Among many other pieces of evidence that [article author Brian] Montopoli presents for his position is the following:Obama has been criticized for not taking a stand early in his career on some hot-button issues, including abortion: He voted "present" on abortion questions seven out of 14 times in the state Senate, including once when the issue was a statewide ban on so-called partial-birth abortion.
This makes it appear that Obama's record on abortion is centrist and that he did not try to stop the law banning partial birth abortions....
[But] Obama's record on abortion is much much worse than this would suggest....
The key issue happened when he was a state senator from Illinois. At that time there was a law under consideration which would have made it illegal to kill babies born alive who were supposed to be aborted....
The same law would later be introduced in the U.S. Senate and pass unanimously on a voice vote. Thus, Obama is actually more extreme on his pro-abortion position than NARAL - who did not oppose the law in the U.S. Senate.
This story has been around for a while and was easily discovered. Its hard to believe that a professional writer like Montopoli did not know about the story.
This is true. Just google "Obama abortion" and the facts are easily found. Numerous conservative news organizations have contacted me and written on this. I have written on it until I'm blue in the face. It was the reason for Alan Keyes' famous quote, "Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama."
But MSM is ignoring the fact Obama is so radical on abortion he supports infanticide if it would get in abortion's way.
One reason is MSM is uncomfortable talking details on abortion. It doesn't know the topic and by and large supports abortion in theory.
And of course the other reason is MSM likes Obama.
February 19, 2008
The news yesterday was all about Bill Clinton's outburst against pro-lifers at a campaign stop in Steubenville, OH, February 18.
I agree with Tom at American Papist that...
Most of the attention, I'm sure, has to do with the ongoing prurient interest that folks have in watching Bill Clinton embarrass himself, but I'm sure the subject matter is also gaining a share of the attention.
... if only by osmosis.
Our message went out on every video clip.
Thank goodness David Vogel and friend had the wherewithal to turn their signs toward the audience - and camera.
Also, terminology "choice" or "pro-choice" was never used. Clinton called us "pro-life" twice and said the words "murder" and "abortion" in context together.
Even some newscasters called us "pro-life." View just one example here....
I was surprised no reporter targeted the pro-lifers for disrupting Clinton's speech, but they didn't. The only angle presented was anti-Clinton: angry, off-message, hurting his wife's campaign.
The only down side was having Clinton's untrue "pro-lifers really want to throw aborting women in jail" mantra go out over and over.
Despite that wee complaint, our message went out very well.
Never thought I'd say this but, thank you, Bill Clinton.
February 17, 2008
by Bob Gorrell for the Creator's Syndidate...
by Steve Kelley for the Times Biscayne...
February 8, 2008
Tim Graham from NewsBusters summarized the poor news coverage of the March for Life, which drew well over 100,000 people:
ABC, CBS, and NBC had absolutely nothing on the March, and absolutely nothing on the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. By contrast, Fox News Channel at least had a fair-and-balanced report on the March on Tuesday night's Special Report with Brit Hume....
National Public Radio offered several segments on the Roe anniversary, but no mention of the March for Life (with the asterisk that news breaks on the hour are not loaded into Nexis.)
Morning Edition carried a Kathy Lohr on attempts in some states to pass a Human Life Amendment, with both sides of the debate represented (the labels were "pro-life" and "pro-choice"). The afternoon talk show Talk of the Nation did a long segment on women discussing their abortions with after-abortion counselors Aspen Baker and Teri Reisser, who agreed women shouldn't feel post-abortion guilt. All Things Considered anchor Robert Siegel interviewed Rudy Giuliani about his abortion views. But NPR aired nothing specifically about the protest whatsoever.
CNN barely mentioned the March. One Alina Cho anchor brief on American Morning contained the perfunctory line that "Rallies and protests on both sides of the issue planned in Washington today." That's a strange line, since the Washington Post made no mention whatsoever of any pro-abortion events for that day.
If they were illegal alien activists, they'd get front-page coverage, multimedia packages, and prime time on TV airwaves.
If they were anti-war activists, they'd get front-page coverage, multimedia packages, and prime time on TV airwaves.
The twisted media will give front page coverage to 100 people who are pro-baby killing, or eight illegals with a personal grudge against a radio talkshow host, but they won't cover tens of thousands marching on Washington protesting the passage of Roe v. Wade. They don't even like talking about the fact that the woman at the center of that pitiful case has changed sides, regrets her actions, and says the pro-death side pulled every snarky trick in the book to get her to go along with their program.
January 29, 2008
From Population Research Institute, what MSM won't tell you about the March for Life:
January 24, 2008
Just received a call from Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, the group that secretly videotaped late-term abortionist Alberto Hodari's speech at Wayne State University November 9.
I profiled a clip from that video here.
Kristan said Fox Cable News' Hannity & Colmes will be profiling Hodari on its show tonight, based on that video. Excellent.
December 21, 2007
Earlier today I linked to a My Fox Colorado story on pro-lifers protesting at the home of Ed Kubly of Big R Construction, a subcontractor who is helping build the Denver Planned Parenthood abortion mill.
There was a little snippet in that video of a neighbor who was angry not at Kubly for helping construct an abortuary but at protesters for showing what happens in an abortuary.
Well, My Fox Colorado also posted an uncensored clip of the guy ranting, with reporter John Romero clearly egging the guy on. He encouraged the foment about the pro-life protesters by asking, "Little extreme?" Then he planted, "Ruined your Saturday..." to throw on some timber. Click on image to view the link, which contains foul language, not that pro-life activists haven't heard it all before:
December 10, 2007
Yesterday the Topeka Capital Journal dropped a bombshell with lurid details of an affair KS Attorney General Paul Morrison carried on from September 2005 to September 2007 - just a couple months ago - with a woman named Linda Carter, not just a subordinate but also a staffer in nemesis Phill Kline's office.
Morrison was the Republican Johnson County District Attorney when he switched parties to run against then-AG Phill Kline last year, and won. In an ironic twist, Republicans then appointed Kline to complete Morrison's DA term. All the while, Linda Carter worked for both men at the JoCo DA's office.
Carter quit her job November 30 and has filed sexual harrassment charges against Morrison.
Carter alleges in a signed statement that Morrison tried to get her to illegally spy on Kline's activities re: his fight to charge Planned Parenthood with illegal minor and late-term abortions. According to the TC-J....
[Also see page 2 for pro-family ad Morrison's family made during the AG campaign.]
Morrison also attempted to glean from her sensitive information about Kline's activities as district attorney, Carter's statement said. That includes Kline's ongoing criminal prosecution of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, an abortion clinic in Johnson County.
Morrison has been critical of charges brought by Kline against Planned Parenthood, and he has intervened in his capacity as attorney general into a legal dispute about abortion records relied upon by Kline to build that case.
As AG, Morrison worked overtime to get serious charges made by Kline dropped against late-term KS abortionist George Tiller, a campaign contributor. Morrison filed misdemeanor charges instead and is now part of a battle to stop a citzen's grand jury from investigating Tiller. This topic also entered into the affair: According to the TC-J:
Morrison and Carter had an argument in March about Morrison's investigation of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller. Kline had attempted to charge Tiller with violating the state's abortion statutes, but he was never was able to bring Tiller to trial.
When Morrison became attorney general, he promised to conduct a complete, independent review of the Tiller case. Carter said in her statement that she urged Morrison to charge Tiller.
She also said Morrison alleged Kline's approach to the abortion investigation was "unethical." The argument ended with Morrison storming out of Carter's apartment.
The TC-J expose reads like a steamy novel. Morrison and Carter had sex just about everywhere, including both their offices. During the AG campaign, with the affair ongoing, Morrison denied Kline's charges of sexually harrassing a previous subordinate, leading to this campaign commerical by Morrison's family, in retrospect embarrassing and degrading:
Cad is too light a description of Morrison. Pig is better.
Meanwhile, Kline has displayed compassionate and sterling character. Carter's statement says Kline told her in July that Morrison's wife Joyce had called to apologize for saying during the AG campaign that Kline had "lost his moral compass" by making the sexual harrassment allegations. By then Joyce apparently knew better. Kline never said anything publicly about that call.
And in a related incident, it looks like Kline tried to shield Carter, and perhaps Joyce, from publicity in August on another lawsuit filed by 8 disgruntled employees Kline fired that Morrison tried to get Carter to involve herself in. According to the AC-J:
Kline's attorneys asked to file a motion under seal with the federal court to shield a witness from being tampered with by someone outside the "Olathe 8" lawsuit. The request was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge James O'Hara, who suggested the motion could be filed as a public document. The D.A.'s legal team said a confidential motion was appropriate because contents of the motion could cause someone "grave harm."
One of many questions I have is did Linda Carter have an abortion? Did Morrison have other affairs that led to other abortions? Is he worried that investigations of Planned Parenthood and George Tiller will implicate him personally?
December 5, 2007
While IL state senator, Barack Obama voted "present" on a partial birth abortion ban, parental notification, and a package of 3 Born Alive Infant Protection bills, for which political heat has since forever risen, thank goodness.
Yesterday the Chicago Tribune discussed Hillary's latest jab at Obama:
She also raised a new front on the issue of Obama's use of "present" votes -- rather than "yes" and "no" votes -- on legislation when he was in the Illinois Senate, including on measures that dealt with Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion rights.
"A president can't vote present. A president can't pick and choose which challenges he or she will face," Clinton said. "Instead of looking for political cover or taking a pass, we need a president who will take a stand and stand there and do whatever is necessary for their country."
Obama has defended his "present" votes on abortion-related bills in the Illinois legislature, contending it was part of a strategy fashioned with abortion-rights advocates to help give some Illinois Senate Democrats political cover and to avoid looking harsh by casting "no" votes that would create a re-election risk....
But the Tribune earlier this year found few lawmakers remembered such a strategy and many of those who joined with Obama to vote present were, like him, in politically safe districts.
Obama's campaign said he had received a perfect grade from abortion-rights advocates during his tenure in Springfield....
Oh, how I would LOVE Hillary Clinton, who voted yes on Born Alive as U.S. senator, to challenge Barack Obama on his "present" and "no" votes on Born Alive! But that's an aside. Moving on...
The Chicago Sun-Times has a different take on the strategy:
On the abortion bills, legislators who supported women's rights to the procedure were encouraged to vote "present" on bills that would have required parental notice before minors could obtain abortions and that would have barred what abortion foes call "partial-birth" abortions, a leading abortion-rights advocate said. The goal was to entice moderate Republicans and Democrats to also vote present, helping to defeat the bills.
"The poor guy is getting all this heat for a strategy we, the pro-choice community, did," said Pam Sutherland, president and CEO of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council.
And liberal Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has reposted a column he wrote in 2004 when Obama's cowardly "present" votes were an issue in his U.S. Senate primary:
If "present" sounds wimpy, that's because it sometimes is.... [L]awmakers who anticipate a tough re-election challenge will vote "present" on a controversial bill they oppose so as not to give their prospective opponents a good club to bash them with.
Obama, however, was in a safe district and never faced a serious challenge for his legislative seat. He had no need to shy from hard-line stands on gun control and abortion rights....
Why would he then vote "present" instead of a resounding "no" on certain bills advanced by lawmakers opposed to abortion rights?
"To provide cover for other Democrats who were shaky on the issue in an effort to convince them not to vote `yes,'" Sutherland said. "The idea is to recruit a group to vote `present' that includes legislators who are clearly right with the issue."
Sutherland said this tactic makes the "present" vote look less like a hedge or a cop-out and more like a constitutional concern or other high-minded qualm.
So here were described opposite reasons for Obama's cowardly votes. Which was it, to give himself political cover from voting a politically unpopular "no," since most of the public, even pro-aborts, support parental notification and oppose partial birth abortion and infanticide; or to entice wobbly legislators from "yes" to "no"?
Either way, all this demonstrates that Obama is beholden to abortion special interest groups over populous opinion.
Revisiting this line from Zorn's 2004 piece was verrrry interesting:
Sutherland said this tactic makes the "present" vote look less like a hedge or a cop-out and more like a constitutional concern or other high-minded qualm.
With that in mind, here is what supposed constitutional expert Obama said on the IL Senate floor as the LONE vocal opponent to Born Alive in 2001:
... I just want to suggest... that this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny.
Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a - child, a nine-month-old - child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.
His argument, was, of course, absurd. I think now Planned Parenthood simply handed him his talking points.
December 3, 2007
A new Des Moines Register poll, conducted November 25-28 of 500 likely Iowa GOP Iowa caucus participants and 500 likely Iowa Democrat caucus participants, now exactly one month away, showed new presidential candidate leaders for both parties:
Democrat strategist Susan Estrich says Huckabee's rise is due to GOP weakness. I wouldn't be sure how that translates had I not read Robert Novak's column last week, which I'll excerpt next....
Estrich says Huckabee's appeal to "right tail of the right tail of the Republican party" will be out of step with mainstream America in the general. She uses Huckabee's support of a flat tax and privatizing Social Security as examples.
I disagree. Steve Forbes and President Bush began the ripening process on these issues. I'd say they're ripe, if Huckabee has the ability to overcome Democrat fear-mongering and get through to the people
Estrich, understandably, overlooked Huckabee's two true weak spots. As a liberal she's pro-illegal immigration and pro-tax-and-spend, so she either doesn't get that America is anti-both, or she's trying to ignore it. As governor Huckabee supported in-state college tuition credits to illegals and "increased the Arkansas tax burden by 47%" during his 10-1/2 year tenure, according to Novak. (On the latter it helps that he has signed the ATR tax pledge.) He also supported the recent Democrat-driven SCHIP funding increase, clearly a back door attempt to increase socialist health care in the U.S.
Excerpt from Novak column, November 26:
The rise of evangelical Christians as the motive force that blasted the GOP out of minority status during the past generation always contained an inherent danger if these new Republican acolytes supported not merely a conventional conservative but one of their own. That has happened now with Huckabee, a former Baptist minister educated at Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
A couple other interesting asides....
Here's a CBS story on Mike Huckabee's friendship with Dick Morris, which has been and may be a working relationship, according to Politico. Although Morris has noted Huckabee's rise, I thought he was a Giuliani guy.
And Andrew Sullivan thinks Obama and Huckabee's surges are related:
What do they have in common? Huckabee is a conservative whose character appeals to liberals; Obama is a liberal whose temperament appeals to conservatives.
I think Sullivan's got it wrong. As for conservatives, we're eager for a fighter who will buck the status quo.
I think both candidates are appealing to the base of their party as well as to the all-important moderates/independents who are either left- or right-leaning and who don't like animus.
Also, for all their political quirks, both Huckabee and Obama appear genuine. This is where a match-up would prove Huckabee a winner. He is. Obama is a poser.
[Photo credits: Huckabee playing bass at an October Iowa fundraiser, Los Angeles Times; Obama playing with a baby he would have rather seen killed several months prior, Scott Morgan/Getty]
HT: reader Sara; cartoon credit: Chuck Asay, Townhall.com, November 28]
November 30, 2007
Thanks to bloggers, CNN was quickly exposed as leaning its YouTube Republican presidential candidate debate left by choosing Democrat-affiliated questioners and questions.
The retired gay general asking the "gays in the military" question has been much discussed. We now know he's a Hillary worker on the homosexual issue.
Other ringers have been noted, including Journey from Arlington, TX, who it turned out was an Edwards supporter.
The question is whether CNN purposefully chose these people are simply failed to research their backgrounds. Most pundits think the latter.
But I'm finding it harder to believe that of 5,000 submissions, Anderson Cooper and CNN picked Journey's question blindly. Hers was on abortion....
In the event that abortion becomes illegal and a woman obtains an abortion anyway, what should she be charged with and what should her penalty be? What about the doctor who performs the abortion?
It turns out that aside from being an Edwards groupie, Journey is also a Cooper groupie.
Michelle Malkin reported:
She posted this video a month ago exulting that "Anderson Cooper said my name!" during a CNN viewer comment segment. She wrote, "Horrible video, but at least I've got some type of recording of this event that has made my week!"
On her blog, she posted an Anderson Cooper segment from VH1 with the following comment: "Anderson officially had the Best Week Ever for the week of 10/26/07, and looked more delicious than a pic-i-nic basket while doing so. And lookie, I found the video and uploaded it to Youtube for y'all. :D"
I found the October 15 comment she made on Anderson's blog that got her into his air space.
Interestingly, Journey calls herself paperserenade on her YouTube channel, where she certainly has showered Cooper with YouTube affection, although it appears she has removed that VH1 video.
But did Cooper never remember her name?
But there's more.
RH Reality Check's Amie Newman blogged on the debate the morning after:
You may remember Journey from RH Reality Check's eNews and her post last week where she shared why it has been so important to her to submit a range of video questions on reproductive health issues to the debate. RH Reality Check contacted Journey before the debates precisely because we appreciated her nuanced and assertive questions about reproductive health issues. And it is true that any of Journey's questions that were submitted to YouTube would have been a worthy addition to the sequence of questions at the debate.
But the question she asked that was put to the Republican presidential candidates was the one I thought would never get asked (kudos to the CNN employees who chose it!)...
Was it simply coincidental that Journey expended so much energy promoting the CNN YouTube debate without knowing her video would be picked?
Was it simply coincidental that RH Reality Check likewise gave the YouTube debate extraordinary attention beforehand and simply coincidentally contacted Journey to spotlight her?
Did I sense a little CYA in RH Reality Check's morning-after post?
Here's the entire Q&A segment, fyi:
November 13, 2007
I'm quoted today in the Los Angeles Times on National Right to Life's impending endorsement of Fred Thompson for president....
See last paragraph....
Los Angeles Times
But some activists fault the National Right to Life Committee's support of the former senator.
