Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Odds and ends 8/11/2015

A question for our times:

“If the sexual revolution meant to liberate us, why are we still longing to be free?” –Theresa Martin

I wrote 3 years ago after the vice presidential debate that 7 minutes on abortion is not enough. It’s enough time for two people to take a defensive posture and avert embarrassment, particularly if you’re a child murder-permitting “Catholic” like Joe Biden. It’s easy to lie and hide behind subterfuge when you’re guaranteed the moderator will move along in a couple of minutes.

After reading the first part of the transcript of the Fox News debate, I knew that hasn’t changed.

Joan Walsh, who if she was any more obtuse she’d be acute, gleefully intones all the Republicans are like Todd Akin. This is a problem why?

The anti-abortion one-upmanship at the debate showed how the candidates are misreading the political opportunities and turning themselves into Todd Akin, the Republican who challenged Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2012. Akin, you’ll recall, was disputing the need for a rape exception to an abortion ban when he told an interviewer that in cases of “legitimate rape,” a woman’s body magically has a way to “shut that whole thing down.” His idiocy helped not only McCaskill but President Obama that year.

I’d like 30 minutes’ debate on Todd Akin alone, just to see the poor man’s name rehabilitated. He’s a pro-life Joe McCarthy, constantly vilified but totally right. For more on Akin, read this and this.

Pete Heck rants about liberal scientific, compassionate tyranny at the American Thinker:

Having abandoned belief in any Moral Authority to the universe, liberal revolutionaries have been claiming the mantle of science as justification for their agenda for far longer than I can remember. And their hijacking of the word has resulted in great success for them politically and culturally. My only question remains, how long will our society be stupid enough to keep buying it?

After all, this is a movement that goes so far in their insistence that sexual attraction is inborn and unchangeable that they seek to enact laws actually forbidding someone experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction from seeking psychiatric help to overcome their urges. Apparently “respecting the sexual preferences of the individual” counts only when that sexual preference is to act on an urge rather than resist it.

But yet these same folks who claim that sexual attraction is unalterable are also the ones who insist that men like Bruce Jenner, undeniably born with genetic maleness (DNA, chromosomes, bone structure, and functioning reproductive organs of a male) can somehow “become” a woman. Yes, the “party of science” would have you believe that your attractions are unchangeably genetic in nature, but your genetic biology is a matter of personal opinion.

At VDare, Paul Gottfried explains the Stalinist harmonies of Confederate flag banning:

A recent incident in Wallingford, Connecticut, not far from where I grew up, caused VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow to comment: “Cultural Marxist totalitarianism is coming to an America near you.” A complaint was lodged with the local police that “hate” merchandise—Nazi and Confederate memorabilia—was being publicly exhibited and sold at a popular flea market.

Following a police investigation, an Anti-Defamation League official named Joshua Sayles expressed the view that “It’s unfortunate that under the law people have the right to sell these things; but it doesn’t mean they should sell these things. It’s not a crime but I would call it hate…”.

Chillingly, the assistant regional director of the Connecticut ADL thus unmistakably indicated he was deeply disturbed that a “right” to deal in what he considered “hate” was still allowed. Presumably, in a more sensitive world, no one would be allowed to exhibit or sell either Nazi or Confederate memorabilia. Needless to say, no moral distinction was made between Nazi Germany and the Confederate States of America. They both stood, or so the ADL official implied, for pure “hate.”

Peter properly suggests if such hate-inspectors get their way, we will be living in a condition of almost Stalinist oppression. We might not be shipped off to gulags (yet), but the control of speech and thought that these professional sensitizers would impose would be reminiscent of the worst examples of Leftist tyranny. I say “Leftist” intentionally—because rightist or non-leftist regimes have never tried to control their subjects’ minds as systematically as the Left.

Even Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime largely lost interest in mind reconstruction. It closed up universities as an unnecessary expense by the early 1940s, left the economy in private hands except for those businesses it expropriated, and tolerated a surprisingly wide range of intellectual dissenters. (For example, Karl Jaspers, Hans-Georg Gadamer and other dissenters and critics of the Nazi regime were left untouched in their academic positions. See Die deutsche Universitatsphilosophie In der Weimarer Republik und im Dritten Reich, by Christian Tilitzki.) Of course, this had nothing to do with being nice. It was simply that the Nazis, aggressive thugs as they were, had no interest in the worldwide indoctrination program dreamed of by the universalist, conversionary and egalitarian zealots of the true Left.

William M. Briggs writes where the “right” to die leads us:

This language is of encouragement. Suicide is not pathetic, but it is not quite noble, either. The emotion is a happy sort of melancholy. Suicide is just another “choice”. That it is seen to be so is proof that a government’s indifference to life spills out onto its citizenry.

