Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Victimization as a Claim of Entitlement

To what are victims entitled?

Does victimization give one dominion over someone else's life?

A woman is raped, and demands an abortion or she'll kill herself and unborn child. Presumably, a compassionate person grants her an abortion.

It's a 13 week fetus. Do you grant her demand?

It's a 20 week fetus. Does that change your position?

It's a 30 week fetus. Does that change your position?

Is her suffering inversely proportionate to the gestation of her pregnancy?

A woman is raped, and demands the execution of her rapist immediately, or she'll kill herself. Does a compassionate person grant her demand?

What if the accused already has been investigated and released on insufficient evidence?

I felt compelled to ask these questions by what I read in the comment thread on the March 24th post at chez Diva. Here is only a fragment of the comment by Nigel Humphries:

I recently saw a documentary about women who suffered in the “rape camps” in Serbia. One of these women dissolved into a weeping, bawling mess describing how, when rescued, she had yelled and screamed in a hospital in order to have a 3rd trimester abortion - eventually only
getting one because she informed the doctors if they did not do it, she would walk into a minefield.
I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and anguish in all of this.

The author of this comment claims he cannot imagine the pain and anguish. That's a cop-out. The implication of his comment is that if one has not experienced a particular tragedy, one must defer without question to those who have. Such irrational thinking cannot hope to find truth or promote justice.

Of course we can begin to imagine the pain and anguish. That's how we know it's appropriate to extend her our compassion. The woman did not have to convince us she's experienced pain and anguish from her rape, we can imagine it. That which we've experienced informs us on how to react to that which we've not. I've never been raped, but I've been treated with contempt. I've never been beaten, but I've been abused and credibly threatened with violence. I have believed my life was in danger, and I have been so depressed I felt ready to die. I've certainly experienced physical pain. All this and more I have experienced, and I have witnessed more still. I can apply my experiences to her situation, even though hers obviously is more extreme.

Besides, the demands of victims aren't automatically just. A victim has a right to justice, though it is not always found. A victim has no right to commit injustice, though it is often done.

An abortion is not justice. The woman's pregnancy may exacerbate her suffering, but the abortion will not cure it.

Once again, the argument comes down to whether a fetus has personhood. That is the only question that matters, but let's face the fact that we don't know when personhood begins. If a third trimester fetus is a person, then an innocent person was murdered to comfort a rape victim. If a third trimester fetus is not a person, then there is no right to deny any abortion. How arrogant it is to act as if we know . . .to grant or deny abortions based on, let's face it, popular opinion. The only moral position is to protect the very right to life that we all enjoy.

Ask yourself one more question: If a scientist could prove definitively that personhood begins at 11 weeks, would you still support abortion on demand?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Yet another reason to believe that Saddam had WMD

Fmr. Saddam General Georges Sada On The Daily Show; Says WMDS Existed, Were Moved (VIDEO)

We have been saying this from the beginning:
The Left, in fact must deny and work against any conclusion from the right since its existence threatens their epistemology. This is why they continue to deny the facts while they say loudly "there were no WMDs." Of course there were; it is just that understanding this is complex. The Washington Post had another article today putting this in question.

Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards on the Syrian border and replaced them with his own intelligence agents who supervised the movement of banned materials between the two countries, U.S. investigators have discovered.
The recent discovery by the Bush administration's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) is fueling speculation, but is not proof, that the Iraqi dictator moved prohibited weapons of mass destruction (WMD) into Syria before the March 2003 invasion by a U.S.-led coalition.
If you follow our link and read carefully you will find this (sourced from the Washington Times):
The highest-ranking Communist bloc defector, Ion Mihai Pacepa (defected from Romania when it was still Communist) has warned that Russia has an interest in having Iraq's WMDs disappear. He explains that Russia had a key role in Saddam receiving the weapons initially, and had a secret operational plan to make them disappear” should it become necessary. The plan was called “Sarindar”, or, “Emergency Exit. Pacepa played a key role in Operation Emergency Exit in Libya. The goal of the plan? To remove all WMDs from any third world ally that was being invaded by the West.
OK, so this idea -- that Iraq had WMDs removed before we could find them -- is not new at all. The fact that Stewart was clearly surprised by this idea is revealing. Liberals are not well informed. Here is a comment made on another blog:
If this were credible, and we're talking about viable weapons--not the expired crap from the late 80's and early 90's--then you'd think that this "vindication" would be all over the MSM.

(I'm sure Faux is doing it, aren't they? I can't bring myself to watch them to find out for myself.)
I guess that pretty much sums it up. They don't know because they do not want to know. As I have said before, conservatives consider all ideas but liberals refuse to actually entertain conservative ideas.

This explains why they ignore the mounting evidence that Bush was right all along.

[update 4/26/06] You should also check out Hitchens on Joe Wilson

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Accounts And Accoutnability

Edwin Feulner, author of Getting America Right, in a lecture on C-Span's "Book TV", proposes that all appropriations bills should be posted on line at least 24 hours before they are voted on.

We think this is a good idea, but I say there should be two versions posted. One should be the detailed version that our leaders presumably read before voting. The other should look like a credit card statement. Read the statement, look up any questionable items in the detailed version, contact your representatives. If the detailed version is unreadable by lay people, then we citizens should demand otherwise.

It's outrageous how little we citizens know about how our money is spent. Would you use a credit card company that didn't send you statements? Would you send that company checks without knowing where your money went?