By Stephanie Simon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 13, 2007
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson has won the support of a major antiabortion group, but the endorsement is drawing ridicule and anger from others in the movement, underscoring deep divisions on the religious right.
The political arm of the National Right to Life Committee is scheduled to endorse Thompson this morning. Executive Director David O'Steen predicted Monday that the announcement would prompt "pro-life people across the nation to coalesce" behind the former senator from Tennessee, who is lagging in the polls in early primary states.
But Thompson is far from a consensus choice.
During his Senate career, he consistently voted the antiabortion position. But he once worked briefly as a lobbyist for a liberal group that sought to relax restrictions on abortion. In an early political race, he indicated support for legal abortion throughout the first trimester.
And most recently, he said he would not back a constitutional amendment criminalizing abortion -- a plank of the Republican platform for more than a quarter-century. Thompson said he would leave each state to make its own abortion laws.
"That's what freedom is all about," he told Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"He's saying that states can allow the killing of the unborn. That's not acceptable," said Jim Sedlak, an antiabortion activist from Virginia.
"It seems to indicate that he's not truly pro-life," said Troy Newman, a Kansas antiabortion activist.
National Right to Life board members would not comment Monday on their decision.
With 3,000 local chapters in 50 states, National Right to Life is the nation's largest antiabortion group; it publishes a monthly newsletter, funds radio and TV broadcasts and organizes local activists. Supporters donated more than $9.7 million in 2005, according to the latest available tax records. The group's political arm spent $4.4 million in the 2004 election cycle to support antiabortion candidates and causes.
Though the group has a broad reach, it is not clear how much influence its endorsement will have. Leading social conservatives have been divided this election, so each major Republican candidate can claim some level of endorsement -- but no one has a clear-cut edge.
Televangelist Pat Robertson recently endorsed former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who supports abortion rights. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, a well-respected conservative, backs Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who opposes abortion but has not made that a priority during his career.
And the general counsel for National Right to Life, James Bopp Jr., is working for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who once supported abortion rights but now backs a constitutional ban.
"Pro-lifers are not behaving in a monolithic way," said Jill Stanek, a prominent antiabortion columnist and blogger. The Thompson endorsement, she said, surprised her as much as Robertson's nod to Giuliani. "There's something going on here," Stanek said, "that's not normal."
November 8, 2007
The Guttmacher Institute states up to 1.2 million illegal abortions were committed a year in the U.S. before abortion were legalized.
This was demonstrated to be a wildly inflated number when about the same number of abortions went on to be committed legally every year. Logic says that with the ease of finding legal abortionists and fear removed, that figure should have at least doubled, if not tripled or quadrupled, or maybe more.
Well, abortion proponents decided to stick with the 1 million figure when pushing legalized abortion in Mexico City earlier this year. If it worked once, they thought, it could work again. And it did. They were successful.
But Newsbusters has busted the abortion embellishers and their willing accomplice, the Los Angeles Times....
Staffer Hector Tobar has been covering the developments in Mexico for the Times. Back in March of this year, before the legalization, Tobar reported a claim from abortion activists that "about 1 million [largely illegal] abortions are performed in Mexico each year." In April, a Times editorial echoed the line: "It's estimated that up to 1 million Mexican women seek abortions every year."
Yet on Saturday (11/3/07), Tobar reported that in the first six months since abortion was legalized, "more than 3,400 women have received abortions at 14 of the capital's public hospitals."
Let's do some math. The 3,400 number covers the first six months since legalization. At this pace, Mexico City's public hospitals will perform about 7,000 abortions in one year's time.
Seven thousand is 0.7% of one million. Tobar and the Times apparently want us to believe that one million women a year used to seek out dangerous, costly, and (almost entirely) illegal abortions, yet now less than one percent of that number will have a "safe," legal, and free abortion over the same period of time in the capital's public hospitals?
Excllent sleuthing, Newsbusters. And once again we catch the abortion industry lying.
In the words of the Tribune's Swamp blogger, televangelist Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani yesterday was "straight out weird."
I've never thought much of Robertson one way or the other. As an evangelical I considered him a slightly embarrassing uncle I endured for the sake of the family. Whatever impact he had was before my time, but I respected him for whatever that was.
But after yesterday I began to wonder if liberals were right all these years and Robertson's nuts, or at least spiritually unstable.
An evangelical Christian leader just doesn't do what Robertson did. You just don't ignore the two biggest social issues of our day, abortion and homosexual marriage, to endorse a candidate who is pro-both when there are other worthy - and viable - candidates who are anti-both. There is no excuse.
Hugh Hewitt had plausible explanations for the endorsement:
(1) Robertson can't bring himself to support a Mormon, even if Romney is much more conservative than Giuliani. (2) Robertson wants to show Jim Dobson that Robertson still matters. (3) Robertson really, really, really wants to win to keep the Supreme Court safe from Hillary.
So did the Robertson endorsement help Giuliani, hurt Giuliani, help Robertson, hurt Robertson, or do nothing?
Liberals used the endorsement to pull out all Robertson's old quotes. It appears Robertson's endorsement hurt Giuliani from their angle, and dredging Robertson's past can't help Robertson either.
Social conservatives like me won't be budged. As Hewitt said, we have strong objections to Giuliani "for which no argument really matters."
But, according to Hewitt:
But [Robertson's endorsement] does have one great benefit to Rudy: The MSM has never, ever come close to understanding the evangelical voter. MSM thinks of the group as a sort of carnival of gap-toothed, snake-handling, rural post box owning weed chewers. They will assume that Robertson is a general with many divisions, and representative of a much more significant following than he has. Robertson's endorsement will thus be reported as a breakthrough for Giuliani, and a reassurance to fence-sitters that the mayor's got the momentum they were hoping to see.
It is thus among non-evangelicals that the Robertson endorsement will be of greatest value to Rudy....
I'm not sure about that. I can't see moderates finding Robertson the person any other than unpleasant, although Hewitt is saying Robertson's generic evangelical stamp of approval may quell concerns of some moderates, provoked by conservatives, of Giuliani's personal track record and social positions.
Bottom line, in my opinion: Robertson's endorsement of Giuliani made no difference to the Giuliani campaign but hurt Robertson, certifying him as irrelevant among Christian conservatives, particularly if Giuliani loses.
If Robertson's gamble pays off and Giuliani wins the presidency, Robertson's stock may rise. But he will then have to assume responsibility for Giuliani's social political decisions as president, at which time I foresee another apology coming from Robertson for having made yet another gaffe.
November 6, 2007
This morning I complimented the British press, and this evening I must say they're crackers.
And topping the list of 100?
That's right. Crazy.
Here's their top 20....
1. Rudy Giuliani
2. General David Petraeus
3. Matt Drudge
4. Newt Gingrich
5. Rush Limbaugh
6. Dick Cheney
7. Robert Gates (Defense Secretary)
8. John Roberts
9. John McCain
10. Mitt Romney
11. Mike Huckabee
12. Condoleezza Rice
13. John Bolton
14. Paul Gigot (Wall Street Journal editorial page editor)
15. Laura Ingraham
16. Haley Barbour
17. Frank Luntz (pollster and strategist)
18. Glenn Beck
19. Mike Pence
20. Ed Gillespie
What do you think of the list? Do you see anyone missing? Anyone there who shouldn't be? Who would be your pick for most influential conservative? I'll name mine tomorrow. Here's the rest of the Telegraph's list.
And I might as well list who they consider our top 20 most influential liberals:
1. Bill Clinton
2. Al Gore
3. Mark Penn (Hillary's chief advisor)
4. Hillary Clinton
5. Nancy Pelosi
6. Barack Obama
7. Michael Moore
8. Arnold Schwarzenegger
9. Oprah Winfrey
10. Evan Bayh
11. John Podesta (President, Centre for American Progress)
12. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (founder, Daily Kos)
13. Rahm Emanuel
14. Jim Webb
15. George Soros
16. Arianna Huffington
17. Donna Brazile
18. Richard Holbrooke (Hillary advisor)
19. Elizabeth Edwards
20. Joan Blades and Wes Boyd (founders of MoveOn.org)
Same questions apply.
October 29, 2007
A couple in West Chester, OH, is under fire for a Halloween yard display neighbors think goes too far.
I don't know why a barbequed baby would defy the sensibilities of a pro-abort.
Here's the news story:
[HT: WorldNetDaily via friend Arlene; photo credit: WLWT]
The first red flag you'll note re: this Denver NBC affiliate's coverage yesterday (click to video link) of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' ambitious plan to build PP's new largest abortion mill in the U.S., at 50,000 sq. ft., is there are only two talking heads in the picture: a news anchor and one interviewee, a PP proponent. Hello, balance?
The interviewee is Denver Post business columnist Al Lewis, who had no business writing a pro-abortion opinion piece under the guise of reporting on the Weitz Company, hired by PP to build the mill....
It would have been fine had Lewis focused solely on the pro-life tactic of picketing PP business partners, but he didn't. When he delved into abortion advocacy, he shifted from what may very well be his forte, business, to an area of which he was obviously ignorant.
[T]he Weitz Company... is simply building a medical office building, and they're comparing the Weitz company and all this rhetoric to the companies that built the Nazi death camps, and they're saying the Weiz company has some hidden agenda to kill black people in Denver....
Why don't they protest G.E.? I think G.E. makes the lightbulbs that go in the surgical rooms where these procedures occur....
When these people come into a private neighborhood and they start protesting in front of a house, they make quite a scene. It's very disruptive to the neighborhood....
I think that they can make the project cost more, certainly. Obviously they're going to have some security in place... fences in place....
These people have figured out that they can drag companies through the mud by their association with Planned Parenthood, which, by the way, abortions is a very, very small fraction of what Planned Parenthood does. In fact a lot of what Planed Parenthood does is prevent abortions through the education of contraceptives and sex education.
Had a pro-lifer been part of this interview to make it fair and balanced, s/he would have explained that being protested is not simply a "medical office building" (where have we heard that before? hint: Aurora).
S/he would have not let Lewis get away with calling abortions "these procedures."
S/he would have explained the difference between a business that has no say whether PP buys its product, like G.E., and a business that is hired to help it.
S/he would have explained PP's history of eugenics, its unbalanced ratio of aborting blacks to whites, and that the mill in discussion will be located in a black neighborhood.
S/he would have explained protesters aren't causing PP to install security systems and fences, PP is doing so to build on its unmerited accusation that pro-lifers are violent,
S/he would have explained how comprehensive sex ed and loose distribution of contraceptives have increased the abortion business.
Finally, s/he would not have let Lewis get away with calling we pro-lifers "these people."
Lewis's column was more of the same.
At least the Denver Post has a blog for comments, which I was happy to make.
The term "Nuremberg Defense" was originally coined during the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg after World War II. Nazi war criminals who were charged with genocide, mass murder, torture and other atrocities used the defense "I was only following orders" so frequently that the argument became known generically as "The Nuremberg Defense."
From the article, about a picket at Weitz vp Gary Meggison's home:
Neighbors Jim and Sarah Hopfenbeck, who were walking their dogs, passed by the demonstrators.
"We're good Christians and we support our neighbors," Jim Hopfenbeck said.
"I just ignore them," Sarah Hopfenbeck added. "His job is what his job is. If anything, this has galvanized neighbors in support (of Meggison)."
Meggison said in a telephone interview that his firm is committed to the project.
"We're more resolved than ever to build this facility and get it completed," Meggison said. "Our business is building and that's where we draw the line. These folks have crossed the line by attacking neighborhoods."
I question Meggison's understanding of the word, "attack."
Here are some photos of determined pro-lifers picketing Meggison on October 21. Remember, we're talking Denver....
October 24, 2007
Fox News will show a documentary on abortion this Saturday:
Fox News cameras went inside an operating room as a 20-year-old student underwent an abortion, as part of a documentary titled "Facing Reality, Choice," that will air Saturday, Oct. 27, at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel....
In the scene Fox does not focus on the surgical details of the abortion procedure, but it is emotionally wrenching, however, as the woman cries through the abortion and her mother, beside her for emotional support, learns this is her daughter's second abortion in less than a year.
The Fox documentary profiles three women to explore the abortion issue by following their agonizing decisions to have their babies or terminate their pregnancies....
The Fox News documentary is groundbreaking in that it does not touch at all on the political debate or legal analysis surrounding abortion.
All that is seen and heard during the hour are the women and families as they struggle to choose what to do about their pregnancies.
Well, no. There will be one family member not be seen or heard during the 20-year-old's abortion, which really aggravates me. Why not? Sure, forget politics and legal analysis. Let's simply get real for once. Let's show that esoteric "choice." I've seen one documentary where doctors peeled back a patient's face to fix cheekbones and another where conjoined twins were separated. What's wrong with showing abortion?
I will be disappointed if Fox doesn't treat this issue fairly, but I'm concerned. If Variety gave the documentary a glowing review, there's a red flag:
If only other programming on Fox News exhibited the understated restraint of "Facing Reality: Choice," a special that avoids taking sides in chronicling young women's experiences with unwanted or difficult pregnancies....
Given the strident tone of Fox's talking heads, "Facing Reality" approaches this divisive issue with surprising compassion, including an interview with a kindly-looking doctor who performs abortions.
Yet Fox called him a "gynecologist" in the promo:
"It is a moral crisis for them... this is not a black and white issue," gynecologist Dr. William Harrison said. "It's not something that you can say, you know, 'This is good and this is bad.' It's a mix.... The woman who's making that decision is the only person that can make that moral choice for herself."
Wrong. That's moral relativist gobbledy-gook that I hope Fox is fair enough to allow countered. And that last sentence was political speak, btw.
You can watch video clips here.
[HT: moderator Bethany; photo credit: Fox]
October 10, 2007
I wrote the other day on the Democrats' shameless exploitation of brain-damaged, 12-year-old Graeme Frost to read their September 29 weekly radio address promoting their SCHIP expansion plan.
In the statement prepared for him, Frost insinuated he would not have received the help he needed after a presidential veto of the new Democrat plan, which was false.
Now the New York Times reported October 9 the Frost family is coming under fire for having too much means to qualify for SCHIP. Nancy Pelosi managed to exploit the boy again by hiding behind him to avoid fire....
Ms. Pelosi on Tuesday said, "I think it's really a sad statement about how bankrupt some of these people are in their arguments against S-chip that they would attack a 12-year-old boy."
Kudos for spin but not so. Democrats are first to blame, Graeme's parents second, and Graeme not at all.
As usual, Republicans came on strong against the ploy and backed off. Reported NYT:
But Michelle Malkin, one of the bloggers who have strongly criticized the Frosts, insisted Republicans should hold their ground and not pull punches.
"The bottom line here is that this family has considerable assets," Ms. Malkin wrote in an e-mail message. "... If Republicans don't have the guts to hold the line, they deserve to lose their seats."
As for accusations that bloggers were unfairly attacking a 12-year-old, Ms. Malkin wrote on her blog, "If you don't want questions, don't foist these children onto the public stage."
I say it's about time we stopped letting liberals exploit children to advance their agenda. I have witnessed them pushing little diabetics into legislators' offices to beg for embryonic stem cell funding, even going so far as to give kids insulin shots in the capital halls to make their point.
[Photo courtesy of NYT]
October 4, 2007
Were he a columnist in WWII, Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune would have demanded that all Japanese-Americans pledge not to bomb any ships at sea.
That's the equivalent of his insulting October 2 post, "Will abortion protesters be as good as their lawsuit claims they are?"
After writing about the libel suit pro-lifers filed against Planned Parenthood and Steve Trombley, Zorn wrote....
Trombley said, "This suit sounds like just another attempt to harrass and intimidate us. They're trying to intimidate us into not talking about their movement's history of harrassment, violence and intimidation."
Planned Parenthood can talk all it wants and its opponents can strike all the saintly, innocent poses they want. The proof will be what happens at what both sides are calling "ground zero" of the national debate over abortion.
The first court date isn't until December 20, by which time the court of public opinion will have taken full measure of the tactics employed by the anti abortion-rights movement in what is almost sure to be continual protests and civil disobedience at the clinic site.
Zorn then reprinted a 22-year-old "profile" (apt wording in keeping with the thrust of his piece) on Joe Scheidler and opened the door for his groupies to pile on, which they did with glee, to the point of calling Eric Scheidler "the Abbie Hoffman of the Anti-Choice crowd, only not as funny."
I entered into the debate with Zorn late yesterday (see page 2).
Pro-lifers need to step back and look at what the other side has been doing and stop biting at the bait.
Years ago the abortion industry hit on the tactic of branding all of us for the miniscule number that seek vigilante justice. They did this to intimidate and stigmatize us.
And both plans worked.
Fighting stigmatization is an uphill battle. People want to believe the worst. The fact is, if people are bent on thinking something, there's not much that can be done to stop them. The libel lawsuit is working toward that end. It's saying, no more.
But one thing we certainly have control over is letting ourselves be intimidated. We must stop that.
Consider the fact that the abortion industry - any person (including politicians) or group making money from abortion - is our enemy. Why in the world do we care what they think? Why in the world have we spent so much time trying to prove to them that we're really very nice people?
Screw them. If we allow ourselves to be intimidated, we act defensively not offensively. We react rather than act. We lose our assertive tone.
Get over the profiling. Cease to care about their accusations as they relate to the tasks at hand. Don't let them distract you.
Friends in the movement will say we must worry about their souls. I say, picking up on a point Scott Klusendorf makes, if you observed a man gunning down a room full of two-year-olds, would you worry about his soul or saving the children? Priorities, my friends. Stop the killing first.
As I pointed out in my WND column yesterday, their characterization of us is coming back to bite them anyway.
