You are invited to visit some information in the field of... Thanks!!!There is no URL for readers to click upon, so other than causing annoyance, I do not understand the reason for this spam. However, I have deleted too many of these messages to count and they keep coming. So I have turned off the ability to place anonymous comments - you must now enter a name and email address to comment. Feel free to enter a fake email (e.g., email@example.com) as I don't care if you post a real email address or not. I'm just hoping to defeat some of this spam without eliminating my comments altogether.
My poem, "Fightin' Words," is about those in the media who report on war but have little understanding of the intensity and immediacy of ground combat. Hell, most of them never gain enough understanding of the military system to get the military ranks and unit structures reported correctly. Yet these blow-dried blowhards want to tell the professional warriors how to fight?Fightin' Words (scroll down a bit) is a bit rough for presenting at my family oriented web-site. However, I believe many of my readers would enjoy it, especially those with a military background, so I encourage these readers to read and enjoy.
Look at it this way: if they were sports reporters covering a football game for their local paper or station, they might second-guess some of their home team's play-calling, but they wouldn't be complaining if their team was getting away with holding on every play, or tripping, or face-masking, or committing other fouls against the opposing team, would they? Nope, they’d keep their mouths shut and hope the officials didn’t call the infractions. Nor would they be demanding their team be pulled back into the locker room and forfeit the game just because of a few blown plays or a few serious injuries to some of the key players. Hell no, they'd be exhorting those players to stay out there and fight, to get tough, play hard, play rough and not come off that field with anything less than a victory.
Now that’s supporting the team, right? So why can't these oh-so-smart liberals and the see-all, know-all, decide-all-for-you media, see it’s the same way for the troops? No wonder they lose elections.
However, today I am defending singer Natalie Maines, the one that "bravely" said she was ashamed of President Bush when she was overseas surrounded by those who wanted to keep Saddam in power.
Columnist John Leo included Natalie in his collection of "over the top" quotes. He quotes Natalie Maines as saying:
I realize that I’m just supposed to sing and look cute so our fans won’t have anything to upset them while they’re cheating on their wives or driving around in their pickup trucks shooting small animals.This sounded too stupid to be true, even for Miss Maines. So I did a quick check trying to find the original source for the quote. Turn out, she never said it. Now if I can find this out in just a few minutes, on my own time, John Leo certainly should have been able to do so. After all, he gets paid for his writing. I suspect he had the same problem as Dan Rather – he wanted for this to be true. Hopefully, he will prove himself a better man than Rather and quickly admit his mistake. I just sent Leo a message via Townhall. Let's see if he responds.
Some of my counterparts tend to link research of any type with being pro-science and opposition to research of any type with being anti-science. At least until you bring up research that would be politically incorrect. The same colleagues who do not understand why I oppose embryonic stem cell research are horrified by the thought of replicating Milgram's experiment or even applying scientific methods to testing the effectiveness of today's social programs. But we all have our inconsistencies.
Today I will explain why I oppose stem cell research and use my readers to see if there are any inconsistencies in my own thinking. I am staunchly pro-life and believe unborn people deserve the same legal protection as born people. Live human embryos must be destroyed in order to obtain human embryonic stem cells. These embryonic stem cells may or may not have the potential to cure many existing health problems, but they certainly cause a health problem for the human embryo.
For the sake of argument, let us make several assumptions. 1) God exists, 2) God is pro-life, and 3) given the opportunity, human scientists will eventually find a way to cure various health problems with the use of human embryonic stem cells. I am certain some folks may have trouble with the first two assumptions. For my part, I have severe doubts about the third assumption (I am not aware of any human medical benefits yet obtained or discovered by the use of human embryonic stem cells). However, let us see where these three assumptions take us.
At the cost of thwarting God's will and killing some human lives, we will be able to cure many other humans. The paralyzed will be able to walk again. Those with other conditions, such as Parkinsons, will be cured. And all at the cost of destroying some unborn humans who are only six days old. Six days! Many days, even weeks, before the unborn human can feel pain or otherwise suffer. And no one knows for certain when a human soul enters the body – even if God does create children in the womb, he may even wait until its brain is developed to insert its soul. We just don't know. Is the destruction of these few so great a sacrifice to ask for such vast benefit?
Yes. Voluntary sacrifice by those with the capacity to understand what they are sacrificing is admired and charished by others. Involuntary sacrifice is evil. The ends do not justify the means, no matter how compelling the ends may be.
