Thursday, December 30, 2004

When prolife Dems attack

Ardent pro-choicers around America are deeply disturbed that the Democratic party over the last few weeks has hinted that there could be some slight possibility that they may be moving ever so slightly away from their hardcore pro-choice position.

They find it appalling and terrifying that as the LA Times reports, Democratic "Party leaders say...they are looking at ways to soften the hard line, such as promoting adoption and embracing parental notification requirements for minors and bans on late-term abortions."

Liberal Oasis tries to defend the importance of the Dems keeping the hardline position by saying that they've de-emphasized it enough, "Did Kerry give one speech on the subject since the March For Women’s Lives back in April? Did the campaign run a single TV ad about abortion?"

Never thinking that maybe Kerry didn't speak out on abortion because he knew that it was an issue that would hurt him, especially if he ever got away from or had to actually explain the "personally opposed but" line. The reason: Liberal Oasis is still buying into the "majority of people/voters are pro-choice" myth. The linking to the less-than-accurate and broad-answer-option exit poll abortion question won't help. Another problem is that they also fail to realize that the current position of the Democratic party is that abortion should always be legal not mostly and always. This position only goes along with 21% of the poll's respondents. And that's not mentioning the other issues, i.e. tax dollars should be spent to pay for abortions, parents shouldn't be notified before their child's abortion, partial-birth abortion should stay legal, informed consent, etc., etc. that the majority of voters disagree with the hardline position of the Democratic party.

In related news, this piece byWilliam McGurn in First Things describes the revenge of the late great prolife Democrat Robert Casey who said, "But the Democrats’ national decline—or better, their national disintegration—will continue relentlessly and inexorably until they come to grips with these values issues, primarily abortion."

Or this piece by Democrats for Life Executive Director Kristen Day.

Granholm signs Senate Bill 72

In what I consider a somewhat surprising move, Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed Senate Bill 72. More information and links to the actual bill are here.

Will EMILY's List disapprove or did Granholm get their permission first?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Crime of Offering Low Prices

On January 3, 2005, The Nation will waste loads of paper by printing this joke of an article by Liza Featherstone.

The article demonizes Wal-mart for offering low prices and attacks Wal-mart for placing stores in low-income areas where low prices for basic goods are needed the most. The author feels Wal-mart should be unionized because we all know how teenagers who stock shelves need to get paid $16 an hour.

Featherstone never thinks once about how unionizing Wal-mart would lead to large price increases which would hurt the poor families she attempts to advocate for.

Bill Steigerwald at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review provides a complete take down on Featherstone's piece.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Could Michigan's state legislature be the Zero of the Year?

It's tough competition but Michigan's state legislature is up for NARAL's most depressing (I mean coveted) award of the year at this web site. They're up against stiff competition like Ashcroft, Coburn, and W so don't expect a win but I'm still hopeful.

Michigan's state legislature is up for NARAL's Zero of the Year award "for passing a near-total ban on abortion. We expect anti-choice advocates to use the new law in the courts to overturn Roe v. Wade."

As usual, NARAL has no evidence to back up some of their ludicrous claims. The legislation, called the Legal Birth Definition, isn't even really an abortion ban per se and there is no way that it could be considered by anyone who has read it to be a "near-total ban on abortion."

It is one of the brightest recent ideas in the history of prolife legislation. Its aim is to prevent partial birth abortion by defining legal birth and therefore the commencement of legal rights at the time when any non-severed portion of a child's body has been removed from their mother. Once part of the child has been removed, that child is considered born and is therefore a born person deserving the same right to life that you and I have. It doesn't come out and ban partial birth abortion but turns partial birth abortion into infanticide by defining birth.

The legislation was originally passed with near veto proof majorities in the Michigan House and Senate. It was vetoed by Governor Granholm. Michigan's constituion thankfully has a clause that allows citizens to initiate legislation through a petition process that cannot be vetoed by the governor and becomes law if passed by both legislative houses. Right to Life of Michigan then launched a petition drive that allowed the citizens of Michigan to override Granholm's veto.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

World's smallest newborn

Blogicus is linking to this story about a child (Rumaisa Rahman) who weighed just 8.6 ounces at birth. To convert that into metric, that's about 250 grams. Rumaisa's twin sister, Hiba, weighed 20 ounces or about 570 grams at birth.

In Michigan for the year 2003, there were at least 106 children aborted who weighed over 400 grams and at least 508 children who weighed between 100 and 400 grams when they were aborted.


Abortion story

How many young women in America have a similar story to this one? The story about tryingtosmile's abortion experience is towards the bottom.

Some excerpts:
"I was anxious, tired and starting to feel the symptoms of my pregnancy. I started having second thoughts, but I fought them off. I worked late to get things off of my mind, but I was 95% sure that I wanted to go through with this. To me this felt like a ball and chain weighing me down. I finally told my sister (the one with twins) and she cried on the phone and begged me not to go through with it. My ex-boyfriend brought the money over for the abortion. We talked some more about what the procedure was and how I would probably feel afterwards. He looked really sad and stated that if he was stable; he would help me with the baby, that is, if I really wanted it."

"It’s finally a reality that I killed my child, my flesh and blood. I tell my close co-worker (who had an abortion as well) and she told me that I made the decision and I should just pray. To make a long story short, I cried every time I thought about it and especially when I talked to my mom about my nieces and nephew’s Christmas gift. This is a niece or nephew that my siblings will never see, a grandchild that my parents will never know and a child that I will never see grow up."


"I do know that if I ever get pregnant again, I will not have another abortion. It’s just too painful."

Judiciary Committee

Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters blog has a good post about how GOP is strengthening the Judiciary committe. He also discusses the lame analogies of pro-abortion activists.

Hopefully, putting Brownback and Coburn on the committee along with the supposed taming of Specter will help the fate of prolife judicial nominees.

I don't think the pro-choice crowd will put their full "strength" against a nominee to replace Rehnquist but if John Paul Stevens dies or steps down or if Sandra Day O'Connor quits, then they'll turn the rhetoric up even higher.

Monday, December 20, 2004

SNL cartoon

Michelle Malkin is posting about a cartoon that ran Saturday night on Saturday Night Live. She gives the final word to Ace of Spades who I believe is right on the nose.

The cartoon whether its purpose was to rip on conservatives or make fun of liberals was wholly unfunny. I didn't laugh once. This SNL cartoon (which aired on November 20th) was also unfunny and seemed like Red State hate. What happened to Fun with Real Audio or the Ex-Presidents? Those would at least have a couple of laughs. SNL has gotten so lousy this year that my wife and I usually make it thru the local news and its 4 weather updates before falling asleep on the couch after the first couple of SNL skits. Our hopes to make it to Weekend Update usually fail unless we're hopped up on Red Bull. It's sad that a show that used to be so good has become less entertaining than almost any half-baked reality show.

NARAL- at it again

A NARAL intern wasted too much (or maybe not enough) time on this.

Stem cells and Safire

Thanks goodness William Safire is giving up his Op-Ed column in the NY Times. Every time he talks about cloning or embryonic stem cell research he gets a little riled up because he says things that are simply not ture.

His column on December 15th while not entirely bad or as bad as this column 6 months ago was at times either dishonest or ignorant. For example:

" The moral issue of destroying potential lives to save actual lives may be dealt with by scientists who are not in conflict with ethicists."

Even though he goes on to discuss adult stem cell research I can't let the phrase "potential lives" go by. There is no such thing as potential life- things are either dead or alive. These living human embryos that are killed for their stem cells are human beings not potential lives.

He continues with, " Therapeutic cloning of cells for the worthy purpose of curing disease, however, troubles people who fear the slippery slope leading to attempts to clone human beings. A majority of Americans disagree with the slippery-slopers, and come down on the side of running that danger in the hope of finding cures."

Cloning of cells? Leading to attempts to clone human beings? Come on Safire. Do you mean cloning of embryonic human beings and leading to attempts to bring these clones to birth. I mean this is cloning 101. His article might play with those that have no knowledge of how cloning works but anyone who has done any research on this subject can tell that Safire is being misleading.

Compare this with Michael Fumento's well-researched and fact based article on adult stem cell research in the National Review.

Friday, December 17, 2004

After Roemer already

Planned Parenthood's Gloria Feldt is already using her blog (entry for December 16th) to attack former prolife Congressman and current candidate for the Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Roemer.

Gloria's is upset because Roemer has been endorsed by both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Having a prolifer lead the only political party her organization has any influence over has got to be extremely scary for Ms. Feldt.

Is partial-birth abortion gruesome?

Media Matters (a joke of an organization if there ever was one) is mad that a Newsweek reporter is using "gruesome" to describe partial birth abortions in this article. They call using the word "gruesome" to describe the gruesome killing of children as "Republican terminology."

They think that Newsweek should use the term "intact dilation and extraction" or "so-called partial birth abortion." For one, not a large percentage of the population knows that "intact dilation and extraction" is partial birth abortion. You ask someone on the street what intact dilation and extraction is and you'll get a funny look and a wrong answer but if you ask them if they know what partial-birth abortion is you'll get probably get an affirmative response. Second, how can it be "so-called" partial birth abortion. Aren't we talking about an abortion procedure where the child is partially born? Is that description somehow inaccurate?

Interestingly, abortion "rights" supporters have used similar words to describe this gruesome procedure. Frances Kissling, longtime president of Catholics for a Free Choice says that "all methods of abortion along this continuum (after 15 weeks) are grim, as frankly are all late-term abortion procedures" here. She continues by saying, "there is nothing aesthetically attractive about the abortion of fully formed, relatively well-developed fetuses" and "gruesome nature of late term abortion procedures."

This web site provides quotes from other pro-choice sources that mimic Kissling like, " "You're looking between the woman's legs; you're seeing, you know, what the doctor's doing. And it's what a lot of people would call kind of, I guess, gruesome- that's not really the word because- it's identifiable. I mean, when he...takes the forceps and pulls out a foot, you can see the foot, and my reaction- because I feel so strongly that women who want to have a twenty week abortion should be able to have that- but I mean when I look and was just like, you know, my first reaction was, you know, I was pretty horrified."

Or Atul Gawande in Slate saying "If partial-birth abortion is too gruesome to allow, however, it is hard to see how other late abortions, especially D and Es, are any different."

Late-term abortions are gruesome. Using the word "gruesome" to describe an obviously gruesome procedure is not bias, it is accurate reporting.

Read the Newsweek article - it includes this quote, "When Ellen Malcolm, president of the pro-choice political network EMILY's List, asked about the future direction of the party, Kerry tackled one of the Democrats' core tenets: abortion rights. He told the group they needed new ways to make people understand they didn't like abortion. Democrats also needed to welcome more pro-life candidates into the party, he said. "There was a gasp in the room," says Nancy Keenan, the new president of NARAL Pro-Choice America."

Kerry has more guts than I thought. Can you imagine the "I could just kill you eyes" of Malcolm, Keenan, and any other leader of a pro-abortion organization in the room?

Gives me the chills. Ehh.

Healing Flubber

German doctors have used stem cells from fat to repair the skull of a 7 year-old girl. Before the surgery this "girl wore a protective helmet" and "her brain could sometimes be seen pulsating through the missing areas of her skull."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Planned Parenthood - still America's #1 abortion provider

Planned Parenthood's newest annual report is out and no one is surprised that the number of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood clinics went up again. In 2003, they performed 244,628 abortions. That's up 6.1% from last year and up a whopping 48.1% from 1997 when they performed 165,174 abortions.

Also of note is that their number of adoption referrals again decreased from 1,963 to 1,774. Since 1997, when Planned Parenthood referred 9,381 women to adoption agencies, their # of adoption referrals has gone down 81.1%.

Planned Parenthood, one of the world's most profitable "non-profits" also raked in $35.2 million dollars in profit (excess of revenue over expenses).

One thing I find interesting in the annual report is Planned Parenthood's obsession with celebrities. Page 20 lists off the names of numerous celebrities who support them. I find this telling because it's like they think that real people actually care what these celebrities (including Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Cho, and Christina Aguilera) think about the abortion issue. They don't understand that most people don't think too highly of the morality or opinions of undereducated actors, comedians and singers.

It's almost like they think, "If people know that Kevin Bacon is pro-choice, then maybe they'll realize that they should be pro-choice too."

They also have the guts to post their 990 tax form which includes the high salaries of their president Gloria Feldt ($363,426) and vice-presidents (from $214,200 to $177,028).

STOPP International has more information on last years annual report here

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Granholm and SB 72

Michigan's pro-choice governor, Jennifer Granholm is now being faced with what most people would consider an easy decision but I'm not so sure it's easy for her. Senate Bill 72, has passed the Michigan Senate by a vote of 26-8 and the Michigan House by a vote of 99-0, garnering quite a few pro-choicers along the way.

This pro-life, pro-woman bill would use private donations to "provide grants to encourage certain institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office for pregnant and parenting students attending the institution." This office would help these young women find the resources in their community that would help them stay and school and care for their child. The program would start as a two-year pilot program on 2 universities and 2 community colleges and then hopefully expand after that.

The bill has faced limited opposition because no one can make a sensible argument against helping pregnant college women who want to keep their child and continue their education. As far as I've seen, only NARAL's Michigan affiliate has attempted to oppose this legislation. Their website doesn't really supply any reason for their opposition except for "The bill prohibits abortion referrals in the campus programs."

It's not like the university can't have a health office that refers for abortion but MARAL is still upset because this new office, designed solely for women who want to keep their child, won't refer for abortion. So much for pro-"choice."

Granholm might be wary of signing this bill because of her support from EMILY's List. The large portion of money that EMILY's list brought in and their 3 before the primary mailings helped Granholm win the Democratic primary and general election in 2002. I don't know if they have a position on this legislation but if they're against it - my guess is that Granholm will be as well.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Pro-choice mother vs. prolife daughter

After Abortion is linking to a post at the house of dog about a column in Philadelphia Magazine.

The columnist discusses how her efforts to control her daughter's thinking about the abortion issue have completely failed. Her daughter clearly wins the argument when she asks, "What is the difference, then, between a fetus and a baby?"

Her mother has no answer except, "I'm not sure there is a difference."

The mother later goes on to discuss her own abortion experience. It seems obvious that the mother's position on abortion isn't based in rational thought but on her own experiences with abortion. Its like she's thinking "abortion can't be the killing of a child because I had an abortion and I would never kill a child." It must be extremely hard for women to admit that abortion is wrong when they've had one. My respect for prolife women who have the strength and courage to admit this and ask forgiveness for their abortion is up at least 2 fold after reading this.

It makes you wonder how many or what percentage of pro-choicers (especially active/vocal pro-choicers) have been somehow personally involved with abortion and shows how hard it can be to convince someone who has been involved in taking the life of their own child to admit that what they did was wrong.

Euthanasia on ER

Last night's episode of ER featured a story where Dr. Jing-Mei Chen (played by Ming-Na), euthanizes her father as Dr. Greg Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) looks on. Earlier in the episode, Pratt discovered Chen's plan and attempts to stop her by trying to convince her that what she is planning to do is wrong and that her father should be in a nursing home instead. He seems to be eventually swayed to her side and even offers to euthanize Chen's father.

According to Chen, her father has been asking her to kill him for a while (the audience can't be sure because her father speaks mainly in Chinese to her). The whole reasoning behind Chen's decision to kill her father instead of putting him in a nursing home because she can't take care of him seemed extremely weak. I think she mentioned that she would be abandoning him by putting him in a nursing facility. This is odd as killing someone because you can't take care of them any longer is a final abandonment.

The episode (though I doubt it intended to do this) showed the dangerous power that some doctors think they should possess over life. Instead of healing and helping patients, some doctors believe that killing them is some kind of treatment for pain. After killing her father, Chen is shown and heard calling a hospitable or some other entity to lie about how her father died.

I hope that ER will do more than just leave their audience with the message that "euthanizing people is hard but sometimes necessary and morally ok."

Embryology quote of the week #4

"Although human life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed. ... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity."

(O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology and Teratology, 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29).

Is the recognition that the life of a human being begins at conception a religious belief or a fact based in science?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Giuliani in '08? Nope.

Hugh Hewitt has a piece in the Weekly Standard where he thinks that Giuliani might be the leading contender for the GOP's Presidential candidate in 2008 based on the response from the National Federation of Republican Women. Josh Clayburn at In the Agora is doubtful because of Giuliani's pro-choice stance. I agree 100%. When it comes election time, we're going to hear a lot more about Giuliani's abortion stance and it's not going to go over well with GOP primary voters.

