Scott Rubush is a recovering journalist living in West Chester, PA. He is a native of York, PA, and grew up in Cary, NC. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scott has an extensive background in writing and politics. He is Publisher Emeritus of Carolina Review, and a former associate editor of the Los Angeles-based website FrontPageMagazine.com. He currently works as a grant-writer for an educational foundation in Wilmington, Del.
In her article Crandall offers a dispassionate, almost surgical, dissection of the arguments offered by pro-abortion activists. Like that frog in high school biology class, these claims all die on the table as she probes and cuts away with her scalpel. For instance, to the claim that abortion is central to a woman's freedom and autonomy she writes:
When one looks at the data today noting that half of all women undergoing abortion in 2002 will be having at least their second, and that one of every five will be having at least her third, a number of highly descriptive thoughts come to mind. "In control" isn't one of them.
She also debunks the commonly held notion that killing "unplanned" children would reduce poverty and illegitimacy:
Illegitimacy, far from disappearing, has become a serious social problem [since Roe]. In 1970, just 10.7 percent of all births were to unmarried mothers. By 1975, after Roe, the illegitimacy rate in the United States had jumped to 14.5 percent. Nearly 70 percent of all black children and 33 percent of all children are born out of wedlock today. Divorce rates have multiplied, as have reported incidences of child abuse.
What about those claims that forbidding abortion by law would mark the return of "back alley-butchers" and "coat-hanger abortions"? It turns out the pre-Roe "dark age" of botched, illegal abortions was a big fat lie:
Had anyone bothered to research the claim [that five to ten thousand women would die from illegal abortions], then or since, they would have learned that every aspect of it was a myth. Death rates from infections and all types of surgeries, including illegal abortions, had already fallen precipitously after World War II, when antibiotics finally became available to the general public. But at no time, even before penicillin and sulfa drugs, had the number of abortion fatalities come anywhere close to the five thousand or ten thousand figures most often cited. In 1940, the National Center for Health Statistics confirmed just 1,313 deaths from illegal abortions, most of them from infection. As antibiotics became available and surgical techniques improved generally, abortion-related deaths fell sharply: 159 deaths in 1966, forty-one in 1972, the year before Roe.
And the issue of "privacy" between a woman and her doctor, the issue upon which Roe turned?
The reality, today as in 1972, is that a woman's personal physician is unlikely to perform abortions. Two surveys--one by the American college of Obstetrics and Gynecologists in 1985, the other by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1995--found that two-thirds of the obstetricians and gynecologists in practice in the United States, especially women and those under forty, refuse to do abortions under any circumstances. The reasons offered only rarely had to do with public pressure from anti-abortion activists. Most cited religious or scruples or simply said they didn't like doing abortions. Of the one-third that do perform abortions, a majority perform four or fewer per month. That leaves specialized abortion clinics that offer women with unplanned pregnancies little in the way of counseling or emotional support.
Crandall also offers this stomach-turning description of how the abortion pill RU-486 functions:
This type of abortion, in which the dead fetus is passed in the toilet or shower, with the woman herself as the sole witness, may even be more emotionally traumatic than the various surgical procedures. Chemically induced abortions certainly do nothing to reassure the public that abortion is "humane."
Fortunately, after 30 years of lying to women and murdering the unborn, the pro-abortion crowd has its backs to the wall:
The past decade has been an especially tough one for the abortion rights movement; morale has visibly collapsed. Six years ago, a hard-fought and very public congressional debate over so-called partial-birth abortions--a procedure in which the physician partly delivers a late-term fetus feet first, then kills it by piercing its skull with scissors, attaching a high-powered suction device and sucking out its brain--revealed not only a disturbing brutality toward the unborn but also a widespread occurrence in this country of second- and third-trimester abortions. Facing a horrified public, abortion rights advocates remained rigid ideologues. [...]
