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Senior Citizens Left Off Government’s Swine-Flu Vaccination Priority List August 6, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Democrats, economy, ethics, euthanasia, health care, legislation, medicine, news, politics, senior citizens, socialism, taxes.
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Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to minimize suffering and death from influenza, the Health and Human Services Department says on its Web site.

But some senior citizens complain they’ve been left off the list of people who will be first in line to get the swine flu vaccination, when it is ready. One CNSNews.com reader suggested the omission is in line with the Obama’s administration’s plan to “minimize” health care for the elderly, as the reader put it.

On its Flu.gov Web page, HHS says the government is working to produce enough vaccine for the entire population, but there will be shortages when a vaccine first becomes available – probably in mid-October.

That means the “limited supply” will have to be “prioritized for distribution and administration.”

On July 29, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – a group that advises the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — recommended that novel H1N1 flu vaccine be made available first to the following five groups:

— Pregnant women
— Health care workers and emergency medical responders
— People caring for infants under 6 months of age
— Children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years
— People aged 25 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)

Nothing is said about people over the age of 64, with or without underlying medical conditions.

HHS admits that its vaccination plans have changed as swine flu has spread:

“Now that an actual flu pandemic has arrived, we must be flexible and adjust our response based on the nature of the actual virus that has emerged, is circulating and causing disease around the world,” Flu.gov says.

“Based on what we know now about the novel H1N1 virus and the most vulnerable groups that are being affected most by this virus and those most likely to encounter it —younger people, pregnant women, healthcare personnel, and people who have underlying health conditions—it is necessary to revise and refine our vaccine prioritization guidance based on real world events.”

HHS says it already has invested more than $1 billion to produce a bulk supply of vaccine and to prepare pilot lots of potential vaccine for use in clinical studies.

In addition Congress passed and President Obama recently signed a supplemental appropriation for $7.5 billion to cover the costs of preparing for H1N1, including a vaccination campaign.

Commentary: In addition to the absence of any consideration for the very large and vulnerable senior population, the paternal health care of the federal bureaucrats costs taxpayers another $7.5 billion.

My question then is why do we need the bureaucrats in Washington funding our health care? Are not the big drug companies and their university labs not capable of funding their own profit-making drugs?

Maybe it is merely how health care works in a socialists system. We pay government, insurance companies, co-pays to doctors and drug companies, and then more through inflation to all of them. When the socialist bureaucrats Americans keep electing to rip them off of their income get their health care reform, Americans will spend even more of the money on health care and more time in line waiting to get health care. If you happen to be elderly, you might as well lessen the financial burden of all others by dying.

That appears to be the Democrats formula for compassionate euthanasia. Such has been the life long goal of Senator Sir Edward Kennedy.

News Source: CNSNews.com, July 31, 2009

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Liberals’ Promise of Health Care Utopia Doesn’t Fool Americans August 3, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, economy, ethics, euthanasia, family, health care, legislation, news, senior citizens.
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By Gary Palmer

Beginning with the very unpopular stimulus bill followed by an almost equally unpopular massive energy tax in the form of the cap-and-trade bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, President Obama has seen his approval rating steadily decline to the point that his rating is now lower than President Bush’s was at the same point of their presidencies.

As of this writing, the latest Rasmussen presidential index poll shows Obama with a substantial negative rating. The presidential approval index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of people who strongly disapprove of the job he is doing – 40 percent – from the percentage of people who strongly approve – 28 percent – leaving a negative approval index of 12 percent. Overall, only 48 percent say they at least somewhat approve of Obama’s performance while 51 percent say they at least somewhat disapprove.

Other polls are also reflecting the change in the public’s attitude toward Obama, and essentially toward all Democrats in Congress, especially in regard to their efforts to nationalize health care in America.

The fact that the public is solidly against the bill at this point in the debate is important because the public does not yet fully comprehend the entire impact of the legislation. Obama and the Democrats insist their bill will lower costs while still providing everyone with access to the best technology and best-trained doctors and best-equipped hospitals. They argue that nothing will change in our health system except that costs will come down and everyone, regardless of age, income or citizenship, will have access to high quality health care.