Let us now add another assumption: 4) God always has a way for us that does not involve doing wrong. Is there an ethical alternative to using human embryonic stem cells? Again the answer is a resounding yes. While embryonic stem cells require the destruction of a very young unborn human, other human stem cells are readily available. (e.g., from bone marrow and even from easily obtained umbilical cord blood). Medical researchers have known about some of the benefits of adult stem cells for decades, first with bone marrow transplants curing those with "bubble boy syndrome" and other diseases, closely followed by the discovery of stem cells in umbilical cord blood. Stem cells from these sources have cured many blood threatening diseases, such as such as leukemia and immune system disorders, and many people believe that the potential from these adult stem cells is far greater than that of embryonic stem cells. This is where we should be putting our money and resources.
Out of the four assumptions I listed, I am least confident (and quite skeptical) of my third assumption. While I would not be shocked if a medical treatment could be found that used embryonic stem cells, I expect that the ethical researchers using adult stem cells will be far more successful in their endeavors. I was motivated to write this post when I read that South Korean researchers had used adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood to help a paralyzed woman walk.
The patient's lower limbs were paralyzed after an accident in 1985 damaged her lower back and hips. Afterward she spent her life in bed or in a wheelchair.Amazing! By the time my children are adults, paralysis may much, much rarer than it is today. May God continue to bless the ethical researchers in their endeavors to help mankind. May their numbers multiple.
For the unprecedented clinical test, the scientists isolated stem cells from umbilical cord blood and then injected them into the damaged part of the spinal cord.
The sensory and motor nerves of the patient started to improve 15 days after the operation and she could move her hips. After 25 days, her feet responded to stimulation.
The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present War with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:Happy Thanksgiving!
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.
Mr. Schrempp locked his car and left it for 20 minutes while he dashed into an evening business meeting in Stuttgart, the centre of DaimlerChrysler’s operations in Europe. He was travelling without a chauffeur or the customary bodyguard. By the time he returned, a gang had overcome all the security systems, rolled the car on to a transporter and made their getaway. They also blocked the satellite navigation and tracking systems.
Not a good advertisement for DaimlerChrysler. But maybe they could put a good spin on it. "Our security systems are so good, it takes a professional to steal a Mercedes."
More information is available from the Times Online
Bush and the first lady walked into the beaux-arts banquet hall, and Chilean officers, who appeared to be waiting for the moment, stepped in front of Trotta, blocking him from entering.The Washington Post has the story and the video (ad up front, skirmish about halfway through the short video clip).
In the fracas that ensued, amid a flurry of half nelsons, one Secret Service agent wound up jammed against a wall. "You're not stopping me! You're not stopping me! I'm with the president!" an unidentified agent can be heard yelling on videotape of the mayhem.
The president, who is rarely alone, even in his own house, turned and walked back to the front door unaccompanied, facing the backs of a sea of dark suits. Bush, with his right hand, reached over the suits and pointed insistently at Trotta. At first the officials, with their backs to him and their heads in the rumble, did not realize it was the president intervening. Bush then braced himself against someone and lunged to retrieve the agent, who was still arguing with the Chileans. The shocked Chilean officials then released Trotta.
It would be easy to dismiss this as what happens when a president visits the third-world, but in fairness to the Chileans, the arrival of a US president is massive ordeal. A typical visit entails the arrival of a small air force, an entourage of 260, a press corps of 100 and a motorcade of 20 vehicles. However, I don't know what the Chilean police were thinking about trying to change plans that had been previously negotiated. That is just foolish.
All in all, I think White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan summed up the events fairly well and with the right perspective. The president is someone who tends to delegate, but every now and then, he's a hands-on kind of guy. I doubt we'll see a repeat of this type of antics while Bush is in Columbia (use "junkmail" as the id and password).
The Spanish colonialists who fortified the Colombian seaport of Cartagena 400 years ago to guard against pirates and rival imperial powers could only have dreamed of the security being implemented for President Bush's visit Monday.This makes the typical presidential entourage look small.
About 15,000 Colombian security forces -- backed by warplanes, helicopters, battleships and two submarines -- will safeguard Bush's four-hour trip to discuss the nation's war on drugs. That is the same number of American troops deployed in the Fallujah offensive in Iraq.
This is very important, yet I have not seen anyone comment on the implications of an overrepresentation of Democrats. I have seen some people dismiss the finding that moral issues were the most important issue for a plurality of voters (22%), of whom 80% voted for Bush, simply because if the exit polls were wrong about Kerry winning, they cannot be trusted at all. However, there is no reason to assume people lied in these polls as there is no motive in doing so. Therefore let us postulate two assumptions. First, Democrats were overrepresented in the exit polls. Second, people were honest in their answers. I believe both assumptions are reasonable and supported by the available evidence. What does this mean?
