Get healthy, or else!

cheese-puffs

I read this rather disturbing article in the Associated Press today, in which it is reported that “Manchester is hoping to fight fat with a reward system that works like a retail loyalty card. But instead of earning credit for opening their wallets, residents will be rewarded for keeping their feet on the treadmill and their fridge stocked with healthy food.”

Now, on the surface, this might seem like a good idea. Heck, I could stand to lose a few myself, and who wouldn’t want to be rewarded simply for doing the right thing? But if you look a little under the surface, this becomes troubling.

First and foremost, I have a problem with the government sticking their nose into my personal life, no matter how benevolent the motive may seem. It’s a short but steep slope from “We’ll reward you for being healthy” to “Get healthy, or else!” Right now, they’re offering the carrot, but who’s to say that once we accept this latest incarnation of Nanny government that the carrot won’t be replaced with a big and expensive stick. For example, what’s to stop the government from offering two tax tables, one for people who meet its definition of “healthy”, and those who don’t. As an overweight man who loves to smoke, I know which table I’d be paying under.

“Ah Ha!”, you say. “Smith, you big fat smoker you, you’re a drain on the health care system! Look at me: I’m a non-smoking vegetarian who runs five miles a day! You and those like you should be like me!”

To which I say: that’s the price you pay to live in a FREE COUNTRY. (Remember that phrase?) You have to put up with my bad habits and I have to put up with yours. Chances are, you are not entirely vice free yourself. And even if you are, I have news for you: unless you get hit by a bus, you too will grow old and become a drain on the health care system. It happens to almost all of us. Your wonderful “healthy lifestyle” won’t save you in the end.

Those who believe in the Nanny government and who wish to control us realize that they cannot do so without uniting people against a common enemy. For Hitler, it was the Jews. For McCarthy it was the Communists. For Nanny government advocates, it is: Bad Health. These people feel they can enact all manner of government intrusion into people’s lives, as long as it is being done in the name of Good Health. Good Health has become our new Golden Idol.

And for some of you who were nonplussed at my recent post about the 2008 election, know this: this is exactly why I have never voted Democrat. It is why I remain profoundly concerned about the Obama presidency. This sort of thing is far, far more likely to occur in the United States under a Democratic government.

Says Timothy Armstrong, coordinator of the World Health Organization’s global strategy on diet, and quoted in the same article, “I haven’t seen any evidence that it works, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it…as public health officials we really don’t have the luxury of waiting to see what works and what doesn’t. We really do know that, in terms of curbing the obesity epidemic, all of society needs to play a role”.

It takes a village, right Timothy? And naturally, this is being funded by (who else?) the taxpayers.

Just so no one gets the wrong idea here, let me state flat out that I realize that this program is benign and well meant. And yes, I realize it’s happening in England, but our two countries are so closely linked culturally that it’s no stretch to imagine it happening here. Just look at what the Boston Public Health Commission is trying to get away with. People are getting fatter (probably because they’ve stopped smoking). But I become deeply troubled when the government starts using its leverage to try to force me to live a certain way, because I realize how quickly and easily the can change from benevolent cajoling to a direct order. I believe that, deep down, the Nancy Pelosi’s of the world don’t really want to be agreed with, they want to be obeyed. Once people allow themselves to buy into the idea that Nanny government is taking care of them, anything is possible. “Get healthy, or else!”.

Now where did I put those Cheesey Puffs?

–Smith

“taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood”–Dr. John H. Watson

Please visit my blog at murderofravens.org

A Glimpse Into The Future With Obama As President.

Usually the measure of a President’s success is, their accomplishments in the first one hundred days, not the first two.

Hopiness=Dopiness.

VOTE REPUBLICAN.

The Arrogance Of Obama

Dangit, I tried. I was really trying to get away from the politics and get back to other issues. But THIS is just beyond believable. See the videos below.

I am THE ONE

I am THE ONE

I really cannot believe the arrogance of That One. Only a plumber? Who the HECK does he think he is? Oh yeah, he’s The MessiUH.

H/T Instapundit

Plumbers do important work. Politicians work to be important . . .

And no, I’m not a plumber. But the plumbers that I do know make a lot of money.

Don’t forget this one!

Michelle Malkin has more: Operation Destroy Joe The Plumber

Bawny Fwank’s Boyfriend Was Fannie Mae Exec.

But will the Lame Stream Media notice?

WASHINGTON —  Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.

So did Frank’s partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions.

Now that Fannie Mae is at the epicenter of a financial meltdown that threatens the U.S. economy, some are raising new questions about Frank’s relationship with Herb Moses, who was Fannie’s assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie.

Both Frank and Moses assured the Wall Street Journal in 1992 that they took pains to avoid any conflicts of interest. Critics, however, remain skeptical.

“It’s absolutely a conflict,” said Dan Gainor, vice president of the Business & Media Institute. “He was voting on Fannie Mae at a time when he was involved with a Fannie Mae executive. How is that not germane?

“If this had been his ex-wife and he was Republican, I would bet every penny I have – or at least what’s not in the stock market – that this would be considered germane,” added Gainor, a T. Boone Pickens Fellow. “But everybody wants to avoid it because he’s gay. It’s the quintessential double standard.”

A top GOP House aide agreed.

“C’mon, he writes housing and banking laws and his boyfriend is a top exec at a firm that stands to gain from those laws?” the aide told FOX News. “No media ever takes note? Imagine what would happen if Frank’s political affiliation was R instead of D? Imagine what the media would say if [GOP former] Chairman [Mike] Oxley’s wife or [GOP presidential nominee John] McCain’s wife was a top exec at Fannie for a decade while they wrote the nation’s housing and banking laws.”

