Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Curbing Obama power grabs

The courts and Senate provide no checks and balances. Could a Republican Senate help?

By Paul Driessen

You’ve got to admire the sheer audacity: Democratic Senator Mark Begich telling Alaska voters that he stood up to President Obama and fought for oil drilling and jobs in his state. Maybe he had a few chats.

But he certainly knew his concerns and opinions meant nothing, changed nothing, accomplished nothing. And then he voted 97% of the time with Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Dictator Harry Reid

Reid has kept over 300 bills bottled up, squelched almost all proffered Republican amendments on anything that did move, and used the “nuclear option” to end the longstanding 60-vote rule and wipe out any chance that Republicans could block Obama nominees or prevent the President from packing the vital DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The three new liberal judges on that court can now be counted on to defer to Mr. Obama’s policies and “agency discretion” on future arrogations of power.

Ditto for Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. She bellyached from time to time about offshore drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. But she also voted with Obama, Reid and their agenda 97% of the time, on everything from ObamaCare to Dodd-Frank to packing the DC Court.

The tally for other Democratic Senators running for reelection is revealing: Hagan (NC) 96% for the Obama agenda, policies and fiats … Merkley (OR) 96% … Pryor (AR) 90% … Shaheen (NH) 99% … Udall (CO) 99% … Warner (VA) 97%

Now they’re telling their constituents, next year will be different. Send me back to Washington, and next year I will stand up to Obama and support letting people keep their doctors and insurance, allowing more domestic drilling and pipelines, promoting economic recovery and fiscal responsibility, curbing the fraud and abuses at the Environmental Protection Agency, tackling Ebola and going after Islamic terrorists.

The IRS, Benghazi, Ebola and Middle East screw-ups and cover-ups seem to have set the tone. These Senators seem willing to say almost anything to get them past the elections. However, their votes have had real consequences for millions of Americans, especially the poor, minority, elderly and working classes they profess to care so much about. They should not escape accountability so easily.

A recent political ad by black Democrat-turned-Republican Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory lays it on the line. “While you dig through the couch looking for gas money,” Guillory says, Mary Landrieu “flies around in private jets funded by taxpayer dollars.” To her, “you are just a vote,” every six years.

Nor do liberal stereotypes fit. The four Democratic House and Senate candidates in Northern Virginia are all well-off, middle-age white guys. Republican candidates include one middle-age white dude, plus two working moms and a black man – who’s also Jewish and an 8-year Marine Corps veteran.

Few of us have any personal animosity toward any of these Democrat Senators. They’re all amiable people. But as President Obama himself says, “my policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.” Those policies have been dragging this country down, and as long as Harry Reid maintains his iron grip on the Senate, there can be no checks and balances or budgetary constraints on the Obama policies.

Messrs. Reid and Obama have made it clear that they have no interest in working with Republicans. Indeed, the President prefers Saul Alinsky tactics of community agitation and interest group divide-and-conquer. He disdains democratic processes and bipartisan compromises, and much prefers to simply legislate, regulate and dictate from the White House and Executive Branch – ignoring or rewriting the clear language of laws and our Constitution whenever and however necessary.

The Train of Abuses and Usurpations gets longer by the week. Environmental Protection Agency actions alone could place virtually all our land, air, water, energy and economy under the control of regulatory ideologues, working closely with radical Big Green activists, billionaires and “charitable” foundations.

Climate. As the planet refuses to cooperate with computer models and White House fear mongering, the EPA simply ignores all contradictory studies and evidence – and continues to operate under assumptions that: carbon dioxide levels dictate climate change; natural forces are irrelevant’ America can easily replace the fossil fuels that provide 82% of its energy; skyrocketing energy prices will have no effect on the economy, jobs or human health and welfare; and slashing America’s CO2 emissions will make a difference, even though China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Poland and other nations refuse to do likewise.

Of course, the real goal was never to stop climate change. It was always to control and “fundamentally transform” our nation’s energy, economic, social and legal structure and institutions, regardless of costs.

Water. Proposed rules are so broadly written that they would cover nearly all “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), based on assertions that they would eventually end up in “navigable” waters: rivers, rivulets, lakes, groundwater, stock ponds, occasional puddles and dry creek beds. In the process, they would also control land use activities on farms, forests and other private property. Friendly, collusive lawsuits by radical environmentalists would further expand this EPA jurisdiction.

Ozone. Almost every US county meets current 2008 ozone standards. Proposed regulations would render the vast majority of them “nonattainment” areas, subject to severe restrictions on economic growth. Even EPA says the rules would cost $100 billion a year. The National Association of Manufacturers puts the cost at $270 billion annually. The impact on people’s jobs, incomes, health and welfare would be huge.

Even bigger ambitions. Clearly not satisfied with these unprecedented usurpations of power, EPA has also launched major “sustainable development,” “environmental justice” and “clean power” initiatives. These deliberately vague and infinitely malleable terms would further expand the agency’s mission far beyond anything previously imaginable or contemplated by EPA’s authorizing legislation.

