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At NRB, I review Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.
Also at NRB, Horowitz and Knepper tear apart Andrew Sullivan, Patron Saint of Fail, over the Gaza flotilla attack. The outrage over Israel defending herself (with, er, paintball guns) drives home one important truth America should have learned years ago: “international opinion” is worse than worthless.
Speaking of which, you probably won’t hear much about the Turkish “peace” activists’ terror ties on MSNBC or NPR…
“As many as three million Chinese babies are hidden by their parents every year in order to get around the country’s one-child policy, a researcher has discovered.” Yeah, but America has human-rights issues of its own, so really, who are we to judge?
Here’s LifeNews on the GOP’s dereliction of duty in letting pro-abortion zealot Elena Kagan slide.
Dan Riehl opines on Jim DeMint’s “telling inconsistency” on anti-war Republican candidates.
The Pope talks immigration. Do his words actually bring anything useful to the debate? They’re written in extremely general terms that don’t speak to whether or not any given voices are describing the issue’s various facets accurately.
I recently came across an old essay by Judith Thomson, which offers a defense of abortion that basically boils down to: yes it’s a person, but it’s still okay to kill him/her in most cases anyway, since the mother never gave him/her express permission to use her body.
Other than, y’know, CREATING the baby.
Why do pro-choicers ever win elections, again?
I recently came across a website called Pro-Life Profiles (hat tip: Lisa Graas), which evaluates the pro-life credentials of various center-right figures, from GOP candidates to conservative activists. The first thing that’s important to note about the site is that it’s a project of American Right to Life. ARTL proclaims itself the “personhood wing of the pro-life movement,” but according to the National Right to Life Committee, ARTL is a scam that does little more than raise funds from people who confuse them with the more well-known NRLC. Who’s right? I can’t say for sure, but I’m inclined to trust NRLC (despite some disagreements with them) based on my familiarity with all the work they undertake on behalf of the pro-life movement, whereas I know of ARTL doing no such work. (UPDATE: In the comments, ARTL spokesman Bob Enyart claims the ARTL that ran afoul of NRLC was a different, now-defunct organization.) I report, you decided.
Their website seems entirely devoted to tearing down other pro-lifers as traitors to the cause (or at least insufficiently devoted), and that’s the exclusive mission of Pro-Life Profiles. Admittedly, they have found several legitimate reasons for criticizing politicians such as George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and even Sarah Palin, and they’re correct to stress that the ultimate goal of the pro-life movement must be full, nationwide legal protection for the unborn as full human beings. Unfortunately, in their zeal to reach the ultimate goal, they make profoundly wrong moral and practical arguments against various valuable, common-sense pro-life policies.
For instance, in criticizing Concerned Women for America and its president, Wendy Wright, ARTL argues that pro-lifers should not support laws that require obtaining parental notification/consent, or require being shown ultrasounds, before obtaining an abortion. They claim that it’s immoral to support any law that tacitly accepts abortion’s legality, and that such laws are somehow counterproductive to the goal of legal protection for the unborn. Among their arguments (many of them are vapid & repetitive, and life is short, so I’m only going to address the highlights):
ARTL: They don’t actually reduce abortions, and in fact may increase abortions.
ME: Simply ask yourself: does having to inform or get permission from your parents to get an abortion, does that make seeking an abortion easier or harder? If a women sees an ultrasound showing that unborn babies aren’t simply a lump of tissue, is she more or less likely to go through with it? Though these laws won’t prevent abortions in all cases, it should be obvious which direction they move things in. In particular, does ARTL mean to deny the enormous power of ultrasounds to change people’s hearts and minds?
ARTL: It’s immoral to support any law whose end result still permits abortions to take place.
ME: You’re not giving abortion tacit approval by voting for something less than outright prohibition if outright prohibition is not an option available to you. If it pushes the law in the right direction, and if it saves lives, it’s not only moral, but necessary. Strategy is not an either-or proposition; you have to pursue every available avenue.
