January 12, 2006

surgical strike: my mother the jellyfish

I am hesitant to make a post on the subject of bioethics yet again. Another universal yawn induction no doubt. Truly, this is no more shocking than earlier links I have posted, but I get a sense that the pace of genetic tinkering is picking up exponentially. There are literally scores of chances over the last several months I could have posted something along these lines.

In light of the ethical freight train which is undeniably headed our way, it stupefies me that there is such an ominous silence from all corners outside the intelligentsia. The rare news report will contain a few scant but shocking details, an obligatory sound bite from some half-wit talking about “playing God”, and a scientist explaining how essential the development is for the good of mankind.

The details change but the basic script is reliably followed.

I’m a babbling fool for bringing it up again, but I have to ask the question again: how much human DNA does it take before Shelley’s beast is sufficiently human to deserve those same protections? It is a pressing question whose answer has the power to tear apart the fabric of our society. The truth is that neither the humanist/materialist or the theistic/ID gangs have grappled with the issues adequately. Soon, the present opportunity will pass and we will be forced to react instead of taking a measured and sensible approach.

My modest proposal is a simple rule: any human DNA, expressed or otherwise, should give rise to Constitutional protection. This is the only way to potentially keep a lid on things. The only way to keep our few remaining vestiges of human rights law from crumbling under the onslaught of political nonsense which these developments will give life.


…ah, never mind. I can already hear the snoring.


Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Tony, “... how much human DNA does it take before Shelley’s beast is sufficiently human to deserve those same protections?

The average half born aborted baby has 100% human DNA, so that may not be a reliable safe harbor. If we can’t get it straight on that level, you have an impossible task protecting the mixed species, hybrid critters. Now if you can find a correlation to snail darters, bald eagles, and PETA cute animals of the week, then you have some bargaining room. :-)

Of course, what we can protect in this country vs overseas is radically different. Even though some of the Korean cloning was fabricated, I would imagine much was not.

As far as the example in the article you referenced, does this mean we can cook breakfast in the dark?

Prof. Ricardo

3:38 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

As I stared at the green glowing picture of the pigs, being a decent photographer, I noticed the green glow was brighter where they were closest to the camera and faded toward the edges and as the distance increased, not unlike the effect of using today’s video cameras on “nightscene” setting, where the illumination comes from a faint projected infrared beam. Interesting. Another fraud in the making? Maybe just enhanced a bit? The more I look at it the fishier it seems.

Oh no! GPC! Glowing Pig Conspiracy!!!!

Prof. Ricardo

4:11 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


I too noticed what you are saying about the lighting, but I would assume that would be normal. The camera is close to the blue light and so that would be a normal affect. Not that I think that doctoring is impossible. Certainly it could have been. But there is little doubt that even if they enhanced the photos, the development is a real one.

On the human embryo analysis, you of course know that I totally agree. That is what I have elaborated on in the past such as in the tell-tale heart. If it is a tough issue with moral dimensions we abandon it to the politicians. It is all very sad.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Of course, the point is moot if the geneticist are women. After all, it would be "a woman’s choice." ;-)

Lemme see. Would we call them:
+ lightening pigs
+ cordless swine
+ 20 watt bacon

And C.G.'s original concept would be called:
The Illuminaughty!

Prof. Ricardo

5:40 PM  
Blogger Cajun Huguenot said...

Dr. Seuss got it all wrong. His book should have been titled Green Ham and Eggs.

This does make me think... I don't like this.


8:48 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


Welcome back. I guess you got over your Katrina damage sufficiently to join us back in the blogosphere! Glad to see you man. Very glad.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...


What if genetic tinkering could produce a society w/o diabetes, w/o down syndrome, or w/o hemophilia? Is it wrong to try and correct these abnormalities through gene splicing or tinkering? Is that immoral?

Well, like everything else, it is done for noble goals. But the vast research would combine countless cells, in countless variations, in countless experiments, probably with no thought of what life has been created or destroyed.

And given that the whole research world is driven by money - publish or perish - morals and ethics will seem nothing more than the obnoxious rants of those “who don’t know what good we are doing, nor what they are talking about.”

And is there a definable wall where activity is clearly identifiable as permissible or over the line?

The problem is mankind in America has forgotten the ability to think. Instead of people reading the great philosophical works, law books, and immersing themselves in deep discussions defining the nuances of well developed theories, the mass stupids are cramming another handful of Doritos in their mouth wondering about the outcome of the most recent Survivor series.

I just received the mass mailing sent out by SBC & AT&T. It said that their new merger would be some noteworthy success in the area of “communication and entertainment.” Entertainment? Would they have dared use that word 20 years ago? In the 21st Century, critical thinking is the preparation for putting someone down.

Prof. Ricardo

10:45 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Prof ,

Good restatement of the questions I’ve been asking. I personally believe medical research is extremely important and want to see it continue and develop. My concern is the Doritos Stuffers will keep their heads in the sand and not consider the moral dimension until it is way to late.

I really do not have the answer to where these lines are. I can identify some things I consider on one side or the other of the morality line. But we need to do the work to come up with some rules we can all live by. Not necessarily rules that will make the extremes happy because they will be satisfied only with nothing or everything.

And you of course put your finger on the continuing theme here: how dumbed down have we become when Earth shaking matters such as these get no traction whatsoever? The state of things is quite alarming. I have been arguing for some time that America is already dead. While there are many factors that have lead me to that conclusion, the key is truly the mass stupidity because it is pretty clear that Doritos Stuffers do not have the right stuff to be a part of recovering the treasures we have squandered so flippantly.

We are like Rome in its waning years where they employed the “barbarians” directly for defense as the wheels were coming off. In our case we use private contractors in Iraq, but the bottom line is that we have blurred the distinction between America and the rest of the world. We operate gulags, torture and wire-tap. It is indeed hard to tell who are the barbarians anymore.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common Good: “Hey... that could be some fun technology. I'm thinking glow in the dark body parts.

Glow in the dark (GITD) opportunities. GITD in lieu of hideous tattoos and body piercings, glow in the dark body art. Think of the advertising income: Flashing “Eat at Joe’s” across the forehead. Fingernails for the ladies. Inside the nostrils (red) for that dragon look. And the GITD buttocks for that ever increasing part of the population that can’t find it with both hands.

Prof. Ricardo

8:45 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common Good: “I understand there is no such thing as a compromise for religious views... and if your religious view is anything past conception is murder... you are not going to change that view. That said... murder means UNLAWFUL killing...

Actually no. Murder is an absolute outside of the opinions and laws of the current society or culture. When the Nazi’s walked into a house, drug the family into the street and shot each one in the head, its legality did not make it murder or not. Its legality only defined what was sanctioned in that society or not. If I can walk into a poor persons home and take their possessions and its not against the law, is that stealing? Of course it is. The concept of right and wrong does not begin with legality. But we sure hope that the legal system closely matches those real borders of justice and injustice.

If I may be so bold as to speak for Christians, just because something mirrors a religious view does not make it wrong. For instance, If the Bible says the earth is round, do the Atheist then reject round-earth doctrine and forbid its teaching in Gubmint Skools? It would be silly to do so.

The Bible establishes great value for human beings. It says they should be respected, honored, and protected. Of such great value are human beings that if you kill one, the price is high, very high, the price tag may even be the life of a murderer.

Human value does not change with skin color, gender, economic status, or age. If these human beings are of such value that they need paid for healthcare, and a multitude of other benefits throughout their life, then maybe we ought to make sure we identify exactly what is human and what the borders are on behavior allowed to them.

This blog topic is on genetics and what should be allowed as people mess with human genetics, possibly rendering certain humans less worthy, less protected, possibly even disposed of like a spent petri dish.