And as a related aside, OpenlineBlog.com has a hysterical post up about Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner now requiring extra police protection for himself. Oh, please. Talk about delusions of grandeur.
FROM JILL STANEK-- http://www.jillstanek.com
Eric, your post is condescending yet amusing. You said the other day you didn't want to talk about the nuts and bolts and fors and againsts of abortion any more, but you like the conversation abortion arouses, so you've come up with a detractor's angle.
Get this, Eric. I don't care if you think I'm violent, or if you perpetuate the myth that Joe Scheidler is violent. These are false assertions your side only promotes to intimidate and stigmatize pro-lifers.
The debate is meant to put us on the defensive, like "Have you stopped beating your wife." And I've never fallen for it. In fact, it amuses me to think we might intimidate you. That gives us a lot of power and causes you to think irrationally.
My WND column today, entitled, "Planned Parenthood's bulletproof glass," is all about how the "pro-lifers are violent!" line has backfired big-time on Planned Parenthood et al.
ZORN REPLY -- Don't talk to me about condescension, Jill -- part of your schtick these days is a smug and patronizing tone toward those who favor abortion rights, and it's on display even here. That's fine if if works for you. I don't happen to feel that everyone who disagrees with me on this issue obtuse and/or morally bankrupt-- I've certainly never thought you had violent tendencies ,much less accuesed you of same. Nor do I believe your heart is in the wrong place.
Trombley's controversial, lawsuit prompting assertion is: "The activists of the Pro-Life Action League who have been opposing our new facility... have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity."
Is this true of the PLAL?
The reason I posted the entire 1985 profile of Scheidler here (and probably should post more news stories about the charges made against him) is to let the reader look at a bigger picture.
There's an irony, don't you think, in you enjoying the fact that some think the protests might turn violent and lawless...even that employee lives might be at risk...while howling that the movement has been libeled?
I know you can't speak for Joe or the PLAL, but you can speak for yourself -- do you categorically condemn violence against employees of abortion clinics? Vandalism or damage to property by abortion-clinic protesters?
Posted by: Jill Stanek | Oct 3, 2007 3:37:46 PM
ERIC: Trombley's controversial, lawsuit prompting assertion is: "The activists of the Pro-Life Action League who have been opposing our new facility... have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property as well as other related criminal activity."
Is this true of the PLAL?
JILL: Eric, in a word, no. You conveniently quote the 1985 lawsuit but not the 2003 Supreme Court 8-1 overturn or the 2006 Supreme Court 8-0 affirmation overturn.
ERIC: do you categorically condemn violence against employees of abortion clinics? Vandalism or damage to property by abortion-clinic protesters?
JILL: Yes, as I said in my column today, that is vigilante justice. But I understand the impetus, wrong as it is, akin to understanding how a father could take justice into his own hands and kill his daughter's rapist.
ZORN REPLY-- Now Jill, don't mislead readers about what was and wasn't overturned and what that means about PLAL. Jill In March, 2006, the Tribune reported that in twice overturning a civil verdict against Scheidler, the high court "did not address the pattern of criminal activity that the lower courts ruled had been perpetrated by the anti-abortion activists. The justices confined their ruling to the question of whether the clinics could sue under RICO and related laws."
Even some liberal groups were on PLAL's side, as we reported in 2003: "NOW (had) prevailed before a Chicago-based federal appeals court but found itself with atypical opponents in (front of) the Supreme Court. Criminal defense lawyers and civil liberties groups weighed in against the organization, arguing that a ruling in its favor would mean the tough federal laws could apply to other protests, such as those waged by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Even non-violent kinds of protest could turn into RICO concerns, sweeping up potentially thousands of people," said William Mertens, a Washington attorney who wrote a friend of the court brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers opposing NOW's position."
In other words, your response to my question was non-responsive.
Your response to my second question was a bit evasive. I understand the impetus behind acts of vandalism on behalf of PETA, say; for that matter, I understand the impetus behind Islamic terrorist acts (in part because I have read the excellent book, "The Looming Tower"). Nevertheless I feel comfortable in categorically rejecting such vandalism and mayhem without softening it with the nod and wink.
Posted by: Jill Stanek | Oct 3, 2007 5:50:14 PM
Eric, my answer to your second question was "a bit evasive"? Incredible. My answer was completely direct, Eric, more honest than you'll get from most.
The reality is I subjected myself to your stereotyping, Eric. Your column and question to me were exercises in profiling. You could have been no more insulting than had you demanded a gay man swear he didn't have AIDS, a black man to deny he had fathered 2 illegitimate children, a Muslim to swear s/he wasn't a prospective terrorist.
And Joe? Such a cheap shot your column was. NOW lost its case. Now you parse to continue to declare a man guilty who was proven innocent. Very American of you, Eric. What's worse, you've known Joe for years. He answers your every call and responds to your every question. You know he's not capable of violence as evidenced by both his demeanor and his faith. And yet for ratings and attaboys you'll pull that card.
ZORN REPLY -- Please, Jill, you say Scheidler was "proven innocent"? I can't decide whether you truly don't understand that court ruling or if you think that if you continue to misrepresent it loudly enough people will come to believe what you say. The high court said that what the jury concluded Scheidler did did NOT amount to conspiracy and racketeering under the federal statutes.
Further, I did not accuse you and never have accused you of committing violent acts; I asked you if you condemned them, even as I have in other forums asked local Islamic leaders for their views on, say, the violence that greeted the publication of cartoons of Muhammed.
Is it fair for me to ask a prominent leader in a movement such as yourself for your views of the tactics and acts of the most extreme members of that movement? Of course it is, of course it is.
People have been asking Joe about this for years and he, at least, seems to understand that it's a fair question (and his answer, like yours, stops short of unequivocal condemnation)
Posted by: Jill Stanek | Oct 4, 2007 3:11:14 AM
October 3, 2007
Warning: Clicking on any links in this post will take you to gross-out humor complete with expletives.
Watch tonight's opening episode of season 2 of Comedy Central's Sarah Silverman show, "as Sarah looks back on her three abortions," which she made just to get a rise from people like me to the delight of anti-establishment rebels without a cause across America. Here's the trailer:
I never heard of Silverman before today but figured from that trailer her humor was the mindless gutter type that gets a laugh simply for swearing and discussing bodily functions. This was confirmed by watching the intro for season 1....
Silverman obviously gets a rise from shock and disgust, so I won't give her that.
I do find it interesting, though, that after almost 35 years of legalized abortion, it's still not funny, try as they might to break through the taboo. So doing would remove abortion's stigma, which they desperately want because laughing at abortion would normalize it.
The fact that they can't do that and I think by now have realized they never will is a frustration this establishment-type delights in. It's also a red flag that abortion is as wrong and unfunny as 9/11.
The last laugh would therefore be on our end, again, if abortion were funny.
[HT: reader Angela]
October 1, 2007
The topics of both were the same: the deceptive practices of Planned Parenthood Aurora, but the columns went different directions. In the RCP piece, Byrne took on fellow Tribune columnist Eric Zorn for his September 20 piece, which we discussed, "In defense of Planned Parenthood's deceptions in Aurora: Sometimes the only way to get fairness will make your foes cry foul."
I don't know if the Trib disallows columnists from publicly jousting one another on its pages, or if Byrne just thought better of it. But here's what he said about Zorn's column in RCP. The last two paragraphs were particularly inspired....
Most remarkable is the defense made by pro-choice rationalizers of the intentional deception. Eriz Zorn, a Chicago Tribune columnist, for example, justified the "stealth" because "foes of abortion rights, longtime losers in the battle for public opinion, traditionally raise all kinds of ruckus when Planned Parenthood comes into a community.
"Foes not only picket construction sites, but they also send picketers out to harass subcontractors at their homes and businesses, try to spread alarm and disgust in the immediate neighborhoods and attempt to browbeat civic officials into implement just the sort of craven, political motives delays we're seeing in Aurora." The "little creative subterfuge," as Zorn put it, is necessary to "ensure that the law is followed," meaning the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion.
Breathtaking in its "end-justifies-the-means" logic, we are supposed to accept the idea that the abortion industry can appoint itself to decide whether the public has a right to have the kind of information it needs and has a right to have to affect the political process and governance. True, pro-life activists can be counted on to, as Zorn says, "raise all kinds of ruckus," but democracy is untidy.
Most troubling about this debate is the assumption that involvement in the political process through protest or direct action is a bad thing. This, of course, would astonish civil rights activists, who used the tactics of picketing, discomfort, inconvenience, disruption and even civil disobedience to engage the nation's conscience. The Rev. Jesse Jackson just recently was arrested for illegally blocking access to a suburban Chicago gun shop, even though the activities within the gun shop were entirely legal.
Sitting in at a lunch counter and refusing to sit at the back of a bus were just some of the protest and civil disobedience strategies that many of us supported years ago because of the injustice and immorality of Jim Crow laws. That pro-lifers should be accorded the same respect to protest laws they believe to be immoral shouldn't be too much to ask in a democracy. If not that, perhaps pro-choice people and their liberal supports could at least see their way clear to recognize their hypocrisy.
[Photo is of Rosa Parks, who in 1955 was arrested for refusing to relinquish her bus seat to a white person, when segregation was legal.]
August 27, 2007
I was pleasantly surprised news organizations covering the Aurora Planned Parenthood protest Saturday approximated our numbers accurately, calling it "huge" even. Good photo in the Daily Herald.
But there were other signs of bias. Sometimes it is subtle, but it's usually there.
... Efforts to shutter the clinic continued with an abortion protest Aug. 16 that drew 400 abortion opponents... and a few dozen abortion-rights proponents....
Why are we "abortion opponents" and they "abortion-rights proponents"? The word "rights" codifies their position....
The Aurora Beacon News, a member of the liberal Chicago Sun-Times news group:
Police estimated that 1,200 people peacefully picketed... with the large majority of them being anti-abortion advocates carrying signs, praying the rosary or chanting slogans.
They heavily outnumbered the 20 or so pro-choice advocates....
The Sun-Times News Group is behind the times, likely on purpose. The bigger news organizations do not use the word "pro-choice" any longer.
That said, I hope you're sitting down for the next example, from the AP:
More than 1,000 abortion protesters gathered today outside Aurora's Planned Parenthood facility that's under construction.....
About 25 pro-abortion protesters also showed up to today's event.
My oh my. "Pro-abortion" rather than "pro-choice"?!
Fox News Chicago was quite fair, calling us "pro-life":
Thanks to moderator Bethany for preparing the direct link to the Fox News video.
August 14, 2007
The Wichita Eagle has an editorial today calling on late-term abortionist George Tiller's new judge, Tony Powell, to recuse himself from the high profile case against Tiller.
Tiller is charged with 19 misdemeanor counts for violating a KS law mandating that an abortionist get a second opinion as to the necessity of a late-term abortion from a doctor s/he has no financial ties to.
Wichita Eagle editors found it "startling that presiding Criminal Court Judge Greg Waller last week assigned Powell to this case in the first place, given the potential conflict of interest."
It turns out Powell is a staunch pro-lifer and former legislator who helped write the law Tiller is charged with, which is actually funny. But who would better understand its intent?
But Wichita Eagle editors had nothing to say about "potential conflict of interest" when Waller himself was assigned to the case, and it was revealed last week that two of Tiller's attorneys endorsed Waller's reelection in 1998, and one of those attorneys contributed to Waller's '98 and '06 campaigns.
August 13, 2007
Reader Sarah from the UK sent me a link to a 1983 PBS Frontline episode entitled, "Abortion Clinic." I was previously unaware of it (am I alone?) and viewed it Saturday, finding it deeply disturbing yet remarkable. It has not been far from the front of my mind since. I'm angry all over again. Abortion is so incredibly vile.
"Abortion Clinic" won the Emmy in 1983 for Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story.
Frontline made "Abortion Clinic" available online for its 20th anniversary in 2003, saying, "Two decades later, it remains one of the most powerful stories Frontline has ever told."
"Abortion Clinic" was filmed in Chester, PA, a small industrial town south of Philadelphia that had a 30% unemployment rate at the time, according to Frontline.
The mill is the Reproductive Health and Counseling Center, located then in the former library of Crozer Seminary. (Crozer was an American Baptist Church school, a pro-abortion demonination, which explains the sale approval. Noteworthy is that Martin Luther King, Jr., graduated from Crozer.)
Made 24 years ago, "Abortion Clinic" is not something I think could be filmed today. Clincs have clammed up, as have pregnant mothers, as has the mainstream media.
There are six chapters to this episode, all which I recommend viewing.
What you will see in this segment is the abortion of Barbara - everything but the blood and guts. It was distressing to know I was watching a child being killed. It was distressing to juxtapose the mother's obvious emotional trauma with pro-aborts who deny abortion is psychologically damaging. The sound of the suction machine was even distressing.
Click on the photo below. Moderator Bethany has kindly created a link:
The next video clip is of Helen's abortion, this one complete with some blood and guts. Note the assistant keeps the suction cannister covered while in the room. Note the fleeting glimpse of complete little body parts.
July 27, 2007
Crotchety, 86-year-old liberal journalist Helen Thomas is completely undeserving of her front row seat in the White House press room. Some elders don't deserve respect. She recently spoke at a Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa fundraiser.
Reported Lynda Waddington of Helen's speech at RH (Reproductive Health) Reality Check today:
"It seems the present conservative [U.S. Supreme] Court is targeting Roe v. Wade and there's not much you can do about it unless Congress is willing to deal with these touchy subjects," she said. "Without pressure, I doubt they will."...
Thomas also admits that when she was originally told the conservatives' plans for the court, she didn't fully understand the implications.
"People were saying during the [Ronald] Reagan administration that this was about the Supreme Court," she said. "I wasn't sure at that time what they meant. But the truth is that the court is their one last resort to push their agenda. It is their one last resort to prevail."...
"Let's return to the true ideals of the Bill of Rights," she said. "The issue is not the right to live. The issue is the kind of life. The issue is freedom without government or outside interference."
We're pushing our agenda through the courts?
The issue is not the right to life but the kind of life? What goes around comes around, Helen. In that circle of life, you're a little too close to a time when you're going to be as helpless as those preborns you advocate killing. And by "kind of life," you must mean one's caregiver?
The New York Times reported July 17 that while the number of baby boomer elderly people is increasing, "the number of doctors trained in geriatric medicine is declining." Wonder why.
The first question elderly people seeking medical treatment should be asked is if they are pro-life or pro-choice. If they answer the latter, they should be moved to the back of the line.
[Hat tip: Reader jasper; photo of Helen's nameplate from front row center of the new White House news room was taken by me last week.]
July 18, 2007
In the Washington Post this past Sunday, columnist Ann Hornaday incredibly blamed this on Hollywood - for being afraid of controversy? Please.
Of course, this is false. These days Hollywood enjoys poking controversial sticks in America's face, badgering us from Brokeback Mountain to Iwo Jima.
But Hornaday theorized that on the topic of abortion, Hollywood has wilted....
"I think it's shocking that the subject of abortion as a choice has been so eliminated from the discussion," says New York Press film writer Jennifer Merin, who is also president of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. "It's not even on the table." The omission, she adds, "undermines anyone's claim that Hollywood has a liberal agenda."
For Merin, the contradiction can be explained by one word: marketing. "They're always afraid of anything deemed too controversial," she says of movie companies. "They think that if they talk about abortion, these women will not be liked by the people they perceive as being the majority."...
Indeed, it's passing strange that both films go to extreme lengths to avoid offending viewers who find abortion repugnant, but apparently think those same viewers won't be put off by Russell's character having an affair with a married man or, in Knocked Up, protagonists who have sex outside marriage, regularly get high and use nearly every swear word in the book....
If moral hypocrisy in Hollywood isn't necessarily breaking news, it's instructive to cast one's memory back about 20 years. As Dana Stevens recently observed in the online journal Slate, in at least two classic 1980s movies, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dirty Dancing, the filmmakers featured abortion as a serious plot point "without fainting in horror at the notion."
Or consider a film that came out of Sundance a decade later that now looks positively fearless in its treatment of abortion. Alexander Payne, who went on to make Election, About Schmidt and Sideways, made his promising debut with Citizen Ruth, a scathingly funny satire about abortion politics starring Laura Dern. With pointed, sophisticated humor, Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor skewered the most appalling extremes of the abortion debate, with Dern's character - a pregnant glue-sniffer named Ruth Stoops - fought over as a mascot by both sides. "I'm gonna stay here," Ruth says at one point, "and I'm gonna have that abortion like I wanted. 'Cause I'm a citizen and... and I got my rights to, um, pick!"
In today's climate of culture wars and self-censoring, it seems impossible that a movie could be so explicit about an issue that, while undoubtedly contested, has enjoyed roughly steady levels of support over the years. As they did in 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, a majority of Americans support a woman's right to choose an abortion: 53% describe themselves as "pro-choice," according to the most recent Gallup Poll (compared with 42% who call themselves "pro-life"). Then again, the same poll reveals that 51% consider abortion "morally wrong."...
While pro-lifers disagree that abortion is as popular today as it was in 1973, what if, for the sake of discussion, Hornaday is correct and it is? She says the perception is it's not. How is that?
How also could it be, if true, that abortion has morphed into an untouchable topic in Hollywood, where nothing liberal is?
June 27, 2007
"Pro-choice." Blah blah.
The Left's reintroduction of legislation called the Fairness Doctrine is another of their blatant attempts to squelch choice, this time by forcing liberal doctrine on Americans, payback for the failure of Air America, someone said.
