When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The Virginia Cankerworm Bill (and a Poll)

At this point it is superfluous to name Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran an Ethics Dunce. That’s obvious, both from extreme her pro-late term abortion position, and her disingenuous, cowardly back-tracking once her callous and unethical views went viral on YouTube. This, however, requires not merely malfunctioning ethics alarms but dead political survival alarms, melted human decency alarms, and rusted-solid “How can I look at myself in the mirror?” alarms.

The same day, January 9, that Tran introduced “House Bill No. 2491 — Abortion; eliminate certain requirements,” she introduced House Bill No. 2495 – Fall cankerworm; spraying prohibited during certain months.”

No, the bills aren’t really related, except symbolically. Tran’s abortion bill aims to strip virtually all legal protections for the unborn in Virginia. Tran’s other bill adds protections for caterpillars, though the objective of the bill isn’t really the welfare of the bugs. Nonetheless, the juxtaposition is ugly and to some, telling. To full-throttle abortion advocates like Tran, unborn children might as well be worms, except that they don’t object to restrictions on worm-killing.

Now, if you only read the mainstream news media, Trans’ worm bill probably never came to your attention, and the editors of the Post, the Times, and CNN would doubtless argue that it wasn’t news, or anything the public needs to know. Tucker Carson’s conservative Daily Caller first reported the story, and the only news sources that carried it thereafter were conservative media reliables like CBN and The Daily Wire. Now to be fair, the conservative media hyped and distorted the story: Tran’s bill was not the “save the caterpiller” measure  the Daily Caller represented it to be.

Nonetheless, I think the mindset of the radical pro-abortion Left is something the public needs to understand, and I think the fact that an elected state legislator would see nothing amiss as she enters one bill that protects pest lives during certain months and another that eliminates months of protection for human fetuses is newsworthy.  I also think that the story isn’t deemed news worthy because of the pro-abortion bias of the mainstream news media, which either thinks like Tran and doesn’t see the problem, or, which is more likely and typical of 21st Century U.S. journalism, does see the problem and wants to bury it.

What do you think?



16 thoughts on “When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The Virginia Cankerworm Bill (and a Poll)

    • That is a good question. Can it be answered fairly and without bias?

      Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin have a book out now called National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy (Penguin/Random House 2018) Very, very helpful in understanding the present. They touch on the social and cultural dynamics that are producing the conflict of values and ideas that are now highly visible. These require interpretation. And to interpret them requires backgrounding.

      I would say that the reason for the pro-abortion bias is because all of the journalists now on the scene, and also those that comprise the media establishment (the businesses themselves, the economic entities and the managers (elites) that run them) all come out of liberal/hyper-liberal university environments.

      These environments inculcate in young people certain ‘liberal perspective’ which, in relatively recent years, has morphed to one that is ‘hyper-liberal’ and Gramscian-Marxist (‘culturally Marxist’ as the term goes). One absorbs these perspectives by ‘cultural osmosis’, that is, without necessarily involving detailed study of the issues and questions. But, there are some who do devote the time and energy to a detailed study and, on the whole (as I have noticed), they are people of a certain metaphysical stance. But largely a materialistic-scientistic, ‘progressive’ and also ‘feminist’.

      These environments, and the sort of knowledge-base that they inculcate, is anti-Christian, and it is mostly on the basis of a specific metaphysical view (that the soul exists, and that an unborn baby is a soul created by God who has come into manifestation in this world but has not yet existed the womb of the mother into that manifest world) that ethical abortion can be conceived and defended. As long as the *soul* is understood as *being real* and is supported by an overarching Christian metaphysical conception, abortion will be problematic. It is as simple as that.

      In order to make abortion universally ethical, I suggest, Christian metaphysics must be undermined, invalidated, or simply no part of the analysis or consideration of ‘what goes one there’. Therefore, reducing an unborn child to a ‘node’ or a biological protuberance without consequence must be the order of the day, and therefore the conceptual structure of Christian ethics and morality must be undermined.

      The Media in general sides with these perspectives for a wide group of reasons, and all of them can be discovered and named. There is historical causation involved, too. That is, an evolution of ideas (about life and being) that have come on the scene and been given power for economic reasons and for egalitarian reasons. In this sense, reproduction (on the part of women) is seen as a form of slavery which must be alleviated by the possibility of ending a pregnancy. This *freedom* must trump any other consideration. Media-systems absorb this value-set along with a whole wide range of value-sets.

      • Apologies, this was unclear and I have rewritten it:

        “These environments, and the sort of knowledge-base that they inculcate, is anti-Christian, and it is mostly on the basis of a specific anti-Christian metaphysical view (the Christian view is that the soul exists, and that an unborn baby is a soul created by God who has come into manifestation in this world but has not yet existed the womb of the mother into that manifest world) that ethical abortion can be conceived and defended.”

        • You really should have that condition check out by a licensed physician, or a 50 years old (minimum) English teacher: one or the other could help you boil things into a summary that saves our ever diminishing world supply of pixels.


          I like what you said, by the way. Once the clouds were dispelled, the landscape was quite pretty.

          • My English teacher, Charles Green, has abandoned me completely.

            Even he would recognize that every sentence, ever word, every concept there was necessary to successfully make the point.

            [It’s only that it is so new for you! 😉 ]

  1. Jack, to me the connection between the two is just too tenuous to be particularly meaningful. I get the point made by conservatives (You’d rather protect pests than human beings in a fetal state), but to me, it’s just not a close enough relationship and it feels made-up.

    I take your point. I take the point of others who are using it to expose Tran’s absurd position on abortion. However, I don’t find it particularly illuminating or persuasive.

  2. I tried to wade through the Virginia statute, and my eyes glazed over pretty quickly. If I had to make any guess, though, I think the bill is just stupidly entrenching a sensible policy as blind law. A quick read on fall cankerworms suggests that they don’t hatch until October (though that’s always a rule of thumb than a hard law). A charitable interpretation of Tran’s bill, devoid of any intent, would suggest that the bill is just meant to prevent futile spraying. A good policy is probably to only spray when it would actually be effectual, and if it isn’t effectual until September or October, then you probably shouldn’t spray before them. So, absent any indication that Tran was trying to actively protect cankerworms, I would presume that concerns over pesticides getting into water and crops needlessly is the driving concern, and that there’s probably even a “Think of the children!” aspect of it.

  3. I did a little search into the reasoning behind the cankerworm bill and found;
    HB 2495 – This bill helps save our birds and butterflies by protecting the fall cankerworm (caterpillar), an important food source for birds and their young during their breeding and migratory season.
    So Tran doesn’t think the cankerworm is more important than unborn babies, she thinks birds and butterflies are.

  4. Reminds me of when I saw a car plastered with bumper stickers, one of them “I’m pro-choice!” and another, “Save the Monarch Butterflies!”

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