Wednesday, March 08, 2006

NACS School Board Update

I have now spoken to five neighborhood associations about my campaign for School Board. It has been fun and very enlightening.

This week I received a questionnaire from Allen County Right to Life. I have to admit I was quite surprised. I did not realize that they asked candidates for school board to fill out their forms.

I filled out their forms and I decided to sit down with Allen County Right to Life and discuss my stance on abortion. I wanted to make sure that I answered all seven of the questions to accurately reflect my veiws on abortion. I sat down with Cathie Humbarger this week. I met with her because I do not ever want to misrepresent myself.

Cathie was impressed that I took time out of my schedule just to make sure I answered all the questions per my views.

My stance on abortion has SLOWLY changed over the last twenty years. I think that the birth of my children has had the largest effect on my stance on abortion.

I have always thought that abortion should be legal, safe, and RARE. On a personal level my wife and I long ago decided that we would not decide to have an abortion. We were married in 1995 and it was the best day of my life. We decided that we wanted to have kids after five years. If we would have had a child before we wanted to there is no doubt that we would not have had an abortion. We currently have two children and do not want to have more. That being said, if my wife gets pregnant, we will have another child.

I 100% think that Roe v Wade should be overturned. It is NOT The Federal Government's job to dictate morality to the fifty states. I believe in State's rights...

I think that each of the fifty States should pass their own laws governing abortion. I think each state should have a statewide referendum and decide for itself...

Below is the questionnaire and how I filled it out.

Do you oppose school-based clinics that offer abortion counseling, abortion referrals, or access to so-called "emergency contraceptive" pills?
This was a no brainier for me. The schools should have NOTHING to do with decisions like this. This is the parents job.

Do you support legislation that makes it a crime for an adult counselor or teacher to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion without a parent's knowledge or consent.
This is another no brainier for me. Parents are responsible for their children when they are minors, period.

Do you support legislation requiring that fetal development curriculum be included in high school health education classes?
I had to talk to Cathie about exactly what this question meant. I am in favor of it as long as the education is 100% scientific and involves no religious or moral aspects. In other words, as long as it is just the facts.

Do you oppose Planned Parenthood's use of peer educators who are students trained and paid by Planned Parenthood to promote Planned Parenthood activities and events on campus.
I think all of these groups, both pro and anti-abortion should stay the "heck" off of school property.

Do you support teaching students that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases?
I had to talk to Cathie about this one for quite awhile. I favor teaching BOTH abstinence and "safe sex" in the schools if sex education is to be taught. That being said, abstinence is the only way to 100% ensure that you do not get pregnant.

Do you oppose allowing Planned Parenthood representatives to make classroom presentations that promote premarital sex, contraceptive use, and alternative lifestyles such as homosexuality?
We need to keep all of these groups out of the schools. The schools need to emphasize reading, writing, and arithmetic. We need to get back to basics and leave parenting to parents.

Under which circumstances do you believe abortion should be legal?
To save the life of the mother, rape, and incest.
This issue should be determined by State law. Whatever law the State passed is the way abortion should be handled in that state.


Craig said...

Here's a question...

In South Dakota, Abortion is now illegal unless in circumstances deemed worthy by the state.

As a libertarian, do you support laws that allow the state to make medical decisions for women and families?

Bonus question...

If abortion is made illegal in Indiana, would you support women going to jail for having abortions?

Jeff Pruitt said...

Here (IMO) is another pertinent question to someone running for school board.

Should students be allowed to use school time to go to voluntary religous study rooms? Let me give an example:

At FWCS there is a bus that comes around to various schools that is essentially a travelling sunday school. Students, who must have a parental signature, are allowed to leave their regular classrooms to go to this bus for a half hour.

Now I must say that if these students want to do this before/after school or during recess then more power to them. However, they should NOT be allowed to do this during normal curriculum. I think it's important to keep in mind that some teachers might feel pressured into letting these children go even if these students need that time to work on remedial math/reading/etc.