Like magic, utopia will arrive in the form of a government-run health care system and we will all be part of one big, healthy, happy family … except of course, our elderly who will be encouraged by a government counselor to help save money by simply signing an agreement to avoid life-saving medical help.

According to an analysis by Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, pages 425-430 of the current version of the health care bill contain provisions for government counseling for end-of-life planning such as Advanced Death Care Planning, government consulting on living wills and durable power of attorney, government-approved end-of-life resources, approved end-of-life treatments, approved orders for end-of-life planning and approved doctors for end-of-life orders.

If the health care reform bill passes, elderly citizens could endure long waits for treatment and access to medical equipment and be excluded from receiving some treatments and technology altogether because of their age. Elderly patients in Canada and Great Britain have been routinely put at the end of the line for expensive medical care. In the minds of the bureaucrats who control access to health care in those countries, the life expectancy and quality of life relative to younger patients does not justify the expense of treating elderly patients.

Because health care costs are extremely high for older people, Obama has targeted late-life care as an area where spending can be reduced to help cover the costs of this massive government takeover of health care. He talked about this recently in the context of his grandmother who received a hip replacement even though she was terminally ill with cancer.

Obama said this is where we get into some very difficult moral issues because late-life health care and care for the chronically ill is very expensive. He said, “… the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there.” When asked how we should deal with it, Obama explained that “… you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.” That guidance will be authorized by the mandates found in the pages of the massive health care bill.

Despite liberal promises of a health care utopia, the majority of Americans know better. Americans know from the experiences of the people of Canada and Great Britain that government-run health care will cost us trillions of dollars resulting in massive economy-crippling tax increases and lower quality service.

Four months ago, public opinion seemed to indicate this president could do no wrong. But as so often happens with politicians, Obama has overreached in his efforts to remake America as the polls show public disapproval of his agenda growing almost daily. Just over 15 months from now, the public’s opinion on socialized health care and the whole liberal agenda may very well be evident in the only poll that matters, the one that is taken on Election Day.

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

Fetal Stem Cells, Parkinson Disease, and Secular gods—promises never to be kept? June 22, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in ethics, medical science, news, religion, science, secularism, stem cell research.
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The following is from a recent article written by Gregory W. Rutecki, MD and published in Bioethics Weekly, an on-line publication of the The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity.

When fetal stem cells are publicly discussed, three diseases—often represented by their celebrity spokespersons—lead a list of potential therapeutic applications. They are Parkinson Disease (Michael J Fox), paralysis as a result of spinal cord injury (previously the late Christopher Reeve), and Diabetes Mellitus, type 1, (either Mary Tyler Moore or Ron Santo). The media packages the information as foregone conclusions: fetal stem cells are a veritable source of untapped, and then implied, “unlimited” therapeutic uses. A stunning recent series of setbacks in the context of fetal stem cells and Parkinson Disease (PD), however, has not received equivalent publicity. It appears that the promise of this controversial, and as of yet unproven, therapeutic modality for an estimated one million persons with PD, has been scientifically exposed and found wanting.

The journal Nature Medicine published three articles in May 2008 analyzing eight patients from three separate cohorts who received human fetal midbrain tissue transplants 9-16 years earlier for PD.1 The published results led to two insightful editorial commentaries. The studies have dispelled the myth that fetal stem cells are a straightforward panacea for PD. In addition, they propose a plausible theory that these cells, even with continued research, may never work in this regard.

From a scientific perspective, it appears that the use of fetal stem cells is akin to treating a symptom, but not the real disease of PD.

From an ethical perspective, a veritable cornucopia has been opened. “How is fetal cell therapy ethically suspect?” Well, let’s count the additional ways!” Not only has the critical issue of personhood in the donor not been addressed adequately, but now, the May studies have exposed fetal stem cell therapy for PD for what it really is–a potentially dangerous therapy that is not curative, not standardized, and occasionally fatal. How can informed consent be obtained if all these other substantive ethical issues continue to be ignored? As an aside, one study above, was also an example of “stem cell transplant tourism.”6 The patient and family had no recourse if there were legal concerns after his death because the transplant team resided in another country.

