Saturday, November 22, 2008
Times V. Me
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, is a date that will live in fame (the opposite of infamy) forever. If the election of our first African-American president didn’t stir you, if it didn’t leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there’s something wrong with you.
Well, I guess there's something wrong with me, because I haven't cried once in the whole month of November.
On Wednesday, there was a run on newspapers, as voters rushed to grab a tangible piece of the history they’d made. My husband Max and I, unable to find extra copies, brought our own worn papers home to 8- and 11-year-old Emilie and Julia.
. . .
But the race thing? The groundbreaking immensity of the election of our country’s first African-American president?
“You’re being racist,” Emilie had said when I made a comment about how particularly earth-moving this election was for black voters. “Why should it matter if people are black or white?”
I guess there's something wrong with them.
Ah, I've found the problem. Once again from Warner:
David Dinkins was similarly solemn. “Things do change. There is a God. They do get better,” said the mayor who presided over New York City at a time of toxic racial tensions.
Obama, too, resisted giddy gladness on Tuesday night. But he did proclaim an end to the world as we’ve known it for far too long.
“To those who would tear the world down: we will defeat you,” he promised. “This is our moment. This is our time.”
The glory of Barack Obama is that there are so many different kinds of us who can claim a piece of that “our.” African-Americans, Democrats, post-boomers, progressives, people who rose from essentially nowhere and through hard work and determination succeeded beyond their parents’ wildest dreams are the most obvious.
Well, I'm none of those, nor do I particularly feel that God has chosen Barak Obama to be president, unlike Mayor Dinkens. I guess that's what's wrong with me.
A wall of something
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees a wall of separation between church and state. Should the granting of a religious sacrament by the state be unconstitutional?
Really? Funny, I don't remember that in the Constitution. Let's take a look.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Odd, I don't see any walls.
MADRID, November 13, 2008 (CNA) - The Spanish daily "La Razon" has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former "champion of abortion." Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after spending 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.
"The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue," the newspaper reported. "Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares."
In describing his conversion, Adasevic said he "dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. 'My name is Thomas Aquinas,' the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn't recognize the name."
"Why don't you ask me who these children are?" St. Thomas asked Adasevic in his dream.
"They are the ones you killed with your abortions,” the Dominican saint told him.
"Adasevic awoke in amazement and decided not to perform any more abortions," the article stated.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Apparently using your brain rather than your gut can be fairly profitable.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
But here’s at least one mordantly amusing and true story told to me by a psychologist at Putney’s Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. “Young man with motorbike head injury in a coma. His mum, a keen evangelical, comes every day with friends to sing Onward, Christian Soldiers by his bedside. She’s hoping to stimulate his brain into action. It works: he comes round, but he can’t speak. So they fit him up with one of those Stephen Hawking-type laptops, and the first words he speaks are: “For God’s sake, Mum, shut it!” That’s about as funny as it gets on a brain-injury ward, but there’s a serious take-home message. Even minimally aware patients can retain emotions, personality, a capacity to suffer – and, as the young biker showed, attitude.
The biggest, most tragic clinical myth about brain injury today is that PVS can be reliably diagnosed by bedside observation alone. It has in fact been known for at least a decade, ever since a key survey of brain-injured patients, that misdiagnosis of the condition runs at more than 40%, a statistic originally calculated by Professor Keith Andrews, former head of the Putney hospital, and confirmed by recent surveys in Europe and North America. This means that valuable rehabilitation strategies are routinely neglected, and misdiagnosed patients end up on unsuitable wards or in care homes where their needs are neither understood nor met.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Just a little bit from the historical record.
It was in 1963 that the spotlight was focused on Pius XII, in an effort to find evidence of his guilt, and nothing emerged. On the contrary, the studies brought to light copious documentation attesting to how his Church gave crucial help to the Jews. I recall, in this regard, one beautiful gesture: in June of 1955, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra asked to be allowed to give a concert at the Vatican in honor of Pius XII, to express gratitude to this pope, and it played in the presence of the pope a movement from Beethoven's seventh symphony. This was the atmosphere. And when the pope died, Golda Meir – Israel's foreign minister, and future prime minister – said: "When the most appalling martyrdom ever struck our people during the ten years of the Nazi terror, the voice of the pontiff was raised in favor of the victims. We weep for the loss of this great servant of peace." For some, the pontiff's voice had not been raised, but they had heard it. Understand? Golda Meir had heard his voice. And William Zuckerman, director of the magazine "Jewish Newsletter," wrote: "All the Jews of America pay homage and express their sorrow, because it is likely that no leader of this generation gave more substantial help to the Jews in the hour of tragedy. More than anyone else, we were able to benefit from the great and charitable goodness and magnanimity of the lamented pontiff during the years of persecution and terror."
The famous “right to liberty clause” in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey clearly is driven by subjectivism. It states; “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and the mystery of human life.”
This claim was made in the context of trying to avoid the question of establishing when human life begins. On its face, it is very appealing to Americans – but to speak of a “right to define existence” vitiates any responsibility we have to “discover reality” and live in accord with it.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
(11-05) 18:16 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after California voters approved a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the incendiary issue returned to the state Supreme Court, where gay and lesbian couples and the city of San Francisco filed lawsuits Wednesday seeking to overturn Proposition 8.
. . .
Three lawsuits were filed directly with the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking orders immediately blocking enforcement of Prop. 8 and ultimately striking it down as a violation of fundamental rights in the California Constitution.
Of course it's unconstitutional. If constitutional amendments were constitutional, you wouldn't need the amendment in the first place. It's sort of like arguing that the 23rd amendment is unconstitutional because it gives electoral votes to DC, which is prohibited by the US Constitution.