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Saturday, August 30, 2003

It Is Time To Ban Human Cloning

Why did the President call for a ban on human cloning?

For the vast majority of Americans, the acceptance quotient regarding nascent life falls somewhere between ‘legal protection for all conceived individual human life’ and ‘legal protection for partial birth abortion.’ With acceptance of in vitro fertilization, followed eventually by the apparent necessity for some legal abortion, our society too quickly arrived at acceptance of, no, defense of, infanticide. Our society can degenerate further.

A straight-line course from our current reality will have us embracing the notion that ‘exploitation of embryonic life is needed to bolster unencumbered lives of worthy pursuit.’ Because of our tacit acceptance for the extreme treatment of individual prenatal life--forceful withdrawal of life support, abortion--it is assumed (in New Jersey, at least) that we will accept conception of individual human lives and then killing those individuals for their body parts (embryonic stem cell exploitation and therapeutic cloning). That’s cannibalism.

To legally exploit individual embryonic life, someone must arrange our agreement that killing and harvesting embryos is not the same as killing an individual. Scientists who would carry out these medical marvels know differently. Here's the key to their reasoning: embryology holds as axiomatic that individual human life is a continuum with a beginning at conception, so those seeking legalization for embryonic exploitation must promote the blatant lie that ‘embryos are not individual human life’ ... or worse, have the nation agree that these are individual human lives, exploited in earliest stage of their ‘less worthy life’, defining a higher purpose for the body parts of these embryonic individuals, to sustain others. The first level of agreement is based on a calculated lie; the second descending level of agreement is acceptance of cannibalism based on that same specious axiom that embryos are not human individuals existing at a normal age in a human lifetime.

Many people warned of a slippery slope back when outrage over in vitro fertilization was squelched.

Exploitation of nascent life is now a reality: the fetal tissue harvesting industry, with more than a billion dollars in business receipts, already influences when a woman ought to have the abortion she seeks, because fetal tissue differentiation makes later rather than earlier killing and harvesting of the fetus more desirable to those who will profit from the killing. But things can get worse: 1) embryonic stem cell exploitation now demands the conception and killing of untold numbers of embryos; 2) therapeutic cloning is based on the in vitro fertilization / conception of individual human life, with killing and harvesting as the goal when the embryo has differentiated sufficiently to make specific target-cell identification reliable. Both of these 'scientific advances', if they are not to be outlawed, require our nation to accept the specious notion that an individual human life doesn't begin with at least first cell division (onset of mitosis).

Having read this far, some (perhaps some like Senator Orrin Hatch, or nearly every Democrat elected to current office) will assert "But an embryo in a petri dish is not the same as an implanted embryo, not the same as a fetus, not the same as a born child, not the same as a toddler, not the same as …" Using a continuum argument to arbitrarily eliminate earlier ages along the continuum glares paradoxically, for the very science now hurrying to exploit embryonic life is convinced an embryo IS an individual human lifetime begun. "Outrageous assertion,” some will say. Okay, let the goals of their scientific pursuits speak for the scientists.

With in vitro fertilization, a female gamete is fertilized by a male gamete (gametes are the ‘sex cells’ of the adult male or female). Once cell division is evidenced and the embryo reaches a desired number of body parts (the embryo’s stem cells), the individual embryo is placed into the uterus of the target woman. [In most cases, several individual embryos are implanted at the same time; if too many achieve life support, the attending medical personnel will advise aborting one or more, to improve the odds for the escaping survivor].

The technician watching the product of fertilization in the ‘petri dish’ is looking for cell division, to assure that an individual human life has begun to express itself, to grow.

The technicians must achieve transfer from petri dish to human uterus at a specific stage in cell division; if they try implanting too early, the embryo will not have the sticky coating it creates which allows for attachment to the uterine wall. Timing is crucial along this life continuum as the embryo tries to survive. [If you’re still wondering, this continuum concept of individual human existence is the same reasoning regarding the onset of puberty, for example, as a normal stage in a human lifetime. The life continuum is hallmarked by form and function; even an embryo is defined by form and function of its body parts, its stem cells.]

The methodology of technicians seeking embryonic stem cells or technicians seeking to clone life have much in common with the in vitro fertilization process.

The clone is a close genetic duplicate of a parent DNA donor. With the goal of a conceptus in mind, the clone technician seeks to use a mature female gamete only, from which the chromosomal nuclear ball has been removed and the 46 chromosome nuclear material of the ‘adult donor’ is inserted. [‘Adult donor’ refers to an organism with a normal compliment of 46 chromosomes, not to the age of the donor.] In some cloning procedures, the product of male/female conception is stripped of the 46 resulting chromosomes prior to first cell division, and the 46 chromosomes of the donor are inserted.

If the cloning technician seeks to fully reproduce the genetic donor, the conceptus is observed for evidence of cell division, then, just as with typical in vitro reproduction, the embryo is inserted into a woman’s uterus for continued life support of a proven individual human organism that is a close genetic duplicate of the DNA donor. If the technician desires ‘therapeutic cloning’, instead of reproduction for a fully expressed parent donor, the embryo is not always implanted in a woman’s body (but in some procedures it is); before too many months, this individual is ‘harvested’, killing a being conceived for a ‘tissue specific’ cloning purpose. Both types of cloning reproduce the donor; the chosen destiny for the newly conceived clone defines the procedure … a short lifetime for a harvest target, or a long lifetime as an individual identical twin.

With cell division, the newly conceived human life is constructing its own space capsule (the placental bubble and the fluid that inflates it) and its own individual body and blood. In fact, it is the newly conceived individual who commandeers life support from the woman’s body; it is the embryonic individual who initiates its own growth and development AND its protection in the environment where it exists, forming a barrier that prevents the host from recognizing the other life inside her, so that her rejection response doesn’t kick in to expel the ‘visitor’.

Why is it important to realize that an embryo is a human being at an early age along a continuum of individual life? Because embryonic stem cell harvesting and therapeutic cloning aim to cannibalize individual human life.

Even an embryo no bigger than a grain of sugar is an individual human life. Is it acceptable to kill that individual for body parts? If it is, that's cannibalism as surely as eating body parts for medical cures. Perhaps that's why this President has called for a ban on all human cloning.

Friday, August 29, 2003

The Amorality Of Science Has Won

For years, essays opposing cloning and embryonic stem cell exploitation have been posted from this writer onto various discussion sites across the Internet. I’m tempted to make this the last of such efforts, for Science has won; the amorality of scientists has vanquished yours truly. The fundamental axiom that embryological human life is not the life of an individual human being has become so ingrained that to continue opposing the notion only furthers the goals of the scientists seeking unfettered exploitation of nascent life. From the scientists’ lofty positions, their carefully crafted derision for opposition to their flawed axiom passes for proof of their axiom.

The authoritative science outlet, Scientific American, now routinely publishes articles with the assumed axiom that the human embryo is not an individual human being, thus the embryo is fair game for all manner of exploitation, approved under the guise of application of science for the advancement of medical miracles.

In the June 2003 issue, on page 63, the article ‘Pandora’s Baby’ assumes as foundational truth the notion that embryos are not individual human lives, thus the conception of such, the storage of such, the implantation of such, and the discarding of such is enlightened application of science … and the implied proof of this axiom is the acceptance of in vitro fertilization (IVF), world-wide, numbering now more than an estimated one million individuals conceived and born via such technology since the first individual, Louise Brown, came into the air-world, 25 years ago.

Editorial staff of Scientific American magazine saw nothing untoward in passing the axiom along as foundation for their article, an article posing the notion that therapeutic cloning will likely be as accepted a few years from now as IVF is since Louise Brown’s birth. The author of the article cites the desire of scientists to keep separate the perception of reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning … or, as the author so craftily restated it, research cloning instead of therapeutic cloning. After citing this desire to keep separate methodologies that have the exact same first steps of cloning embryos in vitro, the author offers the notion that such a paradoxical assertion should be authoritative, thus lending substance to the purposed obfuscation (if not outright chosen lie; all cloning of embryos is reproductive, with only the end goal for the cloned individual life to define a specious difference).

This arbitrary positioning of ‘non-moral foundational principles’ regarding the earliest age of individual human beings may not seem of any great significance to the average reader at Scientific American, or of any merit to scientific minds convinced that their pursuits are beyond the realm of ethics and morality, as objective studies of life’s reality. But to this struggling writer, the assumption that embryo is not the earliest age along the lifetime continuum of an individual human being is an horrific plateau deep down along the slippery funneled slope of dehumanization for our species, in preparation for our acceptance of cannibalizing younger human beings to serve the lives of older human beings. It’s been a helluva war.

