The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Lincoln Strategy on Abortion

Those following along on twitter might have seen me go at Will Saletan for saying this:

Oy, there was so much wrong with this it was hard to know where to begin.  First, the videos he is complaining about appear to be journalism.  Politically motivated journalism, but journalism nonetheless.  How does this differ from the hundreds of hidden camera investigations conducted by ABC, CBS, NBC and so on over the years?  But suddenly whenever a conservative uses it to go after a liberal sacred cow, its somehow unfair and unethical.  Heck one of the targets of this called it “terrorism.”

Of course what is upsetting them are these videos that have been surfacing, James O’Keefe III style.  Apparently ran women who were genuinely pregnant into abortion clinics and essentially got a candid take on the attitude of these doctors’ attitude towards life and death.  Here’s one video, for instance:

Of course the comparison to DNR (do not resuscitate) orders in the case of a terminal cancer patient is inapposite.  In that case, it is generally done at the wishes of the patient him or herself.  This is a mother who just tried to kill her baby in the womb then deciding that the baby isn’t getting off that easily.  And of course a terminal patient is a terminal patient, as in a person expected to die soon.  The babies surviving abortion, by comparison, have their whole lives ahead of them, if they could only make it out of the doctor’s office alive.

And that is followed by this video:

The chilling part is when they are talking about the solution.  What they are saying is that if the fetus comes out in once piece, don’t worry they will put it in a solution and it will die, from the toxins and from drowning.

And notice also how they are doing their best to make sure she doesn’t think through the moral implications of it.  Don’t worry you won’t see the baby, won’t see any sonograms, etc.  Yeah God forbid you look what you are killing in the eye.

But pointing it out is exploitation to Saleton and that is the real issue.  Which led me to this mockery on twitter:

An exploitive book:

Okay that is more of the “humor that barely masks fury” variety of mockery but there you go.  And indeed, if you follow the link in his original tweet, it leads to a story about those videos, which involve infanticide.  So his tweet saying it was about “late term abortion” is not accurate.  I mean, unless you accept the Mrs. Cartman definition of abortion:

That is from an episode of South Park, and as outlandish as it might sound to call killing an eight year old child and calling it abortion, it is getting less outlandish by the day.  For instance, several months ago, I covered the story of The Journal of Medical Ethics publishing an article advocating after-birth abortion, that actually went the full Nazi.  Never go the full Nazi.  From the article:

Euthanasia in infants has been proposed by philosophers for children with severe abnormalities whose lives can be expected to be not worth living and who are experiencing unbearable suffering....

Although it is reasonable to predict that living with a very severe condition is against the best interest of the newborn, it is hard to find definitive arguments to the effect that life with certain pathologies is not worth living, even when those pathologies would constitute acceptable reasons for abortion. It might be maintained that ‘even allowing for the more optimistic assessments of the potential of Down's syndrome children, this potential cannot be said to be equal to that of a normal child’.  But, in fact, people with Down's syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.

Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.

So I pounded Saletan on how he was at the very least ignoring the infanticide involved:

(By the way = by the way.)

As I was making this point, a pro-life twitterer and I had this exchange:

And continuing my conversation:

And so I would like to take a moment to explain in further detail what I mean.

Abraham Lincoln wasn’t perfect, but he believed in the wrongness of slavery.  He once said:  “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.”

He never conceded for one moment the rightness of slavery.  But as a strategy he did not talk about its abolition generally.  Instead he focused on two issues that are at its periphery.

The first, was the far more basic issue of freedom and democracy for white people.  This is less than ideal, because it made the freedom of black people a secondary concern, but I think it was necessary at the time rhetorically.  He held the view, shared by many, that holding black people in slavery was not only an affront to the human rights of black people, but it threatened the freedom and democratic government of all people.  This was not an unrealistic fear.  For instance, when the territory of Kansas was allowed to vote on whether to come in as a free or slave state, the people of the free states watched as a pro-slavery cabal attempted to undemocratically put in place a pro-slavery government.  During the small-scale civil war in that territory, Elijah Lovejoy, an abolitionist newspaperman died defending his press from an anti-abolitionist mob.  There were even proposals for federal sedition acts that would have prohibited abolitionist speech lest it foment slave rebellion.

And then there was the political extortion used to try to bully the North into failing to vote its conscience.  Abraham Lincoln makes the evil of this tactic clear:

But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "[Give me your money], or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!"

To be sure, what the robber demanded of me - my money - was my own; and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.

Of course if what the South was asking for was respect for the Constitution or basic human rights that would be one thing, but it wasn’t.  He wasn’t proposing to outlaw slavery where it was.  He was proposing to ban it in the territories where it wasn’t—something he correctly pointed out in the same speech was understood to be Constitutional since the establishment of the republic.

What you have to understand is that in the eyes of the North, the election of Abraham Lincoln was seen as a test, to see if the South could stand to lose for once.  Even if you dispute that view of things (and I don’t), that is how Lincoln made the North see it.  And it was key to his political victory in 1860 and that important step toward the end of slavery.

