Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Can You Really Shut Down the Big Apple?

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 07:39:00 PM

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Somebody is going to try.

http://www.shutitdownnyc.com/

The bigger question is, would you want to?

You Think Some New Yorkers are Angry?

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 12:16:00 PM

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Just found this on Sweet Blog of Mine, which I found in a link chase which started at Joe Territo's blog. Lots of interesting posters and artwork are adorning the Big Apple in anticipation of the arrival of the GOP conventioneers. But this one was just too straight to the point.



Kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Silence from CNN

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 11:25:00 AM

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The Ben Barnes story broke quite a while ago now. It's been covered online in a number 0f places and has apparently been picked up by Knight-Ridder and Reuters. There still isn't a peep out of CNN about it, and I don't see anything on the NY Times or Washington Post sites either. Very odd.

This Year's GOP Platform is Finished.

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 10:56:00 AM

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I haven't been particularly happy with Bob Novak since all that unpleasant ado over the CIA spy outing incident. However, he did manage to get inside the Javits Center for the Republican reception and release of this year's platform. Strangely enough, even Bob couldn't get into the actual reception though, and was forced to catch people outside the reception area as they were leaving for comments. The short version of a long story is that this year's manifesto was developed almost entirely in secret, with a level of paranoid seclusion that Novak describes as being equal to the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb.

The timing of the release of the document this year was moved back so the delegates couldn't even get a copy of it to look over until a few days before the convention started. Also the reception, which is typically held in some large hotel ballroom, was moved to the Javits Center under great secrecy as described above.

The platform itself was not so much arrived at through group debate and consensus as it was "handed down like the Ten Commandments." As such, it's not surprising that it turned out to be a document which was virtually dictated by Bush and the ultra-conservative wing of the party. There was absolutely no movement towards more moderate positions endorsed by forward thinking party members such as Republicans for Choice or the Log Cabin Republicans.
But why did drafting this political manifesto resemble the Manhattan Project developing the atomic bomb? The process fits the Bush White House's authoritarian aura that has tempered enthusiasm within the party on the eve of its national convention.
The key issue I was watching for was on the gay marriage debate. There was insider talk running rampant indicating that the platform would not only call for the ill advised amendment to ban gay marriage, but that it would suggest a refusal to recognize gay unions of any sort, including the civil unions currently in place in a number of states. That section didn't make the final cut, thankfully (since I had already determined I was leaving the party if that happened) but they also didn't endorse civil unions. The document is entirely silent on that issue.

It's very clear (in case anyone still had remaining doubts) that the Republican party is fully controlled now by the most extreme, right wing conservative voices. There is no effort being made to accommodate the views of more moderate members, nor any interest in returning to traditional GOP value goals such as eliminating the deficit, cutting the national debt, shrinking the size of the bureaucracy, and returning more power to the individual states.

We need, and frankly deserve, to take a serious beating in this years elections just to wake the leadership up. This is a new day and age, and lying about having a "big tent" isn't fooling anyone.

Revenge of the Cho

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 10:21:00 AM

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This morning I'm spending far too much time trying to figure out why Wonkette is so obsessed with Margaret Cho this week. I have nothing against Cho, but I wasn't aware she was really dominating the news these days either.

(You may have to scroll down a bit. Sadly, Wonkette's blog doesn't provide a perma-link function that I can find to direct links to a specific entry. That would help a lot, Wonkette.)

Ben Barnes Finally Speaks

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 09:53:00 AM

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A lot of people had been wondering if the former Lt. Gov. of Texas, Ben Barnes, was ever going to go public. This was apparently the man who, back during the Viet Nam war, arranged for a young George W. Bush to get head of the line privileges for entry into the Texas Air National Guard as a pilot. Not that this sort of thing wasn't going on all over the country, but the fact is that it was the best way for young men to avoid getting drafted and going to Nam. Despite some very dubious qualifications in his application, and the fact that there were literally thousands of young Texans on a waiting list to get into the guard, Bush magically wound up at the top of the list and was admitted as a pilot. This is an allegation that has been made by many liberal pundits, and denied by Bush himself.

Now Atrios and Josh Marshal have picked up the news that Mr. Barnes has stepped up to the plate, even if he didn't intend to do so.
"Let's talk a minute about John Kerry and George Bush, and I know them both. And I'm not name dropping, saying I know them both. See I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. (audience laughs) But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people.
Yet oddly enough, when Bush was interviewed by Jim Moore for Salon, the following exchange took place.