It means that American voters, in terms of the number of actual voters, actually care more about moral issues and other conservative issues than the exit polls indicate. In other words, those that dismiss these findings because the exit polls did not accurately predict the winner, are making a huge mistake. Instead of throwing away the data, they should realize that the data accurately captures those polled. The exit polls did a great job capturing the differences between Bush and Kerry voters; its only flaw was in polling more Democrats than Republicans. Consumer behaviorists know attitudes change slowly, if at all, and any politician who ignores the only poll of actual voters is making a big mistake.
One caveat to this discussion, I have not seen the margin of error on the exit polls. An alternative explanation is that since this was a close election, the polls' results were within the margin of error. Given some of the exit polls I saw mentioned on election night (such as Bush losing Pennsylvania by 20 percentage points), I find this unlikely. However, if the polls results did fall within the margin of error, this would simply mean the sample actually represented the voting population and thus we should believe it. No matter which explanation is correct, the exit polls have provided very valuable and accurate data about the differences between Republican and Democratic voters.
And because the Leonids are moving along in their orbit around the Sun in a direction opposite to that of Earth, they slam into our atmosphere nearly head-on, resulting in the fastest meteor velocities possible: 45 miles per second (72 kilometers per second). Such speeds tend to produce bright meteors, which leave long-lasting streaks or trains in their wake.For most of us, the weather looks good. During prime viewing hours (1:00 AM to 4:00 AM), astronomers are forecasting about a dozen meteors per hour.
This is a subject with plenty of nuances. So I will break this into two parts. Today, I will discuss why the exit polls did not represent the actual voting population – that is, why the exit polls were wrong.
Exit polls are taken from actual voters and unless responders are deliberately lying, which I doubt, the information in the polls is useful information. However, what most people are missing is that the population polled in the exit surveys is not representative of the population that voted. This is true for many reasons.
First, the polling locations themselves are not randomly distributed amongst the voting locations. They are either positioned in urban areas (which tend to vote Democratic, and thus will bias their results) or in battleground districts which the forecasters hope will represent the state as a whole (and unless the forecasters guess perfectly, this also introduces ensures the population sampled will not directly represent the entire voting population).
Second, in many (perhaps all) states, women were overrepresented in the exit polls. As a whole, women tend to vote for Democratic candidates (to be very accurate, single women tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic, while married women usually vote Republican) and this had a significant impact on the exit poll results. In other words, by having a greater percentage of women in the exit polls, compared to the percentage of actual female voters, the exit polls were biased toward the Democratic party. This is an obvious error that no experienced pollster should have made, thus leading to Republican claims of deliberate bias by the media pollsters.
Third, there a more subtle type of bias built into opinion polls. In general, socially conservative folks are less likely to complete opinion polls than are socially liberal folks. Since most social conservatives now vote Republican, this fact also biases opinion polls toward the Democrats. However, in political polls, this effect is probably much smaller than the effect of the other two (this is professional judgment on my part, I do not have hard data on the relative size of the three effects, but I am confident that effect two is quite large – it is a major problem with all types of polling).
Does this mean exit polls are useless? No, it just means they have to be used with some judgment. In general, exit polls are usually fairly accurate in picking the winner despite the common problems (the first and third effects previously discussed). Most years, the exit polls can predict the winner fairly well. People will only perceive problems when either other mistakes are added to the mix (such as overrepresenting women) or when the races are relatively close.
Thus, I can confidently say that the problems with this years exit polls can be easily explained by the known facts. Conspiracy types do not need to look for mysterious and complicated explanations. My biggest question is why did the media polls release numbers knowing that women were overrepresented – was it incompetence or bias? If any media types want someone to run their own exit polls next time and receive accurate results, contact me. I can guarantee my methods would be much more accurate than how things are currently done.
Next week I will discuss why the exit polls, despite their problems, are a very useful gauge in the minds of voters.
The decline in utility is not directly the fault of Google, but they can use their market power to help us, the end consumers. If you get a list of news articles on a subject, you will see some of the sources say (subscription) next to them. This means when you click on the link, you then have to provide personal information to the news organization before you can read the message. I'm also seeing more links to audio sources where I would have to click on a link and then listen to a message.
