- and it can happen to you, too By Christine O'Donnell


March 05, 2014

Lois Lerner’s appearance on Capitol Hill this week reminds us that, to date, she has become the face of the IRS stonewall: the refusal to tell the American people the truth about the agency’s targeting of groups and individuals as part of a political persecution of conservatives. My story about the IRS is about a stonewall as well, but for something far more serious: the invasion of personal and confidential tax records that are supposed to be protected by law. 

When a Treasury Department inspector general (TIGTA) investigator informed me early last year that my confidential IRS records had been “compromised” and “maybe misused,” the pieces of a three-year-old puzzle began to come together.

For two weeks I was attacked publicly – both in local and national media outlets – for this erroneous lien.

He told me that a few hours after I issued a media advisory for a news conference at which I was to announce my candidacy for the U.S. Senate, someone had breached my confidential IRS records. Later that same day the IRS placed an erroneous lien on a home I no longer owned.

The lien was stamped in New Castle County, Delaware. The county executive at that time was Chris Coons, the man who wound up defeating me in the election for the U.S. Senate seat and who sits in that seat today.

For two weeks I was attacked publicly – both in local and national media outlets – for this erroneous lien. The IRS then rescinded the lien claiming it was just a glitch. But the damage had already been done to my campaign and reputation.

As investigators began to look into this case I was fortunate to gain Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) as an ally. He and I were both told last Spring by TIGTA that I deserved to know at least some information about what happened.

Here is where the irony set in and the stonewall went up both in Delaware and Washington. We were told the same law that was supposed to protect the confidentiality of my tax records also protects the identities of the people involved in the records breach, the circumstances surrounding the breach as well as the erroneous lien. 

The person who accessed my records was an employee in the Delaware Department of Revenue, David Smith. His boss publicly claimed he did so as part of a “routine” check. 

The problem is there are laws that protect taxpayers from government officials who just want to go snooping in your confidential tax records. Someone at the IRS didn’t bother to abide by those laws. If all a government official needs to pry into your tax records is to claim he’s making a routine check, then the law isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and any taxpayer is vulnerable to having their confidential records “compromised” and “misused.”

The routine check turned into an erroneous lien, the lien was supposedly caused by a glitch. The question is if all of this was routine, simple coincidences and harmless glitches, how come neither I nor Senator Grassley have gotten the information promised by TIGTA for the past ten months?

What has happened is that despite genuine bipartisan efforts to get to the bottom of these scandals, despite the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee both probing my particular case, some congressional Democrats are calling for an ethics investigation into TIGTA. They are claiming its work has been pro-Republican. 

This is beyond partisan, it’s ridiculous as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp confirmed to Fox News' Megyn Kelly that “100 percent of the groups that were audited were conservative groups.” So the real reason to put the clamps on TIGTA is to keep cases like mine from going forward.

As I was considering the campaign for U.S. Senate I was literally told by a prominent Delaware political figure that if I ran the IRS and others were going to “F with your head.” It would seem given Ms. Lerner’s pleading the Fifth Amendment, the year long stonewall, and President Obama’s assertion to Bill O’Reilly that there’s “not even a smidgen” of corruption, the IRS is really doing that to the entire country.

Christine O’Donnell was the 2010 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Free Market Healthcare Ramps Up As ObamaCare Self-Destructs By Dr. Susan Berry


28 Oct 2013

Nancy Pelosi’s flippant remark to “pass the bill first, then find out what’s in it,” has led Americans to the discovery that ObamaCare is indeed a “nightmare,” fraught with bureaucratic tangles, the risk to personal privacy, and the real possibility that, when all is said and done, many will have a health insurance card, but no actual health care.

The free market, apparently, will have none of that, however, as America’s entrepreneurial spirit in real health care marketplaces is moving forward, with doctors and patients negotiating health care outside of government interference.

MediBid, for example, is a website that offers Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) and self-pay patients access to doctors who will provide them with quality medical care and direct cash pricing. The site also provides doctors with access to self-pay patients, allowing them to avoid insurance companies who underpay, and then only after months following the actual treatment or surgery.

Ralph Weber, MediBid’s president and CEO, opened the global marketplace for healthcare in January of 2010 after living in Canada and witnessing the need for a free market in the healthcare industry in a place where healthcare is rationed by the government.

On MediBid, patients can create a free, private profile, and then pay a one-request fee of $25 or $4.95 per month for a year of unlimited medical requests. Patients can then make a medical request for the type of treatment or surgery they need, and physicians and facilities are matched to patients who can proceed to collect bids from them.

