The Media Are OK With Catholics As Long As They Don’t Practice the Faith

There’s a lot of double-standard media coverage of presidential candidate Joe Biden versus Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett with regard to religion.

Not surprisingly, Biden gets positive coverage while Barrett gets negative coverage.

That’s ironic. Because unlike Amy Coney Barrett, Joe Biden is what’s known as a “cafeteria Catholic”, “cultural Catholic”, or “lukewarm Catholic”. As a cafeteria Catholic, instead of accepting and practicing the entirety of the teachings of the Gospels, as Catholics are called to do, Biden appears to pick and choose what he likes – usually the easy teachings. As a cultural Catholic, he engages in many of the trappings of the Faith, but probably doesn’t believe in many of or perhaps most of its core teachings. As a lukewarm Catholic, he may go to mass on Sundays, but regular confession? Highly doubtful. If he does go to confession, he would have to repeatedly confess his support for abortion (and many other public mortal sins) and make a firm purpose of amendment not to support it again. But there’s no sign of that.

As God says in the Bible, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit thee out of my mouth.”

The Myth of Pre-Christian Peace

(A previous version of this article appeared in Crisis.)

“These liberation theologians are promoting the idea that the Indians who still live in a primitive way are very happy, living in paradise,” said Macuxi tribal chief Jonas Marcolino Macuxí, referring to bishops at the Pan-Amazon Synod, a conference held in Rome in October of 2019. “But that’s not true.”

He’s right. The myth that pre-Christian tribes were peace-lovers was alive and well at the synod, as the assembly of bishops there discussed how best to evangelize the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest, in addition to “let ourselves be evangelized by them” in the words of Pope Francis.

The pope wants the Catholic Church to listen to and learn from those peoples, who live in “harmony with oneself, with nature, with human beings and with the supreme being,” as quoted in the Instrumentum Laboris or working document of the synod.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) would be proud. He imagined people living in a state of nature untouched by Western civilization to be ensconced in an idyllic world of peace, kindness and benevolence. “Nothing could be more gentle than man in his primitive state,” he proclaimed.

That starkly contrasted with Rousseau’s intellectual arch-rival Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who held that life in a state of nature involved endless war and “continual fear of danger and violent death”, famously writing of primeval man’s existence being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

Neither philosopher had ever observed man in a state of nature. Their ideas were speculative. Who turned out to be right?

We have had hints during the synod. At a press briefing a reporter brought up the subject of infanticide among certain Amazonian tribes. Peruvian Cardinal Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, S.J. expressed skepticism that it is carried out. But fellow press briefer Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, acknowledged the practice.

At a counter-synod held by critics of the event, tribal chief Marcolino Macuxí confirmed infanticide among some tribes. “Those things were ending; but now, with the idea that you have to go back to primitivism, they remain,” he told the National Catholic Register. By “primitivism” he means the idealization of the pre-modern way of life of the Amazon tribes; i.e. the “noble savage” myth. “We are not living in paradise. It’s a very hard life; people have insects all over their feet, bats in their homes.”

It sounds an awful lot like Thomas Hobbes was on to something.

Napoleon Chagnon lived five years with peoples of the Yanomamö tribe in the Amazon rainforest, which previously were practically untouched by Western civilization. He and other anthropologists in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s who studied such hunter-gatherer societies exploded the myth that they were peace-loving peoples.

War, violence, and oppression of women reigned supreme among Amazonian tribespeople prior to Western contact, as was the case with most indigenous peoples worldwide – as detailed by such authors as Chagnon, Jared Diamond, Lawrence Keeley, and Sabine Kuegler.

While there no doubt were exceptions, war with neighboring villages or tribes was unceasing. Rarely could one live in peace and security. Raids, massacres, and the slaughtering of prisoners, women and children were commonplace.

The abduction of women from neighboring villages was a leading cause of wars, due in part to the effects of polygamy which resulted in many mateless men. Wife-beating was the norm for captured and non-captured women alike.

