Sunday, July 31, 2011

Robert Ettinger Snap-Frozen at 92

Robert Ettinger, a physics teacher and science fiction writer who kicked off the cryonics movement, died on July 23 in Michigan. He was 92. "We're obviously sad," said his son David, but "we were able to freeze him under optimum conditions, so he's got another chance." Robert Ettinger is widely considered the father of the cryonics movement, whose supporters believe they can attain immortality by quick-freezing their bodies at death in anticipation of a future revival.

Mr Ettinger's body now lives in a vat of liquid nitrogen at a nondescript building outside Detroit, home to over 100 of his fellow immortalists - including his mother and two wives - who are waiting for revival. Mr Ettinger envisioned that he would remain in a period of frozen stasis for decades - or centuries - however long it would take doctors, equipped with the technology of the future, to thaw him out and restore him to good health. "Our patients are not truly dead in any fundamental sense," he told the New Yorker magazine in 2010.

He described a world in which people would become nobler and more responsible as they grappled with the reality of living forever - what he dubbed the Freezer Era. And if the earth became too crowded with all those immortal humans: "The people could simply agree to share the available space in shifts," he wrote, "going into suspended animation from time to time to make room for others." ~ Washington Post, Jul 25

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quote of the Week - Frank G. Slaughter

"There is no peace, as most people name it, for those of us who serve the Christ. Yet ours is the greatest peace that can come to any man, the peace to live without fear, the peace to know one's course is set and that whatever befalls us we will one day be with him forever." -- Frank G. Slaughter (Upon This Rock, p. 268)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Divorce Wrecking British Society

Sir Paul Coleridge took the opportunity of a BBC radio interview to drive home a message he has repeated more than once: divorce is wrecking the lives of British children and the whole of society. If all parties agreed, he said, a couple could get a divorce in six weeks -- in less time than it takes to get a driving licence -- simply by filling out a form, but the result was 3.8 million children whose fate was at the mercy of the courts.

And there was no sign that the misery of large numbers of children hit by family break-up was diminishing. If anything the trend was getting worse. It affected everyone from the Royal Family down and rippled out into the whole of society, the Daily Mail reported.

The judge, who has been married to his wife Judith for 38myears and has two sons and a daughter, was highly critical of the cohabitation trend, which has accelerated the breakdown of relationships where there are children:

On the day official figures showed that nearly half of all babies are now born to unmarried mothers, Sir Paul blamed family break-up on social changes including the shift in attitudes towards cohabitation and increasing numbers of children born outside marriage.

He said that 50 years ago 'on the whole cohabitation was regarded as something you didn't do, to have a child outside marriage, so that created a framework that stopped very much breakdown.

'We've had a cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour,' the judge said. 'We need to have a reasonable debate about it and decide what needs to be done – and I don't mean Government,' he said. 'They didn't cause the problem.'

He added that the change in social attitudes over the past five decades had given people 'complete freedom of choice'.

This was 'great' when they behaved responsibly, he added, but some seemed to think it was a 'free-for-all'. Sir Paul said the rate of family breakdown among unmarried couples was far higher than among married ones.

It was statistically proven parents were far more likely to stay together until their children's 16th birthday if they were married, he said.

Official figures suggest that an average marriage lasts around 11 years, but a cohabitation is likely to break up in three if the partners do not marry.

Sir Paul has also called for the government to set up an independent commission to reform marriage, divorce and family laws.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Abduction of Coptic Women

Coptic activists say more 150 abductions have taken place since 1993, but cannot provide sufficient evidence to back their claims. Many Christian women escape their homes to get married against their family’s wishes. The editor in chief of ‘Arab-West Report’ blames the problem on hasty interpretations of the facts and the confusion between social issues and religion.

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Sectarian conflict between Egyptian Christians and Muslims is being fuelled by the kidnapping of young Coptic women forced to convert to Islam, with both sides accusing the other. Coptic activists claim that 150 young Christian women and girls have disappeared since 1993, abducted and forced to convert in order to be married. Muslims counter that these women fled their homes because of family problems or to get married despite the parents’ opposition.

The latest case occurred on 12 June in Minya (Upper Egypt), when two girls, Nancy (age 14) and Christine (age 16), were reported missing. Police found them later in Cairo, wearing a niqab but recognisable by the Coptic cross tattooed on their forehead.

Despite their parents’ protestation, the two girls are being held in a Cairo psychiatric hospital and it is unclear whether they escaped or were abducted.

Some analysts point the finger at erroneous and hasty interpretations of events that are dubbed religiously motivated abductions, a definition that fuels tensions between Christians and Muslims.

