Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Thursday, September 12, 2002

It’s called a double standard.  You might want to look into it.

It's called a double standard. You might want to look into it. OK. Find the logical flaw in this argument:
Lawyers for Natallie Evans and Lorraine Hadley filed papers in the court as the first step to challenging a law that says both parties must consent to the storage and use of frozen embryos. The women argue the law violates their human rights because they are now infertile...Muiris Lyons, the women's lawyer, said the case would affect everyone in Britain undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment.

"The law as it stands gives their respective former partners a complete veto. They say that is unfair and discriminatory," said Lyons....Lyons said lawyers would argue that if Evans and Hadley had become pregnant naturally and the embryos were in their bodies, their partners would have no say at all.

So, according to Lyons, it's OK if the mother gets a complete veto, but not the father.

I'm not a lawyer. but the reasoning seems a little fishy to me. First, the whole argument for giving the mother unqualified control over the destiny of her fetus is the fact that it is in her body, or as some put it, "My body; my choice." If the embryo isn't in her body, that reasoning no longer applies. The fact is that they didn't become pregnant naturally, the embryos have never implanted in their uterus, so why should they have any more say in the outcome than the fathers? It follows that if both have an equal say, and they can't reach an agreement, then the embryos should not be implanted.

Posted by Rich
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A Different Perspective

A Different Perspective
I watched some of the coverage this morning after I got home from work. I've read a lot of the blogs covering the coverage, including those that say we're carrying on too much about it. Apparently some folks see this as a healing catharsis, a way of gaining a little closure and moving on, while others see it as picking at a scab, rather than letting it heal. I see it a little bit differently. I see a people standing together, mourning our dead, saluting our heroes, and saying to the world "NEVER AGAIN!" We are commemorating an event that, God willing, will remain unique in American History. We remind ourselves that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and complacency leads to tragedy. We remind ourselves that Evil does exist in the world, and it can't be appeased or ignored. There are people who are opposed to our very existence, and will use any means at their disposal to hurt us. The history of man is a bloody tangle of war and destruction, and the last few decades of relative peace and stability is the exception, rather than the rule. We forgot that for awhile, getting lost in a morass of moral relativism and wishful thinking. We said to the world, "Can't we all just get along?"

The answer was,"No."

I remember that the nuns at school used to teach us that fighting never solved anything. Tell that to the slaves freed during the War Betwee the States. Or to the American Indians. Or to the Carthaginians, if you can find any. The use of force has solved every major question throughout history. We pretend to be civilized now, and tell ourselves that we solve our problems with diplomacy rather than armies, but diplomacy doesn't mean a tinker's damn without the army to back it up. Just as an example, let's look at Iraq. They have violated the agreements which ended the Gulf War, and have faced no repercussions from the international community or the UN. Hussein knows that the UN will not act, and therefore he ignores their 'diplomacy.' He makes the right noises, but does nothing. The only diplomacy a rogue will accept comes at the end of a rifle barrel, and only if he thinks you have the will to pull the trigger.
Of course, the nuns also told us that it takes two to make a fight. Wrong again, Sister. Or partially right, at best. It's true that you need two sides to make a fight, but if one side refuses to fight, that doesn't eliminate the fight; it just makes it a lot shorter, and grants the aggressor an easy victory. Look at WWII. Had the Allies not fought back, would the world be a better place now?

Bottom line is there comes a time when war is necessary. Now is such a time. We can wait longer, let our enemies grow stronger, let them hit us again, let them strike at our citizens, our families, our children, but why? Hussein has declared war on the US, and never rescinded that declaration. We have evidence that he is seeking the capability to inflict great harm to our nation. Do we have to wait until another 3000 people die before we act?

I don't think so. You don't let a rabid dog bite your kids before putting him down.

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, September 11, 2002

America, What a Country!

America, What a Country!

They were a young couple in their mid twenties, just starting out. He worked in construction, or maybe as an auto body mechanic. He had close-cropped hair, and wore a Smith and Wesson muscle shirt. She was plump, but not overly so, and was on her lunch break from the Dollar Store. They both had the harried look of a couple for whom income almost precisely matched expenses, leaving precious little margin for error. He made 10 dollars an hour or so, and she chipped in 6, and they were making it, not living high and fancy, but there was a nice double wide that would be theirs after another 236 payments, and the requisite pick up truck out in the parking lot with 85,000 miles on it that he had bought back when he was still single. You could see that the day was coming soon when the pick up would be traded in for a minivan, or a used SUV if he had a good year. Just getting by and dreaming of the days when they would do more than get by, and might even get a little ahead. There was a bass boat with his name on it, as well as some new living room furniture to replace the hand me downs they got as a gift from her parents when they got married.

They had decided to eat out for lunch today, maybe to celebrate a promotion, or to enjoy some time together, or maybe because she was too busy or tired to cook. He brought their daughter, a cute little girl about 5 years old with him to see Mommy. They had come to the local buffet, because the food was good, and cheap. With an ease born of experience they traded off watching the little girl as plates were filled; she watched the little girl while he got his salad, then she got her daughterís food. Then while they ate, she went back for her food. Dad got their daughter for the second round, and so on. They talked all through lunch, sharing their days and laughing with their daughter.

