Found it on Facebook: Margaret Sanger’s ultimate goal

If you’ve been educated in the American school system at any time during and after the late 1960s, you’ve been taught that Margaret Sanger, had her emotions terribly wrung when she saw the terrible suffering poor women (mostly immigrants and blacks) experienced because they had child after child after child under the most appalling economic circumstances.  To the extent Sanger was one of the major forces helping women break the cycle of annual pregnancies that destroyed their health and well-being, I have to applaud her.  I don’t do pregnancy well and I’m not exaggerating when I say that a third might have killed me.

What I’ve learned since leaving school is that relieving women’s suffering was only one of Sanger’s goals, although it was the only one that she was willing to discuss publicly.  When speaking with friends, she was more straightforward about her ultimate plans for birth control and abortion:

Margaret Sanger

(I checked and that quotation appears to be real, rather than libelous and apocryphal. It comes from her comment on the ‘Negro Project’ in a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939., a document found in the Sanger manuscripts, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts.)

Sanger would undoubtedly be proud to learn that her beloved Planned Parenthood overwhelmingly targets African-Americans and other minorities.

Incidentally, it’s recently acquired knowledge such as this, all of which runs directly counter to the careful myths on which I was raised, that makes me increasingly hostile to America’s abortion culture.

What I would say to UCSB’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs about Free Speech, blacks, and abortion

Michael YoungNational Review’s Alex Torres has unearthed a really disgusting example of academic-think over at UCSB. That’s where Mireille Miller-Young, who gets paid to teach students about porn and sex work, with a little bit of “black culture” on the side, not only aggressively stole a sign from a pro-Life display in a Free Speech area, but also physically attacked a teenage girl who tried to recover the sign. Michael Young, UCSB’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, finally waded into the fray and . . . attacked the pro-Life people who had properly set themselves up in the university’s oh-so-limited “Free Speech space.”

To do Young justice, he did say that the Founders, despite being slaveholders, had the right idea with Free Speech.  It’s just that he really doesn’t think that people who disagree with his world view should exercise it.  It’s so . . . rude of them!

After reading the claptrap and tripe emanating from Mr. Young’s computer, I sat down and, in a fine frenzy, wrote him the type of letter that he’d never read and that I, after read it, realized that I would never send.  It’s a very brutal letter, and I’ve learned the hard way that the brutal letter is the first draft that never actually goes out. I still want to say what I have to say, though, and that’s why we have blogs.  So — here is the letter that I would have sent Mr. Young if I were a less polite person than I am in real life:

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Mr. Young:

I don’t usually pay attention to what goes on in America’s campuses, having been fortunate enough to have walked off the last one almost 30 years ago. However, your recent email to UCSB students regarding Mireille Miller-Young’s decision to physically attack a teenage girl with whom she disagreed is so extraordinary that I believe you deserve to hear from one of the people who pays your salary (i.e., a California resident).

I couldn’t help but notice that you’re black. Did you happen to know that New York City and Mississippi abort black babies in numbers far in excess of blacks’ representation in those respective populations? The number of black babies aborted in New York in 2012 (that would be 31,328) was greater than the number of black babies born in New York in 2012 (a mere 24,758). Moreover, although blacks are only 25% of the New York population, 42% of all New York abortions were black babies.

Meanwhile, down in Mississippi, between 1994 and 2010, black women aborted 39,000 fetuses. Over the same period, white women aborted 14,500 fetuses. Put another way, over a 16 year period, black women had abortions at a rate more than twice that of white women. While blacks make up 37% of Mississippi’s population, they accounted for 72% of its abortions.

Did you know that Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, was a eugenicist who promoted abortion primarily as a way of ridding America of blacks and other “undesirables”?

Knowing all this, are you sure you want to attack as divisive those people who are shocked that the most dangerous place in America for a black child is the womb?

One of the things that consistently amazes me about black Americans is that they embrace policies that have been manifestly disastrous for them. Welfare, by making black men unnecessary, destroyed the black family structure. Being a university type, you probably know that study after study shows that the surest way out of poverty is a traditional family. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if it turns out that you would rather be run over by a truck than turn your back on the welfare state, despite the appalling damage it has wrought.

I’m willing to bet you were horrified when Paul Ryan said that people of good will need to work on the disastrous pathology of inner city neighborhoods in which young men — almost invariably young black men — prey on each other and on all the men, women, and children unlucky enough to be caught in the crossfire. I’m equally willing to bet that you were not horrified when President Obama said that the federal government needs to work on the disastrous pathology of inner city neighborhoods. Considering that these deadly pathologies escalated dramatically with LBJ’s great society, I’d be much more scared of Obama’s threatened federal help than I would be of Paul Ryan’s suggestion that a societal change would be a good thing.

Frederick Douglas accurately predicted what the Great Society would do to black society:

“What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!

And so it goes. You’re not the only group in America that has sold its soul to a political ideology that is profoundly damaging to its best interests. As a Jew, I’m equally appalled by the way in which American Jews consistently embrace political parties and politicians that are hostile to Jews — and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per family at campuses rife with blatant antisemitism. The Democrat party is kind of like the mafia: once you’re in, you don’t leave, even when it becomes deadly to you and yours.

All of which gets me to your utterly appalling attack on pro-Life people. First of all, you should be agreeing with those pro-Life people, since the Democrats who so rabidly support abortion are the same Democrats presiding over the slow extinction of the black race in America. Second of all, as a high level functionary in a university, you should be embracing people who challenge the stifling orthodoxy of American academia. It’s this groupthink that has rendered you and Miller-Young incapable of using anything other than violence and invective to challenge ideas with which you disagree. My strong suspicion is that you’re deeply afraid that, if you had to confront these disagreeable ideas on their merits, you might have to rethink your own values.

To coddle students because they feel “outrage, pain, embarrassment,” etc., is a gross failing on your part. The world is a cruel place. (Indeed, I’m being intellectually cruel to you now by calling you on your ignorance, prejudice, and fear.) To take tens of thousands of dollars per student from parents and taxpayers in order to produce scared little bunny rabbits who are afraid to think, confront, challenge, and analyze is a form of fraud. You promise to educate and develop the young mind, even as you’re actively complicit in turning those same youngsters into bland piles of Leftist mush, swinging wildly between anger and hurt, with no pause in between for rigorous thought.

The most narrow-minded, stultifying place in America today is a university (or perhaps they would be better called monoversities, since the orthodoxy of group think permeates every department). Both you and the students under your care deserve more than the pabulum all of you are currently imbibing at UCSB.

Even worse than burning dead fetuses is the female abortionist supporting gender-driven abortions

Nazi crematoriumEvery conservative online publication today is talking about the British hospital that used aborted and miscarried babies as part of the fuel for its heating system.  I, and others, have commented that even the Nazis didn’t use their crematoria for heaters, although one cannot deny that the Nazis harvested everything they could from the bodies of those they murdered (gold teeth, hair, prosthetic limbs, etc.).  Many people came up with the Soylent Green analogy, which is apt.

What happened in England is a grotesque, reprehensible thing.  It’s also completely logical.  The premise of abortion is that the fetus is just a jumble of tissue, no different from removing a tumor or cyst. Things removed from people’s bodies in a hospital have to go somewhere, and cremation is the cleanest way to dispose of human tissue and other potentially contaminated remains.  And in a day and age of recycling and “green energy,” why not recycle that living matter into heat?  It all just make sense.

My point is that, if you’re going to make abortion legal, you must inevitably contemplate some way of disposing of the results of that abortion.  Being clean and energy-efficient is as good a way as any of ridding yourself of something you’ve already determined is valueless.  As I said, the story is grotesque but logical (even predictable).

black_babyThe news story that blew me away this morning, however, was the one reporting that the female head of the biggest abortion provider in England is entirely comfortable with sex-selective abortions (meaning abortions carried out solely because the fetus is female):

Ann Furedi, of BPAS, said the law does not prevent women from choosing a termination on the grounds of gender and she even compared it to abortion after rape.

[snip]

However, Mrs Furedi – whose charity carries out more than a quarter of abortions in England and Wales, argued that if doctors believe going ahead with the pregnancy would damage the mental health of the mother, the abortion is within the law.
Writing for online magazine Spiked, she said: “A doctor agreeing to an abortion on grounds of rape would be breaking the law no more and no less than a doctor who agrees an abortion on grounds of sex selection,” she said.

“While it is true that the sex of the foetus is not a legal ground for abortion, nor is rape, or incest, or being 13 years old. Nor is being homeless, or abandoned, or just feeling there’s no way you can bring a child into the world… yet they are all reasons why a doctor may believe a women has met the legal grounds of abortion.”

She added: “The woman gives her reasons, the doctor decides on the grounds as set out in the law … there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met.

“The law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape.”

It’s probably worthwhile filling you in on a few facts about the killing of females both in and outside of the womb. In 2010, the Economist wrote about the toll gendercide was taking on the would-be women in the world:

In January 2010 the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) showed what can happen to a country when girl babies don’t count. Within ten years, the academy said, one in five young men would be unable to find a bride because of the dearth of young women—a figure unprecedented in a country at peace.

The number is based on the sexual discrepancy among people aged 19 and below. According to CASS, China in 2020 will have 30m-40m more men of this age than young women. For comparison, there are 23m boys below the age of 20 in Germany, France and Britain combined and around 40m American boys and young men. So within ten years, China faces the prospect of having the equivalent of the whole young male population of America, or almost twice that of Europe’s three largest countries, with little prospect of marriage, untethered to a home of their own and without the stake in society that marriage and children provide.

[snip]

Parts of India have sex ratios as skewed as anything in its northern neighbour. Other East Asian countries—South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan—have peculiarly high numbers of male births. So, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, have former communist countries in the Caucasus and the western Balkans. Even subsets of America’s population are following suit, though not the population as a whole.

[snip]

In China the sex ratio for the generation born between 1985 and 1989 was 108, already just outside the natural range. For the generation born in 2000-04, it was 124 (ie, 124 boys were born in those years for every 100 girls). According to CASS the ratio today is 123 boys per 100 girls. These rates are biologically impossible without human intervention.

[snip]

Other countries have wildly skewed sex ratios without China’s draconian population controls (see chart 1). Taiwan’s sex ratio also rose from just above normal in 1980 to 110 in the early 1990s; it remains just below that level today. During the same period, South Korea’s sex ratio rose from just above normal to 117 in 1990—then the highest in the world—before falling back to more natural levels.

The Economist article, which is excellent, goes on to describe the consequences of these increasing gender imbalances, one of the more frightening of which is an excess number of young men without the civilizing influence of women.

The numbers lost to sex-selective abortions are staggering. Back in 2011, Ross Douhat examined data suggesting that at least 160 million girls were killed in the womb for no other reason than that their culture preferred boy babies.

There is nothing in the world more hostile to women than sex-selective abortions. Absolutely nothing. Life for women is hard all over, but only sex-selective abortion has wiped out 160 million of them. Yet Ann Furedi who, as head of England’s single largest abortion provider must surely call herself a feminist, says that this gendercide is A-OK.

Perhaps I’m erring in calling Furedi a feminist. It’s certainly a reasonable assumption that she is, because in every Western nation, abortion is presented to us as a civilized necessity for saving, elevating, aiding, and supporting women. It’s the way, as Obama said, that we make sure women aren’t “punished with a baby.” Those who oppose abortion, say the Democrats, are engaged in a “War on Women.”  The corollary, of course, is that those who support abortion must by extension support women.

Furedi, however, seems to have declared a war on babies and, more specifically on female babies.  That doesn’t sound feminist.  That sounds profoundly misogynistic.  And perhaps, within that framework, there’s nothing random about the fact that the same woman who cheerfully condones mass murder of women is married to the leader of the British Revolutionary Communist Party.

I’ve often said that one of the things that drove me from being staunchly pro-abortion to being primarily pro-Life (although leaving a door open to abortion in certain cases) is the extremism we see in the abortion culture. No matter how much the abortion spokespeople and the Democrat party (but I repeat myself) wrap themselves in the mantle of women’s rights to justify abortion, their every pronouncement makes it plain that their focus isn’t on letting women live, it’s on letting babies die.

Furedi — who heads England’s biggest abortion “charity” — has just become the poster child for the Left’s Big Lie.  By support gender-selective abortion she reveals that the “pro-abortion = pro-women” mantra is hollow.  She doesn’t care about women. She cares about killing babies. Otherwise she could not condone the continuation of a practice that has already accounted for something far in excess of 160 million female lives.

The burned babies heating hospital buildings is disgusting, but it’s just the final manifestation of a cult that has nothing to do with women and everything to do with genocide and gendercide.

Four links about abortion and government coercion *UPDATED*

Newborn baby seconds after deliveryI’m running late, but I had to share these four things with you:

First,  a New York Times opinion piece saying that it would be a gross travesty if the Supreme Court were to deny Hobby Lobby employees their absolute right to have a religious company pay for their birth control and abortifacient pills.

Second, an opinion piece by Pastor Rick Warren explaining why it would be a gross constitutional travesty if the Supreme Court were to hold that the First Amendment is limited to allowing people to attend a House of Worship, rather than to live their lives according to their faith.

