first_imgDEMOCRATS HAVE AN OBSCENE NEW MANTRABy Rick JensenHas anyone noticed the moral and organizational collapse of the Democratic Party?While the president’s tweets and his lack of command over the English language earn him nationwide “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” the Democratic Party itself is in a stunning meltdown that threatens to dissolve whatever sense of decency and morality its members once strove to maintain.Perhaps being on the front lines of fighting against rights to life and religious freedoms has some bearing upon the issue, but it’s gone far beyond that.In some dystopian left-wing fantasy, a CPAC convention in which the president of the NRA leads a multitude of conservatives in chants of “[email protected]&* Obama! [email protected]&* Obama!” would be front page news in the New York Times and Washington Post.Liberal icon Rachel Maddow would host guest after guest, psychologists, historians and Democratic Party leadership in dissertations explaining why Republicans would be so callous as to expose their children to such profane behavior.And yet, it is the Democrats who did just that.On May 20th, the California Democratic Party’s State Convention showed the current soul of the party.Outgoing chair John Burton called upon the packed Sacramento Convention Center crowd to chant the new Democratic Platform slogan, “[email protected]&* Donald Trump.”Burton signaled the generally unfaithful using the official Democratic Party gesture, both middle fingers held high, and led a gleeful throng in a chant of “[email protected]&* Donald Trump.”This is what now passes as Democratic Party messaging.We’re not talking about some small group of liberal recalcitrants. These are thousands of Democratic Party leaders and activists. California party leaders were actually onstage proudly “giving the finger” to the President.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Obama’s Former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis looked on, laughing it up in the background, totally in support of this profane meltdown.Were children in attendance?Was Children’s Caucus Director Judy Jacobs onstage shouting obscenities?Hey, kids!Show Mommy and Daddy what you learned from the California Democratic Convention!Perhaps the California Department of Family Services should consider children of Democrats to be living in unsafe households.Even if kids weren’t at the convention, they got the message.The message is that as long as you’re a Democrat, language forbidden by the FCC is a perfectly acceptable form of intellectual debate.California is an excellent example of the Democratic Party’s self-destruction in a couple more events.When Bernie Sanders supporters expressed their support for single-payer government health care, they were shouted down by the party chair, using the convention’s most popular word, the “F” word, in such a way as to instruct the liberals to perform a most difficult physical contortion upon themselves.If you want your kids to be “good Democrats,” it’s going to take more than a few yoga lessons to abide by these new rules of the party’s leadership.And in keeping with the party’s respect for elections, Democratic organizer Kimberly Ellis, who lost the race for party chair to Eric Bauman, demanded a recount.She and her supporters doubt all the votes came from credentialed party delegates.Recalling how Hillary and the DNC shut out Bernie delegates at the Nevada State Convention, it seems a reasonable suspicion.Nearly 3,000 party delegates voted in the election and Ellis lost by 60 votes, the kind of margin California political veterans will recall cost Republican Tom McClintock the State Controller race (0.03 percent) after some “missing” absentee ballots miraculously appeared just in time to keep the Democrat from losing.She knows how her party plays the game, so, of course, she doesn’t believe the outcome.To their credit, the liberals chose not to riot or commit the violence seen so often in Berkeley and D.C.The foul language, delighted displays of obscene gestures and dishonest electioneering isn’t just a California version of the Democratic Party.It’s a nationwide dysfunction.Add to this the angry soft-porn “comedy” stylings of an unapologetic Stephen Colbert and you get the idea of just how toxic this new, unhinged Democratic Party is to families and reason.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

A call for creative know-how

first_imgYo-Yo Ma was deep into a moving performance of a Johann Sebastian Bach saraband last Thursday when someone in the crowd started singing along.Fortunately, it wasn’t an overzealous fan but Chinese musician Wu Tong, a member of Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Together with the famous cellist, he seamlessly transitioned from the classic work to “Swallow Song,” a traditional Chinese/Kazakh piece arranged for voice, cello, and sheng, a Chinese mouth organ.The eclectic performance at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) was a fitting experiment for the afternoon event: the kickoff of a Harvard initiative aimed at supporting the arts by connecting the worlds of art and business, Harvard’s student body, and the wider Harvard community.In November, 13 deans from across the University announced the Deans’ Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge, a contest hosted by the i-lab that will award $75,000 in grants to support projects that help promote and sustain the arts and expand their impact in the world. The competition is supported by friends and alumni of Harvard and by the Office of the President.“It’s a dream to have this interface between the arts and business, to try and create sustainable organizations that bring more art to the world,” said Harvard Business School (HBS) Dean Nitin Nohria, delivering opening remarks at the event. “This is just the beginning of a small venture,” he added, “that we hope will create a broader movement about cultural entrepreneurship.”Announced in tandem with the Deans’ Health and Life Sciences Challenge, launching Tuesday with its own i-lab event, the arts challenge was developed in partnership with HBS and the Division of Arts and Humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as with Ma and his Silk Road Project, a nonprofit inspired by the cultural exchange along the ancient Eurasian Silk Road trade routes that connected East with West. (The project promotes innovation and learning through the arts and is in the midst of a five-year residency at Harvard.)Ma, celebrated for his efforts to help expand cultural awareness and the appreciation of music in its myriad shapes and forms, borrowed a science term on Thursday to describe the new Harvard challenge. “Many of you know edge effect is when two different ecosystems meet and what happens at that [intersection]. Well, you have much more diversity of new life, and I think that’s what we are talking about.”The collaboration on cultural entrepreneurship began to take shape about two years ago when Ma invited Nohria to dinner. During that “magical conversation,” said the HBS dean, the pair envisioned a rich connection between art and business. With support from donors and members of the Harvard community, they developed the new challenge, opening it to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral candidates as a way to help foster interdisciplinary teams of collaborators.The i-lab, Harvard’s newest home for entrepreneurial activity, located in Allston at the edge of the HBS campus, will host three workshops in January and February to support students during the application process. In April and May a group of finalists will receive mentoring and $5,000 to help fine-tune their proposals. The $75,000 grand prize will be awarded in May; it will be distributed to one winner and up to four runners-up.The project’s co-chair, Diana Sorensen, dean of arts and humanities and James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, said the effort is in line with Harvard President Drew Faust’s commitment to the arts and to using entrepreneurship to solve pressing social challenges.“It’s an example of what a university can do, and how it can create this extraordinarily productive conversation between the enlightened, resourceful know-how of the Business School and the passionate, creative, expressive world of the arts and art making.”The project has already gained traction. Students swarmed the i-lab, eager to hear selections from Ma and his ensemble, learn more about the project, and network with professors and musicians about potential ventures and projects.Harvard Business School student Marc Appel said the initiative builds on the need to develop innovative structures and models that will help arts and cultural organizations flourish in the face of increasingly limited funding opportunities.“Harvard is trying to add itself to the cultural mix and be there as a resource to funnel innovation. … There is a big need at this point in time.”last_img read more

