bishop's blog

Barack Obama's Islamophobia

[Originally posted at Army of Principles]

Barack Obama's Fight the Smears website lists the following:

SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim

Excuse me?  Being a Muslim is a smear?  Sounds a bit intolerant to me.  Would you say that being a Christian is a smear?  What about being Jewish?

Scott McClellan Gets Torn Apart By Bob Dole: The Letter in Full

[Originally posted at Army of Principles]

As much as Bob Dole irritated me with the way he rose to John McCain’s defense in this primary season, I really liked his letter to Scott McClellan that Sean Hannity read on the air. I tried to transcribe it, but I don’t type as fast as Hannity talks. The letter has now been released in full:


There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.

In my nearly 36 years of public service I’ve known of a few like you. No doubt you will “clean up” as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, “Biting The Hand That Fed Me.” Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.

I have no intention of reading your “exposé” because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job. That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You’re a hot ticket now but don’t you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?


Good stuff

Who Makes You Cringe?


[Originally posted at Army of Principles]

I think people doing Ann Coulter a disservice when they compare her to Michelle Malkin. Ann Coulter is an aggressively conservative pundit who occasionally makes rude, inflammatory, or even bigoted remarks to make a broader point. While I have often disagreed with exactly what she’s said (I get irritated every time she calls Obama “B. Hussein”), I have the impression that she’s a very smart and savvy individual. She’s not going to get elected to public office, but she’s entertaining and informative. She has a pulse on the conservative movement.

Michelle Malkin, on the other hand, has occasionally presented good conservative commentary. However, as as my post on her homeschool hysteria exemplifies, she often veers off into her own form of moonbattery. Her commenters are worse than her in many cases. For instance, she went off on Dunkin Donuts’ spokeswoman Rachael Ray for wearing a black-and-white scarf. Apparently it looked too much like a keffiyeh. Personally, it looked nothing like one to me. But at any rate, a checkerboard pattern is widely worn throughout the Middle East, no different than argyle being worn in Europe.

She imagined an anti-Danish slight from the silly United Nations (when there very clearly wasn’t one). In other news, that might be the first time I’ve ever taken the UN’s side on anything. She also gets up in arms over the lyrics of rap songs. No one’s making you listen to these songs, Mrs. Malkin. You can change the radio. Malkin also got huffy and offended over a set of government-created taxpayer-funded flash cards that listed three very real benefits to citizenship.

Malkin just makes me cringe. 


Question to commenters: Who on the right makes you cringe?


The Republican Party as the Big Tent Party

I'm really interested in knowing the opinions of other conservatives.  Should we effectively kick out the isolationists and the neoconfederates?

I'm of the opinion that as the Democrats swing farther left, we have three options: absorbing the excluded middle (and risking diluting the overall character of the party), seeing a third party filled with Blue Dog Democrats, or else merely winning elections by being the lesser of two evils (hardly an enviable position).



Check out my blog: Army of Principles


Abortion: A Discussion

The modern debate about abortion seems to revolve, at heart, around one central principle.  Is it moral? Sure, there are other reasons why we might want to prohibit abortion - that it has negative social externalities, that it encourages irresponsibility among youth, etc...  - but none of these really address the core of the issue.  Abortion being legal or illegal should really be about the philosophical ramifications of the action itself, not the social consequences.  For instance, modern fashion might encourage promiscuity and legalized condoms might encourage premarital sex, but neither of these things are banned despite their social consequences.  The focus of the debate must be on the morality of abortion, not its social implications.  Remember, liberals always argue on the social implication ground, saying that people will start to get back-alley abortions, etc.

Also, for this discussion I want to ignore Roe v Wade.  In my opinion, it was badly decided, but I want to talk about policy rather than constitutionality.  In other words, say that Roe v Wade was overturned.  What abortion policy would you support?

Does a fetus have rights?

To some extent, modern society has accepted that it has less rights than the mother.  When health conflicts, doctors always try to save the mother first.  A fetus has reduced autonomy.  A fetus is unable to express opinions.  If one believes, philosophically, that a human's rights come from a will, then it is impossibled to gauge the will of the fetus.

Does a fetus deserve dignity?

We have accepted that humans deserve dignity.  Good.  A baby, from the moment of its birth, deserves dignity.  Now, it would be a stretch to argue that a baby does not deserve dignity the moment before its birth.  It could be removed and live.  Unless one wants to argue that a baby gains a soul by taking its first breath, we have to accept that the unborn have souls.

When does the soul develop?

It's a hard position to take that a single-celled zygote has a soul.  It gets into religious theory and, quite frankly, despite my own religious beliefs, I think it's hard to make a strong philosophical case for when the soul first exists and thus when the baby is first worthy of protection.

When can the baby first survive on its own?

I believe the current limit is about 22 weeks for any chance of survival (viability).  I think its very hard to argue that a baby should be aborted past the second trimester, when its chances of survival are good outside the womb.  Killing a potentially autonomous life strikes me as indefensible.

What are our options?

In my opinion, there are only three logical positions to take on abortion.

1.  It should be outlawed from the moment of conception.

2.  It should be outlawed past a certain point (probably the point of viability at 22 weeks)

3.  It should be legal, both before and directly after birth.

Position #1 strikes me as one that's hard to philosophically defend.  Does a zygote really have a soul/rights?  Is it given rights based on the potential for rights?  What about a sperm?  what about an egg?  Do we have the right to use condoms and prohibit the creation of something that will soon have rights?

Position #2 is interesting.  Given that the point of viability is shifting closer and closer to birth, we might see that over time Position #2 becomes significantly closer to Position #1.  Fred Thompson, if I recall correctly, supports legalized abortion only during the first trimester.

Position #3 is extreme, but I don't see a compelling argument for why you can abort a baby at the moment before its birth but not the moment afterwards.

- bishop

[Crossblogged at Army of Principles]

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