I recommend that Google give its users a few more options. I would like the option to only see sources that do not require subscriptions. This way I would only see links from sites that do not invade my privacy. I know these sites have to make money, but they are already exposing me to advertising when I read their news articles, that is sufficient payback.
I would also like the option to filter out all audio and video sources. I use Google to find text based stories – otherwise I would just turn on my TV. I have sent Google my suggestions. However, they are more likely to implement such suggestions if they hear them from multiple people. If you agree with my suggestions, please click here.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps' 2004 Birthday Message
Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago, the Second Continental Congress established a Corps of Marines to fight for a democratic people's independence. Since then countless Marines have raised their hand and sworn to defend our Nation's freedoms and preserve its liberties. This year's anniversary again finds Marines engaged throughout the globe for the same noble purposes. The bravery, heroism and selflessness of all Marines—wherever they are serving—have added significantly to our rich legacy and measured up to the high standards that have come to epitomize all who wear the eagle, globe and anchor.
The current battlefields of the global war on terror are linked to the storied campaigns of our past by an unbroken tradition of proud and loyal service. At New Providence, Chapultepec, Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Con Thien, Kuwait and now in places like Fallujah, Marines have consistently demonstrated a dedication to duty, a commitment to warfighting excellence, and a devotion to each other that has instilled a fierce determination to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Our warrior ethos is and will continue to be the Corps' hallmark.
The fortitude and sacrifices of Marines and their families have been vital in protecting our Nation from those who would do us harm. Whether preparing and sustaining our agile force or engaged in battle, the esprit de corps, tireless energy, calm courage and inspired leadership of Marines continue to make a monumental difference in this world. Your unselfish dedication and significant accomplishments—demonstrated repeatedly over this past year in numerous places such as the Anbar province of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Haiti and in the crucial job here at home supporting our deployed forces—are deeply respected and valued by your fellow Americans.
Marines, as we celebrate with friends and families the founding of our beloved Corps, you should take pride in our long history of distinguished service to this great Nation and its citizens. I ask you to remember especially the sacrifices of our fallen and wounded comrades. Finally, rededicate yourselves to taking care of one another and ensuring we remain the finest warfighting organization in the world.
Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fidelis, and Keep Attacking!
M. W. Hagee
General, U.S. Marine Corps
General John A. Lejeune's Birthday Message (1921)
On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence, the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war and in the long era of tranquility at home. Generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas [so] that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish, Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.
A BATTLEFIELD where soldiers from Norfolk died in one of the bloodiest episodes of the First World War is being turned into a rubbish dump.
His work to date is posted at his site. I just read his first story, the maiden voyage of the USS Menagerie, and enjoyed it. It is on par with many of the paperback novels that currently fill the science fiction aisles and you do not even need to pay for it.
Why do the rest of us feel such revulsion towards the Liberal Elite? Towards the people who live in cities in the northeastern or far western US or Old Europe? Towards the people who read the Guardian, the Economist and the New York Times. The ones who now say they will move to Quebec or Novosibersk because they feel soiled living in a country where everyone doesn’t vote the same?
The Liberal Elite think our revulsion is because of their opinions. It isn’t. There are lots of people who hold weird opinions. Trotskyites for example. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Where you live, all the Communists are probably either Maoists, Classical Marxists or (if you live in Europe) Big Labor Communists. In Berkeley we still have all those and we have Trotskyites too. And then there is the Far Right: David Duke, M. le Pen et al.. And the back-to-nature Greens. And those annoying people who go door to door on Sunday afternoon with pamphlets about their religion.
These people all have opinions I think are incorrect, dangerous, looney, or d) all of the above. But, although I dislike their opinions I don’t loathe those people. Well, not all of them, anyhow.
What is repellant about the Liberal Elite is not their opinions, but their attitude towards anyone who doesn’t share all their views. Every single view down to the latest, politically correct term for Fiji Islanders who have migrated to the US via Madagascar.
I am really tired of these people telling me that because I don’t think and vote in lockstep with them I am must therefore be old, fat, dirty, stupid and live in a house trailer. That I must have married my sister, be ignorant, uneducated and need them as a moral keeper to make sure everything from my car’s mileage to my recycling habits meets their expectations.
If there is any group on this planet who shouldn’t go around telling others they are unethical and stupid it is the crowd who believes in forged documents from Dan Rather and Andrew Gilligan, think Nixon was president in 1968, believe Al Gore invented the internet and look to Ted Kennedy and Jacques Chirac as moral paragons.
