When God closes a door, he sometimes opens a window

In the wake of Sarah Palin’s appearance on the national political scene, some Obama supporters made some pretty deranged statements about the Palin family decision to go ahead with a pregnancy when they knew that the baby would have Down Syndrome.  There was a lot of eugenics-type talk about the social utility of handicapped children (none) and the societal wisdom of destroying them (huge).

To those of us who have been paying attention for periods longer than this political season, these ugly outbursts weren’t surprising.  After all, Pete Singer, “dean” of American ethicists (with a chair at Princeton), and founder of the American animal rights movement, has long advocated that it is ethical to give parents a 30 day window after a child’s birth within which to destroy the child should the parents deem it defective.  Singer, like others with his statist views, have a peculiarly Utopian view of the perfectibility of humans, one which depends, not on moral growth, but on government force.

And yes, you’re not imaging it — Hitler did in fact put this ideology into effect.  Aside from trying to kill entire races he deemed defective, such as Jews and Gypsies, he was also big on genetic management, which involved prostituting German women to SS forces to make “perfect” Aryan babies and, on the flip side, killing those Aryans he deemed defective.  My uncle on the Christian side of the family was gassed because he was a manic-depressive.  This is what happens when the state makes decisions because, as I’ve said before, the state has no conscience.

The most clear and recent statement of this principle came from yet another famed “ethicist,” this one in England (emphasis mine):

Elderly people suffering from dementia should consider ending their lives because they are a burden on the NHS and their families, according to the influential medical ethics expert Baroness Warnock.

The veteran Government adviser said pensioners in mental decline are “wasting people’s lives” because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.

She insisted there was “nothing wrong” with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.

The 84-year-old added that she hoped people will soon be “licensed to put others down” if they are unable to look after themselves.

Her comments in a magazine interview have been condemned as “immoral” and “barbaric”, but also sparked fears that they may find wider support because of her influence on ethical matters.

Lady Warnock, a former headmistress who went on to become Britain’s leading moral philosopher, chaired a landmark Government committee in the 1980s that established the law on fertility treatment and embryo research.

In the statist world, it is impossible for those the statists deem defective to have any value.  It’s the one gaping hole in their identity politics world view.  Everyone has a protectible identity except the handicapped who are either very young (fetal and infantile) or very old.

I mention all this for a reason.  Don Quixote forwarded an email to me about Paul Smith.  Have you ever heard of Paul Smith?  I hadn’t ’til now, but I think meeting him and his work is very important as we tremble on the brink of becoming a truly statist state, with the same universal health care that led the “moral philosopher” of Britain to advocate the mass slaughter of Britain’s helpless elderly.

Here’s an abbreviated version of Smith’s bio from the Foundation set up to honor him and his work:

Paul was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921.

Although severe cerebral palsy kept him out of school, it didn’t prevent him from having a remarkable life.

Never having a chance as a child to receive a formal education, Paul taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player.


His incredible visualization and calculation skills helped to make him a formidable chess player. Paul would stop doing just about anything else when he had a chance to play a game!

When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one.

Since he couldn’t press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys.

In other words, his pictures were based on these characters …

@ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _

Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.

You should read the whole bio, which you’ll find here.

And what work are we talking about? The incredible pictures he created using ten keys on an old fashioned typewriter.  You can see those pictures here, at the Paul Smith Foundation’s Web Gallery.

Are they the greatest art in the world?  Nope.  Not even close.  The Louvre or the Met would not be interested.  Nevertheless, they are extraordinary and very pleasing to the eye — and that’s entirely separate from the awe one feels when one considers the physical work and the mental vision that went into creating them.

I’m no saint.  I give thanks daily that, despite being an older mother, both my children were born without Down Syndrome or any of the other genetic diseases nature tosses out.  I’d like to think that, had something bad happened, I could have handled it, but I simply don’t know.

I do know, though, that I’m am finding increasingly horrifying the open-faced calls from the statists demanding the death of the imperfect.  I’ll therefore end this post with a slightly modified version of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous poem (versions of which you can see here):

First they came for the Communists,
– but I was not a communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for those born with handicaps,
– but I was born without handicaps so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists,
– but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews,
– but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.

