Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ban the Big Mac

This is London reported Prince Charles today said banning McDonald's fast food was the key to a healthy lifestyle.

You can get just as obese eating at Wimpy's, Chuck.
His comments came as he attended the launch of a public health awareness campaign. Charles, a strong advocate of organic food, was touring the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi with the Duchess of Cornwall. He asked nutritionist Nadine Tayara: "Have you got anywhere with McDonald's, have you tried getting it banned?
Does McDonalds have halal burgers?
That's the key."


For Want of a Dentist

WaPo reported Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday. A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him. If his mother had been insured. If his family had not lost its Medicaid. If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find. If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

This sounds terrible, and is clearly an attempt by WaPo to push for universal medical care, including dental care, but let us look at the rest of the article and see the discrepancies in it.
By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died. Deamonte's death and the ultimate cost of his care, which could total more than $250,000, underscore an often-overlooked concern in the debate over universal health coverage: dental care. Some poor children have no dental coverage at all. Others travel three hours to find a dentist willing to take Medicaid patients and accept the incumbent paperwork..... About 900 of the state's 5,500 dentists accept Medicaid patients,
If 900 of the state's 5,500 dentists accept Medicaid, then that is almost 20%. If someone has to travel three hours to find a Medicaid dentist, how far do they have to travel to find any dentist? Perhaps they just live way in the boonies without any dentists available.
said Arthur Fridley, last year's president of the Maryland State Dental Association. Referring patients to specialists can be particularly difficult..... When Deamonte got sick, his mother had not realized that his tooth had been bothering him.
So even if he had had dental care, she would not have taken him because she did not know it was hurting.
Instead, she was focusing on his younger brother, 10-year-old DaShawn, who "complains about his teeth all the time," she said.
Help the child that complains, and ignore the one in pain that is not complaining.
... By September, several of DaShawn's teeth had become abscessed. Driver began making calls about the boy's coverage but grew frustrated.... On Oct. 5, DaShawn saw Arthur Fridley, who cleaned the boy's teeth, took an X-ray and referred him to an oral surgeon.
I have had teeth pulled and even root canal work done, but by my normal dentist.
But the surgeon could not see him until Nov. 21, and that would be only for a consultation. Driver said she learned that DaShawn would need six teeth extracted and made an appointment for the earliest date available: Jan. 16.

But she had to cancel after learning Jan. 8 that the children had lost their Medicaid coverage a month earlier. She suspects that the paperwork to confirm their eligibility was mailed to the shelter in Adelphi, where they no longer live.
Is it the government's fault that she moved and failed to leave a change of address or notify the government where she now lived?


Nicer term for illegals

The News-Press reported A state legislator whose district is home to thousands of Caribbean immigrants wants to ban the term "illegal alien" from the state's official documents.

Do we have a lot of people from Caribbean nations sneaking into the US?
"I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals, especially to children," said Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami. "An alien to me is someone from out of space."
Have you seen one? Been abducted by one? Had one perform strange procedures on you?
She has introduced a bill providing that: "A state agency or official may not use the term 'illegal alien' in an official document of the state." There would be no penalty for using the words.
Then why forbid them from using it?
In Miami-Dade County, Wilson said, "we don't say 'alien,' we say 'immigrant.'"
But do you say ILLEGAL immigrant?
She said she encountered the situation when trying to pass a bill allowing children of foreigners to get in-state tuition at colleges and universities. Wilson, who directs a dropout prevention and education program in Miami, said she politely asks witnesses at public hearings on such issues not to use the term.
Don't try to pass such legislation. Why should an illegal alien / immigrant / whatever get instate tuition, when a legal resident of one of the 49 other states in the US has to pay more?
"There are students in our schools whose parents are trying to become citizens and we shouldn't label them," she said. "They are immigrants, through no fault of their own, not aliens."
If they are legal immigrants, let them first become citizens, then qualify for in state residence.
Wilson said the first word isn't as bad as the second. "'Illegal,' I can live with, but I like 'undocumented' better," she said.
Whatever you call them, don't give them special status over US citizens.
Asked if her bill (SB 2154) might run afoul of Gov. Charlie Crist's "plain speaking" mandate for government agencies, Wilson said, "I think getting rid of 'alien' would be plain speaking."


