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I Hate Linux

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Deceits in the Referred Law 6 debate: Part 3

While examining both sides in the abortion debate I've taken up a new side hobby... trying to get people on both sides to change their votes and in this, the part 3 of my blog series on the South Dakota abortion ban (part 1, part 2)... I talk about some of the deceits I've been engaging in with the issue.

While yet I have not been successful with any, most people I have tried this on came to agree with the arguments I was making, but still felt it important to vote the way they were planning to for the election.

Let's face it. The South Dakota abortion ban will be upheld in the November 7th election. It will not because the people of South Dakota want this specific law to be enacted, or even because they want most abortions outlawed. In large part it will be because of the people's desire for choice.

No... not the "woman's right to choose" sort of choice... but the right to choose their own representatives who in turn enact laws that are more in line with the views of the average South Dakotan voter.

While many in this debate decry the concept of the government interfering in the personal lives of citizens, one has to admit that *if* there is a government interfering in the personal lives of its citizens, it's far better to have it be a local government than a national government as a representative from Buffalo, SD sure knows more about what a person living in Aberdeen, SD wants than someone from Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, or even Minneapolis, MN.

Remember, this is the state that threw a hissy-fit all the way to the Supreme Court when the Federal government tried to force us to raise our drinking age from 19 to 21. Sure we lost, that's not the point.

The point is that we were willing to fight for our freedom to choose for ourselves without compulsion from faraway lands and I suspect that one of these years... we might just be successful at it, but then this will not be the case that causes that to happen.

So once again... this law will be upheld, at least in this election and quite quickly it would be challenged in Federal court and an injunction demanded... which would be granted.

Hopefully a short time later, hearings would begin and eventually the judge would rule that the law is unconstitutional as it conflicts with established precedent (ie Roe vs Wade)... at which point South Dakota would appeal the decision to the Appellate court... who too would rule against the law.

Finally, with no other option the state would ask The US Supreme Court to hear the case, who (should they agree to hear the case) would almost certainly rule that the law is unconstitutional because it lacks provisions for x, y and z.

I say almost certainly as the remaining doubt in my mind would require a call from the Pope to the 5 Catholic justices and threaten eternal damnation for them, ex-communication for their children and an extended stay in Purgatory for the rest of their descendants should they not accept the law. Not likely... but... still possible.

Anyway...

This is why I've tried to convince those pro-abortionists I know to change their vote, to help get the law into the courts who would throw it out at every step of the way.

Of course... the part I leave out is that should SCOTUS hear the case, it would list reasons why the law is unconstitutional, reasons that South Dakota and other states would immediately draft into new legislation that is based on previous attempts such as this.

In fact, I would fully expect that this second round of legislation to be a collaborative effort between multiple states who would try to enact virtually identical legislation on this issue so as to have a more common front when once again such a law it would make its way up through the courts, where it would likely be accepted (in some large part) by The Supremes, which is quite likely given the current makeup of the court.

Of course... if they did rule in favor of the new law(s), a big question remains... would they apply ruling (and the law) nationwide... or would they turn laws like this regarding abortion back into a 'states rights' issue and allow each state to decide for themselves (within the rules laid down by the court) how they can restrict (if at all) a woman's access to an abortion.

Personally, I would hope they would go the second route. Not because I'm that big on the idea of abortions getting outlawed here or there, but because I am a big person for local government and allowing the feds as little power as possible over the general populace.

What do I tell the anti-abortionists in order to try to convince them to change their vote? Virtually everything that I said above, pointing out the cost and time involved in going through the courts and instead how much money and time could be saved if the voters defeated the law and forced the legislature to draft new legislation that would include a few other exceptions in order to make it more palatable to the voting public.

What I wouldn't tell them though is that such a rejection of the first law would be a major victory for the pro-abortionist side and embolden them just as much as Roe vs Wade did and reduce the likelihood of another piece of legislation having any possibility of success for quite a few years.

As you've seen, both cases I describe the first half of events that greatly benefit their side... but leave out the other half that would bring ruination to it in the end.

Sadly as yet I haven't had much success in swaying anyone, but luckily no one has surmised (or stated) anything like the second half's I do not mention.

Oh well, it's still fun trying!

Of course... most of those I have had this conversation with derive their beliefs from something less tangible, because its woman's body, because God thinks it is wrong, because it could be rape, because it's killing babies. Pick your argument; neither side seems willing to spend the time to try to sway their audience (or me) with a good and rational discussion and attempt to sway their target(s) with reason instead of emotion or faith.

