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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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September 16, 2008
Obama and Infanticide...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

Much has been made recently of Sarah Palin's stance on abortion. Nuanced, multiple personality Frank Schaeffer states that Palin is a joke candidate only on the ticket as a sop to pro-lifers. End of story. There you go, Palin is the polarizing presence on the ticket.

But, and once again, the nearly complete absence of elucidation by the Fourth Estate leaves out the most extreme position among the quadrille of candidates.

Conservative pundits and politicians have made considerable hay out of pointing out the relative dearth of legislative participation by Barack Obama.

But there is one legislative vein in which there is clear history, participation, and leadership by Mr. Obama: his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

The facts are simple and incontrovertible. Jill Stanek, a nurse in an Illinois hospital observed surviving aborted babies left to die in the soiled linens room. She eventually went public with what was happening and at legislative speed there was new Federal law signed by President Bush by August 2002. Before and after that national legislation, both similar and identical legislation was presented in the Illinois legislature - 3 times on the Illinois Senate floor - and at least once Jill Stanek testified before Obama her personal knowledge of infanticide in the hospital in Illinois. On each occasion Obama opposed the legislation (at the links you can find elucidation of Obama's continued dissembling on the subject).

What is perhaps less obvious in all of this - and we must conclude that this is because an abortion procedure precedes its effect - is that the Born Alive Infant Protection Act is not about, nor does it impact the abortion procedure. It is rather about survivors of abortion procedures. It turns out that, despite best efforts of some abortion procedures, a wriggling, vigorous, living instance of homo sapiens results outside of the mother's womb. At this point, rape, incest, or the mother's health have nothing whatsoever to do with the matter.

Obama would like to dissemble about viability - which avoids the obvious fact that no one, not you, not me, not Mr. Obama was viable, initially outside of mother's womb. Had any of us been left after birth in the soiled linens closet, we would have died.

Many who look at this subject point out that neither Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, nor NARAL opposed the Federal act - and that his opposition puts Barack Obama to the left of the most ardent of pro-choice proponents.

But it doesn't really put him to the left - there's no more space in that direction: his continued, strident opposition to those rare human beings that survive things like eighteen hour burns in saline solution is unabashedly craven and evil - yes evil.

There may be many things that we do not know about Mr. Obama - but what we do know - and why this subject is Germaine as to public policy - is that a candidate who professes to care about the downtrodden, who wants to see all Americans with health insurance is absolutely certain that the most vulnerable human beings among us should die.

Sometimes pictures and music say it better than words. Warning: Graphic image.

UPDATE: Here's another video with some more detail with an ending that provides a sense of what Obama's Illinois state leadership meant... (H/T Wake up America)

Pulled by Emcee on September 16, 2008 at 06:46 AM
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September 08, 2008
So now you know: Women really can't choose...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

Sarah Palin's emergence does have the left scrambling to make sense of their world, so much so that some screeding left coasters have entirely tilted their logic into incomprehensibility.

Case in point, Judith Lewis (she of LA Weekly and certainly nee leftist screed), posted The Luxury of True Reproductive Choice in the Mother, er, Jones (that smart, fearless falling off the left edge 'zine) last week.

Ms. Lewis makes sure to discuss the topics do jour, making sure to interject how agonizing it must have been for Palin and her daughter to choose to go through with their pregnancies (Certainly you would agonize Ms. Lewis. The Palins? Don't think so.)

Begrudgingly, Lewis admits admiration at the lack of hypocrisy on the Palin's part, while making sure to cycle the criticisms that "some say" (oh, but you wouldn't say would you Ms. Lewis?)

But - now get this - what we really need to understand is that the Palins are the fortunate kind of people that can actually exercise reproductive choice - because they can afford to. They can afford to choose to have their children and not abort them. That's right, the right to choose is a matter of socioeconomic status. All the disaffected women in our country really don't have the right to choose - they must have an abortion!

