Posts Tagged ‘politics’

They’re Missing the Point

I was a bit late reading Ron Unz’s Our American Pravda over at TAC, but got to it this morning. Unz’s thesis won’t be shocking or even all that interesting to this backwater of the internet, but I was struck by the comments which seemed to miss his primary point altogether. Here is his concluding paragraph:

Consider the fascinating perspective of the recently deceased Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Russian oligarchs and the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s. After looting billions in national wealth and elevating Vladimir Putin to the presidency, he overreached himself and eventually went into exile. According to the New York Times, he had planned to transform Russia into a fake two-party state—one social-democratic and one neoconservative—in which heated public battles would be fought on divisive, symbolic issues, while behind the scenes both parties would actually be controlled by the same ruling elites. With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia’s rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign. Given America’s history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for such a clever political scheme.

Unz does an excellent job of laying before us an assemblage of worthy and disturbing stories that have not aroused the ire of the American public to the extent they deserve. He indicts the journalistic establishment for not pursuing or investigating these stories sufficiently. It’s not clear that if they did, there would be much interest in them anyway, and he tells us why:

A likely reason for this wall of uninterest on so many important issues is that the disasters involved are often bipartisan in nature, with both Democrats and Republicans being culpable and therefore equally eager to hide their mistakes. Perhaps in the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, they realize that they must all hang together or they will surely all hang separately.

As of this morning, there were 45 comments on the post. Few of them were in response to the actual point of the piece. I’m not sure what to conclude from this. There were a number of conspiracy minded comments. I’m more open to conspiracy theories than I used to be. I was upbraided on Twitter by Ohtarzie a few weeks back for making the point that we don’t need conspiracy theories when so much evil is done in plain sight. But as he rightly pointed out, if anything the fact that immoral behavior is the norm and goes unpunished ought to increase the likelihood of conspiracies. That is, if powerful people do evil things in plain sight, what would they be willing to do to cover up behavior that’s even worse?

I wish something good could come from this type of essay. The internet has opened up access to alternative sources of information for so many, myself included. But consider the difficulty of effecting real change. Of the whole population of the country, only a minority are politically engaged. Of those, the vast majority get their information from outlets “licensed” by one of the partisan factions. The rest are scattered across the landscape and self sort themselves into miniscule ideological camps from far right to far left. This disaffected group is most likely to recognize the fraud of government, but has so little influence that it might as well be invisible. Mass movements like the Tea Party and Occupy [fill in the blank] are quickly exploited and absorbed into the political structure.

If anything good does come from this type of essay, my hope would be that it helps chip away the intellectual barriers to rational honesty. By that I mean the creation of political ideas that stand on their own outside of the historical spectrum. It means that we must reject incrementalism. There is no hope of reform of the system in place today. It will, as it must, completely fall away. Those of us waiting anxiously for that day will still be surprised when it comes. But perhaps not as surprised as everyone else. In meantime, we must do what we can to imagine what a better world might look like. No doubt we will be wrong about most things, and the species will have to figure things out as well as it can. Recognizing that the emperor has no clothes is nothing to brag about. Learning to live without the emperor is vastly more praiseworthy.

Drones & Stop & Frisk

It’s great that there are so many critics of remote assassinations and racist police tactics. I appreciate that there are civil libertarians out there still to bring this up daily (to no effect, of course) and decry this behavior done on our behalf.

The critics act like the perpetrators of these policies are stupid. They think this is a case of misguided, but well intentioned, policy making.

But what if the outcomes of these policies are producing exactly what the designers want. Drones make more enemies, but cost less American lives (for now). That means we can be reasonably confident that there will be a continuous supply of enemies in the future that we will need to make war on. Pretty straight forward.

Stop & Frisk, as we have seen this week in New York, is a violation of human dignity and if it happened regularly on Wall Street, you can bet there’d be quite an uproar. But since it is practiced almost exclusively on minorities, the liberals get all worked up about it. That’s fine, it’s a horrible practice. But it gives the cops and the legal industrial complex exactly what it wants which is more criminals. The point is to criminalize entire communities, thereby making it inevitable that more criminals will keep the prisons full and the cops busy. Throw in a few terrorists now and then, and voila, you get to be a friggin’ hero and you get new toys.

Bloomberg & Obama. Evil & Eviler.