It is time to place a moratorium on fetal stem cells for the treatment of PD. Not only has the donor’s personhood been assaulted, but furthermore, scientific data has also questioned safety and efficacy not only in the present, but well into the future.

I posted the above in part because it offers additional evidence against fetal stem cell research as the next means of humanity’s salvation. Humanists and secularists used to criticize the testimony to divine healing by the moral and religious as unreliable and childish make-believe. Yet, it seems that secularists now practice the same type of faith in their god–science. Worse, they are willing to sacrifice unborn humans to their gods for the shabby hope that some of themselves might be saved for a moment from death. The superstitious ancients, e.g. Canaanites, did the same.

No one wants to die, but the inevitable is not the real issue. The real issue is what comes after death. Secularists live in denial, but the religious live by faith in the evidence. Practicing medical doctors have discovered their resuscitated patient continue to live after death. Maurice Rawlings, MD has written several books on his findings and so has Dr. Sabom.

Today, the tables have turned somewhat. Testimonies of divine healing and life after death is often backed by medical evidence. While medical and other science studies reveal the ineptitude of the secularist savior. But, then medical science never has healed anyone. It has often provided effective means to aiding and enhancing the body’s own healing mechanisms. Guess who created the body and its self-healing mechanisms–God.

I cannot resist the urge to mention the supposed global warming issue. In all of the research and debate, the underlying problem is not too many hydro- carbons or depletion of the ozone. The fundamental cause is science’s great inventions. Why isn’t anyone criticizing science? One possible answer is that demeaning the religion of another demonstrates unacceptable intolerance. Money is likely another reason. Just consider how many corporations, politicians, professors, engineers, and scientists have made lots of money helping to ruin our environment.

Pres. Obama top beneficiary of Swiss Offshore Bank UBS AG funding February 24, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in campaign finance, ethics, news, politics.
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Swiss bank UBS AG agreed today to pay $780 million to settle claims by the U.S. Department of Treasury that it helped American customers evade paying taxes by hiding their Swiss bank accounts from U.S. tax authorities. But that’s not the only help that UBS has provided Americans. In the 2008 election cycle, the foreign bank’s employees and PAC contributed $3.1 million to federal candidates (including candidate committees and leadership PACs), parties and PACs, 54 percent of which went to Democrats. Among all finance, insurance and real estate companies, UBS has given more campaign donations than all but six other companies. It also spent nearly $1.3 million lobbying between 2007 and 2008.

UBS not only split its funds between Republicans and Democrats, it also made sure to help out more than one presidential candidate in the 2008 election cycle and directed its funds to a few of the higher ups of the finance-related congressional committees. Here are some of the notable recipients. (For a full list of recipients, download the Excel file below. All totals include contributions to candidates’ leadership PACs and candidate committees.):

* President Obama collected more from employees of the company than any other candidate or party committee, bringing in $512,800 for his presidential bid. As a senator, Obama co-sponsored a bill, S. 681, in 2007 that would have gotten tougher on tax havens, and listed Switzerland, among others, as an “offshore secrecy jurisdiction.” The bill didn’t appear to make it past the Senate Committee on Finance.

* Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), came in second with $170,900.

* Former presidential candidate and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among the top 10 individual recipients ($108,500), in addition to former presidential candidates Mitt Romney ($123,350) and Rudy Giuliani ($111,300).

* Former congressman and current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel collected $64,700. Emanuel received more from UBS than any other member of the House in the 2008 cycle.

* Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (who also ran for president briefly) brought in $61,500. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee collected $60,100.

And just as the company has invested in lawmakers, a few have invested their personal funds in the foreign bank and its subsidiaries. In 2007, seven members of Congress had between $207,187 and $500,180 of their own funds invested in the bank. (Members of Congress report the value of their assets in ranges, making it impossible to calculate their exact worth.) Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) had the most invested at between $100,001 and $250,000. Others with money wrapped up in the bank include Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif), Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Rep. Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla.), Rep. Kenny Ewell Marchant (R-Texas), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Clinton.

by Lindsay Renick Mayer

Source: OpenSecrets.Org

How Can You Be A Millionaire and Never Pay Taxes? February 12, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Democrats, ethics, moral virtue, news, politics, taxes.
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When he hosted Saturday Night Live on January 21, 1978, comedian Steve Martin explained how to be a millionaire and never pay taxes. Martin said, “First … get a million dollars. Now … you say, Steve … what do I say to the tax man when he comes to my door and says, ‘You … have never paid taxes.’? Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: ‘I forgot!’ How many times do we let ourselves get into terrible situations because we don’t say ‘I forgot’?”