Frank’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Frank met Moses in 1987, the same year he became the first openly gay member of Congress.

“I am the only member of the congressional gay spouse caucus,” Moses wrote in the Washington Post in 1991. “On Capitol Hill, Barney always introduces me as his lover.”

The two lived together in a Washington home until they broke up in 1998, a few months after Moses ended his seven-year tenure at Fannie Mae, where he was the assistant director of product initiatives. According to National Mortgage News, Moses “helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs.”

No conflict of interest? What a “Crap Sandwich” that is.

The rest here

Barney’s New Squeeze?

Democracy? We don’t need no stinkin’ democracy!

Greetings from Loony Massachusetts, the second goofiest state in the country!

This one has me really riled up! It may seem at first like a local issue, but it is already happening in other parts of the country. The implications here are ominous, not just for smokers, but for the very concept of representative democracy.

According to an article in the Boston Globe yesterday, “cigarette sales at Boston drugstores and on college campuses would be banned under sweeping new tobacco control rules likely to win initial approval today from health regulators.” Furthermore, after a five-year grace period, the city would close cigar bars, which are the only remaining public establishment where people can smoke indoors. It would seem that the Public Health Commission finds the sale of tobacco products to be “incompatible with the mission of a drugstore.”

They did not offer any rationale for the closing of the few remaining cigar bars in the city. But then, they didn’t really have to, did they?. The Public Health Commission doesn’t like smoking. THAT’S the rationale. The sad truth is, in this city, they don’t need any other.

What I find more disturbing about this than anything is that a handful of non-elected bureaucrats believe that it is up to them to decide what the “mission” of a private business should be. What is genuinely troubling here is that the Boston Public Health Commission is answerable to NO ONE except the Mayor. They do NOT answer to the City Council, and therefore, by extension, they are not answerable to the people. They have complete autonomy to pass whatever laws they wish irrespective of the wishes of the people. Of course, they call them “regulations” rather than laws, but what’s the difference, really? The head of the Commission is for all practical purposes a dictator when it comes to any matter that she perceives to be a matter of public health. And yet these non-elected bureaucrats, who make no effort at all to hide their anti-tobacco agenda, are in a position to dictate that a private business cannot sell tobacco, even though tobacco is a completely legal product that is, by the way, still enjoyed by millions of people.

Their pitch that selling tobacco is incompatible with the “mission” of drugstores is nothing more than a red herring. Drug stores nowadays are, for all intents and purposes, glorified convenience stores. You can buy many, many things at a drug store that have nothing to do with medicine. In fact, you can buy a lot of things there that are quite bad for your health, such as candy, junk food, and tonic (what the rest of the world outside Boston calls soda pop). So is the Public Health Commission proposing banning the sale of those things in drug stores and college campuses? No, of course not.

This alone demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of the Commission regarding this issue. This is NOT about improving public health. That goal was achieved several years ago when Boston, and in fact the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts, passed laws making it illegal to smoke indoors, with only private homes and cigar bars as the exception. Massachusetts is 99.9% smoke free. The public is in no danger from second hand smoke (not that they ever were in the first place).

This brings me to my next point. What I find even more disturbing in this article is the Commission’s stated goal of closing cigar bars within five years. It is unthinkable that in a free society that non-elected officials can, on a whim, CLOSE DOWN NOT JUST A BUSINESS, BUT AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY THAT IS SELLING A LEGAL PRODUCT!!!!

Sorry, didn’t mean to shout there, but this one makes me truly angry! They claim to be concerned about the health of the employees, but this is ineffable rubbish. Employees who work in cigar bars are almost ALWAYS cigar smokers themselves who not only were aware that smoking was allowed in these places, but in fact sought employment there for that very reason! If the Public Health Commission is truly so concerned about the welfare of these employees, it should reconsider its decision to throw those employees out of work.

What this is about is no less than Prohibition through the back door. As things stand now, there is certainly no shortage of smoke free bars in Boston, for the simple reason that they’re ALL smoke free. So why can’t there be a few places where people who enjoy smoking (and there are many, many of us still out there) can do so? I can think of no rational reason to eliminate the city’s three or four remaining cigars bars except anti-smoking zealotry. A handful of anti-tobacco zealots, not satisfied with banning smoking in bars, restaurants, and workplaces throughout the city, want to stamp out smoking altogether–under the now disingenuous pretext of “public health”– by outlawing the last few places where people who like to smoke can do so in a welcoming environment, while not in any way inconveniencing non-smokers.

But the real danger in all of this is not the further harassment of smokers here in Boston, although that certainly is an issue here. What is happening here is nothing less than the erosion of representative government. As I stated before, the Public Health Commission does not answer to the City Council. What this means is that I can get on the phone and talk to my city councilor until I’m blue in the face, and even if he or she happens to agree with me, the councilor cannot do anything. This is not how representative democracy is supposed to work. When a handful of appointed bureaucrats can trump the power of the people’s elected representatives, then democracy begins to die a slow death.

This may not generate a lot of ire in the populace, simply because, once again, it’s only the smokers who are getting shafted, and no one really cares about what smokers want, right? But just remember, if a handful of non-elected bureaucrats can take away my rights today, they can take away your rights tomorrow.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’m off to smoke a cigar in the privacy of my own home. While I am still allowed to by the Public Health Commission, that is.

–Smith

“taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood”–Dr. John H. Watson

Please visit my blog at murderofravens.org

No Media Bias?

Still think the media isn’t biased for Obama? Think again. A thrill running up his leg…. what a pud.