I would be interested in your take on this situation...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I am glad to see some people with different views posting comments on this blog. That is the main goal of this blog. Thank you!

Also, please realize that even though I am The Chairman of the Allen County Libertarian Party, not all of my views are in lock-step with every other Libertarian. I am a Libertarian that leans towards The Republican ideology. I was a Republican for many years until they left me and became a Party of Large Government and Larger Government Spending.

I think for myself and make my own decisions; I always have.

If you ever want to know the true Libertarian stance on issues you can ask Robert Enders. Robert is one of our officers and he is pretty much in lock-step with The Libertarian Party on most issues. In fact, if I want to know the stance of The National Libertarian Party on an issue I often call Robert...

I support the right of a State to make laws about abortion. I feel that The Federal government should get out of the issue entirely. I personally would like to see more exceptions to South Dakota's abortion bill; but, that is up to the people of South Dakota. Abortion is a TOUGH issue and one that I think should be decided by the people of each State by referendum. The majority wins... That is what a Democracy is all about in my opinion.

I actually think that in America we would end up having 25 States that allowed abortion and 25 States that outlaw it. That is fine with me... If it means that much to people they could then move to a State that has the laws they prefer!

Bonus question from Craig:
If abortion were made illegal in The State of Indiana then I would support the Indiana government punishing people who break the law. I am a Libertarian, not an anarchist...

Jeff Pruit:
We need to have our schools focus on the core basics of education and get rid of all the extra "stuff" they teach. We should abolish many of the regulations imposed by Indianpolis and Washington and let each School District decide how to educate their own students.

As far as a bus coming around during school hours and allowing students to leave school to attend religous study classes I am 100% opposed to this.

If it is done before or after school then I am 100% in favor of it.

We need our schools to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic. We need our schools to teach a non-biased view of history and government. Religion is for Church; not the classroom.

Craig said...

So, less government, unless your pregnant. Then the state gets to decide what's good for you. Gotcha.

Craig said...

Just to clear things up for me... do you think women in South Dakota should go to jail for getting abortions?

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I believe in less government; not "no government."

I am for abolishing the entire Federal Dept. of Education as an example...

If The Supreme Court upholds South Dakota's law then I do think that women who violate the law should be punished per South Dakota's State law.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Craig, I believe the position Mike is taking is as follows:

Less Government except where the WILL OF THE MAJORITY of the people imposes MORE...

Remember last week when you and I had a chat on your site about the "will of the people" Craig? You were all for it carrying major weight about now? You said the President needs to have the "will of the people behind him," hence your reliance on public opinion polls to actually meaning something valuable. Is the will of the people only important if it doesn't tread on the rights of people with a liberal agenda? Is the will of the people only important if the masses WANT gay folks to get hitched? Is the will of the people only valid if they are MoveOn contributors? That is for the Supreme Court to decide. All a politician can do is author laws and send them up the pike to the see what happens. In some of these circumstances, the Supreme Court would be well advised to defer to the Ckt Court of Appeals rulings...based on what the STATE constitutions say...

Luckily, as a school board member, Mike doesn't have to worry too much about penning legislation that will be that far-reaching and/or personally invasive. He just needs to worry about keeping the goofballs (from both sides of EVERY fence) out of the schools so that kids can learn the rudimentary skills necessary to fully develop their analytical and artistic skills PRIOR to being forcefed a bunch of BS from the left OR the right. I personally think it is just HIDEOUS to try to instill a belief system in someone who isn't even mature enough (mentally) to realize that they are being "railroaded."

I'm not yelling at you are a formidable debater and as such have earned my respect...and I didn't think you would intentionally profess a double-standard to be a good thing...

For the record, I don't support the women receiving abortion services going to jail any more than I would support a toker going to jail for a small bag of weed (I don't care how many offenses he's had of the same nature). Put the Doctors in jail if they break the law...they are held to a government regulated and self-imposed ethical standard. The average civilian, however, is not.

