Friday, May 25, 2007

Citizen reporting...

I was on this bus this morning, and I'm fine. From what I can tell the other passenger's injuries were not life-threatening, though it was obviously kind of a scary scene.

I was sitting about 3/4 of the way toward the back of the bus, playing a hand-held game, not looking where we were going. In noticed us heading toward the shoulder, and I figured we were swerving to avoid something, but we never straightened up and kept plowing off the highway, through the fence, across the smaller road, through a row of trees and into the parking lot. According to the news stories, the driver apparently blacked out, so I'm not sure how we stopped -- if he came to and hit the breaks, or what.

Pathetic blogger-reporter that I am, in spite of having a camera-phone and laptop with me, the attached picture is the recording I have from the incident.

Reflections -- I have been without a car for the past 8 months, and this is the second somewhat serious accident I have been in while being driven by someone in a professional capacity, after never being in a serious accident in 14 years driving myself (or being driven by my parents or wife). My sense is relief -- I kind of feel like I've gotten in my share of accidents, and been OK, so I should be in the clear for a while. Of course, there's no rational basis for the notion that just because I've been in one accident I won't be in another, just like one coin flip being heads doesn't impact the next coin flip.

Another note is that I just barely made the bus, and was going to sit in one of the front seats that faces the middle, but then changed my mind and sat further in the back in one of the seats facing the front. If I were in the front, I'm quite sure I would be in much worse shape. As it was, when the bus started veering off, I grabbed the handle on the seat in front of me, and stayed in the seat.

Other media reports:

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's like Christmas; it must be bad!

On balance, I think the immigration bill seems like a reasonable compromise, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

One way not to do that, at least for this Christian who kind of likes Christmas, is to compare it to Christmas, and act as if that was self-evident proof of the imprudence of the measure.

I get the point -- these people broke the law; why should they get goodies? Fine.

But the goodness of Christmas is that grace is unearned. The comparison gives me pause.


I also have to say I am beyond tired of the GOP tactic of labelling legislation they don't like with an extreme pejorative term. The immigration compromise is an "amnesty" bill. I timeline to leave Iraq is a "surrender" bill. Etc. I don't know whom they think they're fooling with these labels, but I'm not one of them.

Successful walk...

The walk was very successful -- it was a warm, sunny day,and we had a good turn-out. Thanks for your support! If you'd still like to donate, you can follow the links below.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Great Strides 2007 -- Two more days!

Hello, friends,

It is again time for the Great Strides Walk to benefit research for Cystic Fibrosis, which effects my daughter Meagan.

Meagan is doing wonderfully. She just turned two, as she loves to tell people, and loves playing with her big sister Katherine, reading stories, and cuddling her "Care-uh Bears." It's my great hope that the research will continue to bear fruit, and enable Meagan and others like her to live long and normal lives.

I hope you'll consider supporting us again by either joining us on May 19 in Fenton park, or visting to make a donation. Donations are eligible for matching funds, if your employer has them.

Below is some more general information about Great Strides and CF.


John McG.

Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic disease that affects children and young adults. Advances continue to be made in finding a cure, but your help is needed now - more than ever - to help keep up the momentum of this life-saving research. Too many young lives depend on this vital research to let it go unfunded!

GREAT STRIDES is the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation's largest and most successful national fund-raising event. This year, I'm walking in the GREAT STRIDES event at the Festus Park site on May 19. Please help me meet my fund-raising goal of $1000 by sponsoring me. You'll feel confident in knowing that your generous gift is used efficiently and effectively: nearly 90 cents out of every dollar you contribute goes directly toward supporting research and specialized care that improves the quality of life for those with CF. And, it's tax-deductible.

Making a donation is easy and secure! Just click on the link below to make a donation to my fund-raising page where your donation will be credited to my team. Any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated!

Donating to GREAT STRIDES is such a simple and effective way for you to show your support for this important cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those with CF! Once again, thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Earth to Rich Lowry's e-mailer...

Rich Lowry posts an e-mail from an apparent Giuliani supporter.

