Saturday, March 31, 2012

Justice Sotomayor's Shocking Ignorance

The following post was originally published at American Thinker

The liberal Supreme Court justices have demonstrated profound and shocking ignorance of the American health care system. Here's one of the most jarring examples:

"What percentage of the American people who took their son or daughter to an emergency room and that child was turned away because the parent didn't have insurance," asked Sotomayor, "... do you think there's a large percentage of the American population that would stand for the death of that child -- (who) had an allergic reaction and a simple shot would have saved the child?"

I have a precise answer for Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The percentage of American people who took their son or daughter to an emergency room and were turned away because the parent didn't have insurance is exactly zero.

No person, whether American or not, is ever turned away from an emergency room for lack of health insurance. Ever.

This simply does not happen.

Here's why:

Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a U.S. Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. Participating hospitals may only transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment under their own informed consent, after stabilization, or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.
You can thank Republican President Ronald Reagan for that, for better or for worse.

As a health care provider who interacts with emergency room physicians on a daily basis, I can attest to the fact that seriously ill patients are never discharged from an emergency room in the tragic fashion that Sonia Sotomayor imagines. Even uninsured patients with minor, self-limited problems are treated better than that.

2. Morality and the patient-doctor relationship

Although this might come as a shocking revelation to liberal Democrats, most physicians understand the difference between right and wrong. No physician would turn away a child simply because the parent didn't have insurance. This is primarily because physicians, even conservative ones, are as compassionate as liberal Supreme Court justices. (And in securing scarce and enormously expensive resources for their patients in an emergency, physicians have virtually unlimited latitude.)

3. The legal risks of selfish, short-sighted decisions are enormous.

A jury would have no mercy on a physician who withheld treatment inappropriately, causing a child to die. The financial and professional consequences would be devastating.

It's disheartening to note that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as profoundly ignorant as she is, will be making a monumental decision about a 2,700 page health care law.

Read the rest at American Thinker.


Discussion at The Lonely Conservative... Note to Justice Sotomayor: Uninsured are not Turned Away from ERs. Thanks!

Update II:

Libertarian Patriot: "If you believe the progressives, there are corpses stacking up everywhere..."

Update III:

Liberals have suggested that I've misinterpreted Sotomayor by taking Sotomayor's comments out of context. Here's more context via Joe Conason, a liberal commentator:
Michael Carvin, the eminent attorney representing the National Federation of Independent Business, specifically rejected the notion that overturning health reform could result in denying care to the uninsured, during a crucial exchange with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

"What percentage of the American people who took their son or daughter to an emergency room and that child was turned away because the parent didn't have insurance," asked Sotomayor, "... do you think there's a large percentage of the American population that would stand for the death of that child -- (who) had an allergic reaction and a simple shot would have saved the child?"

In his response, Carvin scolded, "One of the more pernicious, misleading impressions that the government has made is that we are somehow advocating that people be -- could get thrown out of emergency rooms, or that this alternative that they've hypothesized is going to be enforced by throwing people out of emergency rooms."
No post-Obamacare health care system would allow (or attempt to create) anything like the absurd scenario Sotomayor described. EMTALA precludes that kind of outcome.

The entire transcript of the oral argument is here.

Update IV: Am I too charitable in giving Sotomayor the benefit of the doubt by calling her ignorant?

Keith Wetzel: "Is she truly that ignorant? Or is she appealing to the ignorance of others?"

Update V: Thanks to the 2,000 Facebook users and 400 Twitter users who shared this story.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Conservatives Have "Slipped" Away From Science (Gordon Gauchat, Stephanie Pappas)

Scientific insight or more junk science? Via Hot Air, Stephanie Pappas discusses a new report from Dr. Gordon Gauchat:
Politically conservative Americans have lost trust in science over the last 40 years while moderates and liberals have remained constant in the stock they put in the scientific community, a new study finds.

The most educated conservatives have slipped the most, according to the research set to appear in the April issue of the journal American Sociological Review.

...At the beginning of the survey, in the 1970s, conservatives trusted science more than anyone, with about 48 percent evincing a great deal of trust. By 2010, the last year survey data was available, only 35 percent of conservatives said the same.
Concern for bias in Stephanie's article starts with the title, "Conservatives Losing Trust in Science." This is considerably less neutral than the title of Gauchat's article, "Politicization of Science in the Public Sphere."

Gordon Gauchat calls his objectivity into question by agitating for Barack Obama starting with the first sentence of his article:
In the first months of his presidency, Barack Obama addressed the National Academy of Sciences to speak about U.S. science policy and a renewed commitment to fund scientific research. In this speech he charged: “We have watched as scientific integrity has been undermined and scientific research politicized in an effort to advance predetermined ideological agendas” (White House 2010). The previous administration under George W. Bush was widely seen as unfriendly toward the scientific community. As a consequence, many scientific organizations and advocacy groups became concerned that political and ideological interests were threatening the cultural authority of science.
Gauchat then draws sloppy connections between conservative distrust for the scientific community and the policies of recent Republican administrations while labeling skepticism about the integrity of the scientific community and debate about the proper role of government in funding science as "anti-science." Moreover, as commenters at Hot Air are quick to note, Gauchat conflates distrust for the "scientific community" with distrust for "science."

I think that Gauchat greatly overstates his case in light of the fact that his data indicate that trust for the scientific community has been quite low among liberals and moderates as well (below 50% on average).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unpredictable and Often Involuntary?

If Obamacare is found to be constitutional, forcing us to buy private health insurance, is there anything the government can't force us to buy?

What about cell phones for emergencies? Broccoli for good health? Burial insurance for unexpected death? An automobile for emergency transportation? Is there any "limiting principle"?

The best argument the Obama government can come up with is that the federal government will not be able force citizens to purchase other important goods and services, because there is nothing out there that is as unpredictable or as involuntary as the need for health care. Health care is unique, so we can be forced to purchase health insurance, but we can't be forced to buy anything else, because everything else is predictable, voluntary and non-unique.

Are you convinced by this argument? Supreme Court Justice Scalia wasn't convinced either:
ANTONIN SCALIA, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court: ... It may well be that everybody needs health care sooner or later, but not everybody needs a heart transplant. Not everybody needs a liver transplant. I mean. . .

DONALD VERRILLI, solicitor general of the United States: That's correct, Justice Scalia, but you never know whether you're going to be that person.

ANTONIN SCALIA: . . . could you define the market -- everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food. Therefore, everybody's in the market. Therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.

DONALD VERRILLI: No. That's quite different. It's quite different. The food market, while it shares that trait, that everybody's in it, it is not a market in which your participation is often unpredictable and often involuntarily.
Anthony Kennedy, the court's swing vote, was not convinced:
At the end of the day’s argument Kennedy seemed skeptical of the government’s argument that the health care market is unique from other markets. He said, “And the government tells us that’s because the insurance market is unique. And in the next case, it’ll say the next market is unique.”
Speaking of unique markets, off the top of my head I can imagine being unpredictably and involuntarily in need of several other products: e.g., private legal services, renter's insurance, and homeowner's insurance.

If I don't happen to suffer from any serious illness before I'm old enough to get health care coverage through Medicare (which I'm currently paying for), I might need any of the above much more than I need comprehensive private health insurance.

But the government doesn't think we should be allowed to make our own decisions about what goods and services are most appropriate for our own lives.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Obama Admits He Should Give Free Market Capitalism a Chance

Cross-posted from the Left Coast Rebel

Gazing, gawking and peering like a binocular-strapped Peeping Tom into the collectivist prison-state of North Korea earlier today, Obama has an amazing epiphany on the "worker's paradise":

"If it can't deliver on any indicators of well-being... for its people... then you'd think you'd want to try something different". "There are certain things that just don't work and what they are doing doesn't work."

Words to live by; it makes you wonder though if the Professor just now realized the horrors of communism?

Now that he has personally seen what a despotic totalitarian state looks like, will Obama give free market capitalism a chance?

Probably not since he sure hasn't given peace a chance.

Updated: Man oh man. You HAVE to read the comments to the Peeping Tom Obama North Korea article.

A taste...

