Thursday, July 25, 2013

Monkeying around with life

Recently at the Fort Worth Zoo I observed two baboons having a dispute. I’m not sure what the problem was between them. Perhaps it was over food or a female baboon or maybe they just irritated each other for some reason. They chattered angrily at one another and the larger primate began to beat its chest in an effort to physically intimidate the other. Then one baboon pooped in his hand and hurled the feces at the other one. I guess that is just how baboons resolve their differences. They don’t have the ability to form a coherent argument or state a rational position, so they throw poop at one another.

Last week, a similar scene played out in the gallery of the Texas Senate, as our duly elected legislators debated a bill to ban late-term abortions and raise medical safety standards at abortion clinics. Hundreds of abortion supporters packed the gallery, dozens of them smuggling bottles filled with urine, feces, paint, glitter, confetti, used tampons, and other projectiles they intended to use to disrupt the proceedings of the Senate.

Abortion supporters display the same level of discourse as the baboons at the zoo: when they don't get their way, they throw poop.

Some will point out that it is unfair to draw generalizations about all abortion supporters based on the action of a few dozen people. However, by definition, they all favor sucking human babies into garbage disposals. And that is just one of the less inhumane abortion procedures.

Even when abortion supporters are not using excrement as projectiles they have considerable trouble dealing with reality. Their primary argument against House Bill 2 is their claim that it would shut down nearly all of the abortion clinics in Texas. They are referring to an increase in the safety requirements to operate an abortion clinic, currently the most unregulated business in the medical industry. When a similar law was enacted in Pennsylvania, the same objections were raised. Opponents claimed that sixteen of Pennsylvania’s nineteen clinics would be shut down. Ultimately, exactly one clinic was closed, exposing the claim for the exaggerated demagoguery that it is.

Some abortion clinics need to be shut down. Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell has recently made news with the appalling ways in which he abused the lack of accountability in the abortion industry. When Gosnell’s clinic was raided on February 18, 2010, investigators described the scene as “Filthy”, “Deplorable”, “Disgusting”, “Very unsanitary”, and “Horrendous”. They describe bloody floors and the stench of urine, as well as a flea-infested cat leaving its excrement on the floors. Patients who had been sedated hours earlier by unlicensed staff sat moaning on filthy recliners covered with bloody blankets. They compared the operating rooms to “a bad gas station restroom”. Surgical instruments were dirty, rusted, and obsolete. Fetal remains were haphazardly stored throughout the clinic in bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons, and even cat-food containers.

Contrary to what abortion supporters would have you believe, Gosnell was not the exception to the rule. Through years of lobbying, government regulation and oversight of the abortion industry has been reduced to nearly zero. Any kind of standard has been denounced as an attack on a “women’s right to choose”, resulting in a dangerous situation for women who wish to obtain an abortion. Clinics are rarely inspected, so even the meager requirements which still apply to them are unenforced and widely ignored.

House Bill 2 places new requirements on abortion clinics similar to what is required for a clinic which performs tonsillectomies. They must have adequate emergency equipment which can be the difference between life and death in cases where a patient has a reaction to a drug, suffers a perforated uterus, or experiences excessive bleeding. Clinic personnel must be licensed as they are elsewhere in the medical industry. And a doctor with admission privileges at a nearby hospital must be present, a precaution essential in saving the lives of women who suffer complications beyond the capabilities of the clinic.

House Bill 2 also will help, in a small way, to protect unborn babies, or at least those who are far enough along to be viable, by banning most abortions after 20 weeks gestation. At this point, a baby has been a living human, distinct from her mother, for nearly five months and in most cases could live outside of her mother, with the assistance of modern medical care. I hope that someday we will extend the same protection to all unborn babies, but this is a step in the right direction. This bill protects both unborn babies and their mothers. Shame on those whose best argument against this life-affirming legislation is to hurl poop.

