Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm updating the blog - if you see this note, it's still not done. In doing so, I've taken down the Haloscan comments and will enable Blogger comments later.

I'm mostly done with the updates - some of the links are broken and I need to go back and fix those.

Also, I'm having trouble posting the ProLife Blogs icon on my sidebar:

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
Responding to Obama.

This post by Christina Dunigan is absolute must reading. I left Sen. Obama's "argument" up on its own (below) without critique. Ms. Dunigan responds and destroys his comments with flawless logic and true humanity.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"What happens to the mind of a person...?"

Here is audio of Senator Barack Obama arguing against the Born Alive Abortion Bill in Illinois:

What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have twenty years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind set with regard to the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth.

- Jesse Jackson, National Right to Life News, January 1977.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm voting for this guy...

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Personal Choice

BabyBlue has a story - a true story up about a man named Frank who reads "the series called, 'Conversations with God'. . . the third book in the series discusses suicide and emphasizes suicide as 'a personal choice'...

This is a story about Frank.

Frank was a bright young officer under my command in Kosovo. We spent many long hours talking, especially late at night when all was quiet, unless their was a disturbance downtown or something. Frank was a recovering alcoholic and a man in search of answers. I worked hard with him, making steady progress until I finally reached the point where I could share the Gospel with him.

Please read it all

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Memoriam.

Today, we observe those who died in the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing. It happened 25 years ago, October 23, 1983.

Here is a list of those who died for our country that day; 220 Marines, 18 Navy sailors and three Army soldiers.

Remember too, the near simultaneous attack on the 3rd Company of the 1st Parachute Infantry Regiment, France (La 3ème Compagnie, 1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes) which killed 58.

And then there came a shadow, swift and sudden, dark and drear;
The bells were silent, not an echo stirred.
The flags were drooping sullenly, the men forgot to cheer;
We waited, and we never spoke a word.
The sky grew darker, darker, till from out the gloomy rack
There came a voice that checked the heart with dread:
"Tear down, tear down your bunting now, and hang up sable black;
They are coming -- it's the Army of the Dead."

* * *

The folks were white and stricken, and each tongue seemed weighted with lead;
Each heart was clutched in hollow hand of ice;
And every eye was staring at the horror of the dead,
The pity of the men who paid the price.
They were come, were come to mock us, in the first flush of our peace;
Through writhing lips their teeth were all agleam;
They were coming in their thousands -- oh, would they never cease!
I closed my eyes, and then -- it was a dream.

There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the scarlet gleaming street;
The town was mad; a man was like a boy.
A thousand flags were flaming where the sky and city meet;
A thousand bells were thundering the joy.
There was music, mirth and sunshine; but some eyes shone with regret;
And while we stun with cheers our homing braves,
O God, in Thy great mercy, let us nevermore forget
The graves they left behind, the bitter graves.

Robert W. Service
The March of the Dead

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama, Kmeic and Abortion, (continued).

The smart side of the blogosphere continues to look at the evasions by the Obama camp on his extreme pro-abortion stance and his efforts to downplay that stance.

First, here's Archbishop Chaput, at Public Discourse, excerpt:
Prof. Kmiec has a strong record of service to the Church and the nation in his past. He served in the Reagan administration, and he supported Mitt Romney's campaign for president before switching in a very public way to Barack Obama earlier this year. In his own book he quotes from Render Unto Caesar at some length. In fact, he suggests that his reasoning and mine are ''not far distant on the moral inquiry necessary in the election of 2008.'' Unfortunately, he either misunderstands or misuses my words, and he couldn't be more mistaken.

I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed ''abortion-rights'' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973. Despite what Prof. Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively ''pro-choice;'' it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing. On the question of homicide against the unborn child - and let's remember that the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer explicitly called abortion ''murder'' - the Democratic platform that emerged from Denver in August 2008 is clearly anti-life.

Prof. Kmiec argues that there are defensible motives to support Senator Obama. Speaking for myself, I do not know any proportionate reason that could outweigh more than 40 million unborn children killed by abortion and the many millions of women deeply wounded by the loss and regret abortion creates.

To suggest - as some Catholics do - that Senator Obama is this year's ''real'' prolife candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse.
Notre Dame Law Prof. Rick Garnett writes of the Kmeic essay, mentioned below:
Doug Kmiec's latest, in the L.A. Times, seems, at the end of the day, to endorse the old "personally opposed but . . . " argument from Gov. Cuomo's Notre Dame speech....

