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It Was National Children and Families Day. Who Knew?

Did you know that Saturday, June 27 was National Children and Families Day?

I didn’t know. None of the news media knew, either. A news search for “National Children and Families Day” produces no media mentions in the month of June, 2009. There are no news media reports regarding “National Children and Families Day” at all, not a single one in any of the years of this decade, except for one: a Washington Post article by Dana Milbank mocking the Congress back in 2006 for passing useless bills:

Before the tired lawmakers could adjourn, the people demanded that they name four post offices and declare Congress’s support for “the goals and ideals of National Passport Month” (H. Res. 327), “National Tourism Week” (H. Res. 729), and “National Children and Families Day” (H. Res. 763).

This year, the bill declaring congressional support for “National Children and Families Day” wasn’t actually passed until three weeks and four days after the special day was scheduled to occur, July 22, 2009. Maybe that’s why nobody mentioned “National Children and Families Day” in the news media. Maybe that’s also why a google search for “National Children and Families Day” doesn’t turn anything up but reports by congressional databases on the existence of this bill.

That could be it, except that by golly the Congress has been passing this bill declaring support for this “National Children and Families Day” for years. Not just in 2009, not just in 2006 as Dana Milbank mockingly remarked, but in 2007 and 2008 and 2005 and before then, too. If by now there have been years and years of legislation establishing overwhelming congressional support for “National Children and Families Day” (this year the vote was unanimous, because who will admit to hating hates children and families), and despite this nobody in the media and nobody in the public remarks on the day at all…

… then maybe the declaration of special days by the U.S. Congress isn’t worth a hill of beans.

46 comments to It Was National Children and Families Day. Who Knew?

  • Jacob

    National Children and Famalies day cant be celebrated…

    While passing this bill they still maintain that its OK to kill unborn babies and allow getting a divorce to be easier then getting a new car… Family means nothing in America

    • Jim

      Jacob,

      What makes a marriage a car? And what makes an embryo a baby?

      I’d like to read your justification for these comparisons.

      • Jacob

        A marriage is not a car. In fact, it is much bigger then a car. Do you not think that something as trival as a car should be easier to get then something as huge and life altering as a marriage or divorce? Whether you think divorce is ultimatly wrong or not is beside the point. Divorce in itself is an extremely painful thing that leaves behind a lifetime scar on a person. They are passed out like they are no big deal which is ridiculous, and it is even worse when kids are involved.

        What makes an embro a baby? Um, the fact that an embyo is a baby makes it a baby… What makes a parapalegic human? What makes a 27 week premie a human? While there are differences between embryos and fully developed human beings, embryos are undoubtedly an early stage of development of human beings. There is no question that they are living and that their DNA makes them, scientifically speaking, human beings.

        What makes an embryo not human in your eyes?
        Why do you think that divorce papers should be given out at 7 eleven?
        Or maybe you agree with me that the divorce thing is out of control…

        • Jacob

          Jim,
          Do I pass the test?

        • Jim

          I don’t think it’s my business to tell people they can or can’t be married or divorced. It’s not my business. When did other people’s marriages become your business?

          “The fact that an embryo is a baby makes it a baby” is a trivial justification. It’s you saying “because I said so.” Then, in the next sentence, you add the third term “human,” which further muddies the water. Try again, not conflating terms or justifying them in terms of themselves.

          The two questions you ask stem from incorrect suppositions. I think the adjective “human” applies to an embryo. I think the adjective “human” applies to a skin cell. I have “human” hair and speak a “human” language. Consider what the adjective “human” means. And obviously I don’t think divorce papers should be given out at 7 Eleven. I think the Flying J Truck Stop is a preferable outlet.

  • Jacob

    sorry… to me human and baby mean the same… How do you define baby then. I think you know where I am going with this. You seem to just want to play word games until I give up

    • Dr. Theopolis

      Jacob, what’s becoming clear is that you haven’t thought out this subject carefully. “Word games?” Words mean things, Jacob. Different words mean different things (human does not equal baby; you and I are human but we are not babies). If you cannot express your thoughts clearly in words, it is an indication that your thoughts are not clear.

      Try to clarify your thoughts. You may be surprised where clarity leads you.

      • Jacob

        We can play that game all day and its still wrong to kill the baby in the mothers womb. I think people play these games because it makes killing something easier…

        • Jacob

          Why couldnt I kill Christopher Reeves? What would be wrong with that? How is that different then a baby in the womb?

        • Jim

          You’re saying you believe what you believe because it is the way it is. That is not an explanation; it is you shoving your fingers in your ears and shouting “la la la la la” very loudly.

          I am happy to answer your questions with clarity and completion.

          I define a baby as a human being after it has been born and before it learns to walk. Before this state a human is a fetus; after this state a human is a toddler.

