Nov 04

Thank God.

I probably shouldn’t write anything when feeling this frustrated, that’s my default mode. Generally, it’s a good policy, and I should practice it now. But as I write this, we’re mere hours away from the 2014 mid-term elections, driving the news cycles and campaigns hitting us from mail to telephone calls (many of them a day, every day) to television ads, and yes, there’s very much at stake. All elections are consequential. Haven’t we learned this by now?

Haven’t those who claim distaste for politics (hey, I’m with you, but I cover it for a living so I’m in the thick of it)…haven’t they learned yet that when you don’t exercise your right, privilege and responsibility to vote you abdicate your right to complain about the results?

The past (how many?) election cycles prove not. By the time you read this, polls will be open in most places across the US and the process will begin, to determine what the next two years of governing the nation will be like. Many people will sit out the election again, and this is maddening, given how much is determined in elections, whether mid-term or general (Congressional and Gubernatorial, or Presidential, to oversimplify it). People die in some countries fighting for the right to self-determination in a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people.

But wait…that’s supposed to be America, and government has not carried out that time honored tradition in any number of ways for a while. How can people neglect to vote? Why does anyone able to vote not bother? You cannot complain about anything government does if you don’t at least try to shape what government is, what it can do, and what it can’t do.

There’s so much analysis and commentary out there (and I’ve digested a great deal of it and will spare you), I just want to get to the results of this election and move forward, in whatever shape government takes after Tuesday. Or after the president and lame duck session of Congress does between the day after election day and the January swearing in of the new session of Congress. (Rumor is, it may be plenty.)

I’ve followed news and elections since I was about 8 or 9 years old, certainly by 10 I was reading the daily newspaper with my Dad and following the evening newscasts on one of the three ‘big networks’ of ABC, NBC or CBS . I asked tons of questions and listened intently to the newscasters, but questioned. When Walter Cronkite said at the end of each newscast ‘And that’s the way it is’ on such and such a date, I thought…what if that’s not the way it is, really? Says who? Prove it.

Which is why I’ve always been a dogged journalist, and even as a blogger, have sourced my references and quotes with more attention and precision than some reporters in big media. I didn’t work at Time Magazine for 20 years as an amateur.

And now we face yet another election with many candidates for public office who come off as amateurs. Even if they’re incumbents who’ve been in office for years. Which gets to what’s really irritating about these campaign ads.

Among all the demographic groups they’re targeting, the ‘women vote’ has been a prized one and everyone is talking about it. So who speaks for women?

On the eve of the election, I saw too many times the campaign ad that shows a montage of women with computer devices checking out candidates and complaining to their women friends that the candidate they opposed voted not to include contraceptive drugs in healthcare coverage, while a friend expressed utter disapproval. And ‘did you know that (a certain candidate) voted to defund Planned Parenthood?!’ And the friend responded with shock, ‘that’s basic healthcare for women!’

Wait. Really? You’re pitching this as the scare ad to get the women to vote for you? I’m insulted, and so are many women in this country. We care about this, in a very different way, about women’s health and stopping the juggernaut of the highly profitable Planned Parenthood receiving taxpayer funds for a for-profit industry that already makes so much money on ending women’s pregnancies without informing them of the fundamental truths of the human life they’re carrying, that abortion will terminate the life of that human life, and that the procedure carries a high risk of terrible side effects demonstrable in irrefutable evidence on record.

But aside from that, women care about religious freedom. Because women who hold religious belief of any faith or denomination will likely view the spectrum of life’s issues of liberty and justice differently than those who do not. The latest radio program I did on this the other day was with Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Helen Alvare of Women Speak for Themselves. They were eloquent and showed understanding and magnanimity far beyond anything I’m hearing in campaign ads from many candidates.

Peggy Noonan wrote this for the Wall Street Journal on Election Eve, and she talks about political graciousness. That would be very nice to hear and see, for a real change. I’ll be satisfied with a fair election, results that reflect the choice of informed and engaged people, citizens respected as Americans more than the identity groups into which they’re sub-divided. And a government that finally reflects and respects this representative republic, gender and age aside, including ‘the least of these’ as the president has referred to many times, which covers both ends of life.

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Mar 08

And in greater numbers, they’re showing up in media and the public forum to say the HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, and Nancy Pelosi don’t speak for them.

Like Cathy Cleaver Ruse.

And Colleen Carroll Campbell.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to make a request of America’s political and media elites on behalf of America’s women: Stop lumping us together.

To be more specific: Stop telling us “what women want” in the next president, which political stands are sure-fire winners (or losers) of “the women’s vote” and what constitutes “the women’s view” in debates over everything from the morality of abortion to the limits of government and the best path to national prosperity.

While you’re at it, please stop quoting a handful of self-appointed “women’s advocates” as if they were proxies for all 156 million Americans who carry two X chromosomes. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards no more represents my views than Sarah Palin represents hers. And I think I can speak for all women in saying that no single woman or women’s group speaks for us all.