Mr. Feulner cited in his lecture, a waste of $110 million by the Pentagon on unused airline tickets that could've been redeemed, but were not. This is the nature of spending in a system where individuals are not accountable as they would be in the private sector. Of course, our military is not an example of the many govnt. programs that could be privatized, but how about a little disclosure?

We conservatives can moan about the democrats' support of big government programs. The democrats can whine about tax refunds and the cost of war. They fillibuster judicial appointments, but never spending bills. Nor has our President ever vetoed any. This is a bipartisan problem that can only be fought by a vocal watchdog citizenry.

Pressure your representatives to reduce government spending. Don't just speak with your vote. Call them. Blog against them. Tell them what it takes for you to elect them. Tell them you expect less spending, and for God's sake . . .not everything you like needs to be funded by the federal government.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Buckley, Money, a horrible monster and Catan

Townhall.com :: Columns :: Funding democracy by William F. Buckley - Mar 24, 2006

Bill considers the huge money already in Hillary's coffers. This must be in preparation for the Presidential election. Hillary as president is truly a frightening proposition - scary enough that I don't think it possible.

Anyway, he is worried that democracy is up for sale. No news there. But, as he says,
A few years ago we attempted financial reform, and more or less gave up, on the grounds that reform was inconsistent with individual liberties ... It all conduces to a queasy suspicion that the democratic ideal is up for sale.
This is akin to what Boortz has been saying for years. He thinks he got it from De Toqueville, but it seems to come from Alexander Tytler. I found it on Andrea Shea's quote page a site which I intend to examine further:

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in the year 1787 Alexander Tytler, a Scottish history professor had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

"A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury."

This is the inverse but not the opposite of what Soros and the like do. They buy their special influence both political and social whereas the poor must vote it. But, in our system money is not really that different from votes. Money in some way represents the ordered chaos and so son in a free market of ideas. The rich are so because people make them so by giving them their money. To give money is in some way to give assent.

We play Settlers of Catan. If I trade my resources with you and then you use them to build a road to my severe disinterest, well, that is my problem. I tacitly gave my assent for you to use those resources to do whatever you will. I have no right to complain.

Soros is a moronic fool. But, he should be free to use his money however he wishes, even to our severe disinterest. If he wishes to try to elect the Medusa, so be it.

Like all heroes, good people must fight the monsters evil men conjure.

My tiny little cubicle

My cubicle at Central is smaller than the one I had at Days Inn Reservations. For scale, notice that the brown boxes on top are Kleenex.

Note too how many of these are packed into an already too small room. The chiar with the coat is mine.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Wow. Science is neat!

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: Multimedia

She flies in beauty through the night of starry skies

This makes me so proud!
Tammy Bruce: What Their Grandmothers Couldn't Do

Liberals are more guilty than Cons

I am a bastard when it comes to plagiarism. I'll hand out zero's like there is no tommorow if I think students have plagiarized. It is serious. It seems that Domenech plagiarized. Michelle and NRO think so too. I can't tell what happened over the years, but that stuff at NRO is pretty bad. I say admit it and move on with your life. Your character and inner life are more important than any job or what people think of you.

Anyway, I have noticed anecdotally that political crimes are way more common among Liberals. I mean I watch alot of TV and I see shows about corrupt politicians. Of course, I have to go to the internet to find out when they are democrats -- republicans are usually identified in some way -- and I have found that they are more often democrats.

Malkin (again) has the latest example and it seems to put Demenoch's problem in perspective.

apropos our abortion discussion

reading about the charge of plagiarism at redstate
led me to this post: chez Diva » Quiet Reflection

make sure to scan the comments wherein you will find the same old tired arguments so easily refuted but not killed. Liberals are like horror movie monsters.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring means Bunnies and Lowlands

I know it is spring, not because of our cold and rainy weather, but because I am drinking a Lowland Malt and I saw bunnies doing it in my backyard. I have discovered that these bunnies are squatting in my burn pile (pictured to the left). Now, I can't just burn it down since there could be baby bunnies in there, so I have to deconstruct it and look for them before I light it up. Oh, wait, I'm conservative and TV tells me that means I hate nature (despite the fact that conservation is conservative). I guess I can burn it down -- I will just do it while drinking my spring whiskey and everything will be just fine.

Whiny Kids study Grossly Biased

Wen we read this latest study here we knew it was biased. Take this line:
The grown-up liberal men, on the other hand, with their introspection and recognition of complexity in the world, could be seen as self-indulgent and ineffectual.
Here they are trying to be fair, but look how they view the world: "Recognition" of complexity. I have dealt with this before, but this pissed me off. Conservatives are not introspective. Give me a break.

No, better, just take a look at the last discussion here. Late Bloomer gave the issue serious and long thought whereas her interlocutors responded quickly and without even considering what she had said.

Worse, the implication is that the world is complex exactly in the way that liberals believe it to be, but not in the way the Conservatives do. Of course we know that thge world is complex -- that is one of the core reasons that we want to encourage free markets. We just also recognize the aspect of our world which are not complex. Specifically those parts which deal with morality. Evil is Evil and is fairly easy to spot and is not complex in itself. Yes, of course, the facts surrounding any event are complex. Wisdom is knowing how to weed out information (complexity) that is irrelevant.

But, we did not know just how stupidly flawed the study was. See This: