Month Archives: May 2008

Stem cells: the movie

by Jared Bridges

May 21, 2008

What do you do if you’re a pro-embryonic stem cell physician and can’t get federal dollars to fund your research?

The answer is obvious: make a Lifetime/afterschool special - caliber movie that demonizes conservative pro-life senators.

The Los Angeles Times reports on a new film called Hope premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie depicts a pro-life U.S. Senator whose son is injured in an automobile accident. The son’s only “hope,” of course, is an experimental embryonic stem cell treatment —- which he must travel to India to receive. He can’t get it in the United States because of his father’s evil polices.

Judging from the quality of the film’s trailer, I don’t think this will get much play beyond the L.A. Times, obscure late-night cable, and this blog. I do think the film’s producers would do well to get beyond the hype of life-destroying embryonic stem cells, to the real hope of adult stem cells, which are the only stem cells to have produced successful treatments in patients.

The L.A. Times eulogizes an abortionist

by Chris Gacek

May 20, 2008

The Los Angeles Times could barely control its praise for abortionist Harvey Karman whose May 6th death was announced by the paper this past weekend.  Unfortunately for The Times, the truth cannot be smothered in the internet age, and it had to grudgingly give up some facts about Karman.

The obituary writer, Elaine Woo, revealed that “[w]hile training in psychology at UCLA, [Karman] started an underground abortion referral service and eventually performed abortions himself, for which he was convicted and sent to state prison for 2 1/2 years.”  I don’t think psychologists are “trained” to perform surgery - or am I missing something?  In truth, Karman was practicing medicine as a surgeon without training, a license, or facility privileges.  His criminality actually involved killing Joyce Johnson in April 1956 after he botched her abortion.

Well, Karman gained early release from prison and went on to butcher more women - once again, here is Ms. Woo:

Karman also had many detractors, particularly because of his attempt to revolutionize second-trimester abortions with a device called the super coil, which was inserted into the uterus and expanded when exposed to moisture, causing a miscarriage. It caused serious complications, including hemorrhaging and infection, when it was used on about a dozen women in Philadelphia on Mother’s Day in 1972.”

One of the activists, Carol Downer, who co-founded feminist women’s health clinics in SoCal in the 1970’s told the Times, “Harvey engaged in some very irresponsible experimentation on women’s bodies.”  “Irresponsible experimentation” - that is very charitable.  But, Downer had to offer praise because Harvey was “a real change agent.”  And, if a change agent wants to make an omelet, he may have to break a few eggs.

If you want to read a very different bio of Karman - read all three pages of this web post written some time before Karman’s death; and then this on the death of Joyce Johnson.  The account rendered here of the carnage Karman wrought on Mother’s Day 1972 in Philly is somewhat more detailed:

Keeping sloppy records, working well into the night, the abortion team managed to pack the 15 patients selected for ‘super coil’ abortions by the early morning hours. One woman ended up hospitalized in Pennsylvania due to lacerations. Others needed to be hospitalized upon return to Chicago. Local health authorities contacted the Centers for Disease Control, which investigated and found that two of the patients had been lost to follow-up, one required a hysterectomy, one was hospitalized for twenty days with infection, and one continued to bleed until she became anemic. In total, nine of the 13 patients who could be tracked down had suffered complications.”

What a guy!!!  For more details on Harvey Karman’s career as a butcher, see Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., and Richard N. Ostling, Aborting America (New York: Pinnacle Books, 1979): pp. 85-93 (Nathanson, a distinguished ob/gyn, provides excellent medical-scientific insights into Karman’s medical activities and inventions.)

Susan G. Komen Foundation has ties to country’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood

by Moira Gaul

May 16, 2008

Please click below to see the facts on the Komen Foundation- Planned Parenthood ties including the fact that Susan G. Komen for the Cure awarded 72 grants to Planned Parenthood afflilates during the years 2000 through 2005. When stopping to speak with a Susan G. Komen for the Cure sidewalk volunteer over the past Mother’s Day weekend, I was greatly alarmed to hear that she was not aware of the Komen-Planned Parenthood connection. This older woman stated that she was pro-life and shocked to hear of any Komen Foundation involvement with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

You can read more about the Komen - Planned Parenthood ties and learn of alternate organizations to donate to in the fight against breast cancer from our friends at the Biothethics Defense Fund:

Pro-life citizens who are interested in fighting this deadly disease should be aware that one breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has a policy of offering financial support to abortion providing facilities.”

