Posts Tagged ‘USA’

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Cartoon: Red Flags

November 16, 2009

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Geert Wilders – Philadelphia Oct. 09

October 1, 2009

Who is Geert Wilders?

Geert Wilders is a 45 year old Dutch politician, member of Parliament in the Netherlands and leader of the Party for Freedom. He has been outspoken on the issues of Islamic extremism and freedom of speech.

His provocative 2008 film about Islam in the Netherlands, FITNA, has received international attention and condemnation. For his views, he has been forced into guarded isolation, banned in the UK, indicted in his own country for violating “hate-speech” laws, and wanted in Jordan.

Why is Geert Wilders so important?

The Islamization of Europe brought with it the prohibition of criticizing Islam as a religion, ideology or political system. As European radical Islam became increasingly powerful, the Western doctrine of free and open speech came under sustained attack. Quickly, this totalitarian movement to suppress Free Speech gained momentum in the Islamic world culminating with a Member of the European Union, Mr. Wilders, being charged by his own country with illegally criticizing Islam, thus violating the “hate-speech” laws of the Netherlands. Mr. Wilders is the prototypical “poster-boy” of the decline of Western civilization … if Western civilization still requires open and free speech? Is the attack on free and open speech marching to America? Yes, it is. Mr. Wilders is in Florida to sound the alert to those who still value the fundamental principle of Free Speech, codified by our Framers, articulated in Amendment # 1, and practiced in our lives.

What has Geert Wilders done that is so “bad”

Mr. Wilders has dared to open his mouth to criticize Islam as a totalitarian ideology. Be careful here. The issue is not whether Islam is a totalitarian ideology, but the issue is whether someone can speak freely and claim that a religion, any religion … stinks! The casual observer can list scores of occasions in America where the religions of Christianity and Judaism have been mocked, scorned, ridiculed and, yep, even criticized as being totalitarian. Civil, progressive, educated Americans must decide if Islam occupies a “special status” in America, as it does in Eurabia, or if Islam … stinks … if that is what someone wants to conclude. This decision ought not be influenced by the fear of 10,000 angry Muslims demonstrating in London, but by blood, real blood, not imaginary, metaphorical blood, but warrior blood, shed at places like Normandy, blood dedicated to inalienable rights, not alienable religions.

What’s the big deal with this movie – FITNA?

The “big deal” with FITNA is that many Muslims, worldwide, simply did not like the movie!

Did you understand that last sentence? Muslims don’t like FITNA.

Usually, when someone doesn’t like a movie they figure out a way to avoid promising to kill the film maker. Conversely, the global success of the message of FITNA has only intensified the desire of many Muslims to welcome the death of Geert Wilders. Even the boys over at Al Qaeda Incorporated, dragging out some cave-dwelling cleric, issued a death FATWA, which is like pouring petrol on the “youths” burning up democracy throughout London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and the rest of Europe – now referred to by many analysts, as “Eurabia”.

The reason why Muslims did not like the movie differs among the group, but in light of the totalitarian demands of Islam and the global fear of criticizing Islam, it naturally follows that their supremest script requires “a morally righteous indignation” over the verbal and visual abuse of their “special status” faith. Though some in the USA think this Islamist reaction is ridiculous nonsense, the many in America better realize the experience of Mr. Wilders is quickly marching into American culture and law. The irresistible force of Islam is confronting the immoveable object of American democracy … and the outcome remains to be seen?

{FITNA – “disagreement and division among people” or a “test of faith in times of trial”}

Why is Geert Wilders in Philadelphia?

Because some of us in Philadelphia enjoy those crazy ideas that our early “white-hairs” came up with like, democracy, free speech, freedom of (any) religion, freedom of no religion and freedom to criticize all religions. We have a lot to learn from the courageous Geert Wilders.

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Why the sun is setting on England

July 13, 2009

Nothing new for our readers – but this article reinforces our concern for the United States of America.

Why the sun is setting on England

by Bill Muehlenberg
Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 10:56 (BST)

In its heyday it was said of the British Empire that the sun never set on it. Because so many lands across the globe bore the English flag, it was once the world’s great superpower. Of course today that grand empire is no more. And for that matter, England itself is almost no more.

