Water is a huge issue out here in the semi arid west. Going back to the settlement days, range wars were fought over water and water access. Today, there is a large battle going on in Utah over access to streams and rivers.
Water is life, and access to clean water is one of those issues that can unit people from Zimbabwe to the Antarctic. Which is why you see stories like this in papers out here in the west.
Today, the hottest and thirstiest parts of the United States are best described as over-forested. Vigorous federal protection has stocked semiarid regions of public land with several billion trees too many. And day after day these excess trees deplete a natural resource that has become far more precious than toilet paper or 2-by-4's: water.
Scientists and water managers report that 39 states face water scarcity. Much of the nation's freshwater shortfall comes from our population growth, waste, hunger and contaminants. But we must also now implicate the escalating thirst of unnatural forests.
Water depletion from afforestation — the establishment of trees or tree stands where none previously were — is the unintended consequence of a wildly popular federal policy.
Yes Virginia, there is such a thing as OVER-planting and we are seeing the consequences of that "wildly popular" policy. It should also be noted that the policy was most popular in states where the policy was not being implemented. I remember Arbor Day drives when I was a school aged child back in Illinois, where we were encouraged to raise money to buy trees to plant - OUT WEST. No, don't worry about planting trees at home, no - send them somewhere else so that THEY can deal with the consequences.
For millenniums, fires set by lightning or Native Americans limited forest stocks to roughly a few dozen trees per acre. All that changed after the nationally terrifying Big Blowup wildfires of 1910, which led the United States to in effect declare war on wildfire. The government's wartime-like tactics included security watchtowers, propaganda, aerial bombing and color-coded threat alerts. Uncle Sam trained elite Hotshot and Smokejumper crews to snuff out enemy flames. Congress annually funded the war effort with an emergency blank check, now $2.5 billion.
We have raised a psychotic generation of people who worship nature and "Mother Earth" and yet when it comes to natures manner of maintaining balance, they are the first to rush to stop nature from running it's course.
As closing arguments were made in the Kermit Gosnell trial yesterday, pro-life group Live Action Network release a pair of undercover videos showing that, when it comes to performing risky, illegal late term abortions, he's not the ONLY bad apple. The first of the two videos shows the abortion counselor nervously laughing as she describes how the baby is "fully grown" at 6 months and how they pull it out "in pieces" and that if the baby does come out alive and moving the solution that they put it in will make it stop moving. The counselor finally said (in response to a question about whether she would have to take a baby that survived the abortion) "No. That is so illegal! Once was start this, we have to finish it.” That is not a true statement (see the next paragraph).
The second video shows a "doctor" advising a patient that (at 24 weeks) it is too early for the baby to survive (not true by the way) and that if it did it would "expire shortly after birth" thereby acknowledging that the baby IS INDEED born. He also says "it's all in how vigorously you do things to help the fetus survive", he then goes on to admit that his clinic would not do anything to help. That is a violation of the Federal Infants Born Alive Protection act (bet you didn't know we had one of those did you?) Here is what this "doctor" had to say when pressed on the possibility of the infant surviving the abortion process.
When asked by the undercover investigator what would happen if the baby were to survive the abortion, Doctor Santangelo responds:
“Technically – you know, legally we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point. Let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here, you know? Then we would do things – we would – we would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate. It would be, you know, uh, a person, a terminal person in the hospital, let’s say, that had cancer, you know? You wouldn’t do any extra procedures to help that person survive. Like ‘do not resuscitate’ orders. We would do the same things here.”
Emphasis mine. The mind blowing part is when he says that it's like a "Do Not Resuscitate" order that a terminally ill patient CHOOSES to sign. The now born infant does not have the ability to CHOOSE to sign a DNR. They have no choice in this matter at all. To try to imply that it is like a DNR is preposterous!
So what lessons can we take from Philadelphia and the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. There are several. First (as Jonah Goldberg summarizes) is that media bias is a reality.