A human in the womb is human (the DNA matches nearly 100% :-). It is alive because it is growing. It has rights, apparently not under our current concept of the Constitution, but in many other cultures. These rights manifest because these humans are not just generic humans, but descendants of the parents. They also obligate the parent with certain responsibilities. The unborn humans have rights and future rights and responsibilities. They have value.

Were someone to kill your child in the womb, you would seek some form of justice as if you were expecting a human being worthy of life to emerge, and rightly so.

The great discontinuity in this whole view of humans with values and rights is the concept that a woman can kill her child by hiring a “doctor” to slaughter her child for her. In ancient Roman law when the child was born it was placed on the knee and if the father gave the thumbs up, the child would live. If he gave a thumbs down, the child was immediately plunged into a pale of water and drowned. We certainly hope that we have evolved our civilization to a point where that would seem barbaric. However, the concept of our country's acceptance of pre-born/half-born abortion is nearly identical save for the formalities of actually passing the entire child through the birth canal.

It is because of this phony reference to women’s rights that the mass Dorito eaters have been blinded by the barbarism that is actually taking place. Women do not have the right to drive faster than men, rob, steal, swindle, or any other violation of law. We are all held accountable for our actions. A woman, like a man, should only have a “choice” if it does not do a great injustice to another undeserving of the injustice. Obviously, murdering an innocent would be considered an injustice. Legal or not, murder of innocent humans, regardless of age, is wrong.

The anti-abortion view is THE most consistent with all other viewpoints that value human beings. The pro-abortion view is THE most inconsistent with all other viewpoints that value human beings.

I’ll discuss Plan B later.

Prof. Ricardo

5:10 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

You know my answer. I think I've set it out pretty clearly before: a fertilized egg is a human being.

You are right...not a lot of wiggle room.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G. :”Nothing short of dictating women's post conception lives will do. Post fertilization... their liberties must bow to a faction's religious beliefs.

Amazing beyond belief how you sympathize with the “women” but do everything conceivable to avoid talking about those pesky little unborn humans. It is quite apparent that you want their liberties (even those as basic as life itself) to bow to the post coitus whims of the liberated woman. I suppose now would be a bad time to bring up the fact that half of the victims of a woman’s choice is other women (the unborn variety).

If a woman were subject to laws preventing her from robbing a bank “post conception...post fertilization,” would that be “dictating women's post conception lives?” Are we making “their liberties ...bow to a faction's religious beliefs” of not stealing? You thoughtlessly rubber stamp women’s rights without discussing the object of those rights and its morality.

I used to know 9 different medical ways to abort a baby back when I was exploring the pro-life movement. Suction, D& C, D & X, cesarean abortion, saline abortion WARNING, GRAPHIC!, and there are 4 others I can’t think of right now. I doubt seriously that you know either the biology of the fetus at any point of gestation, nor the mechanics of killing and removing human beings from their mother’s wombs (WARNING GRAPHIC!). I’ve read about it, I’ve studied it, and I’ve seen the gruesome pictures.

My wife was pro-abortion in College and in a minor level campaigned for its advancement. During some confrontation, no doubt with a “faction” expressing its “religious beliefs” they exposed my wife to pictures of aborted fetuses WARNING, GRAPHIC!. She said those pictures haunted her. No matter how solid her logic, argument, and steadfast determination to remain “pro-choice”, those pictures were painful evidence that there was a side to abortion that she was not addressing. The pro-abortion side always harps on the rights without identifying and defending the act itself.

Since you are so for this important basic human right, teach me about it. Show me pictures of its beauty. Show me the happy women who have performed it and recommend it to others. Explain how less information is helpful, where parents do not have the right to know their minor daughters are having a serious operation, where husbands aren’t required to know that their offspring is being snuffed, where abortion doctors do everything to prevent a woman’s seeing a picture of how developed their child is and particularly a high resolution sonogram of their own child.

The evidence of the barbaric nature of abortion is everywhere when one opens their eyes. Women have been lied to by feminist idiot organizations (like NOW and NARAL) and stinking rich doctors who make $500k-$1000k a year killing the unborn. It’s a racket, an industry. They’re in it for the money. Never doubt that.

And you want me to discuss a kinder and gentler way to kill babies earlier? Before I nudge any distance off of absolutism, you’ve got a lot of acknowledging to do.

Prof. Ricardo

12:44 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Just because the accusation comes up repeatedly that my abortion position is strictly a religious position, I'll take a moment to refer everyone to my prior writing on the subject where I make it clear that I think conception as the beginning of life is the only scientifically sound definition. I know you weren't directing that to me necessarily, but I feel it is important to point that often.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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6:31 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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6:34 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

I would be willing to go to Plan B, not because it is right, but because it is so much better than fetus dismemberment currently allowed in our laws.

Prof. Ricardo

10:26 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

New related article.
Stem cell experts seek rabbit-human embryo

New unrelated article.

New source of global warming gas found: plants

Excerpt: German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change

The culprits are plants.

They produce about 10 to 30 percent of the annual methane found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.

Now it seems as though Mother Nature will have to sign the Kyoto Protocol with all the industrialized nations. Not sure how well she can hold in the plant gases. At lease it doesn’t stink when she lets one fly.

Prof. Ricardo

11:03 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Documents show Saddam trained terrorists
Millions of pieces of evidence slowly being translated by U.S.

The evidence – affirmed in interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders – contradicts the claims of anti-war critics who charge Iraq became a magnet for Islamic terrorists only after the U.S. invasion.

Or we could believe Michael Moore.


11:14 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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10:11 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Scott Wilder's blog is now reopened. Guess he wanted to give it another try. It'd be nice to see some of you back around there.

4:26 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

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9:11 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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12:07 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

I was just kidding. I wrote that for John Swaringen, or whatever his name was... I thought the "F" word and the fascist word would be "shocking." Even though I'm sure that wasn't the same "john."

As for Scott Wilder, I do think he's a bit dumb. I do think he's a bit of a fascist too... he's worried about the Mexicans taking his parking spot at the mall (it's bad for the economy he erroneously says.", and he thinks "helping Africa" is money wasted (yet ironically helping Iraq and Afghanistan is a great idea!)

-However, the debt-free advice guy that comes on before him is great!!!

2:26 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Yoshi, “As for Scott Wilder, I do think he's a bit dumb. I do think he's a bit of a fascist too...

Interesting. Because once we visit the characteristics of a “Fascist” we find the players jumping around quite a bit.

Firstly, a Fascist is a socialist. Remember, the Nazis were the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party. They are considered on the “right” because they believe might makes right. They worship power because all truth is mere opinion. Right & wrong are mere opinion, there is no justice, the only thing that counts is who wins (think Alito hearing). They believe government should control everything and everybody. It has no intellectual leaders like traditional leftist socialists. It is pragmatic. If we have to tax, control, or whatever to achieve the state’s goals or society’s goals, so be it. There are no guiding principles or freedom that would curb the advancement of government.

This describes a growing segment of this country and certainly many others. But this is not even remotely applicable to Scott Wilder. Not the one I’ve been listening to for the past, I guess, 8 years.

However, certain persons on this blog have championed their causes and said “whatever the tax, we must do it for the cause.” And any one not on board is a selfish capitalist pig, etc., etc. Some persons here do not have a defined external source of right & wrong. That it is up to society to collectively (gov’t.) control and direct people to achieve certain outcomes.

Names are a good way to poke fun and what not. However, true labels need to match the definition to that which meets the definition. Although Wilder is probably more pro-government than am I, you can hardly call him a fascist with any real seriousness.

Prof. Ricardo

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It wasn't John Swarigen. I'm the one who used to live in Princeton (I now live in Scotland). In any event, I'm certainly no theological fundamentalist. However, I did enjoy the conversations at the Wilderblog at the time that they were going on, and was only pointing out that Scott had reopened his blog.