Hope and Change in the culture wars

The would-be First Lady of the 2004 election cycle was often the target of criticism for her off-the-cuff remarks on the campaign trail, and for her support of left wing advocacy groups. So much so, in fact, that The H.J. Heinz Co. sent out 50 letters to news organizations to “squash rumors circulating on the Internet and radio talk shows that it is involved with Mr. Kerry’s campaign.” [link]

In 2004, she changed her name from Teresa Heinz to Teresa Heinz Kerry during the campaign. After Kerry’s defeat, she changed her name back to Teresa Heinz, and has quietly faded back into affluent obscurity

The video below is currently being aired overseas. Is this agenda-driven advocacy or is it just clever marketing?

That it is not being run in the U.S. suggests the former. Of course, in this election cycle, I can’t imagine the DNC would knowingly allow the carefully manicured image of their candidate to be pulled into the culture wars with such a provocative commercial sponsored, at least indirectly, by the spouse of their former standard-bearer.

Despite the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court, and the resulting flood of homosexual marriages, the Religious Right has been largely silent in this election cycle. I suspect the Dems would just as soon leave a sleeping giant alone.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasish/t: WP Dashboard, via IMWT. Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, 123beta, Right Truth, DragonLady’s World, Stuck On Stupid, Cao’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, Pet’s Garden Blog, Allie is Wired, third world county, McCain Blogs, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, CORSARI D’ITALIA, , and Stageleft, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Chuck Norris: Drill Here Drill Now

I’ve been promoting this petition drive whenever I can. Now Chuck Norris joins the crew and I hope this will get some attention. Take a look at the petition at the link down yonder and join us.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

As gas prices are at an all-time high, the American people are demanding that Congress take action to drill here and drill now. More than 650,000 Americans have signed the “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” petition, and that number keeps growing rapidly each day.

Increasing domestic energy resources is not a Republican or Democrat issue; it’s about lowering gas prices for hard-working American families. With more than 650,000 Americans on board, a groundswell of grassroots support is rising up to pressure Congress to stop playing partisan politics and start using more of our domestic energy resources.

We’re excited to announce today that Chuck Norris is supporting our “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” campaign. Watch him talk about it in this new YouTube video:

www.AmericanSolutions.com/DrillNow.

Blue poodle

After taking the special election in Mississippi’s First Congressional District, Travis Childers sought to reassure voters that he was one of them, a good old boy from Booneville who went to Ole Miss, became a successful realtor, and served Prentiss County as Chancery Clerk.

Does this mark the return of conservatism in the Democrat Party in Mississippi?

Not according to Mr. Childers’ voting record since moving on up to DC…..

…once in Washington, he drank the Democratic leadership’s Kool Aid. In the first 13 House roll calls contested along partisan lines after Childers took his seat in Congress, he voted with the Democrats 12 times. source

In 12 out of 13 votes, Childers voted as instructed by Speaker Pelosi.

A 92% approval rate puts Travis among the leaders in subservience to Pelosi’s dictates.

For a so-called “independent-minded” Blue Dog, Childers is turning out to be nothing but Nancy Pelosi’s poodle.

Fetch Travis, Fetch. Good dog.

The will of the court vs the will of the people

The California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation’s biggest state to tie the knot.

Domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage, the justices ruled 4-3. LINK

The court wins…..The California SC taking this position, in an election year no less … liberal elitist arrogance personified.

Nuke the North Pole?

Phil Chapman is a geophysicist and astronautical engineer who lives in San Francisco. He was the first Australian to become a NASA astronaut. He is also part of the “tiny minority” of flat-earth, knuckledragging, mouthbreathing deniers of The World According to Gorp.

Phil’s piece in The Australian looks at the lack of recent sunspot activity, and draws a plausible correlation to global cooling, resulting in a coming ice age. Great read. Hope it’s not too scary for the chicken littles.

THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is http://www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.

What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.

It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.

This is where SOHO comes in. The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.

It didn’t happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.

The reason this matters is that there is a close correlation between variations in the sunspot cycle and Earth’s climate. The previous time a cycle was delayed like this was in the Dalton Minimum, an especially cold period that lasted several decades from 1790.

Northern winters became ferocious: in particular, the rout of Napoleon’s Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow in 1812 was at least partly due to the lack of sunspots.

That the rapid temperature decline in 2007 coincided with the failure of cycle No.24 to begin on schedule is not proof of a causal connection but it is cause for concern.

It is time to put aside the global warming dogma, at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850.

Read more: “Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh”

See Also: “Nobody Listening to The Goracle”

Gen. Petraeus Briefs Congress This Week…Dems Only Want Bad News!

On Thursday 3 Apr 08, Nancy Pelosi issued a warning to Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, “not to put a shine” on recent events in Basra. Her statement reads:

“I hope we don’t hear any glorification of what happened in Basra,” said Pelosi, referring to a recent military offensive against Shiite militants in the city led by the Iraqi government and supported by U.S. forces.

Although powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed to a ceasefire after six days of fighting, Pelosi wondered why the U.S. was caught off guard by the offensive and questioned how the ceasefire was achieved, saying the terms were “probably dictated from Iran.”

“We have to know the real ground truths of what is happening there, not put a shine on events because of a resolution that looks less violent when in fact it has been dictated by al-Sadr, who can grant or withhold that call for violence,” Pelosi said.

