Choosing to quote the Pope

Senator Ben Sasse
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse listening to Pope Francis during a joint session of Congress — as the Pope discusses the death penalty

Pope Francis spoke to a joint session of Congress today, and there is a great deal of cherry-picking about what the Pope talked about.

For instance, the anti-Death Penalty folks are touting his statement against the Death Penalty.

However, many seemed to miss his further suggestion for abolition of life sentences. The Pope said,

“…a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”

Last time I checked, there is no “goal of rehab” dimension included in the “alternatives to the death penalty” in Nebraska. It’s all pretty much, “SUPER life in prison”.

And many on the anti-Death Penalty side of course are not so hopped-up on the Pope declaring, “protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

For some reason the OWH’s Erin Grace didn’t send a finger-wagging Tweet to the Governor at THAT point of the speech.

It is always interesting when certain people demand that Catholic politicians follow the Pope…when he’s on their side.


And many point out that Pope Francis is his own person — as all Popes are — and isn’t necessarily going to follow the path of his predecessors.

For instance, Pope John Paul II went to his native Poland, stood up to the Soviet Union, and essentially started Poland’s Solidarity movement. He then worked with President Reagan to further the downfall of the Communist system.

And for those of you too young to know or remember, LOTS of (leftist) Americans believed that Pope John Paul II and President Reagan should have just let the Russians be Russians (they loved their children too, you know) and do things their own way. Why were Reagan and JPII always poking the Bear with a stick! It was just war-mongering!

Of course the Poles, and the Czechs and the Hungarians all knew better — and Pope John Paul II better than most.

Pope Francis on the other hand, decided to go to Havana, sit down with Fidel Castro and not meet with the dissidents who were dragged away while they protested Cuba’s authoritarian government.

Maybe he has a plan.


Oh, and Donald Trump couldn’t hold back trying to upstage the Pope in the middle his address:

I’m gonna be a Grampa! (again)”

Doesn’t he know that’s what Facebook is for?


Following up from earlier in the week…

Some interesting notes from the Scott Walker drop-out in a few different articles from Politico.

The first, ICYMI, noted that the Ricketts family — including Co-Chair Todd Ricketts — were among the last to know that Walker was ending his bid. Politico noted that they had a huge funder planned for Walker at Wrigley Field — one can imagine that this took a fair amount of planning — and it went down the drain as Walker dropped out.

And the next day, Walker’s campaign manager, Rick Wiley, moaned to Politico about how HARD a Presidential campaign is, and that HE did everything possible to win: i.e., it was Walker’s fault.

Of course all of the follow-up on this has been that the Walker camp expanded way too rapidly and wasn’t ready for a full-throttle national effort. Others, who Leavenworth St. has heard from, have less than admirable things to say about Wiley (those comments rhyme with “glass-bowl”) and aren’t surprised to see him trying to CYA from him.

The end analysis from Politico vis-a-vis Walker is essentially…he went through this in Wisconsin. Lost a race, cooled his jets for a few years, made political friends, then came back strong a few years later and won the Governor’s office.

So now his plan is…if the Presidency really doesn’t look likely, get out early with dignity, take the high road, earn as many political chits as possible, then come roaring back in 4, or maybe even 8 years.

That’s pretty long-haul, but it’s a plan.
And in theory, he’ll have 4 or 8 years to make his apologies to the Rickettes of the political world.


And for those of you listening to KFAB yesterday morning and wondering about the name, yes Gary Sadlemyer interviewed my wife about getting online tickets stolen.

Strangely, he didn’t refer to her as Mrs. Street Sweeper…


  1. Pete says:

    To me and plenty of others, the religious component to being pro-life is secondary. I am pro-life because abortion is barbaric. Most species die protecting their unborn, but liberals would die to defend the “right” to kill their own unborn. Abortion makes the death penalty look like a tropical vacation. Those sitting on death row did something abhorrent to get there, and when their execution is finally carried out, the courts have made sure that all they experience is a numbness and falling fast asleep. Compare that to what a pain capable fetus experiences and well… I wouldn’t even wish that on John Lotter.

  2. Bluejay says:

    Very, very disappointed in the Pope’s address to the joint meeting of Congress on many levels. And I make that comment with great reluctance.

    I thought it was really inexplicable when he said the world wasn’t black and white and more gray. The founder of the Jesuits was a black- white world guy. Ignatius would not understand that speech must less make it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but fetuses don’t feel pain until soon before birth. Why don’t you do some research before thinking everything you believe is factual? And we’ve had quite a few barbaric executions recently that were far from “a numbness”.

  4. repentinglawyer says:

    Bluejay, How many times have you made the Exercises, enough to lecture the Pope on Ignation Spirituality? The gray world requires discernment and charity, very Ignation.

  5. To anon at 1:06 says:

    You’re wrong. If they don’t feel pain, then why..during an ultrasound guided abortion, you can see the fetus pulling away from the abortion procedure…it obviously is causing some discomfort. They have proven they feel pain. Get over yourself.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The brain recognizes a stimulus, but not as pain. When pain is felt by a born human, certain areas of the brain “light up” different from the activity generated by a non-painful touch. This area is not activated when a fetus is given stimulus that should be perceived as pain. Unlike many on this site, I don’t just make s*** up or think that because I believe something, it must be true without looking for outside evidence. Google it

  7. To anon at 1:06 says:

    You said they would not feel it until right before birth…and I have read many places saying that around the thirs trimester they can feel pain. And some research shows sooner. Doesn’t matter, abortion is still barbaric.

