Paul wrong to link 'fetal personhood' to routine flood bill
Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul recently held hostage a non-controversial flood-insurance bill by attaching a "Fetal Personhood Amendment," seeking to give legal personhood status to a fertilized human ovum.
Totally apart from the childish game of political extortion that is played by such controversial and unrelated amendments added to consensus bills is the ignorance of the expression "fetal personhood" in this instance.
When will supposedly educated people stop referring to a fertilized ovum as a fetus? It is a zygote, then an embryo. It is not a fetus until approximately the eighth week of pregnancy. Even conception, the implantation of the fertilized egg on the wall of the uterus, does not take place until approximately seven days after fertilization. So is this a case of a human person existing before its mother is even pregnant?
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To call a fertilized egg a human person is ludicrous biologically, legally, practically, socially, ethically, philosophically, religiously and rationally. Where do people like Paul get off placing the welfare of a cluster of undifferentiated cells with less sentience or consciousness than the common fruit fly over the welfare of actual socially embraced humans? Incredible.
Reality, as much as we can know it, not metaphysical speculation, should drive public policy discussions such as this.
Our laws can be infuriatingly inconsistent sometimes. For example, Texas, Florida and several other states have adopted laws requiring voters to submit photo identification. There is no evidence of significant voter fraud, but these states believe stricter preventive measures are needed anyway.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that state and federal governments cannot regulate political action committee contributions except where authorities can show direct evidence of election fraud. Only corrective measures are allowed in this case.
We know voters are people and political action committee contributors are mostly corporations. So, our laws allow preventive measures against people while prohibiting preventive measures against corporations in the conduct of our elections. Does this make sense?
Head Start a failure
The federal government's Head Start program initiated in 1965 has the ambitious mandate of improving educational and developmental outcomes for children from economically disadvantaged families. The Department of Health and Human Services examined the results of Head Start in a study published in January 2010.
For brevity I will quote two sentences: "These impacts on children's experiences translated into favorable impacts at the end of one year in the domains of children's cognitive development and health, as well as in parenting practices. Yet, by the end of 1st grade, there were few significant differences between the Head Start group as a whole and the control group as a whole for either cohort."
Head Start has not changed the educational outcomes of children, despite costing billions of dollars between 1965 and today. Rooted in good intentions, it has been a dismal failure. This report's statistics show in glaring detail that this is true.
It may have had a potential lasting positive impact in children with learning disabilities. If further research were to prove its worth for this small group, then continuing the program in an abbreviated form might be justified. Otherwise, the federal government should end Head Start; 47 years is plenty of time to evaluate and determine that it has failed.
U.N. and gun rights
Assertions in the letter accusing the National Rifle Association and Sen. Rand Paul of lying about the U.N. gun-control treaty are contradictory. The letter states that the treaty has provisions protecting individual countries' gun-ownership laws, but also that if gun manufacturers are "caught selling to a group who need the weapons to hurt innocent citizens, they could be fined."
One of this country's most important gun ownership laws, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act, protects American gun manufacturers, importers and sellers who obey our relevant laws from all liability and against any punishment when their products are criminally misused. The letter's author specifically states that the treaty will abrogate this law and nullify the rights it protects.
That's not trivial, it's critical to all of our Second Amendment rights. We can't "keep and bear arms" we can't buy, and we can't buy arms which are never manufactured; law-abiding manufacturers can't make guns if the U.N. bankrupts them by fining them for the actions of criminals.
So the question is obvious. Do we believe the treaty proponents' glowing generalities about how the treaty will protect our laws and rights, or their specifics of how it won't?
First, specifics are usually more credible than generalities. Second, they clearly want the treaty to override the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act, and believe it will — that's why they support it.
Cable bill ludicrous
I received my cable bill and noticed another increase, but the surprising thing stuffed in that envelope was that I can get more options which will cost me more. Common sense dictates if you increase the bill for just normal or basic services why would one want additional services which will cost more?
I emailed them asking this question but I'm not holding my breath waiting for an answer.
The gasoline tax went up July 1 to pay for road maintenance. Soon we won't need maintenance, since our roads will be pristine, as nobody will be driving. The price of fuel most likely goes up, not down.
The person who commented, "We won't notice a difference," needs to leave the "Kansas and Dorothy" land and enter the real world.
I will save your paper from reporting this news item which will occur the latter part of August or early September — "The Fayette County Board of Education met and will increase the property tax for Fayette County residents, who have bottomless pockets, by about 4 percent."