Archive for abortion

Rand Paul: Tea Partier, but no Libertarian

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

The midterm elections are the big thing to watch for in November. Many are predicting that the frustration and the hatred of the Democrats will be the driving force for people voting Republican in the polls. And what’s even more interesting is that many Tea Party people are backing certain candidates for Senate seats. The atmosphere is as exciting as it was prior to the 2008 election: people who aren’t normally involved in politics are now rallying behind their favorite candidate that they hope will make the world a better place.

One of these Tea Party candidates is one Dr. Rand Paul from Kentucky. Dr. Paul recently won the Kentucky primaries and has a real shot at winning a Senate seat. He’s being vehemently backed by the Tea Party, even when he mentions things about the Civil Rights Movement that could possibly be considered racist. (Keith Olbermann flipped out on Twitter about the quote: “I think at one time, people used to think of golf and golf clubs and golf courses as being exclusive…. I think Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that… and so now I don’t think it’s nearly as exclusive as people once considered it to be.”)

But I recently found an open letter to Rand Paul, asking him questions that a true Libertarian would have no problem answering. But before that can make any sense, the question becomes: what exactly is a Libertarian? Libertarianism is a political theory that basically says that government needs to remain small, and that we should practice individual liberty. Libertarians believe that the people are more than perfectly able to manage themselves, and it is not the government’s place to intervene at all.

That being said, Rand Paul isn’t really a Libertarian, according to Mel M., writing to the Baltimore Sun. The most pivotal part of the letter follows:

If he is such a supporter of private rights, does he support the private right of a woman to get an abortion? Additionally, did he support the private right of Terry Schiavo’s husband to make the gut wrenching private decision on whether to pull the plug on his brain dead wife? Does he oppose the recently enacted Arizona law requiring papers of people in Arizona if the officer has merely a “reasonable suspicion” the person is here illegally?

Looking at how he stands on the issues, it is obvious that he feels the opposite. “Life,” he says under the Abortion heading, “begins at conception,” and interestingly enough, claims that “the most basic function of government is to protect life.” Being for smaller government, to me, doesn’t mean that you sic the government into the private lives of its citizens.

And while he doesn’t mention anything about the right to die on his website, under the Illegal Immigration heading, he says, “I support local solutions to illegal immigration as protected by the 10th amendment.” This apparently includes what many people claim to be one of the most racist piece of legislation since the Jim Crowe Laws.

Many are glad that Rand Paul is the Tea Party nominee, because he will be easy to tear down, with his many “gaffes,” the fact that the GOP isn’t supporting him, and the fact that he is proud to say that he’s not a politician. The Tea Party people are excited that one of their own, someone beyond sound bites and party politics, has a real chance of winning. But given the atmosphere, and the great amount of people that are against him, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

One final note: Doesn’t it seem odd that someone that is so against President Obama would take the layout of the President’s website?:

Rand Paul website
Obama website

Strange, isn’t it?

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Enough is Enough

Posted in current events, politics with tags , , , , on March 26, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

Republicans, Tea Party protesters, conservatives: This has gone too far.

I get that you’re upset about the passage of the health care reform bill. I get that you didn’t like some of the language in the bill. I get that you didn’t like how the bill was “shoved down your throats,” even though this was 100 years in progress, and major campaigning had been going on for a year.

What I don’t get is how inappropriate, violent, and childish this backlash has been. Take a look at what’s been going on since the health care bill was passed:

  • Two different people on Twitter called for the assassination of Barack Obama.
  • Rep. Bart Stupak got an obscene voice mail, calling him a “baby-killing motherf___er” and hoping that he “bleeds out [his] ass, gets cancer, and dies.”
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter had a brick thrown through her window and a voicemail threatening to have snipers kill all of the children of people who voted for the bill.

This has to stop. This is absolutely unacceptable. I get that there was a better way to go around getting health care reform, but there is also a better way to go around voicing your discomfort.

People had their qualms with President Bush when he was in office. And I’ll even admit that I had a few choice words for the man every so often. But nobody threw bricks, nobody left voicemails, and definitely nobody so publicly and adamantly called for his assassination!

Where have our heads gone? What kind of world has this turned into that everything that is said is taken at face value, and that no thought goes into our actions anymore?

