October 6, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (100607)

Soldier and civilian deaths are down in Iraq (HT Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion).

Annualized, September’s 988 civilian deaths (assumed to be all-inclusive of all causes until someone shows me that they aren’t), in a nation of about 26.8 million people, works out to 44.24 per 100,000. That death rate is less than the murder rates in all but one of the US cities cited in the historical review done at this post early this year.

Matt’s point that the improved situation isn’t generating much Old Media attention is a good one.

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If this is really true (cough, cough), Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean may resign soon:

A standing policy of the DNC prevents money accepted and vetted under previous chairs to be returned, said press secretary Stacie Paxton. Dean has held his title since early 2005.

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Micheal Medved, who has been on an incredible roll lately, has another must-read hard-drive saver: “The Founders Intended A Christian, Not Secular, Society.” Historical facts are stubborn things.

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Bill Steigerwald, on the free media-scrutiny pass politicized NASA climate scientist James Hansen gets — and doesn’t deserve.

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Taranto at Best of the Web responds to the news that 41 Senators have attempted to intimidate Clear Channel into muzzling Rush Limbaugh:

If Democrats want to support the phony troops, it is their right to do so. But when they try to interfere with Limbaugh’s livelihood, that amounts to an effort at creating a McCarthy-style blacklist.

The Fox report says that 41 Democratic senators signed this letter, which means that 9 or 10 did not (depending on how you count Joe Lieberman). Will they speak out against their colleagues’ intimidation efforts? And where are the Republicans in all this? With the Democratic Party increasingly in thrall to hate groups like MoveOn and Media Matters, America urgently needs politicians of either party with the courage to take a stand for decency.

The worst part of all of this is that at least McCarthy “got the outline right and the details wrong” (link here; look for comment by Charles if link doesn’t take you there); the MoveOnster monsters couldn’t be more comprehensively wrong.

Positivity: It’s no illusion that magic saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:55 am

From Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Magic is Chad Juros’ life. It is also, he believes, something of a lifesaver.

“I definitely think magic has healing powers,” he says.

If anyone should know, it’s the 19-year-old Egg Harbor Township resident who has experienced first-hand just how powerful learning and performing magic can be.

Juros developed leukemia when he was 3; at age 6, he appeared to be cured. A year later, however, the cancer returned, which led to him spending the following 17 months as a resident patient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“My husband (Don) came to me and said, “Chad’s going to die and I have nothing to share with him like I share tennis with (Chad’s older-by-two-years sister) Faith,’ ” recalls Juros’ mother, Penny, a special-education para-professional for the Egg Harbor Township school district.

“He asked, “What can I share that’s special with Chad at his bedside that will link us like tennis did with Faith? I know! I’ll teach him magic.’ ”

At that point, it didn’t look as if anything would help Juros. “The doctors told me he was the sickest kid in the hospital at that time,” says Penny.

Juros’ trials and tribulations during that time are almost impossible to fathom. The insidious disease — and the chemotherapy that was prescribed to fight it — resulted in, among other things, sepsis, kidney failure, cardiac arrest (twice) and multiple comas. But the youngster literally had a card up his sleeve.

“Magic took so much concentration that I didn’t know what was going on around me,” he says. “It made me feel better about what was going on around me. It kept me focused. I wasn’t falling apart and a mess.

“If I was going into surgery, I’d think, “At least I’ll do card tricks afterward.’

“And yeah, the pain went away when I did magic.”

Go here for the rest of the story.