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Monday, August 24, 2015

In Defense of Planned Parenthood

I really like to eat rack of lamb. Yum.

On the other hand, I'm also really glad I don't have to slaughter and butcher the lamb to be able to eat it. It's very nice having that bloody and grisly activity hidden from me so I can just wander into a store and buy it all neat and packaged and then cook it up on the grill.

Life saving surgeries are a great thing.

On the other hand, have you ever watched videos of surgeries? Ewwww! I'm really glad someone else does that and not me. How about a knee replacement surgery? It looks to me like half of those tools came from Home Depot for use in carpentry. I have a bad knee so I shudder just thinking about it!

The point is that there are some really gruesome, but necessary, activities that most of us fortunately never have to perform or observe. And if it's performed on us, we get to be anesthetized so we remain blissfully unaware. In my opinion, it's wonderful to be sheltered from those sorts of things.

Some disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood activities are being released by an organization called The Center for Medical Progress. In these videos, they show various representatives of Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of fetal parts (organs, limbs, etc.) to buyers in the medical research community. There are apparently going to be future videos that will show the actual procedures (perhaps some such videos already exist).

Yeah, the concept is kinda gruesome.

However, once a fetus is aborted, it doesn't just magically disappear into thin air. It has to be disposed of and that's also rather gruesome.

Given that abortion is legal, that abortions happen in large numbers, that like medical procedures and butchering abortion is grisly, that the aborted fetuses are dead (or very soon to be), and that the dead fetuses have to somehow be disposed of or otherwise processed, why is it worse that the fetal tissues be used for research rather than being disposed of? Just because it's grisly? Isn't the whole thing already rather grisly? Doesn't it seem better to salvage something of value from the process?

I really don't get it.

123 comments:

Clovis e Adri said...

"Given the Endlösung is legal, that it happens to large numbers, that like medical procedures and butchering is grisly, that the nicht-menschlichen are very soon to be dead, and that their bodies have to somehow be disposed of or otherwise processed, why is it worse that they are used for research rather than being disposed of? Just because it's grisly? Isn't the whole thing already rather grisly? Doesn't it seem better to salvage something of value from the process?

I really don't get it."

- Josef Mengele

Bret said...

Just to be clear, I can easily "get" why some people conclude that the abortion itself is a monstrous evil.

What I don't get is why people who don't think the abortion is a bad thing, think the post processing makes much of a difference.

As a result, your analogy above doesn't help me out.

Hey Skipper said...

The point is that there are some really gruesome, but necessary, activities that most of us fortunately never have to perform or observe.

The words I emphasized are critical to that sentence, in that they take something as implicitly true, which is anything but.

Pro-choice advocates sanitize their language, as the very term they use for themselves makes clear. Consequently, a great many of us have accepted abortion as this anodyne thing in which a choice happens, and then ... nothing.

Let's see what your assumption implies, without addressing. In the US, 40% of all pregnancies are "terminated". That amounts to about 1.2 million per year. Of those 1.2 million, no more than several thousand are due to rape or incest, and a similar number are due to profound physical defects, or threats to the mother's life.

So, out of 1.2 million abortions per year, 1.2 million are, and there is no other honest way to put this, murders of convenience.

Some absolutely tone-deaf obstetrician recently termed ... the aborted fetuses are dead (or very soon to be), and that the dead fetuses "products of conception".

Now the Center for Medical Progress's point should be clear. Those are corpses, which are the products of murders of convenience.

Anyone who says otherwise is committing a grotesque crime against language and logic in the hope of deceiving themselves, and everyone else.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
As a result, your analogy above doesn't help me out.
---

So I suppose you can't ever understand why they condemned any of the Nazi doctors. Or in fact any of the Nazi low-level peons just obeying their legal orders. Right?

Bret said...

Clovis,

Which Nazi doctors and what specific actions by those doctors are you referring too?

Bret said...

Hey Skipper,

Once the fetus is removed from the womb and killed, it is indeed "necessary" to do something. It's not an option to just leave the fetus on the table to rot for a few months or years until it disintegrates to nothing.

Again, I'm not arguing about the morality of abortion. I'm completely focused on the after the abortion portion. I don't see a substantial difference in the morality of tossing it in the biological waste, flushing it, or cultivating the parts for research. If anything, the last seems preferable to me.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

You may start here. Notice the subjects gave as much consent as any of the ones depicted in Planned Parenthood videos.

I can fairly imagine any of those doctors thinking, "You know what, they will all die anyway, why not advance medicine?". A logic as flawless as yours, IMHO.

----
I don't see a substantial difference in the morality of tossing it in the biological waste, flushing it, or cultivating the parts for research. If anything, the last seems preferable to me.
----
Not to mention "make some profit along the way too".


And while we are at that, why is it that only dead "unborn" babies are to be selected? Why don't we allow for every dead body to be researchers property from now on? You need to dispose of those bodies anyway, don't you?

I don't think "individuality" makes much sense when talking about the dead.
In a preferred worldview that is all about "individual consent", such as yours, what does it matter the consent of someone dead, hence no longer an individual?


That extends to his property - if he didn't transfer it to someone before dying, be his house, car, or *organs*, I think we are absolutely entitled to use it to the greater common good. Be it research, or sequestering it all to make some money for the State. Why not?

Oh, our good friends here often like to state that "incentives matter". Maybe if we allowed the above, it could give people (and the State) too much of an interest in people's death, right? Maybe not a good place to go...

Hmm, is it possible that such moneraty incentives to the death of non-humans (sub 9-month babies, I mean, not Jews this time) could be something to worry about?


All sarcasm aside, Bret, this is not about those videos showing grisly and bloody images. Not at all.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] Once the fetus is removed from the womb and killed, it is indeed "necessary" to do something.

Wrong necessary. You chose the trivial one.

The one that matters is the preceding, assumed, "necessary". Of the 1.2 million abortions each year in the US, 1.2M, within rounding error, are not "necessary". So, yes, once those murders of convenience are committed, there has to be some way to dump the body.

Sounds pretty awful, doesn't it? Interesting how different things sounds accurately described. No wonder pro-choice advocates are seriously depleting the world's supply of euphemisms. Yet somehow they are the reality based community.

Clovis:

I pretty much agree with everything you said, save for one thing. I think the whole point of the vides is the bloody images, using fetus tissue trafficking as the propellant. One of those images showed up on my FB feed last week; it is still burned into my brain.

The CMP's videos say, in effect: "Go ahead, just you try to look away. How are those euphemisms working for you now?"

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

So let me correct it: *for me*, this is not about the images at all, because I have not even seen them.

I've read a lot of articles about it, and even transcriptions of the videos, but did not bother to watch it. Not because I have any problem with seeing grisly images, I refrain from watching videos most of the time, my mind works better reading than watching things.