As has been documented here on numerous occasions, the UK is on the verge of giving it all away, renouncing everything that once made it great. Like so much of the rest of the West, it is committed to abandoning its Judeo-Christian heritage, and with it, all that makes for national greatness.

Three more links in a massive chain dragging the UK to its doom can be mentioned here. Each link in itself is not enough to destroy a nation, but when hundreds of such links are joined together, the heaviness of the chain around a nation’s neck is almost impossible to carry.

The three episodes all occurred in the past few days, and simply add to the oppressive burden of national self-destruction. The first concerns the ever widening grip of Islamic fundamentalism. A recent news item has noted that Britain now has 85 sharia law courts. One press report says this:

“At least 85 Islamic sharia courts are operating in Britain, a study claimed yesterday. The astonishing figure is 17 times higher than previously accepted. The tribunals, working mainly from mosques, settle financial and family disputes according to religious principles. They lay down judgments which can be given full legal status if approved in national law courts. However, they operate behind doors that are closed to independent observers and their decisions are likely to be unfair to women and backed by intimidation, a report by independent think-tank Civitas said.”

It is difficult for any nation to maintain any sort of social cohesion when it effectively has two different law systems in operation. Yet that is what we seem to find here. One Conservative MP, Philip Davies, expressed his concerns:

“Everyone should be deeply concerned about the extent of these courts. They do entrench division in society, and do nothing to entrench integration or community cohesion. It leads to a segregated society. There should be one law, and that should be British law. We can’t have a situation where people can choose which system of law they follow and which they do not. We can’t have a situation where people choose the system of law which they feel gives them the best outcome. Everyone should equal under one law.”

While it is good to hear the Opposition speaking out on this, things in fact get worse. The second episode I wish to highlight in fact concerns the Tory leader in the UK, David Cameron. He has just recently spoken at a major homosexual pride event, and he has been bending over backwards to win homosexuals over to the conservative side of politics.

He apologised for a 1988 law passed under Margaret Thatcher, Section 28, which banned local authorities from portraying homosexuality in a positive light. Cameron said that one of his “proudest” moments as leader of the Conservatives was when he told a party conference in 2006 that they had a duty to support a “commitment to marriage” among men and women, between a “man and a man, and a woman and a woman”.

The real question is, with leaders like this, just how conservative is the Tory opposition going to be? In trying to woo the homosexual vote, he is making the Tories indistinguishable from the Labour Party, and doing his own bit to finally destroy marriage and family in England.

A third episode which also speaks to the decline of Christianity in England is the advent of atheist summer camps. Yes, you heard me right. Concerned atheists are setting up summer camps to help make sure that little Johnny or little Sarah do not get to close to any of that nasty religious stuff.

Here is how one news report describes the story: “Now, an atheist summer camp for children set up in the United Kingdom is to offer a ‘godless alternative’ to religious camps. The 24 places on Camp Quest UK (CQUK), which will be held next month near Bath, Somerset, in England’s West Country, have already been booked up, according to organisers. Organisers said the purpose of the camp was ‘to encourage critical thinking and provide children with a summer camp free of religious dogma.’ The camp, supported by scientist Richard Dawkins, plans to expand after receiving hundreds of inquiries.”

The camp organiser said, “We want to encourage children to think for themselves and to evaluate the world critically and thus draw their own conclusions. However, parents should be aware that we adopt a critical, scientific approach as opposed to a ‘faith-based’ approach. At Camp Quest, children aren’t taught that ‘There is no god,’ Instead, they are taught to come to their own conclusions, but more importantly, that ‘It’s OK not to believe in a god.’”

Hmmm, really? What if, upon examining the evidence (and it all depends on what evidence the kiddies are actually allowed to examine), they come up with the conclusion that God in fact does exist? Will they then say, ‘It’s OK to believe in a god’? Somehow I just don’t think so.

But you have you hand it to our atheist buddies – they are always good for a laugh. They are absolutely sure that God does not exist, yet they are working overtime making sure they can convince everyone of this. Maybe they aren’t so sure after all.

One thing can be said with certainty: they are certainly evangelistic for their cause, on a holy mission to spread the good word. They seem to be one of the more active missionary religions around at the moment. Onward atheist soldiers, marching as to war….

These three recent episodes speak to the slow but steady decline of the UK. By themselves they may seem minor. But when considered with the many other examples produced here and elsewhere, the cumulative case for a nation of the brink is easily made. One simply has to ask how many more links must be added to the chain before the whole nations is dragged down into the abyss.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196165/Britain-85-sharia-courts-The-astonishing-spread-Islamic-justice-closed-doors.html
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/david-cameron/5710650/David-Cameron-says-sorry-over-Section-28-gay-law.html
www.assistnews.net/Stories/2009/s09060171.htm

About Bill Muehlenberg:
Bill Muehlenberg is an Australian apologist and ethicist, and head of ministry CultureWatch. He comments regularly on issues of the day from the Christian perspective on his website www.billmuehlenberg.com

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Canadian Healthcare

June 10, 2009
Canada’s ObamaCare Precedent
Governments always ration care by making you wait. That can be deadly.
By DAVID GRATZER
Congressional Democrats will soon put forward their legislative proposals for reforming health care. Should they succeed, tens of millions of Americans will potentially be joining a new public insurance program and the federal government will increasingly be involved in treatment decisions.
Not long ago, I would have applauded this type of government expansion. Born and raised in Canada, I once believed that government health care is compassionate and equitable. It is neither.
My views changed in medical school. Yes, everyone in Canada is covered by a “single payer” — the government. But Canadians wait for practically any procedure or diagnostic test or specialist consultation in the public system.
The problems were brought home when a relative had difficulty walking. He was in chronic pain. His doctor suggested a referral to a neurologist; an MRI would need to be done, then possibly a referral to another specialist. The wait would have stretched to roughly a year. If surgery was needed, the wait would be months more. Not wanting to stay confined to his house, he had the surgery done in the U.S., at the Mayo Clinic, and paid for it himself.
Such stories are common. For example, Sylvia de Vries, an Ontario woman, had a 40-pound fluid-filled tumor removed from her abdomen by an American surgeon in 2006. Her Michigan doctor estimated that she was within weeks of dying, but she was still on a wait list for a Canadian specialist.
Indeed, Canada’s provincial governments themselves rely on American medicine. Between 2006 and 2008, Ontario sent more than 160 patients to New York and Michigan for emergency neurosurgery — described by the Globe and Mail newspaper as “broken necks, burst aneurysms and other types of bleeding in or around the brain.”
Only half of ER patients are treated in a timely manner by national and international standards, according to a government study. The physician shortage is so severe that some towns hold lotteries, with the winners gaining access to the local doc.
Overall, according to a study published in Lancet Oncology last year, five-year cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. than those in Canada. Based on data from the Joint Canada/U.S. Survey of Health (done by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics), Americans have greater access to preventive screening tests and have higher treatment rates for chronic illnesses. No wonder: To limit the growth in health spending, governments restrict the supply of health care by rationing it through waiting. The same survey data show, as June and Paul O’Neill note in a paper published in 2007 in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, that the poor under socialized medicine seem to be less healthy relative to the nonpoor than their American counterparts.
Ironically, as the U.S. is on the verge of rushing toward government health care, Canada is reforming its system in the opposite direction. In 2005, Canada’s supreme court struck down key laws in Quebec that established a government monopoly of health services. Claude Castonguay, who headed the Quebec government commission that recommended the creation of its public health-care system in the 1960s, also has second thoughts. Last year, after completing another review, he declared the system in “crisis” and suggested a massive expansion of private services — even advocating that public hospitals rent facilities to physicians in off-hours.
And the medical establishment? Dr. Brian Day, an orthopedic surgeon, grew increasingly frustrated by government cutbacks that reduced his access to an operating room and increased the number of patients on his hospital waiting list. He built a private hospital in Vancouver in the 1990s. Last year, he completed a term as the president of the Canadian Medical Association and was succeeded by a Quebec radiologist who owns several private clinics.
In Canada, private-sector health care is growing. Dr. Day estimates that 50,000 people are seen at private clinics every year in British Columbia. According to the New York Times, a private clinic opens at a rate of about one a week across the country. Public-private partnerships, once a taboo topic, are embraced by provincial governments.
In the United Kingdom, where socialized medicine was established after World War II through the National Health Service, the present Labour government has introduced a choice in surgeries by allowing patients to choose among facilities, often including private ones. Even in Sweden, the government has turned over services to the private sector.

