Probably the best thing to come out of attending CPAC for me was my being re-energized on the issue of abortion – as you can probably tell, especially if you follow my Twitter stream. Now more than ever I am committed to not only continuing to try and help save the lives of the unborn with strong, fact-based arguments, but also to keeping up the good fight when it comes to exposing so-called “feminists” and their various rationales on a number of “women’s issues” – especially abortion. In other words, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me in the future on “womens issues.”
If you’re a pro-life male and you’re reading this, how often have you encountered the “feminist” argument that you should “stay out of the debate” when it comes to pregnancy because you can’t have a baby? My guess is you’ve either heard it a lot or read it a lot. It’s an offensive argument on its face, not only because it’s yet another shameless tactic used by pro-aborts to try and shut down legitimate discussion of a very serious moral issue, but also because it’s selective; pro-aborts don’t mind bringing men into the argument when they slam them for “getting a woman pregnant” (in spite of the fact that it takes, you know, two to tango …). They also don’t mind bringing men into the picture when talking about how men supposedly primarily “use pregnancy” as a form of “control” over women.
As reaffirmed just today, the male opinion on abortion actually IS relevant … but only if you’re a male who supports the “reproductive rights” of women. From a pro-abort post at The Sisterhood blog at the Jewish Daily:
But one of the coolest things about the rally was the strong showing of male allies on stage and on the ground in Manhattan’s Foley Square. On stage, a group of Jewish male New York politicians made a series of completely impassioned, fiery speeches that shocked me with their urgent tone. Congressmen Eliot Engel, Jerrold Nadler, Anthony Weiner and Senator Charles Schumer were four of a number of wonderful speakers.
Many of these guys invoked their daughters with emotion in their voices — echoing studies that show male legislators with daughters tend to vote with more empathetic attitudes on women’s issues. Others called out the Republican opposition by name — specifically Mike Pence, who sponsored the bill gutting federal funding to Planned Parenthood — for wanting to, and I paraphrase, “stand in hospital rooms making decisions for patients. Schumer assured us that Pence’s bill would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate. But the fact that the bill has gotten as far as it has remains shocking, and House Speaker John Boehner is out publicly blasting Planned Parenthood.
As the fight continues, we’re going to need every ally we have — female, male, young, old, from every walk of life — to keep standing up and speaking up for women’s health, and realizing that this attack out of DC is a universal affront, not a niche women’s issue.
Heh. Doesn’t this make you feel good, guys? Your voice is vital to the debate!!!!! As long as you support a woman’s “right” to terminate her pregnancy.
Well, ok – this it not exactly new news, but nevertheless it’s still worth pointing out in black and white again and again the two-faced nature of the pro-abortion “movement” when it comes to deciding whose opinions are worth including in the debate and whose aren’t. Are you a man who supports abortion “rights”? Your opinion is worthwhile and relevant. Oppose it? Here is what you’ll hear (from a multi-faceted liberal rally held this past weekend in DC):
Here’s what you’ll see (via the NOW National Facebook page):
And speaking of opinions, the pro-aborts are up in arms over news that an two unborn babies will soon “testify” to the Ohio legislature. How so? Via ultrasound. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two fetuses will be presented as witnesses before an Ohio legislative committee that is hearing a bill to outlaw abortions after the first heartbeat can be detected inside a woman’s womb.
The fetuses will appear live and in color before the committee on a video screen projecting ultrasound images taken from their pregnant mothers’ bodies. Janet Folger Porter, head of Faith2Action, an anti-abortion group, said the fetuses will be the youngest witnesses to ever testify when they come in front of the House Health and Aging Committee Wednesday morning.
“Lawmakers are going to be able to see as well as hear the babies’ heartbeats,” said Porter. “We think this is going to do a lot to keep other babies’ heartbeats going in Ohio.” She said two Ohio women — one nine weeks and the other 11 weeks pregnant — have agreed to be scanned with ultrasound machines for the hearing.