For advocates of choice, surveys of public opinion have become more and more grim...In the last presidential race, while 27 percent of those polled by the Los Angeles Times said they were more likely to vote for George W. Bush because he was pro-life, just 18 percent said the same for Al Gore because he was pro-choice. [...]
Initially hailed as a woman's ticket out of the kitchen and into the boardroom, abortion today has become increasingly associated with sexual irresponsibility and moral degradation. From a proclamation of independence, a woman's admission that she has had an abortion has now become the kind of public announcement that men, and other women, cringe, regardless of their politics. The ability of abortion to galvanize public opinion, to claim influence over election outcomes, is over. Americans looked at Roe v. Wade and found nothing in it for them.
Edwards Announces Presidential Run, Blows Off Senate Duties
I hate to reprint press releases, but amid John Edwards mania I can't resist posting this item that came to my inbox this morning from the NCGOP mailing list:
Edwards to NC: Senate Duties Not Worth My Time
Since Announcing Campaign for Democrat Nomination, Edwards Has Missed 5 Out of 8 Senate Votes
(RALEIGH, N.C.) – Since declaring his presidential ambitions two weeks ago, Senator John Edwards (D-NC) has missed 5 out of 8 US Senate roll call votes. The votes, ironically, relate directly to two of the issues, homeland security and education, on which he claims to be basing his run for the Democrat nomination.
“Mr. Edwards, ‘regular’ North Carolinians would like to know that their Senator is present when votes are being cast in the United States Senate. Our citizens need to ask what credibility does our Senator have on issues like homeland security and education when he does not even bother to vote,” said Bill Cobey, Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. “Being wrong on a vote is bad enough, but being absent while raising campaign cash is inexcusable. Sadly, I am afraid North Carolinians can only expect more of this kind neglect from John Edwards.”
John Edwards can sometimes be reached by phone at his Washington office at (202) 224-3154 or by email at http://www.senate.gov/~edwards/mailform.html or through the office of Ted Kennedy, his “mentor” at (202) 224-4543. But your best bet might be the Democrat Headquarters in New Hampshire at (603) 225-6899 or the Democrat Headquarters in Iowa at (515) 244-7292.
You started off being owed more than $1 billion in Maryland’s settlement with the tobacco companies. You wound up with $150 million. Are you satisfied with the final outcome of the settlement?
The agreement between our firm and the state when we were chosen to represent Maryland in its case against the tobacco industry was the result of a competitive bidding process engaged in by a number of law firms across the U.S.
Our office was selected as having submitted the bid most advantageous to the state. Our bid provided that:
We would completely fund the litigation, which was expected to cost anywhere from $10 million to $30 million.
We would perform all the legal work necessary -- including all trials and appeals -- to a conclusion of the case.
If successful, we would receive 25 percent of the recovery and be reimbursed a portion of our expenses.
If we were unsuccessful, and no recovery was realized by the state, we would receive no fee and no reimbursement of the millions of dollars we had expended on behalf of the state.
In other words, the state took no risk and could only profit if we prevailed.
As we all know now, we did prevail. The state will, over a 25-year period, receive approximately $5 billion from the tobacco industry.
Notwithstanding the facts above, the state refused to honor its contract and claimed the fee was too great and proceeded, with the blatant and brazen complicity of the media, to distort the facts of the dispute to vilify and demean our office and its legitimate position.
Moral of the story: Do not do business with tin-horned politicians, and keep away from the news media, whose systematic distortion of the truth seems to be the chief reason for their existence.
Greetings to all scottsbookmarks.blogspot.com users! Word has reached me that all blogspot.com-hosted sites recently were blocked by the Communist government in China , as well as some other ham-handed censors in the northeastern United States who shall remain un-named. I know those of you living under the iron fists of these thugs crave access to this economical launch pad to news and information, so I've created a Scott's Bookmarks Shadow Page that you can use to access my convenient list of news sites, research tools, and wire-service search engines. It's located here:
While this site is a little rough around the edges, the functionality remains the same. All the stuff you've come to know and love is still working. And of course for you readers in parts of the world that remain free and uncensored, the original "Bookmarks" site remains open for business.