We finally come to the “right” to suicide. It cannot be that suicide is a right other than the sense that a government does not punish those will commit or attempt to commit the act. But this is not the sense that is used in those countries which have made the act legal. Instead, “right” means that the government must provide the means of the act. And those means include a person or persons who are obliged to kill or to assist in the killing.

A person who kills under orders from a government is either a soldier or an executioner. Belgium, Switzerland, and the others who have legalized suicide are not sending soldiers to kill their citizens, but executioners. Wim Distelmans is an executioner. Yet these executioners call themselves “doctors” who reside in “clinics” and in which is practiced “medicine.”

This proves that governments who legalize suicide have and must debase and corrupt language. They cannot say what is so but must speak in euphemism. That means that they have made it a subtle form of illegality to speak the truth. If you doubt this, try using the proper words on government forms or forums in places like Belgium. In reality, we are no longer speaking of suicide but of willful death by execution; state-sponsored execution. True suicides do not need government assistance.

The main reason suicide is now seen as a good is the adoption of utilitarianism in one form or another as the foundation of ethics and morality (never mind that the foundation is built on sand). The arguments given for killing somebody are that they have outlived their usefulness, or that they can no longer operate at peak efficiency, or that there is suspicion they will not be optimally happy (think of the two brothers who were going blind and who would miss seeing each other). Even the mechanism of death is utilitarian: it must be “painless” and factory-like efficient. Contrast this with a Japanese prince committing seppuku. Virtue is never spoken of. “Dignity” is.

These utilitarian arguments are convincing to government, because without them governments never would have legalized suicide in the first place. The arguments are certainly convincing to the people who used to be doctors but became executioners. The executioners, appointed or credentialed by government, are expert, at least, in human anatomy, and thus they know efficient ways to kill. They also, however, view themselves as experts in utilitarianism and so they also claim to know when to kill.

There have already been many instances of executioners killing those who they, the executioners thought (or, worse, felt) had outlived their usefulness. There is also less or no chance of a person changing his mind. These executioners, as is already clear, have the permission of their governments to do so. Governments are not prosecuting them for illegal acts. That means government agrees with its executioners. Governments are complicit.

All that is lacking is a directive, something in writing somewhere, even a note in the back page of some ponderous book of regulations will do. This note will make the government an active agent in the process. “At the doctor’s discretion,” it might read, “those patients whose lives no longer meet the official medical standard may be gently, and most tenderly, euthanized.”

It is at that point that government will have given itself the power to decide who lives and who dies. That point is coming soon (and may even be here: I do not claim expertise in the legal and regulatory codes of those countries with legalized suicide). And when it arrives, it will be simplicity itself for governments, staffed with credentialed experts, to believe they have the right to define the official life standard so that it conforms to whatever utilitarian standard desired.

That’s what happens when people seeking premature death have no rationalization for living beyond what feels good. That’s what happens when man becomes the measure of himself. If God doesn’t command you to endure, why live past your break-even point?

Not to suggest all people want to kill themselves and want to have the state legitimize their choice, but ideas have consequences and this is one of the consequences of the secular materialist view of man. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, most people are better than their principles. Even though they can’t argue against suicide, they still abstain from it because the artifacts of sound upbringing make suicide repulsive still.

More here.

Robert Oscar Lopez’s Planned Parenthood analysis at Public Discourse shows how child commoditization dovetails with Brave New World-style reproduction schemes:

I am, perhaps, an outlier on the current Planned Parenthood scandal. I am not shocked that high-ranking officials in an organization by that name would be caught on video speaking callously about the harvesting of fetal organs. The fact that money is exchanged, and the question of whether this constitutes a “market,” do not particularly matter to me. Well-educated people believe that “planned parenthood” can lead to a socially just world. That hubris is the main horror from which all these other abhorrent things descend.

It is the “planned” part of the organization’s title that needs to be urgently criticized. What kind of society is so lacking in humanity that it thinks “parenthood”—a phenomenon responsible for, well, the perpetuation of everything social about us—can be regimented, organized, scheduled, commoditized, bought, sold, and programmed by people? And in particular, by the people running this soulless association? Stop for a moment and consider the intellectual consequences of this foundational belief that humanity can be “planned.” Such a belief means that humans can be edited and arranged, by contract if necessary. To be editable, people, particularly children, must become objects rather than subjects.

Once they become objects, children can be treated as dehumanized products in multiple ways, all bad. They can be disposed of, like integrated waste, when they are not convenient or not proceeding according to plan. Just as we recycle cans of Diet Coke and milk cartons, we can try to limit the wastefulness of our garbage by recycling the broken-down parts of people: their livers, hearts, lungs, and brains. All of this is management of objects, which costs money, so who is to say that there shouldn’t be some remuneration? Why not reimburse the people who are stuck with this waste for the cost of transporting and recycling it? Why not pay them a salary and make the salary attractive so that qualified professionals are indeed willing to take on such a ghoulish task?