Take care,


4:49 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

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5:31 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Yea John, I was pretty sure you weren't the the guy as the other John S. Sorry for the implication you might be the same person though... I can see why that would be horribly offensive ;o)

Prof, Prof, Prof....

"Firstly, a Fascist is a socialist. Remember, the Nazis were the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party."

Yea, and the "Democratic" Republic of the Congo is "really democratic. Semantic games don't mean anything Prof. The Nazis weren't "socialists," regardless of whether they threw that word in there or not, and they HATED "communists (who were more like your 'socialists')" Believe me, there were some wealthy businessmen making dough in Nazi Germany. It was nominally "socialist," if at all (they certainly had an interesting social safety net: Slave labor and then gas them in a chamber).

Let me give you my definition of "fascist," the one most of us on the planet think of when we hear the word: "Ultra-nationalist, rascist." That's what it means, simply, once you take the decorations off the word. And Scott fits that description. He's worried the Mexican is taking white jobs, and he's willing to send them to the slums of Mexico city rather than let them in to make a living, which they have a God-given right to do just as much as any human being does. That's why he's a fascist. He's also a fascist in that he thinks it's okay to let an entire continent of black people implode even though we've got the technology and the financial means to prevent it. You know, as a Texan, I was taught that when someone falls down, we help pick that person up. But not in Wider's world. Instead, Scott goes out of his way to change the hearts and minds against helping out those who have fallen down.

Otherwise, I generally agree with Scott Wilder... but when he starts brainwashing the naive Christians (not all of them, just the ones that subcontract their personal education to charismatic radio personalities), discouraging them from caring about people across the world, he loses me. And have you heard his reasons? Have you heard him talk about Mexicans? Or President Bush's development aid? Clearly someone who knows very little about what he's saying, he's utterly stupid. And Scott Wilder wields a lot of power. People listen to him. And so when he tells people to go march in the Klan parade, ahem, Minuteman protest, etc, people listen. So yea, I'm going to call him a fascist, a klansman, etc.

"You can hardly call him a fascist with any real seriousness."

Well, I can actually. See above.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


I have never said that I would be opposed to legal compromise on abortion.


Where I draw the line is agreeing that Plan B is not taking a life. Whatever compromise that might make sense for society, that is not a line I will cross.

Does compromise make sense? Absolutely it does. As Prof said, any step we take back from the current state of infanticide as a choice is a good one.

And while I fully understand my position on life beginning at conception is a minority, I am one who has always advocated compromise. I believe in compromise for two reasons. The first is that compromise is how a free society works. By definition, in a free society we all have to tolerate things we do not care for and others must tolerate my actions as well. The second reason is that statistics have always shown that a super-majority of Americans do not support unfettered abortion.

Of course, I’ve argued long and hard that it is important to remember that in a free society, the majority has no say over matters of individual liberty. Frankly, it remains shocking to me how few people really believe in Liberty and uncritically assume that freedom is equivalent to majority rule.

This is why I keep coming back to the heart of the matter which is the legal definition. What is life? I’m not seeking a metaphysical answer to the question: I have given that answer. I’m looking for a legal architecture which will ensure the blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

Now, it so happens that the only sound “scientific” definition of life I’ve heard is that the completed human genome constitutes life. It speaks volumes about the state of American mental atrophy that a simple statement such as this can cause so much stress. If anyone wants to put forth an alternative definition, please do so. I’m eager to hear it.

But time after time when this topic arises the discussion follows the same pattern. I do not hear ANYONE purposing an alternative definition of Life. I’m open to legal compromise because I am convinced it is for the greater good. What a pity that the pro-choice crowd does not feel the same way. They do not want to define Life because they know a rule is something that must be followed. Such a proposal is also something they fear being wrong about.

As compromise goes, Plan B seems fine by me. It just so happens that it does very little about the root problem.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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10:14 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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10:18 AM  
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10:59 AM  
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1:14 PM  
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1:19 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

It looks like conquering ignorance is going to take a bit longer than I had originally hoped.

You would in fact support a movement to Plan B and away from abortion clinics. I think this point is MAJOR…”

No, not so major. It is a reasonable compromise for reasonable people that care about the underlying substance and not the political posturing which typifies our national discourse.

”[T]he current deadlock seems to suck up all of the oxygen which is needed on other pressing societal issues. IMO, the Dems are nuts for not pushing to move the abortion policy in this direction, because if successful, I really think the GOP would have a very low chance of winning presidential elections.

Your fundamental problem is that you think these numbnuts actually believe that which they spew. The adversarial posture is beneficial to them. Compromise carries the danger that the extremist base will be disillusioned and not get out the vote. There is little incentive to compromise in our current artificial we v. they gladiator arena. They do not care about other pressing issues. If you think otherwise, you are just engaging in the exact mental fantasy that these scumbags so covet in their followers.

On the allegation that I did not respond to something: usually, when I don’t respond to something it is because it is a faulty question that I find too exhausting to bother with. When you are premising that Life is irrelevant, I no longer have much time to waste on the discussion.

A good illustration is that wonderful post you put up from the Constitution. Apparently there is some significance to you that the word person is used more than life. I find that mildly amusing in the same way I find my six year old’s toilet humor. It is pretty clear, at least to me, that a person has a life. It is pretty clear, at least to me, that the words are not grammatically interchangeable. I am truly flummoxed what the amazing significance of this bit of information is in your mind.

And I’m not even going to address your touching psychotic diatribe on the origin of rights. I think you need to up the medication my friend.

You ask, ”How do you come to the conclusion our constitution assigns liberties at ‘conception’?”

Oh, I’ve only explained that ad nauseum here for like three years…sheeze…

Lest you accuse me again of not answering, here it is in a short sentence with small words: the Constitution protects the fundamental right to life. Life begins at the completed human genome.

[ (mumbling to self) Dad gummed if I have not become Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. ]

1:39 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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3:04 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Happy Ground Hog’s Day everybody!

A person is living, or if you prefer, has a life.

This can be found here:

Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

You are correct…that did not take much time.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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4:51 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

What would Dr. King say?

What is the leading cause of death among blacks in America today?

Is it gang murders?
Is it AIDS?
Sickle-cell anemia?
Heart disease?
Auto accidents?

Guess again.

In fact, if you combined all of these plagues together – and every other cause among the black population – they would not represent even half of the total number of abortions of unborn black babies in America.

That's right, abortion is the leading cause of death among blacks in America and twice as many unborn black babies are killed than by all other causes of death combined....

10:01 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

I think if MLK were alive today he wouldn't limit his range of thought to merely America.... he'd be globalized by now...

that being said.... I still think abortion is wrong... but I think there is a direct link between number of abortions and poverty. Poverty goes up, abortions go up with them.

Don't we all complain (and make jokes) all day long about how many babies minorities (and poor whites) have?

10:15 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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11:29 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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11:30 AM  
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11:39 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Happy Ground Hog’s Day everybody!

I am never truly done. I can always make a new post.

You may be asking for “constitutional legal reasoning”, but every time I give it, you reject it or say I have not answered. I’ve tried long versions. I’ve tried short versions. I will try again, but really try to read what I type this time. I’m patient but there are limits.

The truth is you are trying to parse the unparsable yourself. Trying to argue that when the Constitution’s use of the word “person” instead of “life” is somehow significant is worthy of politician. The due process protection of life is very plain. I really do not think my elaborating on that point further is of utility. It just doesn’t get much plainer than , ”….nor shall any person …be deprived of life…without due process of law.”

Even the plain language of the document connect the two, but somehow you do not. Perhaps I can not help you if you can not get this.

