Posts Tagged ‘mother’

Republicans Care About Children; Democrats Care About Teachers’ Union Boondoggle

June 29, 2011

A tale of two narratives:

Waiting for Superman:

Waiting for the Teachers’ Union
By Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education
Posted: September 24, 2010 04:52 PM

If you do one thing this weekend, go see Davis Guggenheim’s latest documentary, “Waiting for ‘Superman’ “, which opens in theaters across the country today. The film, which has been met with well-deserved critical acclaim, paints a blunt and at times heartbreaking picture of the state of public education in America, told through the stories of families fighting to get their children into safe, high-performing schools.

First, it’s a terrific film.  But more importantly, it has helped catapult the debate on education reform to the national stage.

It’s not surprising that the film is making many people uncomfortable. The truth is harsh. It’s easier to turn away than to watch a crying mom clutch a losing lottery ticket that just cost her child a spot at a top-performing charter school.

What is surprising is that some — including the teachers’ unions — are railing against the film, dismissing it as anti-teacher and pro-charter school propaganda.

‘Superman’ is not anti-teacher; nor does it suggest that charter schools are the answer.  Teachers are the heroes of any education success story, and ‘Superman’ recognizes that. It also recognizes that there are good charters schools and bad charters schools. But it demonstrates that charters are finally providing families in traditionally disadvantaged communities with more choices — something affluent families have always had — thus increasing the chances for better outcomes. And the most successful charters, like the Harlem Children’s Zone schools that are run by Geoff Canada, who stars in the film, or the KIPP schools featured in it, are proving that success doesn’t depend upon where you come from, or the color of your skin, or how much money your family has — because they are getting real results in the poorest communities.

For example, this year, at the Harlem Success Academy, a charter school in New York City, 88 percent of the students passed the state’s reading test and 95 percent passed the math test, while comparable schools have pass rates of 35 percent in reading and 45 percent in math. In fact, Success performed at the same level as the very top gifted and talented schools in the City, all of which have demanding admissions requirements, while Success selects by lottery from primarily African-American and Latino students, three quarters of whom are living in poverty.

So why are they able to get better results? The number one reason is because they are not bound by legions of micro-managing regulations, including those contained in today’s typical teachers’ union contract.

Free from these rules, charter schools in New York can treat their teachers like professionals and reward them for excellence. They embrace an accountability system based on merit.  They understand that, like any other profession, all teachers are not created equal. And, they value the future of the kids above the future of the adults.  Which means if you are teaching in one of Geoff Canada’s schools, and your kids keep failing, you’re out.

It’s been nearly 30 years since President Reagan presented “A Nation at Risk.” In the meantime, our nation has almost doubled its spending (in inflation-adjusted dollars) on K-12 public education, but our gains have been negligible. And, while America’s students are in a ditch, the rest of the world is plowing forward. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development administers English, math and science tests to 13 year olds in its 30 member countries. On the most recent exams, the United States was in the bottom third in all three, and trending in the wrong direction in each one. And, where we once had the highest percentage of high school and college graduates among these 30 countries, today we’re toward the bottom for high school graduates and in the middle for college graduates.

We can’t keep ignoring this problem or thinking it’ll get fixed simply by throwing money at it.

Public education is badly failing far too many of our kids and, ultimately, our nation. We must, as Superman does, talk honestly about this uncomfortable fact and why it persists. And that discussion can only begin in earnest if we are prepared to acknowledge what the iconic teachers’ union head Albert Shanker told us almost two decades ago: “As long as there are no consequences if kids or adults don’t perform, as long as the discussion is not about education and student outcomes, then we’re playing a game as to who has the power.” Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much since then.

Only recently, for example, the General Counsel of the NEA, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, said:

Why is the NEA an effective advocate? Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

I am not naïve enough to think that a movie can change the world. But “Waiting for ‘Superman’ ” does shine a much-needed spotlight on the status quo and the people who benefit from and defend it.

And it reminds us all that our job is to give voice to the voiceless and the powerless kids that are currently being denied the education they need and deserve. Because, let’s face it — they can’t afford union dues.

If you watch this movie and you AREN’T a KoolAid-drinking ideologue, you will be enraged at what the teachers’ unions are doing to our children.

