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Rice importation and population growth January 22, 2011

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, RH/Abortion Bills.
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Last January 11, the Philippine Daily Inquirer carried the story, “PH to sharply cut 2011 rice imports.” It said (emphasis mine):

MANILA – The Philippines, the world’s biggest rice importer last year, plans to sharply cut its imports of the grain this year, the head of the state grains agency said Tuesday.

National Food Authority administrator Angelito Banayo, asked about rice import plans for the year, told reporters: “Much much lower, probably not even half — probably one third.” He would not give specific figures.

. . .

Banayo said the government planned to cut imports because it already had a lot of rice stored from previous years.

Very interesting indeed. The population of the Philippines is not shrinking, but our rice imports will be drastically reduced. What does that mean?

This development indicates that past rice shortages (and the need to import) were not necessarily caused by “runaway population growth” as some have hysterically claimed. Rather, it seems that any shortages were more likely caused by other factors (such as corruption, hoarding, and inefficiency). After all, PNOY, in his State of the Nation Address, stated that some P160 billion worth of rice were wasting away on the shelves.

Way too often, doomsayers have been blaming rice shortages — and a host of other ills practically including the kitchen sink — on alleged “runaway population growth” or “overpopulation.” They seem to forget that both our nation’s Total Fertility rate (TFR) has been dropping like a rock, along with our population growth rate (see my blog post on that here).

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The Evil Cousins: Contraception and Abortion February 5, 2009

Posted by Maddog in Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
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There is a common misconception about contraception being peddled by the proponents of the highly coercive, so-called “Reproductive Health” bill known as HB 5043. They often claim that the incidence of abortion can be reduced through contraception. While that may sound plausible, the cold facts from around the world tell a different story. Contraception does NOT decrease abortion rates; in fact, contraception increases them!

The Contraception-Abortion Link

Here is some evidence to chew on:

A Position Paper Against HB 5043 December 6, 2008

Posted by Maddog in Catholicism, Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
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Position Paper: Catholic Alumni United for Life

http://www.phnix.net/Position_Paper_Against_HB_5043.pdf

We, concerned alumni of Catholic Universities, have united to express our stand against the anti-life, abortion-promoting Reproductive Health Bill authored by Edcel Lagman et al, now also known as HB (House Bill) 5043.

As graduates of Catholic universities well-known for their spiritual and moral values and academic excellence, we are also deeply dismayed that certain faculty members in some of our own respective alma maters have aired support for the said Bill despite the clear guidelines of our Catholic Faith.

We have therefore chosen to release this position paper in response to the confusion and scandal caused by the actions of those who have made the false claim that one can support HB 5043 and still be consistent with the teachings of our Faith.

HB 5043 uses wrong means to achieve questionable ends

Not all means to an end are justified. HB 5043’s supporters may think it has admirable, good ends, such as lowering the incidence of “unwanted” pregnancies, abortion, maternal death, and poverty, but they are mistaken. HB 5043 will not achieve these; and even if it could, there are more acceptable — and more effective — means of achieving these ends.

HB 5043 has provisions that will have morally questionable consequences. Some of these are as follows.

HB 5043 promotes abortion through abortifacients

The proponents of HB 5043 have ignored the fact that it promotes abortifacient contraceptives. The Position Paper of the 14 Ateneo faculty members, for example, dismisses this possibility, assuming that health authorities have declared modern contraceptives as non-abortifacient. Yet many studies show that such a dismissal is unjustified, and that these contraceptives can prevent the implantation of a newly- conceived human being.[1]

We also note that other contraceptives, like the IUD, are even more abortifacient than oral contraceptives, especially when used as “emergency” contraceptives. Their abortifacient mechanism of action is well-known and documented.[2]

Any contraceptive that prevents the fertilized egg from implanting, or otherwise causing it to be eventually destroyed, is an abortifacient. HB 5043, however, explicitly promotes and funds such abortifacients.[3]

It may be argued that the abortifacient mechanism of some oral contraceptives has not been conclusively proven to occur in human beings, or that if it does occur then this occurrence is very rare. To the first argument we would reply that even if there really were any doubt that a contraceptive is abortifacient, the grave stakes involved (the death of a human being) means that the burden of proof is on those who would deny that these are abortifacients. In other words, they must prove that these contraceptives are in fact non-abortifacient. Until such a conclusive determination is achieved we must err on the side of caution and not place the lives of the unborn at risk.

We also note that this imperative to avoid the questionable methods promoted by HB 5043 becomes especially more compelling since there is a safe, modern, and effective alternative: Natural Family Planning.

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Kill Bill 5043 October 11, 2008

Posted by Maddog in Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
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Congressman Lagman’s anti-life Bill pending in Congress is now known as consolidated House Bill 5043. Sadly, it contains the same abortion-promoting and coercive provisions as previous versions.

Couples for Christ has launched an online campaign against this monstrosity posing as a “health” Bill.

Kill Bill 5043
http://www.prolife.cfcinternationalmissions.com/

There’s another petition against HB 5043, this time created by an individual. Please sign this too!

