Re: Quin Hillyer's Monstrously Anti-Life:
Mr. Hillyer, in his unexceptionable essay "Monstrously Anti-Life," says that the "fetus is a life form" but also claims that, "We do not know, nor will we probably ever know, when a human being becomes ensouled." Does he not see the inconsistency?
Everyone knows when the fetus becomes ensouled; some of us just pretend that we don’t know. Since the soul is the principle of life, that which differentiates a living organism from insensate matter, that which makes matter LIVING, the soul is present, HAS to be present, in every living thing from the moment of its conception. How else does it move from the microscopic to the discernible?
What better time can be designated as the moment of ensoulment? Five weeks, when the heartbeat of the growing child becomes audible? Just because we can’t hear it before then doesn’t mean the heart isn’t beating. And growing.
Scientists, atheists, and abortionists can deny the facts all they want. To say we don’t know when the fetus becomes ensouled is the first step in rationalizing the murder of the unborn.
-- James F. Csank
Seven Hills, Ohio
Mr. Hillyer mentions some of his past laments regarding: "parental notice laws, and informed consent; utter opposition to making taxpayers finance abortions even if it violates their deepest beliefs...."
Should parents be notified when their minor daughter seeks an abortion? Of course not, says President Obama, that would violate the child's constitutional rights.
Followup question: Should parents be notified when an abortionist perforates the uterus of their underage daughter?
Answer: Not only are the parents notified, the surgeon will demand their consent prior to the
Taxpayer-financed abortions? Mr. Hillyer, President Obama is not concerned with the deepest beliefs of you, me or any taxpayer.
How about waiting periods? Of course. For consumer loans and cell phone contracts.
Legal protection for fertilized eggs? Agreed. That is, as long as we're talking about Loggerhead Sea Turtle eggs.
Waiting periods? Move Hell and Earth and it might pass a legislature, but Federal Judges are standing by to kill anything that gets out of a state capitol.
Abortion coverage in a nationalized health care scheme? You bet -- much cheaper than health care for babies. Of course, when government runs health care, the waiting period for an abortion will be about 10 months.
-- Dan Martin
A bitter pill to swallow: every Libertarian, Conservative and principled Republican, and all others who could not hold their noses and pull down the lever for Senator John McCain are equally responsible as the true believers and duped Democrats for electing The One. (As a proud, card-carrying Libertarian, I do include myself responsible for the results of the election.) When voters of principle made their stand by voting for anyone but McCain, it was done with the full awareness that we were in essence conceding victory the Democrats 'New Messiah.' We sowed the wind and now we reap the whirlwind.
President Obama is "Monstrously Anti-Life." The Titan of the Teleprompter is scheduled to hit the airwaves again Tuesday. He will seek to justify his reign and placate the populace. Sadly, many will continue to worship blindly, but slowly, very slowly, the people are waking up to the nightmare that is the Obama administration. The Boy President kept his list of enemies, but he was never fool enough to be overt is his contempt, and while he believed that the IRS was an instrument for punishing his enemies, he lacked the hubris to do so openly. Obama has made the mistake of buying into his own hype: The Chosen One finds no need for subtly or subterfuge now that he is elected. Obama and his administration will do everything in their power (Constitution be damned) to make America into their chosen image. For too long Americans were willing to allow government to chip away at our rights and freedoms. For too long our moral core was slowly softening. The rot was slow growing and easily ignored. Now that the current administration is accelerating the decay of our beloved country, few can ignore the pain. Many a Jeremiah bemoans the downfall of our land of liberty. We are in a downward spiral, both here at home and abroad, but the momentum is not irreversible. The public is responding. Mr. Hillyer wrote his first article directly on the subject of abortion (and a fine and fiery piece it was) and organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List grow in membership. Obama's popularity is slipping. People of principle are responding to the crisis of and by our government. Diamonds can only be made under great pressure; similarly great men also are created under great duress.
