This cartoon by Stilton Jarlsburg from the Travon Martin verdict last year is at once both sad and amusing. The amusing part is the exposure of the meaninglessness of President Obama’s “circle of compassion” speech (and Jarlsburg goes after the “trapezoid of meaningless rhetoric” and “the dodecahedron of decency.” But the sad part, of course, is the fact that this cartoon points to a deep underlying truth: President Obama got involved for all the wrong reasons. Rather than heal, he chose to inflame and divide.
They caught the guy. He was carrying concealed on school grounds, and based upon the penalties enacted in New York State about carrying a gun in such gun-free zones, he was arrested. The story was noted by The Truth About Guns, and is implausible:
The Dodecahedron of Decency an...1
Rules for Thee2
Beef with the USDA3
Through the State Department — an organization working at cross purposes to American interests since before the first jihadist war in 1805 — US taxpayers are funding a hard-left journalist group. The group operates in 90 countries, and the State Deparment claimed that “[s]ince 2009, Internews implemented more than 25 projects around the world for USAID.” They say that they’ve trained more than 10,000 journalists in the last year, which I would wager includes folks like the Benghazi Insider I mentioned a few days ago.
The estimable and devout Catholic Biltrix has a post up discussing abortion. It’s worth a look. I replied there:
As a lifelong non-theist, I don’t have the “moment of conception” notion with regard to the beginning of life. For me, life is continuous for the past roughly 4 billion years, and that moment business is complicated because it can be tinkered with or even triggered artificially.
But death is not continuous. And at some point, a few weeks after conception, a human fetus has an impulse-sensing brain and a beating heart. Since we use brain death as an end-of-life measure, it seems reasonable to me to argue for brain-birth/formation/first signals as a beginning-of-life measure.
Thus, I am on your side when it comes to late-term abortions; these are indeed killing humans.
You voiced a rhetorical question: “How many women were killed by botched abortion procedures last year?” But there’s another aspect to this question, since about half of the <i>successful</i> abortions kill women, too. They’re just younger than the others.
I don’t think this should be decided at the federal level, as we don’t in general decide murder and self-defense at that level. But states can and should make these decisions, and in my state I would vote against late-term abortions, with “late” being defined as post-brain-formation.
(After my comment, another commenter put up a link to a non-theist who does argue that life begins at the moment of conception. Here is that link.)
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
A decade ago, the ACLU threatened suit against the county of Los Angeles because they had a tiny crucifix visible on the county’s official seal. That had to go. The county caved in, despite thousands in the street protesting the rewriting of this bit of history. (By odd circumstance, I was briefly part of that crowd.)
The National Lawyers Guild
Just a few days ago, I mentioned the National Lawyers Guild (using its abbreviation NLG) to a person who portrayed himself as a lawyer involved with Constitutional issues. The NLG is a group of largely communist, America-hating lawyers and activists founded (along with the ACLU) by liberals and communists including Soviet KGB front people in the 1930s , and have spent the intervening time using the US Constitution to attack America any way they can.
California is an interesting place, with some vying to make it a set of interesting places:
Tim Draper, a third-generation venture capitalist with a penchant for big ideas, is promoting a plan that would split California into six separate states. The proposal calls for the creation of new states called Silicon Valley and West California that would be anchored by the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Orange County and San Diego would be part of the new state of South California. To the north, remaining counties would be divided into regions called Central California, North California and Jefferson.
Commenting on this in another forum, someone opined that the number of stars had been fixed by law at 50. And that there had been only “a couple” of counties of Colorado that had attempted to leave. Neither one of these is true:
I am communicating with Matthew VanDyke, described as “an American who fought with Libyan rebels to oust Gaddafi.” He wrote to Business Insider right after the Benghazi consulate attack with a theory about what happened, and again this week stating that he’d been proven largely correct. He is a Mensa member, and there is a LinkedIn forum only accessible to members. Here’s what he said there:
In Antarctica, there is a place along the frigid coast called Mawson Station. It is named for Sir Douglas Mawson, an Engligh-born Australian explorer who was one of the early Heroic Explorers of Antarctica. His story is quite interesting, especially his survival during one grim trip where things went south, so to speak. There is a bit of info on that in the Wikipedia article, and the story is the subject of the book Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Story in the History of Exploration.
Why can’t we all just get along?
People are quick to blame “Islamophobia” for attacks on the US. If we would just accept that the Islam culture is different, they’d just leave us alone. Somehow, terrorism is the fault of Americans. Religious Americans, of course. (This is, oddly, the approximate position of Ron Paul as well: That American activities are the cause of jihadist attacks, and that they’d leave us alone if we “pulled out of their countries.”) A commenter on Citizen Tom’s fine blog seemed to evince such a belief:
What’s the difference between 110,000,000 people and 5,000 people?
In one way of looking at it, one of these numbers is 22,000 times as large as the other. But the real difference in these two groups of Americans that have had their phone records obtained by the US Government without prior court approval, is probable cause. From the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment:
It’s Christmas time! A holiday, and holy day for many
Others faiths have different days, but atheists haven’t any
But certainly that doesn’t mean we cannot share the spirit
Someone calls “Merry Christmas!” I, for one, am glad to hear it.
For people, when they say this, aren’t “forcing their belief”
Or proselytizing, traumatizing, causing pain or grief
It’s just a greeting, woven in with larger, warmer feeling
Accept it! Smile! Return it! All the different faiths need healing.
The same with “Happy Hanukkah” or other well-meant greeting
I bounce them back as best I can, take pleasure at the meeting
I’d even answer back if I should hear “Happy Agnostica!”
(But I’ll decline and pass on celebrations with a swastika.)
The most important thing is: Let your soul be thus uplifted
By friends, and by your loved ones, for it’s by those we are gifted
To every island, every continent and every isthmus
I wish you all the best, and to you each a Merry Christmas!
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle