Month Archives: September 2010

The 111th Congress Good Riddance

by Chris Gacek

September 30, 2010

If you need to be reminded of just how arrogant and destructive this Congress has been an editorial from the Wall Street Journal (9/20/2010, p. 11) should refresh our memories. As you may recall, the Obamacare bill contained many horrific provisions. However, one particularly insane diktat towered above the others for inexplicable lunacy. It required that any business purchasing over $600 from any vendor annually would have to notify the IRS of this by filing a Form 1099.

As the Journal noted, Business groups, especially small business, had made the vote a priority because of the huge compliance costs this burden will impose. One article I read noted the incredible hassle of just finding vendor tax identification numbers. A private attorneys IRS help blog observed that the requirement itself is going to be an administrative nightmare for businesses, especially small business owners who do not have the capacity to keep accurate records of their expenses in such minute detail. But no matter.

Senator Johann (R-NE) offered an amendment to repeal this provision. Fellow Nebraskan, Ben Nelson, offered a compromise raising the amount that triggered the provision to $5,000 a typically ridiculous proposal from the ruling class meant to appease the peasants. Johann could only muster 46 votes. Nelson obtained 56 for faux repeal but couldnt the 60 that were needed in the Senate.

The vote was ominous. It was a harbinger of the fight to come in the next and the next Congresses when Republicans try to repeal Obamacare. As the Journal perceptively observed, Liberal Democrats will do everything in their power to preserve every part of ObamaCare, so reformers are going to need every Senate seat they can get if they want to do more than posture.

With that failed effort capping off nineteen months of ignominy I can only think that this Congress deserves a farewell like the one delivered by Oliver Cromwell when he dissolved the Long Parliament in 1653. Cromwell told the assembled body:

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barterd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defild this sacred place, and turnd the Lords temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

Planned Parenthood: Getting More Government Money to Teach Your Kids About Sex

by Family Research Council

September 30, 2010

Today the Department of Health and Human Services announced newly awarded grant recipients for teen pregnancy prevention programs. Although the program will replace abstinence education grants that expire today (the last day of the fiscal year), a number of anti-abstinence groups are among the major recipients. Included in that group is Planned Parenthood, which will receive $4.5 million dollars, specifically in the states of Florida and Washington. For a full list of newly awarded grantees see here.

Let’s look back on some of Planned Parenthood’s written materials on sex education over the last few months:

In January, Planned Parenthood published Stand and Deliver: Sex, Health and Young People in the 21st Century, which recommended that children as young as ten should have mandated comprehensive sex education. It also downplayed the role of parents and accused religious groups of deny[ing young people] the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex.

In March, Planned Parenthood released a new sex education guide for HIV-positive children, Happy, Healthy, Hot: A Young Persons Guide to Their Rights and Living with HIV. The guide reads, [T]here are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself! Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them. The same report advocated against national laws that HIV- positive people must reveal their status to their sex partner. Such laws, according to Planned Parenthood, violate the rights of people living with HIV… There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. … They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender.

The last group in the world I would want teaching young people about sexuality is Planned Parenthood. Perhaps parents in Washington and Florida will take this issue to their state health departments.

Follow this link for more information on Planned Parenthood.

Is Ella an Emergency Contraceptive?

by Family Research Council

September 30, 2010

Today Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) continues explaining the medical perspective and science behind ella, the abortion drug approved by the FDA on August 13th, misleadingly labeled as an emergency contraceptive (EC).

In this short clip Dr. Harrison discusses the different ways ella can work, i.e., “modes of action”. She addresses how ella works in a woman’s body before ovulation, after a baby is fertilized and also after an embryo has implanted. Dr. Harrison also explains how ella’s label as an EC is misleading.

For more information watch the clip below. Please send this information to the women you know. Women who deserve to know the truth about ella — how it will work in their bodies and on their babies.

New Piece Comparing RU-486 With Other Drugs

by Family Research Council

September 29, 2010

The Special Treatment of RU-486,” by Nick Frase, compares RU-486, the one FDA-approved drug specifically for the purpose of abortion, with other drugs that have been withdrawn from the U.S. pharmaceutical market. RU-486 has been connected with a multitude of negative side effects, the most serious being death. Yet the drug is still on the market and moreover, is touted as beneficial for women’s health.

In Frase’s words, “Many drugs have been removed from the market for far lesser reasons than the known risks assumed with taking RU-486. This has some health advocates wondering if the drug is not somehow receiving special treatment over and above its track record.”

