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March 26, 2009 in Pro-Life, Social/Domestic | Tags: Alice in Wonderland, California marriage, equality in marriage, freedom, gay marriage, gay rights, heterosexual marriage, homosexual marriage, Humpty Dumpty, no on prop 8, procreation, Prop 8, Proposition 8, responsible procreation, same-sex marriage, traditional marriage | by wwilberforce | 4 comments
In the last segment, Part II, I explained the legal justification on why Prop 8 is fine. As I ended the article, I wrote about freedom. By way of a good transition into this topic, here is a small recap.
A well-intentioned by sadly misled commenter on the Part I column suggested that freedom’s “blessings,” as referenced in the California Constitution, was open for defining, and surely opposed to Prop 8, which tells folks who engage in homosexual behavior that they can’t “marry” a person of the same sex. It goes against this freedom, the commenter argues.
What is freedom? If I’m from Alice’s world, the “Wonderland,” that she found through the mirror, then “freedom’s” up for grabs. Like Humpty Dumpty said to her, freedom can mean “just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” What if it’s “freedom to the contrary?” That would be like me suddenly wanting to change into a turnip. Surely no, we don’t have that. Or me suddenly wanting the ability to fly like a bird. No, again. So freedom is limited to smaller choices, those within as set of boundaries.
Can I decide that when I want to walk off a high cliff, I can choose not to follow gravity? No, again. The Law of Gravity [and the absence of an airplane or wings] determines the consequences of my choices. So freedom is basically a description of choices, but yet these choices are inherently bound by rules to a certain set of consequences. So let’s say that my benevolent benefactor gives me a car. I’m free to put anything in the gas tank to make it go. Water, Sugar, Flour—those are all good ingredients in cake that make me go, so why not try it? Because, again, choices are bound by rules to a certain set of consequences. Gasoline is the appropriate fuel. And it would break the gift given to my by my benevolent benefactor, the gift-giver, to attempt otherwise.
So, even if one takes “freedom” to be an all-out, anything-goes, willy-nilly, rebellion against what another calls “norms,” the choices you make will be bound by rules to a certain set of consequences, no matter what you want inside. It is those negative consequences, like putting sugar in the gas tank, which the people of California wish to avoid by having Prop 8, to perpetuate the blessings of freedom and not stop the “car” of marriage, given by the more than benevolent benefactor, God.
But the question then follows, “What are the rules” relating to marriage which justify traditional marriage? Well, for Prop 8, it’s pretty clear: Marriages are only between people of the opposite sex. Why? For good public consequences. No doubt there are same-sex friends, even homosexual couples, who have great private interests in staying together, for reasons platonic or intimate. But those reasons are not sufficient as a basis for public law. The important distinction is that we find out how traditional marriage works publicly—its public consequences, to defend Prop 8. And the opponents need to show how their unions are equal to or better in order to justify public inclusion of same-sex marriage.
In the context of freedom, granting the relativists all their self-doubt, we’ll proceed to see what justifications exist for traditional marriage, hoping to see that there are proven reasons. Here are some basic justifications for Prop 8, ones that show its public consequences superior to that of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, and ones that produce a certain set of good consequences: (These are from an article by Lynn Wardle in 24 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 177 (2001) so doubters can look up the stats and references there before challenging these.)
- safe sexual relations, responsible procreation, and optimal child rearing: These three function best within a heterosexual union. The state has a definite interest to ensure that people who can procreate are committed to each other and stand on that commitment; the nearly two decade dependency of children (until age 18) requires that the state help guide procreative activity into something with legal consequence. Traditional marriage, by encouraging monogamy, also discourages rampant sexual activity and thus transmission of STD’s via the procreative acts necessary to physically perpetuate society. Also, traditional marriage tends to encourages men to be responsible fathers, tying them to their children rather than fostering irresponsible procreation from men not intending to become fathers. Over 30% of all children were born out of marriage in 1996 according to the US Census Bureau, and had increased risks in juvenile delinquency, crime, educational failures, poverty, and welfare distress. These are huge public reasons for promoting traditional marriage. Homosexual acts can’t touch on the procreative aspects and thus can’t justify being included as public good.
