BELLFLOWER, Calif. (AP) — The nation's second set of live-born octuplets were all breathing on their own Wednesday, 48 hours after a woman gave birth to the surprising bunch in Southern California.
Three of the babies were still receiving oxygen through a tube in their nose, but they were inhaling and exhaling on their own, the hospital said. All the newborns were expected to have the tubes removed soon.
"They're doing amazingly well," said Socorro Serrano, spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower Medical Center, where the babies were born nine weeks premature.
The mother, whose identity remains a secret, had not yet been able to hold any of the delicate babies — six boys and two girls — who were born weighing between 1 pound, 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. However, she was able to see them in their incubators Tuesday night.
In lieu of names, the babies have been assigned letters A through H, in the order of their birth Monday morning. The babies' incubators were being kept near one another in the same room for bonding, said Miriam Khoury, clinical director of inpatient obstetrical nursing at the hospital.
Four of the babies were receiving tube-feedings of donated breast milk, said Khoury.
The stomach of Baby F didn't absorb the first feeding he was given Wednesday and it was stopped, said Khoury.
Doctors were surprised by the birth of the eighth baby, because they were only anticipating seven, said Dr. Harold Henry, one of 46 staff members who delivered the babies by cesarean section.
Khoury said the addition of eight babies to the neonatal unit had not stressed the hospital.
"This is history for us, so of course we're happy," said Khoury, who helped coordinate the materials needed for the labor.
Details about how the octuplets were conceived have not been released, but doctors not involved in the delivery believe the mother was likely on fertility treatment.
Dr. Daniel Mishell, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, recommends carefully monitoring pregnancies involving fertility drugs by ultrasound.
Multiple births can be dangerous for babies and their mother, and in some cases, may result in lasting health problems. However, in cases where a woman insists on having multiple births, there's a limit to a doctor's role.
"You can't mandate a reduction of pregnancies," Mishell said. "You can advise them, but you can't mandate them."
The babies were expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks and could face serious developmental delays because of their small size.
The nation's first live-birth octuplets were born three months premature in Houston in 1998. The tiniest baby, who was born at 10.3 ounces, died of heart and lung failure a week after being born. The others survived.
Mother Nkem Chukwu and father Iyke Louis Udobi had used fertility drugs in the pregnancy.
AP Science Writer Alicia Chang contributed to this report.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
May 7, 1918
Kansas City Star
The legislation now being enacted by Congress should deal drastically with sedition. It should also guarantee the right of the press and people to speak the truth freely of all their public servants, including the President, and to criticize them in the severest terms of truth whenever they come short in their public duty. Finally, Congress should grant the Executive the amplest powers to act as an executive and should hold him to stern accountability for failure so to act, but it should itself do the actual lawmaking and should clearly define the lines and limits of action and should retain and use the fullest powers of investigation into and supervision over such action. Sedition is a form of treason. It is an offense against the country, not against the President. At this time to oppose the draft or sending our armies to Europe, to uphold Germany, to attack our allies, to oppose raising the money necessary to carry on the war are at least forms of sedition, while to act as a German spy or to encourage German spies to use money or intrigue in the corrupt service of Germany, to tamper with our war manufactures and to encourage our soldiers to desert or to fail in their duty, and all similar actions are forms of undoubtedly illegal sedition. For some of these offenses death should be summarily inflicted. For all the punishment should be severe.
The Administration has been gravely remiss in dealing with such acts.
Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where the people are themselves free. Our Government is the servant of the people, whereas in Germany it is the master of the people. This is because the American people are free and the German are not free. The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
During the last year the Administration has shown itself anxious to punish the newspapers which uphold the war, but which told the truth about the Administration's failure to conduct the war efficiently, whereas it has failed to proceed against various powerful newspapers which opposed the war or attacked our allies or directly or indirectly aided Germany against this country, as these papeis upheld the Administration and defended the inefficiency. Therefore, no additional power should be given the Administration to deal with papers for criticizing the Administration. And, moreover, Congress should closely scrutinize the way the Postmaster-General and Attorney-General have already exercised discrimination between the papers they prosecuted and the papers they failed to prosecute. Congress should give the President full power for efficient executive action. It should not abrogate its own power. It should define how he is to reorganize the Administration. It should say how large an army we are to have and not leave the decision to the amiable Secretary of War, who has for two years shown such inefficiency. It should declare for an army of five million men and inform the Secretary that it would give him more the minute he asks for more.
By STEVEN MALANGA | Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009 4:30 PM PT
The 18th century English cleric and theologian John Wesley was troubled by a paradox that emerged as his teaching spread. He, like other Protestant thinkers stretching back to Calvin, taught that one could honor God through hard work and thrift.
The subsequent burst of industry and frugality generated by Wesley's message improved the lot of many of his working-class followers and helped advance capitalism in England.
But "wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion has decreased in the same proportion," Wesley observed, and subsequently pride and greed are growing more common, he complained.
The emergence of what Max Weber described as the Protestant ethic represented an important point in the evolution of capitalism because it combined a reverence for hard work with an emphasis on thrift and forthrightness in one's dealings with others. Where those virtues were most ardently practiced, markets advanced and socie-ties prospered.
And, as Wesley foresaw, what slowly followed was a rise in materialism and a reverence of wealth for its own sake.
Today, we seem to be living out Wesley's most feared version of the pursuit of affluence unencumbered by virtue.
Scam artists perpetrate giant Ponzi schemes against their friends and associates. Executives arrange compensation packages that pay themselves handily for failure. Ordinary people by the hundreds of thousands seek a shortcut to riches by lying on mortgage applications. Heartless phony bailout schemes take the last dollar of people already in distress.
To survive all of this it seems capitalism needs a new dose of restraint. But absent a vast religious revival in the West, which seems unlikely, where will a renewal of the virtues of the work ethic come from?