Having Giuliani run as a pro-choice Republican candidate in '08 would be one of the stupidest things the GOP could do. Talk about abandoning your base.

Also it's too soon to tell. Politicians can rise and fall in 3 years. W's endorsement (if he gives one) will be huge.

Giuliani's received a lot of press during the election but what will he have for the next 2 years unless he runs against Hillary in the Senate in '06? His comments during the election were usually focused on Iraq and the war on terror (good subjects for him) and not the social issues where he is more moderate.

Hugh's hand raising survey method is also somewhat dubious as people who might not otherwise raise their hands do if others around them do.

When is viability again?

I'm a little slow to report this story from the Detroit News about a child born at "barely 22 weeks" in Michigan who will hopefully be going home sometime soon.

Cheyenne Phillips at birth and now

Unborn children who are the same age as Cheyenne was when she was born and older are aborted every single day in our country.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

More on Kissling

Both the Village Voice and the Washington Times have articles about Kissling's essay. It's ruffling a few feathers in pro-choice land.

Why? They understand what Kissling doesn't - that the pro-choice movement can't acknowledge the value of the unborn or they lose basically the entire foundation upon which their movement was built and currently relies. If the unborn are valuable, innocent human beings then intentionally killing them is a pretty tough sell to people who have a shred of rationality.

Kissling responds to the Times article here.

In the Village Voice article, Eleanor Smeal from Feminist Majority Foundation says, "I think if an 11-year-old is pregnant, it's a great relief for her to have an abortion. I happen to think it's a moral good to allow people to decide when they give birth."

Hey Eleanor, it might be a greater relief for that 11-year-old (that's elementary school-aged child by the way) not to be raped. But abortion providers often don't report rape when they should.

Kissling's essay is reporting on an essay by Frances Kissling "Catholics" for a Free Choice about the abortion debate.

The essay is available online at the CFFC web site under "What's New". It's long and full of a lot of pro-abortion baloney but read it. It lets you into the mind of someone who's been advocating legal abortion for a long time but seems to dislike the efforts of other pro-abortion organizations and seems to be growing tired of the debate (it's because she's losing and her position makes no logical sense).

Kissling says some very unusual things for a pro-abortion advocate. Ertelt at LifeNews presents the essay as questioning pro-choice tactics but the essay also takes numerous cheap shots at the prolife movement. In usual Kissling fashion, they are mostly unsupported assertions. Ertelt has covered the things the pro-choice movement might take offense to. I will attempt to cover some of the pro-abortion comments that fly in the face of reason and reality

Kissling says, "This obstinate insistence on an absolute legal ban is the major obstacle to what might have been the development of an abortion praxis that combined respect for the fundamental right of women to choose abortion with an ethical discourse that included the exploration of how other values might also be respected, including the value of developing human life."

This is similar to what Anna Quindlen quoted her as saying recently in Newsweek. It makes absolutely no sense unless you believe that the unborn aren't living human beings or don't really believe that their lives have value. Could I say, "We need to come to a compromise where we combine the respect for a woman's right to kill her toddler yet explore how other values might be respected including the value of the toddler's developing human life."

Note to Frances: How can we as a society value developing human life if we allow the legally killing of these lives?

Later on, "This brings us to the second value of a good society: respect for life, including fetal life. Why should we allow this value to be owned by those opposed to abortion? Are we not capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time; of valuing life and respecting women’s rights? Have we not ceded too much territory to antiabortionists by not articulating the value of fetal life?"

Is she that dense? She's spent probably that last 30 or so years of her life doing everything she can to devalue the lives of unborn children yet now she's asking why pro-choicers haven't articulated the value of fetal life.

Quick answer for Frances: The main crux of the pro-choice position is that fetal life doesn't have value (or at least enough to merit legal protection) and that is why women should be allowed to have abortions (end the lives of their unborn children). Once pro-choicers start admitting that the unborn are living human beings and their lives have value it becomes exponentially harder for them to defend the taking of these lives.

More: "Is there not a way to simply say, “Yes, it is sad, unfortunate, tragic (or whatever word you are comfortable with) that this life could not come to fruition. It is sad that we live in a world where there is so little social and economic support for families that many women have no choice but to end pregnancies." (my emphasis)

"No choice?" Huh? Isn't your organization called Catholics for a "Free Choice?" So maybe the decision to have an abortion isn't really then a "free choice" but something women feel forced into because they feel they have no place else to turn.

When discussing the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2004 Kissling says, "The bill includes a mandated script that doctors must read to women seeking abortions and specific written consent forms they must sign. The wording of the script doctors are required to use is cruel. It is not completely accurate, is highly judgmental and completely negates the basic principles of good patient care, in which a health professional needs the freedom to decide how best to convey important information to patients."

Read the text of the bill yourself. It's accurate and honest. Kissling may not like the term "unborn child" but just because women may not like the fact that they are deciding to end the life of a child that maybe able to feel pain doesn't mean that the legislation is innaccurate or cruel. The act of killing a pain-experiencing unborn child without giving that child pain-medication is what is truly cruel.

She continues, "To the extent possible, abortion should be a humane and compassionate procedure and although it involves the termination of fetal life, we approach that termination with respect and compassion. Thus, we would recommend that those who provide abortion provide the option of fetal anesthesia."

"To every extent possible toddler termination should be a compassionate procedure and although it involves the termination (why not say killing?) of toddler life, we approach that termination (again, why not killing?) with respect and compassion. Thus, we would recommend that those who provide toddler termination provide the option of toddler anesthesia."

The logic is a little off, wouldn't you agree? Or maybe it's her moral compass?

There are numerous other assertions I take offense to but this post is already too long.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

"Parties," Pyramid Scams, and Peer Pressure

The phenomenon of pyramid scam parties has swept through our country's female population. Be it tastefully simple parties, tupperware parties, jewelry parties, spa parties, etc., etc. probably millions of women every year are invited and/or invite co-workers, friends and family to "parties."

The more women who attend and buy, the bigger take/discount the inviter gets from the presenter(who usually knows the inviter (and has pressured her to have the party). The presenter will also pressure invitees (who the presenter probably doesn't know) to throw their own parties with her as the presenter.

But the twist for the inviter is that if any of the invitees throw their own party, the inviter becomes the invitee. The former inviter "must" attend her former invitees "parties" because they attended hers. And a lack of attendance at a former attendee's party (without a real reason) could be troubling for the relationship. So if a inviter invites 15 friends to a "party" and 10 of them come and buy (because if you come, you "have" to buy) but then later on 7 of these attendees throw their own "party" then the former inviter is now "forced" to attend 7 "parties"(some of which might be for products she has no real use for) and buy at least 1, probably 2 things at these "parties." Her take/discount from her party is more than erased by the products she "must" purchase at the "parties" of former attendees.

Who ever thought of this marketing scam is a genius. Using "parties," peer pressure and the illusion that "You have to buy something" to sell overpriced stuff (some of which is useful - some is not) works much better than million dollar ad campaigns. We all know most women love gathering together to go out and shop be it to the mall, flea markets, garage sales. Some look for deals, others want top of the line stuff but they're never really "forced" to buy at the GAP or Old Navy. But now they are in essence buying from friends - not unknown shopkeppers or salespeople and there is an unspoken correlation between the # of items bought and the strength of the friendship. And everyone else knows that they "have" to buy something so you can't be the only one.

A few of the items my lovely and financial responsible wife has been "forced" into buying include a metal cube for a necklace (it didn't include the strap that goes around a neck but was simply a metal cube with a hole in it) for $25, a bottle of lotion for something like $15, and a marinade for something like $8.

Can you imagine a scheme like this trying to work on guys? 10 guys standing in one of their buddy's living rooms looking at overpriced tools, steaks, beer or TVs while another male tries to persuade them to buy or throw their own "party." Not happening. I'm not buying overpriced stuff I don't really need from anyone, including my best friend and he knows it.

Monday, December 06, 2004

New kind of embryonic stem cells

The Washington Post (you might need to register) is reporting on 2 new options of obtaining embryonic stem cells that were recently presented to the President's Council on Bioethics.

Option 1: Embryos from IVF treatment that have stopped growing and are "functionally dead."

Option 2: Using a technique similar to somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning) to create a bundle of cells that supposedly isn't an embryo but still has embryonic stem cells.

In the first technique, two Columbia University researchers "argued that a certain percentage of embryos created, frozen and later thawed for potential use in assisted-reproduction procedures are similar to brain-dead adults. The embryos no longer have the capacity for human life.