I don’t loathe the Massachusetts Supreme Court for being in favor of same-sex marriage. I am in favor of same sex marriage. I loathe them for saying that the 75% of the voters who disagree with me have no rights. I loathe them for instructing the Massachusetts State Legislature to vote not according to the will of that 75% of the voters but according to the will of the Court Justices “because those Justices know better.”
Their contempt for everyone else is the repellant part.
It looks like Social Security reform will be a Big Item in the coming congress. So what do you all want?
Do you want a social safety net (ie only payments to the poor. That is cheap and affordable but most people - 90% say - get nothing) or some money for everyone (which costs more)?
Do you, personally, want more in benefits (and in payments) or less in benefits (and less in payments)?
If the benefits decrease, what will you do with the money? Save it, I presume, but how? How much do you save now?
If you post your opinion, please also tell us a) are you in the US or elsewhere (US Social Security is in general less generous than European government pensions) and your age.
My name is Dina and I found your site very interesting and informative. I read about your views on abortion and while I admire and respect your consideration for the lives of the unborn, but would like to suggest a different point of view if I may. Given I am 18 and female and live in California my views will be different than your own.
I think the difference between pro-lifers and pro-choicers is who each group has sympathy for. Pro-lifers like yourself sympathize with the unborn, while pro-choicers like myself sympathize the mothers. While I firmly believe that abortion should not be used as birth control, but I also believe that it is not a disgusting practice. Something that gives a woman another chance is a not disgusting at all. Often abortions are performed out of concern for the mother's well being either emotionally or physically. I am Catholic and it was hard for me to decide where I was going to stand on this issue. I just know that if abortion is outlawed young girls will be going at themselves with coat hangers and that is not the way to address the problem.Thank you, Dina, for politely providing an alternative view on this sensitive issue. You have given me food for thought and I hope I can do likewise by responding to your input. Let me respond to each of your points.
Abortion clinics are clean and offer counseling services. Please reconsider your stance and if I can't change your mind I at least hope I gave you something to think about!
Thank you, Dina
I think the difference between pro-lifers and pro-choicers is who each group has sympathy for. Pro-lifers like yourself sympathize with the unborn, while pro-choicers like myself sympathize the mothers.I agree that the unborn have my strong sympathy -- if anything, this understates the case. However, the mothers also have my sympathy. I do not think mothers take pleasure in killing their offspring and that they believe their particular circumstances justifies a difficult decision. However, I think most pro-choicers do women a grave disservice by not painting a clear picture of the potential consequences of abortion. Legal abortion occasionally results in two deaths; the mother sometimes also dies of complications. I do not claim this is the norm, but it certainly happens. No one keeps statistics on these deaths because of both privacy issues and because pro-choice advocates fight regulations that would protect women. A WSJ article discusses the problem. If pro-choice advocates truly had the best interest of women in mind, the same abortionist would not be allowed to keep killing women along with their unborn children. Nor would pro-choicers in the media downplay stories about women killed by RU-486 if they truly had sympathy for women. I have tremendous sympathy for Holly Patterson, her family, and those in similar circumstances. You should read the letter from Holly's family.
And while the risk of two deaths may be the most severe consequence to an abortion, no one knows how many women suffer other affects of abortion. According to multiple medical studies, women who undergo abortions have a high risk of becoming sterile (5% to 25% for just one abortion). Some studies show a link between abortion and breast cancer, although a few studies disagree with this finding. You should read the studies and draw your own conclusions. Researchers at Vanderbilt have studied the strong link between abortion and mental illness (suicide, depression, psychological complications) and I strongly suggest anyone considering an abortion be aware of the risks.
People with sympathy toward women share these facts. People who hide these facts do not have the best interests of women at heart. So I disagree that pro-choicers have more sympathy for the women than pro-lifers. Pro-lifers want both women and their offspring to live and Pro-choicers are either ignorant of the risks of abortion (as I expect most of them are) or deliberately hide the risks despite the threat to women.
While I firmly believe that abortion should not be used as birth control, but I also believe that it is not a disgusting practice. Something that gives a woman another chance is a not disgusting at all.You raise two issues here. Are abortions disgusting? And do they give a woman another chance? I will address each of these questions.
I can understand your perspective on many of your points, but I do not understand your claim that abortion is not disgusting. Abortionists kill unborn babies in many ways, including poisoning them (it takes a baby over an hour to die in agony from a saline abortion), by dissecting them, and by stabbing them as they are born (partial-birth abortions). Please review one of the milder abortion picture sites, and perhaps even a video, and then tell me if you still doubt abortions are disgusting.