Other agencies are busily writing new regulations governing Christmas lights, automobile and refrigerator coolants, endangered species guidelines that would block ranching, drilling and pipeline projects, while giving bird and bat-killing wind and solar projects carte blanche – and other activities.

Collusion. A recent Senate Minority Staff Report explains in frightening detail how far-left billionaires, foundations and environmentalist groups actively collude with EPA managers and regulators. EPA in turn happily recruits high-level eco-activists, who then help lobby, guide and control agency policies – and channel millions of taxpayer dollars to pressure groups that promote those policies. The agency also engages in frequent friendly lawsuits with activists, to make policies even more extreme.

A Republican Senate will not guarantee the kind of change needed to end these excesses and get the nation’s economy and employment back on track, especially if certain GOP members remain timid or recalcitrant. (Perhaps DePuy or Stryker could donate some spinal implants?) Presidential vetoes could also pose problems, although strong leadership could often craft bipartisan veto-proof majorities.

House and Senate hearings could grill agency heads under oath – and investigate potential fraud in developing regulations, unethical collusion between agencies and activists, improper agency funding of activist groups, sweetheart lawsuits and other activities. These investigations could form the basis for budget reductions and restrictions, legislation to end mission creep or block specific regulations, and laws requiring congressional approval of “major” regulatory actions costing billions of dollars.

Such actions would also help restore our tripartite system of government. Right now, the Executive Branch is riding roughshod over businesses and citizens alike, and the courts merely rubberstamp agency decisions. Meanwhile, the Legislative Branch is little more than an appendix that writes overly broad laws giving unaccountable bureaucrats unfettered discretion to impose an increasingly intrusive, expensive leftist, centralized government agenda. No wonder our nation is foundering on the rocks.

The upcoming elections could help get the USS United States back on course. Let’s hope they do.

I wish to thank Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death for allowing me to publish his work.   

Shouldn't be we fighting a war on terrorism not on fossil fuels?"

By Marita Noon

You are responsible for President Obama's re-election," I told 150 folks from the oil and gas industry --most of whom were conservative Republicans. I spoke to them on October 15 in San Angelo, TX. A reporter covering the event wrote that I "stunned the crowd by telling them they were largely responsible for getting the president re-elected, and asking them if they knew how they had helped." He continued: "The room was very quiet for several moments as Noon waited to see if anyone would volunteer an answer."

We know President Obama has been waging a war on coal--with tens of thousands of jobs lost due to his attacks since he was elected in 2008, but why has the oil and gas industry escaped the harsh regulations that have virtually shut down both coal mining and coal-fueled power plants? After all, we know his environmentalist base--with whom he is philosophically aligned--hates them equally.

The reporter added: "Finally someone suggested it was job creation that Noon was alluding to."

The oil and gas industry has added millions of jobs to the U.S. economy in the past six years and represents the bright spot in the jobs numbers. Imagine where the unemployment numbers would be if the oil and gas industry had been treated as poorly as coal.

While President Obama hasn't had an outright war on oil and gas, he surely hasn't helped--and his surrogates have been out fighting on his behalf.

According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), oil production on state and private lands is up 61 percent and is down 6 percent on federal lands. The CRS found that it takes 41 percent longer to process an application for permit to drill in 2011 than it did in 2006. Getting a permit on federal lands takes an average of 194 days compared to a few days to a month on state lands. The Obama administration approved the fewest drilling permits since 2002. Additionally, it has sold the lowest amount of oil-and-gas leases since 1988. As a result, U.S. oil production on federal lands has fallen to a five-year low. And, these numbers don't include the tens of thousands of jobs that would have been created if the Keystone pipeline had been approved six years ago.

With an eye always on politics, President Obama can't afford the negative job numbers a war on all fossil fuels would cause. Less concerned about the political fallout, using a death-by-a-thousand-cuts approach, his allies have been fighting oil and gas--as they've done with coal.

Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association, told me: "Make no mistake, the oil and gas industry now finds itself in the same political crosshairs from the Obama Administration and their allies that coal did in the President's first term. From Sierra Club's new-found animosity to natural gas, as evidenced by its Beyond Natural Gas campaign, to the President's inability to take any action related to the Keystone pipeline, the uncertainty and inevitable economic damage caused by an adverse federal government is now striking yet another fossil fuel."

Environmental extremist groups repeatedly oppose the Keystone pipeline and lock themselves to the White House gates to prove their point. They believe fracking should be a crime and want it banned--which would shut down 96 percent of all oil and gas drilling in America.

Because the average American understands that "drill here, drill now" results in lower prices at the pump--as we are seeing right now, I believe they use "fracking" as a canard when the real target is drilling. Capitalizing on the public's lack of awareness about the safe and proven technology of hydraulic fracturing--or "fracking"--anti-fossil fuel activists have been able to give "fracking" their own definition that essentially covers everything from permitting to production to delivery.