ACIP OKs fewer anthrax shots, leaves flu-shot groups same

first_imgFeb 25, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Americans who receive anthrax shots—mainly members of the military—are likely to get five injections into muscle tissue instead of six subcutaneous injections, as a result of action today by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).The ACIP voted unanimously to make the changes in the schedule and route of administration for BioThrax, also known as anthrax vaccine adsorbed, according to Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). BioThrax is the only anthrax vaccine currently licensed in the United States.Also, in making its annual recommendations for influenza prevention and control, the ACIP did not add any new age or risk groups to those already targeted for annual flu immunizations, Skinner reported.The ACIP sets the government’s immunization guidelines, making recommendations that are routinely approved by the CDC director and health and human services secretary.Change in anthrax regimenThe ACIP endorsed an anthrax vaccination schedule of intramuscular injections at 0 and 4 weeks and 6, 12, and 18 months, replacing the old regimen of subcutaneous injections at 0, 2, and 4 weeks and 6, 12, and 18 months, according to Skinner. Annual booster shots are also recommended after the initial series.”Subcutaneous administration is allowable only when medically indicated such as in persons with coagulation disorders,” Skinner reported in a written statement.The revised schedule and administration route stem from a large, ongoing clinical trial to determine if the long series of shots and resulting side effects can be reduced. The immunizations are required for US military personnel deployed in high-risk areas, mainly the Middle East, and some service members have objected to the shots because of side effects.In interim trial results reported last October, volunteers who received either three or four intramuscular doses over 6 months had about the same antibody responses at 7 months as did volunteers who received the standard regimen, involving four subcutaneous doses in the first 6 months. In addition, those who received intramuscular doses had fewer side effects at the injection site than those who received subcutaneous doses.As a result of those findings, in December the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the five-dose intramuscular injection schedule. Emergent BioSolutions, manufacturer of BioThrax, had asked the FDA to authorize the new schedule.Emergent has said it may ask for FDA clearance to shorten the immunization series further, depending on future findings from the ongoing clinical trial.Flu-shot recommendationsIn approving its annual recommendations for flu immunization, the ACIP did not expand the recommendations to any new segments of the population. A year ago, the committee recommended flu immunizations for school-age children, adding about 30 million people to the millions already targeted for flu vaccination.”No new age or risk groups are being recommended to receive annual influenza vaccination,” Skinner said.He said no information on current flu immunization coverage among school children was presented at the meeting, adding, “We won’t know that for some time.”In addition to school children, the CDC recommends flu shots for children from 6 to 59 months old, people aged 50 and older, those with certain chronic medical conditions, people in nursing homes, pregnant women, healthcare workers, and other close contacts and caregivers of those who run an increased risk of flu complications.In line with previous recommendations by the World Health Organization and FDA, the ACIP also voted today to change the influenza B strain in the flu vaccine for next winter but to keep the two influenza A strains used in this year’s vaccine, according to Skinner.See also: Dec 22, 2008, CIDRAP News story “FDA approves shortened anthrax-vaccine course”Oct 6, 2008, CIDRAP News story “Trial offers hope for shortening anthrax-shot series”Emergent BioSolutions 27, 2008, CIDRAP News story on ACIP meeting read more

Nadal beats Djokovic for record ninth French Open title

first_imgThe Spanish superstar becomes the first man to win a fifth successive Grand Slam tournamentRafael Nadal came from a set down to beat Novak Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 to claim the French Open title.The world number one lost the opening set 6-3 but struck back to win the second 7-5 and benefited from Djokovic’s lapse in form to take the third.Having gone a break down, Djokovic managed to find his way back into the deciding set before a double-fault handed the championship to the Spaniard.The Spaniard became the first man to win five successive titles at Roland Garros to take his overall Grand Slam tally to 14.last_img