Monday, October 16, 2006

MCTS: Microsoft Certified... Transsexual?

Yes... it's another line I've been waiting to say for a short while now.

I am pleased to announce that this morning I passed exam 70-526 which now makes me a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist for Windows Applications.

I think that these new breed of tests are a bit more evil than the old C# ones. Why? These bad boys are awful vague and at times sound like they were written by Tom Halverson (a professor I had back at DSU who was often criticized by his students for being extremely vague).

Next stop... an MCPD after one more test which I’ll do just as soon as I feel like taking another much hated design test.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Deceits in the Referred Law 6 debate: Part 2

After a bit of delay, at last part two in my 'epic' blog series on the different sides involved in the South Dakota abortion ban debate and just full of crap they all are. (See part one here)

This week... the anti-abortionists.

While the pro-abortionists point out the need for exceptions for victims of rape and incest, the anti-abortionists are quick to point out the laws specifically allows the use of emergency contraceptives such as the morning after pill in order to prevent pregnancy not long after unprotected sex as the answer, or at least the only one that they would accept.

There are a few issues with this argument however, three big things in fact.

First... Effectiveness.

Like all contraceptives (short of a hysterectomy, castration or abstinence), the morning after pill is not perfect nor does it prevent pregnancy 100% of the time when taken as directed.

The unfortunate fact is that the anti-abortionists have been selling the morning after pill as a fix all solution... it is not. While the rate of pregnancy from rape is thankfully very low, there exists the chance of a woman who took the morning after pill after a rape could still end up pregnant.

While statistically this is very unlikely, it is still very possible and a fact that the anti-abortionists do not quite own up to.

Second... Reporting.

The sad fact is that not all victims of rape report the incident which to an extent is understandable as it can be one of the most traumatizing incidents in a person's life and when dealing with the immediate aftereffects of one, seeking immediate medical or legal help may not always be on the top of ones to do list.

One point that must be made in this issue is that while not all women report a rape immediately (if ever), despite the emotional or physical trauma suffered, they must. The sad fact is that victimizers such as rapists virtually never strike once and by not reporting the incident, the woman is in effect aiding and abetting the rapist by enabling him to strike another innocent woman.

Before I get any hate mail on the subject I need to make clear... I am not blaming the victim. I am saying that despite the trauma she must act in order to help cause the perpetrator to be severely punished in the hopes that no one else has to suffer as she has.

Third... Availability.

Have you ever tried to get the morning after pill? I haven't, but in some basic inquiries around different pharmacies in Sioux Falls and Madison, SD I've found that it is quite difficult to find except for the obvious place... the Planned Parenthood office in Sioux Falls, SD.

Now ideally, every doctor's office, hospital, police station and sheriff's office would have a few on hand just in case, hell, if I were the parent of any kids who could potentially be sexually active... I'd have a whole box.

Sadly though, this isn't the case.

Despite the fact that they can legally be used, the ability to use them is severely limited and while a woman in Sioux Falls would have little problem getting them... someone further away would.

Perhaps if the anti-abortionist side wants to put so much faith into the morning after pill... they should help facilitate its wide spread availability and give the anti-abortionist side one less thing to gripe about. This however is not likely given that South Dakota law permits a pharmacist to refuse the dispense of medication if they believe amongst other things that the medication may destroy an unborn child which the state defines as (see 50A): "individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth."

From fertilization you say?

The drafters of the law say that they recognize that "life begins at the time of conception" (section 1), and their permitting of emergency contraceptives at all creates a contradiction as there is a several day window between when conception may occur and when an emergency contraceptive becomes illegal or ineffective.

Of course... this isn't that big of a surprise given that without a microscope mounted in the abdomen of a woman; there is no way to reliably determine exactly if and when the egg and sperm meet and fertilization occurs... today at least.

I am forced to wonder if the drafters of this legislation pondered future advances in technology to a time when a pregnancy could 'be determined through conventional medical testing' (section 3) just as soon as fertilization occurs... thus outlawing any kind of after the fact pregnancy prevention/termination that would result in embryonic death.

I suppose... we'll find out in a decade or three if and when such medical technology is available... if this law were to go into effect (which it won't (but more on that in a future post)).

One important aspect of the morning after pill needs to be considered... how it works, which is simple, it functions just like the birth control pill in three important ways.

#1 - It (can) prevent(s) the release of an egg and making fertilization impossible.

