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July 03, 2008

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The Executive Director

Seth,

Regarding that OED definition you believe refutes what I (and biologists) have to say about what an organism is, you seem to be conflating "organism" with "being alive". While it can surely be said that all parts of an organism are alive, that does not make each of those parts an organism also. Only the organism as a whole has the property of life (which more than merely being alive).

As for the "morning-after" pill, it is an abortifacient. You don't understand how it works.

Finally, you need to crack open a history book, Seth. Red China is notorious for forced abortions under its one-child policy. In the old Soviet Union, most pregnancies were terminated by abortion, at least in the Russian republic. The Nazis had no compunctions against abortion and infanticide as part of their program of racial purification.

Regards, Bill

Brandon

Suggesting a moral equivalence between pro-choice supporters and Maoist China, Stalinist Russia & Nazi Germany is propaganda.

Suggesting that the primary motivation for those who support and/or perform abortions is monetary profit is propaganda.

The Executive Director

Brandon,

The word "propaganda" has these days has a pejorative connotation of deliberately misleading or dishonest statements to advance a cause.

The fact that Bridget associates the deliberate killing in this country of over 30 million human beings by abortion over the past 35 years with the slaughters by the Communists and Nazis is, of course, an unpleasant matter for pro-choicers. But your discomfort with that association does not on its own make Bridget's statements either misleading or dishonest.

To sustain your charge of propaganda, you need to show how Bridget lied in comparing the deliberate killing under Roe v. Wade to the mass slaughters of the past century. Your mere disagreement with her is not enough. Even your conviction that she is wrong on the facts doesn't fly. People can make mistakes in good faith.

You need to either make the case that Bridget deliberately peddled falsehoods to advocate against abortion or withdraw your unsubstantiated accusation.

In short, if you are going to call someone a liar, back it up. Fair is fair, Brandon. Publicly accusing others of bad faith without making any case for the charge is unjust.

Regards, Bill

The Executive Director

P.S. Brandon,

As for the profitability of the abortion industry, if you can show that most abortions are done pro bono or that abortionists would continue plying their trade if only allowed to do so at cost, then you will have an argument that Bridget OVERSTATED her point.

However, whether or not abortion is a profitable trade does not bear upon the intrinsic evil of performing an abortion, which is the point of Bridget's post. Turning a buck off an abortion, if true (and it is), goes to the DEPTH of the depravity the abortionist, the fact of his depravity having already been established by his performance of the abortion.

Bill

Brandon

Yet again, you're misconstruing what I've written.

I haven't called Bridget a liar. What I challenged was her misleading characterization of pro-choice advocates as being morally equal to totalitarian and fascist murderers of decades past.

Let's just get real here for a moment.

Even if you believe that abortion is the willful taking of a human life, are you honestly telling me that a teenage girl, scared to death after finding out she is pregnant, unsure of what to do, and entering an abortion clinic with no small degree of hesitation and trepidation -- are you seriously suggesting that this girl shares a moral equivalence with someone like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin?

If you are, then yes, it is dishonest, misleading propaganda. And maybe that's even a little too fair.

The Executive Director

Brandon,

Face it. You attempted to demonize Bridget for expressing her position on abortion because you have no argument against what she had to say. She neither lied nor deliberately misled anyone. She did not write propaganda. What Bridget did do is make you uncomfortable about your position on abortion. You then falsely accused her. You are in the wrong.

Your attempt to salvage your propaganda charge is silly. No sane person believes that a panicky teenager, pregnant and abandoned, who gets an abortion is a Hitler or a Stalin. However, her state of mind does not change the fact that the abortion remains an objectively evil act.

Hence Bridget's comparison of the 30 million killed under Roe v. Wade to the slaughters of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Her question to us is: If we can so readily understand the evil of what those tyrants did, how come we cannot understand the evil of abortion? What moral blindness do we suffer to not see how wrong it is to put 30 million human beings to death?

Note, Brandon, she made a comparison. To compare is not necessarily to equate. We can all understand the mitigating circumstances that would make a desperate woman less than fully culpable for an abortion -- indeed, that is why the ire of most pro-lifers is not directed at the mother but the abortionist. So Bridget was not equating a mother's culpability for abortion to a tyrant's culpability for mass murder.

What she was doing is comparing the magnitude of deaths under the current abortion regime to those under the last century's tyrants. She is asking how does that level of deliberate killing not arouse all decent people in the country to put an end to abortion? We don't have the excuse of being oppressed like the Germans, Russians, and Chinese were. So what is our excuse?

Hardly propaganda, Brandon. The question is legitimate. Maybe there is a legitimate answer as to why the killing under Roe v. Wade should be lawful. But you haven't offer one. Instead you accused Bridget of writing propaganda.

You owe her an apology.

Regards, Bill

Brandon

Your insistence that I owe Bridget an apology seems to be quite strangely predicated on the notion that *I* have somehow been made to feel uncomfortable in my position [and am therefore, what ... lashing out in anger?].

Nonsense.

As I have made clear, I do not have a firm position on abortion (due to the ambiguity about what constitutes a human life and when it begins). So about what, exactly, should I be made to feel uncomfortable?

While you are right to point out that there is a distinction between comparing and equating, I would point out that a comparison implies that there are fundamental similarities between the items or entities being evaluated. In other words (for example), the gassing of Jews is, for all practical purposes, comparable to aborting a fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy. Is it? How? Why?

Far from belittling Bridget's position, I actually respect it. If you know in your heart that a fertilized egg is a human being, then why would you not fight passionately in defense of it? I understand that, truly. But knowing it in your heart does not make it objectively true, regardless of how many biology textbooks you might choose to disingenuously cite.

Consequently, what I continue to take issue with -- what the initial point of my very first comment was -- is not the idea that those who are pro-life are intrinsically wrong, but that the rhetoric of the debate needs to be calibrated so as to avoid alienating the people you're trying to persuade, be it in the form of labeling anyone not firmly on the pro-life side as 'pro-abortion,' or equating abortion with fascist mass murder.

Bridget

Too many people like Brandon believe minds don't get changed as facts are researched, stories are heard and the reality of life versus death becomes more real.

I dispute that mindset.

Why?

I am a prime example. Minds can be changed.

I grew up supporting the Democract agenda that women should have the right to abortion for reasons mainly of incest and rape. They never discussed anyone else really getting an abortion. So, although I didn't support abortion or want to see it done, I also felt a woman's body was her own and what happened was her right to keep, give away or terminate. Since I never bothered to look deeper than my feelings on the issue and the basics, this pro-choice support is what I leaned toward throughout my 20's and early 30's.

It wasnt' until a few years ago that I spoke to family and friends and started hearing how many women had had abortions in the past, women I would never have imagined would do such a thing. Not one said they did it due to incest or rape. All had the procedure done because they were young, unable to care for a child emotionally or financially and/or weren't in stable relationship with a guy who could help provide and/or be a good father. They all did it as they felt it was best at the time (and in hindsight I would have asked them all, do you believe you have life in the womb or is it just a cell, a mass, etc. or do you consider it life at it's earliest stage? I doubt anyone would have doubted life was growing and thus, had to be stopped). As unappealing as it sounds, they terminated, or I should say what it is, they aborted the fetus because it was convenient and an easy solution to a long term problem should the pregnancy continue. None said they would do anything different had they to do it over again in hindsight. But, all said they regretted what they did and couldn't take it back. These were all good women who simply made bad choices.

I also starting looking more into the biology of life, birth and death and spent some time researching what really happens in the abortuary for early, mid and late term abortions.

Finally, I also got back in touch with my faith in a more concrete way. Although I studied and learned to a higher degree doctrine, dogma and scriptures, I also touched base with issues of religious history, archeology, theology, anatomy & physiology, biology, chemistry and physics. I am like most, I don't want to stand on faith alone as that can ebb and flow at times over a lifetime. I needed concrete facts and data to support me in the down times. And I found that by looking deeper at everything.

Too many people believe that faith and life issues are polar opposite to science and technology. Wrong. SCIENCE DONE RIGHT BRINGS YOU CLOSER TO GOD.

I believe strongly from my own example and millions around us, that as time goes on, most of us grow up and appreciate our lives and those around us and stop being narrow sighted and faithless. We do the hard work and the hard search to get to the truth. Even if it takes a lifteime to get there. And, I'm at the age and the strength of heart, mind and soul that I will no longer leave a part of me, my faith at the door of public discussions, just to make those without faith feel better. It's a part of who I am and what drives me to support life and not death.

I am confident many of you reading this have taken a similar journey and/or will.

Propaganda Brandon? Not even close. You run because you can't hide from the truth. Perhaps one day you will complete your journey of leaving the darkness behind and find the light.

Regards,

Bridget Dupont-Tingley
Editor
The Local Area Watch

The Executive Director

Brandon,

There you go again. After reading the first half of your last post, I accepted that I got wrong your intention in calling Bridget's post "propaganda" (and so owed you an apology), but then you turn around and call my citation of embryologists "disingenuous" without a word of explanation.

This is what I have been objecting to. You attribute bad faith to what Bridget and I have written without cause. Is it too much to ask that if you believe one of us has made a false statement, you consider the possibility that it was an honest mistake rather than a deliberate falsehood?

