Month Archives: September 2009

Will Obama Bail Out Gray Ladies of the Press?

by Robert Morrison

September 24, 2009

I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.

Those were President Obamas words in an interview with editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade. The President was explaining his openness to a federal bailout of struggling big-city daily newspapers. For that reason, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) have introduced S. 673, their so-called Newspaper Revitalization Act.

These two very liberal senators should have acted even sooner. They should have sponsored the Manual Typewriter Preservation Act. You see, the computer revolution put great pressure on Royal, Underwood, and Olivetti. Those companies represented thousands of jobs. We cant just let the free market run rampant. Save typewriter ribbons! Save white-out! Save carbon paper! Theres no telling how much damage these new-fangled computers might do.

The President is concerned that the Internet will not provide the kind of fact-checking and balance that was once provided for us by, say, the New York Times. Remember Jason Blair? In firing the 27-year old reporter, the Gray Lady had to confess: [He] committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent months, an investigation by Times journalists has found. The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.

Or what about the care taken by Dan Rather of CBS News? Shall we recall Rathers careful fact-checking in 2004 of the letters purportedly written by 1/Lt. George W. Bushs commanding officer in 1972 and 1973? Those letters, it was quickly revealed, were typed in a Microsoft Word computer typeface. This was most interesting, since Word hadnt even been invented in 1973.

It was the blogosphere that provided the fact-checking that exposed Dan Rathers trafficking in clearly demonstrated forgeries. It was intrepid bloggers who put a stop to Dan Rathers long-running career in gonzo journalism.

Dan Rather was typical of the liberal journalists who reigned unchallenged on the airwaves for decades until Ronald Reagans FCC appointees in 1987 abolished the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Id prefer to call it the Furnace Doctrine, since thats where it consigned our First Amendment guarantees of free speech and free press. After that, radio talkers rose up to challenge the liberal medias monopoly. The Internet quickly followed. Then, along came FOX.

Obviously, President Obama would prefer town hall meetings where 9-year olds read scripted questions. Real town hall meetings do sometimes get rowdy. So do tea parties.

And so does a truly free press.

If someone today alleges that some of the 53 government bureaucracies to be established by ObamaCare are death panels, there are many voices prepared to debate that, voices left and right. Isnt this vigorous debate preferable for a free people to federal government bailouts? These newspapers are declining because their readers have either fled their decaying cities or have opted instead for Internet sites and talk radio.

Presidents have historically been unhappy with negative coverage in the press. President George Washington was enraged by that rascal Freneau, a caustic anti-Washington propagandist who was secretly on the payroll of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. John Adams actually had opposition editors imprisoned under the Alien & Sedition Acts. Lincoln closed down a number of newspapers he charged were inciting rebellion. In modern times, JFK famously threw across the Oval Office a crumpled up editorial page of the Herald Tribune.

But none of these Presidents past actually tried to bail out failing newspapers. They had too much respect for a free press, free markets and the free exchange of ideas, and for the American people, whose resources should not be employed by the federal government to prop-up industries that, due to innovation and creativity of our fellow citizens, are less and less needed as means of communication.

We dont need another industry bailout. If we bail out failing newspapers, whats next, a government bailout of MSNBC? This bailout would result inevitably in a government-controlled press. We dont need President Obama to issue us our mutual understandings.

You may have noticed: I wrote this without capital letters and without exclamation points. See? No shouting at all.

I’ll Stand with Israel, Mr. President

by Chris Gacek

September 24, 2009

Yesterday, President Barack Obama addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations and called for the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967. There is so much wrong with this statement and so much danger encapsulated in it. Aaron Klein (WorldNetDaily) provides key analysis of the speech in this piece.

Particularly alarming is this paragraph from Kleins article:

Obama’s reference yesterday to occupation that began in 1967 comes after a top PA official, speaking on condition his name be withheld, told WND earlier this week the Obama administration largely has adopted the positions of the [Palestinian Authority] to create a Palestinian state within two years based on the 1967 borders, meaning Israel would retreat from most of the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem.

That could include the Temple Mount, but even if it does not - the term contiguous implies the creation of a large, solid block of territory that will not be easy to traverse by Israel in times of emergency. It would occupy the center of what is now Israel.

President Obama has chosen to stand with the Palestinians, I think most Americans will choose to stand with Israel. I know that I will.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

September 24, 2009

Here’s something for your news cravings today.

Oops! Wrong Embryos…

by David Prentice

September 23, 2009

An Ohio couple, hoping for one more child from IVF, has been told that the fertility clinic implanted the wrong embryos. The woman has now become an unintended surrogate. Because of their strong support for life, they will carry the baby to term and then relinquish him to his genetic parents.

We knew if our embryo had been thawed and negligently put into another woman, we would expect that the child would be returned to us.”

ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) supposedly has “a series of strong protocol recommendations” for clinics. But that’s all they are, recommendations. The fertility industry oversees itself.

On Constitution DayA Drive-By Assault

by Robert Morrison

September 17, 2009

The power to tax involves the power to destroy. That was the famous line of Chief Justice John Marshall in the case of McCullough v. Maryland (1819). Today, the power of government control also involves the power to destroy. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to take over all college student loans in the United States. This is the 220th Anniversary of the Constitution. You may well ask where in that storied document Congress gets the power to take over such an important part of the economy?

