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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here's How to Fight Abortion

I would like to call your attention to the altar. Read the whole story.

H/T to my lovely wife.

Is Martial Law Coming?

Something tells me that martial law is gonna be declared before Mr. Obama leaves office. Which means, he won't be leaving office, because elections are going to be suspended along with the rest of the Constitution.

Now, I tend to be a little paranoid by nature, and I don't have any crystal ball, and I certainly am not political analyst or pundit. But this post explains why I think this.

There have been quite a few violent and crazy attacks lately, with many many threats in various places. Just today my train conductor asked everyone to take their garbage off the train - he does that every day - but today he added, "Because everything's a suspicious package these days, and we don't need that."

Martial law will be seen as the only way of protecting public safety.

Martial law will require giving up many rights.

I am not totally crazy. Here's the good ol' mayor of the Big Apple saying that we need to be willing to give up our liberties for security. It is better to giver up our Constitutional rights so we can go to a sporting event in safety. Or have the Constitution reinterpreted so as to allow for greater security but fewer rights.

Don't kid yourself. This is NOT about safety. It's about gun control.

I personally do not believe that safety and security need to infringe upon freedom. I do not believe the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted to let the government provide for our safety. I believe the Constitution needs to be reapplied, which is to say, what it says needs to be applied according to what it says and not what it has been interpreted to mean over the last several decades.

Here's Melissa Perry saying that parents do not have the right to raise their own kids, it's the job of the government. (Oh sorry. That's Melissa Harris-Perry.)

Now, yes, the principle of solidarity means that I have to care about my neighbors and their kids pretty much "as if" they were mine. That is what "love your neighbor as yourself" means. On the other hand, the most personal of all aspects of the family is the children of the parents. NO ONE has a right to take my kids and raise (read: brainwash) them. No, not even the government. No, not my neighbors who fear than in homeschooling my kids "I" am brainwashing them against... against... what?

Against what they teach in public schools? Not really - what we teach them is math, science, history, literature, writing, logic, philosophy, religion, what used to be called civics - and nothing we do has any reference whatsoever to what they do in public schools. We do NOT monitor public school curricula and actively counter it. We teach our kids the way ALL AMERICAN KIDS USED TO BE TAUGHT, and the doctrines of the Catholic faith, and we do NOT give a FIG about what the public schools teach kids who go there. That's not entirely true. We do care, it's just that we're not choosing our curriculum in reference to theirs. Rather, it is the public school system that monitors US and is AFRAID of what we are teaching our kids and wants to CONTROL it.

Here's a host on NPR comparing the Constitution to Tinkerbell (...and that after talking to audiences of pot smokers and homosexuals...). Why? Because the Constitution can mean whatever we want it to mean, as long as we take action and cram that meaning down other peoples' throats. "Let's keep clapping and keep it alive!! I DO believe in fairies!!" Ugh.

In all three cases, no one is recommending trying to understand the Constitution and apply it. No, they espouse an ideology that the plain meaning of the Constitution is getting in the way of certain agendas - all of them left-wing, by the way - and that meaning is unjust and wrong. If they can't get their way by changing the Constitution itself through Constitutional processes then they'll change what it means through the courts - and then work on preventing a change back to some other meaning.

And they have been doing this for a long time. DECADES. This is what Bob Dole in 1996 and Bush II in 2000 and 2004, and McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 called "judicial activism," and what their opponents denied was happening.

These are the first steps down a well-plotted route (and not a slippery slope). The very principle of "things mean what we want them to mean" is being floated, with the Constitution as the object of manipulation.

Martial law will come, in one form or another. Slowly or quickly, it will come.

Martial law will make blogs like mine acts of treason. It will make being a real Christian an act of treason. In particular, it will make being a Catholic, with allegiance to the Pope, an act of treason. If you have religion, you will have to belong to one of the state-approved religions that bow to the authority of the government to define their doctrines and determine their leadership.

Maybe "it can't happen here," but of course it can. It is happening in Belgium. Here's a story of a bishop who stands with the Church against the gay rights agenda there, who was at an event at a university, and who was attacked by topless female protesters - and he just sat there and took it. It took several minutes for security to remove the assailants. Why didn't they respond immediately? Who knows. Maybe they enjoyed watching the bishop get attacked or wanted to let the assailants make thier point. God bless him. What a courageous fellow. And for the last couple of decades, I thought I'd never say that about a Belgian - in fact, any European - Catholic bishop. This guy was charged with racism in 2008 because of his consistency with the Catholic faith. He was later acquitted, but it's only a matter of time before he and others get convicted.