A year ago, Environment America released the Fracking by the Numbers report that offers this:

Defining "Fracking"

In this report, when we refer to the impacts of "fracking," we include impacts resulting from all of the activities needed to bring a shale gas or oil well into production using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracturing operations that use at least 100,000 gallons of water), to operate that well, and to deliver the gas or oil produced from that well to market. The oil and gas industry often uses a more restrictive definition of "fracking" that includes only the actual moment in the extraction process when rock is fractured--a definition that obscures the broad changes to environmental, health and community conditions that result from the use of fracking in oil and gas extraction.

Many cities and counties--mostly liberal communities with little or no drilling potential--have passed anti-fracking legislation, resolutions and/or moratoriums. They then claim success and build momentum as an argument for others to follow suit.

Colorado had two anti-oil-and-gas initiatives on November's ballot, but the supporters agreed to pull them when it became clear the measures would drive Republicans to the polls and hurt troubled re-election chances for Senator Mark Udall and Governor John Hickenlooper.

Mora County, New Mexico has been bold enough to pass a ban on all drilling for hydrocarbons, not just fracking--a move that's resulted in two lawsuits and fiscal liabilities against the little county.

Now, with out of state money pouring in as it did in Mora County, Santa Barbara, California, County residents will be voting on November 4 on Measure P--which is, according to Dr. James Boles, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Professor Emeritus, Earth Sciences: "a poorly designed measure that would shut down energy production in Santa Barbara County."

Ballotpedia calls Measure P the "Santa Barbara County Fracking Ban Initiative." Yet, in a letter to the editor (LTE), the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce "urges its members to vote 'no' on Measure P on the November 2014 ballot." The first of five arguments the Chamber presents in support of its "no" position states: "The ballot measure is written in a way that is likely to mislead voters. Its title says that it is a ban on 'fracking.' This is misleading for two reasons: there is no fracking in Santa Barbara County and, in addition, the ballot measure also prohibits many other forms of oil and gas extraction. A voter would have to read the entirety of the lengthy and complicated measure to understand that its impact is far greater than suggested by the title." The LTE continues: "An impartial analysis prepared by Santa Barbara County found that 100 percent of the active oil and gas wells currently use one or more of the production techniques prohibited by Measure P."

A leaked email soliciting UCSB students for "Summer Jobs to Ban Fracking" states: "We're working this summer to convince Governor Jerry Brown to ban fracking before it's too late. ...This summer we are hiring staff to talk to 30,000 Santa Barbara County residents to build the support we need to win. We are hiring for full time positions only (40 hrs/wk), M-F." The email is from Heather Goold, Director for The Fund for Public Interest--a group connected, according to a new U.S. Senate report: The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama's EPA, to Bill McKibben's 350.org and Tom Steyer (who recently met with Santa Barbara activists).

In a recent op-ed published in the Santa Barbara News, Andy Caldwell, Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business executive director and radio talk show host, asks: "Who is funding the hiring of UCSB students to work on an anti-oil campaign as paid staff?" He continues: "What looks and sounds like a movement is actually a coordinate campaign funded and directed in secret by phenomenally rich people with an agenda. It works in the opposite manner of a legitimate grass roots movement. The non-profits are in essence hired to carry out specific tasks as part of an overall campaign strategy. The Senate report indicates that 'the grants awarded specify how the recipients must use the funds. This allows the Billionaire's club to engage in a defined transaction so they know in advance what services to expect for their money. As such, environmental groups that heavily rely on foundation funds to comprise a substantial portion of their budgets begin to look much more like private contractors buying and selling a service rather than benevolent non-profits seeking to carry out charitable acts.'"

"These attacks are no longer about the environment." Ed Hazard, president of the California chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners, says: "They have morphed into an effort to fundamentally change the political, financial, and economic foundations of the United States and other nations. These are anti-private property rights and anti-capitalism efforts."

If Measure P passes on November 4--giving the environmentalists another win and the economy another loss, well-paid jobs in the oil industry will go away and surrounding communities will suffer (similar to the impact felt in coal).

A vote against Measure P sends a signal bigger than Santa Barbara. In the war on fossil fuels, it shows we are fighting back. It supports America's economic potential and energy security while tamping down the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that are the popular tools of Obama's moneyed allies.

Once P is defeated, we have two years to be sure the next White House occupant understands that energy makes America great.

I wish to thank Marita for allowing me to publish her work. (A version of this content was originally published on Breitbart.comThe author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations' combined efforts serve as America's voice for energy

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Look At Ebola

By Michael D. Shaw, Contributing Columnist - HealthNewsDigest.com
Oct 20, 2014 - 12:03:35 AM

(This originally appeared Here at Health News Digest, and I would like to thank Mike for allowing me to publish his work)

Ebola virus disease (EVD) was first identified in 1976, in what was then called Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The name comes from the Ebola River, a tributary of the Congo River in central Africa, where the majority of EVD epidemics have occurred. However, recent outbreaks are now in Western Africa, and involve major cities, as well as rural areas. WHO pegs the average EVD case fatality rate at around 50%. Outbreaks in the past have logged case fatality rates of 25 to an astonishing 90 percent.

