So I’m a “fanatic” for opposing infanticide, eh?

So claims the editor of the journal which published the article supporting infanticide baby-killing  “after-birth abortion.” After all, it’s “morally irrelevant” that fetuses and newborn infants are “potential persons.” Shame on me, I’m preventing “proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society,” according to Julian Savulescu, the aforementioned editor who adds:

What the response to this article reveals, through the microscope of the web, is the deep disorder of the modern world. Not that people would give arguments in favour of infanticide, but the deep opposition that exists now to liberal values and fanatical opposition to any kind of reasoned engagement.

Emphasis my own. What Savulescu calls “reasoned engagement” was the fact that this isn’t a new arena of bioethics, but a different application per se, of arguments established by Peter Singer among others. Since bioethicists claim infants are no different in capacity than fetuses, and since it’s also legal to abort fetuses, then it should also be legal to “abort” infants. Not a new proposal. Just “reasoned engagement.”

Tina Korbe at Hot Air adds:

Once upon a time, abortion advocates would accuse pro-lifers of “slippery slope logic” when those pro-lifers suggested it was only a matter of time before someone would use the abortion advocates’ arguments to defend infanticide. According to Savulescu, that began to happen a long time ago — and it continues to happen today. Turns out, it is a slippery slope, after all. If humans don’t have a right to life from the moment of conception, when does the right to life kick in? The moment a human becomes a person? When is that? Who determines when? The standard becomes movable — and, consequently, impossible to uphold.

Absolutely, and it’s why our culture shamelessly plumbs the depths of the culture of death. If lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly aren’t sacred, then the life of no one is.


Thanks, Obama, for another knife in the back of the military (but hey, protect those union BFFs at all costs!)

This gets tiring after a while. Why not just abolish the military and be done with it? (Or would that be too radical even for Barry O.? Probably not. Just wishful thinking on his part.)

Via The Daley Gator, the Washington Free Beacon details how the new Obama budget protects all unionized government workers and their benefits (of course!) but hands another crap sandwich to military families and retirees. Eat up folks:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Translation: military will pay more. DOD civilian personnel will not. The retirees would be the ones shifted into the Obamacare exchanges.

 Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.

[One note: using the scenario given, the retired O-5 family would pay $2,048 as an annual enrollment fee NOT as stated for a year of health care. There are still doctor and pharmaceutical co-pays.]

The hardest hit? Senior citizens like my grandfather, a Vietnam vet in his 80s. Via the VFW:

The DOD budget unveiled February 13 recommends 1.7 percent military pay raises for 2013 and 2014, followed by a scant 0.5 percent increase in 2015, and 1 percent in 2016. Also announced were plans to almost quadruple Tricare Prime enrollment fees for some working age military retirees, impose Tricare for Life enrollment fees on those older than 65, and introduce enrollment fees and increased deductibles on Tricare Standard and Extra users. Included in DOD’s healthcare revenue plan are increased pharmaceutical copayments for retirees as well as military dependents.

Emphasis mine. On a fixed income of Social Security and savings, new “enrollment fees” will decimate some folks financially. My grandfather included. Hope and change: how many folks can you ruin financially in one term?

UPDATE: From The Gateway Pundit, I had forgotten about the hazardous duty pay cuts:

They will now only get the $7.50 daily proration for the individual days they are actually serving in harm’s way instead of for the whole month. (DOD)

Barack Obama cut pay for military men and women serving in harm’s way starting this month.



“We will close down our schools, our hospitals, our nursing homes, our orphanages. We will go out of business… before we will pay to have a child murdered.”

So argues Father Sammie Maleta, Jr. of St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana, in his homily earlier this month responding to the HHS mandate. This is the response I craved from my parish priest but never heard. Give a listen. It’s incredible.

At 08:45, on the inevitable aftermath of the largest provider of medical care, nursing home care, education and social services outside the government closing its doors:

The real issue that’s going on here: the  government can reasonably argue that we cannot as a nation allow that suffering to continue, and the government will step in and provide less effective and more costly services which will mean more government employees and more individuals who become completely dependent on government help. Taxes will be raised to cover this. And the ultimate goal behind this is exposed, for the United States of America will be one step closer to socialism. And in every country that has become socialistic, religion has become peripheral. But, you’ll be able to have reproductive services available at every corner.