Weber provided some insight into how MediBid can work for Americans who decide not to sign up for ObamaCare.

“A lot of procedures are a lot more affordable than big insurance companies want us to think they are,” Weber told KATU in Oregon. “If someone chooses to be uninsured next year, the individual penalty is $95 or up to 1% of your income. I think some people will choose to remain uninsured and shop for care as they go.”

One patient, George Law from Chicago, said that health insurance is simply not affordable for him. He requested a colonoscopy on MediBid and doctors around the country “bid” to perform it.

Dr. Scott Gibson of Oregon won the bid, charging cash customers about $800 for a colonoscopy, a great deal compared to the $3,500 Law would have to pay in Chicago.

“You might say come on, you can actually travel from Chicago to Oregon, rent a car, stay in a hotel and pay for your medical services?” said Law. “Not only did I come out ahead, it was less than half the price [of having the procedure done in Chicago].”

According to Dr. Gibson, the huge price difference is related to where the service is performed.

“Hospitals have high overheads, so they tend to charge more,” he said.

Paul Freeman also drove 600 miles from his home in Texhoma, Oklahoma last year to save himself, and his employer, thousands of dollars on his surgery.

According to, Freeman’s insurer covered his travel costs and the bill for his treatment because a medical center in Oklahoma City could remove the loose cartilage in his knee for about 70 percent less than a hospital near Freeman’s home. Without the change in location for his surgery, Freeman would have paid about $5,000 out of pocket.

“You immediately think, ‘Oh, they’re going to take me into a butcher shop and it’s going to be real scary,’” Freeman, 53, said. Instead, however, he noted he had a “wonderful experience.” 

MediBid claims it can save the average customer 50 percent on services. However, the savings are realized because patients using MediBid need to check out a doctor’s background on their own and are responsible for getting test results, such as X-rays, blood test lab reports, etc. to the doctor performing the service.

“We waste an enormous amount of money in this country by overpaying for health care,” states John Goodman, an economist and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis. “The only way to get rid of waste is to have people compete in a real marketplace.”

A move toward more free market healthcare delivery means patients need to change their outlook on how their medical care is delivered to them, and do more of the footwork themselves. In the free market, special treatments and surgeries are directed by patients themselves, just like a kitchen renovation or an engine overhaul. Customers investigate service providers who can do the job, get references, and find the best person for the best price.

With ObamaCare being the disaster it is, it looks like any big government takeover of healthcare is going to create more work and greater risk for Americans. Perhaps it’s better to take matters into our own hands so we know what we’re getting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The myth of ‘settled science’ By Charles Krauthammer


February 20, 2014

I repeat: I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier. I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination.

Now we learn from a massive randomized study — 90,000 women followed for 25 years — that mammograms may have no effect on breast cancer deaths. Indeed, one out of five of those diagnosed by mammogram receives unnecessary radiation, chemo or surgery.

So much for settledness. And climate is less well understood than breast cancer. If climate science is settled, why do its predictions keep changing? And how is it that the great physicist Freeman Dyson, who did some climate research in the late 1970s, thinks today’s climate-change Cassandras are hopelessly mistaken?

They deal with the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans, argues Dyson, ignoring the effect of biology, i.e., vegetation and topsoil. Further, their predictions rest on models they fall in love with: “You sit in front of a computer screen for 10 years and you start to think of your model as being real.” Not surprisingly, these models have been “consistently and spectacularly wrong” in their predictions, write atmospheric scientists Richard McNider and John Christy — and always, amazingly, in the same direction.

Settled? Even Britain’s national weather service concedes there’s been no change — delicately called a “pause” — in global temperature in 15 years. If even the raw data is recalcitrant, let alone the assumptions and underlying models, how settled is the science?

But even worse than the pretense of settledness is the cynical attribution of any politically convenient natural disaster to climate change, a clever term that allows you to attribute anything — warming and cooling, drought and flood — to man’s sinful carbon burning.

Accordingly, Obama ostentatiously visited drought-stricken California last Friday. Surprise! He blamed climate change. Here even the New York Times gagged, pointing out that far from being supported by the evidence, “the most recent computer projections suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter.”

How inconvenient. But we’ve been here before. Hurricane Sandy was made the poster child for the alleged increased frequency and strength of “extreme weather events” like hurricanes.