And it IS happening here. In Columbus, OH. Anti-discrimination laws will trump religious freedom. Look, homosexuals may "be" they way they are and have not a choice, but their actions are choices, and actions can conform or not conform to the doctrines of a religion. All laws discriminate according to actions. ALL LAWS. Does the law discriminate against bigots for being bigots, or against what a bigot does? Exactly. The Catholic Church should be free to discriminate just like the law does according to people's actions, in accord with its doctrines. This is part of religious freedom.

Martial law will require law enforcement webcams everywhere - including in everyone's home, which will be illegal to obscure, turn off, or unplug. Yes, those days are coming. 1984, 30 years late. That will be the day I shut off the internet in my house altogether. Yet another act of treason, probably. Of course it will begin like this: The local police in concert with security companies will recommend that homeowners have web-based cameras in and around their homes, for security reasons. Then those recommendations will get stronger, and there will be a rash of crimes at "unprotected" homes. Will these crimes be staged? Who knows. Then these crimes will "get out of hand" and there will be a requirement that such surveillance be installed at least outside the home. And then... well, you see where this is going.

I am afraid that the Land of the Free will become a thing of history.

But I am certain that it remain the Home of the Brave.

I made a comment on LifeSite News for the story of the Belgian bishop, noting that such tactics are the seeds of the failure of the movement. Just like the Brown Shirts were the seeds of the eventual overthrow of the Nazis. Sure, there might be great success for a while, but in the end people will get sick of kowtowing to a**holes.

Martial law will attempt to confiscate all the guns. Martial law will enforce the government monopoly on education and indoctrination. Martial law will regulate religions.

But it will not succeed, because it will result in civil war.

Make your choice now. If it comes to it, what will you do? Fight, go to jail, be tried for treason? Or go along with everyone, hoping it's only temporary? It was temporary in Russia, too. But it lasted 70 years. And it's still going strong in China and North Korea.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Minnesota's Anti-Bullying Law - Let the Bullying Begin

Remember when that Dan Savage (soooo aptly named!) used bullying to try to get kids to stop bullying?

Well, now there's legislation in Minnesota that will basically give legal protection to that kind of bullying. (I am linking to Fr. Z's blog where you can find more links to the original information.)

While no one of an ethical mind will justify bullying per se, the anti-bullying movement is really not about bullying per se. After all, bullying is and always has been wrong and bad, and bullies have always been seen as jerks. No one likes them. People are their friends out of fear rather than affection. And what they do to others is mean - it is assault. Verbal bullying is a kind of assault. We have laws against assault that have nothing to do with the assailant's intentions or thoughts or motives, nor anything to do with the victim's religion or sexual preferences or whatever. Does it really matter if someone assaults someone else because the victim has a speech impediment or because he want's the victim's money? No. Assault is assault, and other things are irrelevant.

But "bullying" is a particular kind of assault. Laws against bullying list the kinds of people who are protected from bullying, and assign a motive of hate to the bully.

OK, so a kid is gay. Others bully him for it. Is it not enough to simply to enforce laws against assault or harassment or verbal abuse or intimidation or whatever? Do we have to have a special crime to protect gay people from people who don't like them?

Is not liking gay people - is disagreeing with the gay rights agenda - a hate crime?

You watch.

Proponents of gay rights will use anti-bullying laws to bully opponents of gay rights into silence, into acceptance, and into compliance with indoctrination to their agenda.

And what I say isn't about whether the gay rights agenda is good or not. It's about whether or not we as a society need laws through which people who disagree with the gay rights agenda can be bullied by the law into compliance.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. And what more could a bully want than to have the law endorse his bullying?

Will the anti-bullying legislation be on my side or against me, if I offer arguments against gay marriage or why being sexually active outside of (man-woman) marriage with anyone (which would include homosexual activity) is morally wrong?

Who is the real homophobe: Someone who in the face of bullying complies with the gay rights agenda, or someone who fearlessly opposes it?

Will anti-bullying laws protect me from bullies who disagree with me and hate me? Or will it enable those bullies to stomp on my free speech, my freedom of association, my freedom of religion, because by engaging in those things I'm guilty of bullying them?

