Saturday, July 25, 2009

Evil Exists-And We Are Allowing It

This is appalling. And I want to know why this adminstration, which is supposed to be oh so compassionate to the rest of the world is allowing this story to pass by without comment.

"NKorea 'Tests Weapons on Children'
July 24, 2009
Knight Ridder/Tribune

SEOUL, South Korea -- When Im Chun-yong made his daring escape from North Korea, with a handful of his special forces men, there were many reasons why the North Korean government was intent on stopping them.

They were, after all, part of Kim Jong-il's elite commandos -- privy to a wealth of military secrets and insights into the workings of the reclusive regime.

But among the accounts they carried with them is one of the most shocking yet to emerge -- namely the use of humans, specifically mentally or physically handicapped children, to test North Korea's biological and chemical weapons.

"If you are born mentally or physically deficient, says Im, the government says your best contribution to society... is as a guinea pig for biological and chemical weapons testing."

Even after settling into the relative safety of South Korea, for 10 years Im held on to this secret, saying it was too horrific to recount.

But with Kim's health reportedly failing, and the country appearing increasingly unpredictable, Im felt it was time he spoke out.

Daughter given up

The former military captain says it was in the early 1990s, that he watched his then commander wrestle with giving up his 12-year-old daughter who was mentally ill.

The commander, he says, initially resisted, but after mounting pressure from his military superiors, he gave in.

Im watched as the girl was taken away. She was never seen again.

One of Im's own men later gave him an eyewitness account of human-testing.

Asked to guard a secret facility on an island off North Korea's west coast, Im says the soldier saw a number of people forced into a glass chamber.

"Poisonous gas was injected in," Im says. "He watched doctors time how long it took for them to die."

Other North Korean defectors have long alleged that the secretive nation has been using political prisoners as experimental test subjects.

Some have detailed how inmates were shipped from various concentration camps to so-called chemical "factories".

'Widespread practice'

But Im's is the first account of mentally-ill or physically challenged children being used.

Security analysts believe Kim oversees one of the most aggressive and robust biochemical weapons programmes in the world.

A member of the special forces' Brigade No.19, Im says he was trained on how to use biochemical weapons against the "enemy" -- including how to fire them from short-range "bazooka-style" weapons.

He says such training was normal practice for all elite units.

Today it is estimated the country has accumulated a stockpile of more than 5,000 tonnes of biochemical weaponry; from mustard gas, to nerve agents such as sarin, to anthrax and cholera.

The extent of the stockpile is a concern to Kim Sang-hun, a retired UN official who has spent years investigating the North's chemical and biological weapons programme.

He believes over the past 20 years, the programme has advanced at a startling pace, specifically because the country's rulers approve and support the use of human test subjects.

"Human experimentation is a widespread practice," Kim says.

"I hoped I was wrong, but it is the reality and it is taking place in North Korea and it is taking place at a number of locations."

There are some who question claims that the North conducts human trials. But Kim says he has interviewed hundred of defectors who, more times than not, volunteer personal vivid accounts.

"The programme is now a commonly known fact in the North Korean public," he says.

As a former member of the elite special forces, Im agrees.

While the government may be secretive about a lot of things, he says "when it comes to human experimentation, most know it happens".

Investigating what he says are serious UN violations regarding the rights of children and prisoners, Kim Sang-hun has amassed a vast amount of evidence.

Compiled in folders at his home in Seoul are reams of testimonies and documents.

Some bear what appear to be official government stamps approving the transfer of prisoners from camps to chemical "factories".

He says he believes these are, in reality, experimental weapons sites.

He has pinpointed at least three to five labs that he believes are situated in different parts of the country, including one just a few kilometres north of the capital, Pyongyang.

Security analysts suspect there are as many as 20 such plants across the country.

Biochemical threat

As the world's attention focuses on the North's nuclear programme, Im is worried the international community will miss what he believes is the more imminent threat posed by the country's biochemical arsenal.

Arms experts say at least 30 per cent of North Korea's missile and artillery systems are capable of delivering such weapons. With each successive test, they warn the North's accuracy improves, and so too its range.

The UN Security Council now says it believes three of the seven missiles tested by the North on July 4 were Scud-ER missiles, which are known to be more accurate and have a range of 1,000km.