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Real Time w/Bill Maher

Bill Maher said "Islam was extreme to begin with. Muhammad was a warrior"


More polio cases if resistance continues

Daily Times (Pakistan) reported The clerics, including Tehreek Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) leader Maulana Fazlullah and his supporters in the Malakand Agency, have been ‘warning’ people during sermons in mosques or through illegal FM radio stations not to administer polio drops to their children since it was against religious norms and brought infertility.

No evidence of that, but they just oppose the immunization which came from the West.
Maulana Fazlullah is the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, ex-chief of the TNSM. To complete the polio immunisation drive, the WHO and the Ministry of Health are contemplating enlisting the help of the district/tehsil and union council nazims, political and religious leaders, public representatives and tribal elders, sources said.

Some religious leaders in the Bajaur and Malakand agencies are telling the people not to get their children vaccinated since the practice is un-Islamic, and that those that die of polio would be considered martyrs.
And those that don't die of it, but are just paralized, will lead very painful lives.
.... “Some Taliban-backed clerics in the Bajaur Agency say they are opposing the anti-polio campaign to protest against the government over the US bombing in the tribal region,” an official of the WHO said.
So they put their children at risk as a protest.


Congress’s spring forward presents a Y2K problem

The Hill reported

Congress is confronting a Y2K-like mess of its own making, two years after voting to start daylight-saving time (DST) three weeks early — the change goes into effect March 11 and Hill staffers are scrambling.
Everytime Congress messes with stuff it causes other problems. They are worried about their own problems this creates, but what about the rest of us.
Congressional technology officials are hurriedly reprogramming computers, cell phones, landlines and BlackBerrys to spring forward one hour on March 11 and fall back on Nov. 4.
Have you downloaded the latest fixes for your computer (if you let Windows update itself it should have already applied them).
“People were not aware of the implications this would have as much as they were aware of Y2K,” the director of technology on the House Administration Committee, Sterling Spriggs, said, referring to fears that computers would be unable to read dates containing the year 2000. DST’s early start won’t shut down computer systems, but it could lead to scheduling headaches.
At least it won't cause a plane to possibly crash, like this problem with the Lockheed's F-22 Raptor


Monday, February 26, 2007

House's travel rules

USAToday reported Lawmakers have continued to take trips paid for by outside groups since the House voted last month to restrict who can pay for such travel. House travel records show that 19 members since Jan. 5 have accepted airfare, meals and lodging from special interests, including groups that employ lobbyists. The records were compiled by the non-partisan PoliticalMoneyLine. The trips demonstrate that lawmakers "are trying to see what they are going to get away with," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the liberal-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

They think the new rules they passed were just for show, and they were not meant to really be followed.
.... Brendan Daly, spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the effective date of the travel rule was postponed to give the House ethics committee time to devise new guidelines.
But they did not mention that when they were crowing about passing the new rules.


Nation of Islam at a Crossroad as Leader Exits

NYT reported Nation members dismiss the notion that the organization’s viability is linked to one man. But academic experts and Muslim leaders say they believe that without Mr. Farrakhan’s leadership, the Nation — which has been divided over its teachings in the past — will shrink even more dramatically unless it shifts toward mainstream Islam’s beliefs.

