MONDAY, 29 JUNE 2015

Supreme Court marriage ruling is ‘a constitutionally illegitimate fiat’

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The court didn’t interpret a law. It invented a right.

And it turned on the feelings and thoughts of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion and proved to be its pivotal player. No matter how prepared the experts in jurisprudence I’ve dealt with for years thought they were for this decision, they were all stunned when it came out, so sweeping was its usurpation of judicial power and lack of recourse to history and tradition.

So historic and pivotal a moment as this requires full examination, there are so many angles and issues. For now, start with law professor Helen Alvare’s early assessment of what happened, and especially whether and how the ruling considered a largely overlooked population of people generally left out of gay marriage debates: children.

Regarding children’s interests, until the first same-sex marriage opinions began to emerge in the states,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 2015

Obamacare survives ‘near death experience’, again

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That’s how the Wall Street Journal described the second Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act, as written.

Which is precisely what was at the heart of the case before the justices yet again, what the AFA said. Here’s the later version of the WSJ story, though the news alert that dropped into my inbox said this in opening summary:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Obama administration can continue to subsidize health-insurance purchases by lower-income Americans across the country, a decision that preserves a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act.

The ruling marks the second time President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement has survived a near-death experience in the courts, and leaves the law on a firmer footing for the remainder of his time in office.

And thus

rescuing for the second time the most ambitious social program in nearly 50 years and ensuring… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 2015

Speech is getting less free

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Nobel Laureate Sir Tim Hunt, whose remarks about women in science ended his career

 

And the costs are prohibitive.

Things are getting worse, too. Look at the incident at Chicago’s Northwestern University that prompted this editorial from the Chicago Tribune editorial board.

Universities were meant to be places where ideas can be voiced and debated without fear, where the search for truth has no artificial limits, where no assumption is beyond challenge. Their motto could be the line by the 17th-century poet and philosopher John Milton: “Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?”

How archaic that sounds now, sadly.

In February, communications professor Laura Kipnis wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.”

That started a chain of events that blew up the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 15 JUNE 2015

What is the problem with mistaken identities?

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Or does it just seem we have one all of a sudden, from high profile news stories?

Gender and race have featured prominently in media lately under the whole category of the ‘trans’ movement.

A few thoughts…

What does the transgender movement do to the feminist movement? The Federalist considers.

A central theme of modern, or third-wave feminism is that women should not be treated merely as sexual objects. A central theme of the trans movement is the presentation of trans women as hypersexual objects. Feminism is not big enough for both of these themes. Either being a woman is essentially defined as being alluring to men, or it isn’t. Either the playboy bunny defines the essence of womanhood, or it doesn’t. At the moment, the trans movement opposes more than a century of feminism on this point. Third-wave feminists, in their eagerness to be… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE 2015

‘Assisted suicide’ is still killing

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Carmine Marinelli /Vancouver 24hrs/QMI/Macleans   

Marketed under terminology crafted to trigger sympathy and compliance, it still is what it is.

The former Hemlock Society changed its name to Compassion and Choices. Sounds nice and fuzzy. So does Death With Dignity, though less so Aid In Dying although that still softens the fact that someone is ending someone else’s life. At least Mercy Killing uses the word, though softened with the spiritual concept of charity.

Working closely with Terri Schiavo’s family and some of their legal and spiritual counselors during that ordeal which erupted on the national and then international consciousness in early 2005, I did investigative reporting that turned up facts, claims, contradictions and records that mostly didn’t make it to big media reports on the story, though my radio network covered it all. Someone sent me a letter from a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2015

New York is concerned with nail salon workers’ health

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But they’re missing the most important threat to their lives.

Nail salons proliferate across America. Probably much of Europe and the elite stops of the world as well. Speaking from the US, I can say they’re so ubiquitous, these strip mall, storefront shops are competing with established hair salons and day spas for business to a degree that’s had the bigger, established businesses worried for years. Even former big salon workers opening their own breakout small nail businesses are concerned, as much about sanitation and regulation as by competition. I knew this already from some scattered experiences with one of them, as a woman professional with an increasing public event schedule that required an encounter with such places for a more ‘polished’ appearance, when time allowed.

I also learned the story from the other side, when I either had to run into a strip mall shop for an impromptu visit without appointment for a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2015

China insists religion must be free from foreign influence

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Free to be bound only to the Communist Socialist State.

Really? Really.

China’s president warned in a key policy speech that religions must be independent from foreign influence, as the government asks domestic religious groups to pledge loyalty to the state.

Which keeps ‘influence’ in domestic, socialist hands.

China is ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party, and Beijing attempts to control a variety of religions and their spread.

“We must manage religious affairs in accordance with the law and adhere to the principle of independence to run religious groups on our own accord,” Xi said at a high-level party meeting that sought to unite non-Communist Party groups and individuals. His comments were widely reported in state media.

There’s an oxymoron for you.

“Active efforts should be made to incorporate religions into socialist society,” Xi said, adding that the party’s religious work should be about… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015

Human rights begin in the womb

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No case for rights of any sort can be made by those who insist on the lawful ability to kill babies.

It doesn’t get more basic than that.

Feminist author Naomi Wolf made an important and intellectually honest statement of fact in her 1995 article “Our Bodies, Our Souls: Re-thinking Pro-Choice Rhetoric”. I cited it in my book Non-Negotiable: Essential Principles of a Just Society and Humane Culture.

But to its own ethical and political detriment, the pro-choice movement has relinquished the moral frame around the issue of abortion. It has ceded the language of right and wrong to abortion foes. The movement’s abandonment of what Americans have always, and rightly, demanded of their movements–an ethical core–and its reliance instead on a political rhetoric in which the foetus means nothing are proving fatal…

By refusing to look at abortion within a moral… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 8 MAY 2015

Study on premature babies’ survival provokes thought

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"Alexis Hutchinson, 5, left, with her sister, Joslyn, 9, at their home in Iowa this week.
Alexis was born premature at 22 weeks.
 Credit: Mark Hirsch for The New York Times"

It stated the obvious.

But on Thursday, this story appeared on the cover of the New York Times, prominently, above the fold, with a photo to help illustrate the point. First of all, look at the photo and read the caption. That pretty much sums up the story. Which became much more difficult to access online the very day it appeared.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

A small number of very premature babies are surviving earlier outside the womb than doctors once thought possible, a new study has documented, raising questions about how aggressively they should be treated and posing implications for the debate about abortion.

Several things about that.… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 29 APRIL 2015

An American city is burning, again

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Whatever happened to hope and change? Ferguson showed how much things had changed for the worse. Baltimore is Ferguson on more petrol.

What did we learn from Ferguson?

The talking heads and the politicians keep stressing that we should learn from our mistakes, that we should change things. But what, exactly, do they want to change? They’re vague and purposely so. Should we change the way we talk about race in America? Perhaps, but it’s become so easy, and profitable for some, and we’ve memorized the rituals and we know the symbolism. I don’t think we’ll change it any time soon.

John Kass is right.  That was last November, when activist Al Sharpton – who even some of the locals in Ferguson, Missouri wanted to keep out of their town on this occasion – made his usual declarations about racial inequality and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.


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