John Good said...

I'm with ya 100% on the following. Well stated.

"He just needs to worry about keeping the goofballs (from both sides of EVERY fence) out of the schools so that kids can learn the rudimentary skills necessary to fully develop their analytical and artistic skills PRIOR to being forcefed a bunch of BS from the left OR the right. I personally think it is just HIDEOUS to try to instill a belief system in someone who isn't even mature enough (mentally) to realize that they are being "railroaded." "

Craig said...

So the fed has no right to tell local schools how to teach kids, but State governments can tell women when and how to actually have kids. Gotcha.

Craig said...

As for you Andrew...

I never said the will of the people "carried major weight." You're making things up again.

I said it had consequences on elections, and you agreed.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Craig, you were so close:

In my opinion, The Federal Government does NOT have the right to tell the fifty states how to run their schools.

In my opinion, The Federal Government also does NOT have the right to tell the fifty states what the rules on abortion should be.

I believe in the separation of powers per The Constitution.

Craig said...

And you think a woman should go to jail for having an abortion, if that's the law in the state. Am I wrong?

Jeff Pruitt said...


Does this mean that the schools in Alabama should have remained segragated until the voters of Alabama said otherwise?

The Supreme Court ruled that Plessy v Ferguson was unconstitutional and struck down all public school segregation laws as violations of the 14th Amendment.

In your opinion, what is the difference between that scenario and the one taking place in South Dakota?

Roe v Wade clearly made any state law criminalizing abortion unconstitutional via the 9th Amendment.

Therefore, if you support the South Dakota situation then you must, IMO, support Alabama's case challenging school integration.

I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, rather I'm trying to understand your position...

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I would certainly hope that South Dakota would punish the doctors that performed the illegal abortions.

Jeff Pruit:

You bring up an outstanding point that I will have to think about.

I do not believe in either discrimination or reverse discrimination. I do not think the Federal Government should have enforced their will on Alabama.

If I were the Governor of Alabama I think I would have called out The National Guard and told The Feds to ... my ...

"Bussing" is an evil Federal idea that has 100% backfired. I am not in favor of it.

William Larsen said...

William Larsen’s Answer to News Sentinel question What changes would you make in the structure of local government?

I have five children in Northwest Allen County Schools. Though I believe they are receiving an adequate education, I feel the school system could do much better. The Federal Government takes our taxes and doles them back to our schools with strings attached. In addition sending money to the Washington is like having the added cost of a middleman one does not need. We have to pay for all that federal education bureaucracy.

Politicians in Washington think they know what is best for our children here in Indiana. They pride themselves by how much they return to Indiana. Would it not make more sense to leave the money in our local area and let us decide what is best and how to spend it? The Federal Government should relinquish control of education back to the states. I want you to feel the pride and satisfaction that you are in control of your children’s education, not a U.S. Representative or Senator in Washington.

On a similar note Jeff asked "Does this mean that the schools in Alabama should have remained segregated until the voters of Alabama said otherwise?"

This violated federal law. There does not need to be a separate Department of Education to enforce it. It is no different than "Congress shall make no law respecting religion nor the free exercise there of." Just as we have no Department of Religion to oversee this, why would we need a separate Department of Education?

Andrew Kaduk said...

Me, make something up???

I feel like I should be offended.

Wait, I love satire, I make all sorts of shit up!


Andrew Kaduk said...


You're right! I re-read our thread from late Feb. and you said that "Of course it's prudent. The president needs the will of the people behind him."

Couldn't the same be said of EVERY legislator?

I don't know what the big frenzy over South Dakota's abortion laws is all about...

It's obviously just an attempt to create more taxpayers in a state that needs them.

Oh, and also to take back states' rights from the Washington Power Pigs....but I think that's merely footnote.

Craig said...

Wow, seventeen comments.

That a record for you Mike? Mine never go past six.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

No there is one just a few days before that went up to 24...