You watch.

It began with the notion of "hate crimes." Look, if someone burns a swastika on someone else's front yard, are there not laws against vandalism, intimidation, and the like, that would prohibit that action? I abhor such crimes, by the way.

But do we need to make the perpetrator's interior thoughts a crime, too? Does not doing so make THOUGHTS something for the law to intervene on?

After "hate crimes" comes bullying, a milder form of hate crime. Well, if we have hate crimes, do we need anti-bullying laws? Is this not yet another step down the road of legally controlling what people think and believe?

Slippery slope, my backside. This is a well-determined path that society is being pushed on by people who know exactly where they are going.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Proposed Wisconsin stem cell law "problematic"?

Some Wisconsin legislators want to pass a law prohibiting the use of tissues - particularly stem cells - obtained from abortions in research. It does not prohibit all fetal or embryonic stem cell research, just research on tissues obtained from abortions.

On LinkedIn's Bioethics Connections group page, there is a brief post about this legislation. You might have to be a member of LinkedIn to follow the link. There, Bernard Siegel, a lawyer who once served as the President and Commissioner of Florida Championship Wrestling and Pro-Beach Wrestling (now called NXT) and who is now executive director of Genetics Policy Institute, has this to say:

Problematic Wisconsin proposal would politicize fetal tissue research. This type of legislation could become a trend in the states. It serves to inflame the public against scientists and will negatively impact potential lifesaving research. Raises unwarranted questions about previously ethically approved research.
Where to start?

OK let's start with a question: Do abortion facilities charge money for the tissues they provide for research? This is important, because where there is a money stream under threat by legislation, there is often a propaganda mill that will oppose it.

Surprise, surprise, abortion facilities seem to be making money off of this. Technically, they cannot charge a fee for the actual tissues, but they can charge fees for services and the use of their facilities to identify and harvest the desired tissues. There is usually a middle-man between the researchers and the abortionists, who pays the abortionist a site fee for using his clinic, and who in turn charges a service fee to the researchers. I don't know what all those fees amount to, but the abortionist makes more money than by performing the abortions alone, and the middle-man charges more than he pays out. And so it seems to be profitable, considering that the fate of the tissues otherwise is medical waste that an abortion facility needs to pay for to have removed properly.

And let's not forget that there are also streams of public and private grants that researchers can get if they have the tissues to research on.

So there is a lot of money at stake, all dependent upon abortion and the legality of using tissues from abortions.

And Mr. Siegel his organization could be part of it, if their revenue stream depends on advocating what the legislation prohibits. 

I guess that's what Mr. Siegel meant by "problematic."

And surprise, surprise, we all know the power of the abortion propaganda machine. Planned Parenthood is the biggest bully in the nation. Just ask the Komen Foundation.

Now, let's be fair. Legislation works two ways - it could harm someone's revenue stream, it could enhance someone's revenue stream, or it could do both to different parties. So it's a fair question to ask if anybody stand to gain, financially speaking, from this legislation? 

Not directly. The legislation might result in - but does not mandate - investment in other lines of research, but if stem cell researchers are really smart, they should be doing that sort of research themselves even if they also do research on embryonic or fetal tissues.

It "could become a trend." Horrors. Would that it did.

It "serves to inflame the public against scientists" - oh, give me a break. What nonsense. Yeah, we're all gonna start rounding up scientists and burning them at the stake because of this. No. Just the scientists who have no problem destroying living human individuals for research. And it seems to me that the public ought to be inflamed against them. 

I find it funny sometimes, but when people accuse others of things, it is usually to distract from themselves engaging in that very thing. So, when the left calls the right Nazis, it's because they're using Nazi tactics (such as shouting down adversaries) and advocating Nazi-like policies (such as euthanasia and state-run raising of everyone's kids). Or like that guy Dan Savage who uses bullying to call people he disagrees with bullies. Or accusing people who are not afraid of homosexuals in the least and who have no problems with homosexuals whatsoever homophobes for not, like themselves, kowtowing to the gay rights movement for fear of backlash.

And it "will negatively impact potential lifesaving research" - ok, here's the biggie: WHAT potential lifesaving research? SERIOUSLY: I have been following in one way or another the use of fetal or embryonic cells for treatments of various diseases for about 20 years. And just where is this therapeutic potential? So far, there is NONE. Only theories. Only possibilities. Only promises. Empty promises. And when controversial tissues are outlawed, people are accused of thwarting research into lifesaving treatments.