This would affect the Internet, as Adam Thierer from the City Journal explained:
Scarcity-obsessed Dennis Kucinich has recently introduced plans in Congress to revive the Fairness Doctrine, which once let government regulators police the airwaves to ensure a balancing of viewpoints, however that's defined. A new Fairness Doctrine would affect most directly opinion-based talk radio, a medium that just happens to be dominated by conservatives. If a station wanted to run William Bennett's show under such a regime, they might now have to broadcast a left-wing alternative, too, even if it had poor ratings, which generally has been the case with liberal talk....
Sunstein also proposes a kind of speech redistributionism. For the Internet, he suggests that regulators could impose "electronic sidewalks" on partisan websites (the National Rifle Association's, say), forcing them to link to opposing views....
That leftist media critics start sounding so authoritarian is no surprise. In a media cornucopia, freedom of choice inevitably yields media inequality.... Overcoming that inequality would require a completely regulated media.
When Rush Limbaugh has more listeners than NPR, or Tom Clancy sells more books than Noam Chomsky, or Motor Trend gets more subscribers than Mother Jones, liberals want to convince us (or themselves, perhaps) that it's all because of some catastrophic market failure or a grand corporate conspiracy to dumb down the masses.
In reality, it's just the result of consumer choice. All the opinions that the Left's media critics favor are now readily available to us via multiple platforms. But that's not good enough, it seems: they won't rest until all of us are watching, reading, and listening to the content that they prefer.
Friend Ed Moore emailed the latest cable news ratings this morning, with this note:
... Because CNN has been around so long most assume it is among the leaders in viewership. As you can see, this is false. The numbers below are not aberrational. They are typical and have been that way for years.... Fox News shows consistently cream the opposition.... That is why they are berated and denegrated by the libs and the rest of the media.
O'Reilly and Hannity obliterate shows like Chris Mathews' Hardball, but the media does everything it can to treat Mathews as important and the others as irrelevant or fringe....
People are leaving traditional media, the networks and newspapers, in droves, mostly because of their liberal bias in reporting. The libs are fighting back with plans to regulate the media with legislation like the Fairness Doctrine, which is anything but fair. It is blatant censorship from a group who pretends to be the protectors of all things "fair."
(Click to enlarge.)
Does 2 + 2 = 4? If conservative thinking is so popular, does that not include pro-life thinking?
June 26, 2007
The following left-wing cartoons ran in mainstream media (MSM) newspapers like the Washington Post or Tribune Media this past week.
What do they all have in common?
For starters, every single one omits the word "embryonic" when describing the stem cell legislation President Bush vetoed June 20.
Oversight? Absolutely not, particularly since in his very speech vetoing taxpayer-funded embryo destruction the President announced he had issued an executive order enhancing federal support of adult pluripotent stem cells (same pliable attribute as embryonic).
Many of these cartoons contain outright lies, such as #3, which says Bush would veto "any" stem cell research; or #4 and #6, which show Bush denying stem cell help to spinal cord injury or sick people in general.
In fact, adult stem cells have successfully treated at least 73 assorted cancers, auto-immune disorders like Type I Diabetes, immunodeficiencies, anemias/blood deficiencies, wounds, metabolic disorders, and these disease types: heart, liver, bladder, eye, neural degenerative (including Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries, and stroke).
Treatments from embyo destruction research? 0.
In fact, the Bush administration has provided over $3 billion tax dollars for ethical adult stem cell research, and $130 illion for research on embryos that had already been destroyed before 2001.
These cartoons provide a "Where's Waldo" of hidden and not so hidden misinformation. What more do you see?
(See five more cartoons on page 2.)
June 22, 2007
The July issue of Glamour magazine features a story about 28-year-old Erin Zammett, a Glamour staffer who decided to get pregnant despite the fact she has a form of leukemia so serious as to be often fatal until recently.
Erin knew in advance she would have to go off her cancer med during pregnancy, which compounded the controversy of her decision. She is due with a boy Sept. 1.
Erin got hate mail when she wrote in Glamour last summer of her decision to get pregnant.
Stop for a sec before reading on. From whom do you think Erin got that hate mail, pro-lifers or pro-aborts?
Big hint. Here is the email Erin received that she said "got to me the most."
"Frankly, it disturbs me that you value your own life, and your husband's commitment, so little that you would risk everything so that your eggs may be fertilized. How selfish."
Frankly, that sounds like a certain commenter on our blog. Say it ain't so?
Kudos to Glamour, a decidedly pro-abortion publication, for letting Erin freely tell her story.
Liberal editorial staff must have had a difficult time not striking such lines as, "I started eating for two," and "I'm very attached to the baby these days. Feeling him move is amazing, and I could stare at the sonogram pictures for hours."
Then again, this is a wanted baby, so it's ok to acknowledge him as a person, right?
The story is not yet available online, but you can access Erin's blog.
[Photo, courtesy of Erin's blog, is of her and her husband Nick.]
June 16, 2007
From the AP yesterday:
City Council Rescinds 'Pro-Choice' Declaration
[The] Philadelphia City Council overturned a week-old declaration that Philadelphia is a "pro-choice city."
The council adopted a resolution last week saying Philadelphia supports "women's reproductive rights and freedom" and defends "the right to choose a legal and safe abortion as a final but critical option for women." That passed by a 9-8 margin.
Five council members switched their vote at Thursday's meeting and rescinded the symbolic declaration with a 13-4 vote.
Councilman Frank Rizzo, a Republican, sponsored the resolution to rescind, calling the whole situation an embarrassment.
"I think that we should stay away from issues like this that cause division in our city," Rizzo said.
Citizen reported the culprit behind the blondell moment:
The resolution was introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown at the request of Planned Parenthood, which helped her craft the document.
Philadelphia would have been the largest U.S. jurisdiction to adopt such a resolution, joining the California cities of West Hollywood, Berkeley and Santa Cruz.
June 12, 2007
Paul McCartney has always been my favorite Beatle. Who knew John Lennon, posthumously, would compete?
Yoko Ono, though... stiill crazy after all these years.
In a BBC interview earlier this week, Ono revealed a surprisingly burqa'd attitude when she said she would have aborted son Sean had John not wanted the "burden" (although if more women were honest, they would concur).
Flash forward, and Yoko said John would have escaped murder had he not insisted on going home to see Sean, then five, rather than go to dinner.
I'm glad, of course, Ono didn't abort, but is she now trying to bury Sean psychologically? The article:
John Lennon stopped wife Yoko Ono from aborting their only son Sean.
Ono was unsure if she should keep the unborn child because it was conceived shortly after the couple were reunited after splitting up for 18 months in the early 70s.
She told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs: "I know it sounds strange now but I thought, well, I should let John decide whether to keep it or not.
"We'd just got back together and I became pregnant very soon, and I didn't know if it was the right moment to have a child because maybe he didn't want it. I didn't want to burden him with something he didn't want.
"He said, 'Of course we are going to keep it', and he was really upset with my remark."
Ono, who married Lennon in 1969, gave birth to Sean in 1975.
Lennon took a five-year career break to help raise Sean and virtually stopped playing the guitar and creating music.
Lennon, who was murdered by crazed fan Mark Chapman in New York in December 1980, was desperate to get home to see Sean on the night of his death.
Ono, 74, revealed: "I said, 'Shall we go out and have dinner before we go home.' John was saying he wanted to go home before Sean went to sleep. He was concerned about that. This is the last thing he said, that he wanted to see Sean."
A short Rolling Stone piece yesterday on Fred Thompson's pro-life conversion demonstrated clearly how men use abortion to exploit women. Rolling stones gather no pebbles, as we know.
Most interesting is the author - a man, of course - made a "red-blooded" irresponsible male assumption that Thompson could only have changed his view on abortion for one reason: His own male sexual appetite is now being fed without fear of consequences.
The author made no apologies for his assumption. In fact, he considered abortion an option for unmarried men that "needs to stay 'on the table,'" pardon the disgusting pun:
Once a Pro-Choice Skirt Chaser, Now Standard Bearer of the Religious Right?
"Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of the pregnancy." - A survey question to which Thompson checked yes in 1994.
"I do not believe abortion should be criminalized." - Fred Thompson in 1996
"I was single for a long time, and, yep, I chased a lot of women. And a lot of women chased me. And those that chased me tended to catch me." - Thompson earlier this year describing his 1985-2002 bachelorhood.
Here's the deal about "Hollywood Fred" Thompson.
It's the same deal for most red-blooded American men who routinely bed down with women they're not married to. Like bombing Iran, abortion is never a first, second, or even fifth choice. But it is an option that needs to stay "on the table."
When Fred was sleeping around, abortion was not the government's business.
Now that he's re-married with a new batch of young kids he's changed his tune, as seen in this FoxNews interview with Chris Wallace:
WALLACE: Do you want to overturn Roe vs. Wade?
THOMPSON: I think Roe vs. Wade was bad law and bad medical science.... I think it was wrong.
It's easy to be "pro-life" when you're a settled father and family man. It's another thing altogether to oppose abortion in absolute terms when you're a Hollywood actor playing the field and you face the prospect of unintentionally bringing a child into the world with your latest conquest.
Not everyone wants to live out their own personal Knocked Up script. When it was relevant to him, Fred Thompson respected that choice.
~ Tim Dickinson
There's no doubt the author means "choice" as in "male choice."
June 11, 2007
In response to a 1:40 video contest challenge to make a video under 1:30 on the topic of social unrest by a guy named SeanBedLam, of whom I was not hip enough to be previously aware, in came this June 6 entry from Elaina43:
Elaina43 really wants to win. She even submitted a video plea on June 8 requesting a big a** favor of us to vote for her video. She was excited that Sean commended her video, saying, "This is a fantastically good video and I'm in love with it."
I agree. The reasons Elaina listed for legalized abortion were fabulous. In fact, I wrote Elaina this morning recommending she take her video off of embed mode on YouTube so bloggers could publicize it. I'm happy to report she has done so.
Here were Elaina's arguments:
1. Preborn babies should be killed to avoid placing them in uncertain adoptive homes.
2. Preborn babies of poor and uninsured mothers should be killed.
3. Abortion minded mothers would make bad parents anyway.
4. Preborn babies whose mothers are atheists should be aborted.
5. Preborn babies have no souls anyway.
Great points, Elaina43! Great last line! Vote for Elaina43! Vote here by July 4!
May 25, 2007
I wrote a column May 9 about pro-abort Rosie O'Donnell's disengenuous vow May 1 to stop sparring with conservative co-host on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, because Hasselbeck was pregnant.
I reported two days ago O'Donnell broke her vow. Big surprise.
That very day, O'Donnell and Hasselbeck got into a major disagreement on the air, after which it was reported O'Donnell immediately quit the show three weeks before her contract expired.
I have seen news clips of the joust and thought it looked somewhat serious, perhaps a little theatrical. I thought Elisabeth pushed bully Rosie back well.
But I just watched the entire 10 minute segment on YouTube, and in context you see it was very serious. Hasselbeck really got to O'Donnell, which isn't clear from the clips. Watch O'Donnell's face at the end.
On Rosie's blog you get more of an insight to what she's thinking. I can't believe her feelings are hurt. She has made incredible accusations about 9/11, the Iraq War, President Bush, the Supreme Court, and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, to name just some, and apparently is offended by two-way conversations about them.
I'm shocked, too, that the person to whom Rosie condescended got the best of her. It must be the hormones of pregnancy. They're empowering, you know.
May 23, 2007
Reader SH sent this Reuters/ABC News article, astutely noting that while the headline read, "Woman jailed for trying to steal fetus from womb," she was charged with "aggravated assault on an unborn child."
Both mother and fetus survived the attack. The fetus became a child and was placed for adoption, as previously planned.
May 21, 2007
My heart leapt when I read the accusation by Political Research Associates, a group "devoted to the study and documentation of right wing political movements in the United States," and which consults for "groups... organizing to oppose campaigns undertaken by the radical right," in the May 20 Somerville News:
"The Christian right is so common now people don't realize the degree to which it has become part of our thinking about the way things should be done," [PRA co-founder and ACLU member Chip Berlet] said.
The parlance of the anti-choice movement, for example, has become institutionalized in Boston's newspaper of record. "Unborn child is now used by the Boston Globe instead of fetus," [senior researcher Pat] Chamberlain said.
My, such paranoia about a perfectly legitimate term.
However, a check of the Boston Globe revealed it has used "fetus" in articles 2,548 times dating back to 1979, when its archives listing began, and "unborn child" only 1,160 times. A check to see whether PRA's fear is a recent development showed BG has used "fetus" 39 times in 2007 and "unborn child" 33 times. So, maybe so?
No, it appears BG may only use the term "unborn child" when "fetus" would sound ridiculous:
Julia Roberts plans to save money by dressing her unborn child in hand-me-downs and charity shop clothes. (May 4, 2007)
If you want to know if your marriage will work or what to name your unborn child and are looking for an alternative to laying out the tarot cards, reading the tea leaves, or heading to a psychic.... (April 27, 2007)
A man tried to hire someone to kill his unborn child after learning his ex-girlfriend was pregnant and about to give birth.... [Charles] Young indicated he wanted his ex-girlfriend injured in such a way that the unborn child would die, the sheriff said.... (Oct. 13, 2006)
Ridiculous is what PRA is if it thinks MSM is coming anywhere close to treating our topic with objectivity.
And PRA apparently needs researchers who don't panic and lose their wits when reading "unborn child."
[The April 27 photo of Roberts, pregnant with her third fetus, is courtesy of People.]
May 15, 2007
MSNBC reported May 13 on surgery conducted in 2006 on a preborn baby 5 months old who was discovered to have a killer tumor growing in his chest.
From the MSNBC story:
Dr. Darrell Cass: It's high-stakes surgery. It's the only thing we do where you have to go through a normal patient to get to a fetus - another patient that's dying.
My first question is: I wonder how pro-aborts can explain that the fetus was a "patient"?
A half hour into the procedure, the uterus was safely opened, and Dr. Cass saw Garrett for the first time.
Dr. Darrell Cass: It's always a fairly dramatic moment to see this very, very young fetus, this developing human that's dying.
Garrett's tiny chest had to be opened to remove the tumor. To expose the chest, Dr. Olutoye had to raise Garrett's left arm out of his mother's womb. Right in the operating room, the doctor found himself actually holding the hand of this 5 month old fetus, which weighed less than two pounds.
Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye: Well, consider the size of my hand - being able to hold that tiny hand was actually quite dramatic.
Garrett now straddled two worlds. Part of him was delivered, and part of him still inside his mother's womb. The doctors then opened his chest and found the tumor that was rapidly killing him.
Bottom line: Surgeons saved Garrett. You can access the video of Garrett's surgery and one year birthday party here.
One annoyance from the video: The doctor seemed to overly concentrate on using the word "fetus" to the point of sounding absurd.
Not saying he is one, but pro-aborts insist on using "fetus" to describe preborn babies. On this site they also like "fetii," which I assume is plural for fetus, although I can only find "fetuses" in my medical and collegiate dictionaries. But I digress. I'm sure they'll correct me.
So my second question is: When Garrett emerged from the uterus for a time, he defied the definition of "fetus." So to be consistent, would pro-aborts consider him by one of the proper scientific definitions while out of the uterus: "neonate," "baby," "child," or "infant"?
[Hat tip: Christina, #2 Son; photos courtesy of MSNBC]
May 14, 2007
As quoted from News Busters:
Brian Williams set up the May 11 NBC Nightly News story from David Gregory:
"Now to the big political story of the week, having to do with the leading GOP candidate for the President's job. Most Americans believe a woman has a right to an abortion. Most Republicans do not. Rudy Giuliani is running as a Republican with a pro-abortion rights record which he tried to explain again today."
[Hat tip: reader jasper]
May 8, 2007
Last night on Hannity and Colmes there was this interesting exchange between Alan Colmes and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney:
COLMES: The abortion issue keeps coming up. And you were pro-Roe vs. Wade upholding it as governor of Massachusetts. You said just a couple of years ago you had a change of heart about abortion. What happened. Because you later said that a botched abortion in your family had you wanting to uphold Roe vs. Wade.
You then said a couple of years ago you had a change of heart. Can you help us understand what specifically IT was that made you change your view on that?
ROMNEY: First, what I found interesting is, had I been pro-life and then changed to pro-choice, no one would ask the question....
HANNITY: That's a great point.
ROMNEY: But it's - if you go in the other direction, as I have and as Ronald Reagan did and Henry Hyde and George Herbert Walker Bush, it's like the media can't get enough of how - why did you change?
COLMES: People think it's an election year conversion.
ROMNEY: But nobody ever asks that if they go the other way. It's always, like you've come to the side of life.
It's absolutely true that MSM is skeptical of Mitt's pro-life conversion, as if it can't understand. But it didn't bat an eye after such pro-abortion conversions as Al Gore, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Dick Durbin, and Dick Gephardt.
More than that, I think pro-lifers are also protesting too much. Who would want to convert to our side after watching how we have treated Mitt? We should be welcoming him into the fold, encouraging him as we would a religious convert. But so many of us are skeptical to the point of being hostile.
Imagine how NARAL or PP would respond to receiving a pro-abort convert. They would make that person an aborted poster child.
May 3, 2007
Last week liberal bloggers, paranoid that their mouthpieces were getting mushmouth, complained (like here, here, and here) MSM didn't give enough attention to the Austin abortion mill bombing that never happened.
This week a liberal is complaining that MSM isn't amenable to pro-abortion cartoons lately either:
Editorial artists who dare to draw cartoons and comics espousing abortion rights can face difficulty getting published. The disturbing track record offers more evidence of a rightward lurch by the U.S. media. The shift became apparent after Republicans won Congress in 1994. The boot-licking increased when George W. Bush took office and it only intensified after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Whether recent Democratic victories significantly embolden the mainstream press remains to be seen.
