Dr Benjamin Carson takes Obamacare and the Nanny State to the woodshed at the National Prayer Breakfast. Brilliant!
Dr Benjamin Carson takes Obamacare and the Nanny State to the woodshed at the National Prayer Breakfast. Brilliant!
by: Cassy Fiano
Many pro-aborts try to flip the label of pro-life on us, calling us anti-abortion or anti-choice. They don’t want the reminder out there that abortion is ending a life. But one pro-abortion blogger at Salon, Mary Elizabeth Williams, is going a different route. She readily admits that abortion ends a life… and that’s A-OK.
Her response to the question of abortion ending a life? So what?
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.
… When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb?
… My belief that life begins at conception is mine to cling to. And if you believe that it begins at birth, or somewhere around the second trimester, or when the kid finally goes to college, that’s a conversation we can have, one that I hope would be respectful and empathetic and fearless. We can’t have it if those of us who believe that human life exists in utero are afraid we’re somehow going to flub it for the cause. In an Op-Ed on “Why I’m Pro-Choice” in the Michigan Daily this week, Emma Maniere stated, quite perfectly, that “Some argue that abortion takes lives, but I know that abortion saves lives, too.” She understands that it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families. And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.
A life worth sacrificing. An unborn baby is indeed a life…a life which matters only if the mother finds it convenient. If the mother finds the pregnancy inconvenient, then it’s no big deal at all to end that life.
And she calls pro-lifers diabolical.
Of course, there’s something she’s getting wrong. Abortion isn’t sacrificing a life. Sacrificing a life requires willingness, for someone to stand up and say, Yes, I am willing to die for you. A mother absolutely can make a sacrifice to save the life of her unborn child – Chiara Corbella is a heart-breaking example – but an unborn child cannot be “sacrificed” for his or her mother. An unborn baby does not have a say in the decision to have an abortion; an unborn baby does not choose to die. Abortion is not a sacrifice. It’s murder. Let’s get that straight.
While Williams claims she does not want to come across as a “death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm trooper,” that’s exactly what she’s done. Some lives are worth more than others? Said every eugenicist, totalitarian dictator, and murderer who’s ever existed. That is the mindset that says it’s acceptable for parents to euthanize their disabled children, or that the elderly can be killed without their consent. By this same logic, infanticide should be completely acceptable as well. Heck, a mother should be allowed to kill her ten-year-old, too, if the mother decides that that child’s life is worth sacrificing.
It would be interesting to know who exactly gets to decide which lives are worthy to continue living, and which are not, since according to Williams, some lives are worth more than others. Are the disabled worthy of living? The elderly? The poor? Who decides? If not all humans are worthy of life, then who decides which get to live and which are sentenced to die?
I also want to point out the inherent narcissism of Williams’s argument. Not only is it acceptable to kill your unborn child merely out of inconvenience, but to Williams, it’s something worth sacrificing. How self-absorbed and narcissistic must you be to see the murder of your child as a noble, worthy sacrifice? It’s as if she thinks the baby would willingly agree to be slaughtered so Mommy doesn’t have to deal with the hassle of having a baby. That takes a seriously warped mind.
Pro-aborts will surely be cursing this article for drawing back the curtain and exposing the grisly truth about abortion. It doesn’t actually matter what people say regarding whether the unborn baby is a human life. Science has already established that it is. The question is whether or not women should have the right to take that life. And while abortion activists usually try to avoid the truth, Williams has brought it, like maggots festering underneath a rock, unflinchingly to the light for all to see.
An Iraq veteran who lost all four limbs in a roadside bombing in Iraq almost four-years ago said today he’s looking forward to driving and swimming after undergoing a double-arm transplant.
‘I just want to get the most out of these arms, and just as goals come up, knock them down and take it absolutely as far as I can,’ Brendan Marrocco said Tuesday.
The 26-year-old New Yorker spoke at a news conference at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was joined by surgeons who performed the arduous and complex 13-hour operation.
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After he was wounded, Marrocco said, he felt fine using prosthetic legs, but he hated not having arms.
‘You talk with your hands, you do everything with your hands, basically, and when you don’t have that, you’re kind of lost for a while,’ he said.
Marrocco said his chief desire is to drive the black Dodge Charger that’s been sitting in his garage for three years.
‘I used to love to drive,’ he said. ‘I’m really looking forward to just getting back to that, and just becoming an athlete again.’