That question becomes ever more difficult to consider because as religious practice fades and our institutions reject traditional values, so too does the memory of the role that these elements played in the rise of capitalism.
In the Church of the Middle Ages, work was something the faithful performed to survive, not something that had a value of its own. The most important occupations were not determined by the market but by church leaders: the monastic life first, followed by farming and then crafts.
Although the Church saved what was left of Europe's culture and economy after the fall of Rome, the continent's standard of living barely changed for 1,000 years under a worldview that was suspicious of all but commerce on the smallest scale.
Calvin undermined that view by placing work in a new religious context. Work was something that God willed us to do — even the rich. The worldly success that one achieved through hard work was a sign that one was perhaps a member of the elect.
But the fruits of hard labor weren't meant to be spent lavishly on oneself. The Protestant reformers preached that the faithful should reinvest the profits of hard work in new ventures rather than squander them because it seemed unlikely that people who were profligate were saved.
Over time this view of work became so widespread that many of the West's institutions accepted it, especially in America, a land settled by dissident religious sects that embraced the Protestant ethic.
By the middle of the 18th century Ben Franklin could publish a best-seller with the title "The Way to Wealth," a secularized guide to work values filled with observations like "a penny saved is a penny earned," and "early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
By the early 19th century de Tocqueville could marvel that America's preachers seemed as interested in promoting prosperity in this world through industriousness as "eternal felicity" in the next. Our public schools reinforced this message, not because it was religious but because it became the American way.
It was also here in America that the Catholic Church, initially suspicious of capitalism because it was thriving in Protestant countries, embraced the work ethic.
As vast waves of poor immigrants from Catholic countries, most especially Ireland, streamed into America in the 19th century, church leaders, worried about a backlash, set up schools that taught the children of these foreigners the same virtues of hard work, thrift and the pursuit of advancement that Wesley had transmitted to the English working class.
Within a generation, the Irish of America were thriving the way their countrymen across the Atlantic wouldn't prosper for nearly another 100 years.
But Wesley's paradox has been a part of this landscape of work and prosperity, too. Secularism rose in the U.S. in the late 19th century and peaked in the Roaring '20s, another age of materialism. Then the Great Depression and World War II brought a revival of religious observance, which continued during the boom years of the 1950s, before another decline began in the 1960s and continues through today.
Perhaps most pointedly, the values of the Protestant ethic also began to disappear from our larger society, especially from our schools, whose principals and instructors, largely schooled in American university education departments that have abandoned the idea that there is a common set of American cultural values, found such Franklinesque admonitions as "there are no gains without pains" too old-fashioned.
(However, one can occasionally find a football coach or phys ed teacher who echoes this wisdom.)
The gradual disappearance of the Protestant ethic has shifted the emphasis in our economy from work and production to work and consumption — but most of all to consumption. A culture of thrift has become a culture of debt, and in the process many people have blurred the line between the legitimate competitive activity that is so essential to capitalism and criminality.
When Franklin wrote that the bailiff does not visit the working man's house because "industry pays debts," he probably wasn't thinking of the no-doc, no down payment, interest-only, adjustable-rate mortgage with a balloon payment given to someone who conspired with his mortgage broker to obtain a loan for which he isn't qualified.
The meltdown of the financial markets in the last few months has left us grappling with how we can keep markets free and principled at the same time. The only debate so far is between those who want more government regulation — who want to impose from the outside via the regulator's eye the restraint that our institutions once tried to instill in us — and those who think that more government will only undermine our prosperity.
Neither side seems to be winning the public debate because most Americans are probably equally as appalled by the shortcomings of the markets as they are by the prospect of more government control of them.
People instinctively know something is missing, just not what. A religious revival in America seems unlikely. Is it equally as unlikely that our institutions, most especially our schools, would once again promote the virtues that made capitalism thrive and Western societies prosper — not just hard work, but thrift and integrity, or what we once called the Protestant ethic?
Malanga is an editor for RealClearMarkets and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/29/2009 09:03:00 AM
January 29, 2009
The events of the past week should thoroughly scare anyone with an understanding of historical causes and effects. Fortunately for the underwriters of the "new order," most Americans remain blissfully ignorant of the plotting and maneuvering going on inside the Beltway. As long as the network anchors keep force-feeding the people a steady diet of euphoric anecdotes regarding everything Obama, along with the predictable public opinion polls showing that the ruse has gained near universal acceptance, America can continue inexorably on its descent into socialism.
Yet some alarming news items have been very telling as to the intentions of the Democrat ruling class now entrenched at the epicenter of political power. Admittedly, the Republican "opposition" has already capitulated to a far greater degree than ever should have happened, given the unconscionable partisanship of the Democrats over the past eight years. During a grave time of war, Democrats sought every opportunity to tout the strengths of America's enemies, while their most prominent mouthpieces such as Senate Leader Harry Reid (D.-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D.-IL), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-CA), and Representative John Murtha (D.-PA) focused almost exclusively on America's weaknesses and failures, whether real or contrived.
Now however, those same purveyors of liberal venom and all of their "mainstream" media accomplices insist that the nation wants nothing but collegiality and acquiescence to the far-left agenda of the Obama Administration. All too often, propaganda ploys of this nature have worked. At many such critical junctures in recent years, the Republican minority has abdicated its principles and cooperated with the left in the name of "bipartisanship," the "new tone," or "ending the rancor."
Even now, with Obama and the Democrat Congressional leadership on the brink of squandering nearly a trillion dollars of real America's resources on their obscenely bloated "economic stimulus" bill, some Republicans are vocally castigating the conservatives for refusing to support the effort. Obama has made significant inroads among certain wishy-washy members of the "conservative" punditry, while seeking to isolate and marginalize the voices of real conservatism, most notably Rush Limbaugh.