Which is unlikely.
The 77-year-old Nation of Islam once enjoyed a near monopoly over interpreting Islam for black Americans, using the faith as a vehicle to promote black separatism.
Twisting the faith to accomplish their own black separist views.
But it now competes with sects that branched away, and with groups ascribing to the more traditional and inclusive Islam followed by millions of Muslim immigrants and their offspring.... “In the final analysis they have no option but to move in the direction we are or to just dissipate or disappear,” Mr. Siddeeq said.
Disappearing is the better choice.
“This community is going to reconcile itself to pure Islam and reconcile itself to being American citizens who are part of a multicultural society.”
What do you mean by "and". Those are mutually exclusive terms: "pure Islam" and "part of a multicultural society"
He echoes many others in arguing that the Nation should abandon some of its teachings. The Nation holds, among other teachings, that the group’s founder, W. Fard Muhammad, was the Mahdi, or savior, sent by God to Detroit around 1930 and that spaceships hovering above the earth will eventually play a major role in smiting sinners and rescuing the righteous.
“Those are ideas for kindergarten, a trip to Oz,” Mr. Siddeeq said. “Those are not ideas for people living in the real world.”.... “Sunni and Shiite lived together, Christian and Jews lived together in Iraq, you didn’t hear none of this stuff before America came in,” Mr. Farrakhan said.
No, before America deposed Saddam, he ran the country like a strongman, and his minority Sunnis oppressed the majority Shiites.
“There was no bombing of Shiite holy places. You don’t need to look at Shiite and Sunni, you need to look at those who came in. After they came in all hell broke loose.”.... “We could not continue on this Black supremacist line and be Muslims, be part of the world community of Islam,” said Imam Faheem Shuaibe of the Masjidul Waritheen in Oakland, Calif. “When you say Muhammad is the messenger of God, but you mean Elijah Muhammad, it doesn’t work.”
That is what you get when you twist a religion to your own objectives, just as in the 7th centruy when Muhammad twisted Judiasm and Christianity to try to lure them into accepting his new faith which had Arabs as supreme.
.... Many immigrant Muslims question whether Nation members should be called Muslims. Even the followers of Warith Deen Mohammed are criticized by some for giving more weight to his pronouncements than to the holy texts. “They still haven’t reached the point where there is no color,” said Yassir Chadly, an imam based in Oakland, who immigrated from Morocco 30 years ago. “Islam is universal; it can’t be cut into little sections.”
Their whole goal was black supremicy.
Such statements make followers of the Nation bristle. “We are not imitators of Arab culture; that would put us in an inferior position and make them our superiors,” said Muhammad Muhammad, a 40-year-old adherent from Oklahoma City.
And for a Black Supremist group like the Nation of Islam, they certainly did not want to embrace true Islam, which made the Arabs supreme.


2-Year Study of Polar Changes Set to Begin

NYT reported Scientists from more than 60 countries are preparing to fan out around the North and South Poles in an ambitious two-year effort to understand the vital, shifting dynamics of ice, oceans and life at the ends of the earth.

The study is just starting. I wonder if they have already decided what it will discover (to keep the Global Warming fanatics happy)
With a budget of about $350 million spread over more than 120 projects, researchers will camp on drifting Arctic Ocean sea ice and trek to largely uncharted Antarctic mountains.


Thais Struggle With Violent Insurgency

NYT reported Some are already calling it war, a brutal Muslim separatist insurgency in southern Thailand that has taken as many as 2,000 lives in three years with almost daily bombings, drive-by shootings, arson and beheadings. It is a conflict the government admits it is losing. A harsh crackdown and martial law in recent years seem only to have fueled the insurgency by generating fear and anger and undermining moderate Muslim voices. A new policy of conciliation in the past four months has been met by increased violence, including a barrage of 28 coordinated bombings in the south that killed or wounded about 60 people on Feb. 18.

Well the moderate Muslim voices angered at the crackdown and martial law now see what a policy of conciliation does. Conciliation is seen as a sign of weakness by these savages, and they just attack harder. You need to face them with overwhelming force.


Town’s Elders Plead for Help With Taliban

NYT reported Taliban fighters who seized control of a remote town in southern Afghanistan three weeks ago have started a campaign of arrests and reprisals against tribal elders and townspeople, according to tribal elders. The elders called on NATO forces and the government to move against the insurgents, even if it means bombing the town.

Things must be bad, if people are asking for their own town to be bombed.
Five elders from the town, Musa Qala, including a member of its tribal council, traveled to Kabul this week to plead for help, expressing bitterness that neither Afghan forces nor NATO troops responded when Taliban forces overran the town on Feb. 2.
That is what you get when you make a deal asking for Nato to withdraw.
In October, in a controversial deal brokered by the town’s 50-member tribal council, both British NATO troops and the Taliban withdrew, and the town enjoyed three months of calm. But the Taliban remained at large in the district, and when NATO forces killed eight of their members in an airstrike last month, their leader seized control of the town, putting elders who did not flee under house arrest and issuing death threats.
Did the deal say they would not bomb outside of the town?
Hundreds of families fled, anticipating NATO bombing. NATO airstrikes have continued in the region and have killed several local insurgent leaders, but the elders said that had made the situation harder for the townspeople. “Mullah Ghafoor was killed in an airstrike, and the Taliban started to blame the elders and people for spying for NATO troops,” said the main spokesman for the group that came to Kabul, identifying one insurgent leader. Another leader, Mullah Manan, was killed, and the house where his body was taken was bombed, he said.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

3 Gulf states agree to IAF overflights en route to Iran

Haaretz reported Three Arab states in the Persian Gulf would be willing to allow the Israel Air force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported on Sunday.