Source.
Of course, she is relying heavily on her friends in the Lame Stream Media to provide subterfuge, as the events in Basra, and now Sadr City, have a reality other than which is portrayed by the LSM, and the Defeatocrats in Congress.
One simple question. Why would Mookie call for a cease fire, if his militia was winning in Basra? Has there ever been a fight, where the one who is winning calls for a truce?
Perhaps some additional information on events in Iraq could be found, other than that which is promulgated by the mass media, that could help explain this unusual occurrence.
Most reports of the week long battle in Basra were that the Mahdi militia had held it’s ground, and inflicted heavy losses on the Iraqi Army, and that many Iraqi soldiers and policemen left their posts, and joined the militia in the fight. While it appears some Iraqi soldiers and policemen did indeed refuse to engage the militia, the number being reported seems to be considerably less, than most reports.
According to one journalistic source, the fighting between the two forces, was decidedly in the Iraqi government’s favor, and that the Mahdi militia suffered tremendous losses.

I won that wager. I had written that “the Iraqi Army’s military operation in Basra will be a spectacular win against disorder and Iranian influence”. And I was right.

Of course, most western media outlets are declaring Muqtada al-Sadr and Iran as the victors of Operation Cavalry Charge. Nothing could be furthest from the truth.
——————————-
Maliki was a political nobody before he ‘accidentally’ became Prime Minister almost two years ago, but today he is perceived as a statesman commanding a strong and motivated army that can impose law and order on once-powerful forces that have run amuck. If that’s not a benchmark of success, then what is?

The western media operating in Iraq regurgitated the Mahdi Army’s bravado as fact thereby serving as useful propaganda tools for the criminal cartels. I’d single out the New York Times, the Associated Press, McClatchy and CNN as the worst transgressors. Many journalists were positively orgasmic in anticipation of another ‘intifada’ or uprising to crease Bush’s message of hope and regeneration.
—————————–
Maliki won, pure and simple. The western media invented the narrative that Maliki was at war with the Sadrist movement, even though no such declaration was ever made. No one was interested in turning the Sadrists into martyrs when their stocks are sinking faster than Bear Stearns’ anyway. Why turn the Sadrists into desperadoes with nothing to loose? Maliki’s approach is piece-meal: he’s taken out the intimidation factor that kept much of the Sadrist sway in place and he’s done that by showing them that they are no armed match for a better-disciplined, better-supplied Iraqi Army with plenty of stamina. The Sadrists are left with some political gains that they’ve accrued from joining the political process, such as government posts and lucrative contracts that they’d be loathe to part with and that’s their collateral for good behavior from now on.
—————————
And eventually, Maliki may nab Muqtada over some infraction as banal as tax-evasion. Maliki is not supposed to be a performing monkey for the western media. His job entails doing the very kind of things he’d gone and got accomplished in Basra. Today, Basra is calm and Iraq’s national army is in charge, not the Mahdi’s. Well done, Mr. Maliki.

The insights from Talisman Gate are not only informative, but refreshing. Added to his view of events is Jack Kelly, who offers further insight into what actually transpired in Basra, and how Iran’s fortunes have been altered.

So who’s right? It is rare in the annals of war for the side that is winning to seek a cease-fire. “The Iraq army has cordoned off the city and is methodically advancing to allow residents to leave the city amidst the fighting, militants to turn over arms, while gradually isolating the factions they intend to uproot,” a Marine liaison officer to the Iraqi security forces said in an e-mail Tuesday to radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

Why might al-Sadr have sought a cease-fire? “Sources in Basra tell Time that there has been a large-scale retreat in the oil-rich port city because of low morale and because ammunition is low due to the closure of the Iranian border,” the magazine’s Web site reported.

“They were running short of ammunition, food, and water,” a U.S. military officer told Bill Roggio, editor of the Web-based Long War Journal. “In short, [the Mahdi Army] had no ability to sustain the effort.”

That sure doesn’t sound like al-Sadr’s forces were winning. It is easier to maintain the illusion that they were if friendly, enemy, and noncombatant casualties are lumped together.

Mr. Roggio said his sources in the U.S. military tell him the Mahdi Army was getting pounded. “According to an unofficial tally … 571 Mahdi army fighters have been killed, 881 have been wounded, 490 have been captured, and 30 have surrendered over the course of seven days of fighting. … The U.S. and Iraqi military never came close to inflicting casualties at such a high rate during the height of major combat operations against al-Qaeda in Iraq during the summer and fall of 2007.”

The Mahdi Army has won by surviving, media analysts say. But it seems apparent the Mahdi Army survived by quitting.

Al-Sadr offered the cease-fire after two Iraqi parliamentarians traveled to Iran to meet with the head of the Quds (Jerusalem) force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, McClatchy Newspapers reported. The lawmakers urged Brig. Gen. Qassem Suliemani to lean on al-Sadr (who is in Iran) to offer the cease-fire.

If true (Mr. Kazimi’s government source in Baghdad described it as a “naive fabrication”), the McClatchy story indicates the Mahdi Army is under Iranian control.

Why would Iran want the fighting to stop?

“The Iranians have realized that they no longer can use the Shiite militia threat to force Washington’s hand on Iraq without jeopardizing their own interests,” speculated STRATFOR, a private intelligence service.

Fighting among Shiite factions and the increasing independence of Shiite factions they thought they controlled, havevirtually dashed Iran’s hopes to dominate Iraq through Shiite proxies, STRATFOR said.

“The mullahs know that they are losing,” said Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute. “Their great dream of driving America out of Iraq, which seemed about to be fulfilled just a year and a half ago, has now turned into the nightmare of humiliation and defeat for the Islamic republic. The al-Maliki government is attacking the remnants of the Mahdi Army in Basra, that same government the mullahs thought they had under control.”