Abortion rights supporters said they are dismayed by what they see as a spectacle dreamed up for media attention.
“I think it’s a stunt that trivializes women’s health,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. “It’s obvious this committee is a lot more interested in making headlines than in giving women better access to health care or doing something to bring jobs to this state or trying to fix the state’s budget mess.”
Truth be told, what the NARAL gang is really concerned about are minds changing on the issue as a result of people hearing the heartbeat of an unborn child in the early stages of development. It’s pretty powerful stuff, as exemplified in the below video of an ultrasound done at 6 weeks and 5 days:
That is probably one of the most precious sounds you’ll ever hear. Ever. That little baby’s opinion is also one worth listening to, but of course pro-aborts will have none of it because, well, I’m sure they’re aware that if unborn babies could express their opinions in words they’d be gurgling, “I won’t mind eating Ramen Noodles.”
Martha Kempner, writing at the pro-abortion RH Reality Check blog, is outraged that the proposed Ohio bill makes no exceptions for abortions in cases of fetal “anomalies”:
[…] This latest legislative tug at our heart strings, however, is anything but cute. It’s a ploy for fetal personhood and a direct attack on the protection set up by Roe v. Wade. This proposed law would push the date at which abortion is no longer legal back pretty much to the date the stick turns pink. A heartbeat can be detected as early as five weeks gestational age (and remember the first two of those weeks are counted even though they occurred before ovulation).
What may be most important to remember, however, is that while the detection of a heartbeat is a good sign of a viable pregnancy it is by no means a final indication that the pregnancy will end in the live birth of a healthy baby. The ultrasound that the Committee on Health is about to witness is the first of many that most women have during pregnancy. There’s one at 11 weeks that checks for Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18 among other possible chromosomal anomalies. Another at 20 weeks looks at the fetal anatomy checking the development of each organ, including the heart, to make sure there are no structural problems that will lead to birth defects.
Unfortunately, for the women of Ohio (and whatever other states are targeted by this group next), this bill makes no exceptions for any anomalies that may be found later in the pregnancy, the only exception is if the pregnancy is life-threatening to the mother. A heartbeat at 9 weeks is no guarantee of a healthy heart or a healthy baby. There are a myriad of conditions and disorders that could cause pain and suffering after birth. It seems paradoxical to me that the authors of this bill would be so focused on the personification of an unborn child that they complete ignore what might happen later. To force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term knowing that her child will face a lifetime of pain seems like the ultimate definition of heartlessness to me.
The real reality not revealed by that blog post is the fact that even if the bill provided exceptions for fetal defects found later on in the pregnancy, NARAL/NOW types still wouldn’t be happy with such a compromise. Remember: The goal of radical feminist groups is to keep abortion legal without limitations. This is a fact. Never lose sight of that. Pro-aborts are even against partial birth abortion bills because they view such bills as a “backdoor way” for pro-lifers to restrict abortions earlier on in a woman’s pregnancy. This is also why NOW, NARAL, etc also routinely oppose any state/national level attempts at classifying the killing of an unborn baby by a predator or other type of deranged criminal as murder. “Pro-family”? I don’t think so.
Not only that, but – as I talked about on Twitter just a little bit ago – it’s a common, dishonest tactic of pro-aborts to utilize and emphasize the “health of the baby” argument when discussing what types of abortion should be allowed and what shouldn’t, because by the way they talk about it, the primary reasons women get abortions are ‘urgent’ reasons: rape, health of the mother/baby issues, or incest. It’s an emotion-based argument that ignores the facts. The reality – oops, there’s that word again – is that the vast majority of abortions in this country are performed for convenience purposes, not due to health of the baby or mother, rape, nor incest.
Facts are inconvenient little critters, aren’t they? Especially to the militant “feminist” crowd.