- healthy human development: children raised outside of traditional marriage have a higher risk for child abuse, sexual abuse, and life-threatening violence. Mother’s boyfriends perform about 2% of child care, but are nationally responsible for over 50% of child abuse. This statistic would only increase, as natural parents, while not immune to committing child abuse, have been found far less likely to commit child abuse than their non-biological counterparts. In homosexual marriage, a child is, from the get-go, determined to be absent a parent of one sex and necessarily forced to live with a non-biological adult who is far more likely, based on research, to abuse or neglect that child. And the fact that abuse does occur in mixed gender parenting relationships doesn’t argue for the opposite. You can’t take the worst example in one case and pit it against the best of another case. So the argument for same-sex marriage from a human development standpoint can’t rise to the level of a public good, whereas traditional marriage can.
And so, which consequences do we want, publicly? Like our current economy, in which printing gobs of money sounds good but has bad consequences like guaranteed inflation, we will be bound to the consequences of the decision. Same-sex supports sound good, but, like Wardle writes, the “bill for the exciting adult adventure of opening new frontiers of sexual liberation and experiencing, [through a reversal of Prop 8], the thrill of social endorsement of new relations would be paid by the next generation. Advocates of same-sex marriage would balance the accounts on the backs of children—not just those who would grow up in same-sex homes, but all children who would grow up in a society in which social support for responsible procreation, dual gender parenting, and the linkage between procreation and child rearing had diminished.”
Surely the above reasons are not so wholly unreasonable—concerning only the public concerns of marriage, not the emotional, self-esteem driven private concerns—that Prop 8 supporters are unjustified in their opinions. They simply want to operate within the rules that govern the “freedom” of relationships and find the good consequences, consequences put in place by the author of marriage, God, and rules that, if broken, will break society, preventing Californians as well as others from perpetuating the blessings of freedom as claimed by the preamble of their Constitution.
We hear an awful lot about how things are just so terrible now and how it’s just like the Great Depression again. I am certainly pessimistic about the direction Obama is taking our country, but we’ve got a long way before we actually see the things the media tells us are already happening. I’m also fairly sure that in only four or eight years, Obama can’t completely destroy the foundations of this great nation. But that’s not going to stop him and his ilk from telling us how many things are wrong with this country so that he can “fix” them. Brace yourselves to endure even more endless moaning about the inadequacies of our republic.
I, for one, didn’t object when Phil Gramm said we were a “Nation of Whiners.” I still think he’s right. Anyway, leave it to comedian Louis CK to really lay out some perspective for us:
Thanks to Carpe Diem.
It’s gaining little attention in national news, but the States are making a comeback. To understand, let’s look at a little history.
Believe it or not, the Founding Fathers did not believe we had a manifest destiny to crown King Obama. No, they actually wanted for all expressed purposes, a bunch of smaller limited “kings” (called Governors), and a weak Federal Government (shown by the VERY weak Federal Government established in the Articles of Confederation…too weak), with a very limited “king” (called a President), limited by all the Governors, and Congress, and the Justice System. Under all these limited “kings” were even smaller provinces, run by even more limited “kings” (often called Mayors). Each one of these limited “kings” would be limited most of all, by their people. And the “king” that was closest to the people would have the most insight on those people, therefore, they would, or were supposed to, have the most input on their local citizens. Someone hundreds of miles away could not do this.
There was a problem. A gross injustice plagued our nation. This injustice is called “slavery.” Glossing over the history (for brevity sake), the slavery issue gave the Federal government a largely popular move to limit states rights severely, finding en routes through the Commerce Clause and, of course, the 14th Amendment.
While the initial cause of preventing discrimination was, in my mind, very beautiful and just, the result was a subsequent history of rationalization of a super-sized Federal Government. The states rights have been on a path to disappearing…until the Federalist society revived them again.
The Federalist Society, perhaps less known outside of law schools, is a Society dedicated to the preservation of the Separation of Powers…meaning they believe in strong state governments, and dislike the Activist Supreme Court (it makes sense that Judge Robert Bork is one of the pioneers of the Federalist Society…he was skewered by people like Teddy Kennedy in the 80’s, a serious embarrassment to Congress, as Teddy Kennedy, God Bless his health and soul, generally tends to be). I cannot be certain, but I think we are seeing some of the Federalist influence taking effect in States right now.
