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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Healthcare reform is not brain surgery - even Congress can do it


Despite years of its own polls showing the American people in clear and persistent opposition, USA Today editorials have propped up Obamacare. News reports blame "Republican lawmakers" for the law's persistent unpopularity, suggesting that only "confusion and misinformation" prevent people from embracing its benefits. 
In fact, Obamacare's dunking in the polls will turn into drowning when many of the unaware uninsured--especially the young people on whose backs the cost of national healthcare will now rest--realize that the administration is actually forcing them to buy insurance. Force is the only way this administration can implement its unpopular ideology, as evidenced by Obamacare's coercive, First Amendment-trampling mandate to provide pills like Ella and Plan B that the FDA notes can cause abortions.
When we the people finally convince Congress to can Obamacare, Congress should pass carefully measured, bipartisan health reform. Provide a safety net for patients in crisis. Maximize patient choice and cost savings through tools such as health savings accounts. Protect patient access to competent physicians with conscience protections and limits on frivolous lawsuits. Crack down on rampant Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Improve efficiency by cutting bureaucracy and streamlining recordkeeping. Provide reasonable reimbursement to physicians who care for poor patients.
Health reform is not easy, but it's not brain surgery. Even Congress can do it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Washington Post flouts federalism


In an editorial entitled, "Republicans should get out of the way of Obamacare," the Washington Post flouts federalism in blaming state lawmakers for not submitting to Obamacare's foisting of federal power on states. The editorial also lambastes the GOP for purely partisan opposition, yet the Post recently reported that "a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare."
The backroom-brokered law that no one bothered to read and no one can figure out how to implement now threatens the nation's health system and economy. Bumbling bureaucrats kicked the can down the road by illegally postponing the employer mandate. No one can stanch the hemorrhage of jobs and wages lost because the short-sighted law forces employers to choose between full-time employees or Obamacare penalties.
The courts' review and rebuke of Obamacare continues to escalate. Just one facet of Obamacare--the First Amendment-trampling abortifcacients mandate--has spawned 67 cases and is now barreling toward the Supreme Court.
The imperative is not "an obligation to cooperate in good faith" with Obamacare but a duty to protect citizens and the economy from job loss, to uphold federalism's balance of power and to construct a careful consensus on healthcare reform.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Washington Post: Human embryo not a living being


The Washington Post is entitled to its own editorial opinions but not its own facts, and scientific fact clearly contradicts the assertion that "contraception … defeats a fertilized egg’s chances of becoming a living being."
Embryology textbooks clarify the lay term "fertilized egg" as "… a zygote or fertilized ovum which is the primordium or beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization…. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."[1]
"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is formed…."[2]
So contrary to the Post, not only is a "fertilized egg" a living being; he or she is a human being. A human being is by nature a person, defined as "a human being regarded as an individual."[3] 
But political ideology prevents the admission that abortion claims the life of a moving, smiling, hiccupping, grimacing, living human being--a person.


[1] Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, 1998
[2] Ronan O’Rahilly & Fabiola Muller, 2001 Human Embryology & Teratology, 3rd Ed.
[3] Apple Inc. dictionary, ver. 2.2.1.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Off the bench and onto the field