My response -- maybe Giuliani's "strategy" will help win the nomination, but it won't help him win the election. Because we voters who are so fixated on abortion have been the GOP's most reliable voters, providing Bush's margin of victory in both elections. And to be honest, we have mixed feelings about it. We're not crazy about the war. We don't like torture. We may not even be convinced that lower taxes are the solution to every economic problem. But we abjhor the slaughter of 45 million unbron children that has taken place over the last 30 years, and have been willing to vote for anyone who gives the inclination that he might do something to stop it. Wihtout that, we have no reason to vote for you.

And if think you can get us to vote for you by calling your opponents soft on terrorism, think again.

This isn't a matter of tactics or strategy. This is right and wrong. The front-loaded primary schedule doesn't make killing the unborn all of a sudden right. It doesn't turn Roe vs. Wade into a sound decision.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stop that meme...

Giuliani is coming out explicitly in favor of abortion rights. So let there be no doubt -- a vote for Giuliani is a vote for a candidate who facors unrestricted abortion.

Hopefully, this will be enough to derail his campaign. In anticipation of that, a meme is developing that it's not Giuliani's position on abortion that is costing him, but the clumsy way in which he has handled the issue.

This meme must be stopped. The Republican Party is interested in this, because they want to portray themselves as the "Big Tent" that includes people like Schwarzanegger, and that pro-choice views should not stop someone from winning the GOP nomination.

The problem with Giuliani's position isn't that he's been incosistent, evasive, and squirrely about it. The problem is it's wrong. Simple as that.

That the GOP can't bring itself to say this clearly, and hide behind these technical excuses doesn't give me much confidence in their ability to advocate for the unborn.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Give up on Rudy...

Ok, fellow pro-lifers, it's time to stop kidding ourselves. Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice. He seems to have always been pro-choice, and he will always be pro-choice. On this issue, he is indistinguishable from John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary , Arnold Schwarzanegger, Claire McCaskill, and any other number of Catholic candidates who are unacceptable to us.

If he changes his mind, he will let us know. And he will do so in a blod way. We will not need to carefully parse his statements to see that they are not overtly hostile to the pro-life cause. We should not have to guess and parse.

Andrew Sullivan points to a quote that captues his attitude well.

In 2001, appearing at a NARAL/Pro-Choice America luncheon, he voiced the conservative case for abortion rights, arguing that it "might be more consistent with the philosophy of the Republican Party.

"Because the Republican Party stands for the idea that you have to restore more freedom of choice, more opportunity, more opportunity for people to make their own choices rather than the government dictating those choices," said Giuliani.

Pro-lifers are used to this type of attitude from pro-choice Catholic Democrats -- I'm a Democrat; Democrats are pro-choice; you can't expect me to go against my party, do you? Party loyalty and principles are rock hard; religious beliefs should be flexible and yield to them.

But in a way, Rudy's right. The Republican Party has always been a but of an uncomfortable home for the pro-life movement. It can be hard to reconcile support for torture, pre-emptive war, and capital punishment with arguments against abortion based on the fundamental dignity of human life.

Of course, I care much more about defending the unborn than I care about being a good conservative or good Republican, and I hope that others will too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Christianism Takeover

Andrew Sullivan spends a lot of time worrying about how the GOP is being taken over by "Christianists" who want to turn to government into a tool of fundamentalist Christianity.

That being the case, one would expect the front-runners for the GOP nomination for president to reflect Christian values. But as he notes that's not the case. Taking a spin through the candidates, we have:

  • Rudy Giuliani -- On his third marriage, recently repeated his support for government funding of abortion, supports same sex marriage.
  • Mitt Romney -- Elected governor of Massuchusetts as a pro-choice candidate (though he has since changed his mind), governor of first state to enact same sex marriage, member of a religion many Christians do not consider Christian.
  • John McCain -- Solid pro-life voting record, but never made social conservatism a theme of his, and gives the impression it would me among the least of his issues.

Unsatisfield with this group, we have...

  • Fred Thompson -- Chuckles over his woman-chasing past.

Meanwhile, candidates with personal stories and priorities more amenable to Chirstians, like Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee, have not been able to gain traction, and are essentially punch lines.

Yep, it sure looks like the GOP is being taken over by Christianists. Be very afraid. Maybe one day they will succeed in nominating a candidate who is not overltly hostile to their viewpoints.