Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Restoring Sanity - It's A Start!

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the "partial-birth" abortion ban, making the procedure illegal in the United States. The real question is, why did it take so long? During the procedure, the cervix is dilated, the fetus is partially extracted, the skull is punctured and the brain tissue removed before the fetus is fully removed from the birth canal. It is typically done late in the second trimester or in some cases during the last three months. It is now known that the fetus at this stage of development feels excruciating pain.
The response from the usual suspects has been typical. Hilary Clinton was disappointed because it inhibited a woman's right to choose. Barrack Obama "strongly disagreed" with the ruling, fearing that it would erode the rights of women. There are many other voices being raised in support of partial birth abortion in the name of "women's rights" but the arguments don't hold water.
The universal fear seems to be that somehow a woman's life might be at risk if this procedure is not allowed, yet, in the time that it has been allowed, in not one situation that I've heard of has it been considered medically necessary. Yet in each case someone died - the child! There have been approximately 2,200 partial birth abortions done yearly, according to R. Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Exactly where are we as a society when it is considered reasonable to debate that somehow this "procedure" is acceptable? It is merely a short step from this to infanticide - and merely a matter of degree. Yet some of those vying for the top office in the U.S. would actually speak out in favour. Scary.
North of the border the situation is even more obscene. There is absolutely no law governing abortion in Canada and a child is not considered human in law until he or she emerges fully from the birth canal. The politicians who are even concerned about this are few and far between. More than 100,000 abortions take place in Canada each year - paid for by the taxpayers!
I believe that history will look back on our time and consider the abortion mills in the same light as the gas chambers of World War II. With what we now know about the unborn child, and with the ability of doctors to do surgery on younger and younger fetuses, how is it possible to justify abortion? It seems to me to be schizophrenic that we can do surgery on a fetus (using pain medication) in one part of a hospital, while aborting a fetus of the same age in another part of the same hospital. Please someone - explain to me the rationale.
My prayer is that I live to see the end of legalized abortion.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Fall Of Civilization

Lately a lot of the talk on sports roundtables has been about the ignorant comments of Don Imus, who managed to insult the entire Rutgers University women's basketball team as well as black women everywhere. Imus is (was) a "shock jock" with a syndicated program on MSNBC and CBS radio. He has since been suspended by CBS for two weeks and apparently suspended indefinitely by MSNBC.

I've been fascinated by the entire exercise partly because of what it reveals about us as a society. Anybody with a pulse and a social conscience recognizes that what Don Imus said was unacceptable. What is remarkable is that the man has been so successful for so long doing basically the same thing. His "schtick" is to use vulgarity and insults to put-down anyone with whom he disagrees or whom he might not like. For this he is paid big money and draws large crowds. He has done so well, in fact, that for years politicians and authors have practically begged to appear on his program. Why?

Are we this starved for so-called entertainment that we enjoy seeing others put down and insulted? The answer obviously is yes.

Perhaps the best point was one that I heard on a radio station as I was driving through Michigan this week. The talk-show host was not questioning whether Imus was wrong, what he was questioning was this: why is Imus wrong and the rappers featured on BET say much worse every day and no-one says a word. It was actually an impassioned statement from a young black man that brought up this point. He was enraged that the black community would put up with the degrading comments directed towards young black women every day on BET and radio by hip hop artists.

I think it's a great point, and it should not be limited to rappers - it's everywhere. There is a general lack of respect in our society that is reflected in everything from basic manners to language to basic TV fare to music. When and why did it become cool to use the "f" word in public? When did we lose the ability to disagree politely with people and, rather, loudly tell them off? When did we lose the ability to produce a good movie with a sound storyline without filling it with gratuitous sex scenes and vulgar language? Why do we feel that we have to try to offend the sensibilities of those around us as if we were all 15 years old? Why is it that you can't just flip through the channels on your TV set without finding something that is completely inappropriate for your children?

I think it's time we started saying "no" to the Imus' of this world by tuning them out. Let the ratings tell the networks to drop these guys. If we continue to listen to this junk, buy these CD's and videos, then whose fault is it really? The responsibility lies with all of us.