Friday, February 15, 2008

Because she was wanted

The difference between a wanted baby and an unwanted baby:

CANTON, Ohio — A former police officer who tearfully told jurors he accidentally killed his pregnant lover was convicted Friday of murdering her and their unborn child.

Bobby Cutts Jr. could face the death penalty. He had claimed he accidentally killed Jessie Davis by putting an elbow to her throat, then panicked.

Cutts, 30, was convicted of aggravated murder in the death of the nearly full-term female fetus, which carries the possible death penalty. Jurors will return later this month to weigh a sentencing recommendation.

Make sense, class? It's murder when you kill a wanted baby. But it's a woman's constitutional right to kill her unwanted baby. The answer to the difficult question of whether or not killing an unborn child is right or wrong is really quite simple. Only one thing matters:

Did you want this baby or not?

GOP Primary

A president who's not a politician. That's what it sounds like he would be to me anyway. The more I hear from him, the more I like him.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Mac

A statistic that would not help me sleep any better, if I were him:

One in five Louisiana Republican voters identified themselves as “moderates” and they went for McCain 55 percent to 30 percent for Huckabee. Those GOP voters who say they attend church at least once a week picked Huckabee by double digits, compared to those who attend occasionally giving a double-digit advantage to McCain.


Fantastic interview

Sorry I don't have the embedded code, but you really should watch this great interview with Mike Huckabee on CNN after his big win in Kansas.

Katrina factor

Question: How does your experience with a hurricane in Louisiana affect your proclivity to elect a senator from Illinois over a senator from New York, or vice-versa?

CNN explains:
The more likely a Louisiana Democratic presidential primary voter was to have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, the more likely they were to support Democrat Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.

Among the 15 percent of voters who had been affected by the storm and said they had yet to recover, Obama had a 58 to 39 percent edge over Clinton. The 28 percent of voters who had been affected, but had since recovered, supported Obama by a slightly smaller margin, 54 to 43 percent. And the 55 percent who had not been affected at all by Hurricane Katrina supported Obama by the narrowest margin, 51 to 48 percent.


Following a brief consultation with Reason, methinks this has little or nothing to do with severe weather. Methinks it has more to do with one's skin pigment. Admittedly, it sounds more intelligent, proper -- almost scientific -- if we make the correlation in terms of your experiences with bad weather.

It's just that such a correlation makes absolutely no sense either.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Roe ought to be overturned today

Here's why.

In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court said this:

"Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." (ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113, Section IX, B, paragraph 2; emphasis mine)

In other words, the Court made a conscious decision to side-step the entire question of whether or not abortion kills a baby. (It clearly does.)

The Court said it had no idea as to an answer, and then adjudicated the fetus could be killed...because it wasn't sure if it was a person or not.

This is bad law.

Either the fetus is a person or not. For the sake of argument, let's assume the fetus is a person. In this case, the 1973 decision of the Supreme Court just sanctioned manslaughter, for then abortion is killing an innocent person not knowing and intending the full, deliberate extent of murder.

It is like driving over a man-shaped overcoat in the street, which may be a drunk or may only be an old coat. It is like shooting at a sudden movement in a bush which may be your hunting companion or may be only a pheasant. It is like fumigating an apartment building with a highly toxic chemical not knowing whether everyone is safely evacuated. If the victim is a person, you have committed manslaughter.

Now let us assume the fetus is not in fact a person. Well then, the Supreme Court's decision sanctions criminal negligence as in the above three cases if there happened to be no one in the coat, the bush, or the building, but the driver, the hunter, or the fumigator did not know that, and nevertheless drove, shot or fumigated. Such negligence is instinctively and universally condemned by all reasonable individuals and societies as personally immoral and socially criminal.

We do not argue politely over whether such behavior is right or wrong. We wholeheartedly condemn it, even when we do not know whether there is a person there, because the killer did not know that a person was not there.

It only follows then for Roe to be wholeheartedly and unanimously condemned because the decision explicitly acknowledges that the judiciary does not know whether a person is there -- at the end of the abortionist's instruments -- or not. With this acknowledgment the Court sanctions either manslaughter or criminal negligence; there can be no third option.

Therefore, Roe ought to be overturned today.

[H/T: Peter Kreeft]

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Global Warming

It's being felt by all of us. The debate is over. Our Earth is warming up as a result of human activity. More specifically: it's 'cause of Americans. But it is most definitely happening and the effects of this global heat wave can be seen everywhere you turn.