It’s frightening how neatly my little interlineation fits into that poem, isn’t it?

(Right now, the gallery links aren’t working, but you can still get an idea of his work just by going to the gallary main page.  I’ll contact the gallery and see if they can fix the problem.)

UPDATEMore on those gifted lives that the raving Left now freely discusses snuffing.

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  • jawats

    Ms. Bookworm,

    I think you would enjoy Evelyn Waugh’s short story “Love Among the Ruins.” In essence:

    “Love among the ruins is a a satire set in a dystopian quasi-egalitarian Britain. The protagonist, Miles Plastic, is an orphan who at the beginning of the story is finishing a prison term for arson. Crime is treated very leniently by the state, and conditions in prison at actually quite superior to those among the population at large (leading to an understandably high recidivism rate).”

    It ties in quite nicely with our modern society.

    BTW – if nobody mentioned it, the Jewish law and reasoning you cited previously is very similar to classical Catholic reasoning on abortion.


  • Ymarsakar

    Check out these two links, BOok.


    Y’all got on this boat for different reasons, but y’all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this – they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.

    Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) Serenity

    If you have watched the movie, that should synch up nicely with your post here, Book. I can’t say much without spoiling the movie for others, but folks here who have watched Serenity knows.


  • Ymarsakar

    – but I was born without handicaps so I did not speak out.

    I think it might flow better if that was “but I had no handicaps, so I did not speak out”.

  • Ymarsakar

    This relates to some of the things I’ve written about ethics, free will, and macro scale planning. To a certain extent, “perfectibility” is a bad state to be in. In the universal laws of physics, the “perfect” is the unchanging and the static. The static is the stagnant and the stagnant is the dead or soon to be dead and replaced.

    Once the nuclear fusion inside a star goes “static”, meaning the pressure coming in exceeds the pressure going out from the fusion, the star collapses and dies until a new equilibrium is reaches. The key note here is “equilibrium”, “balance”, and “harmony”. These things are not the same thing as stagnancy, static things, and perfect things/states.

    If you recognize the free will of each individual, you can reach a state of harmony but not a state of perfection. A star does not collapse because of its mass due to the fact that its fusion provides a counter-balancing force against gravity’s pull. But once things are made “perfect” and unchanging, then it will collapse. It has to. There’s no life there any more: no energy either.

    The same is true of human hierarchies and weather patterns (Chaos Theory’s butterfly effect). The Left believes optimal maximum is reached by forcing people and things to their will. People like me believe that optimal maximum for the human species is reached through the competition of people’s free wills. The goal is similar, in that I want a state of super constructs that operate more efficiently than the sum of its parts. But my way does not require the “perfection” and stagnancy of each individual component in that super structure. THe Left doesn’t know how to compete fairly so they jack the system up by cheating, by making their individual units “perfect”.

    But it doesn’t work. You cannot create harmony or any great super structure more effective than the sum of its parts by locking in stasis the state of every component. That’s not just me, as a single human, saying that. Those are the laws of the universe itself. You cannot have “stuff” going on in the universe, planets, stars, and galaxies without things that change: often they change unexpectedly along unpredictable routes. Quantum theory even posits that things change based upon perception, not just luck. Evolution also demands that cells cooperate together. There is no such thing as a “super cell that can’t get any better cause it is now godlike”. There is such a thing as symbiosis, cooperation, and competition between cells, however, that create higher level organisms and species.

  • Ellie2

    I would like to see McCain (or anyone for that matter) hit the issue of eugenics head on. The State of Oregon provides some sort of socialized medicine, a la Canada and Europe. It will not pay for life-prolonging drugs, but it will — helpfully? — pay for assisted suicide drugs.


    As a boomer, I do not want to be told that it is my duty to society to march into the ovens. As a female I do not want the Minister of Health to tell me it is my duty to abort a “defective” child.

    Please God, may this election open as many eyes as it has opened mine.

  • Patrick OHannigan

    A wonderfully thoughtful post, Bookworm. I had not heard of Paul Smith before.

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