Nonsense. Sandy wasn’t even a hurricane when it hit the United States. Indeed, in all of 2012, only a single hurricane made U.S. landfall . And 2013 saw the fewest Atlantic hurricanes in 30 years. In fact, in the last half-century, one-third fewer major hurricanes have hit the United States than in the previous half-century.

Similarly tornadoes. Every time one hits, the climate-change commentary begins. Yet last year saw the fewest in a quarter-century. And the last 30 years — of presumed global warming — has seen a 30 percent decrease in extreme tornado activity (F3 and above) versus the previous 30 years.

None of this is dispositive. It doesn’t settle the issue. But that’s the point. It mocks the very notion of settled science, which is nothing but a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate. As does the term “denier” — an echo of Holocaust denial, contemptibly suggesting the malevolent rejection of an established historical truth.

Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads. If you whore after other gods, the Bible tells us, “the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11).

Sounds like California. Except that today there’s a new god, the Earth Mother. And a new set of sins — burning coal and driving a fully equipped F-150.

But whoring is whoring, and the gods must be appeased. So if California burns, you send your high priest (in carbon -belching Air Force One, but never mind) to the bone-dry land to offer up, on behalf of the repentant congregation, a $1 billion burnt offering called a “climate resilience fund.”

Ah, settled science in action.

Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Krauthammer: Here's an urgent to-do list for Barack Obama


March 14, 2014
by CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, The Washington Post

The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Obama's Ukraine policy by saying "What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?" Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing.

The alternative to passivity is not war but a serious foreign policy. For the last five years, Obama's fruitless accommodationism has invited the kind of aggressiveness demonstrated by Iran in Syria, China in the East China Sea and Russia in Ukraine. But what's done is done. Put that aside. What is to be done now?

We have three objectives. In ascending order of difficulty: Reassure NATO. Deter further Russian incursion into Ukraine. Reverse the annexation of Crimea.

Reassure NATO:

We're already sending U.S. aircraft to patrol the airspace of the Baltic states. That's not enough.

1. Send the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the Baltics to arrange joint maneuvers.

2. Same for the four NATO countries bordering Ukraine -- Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

3. Urgently revive the original missile defense agreements concluded with Poland and the Czech Republic before Obama canceled them unilaterally to appease Russia.

Deter Russia in Ukraine:

1. Extend the Black Sea maneuvers in which the USS Truxtun is currently engaged with Romania and Bulgaria. These were previously scheduled. Order immediate -- and continual -- follow-ons.

2. Declare that any further Russian military incursion beyond Crimea will lead to a rapid and favorable response from NATO to any request from Kiev for weapons. These would be accompanied by significant numbers of NATO trainers and advisers.

This is no land-war strategy. This is the "tripwire" strategy successful for half a century in Germany and Korea. Any Russian push into western Ukraine would then engage a thin tripwire of NATO trainer/advisers. That is something the most rabid Soviet expansionist never risked. Nor would Putin. It would, therefore, establish a ring of protection at least around the core of western Ukraine.

Reverse the annexation of Crimea:

Clearly the most difficult. In the short run, likely impossible. There are no military cards to play, Russia holding all of them. Ukraine's forces are very weak. The steps must be diplomatic and economic.

First, Crimean secession under Russian occupation must lead to Russia's immediate expulsion from the G-8. To assuage the tremulous Angela Merkel, we could do it by subtraction: All seven democracies withdraw from the G-8, then instantly reconstitute as the original G-7.  

As for economic sanctions, they are currently puny. We haven't done a thing. We haven't even named names. We've just authorized the penalizing of individuals.

Name the names, freeze their accounts. But any real effect will require broader sanctions and for that we need European cooperation. The ultimate sanction is to cut off Russian oligarchs, companies and banks from the Western financial system. That's the economic "nuclear option" that brought Iran to its knees and to the negotiating table. It would have a devastating effect on Putin's economy.

As of now, the Germans, French and British have balked. They have too much economic interest in the Moscow connection.

Which means we can do nothing decisive in the short or even medium term. But we can severely squeeze Russia in the long term.

How? For serious sanctions to become possible, Europe must first be weaned off Russian gas. Obama should order the Energy Department to expedite authorization for roughly 25 liquid natural gas export facilities. Demand all decisions within six weeks.