For instance, this week's headline:

Worst China Snow Storms in 50 Years Strand Five Million

China has deployed the biggest number of troops in ten years to aid five million people stranded in the worst winter storms to hit the country in more than half a century.

Nearly half a million soldiers have been mobilised to help migrant workers whose movements have been paralysed by severe snow and plunging temperatures.


At least 17 of China's 31 provinces and major cities have experienced blackouts, affecting 30 million people, and more than five million have seen their water supplies reduced or cut off.

So now you finally understand why Al Gore's book was such a hot item, why he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and why our government needs to continue to spend billions of your tax dollars to fight this crisis now upon us.

On the conceptus

[Another ongoing debate from Facebook.]

"While a brain dead human on life support certainly has the biological characteristics of life, it does not have the societal characteristics of life that we value and choose to protect." -Brad

Only because the condition of the brain dead patient is one of irreversability. Hence the wording in the UDDA:

an individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.

The lack of brain function in the earliest weeks of a developing new human being is a condition which is quite plainly *not* irreversabile. Therefore, the criteria of the UDDA not being met renders the state of the fetus indisputable. Namely, "not dead".

"to state that a human life exists simply because the genetic coding that will form that human life's traits is present doesn't make sense, as potentiality does not equate to actuality." -Brad

You must have missed these three paragraphs in which she carefully explains the notions of act and potency, and how the conceptus is an active, natural potentiality -- as distinct from a passive, specific potentiality (i.e. my potential to be president of the United States). Here it is again, Brad:

The rich philosophical notions of act and potency carry distinctions adequate for describing the developing life of a human being. The description of the present reality at any developmental stage in the life of an individual human being must convey the fact neither of nothing nor of completed being. The conceptus exists as a present reality -- in act -- with potentialities directed toward a particular perfection -- the goal established by the genotype. The conceptus is a human being in act. Within that being resides the active natural potentiality to become a more fully developed human being. Explication of this complex potentiality requires attendance to the notions of potentiality that are active/passive, natural/specific, and remote/proximate. In active potency, the being goes from not acting to acting and is also the agent of the action. For example, the human being may develop or move, by its intrinsic agency from being not conscious to being conscious. In passive potency, a human being has the capacity to receive a modification but the agency of the modification is an external agent. For example, a potential president may actually become president by the agency of the voters. The president received the office (a passive reception) from an extrinsic agency. The present reality of the conceptus in relation to the adult human being is not that of passive potentiality which requires extrinsic agency for actualization. In the act that is the conceptus there resides the active potentiality to become a more fully developed human being.

There are two distinct factors that make up the notion of active potentiality. One is constitution or nature and the other is tendency. Constitution is the underlying manifold which determines the direction of the tendency. It is that which tendency by its dispositive thrust urges to completion. Tendency is the drive to action. The conceptus is, by its constitution, determined as a human being and is, by tendency, determined to become -- in a fashion prefixed by its constitution -- rather than not. Since the tendency of the conceptus in regard to fuller human development proceeds in a completely determined manner and since it cannot become something other than what the constitution determines it to be and since it cannot of itself not become, it may be said that the potentiality of the fetus for more fully developed human life is an active potency.

Active potentialities are designated either natural or specific. In the accomplishment of an active specific potency, such as the choice of a specific food to satisfy hunger, the agent has a degree of freedom in the actualization of the potency. The agent may specify the manner in which to actualize the potency. Active natural potencies, such as the formation of the cerebral cortex, are accomplished in a completely determined manner. The agent is not free to choose whether or not to actualize the potency. Tendency determines that the potentiality will be actualized. In addition the agent is not free to specify the manner in which to actualize the potency. For the actualization of an active natural potency nothing is needed on the side of the agent beyond its constitution and the tendency to realize the constitution. Factors external to the agent may bring about its destruction and hence inhibit the actualization but the agent itself cannot inhibit the actualization.

"We do not value the active potential of our cells due to their genetic coding; we value our ability to think, to experience, to be aware of our surroundings. Mere human cells with genetic coding can't do this. Mere cells with genetic coding don't contain our societal view of human life." -Brad

One must be truly bent on justifying first trimester abortions (what could be the motivation, I wonder?) to submit that a human embryo is not a human life, and that its intentional destruction does not amount to homicide.