Further you try to draw out “a conception” as being qualitatively different than life. Now that is an interesting argument and one worthy of discussion. But setting it out as if it were an axiom is clearly invalid. “A conception” is just a label and surely you understand this. The question is whether it is life and thus Constitutionally protected.

I do not either see in the Constitution language protecting “idiotic statements by leftist half-wits”. The question is whether the thing is speech. Campaign contributions have been deemed speech. Perhaps the completed genome will yet be deemed life.

The argument that it is significant that “a conception” is not mentioned in the Constitution is a self-referential logical fallacy.

On to State’s Rights.

State’s Rights is properly irrelevant to the abortion discussion. People of questionable intelligence some times get their thoughts twisted up in a wad. Hopefully what some body meant to say was that abortion regulation is a function of the individual States. Agree or disagree, that would make logical sense and also be true.

Whether there is a right to an abortion is properly a Federal issue. If you conclude there is no Constitutional protection of abortion, then it becomes a criminal matter. For the most part the criminal code is a State matter. I for one have no trouble with the concept of a Uniform Criminal Code, and at last check that was making some progress. I’m not terribly opposed to the Federalization of all criminal law. But that is not how it is today.

Hope that helps, but I have my doubts...

12:02 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Also, I never responded when you dropped this little gem:

”It was also obvious that your conception pro-life position is truly tied to relgious beliefs... nothing wrong with that and I wonder why you try and claim otherwise (I think you said in your other post it makes your head explode).”

You claim to have read the earlier post, but it does not seem so. How come when I read it I find myself having made a pretty good case why there should be a bright line having nothing to do with one’s religious outlook.

Yeah, it makes my head explode because you are misrepresenting my view when you say that.

And I do not “try and claim otherwise”-I actually made the case. And I am totally up front with the fact that the view maps to the Biblical view which I also support.

The funny thing about this particular point is that I have ALWAYS felt this way. I wrote a paper on abortion in my Sophomore year in High School and even then I was puzzled why the whole argument fell out on religious lines. I see the connection. I understand that Christians might be more sensitive to moral issues. But this does not strike me as any more distinctly Christian than does prohibitions against stealing.

The truth is that pro-choicers are locked into certain thought patterns that mystically prevent them from even considering the possibility that there is a LOGICAL argument against abortion rights. If you do not agree, then you are obviously illogical. And of course if it is illogical, then it must be a religious view.

Yeah, that is pretty insulting stuff I must say. And qualitatively no different than those of the radical right that map all pro-choice people to various nasty labels of their own.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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12:29 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

It is kind of humorous seeing you get defrosted over the difference between person and life when you are unwilling to define either one. Funnier still that you do not see the logical fallacy you are so entrenched behind.

I don’t know if it is funny or not that you can’t see that your fallacy does not depend on the specific issue.

Oh, but it is funny too how you accuse me of being circular. I’m not frustrated at all with your position on abortion. There are a lot of folks wrong on that one. What is frustrating is your inability to make a clear argument.

So, tell me then since I’m being circular and you have such a crystal clear handle on it, what exactly does the Right to Life protect?

< GG allowedtoread=OFF > I wonder if he’ll get that you can’t answer the question without defining Life? < /CG>

1:10 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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1:27 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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1:47 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...


In SANTA CLARA COUNTY v. SOUTHERN PAC. R. CO., 118 U.S. 394 (1886) the US Supreme court decided that a corporation is a person and should be granted the same rights as any other person under the 14th amendment.

The word person can be defined any way you wish.

Abortion is an act. Abortion terminates a pregnancy. A human pregnancy has always been thought of as being 1) alive, and 2) human. Without further delusions decent humans have always rejected the taking of live humans without justifiable reason.

The Constitution did not define persons. It also did not define “up”, “down”, and every other simplified word and concept because they thought reasonable intelligent men would prevail in this country. Sadly, they were wrong.

The oldest dictionary I have is 1828. It defines “person” as follows:
1. An individual human being consisting of body and soul. We apply the word to living beings only, possessed of a rational nature; the body when dead is not called a person. It is applied alike to a man, woman or child.
2. A man, woman or child, considered as opposed to things, or distinct from them.
3. A human being, considered with respect to the living body or corporeal existence only.
4. A human being, indefinitely; one; a man.

All of your references to person above don’t apply to 12 month only babies because they will not be held for capital crimes, vote for presidents, etc. Just because of age or minor status prohibits one from being identified in each and every one of those usages of “person” in the Constitution does not detract from that person’s humanness nor their aliveness.

Abortion terminates a pregnancy, not by birth, but by removing a living growing human being in pieces with the express intent in killing it. Were a baby to accidentally survive its ghastly attack by the abortionist, the “doctor” would then be compelled to save the child at all costs. Think about that. As long as you can keep some appendage of the child in the uterus or vagina you can beat it to death with a hammer, an ice pick, acid, saline solution, or sharp “surgical instruments.” But if that same child were to slip free into the air it gains protection of law, not because it is a materially different being, but because the insanity of child in proximity to womb murder ceases to protect the doctors mischief.

Given this bazaar protection and the abortion supporters striving for “women’s rights” I would not be surprised to see the argument successfully made that as long as the child is attached to the umbilical cord, he or she is still technically apart of the mother’s womb and therefore the decision to abort can be postponed until a visual inspection of the child is complete. This is a highly unlikely scenario since a visual confirmation that it is a baby by the mother usually stops such denial of humanness and arrests the abortive behavior just like sonograms do.

When two humans mate, they produce an offspring that is always human. It is identified as alive by growth vs a stillborn child that does not grow. A live human is protected by a decent society. Our Constitution does not grant the privilege of life. But it is instituted to by men to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Regardless of any desire to obsess over the definition of “person”, the reality of abortion killing human beings in gestation is obvious to those willing to see the truth.

Prof. Ricardo

2:14 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Ah, finally something resembling a definition of life. Very good. You are a no rights until the first breath person. I find that position a bit obnoxious, but at least you are now standing on something.

I agree that we (Americans) need to quit arguing and find common ground. There is a lot more common ground than most believe. But until we end our love affair with the political parties that have already run this formerly great nation into the ground, things will never change.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Common,“If we quit arguing long enough to move towards a Plan B direction, then we move towards "rare".

I don’t think so. Abortion opens up a method of exercising reckless behavior and eliminating the consequences. However, abortion has a stigma and a cost. Financially and emotionally. Plan B would be relatively discreet and less costly. I believe IUD’s are devices that are supposed to prevent the attachment of a child. Been a while since health class. But an abortifacient is an abortifacient. The end result is a conceived human, not through normal natural causes and chance, but by design, drug over to the proverbial Microsoft trash can. I can not imagine that removing the cost and stigma would have a consequence of reducing abortions. Usually if you increase the negatives or the cost, then you reduce the demand.

Prof. Ricardo

2:32 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Oh, I forgot. You found me insulting when I said, ”I understand that Christians might be more sensitive to moral issues.”

In context it should have been clear that the last thing I was saying was that Christians ARE more sensitive to moral issues. And BTW, sensitive has a pretty negative connotation in my book. I was definitely not implying what you inferred.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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4:35 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

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4:48 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G., “I challenge you to make the case the obvious strict constructionist meaning of that word is conception.

Does person = people = humans = homo sapiens = individuals = mankind?
Are all persons human beings?
Are all human beings persons?
Your “obsession” is to cling to that word because it is your only avenue out.

I would say “person” in your Constitutional construct leaves much to be desired in protecting human beings. As I said above, a corporation is defined as a person. As I said above, the Constitutional uses of the word person that you quoted above, if defined by their use and context in the document, might not apply to children, blacks, or women. Could a person vote? Women, children, and blacks could not. Are they not persons?

The term human being is very specific. It is very identifiable. Women, blacks, and children are definitely included in this term. I assume you would want to protect their lives, but your avoidance of this term betrays that interpretation. Won’t you use this term? If not, why?