I leave it to you to determine which of the two articles makes more constitutional, practical, and moral sense.

And to round things out:

Third, a news story from England about the fact that, not only did hospital’s incinerate fetus corpses (from both miscarriages and abortions) in a regular incinerator, two of them used the corpses to help heat the buildings.  I don’t think even the Nazis used the crematoria as heaters.

Fourth, a news story from England saying that the head of England’s largest abortion provider (and, presumably, a feminist) said that it’s perfectly fine to abort infants simply because they’re girls.  That is the reductio ad absurdum of abortion and feminism.

UPDATE:  AJ Strata has a lot of excellent thoughts about England’s newest energy source.

Abortion and self-loathing blacks

black_babyThere’s a story out of Santa Barbara today about a UC Santa Barbara professor who went berserk in a campus free-speech area when she saw a pro-Life display with graphic pictures of aborted fetuses.  She tried to lead a mob against it, grabbed a display and ran off with it, and then got into a physical altercation with a 16-year-old.  And just who was this professor?

The professor at the heart of the controversy is Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor whose area of emphasis is black cultural studies, pornography and sex work, according to her faculty webpage. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday by The College Fix.

A check at her website confirms that she’s not a white person dabbling in black cultural studies but is, instead, a black person.

So, to recap:  A black woman who’s entire intellectual life revolves about being black violently attacked an anti-abortion display.  Gawd, she must really hate herself.  And no, she doesn’t hate herself because of her lack of self-control; she clearly hates herself because she’s black.

Just to clarify what seems like a rather blithe conclusion, let me add some other facts to the mix:

The number of black babies aborted in New York in 2012 –31,328 — was greater than the number of black babies born in New York in 2012 –24,758.  Moreover, although blacks are only 25% of the New York population, 42% of all New York abortions were black babies.

Between 1994 and 2010, black Mississippi women aborted 39,000 fetuses.  Over the same period, white women aborted 14,500 fetuses.  Put another way, over a 16 year period, black women had abortions at a rate more than twice that of white women.  While blacks make up 37% of Mississippi’s population, they accounted for 72% of its abortions.

In 2011, throughout  the entire US, 7,380 blacks were homicide victims.  So yes, these posters are correct:

MostDangerousPlace1

Most dangerous place for a black

We often speak of self-loathing Jews, people such as George Soros or Noam Chomsky, who are deeply hostile to Judaism and Israel. We don’t speak often enough about self-loathing blacks. Only someone deeply conflicted about herself and her place in society would violently attack members of an organization that are working hard to save tens of thousands of black children annually from a premature death.

You know that I’m not hardcore pro-Life.  Instead, I’m a former abortion supporter who is finding it harder and harder to carve out any legitimate moral and intellectual ground to support America’s abortion culture.  People such as Professor Miller-Young are facing the cognitive dissonance of abortion, not be sitting back and reevaluating the facts and revisiting their values, but by engaging in violence so that they can avoid that kind of reevaluation.  (It is, I should add, a painful process.)

Downton Abbey tackles abortion (SPOILER ALERT)

downton-abbey-wallpaper-8SPOILER ALERT!!! I’m going to be discussing last night’s episode of Downton Abbey.  If you haven’t seen it yet, and are still planning on watching it, STOP READING RIGHT NOW.

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Okay.  Are those of you still with me okay with a spoiler?  Good.  Let’s get going with this post then.

We started watching Downton Abbey when it first came to America.  In the first and second seasons, it had everything an anglophile history buff could desire:  A ridiculously gorgeous setting, breathtaking pre-WWI fashions, solidly good acting, and an interesting plot-line that followed the upstairs and downstairs life of an aristocratic household on the verge of a war that exacted a great toll on England and fundamentally changed the British landscape.

And of course, it had Maggie Smith, who is a delight in every single scene.  As the Dowager Countess, a proud, loving woman struggling to accept all the changes in the world, she is witty, acerbic, and an absolute low-key comedic joy.

Downton Abbey is now in its fourth season and is dragging us through the 20s.  When I say “dragging,” I mean that pejorative deliberately.  The show has bogged down into being a classy, costumed soap opera.  I still watch for the costumes and for Maggie Smith, but otherwise it’s mostly a yawn.  Something interesting happened last night though.

As some of you may already know, the Earl of Grantham’s upstairs family began the series with three daughters:  Mary, the beautiful, snotty oldest (now a widow); Sybil, the beautiful, free-spirit youngest (now dead); and Edith, the ordinary looking, catty, uninteresting middle child.  Edith has consistently been unlucky in love, including being dumped at the altar.

Things finally started to go well for Edith last season when she met a handsome newspaper editor/publisher who fell in love with her.  The only problem was that he had a mad wife (shades of Mr. Rochester) and couldn’t divorce her to marry Edith.  Eventually, he decided to move to Germany (a scandalous thing to do immediately after WWI) and become a resident there, so that he could get divorced.  Sadly for Edith, he has since disappeared in Munich, and we don’t know what’s happened to him.  (By the way, if you’re British and do know what’s happened to him, please don’t tell me.) Even worse for Edith, she’s just discovered that she’s pregnant.

One of the threads in yesterday’s convoluted plot (complete with a boring rape story line) was Edith’s decision to go to London to get an abortion.  It’s obviously a difficult decision for her.  The aunt with whom she’s staying forces her to reveal her plans and, instead of being angry at unmarried Edith for being pregnant, is compassionate, and tries to talk her into having the baby.  Edith, though, is terrified of being a social outcast.  She loves the father, she wants the baby, but she cannot bear the thought of complete social ignominy.

So off they go to the abortionist.  I assumed that this would be the point where a compassionate 1920s doctor makes a speech about the evils of illegal abortion.  Instead, after being admitted in a clean, unadorned waiting room, by a clean, unadorned receptionist/nurse, Edith realizes that having the abortion will cut her off from her family just as surely as having the baby will.  She would no longer be able to stand going into the nursery where her niece and nephew live.  This promise of future regret overwhelms her . . . and she leaves the abortionist.

In a show full of hackneyed soap opera twists and turns, I did not see this one coming.

The whole abortion thing just got weirder in California

One of the reasons given for legalizing abortion was so that it could be done by doctors, rather than less qualified practitioners.  (Although the Gosnell case revealed that being is physician is no guarantee of quality.)  Given that a driving argument behind abortion was to put women in the hands of medical professionals, there’s something deeply ironic about the recently passed bill in California handing abortion back to practitioners who aren’t doctors.  I get leting midwives and nurse practitioners do abortions, but physicians’ assistants?  Really?  In my admittedly limited experience, PAs take temperatures, write notes in charts, rub in unguents, and generally do the stuff that LVN’s (who are less trained than RN’s) consider beneath them.  But they’re going to be allowed to do abortions?

I know that Hillary is going to look Americans in the face when she runs for president and boast that she’s committed to keeping abortion safe, rare, and legal.  Well, at least she and her fellow Progressives will be telling the truth about the “legal” part.

Three degrees of separation

I enjoy reading my Liberal-Lefty friends’ Facebook posts because they are so insightful into the mindsets of the Left.

One insight that I have gained over time is that the differences between us conservatives and the Progressive/Left are so profound that they are unlikely to ever be bridged, barring some cataclysmic, life-changing events. What I have tried to do is understand why this is so. I share this with you because I greatly appreciate the insights that Bookworm group has to offer on such issues – be it “yay” or “nay”.

Our disagreements appear to come down to three levels of separation.

1) First, there are objective facts (OK, I am being deliberately redundant here). These are easy enough to resolve. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock world has arrived: everybody is so overwhelmed with information that we can’t absorb and process all there is to know and we therefore choose our facts selectively.

As Ronald Reagan said, ““It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

In discussions, factual disputes are easy enough to resolve: my typical response to Liberal /Lefties is simply tell them to “Google it”. Amazingly, many apparently don’t know that you can Google entire texts or sentences. A good example was the recent George Zimmerman trial…many people with whom I disagreed told me outright they were too busy to bother looking up facts. The Left operates on so many facts that just aren’t so.

2) The second level of separation involves our assumptions or premises. These are tougher to resolve, because we assume and presume events based on our past experiences. I suspect that we humans are hard-wired to build assumptions (true or false) as a defense mechanism: for example, my cave ancestors probably assumed that to allow a saber-tooth tiger to stand in their path was not a good thing and that such assumption is one reason why I stand here today.

We go through life building mental templates on how the world works in order to short-circuit decision making and evaluation. Otherwise, we would soon be overwhelmed with indecision. As long as our world templates work for us, we continue to hold onto them. Many formerly Liberals (e.g., David Horowitz, Bookworm) only became conservative when one or more events (e.g., 9/11) rendered their previously comfortable world views untenable. For me it was Reagan’s second term, when his policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and an economic resurgence. I, young man at the time, knew then that my Democrat world template had been very, very wrong.

I use the word “comfortable” deliberately, because our templates represent our comfort zones. Losing that comfort zone is terrifying. Imagine if all of a sudden nothing in the world made any sense to you; you would feel totally deracinated and quite possibly insane. You would also feel a deep sense of personal failure, as in “how in the world could I have been so deluded?”

And, the older you get, the more frightening that sense of loss, confusion and failure would be. So, the older we get, the more desperately we defend our mental templates, selecting and force-fitting “facts” to fit our own perceptions of reality. I believe this is where modern Liberalism and Progressivism are today (Google “Paul Krugman”). As Thomas Sowell put it, people of the Left expect the world to conform to their misperceptions. Eventually, however, reality hits like a 2 x 4 between the brow…as in “Detroit”.

I believe that this dynamic also explains the sheer viciousness expressed by many on the Left when the presumptions of their world templates are threatened (as by Sarah Palin or by black conservatives, for example). This is also the reason why I believe that world Islam will fail, because it doesn’t work and eventually people in Muslim worlds, aided by the internet, will eventually realize this (some of my Middle Eastern friends assure me that many already do). Reality is a harsh mistress.

This level of separation helps to explain why Liberals and Conservatives usually talk past each other. We try to rationalize our positions to each other, but our rationalizations only make sense if the other party shares the same assumptions and understandings of how the world works. We operate from completely different templates.

3) Faith. This the most difficult and potentially dangerous degree of separation, because it addresses fundamental values that are non-negotiable. Our “faith” defines how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world, irrespective of facts, logic and reason. I cannot, for example, “prove” the veracity of my Christian faith. Environmental extremists and atheists cannot “prove” the righteousness of their positions. We just “know” that what we believe to be true is true. There is no logical argument that I know of that can challenge faith-based values. Our values define who we are and how we perceive the world to be. Utopian fascist ideals (Progressivism, Nazism, communism, Islamism, etc.), for example, are defined by a faith in a future to come – they require no proof. Abortion is a similar issue of faith and values – there is no middle-of-the-road compromise if you believe abortion to be murder and that murder is wrong (a value proposition). Psychologists have claimed that only very powerful shocks to the system can challenge faith.

I have no dealing with the first degree of separation. I admit, however, that I am totally stumped on how to address (2) and (3). Any ideas?

The complete intellectual degradation of the abortion debate

9 month old fetus

The starting point for any discussion about abortion is, of course, Roe v. Wade.  Pro-abortion people like to throw that case name around like a magic talisman that allows abortion from the moment of conception until some time after birth.  They invariably forget that Roe v. Wade was a very limited ruling. It did not create an unfettered right to abortion. Instead, it established a delicate balancing act over the entire length of the pregnancy between the State’s interests and the woman’s interest in the fetus.  Based upon the state of medicine in the early 1970s, the court saw viability as starting sometime within the second trimester.  The specific weeks or months of a pregnancy, though, weren’t the issue.  Viability trumps all:

With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.  (Emphasis added.)

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 163 (1973).

The Supreme Court has decided myriad abortion cases since Roe v. Wade, all of which push back on limitations states attempt in impose on abortions in the early weeks.  The one thing that none of these cases have done is to limit the viability standard.  Instead, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court actually expanded the viability standard by saying trimesters are irrelevant.  The only thing that matters when it comes to determine the State’s interest is average fetal viability under current medical practices:

We have seen how time has overtaken some of Roe’s factual assumptions: advances in maternal health care allow for abortions safe to the mother later in pregnancy than was true in 1973, see Akron I, supra, at 429, n. 11, and advances in neonatal care have advanced viability to a point somewhat earlier. Compare Roe, 410 U. S., at 160, with Webster, supra, at 515-516 (opinion of REHNQUIST, C. J.); see Akron I, 462 U. S., at 457, and n. 5 (O’CONNOR, J., dissenting). But these facts go only to the scheme of time limits on the realization of competing interests, and the divergences from the factual premises of 1973 have no bearing on the validity of Roe’s central holding, that viability marks the earliest point at which the State’s interest in fetal life is constitutionally adequate to justify a legislative ban on nontherapeutic abortions. The soundness or unsoundness of that constitutional judgment in no sense turns on whether viability occurs at approximately 28 weeks, as was usual at the time of Roe, at 23 to 24 weeks, as it sometimes does today, or at some moment even slightly earlier in pregnancy, as it may if fetal respiratory capacity can somehow be enhanced in the future. Whenever it may occur, the attainment of viability may continue to serve as the critical fact, just as it has done since Roe was decided; which is to say that no change in Roe’s factual underpinning has left its central holding obsolete, and none supports an argument for overruling it.