Why? Well, according to Lewis, certainly because Republicans don't want to support disaffected mothers (including teens). If Palin has her way, she'll make abortion illegal and then refuse to support the disaffected poor. Lewis just can't help herself from finally introducing one of last week's Palin smears:

Paradoxically, kindness toward mothers and children in need—in the form of food, shelter, and education—is not a value the party she belongs to, including that energized base, upholds. Just this year, Palin used her gubernatorial power to reduce funding to Convenant [sic] House Alaska's Passage House, a program that "assists young mothers in developing skills such as healthy parenting, money management, priority setting, housing acquisition and social skills development." 

This claim has, of course, been well fisked for the smear that it is, but the bald assertion in this context does bring up an interesting point. Does Ms. Lewis actually support a Christian organization that provides the ability to choose not to abort specifically to homeless pregnant teenagers? Now, now, Ms. Lewis, Planned Parenthood is going to strip you of your pro-choice creds.

So what can we draw from this, er, piece of smart, fearless journalism? That 90% of Down Syndrome pregnancies happen to the disaffected poor who can't choose to let those children come to term? That of the roughly four million children that are born in the US each year, about 300,000 of them must be aborted because their mothers can't afford to have them - only women who have sufficient economic wherewithal actually have reproductive choice - the great society experiment of the last forty years, with all of its increasing entitlement programs, is insufficient to keep the poor from aborting their babies? That the more financially secure a woman is the less likely she is to choose an abortion? That faith based organizations should have unfettered support for assisting young mothers? And that, given that the entitlement system is insufficient, there must be government guaranteed health care so that women can actually choose to have their children instead of kill them?

That looks like a pretty tight corner there, Ms. Lewis.

Pulled by Emcee on September 8, 2008 at 06:40 AM
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August 28, 2008
Oh, I see...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

We don't have any issues as long as we all agree with you.

You say: "We may not agree on abortion but clearly we can agree that we want to reduce unwanted pregnancies in this country."

Of course, but you have repeatedly voted to suck the brains out of a live birth that's a result of any unwanted pregnancy that occurs. Do you have anything but the empty words that will never wash the blood of innocents from your hands?

I didn't think so.

Pulled by Emcee on August 28, 2008 at 07:54 PM
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March 18, 2006
A day to remember...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs

It was one year ago today that Terri Schindler's feeding tube was removed and the strong slowly killed the weak.

In a quite profound irony, Terri is no longer living and we have only our memories in which to hold her - but the culture of death is alive and continues to seek out the weak among us in its murderous quest.

We will never forget.

Pulled by Emcee on March 18, 2006 at 11:23 PM
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February 09, 2006
Oops, we're seeing something
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

A couple of months ago I mentioned the case of little Haleigh Poutre who was condemned to death by the Court system (at the request of the Massachussetts DSS) and her doctors as she lay in a coma.

Here's what Harry Spence, Massachussetts DSS Commissioner (who moved to have Haleigh removed from life support back in October) related on January 26th:

Doctors had said she was in a vegetative state, and ''virtually brain dead." On Oct. 5, a juvenile court judge approved the request [Ed. - to remove her from life support], but the stepfather appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court to keep her alive. Many in his hometown of Westfield saw that as a way for him to avoid further charges.

The week before the SJC ruled on Jan. 17 that life support could be removed, DSS ordered a new round of tests on Haleigh after her biological mother visited and described the girl as being responsive. Based on the new tests, doctors told DSS officials that there was ''not a chance" of recovery, Spence said.

But a day after the high court's ruling, doctors told DSS that they had noticed significant improvements in Haleigh, saying, in effect, ''Oops, we're seeing something," [Ed. - emphasis added.]

Mr. Spence went to visit Haleigh "out of a sense of responsibility" on January 24th. Here's what he saw:

On Tuesday, Spence said, he went to Haleigh's room at Baystate and noticed a quiet brown-haired girl lying in bed. In front of her, he said, there were three objects: a yellow duck, a Curious George stuffed animal, and a yellow block. He said a DSS social worker accompanied him, and she said, ''Haleigh, this is Harry."

''Give him the yellow duck," the social worker said, according to Spence's recollection.

Haleigh picked up the yellow duck, he said.

''Where's Curious George?" the social worker asked Haleigh.

Haleigh then picked up the stuffed animal, Spence said.

''It's an astounding case," he said.

Haleigh was immediately moved to a rehabilitation center where, hopefully, she will continue to improve.