No to Reproductive Health Bill (HB5043)
http://www.petitiononline.com/xxhb5043/petition.html

Be counted and kill this murderous Bill! We have to stand and protect the rights of unborn children and the right of each of person to follow his conscience, free of government coercion. Online petitions may not have the force of written petitions with real signatures, but they do have some moral force. If you wish to register your opposition to this Bill online, you may do so using those petitions.

If you have time, you may also wish to write a letter to your favorite newspaper, your local government officials, and to your Congressman and any Senator. Let them know you are against this coercive and dangerous Bill.

And in 2010, make sure you DON’T vote for Lagman and his accomplices in Congress.

Resources (update to this post)

Time for Integrity July 20, 2008

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
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The newspapers, and especially their columnists, are having a field day writing about Ozamis Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado’s decision to deny Catholic politicians who are pro-abortion and pro-artificial contraception the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Some writers caution of a backlash, warning that decision appears too confrontational, and others seem sympathetic to the affected legislators, as if they were the underdogs. Some would even praise them for taking a principled stand.

But just how principled a stand is that of these politicians? And are the other considerations even relevant? Let’s examine the situation at hand.

Integrity

We are all sinners and are guilty of not living up to all our beliefs. It would seem, however, that these Catholic politicians have radically disconnected their faith from their actions. They claim membership in a Church that emphatically teaches one very fundamental tenet, and then openly announce their support for — and will work to bring about — the opposite. It’s one thing to be privately inconsistent with one’s beliefs, but to do so repeatedly, publicly, without remorse, and to claim that it is right, is another thing altogether. It’s a scandal.

What does that say about their integrity?

Here are the definitions of “integrity” from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values
2: an unimpaired condition
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided

“Firm adherence” and “complete or undivided” all imply consistency in belief, word, and deed, don’t they? To have integrity means to behave in accordance with declared and freely held belief.

It’s obvious that these arrogant politicians want to have their cake and it it too. They want to advocate and pass coercive laws that promote and condone abortion and abortifacient contraceptives, while at the same time demand that they be considered Catholics in good standing!

What kind of chicanery is this? A Catholic “in good standing” is one who tries his best to follow the doctrines of the Catholic Church. What kind a Catholic is someone who refuses to believe in Catholic doctrine? Can such a person even be a Catholic except in name only? A How then, can one be in “good standing” with the Church when one promotes laws that are directly contrary to the Catholic doctrine?

Atty. Jose C. Sison, in his article “A bishop’s courageous stand” (July 18, Philippine Star) hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

So Catholic politicians in Congress or in city councils who sponsored and supported these pro abortion measures should not complain if they are denied the Sacraments; or try to sway public opinion against the Church for their predicament. They “should have the integrity to acknowledge” that their stand is contrary to their Faith, and voluntarily refrain from receiving the Sacraments “until they have a change of heart”, as Archbishop Dosado admonished.

Can we expect integrity from these politicians? If we cannot expect such, then why elect them? They will have their day of reckoning.

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Betraying the Little Ones September 24, 2007

Posted by Maddog in Catholicism, Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
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More Catholics are parting ways with human rights group Amnesty International because of its new policy on abortion. Amnesty International abandoned its neutral stance, and is now committed to promoting access to abortion in some cases. In response, just last week, Catholic school groups in Scotland were thinking about withdrawing their support for Amnesty International, joining others who have done the same — many of whom have been loyal supporters for years.

This is not surprising. Amnesty International is supposed to defend human rights — everyone’s rights. Well, unborn children have rights too, and the most essential right is the right to life. Without it, other rights cannot be enjoyed. The fact that Amnesty International has betrayed its commitment to defending the rights of the most defenseless persons in the world (the unborn) should cause Catholics — indeed everyone — to pause and examine where our loyalties lie and to whom we give our support. We ought to examine those groups with which we are affiliated and make sure we are not unwittingly compromising our faith and principles.

Sadly, there are those who would pretend that unborn children are not human beings. To answer that notion quickly, let me quote Peter Kreeft, a philosopher who presents a convincing, purely logical argument for believing that the unborn are human beings. This is taken from the article, “The Apple Argument Against Abortion“:

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Does Population Growth Really Exacerbate Poverty? May 28, 2007

Posted by Maddog in Religion and Social Issues.
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It is often alleged that high population growth and high population density result in greater consumption of resource in a locale and as such are “contributing factors” to poverty. These factors — if we follow the population controllers’ reasoning — should be reduced as they “exacerbate” poverty.

That is a flawed argument. Let’s examine the logic.

We have to remember that ANY activity that consumes resources can be considered a “contributing factor” that “exacerbates” poverty including such activities as manufacturing, raising livestock, and planting. But should we now lessen such productive activity?

And if having more people “exacerbates” poverty, then aren’t such things as decreased infant mortality and longer life expectancy also “contributing factors” that “exacerbate” poverty? Should we now close hospitals so more of these “contributing factors” can die off?

What about art and culture? These use up resources too and don’t produce a whole lot of mass consumables. Should we minimize these beneficial “contributing factors” too?

Argumentum ad absurdum. The argument of the population controllers leads to absurd conclusions.

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