Not only do I find abortions disgusting, I think the practice is barbaric and unnecessarily cruel. Even if you decide that the baby must die for the convenience of his or her mother, at least apply anesthetic before killing the unborn as they do in some parts of Europe. Scientists have shown that the unborn feel pain, starting at 8 weeks. From twenty to thirty weeks of age, the unborn actually feel more pain that adults would feel. I wouldn't kill an old dog the way American abortionists routinely kill our unborn. These unborn die, alone, in intense pain and suffering.
I am also puzzled by your comment that abortion may give woman another chance since you also oppose using abortion as birth control. Other than the opportunity to not deal with a pregnancy now (e.g., birth control), what additional chance does a woman receive by an abortion? (Note: I do recognize it provides some benefits to woman who use abortion as birth control, but I am really puzzled by alternative benefits). On the other hand, woman who have abortions are, usually unknowingly, taking a chance on dying (slight), sterility (significant), breast cancer (unknown), and mental problems (significant). I am concerned for these women as well as their slaughtered offspring.
After seeing my wife experience three difficult pregnancies, I have some understanding of the problems women undergo during pregnancy. However, the risks of abortion are far higher and kill a minimum of one person even if the woman manages to remain emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy.
Often abortions are performed out of concern for the mother's well being either emotionally or physically.I have heard these rationalizations, but I have never seen any medical studies to back them up. I have heard some neonatal specialists say there are absolutely zero circumstances where an abortion helps the physical health of the mother. There are a few cases where the baby causes life-threatening complications, but at that point the baby is viable outside the womb. Doctors should be allowed to try to save both patients. I support placing the life of the mother ahead of that of the child, but the goal should be to save both.
Do you really believe abortions should be performed because of the emotional well being of the mother? This is problematic for a host of reasons. One, as I linked earlier, studies show that abortion is likely to cause emotional, mental, and physical problems for women. I am not aware of a single scientific study that shows women are emotionally better off for having an abortion. Two, if you assume for the sake of argument that an abortion could emotionally help women, it probably holds true for men as well. Should fathers then be able to demand that women have abortions if they say (or if a psychologist says) it is important to their mental and emotional health? Or what if a psychologist says the father will suffer immense emotional and psychological problems if the woman has an abortion? Three, again assuming for the sake of argument that an abortion could emotionally help a woman, you are valuing the emotionally well being of one individual over the life of another individual.
I am Catholic and it was hard for me to decide where I was going to stand on this issue.Given my limited understanding of Catholicism, take my comments here with a grain of salt. That said, my understanding is that Catholics look to three sources: the Scriptures, the Pope (see section 8), and their individual consciences. I believe the first two sources are fairly clear in their pro-life stance; only you can judge your own conscience. From an outsider perspective, I would not want to someday explain to God that I overruled both His Word and His Pope unless I was absolutely positive that I was right (from a Protestant perspective, I would never think I had the right to overrule His Word, but that is a Protestant perspective, not necessarily a Catholic one.).
I just know that if abortion is outlawed young girls will be going at themselves with coat hangers and that is not the way to address the problem.Please do not take offense, but I do not accept this as a logical way to argue. If something is wrong, the mere fact that some percentage of the population will continue to do wrong, even at some risk to themselves, is not an argument for legalizing what is wrong. Assume five members of the Supreme Court arbitrarily said it was legal to kill born children before they become adults just because approximately 200 women a year risk capital punishment by killing their own kids. By the standard pro-choice reasoning, this would be logically consistent with the reasons for keeping abortion legal. The point of this admittedly extreme example is that the rightness or wrongness of an act is not dependent upon the risks of the act itself.
However, many pro-choicers use the same reasoning as yourself so I will also respond to it even it I find it illogical. If the concern is the strictly the safety of women, we should evaluate which philosophy, pro-life or pro-choice, best protects women. Given the actual risks of a legal abortion, I expect American women, as a whole, would be healthier if abortion were made illegal again. In other words, while some percentage of women would somehow obtain illegal abortions and a subset of these would suffer severe negative consequences (even higher than the percentage of women who currently suffer under legal abortions), the total number of woman who suffer abortion related health problems should decrease as the number of abortions would dramatically decrease. Pro-lifers care about the lives of both the women and their offspring.