Although he doesn’t expect to excel at soccer, his favorite sport, Marrocco said he’d like to swim and compete in a marathon using a hand-cycle.
Marrocco joked that military service members sometimes regard themselves as poorly paid professional athletes.
His good humor and optimism are among the qualities doctors cited as signs he will recover much of his arm and hand use in two to three years.
‘He’s a young man with a tremendous amount of hope, and he’s stubborn – stubborn in a good way,’ said Dr. Jaimie Shores, the hospital’s clinical director of hand transplantation. ‘I think the sky’s the limit.’
Shores said Marrocco has already been trying to use his hands, although he lacks feeling in the fingers, and he’s eager to do more as the slow-growing nerves and muscles mend.
‘I suspect that he will be using his hands for just about everything as we let him start trying to do more and more. Right now, we’re the ones really kind of holding him back at this point,’ Shores said.
The procedure was only the seventh double-hand or double-arm transplant ever done in the United States.
The infantryman was injured by a roadside bomb in 2009. He is the first soldier to survive losing all four limbs in the Iraq War.
Marrocco also received bone marrow from the same donor to minimize the medicine needed to prevent rejection.
He said he didn’t know much about the donor but ‘I’m humbled by their gift.’
The 13-hour operation on December 18th was led by Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, plastic surgery chief at Hopkins.-
Marrocco was being released from the hospital Tuesday but will receive intensive therapy for two years at Hopkins and then at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
After a major surgery, human nerves regenerate at a rate of an inch per month, Lee said.
‘The progress will be slow, but the outcome will be rewarding,’ he added.
The infantryman also received bone marrow from the same dead donor who supplied his new arms. That novel approach is aimed at helping his body accept the new limbs with minimal medication to prevent rejection.
The military sponsors operations like these to help wounded troops. About 300 have lost arms or hands in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Unlike a life-saving heart or liver transplant, limb transplants are aimed at improving quality of life, not extending it. Quality of life is a key concern for people missing arms and hands — prosthetics for those limbs are not as advanced as those for feet and legs.
‘He was the first quad amputee to survive,’ and there have been four others since then, Alex Marrocco said.
The Marroccos want to thank the donor’s family for ‘making a selfless decision … making a difference in Brendan’s life,’ the father said.
Brendan Marrocco has been in public many times. During a July 4 visit last year to the Sept. 11 Memorial with other disabled soldiers, he said he had no regrets about his military service.
‘I wouldn’t change it in any way. … I feel great. I’m still the same person,’ he said.
Lee led three of those earlier operations when he worked at the University of Pittsburgh, including the only above-elbow transplant that had been done at the time, in 2010.
Marrocco’s ‘was the most complicated one’ so far, Lee said in an interview Monday. It will take more than a year to know how fully Marrocco will be able to use the new arms.
‘The maximum speed is an inch a month for nerve regeneration,’ he explained. ‘We’re easily looking at a couple years’ until the full extent of recovery is known.
While at Pittsburgh, Lee pioneered the immune-suppression approach used for Marrocco. The surgeon led hand-transplant operations on five patients, giving them marrow from their donors in addition to the new limbs.
All five recipients have done well, and four have been able to take just one anti-rejection drug instead of combination treatments most transplant patients receive.
Minimizing anti-rejection drugs is important because they have side effects and raise the risk of cancer over the long term. Those risks have limited the willingness of surgeons and patients to do more hand, arm and even face transplants.
Lee has received funding for his work from AFIRM, the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a cooperative research network of top hospitals and universities around the country that the government formed about five years ago.
With government money, he and several other plastic surgeons around the country are preparing to do more face transplants, possibly using the new immune-suppression approach.
Marrocco expects to spend three to four months at Hopkins, then return to a military hospital to continue physical therapy, his father said.
Before the operation, he had been fitted with prosthetic legs and had learned to walk on his own.
He had been living with his older brother in a specially equipped home on New York’s Staten Island that had been built with the help of several charities.
Shortly after moving in, he said it was ‘a relief to not have to rely on other people so much.’
The home was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy last fall.
Despite being in a lot of pain for some time after the operation, Marrocco showed a sense of humor, his father said.
He had a hoarse voice from the tube that was in his throat during the long surgery and decided he sounded like Al Pacino. He soon started doing movie lines.
‘He was making the nurses laugh,’ Alex Marrocco said.
