Category Archives: sanctity of life

4,004 30,000 100,000

Random numbers? Hardly. These are the latest counts of American dead, American wounded and estimates of the Iraqi casualties of the current war in Iraq.

The hubris wrought by this war goes further than dollars and mountains of debt. It is mocked by the graves, the maimed and the lives that will never be the same.

Now that we’ve been entrenched in this morass for so many years, it will be beyond difficult to get out. This election seems to be hinging on so many issues except this war. Yeah, the issues relate to the war – the debt we suffer because of the war DOES effect the economy, but despite the selling of the surge, we are a long way from home.

Despite how you feel about all this, this war should be a paramount issue in this election. We can’t allow obfuscation. We must insist on the real cost, both economically and in the human psyche.

What will those running for President do to undo the damage in foreign relations and out standing with the rest of the world? I do believe our relations can be salvaged, but I’d like to hear what these folks think they can do.

Mostly, I don’t want us (myself included)  to forget that a lot of people have died and are suffering because of all this.



Filed under Iraq, politics, sanctity of life

Mercury really in retrograde, or, John McCain’s jaunt into junk science, jeeze, or, I don’t think this is what HE meant when He said suffer the children..

Ok, here’s the truth and here’s the myth:

Truth=rates of incidence of autism in the United States have risen to the point that 1 out of 150 children by the age of eight in the US have been diagnosed with autism. This is truly alarming.

Junk Myth: the use of a preservative in childhood vaccine (thimerosal – an organic compound containing mercury used as a preservative in vaccine) is linked to the rise in autism. There is NO scientific validity to this claim. In 1992 Denmark discontinued the use of thimerosal in childhood vaccines. In the 16 years since the rate of autism has continued to grow.

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics have both consistently and clearly stated that there is absolutely no evidence of any linkage between thimerosal and autism. Fringe groups who have campaigned against childhood immunizations have used this myth to perpetuate their cause.

Immunizations save lives. Immunizations have virtually eradicated many diseases world-wide. Any serious candidate for any office in the United States (and any democracy for that matter) would do well to carry the banner of science and health.

Why bring this up now? Today, the GOP candidate (and putative nominee), John McCain stated ‘There is strong evidence that indicates that it’s (autism) got to do with a preservative in vaccines”. I would urge Senator McCain the next time he goes sailing to steer clear of the edge of the earth. We certainly don’t need our presidential candidates to plunge to their death falling into the abyss or banging their head on the sharp corner of this flat planet.

Why does this matter? Every child needs to be vaccinated. Parents should be encouraged to keep their kids up-to-date with vaccinations. As stated above – this practice can save a child’s life. Any statement by a public figure held in high regard by many that would discourage immunizing children is not only wrong-headed, but just plain dangerous.

My political preference may not be the party of McCain, but I, and any health professional, should be just as incensed if this kind of hobgoblin nonsense came from the party of the donkey. I urge Senator McCain to recant this statement and make childhood immunization an important plank in his campaign for President.

Thanks to Brittney (my left-coast hero) and the blogger to whom she linked for this story.


Filed under health care, politics, sanctity of life

William F. Buckley, R.I.P.

I am not conservative in many of my beliefs. However, I was raised by conservatives in a house where Bill Buckley was revered. The only non-art magazine (my dad was an art teacher) that my dad read regularly was ‘National Review‘. As a teenager I didn’t like much about the magazine, other than the fact it was as well edited and written as anything outside of the ‘New Yorker’.

As an adult, I grew to understand and appreciate what Buckley did for the conservative movement (practically a mid-wife to most of the biggest names in the movement today), not only providing eloquent apologetics for conservatism, but almost single-handedly steering them away from the shoals of the far-right (John Birchers) and the nearly anarchic uber-libertarian wing (Ayn Rand and her ilk).

Buckley was not easy to pigeon-hole and made no apologies for his elite inheritance. His native wit and command of the language not only made his magazine worth reading, but also provided some of the most fun spy novels of the latter 20th century (Blackford Oakes). He supported legalization of marijuana and came to oppose the war in Iraq, practically invented Ronald Reagan, as well as siring one of the funniest satirical novelists of our lifetime (Christopher Buckley).