There are further assessments of what has transpired in Iraq, concerning the attack in Basra, here, and here. There is also more info coming in now, about Sadr’s forces in Baghdad being assaulted, here, and here.
All this information taken together, events in Iraq, from Basra to Hillah to Baghdad to Iran, all seem encouraging and positive, to this observer.
My advice to Gen. Petraeus is be honest with Congress and the American people, as you have always been.
My advice to Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of her “La-La-La-La-La” colleagues is, take in the information, ask legitimate questions from Petraeus and Crocker, and try for once to leave political opportunism outside the chamber. Our nation, as well as our military, deserve better than a staged dressing down of the Commander of Iraq, when the information available indicates our efforts in Iraq are clearly achieving positive results.
I’m not, however, expecting anything less than a pitiful display of arrogance and ignorance by the Defeatocrats in Congress.

Barack Obama’s anti-gun friends at the Joyce Foundation

I ran across an interesting blurb over at Free Republic, and I thought it was worth bringing to your attention…

The source is David Horowitz’s most excellent “Discover the Networks” website .

Beatrice Joyce Kean established the Joyce Foundation in 1948 after accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in the lumber industry (via family-owned timberlands, plywood and saw mills, and wholesale and retail building-material distribution facilities). During her lifetime, most of Ms. Kean’s modestly small philanthropic gifts were to apolitical recipients such as hospitals and health organizations. After her death in 1972, a professional staff took control of the Foundation and began to move it toward the political left. At first, universities and cultural institutions were added to its roster of grant recipients. A few years later, radical environmentalist and conservation groups entered the picture, as eventually did organizations dedicated to social justice, prison reform, and increased funding for government and social services, particularly for minorities. A notable recent member of the Joyce Foundation’s Board of Directors was Barack Obama, who ran successfully as the Democratic candidate for an Illinois Senate seat in 2004.

Today the Joyce Foundation seeks to “suppor[t] efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture.” The Foundation has six main Giving Programs toward which it directs its philanthropy:

(a) The Environmental Program funds organizations that oppose the use of land for such endeavors as logging, mining, construction, and oil exploration; many of these groups are hostile to a capitalist economic model as well. The Environmental Program warns of global warming — which it attributes largely to pollution created by industrial endeavors — and advocates the increased use of bicycles and mass transit as transportation alternatives to cars.

(b) The Anti-Gun Program seeks to drive small gun dealerships out of business by placing the firearms industry completely under consumer product health and safety oversight. It misrepresents the findings of research on gun-related deaths by failing to distinguish between gun-related deaths among inner-city gang members, where the death rates from shootings are astronomical, and gun-related deaths among members of the general population, which are relatively rare. As a result, it depicts gun violence as a national epidemic, thereby creating a perceived justification for what it hopes will be the erosion of Second Amendment rights.

Looming Lightbulb Liability—–(LLL)

cfc-bulb.jpg
I saw this one coming months ago when California wanted to make these little toxic bombs mandatory. Now people are waking up to the fact that not every energy saving idea that comes down the ‘pike is a good one. Remember when mercury was going to kill us all? Mercury from the old mines in our ground water, mercury in our homes, mercury in the fish we eat, and the Mercury parked in your driveway. (just kidding about the driveway) Anyway, the powers that be thought it would be good to bring it right back into your house via the CFL bulb. But the good news is people have noticed.

The speeding freight train carrying toxic waste liability for makers, sellers and purchasers of compact fluorescent lightbulbs, or CFLs, was only faintly audible in the distance last spring when this column first warned of it. Now we’re beginning to see that environmentalist-stoked train speed toward its victims, whom President Bush and Congress just finished tying to the tracks.

CFLs and all other fluorescent lightbulbs require special clean-up and disposal procedures because they contain small amounts of mercury, which is neurotoxic at sufficiently high exposures. For example, you’re not supposed to vacuum breakage or toss used bulbs in household trash.

Despite these clean-up and disposal hassles, environmental groups, bulb makers and retailers relentlessly have promoted CFL use as a strategy for reducing electricity consumption and the power plant emissions allegedly causing global warming.

Eco-activist groups, such as Environmental Defense, which historically have agitated to banish toxic substances from homes, workplaces and the environment, surprisingly have said that the mercury in CFLs is nothing to worry about.

But this new posturing flies in the face of the multitude of scary activist-inspired studies that hyperventilate about potential health risks from the slightest exposures to mercury, not to mention a 1987 article in Pediatrics reporting real-life mercury poisoning of a 23-month old from a broken fluorescent light bulb.

Bush and Congress joined the CFL promotion racket, too. The energy bill enacted last December mandates that traditional incandescent bulbs be phased out starting in 2012. CFLs pretty much are the only alternative.

Now here’s the part I was talking about. Mercury bad, but if we can make money, mercury good. As always,
Follow The Money

But while CFL-mandating legislation was pending in Congress, the enviros did a temporary flip-flop: Environmental Defense began pooh-poohing mercury concerns stating, “In short, the exposure from breaking a CFL is in about the same range as the exposure from eating a can or two of tuna fish.”

Two ounces of tuna used to be a horror, but in the name of CFLs, two cans became no problem.

The Associated Press reported in 1992 that fluorescent light bulbs were helping to “poison the Everglades with toxic mercury, threatening humans [and wildlife].”

In December 2000, a Massachusetts newspaper reported in an article entitled “Environmentalists Call for Mercury Product Ban” that the Massachusetts governor had proposed that trash-burning incinerators develop plans to separate fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing consumer products from waste.

The business fantasy is for the nation’s 4 billion-plus light sockets to sport CFLs. There’s much more ka-ching in selling 4 billion $5 light bulbs as opposed to incandescent bulbs costing $0.75. But what about the mercury problem that may impose substantial liabilities on businesses and consumers faster than CFL light bulbs turn on?

