Thursday, June 25, 2009

In which I politely take exception to the uncouth accusations of the esteemed Michael Weiner.

This post will be an examination of the first chapter of Michael Savage's book The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on our Schools, Faith, and Military. The first chapter is called "Freedom: The Savage America," which serves effectively as a brief introduction to the other eight chapters of the book, which each address in more detail the eight areas that he mentions where liberals are presumably undermining American interest. There is an electronic version of the book here, which you can reference at your leisure if you are suspicious of potential quote mining on my part, or other to deal with other such concerns. Much of this first chapter consists of metaphors and anecdotes and I have decided to cut out a lot of the latter, because they bore me, quite frankly. But, I have left some of them in for emphasis. So, let us begin with the beginning: the first paragraph of Chapter One.
A near death experience taugh me one of the most important lessons of my life...One afternoon my friend Harry suggested we take a break and drive around the narrow mountain roads for an hour or so to relax before serving hotel guests another meal.
His car, his idea. Off we went.
At one point, Harry started speeding, like kids will do, down a steep two-lane stretch of mountain blacktop. On our right, the jagged rocks threatened to puncture the car like a giant can opener. On the left, just to the other side of oncoming traffic, was a cliff falling about a hundred feet into a dark, cold river.
Like I said, metaphor. And, do you see what he did here (intentionally or not)? He has the car in danger, with potential threats from both the "right" and the "left" sides of the road. Soak it in because that's the closest thing that he's going to give us in regards to (implicit) bipartisan sentiment for a long while.
The idiot lost control....
It's a miracle I'm still alive.
There's a lesson about the future of America in that story. America is the car.
And he makes it explicit just in case you didn't immediately see the metaphor beginning a chapter of a book explicitly about America's national politics....
Whoever is in the driver's seat determines whether we as a nation will crash and burn or survive and hand the keys to the next generation
Sadly, one can survive to hand on the keys, and yet leave the car itself in a rather poor condition. If that's the case, you can just tell the next generation that the car came pre-dented and was missing the radio when you bought it.
It boils down to the heart and soul of the driver.
Does the driver respect the laws of the land? Or does he take the law into his own hands to do as he pleases?
Now, these both look like reasonable requests. Expecting the people in charge to, more or less, obey the law. Of course, it is odd when you are considering what the driver metaphor is making reference to, i.e. the majority party in government. It makes sense for a driver to obey the law and that being the highest virtue, because failure to do so will most likely result in death and/or injury and/or property damage. But, when you are talking about the nation at large: what does it mean for a nation to follow the law? I mean, in our case, it mostly means to follow the Constitution, but then we can amend that. How does it make sense, in this comparison, for "respecting the laws of the land" to have any meaning if it is the driver themselves that more or less are tasked with determining what those laws are?
Will the driver exercise some modicum of common sense? Or will he disregard the warning signs that clearly show desperate corrective measures are needed?
This is also interesting in light of the previous sentiments expressed: what if common sense, and the corrective measures needed for a certain matter are beyond the scope of the "laws of the land"? What is the ideal action in that situation? Personally, I have no fucking idea what the ideal compromise on that matter would be myself. But, I was hoping that a quote that I typed up myself off of a piece of paper might be able to answer me.
Will he preserve what was passed down to him? Or will he selfishly squander what he inherited?
Will he keep the dents intact?
I guess that's the problem with relying too much on this analogy: you can pretty easily tell what is right with a car and what is wrong with it and needs correcting. What requires preservation and what needs to be adjusted instead when it comes to an entire country, however, is just a tad more subjective and open to different perspectives.
Today the liberals have the seized the wheel.
They're speeding down the pathway of good intentions. Their mantra: Celebrate perversity

Celebrate perversity. Here's the thing: just because you call something perverse doesn't make it wrong if you can't offer up anything but your casual disgust as a justification. The things that even the most radical liberals defend, be it incest, transsexuality, or bestiality (note: I support all three, though bestiality only in certain situations) simply do not result in harm to other people if done consentually. As weird as these things may seem to you, that's all you are accusing them of: being weird, and therefore wrong. That's the real perversity here. Celebrate that.
embrace ultra-tolerance,
Is that tolerance of ultraviolet light? Or just an excessive amount of tolerance? If the latter...what exactly does that look like, anyway?
pay rape-a-nations (so-called reparations),
Wait...what? I had no idea that reparations (for slavery, I assume) were being seriously discussed by any significant number of politicians, since it seems rather impractical to implement.
support affirmative racism, provide government subsidies for every illegal who sneaks across the border, and do so through the judges if they can't win at the ballot box
Yeah, those evil judges. They get a whole chapter to themselves, luckily. (Spoilers: Not really).
But some people can't see that, can they? They're sitting in the back seat with headphones on, or watching TV, or hooked on the Internet.
Can you find the exact point in that sentence where he decided to say "Aww, fuck it!" with the car metaphor and just dove right back into the direct approach?
With these sanctimonious zealots driving public policy, the homeless are the sacred cows of the streets.
Yeah, how dare they have positive regard for the homeless! Wait...what is your complaint here?

The sexual perverts are the teacher's pets.

I knew it! I knew that they had to be called "brownosers" for a reason!
The lawyers twist the system in favor of the criminal class.
This is a rather perplexing perspective of his that arises later on as well. Now, I am as much a supporter of actual criminals getting punished appropriately for crimes they actually committed as the next American. But, you see, due to the pesky things such as right to a fair trial, reasonable doubt, and presumption of innocence, all working to assure that the person we haul off to get punished is actual guilty, we need to also give these criminals competent lawyers. There may be a problem where criminal defense lawyers may be exceptionally skilled at distortion, manipulation, and may be better at doing so than prosecutors for the state. But, that is just their job, sadly, and the only solution is to either correct the trial process or get more skilled lawyers who have an incentive to become state prosecutors. But to abhor the very idea of lawyers defending "criminals" is just bizarre, and I hope that he refers to only the most egregious cases of lawyers attempting to "twist the system" (whatever that means) when doing so.
The churches are silenced while the courts legislate immorality.
Now if you read that and think "How?", or, more likely, "WTF are you talking about?", you are not alone. Thankfully, he quietly elaborates on this idea later on. Yes, it is stupid.
And patriots and police are censored while dung-slingers are subsidized.
You might respond similarly to this one as you did to the last one. Sadly, there is nothing I can find elaborating on this idea in this chapter. So...cliffhanger! Michael Savage is a master of suspense.
My love for America and my fears for my children and for my future grandchildren compel me to speak out.
To name names.
To call it as I see it.
Passion: not the best motive when attempting to establish credibility. Because, when you see red, 'calling it as you see it' becomes slightly less accurate. In fact, it very much just appears like ranting about shit nobody cares about.
What? Don't look at me like that...
You see the Enemy Within is an octopus. In its mind is liberalism, and its eight tentacles are strangling the government, the church, the courts, the schools, the media, the military, the police, and health care.
Now that's how you do a thesis statement, people! Take notes, high schoolers in the audience!
...extreme liberalism is a mental disease.
Pretty much anything "extreme" isn't exactly mentally healthy....
It is a destructive contagion more deadly than any force this country has ever faced. As you will find later in these pages, it is also a canker sore that seeks to silence anyone who dares to speak the truth. It is a sickness that would have us dismantle our borders, language, and culture.
"Truth" as used in these kinds of discussions really seems to have a weird definition that I am unfamiliar. Must have added a new definition to the effect of "opinion one strongly believes to be true, and assumes to be actually true for the sake of convenience/demagoguery/abject ignorance". Also, please take note of phrase "borders, language, and culture". It is a recurring phrase in this book. In addition to using three to five sentences with parallel construction (e.g. "I am a Buddhist. I am a drunk. I am a Virgo. I am a CEO of a large auto company") and italicizing and adding extra copies of a select few letters in a word in order to mock the very idea that the word expresses (e.g. "iiiiiiiiignorance"), it could probably make for a hell of a drinking game. Just giving you a heads up on that one....
I don't want my children to inherit a broken nation. I don't want my grandchildren to inherit a land whose people fled tyranny only to bring tyranny here.
Okay. This idea seems to be a restatement of the "if we don't fight terrorism abroad, we'll have to fight them here" meme. Of course, he replaces that with "tyranny"...and I am confused. I simply cannot fathom how we could "bring tyranny here" unless
1. the people who fled tyranny became tyrants
2.we're curently fighting a tyrant who is also an imperialist and wanted to gain control of our country. (Zombie Hitler?)
3. "bringing tyranny here" just means that the tyrants subordinates will attack us.
4. he just tossed the word "tyranny" into the original phrasing and could give a damn about whether it actually makes sense.
I think that a secret war with Zombie Hitler is the logical explanation here.
Everything so many backward migrants run from they bring with them.
Their hatred.
Their bigotry.
Their small-mindedness.
Their religious extremism.
America was not built on those values. She was built on the backs of immigrants who knew how to work, not work the system. On immigrants who learned the language, not corrupted it
Here, I am going to make a confession: I have no fucking idea what he is talking about. Who "backwards migrants" refers to is unclear. I originally assumed it was supposed to be a clever play on words making reference to the people who "fled tyranny" above. But, then he mentions distinctions betweens kinds of immigrants below, making me wonder if he is complaining about Mexican immigrants. But, then again,there was also a brief mention of Muslims somewhere around this statement, so he may be talking about their "hatred" and "religious extremism" and make sense in that respect...but none of his complaints about immigrants below that make any sense when keeping Muslims in mind, because they are not known for anything involving welfare or wishing for accodomation to their native tongue to be made. So....I forfeit. You win, Michael Savage. I can't rebut this passage. It is bulletproof.
For eight years the Demoncats handed the keys to the country to any and all. Clinton, the most scandalous president in our history, let the dregs of humanity invade America. It wasn't "give us your tired and your poor". No, under Clinton it was "give us your loafers and your free-loaders"
Demoncats? What are you, twelve years old, or were you writing this book at the same time that you were brainstorming titles for Saturday morning cartoons or vidja game? Also: Bill Clinton is the most scanalous president in our history!? Even more than Nixon? Or W. himself? Does it only count as "scandal" if sex was involved? Because I'm sure JFK can top anything Bill did in that regard, unless being assassinated is a mitigating factor somehow. Then he calls illegal Mexican immigrants "dregs of humanity", "loafers", and "free-loaders". You know, being illegally in the country is bad and all, but not all of them are terrible people who are here to milk the system or something. Many of them work hard, and work hard in jobs that many of us would not do (and, in fact, are exploited due to the fact that they are unaware of minimum wage laws). I truly wish that I, a bitter pessimist, could be as blindly hateful as you manage to be.
What happened to working toward a common good, not a common handout?
Sadly, the "common good" hasn't been as good to common as it should be. That's where the "common handout" tries to help.
Unless the conservatives who hear my voice grab the wheel and put a stop to this twisted joyride, your grandchildren will not inherit the paradise you inherited. A paradise, I might add, that was secured by the blood of Eddie. Eddie, lest you forget, a soldier who is lying in a shallow grave all over Europe, paid for your freedom.
"Twisted joyride"? So we are both evil and childish, presumably?
Eddie is a solider who is "in a shallow grave all over Europe". That's some major splatter, right there.
What are you going to do with the legacy handed to you by Eddie, who bled to death on Omaha the skies of Europe...who died all across the chain of islands in the South Pacific...who risked his life and lost it
Now, if trying to imagine that "Eddie" is a single actual person while reading that sentence isn't enough for you, try imagining the situation involved in bleeding to death "in the skies of Europe". You would think that anything that would have managed to injure the pilot enough to mortally wound him would probably have caused the plane to crash into an area known as "not the skies of Europe" beforehand. At very least, you would have thought that he would crash before he actually died. I assume that this Eddie slit his wrists or something out of sheer terror and continued to bring the plane ever higher as he slipped into unconsciousness. Which, I believe, makes him an hero.
Will you preserve it, cherish it, pass it on to your children's children? OR will you, in good left-wing fashion, snub your nose at Eddie's sacrifice because he wasn't culturally diverse?
Some things are better off not preserved. Those are the things that liberals actually want to change, to improve. If you think that unquestioning preservation is a goal unto itself, I have nothing to say to you. It is just as illogical as an endless desire for everything to be changed. They are aspirations that are neither possible, nor likely to bring about positive ends. And I assume it doesn't need mentioning that the last sentence is an incredible straw man, right?
I ask you, why did honorable men and women like Eddie serving in our military, sacrifice their lives?
So you could suck white powder up your nose?
So you could molest the Boy Scouts?
So you could ogle porn?
So you could tax the tax on my last dollar to pay for some socialist government program? That's the position of the Red Diaper Doper Babies.
QUIT SPYING ON ME! (I mean: "speaking of straw men...")
Also, glad to see that cocaine usage and child (or organization?) molestation is on par with looking at pornography. I mean these are all equally illegal and potentially injurious things, right? Finally, wouldn't you think that Michael Savage, as much as he despises socialist programs like welfare and Social Security, would completely support someone who would "tax the tax on [his] last dollar"? I mean, sure, taxing taxes is unprecedented, so I am sure he would have some objection to it on that level, but as long as it results in more money for him and less for those people using his hard-earned cash to pave roads and pay for those indoctrination centers they call "public schools", he would probably approve.