"Mr. Bush," I said. "How did you get into the Guard so easily? One hundred thousand guys our age were on the waiting list, and you say you walked in and signed up to become a pilot. Did your congressman father exercise any influence on your behalf?"

"Not that I know of, Jim," the future president told me. "I certainly didn't ask for any. And I'm sure my father didn't either. They just had an opening for a pilot and I was there at the right time."
After the beating the Kerry has taken from the Swifties, if they don't jump all over this like bears on honey, I give up on the Kerry campaign having any interest in winning this election.



This is just disturbing.

posted by Jazz at 8/28/2004 09:21:00 AM

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A bit of a break away from the national news, yes. I simply don't know what to make of this blog entry from Girls Are Pretty. I may be mentally scarred for life. Happy Facebites Day?

Words can not describe how much I hope this is just fiction.

Friday, August 27, 2004

And an old debate springs up yet again

posted by Jazz at 8/27/2004 12:15:00 PM

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Particularly for Chris or Dave (or for that matter, anyone at all I suppose) you may want to tune into the debate going on in the comments section of this thread over on Atrios' blog. It appears to be a group of his regular readers, along with Chris from Logic Monkey.

I'll warn you ahead of time that it's an abortion debate, which turns many people off before they start reading. Granted, such discussions all to often degenerate immediately into two camps of closed ears and open mouths, with cries of "Murderer!" and "Nazi suppressor!" begins flung back and forth across the fence. But this one actually seems to maintain at least a partial air of civility with an exchange of ideas, questions actually being answered, etc. Rather a rare and beautiful thing, actually.

Of course, it could break down into a flame war at any moment, but that's life in the blogosphere. You pays yer dime, you clicks yer link, ya takes yer chance.

John Kerry: Loan the man an issue

posted by Jazz at 8/27/2004 08:54:00 AM

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I was just doing some browsing and ran across a recent entry at the Dead Parrot Society which I believe sums up my own feelings about John Kerry more eloquently than I have ever expressed them.

Listen, I get that you were in Vietnam 35 years ago. I get that this gives you some insight into wartime that most of us don't have. I get that you think George W. Bush is bad, mmkay, and he's a stubborn president who's screwed up everything he's touched.

But every time you repeat the rhetoric -- using the same soundbite lines, no less -- I get a little more bored and annoyed. I'm starting to think of you like I think of Bush when he says, "Listen, Saddam was a bad man. Terrorists are bad. We're not going to give in." You're just not telling us anything useful!

That bit was in reference to Kerry's recent appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Now, I love the Daily Show. I never miss an edition. And I was really looking forward to seeing Kerry put himself on display in a different type of forum, geared toward the younger audience. He had a great opportunity and he simply dropped the ball. I got nothing from him.

I'm forced to admit that I am one of, I imagine, a huge swath of the electorate who are supporting John Kerry for only one reason. He's not George W. Bush. That's pretty sad, really. I'd like to support somebody for who they are, rather than who they aren't. The Shrub is the first person in my 27 years of voting who has come this close to driving me out of the Republican party. Sadly, Kerry isn't much to write home about.

Tell us what you're going to do, John. You can trust us to listen. If you really do have a plan, please let the rest of us in on it.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

This Could Be Goodbye for the GOP

posted by Jazz at 8/26/2004 09:53:00 AM

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Before very long I'm afraid I'll have to stop making "observations from a reluctant Republican" and switch to "observations from an EX Republican." There has been a struggle going on inside the GOP for some time now. On one side, there are still a lot of hopeful, moderate, progressive party members and elected officials who truly want a "big tent" for the Republican party. They are represented by groups such as Republicans for Choice, the Log Cabin Republicans, and the Republican Youth Majority. Unfortunately, on the other side, there is an extremely vocal and politically powerful contingent that represents the most extreme right wing, ultra-conservative members of the party along with the "moral majority" of the Christian coalition.