I also did not click on videos this last mass murderer (Bryce Williams) posted, though I guess they must be tempting to many people out there. But I did read what I could of his "manifesto".

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "... trivial ..."

That's exactly my point. This new revelation is trivial.

Before this tidbit of information there were still gruesome and grisly abortions complete with plenty of videos and pictures of the procedures.

The only new information was that the post processing was a bit different than many realized and that's trivial to me.

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "Why don't we allow for every dead body to be researchers property from now on?"

I believe that if the state ends up in charge of, and having to pay for, the disposing of a body (because it's unclaimed or poor) then it certainly should be allowed to carve it up for research. If, on the other hand, the estate or other individuals or organizations wish to pay for the disposal, then they should get the first shot according to existing estate laws.

Given that a fetus can be killed with the sole decision resting with the mother, then it clearly doesn't have any rights as a human being. If it did have such rights, then it couldn't be aborted (especially so frivolously).

But again, I'm not arguing for or against abortion, I just find the "new" "post-processing" info trivial relative to the overall debate. I can understand why people hate abortion, I can understand why others like legal abortion, but I don't see why what happens after the fetus is dead would convince anyone one way or the other.

erp said...

How 'bout we boot the state out of our business. Abortion should be a medical issue between the father and the mother and their doctor. Politicians not welcome. Same for the deceased. If there is no one to claim a body and the individual left no instructions, then the local authorities must need be called to take action. At that point, a teaching hospital or medical school can be contacted. I doubt there are millions of such situations as there are abortions.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I don't think you really answered my questions.

I understand how the Laws works now. What I am asking is *why* you accept them as such.

The exact same logic you apply to aborted babies is valid for every single cadaver out there. Better yet, there is one single difference: if I murder a (recognized) human being out there, I will hardly be the one deciding whether his body will be donated for research afterwards.

So I repeat: if the every body will turn to dust anyway, why do we keep doing things like buring or burning them, while we could use all that material for other things?

The distinction you make between fetuses and dead post-9 month people is meaningless, to the extent both, after dead, are exactly the same: no longer individuals. So please let's take your logic to its natural conclusions, or tell me why not.

Peter said...

Rationalists to the left, rationalists to the right, but still I stood firm.

Bret, I was once involved in one of those blog debates with modern secular Darwinist types who were positing a continuum between humans and other species, and I was challenged to come up with a universal human trait that wasn't either culturally relative or shared to some degree with at least higher mammals. They wouldn't accept anything (you know how those religious fundamentalists can be) until I finally came up with the universal human practice of attaching some measure of sanctity and ceremony to the disposal of our dead. Silence. Advantage Peter. Unless you are prepared to ponder that and explore what it means, there is no answer to why we don't just mulch grandmother and use her to fertilize the garden. (There are some modern burial services that do just that in the name of environmental hygiene and saving the planet. To me they are just anti-human eco-fascists. But even they can't get away without at least offering their customers one of those gawdawful "celebrations of life" that have come to replace traditional funerals. Instead of pondering what the sages said about eternity and the existential mysteries of life and death, we're forced to listen to one mundane, boring saccharine story after another from people who are hopeless at speaking in public.)

The CMP's videos say, in effect: "Go ahead, just you try to look away. How are those euphemisms working for you now?"

If that's their message, Skipper, it sure doesn't work for me. I'm sick to death of pro-life advocates who think they are going to bring me on board by grossing me out. And although I don't support total free choice, I am turned off by people who refer to abortion as murder. Whatever it is, and it is definitely something touching human morality, few really see it as on a par with murder and they never have. Even the Catholic Church's absolutist position dates from the 18-19th centuries. Most people see a huge moral difference between first and third trimester abortion, and even with the latter, if we genuinely thought that was murder, we wouldn't have invented the crime of infanticide. In "Olde Englande" terminating a pregnancy before the foetus "quickened" was a misdemeanor, after a felony.

It is often said that the age of miracles is over, but millions and millions of very modern people experience the transition from conception to birth as a life-changing miracle regardless of what the materialists have to say. In much more poignant ways, they do with death too.

Harry Eagar said...

'What I don't get is why people who don't think the abortion is a bad thing, think the post processing makes much of a difference.'

Are there such people? My FB news feed is obviously not a reliable sample, but it contains both pro- and anti-abortionists, and they have had a great deal to say; and so far no one who 'doesn't think abortion is a bad thing' has expressed any concern about the research.

erp said...

So Harry your communicants who think it's okay to off a baby conceived because they were too stupid or lazy to use birth control aren't concerned about the carcasses being sold for profit to the highest bidder by clinic employees while tax payers pick up the tab?

Good thing I was sitting down reading that because I might have gotten hurt falling down in a swoon. s/off

Harry Eagar said...

No profit involved.

Clovis e Adri said...

Because Lamborghinis are free in America, right Harry?

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] No profit involved.

Perhaps -- numbers can be stretched quite a bit. Left untouched, though, is the near certainty that the abortionists changed the agreed with the patient procedure in order to procure the desired products of conception.

No problem, right Harry?

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "The distinction you make between fetuses and dead post-9 month people is meaningless..."

Objectively? Sure.

Subjectively? Of course, not. Legally? No.

Planned Parenthood did not violate any laws EXCEPT (arguably) for receiving payment for the body parts.

Live fetuses (below a certain age) have no legal rights. Live people do have legal rights.

Dead fetuses have no legal rights. Dead people do have legal rights (estates, etc.).

Given that americans, as a whole, have decided that it's legally okay to kill a fetus, this all makes perfect sense to me. I have to assume that those who decided that it's legally okay to kill a fetus also believe that it's morally okay to kill a fetus and that the rest of the legal rights and non-rights are also moral.

But my question still remains. Does it make sense to change one's stance on abortion simply because of the revelations regarding the post-processing? It doesn't to me.

Peter says that a distinctive feature of humanity is "universal human practice of attaching some measure of sanctity and ceremony to the disposal of our dead." Yeah, okay, whatever. I wonder where all those cadavers that medical students operate on come from then?

But here's the thing. If I have an operation to remove a bit of this or that (for example, an appendix), the disposal of that lump isn't done with any sanctity whatsoever. Given that the fetus is considered not human enough to be protected from being killed, it's much more like an inflamed appendix than a live human. And a dead fetus is much more like a dead appendix than an individual who has died. In fact, I'm pretty sure when I had my appendix out that I signed something that said the medical facility would take possession of the tissue upon its removal from my body and that they could do whatever they wanted with it including using it for research.

Morally, from my point of view, either the fetus is human, in which case it shouldn't be aborted and a 9 month punishment for women who make a mistake doesn't seem like the end of the world, or it's not human, in which case it's equivalent to an inflamed appendix.

I just can't see some strange middle ground where it's not human and can be killed, but as soon as it's dead, it suddenly is human and we have to attach measures of sanctity and ceremony to its disposal. That makes no sense to me. Either treat it as human or not.

erp said...