Read more here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Steven H. Miles on the New Military Medicine

An important look at military medicine by Steven H. Miles

United States military medical ethics evolved during its involvement in two recent wars, Gulf War I (1990–1991) and the War on Terror (2001–). Norms of conduct for military clinicians with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war and the administration of non-therapeutic bioactive agents to soldiers were set aside because of the sense of being in a ‘new kind of war’. Concurrently, the use of radioactive metal in weaponry and the ability to measure the health consequences of trade embargos on vulnerable civilians occasioned new concerns about the health effects of war on soldiers, their offspring, and civilians living on battlefields. Civilian medical societies and medical ethicists fitfully engaged the evolving nature of the medical ethics issues and policy changes during these wars.

Read the full report here.

Why Hell Exists

Militants have reportedly kidnapped and hanged an 8-year-old boy in Southern Afghanistan, to punish his dad for not giving them a police vehicle, according to CNN.

His father, a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk, reportedly refused to comply with militants who demanded he give them a vehicle, according to President Hamid Karzai’s office. The man’s son was kidnapped Friday; it was not known when he was hanged.

“President Karzai both strongly condemns this act and rejects it as a brutal and cowardly crime that is not acceptable in any religion or culture,” a statement from the Afghan president said, according to the Associated Press.

Editor's Note:  Hell alone is the fitting destination for those who do such evil acts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

57,000 Young People Protest Message at UN Conference on Youth

“We do not agree with much of the document produced bygovernments for the High Level Meeting on youth,” says Tyler Ament, Director of the International Youth Coalition. “We also do not agree with the messages being put out by UN agencies like sex rights for young people and other objectionable ideas.”

Ament and his colleagues will present a Youth Statement to the UN and the World that has been signedby 120,000 people including 57,000 under the age of 30. “The Youth Statement recognizes the rights of parents and calls for policy makers to return to basics and get away from dangerous ideas that are harmful to young people,” says Ament

Other speakers include Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, the largest youth pro-lifeorganization in the country; Leah Darrow, a former America’s Top Model contestant turned chastity speaker; Thomas Peters, creator of the American Papist blog, which is one of the most popular Catholic blogs on the web.

Ament and his colleagues will appear at a press conference on Monday, July 25th at 11:30 am in the offices of C-FAM (211 East 43rd Street, Suite 1306, New York City).

The International Youth Coalition is a group of young people from around the world that celebrates the fact that humans are made in the image of God, intrinsically relational, and are called to live a life with purpose and meaning.  More info at:
# # #

To participate in the teleconference or to schedule an interview with a speaker, contact Samantha Singson: (212)754-5948 or

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Breivik a "Darwinian" Terrorist

WASHINGTON – A review of Anders Behring Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto shows the media's quick characterization of the Norwegian terrorist as a "Christian" may be as incorrect as it was to call Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh one.

Breivik was arrested over the weekend, charged with a pair of brutal attacks in and near Oslo, Norway, including a bombing in the capital city that killed 7 and a shooting spree at a youth political retreat on the island of Utoya that killed more than 80 victims.

Piecing together Breivik's various posts on the Internet, many media reports have characterized the terrorist – who says he was upset over the multiculturalist policies stemming from Norway's Labour Party – as a "right-wing, Christian fundamentalist."

Yet, while McVeigh rejected God altogether, Breivik writes in his manifesto that he is not religious, has doubts about God's existence, does not pray, but does assert the primacy of Europe's "Christian culture" as well as his own pagan Nordic culture.

Breivik instead hails Charles Darwin, whose evolutionary theories stand in contrast to the claims of the Bible, and affirms: "As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. Europe has always been the cradle of science, and it must always continue to be that way. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I'm not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."

Read it all here.

Discredited Hauser Resigns from Harvard to Pedal Eviliciousness

Harvard neuroscientist Marc D. Hauser, apopular teacher and writer, will resign on August 1. Nearly a year ago an internal investigation found him guilty of eight instances of scientific misconduct and in April the psychology department voted not to allow him to teach when classes begin in the fall.

In his resignation letter, Hauser says that he plans to focus on "new and interesting challenges", including"extremely interesting and rewarding work focusing on the educational needs of at-risk teenagers" and "exciting opportunities in the private sector."

It may be years before a full report on Hauser's alleged misconduct is published. However, it appears that there had been problems with the authenticity of the data in several of his papers.

At last report, Viking Penguin still plans to publish Hauser's next book, Evilicious: Explaining Our Evolved Taste forBeing Bad. As the author of several popular books, Hauser was a spokesman for the view that morality is biologically based and that no actions are inherently right or wrong. However, his sudden fall from grace does not appear to have cast a shadow on this increasingly accepted view. ~ ScienceInsider, July 20

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pro-life Youth Push Back Against UN

Lauren Funk

NEW YORK July 21 (CFAM) A new-media skirmish broke out today with pro-life students flooding the Twitter topics associated with the upcoming UN youth conference. Pro-life participants engaged the UN youth conversation starting at noon today and for an hour dominated the conversation.

Twitter is a new social media platform that allows users to broadcast instant messages of no longer than 140 characters. This is part of what may be an exciting few days at UN headquarters when the world meets to discuss young people and what they need.

