My Sister 1, Al Gore 0

Filed in Politics, ScienceTags: Global Warming, Photos, Weather

While Al Gore was in Europe, predicting that "the entire North Polarized cap will disappear in 5 years" due to global warming, the southern California desert was getting blanketed in snow.

Global-warming induced snow storm in southern California, 15 December 2008
Photo © Julie Shropshire

Irony, thy name is Al Gore.

UPDATE: Thanks for the mention, Gateway Pundit.

Karen’s WebNursery

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Karen's WebNursery is now online. We should have birth announcements and pictures in the mail to everyone in about two weeks.

McCain on Palin: “So Long and Thanks For All the Fish”

Filed in PoliticsTags: Elections, Republicans

...and by "fish" I mean, of course, all of the conservative voters McCain reeled in by naming Palin as his Veep.

When asked by George Stephanopoulos, McCain refused to say whether he would support Sarah Palin if she ran for president:

"Listen I have the greatest appreciation for Gov. Palin and her family and it was a great joy to know them," McCain said. "She invigorated our campaign and she was just down in Georgia and she invigorated their campaign."

"But I can't say something like that," McCain said, "We've got some great other young governors, Pawlenty, Huntsman."

Stephanopoulos then pressed McCain regarding why he picked Palin to begin with, to which he replied:

"Well sure, but now we're in a whole election cycle... Have no doubt of my admiration and respect for her and her viability... but at this stage my corpse is still warm!"

Well, McCain has one thing right: he is a corpse - politically speaking, with respect to all of us conservatives who held our noses to cast our votes for him despite the stench of his duplicitous treatment of both conservatism and the Republican party that nominated him. And if it hadn't been for Palin, he wouldn't have had enough remains even to identify as a corpse.

H/T Josh Painter at RedState, who reacted appropriately:

The man rarely misses an opportunity to stab conservatives in the back, except when he kicks them in the stomach... Aside from his military service for his country, John McCain has proven time after time that to him, such values as honor, loyalty and respect are a one-way street.

John McCain: you are but a fraction of the person Sarah Palin is. You also aren't half the presidential prospect she is - something the conservative base you alienated will prove to you in four years should Palin decide to run. You can take your stinking corpse and your disrespect, and shove them both back into your RINO senate seat.

The Vatican and Stem Cells: A Tale of Two Headlines

Filed in Religion, Science, Social IssuesTags: Christianity, Clone The Truth, Cloning, Media Bias, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

The Vatican recently issued a statement on bioethical issues, entitled Dignitas Personae (The Dignity of the Person), which serves as the authoritative ruling for the Catholic Church in condemning, among other things, embryo-destructive stem-cell research and human cloning.

The foundational tenet for the ruling is, as astute readers may surmise, the inherent dignity of the human being. The statement makes this point explicit in its opening sentence (pg. 1 of 23):

The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death.

The statement attempts to differentiate between human dignity, which has inherent moral value, and scientific research, which does not have inherent moral value apart from the moral implications of the applications of that research. The statement goes so far as to reiterate the church's support for and participation in such research (pg. 2 of 23):

The church therefore views scientific research with hope and desires that many Christians will dedicate themselves to the progress of biomedicine and will bear witness to their faith in this field.

Having made clear this differentiation, the statement lays out the foundation of its ruling: 1) all human life has inherent dignity and moral worth, 2) life begins at conception, therefore 3) human life at the embryonic stage of development deserves all the dignity and respect due human life at all other stages of development (pg. 3 of 23):

The body of a human being, from its very first stages of development, can never be reduced merely to a group of cells. The embryonic human body develops progressively according to a well-defined program with its proper finality, as is apparent in the birth of every baby.

It is appropriate to recall the fundamental ethical criterion expressed in the Instruction Donum Vitae in order to evaluate all moral questions which relate to procedures involving the human embryo: 'Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.'

From this foundational position, the statement makes the logical conclusion that embryo-destructive pursuits (including embryonic stem cell research) are immoral.

So, given this position, I would expect a headline such as "Vatican document condemns cloning, stem cell research", just as a matter of course. But how do the ostensibly upstanding journalists at the Honolulu Advertiser portray the ruling? Why, "Vatican condemns modern science research", of course.

Contrast that gem of journalistic integrity with the (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Star-Tribune's take: "'Dignity of a person' reinforced in Vatican bioethics document."

Well now, that sounds just a little bit more accurate.

WordPress 2.7

Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Geekery, Web Site, WordPress

The latest version of WordPress, 2.7, was released earlier this week. The release, code/nick-named "Coltrane", brings several major back-end improvements:

Lorelle lists several reasons to upgrade immediately. Ryan Boren discusses the release, including what features were moved to the 2.8 (or later) blueprint. He also notes that WordPress 2.7 was downloaded 100,000 times in the first 20 hours after release (the counter reads 195,849 downloads at the time of this post), and that some bug fixes are already making it into the planned 2.7.1 release.

I upgraded late last night, and the upgrade went apparently smoothly. As always, let me know if you notice anything amiss. I will be working on some of the new features, such as nested/paged comments, in the near future.

Lily and Karen: Separated at Birth?

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

I mentioned previously that Karen looks just like Lily did when she was born, except for their hair. Well, let me show you just how much alike they really look:

Lily and Karen: Separated at Birth?

Can you tell which one is Lily, and which one is Karen?
Photo © Chip Bennett

Welcome to the World, Baby Karen!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

This morning, at 8:09, we welcomed into the world Karen Elizabeth Bennett:

Karen 00 Months - December 015

Karen Elizabeth Bennett (Karen 00 Months Flickr set)
Photo © Chip Bennett

She was born via c-section at 8:09am; she weighed 6lbs, 10oz, and was 20" long. Both baby and mommy are doing well, and are recovering.

Nana and Papaw brought her Big Sister Lily to the hospital to meet her this afternoon. We'll have more pictures up soon.