It was only thanks to Western influence and the spread of Christianity that inter- and intra-tribal aggression finally lessened. Sabine Kuegler, who spent 10 years of her childhood living with her Christian missionary family in Papua New Guinea during the 1980s, in Child of the Jungle tells a gripping account of how Christian values finally tamed the warring tribesmen.

Their pagan beliefs and practices often fostered violence. Shamanism is the predominant belief system of pre-Christian tribal societies, in which malevolent and benevolent spirits reign, and in which sicknesses and deaths are often thought to be caused by spells cast by enemies.

Retribution would be exacted upon those thought responsible for conjuring up the evil spirits. As Chagnon writes in Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes – the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists, “The Yanomamö sometimes decide that death was caused by witchcraft – an enemy in a distant village sent the snake, and therefore this enemy is now a legitimate target for a revenge killing.”

Shamanism contradicts Christianity in myriad ways. It often involves multiples gods. It involves worship of created things as opposed to the Creator. It entails persons known as shamans who claim to visit supernatural realms, as well as summon souls of the dead.

Alarmingly, what appeared to be shamanistic practices were on full display at the synod during the infamous tree-planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens, in which an indigenous woman – possibly a shaman – conducted rituals and offered prayers to what seemed to be a pagan deity. Even more alarming was that the pope was in attendance. But until we know more, let us give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was unaware of what was to unfold. After all, he abandoned his prepared remarks and prayed an Our Father instead.

The Instrumentum trumpets that “it is desirable to deepen existing Amazonian Indian theology”. We need to “take into account the original myths, traditions, symbols, knowledge, rites and celebrations….” in order to have a “Church with an indigenous and Amazonian face.”

Not explained is exactly how the belief systems are to be taken into account. The question of religious syncretism – the merging of beliefs – came up during a synod press conference. The Vatican reported that Bishop Adriano Ciocca Vasino said “to see what coincides with the Gospel”. Let us hope that means forcefully rejecting what does not coincide.

Another bishop candidly acknowledged violent practices. Wilmar Santin, bishop of Itaituba in Pará, Brazil, at another synod press briefing spoke extensively of infanticide and the former warlike practices of the Munduruku tribe.

Moreover the Instrumentum mentions “seeing with a critical conscience a series of behaviors and realities of the indigenous peoples that go against the Gospel,” but does not elaborate apart from brief mentions of family violence and subjugation of women.

Meanwhile, it is ironic that many within the Church push the romantic vision of primitive cultures. Such a way of life actually was Hobbesian. Real progress would come from spreading the true Gospel, free of any bundling with shamanism.

In Academia-land, Not Lurching to the Far Left Means Moving to the Far Right

A Washington Times article on Republican losses in Virginia quotes one Mark J. Rozell, dean of George Mason University’s school of government, explaining the losses by saying “Republicans have moved so far to the right”.

In the comments section of the article I posted the following:

That’s a brazen and almost derisive statement, one that deserved closer scrutiny in the article. One strike against the reporter for not covering that. Two strikes against Rozell for such a spurious claim. Large numbers of Americans are moving to the far left. Alarming implications indeed.Democrats are moving rapidly toward the left, whether it be through embracing socialism, transgender ideology, late-term abortion to the point of infanticide, open borders, crackdowns on religious freedom, a desire to substantially scale back not only the second amendment but also the first amendment – the list goes on and on. Republicans are working to prevent things from moving so far to the left.

But I guess in Rozell’s contorted world of modern-day academia, lurching to the far left means that anyone who doesn’t lurch along with you – and instead holds steady – is “moving” far to the right.

As far as the vast number of suburban voters abandoning the Republicans and embracing the Democrats, one can only conclude that large numbers of Americans are moving to the far left. Alarming implications indeed.

America Dystopia

Imagine a relatively clean, orderly and educated society where people go about their lives working, studying, and playing, and who on the whole are generally polite to each other. But the society has a dark secret: some 2,500 murders are carried out each and every day. These aren’t gangland-style murders on the street involving guns and knives. These are systematic murders of children, taking place in mild-mannered neighborhoods, in what are called “clinics” staffed by doctors and nurses wearing green gowns and rubber gloves.

