Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

Moving Forward

November 7, 2012

Well, that was not the first time that the person for whom I voted lost, and it won’t be the last time.  I pretty much suspected that Obama would get re-elected for most of the past year, so even though I am not surprised, I am still disappointed.

I used to think that in the end it really didn’t matter who was president.  I figured that things would just continue to be more or less how they were when one president left the White House and the next one entered.  Now I am not so sure.  While I don’t think that we’ll be facing Armageddon within the next four years, I think there are going to be a lot of big battles in the Supreme Court.

I am really wondering if by the next election religious liberty is going to be nominal, and if my Church is going to be labeled as bigots by the government and prosecuted for hate speech and discrimination for upholding the same beliefs it has held for 2000 years.  I think there are going to be a lot of tough choices for the Catholic Church in the United States and those who are faithful to its authority.

I also keep thinking about the one million babies that will be murdered in the womb over the next year and their mothers.  I worry about to what further extremes this administration will go to ensure that Planned Parenthood can get its pounds of flesh.  I wonder how many more women will be lied to and coerced into cooperating with evil and how many of them will suffer the consequences physically and emotionally.  It makes me sad.

I’ll just have to keep on doing what I can:

  1. Prepare the souls of my children for heaven and prepare them to battle to get there.
  2. Continue to support my local pro-life pregnancy centers and ministries.
  3. Keep educating people about the logical and scientific realities of prenatal development and abortion.
  4. Pray for the women who are tempted to abort their babies, that they won’t run from the love God is offering them.
  5. Pray for our political leaders, that they will develop a well-formed conscience and harden not their hearts to God’s guidance.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

ETA: I just realized that I published this without ever giving it a title.  LOL

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How I Became Pro-Life

October 22, 2010

I AM PRO-LIFE!  There I said it. It’s scary these days to be a Pro-Life.  Don’t you know that only religious kooks are Pro-Life? Any “rational” person knows that a woman has the right to do with her body whatever she damn well pleases, even if it is not in her own best interest or that of those around her. It’s not really a baby; it’s a fetus. People shouldn’t have to be burdened with a child if they don’t want one and they especially shouldn’t be forced to accept a child that isn’t “perfect” in every way.  They’d probably make crappy parents anyway.  Isn’t it amazing what people can convince themselves of when they want to have their own way?

I started out as one of those people who personally thinks that abortion is wrong, but “I don’t have the right to tell other people what to believe or how to act.” Now I never approved of late-term abortion, so people who aborted for eugenic reasons were always low in my estimation.  I was less hesitant about abortion during the first four months of pregnancy, though, and I believed that it was somewhat justifiable in instances of rape or incest.

There were always things that bothered me about the concept of abortion, though. Even as a teen I believed that sex should never and could never be a casual thing. It should be between two people in a committed relationship. At first I didn’t think that marriage was necessary, but now I do for a variety of social and psychological reasons in addition to religious ones. I always felt that abortion was a way for irresponsible people to do as they pleased without having to accept the consequences. Anytime someone says, “You can’t force a woman to have a baby”, I think to myself, “Well, probably no one forced her to have sex yet she knew that this was a possible outcome.” It’s like saying, “How dare that knife slice off my finger when I swung it down on my hand.”

The second thing that always bothered me, even though I considered myself Pro-Choice, was how people seemed to con themselves with the semantics game depending on their personal desires. If someone is happy to be pregnant, they tell everyone they know “I’m having a baby”. If someone wants an abortion, then they like to pull out the term “fetus”. When it’s a cute little bovine, we call it a “cow”. When we want to kill the cow and eat, it suddenly becomes “beef”.

Once I became pregnant with my first child my perceptions about abortion began to shift even more. At your first trip to the doctor, you normally have an ultrasound these days. Even early on, you can see the head and body forming and the little heart beating. And as the months roll on, you start to feel the little flutters and movements like kicks and even hiccups, and at the 20-week ultrasound you can see all of the bones and organs. They can even identify if it is a boy or a girl in there. Anyone who aborts at that point must really be conning themselves that there is not a living human being in there. In fact, babies in utero sometimes have a better quality of life than some people outside of the womb. And what’s really amazing is that doctors are becoming able to save babies that are born more and more premature every year. (Again, the semantics game. If the baby is wanted, then it is “born premature” at 22 weeks; if the baby is not wanted then the “fetus is aborted”.)

