Monday, January 31, 2005

Wandering in the Wilderness

In his latest column, Andrew Sullivan praises Hillary Clinton's speech on abortion last week. He begins,
    Hillary Rodham Clinton is absolutely right. I've waited quite a few years to be able to write that sentence, but, hey, if you live long enough... I'm referring to her superb speech earlier this week on the politics and morality of abortion. There were two premises to Senator Clinton's argument and they are quite simple: a) the right to legal abortion should remain and b) abortion is always and everywhere a moral tragedy. It seems to me that if we are to reduce abortions to an absolute minimum (and who, exactly, opposes that objective?), then Clinton's formula is the best, practical approach.
My questions are simple: Mr. Sullivan (and Senator Clinton), exactly why is abortion a moral tragedy, and exactly why should abortion be rare? The answer to both is ultimately the same: because abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. But if this is the case, how is the first of Senator Clinton's premises as outlined by Mr. Sullivan in any way defensible? Simple: it isn't.

Mr. Sullivan proceeds to extol the senator's recommendation of contraception as a means to achieve the goal of abortion as "safe, legal, and rare," along the way villifying the Catholic Church's teaching on the matter: "By focussing on contraception, she appeals to all those who oppose abortion but who do not follow the Catholic hierarchy's rigid restrictions on the surest way to prevent them."

The unfortunate fact is, Mr. Sullivan doesn't understand sex. He doesn't understand its purpose or its nature. And his lack of understanding pervades virtually every moral issue which in any way touches upon sexuality.

Someone send him Christopher West's stuff! (This article would be a good place to begin.)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraqi Election Roundup

Christopher Blosser has an extensive post which rounds up blog commentary on the Iraqi elections... definitely worth checking out.

Go take a look and sample some of the links.
Happy thoughts

So there was a historical vote in Iraq today.

Not surprisingly, some people are upset about it. No, I'm not talking about al-Zarqawi, I'm talking about the Lunatic Lefties, like this guy at Democratic Underground (probably the hangout for the Lunatic fringe of the left (I've highlighted some of the jucier phrases & comments):
    All the media keeps talking about is how happy the Iraqis are, how high turnout was, and how "freedom" has spread to Iraq. I had to turn off CNN because they kept focusing on the so-called "voters" and barely mentioned the resistance movements at all. Where are the freedom fighters today? Are their voices silenced because some American puppets cast a few ballots?

    I can't believe the Iraqis are buying into this "democracy" bullshit. They have to know that the Americans don't want them to have power, because they know that Bush is in this for the oil, and now that he finally has it he's not going to let it go. [In a year, when Iraq has a constitution and a permanent government, we'll still hear this mantra.] This election is a charade. The fact is that the Iraqis have suffered during the past two years more than any people on earth at the hands of the American gestapo. Maybe they're afraid and felt they had to vote. [Okay, buddy, that makes a lot of sense] That's the only way I can explain it to myself.

    OR--I just thought of this--maybe they're smiling because they're using the Americans own game to defeat them. They're voting in candidates who they know will widen the resistance, take the fight to the streets, and finally drive the occupying forces out of their country. Perhaps they're smiling because--right under the American's noses--they're planting the seeds of a bigger and more effective resistance movement. Wouldn't that be fitting? Use *'s own tools against them?

    We can only pray that this is the case. Becuase if it's not--and if the Iraq vote is seen as a success that spread "freedom"--the world is screwed. Bush's inaugural speech left little doubt that he has other countries on his list to spread "freedom" to. They will be his next targets, and the world will burn because of it.

    Let's hope the resistance got voted in, or if not, they only increase the fight and take down those who betrayed their country today by voting in this fraud election.
He followed it up with this:
    "And as John Nichols in The Nation and Robert Fisk write, this "election" is not going to have the results Bush and his warmongering cronies want it to have."

    We can only pray that's true. For the sake of peace, this sham can't be seen as a success, and it can't give * any more ideas.
This people are, well, off their rocker... crazy... loony. But I don't think we'll hear any disavowals from the sane liberals (yes, that's most of them, my conservative friends) because these crazies are constitute a good chunk of the liberal base, and you can't upset them too much.