M.G. Lord, formerly editorial cartoonist at Newsday, is not optimistic. She recalls that editors at the New York paper discouraged her from addressing religious issues, including abortion, which, she admits, is "so complicated that it does not lend itself to simple graphic messages."
Sorry, Ms. Lord. Untrue. There are indeed simple graphic messages that uncomplicate abortion real fast. They're just not funny.
April 11, 2007
Michael Clancy, the photographer who snapped the photo in 1999 of Baby Samuel Armas reaching out of his mother's uterus to hold the finger of his surgeon, attended a pregnancy care center banquet last month, where he and Samuel's mother Julie spoke.
Wrote Michael in an email to me, "It was a God moment when at the end of her presentation, Samuel, at seven years old, climbed the stairs and took his place beside her at the podium. A standing ovation ensued and it was one of several times that night I more than teared up, I cried."
Here is a photo of Samuel and Michael, taken in March 2007.
During our conversations (here, here, and here) about an April 3 House MD episode about House's apparent pro-life conversion after a preborn baby grasped his hand during surgery, a dispute arose whether the real photo the storyline was obviously based on was honest.
Let me set the stage. Abortion defenders on this site called Clancy's photo a hoax. They said the baby was under anesthesia, his hand was limp, and the surgeon merely picked it up. They drew back to the surgeon's quote in USA Today many months after the fact wherein he made that very assertion.
I said the surgeon had to make that claim because otherwise he would have rightfully appeared to operate on this baby while he was awake and could feel it, which would constitute negligence.
The concept of a preborn baby showing signs of life and feeling pain is an eye-opener to people sitting on the pro-life/pro-abortion fence. It should even give pro-aborts pause for thought. It certainly does not bode well for the abortion industry. But what I saw on this site were pro-aborts working themselves into a frenzy to maintain the status quo, which is: preborn babies are not who they are.
Here is the original photo:
And here is the clip from the House episode:
Here is Michael Clancy's comment:
I am the photographer that took the original picture of Samuel reaching from his mother's womb.
Samuel did reach from his mother's womb completely on his own, and he reacted to the touch of his surgeon by squeezing the doctor's finger. It is no mystery to me that Dr. Bruner can not admit the unborn child he was performing experimental surgery on simply came out from under the anesthesia too soon. The entire fetal surgery program was put in jeopardy when the good doctor decided to allow a newspaper photographer into his operating room. What was he thinking? It was apparent to me that I was the only one of some 15 people in that operating room that was surprised Samuel reached out. It had obviously happened before.
Dr. Bruner was the pioneer of this surgical procedure, he is no longer involved in fetal surgery. He has lost his job at Vanderbilt and several reporters have contacted me and stated that Dr. Bruner claims to be under a Gag Order and can make no further comment regarding Samuel's surgery or my picture.
Let me remind everyone how USA Today reporter Robert Davis started his original article, " In a crowded operating room where outsiders have gathered to watch a rare medical event, surgery on a fetus still in his mother's womb, a stool falls with a loud bang, "Hush," said, Joseph Bruner, the doctor leading the operation, "you'll wake the baby."
Blessings, Michael Clancy
April 9, 2007
The UK's Guardian Unlimited story yesterday began with this intriguing teaser:
Broadcaster and critic Miranda Sawyer was confident in her liberal, feminist, pro-choice views. Then she had a baby, and watched her beloved grandmother die. On a remarkable journey across America, she had to question her beliefs.
Sawyer made a documentary about abortion in the U.S. that will air April 11 in Britain. Bottom line: Sawyer is still pro-abortion. But clearly conflicted, she has dialed down what she considers acceptable. Given that, she had interesting observations....
From abstract to reality
... I discovered I was pregnant in February 2005...
I spent some time thinking about the precise point when our baby came into existence. Was he there before I did the test? Something was, or the test couldn't have come up positive. But what? A person? A potential person? Life? What was life exactly?....
Like most women - at least most British women - I have always been firmly in the pro-choice camp because I've spent nearly all of my sexually active life trying not to get pregnant. Throughout my twenties and the better part of my thirties, I did everything that was required for me not to have a child (other than, you know, not having sex). I wasn't always safe - I've necked morning-after pills like vitamin tablets - but I was lucky enough not to end up in a situation where I was pregnant and didn't want to be. I've never had an abortion, though I am mighty glad that legal abortion exists....
My mind kept returning to the pregnancy test. If my reaction to those fateful double lines that said 'baby ahead' had been horror instead of hurrah - and, to be honest, it wasn't unalloyed joy that I felt when I saw them; I was scared, too - then I would have had little hesitation in having an abortion. But it was that very fact that was confusing me. I was calling the life inside me a baby because I wanted it. Yet if I hadn't, I would think of it just as a group of cells that it was OK to kill. It was the same entity. It was merely my response to it that determined whether it would live or die. That seemed irrational to me. Maybe even immoral.
But I couldn't be an anti-abortionist! I'm not religious. I have ethics, but they're nice squishy ones: I'm humanist, liberal, anti-establishment. And I'm a feminist. I have more than one Andrea Dworkin book and I'm not ashamed of that. I certainly don't want to shackle women to their wombs. A civilised society should allow us to have children if and when we desire them.
On late-term abortions
When I went for the 12-week scan, I was given a picture of our baby, in profile. He seemed to be waving, but that's just the way the limbs move, isn't it? At about 18 weeks into my pregnancy, I felt a kick. It's a strange sensation, like an internal giggle....
Recently, in the US, Amillia Taylor survived after being born at just under 22 weeks into her mother's pregnancy. Science is moving viability closer and closer to conception. So it seems to me... [legal abortion prior to viability is] a loose argument. Why should abortion only be moral when science says it is? Either abortion is right, or it isn't....
On "personal autonomy" and "parasites"
The most recent pro-choice argument likens being pregnant to waking up one day with a gifted violinist attached to your vital organs. If you remove him, he dies. But obviously no one should be made to wander about with a stranger suckered to them, so - ta-da! - it's OK to throw him off and kill him, just as it's OK to remove a foetus from your womb.
To which I say: phooey. Pregnancy is pretty common. Waking up to find Yehudi Menuhin is your Siamese twin is not. They're not the same thing....
I met a New Orleans couple whose second baby came from an embryo that had been rescued during Hurricane Katrina: during the storm, the fertility clinic flooded and the electricity was cut off, meaning that thousands of frozen embryos had to be rescued, by armed National Guard....
And I came across the Snowflake scheme - a favourite of George W Bush - through which, if you're infertile, you can adopt someone else's frozen embryos and have them inserted in your womb.... I met a Snowflake family whose three children were created from other people's embryos....
Lord, this was confusing. If an embryo can survive being artificially created, being frozen, being FedExed hundreds of miles and then implanted into someone else's womb, then surely the anti-abortionists were right? Life does begin at conception. So, I agreed with two conflicting arguments. Life begins when a sperm hits an egg, but women should have the right to abortions. I appeared to believe that women should be allowed to kill....
I don't want to be the kind of person who changes her beliefs according to her circumstances.... But when you see women's abortion rights whittled away as they have been in the US, you can't help but get angry. And when you've experienced the out-and-out weirdness of pregnancy and birth and the fantastic beauty of the resulting child, it's hard not to question what a termination does, or is....
[Hat tip: Fran]
April 5, 2007
Here is an excerpt from The Greybook Institute blog, which delves into the pro-life aspect of the plot. (I've lifted all photos from GI, too.):
On Tuesday night, April 3, 2007, one of the most remarkably cogent pro-life drama presentations was broadcast in a most unlikely venue, Fox Network's otherwise utterly amoral doctor show, House.
The powerfully emotional episode, entitled Fetal Position, was amazing in its in-depth handling of the abortion debate and went so far as to reenact a now famous photograph used widely in pro-life circles depicting a tiny pre-born baby's hand grasping the finger of a surgeon performing an in utero operation....
Dr. House is a pathetic and woeful drug-addicted loner who wallows in his misery, has the world's worst bedside manner, antagonizes everyone in sight including and sometimes most of all his own patients. He speaks one language fluently - sarcasm. He was a gunshot victim earlier in life and now walks with a cane and lives with nearly unbearable pain, which he masks with incessant gobbling of painkilling medications obtained through reluctant fellow physicians by any means necessary....
In Fetal Position, the anti-hero feature of the Dr. House character is turned on its head, resulting in a stunning triumph for the pro-life argument. In the story, famous celebrity photographer Emma Sloan, five months pregnant, is rushed to the hospital suffering from what appears to be a stroke. Through the usual series of misdiagnoses and process of elimination, House and his team eventually come to the conclusion that serious medical issues with Ms. Sloan's baby are the cause of her mysterious illness and she will die unless the pregnancy is terminated. The mother adamantly refuses and finds support from House's main antagonist, Chief-of-Medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy, like Ms. Sloan a single career woman who herself has been struggling to become pregnant late in life. For once, Dr. Cuddy does not cave in to House's pressures, but personally intervenes to take the most risky and highly unapproved methods to save the unborn baby's life.
House angrily insists throughout the episode on calling the baby a "fetus" and not a "baby," and makes every classic pro-abortion argument possible, including that the organism in the womb is not a baby but a dangerous growth, a parasitic "tumor." But when he is finally convinced to perform lifesaving surgery on the child still in the womb, the tiny infant grasps his finger, shaking him to his core and leaving no mistake that this is a precious little human being. The extraordinary procedures save the lives of both mother and son.
Following the surgery, the mother thanks House for saving them, but he replies, "Don't thank me. I would have killed him." The episode ends with House returning to his solitary home, gently and pensively rubbing the finger that was touched by the infant child. Meanwhile, the mother is shown some weeks or months later, playing joyfully with her baby.
This episode is most welcome especially in light of the fact that in an earlier episode, another distressed pregnant patient is convinced by House to terminate her pregnancy, despite her previous vociferous pro-life objections....
Nevertheless, the power of this episode's message that unborn babies are truly human and worth saving at almost any cost was overwhelming, and the show's writers and producers as well as the Fox Network should be commended for taking this highly politically incorrect position.
April 4, 2007
In an episode drawn in part from the photo seen round the world, an episode of Fox's t.v. show House M.D. last night featured surgery of a preborn baby who grasped his surgeon's hand. The show centered on the topic of abortion, with the sanctity of life winning.
You can read a detailed recap of the episode here, but reader Jeff provided a less technical and more compressed synopsis....
I will be surprised if last night's stirring episode of House M.D. on Fox doesn't roil the pro-abortion squad. It depicted a show-long debate about abortion among various doctors treating a 42-year-old, 21-week pregnant single woman on the verge of dying.
The diagnosis after many tests was that the problem was with the fetus (or baby, depending on the point of view). Dr. House decided to terminate the pregnancy, to which a number of other doctors agreed.
But the expectant mother would not authorize the abortion. So a decision was made to perform a prenatal open womb surgery on the baby in an attempt to save both the mother and child. Dr. House, who is a hardened, calculating type, was nearly moved to tears when the baby's tiny hand protruded through the mother's open wound during surgery and appeared to stroke the doctor's hand! It was an extraordinarily moving moment.
(JLS note: The show synopsis described this scene, "When House cuts into the uterus, the fetus's arm emerges, tenderly grabbing House's finger. House freezes, staring at the tiny hand in awe. Despite his earlier insistence that this is a fetus and not a baby, he seems moved by the moment.")
[Freelance photographer Michael Clancy took this photo at a Vanderbilt University hospital in 1999 during a new en utero surgical procedure to treat spina bifida of a 21-week-old baby boy named Samuel Armas, now seven.]
At the end of the show, Dr. House was shown reflecting on the moment of touch and perhaps examining his own life and values.
It will be interesting to learn of the reactions to this show, which clearly took a pro-life position.
Update, 10:40a: Jeff informed me that the aforementioned House M.D. clip is available for viewing on AOL's Top Five today. Go here. It's beautiful. Be sure to vote for it as the #1 clip of the day.
March 26, 2007
Love the title KaiserNetwork.org, a group that supports abortion, gave its blurb this morning about pregnancy care centers reaching out to black women in urban areas: "NPR program features discussion on antiabortion groups targeting blacks in urban communities."
"Targeting"? Let's get this straight. PRCs want to save black children and educate and support their mothers, and this is "targeting"?
Meanwhile, according to Alan Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood's research unit...
Most abortion providers (95%) are also located in metropolitan areas, increasing access to abortion there.
So, duh, also according to Guttmacher...
Black and Hispanic women have higher abortion rates than non-Hispanic white women do.... Over time, women having abortions have become increasingly likely to be poor, nonwhite and unmarried, and to already have one or more children.
The Kaiser story repeated the word "targeting" in relation to PRCs, while remaining tight-lipped about the true culprits, clearly engaged in black genocide:
The Los Angeles Times last week examined antiabortion groups that are targeting urban communities that they have "long considered hostile turf" to draw more blacks to support their advocacy. According to CDC statistics, blacks account for 13% of the population in the U.S., and black women make up 37% of women who undergo abortions.
[Photo, courtesy of LATimes, is of a Texas mother who decided not to abort after being counseled at a PRC.]
March 22, 2007
I'm sorry to report the Associated Press's liberal bias is progressing to schizophrenia. Its slanted story today against Justice For All's graphic exhibit on a college campus was preceded by this shocking headline: "Pro-life exhibit sparks discussion at Auburn."
Or perhaps the AP was attempting to tease, because after raising hopes it dashed all fairness to the rocks.
Unless I told you, you would never know exactly what it was about JFA's display that made pro-aborts mad, other than its dimensions, a "20-by-30-foot tri-fold." But the AP certainly let you know pro-aborts were mad. The only photo accompanying the story was of them:
And the only quoted response to the display was by them:
After seeing the exhibit, seniors Shannon Symuleski and Lauren Bahr made signs and T-shirts supporting a woman's right to abortion and joined abortion advocates on the lawn Tuesday.
"We found it offensive and thought something should be said," Symuleski said.
Here is one of the panels that was so offensive:
Sorry about the small photo. I'm not savvy enough to figure out how to convert pdf to jpg. (Thanks in advance to anyone who can tell me how.)
The entire exhibit can be viewed here: http://jfaweb.org/exhibit.html
The Onion has written a satirical piece on how abortion could be written into a t.v. sitcom. The fictitious CBS show is Same Difference, and in an upcoming episode:
... star Kirsten Sumner's character, Trish O'Connell, the sharp-tongued but beautiful wife of portly Chicago bread-truck driver Greg O'Connell, played by Carl Hubbard, will reveal to her husband she was pregnant and had an abortion without his knowledge. Trish's revelation comprises the secondary, or "B," story of the episode, in which Greg eats a meatball sandwich against his wife's wishes.
The abortion story line had to be written into the show, said fictitious producers, because in real life Sumner had a late term abortion after the show had already acknowledged her pregnancy....
"It would've been insulting to our viewers if we never addressed the fact that Kirsten is so obviously post-abortion," executive producer Aaron Karsch said. "We did consider shooting around the abortion and using lighting tricks and strategically placed plants to cover up her uterus. But everyone would have been able to tell anyhow, so we figured we might as well use it to the show's advantage."
Yes, abortion can be funny:
"It wasn't easy, but in the end, we got some very solid material out of it - the plotline stayed true to the O'Connells' relationship while still being entertaining," said co- executive producer Larry Krespie, adding that, thanks to the show's resourceful writing staff, Sumner's evacuated womb may be "the best thing that ever happened to Same Difference"....
"Kirsten did some brilliant acting," said Krespie, who called Sumner's portrayal of a woman who had recently had an abortion "spot-on." "Our show does a lot of quiet, observational humor, and I think anyone who's had an abortion would be hard-pressed not to relate to, and get a chuckle out of, Trish's situation."
Continued Krespie: "Kirsten really got into the mind of her character, even in the physical-comedy scenes, like when she was trying to avoid Greg and get out of the house to get the abortion. And later in the packed abortion clinic, when she mistakes the number 81 she received from the receptionist for 18, and finds out she has to wait much longer for her abortion. But it all leads to a nice, poignant ending when both characters realize they should have been honest with each other all along—Trish with her pregnancy, and Greg with his sandwich."
Witty piece. And I think Hollywood, which so strongly supports abortion, should indeed explore its humorous side.
March 19, 2007
I read that a movie released March 9 called The Ultimate Gift has been dissed by MSM reviewers because it contains an anti-abortion message. So my daughter (home from college on spring break) and I went to see it this afternoon.
Plot: "When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life: 12 tasks (or "gifts") designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness." ~ Fox Family Films
Stars: James Garner, Brian Dennehy, Lee Meriwether, and young Abigail Breslin (who made this movie before attaining fame in Little Miss Sunshine); Washington Post: "well-acted by a first rate cast."
The movie contains one pro-life line: After a single mom and love interest tells Jason she got pregnant in college, she says, "Emily... she's the best decision I ever made."
That's it. For that The Ultimate Gift earned these complaints by reviewers....
"[T]here's an anti-abortion message jammed into one scene with all the subtlety of an avalanche. Just in case you miss it, it's repeated in the credits too. Some gift, eh?" ~ Chicago Tribune
"[T]he movie's messages - pro-poverty, anti-abortion - are methodically hammered home." ~ New York Times
"Apart from one not-so-subtle anti-abortion message and that the characters take time for religious worship, the film's values are fairly well encoded into the story, such that it feels less like a sermon and more like a film with a good, if somewhat sappy, heart." ~ Los Angeles Times
See Rotten Tomatoes for other mixed reviews, including some that are very positive.
We gave the movie 2.75 stars out of 4. It would have been a very good movie except for a short detour that had our hero captured by Equadorian drug lords.
