Patterico's Pontifications


Loyalty to America’s Founding Principles vs. Loyalty to a President or a Party

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:25 pm

One thing Donald Trump does a lot is demand loyalty. Indeed, I often hear Trump supporters talk about the importance of loyalty — loyalty to our President, and loyalty to his party. This world is going to hell in a handbasket, they lament, because there just isn’t any loyalty any more. And as these people fight in the trenches, often taking embarrassingly laughable partisan positions to fight for “their” side, they shed a tear for those who refuse to join them in such antics.

Loyalty can be an admirable trait, but it can also be a perversion if you’re loyal to the wrong thing or people. The key mistake people make, I think, is instilling a sense of loyalty to an organization, as opposed to the principles for which it stands.

A smart fellow named Jerry Pournelle once announced the Iron Law of Bureaucracy, which states: “In any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. . . . Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. . . . The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.”

Pournelle cites as examples of those dedicated to the organization’s principles “dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.” As examples of those dedicated to the organization itself, he cites “many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.”

You get the picture. I think Pournelle’s observation is often accurate. But sometimes you need those people dedicated to the organization’s preservation — because organizations can be important — as long as they serve the principles for which they exist.

Take the military, for example. The military exists to preserve and defend the nation. This is important. For good reasons, in the military, the concept of loyalty to the organization and to the country is important. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. You can’t have a bunch of soldiers running around owing loyalty to inchoate principles, or they won’t know what orders to follow. They have to have loyalty to their comrades in arms, to their superiors, to the organization they belong to, and ultimately to the country they serve. People in the military can’t go around saying: “I disagree with this war I am being sent to, so I will remain in the organization but refuse to go.” That doesn’t work, because of the nature of the military. Either you follow orders and don’t carp about it, or you get out.

But civilian society is different. To tell someone: “if you don’t like what President Trump is doing, get out of the country” is as unAmerican as it gets.

And ultimately, civilian society is what makes or breaks a country. We believe the military is a good thing because we believe in the principles of the United States. Because we believe the country is worth preserving. We would prefer that the armies that fought for the great genocidal dictators of the 20th century had owed their loyalty to humanity and not to the monsters who gave them orders. But that will never happen. Armies will always follow orders. It is largely up to civilian society to make sure that a country follows its principles. And this requires constantly questioning those in authority.

Loyalty to America and to the flag might mean doing whatever the President says — defending his every Twitter excretion as the received Word. But those who are loyal to this country’s principles can and should question whether the people running our party or our country are promoting those principles — the reasons this country was founded.

Ultimately, if you owe your loyalty to an organization, as opposed to the principles of the organization, the Iron Law of Bureaucracy says that you aren’t necessarily working on behalf of the organization’s principles. You’re working to preserve the organization itself.

So if you’re disappointed in someone’s lack of loyalty to Trump or the flag or the GOP or whatever, understand that their loyalty may lie with this country’s founding principles, and not the current people in power at the moment.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, at all.

Democrats Refuse To Protect Babies From Late-Term Abortions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:55 am

[guest post by Dana]

Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would would have protected babies from being aborted after 20 weeks. This in spite of the fact that two-thirds of Americans support a 20-week abortion ban.

Rather than protect the most vulnerable among us, Democrats gave a thumbs-up to the violent dismemberment of a viable baby in the womb – all the way up until birth:

Senate Democrats today blocked a vote on a pro-life Senate bill to ban late-term abortions — a bill that would save as many as 18,000 unborn babies form abortions each and every year.

The Senate voted today on whether to stop the Democrats’ filibuster of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks — as neither Congress nor state legislatures can vote to ban all abortions under Roe v. Wade. The bill highlights how unborn babies feel intense pain when they are killed in abortions. Fifty-one senators (forty-eight Republicans and three Democrats) voted to take the bill up for debate, but 60 votes were required.

Unfortunately, because Republicans don’t have 60 votes in the chamber to overcome the filibuster, Democrats successfully stopped the bill. The vote came after the White House indicated President Donald Trump would sign the bill into law.

At a hearing before Congress, gruesome testimony was given by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, who himself has performed more than 1200 abortions, including “over 100 late term abortions up to 24 weeks”. Yet, still, Democrats were not moved:

Dr. Levatino described what the abortionist actually does to the helpless child. “Imagine if you can that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I was.” Using a Sopher 13” clamp with rows of ridges or teeth, “grasp anything you can” inside the womb. “Once you’ve grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard—really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp anything you can…and out pops an arm.” He noted that “a second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure.” He said, “Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.

