30 July 2005

Bill Frist’s Immoral Flip-Flop on Stem Cells

On the last day before the Senate went on summer break, Bill Frist ended a good pro-life record by endorsing more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. One can only imagine his decision to have come as a result of the intense pressure of the pro-choice lobby and its allies. The conclusion drawn by Eric Cohen and William Kristol in the Weekly Standard is correct: “Senate majority leader Bill Frist did the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

However, Cohen and Kristol do not go far enough in their disapproval of Mr. Frist’s decision. Their article sets out further policy moves Mr. Frist should employ to make sure that this will not lead down the slippery slope toward a completely utilitarian medical philosophy that will include human cloning. They are profoundly naive in their assessment of the situation. Mr. Frist’s speech in the Senate sent the nation hurtling toward that situation and we are already approaching the end station rapidly. The New York Times bewailed the fact that the current bill as proposed does not allow “therapeutic cloning” yet, but is confident that Frist’s flip-flop will lead there eventually. This is the true horror of Mr. Frist’s decision.

Thus, Mr. Frist’s decision to endorse embryonic stem cell research is more than merely a “wrong decision.” It is a catastrophic decision for which he should be held accountable. Not only should President Bush hold good on his promise to veto the bill—it would be the first veto of his entire presidency—conscientious voters should remember to cross him off the list.

The decision shows that he does not understand what is truly at stake in opposing embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic stem cell research is murder because it kills unborn babies. Compromise is not possible on this issue. By compromising on the issue, Mr. Frist showed that he is not worthy of a vote and that voters’ trust up till now was not justified.

Yes, this issue is that important. It’s a matter of life and death for millions of unborn babies who are currently in suspended animation in special freezers. Liberal media talk of “destroying” embryos or “cells” or “zygotes” or such like. They also talk about the “enormous hope” afforded by this new technology and then try to emotionally blackmail you into having compassion with the many peole that could be cured by therapies discovered through embryonic stem cell research.

Hogwash. That’s the argument used by Joseph Mengele and his Nazi henchmen: we can sacrifice these Untermenschen (‘inferior people’, with which the Nazis meant Jews, Roma, homosexuals, handicapped people) because their lives are not worth anything. They are expendable. Well, embryos are people too and we have as little right to sacrifice them for the greater good as we have to sacrifice any group of people deemed ‘inferior.’ Life begins at conception. Embryos are past that stage, ergo, they are people. Don’t fall for the liberal, utilitarian and tear-jerking arguments. And see Mr. Frist’s action for what it is: a sell-out to sin and to a crime against humanity. This is way more important than some will make you believe. Mr. Frist is unfit to be elected to any office until he confesses his sin and repents of it. This is very troubling indeed.

26 July 2005

German Court Takes Custody Rights for Homeschooling

A court in the German city of Paderborn has temporarily taken away custody rights from two sets of parents. The parents refuse to send their children to public schools for religious reasons. The families are immigrants from Russia and members of a conservative Baptist church.

They belong to a group of eight families of whom 16 children do not attend school. The parents especially object to the manner in which public schools teach Biology (including comprehensive sex education and Darwinism) as well as to the very liberal Religion classes.

The court contends that the parents are hindering the children from “developing a personality appropriate for their age afforded by attending school.”

The parents homeschool their children until about age 10, but refuse to send to public school after that. Despite fines levied on them, they persist in their position. Custody of the children of two families has now been awarded to Childrens’ Services which have been charged by the court to make sure the children attend school in fall.

A spokesperson for the district of Detmold has confirmed that the parents have filed a request to start a private school. This request has been denied since the district judged that it was merely a thinly disguised form of homeschooling. “A living room is not a class room,” according to the spokesperson.

Homeschooling was outlawed in Germany in 1938 during Hitler’s Nazi regime but this prohibition has never been repealed. Nevertheless, approximately 500 children are currently being homeschooled in Germany.

Non-German Christians from around the world are encouraged to sign a petition online at www.solidrockfaith.com and send it to the German embassy in Washington D.C.

Source: Nederlands Dagblad / Christenkurier.de / www.solidrockfaith.com
translated and edited by : Michel van der Hoek

25 July 2005

Bush's Smart Supreme Court Pick

Confirmation hearings are still more than a month away, but the country is already abuzz with talk about Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court. In the days after Justice O’Connor’s resignation, commentators rejected the possibility of an early nomination. They believed that the administration was afraid of a repeat of the Bork nomination when a long wait until confirmation gave liberals plenty of time to rake up the dirt against the nominee.

