Archive for July 10th, 2007

Study Sees ‘Turnaround’ in Young Adults’ Positions on Abortion

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

One more nail in the coffin of abortion on demand…

( – Younger voters, especially women, are embracing a pro-life position in surprising numbers and in sharp contrast to attitudes that held sway 15 years ago, according to a new study.

The study by Overbrook Research, a public consulting firm in Illinois, examines public opinion data from Missouri. With proportions of blacks, Catholics and union members in line with national averages, the state is viewed as “highly representative of the American electorate,” the study says.

Over 30,000 survey interviews were conducted in the state between 1992 and 2006. Participants were asked: “On the debate over abortion policy, do you consider yourself to be pro-life, pro-choice or somewhere in between?” Those who gave a definitive answer were then asked how strongly they held their view.

Results in 1992 were largely in step with what study authors Christopher Blunt and Fred Steeper call the “self-interest hypothesis.” Women and men under 30 were the most ardently “pro-choice” (39 percent) and the least likely to be strongly “pro-life”( 23 percent).

Today, by contrast, among the current generation of 18- to 29-year-olds, 36 percent say they are strongly “pro-life,” while just 18 percent say they are strongly “pro-choice,” the study authors said.

The trend was particularly evident among women in that age bracket. Forty 40 percent identify themselves as strongly “pro-life” and only 20 percent as strongly “pro-choice.”

The data reverses a two-to-one ratio that was evident in 1992, the study noted.

Where previous generations may have been inclined to “divorce sex from its consequences,” new voters are entering the electorate at a time when medical advances highlight development in the womb and when public attention is focused on the “gruesome procedure” of partial birth abortion, the authors argued.

Blunt, who is president of Overbrook Research, told Cybercast News Service in an interview that “Generation Y” voters have a very different frame of reference on abortion now than was evident in 1992.

“The most surprising and compelling findings we have are on young people,” he said. “They’ve grown up with high-quality ultrasound images of unborn babies, and their passage into adulthood coincides with the ascendance of partial-birth abortion as the issue’s dominant frame.”

The authors also examined the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, drafted following attacks on abortion clinics in the 1980s and 1990s and signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. Over time, Blunt said, more dramatic demonstrations at clinics gave way to prayer vigils and sidewalk counseling.

For young voters the “abortion wars” of the 1980s and 1990s amount to a “dim memory,” overshadowed by the attention now given to partial birth abortion, Blunt and Steeper suggest.

“As grisly details of partial birth abortion procedures replaced confrontational and often violent clinic protests on the evening news, voters seemed to have changed their minds about who the ‘abortion extremists’ were,” they wrote in their analysis.

Recent data from Gallup indicates that the apparent trend is not restricted to Missouri. In the mid-1990s, Americans identified with the “pro-choice” over “pro-life” label by a 56-33 percent margin, but the gap narrowed considerably during the late 1990s and beyond.

In May of this year, Gallup found the “pro-choice” label leading by just four points (49-45 percent.)

Repeated attempts to get reaction to the study from major abortion-rights groups were unsuccessful.

Original Link.

Analysis: Rumors of Syria-Israel War

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

More and more analyst are predicting that Syria will attempt to start a war with Israel this summer.

WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) — Well-informed sources in Washington fear a confrontation between Syria and Israel may happen this summer. The sources say that Syrian intelligence is abuzz with activity reports of an imminent Israeli attack across the Golan Heights, while others believe it is Syria that is gearing up for war.

Dennis Ross, a former senior U.S. Middle East peace negotiator, was quoted by an Israeli newspaper as saying he thinks “there is a risk of war” between Syria and Israel in the summer. Ross told YnetNews, Yedioth Ahronoth’s Internet edition, that “no one has made any decisions, but the Syrians are positioning themselves for war.”

According to the former U.S. State Department official, “Syria has rearmed Hezbollah to the teeth — there should be a price to pay for that.” Ross added that the Bush administration should aim to “squeeze the Syrian economy” by using “sticks before carrots” in dealing with Damascus.

The New York Sun, meanwhile, quotes an unidentified Baath official saying, “If Israel doesn’t vacate the strategic Golan Heights before September, Syrian guerillas will immediately launch ‘resistance operations’ against the Golan’s Jewish communities.” The official said “Damascus is preparing for Israeli retaliation following Syrian guerilla attacks and for a larger war with the Jewish state in August or September.”

The official warns that “Syria has the capability to fire ‘hundreds’ of missiles at Tel Aviv in the opening salvo of any conflict.” The official told the New York paper that Damascus has made numerous requests to Washington for the return of the Golan “either through negotiations or through war.”