But I can't believe one pro-life line - eight words - so repulsed some members of MSM that they spent several times more words complaining about it.
February 20, 2007
I'm glad someone has addressed the LA Times' recent biased pro-Planned-Parenthood-anti-pregancy-care-centers-anti-abortion/breast-cancer-link article, and very well.
February 19, 2007
Vote now on AOL on its poll question whether you would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
[hat tip: reader Marilyn]
February 14, 2007
Reason #1: Richards uses Valentines Day as a hook to promote abortion in her column today, tacky to say the least....
Read Reasons 2-4 on page 2.
Reason #2: In that column, Richards repeatedly demonstrates how abortion exploits women. Someone on her side needs to steer her away from describing in great detail the #1 but least publicly supported reason women abort: as a method of birth control.
Richards paints a romantic picture of flowers, chocolate, dinner and sex tonight followed by a surprise positive pregnancy test in a few weeks.
In reality, even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute admits 89% of tonight's trysting couples will have used some method of contraception, with about that same percentage of mothers later stating they aborted because it was inconvenient. Women are duped into having casual sex with serious consequences. It should come as no surprise that young, single men are most supportive of abortion.
Reason #3: Richards is proud pro-aborts have "successfully challenged every attempt to place legal limits on abortion in Illinois." That's not actually true. We were able to battle her side off on infanticide. But normally pro-aborts don't publicly promote that they are pro-partial birth abortion, against abortion clinic regulations, and against informed consent, to name three of their extreme positions.
Reason #4: Richards also touts Valentines Day as a day when Illinois teens may become impregnated, and God forbid they have to tell their parents.
Does she really want to go there? In actuality, also according to Planned Parenthood and Guttmacher, 1) the younger the teen, the older the impregnator; and 2) underage girls are most often impregnated by adult men. So after tonight's gift of a lollipop, the most likely scenario is Mr. Sexual Perpetrating Pig will impregnate little 13-year-old girl.
Well, Mr. Pig may force Little Girl to take a morning-after pill to hide the evidence of his crime, but that's a discussion for another time. Richards also supports that.
January 18, 2007
You would have a difficult time figuring out Barack Obama supports infanticide by the Associated Press story yesterday entitled, "Obama Record May Be Gold Mine For Critics."
Each of five times the AP referred to Obama's votes as state Senator to allow infanticide to continue in Illinois, it softened the blow to make it unintelligible to the fetus on the street. Yes, the AP's use of "fetus" in its story was as incorrect and ridiculous as that.
Any dictionary defines "fetus" as "an unborn or unhatched vertebrate... a developing human from usually three months after conception to birth."
And it's not as if the English language isn't rich with terminology to properly describe the human after birth - neonate, newborn, baby, infant, or child, to name five.
But the AP couldn't admit abortion has extended to killing born children in the U.S.:
[Obama] voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive....
One vote that especially riled abortion opponents involved restrictions on a type of abortion where the fetus sometimes survives, occasionally for hours. The restrictions, which never became law, included requiring the presence of a second doctor to care for the fetus....
Abortion opponents see Obama's vote on medical care for aborted fetuses as a refusal to protect the helpless. Some have even accused him of supporting infanticide....
Obama - who joined several other Democrats in voting "present" in 2001 and "no" the next year - argued the legislation was worded in a way that unconstitutionally threatened a woman's right to abortion by defining the fetus as a child.
Such a ridiculous claim, one that the World Health Organization in 1950, the United Nations in 1955, and the U.S. Congress and president in 2002 all fell for when adapting identical language to define nonfetushood.
But not Obama or the AP, both smarter than the rest of the world, modernday Renaissance fetuses.
[Photo credit: AP]
July 15, 2006
Liberal Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg wrote a fasinating column yesterday, after stumbling on two of Pro-Life Action League's graphic signs displays in downtown Chicago during the course of one depressing day. Last paragraph:
That's the problem with the whole conflict. There's no balance. On one side you've got guys like Joe Scheidler, practically a biblical figure, John Brown holding a staff and spreading his arms over bleeding Kansas. On the other, you have bland rationality under the by-definition indecisive banner of "choice" (hmmm, which one, let's see ...) afraid to give their names and lacking anywhere near the passion their opponents possess. It hardly seems a fair fight.
Read entire column on page 2.
Billions sleep with the fishes every day, by God
July 14, 2006
BY NEIL STEINBERG SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Cats kill fish. It's in their nature. For food, sometimes, or just for sport, as was the case this week when our younger cat, Gizmo, nudged a fish bowl containing a black tetra just given to our younger son, Kent, from its spot in the center of his dresser, off the edge and onto the floor. Nobody else was around.
Kent later came upon the scene -- overturned bowl, a spray of gravel, the very dead fish -- and let out a howl that brought us all on the run.
The culprit had fled. I grabbed toilet tissue and performed fish disposal duty. My wife uttered some poetic words over the lifeless form before it was flushed away.
"At least we didn't have it long enough to form an attachment," said Ross, our older boy, trying to put a good spin on the situation.
"But Kent did," said his mother, and we all patted him on the shoulder and said words of comfort as he sat on his bed, slump-shouldered, head bowed, desolate.
The cat eventually slunk back into his room.
"There's no one left here for you to murder!" Kent said, hotly.
I thought about right-to-lifers. They present their values as universals -- life, even a speck of life, matters because God says all life matters. It certainly mattered here. But it is also obvious that the fish's value comes not from above, but because it was cared about, by us, or at least by my son. Significance is a human gift we bestow capriciously. A billion, if not 10 billion, creatures will die today, from blue whales to gnats. As will 155,000 human beings -- 155,000 people expire worldwide every single day. Yet my son sat on his bed and cried, a little, for a fish the size of my pinky that had sat on his dresser in a bowl for exactly one full day.
Cue the Pro-Life Action League
Morbid thoughts. And all this humidity is grinding me down. "The day smells like a wet horse,'' I complain to my wife. All the people in the street, surging and pushing around each other. They seem ... ugly. Sweaty women with flabby arms in strap t-shirts, bald men in tight, creased suits, moles on their faces. The buildings even appear hazy, insubstantial, as if the city -- normally so splendid -- were all a dream and not a good one.
I have a rule that if the world begins to look bleak, the problem is not with the world; it's with me.
Buck up buddy, I tell myself. Snap out of it.
I walk over to Field's, to meet my brother for lunch. I scan the surroundings, hoping for something to cheer me up, but it is just one big dank overlit mundanity. Where are all the bright shop windows? All the pretty girls in their summer dresses? Instead, only cracked sidewalks and tourists from Moline in Lycra slacks.
Please God, I think, send me something cheery.
I cut through City Hall and stroll along the south edge of Daley Plaza.
The entire length of Washington there is taken up with a dozen anti-abortion protesters, in a straight line, each holding the same 5-foot-tall poster showing a pair of tongs holding the bloody, decapitated, jawless head of a fetus.
Did I ever mention my Malign God Theory? I don't think so. Briefly stated: There is a deity, and He does hear our prayers, but often acts perversely, for his own amusement. Feeling a little down? Fine, sayeth the Lord, maybe this will perk you up! Cue the Pro-Life Action League.
It is so over the top, I have to smile. Grinning, I turn my face, away from the grisly horror, and see a group of short Asian men in bright tribal uniforms -- long coats, round hats. A banner reads "Mongolian Day in Chicago." A stage, tents, chairs, already occupied by aging relatives, booths of some kind.
Now I'm smiling broadly, chuckling to myself. These poor people. Bet they planned for six months. Rehearsing ancient dances. Eager to reflect Mongolian pride, to see a neglected people shining in the public square. Our city's first Mongolian festival.
The great day arrives. They show up -- take chartered buses down from Waukegan, no doubt, enticing their families and friends along. Only to be confronted by platoons of grim, lipless yokels and gimlet-eyed, corn-fed fanatics, waving huge color photos of chopped-up babies.
Gotta love it, life in the city. I waggle my finger at the sky. Give the Big Guy credit -- He has a sense of humor. The rest of the day turns brighter from that moment on.
Plus they were socialists
Now it's the end of the day, and I'm hotfooting to the train. And there is the Chopped-Up Baby Poster crowd, again, having relocated to the corner of Wabash and Madison, lest I miss them.
I'm about to blow by, when I recognize my old friend, Joseph Scheidler, holding a 5-foot-tall poster of Jesus, a chain of red crystal rosary beads wound around his fingers.
"Hey Joe!" I exclaim.
"Hi!" he says, warmly. "I read you -- you're always wrong, but I still like you."
We beam at each other. We have spoken in the past, and enjoy an unusually good relationship, considering that I view him as a religion-crazed zealot conspiring to trample on the rights of women, while he sees me as a hell-bound sophist stained red with the blood of murdered innocents.
"How's it going?" I ask.
"We're winning!" he says, reporting that while in past blanketings of downtown, they would get a lot of abuse and obscenity, this time passersby are more sympathetic.
"We're finding more thumbs up!'' he says. "More 'keep up the good work!' ''
I have to ask him something.
"I've always wondered, Joe," I say. "Do you worry about parents bringing their children downtown? About them passing your signs as they take their daughters to the American Girl store?"
"Not much,'' he says, then adds brightly: "We've picketed the American Girl store! Children are naturally pro-life. They ask their parents if that's a doll, and if the parent explains the truth to them, it doesn't hurt 'em. I have 15 grandkids and they love to come out here.''
A few pro-choicers are standing next to Joe, and I talk to them. One holds a sign reading "My Body, My Choice." She chooses not to give her name, and isn't exactly aflame with her cause, anyway.
"It's still legal and we'd like to keep it that way,'' she says.
Tepid stuff, next to Joe's glittery-eyed verve.
That's the problem with the whole conflict. There's no balance. On one side you've got guys like Joe Scheidler, practically a biblical figure, John Brown holding a staff and spreading his arms over bleeding Kansas. On the other, you have bland rationality under the by-definition indecisive banner of "choice" (hmmm, which one, let's see ...) afraid to give their names and lacking anywhere near the passion their opponents possess. It hardly seems a fair fight.
Copyright © The Sun-Times Company
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
April 14, 2006
The Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn has challenged me to a blog duel regarding his piece, "Women in prison - a 'partial-birth' abortion issue for the left?"
Eric is excited to have found a wedge issue that might outdo the pro-life movement's foremost wedge issue, partial birth abortion, which he admits is "grisly" and "repulse[s] even many who favor abortion rights," although he supports it.
Eric based his piece on an April 9 New York Times piece entitled "Pro-Life Nation."
Writer Jack Hitt traveled to El Salvador, where abortion is illegal and aborting mothers are prosecuted, and arranged clandestine meetings with frightened women and the back alley (although noble) hacks how aborted them.
The reason for such a piece is clear: to frighten U.S. women that soon "forensic vagina inspectors," as they are called in El Salvador, will come pounding on their doors if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
You'd think that anti-abortionists would be celebrating the example of El Salvador - hailing it as a beacon of moral enlightenment and hopefully proclaiming the day when, say, South Dakota (where lawmakers voted last month to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest) imposes extended prison terms on the women at whom they now yell "baby killer!" outside of abortion clinics.
But no. In fact, if you bring up the idea of the law actually treating abortion like murder, most anti-abortion activists stammer and circumlocute, terrified of the question.
I may be terrified, but only about that word, "circumlocute." I had to look that one up.
Before answering, I must correct Eric that the South Dakota law solely criminalizes abortionists, not women. Not that Eric would attempt to create false hysteria.
Recapping, Eric's two proposed wedge issues are:
1) If and when Roe v. Wade is overturned, won't aborting mothers in the U.S. become hunted criminals?
2) If pro-lifers think abortion is murder, don't they want aborting mothers to become hunted criminals?
The way to answer this is to work backward. What do state abortion laws say that were nixed when Roe v. Wade was decided and will be restored if and when Roe v. Wade is nixed?
I asked Clarke Forsythe, lead attorney at Americans United for Life and an expert on the history of abortion law. He responded:
The rule in virtually all the states was that doctors were prosecuted as the perpetrators of the crime. I don't know of any prosecution of aborting women in the 20th century. The only way in which women could have been potentially prosecuted would have been for soliciting an abortion, meaning going to an abortionist or a doctor and saying, "Will you do one?" But men and women were treated equally under those rules, and I don't even know of a solicitation prosecution against women.Why would pro-lifers not want to see women prosecuted in the future? Clarke, again:
We are interested in reducing abortions, not maximizing prosecutions. Doctors are the ones who perform the abortion, and they are the ones who are the principles in the crime. In addition, to make the law effective, women's testimony is necessary to effectively prosecute the abortionist, and if you treat the woman as a principle or accomplice, you can't use her testimony.
Women have been treated as the second victim since the second half of the 19th century. There's no reason to question that today.
I also asked Clarke what would happen in Illinois if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
Clarke said the pre-Roe abortion law in Illinois has been repealed. Abortion would be legal in Illinois the day after that, at least up to viability if not throughout pregnancy. And like all others, Illinois abortion law targeted the abortion performer, including nondoctors.
Back to you, Eric.
March 5, 2006
Gotta the story headline in today's Sunday Times out of London: "US states join abortion revolt to bring back ban."
February 14, 2006
Regarding the Herald News' rejection of Right to Life of Will County's pro-life ads three weeks ago, Steve Vanisko of Joliet's Herald News copied me on the following email he wrote to ABC yesterday:
After re-examining the ads that were submitted by Will County Right To Life, The Herald News has decided that the ads will be allowed to run should this group decide to do so. For the record, the original decision to not run them was mine and at no point did I state that the ads were “too graphic”. If that was stated by a representative of this newspaper, it was done so in error.
I e-mailed Jill Stanek Sunday afternoon and left a message with the local contact before 9:00am this morning requesting that they contact me. The purpose of this contact was to inform them of my decision.
The Herald News
Several pro-lifers also forwarded me the same note they received from Mr. Vanisko in response to their emails to the newspaper.
I appreciate that Mr. Vanisko changed his mind on the matter. However, I do not appreciate his questioning the fact that his subordinate did relay to us that he/the advertising department originally rejected our ads because they considered them "too graphic." Our " local contact" with the newspaper wrote down what the ad rep said verbatim, including also, "We have to be careful."
Nevertheless, this is a victory for the pro-life movement, demonstrating increasing influence with MSM. Thanks to all news organizations and bloggers who publicized the censorship and to all pro-lifers who emailed the newspaper.
In the end, I must also thank the Herald News. Whereas Right to Life of Will County would have paid hundreds of dollars for our ad to be seen by only thousands of people, we ended up paying zero dollars, and the ad was seen by millions of people.
I must also commend the Herald News for posting a letter to the editor from me yesterday on another pro-life topic, thereby demonstrating good will.
FYI, I have been invited on The Laura Ingraham Show at 11:15 EST today to discuss the ad flap.
Update: Due to breaking news, I've been bumped to tomorrow, about 10:30 a.m.
Update, 2/14: Follow-up email from Steve Vanisko, posted with his permission:
I just read the latest news on your site and felt compelled to clarify one item.
My point in indicating that I never stated that the ads were "too graphic" was to emphasize that I (that's me, the one who made the decision) never said (or even implied) that were the case. I simply told my rep yes to two ads and no to three of them--with no other comment. When this newspaper declines and ad, it is done so with no explanation. That is the policy that has been established so comments like "too graphic" don't take on a life form like they did in this instance.
My sales rep apparently used the "too graphic" phrase in her conversation with [name of RTL of Will Co. contact]. Her other comment about being careful was inappropriate as well. Due to this error, these words were inaccurately portrayed as the official stance of this newspaper. Of all that happened, the fallout from her decision to expound on this decision is what troubles me most. Given our poor handling of this situation, I talked to [name of contact] yesterday and asked her to deal with me directly in the future.
February 10, 2006
Last night Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume picked up the story, and Fox News is still covering the story today....
Update: Janet Folger will interview me about this on her Faith2Action radio show this afternoon at 2:30p EST.
Hat tip: Tim from ProLifeBlogs.com
February 9, 2006
Link to CNS News story: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=\Culture\archive\200602\CUL20060209a.html
Link to LifeNews.com story: http://www.lifenews.com/state1399.html
Link to censored ads: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2006/02/whats_wrong_wit_1.html
February 4, 2006
On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a local newspaper refused to run any of the three following ads to be paid for by Will County Right to Life in Illinois. The newspaper's ad department stated they were too "graphic." Since when are ultrasounds "graphic"? In fact, these ultrasound photos are beautiful. Parents proudly display them on their refrigerators, for goodness sakes.
What's wrong with these pictures? Why is the mainstream media censoring the truth about preborn babies?
November 8, 2005
From AUL: "On Tuesday November 8 at 9pm ET,
PBS’s Frontline series will present a documentary
chronicling the 13-year effort in Mississippi to reduce
abortion by passing common-sense laws such as
parental involvement and informed consent."
The title of the program is, "The last abortion clinic."
September 2, 2005
An op ed writer in yesterday's TimesHerald.com justified the need to continue aborting due to the fiscal drain these children would otherwise cause us. They would be financial burdens to our taxes, insurance, and foster care system, so the writer postulates.
She does spin one point I say great to:
If legally-recognized "life" begins at conception, there will be serious economic ramifications. Currently, dependent exemptions on taxes are only permitted for children that are alive outside the womb. But if life starts at conception, so too should "dependent" status.
However, she glaringly overlooks our dried-up Social Security system, precisely so because the payers have been killed by abortion.
She also overlooks the growing crisis of young medical workers to care for the old, fat-cat pro-aborts. Etc., etc., etc.