Last election cycle we had a choice between a poor representative of conservative value and a radical socialist. We chose wisely: if McCain were elected, his policies, while less egregious but only slightly more principled, would have been similar to Obama's and The Right would have been held responsible. We will have to endure four years of mismanagement, megalomania and a myriad of malaise, but we shall endure. In this time of testing, a great leader may emerge to right this ship. The Colonies' demands for equality and respect from Great Brittan brought us war, but it also brought us the Founding Fathers. The bitter acrimony between the North and South gave us the Civil War but also a president to lead us. The Carter debacles prepared the nation to accept the wisdom of The Great Communicator. The greater the crisis the greater the call for true leadership. After four years of Obamanation, American will need a true savior.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
THE SLIPPERY SLOPE
Re: George Neumayr's Obama's Penal Code:
For all you socialists who might stumble upon this website, I hope you are paying close attention to the AIG situation. This government with pretensions to oversee the whole economy cannot effectively oversee even one major corporation. I would like to remind everyone that the government of the US is now the 80% shareholder in AIG, due to the crazy decision to bail it out. Over $150 billion (yes, billion with a b!) have been "invested" in the process. It matters to US taxpayers whether the company succeeds. That $150 billion could have been used for legitimate government purposes.
Barney Frank's phony indignation projected at Mr. Libby yesterday is the real outrage. You remember Barney, the guy who was willing to "roll the dice" with Fannie and Freddie, and railed against more perspicacious people who wanted to rein in their excesses. And you might also remember the Senator from Fan and Fred, Chris Doddering, who now admits he sneaked a provision to allow the bonuses into the recent Porkulus bill. But it wasn't Chris' fault! Someone at Treasury told him he had to do it, but let's keep it on the quiett so we don't upset the natives!
As a matter of fact, all this government bleating about compensation and its concomitant legislative solutions do make it less likely that bailed out institutions will ever return "loaned" funds to the Treasury. Had we allowed firms like AIG to go bankrupt, there would have been an orderly winding down of troubled operations under court supervision. With an eye to protecting creditors, contracts would have been abrogated as necessary. However, the court would have considered how to maximize the value of the company during a bankruptcy reorganization and this may well have included some "retention bonuses" where people in discontinued operations (like Financial Products) were paid extra to stay around to clean up the mess they created. These instruments are complex and not everybody, or even every Congressthing, could replace the people who wrote these deals to manage the unwinding of them. You might ask yourself what kind of talented person would be willing to stay with or hire on to AIG to clean up the mess, especially if they were to be presented as the essence of evil by their government owners/overseers and offered below market compensation? Perhaps Barney Frank would volunteer for such patriotic duty!
AIG has had a very successful insurance business. When one idiot suggested a bill that would pay people in the insurance part of the organization like a government bureaucrat (although undoubtedly without the normal bureaucrat perks), he might have overlooked that AIG insurance people could jump ship and sign on with other insurance operations at market wage structures. Those in the business are aware that good people are leaving AIG every day, and taking former staff members with them. Because of the bad press ginned up by all the phony populism, AIG is becoming a much less attractive place to work. In order to preserve its insurance business, reports are that premiums are being reduced to retain that business, a situation that will spread the financial difficulties into the regular insurance side of the business. Once again, had AIG been allowed to go into reorganization, the court and insurance regulatory authorities could have separated out the regular insurance business and provided a possible path for its rehabilitation. Instead, our public authorities are taking every action possible to undermine that business. This is an "unintended consequence" only in the sense that a particularly stupid monkey doesn't understand what happens when he drops the banana.
I also find it laughable that our political class didn't understand that when it bailed out international financial institutions the bailout money would go abroad. Well, excuuuuse me! Wasn't the point of the bailouts to preserve the international financial system from collapse? You can complain that the bailouts weren't the best way to resolve this problem, or at least not at a sustainable cost, but you can't justify the intervention as saving an international system without expecting that some of the money would end up with foreign financial intermediaries. If the Congressthings didn't understand this, then I'm even more appalled than if they did understand but are now trying to escape the blowback of public outrage. Note to Congressthings: Money is fungible!
So now our legislature is exploring various strategies to get the money back from AIG executives, perhaps ex post facto tax law or perhaps a bill of attainder. I guess this means that no one's compensation is safe if Congress can claw back any compensation that is unpopular. If we are going to go the unconstitutional route, I would rather see a bill of attainder that claws back the salaries and benefits of Barney Frank, Chris Doddering, and all the other high profile defenders of Fan and Fred. That would certainly do less harm to our market economy.