Cells have stopped dividing in those embryos, which in some cases account for about 60 percent of ones made in infertility treatments."

It seems that they aren't talking about the 400,000 supposedly "leftover" embryos but embryos that are planning on being implanted into a womb in the near future but were found to be untransplantable. Are there really that many of these "dead" embryos out there? Are we sure that they are "dead?" How many stem cell lines could we create?

In the second technique, from William Hurlbut, a member of the panel, "called his idea "altered nuclear transfer" -- a cloning procedure with one crucial alteration. One or more genes essential for normal embryonic development would be temporarily canceled or inactivated at the start. The cluster of growing and dividing cells that would be produced would have no capacity ever to develop into a human fetus. Consequently, it would not have the status of a person by anyone's definition, he argued."

I haven't heard the whole proposition but right now to me this simply sounds like creating some kind of defective cloned human embryo. The lack of capacity to develop into a human fetus doesn't mean that the creation isn't a human embryo. Will we be able to tell if this is really a non-human being that merely has human being parts or will it be something that we're always wondering about?

Though these new techniques might not necessitate the intentional killing of human beings (it's tough to tell from Post article) I'd still be skeptical.

1.) Even if they can get embryonic stem cells without killing embryos, I still don't think embryonic stem cells are the way to go. Wouldn't the cells still be prone to forming tumors and being rejected by the patient like the embryonic stem cells we have now?

2.) Practically speaking, will this kind of research ever be affordable to the average Joe with diabetes or Parkinson's? It just seems that this kind of stem cell research treatment will be just as unaffordable and difficult as any type of treatment from cloning.

3.) In terms of federal funding, if these techniques worked they would be new embryonic stem cell lines and not eligible for federal funding. So Bush would either need to reformulate his August 2001 policy or create some kind of loophole.

4.) Isn't this money better spent on research with adult stem cells and stem cells from umbilical cords? We already know that we can help people with this cells. Why not focus our attention and money there? The idea of exploring all areas of research can be very persuasive (especially if all areas are ethical) but it just seems that exploring all areas of research takes funds away from areas that have and are working.

The full text of the meeting is available online here. It's the transcript for Dec. 3. It's an interesting, though long, read if you get the chance.

After reading what Hurlbut is proposing and his answers to questions - it's fairly clear that this is currently an idea in the works (it may not even work with humans) and that he wants to make sure that an embryo isn't created in this processes. The language in the Post column that I quoted is not really the type of language that Hurlbut used in his presentation.

Hurlbut says of his proposal, "The crucial principle of any technological variation of altered nuclear transfer, however, must be the pre-emptive nature of the intervention. This process does not involve the creation of an embryo that is then altered to transform it into a non-embryonic entity. Rather the proposed genetic alteration is accomplished ab initio, the entity is brought into existence with a genetic structure insufficient to generate a human embryo."

Later on in the questioning he says, "I, as everybody in this council knows, have stood very strongly for the principle that human life is present from conception. When I looked at the scientific facts and I didn't come in like some rubber stamp agent of this counsel to do what somebody told me to do, I looked as plainly as I could and I simply could not think -- could not agree that the early embryo was, as some scientists are saying, an inchoate clump of cells. It's a living whole human being."

He wants to make sure embryos aren't being created.

His proposal is basically to take a gene out of a cell before putting that cell into an egg and zapping it. The lack of this gene basically then creates something similar to a hydatiform mole or teratoma that might still have stem cells.

It's interesting to see those on the Council use science to get around moral problems caused by the previous advancement of science (without moral safeguards) but I still can't see this as being practical medicine in the long or short run.

The text to Bush's August 9, 2001, decision says "we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life and death decision has already been made."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Embryology quote of the week #3

"Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zygtos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being."

[Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

If you're an infant and Dutch, you're not much

Hugh Hewitt and Mark Roberts and John Mark Reynolds are commenting on this story from the AP about how a hospital in the Netherlands has been euthanizing terminally ill newborns even though the proposed law to legalize this horrendous practice has yet to pass.

What will our media say? Will they pass this off as nothing? Will they continue to ignore how the Netherlands have continually changed their laws to allow doctors to kill instead of heal?

Why haven't government prosecutors in the Netherlands done anything? Has their lack of respect for life slipped so far that breaking the law and killing infants is no big deal?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Should hospitals have a choice?

La Shawn Barber has done a good job covering the events of the recently passed prolife provision in a recent bill passed in Congress here.

The bill will basically prevent any federal, state, or local agencies/governments from discriminating against hospitals who don't provide or refer abortions by saying they don't get funding if they discriminate.

Planned Parenthood tells us that this bill "tramples reproductive rights."

It seems, at least according to Planned Parenthood, that every prolife measure tramples/destroys/attacks/slashes "reproductive rights." Why then are "reproductive rights" (meaning abortion) still around if they've been trampled/destroyed/attacked/slashed so many times?

One thing I've noticed from reading Planned Parenthood's web site over the years is that they hardly, if ever, link to or provide the text of prolife legislation. It's almost like they don't want the people visiting their site to actually read the legislation they despise so much. It's much easier for PP to say the legislation does one thing without proof than to actual post the language of legislation and then prove how it "tramples" on "rights." National Right to Life has the full text of the legislation in question here

The New York Times is saying, "The provision could affect millions of American women, according to Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who warned Friday that she would use procedural tactics to slow Senate business to a crawl if the language was not altered."

That's interesting as a fairly small percentage of our nation's abortions are performed in hospitals. In Michigan, it's less than 1%. There are probably an even smaller percentage of abortions performed at hospitals that don't want to perform abortions. Boxer is clearly making things up as one of PP's most dutiful solidiers yet the Times takes the liberty to treat this statment almost as if it is a fact by not putting the statement in quotes and putting the statement before identifying the person making the statement. They could have easily done some research or asked National Right to Life's Legislative Director Douglas Johnson (who is also quoted) if the legislation will affect millions.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Big media display ignorance or arrogance again?

I love to read newspaper articles online about stem cell research because they show me exactly why so many people are completely confused about this issue. This article in the Houston Chronicle informs me that embryonic stem cells come from fertilized eggs.

That's news to me. I mean, a fertilized egg, aka zygote, is only one cell so how do they get all these stem cells (plural) from a fertilized egg (singular)?

Oh yeah, that's right. Human embryonic stem cells actually come from 5 to 7 day old human embryos and not from human zygotes aka "fertilized eggs" by individuals who like to dehumanize the unborn and confuse readers.

The article also is very brief with what type of stem cells the featured scientist, Ping Wu is working with. It tells us that she received a bunch of fetal stem cells from an aborted child in 2000 but never really tells us if she is still working with fetal stem cells or adult stem cells.

The abstract of Wu and Svendsen work is also not 100% specific. It says they used "Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs)."

A brief Yahoo search seems to indicate that these cells can come from adults, embryos, fetuses, and even dead adults.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Embryology quote of the week #2

"The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."

[Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Terminating pregnancy with a baseball bat

The Detroit Free Press has been featuring the last couple of days a story about two teens who attend Armada High (north of Detroit in Macomb County) who intentionally killed their unborn child by having the father hit his pregnant girlfried with a baseball bat over the span of several weeks. The girl eventually miscarried. The coroner report isn't done yet so they don't know how old the child was. They were supposedly good kids and didn't tell others about the pregnancy until after she miscarried and according to one of the father's friends the baseball bat was the mother's idea.

The article discusses how prosecutors may not be able to charge or at least prosecute the father under Michigan's prenatal protection law because the mother was a willing participant. Is beating someone with a baseball bat assault if that person wants to be beaten with a bat? Was the child a willing participant in the beatings that took his or her life?

Interestingly, the unborn child in this case without a name and unwanted by the parents is repeatedly called a "fetus" by the Free Press. In other articles here and here about the Laci/Conner Peterson case in the Free Press, the wanted (though probably unwanted by Scott) Conner is referred to as "unborn son," "the son," "baby," "her first child," and "a boy."

Planned Parenthood spokesperson Margy Long says this about the beating,

" "How terrible it would be to be 16 years old and feel so desperate. What did that girl go through to have someone beat on her until she miscarried? It's a tragedy that pregnancy was terminated."

Hmmmm..... Hey, Margy - would this pregnancy termination have been a tragedy if one of your abortionists used a vacuum instead of the father using a Louisville Slugger? Were the 227,375 abortions your organization performed in 2002 also tragedies? Is it a tragedy that your organization tries to usurp parental rights by judge shopping so that minors can easily obtain a waiver even if they don't really qualify.

