Marlowe's Shade

Friday, September 29, 2006

Nazi Euthanasia Victims Found in Mass Grave

From Deutsche Welle

The skeletons of 20 children and five adults believed to be victims of the Nazi euthanasia program have been found in a mass grave in western Germany, officials said Thursday.

The bones of 20 children were discovered this week during excavation work at a cemetery in the German town of Menden, close to where a World War II hospital run by Hitler's personal physician Karl Brandt was located.

The children, aged from one to seven years, were found alongside the bodies of five adults, Hans-Bernd Besa-von Werden, a spokesman for the district administration said.

Investigations of two of the children's skulls indicated the victims might have been handicapped.

Perhaps like Peter Singer and the Dutch, the Fuehrer didn't think much of their "personhood".

The prosecutor's office in the nearby city of Dortmund said there were indications the deaths might be related to euthanasia, which was secretly practiced by the Nazis from 1939 to 1941.

Some 70,000 people with physical or intellectual disabilities perished in the euthanasia program, which the Nazis believed was necessary to cleanse the German people of racially unsound elements.

Those who were deemed "unworthy to live" by showing symptoms of mental retardation or physical handicap were sent to the so-called killing facilities, where they were murdered by lethal injections or exposure to carbon monoxide gas.

The Nazi euthanasia program, which became an open secret in the Third Reich, was officially terminated in 1941 in the wake of protests from members of the German clergy.

The practice, however, clandestinely continued until the end of World War II with an ever wider range of victims, which included geriatric patients, bombing victims and forced laborers.

Remarkable how little has changed.
papijoe 11:03 AM |

Thursday, September 28, 2006

China's Gender Gap Growing

From LifeNews

As Chinese people continue to use sex-selection abortions and infanticide to bring only boys into the world, the country's gender imbalance continues to rise. The sex preference is historical in this Asian nation but it's exacerbated by family planning policies that prohibit more than one child per family.
A new report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences finds that the gender imbalance rose to 121 males were born for every 100 females in 2004. The rate was 117 boys to every 100 girls in 2000.

China instituted the coercive family planning policy in 1979 and Chinese women and families have been the victims of an intense campaign ever since that has involved forced abortions and sterilizations, and the arrest and harassment of those who resist it.

But the policy has caused the gender imbalance to explode.

In 1982, there were 109 boys for every 100 girls in China, but the figures rose to 111 to 100 in 1990 and have been climbing ever since.

According to Steve Ertelt's piece, the policy is already yielding adverse social effects:

The country has also become a nation of bachelors as Chinese men have problems finding potential wives and starting families. This has contributed to a rise in crime, prostitution, and other problems.

Chinese couples determined to have a son easily get around the new laws as a black market has sprung up of people with ultrasound machines in the trunks of cars or house closets are willing to divulge the sex of an unborn baby for a price.

Some Chinese are selling their girl babies to those seeking girls for their sons. Chinese officials have uncovered massive baby-selling schemes including finding newborns in bags in the back of trucks and on buses on their way to be sold.

The poor parents of unwanted newborn girls sell their babies for a little as $8.

The Chinese government apparently doesn't care how the country is effected, as long as it reaches its depopulation goals. And I'm sure having lots of spare cannon fodder is seen as a bonus.
papijoe 8:05 AM |

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Italian President Pushing Euthanasia Debate

After a 52 year old man with muscular dystrophy wrote a letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano begging for the right to assisted suicide. Now, after a similar request, Napolitano has called for public debate on the subject:

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has sparked controversy by calling for the European nation's parliament to debate the subject of euthanasia. His calls comes after he received a letter from a terminally ill man who wants the nation to legalize mercy killing so he can be spared from his condition.
Piergiorgio Welby, a 60 year-old man who is afflicted with advanced muscular dystrophy, wrote to Napolitano saying that Italians should have the same access to euthanasia and assisted suicide that residents of Switzerland, Holland and Belgium do.

"When a terminally ill person decides to give up those he loves, his friends and life itself, and asks to be able to end a cruelly biological survival, I believe that will should be respected," Welby wrote, according to the ANSA news agency.