As CNN reports, the GOP is gearing up for this years convention and getting ready to finalize our party platform for this year. The same moderate, progressive groups I mentioned above have been pushing hard to have a more inclusive message this year - the kind of message that would show that we really do want to have "the big tent" and represent a wider swath of America. They proposed adding a "Unity Plank" to this year's platform which would read as follows:
�We recognize and respect that Republicans of good faith may not agree with all the planks in the Party�s Platform. This is particularly the case with regard to those planks dealing with abortion, family planning, and gay and lesbian issues. The Republican Party welcomes all people on all sides of these complex issues and encourages their active participation as we work together on those issues upon which we agree.�
They further proposed stripping out the useless and outdated "Human Life Amendment" from the abortion plank. This provision does nothing but paint us as the "anti-choice" party far more so than some type of "pro-life" party.

Unfortunately, it would appear that the Dark Forces have been at work to great effect. Rather than a Unity Plank, the draft currently under consideration apparently has a call for not only a constitutional ban on gay marriages, but an outright ban on civil unions of any sort for gays.

If that is going to be the "official" stated policy of the Republican party, then I'm sorry guys. I can't be a member of that club. I certainly won't register as a Democrat as long as they hang on to their bizarre anti-gun stance, and a number of other lefty issues I can't get behind. And I'll miss being able to vote in the primaries, but I'm afraid I will have to go down and re-register as an official Independent. Somebody really needs to start a party just for moderates.

While I don't agree with or support a ban on gay marriages, I can at least kind of see the point of some of the people who do and understand their position. While I may not agree with them, it apparently offends some of their religious beliefs and deeply held values. It has all the appearance of being homophobia, but they at least make the effort to disguise it in religious cloth. But going one step further and calling for a ban of any type of recognized union for gays? That's plain old, cut and dried bigotry. And I won't be a part of it. I suppose next year's platform will tell the women to stay home in the kitchen and not bother running for office.

Naked Cartoons?

posted by Jazz at 8/26/2004 09:39:00 AM

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So Playboy is hyping the upcoming edition of their magazine. No big surprise there. And we get a tantalizing description of one of their "models."
She's a statuesque redhead with green eyes who stands 5'7". Her measurements are 36-22-36 and she's posing topless for the October issue of Playboy magazine. Oh, just one thing... she's a video game character.
Now don't get me wrong. I actually like video games. I've played Tomb Raider, Everquest, and even messed around with The Sims briefly. And it's only with mild embarrassment that I freely admit that I always enjoy the sight of a good looking naked woman. But this is Playboy running pictures of a nude pixilated character from a game in an erotic magazine layout. Doesn't that strike anyone as just a bit... wrong?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Pasta and Elephants and Pentagrams, Oh My!

posted by Jazz at 8/25/2004 02:52:00 PM

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Many thanks to Bill Cleere for pointing me to the new blogsite of Eric Klotz, (a.k.a. "Mr. Left") who is working at Madison Square Garden during the convention. (Home to this years Republican National Convention.) Apparently Eric arrived there and was handed a bag of some GOP paraphernalia and it included a special, commerative box of macaroni and cheese with specially shaped pasta. One of the shapes was an elephant, which is totally understandable. The other, defying all explanation, appears to be a pentagram, such as would be found in a satanic ritual!

I have to wonder if blogging from there might endanger Eric's job, (let's hope not) and just in case he site was prematurely "shut down" I saved the photos myself on my server to publish here. These are the thumbnails. I also saved a full size version, but it's over half a meg in size and I don't want to swamp anyone's browser. (Correction below: I'm sure the site is in no danger, as the blogger is not an employee of MSG as I understand it now.)
.

A few words from Eric about this amazing sight:
Upon my arrival for work at Madison Sq. Garden today, I was greeted with a commemorative RNC bag brimming with partisan party pleasures. Including this Republican Macaroni & Cheese. Scary, I know. But even scarier are the shapes of the pasta. Your average, everyday elephant (expected),and what is very clearly a pentagram that leaves absolutely no room for interpretation.
He also has some entries about a strange abundance of rats (the four legged furry kind) infesting the grand old Garden this week. Give him a read. In case this link gets lost, I'll be adding a link to Eric's blog in my list of watched blogs in the right hand column.

Now I have to ask the following - who is in charge of approving promotional materials for the GOP these days? I mean, seriously folks... it already seems as if the Republican party has hired someone to a full time job seeking to embarrass us, but this is a bit beyond the pale. Was there not ONE person involved who could have stopped, looked at the proposal for this product and said, "Ummm, hang on there guys. We might want to re-think this pentagram thing. It may have some negative connotations."

It would be nice to have some GOP representation that actually took all this seriously.