A strong contingent of pro-life youth have organized under the banner of the International Youth Coalition. Pro-life students were largely frozen out of the official UN meeting. Dozens of young people from pro-life groups were given acceptance letters that were later revoked. Still, the group has found a way to have their voices heard, including through Twitter.

A number of nationally renowned speakers will join youth fellows and members of the International Youth Coalition in a series of events promoting life and human dignity at this year’s United Nations High Level Meeting on Youth.

From here.

Vaccination Drive Used to Catch Osama

Public health officials are furious after learning that the CIA used a fake vaccination drive to seek out Osama bin Laden. The Guardian reported this week that a senior Pakistani doctor was recruited to set up a vaccination program in Abbottabad. The doctor, Shakil Afridi, has been arrested and charged with working for a foreign intelligence agency, although it appears that he may not have been aware that the CIA was behind the plot.

The CIA wanted to be certain that the world's most wanted terrorist was really hiding in the compound that they had targeted. They had DNA from his sister, who had died in Boston in 2010 and they believed that DNA from children living there might confirm bin Laden's presence. A nurse entered, but apparently failed to obtain any DNA.

Public health officials fear that the news will fuel suspicions in Pakistan that vaccination campaigns are just Western plots to spread disease and sterility.

"To take children who are in need of vaccines to prevent some disease that could kill them and use that as a front for something else is unconscionable," says Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The end doesn't always justify the means."

And Médecins Sans Frontières was outraged: "It is challenging enough for health agencies and humanitarian aid workers to gain access to, and the trust of, communities, especially populations already sceptical of the motives of any outside assistance. Deceptive use of medical care also endangers those who provide legitimate and essential health services." ~ ScienceInsider, July 13

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quote of the Week - C.S. Lewis

"We will never save civilisation as long as civilisation is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more." -- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Zardari and King Abdullah Discuss Cooperation

JEDDAH, July 20: President Asif Ali Zardari and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia agreed on Wednesday to work with greater cooperation in the wake of major developments in the region.

According to sources, the two leaders held extensive discussions on bilateral ties, situation in the Middle East and South Asia and the fight against militancy. The president who had arrived here earlier in the day called on the king at the Royal Palace.

The sources said that issues related to Iran, Afghanistan, situation in Bahrain and its security implications for the region came under discussion during the meeting which lasted over an hour.
Pakistan agreed to continue playing a positive role for stability in the region.

President Zardari said Pakistan wanted political stability in the Middle East and was against use of violence.

King Abdullah praised Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against militancy and said Saudi Arabia would remain a steadfast friend of the country through thick and thin.

The sources said the discussions were marked by conformity of views on virtually all issues.

On arrival, President Zardari and his entourage were greeted by Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Makkah Governor Prince Khalid Al Faisal, the mayor of Jeddah, senior members of the royal family and other dignitaries.

It may be mentioned that the credentials of new Pakistan Ambassador Mohammad Naeem Khan had been accepted within hours after his arrival in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The president is accompanied by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and his spokesman Farhatullah Babar.

Analysts here regard President Zardari’s visit as significant because it immediately follows his visits to Iran and Afghanistan.

With the ‘end game’ approaching in the Afghan war and the turmoil in Bahrain pitting Saudi Arabia against Iran, the visit is being seen as an effort to evolve a joint strategy on the issues.

Analysts also find it significant that the president had come to Saudi Arabia at a time when there are marked strains in Pakistan’s relations with the US. According to diplomats here, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have traditionally been interacting closely on Afghanistan and with negotiations under way to bring about an end to West’s involvement in that country, both sides appear keen to synchronise their moves.

Saudi officials acknowledge that recent developments have helped bring the leaders of the two countries closer than they were about a year ago.

Despite a recent denial about Pakistan playing a mediatory role between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the sources said the matter had been under intense discussion between the two countries for the past few months.

The sources said that while Pakistan appeared committed to helping counter any upheaval in the region, it was also in a position to play a role in lowering the temperature.

In a statement to Saudi daily Okaz, President Zardari said his visit had come at an important time in terms of regional developments which made it necessary for the two countries to work together for common goals and objectives.

The president also briefed the Saudi leaders on the investigation into the assassination of Saudi diplomat Hassan Al Qahtani in Karachi in May.

President Zardari last visited Saudi Arabia in November 2008.

In the intervening period, relations between the leadership of the two countries were marked by some ups and downs. But the relations now appear to be back on track.

Before the president, the interior minister visited the kingdom twice in recent months and in April the then minister of state for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar came to Riyadh.

After the meeting on Wednesday, King Abdullah hosted a banquet for President Zardari and his entourage. The president will perform Umrah and visit Madinah before flying back to Pakistan on Thursday.

APP adds: Talking to reporters, the president’s spokesman said the visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and taking forward the consultative process on issues of peace, security and political stability in countries of the region that had recently been witnessing violence and turmoil.