Today, you get elected to the U.S. Senate, lose your seat, and then get a job with a major lobbying firm and that’s how you get a million dollars. (Or, in Tom Daschle’s case, $5 million.) And when someone discovers that you didn’t pay all your taxes, you simply invoke the Steve Martin defense …“I forgot.”

Steve Martin got a lot of laughs when he recommended the “I forgot” defense. But when the average American worker has to work 113 days just to pay their taxes and the average American household spends more on taxes than on housing, food and clothing, it is not funny at all when powerful politicians get caught cheating on their taxes and try to excuse their behavior by invoking the “I forgot” excuse.

Some might call that the “audacity of amnesia,” but it’s the very excuse that both Timothy Geithner, nominee for Treasury Secretary, and former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, used for not paying all their taxes. So did former Clinton Administration Assistant Treasury Secretary Nancy Killefer, appointee for the new position of Chief Performance Officer. Now Sam Sayyad, the husband of Hilda Sollis, the nominee for Labor Secretary, is using the “I forgot” defense. To be accurate, Sollis and her husband say they were “unaware” of the $6,400 in tax liens against his business.

Daschle, Geithner, Killefer and Sollis are not the only high profile politicians in Washington with a tax problem. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee apparently forgot to pay his taxes, too. And, if Minnesota Democrat Senate candidate Al Franken winds up in the U.S. Senate, Washington will welcome yet another high profile liberal who had a problem keeping their taxes paid.

The “I forgot” defense actually worked for Geithner since the Senate confirmed his nomination. But it didn’t work at all for Daschle and Killefer who withdrew their names from consideration. The fate of Sollis’ nomination is yet to be determined, but it looks like the big labor unions are determined to get her confirmed, no matter what. And Rangel may get by with simply paying back taxes with no penalties.

The inexcusable behavior of Daschle, Geithner, Killefer, Sollis and her husband, and Rangel gives further evidence of another serious issue. State and federal tax laws are so complex it is nearly impossible for individuals and businesses to know for sure that they have paid every dime they owe.

Consequently, if Daschle et al. had taken the line of defense that the complexity of the state and federal tax codes were to blame for their unpaid tax liabilities, public opinion might have been more sympathetic, especially if they called for simplifying the tax code. Given the attention directed to such powerful and influential people failing to pay all of their taxes, the timing is perfect to push for a simple flat income tax or a consumption tax.

However, there is another issue here that goes well beyond the complexity of our tax laws. It is the issue of a double standard that very obviously exists between powerful and influential elites and everyone else. For perhaps 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers, the “I forgot” defense would not be as well received by the IRS. Clearly, Daschle and the others are being treated differently (both by the IRS and the media) than private citizens or small business owners are treated when they fail to pay their taxes. Nothing will undermine our legal system and our government more than the perception that the law does not treat everyone equally.

Finally, perhaps the biggest challenge facing America today is the lack of character. While I might believe that any one of these powerful and influential people might have made a mistake in paying their taxes, I can’t believe all four of them did. This is actually an issue of integrity. And now, at this point in our nation’s history, it is integrity that is missing.

If there is one thing that liberals and conservatives should agree on it is the need for political leaders whom we can trust. For politicians from either party to break laws, in this case our tax laws, and simply brush their law-breaking aside by using the “I forgot” defense reveals something more troubling. It reveals an attitude that they are special, that they should be treated differently.

When people are working almost a third of the year just to pay their taxes, powerful politicians should not be exempt. To even expect to be treated differently is the audacity of arrogance.