In 2006 the FDA acknowledged 232 hospitalizations, 116 cases involving blood transfusions, and, most sadly, 8 deaths related to RU-486 in its first six years of FDA approval. In comparison, some of the drugs that have been withdrawn from the pharmaceutical market include Tysabri — used for M.S. and Crohn’s disease — which was connected with 1 death and 1 adverse event; Raplon — a muscle relaxer — which was linked to five deaths; Lotronex — used for Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS) in women — which reportedly received 70 adverse event reports, with 34 hospitalizations and 3 deaths.

Nick surmises that RU-486 has indeed received special treatment. For more information, read the full paper.

Adult Stem CellsBest-Kept Secret, Treating Sickle Cell Anemia

by David Prentice

September 29, 2010

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. One aspect of which most aren’t aware is that sickle cell anemia is being successfully treated with adult stem cells! In her recent Senate testimony, Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson described the case of Joseph Davis, Jr. Joe Jr. was born with severe sickle cell anemia. His parents were told that he probably wouldn’t live to be a teenager. After a search for a matching bone marrow donor came up empty, they were able to use little brother Isaac’s umbilical cord blood to successfully treat Joe Jr., who now leads a normal life. His brother literally saved his life with adult stem cells.

Sickle cell anemia is a serious, life-threatening blood disease. It causes pain, chronic anemia and tiredness, and can lead to severe infections, damage to organs including the heart, kidneys and lungs, stroke and death. About 1 in 500 African-Americans has sickle cell anemia. Adult stem cells are successfully treating sickle cell disease now. A 2007 report in the journal Blood described extremely successful results treating sickle cell disease with adult stem cells, noting that matched donor transplant

is the only curative treatment for sickle cell disease.

A 2007 review in Bone Marrow Transplantation noted that:

Currently, hematopoietic SCT (HCT) is the only intervention that can restore normal hematopoiesis to provide a cure in sickle cell disease.

A 2008 published study led by Dr. Lakshmanan Krishnamurti at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh developed a gentler, easier technique for treating sickle cell anemia with adult stem cells. Dr. Krishnamurti said:

This study offers hope for a cure to thousands of patients with severe sickle cell disease.”

And a 2009 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the adult stem cell transplants could work successfully for adults.

Adult stem cells are saving sickle cell patients now!

Adult Stem CellsBest-Kept Secret, Treating Chronic Heart Failure

by David Prentice

September 29, 2010

As noted before, Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson testified at the U.S. Senate hearing on the promise of stem cells, Sept. 16, 2010. Her testimony discussed published adult stem cell science and real results for patients; as she noted, adult stem cells are “the best-kept secret in the galaxy.”

Adult stem cells have shown published success is treatment of chronic (congestive) heart failure. In her testimony, Dr. Peduzzi Nelson discussed the case of Doug Rice. Doug was told that he had only a short time to live due to chronic heart failure after multiple heart attacks. At that time he could hardly walk. He did not qualify for any U.S. clinical trials, so he went to Thailand in early 2006 to be treated with his own adult stem cells (using a technique developed in the U.S. by Dr. Amit Patel.) Since his treatment, Doug’s heart has improved and pumps better, he has more energy and is enjoying life. He surprised even his cardiologist.

Doug Rice is not an isolated case. Recently a German team led by Prof. Dr. med. Bodo Strauer published the results of a long-term study treating a large number of chronic heart failure patients with adult stem cells. The study, published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, is the largest study to date of patients treated for heart failure with bone marrow adult stem cells. A total of 191 patients received intracoronary injections of their own bone marrow adult stem cells, compared with 200 patients who received standard care, and patient health was monitored for up to five years. The results showed that treatment with adult stem cells improves heart function based on a large number of tests, quality of life and survival in patients with heart failure.

Prof. Dr. med. Strauer presented the published evidence at a recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. He noted that:

Our study suggests that, when administered as an alternative or in addition to conventional therapy, bone marrow cell therapy can improve quality of life, increase ventricular performance, and increase survival. Intracoronary therapy has been shown to be effective in acute myocardial infarction, and the STAR-heart study now indicates its efficacy in chronic heart failure.”

Adult stem cells are improving health and saving lives now.

Florida Picks Up Two, New York Loses Two

by Robert Morrison

September 28, 2010

The Census Bureau hired a lot of temporary workers this year. The decennial census is commanded by the Constitution and has taken place every tenth year, even during times of depression and war. It is vitally important to have an accurate count of the American people. One of the first purposes of the census is that representation in Congress can be properly apportioned. Ever since 1911, the U.S. House of Representatives has been fixed at 435 members. That means every ten years, there will be some states that gain and some states that lose seats in Congress.

Its good to see that not all the census workers stood around counting each other. Well hope for an accurate count. Preliminary estimates tell us that following the next state reapportionment, New York will lose two seats in Congress, while Florida is expected to pick up two. Texas could be the big winner, with a net gain of four seats. Ohio may lose two seats.