Author of the article in the June issue cites with derision the nay Sayers when IVF first began, decades ago. The derision is founded on the notion that alarmists based their arguments against the manipulation of embryonic life on ‘silly notion that exploiting embryos would lead to horrific things’. Well, if this writer is correct, and embryos are in fact individual human beings in their earliest age along their individual lifetimes, then what the magazine author is praising with ‘research cloning’ is in fact the warned of horrific potential, verified! What nay Sayers warned of, is where we have actually arrived with research cloning.

The magazine author doesn’t make a clear connection of past arguments, instead, she obscures the warnings from that past age by citing weaker versions of the underlying warning to enhance her derisive power … kind of like ridiculing the wheels on a funny looking car as a way to discredit the whole car.

Because the lies of those in support of abortion on demand (and that is the camp to which this female author belongs, as alluded to in sentences that denigrated objection to IVF as connected to the ‘failed anti-abortion movement’) have become so ingrained with so powerful publishers as Scientific American, this writer has come to realize the war is lost, come to realize that nay Sayers will not be granted venue in which to state objection … no matter how well written are essays countering this exploitation of individual human life, the controlling authorities cannot allowed them to be published, for the foundational axiom posited is contrary to the one the prestigious magazine has adopted as ultimate truth in their ‘amoral’ reality.

What impact would my bowing out of the war have upon the ultimate outcome? Likely, none; the war is already lost at the legislative level, with no less powerful figures to crush opposition than Senators Orrin Hatch, Arlon Specter, Barbara Boxer and Tom Harkin, assisted of course by the ‘amoral’ networks and organizations such as AARP in search of empowerment for their media. These powerful forces have decided, for whatever constituency’s advantage, to push for embryo stem cell harvesting and therapeutic cloning protected by Federal law. Embryos don’t vote, and the folks donating embryos and the gametes to conceive future embryonic life don’t object to exploitation of nascent individual human life, so the powerful who are able to silence nay Sayers by ignoring them have already won the war.

Cannibalism is now an agreed upon fact for America’s future, as enlightened application of medical ‘miracles’. I suppose I should be relieved, I can now exit the battle and return to what amuses me; I’m already 58, so I won’t be around to witness further degradation of the human species; my granddaughter will live in an ‘age of cannibalism’. I shudder for her and the world she will inhabit, but then I realize, those cannibalizing human beings in their embryo age won’t tell the truth of what they’re doing, so life will go on, and on, and on, and … well, maybe. What is the longest reigning species for planet Earth?

Now, back to what I do for the fun of it … fiction.
************


Scientographic Magazine:
Dateline, Inverarnan, Scotland and Sun City, Arizona, USA:

Today, the holy grail of medical sciences was realized, as scientists combining two diverse technologies verified the efficacy of their unique abilities.

Scientists building nano-sized arrays of molecule manipulators succeeded in sandwiching a cloned embryo between wafers of tasking circuits. A patient suffering from Parkinson’s will swallow a small double-layered wafer which will dissolve in the gut, all but one tiny activated circuit completed from one surface to the other of the sandwiching wafers, that is. Because of breakthroughs in circuit fixating, scientists have achieved near impossible isolation and protection from digestion for selected embryonic stem cells destined to grow a new source for the brain chemical failing in a Parkinson’s sufferer.

It is fully expected that this welded technology can stimulate the growth and regeneration of target organs throughout the body of a somatic cell donor in this therapeutic effort.

This circuit fixating technology has a bright future for further application of nanobotic manipulations in cosmetic surgical treatments. Not only can you be cured of heretofore incurable ailments throughout your extended lifetime, it will soon be possible to have the appearance you’ve always dreamed of, within reason, of course.

Spokesperson for the World Council of Churches issued a statement praising this achievement as the long prayed for freeing of humankind from the ravages of illness and genetic flaws, lifting humanity toward virtual immortality.

Citing hastily conducted polling of the American streets, this medical breakthrough has been met with mixed feelings, as most express doubts that they will be able to afford the application of the technologies.

Spokespersons for the National Democratic Party confirm that their minority legislators are drafting a bill to fund the technologies, in continuing efforts to provide unlimited, free healthcare to all Americans throughout their lifetime. In opposition, a spokesperson for the National Abortion Purveyors Rights Association has stated that they intend court actions designed to block extensive harvesting of female human gametes without the full participation of NAPRA owned Planned Parenthood facilities.