  8. Sparkles says:

    The most current scientific consensus is that fetuses don’t feel pain until sometime between the 24th the 27th week of gestation.

    Of course, this means nothing to those compelled to surround the words “scientific”, and/or “expert”, (or “climate change”, or “evolution”) in quotation marks.

  9. Macdaddy says:

    The current scientific “consensus” says no such thing, Sparkles. When the definition of pain specifically excludes physiologic markers of pain and focuses exclusively on the cognitive component of pain, then animals don’t feel pain, full term babies don’t feel pain, and people in persistent vegetative states don’t feel pain. That’s called cheating when you start with a definition that sets up the conclusion you want. But then I wouldn’t expect you to catch the charlatan’s sleight of hand.

  10. Macdaddy says:

    Oh, and BTW, does that mean, Sparkles, that you will support the abolition of abortion past the 24th week since you admit those fetuses can feel pain? Every year in America, 11,000 fetuses are aborted past the 24th week. I’m pretty sure that is way, way, way more than the number of innocent men on death row in America. Eleven thousand that try to scream as they are being ripped apart. No anesthetic given. Just grab a leg and rip. Is that how Saddam’s victims felt when he fed them into a wood chipper feet first?

  11. Sparkles says:

    In the the most extensive scientific literature review on fetal pain to date, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes that fetal pain is not present until the third trimester.
    In the most well-regarded, peer-reviewed, double-blind periodicals in the United States and in the United Kingdom, there is indeed, clear consensus.


    And again, we’re all quite aware that actual science and the learned opinion of the most highly qualified experts on the planet, simply doesn’t matter to the vast majority among the religious right.
    And we can be certain when election time nears, when it’s time to get out the vote and ramp up the grifting of their sincere, thoughtful pro-life base, the GOP will dutifully assemble for congressional testimony their sundry kooks and one-off scientists in order to herald to the base the revelations of their junk science panel.
    Just as they did for decades with the tobacco trials.
    Just as they’ve done for decades with global climate change, with “clean coal” and an array of highly lucrative, industrial complex funded right wing causes.

  12. Mark Andrews says:

    Sparkles, I’ll bite by outing myself as a premie. Assuming 40 weeks for “average” human gestation (a pregnancy can run from 37 weeks to 42 weeks and still be normal), I was born 11 weeks early, in the very early 60’s. So let’s say 40 – 11 = 29 weeks. I weighed 2 lbs 11 ozs. My weight dropped to 2 lbs 6 ozs my first week on this Earth. I spent 4 months in an incubator.

    It is small comfort that other human babies – let us be completely clear about just who & what we are talking about here – have been aborted at 29 weeks and later. Viability has been constantly pushed back these last 50 years, to the extent that Pam Belluck wrote in The New York Times on May 6, 2015, that (this is her article’s title) “Premature babies may survive at 22 weeks if treated, study finds.”

    I like this quote from the 2nd line of the 2nd paragraph: “Leading medical groups had already been discussing whether to lower the consensus on the age of viability, now cited by most medical experts as 24 weeks.” So you are right, Sparkles, about the current concensus, but that concensus, like all scientific knowledge, is subject to revision by those same experts as they learn new things.

    The trajectory here is “If viable at 22 weeks then anything earlier might be a permissible point to terminate a pregnancy.” But if practical viability occurs at 21 weeks, why not 20, or 19, or 18? I don’t know how much further back you can go, and I am not sure how much further we WANT to go. As a live-long science fiction fan, I don’t care for artificial wombs or being decanted, but I digress.

    I ask you, what is it that the conceptus, the zygote, the fetus, the baby, the death row prisoner, the dying elderly, those with Down Syndrome and Autism, and the developmentally disabled have in common? They are human beings, worthy of the most generous respect and care. Your easy dismissal of Unborn human life in the name of “choice” makes my value & yours subject to “choice” as well. The Constitution must be at the service of human life according to the most generous and inclusive definition, not the most narrow & miserly definition. Otherwise human life & human beings have no more value than transient whims of individuals, the madding crowd or the State. You and I both know in our hearts that is untenable.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The study I referred to concerning fetal pain put the ability to actually sense something as pain in the mid-30’s week. The big question is what one considers human life. Is it just a bunch of cells or something greater than that? My bet is on the latter, though I can’t prove it, but you can’t prove your beliefs either. Jewish tradition believes a fetus is a human being “under-construction” with the soul not attached until birth. If you follow that belief, than abortion shouldn’t ever be a problem, at any stage. Roe v Wade is a compromise, but for many on this site that’s a dirty word and think that their beliefs (i.e. sperm + egg = complete human) should be legislated onto everyone.

  14. Sparkles says:


    Everything objective that you’ve stated is, in my humble opinion, correct.
    I don’t believe we have a disagreement on that which is objective.

    The possibility that science may one day permit a definition of viability at 22 weeks or even less, is also correct.
    I’ve never argued otherwise.
    As Mr. Stevens had earlier pointed out in William F. Buckley’s definition of a liberal: “truths are transitory and empirically determined”.

