Friday, December 24, 2004

More Broken Windows in Our Society

I think that, despite some imperfections in her own life, the good Dr. Schlessinger has got it just right. It is not, IMHO, coincidental that these shows died out and courser shows got their start right after the removal a school prayer. Just more examples of an even increasing number of broken windows and dirty streets that are leading us down a path of decadence and decay that, if unchecked, will be the downfall of our society:

“The reality format [of television] is at its most its molestation of the family dynamic and its gross exploitation of children. ‘Motherhood and apple-pie’ is disdained in our popular culture, while the Gotti and Osbourne ‘families’ and the newer ‘Trading Spouses’ and ‘Wife Swap’ are elevated as ‘reality.’

My reality check about families as I was growing up included ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and ‘Father Knows Best’ and ‘The Donna Reed Show.’

Alternative families were represented by overcoming the tragedy of deceased family members as in ‘Bachelor Father’ or ‘Lassie.’

Say what you want about these shows being ‘unrealistic,’ these shows were entertaining and often inspiring, and the plots generally resulted in better understanding, communication and affection between the parents and between the generations as the children confronted ‘issues’ and received guidance, support and consequences from the responsible adults in their lives, who generally role-modeled respectable behaviors.”
Dr. Laura Schlessinger

An the Federalist has this to say about education and the Governments role in it:

“A most interesting fact of history is that Americans were probably the most literate people in the world before the advent of government schools and compulsory school attendance. Since the U.S. was already highly literate when parents were allowed complete freedom in educating their children, the reason behind compulsory attendance obviously had nothing to do with academics. Neither was the problem one of economics, as there was not a shortage of charity schools. If the purpose was not one of academics or to help poor children receive an education, what was the intent behind the push for government schools and more importantly, compulsory attendance laws? This is an urgent question that begs an honest answer because with ever increasing government controls and compulsory attendance, American literacy rates have steadily plummeted. With the billions of dollars spent on education can this really be an accident?”
Debbie O’Hara


“A 1990 Gallup survey for the National Endowment of the Humanities, given to a representative sample of 700 college seniors, found that 25 percent did not know that Columbus landed in the Western Hemisphere before the year 1500, 42 percent could not place the Civil War in the correct half-century, and 31 percent thought Reconstruction came after World War II. In 1993, a Department of Education survey found that, among college graduates, 50 percent of whites and more than 80 percent of blacks couldn’t state in writing the argument made in a newspaper column or use a bus schedule to get on the right bus, 56 percent could not calculate the right tip, 57 percent could not figure out how much change they should get back after putting down $3 to pay for a 60-cent bowl of soup and a $1.95 sandwich, and over 90 percent could not use a calculator to find the cost of carpeting a room. But not to worry. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni’s 1999 survey of seniors at the nation’s top 55 liberal arts colleges and universities found that 98 percent could identify rap artist Snoop Doggy Dogg and Beavis and Butt-Head, but only 34 percent knew George Washington was the general at the battle of Yorktown. Americans as donors and taxpayers have been exceedingly generous to our universities. Given our universities’ gross betrayal of trust, Americans should rethink their generosity as well as rethink who serves on boards of trustees that, in dereliction of duty, permit universities to become hotbeds of political activism and academic fraud. There are a few universities where there’s still integrity and academic honesty, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. Among them are: Grove City College, Pa., Hillsdale College, Mich., Franciscan University, Steubenville, Iowa, and others listed at the Web page of Young America’s Foundation.”
--Walter Williams

This does not bode well for the direction our country is taking, is it? At least we have the Federalist:


The Federalist Patriot is an advocate of individual rights and responsibilities as ordained by God and established in the governmental context framed by our nation’s Founders in our Declaration of Independence and its subordinate guidance, our Republic’s Constitution, as explicated by The Federalist Papers. Our mission is to provide Constitutional Conservatives with a quick-reading e-journal digesting a wide spectrum of reliable information from reputable research, advocacy and media organizations -- a brief, timely, informative and entertaining survey and analysis of the week’s most significant news, policy and opinion as anecdotal rebuttal to political, social and media Leftists. The Federalist Patriot is protected speech pursuant to the First (and Second) Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Statement of Allegiance as subscribed by The Federalist’s National Advisory Committee, Staff and Associates: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, so help me God.”