Many expected the thoroughly shell-shocked Republican remnant on Capitol Hill to roll over for Obama and the Democrats, thus paving the way for even bigger GOP losses in the 2010 mid-term elections. Now however, some signs of a Republican awakening give cause for hope on the right. And, set against an ominous backdrop of liberal expansionism, the time was right for Republicans, despite their inability to numerically dominate the political landscape, to use this occasion to reaffirm their principles and starkly contrast themselves against Democrats.
Moreover, in an effort to advance a crucial element of his Machiavellian political strategy, Obama may have tipped his hand a little too soon, thus betraying his sinister intentions and removing his mask of universal love and popularity that was so meticulously constructed during the past two years. If real Republicans, and indeed any Americans who cherish their country's heritage are taking notice, they can "connect the dots" and realize that the fate of our constitutional republic may hang in the balance, and America's resurgence or collapse may ride on their timidity or ability to stand fast.
It is dangerous to trivialize the significance of Obama's exhortation for Republicans to "stop listening to Rush Limbaugh." In another time, when reason and respectability would have undergirded a president's intention to uphold the Constitution (along with the assurance that the courts and the people would not allow otherwise), a statement of that nature might have been dismissed as casual banter. But Obama has already displayed a willingness to say or do anything, constitutional or otherwise, in order to further his agenda. So the intimidation and silencing of his most vocal critic would certainly not exceed any previous actions.
Not to be excluded from consideration is the liberal obsession with the abominably misnamed "Fairness Doctrine," an Orwellian concept that if implemented would essentially thrash the First Amendment and shut down the nation's airwaves to anything but state-approved political debate. Concerned citizens from across the political spectrum should recognize the threat this measure would pose to all members of a free and open country. And Obama's deliberate effort to center the discussion around Limbaugh, far from being merely a jab at a political rival, represents the first move toward silencing the masses.
This episode serves as a chilling harbinger of what it will take to remain in good standing within Obama's new order. Empty tributes to "bipartisanship" aside, Obama, Reid, and Pelosi will accept nothing short of compliance to their agenda.
Republicans who believe in upholding Republican principles are currently backed into a corner. And some are coming back swinging. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R.-OH) is openly voicing his disapproval of the "stimulus" sham. As a result, on Wednesday the measure passed in the House, but without a single Republican vote in support of it.
Similarly, over in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KS) has likewise excoriated the spending bill, asserting that it will most definitely not help the economy. If McConnell can hold Senate Republicans together as well as Boehner did in the House, responsibility for the binge spending will rest entirely with the Democrats. Both Republican leaders are correctly contending that this unjustifiable level of governmental waste is motivated far more by political interests, and not by any intention to truly spur America's recovery from its current economic plight.
This may be the defining moment for the Republican Party. The bogus "stimulus" bill can, and most likely will, pass in the Senate, as it did in the House, with or without Republican votes. But Democrats need Republican cover in order to lay a fig leaf of "bipartisanship" over their criminal pillaging of the confiscated wealth of America.
This newest "stimulus" will not work any better than the last one. And in its wake the country will be that much poorer for the misbegotten endeavor. A unified Republican opposition to the spending spree would help to sharply define each party as a promoter of run-away spending or a champion of fiscal responsibility. And going into the next election cycle, that is a risk the Democrats cannot afford to take.
Of course the media has reported the House vote as a triumph for Obama. But without GOP collaboration, it will incur an enormous toll on the Democrats once the parades pass by and reality sets in. Congressional and Senate Republicans need to recognize the magnitude of their success and stridently oppose the Democrats on other issues, including domestic drilling for oil and the need to keep healthcare outside of the entanglements of government bureaucracies. By maintaining their resolve, they will be far better positioned to pursue the mid-term elections in 2010.
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming. He has been active in local and state politics for many years and is a managing partner in Best American Buy (www.bestamericanbuy.com), an e-commerce business that markets products exclusively made in America. His contact information and archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/29/2009 08:38:00 AM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Let me ask you something.
If you just found out the boss froze your pay and wasn't giving you an increase this year, you'd change some things, right?
Maybe not buy that new car, or hold off building that addition on the house.
So, the big things you'd put off.
But I guess you'd still go out to eat now and then, maybe take in a movie.
Now, what if you found out you'd be losing your job?
I imagine you'd take more drastic action, right?
Out would go the eating out too, I guess. Movies, if you see them, are at home.
There is a difference between adjustment and drastic adjustment.
But not with the government.
So convinced are they that we're going into a depression that they're spending like crazy to make sure it doesn't happen.
Oblivious to the fact that the more they spend, the more they could make the very thing they fear a reality, and us getting stuck for the huge tab in the process.
Look, we're in for tough times.
I do not think we're in for end of the world times.
Yet we're preparing for end of the world times.
And spending like it.
On top of trillions spent stimulating everyone from banks to mortgage holders, now politicians want to spend hundreds of billions more on more mortgage relief, now credit card relief, food stamp relief, just lots more of all sorts of relief.
My gosh, we're not only spending money we don't have but for a crisis we will never see!
To wit, some facts:
The economy is indeed contracting, but it is not collapsing — three tenths of a percent in the latest quarter, still, not the half a percent dip everyone was predicting.
Jobless claims are high, but they're not soaring. In fact, in the latest week, they stayed the same when everyone thought they'd rocket.
Dour. Not dire. Dip. Not depression.
The trick this Halloween eve for Washington, is to avoid treats that could end up scaring us long after Halloween.
They say too much candy can make you sick. I've never bought that one.
But I buy this: Too much candy from Washington can never, ever make us better.
Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto" and send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/28/2009 10:51:00 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Being FOX's top nerd guy, I'm often asked about the ongoing financial crisis.
