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Comment: Is it true that Rick Santorum (yes, THAT Rick Santorum) brought a
dead 20-week-mature fetus home to give to his children after his wife
suffered a miscarriage? I've heard that he not only gave the dead fetus
to his children (ages 6 and under), but he has a photograph on his desk of
his children with the fetus, "Gabriel." I also heard that he insisted the
medical form for the dead child be changed to call it a "baby," not a
"fetus." I've found it on the internet and heard it on Air America but it
seems just too repulsive to believe.

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Berry Well
The First USA Noel


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I'm not any good at this, but I found this story.

web page

I don't know anything about poenews and if it's a reputable news site.

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If she says give it all I'll give everything to her.
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The Ota Faction
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Washington Post story, including interview.

quote:
Upon their son's death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen's parents' home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass.

"That's my little guy," Santorum says, pointing to the photo of Gabriel, in which his tiny physique is framed by his father's hand. The senator often speaks of his late son in the present tense. It is a rare instance in which he talks softly.

Sen. Santorum's official Senate page

quote:
While Senator Santorum is proud of his accomplishments as a lawmaker and public servant, he is most proud of his role as a husband and father. Senator Santorum and his wife, Karen Garver Santorum, are the parents of seven wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Gabriel (deceased), Sarah Maria, Peter, and Patrick.


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AdmiralDinty
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I don't find this at all strange. If it was in fact born, and lived for several hours after birth, it is not by definition a "fetus". How is this any different than any family that loses a newborn? Granted, taking the dead child on a road trip is a little odd, but this practice does have some precedents, e.g. momento mori photos.

Plus, Santorum is a devout Catholic. Catholics believe that those who have gone before us marked with sign of God's friendship are always present to us in the communion of the saints. Thus, it is right for Santorum to speak of his son in the present tense.

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Sara at home
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In another time, the child would have been born at home and the family could have had it's bonding moment. Much as I have dislike the guy, taking the fetus home is not a big issue for me.

But I draw the line at redefining how we compute our birthdates. From the Washington Post article:
quote:
Not a "fetus," either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described -- "a 20-week-old fetus" -- on a hospital form. They changed the form to read "20-week-old baby."
Then a full term child is a 36 week old baby? And we should be celebrating our birthdays on the day we were conceived?

It was a 2 hour old baby.

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Funkmistress
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Yeesh. Call me intolerant, but a family spending several hours fondling an infant's corpse is not sweet or loving. It is CREEPY.
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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Well, okay then, you're intolerant [Wink]

Seriously, though - until you've walked a way in those booties...well...

I really, really hope you never have a good reason to change that opinion. But you might learn to modulate your tone of voice.

Marry "not wishing experience on anyone" ya

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LtColCarter
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Thank you, Marrya, I couldn't have said it better.

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First of Two
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To me, calling that experience "fondling" says a llittle bit more about the creepiness of the caller than the call-ee.

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abqjbrick
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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:

But I draw the line at redefining how we compute our birthdates. From the Washington Post article:
quote:
Not a "fetus," either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described -- "a 20-week-old fetus" -- on a hospital form. They changed the form to read "20-week-old baby."
Then a full term child is a 36 week old baby? And we should be celebrating our birthdays on the day we were conceived?

It was a 2 hour old baby.

My Nepalese friends actually compute their birthdays like this as did my Korean roommate. It's entirely a cultural view and I don't find it surprising that someone in America would do the same.
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FullMetal
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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but then it's not your "birth" day, it's your conception day. or probabally more accurately your "mom found out she was pregnant" day. I understand cultural differences, but it's still not a birthday. your birthday is the day you are born. by definition that is what it is cultural differences included. i'm sure in their native languages it isn't called a "birthday"
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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by abqjbrick:
My Nepalese friends actually compute their birthdays like this as did my Korean roommate. It's entirely a cultural view and I don't find it surprising that someone in America would do the same.

I'm aware that other cultures do this. The operative word here is "other". My 20 year old son would be happy to follow Santorum's lead and compute age contrary to the American culture and laws. If he could get away with it, he'd be legal to drink now. What maks it even more surprising in this particular case is that Santorum is a lawyer and a lawmaker.

