Bits & Pieces (Thursday Night Open Mic)

It’s a new video. This time, it’s Rick Santorum!

 

A new study links low I.Q. to prejudice, racism, and conservatism. To paraphrase my intellectual better, Forrest Gump: “I may not be a smart man, but I know what bullshit smells like.” A liberal quasi-dissents, but sort of agrees. The conflation of conservatism and racism is everywhere. Can you tell it’s an election year?

NASA films the dark side of the moon. No evidence of giant Transformers or secret moon bases.

What happened before The Big Bang? Johnny Galecki was unemployed! Bad-dum-dum! I’ll be here all week, folks.

Finally, they’re planning a broadway musical based on Back to the Future. About damn time.

You know what’s unbelievably cool? $1 billion dollars in profits. Emphasis on the unbelievable.

— KW


by Ashot
Somehow I feel like this video is perfect for the ATiM crowd.

And I thought this was funny, too.

61 Responses

  1. My 3 year old twin granddaughters who live in my house grin and say “I farted!” when they do and then both of them laugh. Never too young for fart jokes. If it smells especially bad, they say “yuk-eee!”

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  2. Thank Goodness! It’s been literally tens of minutes since something linking dissent from orthodoxy to low IQ’s, racism and conservatism has been published. I predict a study equating Conservatism to a mental disorder will be publicized within hours.

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  3. Something doesn’t square…how can I have a lower IQ and yet be more informed and correct more often than my more intelligent liberal friends? Could it be that I am a conservative savant? 🙂

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  4. Is nova here or will I finally be able to post a thought without him beating me to the punch?

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  5. lms (from earlier thread):

    But, we need to keep working on some of this stuff to get it right…

    I agree! What getting it right means, though, is a tougher question..

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  6. As a wheelie, I’m often treated akin to an Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron from Huxley’s “Brave New World”. Not only is my IQ suspect, SO IS MY HEARING!

    Speaking of a lack of mental function, the postmoderator has gone off the deep end over at WaPo. Truly hilarious and insulting all at once.

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    • James Taranto of the WSJ has an interesting take on the whole Planned Parenthood/Komen brouhaha.

      The attacks [on Komen] are vicious, and in some cases vulgar. MoveOn.org is encouraging people to post on Facebook a graphic that states: “I stand with groups that don’t screw over Planned Parenthood and 1,000’s of women in the process. Sorry,Susan G. Komen, that means NOT you.”

      Slate’s Amanda Marcotte, who was fired from John Edwards’s presidential campaign over sexually explicit anti-Catholic blog posts, called the decision not to renew the grant “a shocking move” and “an act of cowardice”–though in truth, Komen will show itself to be rather brave if it does not back down amid the abuse it is now taking.

      Planned Parenthood itself issued a press release in which president Cecile Richards declared: “We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure.” She described the Komen decision as “deeply disappointing and disturbing” and warned that it would “jeopardize women’s health” unless other donors came forward.

      They did. According to the AP report, Planned Parenthood raked in some $400,000 from 6,000 donors–around $67 each on average–within 24 hours. It was tactically savvy to turn a fund-raising disappointment into an opportunity, but we wonder if it might not have been a strategic mistake.

      Planned Parenthood’s bitter campaign against Komen–aided by left-liberal activists and media–is analogous to a protection racket: Nice charity you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it. The message to other Planned Parenthood donors is that if they don’t play nice and keep coughing up the cash, they’ll get the Komen treatment.

      There’s one crucial difference, however. In a real-life protection racket, the victim never pays voluntarily. The threat is present from the get-go. By contrast, Komen presumably was not under any duress when it made its grants–and it could have avoided all this nasty publicity by never dealing with Planned Parenthood in the first place.

      Thus smart prospective donors–especially ones that are apolitical, like Komen–are getting the message that supporting Planned Parenthood is a trap. Give once, and you will give again–or else you will pay.

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  7. Planned Parenthood’s bitter campaign against Komen

    You mean this?

    Planned Parenthood itself issued a press release in which president Cecile Richards declared: “We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure.” She described the Komen decision as “deeply disappointing and disturbing” and warned that it would “jeopardize women’s health” unless other donors came forward.

    I guess you could call that a bitter campaign if you wanted, but it would be hard to say it wasn’t true. Especially now that we get a glimpse behind the scenes, assuming it’s true, I probably would have been more bitter. Blame the victim……good idea.