Both women were on my radio program last Friday (3/2) for a roundtable discussion on this issue of the moment, which the Obama administration made the issue of news cycles for the unforeseeable future by mandating contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacent drugs in mandated health care coverage as ‘women’s preventive health.’

What it prevents is normal fertility of the female body. And the continued existence of newly conceived life in the womb (hence ‘morning after’ pills as abortifacents). And yet some politicians and complicity media call opposition to this government mandate a ‘war on women’.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse:

When liberal women announce that something is an attack on women’s rights, too many members of the liberal media just dutifully fall in line…It’s about religious freedom, it’s about federalism, it’s about constitutionalism, it’s even about common sense and fair play. We don’t play the gender card, we don’t play that game. We’ve got substantive reasons to oppose this mandate.

When we see polls about Catholics and contraceptive use, we’ve got answers. The Guttmacher Institute may claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control. We know the survey is flawed, but it’s not relevant to the issue we’re talking about. We’re talking about the federal government…pushing birth control pills through religious employers. It’s not about who uses what and when.

If the Guttmacher Institute is correct, and 98 percent of Catholic women are using birth control, it shows that Catholics don’t need help from president Obama on the issue of contraception. They know how to access it, they know how to get it and apparently they know how to use it. So leave us alone. We don’t need our Catholic institutions to get into the business of providing it.

Colleen Carroll Campbell takes issue with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claiming that fewer pregnancies means cost savings for the health care system (which she told a House panel).

Secretary Sebelius says ‘If we prevent birth, we lower health care cost.’ Now think about the logic of that. Anything that prevents birth and prevents life is something the government embraces to lower cost. So we’re one step away from forcing abortion coverage. When we have the HHS secretary saying that’s how they save costs, we’re marching right down the path of abortion and euthanasia.

Cathy says we’re already there.

The thinking is fewer people to drain the resources means benefits for us. It’s all about choosing who are the winners and losers. Fewer babies means more for us. We’re going to be rationing care, so there is more for us. That’s Obama’s approach to ‘health care’. He campaigned on the belief that abortion is basic healthcare. We know he already believes elective abortion is basic healthcare…

It’s the easiest thing in the world to be a contracepting Catholic in the world today. Everyone will congratulate you and cheer you on (intellectuals, media, dominant culture). It’s the Catholics who follow the Church teachings who are the victims today. We have to swim against the tide. The idea that women are oppressed today, it’s completely illogical.

Colleen wraps with this:

The casual observer would get the impression that the bishops are over here, and women are over there. And the feminist establishment is the abortion establishment. But there’s a chorus of women across the nation groaning when they hear that.

There’s a trend we’re seeing among young women, and they’re vastly pro-life. They’re really driving this ship. The March for Life is dominated by young women, the trends are moving in our direction. It’s our job to spread this awareness.

Dr. J and a young woman from the Catholic University of America did that today on the program. If Sandra Fluke is the poster child of the ‘contraception as necessary health care’ mentality, either Monica Israel or Mary Clare Spence qualify as a poster child of the ‘fertility is not a disease’ belief. 

Which at least attempts to correct the record on women’s history, and take its account out of the hands of revisionists.

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Nov 20

Donations are supposed to be gifts, freely given. Especially when the gift is a bodily organ.

The rules for organ harvesting have already been changing for years. Now, new information is coming out about one of President Obama’s regulatory czars having an aggressive plan to remove organs from people who hadn’t designated themselves as donors.

The proposal could move the federal government closer into alignment with what has been proposed by longtime Barack Obama adviser Cass Sunstein.

Obama’s “regulatory czar” was revealed in 2009 to have pushed strongly for the removal of organs from those who did not give their consent to becoming an organ donor.

In his book, “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness,” Sunstein and co-author Richard Thaler presented the possibility of the “routine removal” of organs because “the state owns the rights to body parts of people who are dead or in certain hopeless conditions, and it can remove their organs without asking anyone’s permission.”

What?

“Though it may sound grotesque, routine removal is not impossible to defend,” he wrote. “In theory, it would save lives, and it would do so without intruding on anyone who has any prospect for life.”

Not only grotesque, but bizarre…

He also has argued for presumed consent, the idea that anyone who has not left specific orders against organ donation is a voluntary contributor to the program, a plan that has been proposed in some state legislatures as recently as the last few years.

(emphasis added, for clarity)

A spokeswoman for the the operators of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network told WND that a new round of public comments will be heard regarding the issue that the CMA said would allow those caring for critically ill patients to start considering them for their potential to donate organs while they remain alive.

“Gone [would be] the crucial wall separating patient care from donation solicitations,” said a letter this week from the chief of the CMA. “Such undue influence on difficult decisions at a heart-wrenching time is ethically unacceptable.”

So is deluding the public into thinking that taking public comment means they could make a difference in determining legislation. We have only to recall the HHS ‘public comment’ window on mandated contraceptive and elective sterilization coverage. HHS asserted up front that they had no requirement to act on anyone’s wishes, public or institutional or even congressional oversight. The reality, they reminded everyone, is that they have unchecked power. And they will wield it as they will.

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