    History is replete with transitory truths.

    I respect the opinion of those on the pro-life side. I respect their right to protest.
    Everyone is, by every measure, entitled to their own opinion and their right to free speech.
    But, everyone is not entitled to their own special set of facts, their own special set of judicial rulings, nor their own unique interpretation of the parameters of the constitution.

  15. bynd says:

    The inconsistency of the liberal thought process leads one to believe, they have no abilities for rational thought. As Anonymous states, he has no idea when cells become a human. In fact there is scientific debate on when that time is. Or Sparkles, answer me this. How many cells does it take to make a human? That is a marker that is incontrovertible as opposed to pain and all the other BS that means nothing.

    Yet, Sparkles will swear up and down that science has the ability to determine when cells do become human so that they can be eliminated up until that time. What makes these human scientist infallible? Do you want men to make such judgements of you? How many decisions are you willing to leave up to men, regardless of station, that decide life and death on earth? Who decides their are too many humans on the earth and some must eliminated to sustain this earth and the race of humans?

    Yet, they also posit, that man does not have the intelligence to use the death penalty. Because men and women, have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death only to spend decades on death row before being exonerated. The simple fact you miss, the reason they have been exonerated, even after decades, is that the system has progressed to the point where such determinations are far advanced from even a few years ago. You call it barbaric that man, actually SCOTUS, has decided that man has the knowledge to perform such actions within the scope of not being cruel and unusual nor barbaric. But liberals disagree and heaven knows, as men, only they believe that they are not infallible.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if liberals could apply the same, actually any, rational, objective scholarship to all their positions. And you think the religious right is nuts and inconsistent. That would make you the pot, and them are the kettle.

    So I will accept your proposition that you clearly make through actions that man has the knowledge you attribute to him if you can answer to simple question.

    1) What is the consensus and rational answer for where all the stuff from the universe came from prior to the big bang.

    2) Can you present a graphic illustration that a 2/3 majority of paleoanthropologist agree shows the definitive links of evolution from the monkeys to man?

    To put your fate into the hands of man makes you the biggest fool of all.

    For these are the foundations of liberal thought. But if your foundation is not solid, neither is the rest of your thoughts.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Just amazed how many people think they are now experts because they can use Google. There’s a reason experts spend years to get a PhD. Let’s continue this trend of denigrating knowledgeable people. The end point will be something akin to the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia where learned people were either killed or sent to the countryside.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Since we are on the subject of the Pope and moral behavior….has anyone noticed how Chip Maxwell milks one of his old radio stations for free air coverage to get his name out there by using his Catholic religion? I thought he was running for Congress. Nice mooch.

  18. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 5:17, would that be experts like Dr. Mengele? He was a real doctor and quite the expert in a number of fields. How about Dr. Singer, a world renowned bioethicist at Princeton. He’s an expert. He thinks you should be able to euthanize a one month old baby if you want. Experts can be very, very useful but they aren’t infallible and they are prone to the exact same emotions and messed up thinking that the Khmer Rouge had. The Nazis and many eugenists were experts who thought they could better their fellow man. Those sentiments have not disappeared. It’s fine to listen to experts, but you need to be extra careful when they start grabbing for your money or your life.

  19. Macdaddy says:

    Sparkles, I admire your naïveté when it comes to scientific journals and their forays into politics. It’s quite endearing. A half dozen scientists does not make a consensus, especially when only one side is heard, and the pro-abortion side gets to choose the definition, studies cited, and conclusions. You might think this was 100 of the brightest scientists in the field at a 10 day conference having heated and thorough discussions with each other but eventually coming to a unanimous decision and everybody sings Kumbyah in a drum circle.

    This is the reality: Editor A sees the Republican efforts to ban abortions based on fetal pain. The echo chamber of the other editors says: We can’t allow this. Who do we know who will write an article refuting this? Three or four names are said and those scientists are approached for the specific political task of refuting the Republicans. One of the authors accepts and dutifully produces the review article to fit the predetermined outcome. The article is sent to 3 reviewers, all of whom are known to be pro-abortion and anti-Republican and voila, saps like you think there’s a consensus. And 11,000 24-40 week fetuses get ripped apart in the womb without benefit of pain medicine. Thirty of them just today.

  20. Anonymous says:

    MD, anyone can find gross exceptions to the majority opinion, but that doesn’t prove (or disprove) a thing. I’m not “picking and choosing” the experts I want to believe in (unlike many on the right). I try to look for the consensus.

  21. Anonymous says:

    MD, your 6:06 argument completely ignores the part about research. Do you think scientists just “make up” stuff for a paper? Get a grip.

  22. repentinglawyer says:

    Macdaddy, Peter Singer is a philosopher not a scientist. His views are hardly standard even among bioethicists. I thought Mengele was a dentist, and no one has ever suggested he represented a medical consensus. Your approach allows you to pick the experts who agree with you. Fine for you but no reason to impose your pick on others. Besides the debate about 20 week cut off is not about the cut off per se but about exceptions. I am not clear what the argument is that makes fetal pain decisive on this issue., tgive neurodevelopment 20 weeks might be a very supportable cut off even without pain, but exceptions still remain an issue.

