Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kagan’s Abortion Distortion. How the Supreme Court nominee manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion.

When President Obama promised in his inaugural address to “restore science to its rightful place,” he never explained what that rightful place would be. Documents recently released in connection with the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan suggest an answer: wherever it can best be used to skew political debate and judicial outcomes.

The documents involved date from the Clinton White House. They show Miss Kagan’s willingness to manipulate medical science to fit the Democratic party’s political agenda on the hot-button issue of abortion. As such, they reflect poorly on both the author and the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court.

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.

[...]

Like the Supreme Court majority in the prior dispute over the Nebraska ban, Judge Kopf asserted that the ACOG policy statement was entitled to judicial deference because it was the result of an inscrutable collaborative process among expert medical professionals. “Before and during the task force meeting,” he concluded, “neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations, including congressmen and doctors who provided congressional testimony, concerning the topics addressed” in the ACOG statement.

In other words, what medical science has pronounced, let no court dare question. The problem is that the critical language of the ACOG statement was not drafted by scientists and doctors. Rather, it was inserted into ACOG’s policy statement at the suggestion of then–Clinton White House policy adviser Elena Kagan.

[...]

Shannen W. Coffin at NRO

"Sounds like Salazar's recent misuse of the engineering panel to justify a moratorium they opposed. If the experts don't say what you want them to, just rewrite it the way you want."
h/t
Brumar89

Powerline's take on Kagan's partial birth abortion deception
A smoking gun?

Kagan's instinct is to lapse into doubletalk when asked a tough question.

“Did you write that memo?” Hatch asked.

“Senator, with respect,” Kagan began, “I don’t think that that’s what happened — ”

“Did you write that memo?”

“I’m sorry — the memo which is?”

“The memo that caused them to go back to the language of ‘medically necessary,’ which was the big issue to begin with — ”

“Yes, well, I’ve seen the document — ”

“But did you write it?”

“The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

She is without candor -- a key prerequisite for a lifetime judicial appointment.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Poor Old Dirt Farmer

"The stupidity has reached hitherto-unguessed levels"

From the Financial Post

Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill, one much larger than the BP spill that then appeared to be underway. "Our system can handle 400 cubic metres per hour," Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, giving each Dutch ship more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill. . . .the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge.

[...]

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

[...]

The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn't want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

A catastrophe that could have been averted is now playing out. With oil increasingly reaching the Gulf coast, the emergency construction of sand berns to minimize the damage is imperative. Again, the U.S. government priority is on U.S. jobs, with the Dutch asked to train American workers rather than to build the berns. According to Floris Van Hovell, a spokesman for the Dutch embassy in Washington, Dutch dredging ships could complete the berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the U.S. companies awarded the work. "Given the fact that there is so much oil on a daily basis coming in, you do not have that much time to protect the marshlands," he says, perplexed that the U.S. government could be so focussed on side issues with the entire Gulf Coast hanging in the balance.

Then again, perhaps he should not be all that perplexed at the American tolerance for turning an accident into a catastrophe. When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker accident occurred off the coast of Alaska in 1989, a Dutch team with clean-up equipment flew in to Anchorage airport to offer their help. To their amazement, they were rebuffed and told to go home with their equipment. The Exxon Valdez became the biggest oil spill disaster in U.S. history — until the BP Gulf spill.
-snip-

It turns out that American skimmers have to suck up the dirty water and transport it back to port for later disposal, which severely limits their daily capacity.

Someone might almost think they want this to go badly.
h/t
Texan99

Iceland: A joke turns into a revolution

A polar bear display for the zoo. Free towels at public swimming pools. A “drug-free Parliament by 2020.” Iceland’s Best Party, founded in December by a comedian, Jon Gnarr, to satirize his country’s political system, ran a campaign that was one big joke. Or was it?

Last month, in the depressed aftermath of the country’s financial collapse, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner in Reykjavik’s elections, with 34.7 percent of the vote, and Mr. Gnarr — who also promised a classroom of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport — is now the fourth mayor in four years of a city that is home to more than a third of the island’s 320,000 people.

In his acceptance speech he tried to calm the fears of the other 65.3 percent. “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”

With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”

A sandy-haired 43-year-old, Mr. Gnarr is best known here for playing a television and film character named Georg Bjarnfredarson, a nasty, bald, middle-aged, Swedish-educated Marxist whose childhood was ruined by a militant feminist mother.