According to the 10th Amendment center, States are introducing bills asserting their rights under the 10th Amendment, which sends the rights NOT delegated in the Constitution to the states. With this swollen Federal Government, it looks like a lot of people are thinking the same thing I am: if you want to bankrupt CA, NY, and IL on absurd programs, I won’t stop you, as long as you’ll
1. Let people leave if they want, and
2. Leave us alone. In my mind, you won’t have a state for very long.
It’s great to see these states stepping up, and swinging back after the 53% landslide (yes I’m being sarcastic) of Obama, which apparently gave him a care blanche to spend everyone else’s money, and call himself charitable.
Keep it up Socialists, and you just might lose the whole thing.
February 28, 2009 in Conservatives, Economics/Fiscal, Education, Humor, Jindal, Limbaugh, Limited Government, National Defense/Foreign Policy, Obama, Religion, RINO, Social/Domestic, Uncategorized | by Providence Team | 4 comments
You wouldn’t know it given some young conservatives, but most conservatives are not embarrassed by Rush Limbaugh, and ARE annoyed by John Stewart. You wouldn’t know that most conservatives like Limbaugh, unless you talked to a frustrated Father trying to pay taxes, or a Mother trying to shield her child from the evils of Planned Parenthood in the public schools. These people, the one’s that are working their tails off every day really like hearing someone say “I know how you feel. It’s really frustrating isn’t it?” Well that is Rush Limbaugh.
Rush Limbaugh, contrary to popular belief is a living embodiment of the American Dream. You might have just laughed at that, so let me reintroduce him to you. Rush Limbaugh could have taken the path of least resistance and become a lawyer, like his Father. Instead he dropped out of college because he loved radio. Because he said what he believed, people fired him, over and over. When he was in his early 30’s he had no money. He was broke. After all, in entertainment, it’s not popular to be a conservative. But he believed in the ideas and he kept trudging along. At about 36, it finally hit. 36. Bobby Jindal is 37. Barack Obama is 47. Can you imagine living for 36 years, having foregone law school and college because you insist you will do what you love, and that you simply want to say what you think? That is dedication.
He is now nearing 60 years old, and a very wealthy man, and that doesn’t make him evil. It means he paid his dues. He’s a flawed person, like all of us, and admits it. But for all of us young people, especially the us who criticize him, or shy away from him, it might be a good idea to rethink your position. I say this not as a demand, but just to reconsider what you say when you look at him and call him names, for fear that you will be proclaimed a bigot, or, if you have come to the conclusion that you are a bigot because you listen to him. For without him, you would have no conservative voice in the media.
It might be hard to remember when he wasn’t there. I remember. I remember being 15 years old, and realizing that all my principles were being squelched out, and that he was the only person I could listen to that would give me the other side. I remember hearing network television say in ’99 that Gore would be “virtually unstoppable” come the 2000 election. I remember FoxNews too young to discuss when Clinton perjured himself. I remember the only one who really gave us the truth on it was Rush Limbaugh.
Today I am watching Rush keynote speak at CPAC. 40% of the people there are students. When Rush was a student, and in his twenties, and even into his thirties, he was a lone wolf. There was no media star for him to look to. Instead they were looking to smash him before he made it. He had to have faith in conservative principles, he had to have faith that what he was saying was right. And despite his inequities as a man, despite all odds, despite everyone who told him he was wrong, he believed, and it worked. It was not manufactured, it was not a political setup. He did not suddenly have George Soros backing him. He did not implant himself into a liberal machine, and gain a few million college students watching him like John Stewart. No.
He helped unify us. And now he’s standing in front of all these people at CPAC, who he inspires on a daily basis. He made Drudge, who made Breitbart. He made FoxNews. And he helped a young kid like me, who had to take a harder route, because I believe. And now I just have to smile knowing that he has achieved the pinnacle of success, after a half-a-lifetime of simply not giving up. Tonight he is saying “When I look out over the crowd, I don’t see a segments of society, I see the American People. I don’t see minorities, I see people. I see potential. I see that if government gets out of the way, these people can shine.” It makes sense that he sees this, he lived it. And like him or not, that part of his story, another American story, is absolutely true.
And I’ve got two words for him.
Its not absurd to say: we are at a breaking point.
People that were once angry are now seething. People who were once in fierce support of Obama are now scratching their heads.
What in the world is going on?
It’s pretty simple: we elected someone because we thought he was cool. We did not look at his policies, we looked at his smile. We did not heed the warnings, we listened to George Clooney, John Stewart, Whoopie Goldberg, and Oprah. You know, the people who know about government…our entertainers. The one’s in the bankrupt state of CA, or NY, whichever you want.
