Steyn on Culture
The fifth in an apparent series of twelve Planned Parenthood undercover videos shows Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, discussing how to manipulate the abortion procedure in order to ensure the "fetus" is delivered "intact" and thus able to be cannibalized for body parts. As Ms Farrell puts it, if a client "has a specific need for a certain portion of the products of conception and we bake that into our contract, and our protocol, that we follow this. So we deviate from our standard in order to do that."
In other words, their priority is not a "woman's health needs" but a cleanly delivered "fetus" with the relevant "portion of the products of conception" intact - the leg, the liver, the heart, the lung, whatever it is the client has had "baked" into the contract. This is in itself a crime: You're not supposed to manipulate the abortion - and potentially cause more pain and discomfort to the woman - in order to get clean, sellable baby parts.
But, as Ms Farrell makes plain, at Planned Parenthood they see the woman less as a patient than as a supplier whose truck needs a bit of maneuvering to align at the loading dock.
Lovely. But it gets better. For the parts to be useful to the customer, you can't employ the customary pharmaceutical aids to abortion - the stuff that kills the "fetus" - because, if you do, all the parts you want to sell will be poisoned and valueless.
It would seem to me, therefore, that the risk of a live birth in which the baby has to be killed outside the womb is substantially greater. One wonders what the next seven videos will hold - and what it will take for American newspapers even to cover the story.
~After I discussed the matter with Sean Hannity on Fox News last week, I got a barrage of abuse from abortion absolutists with a familiar talking point: abortions are "only three per cent" of what Planned Parenthood does. This statistic is very curiously formulated:
Even if you know what that actually means, the correct response is: So what? Do American liberals listen to what they're saying: What percentage of a business model does selling baby parts have to be for it to disturb you? Any murderer could make the same defense: Murderers actually spend very little time murdering. For 99.99 per cent of the time Major Hasan was providing psychiatric services to US military personnel, and standing on the table, opening fire and yelling "Allahu Akbar!" was only 0.01 per cent of his business model. So what?
That dentist in Minnesota everyone wants to string up: C'mon, give the guy a break. Ninety-seven percent of his time is devoted to cavities and root canals. The lion-killing portion of his schedule is minimal.
If you were told that the fellow at the convenience store devotes 97 per cent of his time to selling groceries and gasoline but once in a while he likes to go down to the seedy part of town, chop up a hooker and leave the pieces in a trunk at the airport, but don't worry, it's only three per cent of what he does, would you still want to buy a quart of milk from the guy? American liberals say: What's the problem? They're so used to looking the other way, they've immobilized their moral compass.
~But then the self-absorbed hedonism of modern western life necessarily requires desensitization. Bloomberg reports an ISIS "sex slave" price list acquired in Iraq by UN official Zainab Bangura: A woman over 40 will set you back a mere 41 bucks, but if you prefer a girl aged nine or under - and who doesn't? - the price rises to $165. As Laura Rosen Cohen points out, this is the real "war on women". But nobody cares - because to care, seriously, either about an infanticide-industrial complex or nine-year-old sex-slaves in an American protectorate, would ask something of us. And to ask something - anything - more than a supportive hashtag is too much.
If Harriet Beecher Stowe were to pitch Uncle Tom's Cabin now, the publisher would say, "Well, it's interesting. But what about if we made Tom a beloved old lion whose hard-up gamekeeper is forced to offer him up for sport to a tour group of billionaire American dentists?"
~After the Senate vote, Harry Reid, who still looks as if whoever worked him over could have used a "less crunchy" procedure, Tweeted the above picture of himself with baby-parts zillionaire Cecile Richards, and a gloating message:
What this evil toad "fought to protect" was Cecile Richards' access to critical women and their "products of conception". This is a uniquely American depravity - a billion-dollar abortion-industrial complex, unknown to the abortion regimes of France, Sweden, the Netherlands. Presumably all those Continental social democrats with their restrictions on "women's access to critical health services" are also part of the "war on women". The very fact that the Democrats' leader in the Senate is willing to advertise his facilitation of barbarism is a sign of his confidence in the people's indifference.
from Steyn on Culture, August 5, 2015
If abortion were the respectable medical procedure its proponents insist it is, there would be no such thing as "Planned Parenthood", anymore than there is a Planned Hernia megacorp...
Last week, I swung by the Bill Bennett show to chew over the news of the hour. A few minutes before my grand entrance, one of Bill's listeners had taken issue with the idea that these Supreme Court decisions weren't the end and, if you just got on with your life and tended to your garden, things wouldn't be so bad: Claudine came on and said that's what Germans reckoned in the 1930s: just keep your head down and the storm will pass. How'd that work out? David Kelsey writes from the University of ...
