Thursday, September 18, 2008

NewsTalk 710 KIRO Appearence Today

I'm slated to appear as a call-in guest on the Dori Monson Show on NewsTalk 710 KIRO Seattle at 5:05PM/2:05PM ET/PT today to discuss the furor over my comments defending a woman's right to abortion. This discussion will be available online, details here. As I understand it, there will be an opportunity for call-ins.

Update: I'd like to publicly thank Host Dori Monson for a thoughtful and civil show. Discussions over abortion can often generate more heat that light and the hour spent as a guest on his show was a welcome respite.

If you had the opportunity to listen to the show or listen to MP3 archive [link here], I encourage post a comment at Mr. Monson's website here to share your own opinion.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello. I have been following this story and reading the posts here. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on caring for those who are invalid or mentally disabled due to injuries or disease, especially children (ie. a child who suffers a catastrophic brain injury within the first year of life). This has always been a struggle for me because we as a society seem to be expected to bear the burden of caring for these people with our tax money. Your thought?

Peace,
David

Nicholas Provenzo said...

David asks:

>I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on caring for those who are invalid or mentally disabled due to injuries or disease, especially children (ie. a child who suffers a catastrophic brain injury within the first year of life). This has always been a struggle for me because we as a society seem to be expected to bear the burden of caring for these people with our tax money. Your thought?

I draw a certain and firm distinction between the rights of a fetus in the womb and the rights of a physically independent human being capable of even a hair's breath of conscious activity. In the case of the latter, such people have a fundamental right to their life that must be respected and affirmed.

I nevertheless do not support those who wish to use coercion to support the lives of such people. Support for people such as the mentally disabled is the proper domain of voluntary charity, not the forced redistribution of wealth. It has been my experience that when people are prosperous and free, they have no issue with assisting those injured though no fault of their own. In my mind, I have the specific example of children born to mothers addicted to drugs that stunt the cognitive development of their children.

Also, I consider the case of Terri Shavio, the Florida woman who suffered extensive brain damaged which utter destroyed her conceptual faculty. In accordance with her wishes, her husband sought to let her body die (along as her consciousness had earlier) as a result of her heart attack. Despite firm scientific evidence justifying such a choice, the pro-life zealots attacked the desire to let Shavio die in the worst terms, calling the husband a "murderer"--and worse. It was only after a long and arduous court battle that Ms. Shavio's end-of-life wishes were finally respected.

Interestingly, an autopsy after her death confirmed the verdict of science; Ms. Shavio had no brain left capable of conscious thought. Nevertheless, there was never a retraction from those who were so outspoken when they attacked Shavio's husband for carrying out Ms. Shavio' wishes.

I leave it to you to infer their motives.

Jacob Z said...

Thanks for making a stand, and good luck on the air.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Nick,

I am very glad you cleared up one issue by stating that a woman has a moral right to choose an abortion. Many people argue that a woman has an absolute right to an abortion. That would imply that someone else could be forced to provide one for her.

However, you have still not cleared up your accusation that Palin "worships retardation." Your argument cites pundits, but not Palin herself.

Also, your argument that Palin's choice necessarily imposes a burden on others is not correct. People with means to do so, when faced with such a problem, usually set up a trust fund to care for the child in the event that s/he should outlive them.
This is something that responsible parents do for their normal children anyway and for the same reason; it would be wrong to die by accident or illness and leave the children with nothing. It is also likely that the Palins are well-insured for the purpose of medical care, and that the policy includes all of their children.

Dan G. said...

Good job, Nick. You've hit the nail on the head and that is why the creeps are coming out of the woodwork.

Don't be distracted by the shills who have already begun trying to make minor points (about others supporting the child) the center of the argument, don't waste your time; this is information warfare, Marine.

Joseph Kellard said...

Nick,

I listened to the interview live. I think you made some good, important and fundamental points. But it seems as if you got off track when questioned about why exactly Palin's choice to knowingly give birth to a DS baby is the “worship of retardation.”

