Saturday, July 01, 2006

Down With GoP? Yeah, you know me!

Free GOP: Grand Oil Party Bumper Stickers


Can any citizen be both? Well, most citizens, in fact, are. The phrase the president loves to use is “culture of life”. I do not know many Republicans who actually promote a culture of life. To do so would require them to abolish the death penalty and to eliminate the freedom to make end-of-life decisions, such as no machines to sustain life or do-not-resuscitate orders. Three different issues that cannot be separated, if one is intellectually honest, are tied to the debate. The first is the most popular Republican talking point, birth, the second, one Republicans refuse to discuss as a pro-life issue, is the death penalty. The “pro-life” issue that most people in the United States agree about is the end-of-life decisions, Senator Frist notwithstanding.


My wife and I know so well the grief and joy of children and family. Our daughter Faith was born in 1974, in a touch and go pregnancy, which resulted a beautiful baby girl. Never once did we think of an abortion. A few years later a baby boy was born to us who we named Samuel. We mutually decided these two children were the extent of our child bearing. But circumstances changed for us as they do for most families. During the summer of 1983 our three-year-old son Samuel was playing hide and seek with the neighborhood children. Sam crawled into a foot locker to hide and died of suffocation. We were torn apart, but later gathered the courage to attempt another pregnancy. The next summer we were expecting another baby but things went wrong and the baby was born at 22 weeks. She lived 45 minutes. She weighed less than a pound. We named her Hope and held her until her tiny heart stopped beating. We mutually decided we would forgo another pregnancy as Diane’s health and our emotional well-being were at risk. We moved to Europe, continuing my military career, and became pregnant on our 11th wedding anniversary. We were really frightened as we were near 40 years old and had a painful history. But again, we never considered abortion. Even though Diane was a high-risk patient, our son Billy was born in 1988 and is now an 18-year-old high school senior going to Harvard this fall. We know, only too well, the joys and the heartache associated with child bearing. I say again-we never considered terminated one of the pregnancies. Our circumstances in 2006 are very different. If we were to become pregnant today, in our late fifties, I would plead with Diane to terminate the pregnancy. Even though pregnancy is a shared event in our marriage, the issue fundamentally remains, that her body and health are the primary authority, not mine. For us today, the pro-life decision would be to protect the life of a wife, mother and grandmother, instead of pursuing the remote possibility of another child born to us. Being able to choose is pro-life – the lives of those who depend on and love Diane.

Capital Punishment:

This issue exposes the true hypocrisy of most Republicans. George Bush, as governor, supported the execution of the retarded, the mentally ill, women, and grandmothers. He certainly maintained an equal-opportunity death chamber. Last summer, the Texas legislature made an enlightened decision and adopted a bill that allowed juries to choose life without parole instead of the death penalty.
Clearly, a pro-choice and pro-life decision for Texas juries. Society could permanently be protected from a violent criminal and the mantra, “culture of life”, could be upheld. This bill passed almost overwhelmingly – except my opponent and about 30 of his colleagues voted against it. His vote was a pro-death vote.

End of Life:

One part of the “life” debate that Republicans are confused about is the end of life. We all demand the right to write a living will; write “do not resuscitate” orders and orders that preclude extraordinary measures taken to prolong our lives hooked up to machines. We want the dignity of these choices, and we write them down for our family members, medical personnel, and courts to follow. This matter is a pro-choice decision directly pertaining to not only quality of life, but quality of death.

We all want and deserve the freedom to make life and death decisions based on our individual circumstances - circumstances that concern health, rape, incest, age, personal religious beliefs and quality of life. We cannot cede the power to any government to decide our fate. Each person’s body is sovereign and given free will by God to make decisions. Our individual liberty shall not be taken away. Like so many Americans, I am pro-life and pro-choice.

(Cross posted on TexasKaos)

Monday, June 26, 2006

You're not from Texas

Last night I dreamed I saw Joe Hill but I woke up and found myself in the Republic of Texas. They keep telling me, “you’re not from Texas” but I’m here in San Antonio. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. So, I’m trying real hard to love Texas.

After 8 months here I’ve figured out my hearing is no good or I’m just a slow learner. It’s not the Republic of Texas, it’s Republican Texas, where Democratic activists and Democratic precinct chairs say they’re not voting for Chris Bell.

If you’re looking for the road to Austin, voting for Rick Perry, Rick Friedman, or Ricki Carole Strayhorn is not the right way to go. You need a new map.

Quit voting for Republicans. Ya basta, y’all. You want to take back Texas, vote for Democrats.

It’s not as though you’re voting for a jerk. Here’s a smart, articulate, decent man who’s been a city council member, a member of Congress, a lawyer, and a journalist. He’s even got a sense of humor. He’s got a little problem with showing up sometimes but let’s just forget that, OK?

Voting for R1, R2 or R3 because Chris Bell went to a Spurs game instead of the Bexar County Dems swearing - in ceremony is like impeaching Bill Clinton for a blow job. Are you jealous or what?

So, why would you vote for one of the Rick(i)s? They all voted for George Bush, one of R2s rare votes. They all voted for R1 in the last go-round. There’s no real difference between R1 and R3 except where they get their hair done. R2 just wears a hat.

R2 went to Borneo in the Peace Corps when he was younger and smarter but now he’s morphed into Jesse Ventura Jewboy. P.S. for those of you who don’t follow country music, this is not an anti-Semitic slur, it’s an allusion to R2's musical group.

Do you want a governor who doesn’t believe in government? Vote Republican - limited government is part of their platform.

I know they say that voting is important but these people don’t have to waste their own personal time on the voting thing. If you go to the polls, we’re just talking one vote. It’s more efficient to buy them or steal them in big lots. You should know that Rick Friedman votes about as often as Dick Cheney. Of course, you have to ask yourself, do you want these guys to vote?

Back to Chris Bell. Why should you vote for him?

A) He’s the best candidate. Don’t get hung up on the fact that he’s a candidate without a campaign. Did you vote for Bush because Kerry had a lousy campaign?

B) He’s the guy in Congress who filed the ethics complaint against Tom De Lay the Bug Boy. Are you a Democrat? What more do you need? Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors.

C) He’s the Democrat. Democrats should vote for Democrats.

D) If you vote for him, and I mean you, whoever you are, who’s bothering to read this little rant, he might win. I know, I know, everyone says he’s gonna lose. So what? Don’t forget what you learned in school about self-fulfilling prophecies. You want to make it come true, don’t vote for Chris Bell. Candidates can win or lose by 1 vote or 7 votes or 12 votes. It happened here in San Antonio.

Are you tired of the Republicans? Quit voting for them. Ya basta, y’all.