In Pennsylvania's

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear Senator Casey & Senator Toomey,

As per Cardinal DiNardo's July 22nd letter to Congress, "In a report issued this week, the Institute of Medicine proposed a list of 'preventive services for women' to be required in almost all private health plans nationwide by federal regulation, under the authority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)." Instead of focusing on disease prevention, the IOM is trying to mandate coverage for sterilizations and abortifacients/contraceptives.

Cardinal DiNardo went on to explain that "The IOM’s proposed list of mandated benefits makes it especially urgent for Congress to bring PPACA into line with...respect for the rights of conscience. Those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families or their employees. To force such an unacceptable choice would be as much a threat to universal access to health care as it is to freedom of conscience. Therefore I urge you to support and co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, to help preserve respect in federal law for the freedom to follow the dictates of one’s conscience."


I respectfully request that you introduce legislation in the Senate, comparable to the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 (HR 1179).



    Cardinal DiNardo has also urged support for the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (S. 165). I again request that you co-sponsor and support this legislation.


    Sincerely,

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    HR 1179, HR 358, HR 217, & HR 212

    Dear Representative Fitzpatrick,

    As per Cardinal DiNardo's July 22nd letter to Congress, "In a report issued this week, the Institute of Medicine proposed a list of 'preventive services for women' to be required in almost all private health plans nationwide by federal regulation, under the authority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)." Instead of focusing on disease prevention, the IOM is trying to mandate coverage for sterilizations and abortifacients/contraceptives.

    Cardinal DiNardo went on to explain that "The IOM’s proposed list of mandated benefits makes it especially urgent for Congress to bring PPACA into line with...respect for the rights of conscience. Those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families or their employees. To force such an unacceptable choice would be as much a threat to universal access to health care as it is to freedom of conscience. Therefore I urge you to support and co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, to help preserve respect in federal law for the freedom to follow the dictates of one’s conscience."


    I again request your support and co-sponsorship of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179), as well as the Protect Life Act (HR 358), the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (HR 217) and the Sanctity of Human Life Act (HR 212).


    Sincerely,

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    The Modern Peril of Pauline

    A silent movie classic, The Perils of Pauline, was filmed near New Hope. The heroine was tied to railroad tracks with a locomotive in sight. Perhaps, that marked the beginning of Bucks County's general disinterest in rail transit!

    There are two words for those who do not appreciate rail transit's importance – "LONG" & "ISLAND." The Power Broker related how highway expansion bulldozed thoughts of rail transit, during the New York City suburb's post World War II housing boom. Fear of urban encroachment made many susceptible to the snake oil pitch that more and improved highways would speed commutes between their jobs and bedroom communities. In reality, more & improved highways led to more & more cars! With resources directed to automobile transportation, there was a concomitant neglect of rail transit.

    Though they are comparable distances, the driving time from Manhattan to Bucks County's Southampton is shorter than from Manhattan to Long Island's Southampton! If I were to take Amtrak & a cab today, I could get from Manhattan to Bucks County's Southampton in 80 minutes. If I were to take the Long Island Railroad, I would get from Manhattan to Long Island's Southampton in 141 minutes. So much for expanding highways & neglecting rails!

    Many persist in the claim that there are too many people, instead of acknowledging that there are too many cars!


    • "The Global Population and Environment Program's mission is to protect the global environment and preserve natural resources for future generations by advancing global reproductive health and sustainable development initiatives" (The Sierra Club).

    • [In the United States,] "any increase in our population can have adverse affects around the world. Our efforts to recycle, conserve energy and water, or protect land and wildlife habitat from development will be thwarted, if not totally undermined, if we do not also work to curb population growth here and abroad" (Planned Parenthood).

    • "Reducing the rate of population growth eases the many pressures people place on natural resources, wildlife habitats, and the atmosphere" (Population Connection (nee Zero Population Growth)).
    While speaking so forcefully on population, these supposed think tanks have little if nothing to say about improving global food distribution, public transportation, or "population ageing" (i.e., The "Who the heck will pay for our social security retirement benefits?" issue.). Seeing people as the enemy, they are ill informed by demographics. For example, the United Nations acknowledges that

    • "42 per cent of the world’s population lives in low-fertility countries, that is, countries where women are not having enough children to ensure that, on average, each woman is replaced by a daughter who survives to the age of procreation. Another 40 per cent lives in intermediate-fertility countries where each woman is having, on average, between 1 and 1.5 daughters....

    • "Because declining fertility and increasing longevity lead to population ageing, population ageing is fastest in the low-fertility countries....