The point I was hoping you would make is that it is not necessarily the worship of retardation, but, more fundamentally, the worship of suffering--of having a DS baby because, in all likelihood, it is giving birth and raising one is going to be a burden. Palin, or at least her admirers for having such a child, seem to be saying: you must not abort a DS baby because it will be burdensome and make you unhappy, but rather you must suck it up and sacrifice, if that's the hand God has dealt you. I don’t think this point, the worship of sacrifice, was made, or, if it was, not strongly or repeatedly enough. (I’ll have to go back and relisten.)

Also, what about the issue of multiculturalism as a broader issue here?

While a parent can certainly love a DS baby, and I’m sure many do, the fact is a DS baby is not what any rational parent would hope for: a healthy child. By any rational standard, a DS baby is not someone more desirable than a healthy baby, and to put them on the same plane is irrational, a product of the multiculturalist America we live in.

Joseph Kellard

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thoughtful and honest response. You would be opposed then to state run facilities that care for the mentally retarded?

The struggle I have is that if these places didn't exist I fear there would be no care for them, aside from some of the more compassion minded religous groups who actually care for the helpless instead of just talking about it.

In a perfect world I would like to think most people would step up voluntarily but I honestly don't see it happening. I think people in general are too self absorbed to care.

As for the Palin situation I feel that if a parent has a religous objection to abortion and their child is born with DS that is fine if their is family to care for the child in the future, which in their case appears to be the case.

Peace,
David

Joseph Kellard said...

Nick,

I listened to the interview live. I think you made some good, important and fundamental points. But it seems as if you got off track when you were questioned about why exactly Palin's choice to knowingly give birth to a DS baby is the “worship of retardation.”

The point I was hoping you would make is this: it is not necessarily the worship of retardation, but, more fundamentally, the worship of suffering, if you decide to have a DS baby, since, in all likelihood, you would be giving birth to a child that is going to be a life-long dependent.

Palin, or at least those who admirer her for knowingly giving birth to a DS baby, seem to be saying: “It is immoral to abort a DS baby because it will be a life-long burden and make you unhappy, but rather you must suck it up and sacrifice, if that’s the hand God had dealt you—that is virtuous.”
I don’t think you made this point, the worship of sacrifice, or if you did it was not made strongly or repeatedly enough. (I have to go back and re-listen to the interview.)


Also, what about the issue of multiculturalism as a broader issue here?

While a parent can certainly love a DS baby, and I’m sure many do, the fact is that a DS baby is not what any rational parent would hope for: a healthy child. By any rational standard, a DS baby is not someone more desirable than a healthy baby, and to put both on the same level is irrational, a byproduct of the multiculturalist America we live in.

Lastly, Nick, I heard you apologize during your interview. What exactly where you apologizing for, and, in retrospect, should you have done so?

Joseph Kellard

Steve Rodgers said...

>I listened to the interview live. I think you made some good, important and fundamental points. But it seems as if you got off track when you were questioned about why exactly Palin's choice to knowingly give birth to a DS baby is the “worship of retardation.”

I listened to the interview live too and I disagree with Mr. Kellard's dour assessment. I don't recall Provenzo "apologizing" for anything beyond his not anticipating his opponent's every distortion of his argument in a piece that came in under 700 words.

In fact, I thought Provenzo did a great job defending abortion rights and I look forward to hearing him present his arguments in the media again.

Joseph Kellard said...

I only hear the interview once, and from what I remember, I thought Nick made some good, fundamental points about abortion rights. But I don't think he made clearly or forcefully enough -- or at all -- the idea that it is deprave for a parent to knowingly give birth to a DS child as means to demonstrate her commitment to self-sacrifice. This seemed to be at least an important *implicit* aspect of Nick’s short essay that, somehow, was not getting across to the interviewer. Unfortunately, I don't think Nick did the job in hammering home this point. That’s what I kept thinking throughout the interview.

As far as I know, Nick is not a professional intellectual trained to speak on radio or television. This was probably a rare broadcast interview for him, and I don’t expect that he’s going to make every point, clearly and pointedly, as I know he otherwise can. I’m simply pointing out that this was an important point to make, and, from what I remember, Nick did not convey that idea—at least not explicitly enough.