His magazine stands in harsh contrast to the tinniness and thought-by-bromide nastiness of talk radio. He was a humorous polymath, and despite the fact that I agree so little with what he has spawned, I can’t help but be saddened by this loss. Today’s GOP (especially the Tennessee popinjays) would do well to emulate his civility and rapier wit, but I’m thinking they won’t (and maybe that’s not so bad for my ‘side’)


Filed under irony may be the shackle of youth but I love it, politics, sanctity of life

Do you still beat your wife?, or, Yes, these are our allies

Fun time Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-‘Arifi on a Ramadhan show (shown on LBC network) explains to young men the steps toward beating their wives:

1. Admonish them

2. Move out of the bedroom

3…and I’m quoting here:

If neither method works with her, what is the third option?Guest: “‘And beat them.'”

Al-‘Arifi: “That’s right. How is this beating performed? What do you think?”

Guest: “Light beatings.”

Al-‘Arifi: “Light beatings in what way?”

Guest:” For example, I wouldn’t beat her in the face…”

Al-‘Arifi: “Beating in the face is forbidden, even when it comes to animals. When a person is beating an animal… Even if you want your camel or donkey to start walking, you are not allowed to beat it in the face. If this is true for animals, it is all the more true when it comes to humans. So beatings should be light and not in the face.

Next week on the show: stoning those pesky women who don’t cover their face..

Every bit of this post is absolutely real except that last sentence. Kind of speaks for itself, eh?

h/t: Cranky


Filed under sanctity of life, sheer evil

They’ll stone you when you’re trying to be good, or Following the Brooksian logic to its logical end

A woman walks across Bicentennial Mall late at night. Some guy had asked her for a light sometime earlier that evening on 5th Avenue. When she walks past the bandshell area of the mall, that same man rapes her.

Kay Brooks says:

She should not have been walking through the park alone and late at night.

No, that doesn’t mean she deserves what happened but she is not without responsibility in this*. She made some bad choices that resulted in severe consequences.

Aunt B takes what Brooks said and draws a chalk line around it, if you know what I mean.

I live near the Bicentennial Mall. I don’t walk through the mall late at night, because I know there is no security to be found, and it is generally unpopulated. In other words, if I got mugged, there probably wouldn’t be anyone around to help me. Would I be responsible for losing my wallet or perhaps my life if I decided to cut through the mall after a late night at work and I had the unfortunate luck to have my walk coincide with a mugger’s need for cash?

On the other hand, I live in a neighborhood** that many Realtors won’t show to perspective home buyers. I’ve had nary a problem, but I’ve heard gun shots. Am I irresponsible to my wife and family for living in such a place?

When we lived in the greater Green Hills area near Lipscomb, there was a series of home invasion rapes. The rapist*** watched the houses long enough to know when a female was home alone. Should these women be culpable because they didn’t hire a bodyguard to watch them during times when no one else is around?

Sounds silly, I know, but not half as asinine as stating that a woman bears any responsible for being raped. Yes, everyone needs to take precautions. Don’t leave unattended unfinished drinks around when you are at a bar..don’t walk down the street with money hanging out of your pockets…etc. etc. Common sense should never be an ‘attic grace’ to use the words of Auden. But, moving from chastising someone for a lack of common sense to actually stating that a victim bears responsibility for being raped is a chasm that fair minded people should have a hard time bridging.

Update: Apparently, about the same time I was writing this piece, S-townMike was penning a similar post. Mike takes the pretzelian nature of Ms Brooks logic and takes it fully to its logical ends.

*my emphasis
**just to be clear here, I love Salemtown.
***The asshole was apprehended and is in prison.


Filed under golden rule stuff, sanctity of life, Uncategorized

Sometimes the bastards deserve to die..

Man chokes woman nearly to death and drops her five year old daughter in alligator infested waters.  Mom survives, daughter is killed.  If this guy truly committed this atrocity, I have absolutely no problem with him paying for this crime with his life.  None.


Filed under sanctity of life

Marcel Marceau dies

Not to be too disrespectful of the dead, but I have to wonder if we can expect a quiet service, followed by eight men pretending to carry a casket?   I’m really hoping the gravediggers aren’t mimes!!

RIP Marcel…


Filed under sanctity of life