When will it end? Why so many rescues? Why so much stimulus?
I've always said this all comes down to one word: Confidence.
The confidence of borrowers to borrow and lenders to lend.
Problem is right now, that isn't it.
Because folks aren't confident.
They're not confident to go out and buy things, so the folks from whom they would buy things, don't stock as many things, and so, start laying off workers who make those things.
To say the least, they're not confident.
At the least, their friends who have jobs worry whether they themselves should be confident.
So here we are.
And now we're looking at a problem that comes down to not one word, but two: Cash flow.
We need to keep the cash flowing, usually by cutting down on needless spending.
But sometimes that doesn't work. So we tap a Visa credit line to pay our bills, long enough to get back on our feet, so we can pay all those bills.
Now picture our government doing the same thing, only on steroids.
Right now it's spending about a trillion bucks more than it's making.
A trillion bucks more cash flowing out than cash flowing in.
Problem is we're seeing no bang for that cash going out, because still very little cash is coming in.
So we're doubling down by essentially charging up. Spending cash we don't have, assuming it soon will translate into cash we soon will.
Then we can pay all this off. Then cash will flow and we'll all be better off.
It is the essence of stimulus to insist it will stimulate. Even though it is the essence of reality to see so far it has not.
The cash still flows.
Pity the confidence does not.
Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto" and send your comments to email@example.com
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/28/2009 10:40:00 AM
Rush Announces eBay Charity Auction of Harry Reid’s Letter
October 12, 2007
RUSH: It's special announcement time, ladies and gentlemen, and this special announcement, I'm going to play it for you in the form of an audio sound bite from last night's Rush to Excellence Tour in Philadelphia. The video of what you are going to hear is posted at RushLimbaugh.com, at this moment, so you can actually see it as well as listen to it here on the radio. So let's get the special announcement started with this excerpt of last night's Rush to Excellence performance in Philadelphia.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Stalin, are you back there? This is my security guy.
(laughter and applause)
RUSH ARCHIVE: One second. Face the audience, please. His name is Larry. I hired him because he looks just like Stalin, which just irritates the hell out of the libs.
RUSH ARCHIVE: As you can see, this is a titanium briefcase. He has it handcuffed to himself. Ladies and gentlemen, I am holding here, the original letter Harry Reid sent to the CEO of Clear Channel.
(cheers and applause)
RUSH ARCHIVE: Here are the signatures of 41 Democrat senators. Hillary Clinton is on this page, the first page. People are asking, "How come Hillary didn't weigh in on the Limbaugh controversy?" She has! She's recommended that a private citizen be censured, or whatever, by his own corporate partner -- and she wants to be president of the United States.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Screw that!
RUSH ARCHIVE: The CEO of Clear Channel, since they are my syndication partner, is a friend of mine. He gave me the letter. Here is what we are going to do with Senator Reid's letter. Tomorrow at 1:30 in the afternoon on my award-winning program, I am going to announce that we are auctioning this letter on eBay.
(wild cheers and applause)
RUSH ARCHIVE: The proceeds of this letter will go to a charity for which I am a board member and have raised a lot of money for and have contributed: the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.
(deafening cheers, hoots, and applause)
RUSH: That's a standing O happening here, folks. This is a standing O.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Thank you.
(cheers and applause)
RUSH: I am now right here in the broadcast complex. I have in front of me the titanium briefcase containing the official real letter from Senator Reid, signed by 41 Democrat senators to Mark Mays, the CEO of Clear Channel, my syndication partner. This titanium case -- I hold it up now for those of you on the Dittocam to see -- is manufactured by Halliburton. Inside the titanium case -- I'm opening it here just as I did last night in Philadelphia -- this is the original letter. There are four pages to this letter. This letter is going to whoever bids the highest amount on eBay. It is available now to be bid upon. Simply go to RushLimbaugh.com, and there's a direct link from our website to the eBay page on which this is explained. There are pictures of the four pages of the letter, official documentation of where the money is going and so forth. The one thing that we are asking you to do, and I hope you understand this, is when you place a bid on this auction, you will be asked before your bid is accepted to prequalify. Now, the reason we're doing this is not to collect information on you. We are doing this to make sure that no operative of Senator Reid nor the Democrat National Committee can attempt to buy back their own deceitful words here.
We want this letter to remain with somebody in the public, and we fully expect that operatives from Senator Reid's office and the Democrat National Committee will try to enter the auction and buy it back. So the prequalification, there will be no credit card information asked, anything like this. The information on this page will be used for no other purpose other than to prequalify you to bid. It will be destroyed, all the information you give will be destroyed at the end of the auction, which will go until next Friday at this time. The auction will be up for one week, and it will end at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time next Friday, one week from now.
It's just a bunch of basic information so we can verify that people's bids are legitimate and so we can make sure that... (interruption) The case is included. Of course, the titanium case is included. The handcuffs worn by Stalin last night are not included because they're official law enforcement handcuffs, and we are not allowed to distribute them beyond security personnel and law enforcement personnel. So the handcuffs... (interruption, laughing) Now, now, now, now, now. I had somebody from L.A. today ask me if they could buy the handcuffs, separately. Just in their telling me that, this rules out San Francisco. I said, "It's not just San Francisco. I have somebody in L.A. that wanted the handcuffs. A girl. Yes! So don't go there. Don't go." Leonard, don't get me distracted here.