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damsa
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by FullMetal:
but then it's not your "birth" day, it's your conception day. or probabally more accurately your "mom found out she was pregnant" day. I understand cultural differences, but it's still not a birthday. your birthday is the day you are born. by definition that is what it is cultural differences included. i'm sure in their native languages it isn't called a "birthday"

It's not really a conception day as they add a full year. Also the concept of birthday is a new one. It used to be everyone birthday falls on the lunar New year. So let's say end of Jan is the start of the new lunar year. If you were born at the beginning of January 2005. By Feb 2005 you would be 2 years old. Koreans in conversation tend to use birth year rather than how old they are, or sometimes what year of depending on astrological sign. So when you ask them how old they were. They would respond 78, or 80 or year of the horse or monkey or whatever.
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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
In another time, the child would have been born at home and the family could have had it's bonding moment. Much as I have dislike the guy, taking the fetus home is not a big issue for me.

But I draw the line at redefining how we compute our birthdates. From the Washington Post article:
quote:
Not a "fetus," either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described -- "a 20-week-old fetus" -- on a hospital form. They changed the form to read "20-week-old baby."
Then a full term child is a 36 week old baby? And we should be celebrating our birthdays on the day we were conceived?

It was a 2 hour old baby.

Two things, When Jen and I lost the baby, the age was referred to as "6 month gestation." I did not read the death certificate, although I may have signed it (I don't recall), so I cannot tell if it says "fetus" or "baby".

Also, in the OP, it said that it was a miscarriage (actually, at this stage, it is usually called a stillbirth rather than a miscarriage, I beleive), so no, the age would have been the gestational development rather than time out of the womb as the baby, apparently, was not carried full to term.

/quote]
quote:
Not a "fetus," either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described -- "a 20-week-old fetus" -- on a hospital form. They changed the form to read "20-week-old baby."
Then a full term child is a 36 week old baby? And we should be celebrating our birthdays on the day we were conceived? [/quote]

I have a feeling that they were more opposed their son being called a fetus rather than a baby. I suspect that if you can get a copy of the death certificate, the word fetus is crossed out with the word baby written in.

I can tell that when you are holding your dead child in your arms you call it a baby. It actually becomes insulting to hear it called a fetus because that somehow implies that he is not a baby.

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Sara at home
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According to the account, the baby was born prematurely and lived 2 hours. According to When your baby is stillborn
quote:
Both stillbirth and miscarriage are types of pregnancy loss, but they differ by when the loss occurs. A miscarriage (sometimes called a spontaneous abortion) is when a baby dies before the 20th week of pregnancy. Stillbirth is the death of a baby after the 20th week of pregnancy but before delivery.
Mrs. Santorum gave birth to a live, very premature baby who died after 2 hours. I would think the birth certificate should read "2 hour old baby" and the death certificate should reflect that gestation was only 20 weeks.

But he wasn't a 5 month old baby.

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Kuzibah
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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It struck me as odd that Santorum was able to just bring the body home from the hospital. It was my understanding that any kind of human remains could only be removed from a hospital by medical personnel or funeral home staff or someone licensed like that.

And I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I'm curious if this can be done in all cases. Would a hospital release an older child or even an adult to be "laid out" at home? For how long? Are you allowed to bury them yourselves?

(Sorry if this is morbid, but I'm kind of a morbid person.)

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Laser Potato
I Saw Three Shipments


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Tsk, tsk. Seems like SOMEONE's forgotten the classics.

"Pickled Punks":
A term used in Freak Shows and Side Shows for deformed human fetuses or stillborn babies preserved in bottles of formaldehyde after their early deaths. The trend petered out in the 1930's as infant mortality began to go down, and children with birth defects who might not have lived, survived thanks to advances in medicine. Curiously, towards the end of this era, a Coney Island sideshow opened with incubators on display with prematurely born children within.

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
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quote:
Originally posted by Marrya doesn't count:
Well, okay then, you're intolerant [Wink]

Seriously, though - until you've walked a way in those booties...well...

I really, really hope you never have a good reason to change that opinion. But you might learn to modulate your tone of voice.

Marry "not wishing experience on anyone" ya

I more or less agree with you. But it's only fair to point out that Santorum is a longtime advocate of policies that would (and in some cases already have) increase the odds of more couples having to go through what he and his wife did. I wouldn't wish the pain of losing a child on my worst enemy (admittedly Sen. Man-on-Dog is pretty high up on that list), but my sympathies can't help but be somewhat qualified in this case.
And think of how the experience must have been for their other children...ew.