          • Jacob

            So when does the transition take place? When does it become not OK to kill it?

            • Jim

              Those are two different questions. The transition between fetus and baby has already been set by definition, answering the first question. The second question is a moral question that will have different answers for different people. For me, it becomes unacceptable to kill a fetus (assuming the pregnant mother is not in an exceptional state, such as quickly losing blood) at a point when it can be demonstrated that a fetus is structurally capable of higher cognitive function. That is a point which has not been pinpointed by cognitive scientists or developmental biologists, but it has been demonstrated not to occur early in gestation.

              • Jacob

                So you think its OK to kill until something happens, but you pick something that cant be defined… So how can you possible make that call? An what is “higher” that in itself can have a moving defenition. Some people would consider highly retarded people to fit below that, but I assume you think it would be wrong to kill them…

              • Jim

                Now you’re putting words in my mouth, which is really tiresome. I didn’t say what I pick “can’t be defined.” I indicated that at some points during the development of the embryo, the higher cognitive functions, by which I mean functions of the cerebral cortex, have been ruled out.

                To learn more about cognition and its relationship to the development of the embryo, why don’t you pick up an embryology textbook and learn about the latest research? That’s the best place for you to go, and before you try to use the law to restrict women’s freedom, prohibiting women from exercising control over their own bodies, you really ought to know what you’re talking about.

                I’m not just engaging in “word games” when I say that. I mean it. If you have the money to go out and purchase a textbook, Langman’s Medical Embryology is pretty widely recommended, but if you don’t have the cash, you could read here and here and here and here to get some insight. You’ll learn that embryonic neurons haven’t moved to the necessary positions for cortical brain function until 20-24 weeks of gestation, and even then the structures of the brain aren’t set, as connections between those neurons have yet to be completed.

                A close relative of mine has been classified as highly retarded, and that relative has cerebral cortex function. Please don’t assume what I think.

              • Jacob

                No, I never put words in your mouth, I said that. I summed up what you said… You think its ok to abort babies until they develop in a certain way and to a certain point which according to you “That is a point which has not been pinpointed by cognitive scientists or developmental biologists” That seems scary. You think its ok to abort a baby up until a point that you cannot pinpoint. Its also scary to think that the vague point you posted in your second response goes past the point that a premie baby has a chance of survival. So if the cognotive part isnt developed to a higher level if a mother has a 22 week old premie its ok to kill it. Its not until around possibly the 24th week that this changes. You also like to throw out the women has a right to her body garbage but your argument has 2 LARGE holes in it. (I wont even touch on the fact that the baby is a second life form which although she carries it it is NOT ehr body). Your cognotive argument forgets the fact that no biological change in the relationship between baby and mother happens at the point of cognotive development. The baby does not become less dependent on the mother or less part of her body. If its the mothers body and she has the right over it your argument for at what age this change occurs cant work together with your argument that she has the right to chose. You cant have it both ways.
                So I assumed incorrectly then and you think killing your reletive is OK? This is what I am talking about you not reading my post. I assumed you would think its not ok, because almost all people think its not ok. We like to use this the baby cant function seperatly and has no brain ability reason to kill them but we dont hold the same rules for adults in the same condition. I used to work with severely handicapped children who couldnt move, talk, or interact. If the machines turn off they die. They had almost no brain activity and were about as close to vegetables you can get. Most of them born this way. We dont kill them because its wrong and as a people we know it. For some reason we hold different rules when the baby is still forming.

              • Jim

                Stop it. No. Just stop it. You’re selecting certain parts of what I have said, ignoring the second parts of the same sentences, and moving on to tell me what I think as a result of your selective statements. As a result, you are wildly inaccurate when you tell me what I think.

              • Jim

                * Who’s in that “we”? Not me.
                * People who have no cortical brain activity are killed all the time; your statement that “we don’t kill them because its wrong and as a people we know it” is not true, unless by “we” you mean some set of people you have not (and should) identified.
                * I don’t want you to assume my position on a topic, regardless of whether your assumption turns out to be true or not. Ask.

              • Jacob

                O, and I am not trying to twist any words or ignore what you say. I find it impossible to seperate human, baby, fetus and embryo. I understand they are different stages but I believe they are all the same. Much the same as baby, toddler, adult. I am not trying to play games but when I respond and get upset my natural words come out and I forget how you carefully define each seperatly. I believe that society as a whole so carefully tiptoes around these proper definitions because it is much easier to kill a fetus then a baby…

              • Jim

                But see, that’s just the thing. If they are different stages, then obviously they are NOT all the same. Look up the definition of the words “same” and “different.” I wouldn’t issue a four-week-old baby a driver’s license, so obviously there are important differences. There are similarly profound differences between a zygote and an embryo and an early fetus and a third-trimester fetus and an infant. So let’s pay attention to and learn about and follow from these differences, because the differences do matter in treatment. That’s why I did (and still do) suggest you get an embryology textbook and read it.

