March 14, 2007

Human cloning ban introduced in State House

Posted in State Politics at 4:23 pm by Paul Smith Jr

Human cloning ban introduced in House

People convicted of violating H.B. 76’s ban on cloning could face up to five years in prison and fines up to $1.5 million for each offense, as well as the loss of any professional licenses issued by the state.

Convicted violators of the bill’s bans on trafficking embryos would face fines up to $1 million for each offense and up to five years in prison.

Dr. Mary McCrossan, who has a family practice in Wilmington and is a member of A Rose and a Prayer, said the bill would allow embryos declared as excess at in vitro clinics and slated to be destroyed to be used for research.

S.B. 5 sets out a series of conditions under which couples can voluntarily donate such frozen embryos for research.

I’d like to thank Joe Miro for submitting this bill. Cloning is the creation of new human life, usually for the object of experimentation. This violates the common sense moral standard of treating every person as an end in themselves rather than an means to another end. Every human life has value and needs to respected as such.

Just because we’re able to do something, doesn’t mean we’d be right to do so. As an extreme example, we can drop a nuclear bomb on Iraq and kill many terrorists quickly and some not so quickly, but that would be wrong from a moral point of view. (As well as strategic, but that’s beside this point.) So we wouldn’t do that. But with time cloning could make that nuclear bomb death toll look like chicken feed.

We may think that a clone is just another version of the original person. But that’s not the case. Just because two people share the same genetic sequence doesn’t make them the same person. Think of a set of identical twins. The pair of twins I know well are quite different people, and frankly are easy to tell apart, but are identical twins nonetheless. We’ve seen example of this with cloning as well. A cat was cloned (although why anyone would want to clone a cat is beyond me) and named “CC” for carbon copy. The picture below of CC and her mother shows that CC is anything but a carbon copy.

So much for the “carbon-copy” idea. CC is clearly a distinct individual cat. (CC’s the one on the right.) The same would apply for a cloned human. If someone were to clone me, the clone might not turn out to be the wonderful, smart, and modest human being I am. Cloning me for the purpose of scientific study would be creating a new life solely to experiment upon. Even the Nazis, for all their evil, never did that.

We need to ban the practice of human cloning to keep from going further down this path we’re on. Urge your representative to vote for HB 76.

March 7, 2007

Wayne Smith — The Final Interview

Posted in Conservatism, State Politics at 4:54 pm by Hube

I recently contacted soon-to-be vacating House Majority Leader Wayne Smith with some questions from various members of the DCBA.

The questions were as follows:

1. Why, Wayne, why?
2. With your resignation, we’ve lost a strong voice for conservative values in the General Assembly? Who can Delaware conservatives look to to fill your shoes?
3. What should the Republican party do to rebuild in an increasingly blue state?
4. What legislative priorities should the GOP focus on in the coming years?
5. Have you made a choice in the 2008 Presidential Primary?
6. Are there any seats in Delaware that look ripe for a Republican pickup?
7. Do you think the Republican Party (DE and RNC) is headed in the right direction?
8. What say you to those who believe you bolted now because of John Kowalko’s “grace period” bill?
9. In conjunction with question #8, when were you offered your new position (job)?

Wayne responded in paragraph form:

One of my favorite quotes is from President Teddy Roosevelt, who intoned that, “far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Well, elective service is work worth doing and so is working on health care issues, which is arguably the most significant domestic issue this state and nation will be debating in the years to come. I’ve loved my period of elective service, but like many things in life, sometimes it is time to move on. My new job affords me a wonderful opportunity to continue to work with significant public policy issues in a critical sector of our economy. My hours should be somewhat more regular and predictable as well, which suits this homebody (where home encompasses a wonderful wife and four really neat children) very well.