ARTL: “Thirty years of evidence also shows that the regulation strategy has failed to move the federal judiciary, which is mostly Republican and overwhelmingly pro-choice, toward the right-to-life position.”
ME: This is just stupid—who ever said they’re supposed to move the judiciary? Reducing abortions legislatively and getting good judges on the bench are both important goals, but one has nothing to do with another. Again, it’s not either-or.
ARTL: Such regulations “call upon our own judges to uphold laws that regulate killing the innocent, and thus turn conservative judges increasingly against the personhood of the unborn.”
ME: Their link claims that “Antonin Scalia has publicly stated that he would strike down any law that prohibited abortion in all fifty states, and Clarence Thomas has ruled that the public has the right to decide to legalize the killing of unborn children.” I don’t know what cases/remarks they’re referring to, but in Scalia’s case I suspect he was simply noting that, as a judge, he does not have the authority to criminalize abortion. And unfortunately, he’s right: judges are not policymakers, and even the language of the 14th Amendment discusses “born” citizens, making any judicial abortion ban shaky Constitutional ground. That’s why pro-lifers should fight for the Human Life Amendment.
ARTL: These laws “will keep abortion ‘legal’ if abortion is wickedly ‘returned to the states.”
ME: “Wickedly” returned to the states? Short of a constitutional amendment, you can’t make much legislative headway until you return it to the states by overturning Roe v. Wade (and popular support for state abortion bans will certainly come before enough support to pass a national constitutional amendment). Because abortion is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the states have the right to determine abortion policy. Reverse Roe, and abortion automatically becomes illegal in those states whose pre-Roe abortion bans remain in effect, and the rest of the states get a fighting chance. Pro-choice politicians would no longer be able to hide behind the Supreme Court. This scenario is bad why?
It’s absurd to think parental notification laws would prevent full abortion bans. Even if they did give tacit approval to the principle of choice (which they don’t), they’re mere legislative acts, and can be superseded by new legislative acts with a simple majority vote.
Absent in ARTL’s analysis is any recognition of Constitutional originalism, separation of powers, or judicial restraint. Understandably-frustrating though it may be at times, the Founders placed clear limits on how political goals—even noble and essential ones—may be pursued. In their view, how much should the pro-life movement respect the rule of law? If they think the ends justify the means, and that the Right should embrace judicial activism, they should come out and say so. But before that, they’d do well to brush up on how past leaders reconciled human rights and constitutionalism, and think twice before condemning the rest of us as traitors to the unborn.
It’s debatable whether or not author & poet Maya Angelou was ever much of a role model – her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, holds powerful lessons about overcoming childhood racism and being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, but it also concludes with her having a child out of wedlock in her teens, after having sex with a near-total stranger for the express purpose of figuring out whether or not she’s a lesbian, with (as I recall) no commentary on the morality, maturity, wisdom, or responsibility of her actions. Heckuva message!
Whatever the answer to that question may be, she’s certainly not someone to look up to any more. Via ALL, Angelou recently spoke at a big Planned Parenthood luncheon. Lending your support to the cause of murdering innocents in the name of personal gratification is nothing to emulate.
My mother, Peg Freiburger, had an important editorial in Friday’s Fond du Lac Reporter:
A news article in The Reporter (Feb. 12, by Sharon Roznik) on 2009 Assembly Bill 458 requiring changes to our school’s sex education instruction leaves out the most important information.
Why? This bill now allows Planned Parenthood as agents of the state under the Department of Health Services to come in to our schools and teach their version of “healthy sex” to our kids (SECTION 10. 146.89 (3r) (e)).
You know, the same organization that has been caught on video in Appleton, in Milwaukee, and other clinics across the country giving false information to young girls regarding whether her baby has a heartbeat, what the dangers of abortion are, and failing to contact authorities in cases of rape to girls as young as 13.
A recent report from International Planned Parenthood Federation advocates children age 10 and over “be given extensive sex education, including awareness of sex’s pleasures.”
