Catholic hospital’s ties to church end over saving mother’s life

The head of the Catholic church in Phoenix has stripped Arizona’s largest hospital of its Catholic affiliation after he ruled that a decision to save the life of a mother by terminating her 11-week pregnancy was morally wrong.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted announced yesterday that St Joseph’s hospital can no longer be considered to be Catholic. The ruling breaks a relationship that stretches back to the hospital’s founding by Catholic nuns 115 years ago.

He has also excommunicated the member of the hospital’s ethics committee that permitted the abortion to go ahead.

The schism brings to a head a dispute that has been building for several months over the termination, performed in November 2009, at St Joseph’s hospital and medical centre.

The case concerned an unidentified woman in her 20s, who had a history of abnormally high blood pressure that was under control before she became pregnant. But doctors were concerned on learning of the pregnancy about the extra burden that would be placed on her heart, and they monitored her closely.

Tests showed that in the early stages of pregnancy her condition deteriorated rapidly and that before long her pulmonary hypertension – which can impair the working of the heart and lungs – had begun to seriously threaten her life. Doctors informed her that the risk of death was close to 100% if she continued with the pregnancy.

Consultations were then held with the patient, her family, her doctors and the hospital’s ethics team, and the decision to go ahead with an abortion was taken in order to save the mother’s life. And no need to invite the Bishop and his church in on the decision!

The hospital’s president, Linda Hunt, said following the bishop’s severing of relations that the operation had been “consistent with our values of dignity and justice. If we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case.”

But Olmsted did not see it that way. you can RTFA if you really care about crap doctrine, religious ideology, philosophical systems that place superstition as taking precedence over human life.

I’m not wasting any more time on it than I’ve felt necessary for the last 59 years of my life.

Pole faces heavy jail time for attempted bribe – chocolate fudge!

Could this corrupt your local gendarmes?

A Polish man arrested by police on suspicion of drunk cycling faces up to 10 years in prison after allegedly attempting to bribe the police officers with two pieces of chocolate fudge.

Prosecutors have charged the man, known only as Leszek, with being drunk in charge of a bicycle and attempting to pass on “material benefits” to the police.

The man apparently offered the fudge to the officers as he sat in their patrol car after being found asleep beside his bike by a road in the eastern town of Minsk Mazowiecki.

“I had only had two beers,” Leszek told the TVN24 television news channel.

Anyway they put me in the back of the car, and I said ‘gentlemen would you like some fudge as an act of kindness, and can you let me go because I live right next door…?”

Leszek’s alleged bribery attempt means that he now faces a possible jail sentence 10 times longer than the one-year sentence he may have received for drunk cycling.

Penny-ante political crap from yokel police departments apparently hasn’t changed since last I was in Poland.

That was over 30 years ago. And you thought the obvious benefits of Western-style democracy was going to change everything, right?

Reporter dressed as bunny pisses off Ukraine’s parliament

A journalist for national Ukrainian television sparked a scandal on Tuesday by turning up at work in parliament dressed as a bunny in protest at the sometimes farcical behaviour of MPs.

Dressed head-to-toe as a white bunny with two huge ears sprouting from his head, Roman Vintoniv somehow managed to keep a straight face as he conducted lobby interviews with besuited politicians.

He said his action was a protest against the sometimes comic behaviour of lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada who last week exchanged blows in a bloody punch-up that wounded several of them.

“If the Verkhovna Rada is turning into a circus, then this needs to be officially acknowledged and people need to dress appropriately,” Mr Vintoniv told the news website Ukrainska Pravda.

Ukrainska Pravda said the parliament press service tried to have him expelled on the grounds that his external appearance was not in line with the rules.

But his colleagues then pointed out that the parliament has no dress code and he was able to carry out his work, carrying out interviews with some MPs, video footage posted on the internet showed.

However some of his normal contacts refused to talk to him, Ukrainska Pravda said…

Now, how should an American reporter working Congress dress to express a comparable sentiment.

Between time-wasting, anti-democratic ideology, corruption, deceit and hypocrisy, what might be an appropriate costume?

Poisonally, I think someone would get the most attention costumed as a roll of hundred-dollar bills.

Why do conservatives hate trees?

Environment Blog, UK — We now know, thanks to the junior environment minister Jim Paice’s frank evidence to a recent House of Lords select committee, that the government is considering the sale of not just “some”, or even “substantial”, amounts of woodland as the public was originally led to believe, but of all state-owned English trees across the commission’s 635,000-acre Forestry Commission estate. This includes many royal forests, state-owned ancient woodlands, sites of special scientific interest, heathland, campsites, farms and sporting estates…

Paice also accepts that foreign companies might want to buy up the trees, and that foreign-owned energy companies might want to cut the whole lot down for renewable energy. This is clearly not going to be received well in the Tory shires, where the trees mostly are…

So if not the energy companies, who does that leave to buy the trees? Major charities like the Woodland Trust and the National Trust, who may be tapped up to buy chunks of the estate on the cheap as “preferred bidder”, are not exactly beating on the commission’s door; very few communities have the means to buy even 30 acres of woodland, let alone maintain it, and the idea that the “big society” can raise £2bn – the rough cost of buying the commission’s 635,000 acres – is bizarre.