From here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How NOT to Win the War on AIDS

In early June the United Nations General Assembly sponsored a high level meeting to mark 30 years since AIDS was first identified. Most national delegates toed the UN line of spending ever larger amounts of money. To prevent the disease the UN bureaucracy favours comprehensive sex education from the earliest ages until adulthood and “universal access to prevention, treatment, care, and support”. First and foremost among these are male and female condoms.

Much attention was devoted to eliminating the “stigma” attached to bearers of the disease. Activists put up posters inside UN buildings and offices and aggressively handed out flyers to employees and visitors.

Stigma is at times a euphemism used to point a finger at those who hold views contrary to the UN “rights-based approach” of overlooking engagement in “risky behavior.” Implicit is a hedonistic creed that nothing must stand in the way of the right to personal pleasure. Thus homosexuals are never faulted for engaging in unnatural and immoral behavior, and those who point this out are accused of stigmatizing the victims.

Instead pharmaceutical companies have been urged to step up condom production and to come up with a vaccine. Rich countries are urged to pour more and more money into research and development to make a cure happen forthwith.

UN high level conferences always end with a heavily negotiated “declaration”. While the HIV/AIDS declaration contained two references to “encouraging responsible sexual behavior, including abstinence, fidelity and correct and consistent use of condoms,” attention focused more on the alliterative concluding element in this list.

Traditional family NGOs encouraged inclusion of family-supportive language. However, while the declaration’s reference reaffirmed “the central role of the family,” there followed a qualifier that “in different cultural, social and political systems various forms of the family exist.”

The conference was yet another occasion that required some participants to object to the language that marks virtually all UN declarations dealing with social matters.

Very few delegations had the courage to question the prevailing orthodoxy. But the Holy See, which has Permanent Observer status, expressed its strong reservations to the controversial language included in the final declaration. In his statement to the General Assembly, Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, hit the nail on the head:

“My delegation remains committed to achieving the goal of halting and reversing the spread of HIV by promoting the only universally effective, safe and affordable means of halting the spread of the disease: abstinence before marriage and mutual fidelity within marriage, avoiding risk taking and irresponsible behaviors and promoting universal access to drugs which prevent the spread of HIV from mother-to-child.

"In fact, there is a growing international recognition that the abstinence and fidelity based programs in parts of Africa have been successful in reducing HIV infection, where transmission has largely occurred within the general population. However, despite this acknowledgement, some continue to deny these results and instead are largely guided by ideology and the financial self interest which has grown as a result of the HIV disease.”

In the “fourth balcony” of the General Assembly Hall, where representatives of non-governmental organizations had gathered to follow the proceedings, there erupted loud sounds of disapproval at this blasphemy. However, Archbishop Chullikatt pressed on. (The Holy See's “Statement of Interpretation” reminded its global audience that Catholic healthcare institutions all over the world take care of one-fourth of sufferers of HIV/AIDS. The Catholic Church has expert knowledge about the pandemic.)

“States must acknowledge that the family, based on marriage being the equal partnership between one man and one woman and the natural and fundamental group unit of society, is indispensable in the fight against HIV and AIDS, for the family is where children learn moral values to help them live in a responsible manner and where the greater part of care and support is provided…

“The Holy See rejects the characterization of persons who engage in prostitution as ‘sex workers’ as this can give the false impression that prostitution could somehow be a legitimate form of work. Prostitution cannot be separated from the issue of the status and dignity of persons; governments and society must not accept such a dehumanization and objectification of persons.”

He concluded with an attempt to refocus the UN debate on a firmer basis:

“What is needed is a value-based approach to counter the disease of HIV and AIDS, an approach which provides the necessary care and moral support for those infected and which promotes living in conformity with the norms of the natural moral order, an approach which respects fully the inherent dignity of the human person.”

The UN’s final declaration called for a “comprehensive strategy” that aimed to cut by half the sexual transmission of HIV by 2015 while seeking related funding of between US$22 billion and $24 billion per year by that time. Upon reflection, it would appear that proponents of abstinence could not only reduce but eliminate HIV if abstinence were endorsed convincingly – and with a lot fewer dollars in the bargain.

At a press conference following the conclusion of the meetings, Paul De Lay, the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) “hailed” the final declaration but had to field an uncomfortable question

“… about controversial sticking points during the negotiations, including concerted efforts by Egypt, Uganda and the Holy See to remove specific language on reproductive health, adolescent sex and sexual education, Mr De Lay said he had been working in the AIDS field since the early 1980s and it was filled with such controversies that really touched on people’s daily lives and values. “It touches on religion, it touches on cultural values — it is controversial; it will always be controversial….”

This is the third UN conference to deal with HIV/AIDS matters. Yes, people die daily from AIDS, many through no fault of their own. An estimated 30 million have perished since it was first noticed in San Francisco and 7,000 are infected every day. But many more people die of cancer and heart disease. No UN conference – high level or low level -- is in sight for those illnesses.

Vincenzina Santoro is an international economist. She represents the American Family Association of New York at the United Nations. From here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bashing Ex-Gays

'I am a man' by Greg Quinlan, PFoX

Why have gay activists instigated media attention over ex-gays and the husband of Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann?

Apparently, Mr. Bachmann, who has a PhD in clinical psychology, operates several counseling centers which also offer services to homosexual clients seeking to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions. But because even one ex-gay proves that homosexual behavior is not innate or immutable, the gay lobby’s fear of their former members results in false claims and attacks aimed at preventing homosexuals from exercising their right to self-determination. They cannot bear to have even one homosexual leave homosexuality, hence their outrage at Dr. Bachmann.
I know because I am ex-gay myself. I suffer more harassment as a former homosexual than I ever did as an out and proud homosexual.

The ex-gay community includes thousands of former homosexuals like myself who benefited from counseling. We did not choose our homosexual feelings, but we did exercise our right to seek help to change those feelings.
As a registered nurse, I saw hundreds of gay men die of AIDS before I finally left the gay lifestyle.

Contrary to the myths being generated by outraged homosexuals, counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions is not prohibited by any medical association. Unhappy homosexuals are not children in need of parental permission and can freely choose their own therapeutic treatment just like anyone else.

The Bachmann incident demonstrates that as homosexuals gain more civil rights, heterosexuals are losing theirs. Because gays are a wealthy and politically powerful minority, they claim access to media attention, political power and corporate influence that middle America does not have.

Read more here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Laura Fotusky Stands on an Older Law

ALBANY, New York, July 13, 2011 ( – Reacting to the news that the first New York State town clerk has resigned rather than sign her name on a same-sex “marriage” license, Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted Tuesday that “the law is the law.”

“When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose which laws,” he said, according to the NY Daily News. “You don’t get to say, ‘I like this law and I’ll enforce this law, or I don’t like this law and I won’t enforce this law’ - you can’t do that.”

“So if you can’t enforce the law, then you shouldn’t be in that position,” he added.

Laura Fotusky, a clerk in the town of Barker, announced her resignation Monday on the website of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. “I cannot put my signature on something that is against God,” she wrote in her resignation letter. “The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures.”

“I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure,” she added.

Read it all here

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Planned Parenthood Can't Have it Both Ways

By Gerard M Nadal

In anticipation of the UN Conference on Children later this month, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has released a new document, Exclaim!

In this document, Planned Parenthood leads an all-out assault against parental rights over their children by calling for laws to empower children and leave parents out in the cold.
Some key excerpts from the document:

Inalienable: Everyone is entitled to human rights simply for being human. Human rights cannot be taken away or given up from anyone, irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, disability, HIV status or health status. reproduction, reproductive health and parenthood.

This from the people aborting over 330,000 humans per year in the US, including those with disabilities. This from the people doing gender-specific abortions. Do they hear themselves speak?
Another reason why young people’s sexual rights are particularly complex is because of the need to both protect and empower young people. There is a common assumption that young people are incapable of making decisions for themselves, so parents or other adults should have full authority over decisions related to their sexuality. Resistance to recognize young people’s sexuality and their decision- making abilities makes the realization of young people’s sexual rights all the more challenging.

The concept of the evolving capacity of young people stems from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It draws attention to the rights of children and adolescents, as well as calls on leaders and societies to value young people’s opinions and decisions in light of their evolving capacities.

As a father of three young children, I have not noted in them any evolved capacity for making sound and reliable judgements regarding sex. I’m still trying to get them to make good hygiene a habit. They need strong parental authority to guide them in their development.

All people under 18 years should enjoy the full range of human rights, including sexual rights. The importance and relevance of some rights change as a person transitions from infancy to childhood to adolescence. Therefore, the rights of children and youth must be approached in a progressive and dynamic way.

The rights and protection of young people under the age of 18 differ from those of adults. Particular attention must be given to these differences in relation to sexual rights. The evolving capacity of young people to make decisions about their health and well- being must be recognized, while also ensuring appropriate protection of their best interests.

Were all of that not enough, here’s the killer, one of PP’s stated goals:

Lest anyone doubt how young Planned Parenthood’s target audience is, try TEN YEARS OLD!!

Read related documents here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quote of the Week - St. John of Damascus

"In imitation of the method of the bee, I shall make my composition from those things which are conformable with the truth and from our enemies themselves gather the fruit of salvation. But I shall reject all that is worthless and falsely labeled as knowledge." -- St. John the Damascene

Thursday, July 14, 2011

China Fills Void as US Withdraws Aid

BEIJING, July 12: China pledged its support for close ally Pakistan on Tuesday, after the United States announced it was suspending $800 million worth of security aid to Islamabad.

“Pakistan is an important country in South Asia. The stability and development of Pakistan is closely connected with the peace and stability of South Asia,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

“China has always provided assistance to Pakistan, helping it improve people’s livelihood and realise the sustainable development of its economy and society. China will continue to do so in the future.”

