Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life, Humanity, Freedom Of Speech, And Other Matters Of Little Or No Importance

Yes, there are still a few differences between the Democrat and the Republican Parties. To the Democrats, abortion is "health care:"

Thousands of pro-life activists donned scarves, gloves and knit hats Wednesday to brave the blowing snow and arctic temperatures on the Mall as the 41st March for Life was punctuated by an unusually blunt exchange between the Republican and Democratic Party leaders that signaled a shifting fight for female voters.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz opened the barrage, accusing her GOP counterpart, Reince Priebus, of rallying “against women’s rights” and assailing Republicans for spending “more time fighting to restrict the rights of women to make their own health care choices.”

Moreover, they don't want to hear any backtalk:

The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.


Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams. [ Barack Hussein Obama ]

Abortion is "health care?" Really? "For whom?" I hear you ask. Certainly not for the baby whose life is about to be snuffed out. It's pretty dubious for the unwilling mother-to-be, too; a great many such live with negative consequences, physical, emotional, or both, for the rest of their lives. To a non-Democrat, the matter admits of deeper, more compassionate consideration:

With a message coordinated with the march, Mr. Priebus and his Republican charges shot back at the Democratic efforts to paint the GOP as extreme and unfriendly to women.

“I attended the March for Life to show both my personal and the Republican Party’s respect for life and to celebrate adoption,” Mr. Priebus told The Washington Times. “As a party, we believe life is a gift worth protecting, and the march is an important cause.”

As it happens, the March was well attended despite the snow, the bitter cold, and the disapproval of the Left:

Last year's March was estimated at 500,000 attendees. I haven't yet located an estimate of yesterday's attendance, but it seems certain to have reached six figures, at least.

Did tens of thousands of Americans, many of them young women, brave extreme weather to demonstrate "against women's rights?" Are they really opposed to "health care?" Or is something else in progress that the Democrats and their handmaidens in the Main Stream Media would prefer not to discuss?

A good question.

T. L. Davis has been knocking them out of the park lately. Yesterday's emission was no exception:

The Marxist obsession with death is striking. There is a blood lust to it. When they describe it, it is always as some form of ultimate good. Whether in the form of euthanasia, or abortion, or Obamacare death panels, they are always getting rid of those that don't fit into their humanistic, Godless society.

It is social planning that ultimately puts the figurative gun to the head of millions of citizens. We have all seen the pictures of the holocaust. The Jews were "wrecking" the ability of Germany to economically recover from World War I. The political opponents of Stalin were "wrecking" the benefits of communism by failing to produce enough for the people. Obamacare will eventually find that old people "selfishly" requiring too many services and not contributing to the treasury will be "wrecking" the health care system. Marxism always comes with an enemy, even when those enemies are as inoffensive as unborn children, the mentally handicapped or the elderly.

The underlying sense of it all is that being human is subjective with bureaucrats making the distinction. The most important aspect of Marxism is the bureaucracy for this very reason. There are accounts of the average Russian believing that if "Stalin knew what was going on, he would be furious and put a stop to it." Stalin depended on the bureaucracy to protect his narcissistic image. Sound familiar?

There is no conceptual or ethical space between what Davis refers to as "Marxists" and those aligned with the American Left. To a leftist, all subjects, including the most private and intimate, are political: "The personal is political" is their slogan, after all. That includes mammalian taxonomy: a human life is what they say it is.

It has to be that way for them to carry out their program:

Bone marrow stem cell transplants save the lives of thousands each year and have been performed for more than four decades. The medical therapies developed from stem cell research (SCR) have produced successful results far beyond our expectations.

With all this scientific success and with more than 15,000 patients benefiting from SCR each year, why are some people apoplectic? The answer is both simple and perplexing. The scientific breakthroughs and the medical therapies have all come from adult stem cells and none as yet have come from embryonic stem cells. Rather than welcoming the results and pursuing support for what works, there are paradoxically increasing demands for the recognition and funding of embryonic SCR.

