Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Abortion debate: a secular case against legalized abortion

Unborn baby scheming about being only two months old
Unborn baby scheming about being only two months old

Note: this post has a twin! Its companion post on a secular case against gay marriage is here.

Now, you may think that the view that the unborn deserve protection during pregnancy is something that you either take on faith or not. But I want to explain how you can make a case for the right to life of the unborn, just by using reason and evidence.

To defend the pro-life position, I think you need to sustain 3 arguments:

  1. The unborn is a living being with human DNA, and is therefore human.
  2. There is no morally-relevant difference between an unborn baby, and one already born.
  3. None of the justifications given for terminating an unborn baby are morally adequate.

Now, the pro-abortion debater may object to point 1, perhaps by claiming that the unborn baby is either not living, or not human, or not distinct from the mother.

Defending point 1: Well, it is pretty obvious that the unborn child is not inanimate matter. It is definitely living and growing through all 9 months of pregnancy. (Click here for a video that shows what a baby looks like through all 9 months of pregnancy). Since it has human DNA, that makes it a human. And its DNA is different from either its mother or father, so it clearly not just a tissue growth of the father or the mother. More on this point at Christian Cadre, here. An unborn child cannot be the woman’s own body, because then the woman would have four arms, four legs, two heads, four eyes and two different DNA signatures. When you have two different human DNA signatures, you have two different humans.

Secondly, the pro-abortion debater may try to identify a characteristic of the unborn that is not yet present or developed while it is still in the womb, and then argue that because the unborn does not have that characteristic, it does not deserve the protection of the law.

Defending point 2: You need to show that the unborn are not different from the already-born in any meaningful way. The main differences between them are: size, level of development, environment and degree of dependence. Once these characteristics are identified, you can explain that none of these differences provide moral justification for terminating a life. For example, babies inside and outside the womb have the same value, because location does not change a human’s intrinsic value.

Additionally, the pro-abortion debater may try to identify a characteristic of the already-born that is not yet present or developed in the unborn, and then argue that because the unborn does not have that characteristic, that it does not deserve protection, (e.g. – sentience). Most of the these objections that you may encounter are refuted in this essay by Francis Beckwith. Usually these objections fall apart because they assume the thing they are trying to prove, namely, that the unborn deserves less protection than the already born.

Finally, the pro-abortion debater may conceded your points 1 and 2, and admit that the unborn is fully human. But they may then try to provide a moral justification for terminating the life of the unborn, regardless.

Defending point 3: I fully grant that it is sometimes justifiable to terminate an innocent human life, if there is a moral justification. Is there such a justification for abortion? One of the best known attempts to justify abortion is Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “violinist” argument. This argument is summarized by Paul Manata, one of the experts over at Triablogue:

Briefly, this argument goes like this: Say a world-famous violinist developed a fatal kidney ailment and the Society of Music Lovers found that only you had the right blood-type to help. So, they therefore have you kidnapped and then attach you to the violinist’s circulatory system so that your kidneys can be used to extract the poison from his. To unplug yourself from the violinist would be to kill him; therefore, pro-lifers would say a person has to stay attached against her will to the violinist for 9 months. Thompson says that it would be morally virtuous to stay plugged-in. But she asks, “Do you have to?” She appeals to our intuitions and answers, “No.”

Manata then goes on to defeat Thomson’s proposal here, with a short, memorable illustration, which I highly recommend that you check out. More info on how to respond to similar arguments is here.

Here is the best book for beginners on the pro-life view.

For those looking for advanced resources, Francis Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University, published the book Defending Life, with Cambridge University Press, 2007.

The 5 Taliban commanders that Obama traded for a deserter have returned to the Taliban

Private Bowe Bergdahl pled guilty to mischief and desertion
Private Bowe Bergdahl pled guilty to charges of mischief and desertion

We live in a world where people get their news by watching far-left news media. They’re sure that Obama did a great job, but they can’t remember exactly what he did that was so great. When Obama asserts that he led a “scandal-free” administration, they just nod their heads like trained seals. They can’t remember any of Obama’s scandals.

One such scandal is Obama’s decision to trade five senior Taliban commanders – who were captured on the battlefield – for a Private for walked off his post (deserted) in Afghanistan. He abandoned his brothers in a combat zone. Perpetual liar Susan Rice – who falsely blamed the Benghazi terrorist attack on a YouTube video – claimed that Bergdahl was a hero who had “served honorably”. It was only later that Bergdahl was charged with mischief and treason. And he pleaded guilty to those charges. It should be noted that he isn’t just a “deserter”. He put down his weapons and took off his uniform and sought refuge with enemy forces. He’s not just a deserter, he’s a traitor. Exactly the kind of person who Democrats admire.