Recently, symptoms of this dread disease have been well-publicized. Indeed, the virus seems more like the lurid creation of a sci-fi writer than a real-life pathogen. Massive hemorrhaging is caused by its diabolical ebolavirus glycoprotein. Normal coagulation mechanisms are defeated, neutrophils (a type of white blood cell, important in immune function) are short-circuited, and cytokines (responsible for the inflammatory process) are unleashed. The end result is that the sufferer is being killed in multiple ways.

Some authorities add that even if you don't have blood dripping from your eyes, your leaky blood vessels can be enough to cause shock and then death. WHO advises early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment to improve survival. While there is currently no licensed therapy proven to neutralize the virus, a number of blood, immunological, and pharmaceutical agents are under development. Two potential vaccines are now undergoing evaluation. Notably, the virus can be killed quite easily with chlorinated water.

As of this writing, patient zero in America--Thomas Eric Duncan--has died, and at least two health care workers associated with his case have been diagnosed with Ebola.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been roundly criticized--and rightly so--for their handling of the Ebola matter. However, the politicization and flagrant injection of political correctness into public health is nothing new, and is hardly confined to the CDC. Many will recall that during the AIDS hysteria, for reasons of "privacy," the death certificate did not always reflect the actual cause. But such misrepresentations of the cause of death were already occurring in the 17th century. According to journalist/author Kathryn Schulz, the practice was sufficiently common in 1930s New York City, that in addition to the death certificate, a confidential medical report of death, which included the true cause, was also issued.

For the worst case scenario of politics mixing with public health, see Mengele, Josef.

Infection control guru, and friend of this column, Lawrence Muscarella, PhD offered several insights during a recent conversation. He questions the whole notion of the CDC "working with" hospitals. In accordance with federal guidelines, the CDC must be called in by the hospital, so the relationship might just be a bit too friendly to be effective. More than that, Muscarella has always challenged the "everything is rosy" hospital-acquired infection self-reporting that is virtually never audited by an independent third party. As such, how do we know that we're being told anything near the truth about Ebola?

Consider the sad business of Superbug carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections at Pittsburgh's UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. In November, 2012, the facility began investigating 18 cases of CRE infection, that were eventually traced to a contaminated medical device used in Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Apparently, some of these patients died, but officially, none of the deaths were "directly related" to the CRE infection. Inasmuch as CRE is fatal in 50% of cases, how likely is it that none of the 18 succumbed to the superbug?

Muscarella also reminded me of two instances in which the water supply of VA medical centers (Iowa City and Pittsburgh) were contaminated with Legionella. At the Pittsburgh VAMC, 29 patients were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, and at least two died. Records indicated faulty maintenance procedures. At Iowa City, patients were not warned of the situation, presumably because it was "under control." Heck, they even trotted out "experts" who assured everyone that "Legionella bacteria pose little risk to young, healthy people. The germs are most likely to sicken people who are elderly and frail, especially if they have immune-system problems or are smokers."

Hello? Think that description might fit some (even many) VA patients?

An anonymous Iowa City VA staffer revealed that he and some co-workers now drink bottled water at the hospital, and found out that there have been at least 23 positive test results for the bacteria. The Des Moines Register attempted to get a confirmation of this number, but were rebuffed with a bureaucratic CYA response. Bear in mind that in many cases, record-keeping at VA medical centers is far superior to what goes on at other hospitals.

Now, for the scary part. We have heard from individuals at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Thomas Eric Duncan died--and other facilities--that they are not adequately trained to deal with Ebola. But, other than its horrific symptoms, there is nothing magical about that virus, or how it is transmitted. After all, there are only three methods of pathogen transmission: Contact, droplet, and airborne. For some organisms, one or more methods may apply.

Does this mean that they are not trained to handle such as CRE, tuberculosis, and measles, either? Has the specter of Ebola suddenly shined--at long last--a dazzling spotlight on hospital infection control?

From the Washington Examiner

Voters: U.S. 'out of control' - Half of likely American voters think things in the nation are "on the wrong track" and their outlook for the United States is also pessimistic for the coming several years, according to a new Politico poll.

Hillary Clinton to headline Democratic fundraiser - Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is returning to San Francisco to headline a Democratic fundraiser. Clinton is scheduled to address a sold-out women's luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel...

What women want - Though the mystery of feminine wants has stumped poets, philosophers, and the father of psychoanalysis, today's Democratic politicians think they've found the key -- at least to the political desires of most women: a...

Why gay marriage never became a midterm issue - In a key election year, an unexpected Supreme Court decision on a divisive political issue would usually send shockwaves. But when the Supreme Court opted recently to let stand rulings allowing gay marriage in five states,...

Democratic candidates come out swinging against Obama - With President Obama's approval ratings sinking to historic lows, House and Senate Democratic lawmakers seeking re-election in swing states have made a point of distancing themselves from the unpopular president.

Once-hot candidates fade before the final stretch - Now that candidates have entered the home stretches of their races, some of the cycle's biggest busts are on display from Oregon to Ohio.

Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney leading the 2016 field - Hillary Clinton remains the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in 2016, while Mitt Romney barely leads against a scattered group of Republicans.

