Friday, April 29, 2011


I am all set for the royal festivities today.  I'm taping the wedding so that I can watch it with my girls when they get home from school, but of course I'll be sneaking peeks all day.  I'm only human, after all!  I'll be serving tea, finger sandwiches and scones, and even found a recipe for devonshire cream!  I'm hoping to lure my husband in with some Guinness Stout but he is a man, after all, and I'm a realist.  Some people may think the whole affair is silly and that's just fine - if ever we needed some silliness, now is the time.  Weddings are wonderful things; royal ones even more so.  And when the bride is a 'commoner' - a regular girl who nabbed a real-life prince - why, it's practically magical.  They seem like a great match; certainly far, far better than his parents.

This wedding really has a different feel to it than other royal weddings.  It feels...genuine.  Yes, it's formal and conforms to official state tradition - he is, after all, heir to the throne, but there is also a joyousness, most notably in the bride and groom, that has been markedly absent from prior royal weddings.  Instead of keeping a stiff upper lip and doing his duty for queen and country, William found his match, and took a long time doing it, just to make sure it was right.  But, happily, 'Waity Katie' got her man. The big event at Westminster Abbey will be followed by a carriage ride and a turn on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for the traditional kiss.  A formal luncheon reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth is to follow.   In the evening, there is a dinner and dance in the offing.  The Queen and Prince Phillip will have vacated the palace and retired to Norfolk by then, so you know what that means - it's time to party!!

This particular dinner and dance party, hosted by Prince Charles and organized by the bride's sister Pippa for 300 of the bridal couple's closest friends and family, sounds like it will be a cracking good time.  After all, history is being made - there will be disco balls hanging from the ceiling of Buckingham Palace's Royal Throne Room.  Now that's a party.  For those die-hards who just won't quit 'til the sun comes up, Prince Harry is hosting a "fry-up"  at six in the morning on Saturday.  Speaking of Prince Harry, he won't be giving his best man speech until after the Queen retires.  Considering his notorious sense of humor, one can only hope that's for a reason (and that someone leaks it on youtube).

Charles and Diana's wedding was so formal and traditional.  An engineered match for dynastic reasons.  William and Kate, on the other hand, are a love match, and it shows in the youthful exuberance and hands-on approach to the event by not just the happy couple, but by their friends and family. 

With all that is going wrong in the world, all the things that weigh us down on a daily basis, setting it all aside for a few moments to embrace the pomp, circumstance and love on this happy day is a much needed escape from reality.  Luckily, this should be a heck of a wedding.  Let's not forget the bride's family are party planners.  From disco balls in throne rooms to trees in Westminster Abbey, this wedding may well prove to be the benchmark for weddings for years to come. 

And I, for one, plan on enjoying every silly second of it.  Cheers!


Thursday, April 21, 2011


The state of Massachusetts has been forking over $100,000 per year to the AIDS Action Committee, which in turn funnels a portion of that money into a web site called, which is a teen-friendly site focusing on sex ed.  It answers questions ranging from birth control to STDs and everything in between in a candid, teen to teen way.  But where the two sites differ is a doozy, so much so that it makes PP look almost conservative.  (Please note the 'almost' - but more on that later)

In a report in the Boston Herald:

Maria tells teen readers abortion is a “hot topic” but that the procedure is “more common than you might think” and “safe and effective, though some people may experience temporary discomfort.” The site’s discussion of risk is limited to advising that it is better to get an abortion sooner rather than later.

Planned Parenthood, by contrast, at least mentions the possible side effects, such as “infection,” “blood-clotting,” “injury to the cervix or other organs,” and “an incomplete abortion.”  Gee, it doesn't seem to be such a walk in the park now, does it?  This might have some repercussions!  As for the psychological issues, Maria counsels that it:

“can be pretty tough for some people, especially emotionally.”

Oh wait, that's what she said about adoption.  Here's what she said about abortion: of her fictional friends found it a “difficult decision” but decided the procedure was the “best choice . . . for herself, her boyfriend, her family and her future.”

Yup, just a choice; no deep thinking here!  No guilt, no sadness, no second thoughts - it's the best choice!  It's the only choice! The hardest part about it is the decision, really.

But if it's no big deal, why is it such a difficult decision?  It's not like there's a life hanging in the balance, right?

Which brings us to facilitation:

“The reality of getting an abortion is much easier than it sounds here.”

Really?  How easy?  After all, MA state law requires parental consent for any girl under the age of 18 to get an abortion.  No problemo, good ol' Maria has an answer for everything, including the caveat for my praise of PP's site that I mentioned in the first paragraph (emphasis mine):

Maria notes that state law allows minors to skirt that approval through a confidential judicial hearing, saying, “I know it sounds crazy . . . this really can be done and young women do this all the time here in Massachusetts.”

The site then directs teens to Planned Parenthood, saying that agency will either help them talk to parents or provide a lawyer to guide them through the judicial process.