My fellow Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers wrote a USA Today column last week shaming the media for not covering the Gosnell case enough or, in many cases, at all. She got results. Suddenly everyone was talking about it. Though a dismaying amount of the coverage is about why there was a lack of coverage.
It’s an important issue, of course. But it’s not a complicated one. It seems obvious that most mainstream outlets are run and staffed by pro-choice liberals. But whatever the motivation, The Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger is surely correct when she says the mainstream media are generally locked into a single narrative about abortion: “reproductive rights under siege.”
Ironically, the same factors that might have discouraged the mainstream media from covering the story in the first place now give them an incentive to turn it into a story about the media. CBS News, for instance, broke its broadcast boycott of the trial by running a piece on the political firestorm over the lack of coverage.
Secondly, he points out that a lack of oversight needs to be corrected.
If anything good can be said to have come out of the whole Kermit Gosnell horror story, it is this....this story skewered a whole lot of abortion myths. What myths? I'm glad you asked....
Myth #1 - babies don't survive the abortion procedure.
A 2002 article in The Journal of Clinical Nursing seems to indicate that nurses encounter babies born alive after abortions with some frequency. According to the article:
In the case of late termination, the death of the fetus before delivery, though usual, is not inevitable except in rare cases of extreme physical abnormality[.] … At times the fetus will actually attempt to breathe or move its limbs, which makes the experience extremely distressing for nurses. Also, whereas the woman will probably go through this process once in her lifetime, nurses may go through it several times a year or even in the same week. (1)
The article quotes author and lecturer Annette D. Huntington, BN, Ph.D. saying that abortion live births are a “regular occurrence.”
Testimony in the Gosnell case showed that time and time again, infants survived the abortion process.
A new study of the medical records for nearly half a million women in Denmark reveals significantly higher maternal death rates following abortion compared to delivery. This finding has confirmed similar large-scale population studies conducted in Finland and the United States, but contradicts the widely held belief that abortion is safer than childbirth...
As I indicated in my initial post on the subject yesterday, unless you were actively looking for it online, finding national coverage on the Kermit Gosnell trial has been difficult to find. You had to go to local Philadelphia outlets, or foreign outlets (the Daily Mail has covered the trial in all it's gruesome detail) or to conservative leaning websites like Life News or Hot Air for anything about the trial. This black out was intentional.
In a HuffPost Live segment today on the issue, host Marc Lamont Hill admitted what many pro-life advocates have been thinking:
“For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.”
Inspired by Kirsten Powers’ USA Today column yesterday, I decided to start asking journalists about their personal involvement in the Gosnell cover-up.
I wonder how are friends in the gun control lobby will try to bury THIS in their post-Newtown rush to grab the guns of law abiding citizens.
The Boston Marathon bombings appear to have been driven by the older of the two suspects, according to CBS News...
...Tsarnaev is communicating with authorities in writing. According to CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, he can say about one word at a time. Investigators went through public safety questions with him and tried to find out if he is part of a group.
“His account so far is that this was driven by his brother. It was mostly done online in terms of radicalization, finding instructions, and so on and so forth and there’s no international terrorism organization or Mr. Big behind it,” Miller said Tuesday....
...“The original question is they walked up to that car and appeared they shot the officer in the head unprovoked, that it was an assassination. But why? How did that fit into their plan? The operating theory now in the investigation is they were short one gun. The older brother had a gun. They wanted to get a gun for the younger brother and the fastest and most efficient way they could think of doing it was a surprise attack on a cop, to take his weapon and go.
Emphasis mine. No gun show "loophole"...no private sale....just murdering a cop in order to get his gun. How are you going to prevent that? Murder is already illegal.....as is robbery....no new law would prevent someone hell bent on committing a crime from breaking the law, so the question remains for our gun grabbing friends on the left....
How are you going to stop someone from murdering a cop for his/her weapon?