Conservatism ebbs and flows. Right now, after the success of Ronald Reagan and the GOP Congress in the mid and late 1990’s (before it wrecked itself on out of control spending), we’re in a trough. Much of this is driven by concern and frustration over the War in Iraq. These things do change. One can bank on liberal excesses encroaching upon individual freedoms and producing an expanding government. This will start the type of reaction that will play to conservatism’s strengths. In Delaware, there is no doubt that the center of what we’ve understood the Republican Party to be since President Reagan’s presidency has moved south. Conservative plays as well in Kent and Sussex counties as liberalism plays in New Castle. Therefore, conservative leaders are more likely to be successfully launched from these friendly territories. They will have more freedom to be all-around conservatives because their constituencies are very supportive of that world view. We will have our issues. Certainly low taxation and spending play to our strengths and are supported by more than just conservatives. We need to go after some of what Pete DuPont called “damned right” issues. I’ve always believed instituting a state flat tax could be one of these. There are many others out there; what the party and elected leaders need to do is to be bold enough to take on some of the “you’ll never get that done” issues. For example, when I first ran for office at age 27, I said I was going to try to end forced busing. Many people patted me on the head and said in effect, “nice little candidate.” Well, about five years later, we had dissolved court ordered busing which allowed innovations like public school choice and charter schools to be used in northern New Castle County. Not to mention all of those children spending a lot less time on busses and the reappearance of community schools. Some of these “damned right” issues are tough and hard to crack. But the public has lots of grievances with the way things are – mining those and being willing to tilt at windmills (some of them do get knocked down) is one of the key to success.

As far as the presidency in 2008, I’m a national security guy. I believe the War on Terror is real, critical and woefully underestimated as a threat by the vast majority of Americans. I’m looking for a candidate who wants to take out the bad guys who want to kill us and our families – not try to understand his historical grievances or his pining for a new Caliphate. Maybe it’s Giuliani, maybe its McCain. But I do know that in a country that has seen its elementary schools ban dodgeball as too competitive and mean, a hard war is a long way from gaining popular support. President Bush, to his credit, I believe understands what is at stake and the lengthy commitment it will take to defeat this new enemy.

As for my job, it is a great opportunity that fits in well with my life right now. These types of jobs take months to develop and involve formal search procedures and lengthy interviews. These last years, I’ve kept an open mind to new opportunities (I’m 44 and have been a legislator for over 16 years). None that I’d discussed, sought out, or been approached on seemed like the right fit for various reasons. Sometimes it was the difficulty of wrapping it around part-time legislative duty. Sometimes it just didn’t interest me. I can say that the chance to still work on public policy problems was a very attractive facet of the job offer I accepted.

I’ve really appreciated my time on the public stage and am grateful to everyone who supported my efforts.

*************************************

I want to thank Wayne Smith for taking the time to answer our questions. We thank him for his service to Delaware and wish him all the best in his new position.

March 4, 2007

There they go again

Posted in State Politics at 2:27 pm by Paul Smith Jr

In their seeming unending quest to destopry innocent human life, the Delaware General Assembly is again considering a bill to promote embryonic stem cell research, which by necessity destroys human life. This is in spite of the fact there is no need for this destructive research: adult stem cells have been used with no moral question to discover over 80 cures and recent discoveries have shown non-desctructive means for garnering the embryonic stem cells. In spite of these more beneficial alternatives, this bill would legalize cloning and destruction of nascent human life.

The campaign A Rose and a Prayer, which successfully stopped this bill last year is back again to protect the innocent. Visit their website, learn more about the bill and the healthy and moral alternitives to this research.

Suporters of the bill claim it outloaws cloning. This is not true. In fact, it legalizes cloning, as long as you kill the clone within a few days. This bill is about as anti=human life as you can get: it forbids creating life itself, but allows creating life for the explicit purpose of destroying it.

Support Life. Call your legislator to oppose this bill.

February 23, 2007

Pete du Pont speaks out on climate change

Posted in State Politics at 9:46 am by Scott

Former Delaware Governor, Pete du PontThursday, nationally syndicated talk radio host, Mark Levin, read a Wall Street Journal editorial about climate change by former Delaware Governor, Pete du Pont.

Pete du Pont was a great conservative governor of Delaware in the 80’s. Unfortunately, Delaware has had nothing but Libs ever since!

February 14, 2007

Edwards (belatedly) does the right thing

Posted in National Politics at 4:00 pm by Paul Smith Jr

Despite the claims of some that it was only nutty conservatives who were offended by the rantings of Edwards’ bloggers, neither are with the campaign any more. While both were said to have resigned, that’s often a euphemism for fired. Especially when the “resignations” come after the persons in question were the source of a great deal of controversy.