Is it a tragedy that Planned Parenthood of Michigan's web site says this:

"Q. What happens if the judge denies me a judicial bypass?
A. Hopefully this won’t happen. It would be good to get in touch with someone at Planned Parenthood before you file your petition. They might be able to tell you which judge would be most likely to help you."

Both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press are reporting that the child was approximately 6 months old when he was delivered. The boy (even though the Free Press labels the child an "it" twice in the first paragraph) was approximately 13 inches long and 25 to 26 weeks old. The print article in the Free Press surprisely contains drawings of unborn children and their development throughout pregnancy. The bat used was supposedly a mini/souvenir type bat.

A constitutional law professor, Robert Sedler, is quoted (in the Detroit News story)as saying that the father can be prosecuted but the mother can't be.

"It seems to me they can prosecute this guy," Sedler said. "I don't think she can be convicted as an accomplice. She still has to be treated as a victim."

He said the girl's consent to the beating is legally irrelevant. "(Consent) is not a defense to a criminal prosecution," Sedler said.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Watching the coverage of Scott Peterson trial on the Today Show as I'd iron my slacks in the morning throughout the last however many months I can't recall one time (even though I'm sure they might exist) that Conner was called a "fetus." "Unborn child," "unborn son," and "child" seemed to be the norm of how Conner was referred. The media love to attempt to dehumanize "unwanted" unborn children but when it comes to unborn children who aren't in line to be aborted, the media often portray them as human beings.

This morning I heard something interesting that caught my attention. Katie Couric was previewing her interview with Elizabeth Edwards regarding her breast cancer and talked about when Mrs. Edwards found out. Instead of saying, "On the day John Kerry and John Edwards conceded their election loss" or "on the day that George Bush announced his election victory" or any other phrase that would signify that Kerry-Edwards actually lost, Katie says something along the lines of "on the day that they gave up their fight for the presidency" (don't quote me). Maybe its me overreaching but it seemed to be another example of media bias where Katie had to add in there was some kind of controversy over who actually won the election.

Big news of no surprise to those in the prolife movement about the dangers of RU-486. So much for "Safe and Effective." Planned Parenthood is defending the drug with this lame statement from Vanessa Cullins, one of their large salaried V-Ps. She says,

"At Planned Parenthood, our number one priority is the health and safety of our patients and we support responsible safeguards for women's health.

Medication abortion is extremely safe and effective and was approved by the FDA after a rigorous scientific screening process. More than a million women worldwide have used medication abortion safely."

Yeah right. Support responsible safeguards? Rigorous screening process? You mean the fast-tracking baloney under Clinton that didn't include specific testing on minors even though minors were obviously going to be taking the drugs.

It's interesting that Planned Parenthood, where Holly Patterson got her abortion, wasn't following the FDA guidelines for the use of the drug cocktail. Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups will fight tooth and nail to keep this drug on the market regardless of its safety. As abortion doctors age and less doctors are being trained to perform surgical abortions, they need RU-486 to convince non-abortion providers to become abortion providers without having to get them into the grisly practice of vacuuming the children out of the womb.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Strengthen cloning ban by legalizing cloning

That's what some pro-choicers in Michigan's state legislature are trying to do. Unfortunately, for Andy Meisner it's not going to happen because the majority of Michigan's state legislators are prolife. In a recent local comment in the Detroit Free Press, Meisner tries to garner support for his horrible legislation by misleading the reader in many ways.

The column shows the complete inability of some pro-choicers to come anywhere near a decent level of honesty regarding human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research.

He starts the column out by providing false hope and hype regarding embryonic stem cell research. He even mentions Alzheimer's which numerous stem cell researchers have said is not going to be cured by stem cells. One even called it a "fairy tale."

Then Meisner tries to confuse the reader about his legislation. He says that his legislation would "permit Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, and retain and strengthen the ban on human cloning." The problem is that Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer is cloning. It is the same cloning technique that created Dolly the cloned sheep. How can we strengthen Michigan's ban on human cloning by making human cloning (Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer) legal? It makes absolutely no sense. Meisner is either ignorant (he isn't) or he is clearly trying to fool people who don't know what Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer is. To him, "stregthening the ban" means redefining "cloning" to only mean cloning whose goal is to bring a child to birth and adding 5 years of prison onto the current 10 year sentence.

The editorial also says, "We should study those embryos, and possibly cure disease." If Mr. Meisner's legislation passes, human embryos won't be studied. They will be killed for research purposes.

The editorial also claims that the "embryos used in this research are best utilized at the early moments after their cultivation, long before any signs of humanity, such as an organ or brain waves, exist." Mr. Meisner's legislation, House Bill 6354, edits the current state ban on human cloning and embryonic stem cell research to make research on any human embryo, regardless of age, legal. Human embryos become human fetuses at the end of the 8th week after conception. At this time, all major structures/organs of the human embryo's body have begun to form and the face of the human embryo clearly looks human according to embryologist Keith Moore in his embryology textbook, The Developing Human.

Meisner concludes his illogical tirade by saying, "Now is the time for government to get out of the way of good science, for Michigan to compete for these needed jobs, and for our state to go on record in support of medical technology that could save and improve the lives of millions of Americans."

I love how embryonic stem cell supporters want government out of science but then they also want government(aka: Taxpayers) to have their hands in science enough to pay for this hyped research and all the researchers who'll be doing this destructive research.

As usual, no mention of all the diseases that have been cured or treated with stem cells from adults or umbilical cords. Surprise, surprise.

Abortion in Movies and TV

Over the weekend there was some talk about how abortion is featured in movies and tv - an article by Meghan Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Jonah Goldberg and Katherine Lopez comment in the Corner - with Goldberg saying,

"But at the end of the day -- or often at the end of sweeps week -- the woman always says "it's my choice, I'm keeping the baby." Or, they'll have a scene where the woman gets a sonogram and she realizes she loves the baby and again she'll say "it's my choice. I'm having this baby."

And, the moment the women decide to have the baby, the fetus is automatically discussed as if it were a complete person worth talking to, reading to, singing to etc. The implication here, of course, is that if Rachel or whoever had simply chosen not to have the baby, that choice and that choice alone would have been enough of an abracadabra to metaphysically transform the fetus into nothing more than a lump of cells or the inconvenient consequence of a one-night-stand not worth reading to at all.

But -- and here's the funny part -- they never choose the abortion. It's so unbelievably predictable in show after show. Unless there's a miscarriage, the woman always "chooses" to have the baby and that choice makes the fetus into a baby. The ontological status of the baby itself has nothing to do with it."

He notes Friends, Murphy Brown, Boston Public, and Judging Amy. Other shows that I can think of off the top of my head include the O.C. (where Teresa is pregnant, leaves California with Ryan and ends up having a miscarriage, Beverly Hills 90210 (various episodes if I remember correctly), and Law and Order SVU. On Law and Order SVU, the pregnant girl who has Down Syndrome and has been raped is forced to abort by her mother but the cops want to get the remains of the child so that they can test to see if the dead child's DNA matches up with the suspects.

As Gurdon notes, the woman and/or man usually struggles with the decision but not because of what the child is and how killing an unborn child is something people don't want to do but with struggling with the two future paths of their life (parenthood vs. freedom).

Instapundit comments on Jonah's comments at 1:28 on November 14th (keep scrolling - it's towards the bottom. He writes,

"At common law -- and still, pretty much, the law generally -- there's no duty to rescue. The classic example, in fact, involves a man walking down the sidewalk and observing a baby drowning in a half-inch of water. Even if the man could rescue the baby with no risk and minimal inconvenience to himself, he's under no duty to take any action at all, and can simply keep walking without facing any penalty beyond moral condemnation.

But if he decides to help, and takes action, then he becomes obligated to follow through and must exert all reasonable effort (short of risking death or serious bodily harm; inconvenience doesn't generally count) to save the baby's life and leave it in a position of reasonable safety. The analogy should be obvious here.

Now I've thought of this argument in a different context, as an explanation for why you could both support abortion rights (as, of course, I do) and also support holding pregnant women liable for engaging in behavior -- like drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, etc. -- that might endanger the fetus. But I think it provides at least a partial answer to Jonah's question."