Astounding case? Absolutely.

But what's really astounding is that the Massachussetts court system is still practicing, that Mr. Spence still has a job. There should be public consequence for their haste to kill Haleigh.

Keep fighting little one. God Bless you on your journey to recovery...

Pulled by Emcee on February 9, 2006 at 11:41 PM
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December 07, 2005
Ultimate double speak...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics


You've perhaps heard of the plight of little Haleigh Poutre who lies in a coma, possibly beaten by her adoptive mother (who - now dead - had apparently participated in a murder/suicide) and her stepfather.

The courts have decided that she will be taken off of life support - her two doctors agree with this action but are split over whether her feeding tube should be removed. Her stepfather is fighting this - and the media, having convicted him (without a trial) of beating her, questions his motives because if she dies he could be charged with murder.

This is an incredibly sad situation - and is another bellwether for our culture.

That we could have public discussion that presumes no innocence on the part of a man who fights for the life of his daughter and at the same time holds no culpability for a court system and those who have taken the Hippocratic Oath who have bound themselves to remove her life before the conclusion of any trial, demonstrates how far our culture has gone down the slippery slope.

When we abdicate life and repudiate the fundamental meaning of language that distinguishes between justice and murder and makes those terms synonymous, we have indeed fulfilled Orwellian prophecy.

And the media backdrop for this is "Save Tookie". We are slow to mete justice to evil wanton murderers and quick to sacrifice the innocent. How low, how very low we have come.

Pulled by Emcee on December 7, 2005 at 08:08 AM
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June 27, 2005
Can Steve Verdon's audience pass third grade math?
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics, Science

Steve Verdon - an author for the popular Outside the Beltway blog and his blog Deinonychus Antirrhopus thinks I'm moonbatty (and Michelle Malkin for that matter - I'm happy with the company I keep). At least that's what he's telling the troops at

Michelle Malkin is your one stop shopping spot for all the moonbattery on this. The short form is:

We have little to no evidence supporting our more lurid claims, but there is no evidence we are wrong either, so (sic) therfore we are right.

At the end of the autopsy report there are about 8 points/questions that are examined that (sic) tries to answer many of the questions surrounding the issue. The autopsy report doesn't answer some of the key questions like why did Terri Schaivo collapse.

Here is a particularly moonbatty post. Apparently this guy thinks that the dehydration was the primary cause for the small size of Terri Schiavo's brain. How does this person arrive at the 922 g weight? Beats me, seems to have pulled it out of thin air (to put it kindly).


What I am saying is that the discussion of pathology of Terri's brain due to brain weight is medical fraud - prior to the removal of the feeding tube Terri's brain weight would have been at least 922 grams and could have easily been over 1,000 grams. These doctors know this. Her significantly reduced brain weight was due to the dehydration and starvation that was imposed on her.

Now Steve is a pretty smart guy. He has sufficiently demonstrated (and recently should we suspect that he has gone off the reservation) that he has mathematical capabilities that exceed the average third grader.

So why would he suppose that simple division is equivalent to 'thin air'? Is it because he's pretty sure that the vast audience at can't figure out what one-third is?

And why pontificate where there's almost no one reading? He posts on a high traffic blog - and Outside the Beltway is certainly friendly to his point of view on the Schiavo case. But there's nothing from him opining about any aspect of the case - at least not this year. And, to date, there is not a single post with the name 'Schiavo' on his individual blog.

I don't know. Perhaps he's just been reading the liberal press and that's sufficient for his view. He's taking the time to engage on the Hubbert curve/peak oil issue - constructively and informed. On Schiavo? No (to put it kindly).

Debunk means to expose as a sham or to falsify. Falsify my post Steve. Falsify the effects of dehydration on the human body in general - and specifically the brain - make a case that Terri Schiavo's brain was as hydrated as Karen Ann Quinlan's was when she died. Falsify the attorney and other doctors that I referenced. Falsify the peer reviewed journals that address the issue of dehydration and brain volume. Falsify or siste viator.

Pulled by Emcee on June 27, 2005 at 09:47 PM
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June 22, 2005
Schiavo: Dr. Sherry Eros too...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

So, you think I jumped the gun? Spoke out too soon? Should I just apologize and move on?

Dr. Sherry Eros (M.D.), on her blog Eros Colored Glasses, weighs in with a long post on the autopsy of Terri Schiavo. The post begins with:

  • By reference to the medical literature adduces evidence that a substantial portion of the loss in Terri's brain weight observed postmortem may have been due to the dehydration to which she was subjected.

And follows in her discussion with:

With respect to the question of PVS, Terri's autopsy is perfectly incapable of providing instructive answers. While a marked loss of brain weight or volume after surgery or other brain insult is "consistent with" PVS, it is equally "consistent with" a minimally conscious state or even a fully conscious state. The level and state of consciousness is a function of a variety of factors most of which are not meaningfully illuminated by an autopsy--or brain weight. Most hemispherectomy patients return to a fully conscious state, with restoration of cognitive and other abilities, despite suffering loss of half, or nearly half, of their brain weight. At least as important as the brain's weight is the determination of which areas of the brain are lost to surgery, trauma or other forms of insult.

And notes this paper which reports that PVS diagnosis may have an error rate as high as 43%. The referenced paper presents these key messages:

    • Many patients who are misdiagnosed as being in the vegetative state are blind or have severe visual handicap; thus lack of eye blink to threat or absence of visual tracking are not reliable signs for diagnosing the vegetative state

    • Any motor activity, no matter how slight, that can be used for communication by the profoundly disabled patient should be identified at an early stage and repeated at regular intervals

    • Identification of awareness in the presence of profound and complex neurological disabilities requires the skills of a multidisciplinary team expe- rienced in long term management of disability due to brain damage

Dr. Eros' post is worth the long read.

The truth will be known.

Pulled by Emcee on June 22, 2005 at 09:14 PM
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Terri Schindler-Schiavo: Michael's center of the self...
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics


In 1992 in testimony during a malpractice lawsuit, Michael Schiavo testified:

Q. How do you feel about being married to Terri now?

SCHIAVO: I feel wonderful. She's my life and I wouldn't trade her for the world. I believe in my - I believe in my wedding vows.

Q. What do you mean? You want to take a minute?

Q. If the court would let us take a minute.

Q. You okay?

SCHIAVO: Yeah, I’m sorry.

Q. Have - you said you believe in your wedding vows. What do you mean by that?

SCHIAVO: I believe in the vows that I took with my wife. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm going to do that.

Did you know that Michael wants everyone to know that Terri departed this earth February 25, 1990?

What does Michael Schiavo want remembered about Terri? He wants you to know that "I kept my promise."


Pulled by Emcee on June 22, 2005 at 08:45 PM
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June 20, 2005
Terri Schindler-Schiavo: "An aware woman was killed."
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

Neurosurgeon Dr. William Hammesfahr has reviewed Terri's autopsy report and says that "the record must be set straight".

In a report by World Net Daily last night, Dr. Hammesfahr says:

Unlike the constant drumbeat from the husband, his attorneys, and his doctors, the brain tissue was not dissolved, with a head of just spinal fluid. In fact, large areas were 'relatively preserved.'"

He said the autopsy results confirmed his opinion that the frontal areas of the brain, the areas that deal with awareness and cognition, were relatively intact.


Hammesfahr concluded: "Ultimately, based on the clinical evidence and the autopsy results, an aware woman was killed." (Ed: Emphasis mine)

Should the LSM report this, it will certainly be coupled with vilification and criticism of this neurosurgeon. (And before the wingnuts trot it out, I've seen the 'quackwatch' link. We know how members of the open 'science' community treat those that have dissenting opinion.)

The World Net Daily story also quotes Jerri Lynn Ward who linked to my post last week and who is asking some very good questions about the autopsy report. Jerri, in real life, is an attorney who represents health providers--mainly long term care providers--and she encounter end-of-life and medical ethics issues in the course of representing those providers. She has a post about Hammesfahr's statements today as well.

Where's your apology E. J.?

UPDATE: I altered Jerri's (Uh, Sue Bob's :) ) 'bio' that I pulled from the World Net Daily story with her clarification in a comment to this post.

Pulled by Emcee on June 20, 2005 at 06:15 PM
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