China is one of Pakistan’s closest allies and is also its main arms supplier.—AFP

Monday, July 11, 2011

PC Spokeswomen Love Hathor but Distain Breast Feeding. Go Figure!

Alice C. Linsley

The inconsistency of feminists amazes me.  They want their cake as women and they want to eat it too as something other than women.  Men maybe?

PC spokeswoman Catherine Price writes, "Given my own experience with dairy goats, I find it hard to believe that they would agreeably give suck to anything. (Or, for that matter, that any responsible nurse would leave an infant face-up under one.)"

Price has written a really demeaning article. Here is a portion:

Barnard history professor Deborah Valenze shares this curiosity, judging from her comprehensive and scholarly new book Milk: A Global and Local History, which covers everything from milk's role in mythology to its effects on animal husbandry to its transformation into cheese. In her telling, a key element of milk's strange history involves the very tension I experienced in the goat pen, namely, humans' ultimately futile desire to separate ourselves from beasts. Sure, we have complex thoughts, and these convenient, opposable thumbs. Yet sooner or later our bosoms will betray us, because when it comes to how we nourish our offspring, humans and other mammals are the same. That's part of the reason human attitudes toward breast milk have always been so complicated: We can strap our breasts down in sports bras or dress them in sexy lingerie, but at the end of the day, we're still walking around with udders on our chests."

The cow was the symbol of the most widely worshipped goddess of the ancient world. Her name was originally Hathor and later Isis. She was called the mother of the "son of God" among Abraham's Kushite ancestors at Nekhen, Heliopolis (NXN) and Karnak. The same women who are likely to point with pride to goddess worship in the ancient world distain breast feeding; one of the many ironies of the politically correct.

Related reading:  The Paradox of Feminism

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Indore Surgeons Turning Girls into Boys

If you are looking for perverse consequences of India's worsening gender ratio, look no longer. Millions of girls are missing, aborted because of a deeply entrenched preference for sons. The consequence shortage of women has reportedly led to practices like kidnapping brides and wife-sharing. But in the north India city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh something even more bizarre is happening, according to the Hindustan Times. Couples are paying surgeons to do sex change operations on infant girls to transform them into boys.

This seems altogether too lurid to be true. The newspaper did not interview parents who commissioned the operation or doctors who performed them. However, it still claims that there have been between 200 and 300 of these operations on girls aged 1 to 5. Afterwards the children are pumped full of male hormones.

The Indian government is taking the allegations seriously. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights ordered the Madhya Pradesh government to investigate the story swiftly. Inspectors have already visited four hospitals, checked records and interviewed doctors. The president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics in Indore, Dr V.P. Goswami, described the claims as "shocking news". "We will be looking into it and taking corrective measures," he said.

The doctors accused of performing the procedure denied that they had been doing it for social reasons. They said that only girls with genital abnormalities were eligible for the procedure. However, it appears it would not be illegal, anyway, due to a loophole in Indian law.

Campaigners for girls' rights are horrified that girls are not even safe after they have been born. ~ London Telegraph, Jun 27; Hindustan Times, June 26

Saturday, July 9, 2011

IVF Drugs Linked to Downs Syndrome

High doses of drugs used to stimulate the ovaries of older women undergoing fertility treatment may result in failed pregnancies and babies with conditions such as Down's syndrome. Research by a UK team, presented at the annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) conference in Stockholm, suggests that eggs produced after fertility treatment have more chromosomal abnormalities than would be expected in untreated women of the same age group.

"What this paper shows is that a lot of the chromosomal abnormalities are not those that are conventionally age-related," said Stuart Lavery, of the IVF clinic at Hammersmith hospital in London. It raises concerns, he said, that the treatment itself might be responsible for the abnormalities - possibly by allowing eggs to develop "that nature would have excluded". If a pregnancy went to term, these could lead to the birth of a baby with Down's syndrome. ~ Guardian, Jul 4

Friday, July 8, 2011

100,000 Christian Victims in 2010

On January 5, 2011, I took on the role of personal representative of the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination and intolerance against Christians and members of other religions. That makes, at least, for a long business card. I am the third such representative after the office was established, and the first scholar. My two predecessors were politicians.

Headquartered in Vienna, the OSCE has 56 participating States including the US, Canada, all the states of Europe and these resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of which are in fact located in Asia. A number of non-participating states have signed partnership agreements, and also maintain embassies to the OSCE in Vienna. Representatives’ positions are honorary. Translated from diplomatic jargon, this does not mean that we only pretend to work, but that we do not receive any monetary compensation.

Although the other parts of my mandate are also interesting – for instance, I devote a substantial portion of my time at OSCE to Roma and Sinti (Gypsy) issues – I will focus in this speech on intolerance, discrimination and persecution against Christians, a subject of great magnitude and concern.

Read it all here.

Massimo Introvigne is an Italian sociologist of religion. He is the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

France's New Bioethics Law

France will soon have a new bioethics law. After months of debate, by a vote of 170 to 157, the Senate approved a bill which offers something for each side of the debate.