Now, I want to explain to you what the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation is. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation started actually pretty recently, in the nineties. I'm on the board. We've raised close to $30 million, and what this does is this establishes college scholarships for the children of Marines killed in action and, in certain instances, other federal law enforcement personnel such as the Oklahoma City bombing. Almost 100 percent of what they raise goes to scholarships. Nobody makes any money on this. The staff and administrators do it for practically nothing. It's almost just a direct transfer from donations to recipients, and it is a tremendous, tremendous charity that is doing tremendous work, and it was started by a bunch of Marines from the Vietnam era who are now in New York, in law enforcement, and on Wall Street and various businesses like that. I feel very privileged to have gotten to know them. I also would like to issue a challenge, because how did this all come about? This all came about as the result of a smear on the part of a so-called left-wing media watchdog group, which is really nothing more than a Hillary Clinton front organization, an attempt to smear me as -- of all things -- somebody critical of the US military. Anybody who has paid any attention to anything...
Over the last 20 years, I've been called a chicken hawk. I have been accused of being blindly supportive of the military. Now, all of a sudden, I hate the military! All of a sudden, I'm critical of soldiers who are critical of the war -- which I have never been. I don't want to go through it, but you all know it. It leads to Harry Reid writing a letter and getting 40 senators to cosign it, sent to the corporate partner -- the CEO of the corporate partner of mine -- Clear Channel, asking him to essentially censure me by making me apologize. Well, I have the letter, and we're going to auction it off on eBay. All the proceeds, every dollar raised, goes to Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. The expenses for this are going to be paid by the seller. That's us. Every dollar raised, however much it ends up being, is going to go to Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. And I would like to issue this challenge to Senator Reid and the 41 senators who signed his letter. You say you support the military. You say you're big, and you think it's patriotic, and that I was unpatriotic. Well, I would like for each of you, Senator Reid, and the 40 Senators who signed, to match whatever the winning bid is. Show us your support for the US military by all 41 of you pro-military people, Democrats in the Senate, match whatever the winning bid is and send that amount to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Again, the link, taking you to the eBay page is at RushLimbaugh.com right now. The video of the unveiling of this last night in Philadelphia is also available. It's about, what, 2:51? The streaming video is about two minutes, 51 seconds, just as the audio link here was. So go for it, folks. The auction will be open for a full week.
Bid on the Letter Signed by 41 Democrat Senators (including Mrs. Clinton)
Support the Children of Our Fallen Heroes...
The Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/28/2009 09:19:00 AM
January 27th, 2009
The methods used by global warming alarmists to convince you that more carbon dioxide is going to ruin the Earth are increasingly laced with insults and attacks directed toward anyone who might disagree with them. For instance, one of the many intellectually lazy (& false) claims is that I am paid by Big Oil.
Mr. Gore’s tactics have been a little more subtle, and reminiscent of propaganda methods which have proved to be effective throughout history at influencing public opinion. One should keep in mind that his main scientific adviser, NASA’s James Hansen, has the most extreme views of any climate researcher when it comes to predicting a global warming induced Armageddon.
Listed below are ten propaganda techniques I have excerpted from Wikipedia. Beneath each are one or more examples of Mr. Gore’s rhetoric as he has attempted to goad the rest of us into reducing our CO2 emissions. Except where indicated, most quotes are from his testimony before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, March 21, 2007. (Mr. Gore is scheduled to testify again tomorrow, January 28, 2009, before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee…if the cold and snowy weather doesn’t cause them to reschedule.)
Appeal to fear: Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population.
“I want to testify today about what I believe is a planetary emergency—a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth.”
Appeal to authority: Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action. Also, Testimonial: Testimonials are quotations, in or out of context, especially cited to support or reject a given policy, action, program, or personality. The reputation or the role (expert, respected public figure, etc.) of the individual giving the statement is exploited.
“Just six weeks ago, the scientific community, in its strongest statement to date, confirmed that the evidence of warming is unequivocal. Global warming is real and human activity is the main cause.”
“The scientists are virtually screaming from the rooftops now. The debate is over! There’s no longer any debate in the scientific community about this.” (from An Inconvenient Truth)
Bandwagon: Bandwagon and “inevitable-victory” appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that “everyone else is taking”. Also, Join the crowd: This technique reinforces people’s natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their best interest to join.
“Today, I am here to deliver more than a half million messages to Congress
asking for real action on global warming. More than 420 Mayors have now
adopted Kyoto-style commitments in their cities and have urged strong federal action. The evangelical and faith communities have begun to take the lead, calling for measures to protect God’s creation. The State of California, under a Republican Governor and a Democratic legislature, passed strong, economy wide legislation mandating cuts in carbon dioxide. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have passed renewable energy standards for the electricity sector.”
Flag-waving: An attempt to justify an action on the grounds that doing so will make one more patriotic, or in some way benefit a group, country, or idea. Also, Inevitable victory: invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action.
“After all, we have taken on problems of this scope before. When England and then America and our allies rose to meet the threat of global Fascism, together we won two wars simultaneously in Europe and the Pacific.”
Ad Hominem attacks: A Latin phrase which has come to mean attacking your opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments. Also Demonizing the “enemy”: Making individuals from the opposing nation, from a different ethnic group, or those who support the opposing viewpoint appear to be subhuman.
“You know, 15 percent of people believe the moon landing was staged on some movie lot and a somewhat smaller number still believe the Earth is flat. They get together on Saturday night and party with the global-warming deniers.” (October 24, 2006, Seattle University)
Appeal to Prejudice: Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition.
“And to solve this crisis we can develop a shared sense of moral purpose.” (June 21, 2006, London, England)
Black-and-White fallacy: Presenting only two choices, with the product or idea being propagated as the better choice.
“It is not a question of left vs. right; it is a question of right vs. wrong.” (July 1, 2007, New York Times op-ed)
Euphoria: The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale:
Live Earth concerts organized worldwide in 2007 by Al Gore.
Falsifying information: The creation or deletion of information from public records, in the purpose of making a false record of an event or the actions of a person or organization. Pseudo-sciences are often used to falsify information.
“Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” (May 9, 2006 Grist interview)
Stereotyping or Name Calling or Labeling: This technique attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience by labeling the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable. Also, Obtain disapproval: This technique is used to persuade a target audience to disapprove of an action or idea by suggesting that the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience
“There are many who still do not believe that global warming is a problem at all. And it’s no wonder: because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere.” (January 15, 2004, New York City)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By HENRY MILLER | Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 4:20 PM PT
A report from a panel appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says that California should expand pollution prevention initiatives, add "green chemistry" to public school curricula and offer public access to comprehensive information about the chemicals in consumer products.
The report, part of a plan by the California Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate many supposedly toxic materials, is more appropriate for a wish list sent to Santa Claus than an attempt at serious public policy.
It recalls H.L. Mencken's observation that for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.
For starters, the governor and members of his panel seem oblivious to the fact that we live in a sea of chemicals and that, in fact, our bodies are actually comprised of them and also to the toxicologists' credo, "the dose makes the poison."
Many of the alarms raised recently about chemicals, from those in rubber duckies and plastic bottles to pesticides used in agriculture, are completely bogus, while most of the others represent only negligible risks.
Pseudo-scares and the wrongheaded (and often very costly) responses to them as in these latest recommendations from the governor's panel are wasteful, if not actually harmful.
For example, the federal EPA forced General Electric to remove trace levels of chemicals called PCBs from the Hudson River, although this massive project will have prodigious costs but no benefits. The EPA's assertion that PCBs in fish pose a human cancer risk is based solely on observations that high-dose, prolonged PCB exposure causes tumors in laboratory animals.
An example of misperception of risk is acrylamide, a useful industrial compound formed naturally in high-carbohydrate-containing foods cooked at high temperatures, such as in frying or broiling. It has thus been part of the human diet since humans learned that cooked foods taste better than raw ones.
Yet because we only learned of acrylamide's existence in foods recently, and because very large amounts fed to animals cause cancer, there have been calls to require warning labels on fried foods and other products in spite of the fact that acrylamide in food has never been shown to harm human health.
Yet another example of a poorly substantiated health threat is the current scare about bisphenol A (BPA) a chemical used to make certain plastics clear and shatterproof.
Again, because animals fed huge doses of the chemical experienced ill effects, and because minuscule amounts can leach into the contents of plastic cups and bottles when they are heated, warnings about an effect on infants and children (guaranteed to have the most potent effect on parents) have been trumpeted in the media. ("Is your baby exposed to carcinogens with every feeding? Story at 11.")
Controversy over chemicals rages on the other side of the pond as well. In 2003, the European Union's Institute for Health and Consumer Protection concluded in a risk assessment of DINP, a chemical commonly used in a variety of consumer products:
"The end products containing DINP (clothes, building materials, toys and baby equipment) and the sources of exposure (car and public transport interiors, food and food packaging) are unlikely to pose a risk for consumers (adults, infants and newborns)."
In spite of the reassuring risk assessments, politicians overruled them, and the EU instituted a permanent ban on DINP and related chemicals in children's toys in 2005.
But these risks aren't real or to be more accurate, they haven't been substantiated. If we followed through by banning all the chemicals we read about that supposedly cause (pick one) cancer, birth defects, low sperm counts, autism, Alzheimer's disease, etc., we'd have to ban most of the chemicals in the world including "natural" ones.
Unfortunately, the scares are real attention-grabbers; they sell papers and attract our attention on TV spots and Internet blogs. And many journalists and editors to say nothing of politicians seem not to care whether the science supports the hype.
How can we know what we should worry about?
There is a remarkable new interactive Web source that helps consumers answer that question to understand what poses significant health risks, and what does not.
The New York-based American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has produced and manages what it calls a "Riskometer" (www.Riskometer.org), which allows visitors to compare health risks.
It informs us that exposure to cigarette smoking is far and away the leading cause of cancer deaths: In 2002 the odds of dying from smoking were 1 in 771. ("Odds of dying" is defined as the number of people expected to produce one death from a particular cause.) The odds of dying from obesity or from unintentional injuries (including traffic accidents, falls and others) are each about 1 in 2,800.
Far less likely is death from exposure to the dry cleaning fluid perchloroethylene (PERC) or from arsenic in water (about 1 in 6,000,000). In spite of this infinitesimal risk, laws were passed restricting the use of PERC because "everyone knows" it's a serious health risk.
The data on the ACSH Riskometer show that many of the hyped "threats" that we hear and read about daily occur very far down on the list.
The media's "pseudo-scare mode" is a disservice to its readers and viewers because people have only so much time to pay attention to health issues, and if most stories focus attention on minor (or virtually nonexistent) threats, greater risks that individuals may be able to control get short shrift.
The bottom line: Be skeptical, be informed, consult the Riskometer.
Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He was at the NIH and FDA from 1977 to 1994. His most recent book is "The Frankenfood Myth."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/27/2009 09:11:00 AM
January 26, 2009 10:39 AM
Burlington County Times
Before our eyes the American dream is withering away and we’re headed for socialism at its worst with the most liberal-voting, most absent, inexperienced senator in the White House. So while it appears we still have a right to our opinion in this country, I’d like to respond to the editorial written by Bonnie Erbe [Jan. 3]. In typical liberal fashion, she took her best shots at the Bush administration with little or no substance to back it up. Her hit-and-run piece hits the usual data points of the left and asks how Obama’s going to “fix so much that went wrong.” She puts all of today’s issues on the Bush administration.
She might want to look at the Democratically controlled Congress as well. While Nancy Pelosi has focused on the Capitol’s cafeteria menu, Congress has become more of a joke every day.
