Archive for January 22nd, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

As usual, Cox & Forkum have hit the nail on the head.
Apparently CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) is upset that an episode of the Fox hit series “24” dares to show Islamic terrorist blowing up a theme park, here in America, with a nuclear bomb.
Having watched “24” a few times, it is appears that they don’t show any favoritism, and at some point, have shown all groups involved as “bad” with the “heroes” just as diverse.

Stranger Than Fiction

This from Fox News:

CLIFTON, N.J. — Two years ago, Muslim groups protested when the plot of the hit Fox drama `24′ cast Islamic terrorists as the villains who launched a stolen nuclear missile in an attack on America.

Now, after a one-year respite during which Russian separatists played the bad guys on the critically acclaimed series, Muslims are back in the evil spotlight. Unlike last time, when agent Jack Bauer saved the day, the terrorists this time have already succeeded in detonating a nuclear bomb in a Los Angeles suburb.

Being portrayed again as the heartless wrongdoers has drawn renewed protests from Muslim groups, including one that had a meeting with Fox executives two years ago over the issue.

“The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season’s premiere. “After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn’t sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality.”

She said the group had a conference call Wednesday with Fox executives to protest the current plot line and request more positive portrayals of Muslims on the show, but was not promised anything.

After a January 2005 meeting with CAIR, Fox aired a commercial in which the show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland, urged viewers to keep in mind that the show’s villains are not representative of all Muslims.

In a written statement issued late Wednesday night, the network said it has not singled out any ethnic or religious group for blame in creating its characters.

“24 is a heightened drama about anti-terrorism,” the statement read. “After five seasons, the audience clearly understands this, and realizes that any individual, family, or group (ethnic or otherwise) that engages in violence is not meant to be typical.

“Over the past several seasons, the villains have included shadowy Anglo businessmen, Baltic Europeans, Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the (Anglo-American) president of the United States,” the network said. “The show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multidimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints.”

The current season began with Muslim terrorists waging an 11-week campaign of suicide bombings across America, culminating in the detonation of a suitcase-sized nuclear bomb in Valencia, Calif., about 26 miles north of Los Angeles. Estimated death toll: 12,000.

Watching the show’s characters talk about detonating a nuclear weapon a few blocks from where she works unnerved Sireen Sawaf, an official with the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, and a self-described “huge `24′ fan.”

“It’s a great show, and I do realize it’s a multidimensional show that portrays extreme situations,” she said. “They have gone out of their way to have non-Muslim terror cells.

“But I’m concerned about the image it ingrains in the minds of the American public and the American government, particularly when you have anti-Muslim statements spewing from the mouths of government officials.”

Original Link to Fox News.
Original Link to Cox & Forkum.

Controversial Tests Reveal Virulence of 1918 Flu Virus

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

This should be something that people are more worried about. If the “bird flu” is a mutation of the 1918 virus, it could kill as many, if not more then it did in 1918, despite modern medical efforts.
It is alway best to take standard precautions anyway. Wash your hands often in hot water and anti-bacterial soap, cover your mouth with you cough or sneeze, and by all means, stay home if you are sick.

Tests with a revived version of the 1918 influenza have confirmed scientists’ worst fears, that it was the virus itself and not poor healthcare that led to the deaths of around 50 million people.

Although the experiments on macaque monkeys have triggered unease because of the risks, they have advanced understanding by underlining that it was the way the virus made the body’s “protective” immune system go into overdrive that made it so efficient in killing people in the prime of life when it infected one third of the world’s population.

And the findings underline why the recent emergence of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, and its transfer to the human population should be taken seriously and why public health officials should prepare for a possible new pandemic, for instance by developing drugs to damp down the body’s overzealous reaction.

The 1918 influenza virus, a bird virus which spread to people, replicates rapidly in macaques, causing respiratory problems, haemorrhage and death, reports a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist Prof Yoshihiro Kawaoka.

Although the body’s own immune defences are our first line of protection against disease, the study shows that it is this reaction to the 1918 influenza virus that could have been deadly, creating what is called a “cytokine storm” of the kind that almost killed six young trial volunteers given an experimental antibody drug at London’s Northwick Park Hospital last year.

As immune cells attack the respiratory system, the lungs fill with fluid and victim drown.

The 1918 virus “was indeed different from all of the other flu viruses we know of,” says Prof Kawaoka.

Knowing that the virus triggers such a devastating immune response may provide clues about how to mitigate the virus’ potentially lethal effects, he added.

“Things may be happening at an early time point (in infection), but we may be able to step in and stop that reaction.”