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 860 (1992) (emphasis added).

In sum, what the Supreme Court has done over the years is to expand pre-viability rights, while contracting the window of time within which those rights apply.  This is an important point to keep in mind when considering the House’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.  First, don’t let the 20 weeks throw you.  The method the House bill uses to calculate fetal age translates to what most women would consider 22 weeks pregnant, which is when fetus’s can survive outside the womb.  (There are two different time measurements, in the same the way that Celsius and Fahrenheit are two different temperature measurements.)

Right out of the box, the pro-abortion media gets the bill wrong.  In a Washington Post article, the Post claims the House bill goes beyond the Supreme Court, which it does not:

The bill would narrow the window currently set out by federal law and the Supreme Court, which bans most abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Some Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed similar laws in recent months.

As you can see from the quotation above, the Supreme Court did not place a time-limit on abortion.  It placed a viability limit.  Once the average fetus is viable with modern medical care, the State has rights.

Now that we’ve established the law, let’s look at what Barack Obama has to say about the House bill, which he has declared he intends to veto in the unlikely event it gets through the Senate:

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1797, which would unacceptably restrict women’s health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman’s right to choose.  Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor.

Forty years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, including the right to choose.  This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ health care decisions, and the Constitution.  The Administration is continuing its efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, expand access to contraception, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion.  At the same time, the Administration is committed to the protection of women’s health and reproductive freedom and to supporting women and families in the choices they make.

If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.

This is a steaming pile of manure.  It cites to Roe v. Wade without understanding it, and which completely ignores Casey, all in an effort to give women unfettered abortion rights from conception through to some moment after delivery.  Reading the statement, it’s difficult to remember that our President is a Harvard Law graduate and former constitutional law professor. I mean, we know he didn’t author it himself, but how in the world could he have put his imprimatur on it?

I’ve commented before on the factual dishonesty of the abortion debate.  Abortion proponents pretend that we’re living in the 1950s, when out-of-wedlock pregnancy was a stigma, not a commonplace.  I guess it’s unsurprising that the intellectual debate would be equally dishonest.  One could say that the good thing about mass murderer Kermit Gosnell is that his “post-birth” abortions have brought to light the intellectual paucity of the Democrat party when it comes to abortion.  The Supreme Court has insisted on a balancing act, and the Democrats have responded by putting their thumb firmly on the abortion side of the scale.

photo by: fekaylius

“Extremism” when it comes to late term abortion and guns

Kirsten Powers, one of Fox News’ resident Democrats, is the person who forced the Kermit Gosnell mass murder onto the front page.  Before Powers shamed the media into pretending, if only for a few days, that the trial of one the most prolific serial killers in American history actually mattered, the media had managed to ignore almost entirely Kermit Gosnell’s trial.  With Powers’ “J’Accuse” moment on USA Today, however, the media was forced to acknowledge the trial, if only momentarily, and to engage in a cursory analysis of its motives.  The analysis was pathetic, but they did it.  (E.g., “We’ve decided that we didn’t ignore the trial because it was about an abortionist; we ignored it because our incredibly savvy business sense, which has seen most liberal print media outlets totter to the edge of the grave, told us that there was no money in this one.”)

Powers has written another indictment of the Left’s fanatic support for abortion.  This time, her focus is on the pathological denial that sees the Left pretend that a fully matured fetus is just a clump of cells:

What we need to learn from the Gosnell case is that late-term abortion is infanticide. Legal infanticide. That so many people in the media seem untroubled by the idea that 12 inches in one direction is a “private medical decision” and 12 inches in the other direction causes people to react in horror, should be troubling. Indeed, Gosnell’s defense attorney Jack J. McMahon has relied on the argument that Gosnell killed the babies prior to delivering them, therefore he is not guilty of murder. His exact words were: “Every one of those babies died in utero.”

[snip]

We live in a country where if a six-months-pregnant woman started downing shots of vodka in a bar or lit up a cigarette, people might want her arrested. But that same woman could walk into an abortion clinic, no questions asked, and be injected with a drug that would stop her baby’s heart.

I’ll put my cards on the table: I think life begins at conception and would love to live in a world where no women ever felt she needed to get an abortion. However, I know enough people who are pro-abortion rights—indeed, I was one of them for most of my life—to know that reasonable and sincere people can disagree about when meaningful life begins. They also can disagree about how to weigh that moral uncertainty against a woman’s right to control her body—and her own life. I have only ever voted for Democrats, so overturning Roe v. Wade is not one of my priorities. I never want to return to the days of gruesome back-alley abortions.

But medical advances since Roe v. Wade have made it clear to me that late-term abortion is not a moral gray area, and we need to stop pretending it is. No six-months-pregnant woman is picking out names for her “fetus.” It’s a baby. Let’s stop playing Orwellian word games. We are talking about human beings here.

Powers is absolutely right.  I’m pleased and proud to say that, even in my most fiercely pro-Choice days, I wouldn’t have countenanced the abortion of a viable infant.  Nevertheless, I do have to part ways with the core premise in Powers’ article, which is that NARAL and the NRA are both equally extreme, and therefore both equally open to being castigated and disregarded

Speaking as a liberal who endorses more government regulation of practically everything—banks, water, air, food, oil drilling, animal safety—I am eternally perplexed by the fury the abortion rights contingent displays at the suggestion that the government might have a serious role to play in the issue of abortion, especially later-term abortion. More and more, the abortion rights community has become the NRA of the left: unleashing their armies of supporters and lobbyists in opposition to regulations or restrictions that the majority of Americans support. In the same way the NRA believes background checks will lead to the government busting down your door to confiscate your guns, the abortion rights movement conjures a straight line from parental consent to a complete ban on abortion.

Powers is wrong to claim that the two institutions are alike and that both are equally extreme.  They’re not the same and for one very specific reason:  the Constitution.

NARAL is predicated upon a Supreme Court case that found an emanation of a penumbra of an assumed, but never explicitly named, constitutional right to privacy and, from that, created an unfettered right to abort a fetus during its first trimester.  Somehow that limited right morphed into an equally unfettered right to abort a fetus, not just in the first trimester, but right up to, including, and after its birth.  Even the authors of Roe v. Wade would concede that those on the Left who defend late term or post-birth abortions have hit a high note on the extremist scale.  Extremism in defense of an illusory right premised on a magical interpretation of a clearly written historic contract between the people and their federal government is . . . well, extremely extreme.

But about the NRA. . . .  Where does it get the idea that the government should absolutely and completely stay away from law-abiding citizens’ guns?  Are those gun rights nuts also relying on an emanation of a penumbra of an unstated right?  In a word, no.  Instead, the NRA is ensuring that the government does not overreach its explicitly described limitation of power under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

This is not even Goldwater’s “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.”  There is no extremism here because the NRA, contrary to Progressives’ frequent attacks, is not pushing any boundaries.

Which brings me to one of the best pro-Second Amendment articles I’ve seen.  Iowa State University has a newspaper called the Iowa State Daily.  Until about yesterday, one of its writers was a guy named Barry Snell.  At some point before he attended the university, Barry Snell wore a uniform (police?  military?  He doesn’t say).  Attending an American university and writing for a student newspaper exposed Snell to a lot of anti-gun people.  He doesn’t shy away from the fact that many of them are extremely nice people.  (I know that to be the case when it comes to all the anti-gun people I know.  They’re not professional Leftists.  They’re just myopic.)  Snell’s word for these people, these nice Leftists who turn into slavering gun grabbers whenever a shooting occurs is that they’re “uninformed” — and how.

On his last day as a writer for the Iowa State Daily, Snell un-pented all the pent up irritation, frustration, and anger he has when it comes to those liberals who feel it is their obligation to tar all gun owners as crazy, baby-killing lunatics.  Admirably, Snell’s decency and intellect are such that, even when he let ‘er rip, he stuck to his facts and avoid ad hominem attacks.  Before I start discussing some of the points that specifically interested me in his article, I urge you to read it and share it, through any social media you have (email, Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc.).  It’s that good.

What Snell does so well is to is explain why NRA types are so defensive when it comes to their Second Amendment rights.  They’ve learned over the years not to trust the Left, which speaks with forked tongue and, no matter what it says, wants to grab guns.  He makes more good arguments than I can count, so let me just give you a taste, and then hone in on my abortion point:

Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because anti-gunners always talk about 90 percent of Americans supporting this gun control measure, or 65 percent supporting that one, as if a majority opinion is what truly matters in America. We don’t trust anti-gun people because you think America is a democracy, when it’s actually a constitutional federal republic. In the American system, the rights of a single individual are what matters and are what our system is designed to protect. The emotional mob does not rule in America.

Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because they keep saying they “respect the Second Amendment” and go on about how they respect the hunting traditions of America. We don’t trust you because you have to be a complete idiot to think the Second Amendment is about hunting. I wish people weren’t so stupid that I have to say this: The Second Amendment is about checking government tyranny. Period. End of story. The founders probably couldn’t have cared less about hunting since, you know, they just got done with that little tiff with England called the Revolutionary War right before they wrote that “little book” called the Constitution.

Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because they lie to us. President Obama directly says he won’t tamper with guns or the Second Amendment, then turns around and pushes Congress to do just that. We don’t trust anti-gunners because they appoint one of the most lying and rabidly (and moronically) anti-gun people in America, Vice President Biden, to head up a “task force” to “solve” the so-called “gun problem,” who in turn talks with anti-gun special interest groups instead of us to complete his task.

Snell neatly addresses the way the abortion makes the First Amendment sacrosanct, even while relegating the Second Amendment to the inner circle of Hell:

Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because they look down on us for defending the Second Amendment as vigorously as they defend the First Amendment — a fight we too would stand side-by-side with them on otherwise. We don’t trust anti-gunners because someone defending the First Amendment is considered a hero, but a someone defending the Second Amendment is figured down with murderers and other lowlifes. Where the First Amendment has its very own day and week, both near-holy national celebrations beyond reproach, anti-gunners would use the First Amendment to ridicule any equivalent event for the Second Amendment, like they did for a recent local attempt at the University of Iowa.

Nicely, for purposes of my post here, Snell actually touches on the abortion question.  He doesn’t do so in a constitutional way, but I’m still throwing it in here, just because he makes such a good point, and manages to show how fundamentally flawed the Leftist position is:

Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because when it comes to their “We need gun control to save the children” argument, many of us can’t understand how an anti-gun liberal can simultaneously be in favor of abortion. Because you know, a ban on abortion would save a child every single time. I’m personally not rabidly against abortion, but the discongruence makes less sense still when the reason abortions are legal is to protect a woman’s individual rights. That’s great, but does the individual rights argument sound familiar? Anti-gunners think that for some bizarre reason, the founding fathers happened to stick a collective right smack dab at the top of a list of individual rights, though. Yeah, because that makes sense.

Hmmm.  I got a little carried away and off-topic there, and ended up quoting a lot of choice paragraphs that don’t actually tie into the NARAL versus NRA argument.  They’re such good paragraphs, though, that I’m not going to delete them.  I’m just going to drag this post back to my original point, which is that, while Powers is right about late-term abortion, she’s wrong to compare NARAL and the NRA.

Where Powers’ analogy fails is that she believes that the two organizations — NARAL and the NRA — are comparable because both are single issue organizations and both have members who have staked out bottom line positions for their belief.  This is a false comparison, because it mistakes form for substance.  That is, it implies that, because they have a superficial similarity, their beliefs are equal — equal in morality, equal in logic, and equal in law.  They are not.  And this is where I can circle back to Snell.

My takeaway from Snell’s article is that there is no extremism in the defense of the Second Amendment.  It is every bit as important an inherent right as those jumbled almost carelessly together in the First Amendment.  When we defend it against anti-gun people, our actions aren’t motivated by our extremism, but by theirs.  We hew to the Constitution.  They hew to a false understanding of our republican form of government, dishonest statistics, political lies, emotional hysteria, fallout from their own bad policies, etc.  Gun rights advocates, unlike NARAL supporters are not denying reality, and they are not making up imaginary rights.

So while I applaud Powers’ for having the courage to take her Progressive brethren to task for their immoral position when it comes to late term abortion, I can’t give her a pass for pretending that abortion rights and gun rights are the same.  They’re not, and vigilance in defending against unconstitutional, illogical, and immoral attacks against the Second Amendment is not the same as extremism in defense of a made-up right that has been stretched and twisted to give legal cover to something that is, under any interpretation of law, morality, and biology, cold-blooded murder.

Hat tip:  Pierre LeGrand

An excellent forum at the Watcher’s Council regarding the decision to let 15 year olds buy Plan B over the counter

As the mother of the Obama government’s Plan B (aka “Morning After Pill”) demographic, I have strong feelings about the move to let 15 year olds just go to the store and buy the stuff.  The Watcher’s Council has a forum up on that subject and, as always, Council members say the most interesting things — and that’s true whether or not I agree with their conclusions.  You can read it all here, but I’m going to reprint my contribution below:

As the parent of minors, I think it’s appalling. The Left will always justify this kind of rule-making or legislation by pointing to those teenage girls who have dreadful home lives, and are at risk of being physically hurt if they confess to a pregnancy. Yes, those are real situations, but I’ve never seen any evidence that they are anything but a small minority. In the real world, parents whose daughters come home pregnant are not going to be happy, and they may yell at their daughter, but they don’t abuse her. They rally around her. In other words, they are family and they are there for her. (In this regard, I think the movie Juno was pretty accurate.)

The facts on the ground mean that the state’s motive in making birth control and abortifacients available to ever younger girls isn’t because it’s trying to protect a small minority of at-risk girls. Rather, it’s trying to break down the family unit. Sex is a great way to force that schism because, next to hunger, sex is the most powerful motivator. By promising children sex, and lots of it — without any messy consequences such as disease or pregnancy — the state ensures that children look to the state as the bountiful provider. The message is a simple one: We’ll make you happy; your parents will make you sad.

Of course, no one is looking at the very real consequences of the state’s handing out sex like an addictive drug. The state pours toxic hormone soups in adolescent bodies; treats those young bodies with powerful antibiotics; alienates young minds and emotions from those who are most likely to love them; and sends the message that human sex, rather than creating powerful, life-long emotional bonds, has no more meaning than (and about as much charm as) bovine, canine, or feline sex. No wonder the girls who graduate from the hook-up culture in college don’t feel liberated but, instead, just feel used and emotionally frozen. They have been used — not just by the men who get the girls, but by an all-powerful state that has as its goal the end of individuals’ control over their own bodies.

Lastly, there’s also something profoundly wrong about a government that, even as it criminalizes adult men and women who have sex with children, does everything it can to encourage children to have sex. I don’t have a good word to describe that. Revolting? Hypocritical? Sleazy? Obscene? Immoral? I think all apply.

Coincidentally, I just opened an email from a friend alerting me to an article that Melanie Phillips, a brilliant British conservative, wrote about the reason that Big Brother has it in for families. Please read it. It’s very important, and provides a counter-narrative to the state’s claim that parents are a child’s natural enemies, rather than their most loving supporters (in most cases).

California taxpayers are funding free condom deliveries to children as young as 12

(I was halfway through writing this one before I remembered that it was for Mr. Conservative and not for my own site.  Now that it’s up there, though, I can reprint it here, and make my friends a part of the conversation.)

You know what your 12-year-old daughter needs? Free condoms. Even better, she needs to have those free condoms delivered directly to her in discrete packing, along with lubricants and other items to facilitate her burgeoning sex life. And you know what would make this free delivery service best of all? If it by-passed parents entirely.

If you’re writhing in agony reading those words, be grateful if you’re not living in California. The California Family Health Council (CFHC) has a Condom Access Project (CAP) that mails condoms to children 12 and over for free. Put another way, California taxpayers are funding a program that purchases, packages, and ships condoms to underage minors. Think about that for a moment: If an adult has sex with underage minors, it’s statutory rape and the adult is imprisoned and reviled. If a state facilitates sex for underage minors, it’s Progressive and admired. Go figure.

An obviously excited CAP recently issued a press release boasting that its program is expanding to teens in Fresno and San Diego counties. All that the kids need to do is go to a snappily designed website called “teensource.org,” fill out a form, and they’re in business.

Showing the cognitive difficulties that afflict career Leftists, that buzzy little CFHC press release is a classic case of the “Butterfield effect.” For those of you unfamiliar with this term, Fox Butterfield, a well-known Progressive journalist, gained notoriety for writing several articles in which he discussed what he thought was an inexplicable paradox: even as prison populations rose because of tougher sentencing rules, crime rates fell. He couldn’t even imagine the possibility that the tougher sentencing rules caused the falling crime rates.

In its press release, the CFHC proudly notes that it’s expanding its condom program, even as it says that “STD rates among California’s youth ages 15-19 are increasing.” Hmm. Could that rate increase be because the State of California is actively encouraging teens to have sex? (Not to leave the feds out of this equation, they used $423,500 in stimulus dollars to study “correct condom use.”) And could it be because teens, once allowed to do risky, are notorious for being irresponsible even if you give them all the necessary tools for playing it safe? This is why young teens don’t get driver’s licenses and older teens have expensive insurance: no matter the rules and the safety devices, teens are careless.

The announcement about the free condom program arrives at the same time that the FDA ruled that girls as young as 15 can buy the “morning-after pill” without parental consent. The morning-after pill is a powerful hormone cocktail that causes the uterus to reject a newly implanted zygote. In most states, teen girls cannot get their ears pierced, shoot paintball guns, or get a fake tan without parental permission, but they can put toxic quantities of hormones into their growing bodies, all without their parents knowing what’s going on.

Leftist governments hate families. The family unit is the strongest statement of individualism. The way to destroy the family is to use that most powerful of all human motivators – sex – to seduce the child away from the family and into the arms of the beneficent state. The state, which doesn’t love you, still gives you what you need for sex (condoms, The Pill, lubricants, instruction books). Then, because you’re a teen, when all those fail the state gives you the toxic medicines (hormones, antibiotics) and risky medical procedures to save you from your mistakes.

Conservative parents understand the message: “Mom and Dad are so yesterday. Turn to the state, which will give you everything you need.” Are those truly loving parents who happen to be Progressives ever going to wise up?

The President’s speech to Planned Parenthood reminds us how dishonest the abortion debate is on the Left

Fetus

Lately, abortion has been in the news.  It never gets far out of the news, but it intruded with extra force these past two weeks for two reasons.  The first was the story about the media’s decision to ignore the Kermit Gosnell trial because it didn’t fit into the abortion narrative.  The narrative is that abortion should be “safe, rare, and legal.”  The Gosnell reality was that women died in his filthy clinic, that living babies got murdered (with the psychopathic Gosnell collecting hands and feet as trophies), and that the abortions were illegal under any standards, since they were so late term as to constitute murder under Pennsylvania law.  Because Gosnell interrupted the narrative (“we have achieved safe, rare, and legal, and now we must fight zealously to keep it”), what may be the most sensational mass murder trial in American history went unreported.

The other “abortion in the news” moment was Obama’s slobbering love letter to Planned Parenthood, when he spoke at their big hoo-ha.  If you doubt that it was a love letter, you need only listen to the very last few seconds of his speech:

As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.  Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.

Yuck.  I’ve been slimed.

That was Obama’s emotional shtick.  In light of the Gosnell affair, it was a grossly misleading emotional shtick because it’s clear that, when women’s “health care” (i.e., abortion) is not delivered into a quality way, neither Obama nor abortion’s cheerleaders will be there for those women.

But there was something else Obama said that was equally dishonest, and that was his insistence that those who oppose abortion on demand want to return the world to the 1950s:

So the fact is, after decades of progress, there are still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.  And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.

There’s a very subtle dishonesty at work here.  What Obama fails to acknowledge is that the social dynamics of our world are so entirely different from those in the 1950s that, even if abortion was outlawed entirely, significant economic and social pressures that women faced in the 50s are virtually nonexistent now.  In the 1950s, women had abortions to escape social stigma (“she’s a slut”) and economic collapse (minimal safety net).  The social stigma was an especially powerful force.  Women were branded and disowned.

I wrote about this false comparison to the 1950s once before, and think it’s worthwhile to reprint that post in its entirety here, simply because the Gosnell trial and Obama Planned Parenthood speech make it very relevant to today’s debate (or avoidance of debate).  So, from January 11, 2010, The need for an honest, 21st century debate about abortion:

I dreamed last night about the first ultrasound I had when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I was sixteen weeks pregnant, and had been throwing up non-stop for 15 1/2 of those sixteen weeks.  I was not happy.  I resented the parasite within me.  And then I saw the sonogram image and discovered that the parasite had a little round head, two arms and two legs, and an incredible spinal cord that looked like the most exquisite string of pearls.  That image did not instantly reconcile me to the next 26 weeks of non-stop vomiting, but it made me aware that “the fetus” is not simply an aggregation of cells, or a thing indistinguishable from a dog or a chicken fetus.  It’s a baby.

By the time I had my second child, I knew, without question, that every “fetus” is a nascent human being.  I finally recognized on an emotional level that the zygote created on the first day is the same life as the baby you hold in your arms on the last.  It is also the same as the toddler that lisps “I wuv you,” and the pre-teen who says “Y0u’re the best mommy ever.”  They all start there, right inside each mother.

You’d think, of course, that this realization should have been obvious to me, and should have long predated the birth of two children.  But I grew up in the feminist abortion oriented culture, and that culture shies away assiduously from focusing on the life within the woman and focuses, instead, only on the woman herself.  There’s a great deal of logic to that focus.  During my lifetime alone, there was little to focus on other than the woman.  Doctors doing autopsies and medical students studying anatomy might have had a sense of fetal development but, really, no one else did.  We weren’t peeking in the womb just a few decades back.  Premature babies died as often as not, so our cultural sense of their viability was limited.  Heck, in the old days, huge numbers of full-term babies died as often as not.  In the pre-modern era, up to 50% of all children died before their 5th birthday — and that’s just counting live births.

And so what we saw in the old days of the abortion debate was the woman.  And in a pre-birth control, high morality era (and yes, I mean morality, not mortality), the unmarried, or even the married, woman’s lot wasn’t an easy one when it came to pregnancies.  First off, married or not, short of abstinence, there were only the most limited ways to stop pregnancy.  The married woman whose husband (reasonably) didn’t want celibacy, could expect a lifetime of pregnancies until her early death, often as the end of a torturous labor, when she’d be laid in her grave alongside probably half of the children she had borne.  For the unmarried lady in a high morality era, rape, or simply the romantic impulse of the moment, could lead to horrific social ostracism, to which was then added all the risks of childbirth.  In short, for many women, pregnancy was a truly rotten deal, and abortions, legal or illegal, safe or unsafe, seemed like a very reasonable option.

How the world has changed!  Nowadays, condoms are everywhere, whether in the vending machine at the nightclub bathroom, at Walgreen’s, or even at your local Safeway grocery.  Women also have available to them the ubiquitous Pill, IUDs, diaphragms, contraceptive sponges, and contraceptive gels.  All of these forms of birth control can fail even if used properly, but the main result of pregnancy in America is probably the decision, conscious or not, not to use any birth control at all.  Some decide not to use contraceptives because they want to get pregnant, and some decide not to use them because, whether for the man or the woman involved, they’re uncomfortable, inconvenient, or embarrassing.  Still, compared to the old days, sex that is free of the risk of pregnancy is normative, not impossible.

The world has also changed in that the stigma of pregnancy outside of wedlock has vanished.  Whether the young woman intends to keep the baby or to put it up for adoption, no one would judge her for getting pregnant.  Indeed, so totally has our culture changed, I had to explain to my son why I thought it was a good idea that his Mommy and Daddy got married before having children.  To him, it was six of one, half dozen of the other.  (Incidentally, I explained it by telling him that a stable married relationship was the best thing for the child, and you wanted to make sure you had that relationship in place before the child came along.  As a child himself, he could appreciate that reasoning.)  With Angelina Jolie, a most admired young woman, going around adopting and giving birth to multiple children, either alone or with a partner to whom she is not married, you know your culture has crossed a line to a time and place in which marriage and pregnancy bear no relationship to each other.

Finally, the world has changed in that both maternal and infant mortality in America are but a small — beyond small, minute — fraction of what they once were.  When a woman dies in childbirth, or has a stroke, it’s so rare it makes the news section of the paper.  In the old days, it was just another obituary and a tombstone.  I don’t need to describe to you the rarity of infant deaths.  We know they still happen, but they too are rare events, and often result from terrible birth defects that are beyond the reach even of modern medicine.

In our modern era, therefore, many of the forces that once drove abortion are gone.  You’re infinitely less likely to get pregnant than you once were (unless you want to).  If you’re married and get pregnant, you’re much less likely to die than ever before.  If you’re unmarried and get pregnant, not only are you less likely to die than in the past, you’re also going to get baby showers, not social ostracism.  If you keep your baby, you know that, even though it’s a tough row to hoe, you’ll be supported.  If you give it up for adoption, you know that there are nice middle-class families who are desperate to give your baby a good home and tons of love.

Why then, in our modern era, should we still have abortion?  That’s the question we ought to be asking, especially as the Democrats are currently demanding the Americans directly fund abortions for those women who choose to have them.

Certainly, I think most of us would agree that abortion is a good, even a necessary, thing if the mother’s life is in danger.  That the mother’s life is in danger with much less frequency than once was the case doesn’t change the moral force of protecting the existing life over the nascent life.