Talk about inflaming the public. See what I mean? He's doing exactly what he's accusing others of doing.

As far as I can tell, only two human studies using embryonic stem cells have been conducted. One was from Geron using embryonic stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries. It was terminated early for undisclosed reasons. The other was from Advanced Cell Technology for blindness. The early results involved two patients. They are still recruiting and should have data published some time next year, but their website has little news or updates. At any rate, there is no reason to believe that this disease can only be treated by embryonic stem cells with it being impossible to treat with other stem cell sources. But then again, I'm no expert on macular degeneration.

Meanwhile, adult stem cells - those naturally produced by the body - have been used to treat diseases for decades, and are widely used now to treat dozens of diseases. When you hear "bone marrow transplant" you are hearing about adult stem cell therapy. I am finding it difficult to quantify, but one source (which I'd like to verify independently but haven't been able to) listed 65 diseases as of 2005. A lot has happened in this field since 2005. If 65 is wrong, it's probably low.

And this research "raises unwarranted questions about previously ethically approved research." I think the questions are VERY warranted. Ethically approved by whom, by the way? People who use "ethics" to mean "let's find a plausible way of justifying what we want to do so we can ridicule naysayers into silence"? OK, I can buy that.

Yep. That's the state of bioethics today. Follow the frickin' money and see who squeals when you try to take it away. Money. Propaganda. Accusations. Rationalizations.

And where is assessing the right and wrong of an intended action as it pertains to human life and health?

Me neither.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Washington Post, Gosnell, and the media blackout

I put a comment over at Get Religion about Mollie's review of a recent Washington Post article trying to get to the bottom of the dearth of media coverage of the Gosnell trial.

I'm gonna make an observation about the WaPo article and then a speculation, both of which are going to make me sound sexist or something - but I'm not. So, forgive me.

Farhi (the author of the article) has quotes from various media spokespeople offering explanations (or non-explanation explanations, if you will) for the dearth of coverage. Every one of them, except for Martin Baron of the Washington Post itself, was a woman. CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC all had female spokespeople whom Farhi named, all with lame reasons or, unbelievably, claims that the coverage was good. There was also one unnamed spokeswoman for HLN, who said the Arias trial would get wall-to-wall coverage until it's over "to respond [and] deliver to viewer interest."

So here's the speculation, and what I said at Get Religion. I am beginning to wonder if the main reason the mainstream media have been avoiding this case is really political bias. A lot of people – including men – have been personally involved with abortion – I’m speaking about the women who have had one and the men who have allowed, facilitated, or pressured the choice. A lot of people in the media, both “liberal” and “conservative” would probably fall into this category. And let’s face it, it’s not just left-leaning media that are shying away from covering this case. I doubt the abortion was really pleasant for any of them. Although some may be comfortable and confident with their choice, others may view the experience with regret and pain, and virtually none recall it as happy. And some in the first category may not be as confident as they want to believe…. I wonder now, having read the article, if there’s a reluctance to approach this case because it make people face abortion in a new and very personal way.

Anyway, I am willing to consider it is not merely “institutional media bias,” but something very personal, very human, and very real to the human beings who work for these media.

This is an eye-opening, and also a wound-opening, case.

Unanswered questions about euthanasia

Having interacted with advocates of euthanasia, I remain unconvinced that it is a practice worthy of human beings and any society that can call itself civilized. I hear arguments of mercy, respect for autonomy, and the like, and I understand them. But I remain against euthanasia - strongly so - until the following questions be resolved.

First: How does one respect autonomy by destroying it? Euthanasia erases any possibility of autonomous action after it is administered, because the autonomous person will be dead. Dead people are not autonomous. (The living who administer euthanasia, however, go on living autonomous lives, and where it is legal, their autonomy is not hampered by the law.)

Second: In like manner, how does one claim to alleviate suffering when one ignores the suffering itself and instead ends the sufferer? When the person is dead, yes, the suffering is gone - along with autonomy, by the way - because the person is gone. I guess that's a way to cure the common cold, too, right? OK, that's a little flip, but the principle is the same: It is not a treatment for the disease when one kills the person who has the disease. In fact, the person himself is treated like a disease, by the living who administer the euthanasia, who by the way unlike the patient continue to live afterward free of the patient's suffering.

