July 11, 2008

Chinese men

I'm not surprised to see this:

http://www.tnr.com/story_print.html?id=06d65840-0997-482e-a84d-b09b61a7b0e5

What baffles me is how (or maybe 'if'?) the Chinese Gov't didn't see this coming.

And the 'if' is the scary part. It wouldn't take much for them to create a HUGE army. That's why I can't help wonder how sincere their efforts to crack down on those "war games" clubs.

I remember in a history class I took once we learned about the middle ages, where, because women could marry above their station but men couldn't, it created an excess of upper class women and lower class men. The upper class women were no problem -- they just became nuns. The problem was the lower class men (and this seems to be the same problem China is facing now; what with the lower class men not able to find wives). The solution back then was to draft them all into a big army for what became the Cruisades. I wonder if China will adopt the same solution.

One other note that wasn't mentioned in the article is that in addition to all that, girls are being exported (so to speak). A friend of mine adopted a girl from China.

Michael

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February 24, 2007

Romney's Consistency

The MSM have been trying to make a point that Mitt Romney is inconsistent on social issues, especially abortion. They point to two facts, that in 1994 he was more pro-abortion than he is now (I don't know to what extent, I've not read the quotes, etc). And when he was running for governor of MA, he promised not to change the abortion laws.

I'd like to address each one in turn.

Romney himself said that his opinion changed between 1994 and now. I can certainly understand that. I don't recall how I voted in '94, but in '92, I voted for ... well, I won't say, but his middle name is Jefferson. So a change of view between 1994 and now is most certainly within the realm of possibility.

And in 2002 (and apparently also in 2004) he said that he wouldn't change the abortion laws in MA. It seems to me that given the state of politics in MA, that could have been nothing more than a simple statement of fact! With the State House so firmly in the Democratic camp, he could, as governor, no more change the abortion laws than sprout wings and fly! That statement, in itself, says nothing about his intentions, or what he would LIKE to do.

Finally, I'll point out an event that happened here in Boston a week or two ago. Romney was in Boston, and across the street from him were some demonstrators. They were dressed up as flip-flops and trying to make the case that he's inconsistent on abortion.

Who were these people? Were they pro-life conservatives warning us to not trust him, "He used to be soft on abortion, and he may be again!"

No, they were from Planned Parenthood.

You can tell a lot about a man by his enemies.

I'm not worried about Mitt.

Michael

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December 02, 2005

Tookie's Colors

Want to see something interesting? Do this: Google "tookie williams" and look at the images.

Now, he says he repents of his gangbanging days (although not the murders that put him on death row). If that is true, then why is it that every picture of him (when he's not in a prison uniform) has him wearing blue (the Crips color). If he wore red to some public appearance, I'd be impressed.

La Shawn Barber has some more on him here.

Michael

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April 15, 2005

Eric Rudolph: Pro Choice

(Well, can anyone really call him pro life?)

I can't. So maybe it's time to redefine (or refine) some definitions:


Pro Choice: The belief that someone should be allowed to murder someone else, if they choose.

Pro Life: The belief that choosing to murder someone is wrong.


Maybe I'm being simplistic here, but I just ate lunch, and if I try to consider Eric Rudolph pro life, I'm going to toss it.

I enjoyed reading LaShawn Barber's post about it, and can find almost nothing there that I disagree with.

There will always be those who define God in their own image, who pretend that God believes as they do and justifies what they do. Eric Rudolph is no exception. He believed that in waging a one man war against the US Government, he was doing God's work.

He makes me sick.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

A good read

I don't agree with the conclusion (she's not against gay marriage (although she's not for it, either), and I am), but Jane Galt's A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other is well worth a read.

She goes into the history of various social (and economic) changes in this country that can be considered (at least by me) to have been mistakes. One of the fundamental points she makes regards the "marginal case":

Now, economists hear this sort of argument all the time. "That's ridiculous! I would never start working fewer hours because my taxes went up!" This ignores the fact that you may not be the marginal case. The marginal case may be some consultant who just can't justify sacrificing valuable leisure for a new project when he's only making 60 cents on the dollar. The result will nonetheless be the same: less economic activity. Similarly, you--highly educated, firmly socialised, upper middle class you--may not be the marginal marriage candidate; it may be some high school dropout in Tuscaloosa. That doesn't mean that the institution of marriage won't be weakened in America just the same.

To bring an example from a different topic, partial birth abortions (where a baby, in the process of being born (breech -- feet first), has it's brains sucked out a tube while the head is still inside the mother (apologies if you were eating lunch; it disgusts me too). The pols who wanted the ban to include the clause "except for the health of the mother" are comfortable in their position that it'll never be used except in the extreme cases. But you start with the marginal cases where the mother would be very sick then it becomes a little more socially acceptable, and then you have the "there's a slight risk of something", and end up with "let's abort the baby because dad lost his job."

But anyway, give it a read. It's worth it.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

Hating sin at Jackson's Junction

I'm getting very impressed these days with what's coming out of Jackson's Junction. For some time, it's been a good site for viewing television clips that I can't otherwise see (I don't subscribe to any standard cable service -- too much trash that I don't want coming into my house. And if I could get one of these devices to be configurable to filter out other stations, I'd be a happy camper. But I digress).