The question for conservatives (and for liberals no less, of course) is whether John Roberts, currently a federal judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals, is the right pick. Wary of all the supposedly conservative judges appointed by Republican presidents over the past couple of decades, conservative politicians and columnists have warned that no chances can be taken. We do not want another Justice Souter, their warning is. Souter looked like a conservative, walked like a conservative, talked like a conservative, but unfortunately rules according to the desires of the lunatic left-wing.

Thus, some wariness is appropriate. Some on both sides of the political spectrum have already declared Roberts the wrong pick. NARAL Pro Choice has—not surprisingly—sounded the alarm about Roberts in view of his well-documented pro-life views. Ann Coulter recently rejected Roberts as an other “Souter in Roberts’ Clothing” because of his lack of documented views. So, which of the two is it?

Strictly speaking, Coulter is probably right. On the particular question of abortion, Roberts has no personal view on the books (though there is a document from when he was defending Reagan policy, which does not reflect his personal views). But I do not think we need to follow the vitriol of Ms. Coulter; partly because she does not look at the evidence properly.

Shannen Coffin of the National Review has a better perspective. He realizes that, unless a foolproof crystal ball is invented before September, the best way to predict Roberts’ rulings is to assess his character and method on the bench. In his article, Coffin points out that Mr. Roberts’ record indicates more than a mere inclination to follow the clear letter of the law. In interpreting the law as it relates to cases before him, he is certainly not devoid of emotion or even humor. But when it comes to deciding the case, he has only one standard: what does common sense tell us about the interpretation and meaning of the law?

That means that he does not invent meaning on the spot. He looks only at what the law says in the visible ink, not the invisible ink seen only by left-wing loonies. Roberts’ most illustrative decision was issued only last week. In this case, he dissented from the majority which ruled a search of a car’s trunk unconstitutional, since they followed the driver’s reasoning that the police should first have investigated his claim that the car belonged to his girlfriend, rather than assume the car was stolen.

Roberts was sharply sarcastic of the majority in his opinion: “Sometimes a car being driven by an unlicensed driver, with no registration and stolen tags, really does belong to the driver’s friend, and sometimes dogs do eat homework, but in neither case is it reasonable to insist on checking out the story before taking other appropriate action.” In other words, there was nothing unreasonable about the police officers’ assumption that the man was up to no good and that the trunk of the car needed to be searched.

This bodes well for Mr. Roberts. We will not be able to find out his exact stance on all topics. If he is smart—as he has proven himself to be—he won’t answer the question Ted Kennedy is certain to ask: “Will you reverse Roe v. Wade?” Senator Kennedy will grit his squirrel teeth, knowing that Roberts’ wife is an active pro-life lawyer (who works for Feminists for Life). But even though Kennedy is on the record of saying that for judges’ wives to be pro-life “ought to be out of bounds”, he is not allowed to use it against Mr. Roberts. Stick that where the sun don’t shine, Kennedy!

I am confident that President Bush has picked the right guy and it is an astonishingly smart pick. No-one in his right mind can help but like the man and his record. There are no certainties in this life and Justice Roberts may well, on occasion, rule with the liberals. But his record shows that he will only do so when the Republicans are plainly wrong in the matter. (Let’s not declare the Republicans infallible, please.) As for the rest, he promises to interpret the law by looking at what it says, not what the cross-dressing, gender-bending, neo-Marxist academics of the elite left believe it ought to have said. That’s good enough for me.

21 July 2005

Again Bombs in London

And again London is rocked by terrorist attacks. During the afternoon, three bombs exploded on subway trains and one on a bus, paralleling the attacks on July 7. But the similarity did not go all the way because all four bombs failed to explode fully. Police say that only the detonators exploded without igniting any possible explosives. Yet all the signs seem to point to a link to the same organization that carried out the attacks on July 7, since even the backpacks used to carry the bombs are identical to those of the earlier attack. Let us hope that British law enforcement will be able to act as quickly on these attacks as on the previous ones and nab the terrorists who are responsible.

Rove-Gate and the Scrambling Media

The case surrounding Karl Rove and the CIA leak has all the appearances of a storm in a tea cup. When word first started to trickle into the news media that the secret source of Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller was none other than White House Advisor Karl Rove, the feeding frenzy soon began.