Regards, Bill

Brandon

Bill,

My use of the term 'disingenuous' is not meant to be pejorative. I'm not slinging mud. I truly mean it, respectfully but sincerely. Because you know perfectly well that your continual insistence that life begins at conception is based not on any universally accepted fact but on what you believe ... which, again, is not to say that you're wrong, but merely that it should be understood why a great many other people do not share the same certitude.

When that's your starting point, you've discounted the notion that there's a gray area, which then means that everyone holding a different view is automatically in the wrong. Not that you're malicious about it -- far from it, in fact. But it's that unfounded [in my opinion] sense of certitude that allows for the use of, yes, disingenuous and inflammatory terms like 'pro-abortion' and (Bridget) 'Democrat Party.'

The Executive Director

Brandon,

I'm unaware of any meaning of "disingenuous" that is not pejorative, but I believe what you say your intent was.

If your gripe were only that I used the term "pro-abortion" to describe pro-choicers and Bridget the erstwhile Democrat used "Democrat" instead of "Democratic" as an adjective, I think you'll agree those are trifling complaints, especially in comparison to the gravity of the subject at hand.

However, it has become clear to me that your real gripe is that I have not accorded much respect for the "gray area" as to when life begins. Well, Brandon, you're right. I don't respect that gray area, because we do have the facts (indeed we have scientific verification of them) of when a human life begins. It begins at conception.

So this gray area of yours is epistemic not metaphysical. In other words, it does not exist because none of us has the facts as to when life begins; it only exists among those ignorant or indifferent to those facts. Now if these facts were difficult for a person of normal intelligence to grasp, such as those of quantum mechanics, I would be out of line to say that ignorance of them is inexcusable. But they are not. They are Biology 101, and only the semantic artists obscure what scientists have clearly established as a fact.

Now I will grant that the semantic artists who push the abortion-on-demand agenda (as opposed to legally restricted abortion) have had a good long run in confusing what should be simple knowledge. I understand how people who have not considered the issue of abortion in much depth might take what these con artists have had to say at face value and so are ignorant of the truth.

But how much of an excuse is that if it is possible that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being? How does indifference justify claiming a gray area as to the beginning of life? Doesn't the gravity of the issue demand that any decent person examine the matter of legalized abortion more carefully?

If so, and indifference is swept aside, how long should it take a person to realize that if there genuinely is a gray area as to when life begins, we must give the benefit of the doubt against abortion. Opponents of the death penalty (often the same people who are pro-choice) make this sort of argument because guilt is never absolutely certain. So it is legitimate ask why this "gray area" defaults in favor of abortion instead of against it.

Furthermore, how long should it take a person seriously examining the issue of abortion to spy the propaganda of those semantic artists and drill down to the scientific facts of the beginning of life? How long can this gray area truly endure in the mind of one making a careful examination of the issue?

I don't think it can except through willful ignorance. I'm not accusing you of that, Brandon. We all have our own paths to follow to the truth. As we go down them the light of the truth should grow stronger illuminating the blackness of ignorance into the gray of doubts and finally the gray into clear knowledge. So we all have our gray areas that are remediable, and I do not fault you for yours in regard to abortion.

But I will not give any respect to the claim that this gray area is a rationale for supporting legalized abortion. It is not, because if the doubt is genuine then it must favor life.

Regards, Bill

J. M. B.

Many like to cloud the fact that life begins at conception. A biological fact. A chemical fact. A medical fact. If you don't believe me, let's do a little experiment. Let's make sure all women and men who are intimate do so without artifical contraception in place. Then, let's sit back and wait. For a full nine months.

If nothing is in there, especially nothing we can call a living thing, why nothing will happen.

If on the other hand something is in there whatever each side chooses to call it, then we have ourselves a living creature, a future human being. Be it at one day old, one week old, one month old or eventually a fully formed brand new life. A child.

Of course, not every intimate moment results in a pregnancy. That's part of the life cycle. The egg needs to be fertilized by the sperm and be sheltered and nutured properly in a woman's uterus. That's part of the miracle of life, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. The entire process is incredibly complicated and everything has to happen just right for fertilization and life to take hold. So, for those who intervene and make sure it doesn't happen or ends once begun are interfering with the process of life, the right to life and the gift of life.

I think Brandon has the possibility of understanding things better if he allows himself and maybe even change his mind one day. He doesn't seem like he really knows what's in his heart instead, he is being swayed by what he has been told versus what he might believe deep inside. I think with the right guidance, he could find the truth. That would be great. Seth on the other hand seems totally detached from emotion, complete facts and lost in translation, he may be a lost cause.

I see where you are coming from in your posts Bill and Bridget. Your comments ring loudly with conviction and truth. I think that makes those who support abortion in all its stages very uncomfortable. Keep speaking out. Many of your readers are listening and thinking about this too.

Jennie

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