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02 Mar

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West Wing propaganda on stem cell research

March 2, 2005 | By |

And speaking of declining ratings . . . is it any wonder that West Wing is headed into the tank? The show has become nothing but preaching and propagandizing. Tonight’s episode had a story line about a legislative battle over stem cell research.

The scene that was supposed to pluck the heart-strings featured the Jimmy Smits character persuading another Congressman to vote for stem cell research by arguing that “we are dragging our heels when we could be alleviating suffering.”

Nonsense. I’m skipping over the horrible irony of invoking “suffering” on the side arguing for destroying life — or as Smits parsed it: “the potential person.” Instead I want to highlight the propaganda specific to the stem cell issue. The truth is that the really promising research in this area involves adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells.

A great resource on this issue is Joni Eareckson Tada. She has been confined to a wheelchair since a diving accident left her a quadriplegic in 1967. She knows real suffering — and she opposes embryonic stem cell research. Here’s a link to her organization and solid research on this issue.

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02 Mar

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FOX ratings rocket upward

March 2, 2005 | By |

CNN sees a double-digit decline in viewers. . .the report says this is the sixth straight month that FOX has beat all (cable) comers. . . hmmmmm. . . .

You heard it here first: CNN will try to fix the problem with a new talk show hosted by Michael Moore — and Janeane Garofolo as cohost for balance.

Oops, there goes my shot at Tucker Carlson’s seat.

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01 Mar

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Beijing +10 and the Androgyny Agenda

March 1, 2005 | By |

Beijing +10 opened at the UN yesterday. More on that in the days ahead; today be sure to see Steve Rhoads’ article in NRO on the fallacies of the androgyny agenda many delegates will be pushing.

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28 Feb

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I’m in Vogue magazine

February 28, 2005 | By |

In an article on Katie Couric, this month’s Vogue magazine covers the reasoned audacity v. Naomi Wolf duel from November’s Today Show appearance. The article isn’t online, so my Director of Puffery is working on getting a copy . . . check back soon!

UPDATE: Here’s the Vogue mention at the jump. Check out how I was dressed in a “sharp” red suit, while Naomi looked, um, “luscious” in pink?!?! Vogue thinks Naomi was using pink to send a message. . What would that be? Pink now means: “my candidate just lost . . .but don’t move to Canada, the sun will come out tomorrow?”

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Better red than dead

February 24, 2005 | By | No Comments

My friend Bill McClay (Professor of History, UT/Chattanooga) gave a talk in DC at the Ethics and Public Policy Center last night, arguing that it is odd that the Democrats have given up the color red without a peep. Odd, and stupid strategically.

Historically, beginning with the French Revolution, red has symbolized “a commitment to progressive reform. . human freedom. . .liberation.”

And, it appears purely through chance (if one believes in chance) that the color now belongs firmly to the Republicans. Red-state America is here to stay in the public consciousness of this generation.

A focus on color may seem quirky, but emblems and iconography matter. Particularly when they are deeply embedded in our shared historical experience. Red invokes a “grand commitment to high ideals and the good of humanity.”

But the real problem for the Democrats is that this redecoration of the ideological map fits. The GOP is now the party of progress, the new Progressives — and liberals are leading the opposition to change. Bill pointed out: look at tax reform, social security reform, education reform . . . on it goes.

The Democrats are the Establishment now and they are all about the status quo; are they the new conservatives?

To wind this up: Bill moved on to sketch out President Bush’s contribution to the political landscape — crafting the outlines of an evangelical conservatism. He noted that evangelicals have been the source of “profound moral radicalism” in our country, which makes for an uneasy alliance with conservatism. Bill cited the civil rights movement and the abolitionist movement.

I would add: the pro-life movement fits squarely in that tradition.

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Aaron Burr and Boo

February 23, 2005 | By | No Comments

Today was completely taken over by getting Boo’s vaccinations up-to-date. He had to get five shots. I hate getting my kids vaccinated. If I could morally justify it, I wish I could be a free-rider. . .The very thought of watching someone take a needle and inject my perfectly healthy baby boy with a virus that used to kill people makes me uneasy.

And then, of course, mom is the one who has to hold the baby down while they do it.

Sweet: the Dude was very unhappy about the idea of his little brother getting shots, and wanted to be nearby and watch over him, too.

So, I kept thinking of Aaron Burr! The man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel was orphaned at two years old after his mother died from a smallpox innoculation.

One wonders: would history have taken a different turn if that little boy had had a mother?

To think that I am scared of shots now. What a debt we owe to the people who took those early vaccines. . .

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Toqueville and the bloggers

February 23, 2005 | By | No Comments

Who knew there was a community of Movable Type users on the web? They are a remarkably helpful and charitable bunch of very smart people.

I asked some dumb questions in a support forum and once even got a response back in three minute. Thanks Kymberlie.

So hey, I got this thing up and running. I’m jazzed.

When Tocqueville, the French political philosopher, visited America in the early 1800′s, he observed that Americans were characterized by a habit of forming “groups and associations.”

We’re still at it! Tocqueville wouldn’t be surprised. And I think he would be very interested in bloggers.

UPDATE: I still like this point about Americans and their propensity to from groups to help another as “self-interest rightly understood.” But in the spirit of ecumenism, I should mention that the bloggers who helped me were international: a (good!) German photographer and a Canadian.

And, as always, I am indebted to my Brilliant Brother, who made the mistake of calling and saying, “so, how’s it going, sis?”

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