Again Bret, lefties can make sense of that and many other conflicting ideas because they can hold opposite and opposing opinions at the same time by just changing terminology and using semantics to change meanings.

If they couldn't, they would be like us -- rational reasonable logical and linear.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
I just can't see some strange middle ground where it's not human and can be killed, but as soon as it's dead, it suddenly is human and we have to attach measures of sanctity and ceremony to its disposal.
---

So, trying to answer your question - which means trying to understand the thought process of people with whom I don't share prior assumptions - here is my take:

To many people out there, research with stem cells probably meant, they assumed, to take a bunch of amorphous cells from a small ball of cells that is a fetus.

Upon realizing that small ball is as near a human being as to have organs fit to be extracted intact - just like you would do with any other human being - they suddenly saw themselves in need of some reassesment. "How come you need to crunch the fetus in the right way as not to destroy the kidney, or the heart, and so on? So you need whole organs, instead of just some cells? Hmm, that sounds ugly"...

So, yeah, maybe you are right, it is not rational to be affected by such grisly things if you already accepted abortion. But then you assume that all the pro-choice people ever really gave some real thought about it all. They always could "connect" to the woman's situation, and think things through her convenience and needs. But if a fetus is fit enough to give organs away, is it possible they forgot to "connect" to that little thing too?

Truth is, we all reject rationality when thinking about life and death. The question is where do you make the cut line.

Peter said...

Morally, from my point of view, either the fetus is human, in which case it shouldn't be aborted and a 9 month punishment for women who make a mistake doesn't seem like the end of the world, or it's not human, in which case it's equivalent to an inflamed appendix.

Why can't it be both? That's obviously the way many who recoil from being forced to make that either/or choice see it.

Clovis e Adri said...

Good one, Peter.

Maybe Bret needs to be introduced to paraconsistent logic .

Bret said...

Or fuzzy logic, I suppose.

The humanness of a fetus is fuzzy. I think most people would agree that the just fertilized single cell egg is less human than the 1,000 cell not quite visible clump which is not quite as human as the visible clump which is still less human than the fetus with a heartbeat, etc.

So I should've written: I just can't see some strange middle ground where it's not human enough so that it can be killed, but as soon as it's dead, it suddenly is human enough that we have to attach measures of sanctity and ceremony to its disposal."

So yeah, it's fuzzy. And I can see it being human enough for some considerations, but not others. It's just that it seems to me that if you can kill it, the rest is insignificant in comparison - killing is the greatest sin (if it's a sin in this case), after that, what's the big deal?

But okay, perhaps this discussion has helped me at least begin to imagine the gyrations folks are going through in response to the Planned Parenthood revelations. Not rational, but whatever.

erp said...

Yeah, there’s lots of profit Harry.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I suggest you should go to a funeral and kick the dead in the casket.

You may find the response by the people around a bit lacking in rationality too.

Peter said...

Bret:

If you think about it, I think you will find most people balance some degree of conflicting beliefs quite happily and unapologetically, especially in their personal lives. Does a modern professional couple whose sick child survived a dangerous operation credit the fact that they pulled out all the stops to get him the very best medial care or their desperate prayers in the middle of the night? What of the faithful evolutionary materialist who can't shake the belief that meeting the woman he loves was fated in some mysterious way? Personally, I don't care too much what you do with your own deceased, but mess with mine and it'll be pistols at dawn. And not only are such "irrational" inconsistencies common, they are also often marked by suspicion and impatience for dogmatic materialists and religious fundamentalists whose mission is to make the world a better place by forcing everybody to understand it's got to be one or the other.

Harry Eagar said...

True, Peter, people are not rational -- in the sense of consistently acting -- beings.

And there are situations that are not susceptible to either/or answers.

How to manage pregnancy is one of those. It is, after all, true that the people who prate the loudest about life in the womb are indifferent to what happens to life outside it.

Peter said...

It's not just a matter of behaving inconsistently, it's a matter of believing apparently inconsistent things at the same time. The error scolding hyper-rationalists tend to make is to assume this is because of ignorance or superstition or some kind of cerebral sloth or confusion. How else could we impose some kind of meaning and value on a meaningless existence?

erp said...

Peter, the answer is Cognitive Dissonance. It explains how Harry and his mates can continue to believe all the lefty shtick even though evidence to the contrary is everywhere.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I don't know if you realize so, but I guess Peter is talking about you too.

erp said...

What is my inconsistency?

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] And I can see it being human enough for some considerations, but not others. It's just that it seems to me that if you can kill it, the rest is insignificant in comparison - killing is the greatest sin (if it's a sin in this case), after that, what's the big deal?

I think your error here is collapsing multiple meanings for the word "you". There is the second person singular, which, in this case, refers to each person reading this sentence, and the "you" who actually consented to an abortion.

They are not the same; their viewpoints can diverge completely without risking irrationality of an sort.

For many people reading this sentence, the lack of legal repercussions for killing a fetus does not render the corpse insignificant. And I'll bet for those falling under the second meaning of "you", particularly the women, the site of their dismembered child will be, and except for sociopaths, must be, far more wrenching than seeing an appendix in a dish.

And here is where it makes sense that people will change their stance on abortion because of revelations about post-processing: these videos have replaced the abstract with the concrete.

Given that the fetus is considered not human enough to be protected from being killed, it's much more like an inflamed appendix than a live human.

Seriously?

[Peter:] And not only are such "irrational" inconsistencies common, they are also often marked by suspicion and impatience for dogmatic materialists and religious fundamentalists whose mission is to make the world a better place by forcing everybody to understand it's got to be one or the other.

Exactly. Bret's "rational" consistency, that a fetus, in a regime where abortion is legal, is more like an inflamed appendix than a live human is rational only in that it makes sense so long as you ignore a great many things.

Never mind the gaping holes in reasoning what is rational, show pictures of inflamed appendices and dismembered fetuses to people.

Including the most convinced rationalists.

Gauge their reactions.

[Harry:] It is, after all, a baseless progressive libel that the people who prate the loudest about life in the womb are indifferent to what happens to life outside it.

Fixed it for you. And I am quite certain it will stay fixed.

Why? Because the only evidence for the assertion is progressives saying it, as any perusal through a NYT comment thread on this topic will quickly reveal.

Hmmm. We need a word for sentences like that. I know: "thoughtstopper". Kind of German, but it certainly conveys the idea.

erp said...

Skipper, exactly why I think abortion should be taken out of the control of politicians and out of public assistance packages and tax payer funded government payouts to Planned Parenthood and other similar spinoffs.

Abortion is a very personal decision that needs to be made by pregnant women and the man who fathered the child in consultation with their doctors and families.

I recently had a conversation with a very old woman who said she still has terrible grief and guilt over an abortion she had as an unmarried teenager 70 years ago despite having a full life and other children. She never forgot the child she killed.