How the September 11 Pentagon attack changed one survivor's spiritual outlook

Early in the morning of the September 11 attack on the Pentagon, at 3 a.m., Sandy Robinson woke up suddenly.
"I had an incredible sense to pray," she recalls. "Such an urgency--from the Holy Spirit--to pray for my husband's protection." She prayed fervently.
Later that morning, Sandy's husband Scott left home to commute as usual to the Pentagon, where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. Sandy left for a business meeting.
A few hours later, Sandy's colleague interrupted the meeting with heart-stopping news: The Pentagon had just been hit in a terrorist attack.
"You wouldn't believe what went through my body at that moment," Sandy recalls. Frantically, she dialed her husband's cell phone--but couldn't get through. Within an hour, however, Sandy finally received a voice mail message from Scott. He had survived the attack.
Sandy would later learn that Scott had been working perilously close to the site of the crash. Rocked by the blast, he had encountered impenetrable smoke billowing through the hallways. Screams from colleagues battered his ears and an acrid smell assaulted his nostrils. Scott managed to stumble away from the fire and escape out of the building. Then he and his colleagues set about aiding the victims.
A few hours later, Scott and Sandy finally connected by phone, and he reassured her that he was safe. Sadly, 20 of Scott's colleagues--including a very dear friend--had not survived.
Two weeks after the attack, Scott and Sandy shared their testimonies at McLean Bible Church in McLean, Virginia. Scott noted that the one question that keeps coming to him from reporters and friends is why he thinks he survived. To Scott, the answer is clear.
''I was spared to glorify God," he says.
Describing what he termed a "lukewarm" Christian faith before the tragedy, Scott says the event has forced him to take stock of his faith and priorities.
"I was on the bench," he laments. "I need to get on the field."
Scott sees his survival as an opportunity to share God's love and compassion with others. He notes the newfound openness across the nation to discussing spiritual matters in the media and in the workplace.
"People are looking for answers," he observes. "The answer--the only answer--is Jesus Christ."
Sandy agrees that their mission is one of service and testimony. Throughout the ordeal, Sandy testifies, "God has given us the stamina, the strength, to minister to others."
Through tears, she notes that Scott's living beyond the attack "is an incredible blessing from the Lord."
Scott and Sandy say they have drawn comfort from Psalm 46, verse 1: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Reflections on 911

The commentary below was published just after 911. I wrote the personal reflection that follows below in 2006 on the five-year anniversary of 911. Thought it might be of interest today as we remember the fallen and the heroes.
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Remembrances left at Pentagon 2001

An American foundation

Published in the Washington Times, September 13, 2001
by Jonathan Imbody
The atrocities of September 11 left many Americans wondering how terrorists could strike at the heart of our nation's power. In fact, they did not--and never can.
The heart of our nation's power has never been our military and financial might but our commitment to a civilization based upon liberty and love. Reaffirming these highest values--even more so than rebuilding our physical security--now poses the greatest test of our nation's mettle.
As we commence this task, let us take inspiration from the selfless firefighters and paramedics who died trying to save strangers trapped in the World Trade Center. Let us follow the example of servant-leaders like Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who joined the many service men and women at the Pentagon tending to the wounded. Let us imitate the quiet love shown by hundreds of citizens who stood in line to donate blood to aid their suffering neighbors. This is a nation of citizens who respond with love in action to the question, "Who is my neighbor?"
Such acts of selflessness, service and love will carry us through extremely difficult days ahead. And our reaffirmation of these values will strengthen an American foundation that can never be shaken.

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Personal reflection on 911

At this time five years ago, I was sitting in my home office, as I am now. Our daughter Bethany had called from work with the news about the attacks on the World Trade Center. As I watched that New York scene on TV, I felt and heard a thud. That thud turned out to be a plane crashing into the Pentagon, a few miles from our home.
Bethany had left the Pentagon on her morning commute into Washington an hour and a half before the plane hit. A series of cell phone calls to her followed, as the news unraveled about the terrorist attacks and rumors swirled about bombs exploding and fires in DC. We didn’t know what target would be next, and with Bethany’s office located in the Watergate and directly across from the Saudi embassy, her security was uppermost in our minds. I loaded a bike and a moped into our van and headed toward the city to get her out—a daunting challenge with much of DC evacuating outward. We eventually met up in Vienna, VA and I brought Bethany home safely.
But for thousands of Americans, of course, the news was much worse.
Our region here in DC remained in a state of siege for weeks to come. We fell asleep to the sound of fighter jets and awoke to machine-gun-touting soldiers in areas where we used to walk unconcerned.
Today we mourn the loss from that day of rescue workers, military personnel and innocent citizens. Five years after the attacks, we live in relative peace and apparent security, though our soldiers fight and give their lives on our behalf overseas. The war against terror rages on, even as we go about our daily business.
It occurs to me that our war on terror is a picture of spiritual warfare. A crisis, an attack occurs in our lives, and we earnestly seek God for intervention and protection. As He does so, and as we regain peace and security, it is easy to forget that spiritual warfare still, in fact, rages and roars all around us:
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith