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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Susan Kennedy

Arnold Schwarzenegger has named Susan Kennedy as his chief of staff. Ms. Kennedy was "a senior adviser to Gov. Gray Davis," is "an advocate of abortion rights and gay rights," and is a "former executive director of the California Democratic Party."

Here's a clip from her biography: "Kennedy previously served as Executive Director of the California Democratic Party and as Executive Director of the California Abortion Rights Action League. She managed two of the most successful Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns in recent California history, including the 1992 Coordinated Campaign for Clinton/Gore and the 1998 Coordinated Campaign that elected Governor Gray Davis."

As reported by Channel 10 News, Ms. Kennedy is also a married lesbian.

We just got rid of Gray Davis and his policies, Arnold. Have fun running for re-election.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Aborted" Babies Born Alive

According to this article, in England, "up to 50 babies a year are born alive after botched National Health Service abortions." Babies aborted "after more than 21 weeks and six days of gestation should have their hearts stopped by an injection of potassium chloride before being delivered."

However, sometimes that is not the case. According to Stuart Campbell, former professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s hospital, “They can be born breathing and crying at 19 weeks’ gestation. I am not anti-abortion, but as far as I am concerned this is sub-standard medicine.”

"'If a baby is born alive following a failed abortion and then dies (because of lack of care), you could potentially be charged with murder,' said Shantala Vadeyar, a consultant obstetrician at South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, who led the study. "

And here is another story on this topic from earlier this year, in which a mother is suing because her now 3-year-old child survived abortion.

To me, the most disturbing thing is that we have now gotten to a point in our world in which a "botched procedure" results in a life saved.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My Two Cents on "Tookie"

As you have heard, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the co-founder of the infamous Crips street gang, is scheduled to be executed on Dec. 13. A grant of clemency by Arnold Schwarzenegger would be the only action to halt this. Williams was convicted of four murders in 1981. Since then, he has had a "transformation." He has written nine books against gang violence, and "has participated by phone in anti-violence mentoring programs."

However, in my opinion, the question is not, "Has he done enough to make up for the murders?" The answer to this, of course, is that he can't, ever.

I, as others have, believe that no good can come of his execution. Rather, much good can come of his continued outspokeness against gang violence.

However, I think that this argument goes beyond "Tookie." In this case, Stanley Williams represents the potential in every person on death row. If this possibility of redemption is present, then why end a life?

Therefore, I am against the death penalty. This is not because the "Church forces/tells me to." Frankly, that is not possible, because unlike abortion and euthanasia, "There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty," according to Pope Benedict VXI as Cardinal Ratzinger.

Some people may say that killing Stanley Williams is just punishment. But what, may I ask, is the purpose of punishment? When parents send their kids to their rooms, is it because they want to "give them justice," or because they want to stop and prevent the behavior from happening again?

Even if we look at it from a purely Christian perspective, if we prematurely kill an individual, we are responsible for taking away a chance for their redemption and reconciliation with God.

So, if the real purpose of punishment is to prevent future crime, then what better sentence than undisputed life in prison, especially for one who is working to prevent his very crime?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Western Alliance

I have just offically been accepted into the Western Alliance. I've been reading their blogs for quite some time now, so I am very excited to get to post. Thanks!

Blogger Debates

I just had the idea of having "Blogger debates." So far, I think it would work like this:

  1. Two people with different opinions on an issue agree to debate during a certain time.
  2. They each write a new post on the issue, no matter if they have written about it before.
  3. At the end or beginning of the post, they link to their opponent.
  4. (Optional) The readers can comment on which was their favorite, and maybe the one with the most "favorable" comments would be the winner?

I think that having these "debates" would not only be fun, but also would juxtapose the different opinions on an issue, so that people can see exactly what each side, through the bloggers, is saying. Too often, I think, conservatives and liberals are in their own "corners" of the internet.

If anyone is interested, they can email me by clicking on the link on the right side of the screen or you can just comment.

(linked to Stop the ACLU, TMH’s Bacon Bits, Cao's Blog, Jo's Cafe, and Basil's Blog.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Truth About My Immediate Dismissal

We and our attorney, Eric Grant, have repeatedly tried to reconcile with Loretto's administration, beginning with our request for a retraction and apology on November 4th. After waiting ten days, Loretto finally responded with an unfortunate refusal along with a copy of their press release. My family continues to hope for reconciliation (see our press statement), but any reconciliation must necessarily address the falsehoods discussed below. Thus, we have decided to release all of the communications between my family and Loretto so that people can see the truth for themselves.