[Update] The more I think about it, the more Stop & Frisk is analogous to drone strikes. This is preemptive policing, just as drones are preemptive assassinations. Preemptive, but not preventive. In both cases, the punishment is inflicted in the absence of crime to terrorize the intended population. Who benefits? The terrorists (by that I mean the cops and the CIA).

It’s Over

I made a special effort to get home in time to watch the Presidential debate last night. Expectations being high for Obama (oddly, since he wasn’t that good in his debates last time around), I planned to witness the end of the Romney campaign. Although as a “high information” observer (i.e. I waste too much time reading shit on the internet) I knew both of these guys were going to spend the better part of the ninety minutes lying to me, I still had a vestigial attachment to the President and the democrats, and was sort of looking forward to a Romney apocalypse. Of course this didn’t happen. After about thirty seconds of listening to Obama drone on I knew this was going to be bad night for him. Even his “shout out” to his wife seemed clumsy, rehearsed and not genuine.

Then Romney started jawing. And was he ever wide awake! I guess I have seen glimpses of this in some of his interviews: a real human being, that is. But on this stage, on this night, he was pitch perfect, likable and Presidential.

The electorate, even the more involved, high information portion, do not really care, down deep, about what either of these candidates are going to do in office. If they did, we wouldn’t be stuck with just two candidates that more or less will continue precisely the same policies that have been around for a generation or more. What the electorate wants is a vigorous father figure, a Fuhrer if you will, who, if your a Republican-Judeo-Christianist will look and sound more or less like Romney did last night. For the Democrat-Give-Me-My-Rights-Secular faction, they want a guy that doesn’t sound like Mitt, and that’s about it.

Maybe Obama is getting sick of this job. Romney obviously wants it more, but probably not more than the combined raw desire of Obama’s handlers (the Chicago people) who unfortunately for Obama, couldn’t be on the stage with him.

Now that we know that Romney and Obama have basically the same platform, isn’t it time we just settled this with a coin toss? Oh, and those platforms I mentioned, we also know that they are pure fabrications.

I’m guessing Obama loses now. The past is a great predictor of the future, except when it’s not. American’s like winners. Romney sounded like a winner last night. If he keeps talking and acting like one for another month, he’ll probably pull this thing out.

Reading the pundits the day after is the most enjoyable part. Team Obama admits it was a disaster, but blames it on the altitude. Team Romney exults. All is glory and light. The end of the world has been averted.

The end is near folks, but not near enough.

Just give us a deadline

To the 53% (which I guess includes myself since I paid lots and lots of income tax last year): Give us a timeline when you’re gonna wean us from your engorged teat. How about ten years? Will that give you enough time to dismantle the Federal Government? Because I have no problem with that. Ten years should be plenty of time to redistribute all the state stolen, er owned, property and return it to the rest of us. Don’t forget about the guns! We will need those too. Not just the small ones, either.

My New Favorite “Mainstream” Website

Don’t let the name of the site fool you, or the fact that it was founded by Pat Buchanan, The American Conservative has some really, really good writing.

Maybe you all already know this. I think I got there the first time from a link on BLCKDGRD.

Noah Millman’s first reaction to last night’s Obama speech is very good. Anyone who can write the following gets extra points from me:

Look, I am down with responsibilities as well as rights. (Indeed, I have been known to flirt with the notion that there are no such things as rights, only reciprocal duties.) I am down with saying that freedom without love or charity, duty or patriotism, “is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.”

But I am really, really not down with reducing a communitarian ideal of citizenship to the act of voting, wherein I virtually participate, and can pat myself on the back for so participating, in all kinds of great progressive achievements by pulling the right lever. Not to belittle voting – do it early and often! – but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of politics, and politics isn’t the be-all and end-all of our mutual obligations as citizens.

Other tidbits are excellent such as republishing Albert Jay Nock. Here’s a paragraph toward the end of “Anarchist’s Progress”:

My opinion of my own government and those who administer it can probably be inferred from what I have written. Mr. Jefferson said that if a centralization of power were ever effected at Washington, the United States would have the most corrupt government on earth. Comparisons are difficult, but I believe it has one that is thoroughly corrupt, flagitious, tyrannical, oppressive. Yet if it were in my power to pull down its whole structure overnight and set up another of my own devising — to abolish the State out of hand, and replace it by an organization of the economic means — I would not do it, for the minds of Americans are far from fitted to any such great change as this, and the effect would be only to lay open the way for the worse enormities of usurpation — possibly, who knows! with myself as the usurper! After the French Revolution, Napoleon!