Because they take place in these nondescript “clinics” involving doctors and nurses, and because they have been legalized, people don’t think much of those murders. They’re shocked of course by the illegal murders of adults and young people on the streets, but the murders of tiny children that take place in the “clinics” don’t bother them much. It is a medical setting, after all.

The vast majority of the tiny children who are murdered were healthy. Some of them had physical defects, and therefore were eliminated. After all, the authorities don’t want lots of unhealthy babies introduced and thus negatively impact the fairly clean, orderly and prosperous society.

This society resembles the dystopian novel and movie The Giver, in which undesired or defective infants are legally and systematically put to death in clean, antiseptic medical procedure rooms by medical professionals. In The Giver a syringe is gently placed into the baby’s head, the baby dies, and the body is placed into a chute. (Disturbing scene from the movie here.) No one protests or thinks much of it – after all, everything takes place in a medical facility. And the authorities don’t want to do anything that could negatively impact the clean and orderly society depicted in The Giver.

This society resembles the dystopian novel and movie The Giver, in which undesired or defective infants are legally and systematically put to death by medical professionals.

Meanwhile, in the aforementioned society, the babies are put to death in a different manner. They don’t involve gentle syringes to the head. Instead, they are bloody and violent deaths by dismemberment. The doctor grabs the baby’s leg and tears it off, then the baby’s arm and tears it off, then its other leg and tears it off, and so on. To see a disturbing animation of this procedure, click here.

For adults, death by dismemberment would be the cruelest and most excruciating form of death. That’s why it’s outlawed for the rest of society. But for some reason, it isn’t outlawed for the babies.

In addition to death by dismemberment, the babies are often put to death through the use of chemical agents, causing the baby to be chemically burned alive from the inside out, taking more than an hour to die. For the rest of society, death by chemical agents is one of the most excruciating forms of death. That’s why chemical warfare was outlawed in World War II. But for some reason, it isn’t outlawed for the babies.

Scene from The Giver (Walden Media, 2014)

So this society is actually much more dystopian than the dystopian society depicted in The Giver. At least in the latter, the babies died presumably almost painless deaths. Not so in the society of which we speak. They die the cruelest and most barbaric deaths. But they all take place in “clinics”, out of sight to the rest of society.

In this society roughly 20,000 murders take place on the streets each year, often via guns. People are up in arms about those murders, especially when the murders take the form of massacres. But the number of those types of murders pale in comparison to the number of murders that take place in the dystopian “clinics” using forceps or saline solutions as weapons: roughly 900,000 of them per year. That’s 2,500 per day. It’s the leading cause of death – even more than heart disease.

In this society, most of the legalized murders of the babies take place while they’re still in the mother’s womb. Now there’s a push to legalize the murder of babies up to the point of delivery, and even after delivery – i.e. straight-up infanticide, as takes place in The Giver. Several states in this society already permit the murder up to the point of delivery.

The governor of one of the states of this society even discussed permitting murder after delivery. A professor at one of this society’s prestigious universities, who in true dystopian form describes himself as a bioethicist, champions the killing of born babies up to a month old. So do researchers who published a paper on this subject in a prestigious academic journal. And numerous college students support the killing of born babies. This society is moving closer and closer toward the systematic slaughter depicted in The Giver – but it all would take place in “clinics”, which seem so kind and gentle.

Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, The Giver … they all depict dystopian societies. With the systematic but out-of-sight killing of thousands of babies going on every day in the nondescript “clinics” probably not far from where you live, America has become a real-life dystopian society – playing out right before your very eyes.

Entitlements Now 72% of Federal Spending

In the early 2000s America had become a bona-fide welfare state. More than 60 percent of U.S. federal government spending consisted of transfer payments. That’s right: nearly two-thirds of government went toward redistribution.

Call it what you will – wealth transfer, entitlements, government benefits, welfare, unearned income, handouts. The government became one big redistribution machine. Spending on entitlements was crowding out spending on essential government activities – national defense, law enforcement, foreign affairs, transportation infrastructure, environmental clean-up, NASA, and the like.