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

Berg states U.S. Supreme Court has “not” made a public decision regarding Berg vs. Obama U.S. Supreme Court Case January 19, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Berg v Obama, Constitution, ethics, law, politics, Supreme Court.
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Philip J. Berg, Esquire, the Attorney who filed suit against Barack H. Obama challenging Senator Obama’s lack of “qualifications” to serve as President of the United States and his case, Berg vs. Obama, [is in the U.S. Supreme Court with two (2) Conferences scheduled on 1/09/09 & 1/16/09] announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court has “not” made a public decision yet regarding his case.

Berg said, “I am making these remarks because of the ‘wrong’ statements circulating that the case of Berg vs. Obama in the U.S. Supreme Court has been dismissed. We checked with the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday afternoon, January 9th and “no” decision has been made. We will have to wait until at least Monday for the decision regarding what took place at the Conference on January 9th.

Please wait with us. Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court will grant our Writ of Certiorari as there is nothing more important than “our” U.S. Constitution.”

Berg continued, “We are committed to continuing litigation until the truth of Obama being “not qualified” for President comes out. The Obama candidacy is the biggest “HOAX” every put forth to the citizens of the United States in 230 years.

In addition to the current case in the U.S. Supreme Court, we have or will have:

  1. A case filed two [2] months ago captioned Berg vs. Obama, said case “under seal” so I cannot comment further;
  2. The case of Hollister vs. Barry Soetoro a/k/a Barack Hussein Obama, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; said case being an Interpleader case with the Plaintiff a retired Colonel from the U.S. Air Force who is questioning whether to obey or disobey an order if Obama recalls him, based upon whether or not Obama is a “qualified” President; and
  3. If Obama is sworn in as President, we will file a Petition for Writ of “Quo Warranto,” a case that will challenge Obama as being ineligible to serve as President because he is “not qualified.”
  4. More and more people are aware of the fact that Obama does not meet the ‘qualifications.’ When the truth finally comes out, individuals including Barack Hussein Obama, Michelle Obama, Howard Dean [Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)], other top officials of the DNC and senior campaign staff of Obama’s campaign should be brought into the criminal justice system, indicted and tried with incarceration for those convicted.”

Ohio Senator Steve Austria’s Bid for US Congress Turns to Desperate Sliming Politics March 2, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in conservative, Democrats, elections, ethics, family, honesty, liberals, news, political campaigns, political primary, politics, Republicans.
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Who said dirty politics is reserved for lawyers and wannabe lawyers on Capitol Hill? Don’t be fooled it’s for those trying to get their too. Like his mentor, Steve Austria is mired in the muck of dirty tactics because he obviously fears Ron Hood may win.

In case you have not heard of Steve Austria or Ron Hood, these two politicians are running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Austria is the current Ohio Senate majority leader. He is a Beavercreek Ohio businessman not a lawyer like his mentor Dave Hobson, who is retiring from his career job on Capitol Hill. Remember those words. Hobson is a career politician who never wrote a law and he is Austria’s mentor.

Ron Hood also is a businessman and the son-in-law of Bill and Pam Dean. The Dean family is one of Xenia’s prominent entrepreneurs in the service sector. Hood served in the Ohio House of Representative from 1995-2000 and 2005-2006. Unlike Austria who is endorsed only by several party organizations, Hood is endorsed by a number of family associations like Family First, Moms for Ohio and Citizens for Community Values, by several gun owners associations, and by the Chamber of Commerce.

What inspired this post was a slick mailer I received yesterday from Austria. The sliming of Ron Hood advertisement says Hood voted with democrats 80% of the time. Austria’s glossy green with yellow letters oversize postcard accuses Hood of being a RINO, which means a Republican in name only. On the front and back, it says Ron Hood is a Democrat. The real interesting thing about Austria’s sliming tactic is found in the small print. That’s right, in small print Austria acknowledges his accusations are based only on 3 bills and not on Hood’s entire record. Out of the hundreds of bills Hood sponsored and the many more he voted on only House Bill 66, House Bill 23, and House Bill 160 are used as proof of Hood being an undercover liberal. I checked the huge budget bill House Bill 66. I found conservatives Dewine and Widener voting with the Democrats on a lot of legislative items too. Does that make them liberals too? (more…)