Dee San Diego, United States I believe NO-Bama's comments can also be used to sum up his presidency to date...
G "If it can't deliver on any indicators of well-being... for its people... then you'd think you'd want to try something different." Again, North Korea or the US?
Cadillac Rancher Why don't you turn those binoculars on your own country? Time warp?....Yes...we are back in The Great Depression!
DJ Reno, United States North Koreans, staring back, see a shining star in the south, Obama smiling down upon them, with the offer of Hope and Change. Optimistic in the knowledge that their new leader may someday fly with Obama on Air Force One to see a basketball game... Great Leader, side by side, with Fearless Leader. Our children will sing of this.
Dwayne I'm surprised that he hasn't apologized to them for the rest of the world doing so much better than them.
1 Does Obama connect the dots to what he's doing to America? We're in a state of disbelief over you!
DavidGeorge There’s a lot of social justice going on in North Korea.

Fugly Aurora, United States Hey Obama, you can see the same thing by looking South from El Paso :)
G Aide: "Mr. President, what do you see?"
Obama: "Heaven."
mark a Scranton, United States So Obama, did your Marxist mentors along the way show you then the glorious outcome of communism, the system you grew up admiring? Not a worker's paradise, is it? Totalitarianism never is. Maybe reality will help you turn the other way and give up on your march toward your vaunted Socialism/Communism. North Korea is the end game, not just a fluke of nature.

Ted Cruz for Senate in Texas!

Ted Cruz
Photo: Gage Skidmore

Cross-posted from the Left Coast Rebel

I'm done with complaining about the Republican Party's three-ring-circus Presidential primary race. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum can duke it out to the end. I would still love to see a brokered convention but am aware that the phrase Jeb Bush 2012 should give me pause for the brokered option.

I plan on supporting more than complaining going forward. I have no horse in the presidential race; I'm going to switch gears now and spotlight liberty candidates for 2012. On this note, I just saw that the Republican Liberty Caucus has endorsed Ted Cruz for the 2012 Texas senate seat race:
The Republican Liberty Caucus is pleased to announce the endorsement of Ted Cruz in the Republican Senate Primary in Texas. In a large field with many appealing candidates, Cruz stands out as the candidate with the clearest record of defending liberty, the most forceful positions on key issues and the most effective leader to claim the seat on behalf of grassroots Republicans. He represents the principles of limited government and individual liberty to which the Republican Liberty Caucus is dedicated.

Being that the RLC mirrors my belief system, I take notice when they endorse a candidate.

But who is Ted Cruz?

First, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (RINO-Texas) is retiring which opens up the primary for a true conservative with a proven fiscal conservative track record. Is Ted Cruz just that candidate?

From his campaign website:


FYI: The Texas primary is May 29. If you like what you see, donate to the candidate either through the Senate Conservatives Fund or directly at his campaign site.

Updated: An American Housewife blogs on Ted Cruz.

Atheists Hold Massive Rally With Predictable Results

Winning friends with ridicule

I have to ask: Why would atheists want to rally? How does a "live and let die" outlook drive people to congregate?

The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it!

...This will be a positive experience, focusing on all non-theists have achieved in the past several years (and beyond) and motivating those in attendance to become more active. While speakers have the right to say what they wish, the event is indeed a celebration of secular values.
One woman, a Reason Rally attendee, approached a group of counterprotesters with a sign on which she’d written, “So many Christians, so few lions.”
Violence was apparently a recurring theme, anger the prevailing emotion:
Outrage was the parlance of the day, however, for many speakers, including David Silverman, Reason Rally organizer and American Atheists president.

He reveled in the group's reputation as the marines of atheism, as the people who storm the faith barricades and bring "unpopular but necessary" lawsuits...

In a thundering call for "zero tolerance" for anyone who disagrees with or insults atheism, Silverman proclaimed, "Stand your ground!"
Richard Dawkins, the headliner, brought new meaning to the words "celebration" and "positive experience":
Then Dawkins got to the part where he calls on the crowd not only to challenge religious people but to "ridicule and show contempt" for their doctrines and sacraments...
So much for "dispelling negative opinions."

If the atheists sincerely wanted to put a warm glow on atheism, they chose the wrong folks to carry their banner.

