Archive for August 31st, 2009

The Flock Under His Care

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if you hear his voice.

Psalm 95:6-7 (New International Version)

A/H1N1 Flu Spreads at “Unbelievable” Speed

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Going into the winter season, most of us are open to catching this and other flu. Please use common sense and good hygiene to keep health. Wash your hands often, eat well and get as much rest as possible.

PARIS, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — A/H1N1 flu is spreading at an “unbelievable” speed, with “a very severe form of disease” attacking the lungs of healthy young people, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned in an interview published by French daily Le Monde on Saturday.

“Sixty percent of the deaths cover those who have underlying health problems,” Director-general of the WHO Margaret Chan said, adding that the remaining 40 percent of the deaths are young adults in good health, “who die of a vital fever in five to seven days.”

“This is the most worrying fact. Up to 30 percent of people in densely populated countries risked getting infected,” Chan noted.

The WHO announced in a statement that the A/H1N1 pandemic virus is now the dominant influenza strain around the world.

“All governments must prepare for the worst,” Chan stressed, adding that intensive healthcare services were required.

According to the latest WHO report, more than 2,180 people around the world have died from the virus since April.

Original Link.

Court Orders Christian Child into Government Education

Monday, August 31st, 2009

In a perfect example of discrimination against a Christian parent, a liberal, activist judge has order a Christian child into public school for; get this now; her “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.” Is this for real?? This is discrimination against Christians, pure and simple!!

A 10-year-old homeschool girl described as “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level” has been told by a New Hampshire court official to attend a government school because she was too “vigorous” in defense of her Christian faith.

The decision from Marital Master Michael Garner reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”

The recommendation was approved by Judge Lucinda V. Sadler, but it is being challenged by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, who said it was “a step too far” for any court.

The ADF confirmed today it has filed motions with the court seeking reconsideration of the order and a stay of the decision sending the 10-year-old student in government-run schools in Meredith, N.H.

The dispute arose as part of a modification of a parenting
plan for the girl. The parents divorced in 1999 when she was a newborn, and the mother has homeschooled her daughter since first grade with texts that meet all state standards.

In addition to homeschooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities, the ADF reported.

But during the process of negotiating the terms of the plan, a guardian ad litem appointed to participate concluded the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief … in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”

According to court documents, the guardian ad litem earlier had told the mother, “If I want her in public school, she’ll be in public school.”

The marital master hearing the case proposed the Christian girl be ordered into public school after considering “the impact of [her religious] beliefs on her interaction with others.”

“Parents have a fundamental right to make educational choices for their children. In this case specifically, the court is illegitimately altering a method of education that the court itself admits is working,” said ADF-allied attorney John Anthony Simmons of Hampton.

“The court is essentially saying that the evidence shows that, socially and academically, this girl is doing great, but her religious beliefs are a bit too sincerely held and must be sifted, tested by, and mixed among other worldviews. This is a step too far for any court to take.”

“The New Hampshire Supreme Court itself has specifically declared, ‘Home education is an enduring American tradition and right,'” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson. “There is clearly and without question no legitimate legal basis for the court’s decision, and we trust it will reconsider its conclusions.”

The case, handled in the Family Division of the Judicial Court for Belknap County in Laconia, involves Martin Kurowski and Brenda Kurowski (Voydatch), and their daughter.

The ADF also argued that the issue already was raised in 2006 and rejected by the court.

“Most urgent … is the issue of Amanda’s schooling as the school year has begun and Amanda is being impacted by the court’s decision daily,” the court filing requesting a stay said. “Serious state statutory and federal constitutional concerns are implicated by the court’s ruling and which need to be remedied without delay.

“It is not the proper role of the court to insist that Amanda be ‘exposed to different points of view’ if the primary residential parent has determined that it is in Amanda’s best interest not to be exposed to secular influences that would undermine Amanda’s faith, schooling, social development, etc. The court is not permitted to demonstrate hostility toward religion, and particularly the faith of Amanda and Mother, by removing Amanda from the home and thrusting her into an environment that the custodial parent deems detrimental to Amanda.”

“The order assumes that because Amanda has sincerely held Christian beliefs, there must be a problem that needs solving. It is a parent’s constitutionally protected right to train up their children in the religious beliefs that they hold. It is not up to the court to suggest that a 10-year-old should be ‘exposed’ to other religious views contrary to the faith traditions of her parents. Could it not be that this sharp 10-year-old ‘vigorously’ believes what she does because she knows it to be true? The court’s narrative suggests that 10-year-olds are too young to form opinions and that they are not yet allowed to have sincerely held Christian beliefs,” the ADF said.

“Absent any other clear and convincing evidence justifying the court’s decision, it would appear that the court has indeed taken sides with regard to the issue of religion and has preferred one religious view over another (or the absence of religion). This is impermissible,” the documents said.

The guardian ad litem had an anti-Christian bias, the documents said, telling the mother at one point she wouldn’t even look at homeschool curriculum.

