Editorial cartoon combines fallacies

1703-Cartoon

Scott Shepler’s editorial cartoon in a recent Community Word is an interesting example of a combination of the straw man fallacy and an ad hominem argument.

The art was run in conjunction with an editorial by Clare Howard about the Feb. 11 Defund Planned Parenthood rallies, so it appears to be referencing that event.

I realize editorial cartoons involve exaggerations, but this one was too extreme, irrational and ironic to pass up, especially considering that its depiction of the event was the opposite of what actually transpired on that day in the 2700 block of Knoxville Avenue in Peoria.

Scott’s cartoon was an ad hominem attack in one sense because it tried to make the side he disagreed with look ridiculous. It was a straw man argument because it misrepresents arguments made by the pro-life side.

The person on the left, wanting Planned Parenthood to be defunded, is portrayed as practically ejaculating his opinion, nearly apoplectic. The person on the right, defending PP, is calm and cool and rational in her responses.

For the two hours that I was at the actual competing rallies, however, the pro-lifers exhibited self-control and respect, while some—not all, but some—PP supporters didn’t. Here are a few observations that conflict with Scott’s cartoon:

  • The main organizers and most of those appearing on the pro-life side were women, not men.
  • Profanity and vulgarity were used among the pro-PP group, both on signs (“This is my bitch face”) and in speech. Not true with the pro-lifers.
  • As pro-lifers gathered at the northern end of the block, several Planned Parenthood supporters, not content with superior numbers, decided to move down the street and stand in front of the pro-lifers to block passing drivers’ view of them (see photo below). One of those blocked from view was a pro-life woman in a wheelchair. To accomplish this, the PP supporters had to stand in the street. Police came by to tell them to get back onto the sidewalk, which they did for a minute. Then they stepped back into the street.
  • Pro-lifers extended kindness to those supporting Planned Parenthood, going through the crowds of the latter and offering hot chocolate (it was a chilly morning), granola bars, and bottles of water. Again, portraying pro-lifers as belligerent contradicts what actually went on.
  • As food and drink were being offered, some Planned Parenthood supporters either tried to block the path of the person offering the treats or told others “Don’t take it.” 
  • One PP supporter entered the ranks of the pro-lifers yelling insults.

As for the arguments being made in the cartoon, real life is, of course, more complex. Here is one organization’s “Top 12 Reasons to Defund Planned Parenthood Now.” They’re not quite as simplistic as Scott  would have us believe.

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Public school helps student get abortion — thanks, WCIC!

A public school in Seattle reportedly helped a student to get an abortion during school hours without notifying her parents:

SEATTLE — The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter’s abortion during school hours.

What I would tell the mother, though, is that by sending your child to a public school, you are essentially giving up control over that child and handing it to the state.

But this is another example of how public schools see themselves and their role. Thanks, WCIC, for helping these schools do their job!

Stupak and Nelson: PLINOs?

The other option for Congressman Stupak is even more distasteful. Maybe he was playing games all along? We have seen that routine before when it comes to congressional Democrats and abortion funding in the Obama health care package. Remember the principled stand against abortion funding taken by Senator Ben Nelson? That stand led to the now famous Cornhusker Kickback. After securing his home state pork, it became clear that Senator Nelson was never really standing as much on principle as he was on politics.

via Bart Stupak is either not very smart or he’s not very honest. There really is no other option | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment.

Are Stupak and Nelson just Pro-Life In Name Only?

‘The other 9/11 tragedy’

Art Cox, a friend of mine and an elder of our congregation, wrote this and distributed it at work on 9/11:

Today is a tribute to the more than 3,500 innocent people who died on 9/11, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that, and yesterday, and today.

They are the ones who scream out in silence. They are those without heroes to thank. The nation does not mourn their absence. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was not theirs.

The eight year olds are the real survivors of 9/11. The only real innocent people who lost their lives on 9/11 are those that were aborted.

I know in Heaven there is a moment of silence for each of them, but Heaven will not always remain silent.

God bring us to repentance, and forgive, and remove our guilt today.

Working with stats from 2005 provided by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute, the 1.21 million abortions performed that year work out to 3,315 abortions per day if you average them over a seven-day week. If, however, you cut it to six days a week, assuming that most if not all abortion clinics are closed on Sundays (after all, it’s the Lord’s Day, you know), then the number skyrockets to 3,865.