  23. Macdaddy says:

    You people really are gullible. People don’t have to make up research for a review article but they can pick and choose what they put in there. In addition, they can easily misrepresent what those papers say. The only way to know is to go to the original articles. Most people don’t. Remember, people are people. A degree doesn’t change that fact.

  24. TexasAnnie says:

    Thank-you Mark Andrews for noting that the developmentally disabled are human, too. And thank-you for noting that the Constitution must be interpreted to include the developmentally disabled (which as you know has not been the case in Nebraska). I have not seen any advocacy for the developmentally disabled here at Leavenworth St. before!

    But Mark, human life is not sacred. Sorry to disappoint you. The eminent philosopher, Peter Singer, can help you sort out your misguided belief. Yet even without sanctity, human life IS. And as such “it” (the condition of human life) suggests real value. Hence we go about organizing societies and creating cultures as though we ‘belong to’ or are ‘defined by’ the conditions of our existence, our essence. Yet the fact of existence always precludes any essence derived thereof, and this society that we inhabit is decidedly NOT SACRED! The Pope said we should protect and defend human life at every stage of it’s development. That’s a nice sentiment. But it would take a total reorganization of society, and a redistribution of all wealth to accomplish such a goal. And I don’t think that’s what you have in mind!

  25. Sparkles says:

    Boehner finally surrenders to the abject lunacy that is the House Freedom Caucus.
    A group of miscreants and nutters that are going to shut down the government in a few days.

    I’m grateful, and surprised, that Ben Sasse sided with the Senate Democrats yesterday, rejecting an effort to strip funding from Planned Parenthood.

  26. Ricky says:

    Fact is Mr Ricketts does not care one way or the other about the death penalty. What drives this (doom to fail) drive to bring the death penalty back to Nebraska is Mr Ricketts ego being bruised by the gall of the Nebraska legislature to over-ride him.
    Ricketts and his family could not abide some body like Ernie Chambers, a black man from North Omaha, getting the best of the kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
    The state suffers, wasting money and time, because of the ego of the Republican Ricketts.
    See what happens when you elect Republicans to high office?

  27. Mark Andrews says:

    Two answers to two different posts.

    Ricky, one can hardly complain about the “ego of Republican Rickets” without also complaining about the ego of Ernie Chambers, an ego so very large that the Universe itself can hardly contain it. Perhaps that’s the “dark energy” (on pun intended) causing spacetime itself to stretch?

    TA, without recounting the entirety of the philosophical “turn to the subject,” of which Existentialism is but one form, I have to slice the Gordian Knot of Thomism & Neo-Thomism (on side), where essence precedes existence, and the many modernisms where existence precedes essence with a question: regardless of what precedes what, essence or existence, what is essence’s JOB? What is existence’s (sic) JOB? These fundamental questions come from Zen practice, and this is certainly no realization on my part. I’m quoting some teachers far deeper than I’ll ever be. This points to a question which all religions, non-religions, and philosophies attempt to ask & answer.

    A wise, Zen teacher once said “Enlightenment is great, but it is also a completely worthless distraction. If Enlightenment is only for me it is not enlightenment AT ALL. The beginning of true realization is saving all beings FIRST. The fundamental question is simply “What is Enlightenment’s JOB?” You already know the answer. What do you do if someone is thirsty? You give them a drink. If hungry you give them food, if naked you clothe them. Simple. If unable to feed, clothe or shelter themselves, you teach them to do these things.

    As a Christian I believe Christ is known through the so-called “Works of Mercy,” which is the practice-realization of Baptism. For those who are not part of any organized religion, you could call this the personal, individual, practice-realization of our common humanity, aimed at doing the most good for the greatest number. For me this is the foundation of political economy. Because it is fundamentally personal, it never can be imposed from without or avoided by delegation or my own inaction.

  28. Macdaddy says:

    Hallelujah! Now all the animals and trees in the National Parks can have a rest just so Planned Parenthood can get taxpayer money to keep ripping apart 28 week fetuses, who, we are told by the experts via Sparkles, feel pain.

  29. bynd says:

    To Anonymous:

    I see you give a typical deflecting answer when you couldn’t answer with a real answer. Actually, I come from an age prior to computers, so surprise, surprise, I like to read and not just the internet. Google is a good thing but nothing in my post comes from Google. You should try reading other than the internet someday. But if Google is such a good thing, then you should be able to answer those questions very easily. You did not. The reason is, there is no answer that a liberal could give to such questions without gagging, lest they get exposed for what they really are, people of faith in opposition to science. And it doesn’t take a computer to come up with those questions. Just a little thought and common sense. Yet in my all years, no liberal has ever answered those questions.

    A Liberal’s world view is weak or non rational because the foundations of their world view are weak and not rational. They are a perfect example of what they claim the “radical” right is. The worse part is, the majority of them do not even know what the foundations of their belief system are. I see you also don’t know. Isn’t that embarrassing?