Napolitano said he was "deeply moved" and "touched" by the letter

The timing of two such similar letters is suspicious. The former case could be resolved by turning off the patient's machine and isn't relevant to the PAS/euthanasia debate at all:

After some years in bed at home, he was taken to hospital. "Giovanni is destined to die" Maddalena said "and simply asks to receive no more medicines. He doesn't want the machine that helps him breath to be stopped, he just want the cures to be ended". The letter he sent to Napolitano and the main national journals says: "I have always loved life, but I am able to accept that life ends, because it is nature. What sense is there in prolonging my life? Is that not against nature? Pope Woijtila understood it, when he asked his doctors to let him die".

As we've seen time and again in Britain, the US, Australia and Canada the right-to-die movement is exploiting human misery to stage its latest PR campaign.
papijoe 8:23 AM |

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Euthanists at Canadian Conference: Christians are the Enemy

At the conference mentioned in yesterday's post the speakers came out swinging and they were unanimous as to who their archenemies were: Christians. And the Catholic Church in particular is being singled out.

TORONTO, September 19, 2006 ( – “The March of the Religious Right - Where Does it Lead?” was the first major talk offered at the international “Challenge in Choice” conference of euthanasia advocates held in Toronto September 7th to 10th.

The talk featured Robert Raben, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, and a major figure in the US Democratic party and Jon Eisenberg, an attorney and author of the book, “Using Terri.”

Raben, a political organizer and strategist for the Democrats, offered insight into the strategy of the Right to Die movement and emphasized that the religious right, particularly the Catholic Church, was their most powerful foe.

Raban wasn't the only one taking aim at Christians.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of Britain’s Dignity in Dying, was particularly scathing in her criticism of the Catholic opposition to euthanasia. Annetts was, with Lord Joel Joffe, the co-author of the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill that was recently before the British House of Lords.

Annetts told conferees that the English bishops opposing the legalization of euthanasia were “just like the Taliban.” “We will never have the same money (as the Catholic Church) so we need to use our brains,” she said.

George Felos, the legal counsel for Michael Schiavo, excoriated the faithful Christians who opposed their efforts to have Michael’s wife, Terri dehydrated to death. He told the conference that the Schiavo case was “highjacked” by the pro-life movement and the religious right.

Though Felos admitted that Terri’s parents, the Schindlers, believed their daughter could recover, he believed they had been used as part of an agenda to overturn the Supreme Court abortion ruling, Roe vs. Wade.

Felos praised Canada as a more “progressive” country on Right to Die issues, and said that their cause has a better chance of succeeding here than in the US where Christians have more political sway.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director, Alex Schadenberg noted, “The Right to Die movement views Christian opponents to euthanasia not simply as a group of people who have a differing point of view but as the enemy.”

Schadenberg said that although the so-called ‘religious right’ was mentioned, and the evangelical Christians, especially in the US, oppose euthanasia, it is the Catholic Church that is particularly singled out for the venom of Right to Die advocates.

“Even with the weakness of the response of some prominent Catholic leaders in the US, to Terri Schiavo’s plight,” Schadenberg said, “the Catholic opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide is still the most powerful and feared force in the debate. It is the best thought-out and most comprehensive position against assisted dying.”

Schadenberg told that in his opinion, the fear and hatred of the Right to Die movement for the Catholic defense of the sanctity of human life is the greatest indication of its effectiveness.

I think Catholics need to be encouraged that despite all the body shots the Church has been taking, they are still viewed as the most powerful force protecting the sanctity of life in our world.
papijoe 2:14 PM |

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bragging about Euthanasia

evariste at Discarded Lies comments about a recent admission of volunteers of the "right to die" group Compassion and Choices that they are actively helping their "clients" commit suicide, even in states where physician assisted suicide is illegal:

American euthanists were recently bragging to their foreign peers at an international conference that they do everything they can to kill people, short of breaking the law. I don't believe them. I think they go farther than that. I think they encourage, bait, bully, guilt, and very likely, snuff the candle.

I want to know why these people are operating with impunity. I think it's quite likely they're helping push people over the edge who might not have killed themselves. I've read far too much about the bullying by euthanists of patients to believe in their benevolence.