Thirty years ago, such a position might have been forgivable. But today? With the advancement of ultra-sound technology, the science of embryology, and the pictures of early term abortions this is not a topic of discussion up for debate.

There can be no excuse. It is only the usurpation of conscience via an overriding act of the will in the face of such overwhelming evidence which points to a growing human being in the womb and declares: he is not alive!

Tapped Out Nation by Patrick J. Buchanan

Pat was right yesterday. Pat is right today. And his predictions for tomorrow, sadly, are not rainbows and lollipops.

It was to be the year of change, of new ideas, a new politics.

Yet, as of today, it appears the Republican Party will be led into the future by a Beltway favorite of the media and Washington insider who has spent the last quarter of a century on Capitol Hill.

And the Democratic Party appears about to build a bridge to the past by nominating the spouse of the last Democratic president who has herself been a Washington insider for almost 20 years.

With two-thirds of the nation saying the country is on the wrong course, the two parties are offering candidates both of whom played major roles in setting that course. And neither probable nominee has advanced ideas to deal with the crises America faces, nor even shown any great awareness that the country is in crisis.

The first crisis is fiscal, with the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs about to break the bank as the baby boomers reach early retirement. Add the other entitlement programs, defense and interest on the debt, and this consumes perhaps 90 percent of the budget.

No one is proposing cuts in any major component of the budget. Indeed, Mrs. Clinton is promising universal health care and McCain is promising an expansion of the military. Both favor a stimulus package of roughly $150 billion. As our savings rate is about zero, where are we going to borrow the money for all this?

A second crisis is financial. With the economy in danger of seizing up, the Fed has cut interest rates from 4.25 percent to 3 percent in two weeks. This has sent the dollar plunging again. A sinking dollar means surging prices for oil and all those foreign manufactures to which we are now addicted.

As the dollars pour out, nations have started to spend their dollar hoards to buy up this country at the fire-sale prices being offered in the global marketplace.

A third crisis is strategic. With an army of half a million and a Marine Corps a third that size, we are ending our fifth year of war in Iraq and entering the seventh year in Afghanistan. With the Taliban and al-Qaida now re-established and threatening Pakistan, what will it require in blood and treasure to prevent a strategic disaster there?

Mrs. Clinton is committed to a withdrawal from Iraq, but McCain says we will stay 100 years if necessary and warns, "There's going to be other wars." But wars against whom? Iran? Pakistan? Russia? North Korea? With the U.S. military stretched to the breaking point, and the quality of army recruits falling, who will fight these wars?

Then there is the immigration crisis. It is estimated that there are 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States today, with many hundreds of thousands being added each year.

McCain and Hillary both voted for the amnesty bill, neither is committed to sending back the illegals, and both give only grudging support to the idea of a border fence. How do they propose stopping the scores or hundreds of millions from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East from breaking into the United States in coming decades? Does anyone see in either Clinton or McCain the resolve to deal with what Americans are coming to believe is a crisis of national identity and national survival?

Then there is the crisis of the American middle class.

As economist Robert Reich writes, the real wages of working men have not risen in 30 years. Families maintained their standard of living three ways. Wives went to work. The men began to work longer hours than in almost any other developed nation. The family's equity in its home was then borrowed to sustain consumption.

Now, with the middle class tapped out, the home equity used up or declining, and mortgage, auto and credit card debt turning rotten, the U.S. government is going abroad to borrow 1 percent of GDP to hand out in checks in May to get consumers buying again to prevent a recession.

What kind of long-term solution is this?

How can a government as deep in debt as this one, going deeper every day, with the Social Security-Medicare crisis looming, continue to borrow to fight wars, finance foreign aid and defend nations that refuse to make the sacrifices to defend themselves?

America today faces both a fiscal crisis and a currency crisis.

Our dependence on foreign loans, foreign oil and foreign manufacturers is unprecedented.
We are being invaded from the south and seemingly lack the moral fiber to defend our home and throw out the intruders.

We have neither the men nor the weapons to honor all the treaty commitments and war guarantees we have given out to nations all over the world -- and McCain plans to add several more.

Yet, we are consumed with the issue of whether Bill Clinton, by comparing Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson, was playing "the race card."

We are an unserious people in a serious time.

You can read his regular column here.