The newly formed company, Wafer Nan-E, holds exclusive patents on the combined technologies and anticipates no hindrance of their efforts in service to mankind, since the public demands newly developed measures to defeat disease and aging. Clinics are already scheduled for opening in France and Germany, with wafer production facilities in the planning stages all across Britain. It appears the ailing Chunnel will be bustling again, as technology marches on in service to humankind.
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Reasonable People Cannot Always Agree To Disagree

http://www.washingtondispatch.com/article_5432.shtml




Don’t you just love it when someone with whom you're arguing says, “Well, we will just have to agree to disagree”, as a spin of the phrase ‘Reasonable people can agree to disagree’, or as the shortened version, ‘Reasonable people can disagree’? Can reasonable people disagree over cannibalism in order to permit cannibalism, without doing violence to civilization?


As a pro-life advocate who gets into lots of discussions, I hear this ‘agree to disagree’ more and more. It tells me my points are getting to the irrational heart of defense for the abortion slaughter. When an advocate for abortion of alive little ones trapped in a womb tries to discuss the topic from a reasoned position, irrational underpinnings are eventually exposed and the ‘reasoning’ stops, in favor of either ending the discussion or deflecting the ‘reasoning’ into areas better defined as emotional landmines.


A whole new field of argument is arising in defense of exploiting individual human lives. There is a common foundation for these dehumanization arguments, a theme running through the lines of reasoning from the ‘pro-choice’ camp, but the origins of that commonality are not to be found in choice to abort; it has a more subtle beginning than that.


Prior to ‘choice to abort’, dehumanization of individual life had already laid a foundation for exploiting and choosing, a basis for viewing individual human life as a phenomenon that grows in value, as opposed to being endowed with unalienable right to be. And it came into our collective psyche as a supposed benefit to humankind, a means to have science aid in conceiving babies with ‘artificial insemination’. Subtracting from our humanity, artificial insemination moved to more detached dehumanization, with in vitro fertilization, the scientific ‘miracle’ of conceiving ‘something’ outside of the woman’s body, then that thing being implanted into a woman’s body, to have a ‘growing (increasing) right to live’. [Devout Catholics would say contraception was the beginning of dehumanization, but that’s an historical discussion and not the focus of this essay. The Roe abortion decision came in 1973, but ‘artificial insemination’ had been a reality for years prior to Roe. The first in vitro fertilization baby in the world was born in July of 1978 in England, after many years of research. Today, many thousands of children are born annually as a result of the IVF technique.]


I cannot recall what I thought when first I learned that something could be conceived in a petri dish that would later be implanted in a woman’s body, to even later be born as a human baby. I have a vague recollection from my youth that some people warned against artificial insemination, warned that such manipulation of human conception would lead to a dehumanization process, a ‘slippery slope’. I don’t quite remember what was warned of down that slippery slope, but I don’t have to remember, because we are living in the age of arrival!


Now, at this descended-to plateau, engulfed in a degree of darkness not anticipated so long ago, we are again facing a slippery slope. How will we come to recognize it as a hazardous slope? … This time the hazard has a name. Will America reject cannibalism, despite the campaign to focus only upon the utilitarian value of cannibalism, diverting attention from the truth that we face cannibalism? If prepared properly, we will accept cannibalism, just as we accepted in vitro fertilization. [Note: I purposely repeat the word rather than allude to the reality. Cannibalism should have a revulsion value. Modern examples of cannibalism, such as the incident with plane crash victims who survived by eating the flesh of already dead crash victims, tend to blur our historic revulsion to cannibalism. Let’s focus upon the Jeffrey Dhamer version of cannibalism, the kill and consume version, as opposed to the ‘harvest from accidentally dead’ version of cannibalism.]


What could make cannibalism more palatable, more consumable? … Allow me to illustrate by sharing a recent discussion I had with a close cousin, a father of four.


My cousin asked me to explain a recent news story in which a research scientist was profiled for an heroic desire to cure his daughter’s spinal injury by developing protein matched tissues for transplantation. Nowhere in the story was the viewer (it was a TV presentation) given the underlying facts of how this tissue would be generated, only that stem cells closely matched to the daughter’s tissues would be harvested to treat her injury. As I explained the process of ‘therapeutic cloning’ (methodology the scientist intends to rely upon for the tissues he desires), my cousin displayed no revulsion to the process. No matter how graphic my description of the cloning and killing process, my cousin could see only the utilitarian value of the harvesting, never the cannibalistic reality of killing an individual human being conceived for the sole purpose of harvesting spare parts to treat the older individual human being. I was shocked that a well-educated man would not be repulsed by this cannibalism. Upon later reflection, I understood why. It’s that damn slippery slope!