Iraq war veteran who lost all four limbs in blast proudly shows off his double arm transplant
Attribution: James Nye, Mail Online
When President Obama signed his 23 executive orders this week to reduce gun violence, I had to laugh at several of them. One in particular was to issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
Really? Is it a bacteria or virus that infects certain people? Is it contagious?
Do any of you remember the movie Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta? One of the songs used in the movie was sung by country singer Johnny Lee and it was called, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. That’s exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing with gun violence, looking in all the wrong places.
The CDC is going to spend millions of taxpayer dollars looking for solutions in all the wrong places. Continue Reading
We spend around 10% of our waking hours with our eyes shut.
And while it’s commonly thought that we blink to keep our eyes lubricated, it seems a lot of the time it’s because our brains need a little nap.
New research suggests that the human brain uses that tiny moment of shut-eye to power down.
Researchers from Japan’s Osaka University found that the mental break can last anywhere from a split second to a few seconds before attention is fully restored.
Scans that track the ebb and flow of blood within the brain revealed that regions associated with paying close attention momentarily go offline.
The brain then goes into a ‘default mode network’, or idle setting.
The same setting is engaged when our attention is not required by a cognitive task such as reading or speaking and our thoughts wander freely.
During this mode we tend to contemplate our feelings; we wonder what a friend meant by a recent comment; we consider something we did last week, or imagine what we’ll do tomorrow.
While listening to another person or reading, that usually comes at the end of a sentence and while watching a film, we’re most likely to blink when an actor leaves the scene or when the camera shifts.
Most of us take between 15 and 20 such moments of downtime per minute.
The new research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, studied 20 healthy young subjects in a brain scanner as they watched snippets from the British comedy Mr. Bean.
When subjects blinked, the researchers detected a momentary stand-down within the brain’s visual cortex and somatosensory cortex — both involved with processing visual stimuli – and in areas that govern attention.
Separate studies on blinking have shown that while telling a lie, people have been found to blink less.
In the seconds after telling a lie, however, the liar will blink far more frequently than a truth-teller.
Attribution: Mail Online
A potential cure for permanent deafness has been found by scientists using a drug that stimulates the inner ear.
The drug, codenamed LY411575, triggers the regeneration of sensory hair cells.
Until now it has not been possible to restore the cells once they have been lost due to factors such as loud noise exposure, infection and toxic drugs.
This type of deafness, often suffered by rock musicians and DJs, is generally assumed to be irreversible.
Scientists succeeded in partially restoring hearing to mice that had been deafened by loud noise.
Although the research is at an early stage, they believe it could lead to effective treatments for acute noise-induced deafness in humans.
The tiny sensory hairs in the cochlea are vital to hearing. Sound vibrations transferred from the eardrum shake the hairs, causing nerve messages to be fired to the brain.
Without the hairs, the hearing pathway is blocked and no signals are received by the brain’s auditory centre.
While birds and fish are capable of regenerating sound-sensing hair cells, mammals are not.
The new approach involves reprogramming inner ear cells by inhibiting a protein called Notch.
Previous laboratory research had shown that Notch signals help prevent stem cells in the cochlea transforming themselves into new sensory hair cells.
The drug LY411575 suppresses Notch. Mice with noise-induced hearing loss generated functioning sensory hair cells after the drug was injected into their damaged cochleas.
Lead researcher Dr Albert Edge, from Harvard Medical School in the US, said: ‘We show that hair cells can be regenerated from the surrounding cells in the cochlea.
‘These cells, called supporting cells, transdifferentiate into hair cells after inhibition of the Notch signalling pathway, and the new hair cell generation results in a recovery of hearing in the region of the cochlea where the new hair cells appear.
‘The significance of this study is that hearing loss is a huge problem affecting 250 million worldwide.’
Details of the study are reported in the journal Neuron.
A green fluorescent protein was used to label the newly generated hair cells.
Electronic measurements of auditory brainstem responses confirmed that three months after treatment, lost hair cells had been replaced and were working.
Improvement in hearing was seen over a wide range of frequencies.
Dr Edge added: ‘The missing hair cells had been replaced by new hair cells after the drug treatment, and analysis of their location allowed us to correlate the improvement in hearing to the areas where the hair cells were replaced.
‘We’re excited about these results because they are a step forward in the biology of regeneration and prove that mammalian hair cells have the capacity to regenerate.
‘With more research, we think that regeneration of hair cells opens the door to potential therapeutic applications in deafness.’