I started the day on Bill Bennett's radio show, which is always fun. Jonah Goldberg was on before me, and advanced the proposition, after the Supreme Court's almighty constitutional bender, that it wasn't so bad; conservatives who just pottered around in their own world and tended to their families could still lead lives largely unbattered by the forces of "progress". A few minutes later...
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He who controls the language shapes the debate: In the same week the Associated Press announced that it would no longer describe illegal immigrants as "illegal immigrants," the star columnist of The New York Times fretted that the Supreme Court seemed to have misplaced the style book on another fashionable minority. "I am worried," wrote Maureen Dowd, "about how the justices can properly debate same-sex marriage when some don't even seem to realize that most Americans use the word 'gay' now instead of 'homosexual'..."
To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but aldermanic power corrupts all der more manically. Proco "Joe" Moreno is Alderman of the First Ward of Chicago, and last week, in a city with an Aurora-size body count every weekend, his priority was to take the municipal tire-iron to the owners of a chain of fast-food restaurants. "Because of this man's ignorance," said Alderman Moreno, "I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the First Ward." "This man's ignorance"? You mean, of the City of Chicago permit process? Zoning regulations? Health and safety ordinances? No, Alderman Moreno means "this man's ignorance" of the approved position on same-sex marriage.
Media types like to talk about "the narrative": News is just another form of storytelling, and certain plot lines grab you more than others. The easiest narrative of all is anything involving young people. "I believe that children are our future," as the late Whitney Houston once asserted. And, even if Whitney hadn't believed it, it would still, as a point of fact, be true. Any media narrative involving young people presupposes that they are the forces of progress, wresting the world from the grasping clutches of mean, vengeful old men and making it a better place...
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Our lesson for today comes from George and Ira Gershwin: "They all laughed at Christopher Columbus When he said the world was round They all laughed when Edison recorded sound They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother When they said that man could fly They told Marconi wireless was a phony..." Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sang it in the film "Shall We Dance?" (1937) Seventy-five years on, the president revived it to tap-dance around his rising gas prices and falling approval numbers. Delivering his big speech on energy at Prince George's Community College, he insisted the American economy will be going gangbusters again just as soon as we start running it on algae and windmills. He noted that, as with Wilbur and his brother, there were those inclined to titter...
I'm writing this from Australia, so, if I'm not quite up to speed on recent events in the United States, bear with me – the telegraph updates are a bit slow here in the bush. As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law and recently testified before Congress. Oh, wait, no. Update: It wasn't a congressional hearing; the Democrats just got it up to look like one, like summer stock, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid doing the show right here in the barn and providing a cardboard set for the world premiere of "Miss Fluke Goes To Washington," with full supporting cast led by Chuck Schumer strolling in through the French windows in tennis whites and drawling, "Anyone for bull****?"
Have you seen the official White House version of what the New York Times headline writers call "A Responsible Budget"? My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on Page 58 of their 500-page appendix on "Analytical Perspectives." This is entitled "Publicly Held Debt Under 2013 Budget Policy Projections." It's a straight line going straight up before disappearing off the top right hand corner of the graph in the year 2084 and continuing northeast straight through your eye socket, out the back of your skull and zooming up to rendezvous with Newt's space colony on the moon circa 2100...
Announcing his support for Commissar Sebelius' edicts on contraception, sterilization, and pharmacological abortion, that noted theologian the Most Reverend Al Sharpton explained: "If we are going to have a separation of church and state, we're going to have a separation of church and state." Thanks for clarifying that. The church model the young American state wished to separate from was that of the British monarch, who remains to this day Supreme Governor of the Church of England. This convenient arrangement dates from the 1534 Act of Supremacy. The title of the law gives you the general upshot, but, just in case you're a bit slow on the uptake, the text proclaims "the King's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England." That's to say, the sovereign is "the only supreme head on earth of the Church" and he shall enjoy "all honors, dignities, pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits and commodities to the said dignity," not to mention His Majesty "shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities, whatsoever they be." Welcome to Obamacare.
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For our Dutch readers...
VIDEO: Italy's Costa Concordia disaster has Mark Steyn mulling the "women and children first!" idea with Michael Coren on The Arena.
Abe Greenwald of Commentary magazine tweets: "Is there any chance that Mark Steyn won't use the Italian captain fleeing the sinking ship as the lead metaphor in a column on EU collapse?" Oh, dear. You've got to get up early in the morning to beat me to civilizational-collapse metaphors. Been there, done that.
When Christians take the Christ out of Christmas
Christmas in America is a season of time-honored traditions â€“ the sacred performance of the annual ACLU lawsuit over the presence of an insufficiently secular "holiday" tree; the ritual provocations of the atheist displays licensed by pitifully appeasing municipalities to sit between the menorah and the giant Frosty the Snowman; the familiar strains of every hack columnist's "war on Christmas" column rolling off the keyboard as easily as Richard Clayderman playing "Winter Wonderland"... This ...
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