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Wingnuts Say Daugaard Endorses Baby-Killers

Senator Tom Nelson (R-31/Lead) and Senator Deb Peters (R-9/Hartford) vote to kill babies. That's what South Dakota's Taliban want you to believe. Riffing on the South Dakota Right to Life primary voter guide, right-wingnut Ed Randazzo urges fetus fetishists across the state to protest Governor Dennis Daugaard's endorsement of Nelson and Peters by sending the Governor the following hyperbole:

Dear Governor Daugaard,

I'm appalled to learn that you have endorsed not one but TWO pro-abortion state Senators who are seeking re-election.

No matter what else they may support, how could it be right to help Senators Tom Nelson and Deb Peters win re-election so they can go right on voting to kill babies?... [Ed Randazzo, "South Dakota Governor Endorses Pro-Abortion Candidates," The Right Side, 2012.05.24]

Can we just stop the madness there? No one in Pierre is voting to kill babies. Randazzo and the desperate right wing are pulling their classic ploy: dismiss every other policy issue—you know, the complicated policy issues that their candidates don't know enough about to explain to voters or form a coherent opinion on—and focus everyone's attention on the fantasy that they are fighting baby-killers.

I'd be happy to see incumbent Republicans like Nelson and Peters thrown out of office. But unlike Randazzo, Bob Ellis, and the rest of South Dakota's theocrats, I won't shout lies about them to trick people into replacing them with less-qualified candidates... or, in the case of Deb Peters's opponent, outright loony paranoiacs.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.05.24

    Bankruptcy means capitalizing christianity one zygote at a time: priceless.

  2. larry kurtz 2012.05.24

    Do you really buy into this crap, Steve, or is this just more bad performance art selling a product to a gullible market?

    These are diversions from a half-century of ethics lapses in Pierre where nepotism enriches the few.

    If you're serious about fixing the chemical toilet, Steve, cast off the charlatan chicanery and renounce special interests like the Right to a Life of Pickpocketry.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.05.24

    sometimes it looks like christians believe that heaven is going to be one big amway convention.

  4. David Newquist 2012.05.24

    The inmates are taking over the asylum.

  5. Kelsey 2012.05.24

    Well, technically, there's statistical support that better Medicaid funding for pregnant women would save babies. So technically, it could be argued that there are people in Pierre who have voted to not save babies, but even I'll admit that it's a stretch to argue that they voted to kill babies (except as satire).

  6. Rachel 2012.05.24

    If all those pro-lifers had a dozen adopted children, I might take them more seriously.

  7. Lee Schoenbeck 2012.05.24

    Rachel -- then you should be a big fan of Rep Michelle Bachman - I think the number of adopted and foster kids they have taken in is way past 12 -- way past. She will appreciate your check.

    I am puzzled by - well a lot of things - but the animosity towards those of us that believe life begins at conception. I believe it. I don't berate those that disagree, but I do discuss it with them. I think there are very serious and sad consequences associated with their belief, but I don't say things that get said about pro-life folks above. OK, before I get too off here, I do recognize that there are those that share my conclusion, that act out with different means -- and words. But, I think we win more hearts and minds to the cause of protected vulnerable and innocent new life, by trying to avoid the name calling. Just a thought -- have a good day.

  8. Carter 2012.05.24

    Lee, those of us on the pro-choice side of the argument think there are very serious and sad consequences associated with your beliefs. It's a matter of differing beliefs, after all.

    I understand well that people like yourself (and Troy, I believe, if I remember correctly) are not against females, or hate pro-choice people. However, pro-life people seem to ignore what things were like, abortion-wise.

    In the 50's and 60's, when abortion was illegal, it didn't stop women from having abortions. Instead, they had them illegally without the use of proper medical techniques. So not only were babies being aborted, but mothers often died as a result.

    Prohibition has never really worked for anything. I just tends to make things worse. Even if you consider abortion bad, when it's legal, it's done under safe circumstances, so only one bad thing happens. When it's illegal, two people could die. The guy performing it is a criminal, so he may associate with other criminals, leading to more crime, etc.

    Consider alcohol prohibition in the 20's. They banned it because alcohol was considered a bad an a sin. By banning it, people still drank alcohol, but where there was alcohol, instead of just having alcohol, there was also prostitution, drugs, and violence, because suddenly there was lots of money to be made, and criminals just did criminal things.