And these aren’t rebellious teenagers! The stereotypical demographic that would be causing this much destruction and mayhem are actually the peaceful once! It’s older Americans, people over 40 years old, that are acting like children, throwing tantrums like children do, and making nuisances of themselves.

The main argument I keep hearing from people is that as taxpayers, they don’t want to pay for abortions, the way the new health care bill proposes. Guess what? As tax payers, you’re already paying for stuff you don’t even realize you’re paying for. This website lays out where taxes currently go:

32% Social Security, Medicare and Other Retirement

  • Income support for retired and disabled persons
  • Medical care for the elderly
23% National Defense, Veterans and Foreign Affairs

  • Equip, modernize and pay our armed forces
  • Fund national defense activities
  • Veterans benefits and services
  • Military and economic assistance to foreign countries
  • Maintenance of our embassies abroad
19% Social Programs

  • Medicaid
  • Food stamps
  • Health programs
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Assisted housing and social programs
8% Net interest on the debt

  • Interest payments on the national debt
12% Physical, Human and Community Development

  • Agricultural programs
  • Natural resources and environment programs
  • Transportation programs
  • Aid for elementary and secondary education
  • Direct assistance to college students Space, energy and general science programs
2% Law Enforcement and General Government

  • Federal law enforcement
  • Prisons
  • General costs of the federal government
  • Collection of taxes and legislative activities

I’m a taxpayer. I don’t want to pay for military support, because I don’t feel we should be a warring nation. But I pay it anyway. I also pay for illegal immigrants to use the emergency rooms at hospitals. I don’t want to, but I pay it anyway. I don’t want to pay for prisons or unemployment, but I have to, because that’s what taxpayers do.

This is the only con I’m hearing. I don’t want my taxes to go toward something I oppose.

Too bad.

There are much better pros to the whole thing: better health care, more available treatments, better insurance, and so on and so forth.

You say you love America, but you can’t even help your fellow Americans. It’s pathetic. It’s horrific. It’s unChristian.

Something must be done, and it starts with the American people. Find better ways to express your disgust. Write a Congressperson, makes phone calls, campaign.

Don’t be losers, throwing bricks, making obscene phone calls and death threats. And for God’s sake, if you’re going to “threaten” to move out of the country, do so. Find out for yourself how well you have it here.

Words cannot describe how disgusted I am with you people. Shame on you. From the bottom of my heart: shame, shame on you.

Politics and the Playground: Democrats are Geeks and Republicans are Bullies

Posted in current events, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

Normally, I don’t let my political views sway what I write about. I believe I mentioned earlier–perhaps a couple of times–that my views are strictly my views, and I rarely, if ever, push them on people.

That being said: Republicans are bullies.

And also: Democrats are geeks.

And further still: Politicians are children.

And one more for good measure: Americans are just as childish.

If anyone watched any part of the health care vote on any news outlet last night, they were treated to probably one of the most immature demonstrations of American governmental procedure of all time. Everything you expected (Tea Party protesters shouting racial slurs at House Democrats), and some that you didn’t (A Republican calling Rep. Bart Stupak a “baby killer”), and some that are just so completely off the wall you’d think it was a surrealist play or something (Bricks being through through Democratic Party office windows).

The House was rarely, if ever, in order. Though the Representatives were formal in there procedures (yielding time, “Mr. Speaker,” etc.), there was an obvious hatred and disdain for the other party.

Absolutely no Republicans at all supported anything about the health care reform bill. At all. At times I wondered if it was because they truly thought the bill needed some work. But looking at the campaigning against the bill, the hateful propoganda against the bill, and the constant references to the bill as “ObamaCare,” I realized that it was only apposed because of it’s Islamo-socio-fascist tendancies.

If we’re to believe the gross exaggerations the most vocal Republicans were throwing out, you’d think that the Health Care Bill required that all American citizens were to become Muslims, be euthanized at 65, and have a manditory abortion twice a month, regardless of gender. You’d think that all of your money is going toward illegal immigrants getting cosmetic surgery, and that if you so much as thought about speaking ill of the bill, you were to be shot on sight.

That’s not to say that Democrats are perfect. Far from it: if they had been more vocal about what was actually in the bill, and would actually take a stand against Tea Party protesters who simply attended hearings to down down the Senators and Representatives, something more might have been done with the bill. Maybe there would have been a more productive discussion. Maybe there would have been changes made, and an actual compromise to the bill, rather than, and I’m quoting every Fox News “journalist” here, “shoving it down the American people’s throats.”