Well we all didn’t elect someone that was cool. Some of us frustratingly watched McCain, but rallied in hope. And we mustered 46% of the vote. That vote didn’t go away. And I will contend, it was not a vote for McCain, but a vote against Obama.
Now we’ve got rioting across the country, and if you see the footage, it’s not hippie looking people…nope, these look like normal parents, people that are scared of this socialism that is sweeping our government.
FINALLY. Finally we are to a boiling point. Of course this doesn’t mean that we should act in any crazy, irrational manner. What it does mean is that we should get our conservatives tails up and talking. We need to push the crazy’s out of office. We need new and vocal people in, asap.
There is a reckoning coming. This is not some kind of crazy revolution or anything of the sort. As I’ve said before, rogue or radical, or irrational zeal is a mistake and detrimental to our cause. What the reckoning means is that we have to fight for our democratic process, and vote against the penal taxes that are going to KILL our economy.
There was some kind of fever pitch manufactured during Bush, where everyone was mad at Bush, but they didn’t quite know why. People know why to be mad at Obama, and as soon as their pocketbooks are empty, they are going to be furious. Already people are getting fired across the country. Just wait until the inflation comes.
Oh, and let’s please get Pelosi and Reid OUT.
February 27, 2009 in Conservatives, Economics/Fiscal, Education, Humor, Limited Government, National Defense/Foreign Policy, Religion, Social/Domestic, Third-world Country, Uncategorized | Tags: "organ procurement agent", abortion, American Tea Party, brain dead, Chaput, neurologist Dr. Cicero Coimbra, Organ Donation, pilots, protests, Sully, taxes | by gpgs | Leave a comment
Click on the links for the full story.
There are now Fewer qualified pilots
“First,” Archbishop Chaput (Catholic leader) said, “all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil.”
American Catholics need to realize that many in the current generation haven’t just been “assimilated” into the American culture, but have in fact been “absorbed and bleached and digested by it,” Archbishop Chaput asserted.
“Brain Death” Test Causes Brain Necrosis and Kills Patients: Neurologist to Rome Conference
James Delingpole talks to Jonah Goldberg about his book on the affinities between the modern Left and the totalitarian movements of the 20th century
A group of liberal bloggers said it is teaming up with organized labor and MoveOn to form a political action committee that will seek to push the Democratic Party farther to the left.
The Drowning Man: How the “Too Big to Fail States..and President” Will Pull Us Under, but Not Drown Us.
February 26, 2009 in Conservatives, Economics/Fiscal, Education, Immigration, Limited Government, Obama, Religion, Social/Domestic, Summit, Third-world Country, Uncategorized | by Providence Team | 3 comments
I keep hearing cries of gloom and doom, and while I admit that its going to get worse before its gets better, I think we are on a path straight to victory.
Here are the pitfalls:
1. The Census. Here is the number one problem right now. Most 3rd world countries subvert democracy by playing with the votes. The Census, that is, the way the districts are allotted, and therefore the way the votes are counted in states, is now at the WhiteHouse. This is ALARMING. We have got to get this under control.
2. ACORN. Looming out there is something we forgot. There was an opportunity for mass voter fraud via ACORN. We are FUNDING this organization with FEDERAL DOLLARS. If there is a genius in the Republican party, he would be going after this organization in Congress. As long we let this organization fester, our voter count is wide open for fraud. We have got to GET THIS UNDER CONTROL.
3. With the Foreign Policy of the Obama administration, especially in the intelligence arena, including the refusal to use the word Terrorism, we should hope to avoid, but should not be surprised is a terrorist attack is on the horizon. Unfortunately this is going to cause mass panic, and with a President that is unlikely to do anything but follow what the liberal side suggested last time (we must understand the terrorists…what?), we can expect further problems. The fear from these attacks is going to really hurt the Metropolitan areas, where these attacks are likely to happen.
4. This leads me to yet another issue we must address: our Metropolitan areas are crashing right now. Contrary to popular panic concepts, this fallout amongst old corporations makes sense: there are new methods of communication as well as new trade policy which are giving competition to those who have lived high and mighty. This new factors are causing unions to buckle. Further, as there is a recession, its notable that the heavy government states are the one’s that really buckling. Further, the widespread redistribution in the housing market also contributed (worn out affirmative action policy).