Americans need to ask a basic question: Why are they rushing into a system of government-dominated health care when the very countries that have experienced it for so long are backing away?

Dr. Gratzer, a physician, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

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Cartoon: US Missile Defense Cuts

May 28, 2009

Perhaps we should reconsider the missile defense cuts.

North Korea Nukes White House

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April 1, 2009

Valuable insight about our media – But please read the last sentence of this article.

Don

U.S. Ranked 36th Freest Press in the World
press, media, freedomIt is not economic prosperity but peace that guarantees press freedom. That is the main lesson to be drawn from the world press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders compiles every year and from the 2008 edition.

Said Reporters Without Borders:

“The post-9/11 world is now clearly drawn. Destabilized and on the defensive, the leading democracies are gradually eroding the space for freedoms. The economically most powerful dictatorships arrogantly proclaim their authoritarianism, exploiting the international community’s divisions and the ravages of the wars carried out in the name of the fight against terrorism.

Religious and political taboos are taking greater hold by the year in countries that used to be advancing down the road of freedom.”

Aside from New Zealand and Canada, the first 20 positions on the Index are held by European countries, with Iceland, Luxembourg and Norway tied for first. While the economic disparities among the top 20 are immense, what they have in common is a parliamentary democratic system, and not being involved in any war. This is not the case with the United States, which ranks 36th domestically and 119th outside its own territory.

The worst violators of free expression were Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd) and Eritrea (173rd).

Sources:

Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The United States was founded in large part on the first amendment, which includes the freedom of speech. So for the U.S. to be ranked only 36th for free press sure seems like a colossal step backwards.

And believe it or not, this is a vast improvement from where the U.S. has ranked in the past. In 2006, the U.S. was only 53rd on the Index, and it rose 12 more places in the last year alone.

At the top of the list were Iceland, Luxembourg and Norway. These were the countries with no recorded censorship, threats, intimidation or physical reprisals.

Why is free press in the United States not on par with these European countries?

Reporters Without Borders compiles the Index by asking the 14 freedom of expression organizations that are its partners worldwide, its network of 130 correspondents, as well as journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists, to answer 50 questions about press freedom in their countries. In response, here is what they had to say about press in the United States:

• The release of Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Haj after six years in the Guantanamo Bay military base contributed to the United States’ improved ranking.

• The absence of a federal “shield law” means the confidentiality of media sources is still threatened by federal courts, but the number of journalists being subpoenaed or forced to reveal their sources has declined in recent months and none has been sent to prison.

• The August 2007 murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey in Oakland, California is still unpunished a year later. The way the investigation into his murder has become enmeshed in local conflicts of interest and the lack of federal judicial intervention also help to explain why the United States did not get a higher ranking.

• Account was also taken of the many arrests of journalists during the Democratic and Republican conventions.

It’s worth pointing out that the Index measures press freedom violations, such as harassment, censorship, the legal framework of the media, the independence of the public media, Internet restrictions and financial pressure.

So to really get the whole picture on the media in the United States, it helps to have some other background information as well.

Who Controls the U.S. Media?

For the most part, the media spreads a lot of misinformation and corporate propaganda. This is not at all surprising considering that Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, Viacom (formerly CBS) and General Electric’s NBC are the top owners of the entire media industry, which includes everything you read and hear in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies.

In the last 15 years alone, your sources for news have shrunk drastically. Whereas in 1983, 50 corporations ruled the U.S. news media, by 2004 this number decreased to a minuscule six corporations!

As you might imagine, with just six corporations deciding what’s worthy of news and what’s not, you end up with sensationalized tragedies, celebrity features, and anything else that will capture people’s attention.

There is virtually no competition in the media market today whatsoever, and this spells disaster for all types of news, including health information.

Unbiased, REAL Information IS Out There

Even though the United States enjoys access to much more free press than many other countries, the system is clearly not without flaws and you simply cannot rely on a news station, newspaper or any other media outlet to provide you with unbiased, reliable information.

However, the Internet and technology have seriously leveled the playing field when it comes to having access to reliable, unbiased information, and is one of the primary reasons why I remain highly confident that we are making more than a dent in the media process.

