This has been called "The Age of the Poll." And very
frankly, most of us are getting a bit weary of polls on just
about every subject – as often as not concerning actions
in which public opinion plays no part whatsoever. And in
a slightly different but related format, we are constantly
exposed to analyses of current events compiled by editors,
commentators or news reporters.

This week we are going to present some analyses of the
news you may not otherwise have seen . . . but which we
think you will find interesting and perhaps even helpful.

The First one . . .

US Conservatives vs Liberals – a British view. One
of London’s great daily newspapers is the Telegraph, and
we in America can share in their daily news coverage via
their internet site. This past week they released a ranking
of the 100 Most Influential Conservatives in America , and
the 100 Most Influential Liberals in America. The lists were
compiled by Telegraph staff members based in Washington,
D.C. The rankings are interesting, but this caveat must be
always kept in mind: the rankings are based on the opinions
of the British editors and reporters. Because of space limits,
only the top 10 in each category will be listed here.

1. Rudy Giuliani
2. General David Petreaus
3. Matt Drudge
4. Newt Gingrich
5. Rush Limbaugh
6. Vice President Dick Cheney
7. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
8. Chief Justice John Roberts
9. Senator John McCain
10. Former Governor Mitt Romney

1. Former President Bill Clinton
2. Former Vice President Al Gore
3. Mark Penn
4. Senator Hillary Clinton
5. Speaker Nancy Pelosi
6. Senator Barrack Obama
7. Michael Moore
8. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
9. Oprah Winfrey
10. Senator Evan Bayh

By way of comment: President Bush is ranked at No.
21 – First Lady Laura Bush is at 59. Glenn Beck (the
only reason to watch CNN) is at 18, and deservedly so.
Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter are at 82 and 84. Over on
the Liberal side, Colin Powell is at 23 and Senator Harry
Reid is at 33. Howard Dean and Senator Ted Kennedy
hold the 84 and 85 spots, and Cindy Sheehan just makes
the top 100 at position number 98.

Those rankings disclose how professional journalists
from Great Britain, living and working in America,
evaluate the Conservative vs. Liberal situation here.

The Second one . . .

The "Do Gooders" are very high on aiding the poor
and combating poverty . . . it is part of the "Social Gospel"
approach to living the Christian life, which is based on
the philosophy that it is better to do good than be good.
In an election period we are being told by the liberal
media that the rich are getting richer, and the poor are
getting poorer. But is this evaluation based on fact?

In "Understanding Poverty and Economic Equality in
the United States," Robert Record of the Heritage
Foundation points out that some 35 million Americans
live in poverty. In 1971 32% of all Americans had air
conditioning in their homes. In 2001 76% of poor people
had air conditioning. In 1971 43% of all Americans had
color TV. In 2001 97% of poor people had at least one
set. In 2001 46% of poor people own their own homes.
75% of poor households own a car; 30% own two or

Want more? Only 5% of those in the bottom fifth of
income in 1975 were still there in 1991 – the rest had
moved up to the top three fifths, or the middle class.
30% of the lowest income earners in 1975 had moved
into the top fifth of income earners by 1991.

To condense: the bottom line is yes, the rich are getting
richer, but the poor are also getting richer. Poverty in
America, as we used to know it, no longer exists. But
for statistical purposes and political propaganda, if
those living in poverty are defined as the lowest fifth
of income earners, "poverty" will always be with us.

And here’s one more . . .

The matter of "National Health Insurance." In
an election period such as we are just entering, this is
a much talked-about subject, and the great advantages
of the British and Canadian systems, for example, are
being touted by the Liberals.

But from the London Telegraph (October 31) we learn
that more than 70,000 Britons will have medical care
abroad this year – a number that is expected to rise to
200,000 by the end of this decade. The reason? Their
despair over the quality of the National Health Service,
and the long NHS waiting lists. And where do they go
for their health care? India, Malaysia, South Africa,
Hungary, Poland and Spain, for example. The records
show they have gone to 112 foreign hospitals in 48
countries in their search for safe, affordable treatment.

And concerning the Canadian system, Durhane Wong-
Rieger, chair of the Consumer Advocate Network in
Canada, had this to say: "For too many Canadians,
long waiting lists, lack of access to specialists and
general practitioners, and insufficient drug coverage
are the grim realities of our health care system." So
consider these evaluations when you decide upon the
political promise for health care you choose to believe.

A not-to-be forgotten quote from one of our great
military leaders: "History fails to record a single
precedent in which nations subject to moral decay
have not passed into political and economic decline.
There has been either a spiritual awakening to
overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive
deterioration to ultimate national disaster."
– General Douglas MacArthur

Afterthoughts . . .

As we approach Christmas, our Postal Service has
prepared a choice of five Holiday stamps. One features
a Madonna motif, another has a snowman smoking his
pipe, then there is one commemorating the Islamic
holiday of Eid, and another commemorating the
African native holiday of Kwanzaa, and a final one
bearing Hanukkah greetings. For a Christian holiday,
one out of 5 probably isn’t bad, by today’s standards.
It is surprising that the ACLU allowed that one to be
issued, but perhaps next year they will eliminate even
that one.

And it isn’t only in the U.S. According to a London
think-tank used by British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown, it is time for Britain to accept the fact that it is
no longer a Christian nation. The Institute for Public
Policy Research (IPPR) is about to release a report
which will state that Christmas should just be one of
several religious holidays the government recognizes.
The report includes reference that church attendance
is at a historical low; the British Empire is gone; the
Monarchy is far less popular, and the triumphs of World
War II are slipping out of memory. It even goes so far as
to say that Bishops of the Church of England should no
longer sit in the House of Lords. In short, Britain should
embrace and demonstrate "multiculturalism."

A note of concern over "recalls." In recent weeks
we have read about instance after instance where toys
intended for American children are being recalled
because of the lead content in the toy’s paint. Virtually
all of these recalls were manufactured in China and
imported by American toy companies. In these cases
the toys will not be distributed – but we have to ask:
how many others were not recalled and are threatening
our children? And we have been shocked by the food
recalls – just this past week we read of 1 million pounds
of hamburger patties recalled from a Pennsylvania plan
– think it through: that is 500 tons of patties! But in
October a hamburger processor in New Jersey recalled
21.7 million pounds of ground beef products. (Work out
that one in tons!) And this past week we read of the
recall of 414,000 cases of packaged frozen pizzas. It
becomes frightening to know what you dare buy to eat.
Is this something this our much heralded new Liberal
Congress should do something about?

And it isn’t only hamburger and pizzas. This week
we read that Alabama health officials had identified 212
workers out of 765 in a chicken processing plant who
tested positive for tuberculosis. This observation was made:
"Accompanied by the rise in illegal immigration, TB is
making a comeback in the U.S., often eluding diagnosis by
doctors who are unfamiliar with the disease." Last year
it was reported that of the 2,903 cases in California, more
than 75% were among foreign natives. This is just one more
aspect of the still not resolved illegal immigration problem.

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