Senate Democrats hoping black vote saves them in midterms - "African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014," pollster Cornell Belcher wrote in an Oct. 1 memo.

Illinois voters to face a rare 5 ballot questions - When Illinois voters cast ballots for the November election, they will have a rare opportunity to weigh in on nearly half a dozen hot-button issues. In a practice more common in California and some other...

Poll: Likely voters want GOP-led Congress - This favoring of Republicans is a first since the poll began asking about it five weeks ago.

GOP groups spend $3 million on Democrat-leading House races - House races in Hawaii, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Iowa, Minnesota and Florida will be targeted.

Why are Democrats cozy with the Clintons? - Today, Democrats who would rather clean up after Ebola patients than appear with Obama are handcuffing themselves to the former president and first lady.

Bipartisanship works for the FEC - The core feature of the FEC's design -- its bipartisan structure -- is not a bug. It is a bulwark for the protection of First Amendment rights.

Despite opposing Obama's immigration reform, Cory Gardner leading among Colorado Hispanics - Gardner leads Udall among Hispanic voters, 49 to 35 percent, according to a little-noticed breakdown in a recent Denver Post poll.

High court balks at last-minute voting changes - The Supreme Court has allowed Texas to use its strict voter ID law in the November election even after a federal judge said the law was the equivalent of a poll tax and threatened to deprive many blacks...

Dems fume as Harkin takes the money and doesn't run - Sen. Tom Harkin, who is retiring after five terms in office, is donating most of the money from his campaign account to a university instead of giving it to his would-be successor.

Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally - Former President Bill Clinton will stop at a Chicago manufacturing plant to campaign for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn's campaign says Clinton will discuss Illinois' economic "comeback" when he...

Democratic congressional candidate kept military honors a secret - A Massachusetts Democratic candidate kept two medals secret in a rare departure from typical politicking.

GOP candidate: Obama must take 'every necessary step' on Ebola - Republicans want President Obama to take "every necessary step" against Ebola, and they want Americans to know they're thinking about those affected by the Ebola "outbreak" in the United States.

Integrity, public corruption big topics in NY race  - The candidates to be New York's top lawyer say integrity and public corruption are key issues but disagree sharply over who has the moral high ground. Incumbent Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says...

Quote For the Day!

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.
Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
Winston Churchill

Public Health: From the American Council on Science and Health

New study of a decade's worth of Florida births seems to show heavier newborns do better in school - up to 10 pounds - Think newborns should be slim and trim? Think again. A very large study evaluating children's health and intellectual status as a function of birth weight found that heavier babies do better in school, with 10 lbs. being optimal. Read more.

Chemo's dreaded side effects, and how miraculous drugs changed the entire landscape - Chemo induced nausea & vomiting (CINV) has two phases, acute and delayed. Zofran revolutionized the management of acute CINV but does not work well for delayed CINV. A new drug combination just approved by the FDA handles both quite well. Read more.

32 Shades of Ignorant - vaccine myths that perpetuate deadly misinformation - Vaccinations are universally recommended by legitimate medical professionals, yet many people fear these life-saving defenses. An NPR article counters 32 common flu vaccine myths - a must read for anyone on the fence about getting the shot this season. Read more.

Totally Wicked vs. the EU's tobacco directive - Read Dr. Ross's op-ed in The Parliament Magazine about UK-based e-cig and vapor product company Totally Wicked's case against the EU's tobacco directive. Their case will be heard in the EU Court of Justice next spring. Hopefully they will succeed. Read more.  

Vaccines in the news once again. With good reason. - A news story makes a compelling case for vaccines and the insanity of avoiding them. The visuals that go along with the story are horrifying and illustrate what's happening as a result of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children. Read more.

Life expectancy in the US continues to climb - Latest Federal report on Health Statistics finds that life expectancy in the US is increasing, and the variation between people of different races and ethnicities is decreasing. How does that jibe with the doom-and-gloom stories about our health status? Read more.

Mother knows best in epidural timing - Epidurals are a highly effective and extremely common method of labor pain relief. A recent study shows that mothers can receive an epidural at any time during labor - getting one early or late in labor does not make a difference. Read more.

New study links daily vaping with higher quit-smoking rate. But not so fast - A new study shows an association between "intense" e-cigarette users ("vapers") and quitting smoking. But there are several caveats that should lend perspective to this good news: quitting at one point in time only, and no cause-and-effect established. Read more.

A call for more attention to be paid to the benefits of nuclear energy - An op-ed in Forbes.com wonders why clean, safe, zero-carbon-footprint nuclear energy has so few friends in high places these days. ACSH advisor and co-author of our publication on nuclear energy has some thoughts, but no answers. Read more.

Preliminary studies find promising treatments for type 1 diabetes, vision loss from retinal disease and acute lymphoblastic leukemia - New studies show promise in using human embryonic cells to treat type 1 diabetes and vision loss from retinal disease. A related study shows promise in using T-cell therapy to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These are small but important pilot studies. Read more.