In addition to the militant Silveraman and the belligerent Dawkins, speakers at the rally also included Rep. Pete Stark (he who would pee on his constituents, but it would be a waste of urine), Bill Maher (one of America's most uncivil misogynists), the hateful curmudgeon PZ Myers, and an assortment of jerks whose names I don't recognize (but I think it's a safe bet that a quick google search would reveal many of them to be just as combative and surly as the rest).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Obama on Solyndra: Congress Did It!

By the Left Coast Rebel

As you may know, the blame-shifting White House Occupier blame-shifted the Solyndra debacle to fill in the blank, or "anyone other than Teh Won" (ie. Congress.)

Though predictable at best, I find the timing (how many months after Solyndra's bankruptcy?) laughable, and frankly desperate. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean the miscreants and morons in the press won't run with it like the knee-pad-donning Obama-water-carrying-sycophants they are.

In other words,

Obama -- "Hey, look over there! It ain't me! It was Congress!"

Half-wit mainstream press -- "Oh, wow, look, shiny!"

Unfortunately for Team O the following story in The Hill (hardly a right-of-center source) dispels the Obama notion of Congress dun it, not me:

Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.
The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.

A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”

Quick question: If the Solyndra corruption story was entirely Congress's fault, then why did the White House scramble as the company crumbled?

Inquiring minds would like to know...

More debate at Memeorandum.

Updated: This post is just screaming for one of Right Klik's Quickmeme graphics. I'm thinking something along the lines of the Upvoting Obama image,

"Wait, Axelrod, You Mean We Can Blame Solyndra on Congress 6 Months After its Taxpayer-Funded Bankruptcy?


Love Me at Quickmeme is a fun place to slap a trenchant little quip on an amusing picture. Lately, more conservatives have been leaving their mark at Quickmeme. Check out the "College Liberal" memes and the ones on Rutherford B Hayes.

It looks like "Upvoting Obama" is catching on fast. Kindly browse out the fine selection of anti-Obamacare memes by yours truly and give me some love by clicking on the smiley faces. Popular memes rise to the top.


VOTE HERE (Shamelessly borrowed from David Burge)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shew Us Thy Mercy, O Justice Kennedy

Monday is the beginning of the end for Obamacare. We hope.

As Krauthammer reminds us, only one man can save us:
...questions this momentous are generally decided 5 to 4 — i.e., they depend on whatever side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy gets out of that morning.
Four justices will vote for Obamacare, four will vote against. Justice Kennedy will determine whether we live under "a central government of unlimited power from which citizen and civil society struggle to carve out and maintain spheres of autonomy."

For a reminder of what's at stake, read the rest of this.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Viva La Banana Republica!

Not a bear any more: The California State Symbol
Cross-posted from the Left Coast Rebel

First, a definition:

N. A banana republic is a politically unstable country that economically depends upon the exports of a limited resource (e.g. fruits, minerals), which usually has an impoverished working class who are ruled by a wealthy élite.

Sounds about right. Let's see, I'll bend things a little but the truth remains: the Once Golden State certainly depends on the exports of a limited resource (those who still live here, earn an income and are now facing the possibility of 12-13% income taxes), we certainly have an impoverished working class (the state is stuffed to the gills with "undocumented migrants") and last but not least, we absolutely are ruled by a wealthy elite (ever hear of Sacramento?)

Now, this (from last month! How did I not hear about this?)....

Calling it an act of “humanity” and “compassion” toward the city's illegal immigrants, the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday approved a controversial plan to limit the cases in which police officers impound vehicles of drivers operating without a license.

The commission made the move despite warnings from Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and state lawyers that the new impound policy is illegal.
It marks a victory for immigration-rights advocates as well as Police Chief Charlie Beck, who has championed the new policy despite sharp criticism at public meetings, on talk radio and by some law enforcement officials.

The shift is significant in a city with a large illegal immigrant population. For decades, the Los Angeles Police Department has been trying to convince immigrants that police are not the enemy, and Beck said he hopes the new rules will improve relations and encourage undocumented immigrants to cooperate with police investigations.