    • "Population ageing is slowest among the high-fertility countries, which have still a very young population" (See 5/3/11 press release.).

    If Pauline were to return to New Hope today, she would realize that her true peril was from cars - not rails! At this time, there are rail transportation projects at different stages of the thought process (including "just about forgotten"), which have potential for wonderful, local benefits:

    Bucks County


    • Cross County Metro: Capitalizing on existing freight lines, the Cross County Metro would connect Trenton/Morrisville to Thorndale in Chester County, allowing connections with other SEPTA lines along the way (eg., Doylestown, Norristown) - without going into Center City (i.e., It would largely parallel the Pennsylvania Turnpike.). Intermodal connections would allow for easy commutes to such 21st century employment centers as Fort Washington, Valley Forge/King of Prussia, and Malvern.

    • Newtown Line service restoration to Center City

    • Quakertown service restoration to Center City
    Lehigh County, Northampton County, & the Poconos


    • Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton: There is a proposal to extend New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line, which would allow service between Allentown/Bethlem/Easton & NYC

    • The "Lackawana Cutoff" would restore service between NYC & Scranton
    With service restored to Quakertown, further extension to Allentown and Scranton would allow direct service to NYC & the Poconos.

    New Jersey

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Too Many Cars? Maybe. Too Many Kids? NEVER!

    We should challenge the morally bankrupt arguments of those who appeal to supposed overpopulation as the culprit in alleged climate change and overcrowding. How often these arguments seem to be posed by those with an abundance of material affluence! While we may well have too many cars, we can NEVER have too many children!

    There are various local rail tranportation projects at different stages of the thought process, which merit very careful consideration by our elected officials.


    Bucks County



    • Cross County Metro: Capitalizing on existing freight lines, the Cross County Metro would connect Trenton/Morrisville to Thorndale in Chester County, allowing connections with other SEPTA lines along the way (eg., Doylestown, Norristown) - without going into Center City (i.e., It would largely parallel the Pennsylvania Turnpike.). Intermodal connections would allow for easy commutes to such 21st century employment centers as Fort Washington, Valley Forge/King of Prussia, and Malvern.

    • Newtown Line service restoration to Center City

    • Quakertown service restoration to Center City

    Lehigh County, Northampton County, & the Poconos


    • Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton: There is a proposal to extend New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line, which would allow service between Allentown/Bethlem/Easton & NYC

    • The "Lackawana Cutoff" would restore service between NYC & Scranton
    With service restored to Quakertown, further extension to Allentown and Scranton would allow direct service to NYC & the Poconos.


    New Jersey







    (Click to hear Arlo Guthrie sing the timeless railroad song, "City of New Orleans.")

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    The U.S. Congress MUST Investigate Planned Parenthood

    Dear Senator Casey, Representative Fitzpatrick, & Senator Twomey,


    Please join Rep. Renee Ellmers and Rep. Randy Hultgren in pushing for a congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood. As per Americans United for Life, Planned Parenthood "is the nation’s largest abortion provider and has been plagued by scandal and abuse. Furthermore, PPFA and its affiliates receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ funds every year – a significant portion of which comes from the federal government." Americans United for Life goes on to document "the known and alleged abuses by Planned Parenthood, including:



    • "Misuse of federal health care and family planning funds....

    • "Failure to report criminal child sexual abuse....

    • "Failure to comply with parental involvement laws....

    • "Assisting those engaged in prostitution and/or sex trafficking....

    • "Dangerous misuse of the abortion drug RU-486....

    • "Misinformation about so-called 'emergency contraception'....

    • "Willingness to provide women with inaccurate and misleading information....

    • "Willingness to refer to substandard clinics....

    [as well as] "efforts of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates to defeat legislation intended to protect women and families, and to overturn common-sense federal and state laws....to assess the extent of the scandal and abuse at PPFA and its affiliates, a full-scale, thorough Congressional investigation is necessary."

    Demanding accountability from Planned Parenthood is simply common sense. Especially at a time of fiscal austerity, it defies the imagination to understand how any member of Congress could oppose this common sense demand or fail to actively support it.


    Sincerely,

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Support is needed in the Pa legislature for SB 3, HB 383, HB 574 / SB 732, & HB 1434, and in the U.S. Congress to defund U.N. "family planning"....