Vivienne Michael, chief executive of the charity Deafness Research UK, said: ‘As always, we have to be cautious about new research findings but this US research is extremely encouraging.
‘At the moment there is no way of reversing eight in 10 cases of hearing loss, including noise-induced deafness and the progressive deafness so many of us experience as we age – hearing aids are the only answer.
Attribution: Mail Online
No, it’s not the name of a rap artist.
Scientists have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time.
The dramatic breakthrough was made by researchers in Japan who created cancer-specific killer T cells.
They say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapy.
The cells naturally occur in small numbers, but it is hoped injecting huge quantities back into a patient could turbo-charge the immune system.
Researchers at the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology revealed they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific, immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes.
To create these, the team first had to reprogram T lymphocytes specialized in killing a certain type of cancer, into another type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).
These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future.
Previous research has shown that killer T lymphocytes produced in the lab using conventional methods are inefficient in killing cancer cells mainly because they have a very short life-span, which limits their use as treatment for cancer.
To overcome the problems, the Japanese researchers, led by Hiroshi Kawamoto reprogrammed mature human killer T lymphocytes into iPS cells and investigated how these cells differentiate.
The team induced killer T lymphocytes specific for a certain type of skin cancer to reprogram into iPS cells by exposing the lymphocytes to the ‘Yamanaka factors’ – a group of compounds that induce cells to revert back to a non-specialized, stage.
The iPS cells obtained were then grown in the lab and induced to differentiate into killer T lymphocytes again. This new batch of T lymphocytes was shown to be specific for the same type of skin cancer as the original lymphocytes.
They maintained the genetic reorganisation, enabling them to express the cancer-specific receptor on their surface. The new T lymphocytes were also shown to be active and to produce an anti-tumor compound.
Doctor Kawamoto said: ‘We have succeeded in the expansion of antigen-specific T cells by making iPS cells and differentiating them back into functional T cells.
‘The next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumor cells but not other cells in the body. If they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realized in the not-so-distant future.’
The findings were published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London, said: ‘The study tackled a novel, quite interesting approach to cell based therapy, something that we do not usually hear about.
‘Although this approach requires further verification and a lot of work needs to be done before we can think about clinical trials, the initial data are promising.
‘This pioneering work definitely provides a strong foundation to build and expand our knowledge about new opportunities in cell based therapy and personalized medicine.’
Attribution: Daily Mail
by: the Common Constitutionalist
America is in trouble. The country has been overrun. Congress should get involved in passing legislation to limit the sale, ownership and usage of this scourge. If Congress drags their feet, perhaps the President might sign an executive order.
Of course, I’m speaking of… Perfume. There ought to be a law against the abuse of perfume. Fragrance vendors in every store are just waiting to accost the unsuspecting passerby with their chemical weapons. They rarely give one a chance to “Just Say No”. It happened to me once. I felt violated as if I were involved in a drive-by spritzing.
Greedy big corporations invade our homes in newspapers, magazines and on our televisions, all the while being recklessly promoted by advertisers attempting to influence otherwise innocent viewers.
And then there’s the glorification of perfume by Hollywood. Stars and Starlets line up just to get their names on a bottle. It’s shameful that such an influential industry would embrace a product that should be deemed a controlled substance. How could they be so blind?
Nationwide, people suffer every day by just their proximity to perfume. Fragrances have been known to cause discomfort – triggering outbreaks of such ailments as sneezing and nasal congestion as well as runny noses and reportedly, asthma attacks. Oh the horror!
Well, I’m proud to say my state has taken the lead. The once conservative state of New Hampshire has finally, thanks to last election, gone almost completely Democrat and thus is now free to tackle the really tough issues.
A state representative has introduced legislation barring state employees from wearing fragrances who have contact with the public. This is actually the second time the bill has been introduced. Unfortunately the bill was shot down under the previous evil Republican legislature. Thankfully something may now get done and this bill should be but the opening volley of desperately needed restrictions.
Should we just demand this deadly substance be deemed illegal? Probably not, but the safety of our citizens, particularly our children, must be considered first and foremost.
I recommend a nonprofit organization underwrite a new activist campaign. They could be called “Code Stink”. They would travel to perfume unveilings and upscale boutiques with their picket signs and newly devised slogans. Slogans such as, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho; we don’t need to smell good…uh… anyway”. Not a very catchy slogan, I’ll grant you, but activists tend not to be the brightest bulbs on the tree.
