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.

Did Hillary Clinton push Trump-Russia hoax to distract from her e-mail server scandal?

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

You’ll remember that the hoax was pushed by the Democrats, their allies in the mainstream media, and the so-called “fact-checkers” for 2.5 years, until an investigation found that there was no corruption, and no collusion. Well, a new declassified document released by the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe sheds so light on who was behind the hoax, and why that person pushed it.

Fox News reports:

EXCLUSIVE: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified documents that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Fox News has learned.

Ratcliffe declassified Brennan’s handwritten notes – which were taken after he briefed Obama on the intelligence the CIA received – and a CIA memo, which revealed that officials referred the matter to the FBI for potential investigative action.

[…]The declassification comes after Ratcliffe, last week, shared newly-declassified information with the Senate Judiciary Committee which revealed that in September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral on Hillary Clinton purportedly approving “a plan concerning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections” in order to distract the public from her email scandal.

That referral was sent to Comey and then-Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok.

I always include a summary of the key facts of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax in my posts, and fortunately, the Fox News article had one:

Meanwhile, last week, during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was asked whether he received an investigative referral on Clinton from 2016, but he said it didn’t “ring any bells.”

“You don’t remember getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community? Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to James Comey and Strzok regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan [about] Trump…as a means of distraction?” Graham asked Comey.

“That doesn’t ring any bells with me,” Comey said.

“That’s a pretty stunning thing that it doesn’t ring a bell,” Graham fired back. “You get this inquiry from the intelligence community to look at the Clinton campaign trying to create a distraction, accusing Trump of being a Russian agent or a Russian stooge.”

Graham questioned “how far-fetched is that,” citing the fact that Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through law firm Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to author and compile information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through law firm Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to author and compile information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

The dossier contains claims about alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia that served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

So, if this report is true, Hillary Clinton is the source for the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, and Obama knew about it all along. It went right to the top, just like the IRS persecution of conservative organizations in Obama’s re-election year. Another story the mainstream media news ignored.

I remember how the mainstream news media, the Democrat party politicians, and the so-called “fact-checkers” all pushed the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. I don’t find Comey’s failure to remember very convincing.

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about parents and schools

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

This is a must-listen lecture from famous pastor Wayne Grudem.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Note: public schools = government-run schools.

Topics:

  • Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
  • Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
  • Should government promote bearing children?
  • What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
  • What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
  • Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
  • What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
  • Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
  • What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
  • What do school boards think of parents training children?
  • Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
  • Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
  • How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
  • How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
  • How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
  • How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
  • How is parental authority respected in the United States?
  • Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
  • What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
  • How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
  • Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
  • How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
  • Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
  • Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
  • How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
  • Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
  • What else should parents demand on education policy?
  • Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?

This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.

Barack Obama used the FBI as a Democrat weapon against the Trump administration

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

Another Obama administration scandal came out last week. We already knew that the Obama administration used the IRS to suppress Americans they disagreed with. The Clinton campaign and the DNC helped fund the Russia dossier, that was used to get permission to spy on Trump’s campaign. The latest scandal goes right back to the White House and Barack Obama himself.

The New York Post reports:

It’s now clear the Obama-Comey FBI and Justice Department never had anything more substantial than the laughable fiction of the Steele dossier to justify the “counterintelligence” investigation of the Trump campaign. Yet incessant leaks from that supposedly confidential probe wound up consuming the Trump administration’s first months in office — followed by the Bob Mueller-led special-counsel investigation that proved nearly the “total witch hunt” that President Trump dubbed it.

Information released as the Justice Department dropped its charges against Gen. Mike Flynn shows that President Barack Obama, in his final days in office, played a key role in fanning the flames of phony scandal. Fully briefed on the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, he knew the FBI had come up with nothing despite months of work starting in July 2016.

Yet on Jan. 5, 2017, Obama told top officials who’d be staying on in the new administration to keep the crucial facts from Team Trump.

It happened at an Oval Office meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, intel chiefs John Brennan and Jim Clapper and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, as well as FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

The Obama administration leaked all sorts of unproven allegations to their lapdogs in the liberal media, all designed to destroy the credibility of the Trump administration:

[T]he Obama administration went on a full-scale leak offensive — handing The Washington Post, New York Times and others a nonstop torrent of “anonymous” allegations of Trumpite ties to Moscow. It suggested that the investigations were finding a ton of treasonous dirt on Team Trump — when in fact the investigators had come up dry.

Sadly, Comey’s FBI played along — sandbagging Flynn with the “friendly” interview that later became the pretext for the bogus charges dropped last week, as well as triggering the White House chaos that led to his ouster. This, when the FBI had already gone over the general with a fine-tooth comb, and concluded that, no, he’d done nothing like collude with the Russians.

Meanwhile, Comey himself gave Trump an intentionally misleading briefing on the Steele dossier. That was followed by leaks that suggested the dossier was the tip of an iceberg, rather than a pack of innuendo that hadn’t at all checked out under FBI scrutiny.