First mercury was dangerous. Then, temporarily, it became no big deal. Now that the Greens have caught us in the CFL trap, they’re reverting to form on mercury — all to cause the sort of chaos resulting in increased government control of our lives.

As Johnny Cash sang, “I hear the train a-comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend. …” The question is: Will President Bush and Congress just leave us on the tracks?

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Another day, another tax increase

Just how much would a Hillary Clinton administration raise taxes?

It depends on who you ask, and lately, it also depends on when you ask. Mrs. Clinton has previously touted her version of fiscal responsibility, “I have a million ideas. I can’t do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign – especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I’m trying to do – everything I propose I have to pay for.”

Today, Team Clinton unveiled her “economic blueprint” which would include an additional $820 billion in taxes over the next decade, aimed at oil companies, drug companies, and corporations which “ship jobs overseas.” This is in addition to allowing the Bush tax cuts expire, which would increase taxes by a staggering $4.3 Trillion, according to estimates provided by the National Women’s Law Center.

Do the math.

Hillary Clinton is proposing $5.1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade.

Since she is proposing new spending programs to match the tax increases, the growth of Federal spending poised to grow dramatically under a Clinton Administration.

Update: So, where is the club for greed when you need them? Glad you asked. They’re still attacking Republicans.

It’s That Time Of Year, Again!

This is the twentieth anniversary of the year’s worst reporting from the Media Research Center, known as the Best of Notable Quotables.
Of all the liberal biased comments from various media sources, whether electronic or print, the MRC has diligently gleaned through them all, selected the worst of them all, and submitted them to a panel of judges to assign a point total, giving us the worst of the year, and there is one clear winner, as the quote of the year.

“As Violence Falls in Iraq, Cemetery Workers Feel the Pinch”
— Headline over an October 16 story by McClatchy News Service reporters Jay Price and Qasim Zein.

There are sixteen categories, from which the judges had to review them all, ranging from ‘America Makes Us Sick,’ to ‘Tin Foil Hat.’
As there are many that attack President Bush, on many different topics, and not just the GWOT, here are a few selected quotes I found worthy of mention, in this festival of journalistic incompetence, as they are category winners.

Senator Barack Obama: “Let’s roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, let’s make certain that those resources go to the people who need it….We’re not going to solve it by pretending that issues of poverty and struggle among working families are just going to go away magically because the stock market is going up.”
Moderator Chris Matthews: “So much of what you say just grabs people like me, because it sounds like Bobby Kennedy. It sounds like the ’60s at its absolute best.”
— Exchange at AFSCME Democratic candidates forum shown live on MSNBC, June 19. [78 points]

“I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”
— Host Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time, March 2, discussing how a few commenters at a left-wing blog were upset that an attempt to kill Vice President Cheney in Afghanistan had failed. [91 points]

Co-host Harry Smith: “President Bush getting ready to go to Europe for the G-8. The folks in the European Union want to do emissions reductions. The President said yesterday we’re not going to participate….If you were president, you would have probably signed on?”
Former Vice President Al Gore: “Yeah, yeah.”
Smith: “Do you mind if I-? [holds up a ‘Gore 2008’ pin]…There you go. You can hold it. [laughter]….Here, let’s see what it looks like. [holds pin to Gore’s lapel]…All right, all right. Save that in a freeze frame.”
— Exchange on CBS’s The Early Show, May 30. [64 points]

On and on it goes, and many of the runners-up in each category are worthy of being the best…or worst…whatever!
At the end of the list is a page listing the judges used to rate these quotes. I take my hat off to them for their efforts, they are certainly better men and women than me, but then they don’t mention how much Pepto-Bismol or barf bags were needed to complete this task.
I also commend the hard working employees of MRC for their diligence in listening to every inane comment made by the various journalist in this country, and compiling such an enormous amount of information for the judges to review, and for us to read, and to view, as videos of these comments are also available.
I experienced a full range of emotions, going through this list, but I had to rate and vote on the reaction that I experienced the most, and the winner is:
Incredulity!

The U.S. Did Not back down in Bali

Three days ago, maybe four by the time I get done here, I wrote about the U.S. caving to the demands of some third world nations wanting welfare. Link. I have since learned that I was a little quick to react. (dangit I hate when that happens) There is some behind the scenes stuff going on that may give us a little time to head off the Gorbal Warming nuts. It’s by Christopher Monckton, and it is very long and detailed. It is also worth your time if you care about the fraud of global warming. Here’s the important quote:

The day Gore spoke in Bali, I received an email (one of hundreds from all over the world in response to my article in the Jakarta Post) from one of the Port Commissioners of Washington State. He said his fellow-Commissioners, solely on the basis of Gore’s rantings, were proposing to increase the height of the sea-walls by 20 feet. Real economic and environmental harm is now being caused by these unscientific exaggerations, which have gained credence among the zombies merely by their repetition on the lips of a former Vice-President of the United States.

The US delegation did not crumble in Bali. It stood firm in the cause of right and truth and common sense. So it was not possible for the zombies to go as far as they wanted in inflicting pointless, economically-disastrous and climatically-irrelevant policies on the world. For the sake of being seen to do something while they wait for Copenhagen, they have laboriously drawn up a “Bali Roadmap”. Like the Middle East Roadmap, the Bali Roadmap is a non-map of a non-existent road to nowhere. Meantime, we have alarmed the alarmists, and that is a first step towards the dawn of truth.

There is also a list of 50 new lies the alarmists have come up with, and the truth about them. Here’s a few.

Gore needs to pretend that the situation is urgent when it is becoming increasingly plain to everyone that it isn’t. The robust corn-stalk chewers of Iowa, polled recently about election issues, ranked “global warming” so low that fewer than one in 200 thought it mattered at all.