Pneumonia vaccine will make you breathe easier - Good news on the vaccine front: Additional evidence about the utility of vaccines against community acquired pneumonia - a common infection transmitted outside the hospital. This is especially important given the crisis of antibiotic resistance. Read more.

Oregon and Colorado debate potential GMO-labeling laws - Voters in Oregon and Colorado will soon head to polls to vote on GMO-labeling laws, Measure 92 and Initiative 105, respectively. Will these nonsensical laws fail just as they did in California and Washington? Read more.

Slow and steady may not always win the race when it comes to weight loss  - Current guidelines regarding weight loss suggest that losing weight too quickly will result in gaining it back as opposed to losing weight at a slower, steady pace. However, according to a new study, this may not be the case. Read more.

Researchers create "Alzheimer's in a dish" - Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, and currently there is no cure for the disease. Using stem cells, researchers were able to create a laboratory model for Alzheimer's - an achievement that could speed up the testing of Alzheimer's drugs. Read more.

Re-interpreting calorie counts using activity labels - NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has voiced his support for limiting the size of sugary drinks. If it's excess calories the administration is worried about, the results of a study looking at how activity labels influence choices may provide some answers. Read more.

Global Warming: From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

New Paper Refutes Walrus-Climate Scare
Walrus Haulouts Are Nothing New

London, 20 October: A briefing paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation refutes claims that Arctic walruses are in distress and danger due to global warming.

The paper, written by Canadian zoologist Dr Susan Crockford, assesses the recent mass haulouts of walrus females and calves on the beaches of Alaska and Russia bordering the Chukchi Sea. The events have been blamed by US government biologists and WWF activists on lack of summer sea ice, amplified into alarming scare stories by news media around the world.

Such claims ignore previous haulouts that suggest a different cause. Scientific reports about large walrus haulouts that have occurred repeatedly over the last 45 years show that they are not new phenomena for this region.

At least two documented incidents of similar magnitude have occurred in the recent past: one in 1978, on eastern St. Lawrence Island and the other in 1972, on the western end of Wrangel Island. The 1978 event involved an estimated total of almost 150,000 walrus hauled out within in a small geographic area.

Moreover, sea ice maps for the months when known mass haulouts occurred, compared to years when they did not, suggest no strong correlation with low sea ice levels.

“The WWF and American walrus biologists have categorically linked the Point Lay mass haulout event to global warming, but available evidence suggests that’s alarmist nonsense,” Dr Crockford said.

“Blaming lack of sea ice for recent events ignores the documented factor –large population size – that drove walruses onto beaches en masse in the past, when plenty of ice was available.

Conservation measures have almost certainly led to a spectacular recovery of walrus numbers over the last few years. This suggests that recent mass haulouts are more an indicator that Chukchi walrus are nearing maximum capacity than a sign of impending global warming catastrophe,” Dr Crockford added.

Full paper (PDF) available here

Dr Susan Crockford

Dr Benny Peiser
Director, The Global Warming Policy Foundation
tel: 020 70065827
mob: 07553 361717

Poland To Veto EU’s 40% CO2 Reduction Proposal
New Unilateral CO2 Targets Would ‘Destroy European Industry’ Poland Warns

If the EU summit next week maintains the European Commission’s proposal on reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2030, Poland will have to veto it, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński told Polish Radio on Thursday. “If this initial proposal will look as it does now, then Poland will have no choice but to veto it,” Piechociński said. “For the Polish economy minister and the majority of EU economy ministers the 40-percent option, which destroys half of Europe’s industry, is unacceptable,” he added.--Warsaw Business Journal, 16 October 2014

Poland’s Economy Minister and Deputy PM Janusz Piechocinski has said that the EU’s proposal on CO2 emissions reduction would “destroy European industry”. “Europe shouldn’t be naïve, and it shouldn’t decide on anything which would be harmful for European industry,” Piechocinski told Polish Radio, Thursday morning. --Polish Radio, 16 October 2014

Poland’s largest opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) says it would support a veto by Prime Minister Kopacz on climate change in Brussels next week if the move harmed the Polish economy. Law and Justice’s unusual solidarity with the government comes after Poland’s deputy prime minister and economy minister Janusz Piechociński confirmed on Thursday that if there is no movement on the EC’s proposal at the summit then “Poland will have no choice but to veto it”.--Radio Poland, 17 October 2014

A week before the start of a Brussels summit on climate goals, member states disagree on various points of the so-called climate and energy policy framework for 2030. In the comments on the draft conclusions member states wrote this week – of which EUobserver has seen 22 – the disagreement appears largest on targets for energy efficiency and on which share of energy consumed in the EU should be from a renewable source in 2030. --Peter Teffer, EUobserver, 17 October 2014

