Beyond the Cusp

May 22, 2013

The ‘A’ Responses to Pregnancy

If the question was put to a thousand Americans what word beginning with the letter ‘A’ they associate with unwanted pregnancy the vast majority, if not every single one, would most likely respond abortion. As a Western society with what has come to be considered a metropolitan attitude in which anything that causes life to become troublesome must have an easy resolution which frees the citizen from any responsibility for their actions. In the case of what is euphemistically called an unwanted pregnancy, the easy, no fuss, no muss answer is to get an abortion and presto, no more pregnancy. Abortion was presented as the simple and neat way to avoid one of the consequences of having unprotected sexual encounters which, of course, are nobody’s fault as such can occur to any woman at a moment’s notice.

 

Abortion came to the fore as the responsible way to resolve the situation of an unwanted pregnancy replacing its predecessor, adoption. But the modern metropolitan answer to pregnancy in the new, no responsibility, fast paced, immediate resolution of all problems had to find an instant, microwave fast resolution to pregnancy that did not require actually going full term and giving birth to a baby then giving the child up for adoption. Adoption was too messy and required the consequence of carrying the pregnancy for the full nine months and might even cause the unthinkable, ruin a girlish figure. Not in this modern world was it even thinkable to make a woman carry a baby to term just because she and her interest of a moment had pleasured each other without bothering to take precautions which might have actually delayed such actions and possibly even ruined the mood which drove the desire for such actions. Thus, adoption was out and abortion was in. Everything was now sped up to keep pace in the no consequence, fast paced, modern metropolitan world.

 

The ghastly, repulsive, repugnant details of what abortion is in reality was glossed over by changing the argument to make pregnancy resolution simply a choice and the zygote or fetus, dependent on length of pregnancy before detection, was minimalized and dehumanized into being nothing more than a collection referred to as a cellular mass. Everything about the actual pregnancy had to be redefined into a non-humanized, new world, metropolitan denotation which masked the entirety of what was actually occurring. But that is all falling apart and in the coming months this wondrous clean metropolitan lifestyle is going to have to face some very unpleasant and grizzly truths. The first shot across the bow was fired by the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. The abortionist who kept jars with baby’s feet on his desk and other jars of various baby parts as mementoes decorating his clinic. Abortionist Kermit Gosnell ran a less than perfect clinic which lacked refinement, cleanliness, or observance of the law. Kermit Gosnell performed late term abortions beyond the legal limit, delivered live births and then performed what was referred to as clipping which severed the spinal cord at the base of the neck disconnecting the brain from the rest of the body. Every single horrific practice which one could imagine in their worst nightmare was a weekly occurrence in Kermit Gosnell’s clinic. Kermit Gosnell also preyed upon those women who really had nowhere reputable for them to turn to and were the most vulnerable in our society. This should make our indignation even more strident and purposeful for if our society does not protect the most vulnerable among us, what can be said to mitigate such callousness.

 

There are already the faint rumblings of even more Kermit Gosnells operating similarly grotesque abortion mills from other states. What we should fear but also prepare to face is a torrent of similar findings from numerous more cities and towns than we may care to admit, but that will not prevent witnesses from coming forward in the coming months. Initially the Kermit Gosnell case will be heard despite the near total media blackout and refusal to give this horrid and sordid case the attention deserved and that will start the first smattering of other such clinics being made known. The growing number of such clinics will force coverage from a reluctant media which will only serve to bring more cases into the light of day. We had best brace ourselves for the shocking horrors that are the truth about abortion as it will be coming into our consciences and there will be no way of avoiding the truth. The only honorable result of this entire sordid affair will hopefully be the awakening of our society to the actual truths about abortions and a return to a more sane approach to unwanted pregnancy and a return to the other ‘A’ answer, adoption. If the horrific witnesses testimony and horrifying evidence uncovered and brought before the courts and the public results in a renewed debate over the appropriateness of legal and easy abortion as an acceptable alternative for adoption, then some goodness may yet be salvaged from this shockingly graphic tale of criminal malfeasance. Maybe we as a society can demand that much of the needless expenses and overtly complicated legal forms and many layered administrative demands be streamlined and simplified and return adoption as the societal default answer to an unwanted pregnancy. Where our societal discussion went wrong was confusing the concept of an unwanted pregnancy with the fallacious concept that the child, which would result from the pregnancy going to term, would be equally unwanted. Nothing could be further from the truth as is witnessed by the long lists of people wishing to adopt and being circled around the system like an airplane at an overcrowded airport waiting for clearance to land. It is time our society weighed the truthful facts about abortion and gave equal consideration in the debate for adoption. If we prove to be half as civilized and removed from barbarism, then we will choose life over destruction, promise over regret and fulfillment of dreams over nightmares of hope dashed and kindness discarded.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 4, 2013