The answer clearly is that the government expects developers to step in to exploit the land for whatever profit they can…

Jonathon Porritt…makes the good point that it is not only the trees that the government wants to sell. The Forest of Dean has coal, and other resources. Other Forestry Commission land could be used for windfarms, holiday villages, the routes for new roads and so on.

And if the private sector can run the forests profitably, could it not also oversee the rivers and even the national parks?

The sale is clearly ideologically-driven, a statement that the private sector – traditionally the large landowner, but now the corporation – should maintain the environment.

As such, we should see the sale as further evidence of the dismemberment of conservation in England, the approach that has marked environmental stewardship in Britain and most European countries for the last 60 years.

An ideological position shared by American neocons, the creeps who have stolen the mantle of conservatism from those who fought for conservation and preservation for so many decades.

A sad enough situation that I don’t even poke fun at my family members – formerly Republican – who no longer have a political voice outside of environmental organizations. The Republican/conservative voice that spoke on behalf of environment and nature has been silenced by corporate pimps.

Bank of America is “long” on women

Women’s earnings will recover faster than men’s as the U.S. economy rebounds, which means companies that market to females may perform well, according to a Bank of America Corp. research note to clients…

Women will rebound from the U.S. recession before men because females didn’t lose as many jobs as males did during the recession, the report said. Some of the industries most affected by the economy, such as manufacturing and construction, had more male than female workers. The unemployment rate for women, 8.9 percent, compared with 10.6 percent for men, is the widest it’s ever been, the report said…

Females make up the majority of the workforce in 9 of the 10 occupations that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will add the most jobs over the next 8 years, the note said…

More women are also graduating from college, with more than 50 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in the last decade awarded to women, according to the report. Additional education generally means higher earnings, Harris said.

There’s still a gender wage gap because of discrimination and interrupted work lives for children, according to Harris. Women working at least 35 hours a week in the first quarter of 2010 received 79 percent of the wages earned by men, according to the Labor Department.

The gap is narrowing, with the real median income for women rising at about a 1 percent annualized rate compared with contraction of 1.5 percent for men over the past five years, the note said.


Need a nap + sleep with gun for protection = shoot yourself

A 30-year old Michigan man shot himself Monday morning while napping in his car parked on the Ohio Turnpike.

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are investigating the 1:38 a.m. shooting, but troopers said it appears Mahmoud Ajaj of Dearborn, Mich., accidentally shot himself after falling asleep…

In the car with Ajaj was his wife and two children, ages 3 years old and 7 months old. After parking on the side of the highway, Ajaj took out a gun that was in his car’s glovebox, troopers said.

“He said it was for protection in case someone tried to rob them,” Blake said.

Ajaj held the gun on his chest, the barrel pointing toward the driver’s-side door. As he drifted off to sleep, he inadvertently squeezed the trigger…

The bullet entered Ajaj’s upper left thigh and exited his lower thigh. He then drove to a nearby exit as his wife called 911…

By late Monday he had already been treated and released from the hospital. Charges have not been filed, and the investigation is ongoing, troopers said.

Dude could have qualified for a Darwin Award if he got the femoral artery.

Renovating “This Old Bank” – Belgian finds €300,000

Dexia bank tower in Brussels

A Belgian man renovating a house in Ghent found €300,000 in cash that had been left behind unclaimed from when the building had housed a bank almost 10 years ago.

Ferhat Kaya, 33, had bought the property, a former branch of the Dexia bank, at a cost of €180,000 to house his accounting firm and before accepting the keys turned down the estate agent’s quote of €3,500 to remove an old safe.

Instead he called two close friends, the brothers Murat and Hurun Tufan to remove the metal vault. “When the vault was open it revealed bags of 20 and 50 euro bills,” said Murat Tufan. “The receipts were still there, dated December 31, 2001. We started counting, and it came to some 300,000 euros.”

After speaking to his Turkish father, Mr Kaya decided to call the police even though it would have been easy to keep the cash as it had been lost and left unwanted by the bank for almost a decade.

“My friends and I thought we would really make a statement with it: that even immigrants are people that say honesty is the best policy,” he said.

Ulrike Pommée, a spokesman for Belgium’s Dexia Bank, said that an investigation had been opened but suggested that no trace of money would ever be found.

“We will carry out the investigation and then see if there will be a decision to give him a reward for reporting the money to police straight away.”