[Note: You are not missing any context for the use of the term "Red Diaper Doper Babies" in this book. He provides none. From what I've seen of it used later on, he just uses it as yet another slur for "libruls". So....yeah.]
In this book, you'll see what rotten fruit liberalism has produced:
The YWCA hires Patricia Ireland, a bisexual, pro-abortion feminist, to head the 145-year old Christian-based young girls association.
This part is fun! Because this is the part of this chapter that he actually provides citations for his claim. Which is a damn good thing, because he states facts and then tosses in insinuation alongside them, and hopes that you won't distinguish the two. For instance, here he seems to imply that somehow being not heterosexual and not opposed to abortion is either inherently wrong, making Patricia unworthy of her post, or that simply being liberal and head of a Christian organization is indicative of some form of executive meddling. Of course, he would never be so bold as to state that. He just wants to give us the select facts that he wants us to make conclusions with. It's pretty much insignificant, though: she was fired after 6 months. It totally wasn't due to pressure from conservatives, they assure us.
The United Way de-funded more than fifty Boy Scouts of America chapters over the Scouts' refusal to offer special homosexual counseling for gay youth.
A Princeton University professor advocates the murder of disabled babies for up to several weeks after they have been born.
I suppose now would be a good time to mention that The Enemy Within is published by WorldNetDaily. Because that's the source of the cited article. And, guess who! That's right, it's talking about Dinesh D'Souza's old atheist debate buddy, Peter Singer! Hurrah! I have no idea why somebody "advocating" anything is really something to get alarmed about, especially when the person doing the "advocating" is a philosopher, who basically makes a career out of making the kind of arguments that they referring to. I have no idea why he has to phrase as "murder of disabled babies" since we have many doctors who do something that is arguably just that: not using excessive medical interventions in order to try (potentially in vain) to assure that significantly deformed infants survive. Or some who actually outright insure that they die, with consent of the parents, due to it being more humane than trying to keep them alive and suffering. Is doing such a thing still as much of an evil as you present it, in such a scenario?
The "Founding Fathers" are out. The "Framers" are in. The feminists say this new generic label in textbooks will be less sexist and more tolerant.
Granted, the Fox News article you cite seems to support your view on the event, it is nonetheless idiotic to refer to the term "The Framers" as a replacement to the "Founding Fathers" because the former specifically refer to those who helped shape the Constitution while the latter is more broad and can apply to wide variety of groups involved in the early events of nation. The first is a subset, a specific group within, the second larger collection of groups.
Leading psychiatric groups such as the American Psychiatric Association are contemplating the normalization of pedophilia-sex with children.
Warning: I am about to go medieval on his ass for this one.
I knew just by looking at this one that he was probably talking out of his ass. It is a good thing that he cited this, otherwise I would never have known how disingenuous he was. First thing, though: pedophilia IS NOT "sex with children". It is "sexual attraction to children". Oh, I know, I am being a pedant. But I have become such a wretched thing because there is a massive difference in effect between these two things. The key thing to note is that a pedophile is not a criminal for being a pedophile. Anymore than someone with antisocial personality disorder, pyromania, or kleptomania are criminals just for having the urges that they do, since the action that the urges lead to are what we punish. In order for a pedophile to actually be a criminal, they would have to carry through with their urges in the form of actually sexually assaulting or molesting a child. That activity is not a mental disorder, anymore than murder, arson, or rape would be.

But, in the actual article, we find that it is not that they are trying to "normalize" pedophilia, despite the misleading title of the article. They are contemplating getting rid of all paraphilias as DSM diagnoses, which makes some sense given that most who have paraphilias do not experience the significant distress that is one of the criteria for determining "abnormality" in psychology. The only distress they seem to experience is those that are brought on by societal and cultural factors alone, which was deemed to be a rather poor reason for labelling something as a mental illness in the case of former paraphilia "homosexuality". So, trying to characterize this as "normalizing" pedophilia is pathetic, since 1. it is the larger category that pedophilia falls into that is coming into question, and 2. it is being questioned because they believe that is only artificially abnormalized, and are not actively trying to make it normal themselves, but simply removing their role in abnormalizing them.