This will be the continuation of a pattern unbroken since the founding of the country. The population of the United States has been moving south and west for two hundred years.

From the beginning, politicians have been alert to these changes. Timothy Pickering was a High Federalist who served as John Adams Secretary of State. Pickering of Massachusetts was alarmed by President Jeffersons Louisiana Purchase. He could read the future of the country in the westward expansion on the map. He feared Jefferson would carve out innumerable new states from the Louisiana Territory, which more than doubled the size of the country. Pickering began to agitate for secession from a Jeffersonian Union. Fortunately for Americans, Honest John Adams, his son, John Quincy, and even Jeffersons foe, Alexander Hamilton, approved of Jeffersons building an empire for Liberty.

The 1850 census shocked the Southern planter aristocracy. They saw immigrants flooding into the Northern states, yes, but many of those immigrantsespecially Germans and Scandinavians—also fanned out across the upper Midwest. Others, especially the Irish, took the places left by the Yankees of New England and New York who were themselves the first to settle the Midwest and the Oregon country.

Political power in the U.S. House of Representatives shifted markedly to the free states. Slaveholders began to listen to fire eaters who urged them to break away from a Union dominated by the North and Midwest, a majority of whose people were growing more impatient to put slavery on the path to ultimate extinction.

I view the report of the 2010 census with a wistful feeling. I grew up in New York State when we were truly the Empire State. We had the largest population and therefore we had the biggest prize in Electoral Votes45. New York really had clout.

From 1810 until 1970, New York held that No. 1 position. New York was always liberal. That was almost a given. But we held to certain principlesamong them the right to life.

In fact, most state laws protecting unborn life were modeled on our New York State law.

It didnt seem like an illiberal position during the period of New Yorks ascendancy.

New York valued its ethnic and religious diversity. Therefore, we protected the lives of allespecially those unborn children of minorities who might be especially in danger if the law failed to protect them at their most vulnerable time.

All of that changed in the 1960s as abortion agitation vied with anti-Vietnam War activism to claim the mantle of liberalism in my state. In 1970, New York State passedvery narrowlyone of the first liberalized abortion laws in the country. Abortion-on-demand was approved, but only by a single vote in the State Assembly. It was quickly signed into law by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, a liberal Republican. The next year, New Yorks legislature recoiled from what it had done. It passed a repealer. But Gov. Rockefeller blocked it with his veto. Even then, however, New Yorkers were stunned by the radical nature of their state law. And New Yorks law allowed abortion for any reason only up to six months.

The very liberal Mayor of New York City, John Vliet Lindsay, began his career as a Republican congressman from the so-called Silk Stocking district in Manhattan.

Once, when a measure came up on Congress to crack down on pornography and prostitution, Lindsay voted no. He joked that those were important industries in his district. The New York Times thought him very witty and urbane. The straphangers who had to ride in the citys graffiti-marred and trash-strewn subways were less amused. Lindsay became the living symbol of limousine liberalism. The New Yorker magazine published a cartoon showing King Kong tearing up the elevated railroad. Two gray-suited businessmen looked on in dismay: That does it, Im voting for Procaccino, one of them says. Its how the ever liberal sophisticates poked fun at New Yorkers who resisted Mayor Lindsays charms.

Soon, Lindsay jumped parties and ran for President. In 1972, his campaign sputtered and flamed out among the Democrats. Tall, telegenic, charismatic, witty and articulate, how could he have failed?

He was run out of Florida by exiled New Yorkers. I vividly remember refugees from my home state pursuing John Lindsay through the orange groves and yelling at him: Ya rooined the city, ya bum. Now, youre tryin to rooin Flah-rida. Get outta here!

Lindsay never recovered. He finished out his disastrous second term as Mayor and faded away. Of course, Lindsay was an all-out supporter of abortion-on-demand. So was Rockefeller. His White House ambitions stopped just short. Jerry Ford named him, disastrously, as his Vice President in 1974. Within just two years, Ford had to dump Rocky unceremoniously in a vain attempt to bring conservatives back into his Republican camp.

Its hard now to recall how powerful, how dominant these two liberal giants were in New York in those days. I cannot help thinking that if we had had a pro-life champion in our state, perhaps we would not have hemorrhaged political power as quickly. Floridas leaders have been more protective of human life, so I can only rejoice in the Sunshine States two-seat pickup. If New York, tragically, continues to send pro-abortion congressmen to Washington, at least it will send fewer of them.