So, I pretty much concluded that abortion even in early months was wrong. But when does life really begin: fertilization or implantation? If the fetus does not implant or implants improperly, the baby can not survive. I was tempted to believe that life begins at implantation.  Therefore the morning-after pill was ok, especially after rape. This made birth control pills ok as well, since they often prevent implantation from occurring.

Then when you look at all of the physical side effects associated with birth control pills (cancer risks, blood clots, changes to brain chemistry), and you can’t help wonder if taking those might not be worse for you than an unplanned pregnancy. Then they started lobbying to make the morning-after pill available without a prescription. The morning-after pill is basically a heavy-duty birth control pill with a very high dose of hormones that could really mess up someone who popped them like candy. Internally, I used to kind of debate the whole fertilization/implantation thing, but I decided to have faith in the Catholic Church on this one and go with fertilization.

How does this translate into “telling other women what to do with their bodies”? Once you sweep away all of the false rationalizations, you can’t get over the fact that it is not just a woman’s body anymore. There is another body in there, too. The owner of a building can tear it down if he wants to, but not while there is a person inside it. Whether you call it an embryo, a fetus, a baby, a child, a teenager, an adult, or an old fart, it’s still a person. So, if no one has the right to tell anyone what to do with their bodies, then why do women have the right to force a person growing inside them to die?

If it is not a human being from conception, then when does it magically become a human being?  When it passes through the birth canal or Cesarean incision?  When it is capable of living outside the womb with minimal medical intervention?  When it is capable of living outside the womb even with a lot of medical intervention?  When it is capable of feeling pain?  When it has a body and a beating heart?  How can we logically and honestly assign an arbitrary line between “a fetus” and a “human baby”?  It’s either a human being in there from conception or it’s not.

And if it’s a human being in there from conception then it doesn’t matter how it was made…whether by two people having a good time without thinking about the consequences, a married couple renewing their marriage covenant through the conjugal act, a scientist  putting an egg and a sperm together in a petri dish, a father abusing his daughter, or a woman being violently forced.  It’s either a human being in there from conception or it’s not.

The only rational, honest, and scientific conclusion that I can come to is that IT IS A HUMAN BEING IN THERE FROM CONCEPTION.  Therefore, elective abortion can not be defined as anything less than murder.  That is why I am Pro-Life.

Inauguration Day Conversation

January 20, 2009

After watching the momentous swearing in of Obama, I had to return to my regularly scheduled life.  So as I was nuking a hot dog for DD#2 and frying bologna for me and DD#1 (Aren’t we eating so healthy today?  At least it’s protein.), DD#1 started complaining that people should get the day off for the inauguration of the president.  I explained that most people were off yesterday for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and couldn’t have both days off.  She concluded that the inauguration was more important than MLK’s birthday.  While agreed that the inauguration is important, I noted that Obama probably would not be president right now with out the dedication of MLK.

From time to time we have discussed racism, slavery, segregation, etc, spurred by overheard conversations and Beatles songs, but since she is only six this is a complex topic that will have to continually be examined for her to fully understand.  So I started talking about segregation, and when I mentioned that some things were designated for “whites” only and that people of our ethnicity would be considered “whites” this was her response:

DD#1:  We’re not white!!!  I’m not white!!!  I’m an American.

Me:  American is your nationality, not your race.  Any person who is a citizen of this country is an American no matter what color their skin is.  I know that you have always said that we have “pink” skin, but most people would consider us to be “white”.

DD#1:  But if we were white, we would have voted for Hillary Clinton.

Me:  That’s not true.  In our country, any one can vote for any one they choose no matter what color any one’s skin is.

DD#1:  And Barack Obama is an American.

Me:  Yes, Barack Obama is an an American.

DD#1:  My skin is not white.  See; my skin is pink.  Not bright pink like a doll’s dress, but a lighter pink.

These were probably some of the funniest and most profound observations that she has made about race since she was about four.  At that time she had asked what the term “black people” meant.  After explaining the terminology we discussed how we all have unique physical characteristics like skin color and hair color.  She said, “Or some of us have orange ear wax and some of us have orangey-yellow ear wax.”  Even a child can see that such differences shouldn’t count for very much.  And I’m proud that this country could see it, too.