Here are my predictions
1. A backlash on this HUMONGOUS government, big time. Already, despite the propaganda, third-world tactics of the press, people are not buying that we can keep buying and not go bankrupt.
2. This backlash will include some serious rise in state’s rights. This is a GREAT thing. Already we are seeing the heads of states at the very least threatening to refuse the Stimulus money. Even if this is just hot air, it shows what is on the horizon.
3. People turning on Obama. Right now he’s got a lot of people doing his dirty work, and these people just happen to be from failing states (Again, what is the Queen of San Francisco doing running our House? Her state is bankrupt!). This can’t last forever…and regardless of his poll numbers, which are just ONE percentage point higher than average!!!, he knows he’s in hot water, it’s why he’s holding all these Chavez-like press conferences and summits.
4. Two different paths. If we don’t get the voter problems with ACORN and the Census together (and the DC delegate…note that will ALWAYS be liberal), we are looking at some serious Democratic victories. Once that happens one or two more times, expect more than just outcry. Expect people to threaten claiming independence as a state (already the states are asserting 10th Amendment rights). If we get the voting together, expect a HUGE swing toward conservatives victories as early as 2010, that’s if the conservative emerge, and the beltway doesn’t slap them again. Thank God we’ve got Michael Steele.
5. If this healthcare thing passes, expect us all to be really sick (and a lot of unborn babies to be aborted). And as long as we are harpooning people for flying in jets, expect more plane crashes.
In the end, we’ll sink, we’ll choke, but in my mind there are enough of us to pull back above water, watching the liberal ideas sink into dark abyss. Only to emerge again later and try to sink us again.
Accountability is way of life for Americans. In most of our jobs and endeavors, we receive rewards when we perform well. On the other hand, business owners fire or relegate employees to levels of less responsibility when their performance does not meet standards. This is true in almost every profession. For example, if a doctor or lawyer does not perform satisfactory, her clients will go elsewhere. Further, a construction worker will be fired if he does not show up on time or does not adequately complete assigned tasks. It is difficult to think of a profession where accountability is not a way of life. That is, except in public education.
Although I am a strong advocate for private education, the truth is, I have never attended a private school. I have attended government institutions for elementary, middle, and high schools, and have continued in public schools for my undergraduate and graduate education. Thus, I know that there are excellent teachers and administrators in the public school systems (even though I am of the opinion that in general, private schools offer better opportunities because of the inherent advantages they possess that public schools are currently unable to take advantage of). In fact, the vast majority of my teachers in K-12 were dedicated, hardworking, and effective educators. However, as in any profession, there were also highly ineffective employees who had no business teaching. But in contrast to most professions, where inadequate employees would have been fired or demoted, bad public school teachers remain on the job with no consequences.
The teachers’ unions are offended at this suggestion. They argue that all teachers are dedicated and effective. Moreover, according to the union’s argument, it is impossible to measure the performance of teachers. They argue that teachers have no control over how well children learn (it is true that outside factors, such as parents, have much influence on the performance of children, but it has been proven time and again that any child can learn if exposed to effective teaching methods by dedicated teachers). As a result, the unions support the current system where it is essentially impossible to fire tenured teachers (who, by the way, receive tenure after only 3 years of service in most states). Moreover, unions argue that teachers should be compensated based on how many education degrees they possess and how many years they have been teaching, as opposed to the quality of their teaching.
The unions look out for the lowest common denominator amongst teachers. Instead of encouraging innovation and hard work by creating competition, the current system labels competition a 4-letter word by arguing that the competition would create discord between teachers. The teachers’ unions’ views are at odds with the rich tradition of American innovation and excellence.
To that end, I offer two initial suggestions for improving the current system. First, we must set high standards for students, and have a system in place to objectively measure whether students are meeting those standards. Second, we must alter the compensation and personnel system for teachers and administrators, so that effective teachers and administrators (in my opinion, the majority of teachers and administrators are doing great jobs) are rewarded with higher pay, and that those educators who are not meeting standards be asked to find another line of work.
Regarding the first point, we must set high standards for all students. I suggest that all states implement a standardized test similar to the one Florida uses, the FCAT. Florida sets the Sunshine State Standards, which provides in plain English what children should learn in each grade. The FCAT is the means by which Florida measures whether its students are meeting those standards.