Some analysts believe Syria took notice of last summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah, prompting the leadership in Damascus to rethink its strategy.

Meanwhile a decision by Syrian authorities to recall its citizens from Lebanon before July 15 has not helped lessen the tension, nor the rumors, lending to speculation that there might be more than just rumors behind the latest tension in the Middle East.

Beirut’s Daily Star newspaper reports that Damascus has ordered its citizens in Lebanon to return home by July 15, citing concerns over the “security situation in Lebanon.” And a report in the government controlled Syrian daily al-Thawra said Syrian students studying in the public Lebanese University and the Beirut Arab University were authorized to enroll in public Syrian universities for the upcoming academic year 2007-2008.

Original Link.

Gun Ban in D.C. Works…On Innocents

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

The three decade old gun ban on guns in Washington D.C. is working so well that recently a Deputy Mayor of the city was held up and robbed at gun point.
Get it through you heads:
Criminals do not respect gun laws or gun bans. The only people gun bans hurt are the innocent people who can no longer legally carry or own a gun. The criminals will continue to get and use them.

The man in charge of fixing the District’s ailing schools might be more focused this week on another troubled aspect of the city — public safety — after he was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight while walking home from the Metro.

Victor Reinoso, the deputy mayor for education, was walking in the 6800 block of Fifth Street NW at 7:25 p.m. Monday when he was held up by two men, police said. One man, wearing a pink shirt, pointed a black and silver handgun at Reinoso and demanded that he drop his briefcase, police said.

The second assailant picked up the briefcase and ordered, “Give me your cellphone,” which Reinoso did, according to a police report. The men then told Reinoso to hand over his wallet, and he complied.

Reinoso, 38, was not hurt.

“He was pretty lucky,” police Cmdr. Hilton Burton said, noting robberies can end in violence.

Original Link.

From NRA’s head, Wayne LaPierre:

Just how worthless is Washington, D.C.’s gun ban? It’s so bad in our nation’s capitol that a deputy mayor was recently robbed at gunpoint.

Victor Reinoso is lucky to be alive today, but do you think he’ll be speaking out about the pointlessness of D.C.’s gun ban? Not if he wants to keep his job, he won’t.

Criminals don’t care about gun laws … anymore than they care about D.C.’s complete gun ban

Ultimately, Victor Reinoso’s robbery probably won’t mean much when it comes to public policy in Washington, D.C. After all, they’ve already stuck with the ban for 30 years- what’s one more innocent victim?

Link to Wayne LaPierre’s Statement.

Syria Invades Lebanon – World Yawns

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

I’m amazed that this has appeared in the mainstream media. Of course if Israel had even thought of doing this, the world condemnation would been overpowering.

A few days ago Lebanese daily newspaper Al Mustaqbal quietly reported a limited Syrian invasion of Lebanon. (Via Naharnet.)

Syrian troops on Thursday reportedly have penetrated three kilometers into Lebanese territories, taking up positions in the mountains near Yanta in east Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

The daily Al Mustaqbal, citing sources who confirmed the cross-border penetration, did not say when the procedure in the Fahs Hill overlooking Deir al-Ashaer in the Rashaya province took place.
The sources said Syrian troops, backed by bulldozers, were fortifying positions “in more than one area” along the Lebanese border, erecting earth mounds and digging “hundreds” of trenches and individual bunkers.

This happened immediately before I left town for two days. When I returned I was surprised to find no mention of this whatsoever anywhere else in the media. I assumed the story had to be false. How could Syria invade three kilometers into any region of Lebanon without triggering a diplomatic and media storm?

So I asked Michael Young, opinion page editor at Beirut’s Daily Star, if the story was bogus.

“It is true,” he said, “but the problem is that the 3 kilometers are in isolated areas, so that it isn’t making headlines. However, the UN will be discussing border issues this week, I think, and that will be brought up. The Syrians are ratcheting up the pressure, but with the attack against UN troops in the south, they are, as one UN official put it, playing with fire.”

If Israel sent the IDF three kilometers into Lebanon and started digging trenches and building bunkers it would make news all over the world. But Syria does it and everyone shrugs. Hardly anyone even knows it happened at all.

Syria can, apparently, get away with just about anything. I could hardly blame Assad at this point if he believes, after such an astonishing non-response, that he can reconquer Beirut. So far he can kill and terrorize and invade and destroy with impunity, at least up to a point. What is that point? Has anyone in the U.S., Israel, the Arab League, the European Union, or the United Nations even considered the question?

Meanwhile, the Syrian government is evacuating its citizens from Lebanon in advance of…something they expect to happen after July 15, 2007.

It’s going to be an interesting summer.

Original Link.