Why does PPH do this? For the money! The more sexually active our children are, the more money PPH makes selling birth control, STD medications and abortions.
In 2007 in Wisconsin alone, more than $5.4 million was taken through our tax dollars and given to Planned Parenthood. Part of this was used so girls as young as 15 could receive free birth control, without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
It is pathetic that in Fond du Lac we have a county health officer and a county board of health member/pediatrician who apparently find this acceptable for our children.
Those who support such a thing should read the bill. Then they could explain to the community why it is OK to have a bill that will not allow school employees to tell Johnny that he shouldn’t have sex with multiple partners (Section 4, 118.019 (2) (a) (9) (b)), why they are supporting an organization that has stated that religious groups, such as Catholics, “deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex,” (Fox News link above), and why they support an organization that had Valentine’s Day cards this year with condoms on the front and “I like playing with you” written on the inside.
Even though this bill is now law, we in Fond du Lac can do something about it. Since the state has deemed it necessary to take away our local control as to what we want our children to learn about sex, we can opt to remove sex education completely from our schools.
Let’s devise other local programs to help our kids deal with the pressures and consequences of sex before they’re ready. Let’s develop a community program outside the schools that reflects the faith and values we hold dear in our community.
The implication of this comment is the writer would prefer kids be kept ignorant about sex. That ignorance is somehow preferable to knowledge about the reality of sex too young.
Of course, to come to this conclusion, Cobweb has to completely ignore the letter’s main point, all the sleaze surrounding Planned Parenthood – including criminal conduct – and the supporting evidence Mom provided. “The implication of this comment is the writer would prefer kids be” subjected to the influence of an organization willing to ignore statutory rape and promote dangerous personal behavior to sustain their profits.
Further, Mom doesn’t say she’s against age-appropriate sex education in public schools. She is arguing for the people of Fond du Lac’s right to decide these matters for themselves, not be dictated to by radical, out-of-touch politicians in Madison. But if the state insists upon giving our money to Planned Parenthood, and subjecting our kids to their twisted “values,” then looking outside of the school system for their sexual education is the preferable alternative. Cobweb is free to disagree if she likes, but that doesn’t entitle her to mischaracterize others as believing in “ignorance.”
I initially figured Capper was a shoe-in for the “Most Embarrassingly Self-Defeating Blogger in Wisconsin” Award—misattributing comments to people based on nothing but a first name, then digging in your heels when called on it seems pretty hard to top. But we have a new contender for the crown: our old pal Scott Feldstein.
Veterans of Wisconsin blog debates know Scott well as a foul-mouthed, hypocritical leftist who would rather conjure up dishonest, unconvincing reasons for ignoring & dismissing opponents’ views rather than actually debating them. In December, this charade devolved into an even more pitiful form: not only rationalizing why he shouldn’t believe his opponents’ claims, but fabricating reasons to suspect that his opponents don’t even believe their own beliefs!
His “reasoning” was—you’re gonna love this—pro-lifers don’t really see abortion as a human rights issue, because if they did, they’d all oppose abortion in rape/incest/life-of-mother cases, too, and they’d also support the sex-ed and condom distribution policies Scott likes; but because they don’t, it’s really all about controlling people’s sex lives.
Of course, Scott was confronted (by me and others) with credible arguments against all of this (by the way, here’s the latest counter-example to his anti-abstinence studies), but remained “skeptical.” Mind you, he couldn’t offer any good reasons for his skepticism, but proceeded to flaunt the nonsense anyway, as if he’d done…well, something to prove any of it or refute his opponents’ objections. As Allahpundit once said of Dingy Harry Reid, “like a two-year-old who’s just crapped on the carpet, he’s curiously proud of it.”
(Oh, and he also demanded to know what Planned Parenthood lied about, then when I told him exactly what Planned Parenthood lied about in painstaking detail, he ignored it for a hundred-something comments. ‘Cuz he’s such a stickler for the truth.)
