musing minds

The Groningen Protocol

Hugh has several posts (here, here, here and Hugh’s Weekly Standard column) on the Groningen Protocol linking to several other posts on the subject. He was looking for more MSM and blogger coverage of the story. I sent a copy of the Washington Times AP story to Fox to see if they were aware of it. Currently they have one story dated Tuesday, November 30 with two different links and headlines: Dutch Hospital Euthanizing Gravely Ill Babies and Netherlands Hospital Permits Euthanasia for Terminal Newborns.

Hugh’s Weekly Standard column contains the following:

This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of “independent committees” to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a death penalty committee for innocents. Once begun, it is impossible–simply impossible–to limit the concept with any bright line. Abortion, of course, has always been limited by the physical act of birth, and once out of the womb, only the most extreme “reproductive rights” advocates have argued that the baby’s natural right to live can be compromised by the mother. But now the Netherlands has gone farther–much, much farther. If the “severely retarded” may be killed upon appropriate motion, second, debate, and majority vote, why not the moderately retarded? Why not the mildly retarded? Why not, in fact, anyone the “independent committee” deems as usefully dispatched.

This is what really concerns me. My daughter has a developmental delay, epilepsy and moderate hearing and vision impairments. She weighed 4 pounds 10 ounces at birth, which is small, but her APGAR scores were 9 and 10. She has two genetic anomalies: She has an “extra” gene on one of her 10th chromosome pair and her 19th chromosome has a “ring” in a mosaic pattern. The chromosomes usually look like an eleven (11) two straight lines. On Katie’s 19th chromosome, every other pair looks like a ten (10) instead. One of the pair is a circle instead of a straight line. She is 14 years old now. She doesn’t speak well and uses some sign language to help her “get her message across.” Her 4-year-old brother is leaps and bounds ahead of her in speaking and development. Her 10-year-old brother also passed her up a long, long time ago.

She may have Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. It is a severe form of epilepsy that usually develops in children between 1 and 8 years old (I took her to a neurologist at 18 months old). Most children with Lennox-Gastaut experience some degree of impaired intellectual functioning or information processing. It may be caused by brain injury, severe brain infections, genetic brain diseases, or developmental malformations of the brain. In some cases, no cause has been found. Prognosis varies, there is no cure. Complete recovery including freedom from seizures and normal development is very unusual.

She can dress herself, feed herself, use the bathroom herself, and watch Barney and Shrek all day long. She likes to color and can copy some letters down. She can sight read some words. When her littlest brother was five weeks old and she was 10 years and 5 weeks old (her littlest brother was born the day before her 10th birthday) she had surgery for a vagus nerve implant. We were hoping that it could help “reprogram” her brain not to seize so often. She’s been on many different medications over the last twelve years. Currently we have her on only one that seems to be working better. Her seizures are not as frequent, or as long. We are lucky that she doesn’t have grand mal seizures. She’ll just suddenly stop and jerk a few times. She can do this while walking and not fall down (atypical absence and myoclonic seizures).

She needs to have weekly occupational, physical and speech therapy. Insurance companies don’t want to cover this though, because the therapies will need to long term. The insurance companies seem to only want to cover, say, physical therapy after a broken bone. Something that won’t take too long to show progress and finally be done. I’ve seen some that limit all three therapies to 30-60 visits total. This would allow her 10-20 weeks of all three therapies.

I was first worried that Hugh was sliding down a slippery slope, but I don’t think he is. Eventually they could do this to children and people older than 12.

Katie is a beautiful, loving child and she will be a beautiful, loving adult. However, she probably won’t be a “productive” adult. She probably won’t be a “normal” woman who has a job, or gets married and has children. She won’t go to college. She will need care for the rest of her life, either with me or with a group home of some kind. I also have to think about her care after I am gone.

Death by committee could decide that she’s “useless” and terminate her. That’s what’s really scary.

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Kerik tapped to head Homeland Security – Updated

A senior administration official said that Bernie Kerik will be tapped to fill the Homeland Security Secretary position left open after Tom Ridge’s resignation. Forbes story.

I personally think that Bernie Kerik was a very good choice.

Update: 12/10/04: Kerik withdraws name from consideration.

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Tom Ridge Resigns – Press Conference @ 2:45 EST

Fox News has just reported that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has announced his resignation. There will be a press conference at 2:45 EST.

Update: He’s said his resignation is effective February 1, 2005 – sooner if a replacement is chosen and confirmed prior to that. Link.

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More books to re-read

In reading through other bloggers’ lists, it seems that quite a few bloggers are C.S. Lewis fans.

I have a few more too, some from other’s lists (*) that I didn’t think about and a few others.

*Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Liebowitz
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars
*Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (New movie out May 6, 2005), The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life the Universe and Everything, and the fourth book in the trilogy So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish.
Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn
*Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books (love The Luggage)
Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story (My copy [Doubleday, 1983] is printed in red and green ink. Red for Bastian’s part of the story and Green for The Neverending Story itself.)

