FRC Blog

Treating babies and teaching Iraqi doctors….

by David Christensen

December 21, 2006

This story about a Mumbai toddler treated by stem cell therapy provides some good news about a baby girl treated for a heart condition with her father’s blood stem cells.

I don’t know how accurate this story is, but it is consistent with the use of adult stem cells to treat patients for heart damage. The hospital mentioned, Frontier Lifeline Hospital, is focusing on cardiac care. In fact, according to this recent story, An invaluable exposure, Frontier Lifeline Hospital is working with Iraqi doctors and surgeons to help them get up to speed on newer techniques for treating heart damage. Iraqi doctors are struggling to treat heart trauma resulting from the war in Iraq, so some of them have gone for more training in India.

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The 110th Congress: Hey who needs an excuse to party?

by Family Research Council

December 21, 2006

Could he leave Nancy Pelosi in San Fran instead of his heart?I predicted Al D’Amato would beat Chuck Schumer. I predicted George H. W. Bush would beat Bill Clinton. I predicted Hillary Clinton would never become Senator of New York State. I predicted the Republicans would retain both Chambers of Congress. I predicted a ship like the Titanic could never be sunk and the Hindenburg was as safe as a horseless carriage. Finally, I predicted that the Democratic leadership wouldn’t be able to help themselves after winning Congress and would throw a lavish Hollywood type “Inaugural” - the kind normally reserved for Presidential elections. I guess I had to be right one of these times:

Tony Bennett is coming, of course, to croon his trademark “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

Carole King and Wyclef Jean will be there. Mayor Gavin Newsom is scheduled to be there, too.

And a big delegation of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and labor leaders is jetting back East, together no less.

All will converge on Washington in early January to take part in four days of events surrounding the swearing-in of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who will be elected the new speaker of the House and the first woman and first Californian to occupy the post.

After running through a long list of planned events designed to highlight different phases of 66-year-old Pelosi’s life, her spokesman Brendan Daly said, “Overall this is who Nancy Pelosi is. And this is a chance for people to meet Nancy Pelosi and see who she is.”

Already “historians” are “>trying to rewrite history to say such a party isn’t unusual:

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Will Congress Reduce Drug Costs?

by David Christensen

December 21, 2006

A couple of FDA items in the news yesterday are of interest, as is an oped about dealing with drug costs. First, the Washington Post reports on a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that new drugs are decreasing while the cost of drug R&D is increasing. In fact, the cost of R&D for drugs has increased to $60 billion annually from 1993 to 2004.

The amount of regulation on drug companies is definitely part of the reason for the enormous costs of getting new drugs to the market. I had a friend working for a company, and her job was to help companies run clinical trials in line with FDA regs. After a trial was complete, she said the amount of paperwork literally filled two trucks (not pickup trucks either). The amount of paper work alone has got to drive up costs, which of course are passed on to the consumer.

Second, it was widely reported yesterday that the FDA will require clearer labels for over-the-counter pain meds. I was shocked at how many deaths are attributed to pain killers (Tylenol, Aleve, etc). According to a Washington Post article:

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Sandy Berger: Keeping America Safe from the Truth

by Family Research Council

December 21, 2006

Mishandling classified information, committing a crime and then lying to cover it up - and then when caught he still denies everything!! Where did he learn his ethics from? Oh wait I forgot who his former boss was.

Report Says Berger Hid Archive Documents

President Clinton’s national security adviser removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them, the agency’s internal watchdog said Wednesday.

The report was issued more than a year after Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removing the documents.

Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the Sept. 11 commission. Berger was authorized as the Clinton administration’s representative to make sure the commission got the correct classified materials.

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Good Night, Vienna

by Family Research Council

December 20, 2006

When Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights do you think this is what she had in mind?

Vienna to get gender-equal traffic and exit signs

A green exit sign shows a woman, rather than a man, running for the door, while a traffic light features another crossing the street in a new initiative by the City of Vienna to raise awareness about gender equality.

Glen or Glenda?The campaign, launched on Thursday and entitled “Wien sieht’s anders” (Vienna sees it differently) is part of the City’s “Gender Mainstreaming” project.

Its aim is to “give both genders the same exposure and ensure an equal distribution of chances, opportunities and duties” by changing the gender of figures pictured on familiar signs, City Hall said in a statement.

Because it clashes with fixed visual habits, the campaign compels (people) to think, look and act differently,” Sonja Wehsely, city councillor in charge of women’s affairs, said in the statement.

Thus, signs using male characters will have their female equivalent, while the opposite will also be true.