It was featured on Oprah (here and here).  It was utterly devastating to watch as Michelle Rhee stood up for children and said:

“[The problem is terminal right now] because it is incredibly serious.  Children’s lives are hanging in the balance, and we are making all the wrong decisions right now.  Let me give you an example: people say to me all the time, ‘Oh, Chancellor Rhee, you’re so mean; you’re so harsh.  You know, if there is an ineffective teacher, don’t you believe that that person should be given the opportunity, give them some time, give them the resources to professionally develop them.  But I look at this from the vantage point of being a mother, too, because I have two young children.  I can tell you that if I showed up for school on day one and the principal said, ‘Welcome to Olivia’s class, here’s her teacher.  Guess what?  She’s not so good.  But we’re going to give her this year to see if she can get better, and Olivia and her classmates may not learn how to read this year, but we think that’s the right thing to do for this adult.’  There is no way I would put up with that.”

And of course she is out of a job.  And liberals say, “How DARE she talk like that!  She should be dragged into the street and killed.”

Democrats are in an unholy alliance with the teachers’ unions.  And teachers’ unions are in an unholy alliance with bad teachers, because they (and not the children) belong to the unions and pay union dues and are part of the system that funds Democrats so that Democrats can stay in office and reward the teachers’ unions.

Among other relevant facts, more than 95% of teachers’ unions contributions goes to Democrats, who then in turn protect and extend teachers’ unions.  Shennanigans in which teachers’ UNION representatives are paid by the schools rather than by the unions are common.  And teachers are routinely forced to contribute to Democrat Party candidates whether they want to or not.

Compare that to this:

Wisconsin’s Walker Signs Historic School Choice Bill
Monday, 27 Jun 2011 04:17 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker today signed into law the largest expansion to the state’s school choice programs in history. The expansion will benefit thousands of children from the state’s low- and middle-income families and sends a strong signal to the nation that educational equality is possible with strong leadership from state legislators and executives.

The American Federation for Children, which—along with School Choice Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Council of Religious & Independent Schools, Hispanics for School Choice, and Democrats for Education Reform—has invested significantly in outreach and advocacy efforts designed to expand school choice in the Badger State, praised the passage of the landmark school choice program expansions.

In approving the state budget, Walker enacted a significant expansion of the popular Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. The state’s 2011-2013 biennial budget contains language that increases income eligibility for the program and removes the cap on the number of participants. The budget also allows children in Milwaukee to attend the private schools of their parents’ choice—anywhere in Wisconsin.

In addition, the budget creates a new choice program—similar to the one in Milwaukee—for Racine. AFC polling indicates strong, bipartisan support for the creation of this new program. Governor Walker first publicly announced his intention to pursue the expansion to Racine during an address to the American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit in May 2011.

“Today is a monumental day for children in Milwaukee, Racine, and the State of Wisconsin,” said AFC Chairman Betsy DeVos. “Governor Walker and state legislators pledged to put Wisconsin’s children first, and today that important pledge has become law. We encourage governors and state legislators across the nation to be equally bold in fighting for the creation and expansion of school choice programs.”

In addition to praising Governor Scott Walker’s leadership, AFC today hailed the courage of Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Representative Robin Vos (R-Burlington), Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon). AFC also praised Representative Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) for introducing the successful “Once In, Always In” provision that will protect students enrolled in both the Milwaukee and Racine Parental Choice Programs.

You start to feel like there needs to be a Moses who says, “Let my children go.”  Democrats certainly won’t.  They will do everything they can to force every parent to keep their child(ren) in government schools no matter how badly those schools are failing.

Republicans love children and despise unions; Democrats love unions and despise children.  Which also explains why they’ve already murdered more than 53 million of them.

Where Are The Liberal Feminists Demanding Rahm Emanuel’s Resignation?

May 8, 2010

Kirsten Powers is a reliable liberal and a feminist.  But she had no time for the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) when they began demonizing Sarah Palin.  She said:

Kirsten Powers: “It’s not the National Organization for Women, right?  But it’s not.  It’s really the National Organization for Liberal Women.  It’s not the National Organization for Women, because she’s a woman.  And they put out a statement saying, “Not all women speak for women.  Sarah Palin doesn’t speak for women.”  Well, look; this woman, when I look at her – even if I don’t support her, you know, a lot of her policies, she is the embodiment of what feminism was all about.  She’s a mother, she’s successful, her husband helps with the children.  You know, we should be exited about this, even if you don’t support her.”

And Kirsten Powers hit it on the head.  NOW isn’t pro-woman; if anything it is profoundly ANTI-woman (if you are a woman who cares about being a good wife and a good mother, they despise you).  Rather, NOW is pro-liberal.  It is also pro-hypocrite: they will NOT go after liberals who do things that they would scream about if a conservative had done them.

Which is why you won’t hear very much out of NOW over Rahm Emanuel’s recently revealed remark:

“Take your fucking tampon out and tell me what you have to say.”