Once the descending plateau is reached, an acceptance quotient has been established. In the case of therapeutic cloning, the acceptance quotient involves a speciously arranged ‘degree of humanness’ … a conceptus, or zygote, or embryo, or second (or even third) trimester fetus is not deemed a full human being. Nay Sayers will not be allowed to interfere with utilitarian value of the ‘conceive, support, kill, and harvest methodology’. Individual human life, prior to being born, is deemed ‘not yet a complete human being’ on our familiar darkened pro-choice plateau, thus to conceive individual human life, support that life, kill that life, and harvest from these ‘not yet complete human things’ is not defined as cannibalism. If these conceived individuals were admitted to be full human beings, would we still embrace the cannibalistic exploitation due to the utilitarian value of their individual designer body parts? The scientist of my cousin’s query most certainly would and my cousin would, because darkness this far down the slippery slope, this far down inside the funnel of dehumanization, is so great.


The pre-born are less human than the born? … Yes, when you strip away the rhetorical gamesmanship, the obfuscatory verbiage, that is what the arguments descend to, that is the dimness of our modern world. That is the plateau to which we’ve descended, from the seemingly innocent stage of artificial insemination then in vitro fertilization as merely medical assistance to natural conception. Touted as a boon to infertile couples, the in vitro fertilization process manipulated sex cells in a lab environment, conceived multiple embryos to be implanted in a woman’s uterus, stored excess embryos … and the process redefined the earliest age of an individual’s lifetime as but one stage ‘in a process that eventually becomes a human being’. So, where was the error in reasoning first made?


Sex cells are sub-units of organs; organs are sub-units of organisms; embryos are whole organisms. That was so quick, allow me to reiterate: cells are sub-units of organs, organs are sub-units of organisms; an individual human being is an organism; a kidney, for instance, is an organ of an organism.


In vitro fertilization manipulates, first, sex cells … sub-units of sex organs, organs of the parents. But if successful, in vitro fertilization conceives a whole, new organism … not just an organ, the whole organism! As the embryo grows, with the cell total climbing from one, to two, to three, to five, etc., the early cells are totipotent or pluripotent--less differentiated into the individual organs of the organism--thus the early cells are the organs of the individual begun with ‘petri dish’ conception, the assertions of Senator Orrin Hatch notwithstanding. [Senator Hatch claimed that conception doesn’t happen in a petri dish, possibly because Senator Hatch is pushing a bill that would allow therapeutic cloning, but not ‘reproductive cloning’. Senator Hatch has already decided that what is conceived in a petri dish and not allowed to live long enough to be born is not an individual human being, thus these ‘less than human’ beings will be fair game for killing and harvesting … fair game for his ‘to be protected’ form of cannibalism! Orrin Hatch’s reasoning has faltered at the difference between organs and whole organisms, thus he deems an embryo as no more than a non-differentiated organ that will ‘someday’ become an organism. And he’s patently and completely wrong!]


Whether in a dish or a human host, the embryo is an individual human being alive at the earliest age along the continuum we call a human lifetime. That fact is what was passed over so quickly when the debate over in vitro fertilization was squelched. That is the tiny error so grossly exploited to toss America down the slippery slope.


Now, after gradual descent (artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, amniocentesis, etc.) and later steep descent (abortion on demand, fetal tissue harvesting, partial birth abortion), we have arrived at a descended-to plateau beyond which is cannibalism, conceiving then killing individual human beings because their designer body parts at an embryonic age are of utilitarian value, of more utilitarian value than their unalienable right to life. Can ‘reasonable people’ agree to disagree on cannibalism, to allow the cannibalism to continue? May God have mercy upon America if such is reasonable at this stage in our nation’s life.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

DEHUMANIZING THE DISABLED

Editorial - Bob Schindler


Did you know in our country, the law can be manipulated to allow a husband or a wife to legally murder their spouse? It can easily be accomplished --IF- their spouse is disabled and --If- they are recognized by the court as the spouse's legal guardian.