So did we finally get our act together and start to tame the redistribution Leviathan?

After eight years of Obama, you guessed it. We just piled it on.

Now, nearly three-quarters – 72 percent – of U.S. federal government spending consists of transfer payments.

These are the Obama White House’s own statistics. The Office of Management and Budget historical table “Composition of Outlays: 1940–2021” tells the story. Transfer payments, expressed as “payments for individuals”, comprised about 20 percent of government outlays in the 1950s. By 1992 they had surpassed 50 percent.

Barack “spread-the-wealth-around” Obama, true to his word, ballooned redistribution from 60 of government spending at the start of his presidency to 72 percent now.

The biggest entitlements are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid plus an alphabet soup of programs including Obamacare subsidies, Section 8 housing, civil service retirement, and refugee assistance.

The infamous budget sequestration that began in 2013 has exacerbated the crowding out. It slowed spending on essential government services across the board, but deliberately barely touched entitlements.

National defense as a percentage of total government outlays fell from 45 percent in the 1960s to less than 16 percent now. OMB projects that to fall to 12 percent in 2020.

With 72 percent of federal spending allocated to transfer payments and 6 percent to interest payments on the national debt, only roughly 6 percent of the U.S. federal budget is available for non-entitlement, non-defense government functions. Interest rates’ inevitable rise combined with continually expanding entitlements will squeeze these government functions even more.

Is it any wonder why our transportation infrastructure is crumbling, our national parks are suffering, our space program is faltering, and our military readiness is in jeopardy? We’re a wealthy country that easily could finance those activities, were we fiscally responsible. But too many Americans and the politicians who cater to them have drunk the Kool-Aid of free government stuff be it in the form of money, goods or services.

We could have remedied our predicament by converting major spending programs into savings programs, but the last time anyone tried that was George W. Bush vis-à-vis Social Security. Amid the blowback he dropped that effort like a hot potato.

We’ve reached the “tipping point” where more voters receive free money from the government than there are voters earning that money. Just try proposing cutting back someone’s free stuff and see the outcry that ensues.

Only clever and courageous leadership can get us out of this predicament. While President-elect Trump said he plans to reform Obamacare, it remains to be seen whether he’ll attempt the same with the big entitlement programs.

What will happen as redistribution’s share of government spending continues to swell? Deteriorating military readiness and the degrading of traditional government functions will continue to take their toll. Another consequence is anemic economic growth, as government handouts and higher taxes sap people’s motivation to work and invest. Growth has averaged just 2.1 percent over the past five years, versus 3.2 percent average growth of preceding decades. This is manifested in lower overall wages and greater poverty than would otherwise be the case.

The dire situation is contributing to America’s waning influence in world affairs. More welfare spending means less taxpayer money available for our military, embassies, foreign aid, and cultural outreach. A less-vibrant economy further diminishes our influence abroad.

Absent reform, America’s economic dynamism will continue to ebb as the entitlement culture permeates society.

But we’ll muddle through – until we get a rude awakening. One day, some foreign enemy will be at our doorstep. And we won’t be able to adequately defend ourselves because for far too long we used our tax money to expand welfare rather than stave off warfare. That’s when the bill will come due in a big way.


(Originally published in

When Will Dems Reclaim “Red State”?

Democrats are embracing socialism. Multitudes of them spurn capitalism. They gave us our most leftist president in history. Their current front-runner presidential candidate is running even to the left of him, and hot on her heals is a self-declared socialist.

What’s next – taking back “red state”?

That thought is half in jest, but things are getting so crazy – with millions of folks flocking to the failed socialist ideas of the past – that it’s within the realm of possibility.

When displaying their electoral maps, the media at some point could very well transition back to red states for Democrats and blue states for Republicans.

Prior to 2000, the U.S. media usually depicted red states as Democrat and blue states as Republican. That was in line with the rest of the world; in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, red was and still is associated with parties of the left, ranging from social democrat and labor parties, to communist parties. The U.K.’s Labour party’s color is red, as is Canada’s Liberal Party.

