Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obama's Over-Sized Ego Temporarily Satisfied

Random, somewhat inter-connected thoughts on Obama's (apparent) success in getting the Senate health bill past the House:

Stupak and friends are being duped: The President has promised them more than he can deliver. Even if he issues an executive order (EO) saying that abortion funding will be kept to the Hyde Amendment limits, it won't stand against the legislation being currently passed. This, of course, assumes that he won't just undermine the deal and live up to his pro-abortion tendencies (this is the guy who voted against a deal to provide medical care to infants born alive during late term abortions).

Pro-Life and Democrat will not be credibly reassociated for a very long time, if ever.

I hope that (probable) Constitutional challenges gut the health bill severely, perhaps fatally.

Canadians (and probably other nationalities) will gradually see the services the US uniquely offers gradually diminish. Unfortunately, what we will interpret this as is that our own system is getting better. This is how Socialism typically works - it drags everyone down so that no one has to feel the 'class envy' that we seem to inordinately suffer from.

One big hopeful thought: no entitlement program like this has ever been repealed. However, no entitlement program like this has even passed in this manner before either. If those who oppose the plan can repeal it, there's no telling what other liberal/socialist programs can't be undone. On the other hand - if it can't be done with this one, I don't see how it can ever be done in the future, and the US will follow the gradual decline of most Western societies.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time to Call it Quits

I've made posting to this blog too little of a priority on several long-ish occasions now. It's time to face the fact that I'm not interested (enough) to make a real go of this blog. Therefore, I am indefinitely hanging up my keyboard in this regard.

In fact, I continue to read many blogs regularly. I don't think I've ever been much of a writer (nor a journal keeper, for that matter), and can see why I don't keep this up. Not only that, but the blogs I read do an outstanding job of keeping me informed, such that I can forward/reference other posts that much more effectively present subjects of interest.

There are aspects of blogging that I quite enjoyed, but I think the minimum commitment is to somewhat regularly write posts - which I'm just not making it a priority to do. So thanks for all the fish!

Maybe I'll see you around in other blogs from time to time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Keep the Christ in Christmas

For all my secular/atheist friends (heck, anyone who is caught up in this commercialized season), I'd just like to offer the above message.

PS - for my Protestant/lapsed Catholic friends, I'd like to offer the following:

Keep the Mass in Christmas.

God bless your holidays, everyone.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Thoughts on Society's Interest in Teen Parenting

I remembered hearing this story a few days ago, but haven't seen any of my regular blogs comment on it. It's an interesting story where a mother is receiving a two year conditional sentence, essentially for neglect that led to the death of her 12 year old diabetic daughter.

When I first heard the story, my impression was of a story similar to the Latimer case, and which the reporter essentially described as 'just' because the mother received a shorter sentence, owing to the stresses she was under. Events of the intervening days made it difficult to follow up right away, but I've got some questions and comments now.

First of all, I mischaracterized the story, now that I've read the CBC story on-line. It doesn't appear to be deliberate, which was my first impression. I thought that the stressed out mother had done something intentional to kill her daughter, and that the reporter was excusing her due to her life pressures. On that count, I am fine that a different sentence here has been awarded than that given to Robert Latimer.

However, there are other aspects also worth commenting on. I was glad to read the judge in the case argue in favour of the nuclear family, as a means of helping to prevent these kinds of situations. There are too many, often academics, who argue for the non-necessity of the intact mother & father led family, as though it serves no essential role. In fact, MANY of our social ills can be traced back to the general breakdown of our society's families. As a teacher, I can say that the vast majority of problem kids I encounter have significant familial breakdown. This kind of thing belongs so firmly in the category of 'common sense', that for now I decline to offer any other argumentation for it.

The part that I think policy-makers and politicians should scrutinize is the fact that this mother had born 4 children by the time she was 18. Some will read into this fact that she should have been aborting these children before birth, precisely in order to prevent these types of later pressures. As one who believes that every human life deserves to be protected from unnecessary death, I can never see this as the solution. I would like to know some further details: what factors helped enable this mother, when she was a teenager, to be sexually active and bear 4 children? Specifically, what type of (sex) education did she have? Did it emphasize abstinence, or did it recommend birth control usage? Did it make sexual relations appear value-neutral? Did she receive welfare to help pay her living costs while attempting to raise her children? What interventions were attempted (or not attempted) to help her place her children in adoptive families' homes, instead of what must have clearly been her dysfunctional home? The last point is a difficult one, because I don't usually believe the state has a place in overriding parental rights. Clearly, however, at some point some parents need outside support, or at least society at large needs to look out for its own interests, which includes giving her 4 children every opportunity not to turn into social deviants.

Perhaps needless to say, it also gives me pause as to how I address/deal with kids who fit similar profiles in my classes.