-Rahm Emanuel’s (President Obama’s Chief of Staff) comment to a male White House staffer, according to a soon-to-be released book, The Promise by Newsweek magazine columnist Jonathan Alter.

So we can readily understand the chief of staff of the Obama administration’s position.  Women are inferiors.  They are neither intellectually or emotionally qualified to do anything but bend over barefoot so they can get pregnant.  And if anyone acts in any way like a worthless woman, he or she is not worth squat.

Women deserved to be demeaned and marginalized.  As does everyone who in any way suggests any scintilla of “tampon-ness.”

Heck.  This might be useful for understanding why so many women are liberals and Democrats.  They’re just not “up” to being anything better, poor useless little tampon-wearing dears.  You can’t expect anything more out of them.

Just imagine the hell-hath-no-fury if Karl Rove had said something like that.  They would be calling for his resignation in droves, and every “journalist” would make certain that everyone heard about it, and that everyone knew it was a loathsome thing for Rove to say.

Liberals live in a world of abject hypocrisy.  It is their defining essence.

Fortunately for Democrats, it is also the defining essence of the mainstream media.

Obama Loses On ‘Don’t Think, Just Vote’ Health Care: Grandma Gets A Reprieve

July 24, 2009

Barack Obama gave a national presidential news conference on July 22.  And he did such a great job selling his Obamacare that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put the kibosh on Obama’s imperious August deadline the very next day.

Even the New York Times turned on Obama’s presentation and faulted his “facts.”  And in the lexicon of liberal heresies and heretics, that’s almost like the Apostles turning on Jesus.  The Associated Press also found plenty of Obama’s “facts” to be somewhat deficient of truth content.  The biggest gripe of all about Obama’s news conference is that he didn’t actually tell us anything.  When you’re talking about taking over 1/5th of the US economy, a few details would have been nice.

That said, it would have helped Mr. Obama if he had bothered to actually bother to read the legislation before calling a national infomercial to sell it.  Eventually Democrats are going to have to actually read the provisions of the major legislation they ram down the country’s collective throat, after all.

But no, it was a lot easier to just go out and demonize the Republicans as being the fearmongering forces opposing reform instead.  Campaigning on vague notions of “hope” and “change,” without ever bothering to really describe what “hope” and “change” actually meant – and at the same time demagoguing against those opposing said amorphous “hope” and “change” – has worked wonderfully for Obama thus far.  So it’s really no surprise that he would go back to that same magician’s hat again.

The good news, though, is that the Frankenstein monster of health care has been driven back into the castle for at least the time being.  Grandma and grandpa have a reprieve.

Obama’s answer to a question that a woman asked about her mother’s health care is incredibly illustrative as to the bullet the elderly dodged today:

Member of the audience. Jane Sturm: “My mother is now over 105. But at 100, the doctors said to her, ‘I can’t do anything more unless you have a pacemaker.’ I said, ‘Go for it.’ She said, ‘Go for it.’ But the specialist said, ‘No, she’s too old.’ But when the other specialist saw her and saw her joy of life, he said, ‘I’m going for it.’ That was over five years ago. My question to you is:  Outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, a quality of life, or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?”

Obama: “I don’t think that we can make judgments based on people’s ’spirit.’ Uh, that would be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that, uh, say that, uh, we are going to provide good quality care for all people. End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we’re going to have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they’re not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they’re being made by private insurers. At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.

You can watch the exchange for yourself:

What is remarkable is the fact that this woman Jane Sturm was seeking reassurance that Obama would clearly and unequivocally affirm the elderly mother’s right to life, and Obama responded by telling her that maybe mom should just take a painkiller and die as a drugged-out zombie-veg due to government-sanctioned medical neglect.

This is nothing new: Democrats have been pursuing rationing as an antidote to the costs of their government system all along.

It is simply a fact that the vast majority of health care resources are consumed at the end of life.  And as costs explode – and the CBO director has already told us the ugly truth that the cost of the Democrats’ plan WILL EXPLODE – it’s going to be the “resource-hogging” and “unproductive” senior citizens who are going to start seeing the short end of the health care stick.

U.S. Vs. North Korea: Who’s Winning The War Of Pissy Rhetoric?

July 23, 2009

As we know, liberals and leftists are incredibly sophisticated people.  Foreign policy, being a grown-up’s game, should be reserved for wise, mature, intellectuals who understand the intricacies of diplomacy.

At least until they start sticking their tongues out at one another.