Therefore, to whip up the flagging panic that keeps the gravy-train of “global warming” rolling, Baron Thursdi came up with a new, improved list of 50 errors and exaggerations:

• Floods in 18 countries, plus Mexico: Four errors in one. First, individual extreme-weather events cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Secondly, the number of floods is not unprecedented, though TV makes them more visible than before. Thirdly, even if the floods were caused by warming, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause. Thirdly – and it was astonishing how few of the zombies knew this – there has been no statistically-significant increase in mean global surface temperature since the last IPCC Holy Book in 2001. “Global warming” has stopped.
• The Arctic ice-cap will be gone within 5 to 7 years: Six errors in one. First, as a paper published by NASA during the conference demonstrates, Arctic warming has nothing much to do with “global warming”: instead, as numerous studies confirm, it is chiefly caused by decadal alterations in the ocean circulation affecting the region. Thirdly, it was warmer in the Arctic in the 1940s than it is today. Fourthly, thinner pack-ice is surprisingly resistant to melting, so the ice-cap will probably be still there for many years to come, even if (which is unlikely) the warming trend resumes. Fifthly, the ice-cap was probably absent during the mediaeval warm period, and almost certainly absent during the Bronze Age climate optimum, when temperatures were higher than today’s for almost 2,000 years. Sixthly, the Greenland ice sheet melted completely away 850,000 years ago. There cannot have been an Arctic ice-cap then. So the disappearance of the Arctic ice-cap, even if it occurred, would be neither unprecedented nor alarming.
• Forest fires are causing devastation: Five errors in one. First, most forest fires are caused by humans – power-lines sparking in the wind, carelessly-tossed cigarette-butts, or even arson. Secondly, individual events of this kind cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Thirdly, warmer weather is generally wetter weather, because – as the Clausius-Clapeyron relation demonstrates – the space occupied by the atmosphere can carry near-exponentially greater concentrations of water vapour as the weather becomes warmer. Fourthly, it has not got warmer since 2001, so there is no factual basis whatsoever for attributing more forest fires to warmer weather. Fifthly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.

Here is the rest. Thanks n2l.

The U.S. backs down in Bali

Just what kind of people are representing us these days? Wimps, that’s what kind. After being booed for rejecting global welfare, to be paid mostly the US, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky caved to a couple of third world countries that want to be on the welfare roll.

The head of the U.S. delegation, Undersecretary of State Paula J. Dobriansky objected, setting off loud, long boos in the hall.

Next, delegate after delegate took aim at the United States, with South Africa saying Dobriansky’s intervention was “most unwelcome and without any basis,” and Uganda saying “We would like to beg them” to relent.

Then the delegate from Papua New Guinea leaned into his microphone.

“We seek your leadership,” Kevin Conrad told the Americans. “But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.”

The U.N. climate conference exploded with applause, the U.S. delegation backed down, and the way was cleared Saturday for adoption of the “Bali Roadmap.”

And once again, It’s all Bush’s fault.

A turning point may come a year down the road following the U.S. election of a new president, who many environmentalists hope will support deeper, mandatory emissions cuts in contrast to President Bush, who favors only voluntary approaches to reining in greenhouse gases.

Never mind the fact that the Senate voted 98-0 not to join the Kyoto treaty while Clinton was president, it is always Bush’s fault. See how the dhems have exported their BDS throughout the world? Uganda and New Guinea make the United States back down? Pitiful, just pitiful. There’s more in this AP story that riles me, such as the lie that the US was the only major industrial nation not to sign Kyoto, but I’ll let you read it for yourself.

Read the rest here.

Another grim milestone

from NowPublic.com…  10,000 islamic terror attacks since 9/11

In the mind-numbing aftermath of 9/11, who would have guessed that within just a few years American politicians would be campaigning on promises to ensure the comfort of incarcerated terrorists… that Hollywood writers would be generating reams of scripts replete with noble Muslim characters persecuted by fictitious American bigots… that footbaths would be making their way into airports and public universities… or that Muslim travelers would be chasing lawsuit dollars by scaring the hell out of fellow airline passengers with deliberately provocative behavior.

Welcome to this brave, new world, where even Osama bin Laden must be shaking his head over the spasm of Western butt-kissing that follows high-profile Islamic terror. Each new attack in the name of Allah seems to bring a fresh round of public groveling to the religion that inspires it – even if we can count on one hand the number of Muslims courageously calling the Islamic world to accountability for the violence. (h/t Rene’)

It is as much the responsibility of the Democratic Party to separate themselves from radical leftists as it is for moderate Muslims to separate themselves from radical Islamists.

The convergence of the radical left and radical islamists is the mortal enemy of Western democracy.

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Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, Adam’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, Chuck Adkins, The Pet Haven, Pursuing Holiness, Allie is Wired, DragonLady’s World, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Republican National Convention Blog, CommonSenseAmerica, Dumb Ox Daily News, High Desert Wanderer, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

The Ultimate Global Warming Challenge

Think the science is settled? The debate is over?

The deniers and knuckledraggers have polluted the clarity of the TRUTH?

Well, then this should be a walk in the park for you. A piece of cake. Child’s play.

Just accept the Ultimate Global Warming Challenge from Junkscience.com and pick up a cool 100 Large! (And save algore’s bacon to boot.) Here are the rules:

$100,000 will be awarded to the first person to prove, in a scientific manner, that humans are causing harmful global warming. The winning entry will specifically reject both of the following two hypotheses:

UGWC Hypothesis 1

Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases do not discernibly, significantly and predictably cause increases in global surface and tropospheric temperatures along with associated stratospheric cooling.