Anyway, after they added Dirty Harry, there have been some very good articles coming from there. The latest one is well worth a read.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2005

Well, you put it THAT way...

Turns out, if you ask the right questions, you get a more reasonable answer. BlogsForTerri posted (as did others) that a new Zogby poll (with questions that more accurately reflected Terri's state (even dodging the "Persistent Vegitative State" or not question) shows a lot more support for Terri to stay alive.

"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.

Compare that with this ABC News Poll. If you look at the PDF, you'll see the way they phrased the question:

41. As you may know, a woman in Florida named Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her parents and her husband disagree on whether or not she should be kept on life support. In cases like this who do you think should have final say, (the parents) or (the spouse)?

Not surprisingly, when they throw in phrases like "life support" (that conjur up images of big machines that go "ping"), they got radically different answers.

Imagine what results they would have had if they said that she was conscious and aware of her surroundings.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2005

Rest in peace, John Paul II

As you've probably heard, Pope John Paul II has reposed. It's been expected for some time now, and the end is, in this case, more of a relief than a shock. William F. Buckley had a gold column about him a couple months ago, and a prayer that was answered today.

The blogosphere has it well covered, of course, as does the MSM. Power Line Blog has a funny oversight by the NYT (that they have since corrected, although when I first looked, it was still there).

At this point, I just hope the cardinals elect someone of like mind with him. But for that, we'll have to wait for the white smoke.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

Parenting website under attack

A government website, 4parents.gov is under attack by liberal activist groups. Why? Because it promotes absinence instead of birth control.

HHS officials said Thursday evening they were not surprised certain groups disliked the site.

“They’ve always opposed us on the issue of abstinence. That’s fine,” HHS spokesman Bill Pierce said. “One thing we do know about abstinence is that if you practice it, you will not have an unintended pregnancy or risk catching a sexually transmitted disease.”

I just browsed the site and it looks very good. If you have kids (especially teenagers), definitely check it out while it's still here.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Massachusetts set to allow cloning

Yesterday, the Massachusetts senate voted to allow "theraputic cloning" for stem cell research. Today the house voted to allow it. Governor Romney has promised to veto, but they'll probably override it.

As I understand it, theraputic cloning is where you put someone's DNA in a fertilized egg, let it develop enough to create some stem cells, then insert them back into the DNA donor to (possibly) cure whatever problem they had.

One editorial claimed that Gov. Romney who apparently supports stem cell research using fetuses left over from in vitro fertilization is being hypocritical. I don't think so. I think that simply, if you (begrudgingly?) accept in vitro fertilization, then using fetuses from there is a better use for them than just throwing them away.

But I can't say that, given what it entails, I'm all that thrilled with in vitro fertilization. You create tens or hundreds of babies in the hopes that one of them might implant in a womb, then incinerate the rest? Yeek...

But what this points out is the real danger of this bill; not in what it's allowing now (which I don't like in itself), but the mentality of "Since we're already doing xxx, why can't we just go one step further and do yyy." We already have a factory assembly line creating fetuses for couples who want to be pregnant, now let's just slip someone's DNA in there to maybe cure diabetes or whatever else ails them. Then some years from now someone's going to say, "We already do cloning for theraputic (stem cell) purposes, why not carry one of these to term so they can donate a kidney." What's next? Designer babies? ("A doctor was slapped with a malpractice suit after a baby he promised would have blonde hair and blue eyes turned out to have brown hair and eyes.")

And just for the record, I myself am diabetic. It's possible I'll benefit some day from stem cell research. But, I promise you, not if it involves cloning. I will never want someone else's life (even if it is "just a fetus") sacrificed for my own.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo is dead

You may have already heard. Terri Schiavo died this morning. In the days ahead there will be talk of autopsies (and maybe grand juries, etc). But for now, it's just time to pray for her soul and for everyone concerned.

Posted by mlv at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2005

Almost over for Terri

I'm sorry I haven't been posting this week. Quite frankly, I've been glued to Blogs For Terri, with the occasional peek at BaylyBlog (don't agree with their faith, but they provide some perspective of what's going on outside the hospice).

It's been a long week for everyone who cares for Terri. And it seems like it may be almost over. I've been hoping that she can survive, recover, and tell us what happened on that February morning 15 years ago. But now I'm just hoping that she finds rest soon. I'm also hoping that they'll be able to perform an autopsy on her. But even that may be denied her.

In the end, everyone will face the Judgement. I've just been hoping for his sake that Michael will (assuming he's guilty) face earthly justice first (if that may help him with the Judgement). But I have to remind myself that in the only eyes I have, he's not guilty (yet).

Posted by mlv at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

Thoughts on Terri Schiavo

I'm waiting for word from BlogsForTerri or Captain's Quarters (currently, the two most current blogs on this. BlogsForTerri seems to be better at Florida activities (including tips not very useful for me ("Come over to the courthouse now" -- wish I could)), and Captain's Quarters seems the best source for DC news (but I'm still watching both, even though Congress and the President have done what they can).