The unions put forth their same old argument that this type of system is ineffective because it forces teachers to “teach to the test.” This argument is ridiculous. The FCAT tests math, science, reading, and writing. It is impossible to “teach to the tests” in these subjects. Either a student knows how to read at a certain level, or he does not. The FCAT does not test specific facts. Instead, it tests knowledge of certain standards in the aforementioned subjects. The end goal, as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has repeatedly said, is that “each child learn a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time.” The FCAT is the means by which Florida objectively measures whether students meet that goal.
However, it is not enough that we set high standards and then measure progress. We also must provide incentives and hold schools accountable for the results they produce. Again, Florida provides a great example of a successful system in action. There, schools receive grades from “A” through “F”. Part of the grade is determined by the percent of students who are performing at or above grade level. However, the other parts of the grade are determined by both the progress of all students in certain categories from the previous year, and the progress of underperforming students from the previous year. In other words, a school can still receive a good grade even if its students are not performing at grade level, assuming students have improved from the previous year. Florida measures progress simply by comparing each student’s current year test score to the test score of the student from the previous year.
The purpose of the grades is simple. Each school’s grade demonstrates whether it ( including individual teachers, administrators, and the school as a whole) are meeting expectations. The purpose of education is to effectively education children—the grades tell us whether each school and teacher is meeting that desired end. The grades serve as both a carrot and a stick. If a school earns an A or improves a letter grade, it receives money from the state to use on teacher bonuses, technology, etc. Those schools that do not receive A’s receive pressure to improve since the information is public. Moreover, in a perfect system, schools that are chronically underperforming would be put on probation, and its students allowed to attend other public schools or given a voucher to attend a private school (this was the system used in Florida, until the Florida Supreme Court ruled that this particular school choice program was unconstitutional based on an obscure provision of the Florida Constitution – I will examine school vouchers and charter schools in a future article). The grades in Florida are publicly discussed and well known, so the grades place pressure on teachers and administrators to improve.
Further, I contend that at least part of a teacher’s pay should be based on how well their students are learning. We should reward great teachers. Teachers should be partly compensated based on their students’ achievements and progression from the previous year, as measured by the standardized tests discussed above. In addition, we should look at the market for the teachers particular skills. For example, if there is a shortage of teachers for students with disabilities, we should pay more to those who teach in this area. We should also pay teachers more who are willing to teach in low-income areas. Finally, teachers who take on extra responsibility (for example, if they chair the homecoming committee or provide tutoring after school) should be compensated more than a teacher who does not.
In short, each state must set high standards and then create a system by which to objectively measure whether those standards are achieved. In addition, states should provide incentives to schools, administrators, and teachers to meet those objectives.
The teachers’ unions vigorously oppose these measures. However, it is important to remember that their sole goal is to represent teachers, not improve the quality of education. As the late Albert Shanker (former President of the American Federation of Teachers) once said, “I’ll start representing school children when school children start paying union dues.” Thus, we cannot rely on teachers’ unions to fight for quality education for children—that is up to all of us.
The unions’ stances are an insult to teachers. Most educators are good at their job—as a result, most educators would benefit from the policies stated above. But those teachers and administrators who are not performing well would be given more oversight, and if they are still unable to get up to speed, would be asked to find another line of work. These policy proposals simply introduce into the public school system what all of us face everyday: accountability. Teachers, children, and the public would benefit from the enactment of these policy proposals—for evidence of this fact, look to Florida as an example.
Last night I wasn’t very interested in Obama’s speech, because I, like most of the country, knew what was coming. What I was interested in was Governor Bobby Jindal.
Jindal, as most consevatives know, is the next rising star. He’s been cleaning up Louisiana since he came into office, and as a very young man at 37 (ten years younger than Obama), many are putting the Presidential bid on his back, whether he likes it or not. We know him to be an incredibly educated, effective, and, from what we know, idealistic man (ideals is NOT a bad word for conservatives).
Jindal walked up, a little awkward at first, after all, it’s his first national appearance. But there is something very important in Jindal: he represents a new face in the Republican party…and most important, a new guard, an outside of the Beltway guy. Michael Steele, head of the Republican party, was not just messing with us when he said he was going to shake things up and rebuild the party.
Bobby Jindal, speaking for the Republicans, presented this step in the right direction. He introduced himself, but in effect, though the pundits missed this (and I did initially too) he was saying, “Hi, I am the new face of the Republican Party.” Bingo.
