Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

For all the sound and fury about America not being a Christian nation, once again, we have come to that time of year when the government, and the retail temples for which little is sacred will close early, and then remain closed for a whole day to observe the holiday of Christmas…a day which bears the name of Christ.

While some outlets of government, such as public schools have chosen to remove his name from break which they take, his name is still attached to the holiday that the schools dare not name as it tumbles from the lips of excited children, who cannot be blamed for their jubilation and exuberance about all that the celebration brings, even if it does tend to detract from the reason we observe the celebration with his name.

This is a singular phenomenon.  Government does not observe other religions in this fashion.  It does not shut down for Muslim holy days.  The birthdays of Buddha or Confucius are not marked with empty offices and closed stores.  The radio is not filed with Zoroastrian carols at any time of year.

And while those who stridently believe in “a wall of separation between church and state” that the architects of our government never envisioned, and that would have indeed shocked and dismayed them attempt to erase these links in the name of preserving the wall that did not exist until 1949, we continue as if there is nothing at all arrogant in presuming that people more than one hundred and fifty years removed better understood what was intended than the people who wrote the blueprint.  It is a fiction laid bare by what occurs this time of year, when we celebrate the birth, life, and death of a man who was God in the flesh, who came to freely give the ultimate gift, knowing that there would be too many who would reject what he gave, and would condemn themselves to a life of bondage, and an eternity of suffering before they would accept that which was freely given.

And during this time of year, when things fall still and silent, in his name, it is an occasion to reflect of the real harbinger of hope and change, humbly born, exalted and abandoned, and resurrected in real transformation.  I know that people can still be sobered by the account of this life which came to save all others.  I first heard this song a few years ago, and I still feel the gravity of it every single time I hear it.

Merry Christmas to all, even those who doubt or reject the gift…it is freely offered just the same.

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I heard about this on my drive home from work today.    

Washington’s Board of Pharmacy initially allowed individual pharmacists to refuse to sell Plan B pills based on moral objections, as long as there was another pharmacist available who didn’t share the same moral reservations…unless there wasn’t another pharmacist on staff at the same time, in which case you were screwed.  And never mind that this meant that Pharmacy owners who might have moral objections to selling Plan B were essentially forced to sell the drug.  Their choice didn’t matter.    

As a result, they took the only course open to them.  They sued.  And now it appears that the Pharmacy Board has apparently come to its senses, and recognized that collective desires do not trump individual rights.    

A trial was set to begin July 26, but a judge postponed it indefinitely Monday at the request of lawyers for both sides, who cited the board’s June decision to begin a new rulemaking process.    

The deal surprised women’s-rights advocates who had watched the pharmacy board pass a rule in 2007 at the urging of Gov. Chris Gregoire that barred pharmacies from refusing to sell a legal drug out of a moral or religious objection. The rule never took effect, awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit.    

Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood’s Washington political arm, said she’s “completely bewildered and baffled” by the moves by the board and its lawyers in Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office.         

But don’t tell Planned Parenthood.  They seem to believe that their choices are more important than the pharmacy owners.
Planned Parenthood says personal beliefs imposed on a patient are different from financial considerations. Advocates say women shouldn’t be delayed by a trip to another store when seeking the Plan B “morning after” pill, which can prevent fertilization or implantation of an egg if taken within 72 hours of sex. 
John Carlson, the host of KVI 570’s 3-6pm show was discussing it with Laura Einstein, who is counsel for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest.  Laura made some really poor analogies in trying to explain why it was ok for the pro-babykilling crowd to force pharmacists to sell a product that they may find morally objectionable.
I came in late, but the arguments made that I heard were:
1.  If we allow the new proposed rule to go through, what happens to the women who can’t get to a different pharmacy, because they don’t own a car?  This argument ignores the fact that in most of Washington, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a pharmacy, and that we pay exorbitant sums for public transportation.  The idea that someone will somehow have their life changed ignores the fact that anyone you can name knows someone who owns a car, or can catch a bus to stores and pharmacies.  This argument didn’t make any headway, and I really can’t fathom it going well with a Judge, either.
2.  Because Pharmacists are licensed by the state, they have a monopoly, and therefore it is appropriate for the state to force them to sell it.  This really is my favorite, because it is so dishonest and characterizes the reason for the license completely falsely.  The government doesn’t require licensure in order to provide a secure living for the licensee; the government requires that pharmacists be licensed in order to protect the public health.  That’s why in addition to all the schooling that pharmacists have to go through, they actually have to get tested by the state in order to prove that they actually learned something and understand things like which drugs might react very badly when taken with others…it is a public heath issue.  And counsel would know this if she simply looked at the RCWs on the subject:
RCW 18.64.005 State Board of Pharmacy- Powers and Duties
(7) Promulgate rules for the dispensing, distribution, wholesaling, and manufacturing of drugs and devices and the practice of pharmacy for the protection and promotion of the public health, safety, and welfare. Violation of any such rules shall constitute grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of licenses or any other authority to practice issued by the board;[Emp. Added].
This was an unbelievably stupid argument to make, even for a lawyer so clearly partisan on the subject, and Carlson rightly called it so, pointing out that if a pharmacy license is a monopoly issued by the State, someone is getting ripped off, as there are hundreds of pharmacies in Washington State, and many different ones often less than a mile from each other.  It also fails the laugh test based on the fact that Planned Parenthood itself offers Plan B as part of its contraceptive services in its 38 Washington “Health Centers” all across the state.  If it is a monopoly, it’s a poorly managed one.
He asked her if she also believed that if a woman in a rural area of the state wanted an abortion and the only nearby doctor did not want to perform it on the grounds of moral objection, shouldn’t he be forced to do so?  Afterall, if a pharmacist should be forced to sell a product, shouldn’t a doctor be forced to perform a procedure, especially it if would have the same result?  Ms. Einstein objected to this, stating that it was a horrible analogy because that doctor “might not be qualified to perform the abortion”.
I can understand why she might not want anyone thinking too hard about this analogy.  To start with, doctors in Washington can’t be forced to perform abortions.  From the Revised Code of Washington (RCW):
Refusing to perform.