The Federalist Patriot is a publication of Publius Press, Inc. Copyright (C) 1981-2004 Publius Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The Federalist Patriot is a Town Hall Citizen Organization In God we trust. ><>

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Friday, December 17, 2004

Stem Cells From Fat Used to Repair Skull - by The Associated Press

Note how no embryos were tossed in a blender to do this. (At no time did the researches' hands ever leave thier wrists!)

Stem Cells From Fat Used to Repair Skull

December 17, 2004

(The Associated Press) -- Surgeons have used stem cells from fat to help repair skull damage in a 7-year-old girl in Germany, in what’s apparently the first time such fat-derived cells have been exploited to grow bone in a human.

The girl had been injured two years before in a fall, which destroyed several areas of her skull totaling nearly 19 square inches, the German researchers reported.

Other surgeons had failed to correct the defects, and the girl wore a protective helmet. Her brain could sometimes be seen pulsating through the missing areas of her skull.

But several weeks after the stem-cell surgery, she was able to leave her helmet behind, the researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery. The skull is now smooth to the touch, the missing parts replaced by thin but solid bone, said Dr. Hans-Peter Howaldt of the Justus-Liebig-University Medical School in Giessen, Germany. The child was not identified.

Howaldt, who performed the surgery last year, said the damage was too extensive to be repaired with bone grafts from her body. He said the hope was that if bits of the child’s bone were mixed with stem cells, the cells would turn into bone-building cells that would create additional bone.

That appears to have happened, Howaldt said in a telephone interview Thursday.

“I cannot prove that our success comes from the stem cells alone,” he said, “but the combination of the two things simply worked.”

In August, other German doctors reported growing a jaw bone in a man’s back muscle and transplanting it to his mouth to fill a gap left by cancer surgery. The researchers used bone marrow, which also contains stem cells, to help grow the bone. But it’s not clear whether the stem cells were responsible for the bone growth.

So Roy C. Ogle of the University of Virginia, an expert in skull reconstructive surgery who has been studying bone regeneration from fat-derived cells, said he considered the new report to be the first indicating that any kind of stem cell had been used to grow bone in a human.

“It is a very big deal,” said Ogle, who called the study a landmark.

He agreed that the study didn’t prove that stem cells provided the new bone. But it also indicates that the implanted cells did no harm, which has been a concern with using stem cells in people, he said.

Ogle said many surgeons would have augmented the child’s bone with a mineral paste or collagen instead of stem cells. Howaldt said he believes it’s better to use the body’s own tissue.

Howaldt and his colleagues treated the skull in the same operation that recovered bone from the girl’s pelvis and about 1.5 ounces of fat tissue from her buttocks. The bone was milled into chips about one-tenth of an inch long and placed in the missing areas of the skull. Then surgeons added the stem cells to the bone chips. The cells had been extracted from the girl’s fat in a laboratory while surgeons prepared the girl’s skull.

Howaldt said the bone chips appeared to instruct the stem cells to make more bone. While the new bone should grow as the child grows, she’s old enough that her skull won’t grow much more anyway, he said.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A thought about Iraqi Elections

“The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity.” --George Washington

It is hard to tell what is going on in Iraq what with a press corps that is anti-war/anti-Bush/ and perhaps even anti-America only telling us about the doom and gloom. For example, here is the ‘behind the story-story about the ‘questions’ Rumsfeld was asked in Kuwait yesterday:

Apparently a reporter set up Rumsfeld, had a conversation with the soldier. The reporter was mad that Rumsfeld wasn’t taking questions from the press, and so the reporter suggested these questions to the soldier, and the soldier asked the questions about lack of armor on vehicles that the reporter wanted to ask, but since Rumsfeld wasn’t taking questions, he had no choice, and the journalist who engineered this says, “I just had one of my best days as a journalist today. As luck would have it, our journey north was delayed just long enough so I could attend a visit today here by Rumsfeld. I was told yesterday that only soldiers could ask questions, so I brought two of them along with me as my escorts, soldiers. Beforehand we worked on questions to ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles going into combat had.” -Rush Limbaugh

When there is no news they just fudge it. (BTW, don’t roll your eyes at a Rush Limbaugh quote, he has been found to be right over 98% of the time. He may not tell the whole truth all the time, but what he does say is the truth. It has to be, he is held up to way too much scrutiny to have it otherwise.)