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri
My oh my! How long will it be before the pending legislation aimed at AIG will be broadcast to other, far more benign performance bonuses? Will I, who derives a small portion of my income from a performance based bonus, be subjected to a 90% tax on that portion of my income? Is this the first step in funding the next grand experiment in tax and spend? Is this Central Planning group going to set executive and then lower tier compensation for me and my staff? What happened to free enterprise and market forces? Oh, I remember some people voted for "change." What they got was the same failed policies of the Politburo. When the last of the producers are taxed out of the workforce, and the only work being performed is government subsidized phony make-work, we will be complete in our transformation.
Welcome to our brave new world. Anyone know how many mouths can be fed on an acre of land?
-- Greg Mercurio
THE GAZE OF ARISTOTLE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Cap-and-Trade Socialism :
You're so right in your characterization of Obama as "prophet" (tho' self-anointed).
Speaking of "Obama the Prophet," where have I seen that fierce, self-absorbed, superior, dismissive, hypnotic, commanding gaze before -- the gaze that can bend the strongest will to its every whim?
Svengali? No. Nice fit, but fictional. Savonarola? Maybe. One of several 20th Century pyrotechnic megalomaniacs? The irrepressible, ever-impish Hugo Chavez?
Where, I ask.
-- A. C. Santore
MAKING MEXICO EVEN LESS ATTRACTIVE
Re: Peter Hannaford's Mexico's Half-Reported Drug War:
Peter Hannaford wrote a sad tale of Mexico, the government, trying to take in a larger cut from the drug lords and not having much success in doing so.
Just last night both President Obama and Nancy Pelosi said illegal immigrants are wonderful and we should give them...well...everything.
My take is this: a poll taken not long ago asked Mexicans if they would like to "move" to the U.S., and 50% or so said, "you bet." So if you make living in Mexico more difficult and living in the U.S. easier...
How can we get all those potential democratic voters over here -- legally that is -- well, rather then have them enter "illegally" they might become "war refugees" who would not be in favor of helping war refugees. Of course this may imply the US is funding the war in Mexico, but we know that could never happen, right?
-- Len Labounty
GERMANY'S PRETTY GREEN, RIGHT?
Re: Peter Ferrara's You've Got to Have Heartland :
Thank you for your fine article.
In my opinion, one of the mistakes of the global warming conversation is to use the term "greenhouse gases" and "greenhouse effect." Doing so gives credence to the misbelief that the atmosphere behaves like a greenhouse. It does not; nor is the atmosphere a giant greenhouse as the global warming alarmists insist. There is a study by two German physicists (below) who challenge global warming and the greenhouse effect using theoretical and experimental physics. I commend it to your reading. One of their conclusions is, "There are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effect, which explains the relevant physical phenomena. The terms 'greenhouse effect' and 'greenhouse gases' are deliberate misnomers."
Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects within the Frame of Physics, Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner.
"The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861, and Arrhenius 1896, and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper, the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33o C is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified."
You can find the study here.
Given the Gerlich/Tscheuschner conclusions, I'm not surprised with historical data as you present it. The study suggests there would not be "catastrophic effects" because the atmospheric greenhouse effect from CO2 does not exist.
-- Karl F. Whittenberg
LEARNING ON THE JOB
Re: Ilan Berman's Rookie Mistake:
This gaffe with Russia contains the lesson America never seems able to learn. All nations act only and consistently in what they perceive as their own best interests. Russia has begun the process of becoming relevant on the world scene once again. They shut off Europe's gas supply; they provide nuclear materials and knowledge to a rogue nation; and they are in my view, very likely in the next few years to put nuclear capable bombers in Cuba or Venezuela or perhaps both. Why?
First, national pride. We fail to understand this third world country that cannot even feed or cloth its citizens. Russia won the World War. So what? That is how we view the War in this country. It's a bunch of old men who many years ago did something, and now when they are interviewed they choke up and can't talk.
I assure you in Russia the Second World War is alive and immediate. It is living history and the young of Russia are taught their countrymen's courage and suffering. They won a place at the world's table of influence. The inevitable economic collapse of their socialist system system took that away from them. They want it back.
What does America want? We want everybody to love us. President Obama wants to make us the "love doctor." He will be in touch with our feminine side. America will bare it's economic breasts for the world to suckle. He will make our military less efficient and capable. He will diminish our economy so the world need not be envious of our standard of living. Most dangerous, he will seek to accommodate every demand from every nation on us.
We are now engaged in a great political struggle within America over whether, to quote President Lincoln, "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
I believe the outcome is for the first time seriously in doubt.
-- Jay Molyneaux