Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Republicans with Power

In the 90s, I hoped for a GOP majority in all levels of government; but now, I’m astonished by what they’ve done, and are doing with political power. On one hand, spending has increased markedly—which is precisely what they were elected to prevent. On the other hand, they have a tendency to pander to one aspect of their constituency—the moral minority. With regard to the latter, another step has been taken to codify religious morality.
[State Sen. Patricia Miller (R) Indiana] believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.

"We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she explained.

When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill's intention, Sen. Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."

Ah, yes…no law can be called a “bad law” if indeed it is “for the children”. In fact, now that Republicans are instituting a nanny-state, even adults are treated as children that need permission to do, well, most anything. To illustrate the point, the following is a list of requirements that prospective parents must satisfy in order to conceive a child "by means other than sexual intercourse." (provided, of course, that the draft legislation (pdf) becomes law).
(1) The intended parents' purpose for the assisted reproduction.
(2) The fertility history of the intended parents, including the pregnancy history and response to pregnancy losses of the woman.
(3) An acknowledgment by the intended parents that the child may not be the biological child of at least one (1) of the intended parents depending on the type of artificial reproduction procedure used.
(4) A list of the intended parents' family and friend support system.
(5) A plan for sharing any known genetic information with the child.
(6) Personal information about each intended parent, including the following:
(A) Family of origin.
(B) Values.
(C) Relationships.
(D) Education.
(E) Employment and income.
(F) Hobbies and talents.
(G) Physical description, including the general health of the individual.
(H) Birth verification.
(I) Personality description, including the strengths and weaknesses of each intended parent.
(7) Description of any children residing in the intended parents' home.
(8) A verification and evaluation of the intended parents' marital relationship, including:
(A) the shared values and interests between the individuals;
(B) the manner in which conflict between the individuals is resolved; and
(C) a history of the intended parents' relationship.
(9) Documentation of the dissolution of any prior marriage and an assessment of the impact of the prior marriage on the intended parents' relationship.
(10) A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents, include a description of individual participation in faith-based or church activities, hobbies, and other interests.
(11) The intended parents' child rearing expectations and values.
(12) A description of the home and community, including verification of the safety and security of the home.
(13) Child care plans.
(14) Statement of the assets, liabilities, investments, and ability of the intended parents to manage finances, including the most recently filed tax forms.
(15) A review of the local police records, the state and violent offender directory, and a criminal history check as set forth in subsection (c).
(16) A letter of reference by a friend or family member.
(17) A written consent from each donor, if known, to use of the donation in the assisted reproduction medical procedure.
(18) The recommendation for participation in assisted reproduction.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

via Apesnake

Update: Bear in mind…there’s an exception to every rule.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

My take on the Bill Bennett flap

My friend Hammer posted a defense of Bill Bennett’s now infamous statements, to which I took exception, in the form of a comment. I wrote:

I think that your defense of Bennett is a little hasty. It seems like an “us against them” stance…i.e. he’s on my team, therefore I must defend him. Allow me to explain.

Bennett said: But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

You wrote: These quotes demonstrate Bill’s own position – that such attempts to connect abortion to GNP or crime are impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible, and out in left field.

With all due respect, that’s not what he said. According Dr. Bennett, the “thing to do” which he described as “impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible” was abortion (in this particular case, he’s condemning mass infanticide). Such condemnation has consistently been his position, which is fine. But look closely at what he said: “I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime…” and “…but your crime rate would go down.” Bennett was clearly linking blacks—as a racial group—to crime. As Rush would say: ”words means things”.

You agreed with him: Never mind that it is true (because aborting 100% of any higher crime group will reduce crime because the crime rate is highest in the black community, which has the highest percentage of urban and poor members – the true indicators of likelihood of crime)

I don’t dispute the statistical probabilities, and yes, poverty is perhaps the leading indicator of criminal behavior, but you, Bennett and others seem to presume that potential, unborn black babies are predestined to be criminals, or at least have a higher “likelihood” of crime. Following that logic, society would be better served by simply executing all poor adult males of every race (as males commit the vast majority of violent crime, regardless of race). This too would be grossly immoral, but at least some of the ones executed would presumably be ‘guilty’ of a capital crime, as opposed to, say, innocent black fetuses that have yet to draw their first breath. My point is that blanket statements based upon race are dangerously close to racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

Look, the fact is that we’re dealing here with correlation, not causation. So why not suggest that Dr. Bennett emulate Christ, by judging individual hearts and minds, instead of making gross generalizations that stink of what Bush calls “the soft bigotry of low expectations”? Also, what’s with the quick defense of foolish and inappropriate statements, instead of simply acknowledging their inappropriateness? In my view, those types of statements ought not to ever be defended…no matter who has made them.

Then again, Matthew Yglesias says: “Contra Harry Reid, Bennett has nothing to apologize for.” But, I’m of the opinion that collectivist-liberals are—at their core—at least mildly racist, inasmuch as ‘they’ presuppose that “minorities” cannot survive without any number of government entitlements. But...I could be wrong.