For historical perspective, in the late 1800's “the Journal of the American Medical Association published a scathing critique of abortion’s death ethic noting that from the moment of conception:

The unborn child is human, and at all periods differs in degree and not in kind from the infant and the adult. Therefore, we must regard it as a human being with an inalienable right to life, and that its destruction is homicide.

We get it. They got it. Common Good doesn’t get it? Explain why “person” is a preferable term to “human being.”

Prof. Ricardo

10:03 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

That’s eerie. Common Good vanished.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


The Black Helicopters struck again!

8:29 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

abortion “propaganda”

Interesting link above... probably a conspiracy of the "libs" though, a front for some eco-environmentalist, bleeding heart dems to get people concerned about more than making lots of money.

"Abortion opens up a method of exercising reckless behavior and eliminating the consequences. However, abortion has a stigma and a cost."

-this is true. Abortion tries to sweep something painful under the rug and life simply doesn't work that way. The pain isn't going to go away, just get worse (unless you repress it in denial all your life, which is just as bad.)

9:01 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

This is quite a challenge. With Common Good’s recent disappearance, I feel I may have misunderstood the rapture. I thought...but... This may take some research.

Prof. Ricardo

9:33 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Global warming has claimed more lives this past week:

In Poland, 19 people died...

At least 31 people have died in Russia.

Prof. Ricardo

9:42 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

there won't be any rapture...

11:22 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

I'll bite. How do you know there won't be a rapture?

1:09 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

AP Education Writer

Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

The results cut across three types of literacy: analyzing news stories and other prose, understanding documents and having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips.
Almost 20 percent of students pursuing four-year degrees had only basic quantitative skills. For example, the students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the service station. About 30 percent of two-year students had only basic math skills.
This is not necessarily a failure of colleges, but rather the government institution that had responsibility of educating our children for the 12 years leading up to college.

However, the government will blame the parents and ask for more money. A hundred year old tactic that has worked wonderfully. Since the people can’t “understand the arguments of newspaper editorials”, do we really expect them to understand this issue with respect to sending another wave of lambs through the school systems? Like lambs to the slaughter....

But at least its “free” education. Anybody believe that and I have some swamp land for sale.

Prof. Ricardo

3:09 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

How do you know there won't be a rapture?

-I'm Catholic, we don't believe in the rapture, and as far as I know, no one else did either until about 80 years ago...it's kind of "folk superstition" as far as I can tell. I've read the passages regarding "the rapture," and they are pretty damn vague.... I suppose if you really try you can pull that out of there.... but wait around all you want for it.... something tells me you will not live to see it.... it seems to me the "good" would suffer with the "bad"....

....now make out your check to Kenneth Copeland ministries and let the rattle-snakes bite your kids' arms.... and watch out for the ATF coming in to bust your door down....

6:04 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...


regarding the low level of education from public schools, it's really a little more complicated. There is an education provided. But it's up to the individual kid to accept it (kind of like Christ gives salvation, but you have to accept it.) Same idea.

You get kids who have short attention spans because they watch FOX teen soap dramas all day, supplemented with Nintendo, and a diet of sugar drinks and hormone-injected meat.... and then the parents have crap value systems.... and I'm talking about the Middle Class kids here...

the poor kids, they've got issues at home. They come from generations of uneducated, poor families. It's not an easy cycle to break.... Odds are they are physically or emotionally abused.... or undernourished....without the basic needs of a child being met, you can forget about learning...

There but for the grace of God go I (and you too).

9:09 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...


I am aware of many complicated interwoven factors relating to the “failure” of education. Parents are guilty of abandoning their responsibility in guiding their children’s entertainment, nutritional, and moral direction. However, they have equally relinquished their direct responsibility in educating their children by allowing government make 99.375% of their decisions on educating their children, often by a system, or individual persons, diametrically opposed to the parent’s own desires (if they are intellectually deep enough to have educational objectives these days).

However, evidences is building that public education is taking SEX education a little serious.

3rd teacher this week sentenced to zero jail
Woman softball coach was facing
15 years for sex with 15-year-old

30-year-old teacher charged with sex abuse
Accused of contact with female relative, 15, in his home

Teacher, 53, charged with sexual abuse
Man accused of touching 13-year-old girl on buttocks during school hours

Softball coach 'fondles girl under shirt'
'There is zero tolerance for that kind of behavior in this school system'

Wrestling coach allegedly fondles boys
Youth pastor, 46, accused of inappropriate touching at sleepover in his home

Accused teacher rapist 'commits suicide'
'He had never been in jail before and had been a model citizen his whole life'

Ohio woman indicted for sex with student
Nicole Long, 29, resigned her position when probe became public

Teacher in court over alleged sexual encounter
31-year-old woman accused of taking indecent liberties with male student

All of the above lifted off of .

This is not your parent's public school.

Prof. Ricardo

4:05 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...


a few months back we were all talking about "the Minutemen," or as I like to call them, "the faggotmen," and we discussed their sincere concern for the terrorists crossing the Mexican Border....

A few weeks ago there was a protest at the day laborer pick-up site and the objective was to make all these day laborers lose their jobs for the day/ life.

Now, was that about fear of Musilm extremists? Or was that about xenophobia, racism, and downright hatred?

I'm halfway through this autobiography about MLK, and it is amazing the similarities between folks like Scott Wilder listeners (and he himself) and the "White Citizen's Council" of Montgomerey. They were so obsessed about "the law." They enforced segregation b/c it was "the law." And those "negroes" disrespected "the law" of separate but equal. I'm so sick of hearing these rascists play "the law" card. It's their little loophole to justify their racism. If the law is immoral, then f**k the law. The state serves the man, not the man serves the state. Change the laws.

"It's not good for the economy," Scott says. Someone should tell that unconscious commie about a thing called "supply/ demand."

11:05 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...


Micheal W. Smith was on Scott Wilder on January 18th! I should have called in and asked him about the ONE Campaign.....

Micheal W. Smith was one of the charter members who helped kick off the campaign in Philadelphia a few years back, he even wrote a song about it. I could have called in and got him to plug it on Wilder's show (Wilder would probably have a little problem he'd just have to deal with. How to shut up your well-loved, famous guest?)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...


From what I understand, the Minutemen are not about anything Muslim, but about keeping the borders safe.

I read what you said about the “law.” I wonder what you feel the laws should be about borders, immigration, citizenship, and people who violate those laws. Our current laws are not racist. However, our failure to enforce them is damaging to this country. Demanding that the laws be enforced is not racist. Where the government fails, often people locally step in. When government schools fail, people find private schools or homeschool. When borders are not secure, locals organize and protect their borders.

Illegals come here, not just breaking the law to get here, but also do not respect other laws when they get here. They often are uninsured motorist getting in accidents causing others monetary grief (my father was hit last year by one, another client the other day mention he was in an accident and the “undocumented” illegal had no insurance. If you don’t have coverage for Uninsureds - You’re screwed!). Illegals are stealing, killing, drug running, and otherwise taking as they see fit. Not all obviously, but a bunch of them. A Hispanic man that purchased some property from my father talked condescendingly about “those damn Mexicans won’t learn the language.” A good friend of mine was killed by one. I hear of much that goes on along the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California borders and it worries me greatly.

Construction jobs and domestic work was done before illegal aliens came en masse, so curbing it will not destroy those industries.

You must understand a certain psychology that exists. When you hold possession of a land, or think you do, and another lays claim to it, you always think of it as your land. The Mexicans still feel that the border states are theirs. Showing disrespect to, in their minds, the unrightful owners of these states is of no consequence to them. Littering, taking advantage of municipal hospitals, schools, and anything else Americans want to tax themselves for, is of no great consequence.