Fortunately, people are starting to realize that the mainstream news media is working for the Democrats and lying to the American people all the time.

Here’s an example of left-wing media bias from last week from the far-left CBS News:

Top government officials slammed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” after co-host Scott Pelley ran a segment on Sunday night that contained false and misleading claims on certain aspects of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China.

And also from last week, another example of left-wing media bias from the far-left NBC News:

NBC News’ “Meet The Press” admitted late on Sunday that their segment earlier in the day on remarks made by Attorney General William Barr last week was false after host Chuck Todd was called out publicly by a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.

It’s not so bad that the news media is almost entirely composed of Democrat activists. The problem is that they lie and lie and lie all the time. They can’t stop themselves from lying to their viewers.

If you’re watching news on television and it’s not Fox News, you’re being lied to. Period. Some people like to listen to lies, because it makes them feel that they are smart, and other Americans are stupid. Don’t be one of these self-deceiving people.

I have to debate a co-worker on Trump-Russia collusion, here are my notes

The media spent two years parroting a fake news story paid for by Democrats
The media spent 2 years pushing a fake news story paid for by Democrats

Well, now that the Mueller report is out, I am dealing with a bunch of angry progressives at work. They want to know how why their favorite mainstream media sources got the Trump-Collusion story so wrong. One of them even asked me to go to lunch so that I could explain why the story fell apart. I made some notes in preparation for the lunch, and I’ve written them up below.

So, basically I wanted to get a bunch of articles together that trace the whole narrative from start to finish. Let’s see an outline first.

The Trump-Russia collusion story that was trumpted by the progressive media for the last two years was a joint effort between the Hillary Clinton campaign and high-ranking members of the FBI during the Obama administration.

The goal was to get the government to spy on the Trump campaign, in order neutralize his administration, if he won the 2016 election.

Here’s the left-leaning The Hill, reporting on an important finding from October 2018:

Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.

That’s the firm used by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to secretly pay research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, to compile a dossier of uncorroborated raw intelligence alleging Trump and Moscow were colluding to hijack the presidential election.

The article notes that Perkins Coie is the “Democratic National Committee’s private law firm”.

The Federalist reports that the Obama presidential election campaign also paid $972,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone:

Former president Barack Obama’s official campaign organization has directed nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier. Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.

[…]Federal records show that Hillary Clinton’s official campaign organization, Hillary For America, paid just under $5.1 million to Perkins Coie in 2016. The DNC paid nearly $5.4 million to the law firm in 2016.

[…]The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.

In addition, Fox News reports that the FBI paid Christopher Steele ELEVEN TIMES in 2016. So this dossier was funded by Democrats from many different groups. They probably thought that no one would ever find out who was behind it.

But why would the FBI and the FISA court accept the Democrat-funded dossier as a basis to spy on the Democrat’s main political rival? Answer: there were Democrats in the FBI who covered up the source of funding for the Steele dossier, as well as the anti-Trump bias of the dossier’s author.

The Washington Examiner reported on the released text messages from highly-placed anti-Trump Democrat Lisa Page within the FBI in March 2019:

The text messages, between then-Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was later fired, and former FBI attorney Lisa Page — who was having an affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok — were obtained by Fox News.

They reveal that Stuart Evans, deputy assistant attorney general of DOJ’s National Security Division at the time, had “continued concerns” about the “possible bias” of a source being used in the FISA application but that Lisa Page had a sense of urgency about the FISA application being submitted quickly and was considering ending “the hold up” with “a high-level push.”

“OI [Office of Intelligence] now has a robust explanation re any possible bias of the chs [Confidential Human Source] in the package,” Page texted McCabe on Oct. 12, 2016. “Don’t know what the holdup is now, other than Stu’s continued concerns. Strong operational need to have in place before Monday if at all possible, which means to ct tomorrow. I communication you and boss’s green light to Sty earlier, and just sent an email to Stu asking where things stood. This might take a high-level push. Will keep you posted.”

Page said she would press the issue with Evans by “invoking” McCabe’s name. Further texts show that a meeting would eventually be set up including then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates at the direction of the White House. The FISA application, relaying heavily on Steele’s dossier, would be submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court just days later.

Then-Director of the FBI James Comey ultimately signed off on the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for approval to surveil Carter Page. It was dated nine days after the Page-McCabe texts: Oct. 21 2016.

The specific funding of Steele’s dossier was never mentioned to the FISA court, either during that first application or during three subsequent FISA renewals. Steele’s anti-Trump fervor and determination to provide his dossier to the media and members of the U.S. government later became well known.

I think there’s enough information in this post to show why the mainstream media ought to have known better than to push a “collusion” narrative on the strength of the Steele dossier and the FBI spying on the Trump campaign. The whole collusion plot was funded lock, stock and barrel by Democrats. The reason why the mainstream media reported on a #FakeNews story for two years was because they wanted to sway voters away from Trump in the 2018 elections. It’s only now that they are trying to step away from it so they can pretend to be unbiased.