Tokyo is roughly 1,160km from the base on North Korea's east coast from where the missiles were fired, while other parts of Japan are closer.

Im believes the government would not hesitate to use such arms, saying he has seen the "ruthlessness" of the country's leaders.

During his escape from North Korea in December 1999, Im says he and his men battled their way out, chased by dozens of members of other commando units.

"I myself killed three men," he says. "Then after swimming across the half frozen Tumen river into China, we sold our guns, and left that life behind."

Im now devotes his time to gathering intelligence about the North's military capabilities.

Even a decade after his escape, the threat he still poses to the North Korean government means that he now lives under the constant protection of South Korea's National Intelligence Service

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Healthcare, Obama and You

Many people have been lured into blind support for the healthcare bill under the misguided idea that it will offer "free" healthcare. Nothing could be farther from the truth. First of all, you get what you pay for. And this bill won't pay for just healthcare but for a variety of socialist oriented neighborhood programs that have little to do with health, care or anything remotely medical. In addition, the congressional leadership refuses to work with moderates or the opposition and seems intent in writing a secret bill which will not have public scrutiny until after it is a fait accompli. As with Cap and Trade, this is a cynical attempt to hide the true cost of these gilded programs from taxpayers. It also is hiding some very serious provisions which are sure to alarm seniors and their families. Read below.

"...Two main bills are being rushed through Congress with the goal of combining them into a finished product by August. Under either, a new government bureaucracy will select health plans that it considers in your best interest, and you will have to enroll in one of these "qualified plans." If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.
And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead (House bill, p. 16-17).

When you file your taxes, if you can't prove to the IRS that you are in a qualified plan, you'll be fined thousands of dollars -- as much as the average cost of a health plan for your family size -- and then automatically enrolled in a randomly selected plan (House bill, p. 167-168).

It's one thing to require that people getting government assistance tolerate managed care, but the legislation limits you to a managed-care plan even if you and your employer are footing the bill (Senate bill, p. 57-58). The goal is to reduce everyone's consumption of health care and to ensure that people have the same health-care experience, regardless of ability to pay.

Nowhere does the legislation say how much health plans will cost, but a family of four is eligible for some government assistance until their household income reaches $88,000 (House bill, p. 137). If you earn more than that, you'll have to pay the cost no matter how high it goes. (So much for saving money for the middle class.)

The price tag for this legislation is a whopping $1.04 trillion to $1.6 trillion (Congressional Budget Office estimates). Half of the tab comes from tax increases on individuals earning $280,000 or more, and these new taxes will double in 2012 unless savings exceed predicted costs (House bill, p. 199). The rest of the cost is paid for by cutting seniors' health benefits under Medicare.
(The implication here is they want seniors to die and get off the books...)

There's plenty of waste in Medicare, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates only 1 percent of the savings under the legislation will be from curbing waste, fraud and abuse. That means the rest will likely come from reducing what patients get. (Rationing, the thing they said they would not do)

One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430).

(Now wait a minute right here. Is there anyone out there that wants their parents to recieve government issue 'counseling' as to end of life issues? This is especially troubling since some of the more radical leftists in the Democrat party support Assisted Suicide as a viable alterantive. Will they talk innocent seniors into giving up their lives for some intangible payback? Will they guilt them into a rash action? THIS IS DISTURBING and where is the AARP on this issue? Oh, I forgot, they're in the tank for this too....)The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration." This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care. Do we really want government involved in such deeply personal issues?

Shockingly, only a portion of the money accumulated from slashing senior benefits and raising taxes goes to pay for covering the uninsured. The Senate bill allocates huge sums to "community transformation grants," home visits for expectant families, services for migrant workers -- and the creation of dozens of new government councils, programs and advisory boards slipped into the last 500 pages.

The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (June 21) finds that 83 percent of Americans are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their health care, and 81 percent are similarly satisfied with their health insurance. ..."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obamacare Explained

Let's imagine that you have a family. And in this family there are two children. One child saves his allowance, works part time, does his homework doesn't eat junkfood, doesn't use drugs and gets plenty of sleep. The other child stay out until all hours, uses any drug they can get their hands on, squanders their allowance and steals from Mom's purse when she's not looking. Let's say that the family wants to go to Disneyland. Mom and Dad say "We will pay the airfare, but you will have to buy any tee shirts or special tickets yourselves."