Third: How does destroying a thing reflect how much one values it? The comparison to animal euthanasia is often made. And while a family would love to have a beloved family pet continue to live, the fact of the matter is that euthanizing it is not only about the suffering of the pet. Believe me, I do get this, I understand. But... deep down... it is also about the value of the pet to the family. As beloved as the pet may be - when healthy - it does become valueless when dreadfully sick or injured, and there is no value in keeping it alive. If there were value in having a sick pet around more than euthanizing it, there would far less animal euthanasia, too.

Fourth: There is the meaning of suffering. Is suffering intrinsically meaningless? Does it have meaning "only if" the sufferer gives it meaning? Is it really a matter of choice?

Especially regarding the last question, but pertaining to them all, I think I know the unspoken premise behind these arguments. Even so, they are not necessarily compelling because they still look like logical contradictions - but they make more sense at least only if... well, I'll let you figure it out.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gosnell abortion murder trial - links to media blackout info

The most horrific murder trial of the 21st Century involving the defining bioethical issue of our age is going on in Philadelphia, and the media - particularly the left-leaning media - are not covering it. Here are some links of interest:

First of all, go to Get Religion - Mollie's coverage of the media blackout has the makings of a Pulitzer Prize sensation, if the scandal weren't about the media itself. Keep at it, Mollie!!! She's contacted reporters, gotten tweets back - go see, it's educational.

USAToday - gotta give them kudos when they deserve them - has a column about the loss of perspective of what belongs on the Front Page. Hey - the front page, yes. But ANY page would be good, too, and a lot of the media are not covering it at all.

The Atlantic has an opinion piece along the lines of the USAToday lament about this story deserving to be on the front page. It is also right now their most popular item. But is ANYTHING about this case on THEIR front page? NOPE. Bitcoins are more important.

The NYTimes has nothing for over a month, and before that, it was a year and a half. Search "Gosnell" there and you get two outdated stories and a bunch of obituaries for folks unfortunate enough to share the murder's last name. Oh, and paid sponsorship ads for abortion clinics.

Breitbart, which is only today beginning to cover this, but finally they are, has a story on Politico's complete absence of this story. Go search "Kermit Gosnell" at Politico, and what do you get? ZERO hits. Not ONE story. And yet, it is the single most searched term at Politico, ahead of gun control, immigration, and North Korea. Mollie covered this, too, at Get Religion, and pointed out, "Way to serve your customers, Politico." Nice angle, Mollie. Great point.

Foxnews - Fox is as guilty as the liberal media for its lack of coverage. FOR SHAME. They have one story from back in February, and the only other story was from over a year ago.  USAToday has more - but at least Fox also put out an opinion piece on the dearth of coverage. Actually, I'm not surprised at Fox. Half their stories are prurient fluff about wardrobe malfunctions and bikini photos. I am convinced if they're not taking the liberal angle as much as CNN does, it's only because they've found a niche and making it work - it's marketing, not philosophy.

A search for "Gosnell" at CNN returns back practically nothing, if it weren't for the search engine wondering if I meant "Gospel"! Uh, NO. But their front page is loaded with gun control. You know. Because of Sandy Hook.

I just learned just  now that MSNBC.com redirects to NBCnews.com. Well, I can't say that I mourn the demise of the MSNBC website, because today is the first day I ever tried to access it. BUT, a search for "Gosnell" there turns up quite a few stories. On the other hand, there's nothing on the front page whatsoever, so if you didn't specifically look for it, you wouldn't find it.

Mollie got some interesting tweets back, like one saying it's not being covered because it's a local crime story. Uh-huh. Mollie herself at Get Religion and Breitbart have some interesting responses to that pathetic excuse. Wasn't Sandy Hook a local crime story? Is Todd Aikins' remarks about rape a national policy story? Idiots making idiotic excuses.

Twitchy is covering the frequency of #Gosnell - and it's trending, and the tweets are demanding an end to the media blackout. They're getting more and more critical of the silent media outlets.

The MSM are basically undermining what little credibility they have. They're falling on their swords - or scalpels, if you prefer - over this issue.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is there a "right" to suicide?

There's an arrogant little troll polluting the combox at Wesley Smith's blog Human Exceptionalism who  became all indignant and resorted to calling me, in effect, a stupid whiner because I said he hasn't proven there is a right to suicide.