They want to mainstream the killing of the inconvenient, and they have to be confronted and stopped. The sad thing is how they've taken over the hospice movement. Once a beacon of loving care for the dying, they are now the most likely places to harbor undeclared euthanists.

This particular euthanist ring call themselves "Compassion and Choices". Have you ever seen such cheek? I'm glad they went with choice, though-it's revealing. Choice to kill your baby or choice to kill yourself; it's all choice! And needless to say, the euthanist ring aren't bragging about the number of people they dissuaded from committing suicide—any more than an unrepentant abortionist boasts about saving pregnancies and convincing women to give birth and give their babies up for adoption to a loving home. This isn't medicine, friends-it's a garbage disposal whirring in society's sink, and you're the garbage.

Yes ev, they do in fact bully coerce and cajol, they do want to kill the inconvenient, both in the Netherlands and in Oregon, and they have already gotten well entrenched in the hospice movement. Your analogy is perfect, we've been reduced to an unwanted meat by-product at the end of life.
papijoe 9:36 AM |

Friday, September 15, 2006

Stem Cell Research Becomes an Issue in MA Governor's Race

But not in the way you might think.

From the Boston Herald.

A company founded by Chris Gabrieli is one of the world’s leading patent holders in stem cell research, raising questions about the Democratic candidate for governor’s denials that he stands to profit from his plan to fund the controversial science with tax dollars.

Isis Pharmaceuticals - a company in which Gabrieli owns $1.5 million in stock - ranks third in the country in stem cell patents. Gabrieli sat on the firm’s board of directors until February.

The company holds 46 stem cell patents - second only to the University of California and the Japan Science and Technology Agency - and has as many as 30 more pending.

One Isis patent reviewed by the Herald is for a technique devised by the company for “maintaining a pluripotent stem cell.” The highly technical document also includes mention of “embryonic stem cells” while other patents refer to methods of preserving stem cells.

But Gabrieli insisted yesterday that “Isis doesn’t do stem cell research.”

“Clearly, either Gabrieli doesn’t know what he has or he’s lying,” said Tim O’Brien, spokesman for Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey. “It’s clear that his holdings are a conflict of interest.”

The controversy came to a head yesterday when Healey launched an attack ad accusing Gabrieli of positioning himself to reap a financial windfall from his plan to invest $1 billion in taxpayer money in stem cell research.

But wait, there's more!

The Herald also has learned that Gabrieli has ties to two biotech executives who have come under fire in California for sitting on an independent board that oversees that state’s $3 billion, taxpayer-funded stem cell research program. Gabrieli has called the California program a “model” for his Bay State plan.

Ten of the 29 executives on the California board have been criticized for their investments and interests in biotech companies, including Isis Pharmaceuticals director John Reed. The other with ties to Gabrieli is Ted Love, a board member of Predix Pharmaceuticals, a company that recently merged with Epix Pharmaceuticals, which is in Gabrieli’s investment portfolio.

In another twist, Thomas Shea, who appears in a heart-wrenching Gabrieli political ad touting the benefits of stem cell research, is the chief financial officer for TolerRX. The company does stem cell research. A Gabrieli aide said Shea and Gabrieli met while pushing for Massachusetts’ stem cell bill.

Gabrieli seemed to waver on the investment issue yesterday, saying: “I know of no company in my portfolio - certainly not (Isis) - that does stem cell research.”

He later said, “I don’t believe any of the companies I’ve invested in are doing stem cell research and if they are, I don’t apologize for it. I believe in stem cell research.”

He downplayed allegations he could make millions by approving a taxpayer-funded stem cell research bill if elected governor, and vowed to sell his stocks to eliminate any possible conflict.

It's sounds like at least one of Isis' patents may involve adult stem cells, but the MSM has never been good at making those distinctions. But the patent the Herald mentions has references to ESCR.

As I've stated before, it's the profit motive that makes ESCR so appealing to politicians, and a good case can be made that the entire industry is an enormous scam targeting the taxpayers and exploiting the hopes of the sick and disabled.

