Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dear Mr Obama

Life is not a gift a politician can grant. It is a right, guaranteed under the Constitution. Barack Obama voted against saving the lives of babies born alive after attempted abortions. The baby he specifically was being asked to consider was a baby boy with Down syndrome. Mr. Obama voted NO. Senator Barack Obama and his campaign staff have made many conflicting claims in an attempt to "explain" his opposition in 2001, 2002, and 2003, while an Illinois state senator, to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, legislation to provide legal protection for babies who are born alive during abortions. The language of the Illinois bills was very similar to the language of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), which was first introduced in Congress in 2000 and enacted into law in 2002. For much more extensive documentation on the Obama record on this issue, see Assertion: On many occasions beginning in 2004, and as recently as August 13, 2008, Obama and his official spokespersons said that Obama opposed Illinois BAIPA because it lacked a 1 sentence "neutrality clause" that was added to the federal BAIPA before it was enacted, and that he would have voted for the federal bill (if he had been a U.S. senator when it passed) because it contained the "neutrality clause." This "neutrality clause" read as follows: "Nothing in this section [that is, the entire bill] shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section." Obama said that such a clause prevented the federal law from conflicting with Roe v. Wade. The Obama campaign asserted "there are major differences in state and federal bills, including the fact that the federal bill included a ‘neutrality clause’." Response: In the first place, the original federal BAIPA introduced in 2000 was only two sentences long – it merely defined as a legal person any human, "at any stage of development," who achieves "the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother" and then shows signs of life (heartbeat, breathing, or "definite movement of voluntary muscles"). This bill, which received initial approval from the U.S. House of Representatives 380-15 in late 2000, said nothing in either direction about the legal status of a human prior to birth. Therefore the "neutrality clause," added in 2001, simply made explicit what had originally been clear if implicit– that this bill dealt only with the rights of babies who had already been born alive. Obama insisted that the purported lack of a "neutrality clause" in the state BAIPA was all-important. NRLC uncovered, and publicly released on August 11, 3 documents that proved that on March 13, 2003 Obama, as chairman of the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee, actually presided over a committee meeting at which the original state BAIPA (SB 1082) was revised to make it virtually identical to the federal law – including the addition of exactly the same "neutrality clause." Yet, immediately after that change was made, Obama voted against the amended bill, and it was defeated on a party-line vote, 6-4. In other words, Obama led the way in killing a bill that was virtually identical to the federal law – the federal law that, since 2004, he has insisted he would have voted for if he’d had the chance. Obamas campaign continued to misrepresent these events. For example, on August 13, they submitted to the Chicago Tribune a chart that purported to contrast the "2003 Legislation That Obama Opposed" with the "Federal Legislation That Obama Would Have Supported" – this chart falsely claimed that the "neutrality clause" was a "failed amendment, not included in final legislation." On August 16, when David Brody of CBN News asked Obama (on camera) about the NRLC charges, Obama said that we were "lying." He repeated his claim that he would have been "fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported – which was to say – that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born – even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion. That was not the bill that was presented at the state level."

On August 25, the independent group ( issued a review of this question that concluded, "Obama’s claim is wrong. In fact, by the time the HHS Committee voted on the bill, it did contain language identical to the federal act. . . . The documents from the NRLC support the group’s claims that Obama is misrepresenting the contents of SB 1082."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Best Friends Forever

when Ciarra was four, a neighbor stopped down to see Jim, bringing with him the granddaughter he and his wife were raising. She was a wild child, scrappy and stout, loud and sometimes incredibly mouthy.

We watched as he guided her, he has a voice like sandpaper, roguh and choppy, but gentle and sweet with this little girl. How he loved her was so obvious. To this day, 6 years later, he calls her "the Baby".

Ciarra is "The Baby" too, and he has come to adore her almost as much as he does his own. It is funny to watch this hard, worn man love these girls, he dotes on them, spoils them rotten. Last Christmas, he helped Jade design and build an end table that looked like a reindeer, they cut it out, sanded it till it was butter smooth, then painted and trimmed it. It was a beautiful thing, and all the more so for the hours of love and companionship they put into it.
As Jade has grown, she has started to settle down a bit. Visits arent always drama anymore, the girls have slipped into an easy pattern. Their friendship has grown as they have, 6 years of dressup and arguing, 6 years of illnesses and best friend bracelets. 6 years of holding hands on long walks, arts and crafts and glue all over the carpet. 6 years of knowing someone will be holding a spot for you on the bus.
It has not always been easy to let them be, there have certainly been issues and struggles, and I am sure there always will be.

I used to wonder if they would outgrow one another, now I friends forever dont outgrow one another. Thier friendship is so rock solid, it is a beautiful thing to see. In the world of Down syndrome, we worry so much about relationships and friendships, will our kids know that kind of love.

I have been so blessed to see that the answer is yes. It is not without a lot of work. Sometimes I want to send them both to their respective rooms and not let them play together for awhile. Sometimes Jade's grandmother thinks the same way.

But for all of us, in both families, there is a respect for this thing they have created between them, arguments and all. It is a thing of beauty, it is a thing of fragility sometimes, but it is also a thing of terrific strength for both of them. How blessed they are, and how blessed we are to know that for both of our girls, Best Friends Forever is everything it is cracked up to be.