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Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
But just now it's enough to be walking with you
Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

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lazydog
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Santorum is a disgusting nutbag.

First off, birthday, in this language, means birth - day. The day of your birth, the day you were born on. There's no ambiguity. Other cultures count age differently sure, but I'd be willing to be that their equivalent word for birthday doesn't mean "day of birth" as "birthday" does in English.

Second, whether it was a fetus or a baby doesn't matter. It was a freakin' CORPSE! That is revolting. Will he do the same with his wife when she dies? He probably warped his other kids for life.

Third, his claiming to be catholic does not excuse this in the least. If he follows his own faith then the corpse was just that, a corpse. An empty shell. You cease to be you when your spirit leaves you. "You" are not your body, "you" are your soul. He is a sick pig.

Think about it, if it weren't a bible thumping Senator during this age of the New Inquisition he'd have been drawn and quartered. If it were someone of a different religion, say a Wiccan, Santorum would be screaming for blood louder than anyone. It would be blasphemous.

An abortion is murder but 100,000 dead as "collateral damage" is OK by him.

Disgusting

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Steve Eisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by lazydog:
Think about it, if it weren't a bible thumping Senator during this age of the New Inquisition he'd have been drawn and quartered. If it were someone of a different religion, say a Wiccan, Santorum would be screaming for blood louder than anyone.

Approximately how many Wiccans -- a supported estimate to the nearest thousand will do -- have been drawn and quartered in this age of the New Inquisition? And how many more above this is Sen. Santorum attempting have executed?

Even though he's my senator, I have to honestly admit that I have not closely followed Sen. Santorum's career. However, if Santorum actually were all that bad, I think his opponents would be citing terrible things he actually did rather than coming up with a smear like this.

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Steve Eisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by Ramblin' Dave:
But it's only fair to point out that Santorum is a longtime advocate of policies that would (and in some cases already have) increase the odds of more couples having to go through what he and his wife did.

If I understand this correctly, you are accusing Sen. Santorum of being responsible for the recent increase in premature births. Although I could guess, maybe the thing to do before discussing this is to ask what you believe to be the Senator's contribution to this lamentable situation.

Just to anticipate a bit, I am not sure the causes for the increasing rate of prematurity are well-understood. No, it is not typically due to lack of prenatal care, care that in any event is generally available for free even in US counties with otherwise lousy public health services.

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Nobody Important
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by lazydog:
Think about it, if it weren't a bible thumping Senator during this age of the New Inquisition he'd have been drawn and quartered. If it were someone of a different religion, say a Wiccan, Santorum would be screaming for blood louder than anyone.

Approximately how many Wiccans -- a supported estimate to the nearest thousand will do -- have been drawn and quartered in this age of the New Inquisition? And how many more above this is Sen. Santorum attempting have executed?
On the contrary, if Senator Santorum were part of an obscure Asian or Native American sect, and especially if he were on the left side of the political spectrum, he would probably be celebrated by same people who now label him as a nutbag. Shoot, there might even be some compassion for his family's loss.

I don't really see anything wrong with what the Santorums did, if it brings comfort to them. The kids will be fine.

I've known a couple of people who have suffered a stillbirth or a newborn's death. In one case, years ago, the mother was placed under general anesthetic for a C-section; the baby died; the body was whisked away to be cremated (with the dad's permission) before the mother woke up. The dad thought he was doing the right thing, and sparing her feelings, but it caused her unbearable pain that she never got the see the baby.

It seems that counselors in hospitals these days realize that many families want to see the body and to have a chance to grieve, and that most families recover better if their loss is treated as "real" as they go through the grieving process.

[Thanks to Eisenberg for adding a LITTLE perspective and sanity.}

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Tom Head
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You know, I don't like Santorum as a public figure (I don't know him personally), and I hope he gets his butt kicked by Casey in next year's Senate election, but I don't see anything wrong with what he did here.

My BS-ometer wonders why he goes out of his way to bring this to the attention to the media, and asks if the story has been embellished or spun a little bit to provide a sympathetic backstory to Santorum's pro-life position--but in cases like this, I really have to shut down that nagging skeptical voice and give the poor guy the benefit of the doubt.


Cheers,

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inkiemouse
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I shouldn't have read everything that was said within this topic... kind of painful...