Sure, there are those who come here to make a better life and become Americans, but there is a proper way to do that. You must realize, there is a large number that see us as a cash cow to skewer and take back to Mexico. I think you need to look a little deeper than white v.s. Hispanic racism.

Prof. Ricardo

9:31 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Ostensibly, they are protecting the borders. This implies they are trying to catch Muslims sneaking in nukes. This is just their "red herring." This isn't what the issue is REALLY about.

Do you know how many uninsured motorists I personally know? I mean, Americans. Too many. It's a problem. Drug addicted loser types, the kind that hit your car in the parking lot and drive off, laughing about it. These are people who had every chance and still chose to be losers.

Yes, immigrants break the law to get here. And Martin Luther King broke the "anti-boycott" law to get here. And I break laws myself. Sometimes I don't use my turn signal when I'm out in the country and there are no other cars around. Sometimes I sneak into movies I don't want to support monetarily, but still want to see as a social critic.

My uncle used to roof and do construction work, and he seemed to have lots of admiration for a lot of these Mexican guys (and no, he's an honest guy, he didn't cheat them. One hispanic non-english speaking friend of his actually was cheated by his insurance company, and my uncle went to the company and reprimanded them for cheating this poor guy, who was now screwed. So in this example, it was the Americans taking advantage of the Mexican.) Yes, illegals come here, and some are bad. And some are good. Some respect the law, some don't. Just like everyone else in the country. Personally, there are a lot of laws I don't respect.

"Illegals are stealing, killing, drug running, and otherwise taking as they see fit."

-Maybe so, but so is everyone else, and even still, not the ones standing at the day labor sites, waiting for a crappy job, only to have Western Union steal about half of it to wire it back home. And many of them have big families that all stick together....which is maybe something we could learn from them as a culture, since we are so crappy at it.

As for labor prices in constructin, etc, it will raise the prices we pay.

The reason I know Professor, that this is about racism, is because I've meet just a few people who are so obsessed with this issue. Of all the issues to care about, this is "their BIG ONE." And guess what? All usually low-class whites, who for some bizarre reason feel threatened. One woman in particular has a family of drug addict children who rob everyone, including her, their own mother. Am I to belive this racist really cares about "the integrity of the law?" Hell no. She's just the 2006 version of the woman who slaps the negro who dares sit next to her on the bus.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


There is little doubt that many people who get steamed up about protecting the borders as more motivated by racist sentiment than logic. That said, I do not think everybody who feels the current state is unacceptable is a racist.

I’m sure the minutemen are a mixed bag of all sorts. My hunch is that most of them are on a power trip of some kind regardless of what cause they purport to rally for. My apologize to those among their number who truly do have noble intentions.

As I wrote before, I think it is ridiculous in this day and age to allow our borders to be so porous. Unlike many, I am very much in favor of immigration: it is a key thing that made America great. The illegals bother me because of the out of control nature of things. The lurking terrorist with a suitcase nuke is but one relatively minor reason for sealing the borders.

Do not take me wrong when I say we need to “seal the borders”. I would want to do some research before standing behind any quantitative declarations, but I would not necessarily be opposed to allowing even greater amounts of legal immigration than what we have today legal or not. It is about getting them into the social safety net in an organized fashion. Having enough control so that our public heath providers are not overwhelmed. In short, taking a thoughtful approach rather than letting chance decide.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Yoshi: “Ostensibly, they are protecting the borders.

Who is “they?” I was talking about the minutemen. The minutemen’s focus has been stopping illegals come across regardless of race, religion, or agenda.

This implies they are trying to catch Muslims sneaking in nukes. This is just their "red herring."

If you are talking about the minutemen, please submit proof. I’m open minded, but since I have been following this for years, I’ve never heard that their primary focus was Muslims sneaking in nukes.

Yes, immigrants break the law to get here. And Martin Luther King broke the "anti-boycott" law to get here.

Are you making an equivalence of protesting unjust laws like MLK vs breaking reasonable laws like immigration laws? Do you think ALL immigration laws are unjust?

Maybe so, but so is everyone else,...

Does the excuse, “everybody else is doing it” make the act justifiable?

The reason I know Professor, that this is about racism, is because I've meet just a few people who are so obsessed with this issue.

Were this issue addressed in a matter-of-fact way by government, then it would not be an issue. We have decided that we will pay for certain public works by taxing the public. This is relatively affordable and doable if we have a reasonable limitation to whom we are serving with the public works. Public education and municipal/county hospitals are two such “works.” If they serve their own community they are quite successful. However, when they have to serve a neighboring nation - not just any neighboring nation - but one that speaks a different language and has an impoverished populace because of its pathetic government and cultural makeup, then the burden becomes overwhelming monetarily, and even physically, for these works to be provided.

Were government to react to the ever increasing tide of illegal alleins streaming into our country, there would be no issue. However, Pres. Bush for some reason has gotten real chummy with Vicente Fox. When Fox “dissed” us after 9/11 by refussing to send his condolences when the majority of nations around the globe did; when Fox started sending “care” packages to help and support his citizens coming to this country to bring back wealth; when Fox suggested that his people possess dual citizenship so that his people can gain citizenship here for benefits, yet retain citizenship in Mexico, their real homeland and allegiance, somebody should have noticed. I did. The Minutemen did. Scott Wilder did. Certain Congressmen and Senators did. But that favorite institution of the drugged masses, the federal government, did not respond in any rational way. In fact, there has been an effort to squelch the problem and the attacks on border patrol agents. Additionally, how come Bush is the only person this side of Pluto who doesn’t know his Immigration Reform proposal is an amnesty program?

This ignoring of the elephant in the living room has stimulated conversation. Conversation that would be unnecessary if the government were reacting to conditions. This conversation is not racist. And people like me are not racist for discussing it. There isn’t a racist bone in my body. Like Scott Wilder, my children didn’t know there was such a thing as race until late in their childhood. We did not use race descriptions on people, much less the vulgar base descriptions that we all know of.

With respect to immigration laws, are you encouraging lawlessness and are you calling people who call for lawfulness racist?

Prof. Ricardo

9:12 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

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10:29 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

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10:50 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

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10:52 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

I meant, "ostensibly," they [the Minutemen] are protecting us from the terrorists who may be crossing the border. That's the implicit reasoning, the urgency behind this... maybe I'm mistaken though, maybe it really is just about Mexicans and the "inferior" cultural shadow they'll impose. These hysterical radio talk show hosts like M. Savage, etc, have convinced all us "Hutus" that the immigrant "Tutsis" are stealing all our social security funds. The sky is falling, the sky is falling, and it's all because of the other people with brown skin stealing all we have!

Look Prof, my idea is exactly what you said to me once regarding immigrants. Put a cap on social spending for them, filter out terrorists, and there is really no other reason to keep them out. I agree with that. I don't agree with restricting of goods or labor (as long as all of them don't show up in one day like hurricane refugees).

I agree, we should do this in an organized fashion. If there is a problem taxing, regulating them, give them temporary work status for two years, like the President suggests. If the problem is the legality, then make them legal. Get the rubber stamp out and stamp their little ID cards. That's all a law is anyway, a bureaucratic formality. The laws can change you know. Streamline it, make it easier. People need postive incentives to get into line, period. Cut off social benefits for ANYONE who does't have the proper documents and who isn't paying into the system. Nothing personal to them, but we need this to keep tabs on everyone for everyone's safety.

I'm not encouraging these people to cross over and break the law. They need to be regulated, obviously, as every other human being on the planet does. But even if we gave them legal status, that wouldn't appease the Minutemen, because their problem isn't the legality of it all. Their problem is, they think they are getting short-changed by welfare spending. You've basically said that yourself. That's what this whole thing is about, and they are wrong about this. They make a net economic gain to the U.S., not a net loss. So consciously, this is about them losing jobs, money, in their little subjective reality. But unconsciously, this is a misdirected aggression towards a immigrant bogeyman.