Second, call for urgent bipartisan consultation with congressional leaders for an emergency increase in defense spending, restoring at least $100 billion annually to the defense budget to keep U.S. armed forces at current strength or greater. Obama won't do it but he should. Nothing demonstrates American global retreat more than a budget that reduces the U.S. Army to 1940 levels.

Obama is not the first president to conduct a weak foreign policy. Jimmy Carter was similarly inclined -- until Russia invaded Afghanistan, at which point the scales fell from Carter's eyes. He responded boldly: imposing the grain embargo on the Soviets, boycotting the Moscow Olympics, increasing defense spending and ostentatiously sending a machine gun-toting Zbigniew Brzezinski to the Khyber Pass, symbolizing the massive military aid we began sending the mujahedeen, whose insurgency so bled the Russians over the next decade that they not only lost Afghanistan but were fatally weakened as a global imperial power.

Invasion woke Carter from his illusions. Will it wake Obama?
Charles Krauthammer's email address is

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rabbi Richard Levine, 75, remembered as influential Jewish advocate By Barbara S. Rothschild

For the Voice PDF
March 5, 2014

Rabbi Richard A. Levine, who served as the spiritual leader of Burlington County’s only Reform synagogue for 41 years, died Friday evening at Virtua Hospital, Voorhees, following a long illness. He was 75 years old and was surrounded by his family when he passed away at 8:22 p.m. Rabbi Levine was a well-known, influential and beloved Jewish advocate in South Jersey, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.

“Jewish tradition tells us that those whom God calls home on the Sabbath are considered especially meritorious,” said his oldest son Ari Levine. He described his father as a passionate Zionist who embraced the scholarly life as well as the sporting one.

Rabbi Emeritus of Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel since his 2005 retirement, the Voorhees resident continued to teach adult courses there -- the school wing is named for him -- and to contribute to special events and services. He gave a sermon at last year’s Yom Kippur services and was a steady presence at the Lois Levine Arts Weekend,  a longtime annual event that honors his late second wife, and at the annual  Scholar-in-Residence Weekend, a dream of his that came to fruition during his last year as senior rabbi.

“If life is a tapestry, then Dad was content to labor from the back, fixing up the loose ends, confident in the knowledge that his work would create something of incredible beauty and meaning,” Ari Levine said. That applied to the rabbi’s synagogue, his work with Jewish youth, and his blended family, Ari added.

Rabbi Levine was the first full-time rabbi to serve Temple Emanu-El of Willingboro, as the congregation was known when he arrived shortly after his ordination in 1964. At that time, his son noted, the congregation had fewer than 50 families, was meeting in a private home, and had just acquired the land for its first synagogue building.

Under Rabbi Levine's leadership, the congregation grew to over 500 families, but after demographics changed and membership declined, he led the procession from Willingboro to the temple’s new home in Mount Laurel in 1997. There, he fastened the mezuzah to doorposts leading to the sanctuary of what by then was known as Adath Emanu-El. In Mount Laurel, membership again swelled to more than 500 families.

“At a time when many people move from community to community, my father devoted his entire career to Adath Emanu-El and to the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community, Ari Levine said.  “As a result, he was able to touch many lives, and often many generations in the same family,”

Debra Neilson of Mount Laurel, a member of the congregation for the past 22 years, said her heart is broken. “Rabbi Levine was such a huge part of my life, and I considered him not only my spiritual leader but a friend,” Neilson said.

“My world was shaped around the synagogue he built. He created a beautiful home for many of us seeking a loving, warm synagogue to be part of,” Neilson said. “Starting at Temple Emanu-El in Willingboro, and later Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel, Rabbi Levine led his congregation with humor, knowledge, kindness and love.”

“He was an intricate part of many of our lives and will forever be a part of our family history,” said Neilson, who added that Rabbi Levine officiated at all of her family’s b’nai mitzvot and confirmations and converted her husband and her daughter, who was adopted from Korea. Rabbi Levine also gently guided the family through the loss of parents and grandparents, but Neilson also recalled his “cheesy” sense of humor and ability to play the shofar.

Rabbi Levine was born on July 14, 1938 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the youngest of Julius and Theresa Levine’s three children. 

“He was passionate about all things Brooklyn, especially his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers,” his son recalled.  “He loved all sports and was famous for infusing his teachings with sports analogies. The rabbi earned varsity athletics letters in high school and college.

Rabbi Levine graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in economics, with the thought of following his father and brother into the family accounting business. He enjoyed his years at Penn, particularly his time on the track team. In later years, he would proudly display a college yearbook photo that featured him and a perhaps more-famous member of the team, Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Dern. But he felt a higher calling.