PS - One last thought. It appears that the cost of buying medical supplies for her daughter was a main contributing factor in her daughter's death. It reminds me of the 1991 Saskatchewan provincial election. I was volunteering with the pro-life side on a plebiscite asking about government funding for abortion. Our work, despite a fear and smear campaign by the pro-choicers, still led to a resounding win on that issue, with 63% voting against continued government funding of abortions. The newly-elected NDP government weaseled its way out of that one, arguing that abortion was 'medically necessary', despite it never being the case, especially in our modern society. At the same time, they justified not covering some diabetic expenses as having to draw the line somewhere when it comes to funding. Obviously, Alberta doesn't have a leftist government, but I find the same kind of reasoning taking hold here with regards to these medical funding issues. This kind of ideological basis for medical policy, instead of what should obviously be the reverse (ie, better funding for diabetic supplies, which are therapeutic, and no public funding for non-therapeutic abortion), is one major problem with our health care system.

Mark Steyn and the Human Rights Commissions

This is but a brief post supporting Mark Steyn/Maclean's magazine in their refusal to publish an unedited rebuttal to a piece done by Mark Steyn, taken from "America Alone", dealing with Islam and various demographical facts.

Not only do I support Macleans unequivocally on this issue, I also absolutely favour the complete dismembering of the HRC's themselves. These quasi-judicial bodies are themselves the punishment, beyond whatever quasi-punishments they hand out in their 'rulings'. When they take 'cases' from your average professional victim, he bears no costs (taxpayers fund their 'litigation'), while the accused bears the costs of his own defense.

I'm not against legal action - in fact, it's precisely because I DO favour actual legal action that I am against the HRC's. If a person believes they have grounds for a real legal case, they should be able/willing to take it to an actual judge, instead of these kangaroo courts, where legal experience is secondary to professional activism. If the HRC's served a good, albeit limited, purpose at their inception, they have clearly strayed so far from this original mandate that they must be disbanded completely. Now.

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It's a Girl

A few days ago we had our long-awaited third daughter. This particular birth was the longest so far (around 5 hours), but definitely the smoothest. In fact, there was even time for an epidural (a new experience for us).

My blog has been neglected for a long-ish while now, I realize. Part of the reason is a new sign-in method, and I just felt too busy to learn how to sign in the new way. Pretty lame, huh? Anyway, I'm apparently back - ready to spread a little more 'noise' of my own in the blogosphere. The problem is there's so much good stuff out there already, it's tough to know/find what can be added.

Hope to see you around a little more.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Profits of Doom

This posting is written by a guest blogger.

My frustration has been building for some time, added to by the September 20 Vatican Radio podcast. The climate change fad has found its way into these broadcasts often over the last months. I even sent a letter requesting more balance.

To place things in context, I am a hardcore papist. On the dogma-doctrine-discipline spectrum of orthodoxy, I’d bleed traditionalist violet (or red; I can never remember which band is which). And I think it’s precisely due to this that I find myself so irritated.

The bulk of the global warming issue falls outside of the faith. Rational folks seem to agree that climate change, though maybe not warming, is a certainty. These disagree whether it represents a pattern of any significant duration. If so, they disagree about whether human activity factors in to an appreciable degree. If so, they disagree about whether it is a negative thing all told. If so, they disagree about the best course(s) of action to take.

In spite of this fountain of uncertainty, the broadcast ladies at Vatican Radio’s English branch frequently lecture from their bully pulpit. And many are willing to help. Based on reports of his words, or interpretations of these words, the Holy Father seems to join this train. Even was our German Shepherd a scientist, his words on the science of the issue would be worth no more than those of another. His speciality, his charism, is to strengthen the brethren in the faith. While environmentalism is attaining marks of religion, it ain’t mine.

Some of those who chant environmental doom, at least subconsciously, no doubt do so for what they can gain materially. More, I think but again subconsciously, are attracted to the prestige of being in the know. Pride has always been our greatest struggle. I doubt I am alone in remembering those words of Jesus, “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26a). Is it too much to imagine that he wanted also to warn that creation should not take the place of the Creator (cf. Romans 1:25).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Baby Announcement

My wife and I have tremendously good news to announce – our fertility still works!

Our back-of-the-envelope calculation puts our due date sometime between Christmas and New Year’s.

For those of you keeping track (or trying to) of such things, this is our sixth little darling. No need for any charitable bake sales to buy us a new van yet, as we still fit in our Astro. Perhaps in the future ????

Virile as ever,


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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pro-life/Pro-choice by the Number of Activists

I posted some questions onto bigbluewave's blog just now, and thought I'd drop them here (both to seek others' knowledge, and to remind myself to look it up myself).

I'd be very curious to see numbers for all the March [for Lifes] since they began (both pro-life estimates and media-reported numbers)(having attended some of these events, I realize there are usually discrepancies).

Along with this, I'd like to have numbers for the biggest pro-choice demonstrations in Canada (during whatever time period we have for these events).

I thought I heard something to the effect once that the Canadian pro-life movement once submitted a petition to the Canadian government requesting protection for the unborn, and that this petition was the largest-ever submitted in Canada (something around 1 million signatures). Am I totally out to lunch on this, or has anyone access to numbers that might lend it some credibility?

Also, do we know numbers for American abortion-related protests/rallies/marches, both pro-life and pro-choice?