Thursday, November 16, 2006

Public Schools are NOT Broken

During this election season I have saw numerous articles, news videos, and blog entries about "the need to improve our public schools". The problems are seemingly endless, as are the proposed solutions:
more standardized testing, elimination of standardized testing, smaller classrooms, longer school days, longer school years, more computers, PDAs, a laptop for each student, new books, no books, self-esteem assessments, vocational training, multi-cultural awareness training, cultural appreciation, grades-based graduation, exit examinations, outcome based education, open classrooms, school uniforms, armed guards, metal detectors, arts-based curriculums, mental health screenings, physical health screenings, school based "health clinics", routine social service counseling,
and on and on in dizzying array.

Some of these proposals have things in common, while others are complete opposites. Some address the appalling lack of academic prowess in American public schools; others take aim at various societal woes. In reality, however, all of these programs are the same.

The base philosophy of all "fix the schools" programs is that if you just give the schools enough money, they will fix themselves. No matter what it aims to cure or how it aims to cure it, every program promises that the schools are just a few dollars away from turning everything around. They all proclaim that THE BIG FIX is finally here - if only you will fund it.

Most people know this isn't true. They know it, but they don't say anything. Instead, heads are blithely nodded at school board meetings, and names signed on to participant lists. They are discouraged by past failures, but harbor secret hopes that perhaps this program will be different. Conversely, handfuls of the eternally optimistic will enthusiastically jump in, head first, excited that everything they have been hoping for is finally going to come to pass. Smaller numbers of the realistic, some would say cynical, just shake their heads and go home. They know it will fail, but feel powerless to do anything to stop the failure, or offer up a better solution.

All of these are good people, but they are deluded. They are deluded into thinking that the public schools are failing, that they are somehow broken, that they need to be fixed. But they are wrong.

The public schools are not failing. They are not broken. They do not need to be fixed.

In forthcoming posts, I will show not only that public schools are not broken, but that attempts to fix/improve them will always be fruitless and wasteful.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ten Year Olds Need Abortions, Too

I know she stands for some terrifying stuff, like killing a baby moments before it's birth because his/her mother is depressed. And having 10 year olds get abortions, without parental consent or notification, but not requiring the abortion clinic to turn over the names of those who raped the 10 year old. Not to mention those 30 year olds in "lucrative financial circumstances", who "just don't feel they can be a parent right now". Score so far: babies are down three, rapists up one.

But then, you have to consider the source. Look at what she said about her own experience, choosing to kill two of her children:

When we saw the specialist, we found out that I was carrying identical twins and a stand alone. My doctors thought the stand alone was three days older. There was something psychologically comforting about that, since I wanted to have just one. Before the procedure, I was focused on relaxing. But Peter was staring at the sonogram screen thinking: Oh, my gosh, there are three heartbeats. I can't believe we're about to make two disappear. The doctor came in, and then Peter was asked to leave. I said, ''Can Peter stay?'' The doctor said no. I know Peter was offended by that. -Amy Richards

She is frightening. She is also the face of the modern democratic party.

Vote like your life depends on it - because it does.

Friday, November 03, 2006

An Inside Look at the "Religion of Peace"

Just in case you may have forgotten what is at stake in the upcoming election, here is a 12 minute video trailer of a film called Obsession. It's a good reminder about just what we are up against.

As Bernard Lewis says, either we bring them freedom, or they're going to destroy us.

You Wouldn't Even Ask

If a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say, "I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other issues?"

I doubt it.

In fact, if a terrorism sympathizer presented him/herself for your vote, you would immediately know that such a position disqualifies the candidate for public office -- no matter how good he or she may be on other issues. The horror of terrorism dwarfs whatever good might be found in the candidate's plan for housing, education, or health care. Regarding those plans, you wouldn't even ask.

So why do so many people say, "This candidate favors legal abortion. I disagree. But I'm voting for this person because she has good ideas about health care (or some other issue)."

Such a position makes no sense whatsoever, unless one is completely blind to the violence of abortion. That, of course, is the problem. But we need only see what abortion looks like, or read descriptions from the abortionists themselves, and the evidence is clear. (USA Today refused to sell me space for an ad that quoted abortionists describing their work because the readers would be traumatized just by the words!)

Abortion is no less violent than terrorism. Any candidate who says abortion should be kept legal disqualifies him/herself from public service. We need look no further, we need pay no attention to what that candidate says on other issues. Support for abortion is enough for us to decide not to vote for such a person.