    Today, Jeffrey Goldberg explains what really happened:

    Three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned
    Parenthood….The decision, made in December, caused an uproar inside Komen. Three sources told me that the organization’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board’s decision to cut off Planned Parenthood.

    ….John Hammarley, who until recently served as Komen’s senior communications adviser…explained that the Planned Parenthood issue had vexed Komen for some time. “About a year ago, a small group of people got together inside the organization to talk about what the options were, what would be the ramifications of staying the course, or of telling our affiliates they can’t fund Planned Parenthood, or something in-between.” He went on, “As we looked at the ramifications of ceasing all funding, we felt it would be worse from a practical standpoint, from a public relations standpoint, and from a mission standpoint. The mission standpoint is, ‘How could we abandon our commitment to the screening work done by Planned Parenthood?'” But the Komen board made the decision despite the recommendation of the organization’s professional staff to keep funding Planned Parenthood.

    ….Another source directly involved with Komen’s management activities told me that when the organization’s leaders learned of the Stearns investigation, they saw an opportunity. “The cart came before the horse in this case,” said the source, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. “The rule was created to give the board of directors the excuse to stop the funding of Planned Parenthood. It was completely arbitrary. If they hadn’t come up with this particular rule, they would have come up with something else in order to separate themselves from Planned Parenthood.”

    Oh and that bogus excuse doesn’t really fly when you still give money to both Penn State and the Catholic Church. Why don’t they just own up to the fact that because they’re anti-abortion they no longer want to fund the breast cancer screening provided by Planned Parenthood. Let people decide for themselves what that means to their donation dollars. If they want to be political let them, but don’t pretend they’ve done something noble and then blame others for reacting to their lies.

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    • lms:

      but it would be hard to say it wasn’t true.

      I don’t think the failure to donate money to a particular cause can sensibly be blamed for “jeopardizing” those who might have been helped if the donation was made. I don’t suppose you imagine you are “jeopardizing” the health of, say, men with prostate cancer just because you don’t donate anything to a particular prostate cancer research foundation.

      Why don’t they just own up to the fact that because they’re anti-abortion they no longer want to fund the breast cancer screening provided by Planned Parenthood.

      I agree. They should have the courage to do just that, if that is why they are deciding not to donate to PP. Somehow, though, I suspect if Komen did say that it wouldn’t really change your feelings on the matter.

      Question: Are people who now refuse to donate to Komen because of this “jeopardizing women’s health” if Komen cannot replace those donations?

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  8. I hope this discussion continues. And thanks, lms, for holding up the argument. I was so intrigued that I spent more time than I had this evening reviewing some recent discussions about Komen, birth control, insurance coverage of BC, etc. Right now, I’m incensed at much of it. lms is correct on all of it. Some of us females on this board are old enough to remember these same arguments decades ago, and the damage they did. It is, ummm, intriguing to read a bunch of males now making pronouncements. We react strongly because we remember and we perceive a constant pressure to whittle away women’s rights little by little. You should remember that sisterhood transcends many other boundaries. Nuff said for now.

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    • okie:

      It is, ummm, intriguing to read a bunch of males now making pronouncements.

      Which males? Which pronouncements? This is a very intriguing, although disappointingly vague, insinuation.

      We react strongly because we remember and we perceive a constant pressure to whittle away women’s rights little by little.

      Which “women’s rights” do you think are under pressure of being “whittled away”?

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  9. And, msjs, I laughed and laughed at ” I’m often treated akin to an Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron from Huxley’s “Brave New World”. Not only is my IQ suspect, SO IS MY HEARING!” I have a wheelie friend who shares your sentiments 110%.

    And darn you, I guess now I have to check out PL.

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  10. It would not surprise me, George, if these same researchers surveyed mental wards and found that psychotics exhibit statistical tendencies to be liberal.

    And that would have as much utility as this study does.

    Intelligence and emotional disorders are not predictably correlated. Nor are intelligence and political views or religion. All IMHO, of course.

    I lived through being pigeonholed as stupid within four years before becoming a national merit scholar because when we lost our farm I became the slowest talking kid in the city. This kind of supposed study always infuriates me.