The raison d'etre of abortion and abortion rights was safety. We have to make abortion legal so that it will be safe...If we do away with the back alley abortions, it will save lives...the abortion acolytes would tut. The problem that the Kermit Gosnell trial brings for them is the FACT that abortions are no safer today than they were 60 years ago when my now deceased mother did her nurses training at a Catholic charity hospital in Springfield Missouri.
The Grand Jury report is littered with examples - from unlicensed people (including the 15 year old daughter of one of his employees) performing medical procedures to unsanitary equipment being used in surgical procedures. But the most damning thing to come out in the trial is that, in spite of repeated reports of unsafe practices at the Gosnell "Clinic", Philadelphia regulators who are charged with looking out for the safety of their residents, did NOTHING to close him down.
Kareema Cross worked for Kermit Gosnell for a harrowing four years helping with abortion procedures amid conditions so bad that she snapped photos to document them in 2008 — a year before the death of Karnamaya Mongar — then reported her boss to the authorities under a fictitious name.
But no one listened.
Emphasis mine. Conor Friedersdorf quotes the Grand Jury report in his Atlantic column...
On February 18, 2010, the FBI raided the "Women's Medical Society," entering its offices about 8:30 p.m. Agents expected to find evidence that it was illegally selling prescription drugs. On entering, they quickly realized something else was amiss. In the grand jury report's telling, "There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets. All the women had been sedated by unlicensed staff." Authorities had also learned about the patient that died at the facility several months prior.
This is the first of MANY posts on the Kermit Gosnell trial. For those of you who rely on the liberal media for your news, let me bring you up to speed. Kermit Gosnell is an abortionist on trial for murder in Philadelphia. He is facing 5 (it was 8 but 3 charges were recently dropped) charges of murder. If you don't know about the story - you're not the only one.
Until Thursday, I wasn't aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media, and while it's been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Kermit Gosnell, I would've been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. Then I saw Kirsten Power's USA Today column. She makes a powerful, persuasive case that the Gosnell trial ought to be getting a lot more attention in the national press than it is getting.
The afore-mentioned Kirsten Powers column lays out some of the more gruesome aspects of the story.
Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about these sickening accusations?
It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell's former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.
The testimony of Gosnell's employees has been damning at best. Whether it is testimony that one of the infant victims "screamed" when Gosnell cut it's spine....
Only the media and our friends on the left (redundant I know) to find this out.....
Cambridge, Mass., police told Reuters they had not issued a gun license to 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after the firefight. The police departments in both Cambridge and Dartmouth said they didn’t issue 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a firearms identification card, which would’ve allowed him to own rifles holding less than 10 rounds and shotguns. Dzhokhar, who is under 21, wasn’t eligible for a regular handgun license.
In Massachusetts, local police departments issue handgun licenses to residents and have wide sway over when to issue licenses and whom to issue them to.
But...but....but.....you mean tough gun laws don't stop criminals from committing gun crime??????? But that can't beeeeeeeee..........
Even more shocking to our friends on the left?
The 19-year-old charged with the Boston Marathon bombing, his throat injured by a gunshot wound, wrote down answers to the questions of investigators about his motives and connections to any terror networks.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's answers led them to believe he and his brother were motivated by a radical brand of Islam
I suppose now the AP is racist for bringing that up? Because heaven knows when it was brought up last week, anyone bringing it up was accused of being a racist....never mind the FACT that Islam is a RELIGION, not a RACE.
As I was reading these reports, I could only think of one thing.....PAGING CAPTAIN LOUIS RENAULT.....
UPDATE: Logical Lady Carol Platt Liebau is spot on with this.
I thought a rigorous system for regulating gun permits was supposed to prevent gun violence (that's what Massachusetts state officials insisted upon passing the nation's toughest gun laws back in 1998).
It's almost as if the Tsarnaev brothers -- terrorists, murderers, carjackers -- had no respect for the (gun) laws . . .