Pope John Paul II put it this way: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination" (Christifideles Laici, 1988).

False and illusory. Those are strong and clear words that call for our further reflection.

"I stand for adequate and comprehensive health care." So far, so good. But as soon as you say that a procedure that tears the arms off of little babies is part of "health care," then your understanding of the term "health care" is obviously quite different from the actual meaning of the words. In short, you lose credibility. Your claim to health care is "illusory." It sounds good, but is in fact destructive, because it masks an act of violence.

"My plan for adequate housing will succeed." Fine. But what are houses for, if not for people to live in them? If you allow the killing of the children who would otherwise live in those houses, how am I supposed to get excited by your housing project?

It's easy to get confused by all the arguments in an election year. But if you start by asking where candidates stand on abortion, you can eliminate a lot of other questions you needn't even ask.

By: Fr. Frank Pavone
Director, Priests for Life International
Priests for Life

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints Day

With the ever-growing commercial aspects of nearly every part of our lives as Americans, we very often forget the true meaning of holidays. Perhaps this is most true in the case of Halloween (the eve of All Saints Day). Emphasis is placed on candy, trick-or-treating, costumes, and other such stuff. But that is not what All Saints Day is about.

You can find a short explanation of the evolution of All Saints Day at New Advent. You can also find information about the Church's teaching on the intercession of the saints, from the great folks at Catholic Answers.

All Saints Day is the day when we can honor those who have, as St. Paul said "run the race". They are an example to follow. They are real people, who had real temptations and vices. They had to struggle daily with temptation and sin. They were not born as holy people, but relied upon the grace of God to overcome their wickedness - as we all must.

In speaking of the saints we hear of the virtues and the great works that many performed. Blessed Mother Teresa is a well-known example from our own time. Maximillian Kolbe is another modern saint. The "little way" of St. Theresa the Little Flower has inspired millions to rely on Christ for all things great and small. And St. Rita of Cascia has served as an example of faith, hope, love, and perserverance through the toughest of situations.

These saints, and countless others, give us an example. More importantly, they give us hope. For they, too, were but humans, who relied on the grace of God, and were transformed into saints. They poured themselves out and ran the race. They have arrived at the destination. With God's grace, and perhaps some of their intercessory prayers, may we all arrive there safely, in the fullness of time. In the meantime, let us allow the example of the saints lives to inspire our hope for the coming of our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Who do you think YOUR children belong to?

From the Association of California School Administrators:

Parents' choice proceeds from the belief that the purpose of education is to provide individual students with an education. In fact, educating the individual is but a means to the true end of education, which is to create a viable social order to which individuals contribute and by which they are sustained. 'Family Choice' is therefore, basically selfish and anti-social in that it focuses on the 'wants' of a single family rather than the 'needs' of society." -Crowell, Royal D, "How California Schools Denumb a Child's Mind" The Orange County Register Santa Ana, CA, Oct. 31, 1993, p.1-2

Ten Reasons to Vote for Ben Cardin, at least according to his supporters, Part 2

2."Cardin Voted Against the War in Iraq"

This is supposed to impress? For more than a decade we putzed around with Saddam Hussein, begging and pleading like ineffectual parents for him to please, please, please hold up his end of the peace agreement that ended the first Gulf War. Failing to go into Iraq despite more than a decade of broken agreement, as well as all the other "turn the other cheek" measures that our government took in response to Islamist attacks, served only embolden Islamic terrorists.

Some people (Saddam Hussein) are just plain evil. Treating them like misunderstood children only endangers our country. For a reminder, see my post "The Democratic Plan for North Korea" in the sidebar.

3."Cardin is a lifelong Marylander."

Is this a joke? Don't get me wrong, I don't want some carpetbagger (Hillary Clinton) elected to represent our state, as has happened in other states (New York, they deserve what they get); but really, that's not a reason to elect him as a senator. If that was a criterion, most of the inmates at ECI would qualify.

4."Cardin is a Mensch"

I don't know him personally, so maybe he is a "mensch". But so what? I know lots of people who are nice, but I wouldn't elect them for anything more important than dogcatcher. And besides, he's only a mensch to you if you're not an innocent baby who can't protect yourself. If that kid in the picture knew what Cardin would have allowed his mother to do to him, he wouldn't be laughing, he'd be screaming his head off in abject terror.

