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Friday, October 26, 2012

Barack Is Hung Up On B Words

Big B, little b, what begins with B?

Big Bird.




Birth Control.

B. b. B.

IMHO, BHO gets an F.

Obama "First Time" Ad Shows He Is Ethically Corrupt

They obviously think it's a cute joke. Young ladies talking about their "first time" with someone who cares, someone really cool, someone who brought the troops home from Iraq. Their "first time" with Obama.

The notion that women just becoming old enough to vote in their first presidential election would respond to an ad making a joke about having sex with Obama is pathetic.

It is juvenile humor.

It is demeaning to the women it targets.

It is a dirty joke, and unbecoming a President of the United States.

And if Obama really believes that it's a good ad, then his ability to reason ethically is severely atrophied. Corrupted. He simply does not know right from wrong, and good from bad.

Aquinas says that the whole purpose of government is to lead the people governed to goodness and right actions. Obama is a BAD leader. Period. This is proof.

Still like the guy? Go and vote for him. You vote for someone without an ethical bone in his body.

Look, regardless of the guy's positions on issues and stuff -- and really his record is way more important than his promises -- the very fact of this ad means he is unworthy of the office of president.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney Up or Down in Latest IBD/TIPP Poll?

You can go see the results of the IBD/TIPP poll here. In a nutshell, the have it thus:

O: 46.5
R: 44.8
U:   6.6

(That doesn't add up, so I guess the balance is Other.)

In this study, Romney is leading Independents 47% to 36%, with 13% undecided. The split along party lines is almost exact mirror images: 89% along the party line, 6 or 7% across the line, and the rest undecided. So, if you assume a close to even split between Dems and Reps, the margin Romney enjoys among Indies should give him

But note that this survey has 37% Dem respondents, 30% GOP, 32% Independents. That's a 7-point spread in the advantage of Obama that most analysts say will not hole up on election day. For instance, Gallop's Party Affiliation Poll, most recently taken a few weeks ago, has only 32% Dem, 28% GOP, and 38% Independent. That's only D+4 versus GOP, and a much bigger chunk of Independents.

Now I'm no mathematician, so if anyone can correct my math, I would appreciate it. But according to my calculations, if the IBD poll results by party affiliation were weighted according to the Gallop survey, the results would be:

O: 44%
R: 46%
U:   7%

So, it's quite possible that the IBD poll means that Romney is up by about 2, and not down by 2!

Now the science of polling is a little more complex than using Gallop's surveys to weigh IBD's polls, but from what I've been reading a D+4 might even be generous to the Democrats this year. And I have to believe that there will be a shift of Dems away from Obama. I cannot believe he is doing that well among Democrats and that it is only Indies that are shifting Romney's way.

This has nothing to do with bioethics, I guess. Except, we all form ourselves by our chosen actions. We reveal ourselves to be such a person, and we reinforce that we are. In a way, all of our actions alter us in some way. And that is a bioethical concern. And... IBD reveals themselves, too.

Yet of course there is no direct bioethical import to this poll. I'm just sayin' that statistics can be manipulated.

Monday, October 15, 2012

UPDATE: Anticipating the Next Presidential Debate

Read that graphic carefully. It does not say "FORWARD."

Definition of the word in the graphic:

1: habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition

2: archaic : adverse
I am anticipating sheer nastiness this next debate. This is Obama's last chance to do, as Ryan said, paint his adversary as someone to run from. The very best thing, strategically, Obama can do is simply come off as decisive, aggressive, and yet dignified. But I personally don't think he can avoid going on the attack, however, and that will just make him look bad.

All Romney has to do is keep is cool and keep turning things back on Obama's record. His campaign already seems to be doing just that. It's a win. If Obama turns nasty, he will succeed only in making himself look like someone to run from. But if Obama stays polite although aggressive, Romney can still trounce him on his record.

We'll see.

UPDATE: Well, Mr. Obama was fairly froward in my book, but he wasn't as bad as he could have been. By the way, he talks a good talk and it's easy to start believing him -- the master of that kind of charisma was Bill Clinton.

But I have one question for the President. Actually a statement, followed by a question. What you have done so far is clearly not working very well -- be it regarding the economy or foreign policy or whatever. If your plans that you're offering in this campaign are so wonderful for the future and are different from what you've been doing -- why on earth are you waiting until after the election and not simply DOING THEM NOW?