Under conventional health care, the good kid gets to go on extra rides, buy more stuff and have a better time as a reward for DOING THE RESPONSIBLE THING. The other kid suffers by having to spend the entire trip with Mom and Dad.

Under Obamacare Mom and Dad take all the money that the good kid has earned and saved, gives it to the other kid who blows it on junk and then when that runs out, they make the good kid give more of his already dwindling share of the money because "we are all in this together."

So the bottom line is Obamacare punishes responsibility and rewards sloth and irresponsibility.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Final Solution Revived in France

I will warn you, the story linked in the title is appalling. And it is appalling not just for the torture and murder of an innocent man, but because of the political and judicial manipulations designed to keep this story off of the front pages. True, people are killed every day. But in this day and age, when a young Jewish man is lured by a woman and then tortured over many days only to be killed by an Islamist, the implications are much larger. One has to wonder, do the French, the Germans, the Brits, realize the vipers that they have welcomed to their homelands? Do they care about the safety of their citizens or are they more concerned with looking good in the World's stage? When British Jews feel so unsafe in the face of repeated slurs, graffiti and even the public implications of subjection to sharia law from neighborhood to neighborhood, isn't it pretty clear that we are not seeing a unification of Europe, but instead the systemic dissolution of Europe at the hands of those who passively invade her? Is this not akin to rape?

Playing God: Bioethics and National Health Care

We have all seen the stories- Michael J. Fox, an actor I really like and admire, stricken with a serious disease, Mary Tyler Moore and diabetes. We’ve seen the tragedy of spinal cord injuries such as those suffered by Christopher Reeves. We see the famous and not so famous that clutch in desperation for any straw that offers them hope. This has been the impetus behind stem cell research. The controversy comes when the stem cells from fetuses, unborn children, are used. Studies have shown that adult stem cells react in the same way, but the controversy continues. Why should you care about this topic? Because it is one of the many covered under the umbrella of bioethical concern.

Bioethics is a branch of medical philosophy that weighs the ability to act against the assumed quality of life. In short, this is doctors playing God. And as we move towards a more controlled or as some say, rationed, measure of care, we need to be very specific in what we are getting into.

Consider this story:

“...When fetal stem cells are publicly discussed, three diseases—often represented by their celebrity spokespersons—lead a list of potential therapeutic applications. They are Parkinson Disease (Michael J Fox), paralysis as a result of spinal cord injury (previously the late Christopher Reeve), and Diabetes Mellitus, type 1, (either Mary Tyler Moore or Ron Santo). The media packages the information as foregone conclusions: fetal stem cells are a veritable source of untapped, and then implied, “unlimited” therapeutic uses. A stunning recent series of setbacks in the context of fetal stem cells and Parkinson Disease (PD), however, has not received equivalent publicity. It appears that the promise of this controversial, and as of yet unproven, therapeutic modality for an estimated one million persons with PD, has been scientifically exposed and found wanting.

The journal Nature Medicine published three articles in May 2008 analyzing eight patients from three separate cohorts who received human fetal midbrain tissue transplants 9-16 years earlier for PD.1 The published results led to two insightful editorial commentaries. The studies have dispelled the myth that fetal stem cells are a straightforward panacea for PD. In addition, they propose a plausible theory that these cells, even with continued research, may never work in this regard....

To translate, the researchers are finding that in their application of the proposed stem cell therapies, the reaction is NOT as they anticipated and in further examination, may never reach the goals that so many are intent on throwing millions of dollars in support. But let’s assume that these disabilities and injuries don’t impact your life directly. Why should you care? You should care because groups that support such research and efforts are politically placed in such a fashion through either their celebrity sponsors or their PAC’s to demand millions of dollars from the proposed healthcare bill in terms of research. But if we are going to be honest about the quality of research, should we not also be willing to admit that it is possible that the proposed “cures” may not work?

This is not the first instance of such politicizing of medical research for funding purposes. Consider the amount of money given for AIDS research. AIDS is a devastating disease and due to research those who have this disease are living longer, fuller more productive lives. Yet, they represent a small number within the population of people who are dying for a cure. Heart disease and cancer are the top two-and AIDS by relation of Karposi’s Sarcoma would fit in that category. But generally speaking, cancer, except in tragic circumstances is usually the disease of old age.

