Friday, August 29, 2008

Is this sexism?

From the FFL article on Governor Sarah Palin in my last post:

According to The Anchorage Daily News published August 6, 2006, "Palin said last month that no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child." The article went onto say that "she's a member of a pro-woman but anti-abortion group called Feminists for Life." "I believe in the strength and the power of women, and the potential of every human life,' she said."

Palin and her family lived this out when she chose to give birth to her youngest son, who has Down's Syndrome.

CNN's John Roberts, aparently, seems to think otherwise when he discusses Palin's newborn son with Diana Bash:

The baby is just slightly more than four months old now. Children with Down's syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of Vice President, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?

Bash makes a good point when she asks:

If it were a man being picked who also had a baby, but -- you know, four months ago with Down's Syndrome, would you ask the same question?

Tip of the Ruler to: Newsbusters.

More on Governor Palin and Feminists for Life

A press release from Feminists for Life of America:

August 29, 2008

FFL Member Nominated for Vice President of the United States

Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, has been selected by Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain as his running mate.

According to The Anchorage Daily News published August 6, 2006, "Palin said last month that no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child." The article went onto say that "she's a member of a pro-woman but anti-abortion group called Feminists for Life." "I believe in the strength and the power of women, and the potential of every human life,' she said."

Feminists for Life's policy is that all memberships are confidential. However, since Governor Palin has been public about her membership, we can confirm that Palin became a member in 2006.

Earlier this week Feminists for Life reacted to the inclusion of woman-centered solutions in the Democratic Party platform, and the inclusion of FFL's trademarked message, "Women deserve better® than abortion,©" in the Republican Party platform.

FFL President Serrin Foster said "It is unprecedented to see the platforms of both major U.S. political parties incorporate key pieces of FFL's unique message."

"Of course there is a certain excitement about the recent movement toward FFL's woman-centered solutions and message by the parties, and now the selection of a pro-life feminist as the Vice Presidential nominee. But as a nonpartisan organization, we cannot endorse any candidates," Foster said.

"FFL members represent a broad political as well as religious spectrum, and we remain both nonpartisan and nonsectarian. There are many issues outside Feminists for Life's mission. Feminists for Life is dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions. We recognize that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women and that too often women have settled for less. Women deserve better than abortion," said Foster.

As each party takes steps to acknowledge and meet the needs of women, Feminists for Life is prepared to work with our elected leaders on behalf of girls and women who deserve far better than abortion. FFL has a long track record of working with both sides of the political aisle on major legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, Child Support Enforcement Act, and much more. Many members of Congress have already stepped forward to cosponsor the FFL-inspired bill with bipartisan support, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act.

"We invite all parties, all public servants, and all people to join us on the bridge of woman-centered solutions," Foster said.



"Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion."
Say NO to the Status QuoTM

Feminists for Life is a 501(c)3 organization.
All donations and membership contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed to law.
Refuse to Choose and Women Deserve Better are registered trademarks of Feminists for Life of America.

McCain Chooses Pro-Life Feminist for VP

She hunts. She fishes. This moose-burger eating, basketball playing former Miss Alaska contestant (and Miss Congeniality winner) is the first woman governor of Alaska.  And, this mother of five (including a downs-syndrome child and a soldier about to be deployed to Iraq) is also a member of Feminists for Life

The Times Online describes her campaign style as "formidable" and her grasp of the issues as "Keen".  It also mentions the moose-hunting trips she went on as a child with her father. 

Yes, that's right. Moose hunting!

Sounds like She'll give Joe Biden and Barack Obama a run for their money.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Heights

From Senator Kennedy's speech yesterday:

We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor, but when John Kennedy called of going to the moon, he didn't say it's too far to get there. We shouldn't even try.

Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon.

Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon.

Good idea, Senator. Let's send Barack Obama to the moon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

She may speak for the House, but not for the Church.

This week, I have been telling my students over and over again that they have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

I hope while she is in Denver, Nancy Pelosi will listen to the Achbishop of said region whose statement I reproduce here in its entirety (I hope the Archbishop won't mind!):

To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the "separation of Church and state." But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a "political" issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them. Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue "for a long time," she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery's Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here's how Connery concludes his study:

"The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."

Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder."

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelminglyheld that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or "ensouled." But nonediminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that - alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it - whether they're famous or not - fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the "separation of Church and state" does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
+James D. Conley
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Google's Quote of the Day:

No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.

- Michel de Montaigne

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Victory for common sense:

From The Mercury News yesterday:

California appeals court affirms home schooling by non-credentialed parents

By Sharon Noguchi
Mercury News
Article Launched: 08/08/2008 09:51:09 AM PDT

In a decision widely praised, a California appeals court this morning affirmed the right of parents who don't have a teaching credential to educate their children at home.

A three-judge panel overturned a lower-court order in February that had created an uproar among home-schooling parents when it required that they be credentialed. An estimated 166,000 California children are home schooled.

The Second District appellate court in Los Angeles ruled that individual parents, like private schools, are exempt from the requirement that those who teach children be credentialed by the state.

"It is a very good decision and definitely a victory for home-schooling families in the state," said Damien Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, which had filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a Sacramento couple who teach their 7-year-old at home.

"We're happy with the ruling," said James Owens, Los Angeles assistant county counsel, who represented the county's child welfare agency. In the case before the court, that agency had sought public schooling for two children being educated at home

According to a related article in the San Francisco Chronicle, this new ruling essentially declares that homeschooling is legal if parents declare their homes to be private schools. Teachers in private schools are not required to hold state-issue teaching credentials.