The new study, conducted at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory used the 1918 flu virus, which has been reconstructed using genetic sequence information obtained from the victims of the great pandemic in a “reverse genetics” process

“This research provides an important piece in the puzzle of the 1918 virus,” explains lead author Darwyn Kobasa of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The mechanisms that contribute to the lethal scale of the virus were uncovered using functional genomics, in which researchers analyse gene functions, by Prof Michael Katze, at the University of Washington, Seattle. “Our analysis revealed potential mechanisms of virulence, which we hope will help us develop novel antiviral strategies to both outwit the virus and moderate the host immune response.”

Dr Jim Robertson of the UK’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, said: “Many influenza virologists remain nervous about creating and experimenting with a reconstructed 1918 Spanish flu virus, an extremely dangerous virus which disappeared from the world long ago; however, it cannot be denied that the information that has been derived from this experiment is exciting and represents an important milestone.”

Dr Ronald Cutler, University of East London, said: “Understanding the true nature of a disease is a major step in developing an effective cure. In the recent pandemic, avian flu (H5N1) could also over stimulate the host immune system. This led to patient’s lungs filling with blood and death. Treating that over stimulation was one of the methods used to treat that disease.

Original Link.

Planned Parenthood Access to Public Purse in Jeopardy

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

It seems the abortionist can’t stay out of trouble these days. Maybe this will lead to even more closures.

Al Capone, one of the biggest influences in the annals of American crime, was brought down by the paperwork requirements of the federal tax system. Now pro-life activists believe the nation’s abortion industry could face a similar collapse, all because of the paper trail that they believe shows the industry has failed to follow the rules and file the proper reports.

“It’s a simple audit function,” Mark Crutcher, the chief of Life Dynamics, told WND. “All you have to do is go into a state … and look at Title X applications and service reports. Look for all the girls they provided treatment to – pregnancy tests, STD treatments, abortion or birth control. If they provided one of those services to a girl beneath the state’s age of consent, that triggers a report.”

“Then go to the … Department of Child Protective services (and look at reports). If those numbers don’t match, you’ve got a violation,” he said.

He said his research shows that the abortion industry “services” provided to underage girls across the nation outnumber the “reports” of suspicion of assault on a child by 11-1 – under the best of circumstances. “And most reports are not by providers; they’re made by pediatricians and emergency room physicians,” he said.

So what’s the big deal with the numbers aligning – or not? Money, money and more money. Millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars. And the Title X funding mechanism for the nation’s abortion industry that requires industry members to follow state laws, including those pesky reporting requirements – or lose the money.

Crutcher, in a Life Dynamics report, said the information about the reports comes from government sources, medical journals, independent researchers and the abortion industry itself.

“The fact that these family planning facilities are in clear violation of child abuse or statutory rape reporting requirements creates an environment for us to demand that their funding be immediately cut off,” Crutcher said. “Given their heavy reliance on state and federal tax dollars, losing that money would be nothing less than a financial catastrophe for these organizations.

“Better yet, their failure to adhere to state and federal law means that funds allocated in past years were obtained fraudulently. Because of that, we may be able to force a return of those funds. Needless to say that could literally cripple the entire abortion industry,” he concluded.

That means, according to Crutcher and Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, if the report numbers don’t line up, the abortion industry could be liable to return hundreds of millions of dollars in past and current payments.

“In all 50 states, sexual activity with underage children is illegal. Also, every state mandates that if a healthcare worker has reason to suspect that an underage girl is being sexually abused, they are required by law to report that information to a designated law enforcement or child protective services agency. That agency is then responsible to investigate the possibility that the child may be the victim of sexual abuse or statutory rape,” according to Life Dynamics.

A pregnancy in an underage girl is evidence of sexual abuse, and “any healthcare worker who has contact with a pregnant underage girl has an obligation to initiate a report to the state,” the report said.

Abortion industry lawyers repeatedly have claimed that their clients follow the law, including a special case in Kansas recently where a local prosecutor held a news conference to say late-term abortionist George Tiller had followed those reporting requirements, even though a case that had been brought against him didn’t make that accusation.

Government budgets show that in 2004 alone U.S. taxpayers allocated more than $280 million for birth control functions, focusing mostly on abortion services, including an estimate of between $50 million and $60 million just for Planned Parenthood, the industry’s biggest chain of businesses.

“If you’re not following state law, you’re not entitled to Title X funds,” Newman told WND. “As soon as you defund abortion clinics, they dry up and blow away.”

The U.S. “is funding the nation’s largest perpetrators of child-murder-by-abortion, Planned Parenthood (report murdering over 200,000 unborn children annually by surgical abortion alone), through both Medicaid (Title XIX) and Title X, with over $50 million per year through each program,” said Steve Lefemine, who was the Constitution Party’s candidate for Congress in South Carolina’s 2nd District.

Crutcher, who has spent years opposing the abortion industry agenda, said the industry used to be vulnerable to claims of malpractice from patients who were injured and left with permanent injuries.