But I can understand why that man wouldn't want his child to be known as a "fetus". I don't much care about scientific definition. I lost my baby when I was only 5 weeks pregnant and I call him my "baby".

It's more about emotional attatchment than scientific terms and analogies.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by lazydog:
Santorum is a disgusting nutbag.

True, but this incident isn't a part of it.

quote:
Second, whether it was a fetus or a baby doesn't matter. It was a freakin' CORPSE! That is revolting. Will he do the same with his wife when she dies? He probably warped his other kids for life.

Bullshit. It isn't until relatively recently that people weren't laid out in their own homes prior to a funeral. Often the family or friends lovingly prepared the body for burial. In my lifetime -- if it isn't to this day -- it wasn't uncommon in some parts of the country for children to be required to kiss the copse in the coffin goodbye. While some remember it as unpleasant, very few were warped for life. In fact, preparing the body of a loved one for burial, a process that involves love and respect, is still common in many cultures.

quote:
Third, his claiming to be catholic does not excuse this in the least. If he follows his own faith then the corpse was just that, a corpse. An empty shell. You cease to be you when your spirit leaves you. "You" are not your body, "you" are your soul. He is a sick pig.

That's no sicker than my sitting by my father's corpse saying good-bye as he lay in the hospital bed. Yeah, I held his hand and I kissed his face. That's not sick. It's a part of saying goodbye to someone you love.

I think you need to examine you lack of comfort with death and dead bodies. A corpse just a body that no longer works. All the feelings about the person that was that body don't stop just because the body stopped.

quote:
Think about it, if it weren't a bible thumping Senator during this age of the New Inquisition he'd have been drawn and quartered. If it were someone of a different religion, say a Wiccan, Santorum would be screaming for blood louder than anyone. It would be blasphemous.

Well, I don't take my cues about how to treat those of other religions from the likes of Santorum. If your speculation were true, it wouldn't effect my opinion on his behavior in this case.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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kjones
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Steve E., as Santorum is your Senator (and mine) you should know he has ripped you off and mis-used your tax dollars.

Until he was called out on it, he continued to have his children enrolled in a PA public cyber-school, while they resided with him at him $700,000+ home in the DC suburbs. That means WE paid for his children's education with our taxes while the children resided out of state.

How did he do this? By registering them under the address of a small home he owns in Penn Hills. This home, which he has claimed as his primary residence, has only 3 bedrooms. This is not a large enough home for him, his wife and six children. It would result in sleeping arrangements that are highly suspect. I've seen families investigated by CYF for similar housing situations.

Oh, and by claiming that home as his primary residence, he is able to claim the Homestead Exemption for tax purposes. Sure, it is only $72 a year. But it is clearly tax evasion.

Yes, I know that was completely off-topic. But these are the things that really bother me--not the way his family choses to greive.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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kjones, are you suggesting his home in DC should be declared his primary residence?

Because, if that is the case, he couldn't be Senator from PA.

Further, having three children share a bedroom is hardly "suspect."

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Tom Head
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't like Santorum either (to put it mildly), but do you have any idea how churlish it looks when you use a thread about his wife's stillbirth to bring up alleged homestead exemption violations?

Context, people, context.


Cheers,

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by kjones:
How did he do this? By registering them under the address of a small home he owns in Penn Hills. This home, which he has claimed as his primary residence, has only 3 bedrooms. This is not a large enough home for him, his wife and six children. It would result in sleeping arrangements that are highly suspect. I've seen families investigated by CYF for similar housing situations.

The number of bedrooms isn't an issue. What is at issue is that the children never lived in this house and never lived in the school district that, because Santorum claims this house as his PA residence, was forced by PA law to pick up the bill for the cyberschool. All while talking about how they homeschool the children.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

Posts: 8317 | From: Reading, PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Head:
I don't like Santorum either (to put it mildly), but do you have any idea how churlish it looks when you use a thread about his wife's stillbirth to bring up alleged homestead exemption violations?

Context, people, context.

You may be new around here and not fully understand how things go, but threads have a way of mutating. The criticism of Santorum's homestead exemption came in response to a specific question.