Last Minute Election Ire

November 4, 2008

I thought the Catholics supporting Obama were catching a lot of flack, but apparently the “Slytherins for Obama” are, too. The wizard rock band Draco and the Malfoys received some angry responses to their public endorsement. They even felt compelled to write a blog entry on their MySpace page defending their decision.

I must admit that I was a little surprised at the endorsement. After all, Slytherins are known to be ambitious, greedy, self-preserving, and bullies. They seemed more likely to vote Republican. 😉 Whereas, I would expect Ravenclaws to go Democrat because they are smart but often cross the thin line between genius and stupidity. Of course, neither political party is that great, just like every Hogwarts House has its pros and cons and anomalies.

Perhaps, the fans are less upset that Draco and the Malfoys endorsed a candidate, but that they presumed to speak for all Slytherins. Draco Malfoy always was a presumptuous little git. Of course, the whole business brings home Dumbledore’s concern that “maybe we sort too soon”.

Why Hasn’t G.W. Been Impeached Yet?

August 9, 2008

With the suicide of this anthrax scientist, it has come out that the Bush Administration pushed the FBI to find a connection between the anthrax mailings and Iraq. There’s a shocker. NOT!! Let’s see, it was already revealed that the Bush Administration tried to tie 9/11 to Iraq from minute one when the real connections were to Saudi Arabia. Then they fabricated all the crap about weapons of mass destruction. So basically we have completely imploded a country that had done nothing to ours, and Bin Laden is still out there running free with his dialysis machine.

So why if Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his personal life hasn’t George W. Bush been impeached for lying to the entire country and dragging us into a war that has caused how many military and civilian casualties? Of course, I am still boggled as to how he got re-elected in the first place. I mean I had no great love for John Kerry, but like a lot of other voters I figured that he would be better than W. At least he couldn’t be any worse.

One could argue that the Democratic Party is less cut throat in general than the Republican Party. And while I do not approve of Republican tactics, it sometimes makes the Democratic Party look spineless. The Democratic Party needs to learn the difference between “taking the high road” and defending yourself from attack. There’s nothing wrong or low about standing up and calling “bullshit” when the situation warrants.

Now, maybe the Democrats have been concerned that if Bush is impeached there may be a call to have him removed from office, and the last thing we want to even consider is “President Cheney”. Or maybe, the Democrats are just content not to waste taxpayer time and money on the whole mess and just wait for his time to be up. Or maybe they just “have no marbles” like Cerrano in Major League II.  I just don’t know.

Pet Peeve #5: Political Telemarketing

May 20, 2008

Ok, I really hate all telemarketing. I can’t decide if I hate automated telemarketing more than live telemarketing or not. Businesses think so little of me that they are content to pester me with a pre-recorded message, but at least there is less guilt and awkwardness associated with hanging up on a machine. I figure that anyone who has a telemarketing job must be really desperate, so I try to be really polite about disengaging myself. Occasionally, though, you get that telemarketer who takes his job way too seriously, and I feel like channeling Catherine Keener in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Anyways, the origin of this rant is that in the past 48 hours we have received five political telemarketing calls. Three were from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Two were automated and one was a live person. The live one actually said Clinton, Hillary on our caller ID, and my husband had great fun telling the person that he planned to vote for Obama. The other two calls were automated messages from Obama’s campaign, one recorded by Obama himself. It’s tempting to preserve my answering machine for posterity between Obama’s recording and having Hillary on my caller ID.

Here is the truly annoying part, though. All of these calls were for the Kentucky primary being held today. We haven’t lived in Kentucky for almost five years!!!! There are only like four area codes in Kentucky, so it should be obvious to the most lowly election volunteer that ours is not one of them. Yet we received five calls to vote in a primary we aren’t even eligible for. Do you think they need to update their information? I’ll put it this way. My mother received a political call yesterday for my grandmother…who died two months ago.

Update: Make that six; I got one more automated from Hillary.

Update:  Seven.  Recorded message from Michelle Obama.

Being Aware of Spychipping

February 20, 2008

There was a commercial a year or so ago where a scruffy looking young man walked around the grocery store surreptitiously stuffing various products into the pockets of this clothing. The illusion was that he was a sneaky shoplifter, but in the end he walked through an electronic door jamb, beams of red light shot out to every product hidden on his body, and then the young man nonchalantly picked up his receipt on the other side. The receipt listed every product scanned and the amount automatically deducted from his bank account.