He was ordained as a Reform rabbi at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City in 1964. Displaying his sense of humor when asked why he majored in economics as an undergraduate, he would say, “I always wanted to be the first rabbi who really understood his contract!” On a more serious note, he often said that as a rabbi, he was a true “modern Renaissance man.”

The rabbi’s passion for sports continued throughout his lifetime. “Generations of bar mitzvah boys still remember his challenging them to one-on-one basketball games as an inducement to further study,” Ari Levine said.  During the 1980s and ’90s, Rabbi Levine co-anchored a Philadelphia Eagles' television pregame show called “A Higher Power,” which blended enthusiasm for his Eagles with humor and theology. 

Rabbi Levine's other great passion, besides his family, was Israel and its place in the hearts of all Jews.  His first trip to Israel was on a Young Judaea trip in 1955, seven years after the Jewish State was founded.  He remained passionate about Israel throughout his life, making more than 25 trips -- and leading 11 congregational trips -- to the Holy Land.

He was an ardent supporter of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), and led Adath Emanu-El to plant more trees in Israel than any other New Jersey congregation, an accomplishment that resulted in his name being placed on the JNF Roll of Honor in Jerusalem.  

Early in his career, Rabbi Levine was tapped to help lead the song and Israeli dance program at Camp Kutz, the Reform Movement's youth leadership training institute in Warwick, N.Y.  The hope was that this might spark a greater sense of spirit in his students, who could then infuse that feeling throughout NFTY, the Reform movement's youth program.

“His efforts succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams,” Ari Levine said.  “My father gave license to a new generation of voices such as the late (singer-songwriter) Debbie Friedman, Cantor Jeff Klepper and Rabbi Daniel Freelander, and they in turn helped to change the way Jews relate to one another and to God. Whenever a congregation sings a Debbie Friedman or a Jeff Klepper song, an echo of my father's teaching can be heard.”

Debbie Friedman wrote her first song, “And Thou Shalt Love,” while living with Rabbi Levine and his family in Willingboro.  Later, Rabbi Levine helped to inspire the careers of Cantors Anita Hochman of M'kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, Leon Sher of Har Sinai in Pennington, and Cantorial Soloist Sandra Messinger of Adath Emanu-El.

“To the man who shaped so many lives, including mine, and gave his all to create a better world, I wish Rabbi Richard Levine peace,” Messinger said.

During his tenure at the synagogue, Rabbi Levine introduced many arts programs for Jewish self-expression in addition to social action and musical programs. He instituted “Ask the Rabbi” nights, home-study classes, and “kallot” retreats at Camp Harlam in the Poconos.  He was also a driving force behind the synagogue’s “Bikkur Cholim” committee, with some members making gifts for seniors and the sick, while others visit the Jewish patients and seniors. 

Said Adath Emanu-El Rabbi Benjamin David, “Rabbi Levine was a rabbi's rabbi, a mensch, a friend, and a truly precious soul.”

Added Dr. Steven Gitler of Cherry Hill, current president of Adath Emanu-El,“Rabbi Levine was our spiritual leader, our teacher, our song leader, our confidante, and our friend for well over 40 years.  He leaves an incredible legacy that will live on for many, many years to come.”

Bruce Grossman of Cherry Hill, president of the temple from 1992 to 1994 and a member since Rabbi Levine married him and his wife, Karen, in 1976, said the rabbi’s moral compass is his everlasting gift. Rabbi Levine officiated at the b’nai mitzvah of Grossman’s three children and at his daughter’s wedding.

“It was no coincidence that Rabbi Levine passed shortly after the beginning of our Shabbat service on Friday,” said Grossman, who chaired the Tribute Committee during Rabbi Levine’s last year as rabbi and now chairs Adath Emanu-El’s Ritual Committee.

“This service, whose theme was ‘L’Dor V’Dor’ (From Generation to Generation), was led by our senior and junior youth groups,” Grossman said.  “I believe that at the time of Rabbi’s passing, it was a moment of Heavenly confluence, when G-d spoke and declared: ‘On This Night, You Shall Ascend Up To Me, and Take Your Place Upon the Holy. For You Have Not Strived To Be Moses, You Have Strived to Be Rabbi Levine, and You Shall Be Honored Among the Righteous.’”