A dangerous combination of political and social ideology is determined to make embryonic SCR succeed. The problem is an apparent obsession with destroying human life to provide medical therapies. Looking from the outside, one might imagine that embryonic SCR supporters are advocating a pagan ritual of human sacrifice to treat disease?


As Lynde Langdon reported in "Miracle cells" (World, February 5, 2005):

The National Institutes of Health has shunned her grant applications three times. In one grant review, a fellow scientist commented that her stem cells come from tissue inside umbilical cords, not days-old embryos. ‘We already have a good source of stem cells,’ the grant reviewer wrote, ‘Why do we need another?'

Ms. Langdon further writes:

The NIH . . . has funded only 30 projects involving stem cells from umbilical cords. In contrast, it has funded 634 projects involving embryonic stem cells.

As I wrote at Eternity Road nine years ago:

The "why" of it is simple enough. It's an item on a checklist:
  • Abortion without restrictions.
  • Assisted suicide.
  • Involuntary euthanasia of those deemed untreatable or having "no quality of life."
  • Compulsory surrender of the organs of the deceased for transplantation.
  • Creation of embryos for research and therapeutic purposes.
  • Government-enforced "triage" to conserve medical and financial resources.
  • Compulsory acceptance of specified therapies.
  • Procreation licenses.
  • Government eugenics programs:
    • At first, as subsidies to couples with favored genetic characteristics;
    • Later, as compulsory donations of gametes for use in government-supervised breeding programs.
  • Conscription for military purposes.
  • Conscription for non-military purposes.

The overarching theme of all these measures, about half of which are already in place in various Western countries, is that human life has no intrinsic value and bears no intrinsic rights. By corollary, the individual's life does not belong to him, but to the State. The deliberate creation of human embryos in government-funded research centers, despite the revulsion it evokes from more than half the population of this country, is directly in line with this campaign. It's apparently the number-one goal of the pro-death forces at this time, despite lack of any indication of scientific or medical utility.

If we are the property of the State, then we have no rights of any kind. Property cannot have rights, for the quintessential characteristic of an item of property is its owner's right to dispose of it however he pleases. That includes the right to destroy it.

Think about it.

Despite the Main Stream Media's determination to suppress the trend, the American people are steadily trending toward the legal restriction of abortion. It would appear that the Left's attempt to conflate abortion with "health care" has run out of gas. Demographic factors might play a significant role: pro-life women out-reproduce pro-choice women by a considerable margin. Also, the country is aging, and people do become more conservative as they age. But there's also a moral awakening in progress: a slow but steady return to what the Left would call "reactionary values," including the valuation of human life as a sacred gift.

There's only one way the Left can counter such trends: they must be shouted down, vilified, and made to seem the attitudes of monsters. Indeed, they must be denied the right to speak at all. Here's the Left's gospel on the subject, from Herbert Marcuse himself:

Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: ... it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word....

Such extreme suspension of the right of free speech and free assembly is indeed justified only if the whole of society is in extreme danger. I maintain that our society is in such an emergency situation, and that it has become the normal state of affairs. Different opinions and 'philosophies' can no longer compete peacefully for adherence and persuasion on rational grounds: the 'marketplace of ideas' is organized and delimited by those who determine the national and the individual interest. In this society, for which the ideologists have proclaimed the 'end of ideology', the false consciousness has become the general consciousness--from the government down to its last objects. The small and powerless minorities which struggle against the false consciousness and its beneficiaries must be helped: their continued existence is more important than the preservation of abused rights and liberties which grant constitutional powers to those who oppress these minorities....

[1968 Postscript:] As against the virulent denunciations that such a policy would do away with the sacred liberalistic principle of equality for 'the other side', I maintain that there are issues where either there is no 'other side' in any more than a formalistic sense, or where 'the other side' is demonstrably 'regressive' and impedes possible improvement of the human condition.

The above was written in 1965 and 1968. Dismiss it if you please. I cannot.

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