That said, they present an argument at the end of the article that said that it would be hard to keep pedophilia illegal if scientists deemed to not be a mental illness any longer, since laws follow the scientific community closely in "social-moral matters". However, the idea that something becoming accepted if it isn't motivated by a mental illness is itself laughable due to the very existence of the insanity defense. Aside from that, you can also note that very few conceivable crimes (theft, murder, arson, rape, as mentioned above) are themselves due solely (if at all) to mental illness, much less punished for on the basis that they are. The idea that child molestation and sexual abuse, which we also know through psychological research can cause long-term damage to the child involved, would be considered to not be a crime entirely on the basis that pedophilia, the sexual attraction to the very young that itself has not been frowned upon until recent centuries, is no longer deemed to be a psychological disorder is hilarious. Michael Savage presenting it as if it were the only thing that is worthy of mention beyond hilarious, to the degree that I cannot muster a single laugh and instead rely solely on cussing loudly and vehemently in order to express my full experience of this comedy.
An appellate court rules recitation of the Pledge of Allegianceby students is unconstitutional. The inclusion of "under God" is offensive to atheists.
Mandatory recitation of the Pledge, containing the phrase "under God", in a public school,should be unconstitutional, yes. And that is because it is not just offensive to atheists, but to anyone who does not worship a god named God.
Members of the ultra-left-wing activist organization, MoveOn, are now planted in the newsrooms of ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC to manipulate news coverage.
LIBRUL MEDIA!!1! I haven't actually fact-checked this story because the article involved was on website that caused my browser to crash. Not that I blame the site as much as my crappy computer and the fact that I keep 20 windows open on average. But still...
Affirmative racism and sodomy are normalized by a radical Supreme Court.
First off, the Supreme Court didn't normalize anything. At least in the latter case, it legalized it. Primarily on the basis that making it illegal has no sane justification and that there is little to no basis for enforcing it. And also because only making homosexual sodomy illegal served as a basis for discrimination. And, on affirmative action, the cited article states that the Court ruled that Universities are allowed to favor minorities when selecting in order to foster diversity, but are not allowed to use quotas or a "points system" in order to do so. And it states that the affirmative action of the University in question must be "'narrowly tailored' so as to harm as few people as possible". But: racism!
Whether you know it or not, we have a lot of internal enemies in this country. They hate our freedoms. Some of them are representatives, some of them are lawyers, some of them are state senators, some of them are mayors, some of them are just plain psychotic street thugs, but we have plenty of homegrown haters of America.
And I am sure that he defines "haters of America" as "people who don't agree with me!". Since his very next paragraph is:
For instance, just as the Founding Fathers sought independence from British tyranny, today you and I must seek independence from the judicial tyranny of the Supreme Court. The Stench from the Bench has stepped in once again with its endorsement of moral degradation which, as you'll see in a later chapter, was a complete reversal of what they rule just seventeen years ago.
Only someone who truly loves America can hate our government and the people on the other half of the political spectrum within it so much. The hatred of half of the country and desire to overthrow the third branch of our government is a sign of deep affection for liberty. Also, second mention of the anti-sodomy law being overturned. Don't worry...he'll bring it up again.
I wonder what a shrink would say about the fact that through most of my youth I wore secondhand pants from dead men
I will give no context for that quote. Because it is so goddamn perfect all on its lonesome.
Once [my father] got a Hart Schaffner & Marx suit from a dead man. Now, what's he going to do? Toss it in the garbage like they do today?
Show of hands: who knows people who throw out valuable pieces of clothing because they have dead person cooties? And by "have dead person cooties", I mean "they are inexplicably viewed as icky because they were owned by a recently deceased person despite having never been in contact with the dead body itself"? I know I sure as hell wouldn't throw such things away. Granted, I am a pack rat, but I honestly can't imagine that throwing away (as opposed to giving away) the (potentially valuable) possessions of the dead is that common of a practice. It just seems bizarre to me.
Today, almost daily, the leftists from both political parties come into our homes peddling some new entitlement program or some new right or a new educational initiative.
Wait...liberals are breaking into people's houses? Anyway, what is wrong with "new educational initiatives" or "new rights"? Are they wrong because they are "new"? Is a "right" ever a bad thing if it is applied equally? I mean, granted, the right to get shot in the face wouldn't be voluntarily used too often, but I don't think it does any net harm to provide it...
As they roll out their One World, socialist ideals that went out of fashion decades ago, we feel nauseated. Why? These posers are offering us nothing more than dead man's pants-ideas history has demonstrated don't work.
He likes the word "socialist". He was labelling liberal policies socialist before it was hip and trendy. Interesting note: he will go on to list ideas that are "ideas history has demonstrated don't work", and to provide a citation to each item on the list. The citation is for an article about the idea being presented in our government currently, and not the instance in history where it was presumably shown to be incorrect. So, in other words, he provides citations to prove that the things that he is implying to be wrong actually exist, but provides no citation to help him actually make the case that they have been "demonstrated" as ineffective.

And, one last item of interest: despite needing to wear actual dead man's pants as a child, the point of this comparison to liberal ideas, and the response of being "nauseated" as applied to others being offered both, seem to suggest that he himself felt similarly disgusted with the very idea of wearing a dead man's clothes. I just thought it might be relevant to note that there is no objective reason why such clothing should be worse than any other kind of hand-me-down clothing unless they were the very clothes they died in. The response of viewing them as disgusting in some way is entirely subjective and due to associations within your own mind, and connections that are almost superstitious in nature. The pants themselves have nothing wrong with them, it is only what you associate them. Why is this relevant? No reason.
Un-American ideas.
Socially dangerous ideas.
Ideas that should have been buried long ago.
Or, in fact, were
To this day, the concept of what "Un-American" is supposed to mean eludes me.
The next time a Democrat proposes an expansion of government funded health insurance for all lower and middle income families...think Dead Man's Pants.
You know, the irony of a conservative accusing other people's ideas of being "Dead Man's Pants" (which, itself only connotes that they are old ideas, taken from "dead men") might get to me if he were to repeat this basic format of sentence, say, five times.
When Tom Daschle blasts a tax cut as a means to boost the economy while proposing to provide non-working persons health-care benefits......think Dead Man's Pants.
You see, this is where a citation to an article saying anything save for "Tom Daschle blasts a tax cut" would have been a terrific help.

When the Rev. Jesse Hi-Jackson spouts off about the U.S.'s obligation to invest in Africa's development......think Dead Man's Pants.

Isolationism FTW!

When the National Education Association pushes "school-based support groups" for gay and lesbian students...think Dead Man's Pants.

Wait...what? Since when do we have a historical example of such a program failing? Again, an article proving your implication rather than an article stating, yes indeed, these support groups do exist, would be pretty goddamn fantastic.
When the Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi advocates providing government-funded health-care coverage for every child in America...think Dead Man's Pants.
Nah, I was wrong: the irony didn't seep in, despite the repetitions. I think irony's the kind of thing that just isn't as potent if it gets ground into the dirt.
You see, every one of these ideas may look good on the surface-until you consider their roots....
These concepts are based on the notion that it's the government's job to provide a chicken in every pot, a pot and a bed in every house, and the key to a house in every pocket....
And yet you'll notice a distinct lack of liberals every making anything close to above requests/demands. "A chicken in every pot" is the only thing that comes close, in that we want people to be able to afford food so that we won't starve to death. I know, obviously that way lies Stalinist Russia, but it's a sacrifice we may need to make if we don't want to live a national guilty conscience for neglect of our own citizens.
This is nothing short of socialism.
Yes, you're right: your straw man exaggeration of liberal policies phrased according to a simplistic summary of socialist economic policy is indeed nothing short of socialism. Bravo.
The Dems are creating a state wherein the sheeple, the ignorant incompetents, are dependent on the government. Their view of utopia is the creation of a nanny state. That's precisely what communism is about.
Illustrated here: Michael Savage's esteem for the impoverished. Not illustrated: basic human decency.
Once you empower the government to provide these so-called initiatives (a power you won't find granted to them in our Constitution) then they can start to regulate what you must do with your dead man's pants.
The "necessary and proper clause" might help with that. I frankly have no idea, though. Also: bit of a slippery slope. But, he provides examples of this actually happening at least!
For instance, a private Christian college whose student body is funded, in part, by government loans might now suddenly be required to hire a mult-culti dancing transsexual to teach their Bible classes or face de-funding along with a lawsuit.
Not familiar with the term "multi-culti", but this is an illustration of one basic principle: that a religious organization that receives any level of government support is subject to the same hiring laws that secular organizations would be. Can't have them getting special treatment, now can we?
Or a private Catholic school that enjoys a tax-exempt status might be required by the government to teach students "Talking about Touching," a sex-ed and personal safety program designed by advocates of prostitution.
This statement has a cited article from, who else, World Net Daily! And it is primarily concerned with establishing, in its excessive way, that yes, this program was developed by an agency that was renamed from another group that advocating for "prostitute's rights". It being WorldNetDaily, however, provides little to no information aside from that which they can go on a rant about (you can stop staring like that). So, I am not sure what it means, and even less sure if I give a damn.

Next quote occurs after mentioning an ordeal he had when he accidentally ripped a hole in his pants at school and came home where his mother sewed them back up.
Unfortunatley, if you rip your pants today as a kid you'll probably come home to an empty house, thanks to the feminists who devalued the higher calling of motherhood.
I have never seen a more innocuous statement that warranted such a strong and hardy "Fuck you!!" before. The fact of the matter is that not all mothers can be full time mothers. Some need to help provide for the family because the father can't himself. Others may in fact be the sole source of income in the household, either due to being a single mother or due to marrying a trophy husband. And, most importantly, by completely ruling out the possibility of a mother who also works, you are placing unnecessary restrictions on women who are incredibly talented and depriving us of half of our potential workforce. Then there comes to the factor that, in our society without a job, some people actually come to feel worthless and unproductive. Considering all of these, the implication that women are somehow required to stay at home, and are more morally culpable than men are if they happen to be working when their children arrive home is reprehensible.
Instead of coming home to a mother who'll hug and greet you and serve you a cookie while you pour out your heart, your best friend is now a TV or some internet stranger in a chat half way around the world-or some pervert in the next town.
You know, he could just play with actual friends....
Anyway: howdy internet strangers!
When a child is hurting, a widescreen TV never bakes her cookies-and it sure doesn't listen to or care about our problems