The Internet has really become one of the last bastions of independent, free-thinking news available — and I am proud to be one of the top-ranked independent voices in the vastness of corporate monopoly, offering objective information to empower you with alternative choices that can radically improve your health, open your eyes to the truth, and keep you and your family safely out of the mainstream media madness.

As you weed through the information you read or hear on a daily basis, always remember this important piece of wisdom:

All truth goes through three phases.

1. First, it is ridiculed.
2. Second, it is violently opposed.
3. Third, it is accepted as being self evident.

So if you want to get to the truth, you often have to keep an open mind, do more than a little bit of digging, and even then take everything you read and hear with a grain of salt.

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American Socialism

March 27, 2009

How Americans Are (Or Are Not) Coming To Grips With ‘S’ Word

By RAGHAVAN MAYUR | 26 March 2009 | IBD

Socialism in the U.S. appears to be in a formative stage. For most Americans, the idea is fairly new, and many have yet to take a firm stand on policies such as income redistribution and government control of industries.

Yet, we’ve come a long way in just seven months. Last August, only 25% of Americans surveyed in our IBD/TIPP Poll agreed with the statement, “The U.S. is evolving into a socialist state.” But when asked again this month, the number jumped to 39%.

This included leaps to 63% from 35% for Republicans and to 47% from 23% for Independents. Only 13% of Democrats, on the other hand, agreed with the statement vs. 20% in August.

The numbers mark a rather significant shift and merit further analysis. But rather than welcome a healthy discussion, many in the media bridle when the “S” word is brought up.

Recall the scorn heaped on Joe the Plumber during last fall’s campaign, when he said Barack Obama’s tax plan to spread the wealth “scares me because it’s just one more step towards socialism.” Or the attacks on the professionalism of Florida TV newswoman Barbara West when she asked Joe Biden if Obama might lead the U.S. “into a socialist country much like Sweden.”


View larger image

We even experienced it ourselves. A writer for Salon.com, for instance, accused us of bias in our August presidential tracking poll simply because we dared to run a few questions about socialism.

Still, it’s important to understand the American mindset. And to get at hidden segments that underlie our survey data, March’s IBD/TIPP Poll asked Americans a few relevant questions tapping into their level of agreement to the statements below:

• I believe the government should control or own key industries such as health care and energy.

• Generally, I support the idea of a government-run universal health care system.

• I believe it is the government’s role to redistribute wealth and income.

• The U.S. is evolving into a socialist state.

Based on responses to these questions, we developed a statistical model that reveals three latent segments of the American populace: Undeclared Socialists, Passionate Capitalists and Hybrid Deniers.

Undeclared Socialists are the smallest segment, with 29%, while Passionate Capitalists encompass 37% of Americans. Hybrid Deniers fall in between at 35%. The segments cross traditional party lines and political ideologies. Here are the differences:

Undeclared Socialists see the government in a very positive light. They believe it’s the government’s role to redistribute wealth and income, and they support government-run health care. They are the most willing to pay higher taxes to fund social programs.

While they lean toward socialistic tenets, we call them “undeclared” because the majority don’t believe the U.S. is evolving into a socialist state. Demographic groups most represented are blacks and Hispanics (55%), liberals (43%) and moderates (41%).

Passionate Capitalists strongly oppose the redistribution of wealth and income and believe the government should stay out of key industries. They’re also against universal health care, oppose higher taxes for more social programs and are sure the U.S. is evolving into a socialist state.

Two-thirds of Republicans (65%), most conservatives (57%) and a quarter of moderates (23%) fall into this segment.

Hybrid Deniers base their views on capitalistic tenets, but may be skeptical. Their thinking is “hybrid” in that they oppose the redistribution of income but are on the fence about government-run health care (with 38% giving a neutral rating).

They are “deniers” because they refute the notion the U.S. may be evolving into a socialist state. They are generally not willing to pay higher taxes to support more social programs. Most liberals (52%), nearly half (49%) of Democrats, a third whites (35%) and a similar share of blacks and Hispanics (33%) belong to this segment.

In the future, we’ll look closer at whether socialism is taking root so we’ll have a better handle on the nation’s direction.

• Mayur is president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which directs the IBD/TIPP Poll that was the most accurate in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.