Lest anyone think Lt. Gov. Healey is taking the moral high ground, she also supports ESCR.
papijoe 11:51 AM |

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ACT Debacle Turning into Another Stem Cell Hoax

Michael Fumento from the Hudson Institute had this great piece on LifeSite about the ongoing fiasco at Advanced Cell Technology over their "ethical" embryonic stem cell "breakthrough":

The fierce public debate over killing human embryos to create lines of embryonic stem cells is over; tout fini; the end. It was buried with a stake thrust through its heart by a study published in the world's most prestigious science magazine, Nature. Trust the media:

• “Stem Cells Created With No Harm to Human Embryos” (Washington Post)

• “In New Method for Stem Cells, Viable Embryos” (New York Times)

• “Embryos Spared in Stem Cell Creation” (USA Today)

• “Stem Cell Advance Spares Embryos” (L.A. Times)

On second thought, don't trust the media.

In fact none of the 16 embryos involved in the study by medical director Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) survived. All were harmed; none were viable; none were spared. When a member of ACT’s research advisory panel, Ronald Green, told the Washington Post “You can honestly say this cell line is from an embryo that was in no way harmed or destroyed,” he couldn't have been more dishonest.

For all the media mania, you'd never know the Lanza publication was just a 200-word letter that spent as much verbiage on theory as on actually describing the experiment. As such, Nature had no business running it.

But as I've written elsewhere, Nature has long boosted embryonic stem cell (ESC) technology generally and the lifting of federal funding restrictions specifically, as has its American counterpart Science. Their eagerness to run anything promoting this view recently led to Science being forced to withdraw not one but two “ESC miracle breakthrough” articles.

The rest of the article is very enlightening and worth the time to read. Wesley Smith is a big fan of Michael Fumento's and it's easy to see why.

There is a distinct pattern emerging, which is that ESCR is a racket. Taxpayers and other investors are the marks. And there is a lot of money at stake. The really sad thing is that all of this money could be spent to develop real adult stem cell cures to benefit real people.
papijoe 10:15 AM |

Monday, September 11, 2006

If the Towers Had Names, What Would They Have Been?

The more history I read the odder our post-modern world seems. How strange that we constructed two gigantic towers only to call them "the North Tower" and "the South Tower".

No wonder our commentary on the fifth anniversary of 9-11 is for the most part so meaningless. This morning on the radio an announcer recalled wistfully how the tragedy for a short time brought us all together as a nation.

Personally I would have preferred never to have had that moment of unity. I would have gladly traded it for a return to the world I lived in then. We lost so much that day that will never be restored in our lifetimes. Our children will never experience the innocence and security of that era. I was on a different side then held different views. I didn't want to leave my comfortable place with it's comfortable notions. But after 9-11 that place, like the Towers, was gone.

I'm glad we are remembering the individual victims. I was even planning on a post about Susan Retik and Patti Quigley and how they rose from their personal tragedies to help widows of terrorist acts in Afghanistan. But the coverage I heard this morning set me on another course.

I only care about one thing right now regarding 9-11. Are we smarter than our enemies? Nothing else matters to me. After all the memorials and speeches today the blood of the innocents of 9-11 will cry out to heaven tomorrow and everyday after. It is clear we will never be safe the way we were. Our adversaries crept in and found a way to strike us, rendering all our might useless. They thought out of the box and succeded. They knew us very well and translated that knowledge into success. How is our thinking now? Has 9-11 made us smarter?

I believe the record of the last 5 years shows a disturbing lack of national resolve. We may have initially shown more backbone than the terrorists expected. But true to the stereotype, we haven't been resolute. What should have been most encouraging to the terrorists is the state of siege our leaders who prosecute this war on terror are under from "domestic insurgents" at home and our supposed allies abroad. The truth is that even in wartime we are not unified, or supported by the rest of the world. Probably the greatest of the seditious faction is the media. Their power was demonstrated in the libelous attempts to manufacture evidence to defeat a sitting wartime president during the election. This war can't be won on two fronts.

