Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why the Abortion Debate Won't Go Away

A telling article from CNN:
"These conversations about contraception are happening now, in the present day, with outdated views and inaccurate information playing a leading role."
Note first that believing that human life should not be extinguished arbitrarily is an "outdated view".

Second, let me analyze this claim of "inaccurate information".  It comes here:
"The employers think that certain forms of contraception (emergency contraception pills and intrauterine devices) cause abortions. But what they believe about science is contradicted by the science itself.
Emergency contraception pills work by inhibiting or postponing ovulation, or the release of the egg, and this prevents fertilization from occurring. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) work by preventing sperm from reaching the egg, either by creating a barrier or by creating an environment that inhibits the mobility and viability of sperm or, in the case of copper IUDs, potentially by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg before a woman is pregnant." (emphasis added)
Ah, now we come to the crux of the matter!

The medical establishment has declared that pregnancy does not begin until implantation, and that abortion is the end of pregnancy.  Therefore, preventing implantation prevents pregnancy, and no pregnancy means no abortion.

So, science tells us these treatments do lead to the death of human beings - just not "abortion" as defined by the medical establishment.  Those who define abortion as "intentionally killing an unborn human being" are supported by science.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trusting God

"Trusting God" (Jerry Bridges) (audio) - This book starts with a discussion of the attributes of God, and progresses from there to show why it is possible and indeed necessary for us to trust God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Failure in Oversight at NSA

Continuing the catalog of failures at NSA, from Ars:
"Overall, the audit found 2,776 'incidents' in which the NSA broke its own privacy rules while collecting information."
These are violations of their own rules, which are arguably too weak.  These are known violations, one can only imagine what the unknown is...

I encourage you to read the article, it is short and to the point.

The failures of any system will fall into these categories:
  1. Failures in specifying what is desired from the system.  Including failure to protect the rights of the innocent.
  2. Failures in implementation - including allowing people access to information they should not have.
  3. Failures in use - including intentional abuse of power, and unintentional access.
There is little evidence so far of intentional abuse of power.  But it is easy to see how such abuse is possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This Momentary Marriage

"This Momentary Marriage" (John Piper) - I like reading John Piper.  His love for God is evident, his passion flows off the page.  And his beliefs are similar to mine, but not identical - so I am always looking for how he comes to the positions he does.

This book is an overview of how marriage glorifies God.  It covers many topics, and is intended to help a couple think about what they are committing to.

And it's number one focus is on the glory of God :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sotomayor and 1984

Recently on Reddit, someone asked which SciFi universe was most likely in our future.

I responded 1984 - and was severely downvoted (go figure).

I am somewhat vindicated by recent statements by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor:
"We are in that brave new world, and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too."
It's good that the is someone on the Supreme Court who has this problem in view.

But it's not all good news:
"And when the high court got its first chance to look at one aspect of the program, it declined to do so and let stand the government's bulk metadata phone collection program Snowden disclosed."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Overreach at the NSA

An excellent article at Ars, detailing some of the overreach at NSA:
"NSA had been routinely running queries of the metadata using querying terms that did not meet the required standard for querying. The Court concluded that this requirement had been 'so frequently and systematically violated that it can fairly be said that this critical element of the overall…regime has never functioned effectively'"
So, this is violations of their own standard (which is arguably built on top of an unconstitutional system).  There is no discussion as to whether the system is itself a violation.

I actually agree with one of the caveats of the system administrator:
"'This is not an egregious overreaching by a greedy agency seeking to spy on Americans,' he said. 'It's an inadvertent collection of a relatively small number of US person communications.'"
My argument is not that the NSA is a greedy agency seeking to spy on Americans.

My argument is that the NSA has lost sight of its purpose, and is letting the (dubious) ends justify their (atrocious) means.

From the judges:
"the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program"
"neither the NSA nor the Court has the ability to know with certainty how many Americans’ rights have been violated"
Any system will be abused.  And systems grow and become perverted from the original intent.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Population Management and Climate Change

If you think I'm crazy because I draw a line between climate change proponents and those who love death - read this article at CNN:
"Last, however, if we can't control consumption, we can control the number of consumers."
The author points to the same open secret I did four years ago:
"According to the World Resources Institute, to stay on the safe side of a 2-degree Celsius increase, we'd have to go back to the amount we were expelling in 1990 -- and then cut that in half."