Sizzling U.S. Sales Forecast (1/28/15)

D3 projected to post double-digit gains in Jan.; GM, Ally vie for F&I; Kia’s ‘Unexpected’ ad; N.A. fuels FCA; Ford, Nissan recalls.

Super Bowl Ads Promise to Break Dim-Witted Dad Stereotype

After a few years of Super Bowl commercials featuring Dad as the butt of too many jokes, it seems like this year may be in for a refreshing change. There are two pre-released game day ads that show fathers in a positive light.

First up is Dove Men + Care’s 60-second spot, “#RealStrength,” which shows children of various ages calling their dads and ends with the tagline “Care Makes a Man Stronger.” It’s so well-made it’s likely many viewers will be left with tears in their eyes.

Take a look:

The next commercial comes from Toyota. The “To Be a Dad” ad features interviews with “the best dads in professional football” and their children. In it, DeMarcus Ware, LaVar Arrington, Fred Jackson and Kurt Warner talk about their own fathers, and how they see their role as dad. It’s a commercial that’s both serious and heartwarming, leaving audiences with this final encouragement: “Here’s to those who choose to be dads. One bold choice leads to another. Honor your dad.” Watch it for yourself here:

You may be asking yourself why all this interest in commercials?

It’s a good question.

For better or for worse, commercials are part of our popular culture. They reflect society’s ideals and opinions – and they inform them, too. So when the entertainment we take in constantly belittles dads, it both perpetuates and enforces a lie that’s already too pervasive in the culture: that dads don’t matter.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Dads matter. They matter deeply. And as a culture, we should be doing everything possible to encourage boys to become men who value fatherhood and live out their role as dad faithfully and well.

That’s why I’m cautiously optimistic that this year’s ads will say goodbye to the “dumb dad” storyline that has previously flooded the airwaves.

That’s one reason why we’re going to repeat what we did last year in rating the most family-friendly commercials of the Super Bowl. Not only does it serve as light-hearted fun to count down the best ads, it’s a worthwhile exercise to take a discerning look at what we’re fed through entertainment. It’s also helpful to praise companies and organizations that take the high road and develop content that edifies the culture rather than tearing it down.

So be sure to check in Monday morning and find out which commercials Focus named as the most family-friendly ads of the 2015 Super Bowl.

What did you think about the ads by Dove and Toyota? Do you have a favorite Super Bowl commercial of all-time?

You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

The post Super Bowl Ads Promise to Break Dim-Witted Dad Stereotype appeared first on Jim Daly.

What’s Uniting German Auto CEOs (1/28/15)

Heads of VW, Daimler, other carmakers lobby for free-trade deal; Toyota test-drive flak; dealer’s billboard prompts 911 calls.

Magnetic 144 W LED Work Light produces 8,640 lm flood pattern.

Capable of illuminating 675 x 450 ft area, WAL-M-3X48LED-120 features three 48 W LED light emitters, which produce 2,880 lm each, are rated to IP68, waterproof to 3 m, and independently adjustable. Construction features lights attached to square extruded aluminum frame fitted with three 200 lb grip magnetic feet; rubber, isolated mounts; and unbreakable polycarbonate lenses. Capable of running on 120–277 Vac, light comes with 25 ft of 16/3 SOOW cord.

Ford, Nest, the Internet of Things: Can mobility merge with smart energy?

Ford’s new Silicon Valley R&D lab combines self-driving cars, software and smart energy — but what happens to sustainable mobility if you meld them?

‘Taxes, Stairsteps and Death’ (1/27/15)

AutoNation, Toyota, Nissan execs weigh in on dealer incentives; AM General to build Benz R Class; self-driving ‘mini city.’

Why This Doctor and Widower Opposes Physician-Assisted Suicide

For many of us, the issue of physician-assisted suicide was brought to our attention last year with the very public illness and death of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman who chose to end her own life with a lethal prescription after receiving a diagnosis of an aggressive form of cancer.

This pains me in so many ways, not the least of which is that it compounds the heartbreak of a horrible, terminal illness with the tragic choice of a young woman to take her own life.

In what I fear could lead to many similar tragedies, this year legislators in a number of states, including my own state of Colorado, will introduce bills aimed at legalizing doctor-prescribed death.

Today I’ve invited Dr. William Toffler as a guest blogger on this issue. He’s a family physician and professor of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. As a doctor in Oregon, he’s seen firsthand the unfortunate ways in which physician-assisted suicide has played out–in a state where it’s been legal for some time now.

Dr. Toffler is a great friend to this ministry and a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council. Adding even more weight to his words is the fact that he doesn’t address this topic as a disinterested expert.