    Even if you think abortion itself is bad, consider all the other crimes that legalizing it helps to keep under control. You don't have to have an abortion if it is legal. You don't even have to agree with it because it's legal. But making it illegal just creates crime where no crime was before.

  9. Roger Elgersma 2012.05.24

    Anytime you make something legal it teaches the kids that it is more acceptable. That means the next generation will do it more and they did.
    In the sixties my parents took in eleven foster kids. Most were babies from the hospital till they were adopted. They all got adopted even though there were more aboptable babies then than there are now. There is a shortage of babies to adopt ever since abortion became legal.
    It is ludicrous to say that making abortion legal did not result in more babies being killed. Side effects are that people marry at average age twenty six now and average before abortion was legal was ninteen. Would you be naive enough to say that they are not having more abortions from ninteen to twenty six being single than they did when they were married at that age. Another side effect is that there are many more adults of all ages that are not married now. You mess with your relationships when you are young by not staying with a natural commitment to your own kid and your committed relationship probablility goes down. Cheating your kid of life is just as bad to building future relationships as cheating on your spouse is on your current relationship.
    The mistake is that killing the kid eliminates a problem. REality is that it brings on a bigger more entrenched problems. Dumping the kids and dumping more relationships before marrying just reduces the chances of future ability to stay committed. We now have lots more single parents who never did make a relationship work before they had kids and that is resulting in more kids without two active parents.
    The more you learn committment when you are young, the better you will be at a committed relationship later. Teaching the kids to dump their kids and partners when they are young teaches them that this is how it works.

  10. Carter 2012.05.24

    You make the assumption that not marrying at nineteen is a bad thing. "Commitment " isn't something that should be forced. If I don't feel like I've met the right person and I don't want to spend my life with that person, then I don't see why I should remain "committed" just because I'm over nineteen years old.

    Your entire argument hinges on the idea that commitment for the sake of commitment is a good thing, when it is, in fact, the opposite.

    As for teaching kids what's acceptable and what's not, that should be up to parents, should it not? I do not smoke. I rarely drink. Those are both legal. I'm not an asshole to people on the street. That is legal. Why should abortion be any different. I'm sure Troy and Sibby and your children (do you all have children? I don't know. It doesn't matter) will not have abortions, because you teach them it is wrong and terrible.

    I'd also like to address your suggestion that "life begins at conception". I would very much like to hear a scientific reasoning for this. Please define what is considered "life" what is considered "human", and what is considered "human life" and why all of those begin at conception.

    I will give you my reasoning, here.

    + "Life" begins before conception. The egg is alive prior to conception.

    + "Human" is considered something that is definitively a human. That is to say, it functions as a human functions (or previously functioned as a human functions). An infant has a human brain and human thoughts, and is therefore human. A person in a PVS is a human because they previously thought like a human and continue to have the brain of a human. A fetus prior to ~25 weeks has a human brain but no brain activity, therefore disqualifying them. They may be a "potential" human, but they are not fully human like you and me.

    + "Human life" is the state of a human (meeting the prerequisites above) maintaining the general definition of being "alive". If a doctor would declare you alive, human life continues. If a doctor would declare you dead, then human life has ended. By this definition, "human life" is not an attribute of a fetus because they have not become sentient (brain activity, and thus "humanity" has not begun).

    The sperm is alive prior to conception. They are living cells. "H However, not producing a child there is not murder. If a man masturbates, is that murder? Both the sperm and the egg were alive, but neither was a human, and so it is no more murder than picking a flower or stepping on an ant.

    A morning after pill is kills the cells involved in contraception. But it is not murder again because brain activity has not begun.

    Abortion before ~25 weeks is not murder because, once again, brain activity has not begun. In order to make certain, of course, laws should prevent abortion after something like ~20 weeks, just as a catch-all.

    Abortion after brain activity begins is considered murder because the fetus has become a fully functioning human. It thinks like a human and has a human brain. It is therefore human and subject to laws regarding humans.

    Essentially, this: Abortion laws protect infants from being aborted during pregnancy, but do not protect fetuses from being aborted during pregnancy. An "infant" is a developing human that has achieved brain activity, and therefore sentience. A "fetus" is a developing human that has not achieved brain activity, and therefore is not sentient.