What was most disheartening about the whole affair was that it was (and is) all so predictable. Leftist media outlets, the New York Times leading the way, accused Karl Rove of breaking the law and called for his resignation. Conservative commentators defended Mr. Rove merely on principle without going into the case at all.

The New York Times had it right when they wrote, “[T]his isn’t just about Mr. Rove” (July 15). And yet, would that the New York Times had been able to show the same kind of wisdom as professed by the National Review, which declared openly that the jury is still out on the question whether Karl Rove broke the law (July 14). Instead, the Times complained that the whole affair was about Bush and his broken policies.

But then again, they are right: this isn’t just about Mr. Rove. It’s also about Judith Miller and the Times’s thirst for revenge. Because when Judith Miller was sentenced to a stint in prison for contempt of court, her employer immediately turned around and went for the jugular. According to the New York Times, it was Mr. Rove’s evil genius who plotted the whole affair. Mr. Rove leaked to Ms. Miller something to leak for which she could then be forced into an awkward position.

Now they want Rove’s job. Paul Krugman, never short of venom, avowed that Karl Rove is a criminal and belongs in jail. In an editorial on July 13, the newspaper put out a complicated argument in which they tried to reconcile the irreconcileable. The first is that Judith Miller, their jailed reporter, did the right thing to protect her source’s identity (presumably Karl Rove). The second that Karl Rove did not have the right to leak this kind of things to the press because, well, no reason really, except that they can’t stand Karl Rove having any rights, because, well, he’s a conservative toad, and, well, you get the picture.

But Mr. Rove has not broken any laws and morally he also seems to be in the clear. All the accusations that claimed he had somehow engineered the affair as part of a political plot seem now, with the hindsight of a few weeks, to have been dreamed up at the New York Times headquarters, with many of the major news media jumping on the bandwagon. “Didn’t the president promise to fire leakers?” they all asked, implying that the president was breaking his word by not axing Rove. In fact, the president remained resolved to display a close relationship with Rove. The special prosecutor who is investigating the CIA leak also announced explicitly that Karl Rove is not being investigated. Thus, even the cautious statements by conservative news outlets such as the National Review are unnecessary because, I repeat: Rove is not being investigated.

Let us not pretend that Karl Rove is not a slippery guy. As an advisor to the president, he has not exactly succeeded in making Bush seem wise. A host of policies, especially in the war on Iraq, policies that conservative Christians could not in their right minds subscribe to, are frequently being endorsed by the president. Rove ought to have given better advice. But that is hardly a cause for dismissal. But one can hope.

08 July 2005

Bombs in London

After the terror attacks in the US in 2001 and the Madrid bombs in 2004, now London, too has its 9/11. Who could do such a thing? But we know that: Osama bin Laden and his thugs. The sooner they are found, judged and executed, the better. But, of course, there’s more to be done than find individual terrorists. We also need to educate, both at home and abroad, so that we can show our determination to remain true to good and to reject evil. That in itself won’t solve the problem, but it should be the basis for sending troops to catch those whose faces are on our wanted posters.

In the meantime, London is not frightened by these attacks. Stiff upper lip and all that.

06 July 2005

When Clinton Lied...

You do not have to be a Bush hater to be against the Iraq War. But it does seem to help, judging from the bumper stickers. One in particular springs to mind: ‘When Clinton lied, no-one died.’ It’s a cute little rhyme that must give no end of satisfaction to the Bush hating crowd. It’s so smart-alecky that it must contain a deeper, more profound truth.

President Bush did lie. The Downing Street Memo proves that he did, though many conservative commentators dismiss the memo as a left-wing conspiracy that has no validity. Unfortunately, it is an authentic British government document and it proves a lot (see my log entry for 17 May). Congress should investigate the extent and the nature of the president’s lies and act accordingly.

But that is only one part of the equation. People almost certainly died as a result of Bush’s lies, the notion that nobody died when Clinton lied is decidedly an unproven statement. Such a statement can only come from the mouth of someone who has crossed “sexual morality” off his list of priorities. After all, the claim is that Clinton’s sexual misconduct in the White House did not hinder him in his job as president. Perhaps not, though one wonders. However, a comment made on CNN this week highlighted the enormous damage Mr Clinton caused the nation.