It's not that difficult. Oversimplified, (using the husband as an example) sometime during the day he can go to court, get the court's stamp of approval, then go home, have dinner with his girlfriend and plan how to use the money he will inherit when his wife dies. The only chance the wife has to survive, is for someone outside this intimate death circle to object. But, that is not a guaranteed formula for success.


In some primitive cultures, it's acceptable for husbands to abuse or kill their wives. In our culture, we consider that conduct barbaric. However, throughout the United States, it is permissible for a husband of a disabled wife to decide to end her life by deliberately depriving her of food and water, causing his wife to die of starvation.


Closer to home, it is happening to a member of our family,. In Florida where Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo and 'partner' of another women (who is the mother of his child), has -- with the help of his paid selected medical "experts" -- persuaded a court that his wife would be better off dead. And, unbelievably, this is all very legal. A Florida Judge sentenced Terri to die of starvation.


How Could This Happen?


Over the years, a slow, relentless movement has been covertly programming society to dehumanize people with disabilities. History teaches us that entire groups of people have been victimized, most frequently based on ethnicity or race. And it also teaches us that, before they become victims, members of the targeted class are portrayed as subhuman. That is what is taking place now. People with severe disabilities are just the newest class of people deemed to be subhuman. We pay great lip service in this country to disability rights, but as the degree of a person?s disability increases, the level of legal protection that person receives --decreases-.


"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist - so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat - so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew - so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me." Martin Niemoeller survived 7 years in Nazi concentration camps.


Isn't There Justice In The Legal System?


When Terri's husband petitioned to end Terri's life, the court set the stage for the "battle of the medical experts." These are experts whose opinions about Terri's abilities would influence the court to determine whether she lives or dies.


But who are these experts that play such a vital role in determining an individual's fate? Generally, these experts are --paid- professionals, who will slant their opinions according to their employer's wishes. Theoretically, they could testify on an issue one day and their testimony on the same issue could be 180 degrees apart the next day, depending on their clients instructions. Incredibly, the courts justify their determinations predicated on the testimony of these -for hire- professionals.


In Terri's trial, a high profile neurologist was one of those so-called experts selected by Michael Schiavo to testify on his behalf to have Terri die. This neurologist travels the country and is routinely the imported star expert witness in virtually all high profile cases surrounding the removal of food and fluids. He has a track record of consistency when it comes to dehumanizing severely disabled people and advocating that they be denied food and fluids, no matter how provided.


Under oath, his statements over the years are a study in bigotry. For example:

In the Cruzan case (Missouri), he testified that, even if a severely brain-damaged individual can take food by mouth, spoon-feeding is denied because to spoon-feed the person "would be totally inconsistent" with what is wanted (i.e. the disabled person's death).

In the Martin case (Michigan), he denigrated Michael Martin's ability to participate in simple card games or to select colors and numbers. He even said the man's smiles were meaningless.

In the Wendland case (California), he claimed that Robert Wendland's abilities - to operate his own wheelchair, draw circles, turn pages and write the first letter of his name - did not indicate mental awareness, but were bizarre, not unlike the activities of a trained dog.

In Terri's case (Florida), in what he admitted was an incomplete exam, he asked Terri to follow a balloon with her eyes as he moved it about the room. When she complied, moving her head from side to side to keep the balloon in her line of sight, he exclaimed, "There we go! That's good! That's good!" Nonetheless, he later testified that she wasn't really seeing it, she only looked like she was looking, and she was totally lacking in mental awareness.

In both the Martin and Wendland cases, the courts wisely found that the vulnerable spouses should not be starved and dehydrated to death.


But, even though 10 physicians are on record with the court saying that Terri was aware and her condition could improve with therapy, the Florida court wasn't interested. They embraced the claims that Terri has no mental awareness. Yet the trial Judge (and appeal Judges) saw videos showing Terri closely watching her family's movement, verbalizing in response to questions, responding to simple commands, and laughing when listening to her favorite music.


In reality, Terri condition is far from the legal guidelines permitting starvation deaths. The truth is Terri was sentenced to death for the "crime" of being disabled and dependent. You see, Terri fits into the category of people mentioned for whom protections are extremely limited. Our society is now conditioned to evaluate people based on their "quality of life." This philosophy says people who are different, as are many in the disabled community, are unacceptable and unworthy of living.


Please Consider This


If that person happened to be a convicted murderer on death row, the courts in our country would never authorize starvation as a method of carrying out the court ordered death sentence. Starvation in unacceptable in that it is too cruel.