I wonder if that is making Iran think twice about stiffing the UN on their Nuclear Program.
According to the report, a diplomat from one of the gulf states visiting Washington on Saturday said the three states, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have told the United States that they would not object to Israel using their airspace, despite their fear of an Iranian response. Al-Siyasa further reported that NATO leaders are urging Turkey to open its airspace for an Attack on Iran as well and to also open its airports and borders in case of a ground attack.


Israeli ambush kills Islamic Jihad leader

Daily Telegraph reported Israeli special forces dressed as Palestinians killed the leader of Islamic Jihad's armed wing in the northern West Bank city of Jenin today, medical and military sources said.

Good. This is the thing that ticks the terrorist groups off the most. If Israel just bombs or shoots rockets in more "innocent civilians" will be hurt, but a targeted killing of their leaders makes the leaders of the other groups very worried, realizing they may be next. Maybe they should just make peace with Israel.
Mahmud Qassem Abu Obeid, 25, was shot dead by troops who ambushed his car at a roundabout in Jenin and sprayed the vehicle with gunfire, witnesses added.


Muslims: 'ban' Un-Islamic Schools

Daily Express Demands for a ban on “un-Islamic” activities in schools will be set out by the Muslim Council of Britain today.

Less that 3% of the students are Muslims, yet the MCB wants these rules to apply to everyone.
Targets include playground games, swimming lessons, school plays, parents’ evenings and even vaccinations. And the calls for all children to be taught in Taliban-style conditions will be launched with the help of a senior Government education adviser.
I bet that will go over big.
Professor Tim Brighouse, chief adviser to London schools, was due to attend the event at the capital’s biggest mosque. His presence there was seen as “deeply worrying”, and a sign that the report was backed by the Government.
Wonder what it takes to fire Brighouse.
Tory MP Greg Hands said: “The MCB needs to realise it has to move closer to the rest of the community, not away from it.
They are in Britain, Britain is not (at least not yet) an Islamic country.
“The presence of Tim Brighouse implies Government back­ing of this report. This is very worrying.” Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society said the report was a “recipe for disaster”. He added: “Schools with even just a handful of Muslim kids will find they have to follow these guidelines because there aren’t the staff to have one set of classes for Muslims and another for the rest.
Kick the Muslim students out and bus them to another school.
“The MCB shouldn’t try to force its religious agenda on children who may not want it. The Government needs to send the MCB packing. Schools should be about teaching, not preaching.”
I agree.
The report, Towards Greater Understanding – Meeting The Needs of Muslim Pupils In State Schools, says all schools should bring in effective bans for all pupils on “un-Islamic activities” like dance classes.
They are not saying exempt the <3% muslim students from the classes; they are saying dont have the classes at all. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.
It also wants to limit certain activities during Ramadan. They include science lessons dealing with sex, parents’ evenings, exams and immunisation programmes. The holy month – when eating and drinking is not allowed in daylight hours – should also see a ban on swimming lessons in case pupils swallow water in the pool. When swimming is allowed, boys should wear clothing covering their bodies “from the navel to the neck”, even during single-sex pool sessions, while girls must be covered up completely at all times, apart from the face and hands.
And this is not just muslim students, they want all students to dress like muslims.
The MCB adds that schools should ensure contact sports, including football and basketball, “are always in single-gender groups”. Even school trips are targeted in the report, which wants them all to be made single-sex “to encourage greater participation from Muslim pupils”.
The school is not saying muslims cant attend.
It wants Arabic language classes for Muslim pupils, and says the Koran should be recited in music classes. And all schools should ensure they have prayer rooms with washing facilities attached, it says. In art classes, Muslim children should not be allowed to draw people, as this is forbidden under some interpretations of Islamic law.
Teach them that in the Mosques.
And while the MCB insists that all British children should learn about Islam, it wants Muslims to have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons dealing with Christianity and other faiths.
No! No! Absolutely No!
The MCB says special treatment and opt-outs are necessary because otherwise Muslim pupils will feel excluded from school activities and lessons.
They will not feel excluded if they opt out?????