Likewise blue is associated with conservative parties, including the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom.

It’s only in the United States where those colors are reversed.

The adoption of red for leftist parties originated during the French Revolution and the failed European revolutions of 1848, in the form of the red flag. Red symbolized the blood of those who died in the struggle against capitalism.

Until recently in the United States, socialism was a dirty word for most Democrats as well as for Republicans. When socialism and communism were totally discredited after the fall of the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Democrats must have hated it when the media depicted Democrat-leaning states as red and Republican-leaning ones as blue. They didn’t want to be associated in any way with Messrs. Marx and Engels.

So the mainstream media (who, of course, are overwhelmingly Democrats) reversed the color coding.

According to Wikipedia, it began in 2000 when MSNBC and NBC started showing electoral maps with blue states as Democratic, and red states as Republican. The David Letterman show followed suit, and the practice then caught on everywhere.

“Perhaps the most brazen language diktat has been the mischievous switch of political colors,” wrote Mark Helprin in the Wall Street Journal. “The change came in 2000 courtesy of MSNBC and NBC’s “Today” show. …Saddling your political rivals with a symbol to which they have been historically opposed is an even better and naughtier joke. Either it was that or numbing cluelessness.”

The red-blue switch initially somewhat bothered me but I got over it. If usurping blue freed the media and their Democratic allies from the insecurity of thinking that people would associate them with socialism and communism, then so what. Let them have their fun. And even though Republicans were unceremoniously slapped with red, no one is going to associate Republicans with the hammer and sickle because of it.

Plus, the use of “red” and “blue” is so much more common now in general discourse than it was pre-2000. Using the terms “Democrat” and “Republican” all the time can get boring, so why not liven things up a bit – add some color to the conversation – by throwing “red” and “blue” into the mix?

Nevertheless, as Helprin writes, “Red is the mobile color of passion and engagement, and blue the staid color of reason and detachment.” That characterization must tug at the hearts of bleeding-heart liberals, who thrive on passion (at the expense of reason). Surely there have got to be many of them who’d be more than happy reclaim the color red.

In spite of the evils of socialism so prominently on display today in Venezuela, the rapidity at which folks are moving left is dizzying.

A survey conducted by the right-leaning advocacy group American Action Network found that nearly six in ten Democratic primary voters think socialism has a “positive impact on society.” Forty-six percent of respondents under age 45 consider socialism the best form of government versus only 19 percent who prefer capitalism. A Bloomberg/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found that 43 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers said they would use the word “socialist” to describe themselves.

That helps explain why the self-declared socialist Bernie Sanders, once considered to be on the lunatic fringe in politics, ran such a competitive primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. What used to be the loony left is now nearly mainstream among Democrats. Hillary Clinton has tacked hard to the left, with speculation that she is even considering arch-leftist Elizabeth Warren as her running mate.

From there it’s not much of a step to proudly waive the red flag in solidarity with like-minded political parties the world over, followed by a take-back of the “red state” mantle.


(Originally published in

Fact-Checking PolitiFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, is a self-proclaimed fact checking operation. I know this won’t surprise anyone, given that it’s affiliated with the “mainstream” media, but it has a decidedly leftward bias. A quick look at past columns shows that it has a preference for “fact checking” statements made by people who lean right. Not surprisingly, it tends to deem their statements as untrue, and when it “fact checks” statements of those who lean left, it tends to deem their statements as true. This is highly subjective stuff, laden with cherry-picking.

Also not surprisingly, PolitiFact leaves out crucial facts in its reporting (mistakenly, or dare I ask, deliberately?), prompting it to give erroneous assessments. A case in point: when it attempted to evaluate whether something that commentator Reza Aslan said was true. Azlan responded to an insinuation made by comedian and commentator Bill Maher that female genital mutilation is an Islamic problem. Azlan said that it’s actually “a central African problem.”

Who was right – Maher, or Azlan?