Last but certainly not least, did you catch this mean-spirited rant about motherhood from Salon yesterday? Mary Elizabeth Williams slings (bolded emphasis added by me):
Late Sunday night, when many of us at home were praying for the sweet release of a Celine Dion-serenaded death, anything to escape our long international nightmare of the Oscars, a glowingly pregnant Natalie Portman finally took the stage to accept the Academy Award as best actress. She was as lovely and slightly awkward as she has been every time she’s hauled home another prize for her devastatingly creepy turn in “Black Swan,” thanking her fellow nominees, her parents, the directors who’ve guided her career, and then at last “my beautiful love,” dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, for giving her “the most important role of my life.” That’d be when he impregnated her, I’d wager.
At the time, the comment jarred me, as it does every time anyone refers to motherhood as the most important thing a woman can possibly do. But the reason why didn’t hit me until I saw the ever razor sharp Lizzie Skurnick comment on Twitter today that, “Like, my garbageman could give you your greatest role in life, too, lady.”
When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, there are a lot of amazed and awed moments in between the heartburn and insomnia. But is motherhood really a greater role than being secretary of state or a justice on the Supreme Court? Is reproduction automatically the greatest thing Natalie Portman will do with her life?
And as Portman looked out into the audience at her main competition this year, mother of four Annette Bening, I wonder if she saw an actress who has admitted freely she’s limited her career for her children, who says, “I have all these conditions on which I can work,” but who also cops freely that work “is very important.” “Women aren’t supposed to acknowledge that,” she said in an interview last year, “and pretend that it’s all just fabulous and we love every moment and it’s just a wonder … It is a wonder, but it’s also tiring and really, really hard work and a lot of the time your life is not about you, it’s about what everyone else wants. There’s that selflessness you need to find, and on the other hand, you hire a babysitter and you go out and you do your work.”
Wow. Shame on Benning for happily accepting the “limitations” motherhood brings and for finding that perfect balance between being a mom and having a career! Is this what “pro-choice” is supposed to mean? Ooops …
Piling on in agreement with the Salon piece was KJ Dell’Antonia at Slate’s XX Factor blog:
But I find myself wanting to cut Natalie some slack. She’s pregnant, after all. It was an Oscar speech. It was a cute way to slide her fiance and baby-father into her list of those being thanked, and if a few grinch-y celebrity watchers doubt the permanency of the star’s commitment to her choreographer, well, they’re just a bunch of meanies, that’s all. As for impending motherhood, the “greatest role” of her life? Let her have her babymoon. Soon enough, she’ll be frantically trying to figure out exactly what “putting your kids first” really means in the context of a career, just like thousands of women before her (only, of course, as HuffPo pointed out in including “Movie Star” on its tongue-in-cheek list of the 100 Best Jobs for Moms, with a trainer and a crack team of nannies at her call). Maybe she’ll always feel like motherhood is her greatest role. But it probably won’t be her last.
Motherhood. What a drag!
Time for another reality check. Jenny Erikson puts it succinctly:
Being a mom is the most significant thing a woman can do. Without babies, our species becomes extinct. #justsayin
Can’t make it any plainer than that – nor this classic quote from the Gipper:
“I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”
Politico reports on a heated exchange today between our derelict US Attorney General Eric Holder and Republicans during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing:
Attorney General Eric Holder finally got fed up Tuesday with claims that the Justice Department went easy in a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they are African American.
Holder’s frustration over the criticism became evident during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) accused the Justice Department of failing to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the handling of the 2008 incident in which Black Panthers in intimidating outfits and wielding a club stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia.
The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.
“Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate….to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people,” said Holder, who is black.
In a series of questions and comments earlier in the hearing, Culberson insisted that race had infected the decision-making process. “There’s clearly overwhelming evidence that your Department of Justice refuses to protect the rights of anybody other than African-Americans to vote,” the Texas Republican said. “There’s a double standard here.”
“This Department of Justice does not enforce the law on the basis of race,” Holder insisted.
Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat from Philadelphia, said the Black Panthers “should not have been there.” But he said the GOP was making too much out of a fleeting incident involving a couple of people.
“The most unethical thing a person can do is make allegations based on absolutely nothing,” Fattah said. “The only issue of race is singling out this particular decision…That this rises to national significance is bogus on its face.”
I’m sure Rep. Fattah would say and believe the same thing had it been, say, a couple of white supremacists standing in front of a polling place with batons in their hands. Um hmm. I should point out that Fattah once ran for Philadelphia mayor but came under intense verbal fire over his expressed belief that convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent. So, needless to say, his judgment is, er, questionable – to put it nicely.
In fact, we all know that there would not only have been national news media saturation of this case (helped along eagerly by left wing bloggers, pundits, and other associated talking heads) had it involved two white people, but it would have turned into an international affair, with the Euro-media and other babbling elites overseas “still wondering” how “racism” could still persist so strongly in light of the fact that the United States elected its first black President, who was supposed to be a “post-racial” President, two years ago ….
For the real story on the DOJ’s stonewalling on the issue of preferential treatment for Holder’s “people”, click here.
Phineas butts in: ST and I were on the same wavelength with this one.
**Posted by Phineas
And the accuser isn’t some minor politico or crime figure, but a former state governor from the long-time ruling party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) . According to Borderland Beat, Mexican presidents from Miguel de la Madrid through Ernesto Zedillo, nearly 20 years, bought social peace by telling the cartels which routes they could use to bring their drugs to the United States and which areas they had to leave alone:
In a conference with students held on Wednesday, February 23, at the Law School of the Autonomous University of Coauhuila in Saltillo, Socrates Rizzo delivered a bombshell that has rocked Mexico as the campaign for the 2012 presidential election approaches.
During an interview session the former PRI Governor admitted that previous PRI presidents held strong control over drug trafficking routes that prevented the attacks on civilians and the violence that Mexico is undergoing today.
Although an open secret in Mexican society and a charge occasionally leveled publicly by the country’s two other major political parties, the National Action Party (PAN) and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), this is the first time in recent history that a former or current PRI politician has admitted publicly that this arrangement existed.
“Somehow the problems with drug trafficking were avoided, there was a strong State control and a strong President and a strong Attorney General and a tight control of the Army.”
“Somehow they (drug traffickers) were told: ‘You go through here, you here, you there’, but do not touch these other places,” he said in his speech.
The former Governor added that this strategy allowed the State to ensure the social peace that has been lost in the war on drugs launched by the PAN administration of Felipe Calderon.
“What the old guard says is that we had control by the Government and the Army. The big problem is consumption, and while consumption exists in the U.S. there will be drug trafficking in that direction.”
“What control by the PRI governments guaranteed was that drug trafficking did not disturb the social peace.”
Former Governor Rizzo also said Mexico’s current troubles with violence began with the electoral victory of the National Action Party‘s (PAN) presidential candidate, Vicente Fox, in 2000. They knew nothing of the deal with the cartels, didn’t want to know, and indeed tried to crack down, with the bloody results we’ve seen in years since, especially since President Calderón took office in 2006. In fact, the PRI candidate in 1994, Luis Donaldo Colosio, may have been assassinated by the cartels because he didn’t want to play along, breaking the deal. Rizzo laughably says the problem with the PAN presidents was a lack of “professionalism.” I guess “professional” in his book means “willing to play along.”
Not that the three PRI presidents, de la Madrid, Salinas de Gortari, and Zedillo were just honest brokers trying to spare their people as much as possible. Concern for their people may have been part of it, but they and those under them were getting their cut, too. In fact, the corruption grew so bad under Salinas that his predecessor, de la Madrid, was shocked at his greed. (Sort of like Louis in “Casablanca?”)