As to Nick apologizing, I don't remember exactly what the context was for his apology. I do remember, at one point, him saying, "I'm sorry" or "I apologize.” I just hope he was not apologizing for his fundamental positions.

That's all I'll to say on this matter.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Kellard on Nicholas Provenzo:

"Hey, Will Kane, aim a little higher. No, you're doing it wrong. OK, that was a good shot, but it wasn't between the eyes. I understand why though because you're just an amateur and maybe we should leave this the professionals."

Keep plugging Nick. You’re a lion in a herd of cats.

Joseph Kellard said...

Anonymous on Joseph Kellard:

I won't address the substance of Kellard's critique of Nick's radio interview, I'll just use a vague quote to counter his critique and pat Nick on the back by calling him a lion without any explanation as to why I'm doing so.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

Joseph Kellard makes a perfectly fine point and I'll take his criticism into account as I continue to defend the morality of abortion. Although I would have preferred that Mr. Kellard would have chosen to share his opinion with me privately since he knows me well enough to do so, if he wants to share his assessment of my activities or intellectual competence on this website he is certainly welcome.

And now that that's out of the way, I'm moving on to the more meaningful issues of the day.

Spratacus said...

I don't know why people are criticizing Joseph Kellard. I see him as an inspirational figure. Please allow me to demonstrate:

David (from the first comment, above),

I read your post a couple days after you wrote it. I think you asked Nick some good, important, and fundamental questions. But you really got of track when you parenthetically offered the example of a child who suffered a catastrophic brain injury within the first year of life.

I think the important question is really about what to do when the elderly fall down and can't get up. What I kept thinking as I was reading your post was: "why isn't David forcefully and repeatedly demanding solutions to the real danger that earth's gravitational forces pose to the elderly?"

Of course, from reading your post it was clear to me that you are not a professional interviewer. This blog comment was probably a rare moment of human contact in what I assume is an otherwise lonely and isolated existence. We could not possibly expect you to be able to unlock the mysteries of written language on your first attempt. I suppose that your effort, feeble as it was, is all we are entitled to expect from an amateur such as yourself.

Nevertheless I must take issue with your use of the word "genuinely." Did you mean to imply that if you hadn't said otherwise, Nick would not believe that your question was genuine? Are you implying that Nick Provenzo is not a trusting person? That he is suspicious by nature, and not inclined to any benevolence whatsoever toward his fellow man?

Now David, in hindsight, do you think it was such a good idea to use the word "genuinely"? Can't you think of another word that would have been more appropriate? Like I said, I read your comment a few days after you wrote it. I just hope you weren't casting any aspersions on Nick's character.

That is my final word on the subject.

Sincerely,

Spratacus Jones

Jack Galt said...

So I listened to Nicholas' radio interview just to see what all the hubub was with how he allegedly failed to measure up. His so-called "apology" was in the form of a clear insult; Nicholas apologized to the host for not anticipating every dishonest response and distortion of his article.

Furthermore, Nicholas explicitly stated his view that abortion was moral and that if a woman acted in her self-interest in having abortion, her choice was moral and the law should protect that choice.

Obviously Nicholas isn't bothered by Mr. Kellard's public criticism. Nevertheless, I think Mr. Kellard owes Mr. Provenzo a public apology for his remarks. Here is a person who's getting strung up by an Internet lynch mob for defending abortion rights and a supposed ally is publicly criticizing him. That's not helpful.

Spratacus said...

Jack,

I just read your comment. You make some important and fundamental points. But I find myself wondering: "Why isn't Jack engaging in aggressive rapid-fire questioning of Joseph Kellard's motives?"

Your inexperience is obvious to me. In fact it seems clear that you are a child between the ages of 8 and 12, you come from a broken home, and mathematics is not your best subject.

But when you say "That's not helpful" I find myself thinking "Is Jack saying that a moral defense of a woman's right to abortion is not helpful?"

In future comments, I hope you'll remember that like me, your audience is handsome and well-dressed, has a rugged yet dignified sense of style, and probably isn't paying attention to you. It never hurts to type in all caps and repeat the same statements over and over and over.

Yours truly,

Spratacus Jones, Professional