More specific from my list of authors in the post below:

Katherine Kurtz’s The Deryni Chronicles
Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar, Vows and Honor, Halfblood Chronicles, The Mage Winds, and Bardic Voices
Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, The Rowan, Freedom, Crystal, Acorna, The Ship who Sang
Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love (Future History with Lazarus Long), The Number of the Beast, Starship Troopers, A Stranger in a Strange Land, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, etc.
Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series and Xanth trilogy of 27 books (it’s 33 / three cubed) (He’s started the second trilogy with book # 28 – Currant Events)
Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld, Dayworld, Venus on the Half-Shell (as Kilgore Trout), A Barnstormer in Oz (Dorothy’s son goes to Oz), Tarzan Alive (what Edgar Rice Burroughs got wrong)
Father Andrew Greeley’s Blackie Ryan novels, Nuala Anne McGrail novels, the Angel series
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series

Baen Books has a free library :

Introducing the Baen Free Library

by Eric Flint

Baen Books is now making available — for free — a number of its titles in electronic format. We’re calling it the Baen Free Library. Anyone who wishes can read these titles online — no conditions, no strings attached. (Later we may ask for an extremely simple, name & email only, registration. ) Or, if you prefer, you can download the books in one of several formats. Again, with no conditions or strings attached. (URLs to sites which offer the readers for these format are also listed. )

Why are we doing this? Well, for two reasons.

The first is what you might call a “matter of principle.” This all started as a byproduct of an online “virtual brawl” I got into with a number of people, some of them professional SF authors, over the issue of online piracy of copyrighted works and what to do about it.

There was a school of thought, which seemed to be picking up steam, that the way to handle the problem was with handcuffs and brass knucks. Enforcement! Regulation! New regulations! Tighter regulations! All out for the campaign against piracy! No quarter! Build more prisons! Harsher sentences!

Alles in ordnung!

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Birthdays and Books to read again and again – Updated

Michelle Malkin notes that today is C.S. Lewis’ birthday. He was born November 29th, 1898.

Hugh Hewitt is asking for novels that have been read at least twice. Topping my list are those by C.S. Lewis. The Space Trilogy – Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength (I just took these three out of the library on Thursday Wednesday to re-read for the umpteenth time). We also can’t omit The Chronicles of Narnia (I own the seven book series).

Hugh mentions The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and I would add The Hobbit and The Father Christmas Letters (letters that Tolkien wrote from Santa to his son Christopher).

In a previous posting here I highly recommend the series of historical novels by Edward Rutherfurd; Sarum, London, Russka, The Forest and Dublin.

Other authors whose books I’ve re-read: Robert Heinlein, Phillip Jose Farmer, Father Andrew Greeley, Robert Jordan, Katherine Kurtz, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, and Piers Anthony.

Of course there are also the children’s books that I’ve read over and over to my children (the ones that you can know by heart)… The Velveteen Rabbit, The Polar Express, Green Eggs and Ham, Mouse, Look Out!, but they aren’t novels…

Update: Welcome visitors from Hugh Hewitt. Please feel free to list your re-reads in the comments.
Thanks Hugh!

Update: I have added another post with more books to re-read.

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Newsweek's Periscope on Unfit for Command

In Newsweek’s Persicope section, page 9 there is a short article by Susannah Meadows about the all the political books that used to be on the front tables at the bookstores. In this article she says: “Even the conservative imprint Regenery isn’t giving up yet on O’Neill’s book [Unfit for Command], the now largely discredited attack on Kerry’s military service. The publisher is planning to market its remaining copies as the book that brought the candidate down.” (emphasis mine). Is it largely discredited because the liberals say it is? I still haven’t seen any proof of its being discredited. Haven’t seen Kerry’s records (still hasn’t signed the Form 180) proving that what John O’Neill says isn’t true.

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Today my youngest son turned Four, tomorrow my daughter turns Fourteen. They were both due somewhere between December 5th and 12th.
Katie was tiny, tiny 4 pounds 10 ounces. She has a developmental delay, epilepsy, and moderate hearing and vision impairments. Just before Christmas, just after her little brother was born she had surgery for a vagus nerve implant. She’s just had a change in her medication for the epilepsy too. We are hoping her epilepsy will be more controlled and that her cognition will improve with the new meds.
Nicky was 6 pounds even. He was so good this morning. His present was waiting on the table and he had to wait until Mommy woke up to open it. He was thrilled to receive a Batman Monster Truck.

Happy birthdays to my oldest and youngest babies.

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Veteran's Day

Chris at A Large Regular has something you should read. Go do it. Now.

To all who have served and are serving now in America’s Armed Forces:

Thank you for your service.

Happy Veteran’s Day.

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ok now he's really dead

He’s really dead this time, Yasser Arafat. The Palestinians are opting to follow the law in appointing the president for the next 60 days, at which time they will hold elections.

Nice that they are opting to follow the law.

May God bless his soul. He certainly needs it.

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