Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Of course babies can feel pain.

If they can't, then why the hell was Scott Peterson convicted of killing both his wife and his unborn child? If the child essentially didn't experience anything when his mother died, then he would not have been considered a crime victim. He would have been just another dead fetus. If a mom doesn't want her baby & kills it before it's born that is her protected right, but if a dad doesn't want it he can be jailed for failing to pay the mom to raise it? Just seems strange to me.
Would that all children born into this world were loved & wanted by both parents, but I just can not accept that killing them before their birth is a humane & reasonable response to an unplanned for pregnancy.

Dr. Steve Calvin weighs in with his valid & experienced opinion:

Steve Calvin
August 30, 2005

Last week's article on fetal pain in the Journal of the American Medical Association proves the desperation of the defenders of unrestricted abortion. The article reviews medical literature and concludes that fetuses are unlikely to feel pain prior to 30 weeks gestation.
The authors were clearly motivated to write what I view as a medical fantasy to counter proposed federal legislation that would limit abortion in the second trimester. The legislation would require informing women considering abortion that fetuses beyond 20 weeks feel pain and would require anesthesia for the fetus.
Twenty-five years of delivering babies and a specialization in high-risk obstetrics provide me some experience to refute the claim that fetuses feel no pain until 30 weeks. Many of the tiny babies that I deliver, some as small as 1 pound at 23 weeks, have required surgery during their difficult neonatal battle for life. All of them receive anesthesia.
Before the 1970s, many newborns, both term and preterm, were operated on without anesthesia in the mistaken belief that they could not feel pain. They certainly couldn't tell anyone about their discomfort. With more sophisticated monitoring it became clear that blood pressure and pulse rose dramatically during the trauma of surgery. Subsequently, a subspecialty of pediatric anesthesia developed.
Those who deny fetal pain claim that hormonal and withdrawal responses to invasive procedures are mere reflexes and are no evidence of pain. Recently, I performed an amniocentesis on a patient at 21 weeks gestation because of a possible infection. On ultrasound, the fetus pulled away from the needle when it grazed her arm. It is clear to me that this fetus felt discomfort, and that she would feel horrible pain if she were dismembered in the exercise of an unjust constitutional right.
The medical literature duel over abortion has been quite one-sided since most of the medical hierarchy is ardently pro-abortion. There are, however, courageous exceptions.
The most important medical study on abortion this year got absolutely no media coverage. A French study in the April 2005 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology convincingly showed that a previous abortion increased the risk of subsequent delivery at 22 to 27 weeks by 70 percent. Premature birth has heavy personal and societal costs, yet the alarm over the increasing rate of prematurity ignores the abortion connection.
The fight over requirements for informed consent prior to abortion continues because abortion defenders refuse to accept any restriction on this manufactured constitutional right to exercise prenatal lethal violence. Their blind orthodoxy requires denial of fetal pain and willful ignorance of the significant long-term consequences of abortion.
Steve Calvin is a Minneapolis physician.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Political Lesbianism.

Jane Evershed, Minneapolis artist, poet and writer wrote an interesting editorial article that appeared in the StarTribune on August 20, 2005.

I believe that in I've found a local political lesbian.

She, in her first sentence, used the phrase "global male rule." She goes on to actually blame Cindy Sheehan for the loss of her son because Sheehan failed to teach him "from a very young age" not to join the Army. "How," she asked, "was Sheehan to recognize the evil that lurked as sanity on her doorstep?"

That "evil" as she defined it, was the "...patriarchal systems [that] find it very easy to goad our children into their world of mayhem and killing as if it were quite normal."

I got news, lady. It is normal. It is unfortunate, but it is "normal." Interestingly, the families, mothers actually, that I have known whose young sons enlisted right out of high school did not "let" it happen. Their children made informed, articulate decisions on their own. Because they were adults. Young adults, yes, but no longer children looking to mom and dad- believe it or not lots of youth get & even seek advice and guidance from their dads.