Ella vs. Plan B

by Family Research Council

September 28, 2010

In the following youtube clip, Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) continues her series of short videos explaining the medical perspective and science behind ella, the abortion drug approved by the FDA on August 13th, misleadingly labeled as an emergency contraceptive (EC).

In this 48 second clip, Dr. Harrison succinctly explains how ella is different than Plan B. The FDA has categorized both drugs as ECs. Until now, Plan B has been the most widely used EC in the United States. But Plan B is in a completely different class of drugs than ella and RU-486. It is believed that Plan B does not impact an already implanted baby, although it can prevent implantation. Ella, however, can work both before and after implantation.

For more information watch the clip below. We encourage you to send this clip and others in the series far and wide to the women you know. Women who deserve to know the truth about ella — how it will work in their bodies and on their babies.

Adult Stem Cells—Best-Kept Secret, Treating Spinal Cord Injury

by David Prentice

September 27, 2010

On September 16, 2010, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations held another hearing on stem cells. The committee, chaired by Sen. Harkin, had asked to hear about the science of stem cells, but what they got was mostly politics. The witnesses praising embryonic stem cells had few facts or results, relying on hype and empty promises.

Only a single lone witness was invited to testify on the promise of adult stem cells, but Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson’s testimony discussed real science and real results for patients. She showed five pictures of patients who had been treated successfully with adult stem cells, discussing their cases and the peer-reviewed scientific publications documenting the success of adult stem cells in each example. As she noted in her testimony:

The progress of adult stem cells has gone so far beyond these particular patients to long term follow-up results of numerous patients in peer-reviewed published clinical trials.”

The first example Dr. Peduzzi Nelson gave was that of Silvio, who was quadriplegic after a spinal cord injury at the base of his neck, “AIS Grade A”. Grade A is considered the worst, indicating a “complete” spinal cord injury where no motor or sensory function is preserved in the lower body. Silvio was left with no movement of his legs and minimal movement of his fingers. At 2 years after injury, and after intensive rehabilitation failed to lead to an improvement,.he received his own nasal adult stem cells and partial scar removal.

Today Silvio can maintain a standing position and wave without help. With a walker and short braces, he can walk over 30 feet without anyone helping him. He can now move his fingers, which he could not do before.

Silvio’s improvement is astounding. Usually only 5% of AIS Grade A patients improve in grade if a treatment is given at 1 year or greater after spinal cord injury. But using adult stem cells for treatment, Silvio is not an isolated case. Dr. Peduzzi Nelson has worked with Dr. Carlos Lima of Portugal on these adult stem cell treatments, publishing the results. In their most recent published study, more than half of the AIS Grade A patients improved at least one grade after adult stem cell treatment. When the adult stem cells are combined with an effective rehab program, 12/13 AIS A patients improved in AIS grade and all of the patients regained some muscle movement in their legs.

The results with patients have been published in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair and in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine.

Recognition that Many Tea Partiers Do Oppose Abortion

by Chris Gacek

September 24, 2010

There was a good article in the Thursday, September 23rd edition of the Washington Examiner by Timothy Carney. In this commentary piece (Tea Partiers Oppose Abortion, Not Just Deficits) Carney points out that pro-life voters were instrumental in the recent defeats of Lisa Murkowski, Charlie Crist, Mike Castle (But Castle was also vocally pro-choice.), and Arlen Specter. He notes that the Senate ringleader of this rowdy [Tea Party] bunch is DeMint, a passionate pro-life conservative.

Here is Carneys most interesting and correct observation: But on Capital Hill, the divide between fiscally and socially conservative is a theoretical one. Almost without fail, the strongest advocates of limited government in Congress are pro-life, and vice-versa. Think of DeMint and Tom Coburn in the Senate and Ron Paul and Jeff Flake in the House — they top the scorecards of the National Taxpayers Union and also have perfect scores from National Right to Life.

Aside from the Tea Party phenomena itself the most important political development this election cycle involves Sarah Palin. It hasnt received much press. Sarah Palin is changing the Republican Party and making it decidedly more pro-life. The Washington Post described a May 14, 2010 event this way:

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told a group of women who oppose abortion rights that they are responsible for an emerging, conservative, feminist identity and have the power to shape politics and elections around the issue of life.

Speaking to a breakfast gathering Friday of the Susan B. Anthony List in downtown Washington, Palin urged more than 500 audience members to back only those candidates for public office who are uncompromisingly opposed to abortion.

Palin is doing this by endorsing pro-life candidates only, and she is endorsing excellent female candidates. If Carney is correct these politicians like Carly Fiorina in California will be decidedly more conservative on all issues. But, after several election cycles there may be a cadre of pro-life women in office who will reshape the debate about abortion. And, this goes to show that Palin isnt just politicking, she is institution-building.

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