If you ask the average American family what are their greatest expenses, they can readily report: their home mortgage, their car payment, and their sons or daughters college loans. We have seen liberals in Congress move to take over Fanny Mae and Freddie Macgoverning home mortgages—and the hash they made of that. We have seen them move to take over GM and Chrysler, as well as major banks. Now, they are completing the takeover: college loans.

Its not a stretch to see how they will exercise this new power should the Senate go along and the Obama administration complete the latest power grab. Does the Student Health Center at your Christian college refuse to dispense condoms and refer for abortions? Does the chapel refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages? Well, we may have to have a little chat with your government college loan officer. (Theyll probably house that officer in the same building with your government-issued end-of-life counselor.) Maybe you could find another collegea public optionto send your kids to.

Back in the `80s, Bob Jones University was denied its tax-exempt status because it refused to countenance interracial dating. No other college or university in the country, no major church group condoned BJUs policy. Most of us condemned as racist that policy. But we all recognized that denying a schools tax exemption was an effective way to drive it out of business. The power to tax involves the power to destroy. Happily, BJU reformed its practices. Still, the point was made.

For those of us who, for religious and moral reasons, refuse to go along with abortion-on-demand, refuse to approve counterfeit marriages, todays House action is menacing. We must recognize that the increasing power of governmenta power growing beyond all limitsis a grave threat.

Last week, at a 9/11 ceremonial Freedom Walk at the Reagan Library, All My Children TV star J.R. Martinez spoke. Hes a wounded Iraq war veteran. J.R. quoted Ronald Reagan: The most frightening words in the English language are these: Im from the government and Im here to help you.

Government assistance reminds us of Broadways Yul Brynner in the old hit musical, The King and I. Its a puzzlement, sang the bald baritone playing the King of Siam. When he spoke of allies, he asked: If allies have power to protect me/Might they not protect me out of all I own?

Theres no puzzlement now. This administration and this Congress are showing themselves daily to have no interest in limited government, no interest in the careful system of checks and balances the Founders established to secure the blessings of liberty.

The student loan takeover has not yet been approved by Senate and signed by the President. But Founding Father James Madison said it best: The people are right to take alarm at the first advance on their liberties. Take alarm!

Doggone Abnormal Clones

by David Prentice

September 17, 2009

A U.S. company is backing out of the dogfight over cloning dogs, but leaving behind some interesting kibbles and bits about the cloning business. BioArts International, associated with disgraced cloner Woo-Suk Hwang, has announced it is ending its pet cloning business. BioArts had been in a patent dispute with South Korean cloning firm RNL Bio, started by some of Hwang’s colleagues.

BioArts has issued a press release detailing why they are getting out of the dog cloning business. While most of the reasoning is financial and related to the competition with RNL Bio, there are some shocking revelations related to dog cloning, and perhaps the cloning process in general.

Under reason #4, titled “Unscalable Bioethics”, the numbers of dogs necessary for the cloning process:

At current cloning efficiencies, an average of twelve dogs are needed as donors and recipients to produce a singled cloned puppy.”

This certainly validates what many have noted about cloning in general, regarding the abysmal inefficiency of the cloning technique (there are also unpleasant revelations about what happens to the unfortunate castoff dogs…)

Perhaps more disturbing is the news under reason #5, titled “Unpredictable Results”, regarding numerous “anomalies” in clones:

Unfortunately, in addition to producing and delivering numerous perfectly healthy dog clones, weve also seen several strange anomalies in cloned offspring. One clone which was supposed to be black and white was born greenish-yellow where it should have been white. Others have had skeletal malformations, generally not crippling though sometimes serious and always worrisome. One clone of a male donor was actually born female (we still have no good explanation for how that happened). These problems are all the more worrisome given that cloning is supposedly a mature technology in general…”

Worrisome indeed, and not just regarding dogs or born clones, but for any attempt to use SCNT cloning technology.

Snorting Stem Cells

by David Prentice

September 17, 2009

Various ways exist to deliver adult stem cells for repair of tissues, such as injection directly into the tissue site or by intravenous injection. Now comes a new, novel way to deliver stem cells to the brain—snort them. Scientists at the University Hospital of Tubingen in Germany presented evidence using mice that snorting stem cells up the nose is an effective way to deliver the cells to the brain. Basically they put stem cells into nose drops, put the drops up the noses of the mice, and the mice snorted the suspension high into their noses. The stem cells then crossed into the brain. They were able to track migration of the fluorescently-labeled stem cells through the brain.

This gives “up your nose” a whole new meaning for stem cells.

Missing “Manly” Fish and Population Control

by Tony Perkins

September 17, 2009

A report from the U.S. Geological Survey is giving birth to concerns about the decline in the fish population because of the feminizing of fish. No, I am not talking about cross-dressing fish, but referencing what experts say is a widespread problem in which certain species of male fish are growing egg cells.

Whats behind this feminization of male fish? Birth control pills. Womens birth control pills and other hormone treatments have made their way into the nations rivers through the sewer systems. Birth control pills are not only the leading form of pregnancy prevention here in the U.S., but are often the tool of choice for the population control forces in third world countries.

The tragedy is that the population control message is most often promoted by the global warming crowd and others who view people as negatively impacting the environment and consuming limited resources. In reality, its their efforts to reduce the population (people) that are actually destroying the environment (fish).

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