"At one time Sheehan had complete control over her son's future when he was growing up. The patriarchal system stole him from her long before he died. "

Ah. I see. Become pregnant, get rid of the father because he is probably already a part of the "system [that] steal[s] children's minds and take[s] them away for purposes that serve only the elitist military agenda", & indoctrinate your male children against any inclination toward aggression, (you can relax on the girl children because according to this Minneapolis artist and poet it must be inherent in females to recognize and follow "the way of peace" & women apparently have a built in "sense of reverence for all life" that males must be taught). (Young).

"Women must teach peace to their children" (we can't count on their dads for this) "and educate them about the agenda of global patriarchy and the means by which they achieve it."

I did not find the article to include much information about those "means." Nonetheless, watch out all you dads out there. We're on to you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I had wondered what happened to Logic Monkey.

Now I know.


And a little sad. And, I suppose, there is a lesson in all of this.

Logic left his mark, his comments, in several places in the blog world with not all of them being quite as eloquent as some of his posts were. He apparently pissed some people off.

Finally, after him posting as a comment, "It's too bad you weren't aborted," I had enough.

The author of Logic's demise, as he appears to see himself, accused Logic and most other conservatives of moral relativism, among other things I am sure. I find it confounding that amidst the widely disparate political and social opinions voiced in the US these days, both 'sides' accuse the other of that same condition.

What is "moral relativism?"
According to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, Moral relativism is the position that moral propositions do not reflect absolute or universal truths. It not only holds that ethical judgments emerge from social customs and personal preferences, but also that there is no single standard by which to assess an ethical proposition's truth.

Logic's killer wrote, "I found it sick that his moral relativism told him that since certain Islamic extremists had taken to cutting off heads, that anything we did short of that was perfectly acceptable." We also find this statement amidst the gloating: Terri Schiavo died 15 years ago, and I wasn't the least bit responsible.

I am trying to wrap my head around the lessons to be learned from the sleuthing I did today. All I have thus far is the thought that my Christian faith (not Catholic, as Logic is and was), teaches me that all of us are "good" and that all of us are also "sinful." We are "good", as in God's good and perfect Creation (see Genesis), but also "bad," as original sin & the ingestion of the substance that allowed sin to enter our condition.

Is it "moral relativism" that causes me to think that most of us, on either side of a political or social divide, are essentially the same? That we see the same wrongs in each other because despite our apparent differences of opinion, we are seeing each other through essentially the same lens?

Take the Schiavo case: that woman did not "die" 15 years ago. She was still breathing. On her own. Was it "immoral" to withold tube feedings and hydration from her? Or was it "immoral" to keep a feeding tube inserted in her side? I suspect that the Schiavo woman herself may have held clues to which side was more "right" in her case, by examining whether & how frequently she pulled out her feeding tube. If that tube had to be reinserted frequently because despite her brain damage and diminished mental condition she still managed to dislodge it, she may have been expressing in her own way that the tube was not desired. Not that our press would seek out and share that type of information with us.

Take the Abu Ghraib POW photos: what disgusted me, more so than the actual condition of the incarcerated that we civilians were allowed to see, were the positions and expressions of the military personnel visible in the photos that were released to and pushed into the faces of the public. It almost seemed to me that our traditional media barely knew what angle to present to us as "the" angle in this story. Should we(the press) tell them(the public) that they(the public) sympathize with the prisoners? That they detest the soldiers? That they detest the soldier's superiors? And how close do we keep this story to the few kidnap by insurgents/torture/murder stories we present?

I think that what all this rambling is leading to is the thought that some of Logic Monkey's more vehement postings and responses to his critics were, simply, mean. Though they likely always reflected Logic's own perspective, moral framework and beliefs, he could be self-righteous and vicious. I actually admired that much of the time.

Nonetheless, the shameless gloating and self-aggrandizing of Logic Monkey's "killer" is no less mean spirited. The author of Logic's demise took the moral high road for threatening to "out" someone to his boss who left comments that author didn't like.

While I do feel that we should all be able to express ourselves, even if some disagree, without threat of persecution, I do understand that we do not have that luxury, nor apparently do we have that right. Someone somewhere will take it upon himself to threaten a loss of livelihood or privacy just because he (or she, relax) doesn't like what we said.