Dr. Allan Carlson of the Howard Center estimated last year that the cumulative lost income of 45 million aborted children is nearly $4 trillion. He estimated the lost net Social Security income will be $118 billion in 2010. See page 2 to access his paper, including endnotes.
Corrected October 26, 2004
THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF ABORTION:
BY ALLAN CARLSON*
Table 1: Annual Income Lost Through One Year’s Abortions
Men: $44,687 x .497 x 1,555,000 x 2.0 = $69,071,354,000
Women: $37,451 x .503 x 1,555,000 x 2.0 = $58,585,722,000
Total additional national income, in 2010 (using 2004 dollars) = $127,657,076,000
Table 2: Annual U.S. Income Lost Through 45 Million Legal Abortions Since 1970
Men: $61,482 x .497 x 9,347,000 x 2.0 = $571,224,220,000
Women: $39,770 x .503 x 9,347,000 x 2.0 = $373,960,560,000
Men: $44,687 x .497 x 35,636,000 x 2.0 = $1,582,911,100,000
Women: $37,451 x .503 x 35,636,000 x 2.0 = $1,342,611,400,000
Total additional national income, in 2028 (using 2004 dollars) = $3,870,707,280,000
*Allan Carlson is President of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society and Distinguished Fellow in Family Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. His books include The Swedish Experiment in Family Politics, The Family in America, and The ‘American Way’.
The weight of expert opinion in recent decades has been against the birth of children. While using ever more sophistication methods of calculating the “optimum population” or “carrying-capacity” of different lands, the basic theory behind this craft has not deviated far from its Malthusian base.
Asserting that human numbers grew in geometric ratio while food supplies expanded only arithmetically, the Rev. Thomas R. Malthus concluded that the necessary and inescapable results of population growth were poverty, misery, and vice. Neo-Malthusians such as John Stuart Mill brought a certain optimism to this message in the mid 19th century, arguing that rational contraception could break the cycle and limit family size to a no-growth level.
While the Malthusian scenario declared such a development impossible, population and per-capita wealth in Europe and North America grew together at historically unprecedented rates between 1850 and 1950. Moreover, the “baby boom” of the 1950’s was accompanied by a new economic boom that defied the gloomy prognostications of most economists.
Nonetheless, latter-day Malthusians continued to press their case against natural population increase and particularly against the “three-child family,” the normative engine of modern American and European growth. In an influential 1958 article, sociologist Richard Meier argued that “catastrophe” would follow continued Western population expansion. Coercive controls on Western reproduction, he admitted, would be politically difficult to implement. But there were other paths to the same goal: “Satisfying lifetime roles should be established which do not require parenthood, but would, in effect, discourage it…Under this system, a fraction of the adult population could be depended upon to be sterile and this fraction must be modifiable by incentives normally available to democratic governments.” Specific suggestions included moving women into jobs—including truck driving, engineering, sales, and fire fighting—that made a stable home life and fertility difficult, as well as making divorce easier.
DEPRESSING FERTILITY BY COERCION AND STEALTH
Writing for Eugenics Quarterly in 1966, Edward Pohlmann stressed the need to bring the American baby boom to a halt: “The population avalanche may be used to justify…contemplation of large-scale attempts to manipulate family size desires, even rather stealthily.” The climate of opinion should be altered, he wrote, to portray childlessness and small families as “good,” and the large family of three or more children as the flaunting of the common good for “selfish ends.” Pohlmann’s strategy was to focus on high-income elites, as the means of turning the government into an anti-natalist tool.
Success for this strategy came quickly. Later the same year, the U.S. Department of Interior issued a document calling “overpopulation” the “greatest threat to quality living in this country,” a danger to “Americans’ noble goals of optimum education for all, universal abundance, enriched leisure, equal opportunity, quality, beauty, and creativity.” Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall “vigorously challenged” the myth that natural population growth was the key to prosperity and the good life: “Instead, it is more likely to lead to poverty, degradation, and despair.” The same document favorably cited Julian Huxley’s comment that mankind had become the “cancer of the planet.”
The federal government’s campaign against American fertility reached high boil in the early 1970’s. Part of the stimulus came from the success of Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb. His call for government action against marital fertility was candid and complete: “Coercion? Perhaps, but coercion in a good cause….We must be relentless in pushing for population control.” His specifics ranged from a powerful U.S. Department of Population and Environment which would secure the right to abortion for all women and develop a “mass sterilization agent” for placement in U.S. water supplies to a taxation system that would effectively penalize all families with children. The 1972 report of the prestigious President’s Commission on Population Growth and the American Future focused on ways to end the “three-child system” in the United States. While admitting that this family size norm would “cause more rapid growth in the size of the economy” and “multiply the volume of goods and services produced,” the panel instead focused on the positive economies of population decline. The report suggested, for example, that per capita income would be 15 percent higher by the year 2000 under a two-child system, simply because there would be fewer non-productive children’s mouths to feed. The document dismissed concern over paying for support of the dependent elderly by emphasizing their relatively high death rate. Principle strategies for the future control of Americans were the promotion of abortion on demand, the heavy taxation of large families, and federally encouraged criticism of any “tradition or custom” that affirmed parenthood and family.
Measuring subsequent changes against intent, this push by social scientists and government elites to reduce American fertility was a dazzling success. Attitudes toward the bearing of children certainly changed. In 1967, 55.3 percent of American women, ages 30-34, still expected to have four or more children. By 1982, that figure had plunged to only 11.5 percent. Through the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade voiding the abortion laws of all fifty states, abortion on demand became a reality. The number of legal abortions climbed from 9,000 in 1967 to 744,600 in 1973, and 1,555,900 in 1980, a figure which as fallen somewhat in subsequent years, to about 1,300,000 in 2000. Since 1967, when state abortion laws began to be liberalized, 45 million legal abortions have occurred.
If the neo-Malthusian argument is correct, this nation has been spared the economic burden of 45 million non-producers, and our per capita GNP should have climbed accordingly. However, if this number is viewed through a non-Malthusian economic lens, a different picture emerges: a picture of 45 million potential workers and thinkers not available to the work force of the early 21st century.
OUR HAUNTED ECONOMY
In 2004, it is true, many of these economic ghosts would still be a net drag on society. The negative effects of a naturally growing population occur early, in the private and public costs of raising children in a society where laws and regulations strip children of economic value. Indeed, a nation can easily lift its short-term living standard by reducing its number of non-producing children: put another way, a nation can enjoy short-term benefits by consuming its human capital. An argument could be made that our nation’s per capita economic growth in the 1980’s and 1990’s rested, in part, on this strategy.
Over the long run, however, this elimination of human capital carries a cost. As one commentator explains: “This is because the most important positive effects of additional people—improvement of productivity through both the contribution of new ideas and also the learning-by-doing consequent upon increased production volume—happen in the long run, and are cumulative.” Is there a way to estimate what the loss might be?
In addressing this question, it is important to acknowledge that if legal abortions simply replaced illegal abortions, there would be no economic effect. There is evidence, however, suggesting that legal abortion has a substantial independent, negative effect on fertility. One cross-national study of several European peoples found that total fertility rates would have been from 20 to 90 percent higher had induced abortion not been available. Other studies have pointed toward a similar relationship. Looking specifically at the United States, a research team using public health statistics concluded that the level of illegal abortions between 1940 and 1967 was much lower than previously assumed, as low as 39,000 in 1950, and averaging less than 100,000. While the deterrent effect of illegal abortion must undoubtedly be taken into account, these numbers suggest that legal abortion does in fact reduce net births and, conversely, that a substantial number of these births would have occurred if abortion had remained illegal after 1966.
With these comments and reservations noted, it remains an interesting speculation to calculate the phantom economic value of the potential lives lost to abortion. Such a calculation actually ties into a long effort to determine the money value of a human life.
At one time, of course, the calculation of discounted human life energy took place in the free market of the slave auction. While the immorality of slavery is clear, it is important to note for our purpose here that the value of a young, healthy male (discounted for the cost of training, future material support, and risk of death) on the open market in the late 1850’s reached about $1,800, while a first class blacksmith brought $2,500, a substantial sum for the time.
Theoretical efforts to resolve the same question date back to the 17th century and the work of William Petty. Arguing that the average expenditure of England’s population was £7 per head per year, he calculated “£80 to be the value of each Head of Man, Woman, and Child, and of adult persons twice as much; from whence we may learn to compute the loss we have sustained by the plague; by the slaughter of men in war; and by sending them abroad into the service of foreign Princes.” Later commentators have been surprised by the relative accuracy of Petty’s work, particularly as a guide to taxation.
Writing in 1853, English statistician William Farr developed a system for calculating the present worth of a man’s net future earnings: that is, his future earnings less his personal cost of living. Using the agricultural laborer as his base, Farr calculated that at age 15 such a person had a value of £191; at age 25, £246. German mathematician R. Ludtge, in an 1873 article, stressed the “insurance value” of a man, computed as the present worth of the average net future earnings of persons of a given age. In addition, he underscored the pecuniary value of the individual “to his family or other interested persons.” The eminent classical British economist Alfred Marshall also emphasized that the cost of producing an efficient man, or human capital, had a powerful social component: “It must be taken as part of the broader problem of the cost of production of efficient men together with the women who are fitted to make their homes happy, to bring up their children vigorously in body and mind, truthful, cleanly, gentle, and brave.” Writing in 1910-11, French economist Alfred Balliol calculated “the social value” of a man to be 23,600 Francs in the United States, 20,700 Francs in Britain, and 10,100 Francs in Western Russia. The economic value of one Frenchman, he continued, was equivalent to thirty tons of wheat. Adopting Farr’s basic approach (the present value of a man’s gross future earnings, less that part expended on himself), statisticians Louis Dublin and Alfred Lotka used data from the 1920’s to calculate the social worth of an average American wage earner, age 40, as $32,261. Using the year 1950, economist Burton A. Weisbord valued “the aggregate gross value of human male capital” in the United States to be $2,752,000,000,000; for males of all ages, this averaged out as $36,602 per person.
At one level, all such attempts rest on a certain whimsy, for they must overlook numerous minor factors and variations and, even so, are rooted in the technology and price structure of their time. Nonetheless, they do serve as useful counterpoints to those Malthusian arguments that implicitly assume the marginal economic value of a life to be zero, or negative.
As an exercise in the spirit of Petty, Farr, Billiol, and Dublin, we might ask, “What would be the impact of 1.5 million additional lives on the U.S. economy?”
To derive a number, let us make a few arbitrary assumptions:
(1) Children not aborted would have become “wanted,” either by the decision of the mother to keep the child or through adoption.
(2) When projecting an individual’s earnings into the future, cancel out two factors: (a) an expectation that real earnings will, on average, rise by 2 percent per year; and (b) an average annual discount rate of 2 percent.
(3) In determining average future annual money income, utilize figures provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2001, the median money income of a U.S. male, 25-34 years old, was $40,895; for those ages 35-44, $56,265. For U.S. women, the comparable figures were $34,273 for those ages 25-34, and $36,395 for those ages 35 to 44. These figures include all adult persons in the relevant age categories, regardless of whether they are engaged in full or part-time employment, and regardless of their race and marital status. The folk conjured up here are, in short, to be thoroughly average. To translate 2001 figures into 2004 dollars, assume an adjustment of 3 percent a year, delivering figures of: men (ages 25-34), $44,687; women (ages 25-34), $37,451; men (ages 35-44), $61,482; women (ages 35-44), $39,770.
(4) Among the age cohorts considered here, .497 are men, and .503 are women.
(5) A conservative economic multiplier, measuring the stimulative effect of an individual’s economic activity on others, would be 2.0 (a figure which assumes a marginal propensity to consume of 0.50).
The calculated impact on national income of 1.555 million economically active lives, if born in 1980, would in the year 2010 then be $127,657,076,000. (See table 1).
Men: $44,687 x .497 x 1,555,000 x 2.0 = $69,071,354,000
Women: $37,451 x .503 x 1,555,000 x 2.0 = $58,585,722,000
Total additional national income, in 2010 (using 2004 dollars) = $127,657,076,000
Of course, such additional persons draw on certain forms of social support, including public education and Social Security. In a 1983 paper, economist Marvin DeVries calculated that an additional 1.5 million people would run up total social welfare costs (in 1983 dollars) of $240.9 billion during their first 18 years and after retirement at age 65. Adjusted into 2004 dollars, the figure becomes $451.4 billion. Divided by a working life span of 47 years, we secure the figure of $9.60 billion to be deducted each year. For the year 2010, this leaves a net increase in national income of approximately $118 billion, even after the phantom children have paid for their own public education and socially funded retirement.
A more interesting number comes as we look at the cumulative impact of abortion. Between 1970 and 2003, approximately 45 million legal abortions occurred in the United States. Of these, 9,347,000 occurred in the 1970-79 period, and 35,636,000 in the 1980-2003 period. For the year 2028, the economic effect of these additional 45 million Americans would be $3,870,707,280,000 (see table 2).
Men: $61,482 x .497 x 9,347,000 x 2.0 = $571,224,220,000
Women: $39,770 x .503 x 9,347,000 x 2.0 = $373,960,560,000
Men: $44,687 x .497 x 35,636,000 x 2.0 = $1,582,911,100,000
Women: $37,451 x .503 x 35,636,000 x 2.0 = $1,342,611,400,000
Total additional national income, in 2028 (using 2004 dollars) = $3,870,707,280,000
This figure approaching $4 trillion offers interesting extensions. If the government’s budget deficit is a concern, for example, and if one assumes that 25 percent of income goes toward federal taxes of one sort or another, this lost population would have generated an additional $968 billion in tax dollars in 2028 alone. If one looks only at Social Security, additional wage or self-employed income of this magnitude would be taxed at a total rate of at least 15.30 percent, which represents a lost $592 billion in payroll tax revenue in that year alone.
Such calculations, of course, are merely illustrative, and subject to many caveats. Nonetheless, they suggest the magnitude of the usually overlooked economic consequences of abortion.
Thomas R. Malthus, Population: The First Essay (1799; rpt. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press), 5-6.
Richard L. Meier, “Concerning Equilibrium in Human Population,” Social Problems 6 (1958): 163-75.
Edward Pohlmann, “Mobilizing Social Pressures Toward Small Families,” Eugenics Quarterly 13 (1966): 122-26.
U.S. Department of the Interior, The Population Challenge…What it Means to America; United States Department of Interior Conservation Yearbook No. 2 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), 3, 4, 65.
Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine, 1968), 135-151, 180-181.
Commission on Population Growth and the American Future (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972), 12-15, 38-40, 98, 103-04. See also: Harriet F. Pilpel and Peter Ames, “Legal Obstacles to Freedom of Choice in the Areas of Contraception, Abortion, and Voluntary Sterilization in the United States,” in Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, Research Reports, Vol. VI, Aspects of Population Growth Policy, eds. Robert Parke, Jr. and Charles F. Westoff (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972), 59-73; Christopher Tietze, “The Potential Impact of Legal Abortion on Population Growth in the United States,” in Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, Research Reports, Vol. I, Demographic and Social Aspects of Population Growth, eds. Charles F. Westoff and Robert Parke, Jr. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972), 581-585.
The Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1984 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983), 68.
Julian Simon, Theory of Population and Economic Growth (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), 64.
Tomas Frejka, “Induced Abortion and Fertility,” Family Planning Perspectives 17 (Sept./Oct., 1985): 230-34.
Ira Rosenwaike and Robert J. Melton, “Legal Abortion and Fertility in Maryland, 1960-1971,” Demography 11 (1974): 377-95; see also Frejka, “Induced Abortion” (see note 9).
Barbara Syska, Thomas W. Hilgers, and Dennis O’Hare, “An Objective Model for Estimating Criminal Abortions and Its Implications for Public Policy,” in New Perspectives on Human Abortion, eds. Thomas W. Hilgers, Dennis J. Horan, and David Mall (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1981), 164-181.
Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Vintage, 1976), 416.
William Petty, Political Arithmetick, or a Discourse Concerning the Extent and Value of Lands, People, Buildings, Etc. (London: Robert Clavel, 1699), 192.
Louis I. Dublin and Alfred J. Lotka, The Money Value of a Man (1930; rept. New York: Ronald, 1946).
Dublin and Lotka, The Money Value (see note 14)), 12-13.
Alfred J. Marshall, Principles of Economics, (London: MacMillan, 1890), 593.
Cited in Alfred Sauvy, General Theory of Population, trans. Christopher Campos (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969), 234.
Dublin and Lotka, The Money Value (see note 14), 73.
Burton A. Weisbord, “The Valuation of Human Capital,” The Journal of Political Economy 69 ((1961): 425-436.
Marvin G. DeVries, “The Economic Impact of 1.5 Million Additional People Per Year in the United States,” unpublished paper, 1983.
Figures for 1970-1972 from Syska, Hilgers, and O’Hare, “An Objective Model” (see note 11); figures for 1973-1999 from U. S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2003. Figures for 2000-03 based on a projection from prior five years.
August 12, 2005
United Press International's August 10 story on the "emotional controversy concerning stem cell research" left out the reason for the emotional controversy concerning stem cell research: Embryos. Only when absolutely forced to explain does the UPI mention embryos in its story, on page 2:
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The often emotional controversy concerning stem cell research is reportedly expanding from Washington, now involving an increasing number of states.
In Kansas City, Mo., a $300 million newly built stem cell laboratory that has recruited nearly 200 scientists from as far away as China and Argentina can't conduct its most ambitious research because of opposition from conservative state lawmakers, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
In California, $3 billion approved by voters for such research has been blocked by lawsuits and legislative maneuvers
In Illinois, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich revealed last month he hid $10 million in his state's budget to fund embryonic stem cell research.