So maybe this really was the goal all along, eh?

H/t: AL

Was this the goal all along?

Cardinal George of Chicago warns of “no Catholic hospitals in two years” if the mandate isn’t rescinded. He writes:

So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society […] The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.

What he foresees:

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the Church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the Church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.

Part of me really wonders if this was the goal all along, to force one of the largest providers of health care nationally out of business so that the federal government could swoop in and buy it all. Read the rest.

H/t: Hot Air headlines

UPDATE: Via Ed Morissey, more from Cardinal George:

Practically, we’re told that the majority of Catholics use artificial contraception. There are properly medical reasons, in some circumstances, for the use of contraceptive pills, as everyone knows. But even if contraceptives were used by a majority of couples only and exclusively to suppress a possible pregnancy, behavior doesn’t determine morality. If it can be shown that a majority of Catholic students cheat on their exams, it is still wrong to cheat on exams. Trimming morality to how we behave guts the Gospel call to conversion of life and rejection of sin.

Morrissey comments:

Catholics may be giving up some luxuries for Lent, but the bishops aren’t giving up this fight.  They seem ready to make this a weekly battle with the Obama administration, and willing to escalate it to the point of closing doors and stopping services, a move that will make the issue acute in many of the areas where Obama normally would draw his most fervent support.

The Bishops better fight. This isn’t just a battle. This is war.

UPDATE: From the comments, Just a Conservative Girl saw this coming weeks ago:

But I got to thinking, maybe that is the point. Maybe this is the whole reason that they are pushing this. Stay with me now. Say that many faith-based groups do decide to change the way they run their organizations. They will only administer help to people within their own faith in order to stay in compliance with the exemption. What happens to all the others who will no longer be getting the help that they give? They have to turn to the state. Especially if they are not people of faith.

It would be virtually impossible for the faith-based groups to know if the people they are helping are truly people of that faith. I wouldn’t put it past atheist activists to try to get services from a faith-based group and then publicize the fact that they were not truly just administering to the “faithful”. Many good people would lose jobs at Catholic University’s and hospitals. Many people in need of service would be turned away.

Why are we still in Afghanistan?

John Hinderacker at Powerline says “Let’s Get Out.”  I’m inclined to agree. After more than a decade of fighting and “nation-building,” we’re left with a country only marginally better than it was before. Yes, the Taliban isn’t in power, terrorizing people. They’re just waiting in the shadows until we leave, terrorizing people. We cannot stay forever.

The Afghan population is less than a quarter literate. It’s a tribal society now inflamed further by the burning of books used to transmit messages among prisoners. We’ve lost soldiers over this nonsense, and we will lose more when our Commander-in-Chief can’t help but issue apology after apology to our enemies. Two officers were murdered execution-style in a protected office. I’m sure we’ll wait in vain for any justice to be served.

An Army Lieutenant Colonel, Daniel L. Davis, published an article in the Armed Forces Journal this month detailing his year of travels in Afghanistan. It’s not a flattering portrait of Afghani reality or of our presence there, and as a military wife, I can say it’s incredibly depressing when we have so many who sacrifice so much in what seems a vain effort. He writes:

Adviser: “No. They are definitely not capable. Already all across this region [many elements of] the security forces have made deals with the Taliban. [The ANSF] won’t shoot at the Taliban, and the Taliban won’t shoot them.

“Also, when a Taliban member is arrested, he is soon released with no action taken against him. So when the Taliban returns [when the Americans leave after 2014], so too go the jobs, especially for everyone like me who has worked with the coalition.

“Recently, I got a cellphone call from a Talib who had captured a friend of mine. While I could hear, he began to beat him, telling me I’d better quit working for the Americans. I could hear my friend crying out in pain. [The Talib] said the next time they would kidnap my sons and do the same to them. Because of the direct threats, I’ve had to take my children out of school just to keep them safe.