    I'm entirely willing to hear different reasoning on this, which is why I've taken the time to write it out. However, I'll consider any "religious" arguments to be unsound, as by definition they lack scientific basis. They also have a tendency to dictate morality.

    Of course, since this is Cory's blog, I can't dictate rules regarding post content, so you're naturally free to post whatever you'd like, but for the sake of debate I hope you'll follow my suggestion on this. Arguing religion in non-religious debates tiresome and ineffective.

  11. Jana 2012.05.24

    Carter, in the 50's and 60's abortions were performed in hospitals, they just weren't called abortions or they were performed under the guise of a friendly doctor who did the procedure couched in the "risk" to a mother's health. Of course, this was usually only used by those with the means to afford the care or have a friend who was a physician.

    Lee is right that there is too much venom on the extremes of both sides of the debate. Of course Lee also knows that changing hearts and minds (especially the minds and hearts of physicians worried for their life) can also come at the threat of physical violence and implied terroristic threats.

    As far as Bachmann goes...she didn't raise the children as Lee and Michelle would like us to believe. The Bachmann home was legally defined as a treatment home, with a daily reimbursement rate per child from the state. Some girls stayed a few months, others more than a year.

  12. D.E. Bishop 2012.05.24

    Life begins at ejaculation. Masturbation or any other form of ejaculation not for the purpose of creating life ought to be a crime punishable by jail time. The Bible says so. (It's in the OT. Something about the sinfulness of spilling "seed" on the ground.)

    One cannot truly be pro-life but only focused on fetuses. True pro-lifers oppose war, support families of all types and sizes (they are "life"), pushes for programs to ensure each individual's survival and well-being. Real pro-life includes the people we see on the streets and roads every day. All life is "life."

    It would be easy and simplistic if "Pro-Life" meant an extreme focus limited strictly to fetuses, eggs, sperm, etc. As Cory correctly notes, such people are "fetus fetishists."

    As for myself; a woman has intellect, relationships, experiences, knowledge, memories, likes, dislikes, talents and skills, etc. I will take her side before a fetus every time.

    Yes indeed, I value and respect an adult woman more than a fetus. Nope, I am not pro-abortion, but I'm sure that some of you will want to say so. Go ahead. I'm not concerned with those opinions.

  13. PrairieLady 2012.05.24

    "Anytime you make something legal it teaches the kids that it is more acceptable. That means the next generation will do it more and they did."

    Where did this come from?

    There are some behaviors that have not changed since the begining of history, if it is legal or not. We need to teach children with freedoms there are still limitations and Consequences when the limits are pushed. They forget their behaviors not only affect themselves, but their "others" and community. There are limitations with anything that is legal.

  14. Barry Smith 2012.05.24

    @ Carter - Your reasoning seems sound to me- notwithstanding religious arguments- Perhaps expanding upon the " potential human" into a fourth category by itself - for myself this is were the controversy lies - the destruction of potential human life.

  15. Douglas Wiken 2012.05.24

    The OT apparently missed calling as a crime, a woman ovulating without immediately searching for a sperm donor.
    Maybe Islamicists cover that.

    Steve, got a South Dakota Street address for that New Age Theocracy Church? Inquiring mythologists might find it interesting.

  16. Carter 2012.05.24

    No school teaches to have sex, Sibby. Schools figured out, however, that teaching kids NOT to have sex doesn't work. If you just say, "No sex!" what happens when they do have sex? They don't know what to do, and someone ends up pregnant.

    Abstinence is best taught by parents. If you want your child not to have sex, then teach your child that. The school's duty is to teach them how things work. They don't say, "Go have sex, kiddos".

    As for teaching that it is okay to have sex with the same gender, they are promoting tolerance. In case you didn't go to a public school, lack of tolerance is a serious problem in all of them. Schools teach your child to be a functioning human being. Part of that is tolerance.

    I think you should perhaps attend a few public school classes, Sibby, and see what's going on there. Intolerance is the real threat to society, not gays.

    "Pro-abortion" is an awful term.

  17. LK 2012.05.24


    Please show me one South Dakota lesson plan "teaching kids . . . to have sex . . . ." If you don't want to post it here because you fear it will corrupt some young readers, let me know and I'll give you an email address to send it to.