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

Boy did we hit a hot button here.

Let me jump in a little late with two cents worth of thought.

I must first admit that I do believe that every person SHOULD have a right to privacy. That right is somewhat implied in a rather liberal interpretation of the 4th Ammendment of the Constitution. Again, I freely admit that this interpretation is very liberal, but as it places a limit upon the government I support.

That said, what any person discusses with their own medical doctor should remain private. This is their life, health, and well being. If we presume that what is said remains private then it is not a far leap to agree that what is DONE remains private.

Let us look at a person diagnosed with a terminal disease. That disease is treatable and 99% curable with proper medical treatment. For whatever reason the patient doesn't want to undergo the treatment that would save their lives. Should the Doctor be forced to perform the treatment, or if not, report the person as committing suicide (which is illegal)? What if the patient decides to use an alternative medically acceptable treatment that is less certain of a cure but with less debilitating side effects? Shouldn't all medical decisions of a patient remain between that patient and their medical provider?

If we presume/accept a "yes" answer to the previous question then the issue becomes one of this: Is abortion a medical proceedure or not? If it is, then given a persons right to privacy under the 4th Ammendment protects that person and his/her medical provider from from any prosecution as the government has no right to know about it.

If we presume/accept a "no" answer then we all Big Brother and not scientifically based treatment to determine exactly how we are treated and to what extent. This being the case Big Brother could compel certain treatments whether we wanted them or not, especially as we are leading down the path to a "nanny state".

Now, regarding students and schools.
We must accet the fact that abstinance is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and very effective (but not 100%) at preventing disease transmission (as even STDs can be transmitted by other means).

But does a theory have to be 100% true to be taught? OF COURSE NOT! We teach theories about Gravity, Mathamatics, Energy, Matter, and so on that our top scientists and mathematicians KNOW is not 100%. It is a theory.

What is energy? Light? What are the properties of Quarks? Theory of Evolution?

Why should it be any different with biology and sex education? Answer: it shouldn't.

However, treatment of students is another matter. Under our insurance system policy holders are responsible for the acts of their pets and children. Yes folks, pets and children fall into the same category.

As such, I don't believe that most children should receive ANY medical treatment without the express permission of their parents. I would leave room for cases where the parent caused the medical problem to occur, but only caused. My reasoning would be this: Any parent should be allowed to deny treatment to their children for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to religious. But, if the parent "caused" the illness, then the parent was NOT acting in the best interests of the child and therefore should have no say in the treatment of the child. Even the parent who denies their children treatment for religious reasons is acting in the best interests of the child, even if we don't agree with that parent, but the parent who caused the problem is/was not acting in their childs best interests.

I guess I've been a tad longwinded here. I wasn't as organized as I'd have liked either, but oh well. I'll drop it fer now and come back later.

For the record, my personal opinion is as follows:

#1) I am 90% opposed to abortion (I do see some need for it) but overall 90% opposed.

#2) I am 100% in favor of an adult woman being able to choose to have an abortion (or not have one).

#3) We will all answer to to our God for our acts, irregardless of what the State says is legal or illegal.

#4) I am 100% opposed to State funding of abortions (unless it might fall in that 10% I allowed for earlier).

#5) C. Evert Koop said it right, "when we no longer have unwanted pregnancies abortion will no longer be an issue." I paraphrased here, but got it basically right.


Doug Horner

John Good said...

Doug H,

According to your statement below, it would be okay for a child to die from even say, a small infection or other fully curable malady merely because the parents may have a religious or other objection to medical treatment? You crossed a line on that one. In the child's best interests? I think not.

Any parent should be allowed to deny treatment to their children for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to religious. But, if the parent "caused" the illness, then the parent was NOT acting in the best interests of the child and therefore should have no say in the treatment of the child. Even the parent who denies their children treatment for religious reasons is acting in the best interests of the child, even if we don't agree with that parent, but the parent who caused the problem is/was not acting in their childs best interests.