The rest of the speech similarly hammered the issue of freedom and democracy—as in, how it affected white freedom and mainly white democracy.  For instance, he explained to the North what it would take to appease the South:

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

He goes on to paint out the litany of horrors that would follow from that appeasement.  The rhetorical trick is to make appeasement so unappetizing that anyone thinking of it would choke.  Their sense of honor would reject it the way your stomach will eject a diseased egg salad sandwich.  So when it was clear that he had painted a sufficiently awful picture of appeasement, he then turned around and argued that they then had to stand firm, that appeasement is not an option.  Not to end slavery—they were several years away from that—but to stop the appeasement of its advocates.

So that was one issue he focused on: the right to speak and to vote your conscience.  And the other, hinted at in that speech, was his desire to stop the spread of slavery.  To explain how he could allow slavery to continue to exist in the states while opposing its spread in the territories and in new states, he offered a metaphor:

If I saw a venomous snake crawling in the road, any man would say I might seize the nearest stick and kill it; but if I found that snake in bed with my children, that would be another question. [Laughter.] I might hurt the children more than the snake, and it might bite them. [Applause.] Much more if I found it in bed with my neighbor's children, and I had bound myself by a solemn compact not to meddle with his children under any circumstances, it would become me to let that particular mode of getting rid of the gentleman alone. [Great laughter.] But if there was a bed newly made up, to which the children were to be taken, and it was proposed to take a batch of young snakes and put them there with them, I take it no man would say there was any question how I ought to decide! [Prolonged applause and cheers.]

That is just the case! The new Territories are the newly made bed to which our children are to go, and it lies with the nation to say whether they shall have snakes mixed up with them or not. It does not seem as if there could be much hesitation what our policy should be! [Applause.]

(Seriously, we need Daniel Day-Lewis to go back and do at least a vocal track, if not a full video rendition of each of these speeches.  It would be a national treasure.  He was that good as Lincoln.)

So those were the two issues.  Freedom and democracy, and ending slavery in the territories.  While he never let people get confused about the morality of slavery itself, he focused his political proposals on those two issues.

Of course ideally Lincoln would have proposed, and the people would have gone along with, a Thirteenth Amendment ending slavery right then and there.  I think in his heart of hearts, Lincoln wanted  that to happen but whatever he wanted, it just wasn’t politically possible at that time.  So instead he used these smaller issues to drive a wedge.  He would use milder messages: “I know you aren’t willing to give up your slaves in your states, but could we just stop expanding slavery?”  That isn’t a quote, but it is boiled down what his message was.  It was also this: “I know you aren’t willing to give up the slaves in your states, but can we continue to at least say it is wrong?  Can we vote for politicians who say it is wrong and it shouldn’t expend?”

This was the opposite end from firebrands like William Garrison who famously burned a copy of the Constitution because it was seen as a pact with slavery.  By being so moderate, by asking for such basic things, Lincoln wanted to show the North just how radicalized and unreasonable the South had become by that time.  He wanted to be the soft-spoken one, clearly speaking moral truth to evil.  And when his olive branch was rejected moral clarity would result.  Everyone would know who the radicals, who the aggressors were.  As Lincoln said at the eve of the Civil War to the South, “You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors.”  Some Southern-leaning historians have alleged that by doing this or that the North started the war, but it really does make it hard to argue that the North was the aggressors when the South did unambiguously fire the first shot.

And likewise, before the war, he forced the South into being the aggressors, to say “No! You can’t vote for a politician who will only stop the spread of slavery.”  Consider for instance, the document from South Carolina declaring secession.  Like our Declaration of Independence listed charges against the King of England, it lists a set of supposed violations of Southern rights, but they read as thin gruel:

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

That is right, South Carolina felt it was a cause of secession to speak out against slavery and assemble to make that message known, two actions specifically protected by the Constitution itself.  And the other complaint was that they refused to allow slaves to be held in their states, which is how it was from the beginning of the republic.  It gets worse (as in lamer).  In the next paragraph, they complain that

Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.

Saying it observes the “forms” of the Constitution is better understood as meaning that they can’t even pretend the Constitution prohibits Lincoln from becoming President.  They just don’t like it.  But losing an election by itself is not a cause for just rebellion.  And, alas, they go on:

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

In other words, they are mad that some states let black people be citizens and vote, based on the Dred Scott case.  I discussed that aspect of the case, here.  As though another state doing such a thing is an affront to them.  What happened to states’ rights?

And it goes on, flying into sheer hysterics, claiming that somehow all of this will lead to this horror:

The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

All because people wanted to elect a president who said he thought slavery was wrong, and should be excluded from the territories.  Really, seriously, doesn’t it sound a bit like this:

My point isn’t to debate the causes and justification of the Civil War.*  If you believe the South’s cause was just, then you have to concede that Lincoln made your allegedly just cause look unjust and indeed ridiculous.  And if you think the Southern cause was unjust—as I do—then he simply made obvious what was true all along.  Whatever you think of the substance of the issue, appreciate the political maneuver for what it is.