Hat tip: K-Lo, again.
Time doesn't have a clue

The cover story of the new issue of Time magazine -- on newsstands tomorrow -- is "Evangelicals in America." The story gives a brief synopsis of "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America." It's an interesting story. There's just one problem (or two, depending on how you count)...

Anyone who knows anything about American Evangelicalism knows that it is a Protestant phenomenon.

But two of Time's 25 "most influential evangelicals in America" are Senator Rick Santorum and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

They're Catholic.

How does one of the top newsmagazines in the US make such an egregious error in their cover story?!?!

Hat tip: K-Lo.

Friday, January 28, 2005

You need to define your terms

So this whole SpongeBob/Dobson thing has been a raging topic at liberal blogs of late. As one would expect, terms like "intolerance", "bigotry", and "hate" are found in abundance. (E.g. this and this.) Unfortunately, all too often there is no initial definition of these terms offered as a starting point for the discussion or rant. Now, if the goal is simply to preach to the choir... to rouse the troops for battle... to stoke the flames of one's like-minded fellows, then such definitions are not necessary.

However, if one really wants to offer a serious intellectual argument, then the definition of terms is an absolute must. It's easy to brand people with whom one disagrees as hateful and/or bigoted... it's another thing to explain exactly why and how those "others" are haters and bigots.

In this case, it seems that to posit that "homosexual lifestyles are harmful to the individuals involved as well as the society in which they live" (Assertion) is sufficient to be labeled hateful or bigoted. Now, as I've stated before, there are definitely people out there who hate gays; the thing is, there are very few of them, while there are plenty of people who make the above Assertion and don't hate gays.

So what about the terms? According to Merriam-Webster, hate (as a verb) means
    1 : to feel extreme enmity toward <hates his country's enemies>
    2 : to have a strong aversion to : find very distasteful <hated to have to meet strangers> <hate hypocrisy>
The fact is, there is no intrinsic link between the Assertion above and these definitions... it is completely possible to view a particular behavior as destructive without hating those who engage in such behavior. In prior conversations, I've found that some liberals simply do not believe that it's possible to "hate the sin and love the sinner"... they so identify the essence of the person with their behavior (in this case, their sexual behavior) that they deny you can separate the two, let alone treat them differently.

What about a bigot? M-W says this:
    a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices
Again, it is possible to hold the Assertion above as a bigot, but it is not necessarily so. Like it or not, there are plenty of thoughtful people who have articulated, reasoned explanations for the Assertion. To simply label all who hold the Assertion as bigots is to be uniformed.

If liberals want to preach to the choir, that's fine... I do it plenty myself. But if they want to make separate efforts to actually convince, they'll need to define their terms.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I don't have a title for this

A Catholic Church continues its tradition of burying the remains of young, deceased children.

Planned Parenthood is outraged. The local clinic director responds to this year's burial,
    They have taken it upon themselves to make a macabre ritual out of this, inflicting pain on everyone," said clinic director Dr. Warren Hern. "I have women calling me who are very upset over this. These fanatics simply cannot leave other people alone with their most intimate sorrow.
Yes, the children were aborted, but so what?

Tell me, what the hell is wrong with burying these children? The remains would have been thrown in the garbage, for goodness sake! And that is somehow less "macabre" than a burial service?

Numbed, twisted, distorted consciences seem in abundance at Planned Parenthood.

By the way, did you know that since 1973, abortion has killed 46 million people in our country alone, and that each year that many people are killed by abortion around the world? To get an idea of how many people we're talking about, go here.

But don't expect to see any outrage from these Christians, unless its directed at the Catholic Church involved.

Update: Bill Cork offers his thoughts on this (Bill is the creator of the linked graphic, as well). And see this post of Bill's on a pro-life march yesterday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Oh, continuing the topic of the last post, if you doubt that the system needs reform, read this and this.