So we can make these immigrants legal. But the Minutemen are still going to be pissed. These people obviously have internal issues.

We can lobby the government. Go sit on the White House lawn with signs. But going to the day-labor pick-up sites? These guys probably have family that are waiting at home for food. Is that right to interfere with a man who is trying to do honest, hard work?

"Were this issue addressed in a matter-of-fact way by government, then it would not be an issue."

-Yes, you say there is a legal way to do this. Personally I know people going through the process. Let me tell you, it is VERY inefficient. These people literally take a year to mail a letter to another department. They aren't incompetent, just understaffed/ overworked. So when the government fails, as you say, people take things into their own hands. If the legal way to immigrate doesn't work, just come in and skip the whole bureaucratic process.

When I lived in Prague I was usually illegal. I went one day to the immigration service to get my documents, waiting from 6 am to noon, the line literally didn't move a single space, then at 1 pm after their hour "break" the officials came to tell us to go home and come back tomorrow, that they were done for the day. They told us after they had an hour lunch which I sat patiently through. Think I wanted to go through that bullshit again? Just so they could give me a stamp that no one really gives a flying crap about anyway? I'll abide by the law, but only within reason. If they aren't working for me, I'm not working for them. If they are, then I am.

I'm not comparing the alien workers to Martin Luther King. But I am comparing the Minutemen and their supporters to those who sent the dogs and hoses on the black demonstrators.

And since we are talking about "the law," President Bush called the Minutemen "vigilantes." Now who cares so much about the law?

Ever been to Boston? There are statues all over the place, monuments, etc. You'll certainly learn about how the Irish immigrants were treated.... they were described nearly verbatim the way you described illegal immigrants in your earlier post. Interesting parallel, isn't it? And now look what the Irish have done for Boston? And what would Texas be without Mexicans? We have the best food on the planet because of them. We have two languages. They are a rich, rich resource of culture for us.


There is no such thing as different "races," just ethnicities. Think about it. It's silly. That's like saying people with different blood types are different "races." I never acknowledge it when someone brings up "race."

10:57 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Contrary to rumors, I was not Raptured. Yoshi, before debating here you need to read the book How to Debate a Christian if You Must.... of course it hasn't been written yet. Maybe Coulter will spit that one out for us. Debating becomes futile (but maybe entertaining) on any subject when it leaves the bounds of human reason and becomes a matter of scripture. It's not like you could sway someone to give up a little scripture. I was listening to someone define the Christian GOP daddy party belief system... and I was reminded of absolute pecking order belief systems by some: God before country, Christians before others, Heterosexuals before homosexuals, men before women, man's dominion over nature, etc. Debate right up to the scripture line... and then move on unless you have a threshold for headaches.

btw... Prof, as much as it pains me, you actually appear to be correct about this planet having plenty of oil. I was watching 60 minutes last night, and was blown away about current production from the Canadian (Alberta) oil sands.... 1.5 million barrels a day already producing. I was blown away... I had no idea. It still leaves the question on whether or not oil is a wise path... i.e. environment, etc. but we have enough oil for the next 100+ years, and maybe much more. I stand corrected. I hope Canada only agrees to sell us their oil IF WE DEVELOP A UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. :) Don't you figure it's going to humble this country to become the energy stepchild to our northern neighbor?

btw... I'm listening to King George as I type. The poor silver-spoon still confuses the wealthy putting him in office with actually having the abilities for his job. He really scares me... I hope some day I can say I survived Bush's 8 years.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G.: “Prof, as much as it pains me, you actually appear to be correct about this planet having plenty of oil....I stand corrected.

Thank you.

It still leaves the question on whether or not oil is a wise path... i.e. environment...

I think the oil is destructive to the environment. That’s why I drive big V8 engine vehicles. I’m trying to eradicate our environment of this unhealthy supply of oil by converting it to air. 100+yrs? Hmm. I need to throw in a few more weekend trips.

I hope Canada only agrees to sell us their oil IF WE DEVELOP A UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. :)

But ONLY if they promise to show us how to get those excessive wait times that they are constantly trying to battle. :-D

Prof. Ricardo

3:08 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

Whatever the problem is, I'm sure it is ALL CANADA'S FAULT!


3:42 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Uh oh... Tony isn't going to get any Canadian oil. Maybe progressive gas stations or pumps will spring up. You will have to use your Democrat voter registration to buy gas. I like it... only the Dems will get cheap gas... the supply and demand worshippers can follow their heart and pay for expensive Saudi gas. Pssssst... Canada... we don't like the American conservatives either. O Canada, O Canada O Canada.... :)

Prof, it really hurt that you were right about something. It does beg the question... what else are you right about? The picture of the Prof doing is part to burn up oil by driving his SUV around his compound really makes me smile. :)

3:56 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

I actually think I would make a good Canadian. Kind of a nice middle ground between American and European.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G.: “It does beg the question... what else are you right about?

I’m still fine tuning my belief system, but like you said above, I draw the line at the Word of God. There are some things a body just can’t compromise on.

If I could convince you of just one thing, it would be that Jesus Christ is Lord. You can keep pro-abortion, pro-universal healthcare system, pro-socialism, anti-wealthy people and the whole bit. I’d like to see you get to heaven. I’d like that for everybody. I’m a fairly pathetic preacher and I’ve probably inoculated more people against Christianity than I’ve led to Christ. But in spite of me, there is a hell worth avoiding, a God worth knowing, and a heaven worth attending.

Prof. Ricardo

5:09 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...


But in spite of me, there is a hell worth avoiding, a God worth knowing, and a heaven worth attending.

If there is a god worth knowing, then 1) there won't be a hell 2) good people like me (and my old man) will be there in heaven 3) and there will be one heck of an explanation covering the bs we just went through down here... you know, something beyond that rule based heaven and hell lottery. Besides, you said this was already decided.

Maybe the test will turn out to be compassion for your fellow man rather than one's adherence to the rules and all of that god fearing stuff... wouldn't that be a hoot. I have to say, I certainly would hope there isn't such a thing as an eternity in hell for anyone (including murderers, etc). What kind of logic would have a deity creating life with the chance for that life spending an eternity in misery? I just can't work up enough imagination to envision any deity using infinite powers for that little scheme.

6:25 PM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Common Good, read the Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. (available at Amazon.com).

Reading him makes me understand Christianity on a much different level; he wasn't the snake-oil salesmen you see today on TV. I think the man was on to something....

Just read it, it's really good. Any social advocate needs to read him.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

WOW, CG I think you are on to something here. Compassion for our fellow man vs. adherence to the rules. That sounds like the religion we should all start, we can call it American-anity. It will spread like wild fire. Probably take about 200 yrs to fully surround the globe, even in our internet crazed world, it will still take some time to cultivate some of the less civilized countries. Only one problem, someone got there first, about 2000 yrs ago. His name was Christ, and this is what he preached above all else. He even condemned those that “adhered” to the rules, but had no compassion for their fellow man. I am telling you CG, you would be a great Christian, only problem for you though, there is a mind, and “deity” that is smarter, greater and more compassionate than you could ever imagine being. Oh and the other thing, you would most certainly have to understand that a woman does have the right, and freedom to decide when and where she is going to procreate, before the act is consummated, not after.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Randy P is back. :)

His name was Christ, and this is what he preached above all else. He even condemned those that “adhered” to the rules, but had no compassion for their fellow man.