PolitiFact deputy editor Katie Sanders claimed that “Azlan’s larger point – that this is not a problem in only Muslim countries – is valid. Countries with majority-Christian populations also carry out this practice, while Islamic-majority countries like Iraq and Yemen have rates on the lower side. We rate Aslan’s claim Mostly True.”

In her research, did Ms. Sanders not come across the report, “FGM in Ethiopia”? It’s one of the first things that comes up when one does a Google search using the keywords “female genital mutilation Muslim Christian Ethiopia.”

The report states:

“FGM is practiced by both of the main religions in Ethiopia – Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity and Islam. Muslim groups are more likely to practice FGM than Christian groups, with the prevalence among Muslim communities being 65.1% and that among Orthodox Christians being 45%. The prevalence of FGM among Muslims is not only higher but is also changing more slowly.”

That’s a crucial point, indicating that while FGM exists among both Muslim and Christian populations in Africa, it’s more common among Muslim populations. This means that within countries where FGM is practiced, there could be something about the Muslim religion that either encourages the practice, or that prompts people to tolerate it to a greater extent. (Or, there could be something about the Muslim religion that causes economic development to occur more slowly compared with areas where other religions predominate, resulting in more widespread practice of primitive and repulsive customs such as FGM.)

Maher only implied that FGM is an Islamic problem, and didn’t directly characterize it as exclusively an Islamic problem. As FGM is more common among Muslim populations, Maher’s claim was mostly true. Hence Aslan’s claim was mostly untrue. So PolitiFact was mostly wrong.


Taking Abortion to its Logical Conclusion

1984There is an additional reason why legalized abortion is such a horrifying phenomenon. It’s not just a matter involving unborn humans, although that’s horrifying enough. It’s the foundation of a slippery slope that is being used to justify the killing of born humans. Someday, somewhere in the world, it could be used to justify genocide.

A line got crossed in 2012 when an academic journal published a paper saying that if abortion is permissible, then killing healthy newborns should be permissible as well. And just last week, The College Fix reported that U.S. college students are increasingly accepting of “post-birth abortion”, i.e. the killing of babies. Even more outrageous, some students reportedly even would accept the killing of children up to 4 or 5 years old, on the grounds they are not yet “self-aware.”

That’s the logic of a materialist, atheistic worldview that sees humans nothing more than molecules that, way back in our evolutionary history, came together by mere chance. The value of a human life is no higher than that of an insect or an amoeba, based on this worldview.

It is chilling to read the dry, matter-of-fact summary of the 2012 paper, written by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, published in the U.K.’s Journal of Medical Ethics:

“Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

With those 90 words, infanticide is given credence, legitimacy and affirmation in polite society.

Princeton professor Peter Singer is infamous for his writings on infanticide, mainly in cases where the infant is disabled. “Characteristics like rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness make a difference,” writes Singer. “Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings.”

Giubilini and Minerva go a step further, saying it is okay to kill healthy babies in addition to disabled ones.

Why not give the baby up for adoption? Because doing so may bring the mother psychological distress, they explain. They cite a source that states “Natural mothers often dream that their child will return to them. This makes it difficult to accept the reality of the loss….” The authors’ solution? Kill the baby.

No, this isn’t satire, science fiction, or excerpts from treatises of some past totalitarian regime. It’s what today’s culture of abortion has wrought. And it’s much more than the theoretical musings of the youthful Giubilini and Minerva. That a well-established peer-reviewed journal, whose editor hails from the Oxford University philosophy department, and whose editorship and board consist of numerous academics from Europe, the United States and elsewhere, would publish such a paper speaks volumes of the degeneration that is pervading aspects of Western academia.

The irony that the paper was written by “ethicists” and accepted by a publication called the Journal of Medical Ethics seems right out of the novel 1984.

The authors simply are taking abortion to its logical conclusion. Apart from the manner in which a newborn gets its oxygen and nourishment, there’s little biological difference between it and a developed fetus.

As the idea of infanticide gains greater acceptance in social and academic circles, it could gain greater acceptance in legal circles as well. A lawyer could argue that a newborn infant differs little from an infant still in the womb, and therefore if abortion is permissible, then infanticide should be permissible.