A constant leftist mantra is the need to look out for our children. But when it comes to making tough choices that might cost them a favored constituency (AARP) to do what's right for the kids, they pass the buck.
Social Security Reform

My take: if the President said that the system was perfect, we'd be hearing how there is an imminent crisis and Bush is irresponsible in his failure to address it.

In other words, many on the left hate Bush, and reflexively oppose whatever he proposes. If he says it, they're against it.

Why do I say that? Because during his second term, President Clinton referred to the looming Social Security crisis on multiple occasions, but we heard jack from the left then about how he was off his rocker.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

What's really going on

Yeah, I've been on a bit of a blogbreak, and it will probably continue for a bit. But I'm interrupting Veritas' mid-winter's hybernation to post some excerpts from a piece at Blackfive by one Lt. Col. Tim Ryan, in Iraq, on the media's distortion of how the war is going:
    I just read yet another distorted and grossly exaggerated story from a major news organization about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a small fraction of the events in Iraq and more often than not, the events they cover are only the bad ones. Many of the journalists making public assessments about the progress of the war in Iraq are unqualified to do so, given their training and experience. The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq. The result is a further erosion of international public support for the United States' efforts there, and a strengthening of the insurgents' resolve and recruiting efforts while weakening our own. Through their incomplete, uninformed and unbalanced reporting, many members of the media covering the war in Iraq are aiding and abetting the enemy.

    Much of the problem is about perspective, putting things in scale and balance. From where I sit in my command post at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, things are not all bad right now. In fact, they are going quite well. We are not under attack by the enemy; on the contrary, we are taking the fight to him daily and have him on the ropes. In the distance, I can hear the repeated impacts of heavy artillery and five hundred-pound bombs hitting their targets in the city. The occasional tank main gun report and the staccato rhythm of a Marine Corps LAV or Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle's 25-millimeter cannon provide the bass line for a symphony of destruction. Right now, as elements from all four services complete the absolute annihilation of the insurgent forces remaining in Fallujah, the area around the former stronghold is more peaceful than it has been for more than a year. The number of attacks in the greater Al Anbar Province is down by at least 70-80% from late October -- before Operation Al Fajar began. The enemy in this area is completely defeated, but not completely gone. Final eradication of the pockets of insurgents will take some time, as it always does, but the fact remains that the central geographic stronghold of the insurgents is now under friendly control. That sounds a lot like success to me. Given all of this, why don't the papers lead with "Coalition Crushes Remaining Pockets of Insurgents" or "Enemy Forces Resort to Suicide Bombings of Civilians"? This would paint a far more accurate picture of the enemy's predicament over here. Instead, headlines focus almost exclusively on our hardships.

    The scene is repeated all too often: an attack takes place in Baghdad and the morning sounds are punctuated by a large explosion and a rising cloud of smoke. Sirens wail in the distance and photographers dash to the scene a few miles away. Within the hour, stern-faced reporters confidently stare into the camera while standing on the balcony of their tenth-floor Baghdad hotel room, their back to the city and a distant smoke plume rising behind them. More mayhem in Gotham City they intone, and just in time for the morning news. There is a transparent reason why the majority of car bombings and other major events take place before noon Baghdad-time; any later and the event would miss the start of the morning news cycle on the U.S. east coast. These terrorists aren't stupid; they know just what to do to scare the masses and when to do it. An important key to their plan is manipulation of the news media. But, at least the reporters in Iraq are gathering information and filing their stories, regardless of whether or the stories are in perspective. Much worse are the "talking heads" who sit in studios or offices back home and pontificate about how badly things are going when they never have been to Iraq and only occasionally leave Manhattan.

Hat tip to Hindrocket at Powerline, who opines,
    On the whole, I think Col. Ryan is too kind to the American press. I think that the press's undermining of our war effort is, in many instances, deliberate. It appears to me that many, if not most, American reporters, editors and news executives want to make it impossible for America ever to fight a war. To further this goal, I think they use their reporting to undermine our effort in Iraq. The idea is that if we are defeated in Iraq, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for us to fight another war anywhere for a generation. Is this assessment too harsh? I don't think so.
Talk to you soon.