A bit of logic our friends on the left just do not seem to comprehend.
Well my very busy life has kept me very busy....to busy to blog. While things have not really slowed down much (if at all) I had to do this post - in honor of Earth Day today.
I found this column early last month - right when things got crazy busy.
The Republican right has been clinging to moral standards on abortion and same-sex marriage (ahem, Dave Agema) out of touch with mainstream America — oblivious of the damage done to their party's image. Meanwhile, Obama and the Democratic left have been systematically imposing a new, green order on America — oblivious of its impact on economically pinched, working families.
The president's latest directive came last week, when the EPA announced a new gasoline sulfur mandate — so-called "Tier 3 standards" — to combat ozone that could increase the already high cost of gas by 9 cents with no measurable environmental benefits.
Now we already know that what this President can't do legislatively, he will gladly do via executive fiat. To hell with the Constitution. This is nothing new. What is new?
Yeah we have em....and here in Utah. I preface this post by saying that I am an ex-smoker and was hard core about not letting anyone smoke in the house when the Junior Logician was growing up.
The Nannies in the Utah Senate have done it. They passed a bill that would take away the property rights of people engaging in a LEGAL activity. I refer to HB13 - the bill that makes smoking in your personal vehicle illegal if there are children in the car. Senate sponsor (and Patrick Henry Caucus SECRETARY) Aaron Osmond said of the bill...
Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, said HB13 put the health of a child ahead of the personal property rights of a parent.
Hey Senator Osmond - question for ya....suppose that someone uses that argument to ban parents from their 2nd Amendment rights to own a gun? Would you be all for it then? Somehow, I suspect not.
Have we really become a nation of people paralyzed with fright? If you take a look at what has recently happened in some of our schools you might think so.
First comes this story out of Maryland.
Children at Park Elementary School went home with a letter today explaining there was a disruption in school. Seven year old Josh Welch, and his father, say the disruption lead to a two day suspension for the second grader in Brooklyn Park. Academics are hard for Josh, who suffers from ADHD, but he excels in art class. It is Josh's own creativity that may have gotten him into trouble. At Park Elementary school, Josh was enjoying his breakfast pastry when he decided to try and shape it into a mountain. Josh said, "It was already a rectangle and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top and it kinda looked like a gun but it wasn't."
A 7 year old was SUSPENDED for eating a breakfast pastry in the wrong way (which is essentially what happened - if he had not eaten it down the long side and then down the middle....)
During his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama went to one of the usual tropes of liberalism by promising to spend - pardon me INVEST more money in "universal" pre-k programs. My friend Ed Morrissey wrote (over the weekend) about a criticism that came from a rather unexpected source.
Barack Obama promised to expand government spending on pre-kindergarten education to make it “universal,” a proposal certain to warm the hearts of middle Americans. After all, who doesn’t want to help our children get ahead? However, that prompts two questions — will it actually help, and could we take more effective and less costly action elsewhere? USA Today addressed the first question yesterday, and argued that the real danger to toddlers isn’t a lack of pre-K education; it’s broken families:
Children are most likely to succeed in school when pushed by parents who provide stability, help with schooling, and instill an education and work ethic. But for decades now, the American family has been breaking down.
Two-fifths of children born in the USA are born to unmarried mothers, an eightfold increase since 1960. Many succeed thanks to the heroic efforts of strong, motivated single parents and other relatives. But research shows that children of single parents suffer disproportionately high poverty rates, impaired development and low performance in school.
The long of "unexpected" (by liberals and the media - pardon the redundancy) adverse effects of the ACA has been revealed.
Here's a trend you'll be reading more about: part-time "job sharing," not only within firms but across different businesses.
It's already happening across the country at fast-food restaurants, as employers try to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases we've heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King or Wendy's to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts.
Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare. The law requires firms with 50 or more "full-time equivalent workers" to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says "equivalent" because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don't offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well.