Hillary Clinton is “engaging in a substantive foreign policy discussion” with the People’s Republic of Korea:

A 2007 six-party agreement in which North Korea began dismantling its nuclear complex at Yongbyon in return for fuel oil deliveries broke down in April this year, when North Korea threw out UN inspectors and restarted its weapons programme. It has since raised tensions by conducting an apparent nuclear test (some experts say it could have been a hoax using huge quantities of high explosive) and a series of missile tests.

In an interview on Monday, Clinton said the US should not over-react to North Korean provocation. She told ABC television: “Maybe it’s the mother in me, the experience I’ve had with small children and teenagers and people who are demanding attention: Don’t give it to them.”

Pyongyang’s reaction took three days to come, but the delay did not lessen its evident fury.

“We cannot but regard Mrs Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community,” a foreign ministry statement said. “Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”

Yes, this certainly might seem childish.  But only if you are a Republican or a conservative who simply lacks the profound erudite sophistication necessary for the intricacies of diplomatic negotiation.

The funniest or most frightening thing (depending on your point of view) is that one could actually imagine World War III starting this way.

Jill Greenberg: Liberal Photographer Makes Democrats Look Vile

September 15, 2008

Jill Greenberg was hired by the Atlantic to do a photo shoot of John McCain to accompany an article for the liberal journal The Atlantic.  What she did is very revealing of the vile toxicity of liberalism today.

The John McCain and a few of his staff probably came to this shoot with their antennae up.  After all, they knew the philosophical perspective of The Atlantic.  But professional photographer Jill Greenberg still managed to deceive them.  She created outtakes which cast the horror movie shadows across John McCain’s face in order to attack him in the most malicious way she could.

And she was willing to misrepresent, deceive, and betray in order to do it.

She said, Some of my artwork has been pretty anti-Bush, so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me.”  You’re damn right, it was irresponsible.  The Atlantic deservedly bears the blame for this incredible act of betrayal and blatant bias.

Here is just one of the images that this photographer, representing The Atlantic, posted of John McCain:

I view this the way I would view a hateful group of vicious bullies ridiculing a victim by beating him up, putting mocking attire on him, and then laughing over how they dehumanized him.  The only one who is revealed as inhuman is the one who did the mocking.

Greenberg said:

“He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds.

That’s right, Jill.  Abuse your position for the malicious purpose to attack a person, and then gleefully blame it on your victim.

It isn’t John McCain who is revealed as the demon here; it is Jill Greenberg, and it is The Atlantic, for hiring her and allowing to do engage in this treacherous and hateful act, who are demonic.

The American Digest had this to say:

So what we see here is a candidate for President showing up at a photo-session for a cover shot for a magazine he knows is not going to give him an Obama-pass, but still making time for it. Waiting for him is the contracted representative of that magazine, Jill Greenberg, who has literally set a trap for him and then lures him into it. She mocks the McCain staff for not being “very sophisticated” about lighting when, in truth, the lighting used for a professional photo session is very complicated. There are umbrella lights, fill spots, and a raft of others being used at any given time.

I imagine that Ms. Greenberg was in full charm mode with Senator McCain at the same time she was executing her little partisan plot. Indeed, I am certain she was nothing other than sweetness and light to him. What she was doing was quite another thing, a vile thing. Simply put, it was betrayal for a cheap political frisson for her.

Then Greenberg extended the betrayal to her Client, The Atlantic. She either did not deliver all the images of the shoot to the client or she began to manipulate them for her own uses as seen above. In this digital age, she probably ftp’d the images to The Atlantic, kept the originals on her own system, and then made the cheap and disgusting photoshops seen above.

I’m not sure how the art director of The Atlantic, Jason Treat, feels about this, even though I have written him requesting a reply. Still, during the years that I hired and worked with illustrative photographers, product photographers, news photographers, and fashion photographers in London and New York City, my art directors and myself always got all the film to review. Depending on the contract, the film would or would not go back to the photographer. When digital came it, it was always understood that the out-takes or images we commissioned and paid for would be kept confidential by the photographer — as specified in the rights agreement. At the very least, we would have exclusive use of them for a considerable period of time.

One thing I do know is that if I, or any other editor or art director, ever caught a photographer using images held back for secondary profit outside of the contract, or using images in a way that would undercut our publication, we would pull that photographer’s card out of the assignment rolodex. Not only that we would make it out business to tell other editors and art directors at other publications that such a photographer was never to be trusted again.

Ms. Greenberg may well have her opinions and is welcome to them. But to use the offices, reputation, and money of The Atlantic Monthly to fool and ridicule a United States Senator and candidate for President goes well beyond unprofessional conduct and into the area of fraud.