On Saturday, October 29th, I received an express mail envelope from Loretto administration, which ordered “immediate dismissal” of my family from Loretto High School. Please read it here.

First of all, the letter states that Loretto was "ready to move on with our educational mission" and that "the focus of the administration, faculty and students continues to be disrupted by the actions of your family." How does one "move on" while one's mom is restricted from campus permanently? It would seem that my family would be the ones not allowed to "move on."

As you can see in the letter, there were three pieces of "evidence" for my expulsion. I would like to discuss all of them below.

  1. The first "piece of evidence" as reason for expulsion was that there was an "email from Wynette Sills threatening Sister Helen with the disruption of Open House." Here are the emails between my mom and Sister Helen about Ms. Bain teaching at Loretto and the events in between. Because Sister Helen has refused to meet with us or return our phone calls, these emails are our only communication with Sister Helen. These are all of the emails. Nothing in these emails has been edited, except taking off our home phone number (for obvious reasons), omitting personal identities when noted and the pictures included in the first email.

    The October 4th email is where the "threat" supposedly happened. I invite you to read it again. If this email was so "threatening" that it was grounds for expulsion, then why was my family allowed to attend Open House after the "threat" was made? It just doesn't make sense.

  2. The next bit of "evidence" is that my dad "trespassed into a private area and attempted to intimidate an Assistant Principal" at Loretto's Open House on October 16th. My dad talks about it here.

    Obviously, it is my dad's word against the assistant principal's. However, Loretto's actions afterward further support my dad's statement. That day, there were police officers already on campus. If my dad truly was threatening and trespassed, it would have been common procedure to interview the alleged "intimidator." My dad was never interviewed. Also, my dad has volunteered on Thursday mornings before school for Loretto's TEAMS club (preparation for Stanford's Engineering, Math and Science contest) all of my freshman year and all of this past year up to two weeks after Open House. If my dad was intimidating, why was he allowed on campus with Loretto students? The only reasonable conclusion is that Loretto's administration knows that my dad did not threaten or intimidate anyone. Thus, this second reason for dismissal is also false.
  3. The third piece of "evidence" was an email from my mom asking our family and friends for prayer. It is quoted fully in the letter, but you can also directly read the email of October 27th here.

    Apparently, asking for prayer and capitalizing Catholic is "malicious," "slanders the reputation and integrity of Loretto High School" and is grounds for expulsion. If this sounds unbelievable, I suggest reading the dismissal letter again.

Also in the envelope were my grades from this year and last year. As you can see, I have been a straight-A student during my time at Loretto. I have never, in my life, been sent to the principal's office or have received a detention. (And here I am getting expelled.) Obviously, this expulsion is not about my grades or my behavior at school.

This "immediate dismissal" came completely unexpectedly and without warning. In fact, the very week before my expulsion, I was thrilled that I was chosen to be one of the defense attorneys on Loretto's Mock Trial team. I was hoping to try out for a solo in the choir. I was looking forward to Homecoming week with my friends. Yet, Loretto's administration sent me this notice on a Saturday morning and indicated that the contents of my locker would be shipped to my home. I was unable to say goodbye to my friends and teachers, or even ask for reconsideration. Furthermore, these same classmates and their parents received a letter from Loretto's administration which accused my family of the items that I discussed above. You can read the letter here.

Some people have speculated that I got expelled because of my blog, but Loretto's administration never asked me to restrict anything on my blog. This forum has allowed post-abortive women to share their stories, some for the very first time. These true experiences can change hearts and minds, and most importantly, can save a life.

My expulsion was the only remaining power that Loretto's administration had over my family. They chose to use that power, stating the three pieces of "evidence" above as "proof." This expulsion was greatly unreasonable, undeserved, and vindictive. Furthermore, the falsified "evidence" is defamation of my family's character. For the last ten days, we have given Loretto's administration an opportunity to retract their false statements and apologize, but they have refused. My family and I will not stand for this. I hope that you will not either.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Condoleezza Rice's Views on Abortion

Because there have been many predictions about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice running for President in 2008, (although Dr. Rice herself has said it is unlikely) I thought that it would be good to see how she stands on the issues.

Although I am not just concerned with one issue, abortion is important to me, as it is a life-or-death issue. In the past, there has been little light shed on Dr. Rice's views on abortion. However, in a March interview with the Washington Times (see transcript), she spells it out more clearly.

"I believe if you go back to 2000, when I helped the president in the campaign, I said that I was, in effect, kind of Libertarian on this issue, and meaning by that that I have been concerned about a government role in this issue. I'm a strong proponent of parental choice, of parental notification. I'm a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that's where we should be. I've called myself at times mildly pro-choice.