So this brings up another problem. If we have a finite amount of service slots available for medical care under a nationalize system, and we have more people needing services than there are slots, who gets priority? If you follow the bioethical limitations, you serve the younger and healthier in society before you serve the sick and aged. To bioethicists, this makes sense. But there is the slippery slope. Once you begin to codify procedure and medications into
narrow absolutes, you are in danger of ignoring the humanity of the patient. Consider the following excerpt from an NYT interview with President Obama:

“...THE PRESIDENT: Exactly. And I just recently went through this. I mean, I’ve told this story, maybe not publicly, but when my grandmother got very ill during the campaign, she got cancer; it was determined to be terminal. And about two or three weeks after her diagnosis she fell, broke her hip. It was determined that she might have had a mild stroke, which is what had precipitated the fall.

So now she’s in the hospital, and the doctor says, Look, you’ve got about — maybe you have three months, maybe you have six months, maybe you have nine months to live. Because of the weakness of your heart, if you have an operation on your hip there are certain risks that — you know, your heart can’t take it. On the other hand, if you just sit there with your hip like this, you’re just going to waste away and your quality of life will be terrible.

And she elected to get the hip replacement and was fine for about two weeks after the hip replacement, and then suddenly just — you know, things fell apart.

I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost. I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother. Whether, sort of in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question. If somebody told me that my grandmother couldn’t have a hip replacement and she had to lie there in misery in the waning days of her life — that would be pretty upsetting....”

In addition, the president has stated that if his wife or children were in medical peril, he would want the best care. “Quality of Life” assumptions aside, who would NOT want their family members to get the best of care. But what if that level of competency becomes unattainable due to the defacto rationing of services that a nationalized health care system would require. Please remember, the UK and Canada have both had to resort to allowing private insurance on top of what is assessed in taxes in order to allow everyone to get services on a somewhat timely basis. And even then, the wait for common ailments such as gall bladder disease and kidney stones lag far beyond what the majority of Americans would tolerate.

While the “best” care doesn’t always translate into the most costly care, it sets up a system where some people will get the “best care” and the rest of us will settle for what the government legally allows us to have. Congress has not shown itself willing to adhere to the less costly, and less special type of medical system that they expect the rest of America to embrace. In addition, there are plans to exact a penalty for those who choose private care from their employer in terms of an additional payroll tax. So responsibility will be punished, medical facilities compensated less and who wins here? The people who win are those who don’t pay into the system. But the unfortunate aspect of that is that many of the self-proclaimed “uninsured” qualify for medical care under already existing government programs. All they have to do is sign up. But the hurdles to that is the amount of paperwork. If this new program also involves paperwork, then what will we do when these same populations STILL don’t have coverage.

Then there is problem of penetration. Even the most optimistic of supporters of this nationalize healthcare system realizes that not all people will be covered. As a sort of microcosm of a possible program, we can look at what Massachusetts has done with their state health care system. Here’s an excerpt of what is going on in that program:

“...The Massachusetts law, which was championed by former GOP Governor Mitt Romney, imposed an individual mandate, requiring nearly all residents to buy health insurance or else pay a penalty. (The exceptions are those who qualify for the state's public program.) This was supposed to cover everybody and save money too. We've written before about how costs have exploded, but it also turns out that consumers have other ideas.

For 15 years Massachusetts has also imposed mandates known as guaranteed issue and community rating -- meaning that insurers must cover anyone who applies, regardless of health or pre-existing conditions, and also charge everyone the same premium (or close to it). Yet these mandates allow people to wait until they're sick, or just before they're about to incur major medical expenses, to buy insurance. This drives up costs for everyone else, which helps explain why small-group coverage in Massachusetts is so much more expensive than in most of the country. Mr. Romney argued -- as Democrats are arguing now -- that the individual mandate would make that problem disappear, since everyone is always supposed to be covered.