* * *

This is not the pro-life view. Nor, until a few months ago, would Doug Kmiec have regarded this as the pro-life view. It is emphatically not the case - at least, it is not the case for those who hold the views that Prof. Kmiec always professed to hold — that the regulation of abortion involves a burden on the religious freedom of those who do not believe that unborn children are entitled, as a matter of human rights, the protection of the law. To protect unborn children is to vindicate human-rights commitments. It is not to impose sectarian morality on non-adherents. (Remember, Doug Kmiec professes to believe that the Constitution requires governments to ban abortion. It doesn't, but that's not the issue. Can it be that the Constitution requires a ban *and* that "the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment"?)
In Newsweek, the unholy trio of Obama apologists (Nicholas P. Cafardi, M. Cathleen Kaveny and Douglas W. Kmiec) who claim to be communicants in the Church of Rome respond to George Weigel. Unfortunately, the best they can offer about Obama is that he's not McCain:
The church asks its faithful to find meaningful—not hypothetical—ways to promote human life. While getting the law and philosophy right might eventually do that, it does bring up the question: What are you doing for the cause of life now? The McCain answer: not much.

Besides being prepared to nominate justices like Samuel Alito and John Roberts, who in keeping with their judicial oath are certainly not on record as having a predetermined view on the reversal of Roe, McCain's planning has all the narrow, in-built affluent bias of the near-identical Bush ideas. In terms of health care, McCain makes no provision for the uninsured and proposes that the insured pay more, in all likelihood dumping people into a private insurance market that is more expensive and less responsive to those with pre-existing conditions.
They are unable to give any positive reason explaining how voting for the radical pro-abortion Obama is consistent with Roman Catholic theology.

On Mirror of Justice, Richard Stith replies:
Doug Kmiec, Cathy Kaveny, and Nick Cafardi make some good arguments for voting for a Democrat who actually helps women choose life as opposed to a Republican who pays only lip-service to the pro-life cause (even though lip-service from a bully pulpit counts for a lot). As a life-long Democrat, a passive member of Democrats for Life, and an active member of Consistent Life [formerly “Seamless Garment Network”], I would be quite open to such an argument.

But that argument would be valid only if we had candidates like Jimmy Carter running against pitiless Republicans.

By contrast, Obama has refused to endorse our modest Democrats for Life proposal to help women choose life. Far worse, he has said that his first act in office will be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. FOCA will hurt women as well as children, especially because it will eliminate state laws that discourage overly hasty abortion decisions.

Why don’t Doug and his friends ever respond fully to the FOCA question raised by Weigel and George? (I call Doug “Doug” because he was my colleague here in Valparaiso for two years or so, during which, by the way, I don’t recall him ever hinting that he agreed with my pro-life stance. I was pleasantly surprised to hear of his views later on.)

More generally, they don’t seem to take seriously Cardinal George’s statement that “children continue to be killed [by abortion], and we live therefore, in a country drenched in blood. This can't be something you start playing pragmatically against other issues.”

My suspicion is that all three of them –and indeed John McCain as well—have failed to grasp the fundamental pro-life argument for human equality....
More later, I'm sure.

More already:

From Richard John Neuhaus:
As abortion extremists put it, the woman has a right to a dead baby. Obama apparently agrees, even saying that it is a constitutional right. In this he goes farther than almost any reputable constitutional scholar, claiming that the abortion license is covered by a right to “privacy” that is found not only in the “penumbra and emanations” of the Constitution but in the Constitution itself.

This, together with his adamant support for the government funding of abortion and for the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate all state regulation of abortion–including waiting periods, parental notification, and other very modest measures–leaves no doubt that Senator Obama is on the farthest edge of abortion extremism. And it highlights what is arguably the most important single issue in this election: Who, as president, will get to nominate the next one, or two, or three, justices to the Supreme Court.


BTW, I looked for a link to this here and see I failed to mention it last spring. Therefore, from last April, this by Michael Gerson, in part:

But Obama's record on abortion is extreme. He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion -- a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called "too close to infanticide." Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed that he would not want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" because of a crisis pregnancy -- hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life.

For decades, most Democrats and many Republicans have hoped the political debate on abortion would simply go away. But it is the issue that does not die. Recent polls have shown that young people are more likely than their elders to support abortion restrictions. Few Americans oppose abortion under every circumstance, but a majority oppose most of the abortions that actually take place -- generally supporting the procedure only in the case of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Perhaps this is a revolt against a culture of disposability. Perhaps it reflects the continuing revolution of ultrasound technology -- what might be called the "Juno" effect. In the delightful movie by that name, the protagonist, a pregnant teen seeking an abortion, is confronted by a classmate who informs her that the unborn child already has fingernails -- which causes second thoughts. A worthless part of its mother's body -- a clump of protoplasmic rubbish -- doesn't have fingernails.

Abortion is an unavoidable moral issue. It also has broader political significance. Democrats of a past generation -- the generation of Hubert Humphrey and Martin Luther King Jr. -- spoke about building a beloved community that cared especially for the elderly, the weak, the disadvantaged and the young.

The advance of pro-choice policies imported a different ideology into the Democratic Party -- the absolute triumph of individualism. The rights and choices of adults have become paramount, even at the expense of other, voiceless members of the community.

These trends reached their logical culmination during a congressional debate on partial-birth abortion in 1999. When Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer was pressed to affirm that she opposed the medical killing of children after birth, she refused to commit, saying that children deserve legal protection only "when you bring your baby home." It was unclear whether this included the car trip.

Friday, October 17, 2008

...But for Wales. I have been reading Douglas Kmiec's repeated endorsements and statements on this subject (including his self-professed martyrdom in being turned away from Holy Communion - see below).

Recently, continued correction has come from, among others, Robert George of Princeton, see this very powerful essay and this follow-up. In addition, George Weigel has called out Dean Kmiec by name in this essay. In the face of this, Kmiec has issued yet another call to vote for Obama, knowing that Obama has said "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." and that he favors the repeal of the Hyde Amendment which stops the government funding of abortion. See also this.

How can he continue to back the radically pro-abortion Obama?

I am now convinced that Kmiec is doing this solely for personal gain - he is hoping to get that coveted judgeship. It has come time then, to view him as the very worst traitor - a 21st century version of Richard Rich.

You may recall in the play or movie "A Man For All Seasons" Robert Bolts' Thomas More is persistently pestered for an appointment to office by Richard Rich. More tells him early on that he can have a post at a school as a teacher:
MORE: Why not be a teacher? You'd be a fine teacher. Perhaps even a great one.

RICH And if I was, who would know it?

MORE You, your pupils, your friends, God. Not a bad public, that . . . Oh, and a quiet life.

At the end of the play, when More is on trial, he refuses to testify and Cromwell produces Sir Richard Rich who gives perjured testimony that results in the eventual conviction of More. As Rich leaves the witness stand, this exchange occurs:
MORE I have one question to ask the witness. (RICH stops) That's a chain of office you are wearing. (Reluctantly RICH faces him) May I see it? (NORFOLK motions him to approach. MORE examines the medallion) The red dragon. (To CROMWELL) What's this?

CROMWELL Sir Richard is appointed Attorney-General for Wales.

MORE (Looking into RICH'S face, with pain and amusement) For Wales? Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . But for Wales!
Kmeic is 57 and would be 66 at the end of the Obama presidency - it's his last hope for a judgeship. So what if Obama solidifies abortion on demand and makes you pay for it, he will be known as Judge Kmeic - isn't that worth it?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Amend It.

I am strongly opposed to amending a state or U.S. Constitution to address something like marriage. I don't think the Constitution should have language which expressly sets forth marriage shall be between one man and one woman only.

The problem is, judges don't share that belief. As we have seen, first in Massachusetts, then in California and now in Connecticut, judges believe they have the power and the duty to amend the state constitution to override the express will of the people and the state legislatures and radically alter the state constitution and create out of whole cloth a new definition of marriage.

Accordingly, it is time to rebuke the judges and let the people amend their constitutions - it is probably time to pass a federal marriage amendment as well.

It should be noted the extreme violence these radical judges are doing to the state of the law by substituting their own personal whims for the laws carefully thought out and developed over time. It could be that, in time, society will change and will decide to jettison marriage and substitute something new. So be it - it is not for the judges to act as tyrants to ram these changes through.

Therefore - amend the constitution and send a clear message to the judges that they, too, are under the law.


  1. Beldar on the CT ruling.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Two Charts

First, the Dow from September 16, 2008:

Second, the RealClearPolitics Average of Polls from September 17, 2008, the last time Senator Obama and Senator McCain were tied:

Is there a correlation?

Is there causation?


In response to the blogfather, one reader notes:
One of my hedge-fund readers emails:

The thumbnail future market history of this month is likely to include the phrase "correctly discounting the economic fallout of an Obama presidency and hard-left Congress repeating the failed frenetic economic policies of the 1930s". Let's just hope it doesn't take a re-run of the 1940s to extract us.

Ugh. Thanks for that comforting thought. And those enthusiastic for New Deal type solutions should be required to read Amity Shlaes' book on the subject.

Or at least this: FDR's policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate.

P.S. Thanks for the comments!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

McCain, Life and Human Rights (brief)

I also want to get to Senator John McCain on his response to the human rights of a baby question. I think that while he answered the question in a manner that, say, a devout Roman Catholic might agree with, his past vote does not square with his answer. Again, from the Saddleback Civil Forum:


Unlike my post below, this will be a brief one (for now - I may revisit).

The problem is, that while John McCain opposes "fetal farming" or the creating of human embryos for stem cell research, he is also in favor of using human embryos already existing for such research.

In addition, he has voted to fund such research:

Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?

A: I believe that we need to fund this. This is a tough issue for those of us in the pro-life community. I would remind you that these stem cells are either going to be discarded or perpetually frozen. We need to do what we can to relieve human suffering. It's a tough issue. I support federal funding.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007
As quoted from here.

I respectfully submit, then, that he does not believe a baby is entitled to human rights at the moment of conception.
More on Doug Kmiec and his Betrayal of the Pro-Life position.

As I note below, Pepperdine Law Professor (and former Dean of Catholic University) Douglas has endorsed Barak Obama, a man who is, without question, the most pro-abortion candidate to ever run for the U.S. Presidency. He has gone further and written a book defending his position. His initial endorsement is here, although he does nothing to attempt to reconcile his supposed pro-life beliefs with Barack Obama's pro-abortion actions. (Wisconsin Law Professor mocks it as not understandable.)

So why does Kmiec back Obama?

Does he believe that Obama has had a conversion experience and now admits he was wrong? No, he acknowledges disagreements with Obama over the issue.

Has Kmiec changed his view and become pro-abortion? No, Kmiec insists that he is still a faithful Roman Catholic.

Is Kmiec a Quisling or a Richard Rich who will betray all for higher office (perhaps a judicial appointment)? Well, he's not craven enough to say.

What Kmiec says is that Roe will never be overturned and that Obama will try to keep girls and young women from becoming pregnant. Apparently, he is also fed up with the Iraq war and believes that the U.S. should pull out immediately, even if it leads to civil war and genocide.

No really. Here is one of his essays defending his support for Obama.

Also, as you will note in the essay, Kmeic, a self-professed Republican lawyer claims "the current Republican Party thrives on demonizing its opposition to win elections." This may be the only thing I currently agree with him on - however, I note that the Democratic Party is doing exactly the same thing - witness the unrelenting attacks on Sarah Palin (do I even need to begin to document this?)

Here are some thoughts by Deacon Keith Fournier. Here is a post by Prof. Richard Garnett (added later: And this longer more recent one on the First Things blog). First Things editor Fr. Richard John Neuhaus responded earlier here. Finally, although not directly on-point on Kmiec, here is an interesting note on the effect of an Obama Presidency passed on by Rob Vischer (although not written by him).


The Martyrdom of St. Douglas Kmiec:
Here is Kmiec's account of being denied the Holy Eucharist. Here are some responses by Kmiec to a Beliefnet Q and A.
Obama, Life and Human Rights (Part II)

In my last post, I looked at Obama's statements on the human rights of a baby - in particular related to abortion. In this post, I will examine his actions as a legislator.

First, I must acknowledge the wonderful work done by Jill Stanek, a nurse whose ordeal at Christ Hospital, pushed her into the forefront of this issue. Ms. Stanek, in 1996 held a newborn boy who had Downs Syndrome, while she watched him die because he survived an abortion. She contacted law enforcement officials who told her the law did not protect infants who survive an abortion - as a result she began a campaign for a law which would protect any baby who had been delivered from the womb from being "terminated."

This legislation, known as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act was overwhelmingly passed at the federal level and signed into law by President Bush. It passed the House by a voice vote and it passed the Senate unanimously.

In 2001, in Illinois while Barack Obama was serving in the State Senate, state Sen. Patrick O’Malley of Oak Lawn introduced a parallel bill to apply at the state level. [Due to constitutional concerns, even if the federal law had been in effect, it is not likely that it could be enforced in the individual states - see United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)]. The bill used as its definition of "live birth" the same definition used by the World Health Organization in 1950 and adopted by the United Nations in 1955. See Senate Bill 1095, Born Alive Infant Protection Act. The bill was sent to the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Obama voted no. (see .pdf here). When the measure reached the floor, Senator Obama was the only voice to speak in opposition and indicated he would vote present (which, for purposes of this bill, had the same effect as a "no" vote). The bill passed The floor discussion can be read here (.pdf transcript, pages 84-90). Here is Senator Obama's objection:
… I just want to suggest … that this [legislation] is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny.

Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — child, a 9-month-old — child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.

I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.
What he is arguing is that because the Act covers a baby when it is removed or expelled from the mother, the Act would also protect a living baby in the womb. Never mind that the definition, as noted above, only covers a baby who has been delivered in some fashion from the mother.

Although the bill passed the Illinois Senate - over Barak Obama's objections - it died in the house. See here for Obama's "present" vote on the Illinois Senate floor (.pdf), March 30, 2001.

Recall that we are looking at when Barak Obama thinks a living human gets human rights - for Obama in 2001, a baby who had fully been delivered from the mother was not guaranteed the protection of the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights or any human rights. It could be exposed and left to die and Barack Obama was alright with that.

In 2002, Sen. O'Malley again introduced the Born Alive Infants Protection Act as SB1662. Again the bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Obama voted no (.pdf). Having passed the committee, the bill was sent to the floor, where again Sen. Obama led the opposition to it. Transcript from April 4, 2002 (.pdf) - see pages 28-35. Specifically, if you read his objections, he believe the intent of this bill is not to protect a human life but is "...really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman... to perform an abortion." Ms. Stanek has posted audio of Obama making this objection on the floor here. Unlike in the prior year, this time Sen. Obama actually voted "no" on this bill. See here (.pdf). Again the bill died in the Illinios House.

In 2003, control of the House switched parties and although the Bill was introduced again, this time it was not sent to the Judiciary Committee, but to the Health & Human Services Committee, chaired by Barack Obama. In Committee, the Bill was amended to add the "neutrality clause" from the federal version to the Illinois Bill version to make them absolutely identical. Barack Obama voted in favor of adding this clause. See the docket, here in .pdf. Even after making this amendment, which appeased rapid-pro-abortion politicians such as Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama still voted to kill the bill which would protect a child who was born alive during an abortion. Once again, the bill was killed and did not see the light of day. For a very complete discussion of the episode of the 2003 bill see this page by Jill Stanek.

The bill did not pass the statehouse until after Barack had left the state senate. See this letter to the editor from Former state senator Rick Winkel, in which Sen. Winkel notes that none of the opponents, he believes, actually favor infanticide, but all were so rabidly pro-abortion that none could bring themselves to vote for protecting the newly born:

On March 12, 2003, I presented the neutrality amendment before the state Health and Human Services Committee chaired by then state Sen. Obama. All 10 committee members voted to add the amendment. Nevertheless, during the same hearing, the committee rejected the bill as amended on a vote of 4-6-0. Obama voted no.

I was stunned because the neutrality amendment addressed the concerns of opponents. It was the same neutrality language approved by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry in the federal bill.

None of those who voted against SB-1082 favored infanticide. Rather their zeal for pro-choice dogma was clearly the overriding force behind their negative votes rather than concern that my bill would protect babies who are born alive.

In 2005, I joined 116 state representatives and 54 senators in voting for HB-984, which contained the same born-alive definition and neutrality language as Senate Bill 1082, plus some extra language to satisfy the most zealous pro-choice legislators, yet harmless to the bill's purpose. No one voted against it. We had finally accomplished what we had set out to do—protect a newborn baby's life.
To summarize: Barack Obama has, through his actions, shown the world that if it comes to a newborn baby's human right to life versus a mother who intended that that child die in an abortion, the baby has no right to life and must die. To answer the question he avoided at the Civil Forum, it appears that for Barack Obama, no fetus has any human rights and no newborn has human rights if the mother desires the child dead.


I did not intend for there to be such a long delay between my first post on this subject, immediately below, and this one. Indeed, most of this was written at the time of that post (in fact, they originally were to be one, but due to the length, I split them), however, there were many new news stories and developments. As I expressed initially, I started writing this with a desire to give Senator Obama the full benefit of any doubt and have spent a great deal of time reading the charges and countercharges and looking for an exculpatory explanation which would indicate Barack Obama would, in deed, give a new born child some human rights. Nevertheless, the record is quite clear. If you doubt me, please do your own research. Finally, this link sets forth Sen. Obama's defense of his record on this issue:

You may also read the webpage of former Catholic University Law School Dean Douglas Kmeic here. (See also, Ed Whelan who counters Kmeic here.)

And finally, here is a link to an examination of this issue by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania: FactCheck.Org