    I can tell that this is a pretty damned bright group, regardless of politics, gender, age, physical condition, or previous military service. This is so obvious in our daily lives, as well, I would guess, that what might be more productive would be to try to analyze what actually makes folks conservative or liberal, or reactionary or radical, or moderate, because it is NOT a question of relative intelligence, or creativity, or genius.

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  11. I’m not even going to read the study because I’m sure it’s just another lame attempt at pigeonholing people and fostering divisiveness. These kinds of studies start with a premise imo and then look for data that substantiates it………..I remember the last one we all thought was so funny from the British. We had a good chuckle and moved on if I remember correctly. I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone over at the Plumline to agree with it if that’s anyone’s bag and you can have a grand debate until the moderators break it up.

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  12. BTW, here’s the full statement from Cecile Roberts of Planned Parenthood.

    “We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure. Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    “While this is deeply disturbing and disappointing, we want to assure women who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast care that we’re still here for them, and we always will be. The new fund we’re launching to support these services will ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize women’s health,” added Richards.

    And here’s more from the Planned Parenthood site:

    Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers with Komen program funding have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings.

    Planned Parenthood’s quality, accessibility and affordability make it a leader in identifying breast cancer early when there is the best chance of successful treatment. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings annually, offering risk assessments, breast exams, breast health information and education, and diagnostic and surgical referrals.

    Led by a generous $250,000 gift from Amy and Lee Fikes’ foundation, Planned Parenthood has established a Breast Health Emergency Fund to provide immediate funding to ensure that Planned Parenthood health centers can continue to provide breast cancer screenings and care that had previously been supported by Komen.

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  13. I’m not too worried about the funding for Planned Parenthood as apparently lots of other people have already stepped in to replace the counted on donations. Anyone who has ever worked in non-profit knows what it means when a budgeted donation falls through. I said the other night when I first heard this story that I was still supporting my commitments already made to Race for the Cure this year. My mother in law and her sister both died of breast cancer and our girls are watched carefully, so I will always find a way to support research and screening, whether it’s through the Komen Foundation, another charity or directly to Planned Parenthood. Most men, women and children who are passionate about the cure for breast cancer have personal reasons for donating and I’m certain they will find a way regardless of political affiliation.

    I do have strong feelings regarding Planned Parenthood, so you’re right about that anyway.

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  14. I have to say I am surprised by the sheer amount of agita over a 680k donation from one private foundation to another.

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    • Brent:

      I have to say I am surprised by the sheer amount of agita over a 680k donation from one private foundation to another.

      I doubt it’s the money that is creating the agita. It’s the presumed reason for not continuing to donate. Opposition to abortion is simply intolerable in some quarters.

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  15. Kev, thanx for the Santorum BLR. I can go to sleep with a smile.

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  16. Opposition to abortion is simply intolerable in some quarters

    Hmmmmmmmmmm, I didn’t know that was the issue we were discussing. That’s a whole different thread so I’ll leave you guys to it.

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    • lms:

      Hmmmmmmmmmm, I didn’t know that was the issue we were discussing.

      Isn’t it? The politics of abortion is central to virtually anything that happens with PP. What do you suppose okie was talking about when she mentioned the whittling away of “women’s rights”? (I still await clarification on that, of course, but the term “women’s rights” is generally used as a euphemism for legal abortion.)

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      • qb:

        If you are around today, let me know. I wouldn’t mind getting into our seeming disagreement about just how radical modern day liberals are. I can probably be convinced that you are right, but it will take some convincing.

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  17. As one who is deeply involved with Komen i’m just going to remind you about what I said last night (or the day before–it’s been a hectic couple of days). In a nutshell, this was a decision made for personal reasons by deeply religiously conservative people at HQ in Dallas, and I believe it will be quietly reversed in the wake of the uproar it has caused. Trust me, all of us who are known to be involved with Komen have heard TONS of feedback about it already, and I would guesstimate that 90% of what I have heard is not in Komen’s favor. This includes the police here in SLC, where I had a (planned before this announcement was made) meeting this afternoon–they’re a generally politically and religiously conservative bunch, the police here are, and they aren’t happy with Komen right now. When I’ve got cops stopping me in the hall in the police station to ask me WTF Komen is up to, they’ve (Komen) got problems.