And if you are pro-life, you should seek to replicate it for slavery.

Abraham Lincoln said, more or less, “can we just stop the spread of slavery?  And can we be free to vote and speak our consciences?”  These were utterly reasonable requests.

Likewise, we should start with, “once the fetus has left the womb, shouldn’t a doctor be required to do everything within reason to make it live?”

I do not mean that the pro-lifers must give one inch morally.  If you are inclined to oppose all abortion, do that.  If you are inclined to allow for a few exceptions, be clear on that as well.

But focus our action on what is the mildest and most reasonable position: that once a baby is fully born, it has a right to life.   And create laws designed to aggressively ensure that it happens.  With the Gosnell trial, with the blasé attitude of the people in those videos, it is increasingly clear that the cheapening in the value of human life inside the womb has led to a co-commitment cheapening of the value of life outside the womb.

What possible objection could the left have to that?  Once it is outside the woman’s body it is no longer a matter of “my body my choice,” now is it?  And over and over again abortion advocates act as though if a woman gives birth to a baby, they are legally obligated to take care of it.  Listen to the women in the second video.  They act as though the baby being born alive is a problem for the mother.  This isn’t true.  You can’t leave a baby in a dumpster, but you can always turn the baby over to the state, give up your parental rights and hope your baby finds a loving home.  In any case, once you give your baby to the state, it is no longer your problem.  Or at the very least leave it on the doorstep to a convent and knock hard.  You don’t want to take care of it?  Fine, give it to someone who will.  Is that too much to ask for?

It is sad that we seem to have reached a point where infanticide is increasingly tolerated, ignored or excused.  We even have a president who will not ban it.  But this, my pro-life friends, is the battle you can focus on and you can win.  And once it is conceded a fetus that had been gestating for six months, that can live outside the womb and has been ejected from the mother has a right to life, then work your way backwards.

And for those on the pro-choice side, let me lay it out.  Abortion is an evil, but it is occasionally a necessary evil.  I don’t want to see a total ban, but this is what I want to see the most.

First, Roe v. Wade and its progeny must go.  And that doesn’t mean suddenly abortion will be illegal all across the U.S.  What it means is that states will have a chance to decide whether abortion is legal and under what conditions.

But I say that with one caveat.  Contrary to some of my friends on the pro-life side, I do believe that the Constitution guarantees a right to abortion when the health or life of the mother is in danger.  To me, I see it as being similar to my belief that you have a constitutional right to self-defense.  I will not say that the state can never ask a person to lay down their lives for another—military conscription is Constitutional, after all—but the times when the state can ask you to do so are few and far between.  So while we should correctly honor the courage and sacrifice of any woman willing to endanger her life or health to bring another life into this world, the law should not demand it.

From there, I say let the states have at it.  What exactly is the left afraid of?  Fifty three percent of the population is women.  And the other forty-seven percent is blood relation to at least one woman.  These facts are tautologically true and should stop making us scared of having a normal negotiation over the exact contours of abortion law.  This is something We the People can work out for ourselves and not have it handed down to us by nine robed masters.  And the best thing of all is if what we decide is a mistake, it is easy to fix it.  You can’t say the same thing about an unconstitutional decision by the Supreme Court.

I have an opinion on what the particulars of an idea post-Roe regime would be.  But this piece is long enough already.  And besides the most important part is that We the People should make this decision, not some elite.


* But I will restate my often-repeated position on the righteousness of the Confederacy.  There is no right to secession in the Constitution.  And there was indeed no legal right for us to rebel against England, too.  It is exceedingly rare to find a government charter that allows for its own destruction.

But there is a natural, moral right of rebellion, which we properly invoked during the Revolution.  So can the South invoke it?  I would say not.  Defenders of the Confederacy said that they were about state’s rights.  It would take a longer essay that this to make this point, but the South found no state’s right it supported or federal power it opposed, that harmed the cause of slavery.  For instance, the Fugutive Slave Act of 1850 was not only flagrantly unconstitutional but a violation of state’s rights, and yet the south supported it, even against assertions of state rights to block it.  When a person is hypocritical in one cause but utterly consistent in the service of another, it is only logical to say that it is the latter cause that is truly motivating them.  That is the case with slavery.

And the protection of slavery is not a just cause for a war.  Even if they were violating provisions explicitly in the Constitution, so what?  That is a cause for lawsuits and complaints, but not for unlawful violence.  Rebellion is reserved for vindicating true rights, like the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And rather than protecting those rights, slavery was an affront to all of them.  On each day of its existence, slavery was only a cause for rebellion for the slaves themselves, not for their masters.


My wife and I have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years.  I know that claim sounds fantastic, but if you read starting here, you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video evidence.  If you would like to help in the fight to hold Mr. Kimberlin accountable, please hit the Blogger’s Defense Team button on the right.  And thank you.

Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.  And you can purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.  And you can read a little more about my novel, here.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.

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