(Edit) Correction: I should not give the impression that the blogger in question is an employee of Madison Square Garden, but is, in fact, working on site temporarily covering the RNC. Sorry for any confusion.

John Kerry the .... author?

posted by Jazz at 8/25/2004 02:35:00 PM

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I was browsing Thomas Sowell's columns today when I came across this one. Sowell is obviously no fan of Kerry, but the questions he raises here are interesting. Apparently, back in 1971 Senator Kerry co-authored a book with other members of the "Vietnam Veterans against the War" entitled "The New Soldier." This was written during his very fervent period of opposition to the war and contains a number of stories from various veterans. Sowell's implication here is that Kerry is refusing to allow the book to be re-released, and he thus implies that there must be some damaging things in there which Kerry would not want publicized during his presidential bid.

Sowell offers no examples, but if there are any such tidbits, you can rest assured we'll be seeing them in the columns of every conservative author in the country shortly. I went to take a quick look on e-bay, and sure enough, there are a number of them up for auction. The prices for the hard cover copies are all between 200 and 400 dollars, and look to be rising over the next week until the auctions close. This should prove to either be very interesting or a big nothing. We shall see.

Black Hawk Veterans for Truth?

posted by Jazz at 8/25/2004 09:46:00 AM

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This bit by Bill Tuomala, author of the Exiled on Main Street blog was too good to pass up. A short pair of out takes to whet your appetite.
Lincoln's term of service ended after 30 days, but he reenlisted, this time as a private. A month later, he enlisted again. He served a total of 90 days, but saw no fighting. He later described his militia experiences as "bloody struggles with the musquetoes" and "charges upon the wild onions."

Who is this Lincoln guy and what ever qualified him to be commander-in-chief? You can just see that he's planning a future in politics ... how else aside from campaigning did he get elected captain of his company when he had lived in the area less than a year?

He only served in this war for ninety days! Then he dismissed the whole war as an effort against insects and vegetables! Lincoln - unfit for command?
The entire article is good reading, and gives some interesting history on Abe Lincoln in the process. Satire at it's finest.

Swing State Updates

posted by Jazz at 8/25/2004 07:50:00 AM

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According to the latest Zogby Interactive Poll numbers, the sixteen "battleground states" are still up for grabs, but 14 of them are clearly on Kerry's side. The bottom line is that, if the election were held tomorrow, the popular vote would still be incredibly close (but in Kerry's favor) but the electoral college would be a comparative landslide for a Bush loss, 324 to 214.

To analyze Zogby's results, we start by assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battlegrounds poll will vote for the same political party that they did in the 2000 election. That gives Mr. Bush 189 electoral votes and Mr. Kerry 172 votes. A total of 177 votes are up for grabs in the 16 battlegrounds; a candidate needs 270 to win the White House.

Adding the 152 votes from the 14 states that Mr. Kerry leads in the latest poll gives him a total of 324 electoral votes. (That's his highest total yet in our analyses of Zogby's polls, topping the previous high of 322 electoral votes that he had in on July 12.) Mr. Bush's two states have 25 electoral votes and give him a total of 214.

The report does go on to say that this is hardly set in stone. Some of the margins are still razor thin. Also, there is an unpredictable bounce coming following both the GOP convention and the televised presidential debates. The convention will doubtless help Bush. The debates? I don't think anyone can predict the outcome at this point, but Bush's poor public speaking ability combined with a historical inability to "think on his feet" and respond quickly can't possibly help him.



Campaign Finance Flatulence

posted by Jazz at 8/25/2004 07:14:00 AM

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According to David Gergen, (U.S. News and World Report) the United States has one lawyer for every twenty working age adults. We have five percent of the world's population, yet we boast more than 70% of the world's lawyers. To put it in a different perspective, in Japan there are more than twenty engineers for every lawyer. The ratio in America is 2.5 to 1.

With that many attorneys running around, you wouldn't think anyone would have trouble finding one. And yet the poor, beleaguered activists over at Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had to settle for using Benjamin Ginsberg of the Bush - Cheney election campaign. They aren't the only ones with a little dirt on their hands. The Kerry campaign has one lawyer who is also employed by moveon.pac, the liberal 527 group financing all the anti-Bush ads in the swing states. But of course they'll both be quick to tell you that it's perfectly legal, and they are only giving advice to them on the law - not coordinating the messages or campaigns. Perish the thought!

