Saturday, October 13, 2007

3 yer old bride

The Sun reported Little Sunam is among the 16 per cent of Afghan children married before they reach 15. Her dad Parvez promised Sunam to her seven-year-old cousin Nieem. It was a gift to the lad’s mum, Parvez’s sister, who wanted a daughter.

The children, from Kabul, will probably marry when they are 14 or 15. Their aunt Najiba says the match is “unbreakable” and they will not be able to divorce under tribe traditions. The minimum legal age of marriage in Afghanistan is 16 for girls and 18 for boys. But many wed earlier, as a bride can fetch twice the average yearly salary for her family.

Is this legal in Islam. Yes. Muhammad married Aisha at age 6, and consumated the marriage when she was 9.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore and Nobel Prize

Bloomberg reported Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and a United Nations panel on the environment won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness about the threat of climate change. Gore, 59, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were honored for ``their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change,
Whether true or not
and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change,'' said Ole Danbolt Mjoes, director of the Oslo-based Nobel Committee that picks the winner.
The same day we hear of this award we learn U.K. Judge Rules Gore's Climate Film Has 9 Errors. Click here to read the ruling


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Empire State Building to go green for Muslim holiday

Breitbart reported New York's iconic Empire State Building is to be lit up green from Friday in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid, the biggest festival in the Muslim calendar marking the end of Ramadan, officials said.
The owners hope this will prevent Muslims from flying planes into it like they did the World Trade towers.
"This is the first time that the Empire State Building will be illuminated for Eid, and the lighting will become an annual event in the same tradition of the yearly lightings for Christmas and Hannukah," according to a statement.
Neither Christians or Jews have ever flown planes into NY skyscrapers.
Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month, is expected to be celebrated in New York from Friday, depending on when the new moon is sighted, and the city's tallest skyscraper will remain green until Sunday.


The judge is an idiot

NYT A federal judge in San Francisco ordered an indefinite delay yesterday of a central measure of the Bush administration’s new strategy to curb illegal immigration. The judge, Charles R. Breyer
the younger brother of another idiot judge Stephen Breyer?
of the Northern District of California, said the government had failed to follow proper procedures
What are the proper procedures for dealing with people that have broken the law. Ignore the offense until the Dems an change the law to buy votes?
for issuing a new rule that would have forced employers to fire workers if their Social Security numbers could not be verified within three months.

Judge Breyer chastised the Department of Homeland Security for making a policy change with “massive ramifications” for employers, without giving any legal explanation or conducting a required survey of the costs and impact for small businesses.
How about throwing a few employeers, plus this judge, in jail.
Under the rule issued by the department, which had been scheduled to take effect last month, employers would have to fire workers within 90 days after receiving a notice from the Social Security Administration that an employee’s identity information did not match the agency’s records. Illegal immigrants often present false Social Security information when applying for jobs.

The rule, announced with fanfare in August by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, was the linchpin of the administration’s effort to crack down on illegal immigration by denying jobs to the immigrants. It is part of a campaign of stepped-up enforcement since broader immigration legislation favored by President Bush was rejected by Congress in June.

If allowed to take effect, the judge found, the rule could lead to the firing of many thousands of legally authorized workers, resulting in “irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers.”
Why would thousands of legally authorized workers present false Social Security information when applying for jobs? And if there is a typo made, why aren't three months long enough to resolve the problem?
HCDL blogged Oh, a little food for thought. U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of San Francisco, the one behind blocking this crackdown from happening, was appointed by Bill Clinton. Just imagine what kinds of judges Hillary will appoint if she's elected...

Macranger blogged It’s time for the federal government to literally clear the benches out in California. A good thing is that this is most overturned court in America, and with assclowns like Breyer it’s not hard to see why.

CQ blogged So let's get this straight. Employers have a requirement to get Social Security information so that they can verify employment eligibility. When they attempt to verify the employee and the Social Security administration determines that the number is invalid, what is the government going to do? Ignore it, even though it's really identity fraud?