While we might not have had the huge applause and that grin of Pelosi along with Super Macho Man Joe Biden, behind us, we did have something else: a beginning. And like all great beginnings, they often begin, well, a little shaky. We did not have a manufactured image step to the camera last night (like Obama is), and have everyone clapping around him as if there is no opposition to the man. Instead we had a new guy, a young, but experienced (far more than Obama) and brilliant guy, a guy with the right values. He said something very important. He said, “Hi, I am Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican, and I warn you not to underestimate my powers.” (see my article on Blowing Up the Deathstar for more). That’s what we need right now more than anything.
This new “hope,” a real hope, is like any new movement…it has to learn to crawl before it can stand. And the Republican party is currently still in labor. But we are on the right track. Picking a man representative of the base, and not one of the three dem-, I mean, moderates Crist, Swartzeneggar, Specter, or Graham, was exactly what the Republican party needed. (Let those three nail in the coffins stay on the shelf, we’re not quite dead yet).
In effect, we’re beginning to regroup and resist. We’ve got the talent out there, we just have to polish it and let it shine. One of the most important things is to focus on letting people know that we are in the business of helping people not handouts. I think if we combine this with a strong delivery and our base belief in limited government, we’ll be onto something.
Last night was the beginning. While we all sit here still screaming in labor pangs, let’s remember, if we continue with this great message, there is glory ahead.
NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: We feel this article is especially pressing, considering the President’s remarks last night. We will, periodically throughout the day, be posting our thoughts on the President and Governor Jindal’s remarks, so please check back for those at about noon (and it is likely we will have more than one article on his speech, so make sure and check back a few times). In the meantime, enjoy this very pertinent and excellent article by a new contributor.
I recently ran across a Youtube video that succinctly and profoundly demonstrated the simplicity of the pro-life logic, expressed by the acronym S.L.E.D. I submit it for your comments.
As a long-time pro-life advocate, I believe it is the argumentative and logical tent-peg of abortion discourse. Herein lies its 2 main strengths: S.L.E.D. can be used with the pro-abortion crowd who don’t accept the spiritual side of the arguments, and the counter-examples used in it are easy to wield—in other words, you don’t need a PhD in philosophy to successfully present it.
The argument goes like this: there are the only four differences between a baby inside the womb and outside the womb. if we can’t justify killing a person based on any of these four differences then there is no basis for abortion. Each letter represents one of the differences, and the acronym SLED is easy to remember. Here they are:
“S” stands for “Size”: Whether you are talking about the moment sperm and egg just combined to make a unique 1 cell embryo, which has DNA completely different from mom or dad, or the baby who is a day away from birth, its smaller size is not enough of a reason to kill it. We don’t allow big folks to kill small folks; we don’t allow adults to kill children; and it would be absurd to say that everyone over 6 feet tall could kill those under 3 feet tall. Therefore, size is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
“L” stands for “Level of Development”: All human life is in a stage of development, from conception to natural death. Just because it isn’t as developed as a baby outside the womb, or an adult thirty years old, doesn’t mean you can kill it. We don’t allow 10 year-old children to kill 2 year-old children; we don’t permit people in their fifties to kill people in their twenties; we also don’t allow those past puberty to kill those who haven’t reached puberty. Therefore, the level of development of a baby in the womb is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
“E” stands for “Environment”: Everyone occupies different space. I type this article from an office. My children go to school at a desk or table. This difference is not germane in deciding whether they should live or die. I can’t kill my children because they sleep in their own bedroom, or decide that because my wife happens to be in the laundry room that she is unworthy of life. We don’t allow people outside of a house to kill those inside a house based merely on the difference in their surroundings. Therefore, the fact that a baby is inside the womb and we are outside the womb, a difference in environment, is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
Finally, “D” stands for “Degree of Dependency”: All human beings are dependent in some manner, some more than others. When my children are ill, they need medicine. Diabetics often need insulin. Paraplegics often need wheelchairs. All of us need food and shelter. The baby in the womb is no different, just at a different level. We don’t kill an elderly man who needs a cane for assistance in walking; we don’t kill a person who suffers from two broken arms because he can’t feed himself. Therefore, the fact that a baby inside the womb is at a different degree of dependency is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
If these reasons, then, are not good enough reasons, then why? I submit there are no “good enough” reasons. The spirit of individual rights which animated our Founders ideology recognized the right to Life. We need to enshrine that protection in the laws of our land.