    Ricky, your penis envy of Rickett’s and his dad is getting old. Remember, I’ve more than once stated that the best way to insure the success of anything is for you to be against it. You said they wouldn’t get the 10,000 sigs. you said they wouldn’t get the 120 thousand sigs. You said they are out of touch with Nebraskans. But yet, the proven facts are, that is true of only you. Keep spouting off and help the petition drive survive all challenges. By the way, a simple concept a socialist like you just can’t comprehend, it isn’t about the death penalty, it is about the citizens right to vote. And that is why you just don’t get it or understand what Nebraskans really want. Because you are nothing like the majority of Nebraskans.

  30. Anonymous says:

    A Liberal’s world view is weak or non rational because the foundations of their world view are weak and not rational. They are a perfect example of what they claim the “radical” right is. The worse part is, the majority of them do not even know what the foundations of their belief system are. I see you also don’t know. Isn’t that embarrassing?

    Any more crass, unsubstantiated generalizations you’d like to post, bynd? You’ve confused (your) crazed opinions with actual facts.

  31. repentinglawyer says:

    Bynd, Modern Liberalism is not a metaphysics or world view, it is a political philosophy. It arises out of the inability to resolve disagreements among world view, and argues that participation in politics should not depend on the adoption of a world view. It does require the acceptance of the moral equality of others and the respect for their ability to manage their own lives so long as they do no harm. It requires individual rights and in the welfare type the endowments necessary to exercise those rights. With regard to religion, it requires that religious views are not to be a show stopper in deliberations that imposes religious views on nonbelievers.
    Since you remember history, you may recall when the Catholic view birth control was imposed on non Catholic citizens in a number of New England States That is the type of religious imposition of which Political Liberalism will not allow.

  32. Macdaddy says:

    Repentinglawyer, nice view of what you would like modern liberalism to be. Any relationship to what modern liberalism actually is remains slightly problematic.

  33. bynd says:

    Well folks, I had a great rant printed and ready to go. But you wouldn’t want to read it and it would not make a difference any way.

    Anonymous, if you can’t answer the questions just say so. Quit being a self righteous ass.

    repentinglawyer, I don’t know you that well but I assume your answer is sarcasm. If not, all I can say is everyone has a world view. Couch it in any terms you like, it is a world view. And most, like your answer, like to believe that their answer put forth for the world represents altruistic concepts that make one look like Gandhi. Problem is, words and realty are never the same.

  34. repentinglawyer says:

    Bynd, No sarcasm, Rawls and Ronald Dworkin mostly with a touch of Martha Nussbaum. Of course we all have world views but the point of the liberal tradition is to try to keep the religious and philosophical commitments in politics thin, a thin theory of the good My own world view is probably close to traditional Catholic or with Modernist leanings High Church Anglican. Liberalism arouse out of a reaction to the Wars of Religion following on the Reformation. The move toward tolerance begun by the Treaty of Westphalia.
    Macdaddy, I agree that what I stated is a philosophical position and real life and real people do not fit into it neatly. On the other hand I do not know what Burke would make of describing NeoLiberal Economics as Conservative.

  35. Anonymous says:

    bynd, as best I can figure, you think that as a liberal, I can’t believe in God. Nothing could be further from the truth. But unlike you, I don’t try to define God so narrowly. I never stated that man has all the answers (assume your #1 question is supposed to trip me up on that; science doesn’t even attempt to answer that question, and leaves it in the metaphysical realm).

    Your #2 question, using my best decrypting ability, appear to denigrate the theory of evolution. I will side with the experts on that topic believing that you have no expertise in that field even if you’ve read a few books.

    Frankly I don’t care what you and you ilk believe. Just don’t try passing laws that codify your beliefs into the legal system.

  36. bynd says:

    Anonymous: I see by my arguments you assume that I believe differently than you. Not necessarily so. Some just like to call out what is seen as BS and hypocrisy.

    My first question has a real world application to it. If one denigrates another for believing in a being that has no beginning or end and then claims the universe is something that just keeps repeating itself over and over, there is no difference between the two. If they don’t believe that but believe it came from somewhere, the questions are where and what is the proof? Is their assertion any more valid than a supreme being who created the universe? Absolutely not, but liberals call religious folks all sorts of names such as nuts etc and ridicule their beliefs. Yet the liberal thinks the same way and does the same thing and is either to stupid to realize it or, more likely, to big a jerk to admit the ass they are. (yes I know I can be an ass!) And they say they value diversity. And on and on.

    Their foundation crumbles, their world view crumbles. And although I believe in micro evolution, there are no undisputed facts that prove macro evolution. So the liberal takes a theory, makes it a fact and says since it is scientific it is the truth and nothing else can be taught. All of which is pretty much BS. And once again, their world view is built on sand.

    I can throw in the flagellar motor and many other things also. Point is, science does not have a valid answer to these and many other questions. So what makes them so right when they don’t have facts to back it up? They’re experts? They have no Agenda? What they are is fallible humans with their bias’. And many follow them based on their titles without a thought to checking it out. Which by the way, the Bible tells it’s readers to do.

    So you know what, I don’t care what you believe, just don’t try passing laws that codify your beliefs into the legal system. And here is the final points, ALL laws are based on some ones belief system. And the current ones in power decide whose they will support and whose they will not. Slavery, segregation, emancipation of the female, abortion and prohibition, not to mention the drugs deemed illegal today. Who decides? Those in power.