Rabbi Levine was the first and only South Jersey rabbi to serve as president of the Greater Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, speaking on behalf of the Jewish community on July 4, 1976, at Independence Hall.  He also served locally as president of the Tri-County Board of Rabbis and on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, Jewish Family and Children’s Service and the Department of Jewish Education and Continuity, as well as on the regional boards of Reform Rabbis and the Jewish National Fund. He chaired human relations commissions and ethics boards in Willingboro and Voorhees.

Rabbi Levine chaired two Central Conference of American Rabbis committees – the Retirement Committee and the Audit Committee – at the same time, and was the CCAR’s Carenet coordinator for the Delaware Valley Region for the program’s duration. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from HUC-JIR in 1989.

For many years, Rabbi Levine was a guest lecturer at five regional high schools, where he spoke on such topics as “The Concept of Self and Interrelations with Others.” He was a longtime regular at Vito’s Pizza in Cherry Hill, where the staff expected “Rabbi Levini,” as they called him, to pop in weekly for two slices of cheese pizza.

Rabbi Levine is survived by his wife of 28 years, Judith Chaikin Levine; children Ari (the late William Monnich Jr.) Levine, Ron (Kim) Levine, Brian (Iris Caesar) Golder, Jason (Lisa) Chaikin, Deborah (Chealsea Nather) Golder, Matthew Chaikin, Samantha (David Halpern) Chaikin, Yael (Doug) Emenecker and Shira (Lior) Keet; his sister, Rhoda (the late Dr. Jack) Cohen; his brother, Robert (Helen) Levine, and 13 grandchildren. His first marriage, to Judith Gittelsohn, ended in divorce; his second, to Lois Golder, ended with her death. 

Relatives and friends are invited Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m. to Adath Emanu-El, 205 Elbo Lane, Mount Laurel, where funeral services will begin promptly at noon. Interment will follow at Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill.  Overflow parking for those not going to the cemetery will be in the rear lot of Fellowship Community Church at 1520 Hainesport-Mount Laurel Rd., with shuttle service to the synagogue and back.

Shiva will be observed at Adath Emanu-El on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with Minyan services at 7 p.m. Other shiva times will be private.

Contributions may be made to the Rabbi Richard Levine Good Works Fund, c/o Adath Emanu-El, 205 Elbo Lane, Mount Laurel, N.J. 08054. Contributions will be divided among his favorite charities, including Adath Emanu-El, the Jewish National Fund and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Rabbi Richard Levine, 75, Prominent South Jersey Leader


Barbara S. Rothschild | JE Feature March 3, 2014
Enlarge Image »
Rabbi Richard Levine

Rabbi Richard A. Levine, who served 41 years as the religious leader of Burlington County’s only Reform synagogue, died Feb. 28 following a long illness. He was 75 years old and lived in Voorhees, N.J.

“Jewish tradition tells us that those whom God calls home on the Sabbath are considered especially meritorious,” said Levine’s oldest son, Ari. He described his father as a passionate Zionist who embraced the scholarly life as well as the sporting one.

Rabbi emeritus of Adath Emanu-El in Mount Laurel since his 2005 retirement, Levine continued to teach adult courses there — the school wing is named for him — and contribute to special events and services.

Levine was the first full-time rabbi to serve Temple Emanu-El of Willingboro, N.J., as the congregation was known when he arrived shortly after his ordination in 1964. Under his leadership, the congregation grew from 50 to more than 500 families. But after demographics changed and membership declined, in 1997 he led the procession from Willingboro to the temple’s new home in Mount Laurel, by then known as Adath Emanu-El. There, membership returned to its previous levels.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Levine graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in economics, thinking that he would follow his father and brother into the family accounting business, Ari Levine said. But he felt a higher calling, his son continued, and went on to become ordained as a Reform rabbi at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1964, where he later also earned an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Displaying his sense of humor when congregants asked why he majored in economics, he would say, “I always wanted to be the first rabbi who really understood his contract!” 

The rabbi’s passion for sports was evident during the 1980s and ’90s when he co-anchored a Philadelphia Eagles' television pregame show called A Higher Power, which blended his enthusiasm for the team with humor and theology.

Levine's other great passion, aside from his large blended family, was Israel. He visited the Jewish state more than 25 times, including leading 11 congregational trips.

An ardent supporter of the Jewish National Fund, he led Adath Emanu-El and its congregants to plant so many trees that his name was placed on the JNF Roll of Honor in Jerusalem. Based on the plaques in a grove known as “The New Jersey Forest,” Adath Emanu-El has planted more trees than any other congregation in the state, Ari Levine said. 