 I’m not sure Edwards deserves much credit for doing the right thing in this case, though, since he was so clearly trying to have it both ways: make the Left netroots happy my making a statement in favor of the bloggers, but then try to please Catholics by getting the people off his staff. A craven political act.

February 12, 2007

New Castle County Residents should prepare for an 18% tax hike

Posted in New Castle County Politics at 7:10 am by Paul Smith Jr

As I predicted, New Castle County is preparing for a large tax increase in their next budget. Ron Williams reported in today’s News Journal that “County Executive Chris Coons is reportedly asking council for an 18 percent tax increase for next fiscal year.” While there does not yet appear to be a majority on Council for such a large tax increase, even the best case scenario would expect a few percentage points shaved off that amount in exchange for the 7 votes needed to pass this huge increase.

February 9, 2007

It’s not just conservatives who are upset at Edwards

Posted in National Politics at 9:17 am by Paul Smith Jr

Edwards Blogger Flap Discomforts Religious Left

“We have gone so far to rebuild that coalition [between Democrats and religious Christians] and something like this sets it back,” said Brian O’Dwyer, a New York lawyer and Irish-American leader who chairs the National Democratic Ethnic Leadership Council, a Democratic Party group. O’Dwyer said Edwards should have fired the bloggers. “It’s not only wrong morally – it’s stupid politically.”

O’Dwyer e-mailed a statement to reporters saying: “Senator Edwards is condoning bigotry by keeping the two bloggers on his staff. Playing to the cheap seats with anti-Catholic bigotry has no place in the Democratic Party.”

Thursday, the campaign issued a statement from Edwards saying that he had been personally offended by the remarks and that the bloggers “have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word.”

The campaign also sent out semi-apologetic statements from each blogger saying she was sorry if anyone was offended.

“I thought his explanation was not satisfying,” said Cornell’s Penalver. “It’s obvious that they did mean to give offense.”

Edwards is kidding himself if he thinks that he can keep both serious Catholics and the bloggers. It is disappointing to read, though, that some liberal Catholic are avoiding this battle because of discomfort with Catholic League President William Donahue. He’s not my first choice of messenger, either, but he’s right on this one and all Catholics are harmed by anti-Catholic bigotry. Faith has to come first, not politics and those liberals are putting their politics first.

Hat Tip: The Corner

February 8, 2007

Edwards: “Anti-Catholic Bigots are Welcome on my Campaign Staff”

Posted in National Politics at 3:37 pm by Paul Smith Jr

I wasn’t going to blog on this, figuring that once it came to his attention what these people had written he’d do the right thing and disassociate with them. Since Edwards refused to take the obvious step, I’m blogging.

“I talked personally to the two women who were involved. They gave me their word they, under no circumstances, intended to denigrate any church or anybody’s religion and offered their apologies for anything that indicated otherwise. I took them at their word,” Edwards told reporters.

“It has never been my intention to disparage people’s individual faith, and I’m sorry if my words were taken in that way,” McEwen’s statement said.

Marcotte’s statement said her writings on religion on her blog, Pandagon, are generally satirical criticisms of public policies and politics.

“My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics,” Marcotte said. “Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact.”

Here’s some of what they wrote:

Marcotte:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?
A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology. (Source)

More Marcotte:

There’s a pragmatic reason that the Vatican might be a little hesitant to come right out and say that there’s no limbo (definition here, for those who don’t know much about Catholicism) is because the concept is wielded by everyday Catholics to explain where the souls of unborn babies go, which is just an extra way to guilt trip women who have abortions. But it’s sort of a balancing act, as far as I can tell, because as most people understand it, unbaptized children go to limbo but when Jesus returns, they all get to go to heaven. So it’s a way to guilt trip women who have abortions without casting god as such an uncruel monster as to throw souls into hell that never even had a shot at sinning. So that’s limbo: it sucks enough to make women feel guilty about abortion, but it doesn’t suck so much as to run people off.

I suspect Pope Ratz will give into the urge eventually to come out and say there’s no limbo and unbaptized babies go straight to hell. He can’t help it; he’s just a dictator like that. Hey, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, the Pope’s gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan’s maw. The alternative is to let Catholic women who get abortions feel that it’ll all work out in the end, which is just not doable, due to that Jesus-like compassion the Pope is so fond of. Still, it’s going to be bad PR for the church, so you can sort of see why the Pope is dragging ass.