Please, let's just get this over with. Either flush the McCain Feingold legislation down the tubes and go back to unlimited soft money, or toughen up the wording of it to stop nonsense like this.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

You Probably Won't See This on CNN

posted by Jazz at 8/24/2004 11:17:00 AM

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Simply amazing. The Bush campaign has made one of their central themes of slamming John Kerry out of his "voting to reduce intelligence funding" in the late 90's. Now what do we find out about Porter Goss, Dubya's nominee to head up our intelligence efforts? This just in from the Washington Post.

President Bush's nominee to be the director of central intelligence, Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence personnel by 20 percent in the late 1990s.

Goss, who has been chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for the past eight years, was one of six original co-sponsors of legislation in 1995 that called for cuts of at least 4 percent per year between 1996 and 2000 in the total number of people employed throughout the intelligence community.

These proposed (but not enacted) cuts would have slashed our intelligence budget by far more than the measures Kerry supported. And, more importantly, they targeted the largest cuts directly into the "human intelligence" that the 9/11 report said we were so desperately lacking.

I can't wait to hear the Bush team's spin on this. Assuming they even say anything.



The Gun Control Lack of Debate

posted by Jazz at 8/24/2004 07:10:00 AM

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The election year is winding down and once again no progress is being made on resolving the issue of gun control. Even the greatly over-hyped, tug at your heartstrings story of little Brandon Maxfield's failed bid to buy a gun factory has not brought the issue into public discussion by the candidates. And that's a shame because this is one issue where both nominees (yes, even Bush) have some good ideas.

Democrats and Republicans, as usual, try to polarize the issue into two extreme views, when it seems a huge majority of Americans could easily agree on some baseline points. The NRA and the far right wing of the Republicans want to push for a system where every person is issued a gun at birth, and any effort at gun regulation must be the work of people who burn copies of the Bill of Rights for fireplace starters. The far left end of the Democrats want to ensure that no person in the entire country can have a gun except the police. And they aren't that sure about the cops, either.

The fact is, we've been living with the second amendment for a long time now. You can argue all you like about what the founding fathers meant by the phrase "A well regulated militia" but the bottom line is that Americans have owned guns from the beginning of our history on these shores. The common understanding of the second amendment is that everyone has the opportunity to own a gun. This does not, however, mean that common sense needs to be thrown out the window, nor that practical regulations shouldn't be in place to protect the citizens.

The first question to answer is how are we to define what is a "gun?" There is obviously a difference between the guns commonly available to people for hunting, target shooting or self defense and the bigger, far more dangerous armaments which are better defined as "weapons of war." As a private citizen there are a host of gun types from which you can choose. These range from small, .22 caliber pop guns up to serious big game weapons. There is no circumstance I can think of where the average person needs a mortar to defend their home. Fifty caliber machine guns tear up paper targets too badly to read the score. And if you are hunting something that can't be brought down by a 30/06, a 9 mm, or a 12 gauge, your time would be better spent helping the FBI determine who is selling body armor to the squirrels. It would not be difficult to come up with a legislative definition of the line between "guns" and "weapons of war" which most of us could agree on. That line will probably fall somewhere in the range of semi-automatic assault rifles which could be readily modified to full automatic capability. Nobody really needs one of these in their house. Those weapons are made for hunting men, and nothing else. This is one reason that Bush needs to get off the stick and push to renew (and make permanent) the ban on assault rifles, while not compromising the rights of law abiding citizens to acquire normal guns.

That brings up the second question, which is, "who should be able to own a gun?" Every U.S. citizen is born with the right, upon reaching an age of competence which can vary from state to state, to own a gun. However there is nothing wrong with requiring all prospective gun owners to complete a basic course in gun safety. Nor is there anything wrong with tracking the sale, registration and ownership of all guns. If you are getting the weapon for legitimate, legal purposes you have nothing to fear from the government knowing you have it. Who are we trying to protect here? People who are convicted of felonies, violent crimes, etc. surrender their right to responsible gun ownership and can be barred from owning a gun without endangering the rights of everyone else. This is all pretty simple, really.