It's about time.

Related posts:

California Homeschoolers: Time to move!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Idiot Test.

I am 24% Idiot.
Friggin Genius
I am not annoying at all. In fact most people come to me for advice. Of course they annoy the hell out of me. But what can I do? I am smarter than most people.

Tip of the Ruler to Nancy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A close call for the terminally ill in California

The California Legislature has been at it again. Since last May, politicians in my home state have been considering AB 2747, a bill that nearly opened the door for legalizing assisted suicide. Even without this, it still has a little crack through which euthanasia may still slip.

Fortunately, according to the California Catholic Conference, at least the allowances for "Pallative Sedation" have been removed from the bill.

Here is an example of one of those changes. The original paragraph read as follows:

(e) "Palliative sedation" means the administration of sedative medication to the point of unconsciousness in a terminally ill patient. It is an intervention of last resort to reduce severe, refractory pain or other distressing clinical symptoms that do not respond to aggressive, symptom specific palliation. Palliative  sedation is not intended to cause death or shorten life.

This still leaves the possibility that a feeding tube or other treatment would be withdrawn once the patient is sedated, leaving the patient vulnerable to the same kind of starvation/dehydration death Terri Schiavo endured.

The language was changed to keep euthanasia more clearly out of the picture.

(e) "Palliative care" means medical treatment, interdisciplinary care, or consultation provided to a patient or family members, or both, that has as its primary purpose the prevention of, or relief from, suffering and the enhancement of the quality of life, rather than treatment aimed at investigation and intervention for the purpose of cure or prolongation of life as described in subdivision (b) of Section 1339.31.

Also removed is the paragraph defining refusal of food and water (as opposed to nutrition provided through a feeding tube) as an "option" for a patient who wishes to "alleviate his or her suffering".

According to the California Catholic Conference, The bill, as currently amended,  is more limited to requiring doctors to provide information on currently legal options in end-of life care.

One aspect of this that concerns me still is the fact that it still leaves room for the patient to hasten his or her death by refusing artificial nutrition. 

Public outcry from organizations such as the California Catholic Conference and Californians Against Asisted suicide led to the acceptance of the amendments.

The original bill, including the pernicious sections that have been excised and amended, was co-authored by Patty Berg and Lloyd Levine, both Democrats.

Looks like pro-life California residents--especially those in the health care professions--still need to keep a close eye on their legislators.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Abortion linked to Pre-Term birth, infant mortality.

This time the data comes from the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Journal of Reproductive medicine, neither of which are opposed to abortion.

From the American Life League:

Evidence of Ripple Effect Between Abortion and Infant Death

Washington, DC (04 August 2008) – New statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics are adding more evidence to the body of research surrounding the link between abortion and infant death.

"Here is another of the unseen consequences of abortion," said Leslie Tignor, director of American Life League's Associate Program. "We're seeing that abortion not only ends the life of a child; it also endangers the life of that child's future siblings."

Tignor is project manager of "Baby Steps," a DVD that features detailed 4D ultrasound pictures of preborn babies from eight to 34 weeks throughout their 16 stages of development.

The NCHS' "Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2005 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set," (Vol. 57, No. 2) of the National Vital Statistics Report released July 30, shows that preterm births were responsible for over 36.5 percent of infant deaths in 2005.

The NCHS' findings affirm past studies that show women who have had abortions are more likely to give birth to preterm babies.

The 2007 Journal of Reproductive Medicine reported that nearly 32 percent of "very preterm" U.S. births – before 32 weeks gestation – are due to the mother's prior abortions.

"American Life League will continue to work to make women aware of abortion's ripple effect," Tignor said. "Not only does abortion hurt women, preborn babies and their families, but it could also risk the life of future children. Abortion leads to death, not only for the preborn child killed by abortion, but also for the many children susceptible to preterm birth and infant death.


LifeSiteNews: Abortion Linked Condition Contributes to Growing Number of Infant Deaths(30 July 2008)

National Center for Health Statistics: Infant Mortality Rates from the 2005 Period (30 July 2008)

LifeSiteNews: Previous Abortion Linked with Preterm Birth and Cerebral Palsy (date)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hubris and Humor

From Greg Gutfield of FoxNews:

The backlash against Barack is starting, engineered mainly by envious critics accusing him of arrogance, as he flies around the world spreading hope across this troubled orb.

Some suggest the candidate acts as though he has already won the election, pointing to fawning world leaders and meetings with our own high-level officials. Some think Obama should practice a little humility.

I find this "Baracklash" disgusting. Any educated and decent person can see that Obama is the greatest human being we have ever seen since the beginning of time.

Actually, I'll go beyond that: He's the greatest human being ever, including the era existing before the creation of time. For it has become abundantly clear that the idea of Obama has always existed above and beyond some dumb measuring system.

Besides, time can only gauge mortal substance and we know that Obama can only be measured by our dreams. I mean, what is time anyway, but merely grains of sand in an hour glass? Obama, he's the whole beach. Yes, a whole beach of hourglasses endlessly sifting like an orchestra of hope using the very earth as its magical instrument.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Campaign Sarcasm

I got a little chuckle out of this:

Judging by the contents of the (occasionally profane) comments on youtube, however, it seems many people are not enjoying the humor here. 

It's still an ad hominem attack, but at least it's funny. The samples of Obama's language here smack of gratuitous self-confidence.  His speechwriters really should be more careful.  Uttering such words is really an invitation.

The ad would carry more weight, though if there were more policy-based adverts out there to go with it.