Anonymous sperm donation will be allowed. Posthumous reproduction is banned. Surrogate motherhood is banned. Research on embryos and embryonic stem cells is permitted in exceptional cases, subject to approval by the "Agence de biomédecine." Researchers may use only surplus embryos from IVF treatment.

Organ donors have to have had a strong emotional attachment to the recipient for at least two years. Doctors will have to inform pregnant women of tests for prenatal defects.

IVF is permitted for any couple which suffers from real infertility, not social infertility. Hence - to the disgust of many deputies, homosexual couples have been banned from creating IVF children. One left-wing deputy described the law as "regressive and even dangerous". The law is to be revised at least every seven years. ~ Genethique, June 24, AFP, June 23

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quote of the Week - Pope Shenouda

Coptic Pope Shenouda remarked of the Islamic fundamentalists to the secular Egyptian press: “Be careful. They will have us for lunch and you for dinner.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Utilitarian Euthanasia and the Question of Dignity

Facebook can be useful. Browsing through its weekly birthday update, I learned that Nick Tonti-Filippini, a bioethicist who serves on various Australian government committees and teaches at a Catholic institute in Melbourne, turns 55 today. Some of those years must have gone slowly for him, as he is chronically ill. Fortunately, he has the training to analyse his difficulties with critical detachment. So his reflections on euthanasia, whose publication in the local media today coincides with the celebration, are worth passing on.

He begins with a description of his condition:

I am chronically ill with a progressive rheumatoid auto-immune disease that destroyed my kidneys and causes inflammation around the lungs, inner chest walls and heart, ischaemic heart disease and peripheral neuropathy. I have been dependent on dialysis for 20 years and I have undergone 15 angioplasties and the placement of eight stents to recover some blood flow after the failure of coronary bypass surgery.

Nonetheless, he says, euthanasia and assisted suicide are not the answer to his illness. In support of his contention he offers three arguments. First, Nick says, fear of being dependent can be a powerful motivation to seek euthanasia:

The fear of being a burden is a major risk to the survival of those who are chronically ill. If euthanasia were lawful, that sense of burden would be greatly increased, for there would be even greater moral pressure to relinquish one's hold on a burdensome life.

Second, the existence of a euthanasia option would undermine the development of better palliative care facilities. This notion is supported by many disability activists. They say that it spreads subtle and widespread expectation that death must be better than disability. "If the legalization of assisted suicide continues, I believe the rank and file will some day see nothing wrong with hastening the deaths of many people," writes disability expert Dr Carol J. Gill. "They will stand by and do nothing to stop it and will endorse the policies and institutions that advance it – not because they are evil people but because it will no longer be evil in our culture to do so. It will be compassionate, respectful, routine."

Third, Nick argues that no legislation will ever ensure that there can be no abuse. “Legislation that permits euthanasia could never be made safe for those of us who have serious chronic illnesses, because the essence of such legislation is to make respect for our lives contingent upon the strength of our will to survive.” The fact that euthanasia has been rejected in six countries over the past year (by my count), supports this. Committee after committee, in the UK, the UK, France and Australia has found that it is impossible to reconcile legalised euthanasia with the government’s responsibility to defend the disabled, aged and disadvantaged. Since Oregon legalized assisted suicide in 1994, other American states have it debated it again and again. Between January 1994 and March 2011, there had been 122 legislative proposals in 25 states. All bills that are not currently pending were either defeated or languish in committees.

Three solid arguments from a well-informed academic with personal experience. You’d think that his insights would be treated with respect.

They weren’t. Comments on his article were running about 5 to 1 in favour of legalised euthanasia, and nearly all of them were passionately, gut-wrenchingly, venomous.

Coming to grips with his arguments was not on his readers’ agenda. They just wanted to make their own choice. As "Dreamer" put it,

“I don't see it as anyone’s business but mine if I chose euthanasia. Religious ratbags and goodie-two-shoes included. Mind your own bloody business and keep your noses out of my affairs.”

Although Nick’s arguments were entirely secular, he was repeatedly slammed for being a Christian. In one all-too-typical comment, "Susan" noted:

“What a nerve to commit people to absolute agony in the name of your religion. And the slur against good people who want to end their terminal suffering is abhorrent. Why should the terminally ill be put up on your cross and made to suffer your torment? You have no right to choose the death or torture for others. If you want a death on a cross, well climb up yourself, but by God do not put others on it, especially the dying.”

The underlying philosophy was a rough-and-ready utilitarianism – that the value of life is the sum of its pleasures. As "Claudius" put it,

“Quality of life is more important than quantity of life, and euthanasia is a superior outcome to ineffective palliative care.”

And on and on and on.