“I don’t want to hear it. It’s all Christian based,” she said.

Original Link.

Obama’s Prescription for Unnecessary Health Care May Need a Second Opinion

Monday, August 31st, 2009

President Obama has a prescription for those receiving unnecessary tests and treatments: focus on what’s important and add an ounce of prevention.

“Things like mammograms and cancer screenings and immunizations — common-sense measures that will save us billions of dollars in future medical costs,” he said at a town hall meeting hosted by AARP last month.

It seems reasonable enough that “unnecessary” tests can add up, and “necessary” tests like cancer screenings might catch disease early enough to prevent expensive medical procedures and prescription drugs down the line.

Or maybe not.

“When you talk about prevention that involves visiting a doctor and stumbling upon a high cholesterol that you didn’t know about or a high blood pressure, that kind of medical prevention almost inevitably leads to more medical things being done, more medications being prescribed,” Dr. Abraham Verghese of the Stanford University School of Medicine told FOX News.

After more tests, a patient with high cholesterol could be prescribed a statin, which might reduce his chance of a heart attack. But because only one or two men among several thousand with high cholesterol might suffer a heart attack, that ounce of prevention could be too costly.

“If you’re looking at a population of men, for every life you save, it costs $150,000 to extend life by one year, in terms of statin use,” Verghese said.

And take prostate cancer. The current Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA screenings are sensitive enough to detect cancers that may never even impair patients. But doctors can’t yet predict which are harmless and which are deadly, meaning that radiation or surgery could leave some of those with harmless cancers feeling worse than if they’d been never been treated.

There is one ounce of prevention that everyone agrees would help cut cuts: exercise, lose weight, watch your diet, cut down on cigarettes and alcohol. But that’s easier said than done. Some lawmakers working on the health care legislation believe that the only way to accomplish those behavioral changes is to reward them.

“If there is a real incentive, what happens once you get people into it,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is a physician. “They like it — ‘I am feeling better, I’m active.'”

There are other problems with preventive care. How do you change a patient’s attitude that “my test is important but not the one for the guy down the hall?”

And will government-run health care mean rationing of tests? Doctors say without tort reform they’ll continue to order often unnecessary tests to avoid malpractice suits. Finally, Dough Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, says researchers generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.

Original Link.

Senate Bill Would Give President Emergency Control of Internet

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Emperor Obama now wants the power to shut down the internet during times of “emergency”. This reminds me of some of the third world African counties who shut down their phone systems to combat possible insurrection. How long are we going to let this power grabbing yahoo in the White House get away with this type of thing? Ae we going to wait until the government has taken away ALL of our freedoms?

A Senate bill would offer President Obama emergency control of the Internet and may give him a “kill switch” to shut down online traffic by seizing private networks — a move cybersecurity experts worry will choke off industry and civil liberties.

Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 emerged late Thursday, months after an initial version authored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., was blasted in Silicon Valley as dangerous government intrusion.

“In the original bill they empowered the president to essentially turn off the Internet in the case of a ‘cyber-emergency,’ which they didn’t define,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which represents the telecommunications industry.

“We think it’s a very bad idea … to put in legislation,” he told FOXNews.com.

Clinton said the new version of the bill that surfaced this week is improved from its first draft, but troubling language that was removed was replaced by vague language that could still offer the same powers to the president in case of an emergency.

“The current language is so unclear that we can’t be confident that the changes have actually been made,” he said.

The new legislation allows the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and make a plan to respond to the danger, according to an excerpt published online — a broad license that rights experts worry would give the president “amorphous powers” over private users.

“As soon as you’re saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it’s going to be a really big issue,” Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told CNET News.

A Senate source familiar with the bill likened the new power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when he grounded all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001, CNET News reported.

Spokesmen for Senator Rockefeller and the Commerce Committee did not return calls seeking comment before this article was published.

But Rockefeller, who introduced the bill in April with bipartisan support, said the legislation was critical to protecting everything from water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records.

“I know the threats we face,” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the legislation was introduced. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

The bill would also let the government create a detailed set of standards for licensing “cybersecurity professionals” who would oversee a single standard for security measures.

But many in the technology sector believe it’s a job the government is ill-equipped to handle, said Franck Journoud, a policy analyst with the Business Software Alliance.

“Simply put, who has the expertise?” he told FOXNews.com in April. “It’s the industry, not the government. We have a responsibility to increase and improve security. That responsibility cannot be captured in a government standard.”

Clinton, of the Internet Security Alliance, praised President Obama’s May science policy review, which he said would take cybersecurity in the right direction by promoting incentives to get the private industry to improve its own security measures.

But he faulted the Senate bill, which he said would centralize regulations for an industry that is too varied to fall under the control of a single set of rules without endangering the economy and security.

“We think a lot of things need to be done to enhance cybersecurity,” he told FOXNews.com, but this bill is “not something that we could support.”

Original Link.