He said the right to suicide is the flip side of the right to life. The right to preserve your life includes the right to destroy your life.

It's one of those little "insights" people get that they think makes them wiser and smarter than the rest of us, and if we disagree with them then we're just unenlightened morons who can't think. Then they build whole arguments on it and consider themselves brilliant lights for the rest of society and get all miffed and take it personally if we disagree with them.

But if the "insight" is wrong, it all falls apart. But that won't stop them from hanging onto it.

So, it's like this. The right to vote includes the right not to vote. The right to free speech includes the right to not speak. So it would seem that the right to life includes the right to decline living.

Let's say for the sake of argument someone has a right to kill himself, consequent to the right to life.

This has several difficulties, but let's say it is so anyway.

This right does not mean a right to acquire the means to do it. Free speech does not mean a right to the front page of the NY Times. It does not mean a right to litter a public park with your pamphlets. It might mean a right to get a device to help you speak, such as Steven Hawking has - but it is not a right to any means you please. Privacy does not mean a right for people to not overhear the things you say, or for their confidentiality when they do. Therefore, a right to kill yourself is not a right to access to lethal drugs, or a right to access a Kevorkian hood. Most people have ready access to potentially lethal things - knives, guns, car exhaust in closed garages, high windows. However, no one has a right to those things as a means to suicide. If a knife retailer knew you were going to kill yourself with the blade you buy, he has no duty to sell it to you. If your husband knew you were opening the attic window to through yourself out, he would have a duty to stop you. If your wife knew you were running the car in the closed garage to kill yourself, she does not have to let you. Insofar as many potentially lethal things have other nonlethal uses, one has a right to them for those purposes; but insofar as one's intent is to use them for lethal purposes, one does not have a right to them. Steven Hawking does not have a right to use his speech device to spew out hate speech or to incite a riot.

This right also does not mean a right to institutionalized assistance in killing yourself. You don't have a right to force a physician to prescribe lethal drugs or to put them in your mouth or inject them in your veins. You don't have the right to have society accept or endorse what you do. Your right to free speech does not imply a right to be heard, let alone a right for your ideas to be endorsed or affirmed by others. A right of free press does not imply a right to space on the newsstand at the corner.

But is there even a right to kill yourself, as a flip side to the right to life? Does every right imply a right to it's flip side?

The right to privacy does not include it's flip side, a right to immodesty or obscenity. Clothing is a matter of protecting what is private. No one has the right to reject privacy in the absolute sense.

If rights imply both the right to exercise that right as well as refraining from it, these rights are limited. None is absolute.

Unlike speech, voting, and privacy, to be alive is not a power someone exercises (or not) based on prudential judgments. The right of bodily integrity - having a body is not a power one exercises, either. It is a condition of one's existence. When you choose to keep quiet, you retain the right to speak in the future. When you forego privacy and take public actions, you retain the right to do things in private later on. The right to life is a duty on others, not a personal exercise of one's own powers. The right to life means no one has the right to kill you (unless you jeopardize that right by committing a serious crime or attacking someone else).  It means others have a duty to help you live when your life is in danger.

Having a right to kill yourself is not merely a right to postpone exercising a right to live, it cancels out the right to live altogether, and every other right absolutely and forever. It destroys the subject of rights. It claims to preserve autonomy, but it does so by destroying autonomy altogether. The dead are not autonomous. They're dead.

Since killing yourself destroys yourself absolutely, the desire to do so can only be considered a symptom of mental illness. Such mental illness compromises judgement, which compromise the competence to exercise rights concerning serious actions. The finality and absolute destructiveness of suicide is the most serious action imaginable.If you say, "I have made this decisions calmly with clarity of mind," the fact that you came to that decision implies that your reasoning is faulty. Therefore, there is no right to suicide.

When homosexuality was removed from the DSM-III (or whatever number it was at the time), it was because it was judged not to be a mental illness, and that because homosexuality did not compromise a person's ability to get along in society. The desire for suicide is a desire to reject getting along in society altogether, to give it up, to destroy the possibility of being in society at all. It is the quintessential and ultimate symptom of mental illness. Therefore, there is no right to suicide.

Now, since the right to life implies a duty of others to not kill you and indeed to help you live when your life is in danger, how is it that the right to die is the flip side of the right to life? It cannot be, because it makes it a duty of others not to intervene to save your life when they can and indeed to help you die or kill you outright. It is not the flip side of the right to life, but the absolute cancellation and violation of the right to life vis-a-vis the duty of others.