Friday, October 12, 2012

UPDATE: The White House Just Threw the State Department Under the Bus

If you like Obama, God bless you. But the man is day by day proving himself less and less worthy as a leader.

This is an attempt to control the whacky comments by the Vice President that he and Obama did not know the Libyan embassy wanted more security. Simply put, the White House is claiming that the President and Vice President did not know because that information did not trickle up to them. The State Department knew, however, and it was their responsibility to deal with the requests.

So. Obama is blaming Hillary. If I were Hillary, I'd quit. Right now. Not in disgrace (although there is that) but in distaste for being made a scapegoat.

It is backfiring for two reasons.  First, Obama proves he did not know what was going on. He was out of touch. And people died because of his lack of leadership.

Second, Obama proves that he can stab anyone in the back, including his highest ranking cabinet officer who happens to be the wife of his biggest and most charismatic supporter.

This is ugly, Mr. President. U.G.L.Y.

Oh, and your VP is a dope.

Man, if I were Hillary I would bail. I really would. It would seal the deal in terms of Obama's chances at reelection and maybe she wants to be a "team player" and all that. But he's becoming increasing toxic to her career, so she has really got to distance herself from him ASAP. Unless she wants to retire. Which would be ok by me.

And what does this have to do with bioethics?

Well, bioethics requires sound moral reasoning. And it is quite clear that our President is really very bad at that. It spills over into bioethical issues, too.

UPDATE: Looks like Bill is working on ways of removing Hillary from the fray so this episode does not stain her career. Keep tuned. And remember, I predicted it!

Fact-checking Joe Biden on Abortion

Fact-checking has become yet another tool of political spin and mere honest errors have become outright lies in the process. Was Joe Biden merely wrong about the Catholic Church's doctrine on abortion, or was he lying? Well, first we have to determine whether he was right or wrong. I will not judge his honesty -- although I have my doubts. In this case, I believe "Uncle Joe" is simply clueless.

He said that the Catholic doctrine that life begins at conception is "de Fide." This is a technical term when used of the Catholic faith with a specific meaning. It refers to those doctrines that the Catholic Church holds by faith because they have been revealed and cannot be known by human reason alone. The notions that God is a Trinity, that He became Incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ, that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ -- these are articles of faith that cannot be determined by natural human reason alone but do not contradict reason, and that have been revealed by God. It is possible that God be a Trinity; it is possible that He became Incarnate; it is possible that He transubstantiates bread and wine. They are possible; they are revealed; they are held by Catholics "de Fide." 

The beginning of human life, however, as Congressman Ryan noted, can be known by reason and scientific evidence. It is clear that a pregnancy in a human woman occurs as a result the reproductive act. What is conceived is clearly, and in some sense, human, alive, a unique and unrepeatable individual, and on a developmental trajectory toward adulthood. If any of these things are not true, then a woman is not pregnant. Science bears up these statements; there is nothing in science to contradict them; they are not articles of faith. It is only politics that doubts them. It is only politics, seeking the right to terminate a living, human individual, that wonders if an embryo or fetus is legally a "person" and protected by law. Politics contorts the definition of "person" and "life" and "human" and "individual" and wraps it up in scientific-sounding jargon, so that killing of "non-persons" can be legally protected.

And it is only politics that says, "it's not right to force my beliefs on others." (Yes. Well. All laws are an imposition of someone's morality precisely on those who believe the opposite.)

Let me repeat that the beginning of human life it is not a matter of "belief." The Catholic Church holds its position on abortion not because of revelation or religious opinion, but because of the facts listed above, which are knowable through human reason and empirical science. There is an objective reality here, which the Church recognizes, namely, the unborn living, human, individual. 

Also, it is not being "imposed" on people, any more than it is imposed on people that the sun is hot or that water is necessary for life on earth or that in transubstantiation the Body and Blood of Christ retain all the external properties of bread and wine. The Church does not impose but merely recognizes objective realities. What is mere opinion, what is imposed on everyone, is the notion that "person" and "life" and "human" and "individual" are determined by their definitions, definitions that can be changed on a whim, rather than the other way around. Reality up until now worked by having definitions reflect objective reality rather than attempt to make reality to be a certain way.