#2 - Increases the viscosity of the cervical mucus which causes the sperm to have a more difficult time in reaching their target thus making fertilization less likely should #1 fail.

#3 - Makes it harder for a fertilized embryo to attach to the uterine wall due to weakening of the endometrium and resulting in embryonic death should implantation fail.

While those first two aren't so bad... doesn't the third one pretty much fly in the face of the 'all life is sacred' argument where a bit of life is caused to die through what... starvation?

Of course for this and other reasons some on the ant-abortionist side are against most forms of non-behavioral birth control, but more often there is more opposition to an emergency contraceptive than there is to a before the fact birth control method like 'the pill', despite the fact that they function identically.

That's it for now on the lies and deceits from the anti-abortionists.

Next up will be some added thoughts on a few questions about life under such a law or similar one with an exception or two more.

Before closing though I will point out that I did not discuss the nutcases out west-river who have seen fit to protest while showing graphic pictures of aborted Foos as such actions and images pretty much speak for themselves and are not worthy of discussion or links to.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Have you seen this man?



... I sure as hell haven't.

I dunno about you, but I absolutely love election season. I love the ads from people you'll never hear from again. Lawn signs of no one you've ever heard of for races you don't care about. The constant back and forth bickering from all sides as they try to show that they are the sane and rational one in the race while their opponent wants nothing but to raise your taxes, invade Canada and sell your children into slavery.

It's all so much fun :)

This season I have been a bit disappointed up until 2 days ago... as I saw absolutely nothing going on in the race for our one at large congressional seat.

On one side we've got incumbent Stephanie Herseth (D) who as far as I can tell has released only one campaign video in this race and I first saw it... this week.

On the other we have Bruce Whalen (R)... a man who I heard some indications about winning the Republican Midterm back in June... but nothing else since.

Granted this state has a history of electing Democrats to the House of Representatives (we love all the free money they can help us get) and because the Democrat who is running isn't doing so against a semi-popular ex-governor... she's practically a shoe in... more so when her main opponent seemingly says and does nothing to get his name out there and even try to get elected.

Believe it or not... I'm kind of ticked off with all of this.

I'm ticked off that Whalen has not put himself in front of more voters the way most candidates have this late in the game do.

I'm ticked off at Herseth for waiting so long to hit the airwaves with her campaign ads

And I'm ticked off that we haven't had any good attack ads as we did back when Larry Diedrich went up against Herseth in 2004 where the back and forth of the ads went something like this:

Herseth ad: "I want to fight for you and lower your taxes."

Diedrich ad: "Stephanie Herseth claims that she wants to lower taxes, but really she has secret plans to tax you, your dog and every penny in your piggy bank and eliminate Social Security for the elderly."

Herseth ad: "Unlike what you may have heard, I promise you that as your Congresswoman I will fight to keep Social Security for generations to come and without lowering benefits."

Diedrich ad: "Rather than discuss the issues Stephanie Herseth resorts to attack ads in order to get her point across."

... and so on.

Oh well... at least I have the abortion battle to keep me entertained.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The most important line of code I've ever written

Console.WriteLine(new DateTime(2007, 6, 22).Subtract(DateTime.Now.Date).TotalDays);

254 days.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

0xFF

255 days...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dutch Prejudice?

This last week while at the doctor I commented about her hyphenated name, where the second half was two words and the first letter of the first was a V.

Sounds Dutch.

So I asked:

Me: "Say, the V*** ***** of your last name... if I may ask, is that yours or your husbands?"
Her: "Oh it's not mine, it's his."
Me: "Dutch?"
Her: "Yes"
Me: "Northwest-Iowan Dutch?"
Her: "Yes... but on the outside of it."

While I was simply curious if she came from the same general area as a good number of my co-workers came from, in her last line she tried to distance him from the core group there.

Who? CRCs. Aka Christian Reformed Church, an offshoot of Calvinism.

She went onto mention that after she got re-married a couple of years ago that she started having new patients cancel on her with no warning or explanation, something she had never had happen in all of her years of practice.

What changed? Her name, and likely those cancelations didn't know if she was CRC or not.

Why would people dislike such a group so? I'd wager that it is the general arrogance of their belief in unconditional election aka predestination. Of course I think a little more broadly about it and guess that it has to do with their faith effectively ruling out free will... of course good luck getting a CRC to admit that.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Previously on LOST...

We were... lost.