Rizzo retracted his story the next day under heavy criticism, especially from two Mexican senators from the PRI Party, Manlio Fabio Beltrones and Fernando Baeza Melendez, both former governors themselves and both reputedly in tight with the cartels. Fabio Beltrones, in particular, is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate next year, should the party’s golden boy, Enrique Peña Nieto, falter. Wouldn’t that be sweet if he wins? “We’re back in business, boys!”
The trouble with Rizzo’s retraction, however, is that his accusations are just too plausible: not only are his critics rumored to have heavy ties to the cartels, but the problem with violence after Calderón started his crackdown didn’t spring from nowhere. Large cartels were known to exist in the 80s, for example, Rafael Caro Quintero’s Guadalajara Cartel. It’s hard to believe they could do the volume of business they did in the 80s and 90s without some sort of under-the-table official protection.
And corruption in Mexico is known to have crawled up into the federal ranks. With that much money at stake, it’s inevitable that a lot was spread around to ensure “cooperation.” But it didn’t happen overnight, and Rizzo’s allegations argue that these corrupted cops were just following El Presidente’s lead — at least until the new guys screwed up a sweet deal.
But don’t think that this can be solved by Calderón or his successor cutting another deal with the Devil. As the Borderlands piece points out, Mexico now has its own drug consumption problem, and these guys are fighting over markets inside the country, not just for prime routes north. It will be much harder for Fabio Beltrones, for example, to come to a new understanding with the cartels that allows him to tell them what to do.
Of course, the big question for us is “Isn’t this all history?” In a sense, yes. What those three presidents did years ago has done its damage in the United States, and Mexico is now paying the price of cleaning it up — if it can be cleaned up. The monster de la Madrid and his successors summoned may have grown too big for their successors to defeat without a lot more blood being spilled, which has predictable implications for our own security.
But one also has to ask what happens if PRI wins the next election, particularly if Fabio Beltrones or some other cartel-friendly candidate becomes president. If Rizzo’s accusations are true, then it is a dubious question whether almost any PRI president and his administration can be considered a reliable partner against the cartels — or whether he is their partner.
Do read the whole thing. It’s long and it relies in part on rumor and anonymous sources, but it has a disturbing ring of truth to it, too.
via Business Insider
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
Some of the neatest stuff comes out of the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) — like this Internet thingy we’re playing with. Much of their work –that they tell us about– involves robotics, “intelligent” machines that can be sent into dangerous areas both to spare human soldiers the risk and to extend their capabilities. Wired has story on the progress toward developing, get this, a robot cheetah:
Perhaps you thought the four-legged BigDog robot wasn’t eerily lifelike enough. That’ll change soon. BigDog’s makers are working on a new quadruped that moves faster than any human and is agile enough to “chase and evade.”
Boston Dynamics, maker of the Army’s BigDog robotic mule, announced today that Darpa has awarded it a contract to build a much faster and more fearsome animal-like robot, Cheetah.
As the name implies, Cheetah is designed to be a four-legged robot with a flexible spine and articulated head (and potentially a tail) that runs faster than the fastest human. In addition to raw speed, Cheetah’s makers promise that it will have the agility to make tight turns so that it can “zigzag to chase and evade” and be able to stop on a dime.
Cheetah builds off work on the company’s previous four legged animal bot, BigDog. It was built as a kind of unmanned pack mule, designed to carry equipment for troops on the battlefield. The robotic donkey could carry 300 lbs. over 13 miles on flat ground, take a swift kick and keep on moving. It’s creepy, lifelike movement can be seen on a number of videos online, climbing over hills and snow and hiking alongside soldiers, using GPS coordinates as its waypoints.
They talk about non-military applications, of course*, but, come on. Who didn’t smile at the prospect of unleashing robotic cheetahs that can run faster than a human on the Taliban?
LINKS: An earlier post on our coming Space Marine force. I’m also quite interested in powered exoskeletons, which are a precursor to full-blown powered armor. As I like to say, “We have all the best toys!”
*To keep the progressives happy, y’know. They’re sensitive like that.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)