Abortion clinics are clean and offer counseling services.The claim to being clean is more an article of faith than anything else, since pro-choicers have successfully prevented most states from placing sufficient regulations on abortion clinics. The average veterinary clinic is much more regulated than the typical abortion clinic.
However, I agree that abortion clinics offer counseling services. They mostly counsel women to have an abortion. In the case of Planned Parenthood, they also encourage young women to engage in sexual behavior that may result in future abortion business for the clinic. When evaluating a counselor, you have to ask if their firm will financially benefit from one of their options. Abortion clinics make vast amounts of money from performing abortions. Obviously they have a vested interest in promoting abortion. But don't take my word for it. Here are some quotes from some abortion counselors themselves.
I have never yet counseled anybody to have the baby. I'm also doing women's counseling on campus at Albany State, and there I am expected to present alternatives. Whereas at the abortion clinic you aren't really expected to. --abortion counselor
I was trained by a professional marketing director in how to sell abortions over the telephone. He took every one of our receptionists, nurses, and anyone else who would deal with people over the phone through an extensive training period. The object was, when the girl called, to hook the sale so that she wouldn't get an abortion somewhere else, or adopt out her baby, or change her mind. We were doing it for the money. --Nina Whitten, chief secretary at a Dallas abortion clinic under Dr. Curtis Boyd
If a woman we were counseling expressed doubts about having an abortion, we would say whatever was necessary to persuade her to abort immediately. --Judy W., former office manager of the second largest abortion clinic in El Paso, TexasAbortion clinics are a business and businesses exists to make money. When you reach the point in life where you have money to invest, you should not take advice from an investment counselor who works for a mutual fund company. He has a vested interest in selling his own funds. Reasonable investors consult financial analysts who have no vested interest in their advice. Surely you do not expect a merchant of death to put the self-interest of a client ahead of his own financial interest? I do not expect most bankers to do this, let alone the type of people who make a living by literally killing babies.
To highlight the unethical behavior of these counselors, a pro-life group launched a sting that received national attention. They had a young lady call over 800 abortion clinics and pretend to be 13-years old. She told the telephone counselors that she was impregnated by her 22-year-old boyfriend. This is legally statutory rape in all 50 states and the clinics are ethically and legally obliged to report all cases of statutory rape. However, this would be bad for business so more than 90 percent of the counselors said they would conceal this information and some even conspired against the law by telling the caller to hide this information.
Pro-lifers are the ones who push to make abortion safer. This is partly because we know that eliminating the unsafe clinics will reduce the total number of abortions in America. But it is also because we also care about the women. Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers should be pushing for careful oversight of abortion clinics. This should be the one place where both perspectives should agree. But the pro-choicers fight regulation with all of their political might and women suffer because of it.
Please reconsider your stance and if I can't change your mind I at least hope I gave you something to think about!.You did give me something to think about and I greatly appreciate the chance to civilly discuss this important issue. I think it important enough that I made the time to look up the linked references instead of simply giving you my opinion. I hope you will return my courtesy and consider the points I raised. Feel free to comment and/or write anytime.
I had not heard the claim that Arafat was gay so I did a little research. While news in the sense that most people were unaware of his homosexuality, this has apparently been an open secret to the world's intelligence community. Lt. General Ion Pacepa, former deputy chief of Romanian foreign intelligence, discussed Arafat's homosexuality in his 1987 book. Among Pacepa's responsibilities was the job of writing a dossier on Arafat. Pacepa's agents discovered that Arafat was embezzling a large portion of PLO for Arafat's own Swiss bank accounts and that Arafat was gay. His homosexual relationships, beginning with his teacher when he was a teenager and ending with his current bodyguards. According to Pacepa, the Romanian government has recordings of Arafat in orgies with his men. I doubt the Romanians were the only ones to bug Arafat and I predict that one of these recording will eventually find its way to the internet.
The Israel Insiderhas more, including some quotes from Pacepa's book (which I have no desire to post here). I'm still not 100% convinced this is true as it seems perfectly crafted to prevent Arafat from becoming a Palestinian martyr, but I doubt Mossad is smart enough nor patient enough to plant the story in a book released in 1987 and then sit back for seventeen years until Arafat dies of AIDS. So for this column, let's assume the story is correct and Arafat was a homosexual.
The Koran explicitly bans and condemns same-sex intercourse. Homosexuals are despised in Islamic culture and known homosexuals are frequently sentenced to hard labor or officially executed. If most Arabs come to believe that Arafat was a homosexual, they will not want to claim him as a martyr. He certainly will not be seen as a Islamic warrior if he becomes known as a homosexual. Even without this rumor, the major Palestinian leaders are arguing amongst themselves and calling Arafat's wife hysterical.