According to the U.S. State Department, 3,213 people were killed by the various attacks on 9/11. Each of those deaths–apart from the terrorists’–was murder, just as each abortion is murder by the abortionist.

the ‘cruelest industry’?

An animal-rights organization has posted a video of a chicken hatchery grinding up chicks it doesn’t want to keep.

Don’t get me wrong — the mass food market is not good for you or the animals. Organically raised meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, etc., are much better, not to mention more humane for the animals involved. (As we drove through the property of the farmer where we get our milk last Sunday, we passed some cows grazing on a hillside and wondered which one provided us our milk for the week.) But with 300 million people in our nation alone to feed, it’ll be a while before we get to the point of not having mass food creation.

But in a failure of perspective typical among animal rights advocates, Mercy for Animals executive director Nathan Runkle told the Associated Press,

“The egg industry is perhaps the cruelest industry on the face of the planet.”

No, Mr. Runkle. The U.S. abortion industry, killing more than 3,000 babies per day, is the cruelest industry on the face of the planet. Tossing unwanted baby chicks into a grinder isn’t palatable, but these are animals, not human beings. Pickling and dissecting human beings inside the womb of their mother, or in some cases partially delivering them before killing them and then pulling them out, is part of the cruelest industry.

Would you pay for public-option abortions?

Barack Obama denies that health care reform legislation as it stands would result in funding for abortions. But, for the sake of argument, let’s accept the contention of Douglas Johnson of National Right to Life Committee that it would cover abortions:

“The Obama-backed legislation makes it explicitly clear that no citizen would be allowed to enroll in the government plan unless he or she is willing to give the federal agency an extra amount calculated to cover the cost of all elective abortions — this would not be optional,” Johnson told LifeNews.com. “The abortionists would bill the federal government and would be paid by the federal government. These are public funds, and this is government funding of abortion.”

The Senate, as have the House committee’s considering the bill, have all rejected every amendment offered by pro-life advocates to stop any abortion funding or insurance mandates for abortions in the bill.

If the government plan in whatever form it exists covers abortion, what would you do if you were pro-life and that plan ended up being the one you had to join through your employer or through lack of any other plan (assuming an individual mandate were in place)? Do you join it or refuse to do so, thus going without coverage of any kind and having to pay the punitive tax?

UPDATE: Factcheck.org says Obama is wrong about funding abortion.

“Obama has said in the past that ‘reproductive services’ would be covered by his public plan, so it’s likely that any new federal insurance plan would cover abortion unless Congress expressly prohibits that,” FactCheck adds.

17 lost, 2 saved

From Karen Guth of Central Illinois Right to Life:

There were approximately 17 abortions on Wed., Aug. 12.  Totals for 2009=1112.
Two people came out.  One said, “We saved our baby!”   The other, “I didn’t do it.”
I told the second woman, “It will be alright.”  She replied, “I know it will.”
Praise God!

Life Line, June 7, 2009

About 75 people, from 4 months old to 85 years old, showed up along War Memorial Drive in Peoria, Ill., from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 7, to pray for an end to abortion.

Life Line was organized by Bradley University freshman Alexandria Reynolds. Though it was intended to be youth-centric, plenty of older folks showed up, too, to lend their support.

For a first-time event, it went off very well. Alexandria and her friends had prepared hand-painted signs with instructions on the back, including ideas for prayer.

Participants stood along War Memorial Drive, also known as U.S. Route 150 — probably the busiest street in Peoria — holding signs with such messages as “Better Off Alive” and “Yay for Kids.” Reynolds emphasized the positive nature of the event, which came one week after the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller but had been in the planning stages for months. It was an opportunity to show the peaceful nature of the pro-life movement.

Most drivers honked and waved their support. Only a few made some, uh, negative hand gestures.

Links to news coverage are here and here.

Below are some photos I snapped:

 
Participants in Life Line line up along War Memorial Drive in Peoria, Ill., on June 7 to pray for an end to abortion.
Participants in Life Line line up along War Memorial Drive in Peoria, Ill., on June 7 to pray for an end to abortion.
Young pro-lifers show their support for the movement.
Young pro-lifers show their support for the movement.