As I have been out of town so much lately, some of my mail had piled up. Last night I was going through a stack of mail and I found an envelope from my company. Working remotely, I get several envelopes a week from the office containing any mail that I had received down there as well as inter-office memos and the likes. So I open the envelope and pull out a black hanky.
I was shocked and panicked momentarily. I thought to myself "Oh my God! Who in the office thinks I am into heavy S&M?" This thought was immediately followed with "Oh my God! Who in the office is into heavy S&M?" Still thinking it had something to do with gay hanky codes, I opened the hanky up to look at it. I was relieved, and highly amused when I found a logo in the corner for our company picnic.
So I shared the story with a gay colleague who was cracking up. He said he knew what I was going to say shortly after I started telling him. He said he and his boyfriend were dying at the picnic and none of the other 'mos from the office were there to share it with. It turns out they had made black AND red hankies for everyone to choose from when you registered. LOL... who knew they were such a kinky bunch.
On a related and somewhat more absurd twist on this subject, have you ever wondered what color the bible thumpers are flagging? People like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, James Dobson and Fred Phelps? Click here to find out.
Dick Santorum, the Nazi Party Senator from PA, besides being despicable, is also a liar and an idiot. In relation to stem cell research he says:
"You want to talk about the promoting of the culture of death -- now we're going to wholesale kill hundreds maybe thousands of human embryos for no other reason than to simply do research on their cells? I think that's a radical step for a culture that says that we respect the human dignity of every person."
When for the love of God will the media start asking him to tell us what will happen to the thousands of human embryos if we DON'T do research on their cells? Riddle me that Naziman. Your not hearing it discussed because the answer is... drumroll please... they will be killed "wholesale" when they are disposed of.
Hats of to Arlen Spector, Dick's colleague and the senior senator from PA, for calling it like it is. He says:
"When the argument is made that we should not use federal funding to save lives by destroying lives, it is simply factually incorrect... Embryonic stem cells will be destroyed whether they are used to save lives or not."
Spector goes a step further and provides a good argument for why the government should fund programs that some taxpayers find immoral when he says:
"Taxpayers, by our taxing system, are compelled to fund many items that they don't like... A lot of people didn't want to go to war in Iraq... And the purpose of the Congress is to make a public policy determination as to what is in the public interest."
So not all Republics in Congress are morons... just the majority.
In light of Boozhy's recent post regarding "black girl" in the Waxahachie high school yearbook, I thought this made for interesting reading. It seems Robert and his mother have very different opinions on the picture that was in his yearbook and what it symbolized. I am not rendering an opinion on the matter, just pointing out something that I think is thought provoking.
Now, while many might think that my political persuasion makes me "un-patriotic", I am a veteran of the US Army... a former Combat Engineer, to be precise. And as such, I wanted to take this opportunity to say, that I for one am thankful to all those who died in the service of our nation. Many died defending democracy both here and abroad. Unfortunately there were those who also lost their lives, no less valiantly and no less in patriotic service to our nation, but whom were sent into conflict for very wrong reasons. The misguided leadership that sent them into harms way does not in any way deter from the heroic nature of their lives nor does it diminish their love for their country or what should be our appreciation of their sacrifice.
OK, this righteous indignation will be less of a rant than the last. But I am indignant none-the-less. So as not to have rehash (or retype) something I already addressed once today, I want to include a portion of an email response that I sent to Andrew Sullivan regarding a post he had on his blog today.
I just wanted to take a moment to drop you an email regarding your post today. First let me say that I have been following your writing for some time and while initially I was very opposed to many of your opinions, I find myself more and more in agreement with you on a number of issues. I am not sure if it is a result of changes in my thinking, changes in your thinking or a combination of the two. Suffice it to say though that I do not agree with you on everything and this is one of those instances.
I commend you on your open-minded analysis to date of the stem cell research issue. I applaud you for at least listening thoughtfully to all sides of the argument. That is more than can be said for most of the opponents of the Stem Cell research bill. But in today's post you said:
"I don't think I could personally engage in it. Still, none of this invalidates the president's position. In such morally difficult waters, I favor the conservatism of doubt: keep the federal government as far away from such activities as possible, but allow private entities and even state governments, with popular consent, to finance them. I don't see why this position is so unreasonable."
I would like a stab at explaining why this position is so unreasonable. Under the current Bush administration policy regarding stem cell research there is a hodge-podge patchwork of initiatives seeking to find cures for a variety of conditions. According to Andrea Stone of the USA Today ("Lawmakers push stem cell study", 05/23/05) the NIH spent a measly $24.8 million funding human embryonic stem cell studies. This amount pales in comparison to what is being spent on other areas such as oncology and HIV/AIDS research.
While many individual states (CA, NJ, CT) are pursuing individual initiatives to promote this research, the lack of federal oversight in this area is resulting in lack of coordination of efforts. There is little guidance to insure that efforts are not being duplicated. If the NIH were involved they would ensure that money was being spent wisely to get the maximum results from all of the research being conducted. They would further ensure that efforts were coordinated, information shared between multiple research projects and that the wheel was not continually being reinvented. With this oversight and coordination, we would progress much faster toward cures or treatments for some very serious conditions.
I don't want to rehash the issue too much, but I am surprised by the lack of attention paid to the fact that the embryos that would be used are those slated to be disposed off anyway. If these embryos represent a life to opponents of stem cell research, wouldn't it be more desirable to have the loss of these lives have a positive impact on society in their disposal, as opposed to just being disposed of. They ARE going to be disposed of, that is not really debatable. Bush's PR stunt of trotting out children who were adopted as embryos was disingenuous at best. It is quite clear that embryos, whose owners/parents have given permission to be adopted, would not be available for research. Nothing about this bill changes that. In cases where the owners/parents do not consent to have their embryos adopted, those embryos WILL BE destroyed. So the choice over whether to have their destruction result in the advancement of medicine and potentially save lives and relieve suffering OR just be destroyed seems simple to me. What am I missing? How is that not a "pro-life" activity? Remember, life doesn't end at birth (emphasis added)."
Andrew pointed out a discussion thread on a Slate Magazine discussion group, which shed amazing light on the subject. it was a comment by someone who has a child who was the product of an adopted embryo. You really have to read her comment to appreciate it. But I am curious why Bush didn't bring her and her child to the Rose Garden for his PR stunt.
I found a quote today, which I thinks reflects how difficult it will be to come to consensus on this subject. It was a comment letter to the Jewish World Review
"If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues, we must debate when human personhood begins. If we can reach a near consensus on this, then abortion, in-vitro fertilization, stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves."
"In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3-1/2 days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day."
Someone else in the church who seems to understand what the Church should be to all people.
"Recently I met with such people. Many of them were born into Catholic families, baptized as infants and attended Catholic schools. They have embraced the faith handed on to them. Others, through the examples of friends and having felt called by God, became Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For all of them, being Catholic is at the core of who they are. At the same time, they are people who are not sure of "their place" in their home. They are people - wonderful, good Catholic people - who are gay and lesbian."