The history of human knowledge as it relates to the human body is a fascinating and terrible thing. In every age, the ability for physicians and other medical practitioners to effectively treat wounds or combat disease has been constrained by the technology – or lack thereof – available at the time. In the past, people often died from illnesses or injuries that are quite treatable today. Over the centuries, we've come a long way. Our understanding of human physiology and biology has enabled us to improve quality of life and extend life expectancy beyond anything our ancestors could have imagined.
Despite our advances, however, there remains a great deal that we don't fully understand. The human brain, in particular, represents a vast frontier of mystery. There's much we've learned, but for all our progress, it seems we've hardly scratched the surface of understanding this most complex of human organs. Unfortunately, it is often the most vulnerable among us who pay the price of our ignorance. In the mid-20th century, neurologists were certain they had discovered a cure for mental illness in lobotomy. But for the victims of this procedure, the price of scientific inquiry was often disastrous.
Thankfully, victims of mental illness no longer have to fear involuntary lobotomy or other ghastly experiments, but there are still vulnerable people who are paying a high price for our lack of understanding of how the human brain works. Patients diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state have long been written off by the medical community as a lost cause – a waste of medical resources. In the name of compassion, the families of such individuals have been counseled to withhold nutrition and hydration. They have been assured that their loved one is completely unaware of their surroundings and past any hope of recovery. Sometimes this course of action is pursued even when family members insist that they see signs of responsiveness and awareness in their loved one. The Terri Schiavo case is one such example. Terri's parents spent hours each day with their daughter and insisted that she was responsive; her husband insisted that she was a vegetable and past any hope of meaningful recovery. After a bitter legal battle, Terri's husband prevailed and his wife's feeding tube was removed. It took Terri Schiavo 14 days to die from starvation and dehydration. more >>
The Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape in Missouri has shared his "deep concern" over a church-affiliated hospital's decision to extend benefits to married gay couples. Bishop James V. Johnston also says that those who defend the traditional teaching of marriage are not "hateful bigots."
"I was not consulted or informed by Mercy Hospital Springfield of its decision to provide same-sex couples marriage benefits. I am deeply concerned. By this decision, Mercy Hospital Springfield calls into question its identity as a Catholic Christian institution," Johnston wrote in a statement to News-Leader.
In the same statement, he says that pastors and leaders who defend marriage as an institution between one man and one woman are sometimes called "hateful bigots" for their position by people who claim to support tolerance. more >>
WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz laid out 10 issues with policies and structure of the federal government that the newly-elected Republican Congress should fight hard to change in a keynote speech at the Heritage Action for America Conservative Policy Summit on Monday,
Although many of the ideas that Cruz, a prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidate, laid out would likely be vetoed by Democratic President Barack Obama, Cruz was adamant that the 12 freshman Republicans in the Senate could have a "transformable effect" and make significant headway for when Obama leaves office. But as Cruz admits, that would require them actually acting on what they said they would do while campaining for election.
1. Create Jobs, Growth and Opportunity more >>
When people clamor for Congress to pass a "free-market health plan," they are forgetting two things: Congress only does laws, which restrict freedom. We need fewer laws, not more. And the free market is by nature not a plan.
Big laws like ObamaCare are designed by special-interest groups, such as the "insurance" (managed care) cartel, Big Hospitals, Big Pharma, and influential groups that want their benefits (abortion, contraception, drug and alcohol rehab, AIDS therapy, etc.) paid for by people who would never use them.
There are good ideas circulating, such as health status insurance, expanded health savings accounts, and critical illness insurance. How good? We won't know without trying them. The free market—voluntary decisions by free individuals—picks the winners and losers, and allows options that work for some but not others. The free market cannot achieve the utopian state in which everybody gets optimum care, paid for by everybody else. Neither can government. The government can only force everybody (except of course for the elite) into equally shabby care, paid for by extortionate taxes with huge losses to corruption and incompetence. more >>
Albert Einstein defined the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over again, expecting different results.Nominating Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate would be just that.
While a major percentage of Americans, including me, lament that Obama is our President; will we fulfill the definition of insanity by propping up Mitt Romney, yet again, to lose another election? Or will we learn from our Karl Rove mistakes and place a solid and sane leader into The Office Of The Presidency in 2016?
On Friday, Romney finally told the truth about his interest in a third presidential run to a room full of Republican donors, as if he hadn't planned for this all along. more >>
America has always been a nation with great respect for the right of conscience. As a people, we like the idea that a person should follow their heart, go with their gut, do what feels right. Our laws have traditionally followed this course by according deference to individual conscience on a whole host of matters. Perhaps the most well know example is that of conscientious objection to war, in which a person can claim exemption from conscripted military service on the basis of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion. Our President appeals to the concept of conscience perhaps more than any other in recent memory, often defending his administrations' actions with the simple phrase "it's the right thing to do."
Of course, when he says this what he really means, "it's what I think is the right thing to do." On a whole host of policy issues the President has swum against the tide of public opinion in the name of executive conscience, to the point of getting himself into legally shaky territory. It is disappointing then, though perhaps not surprising, that the President and his ideological bed fellows have very little respect for the consciences of those who don't think like them. This hypocrisy shines brightest when it comes to social issues. The owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties were sued by the Obama Administration for refusing to comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, specifically for refusing to cover certain types of contraception that can lead to the termination of the life of a nascent child. These employers were compelled to resist the law by their conscience, their belief that life begins at conception and is sacred, that abortion is murder. President Obama could not care less. In his mind, free birth control and abortifacients (and abortion, I'm sure, if he had his way), is "the right thing to do." If you disagree, you are an enemy of progress.
Then of course there is the issue of same-sex marriage. Again, for the President there is only one civilized opinion you can possibly hold (at least, since his own opinion has "evolved" on the matter). Love is love is love. Equal protection under the law requires the complete cultural normalization and legal protection of same-sex marriage, and there is no room for conscientious objection, no matter who you are or what you do. The public relations campaign waged by pro-gay activists over the past 30 years has been enormously successful, to the extent that today anything less than the total embrace and celebration of homosexuality and gay rights is seen as analogous to the racism of the Jim Crow south. The belief that marriage is a divinely established institution designed for one man and one woman is disparaged as toxic hate speech. more >>