    Support is needed in the Pennsylvania legislature for SB 3, HB 383, HB 574 / SB 732, & HB 1434, and in the U.S. Congress to defund U.N. "family planning"; Say "No" to Pepsi!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Office of the Governor
    PO Box 001
    Trenton, NJ 08625

    Dear Governor Christie,

    Especially in a time of fiscal austerity, it boggles the mind that anyone should be advocating for Planned Parenthood! Though Planned Parenthood is forever complaining about its supposed poverty, the Form 990 for Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area tells another story! I was delighted to read that "Christie for the second straight year cut $7.5 million for family planning centers like Planned Parenthood." Bravo, Bravo, Bravissimo!

    Close to my own home, I have read that "the Planned Parenthood family planning clinic in Trenton, NJ was cited for numerous health code violations which have placed the lives and health of women and young girls in imminent danger....Some of the deficiencies cited by the NJ Department of Health in their April 7, 2011 survey...include the facility's



    • "improper use of syringes and compounds,
      improper training & qualifications of staff on pain management & health care counseling (including abortion services),
      failure to have infection control program in place,
      failure to require physical exam for staff &
      failure to test staff for rubella, rubella & TB tests,
      medical director's failure to designate a replacement in their absence,
      failure to ensure adequate protections in place for drug adverse reactions & medication errors,
      failure to have procedures in place regarding parental &d dangerous substances act as required by law,
      failure to ensure a written agreement with a pharmacy licensed by the NJ State Board of Pharmacy,
      failure to have adequate infection controls in place,
      improper use & sterilization of medical instruments & devices, including a vaginal ultrasound,
      failure to provide evidence that facility is a formal member of the Maternal & Child Health Consortium as required by law,
      failure to maintain hot running water in patient care areas, &
      several sanitary and safety violations involving patient care &
      many other administrative deficiencies
      " (New Jersey Right to Life).

    Planned Parenthood makes tons of money with its provision of mechanical/surgical abortion, as well as through its provision of abortifacient "Emergency Birth Control" and other abortifacients masquerading as "contraceptives" (to say nothing of other services which many of your constituents find morally objectionable). The good people of New Jersey should not be placed in a position to underwrite this organization.
    I hope and pray that Governor Corbett will follow your courageous example.

    Sincerely,

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    re: "Dorothy Day & Abortion: A New Conversation Surfaces" (America Magazine, 7/1/01)

    James Martin, SJ
    Culture Editor
    America Magazine
    106 West 56th St.
    New York, NY 10019-3803


    Dear Father Martin,

    I came across your 7/1/01 America Magazine post, "Dorothy Day and Abortion: A New Conversation Surfaces," as it was linked from http://www.pewsitter.com/. It has left me scratching my head and asking - what's your point? Are some to find solace in Dorothy Day's ALLEGED reticence to speak about the plight of the most vulnerable human beings?


    As a young man, my idealist friends and I spoke fondly of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker. While we recognized Dorothy as a great champion of impoverished people, few of us were aware of Dorothy's disdain for manipulative, wrongheaded efforts that disrespected human dignity. Look at her actual words, & you will clearly find her rejection of both abortion and contraceptives:



    • "Day After Day - November 1933": "....Mrs. A. with her four children and unemployed husband living on $1.50 a week, is trapped by economic circumstances and everyone is so indifferent that it took three or four afternoons of Mike Gunn’s time to see to it that the Home Relief came to the rescue....Three little pigs are crowded into a too-small cage, the case is brought into court, the judge’s findings in the case being that pigs should not be crowded the way subway riders are. And a family of eight children, mother and father, are crowded in three rooms and the consensus of opinion is that they’re lucky to have that and why don’t they practice birth control anyway...."


    • "The Family vs Capitalism", January 1936: "....it is to the re-creation of the Catholic family, that microcosm of society and type of the Mystical Body, that we must look now if we expect later generations in this country to see Catholicism, instead of Marxism, a vital force in the nation, if we hope to maintain 'the freedom of the children of God' against the diabolic forces of fascism. if we wish our posterity to enjoy the peace which is their heritage from Christ instead of the strife of wars and hatreds between nations and classes...in New York..., there is no diocesan provision whatsoever for the poor who are trying to observe the teachings of the Church against birth control and raise families despite their economic circumstances! We would suggest that as a first, even though inadequate, step toward realizing out ideals of family life our Catholic lay-people and clergy show the sincerity of their conviction by raising their voices in loud agitation for Catholic provision of such care."


