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05 May 2008

Preventing a Catastrophe

How To Prevent America And The World From Catastrophe

By: Herb Denenberg, The Bulletin

The first part of this column is based on a speech prepared for the awards ceremony of the Center for Advancement of Cancer Education. The center gave Herb Denenberg an award for his media work.

I thought I'd mention some of the most important ideas I've come across in recent years. One was certainly in the book by Campbell and Campbell entitled The China Study, which demonstrated that we could eliminate most of the epidemic of chronic diseases that are wiping out our population and bankrupting our economy by going to a plant-based, whole-foods diet. We have a miracle cure at our fingertips and are ignoring it, bringing about one of the great health and economic disasters of our time.

There's one thing more important than the book's incredibly powerful ideas: implementing them, getting people to adopt life style changes (including diet) that prevent disease and assure good health. That's why I salute your organization, the Center for Advancement of Cancer Education, and your director, Dr. Susan Silberstein, for taking ideas like that articulated in The China Study and using them to save lives.

You're implementing those ideas, and you've done it for 30 years, suggesting you're getting something right, and I wish you continued success.

Someone said genius is the ability to see the obvious. We apparently don't see the obvious, such as the importance of diet, exercise and other life style changes. Over nine centuries ago, the great Jewish physician Moses Maimonides said that almost everyone dies as a result of the wrong lifestyle. He may not have been thinking of the American diet, but that diet fits his formula for mass suicide to a "T." And over 25 centuries ago, Hippocrates, the great Greek physician, taught that food is a key to good health and is the best medicine. As we know, one of the main activities of modern medicine is to entertain and distract us while nature does its work and cures us. Unfortunately, we are not wise enough to cooperate with nature and the diet it dictates, and the doctors pay little attention to diet and have even less understanding of it.

Years ago, I'd quote an AMA conclusion that most of medicine is 10 years behind the curve. That was an undue compliment. We haven't come close to catching up with Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-65), the great Hungarian doctor, and his 19th century finding - March 24, 1847 to be exact - that doctors should wash their hands, especially when they are going non-stop from cutting up cadavers to delivering babies. Every study shows that despite that discovery, doctors and health care providers still don't wash their hands when they should, and as a result, are killing and sickening patients by the millions. And modern medicine is still apparently unaware of the important findings of Semmelweis, Maimonides and Hippocrates. I'm glad your organization is aware of what these guys had to say.

So I'm honored to be honored by a group that is so far ahead of modern medicine and, unlike modern medicine, takes guys like Semmel Weis, Hippocrates and Maimonides seriously.

Worldwide Persecution Of Christians

I'd also like to address some of the other great, but neglected issues of our time. One that has captured my imagination is the persecution of some 200 million Christians worldwide, which is incredible on many counts. First, here we have the world's majority religion, over 2 billion strong, being subjected to some incredible discrimination and persecution involving everything from economic discrimination to torture and death. Second, this persecuted group has received little help or attention from the world and has even been neglected and often ignored altogether even by major Christian religious organizations. That strikes me as one of the incredible aspects of this story. Third, this is a subject largely neglected by the media, which, if it were doing its job, could call attention to the problem and perhaps start bringing about action and solutions.

I am shocked by the fact that this problem has been recognized and documented by books, at conferences and by observers for many years, all complaining of the plight of the persecuted Christians and urging action, yet almost nothing has been done.

One wise observer pointed out that abused dogs get more attention than persecuted Christians. You have to ask: Why is their more public attention and media coverage of the alleged abuse of Ellen DeGeneres' doggies than there was on the 45 million Christians killed for their faith across the 20th century and still being killed and persecuted at an increasing rate? Why was there more attention on Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick and his dog fighting ring than on the 200 million Christians now suffering persecution - bodily harm and the threat thereof - and various forms of harassment because of their religion? Why has the world, the U.S. and organized religion been relatively inactive on doing something to stop religious discrimination of any faith and of any kind, which is rampant in the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia? Are morality, conscience and sanity unraveling worldwide? What's happening suggests the answer is "yes."

Why is the world neglecting this matter? There are all kinds of excuses but no acceptable reasons. It's time to get action and time to reject all excuses for inaction. To get better informed on the subject, you might read the leading book on the subject by Marshall and Gilbert, Their Blood Cries Out.

Right now, the Islamo-fascists are coming for all of us. So all of us should be speaking up and standing up now, before it is too late.

Hatred From The House Of God (the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias)

There's another related and equally incredible issue that is also underreported by the media and largely ignored by the public - the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias of the mainstream Protestant churches.

I wrote a column on the incredible, vicious and pernicious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda of the Presbyterian Church of the USA (PCUSA) on Feb. 15 that can be found at www.thebulletin.us, along with other columns on religious persecution. I thought no one could match their venom and hatred of the PCUSA, but I soon found that was done by the United Methodist Church in a document entitled "Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study," which has all of the usual anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda found in the statement of the PCUSA, including the following:

* Blaming all the problems of the Middle East on Israel and portraying the suicide-bombing, genocide-inciting Palestinians as only the innocent victims

* Attempting to deny Israel the right of self-defense, a right guaranteed and taken for granted by every other nation and person in the world.

* Ignoring the 60-year old war of terror and genocide waged against Israel by the Palestinians and the incitement to anti-Semitism and genocide by their governments, their mosques, their media and all of their other official bodies.

The United Methodist church document adds another despicable device. The Mission Study of the United Methodist Church paints the Israelis and Jews as so hysterical, paranoid and psychotic over the experience of the Holocaust and their long persecution that they can't think rationally about the peace process and can't give the Palestinians their due.

