The (unofficial) PCTA
Since 1995 there have been a group of guys and some women who have played tennis on a regular basis here in town. They sometimes refer to themselves as the (unofficial) PCTA.
This group was started by four men – Bruce Daniel, Charles Cope, David Gentry and Mike Wallace. Sadly on Feb. 11 Bruce lost his battle with cancer. At his service the funeral director mentioned Bruce’s love for the game of tennis, doing a good job with what information he had, but little was said as to how much Bruce meant to the group or to the magnitude of what these men started.
I believe it was the summer of 2007 that I went up to the courts to hit against the wall. I was invited to join in with the group. It did not take long before I realized that this group was special. They were competitive and had the ability to joke around with each other at the same time. Bruce was like the ring leader, knowing everyone’s quirks and how to use them to keep everyone laughing. He also had the natural ability to describe the past events and people that were part of the group. I asked Bruce to send me a list of the names of as many people that he could remember who had played. There were at least 50 names and that was four years ago.
I was amazed that, despite being in pain and knowing he only had a short time left, Bruce was able to maintain his sense of humor. I told him that part of the reason I enjoyed the tennis was the banter between those playing, and how important his role was in this. He told me that Mike did a great job of taking care of him. I also heard that his friends and family were constantly stopping by to visit him, which I know meant a great deal to him.
I admired his carefree nature and will miss what he brought to the group. Thanks Bruce.
(Proud member of the unofficial PCTA)
Clarifying abortion statistics
In his letter of Feb. 15, William Picou opines that I am neither rational nor sane. Possibly with additional information, he may be persuaded otherwise.
His misunderstanding involves complex issues of human reproduction and abortion, along with a little math, which I will attempt to explain in as simple terms as possible. For the sake of brevity, the following discussion excludes consideration of anembryonic, ectopic and molar pregnancies. Live births in the U.S. are publicly recorded and the annual number is a “reported” statistic. The number is consistently around 4 million, give or take a hundred thousand or so.
The number of annual induced abortions is a “partially reported” number. No federal law requires all entities involved with induced abortions to report to the CDC. In 2009, 784,507 legal induced abortions were reported to the CDC.
The number of annual spontaneous abortions is a “minimally reported” number. Data is only collected when a spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, requires medical treatment in a medical facility that reports such data to a state that reports such data to the CDC. Most spontaneous abortions do not require medical treatment and do not get reported.
The following is a direct quote from the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine: “It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously. … Most miscarriages occur during the first seven weeks of pregnancy.”
If we round up the induced abortion number to 1 million and add the 4 million live births, then the NIH is telling us that 5 million spontaneous abortions occur each year in the U.S. because of drug and alcohol abuse, environmental toxins, hormone problems, infections, obesity, reproductive organ problems, immune responses, systemic diseases (diabetes) and smoking.
Let us review the statistics again so that we do not misunderstand. Each year around 10 million pregnancies in America result in about 4 million babies. Fifty percent of the embryos or fetuses (5 million) die from factors other than an induced abortion. Most of these factors can be rectified should Americans choose to do so.
In an attempt to alleviate Mr. Picou’s concern over my statement, which essentially said that 1 million is smaller than 5 million, I am agreeable to changing it to 5 million is greater than 1 million. Both statements are true and will not be proven otherwise.