Friday, August 24, 2012

Do Zygotes have Rights Too?

There is one underlying issue surrounding the abortion debate. Here is the question: Is a zygote (or embryo or fetus) a living human being worthy of the same inalienable rights as those who have been born? If you say no, then you probably don't have a problem supporting a woman's right to an abortion. If you say yes, then you are entitled to not have an abortion. What you are not entitled to is to force your belief on women who are not you.

There are reasonable and intelligent people on both sides of the issue. I can respect your right to believe that life begins at conception. What I expect in return is a reciprocal respect for those who do not share your conservative beliefs.

There is a huge difference between the two beliefs on when human life begins other than a disagreement over that moment. The difference is that most conservatives who strongly believe life begins at conception want to force other women to bow to their moral compunction about abortion and they want their beliefs on the issue to be compelled by law. But those who believe a fetus has no rights are not forcing the Right-to-Lifers to get abortions. If those who do not support abortion feel bad that so many fetuses are being aborted, well that's just too bad. The Constitution does not protect you against feeling bad.

And that's the whole issue regarding evangelical Christians. The Constitution grants us as human adults rights that children and fetuses don't share. Even the bible makes that distinction. You may disagree with which rights a fetus ought to share, but your disagreement does not give you the right to force compliance on those who disagree with you.

According to polls about half of Americans believe that abortion is ok, at least under some circumstances. I personally believe abortion should be unrestricted by law under any circumstance as long as the fetus is not yet viable. And my opinion is just as valid as yours. More importantly, my opinion does not restrict your rights not to have an abortion. Can you give women the same promise?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Voting Against One's Own Prosperity

Mitt Romney has picked his vice-presidential running mate - Paul Ryan. That means Romney has also chosen to support Ryan's fiscal policies. Suddenly, the race has become ideological. And what is that ideology?

Basically, Ryan's policy with regards to the poor and middle class is to just let them get old and die. Rich people can always afford health care. Ryan's idea is to provide the elderly poor with government vouchers in place of Medicare. They can then use those vouchers to purchase insurance in the open market. But Ryan also wants to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. That means the insurance companies will no longer have to accept patients with pre-existing conditions. Many elderly people have pre-existing conditions. In addition, the insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They won't be able to make much profit from the elderly because they get sick more often. Therefore, their insurance premiums, assuming they can even find a company to insure them, will be unaffordable. It will cost way more than their vouchers will be worth.

But that's ok with Romney and Ryan. Maybe the poor should have worked harder and gotten rich, like them. Conservatives don't seem to realize that it takes more than hard work and effort to get rich. If all it took was hard work there would be a whole lot more rich people in this country.

In addition to their fiscal conservatism the dysfunctional duo are also extreme social conservatives. Romney is a practicing Mormon, which means he not only believes all the mythology of standard Christianity, he adds another layer of mysticism on top of that. If Romney and Ryan get in office, there will no longer be a war on women or a war on science. Those battles will have been won. Conservative moral principles will be the law of the land. Women will no longer have reproductive choice. Gays can forget about getting married. There will be zero progress on global warming and who knows what kind of pseudoscience will be permitted in high school science classes.

It's a scary prospect and it's sad to know that so many middle class voters will actually cast their votes for this pair. That will, of course, be a vote cast against their own future prosperity and personal choices.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Virgin Mary Shows up in Some Lady's Vagina?

The faithful have been flocking to this small Alabama town to witness what many call a miracle. Billy Bob Begley discovered it while he was making love to his wife, Sue Ann, three days ago. When he went down on her to give her cunnilingus he saw what appeared to him to be the Virgin Mary right there in Sue Ann's vagina.

"It's truly a miracle," Billy Bob said. "I almost put my tongue inside the Blessed Virgin." Instead, he told his wife to hold her position while he whipped out his iPhone to snap a picture of it so he could upload it to Facebook. "The response has been amazing," Begley said. "We've had more than 75,000 views since I put my wife's vagina on the Inter Web," he said.

Asked how she feels about all the publicity, Sue Ann just said, "It's a real blessing. I have the Blessed Vagina right here between my legs and I'm proud to let the world look at it." Asked if having the image of the Vagina Mary between her legs would have any impact on her sex life, she thought for a moment and said, "I'm not sure yet." But Billy Bob was quick to exclaim, "Naw! Now I get to make love to two women at the same time, and one of them will always remain a virgin! It's a turn-on sent from heaven."

The Begley's are Baptists, so they do not worship images of Mary the way most Catholics do, but they admit that it is, indeed, a miracle sent from God. "God wanted to send us a message," Sue Ann said. "I think he wanted to tell me that my vagina, and by extension all women's vaginas, are holy and that they should be freely shared among men.

"I think it's just the image itself, Sweetheart, not your actual vagina that should be shared," Billy Bob corrected. "Anyway, we are very proud to share this image with the world and hope it brings peace and love to the planet."

The priest at the local Parish had a different take on the image. "I can't say whether or not it's a miracle," Father Guido said. "All I know for sure is that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe this young lady's vagina is blessed; I just don't know."

The Begleys said their home will be available for viewing every day next week after 5:00 PM. "That's when I get home from work," said Billy Bob. "I don't really want strangers viewing the Blessed Vagina while I'm not at home."

From a page on my Web site.

Friday, August 03, 2012

That's Really a Sport?

I'm not a big sports fan, but like everybody else, I do tune in once in awhile to one of the Olympic events. I tend to favor the women's sports because, obviously, I'd rather look at attractive, scantily-clad young women than muscular hunks.

I am puzzled, though, as to why some sports are included in the Olympics and others are not. I also question why some events are even classified as sports. Baseball was once an Olympic sport. Now it's not. I don't like baseball, but to me it would make much more sense to include baseball than an event such as synchronized swimming.

To me, some sports barely make the definition of sport. They're sports in the academic sense only. Real sports are those like track and field, swimming, diving, gymnastics, and even boxing, though I can't stand boxing. At least it really is a sport, though the lowest common denominator of all sports. It's what happens when other, more organized sports, break down due to a disagreement. A fight often breaks out at a hockey game, but almost never does a hockey game break out at a fight.

Then there are the team sports like soccer, volleyball, and water polo. Those are real sports, even though, like badminton, water polo looks like it should only be played at picnics. And it's too bad more countries don't participate in football, the real football, not soccer. Football would make a great addition to the Olympics.

But of all the lame events that are included in Olympic competition, the lamest has to be dressage. It's not a sport. It is barely sport-like. The horses do all the work. Compare that to, say, gymnastics. Young people train several hours a day for years in order to hone their skills for the big event. You could probably learn how to take a horse through its routine in a couple of weekends. I know; I'm probably exaggerating. But seriously, the two events are hardly comparable with regard to their value as sports. It would make more sense to me if Tiddly Winks was included as an Olympic sport.