5."Cardin is an expert on Social Security. ,....Cardin has vigorously fought Republican attempts to privatize Social Security. "

Yeah. He thinks he knows better what ought to be done with your money than you do. He believes that you can't be trusted, so you should turn your dollars over to Washington DC, and let them handle it. 'We're from the government, and we're here to help.'

Naturally, this "social security expert" has failed to notice that if there we still had the 48 million people in the US that we've killed (aborted) since 1973 there would be no problem with Social Security, because we would have that many more people working and paying into it. But don't worry, Cardin has a plan. Each of us who survived our mother's pregnancy will have to pay more and more, and wait longer and longer to get it - if ever.

6."Cardin will help you spend less time in traffic"

Really? Can't tell it by this video of the Cardin vs Steele debate. Traffic and metro isn't a make-or-break issue for me, but it doesn't appear that Cardin has anything over Steele on this issue.

7."Cardin is a strong advocate for stem cell research"

Cardin believes that the government should be subsidizing embryonic stem cell research. He doesn't care that it hasn't shown any good results. He doesn't care that adult stem cells have shown a lot of promise, and that money going to the unpromising embryonic stem cell research diverts funds from research that actually COULD provide cures. He doesn't care about the fact that while the government will not fund this research, private enterprise can, and would -IF IT WAS WORTH PURSUING!

8."Cardin will help make healthcare more affordable"

Yawn. Doesn't every politician, of every political stripe, say this? And have we seen any real results? Cardin, like all politicians, wishes that healthcare was more affordable. But wishing won't make it so.

I can tell you what he will never do. He will never divert the $2.9 million Maryland taxpayer dollars that were used to fund abortions last year into real healthcare for the needy.

9."Cardin is a strong supporter of civil rights"

That's nice. It really is. This might make him a nice man, but it does not in any way differentiate him from a crowd of other people who would like to get elected. I mean, really, you gotta come up with something better than that. After all, have you ever heard a politician say that they are against civil rights?

10."Cardin is passionate about ethics"

I almost spit my coffee out when I read this one. Ethics? A man who is for the right to LITERALLY have a baby stabbed in the back of the neck with scissors so that his/her brains can be sucked out is going to run on ETHICS! You gotta be kidding me.

In summary, according to the Ben Cardin's supporters we should vote for him because:

he's a really nice baby-killing mensch who was too gutless to go to war against an evil dictator, but expects to be trusted with your money, is willing to talk the usual platitudes about healthcare and civil rights, got smacked-down by Michael Steele on the traffic issue in the metro area, and still has the gall to talk ethics despite being willing to kill babies in the name of convenience and pseudo-science. Oh yeah, and he's a lifelong Marylander.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ten Reasons to Vote for Ben Cardin, at least according to his supporters, Part 1

Clicking around the local blogosphere today, I came upon the Jousting for Justice blog. This was a new blog to me, and interesting in that it is the first that I have come upon with a liberal slant. The main feature on the blog, today, is 10 Reasons to Vote for Ben Cardin. Being a proud Steele supporter, I decided to read these "10 reasons" to see if anything good could be gleaned from them. Was there? You decide.

Reason #1 to support Ben Cardin (according to his supporters):

"Cardin Supports a Woman's Right to Choose. For this important reason alone, Ben Cardin deserves your vote."

Really? Are you sure? Well, then, let's see what that "choice" is, shall we?

Just in case you can't read the diagram, here is what it says:

A. A speculum is inserted in the vagina, a tenaculum is clamped to the lip of the cervix and a cannula is inserted into the uterus.

B.The amniotic fluid, placenta, and fetus are suctioned through the cannula into a collection jar. The fetus and placenta are torn apart in the process.

C.The uterine cavity is scraped with a curette to determine whether any significant amount of tissue remains.

D.The contents of the collection jar are examined that all fetal parts and an adequate amount of tissue commensurate with estimated gestational age are present.

This is the procedure for which his supporters say that you should vote for Ben Cardin. This is the most common abortion procedure performed in the United States today.

Ben Cardin also voted AGAINST the partial-birth abortion ban. He wanted every woman, at ANY TIME DURING PREGNANCY, to have the right to choose this:

1.Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps.

2.The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.

3.The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.

4.The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole...

5.The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

And for this reason alone we should vote for Ben Cardin, according to his supporters.

Part 2, tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hospital Burns Aborted Babies in Waste Incinerator

Found this article earlier today. Apparently, some women are "horrified and disgusted" that the babies they chose to kill are being burnt in the same place as the trash, so that the hospital can save $30 on the crematorium.