Abortions to save the life of a woman to be covered or not by individual health insurance policies. As in everything else in life, one size doesn't fit all.

Physicians and hospitals shouldn't be forced by law to perform abortions of convenience, nor should they be prevented from doing them, they should, however, be paid for on an ad hoc basis by the perps, not by tax payers.

erp said...

... and the man who fathered ...

Grammar is a b*tch. Of course that should be men at least while there are a multiples of such a creature extant. Time is coming when only a few select sperm banks will be available for baby farming similar to race horses and prize bulls obviating this discussion.

Harry Eagar said...

'videos have replaced the abstract with the concrete'

or, more accurately

'videos have replaced the abstract with the confected'

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, I doubt very much confected is the word you are looking for.

But by all means, please be specific about whatever the heck it is you are talking about.

Harry Eagar said...

'the only evidence for the assertion is progressives saying it,'

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a37572/bobby-jindal/

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, from your source:

This is because they are all pretending to believe a bunch of phony videos, and it is also because it is in the area of ladyparts, and the ladies who have them, that the prion disease afflicting the party's brain is particularly acute.

If I wanted to write a sentence that would destroy a piece's credibility, it would be hard to do any better than this. The videos aren't phony, and the rest is just the kind of snotty, sneering, obnoxiousness that seems uniquely confined to progressives.

But never mind that, there is this idiocy:

“You can’t just cut Planned Parenthood off one day and expect everyone across the city to absorb the patients,” Dr. Taylor said. “There needs to be time to build the capacity.”

Whoever said that, and quoted it, has absolutely no idea how the budgeting process works. Hint: "... cut Planned Parenthood off one day ..." is hilariously wrong.

But not so wrong, apparently, as to be obvious to progs, or a business journalist.

Which means your author really, really, needs to be a little more careful about insulting others' intelligence.

Hey Skipper said...

To which I should add that your implication is that Jindal is indifferent to live outside the womb.

The link to the NYT article your odious writer is using completely contradicts the implication that Jindal aims to defund PP and do nothing else.

To be kind, that is factually challenged.

erp said...

Harry, if the videos were concocted (the word you were looking for unless you were referring to baking cupcakes) it should have been very easy to refute.

Instead of offering proof of tampering, it was the usual three D's perfected by bubba and used ad nauseum by the bubette: Deny, Delay and Demonize.

It won't work anymore Harry because it is apparently not difficult to determine if videos have been "edited" and why does it matter?

At issue are only inviable foetal cells. That they resemble human issue is immaterial.

Harry Eagar said...

I thought it over for a while -- maybe 10 seconds -- before choosing confected. I think I'll stick with that.

As for Jindal, he's been governor as long as Obama has been present. Ask Mr. Google this question; where does Louisiana rank in health?

Prepare to be appalled.

Hey Skipper said...

As for Jindal, he's been governor as long as Obama has been present. Ask Mr. Google this question; where does Louisiana rank in health?

Where did Lousiana rank in health?

What's appalling is your question: whether ignorant or pointless, is hard to say, particularly when it could be so much of both.

Harry Eagar said...

I noticed that Louisiana has reduced its maternal death rate by about a third over a generation and still ranks 47th.

You might ask, considering the relative lack of improvement in other sectors, how that happened.

Hey Skipper said...

You might ask, considering the relative lack of improvement in other sectors, how that happened.

Actually, I'm still so distracted by your empty-headed question that I can't concentrate on yet another one of your SQUIRRELS.

Louisiana was already last. What the heck was Jindal supposed to do in order to materially change that in two terms?

(And you might ask yourself what maternal care has to do with cancer, for just one instance. Only a complete fool would equate things that are systemically so different.)

Harry Eagar said...

Expand Medicaid, for starters.

In 2 terms, it should have been easy to harvest some low-hanging fruit.

Hey Skipper said...

So why hadn't that happened long before Jindal became governor?

Harry Eagar said...

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/09/24/planned-parenthood-footage-fiorina-described-doesnt-exist-so-a-super-pac-supporting-her-created-it/

Hey Skipper said...

Considering you have called him an idiot, Jonah Goldberg does an excellent job of punking your morally vacuous stylings.

Because you have proven you are the Ft Knox of unexamined ideas, here are the nut grafs:

The videotape in question was put out by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group that went undercover to record Planned Parenthood officials discussing the buying and selling of organs and tissue from aborted fetuses — some just shy of 20 weeks — to medical research companies.

Fiorina’s description of what takes place in the videos has come under withering attack. Sarah Kliff of Vox labels Fiorina’s version of the scene as “pure fiction.” PolitiFact says it is “mostly false.”

And they have a point. The exact scene, exactly as Fiorina describes it, is not on the videos. But anybody who has watched the videos would find Fiorina’s off-the-cuff account pretty accurate.

Most of the center’s videos involve hidden-camera conversations with current Planned Parenthood managers, as well as interviews with veterans of the abortion industry, discussing the selling of fetal body parts for research purposes. The video Fiorina probably had in mind included eyewitness descriptions accompanied by borrowed footage of a fetus dying in a metal bowl, its leg kicking, to illustrate the witness’s recollection of seeing precisely that in another case. That sort of juxtaposition might not fly on the nightly news, but it’s the sort of dramatic device used in documentaries all the time. It’s akin to a documentary maker interviewing a witness to Cecil the Lion getting shot, and using footage of another lion getting shot as an illustration. Fiorina’s critics want to claim that because she didn’t take into account these distinctions, she’s just making stuff up.

To this end they’ve become Jesuitical nitpickers, muddying the water to conceal the fact that late-term abortions offend the conscience when discussed or displayed with anything like journalistic accuracy. That’s probably why we get so little of it. Many of the media outlets that even bother to cover the videos have referred to the transferring of “fetal tissue,” not “organs” — the correct term for livers, hearts and brains. (“Tissue” is less suggestive of a human being than, say, “heart.”)

We’re also often informed that the videos weren’t merely “edited” but “highly edited.” Left out of such caveats is that the news reports passing along these descriptions come via highly edited newspapers, radio, and TV programs.

...

Most Americans are morally appalled by late-term abortions. Planned Parenthood and its allies know this, which is why they refer to “uterine contents,” “clumps of cells,” “tissue” and even “goop,” when a more apt descriptor would be “fetus” or even “baby.”

In other words, the people horrified by these videos aren’t out of the mainstream — they are the mainstream. The people trying to dismiss the videos are the extremists, and the media give them cover.


Just like the NYT did here. That unsigned Op Ed, asserting the videows were misleadingly edited linked to one of its own stories that swallowed Planned Parenthood's evidence-free assertion hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, boots and waders.

In other words, the NYT is acting as PP's flack.

In case you are wondering why so many people think journalists suck, that's all the reason you need, right there.

Harry Eagar said...