Does R. Kelly believe he can fly?

by Ken Blackwell

May 12, 2008

Jury selection in the high-profile child pornography trial of rapper R. Kelly begins today in Cook County, Illinois. Mr. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to having videotaped himself having sex with a minor. Cook County prosecutors have doggedly pursued this case in order to protect children, arrest the degradation of women and establish community values of decency.

We can only hope and pray that the old comedic line “don’t believe your lying eyes” does not prevail.

Gossip Girl and Cable Choice

by Chris Gacek

May 6, 2008

On April 25th, I wrote here about Quin Hilyer’s terrific column describing some vile television programming he encountered.  Well, I don’t think even Quin could have dreamed up one TV network’s recent ad campaign.  This vile promotional campaign was created and distributed for The Gossip Girl, a national broadcast from the CW network.

Gossip Girl is a relatively new sleazy teen and young adult-centric show that glorifies sex, drugs, and drinking in a group of Manhattan college prep students.  After a spring hiatus, the show returned with new episodes on April 21st preceded by a blasphemous and soft porn ad campaign.  As one website put it: “The desperate ad campaign clearly shows that the producers want Gossip Girl‘s viewer to know that there will be a whole lot of sex scenes in the coming episodes.”

The attack on decency was multi-pronged.

First, a once-respected magazine, New York, sold its soul to carry the most vacuous review of anything ever written or broadcast.  The piece came complete with a cover featuring the program’s stars lying in bed together pretty well undressed in orgiastic poses.  In the center of this cover photo, one finds “Best Show Ever*” imposed, and, as is befitting of such art, the cover story was duly titled, “The Genius of Gossip Girl.”

Second, the new season is supported by raunchy still photo and video ads.  Both promotions are focused on the phrase “OMFG” - which is probably not a phrase you are familiar with.  “OMG” is an abbreviation for “Oh, My G-“, the ubiquitous disrespectful exclamation of the popular culture.  Well, “OMFG” is a spin-off of this phrase whose etymology is not certain but seems to come from the teen internet subculture.  Yes, the “F” stands for what you think it does.

When I say that the still life ads are sleazy, I mean they are SLEAZY.  Now that you are familiar with the lingo, take a look at those posters that are appearing on standard street-size and sidewalk billboards:

The OMFG theme isn’t exactly hidden, and neither is the sexually explicit content.  There is also at least one offensive OMFG video ad for Gossip Girl that is available on the CW website, YouTube, and on television.  Of course, a CW honcho denied in an interview with CNN’s Brooke Anderson that OMFG means what it clearly means.  Anderson was incredulous, so she conducted “man on the street” interviews to prove her point.  Only two women over 60 were not able to define OMFGSee the CNN interview featuring Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council.  Kudos to Anderson.

Let’s be clear: this is an ad campaign and television program promoted by a major American broadcast network and targeted at teenagers and young adults.  Parents who are concerned about this might wish to contact one or two of the Gossip Girl sponsors and complain about the blasphemy, the decadence, and the cruel indifference to the moral lives of the young revealed by the network and its advertisers.

At times like this I think:  wouldn’t it be nice to have the power to tell my cable provider that I don’t ever want the CW network to be seen in my house again?  It sure would.  It’s definitely time for cable choice and time to find out how the presidential candidates feel about consumer empowerment over the media content that comes into our homes.

Student to appeal ban on criticizing homosexuality

by Timothy Dailey

May 2, 2008

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has ruled against the First Amendment rights of students in Boyd County, Ky, to express beliefs about the morality of homosexual behavior, prompting an appeal to the full appeals court.

At the instigation of the American Civil Liberties Union, Boyd County High School allowed a “Gay Straight Alliance” club, and the school district instituted a “diversity” program mandated for all students.

As reported by WorldNetDaily, a video about “diversity” prepared by the school addressed those who might have moral objections to homosexual behavior: “But here is the kicker, just because you believe, just because you don’t like them, just because you disagree with them, just because you believe they are wrong, wholeheartedly, absolutely, they are wrong. Just because you believe that does not give you permission to say anything about it. It doesn’t require that you do anything. You just respect, you just exist, you continue, you leave it alone. There is not permission for you to point it out to them.”