Jeff Pruitt said...


I believe you bring up many valid points and agree w/ you on some. However, your mixing of the layman's and scientist's definition of theory is one of my pet peeves. I think people need to become more educated about the difference.

In layman's terms a theory is one of an educated guess that has most likely not been tested to anyone's satisfaction - scientists would call this a hypothesis.

In the scientific community, a theory has nearly the opposite meaning. It is used to describe a set of principles that explain certain phenomenon, has been tested repeatedly, and is also successfully used for predictive purposes.

There is a major difference in these two definitions and too many people use the terms interchangably...

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

John, first of all very nice to meet you sir. I hope things are well.

I understand your resistance to this line of thinking, and I personally agree with the initial repugnance of it. However, I must, as an American who values the seperation of church and state and the importance of each individual to be allowed to worship God (or not worship) in whatever manner he or she chooses.

That said, those who would deny medical aid to their children and allow them to die based upon their religious beliefs would have my reluctant support.

Consider the following conundrum: Your child is dying, no medical treatment can save him. I come along with a "magick pill" that will totally kill his disease BUT in so doing damn him to hell forever. Would you give your child the pill?

Now, before you answer you must consider which is more important, life or spirit. If you want to be flip and say "I don't believe in hell" that's all well and good, but then you don't believe in "magick pills" either and my question doesn't make the point.

Or you can look at it with this question: What are you willing to die for? What cause, what freedom, what family members defense? And if you find that there is something you are willing to die for, then wouldn't you agree that "service to God" would rank up there at least equal to that reason, if not higher, for someone who believes in God?

The thing I do believe is that there are things more important than life. Those are faith and duty to country or a cause to name just a few. I don't want Big Brother telling parents they must choose life over faith.

Personal note: I disagree with this religous viewpoint, but I will defend it because they have the right to believe it and they have the right to die for their faith. And they have the right to raise their children in their faith.

John, I hope that clears up my views on this issue.

Jeff, first good to make your acquantance as well.

I was rather hoping someone would "take the bait" on the definition of theories.

You are correct in your accurate analysis of the differing views of "theory".

However, in the end theories are not facts, or 100% true. Now I will be the first to agree that they are WWWWAAAAAAAAAYYYYY closer to 100% than to 0%. Only facts are 100%, not theories.

That was the only point I was trying to make. Any theory can be proven untrue at any time, given new facts presented. Perhaps I went overboard with it.

The point I was making and will hopefully make more clear here is that our educational system shouldn't be hindered from teaching alternatives to abstinance simply because they are not 100% effective at either preventing pregnancy or reducing the risk of STDs.

In reality however they are DAMN NEAR to 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. If used properly and with reasonable overlap there is almost no chance of pregnancy. Unfortunately, I am compelled by honesty to qualify my previous statement by using the words "almost no chance" instead of saying 100% effective.

For those against teaching birth control they will turn my "almost no chance" into a gaping hole that one could drive the space shuttle through.

Personal note: I think all forms of protection from pregnancy should be taught, including the scientifically determined risks attributed to each.

I hope that clears up my views on a couple of these talking points.


Doug Horner

Jeff Pruitt said...


I understand your point about sex ed and agree w/ you 100% that we shouldn't force our educators to only teach methods that are 100% effective. However, I would like to nitpick at your fact/theory argument a bit more because - well because I'm a nitpicker I suppose.

What is 100% truth? How is this determined? For example, how do you know that something that has always been true will continue to be true? IMO, there is no observation/theory about the natural universe that can fall under the 100% truth category. I suppose this could delve into some philosophical debate which I'd like to avoid - I guess I just want to know what you think qualifies as a scientific fact (or 100% truth).

This is also where I'd like to reiterate a very important point that you made about scientific theory - it can be falsified. If a statement can never be falsified either by test, deduction, etc - then it can never qualify as a scientific theory...

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