Although this will be a major issue for the Palestinians, the sexuality of Arafat is not the biggest unanswered question. Many people want to know how to access the billions of dollars Arafat has embezzled over the years. As the cliché has it, it is always darkest before the dawn. Hopefully the coming chaos in Palestine will pave the way for a leader who may be able to negotiate a peace with Israel.
The Democrats, as I see it, now face a crisis of conscience. They can angrily dig in, continue to embrace the Michael Moore/Joe Trippi wing of the party as their hope for the future, or they can realize that the center in American politics has shifted and they can begin the process of remaking themselves, pushing the more extreme elements to the side and finding ways to win back the votes of people they've done so much to alienate the last few years.In the House, so long as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi remains as Minority Leader, the Democrats will continue to be the Angry Left. However, the Democrats in the Senate have the advantage of having to pick a new leader. If they pick Harry Reid, the current Senate Minority Whip, they will signal that they at least want to appear more centrist and may even be a real step toward cooperation. If the Democrats pick Christopher Dodd, it will clearly signal that they will remain on their Leftist crusade.
This raises an interesting question. Who will be the new Senate Minority Leader now that Obstructionist Daschle has been fired by his constituents? Any predictions? Reid or Dodd seem the obvious picks, but we shall see.
Well, now that the 2004 presidential election is history and Bill, Hillary and Terry McAuliffe have removed Kerry from the 2008 picture, it is time to start opinining on the 2008 election.
So, what do you think? Will the constitutional amendment pass quickly enough to let Arnie run? My opinion is that it will not pass within the next 4 years. But were it to pass, there is no one in either party that could defeat Schwarzenneger. The amendment will pass, but will it pass early enough to let Arnie run?
Once Rudy Giuliani beats Hillary (the results in 2008 being pretty much in the can for Rudy based on my early early pre-exit polling) Rudy will doubtless run for a second term. That takes us out to the 2016 election before Arnie has a chance to run.
How old will Arnie be in 2016? I think he is about 53 now. Is that right? in 12 years he is 65. How old was Reagan when he ran for the first time? Lesse . . . Died at 93 in 2004, is that right? ran in 1980, 93-24 = 69.
OK, here is my prediction: Arnie will win in 2016 and and be reelected in 2020.
But I am not going to make any firm predictions for the 2024 election yet.
I need more early pre-exit polling data first.
For all his charisma, Bill Clinton never managed this feat. While he won the important electoral votes necessary for election in both his campaigns, he only received a plurality of the popular vote. Neither Bush nor Gore won a majority of the popular vote in the 2000 election where Bush won enough electoral votes to be elected. America is a divided nation, and we may stay this way for a while, but we are more united today than we have been since the 1988 election.
Bad news - Specter's seat is safe.
Ohio is leaning toward Bush - still too early to call - if Bush wins this one, Kerry has no hope.
So far, one trend. All states that voted for Gore in 2000 have voted for Kerry. Likewise, all states that voted for Bush in 2000 have voted for him again. I expect there will be one or two exceptions to this by morning, but the trend is clear. This has one very positive aspect - it means Americans paid little attention to bin Laden's pathetic attempt to scare us.
Well, calling it a night - more tomorrow.
Specter is stereotypical northeastern liberal and moderate is not a word I would use in describing him. Frankly I hope he loses so long as the Republicans keep their majority. At least then the new senator will honestly be labeled as a Democrat.
I'm still optimistic that Bush will win the election tonight despite the discussions of some of the announcers (who don't appear to have any advance notice of the information that crosses the screen). Hopefully we'll know late tonight or early tomorrow morning. The lawyers will only be able to be a factor if the election comes down to a difference of 2% or less.
Lady Quixote and I voted just before noon today. Approximately 300 people had already voted and the day was young. People are turning out in mass to vote this year, at least in our neck of the woods.
Tomorrow shall be very interesting. I'm praying for a landslide so the lawyers will not get involved.
Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands, and any (US) state that does not belittle our security automatically guarantees its own security.So bin Laden is specifically threatening states who support Bush. Of course, he failed to show this distinction in his previous attack on New York (which voted for Gore in 2000). However, it remains to be seen if this will work in favor of the terrorists (as their previous attacks on Spain are perceived to have been a terrorist victory) or if it will backfire in their face by motivating Americans to vote for Bush in defiance of the terrorist threat. We should know shortly.