More at PJM: "Twisting LAPD Impound Policy to Favor Illegals"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rutherford B. Hayes

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sandra Fluke Was Okay With Misogyny Before She Was Against It

Notorious for his left-wing extremism and his misogyny, Ed Schultz has a good friend in Sandra Fluke. Fluke has appeared on Shultz's TV show twice, and she follows Schultz on Twitter.

Obviously the fake outrage about the imaginary "war on women" is smoke screen for the real war on freedom, liberty and our First Amendment rights.

Slutgate: A brief history (with videos at the links in bold)...

Ed Schultz: "Like this right-wing slut, what's her name, Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she's a talk slut."

ABC's "The View" Makes Light of Ed Schultz's 'Slut' Reference for Laura Ingraham...

"Walters again tried to ameliorate the situation for Schultz. 'He has apologized,' she noted."

Professional gender reassignment activist, Sandra Fluke (a 30-year-old law student with a well-funded sex life), appears on Ed Schultz's show to complain about not being allowed to lobby congress for free sex accessories.

Sandra Fluke lobbies Congress for free contraceptives and abortion services for her beleaguered cohort:
“Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy,” Fluke testified regarding the Catholic university’s policy of not covering birth control.
February 29, 2012

Rush Limbaugh:

"What does it say about the college coed [Fluke], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

"She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

Sandra Fluke appearing again on Ed Schultz's show: "I guess my reaction is the reaction a lot of women have when they’ve been called these names. Initially you’re stunned but then, very quickly, you’re outraged because this is, historically, the kind of language that is used to silence women..."

Schultz: “He defamed you in the biggest way.”

March 3, 2012

Rush: "I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Sandra Fluke on "The View"
“I was at first shocked and stunned,” she told host Barbara Walters when asked what she thought after hearing Limbaugh’s comments. “Let me be clear that I think his statements that he made on the air about me have been personal enough, so I’d rather not have a personal phone call from him.”

Fluke went on to question the apology statement, mentioning that Limbaugh issued it at a time during which advertisers were putting a great deal of pressure on him. In the end, she said that it doesn’t change anything.

Original screen shot:

Hat tip: Boortz

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ObamaCare: $2 trillion

A minor adjustment from the original $0.9 trillion price tag.

So we nominate the grandfather of Obamacare to beat the father of Obamacare. Because that makes sense.

Alternatively, we would nominate Santorum, who would snatch your porn, rape you with an ultrasound probe and unleash the theocratic apocalypse — or something.

To paraphrase Jon Huntsman, 我欢迎我们新的中国霸主!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Self-Beclownment: Dems Conflate Babies With Flaccid Manhood

Most of us, wherever we stand on abortion and infanticide, can agree that these issues are important, and that they should be treated seriously by our lawmakers. But Democrats are making silly jokes, using legislation as satire:
Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, if state Sen. Nina Turner has her way...

A critic of efforts to restrict abortion and contraception for women, Turner says she is concerned about men’s reproductive health. Turner’s bill joins a trend of female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health. Turner said if state policymakers want to legislate women’s health choices through measures such as House Bill 125, known as the “Heartbeat bill,” they should also be able to legislate men’s reproductive health. Ohio anti-abortion advocates say the two can’t be compared.

The Heartbeat bill would prohibit abortion once a heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Heartbeat bill sponsor Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon, said comparing his bill to Turner’s would be like comparing apples to bananas...
Who can explain the Democrats' war on babies and viagra?


Rep. Kelly Cassidy: Men Who Want Viagra Should Have To Watch "Horrific" ‘Side-Effects’ Video

Senator Janet Howell Proposes Retaliatory Rectal Exams For Men Seeking Viagra

Female legislators in Missouri: Restrict Vasectomies to Life-and-Death Situations

Georgia Rep. Fights Anti-Abortion Bill with ‘Anti-Vasectomy Act

Discussion: Memeorandum

UPDATE: They are so full of the LOLs! Abortion is funny!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Read Reaganite's Funnies

A must-read every week, Reaganite Republican's Sunday Funnies are laugh-out-loud funny today. Here are two of my favorites this week:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Arguing With The Pro-Infanticide Crowd

I've already discussed the pro-infanticide argument presented by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva (published by editor Julian Savulescu in the Journal of Medical Ethics). But this is a big topic that deserves more than two short posts. So consider this Part II in a series.

Tauriq Moosa, a pro-infanticide M.Phil (Masters in Philosophy) student specializing in Biomedical Ethics at Stellenbosch University, says my previous post on the topic was not "rational or reasonable, but filled with ... emotive nonsense."

He declined to comment in more detail, but I will respond to his criticism, and to the criticism of others who have attacked me on this topic.

Those who defend Giubilini, Minerva and Savulescu say that Giubilini and Minerva were simply making an theoretical argument that mere laypersons can't possibly understand and that Savulescu was "merely allowing the authors to exercise their basic human right to free speech."

But Julian Savulescu is not merely an innocent bystander fighting for the right to free speech. He is an important scholar who shapes public policy -- and he abused his position of privilege and power to publicize dangerously radical ideas.

One could make the (unsubstantiated) argument that Giubilini and Minerva's paper was simply an academic exercise designed to present a controversial idea in its "
clearest, least hysterical form so that you can, also, reasonably defeat it," but if that's truly the case, the authors should have mentioned that important caveat.

(In the wake of the ostensibly unexpected uproar over the paper, the authors hopefully now appreciate the fact that in this era of broadband internet and social media, the academic world is not hermetically isolated from the rest of society.)

Consider this scenario: A journal of ethics could present, hypothetically, an article featuring well-articulated reason and a large body of data in support of Apartheid, but I doubt that many infanticide proponents would make statements along the lines of "Hey, that Apartheid
sure sounds hard, difficult and awful, but that doesn’t make it wrong," or "People are going to self-segregate and create social stratification anyway, so why shouldn't we do it in a rational, humane and orderly fashion?"

The fact of the matter is that the infanticide argument, like many other ethical considerations, isn't just about reason, science and ivory tower debate. It's also about a society's
values and standards (extrascientific concerns).

Those who strenuously reject Minerva's defense of infanticide do so for the some of the same values-based reasons that infanticide proponents so vehemently and emotively oppose online threats and "forcing babies to starve to death in filthy dumpsters."


Irene: "Er.. you seem to have missed this quote from Savulescu: 'I am personally opposed to the legalisation of infanticide.'"

RightKlik: I'm happy to see that Savulescu has decided (belatedly) that he is "personally" opposed to "legalisation" of infanticide, even if I don't find it entirely reassuring.

Does Savulescu believe that infanticide should be decriminalized? Is he simply making a distinction between infanticide and "after birth abortion"?

Is Savulescu tacitly making a distinction between "personal" preference and public policy?

Does Savulescu think infanticide is unethical, immoral and unacceptable? Or does he voice his opposition only to "
calm the public"?

If Savulescu is against infanticide on moral grounds, he should at this point feel compelled to make his case, having promoted the pro-infanticide view as editor of his prestigious academic journal.

If Savulescu is genuinely opposed to infanticide, this view would seem to be out of place among
the rest of his controversial views, e.g., abortion following sex selection, the creation of human-animal hybrids, the sale of human organs, eugenics, and amputating perfectly normal limbs to appease apotemnophiliacs.

In arguing in support of harvesting materials from so-called savior siblings, Savulescu uses logic and language strikingly similar to that in Francesca Minerva's defense of infanticide, citing the acceptance of abortion of "future persons" and "potential persons" as justification for using
savior siblings for spare parts.

Ben: "In your entire post, you have failed to present even a single argument based on anything more than your own outrage... [B]asically you are saying that your argument has no grounding in science... You're allowed to hold whatever opinion you want, but if you can't back it up with anything more substantial than "I don't like it" then don't expect anyone to take you seriously. "

RightKlik: There are no objective scientific criteria by which the value of a human life can be judged. One can approach the question with scientific data, but it's not a scientific question -- it's a question of morality or ethics.

Do Giubilini and Minerva base their argument on scientific data? Absolutely not. Moreover, the authors of the paper in question propose an academic definition of personhood that has zero practical value.

The authors tacitly admit that their definition has no practical value when
they say that "we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible..."