Well, the returns are rolling in, and a useful case study comes from the community-based health plan Harvard-Pilgrim. CEO Charlie Baker reports that his company has seen an "astonishing" uptick in people buying coverage for a few months at a time, running up high medical bills, and then dumping the policy after treatment is completed and paid for. Harvard-Pilgrim estimates that between April 2008 and March 2009, about 40% of its new enrollees stayed with it for fewer than five months and on average incurred about $2,400 per person in monthly medical expenses. That's about 600% higher than Harvard-Pilgrim would have otherwise expected....”

There are lots of numbers thrown around, but in helping my daughter find individual healthcare, she was able to find insurance for less than $100 a month with pre-existing conditions. As with any other budgetary concern, families can choose to spend their money any way they want. For example, it alwasy amazes me how some students don't have money for school supplies, but seem to have money for costly manicures and expensive clothes from the likes of Hollister and Abecrombie and Fitch. Everyone makes choices, but with political power pressing the requisite of health insurance, this changes the playing field.For example, in Texas we are supposed to have car insurance to drive. But 25% of us do not have that kind of financial responsibility. What happens is that the rest of the responsible driving population must pay higher premiums and be covered for uninsured drivers in order to make up the difference. I don't see anything changing just because this is medical insurance. In fact, given the political powers that drive hospitals, schools and police away from demanding an ID in return for services, I think this kind of program will be absolutely gutted by the fraudulent use of identities to recieve services. And before you deny this, consider the amount of fraud that was recently discovered in the social security system wherein dead people were receiving payments.

What this boil down to is do you want someone else, someone who doesn't know you, making life and death decisions? While this administration uses the crutch of technology to forge their program, remember that with more interconnectivity, there is also more of a chance for your private medical history to become public knowledge. HIPPA laws were developed to avoid the possibility of employers finding out employees secrets, but how many people do you know who seek drug dependency, psychiatric help or other possible services that could be viewed negatively, off the books and on their own dime? That would be impossible under this system. While the government likes to assume privacy will be kept, once it is in the system, your information is no longer your own.Currently there is no law that you must accept whatever your employer offers. Sometimes you can do better on your own and there is certainly more privacy under an independent plan. But not every family will make those choices. I know of very well to do families who don’t get health insurance at all. I guess they hope and pray they never have to go to the hospital. I also know people who believe they can simply skip out on medical bills. The sad thing is that all of these scenarios drive up the cost for everyone that does the responsible thing and gets insured. And what is worse, if we are forced into a program that presumes to make ethical decision for us through the withholding of care, then we really have to question who is playing God here.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Middle America Under Siege

As sad as this is, and my family is right at the center of this issue, the government is doing precious little to positively impact the situation. Simple handouts will help for the short term, but for the long haul, what America needs is more jobs. So where do jobs come from? Jobs are created from profit. Profit is a bad word to the self-proclaimed progressives. In their view, all profit is bad profit. And they would eliminate profit if they could. Companies that are growing in terms of customer bases and production require more people to fill positions. Corporations are not alive, nevertheless, progressive insist on further penalizing corporations through draconian measures that will succeed only in further shrinking the economy.

First of all the minimum wage. The minimum wage was meant to be an entry level wage for the very young. Few people continue to have this type of pay structure into their adult years unless they have made the mistake of dropping out of school, going to jail or relying on welfare and social programs to provide subsistance and prevent a continuous resume of work. Minimum wages were never meant to be an adult salary. They were meant for entry level employees with the unwritten promise that as they gained experience, they would move onto more lucrative work. My son is a manager at ChikFila. Due to rising minimum wages, they will be raising their prices to consumers across the board. And they will not be alone. See, when you raise the cost of employing people small businesses must recoop those costs through higher prices to the consumer. Now consider the Cap and Trade bill passed by the House. This will add to the cost of manufacturing, the cost of transportation and delivery and the cost to consumers. But do you know who won't be crying about these higher prices? Every local, state and federal entity that tacks on taxes will be overjoyed at the higher revenue they will achieve because of rates based on sales cost. And for most of us, these are not taxes that are deductible from our federal burden.