                It is much easier to kill a fetus than a baby because a fetus, especially a fetus before week 20, is much different than a baby.

              • Jacob

                No, a fetus is a early baby. It looks different but it is a baby

              • Jacob

                I fogot the second point…
                The baby has a seperate Genetic code then the mother so even scientifically it is a seperate organism, not her body

  • Dr. Theopolis

    If you point out an error in logic, you are “playing word games.”

    Cheap way to win an argument.

  • Jacob

    I have never once said what you think… im trying to sum up what you say. If I am wrong correct me.

    When exactly is it not ok to kill babies, and when exactly is it ok?

    • Jim

      Well, I don’t think it’s OK to kill babies, as I define the word “baby” (see above), unless in an exceptional case when a baby is already dying or is born without cognitive capacity (think anencephaly) and will not live without massive life support intervention.

      Yes, you have many times told me what I think — look right here in your comments for the phrase “you think.” It is not my responsibility to have you put words in my mouth and for me to identify every time that you are wrong. If you are interested in being polite and avoiding misrepresentation, I suggest you ask questions about what I think and let me answer them. If there is a part you do not understand, ask a follow-up question.

      The standards you identify recently above as valuable indicators of something that must not be killed are not important to me. I understand they are important to you, and I respect your right to hold them as important to you; they just flatly are not important to me. To be specific:

      * Something having a distinct human genetic code doesn’t in my value system isn’t above killing to me.
      * Something being an adult human and having no cortical cognitive capacity isn’t above killing to me according to my value system.
      * Some human thing doesn’t change from killable to not killable in my value system because of some (to quote you) “biological change in the relationship between baby and mother.”

      So any arguments you make based on the those three value statements will simply not be convincing to me.

      Now. I have answered just about every question you have thrown at me — and you, in the meantime, have refused to even define your terms. Before you go and ask me another question, why don’t you go back and define the terms you’re using. I’ve suggested before, and I still maintain, that your exercise in doing so may be illuminating to you and to others. If your goal really is to “help” others see your point of view, you have to make your point of view visible. It is a mere smudge to my eyes, so you’re not accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

      • Jacob

        My value system wil obviously have no impact… My value system has it being seperate and equally valuable life at 2 cells. We are obviously a mile apart. the problem is we arnt a mile apart (not just you and I but people evrywhere) in a trivial meaningless thing that doesnt matter. This is obviously life and death. All day long I read liberal posts on why we should treat the enviornment better (and we should) but I cant seem to grasp how a bundle of near extinct algea is more important then a huamn life. I belive the genetic code is extremely important in this arguement not because that alone makes it human but because that alone makes the argument about a women can do whatever she wants to her body hard. It is obviously not her body. It is a seperate being. Your three points that you have dismissed scare me to death. Not because you scare me Jim, you seem resionable enough most of the time, but because many people in a MAerica feel the same way. We are to the point that because someone has less brain function they are less then human. We are doing them a favor by ending the life. I fear that this will become more like Holland for example. Were people can choose to end there own lifes at any given time. We are moving to a point were old people will only be allowed to drain society for so long before they are helped to their final resting place. I know it sounds crazy but the road is being paved and the path is being set. By trying to pretend that unborn children are not worthy to be called humans and can be exterminated at will I think we as America are not a far cry from Hitler’s Germany. At least the Jews could fight back. Jim, I dont know all of your values and I wont even attempt to guess beyond what you have already pointed out. But if you are being honest that “* Something having a distinct human genetic code doesn’t in my value system isn’t above killing to me. and * Something being an adult human and having no cortical cognitive capacity isn’t above killing to me according to my value system.” it gives me the chills. The heart of America is far colder then I could possibly have imagined…

        • Jim

          You state that your “value system has it being separate and equally valuable life at 2 cells.” Obviously an embryo or fetus is not separate from the mother; they are literally attached. And “equally valuable” is a very strong choice of words, the implications of which are strong. If a two-cell embryo is to be “equally valuable” as a grown human being, then what will you do about all the spontaneous miscarriages of embryos? If those embryos that spontaneously miscarry are “equally valuable,” then the spontaneous miscarriages are a public health disaster; if you don’t suggest doing something to prevent the spontaneous miscarriages, then these two-cell embryos really aren’t “equally valuable,” are they?

          A skin cell is something that has a distinct human genetic code. I have no problem killing a skin cell.

          I have no problem taking a brain-dead accident victim off of life support, killing it.