    It is the law of nature, might makes right, only the strong survive. In all their manifestations, they are the unchangeable law of man and the land. That is the secularist’s and liberal’s morality whether they admit or not.

    It sure is fun to hold the mirror up to their face though:)

  37. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Google Doctors On Fetal Pain, it has the documentation we presented in 2010 on LB 1103, the first in the nation Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. There is a reason why it has never been legally challenged and the Nebraska model has passed in at least ten other States. The Center for Repro Law and “Justice” won’t touch it because they are afraid we might have five votes to uphold it. Speaks volumes as to solidness of case on pain. The medical documentation is there as is the appeal to Justice Kennedy based in part on his comments in Carhart vs. Gonzalez.

  38. TexasAnnie says:

    Mark: The primacy of existence over essence is not sated by teleological posturing, yet I will attempt to answer your entreaty: What is essence’s job? Merely to describe existence! And what is existence’s job? Simply TO BE! Thus, Descartes got it wrong. Because first we ARE, and then we THINK!

    Now if we turn this axiom to thinking about Christianity, well, it is perfectly plausible that you think doing ‘works of mercy’ is the reason or purpose for your ‘being.’ I need only remind you, Mark, that even IF it was a God who put the idea of ‘works of mercy’ into your ‘being,’ you remain separate and distinguishable from God, and exist BEFORE (your idea of) God. For if it were the other way around, you could make no choice about doing ‘works of mercy,’ and thus you would have no ‘purpose.’

  39. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely not, but liberals call religious folks all sorts of names such as nuts etc and ridicule their beliefs.

    bynd, you seem to be incapable of not generalizing. Some liberals may do this. Definitely not the majority. I’m liberal and have a strong belief in God, though I agree with Gandhi’s statement: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    A 2011 Gallup poll found that 85% of liberals believe in God, so your views about liberals are contrary to the facts. (Everyone can do this, but I find it far more prevalent on the conservative side. Find a spurious trait or characteristic of someone or a few within a group and assume that the entire group shares the same.)

  40. Oracle says:

    Julie, the problem with being an ideologue is your end justifies any means, including lying. Google “Fetal Fact Check” for the complete story that debunks your doctorsonfetailpain site. For example,a Dr. Bjorn Merker is cited 12 times. However a researcher with the NY Times contacted him and the other cited doctors on the site. Merker stated: his research “did not deal with pain specifically” and has only “marginal bearing” on fetal capabilities. He says he wasn’t even “aware that I had been cited in connection with the abortion issue.”

  41. bynd says:

    Maybe I am making the same mistake of stereotyping and generalizing g based on a vocal minority nation wide that does not truly represent those they claim to. Nothing is more frustrating than when you say you believe in the bible and follow Christ, and the first thing you have to do is distance yourself from the loud mouths who call themselves Christians but do not walk the walk. I also believe the word christian is pretty much worthless. It is something liberals twist to their bigoted message and they really have no idea what a true Christian should be. Always love the answer when you ask a liberal who is mocking Christians to define what a Christian is. They have no idea.

    In any case, to show the extreme of where this country is going, a $500,000 dollar fine and put them out of business because some one will not bake some one else a wedding cake? And those complaining are sooooooooooooo traumatized. Who in their right mind would want some one to participate in any way in such a personal wonderful day who doesn’t want to? If you are that fragile, maybe you should live in a bubble. Instead, you ruin some one else’ life? Now that makes a lot sense, to an insane person. And who decides whose rights really matter? Those in power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no part of the political and judicial system that is not corrupt. How do we know? The Supreme courts job is to rule on laws based on the Constitution of the US. Even they admit they don’t do so. We do not have a justice system we have a legal system. It isn’t about right or wrong, it is about the process. So enough is enough.

    But maybe you should consider, you are not really a liberal. Independents are growing by leaps and bounds as they realize they are not just liberal, conservative or moderate. Indeed the largest growing segment are those who do not participate in the electoral process at all. That seems to be the most rational group there is.

    PS. Define the god that the 85% of liberals believe in. It is the same as 80% + of Americans call themselves Christian. Neither statistic is meaningful.

  42. Sparkles says:

    Ms. Schmit-Albin,
    As Oracle has effectively pointed out, you and those that share your cause have deliberately hijacked and misconstrued research in order to unscrupulously, and falsely, support your fetal pain position.
    In addition to Dr. Merker’s admonition of your tactics, is the angered public statement of Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand; “I’ve been asked to testify many, many times, and I’ve turned it down,” he explained recently, saying he never intended to “support” anti-abortion priorities. “I feel it’s just gotten completely out of hand.”

    And although many Red states have passed 20 week abortion bans based on an unsupportable claim of fetal pain, each and every one those bans remains unconstitutional.
    They’ve been unconstitutional since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, and they will remain unconstitutional unless one of two things happens: the U.S. Supreme Court either overturns its landmark decision or reverses 40 years’ worth of case law about the importance of fetal viability.

    Your only hope is you’ll somehow get your junk science in front of and embraced by a conservative SCOTUS.
    Thankfully, the ongoing implosion of the GOP is certain to insure the conservative bent of our current SCOTUS will soon be remedied.