Sorry about the sarcasm... I was referring to that very reference in the Gospels. I'm still waiting for the RR to live up to the Gospels... then and only then will I become a fan of Christianity in the public square. The day deeds (poor without healthcare) becomes more important than rules (no government role for social justice, no longer lines to let someone else into the sytem) is the day the RR will actually live the Gospels. When protecting our elderly from poverty (social security) becomes more important than rules (prayer in public schools)... then the RR will be living the Gospels. From where I stand... rules are beating the hockey out of message. It's a mystery to me how the RR married itself to the party of greed... probably that personal responsibility (RULE) thing. On paper, 80%+ of Christians should be pro-life liberals... one of our society's biggest ironies.


btw... I agree... probably 80% of the southern border beef is racist. I don't believe that's Prof's motive, but I do believe that's 80+% of it. You mentioned MLK. Did he write his own speeches, or do we know for sure. I heard a young female recite the "I Have a Dream" speech at an Edwards rally once... and found it to be pretty emotional. I assume he wrote his own speeches, but didn't know for sure. That would be a good thing to add to my reading list. I'm about through with Imperial Hubris... anyone who thinks this really is a "War on Terror" needs to read it. My next stop is Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat". Maybe MLK down the line. I've had "The Adams - Jeffersons Letters" on the shelf for over a year now without reading them... collecting dust.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


I agree on MLK. A great person with great insight. I'd also highly recommend one of the autobiographies of Frederick Douglas. His insight on the human condition is simply amazing. Obviously, he speaks to a different era, but I found him quite moving.

I have a volume of his second autobiography called "My Bondage adn My Freedom". In the edition I have it contains an appendix with his letter to his former master. That is one of the greatest things I have ever read period.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Randy P said...

"On paper, 80%+ of Christians should be pro-life liberals... one of our society's biggest ironies".

I could in theory discount your reasoning to that statement, and never touch the abortion issue. But let me give some ground here first. Yes there is a faction of the RR that is very loud, pronounced in what they say, and probably doing it wrong. Just as there are LL's that do the same on the other side of the board. Unfortunately these are actually only a small segment of either side, they just have everybody lathered, and fired up.

On another subject. Why glowing green pigs? Don't make sense to me. Is it not obvious to everyone else that if we are going to create a glowing creature, it should be the domesticated cat, I am tired of tripping over them in the morning when I get up at zero dark thirty.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

“Why glowing green pigs?”

So rednecks can play “catch the greased pig” after dark. It takes the pressure off the snipe.

Prof. Ricardo

9:27 AM  
Blogger yoshitownsend said...

Martin Luther King wrote his speeches, I'm sure. He was a pastor of a church, and had to write sermons... I'm sure he had lots of practice... and he was good at it.

Mark Twain once said "Christianity is a great idea, too bad it's never been tried."

Common Good, I wouldn't let people like Pat Robertson and Richard Dobson represent Christianity for you. That's like saying you don't like music because of American Idol contestants.

For me Christianity is this cryptic philosophical concept... it's the root of idealism. For me, it's just the opposite of nihilism, that there is something instead of nothing in the universe, and that love is the most important thing...(and why that is).. and that collectively we are greater than just the sum of our parts....

But here, especially in the South, Christianity has become just another product to consume and exploit and cheapen and make money off of. It's become some hybrid reactionary political party. And scarily enough, God apparently "speaks" to everyone of these people. Putting prayer is school is their attempt to brainwash you, IMO. It's sounds a little like communism to me, ironically, creating obedient robot Christian who never question, just passively follow. Lastly Christianity is simplified into almost a He-Man/ Skelator kind of mythology. There is a medieval guy with a beard who lives in a cloud kingdom, who fights the evil skeleton man under the ground, and we go to Hell if we don't "accept him into our hearts," whatever the hell that means (hint: it doesn't mean anything, it's just words).

Yea, and on the immigration note, I know Prof. isn't one of those who worries "about the Mexican invasion of Texas {insert: Irish for Boston or Asian for California)" because he's racist. I think he's just going along with the crowd and defending people he's normally basically aligned with...

I don't think he really cares how many Mexican immigrants move here, he's basically said as much before....

I do see these illiterate people though complaining about Mexicans and when you ask the problem they say, "they're breaking the law!" As if these same people don't have speed labs in their back-yards. They don't care about "the law." They don't like immigrants, period, be they from Pakistan working at the gas station, or Mexicans working on a front yard, or blacks with a white girl. Of course, they are going to swell the ranks of the minutemen 80%. I meet this people all the time here in Texas, trust me, they exist in large numbers.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Public schools are getting so intrusive, so much like Big Brother from the book 1984. I bet one day they will even begin doing iris scanning of the students for identification purposes.

Prof. Ricardo

9:44 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...


Find us a link to that letter... it has to be on the internet and I know you are a googling god. :)

You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate the Gospels. Anyone here think the aggregate Christian community in the US lives and votes that message more than they vote perceived Christian rules. I'm not being antagonistic this time... just a question. It's my observation that the majority of practiced Christianity in this country is much more rule based than Gospel message based. Of course... Yoshi is right... I haven't exactly conducted a survey and the face of Christianity that I see is Robertson, Falwell, Dobson, Tony Perkins, etc. That said, the evidence seems to be pretty solid considering they consistently give their stamp of approval to the party of greed.

Cats should be green and glowing. It makes them easier to line up in your sights. Dogs rule. :)

9:56 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...

"It takes the pressure off the snipe."

Prof made me shoot Dr. Pepper out my nostrils. That was hilarious.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Common Good said...

Yes... Prof does keep one laughing AND crying. :)

Uh oh... turns out the US conservatives are the one's going to get Canandian gas. Great... now even Canada won't speak up against King George

10:25 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

It’s too late. They just did it! (Iris Scanning For New Jersey Grade School)

Sorry about the DP incident.

Prof. Ricardo

10:29 AM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

C.G., from your article...

“...Canadians are weary of the Liberal Party's broken promises and corruption scandals....

Who could get weary of compassion?

Prof. Ricardo

10:31 AM  
Blogger Tony Plank said...


Well, it took some googling for sure. I almost gave up. I found numerous versions…all edited and poor in comparison to the “original” that I had read. After a very quick read, I am pretty sure this Letter to Thomas Auld is the same one as is in the autobiography I referenced.

All the same, people are doing themselves a great injustice to not read one of Frederick Douglass’ autobiographies. Magnificent stuff.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Randy P said...


That must be correct, the snipe I have heard are becoming an endangered species. All that stick banging in the woods scares them to death. Greased pig catching at night, never thought of that one, can't wait to tell my brother, our annual family greased pig run is coming up on March 15th.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Randy P.,
“...our annual family greased pig run is coming up on March 15th.”

If you get one of those glowpigs and reschedule for March 17th, you will have an interesting way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

And if you skin ‘em fer a football, you can play foot ball at night too.

Think about those beggars getting loose and becoming feral hogs. Might make it easier to bring home the bacon.

Prof. Ricardo

2:29 PM  
Blogger Prof. Ricardo said...

Yoohoo! Yooooshiiiii!

Texas law enforcement officers and Border Patrol agents engaged in an armed standoff with Mexican military personnel and drug smugglers just inside the United States along the Rio Grande yesterday (1-23-06) afternoon.

Racist Border Patrol agents. Don’t they know honest, poor people who just want to make a living and improve the economy are all that cross the border?

“Border Patrol agents called for backup after seeing that Mexican Army troops had several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border – near Neely's Crossing, about 50 miles east of El Paso.”

They just want a part of the good life.

"It's been so bred into everyone not to start an international incident with Mexico that it's been going on for years," Doyal told the Bulletin. "When you're up against mounted machine guns, what can you do? Who wants to pull the trigger first? Certainly not us."

“A Cadillac Escalade reportedly stolen from El Paso was captured, and U.S. officers found 1,477 pounds of marijuana inside.”

No doubt for personal “happy” consumption.

Prof. Ricardo

4:12 PM  

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