Female exit signs and pictograms in bathrooms featuring a man, rather than a woman, changing a baby, will be introduced at City Hall to start with, the statement said.

Seats reserved for the elderly and pregnant women on Vienna’s buses and trams will soon also picture a man carrying a child on his lap.

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Sex-selection in India Increases

by David Christensen

December 19, 2006

The Associated Press reports that 7,000 fewer girls are born in India every day. The increased use of ultrasound in India has made sex-selection that much easier. The number of abortions of girls is staggering. Indian officials aren’t pleased:

Female feticide should be treated as a crime and not just a social evil, therefore stringent punishment and punitive action is required,” said Renuka Choudhury, India’s women and child development minister.

She’s correct. But why isn’t abortion of any child regardless of sex viewed as a form of feticide?

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Osama bin Laden Shot Dead

by Family Research Council

December 19, 2006

Killer elephant Osama bin Laden shot dead:

A killer elephant named Osama bin Laden that is thought to be responsible for the deaths of at least fourteen people in India has been shot dead. ‘Osama’ had reportedly trampled 14 people to death in the past six months in the north-eastern state, the BBC reported.

He was given his name by villagers in Assam’s eastern district of Sonitpur. Reuters is reporting that a forestry official said on Sunday “Osama” had been shot dead on Saturday in a tea plantation on the outskirts of Behali town, about 140 km (90 miles) north of Guwahati, Assam’s main city.

The elephant was killed after villagers identified him,” a senior forestry official said, adding the animal could be identified because it had no tusks.

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Santa’s Naughty List: Howell High School

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

What exactly does 33% of a song sound like?

Howell rule limits choirs’ sacred tunes

I can't tell you how many Christmas I got coalDistrict’s 10-year-old policy stirs debate before the high school’s annual holiday concert.

The “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah,” “Glory, Glory” and “Weep O Mine Eyes” are among the repertoire of musical selections to be sung by the nearly 300 members of Howell High School choirs at 7 tonight and Thursday.

But, for every religious song performed by the nine choral groups, 3.33 others have to be secular yuletide offerings as required under a school district’s policy.

We’re falling within the guidelines. I comply with (the rules) although I don’t agree. I just find the whole thing disturbing that we’re not able to do all the literature I’d like to do,” said Rod Bushey, choral director at Howell High.

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This Day in History/Quote of the Day

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

On this day in 1799, George Washington, the first president of the United States, dies of acute laryngitis at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. George Washington was born in 1732 to a farm family in Westmoreland County, Virginia. i would swear I'm the only one who remembers the cartoonHis first direct military experience came as a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia colonial militia in 1754, when he led a small expedition against the French in the Ohio River valley on behalf of the governor of Virginia. Two years later, Washington took command of the defenses of the western Virginian frontier during the French and Indian War. After the war’s fighting moved elsewhere, he resigned from his military post, returned to a planter’s life, and took a seat in Virginia’s House of Burgesses. In 1774, he represented Virginia at the Continental Congress.

After the American Revolution erupted in 1775, Washington was nominated to be commander in chief of the newly established Continental Army. Some in the Continental Congress opposed his appointment, thinking other candidates were better equipped for the post, but he was ultimately chosen because as a Virginian his leadership helped bind the Southern colonies more closely to the rebellion in New England. After winning the war, the victorious general retired to his estate at Mount Vernon, but in 1787 he heeded his nation’s call and returned to politics to preside over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In February of 1789 Washington was unanimously elected the first president of the United States. In 1792, he was unanimously reelected but four years later refused a third term. In 1797, he finally began a long-awaited retirement at his estate in Virginia. He died two years later. His friend Henry Lee provided a famous eulogy: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

QoD: “Me and Janet really are two different people.” - Michael Jackson. On this day in 1969 the Jackson Five made their 1st appearance on “Ed Sullivan Show.”

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The 109th Congress: What’s In a Name?

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

It appears the majority of the bills came from the Democrats. What will be left to name once they are in power?

Hey its Christmas bonus time, I'll take all opportunities to suck up

109th Congress a success at naming buildings

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Despite criticism for adjourning last week without acting on several major legislative initiatives, members of Congress can boast significant achievements in at least one area of federal lawmaking — naming post offices.

Of the 383 pieces of legislation that were signed into law during the two-year 109th Congress, more than one-quarter dealt with naming or renaming federal buildings and structures — primarily post offices — after various Americans.

Three post offices were named after entertainers. Ray Charles, the late singer and musician, was honored with a post office in Los Angeles in July 2005 in a bill sponsored by Rep. Diane Watson, D-California Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, authored a law naming another Los Angeles post office after actor and former American Express pitchman Karl Malden.

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