You should consider the context and understand the background and history before you start pompously lecturing others.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Elbe
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Nobody Important:
On the contrary, if Senator Santorum were part of an obscure Asian or Native American sect, and especially if he were on the left side of the political spectrum, he would probably be celebrated by same people who now label him as a nutbag. Shoot, there might even be some compassion for his family's loss.

I don't know about that. I think the people who find this creepy (and I do too, to some extent) would find it creepy no matter who was involved.

I just don't believe political leaning have much to say on what one does or does not find creepy.

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Nobody loves Elbe...
-The Adventure of the Avatar Tutorials (3/29)

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Tom Head
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Introducing, the Pogues:
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Head:
[qb] I don't like Santorum either (to put it mildly), but do you have any idea how churlish it looks when you use a thread about his wife's stillbirth to bring up alleged homestead exemption violations?

Context, people, context.

You may be new around here and not fully understand how things go, but threads have a way of mutating.
I am new around here, and it still looks churlish.
quote:
The criticism of Santorum's homestead exemption came in response to a specific question.
Yes, which made it a legitimate answer--and it still looks churlish.
quote:
You should consider the context and understand the background and history before you start pompously lecturing others.
I probably should--but none of that changes the fact that someone brought up controversies surrounding Santorum's homestead exemptions in the middle of the same thread where people are still discussing his wife's stillbirth. Maybe I am new here; I don't know what qualifies as new. I do know that lurkers make up the majority readership of most forums. Of course, you can decide for yourself how important it is to bring up, or not bring up, this sort of thing in a thread about a family tragedy.

But it still looks churlish.

If it makes you feel any better, I want to see the sucker lose in 2006, too. Maybe it was also churlish of me to say that, in which case we can be the Thelma & Louise of inappropriate web board comments, holding hands and going off the cliff of good taste together. And to think, neither of us has slept with Brad Pitt.


Cheers,

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Nobody Important
Jingle Bell Hock


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Sara at home:
It isn't until relatively recently that people weren't laid out in their own homes prior to a funeral. Often the family or friends lovingly prepared the body for burial.....[qb]

Apparently, this practice is making a comeback.... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/04/AR2005060401667.html

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Ramblin' Dave:
But it's only fair to point out that Santorum is a longtime advocate of policies that would (and in some cases already have) increase the odds of more couples having to go through what he and his wife did.

If I understand this correctly, you are accusing Sen. Santorum of being responsible for the recent increase in premature births.


No, that's not what I am saying. What I am saying is that Santorum is among the loudest and most passionate opponents of reproductive rights in the entire government. Now, by "reproductive rights" I do not mean just abortion rights (although I am very staunchly pro-choice). I mean access to affordable birth control for all, affordable pre-natal care for all expectant mothers, sex education in schools, access to family planning clinics without harassment, etc. His motivation for all this, as far as I can tell, is that he's concerned it all just might lead to somebody, somewhere, getting an abortion. (Speaking of which, he also has ties to the most extreme anti-choice groups, the ones who support murdering abortion doctors.) The upshot of all this, of course, is that complications in pregnancy are more likely to go undetected, leading to disasters like what his family had to live through.

By the way, despite his extreme anti-choice stance, I saw at least one report of the above incident in which Santorum said he and his wife did consider abortion as a last resort. He said it without the least trace of irony.

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Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
But just now it's enough to be walking with you
Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

Posts: 2669 | From: Jouy en Josas, France | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
kjones
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Tom Head, I'm sorry that I was unable to respond to your comments earlier, but I did want to, so I'm doing it now.

My comments were in direct response to Steve E.'s comments that Santorum opposers should come up with better arguements than this. My comments were just that. I did acknowledge that the comments were off-topic and tried (although maybe not clearly) to express that I find my examples to be more important political issues than the way his family grieves. I don't find a grieveing family a politcal issue at all.

Also, I should have made myself more clear on the comment that children sharing a room is suspect. I am a volunteer within the child welfare system and part of the information we must gather in a home is about sleeping arrangements. This includes the ages and gender of the children who share rooms, the size of rooms and the availability and appropriatness of the beds. My own personal experiences include a situation where part of the judge's decision to not return children to their mother was based on my court room testimony on the sleeping arrangements. I should have made it clear that all situations where children share rooms are not suspect, however, it is consideration the courts do take into account when assessing a safe home.

I'm sorry for any of my posts that may have caused confusion. And I thank who ever it was (I missed your name) that clarified my comments on the school issue.

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