Early in his career,  Levine was tapped to help lead the song and Israeli dance program at Camp Kutz, the Reform Movement’s youth leadership training institute in Warwick, N.Y.

“My father gave license to a new generation of voices such as the late Debbie Friedman, Cantor Jeff Klepper and Rabbi Daniel Freelander, and they in turn helped to change the way Jews relate to one another and to God,” Ari Levine said.

Friedman wrote her first song, “And Thou Shalt Love,” while living with Levine and his family in Willingboro.

Adath Emanu-El Rabbi Benjamin David called his predecessor “a rabbi's rabbi, a mensch, a friend and a truly precious soul.”

Levine was reportedly the first and only South Jersey rabbi to serve as president of the Greater Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, and spoke in that role on behalf of the Jewish community on July 4, 1976, at Independence Hall. 

He also served in South Jersey as president of the Tri-County Board of Rabbis and on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, Jewish Family and Children’s Service and the Department of Jewish Education and Continuity, as well as on the regional boards of Reform Rabbis and the Jewish National Fund. He chaired human relations commissions and ethics boards in Willingboro and Voorhees.

In addition to his son Ari, Levine is survived by his wife, Judith Chaikin Levine; daughters Deborah Golder, Samantha Chaikin, Yael Emenecker and Shira Keet; sons Ron Levine, Brian Golder, Jason Chaikin and Matthew Chaikin; sister Rhoda Cohen; brother Robert;  and 13 grandchildren. 

Contributions may be made to the Rabbi Richard Levine Good Works Fund, c/o Adath Emanu-El, 205 Elbo Lane, Mount Laurel, N.J. 08054. Donations will be divided among his favorite charities, including Adath Emanu-El, the Jewish National Fund and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 

Obituary - MARCUS

MARCUS MARVIN, Jan. 27, 2014, of Mt. Laurel NJ. Husband of Sybil Marcus. Father of Steven Marcus. Born in Philadelphia, Marvin was an Honors Graduate and Member of the Kite & Key Club at the University of Pennsylvania. He served his country heroically in the Army in Korea and was a 47 Year Veteran of the US Postal Service. Graveside Services are Sunday, at 11 A.M., at Crescent Mem. Park, (Sec. 7), Pennsauken NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to American Cancer Society, Deborah Heart and Lung Foundation or the Jewish National Fund by Planting a Tree in Israel. PLATT MEMORIAL CHAPELS Inc 856-428-9442

Published in Philadelphia Inquirer and/or Philadelphia Daily News on Jan. 31, 2014

MARVIN MARCUS, Jan. 27, 2014, of Mt. Laurel, NJ. Husband of Sybil Marcus. Father of Steven Marcus. Born in Philadelphia, Marvin was an Honors Graduate and Member of the Kite & Key club at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. He served his country heroically in the Army in Korea and was a 47 Year Veteran of the US Postal Service. Int. Crescent Mem. Park, Pennsauken, NJ. Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Deborah Heart and Lung Foundation or the Jewish National Fund by Planting a Tree in Israel.

Jewish Exponent - Friday, January 31, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Phillips Philes Cites Winter Olympics Commercials of 2014

Charmin's 60 Second Zamboni Intermission - February 6, 2014

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon - Keeping Cool While Curling - February 10, 2014

Subway - Train Hard - February 16, 2014

Carnival Cruise - February 5, 2014

Gillette - By A Hair - February 5, 2014

Citi - Every Step - February 7, 2014

Kellogg - Uphill - February 7, 2014

AT&T - Paralympian - February 13, 2014

BMW - Bobsled USA - February 14, 2014

TDAmeritrade - #itaddsup -- Patrick Deneen - February 21, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fruitcake Environmentalist Barack Obama Pushes Global Warming Lies And Requests Billion Dollar Slush Fund. Plus: Climate Expert Says No Link Between Bad Winter and Global Warming By Mike's America


February 17, 2014

Obama says something that is demonstrably false yet it is reported as if it were true!

Readers are probably getting tired of reading about global warming here. By now, most of those with any objective sense realize that the gloom and doom scenario put forward by environmental scaremongers beginning in the late 1970's is not going to happen. For the desperate few who cling to the failed global warming theory with religious fervor, there's no hope.

Still, as long as Dems continue to push the big lie, it's up to us to push back....