“And last night, right on that mountain there [he pointed to a ridge overlooking the U.S. base, about 700 meters distant], a member of the ANP was murdered. The Taliban came and called him out, kidnapped him in front of his parents, and took him away and murdered him. He was a member of the ANP from another province and had come back to visit his parents. He was only 27 years old. The people are not safe anywhere.”

That murder took place within view of the U.S. base, a post nominally responsible for the security of an area of hundreds of square kilometers. Imagine how insecure the population is beyond visual range. And yet that conversation was representative of what I saw in many regions of Afghanistan.

In all of the places I visited, the tactical situation was bad to abysmal. If the events I have described — and many, many more I could mention — had been in the first year of war, or even the third or fourth, one might be willing to believe that Afghanistan was just a hard fight, and we should stick it out. Yet these incidents all happened in the 10th year of war.

We are not helping the Afghans. We are certainly not helping ourselves.  Hinderacker:

It has never been clear why we can’t use drones, air power and troops stationed reasonably nearby to prevent the Taliban or other extremist groups from setting up extensive training centers that can be used for attacks on the U.S., such as those that existed before September 2001. If such measures are feasible, leaving Afghanistan should not damage our security. And, in any event, if our security depends on Afghanistan becoming a decent society within a lifetime or two, God help us.


UPDATE: Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

Why bioethicists believe it’s “morally irrelevant” that fetuses and newborn infants are “potential persons.”

These folks have jobs, y’all, where they teach doctors how to make life or death decisions. Comforting, isn’t it?

Via Wesley Smith at Secondhand Smoke, an abstract of a journal article printed in The Journal of Medical Ethics discussing “Afterbirth Abortion,” or in layman’s terms, infanticide:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.


That anyone, let alone someone hiding behind the façade of “ethicist,” can suggest in a professional setting that (1) fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as you or me is deeply troubling for myriad reasons, least of all that it’s patently false. But to argue point (2)–even if you accepted the first invalid premise–requires a certain degree of willful ignorance: how can anyone argue that a newborn infant isn’t a person? It’s not a potential person. It’s a living, breathing, unique individual with needs, wants and desires. That a newborn cannot inform others of the needs, wants and desires isn’t unique to newborns. I just read pjKid a book about Helen Keller. She couldn’t communicate for years. Granted, to most “medical bioethicists,” that is sufficient for saying Helen Keller wasn’t capable of living life fully, therefore she should’ve been “aborted,” too. The final argument presented is one of sheer convenience: oh, bother. I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I shouldn’t have carried the baby. Why wrestle with the emotional haggle of giving the child up to someone who desperately wants a baby, dear me, I should legally have the right to just kill it. And my doctor agrees! I don’t like the kid’s kinky hair or dark brown eyes. Dammit, he looks like my mother-in-law. It cries too much! Ah, kill it! We’ll try again next time.

Smith comments:

So, if a woman has a mixed racial affair, she and her same race husband should be able to prevent gossip and embarrassment by killing the baby?  (I know of one such case, although the woman wasn’t married, she aborted simply because she didn’t want to have a mixed race child.)  Heck, if the baby’s life is worth so little, let’s harvest her organs and give them to those babies whose parents want them to live.

How unsettling to some that a few of us do want babies to live.

(What proof of Joe Klein’s opinion, no?)


Infanticide isn’t a crime, but littering is?

Infanticide by any other name: The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy

“The position that allows abortion also allows infanticide under some circumstances. . . . If we accept abortion, we do need to rethink some of those more fundamental attitudes about human life”

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

The Onion or TIME?

Oh. You can’t make ledes like this up. Can you? From what-could’ve-been-The-Onion:

In nature, most seals are black, with relatively few white ones. The Navy’s SEALs have exactly the opposite problem – they’re overwhelmingly white, with hardly any blacks. So they’re trying to do something about it.

Dear God. Let’s screw up yet one more thing and enforce affirmative action quotas within a specific volunteer branch of an all-volunteer force. So now the Navy will spend more money we don’t have hiring a contractor to appeal to specific minority groups nationwide in an effort to bolster the number of minority SEALs.

I’m near speechless. Read the rest.