If the government insists on setting up SSNs as employment requirements, then the government has to protect the integrity of their use. If someone steals my SSN in order to defraud an employer, they will eventually use it to establish credit and damage my economic standing. At the least, it renders the entire system suspect. The government has a legal obligation to protect people that they force into this database.

Interestingly, Breyer based his ruling at least in part on the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, which forbids agency enforcement of law without careful consideration of the cost to small businesses. That act makes good sense when discussing issues that don't intrude on national sovereignty, national security, and fraud. The requirement for employers to provide reverification within 90 days of finding out that an employee either made a mistake or lied about their SSN does not seem overly burdensome, and the nation and its people have what should be an overwhelming interest in border enforcement and protection against identity theft. Most people would understand this, but apparently not Breyer nor the Chamber of Commerce, which joined in the challenge to the process.

I'd expect the appellate court to overrule this, but we're talking about the 9th Circuit. We'll have to wait for this to go to the Supreme Court for any reversal.

Prairie Weather blogged The US District judge in San Francisco sees the administration's use of Social Security numbers in the crackdown as far too scattershot. He warned of "the plan's potentially 'staggering' impact on law-abiding workers and companies."


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SCHIP foolishness

NYT reported There have been moments when the fight between Congressional Democrats and President Bush over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program seemed to devolve into a shouting match about who loves children more. So when Democrats enlisted 12-year-old Graeme Frost, who along with a younger sister relied on the program for treatment of severe brain injuries suffered in a car crash,

Hillary wants to force people to buy Health Insurance like we force them to buy Car Insurance. Why did the Frost's car insurance not pay for the treatment? It is because the insurance we make them carry is for damage done to someone else, not to themselves, and the kids were hurt when the family SUV hit a patch of black ice and slammed into a tree. Graeme sustained a brain stem injury; Gemma suffered a cranial fracture.
to give the response to Mr. Bush’s weekly radio address on Sept. 29, Republican opponents quickly accused them of exploiting the boy to score political points.... Certainly the Frosts are not destitute. They also own a commercial property, valued at about $160,000, that provides rental income. Mr. Frost works intermittently in woodworking and as a welder, while Mrs. Frost has a part-time job at a firm that provides services to publishers of medical journals.
Maybe one of them should get a full time job.
Her job does not provide health coverage. Under the Maryland child health program, a family of six must earn less than $55,220 a year for children to qualify. The program does not require applicants to list their assets, which do not affect eligibility.
If I did not have to list my assets, I would qualify for Medicaid, which pays a lot more than the Medicare disability payments I live on. Why does SCHIP ignore assets?
In a telephone interview, the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions.
Maybe rather than providing free insurance (or forcing people to buy their own, as Hillary wants) Congress should disappow insurance companies to refuse to insure because of preexisting conditions.
“We stood up in the first place because S-chip really helped our family and we wanted to help other families,” Mrs. Frost said.

Baltimore Sun reported A pseudonymous contributor to Free Republic cataloged the $20,000 cost of tuition at the Park School, the $160,000 Halsey Frost paid for his warehouse in 1999 and the $485,000 for which a neighbor sold his home in March. Links were provided to photos of the Park School's 44,000-square- foot Wyman Arts Center and the Frosts' 1992 wedding announcement in The New York Times.