I had good reasons for calling him an idiot. Your extract isn't changing that.

Though he does admit that Fiorina was hallucinating. That's something.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:]I had good reasons for calling him an idiot.

Of which you gave none. Stand, and deliver.

One can't help but notice that here you are playing the man rather than the ball.

Though he does admit that Fiorina was hallucinating.

No, he doesn't. Rather, for her to be hallucinating, what she related can never have occurred.

Go ahead, argue that it didn't.

You won't, because you can't.

What you will be left with is Gosnell-esque parsing of the kind that is required to miss the forest for the twigs.

Harry Eagar said...

Where and when did this event occur? Who harvested the brain and who bought it?
How much did he pay?

I say it never happened. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, you know.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Where and when did this event occur? Who harvested the brain and who bought it?
How much did he pay?


Denial is more than just a river in Egypt.

Here is your proof. However, since I know you are just as incurious as any other progressive, so much so that you can't be fussed to click on a link, some of that proof follows:

This is the video that the media claim doesn’t exist. It’s absolutely horrifying. It combines clips from previous videos we’ve already seen, such as some of the statements of Planned Parenthood officials, with the claims of others in the baby organ procurement business. But the centerpiece is the first-person testimony of O’Donnell explaining how a late-term baby boy was aborted, how she didn’t know if he was technically alive or not since the heart was beating. She says she harvested his brain by cutting his head open beginning at the chin. She describes how afterwards she had difficulty shoving him into a container because he was so big. She says it was the hardest experience she ever had. O’Donnell describes harvesting the boy’s body parts with her colleague:

“… its nose was very pronounced, it had eyelids, and its mouth was pronounced. And then since the fetus was still intact, she said, ‘okay, well, this is a really good fetus, and it looks like we can procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure brains.’”
While she’s talking about this, footage of another aborted later-term baby kicking his legs in a dish is shown. Later we see a picture of yet another boy who was born premature and died in his parents’ arms.

See also: Carly Fiorina discusses brain harvesting at debate. Misinformation about the video
.

From above:

To this end [Harry, you have] become [a] Jesuitical nitpicker, muddying the water to conceal the fact that late-term abortions offend the conscience when discussed or displayed with anything like journalistic accuracy.

Harry Eagar said...

Answer the questions? You didn't even try.

lawabidingcitizen said...

Skipper answered the questions fully. Now how 'bout you answer the dozens of questions sent your way that continue unanswered ... and here's another one to add to the list:

If these allegations were to be proven true to your satisfaction, would you be so grossed out that you'd join the movement to defund PP and close down all tax payer funded abortion-on-demand clinics?

Harry Eagar said...

There are not any taxpayer-funded abortion clinics.

Hey Skipper said...

Money is fungible, Harry.

Harry Eagar said...

Not under a reimbursement for services contract it isn't.

Funny thing about the Ten Commandments. The author did not rank them. You go to hell as much for breaking #8 as #5. He even engraved that in stone. (Jason Chaffetz please note)

erp said...

Tax payer funded and tax payer funded reimbursement for services = semantics a-go-go.

Harry Eagar said...

Nobody gets reimbursed for abortions, so the distinction is sharp.

You'll be on better ground if you start objecting to taxpayer-funded child-rape programs. But you won't.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
You'll be on better ground if you start objecting to taxpayer-funded child-rape programs.
---

What the heck are you talking about?!

Harry Eagar said...

Roman Catholic Church. It is not taxed on its real property and gets many other subsidies from the taxpayers.

Clovis e Adri said...

You didn't get the memo, Harry?

Now the Pope is pop again and it is not cool to trash the Church anymore.

Though you have my agreement here, rape is the second worst thing someone can do to a child.

The first one is murdering them. Oddly, you don't look to agree with that.

erp said...

Harry, you don't want to get into the tax laws (the only thing more complicated and incomprehensible than the laws of physics) or I'll have to get hubby to do a post.

The catholic church is not the only entity to be exempt from property taxes and certainly not the only entity to receive "subsidies" whatever that means from taxpayers.

Clovis is right. The pope is one of your cohort now, so be careful what you say about him or your friends might start calling you names.

Harry Eagar said...

You are jumping to a conclusion, Clovis. I have never written one word about my position on abortion, so you don't know what it is.

I am opposed to lying, though. You would think, maybe, that would be uncontroversial. But you'd be wrong.

The latest pope is a considerable improvement as a human being from the nazis, kooks and heresy hunters since Roncalli, but the doctrines have not changed and the church remains antisocial, antidemocratic and illiberal.

Peter said...

the church remains antisocial, antidemocratic and illiberal

You say that as if it were a bad thing, Harry.

Harry Eagar said...

It is. you would not like living under a churchly regime. For one thing, it does a bad job economically.

For another, it would be fascist.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

Have you ever given some thought on why, in the last centuries, freer societies first flourished and developed in the Western Judeo-Christian societies, but not so much in other parts of the world?

Harry Eagar said...

Plenty. I can understand, for example, why political development in India was not in the direction of democracy.

And why in 1940 there was not much freedom in Europe.


I would have thought that, with your history, you would know about, say, Portugal. Plenty of Catholicism in that empire but not much freedom.

Harry Eagar said...

I credit the emergence of the modern, secular political/economic order to one man, Lorenzo Valla. He destroyed the authority and credibility of Christianity, at least insofar as politics are concerned.

Many, many people had still to be murdered in the name of Christianity, but the idea was fruitful.

It was probably a unique opportunity. Other religio-political systems had not so stupidly opened themselves to destruction as Christianity did.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
I would have thought that, with your history, you would know about, say, Portugal.
Plenty of Catholicism in that empire but not much freedom.
---
Oh, I do know a thing or two about Portugal.

So how does Portugal fare compared to your former overlords, the British?

While you needed a bloody war for them to let you go, we pretty much said "Goodbye" to Portugal, and that was it. Not a single drop of blood.

Not that Portugal was any better than England in "moral terms" (they didn't let the African colonies go so easily), but I don't think Portugal is the example you are looking for to make your case.


---
It was probably a unique opportunity. Other religio-political systems had not so stupidly opened themselves to destruction as Christianity did.
---

I will borrow your own term, "opened themselves", to invite you to a more thoughtful reflection here.

I suppose that, if someone "opens himself" to greater freedom, insight and better forms of living together, one may say such a person is a wise one.

If a group of someones so follow, and such group call themselves some name (suppose "Christians"), suddenly your phrase above implies they are not wise, but stupi - the very contrary of wise. How odd a logic that one, isn't it?

Harry Eagar said...

Well, I was thinking about the African empire and Portugal itself. Salazar.

The record of the British is as bad in Ireland etc. but England did a lot for representative democracy. It was no further along than, say, Navarre, 800 years ago, but somehow Navarre's ancient liberties never developed into anything.

