Thursday, September 4, 2008

America's Location on the Slope

As a after thought on a good article on McCain and Palin, Gus Van Horn has a concise, well-written insight on this year's election and the current state of America:

It occurred to me some time ago that this election has been like a final culmination of a steadily-diminishing political discourse. Americans value their freedom, but do not fully realize that government controls endanger it.

At the same time, we are so far down the slippery slope that politicians are loathe to speak in anything other than vague generalities or aphoristic sound bytes that can mean almost anything to anyone. If they were more specific, they'd risk having their power grabs exposed for what they were. Far safer, electorally speaking, to say nothing at all -- or damn near exactly what the other guy is saying.

Here is a link to the full post: The Lipstick on the Pig

Monday, September 1, 2008

Immortal Love, By Daniel Chester French

Immortal Love

Daniel Chester French

photo by Lee Sandstead

No trip to Washington, D.C. is complete without a visit to the Corcoran Gallery to see this amazing piece in person.

Although, I do not fully agree with some of the conclusions Sherri Tranciski makes in her article; it is a well-written, I can see her point, and it shows off another piece I love: Love

Travel Recomendation:
Chesterwood: Home of Sculptor Daniel Chester French

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just For Fun: I'm Setting the Record Straight

Shortly after I wrote my post on Sarah Palin, I found a link and a nonsensical excerpt from my post on

The best I can't tell is a semi-automated service and I feel no pride from having something I wrote show up there. But more importantly, just in case a wayward Obama fan finds himself on my blog:

I am not sure that I am going to vote or if I do vote against whom I will be voting, but no matter what, I am no fan of the Obamessiah.

The Candidate for Change

No Barack We Can't

CHANGE: We Cannot Afford

Barack Obama Is Not The Change We Need

And in case any of our wayward commie-pinko, liberal friends are still reading, please click here

Sarah Palin: What's Being Left Unsaid

As with all of those who think of themselves in some way or another on the right, i.e., against the left, I had a surprisingly, pleasant reaction when hearing Sarah Palin was picked as McCain's running. Having watched her in interviews on news programs on several occasions, I knew that on a number of levels she is better than most politicians today.

That she accepted the invitation to be McCain's V.P. and that everyone from the crazy Libertarians to our most whacked-out Bible-thumping evangelists love this woman, makes it obvious that she is not as good as I hoped. I love that she is a confident, intelligent, strong-willed, but still a feminine woman who loves sports, guns, apple pie, and America. Her stances on the environment and teaching creationism in schools are not reassuring, but the thing that I find most distressing about her is that in the 21st century, with the technology required to safely perform abortions, especially in first trimester, that an intelligent, competent, woman who loves her life and is strong enough to stand up against the rest of world on a number of issues -- a female maverick as the are saying -- armed with the knowledge that she was carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome would choose not to have an abortion.

I think that everyone -- including those who are mentally disabled, but still able to function at some basic level in human society -- has a right to their bodies, actions, and choices. If a woman chooses to "keep her baby" that is her right to do so; but, the only reason I can think for doing such a terrible thing is to choose to bear some terrible duty -- to make your life about suffering; to choose to tie yourself (and society) to supporting this child for 40-50 years. Whatever joys that one receives form a child (normal or handicapped), they are far outweighed and inconsequential when compared to the suffering that a severely mentally handicapped child brings.

The work, suffering, and mental anguish that a healthy child brings is outweighed for the most part by the joys of watching and guiding him to adulthood. Without these joys and experiences, there is no reward or justification for late nights, constant hospital visits, stress, worrying, bills, diaper changes, the loss of personal privacy, and the freedom to do other things you truly love.

I am not a fan of statistics, but that approximately 80 to 90% of Down Syndrome fetuses are aborted is very telling. In any situation, controversial or not, that you see the numbers skewed more than 70-30; you are looking at a virtual consensus. I have read a number of articles this morning talking about the lives and accomplishments that people with mild form of Down's Syndrome can lead. And that's great. I take nothing away from those people. I wish them all the best. Where I think the evil lies is in those 10 to 20% of parents who think that God had deemed them worthy or better than the rest of world; that they are somehow stronger and more capable and thus must be willing to bear the blessing of suffering through life with a child with Down's Syndrome.

It is wrong to force that kind of suffering on the child, it is wrong to force that child into a society where it can never truly be a part, and it is wrong to force oneself to bear unhappiness and suffering as a constant, important, part of one's life. That Sarah Palin would make this choice brings her judgment and motives into question; that in other areas she is still head and shoulders above McCain, Obama and Biden is a testament to how bad things are right now, both in the culture and in politics.

I also recommend Myrhaf's commentary on Saran Palin:
Sara Palin
More Thoughts On Sarah Palin

Ammendum 9/1/2008:
Mike's Eyes (Spotted By) has a well-written piece on Govenor Palin:
Palin for GOP VP

And to create a virtuous circle, I would like to point you to Rational Passion's post on Palin, which quotes a good portion of my post (note to self, add a copyright stamement!). For the record a good portion of my thinking on Palin, Down's Syndrome, and abortion was helped by a number of conversations with Rational Passion:
Thoughts On The Palin Pick

In addition, in the comment section of Rassional Passion's post there is an interesting exchange on Down's syndrome. I still have some good thinking to do on this subject, but I can say definitively that it is my position that no matter how nice of a life that a person with Down's Syndrome could potentially have, one cannot know this while the potential is still a fetus. And even if one could, it would be better to abort and try again, or to abort and adopt than to place that burdern on yourself.

Life is about achieving success and joy, not burdens and suffering.

I have much to say and explain on this subject, so I have decided to start a new blog, the depth that I want to write on this subject is not appropriate for The Aesthetic Capitalist. The new blog is End Down's Syndrome, I will add the link here as soon as I fnish the first my post.

Ammendum 9/3/2008:
I have started a new blog, devoted to interesting philosophical, psychological, and poltical issues related to Down Syndrome, mental retardation, and mental birth defects: End Down Syndrome

The Story of Barack Obama

Many thanks to Rational Passion for alerting me to this. Funny, funny stuff.