Soon strangers were posting accusatory messages describing Halsey Frost as a business owner who lived on a street of half-million-dollar homes,
$485K is pretty close
worked out of his own commercial property
he owns the property, whether he works out of it or not
and paid to send his children to private school,
He pays $500, and the government pays the rest; why is that better?
yet still took advantage of government-funded health care.
And Bush does not seek to take him off of SCHIP. Just not extend the program where people making twice as much also qualify.
"Bad things happen to good people, and they cause financial problems and tough choices," Mark Steyn wrote on the National Review Online. "But, if this is the face of the 'needy' in America, then no-one is not needy."
That is what the Democrats would have you believe. And that it is the government's job to fix it.
Michelle Malkin blogged On Monday, I did something that has everyone from King Kos on down to the dregs (a short traveling distance, to be sure) screaming “Stalker!” What did I do? I went up to Baltimore and interviewed a tenant at health-care poster parent Halsey Frost’s place of business and drove past the Frost home. That’s not “stalking.” That’s not “harassing.” It’s reporting. This is stalking. Why did I take the time to go to Baltimore? Because bloggers raised questions about the Frosts’ financial situation and made specific reference to these pieces of real estate. I did not “harass” the Frosts. I simply reported what the tenant told me and described what I saw after driving by their home. My basic reporting rebutted some impressions left by other bloggers on the right who haven’t been to these sites and assumed they were high-end luxury properties. They’re not. Moreover, I corrected the mistake that some of these bloggers made in overvaluing the house at $400,000-plus. It’s closer to $300,000. The bottom line remains: This family made choices. Choices have consequences. Taxpayers of lesser means should not be forced to subsidize them.

CQ blogged Most Republicans supported the modest expansion of S-CHIP that the White House originally proposed. No Republican officeholders have, to my knowledge, proposed eliminating S-CHIP or scaling it back in any way. The GOP has argued that the expansion of the program to 400% of the poverty line would damage private health coverage and create a subsidy for families that can afford to make the choice for health coverage already.

The Frosts, the family at the center of the storm, came to personify the issue because Democrats had them use themselves as an argument for the expansion of the program. This turns out to be rather dishonest, because the Frosts qualified for S-CHIP without the expansion, as Herszenhorn reports. Their income levels fell below the existing 200% qualifying range for S-CHIP and they have used the program -- as they would have been able to continue to do so with the White House proposal. That didn't stop the Democrats from demagoguing the debate by using the 12-year-old boy to make their political argument for them, then screaming about how heartless it was for Republicans to question the Frost's qualifications for government assistance. Like it or not, means testing is part of S-CHIP; in fact, it's the entire debate. That puts questions like assets, real income, and personal choices on the table. It's rather strange to consider someone who owns over $200,000 in home equity (not $400,000 as reported before) and commercial real estate as someone in need of government assistance. It's doubly strange when the children of the family attend private schools, even on scholarship. That calls into question whether the family has made choices to be without health coverage, or really have no resources to get it for themselves.
And what is absolutely ridiculous is that they are already eligible for SCHIP. What the bill Bush vetoed would do is not extend SCHIP coverage to the Frosts, it would extend it to people making much more than the Frosts, but who just want the government to provide free insurance for their children.

Edward Morrissey blogged Several states will spend more than 44% of their S-CHIP grants on adults in 2008, and that excludes pregnant women. In Michigan, that total goes to 71%. In most cases, the money gets spent on the parents more than the kids

Here are those states:

Illinois: 52.6% (51.2% parents)

Michigan: 71.6% (all childless adults)

Minnesota: 77.8% (all parents)

New Jersey: 54.6% (all parents)

New Mexico: 79% (26.7% parents, 52.3% childless adults)

Rhode Island: 52.4% (all parents)

Wisconsin: 43.9% (all parents)

We don’t hear much about subsidizing parents in the current debate, but it appears that a substantial portion of S-CHIP goes to that function. In fact, how can Minnesota spend more than three-quarters of S-CHIP on parents? That would mean that each child has more than three parents on the program. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, nor does it speak well of the accounting in my state for the grant monies.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Muslim medical students get picky

Times Online reported Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs.

Some trainee doctors say learning to treat the diseases conflicts with their faith, which states that Muslims should not drink alcohol and rejects sexual promiscuity.
Their religion says they should not do those things, not that they should not help people who do.
A small number of Muslim medical students have even refused to treat patients of the opposite sex. One male student was prepared to fail his final exams rather than carry out a basic examination of a female patient.
I hope he did fail. I would hate to think there are doctors that are that ignorant of anatomy.
Betsy Newmark blogged Recently, a man failed the bar exam in Massachusetts because he refused to answer a question about gay marriage. I didn't approve of that either. If you have such strong objections, choose a different profession. But a doctor can't refuse to even be educated about certain medical conditions because he disapproves of the patient's personal behavior.