Did Bergdahl’s desertion have any consequences for his brothers in the military? Yes. When his absence was discovered, ground and air assets were diverted from their missions in order to search for him, to “rescue” him. Not just a few assets, but a huge number of assets were diverted to searching for him. U.S. troops lost their lives searching for him. Some were maimed and injured searching for him. And what’s more, if you’ve read the book “Red Platoon”, you know that other operations were impacted. Men were killed in Eastern Afghanistan at the Battle of Keating, because their close air support assets were re-tasked with searching for Bergdahl.

At the time of the trade, Obama promised that these five Taliban commanders would never again attack U.S. Armed Forces on the battlefield. That was how he justified the trade.

Time magazine reported:

When U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in May to exchange five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay for Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who had been held captive for five years, his political opponents had a field day. They warned that the detainees risked returning to Afghanistan, and to militancy. Obama, with the backing of the government of Qatar that had agreed to host the men, promised that they would be kept far from the battlefield.

Here is the latest news from the Washington Free Beacon:

The five members of the Afghan Taliban who were released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured American Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014 have joined the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, according the insurgent group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

[…]”The Taliban are bringing back their old generation, which means the Taliban have not changed their thinking or their leadership,” said Haroun Mir, a political analyst in Kabul. “What we are more worried about is if tomorrow the Taliban say ‘we are ready to negotiate,’ who will represent Kabul? That is the big challenge because the government is so divided, not just ideologically but on ethnic lines.”

[…]President Barack Obama received backlash in 2014 when his administration orchestrated the prisoner swap for Bergdahl, prompting him to defend his decision.

The Obama administration favored our enemies at the expense of our own armed forces in so many ways.

They rewarded convicted traitor Private Bradley Manning with a pardon for his treason, and a free sex change – paid for by taxpayers. He leaked so many military secrets to our enemies, but the Obama administration had to protect him from his punishment, because they agreed with what he did. Later on, he would run as a Democrat, because that’s what he is.

The Obama administration forced many policies on the military that were designed to reduce our effectiveness. Sometimes, it was overt, like canceling the deal to help Poland with missile defense. Or backing out of Syria in order to hand it to the Russians. Or give Iran a green light and $400 million dollars to research nuclear weapons. Or forcing the U.S. Navy to use green energy. The list goes on and on. I personally know people who left the military because of the Obama administration’s anti-military policies.

And it’s not just the armed forces, it’s our spies and diplomats. Instead of pushing an agenda of world peace, the State Department antagonized other nations by pushing for legalized abortion and same-sex marriage. Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, was allowed to operate a private, unsecure e-mail server in her bathroom. She sent and received classified e-mails over that server. And we know know that the server was hacked by the Chinese.

During the Obama administration, our allies were continuously disappointed. Our enemies were continuously emboldened. The Democrats did not take the job of protecting taxpayers seriously. No one who cares about projecting American strength and values abroad should ever vote for the Democrat party.

FBI and DOJ used Democrat-funded Steele dossier to justify wiretapping of Trump campaign

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Wow, so for some time, the mainstream media had been telling me that the FBI and DOJ, during the Obama administration, never did any surveillance of the Trump campaign at the request of the Democrats. But whenever anyone asked them to release information about the basis for their investigations of Trump, they wouldn’t reveal anything.

But Judicial Watch was on the case, and they finally managed to get heavily redacted copies of documents showing what the FBI and DOJ were doing during the election.

The basis of the FBI and DOJ surveillance of Trump campaign personnel was the Steele dossier, which was collected for Fusion GPS, a Democrat opposition research firm.

Fox News explains:

On four occasions, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it “did not believe” former British spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion, newly released documents reveal.

Instead, the FBI suggested to the court, the September 2016 article by Michael Isikoff was independent corroboration of the salacious, unverified allegations against Trump in the infamous Steele Dossier. Federal authorities used both the Steele Dossier and Yahoo News article to convince the FISA court to authorize a surveillance warrant for Page.

But London court records show that contrary to the FBI’s assessments, Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the dossier.

The revelations are contained in heavily-redacted documents released over the weekend after a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the organization Judicial Watch.

The materials released by the DOJ include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal applications.

So, there was only one source used as the basis for the surveillance warrant request: Steele’s dossier. The articles that appeared in the mainstream media was all based on Steele himself.