  43. repentinglawyer says:

    Sparkles, Given Casey and Carhart II, the current Court might well accept the 20 week cut off. The issue is the exceptions, which Kennedy would accept if he treated 20 weeks like the very late ban in Carhart II. Citation to Roe without further discussion should not get as high as a C Not sure I like it, but suspect on this issue “right to life” may be the better prophet.
    Pain is a bogus issue anyway. If pain is your worry use analgesics. If personhood is your concern pain is a marker for brain development, and some born persons do not feel pain, while the brain and its transmitters are fully developed at 20 weeks. Why is 20 weeks not a good place to say person?

  44. Sparkles says:

    I’ll readily admit to having only the most tenuous grasp of case law in.. all matters.

    Why not 20 weeks you ask. I’m not sure I can answer the question to your satisfaction, but out of respect, I’ll at least gt=rant you the courtesy of a try.
    For one, as I understand the law, Roe vs. Wade has determined viability to be no less than 24 weeks.
    Many, including myself, find it highly reasonable to equate viability with person.
    Second, although advances in science, medicine and medical devices has made it possible to care for neonates at ever earlier stages of development a fetus has never survived out the womb, even with our greatest assistive efforts, at 20 weeks, or even 21 weeks.
    It’s possible evolution may one day change this fact, but it seems unlikely science will ever be able to manipulate or advance the phenomenally complex development of lung cells and neural synapses of a fetus within a mothers womb.
    With these basic facts at hand, I guess I would turn the question back to you, why 20 weeks?

  45. repentinglawyer says:

    Sparkles, I do not see viability as central since it is an accident of the state of medical method and equipment. In any event you are confusing the role of viability, which is no longer the law, never barred legislation to protect the fetus, and comes out of the closer review standard of Roe. Under the current standard which weakens review standard 20 weeks is highly reasonable since its focus is on the distinctly human. Legislature only need be rational, not right. I have already said I think the denial of abortion for reasons of mental health and serious but non life threatening condtions, but Kennedy is the Justice and I repent.i

  46. repentinglawyer says:

    Sparkels, I did not complete a sentence. I think the exceptions are too limited, but I agreed with the District Court in Carhart II. I do not see a role for a federal statute, and did not see it in Carhart II. Conservative respect for federalism goes out the window on this issue, and given the effort of SCOTUS to narrow commerce clause, majority in Carhart II seemed a little intellectually dishonest. I do not see the need for the statute which arises out of a distrust of women as decision makers and MDs which I do not share, but in NE the Unicameral has spoken. While I would not want to desecrate this web site by not slaming the Unicameral, they are the legislative branch.

  47. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    If the ban on abortion at 20 weeks based upon an unborn child’s medically documented ability to feel pain, is unconstitutional, don’t you think the Center for Reproductive Law and “Justice?” would have already challenged Nebraska’s ban? It was enacted in October 2010 and sent LeRoy Carhart to Maryland with his late term business. It resulted in a 14% decrease in abortions in Sarpy County in the first year after enactment. It birthed the passage of at least ten other bans following the Nebraska model. The only two pain bans that have been challenged have been a fluke. Arizona’s law was a morphed versionof Nebraska’s ban with other elements placed above the question of pain. Utah’s was challenged in a case that involved a woman obtaining RU-486 through the mail. In both cases, a challenge was not brought by the big legal guns for the abortion industry who have very smart attorneys. They’re not stupid, they aren’t going to risk going to the Supremes when they aren’t real sure about the possible outcome.

  48. Sparkles says:

    Your post is rife with inaccuracies:

    Number 1)
    “20 weeks based upon an unborn child’s medically documented ability to feel pain”
    Please share with us that medical documentation.

    Number 2)
    ” It resulted in a 14% decrease in abortions in Sarpy County in the first year after enactment..”
    Please share with the study showing your 20 week ban has any correlation with the nationwide decline in abortions.
    (In 2011, the same year after sparsely populated Nebraska enacted the nation’s sole 20 week abortion ban, the abortion rate nationwide reached it’s lowest level since 1973. The very same 14% decline you deceptively cite.)

    And to answer your question:
    if unconstitutional.. “don’t you think the Center for Reproductive Law and “Justice?” would have already challenged Nebraska’s ban?”

    I’m cautious to wade into matters of law, especially when it seems many in this forum are exceptionally well versed in the field.. but here’s my opinion.
    Informed law professionals understand the real world implications of conservative leaning, activists courts in red states. (and our current SCOTUS)
    Informed law professionals will not run the risk of allowing activists courts to establish ideologically tainted precedent(s).
    Just as occurred with recent SCOTUS rulings such as the Confederate Flag, Race and Redistricting, and Same Sex Marriage (to name a few), informed law professionals waited for the proper moment to bring forward their case.
    I would assume we’ll find the same to be true for your clearly unconstitutional 20 week ban.