As for the opening, it was an accident of history, and once Valla exposed that, Christians did not, to any extent, acknowledge their error. They fought murderously to maintain their privileges for centuries. Only the triumph of secularism over superstition allows us to be communicating this way. Had Pio Nonn had his way, you and I would be in prison.

It is worth pondering why secularism has failed to develop in other religious traditions. It took 400 years in Europe. Countong from, say 1729 (first Muslim printing press), maybe Islam will arrive at someplace similar around 2130.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
Only the triumph of secularism over superstition allows us to be communicating this way.
---

That's so common a mistake: To hold a black and white view of a secular enlightened benign world versus a dark and superstitious world of religious bigots.

There are a lot of "enlightened" evil bigots out there too, Harry, and also many superstitious but very wise good people. If you place too much of the former and too few of the later in a society, it won't go very well - witness the USSR.

I guess you spent a lot of time looking for all the evil you could find among Christians. Take a break and try, if only for one day, look the other way. Look around and try to find in what other ways, in history and in your own present society, its Judeo-Christian background may have been a benign driving force.

It may prove to be an interesting exercise, for if this is an impossibility, it should be very easy to point out so... give it a try.

Howard said...

That's so common a mistake: To hold a black and white view of a secular enlightened benign world versus a dark and superstitious world of religious bigots.

There are a lot of "enlightened" evil bigots out there too, Harry, and also many superstitious but very wise good people. If you place too much of the former and too few of the later in a society, it won't go very well - witness the USSR.


Yes Clovis, some of us think that the good and bad things people do are largely a function of human nature. Harry seems to prefer blaming religion, capitalism or anything else he doesn't much like.

Harry Eagar said...

You really think that, Howard? So it would be OK to have a communist or fascist regime, because the good people could still be good?

And if that's so, why do evangelists missionize? What do the good people need religion for?

I think social and political systems can encourage/allow people to be better -- or worse. For religion, I use the same argument I use against having an armed society: the losses so overwhelmingly outweigh the gains that there really is no argument.

(I like to ask how many little old ladies do you have to help across the street to make up for burning one of them at the stake?)

Clovis, I was raised Catholic. I thought long and hard about religion. Catholicism never was any kind of benign force in my life. Nor was any other religion.

As far as I can tell, the only thing that prevents any religion from oppressing people is the competition from other religions. It is clear to me that if there was one big religion in the United States, it would suppress all civil rights, and me personally. (I object to combining Judeo-Christian into one thought system, since for all its history the Christian part has been devoted to eradicating the Judeo- part.)

Here's a question for both of you. Ronald Reagan said explicitly that unless you believe in god, you cannot be moral. Was he correct?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

I know a lot of people, relatives included, who were raised Catholic and it did them no good. I also know people raised as protestants and it did them no good. I even know people raised in African religions and it did them no good.

But, hey, have you ever met anyone raised as atheist and it did him no good?

I hope you see the point.

As for Reagan, I guess he spent too much time in Hollywood and it did him no good either.

Harry Eagar said...

No, as a matter of fact none of the atheists I know turned out badly. There are some in the world but none I know personally.

Atheism never requires human sacrifice. How many religions can say as much?

Harry Eagar said...

Want to tell me how wonderful religion is?

http://www.queerty.com/watch-the-westboro-baptist-church-flee-in-terror-from-a-group-of-irate-high-school-students-20151006?utm_source=bb82&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=artname&utm_content=inf_10_104_2&ts_pid=2

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

I guess you do not have a clue on how spoiled a world is the one you live in, do you?

Harry Eagar said...

I am not sure in which sense you are using spoiled. Original sin? Privileged? Ruined?

Clovis e Adri said...

All of them, Harry.

I've meant the second, but any of them may very well fit too.

Harry Eagar said...

So, is your point that religion spoiled it that way?

I'd say just the opposite. The advance of modernity began with the eclipse of religion. Or as I used to say sometimes, the worst hellholes on earth are its 'holy cities.'

erp said...

... holy cities like Detroit, Chicago ... :-)

Clovis e Adri said...

My point is that your teenagers are spoiled, as are their parents and maybe even their grandparents. Both religious and non-religious people alike.

Clear enough that way?

erp said...

Spoiled by whom? We made our own prosperity.

Harry Eagar said...

Not clear at all.

For my part, if being spoiled means I don't have to worry overmuch about being thrown into prison on a charge of heresy or blasphemy, that's a good thing.

erp said...

Those who disagree (commit heresy or blasphemy) with leftist doctrines are routinely harassed and imprisoned. That okay with you Harry?

Harry Eagar said...

erp, you need to acquire some sources of information that exist outside your skull. A subscription to a daily newspaper would be a good start.

erp said...

... then those who oppose leftist doctrine are not routinely jailed and harassed even in the former land of the free? Since you only get your news from newspapers, you may not be aware of the IRS singling out conservatives to harass -- lots more like, but that's relatively minor stuff and let's not even get into the past, let's talk about our new best buds, the Castro bros. and their jails chock full of dissidents -- lots more like all over the world.

You might benefit by chatting with one of my husband's visiting nurses about leftwing dicta. She left Cuba 18 years ago because she was being forced to abort her baby because of a physical defect -- and no she is not a religious fanatic.

Pregnant she fled, arrived safely, had her baby who was treated successfully (so much for the vaunted Cuban free health care) and is now living a normal life. She went to nurses training, learned to speak delightfully accented, but perfectly grammatical English and is possibly more conservative than we are.

We actually do subscribe to the local liberal rag because my husband likes to read a newspaper with his morning coffee although I think it contributes to his high blood pressure. Other than checking my horoscope and the obits, my only contact with it is tossing it where it belongs into the compost heap.

It must be getting more and more difficult to fit the Catholic church into your usual perspective now that the pope is an overt commie. Talk about an embarrassment of riches!

Harry Eagar said...

Sigh.You might try reading that newspaper. About Uganda, f'rinstance. Or Egypt.

Or even, you know, about America, not quite the land of the free, at least among the rightwingers:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/12/democracy-and-the-demagogue/?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

erp said...

You haven't defined right wingers, but from your comments I assume you mean fascists like the ones who've taken over our country and you're right, they have made us less free.

No history lesson about how Fidel has shown the world the way to perfect happiness through perfect equality.

Harry Eagar said...

Ben arson is a rightwinger. F'rinstance. So is Cruz, who is the leading McCarthyite of today.

In fact, I have defined rightwinger more than once for you. You didn't like the definitions; too close to home, perhaps?

Hey Skipper said...

Wow, Harry has left so many slow, fat, targets it is hard to know where to start.

How about here:

Ben arson is a rightwinger. F'rinstance. So is Cruz, who is the leading McCarthyite of today.

In fact, I have defined rightwinger more than once for you. You didn't like the definitions; too close to home, perhaps?