No person or private medical facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in the performance of an abortion if such person or private medical facility objects to so doing. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of the person’s participation or refusal to participate in the termination of a pregnancy.    

I wouldn’t want to have to explain why a doctor is allowed to not aid a woman in killing a baby, but a pharmacist is required to participate in such an act.

As for the “qualified to perform abortion”, there are two issues raised by this argument.   The first is whether or not a doctor needs to have a certification or special license to do so.  According to the RCWs, this does not appear to be the case:    

Right to have and provide.

The state may not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or to protect her life or health.    

     A physician may terminate and a health care provider may assist a physician in terminating a pregnancy as permitted by this section.    

The only obvious restriction on performing an abortion under this section is found in the very next subsection:

Unauthorized abortions — Penalty.

Unless authorized by RCW 9.02.110, any person who performs an abortion on another person shall be guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

The other issue is whether such a procedure should be performed by someone who doesn’t do so regularly.  She was a tad more honest with this argument, as she stated that while she was an attorney, she probably wouldn’t take a criminal case, because she may not be competent to do so.  I can understand and respect that, but at the same time, her example makes no allowances for variations in difficulty of such cases based on the offense.  A criminal traffic matter is not the same as a murder, and does not require the same level of expertise or skill to successfully defend.  I admit I am not a doctor, but physicians spend a lot of time learning their craft, and to make the argument that they could not handle a surgical procedure because they didn’t make a regular practice of it is less than honest.  It isn’t all neurosurgery.     

However, as her client, Planned Parenthood does perform abortions, and lots of them, I can understand her wanting to create the impression that only doctors who regularly perform abortions should be consulted to do so.  Blood Money addictions can be some of the hardest to break, and the cruelest to justify.
By now, I had called in, and was salivating for a shot at her, but she left before Carlson took callers, and I was far enough back in the call queue that they didn’t get to me before there were a few minutes remaining and I was home and had to hang up so I could be Dad.  Before she hung up, she and Carlson walked back through the facts and her arguments.  She expressed the belief that “they would manage to persuade the Board of Pharmacy to do the right thing.”  Carlson asked her “But didn’t the Board of Pharmacy vote unanimously to start new rule making procedures?  Isn’t that indicative of them having made up their mind to change the rule?”  Nonplussed, her response was something along the lines of “they still have to have public hearings on the proposed rule and besides, the Ninth Circuit already told the pharmacists that they have to sell it.”  Carlson’s last word was “The Ninth Circuit?  Well, we know what is likely to happen if it gets appealed to the Supreme Court, don’t we?”
But it is so much better than that, because once again, she mischaracterized what the Ninth Circuit said about it, because in the Opinion issued last week, the Ninth Circuit explicitly recognized the State Board of Pharmacy’s authority to set the policies regarding the dispensing of the drug.  It overturned the injunction placed on enforcement of the rules that the Pharmacy Board now seeks to change not because the Board of Pharmacy does not have the authority to change the rule and allow pharmacists to have a choice also, but because to not enforce the existing rule was not consistent with Federal precedent, which is much different from the Ninth Circuit telling them that they can’t do it.
I looked up Ms. Einstein’s bar information.  She was licensed to practice in Washington five and a half years after I was.  I have to confess that I’m torn.  On the one hand, I am disgusted that a member of my profession and my state’s bar could be so disingenuous, and on the other hand, I’m glad that she is representing “the right to kill babies at all costs” crowd, because if she represents the best they have to offer, then I have every confidence that those of us who understand that the “right to choose [death]” does not trump all other rights will eventually prevail, if only because we don’t kill our children.

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I was driving to work this morning when the host broke into his own broadcast and played the Tiger Woods “Statement“.

I listened, and refrained from talking back to the radio as is sometimes my habit when I am subjected to such things.  Unlike the President’s uncritical appraisal of his own performance for the last year, I give the statement a solid “C”, with a few reservations.

I understand that his ability to play golf exceptionally well has allowed Tiger to enjoy a level of wealth and celebrity that very few other people ever enjoy.  With those benefits often come temptations of the type that he indulged in.  Yet, for some reason, there seems to be a degree of public upset that cannot be easily explained.  Why do I say that?

Think about it this way:  Is a big time sports star that much different from a rock star?  They both are very recognizable.  They both make buckets of money.  They both travel lots for their job.  No one bats an eye anymore at the rock star sport screwing anything that crosses their path.  It is largely taken for granted that they have sex on demand with multiple partners from coast to coast.  That is one of the reasons why so many young men dream of become rock stars.

This mindset seems to be more common for the NBA, as well, as the stories of life on the road leak out into the mainstream consciousness.  Wilt Chamberlain claimed to have slept with thousands of women over the course of his career, and many younger players seem to be determined to follow in his footsteps.

Is the difference that Tiger is married?  I doubt it.  One of the hallmarks of today’s society is infidelity.  The stigma and shame appear to have been set aside for most people.  A scan of daytime TV or a cruise through the family law docket at your local court should drive that point home.  No fault divorce, a decline in religious practices and attendance, and even the mainstream character of terms like “Babymama” provide ample evidence that infidelity is no longer taboo.  If that isn’t enough, a spin around the dial of primetime TV, the appeal of companies like the Ashley Madison Agency, and any number of “hook up” sites on the internet should make that a bit clearer for you.

When I take all of the above into consideration, I have to ask myself “Why did  he do it?”  I mean, if I were the world’s best golfer, making buckets of cash, and still able to draw large crowds even though I had this “problem”, I might look at the free pass that other wealthy celebrities get on the same topic and say “Screw this.  I did it because I could.  It is an entitlement that I have little reason to believe that any of you would pass up if you had the opportunity.” 

Maybe it was the image that he benefitted from, if he did not outright cultivate.  The nice guy…close to his parents, married with kids…the kind of guy you want to root for.  The kind of guy that not even Barack Hussein Obama could publically declare “makes too much money” and get the same head bobs that he gets for similar remarks about those “Greedy Wall Street Executives.”  Maybe we feel betrayed…betrayed enough to ignore the obvious double-standard that we have apparently imposed on him.  And maybe that is enough to keep me from exploring that idea that this pointless public apology wasn’t either a dramatic gesture towards a justifiably pissed spouse, or an attempt to straighten and polish a crooked and tarnished halo that was worth millions in endorsements that have since abandoned him.  I’d like to think that he is smart enough to know that redemption isn’t the same as making it all like it was before.

He was right about one thing:  character does matter.  But if you are more worried about your character because of how other people choose to see you, rather than how you see yourself or are right with God, then you’re still doing it for the wrong reasons.  Character is defined by what you do when no one is looking.

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So this week, we were treated to yet another week of the “Sarah Palin is dumb” meme, brought to you by the usual suspects, the clueless cadre of media elites and self-appointed cognoscenti, which was seized upon by the dutiful lower ranks of the liberal intelligentsia, who more often than not, take in their daily programming from such ideological organs as MSNBC.

For smart people, they sure do silly things.

Consider this: After McSame chose her for a running mate, the left declared war on her, and truly ran a campaign that was against her, all but ignoring the top of the Republican ticket. Only in a year when lemmings in thrall of making a “historic” choice, and white liberals captivated with the idea of finally absolving America of racial sins paid off more than a century before could a ticket led by a man with a paper-thin resume and a record showing dedication to nothing but the right to let murderers stained with the blood of innocents take their contemptible practices outside the womb, and a vice presidental candidate who’s major accomplishments included failed bids for the top job himself, reliable gaffes nearly every time he opens his mouth, and a career backing bad legislation and generous entitlement spending in Congress could succeed in calling a self-made governor stupid, and carry that platform to victory.

However, after a year of executive ennui and legislative excesses that would make the most hardened shopaholic blush with embarrassment, the opinionmakers still carry water for the party of “It didn’t work, so let’s do it again only bigger this time” and, inexplicably, this agenda requires them to continue campaigning against someone they already defeated.