Erbe first mentions ignored threats of terror. The Bush administration didn’t ignore threats of terror, but it did inherit a CIA and FBI that weren’t on speaking terms. So, within the first nine months of a new term, terrorists [who were already in the country] were able to take advantage of liberal airport security policies [with penalties in place for any type of profiling]. The threat of Iraq hyped? Wrong. The president never said Iraq was connected to Sept. 11, 2001, although it has been proven that al-Qaida had been in Iraq for years, near the border with Syria.
Set aside Sept. 11, 2001, for a second. Based solely on the fact that Saddam Hussein did not abide by the terms of the Gulf War, the U.S. and its allies had enough reason to remove him. Democrats [yes, Democrats] and Republicans sided with the president, and based on information they were provided, decided to go to war. Early on, we really did see that Al-Qaida was in Iraq and some chemical weapons were found. Funded by Iran, insurgents used roadside bombs and Iraqi citizens as human shields to rack up American casualties. All of a sudden, liberal senators were on television saying they shouldn’t have voted to go to war and a few even called our soldiers criminals. Harry Reid said the war is lost and essentially motivated the enemy. What a guy. Haven’t heard much from him about Iraq lately though.
Then Erbe mentions Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, but again with no explanation. You mean the Guantanamo that’s been used to hold hundreds of terrorists that would otherwise be doing their best to kill us? And stop with Abu Ghraib already. A handful of idiots, who are now doing some serious time, put prisoners through some fraternity hazing. They didn’t torture or behead anyone.
Next on the parade of hits, Hurricane Katrina. You know, every time it rains hard nowadays I curse that mean old George Bush. Why does he keep letting it happen? Neither the administration nor George Bush neglected anyone. The president wasn’t responsible for thugs shooting at rescue personnel from rooftops or the looters that decided a national tragedy is the perfect time to loot Circuit City.
No president [including Clinton] ever appointed as many minorities to their cabinet and other significant posts. Funny how Republicans are labeled as racists. It was the Republican party of Lincoln that decided abolishing slavery and keeping the union together was worth fighting and dying for. Democrats also have been buying votes from minorities [with your tax dollars] for decades with the promise of social welfare programs, while Republicans have preferred to develop initiatives that help a person learn to stand on their own, regardless of race.
Speaking of racism, anyone who votes for someone based on their skin color is a racist. If Obama had strong conservative Republican principles and was running on the GOP ticket, I would have been first in line to vote for him. It’s not about race, period. “Economic disaster:” The economy is cyclical.
The Bush administration warned Congress about unethical housing practices in 2005, but Democratic committee leaders like Frank and Dodd responded with accusations of racism. Everyone deserves a mortgage, even if they can’t afford it, and anyone that believes otherwise is a racist, by George.
Frankly, George Bush was a mediocre president— and the alltime worst communicator. But I appreciate his complete focus on upholding his oath of office by putting the country’s safety first and foremost. There are a lot of us out here who understood the challenge of the last eight years and we’re praying that four years from now a strong conservative can get us back on track. Getting back to Erbe’s original question: How will Obama “fix so much that went wrong”?
When I consider the 2006 YouTube video of Obama stating that it would be irresponsible for him to run for president with such little experience and I think of his campaign based on smooth, empty speeches and socialist “share the wealth” principles, I’m not too optimistic.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/27/2009 08:23:00 AM
Monday, January 26, 2009
JANUARY 22, 2009, 9:22 A.M. ET
Sasha and Malia, we were seven when our beloved grandfather was sworn in as the 41st President of the United States. We stood proudly on the platform, our tiny hands icicles, as we lived history. We listened intently to the words spoken on Inauguration Day service, duty, honor. But being seven, we didn't quite understand the gravity of the position our Grandfather was committing to. We watched as the bands marched by -- the red, white, and blue streamers welcoming us to a new role: the family members of a President.
We also first saw the White House through the innocent, optimistic eyes of children. We stood on the North Lawn gazing with wonder at her grand portico. The White House was alive with devoted and loving people, many of whom had worked in her halls for decades. Three of the White House ushers, Buddy, Ramsey, and "Smiley", greeted us when we stepped into her intimidating hallway. Their laughter and embraces made us feel welcome right away. Sasha and Malia, here is some advice to you from two sisters who have stood where you will stand and who have lived where you will live:
Jenna (left) and Barbara arrived on the South Lawn of the White House Sunday after spending the weekend at Camp David for the last time with their parents.
-- Surround yourself with loyal friends. They'll protect and calm you and join in on some of the fun, and appreciate the history.
-- If you're traveling with your parents over Halloween, don't let it stop you from doing what you would normally do. Dress up in some imaginative, elaborate costume (if you are like us a pack of Juicy Fruit and a Vampiress) and trick-or-treat down the plane aisle.
-- If you ever need a hug, go find Ramsey. If you want to talk football, look for Buddy. And, if you just need a smile, look for "Smiley."
-- And, a note on White House puppies--our sweet puppy Spot was nursed on the lawn of the White House. And then of course, there's Barney, who most recently bit a reporter. Cherish your animals because sometimes you'll need the quiet comfort that only animals can provide.
-- Slide down the banister of the solarium, go to T-ball games, have swimming parties, and play Sardines on the White House lawn. Have fun and enjoy your childhood in such a magical place to live and play.
-- When your dad throws out the first pitch for the Yankees, go to the game.
-- In fact, go to anything and everything you possibly can: the Kennedy Center for theater, State Dinners, Christmas parties (the White House staff party is our favorite!), museum openings, arrival ceremonies, and walks around the monuments. Just go. Four years goes by so fast, so absorb it all, enjoy it all!
For four years, we spent our childhood holidays and vacations in the historic house. We could almost feel the presence of all the great men and women who had lived here before us. When we played house, we sat behind the East sitting room's massive curtains as the light poured in illuminating her yellow walls. Our seven-year-old imaginations soared as we played in the enormous, beautiful rooms; our dreams, our games, as romantic as her surroundings. At night, the house sang us quiet songs through the chimneys as we fell asleep.