Let's say you have a new, conservative idea for improving education, like providing vouchers so all students can pick a school where real education takes place. The moment you put that idea into action, a bully comes along and knocks it down
Well sorry that we are so mean to knock down your idea that amounts to "free for all, let the best school win," with little concern for the fate of schools, teaching careers, or the fact that mass-student transfer from school to school will itself change the quality of schools and thus change where "real education takes place" on the very basis of the caliber/amount of students in relation to the faculty and facilities. Granted, I still think it is unfair a student to be stuck in a crappy school with no options unless their entire family gets up and moves. And I actually don't think that vouchers would be nearly as bad as I suggested above. But, still, it's something that requires caution.
The second this bully learns you've used a garage on church property to house bottled water and blankets for the program, he screams "separation of church and state" and slaps you with a restraining order to close the thing down
I am not sure whether merely having supplies on church property would technically count as infraction of the separation of church and state, but I don't think it should. But, I am fairly sure that you would not shut down such an operation with a "restraining order". At least not for separation of church and state reasons, as compared to "you've been stalking the 'bully' for the last 5 months" reasons.
The same bully who tears the crosses off of war memorials shows up and drags you into court to remove those "divisive symbols of patriotism"
Wait, who is taking crosses of war memorials? The only case I have heard of taking a cross of a war memorial that wasn't vandalism was an attempt to get a cross of a headstone for a soldier who wasn't Christian. And the term "divisive symbols of patriotism", referring to flags, is apparently a phrase of his own invention, because a google search of that exact term leads to only one result: the electronic copy of this book. So, whether or not teh libruls are lobbying to get flags removed due to divisiveness remains unknown.
Who is this bully?
The Red Diaper Doper Babies of the American Un-Civil Liberties Union, that's who.
They start by intimidating you with their legalese.
They smack you around with their bogus lawsuits.
They wrap themselves in the Constitution and shut you down like a criminal.
"Wrap themselves in the Constitution" seems like a subtle acknowledgement that the ACLU is actually in the right. And, the thing about "shut you down like a criminal": you don't have to be "a criminal" to be doing something illegal. You don't have to be some sort of evil amoral creature of selfishness and destruction that you imply "criminal" to be in order to have no legal basis for your actions. Not having the right permits, etc, are ample basis to "shut you down" without you actually being some kind of evil-doer when it comes to these kinds of things.
I'm telling you, my heart is breaking. We're losing control of this country. I can't stand the way these self-righteous ambulance chasers are raping America with their neo-socialist worldview
I'm assuming that, in this passage, "heart" is a metaphor for "mind", "self-righteous ambulance chasers" is a euphemism for "The Illuminati", and "neo-socialist worldview" is a metaphor for "penis". Sadly, although the passage doesn't make more sense that way, it probably has an equal number of facts involved.
Our country is crazy. Our young ones throw babies into an incinerator and go back to a disco dance five minutes later.
The old hags, the harridans in the Senate who make a living off the abortion racketeers, get up and scream that we should continue to rip babies out of the womb and sell the skin for women who have wrinkles.
"LOL women have frivolous abortions and dance and abortion is all about the moneys and wrinkle cream lol"
Listen to what I'm about to tell to you. It's an analogy even you liberals can follow for a moment.
The lions attacked at the weakest point of the strong, thick-hided water buffalo. They knew once they ripped out her anus and nose and entrails, she's finished. She falls down, and then they tear her to pieces and eat her.
America is somewhat like this large water buffalo.
Michael Savage: master of subtlety.
The anti-capitalist neo-socialists-or, as I like to call them, neo-socs-hit us in the nose with their free love, free sex, anti-family, anti-marriage, anti-God, and party 'til you puke celebration of decadence.
Translation: "Darn hippies!"

That's when the radical rats started gnawing on the other end. The anus. Once inside, they attacked our president from within;
Well, I assume since the President is up the nation's ass, rather than his own, that's worthy of a certain level of commendation. Heckuva job.
they attacked our wars against evil; they attacked our police and military, the flag, God, the family, the church, our memorials...everything that makes us strong and hold us together. The glue of Western Civilization has been undone by the radical Left.
Yes, he used the phrase "wars against evil". Seriously. You cannot make this stuff up. He thinks that life is a comic boook apparently. And, if those things are the glue of Western Civlization...I think we pretty much deserve to be unglued, because if we held together by those petty tethers we really aren't together too sturdily at all.
I have no gray zone when it comes to this
Who would've guessed?
You might find it interesting that I didn't always see things this clearly. I wasn't always an independent conservative.
I am hoping that this was a joke, because it was a good one.

There I was, fresh out of college. I took a job as a social worker to save the oppressed minority.
Which one?
I was always an idealist; I still am, as a matter of fact.
But the abuses of the welfare system that I saw back then and started me on my slow road to recovery. Day after day I found people who had jobs but who claimed they didn't so they could get their government handout
Guess him being an idealist really explains a few things. Like calling America a paradise, saying that we are waging war against evil, and getting hysterical about any criticism levelled at the things in life he prizes.
Anyway, abuse of the welfare system is not an argument against welfare: it is an argument for improving the welfare system so that it less easily abused. I.e. find ways to make it so that people can't lie so easily about this crap and still get away with it.
I left teaching and went back to school where I laboriously got two master's degrees and then a Ph.D. from a great university. I had written six or eight books by the time I had graduated
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU!? Well, at least he's humble (in this particular respect): he rarely seems to bring this particular fact about himself up. I had no idea that he had a Ph.D., and he doesn't seem to be lying about it.
When it was time to get my teaching job, I was told, in effect, "White men need not apply." That's when the worm turned. That's when I became radicalized. That's when I saw the true colors of liberalism. Here I had two young children. I had killed myself to get that degree, but because of the social engineering of the radical Left, I was told to put aside all of my aspirations
That was the very moment he became an unthinking reactionary. I wish we knew what he was actually told, rather than what he "was told, in effect". Because, strangely enough, these horrific stories of reverse discrimination and being unable to obtain job specifically and obviously due to affirmative action all seem to portray a version of affirmative action that just doesn't mesh the kind that liberals actually support: one's that give a negligible boost to minorities who may be otherwise excluded due to active discrimination against them. Only a remote fringe should be affected in any way by it, but perhaps I misunderstand. Or perhaps the real falls short of the ideal, as it is likely to do.
I do very well indeed today, but the government didn't hand it to me. It's been a long road of crawling on broken glass. Everything I ever achieved has been won with hard work, dedication, sweat, tears, and pain.
All of which you expect everyone else to be able to pull off as well, due entirely to the fact that you were able to do it, correct?
Are you prepared to handle the Savage truth that liberalism is destroying your country?...
Then again, maybe you're listening to rap music, and your next stop is a tattoo parlor. As you see it, the only problem you have is whether there's money to buy your "medical" marijuana. You care more about whether or not your satellite dish is working than the steady stream of lies the Left dishes out on your big screen
Oh, rap music, will you ever be loved? Not sure what is so bad about tattoos. I didn't realize that this book was written under the working title "Random List of Things Michael Savage Hates for No Reason". Not sure how many pot smokers are actually in position to claim that is medical, considering that only 14 states have it legal for even that purpose. And the last sentence seems like pure projection (was that supposed to be a pun working off of the mention of "big screen" or was that just a coincidence? The world will never know...)
They will stop at nothing until America is nothing more than an ash heap on par with any of the Krapistan countries in the Middle East clever...
But hear me well: There are no neutral players. Either you love this country, her freedoms, her opportunities, her beauty, and her place in history, or you don't.
Period. End of story.
Can you love one or two on the list but not the others, or do you have to have love all of them or none of them? In other words, I know you don't allow for appreciation to be a matter of degree, since I believe Stalin once measured things in degrees. But, are you allowed to love America's "freedoms" and "opportunities", but not its place in history? Or does not loving the latter count as a complete "don't love"? Or do you count the number of don't loves and loves to determine whether you are for or against America? If you can't be neutral, what do you do in the event of a tie? These questions deserve answers!
When the Sominex Generation wakes up and sees what you've done to our borders, language, and culture, not to mention what you've done to our courts, churches, military, and schools, I predict you will be tried for your crimes against America
Drunk yet? And how exactly is half of the country going to be put on trial again?
As it glided past Alcatraz Island, my heart started to soar. I though, "My God, this world is beautiful. What a great country we have. We have heaven on earth. We have paradise.
That's him being a soft-brained mega-idealist again.
Then my thoughts drifted to the maniacs, the psychotics on the Left, who continue to denigrate this great country. Here we have had more freedom than man has ever known in the history of the world, and all these Marxist-Leninists want is more freedom.
They're anarchists of the soul.
They're imprisoned by their own chains.
"They question our exaggerations of our nation's level of greatness, therefore they are CRAZY. Also: Communists". He babbles on about the idea of us not really being free due to seeking freedom or whatever, but offers up no clear explanation of why this is the case. He suggests here that because we have a lot of freedom right now, it is wrong to look for more freedom. I honestly don't think that that's very convincing.
They'll never have freedom. They don't need freedom from America. They don't need freedom from the patriarchy. They don't need freedom from heterosexuality.
How exactly would we go about getting freedom from America? We do in fact need "freedom from the patriarchy" and have yet to fully receive it. And, although we do not "freedom from heterosexuality", we do in fact very much need freedom from mandatory heterosexuality. Which, by the way, would make a great name for a Sci Fi/lawyer porno flick.
No, what they need is freedom from their own dungeons.
Speaking of porn...
I know what I'm talking about, and I'll continue exposing them because I don't live in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia...If you want to squelch my free speech, go ahead and try it.
By doing so, you'll reveal your true colors.
You'll be acting exactly like the Brown Shirts that you really are.
And he has officially Godwinned his book. I have no idea what brought on his rant about free speech and it being squelched (ironically, the very thing that the ACLU he hates so much dedicates themselves solely to preventing). But, paranoia seems to suit, so why not go with it?
If you look at the native peoples of America, you know, the various Indian tribes, some had a continuum of twelve thousand years living in the same territory, in the same locale. That's twelve thousand years. No small accomplishment, especially when you figure we've only been a nation less than 250 years. How did they do it? What enabled them to pass on their values, their skills, their nobility, and their unique tribal identity on to so many generations?
It was one major element, in addition to all their keen survival skills.
This may surprise you, but it was their oral traditions.
Right now, you should be wondering to yourself: how is he going to take these relatively harmless facts and use them to come to a conclusion that is not only batshit insane, but also has undertones of profound immorality. Well, read on...
When I say oral traditions, I'm not referring to the particular variety that rose to international prominence under Bill Clinton.
When Al Gore invented the internet, he realized that there was an insufficient variety of sex acts documented on video tape and uploaded for public perusal. Concerned about this deficiency very much, Al Gore turned to none other than the President of the United States for help. Delighted to aid him in the task, the President did call for an intern's assistance and some privacy. And on that afternoon, one William Jefferson Clinton, with the help of Monica Lewinski, invented the sex act known as "The Lewinski", later referred to by the euphemism "blowjob." And there was much rejoicing.
The storytellers told tales of the glory of their warriors, their courage, and their victorious battles. They celebrated the purity of their women and the sanctity of their elders. They told tales of the nobility of their people. The Native Americans survived because they glorified their own people and their nation.
Not us. We have a nation of whacked-on-weed storytellers who debase our people everyday. They make us look dirty and treasonous and evil. No nation on earth can ever survive with such negative tales about itself. Ever. How do I know? Think about it. What family can survive if it harps on its frailties?
Nuance must be associated with Satan himself for this man, because, honestly, I cannot see how a family could survive if it didn't harp on its own frailties to some degree. Because failing to acknowledge their own shortcomings is a surefire setup for disaster, as much as complete obsession with failings is unproductive.
Or what individual can survive if he looks back only on his failings, his blunders, his missed opportunities? What man can take that kind of self-debasement? He can't. He'd commit suicide first, or die of a stroke or a heart attack
This is getting moronic. An examination of blunders, missteps, and unmet potentials is healthy and necessary and is far from self-debasement if you actually do it right. Obviously doing so exclusively is bad, but, then again, repeating any kind of thought to the exclusion of all others isn't necessarily a good thing either.
Yes, the Hollywood Mob have become the de facto storytellers of our age. However, their vision of America is a distorted, perverse, yes, even obscene vision of our nation. With them, everything is upside-down. The criminal is the hero. The cop is the traitor. The soldier is the mass murderer. Every way we ever fought was unjust.
Yeah, Hollywood is the storyteller if you don't read books or pay attention to the news. We don't need to be told facts about our nation in the same medium as myths and fancy fictional yarns anymore. Also: the reason for the "upside-down" perspective is because it is a novel one and thus more likely to get some attention and less likely to be ignored as cliched (well, at one point in time I'm sure this was true...). They are intentional subversions, in addition (in some cases) to attempting to more accurately portray reality by showing that there can be good criminals, bad authority figures, and that war isn't as good as those who would like to glorify it make it appear. They are setting themselves up as a buffer against glorification in order to both garner attention and to (whether by accident or not) help us see the truth in between the two sets of distortions better.
Even if there have been-and there are-excesses within all of our militant professions, be they soldiers or police, the fact of the matter is you don't emphasize your shortcomings in your oral tradition. You de-emphasize them if you love your country!
Lie for America! Do it!
Hear me. I'm not saying you put on rose-colored glasses and sweep mistakes under the rug. But it's one thing to recognize these excesses exist. It's quite another to zero in on the occasional abuse and call it the norm.
Slight problem: most cases are those of the former kind and very few are the latter. And, yes, you are very much saying that we should put on rose-colored glasses and sweep mistakes under the rug. This is the only the paragraph in fact where you don't make such an assertion.