Right now (I gather), the two sides have probably made their arguments in federal court; according to CNN, each side will have 30 minutes, and it's been almost 3 hours since the start of the hearing. So I presume that the judge is mulling over things, and all we can do is pray and wait.

I was trying to answer the question, "Why is Michael Schiavo doing this?" There are some possible answers, and I'm going to think out loud about some of them (my information is based on the pro-Terri websites I've found. The pro-Michael websites are hard to find):

"Terri wants to die": This is the answer he's been giving for at least the past 6 years (I'm looking at the timeline if you want to follow along). He's wanted her to die since 1993 (when he posted "Do not Resuscitate" orders). I find this claim very hard to believe. It raises a lot of questions. First and foremost is, why did he wait 7 years before mentioning it? There's also the "slip" last Friday night on Larry King Live where he admits that he doesn't know what she wanted. If she really wanted to die, and told him (and his siblings), wouldn't he have mentioned it earlier?


Money: I can't find the reference to what he gets (that he doesn't already have) if she dies, but I recall reading somewhere that if she dies, he gets a nice chunk o' change. This sounds like a very compelling motive, and one that has been bantered about a lot. I'm not saying it's not, but there are a couple arguments against it (and a rebuttal, too). 1, he offered, back in 1998 to donate the inheritance to charity. 2, someone offered him a cool million to give her parents guardianship. The rebuttals are 1, talk is cheap. Maybe that was just lip service, and 2, maybe he stands to inherit a lot more than a million, and he's just waiting for a higher bidder.

In short, I don't know. It might be part of the reason, or even all. I don't think it's none of the reason. There are a lot of unknowns in this scenario. How much of the settlement money is left? Does he have life insurance.


Strangulation: This is something that's been mentioned here and there. Did Michael strangle Terri, and did that cause all the problems she's been having? This one has some compelling arguments in favor of it. Looking again at the timeline, we see that at first he seemed to try to help her (well, inconclusive; I read her discharge record in May, 1990, and there's one line that says, "intensive rehabilitation care was not approved", but it doesn't say if the "family" (Michael) or the insurance company didn't approve it), but later stops all that.

One scenario that has some plausibility behind it is this: Michael attempts to strangle her. In order to avoid suspicion, he makes a show of trying to take care of her. But when the rehab shows that she may recover her speech and be able to accuse him, he halts the treatment and tries to have her killed.

The discharge record would give us the best clues, one would think. It states that she had a rigid neck when she was first admitted. But it doesn't say why she had a lack of oxygen. It does say that she was going to some extreme measures to keep her weight down. It doesn't say how much she weighed, but she was drinking "10-15 glasses of iced tea" [a day?]. She did have a potassium deficiency that was easily treated. I don't know if that can cause a lack of oxygen. Interesting to note is that her family's website has not refuted the possibility that a potassium deficiency could cause lack of oxygen. But they also point out that meds given by the paramedics could themselves cause low potassium.

There's another question that needs answering here: if he did strangle her, what would he be charged with (attempted murder, presumably), and what are the statute of limitations in FL on that? The family's talking points say that they have expired. That may tend to eliminate that as a motive.


When I started writing this, my thought was to make the strangulation theory my conclusion. But now I'm beginning to wonder. So I'll add another scenario:

Family pressures (in the person of his common-law wife, Jodi): It wasn't until the year he was engaged to Jodi that the timeline first mentions court actions to starve her. Between '92 and '97, he seemed content to just wait for her to die (don't treat her, don't resuscitate, etc). But in '97, I see the court actions to that end. I wonder if Jodi was jealous of Terri (or just wanted to get legally married) and encouraged Michael to take a more active role in Terri's demise.

It's possible we'll never know what really happened. It seems it's almost as hard to know what's going on in Michael's head as in Terri's head.

My hope is that somehow Terri's parents will get guardianship, and can get her the therapy she needs. This would do several different things. 1, she may recover enough to be able to speek (and maybe tell what really happened the morning of February 25, 1990), and 2, new tests, and a release of all records may provide some more clues. I don't know how that would come about; whether the federal judge can either (a) make a ruling to that end, or (b) get judge Greer replaced.

But for now, all we can do is wait and pray.

Update while writing this: the judge has declined to rule. So we wear our fingernails and/or prayer ropes down some more...

Michael

Posted by mlv at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2005

Senate voting on Sunday for Terri Schiavo

I'm watching right now; the Senate will be voting Sunday afternoon on a modified version of Terri's bill. I'm sure blogsforterri will have more detail than I do.

Posted by mlv at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2005

Saving Terri Schiavo

If you haven't heard, Terri Schiavo will be sentenced to a long painful death by starvation today at 1:00 PM. If you really haven't heard, I urge you to look at this site. Be sure to watch the videos of this so-called "vegetable" smiling at her mother.

Then follow blogsforterri.com.

I'd run down the status, but blogsforterri is a much better source. Essentially, there are efforts both in Washington DC and Florida to save her life. Let's pray that at least one of them pans out.

Michael

Posted by mlv at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)