The video also prescribed punishment for such speech, as described in the petition filed by lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing student Timothy Morrison, who has filed a lawsuit against the school: “In both the Code of Conduct and the video, the students were told that violating the district policy could result in a suspension, with ‘a possibility of court referral and local law enforcement agency notified …”

Students were specifically told by the defendant that if they insulted a person by saying that homosexual behavior was wrong, they could face dire consequences.”

One Kentucky paper editorialized in favor of the appeals court decision, claiming that “Morrison was never disciplined for violating the policy or even accused of violating it. Thus, the appeals court said Morrison failed to show he was harmed by the policy.”

However, according to the ADF, the ruling that “chilled speech is not an injury-in-fact” is erroneous: “Other circuits have held, both implicitly and explicitly, that a chill on an individual’s ability to exercise his or her right to free speech is a constitutional injury-in-fact. In our case, the ‘government regulation’ was a direct prohibition against the exercise of First Amendment rights. Students should not be forced to subject themselves to criminal prosecution before they can seek judicial relief from unconstitutional speech policies.”

Let’s hope and pray that, in its ruling, the full appeals court will uphold the right of free expression of all citizens—including those who object to homosexual behavior on moral grounds.

Close ties to Planned Parenthood = Common Ground?

by JP Duffy

May 2, 2008

One of the participants in this recent Pew Forum interview is Jennifer Butler - the Executive Director for Faith in Public Life.  You may remember that this group organized the Compassion Forum  early last month.  Faith in Public Life said they would discuss the abortion issue at the forum and issued this statement: “We hope to get to the heart of the issue and why it’s so divisive. We hope to try to pry the door open to potential common ground and ask if the political labels we use when it come to abortion really capture where Americans are on the issue.”

However, in this Pew Forum interview,  Ms. Butler proudly points to her strong connections with Planned Parenthood and her speaking engagement at the “Planned Parenthood prayer breakfast”:

BUTLER: Yeah, well, it is interesting you asked that. I am

speaking at the Planned Parenthood prayer breakfast tomorrow. And

we have worked very closely with some think-tanks in

town with Third Way and with Center for American Progress. Many of these groups

are also very interested in connecting more strongly with faith communities. And

I’d say there has been a resurgence in their interest, an intensification since

2004. So I think it is extremely important to build those bridges there…

…There has been some recent progress in that arena because it has

been a point of tension. I mentioned earlier our work with Third Way. And they

worked with leading evangelicals and progressives to outline a strategy for

approaching the abortion issue which, interestingly enough, did not involve

compromise. And they were very clear that they didn’t want a

watered-down solution to the problem, nor did they want

people having to compromise on their ideals…

Butler should explain how working “closely” with Planned Parenthood helps achieve

common ground” to solve the “problem” of abortion.

Organic milk, boxed drinks, and world hunger

by Jared Bridges

May 1, 2008

What constitutes a “global food crisis?”

wp_food_crisis.jpg

According to a front page article in today’s Washington Post, it’s high prices on organic meats and milk:

The last thing Marti Tracy wants to do on a Saturday is clip coupons. But last month the 34-year-old Bowie resident felt she no longer had a choice. She’d already given up organic meat and decided to buy organic milk only for her 2-year-old son, not for the whole family.

Tracy and her partner also stopped buying the cereals they like in favor of whatever was on sale; stopped picking up convenient single-size packs of juice, water or crackers; and, in order to save gas, stopped going to multiple stores. “I find the whole thing a huge hassle, but I’ve reached a tipping point,” said Tracy, a government human resources specialist who is pregnant with her second child. “Clearly, I’m not unable to feed my family. But I just can’t feed my family the way I’d like to feed them.”

Indeed, the horror of having to do all your shopping at one store is hard to stomach, as is the thought of having to eat a box of bad cereal. But, if the level of “crisis” has reached this point in America, think of how hard it must be on those poor folks in third-world Africa —- I bet they’re having a hard time even finding organic milk.

Seriously though, I have kids and a penchant for Oreo cookies. Therefore, I’m well aware of how much milk costs these days. I don’t deny that high grocery bills are affecting families, but to render the high price of boutique foods part of the “global food crisis” is quite a stretch.

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