Once they’ve opened the Pandora’s box by declaring that birth is no longer the dividing line between personhood and non-personhood, then their logic can be applied to anyone. Killing a human of any age is consistent with legalized abortion.

That’s one of the reasons why abortion is so repugnant. Lack of sanctity for unborn human life spills over into lack of sanctity for all human life. Such ideas could help beget a colder, more callous world among ordinary persons, and more violent crime among the amoral. “Let’s go out and perform an after-birth abortion,” a criminal may say.

Another frightening potential application of this mindset involves governments. In the past, National Socialist and Communist governments justified their genocides using arguments by racist and Marxist scholars. In the future, governments of certain countries could engage in forced infanticide, selective homicide, or even genocide using scholarly arguments from publications such as that cited above, arguing that killing (born) humans is no different from abortion.

Typically, in the modern Western world, whenever someone uses media outlets to incite the killing of innocents, they’re quickly relegated to the ash heap of polite society. But that’s not happening with the pro-abortion/infanticide academics of today. Their ideas are gaining momentum.

Now’s the time to bring the issue of abortion to center stage, this time making clear that the stakes don’t involve just pre-born humans, but all of humanity as well.

NatGeo’s Missing Info on China’s Mysterious Mountains

towerkarstNational Geographic magazine has some good articles, but it has some bad articles too – either containing misleading information, or containing a lack thereof. Regarding the latter, the latest issue of NatGeo has an article on the famous and mysterious tower-like mountains of southern China and the associated caves, near the city of Guilin.

The article mainly discusses the authors’ and rock climbers’ experiences there. As always, there are good photographs. And there’s a cool diagram of the caves. But if you want to know how the tower-like mountains were formed, you’re in for a letdown. That should be the first question in any discerning reader’s mind. Apart from a couple of comments about erosion over the eons – just in the captions no less – nary a word is written about how the geology of that region came to be.

So allow me to plug in some of the gaps in the NatGeo article, borrowing from this web page. The type of geologic feature is called tower karst formations. In addition to the southern China region, they’re also found in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Honduras, Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. It forms through the erosion/dissolution of limestone, of which the whole region consists.

The limestone base was formed when the area was at the bottom of the ocean, when calcium carbonate in the water settled to the bottom, building up layer upon layer over millions of years. When the seas recede or when the rock is uplifted, water easily percolates through the limestone and dissolves it, forming caves and other features.

Tower karst only develops in humid, tropical areas with a lot of rainfall. That water reacts with the vegetation to erode the limestone. But at the beginning of the process, certain spots are resistant to erosion. So those spots or mounds remain intact while the area immediately around them erode away. There is much less soil or vegetation on the slopes, which means less acidity on those slopes when it rains, making the slopes also resistant to erosion. They form into steep, erosion-resistant surfaces, while the base of the structure erodes away. So the landscape is peppered with these steep mounds, while the flat area erodes. Over millions of years the flat area keeps eroding to a lower and lower elevation, while relative to the surrounding countryside, the mounds turn into tall, thousand-foot-high towers.

Meanwhile elaborate caves develop within the towers, as the limestone dissolves inside.

John Kerry’s Intention-Paved Road

A frequent criticism of persons who lean left is that they tend to judge themselves based on their intentions rather than on the outcome of whatever policy it is they support. Secretary of State John Kerry just demonstrated that attitude to a T.

At his recent commencement speech at Yale University, he remarked, “In a complicated world full of complicated decisions and close calls that could go either way, what keeps you awake at night isn’t so much whether or not you got the decision right or wrong. It’s whether you made your decision for the right reasons – integrity.”

So if something goes terribly wrong because of an erroneous decision the Secretary made, he doesn’t lose any sleep, so long as he feels he made that decision with integrity. If his intentions were good, he feels fine.

Apparently, giving Syria a pass after crossing Kerry’s and Obama’s own “red line” on chemical weapons,  with the result that it’s again using chemical weapons, doesn’t keep Kerry awake at night, as long as he feels he gave them a pass with integrity.