I'm very comfortable with the president's view that we have to respect and need to have a culture that respects life. This should be an issue pretty infrequently because we ought to have a culture that says that, "Who wants to have an abortion? Who wants to see a daughter or a friend or, you know, a sibling go through something like that?" And so I believe the president has been in exactly the right place about this, which is, we have to respect the culture of life and we have to try and bring people to have respect for it and make this as rare a circumstance as possible. "

While I am not exactly ecstatic about this, I think it is a better position than most politicians have. Condoleezza Rice rightly notes that having a culture of life should not be an issue, and that abortion is not a thing that women should at any time desire to have. However, I think that Dr. Rice misses what abortion truly is. If abortion was just a poor choice for women, then I would totally agree. But besides harming women, abortion ends a human life. This is something that any reasonable person should be able to recognize through simple logic. The unborn have 46 chromosomes, a trait distinctly unique to humans, so the unborn are human. The unborn are growing and developing, so they are alive. The unborn are also unique individuals whose eye and hair color is already determined and who may even have a different blood type than the mother. In conclusion, the unborn are alive, unique humans and therefore are human beings, just as anyone of us are, and worthy of our protection. (For more, you can read my post Protect Life.)

Friday, November 04, 2005

"Fired Loretto teacher files complaints"

This was in the Sacramento Bee today:

Fired Loretto teacher files complaints
She says her ouster was discrimination, violating her free-speech rights.

By Todd Milbourn -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST
Friday, November 4, 2005
Story appeared in Metro section, Page B1

A former Loretto High School drama teacher alleged Thursday that her firing last month for having volunteered at a Planned Parenthood clinic was a case of sexual and religious discrimination and violated her free-speech rights.

Marie Bain, 50, of Sacramento, filed two separate employment complaints Thursday with the state against Loretto, the religious order that sponsors the school, the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento and Bishop William K. Weigand.
One complaint - with the state Department of Labor - calls for an investigation of the employment practices of the diocese. The other - with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing - is a first step toward a lawsuit.

"Loretto rightly prides itself as an academic institution committed to vigorous debate of ideas and beliefs," said Bain's attorney, John M. Poswall of Sacramento. "Unfortunately, the action of the bishop, cowering to noisy fundamentalists, threatens to turn Loretto into a Taliban-style institution of thought control and repression."

James Sweeney, an attorney for the diocese, who had not yet seen the complaints, said he's confident the diocese handled the case appropriately.

"It's purely an internal matter of church discipline and is protected by the First Amendment," he said.

Weigand called for Bain's firing in early October in response to demands from an anti-abortion activist and mother of a Loretto student.

Weigand argued that Bain's previous volunteer work presented an irreconcilable conflict with church teachings and set a poor example for students at the all-girls school.

Poswall stated in the complaint that Bain's firing constituted sexual discrimination because it targeted "her beliefs and actions related to women's reproductive rights" and sought to make "an example of her as a woman, to other young women."

School officials knew Bain was not a Catholic and had her "own personal beliefs" when they hired her in August, Poswall stated.

Punishing her for having supported opposing values in the past is tantamount to religious discrimination, Poswall said.

Regarding the free speech claim, Poswall argued that Bain's volunteering was akin to a "political activity," which is a protected class of speech and a "fundamental right of all California employees."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Press Release

The Sacramento Bee is doing an article on my expulsion. They asked for a statement. This is what I gave them:

Saturday morning, October 29th, via overnight mail, we were informed by the administration of Loretto High School of the "immediate dismissal" of our family from the school. Coming in the middle of fall term, this dismissal is most unfair and undeserved.

What is worse, however, is the administration's outrageous charges that our family has engaged in "threats," "abuse," and other "malicious" behavior toward members of the Loretto community. These charges are categorically false and defamatory. In actual fact, our family has at all times acted respectfully in attempting to resolve a difficult situation for the good of all members of the Loretto community, continuously seeking reconciliation. This is an institution that we desired our daughters to attend since they were very young. Katelyn enthusiastically dedicated her extra-curricular time towards numerous school activities, including the Recruitment team, which visits elementary schools in the area to encourage 8th graders to join the Loretto community. Anyone who knows our family will recognize these allegations as blatantly false. It is very unfortunate that the administration has chosen to respond with falsehoods and vindictive spite.

Also, you may have noticed that my blog is experiencing technical difficulties. This is due to an unusually high viewing rate. I hope to post soon, but I am waiting for this technical issue to be resolved, among other things.