The whole debacle reminded me of my days as a child, playing on the playground, and watching the bullies and the geeks abuse and be abused.

Play this scenario out with me: Republicans are bullies, Democrats are geeks, the American people are the rest of the playground, and the health care bill is tag:

A friendly game of tag is being played, when one of the geeks realizes that the game is kind of becoming unfair, so he proposes a new game of tag. Maybe they were playing normal tag, and this geek would like to play freeze tag.

One of the bullies says, “You just want to change the game because you’re sick of losing all the time!”

The geek says, “Actually, I just don’t like how this game works, and I want to play a version that works for everyone.”

And the bully says, “The game is working fine as it is. We don’t need to change it.”

And other geeks start saying, “Actually, I’m not really having fun with it. And neither are other people on the playground.”

And the rest of the playground says, “Yeah, let’s change the game.”

And the bullies say, “You guys are just wussies. You’re just bringing up a change in the game because you want to avoid the fact that you’re losing!”

And the geeks say, “Well, everyone is losing right now. Let’s just play freeze tag.”

And the bullies say, “Look around you! Nobody else wants to play freeze tag!”

And the rest of the playground says, “Actually, I don’t mind changing the game.” But a few say, “Actually, yeah, I don’t want to play freeze tag.”

So the bullies start shouting. And the geeks can’t handle the shouting. They try to reason with the bullies, to get a compromise, maybe just tweak the rules, but they end up getting beat up after school.

Finally, the time comes when they want to change the game once and for all. The geeks gathered a lot of support for freeze tag, but the bullies know that it’ll never get changed, and they hope to play one last game of tag before the bell rings, signaling the end of recess.

They take a vote, the way all kids do when they want to be fair about changing the game. None of the bullies want to change the game. More geeks than bullies want to change it. The motion passes.

Then the bullies start calling the geeks names, evil names, and threaten to beat them up again unless they change their mind. But the game has been changed, and there’s nothing the bullies can do about it except whine and moan some more and pout because they didn’t get their way.

This is an important, 100-years-in-the-making decision that could mean better health care for everyone in America, and the Republicans don’t like it, only because it is Islamo-socio-fascist-ObamaCare.

Kids these days and their running the country. Whatever shall we do with them?

Pro-Choice is Pro-Life

Posted in opinion with tags , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

I am Pro-Choice, which is a problem for a lot of America.

Pro-Choice people are often skewed as being “pro-abortion,” immoral baby killers who defy the Divine Plan of God by promoting abortions. President Obama’s stance on abortion is straight-forward: he is for the woman’s right to choose, but he would prefer to reduce the number of abortions. That’s the essential of being pro-choice. I don’t want people to get abortions, but if something comes up, they should have the option to go through with it.

Pro-life people often use propaganda and scare tactics to get their point across. There is an email that is floating around that gives a few different scenarios of people and their childhood, and asks if you would recommend an abortion. And if you say yes to any of them, you’re potentially aborting anyone from Jesus to Beethoven. Thankfully, someone has created a humorous response that shows that you never know what that bundle of joy will turn out to be. Of course, this would never show up in a propaganda email. Of course we want to prevent serial killers from actually killing, but recommending abortion? That would be stupid.

My favorite, though, are the billboards, the ones put up by Prolife Across America–a pro-life group based in Minnesota–that give you information on the development of fetuses. The website is actually pretty interesting, as it gives more in-depth information about the development of the fetus, as well as “scriptural reasoning” for why abortion is immoral. Nonetheless, I have a huge problem with them, because, sure, the heart starts beating after 18 days, but if you were to remove it from the womb, what are the chances it would survive?

It’s the only real problem I have with the pro-life people. They argue that life begins at conception, and are actively against terminating pregnancies, yet in my experience, many campaign for the death penalty. Which begs the question: when does a life stop being precious and not worth saving? My definition of a human being is an entity that is able to survive outside of the womb. The first trimester, the “life” is essentially a clump of cells still multiplying and still developing. The second trimester, while less of a clump of cells and more of a human being, is still drastically under-developed, and still unable to survive on its own.