The Horrors of Prisoner Hunger-Strikers

What a dilemma for the government on how to address the prickly problem that hunger striking terrorists and other assorted prisoners being held on security issues. According to International Law it is illegal to force feed such prisoners unless they can be ruled in mortal danger or are suffering from some form of mental instability. This applies even if the prisoners should become in danger of death. Even then the prisoners can continue to refuse food and the government authorities holding them technically must not take actions even to save the prisoners’ lives. But when there are approximately one-hundred prisoners who have all joined the hunger strike demanding immediate trials or to be released what does the government do to address the situation? This is especially true when their claims seems so reasonable, especially those who are being held on political charges of being potentially dangerous as planners and organizers of terrorist attacks and training. Such prisoners have not actually committed any crime yet have been determined to be a serious threat of fomenting or aiding terrorist functions including attacks on the public.

 

Making this situation even more difficult is that the prisoners’ hunger strikes are being taken up by a number of human rights activists who are demanding that the government either charge and give a speedy trial to these hunger striking security prisoners or release them if there are no charges to be brought. What should be done with prisoners who it has been determined require being held for a thus far undetermined amount of time as the threat they are suspected of posing warrants such imprisonment by the government acting in the protection of the people, all the people, both their own citizens and those of others throughout the Western World. The human rights activists claim that since some of those held have not actually committed any crime and are simply being held due to the positions they held in what the imprisoning country has classified as a terrorist organization which allow their claim that the leaders of such a group may be imprisoned without charge as a precautionary action. It is likely that eventually the human rights activists will refer their charges against the government’s position claiming the right to preemptively hold these political prisoners to the ICJ in The Hague (International Court of Justice). This will present a particularly difficult challenge should the right to detain security prisoners without charge attempt to be defended by the government.

 

What has been most interesting about these particular hunger strikers has been the lack of news coverage either their hunger striking or the objections and protests of the human rights advocates have received. With the coverage that the mainstream media, especially the European media, has given the Palestinian hunger strikers held in Israeli prisons one would expect equal vociferous protest headlines in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the AFP and other international mainstream news sources denouncing the continued incarceration and the ongoing forced feedings being foist upon these prisoners against their wills at the United States high security facility at the Guantanamo Naval Base on the Cuban Islands. One would expect the human rights activists to be even more incensed about these particular hunger strikers as well as the rest of the terror security prisoners continuing to be held at Guantanamo as President Obama made promises he would close the facility. Especially since it has been at Guantanamo is where torture has been rumored to have taken place as well as other deprivations which had been vociferously protested at the end of the Bush Administration but have been mostly silent since President Obama was sworn in as President. We will have to wait and see whether the recent pronouncement by President Obama to finally close the Guantanamo Holding Facility using the impetus of the sequester cuts as the leverage to at last accomplish this. The problems of whether or not to release these prisoners or, if it is decided they continue to require being held, where can the government imprison the most dangerous of these terror threats. This issue will very soon become an issue that’s time has come and the human rights advocates will finally be granted the front page coverage they have thus far been denied. Will the public display of the realities of the situations that must be confronted when guarding and fighting against terrorism in all of its manifestations by the United States mitigate the position and condemnations the Israelis have faced in their difficult fight against terrorism or will the world continue to pretend that terrorism against Israel is completely separate from the terror faced by the rest of the world and terror against Israel is understandable while terrorism against everybody else is an evil they fight out of necessity. My deepest fear is that the moral relativism which allows many progressives to differentiate between terrorism against Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world to be completely separate and worthy of a united effort to eradicate while expressing understanding and tacit, or even vociferous, support of terrorism which targets Israel, Israeli interests around the world, or Jews because such terrorism has a worthy cause.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 14, 2013

