Planned Parenthood

Vivisection is not something about which reasonable people disagree. You don’t say, “If you don’t like vivisecting, don’t do it.” You can’t say, “My body my choice,” because the “women’s healthcare provider” isn’t cutting out your brain while your heart is still beating. Vivisection is evil and insane, and yet here we are. The abortion supporters are trying to deal with it as a public relations problem. Many of us, I suspect, can hardly bear to think about what happens routinely to maintain “reproductive choice.”

That’s an advantage to Planned Parenthood, that the videos, even when not graphic, when they’re just a couple of ladies talking business over a nice lunch, are so horrific in content that many people are reluctant to talk about them, and don’t even want to know about them. One of the procedures described in the latest video is simply vivisection of a human child. Even if we force ourselves to acknowledge that such things go on, what can we say? How can we argue reasonably with people who think it’s okay as long as the child’s brain isn’t sold above cost? From what common premise can we begin?

Hillary Clinton’s server

It was wiped, they say. What’s puzzling is why go to all that trouble? It would have been easier to just install a new blank hard drive. Then take it down to the FBI office: “Here’s the server, as requested.” I mean, it would be a lie, but…

Or, get a new hard drive, and write it full of random data. Tell them it’s encrypted, and Bill lost the keys. Bill says Hillary never gave him the keys? Then it’s he said/she said. Plus, that nobody can break the “encryption” shows the material was well secured.

Thought for the day

“Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a slave.” — Faithful, in Pilgrim’s Progress.

Random Updates

The upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 went okay. It took a minute or two to go though “custom” settings and select more sensible options than “express” offers. The only thing so far is the mouse pointer often goes into its “working” blue-circle state, and it’s even more pesky and intrusive than 8.1; just now it was bugging me about logging onto their X-box scheme so I could play solitaire. On my other machine I have Lubuntu, which has been trouble-free.

I’ve been using SpiderOak in preference to Dropbox for a while now. It works well and has better privacy features, though it is a bit slower. They say everything is encrypted, but I don’t think all of the source code is available for audit and review. They also have a password manager, Encryptr, but I’ll stay with Keepass for now.

Finished Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. It’s solid hard science fiction, mostly excellent, but I kept thinking to myself, “five thousand years is a long time.” I have no complaints about the physics or biology, but the anthropology and sociology strained my capacity to believe.

This gingerbread was not hard to make, and came out well.

The exercise program for the summer has mostly been swimming laps, lifting weights, and mowing the yard every four or five days. Last winter I hit a heavy bag once or twice a week. It’s a good cardio and strength workout, but too hard on my hands to do year round.

Bees have built a nest out back, in the underground remains of a tree stump. They haven’t caused any trouble except when I have unknowingly run the mower over them. I’d rather not exterminate them if there’s a way to live with them.

Doc Rampage has a thought-provoking post up about anti-Christian religion, Science and the post-Christian trinity. Lately I’ve been going the Baptist church, with occasional visits to the Episcopal church. This suggests some incoherence in my understanding of theology. Maybe next week I’ll see what the Methodists are up to.

Here’s something to think about: Look at the schools, the federal government, the mainline churches, the news, the movies: except for the UN, have liberals made every institution what they said it was in 1968?

Willful ignorance of abortion

It’s telling that this is from today’s Washington Post:

“In the case of the Planned Parenthood expose, while there are legitimate questions around the making and editing of the videos, separate from these issues, stark and undeniable facts emerge from the existing footage: Gone is the illusion that these procedures simply and easily melt away a few microscopic cells, mere “products of conception.” Rather, the statements by Planned Parenthood staff and the processes captured in the videos make clear that — whatever the legal, moral or religious status of the fetuses — these are human bodies, whose organs and limbs are not only recognizable but are medically valuable because they are human.

“Is the shock the public is experiencing at the videos because we have been deceived? Or is it because we have chosen to avert our eyes, to embrace willful ignorance? — Is Cecil the lion more devastating than the Planned Parenthood videos?, by Karen Swallow Prior

It’s telling that this is from today’s Washington Post.

In the barn

or in the fire

Says Saint Augustine,

“For there are some whose reason for desiring to become Christians is either that they may gain the favor of men from whom they look for temporal advantages, or that they are reluctant to offend those whom they fear. But these are reprobate; and although the church bears them for a time, as the threshing-floor bears the chaff until the period of winnowing, yet if they fail to amend and begin to be Christians in sincerity in view of the everlasting rest which is to come, they will be separated from it in the end. And let not such flatter themselves, because it is possible for them to be in the threshing-floor along with the grain of God. For they will not be together with that in the barn, but are destined for the fire, which is their due. There are also others of better hope indeed, but nevertheless in no inferior danger. I mean those who now fear God, and mock not the Christian name, neither enter the church of God with an assumed heart, but still look for their felicity in this life, expecting to have more felicity in earthly things than those enjoy who refuse to worship God. And the consequence of this false anticipation is, that when they see some wicked and impious men strongly established and excelling in this worldly prosperity, while they themselves either possess it in a smaller degree or miss it altogether, they are troubled with the thought that they are serving God without reason, and so they readily fall away from the faith.” — Saint Augustine, On the Catechising of the Uninstructed, Chapter 17 paragraph 26. I’ve been listening to this while driving, thanks to the public domain reading by Maria Lectrix.

The prosperity “gospel” seems to come in two forms. Or maybe one underlying heresy presents in different ways. Anywhere, there’s the overt give-to-get pyramid scheme, and the more subtle error in bold above. This prosperity gospel lite may be more dangerous, simply because it’s not being promoted by some crook in a shiny suit.