This joins The Daily Kos’ vicious and hateful attack against Sarah Palin as representative episodes of the loathsomeness and vileness of the liberal left.  Democrats charge Republicans as being hateful on a daily basis, but no conservative photographer working for a conservative publication ever did anything like this to Barack Obama, just as no conservative ever attacked Michelle Obama as a bad mother just because she worked.  And they certainly didn’t demonize the Obama family in any way.

That’s what the left does; not the right.

Barack Obama is out claiming:

“They will spend any amount of money and use any tactic out there in order to avoid talking about how we’re going to move America forward to the future.”

But he’s the one raising record money, and it’s his side that is engaging in the most vicious and loathsome personal attacks in history.

Peggy Noonan recently argued that liberals in the media and Democratic officials who painted Sarah Palin as a being bad mother and religious weirdo undermine themselves.

Ms Noonan wrote: “The snobbery of it, the meanness of it, reminded the entire country, for the first time in a decade, what it is they don’t like about the Left.”

A Democratic strategist in the same artcicle said of the Obama campaign:

A Democratic National Committee official told The Sunday Telegraph: “I really find it offensive when Democrats ask the Republicans not to be nasty to us, which is effectively what Obama keeps doing. They know thats how the game is played.”

It is a longstanding tactic of the most loathsome and despotic regimes to engage in one crime against humanity after another all the while pointing fingers of blame at the very nations opposing them for their conduct.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words: what we have is a picture of how utterly vile the left is.  These pictures of John McCain are a snapshot into just how low liberals and their media outlets are willing to go to engage in the very worst kind of politics of personal destruction.

Are You Suffering From Barack-Sarah-Hillary Confusion Syndrome?

September 5, 2008

I was having headaches, and my brain constantly felt like it was spinning around in my skull.  So I visited my doctor this morning.  The doctor asked me a few questions, and then nodded.

“You’re suffering from Barack-Sarah-Hillary Confusion Syndrome.  I’ve been getting cases since last Friday.”  He chucked.  “At this rate, I’ll be able to retire early.”

I didn’t know what it was, but it sounded really bad.  “Is it serious?” I asked.

“Well, a couple of patients’ heads actually exploded.  They were trying to reconcile too many contradictions.”

The word “contradictions” combined with “Hillary,”  “Sarah,” and Barack,” and suddenly my symptoms returned. (more…)

Newflash: Liberals Oppose Working Mothers

September 2, 2008

When I was a kid growing up in Southern California, I used to see a lot of commercials from a car dealer named Cal Worthington.  He’d get upside down and proclaim, “I’ll stand on my head to beat anyone’s deal.”  Well, Cal Worthington was willing to stand upside down to win a deal; liberals are demonstrating that they are willing to stand their core principals on their heads to win an election.

The New York Times suddenly discovered it’s concern for children when mothers went off to work.  They’ve got something like 4 articles out today, and all of them pound on this theme that Sarah is essentially abandoning her children in running for Vice President.

So there you have it.  Them damn woman-hating liberals, trying to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

Meanwhile, John McCain is really doing something for women in the workplace:

Barack Obama has campaigned on the issue of “equal pay”, casting John McCain as a villain for not supporting federal legislation widening grounds and timing for pay-discrimination lawsuits.  Yet Obama may have a fair-pay issue of his own.  According to Fred Lucas at Cybercast News Service, women on his staff made $6,000 less than men on average.  McCain, on the other hand, has more women in key positions — and the women on his staff average slightly higher salaries than the men

And, just to make it official, the Report of the Secretary of the Senate backs that up.  Obama’s supporters are talking smack about standing up for women even as they trash a woman in the most fundamental and personal way imaginable; John McCain is paying women better than men and naming a woman as his running mate.  Obama, meanwhile, should have named a woman as his VP pick, and panned on it.

Obama can talk about working women all he wants; John McCain has done something about it.  Obama hasn’t.

The hypocrisy on the left is frankly beyond stunning.  When liberals attack Sarah Palin as being a bad mother for running for Vice President when they have for years claimed to have championed women in the workplace, it is analogous to Republicans tearing up a Democrat for being pro-life as a cheap political tactic to undermine her pull with a certain voting block.  Can you imagine a Republican claiming that his opponent is pro-life in order to win liberal voters?  That’s exactly what these Democrats are doing now.

It literally proves how cynical, how manipulative, how disingenuous, how conniving, and how amoral the Democrats and liberals engaging in this tactic are.

Our Next Vice President: It’s Sarah! Governor Sarah Palin!

August 29, 2008

John McCain just won the Presidencey with his choice of running mate.

Oh, like the U.S Olympic basketball team (and so appropriately, both sexes!), the team has to play until its official, but from this moment on, McCain will increase, and Obama will fade.