How does this help low income workers Mr. President?
A 2011 Hudson Institute study estimates that this insurance mandate will cost the franchise industry $6.4 billion and put 3.2 million jobs "at risk." The insurance mandate is so onerous for small firms that Stephen Caldeira, president of the International Franchise Association, predicts that "Many stores will have to cut worker hours out of necessity. It could be the difference between staying in business or going out of business." The franchise association says the average fast-food restaurant has profits of only about $50,000 to $100,000 and a margin of about 3.5%.
...get ready to loose it. Gallup reports what has happened since Congress rammed ObamaCare down our throats in 2010.
Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan -- Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans' benefits -- with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
Now a lot of that can be traced to the increases in unemployment that have happened since 2008, but as I have showed in recent posts, there are a lot of employers who have cut their health care benefits provided to employees.
I'm so glad that the President promised us we could keep our insurance.......
UPDATE: Another way employers are cutting back thanks to the ACA...
By denying coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums, but also the new fees that went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This year, companies have to pay $1 or $2 “per life” covered on their plans, a sum that jumps to $65 in 2014. And health law guidelines proposed recently mandate coverage of employees’ dependent children (up to age 26), but husbands and wives are optional. “The question about whether it’s obligatory to cover the family of the employee is being thought through more than ever before,” says Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health.
While surcharges for spousal coverage are more common, last year, 6% of large employers excluded spouses, up from 5% in 2010, as did 4% of huge companies with at least 20,000 employees, twice as many as in 2010, according to human resources firm Mercer. These “spousal carve-outs,” or “working spouse provisions,” generally prohibit only people who could get coverage through their own job from enrolling in their spouse’s plan.
In our case, an exemption like that would double our out of pocket and reduce what I get in coverage. My husband's company has a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that is considered "Cadillac" under the ACA and my employer has a bare bones policy that costs more. I know we would not be the only ones in this boat.
But LL - how do you know this is due to the ACA? You can't prove it...
Such exclusions barely existed three years ago, but experts expect an increasing number of employers to adopt them: “That’s the next step,” Darling says. HMS, a company that audits plans for employers, estimates that nearly a third of companies might have such policies now. Holdouts say they feel under pressure to follow suit. “We’re the last domino,” says Duke Bennett, mayor of Terre Haute, Ind., which is instituting a spousal carve-out for the city’s health plan, effective July 2013, after nearly all major employers in the area dropped spouses.
Emphasis mine. And what happened in that 3 years? Oh yeah - the Affordable Care Act was rammed down our throats. Thanks so much, Democrats, for making health care more affordable for everyone....
The New York Times brings up yet another failure of the Affordable Care Act.
Federal and state officials and consumer advocates have grown worried that companies with relatively young, healthy employees may opt out of the regular health insurance market to avoid the minimum coverage standards in President Obama’s sweeping law, a move that could drive up costs for workers at other companies.
And drive up costs paid by the already struggling PCIP program and state exchanges....but hey - the President promised to suspend reality right?
Companies can avoid many standards in the new law by insuring their own employees, rather than signing up with commercial insurers, because Congress did not want to disrupt self-insurance arrangements that were seen as working well for many large employers.
“The new health care law created powerful incentives for smaller employers to self-insure,” said Deborah J. Chollet, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research who has been studying the insurance industry for more than 25 years. “This trend could destabilize small-group insurance markets and erode protections provided by the Affordable Care Act.”
It is not clear how many companies have already self-insured in response to the law or are planning to do so. Federal and state officials do not keep comprehensive statistics on the practice.
- More Surprising ACA Consequences
- Political Grandstanding 101
- Those Who Don't Learn From History
- Just The Facts
- Another "Unexpected" ACA Set Back
- The Big Con
- And Yet Again...
- It's For The Children....
- Use Your Brain
- Never Mind
- Closing the Achievement Gap
- A Taxing Lie
- An Unexpected Defender