No Harry, the reason I don't like your definition is because it is worthless. How about restating it here and say how it includes Ben Carson, but excludes, say, Ta-Nehisi Coates. While you are at it, how about substantiating, with specifics, just how Cruz is the leading McCarthyite of today.

Otherwise, you leave the impression that all you are good at is defamation.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Or even, you know, about America, not quite the land of the free, at least among the rightwingers.

Having read your link (a favor you appear never to return), it is hard, especially since you provide no specifics, what the heck you mean by "… not quite the land of the free …"

So how about substantiating that claim?

From your link:

In his speech on June 16 announcing his candidacy, Trump made the following, now infamous, statement: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The word “rapists” is in no sense code. It is far from an “abstract” reference to Mexican immigrants.

I don't wish to defend Trump, but it is instructive how the MSM treated what he said. Trump made a claim that is in part false on its face: Mexico does not send anyone here. However, as a purely descriptive matter, it is undoubtedly true that many migrants from Central and South America do bring many problems with them, and some bring drugs, and they are more likely to commit crimes than the non-immigrant population. And, as a historical matter, everything Trump said here has, in fact, happened before. Because I know you are the Ft Knox of unexamined ideas, and therefore can't be fussed to follow a link, here is the nut graf:

The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980.



… The exodus started to have negative political implications for U.S. president Jimmy Carter when it was discovered that a number of the refugees had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities


There are a great many people who believe we need to secure our borders, because failing to do so makes a mockery of any immigration policy other than throwing our hands up in a gesture of resignation.

There are also people whose self interests are significantly harmed by this immigration. None of whom, by the way, are those who leave the border wide open. The challenge facing you and author, not that you will even acknowledge it, because one thing that is characteristic of leftists is the defamatory itch, is what is wrong with people voting their self-interests.

… Ben Carson said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” He also said that Islam, as a religion, is incompatible with the Constitution. Those too are not code words; they are direct attacks on one of the country’s minority religions.

Liberal democratic rhetoric is supposed to unify citizens with diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and make visible previously discounted perspectives (for example, the perspective of women during the struggle for women’s right to vote). Trump’s and Carson’s comments are explicitly antidemocratic.


No, Jason Stanley, you analytically challenged leftist moron, Trump's and Carson's statements are not antidemocratic, whether explicitly or implicitly. They are both statements of fact that may, or may not be, correct.

Trump, not so much. But Carson is on very firm ground. Islam is completely antagonistic to the philosophical precepts of the DoI and the Constitution. It isn't an attack on Islam, it is a descriptive statement so blindingly obvious that you'd think that even a progressive could figure it out.

Apparently not.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] For my part, if being spoiled means I don't have to worry overmuch about being thrown into prison on a charge of heresy or blasphemy, that's a good thing

Phil Robertson. Justine Sacco. Brandon Eich. Hadley Freeman. Sir Tim Hunt. Prosecuting climate "deniers" under RICO.

History is fascinating, even the recent stuff. You should read some newspapers and learn a few things.

Harry Eagar said...

It is your Christian duty (one of the "7 works of mercy") to visit those poor souls in prison.

That might prove to be difficult, since not one of them has ever seen the inside of a prison, but I have noticed that rightwingers seldom let reality slow them down.

http://restatingtheobviousmaui.blogspot.com/2015/10/gun-nut-delusions-polite-society.html

Harry Eagar said...

Clovis, details remain to be revealed, but I will bet that when they are, it will be found that the punishment for being a spoiled American teenager can be severe:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/10/14/the-cult-like-church-whose-members-are-accused-of-fatally-beating-a-teen/

erp said...

Harry, only in your world is rightwinger a synonym for christian. It is my dearest wish that more rightwingers see the inside of a prison from, well, the inside. The fascists who've taken over our country should be in jail. Thanks for noticing.

Harry Eagar said...


Obama is a rightwinger! Tell the Tea Party!

erp said...

Why tea party? I don't know any tea party people and haven't seen any comments here about them.

I can only deduce from your comments that you can't define a rightwinger other than it's everything you hate whether it be religion, free enterprise, equality under the law, ... so I'll define it for you -- again -- crony capitalism and despotism and Obama is its face, but obviously, not its brain.

I find it amusing that you as a card carrying member of the left is, like the rest of your cohort, trashing and ridiculing a genuine self-made American black with a long list of major accomplishments as a kook, etc. while continuing to hold up a half black African and half lily white Kansan who lived in the la-la-land of Hawaii and exotica of Indonesia never once experiencing life as an American, never mind one of Negro heritage as an exemplar of We, the People.

Harry Eagar said...

Your racism is tiresome. Your parochialism is typical. But your ignorance is something else again.

Carson's kookiness -- matched by his hatefulness -- is also something else. His unorthodox views of the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum, for example.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, what is beyond tiresome to repellant is your continually flinging that accusation, without any justification.

Please do me a favor, the next time you call someone a racist, please provide a) what they did to cause the accusation, and b) your reasoning. Because what I have seen so far, almost exclusively, is nothing more than the typical progressive: first demonize, then ostracize. It is pure thought (and conversation) stopper.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
Clovis, details remain to be revealed, but I will bet that when they are, it will be found that the punishment for being a spoiled American teenager can be severe
---
Yes, because Christians believe you have a duty to beat your own son to death - the Bible surely tells them so, right?


I see you still do not get my point on spoiled people. Let me try again.

In my worldview, teenagers who have the time and will to organize a party and name a trans as prom queen are in serious lack of more important things to fill up their minds.

Teenagers (church-going or not) who have the time and will to go and make a protest about the frivolous choice of the previous teenagers are lacking even more in more interesting things to do with their minds.

But above them all, that old grandpa who has the time and will to search for, link and comment about all those foolish events above tops them all in lack of wisdom in using his time, maybe only surpassed by the occasional idiot (like me) who takes even more time to counter such petty choices of such spoiled people.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Clovis, details remain to be revealed, but I will bet that when they are, it will be found that the punishment for being a spoiled American teenager can be severe.

Once again, you demonstrate the perils of argument by anecdote.

Should that expanse of pixels be at all meaningful, then morgues across the land would be choked with spoiled American teenagers beaten to death by their parents.

...

...

Ummm, no. They aren't.

Which means what you really said was the opposite of what you meant. Well done.

[Clovis:] I see you still do not get my point on spoiled people. Let me try again.

Where is that Like button? I'd be hammering the poor thing to death.

Harry Eagar said...

It is a grim childhood you have sketched out for the young people. I am not a fan of prom courts but they are a fixture of American culture -- sort of like working for months and months on a samba costume.

At their worst, prom courts institutionalize cliqishness and cults of beauty. But, more and more in recent years, they have been turned on their heads by liberal kids and used to include instead of exclude. There was a story this year about a Down syndrome kid being elected, which would never have happened when I was in school.

In the case I cited, the kids learned a valuable lesson thanks to the stupidity of their elders and while the underlying instance was trivial the political fallout was not.