If the idea is distract Americans from the incompetence of government and its solutions to America’s immediate problems, it isn’t succeeding, as polls clearly demonstrate that the average American is concerned about the economy and rates a need to have government take over health care at the bottom of their priorities.

If it is an attempt to dismiss and marginalize a threat in the next election, it is a dangerous strategy, especially when so many loyal party legislators are facing the prospect of electoral annihilation in the upcoming mid-term elections for their unwavering willingness to go along with a legislative agenda that Americans know runs contrary to the Constitution and that we cannot afford. To spend so much time to neutralize a threat that they keep telling us is dumb, stupid, etc. only calls attention to the fact that with a few notes on her hand, she can give a speech that the Chicago Messiah wouldn’t be capable of without the beneficent assistance of TOTUS and a beautifully polished and manicured script.

Perhaps the left’s shot callers would have more success if this wasn’t such a personal matter to them.

I recently had an exchange with one of the few left voices who will actually attempt to defend the left’s policies on the issue of Palin. He exhibits all the symptoms of a fatal case of Palin-itis, characterized with all the venom and “but-but-but”s that you see in the voices who are desperate to silence her. His latest issue is that she is not genuine, and that her family is simply a prop to be trotted out when convenient and ignored and left to their own devices between photo ops. His source for this meme is an Alaskan blogger who has been practicing the very same form of stalking that the legacy media has been practicing since she was chosen as McSame’s Number Two. This perceived insincerity for him is yet another bit of political and cultural damnation that is so significant that it justifies the uneven and biased scrutiny focused on Palin, rather than the more relevant and glaringly lacking turning of it to the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight currently pretending to know better than we do in the Capitol and the Oval Office.

I think that the Sarah Palin’s real sin has nothing to do with her intellect, sincerity, or the purported lack of either. For the left, and the feminists who can’t stand her and have attacked her from jump, her real sin was not knowing her place. Politically powerful women had to be cut from their mold, present their image, and tell their story. Their ambitions were acceptable, even necessary to show the fulfillment of women and their ability to play the game with the big boys. Her ambitions are venial, and unacceptable because she hasn’t paid her dues the way that they have, and don’t reflect the goals of the interests that have carried them to were they are. And many Americans not only get that, but love her because of that. For them it isn’t a problem that she isn’t the typical Democratic female politician. They know that NOW and Planned Parenthood don’t represent their values, and are more concerned with the pursuit of power than the issues that affect them.

The hypocrisy of feminism and the left’s “progressive” agenda has openly come to the fore in their mistreatment and continued attacks of Sarah Palin, and have done far more to polarize the cultural climate in this country in the last year and half than anything said by a conservative politician or pundit, all the left’s cries of “code words” and thinly veiled [fill in the Democratic denunciation of the week here] aside.

The jig is up. I’d start making some plans for what you do after, (I’m looking at the assorted voices on the left) because I see the sun setting rapidly on the legitimacy of the expertocracy with which you planned to rule.

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 …but there are some people that it matters to more than others.

I know. The world seems to suck right now. Like “We’ve passed the event horizon of a black hole and are being pulled like taffy into microscopic threads” sucks. The Fist-Bumper-In-Chief and the Most Ethical Congress EVAH! seem Hellbent on destroying the economy, imposing a regime of environmental indulgences that will benefit everyone but the average citizen, and passing a health insurance takeover that will be just peachy…except for the reduced choices that it will lead to, along with rationing, poorer quality of care, government control of our private medical information, access to our bank accounts, and the basic unconstitutionally of what they propose, but aside from that, its all good. Well, except for the eurotrash and old media who just can’t seem to quit the President. So many accolades for so little in the way of accomplishments. Anyway, between this barrage, the ever-cycling “work stuff”, and some recent events for me personally, finding the time to try to deal with everything has been a little rough. But today I spent the day with heir number one, going to see the Certified Lego Professional in Tacoma, going to Johnny’s Fish Market and getting some fresh alder smoked king salmon, having lunch with him at Jimmy Mac’s, checking out the local sporting goods store, which had a mighty sweet Kimber I fell in love with, going to the comic shop, checking out a big fire engine, going to the family bookstore, and then checking out the legos at Target, before picking a little set for him to put together. An entire day, and no discussion of politics. No discussion about work. Just me and the boy, checking out some cool stuff, having a carnivore’s lunch, getting some neat old comics, mulling over future career possibilities, and getting some legos. I learn what is important to him, and maybe, just maybe, I get to shape the man he will one day become, and just have a carefree day in the meantime. It was good.


Ethan in the Firetruck

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