The Mission Study document suggests the Israelis and Jews are incompetent to make decisions on their own and need some sort of guardian to make decisions for them. I submit the United Methodist Church has it backwards. Perhaps it is the leadership of the United Methodist Church that has demonstrated such a high degree of irrationality and irresponsibility that its very leadership needs a guardian to be appointed to make decisions for them.

What could be worse than hatred and bigotry coming from the House of God? So I suggest to them consideration of one of my favorite themes: The leadership of the United Methodist Church (and that of the PCUSA) seems to hate Israel and the Jews more than it loves its fellow Christians. It is so busy demonizing the Jews of Israel that it has little time for the 200 million Christians being persecuted worldwide (including those in Palestine). If only the mainline churches would worry more about those 200 million persecuted Christians and spend less time attacking the only democracy and dependable U.S. ally in the Middle East, the churches, the Christians, the Israelis and the world would all be better off.

Both of these two issues - persecution of Christians and the anti-Israel bias of the mainline churches - related to another neglected issue that should be front and center: media bias.

The Dangerous Bias Of The Mainstream Media

This column in the past has often discussed the bias of the mainstream media, which takes so many directions and includes an anti-military, anti-law-enforcement, anti-conservative, anti-Republican, anti-Bush-administration, anti-religion, anti-family-values, anti-Israel and an almost pro-terrorism bias. My favorite illustration of this is the fact that the mainstream media has front-page space for every slip or even minor infraction of the military but has no room or inadequate room for America's great military heroes.

I illustrated that disgraceful tendency in several columns I wrote on how the mainstream media has actually ignored winners of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award. For example, when one was recently presented in a compelling White House ceremony, the Philadelphia Inquirer ignored the story all together. But the next day, on the front-page of its magazine section, the Inquirer had plenty of room for a detailed report (more like a free ad) on Phil Donohue's new anti-war movie. I have also pointed out that the New York Times ran more front-page stories on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal than on the Holocaust.The mainstream media presents a false picture of the world, which leads to a misinformed public, which in turn leads to mistaken and dangerous public policy decisions. One good example of that is how the media has glorified, canonized and deified Sen. Barack Obama, without reporting on his record, values and associates. Only recently with the Rev. Wright controversy has the mainstream media started to pay more attention to Mr. Obama and his association with bigots, racists and terrorists. When the record is considered (see about 20 of my columns on Obama at www.thebulletin.us), this man is a fraud and a joke, clearly unqualified to be president. But the mainstream media, in the words of the great columnist Charles Krauthammer, has presented him as akin to the Second Coming.

My summary would be that if Mr. Obama wasn't smart enough to figure out over 20 years in the pews what Rev. Wright was made of (including hatred of America, racism and bigotry), then he isn't smart enough to be president. And if he doesn't have the courage and wisdom to make an immediate and clean break with him, as he should but did not, then he lacks the leadership and courage to be president.

This bias of the mainstream media leads into the next issue: the direction of our major college and universities and the Democratic Party.

The Left-Turn Of Academia And The Democratic Party

We have always thought of our colleges and universities as one of America's great achievements. Yet, in recent years, many leading colleges and universities have become the centers of anti-Americanism, anti-American-values and anti-religion in addition to bigotry and racism. This is carefully documented in David Horowitz's important book [The Professors]. He talks about people like William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist, bomber of the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon and friend of Senator Obama, who is still spreading hate at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a respected professor. Mr. Horowitz talks about Mr. Ayers' wife, Bernadine Dohryn, another famous terrorist, who is now a respected law professor.

There are a host of other professors of this ilk, including the famed America-hater and phony Ward Churchill, late of the University of Colorado. Some of these professors are featured in Bernie Goldberg's book, The 110 People Who are Screwing Up America. For example, there is Eric Foner, of Columbia, who said, "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City [on 9/11] or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." Mr. Foner is a past president of the American Historical Association. I should also mention Barbara Foley, a professor of English at Rutgers. After 9/11 she posted an Internet message for her students: "We should be aware that, whatever its proximate cause [of 9/11], its ultimate cause is the fascism of U.S foreign policy over the past many decades." Many of these professors are as wacky as Mr. Obama's close associate, the American-hating bigot and racist known as Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

But it is not just America's leading colleges and universities along with the mainstream media that have gone over the edge. The Democratic Party is now controlled by its left wing and has become the party of retreat and defeat and virtual surrender in the war against terror. As Dennis Prager points out, at the Democratic presidential debates, Islamo-fascism and Islamic terrorism were never even mentioned. The Democratic Party gets allied with the American Civil Liberties Union in opposing the measures necessary to fight and win the war on terror and seems to have more concern for America's enemies than America's friends, or for that matter even Americans.

The state of the Democratic Party was illustrated by a recent poll that showed as a result of the Rev. Wright controversy, a healthy majority of Democrats say that it would either make them more likely to vote for Mr. Obama or would make no difference. If a close association with a bigot, racist and America-hater doesn't influence how you would vote, you're thinking like the Rev. Wright types. The Democratic Party is no longer in the mainstream. If the Democrats gain control of the White House, the war against terror is lost, and so is America.

For more on the Democratic Party and its surrender to the radical left, see two books by David Horowitz, Party of Defeat and Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left.

I would say there is one theme running through all of these issues and one corrective action that is in order. It is the failure of the mainstream media and the surrender to the left by the Democratic Party. What flows from that should be obvious, but the most obvious is the need to decisively reject the extremism of the Democrats no matter how pretty and eloquent the package and the need to find and use alternatives to the mainstream media.

Herb Denenberg, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner and professor at the Wharton School, is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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