    It will take them years to recover from this debacle. I’m not saying that as a judgement about whether or not they should provide funding to PP so much as it’s a judgement on their PR abilities sometimes–they didn’t see fit to inform the Affiliates ahead of time that they were going to do this and evidently figured that we’d all just support their unilateral decision blindly. I know of at least one Affiliate that had their entire Board of Directors resign today over this.

    I did find the discussion that this provoked very interesting. There are clearly some very deep divides amongst us about some actual personal liberties. . .

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  18. Who knew that we are part of a trend? An interesting take on Super Bowl ads and how the internet is going to kill them off. I don’t know that I buy it, but if the author is right ATiM is partially responsible. Hmmmmmmmmm.

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  19. Mich:

    There are clearly some very deep divides amongst us about some actual personal liberties.

    I wonder which divides you see on this front. I think there is a clear divide on the issue of abortion, but I would characterize that as a divide over the meaning/nature of human life, not over personal liberties.

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  20. I wonder which divides you see on this front. I think there is a clear divide on the issue of abortion, but I would characterize that as a divide over the meaning/nature of human life, not over personal liberties.

    Well, that’s the source of the divide, isn’t it? Neither side even agrees as to what the issue is about. On one side, it’s about protecting the lives of the unborn, no different to them than protecting the lives of newborns or toddlers. On the other side, its about protecting civil liberties, of having the right to choose your own reproductive future, and having control of your own body. Then certain folks on both sides (none here, but they are out there) argue that one side wants to kill babies, and that the other wants to take away women’s rights and make them second class citizens (and they hate sex!). Which is not an accurate characterization of the opposing viewpoints.

    Alas, PP and Komen is where the battles will be played out now, because those are the areas where each side can potentially win and lose battles. And such arguments might eventually lead to legal battles that will either help limit or help secure abortion rights in the future.

    The solution? Birth control in the water. You gotta go buy the antidote to get pregnant. No need for abortions! No accidental pregnancies.

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    • Kevin:

      Neither side even agrees as to what the issue is about.

      I think we could, at least here on ATiM.

      As you point out, much of the time the discussion is hampered by an attempt to win the argument without having one. That is, it is framed in such a way as to make disagreement seem totally unreasonable. Either one side wants to kill babies or the other wants to oppress women.

      However, even as a somewhat-opponent of abortion*, I am willing to stipulate that abortion should generally be legal right up until the point that human rights inhere in the newly created life. If human rights have not inhered yet in the zygote/fetus/baby, then any woman has an absolute right to destroy that zygote/fetus/baby.

      If abortion-rights advocates here are also willing to stipulate that abortion should generally not be legal after the point that human rights inhere in the newly created life, then we will have come to agreement about what the real issue is about, namely the moral status of the newly created life.

      Are abortion-rights advocates here willing to so stipulate?

      *For me the issue of returning the legal decision-making process back to its constitutionally proper place, ie state legislatures, rather than 9 unelected lawyers in robes, is much more important than actually outlawing abortion outright which, with the exception of a few states, I realize is pretty unlikely to happen in any event.

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  21. Scott, sorry, I’ll try to get back to your question this weekend. “Women’s rights” was the wrong term to use when I was thinking specifically of women’s health issues and insurance coverage for some of them. You are correct that does include the hot button (legalized abortion) for me, but that is not all.

    Why do you suppose “the politics of abortion is central to virtually anything that happens with PP”?

    Have a good day, all. Later.

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    • okie:

      Why do you suppose “the politics of abortion is central to virtually anything that happens with PP”?

      I will not be corked again. See KW.

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  22. Why do you suppose “the politics of abortion is central to virtually anything that happens with PP”?

    Because Planned Parenthood is an important pro-choice advocate, and helps women get abortions. The pro-life crowd is not going to worry much about whatever other good work they do, because they are an important organization when it comes to making abortion available, and advancing the pro-choice cause politically.

    Also, when battling an amorphous enemy (abortion) it helps to have a face (PP) to associate with it when making the case. And a battle against PP may be winnable, where the battle to outlaw abortion generally is less so.