Conservative Review has more on what was in the released FBI and DOJ memos:

Over 400 pages of documents related to the FISA court warrant applications to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page have been released. Now we know for certain: The unverified “Steele dossier” was used as evidence to get a warrant to spy on Page.

Though heavily redacted, the documents make clear that the FBI told the FISA court Page is a Russian agent who was betraying the United States. The dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, served as the first piece of evidence cited to allege Page coordinated with the Russians to influence the election. The FBI cited additional evidence, an article written by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo news, but failed to disclose that Isikoff received his information from Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the dossier.

What does that mean? It means that the FBI presented unverified campaign opposition research to FISA court judges to spy on Page, and the judges signed off on the applications.

So, who paid for the Steele dossier?

The far-left Washington Post explains:

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

The FBI and DOJ didn’t tell the FISA court about who was funding the Steele dossier when they applied for the warrant. Because if they had, they would have been denied the warrant. No FISA court would approve surveillance of the Republican party if the sole basis for the warrant was uncorroborated opposition research funded by the Democrat party. In order to get the FISA warrant, the request had to be written in such a way that the funding of the Steele dossier was not revealed, and Steele was not declared to be the source of the news articles used as corroborating evidence.

Obama administration FBI on the possibility of a Trump election win: “We’ll Stop It”

Barack Obama and his corrupt ally in the FBI
Barack Obama and his allies in the FBI

So, the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s political bias came out yesterday, and I’ve rounded up some of the most interesting findings from a variety of sources. It’s important that everyone finds out just what kind of administration we had under the Democrat Barack Obama.

Here’s an article from Fox News, which listed out 7 of the most important findings.

Let’s start with #1:

New texts between FBI lovers Strzok and Page were ‘disappointing’ and cast a shadow over the integrity of the entire Clinton email probe

A slew of anti-Trump text messages between special counsel Lisa Page and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok damaged the integrity of the entire Clinton email probe, Horowitz writes.

The report unearths striking new messages between the pair that were sent and received on government devices, including one in which Strzok vows to  “stop” Trump from being elected just months before the presidential election.

On August 8, 2016, the IG found, Page asked Strzok “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” and Strzok replied “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

Trump won’t win, because the FBI will stop it (in their spare time, between adulterous affairs).

More:

Five unnamed FBI employees — including one lawyer who later worked on the Mueller probe — are under scrutiny for anti-Trump bias

Strzok and Page are not the only FBI officials who evidenced anti-Trump bias during the Clinton email probe, Horowitz noted in the report.

The watchdog identified five other unnamed individuals, including two agents and one FBI attorney who worked on the Muller Russia probe until earlier this year, who made “statements of hostility toward then-candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton,” and improperly mixed “political opinions” with case-related discussions.

The FBI fumbled the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s storage and transmission of classified data on an unsecured home-brew server, which allowed her to escape government record-keeping requirements.

The Daily Caller noted that the FBI slow-walked the investigation of Hillary Clinton:

When further Clinton emails were discovered on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is married to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the FBI agents overseeing her case took just under a month to take meaningful action, Horowitz’s report found.

No later than Sept. 29, 2016, FBI executives and the agents who oversaw the Clinton email investigation were informed that “that Weiner investigation agents had discovered 141,000 emails on Weiner’s laptop that were potentially relevant to the [Clinton email] investigation.” Comey didn’t authorize a search warrant until Oct. 27, after he was briefed on them that day, the IG report found.

But do you know what was a priority? The investigation of the Trump campaign because of the Democrat-funded Russia dossier.

The Daily Caller continues:

The FBI prioritized investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia over the discovered emails on Weiner’s laptop, possibly due to political bias, according to the report. Anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok was intimately involved with that decision.

So, who decided that the FBI should exonerate Clinton?

Investors Business Daily explains:

The report also, whether intentionally or not, makes it clear why the FBI had concluded early on that there wasn’t a case against Clinton: President Obama had already cleared Hillary of any wrongdoing.

The IG report recalls how, during a 60 Minutes interview on October 11, 2015, Obama “characterized former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server as a ‘mistake,’ but stated that it did not ‘pose a national security problem’ and was ‘not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.’ Obama also stated that the issue had been ‘ginned up’ because of the presidential race.”

It goes on to say that “Obama’s comments caused concern among FBI officials about the potential impact on the investigation.”

Former EAD John Giacalone told the IG, “We open up criminal investigations. And you have the President of the United States saying this is just a mistake … That’s a problem, right?”