Owen Paterson’s GWPF speech is worth noting by the capital markets as it indicates that the current political consensus on energy policy maybe be challenged going forward. In our view the public and political debate is only likely to grow as the inherent contradictions and unforeseen negative consequences of the current policy become more apparent as time goes on. We have long argued that current EU/UK energy policy is deeply flawed and that utility companies and public market investors should be wary of committing further capital to support and deliver it. Advice which has been increasingly accepted in recent times. After all, an energy policy that has the Hinkley Point C contract and off-shore wind as its two flagship achievements must eventually collapse under the weight of its own idiocy. --Peter Atherton, Liberum, 16 October 2014

HURRAH! At last a senior politician has finally plucked up the courage to tell the truth about the Government’s climate change policies – they are ruinously expensive, they won’t keep the lights on and they are deliberately designed to punish the poor and further enrich the wealthy. What we need is an urgent and radical re-think of our energy needs. The useless Climate Change Act and its entirely arbitrary and damaging targets should be scrapped. The punishment of the poor and subsides for the rich should stop. --Bill Carmichael, Yorkshire Post, 17 October 2014

Angela Merkel Casts Doubt Over EU Climate Summit
Britain Needs Political Climate Change To Cut Soaring Energy Bills

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dampened expectations about the EU climate summit next week. It was “still open whether it would succeed to adopt the Climate and Energy Framework 2030 next week or later,” Merkel said in a government statement to parliament. In light of these differences, the Chancellor called for patience with hesitant countries. It was right, “to take into account the specific circumstances of all member states and not to ask too much of anyone”.Merkel pointed out that EU climate targets would have to be adopted unanimously. Poland in particular is balking at ambitious [unilateral] CO2 targets. --Der Stern, 17 October 2014

Climate change scepticism is on the rise in Europe. Governments are not going to back a planned 40 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 at a time when the EU is on its knees economically. Poland has promised a veto, threatening a global domino effect. Citing Polish Radio, Britain’s Global Warming Policy Forum said in a press release that Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński believed the plan was suicidal. --The Commentator, 18 October 2014

Owen Paterson also said, [the Climate Change Act] is “the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham”. He is right, and because his party, and the Liberal Democrats, and Labour, have all agreed to the sheriff’s extortions, they are letting Nigel Farage play Robin Hood. As the theme song of the TV version used to say, “He cleared up all the trouble on the English country scene, and still found plenty of time to sing”. --Charles Moore, The Daily Telegraph, 18 October 2014

It is a great shame that Owen Paterson had to be sacked as environment secretary to expose what is an expensive futility. But earlier this week, in a wide-ranging speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, he tore into Britain’s cross-party consensus on climate change. The real casualties of the West’s green policies aren’t the poor in this country but in the developing world. Aid money that could be going to tackle malaria or to build a health infrastructure capable of containing ebola often goes to dubious green projects. Barack Obama has stopped US aid from helping build any new coal-fired power plants. This policy will literally kill people. --Tim Montgomerie, The Times, 18 October 2014

In a packed hall in Westminster this week, a respected former Conservative cabinet minister railed against his own government. Calling on the 300-strong Westminster crowd to “challenge current group think” and “stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement”, Paterson ended his speech by calling on his own government to “drop the 2050 target” and “repeal” the Climate Change Act. As political speeches go, this was a corker. From the back of the hall, I saw before me a speaker at the top of his game and an audience transfixed. It was passionate, old-school oratory, the likes of which seems rare in contemporary public life. --Liam Halligan, The Daily Telegraph, 18 October 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

Climate Change Lobby
‘Has African Blood On Its Hands’
Owen Paterson Says:
‘Wicked’ Green Blob Kills Thousands Every Day
The former Environment Secretary attacked a so-called ‘green blob’ at the heart of Government yesterday – accusing Whitehall officials and ministers of raising energy prices for the poor. Owen Paterson said their support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive. He said the ‘green blob’ included civil servants and quangos in thrall to the climate change and environmental lobby. Speaking to the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank, Mr. Paterson claimed the effects of climate change had been ‘consistently and widely exaggerated’, and policies to encourage onshore wind farms will cost £1.3trillion by 2050. --Daniel Martin, Daily Mail, 16 October 2014

Film stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio who campaign to reduce consumption of fossil fuels are consigning millions of Africans to a life of poverty and ill-health, according to Britain’s former environment secretary. Owen Paterson said the focus on climate change had obscured the real causes of deprivation in poor countries. His comments were made while delivering the annual lecture of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think-tank known for being sceptical of climate change [policy]. Mr Paterson said: “The sight of rich film stars effectively telling Africa’s poor that they should not have fossil fuels, but should continue to die at the rate of millions each year from the smoke of wood fires in their homes frankly disgusts me.” --Ben Webster, The Times, 16 October 2014

We must challenge the current groupthink and be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies. --Owen Paterson, 2014 Annual GWPF Lecture, London, 15 October 2015

As a member of the Cabinet for four years I supported Coalition energy policy. However I have become increasingly aware from my own constituency and from widespread travel around the UK of intense public dissatisfaction with heavily subsidized renewable technologies in particular onshore wind. I have used the last three months since leaving the Cabinet to learn more about the consequences of this policy. And what I have unearthed is alarming. Our current policy will cost £1,300bn up to 2050. It fails to meet the very emissions targets it is designed to meet. And it fails to provide the UK’s energy requirements. I call for a robust, common sense energy policy that would encourage the market to choose affordable technologies to reduce emissions. --Owen Paterson, 2014 Annual GWPF Lecture, London, 15 October 2015