Dr. Reynolds, an abortion "rights" supporter, shows us a flaw in many pro-choice arguments like the Violinist by Judith Jarvis Thompson. He equates the stranger-child relationshiop with the mother-child relationship. Parents/guardians have more responsibilities towards their children than do strangers yet Dr. Reynolds would have us look at the relationship between a woman and the child she is carrying as nothing more than a stranger walking by child on the sidewalk.

Dr. Reynolds provides no answer to Jonah's question. Instead he shows us how pro-choicers think (or don't for that matter). Reynolds understands that the fetus is alive yet he still thinks women should be allowed to kill this living human being and bases it on analogy that is obviously flawed in numerous ways.

He seems to be troubled at putting together the dots with 1.) Intentionally killing innocent human being is wrong and should be illegal. 2.) Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being 3. Therefore, abortion is wrong and should be illegal.

He and numberless other pro-choicers can't seem to understand that what the unborn are (living human beings) isn't predicated on how others (their mother) feel about them - which seems to be the point of Jonah's post. The unborn don't suddenly turn into valuable human beings because their mother decides that she wants to have a baby but the unborn are valuable human beings regardless of how the mother views them. Just as whether the mother's decision to abort doesn't turn the unborn child into a worthless "lump of cells" just because that's how their mother views them anymore than Susan Smith decision to drown own her children did.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Embryology quote of the week

"Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote). ... The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual." (Carlson, Bruce M., Patten's Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p.3.)

It's just too bad that according to numerous pro-choicers "no one knows when life begins."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Ms. Magazine

Imago Dei posts his critique of an alarmingly article in Ms. Magazine. The article by Martha Mendoza describes her personal story of having a stillborn child removed.

As Imago Dei says, Mendoza's logic is extremely twisted. Her basic position is that partial-birth abortion (the intentional killing of partially-born innocent human beings) should be legal so that when women have a stillborn child, doctors will be trained to remove that already dead child in the way that the woman most prefers. Wouldn't it be just easier to train doctors in a variety of techniques to remove stillborn children? Why should an intentional act of killing be legalized so more doctors will be able to remove a dead child in the exact way that Mendoza prefers? Shouldn't doctors be allowed to decide which method they prefer and think is safest for their clients?

Plus doctors haven't been trained to do D and E's for years - so the federal ban that Bush signed is not the reason for it. She says, "restrictive state laws and the violence targeting physicians have reduced the number of hospitals and doctors willing to do dilations and evacuations." Wrong. What law restricts doctors from being trained to do D and E abortions if they want? I'm not aware of any. The reality is that doctors don't want to perform abortions - most of them decided to become doctors because they wanted to save lives not end them.

She also seems to be wholly misleading on what type of procedure she received. This could be either ignorance (not understanding what the different abortion procedures are) or deception. She says she had a "D and E" and that her dead son "slipped out" and she could see the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. In D and E (dilatation and evacuation) procedures the child doesn't slip out. The child is dismembered and the skull is sometimes crushed because it has often been hardened to bone. She didn't have a D and E if her son slipped out.

Maybe she had a PBA also known as D and X (dilation and extraction) or intact D and E. Mendoza throughout her piece does a poor job of differentiating between D and E's and D and X's. She wants a D and E because they are supposedly safer but then seems to be actually trying to get a D and X In this procedure, her child would be delivered feet first except for the head and then scissors would be jammed into her dead son's head and his brains would be suctioned out so his skull could collapse and be delivered. Her experience doesn't sound like this type of abortion either because the skull of the child would be collapsed. It sounds like the child was delivered.

Its unfortunate that Ms. Magazine is either too lazy to actually research this issue or that they are too pro-abortion to stop any article supplying erronous information to their readers as long as it is favor of abortion.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Still a Michigan Fan?

I never thought that someone could temporarily take away my pride of being a fan of Michigan football but I stand corrected.
The fact the Michael Moore acts like a Michigan football fan made me reconsider, though just for a second, my allegiance to the greatest college football program in the United States.

In a recent Mike's Message, Moore encourages his readers not to commit suicide because of Bush's win for 17 reasons one of which is:

"7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan."

For one I don't know why that's a reason but regardless. Second, too bad for the Doofus of State - Michigan doesn't play Ohio State until November 20th. Maybe he was referring to Michigan State who lost to the Buckeyes on November 6. His obvious ignorance of when Michigan plays the dreaded rival (every true-blue Michigan fan knows it is the last game of season) is evidence enough for me to believe that Moore isn't on actual "real" fan.

Another reason from Moore "10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can't."

Our candidates? Which candidates is he referring to? Overweight, ultra-liberal, rude, incredibly rich yet still masquerading as average guys, deceptive, white candidates? He seems to be drawing a line between black candidates and "our" candidates.

I've been debating with myself for a while, and I've still yet to come to a conclusion, about whether Michael Moore is a very smart deceptive man who says and does things to intentionally mislead Americans and enjoys pandering to the small percentage of Americans too ignorant or lazy to understand and investigate his ridiculous claims or if he is a complete idiot who actually believes what he says. His writings are often so horribly bad and stupid it is hard to believe that some one who is a deceptive genius would right this garbage but then again it's the kind of writing the Michael Moore-Howard Dean-BushLiedTroopsDied-WarForOil part of the country loves.

Check out Dave Kopel's Fifty-Nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9-11 and his review of Moore's Bowling for Columbine to help you decide.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bloggers to blame?

Bloggers are now being blamed for the bad exit polls here

Instead of focusing on why the exit polls were off (bad polling practices, violence and intimidation by lefties, the idea often fostered by the media that people who would vote for Bush are dumb) or maybe think about scraping the practice of trying to predict who will win based on them and just focusing on the reasons for voting, etc., main stream media is now blaming bloggers for sharing the information about the exit polls. This is ridiculous as major television stations on election night were also talking about the exit polls. Remember Susan Estrich. Sounds more like envy to me. Sounds like they're mad because the bloggers are more flexible, quicker, and smarter and can get news out to their readers faster than MSM can.

Would the bloggers be blamed if the exit polls were right? This is an obvious attempt to kill the messenger instead of focusing on the real problem with the exit polls.

The Pennsylvania Problem

The sad and dangerous thing regarding the future of Bush's judicial nominees is that the probable Senate Judiciary Chairman, Arlen Specter, will be more pro-choice than the probable Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid. If only Toomey had won. Tim Carney has a great piece about that subject in the National Review here

Maybe if Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania's Governor, loses in 2 years, Bush can give Specter a cushy appointment like being the ambassador to Aruba and not lose a Republican seat in the Senate. I'd probably even prefer a low-profile Dem instead of a high profile, pro-abortion Republican.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Miller's prophetic book

Michelle Malkin provides prophetic text from Zell Miller's book:

National Democratic leaders know nothing about the modern South. They still see it as a land of magnolias and mint juleps, with the pointy-headed KKK lurking in the background, waiting to burn a cross or lynch blacks and Jews.

They are like Shreve McCannon, the Canadian in William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" who asks the Southerner Quentin Compson: "Tell me about the South. What's it like there? What do they do there? Why do they live there? Why do they live at all?"

The modern South and rural America are as foreign to our Democratic leaders as some place in Asia or Africa. In fact, more so. I'm sure each could explain the culture and economy of Pakistan, Taiwan or Kenya better than that of the American South.

The longer the Dems ignore the morals of the South the longer and worse it will get for them. They don't understand how strongly Christian people in the South and around the country care about issues like abortion and the sanctity of marriage.

Bush wins!

November 2, 2004, will go down in history as a great day for conservative politics. President Bush has a solid popular vote and electoral college win (looking like 286), being the first President since his father to carry the majority of the popular vote with the highest turnout in the history of American elections. The GOP gains 4 seats in the Senate, including getting obstructionist leader Tom Daschle out of Senate and also gaining seats in the House. Filibustering prolife judicial nominees will be much harder for the Dems when there are 55 Republicans and one prolife Dem (Nelson). Amendments to define marriage into the constitutions of various states passed in all 11 states by fairly wide margins (even in Oregon). In Florida, voters put a parental consent law for abortion into the Constitution.