In the meantime, I'll be working to develop a shadow site for the SR.com home page as well. Long live free speech!
Scott 11:57 PM [+] ::
Download of the Day: Andres Cabas, "Fiesta de Tambores"
Here's something new under the sun: "Fiesta de Tambores," the latest song by Colombian artist Andres Cabas (first introduced to readers of this site last November). I don't know how he manages to pull it off, but in this song Cabas fuses heavy metal with...Colombian folk music. The result is the most jaw-droppingly original song I've heard in eons. It friggin' rules. Go download it now.
Hiya, Kids! Have you ever had a partisan axe to grind, but just didn’t know to work the whet stone? Well, it’s easy, especially if you grow up to work for a big mono-daily newspaper like Raleigh, North Carolina’s News & Observer! Here’s how to do it:
1. Pick an issue you disagree with, say the Bush Tax Cut Proposal. 2. Find some random schmuck off the street--the less informed, the better. Perhaps even the cashier at Sam's Club or someone you meet while doing your laundry. This person is your “source.”
3. Ask your “source” what he or she thinks about the Bush Tax Cut Proposal.
4. Your “source” will have nothing worthwhile to say about the Bush Tax Cut Proposal, so your "source" will probably utter some nonsense about it "keeping the rich rich and the poor poor."
5. Go back to your office and type two paragraphs about how your “source” is too stupid to see the benefit of a tax cut. Spin this in a way that sounds compassionate: eg, your source "doesn't think President Bush's economic plan would help his family." No need to even bother with the specifics of the tax cut itself. It can read something like this:
Family needs help, doesn't see any in proposal
By CHRISTINA HEADRICK, Staff Writer
Vincent Matthews doesn't think President Bush's economic plan would help his family. They don't own a lot of stocks. "It's another way to keep the rich rich and the poor poor," said Matthews, who was washing clothes Monday at the Laundry Basket in East Raleigh. Matthews, 28, makes about $19,000 annually as a night clerk at Sam's Club, and his girlfriend made almost as much at Wal-Mart. But now she is on leave to care for their 5-month-old son, Jalen Matthews, who is undergoing three surgeries to correct a birth defect. She also has a 3-year-old daughter, Izhane Keith.
The couple live at a Raleigh public housing complex and depend on food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start to meet their family's needs. Matthews wishes the government would increase education spending and raise the minimum wage. "It would be nice if they did some of the things that people have asked for, instead of spending the money on people who don't need it," he said.
Folks, you know a conservative idea’s time has come when left-wing rags like the N&O start churning out garbage like this. Eliminating the double-taxation on corporate earnings through dividend taxes is such a common-sense measure that I’m surprised it’s taken so many years for it to even get a hearing in Washington. (Well, not really—this is Washington we’re talking about, after all—but you see the point.) If there were actually a case to be made against eliminating the dividend tax, these left-wing mandarins would at least pick up the phone and call their old J-School professors for some quotes. Instead, the only opposing voices left to interview are on welfare and living in the projects. That can mean only one thing: point, set, match for this new Bush tax cut.
"...the charisma free John Edwards' championing of the "regular people." Other than routine users of Metamucil, who are these regular people and does anyone truly aspire to be one? Talk about a lifeless idea! Who gives this fluffball longer than Kansas to be gone?"
("Shortcuts," Lucianne.com, 1/6/03)
Scott 7:37 PM [+] ::
What a f*cking mess this year is shaping up to be. The world seems like it’s getting ready to destroy itself in the Middle East and in North Korea. Meanwhile the economy still is in the stink hole, the Redskins missed the playoffs (again) and my Heels lost to friggin’ Iona last week. Even Tony Blair says the world is going to Hell in a Handbasket. Things look really bleak.