Written in 1927. I was going to write that it was even more true today, but I’m not sure that my lethargic compatriots could gather up enough enthusiasm to actually do much.

Finally, don’t miss Mike Lofgren’s: “Revolt of the Rich.”

in which Abonilox attempts to live blog for the first time

8:02 pm It’s an interesting system we have, this duopolistic plutocracy. I’m doing fine and if I wasn’t such a negative person, if I could really trust in hope, I could really get into this whole thing. I’m cursed.

It was a pretty decent speech, about as good as he could do. Threaded the needle, but got some good digs in. No mis-steps. Not going to convince anybody who hates him already, but a pretty steady hand that might reassure a few confused folks that just don’t know what they’re going to do. Didn’t pander much to the geriatric crowd. Maybe giving up on that cohort. Or leaving it to surrogates to scare ‘em a little more.

DNC totally crushed the RNC in execution. No contest.

8:00 pm Swooning over the power of hope right now, but I’ll be hung over in the morning and hating on the state like always…

7:55 pm It doesn’t really matter that his rhetoric is exactly the opposite of the opposition’s characterization of him. Alternate reality and the impermeable barrier of recalcitrant, ignorant obstinance will resist all.

7:49 Getting into red-meat territory, but the Repubs set themselves up for this line of attack. No specifics means we can pin anything we want on y0u. Waiting to see if he actually discusses the deficit seriously. It comes down to this: wait for it: government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing. Good section here. “Rights that no man or no government can take away” (except when they do).

Call for citizenship. Democrats really seem more grown up than the Republicans, strangely. The convention is better organized, more polished and more substantive. Weird.

Government can’t solve all our problems, but government’s not the source of all our problems. Pretty good rhetorical formulation.

7:45 Romney/Ryan new to foreign policy (good line on Russia), but it’s OK, you can learn it on the job (like Obama did). But the Repubs really do suck on this issue. It’s an absolute joke, actually.

7:44 pm (He used the word Muslim!) But he followed up with unwavering support for Israel in the next breath, so it’s OK.

7:43 Glorious Militarism Will Never Die and We Will Never Forget to Support the Glorious Warriors!

7:40 pm Dems have advantage on education. Did that topic even come up at the RNC?

7:40 pm I wish I could choose my future.

7:31 pm A little more humor: “Have a headache, take two tax cuts and call me in the morning.” Pretty good line. If the dems have any narrative that means anything, it’s highlighting the contrast between the entrepreneurial class (Innovators) and the workers. Work with dignity. That’s a real issue.

7:23 pm Here he comes! Kisses, love… she kind of twitched her mouth away from him when he kissed her. Bet they have no sex life.

It all comes down to this moment. Or wait, is it the jobs report tomorrow? I wonder how many of the 200,o00 Americans that will actually decide this election are watching this right now.

His girls have grown up a lot.

This is an interesting place to start: “Hope”. Good line: “If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, so am I.”

7:16 pm Another video. Is this a Smuckers commercial? Oh wait, there’s Clinton again. Credibility. (He had nothing to do with the economic collapse). Michelle reminds us nobody knew how bad it was. It was economic armageddon. They’re beating the auto industry bailout to death. Obama never considers the political consequences of his decisions.

This is so slick. The other side sucked compared to this. Is it the Hollywood connection?

It’s the Smuckers guy again… is this almost over?

7:06 pm “We must never ever forget their sacrifice.” He’s choking up. Is this for real? Yeah, probably. “I love this man.” We should all be in tears now. Frenzied crescendo. Did you like Iraq and Afghanistan? Our warriors will really impress you in Iran and Syria! Let these angels/warriors be forever in our hearts.

6:59 pm So far Biden’s speech is better than Ryan’s. Can’t wait for the debates.

6:57 pm “Territorial Tax” — jobs overseas? Great line: Romney’s job tour? “gonna’ have to be a foreign trip.” Very funny.

6:47 pm “Conviction, Resolve” Obama saving the American Automotive Industry. OK. I probably missed some good bits while I was smoking. Obama fixed an unbearable wound by killing bin Laden. Don’t fuck with us, world. We’ll hunt you down, motherfuckers. We’re bad ass motherfucking warriors.

Biden’s pointing at me. Biden could read Obama’s mind. Justice was done. That’s some good stuff. Romney wouldn’t have done it. Too expensive. You gotta get the warriors out and do some ass kicking killing.