At a definitive moment in the debate, pro-life and pro-abortion activists faced off outside of the Texas capitol. As pro-lifers sang “Amazing Grace”, the pro-abortion crowd tried to drown them out by shouting “Hail Satan.”  Occasionally even someone promoting the murder of innocent babies will inadvertently swerve into truth. The abortion debate is a spiritual battle, and in Austin the two sides stood in stark contrast. God loves life. Satan loves death. Which side will you stand on? Will you assert the “right” to take an innocent life as the cost of living as you wish? Or will you commit to exercising responsibility and self-control in your own life and extend grace to the lives around you, perhaps by adopting an “unwanted” child, taking in a pregnant teenager, or volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center?

Monday, July 15, 2013


Since Saturday night, Facebook has been filled with liberals posting nonsense about the Zimmerman verdict. I guess that’s nothing new, other than the topic of the nonsense. But it is particularly silly nonsense. Many of them attempt to claim that the verdict was racially motivated by suggesting that the outcome would have been different if the people’s races were reversed.

Here is one example, word for word: “If a black man went into a white neighborhood and picked a fight with a white kid and then shot him, he would be on death row right now.”

I understand the concept of a role reversal, but let’s compare this hypothetical case to the real case of Zimmerman/Martin. Zimmerman is Hispanic and the neighborhood is racially mixed. Zimmerman lives in the neighborhood, so he didn’t “go into” the neighborhood. Trevon Martin does not live there. The jury spent two weeks looking at all of the evidence, including the best case that the prosecutor could put together, and was not convinced that Zimmerman picked the fight. The instructions to the jury said that if the jury determined that Zimmerman instigated the violent confrontation, his claim of self defense was not valid. So there is no connection between the hypothetical situation and the real one. All that can be concluded is that the poster believes that in a completely different situation, the jury would decide differently, based on the facts. That should be the case regardless of the race of any of the participants.

If a conservative made such an inapplicable hypothetical role reversal argument he would be laughed clear back to a remedial rhetoric class.

But the silliness goes beyond that.

Liberals keep saying that Zimmerman provoked Martin. How? By getting out of his car. In his own neighborhood. The nerve of some people! Zimmerman really had it coming. I’ll remember never to get out of my car in my own neighborhood, because I might be jumped by a thug, and if I defend myself it will be my own fault.

Liberals suggest that Zimmerman is a wannabe cop, which is somehow worse than being a wannbe gangsta.

One liberal said that the moral of the verdict is "You see a black kid, you shoot him".  Well, only if he jumped you, broke your nose, and is straddling you bashing your head on the concrete, as the only eyewitness in the Zimmerman case testified.

Others argued that the case demonstrates the problems with "Stand your ground" laws which say that a person whose life is being threatened does not have a duty to retreat before using lethal force to defend himself, as opposed to other states which only allow self defense when you have retreated until your "back is against the wall". Must I point out that Zimmerman's back was against the sidewalk?

Let’s be generous and assume that some liberal has successfully come up with a hypothetical situation which is equivalent except that the races are reversed. I don’t believe that there is a jury in this country which would convict someone who was walking in his own neighborhood, which is still legal last I checked, who defended himself while his head was being cracked against a sidewalk. In 2013, you might find one ignorant, racist individual here or there, although they are not all that common, and that one person might think that a black person couldn’t possibly need to defend himself from a white person. But you won’t get a jury made up entirely of such people. It is just not possible, particularly because the defense attorney has a say in the makeup of the jury. To convict a person of a felony requires a unanimous decision of the jury, and that just won’t happen today. To anyone who says that a black person is automatically convicted of killing a white person, I have two little letters just for you: OJ. You'll say that case was different. Yup. It wasn't self defense.

But again let’s be generous and assume that somehow the prosecutor has succeeded in stacking the jury with racists and they convict the hypothetical black man for shooting the white kid instead of just letting his head continue to be bashed into the sidewalk. That would be a wrong verdict, wouldn’t it? That is the whole point of the argument. The claim is that America is racist and a black man would be wrongly convicted in the same situation all because of his race.

Isn’t that an admission that the Zimmerman verdict was correct? A jury which is not racist would acquit the black man who defended himself. A just and colorblind jury should also acquit a white, Hispanic, Asian, or purple polka-dotted man who defended himself in the equivalent situation. So liberals, by your own hypothetical argument, the jury in the non-hypothetical Zimmerman case acted exactly as a just and colorblind jury should have acted. The creepy-ass cracker is not the one who injected race into the situation.