Instead, you emphasize the greatness of your nation, your leaders, your police, your soliders, your religious leaders, your way of life.

What is wrong with you? Didn't you just say that you didn't want the rose-colored glasses involved in this?
Now, if both I and the Holly wood idiots err to some extent in our storytelling, I ask you, which viewpoint has more survival value for a nation? The story that errs on the side that America is a great nation....Or the pied piper who says our nation is evil, only founded on slavery, and all of the police and soldiers are corrupt?
Awww...isn't it cute how he intentionally understates his own positive exaggerations and overstates all negative exaggerations when asking for a comparison? It's almost as if he thinks he is making a good point. Here's where he gets immoral. First, as we already know, he is fully in support of lying about how good we are as a nation just as long as it doesn't make us a sad nation, saddled with doubt due to depressing facts about past errors. But, here we can get a glimpse of something: the idea of survival. What does glorifying, by fradulently and positively exaggerating the facts of nation in your stories, especially those having to do with war, have to do with the survival of a nation? Sure, it helps to keep them confident and willing to contribute a society under the pretense that is very successful, but it also emboldens to fight off enemies. Which may not be a bad thing unless your positive exaggerations provided to the people of the nation kind of ignore the finer points of the nation's actual relationship with other nations, always portraying your own nation in a positive role and ignoring potential reasons for their own hostility. In short, glorification is merely lubricant for popular acceptance of war. It helps to keep a nation alive by making them willing to take others down at the drop of a hat. It is morality dampening technique, hoping to turn other human beings into evils to be vanquished, and to absolve you from any guilt when you do so. It is disgusting, quite frankly, to support such a practice.
There has always been a tension between Democrats and Republicans, but there were no traitors like there are today; it was unheard of.
Indeed, something has settled into the political structure, mainly on the Demoncat side which, frankly, is traitorous and anti-American.
In those days, train stations were safe. Graffiti wasn't plastered all over the place like filthy wallpaper. Litter wasn't drifting under foot. And everywhere you walked, you didn't have to worry about stepping in fresh urine from a homeless bum panhandling to passengers.
Stupid homeless people, cluttering up the place.
Granted, I'm an idealist who dreams of a purer time.
I dream of a purer country.
I dream of a purer political system.
I dream of a purer people. I dream of a purer self.
I dream of a parallel construction.
I dream of electric sheep.
I dream of Jeannie.
Also, "I dream of a purer people"? Did you know that Hitler did too? Or are you immune to guilt by association, unlike them "socialist" ideas?
I cherish my memories of this different America. A purer America where your mother and sister could safely walk the streets at night. Where the cops were pillars of authority. Where neighbors treated neighbors with courtesy and respect. Where national pride and a sense of patriotism went hand-in-hand with mom and apple pie and the smile on your face.
They can still safely walk the streets at night, you just think that they can't more than before because you are more aware of the kinds of violence that can happen, due to increased coverage of that kind of thing. And, where I'm from, cops still are "pillars of authority", and neighbors are treated with courtesy and respect, but not necessarily much beyond the superficial level. As for the last sentence's both corny and indicative of a sense that blind patriotism is an inherent virtue. least you're consistent.
If you refuse to back down when they sue you.
If you refuse to back down when they accuse you.
If you refuse to back down when they bruise you.
The fact of th ematter is every time these Lilliputians spin their spider webs around our brains, we must speak out. We must sue and accuse them!
Whatever happened to turning the other cheek? Did Republican Jesus not approve?

Well, that's the end of that chapter. And boy are my arms tired. Not sure why I said that, but it's true. I need some brain bleach and a nice nap.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


A once in a life time event has occurred: PZ Myers has put up a post covering something that I have already blogged about! I am the victor! Beat him by over a year, too!

Anyway, since I don't have much else to say right now, to anyone who happens upon this post: do you have any interest whatsoever in seeing a chapter by chapter critique of Michael Savage's The Enemy Within (published approximately 6 years ago)? I just happened to obtain it because it was being sold for $1, so it was slightly less overpriced than usual, and if anyone gives a damn at all about yet another person establishing that Michael Savage is a bit of a moron, then I might bother to go through with the ordeal of typing up quotes from the book in order to laugh at on the internet. Otherwise, I'll try to find another project to keep me active on the blog for a week or two.

Until that point, feel free to just drop by and talk about anything at all here. Open forum, if you so choose to use it as one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Examination of the Courtier's Reply

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy that should look rather familiar to you, a young PZ Myers gave unto the world a label for a certain kind of argument that was hence forth known as a "Courtier's Reply". And there was much rejoicing. But, since it only functions as a label, it is important to know what errors, if any, are involved in the argument that fits the criteria and whether being a "Courtier's Reply" is sufficient grounds to question it. First, here is the little scenario that the Reply describes:

I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor's boots, nor does he give a moment's consideration to Bellini's masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor's Feathered Hat. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor's raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion; Dawkins cavalierly dismisses them all. He even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who famously pointed out that the Emperor would not wear common cotton, nor uncomfortable polyester, but must, I say must, wear undergarments of the finest silk.

Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

Personally, I suspect that perhaps the Emperor might not be fully clothed — how else to explain the apparent sloth of the staff at the palace laundry — but, well, everyone else does seem to go on about his clothes, and this Dawkins fellow is such a rude upstart who lacks the wit of my elegant circumlocutions, that, while unable to deal with the substance of his accusations, I should at least chide him for his very bad form.

Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor's taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.

Okay, first things first: the elements of the argument.
  • Questions the scholarship of the person receiving the Reply due to their (seeming) lack of familiarity with specific authors.
  • Mentions the prevalence and mainstream acceptance of the thing that the person being Replied to himself argued against.
  • Suggests that there is something bad about the person being spoken of entirely due to the latter two qualities.
  • Avoids addressing "the substance" of arguments (in the case of the example above, by the very admission of the Replier), and instead focused on lack of [insert positive trait not actually associated with the truth of the argument here].
  • Asserts or implies that high credentials are needed in order to make judgments about a certain subject. Presumably, this is only noteworthy if it is 1. a subject matter on which almost all people are deemed capable of making informed judgments regardless of credentials and 2. the information that they are suggesting that you acquire in the process of gaining these credentials are irrelevant to the larger issue (i.e. learning about how something works in principle when the question at hand is whether it works at all in reality).
So, what is the Courtier's Reply? In essence, it is one big ad hominem. And not an irreducibly complex one either: almost any combination of the bullet points above result in the same, general form of argument. Note that it is not an ad hominem because it is particularly mean or vicious inherently, but because it attempts to dismiss an argument solely on the grounds of perceived faults in the author of the original argument, rather than due to faults of the original argument. The criticisms may be reasonable and entirely due to the shoddy nature of the argument responded to (see here for cases where insults are not ad hominem arguments). But, without showing why this might be the case and instead posing something that amounts to a series of character attacks as an argument, it becomes difficult to believe that the Reply is a logical rebuttal. It doesn't help that the Reply, as a whole, is a complicated mish-mash of problems.

A step by step:
  • Questioning scholarship is fine when you can show where, specifically, their work fell short. But, the insistence that one should be familiar with the specific writings of an individual in order to even make an argument, save in situations where you are specifically commenting on those writings in particular, seems to be inching into appeal to authority territory. Which serves as a nice transition to the other aspects of the argument, incidentally.
  • The discussion of the popular acceptance of a certain idea or ideology as indicative of the accuracy of that idea or ideology is an argumentum ad populum.
  • The implication that, in the written scenario, Dawkins is bad in some way due to being uninformed by authoritative sources and due to disputing a mainstream view, is the first part of the ad hominem, in addition to the larger overriding theme of presumed ignorance, obstensibly proven in the previous two parts. It is an attempt to show the author as untrustworthy or unreliable. Which, wouldn't be a problem (assuming that they pulled it off using logical arguments). Unfortunately....
  • ....the ad hominem argument is completed in its full fallacious glory when the substance of the argument is intentionally ignored in lieu of simply insinuating that their arguments must be wrong due to the previously established negative traits.
  • The final and most distinctive part of the Reply is the declaration that one needs to meet certain academic qualifications in order to successfully make statements on a subject. This is an interesting case of an argument from authority. Normally, an argument from authority is that a person is correct because they are authoritative. In this case, however, it is implied that you cannot even be correct unless you are authoritative. This statement seems to get credence from the fact that in discussions relevant to science, people are regularly told that they need to have X level of a qualification in order to make a certain statement for certain. In this case, qualification means that you are more likely to be correct about a relevant subject matter, but is not a guarantee, just as lack of qualification is not a guarantee of ignorance, nor ignorance a guarantee of being incorrect (lucky guesses, ya know?). And, in order to have the ability to make an argument that will have relevance to the scientific community, you need to have sufficient credentials in order to yourself have relevance within the scientific community. These things should not have any bearing on actual arguments outside of that setting, however, and suggesting that someone is wrong due to lack of "authority" rather than due to actually having said something that is incorrect is fallacious still.
But, be careful with addressing a Courtier's Reply: the way that Myers' originally phrased it is a rebuke of the field of theology. The suggestion is that theology is not to be held on par with other
fields of study when it comes to these sorts of "Replies", due to the irrelevance of the bulk of theology to those who do not first accept the premise that God exists (among many others), which requires much more discussion to effectively establish without approaching that debate in the same manner that presuppositionalist apologetics approach the question of God's existence. The Replies themselves are what need to be addressed, because they are a verbiose form of a particularly interesting form of ad hominem that takes the form of "you don't understand".

Now, stating that someone else does not understand is fine, if you can show what they failed to understand before or after making such a statement. But, stating that as the entirety of a supposed rebuttal is not only an unhelpful insult, rather than an argument of any form, but it is also impossible to argue against, cleverly enough. Without pointing out the specific areas in which a person's understanding has failed, there is nothing for the person who "doesn't understand" to rebut and no means to correct their supposed errors (or indicate that they in fact do understand, and either the other person is mistaken, or the original did not express themselves effectively). Without anything more to actually address the argument it supposedly rebuts, it ends a discussion, because the person who accepts that they "do not understand" without specific errors pointed out cannot reasonably continue a discussion on the subject matter without those unknown errors being specified (since he must essentially accept that he is in error about everything mentioned thus far). Luckily, the Courtier's Reply does add more onto this basic argument, but only in the form of suggesting that one corrects their lack of understanding through years of education in a broad field and reading of specific texts, ending the discussion in a similar manner by leaving the person who accepts this declaration that they are ignorant on the subject only able to rectify the situation through days of reading and/or years of study. It is not only an insult used in place of an actual substantial argument, but it is also a tacit attempt to brush off the person that the Reply is for.

In short, in its purest form, the Courtier's Reply is a fallacious argument in many ways and an almost calculated attempt to stop any dialogue at all. It is something to avoid at all costs.

I am familiar with all internet traditions....but what is this "meme" you speak of?

This is the cover meme, which I was tagged with via Sunny Skeptic at Sunny Skeptic.  Rules:  name the worst and best covers done for a song , and tag 4 other bloggers to do the same.   I imagine it is like some sort of strange ponzi scheme, except with more Marilyn Manson.

There are oh so many options, that I can scarcely bring myself to choose.  So, I'm pretty much just going to come up with the first ones I can come up with that are worthy of mention.  It took much consideration to determine the worst, because there is such a large candidate pool.  I specifically debated including many of the covers of Personal Jesus (there's a cover that was done by Johnny Cash for fuck's sake!), Rebel Yell, and a recent rock cover of the song Careless Whisper by Seether (oh boy, was that hard to turn down).  But, I think I am going to have consider Stahlhammer's cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" to be the greatest crime against good music that I could manage to find.

Just so that you could have a reward for your eardrums, and in order to fully appreciate how horrible that cover was, here is the original.

For the best cover, it is a tough call.  White Zombie did an excellent cover of "I'm Your Boogieman" but by completely changing the tone of the song and repurposing too much for me to be able to say that it was actually an improvement.  The Ataris did an excellent cover of Don Henley's Boys of Summer, but did not improve it by that much and merely capitalized on what was a rather good song to begin with.  Korn did a cover of Creep that was essentially as good as the Radiohead original.  But, I've got to go with a pet favorite of mine:  Gary Jules' cover of the Tears for Fears song "Mad World". The only difference is one of tone, pacing, and sound effects, and both are very good. But, I think that the cover is an incredibly effective alteration of the original to achieve a similar purpose.

The original:

And the cover version:

Well, that's that, I suppose. I tag you: mac, Pliny, Mandar, and Maze Monster. Have fun.  Over and out.

Edit: Changed version of the original "Another Brick in the Wall" video to one that has less filler.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Worth of a Man (Spoilers: less than a fetus)

The death of late-term abortion provider George Tiller at the hands of a pro-life fanatic (who once tried to bomb an abortion clinic prior to the murder) has revealed a particularly nasty streak in some members of the pro-life movement. No, I am talking about the killer himself.  I am talking about the people who refuse to say a bad word about him. First up, a published comment on the part of Randall Terry, founder of the organization Operation Rescue (which protested Tiller at length about 15 years back):
 "George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.   I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder."
The key points are to note that George Tiller was "a mass murderer" only according to the deranged, subjective opinion of people who insist that killing undeveloped fetuses is the moral equivalent of killing fully cognizant human beings, and not the opinion of the law.   In addition, isn't it rather telling that there is not one word expressing actual sympathy for the sentient human being that was killed?  The one with friends, and family, who was doing a job that few have the skills to provide and was doing it perfectly legally?  Whether what he did was deemed "murder" by a group of politically and religiously minded people or not is irrelevant to the objective fact that killing him is murder by the law.  Sadly, it appears that this individual cares more about not being politically inconvenienced by someone who took the "most effective rhetoric" of the "pro-life" movement too literally than about someone actually being killed due to the divisive and irrational political climate they are contributing to wholeheartedly.
And, since that was nice, succinct, and savory, how could you settle for just one?

  • Crap, I always forgot hashtags. I'm happy Tiller's dead. - Jennifer Waite, Selah, Washington
  • UPDATE... Doctor George Tiller was aborted today in his 204th trimester - aren't paybacks a bitch - Punch
  • oh HAPPY DAY! Tiller the baby killer is DEAD! - Samantha Pelch 
  • George Tiller the baby killer was shot dead this morning. God bless the gunmen who hopefully won't be caught. - readnwatchchris, Creedmor. NC
  • was George Tiller the baby killers brain scrambled the way he scrambled full term fetuses.. one can only hope - Brad S
  • Infamous baby killer George Tiller gunned down at (irony) church. Why do I not feel sorry for him? Have fun at Judgment Day. - James Fiddler
  • tiller the baby killer shot is it insensitive of me to say what goes around comes around? - Brad M. Negulescu Cleveland.
  • George Tiller the Baby Killer shot dead. May he rot in Hell. - Amy Strong
  • Tiller Baby Killer was shot and killed this morning Justice has been served. - Shirl Ledeux
  • Thinking about "Tiller the baby killer" He now knows the wages of sin is death. - Dianne McDowell
  • May Tiller rot in Hell , infanticide is the murder of babies, he WAS a provider of death like Hitler, Bundy the list goes on.... - Dennis, A People Voip Company
  • Burn in hell George Tiller - mikedanben Sparta, NJ (41.005501,-74.672)
  • No need to pray for George Tiller. We know he went straight to hell!!!!! - Laurie D. Bailey Olive Branch, MS
  • Good ridence to Tiller - babies will not be murdered because he is now gone. Wonder how he likes hell! - Jay Emess, Southern, NJ
  • Karma is a beautiful thing. Cheers to the hero who sent George Tiller where he belongs... straight to hell. - Matthew Kamar
  • omg!george tiller abortion dr. was killed n his church parkn lot! hell yea! - Sarah Gulick, Wtichita, Ks
  • George Tiller: Burning in Hell for the last three hours. - darthdilbert Kettering, Oh
  • Hmm, I know it's wrong, but I feel like the Late-Term Abortion Doctor George Tiller, got what was he deserved..... - Mary Keogh London England
  • Boom Boom Boom. George Tiller was served a very very late term abortion this morning. - Chad Coleman, coeur d'alene, Id

A few more added 6:54 PM Pacific Time

  • Guy shoots a Dr. to death in Church. Me I'm willing to bet that Jesus was his co-pilot. - jeremyawhitman 
  • Tiller the Killer goes to Church and ends up in Hell - mshellisright, Tulsa
  • Tiller the Baby Killer is finally dead....God took care of what needed to be done.... - Cynthia Wrench
  • The left-wing nutjobs don't understand that Tiller the baby killer was not human. No human kills babies, only monsters. Good riddance - Sami Shamieh, Walnut Creek, CA
  • I guess Obama the Messiah can't resurrect Tiller the baby killer. -  Sami Shamieh, Walnut Creek, CA
  • The person who shot Tiller the baby killer simply excercised a man's right to choose. Sami Shamieh, Walnut Creek, CA
  • the killing of tiller the baby killer was JUSTICE, not murder. - eqbt
  • Glad someone offed Tiller. Baby Killer. - Kat, Kansas
The most common perspective seems to be one of feeling that this was justified, because Tiller was a "baby killer".  Interestingly, the term "baby killer" may be more accurate than when pro-lifers generally use it to describe abortionists, because Tiller had a clinic in which he performed late-term abortions (after the 21st week, near or into the third trimester).  The counter-point to that issue is the fact that he usually only performed these procedures when it was medically necessary.
That's right.  Tiller the baby killer killed babies that were most likely going to die on their own or who would result in serious medical/psychiatric complications for the mother.  It is only by prioritizing these fetuses' lives over both their mothers' and Tiller's life that you can even begin to suggest that something approximating justice was served.  In this case, we could even grant the pro-lifers their baseless assumption that killing a fetus with not even a semblance of cognition is equivalent to murder of a full functioning human being who is biologically independent and it would not even be relevant to this case.  Odd for something pertinent to abortion to have the major point of disagreement between the political sides (that a fetus counts as fully human) be completely irrelevant, but there ya go.

And this is what brings me, once again, to a dissection.  Hat tip to Pharyngula, leading me to an article by Gingi Edmonds: (Warning:  this going to be long, and you may not want to look directly at the quoted passages, lest your eyes be burnt out of your skull from exposure to the criminal levels of inherent evil contained within).

Tiller was one of only three nationwide abortionists that make a living injecting digoxin into the beating hearts of small infants from the 21st week of pregnancy to birth.  This man put Kansas on the map as the "abortion state" with his entrepreneurial spirit in capitalizing on abortion services
Well, so far so good....she isn't lying!  Even though she is stating it in clearly biased language...who can really blame her?

In addition to being a hit man for hire, Tiller also offered funerary services to mothers that paid him to off their kids.  While most clinics in the nation are content to just rape and scrape, Tiller took his practice leaps and bounds beyond the norm and peddled abortion packages that included photographing, footprinting, handprinting, baptism, cremation, and arrangement for autopsy.