Biden scores some good points knocking the other team for not saying what they would do. “Voucher-care” that’s great. We’ll hear that a few more times.

6:29 pm Joe looks all polished and shiny. Glowing, loving radiant wife.

I fucking hate that term “warriors”. I swear to fucking God, it makes my skin crawl.

I wish I had a DVR. I don’t want to miss any juicy bits, but I’m gonna go smoke a cigarette anyway. Does that make me “working class”? Oh, wait, I can’t leave while Joe is talkin’ bout his friend Barack. He knows him. We were on the brink… and he saved us. “I walk 30 paces down the hall into the Oval Office and I see him naked.” Just kidding.

I feel like I’m right there in the room. Such courage. On the precipice. Banks could have failed! Joe was holding his hand, giving him little back rubs, helping him get through this horrible crisis that almost brought the world to an end. “Barack and I, we been through a lot together through these years. We learned a lot about each other. Stuff you only tell your therapist, you know.”

6:20 pm (There must be a plug-in for this) Joe Biden’s wife on there. God Bless our troops. She’s a doctor. OK. Not really that interesting. Oh shit, another video: Joe Biden’s life. “There’s no quit in America.” Except for all the suicides in the military.

Everybody is Middle Class. One giant swamp of middle classism. “Giving the middle class a shot…” Does Obama really believe “Joe has been a great partner and a great Vice President”? Mo’ middle class! Consumerism Rules!

Wow. I just heard the term “working classs”. That must have been a mistake. There is no such thing in America.

What time is it? 6:19 pm Arizona time. Is this a drinking game?

Republicans are People Too!

I enjoyed the Republican convention. And last night’s appearance by Clint Eastwood did nothing to diminish my admiration for him as an artist. In fact, that was probably one of the most interesting pieces of performance art I’ve seen.

Ryan’s speech Wednesday proves that I made a mistake leaving Washington, DC. He reminded me of the young staffers I got to know back in the early 90′s. The intoxicating odor of power had just barely begun to seep into their crisply starched white shirts. It was an odor I found not offensive, but at the end of the day repulsive. One thing about that group that everybody needs to be reminded about: It really doesn’t matter what team you’re playing on. It’s the thrill of the game that makes those people tick. I don’t think any of them have much of a core ideology. They memorize their talking points, but don’t internalize them. They can’t lie. To be a liar means having some idea of the truth to begin with. When the game is all that matters, then what I say is true only to the extent that it helps my team win.

Anyway, back to the convention. Some think conventions are anachronistic. I disagree. The party faithful deserve a party every four years. It takes a lot of energy to keep that level of delusion up year after year (and that goes for the other guys, too).

Who cares about so-called Main Stream Media anymore. What live coverage I saw was on PBS, mercifully sans commentary. The rest of the coverage was on the internet. Daily Beast actually did something quite enjoyable. Their coverage included some interesting unscripted, and lively exchanges between a wide variety of attendees. The contrast made me realize how scripted and boring most coverage is.

Romney’s speech was, well I don’t remember it anymore. Thinking about what to do about voting this year it struck me that perhaps the most therapeutic thing for me to do would be to vote for Mitt Romney. Perhaps experiencing that level of cognitive dissonance will jolt me into a state of complete political dissociation, which would be welcome.

Haters will Hate

Here’s a couple of comments I came across in my efforts to remain informed from all sides:

How do you pronounce that? Rullie? Rhymes with gully?

Another brilliant comment:

The topic that they were commenting on was a little post about how Obama sent condolence letters to the family of fallen servicemen that had been signed by an electronic pen.

Add the military to the list of cult fetishes that our country is attached to.

It’s hard to avoid being drawn into unpleasant conversations with my own family members lately. My mother is in the hospital, so I keep running into them in her room. The past two nights the Republican convention has been on in the background, so I can’t avoid hearing them discuss the apocalyptic danger of another four years of Obama. What I find peculiar, though, is even among them the putrid bile of hate keeps bubbling just below the surface.

I’m no Obama fan, but my criticisms are coming from a completely different perspective. And as I pointed out to them the chances of things changing much under Romney are remote. There is something so alien and vile about Obama. He hates Israel. He loves our enemies. He is destroying the country. It goes on.

I don’t care any more who wins. The game is rigged. Politics isn’t the way to change anything anyway.