What I want to know is what our government and Iraqi’s are doing to spread the word to the Iraqi people about what the fighting there is all about. Here is something that President Bush said recently:

When Iraqis choose their leaders in free elections, it will destroy the myth that the terrorists are fighting a foreign occupation and make clear that what the terrorists are really fighting is the will of the Iraqi people. -GW Bush (43)

This is what it is all about; setting up democracies in the Middle East to bring some sanity into the entire region. This is what the so called insurgents (terrorists) are fighting against. They can’t afford to have free thinking people, especially so many of them, in the middle of the insanity that has held reign there for over fifty years.

Of course, that we have a large presence there on both sides of Iran has a lot of the madmen there unhinged as well, don’t you think? Speaking of Iran, what do you think about them making atom bombs? What do you think about their security, will terrorists get their hands on them? Who said no? The terrorists run that country!

Afghanistan had their elections and nobody thought they would. That was the first election in that piece of the world in recorded history, and the people turned out in droves. Of course they want to have a say in their lives, everybody does, even the Iraqis.

God Bless GW Bush(43), and may He oversee the elections in Iraq.

God bless us all, please.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Spinal cords fixed, and without stem cells!

Great news here, potentially, for people suffering from spinal cord injuries. Read carefully and note, there is not a stem cell insight!

Thank goodness we aren’t spending inordinate amounts of money on embryonic stem cell research, eh?

Scientists Reverse Paralysis In Dogs

AP - December 6, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Dogs with paralyzed hind legs regained the ability to walk after getting a shot of a chemical cousin of antifreeze that helped repair nerve cells in their damaged spinal cords, scientists reported.

Purdue University researchers who led the project hope the approach can soon be tried in people, but caution that there are significant differences between human and canine spinal cords.

The treatment only worked on dogs given the injections within about three days of their injury. Some dogs not given the injections eventually walked again, but those getting the new treatment had a dramatically higher recovery rate.

In one case, a dachshund named Oscar was initially sent home with a wheel cart and little hope of recovery after a serious injury.

Soon after the dog got the chemical treatment, he began walking, although his back legs work in unison, giving him an unusual gait.

“I used to make fun of him, saying he walks like a drunken sailor,” said Oscar’s owner, Dan Paulin of Boonville, Ind. “I don’t think he’ll ever be normal, but at least he’s not confined to the wheel cart.”

In the study, 19 paraplegic dogs were injected with polyethylene glycol, or PEG -- a nontoxic liquid polymer composed of long strings of the same type of molecules found in antifreeze.

Within eight weeks, 13 of the 19 canines, about 68 percent, regained the use of their hind legs and were able to walk, some almost as well as before their injury.

The dogs were injected twice with PEG, first soon after their owners brought them to the researchers’ labs and then after standard surgery and steroids to reduce inflammation.

Among a group of 24 dogs that received just the standard surgery and rehabilitation therapies, only about 25 percent regained the same level of mobility, feeling and bodily functions, with about 62 percent remaining paraplegic.

The study’s findings appear in the December issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma.

Scientists at Purdue, Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus and Texas A&M University took part in the research on dogs ages 2 to 8 between 2001-03.

Richard Borgens, the Purdue professor of neuroscience who oversaw the study, said his West Lafayette, Ind., lab had previously used PEG to repair damaged spinal cords in guinea pigs with about a 90 percent success rate.

His team has even fused severed guinea pig spinal cords using PEG, although the dogs in the study had spinal disc ruptures that crushed, but did not sever, their spinal cords.

Although exactly how PEG works remains unclear, Borgens said it appears to act as a sort of “molecular Band-Aid” that forms a temporary seal over breaches in nerve cells in the spinal cord, aiding their healing process.

“This stuff is kind of like a radiator stop-leak for the nervous system. The polymer spreads out and forms a seal over the damaged areas in the nerve cells and allows the membrane below to reconstruct itself,” said Borgens, director of Purdue’s Center for Paralysis Research.

He said PEG also appears to prevent secondary tissue death that often causes more damage than the original injury. Borgens said the agent only covers damaged cells and tissues when injected into the blood stream.

Purdue has enlisted a yet-to-be-announced corporate sponsor that will make PEG in a form suitable for human clinical trials. Pending federal approval, Borgens hopes those trials can begin within about 18 months on people with hours-old or days-old spinal injuries.

W. Dalton Dietrich, the scientific director of The Miami Project To Cure Paralysis, said the rapid improvements in the dogs are intriguing, but point to the need for follow-up work to learn more about how PEG works and evaluate its safety. “Although the results are very provocative, additional studies are required,” he said.