Dozens of small nuclear reactors should be installed throughout the country near towns and cities if the UK wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the lights on, the former environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has said. “This is a well established technology,” he said in his first major speech since he was sacked in the summer Cabinet reshuffle. “We have nuclear plants in our submarines which are accepted.” The plan was among a set of energy measures Mr Paterson outlined on Wednesday in a lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which questions the cost of many climate change policies. --Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 16 October 2014

In its response to the 2014 Annual GWPF Lecture given last night by Owen Paterson, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has issued a statement to what Mr Paterson said. Unfortunately when it comes to Paterson’s claim that the earth’s surface temperature hasn’t risen in 18 years the CCC shows itself to be out of step with what has now become mainstream scientific opinion. Only campaigners, committees and some commentators use misleading phrases like ‘slowdown’ or ‘warming trend.’ In the peer-reviewed scientific literature, most scientists call it a temperature “hiatus” or “pause.” In fact, the global warming pause has become, as the journal Nature acknowledges, the biggest problem in climate science. It is a real problem that the CCC doesn’t think actually exists. --David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Forum, 16 October 2014

Six years ago today, an ambitious Labour politician, newly appointed climate change secretary, set Britain on a ruinous path that threatens our energy-dependent civilisation with collapse. Such is the devastating conclusion of Owen Paterson, the Tory former Environment Secretary, who yesterday joined Lord Lawson among the highest-profile critics of the political consensus on energy policy. Like this paper, he accepts emissions should be cut – though without ruining ourselves in a vain bid to meet EU targets. Indeed, Mr Paterson sets out alternative means of achieving cleaner energy more cheaply. At the very least, his ideas deserve full examination. --Editorial, Daily Mail, 16 October 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

From Pam Geller's Website: Atlas Shrugs

British Muslim Preacher Supports Islamic State Caliphate: We Can Start Having Slave Girls Again - Sex slavery is a religious right in Islam. Kidnapping and enslaving girls as sex slaves is sanctioned by the Quran in multiple places not one of the Muslim group’s condemnations of the abductions addresses that or explains how it is a misunderstanding of Islam. Neither do their clueless leftist apologists.

Dhimmi Mayor Tim Leavitt Caves to Terror Tied Hamas-CAIR, Smears War Hero General Boykin - The terrorist-tied Hamas group CAIR has been intimidating and bullying the Clark County 13th annual Mayor and Civic Leaders Prayer Breakfast to cancel their keynote speaker, war hero Lieutenant General William G. Boykin.  Kudos to the Clark County organizers for standing for what’s good and right, and refusing to submit to the sharia and rebuffing the thugs and goons over at the foreign agents at Hamas-CAIR.  But quisling Mayor Tim Leavitt has decided to boycott the Clark County 13th annual Mayors’ & Civic Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast to be held October 17, in submission to Islamic supremacist demands. Leavitt defines the term useful idiot.  But General Boykin deserves our gratitude and respect. Does Mayor Leavitt?

Houston Mayor Forces Imams to Turn Over Sermons on Jihad …uh, no wait - Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, has issued subpoenas requiring a group of pastors to turn over all of their sermons dealing with homosexuality or Parker for scrutiny.  The totalitarianism of the left made plain.  And what about the death penalty for gays under Islam?  But this begs the question: why aren’t our elected officials demanding imams turn over their sermons, texts and teachings on jihad and sharia?

Watch VIDEO: Texas Muslim Pledges Allegiance to the Islamic State in Front of Cop - But no worries, the Houston Mayor Annise Parker has issued subpoenas requiring pastors to turn over all of their sermons dealing with homosexuality or Parker for scrutiny. Houston Muslim Baghdadi describes himself as an Islamic Chaliphate [sic] State Fact Reporter..

Sweden borrows 10,000,000 kroner per hour to finance Muslim immigration - The concept of immigration jihad goes all the way back to Muhammad. Al-Hijrah (immigration) as a means of supplanting the native population and reaching the position of power is a tenet of Islamic imperialism. The concept of Muslim immigration began with Islam’s prophet. Soon after Muhammad arrived to Yathrib (Medina) together with his close friend and father of his wife Aisha, Abu Bakr, they were joined by a ring of other friends and followers, known in Islamic history as Companions. They formed in Medina the first body of Muslim immigrants in history and very soon changed the face of Medina, making it the city of the victorious Islam. Immigration transformed Muslims from weak and scattered groups of individuals loyal to their...

Denmark: Man threatened with beheading for support our troops sticker - Muslims in Europe, the UK, US Australia, etc., oppose any counter defense against the jihad — whether it’s in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. They expect us to go down like sheep ( or should I say “apes and pigs”). Nonetheless, the aggression and hostility towards our military(s) will increase as the global jihad succeeds and the Islamic State conquers the Middle East.