If at First You Don’t Convict, Try Try Again

Well, Egypt is opting for their first of what may become a series of do-overs as they prepare to hold a second trial for deposed President Hosni Mubarak. Not satisfied with the result of life in prison sentencing, the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s top appeals court, has accepted the State’s appeal for Mubarak as well as his two sons Alaa and Gamal, his former interior minister Habib al-Adly and top security chiefs on their numerous charges including responsibility for the deaths of protesters during the revolution that led to Mubarak stepping down from power. The new trials will have a high probability of attaining the desired result of executions of those responsible for years of oppression. If we study this presumptive oppression it will reveal everything one needs to know about the impetus driving these new trials.

When we take a sober and somber view of Egypt under President Morsi and the large influence of the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egypt under the long running Mubarak regime we find two diametrically opposed governments that share a remarkable but eerie sense of similarities. Under President Mubarak Egypt held the Muslim Brotherhood under limits bordering on repression while Coptic Christians were sheltered from directed hatreds and violence by the Muslim majority. Under President Mubarak Egypt had a sense of balance where every group knew they had a feeling of guaranteed minimum of rights and freedoms as long as they minded their politics and did not challenge the ruling elites. There was an excess by the ruling elites under Mubarak which was mostly financed by an officially accepted level of corruption. Perceptions of the new Egypt under President Morsi with a strong Muslim Brotherhood influence over the mechanisms of power are coming into focus despite their short time ruling the post-Mubarak Egypt.

The first and most obvious difference is the influence wielded by the Muslim Brotherhood and the precarious position those remaining Coptic Christians who have been unable or unwilling to leave to escape the new and dangerous position in which they find themselves. The Coptic Christians and the Muslim Brotherhood have changed positions in an uncomfortable manner where the Muslim Brotherhood has gone from facing repression to enforcing repressions while the Coptic have gone from protected minority to repressed and despised minority under an uncomfortable level of perfidious suspicions. Another difference is that under Mubarak the average Egyptian knew the rules and could live their lives under a relative comfort that they would be safe provided they stayed within the laws while the laws are under a slow but building transformation which will eventually end with the Sharia, or at least a Sunni interpretation of the sharia will come to be the law of the land and along with it the fear of falling within the crosshairs of any cleric who has a sufficient following. This will be particularly true for any non-Muslims, especially the Coptic minority.

The one improvement thus far has been a definitive drop in the amount of corruption. This perceptible drop may be due to the near collapse of the Egyptian economy which will become a severe problem if measures are not instituted to allow for a return to normal economic opportunities. One main sector of the Egyptian economy that has suffered from the turmoil and unrest resulting from the uprisings has been the tourist industry, a mainstay of the Egyptian economy and essential if Egypt is going to restore their economic engine. This retrial which will be perceived by many outside of Egypt as simply a viscous and vindictive witch hunt to satisfy a demand by the most hateful of the anti-Mubarak forces for their blood revenge. Where there is quite likely a kernel of validation of their desire for retribution but their desire to retry these officials from the Mubarak era rather than be satisfied with the life sentences most of them received have the aroma of a form of tribal vengeance. One must question if a retrial and the emotions it will bring back to the fore and the possible unrest with rekindled conflicts is worth the price that will be played by the currently so fragile Egyptian economy. It would appear logical that getting Egypt to move on rather than retrying the past and getting Egyptians back into a normal cycle of life, work, and moving forward with healing would be better than reopening recent wounds and cleansing them with salt, fire and executions simply to satisfy the revenge of those who were denied the power they now wield would be preferable. But that is my feelings from afar; perhaps those closer to the flames will take somewhat longer to cool from the recent fires of change.

Beyond the Cusp

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