Archives for November 2009

ACORN Keeps its Contracts

Have you heard of ACORN?  Come on, I know you have.  Have you heard of President Obama?  He worked for ACORN.  He said many times throughout the campaign how much he supported ACORN, and how much he owed to the organization for helping him be all that he could be as a community organizer.

ACORN got put in the hot seat a few months ago for instructing a couple on how to set up a brothel of underage and illegal slave girls.  Congress rightfully (in my opinion) voted to deny future funds to ACORN until further investigation.  Which brought about an interesting question: Does ACORN still get the money promised to them by the federal government before the ban occured?

Today, the Attorney General’s Office concluded that ACORN cold continue to receive taxpayer money.

Which of course, being a taxpayer, got me hoping mad.  As I usually do, I started muttering to myself and sat down to write a blog post.  My husband overheard me muttering, and we got into an interesting conversation about whether or not ACORN should continue to receive funds despite the overwhelming evidence of corruption and the fact that 90 percent-ish of Congress voted to strike funding from ACORN.

“But it’s WRONG!”  I asserted.

“But it’s a CONTRACT,” my darling, play-by-the-book husband responded.



Which got me thinking…  Whether or not ACORN should continue to receive funds because of the contracts promised it, shouldn’t the government be a bit more careful about who it promises contracts to in the future?  Maybe take a look at the organizations that will benefit from the trillions of dollars racing out of our pockets and into special interest groups and lobbyists under the disguise of “affordable health care” or a “clean air act.”

Maybe the government, the media, the American people should take some time to investigate the groups that will recieve so much of our money before the bills are rushed through in midnight votes and the contracts are signed.

Because some of us don’t appreciate our tax money funding slavery.

The Smart Girl Report – Episode 0007

The Face Punch Award Goes to the SEALS!

In 2004, four Americans working in Iraq for the private security company Blackwater USA were killed by Iraqi insurgents.  They were making a food delivery when they were somehow stopped and dragged from their cars.  They were beaten, hacked into pieces, and set ablaze.  Their corpses were tied to bumpers and drug up and down a main road while the locals gleefully cheered.  As a final insult, two of the brutalized bodies were strung from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Intelligence identified Ahmed Hashim Abed as the ring leader of the attack, and in September 2009, he was finally captured.  And apparently punched in the face. This vile excuse of a human got punched in the face by the Navy SEALS that captured him, and he had the fat lip to prove it.  Now the terrorist is pressing charges.   Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe, and Julio Huertas deserve heaps of praise and gratitude, not assault charges, for capturing the scumbag.  And for punching him in the face.

Feel Your Boobies! (Or Not…)

I always giggle when I hear that tag line, a fun way to remind women to do self breast exams in between their annual *girly* doctor visits.  It’s easy to do, but easy to forget about.  Seriously Chicas, 5 minutes once a month, feel your boobies!  The main thing you’re looking for is change.  Some bumps and lumps are normal, but anything that feels like a pebble, or any noticeable changes warrant a call to the doctor.

My mom taught me that when I was a teenager.  My gynecologist reminds me every year to do it.  During the entire month of October (breast cancer awareness month), I’m bombarded with reminders to feel my boobies!

Breast cancer is fairly common (about 12% of women will develop it at some point in their lives), and extremely treatable if found early (the five year survival rate exceeds 96% for cancer found early).  Which is why it’s important that all women pay attention to their breasts!

It’s hard to imagine anyone with half a brain in their head saying otherwise. Yet somehow, a bunch of someones are saying just that:

The new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, state that routine mammograms aren’t necessary for women of average cancer risk in their 40s, and that women between 50 and 74 years old don’t need to undergo mammograms more often than every other year. They also recommend that physicians abstain from teaching women how to examine their breasts for signs of cancer because of a lack of evidence that it is of any benefit.

What is the U.S. Preventative Task Force, anyway?  As it turns out, it’s a government funded panel of doctors that makes recommendations to medical community on how best to prevent illness and disease.  Government funded?  Sounds like someone’s not wanting to pay for all those unnecessary mammograms if that health care bill passes the Senate.  Yeah, much better for that money to fund elective abortions.

What will the Preventative Task Force panel come up with next?  Denying that using condoms help prevent the spread of STDs and protects against pregnancy?  Maybe hand-washing isn’t really effective in stopping the spread of viruses or infections.  Do pregnant women really need to see doctors or give birth in a hospital?  Maybe they’ll ban in home thermometers, because they cause too many false alarms with parents rushing their child to the doctor when there’s nothing wrong with them other than a fever.