As for beating a child, whether or not that is in the Bible, it is widely believed among American Christians to be a holy duty of a loving parent.

erp said...

Harry, Carson's kookiness -- matched by his hatefulness game, set, match.

I've been told about the lunatic left's comment sections, but haven't actually scrolled down one at this level of lunacy before. Yikes.

Leapin' Lizards!

Clovis, I am not understanding what you are getting at. Perhaps the words you are using don't mean the same to us as they do you.

The word "spoiled" literally means tainted or rotten refers perhaps to food or vegetation or figuratively as in the rain spoiled our vacation and the like.

When the word is applied to people it means overly indulged as by one's parents or other loved ones and many such people are selfish and self-absorbed.

Neither of these definitions seem to apply to your comment.

I don't necessarily disagree, I only don't get your point.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] As for beating a child, whether or not that is in the Bible, it is widely believed among American Christians to be a holy duty of a loving parent.

Bollocks. And Shenanigans.

Unless, of course, you can prove otherwise.

Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] Clovis, I am not understanding what you are getting at. Perhaps the words you are using don't mean the same to us as they do you.

I'm being doubly reckless here. I have missed most of the last couple weeks, and I pretend to be speaking for Clovis.

I believe that what he is getting to is that for a small number of people on this planet, almost none of them in places that aren't Europe and North America, living is so easy, and threats so remote, that we are spoiled by our ease and security.

Which allows for, among other things, people like Harry to dick around with Google and find vanishingly rare occurrences to tar an entire society. Why?

Because they don't have anything in their lives truly worth worrying about.

(Full disclosure: I am fully aware that my life is both easy and secure.)

Harry Eagar said...

Loving Christan parents:

http://wonkette.com/594875/oregon-couple-going-to-jail-for-killing-their-baby-with-religious-freedom

Fastest-growing Christian cult in US on beating children:

http://www.calvarychapeljonesboro.org/proverb-a-day/when-is-child-discipline-child-abuse-proverbs-1324

erp said...

Skipper, I get that we're comfortable and complaisant and, of course, it goes without saying that we got that way by "building it ourselves," but I don't think that's quite it.

I think decadent is a word that more clearly defines Clovis' meaning, but that is a bit too extreme. He means we are fat and lazy have arranged our lives so well that we don't need to toil very hard to live comfortably and the rest of the world, not having followed our example is resentful, full of anger and wants to destroy us and with us its last best chance out of poverty.

However, I believe Clovis is wrong about what goes on in our heads, or is at least unaware that while living la dolce vita, we are also thinking about and helping others. A vast cadre of volunteers of all ages who, using their own time and treasure, do amazing feats of kindness and charity without government interference or media attention and I am very happy to one of them.

No organization, no logo-ed t-shirts or other trappings -- just a network of folks who spent their days not only worrying about others, but helping them most often anonymously.

Harry, you will let us know when those evil Christians run out of kids -- the birthrate being what it is, that might not take too long -- and put out a call for old lefties – lord knows they litter the landscape – why I heard that just last night a passel of them were on TV (click here for a verbatim transcript) blathering at each other.

I have a couple of bucks put aside I can send them to aid in this goodwork.  Just kidding your comments provide me with many moments of amusement and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. In fact, I send them on to friends who look forward to new harryisms, but truth be told, they think I make them up, but even with my great intellect, I couldn’t make up your stuff.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Thanks so much, I am relieved at least one person gets it.


Erp,

---
When the word is applied to people it means overly indulged as by one's parents or other loved ones and many such people are selfish and self-absorbed.
---
Thanks to you too, Erp. Your clarification just made me sure the word was a perfect fit.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
As for beating a child, whether or not that is in the Bible, it is widely believed among American Christians to be a holy duty of a loving parent.
---
You know what else is in the Bible?

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

You see, Harry, you pretty much qualify for a lot in heaven already.

Harry Eagar said...

Whatever the Bible says -- and evangelicals prefer the OT by a wide margin -- what American Christians preach is beating children. Calvary Chapels not some fringe cult like the one in New York; it is on over 900 radio stations and has its cult centers in almost every county.

There isn't any religion out there; it's whatever Christians do.

erp said...

Clovis, I understand your point, but don't get why you disparage a life style envied by all? Do you think we should go back to hard scrabble farming and living in sod houses? You think people aren't using the their leisure time well? What's your point? As I said, nobody spoiled us. We built this life and it suits us. Not all of us can seek to unlock the secrets of the universe. Some of us are just decorative. :-)
Why are you so judgmental?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I don't quite get this envy thing you keep mentioning.

When you see a spoiled brat kicking, screaming and bossing his parents around in the supermarket, you get envious of that kid?




erp said...

You see We, the People as kicking and screaming brats in a supermarket?

I'm not often surprised, but this one floors me.

Bossing their parents? Who are our parents?

I'm signing off now, but if you don't mind, please explain and I'll get back for the answer in the morning.

Harry Eagar said...

Clovis, please read this whole, longish piece and then tell me about American Christianity.

http://www.kansas.com/news/local/education/article38890596.html

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, you are exactly like the most virulent racist. You pick an odd event -- how do we know it is odd? Because there is a news story about it -- and extrapolate it to an entire community.

In terms of your hateful thinking, there is nothing to tell between you and Derbyshire.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

Now you've linked a piece about some adults being bothered by some other spoiled people.

If you wanted to make my point for me, thank you very much.


Erp,

I don't see why you think I smeared a whole nation (if that's what you mean by "We, the People"). I am oly smearing the ones Harry showed me.

The better question is, why are you putting on those shoes?

erp said...

Clovis, now I am thoroughly confused, so I'll chalk it up to senioritis. I don't click on Harry's links so I don't know to whom he is referring and don't care. Sorry, I am very particular about my shoes, so I will try not to fit into any that aren't especially designed for me.

Harry Eagar said...

Spoiled people? They were taking their religion seriously, which I thought you were suggesting is a desirable practice. (I do not think so, I think it a waste of time at the best.)

I also think you undersell the dynamism of American civic life. When my great grandfather was in politics, the issues were paper money, a big navy, monopoly capitalism, protection of workers, infectious disease, stuff like that.

A few of our politicians -- Senator Rand Paul, for example -- still want to fight over things like paper money, but most of us consider that one settled and have turned our attention to other issues. You deal with the biggest issues you have, Bret has turned his attention to health, but he is concerned not about TB but about the incremental effects of smallish changes in diet.

That may seem trivial to people who don't have enough of anything to eat but it isn't. This is the same insight that Edwards Deming had about industrial management: continuous incremental improvements.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] [erp,] I don't see why you think I smeared a whole nation (if that's what you mean by "We, the People"). I am oly smearing the ones Harry showed me.

I agree. Clovis is criticizing whoever has it easy, and doesn't know it.