There’s room for debate over abortion for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.  Some could say that the fetus is innocent of the violence and betrayal visited on the woman, and therefore shouldn’t be destroyed.  Others would say that rape and incest are such heinous moral crimes that it is equally immoral to force the woman to carry the result of that evil in her body.  To be honest, both arguments make sense to me.  I think the majority of Americans side with the former line of thinking, and I can certainly live with the legal outcome of accepting that argument.

And then there’s the last argument to justify abortion, the “convenience argument,” although no pro-choice person would ever describe it in those terms.  This is an argument that once sat very well with me, but that now makes me very unhappy.  It is a purely modern argument, once that exists in an era where few women fear accidental pregnancies, death or social stigma.

The “convenience argument” says it’s just not fair that both the man and the woman get to make whoopee, but that it’s the woman whose life is put on hold for nine months or, depending on her decision, for 18 years or more.  It’s not fair that she has to throw up for months, go through labor, stop her education, give up her career, lose her figure, and just stop having fun, while the man, if he chooses not to marry her, gets to go on with his life as before.  Even if they marry and the man takes on economic responsibility for the child, his figure, his career, and his free time can be remarkably untouched by precisely the same event that irrevocably changes a woman’s life.  To which I would say now (although I wouldn’t have said it 20 years ago), life is tough.  The child didn’t ask to be conceived but, now that it is, you owe it an obligation, whether it’s a nine month obligation through to adoption or a lifetime commitment.

Interestingly, one of the things you’ll notice about pro-choice advocacy (usually in movies) is that it roots its emotional arguments in the past, when women couldn’t stop pregnancies, when they died far too easily, and when an out-of-wedlock pregnancy was the end of the world.  Think back, for example, to 2004, when the movie Vera Drake opened to immense critical approval, was nominated for three Oscars, and won a whole slew of other awards.  The movie tells the story of the saintlike Vera Drake, a loving wife and mother in the 1950s, who also provides pathetically poor, distressed women with abortions.  The women getting abortions are all desperately in need of them — a mother of seven children, a rape victim, an isolated immigrant, a wife who had an affair while her husband was in Korea, etc. The movie also shows a rich girl getting away with a medical abortion, so as to emphasize the Marxist theory that the rich get richer and the poor get children.  The dramatic tension in the movie comes about because Vera Drake is arrested and prosecuted for this then-illegal act.

Vera Drake is blatantly pro-choice, but also blatantly dishonest as an instrument in today’s debate.  Both the troubles faced by the poor women and the advantages offered to the rich are no longer issues in today’s abortion debate.

Another movie that cheated when it came to the abortion issue was HBO’s 1996 movie, If These Walls Could Talk, which follows three abortion events affecting the residents of a single house, over a period of decades:

1952

The 1952 segment deals with Claire Donnelly (Demi Moore), a widowed nurse living in suburban Chicago, who becomes pregnant by her brother-in-law and decides to undergo abortion in order not to hurt her late husband’s family. However, abortion at the time is strictly illegal. Donnelly eventually finds another nurse (CCH Pounder) who provides her the name of a woman who can find her someone who will perform the abortion. After a clandestine procedure she finally manages to abort but dies shortly afterwards due to hemorrhage.

1974

The 1974 segment deals with Barbara Barrows (Sissy Spacek), a struggling and aging mother with four children and a policeman husband who works the night shift, who discovers she must welcome another addition to the family, despite having recently gone back to college. She considers abortion with the support of her teenage daughter (Hedy Burress) but ultimately chooses to keep the child.

1996

The 1996 segment deals with Christine Cullen (Anne Heche), a college student who got pregnant by a married professor, decides on an abortion when he breaks up with her and only offers her money. She is operated on by Dr. Beth Thompson (Cher). However, the abortion takes place during a violent protest, and an abortion protester (Matthew Lillard) walks in on the operation and shoots Dr. Thompson.

If These Walls Could Talk is quite a carefully thought-out movie, making sure to keep sympathy in places that still resonate today:  the woman who is incestuously raped, a situation that we sympathize with now, dies because abortion is not legal; the woman who keeps getting pregnant, a situation we find less sympathetic in a birth control era, chooses life; and the least sympathetic woman, the one who has the convenience abortion, is trumped by the even more evil murderous pro-Lifer.

It’s also a dishonest movie.  Nowadays, as I said, few quarrel with the legality or morality of an incest or rape abortion; birth control should help keep women from repeat pregnancies (although I do know a woman who claims that she and all four of her siblings were each born clutching Mom’s diaphragm); and the fact that there are loony-toons out there doesn’t lessen the dubiously moral choice of abortion for convenience.

Outside of the movie industry, if you go to the NOW website, that organization still has a page devoted to women who suffered abortions in the past, at a time when women daily had to face down endless pregnancies, childbirth mortality, and extreme social stigma.  As I have tried to prove, though, those emotional arguments do not provide a good rationale for unlimited abortion in 21st Century America, especially at the taxpayers’ expense.

A much more intellectually honest movie view of abortion was Juno, a sleeper hit in 2007 about a teenage girl whose foolish moment of passion with a friend left her pregnant.  That movie was honest about how the pregnancy happened (no birth control), honest about the absence of social stigma (lots of familial love and support), honest about the almost frightening ease with which even teenagers can obtain abortions, and honest about the desperate middle-class couples looking for a baby.  It was also honest about the fact that, given all of these circumstances, it was entirely logical for the teenager to opt not to abort.

As for me, long time readers of this blog know that, even though intellectually and morally I’m no longer pro-choice, I’m still not entirely pro-life.  I accept abortion to protect the mother’s life, and can agree to abortion in cases of rape or incest, even though that’s not fair to the innocent fetus.  My problem is that, while I know that convenience abortions are morally wrong, I still get this emotional, lizard-brain feeling of a trapped rat in a cage when I imagine myself being a young woman who finds herself pregnant when she doesn’t want to be.  For me, although motherhood has had many rewards, it’s also entailed many sacrifices.  When I think of those sacrifices, and then apply them to, say, a 22 year old version of me, or when I imagine my daughter grown, and in the same situation, I still want to cry out “But that’s not fair.”  When that happens, though, I squish my lizard-brain, tell myself “Life isn’t fair,” and try to focus on the fetus and not my feelings.  I only hope that, if my daughter, before she’s married, ever does come to tell me she’s pregnant, I remember that deeper morality, and give her the right advice.

A little of this and a little of that

Still working on coordinating my stiff, unresponsive brain this morning, so I have nothing interesting to say.  I mean, my dog is perfect, and that’s always of interest to me, but it makes for very limited blog posts.

Fortunately, as is always the case with the internet, even when my synapses are moving as slowly as maple sap in the winter, there’s other stuff there.  For some reason, today’s National Review Online was the one that just riveted me.  The site had three posts that I think are worth sharing with you:

Charles C.W. Cooke talks about the fact that Jill Biden, who has a very Lefty type of PhD in education insists on going by the honorific “doctor.”  This is kind of peculiar on its face, because people with PhD’s in education usually go by professor, but never mind that.  Cooke’s real point is to highlight the American class system the Left has created with its emphasis on doctorates.  With all due respect to those who worked hard to earn doctorates (and I hold one myself, in law, as does every other lawyer in this degree inflated world), the doctorate does not make for a better or more knowledgeable person.  Indeed, one of the problems with doctorates is that they narrow ones knowledge.  We have more and more people who wave around an obscure doctorate in puppetry or a subset of fruit fly cell reproduction and then claim based upon the letters after their names that they have all the answers.  That’s just so not true . . . except perhaps in my case.  In future, please feel free to call me Dr. B.

John Fund points out that, after its initial bout of navel gazing when Kirsten Powers excoriated the media for ignoring the Gosnell trial, the media is right back to ignoring the Gosnell trial — as well as two other trials in which abortion clinics are accused of putting women’s health and life at serious risk.  This adds that little bit of extra irony to the wrap-up to Obama’s speech before Planned Parenthood:

As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.  Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.  (Emphasis mine.)

Repeat after me:  “It’s not about health care.  It’s about abortion.”  Until we acknowledge that, we will never have an honest debate about abortion — and its limits — in this country.

Congress awarded posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor Gold Medals to the four little girls who died in a Birmingham, Alabama church in 1963, the victims of a horrific extremist bombing.  Looking at that event and comparing it to the Boston bombing, Mona Charen makes an excellent point:

As Americans, we are not confused about the morality of what happened in Birmingham that September morning in 1963, nor during the Jim Crow era in America generally. We do not hesitate to condemn utterly the behavior and the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan (the perpetrators of this bombing and others) and their white-supremacist fellow travelers. We do not worry that reviling white supremacists and their grotesque deeds will somehow taint all white people. (Though some on the left won’t mind if you generalize about white people.)

But when it comes to other groups and other motives for the same kind of terrorism — we lose our moral focus. Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Kathy Boudin have become honored members of the faculties at leading universities. Ayers is even a friend of the president of the United States. Regarding his own record of setting bombs that kill and dismember innocent people, Ayers told the New York Times on the ironic date of September 11, 2001, that “I feel we didn’t do enough. . . .  [There’s] a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance.” So says a retired “distinguished professor” at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Today, American liberals are obsessed not with terrorism but with the color and ethnicity of terrorists.

How’s that for moral clarity?

Andrew Breitbart was right all along about the massive Pigford scandal, one that saw a reparations law turn into a major scam to rip off American taxpayers.  To give credit where credit is due, the New York Times has reported the details of this fraud.  I’d like to believe there’s a conscious afterlife, simply so that I can also believe that Andrew Breitbart is up there, somewhere, pumping his fist with glee.  Perhaps the New York Times will become inspired by this effort and turn to real reporting, rather than spending 90% of its time serving as a propaganda arm for Leftist politicians and activists.

And finally, speaking of newspapers, over at the WaPo, an opinion piece says that the way to destroy the Koch brothers’ proposed LA Times purchase is for all the reporters to walk out!  That’ll show them.  I had to laugh.  First, why would the Koch brothers want to keep a staff that has been responsible for purveying such horrible Leftist claptrap, the paper is seconds away from bankruptcy.  Second, this assumes that there are no good conservative writers, which reveals a level of bias so enormous as to be almost incomprehensible.  And third, does Steven Pearlstein really think that, in a tight economy, hundreds of reporters are simply going to abandon their jobs?

The Left uses sex to break up American families

I had an interesting conversation with my mother, who may be 90, but is still sharper than most people you’ll meet.  We got to talking about the Gosnell abortion/murder trial, which came as something of a surprise to her.  Despite the fact that she watches the news and reads the newspaper, she hadn’t heard a thing about it.  That wasn’t a surprise to me.

From there, the conversation wandered to the moral merits of abortion.  My Mom came of age in a time and place when abortion was neither approved of nor frowned upon.  It just existed.  In the turmoil after the war, when people were starving in cities decimated by fighting, having a baby seemed like an impossibility — and it could be a death sentence for both mother and child.  Nobody approved of abortion in war-torn streets, but they didn’t stop it either.

For that reason, it’s always been hard for my mother to understand the fervor Americans feel about abortion.  To her, it just . . . is.  (That’s probably the case for a lot of people who aren’t committed to one side or another of the abortion debate, which is why the media couldn’t risk the Gosnell trial coming into the open, in case it swayed indecisive people into the pro-Life column.)

While Mom couldn’t quite get the morality of abortion, I was able to get her to understand that the modern American state uses abortion to separate children from their families.  We’ve talked before here about the fact that, in California, youngsters under 16 or 18 can’t play paintball, get their ears pierced, or get a fake tan without a parents’ permission.  They can, however, get birth control, get abortions, and get treated for sexually transmitted diseases, all without a parents’ knowledge.  Putting aside the invitation to the worst kinds of child sex abuse, what’s happening here is that the state promises children the keys to the kingdom of pleasure.

Food and shelter are necessities.  Good food and good shelter are pleasures.  But sex . . . there’s the ultimate endorphin rush.  Mom and Dad, being mean, spiteful people, won’t let you have it, and they’ll give you Hell if there are consequences because you ignored their strictures.  The state, though, it puts no obstacles in your path.  Indeed, it helps you along with condoms, birth control pills, patches, and morning after pills.  If you get pregnant, you get the Morning After pill or an abortion, and if you get an STD, it gives you antibiotics — all without the knowledge or consent of the people who, in 90% of all cases care about you most in the world.

The Left claims that this legislated immorality is to protect young girls from abusive parents who will leave them homeless or beat them if they come home pregnant.  (Again, let’s ignore the fact that everything the Left does actually encourages the sexual abuse of children.)  Using an argument that focuses on an extreme minority, the Left has put us in a position that sees all girls and boys in America get to have free sex courtesy of the State.  The state has driven a wedge into the family unit, using the most potent endorphin driver available to motivate and reorient young people.

When I put it that way (as opposed to debating abortion’s morality), my mother suddenly sat up very straight, looked me straight in the eye, and said “But that’s socialism!”  I practically jumped up and down applauding that she had realized what was going on. It turned out there was a reason for her insight.

I’ve mentioned before that my Dad came from a Communist milieu and, while he eventually voted for Reagan, his sister remained a devoted Communist until the day she died.  Although she escaped Nazi Germany and eventually ended up in Palestine (and, after the War of Independence, in Israel), she decided that this young socialist state wasn’t properly committed to true Marxist socialism.  She therefore returned to East Germany, where she lived out the remainder of her life.

She was still living in Israel, though, when my Mom and Dad got married.  One day, when my Communist aunt was present, the subject of children came up.  Mom said that she wanted to wait until she had a nice home of her own and some security before she had children, so that she could have the joy and comfort of really raising her own family.  My aunt was shocked.  “No.  That’s wrong.  The children belong to the State.  You do not have the right to withhold them from the state, which should raise them.”

With this conversation living in her memory, my mother immediately understood the ramifications of a government severing the ties between parents and children.  In some places, such as Mao’s China, it uses coercion.  In America, it uses sex.  No matter the method, the goal is socialist.

Keeping in mind the above, it’s understandable why people who fear socialism (as I do) greeted with howls of outrage the MSNBC contributor who said quite clearly, “All your children are belong to us.”  Melissa Harris-Perry framed it cutely as it takes a village to raise a child, but that soft overlay covers pure, brute-force socialism.  Villages are voluntary communities that share values.  Homes are the ultimate refuge of the individual.  Socialism holds that individuals have no value, except to the extent that they provide bodies to power the socialist state:

Mass murder? Meh! Media shrugs collective shoulders because murderer is an abortionist

Newborn baby seconds after delivery

I’m not 100% pro-Life.  It’s hard for me to shake off the vestiges of spending 40 years in a pro-Choice world (the SF Bay Area) — and that’s despite the fact that I know that the pro-Life position is intellectually and morally the better position.  I haven’t yet shaken a visceral feeling that sometimes there ought to be a way out from pregnancy.  I have to say, though, that after writing the Gosnell article, below, for Mr. Conservative, I wasn’t faking my outrage.  It’s quite obvious why the media is hiding this story:  it completely destroys the clinically “clean” pro-Abortion narrative:

***

Given the national media’s love affair with grotesque murders involving dead children or large numbers of victims, you’d think that a story about the brutal murder of dozens of screaming, writhing children would be the lead story in every American media outlet. You’d think wrong. When the story is about an abortion clinic in a poor, black neighborhood in Philadelphia, where a doctor routinely aborted full-term babies and, when they emerged alive and kicking, cut their necks with scissors, the national media falls silent.

The Leftist American media is invested in a very specific abortion narrative, one that disregards entirely the value of human life. Famed atheist Richard Dawkins neatly summarized the pro-abortion world view when he tweeted that a human fetus is less human than an adult pig. This explains why America’s reporters don’t run screaming from the room when a representative of Planned Parenthood – an organization invited to speak in schools all over the nation — argues with a straight face that it’s a woman’s choice to abort a child that’s already been born alive. Ours is a spectacularly biased media.

An unbiased media, one concerned only with reporting news that sells papers, would have given this mass murder story the highest possible profile, shilling it in every paper and magazine, and rehashing it endlessly on TV. However, as Kirsten Powers reports at USA Today, the American media has completely ignored what may be the most sensational, grotesque, stomach-churning, mass-murder case in American history:

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

NBC-10 Philadelphia reported that, Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, “described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, ‘literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.” One former worker, Adrienne Moton, testified that Gosnell taught her his “snipping” technique to use on infants born alive.

Massof, who, like other witnesses, has himself pleaded guilty to serious crimes, testified “It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.” Here is the headline the Associated Press put on a story about his testimony that he saw 100 babies born and then snipped: “Staffer describes chaos at PA abortion clinic.”

***

A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.

The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial’s first day. They’ve been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony.

We don’t need to ask what was going on at Gosnell’s clinic, because the answerer is obvious. This was Nazi-scale mass murder, done for profit and, quite possibly, for ethnic cleansing. One of the pro-abortion crowd’s most carefully held secrets is that the American abortion industry targets blacks. Planned Parenthood founder was a racist who viewed abortion as a way to destroy the black population. Gosnell’s clinic was in a primarily African-American neighborhood and the women who sought his services were black. (Watch a black Planned Parenthood worker assault a peaceful pro-Life picketer.) Gosnell, a black man who charged poor black and immigrant women up to $1,600 for an abortion, was willing to engage in racial cleansing for profit.

If you look back at Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s, you see that ordinary Germans (not party members, but the regular guys and gals on the street) thought of themselves as decent people. They just wanted a better world for themselves and their children. The evil began when their Leftist political and media leaders convinced them that the barrier to this better world was “the other” (whether “the other” was a Jew, a Gypsy, a homosexual, or a physically or mentally handicapped person). Having targeted “the other,” these totalitarian thought-leaders were easily able to convince people that “the other” wasn’t just a problem, but was also subhuman and could be exterminated with as much ease and as little compassion as one kills a cockroach. That was the road to Auschwitz.

The unhappy truth is that America’s Leftist politicians and media are methodically training us in the same way. For many women, especially those who are young and careless, or young and poor, babies are expensive, inconvenient, and generally burdensome. Sex is nice for these women — and babies, well, not so much…. If you want these women to vote for you, you promise to give them sex without babies. Fetuses, sadly, don’t vote, and that’s true even though, from the moment of conception, they have all the ingredients necessary for future voters.

To this end — giving women easy sex so as to get their votes — America’s Progressive politicians and media have spent more than 40 years training us to think of the fetus as a parasitical “other.” The next step, as the Nazis knew, is to assure us that exterminating this “other” is as easy and requires as little compassion as killing a cockroach. Kermit Gosnell upset this sterile, woman-friendly narrative. The testimony in his case reveals that these “others” — these “cockroaches” — looked like babies, they cried like babies and, like any babies slaughtered by a mass murderer, they screamed in pain and rained down fully human blood and tissue down on those who killed them.

Most Americans agree that there are certain limited circumstances in which abortion can be justified. What the media hides from them — and this is the reason that the media has blacked-out the Gosnell trial — is that the American abortion industry kills babies (especially minority babies) with the same grim efficiency and absence of emotion seen in Nazis, Soviets, North Koreans, or any other totalitarian regime. Kermit Gosnell’s slaughterhouse house ripped aside the gauzy “a woman’s right to choose” narrative and showed us the inside of the gas chamber.

(Go here to learn more facts about abortion in America.)

The fundamental unconstitutionalism of Obama’s presidency

Much has been made of Obama’s statement that the gun rights crowd should stop worrying, because Obama contends that he is “constrained” by the system the Founders put in place.  If you don’t read his actual words with great care, it sounds as if he’s saying he’s contractually constrained — or, to put it in political language, he’s constitutionally constrained.  Without actually listening to him, we assume he’s saying, “Stop worrying, because even I understand that the Constitution stops me from grabbing your guns.”

The reason that there’s been such an uproar, though, is because that’s not what he’s saying.  Here’s the entire statement:

You hear some of these quotes, ‘I need a gun to protect myself from the government.’ ‘We can’t do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away.’  Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.

That short paragraph breaks down into three distinct thoughts:

Thought one:  Crazy gun rights nuts fear the government.

Thought two:  People elect their government.

Thought three:  Those who are elected “are constrained by a system that our Founders put into place.”

Obama’s nasty language (and it is nasty, to the extent it calls at least 50% of Americans paranoid and ill-informed) says two things that are wrong.

The first wrong thing Obama’s implication, in thoughts two and three, that politicians are charged with taking care of our Constitutional rights.  That’s bass ackwards.  We are charged with taking care of our Constitutional rights — they’re natural rights, inherent in us, and the Second Amendment exists to make sure that if too many elected officials forget that those are natural rights, and begin to think they’re merely legislative rules that legislators can change, we can rid our country of these politicians’ tyranny.

The second wrong thing, which is more subtle, is that Obama is implying in thoughts two and three that, if a sufficient number of Americans elect anti-gun politicians, that majority overrides the constitution.  What he says in those last five sentences (“the government is us,” “you elect yourselves,” “the election is for you”) is that, if a majority of people elect politicians who support an unconstitutional idea, those politicians get to move forward enacting that idea irrespective of the Constitution.  That is a staggering misreading of the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.

All of which gets me back to gay marriage and abortion, not because I’m specifically concerned with gay marriage and abortion, but because I’m concerned about the Constitutional implications when the Left takes on gay marriage and abortion.  First, neither is in the Constitution.  In 1973, Supreme Court justices used an emanation of a penumbra based upon an inference to find a “constitutional right to abortion” in the first trimester, with that individual woman’s right decreasing steadily until the third trimester, when the viable fetus became the state’s responsibility.

Since 1973, that trimester by trimester calculation has been abandoned so completely that a Planned Parenthood representative felt comfortable telling the Florida legislature that it was okay to “continue” an abortion if the baby manages to emerge alive.  In some places, that’s called murder.  Indeed, that’s why Kermit Gosnell is being tried for murder.  In Planned Parenthood’s world, however, his work was constitutionally legitimate.

As for gay marriage, it’s being cast as an inchoate civil right because no one can contend the Founders thought about it.  They certainly knew about abortion, although they made no mention of it, but they definitely didn’t consider the possibility of gay marriage.

In the Founders’ time, marriage was thought to be only one possible thing:  the joining of man and woman.  If the Constitution had made mention of it (which it didn’t), that it is what it would have meant.  The Left, though, is now recasting marriage as the uniting of two people who love each other.  The Founders would have been surprised.  In those days, after all, marriage was still very much a business proposition, one that gave a woman children and the assurance of care for those children, and one that gave a man the right to his wife’s financial estate, and the promise of progeny to inherit that combined estate.  If a marriage included love, such as John and Abigail Adams had, or George and Martha Washington enjoyed, that was a pleasant byproduct of a sexual and economic transaction sanctified by religion and sanctioned by the state.

The Obama administration has already used ObamaCare as a bludgeon by which to force conservative religious organizations to sponsor abortion. Before, those organizations preached against it; now, they’re being forced to pay for it.

What happened with abortion matters because the same thing is happening with gay marriage.  During the gay marriage debate’s first iteration, when California’s Prop. 8 was on the ballot, and before ObamaCare, we were promised that there was no way that the State could force religious institutions to perform gay marriages.  “After all,” said Prop. 8 opponents airily, “the state doesn’t force churches to perform abortions.”  Well, in Obama world — secure in his sufficient majority — the State does force churches to perform abortions.

The same will be true with gay marriage.  People dismiss the fact that religious institutions in other countries have been forced to perform gay marriages, or been punished for not performing gay marriages. Those countries, they say, don’t have a constitution.  We know, though, that this constitutional argument is meaningless in Obama’s America.  Last year, his administration made clear that it is unconstrained by Constitutional concerns.  And last week, Obama explained why:  if he feels he has the power, that power overrides the constitution.

At least now we know where we stand.

The question is whether, by 2014, we can convince a majority of American voters that their constitutional rights are at risk and that, even if they agree with the Obama plans so far (abortion, gay marriage, gun control), they may not like the next plans he has lined up down the road.  If I were Obama, I’d go after the 4th and 5th Amendments next.  After getting Americans to understand this comes the harder task:  keeping their focus all the way through 2016.

The problem when it comes to educating Americans is that these ideas are so horribly complex.  They don’t reduce to a poster.  It’s not going to resonate with most Americans to see a poster of a sad priest being forced to perform a gay marriage ceremony.  They’ll probably just say that the priest deserves to suffer because his organization once turned a blind eye to pedophiles.  (Under that standard, of course, the University of Pennsylvania should be razed and the earth sown with salt.)

When the liberals in my world catch hold of the fact that I don’t support gay marriage, they attack me as a homophobe.  I’m really not.  What I am is someone deeply concerned by the Constitutional implications of a mad rush to create implicit constitutional rights where none existed before, and then to use those inferred rights to destroy explicit ones.  They should be just as concerned.  If they want gay marriage as a Constitutional right, they should amend the Constitution, rather than trying to destroy it.  For all they know, they may be the next in line when the Obama state turns its destructive beam on yet another constitutional right.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Found it on Facebook — ranking Constitutional rights

For copy right reasons, I can’t produce the image here, but I can describe the cartoon that Joel Pett drew.  It shows two young, earth-mother types sitting at a coffee shop.  One is reading a newspaper with a headline stating “Restrictive abortion laws.”  She turns to her friend and says “I’ve changed my mind…  We may well need high-capacity fire arms to protect our rights…”

This cartoon is wrong at two very profound levels.  The first thing that’s wrong is the constitution hierarchy.  In the cartoonist’s world, which is the Left’s world, the lower ranked right in the Constitution is the Second Amendment, despite the fact that the Founders came up with it and the fact that it explicitly states that nothing and nobody can infringe in any way on the People’s right to bear arms.  For Pett and his crowd, it’s still subordinate to a “right” that doesn’t show up anywhere in the Constitution but that is, instead, a judge-made emanation of a penumbra of an inference.  He could just as easily have had his cartoon character state “I will reluctantly, and temporarily, support an explicit right in order to kill those who would try to deny me a “right” that can only generously be called implicit.”

The second reason that the cartoon is profoundly wrong is because it essentially advocates a sickening world view.  It says that the right to kill a fetus is so overarching that it’s okay to drag out a stale, old, white-men created Bill of Rights doctrine in order to enable abortion supporters to kill their opponents.

The same people who protest against the death penalty (which is also explicitly acknowledged in the Bill of Rights, provided that it is neither cruel or unusual), believe that the judge-made right to kill fetuses should be reinforced by killing those who oppose killing fetuses.

As always, I’ll pause here to say that I remain somewhat ambivalent about abortion.  I recognize circumstances where it is appropriate, and I still can’t entirely shake my old pro-Choice leanings.  Nevertheless, I continue to be sickened by the way in which the Left advances abortion.  You cannot have an honest debate on the subject without acknowledging that the fetus is a life, and then further acknowledging that society has always recognized instances in which one life is allowed to trump another.  That’s a worthy debate.  The game the Left plays, however, is disgusting.  “I’ll see (or rather, ignore) your Constitutional rights and raise you two mob rules.  Hah!  I win.”

FDA must make Morning After pill available over the counter to everyone

Birth Control Pills

Kathleen Sebelius, showing one of her rare moments of good sense, had the FDA limit the Morning After pill to girls and women over 17.  A federal judge in Brooklyn has overruled that, saying it must be sold over-the-counter without limits to help slow teen pregnancy. I’m not going to discuss morality right now.  I’ll take a minute to discuss the logic:  it’s not the judge’s business to make this decision about medicine.  It was Sebelius’s decision, and for once she made the right one.  If she made a stupid one, the people could raise up their voices and protest.  Since it’s now law, the people are stuck.  Gawd, I hate judges. I wish them well personally as human beings, as sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, but I wish that every Democrat judge would leave the bench.

Here’s what you need to know about this drug’s side effects, which range from uncomfortable to “are you out of your ever-loving mind to let a 12 year old, who is still developing hormonally and mentally take this?”:

Minor Side Effects

Minor side effects of the morning after pill may include abdominal pain, breast tenderness, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache and nausea.

Menstrual Side Effects

The timing or heaviness of your next period may be affected. Menstruation may be lighter, heavier or delayed after taking the morning after pill.

Serious Side Effects

The morning after pill can change blood sugar levels, which is potentially dangerous to diabetics. Severe abdominal pain is considered a serious side effect and may be an indication of ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg attaches outside of the uterus. If the morning after pill fails to prevent pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy is possible.

This drug is a pedophile’s dream — rape your 12-year-old stepdaughter, or niece, or girlfriend’s daughter, or neighbor girl, threaten to kill her or her loved ones if she talks, and to Walgreen’s to buy a pill that hides the evidence.

In California, if you’re under 18, you can’t shoot paint balls without a parent’s consent, nor can you get a fake tan or have your ears pierced.  You can, however, at age 12, with an immature mind and a maturing body, walk into Walgreen’s and order a medicine that has a significant effect on your hormonal system.

Pfui!!

 

Charles Krauthammer has been reading Bookworm Room about gay marriage

That post title is, of course, a wild leap of faith.  But there’s no doubt but that Dr. Krauthammer has come to exactly the same conclusion I’ve been trumpeting forever at this blog:  making gay marriage a civil right protected by the Constitution will cause a headlong crash into the First Amendment’s promise that government will leave religious doctrine and practice alone.

I’m going to quote myself from March 2009, long before gay marriage got to the Supreme Court:

As you know, one of my main reasons for supporting Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, was because I believe that move to redefine marriage has the potential to put the State and religion organizations — especially the Catholic church — into a head-on collision.

Liberals, when confronted with this notion, will often argue that, while the Catholic Church objects to abortion, that’s never created a constitutional crisis.  What they ignore is the fact that, while the church is not in the business of providing abortions, it is in the business of providing marriages.  It also ignores the fact that abortion is a legal right, not a constitutional one, while gay marriage proponents have been framing it in the opposite way:  they say gay marriage as a constitutional, rather than a mere legal right.

Keep in mind that, for Catholics, marriage isn’t just a white dress, cake and Mendelssohn’s wedding march.  Instead, it’s a sacrament.  A basic tenet of the religion is the joining of man and woman before God.

So imagine this scenario:  Two men go to the local Catholic parish and demand that it marry them.  The priest, sympathetic to their love for each other, nevertheless states that he cannot, at a purely religious level marry them.  The men turn around and sue the Church for violating their Constitutional rights.  Suddenly, the judicial system is called upon to examine doctrinal issues to determine whether they mesh with Constitutional issues.  It’s a scary scenario for anyone who takes seriously the principle that government may not interfere with religious doctrine.

The only thing that’s changed now is that, thanks to ObamaCare, which requires that Catholic institutions pay for birth control and abortifacients, the Obama administration has already managed to create a Constitutional crisis with regard to abortion.  I hadn’t seen that one coming back in 2009.

Professional atheist Richard Dawkins says adult pigs are more human that human fetuses

Richard Dawkins

Sometimes it seems that the primary requirement for being a professional atheist is stupidity. How else can one explain why professional atheist (and evolutionary biologist) Richard Dawkins decided to announce on twitter that a human fetus is less “human” than a grown pig. Even if he believes this bit of foolishness, does he really think it will advance his crusade to destroy religion?

On Wednesday, Dawkins decided to insert himself into the abortion debate typically incendiary comment:

Richard Dawkins pig fetus tweet 1

With respect to those meanings of ‘human’ that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig,

As was to be expected, his tweet drew praise from those who support abortion and condemnation from those who believe in the sanctity of human life.

Excited by the attention he was receiving, Dawkins hurried to put out another offensive tweet:

Dawkins pig fetus tweet 2

”Human” features relevant to the morality of abortion include ability to feel pain, fear etc & to be mourned by others.

Showing that, to him, physical pain is the only determinative factor in weighing life, Dawkins appeared to try next to placate pro-Choice people:

Unlike many pro-choice friends, I think fetal pain could outweigh woman’s right to control her own body. But pig pain matters too.

Proving that he’s not as smart as he thinks he is, Dawkins later admitted that he meant to write “pro-abortion friends.” Unaware that he had made this mistake in his tweet, he was mystified by the venomous responses he received from the pro-choice crowd:

Bizarre responses to my tweets today. I clearly expressed my strong pro-abortion views & many people decided that I must be anti-abortion!

By reducing the value of life to mere physical sensation, Dawkins revealed his fundamental misunderstanding of what makes humans special. To throw a fancy word in the debate (one that he may or may not understand) the issue is “existentialism.” Humans are more than just a collection of feelings and instincts. We are aware of our existence.

Even the smartest cow does not stand in the field while chewing its cud and ask itself “Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? What do I want to accomplish before I die?” And contrary to Charlotte’s Web, the pig, rolling and rooting in the mud, is not concerned with the quality of its life, the meaning of its friendships, and the imminence of its death. Each animal, instead, responds to the emotions a specific situation arouses in it (comfort, fear, anger, happiness), and to its driving instinctive behaviors.

Human-fetus-adult-pig-290x193

So far as we know, only humans are capable of asking existential questions, questions that try to place the meaning of life, not in mere physical sensation, but within a larger, abstract context. While it’s true that the fetus is not thinking these deep thoughts, it already has all of the genetic equipment in place to be capable of thinking that way. Nothing in a pig’s development, whether it is a fetal pig or Dawkin’s robust adult pig, will ever bring it to that level of intellectual and philosophical development.

There are many credible arguments that can be made on the subject of abortion, both pro and con. When it comes to the question of intelligent debate about a thorny issue, though, professional atheist Richard Dawkins has proven that he’s not in that league.

(Written by Bookworm; first published at Mr. Conservative.)

Pro-Life versus Get-A-Life

If you’d like to see a wonderful, fascinating compare-and-contrast photo essay, you’ve got to read Zombie’s Walk for Life vs. Roe v. Wade birthday party: Abortion showdown SF. To begin with, I love Zombie’s writing style, which is an invigorating blend of erudition, true humanism, and snark.  Additionally, the post is a very useful reminder that, while most pro-Abortion people believe abortion is a personal issue, the Left fully understands that it is yet another way to break familial bonds in favor of state control.

There’s a greater difference between arms and abortion than a “reasonable” NYT editor will acknowledge

A friend pointed me in the direction of a New York Times article that argues that both Second Amendment supporters and Abortion supporters are too quick to panic whenever the topics come up for debate, thereby precluding all rational discussion.  After describing the way VP Biden’s mention of Obama and executive orders regarding guns got reported on the conservative side of the blogosphere as a putsch that would see Obama effectively overriding the Second Amendment, the editorial goes on:

The distance between what Mr. Biden said and what The Examiner reported gets at why it’s so difficult to conduct a national conversation on the regulation of firearms. If the gun-control camp mentions restrictions the anti-gun-control camp hears bans. If the former mentions a ban on certain kinds of guns, the latter hears all guns, plus confiscation.

Many gun-rights activists, moreover, seem to suspect that the other side argues in bad faith. In public, gun-control advocates may sound reasonable, proposing only limited regulations, but what they really want is to repeal the Second Amendment, or to overturn Heller, and force the complete disarmament of the civilian population. First they’ll come for our Bushmasters, then they’ll come for our hunting rifles.

The fear that restrictions are a Trojan horse, the prelude to outright prohibition, similarly animates the staunch defenders of another controversial right: Abortion.

Writing in Slate in 2006, during Samuel Alito’s confirmation hearings, the legal academic Dawn Johnsen argued that Senators asking whether he would overturn Roe were missing the point. He would more likely “hollow it out.” Ms. Johnsen suggested that Roe opponents have taken an “incremental” approach to eviscerating abortion rights. They’ve pushed for restrictions such as waiting periods and “informed consent” laws; restrictions “designed to sound reasonable while also limiting the number of abortions performed, ultimately as completely as would a criminal ban.”

Last December, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed an abortion bill requiring doctors to screen women for coercion (among other measures). Supporters claimed the bill was necessary to safeguard women’s health; opponents said it was a paternalistic assault on women’s rights. The same argument played out in Kansas in 2011, when the state set compulsory standards for abortion clinics. Supporters claimed the regulations were an effort to protect women from unsafe conditions; opponents said they were a ruse to curb reproductive freedom.

The editorial is certainly correct that the debate on both sides tends to be argued most loudly at the extremes, rather than in the middle.  It errs, though, insofar as it presumes a legal equivalence between the two issues.  The primary difference between the two issues is gun ownership is an explicitly and affirmative stated Constitutional right, while abortion is an emanation of a penumbra — or, in other words, a judicially created right.

Moreover, for those who actually bother to read Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court made very clear that the state has a continuing interest in the fetus.  As the fetus develops towards recognizable person-hood (meaning that it can survive outside the womb), the state’s interest increases dramatically.  Although recent(ish) Supreme Court decisions have expanded a woman’s rights over the state’s/fetus’s rights, the Court has never erased that state interest entirely.

Second Amendment

The Second Amendment, of course, vests all interests in the citizen.  What this means is that, in theory, the State has no rights whatsoever when it comes to arms.  That’s the theory.  In fact, though, the Supreme Court has long allowed local and federal jurisdictions to place some limitations on arms in order to maintain the peace.  Significantly, however, by imposing these limitations, the State is intruding on a citizen’s absolute constitutional right.  In the case of abortion, the citizen seeking an abortion is intruding upon the State’s interest in nascent citizens.

Why does this distinction matter?  Because while Roe gives the state the right, power, and duty to protect the smallest citizens, so that state interference is the appropriate way to approach the issue, the Constitution doesn’t grant the government the authority to interfere with the People’s right to keep and bear arms.  Moreover, Obama, as the nation’s chief executive, has only a subset of the powers granted to the Federal government as a whole, and this subset is limited to those executive orders necessary to carry out Congress’s dictates.  It therefore becomes a matter of supreme citizen interest when Obama’s minions announce that he intends to bypass Congress entirely and act in a way that diminishes an expressly stated Constitutional right vested in citizens, not government.

Rational discourse is a great idea.  But it’s less of a great idea when it operates off the premise that, with regard to both abortion and guns, the State holds all the power cards.  More than that, Second Amendment advocates would be fools to engage in a “gun control” debate, because framing the discussion that way automatically cedes to the government the right to control guns.  Rather, we should be talking about the government’s actual responsibility in a civilized nation, which is exert some authority over violence.  As I’ve noted before, statistical data indicates that framing the issue in such a way militates in favor of more arms, rather than fewer.

Gun control and the Nazis

 

 

 

It’s okay to be politically incorrect — if you are Muslim or like Islam

It’s hard to imagine a more politically incorrect belief system than Islam.  The seriously Muslim world stands for women without legal rights or physical freedoms, wife beating, honor killings, child brides, capital punishment for female adultery, and capital punishment for homosexuality.

Hanging gays in Iran

President Barack Obama, however, feels that Turkey’s Erdogan, a hardline Muslim, is his kindred spirit, while Bibi Netanyahu, a man who leads a country that extends full rights to women and gays, is a bad guy.  Obama also believes strongly that the Muslim Brotherhood, which practices and preaches the most extreme form of Islam, is a good peace partner.  Lastly, he wants to reach hands across the water to Iran, which has been in a state of declared war against America (and women and gays and Israel) since 1979.  Oh, and there’s Obama’s hostility to fracking, the only energy extraction process on the horizon that can de-fund the American monies that support the Islamist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.

In other words, if you’re a Muslim, Obama and his Progressive pals are willing to forgive your sins.

It turns out that this magic sin forgiveness extends to friends of Muslims as well.  Witness Chuck Hagel.

Hagel doesn’t like gays.  He made that very clear during the 1990s, when he had this to say about President Clinton’s gay ambassadorial nominee, James Hormel:

Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel’s remark to the Omaha World-Herald in 1998 that Clinton ambassadorial nominee James Hormel was “openly aggressively gay” was only a part of what Hagel told the paper about his opposition to Hormel’s nomination.

In additional comments that appeared in the same Omaha World-Herald story on July 3, 1998, Hagel said that Hormel’s gay conduct in public goes “beyond common sense” and concluded that a gay performance group of men in drag as nuns was “anti-Catholic” upon seeing a video of Hormel at one of its events.

Hagel told the paper at the time that being gay shouldn’t disqualify a candidate from being an ambassador, but that Hormel’s conduct would diminish his effectiveness.

Hormel “very aggressively told the world of his gayness and the funding and all the things he’s been involved in,” Hagel was quoted as saying. “I think you do go beyond common sense there, and reason and a certain amount of decorum.”

“If you send an ambassador abroad with a cloud of controversy hanging over him,” he said, “then I think it’s unfair to our country, it’s unfair to the host country and it’s unfair to the ambassador because the effectiveness of that individual is going to be seriously curtailed. That’s just a fact of life. And I believe Hormel’s situation is one of those.”

To be fair, Hagel wasn’t arguing that Hormel should be beaten or executed.  Instead, he was saying that his sexual orientation disqualified him from political office, offended decorum, and was anti-Catholic.  Despite the publicity regarding Hagel’s gross political incorrectness, Obama has still selected him as his preferred Secretary of Defense.  Hmmm.

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Before you get excited and think that, to the extent you expressed negative opinions about gays back in the 1990s, you have a free pass, you need to pay attention to what happened to Rev. Louie Giglio, who also expressed dismay about homosexual conduct back in the 1990s:

The minister selected by President Obama to deliver the benediction at his inaugural this month has withdrawn from the program amid a storm of controversy over remarks he made about homosexuality in a sermon in the mid-1990s, according to an inaugural planner.

[snip]

In it, Mr. Giglio called on fellow Christians to fight the “aggressive agenda” of the gay-rights movement, and advocated “the healing power of Jesus” as “the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle” – a comment some gay-rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of reparative, or so-called gay-to-straight conversion, therapy, as a supposed cure for homosexuality

In other words, like Hagel, Rev. Giglio in the 1990s said that sexual orientation offended decorum.  Also, much like Hagel, Giglio hasn’t said anything about gays for the past 20 years.  It’s dead.  It’s history.  But unlike Hagel, Giglio is a Christian minister and hasn’t given any indication that he thinks Islam is groovy.  Also, unlike Hagel, Giglio got the boot:

An official with Mr. Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee, which operates separately from the White House, vetted Mr. Giglio. People familiar with internal discussions between administration and committee officials said the White House viewed the selection as a problem for Mr. Obama, and told the panel on Wednesday night to quickly fix it. By Thursday morning, Mr. Giglio said he had withdrawn.

“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural,” said Addie Whisenant, the spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

Double standard anyone?

The double standard also applies to abortion.  Republicans almost certain lost their opportunity to take control of the Senate because two candidates, Todd Aikin and Richard Mourdoch, made statements about abortion that the media turned into a hysterical war against women.  I know of two people who were leaning to Romney, but switched votes because he belonged to the same party as Aikin and Mourdoch.  Fiscal sanity and national security couldn’t compete with abortion.

Woman beheaded in Iran

Here’s what Richard Mourdock said, which I think is a defensible position, humanely stated:

The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother.  I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.

You may not agree, but it is a valid stance, one that looks at life as a gift independent from the violence that created it.  It is, in other words, a moral position.

Here’s what Todd Aikin said, which has the same moral position buried within it, but that starts from a position of complete and offensive idiocy:

It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors — that’s [pregnancy following a rape] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But, let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Aikin was cast into the wilderness by Left and Right alike for his stupidity.  Mourdock got swept up in the same witch hunt.

Interestingly, Hagel (the one who gets a pass) sounds a lot more like Aikin, who’s an idiot, than Mourdock, who is someone who made a difficult and thoughtful decision about balancing two lives.  Here’s Hagel:

When he announced his candidacy for Senate, Hagel said that he opposed abortion except to protect the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. Hagel decided he didn’t believe that exclusion for rape were necessary after studying the issue near the end of his campaign.

“I am pro-life with one exception — the life of the mother. I oppose taxpayer funded abortions. We must promote adoption and support the strengthening of American families. I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature, according to the Omaha World Herald.

Then Senate-candidate Hagel said that he “tightened” his position on abortion after he said he discovered that abortion in the case of rape and incest are “rare” according to multiple local press reports.

“As I looked at those numbers, if I want to prevent abortions, I don’t think those two exceptions are relevant,” Hagel said, according to the Omaha paper.

To her credit, Rachel Maddow has given Hagel a hard time about both Hagel’s gay and abortion stances. For once, though, the Left doesn’t seem to be paying attention to its media darling.

Public lashing in Iran

If you look hard, you discover that there’s only one thing that distinguishes Hagel from Giglio, Aikin, and Mourdock, all three of whom became roadkill as the Politically Correct train drove by:  he supports Iran and hates Israel.  He supports an ideology that enslaves and kills women, and that makes homosexuality a capital crime.  And the only thing that gives this specific ideology a pass with Hagel, Obama, and the Left, is that this religion is neither Jewish nor Christian.

This is a sad, twisted state of affairs, and one that the American people created with eyes wide shut.  I despair of our country and the world right now.

Sheldon Adelson: Put aside social conservativism to reclaim America

I promise that this post will be about what Sheldon Adelson had to say in an interview with Alana Goodman of Commentary Magazine.  Before I get there, though, I need to begin with a little story of my own.

Readers of my newsletter know that I had lunch last week with seven other conservative women here in Marin.  We had all found each other more or less by accident, not because any of us in Marin have proudly worn our conservativism in the open (our kids would be ostracized if we did), but because we listened for the little clues in their words that hinted at a conservative orientation.  We then risked exposing ourselves by asking, “Uh, are you by any chance  . . . um, you know, conserva-mumble, mumble, mumble?”

That shyness, of course, was before the last election.  Since the 2012 election, we’ve all made a vow to each other to be more open about our political identity and to challenge liberals who lead with unfounded conclusions that demonize conservatives and their beliefs or that confer saintly virtues on Obama and his cadre.

Interestingly, the eight of us were a microcosm of conservative views, ranging from fiscally conservative but socially liberal conservatives all the way to both fiscally and socially conservatives.  Our common denominator, of course, was fiscal conservativism. Dig deeper, and there were two other common denominators:  an abiding belief in the Constitution’s continued relevance to modern America and a fierce devotion to individual liberty.

Where we differed was (a) gay marriage and (b) abortion.  With regard to abortion, we did have one overarching point of agreement, which was that abortion is not a federal issue and should therefore be returned to the states.  When it came to gay marriage, all of us were willing to recognize gay unions, but we differed about whether the answer is to declare gay marriage the law of the land or, instead, to preserve marriage for religious institutions, while making civil unions across the board (both straight and gay) the law of the land.  As regular readers know, I hew to the second view, which acknowledges human relationships and state goals, without interfering in any way with religious freedom.

I walked away from the lunch realizing as clearly as I ever have that the strong fiber weaving us together is fiscal conservativism and individual liberty.  The frayed strands at the edges are what are commonly called “social issues.”

The Democrats, recognizing that the quickest way to shred a piece of fabric is to tear at the frayed edges, rather than to try to destroy the sturdy center, worked hard during the election to blow the gay-marriage and abortion dog whistles.  As the race in Missouri showed, social conservativism is a political landmine that routinely explodes in the face of struggling Republican candidates.  Todd Akin could have won that race if he hadn’t been asked about abortion.  When thinking about Akin’s repulsive and misinformed answer, which provided a solid Progressive rallying cry, don’t forget Richard Mourdock. His experience proves that, even if Akin had given a principled pro-Life answer, he still would have been pilloried and destroyed.

I’m a big believer that, when it comes to social issues, culture drives politics, rather than politics driving culture.  For the past forty years, social liberals have been planted very firmly in the driver’s seat.  They have infiltrated both media and education, which has given them the chance to shape a generation’s social views.  They have sensitized this generation’s ears so that the dog whistles most people under 55 hear the loudest aren’t “debt” or “fiscal cliff” or “responsibility,” but are, instead, “women haters,” “homophobes” and “racists.”

What this cultural transformation means is that, in the short term, conservatives can win on the fiscal side (and, possibly, on the individual liberties side) because people haven’t been deafened by decades of dog whistles on those subjects.  Until we take back the culture, though, which we do exactly the same way the Left did — namely, a slow march through the culture — we will invariably lose on social issues.  Significantly as the most recent election shows, losing on social issues inevitably means losing on all issues.

Now, finally, have established my premise about the way in which social issues invariably play against conservatives in national elections, I can get to Sheldon Adelson’s interview in Commentary Magazine.  For purposes of this essay, Sheldon Adelson is important for three reasons.  First, he is a conservative who is willing to put his money where his mouth is (unlike Warren Buffet, a true-to-form liberal who wants to put other people’s money where his mouth is).  The second reason Adelson is important is that, after his emergence as a money-player in this election, the Left has worked as hard to demonize him as they did to demonize the Koch Brothers and Mitt Romney.  And the third reason is that Sheldon Adelson agrees with me that conservatives cannot win on social issues:

For someone whose name and face were a regular staple of the election coverage, the public does have many misconceptions about Adelson. His liberal social views rarely received media attention during the campaign season, though he’s certainly never hidden them.

“See that paper on the wall?” he asked, gesturing toward a poster with rows of names on it. “That is a list of some of the scientists that we give a lot of money to conduct collaborative medical research, including stem cell research. What’s wrong if I help stem cell research? I’m all in favor. And if somebody wants to have an abortion, let them have an abortion,” he said.

[snip]

Adelson has not said whether he will use his influence to try to change the GOP internally. But he does believe social issues cost the Republicans the last election.

“If we took a softer stance on those several issues, social issues, that I referred to, then I think that we would have won the most recent election,” he said. “I think people got the impression that Republicans didn’t care about certain groups of people.”

You should definitely read the whole interview.

Adelson is precisely what my self-admitted conservative friends are:  fiscally conservative, socially fairly liberal, very receptive to legal immigration (because a nation, for health, national security, and economic reasons should control its own borders), and supportive of Israel.  What’s funny, though, is that Adelson is also pretty close in actual outlook to all the upscale, white collar liberals I know who reflexively vote Democrat because of the conservative issues.  These people are also fiscally conservative in their own lives; they what their country safe and fiscally sound for their children; they like immigrants but recognize that illegal immigrants pose risks both for American citizens and legal, Green Card immigrants; and they like Israel’s values.

The problem at the ballot box is that, after forty years of Leftist indoctrination, these educated liberals are unable to harmonize their values with their politics.  Despite recognizing the wisdom of fiscal management in their own homes, they think a state can survive indefinitely by spending more than it takes in; despite training their children in self-reliance, they believe that we should destroy self-reliance in “the poor”; despite believing that people should be able to protect themselves and their homes, they are embarrassed when their country tries to defend itself; and despite admiring a pluralist, democratic society, which is what Israel is, they bemoan the plight of the poor Palestinians who have allowed their (now sovereign) territory to devolve in a crazy mix of anarchism and Islamic fundamentalism.

What makes this cognitive dissonance possible for white collar liberals is their unswerving allegiance to unlimited abortions and (of late) to gay marriage. Just as fiscal conservativism, the Constitution, and individual freedom bind conservatives of all stripes together, so too do abortion and gay marriage (with a soupçon of illegal immigration) bind together Progressives of all stripes.  We cannot entice Progressives to fiscal conservativism if we insist on a purity test for abortion and gay marriage.  It’s just not going to happen.  And here’s the kicker:  abortion and gay marriage become moot issues if our nation collapses entirely under the weight of debt or if our walls our breached by Islamists or if we become “tuberculosis central” because we cannot assert even a modicum of polite control over our borders.

As a parent, I hew socially conservative, so those are values I want to advance.  But I’m a pragmatist who recognizes that the ballot box isn’t the place to make it happen.  The ballot box is how we manage issues of sovereignty (including national security and border control) and fiscal health.  Our social institutions are where we make headway on social issues.  If we can keep those lines from crossing, we can be a resurgent conservative political party and, eventually, a somewhat more traditional America, one that preserves the best and healthiest social policies of the past and the present.