Obama had all the hype about making a thrilling announcement by text message.  But it was a bust.  John McCain’s campaign knew how to keep a secret, and how to thrill.  What a bold, against-the-pundit’s “picks” move this was!

Barack Obama should have nominated Hillary Clinton, but he could not put his personal feelings and pride above his choice.  John McCain exercised the most important decision a Presidential nominee can make at hit a grand slam home run with the choice of a woman who has led a state, who has reached across party lines, who has championed the needs and goals of her state as a PTA member, a city council member, a mayor, and ultimately as a governor.  A governor with an 80% approval rating.  She’s a conservative Republican with blue dog Democrat street cred. (more…)

Jill Stanek On Why Barack Obama Voted For Infanticide

August 21, 2008

Top 10 reasons Obama voted against the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act

by Jill Stanek

Here are the top 10 reasons Barack Obama has variously stated why he voted against Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection Act when state senator.

10. Babies who survive their abortions are not protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Speaking against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act on the IL Senate floor on March 30, 2001, Obama, the sole verbal opponent to the bill stated:

… I just want to suggest… that this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny.

Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.

I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.

9. A ban to stop aborted babies from being shelved to die would be burdensome to their mothers. She alone should decide whether her baby lives or dies. Before voting “no” for a 2nd time in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 5, 2002, Obama stated:

What we are doing here is to create one more burden on women, and I can’t support that.

During a speech at Benedictine University in October 2004, Obama said, according to the Illinois Leader, that “the decision concerning a baby should be left to a woman, but that he does not see himself as supportive of abortion.”

8. Wanting to stop live aborted babies from being shelved to die was all about politics. During that same speech at Benedictine University, Obama said, according to the Illinois Leader, “the bill was unnecessary in Illinois and was introduced for political reasons.”

obama%20and%20baby.jpg7. There was no proof. Also during the Benedictine University speech, Obama said, according to the Illinois Leader, that “there was no documentation that hospitals were actually doing what was alleged in testimony presented before him in committee.”

6. Aborting babies alive and letting them die is a doctor’s prerogative. An Obama spokesman told the Chicago Tribune in August 2004 that Obama voted against Born Alive because it included provisions that “would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable.”

5. Anyway, doctors don’t do that. Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2004 he opposed Born Alive because “physicians are already required to use life-saving measures when fetuses are born alive during abortions.”

4. Aborting babies alive and letting them die is a religious issue. During their U.S. Senate competition Alan Keyes famously said:

Christ would not stand idly by while an infant child in that situation died…. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.

Obama has always mischaracterized Keyes’ rationale for condemning Obama by implying Keyes was simply making a statement against Obama’s pro-abortion position, which is untrue. Keyes pointedly stated he was condemning Obama for his support of infanticide.

Nevertheless, live birth abortion must be included in the list of procedures Obama condones. Obama responded first to Keyes by saying, as quoted in his July 10, 2006, USA Today op ed:

… [W]e live in a pluralistic society, and that I can’t impose my religious views on another.

obama%20family.jpg3. Aborting babies alive and letting them die violates no universal principle. In the same USA Today piece, Obama said he reflected on that first answer, decided it was a “typically liberal response,” and revised it:

… But my opponent’s accusations nagged at me…. If I am opposed to abortion for religious reasons but seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

2. Sinking Born Alive was simply about political oneupsmanship. Obama has this quote on his website:

Pam Sutherland, the president and CEO of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, told ABC News. “We worked with him specifically on his strategy. The Republicans were in control of the Illinois Senate at the time. They loved to hold votes on ‘partial birth’ and ‘born alive’. They put these bills out all the time… because they wanted to pigeonhole Democrats….”

And the #1 reason Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was:

1. The IL Born Alive Infant Protection Act was a ploy to undercut Roe v. Wade. During a debate against Keyes in October 2004, Obama stated:

Now, the bill that was put forward was essentially a way of getting around Roe vs. Wade…. At the federal level, there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe vs. Wade. I would have voted for that bill.

This was an out-and-out lie. The definition of “born alive” in the federal and Illinois versions were identical. The only difference came in paragraph (c), which was originally identical in both versions but changed on the federal level.

Illinois’ paragraph (c): A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.

Federal paragraph (c): Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being “born alive” as defined in this section.

When the senator sponsoring the IL bill tried to amend IL’s paragraph (c), Amendment 1 below, to be the same as the federal paragraph (c), Barack Obama himself, as chairman of the committee hearing the bill, refused, and he then also killed the bill (click to enlarge).