  49. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    (1) Nine peer-reviewed medical studies on pain in recognized medical journals introduced into record during hearing on LB 1103 in 2010 as well as floor debate by bill sponsor, Sen. Mike Flood. Go find the transcripts.
    (2) Overall drop in the number of Nebraska abortions from the first six months of 2010 (1,288 abortions) to the first six months of 2011 (1,153 abortions) reflecting a 10% decrease. Sarpy County (Carhart) showed a 14% decrease in the number of abortions from January-June 2010 (768 abortions) compared to the same period of January-June 2011(662 abortions.) Source: October 2011, Nebraska Right to Life Newsletter
    I never said there was a comparable drop nationwide linked to the enactment of pain bans. I cited Sarpy County’s drop which stands to reason given it sent Carhart from Nebraska to Maryland to do late term abortions.
    If you think the best legal minds for the abortion industry are waiting to pounce on the pain ban eventually I would submit that usually happens sooner than later and we are up to 12 State bans now and movement in Congress on it which is not veto-proof under this President so it will get kicked down the road to hopefully a pro-life President.

  50. Sparkles says:


    Your peer reviewed medical studies have all proven to be b.s.
    Every doctor called in front of the NE legislature to testify on your behalf, every study cited and every paper published has been found scientifically and empirically suspect.
    In every instance the conjectural, unsubstantiated opinion of your experts has been proven lack veracity and be contradictory to the overwhelming consensus of nearly every other expert in the field.
    But you know this.
    All of your companions who lead this charge against a woman’s constitutionally protected right to choose also know this.
    Yours is a cause in which you imagine any means justify your end.

    You and your cohorts have knowingly embraced a model of special interest contrivance perfected in the tobacco trials. Specific to tobacco, a contrivance permitting Big Tobacco to continue to rake in immense profits for decade upon decade as they testified publicly and prominently that their products was safe and wholesome. A contrivance killing tens of millions in the name of profit while saddling our nation with trillions in debt as health insurers and the medical system struggled to cope with long term care of the cancer victims churned out around the globe.
    A model long employed, at the behest of Big Oil, in the parade of charlatans and faux scientist who have testified in front on Congress and on Fox “News” who attempt to provide cover for climate change denialism.
    A model of deception Right to Life gladly embraces, because the end justifies the means.

    And again, your 14% percent decline in abortions in Sarpy County coincided, exactly, with a 14 decline nationwide in abortions.
    You have zero proof your pain capable 20 week bit of kabuki theater, faux science and ideological extremism had anything to do with the decline in Sarpy county.

  51. Macdaddy says:

    Sparkles, do you at least agree that fetuses feel pain at 24 weeks? You claimed that in an earlier post. If they do, then can we agree that abortion should be banned at 24 weeks? At the very least, the woman should be placed under general anesthesia to make sure the fetus does not feel pain or do you even care? If you don’t care whether or not the fetus feels pain, please say so. You ducked my question earlier. Maybe you could step up and do something other than spread lies and mischaracterizations. Give us your opinion rather than spouting everyone else’s.

    BTW, the number of abortions decreased nationwide only 4% during the same period Julie cites, not 14%. Maybe you should get your facts straight before you regurgitate all over your keyboard.

  52. Sparkles says:

    Even the faith-based anti-abortion crusaders at Lincoln Crisis Pregnancy Center find Ms. Schmit-Albin’s 14% claim highly suspect.
    From the Sept 5, 2013 Daily Nebraskan:
    “It’s important to realize abortion after 20 weeks is extremely rare. In most situations, a very wanted pregnancy has gone terribly wrong,” Cloke said.

    Karissa Vieth, client educator with Lincoln Crisis Pregnancy Center, said it is unlikely that the 2010 law has had a very large impact on the number of abortions in the state. Most women decide whether to continue the pregnancy during the first trimester.”

    And MacDaddy, to your question re banning abortion after 24 weeks.
    Significantly fewer than 1% of all abortions occur at 24 weeks or later.
    In those exceptionally rare instances, I’ll leave that conversation and heart-wrenching decision up the mother in her private consultation with her doctor.

    Cause ya see, it’s none of my f*&^ing business.

  53. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Sparkles, there was a direct correlation between the decrease in Sarpy County abortions from 2010 to 2011 and LB 1103’s enactment. Carhart killed 106 less later term babies in the first half of 2011 than he did in the first half of 2010. He was quoted in the OWH saying it was the PCUCPA that sent him packing to Maryland to kill babies after 20 weeks. Now he continues to abort babies UP to 20 weeks in Bellevue when he returns every week from Germantown, MD. Perhaps Senator Tommy Garrett’s plan to introduce the Dismemberment Ban Abortion bill will have an impact in that regard. As for the medical studies, if they were so bogus then the highly paid abortion industry attorneys would be challenging the State bans left and right, most of which submitted those same studies into the record. You see, our record in Nebraska is solid and Mike Flood did an exemplary job in laying it down in committee and on the floor. Despite Danielle Conrad’s protests in floor debate that the law would be immediately challenged, nothing ever materialized.

  54. Macdaddy says:

    You can’t do it can you? There are 11,000 abortions of fetuses every year (that’s what 1% means) that by your standards can feel pain and you can’t even stand up and say, “This is wrong.” You hand-wring and moan about a theoretical prisoner sometime in the last 100 years perhaps might have been wrongly executed but 11,000 screaming fetuses aren’t your business. Typical gutless prog.

  55. bynd says:

    1% of abortions happen after 24 weeks. Sparkles will leave that decision to the mothers of those 10,050 babies and their medical support system.

    There are only 3002 people on death row in the US. Will you live the decision of what to do with them up to the family(s) of the person/people they violated even if it is execution?

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