Starvation death of an animal is also unacceptable to our society. If a man were to cause his pet dog or cat's death by withholding food and water from it, he would be prosecuted for abuse. Yet, if that same animal abuser wanted to starve his wife to death, most likely the courts would approve.

Where Is The Conscience of Our Judges?


Starving a human being to death is cruel and insane. If any person - whether that person is a healthy or a severely disabled individual - is denied food and any fluids, that person will die an intensely painful death within 5 to 21 days.


I am confident you will understand why I feel very strongly about this issue. The severely disabled woman, who is currently facing a court imposed starvation death sentence, is my daughter -Terri-


Bob Schindler

The Lie Sandwich


The Democrat party and many of those in our society who make up that party's constituencies are touting *a woman's right to choose*. This slogan is intended as an appeal to women based on *reproductive rights*. There are two dirty lies woven together in that slogan.


First, reproductive rights are something between men and women: the right is 'try to conceive or not try to conceive'. Their rights to reproduce begin and end with the sex act, except in rape. The first lie hides that once conception occurs, a third life has begun, so it is no longer optional to conceive or not conceive.


The second lie is appealing to reproductive rights as a means to sanction a woman's *right* to discontinue pregnancy is misdirection manipulation. Continuing or ending a pregnancy is not reproductive rights, it's life support rights. Pregnancy deals with the balance between the unalienable rights of the woman and the unalienable rights of the already alive preborn.


The slogan tricks women and OUR society into thinking womb life support is somehow a negotiable right between women and men. Men don't womb-support babies.


Democrats get away with this double lie because the other party of record, the preborn, has no voice. In considering abortion only one of two individuals has choice, just like in rape. What's so evil is the instant cancellation of preborns' unalienable rights this *lie-sandwich* accomplishes. Unborn infants' have an entire lifetime ahead. With abortion, a woman who has already exercised reproductive rights completely disenfranchises a second individual human being, unto death. The infant didn't force her there. The infant has no choice in being conceived.
A woman's right to choose?… It's a selfish double lie.



She's a child, not a choice. Don't swallow the lie sandwich.


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Smell Of Rain: The story of Danae comforted on God's chest



A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas, Texas as the Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing.



At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. 'I don't think she's going to make it', he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one".



Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.



"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.



Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live-and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.



David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers 'I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen.' I said, "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!" As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure.



But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.



At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Danae went home from the hospital--just as her mother had predicted.



Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.



One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.



As always, Danae was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?"



Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."



Danae closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"



Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain.



Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."



Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life outside her Mother's womb, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.



Saturday, August 16, 2003

SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN AMERICA




This past week, two very prominent issues briefly set Internet news discussion sites ablaze: 1) Terri Schiavo's impending court ordered starvation unto death; 2) the conflict between federal and state rights regarding a Ten Commandments monument set up in an Alabama Court building. The outrage factor from conservative Christians appears to be about equal in magnitude on both issues. And that perplexes me because I see a huge difference in the issues at the heart of both controversies.




First, let me be clear that I’m not accusing conservative Christians of treating these two issues as either/or, in duplicity; many upset at the planned execution of Terri Schiavo by court ordered starvation probably have little or no knowledge of the Ten Commandments story, and vice versa. Second, both issues have liberals in the opposition to the conservative Christian perspective. But which issue is more illustrative of the terrible degradation our nation has reached? Asked that way, I would hope that Christians could point immediately to the plight of Terri Schiavo, but when I’ve asked that on various discussion threads, responses tend to be delayed, like the responders are having to think it over! THAT’s what perplexes me, that Christians have become so easily manipulated by the ‘agree to disagree’ treachery through which so many liberal societal standards have chipped away at our nation’s moral fiber.



Here’s an excerpt from a FreeRepublic.com thread where Terri Schiavo’s peril was being discussed (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/964817); two or three posters were defending the court's ordered execution of Terri based on the use of a feeding tube and the assertion that she’s in a persistent vegetative state, which she’s not based on my medical familiarity with that condition … and we’ll return to that in a moment (even that state would not allow organ harvesting because the person is considered to still be a living being not to be killed for their organs):



“It's not that she CAN'T swallow. Swallow Studies have been prohibited because (get this) she might choke to death. I worked with people like her for 16 years, and such a decision is not just irrational (the alternative is to use the excuse that she can't swallow on her own to starve her to death) it is not supported by standard practice. Frankly, tube-feeding or swallowing isn't a substantive distinction anyway. The point is, her "husband" and a few liberal judges have gone out of their way to destroy the legal firewall between difficult life-conditions and actual brain-death.