Which all brings me to recommending this great post by Austin Cline at Jesus’ General about why authoritarian types are so damn interested in cobbling people’s sex lives and meddling around in people’s private sexual decisions, like in this case why the Catholic church is so interested in making sure that people can’t make the perfectly sound decision to limit their family size while enjoying a healthy sex life—either you’re going to have to forgo birth control or you’re going to have to feel guilty to the point where you fear you’re casting babies into hellfire, by their standards. It’s a way to disrupt people’s lives so the church can get more control. (Source)

Still more:

The problem with Rick Santorum is that every time he talks about sex, that little part of all of us that wants to run into a preschool and yell “f**kslut” or go to a born-again church and scream about how God loves to come in our backyards for our milkshakes, well, it just grows a hundredfold, and the restraint that most of us show just flies out the window. As a Senator, however, Santorum finds himself frequently faced with many of the most pressing issues of penis insertion that have ever faced America—and so he must speak, lest his lack of self-control be manifested by f**king his desk on the Senate floor. (There’s a knothole that’s just the right size, y’know.) The problem with Rick Santorum is that every time he talks about sex, that little part of all of us that wants to run into a preschool and yell “f**kslut” or go to a born-again church and scream about how God loves to come in our backyards for our milkshakes, well, it just grows a hundredfold, and the restraint that most of us show just flies out the window. As a Senator, however, Santorum finds himself frequently faced with many of the most pressing issues of penis insertion that have ever faced America—and so he must speak, lest his lack of self-control be manifested by f**king his desk on the Senate floor. (There’s a knothole that’s just the right size, y’know.) (Source)

And again:

One thing I vow here and now—you motherf**kers who want to ban birth control will never sleep. I will f**k without making children day in and out and you will know it and you won’t be able to stop it. Toss and turn, you mean, jealous motherf**kers. I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure. Some non-procreating women escaped. So give up now. You’ll never catch all of us. Give up now. (Source)

No. Can’t imagine why anyone would be offended by that. These couldn’t possibly have been intended to give offense. No possible way.

There are many Catholics who disagree with Church teachings, but they still don’t want the Catholic Church spoken of this way. This will be passed around in every Catholic Church in America. (And many Protestants won’t be happy about the attacks on religion either.) If Edwards wins the nomination, I think the GOP will have been handed the White House again due to his own incompetence.

February 1, 2007

Multitasking

Posted in National Politics at 9:41 pm by Scott

Click on picture for a larger view

Created by Mark DeanClick here for the Artist’s Bio!

Click here to see more MADHOUSE cartoons!

January 30, 2007

The Truth About Clarence Thomas

Posted in National Politics at 12:27 pm by Paul Smith Jr

Immediately upon his arrival at the court, Justice Thomas was savaged by court-watchers as Antonin Scalia’s dutiful apprentice, blindly following his mentor’s lead. It’s a grossly inaccurate portrayal, imbued with politically incorrect innuendo, as documents and notes from Justice Thomas’s very first days on the court conclusively show. Far from being a Scalia lackey, the rookie jurist made clear to the other justices that he was willing to be the solo dissenter, sending a strong signal that he would not moderate his opinions for the sake of comity. By his second week on the bench, he was staking out bold positions in the private conferences where justices vote on cases. If either justice changed his mind to side with the other that year, it was Justice Scalia joining Justice Thomas, not the other way around.

Consider a criminal case argued during Justice Thomas’s first week. It concerned a thief’s effort to get out of a Louisiana mental institution and the state’s desire to keep him there. Eight justices voted to side with the thief. Justice Thomas dissented, arguing that although it “may make eminent sense as a policy matter” to let the criminal out of the mental institution, nothing in the Constitution required “the states to conform to the policy preferences of federal judges.”

After he sent his dissenting opinion to the other justices, as is custom, Justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Kennedy changed their votes. The case ended up 5-4.

Read the whole article

The false notion, likely based in the Left’s racist views, that Thomas is unintelligent will likely never go away. He’s long been my favorite Supreme Court Justice, he and I sharing a stronger respect for originalism than Scalia. Hopefully articles like this will at least start the process of opening people’s minds to him.

Crossposted at Gazizza.net.

 Hat Tip: Jimmy Akin

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