A more accurate flip side of the right to life is the right to self-sacrifice, which needs to be clearly understood. One's death in this case is foreseen and accepted but not specifically intended. One gives oneself into the hands of an enemy to free a hostage - one's intent is to free the hostage, and one hopes one will not be killed by the enemy, even if one expects it. One might uphold the truth despite lethal tortures, but one's intent is not to die a gruesome death, but to uphold the truth despite a gruesome death and hope perhaps that the torturers have mercy instead, because the torment is something they choose to do and they could, if they wanted, choose otherwise. One pushes someone out of the path of a bus, only to be in the path oneself - one does not intend to get hit by a bus and pushes someone out of the way so one can complete one's plan - one intends to save a life and foresees the possibility of one's own death and hopes that perhaps by some stroke of luck or a miracle, one will survive without much permanent problems. One takes a path where death is a risk in order to achieve some worthy good end - self sacrifice is not "i wish I could die because life is too painful." A right to self-sacrifice, and not a right to die per se and especially not a right to suicide, is the flip side of the right to life.

Finally, the whole phenomenon of a "right to die" or a "right to commit suicide" is just plain marketing and propaganda. It is about about the right to kill. Whom will the laws in favor of assisted suicide and euthanasia protect? The dead? No, the laws protect the living who kill them. It is about the right to MAKE MONEY by KILLING PEOPLE.

Follow the money. It's about the legal right to kill and make money without being prosecuted. It is not anything else.

Laws can only protect the living, not the dead.

The "martyrs" in this issue are not the poor folks who suffer a prolonged dying, but those who kill them and go to court charged with murder. Then the propaganda machine starts churning -- about how unfair it is they're being prosecuted for murder when they're so compassionate. Well, the laws benefit THEM, not the dying. The laws let them kill without being tried for murder.

And make money doing it.

So even if there IS a right to suicide, the public debate isn't about that at all.

Here's a test: Permit assisted suicide and euthanasia - protect the suicide emporiums legally - with the following provisions: a) No one is permitted to charge a fee for providing those services; b) health insurance companies must pay what they'd save over paying for continued medications and procedures, to a charity determined by the deceased prior to death; c) the government treats the deceased as a living in terms of being claimed as a tax dependent and a recipient of Social Security up to the 80th percentile of average healthy life expectancy or for a minimum of X years; d) all inheritance and relevant insurance money is held in escrow up to the deceased's normal life expectancy - in other words, let the law take away all of the financial incentives people have. Let the law make it an act of charity. 

And let's how long support for the law lasts.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mass murderer trial in Philadelphia not being covered in the media, because....

...the accused is an abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, and the murders he is charged with are one of his patients and several of the babies who were born alive before being aborted.

It's a gruesome story, but I'll link to the Get Religion post that discusses the lack of media coverage of this story. As one source cited in the post says, this story is to abortion what Sandy Hook is to gun ownership.

The mainstream media are pro-abortion. And those with national influence - the major networks, the major news outlets, the major papers with national reputations and readership - they are not covering it.

Thank God they are not the only information source.

It seems to be covered by the local media - the newspapers and local TV stations in the Philadelphia area.

And it is being covered by the pro-life media.

But you have to wonder: Why on earth is this story so off the radar of of the national media? Not even FoxNews is covering it, it seems.

If you to to Yahoo, you see their big features that have been getting top billing for the past few days: Putin got protested by topless women. A kid got sent home from school because of his haircut. Stuff about celebrities I know practically nothing about. Search "Gosnell" in Yahoo News, and the first item is some murder in New Zealand via Yahoo's New Zealand news service. The next item is a news story about this abortionist - but not from Yahoo's US news service, but from the Philadelphia newspaper.

Search Google for Gosnell, and there is not a single major national mainstream news outlet listed on the first page, unless you consider Life Site News and the Washington Times as major national mainstream news outlets. Search for Rice and you get (besides stuff about the university and the food) - on the first page - CBS Sports, ESPN, and USA Today all with stories about the small-time college basketball coach who threw balls at players and once or twice used gay slurs when yelling at them. You see, because being mean and using gay slurs that is a far, far greater crime than mass murder committed in the process of providing abortions.