Their best guess must seem
woefully imprecise to anyone who prefers facts, hard data and "scientific reasons":

"[A baby] might start having expectations and develop a minimum level of self-awareness at a very early stage, but not in the first days or few weeks after birth."

Days? Weeks? Take your pick.

In an interview, Francesca Minerva was
laughably vague:

"These attributes (the characteristics that define a person) start to develop a little later. I don't know when exactly."

Why don't Giubilini and Minerva provide a workable definition of personhood based on "scientific reasons," facts, or data? Because it can't be done.

Can we to define personhood on the basis of self-awareness, i.e., "an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her"?

Such a definition of personhood would be purely arbitrary, as this capability waxes and wanes along a continuous spectrum. There are no discrete milestones that can be defined with empirical data.

The same can be said of neurodevelopmental definitions of personhood. There's a continuum of development. Human development isn't as simple as the quantum states of an electron, readily defined by some utilitarian calculation comparable to Bohr's formulae.

I understand the temptation to discard my opinion on the basis of how uncomfortable it apparently makes you feel, but I'm sure that you understand that every statement of ethical condemnation needn't be based on a scientific argument.

Update: I made minor changes to this post for clarity.

Update II: Lydia McGrew: Quick, get that sunlight outta here!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Leftist Misogyny

Highlighting the hypocrisy and misogyny of the left:

Not to be outdone by the men, Randi Rhodes proves she can be as savage and hateful as her liberal brethren:

...but hate and misogyny are only a problem when they're perceived to be coming from conservatives.

I'm tempted to make a snarky remark about castrating liberal men, but for well-known reasons, jokes of that nature have no basis in reality:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cosmic Slop: Extraterrestrial Reagan Comes For The Blacks

With the race-obsessed left, little has changed in 20 years.

Enjoy the paranoid racism and hateful stereotypes of another one of Obama's close friends (language alert):

Favorite quote: "Well, Dad, it looks like your chickens are finally comin' home to roost."

Movie by Obama's nutty friend, Derek Bell:
Derek Bell’s bottom line: if it comforts whites, it’s bad; if it comforts blacks–i.e., Farrakhan–it’s good. Bell, along with Farrakhan and so many others, offers victimization as a consolation.
The paper bag references were a lot of fun too!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Super Tuesday Results: Anthony Kennedy Wins

Romney won Ohio, so he's still the frontrunner, albeit a weak one.

Romney will win the nomination. The writing is on the wall.


Romney vs. Obama: You're an undecided voter ... why vote for Romney?

1. The Obama economy is a miserable mess.
2. Obama gas prices are too high.
3. You don't like Obamacare and you've been led to believe than Romney will repeal it.

You're a discouraged conservative ... why vote for Romney?

1. Lesser of two evils: nobody could be worse than Obama.
2. Romney's supreme court appointments might be less liberal than Obama's.

I can't imagine why Romney would repeal Obamacare. He said he wants to keep the "good parts." Since Obamacare is Romney's signature achievement writ large, I have to assume that all of Obamacare's parts look pretty good to Mitt.

Romney would set himself on fire before he'd yield to conservatives on a plan for total repeal, so I think it's safe to assume that Romney will be working closely with Democrats on his "repeal" plan. Even if Romney has a few good ideas for some sort of partial repeal, at least half of those ideas will be shot down by Romney's Democratic allies.

In the end, Romney's half-hearted repeal effort would only tighten Washington's grip on private health insurance, making government-run health care a bipartisan scheme.

This means Anthony Kennedy is as important as ever. As the swing vote on the Supreme Court, he's the one person who has the power to strike down Obama's anti-constitutional health care takeover. The immediate results of Kennedy's decision this summer will have a tremendous impact on Romney's prospects in November.

Anthony Kennedy is the man.

UPDATE: Welcome, Theo Sparks readers!

North Korea airport mudslide, police incident...


North Korea airport mudslide, police incident...

San Diego pork infection recovery: home grown marijuana

Tucson interstate gas cloud, social media help canceled.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Romney Wins Anti-Tea Party Voters

Say what you will about mashed up video clips, but if you're serious about defeating the Tea Party, you'll vote for Mitt Romney. In Ohio exit polls, Romney is the clear winner among those who oppose the Tea Party.