To lie, to prevaricate, to dissemble and deceive is the duty of a patriot in the service of personal gain. That’s the message I get from the whole stinking political process. And it doesn’t matter which side you’re on. Power is an end in itself. The powerless need to be a little more grateful and a little less uppity.

Come on, can we please get a new vision! There is no left left. I don’t even know what that means anymore. What passes for the left is nothing more than a coalition of interest groups. There is no ideology or philosophy that drives them. It’s Capitalism with an asterisk. (Let capitalism reign, fueled by consumerism and tempered by pandering to interest groups).

Democratic Party = “Labor Unions” + “Environmentalists” + “Feminists” + “Disadvantaged Minority Groups” + “Well Read Over Educated Liberal Arts Majors that Don’t Like Republicans” + “Anti-War Folks That Believe Republicans Would Be Worse”

I think that about covers it.

2nd Amendment Remedies

Aug. 27th 2012 02:30 PM

Just saw this headline. Back during the primaries in 2008 I went for Obama, my wife was for Hillary. I still had a bad taste in my mouth from the end of the Clinton years, and got caught up in the “historic” hype of the Obama candidacy. (Not that electing a woman wouldn’t have been historic–more historic actually). There was a period of time when it seemed like a lot of whispering was going on about how if Obama was elected he would become a target. (We thought things were polarized back then). By the time the election came along, and during the interregnum, I think that idea passed away. The honeymoon was short, but it put a damper on that sort of worrying. By the time it was over, Obama was hated by a lot of people of course, but mostly for being a Democrat. That was how things were by the end of 2009.

Along comes the Tea Party. The rhetoric gets a lot hotter. There is a convergence of doom that occurs. Right wing free market people see stimulus, Obamacare and wall street regulation as the end of long slide from our glorious age of 19th century capitalism. The moralists see a culture that is less christian, less white and overly sexualized. And now the Chinese (of all people) are now eclipsing the US of A! They’re 1.5 billion people will soon generate an economy bigger than our 300 million people! Can it be possible?

Was there a time when our political environment was more fucked up than this? Maybe the late 1850′s. Which is why the whispering nowadays seems to be that we’re getting ourselves lined up for another Civil War. Hard to imagine, but then you see the veins popping out of people’s necks whenever the name Obama is mentioned. The hate is palpable.

Aug. 28th 2012 10:30 AM

Now they’re anarchists. Is that the correct appellation?

So, as I was saying, the country is polarized. In my little circle of the blogosphere, we tend to not distinguish much between either side. We see the two parties as tools of the established power structure. Some drift toward the libertarian side, others fall off the political spectrum from the left (as in my case). But either way, we don’t take political parties seriously. For the bulk of the populace, however, the parties represent an almost tribal devotion.

Aug. 28th 2012 2:55 PM

My fantasy is for Obama to barely win the election–maybe even an electoral college tie. Then I want to see the hard-core right wing try to stage some kind of coup. Maybe there would be new challenges to his legitimacy. It would be really fun to see Texas have some kind of secessionist convention.

Let’s invite the British to come back and partition the country. They did a wonderful job with India.

One way to fix the immigration problem is to just give some of the country back to Mexico, along with their missing citizens.

A new Republic of Texas would annex everything west of them to edge of Los Angeles county, Oklahoma, parts of Kansas and Colorado. The Republic of Georgia could have the southeast, except for Florida, which would become part of Cuba (post-Castro). The Atlantic coast could be annexed entirely by the District of Columbia, with Manhattan split off as a separate city state with Bloomberg as its first King.

See if Canada wants to buy North Dakota. Get a good price!

A coastal empire on the west coast running from Bellingham, WA to Long Beach, CA that is 50 miles wide and over 1,200 miles long. Bullet trains will run the whole length of this strange country. They will be built on top of a giant wall to keep the barbarians to the east out (except the millions of daily guest workers brought in to clean and serve meals and so forth).

I see a new industrial super power emerging along the Mississippi. From St. Paul to Baton Rouge it will be run by the Koch brothers as a corporate quasi-monarchy kind of like the old East India Company. Unfortunately, New Orleans will get wiped out by floods and sediment in short order.


Forcible Legitimate Life

A good friend of mine has been in a committed gay relationship for almost 16 years. I called to catch up a while back and he told me he and his partner were trying to adopt. My reaction was “Why?” We got together a few days later, and I kept pushing the issue. Why would you want to go through the heartache and frustration of parenting at this stage of your life? It made no sense to me. I pushed a little too hard, and got a good amount of push-back. And rightly so. This was a serious and important decision they had made and my negativity was unfair and insensitive.