Not all good though. Its sad that the people of California weren't able to understand that spending 3 billion dollars of their money over 10 years on embryonic stem cell research was a bad idea. Scientists and ignorant political pundits will no longer be able say that embryonic stem cell research isn't getting its funding. With an average of $295 million a year from California (more than the federal government spent on adult and embryonic stem cell research combined last year) for 10 years, commentators will have no leg to stand on when their hyped cures don't happen. was great for election coverage. You could click on states for every race and get result of precincts reporting by county and know as much as all the commentators on TV. I was looking at the Florida information that had Bush up 5% with like 96% of precincts reporting and I'm wondering how the heck has Florida not been called for Bush when they're calling other states for Kerry that had similar % numbers but less precincts in.

It was great to watch scratchy-voiced Susan Estrich, former campaign manager for Dukakis, on Fox News last night. She was so cocky when all she had was the ridiculous exit polling results. Then when actual votes were in and Florida was for Bush and Ohio was leaning Bush she comes on still confident yet even more shrill and predicts that Cuyahoga county in Ohio will basically erase Bush's then 150,000 vote lead. Too bad it didn't happen Suz. I loved watching how higher % of Cuyahoga precincts were coming in but Bush was still up 100,00+ votes. Brit Humes kindness to her was so forced. Confidence is one thing but even most partisans are careful when making predictions.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Osama tape translation

is now available here at Al Jazeera.

Most of it is a wandering incoherent rant that just seems to try to insult our President. Some interesting quotes below - many sound like Michael Moore could be Osama's speechwriter.

"So he took dictatorship and suppression of freedoms to his son and they named it the Patriot Act, under the pretence of fighting terrorism. In addition, Bush sanctioned the installing of sons as state governors, and didn't forget to import expertise in election fraud from the region's presidents to Florida to be made use of in moments of difficulty."

"it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Halliburton and its kind, will be convinced. And it all shows that the real loser is ... you."

"But because it seemed to him that occupying himself by talking to the little girl about the goat and its butting was more important than occupying himself with the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers, we were given three times the period required to execute the operations."

"So I say to you, over 15,000 of our people have been killed and tens of thousands injured, while more than a thousand of you have been killed and more than 10,000 injured. And Bush's hands are stained with the blood of all those killed from both sides, all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business."

Monday, November 01, 2004

Wisconsin Dems reach new level of scumbagdom

In a recent column on National Review, Leonard Leo allows the reader to see a piece from the "Wisconsin Catholics for Kerry" that is paid for by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. This piece says that "John Kerry will promote the common good:" and in the last bullet says, "Work, across our differences, to make abortion as rare as possible (their italics)."

Really. That's why he said in 1994 on the Senate floor that "The right thing to do is to treat abortions as exactly what they are -- a medical procedure that any doctor is free to provide and any pregnant woman free to obtain. Consequently, abortions should not have to be performed in tightly guarded clinics on the edge of town; they should be performed and obtained in the same locations as any other medical procedure.... [A]bortions need to be moved out of the fringes of medicine and into the mainstream of medical practice."

Not to mention calling the prolife Catholics he's now courting "forces of intolerance" at a NARAL dinner. What will this campaign not say to have John Kerry elected? Is anything beyond the reach of their deception?

The piece also contains the misleading bullet (previously debunked here) that "New state statistics suggest that abortion rates have increased under President Bush's watch after reaching a 25-year low in 2000."

The Wisconsin Dems show their opinion of the importance of the abortion in the minds of Wisconsin's Catholic voters by putting both of these bullets at bottom of their respective columns.

One of the co-signers is also Daniel C. Maguire. For those unfamiliar with Dr. Daniel C. Maguire he is a complete abortion proponent. He isn't personally opposed to abortion at all. Nor is he what must people would consider a practicing Catholic. He's written a book, Sacred Rights: The Case for Contraception and Abortion in World Religions, that attempts to show how abortion is really a "right" in various religions. He also has numerous other pro-choice books and a pro-choice website

Mad Max vs. The Terminator

Mel Gibson has come out against California's Prop 71, a disaster of proposition whose campaign has been financed by big biotech companies so they don't have to invest as much of their own cash into the embryonic stem cell research that has yet to cure a single human being of a single disease. The Governator is in favor of this proposition even though its going to cost $6 billion dollars over 10 years. So much for fiscal conservatism.

A good ole' column by Wesley Smith shows how the broad language of the proposition allows for a right to human cloning.

Shame on you Arnold.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Big Media screws up on stem cell research again

Last week in Newsweek, the magazine let their favoritism of embryonic stem cell research show as they made up a position from the archbishop of Denver regarding stem cell research. The response from Chaput is here

"Life is full of surprises, and I had another one this week. It turns out that the archbishop of Denver believes that "supporting stem cells is a sin." It must be true because I read it in Newsweek magazine. Except it isn't.

On the same day, one of Denver's local dailies informed me that "in another foray into politics," I had accused "Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards of lying about the potential curing power of embryonic stem-cell research."

In fact, I didn't name any candidate, any political party or even the location of the remarks I highlighted. The candidate is immaterial. So is the political party. But the issue, for Catholics and the culture at large, is vital. What I actually said this week - and what I've said many times before this election year - is the following:

"We do know that stem cells from adults and umbilical cords do show great promise and already have applications in therapy. The church has no objection to such stem-cell research. In fact, she supports and encourages it.

"The problem with embryonic stem-cell research comes down to this: We need to kill the embryos to do the research. The fact that developing human beings don't 'look human' is irrelevant. So are their size and their stage of development. They're still human, and left to their natural growth, they become thinking, feeling adults with hopes and moral purpose - exactly like the rest of us."

Did Newsweek honestly listen to Chaput or just decide that because he was against embryonic stem cell research that he was some kind of religious nut? Do they not understand the difference between adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research? Stem cell research was their cover story with the death of Christopher Reeve yet they can't honestly describe the position of those opposed. Their short apology featured in the letters section after a short letter from one of Chaput's representatives is too little too late.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kerry's interview with Katie

In an interview with Katie Couric airing on October 25, Kerry goes back to his old book - bring up Vietnam at any chance you get but on the last question his answer is very odd.

"Couric: I was surprised in the New York Times Magazine that you said that you had not been changed by 9/11. That's something the president brought up in his radio address this weekend. Do you regret saying that? Because at first blush, one can't imagine not being changed by that day.

Sen. Kerry: I knew that terror was a problem. And I wrote a book about it eight years ago. Having been to war and been through what I went through, it rekindled in me the same kind of responses. But it didn't change. It made me intent on winning. That was something that I knew as a response to the war I fought in — that we have to win."

Huh? He learned that "we have to win" from his experience with Vietnam yet when he was done with his service he protested the war in Vietnam and testified against the war and threw medals/ribbons away. Did we have to win then? Or do we just have to win now? How did your experience in Vietnam and/or your protesting afterwards lead you to believe that "we have to win" the war on terrorism?

Another excerpt:
"Couric: Some voters have said, “Hey, the United States hasn’t been attacked since September 11, George Bush must be doing something right, and we're too nervous to vote for a change at this point in time.” You would say to them?

Sen. Kerry: I would say to them that this administration has told you, George Bush and Dick Cheney have said to you, “It is not a matter of if we're going to be attacked — it’s a matter of when.” This administration has neglected homeland security. Do you know that the president … said he doesn’t know if America will ever be safe. Well, I do know that America will be safe under my leadership.

Couric: But can you really, Senator, make the guarantee, in all honesty…

Sen. Kerry: You bet, because we can win."

Maybe its just me but does this just ooze arrogance? If homeland security has been so neglected why haven't there been any more attacks? Is he guaranteeing no more terrorist attacks if he was elected? Its simply preposterous.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Donde esta Osama?

Remember all the video or audio tapes featuring Osama Bin Laden on Al-Jazeera television after the 9-11 bombings. Why haven't there been any recently? Osama was a media hound - he loved the attention - you'd think he'd still be on TV all the time congratulating his cohorts around the world for their terrorist actions yet nothing new. They're televising beheadings in Iraqi. Why hasn't Osama made a single appearance thanking them for their actions against the American infidels?

Check out Froggy Ruminations for a possible possibility.

Denver Archbishop in NY Times

I'm surprised the NY Times published this great opinion piece by Archbishop Chaput.

It includes this great point on Kerry contradictory stance on abortion:

"Words are cheap. Actions matter. If we believe in the sanctity of life
from conception to natural death, we need to prove that by our actions,
including our political choices. Anything less leads to the corruption of
our integrity. Patriotism, which is a virtue for people of all faiths,
requires that we fight, ethically and nonviolently, for what we believe.
Claiming that "we don't want to impose our beliefs on society" is not
merely politically convenient; it is morally incoherent and irresponsible.