This past summer, Marlene, Dr. Toffler’s wife of 40 years, died from cancer. He and his family chose to honor and value Marlene’s life by walking through her final days with her, providing her all possible comfort.

Dr. Toffler and his family know very intimately that doctor-assisted suicide isn’t the only answer to a terminal illness, and it’s definitely not the best answer. I’ll leave you with Dr. Toffler’s post.

***

There has been a profound shift in attitude in my state of Oregon since voters narrowly embraced physician-assisted suicide 20 years ago.  It’s a shift that, I believe, has been detrimental to our patients, degraded the quality of medical care, and compromised the integrity of my profession.

Since doctor-assisted suicide has become an option, I have had more than two dozen patients discuss this option with me in my practice.  Most of the patients who have broached this issue didn’t have a terminal diagnosis.

One of my first encounters with this kind of request came from a patient with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis.  He was in a wheelchair yet lived a very active life. In fact, he was a general contractor and quite productive.  While I was seeing him, I asked him about how it affected his life.  He acknowledged that ms was a major challenge and told me that if he got too much worse, he might want to “just end it.”

“It sounds like you are telling me this because you might ultimately want assistance with your own suicide if things got worse,” I said.  He nodded affirmatively, and seemed relieved that I seemed to really understand.

I told him that I could readily understand his fear and his frustration and even his belief that physician-assisted suicide might be a good option for him. At the same time, I told him that should he become sicker or weaker, I would work to give him the best care and support available. I told him that no matter how debilitated he might become, that, at least to me, his life was, and would always be, inherently valuable. As such, I would not recommend, nor could I participate in his suicide.  He simply said, “Thank you.”

The truth is that we are not islands.  How physicians respond to the patient’s request has a profound effect, not only on a patient’s choices, but also on their view of themselves and their inherent worth.

When a patient says, “I want to die”; it may simply mean, “I feel useless.”

When a patient says, “I don’t want to be a burden”; it may really be a question, “Am I a burden?”

When a patient says, “I’ve lived a long life already”; they may really be saying, “I’m tired.  I’m afraid I can’t keep going.”

And, finally, when a patient says, “I might as well be dead”; they may really be saying, “No one cares about me.”

Most problematic for me has been the change in attitude within the healthcare system itself. People with serious illnesses are now sometimes fearful of the motives of doctors or consultants.  Some time ago, a patient with bladder cancer contacted me.  She was concerned that an oncologist might be one of the “death doctors.”  She questioned his motives—particularly when she obtained a second opinion from another oncologist who was more positive about her prognosis and treatment options.  Whether one or the other consultant was correct or not, such fears were never an issue before physician-assisted suicide was legalized.

In Oregon, I regularly receive notices that many important services and drugs for my patients—even some pain medications—won’t be paid for by the State health plan.  At the same time, doctor-assisted suicide is fully covered and sanctioned by the State of Oregon and by our collective tax dollars.

I hope and pray that the citizens and leaders of other states will reject legalized assisted suicide as an easy answer to illness and suffering.  Don’t make Oregon’s mistake—our sick and aging loved ones deserve better.

***

I appreciate Dr. Toffler’s perspective. I realize that assisted suicide is being pushed as a matter of “compassion” and “choice,” but rushing to end the life of a suffering person, by the very nature of the act, devalues that life.

By the way, I mentioned Brittany Maynard at the beginning of this post. Kara Tippett is a courageous 38-year-old mom of four who is also dealing with aggressive cancer. Kara wrote a touching letter to Brittany explaining why suicide is not the answer to a terminal illness. You can read Kara’s open letter here.

I’d welcome your thoughts on this issue.

The post Why This Doctor and Widower Opposes Physician-Assisted Suicide appeared first on Jim Daly.

Layer 3 Industrial Ethernet Switches offer high port density.

IGPS-R9084GP, IGS-R9812GP, and DGS-R9812GP_AIO_S offer total provision of 12–20 Gigabit ports and come equipped with 100/1000Base-X SFP modules. Allowing each port to provide up to 30 W power to PD device, Ethernet ports of IGPS-R9084GP are compatible with IEEE802.3af / IEEE 802.3at PoE standards. Other features include static routing, automatic packet forwarding, MAC table updating, as well as RIP (Routing Information Protocol) and VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol) support.

Why Microsoft and Intel are bringing the outdoors into office design

Biophilic design features such as “skylights” from Iowa company Sky Factory bring glimpses of nature deep into office interiors.

Audi’s SUV ‘opportunity’ (1/26/15)

Audi sees big chance in U.S. taste for SUVs, Tesla expands range in China; Honda’s new airbag supplier; early Super Bowl ads.