But it gets better, my friends. Oh, does it get better.
This week, abortion came up once more on Boots & Sabers. Allow me to quote verbatim, so we can all revel in the majesty that is Scott’s madness:
If you believe—as you say you do—that a 3 month fetus is the legal and moral equivalent of a toddler, then you would either a) be storming the abortion clinic like Rambo to kill the murderous individuals who work there, or b) you’re a pathetic coward who wouldn’t risk his life to save roomfuls of innocent children from death. Of course there is a third explanation: You do know that 3 month old fetuses are not the moral and legal equivalent of you and me.
So, lemme get this straight: unless you also believe in abandoning the political process and the rule of law and killing abortion doctors, you don’t really believe in an unborn baby’s right to life.
There’s really only one way to respond to that:
Make no mistake: These aren’t sincere questions that Scott would stop asking if only someone would give him a good answer. He’s simply displaying a common tactic of left-wing hyper-partisanship: the need to attribute the beliefs of one’s opponents, no matter how sincere or well-argued, to any sort of ulterior motive other than the stated motivation, no matter how specious the evidence.
If Scott truly believes what he’s saying, then his ideology has so fully warped his mind that his capacity for rational, objective thought is completely gone. But I suspect he does know better. I think it’s all propaganda: he’s supporting a heinous practice, recognizes somewhat the odiousness of his position, and will throw out whatever he can to deflect moral judgment and make the other side the villains. Indeed, he deployed this gem of a point as a way of not answering The Family Guy, who noticed he described abortion as “sad and distasteful,” and asked the obvious follow-up: “If it’s nothing more than a lump of tissue, then why is it sad? Are you sad when you have a wart removed? It too was alive.”
UPDATE: As if we needed another indicator of how messed up the left-wing, pro-abortion mind is, consider the following: Scott says that because humans develop incrementally, meaning that in the period between just-conceived zygote and just-delivered newborn, increasing moral consideration should go along with increasing complexity (he also voted for a guy who had a a problem with those just-delivered newborns, but I digress). He also says that “a 12 week pregnancy can be terminated for any reason at all.”
Okay, so at 12 weeks, it must not be very developed or person-like, huh? I mean, it’s not like it would have any of the biggies, like a heartbeat, a fully-formed brain, or the capacity to feel pain.
Something seems to have failed rather significantly in Scott’s efforts at drawing “reasonable” distinctions. How do you think he’d respond to that? If you guessed “dodge & deflect,” give yourself a cookie.
Pitiful. And monstrous.
On Friday, a lunatic named Harlan James Drake allegedly shot and killed two people, including a pro-life activist named Jim Pouillon, who was protesting abortion outside a school in Owosso, Michigan (the other murder, of Michael Fuoss, was apparently personal). The suspect was reportedly offended by Pouillon’s graphic signs depicting aborted babies.
Is Barack Obama, Kate Michelman, Andrew Sullivan, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Barbara Boxer, or the broader pro-choice movement responsible for this crime? Of course not, and presently, pro-lifers are not suggesting otherwise. In fact, American Life League’s statement on the killing (issued prior to the establishment of a motive) urges only caution against hasty conclusions. I have yet to see any politicization of this tragedy, aside from observing the obvious left-wing and media hypocrisy, which is legitimate.
After George Tiller’s death, liberal after liberal wasted no time in slandering the entire pro-life movement as culpable for the actions of one man (yet the abortion movement is never responsible for violence committed by its adherents). Unlike the numerous pro-life organizations who promptly condemned the murder of Tiller, NARAL and Planned Parenthood have said nothing about Pouillon’s murder as of this morning. President Obama evidently doesn’t think Pouillon’s death is as statement-worthy as Tiller’s.
This is simply the Left’s long-standing totalitarian impulse at work yet again, from the same playbook as what we’re seeing with the healthcare townhalls—don’t address substantive arguments honestly, don’t foster real discussion, just use whatever you can to intimidate your opposition into silence. It’s all about control, by any means necessary.