As James 2:17 reminds us, in a passage quoted in the final presidential
debate, "Faith without works is dead." It is a valid point. People should
act on what they claim to believe. Otherwise they are violating their own
conscience, and lying to themselves and the rest of us."

Ouch. And its not like Chaput is a strong Republican. Read a recent column by Robert Novak here

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Somebody please put Teresa back in her cage!

Or at least that must be what ole' John is thinking to himself right about now.

In an interview with USA TODAY that spunky ketchup heiress is back at it. After calling people who oppose her husband's health care plan "idiots," and saying the war in Iraq is about "greed for oil," she recently said that she doesn't know if Laura Bush has ever had a "real job."

From the article:

"Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?

A: Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about."

Is it just me or don't most people if the slightest knowledge of the First Lady or politics know that she used to be a teacher and a librarian. What's a real job Teresa? Does working hard to marry rich count?

I guess raising a family isn't a "real job?"

Have we realized yet why Kerry talked about his mom when he was asked about his daughters and his wife in the third debate?

Teresa recently apologized for her comments in USA Today stating, "I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a schoolteacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children,"

How about leading our country?

Nothing about how raising a family, motherhood and all the work involved is a job. Thanks Teresa - this probably doesn't help with Kerry image with women voters many of whom don't have "real jobs" but just feed, clothe, and care for their kids.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Prolifers should vote for someone who wholeheartedly supports abortion?

If you get a chance read this column to see the dreadful reasoning of a man who decided to vote for John Kerry long ago and is now trying to rationalize that vote with his prolife beliefs. It's a case study in bad premises, faulty use of statistics, and horrible reasoning.

In this column, Christian ethicist Glen Stassen reasons that it would be ok to vote for John Kerry if you are prolife because Bush's economic policies have led to an increase in the number of abortions and that if John Kerry is elected then abortions will go down because his economic policies will improve life for women in unplanned pregnances.

First, bad premises. Stassen assumes that the President of the United States is in complete control of the economy. He never mentions that the recession of 2001 was already predicted 6 months beforehand or that the September 11 attacks took a toll or that the dotcom bubble burst - all things that the President's ecomomic policies had nothing to do with. He also never mentions that the economy has improved in the last year and that the unemployment rate is at 5.4% - a rate that is similar to 1996 when Clinton was re-elected. Governors, state legislatures, and the US Congress all have nothing to do with the economy in Stassen's world. He mentions 5.2 more Americans without health care -and this could lead to abortions but fails to mentions that this increase is fairly relative to the increase in actual Americans. For example, if 10% of Americans don't have health care and there are 250 million Americans in 2000 while there are 300 million Americans in 2004 then the # of Americans without health care will go up by 5 million from 25 million to 30 million. He also never cites if there were more Americans without health care after Clinton's 8 years.

He also seems to assume that abortions were decreasing in the 90's based on Clinton's economic policies and then Bush turned this all around. He never mentions the possibility that the decrease in abortion could be based on prolife laws that help reduce abortion. For example, in 1988, Michigan paid for the abortions of poor women - in that year there were 46,747 abortion in Michigan. In late 1988, Michigan citizens thru a petition drive (because Democratic governor James Blanchard continously vetoed previous attempts) banned medicaid funding of abortions. In 1989, there were 36,557 abortions in Michigan. A drop of over 10 thousand.

In the 90's numerous state legislatures put forward prolife laws such as parental consent, informed consent, stopping tax payer funded abortions, etc. that more than likely led to fewer abortions. To pass these laws, prolife legislators and governors were needed. John Kerry would have vetoed all of these laws if he could of. Also, my guess is that debate over partial-birth abortion in the 1990's led many people to see the grotesque nature of abortion. Stassen editorial acknowledges none of this. In his writing, economic policies lead to having an abortion or not having an abortion - simple as that.

Second, faulty use of statistics. Stassen uses the abortion statistics from 16 states and then writes, "In total numbers, 7,869 more abortions were performed in these 16 states during Bush's second year in office than previously. If this trend reflects our nation, 24,000 more abortions were performed during Bush's second year in office than the year before (or three years before in the first three states). Had the previous trends continued, 28,000 fewer abortions should have occurred each year of the Bush era. All in all, probably 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than expected from the earlier trends."

Anybody who has taken a basic statistics class in college is well aware that "this trend" is not at all necessary reflective. 16 states are not a random sample for the United States. For example, reported abortions in Michigan on Michigan residents in 2000 was 26,027. In 2003, it was 28,584. I could take the statistics from 16 of Michigan's 83 counties and then use those statistics in the same way Stassen does to assume that abortions actually decreased. In Oakland county, abortions went down 27, in Kalamazoo county by 16, in Berrien county by 39, in Cass by 10, in Mecosta by 16, in Mason by 6, in Ionia by 5, in Marquette by 10, in Muskegon by 40, in Van Buren by 32, in Chippewa by 11, in Alcona by 7, in Barry by 23, they stayed the same in Alpena, went up by 11 in Hillsdale, and went up 12 in Tuscola. By my statistics abortions decreased by 219 in these 16 counties. I could then write "if these trend reflects Michigan, then 1136 less abortions were performed in Michigan in 2003 than in 2000." Stassen's statistically evaluation is a case study in what happens when you use statistics to prove your conclusion instead of using statistics to come to a conclusion. No one knows for sure how many abortions have been performed in 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Plus, in Colorado the abortion statistics went up by a whopping 67% not because that many more abortions were taking place but because in previous years abortionists weren't reporting the abortions that they performed. This huge increase would set off warning signs in the mind of anyone who was actually familiar with abortion statistics. Go here to learn what Colorado RTL and Colorado's health department has to say.

Third, bad reasoning. OK, let's assume that Stassen's premises aren't faulty and his faulty use of statistics (some faulty) wasn't faulty. Let's say for arguments sake that President Bush and his economic policies have increased the # of abortions while John Kerry's economic policies will decrease the # of abortions. Is it then rationale for a prolifer to vote for John Kerry based on abortion? Of course not.

For example, what if President Bush's economic policies lowered the # of rapes in our country yet he was personally in favor of making rape legal while Kerry's policies increased the # of rapes even though he was in favor of keeping rape illegal. Would it be rationale then for an advocate of women who have been raped to vote for Bush?

Plus, Stassen's article seems defeatist. The way to stop abortion in America is to foster a culture of life where intentionally killing unborn children is illegal. The way to make abortion illegal in the states is to overturn Roe v. Wade so individual states and their people can make the decision. This won't happen under Kerry who has vowed to only appoint pro-choice judges.

Update 10/26

National RTL has a response to the Stassen article up on their site here

It seems Dr. Stassen might not necessarily be "prolife" and Arizona's abortion increase is similar to Colorado's.

Call him Peter

Another good column I read recently is by Ben Shapiro discussing John Edwards discussing embryonic stem cell research at a recent campaign stop. During the stop Edwards said, "When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again,"

How sad is this? Using the death of a human being to try to gain votes for a candidate that supports the killing of millions of unborn human beings.

Edward's baloney reminds me of the time in the book of Acts where Peter tells the crippled man outside the temple to get up and walk. Its almost like they view embryonic stem cells as some magic formula that will just cure everyone of everything even though it has yet to cure a single person of a single disease while research using adult stem cells and stem cells from umbilical cords have cured thousands of people.

No serious researcher on embryonic stem cells has ever made the claim that they will be able to heal spinal cord injuries in 4 or 8 years. Why do the proponents of ESCR have to lie about this. Or maybe Edwards is just plain ignorant.

Two women, Susan Fajt and Laura Dominguez recently (July 2004) testified before Congress about how they were paralyzed but are no able to walk with the aid of braces after being treated with stem cells from their own bodies. Go here for their testimony.

On Meet the Press on SUnday morning, one of Kerry's campaign managers, Bob Shrum, defended Edwards ludicrous comments by saying, "Well, they certainly will eventually, and there's no question about it. The stem cell policy the president is following, people like Christopher Reeve, Michael Fox, medical researchers have all said is a policy that won't work. It's using old lines of stem cells that are not pure. There's enormous possibility here. The president's giving in to the right wing. And what John Edwards said was absolutely and totally responsible. You have a president here who in the last week has said John Kerry's unfit to be commander in chief. John Kerry went and defended this country."

Hmmm... So the lie by Edwards is responsible because John Kerry fought in Vietnam.