But tort reform made such lawsuits negligible for the industry, and now he believes one option for pro-life advocates will be to have parents whose children have been victimized in abortion clinics to come forward, document their cases and possibly sue the clinics – or join a class-action case against the industry.

“We need a nation-wide well-funded effort to basically recruit parents whose children have been the victims of abortion clinics’ failure to adhere to state reporting laws. There are literally hundreds of thousands of these situations over the years,” he said.

The clinics have a vested interest in not having to report those child rape or child assault cases; the men who are doing the assaults are paying the fees for the abortions, but the price for the girls “is extremely high.”

“What happens when a 13-year-old girl goes into a Planned Parenthood facility. She’s demonstrating that she’s sexually active, obviously. According to the most reliable statistics out there now, (of girls 15 and younger) the chances are 60-to-80 percent that she’s sexually active with an adult,” Crutcher said.

“If this young lady is given an abortion, birth control or anything, and the health care provider fails to meet the state’s mandatory reporting laws, the child is sent right back into the hands of the rapist,” he said.

“The behavior of these abortion clinics, as we proved in our undercover survey, makes it absolutely clear they’re protecting the men, not the girls,” he said. “The result is that a child predator now is given the knowledge that he can get away with it.”

That undercover project involved Life Dynamics arranging for an adult volunteer to pose as a 13-year-old and call every Planned Parenthood clinic in the United States. She posed as that young teen, pregnant by her 22-year-old boyfriend, and asked for help because she didn’t want her parents to know. Almost without exception the recorded responses from the clinics advise her not only how to obtain an abortion without her parents’ knowledge, but also how to protect that adult boyfriend who is guilty in any state of statutory rape on child.

“While many clinic workers can be heard on the tapes telling the caller that this situation was unlawful and that they were legally mandated to report it to the state, 91 percent of these facilities still agreed to illegally conceal it,” Life Dynamics reported. “So it’s no wonder that abortion clinics are refusing to cooperate with law enforcement efforts to investigate child abuse. In Kansas, abortion clinic representatives have even gone so far as to state in published reports that they will not comply with the state’s mandatory reporting laws.

Crutcher said in his investigation, clinic workers even have been taped telling a person they believe to be a pregnant 13-year-old to have her “boyfriend,” a statutory rapist, take her across state lines without her parents’ knowledge for an abortion.

“What we have is a conspiracy to cover up the crimes that are being committed across the nation by sexual predators on behalf of the abortion cartel. Their love for money, their love for abortion is greater than their care for what actually is happening [to children],” said Newman.

Original Link.

“Essay: This Holocaust Will be Different” By Benny Morris

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

The second holocaust will not be like the first. The Nazis, of course, industrialized mass murder. But still, the perpetrators had one-on-one contact with the victims. They may have dehumanized them over months and years of appalling debasement and in their minds, before the actual killing. But, still, they were in eye and ear contact, sometimes in tactile contact, with their victims.

The Germans, along with their non-German helpers, had to round up the men, women and children from their houses and drag and beat them through the streets and mow them down in nearby woods or push and pack them into cattle cars and transport them to the camps, where “Work makes free,” separate the able-bodied from the completely useless and lure them into “shower” halls and pour in the gas and then take out, or oversee the extraction of, the bodies and prepare the “showers” for the next batch.

The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran’s acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead.

The orders will go out and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half dozen air and (reported) nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Front Command units.

With a country the size and shape of Israel (an elongated 20,000 square kilometers), probably four or five hits will suffice: No more Israel. A million or more Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem areas will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about seven million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.

Some of the dead will inevitably be Arab – 1.3 million of Israel’s citizens are Arab and another 3.5 million Arabs live in the semi-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Haifa have substantial Arab minorities. And there are large Arab concentrations immediately around Jerusalem (in Ramallah-Al Bireh, Bir Zeit, Bethlehem) and outside Haifa. Here, too, many will die, immediately or by and by.

It is doubtful whether such a mass killing of fellow Muslims will trouble Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. The Iranians don’t especially like Arabs, especially Sunni Arabs, with whom they have intermittently warred for centuries. And they have a special contempt for the (Sunni) Palestinians who, after all, though initially outnumbering the Jews by more than 10 to 1, failed during the long conflict to prevent them from establishing their state or taking over all of Palestine.

Besides, the Iranian leadership sees the destruction of Israel as a supreme divine command, as a herald of the second coming, and the Muslims dispatched collaterally as so many martyrs in the noble cause. Anyway, the Palestinians, many of them dispersed around the globe, will survive as a people, as will the greater Arab nation of which they are part. And surely, to be rid of the Jewish state, the Arabs should be willing to make some sacrifices. In the cosmic balance sheet, it will be worth the candle.

Read the rest here.