Meanwhile on the homefront, the two-kay-three started off in a similarly miserable fashion. My first act in this New Year was to roll out of bed at 10:15 this morning, hung over, and take the SR.com Assault Vehicle into the shop. The gawddamned turn signals have stopped working, and I made an 11:00 appointment at the Pep Boys on Rt. 202 to get them fixed. I get over there after all that trouble of rolling out of bed and driving through the pouring rain—on f-ing New Year’s Day—and the greasy-haired Yankee behind the counter tells me he won’t be able to look at the truck for two hours. Obviously this guy didn’t understand the meaning of “11:00” or “appointment.” Needless to say, I walked out of there with my keys (and money) still firmly in hand. But I still gotta figure out a way to get the rotten thing fixed. Damn the man, damn the man, damn the man….
Still, I can’t help thinking that things can only improve from here. Here’s a list of reasons why. First, in our public life:
1. We’re going to bomb the living shit out of Baghdad and Pyongyang. Yes, my friends, Saddam and Kim Jong Il are gonna be two real crispy critters by year’s end. Things may seem real scary now, but in a few months we’ll be able to fill our cars with real cheap Iraqi oil and eat Korean barbeque for lunch every single day because North Korea itself will be a barbeque. It’ll be great.
2. The Republicans are in charge of Washington. This is good news, friends. Lower taxes are on the way, and Jimmy Carter won’t be dispatched to negotiate with nuclear extortionists. We can all sleep a little easier knowing that.
3. The Orioles will win the World Series. Yes, yes, I know I say that every year, but dang it, I really got a feelin’ about it in 2003…
And here at SR.com:
1. I live in Delaware. I’m bound to get rich soon. Yes, I’ve come to enjoy living in a state governed by credit card barons (MBNA, et al.) and corporate polluters (DuPont, inter aliis.) I’ve even been reading a bunch of books on personal finance over the past six weeks or so (a large reason why I haven’t updated the blog much), so I’m convinced that I’ll have a big money pit like Scrooge McDuck before too long.
2. I’m eating better. Yes, friends, I recently acquired a cookbook that has begun changing my life: Mama Dip’s Kitchen. The author, Mildred “Mama Dip” Council, is the proprietress of a legendary soul food restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC, one of my favorite haunts during my college days at Carolina. So for me, having this book is the culinary parallel to that part in the Bible where God hands the two stone tablets to Moses, or to the time when those explorers in Egypt uncovered the Rosetta Stone. New worlds, new ways of life, now have opened to me. Zum beispiel: you’ll recall the disaster that ensued in January 2002 when I attempted cooking catfish and hush puppies with various “mixes” and other mindless substitutes for real, made-from-scratch ingredients. Well, no mas. This book has a recipe for from-scratch hush puppies, which I tried last night. Dee-lish. And there’s a recipe for a great tomato-based barbeque sauce in here too. That worked great with some chicken last night. And, there’s a whole bunch of recipes for desserts (I made a kick-ass pound cake from scratch this afternoon) and even a recipe for sweet tea. Best of all, these recipes are so simple that even I can follow them. Sure, I had to drop an extra yuppie-food-stamp at the Super G in order to buy things like vinegar and extracts and flour and such—none of which I’ve had any use for until now--but it’s still a very simple book to follow. I don’t know how I’ve lived outside the South so long with out this book. You need to go find a copy right now. It will change your life.
And, to make things even better, we just got a Trader Joe's here in Wilmington. The chain has been lurching eastward of late, and recently has opened a couple locations in the Philly suburbs. I understand they're down in Maryland as well, and they also have a couple locations outside Washington in Northern Virginia. This new one is the first in Delaware. Anyway, the arrival of Trader Joe's in the First State will make life here a lot better. True, the liquor laws in this state forbid Trader Joe's from selling the legendary wines and beers that are available to TJ customers in places such as California and Virginia, but at least Delawareans can now enjoy that store's wide variety of culinary delights. Frankly, I'm excited for the people of this state.