Here's the ethical and news-reporting quandary: If killing those babies after they were born is murder, then what would it be if they were violently dismembered on that day in the womb? The latter is the right of the mother and the doctor, and the former is murder? The media don't know how to handle this without making abortion itself seem bad.

So it's hands-off.

And remember this about the abortion issue: It is more about the right of the physicians to perform the procedure to make money than it is about the right of the woman to procure one. While many states penalized the women with abortion restrictions, not all of them did, but every single one of them penalized the physician, and more harshly than the women who were penalized. There is no reason to think that future abortion restrictions should penalize the woman at all - and the pro-abortion people realize that. It seems to me to be more about the abortionist's rights.

Monday, April 8, 2013

We're one of the 5 million "Zero TV" folks in the US

Here's an AP article on a growing trend, people who don't have cable, satellite, or antenna TV. They get their programming online or via movie services such as NetFlix.

We're among those folks, but we tend not to watch ANY conventional TV programming at all, unless there's some sort of major event, such as an election of a president or a pope. We watch only movies, and most of those we get for free from our local library. Occasionally from a Red Box. Sometimes we buy the DVD. 99% of our watching the device itself - when the TV unit is actually on - it's a free movie.

We get our news from the internet, and rarely actually "watch" a news show. In fact, I don't think we've EVER watched or listened to a broadcast show on the internet, except maybe a re-run of something on Hulu or YouTube or DVD.

There are two current shows that my family watches, and we're happy to wait until episodes are available after broadcast: Sherlock and Downton Abbey. The latter is such a soap opera that I could take or leave it, although I think the script writing is pretty good. The former is imaginative and enjoyable, although after a few seasons it's beginning to get a little old to me too. I don't speak for my wife or kids on these topics - they're more into these shows than I am.

But two BBC shows - and otherwise I despise the BBC - that air once a week for a handful of weeks of the year out of a gazillion channels with 24-7 programming. Says a lot.

The AP article and the TV folks just don't get it. They believe that folks are just fed up being slaves to the TV schedule or service bill. They "want" to watch TV, but don't because they're turned off by "how" TV is delivered. And that may be true for a lot of the Zero TV crowd.

I can only speak for ourselves. We are fed up with the stupidity and offensiveness of the programming and the crassness and offensiveness of the commercials. There is no such thing as "must-see TV" - not even NBC is using that false slogan anymore. There is nothing vital about TV, no important shows, nothing. We are proof. We haven't had TV in 10 years - and guess what? We are not ignorant of the world. We are not clueless. And we are not dead.

10 years. Haven't seen a superbowl - didn't realize the Giants were in the 2012 the superbowl until a couple of weeks ago. Horrors! Unamerican! Haven't seen the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars or CNN in all that time.

In fact, we are probably more alive on account of it. We spend more time viewing carefully chosen material as a family, but overall very little time viewing compared to the average family. And that means we play more games, read more books, do more things, and just hang out together more.

Honestly, I get home from work usually around 8 pm, have dinner with my family, and the last thing I'm gonna do is ignore them to watch MadMen - and I'm in the advertising business myself. I've never seen an episode. I know it exists, I know what it's about.

My office overlooks the penthouse of Beyonce and Jay Z (or however they spell their names). A coworker from a part of the office with a different view said once, "I don't know how you get any work done! I'd be looking out the window all the time!" Hmm. Well, I don't know who Beyonce and Jay Z are, except that they exist, are famous celebrities of some sort, and where they live. I know she's a singer, but if you played her most famous song for me, I wouldn't recognize neither the song nor the fact that she's the singer. I am proudly unaware of many pop "culture" personages.

It's liberating.

Anyway, I think we'd be more inclined to want to watch TV, if more TV programming wasn't offensive, time-wasting, family-destroying, privacy-invading crap.

Yeah, privacy-invading. We are day by day getting closer and closer to 1984 TVs - remember those? They had video cameras built in, watching was mandatory, and Big Brother watched you back to make sure you were exercising and being a good citizen. We are more and more living in a police state. And TV is part of the enslavement. Right now, the cable companies know what you watch when you watch it. Sort of like your internet service providers.

It's creepy.

Anyway, for folks like us, it's not about the cost or schedule of TV. It's about TV itself. We buy what we want, and we're not buying that.

And I have my wife to thank, because if it were up to me, I'd be a couch potato actually caring about who wins or loses on American Idol.