In late December, when snow blanketed the front lawn, all of our cousins overtook the White House. Thirteen children between the ages of two and 12 ran throughout her halls, energized by the crispness in the air and the spirit of the season. Every room smelled of pine; the entire house was adorned with thistle; garlands wound around every banister. We sat on her grand staircase and spied on the holiday dancing below. Hours were spent playing hide-and-go-seek. We used a stage in the grand ballroom to produce a play about Santa and his reindeer. We watched as the National Christmas Tree was lit and admired the chef as he put the final icing on the gingerbread house.
When it was time, we left the White House. We said our goodbyes to her and to Washington. We weren't sure if we would spend time among her historical walls again, or ever walk the National Mall, admiring the cherry blossoms that resembled puffs of cotton candy. But we did return. This time we were 18. The White House welcomed us back and there is no doubt that it is a magical place at any age.
As older girls, we were constantly inspired by the amazing people we met, politicians and great philosophers like Vaclav Havel. We dined with royalty, heads of states, authors, and activists. We even met the Queen of England and managed to see the Texas Longhorns after they won the National Championship. We traveled with our parents to foreign lands and were deeply moved by what we saw. Trips to Africa inspired and motivated us to begin working with HIV/AIDS and the rights of women and children all over the world.
Now, the White House ballrooms were filled with energy and music as we danced. The East sitting room became a peaceful place to read and study. We ran on the track in the front lawn, and squared off in sisterly bowling duels down in the basement alley.
This Christmas, with the enchanting smell of the holidays encompassing her halls, we will again be saying our good-byes to the White House. Sasha and Malia, it is your turn now to fill the White House with laughter.
And finally, although it's an honor and full of so many extraordinary opportunities, it isn't always easy being a member of the club you are about to join. Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.
Jenna Bush is a writer and educator, the author of the book 'Ana's Story' and the co-author, with her mother Laura Bush, of the picture book 'Read All About It.'
Barbara Bush works for a public health-focused non-profit, Global Health Corps, and previously worked for The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
(clockwise from top left) Corbis Outline; Corbis (2)
Clockwise from top left, President George H.W. Bush reading to granddaughters Barbara and Jenna, 1989; the twins at an inaugural ball in 2001; with their father at an Ohio campaign stop, 2004.Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page R8
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/26/2009 10:50:00 AM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Unemployment Rate Jumps—Press Neglects to Inform about Minimum Wage and Illegal Immigrants By Justin B.
I posted about the increase in the number of unemployed foreign born Hispanics earlier in the week before the new unemployment numbers came out. Gonna post this again:
The unemployment rate for Hispanic immigrants was 7.5 percent during the first months of this year, compared with 6.9 percent among native-born Hispanics. During the same period in 2007, the rates were 5.5 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.
“The unemployment rate has shot up because of the slump in construction and Hispanic workers had done very well finding jobs in the construction industry as it was booming,” said Rakesh Kochhar, associate director for research. “Having become somewhat dependent on this industry, they were more vulnerable to the downturn.”
An overwhelming majority of jobs lost in the construction industry were held by foreign-born Hispanics.
It isn’t just construction job losses for illegals, it is teens and high school graduates losing jobs, or more appropriately, new teens and high school grads trying to enter the job market for the first time and there are less jobs present because of the new minimum wage hikes:
The real story here is unemployment among entry-level workers to the employment system. In summer, teenagers and college students enter the marketplace looking for seasonal and part-time work. This accounts for the significant rise in job-seekers and the 0.4% increase in unemployment. Otherwise, an overall job loss of 49,000 jobs would account for a 0.04% increase in a market of 138 million workers.
Why have these new job seekers found it difficult to get jobs? One reason is that Congress made jobs costlier just in time for this economic slowdown. Congress raised the minimum wage last year by seventy cents an hour, from $5.15 to $5.85. It will rise again in July to $6.55 an hour, and next year will hit $7.25 per hour. That makes entry-level labor as much as 27% more expensive this summer, when consumers have already slowed down their spending. The natural loss of work from the slowdown amplifies the effect of the minimum-wage increase, because businesses now cannot afford to raise prices to maintain their entry-level positions.
Couple things to point out if we are indeed in a recession:
1. You don’t want to raise the minimum wage. Just a bad idea. Raising the minimum wage causes businesses to raise their prices.
2. Considering how rapidly gas prices are rising, inflation is the last thing we need, especially inflated wages and raw materials.
3. Fuel prices are behind a lot of the issues and all this talk about “alternative fuels” and “investing in the future” is a bullshit way of saying “blocking any new domestic production” and “raising taxes on oil companies”.
4. Speaking of taxes on oil companies, “windfall profits taxes” sure are gonna help bring down gas prices.
5. Speaking of taxes, raising the capital gains tax and increasing taxes on “the rich” is gonna help too.
The Democrats’ plan for the economy goes like this:
1. Raise the minimum wage which has a ripple effect on union contracts that are indexed to it. In essence, raise wage costs for all businesses, which is worst for low wage service businesses because the minimum wage is felt much more at the low end.
2. Raise taxes on individuals and allow the tax cuts to expire.
3. Halt any future domestic oil production ensuring no new oil sources come online.
4. Raise taxes on oil companies which will no doubt be passed on to consumers.
Just as individuals are cutting back on discretionary expenses due to high oil prices, businesses are either cutting expenses or raising prices. They are cutting jobs to deal with the minimum wage. Add in new tax burdens on both income and capital gains and who the hell wants to invest in a new business. Where is the profit? And without profit motive, no economy works.
Policies matter and notice how all of this started when the Democrats took control and started with their economic agenda.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 1/25/2009 02:22:00 PM