3. There is a number three, but I cannot reveal it to you. It’s my secret plan to conquer the universe. Suffice it to say that you will live in complete submission to my will by year's end.
So voyagers, take heart and fare forward! The tempests may rage for the nonce, but calmer seas lie ahead! Happy 2003!
A good friend of mine from college who recently finished a stint as a teacher of English to Spanish-speaking immigrants in Western North Carolina once asked her students as part of a class exercise: if you could meet any one person, living or dead, who would it be? She told me that about half the males in the class replied that they would choose the Colombian singer Shakira. When my friend followed up and asked if they would choose Shakira over deceased parents or Jesus, or some other great figure, they insisted that they would still choose Shakira.
I don’t like Shakira with quite that level of intensity, but I’m not too far off. Several months ago, I purchased her 1998 CD “Donde Están los Ladrones” and have just fallen in love with it. It may well be the best CD I bought in all of 2002. Written and produced entirely by Shakira herself, the eleven songs on this disk display a remarkable range of artistic talent—including the upbeat, bohemian sound of the opening song “Ciega Sordamuda,” the melancholy ballad “Moscas en la Casa,” and the captivating intensity of the Arab/Latin/Rock fusion (!) found in “Ojos Asi.” This is simply an amazing album, and I recommend that you run, not walk, to the nearest record store to pick it up. (Or better still, you can support SR.com by purchasing it here.)
This past year, Shakira broke into the Anglophone world with an English-language album titled “Laundry Service.” English-language albums by Latina artists are a real pet peeve of mine because 1) they generally suck (witness Thalia’s disastrous English-language album released last year) and 2) they represent an effort by greedy record executives to rescue their failing businesses by going South of the Border to find cheap talent (just like maquiladora bosses exploiting the factory workers in Juarez and Matamoros or dirty pervs driving down from the Hollywood Hills to Avenida Revolucion in Teejay to pick up the cheap whores.) Once these bastards have artists like Thalia and Shakira in their claws, they sanitize their music in an effort to make it acceptable to the vulgar American masses who eat hamburgers and waddle through shopping malls—all in an effort to make a buck along the way. It’s a shameful and disgusting enterprise, and frankly I’m glad that online file sharing is sending these people the way of the dodos.
Still, despite the fact that the album “Laundry Service” is a faint, distant image of what Shakira could be, there are several Spanish-language songs on the album that are getting some air time and are worth downloading. I’ve already downloaded a couple of them, and they’re all fantastic. (In particular I recommend “Suerte” and “Te Aviso, Te Anuncio.”) My most recent find is a song that has started getting a little bit of airtime on Philadelphia’s lone Latin station, La Mega 104.9. It’s also our download of the day: “Que Me Quedes Tú.”
If you’re new to Latin music, this might not be the best introduction to the genre. In fact, I’m not really sure why I like it myself. This song has a pretty slow tempo and a fairly melancholy sound in general. I generally don’t care for such music. Deciphering the lyrics from the Spanish doesn’t really help much either—they’re fairly cliché:
Que contaminen todo el agua del planeta
O que renuncien los filantropos y sabios
Y que se muera hoy hasta el ultimo poeta
Pero que me quedes tu
Y me quede tu abrazo
Y el beso que inventas cada dia
Y que me quede aqui
Despues del ocaso
Para siempre tu melancolia
Porque yoooo, yoo si, si
Que dependo de ti
Y si me quedas tu
Me queda la vida...
To paraphrase for the vulgar, she’s basically saying that the world could go to Hell tomorrow but if only I had you in my arms everything would be okie-dokie. Ho-hum.
Still, for some reason I’ve taken a liking to this song. Perhaps it’s because the full range of Shakira’s voice is on display here, especially in the refrain. It’s a great voice too, velvety and full of je ne sais quois. Whatever it is, I’m hooked on it just like I’m hooked on the rest of her Spanish-language music. It’s worth the time you’ll spend downloading it, especially if you’re already a Latin music fan.