Schools and public places should be made “Perfume Free Zones”, complete with a zero-tolerance policy. Even a picture drawn of a perfume bottle by a young student should be grounds for disciplinary action.
The feds as well as local police must employee perfume sniffing dogs to deal with potential high school contraband and specially trained TSA agents dispatched to airport and railroad terminals to prevent unlicensed transport of what should be a controlled substance.
A national registry of perfume owners should be initiated. A 24-hour waiting period prior to purchase and background check should be required. Perfume should not be sold to repeat scent offenders or the olfactively impaired.
High-capacity ionizers should be outlawed. Congress must take the lead and draft language defining the semi-automatic perfume dispenser (one pump, one spritz) versus the pressurized fully automatic version one might classify as an assault spritzer.
Last but not least, a new sin tax should be levied on the manufacturers and the Pushers (boutiques, stores and those representing them) for the medical and psychological damage caused to the sufferers.
Let us not concern ourselves with this pesky “Fiscal Cliff”, the “Affordable Care Act” or “Jobs”.
We must face, head on, the real pressing issue of our time, limiting the trafficking and use of perfume.
Feeling nostalgic about days gone by can make us feel warmer, new research has claimed.
The study investigated the effects of nostalgic feelings on reaction to cold and the perception of warmth.
The volunteers, from universities in China and the Netherlands, took part in one of five studies.
The first asked participants to keep an account of their nostalgic feelings over 30 days.
Results showed they felt more nostalgic on colder days.
The second study put participants in one of three rooms: cold (20C, 68F), comfortable (24C, 75F) and hot (28C, 82F), and then measured how nostalgic they felt.
Participants felt more nostalgic in the cold room than in the comfortable and hot rooms.
The third study used music to evoke nostalgia to see if it was linked to warmth.
The participants who said the music made them feel nostalgic also tended to say that the music made them feel physically warmer.
The fourth study tested the effect of nostalgia on physical warmth by placing participants in a cold room and instructing them to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary event from their past.
They were then asked to guess the temperature of the room.
Those who recalled a nostalgic event perceived the room they were in to be warmer.
Study five again instructed participants to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary event from their past.
They then placed their hand in ice-cold water to see how long they could stand it.
Findings showed that the volunteers who indulged in nostalgia held their hand in the water for longer.
Dr Tim Wildschut, senior lecturer at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, said: ‘Nostalgia is experienced frequently and virtually by everyone and we know that it can maintain psychological comfort.
‘For example, nostalgic reverie can combat loneliness.’
‘We wanted to take that a step further and assess whether it can also maintain physiological comfort.
‘Our study has shown that nostalgia serves a homeostatic function, allowing the mental simulation of previously enjoyed states, including states of bodily comfort; in this case making us feel warmer or increasing our tolerance of cold.
‘More research is now needed to see if nostalgia can combat other forms of physical discomfort, besides low temperature.’
The study, published in the journal Emotion, was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University and Tilburg University.
Attribution: Mark Prigg
A Minnesota man with terminal cancer was miraculously cured while working to restore an old, abandoned church that needed as much as care as he did.
Greg Thomas of Montgomery, Minnesota, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his head and neck three years ago, KARE11 News reports. He has since had difficult swallowing and uses a feeding tube for nutrition.
Now, after spending months restoring the old wood-framed chapel, his cancer is believed to be in remission.
Thomas, who was 57 at the time of his diagnosis, was laid off from his job delivering propane.
‘When I found out that I had cancer, they told my family to go ahead and start planning my funeral,” he told KARE11.
To cope with his stress he started taking long walks though the countryside with his dog.
Thomas came across the old church during one of those walks. The foundation was decaying and the paint was peeling.
He attempted to go inside the chapel when he first noticed it, but it was locked. So he sat on the steps for a while.
Built in 1868 by Catholic Czech settlers who later moved to a bigger parish, the old Church had not housed a congregation in more than a century.
One day, Thomas decided to reach out to the few people living close to the church.
He was out of work, and thought fixing up the structure would give him a sort of sanctuary.
‘He went to a neighbor and said he wanted to paint the church, and who does he talk to, so the neighbor sent him to talk to me,’ Don Rynda, treasurer of the foundation that keeps up the church cemetery’, told KARE11.
Thomas went to repairing the church soon after.
Now the old chapel is freshly clothed in white and Thomas’s cancer is in remission.
Thomas said he plans to continue his work on the church, moving on to the roof and the interior next.
Attribution: Mail Online