Gosh, people on a panel that will be able to make recommendations to the government on what treatments should or should not be offered on the government health care plan… What was that term again?

Oh yeah.

Death panels.

The Smart Girl Report – Episode 0006

Health by Government.

The government promised H1N1 vaccines.  It failed.

The government promised that the most at-risk groups would be the first to have access to the vaccine.  It failed.

How in the world will the government handle all aspects of health care if they can’t handle vaccines for one illness?

Eminent Domain

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. -Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution

I bolded the part that’s relevant to this post.  That bold part?  “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”  That is what we call eminent domain.  It sounds boring, but it’s not.  One of the things that makes American uniquely America is our right to our property.  Hopefully you only know from watching shows like CSI (or my favorite of the moment- Castle) and not from experience, but cops need a warrant to search someone’s private property.  That’s the due process part of the amendment.  Can you imagine the violation and abuse of power if any law enforcement agent could come into your home and search it for whatever, whenever?  Hopefully, we’d still have some good guys in law enforcement, but don’t you think that sort of job would attract criminals?  That’s why we have due process of the law.

What about the private property being taken for public use?  That means that if a local government needs to build a courthouse, a school, a road, or some other public facility, and the best place to do it is on property owned by a private citizen, the government may not seize that land without just compensation.  A few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court redefined what constituted “public use” of property in the landmark Kelo versus City of New London case.

Ms. Susette Kelo was a divorcee living in New London, CT, in a century old home that she had bought after her divorce and fixed up herself.  In 1998, she read in the newspaper that Pfizer Corp, the privately owned pharmaceutical company, was going to build a $300 million global research and development center in the area, and that her home would be bought out for a municipal redevelopment plan.  She said, “I read that residents in Fort Trumbull were going to be bought out of their properties and that those who refused to sell were going to be taken by eminent domain. That’s how it all started. I read about it in the newspaper.”

Ms. Kelo’s neighbor’s eventually accepted the money and moved out, and one by one, their houses were torn down.  But Ms. Kelo refused to be bullied by a government that would take her property for the benefit of a giant corporation.  Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of New London.  The majority opinion of the case was that, ” a city may claim private property under the Fifth Amendment so long as it does so as part of a clear economic development plan intended to benefit the community as a whole.”

So basically, the Supreme Court ruled that a government may seize the property of individual citizens whenever they feel like it’s a good idea.  I’m sure that’s exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution after winning a revolutionary war against the oppressive British government (insert sarcasm here).

That was in 2005.  There has been more than enough time to see the dramatic economic improvements promised by the Pfizer Corp and the city of New London.  So what’s going on in New London these days?  Has it prospered with the redevelopment?  The city and state spent $78 million of tax-payer money to bulldoze the area in preparation for the hotels, condos, and strip malls that were to bring job creation and economic prosperity to the area.  Four years later, the site sits undeveloped.

In November 2009, Pfizer Corp. announced that it would be shutting its R & D center in New London, and transferring the 1,400 people working there to another facility.  The promised economic boom fell flat before it ever even got off the ground.  Ms. Kelo was forced to leave her home so it could be bulldozed and redeveloped into a wasteland of weeds and broken dreams.

What does this prove?  I don’t know if it proves anything, but it is yet another example of the Midas touch of government when it messes with the affairs of private citizens.  That is if Midas had turned everything he touched to chicken manure instead of gold.  I take that back.  At least chicken manure is good fertilizer.  What good is a vacant parking lot where Ms. Kelo’s home once stood?

Infant Mortality Myths

I’ve gotten into some interesting debates over health care recently, and one of the things constantly thrown in my face is the rate of infant mortality in the US as opposed to other developed nations.  It’s true.  A higher percentage of infants die in the United States than in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and give or take about 30 more.  Even Cuba and Taiwan have lower rates of infant death.

Last April, The New York Times speculated that a possible reason for this is the number of premature babies born in the US.  In an October editorial, the same newspaper published this:

Infant mortality is associated with many factors, including the health and economic status of the mother, her race or ethnicity, access to quality medical care, and such cultural problems as rising obesity and drug use.

That makes it difficult to identify the cause of the United States’ poor performance. Some researchers blame an increase in premature births, many by Caesarean section. The chief lesson we draw is that the American health care system, despite the highest expenditures in the world, is badly in need of an overhaul.