Part of my hostility to the idea was based on my ambivalence about being a parent myself. There is an existential quality to parent-child relationships. Something besides your genetics gets passed along to your children–a good chunk of your identity is necessarily sacrificed for the cause. From an evolutionary standpoint, you could say once you’ve successfully reproduced, you’re kind of an extra in the drama of life. Of course human children take a hell of a long time to grow up, so it stretches the whole process out interminably.

The existential phenomenon of connection with a child is utterly profound. Once that connection has occurred, it is not easily relinquished. Over time and separation, it weakens, I’m sure. But it never goes away completely.

I don’t think about abortion very much. I have never had occasion to participate in a decision so difficult, and not being a woman, would have only a peripheral part in it. When my first child was conceived, we certainly didn’t consider aborting it. (I say “it” because that’s what “it” was for the first 18 weeks–”it” is now a beautiful 14 year old girl). I was over thirty, and optimistic about the future.  I didn’t suffer much anxiety about the prospect of being a parent at that point. After a difficult pregnancy, and a premature birth, the doctors informed us that it was unlikely we would have any more children. No worries. One was enough. Eight years later, a surprise pregnancy. The timing was bad, and I admit I was relieved a bit when that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. But surprise again; just three months after that, we discovered my wife was pregnant again. Another difficult pregnancy, under terrible family conditions. (I was away from home for business much of the first five months of the pregnancy). But, luckily, the baby was born healthy, if six weeks premature.

Despite whatever philosophical doubts I may have about the abstract question of existence vs. non-existence, the connection and affection I have for my two daughters is unaffected. It is possible to reflect on these matters and still be completely engaged with, and devoted to, the objects of our reflection.

As to the question of abortion, I have no interest in the rhetorical vomit that has been spewed on this subject over the past forty years. I have been on both sides of the issue. During my evangelical days, I gradually came to accept the hard line view that life must begin at conception and therefore any intentional destruction after that must, by definition, be a type of murder. Long after my faith had been abandoned, that view lingered. But my opinions have changed, once again, gradually over the past few years.

I’m sympathetic, on an emotional level, with the anti-natalist point of view. But I don’t think it stands up to ethical scrutiny. If life has any intrinsic value at all, and if it is something more than the sum of suffering and pleasure, then the anti-natalist position cannot be right. Suffering being subjective, only the individual can determine if his or her life was worthwhile when it is about to end. That there is a potential for suffering when each child is brought into the world can only trump the value of life if life has no intrinsic value to begin with.

But acknowledging that life has some intrinsic value doesn’t mean it is the ultimate value. Imagine that an evil sadist held a number of women captive. The sadist gets his kicks torturing small children, so he impregnates the women, forces them to bring their babies to full term, then “fattens them up” so he can torture them in horrible ways. Is there a scenario more evil than this? But if the intrinsic value of life is always greater value than the expected quality of life, then it would still be morally wrong to abort those little unborn children. That’s obviously absurd. So there are at least some situations where the quality of life must be taken into consideration.

The state has the potential to be the evil sadist. Who is in the best position to weigh these factors and determine if the quality of life value outweighs life’s intrinsic value? Only the mother. It’s imperfect, and unfortunately human beings tend to make decisions based on selfish motives, so most mothers will make that decision in a cloud of imperfect reasoning and emotional baggage. But the alternative is much more horrific. A total ban on abortion, which is the desired goal of one half of our political duopoly puts the state in the position of potential evil sadist.

The recent hullabaloo about forcible and legitimate rape is of interest only to the extent that it exposes the philosophical inconsistencies in this debate. If the intrinsic value of life is paramount, then the idea that the origin of conception is relevant is an inconsistency. All life should be preserved, no matter the cost or quality, under all circumstances. And I know that that is precisely the view held by the vocal opposition to abortion.

My friend may still adopt. Whatever child the state grants him permission to care for, that child will be among the most unwanted in society. The child will have been a foster child shunted around from home to home. He or she will probably be school age already, and is more likely to be a minority from an impoverished family. That there are more of these children than there are loving families to care for them must be factored into the equation. But then, as St. Paul said:

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?

There you have it. Some life is made only for destruction, so that God’s glory might be more fully revealed. And if the suffering of children adds to glory of God, then it has to be good.

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The Abonilox

Making Truth Palatable