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.

Mike Adams

If you've never read anything by Mike Adams you've got to check out some of his commentary. Some of the stuff that is happening at the college classes in our country is unbelievable. One of his latest is about a college professor in California (Professor Clifton Snider at CSULB) who basically uses his English 100 class as a time to espose and push his political views.

Check out part of the CSULB website that Prof. Snider uses to describe possible paper topics. At the top Dr. Snider has even commented on Mike Adams' article - he unfortunately doesn't link to the article (available at or try to rebute the article.

In the section where he has topics that shouldn't be covered in the classes' argument paper he says, "Topics on which there is, in my opinion, no other side apart from chauvinistic, religious, or bigoted opinions and pseudo-science (for example, female circumcision, prayer in public schools, same-sex marriage, the so-called faith-based initiative, abortion, hate crime laws, the existence of the Holocaust, and so-called creationism). "

Arguments/paper topics that are suggested include "What evidence do we have that Mr. Bush and his cronies lied to the American people and the world in promoting the war with Iraq? Do you agree that America has lost its "moral authority" in the world because of this immoral war?"

or "George W. Bush's time in the National Guard presents important questions about the character of a man who has sent hundreds of Americans to their deaths in war and killed and maimed untold thousands of others. "

or "Although George W. Bush said he would support the national continuation of the ban on assault weapons, he did nothing to urge Congress to pass it. Without such congressional action, the ban expired on the 13th of September 2004."

How does this clown still have a job? How is a English Professor allowed to use tax dollars to pontificate his ignorant views of politics on students at CSULB?

No other side to the abortion debate? Really? What planet does he live on? Pseudo-science? Would that be all the embryology textbooks that say human life begins at conception? My guess is that it is just easier for Prof. Snider to stick his fingers in his ultra-liberal ears and scream his out of the mainstream lungs out instead of actually confronting an argument.