I can’t remember what product the commercial was hoofing; I want to say that it was a credit card. The secondary point of the commercial, though, was to impress the audience by the idea of the seemingly convenient technology that may be a reality in the not-too-distant future. I doubt most people, including myself, stopped to think about the true implications of such a technology on our security or our privacy. But as I read the book Spychips by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre that commercial came to my mind several times.

Spychips discusses the development, proposed uses, and possible negative consequences of radio-frequency identification chips (RFID). Most people are not even aware of RFID and the fact that manufacturers have already put them on products that we may have even brought home. Actually, the ultimate goal of many manufacturers is to have RFID chips and readers on every product in every store, in every part of our homes, and even eventually in every human being. Why do they want to do this? Many large corporations want to use RFID to invade our privacy even more than they already do (think junk mail and telemarketing) by being able to track our every movement in a store, our every little purchase, and our personal consumption, so that they can make profiles of our likes and dislikes so that they can bombard us with even more unsolicited and personalized marketing promotions

The scariest part is that the U.S. government, particularly the Department of Defense, the Treasury, and Homeland Security, is also extremely keen on implementing RFID. Did you know that starting in May 2008 all states are required by federal law to make driver’s licenses that can be scanned by any state and any Federal agency? These new licenses must conform to regulations set up by Homeland Security and will most likely include RFID chips. In the coming years, one would have to have one of these new licenses to enter a Federal building or fly on an airplane. U.S. passports have already been equipped with RFID chips. Supposedly this is all done in the name of national security, and again 9/11 is being used to scare everyone into acceptance.

So what is so scary about RFID? Isn’t it just a fancy bar code? Actually, bar codes require a line of sight with a reader beam in order to spill it’s information, and every product does not have its own unique id number. UPC bar codes are used to number batches of a product. Passive RFID chips have an antenna and a computer chip which send out a radio signal that can be activated by any RFID reader with in a few feet and can transmit a complete history of its host product’s manufacture and sell through an internet database. In the afore-mentioned commercial the products were read through clothing, so bar code technology would not have been tenable. Furthermore, the scruffy young man must have had a form of identification with an RFID chip (either a credit card or store-specific reward card) in order for his bank account to be accessed.

Active RFID chips have their own battery, constantly transmit their information, and have a longer range of transmission. There is no common way to deactivate an RFID chip unless you want to burn up your microwave. If RFID chips become standard in every product, than RFID readers will become more readily available to anyone who wants one, including criminals who could make a note of every valuable and its location on your person or in your home in a matter of seconds from a few feet away.

And the impact on Civil Liberties could be devastating. If we live in an RFID world than the government can track your every movement, restrict your ability to travel within your own country, and arbitrarily ostracize people from society by deactivating their ID chips and their ability to buy or sell. Any company could refuse you service or give you a variable price rate based on how profitable you have been to them in the past or how profitable they project you will be to them in the future, not good for the poor or frugal. Health insurance companies, which already do this, could be empowered even further to deny your coverage just by perusing your past food purchases and deciding that you brought that heart attack on yourself. So in the RFID world that is being proposed and pushed don’t expect privacy, anonymity, equality, or fairness.

Pushers of RFID technology were surprised to learn that most people who were asked were not to keen on their idea, even without the negative implications being spelled out; they were delighted to learn, though, that most people feel helpless to resist the technology. How am I to resist getting a new RFID driver’s license, which is tantamount to a National ID card, when it is illegal to be caught driving without a license? How can I avoid products that have RFID chips in them when manufacturers are not required by law to let me know they are there and the chips can be as small as the period at the end of a sentence and hidden from accessible sight?

What can the average person who is concerned about RFID do? I’m still puzzling that one out myself. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s better to be aware or ignorant of the whole thing, but my gut tells me that it is better to be aware and make other aware. I can suggest that people read Spychips and visit the website of the watchdog group CASPIAN to get a better idea of with what we are dealing. I can try to avoid using my check card so much and avoid any store that requires a “reward” program card; I never really thought about how much I was willingly giving up my privacy to corporations and manufacturers by using these things. I can write to my Senators and Congress members and urge them to fight RFID by passing laws that require public notification of use and resist government implementation of the technology. And I can pray that at the end of this election year we will get a new presidential administration that will reign in Homeland Security and respect the Civil Liberties that we are guaranteed in the Constitution.