Karen Kline, an associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa, called the findings promising. She said PEG, which she plans to test on dogs at her lab, appears to stabilize damaged tissue to allow more rapid healing than typically occurs naturally.

“It has such promise, but I think we need to look at more animals and make sure that we’re getting a positive outcome,” Kline said.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A broken window into civilization - by: Kathleen Parker

The following is one of the best descriptions of what has been going wrong with out culture and our country. It may well be a defining essay on conservatism. It is certainly one of, if not THE, best insight into the 'slippery-slope' of liberalism. (Yes, Rich, she is beautiful to behold as well; and her mind is exquisite.

Please read to the end, she pulls it together so very, very well.


A broken window into civilization

by: Kathleen Parker

December 1, 2004,1,7942655.column


As we marveled over the basketball brawl between players and spectators at a recent Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons game -- and then the fourth-quarter melee between Clemson University and University of South Carolina football players -- I kept thinking, "broken windows."

The "broken windows" theory of social breakdown goes more or less like this: If a broken window in a building is left unrepaired, pretty soon all the windows are broken, and so goes the neighborhood.

By now familiar, the theory was conceived and popularized by Harvard professors James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. They wrote in the March 1982 edition of The Atlantic Monthly that if broken windows are not repaired, "the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside."

"Or consider a sidewalk," wrote Wilson and Kelling. "Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars."

The authors determined that the way to prevent vandalism -- and thus more serious forms of crime and urban deterioration -- was to fix the broken windows. To clean up the sidewalk. To fix the small things before they become big things.

As mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani put the theory to work by strictly enforcing laws against small crimes -- subway-fare evasion, for example -- and major crime dropped significantly.

Wilson and Kelling explained that the reason one broken window leads to more broken windows is because human beings respond to these signs as an absence of caring or of anyone being in charge. In the absence of authority -- the symbolic adult -- children tend to behave badly. Order breaks down. Civility disintegrates.

Given which, it seems reasonable to extend the broken-windows theory to the larger culture. Why wouldn't a similar lack of adult attention to standards of human civility eventually result in the cultural equivalent of broken windows?

It does not seem a stretch that what we witnessed on the basketball court and the football field is merely the inevitable conclusion of the general coarsening we've witnessed in the culture the past few decades.

Where Wilson and Kelling considered broken buildings and littered sidewalks, we might consider a profane and sex-saturated culture in which coarse language, base human interaction and incivility are no longer the exception but the norm.

In such a climate, shock jocks and post-pubescent television producers think scatological humor and titillation on public airwaves is a hoot. It's knee-slappingly funny during family time -- the more and better to offend.

Setting aside for a moment the utter banality of what passes for entertainment -- and the yawn that has replaced contempt amid extreme familiarity -- such cultural coarsening nourishes the impression that nothing matters and no one cares.

Parents struggling to raise decent, well-mannered children in this swamp know, of course, that everything matters. Even the words we use. When we ignore the little niceties -- tolerating coarse language or behavior in public -- we invite larger fractures in civilization, which is a fragile facade after all.

Talking like this, of course, will get you labeled a rube, a prude or, worse, a censor. What's with profanity, anyway? They're only words. Comedian George Carlin, who is funny without the seven words he built his most famous skit around, made us feel silly for caring about language.

As for the relentless fascination with variations on ye olde bump 'n' grind, confusion sets in. What's wrong with sex? Not one thing -- in the right place and time. But the courtesy of observing certain rules of decorum -- previously known as manners and once taken for granted -- is passe. Soooooo whenever.

It is considered sophisticated, on the other hand, to ridicule America's "obsession" with such things as Janet Jackson's nipple, famously revealed during her "wardrobe malfunction" in the Super Bowl halftime show. It was just a breast, for heaven's sake! What's the biggie?

Nipple-schmipple. No it wasn't just a breast. A mother nursing her infant is just a breast. Janet and Justin's little prank was a deliberate act of juvenile defiance, a self-indulgent, narcissistic display by emotionally stunted adults playing fast and loose with the rules for their own amusement. It was a middle finger shoved in Middle America's face.

The point then, as now, is only this. Either we believe in and honor community standards or we don't. Ignoring simple standards, constructed to protect and advance civilization, is like ignoring the broken window. In time, the culture -- like the neighborhood -- goes to you-know-where in a handbasket.

Kathleen Parker can be reached at or 407-420-5202.

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