The buffet was impressive, steam and refrigerator tables loaded with food. There was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy (itís required by law that all buffets serve fried chicken). There was lasagna, taco salads, grilled chicken breasts, pork cutlets, baked fish, fried okra, lima beans, spinach, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, sweet potato wedges, several relishes, pizza, spaghetti, sandwich fixinsí, a full salad bar with spring onions, lettuce spinach, tomatoes, sliced, or cherry, diced ham and turkey, shredded cheese, real crumbled bacon, several dressings. Off to the side was the dessert bar, with puddings, gelatins, cakes, pies, and ice cream. He made three trips and she made two, and the little girl made four (two to the dessert bar).

The price for this magnificent feast for three?

Under $18.00 including tip.

Think about that for a minute. For basically one hourís labor, this blue-collar family was able to eat a meal rivaling Bacchanalian banquets. What a country!

At the same restaurant, there was a girl named Amy waiting tables. She was a pretty little thing, in her early twenties, and sporting a gaudy engagement/wedding ring. She was well dressed, with expensive jewelry, and there was an innocence to her expression that told she had never had to struggle for anything. She had a nice smile as she greeted her customers, and rushed to fill their drink glasses while they headed to the buffet. She carried a little of that smile with her as she worked, like she had a small secret she found amusing. Around 2:30, her husband showed up in their new Audi with their son, a 5-year-old tyke just out of pre-school. Her husband was neatly attired in slacks and a dress shirt, tie pulled loose at the neck as he led his little boy towards the back of the restaurant. He said hello to his wife as she moved to hug him, then stopped at the barely perceptible shake of his head. He wasnít one for public displays of affection; it just didnít fit his image.

The little boy pulled up a chair to one of the tables in the back, crossed his legs on the seat, and began coloring as his dad said goodbye and went out to the car, straightening his tie as he headed back to the office. Amy gave her son a quick hug and went back to waiting tables. The little boys eyes followed her hungrily as she moved around the restaurant, refilling drinks, seating new customers and bussing tables. Every now and then, she would look over at her boy, and when their eyes met, his face lit up with a huge grin. Eventually her shift would end, and she would take her little boy home to the suburb, make dinner, then plop down in front of the TV for a few hours of mindless entertainment before going to bed. Her husband would stay at work late, working to pay for the Audi, the house, the second car they planned on getting soon, and to put money away for his sonís college fund. The little boy would play video games in his room until bedtime, then come downstairs to kiss his mommy goodnight, and go to bed. Tomorrow, the story would play out again, and again, as Daddy got ahead, and Mommy got her pin money, and the little boy got...what?

What a country!

Posted by Rich
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A prediction

A prediction There will be no terrorist attack on American soil today, although there might be one on one of our embassies in Europe or Asia. BAsic strategy says you attack while your target is not looking.

We're looking.

Also, when you're a mosquito biting a bear, it's a bad idea to wake the bear. The US has not slipped back into complacency yet. An attack now would ensure the destruction of the Middle East

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, August 29, 2002

Fair enough

Fair enough

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human
because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it
was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, August 28, 2002


Perspective There was a terrible car accident on the freeway, and a young man lay pinned in the wreckage. Blood was pouring from dozens of deep cuts, one eye was swollen shut, and his breathing was labored as he fought to stay alive. As the rescue squad was working to free his broken body from the wreckage, the paramedics kept talking to him, trying to keep him alert.
"Don't worry, son, we'll have you out of there in no time," the paramedic said.
The young man moaned softly, but didn't respond.
Trying desperately to get the young man's atention, the paramedic began asking him questions, where did he live, where did he work, what football team did he like, but the young man didn't answer, just moaned quietly. Finally, the paramedic asked him "Are you married? We can notify your wife."
At this the young man looked at the paramedic with his good eye and said "Nope, I'm not married. This is the worst fix I've ever been in."

Posted by Rich
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Monday, August 19, 2002

Life imitates Art

Life imitates Art You've seen those Visa check card commercials where the celebrity can't cash a check without an ID? Well here is a true story which is even funnier than the "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" one, courtesy of Katie Allison Granju

Posted by Rich
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On the other hand

On the other hand Remembr how all your teachers used to tell you that cussing was a sign of a weak vocabulary? Courtesy of Troy Kinnaird comes this gem from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
October 24, 1840

What a pity we cannot curse and swear in good society! Cannot the stinging dialect of the sailors be domesticated? It is the best rhetoric, and for a hundred occasions those forbidden words are the only good ones...

So true..

Posted by Rich
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Understatement of the year contender

Understatement of the year contender A woman was accidentally set on fire while delivering her baby. Caroline Mackersey, general manager of communications for the Waitemata District Health Board had this to say:
It must have been extremely distressing. It's been extremely distressing for staff.

Distressing? You lit a woman on fire in the middle of delivering her baby and 'distressing' is the best you can come up with?

Posted by Rich
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A real blue light special

A real blue light special Attention K-Mart shoppers! You are all under arrest!
"We went to use the restroom at Kmart and to buy a Scrunchi (hair band), and when we came back to our car, cops were coming in (the parking lot) and they tied our hands," said Brandi Ratliff, 18, who said she was a straight-A student at Waller High School and never had any problems with the law.

Ratliff said that even though she and two friends told police they had just come out of the Kmart, all three were arrested and spent the night in jail.

"It was traumatic," said a tearful Ratliff on Sunday morning after her parents drove from Stafford to pay her $300 bail at the downtown city jail. "It was sick where they were holding us. A prostitute was fighting with another woman. The food they served was food you would serve to a dog, not a human."

Ratliff and her two friends, Kris Karsteter, 21, and Kyesa Scott, 18, all had pink marks on their wrists from where they said police had tied plastic handcuffs too tightly.

Maybe the cops suspected them of being in league with Martha Stewart?

Posted by Rich
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