    • "Disgraceful Plight Of Migrant Workers On California Farms", May 1940: "....I must say that my first view of the government camps made me anything but happy....Margaret Sanger has sent her agents around, and there are birth control clinics at every camp....Here there is room indeed for farming communes, for missions modeled on those the Franciscans started in the beginnings of California. As it is, there is nothing so beautiful that man has made in the entire state as the remains of those very missions which non-Catholic as well as Catholic point out with pride. Here there is room for personal responsibility, for the 'Christ’s room' in every house and on every ranch that the early Father’s talked of, instead of leaving everything to the government, which in spite of all they have done that is good, still think in terms of corporation farming and birth control clinics for the rural proletariat."


    • "On Pilgrimage - July/August 1962": "....I seldom speak at state universities or non-Catholic colleges without the question of overpopulation, birth control, abortion, and euthanasia coming up. The entire question of man’s control over the life of others, over the life forces within man, is one of the most profound importance today...."


    • "On Pilgrimage - September 1963": "....It is one thing not to judge others, and it is still another thing to expect men and women to live according to right reason, to seek wisdom and live by it....there has been a pamphlet published in England by the Quakers which is said to condone premarriage sexual intercourse 'if the parties are responsible.' My reaction to this is that of a woman who must think in terms of the family, the need of the child to have both mother and father, who believes strongly that the home is the unit of society. Sex is a profound force, having to do with life, the forces of creation which make man god-like. He shares in the power of the Creator, and, when sex is treated lightly, as a means of pleasure, I can only consider that woman is used as a plaything, not as a person....the act of sex in its right order in the love life of the individual has been used in Old and New Testament as the symbol of the love between God and Man. Sexual love in its intensity makes all things new and one sees the other as God sees him...."


    • "Chastity," 12/10/66: "How presumptuous it is to try to treat of such a subject in a short article, when great books (like Dietrich von Hildebrand's In Defense of Purity ) have been written on the subject....the marriage act purged of impurities is the nearest thing to the beatific vision we can know....To offer the suffering of celibacy, temporary or permanent, to the Lord is to make use, in the best possible way, of man's greatest joy...."


    • "On Pilgrimage - December 1972": "....birth control and abortion are genocide...."


    • "On Pilgrimage - May 1980": "....I have lost my sister, who had always been my closest friend and confidante....One difference of opinion between my sister and me came strongly to my mind a few nights ago as I watched, on television, the story of Margaret Sanger....My sister...went to work for Margaret Sanger, whom she revered as a great pioneer. After Della’s own marriage, she had three beautiful children, and, as she explained to me 'We are true believers in planned parenthood, and only had those to whom we could give five years of college, or even more for research.' When she went on to exhort me on another occasion, that I should not urge, as a catholic, Tamar, my daughter, to have so many children, I got up firmly and walked out of the house...."

    Sincerely,

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    A Jewish Perspective on the Sanctity of Human Life

    As per Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald,

    "While the laws of ritual impurity may seem obscure, obtuse and irrelevant, in truth, they play a key and vital role in Judaism and Jewish life because these laws represent Judaism's way of underscoring the ultimate sanctity of human life.

    "In fact, it may very well be that the principle of the sanctity of human life is the bottom line of all of Jewish life! It has been cogently argued that every single one of the 613 religious duties (mitzvos), as well as all the derivatives of those mitzvos, can be traced back to the principle of the sanctity of human life....

    "The challenge faced in the 21st Century to maintain an exalted respect for human life, may in fact be greater than at anytime in human history....

    "If some form of the laws of the Red Heifer were still practiced today, requiring that each person who is exposed to death travel to Jerusalem or to some 'special' location and undergo a ritual affirmation of life, there is little question that people would not be as lackadaisical and indifferent to the principle of the sanctity of life, as much of society is today....

    "My friend, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, has made an acute observation, noting that most people are annoyed when the sounds of fire engines or ambulances disturb their peace and tranquility. He suggests that it is important that whenever such alarms are heard, that we utter a silent prayer that the rescue vehicles reach the victims in time, and that no one will be seriously hurt. It is this heightened awareness and sensitivity to the sanctity of human life that the Torah rituals constantly try to reinforce" (Jewish World Review, 7/1/11).

    The 10 Commandments

    The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

    Christifideles Laici

    Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

    Our representation in D.C....

    Click the below image, to check on the status of federal legislation:
    Click the below images, to ascertain what pro-life and pro-marriage/family legislation is being sponsored or co-sponsored (as well as what legislation is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):
    https://www.congress.gov/member/brian-fitzpatrick/F000466?q={%22search%22:[%22brian+fitzpatrick%22]}&r=1

    To check U.S. House votes:

    To check U.S. Senate votes:

    Contacts:

    Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

    Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

    Contacting Our Governor

    717 787 2500 or governor@pa.gov.

    Contacting Our Bishops