Monthly Archives: July 2015



by Reid Fitzsimons

Somewhere in the early 1980’ I switched from being pro-abortion to pro-life. I wasn’t any kind of firebrand pro-abortion activist, just one of the tens of millions of Americans who didn’t want to be troubled by thinking too hard. It took no great empathetic powers to comprehend an unexpected pregnancy can put a severe damper on life’s plans and, as Americans, we didn’t and don’t suffer interruptions to our ambitions or life-styles easily. Additionally, the feminists and social justice people of the early 80s, personified especially by Planned Parenthood, assured us we weren’t talking about ending a life but that abortion was more akin to picking boogers out of our noses. I recall three terms The Great Progressive Minds used when describing that troublesome entity residing in the uterus- a blob of tissue, a clump of cells, and, for the more intellectual among the mindless masses, the products of conception. What person in their right mind could possibly be opposed to sucking out a blob of tissue? It would be like being against hacking up a big loogie.

At this time I was a PA (Physician Assistant) student in Cleveland and I certainly possessed a cursory knowledge of embryology, so academically I knew the blob of tissue paradigm wasn’t entirely accurate, but everyone wants symbols and terminology to comport with their worldview; it allows us to not be troubled in our beliefs. During the clinical year I did a month-long inpatient gynecology rotation at hospital downtown, one that frequently did abortions. No problem for me, and I was perfectly fine with observing and assisting. Assuming most people can’t really envision the procedure, it is not one that requires high-level surgical skill. In other words, abortionists may be wealthy but are unlikely to be world-class physicians. Essentially a hollow plastic tube (curette) is passed through the cervix while attached to a suction machine and, with a little scraping and vacuuming of the uterus, viola’! problem solved. The thing is the suction tubing is transparent, and I happened to notice the promised blob being sucked into oblivion looked quite a bit like little arms and legs, with feet and fingers and things. Was it possible the progressives and good people at Planned Parenthood had engaged in a bit of deception?

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by Barry King

I have Mennonite relatives who travel all over North America without paying for hotel rooms, by staying in the homes of a network of relatives of relatives or friends of friends. In so doing, they fail to support the hotel industry and perhaps contribute to slow job growth in that sector. I have Amish relatives who, when they suffer fire damage to a barn, will accept the volunteer help of neighbors for rebuilding, instead of hiring unionized construction workers for that job. In so doing, they take jobs away from those unionized workers. Further: the working conditions at the Amish Barn raising might possibly be OSHA-non-compliant. The Amish also plow their fields with mule teams instead of tractors, and drive horse-drawn carriages on the roads, instead of cars.

It wonders me (that’s a Pennsylvania Dutch phrase) how I should understand Anabaptist attitudes toward innovation. Anabaptists until very recently have been counter-cultural in a variety of ways, which is kind of innovative, but on the other hand, plowing with a mule team in the 21st century seems old-fashioned. Now comes another data point: modern internet-based ride sharing via Uber looks a lot like “Mennonite-Your-Way” travel arrangements and like the Amish approach to barn-raising, and the Uber economic model is considered innovative rather than reactionary, whereas, the growing backlash against it looks pretty darn reactionary. Sixty years after Bill Buckley coined the phrase, who is it now who is standing athwart history and yelling “Stop!”? (Hint: read Hillary’s recent speech in which she scolded Uber, without mentioning it by name. If the guy in Seinfeld who withheld soup was a “Soup Nazi”, does that mean Hillary is now an “Uber Nazi”? Just wondering...) Bill Clinton wanted to build a bridge to the 21st century, which at the time was a forward-looking idea. Now here we are, and Hillary apparently wants to build the same bridge, but she plans on using it to go the other way.

So why exactly is Hillary staking out a position as an Uber Nazi? Well, she counts on union support, and the unions hate Uber, and she likes tax revenues and regulation, while Uber drivers and customers tend to dislike those things. How much do unions and government regulators hate the Uber-style economy? In France, Hillary’s fellow travelers (mobs of taxi drivers) “went full Luddite”, destroying Uber cars, and the French government joined them by arresting Uber managers.

Bottom line: the fundamental difference between the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Uber drivers on the one hand, v. the Uber Nazis on the other is this: the former are content to do their economics via free contracts voluntarily entered, while leaving the rest of the world also free to do whatever they want, whereas, the Uber Nazis want to impose their preferred models on other people by means of government coercion or violence.

Revelers ride in a float during the gay pride parade in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 3, 2012. Over 300 active Mormons and more than 5,000 members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community with their supporters marched in the parade as part of the Utah Pride Festival. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) ORG XMIT: SLC07


by Reid Fitzsimons

Notwithstanding whatever newspaper it was that declared an end to commentary on homosexual marriage, the consequences of the recent Supreme Court paean to love will reverberate for years to come, and it won’t be limited to fabulous rainbow light shows at the White House and guys and girls gaily prancing about in leather thongs.

But before considering the consequences, I admit I’m a little confused about this Supreme Court decision. Homosexual marriage has essentially been legal for decades, and any residual barriers were correctly deconstructed in 2003 with the Lawrence versus Texas decision disallowing anti-sodomy laws. That is, of course, if marriage is defined as an association of people characterized by love (with an implication of the sexual kind as compared, for example, to the love of a good cigar, except in the case of Bill Clinton) and enduring commitment. Additionally nothing has prevented homosexuals from enjoying the more superficial ceremonial trappings, be it flowing wedding gowns or an expensive reception adorned with massive floral arrangements. Even securing an ordained but pretend Christian minister to bless the wedding has been no more difficult than catching Hillary Clinton in a lie. Really- does anyone actually know someone who cares how people associate themselves on a private and personal level? The concept of something being nobody else’s business is in many ways one of the underpinnings of freedom.

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