          I didn’t suggest that embryos “are not worthy to be called humans.” I said they are human; clearly the adjective human applies. I said that before they develop cortical function it is acceptable to me to end their lives.

          How is what I suggest “not a far cry from Hitler’s Germany?” Please be specific in drawing the parallels between fully cognitive Jews being starved, then marched off to the Zyklon chambers, and the prevention of a non-cognitive embryo’s implantation.

          • Jacob

            Ive already mentioned that I could care less if they are fully cognitive or not. If your going to convince me that its different then Hitler you cant use that argument. Mu value system, as stated earlier has the 2 cell baby as a human life. When you abort it you are killing a human being. Its just like Hitler’s Germany, except in America we are killing a lot more

            • Jim

              How is it “just like Hitler’s Germany”? Please tell me, exactly, how it is “just like” Hitler’s Germany? Or do you mean kind of like, but a little different? If so, what are the important similarities and differences?

              • Jacob

                I do mean just like Hitler’s Germany. Not kind of like. We are killing innocent people because we believe it will make our life better. We are killing babies that have any form of abnormality because its the humane thing to do. We are working towards a stronger better race. The only difference is we dont say it like that out loud

              • Jim

                That’s only “just like Hitler’s Germany” in the sense that Barack Obama is “just like Adolf Hitler” because Barack Obama has a belly button and a nose and Adolf Hitler had a belly button and a nose.

              • Jacob

                Geez Jim, you are right. Lets kill all of the babies. That will sure help things. The sad part Jim is not that you believe this is ok. One person withouot value for human life is sad but not crushing. The really sad part is that you represent the voice of the majority on this issue. Yoy represent a population that thinks this is truely ok and the rest of us crying for life are idiots. What a screwed up world we live in

              • Jim

                OK, if that makes you sad, it makes you sad.

                But do you know what makes me sad? It makes me sad that you seem unable to embrace or even see nuance (the latest version: “Lets kill all of the babies”). It makes me sad that you haven’t, despite repeated requests, defined your terms in ways that aren’t circular. It makes me sad that despite the fact that you have today killed thousands of organisms in your routine activities, you won’t move beyond a dichotomy that places people who agree with you in the camp of those “crying for life” and that puts those who disagree with you in the camp of Nazi concentration camp guards.

                Aw, naw. It doesn’t make me sad. It just irks me. I encourage you to pick up that embryology textbook I’ve referred to in previous comments here and discover that humanity is not dichotomous. I encourage you to do it, but I don’t expect it.

              • Jacob

                Its not the disadreeing part that makes you be in the same boat as murderers. Its the allowing murdering part that does…

              • Jim

                Define murder. Define human. Define your terms.

              • jacob

                Adolf (I mean Jim) said…

                Define murder… We are helping the world

                Define human… Jews arnt human we all know that

                Define your terms…

              • Jim

                Obviously, our conversation is at a conclusion.

              • jacob

                If I would have known who you are on the inside our conversation would have been done days ago…

              • Jim

                Yeah, someone who asks you to define your terms is a real downer, huh?

            • Jim

              Since you’ve skipped over my question and just repeated yourself, let me repeat my question:

              You state that your “value system has it being separate and equally valuable life at 2 cells.” Obviously an embryo or fetus is not separate from the mother; they are literally attached. And “equally valuable” is a very strong choice of words, the implications of which are strong. If a two-cell embryo is to be “equally valuable” as a grown human being, then what will you do about all the spontaneous miscarriages of embryos? If those embryos that spontaneously miscarry are “equally valuable,” then the spontaneous miscarriages are a public health disaster; if you don’t suggest doing something to prevent the spontaneous miscarriages, then these two-cell embryos really aren’t “equally valuable,” are they?

              • Jacob

                The baby is dependent on the mother but it is a seperate growing life form. This is a uniqly different human being in the earliest stages of development. It does have profound meaning I agree. I think we should be doing all that we can to understand why babies misscarry so we can attempt to end that. We have been done this road before after our baby died. If you want to start this road of thought I bring faith and God to the table and the conversation goes downhill pretty fast. If that is the direction you would like to go just let me know and I will continue on…

              • Jim

                No, it’s enough for you to state that you’re going down that road and I’ll have to say, sorry, I don’t go by faith, the definition of which is belief without empirical reason (if there is empirical reason, it isn’t faith).

                Go ahead and find out how many “babies” (by your definition) are spontaneously aborted. You have a huge task ahead of you — the number of “babies” dying in spontaneous abortion far outweighs the number of those dying by intentional abortion. And remember, you’ve decided they’re equal in importance to human lives of fully conscious adults. So go ahead. Go save some “babies!” Good luck figuring out how.

                If you give up on that, then maybe that says something about your value of these “babies.”

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