FRC Blog

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

July 1, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

  • Abortions down slightly in Minnesota,” Bob Von Sternberg, The Star Tribune (July 1, 2009)
  • According to the annual report by the Minnesota Department of Health, 12,948 abortions were performed last year, 895 fewer than in 2007.

  • Report: Abortions drop for fifth straight year in Wisconsin,” Associated Press (June 30, 2009)
  • A state report released Tuesday found 8,229 abortions were performed in the state last year, down from 8,267 in 2007. The number of abortions in the state has fallen for five straight years now.

  • Liberty’s champion,” Marvin Olasky, WORLD Magazine (July 4, 2009)
  • Calvin was a fallen sinner, as all of us are, but was he especially mean-spirited? He taught that God created the world out of love and loved the world so much that Christ came down from the glorious kingdom of heaven and plunged into this world’s muck.

  • Conservative Christian groups form new federation,” Jody Brown, OneNewsNow (July 1, 2009)
  • Ouch! Planned Parenthood stung again…,” Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow (July 1, 2009)
  • We want the attorney general of the state of Alabama to take this seriously and do his own investigation to find out what further is happening and convict Planned Parenthood where appropriate,” she says. “And we also hope the legislators pay attention so that if there is any state or local funding going to Planned Parenthood, that they can immediately cut the funding.”

  • Fixing The Heart With Stem Cells,” Bill Whitaker, CBS News (June 29, 2009)
  • This week doctors in Los Angeles have given a heart attack patient an infusion of stem cells grown from his own heart muscle.

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Is Planned Parenthood Bending the Rules?

by Krystle Gabele

June 30, 2009

Lila Rose of Live Action Films exposes an Alabama Planned Parenthood clinic of “bending the rules” of mandatory reporting for sexual abuse.

Posing as a 14-year old, Rose told a counselor at the Birmingham clinic that she was pregnant by her 31-year old “boyfriend” and needed a secret abortion to avoid her parents finding out about her relationship with an older man. The counselor, then proceeded to tell her that the OB-GYN, Dr. Desiree Bates, “sometimes bends the rules a little bit,” and mentioned that everything will remain confidential.

Bending the rules on sexual abuse…there are laws strictly prohibiting this practice in Alabama (and around the country for that matter). According to Alabama Code 26-14-3, health care professionals are REQUIRED to disclose suspected cases of sexual abuse to state officials immediately. In this case, a 31-year old sleeping with a 14-year old is Statutory Rape, which is sexual abuse.

This Planned Parenthood clinic also violated, yet another obvious law (Alabama Code 26-21-3), in which a parent must sign the consent to allow an abortion for a minor to take place. The counselor informed Rose that a signature from an older sister over 18 would suffice for the parental consent.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

June 29, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

June 25, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Precision Adult Stem Cells, Not Embryonic Sledgehammers

by David Prentice

June 25, 2009

Adult Stem Cells, Not Embryonic Stem Cells, Best Suited For Muscle Repairsledgehammersmash

New research published online in the journal Nature suggests that adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells, are appropriate for use in therapies for repairing damaged and diseased muscle. Researchers from Maryland and Indiana report that experiments with mice show the genes involved in muscle development are turned off soon after birth, and are not used by adult stem cells that repair muscle. Lead author Christoph Lepper said “I thought that if they are so important in the embryo, they must be important for adult muscle stem cells. I was totally surprised to find that the muscle stem cells are normal without them.”

In their paper the authors note:

Changes in genetic requirement for muscle stem cells from embryonic to juvenile to adult stages elucidate the inadequacy of applying knowledge gained from developmental studies to adult stem-cell biology. Our discovery should encourage future investigations into how widespread genetic transitions may occur in different adult stem-cell types. Age-dependent differences in stem-cell properties should also urge careful consideration of the age of stem cells used in transplantation-based regenerative medicine.”

The implications? Studying embryonic stem cells is an inadequate substitute for directly studying how adult stem cells carry out their normal repair functions in the body, and embryonic stem cells themselves are inadequate substitutes for adult stem cells in medical therapies. In other words, don’t use a sledgehammer instead of precision equipment.

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

June 23, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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My Pops Pelican Hooks

by Robert Morrison

June 19, 2009

[caption id=”attachment_1374” align=”alignleft” width=”182” caption=”Drawing of a Pelican Hook”]pelicanhook2[/caption]

Your father was a real hero, Manual Dias told me. The 88-year old World War II veteran had contacted me in 2008. He knew my late father when the two men served in the Merchant Marine together. I made a point of visiting Manny and his wonderful family in Massachusetts this spring.

Manny remembered every detail of the sinking of the SS Deer Lodge on 17 Feb 43. Your father ran around the deck unlatching the pelican hooks on the rubber boats. That was not his assigned duty. Without that, many of our crewmen would have died, Im sure. Manny corrected an earlier misimpression Id had: that my father ran around cutting the stays for those boats and pitching the boats overboard. No, Manny said, if hed done that, the boats might have struck some men in the water. The boats could have killed them. No, Pop had to unlatch those pelican hooks one-by-one, as the ship was rapidly sinking.

[caption id=”attachment_1373” align=”alignright” width=”182” caption=”Photo of a Pelican Hook”]Photo of a Pelican Hook[/caption]

My father, Leslie Morrison, passed away at the age of 87, in 1998. He was loved and honored by his entire family. But this contact with one of his dearest friends and shipmates thrilled me. It was like a message in a bottle. Or, like a message from heaven.

My dad talked about the sinking of the Deer Lodge, of course. He never claimed to be a hero. He always minimized his own role that fateful night. He never mentioned those pelican hooks. When he and his shipmates were rescued, Pop told me they were taken to a nice hotel in South Africa. Mostly, Pop regaled us with stories of how he got to play tennis every day for six weeks with the rather attractive South African womens tennis champion.

When my cousin Barbara interviewed Pop on the fiftieth anniversary of the sinking, she was amazed. Pop told her that when the U-boat skipper finished questioning the men in the life boats, he had simply turned the submarine around and steamed away. Wasnt that horrible, my cousin asked, just to leave you there? At least he didnt shoot us, Pop answered.

Manny told me much more about that German U-boat commander. He was a humane man. He gave us water, food, and charts.

Through my own research, I had learned that the German submarine was the U-516 and her skipper was KorvettenKapitan Gerhard Wiebe. I was astonished, too, at the extraordinary kindness of Captain Wiebe.

Manny told me that Captain Wiebe had delayed sending in the second torpedo to finish off the Deer Lodge. If he had followed up his first fish with a second, just minutes later, he could have killed dozens of the seamen clambering over the sides of the stricken American vessel. But something in his heart told him to hold back. Was there a single case of an American submarine commander providing such aid, say, to a Japanese freighter he had just torpedoed?

Growing up, I had been surprised at my fathers complete lack of bitterness toward the Germans. He had survived that sinking, true, but his elder brother Harry had been torpedoed in the South Atlantic just a few months before Pop was. Harry was first rescued by a Dutch merchant vessel off Brazil. Then, that ship was torpedoed and Harry and almost the entire crew were lost. Pops attitude reflected the wisdom of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The line between good and evil runs not between classes or nations, but through the heart of every man.

Along with treasured photographs of Pop in my study, I keep a plaque he gave me. It shows a German U-boat in brass, mounted on a plain wooden background. It reminds me of that incredible story of the high seas. Its a tale of honor, courage, forgiveness, and humanity in the midst of the most terrible war. And Ill thank God for all that my father meant to me and to my own family.

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