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SEMANTIC GYMNASTICS

The sages, through the ages, have proclaimed that "to err is human!" Being a mere human being, I have to confess to making many mistakes, including an announcement in the July 2001 issue of "Goan Connection"

The buck stops at the Editor's desk and I accept responsibility: "mea maxima culpa."  The sages also declare that it's asinine to persist in error, so I want to rectify my mistake.

In the graduation announcements, Sally Ann  daughter of  Frederica and John Quiterio was discredited because it was not stated clearly that she graduated with a BS in Nursing and Health Administration.

To many readers, that may seem  "Much Ado About Nothing".

Oft, between the cup and the lips, there are slips and even more often, the lips aren't in sync with the brain. That makes communication very difficult. This is particularly true when, like the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland", people use words to mean exactly what they want those words to mean and nothing more  nor less.

That may be excusable for a Mad Hatter but it's disgusting when apparently intelligent people hold in high esteem a wordsmith who plays semantic gymnastics i.e. word games, by quibbling over the definition of  "is" or "alone".

The following are some examples of semantic gymnastics:

 

In Chinese, the same word means barbarian or foreigner. In the Wild West, it was the Red Indians who were considered savages.  Microsoft picks "Goan" as a spelling error and suggests "goon".

The ability to discern or distinguish right from wrong  is one of the "Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit."  But many confuse discernment with discrimination and therefore, in the topsy-turvy world they live in, a gift becomes a sin!

The expression: "Little knowledge is dangerous" is a form of semantic gymnastics practiced by so-called "experts" to belittle others and put themselves on a pedestal as semi gods.  Note that no matter how much anyone knows, that person knows only a little bit of all that's known. Is that dangerous?

What's really dangerous is the belief that scientists can, and in fact, do know everything.

In the NOW vocabulary, a human fetus becomes a  "blob of tissue" which can be trashed or harvested for body parts.

That is an extremely dangerous example of semantic gymnastics because of its ramifications.

First and foremost, it's a scientific fact and not a mere religious belief/myth(?)  that a distinct new human life comes into existence at the moment of conception.

The "now" distortion is used to justify abortion, including "partial-birth" abortion (a euphemism for infanticide).

Also it's used to justify experimentation on human embryos by claiming that embryos are not really human beings.

Anyone who believes that what's not a human being "evolves" into a human being within about nine months, even in a test tube, is ready for the "funny-farm".

The justification that research on human embryos could help save lives is twisted logic  generally used by "bleeding heart liberals who think with their  heart and not their brain.

That the embryo is destined to die or is already dead is no justification either.

That kind of logic was not excusable when Nazi scientists experimented on Jews, dead or doomed to die-- In fact some of the best illustrations of human anatomy were produced by dissecting dead Jews. (Even today, scientists consider that research disgusting)---- For many years, motor car  companies in the U.S. experimented on dead bodies imported from India. These were used, instead of dummies to study what happens in car crashes.

Also, in the early years of modern, medicine, many medical schools would rob graves to obtain bodies for dissections. In fact, many old famous hospitals, in England, were built near cemeteries and underground tunnels linked them.

I wonder how many people would permit the body of a near and dear one, to be experimented on and body parts sold to pharmaceutical companies without their knowledge or consent. In the case of an embryo, there is nobody to consent, so is the case for many individuals who are mentally incapable of understanding and consenting. Lest there is any misunderstanding, let me add that I am not opposed to organ donation.

Reducing human life to mere research material is not my "cup of tea" because the end doesn't justify the means and destruction of human life can never be justified even if intended for noble ends.

Human beings don't derive their dignity and their rights on the basis of what they are worth or how independent or capable they are.

As stated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, human beings are endowed with certain inalienable rights by  the CREATOR  and governments shouldn't destroy one life for the benefit of another life!!

Like the Man of La Mancha, many are willing and even anxious to go to hell for a heavenly cause. No wonder the way to hell is paved with the best of intentions.

I sincerely hope that all of us will gladly and proudly proclaim the "SPLENDOR OF TRUTH" by faithfully living the "GOSPEL OF LIFE" rather than sheepishly embrace the "CULURE OF DEATH" by stupidly accepting the mantra:

"IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!"

A powerful Anti-Catholic bandwagon is hurtling across the U.S. at break-neck speed. Don't jump on it, lest you break your neck.

If justice is blind, is a judge a blind person in a black robe and his/her decision a blind (wo)men's bluff?

Any intelligent person, right or left on the political spectrum, who critically and logically analyzes some of the U. S Supreme Court decisions can't help but conclude that some of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices are indeed "legally" blind!

Even as Christopher Reed was misleading (deliberately or because he was misled by his advisors) that embryonic cells are essential for stem cell research, scientists in his own Institute were submitting for publication in scientific journals, results of research which showed promising results from adult stem cells. Other labs have subsequently shown that adult stem cells have potential just as embryonic stem cells.

I know of only two experiments in which embryonic stem cells have been transplanted in an adult. In one case the patient died in a few days and in the other case, hair started growing in the brain of the patient.

Experiments to test SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) have been more successful and yet some people want to scrap all funding for SDI which has the potential to save many more lives than do stem cells.

Finally, I have saved for last, the best gem of semantic gymnastics: "Out of the mouth of Bambino (a babe) come words of wisdom."!!!

 

Goan Connection is a publica­tion of the Goan Association of New Jer­sey, Inc., a non-pro­fit organiza­tion established in 1991. Inqui­ries, mem­bership and subscription re­quests and let­ters to the Editor may be sent to the Association at P.O. Box 335, Cranbury, NJ 08512.

Editor: Bambino Martins; Manag­ing Editor: Valerie Moniz; Assistant Editor: Brenda Fernandes; Pre­sident: Chris Nunes; Vice-President: Godfrey Gomes;  Sec­retary: Teresa Cordeiro; Treasurer: Felix Menezes.

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