Now that season 3 has started it is safe to say (more than ever) OMG WTF?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Deceits in the Referred Law 6 debate: Part 1

While engaging in my little rant the other night and the continued war of words over the abortion ban, which I see as just a prelude to far larger in South Dakota that I suspect is only now starting, a few things have come to me about the entire debate, things that I will address in the next few blog posts.

The first item on this list is dishonesty of the Campaign for Healthy Families in their tv advertising (#1) (#2).

Their TV commercial includes the line:

But should a woman who is the victim of rape or incest be left with no option? What about the mother whose health would be seriously threatened?

The first part of this quote is an unfortunate and outright lie or a piece of willful ignorance given that the law (section 3) specifically says:

Section 3. That chapter 22-17 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

Nothing in section 2 of this Act may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure is sold, used, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

The woman's health issue is also an interesting one as they conveniently ignore the key exception to the law of allowing an abortion when to save the life of the mother. Sure, there is a bit of a difference between the general health of the mother and the life of the mother... but let's not forget that pregnancy even under the best circumstances is not exactly and easy or safe thing for a mother and is fraught with risks throughout. Most health issues a woman may have during her pregnancy can be life threatening, thus creating a rather convenient little way of using the 'to save the life of the mother' portion of the law.

Granted though... I am not very knowledgeable in many things gynecological.

Another facet of the 'rape or incest' argument is that of incest which falls into two distinct categories, consensual or non-consensual. Rape or not. If it is rape, then say so, don't try to hide it under the banner of incest and try to invent another talking point. If it is not rape but instead consensual... why are you so concerned about the woman getting an abortion when you should be joining others in giving a severe beating to those two people involved!

I also find their use of the word 'mother' rather disturbing.

Before going on I need to point out that hence forth I will refer to what some people call the fetus, baby, parasite, life, collection of cells, bud, sprout, embryo, un-hatched vertebrate or any other term that refers to the growth of a potential offspring within the womb or uterus of a woman as a 'Foo' to avoid any semblance of bias when not explicitly referring to the views of one side or the other as for the life of me... I cannot think of a neutral term.

Why do I find the use of the word 'mother' disturbing?

The pro-abortion side tends to refer to the Foo as a 'fetus' while the anti-abortion side refers to it as a baby and the use of the term 'mother' seems to go against the traditional pro-abortion vocabulary.

A quick reference to Merriam-Webster Online tells me that a mother is:

1 a : one that begets or brings forth offspring b : a person who brings up and cares for another

And for further clarification, 'parent' is defined as:

1 a : one that begets or brings forth offspring b : a person who brings up and cares for another

So a 'mother' would seem to be someone who already has children or is going to have one within a reasonable amount of time (ie within 9 months or so). Call me crazy... but that sure sounds like they are wording it in such a way so as to imply that the Foo is much more than just a fetus... but if that is the case... what is the Foo? A potential person? A baby? A human being? What?

It's rather unfortunate in my mind that they used the word 'mother' in place of 'pregnant woman' as it leaves this word game open. Sure... 'mother' garners more sympathy than 'pregnant woman'... but by using the prior... they seem to take two different stances.

Of course it is an unfortunate bit of doublespeak as well... when it is convenient the Foo is nothing more but a collection of cells... but at other times, it is somewhere within the realm of what the ant-abortion side calls/thinks of the Foo as.

Finally, another major gripe of the 'No on 6' crowd is that the decision should be left to 'a woman, her doctor and her family'.

And yet... it is the pro-abortion side which fights for 'a woman's right to choose' ... with no mention of her family. This position has also been codified by the courts to where only the woman has a say in the termination or not of a pregnancy. Furthermore... the mention of the doctor is also an unfortunate bit as there is virtually no chances of a woman's doctor being the one who performs an abortion for her in this state... unless her doctor is one of those working at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

That's it for now with a few of my major gripes about the dishonesty from the pro-abortion side excluding the unfortunate pot luck advertizing which almost seems to be advocating cannibalism... or at least eating fetuses.



Before closing, I do want to share this image that I enjoyed when the law first passed, which sadly doesn't do their side much good as it assumes that should the law go into effect... illegal abortions will become rampant... a concept I will discuss in a later post.



Finally, I want to go on the record and say that I have no strong feelings either way and in fact haven't yet decided which way I will vote on this issue as I think both sides are fundamentally wrong (one of these years I'll get around to writing my views on it).

While this post was very anti-pro-abortion, my next post will be similar with regards to the advertising and claims of the pro-anti-abortion side.