Let's consider the reluctance of the "progressive" party to require two important pieces of law-e-verify and Voter ID. First of all, in order to cash a check, to food stamps to do just about anything, you must have picture ID. Yet there are some apologists for illegal immigration that continue to believe this is persecution of a minority and use bogus arguements of how having to present ID when you vote penalizes the aged and the poor. All the poor that are citizens can easily get photo ID's from the states as can the elderly even if they do not drive. The arguements are presented in order to protect a potential (or in the case of our Left Coast states-current) voters . As for e-Verify, once again I defer to my son who works in fastfood. Their entire kitchen staff is Hispanic. And everyone no matter what their ethnicity must present drivers license, social security number and verification of their identity. Yet, even with that, there have been a few who have been escorted away or even fired for using someone else's identity. How is this not identity theft and why is it that the government doesn't pinpoint illegal immigration as the source for much of this type of crime? If we removed the ten or more million people who are here working illegally, that would make a significant dent in the unemployment numbers. And, lest you think this is just minimum wage jobs, I know of people who have worked as teachers who didn't have a verified ID.

Let's finally consider the burden on middle America to subsidize the failing state governments of the "green" states. If you will bother to look up the Green Party-a subsidy of the World Workers' Party and under the umbrella of the communist party, you will find that the current Democrat party is espousing Green Party platforms. They seek the systematic takeover of industry by government modeled on the failed systems of such programs in Spain, France and Germany. Right now, France and Germany have governments that are aghast that we are not learning from their mistakes. Please understand, even if the message is smoothly delivered, it is still a message of socialism. Unfortunately, the Rust Belt allowed unions to call the shots in the last election. People voted for a perceived ideal rather than the economic reality of the issues. And in the end, they will be the ones that pay because if these programs are implemented, these jobs will never come back. So how long before we all start moving into Canada? How long will they keep the borders open?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Our Fluid Media Society

Comedian Tom Green died yesterday. I know it because my son's friend got an email on his cell phone from the website of his fans. This is absolutely true. What is not true is that Tom Green died. Instead his website was hacked into by Chan4hackers. They killed him off. And since the electronic media is so much more real to some people than reality, people starting mourning. And what is worse is that tabloid media wasn't the one who picked up the story. CNN picked it up. And that's not the only case.

In a similar story, actor Jeff Goldblum fell off a boat, electronically, and died, also electronically. Luckily, this was not the case and Mr. Goldblum was witty enough to give his own eulogy on the Colbert Report. Actor Harrison Ford was also offed by electronic tabloids. It's very easy to create this type of false sensation, and you have to wonder about the people who do this. Is it for their own gratification? Is it to get back at other groups? And if tweeters and such can get this kind of action on the fluffy world of celebrities, what can similar tactics do with the more serious issues of our day?

Many people blindly spread rumors via email without due diligence. This is how monetary panics start. This is how people's lives are destroyed. And this also plays into the way elections are being manipulated. It is easy to move people on the basis of The Big Lie. That is the theory which contends that if you say something loud enough and long enough, people will believe it, even if it is wrong. This also allows for organizations that have their own special interests in mind, to deliberately upset the balance and misinform people for their own warped purposes. So while Twitter and such social networking outlets are fine for keeping up with friends, I wonder if the downside is that we know less than we knew before we accessed them.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Helen Thomas Schools Gibbs Old Style

The press and the media crucified President Bush for stumbling in his answers during the press conferences. He was conducting those press conferences just like corporate meetings, where the group asked questions while the executive answered them. He didn't script the answers. All that was scripted was his initial speech. It has been apparent to many of us, just recently the media, that every press conference, every "public forum" and every supposedly casual meeting is actually highly manipulated and scripted. During the last press conference, President Obama was very abrupt when questions not on the list were asked. Isn't that the purpose of a press conference or a public forum. In the clip linked on the headline, Chris Reid of CBS and Helen Thomas ask why all questions were to be emailed in advance. Reid actually poses the question of how this administration can label these meetings "public forums" when questions are selected and answers formulated in advance. At that point, wouldn't it be more efficient to put it in a written format? One of the most telling questions was when Reid asked Gibbs if President Obama would support additional taxes on the middle class....Gibbs didn't like that much. So while we are stewing in a fetid cesspool of self-serving agendas and left wing entitlement, ask yourselves if you weren't much happier with someone who stumbled through answers, but gave you the best of what he knew at press conferences.

It's like some of us have been saying for awhile now, Obama and his handlers are manipulating the press for their agendas. In order to even be moderately involved in a truly free press, reporters should be outraged.