The flip side of the disposable child, of course, is the child as a desired commodity. Since people can be thrown out when they are not convenient, they can also be manufactured and maintained through industrialized processes, when the natural process of lovemaking is not convenient. And alas, this leads us straight to the sublimities of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Kennedy’s opinion emphasized the constitutional right of gay couples not to be lonely. According to Kennedy, the Fourteenth Amendment assures that gay couples should be given marriage licenses lest they call out to the universe and find nobody to answer back to their emotional needs with love.

Obergefell brings Roe v. Wade to its climax because it completes the transformation of children into objects. For children will be forced to love gay adults who are not their parents. To Kennedy, gay adults have a right not to feel lonely, which includes the right to start families. In fact, he states that they have a right to “custody” and “birth certificates” (i.e., birth certificates falsified to include two same-sex parents and erase biological parents of the opposite sex). To satisfy the human right to dignity and to thwart the civil injustice of “loneliness,” children must be produced and provided to people who want them, whether or not those people conceived the child by making love.

Children not only can, but must be manufactured. The transfers of custody must generate orphans and abandoned children, paying gamete donors and surrogates to abandon and orphan their offspring, so that this new product—the loving and obedient human being—can be delivered to paying customers.


William Murchison opines at the American Spectator:

I haven’t heard any Planned Parenthood representative address the matter of those internationally known undercover videos by saying something like, “Well, you know, body parts and fetal tissue come with every abortion so get over it.” In responding to her medical director’s role in the video — talking blithely about going “above and below the thorax” so as to procure high-quality body parts — Cecile Richards, head of the Planned Parenthood body shop, regrets her employee’s compassionless “tone.”

That’s how it goes, no doubt, when liberty is the value at the top of the flagpole — the one the federal courts still salute in abortion cases, the ground and foundation of every point Planned Parenthood makes when defending abortion. You pays your money, and you takes your choices. Just good all-Americanism — unhitched to any larger concept of duty, responsibility, or human dignity. It’s all about good old personal choice: one thing over another thing, suit yourself, no strings attached.

Scott McKay, also at American Spectator, writes about the portent of Planned Parenthood’s lawlessness on the republic:

In the Senate, amendments to de-fund Planned Parenthood were filed but not passed. Meanwhile, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was confirmed thanks to 10 Republican Senate votes, announced she would be launching an investigation as a result of the videos… into their producers.

So when evidence of illegal activity by a constituent organization within the Democratic Party’s constellation is produced, this administration investigates the whistleblower. And does so in broad daylight.

Nothing is done about it.

This isn’t about politics anymore. We are now beyond the question of what will work in the next election cycle. What is at stake now is the future of the American republic and constitutional governance — because if Congress cannot be relied on to put a stop to rampant lawlessness and corruption at the highest levels within the executive branch, the government as a whole no longer has the moral standing to put a stop to lawlessness anywhere.

The whole system begins to break down when the public ceases to consent to be governed. The Obama administration has driven us to that point, and the weak GOP leadership has all but broken the opposition party through multiple showings of Failure Theater.

Investor’s Business Daily figures the recovery is $2 trillion behind schedule:

As it periodically does, the BEA revised previous years’ GDP numbers, and what it found this time is that growth in almost every quarter since 2012 was weaker than it previously calculated.

The result is that GDP growth from 2012 to 2014 was just 2%, not 2.3%. In dollar terms, the revisions cut more than $100 billion from the nation’s economic pie.

It also means that President Obama has presided over an economic recovery—now more than six years old—that is far worse than all the previous 10 stretching back 70 years.

It’s worse when you also factor in total employment as a percentage of population is at a 40-year low Fed has kept the cost of money at zero for 7 years. This “recovery” is a recession away from becoming a second Great Depression.

Richard Fernandez comments on Freud at PJ Media and drops this gem:

The trouble with 19th century atheism is that it had not completely freed itself from the sentiments of Christianity: in many subtle ways they assumed that man after God would still have limits. They failed to understand until the middle 20th century that man’s need for power did not necessarily contain limits. They learned, too late, that like the Bill of Rights understands, it is in the “won’ts” on men’s actions that earthly freedom lives.

Vox Day says in reaction:

We’re not eating little girls yet, but we’re already parting them out and selling them for profit.

I don’t see the difference. It’s worse than cannibalism. Planned Parenthood isn’t exactly a pauper organization. They get half a billion in federal funding that Democrats will defend to the bitter end. “God bless you” the president once told them.

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