Mar 13, 2008

Killing the unborn

“Things are in the saddle and ride mankind” – Walt Whitman

"In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." F. Nietzsche

“The first thing politicians do to hide their mismanagement is inflate the currency; the second thing they do is go to war.” Ernest Hemingway

“I don’t know what weapons will be used in World War Three, but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein

When the Dalai Lama stated that yes, he agreed, wearing animal furs just fuelled the extinction of animals, huge rubbish piles immediately appeared of enormous winter fur coats, thrown away by some of the poorest people in the world, living in some of the coldest climates. Who is a leader? That is not a decision of the leader. It is a decision of the followers.

Two highly charged emotional issues are regularly used to distract attention from more pressing problems. One is homosexuality and what rights and liberties to give it. The other is abortion.

The latter is a thinly disguised campaign for male ownership of every one and everything, usually pointed out in Islamic societies, but by no means confined to them. – (We have the same bunch over here in the States claiming exactly the same thing.) This secondary issue has been shanghaied into service against stem cell research, on the grounds that harvesting stem cells requires the murder of a fetus, even if that fetus is a blastocyst in a petri dish which would be discarded together with many thousands like it.

The nonsensical nature of this claim was demonstrated over a year ago when scientists in the UK successfully harvested stem cells from an umbilical cord, which is particularly rich in stem cells, and used it to grow a new liver, which was successfully implanted. It received no publicity in the US, since it would bring an end to the entire controversy.

What is really in dispute here is whether women have the same rights of ownership over their own bodies as men do over their bodies, with a powerful selection of men disputing that right. Indeed for many men even the right to have or not have sex must always be reserved to the male half of the pair, and it took along time for the concept of marital rape to be accepted. That implicit “ownership” that men claim over the bodies of women becomes extended to the right to decide for women whether abortion is allowed or not, and finally, to decide what can and can not be done with the umbilical and after birth of a healthy child to a healthy mother. The woman owns nothing, not even her own body.

“Who will provide the grand design
What is yours and what is mine?
There is no more new frontier
We have got to make it here.” Eagles – The Last Resort.

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