Hard choices

What Table Talkers are saying about soldiers, presidents, pregnant women -- and their moments of decision


Salon Staff
July 16, 2004 9:34PM (UTC)

White House

Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11": Bush's worst nightmare?

Aunt Snow - 03:57 pm Pacific Time - Jul 9, 2004 - #3570 of 4017

I am amazed at the apologists for Bush regarding the seven minutes he stayed in the classroom.

If someone informed a business owner that his place of business was burning to the ground, would you think it reasonable for him to hide away to "think about it" before going to see what had happened?

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Would you think it reasonable if a captain of an ocean liner or oil tanker, upon being informed that the ship had hit an iceberg or reef, decided to wait for seven minutes before finding out what the damage was?

Would you think it reasonable if a military commander, upon being informed his troops were under attack, decided to wait for seven minutes before becoming involved, thinking it was OK to let his subordinates handle it?

The owner of the nightclub in Rhode Island that burned down, killing 100 people, despite the fact that he violated fire codes nevertheless stayed on the scene and tried to help people out of the building.

The captain of the Exxon Valdez showed more responsiblity than Bush, since even though he was drunk in his bunk when the ship hit the reef, at least he came up to the bridge and took the helm when he knew the accident occurred.

General Macdowell, when routed at the Battle of Bull Run, at least managed to stay in command and report the disaster back to Lincoln.

So, when compared to the culpable owner of a firetrap, a drunkard of a tanker captain, and an incompetent general, George Bush's performance as a leader come up short.

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White House

Gulf War II - #4 - Dedicated to our Troops

Sgt Alan Sanders - 07:57 am Pacific Time - Jul 13, 2004 - #6484 of 6574

OK cease-fire. I guess what really irks me about this whole Iraq thing is that in March 2003 I was home on leave and I participated in a peace march in my hometown of Louisville, Ky. I beleive in the process of our elections and somewhat that of our courts. I believe our drug laws are too zealously enforced. The one thing that keeps me together is that very soon I can hold my leaders accountable for the mess they have gotten me into. I can't wait for the election. I encourage my jr soldiers to register to vote. I don't try to make a pitch for one party or the other. I just want them to understand that the ultimate sacrifice they are willing to make defends something. The old guard that runs our country knows nothing of sacrifice. They know nothing of battle or loss. They have little understanding of the word patriotism or service. But, they are very afraid of the day when they lose their power. All is quiet again today. Power outages are still a problem. See you tommorrow.

Social Issues

Abortion in general

Thryn - 01:51 pm Pacific Time - Jul 12, 2004 - #1046 of 1060

The point being, the pharmacist doesn't have any right to object to either the 'lifestyle of the patient' or the way the medicine works or whatever. It's not their job. They (presumably) knew when they spent 5 years in school that they'd have to fill prescriptions for birth control, etc and still chose the career. If they've since discovered they cannot in good conscience fulfill the duties of their profession, they need to find a new profession. What of a physician who became Christian Scientist? should they refuse to practice medicine which conflicts with their new religious beliefs, yet also continue to accept patients?

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Or a priest who decides he doesn't believe in God? Should he continue to minister to the faithful, but at the same time tell them they're wrong & there is no God, because that is what his conscience tells him is right? Or should they find new professions that do not conflict with their convictions? (And one comment more on my 'conflict of interest' and then I'm dropping it.) The 'abortion industry' does not include taking advantage of women's confusion to convince them to have abortions.

When I was a counselor, I worked very closely with the women who came (of their own free will) to our clinic, to ascertain if they were conflicted, etc. If I in any way felt that a woman was there NOT of her own free will, or was having an abortion b/c she didn't know she had other options, or was likely to regret the abortion, I was able to refuse to sign her consent form. She then couldn't have the procedure that day.

I did not wield this lightly. Also, generally, if after we talked, a woman was conflicted, etc, she would willingly leave and spend more time thinking through her decision. Sometimes they'd come back and terminate the pregnancy. Sometimes we'd never see them again, and wouldn't know what had happened. Other times, she'd come back & visit with our social workers and plan an adoption instead. Because, you see, we had both an abortion clinic AND an adoption agency on site.

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It was very important to us that all women be exercising THEIR OWN CHOICE and not choosing an abortion b/c they were desperate and couldn't see any other choices before them.

Some of my most fulfilling, proudest moments in that job were when women would LEAVE, and then see me in a store or something, sometime later and tell me 'thank you'. Some others were when women would stay, and do the same thing later. Paramount was what the woman, herself, needed to do. Not what I thought, or her friends, or family, or boyfried. She, herself.

Posts of the week is an ongoing feature of Table Talk, Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found here in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

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