Barack left Michelle behind on Valentines Day for a visit to his first love, rabid environmentalists in California. He visited a farm in Los Banos, California that has been impacted by severe drought. He didn't mention the opposition of Democrats and environmentalists to bringing water down from wetter areas of the state or how Dems put the interests of a small fish before that of farmers.

In Obama's best "never let a crisis go to waste" manner Obama blamed the drought on global warming:

OBAMA: A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms, floods are potentially going to be costlier and they’re going to be harsher.
Yet year after year since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005 extreme weather events including tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes and floods have been decreasing or staying about the same. Here's a chart from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency relating to drought:

You might think that Obama's speech writers would check their facts before sending the President out to scare people over a drought. But then, these are the same speech writers who put the lie "if you like your health care plan you can keep it" on Obama's teleprompter over and over again.

Obama's newest answer to global warming? Let him distribute $1 billion to his green friends. Like the dozens of green projects that enriched his green friends but went bankrupt and lost billions in taxpayer supported loans Obama is always looking for a way to spread the green around. He ought to save it for St. Patrick's Day!

Expert: Storms Not Related to Climate Change

From the Daily Mail (U.K.):
Mat Collins, a Professor in climate systems at Exeter University:

Professor Collins told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’

His statement carries particular significance because he is an internationally acknowledged expert on climate computer models and forecasts, and his university post is jointly funded by the Met Office.

Prof Collins is also a senior adviser – a ‘co-ordinating lead author’ – for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
There may be scientists of equal stature who disagree with Collins. But all this proves is that the science is NOT "settled" and the debate is NOT "over" as Obama and the Democrats would have you believe. The scientific method assumes that a theory will be tested by observation. Thirty years of observations have proven the theory wrong.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry took his jet and entourage to Indonesia where he is mocking those who have a different view on climate change.
“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” Kerry said. “We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society,”
Kerry insisted that climate change is one of the world's biggest problems. He did so in Indonesia a country gripped with poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease. Do you think Indonesia's poor share Kerry's focus on a phony problem?

The Global Warming lies will continue as long as there's a buck to be made by pushing them. And with Obama offering to shower activists with billions in greenbacks, the lies will continue!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Krauthammer On "Lawless" Obamacare Changes: "Now Reached A Point Where It's So Endemic That Nobody Even Complains"


BRET BAIER: But people looking at Washington from the outside they see this -- that this is always how it is. That it is always about the next election and figuring out how best to position whatever legislation until you get past the next election and then something gets through.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Generally speaking, you get past the next election by changing your policies, by announcing new initiatives, but not by wantonly changing the law lawlessly. This is stuff that you do in a banana republic. It's as if the law is simply a blackboard on which Obama writes any number he wants, any delay he wants and any provision.

It's now reached a point where it is so endemic that nobody even notices or complains. I think if the complaints had started with the first arbitrary changes, and these are are not adjustments or transitions. These are political decisions to minimize the impact leading up to an election, and it's changing the law in a way that you are not allowed to do.

RON FOURNIER: I didn't believe this is lawless. I certainly don't believe we are in a banana republic, but I do think this is why the president's approval ratings are below 40%, why only 12% of public has faith in Congress and why less than 20% of the public has any faith in government. This is incompetence at the very least --

KRAUTHAMMER: It's not incompetence.

FOURNIER: -- that really turns the public off.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's not incompetence, it's willful breaking of the constitutional order. Where in the constitution is a president allowed to alter a law 27 times after it's been passed?

FOURNIER: I think they would argue, and I'm not a constitutional attorney and certainly don't hold a doctorate, but I think they would argue this is a tax which is ironic -- they are arguing now it's a tax -- and under a tax the Treasury Secretary has wide authority to be able to bend regulations.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Phillips Philes Phlashback: January 19, 2004 - The Howard Dean Scream

Howard Dean Screams!
In Iowa January 19, 2004, Democrat Presidental candidate Governor Howard Dean of Vermont screamed during his third place concession speech.

"Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico! We're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan! And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeeeeaaaaaah!"

Watch the video or listen to the original audio of Howard Dean's scream.

Listen to hilarious remixes of the Dean scream:

Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train (Dean's Aboard)
Funk Mix
Welcome to Dean's Jungle
Dean Megamix
Dean (Flash) Gordon
Deansane in the Brain
Dean Twilight Zone
Hey YEAAAAHHHHH!! (Outkast remix)