No one expects internet comments to be balanced and thoughtful, but the vituperation in today’s comments was unsettling. They reveal four things about euthanasia and assisted suicide. First, that support for euthanasia is so visceral that it defies reasoned discussion. Second, that it is so me-centred that every argument about its community impact will hit a brick wall. Third, from a utilitarian point of view, Christianity is a abominable force for evil. Fourth, that the notion of meaningful suffering is incomprehensible.

All this suggests that clashes between traditional human dignity and the debased utilitarianism which characterises public debate in Australia are all but insoluble. Ultimately the problem is that the side which sees meaning in suffering is willing to reason it out. The other side isn’t.

Solving conundrums like this is why people like Nick Tonti-Filippini are needed in public life. Happy birthday, Nick. Many more of 'em.

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shamsi Air Base Highlights US-Paki Tensions

WASHINGTON, July 2: The US State Department said on Saturday that it was not aware if the United States still had military personnel at Shamsi air base and has not seen a specific request from Pakistan to vacate the base.

The Washington Post reported that the US had halted drone strikes from Shamsi three months ago after the Raymond Davis dispute. Since then all strikes that were launched from bases in Afghanistan.

The Post, however, noted in its Saturday report that the US still occupied the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan.

Commenting on Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar’s statement that Islamabad had asked the US to vacate the base, Mark Toner, the State Department spokesperson, said he could not speak for a foreign official, but as far as the State Department was concerned, there were no American military personnel at that base.

“We remain committed to our continued cooperation with Pakistan, and that includes counter-terrorism cooperation,” he said. “But as to the specific question about Shamsi air base, I’d refer you to the Pakistanis.”

“So you don’t have any military personnel or military equipment at Shamsi?” he was asked again.

“I’m not aware that we have any military personnel on that base,” he replied.

A journalist also referred to media reports that the US was ignoring Pakistan’s request and was not willing to vacate the base.

Mr Toner noted that these comments were attributed to Pakistani officials and they should be contacted for “comments and clarification of their comments.

“I’m not aware that we have any military personnel on that base. I’m going to leave it there.”

“Since the defence minister has gone public saying that, have you received any requests from them?” he was asked.

“That’s a question I can take. I don’t know if we’ve received any formal requests,” Mr Toner replied.

Earlier this week, reports in the US and Pakistani media claimed that Pakistan had forced the United States to stop using Shamsi for launching drone stikes after the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound and is now asking Washington to vacate the base.

US officials told the Post that the launches were halted in April after a dispute over the CIA contractor who killed two Pakistani citizens in Lahore in January, weeks before the Abbotabad raid.

The report said that the decision to suspend the launches was part of a US effort to “pay attention to the sensitivities” of the Pakistanis.

US officials also told the Post that there was no plan to evacuate the base. “That base is neither vacated nor being vacated,” said a US official familiar with the matter.

At the State Department, Mr Toner said since the Abbottabad raid, the US had remained engaged with Pakistan at high levels, from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Director CIA Leon Panetta.

Besides discussing ‘difficult issues’ with Pakistani officials, the Americans also have made clear to Islamabad that they were committed to working with Pakistan in a constructive way on counterterrorism.

“Pakistan is touched — in a significant, profound way – by the threat of terrorism. They’ve lost a lot of people to terrorism in Pakistan,” he noted.

Mr Toner said the US also has continued to encourage dialogue between India and Pakistan because it saw it as “a very constructive” step.

“We think it’s important that that continue, and we want to see cooperation on many fronts, including counterterrorism, between the two countries,” he said.

The US, he said, was trying to build better democratic and other institutions within the country as its interests went beyond counterterrorism.

From here.
Related reading:  US Vacates Paki Bases as Relations Chill

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sequel to Spain's Stolen Children

A painful chapter of Spain's 1936-39 Civil War - the removal of children from mothers who were political opponents to be adopted out or even sold - has an even more painful sequel. As many as 30,000 children may have been removed from women identified with the politics of the losing side under the regime of Francisco Franco.

The surprise for Spaniards has been that the practice of removing and even selling babies continued into the mid 1990s. "A great many Spaniards" had been affected by the scandal, which took place "over a prolonged period of time," Attorney-general Candido Conde-Pumpido told the media. Activists claim that of the 2 million adoptions in Spain between 1940 and 1980, 10%, or 200,000 involved false documentation. In June Conde-Pumpido announced that prosecutors are investigating 849 cases of stolen children; 162 cases have been referred for trial and only 38 have been dropped for lack of evidence.

Anadir, a lobby group for people searching for lost children or parents, says that baby-snatching began as a punishment for Republican women but became an underground money-spinner even after Spain became a democracy in 1978. The founder, 41-year-old Antonio Barroso, discovered only three years ago that he had been purchased for 200,000 pesetas (the Spanish currency that preceded the euro). Other tragic stories have emerged from recent investigations. Mothers who brought flowers to their baby's grave for 30 years discovered empty coffins when the child was exhumed. Hospital paperwork about "deceased" twins has turned out to be fraudulent. The investigations are just beginning. ~ AP, June 17