"Hit man for hire"?  Is there really any other kind? 
How is "rape" at all anyway analogous to anything that is occuring in this voluntary procedure?
Why does she continue the great pro-lifer tradition of talking about abortion as if it was some frivolous/hateful decision on the part of the mothers that needs to be mocked?  So many questions...
George Tiller personally killed more babies than America lost soldiers in Vietnam.  Although he specialized in killing handicapped children, most of his tiny victims were late term, fully-formed, healthy, and viable outside the womb.  He performed an average of roughly seven post-viable abortions per week and has admitted on tape to aborting babies a day before the mother's due date. 
As mentioned in an article I previously linked to (here it is again), the idea that these "children" were viable is quite a distortion, because all his cases either involved non-viable fetuses or significant threats to the mother's well-being.  So, under that condition, it probably doesn't matter if he aborted an infant a day before it was due to be born, because it was either not viable, "handicapped" (i.e. with sufficiently severe birth effects) enough to not make it very long after being born, or could very well have brought harm to the mother had the due date been reached. 
Despite his radical dealings in abortion extremism for over 35 years, Tiller has been met with physical violence only three times in his career of mass baby slaughter.  His clinic was bombed in 1985.  On August 19, 1993 he was shot in both arms outside of his Wichita clinic.  And on May 31, 2009 Tiller was shot to death as he served as an usher during church services.
You see?  He was only attacked by anti-abortion fanatics three times.  He should've considered himself lucky!  This makes me feel much better.
Murder is murder, and it is something that we pro-lifers inherently deplore.  But I can't help but note - and my history is rusty so pardon me here - I'm trying to remember, did anyone mourn Lee Harvey Oswald when Jack Ruby gunned him down?  Or better yet, did anyone mourn the deaths of Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, or any other mass murderer for that matter?  Even according to the harebrained pro-choice life-at-viability reckoning, Tiller was indisputably a mass murderer who was executed in a fashion far more humane than the tens of thousands of children that he mutilated and left to die in cuddle session bassinets.
"Murder is murder, but just give me a second while I try to justify this murder".  Lee Harvey Oswald did have the right to a fair trial, did have family, and Jack Ruby was punished for killing him.  Jeffrey Dahmer is still loved by his father, whom he lived with during the murders, and both parents publically stated that they still loved him, despite the murders.  I know less about Bundy, but, then again, he was executed, not killed by a random person who felt they were justified in doing so because their victim was themselves a killer.  And I sincerely doubt that shooting someone to death is more humane than whatever procedure Tiller used.  In other words, [citation needed].
I mean, think about it.  Someone just shot a Nazi guard manning the gas chamber at Aushwitz.  I should feel bad about this?  George Tiller the Baby Killer's acts are every bit as vile as the Nazi war criminals who were hunted down, tried, and sentenced after they participated in the "legal" murder of the Jews that fell into their hands.
Ah yes, the abortion=The Holocaust bit.  Just a natural conclusion to draw from the abortion=murder presupposition, with a little emotional blackmail on top by pulling a Godwin.  In other words, this is just a reiteration of the last paragraph. Murderers "deserve" to be murdered, therefore "murderers" deserve to be murdered (note the scare quotes please).  
The lone wacko who gunned Tiller down was not associated with any single pro-life organization or group.  He was working solo and his acts rest on his head alone.  So why, exactly, are pro-lifers doing back flips to appease the abortion mongering moonbats that seek to elevate Tiller to martyrdom and sainthood?
Here's the brief version for why "pro-lifers" need to at least try to pretend to have human decency and care about this: because the extreme rhetoric on your side of the aisle is the kind of crap that justifies this.  Just read your post up to this point.  The entire time is spent trying to both 1. characterize Tiller as a "mass-murderer" and 2. suggest that killing people due to being a mass-murderer is fully justified.  In other words, you are arguing that the person who did this, by the logic of the pro-life movement, is completely justified!  And that's why you need to start doing "back flips" right now: because you will completely lose all credibility if anyone with the slightest bit of sense realizes that those slightly to right of moderate in the "pro-life" movement fully support the actions of the killer!
Instead of scrambling to feverishly denounce the pro-life community ("Anyone who thinks Tiller's death is in any way a positive thing is not a true pro-lifer"... huh?) we should be looking at a very serious fact:  If every single pro-lifer who is currently falling all over themselves to publicly mourn the "loss" of this abortionist displayed just a fraction of that outrage over just ONE of the children Tiller murdered on a regular nine to five, Baby Killer Tiller would have been put out of business long ago and he would not be dead today. 
And if the "pro-lifers" didn't spent so much time freaking the fuck out over the well-being of non-viable third trimester fetuses and the brainless first trimester fetuses that we so merrily massacre and rather started caring about the post-birth children in our country, and throughout the world, who are suffering and dying, then they would resemble people with a semblance of sanity.  But, alas, this is not the case.  And, yes, those who think that Tiller's death was justified are "pro-life" rather than pro-life.  But, frankly, the scare quote version is the only kind we are used to encountering anyway.
Over the years there have been multiple opportunities to peacefully and legally hold George Tiller accountable to his actions, thus shielding him from acts of extremism.  An example would be his trial that took place in March of 2009.  Being charged with 19 misdemeanors he got off scott-free through corrupt political ties and professional dishonesty.  Again, had justice been served in that courtroom, Tiller would be alive today and serving a sentence behind bars.
So, in other words, the court rules in favor of Tiller, proving that he is working within the confines of the law, but, because the result wasn't in favor of your delusions, you think that it was just another tally against him?  Rather than vindicating him, it was obviously a "corrupt" ruling and, once again, killing him is justified?  You know, I originally intended to blog crazy, inane things.  I am glad I gave up on that early, because I clearly can't compete with this!
Is the pro-life position one of violence?  Of course not.  It is because we are so peaceful that lone acts of extremism immediately garner national attention.  In the course of a 36 year genocide, only five abortionists have been killed.  According to government statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, for every abortionists killed, over thirty clergy members have been murdered.  Where are the candlelight vigils and 24/7 news coverage for these victims of political violence?
If the pro-life position isn't one of violence, then you must have really missed the boat in spending every paragraph before this point coming up with rationalizations in favor of a violent crime.  And, please look at the side of pro-choice supporters, and compare the acts of terrorism and murder (you know, the actual kind prohibited by law) between the sides.  Peaceful my ass.  I have no idea about the clergy members, but I sincerely doubt that they would killed for "political" reasons, let alone all of them for the same political reasons.  And I also doubt that they have a comparable populations (i.e. abortionists are most likely more rare than "clergy" in a general sense of the word).  So, yeah.
According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, every day more than 80 Americans die from gun violence - many of these being senseless death with the victims innocent of any wrong-doing.  And here we have a man who made a living peddling death, who reaped what he had been sowing for over 36 years at $5,000+ a pop. Does this honestly surprise anyone?
Yay!  America has an abysmally large number of murders via gun usage, and Tiller deserved it.  Ergo, stop talking about it everybody!   Since this particular "gun violence" was politically motivated, rather than a standard random act of violence, and was directed at a guy who has been incredibly demonized by the "pro-life" crowd, I am going to have to say, yes, this is relevant news.  But, sadly, I am not surprised by it.
Pro-lifers need to stop hyperventilating over the pro-aborts who are having aneurisms synthesizing mock outrage at Tiller's demise.  We need, now more than ever, to keep things in proper perspective. 
I assure you, pro-birther, that the outrage is genuine.  And when did you ever, in your life, come across a proper perspective, in which to be in a position to "keep things in" one?
 I know this is a huge loss for Tiller's family and they need our prayer and support.  I'm sure they are grieving bitterly, and it is heartbreaking to think of the pain that they must be feeling.  It is ultimately tragic that Tiller did not have an opportunity to properly prepare his soul to face his Maker.  Unless some miracle happened, he left this life with his hands drenched with innocent blood.
Hopefully there is more support than prayer.  Unless you just want to feel self-important, in which case, pray away!  Also, the last two sentences sound almost identical to Randall Terry's up top.  Maybe they shared notes?
While it is imperative that we extend love and grace to the family of Tiller, we still cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that George Tiller was a mass murderer of the worst kind who made a living off of killing babies and harming women.  Unless you are radically against capital punishment, those who view abortion as murder agree that the penalty for the crime of mass child slaughter is death.  And although the method and means of his execution is deplorable, the ultimate outcome is not. 
(Also, "radically" against capital punishment?  What?)
The man chose his fate the moment he dismembered his first infant.  I'm not embarrassed to say what the punishment for the crime is anymore than I'membarrassed to admit that child killing is a crime.
You should be dreadfully embarrassed to say both.  You should be embarrassed to say that the punishment for mass murder is death because it depends on your jurisdiction.  There are laws, and due process involved in this, ya know, and not everywhere allows the death penalty.  You should be embarrassed to say that child killing is a crime because 1. regular abortion is not "child" killing and 2. it completely ignores the fact that, in this case, the "child killing" was done to the already dead/those who would harm the mother/those that would likely die out of the womb anyway.  And you should be incredibly embarrassed, having said both of those, because Tiller was already in court and deemed innocent of crime and unworthy of punishment!  And you've already acknowledged that you are aware of that!  So, quite frankly: fuck you.
Did I want him to be gunned down in church - even a hypocritical, Molech-worshiping fraud of a church like the one he was attending while shot?  No.  I would have much preferred him being tried and convicted in a court of law that is consistent with medical science and personhood as defined in our Constitution.  We can prevent the atrocious acts of violence against abortionists by holding them accountable to their actions.  
Here's where the fun is at:  suggesting that a church is a "fraud" because it is presumably a liberal one (it is a Lutheran church...that's all I know about it on this end).  Classic conservative move, attempting to imply that they have an exclusive claim to "TRUE!" Christianity.  And, although I am sure she would have preferred that he was "tried and convicted", he was tried already and found innocent!  Goddammit, how much does she think the "medical science" that doesn't support her position and the Constitution that doesn't define personhood has changed since then?
The sooner pro-lifers stop giving pro-aborts wiggle room in their perpetual playing of the victim card, the better.  We need to reveal to the nation what this man did for a living and shed even more light on the grisly details of abortion.  Our pointless pacifism and back-peddling in the face of this tragedy is helping turn George Tiller into a hero for the pro-abort crowd.
Yeah, pro-choicers are the ones who play the victim card.  Sure.  And, lol at the idea of exposing "the grisly details of abortion".  It's how they operate: showing disgusting photos of the most developed aborted fetuses they can find.  They are the real life version of a shock site.  They are the goatse of political movements.  That's probably the nicest thing I've been able to say about them thus far, as well!

(Note:  if you don't know what goatse is...please take caution when looking it up.  No need to expose you to horrors beyond the Lovecraftian nightmares and terrifying illogic I deem fit for the blog).
Already, the pro-deathers are making absurd comments such as, "Tiller was truly pro-life, he helped women and was willing to sacrifice his own life for them!"  Well, if pro-aborts can dub Tiller "truly pro-life", then in all fairness I guess it's safe to say that his killer was truly "pro-choice".  He believed in the idea that if a person's existence troubles you, you have the right to kill them.  He also obviously strongly felt that every abortionist should be a wanted abortionist.  Is it not a personal decision?  His ammunition, his choice?  Everybody has an opinion... can't we all just get along?  Find common ground, like Obama asked us to?

I mean, I personally would not shoot an abortionist, but who am I to impose my morality on someone else?  If you are against shooting abortionists, then don't shoot one, right?  Hmm, suddenly pro-choice  rhetoric doesn't sound so warm and fuzzy and virtuous, does it?
Let me repeat the key strawman:  "if a person's existence troubles you, you have the right to kill them".  Did she unintentionally leave out the part where the person is biologically dependent on you, causes strain on your body due to this, will inevitably need to cause you tremendous pain in order to claim independence and could cause permanent damage in the process, the person popped out of nowhere with no known acquitances, and the person has no discernible cognitive function until half-way through the entire process?  I am sure it was just a mistaken omission on her part.

I am glad to hear her scoff at the sound of compromise. It's a sign of a true zealot.
Also:  "If you are against shooting abortionists, then don't shoot one, right?"  How many ways can you restate "abortion=murder" in one article!?
Tiller was killed by a pro-choice act.  Pro-lifers need make no apologies.  Both men are guilty of bloodshed and this tragedy is a sad but all-too-real testament to the biblical truth that those who live by the sword, die by the sword.
Does that mean that we get to kill Tiller's murderer?  Or do we have to break that "Biblical truth" by just giving him life in prison?  

What else do we have here...

Oh look, Bill O'Reilly makes sense for a whole one minute before frantically trying to defend himself.  

Funny to see him so riled up, making many of the same harebrained points that Gingi does. Oh, if you want to see one of the reasons why Bill seems so ya go.

2:32 or so, he starts to muse about roughing up Tiller, but restrains himself with the particularly weak (and almost sarcastic sounding) "Can't be vigilantes".  Well, apparently, some among us think otherwise.  

And, last but not least, read this article for a dash of redemption for the pro-lifers (just, don't read the comments....fair warning...).
All I've got to say is that, at the end of the day, it is a good thing we have the rule of law to protect us from the anti-abortion crowd. 

Edit:  This article at Slacktivist describes the issue incredibly well.  Also:  

While attending worship at Reformation Lutheran Church this morning, child-slaughterer George Tiller seems to have been assassinated. Without a doubt the most bloodthirsty and cruel of our nation's baby-murderers, Tiller's name has been infamous among men committed to stopping the bloodshed. He's one of the few willing to take money to murder babies so late in the pregnancy that they would be viable outside the womb.

Operation Rescue publicity hound, Randall Terry, expresses regret at Tiller's assassination. We express regret for the years he was allowed to slaughter babies with the civil authority doing absolutely nothing to stop him. One wonders what Martin Luther, John Calvin, or Dietrich Bonhoeffer would say at the news that he was attending church this morning when he was killed?

May Almighty God keep another man from picking up his traffic in murder.