Like myself those here at home who seek our defeat in the war on terror simply want to return to the days before 9-11. The difference is that they seem to really believe that is a real option. Having awoken from a similar spell I can appreciate how a delusion of this magnitude can exist. Enthralled by a media that has has hypnotic access to all five senses, the sleepwalkers parrot slogans, write checks and occasionally have angry outburst when reality disturbs their slumber like a determined fly. I'm now convinced that if the events of 5 years ago haven't roused them, nothing will.

The military and even literary significance of towers has been lost on us today. Before gunpowder a tower was formidable. It allowed the defenders to see farther and rain death on attackers. And when a tower fell, it meant that the walls had already been breached and the battle lost.

Since our Towers were nameless I've assigned my own symbolic meaning to them. This personal significance became clarified to me after a similar event occurred with the death of Terri Schiavo. In legends of the Golden Age, kings are philosophers and philosophers kings. In a fallen world the necessity for good government is for political and religious leaders to work together to hold chaos at bay. Both institutions failed Terri and this country. The towers defending us had already fallen and the later historical events merely echoed the metaphysical reality.

I don't want to be pessimistic or discouraging this day, but unless as a nation our thinking changes dramatically, we will remain defenseless, outnumbered and blind.
papijoe 5:50 AM |

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why Choose Life?

From the Weekly Standard

Fred Barnes has a great piece on the moral crossroads faced by himself and four other prominent Americans that led to a decision for Life:

HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME PRO-LIFERS? What turns people into passionate foes of abortion and related issues like euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research? I'm not referring to those who supported the pro-life position because of their family upbringing or religious faith or because of a political requirement as, say, a Republican candidate in a red state. I'm talking about people who, as adults or mature teenagers, were either pro-abortion or basically indifferent to the issue. Then something changed their mind, prompting them to take up the anti-abortion cause. Perhaps they began defending the pro-life position without realizing they'd flipped. In any case, what caused the change? What happened?

I addition to his own experience, Fred profiles the ethical journeys of Ronald Reagan, Henry Hyde, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Wesley Smith. By the end, some common themes stand out.

So think for a moment about these five experiences: Reagan's deciding on signing an abortion bill, Hyde's mulling whether to co-sponsor a pro-abortion measure, Ponnuru's watching as the Summer of Mercy unfold, Smith's reading pro-euthanasia tracts as his dead friend's home, and our--my wife and I--adverse reaction to amniocentesis. One common thread is obvious. All of us, because of the circumstances we found ourselves in, were forced to think about the taking of a life and what that means in both practical and moral terms. Most people avoid thinking about troubling moral issues like abortion or euthanasia. We couldn't.

And the other common thread is that something happened to make us choose life and choose it firmly and reject death. I think it was our conscience that intervened or, if you prefer, the basic human instinct that favors life over death. Or it you are a Christian, as I am, it was God.

Now I'm sure there are many exceptions to our experience. Not everyone who contemplates abortion or euthanasia is bound to take the intellectual path that five of us--six, including my wife--did on the way to becoming pro-lifers. But I suspect there are many more than like us than not. And many more to come.

This piece gives me hope for our country but also raises a major concern. As Fred points out, a decision for life seems to require some firm ethical bedrock in our metaphysical make-up, but the signs of the times indicate not only are an increasing number of people in our society are being raised without these core values, but are taught to be hostile to them.
papijoe 7:38 AM |

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Romney Imposes Regulations on "Orwellian" Stem Cell Research

From Scientific American

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2008 Republican presidential hopeful, said on Thursday his administration's new restrictions on stem cell research are aimed at heading off an "Orwellian" future.

The state's Department of Public Health this week issued regulations banning the creation of embryos for research purposes. Scientists say stem cell research could lead to breakthroughs in treatments for diseases including cancer. But the issue has become ethically and politically volatile because extracting the cells entails destruction of an embryo.

"I believe it crosses a very bright moral line to take sperm and eggs in the laboratory and start creating human life," Romney told reporters. "It is Orwellian in its scope. In laboratories you could have trays of new embryos being created."

Cynic that I've become, I home Mitt is serious about this and it's not part of the pre-primary courting dance that Republicans use to woo their base before they chase the center before the general elections...
papijoe 7:58 AM |