This is not the first time Biden has misrepresented the Catholic Church on this issue. In the last presidential election, he completely misrepresented St. Thomas Aquinas on the issue of ensoulment

Neither the Church's doctrine on the beginning of human life and on grave moral wrong of abortion are "de fide" in the technical sense. It is not heresy to deny that human life begins at conception; it is merely a denial of objective reality. It is not heresy to claim that abortion is sometimes permissible; it is merely defective moral reasoning (as opposed to doctrinal reasoning). However, for a Catholic to publicly doubt either thing, or to reduce these things merely to personally held beliefs that are impolite to impose on others, does foment scandal. And that is something our illustrious Catholic Vice President does.

But, is Biden a liar? I leave that for others to determine. But a quick fact-check of this statement shows him to be wrong.

Oh. And one more thing. Catholic politicians do have a duty as Catholics to oppose laws that permit abortion, as being unjust to the unborn. Biden also misrepresents his duty as a Catholic when he talks about his hands-off attitude toward legalized abortion.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Are the Mainstream Media Biased?

No, of course not!

That's why the Washington Times has an article about Romney headed up by a video clip of Obama talking about a totally unrelated topic.

Yeah, their article about Romney's upcoming speech has the title, Romney to Slam Obama on Warfare. Under that headline is a huge embedded video of a self-deprecating Obama poking fun at his own debate performance last week. Then comes the main body of the article.

First, what is that video doing there? Really. Couldn't anyone at the Washington Times think of a more relevant video? Or even a photo? Maybe one of, oh, I don't know, Romney. But if you're gonna show Obama, why ought it not be relevant to the topic of foreign affairs? The self-deprecating Obama is the absolute best of any recent Obama clips, I admit. But, video of the mid-September Mideast violence at our embassies might be a tad more relevant.

Now, showing that sort of thing might be to Romney's favor. And we want to be un-biased, right, and not substitute bias for Obama with bias for Romney. And they favor Obama. So, why not have a photo or video of Obama with some other heads of state? Or at the UN? Or something like that? Why this totally unrelated, but Obama-in-the-best-light-possible video?

Also take note of the headline. This is a foreign policy speech Romney is going to make. It isn't about warfare, or at least not warfare alone. "Warfare" is a loaded word, it narrows the scope of Romney's speech to something nasty, and it makes it seem like Romney is all about waging war -- which, by the way, is how Democrats have been painting Republicans since Lyndon Johnson's famous atomic bomb TV commercial that defeated Goldwater. (See the back story here, where there is a link to the TV commercial that ran in 1964.) I have been alive since JFK was president, and have yet to see the war-mongering stereotype played out. Anyway, it's a loaded and biased headline.

I can't wait for the next few weeks to go by. Then I can stop talking about politics again!

Well, unless Obama wins.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Presidential Debate

Every four years I go through agony. I listen or watch and agonize over the grand opportunities the opponent gives my candidate, only to watch them slip away. It was horrible to hear McCain last time. And two campaigns of Bush -- well, Gore wasn't much of a debater at least. Still, it is very painful to be a strategic marketer and see golden opportunities turn to lead every 4 years since 1992.

I was only mildly pained last night, and a good deal of that was because Obama really faltered. But Romney also did pretty good, got in a few good shots, and he was fairly animated at least -- and, even if you disagree with him, he came off as something other than an evil person wanting to enslave everyone. He made the Obama campaign's maligning of him to seem simply malicious, which it is.

On the other hand:

  • Romney is really not a conservative. We have a huge government, and we will continue to have a huge government under Romney. And it's not only because it's difficult to really cut back on government because of inertia and processes, but because he's really not a small-government guy. He might be a step in the right direction, but the difference between him and a big-government liberal is not as dramatic as would like.

  • The federal government will remain entrenched in healthcare, just as it is in retirement and other things that it really has no business being entrenched in. And this is a great, great, great victory for liberal politics. Romney talks "repeal and replace" but if you "replace" with something fairly the same, then the government remains entrenched where it really doesn't belong. If Romney's plan will truly dis-entrench the government, well, I'll believe it when I see it.

Anyway, I'm only mildly pained after last night.