The last point is the issue of the Bush administration's push to limit the liability of gun manufacturers in civil suits. I know this upsets a lot of people, but I'm very puzzled as to why. The proposed rules do nothing to protect a manufacturer who knowingly makes a defective weapon which is not safe to operate. The manufacturer in the Brandon Maxfield case (Bryco Arms, for those keeping score) was an excellent example. They made really cheap, shoddy Saturday night specials which could NOT be unloaded with the safety on. They deserved to be sued and they were. The majority of legitimate manufacturers, however, make very safe weapons. Some of them are so safety oriented that you need a degree in rocket science to figure out how to fire them. And these same companies already make all of their models so they can be fitted with a trigger lock. Going back to sue one of these companies because a maniac used their product to shoot somebody takes the responsibility for the crime off the shoulders of the person committing the murder and places it on an inanimate object. If I take the seven inch carving knife that came with our kitchen set and stab you in the heart with it, you'll be dead. Should your family sue Edgecraft?

We could make this entire affair into a non-issue and have sensible gun regulations for this country in place very easily. It just takes somebody to stand up and go to bat. Neither candidate, at this point, seems to show any interest in doing it, though.



Monday, August 23, 2004

Abortion and Zorn v. Stanek

posted by Jazz at 8/23/2004 10:20:00 AM

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I usually try to stay out of the abortion debate, as I feel that decisions in that minefield are best left to those born with gestational equipment. However, for anyone interested, there has been a fascinating running debate between Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune and Jill Stanek of the Illinois Leader. Even if, like myself, you aren't an Illinois resident, Zorn is a good read most of the time. His columns are mostly worth reading, and he keeps a regularly updated blog on their site. Stanek is fairly new to me, but appears to be one of the more arch-conservative anti-abortion rights players in the big leagues.

I was lead to this debate because it was posed primarily as a debate about Barack Obama. I try to be a good member of the GOP, but Alan Keyes even gives me the chills, so I'm hoping that Obama will end up being a new, moderate voice in the Senate. Stanek's opinions certainly seem to be painting him as an extremist left winger, but then again she seems to be a single issue person and I'm just not seeing that in Obama's profile.

One thing that Stanek does do, however, is take up a post in the most extreme corner possible on this issue, hurling insults across the fence, and through clever manipulation of words, paints Zorn into taking up a position on the opposite end of the beam. This is the last thing we need in this country. Jill Stanek is helping to polarize an already splintered electorate even further, when a centrist, common sense solution could be found on this issue. (As with so many others.)

I'm all in favor of a woman's right to choose over matters concerning her own body, but only up to a point that could be dictated by common sense. What would be the damage in allowing women to make that difficult choice during the first two trimesters, but then giving a potential child a fighting chance once it reaches viability? I know - defining "viability" is going to be the sticking point for most people. But it seems that the medical profession should be able to come up with some sort of general guideline as to when a fetus, if delivered, would stand a reasonable chance to survive given normal, non-extraordinary medical care and support. Once the pregnancy reaches that stage, we need to ask ourselves what the goal of the abortion procedure is. Is it to intentionally kill the child, or to terminate the pregnancy for the woman? I would hope that most women would answer the latter. And if that is the case, then delivering the child, albeit early, and letting it be put up for adoption if it survives surely accomplishes the goal as well as an abortion.

Unfortunately for the polarizing folks, no centrist answer will ever do. Abortion rights activists will scream that any legislation that ever removes the choice of abortion is the beginning of some theoretical "slippery slope" that will lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned. And Stanek, along with her ilk, will insist that any instance of abortion which is allowed is an abomination.

Whether or not you think that a fetus is "a person" (and there's another nightmare to define) the fact is that in the question of abortion, somebody's rights are going to be infringed. It will either be the rights of the pregnant woman or the fetus. Sadly, in most cases, I'm going to have to go with the woman. Zorn raises an excellent, if long used theoretical example in his debate. If a 13 year old girl is impregnated by her abusive father, and her doctors declare that carrying the child to term will result in a fair chance that she will never be able to conceive as an adult, do you let her have an abortion? Obviously you do. But Stanek never even goes so far as to answer that question.

We don't need more people polarizing this country. We need leaders (and journalists, for that matter) who are willing to challenge the system to come up with sensible, centrist answers to tough questions, even if such answers displease the extremists.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

And now.... sports news

posted by Jazz at 8/22/2004 08:27:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

The United States "dream team" of NBA basketball players lost their second game in the Olympics yesterday. To Lithuania.

I know you are, like me, deeply shocked. Mostly this comes from the shock of finding out that Lithuania even had a basketball, say nothing of a team of players. You need about a dozen players to rotate in and out for a game, don't you? And wouldn't that be about 16% of Lithuania's population?