Hospital admits to burning aborted babies in waste incinerator
By JAMES SLACK Last updated at 22:00pm on 23rd October 2006

One of the country's leading hospitals is throwing aborted babies into the same incinerator used for rubbish to save only £18.50 each time, it has emerged.

Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, said it was no longer able to afford the dignified disposal at a local crematorium of foetuses from unwanted pregnancies.

Instead, they are being burnt in the hospital's main incinerator - which is normally used for rubbish and clinical waste.

The revelation sparked anger and distress among church leaders and pro-life groups, as well as women whose pregnancies were terminated at the hospital.

Addenbrooke's adopts a different policy for unborn babies which are miscarried before 24 weeks.

They are either cremated at a crematorium , buried at a cemetery, or passed to the parents if they wish to make their own arrangements.

Dr Anthony Russell, Bishop of Ely, said: "I am sorry to know this is the practice currently being adopted by the hospital. I recognise there is a wide range of responses to this issue, but believe the disposal of foetuses should be undertaken reverently and with dignity."

Pro-life groups claim that, while not illegal, it goes against the spirit of guidelines issued by the Royal College of Nursing.

The RCN's guide, Sensitive Disposal of all Foetal Remains, says disposal alongside clinical waste is 'completely unacceptable'.

It adds: 'It is acknowledged that sometimes parents don't recognise their loss at the time, but may return months or even years later to enquire about the disposal arrangements.

'Therefore, it is important to respect the wishes of parents who may not want to be involved, but to ensure also that sensitive and dignified disposal is carried out.'

Lisa Wilson, of the ProLife Alliance, said: "What absolute horror. Has our society lost even a minimum concept of the humanity of the unborn child and the respect due to these tiny victims of our ruthless legislation?"

Michaela Aston, spokesman for pro-life charity Life, said: "The fact they are now disposing of human remains like they would any other waste product shows what society and this hospital has come to.

"It is just so disgusting. What has happened to the dignity of the human being? It reflects increasingly certain people in society's attitudes to the unborn child just flushing them away, or burning them like any other waste. How can we let this happen in a civilised society?"

One local woman, who asked not to be named, said after the heartache of deciding to have an abortion she was mortified to find the hospital had used the same furnace they burn rubbish in to incinerate her terminated baby.

She said: "I am furious and very hurt. Imagine my horror when I discovered that my baby was incinerated in the same furnace as the hospital rubbish."

Hospital managers said they had to take the decision after 'significant increases' in the fees charged by Cambridge City Crematorium, where they were previously buried or cremated.

The hospital, under pressure along with the rest of the NHS to make millions of pounds of savings, said it was trying to be 'careful with the use of limited resources'.

In June, it emerged cash-strapped health chiefs had to cut a total of £28 million from NHS spending in Cambridgeshire.

The so-called 'turnaround plan', aimed at clawing back a forecast debt of £45.9 million, forced Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trusts take a scalpel to demand savings of £15m from Addenbrooke's. This is despite the hospital having a surplus of £3.5m at the end of the last financial year.

The reduction was to be achieved 'by treating fewer people and working more efficiently'. An Addenbrooke's spokesman said aborted foetuses used to be cremated free at Cambridge Crematorium but a price rise to £18.50 in 2005 forced the hospital to use its own incinerator.

She said rubbish was not disposed of at the same time as foetal tissue and the incinerator was booked in advance.

A white sheet is placed over the front of the furnace and the process is witnessed by two members of staff working in bereavement care.

In a statement, the hospital added: 'The arrangements Addenbrooke's has in place to dispose of unwanted foetal tissue comply with the recommendations of the Retained Organs Commission (ROC).

'Following the termination of unwanted pregnancy, foetal tissue is disposed of within the hospital incinerator in a sensitive and respectful manner.

'The incinerator is cleared of all other material, and no other waste is dealt with at the same time as the foetal tissue.

'The process is organised and witnessed by two members of staff who are specialists in bereavement care.

'Until recently the hospital used the services of Cambridge Crematorium, but due to significant rises in the cost we are charged, this option is no longer open to us.

'This comes at a time when we have to be careful with the use of limited resources, and we have had to consider other options which comply with the ROC guidance.

'Patients undergoing termination of unwanted pregnancy are informed that disposal will be within the hospital. If patients request additional information, they are put in touch with a member of the bereavement team who meets the patient and discusses in detail the arrangements.'

'We hope to have further discussions with the crematorium and the City Council to consider affordable alternatives.'