    I'll wait.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.24

    [Why yes, I am deleting Sibby's horsepuckey tonight. I am sick of being called meaningless words.]

  19. Roger Elgersma 2012.05.25

    Carter: I agree that committment should not be forced. Although if one connects intimitely and produces a child then lack of commitment could be irresponsible. Schools should teach responsibility. They probably do teach responsibility for other things like being responsible to learn what is to be learned and to not step on eachothers toes while walking down the hall.
    As far as brain waves are concerned. I have yet to hear of a test of brain waves that can tell me what the brain wave is saying. So while having brain waves is quite conclusive that there is life, we do not know enough about them to even know if we detect them all. We can not decifer those we do detect but do we miss some completely. If they fetus is developing according to the DNA, then there is some control mechanism(brain or other device) that is keeping the developement of the organism(fetal stage) on track to be what the parents DNA said it was going to be.
    Before the egg and sperm connect there is not a developing life and nothing is moving forward. Before you eat breakfast that egg and bacon is not part of you or your life. Some of it never is but what your body digests and keeps becomes alive. When the egg(ova) is joined by a sperm, then the two become one and that is necessary for a life to start developing. Before that the egg may be alive but is not a new organism that is developing into a new live birth.

  20. Bill Fleming 2012.05.25

    Roger, of course it is.

    A female ovum has a full set of mitochondrial DNA (the woman's DNA set) and a half set of human DNA waiting for the other half. It is a living, human cell.

    The line you are attempting to draw is completely arbitrary.

    All cells are alive, and all human gametes (sperms and eggs) are capable of generating new organisms under the right conditions same as fertilized eggs (zygotes) are.

    That said, gametes are no more 'people' than are zygotes to my way of thinking.

    Or, conversely, (and if you insist) if they are, so is one of your adult stem cells, or for that matter, any living cell in your body.

    It begs the question, how many people are you, Roger?


    Or a couple of billion?


  21. Bill Fleming 2012.05.25

    Ooops... Make that a couple of dozen TRILLION. There are a lot of cells in a human body. More than you can shake a stick at. :-)

  22. Carter 2012.05.25

    I'll cover this post in sections, I think. Please mention if I miss something.

    "Schools should teach responsibility."

    It isn't the responsibility of the school to teach how to act as a person, directly. I didn't have a single class in high school that taught me morality, or right and wrong. That's almost all things I picked up along the way. The social structure at the school teaches that, not the school itself. And who is the school to tell you that you need to stick with a relationship?

    Personal habits and morality should be taught by parents, not by the school. When it comes to ditching out on your kid, the law needs to do a better job at forcing child support payments. Trying to teach kids that they need to stick around in school is really just spending more money on adding things to education when we're already trying to fix what's broken.

    "I have yet to hear of a test of brain waves that can tell me what the brain wave is saying."

    This has actually been done several times. You can't see exactly what's being said yet, but it's entirely possible to use equipment to detect roughly what thoughts are. However, what exactly is happening in the infant's brain is irrelevant. It's whether or not something is going on.

    "If they fetus is developing according to the DNA, then there is some control mechanism(brain or other device) that is keeping the developement of the organism(fetal stage) on track to be what the parents DNA said it was going to be."

    This is fundamentally wrong. DNA isn't controlled by the brain. DNA is essentially blueprints that cells use. The cells are not controlled by the brain, they are (kind of) autonomous. They don't have brains, obviously, but they are alive and they do what they do because of the DNA. For example, a plant does not have a brain, it does not think, it does not feel, and yet it grows and is alive, because the cells themselves are able to work together by following DNA programming. The brain has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    "Before the egg and sperm connect there is not a developing life..."

    No, but they are alive. The sperm cell and the egg are both living things, they are just not yet multicellular organisms (eggs actually are, but I'm sure you understand what I mean). They are still potential humans the same as a fetus is a potential human, they just have a longer way to go.

  23. Kelsey 2012.05.25

    Thank you Bill and Carter for bringing in the science. If some of the previous commenters have proven anything, it's that we need to worry less about schools teaching 'responsibility' and more about them teaching basic biology.

  24. larry kurtz 2012.05.25

    DE, too, deserves to be lauded for doing just that in a related thread.

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