I'm black. And a woman. Not that either condition gives me some exclusive on discrimination, mistreatment, or name-calling, but I learned a long time ago (at age 5 or 6 when I'd first heard the term "nigger" and had no idea that it was mean or that it referred to me) to just fucking let it go. If I got bent out of shape over every opinion I disagreed with or over how those opinions were presented, well, I'd hardly have time for blogging.

That, folks, is the saddest lesson of all.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The media makes a darling...

that we are expected to believe in, sympathize with and excuse for stating all matters of lunacy that the media refuses to inform the public of.

I am referring to Cindy Sheehan.

If she is such a sympathetic creature, and if her whole family is "on her side," then why is her husband filing for divorce?

My problem is not with her, perse. I do not know if grief is driving her recent actions and statements, or if she is using the death of her adult son to justify and draw attention to her political views and opinions. All I know is that a brief perusal of private news sources brought to my attention a whole host of statements accredited to her during her recent roadside stay near the president's ranch that appear to have little to do with grief, loss or her eldest son.

What I am coming to resent most is how our major media outlets, our daily newspapers, our local network affiliate news broadcasts & our network newcasts themselves continually edit and censor the very individuals they select as newsworthy. They do not treat her and her opinions as 'news,' they treat it all as if she is just a character in their story. *News* I would think, should include all sides. Perhaps the *reporter* edits for length, but not for content. The *reporter* attempts to include dialogue or describe actions that cover all angles & represent all statements, while making every effort, effort the *reporter* should be trained to make, to avoid the inclusion of bias.

To read the StarTribune's angle, Cindy Sheehan is a sorrowful grieving mother. To view CBS's angle, she is being caught up in a groundswell of emotion and opinion fueled by her humble request for an audience to her grief.

She is not a person who would infantilize her adult son and prostitute her grief, allowing opinion-mongers to use it to further their objectives.

We are only supposed to see the grieving mother. Do not look behind the curtain.

Update: Read Gerard Vanderleun's real take on this woman. When I read the first line, "IT ALL BEGAN AS IT TOO OFTEN DOES, WITH THE BARREN MAUREEN DOWD searching out still more ideological children who were not cats." I settled in. Another good read.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

2973 dead.

That's the number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks. (The number came from this link at CNN.com).

According to another CNN.com link, as of today a total of 1857 American troops have been killed in Iraq, and another link states that as of today 282 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan.

I got thinking about these numbers during a discussion last night, the first night of my first sociology class. My professor, an engaging, learned man, commented that most of the American military casualties in the Iraq war came from rural areas. When some of my classmates got smug looks & began to nod & mutter, I got to thinking about the number of people from urban areas who were murdered on 9/11.

At the risk of sounding trite, some of us bear the burden of the cost freedom, free will, and personal safety in much more profound ways than the rest of us. No one socio-economic class, gender, or race has borne more of this burden than others. All have been affected. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. And I believe that our terrorist enemies, the enemies of our American way of life and of our freedoms, intend for all of us to pay their price. Someday.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Not guilty, just pleasure...

And no, I'm not referring to that. This is a family blog. Well, it is if your family is a bunch of foul-mouthed blowhards.


I quit my job a little over a month ago & then had a several week break between classes so I've had the time & brain space to read! Books! And not ones from the reference section!!

I read The Happiness Code by Amy Herrick over a long weekend at the lake & it was a perfect read for that kind of time. Definately chick lit, but well written (which is all too often a rare treat in popular fiction these days) and enjoyable.

I just finished reading The Truth About Hillary by Edward Klein & that was a dirty little treat of its own. I even learned a new phrase... "political lesbianism." I'm fascinated by that phrase & I intend to try to use it as much as possible in the coming months.

Can't wait til those PTA meetings start up again.

"You try not to go out there & look like a bunch of idiots."

Who said this? New Vikings offensive coordinator Loney. (Sorry, I forgot his first name).
Yeah, referring to football.
Sara's a happy girl.
For now.