According to experts, not only can babies feel pain while in the womb, they can feel it as early as eight weeks:

Maureen Condic, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah and obtained her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. She is a widely published scientist whose works have appeared in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals.

“The earliest “rudiment” of the human nervous system forms by 28 days (four weeks) after sperm – egg fusion. At this stage, the primitive brain is already “patterned”; i.e. cells in different regions are specified to produce structures appropriate to their location in the nervous system as a whole,” she told lawmakers.

Dr. Condic explained, “Over the next several weeks, the brain will grow enormously and generate many complex connections, but the overall organization of the nervous system is established by four weeks. This is significant because it shows that even at this early stage, the brain is not anything like a mere collection of cells or a “blank slate” to be written upon by later developmental processes. Like all embryonic organs, the structure of the early brain “anticipates” the function of the mature system.”

When it comes to pain specifically, scientific evidence is very clear that pain can be experienced by 20 weeks of pregnancy. But Condic said unborn children have a capacity to feel pain much earlier.

“The neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, is in place by 8 weeks of development,” she explained. “This is the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity.

In spite of this information, Democrats and the abortion industry are determined to have the multi-million dollar industry remain fully intact, without any new protections for babies in the womb. Fully intact, unlike the babies routinely dismembered in nationwide chop-shops. And supporting barbaric behavior of late-term abortion, horrifyingly, are various members of the clergy:

When clergy gather at an abortion clinic, it’s usually in protest, outside the building.

Rarely are they huddled inside the clinic, not to condemn but to bless the procedures that happen there.

Yet that was the Rev. Carlton Veazey’s task as he led a prayer in Bethesda on Monday. “God of grace and God of glory, in whom we move and live,” he said, as he opened a prayer for the well-being of the doctor and nurses who facilitate abortions at a clinic here and for their patients. “Keep them safe and keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy glory.

Veazey was one of four Christian pastors and one rabbi who gathered to bless this Bethesda abortion clinic in an unusual interfaith ceremony. (A Hindu priest who was supposed to attend from a local temple, who has blessed an abortion clinic before, didn’t make it.)

This is stunning. To pray for the well-being of medical professionals who barbarically dismember and kill late-term babies created in the image of God at a clinic specifically set up to provide late-term abortions is simply reprehensible. To proclaim that what they’re doing is being done for the glory of God , is evil. This would be the same God of whom David said in Psalm 139:

For You formed my iinward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

All kinds of rationalizations were offered by the clergy to justify their participation. From Rabbi Charles Feinberg,

Judaism has always said abortion is never murder. It may not be permitted, depending on the circumstances — how far along the pregnancy is, how seriously ill the mother-to-be is — but it is never murder. It only becomes that once the baby is born.

Baptist pastor Rev. Carlton Veazey justified his participation this way:

The Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to choose an abortion. But before the Supreme Court did it, God had already done it, because it affirms a woman’s moral agency[.]

There was also a “sanctification” of the space as prayers for the abortionists and clientele were said:

As a symbol of sanctification, the clergy sprinkled water in each room of the clinic and in the parking lot, which the Rev. Cari Jackson described as “a space of tremendous decision-making,” where women often face protesters as they walk into the medical building that houses the clinic.

“We give honor to all of these women who choose to come to this space,” said Jackson, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who has served in United Methodist and Presbyterian Church USA congregations. “We sanctify this space, and we honor this as holy.”

Sadly, no prayers were said for the babies that would be facing their death upon entering the butcher shop. No acknowledgement or recognition was given to the viability, worth, and preciousness of the Innocents, created in the image of God, that would be violently gutted from the safety of the womb in the new clinic. These so-called representatives of God ignored these silent witnesses of His handiwork, as well as the data that evidences pain is indeed felt by the tiny victims of late-term abortions. They ignored this reality because they had to. A friend aptly summed it up, “The Godless don’t understand what it means to be created in the image of God. That’s where the sanctity comes in. Human beings are image bearers. Human beings in the womb are no less image bearers than human beings who have already passed through the birth canal. ”

Being created in the image of God is to have a soul in existence. A soul that is in communion with God, intentionally designed with the purpose to reflect God and infused with the knowledge of right and wrong. The Godless do not recognize this because they refuse to see, and as their conscience becomes seared, they are rendered unable to do so.

If Democrats and pro-abortion members of the clergy refuse to acknowledge that late-term babies feel the unspeakable pain of having their tiny limbs torn asunder by the sharp teeth of a killing device, then I would say, sadly, that even a lobster is given more dignity than these little ones.

(Cross-posting at The Jury Talks Back.)


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