In Defense of Life

March 27, 2008

There are many people who oppose the abortion industry, but they generally can’t do a very good job explaining why. The Republican Party is officially pro-life in its platform, but I’ve never heard a GOP candidate offer a good reason for being pro-life. But there are excellent reasons for being pro-life, and it is way past time that society heard them.

Democrats and “pro-choice” proponents offer “a woman’s right to choose” as the primary reason to support abortion. But let us think about that for a moment: should women have “a right to choose?” Sure they should, up to a certain point. But should that right extend to anything a woman might want to do? What if she wants to drive her car through a crowd of people? What if she wants to hijack an airplane and fly it into a skyscraper? Clearly, a woman doesn’t – and shouldn’t – have a right to do anything she chooses. The first question needs therefore needs to be, “the right to choose to do what?”

If you were busily working on peeling potatoes over the kitchen sink when your oldest child came in and said, “Is it okay if I kill this?” What would you do? Would you say, “Sure! Go ahead! Since I’m not certain of the ontological status of whatever you’re considering killing, I’ll leave the decision up to you!” Or would you turn around and look to make sure your little gremlin wasn’t talking about your youngest child? (Or maybe it wouldn’t matter, because you’d figure your firstborn was exercising that sacrosanct “right to choose“?). The ability to use rhetoric to cast metaphysical doubt on the meaning of “being human” does not mean that ignorance is bliss, and one can abort at will. The fact of the matter is, we haven’t even begun to understand the miraculous – and it truly is miraculous – process of a baby forming in mommy’s womb. The age of viability has decreased dramatically; medical experts have been repeatedly proven dead wrong again and again in determining brain function in comatose patients who later recovered after being declared ‘brain dead’; the Hippocratic Oath recited by doctors for centuries explicitly banned the performing of abortions; and so on, and so on. When in doubt, why not choose life?

And there really is no doubt, once we truly consider the issues. Ever hear the argument that fetuses aren’t human beings, so it’s okay to kill them? Think again. Both science and logic assure us that – from the moment of conception – that thing in the womb of a human mother is fully a human being. Take a moment and consider the taxonomic system by which every living thing is rigorously categorized and classified. By that system a human embryo is of the kingdom Anamalia, of the phylum Chordata, of the class Mammalia, of the order Primate, of the family Pongidae, of the genus Homo, and of the species Sapiens – same as any other human being. Put even more simply, that embryo is a human by virtue of its parents, and a being by the fact that it is a living thing: it is a human being.

And then there’s that whole “It’s a woman’s body” line. That one falls rather flat as well. The fact is that that from the moment of fertilization there is a separate, distinct, unique genetic individual in the mother’s womb; every cell in its little body is different from that of its mother. Half of children are male, for goodness sake! We are clearly not talking about a woman’s body; we are talking about her child’s body.

Then there’s the notion of a woman’s rights to her own body, which views the baby in her womb as a hostile invader forcing itself upon her. Why should she carry it to term if she doesn’t want to? Well, for one thing, because it’s her child. The so-called “violinist argument” is fatally flawed from the outset by casting a woman’s child in terms of an unwanted intruder whom the woman has no moral obligation to care for. Furthermore, we would never consider that rather despicable line of moral reasoning after a child is born – when it actually requires a far greater sacrifice and burden to care for (ask a new mother whether her child required more chasing around the house before or after birth). We go from the rather passive act of “being pregnant” to the extremely active act of caring for a newborn – and that burden proceeds to continue for years as the child grows up. Leave your five year old at home and go gamble in Las Vegas for a week and see what happens when you come back home if you don’t believe me. See how far that, “But I have a right to my own body” line takes you. It ought to take you all the way to jail for abandoning your child.