A big deal shouldn’t be made until at least the third trimester. It’s when the fetus is most developed, and the “finishing touches” are being developed. The Prolife Across America website says that at 24 weeks (about six months, at the tail end of the second trimester), a premature birth, if treated with intensive medical care, has a chance of survival. In the third trimester, the fetus is essentially ready to be born, and has a much better chance of survival is born prematurely in the eighth month than in the sixth month. Until then, a zygote or embryo can’t survive on it’s own, and thought it is technically alive in the womb, it is not an actual being yet.

The only problem I can foresee in the publication of this article is that I’m going to be flooded with medical facts that I was not aware of, and Scripture verses that prove a point, and, what I’m most concerned about, calls that I should quit being a hypocrite. If it’s hypocritical of me to be a Christian and still be pro-choice, then there is something seriously wrong with the rest of the world. I’m not one to pass blame, but if I’m a hypocrite for being a pro-choice Christian, then all of those Christians who throw money at problems and don’t actually take up their cross to help out are hypocrites, also. In fact, I doubt that there is a person on Earth today that isn’t hypocritical in some way. I could go on and on about hypocrisy and different connotations, and I might do that in another article.

But for now, I’m curious. What are your views on abortion? What is your justification for your views?

Murder of KS Doctor to be Ruled “Voluntary Manslaughter”?

Posted in current events with tags , , on January 13, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

As I’m sure I’m going to learn all too often in working on this project, crazy things in the news are going to mess with whatever “schedule” I had planned for this blog. This is one of those cases.

I was reading the Des Moines Register today in an effort to build up my awareness of the world in which I live (since Wartburg College, as is probably the case with most institutions, is kind of in a bubble of its own), and I read an article that absolutely made me sick.

On 31 May, Scott Roeder of Wichita, Kansas, walked over to Dr. George Tiller, pulled out a .22-caliber handgun, and shot Dr. Tiller in the head before a church service. Roeder pleaded guilty to premeditated first-degree murder, and as if that wasn’t enough, there were 250 witnesses that saw him do it. Open-and-shut murder case, right?

Wrong. Oh so very wrong.

Because a judge–who is supposed to be non-partisan and neutral–decided to let Roeder plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, as the killing would “save unborn children”. For those of you who don’t realize how drastic of a difference this is, let me spell it out for you in plain language: the penalty for premeditated, first-degree, outright murder is a life sentence; the penalty for “voluntary manslaughter” is five years.

This decision makes people like The Rev. Don Spitz of Chesapeake, Virginia, extra super happy, because if a person can claim that straight-up killing a doctor for performing abortions is “voluntary manslaughter”, then it would influence more people to act, as the penalty is drastically reduced.

Here’s where things start to not make sense to me: pro-lifers around the world argue that “murder is murder,” and when you abort a fetus, you’re committing murder. That’s fine; I can handle people having what I view is an essentially backwards view of what a human life is. But when these people, in the same breath, call for the murder of doctors who terminate pregnancies, I’m left to wonder: whatever happened to “murder is murder”? If all life is precious, when does life stop being so precious as to call for murder?

This blog post is jumping ahead of a lot of things I had planned; I had three articles written and planned to post an article stating my views on abortion before anything else. But as one of my professors so eloquently put it: “Life has a way of being life, and it won’t be contained in a neat little box. Things happen that will throw you for a loop, but you just have to adapt and run with it.” No worries; those articles are still to come. But right now, human stupidity has taken center stage, and we must deal with that before we can deal with anything else.

Long story short, though: I am pro-choice, and like many pro-choicers, I don’t want women to have abortions. I don’t encourage abortions, but I’d like the option to be legal and available in case something comes up. Pro-lifers who accuse me of being a “baby killer” and a “murderer” are grossly mistaken. And with situations like this, where they actively call for the murder of doctors who are just doing their jobs, just goes to show how grossly mistaken they are.

It doesn’t make sense to me that someone would rally around a cause, stating that “all human life is precious” and must be protected, and yet can arbitrarily assign certain lives to be not-so-precious. This brings up two questions: one, are abortion doctors suddenly not human, or two, is human life actually not as precious as what was once thought?

Hopefully someone in that courtroom in Kansas will enlighten everyone with some common sense, that murder is in fact murder, and that killing a grown adult for no comprehensible reason is far worse than terminating a pregnancy.