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Archive for April, 2009

I saw this Woodrow Wilson quote engraved in 3′ letters above an arch across the street from the TN State Capitol today:

“America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured.”

Wilson used these words to issue the U.S. into WWI. I’m not confident that those principles are the aim anymore.

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There is good movement abroad for churches to move back to the fundamentals of the faith, to put aside the petty, to teach the congregants to be concerned with the true fundamentals of the faith as were fought for and defended throughout history and then elucidated somewhat in the early 1900s by Torrey, et al.

Lately, we have been making much of molehills and sidetracks and have forgotten our center, causing us to be be weak at our center.

It reminds me of the John Adams quote I’ve quoted here before about why we do hard things so that our liberties and studies can be expanded over generations. But when our liberties, boundaries and opportunities are expanded like this, it makes it easier to stop thinking about the core of what makes us as Americans or Christians, which is those founding, central, philosophies and Gospel.

I was thinking that when I read this today by William Hazlitt (1778-1830):

“When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.”

When a generation fights and bleeds for political freedom or inerrancy or the deity of Christ, the next generation assumes it. But the problem with assuming something is that over generations the thing is sometimes held more cheaply. As a Christian, I want to be centered on pure Gospel and cleave to the list of fundamentals (the Creed) that was ingrained into a memorized list in my head. As an American, I want to be centered on life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, limited government, earnest capitalism, etc. As an educator, I want to go back to the basics and teach kids how to learn and to exceed the prescribed expectations of a meager community.

Sometimes the means are a subject of controversy. The fluid, easy, quiet thing would be to go with the flow. “Why teach Latin?” “Why talk about the atonement?”

Why does all this trying to go back to the core feel so much like rebellion?

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A guest entry by Christie’s cousin, Larry J. Miller, M.D., who is highly esteemed for his excellence in medicine and his medical inventions, including the EZ-IO which is saving lives around the world every day. He is mostly esteemed by us simply for being a kind and gracious man.

Swine Flu – The Journalistic Scaredemic

Swine Flu is a new strain of influenza that has caused very few deaths in the USA. That being the case, why are Americans in a state of panic over the Swine flu?

The answer is that the media (CNN, ABC, NBC, USA Today, along with other publications) have stirred the public into a virtual frenzy. They are bombarding us with hysteria. They love it. Nothing turns them on more than to sensationalize mountains out of molehills. In the case of the Swine Flu, the media is guilty of causing an epidemic of panic. They are guilty because they relentlessly hype this dubious threat into a certain deadly pandemic.

Let’s look at the facts:
Seasonal influenza causes thousands of deaths every week during flu season in the USA. The CDC estimates that seasonal flu causes over 36,000 deaths per year (200,000 hospital admissions) and over 500,000 deaths per year in the world. Does the media discuss these statistics? No. Why? Because these are boring facts – not sensational news that bolsters their ratings and increases their revenue.

How is Swine Flu different than regular seasonal flu?
It has become the “boogie man”, used by the media to terrorize the public. And they are getting away with it. Yes, the Swine Flu will eventually kill more people in the US, but the chance of it becoming more dangerous than seasonal flu is unlikely. Unfortunately, the media is even scaring medical and public officials into irrational behavior. Why are they closing schools for Swine flu (that is credited with a couple of deaths) but not for seasonal flu (that kills hundreds every week)?

What other biological threats do we encounter every day?
Tuberculosis, Streptococcus (flesh eating bacteria), AIDS, Hepatitis, Pneumonia, Influenza, Staphylococcus, E Coli, Salmonella, Shegella, and the list goes on and on. Thousands die every week from these infections; some are incurable and untreatable. I would much rather be infected with Swine Flu which is susceptible to several antiviral agents, than to have MRSA that often cannot be cured.

As EMS leaders what should we do?
We already have protocols that address exposure to dangerous biological threats. As long as we practice our usual and customary universal precautions we will not contract Swine Flu or any of the far more dangerous biologics we encounter every day. We do not have to change any policy, protocol or procedure. We do have to use common sense and notify supervisors or medical control if we are concerned about a particular incident.

We live in an environment of danger from infectious diseases. Swine Flu is only one of them. How do we stay healthy? Most folks have a strong immune system that protects them. In medicine we work in the midst of such infections, but rarely contract them because we use universal precautions (gloves, masks, and gowns) to keep us safe.

What we in the medical field need to do, more than anything else is to remain calm and reassure our patients that the sky is not falling in. Be understanding and prepared, but do not get caught up in the hype and hysteria. We need to be a voice of sanity in an insane world.

During the last great war, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That has not changed.

As a rational scientific community, we should reprimand the media for their irresponsible behavior. Force them to develop a balanced approach to a potential problem. As it stands today, they have inadvertently become the problem. They are the Epidemic (Scaredemic).

Larry J. Miller M.D.

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I don’t think the plaintiff thought this was as funny as I do. I laughed through the whole story, especially the Justice’s snarky remarks.

Court Upholds 10-Year Penalty for Robber’s Flub

WASHINGTON — “This,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Wednesday in announcing one of the term’s less momentous Supreme Court decisions, “is the case of the bumbling bank robber.”

The bank robber, Christopher M. Dean, was wearing a mask and waving a gun when he entered a branch of AmSouth Bank in Rome, Ga., in 2004, saying the usual things. Everyone, as instructed, got down. He walked behind the teller counter, grabbing cash with his left hand and holding his gun with his right.

The gun accidentally went off, hurting no one. Mr. Dean cursed and fled with $3,642.

Read the rest…

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HT: JT, et al

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I believe that every serious Christian needs to be classically grounded, not only to understand the history of our own civilization, but also to contend for truth in the marketplace. So I hope that you will check for a classical Christian school in your area — as a place for your kids and as a cause to support.

Chuck Colson – Breakpoint

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Chicago Tribune – 1934

1934

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