Obviously, our health care isn’t as top notch as it is in other countries, with lower levels of infant deaths.  This is a very persuasive argument in favor of socialized health care, or a government option, or universal coverage, or whatever it’s being called this week.  Nothing quite as sad as a dead baby, is there?  We should try to be more like the countries with less dead babies!

Except for the fact that if a mother wants a shot at giving birth to a child, there is no better place in the world for her to achieve that goal than in the United States.  The CDC reports that the reason for so many infant deaths in the United States is the high rate of premature births.  That obviously has to do with the health of the mother and the prenatal care she received, doesn’t it?  Or maybe it has to do with the fact that the United States has the most advanced fertility treatments on the planet.  By definition, a woman unable to get pregnant on her own is considered “higher-risk” than normal.  That’s not to knock fertility treatments, because I think it’s amazing that people are able to have children using modern technology.  But let’s face the facts- women that can’t get pregnant on their own are most likely going to have a harder time staying pregnant.  Does that mean that we should deny a woman the chance to have a child of her own, because she is less likely to carry a pregnancy to term and she might bring our statistics down?

The United States also tops the list for keeping women pregnant longer.  Which means that there are many, many dead babies due to preterm labor that would have been labeled miscarriages, had the mother not used advanced medicine and technology to identify preterm labor and take action to stop it.  Should we not stop preterm labor in a 20 week fetus because the survival rate is zilch?  What if we can give that kiddo 2-4 more weeks in the womb?  The chances of survival at that point is something, if not high.  Or do we not even try, because the baby will probably die any way, and we don’t want to lower those statistics.

Speaking of miscarriages, let’s talk about how those death rate numbers compare.  In the US- EVERY baby born showing even the smallest sign of life (like a heart beat) is counted as a live birth, and usually “heroic” measures are taken to save that child.  In the UK, babies are not resuscitated if born before 24 weeks of pregnancy.  In the Netherlands, it’s 25 weeks.  In some parts of Switzerland, only babies longer than 30cm are counted as a live birth.  Germany, Canada, and France omit criteria set by WHO to determine live births, and also struggle with obtaining accurate birth records.

So I guess if the United States would just stop with the nonsense of trying to get infertile women pregnant, keeping woman with risky pregnancies pregnant, trying to save the babies if they’re born prematurely, and then if all intervention fails and the baby dies, actually calling it an infant death instead of a still birth, our infant mortality rate might be as low as Singapore’s.

The Smart Girl Report – Episode 0005

The Massacre at Fort Hood

On November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan of the United States Army entered the Soldier Readiness Center at the Fort Hood military base in Texas and opened fire on his fellow citizens.  He killed 13 people and injured over 30 others before he was taken down by petite (but tough as nails) Kimberly Munley.  He was seriously wounded and rushed to the hospital.

As with any tragedy, everyone wants to know WHY?  We can’t get inside of Hasan’s thoughts, but there are clues to lead us to a conclusion about the reason for his horrific and unpatriotic attack on American lives and our country itself.  So far, all arrows point to radical Islam.  Granted, everyone makes mistakes, and isolated incidents don’t usually represent the whole of a person.  But when a person shows their true self over and over, maybe we shouldn’t excuse that person’s violent extremism in the name of political correctness.

Within the last few months, Hasan had attempted to contact the terrorist group al Queada.

He was in contact with militant preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, and he frequently visited radical Islamic websites.

During his senior-year psych residency in 2007, Hasan gave a presentation about the difficulty “for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims.”

He thought suicide bombers were the bomb, and lavished praise upon their actions.

Just before opening fire, Hasan shouted, “Allahu akbar!” A phrase meaning, “God (Allah) is great,” and often used by Islamic extremists to initiate their attacks.

All signs point to violent, radical, extremist Islamic terrorism.  So what did our Commander in Chief have to say when Jake Tapper of ABC News asked him, “ Philosophically, what separates an act of violence from an act of terrorism?”

Well, look, we — we have seen, in the past, rampages of this sort. And in a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have — and I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress — there are going to be instances in which an individual cracks. I think the questions that we’re asking now and we don’t have yet complete answers to is, is this an individual who’s acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors? You know, what are the motivations? Those are all questions that I think we have to ask ourselves. Until we have these answers buttoned down, I’d rather not comment on it.  -President Obama, November 10, 2009

In the sarcastic words of my favorite fictional international terrorist Dr. Evil, “Riiiiiiight…”