If this isn’t enough to dispel the “woman’s right to her own body” argument, then let us think about the way they are using the term “rights.” We must realize that in virtually every case one person’s right presupposes someone else’s duty. One person’s right to freedom of speech imposes the duty upon the remainder of society to tolerate what might be offensive to them for the greater good of a free society. In other cases, the duty imposed is far more selective: When liberals describe the duty of the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, they are imposing a duty on a small class of people. The wealthiest 5% of Americans already pay 57% of the taxes, and the wealthiest 10% pay 68% of the tab. The top 1% earn 19% of the income but pay 37% of the taxes; meanwhile the “poorest” 50% of Americans earn 13% of the income but pay only 3% of the taxes. This introduces a legitimate question for some future discussion: just how much more should the wealthy be expected to pay? [Don't allow the issue of taxation to distract you from my argument: I merely raise taxation as an issue in which certain advocates subjectively claim that a few should have a duty to pay more, while the majority should have a right to pay less]. But in the case of abortion, the right given to the mother presupposes the most extreme duty upon one single individual – her child – the duty to die for the convenience of its mother. On the side of the “right of a woman to choose” are not only women who suddenly find themselves pregnant and their anxious parents, but hedonistic men and women who want to abdicate any responsibility for their “sexual expression,” along with a powerful media culture that aggressively pursues the same end, a powerful abortion industry and its lobby, the stem cell research lobby, unelected judges who impose their will on society, etcetera. Who is on the side of the right of the unborn to live? The Constitution – which guarantees the right to life as preeminent over all others – but other than that, far too few allies. One side has sole access to the megaphone; the other cannot speak. If we were to stop focusing on the Constitutionally-invisible “right to choose” and focus just for a moment on the DUTY OF PARENTS to nurture and care for their children, we would have a very different discussion indeed. I cannot help but remember the slogan of the Ministry of Health vans that Nazi Germany used to haul away retarded children, epileptics, children with malformed ears, chronic bed wetters, and the like to their deaths: Lebensunwertes Leben – “Life Unworthy of Life.” Today I still see cars bearing bumper stickers with the equally oxymoronic – but far more deadly – slogan, “Pro child, Pro choice.” What a shame that so many Americans have so blithely come to champion Nazi morality.

Then there’s that, “It’s only a potential human being” pseudo-argument. First of all, I’m not even sure what it means to be “a potential human being” – and neither do those who are reciting it. I do understand what it means to be “a human being with potential.” Let us begin this discussion with the straightforward observation that had your mother decided to have an abortion during her pregnancy with you, that you would not have been born. It would NOT have been some potential you that perished; it would have been you. You would have been one of the nearly 50,000,000 babies in America alone who were killed by abortion. Just as you were once a child, once a toddler, once an infant, you were also once a fetus, once an embryo, once a zygote. Killing you while you in any of those stages would have killed you just as dead.

And let us pause for a moment to consider what murder actually does to the victim. The character Clint Eastwood played in Unforgiven put it pretty well: “When you kill a man, you take away everything he has and everything he’s ever going to have.” A human baby will naturally inherit every quality of human life unless someone steps in and unnaturally ends that life. It is simply his or her nature as a human being to do so. You merely have to contemplate your own life to consider what would have been taken away from you had you been among the abortion statistics. This idea of “potential” as some ambiguous term that allows a mother to kill her baby is as ridiculous as it is amoral. If I were to walk up to you in a parking lot as you got out of your car and shoot you to death, what would I be guilty of? I certainly didn’t take away your past, as it has already happened. And if your future – when is clearly merely “potential” - doesn’t count, all I truly deprived you of is the two or three seconds of immediate conscious awareness. And I could have deprived you of at least that much had I merely asked you for the time instead of shooting you! For murder to be a serious crime, “potential” has to be a real, tangible thing that has intrinsic, incommensurable value. To attempt to argue that an unborn baby’s potential is somehow meaningless but a born person’s matters is both a fundamentally irrational and immoral distinction that leads inevitably to a degradation in the value of human life. Tyrants have routinely made the same type of “status of humanity determined by selective criterion” distinction when they said that Jews, or blacks, or any other class of people should not matter.

Deep down, I believe that even the Democrats and other abortion advocates realize the immorality of abortion in their choice of language. They demonstrate this by reciting the new mantra, “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” But why on earth should it be rare if it is a fundamental human right? How many other basic rights should be rare? Put “free speech,” “freedom of the press,” “the right to peaceably assemble,” or any other right that liberals hold as sacrosanct into this “____ should be safe, legal, and rare” equation and see how it flies. If abortion is a good thing, why on earth should it be rare? In point of fact, we should be encouraging more of it, not less.

During the Lincoln-Douglas presidential debates, when Douglas said that states ought to have a right to choose the institution of slavery, Lincoln famously said, “One cannot say that people have a right to do wrong.” Fortunately the country chose Lincoln’s moral reasoning over Douglas’. The Civil War was subsequently waged by a Confederacy which argued that their own rights were being systematically violated, even as they inhumanly violated the most fundamental rights of the blacks they oppressed. Apart from the fact that the party of Lincoln, the party of abolition, was the Republican Party and the party of Douglas, the party of institutionalized slavery, was the Democratic Party, I cannot help but see the parallels between the Party of Slavery and the Party of Abortion. For one thing, the Party of Abortion uses the identical arguments to justify its abominable institution that the Party of Slavery relied upon. For another, the Party of Abortion is just as insistent upon its “rights” as was the Party of Slavery, even as they systematically violate the rights of the most innocent and most helpless.


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