This country must not allow a legal system which has been complicit in denying this woman any chance at recovery to murder her in the most painful and prolonged way.



Life is either sacred or elitists can decide who can live and who must die. ...




138 posted on 08/16/2003 9:58 PM EDT by Burr5



I’m addressing this essay to fellow conservative Christians, but the poster just cited said he’s an Atheist, yet he knows where the line of inhumane should be drawn without hesitation! Icons and minarets are not sacred, but human life should be to a conservative Christian, and he/she shouldn’t have to stop and contemplate the gravity of icons as compared to living human beings.



So you may be asking yourself, ‘Why is this guy getting so agitated about this; is this guy somehow related to Terri Schiavo or her family?’ The answer to the latter is no, and the answer to the former is all about defending the sanctity of individual human life. See, the same mindset that can defend the euthanizing of Terri Schiavo is the mindset that will defend the exploitation of human embryos for their body parts, their stem cells, claiming the individual human embryo is not a full human being thus it is to be cannibalized for body parts to treat older individual humans.



Not even the phrase ‘slippery slope’ conveys sufficient gravity for the slide this nation has taken over the past thirty plus years regarding the sanctity of individual dependent human life. We’ve reached the stage in our devolution where those calling themselves conservative Christians are not sure whether human life is sacred based on the case by case contemplation … the sanctity of human life has been replaced with utilitarianism based upon a situational ethic that confounds and nullifies the Christian ethic.



For decades now, courts have been making rulings regarding the harvesting of human organs for transplantation to aid other human beings. My own brother’s body was harvested for tissues and organs that aided many people, after he had slipped into an irreversible comatose state where there was not even the glimmer of brain activity and his body functions were being maintained via machinery and medications. To take him for harvesting, a death protocol form had to be checked off. If he had not met the protocol, his body would not have been released for harvesting. The protocol establishes whether a functioning integrated whole human organism is still in evidence (and Terri fits that category more than adequately for she does breath on her own and does respond to stimuli both visual and painful).



But the question with Terri Schiavo is, ‘What level of life support is deemed too much?’ Yes, that is really what this issue comes to, how much life support is a liberal society with liberal courts and judges willing to provide before deciding to ‘pull the plug’ … no, that’s not right! What level of life support is a liberal society willing to provide before changing its mind and killing the burden? Now, that’s more accurate.



A Christian conservative should never have to stop and weigh the situational ethic when it comes to approving life support for an individual human being, in a womb or in a hospital or hospice facility. That some do now have this dilemma when confronted with life issues is why abortion on demand has become more favored with un-planned pregnancies than adoption of the conceived individual human beings.



Soon, very soon in fact, our nation will face the issue of cannibalizing alive, very young individual human beings for their ‘useful’ body parts. Oh to be sure, the first cases will not be more than days-old embryos, likely even embryos conceived outside a human body. But with the technological advances now being tested, it will be quite likely that embryos conceived in petri dishes will be life supported on into the fetal age of the alive individual, then served up for harvesting. It is, after all, only a matter of conservative Christians adjusting to the degrees of situational ethic. And folks, that really perplexes me!



While many peoples’ attention is fixed upon a monument in an Alabama courthouse, a woman is being court-order euthanized, to remove the inconvenience of her life support and avoid spending money to give her rehabilitation opportunities which have already been paid for by an insurance settlement. And that makes me very angry … at US for tolerating such evil.


[The author may be railed at, at MHGinTN@mindspring.com .]


Sunday, August 03, 2003

THE Good news around the house

In the spirit of bloggery, here's some REALLY good news. My stepdaughter is keeping this baby mentioned in the previous blog, thus we have a new member of the family soon to arrive (Sept.13, 2003, if the baby decides to be 'conventional').

This ol' Papa (I have one beautiful granddaughter already) is excited and very much looking forward to the baby's arrival in the air world. Yup, it will be a strain on our already strained finances, but I'm a man of faith ... and God's grace is boundless!

We're all discussing names; the name 'Emma Ann' is heading the list of girl appellations; haven't settled on whether a boy will be named Baylor as a first or middle name. God gives LIFE. We give thanks and seek to remain faithful.

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