“I’m grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter’s smile”

So concludes Time magazine writer Joe Klein of Santorum’s oft-vilified family choices. It’s a beautiful and moving tribute that bears repeating often. The whole piece is behind a paywall, but visit if you have a subscription. I might have to buy this copy once it hits newstands. Via NRO:

Rick and Karen decided to fight for Gabriel’s life, which nearly cost Karen her own, and they passionately embraced the child during his two hours on earth. They have spent the past three years caring for their daughter Isabella, whose genetic defect, trisomy 18, is an early-death sentence. “Almost 100% of trisomy 18 children are encouraged to be aborted,” Santorum told Schieffer.

I am haunted by the smiling photos I’ve seen of Isabella with her father and mother, brothers and sisters. No doubt she struggles through many of her days — she nearly died a few weeks ago — but she has also been granted three years of unconditional love and the ability to smile and bring joy. Her tenuous survival has given her family a deeper sense of how precious even the frailest of lives are.

All right, I can hear you saying, the Santorum family’s course may be admirable, but shouldn’t we have the right to make our own choices?

Yes, I suppose. But I also worry that we’ve become too averse to personal inconvenience as a society—that we’re less rigorous parents than we should be, that we’ve farmed out our responsibilities, especially for the disabled, to the state—and I’m grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter’s smile.

The Santorums lead by example of what we should aspire to be as parents–fighters for our children, not executioners because “that kind of life” isn’t what we had planned. That’s what makes lives like Isabella’s all the more rare and special: they have the ability to make us see ourselves for what we really are. Joe Klein sees her radiant smile and realizes something incredibly important. Most don’t.

UPDATE: linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!

Headline: 10 Places Where a Gallon of Gas Is More Expensive Than in the US

Media hacks certainly weren’t as charitable to Bush back in the day gas prices were lower, but I digress. From the headline story on Yahoo Finance [emphasis my own]:

If it’s been a while since you filled up, you might be in for a rude awakening the next time you visit the gas station. Prices have been rising steadily in the past few weeks on skyrocketing crude oil prices; the cost of a gallon of regular gas stands at $3.57, up 19 cents from a month ago. The rise has given fodder to Republican presidential candidates seeking an angle of economic attack on President Barack Obama and put another wrinkle in Americans’ tight budgets.

Dammit, what can we do?! Assuage their angst! No, deflect their anger! Make ’em thankful they’re paying $4 a gallon!!

We can’t tell you things are going to get better in the near future, but we can tell you things could be a lot worse. While gas prices seem high in the U.S., other countries are saddled with prices at the pump that would give an American driver a heart attack.


What they  won’t tell you: Obama wishes gas were as expensive here as it is in Eritrea. He’s said so as has his Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Wonder where that free Obama gas is flowing now?

I do wonder why we’re not all being told how this is a teachable moment. Via Allahpundit, David Harsanyi:

Gas prices are spiking. That’s great news, right? We have to wean ourselves off the stuff. At least that’s what we’ve been hearing for years. Oil is dirty. We import it from nations that hate our guts (like Canada!). And moreover, we’re running out. Oil is “finite.” Finite much in the way water is finite.

So why aren’t Democrats making the case that the spike in prices is a good thing? Isn’t this basically our energy policy these days? How we “win the future”? If high energy prices were to damage President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects, it would be ironic, considering the left has been telling us to set aside our “dependency” — or, as our most recent Republican president put it, “addiction” — for a long time.

As Allahpundit cynically puts it, all is fair in an election year:

And yet, despite this being a golden opportunity for a “teachable moment” on why America needs to transition from fossil fuels to algae or whatever, some House Democrats are urging O to tap the strategic reserve to keep prices down and Obama’s whining about Republicans making political hay of it all. I wonder why. “$8 a gallon: Now more than ever” would make a nifty campaign slogan, but I suppose they don’t want to add any drags on the economy while it’s still recovering. Better to wait until it’s back to full blast and then start adding drags.

It cost nearly $50 to fill up my tank yesterday at Costco, and that’s after travelling a few weeks and seeing higher gas prices everywhere. Who says PCS moves can’t be fun with $5-a-gallon gasoline? Hooah!

Need a laugh after the debate?

Ooof. Take one for the team, eh? At least I’m not the only one still dreaming of a brokered convention.

Ronnie to the rescue.