UGWC Hypothesis 2

The benefits equal or exceed the costs of any increases in global temperature caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions between the present time and the year 2100, when all global social, economic and environmental effects are considered.

Rules for radicals

Update: We’ve noticed that a large number of readers have found this post looking for a download of Rules for Radicals.

To my knowledge, there isn’t a free version on the net. I have, however found Alinsky’s last interview, given in 1972 to Playboy magazine. It is a great read, and an eye-opener… Here is the pdf (takes a moment to load) alinsky_1972_interview1

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alinsky.jpgWho is this man, and what does he have to do with modern leftist political tactics?

His name was Saul Alinsky, the mentor of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the consigliere emeritus of modern liberalism. His 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, reads like the political playbook of the Soros-Clinton machine, as well as allied groups such as Moveon.org, CREW, ACORN,and others.

Alinsky was also the subject of the previously suppressed 1969 Wellesley Thesis by one Hillary Rodham.

Please feel free to download the pdf. As the election season moves into full swing, it becomes more important than ever to gain insight into our political opponents.

The thesis is long and tedious. I’ve never read a thesis that wasn’t. But, it should also be revealing.

I expect it provides a window into the mind modern democrat party and the lengths to which they will go to achieve power. And, that makes it an important read. I plan on posting some comments after I’ve read it in detail.

So, who was Saul Alinsky? Here is an interesting snapshot of his leftist holy book (h/t Slyfox):

saulalinskyrfr.jpgRules for Radicals provides the organizer with a tactical style for community organization that assumes an adversarial relationship between groups of people in which one either dominates or is dominated.

“The first rule of power tactics is: power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

“Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”

“Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this. They can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”

“The threat is generally more terrifying than the thing itself.”

“In a fight almost anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.”

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

One of the criteria for picking the target is the target’s vulnerability … the other important point in the choosing of a target is that it must be a personification, not something general and abstract.”

“The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”

Also blogging: GOPublius, Free Republic

Other good reading: VelvetHammer

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Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, DeMediacratic Nation, Adam’s Blog, Right Truth, Big Dog’s Weblog, Shadowscope, Webloggin, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, Cao’s Blog, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Pursuing Holiness, third world county, Allie Is Wired, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Planck’s Constant, Wyvern Dreams, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Gone Hollywood, and Public Eye, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

A Few Words From Newt, On Our Own Phoney War!


I am always impressed with his brilliant mind.

Great moments in socialized medicine

“I could be dead by then.”

Proponents of Hillary-Care, or fans of the propagandist movie “Sicko” would do well to study the actual day to day operation of socialized medicine before trying to impose it upon the United States.

This is the story of Olive Beal: a retired London piano teacher and former activist in the Suffragette Movement, who was told that she must wait eighteen months before she can receive a new hearing aid. At age 108, with failing eyesight and confined to a wheelchair, Mrs. Beal’s 5 year old analog hearing aid no longer functions effectively for her.

Her family said they had been shocked to be told there was an 18-month waiting list by the Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust. A digital hearing aid costs about £1,000 on the open market.

Maria Scott, 52, her granddaughter, said: “After having a hearing test on Wednesday they said, ‘yes, she does need a digital hearing aid, but there is an 18-month waiting list’.

“I would have thought they would take her age into account as she probably has not got 18 months to wait.

“Olive has worked hard from the age of 16 to her late 60s and paid taxes. She has been healthy all her life and lived with her daughter until 15 years ago – she has never sponged off the state. I thought a 108-year-old deserved to be treated better than this.”

SOURCE

I still think the best line I heard about the idyllic Cuban healthcare system praised in Moore’s movie was along the lines of………..

“The best health care in Cuba is found at Gitmo. “

dems go “all in” on war

They’re betting the ranch.

Even the Associated Press has noticed.

Democratic leaders are taking an all-or-nothing approach on Iraq, a tack that leaves its members empty-handed for now but keeps the party in lockstep with demands by anti-war groups.

At the end of the month, lawmakers were expected to break for their August recess without passing veto-proof legislation that would significantly challenge President Bush’s Iraq policies. Such a feat would have required Democrats to soften their stance or compromise with Republicans — something anti-war groups don’t want them to do and a move party leaders have shown no interest in.

“Our goal is the total political collapse of support for Bush’s war,” said Tom Matzzie, the Washington director for the anti-war group MoveOn.org, which rose to prominence in last year’s elections. “And this August gives us an even better opportunity to achieve that.”

This is a high-risk political strategy. They either win big, or lose big.

Unfortunately for National Security, as well as the well-being of our military personnel, for the democrats to win necessitates a defeat for our country.

It becomes more important than ever that progress in Iraq be reported honestly and forthrightly. And, since the elite media seems determined to sit out the war in the green zone, I would suggest that y’all keep Mike Yon in your prayers, and go drop a few coins in his tip jar.

Postcards from the idiocracy

Thank you Max Baucus for framing this issue so nicely.

You either support Max’s draconian tobacco tax increase, or you support killing children.

At least, that’s how Max justifies the tax increase of up to $10 per stogie. You see, it’s “for the children.”

The SCHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) is up for reauthorization, and in typical idiocrat fashion, Max and the boys want to expand the program, by an increase of $50 billion above current funding levels over the next five years. And to pay for it, Max wants to put the squeeze on the tobacco teat.

President Bush has threatened a veto, but it probably won’t be upheld over a popular program like this one that is “for the children.”

Because nobody wants to be seen as being in support of killing children. (Unless of course, you’re wanting to kill unborn children, that is).

Call your Congresscritters!

h/t MOR

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