Obama repeated his absolution in April 2016 — right around the time Comey was starting to draft his statement dropping the case against Clinton.

“Obama stated that while former Secretary Clinton had been ‘careless’ in managing her emails while she was Secretary of State, she would never intentionally do anything to endanger the security of the United States with her emails.”

[…]From Obama on down, no one ever wanted or intended to do what should have been done: Prosecute Clinton for gross negligence in her handling of highly classified material. The entire investigation was just for show.

Should we be surprised at any of this? Not at all. We already knew that the Obama administration used the IRS to persecute conservatives. These are not people who make a it a priority to do the right thing. Being secularists, they lack an objective foundation for morality. For them, morality is just customs and conventions, not an objective design for how we ought to live. Whenever morality interferes with their desire to serve their own interests, the question they ask is “will I get caught?”. Instead of listening to their consciences, they think of their own feelings and how they will be perceived.

It turns out that you can’t expect a man who votes in favor of infanticide multiple times (as a state senator) to take morality seriously. It doesn’t matter if a man’s skin color is the color you like. If he has no capacity for put moral duties above self-interest, then you should expect corruption and abuse of power. He ruined everything he touched, from religious liberty to Iran to Syria to Libya to the cost of health care to the $20 trillion national debt, and beyond. An absolute disaster of incompetence and immorality.

There is evidence of collusion to get a presidential candidate elected

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Nobody knows American politics better than Michael Barone. In this article for Real Clear Politics, he explains what we now know about collusion during the 2016 presidential election. This piece was tweeted by Brit Hume AND Hugh Hewitt (of MSNBC) so you know it’s fair and balanced.

First, here’s the status of the Russia collusion investigation:

The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Donald Trump’s dealings in Russia and candidate Trump’s off-putting praise of Vladimir Putin.

It was fueled by breathless media coverage of such trivial events as Jeff Sessions’ conversation with the Russian ambassador at a Washington reception — and, of course, by the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. But Mueller’s prosecutions of Trump campaign operatives were for misdeeds long before the campaign, and his indictment of 13 Russians specified that no American was a “knowing participant” in their work.

Now there’s talk that Mueller is winding up his investigation. It seems unlikely that whatever he reports will fulfill the daydreams so many liberals have of making Trump go the way of Richard Nixon.

So much for that story. Just think of how much the mainstream media talked about a story that turned out to be a big nothingburger.

But here’s another collusion story that’s emerging:

Meanwhile, the evidence builds of collusion by Obama administration law enforcement and intelligence personnel in trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat and delegitimize Trump in and after the 2016 election.

The investigation of Clinton’s illegal email system was conducted with kid gloves. FBI Director James Comey accepted Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s order to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” Clinton aides were allowed to keep her emails and destroy 30,000 of them, plus cellphones. They were not subject to grand jury subpoenas, and a potential co-defendant was allowed to claim attorney-client privilege.

On June 27, 2016, Lynch clandestinely met with Bill Clinton on his plane at the Phoenix airport — a meeting that became known only thanks to an alert local TV reporter. Lynch supposedly left the decision on prosecution to Comey, who on July 5 announced publicly that Clinton had been “extremely careless” but lacked intent to violate the law, even though the statute punishes such violations whether they are intentional or not.

Contrast that with the collusion of Obama officials with the Clinton campaign-financed Christophe Steele/Fusion GPS dossier alleging Trump ties with Russians. Comey and the Justice Department used it, without divulging who paid for it, to get a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page’s future and past communications — the “wiretap” Trump was derided for mentioning.

Similarly, when Comey informed Trump in January 2017 of the contents of the then-unpublished Steele dossier, he didn’t reveal that the Clinton campaign had paid for it. Asked on his iatrogenic book tour why not, he blandly said he didn’t know. And maybe he doesn’t actually realize he was employing J. Edgar Hoover-like tactics to keep his job. Maybe.

In any case, after he was fired, he immediately sent four of his internal memos, at least one of them classified, to a law professor friend to leak them to the press, with the intent of getting a special counsel appointed — who turned out to be his longtime friend and ally Robert Mueller. Collusion, anyone?

I wonder if the mainstream media will be as excited about reporting on this one? The mainstream media seems intent on presenting Comey as some kind of superstar public servant. But the truth is very different.

Trump needs to appoint people to these law enforcement agencies who will investigate actual crimes that were committed by the previous administration and their allies in the media. I’d like to see people who use government as a weapon put behind bars. We have to know for certain that using the government as a weapon to influence elections has consequences.