PP is now offering underaged girls lawyers so they can get secret abortions?  Who's paying for that?  It would be nice to know that no taxpayer dollars are going into that kitty.  As the parent of two daughters, this enrages me.  This movement to help our underaged daughters obtain abortions in secret has to stop.  As mentioned above, these surgical procedures bring risks because they're surgical procedures.  If nothing else, parents need to be notified so they can care for their daughter on a medical level, not to mention the many emotional issues she might experience.  The problem is, notifying the parent would give them the opportunity to talk to their child and help her make an informed decision.  Yes, they might be angry.  Maybe disappointed.  Definitely sad.  But for the majority of parents faced with this dilemma, the health and well being of their daughter outweighs it all and they help and support her. 

Unfortunately, what Maria Talks, Planned Parenthood and others are telling our daughters is that making a life-changing decision like abortion and getting a secret judicial bypass (not to mention the abortion itself) is easier than having to tell their parents about it.

Posters for Maria Talks are being put up in high school nurse's offices across the state.  The website has crashed due to the controversy.  One hopes that when it is restored, the segments on abortion will have been purged and replaced with a more realistic, less happy-go-lucky view of the topic, as well as no further reference to bypassing parental consent laws.  That the state is sponsoring a site that facilitates secret abortions for underaged girls is disgraceful.   If the AIDS Action Committee cannot get Maria Talks to remove the information about judicial end runs around parental rights and cannot separate the money they receive from the state from their funding for the site, the state should pull all funding until they can.

As a side note, an investigation into PP's legal defense arm would no doubt be enlightening, too.  How many of those underaged girls seeking judicial bypass for abortions are being molested or victimized in some way, and how many are getting the help they need - and I don't mean an abortion. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The budget debate high drama last week was a real eye opener.  The resulting compromise - a smashing success all the way around when one considers how it seems absolutely no one is happy with it - not only temporarily postponed a potential economic disaster, it also drew a line in the sand.  The democrats made it perfectly clear that they are willing to send the country over the fiscal cliff in order to protect and fund Planned Parenthood.  The republicans managed to get a small concession in the banning of abortion funding for the Washington D.C. area only - something Reid et al bemoaned, even though they have enforced the ban in the past - without republican pressure.

Planned Parenthood claims no federal dollars are spent on abortions.  In that they don't send a bill to Washington for each abortion, okay, yes, the money isn't going straight to abortions; but in that they use the money they receive from taxpayers to pay doctor's and nurse's salaries and the electric bill that powers the suction machine, it certainly is.  Consider, for a moment, smoking in restaurants.  At first, regulations required a seperate seating area for smokers.  Eventually is became evident that even though the smokers were being quarantined, their smoke was not.  In fact, it was permeating every inch, as smoke is wont to do.  And so smoking in restaurants was banned entirely.   The federal funding of Planned Parenthood is like the smoke - it may not be directly used for abortions, but it is ending up that way in the long run by permeating every inch of the organization's day to day expenses.  Let's not forget that federal funding of abortions is barred, according to the Hyde Amendment.  No matter how "compassionate" it might be (it certainly isn't for the baby in question),  banned is banned, period.  Not one thin dime of taxpayer money should go to any enterprise that performs non-emergency abortions on demand.

The fact is, Planned Parenthood is a private enterprise.  It makes a profit each year, and may even be expanding in the near future.  As such, our federal government has no business subsidizing them for anything, let alone abortions. Perhaps PP should consider tapping their celebrity friends to assist them in a fundraising drive every year.  Hopefully some of them will donate not just their fame to the cause but actually put their money where their mouths are for a change.  In fact, online donations to PP since the budget battle have increased a whopping 500%.  See?  They don't need federal funding - just whip up some hysteria and voila! it's payday! 

Unfortunately, the furor with which this issue has been met by the left is, as usual these days, over the top to the point of cartoonish.  Republicans are coming to "kill women" according to Rep. Louise Slaughter.  The GOP is out to keep women from health care services, apparently out of nothing more than sheer spite and ideology.  You would think there were no other clinics or health care facilities in the US other than PP, wouldn't you?  It's almost as if, were PP to shut down tomorrow, there would no longer be any abortions available anywhere and Roe v. Wade would somehow, in a miraculously simultanious event, be reversed.

The hysteria has to stop.  The fact that we are giving more than $350 million a year to a private - and profitable - entity is reason enough to end the gravy train.  That it might, even indirectly, pay for abortions with taxpayer funds makes defunding even more imperative.  $350 million a year won't make a big dent in our debt, but when you add it in with other cuts and, most importantly, entitlement reform, it makes a tidy sum.  Much like environmentalists are always urging us to "do your part", no matter how small,  a whole bunch of littles add up to a lot.

The issue isn't access to abortions or women's health care - there are plenty of outlets for both with or without Planned Parenthood.  The issue is money.  Simply put, we don't have any.  And yet democrats keep insisting we continue to fund PP, a private organization, even when it means forty cents of every dollar we give them is borrowed.  It's time Planned Parenthood (and other crony corporations) was weaned from the public teat.

Defunding Planned Parenthood may not happen this year, but there's always 2012 and the potential of not just a Senate flip, but the White House, too.  Good things come to those who wait.


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