While his career may have given him visibility, few here doubt what actually propelled him into office. “It’s a protest vote,” said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political science professor at the University of Iceland.

more at the NY Times

An interview with the candidate


The Best Party's campaign song

h/t
Sea Otter

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Obama to lift Reagan's ban on hunting whales

The Obama administration is leading an effort within the International Whaling Commission to lift a 24-year international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway and Iceland, the remaining three countries in the 88-member commission that still hunt whales.

Reagan helped put the ban in place, and since then the US has been firmly against whaling.

Barking Moonbat
has the skinny
h/t
Brumar89

Friday, June 18, 2010

Florida’s Okaloosa county goes rogue on oil spill

Florida’s Okaloosa county is telling the federal government it will no longer take orders in responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a decision made in response to the county’s deep frustration with the Obama administration’s response to the spill.

The county appears to be the first local government to openly flaunt the official response to the spill. Others, such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, have complained bitterly of inaction and red tape regarding their response to the spill, but have thus far refrained from taking measures not approved by the federal or state authorities. Even Jindal, though, has become more assertive in the last day, ordering the National Guard to start building barrier islands off Lousiana’s coast.

Okaloosa’s decision and Jindal’s order could mark a new break between frustrated local authorities and the coordinated spill response.

County commissioner Wayne Harris said leaders of Okaloosa County are prepared to face any consequences for their renegade response. It’s that important, he said, to protect the county’s Choctawhatchee Bay, which is “too wonderful to destroy ecologically.”

rest of the article at the Daily Caller

meanwhile....Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard

"The Coast Guard came and shut them down," Jindal said. "You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, 'Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'"....the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

One commenter's solution: Loan someone a pickup, a credit card and have 'em run to Walmart

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloody Sunday Report Finally Released

David Cameron today issued a formal, state apology for the "unjustified and unjustifiable" killing of 14 civil rights marchers by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry 38 years ago.

The prime minister said Lord Saville inquiry's long-awaited report showed soldiers lied about their involvement in the killings, and that all of those who died were innocent.

He said the inquiry was "absolutely clear" and there were "no ambiguities" about the conclusions.

Cameron told the Commons: "What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong."

[...]

Denis Bradley, who played a key part in secret talks that brought about the IRA ceasefire of 1994 and who was on the Bloody Sunday march 38 years ago, welcomed the report's findings.

The former Derry priest, who narrowly escaped being shot on the day, said he was "amazed" at how damning the findings were against the soldiers. He said: "This city has been vindicated, this city has been telling the truth all along."

full article

Bloody Sunday in pictures and video


Colonel Richard Kemp describes the British Parachute Regiment as Nazis. Colonel Kemp served in the British Army from 1977 to 2006. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, an infantry battalion Commanding Officer, worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and COBR and completed 14 operational tours of duty around the globe.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Private Co-op Raided for Raw Milk

Another family dairy farm and their private store has been raided in Wisconsin by state/county health and agriculture agencies.

The State and its agents may have bitten the wrong farmer, Vernon Hershberger at Grazin’ Acres Farm in Loganville WI. He is defying the orders to cease his dairy operations; he understands he does not need permission from the government to farm and share his produce with friends and family. He understands what the right to private property is and he has the right to contract with an individual without needing a permit to do so.

The DATCP brought in the armed deputies for 6 hours to lock it up and take evidence. That does not stop Vernon.

“This is how I make a living,” Vernon Hershberger, a Loganville dairy farmer, said Thursday morning. “We are going to go right ahead and do business.”

Hershberger said roughly 100 families, including some Madison customers, purchase raw milk, yogurt, cheese, butter and ice cream from a store on his farm that is open for business Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

According to Rosanne Lindsay, of Wisconsin ARMi:

“Two of us went to the farm today, early, and collected our orders. From what I’ve been told, its business as usual, so go and continue to support the Hershbergers and other local farmers before rogue state agencies usurp our rights to contract under the Bill of Rights.”

The woman responsible for the raid on Vernon Hershberger’s farm can be reached at

this work number (608) 224-4734 ,

this email address: jacqueline.owens@datcp.state.wi.us. ,

or this address: 2811 Agriculture Drive. Madison, WI 53718

Her full name and title is Jacqueline Owens, R.S. Field Services Director Bureau of Food Safety & Inspection.

All readers are urged to join the ARMi (Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale) with units in every state. There are close to 1000 members of the Wisconsin ARMi– their Facebook page is buzzing over the news.

from The Journal of Natural Food and Healing