Patterico's Pontifications


Questions for Those Who Support Partial-Birth Abortion

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 10:08 pm

I have some questions for the pro-abortion crowd here. More precisely, the questions are directed to those who support partial-birth abortion. (I hinted at this the other day, but buried it deep in the post. I’d like to bring it to the fore now.)

Here are the questions:

1) If you can do a partial-birth abortion, then it would certainly be possible to complete the birth — correct?

2) Once the baby is partially born, it would be safer to the mother to deliver the remainder of the baby than to stick a sharp object into the mother to kill the baby — correct?

3) So, partial-birth abortion is more about killing the baby than about a) freeing the mother of the burdens of pregnancy or b) the mother’s health — correct?

Tell me where I have gone wrong in this analysis.

P.S. If the assumptions of my questions above are correct, then the partial-birth abortion debate pits the right of the baby to live against the right of the mother to see her baby dead. And this hypothetical strips away the usual crutches of those who support abortion: arguments concerning the mother’s health or her need to unburden her body of the pregnancy.

After all, there are hospitals where babies are being aborted in one room, and doctors are successfully saving the lives of younger babies in another.

There’s a deeper question here, too: if partial-birth abortion is safer than other forms of abortion, and if delivery is safer than partial-birth abortion . . . then delivery is the safest way of all to allow the mother to end the pregnancy. If that is right, then why can’t the State require a woman seeking a late-term abortion to simply have the baby?

P.P.S. Let me put the same thoughts a different way. When analyzing the morality and/or the legality of partial-birth abortion, should we look to whether it is safer than other abortion procedures — or whether it is safer than any medical procedure for ending the pregnancy, including delivery of the child?

P.P.P.S. Let’s say that a doctor were to opine that compressing the head is somewhat safer because it requires less cervical dilation and thus the fetus can be extracted more quickly. Then the question is not as simple, but still poses a fairly stark moral question: for a viable fetus, is the added safety for the mother involved in collapsing the fetus’s head justified when compared to the baby’s right to life?

Domenech Has a Way with Other People’s Words

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Scum — Patterico @ 8:48 pm

This is hilarious — in a sad way. Rick Moran of RightWing NutHouse — a blog I don’t read enough but plan to start reading a lot more — had a post about Ben Domenech. Rick was making a perfectly logical point: Domenech may have been a serial plagiarizer, but he does seem to have a way with words. As an example, Moran quoted this passage from a Domenech piece:

I walked out of the bright Friday sun and into the Capitol Bldg.’s Document Entrance two hours before the gunman arrived. The back of my collar scratched sweat against my skin, and I loosened my tie in a vain effort to find relief from the sultry July heat. I remember nodding hello to the tall black policeman who was standing at the metal detector in front of the Document Entrance door. I don’t remember if he smiled back. From what friends tell me now, he usually did.

At 3:40 that July afternoon, Russell Weston Jr. stepped into the air conditioning of the Capitol Bldg. through that same door. He took five short steps across the tiles to where the officer on duty, 58-year-old J.J. Chestnut, was writing down directions for a group of tourists who had just finished the official tour. Weston raised his gun with speed and silence and put a .38-caliber bullet through the back of Chestnut’s head.

Moran then says: “I don’t care whether you’re right wing, left wing, or a chicken wing, if you can’t recognize that the boy plays music with words there’s something wrong with you.”

Then — and here’s the funny and pathetic part — it turns out that Domenech plagiarized that passage too! Moran explains in an update:

My jaw is on the floor and I am royally pissed off.

After Anne informed me in the comments that the piece I linked to from the New York Press above was actually cribbed from an article from the Washington Post I initiated a search of lefty blogs and sure enough, Domenech had copied almost word for word a piece that appeared in the Post on July 26, 1998 on page one!

It appears that my praise for Mr. Domenech was given for a piece in which he had lifted large segments of someone else’s beautiful work and claimed it as his own.

I apologize to my readers for 1) implying that Ben Domenech has any proven talent, and 2) misleading them about the author of the piece I linked above.

I want to make it clear that I am not laughing at Moran. My point is, quite simply, this: Good Lord. Has this Domenech guy ever written anything original?

He’s a freaking embarrassment to conservatives. From this point forward, my posts about him are filed under “Scum.”

Over 500,000 Rally for Illegal Immigration in L.A.

Filed under: Immigration — Patterico @ 4:40 pm

The L.A. Times says that more than 500,000 people rallied in downtown L.A. today in protest of federal initiatives to crack down on illegal immigration. Click on the link and look at the picture. That’s a lot of people.

And you wonder why there is little political will to do anything about illegal immigration.

We’ve already lost the battle, folks.

UPDATE: A commenter chides me for accepting the L.A. Times estimate, but it claimed to be based on police estimates. Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News says it was over 200,000 people. Mickey Kaus agrees.

New Proposed FEC Regulations

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law — Patterico @ 3:31 pm

Captain Ed reports on the FEC’s proposed regulations of the Internet, linking to this Washington Post article. Ed appears to believe that the proposed regulations are innocuous:

The only restriction we will have is on our advertising, which must carry a disclaimer of some sort in order to avoid allegations of coordination. This is a silly requirement for television ads, one that reduces the last ten seconds to the kind of speed-freak babbling that we have to hear on car commercials and loan advertisements.

I am less confident than Ed that all is well. I am going to wait until I see the regulations themselves. As most of you know, I am very suspicious of the concept of possible FEC regulation, and I took a firm stand on it last year, saying here:

If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

Dozens of other bloggers joined me in this pledge.

I think there is still potential for concern, though I won’t know how much until I see the regulations themselves. It sounds as though the FEC officials are trying to say the right things:

“My key goal in this rule-making has been to make sure that the commission establish clear rules to exempt individuals who engage in online politics from campaign finance laws,” said Chairman Michael E. Toner, a Republican.

“We tried to craft a regulation that would allow the maximum amount of freedom for people as possible,” said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub, a Democrat.

Sounds good in theory. But the devil is often in the details:

Most bloggers, individual Web users, and such Web sites as Drudge Report and are exempted from regulation and will be free to support and attack federal candidates, much as newspapers are allowed.

“Most”? And how will the government decide just which bloggers will not be allowed to support and attack federal candidates??

“Generally, it’s in line with what I think bloggers ask for,” said Jerome Armstrong, the founder of the liberal blog MyDD, an adviser to the Howard Dean for president campaign in 2004 and currently an adviser to former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner’s political action committee. “They give bloggers the media exemption.”

Ah, the “media exemption” . . . otherwise known as asking our masters for permission to speak. You all know how I feel about that.

We’ll have to see the actual regulations before we can breathe easy. Even if they don’t regulate blogger speech now, it should concern us all that the government even claims the authority to regulate our speech — even if it isnt yet exercising that so-called authority.

O’Rourke Denies Phony Domenech Explanation

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 12:43 pm

Ouch. Ben Domenech repeated his phony-baloney story about P.J. O’Rourke (debunked on this blog last night, here) to the New York Times. And O’Rourke himself has predictably denied it:

Contacted at his home in New Hampshire, Mr. O’Rourke said that he had never heard of Mr. Domenech and did not recall meeting him.

“I wouldn’t want to swear in a court of law that I never met the guy, Mr. O’Rourke said of Mr. Domenech, “but I didn’t give him permission to use my words under his byline, no.”

Isn’t that fairly obvious? Shouldn’t Mr. Domenech have realized that O’Rourke would deny his story?

All in all, a pathetic episode.

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