When discussing teen culture and their supposedly improving sexual mores, Atoosa Rubenstein, the editor of Seventeen magazine, remarked that the encouraging statistics are accompanied by a growing stoic attitude to sexual adventures. After all, Rubenstein reminded the CNN interviewer, this is the generation of teenagers who had in the president of the United States a powerful role model teaching them that some sex isn’t sex, that it doesn’t matter anyway, that you can always try to lie your way out and when you get caught nothing bad happens anyway.

Presented to us in this light, the failure to remove Clinton from power appears a much greater error than it did at the time. At the time, the excuse was, of course, that the affair was private and did not impact the country. Now it seems that many more teens have become much more hardened in their immature stubbornness to defy adult wisdom. As a result, though the statsistics appear to show improvement in awareness of sexual morality, at the same time, they show the clear effects of a moral change in the minds of the next generation of Americans.

Suddenly, that little rhyme is no longer funny because we can see that it is not true. But for any Bush hating, Clinton worshiping liberal there is always the satisfaction of knowing that no-one will ever be able to prove how many teenagers were led by Clinton’s example to engage in unsafe or unwanted sex, or how many of them contracted venereal diseases, had abortions or were driven into potentially deadly despair as a result of the “unintended consequences” of Clinton’s lies.

So, don’t give me that “When Clinton lied, nobody died” nonsense. It ain’t true, and it ain’t funny.

05 July 2005

The Legacy of Justice O’Connor and What Comes Next

The feeding frenzy has started. Although it is a different justice than the one everyone had been expecting to resign, the clouds are nevertheless gathering as predicted. With Sandra Day O’Connor’s announcement that she will be retiring from the United States Supreme Court, the whole country shudders at what will come next, because president Bush will have to nominate a successor. No candidate will be acceptable to everyone and loud protests, both in Congress and on the streets, are a certainty.

Sandra Day O’Connor’s legacy is a mottled one. No conservative liked her, since she often ruled against clear constitutional principles. Her support of Roe v. Wade, reaffirmed in a 1992 ruling, marked her off as a key disappointment to the conservatives who supported her. Appointed in 1981 by Ronald Reagan, and the first woman on the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor was expected to infuse some conservative soundness into the court. Instead, she proved to be the continuous swing vote. Lawyers soon realized that the key to winning a case in front of that panel, was ignoring the other eight justices and instead winning over Sandra Day O’Connor.

In that sense, the comment in the New York Times, that Sandra Day O’Connor was sometimes called the most powerful person in America, is spot on. Since the Supreme Court has become the final arbiter in all of the hotly contested cultural issues, its rulings have attained enormous influence in the country. Justice O’Connor’s deciding vote on nearly all these issues has hugely magnified her importance in shaping the political climate of the country.

Considering the current make-up of the Supreme Court, it is imperative that president Bush nominate a sound conservative judge to replace Justice O’Connor. At the moment, the court is more or less balanced between a number of irresponsibly liberal judges and some conservatives of varying degrees of rationality, with O’Connor tipping the balance on all important issues. Her replacement will upon inauguration tip that balance one way or the other.

It is quite true that potential justices should not be asked questions about potential future rulings. That is not fair to anyone, since without a crystal ball they cannot predict the exact legal parameters of any future case. However, there should definitely be a number of litmus tests: pro-life issues and church-state relations are the two prime areas of concern. The Senate should only approve justices who not only disagree with but are fervently critical of the travesty known as Roe v. Wade. In the same way, only those justices should be confirmed who are willing to stop the erosion of the rights of Christians (the only religion against which the courts are issuing discriminatory rulings).

I am thus unabashedly calling for a conservative judge. This country does not need liberal judges. They have already imposed their tyranny in many places, illegally imposing same sex ‘marriage’ on the citizens of Massachussetts and striking down perfectly constitutional laws that would have protected the unborn from barbaric abortion techniques.

Nor do we need another swing vote like Sandra Day O’Connor, turning this way and that just as the wind blows. When she was once asked what her tombstone should read, she answered, “I hope it will just say, ‘Here lies a good judge.’” Unfortunately, she was a decidedly bad judge, with a brilliant mind she chose not to employ. Instead, she was often swayed by the emotions of a case, ignoring the legal arguments completely. We do not need that again.

The president should not bow to Ted Kennedy’s blackmail remarks which all but promised to take the country down the path to filibusters and the nuclear option. The chess game has started and the clock is ticking. Let’s not make any foolish moves or lose sight of the long-term effects.