While South Dakota forbids research on all embryos, New Jersey is funding an embryonic stem cell program. And in New York City, a private foundation recently gave $50 million to three medical institutions for stem cell work to sustain the city's research credentials, the Post reported.
At the federal level, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R.-Tenn., a physician, recently reversed his earlier stance, announcing support for federal stem cell research funding. President Bush has threatened to veto any such federal effort.
Of particular significance is the UPI omits the fact that Frist's new stance is pro-EMBRYONIC stem cell research. By so doing, the UPI infers President Bush is a caveman, rather than an ethical leader.
August 11, 2005
I'm shocked that I'm still shocked. Just when you think you've seen the depths of human depravity....
The August 9 Associated Press article, "Chinese Artist Defends Fetus Artwork," explained:
A Chinese artist who grafted the head of a human fetus onto the body of a bird has defended his work as art after a Swiss museum withdrew the piece from an exhibit.
What kind of museum would allow such "art" in the first place? But the curator of Bern Art Museum in Switzerland only removed it "because museum directors didn't want the controversy surrounding it to overshadow the rest of the 'Mahjong' exhibit...."
There was a strangely positive aside in this grossly surreal article. The AP appropriately called pro-lifers who are monitoring China's forced abortion policy "human rights groups," which I've not known MSM to call us before. Is MSM admitting that aborted babies are human?
Hat tip: Reader Laura.
July 18, 2005
The chairman of Angus Reid Consultants, based in Vancouver, Canada, states the company's mission is "dedicated to understanding public opinion and consumer attitudes in North America and around the world."
I would suggest the company work a little harder on understanding before proclaiming what we think.
On Saturday, AR released a rambling report entitled, "Americans Remain Split Over Abortion." Its first paragraph stated:
The topic of pregnancy termination remains very divisive in the United States, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 52 per cent of respondents describe themselves as Pro-Choice, while 41 per cent say they are Pro-Life.
That was the end of AR's take of how America feels about abortion. But an analyzation of the Rasmussen poll itself tells a different story, indicating that in reality we are not "divisive" about abortion but really "schizophrenic":
Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters say they are pro-choice while 41% are pro-life....
Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters say that abortion is morally wrong most of the time. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree.
Fifty-three percent (53%) believe it is too easy to get an abortion in America. Just 18% believe it is too hard, while 22% say "about right." Among pro-choice voters, 27% say too easy, 31% too hard, and 33% about right.
So, in reality, the majority of Americans think abortion is wrong and should be made more difficult to commit.
Other BIG NEWS in the Rasmussen poll that ties in to the Supreme Court debate:
Thirty-two percent (32%) say that overturning Roe vs. Wade would make abortion illegal. Forty-seven percent (47%) say it would be up to individual states to set their own laws.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of American voters say it would be best for the Supreme Court to establish rules governing abortion. Fort-seven percent (47%) would prefer rules established by the state legislatures.
So, according to this poll, only one-third of voters still buy the lie that overturning Roe v. Wade would make abortion illegal, and more Americans than not wouldn't mind if Roe v. Wade were overturned and the abortion decision returned to the states.
June 22, 2005
The Chicago Tribune ran a story on June 20 focused on the incredibly important point: How does the morning after pill work, i.e., is it an abortifacient?
The story had many refreshingly correct components, properly laying out the science of the debate. I was particularly pleased when it pointed out that pro-abortion medical organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say pregnancy does not begin until implantation, which completely undermines their assertion that the morning after pill does not kill a baby.
The Trib just couldn't resist advancing its liberal agenda, however, which was to thrust that some scientists believe the morning after pill does not stop a 5-9 day old embryo from implanting in the uterus. This was evidenced by the headlines used. The front page headline was....
Pharmacists for Life's "Kemical Killing" links to numerous studies of the modes of action of the morning after pill.
Compare that headline to Billings Gazette's, which posted the same story the next day: "'Morning-after pill' debate lies in details." Much fairer.
Further, the subtitle on the Tribune's second page of the story was, "FDA adviser changed mind on 'Plan B'," which completely misrepresented the facts:
Some doctors opposed to Plan B on moral grounds now concede that it appears to work primarily by stopping ovulation.
One of them is Dr. W. David Hager, a Bush appointee to an FDA advisory council who played a role last year in blocking the approval of Plan B for over-the-counter sales.
Hager said his opposition stemmed from concerns about its health effects on young women and girls, not about any potential to harm embryos.
"My feeling is that the principal method of action is to prevent ovulation," said Hager, an abortion foe and professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the University of Kentucky. But Hager said it's still possible that Plan B sometimes prevents an embryo from gaining a foothold.
Dr. Hager "changed his mind"? About what?
New York Times, June 15 [see page two for full article, which is no longer available on the Internet without paying for it]:
Studies Rebut Earlier Report on Pledges of Virginity
Challenging earlier findings, two studies from the Heritage Foundation reported yesterday that young people who took virginity pledges had lower rates of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and engaged in fewer risky sexual behaviors....
Independent experts called the new findings provocative, but criticized the Heritage team's analysis as flawed and lacking the statistical evidence to back its conclusions....
The authors of the new studies... said their findings contradicted those published in March in The Journal of Adolescent Health by Dr. Peter Bearman, the chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University, and Hannah Brückner of Yale University. The earlier study found that a majority of teenagers who took the pledge did not live up to their promises and developed sexually transmitted diseases about the same rate as adolescents who had not made such pledges. It also found that the promise did tend to delay the start of intercourse by 18 months.
Who were the NY Times' "independent" experts?
The team needs to do "a lot of work" on its paper, said David Landry, a senior research associate at the Alan Guttmacher Institute [research arm of Planned Parenthood]....
Dr. Bearman [author of study being critiqued!] said: "... The use of self-report data for S.T.D.'s is therefore extremely problematic."
Hat tip: Reader Kevin
New York Times
June 15, 2005
Studies Rebut Earlier Report on Pledges of Virginity
By Lawrence K. Altman
Challenging earlier findings, two studies from the Heritage Foundation reported yesterday that young people who took virginity pledges had lower rates of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and engaged in fewer risky sexual behaviors.
The new findings were based on the same national survey used by earlier studies and conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. But the authors of the new study used different methods of statistical analysis from those in an earlier one that was widely publicized, making direct comparisons difficult.
Independent experts called the new findings provocative, but criticized the Heritage team's analysis as flawed and lacking the statistical evidence to back its conclusions. The new findings have not been submitted to a journal for publication, an author said. The independent experts who reviewed the study said the findings were unlikely to be published in their present form.
The authors of the new studies, Dr. Robert Rector, a senior research fellow in policy studies at the foundation, and Dr. Kirk A. Johnson, a senior policy analyst there, said their findings contradicted those published in March in The Journal of Adolescent Health by Dr. Peter Bearman, the chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University, and Hannah Brückner of Yale University. The earlier study found that a majority of teenagers who took the pledge did not live up to their promises and developed sexually transmitted diseases about the same rate as adolescents who had not made such pledges. It also found that the promise did tend to delay the start of intercourse by 18 months.
The new study, reported at a meeting in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, found that over all, adolescents who made virginity pledges were less likely to engage in any form of sexual activity. If those who made promises did become sexually active, their array of sexual behaviors was likely to be more restricted than those of adolescents who did not make a pledge, Dr. Rector's team said.
Those who made pledges were less likely to engage in vaginal intercourse, oral sex, anal sex and sex with a prostitute, and they were less likely to become prostitutes than were adolescents who did not take such a pledge, the Heritage team said.
The team needs to do "a lot of work" on its paper, said David Landry, a senior research associate at the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York. He said in an interview that it was "a glaring error" to use the result of a statistical test at a 0.10 level of significance when journals generally use a lower and more rigorous level of 0.05.
Dr. Johnson, a co-author, defended the team's methods and said many journal articles used the higher level and let readers decide the merits of the findings.
Mr. Landry also criticized the Heritage team's reliance on self-reports of sexually transmitted diseases among those who took the pledge, saying that group would be less likely to report them. "The underreporting problem is so severe that it makes that data highly questionable," Mr. Landry said.
Dr. Bearman said: "Our analyses showed that pledgers are less likely to get tested for S.T.D.'s, be diagnosed as having an S.T.D. and to see a doctor because they are worried about having an S.T.D. Most S.T.D. infections are asymptomatic, and therefore, people don't know that they have an S.T.D. unless they get tested. The use of self-report data for S.T.D.'s is therefore extremely problematic."
Mr. Landry and Dr. Freya Sonenstein, who directs the center for adolescent health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, urged the Heritage team to try to publish its findings.
"It's healthy to have a good dialogue" on issues like virginity pledges, Mr. Landry said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which helped pay for the study, declined through a spokeswoman to comment on the new study. The centers did not analyze the data from the earlier study and did not plan to analyze the new Heritage findings, the spokeswoman said.
In an unusual feature of a scientific report, the Heritage team said that Dr. Bearman's team "deliberately misled the press and the public" about some of its findings.
"That is an offensive statement," Dr. Bearman said.
From yesterday's Herald-Mail Online in Maryland:
When Hagerstown mom Angelique Bowman first spotted the posters of bloody aborted fetuses Monday afternoon as she strolled down West Washington Street holding the hands of her sons Dushion, 2, and Thavies, 5, she was shocked.
"I got a little annoyed because they are so graphic," said Bowman, 28. "I had my kids with me and I didn't expect to see that."
But a few blocks, some conversations with the protesters and a pamphlet later, Bowman said she was convinced that the images were "what it takes" to convey what the protesters call "the truth" about abortion.
"I never realized that this is what it looks like, that it takes so much mutilation," Bowman said.
Reactions such as Bowman's were what members of the Baltimore-based anti-abortion group Defend Life were after when they set up their posters... on either side of the Hagerstown Reproductive Health Services clinic....
June 21, 2005
The photo, left, is of a reporter holding a dead puppy and was posted in the June 18 Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, accompanying an expose that two PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) workers who were caught killing dogs and cats and throwing them in dumpsters.
Why do you think the newspaper posted a photo of a dead animal pulled from a dumpster?
What about an analagous photo of a baby killed by abortion?
In its report, Pilot 13 News wouldn't show video of the dead animals, but it did show the dumpsters and the animals' remains in garbage bags. Would that Pilot 13 News cared as much about the disposal of dead aborted babies.
Hat tip: www.PETAkillsanimals.com
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin began her June 17 screed against pro-lifers by quoting from Jesus' "judge not lest ye be judged" speech in Matthew 7:1-5.
Marin was ticked that the American Life League publicly called Catholic Church leadership into account for handing pseudo-Catholic US Sen. Dick Durbin his communion wafer on Sunday after he voted against the partial birth abortion ban the Friday before... and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act the Friday before that... etc., etc., etc. ALL took out a full-page ad in the June 16 Sun-Times.
Fellow CWA-er Mary Lynn Ferkaluk has submitted a great rebuttal to Marin's piece, which follows.
"How the most misquoted Bible verse is destroying America," 6-20-05
[Photo is of Carol Marin from the Chicago Sun-Times website.]
Letter to Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun-Times
by Mary Lynn Ferkaluk
Hickory Hills, IL
In "Abortion foes should look within," you criticized the American Life League's ad in the June 16 Sun-Times, which states: "Senator Durbin, you CAN'T be Catholic and pro-abortion."
You responded, "I don't know anyone, not anyone, who is PRO-abortion. Abortion is always a tragedy. But then, so are rape and incest."
Carol, you can't be that naive. Dozens of national and global organizations exist solely - and profit from - ensuring that abortion remains legal and available 24/7/365.
Rape and incest are tragedies, but because one's father is a sex offender is no reason to kill him or her.
You continued, "But worse than the liberty taken with the language is the willingness on the part of the American Life League to take it upon themselves to decide if Durbin is, in fact, 'Catholic' or entitled to receive communion." And, "Exactly what kind of true believers are so bereft of humility, charity or self-doubt that they can presume to look into someone else's soul?"
If I were to take a journalist's position at the Sun-Times under false pretenses, and were eventually caught for lying about my education and published works, would Marin consider the newspaper "bereft of humility, charity or self-doubt" for calling me into account? Of course not. In fact, Sun-Times reporters and columnists alike publicly condemned one Jayson Blair.
This is righteous judgment. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ was speaking against unrighteous, hypocritical judgment.
The Bible states one can and must judge other Christians by their actions, behavior and what comes out of their mouths in order to correct them and return them to fellowship. Our justice system is based on this principle.
Of course "true believers" cannot and do not judge another's soul, but are called to judge another's actions. Durbin's pro-abortion votes are public actions that require public correction. A person who legalizes, accommodates and simplifies the murder of the innocent is subject to be judged by others who truly know The Lord, and we can say with confidence that abortion/murder is the eclipsing line that God Himself drew thousands of years ago in the book of Genesis when He instituted the death penalty.
Later, you stated, "For some reason, abortion has become the defining issue of American politics, eclipsing many other wrenching issues that speak to the human condition. Senator Durbin said Thursday from Washington, "'It is interesting where they draw the line. Some who are so certain about abortion have nothing to say on the issue of the death penalty or helping the poor. They think those votes don't count. They think there is only one issue that drives Catholics.'"
Murder is and should be the primary issue that drives not only Catholics, but non-Catholic Christians, "Jews, Muslims, atheists and agnostics among us" as well. Anyone who condones the murder of the innocent is not likely to care much about "other wrenching issues that speak to the human condition." A survey of history reveals the millions slaughtered by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and others. Pol Pot did not help the poor left after millions of their countrymen were murdered. Stalin did not hesitate imposing the death penalty on enemies of the state.
Durbin said "...Some who are so certain about abortion have nothing to say on the issue of the death penalty or helping the poor..." He is wrong. Anybody against abortion would have plenty to argue on those other issues.
Studying the whole Bible (not cherry picking the verses that tickle the ears) shows that God loves justice, and He himself handed down the responsibility of capital punishment to the government, which, by the way, was never rescinded by Christ nor any of the Apostles in the New Testament Church.
There is a difference between the capital killing of convicted murderers and the murder of innocent babies through abortion. The original Hebrew uses two different words to describe two different ways to end a life.
In response to your and Dick Durbin's misunderstanding of God, God's character, and the Bible, I would say that people who are not followers of Christ, (as their actions, behavior and rhetoric show) who quote scripture and attempt to apply it inappropriately to retrofit their non-Biblical positions are offensive to God. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" does not just apply to pairing the name of God with a four-letter word, but also to call on Him or invoke scripture unrighteously when you aren't reconciled to Him by Christ's death and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
True Christians can tell the difference between a real believer and a pretender. Is that a splinter in your eye? Hold still while I remove it.
June 20, 2005
The opening paragraph of June 18's Flint Journal story breathlessly reported: "The reaction didn't get violent as it did last year, but emotions clearly were running high as people viewed graphic photos of aborted fetuses exhibited by an anti-abortion group at several local stops Friday."
Then quoted were a "sobbing" woman and a woman who had miscarried, both distraught by the photos.
It wasn't until paragraph 5 did the reporter reveal that last year's "violence" was at the hand of an angry, white pro-abort woman who "was so incensed by the posters that she drove her car over a curb and wrestled the group's leader, the Rev. Matt Trewhella, to the sidewalk.... Amanda Crim of Davison later pleaded guilty to assault and battery in Flint District Court."
[Photo credit of car over curve, August 2004: Missionaries to the Preborn]
June 17, 2005
Click here to see the full-page ad American Life League took out in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times, in conjunction with the first day of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops' spring meeting being held in Chicago.
The ad drew the ire of liberal Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin who - surprise! - also doesn't think Durbin should apologize for his "American-soldiers-are-comparable-to-Nazis" remark earlier this week.
June 13, 2005
Only 17 words in yesterday's 871-word Associated Press piece about Governor Rick Perry's June 5 signing of legislation at a church school have anything to do with what was signed...
... which was pro-life legislation 1) requiring written parental consent before underage daughters abort; and 2) restricting doctors from committing abortions on prenatal babies older than 26 weeks unless the mother's life is endangered or the baby has serious brain damage. You'd, therefore, think those 17 words would be accurate and meaningful. Instead they're biased and vague:
One [piece of legislation] will impose more limits on late-term abortions and require minor girls to get written parental consent.
"Impose"? And "written parental consent" before what?
Additionally, the author dedicated 39 words to a topic having nothing to do with anything about the day, merely a veiled attempt 1) to insinuate Perry isn't consistent in his pro-life position; and 2) drive an additional wedge between he and liberals (and some pro-lifers):
Perry, a United Methodist, did not refer to the death penalty, which his denomination says devalues life and should be eliminated from criminal codes. The governor, a capital punishment proponent, presides over the nation's most active death penalty state.
What was the bulk of the AP story about? Surprise: critiquing Perry's choice of a church school as the backdrop for his bill-signing.
June 9, 2005
Blogger JivinJehoshaphat says, "According to Nick Cannon's official fan club site his prolife music video 'Can I Live' will appear on MTV's Total Request Live today. It's a true story about how his mother wanted to abort him, but ended up choosing life."
The video is viewable on Cannon's site. It's excellent.
June 4, 2005
I'm surprised CBS News 4 out of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale included this tidbit in its piece on Gov. Jeb Bush's signing last week of a law regulating Florida's abortion mills:
One supporter on hand for Tuesday's signing was Dr. Randy Armstrong, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Hillsborough County who provides emergency room coverage at University Community Hospital.
Armstrong, who does not perform abortions (JLS comment: if abortions aren't bad, why note that?), said he has seen "and continues to see" the problems that result from lack of regulations of abortion clinics. In the last six months of 2004, nearly three dozen women were admitted into the hospital because of complications from second-trimester abortions.