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  23. BTW, I posted a study equating conservatism with both racism and lack of intelligence, and we’re talking about abortion? I thought for sure I was stirrin’ the pot. I just can’t start controversy. I’ll try to get back to it (always busy) but I think such studies are very interesting, in a meta way, as what they reveal about the thought processes of the folks conducting the study (not to mention the irony as regards how much they sound like Paul Broca comparing the skulls of black Africans and white Europeans and finding white Europeans the winners on all counts–for more read Stephen Jay Gould’s Mismeasure of Man sometime. It’s a great book.). But these are clear examples of both selective data interpretation and what I like to call The Red Shirt Fallacy™ (that is, I have known two people that were very mean to me and that wore red shirts; I thus conclude that all people who wear red shirts are mean, rotten human beings, and consider the primary evidence that I never wear red shirts to be a clear indication of just what a kind, caring person I am).

    But I’m not kidding about it being an election year. George says its been ten minutes, but I think it’s been about two (or four) years since the last round of “it’s really uncool to be a conservative” type studies. 😉

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  24. I am willing to stipulate that abortion should generally be legal right up until the point that human rights inhere in the newly created life.

    Agreed, but the problem becomes there is, in some sense, and inherent arbitrariness to the point: brainwaves, heartbeat, fingers? I knew a lefty who felt that life inhered the moment the baby took its first breath, so abortion should be legal basically up until the umbilical was cut.

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    • Kevin:

      Agreed, but the problem becomes there is, in some sense, and inherent arbitrariness to the point

      That may well be, but therein lies the real debate. To discuss killing babies or protecting women’s rights instead of making arguments about when rights inhere in humans is to evade the real issue. Abortion rights advocates clearly do not desire to, and do not think they are, killing babies. And abortion opponents do not desire to, and do think they are, oppressing women’s rights. To frame the issue in either of these ways is to avoid, not engage, the real issue.

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      • BTW…pretty significant jobs numbers.

        Non-farm payrolls up 243k (expected 140)
        Private payrolls up 257k (expected 160)
        Unemployment down to 8.3% (previous 8.5%)

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  25. For me the issue of returning the legal decision-making process back to its constitutionally proper place, ie state legislatures, rather than 9 unelected lawyers in robes, is much more important than actually outlawing abortion outright which, with the exception of a few states, I realize is pretty unlikely to happen in any event.

    I think it would be less of an issue if it were state by state (same goes for the War on Drugs).

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    • Kevin:

      I think it would be less of an issue if it were state by state (same goes for the War on Drugs).

      I think it is pretty clear that the primary reason abortion remains such a polarizing issue in our country is because the normal political process by which compromise is found on highly contentious issues has been, er, aborted by Roe v Wade. When an issue is “resolved” by judicial fiat rather than political compromise, it merely inflames passions on either side rather than muting them.

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  26. Scott:

    I am willing to stipulate that abortion should generally be legal right up until the point that human rights inhere in the newly created life.

    Given that we’ve been ’round and ’round already about when life begins, I’m not willing to stipulate to anything with you until you tell me what you actually mean by the phrase “human rights inhere in the newly created life”.

    Since we disagree on that most basic of definitions–human life–I’m not sure we can even have this conversation. I’m learning the perils of going toe-to-toe with you! 🙂

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    • Mich:

      tell me what you actually mean by the phrase “human rights inhere in the newly created life”.

      I think we agree that humans possess certain natural rights. (Correct me if I am wrong on that.) The framers described them as “inalienable rights”, and included among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If it is true that humans possess these rights, then they must come to possess them at some point in time. Coming to possess these rights is what I mean when I refer to human rights inhering in a newly created life.

      Since we disagree on that most basic of definitions–human life–I’m not sure we can even have this conversation.

      The conversation itself is largely about that disagreement, I suspect. It may be that we will never agree, but I think we ought to at least be able to acknowledge where our disagreement lies, and it is not a disagreement over either baby-killing or the rights of women. It is over the moral status of the thing being aborted.

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  27. KW:

    less of an issue if it were state by state

    For men, maybe. Not for women.

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  28. KW redux:

    less of an issue if it were state by state

    And this cuts right to the heart of Federalism v states’ rights. Put this in the same bucket as civil rights for blacks and changing the drinking age from 18 to 21 (that happened in the late 70s/early 80s) and you’ll begin to understand why state-to-state won’t work from my POV.

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  29. Planned Parenthood, while being a safe harbor for young women who discover they’ve wound up pregnant, is much more than that to most of us. I understand that it’s a lightening rod to the pro-life crowd and so inevitably any discussion regarding funding or even mission statements end up being a debate about abortion. As someone who’s an advocate for choice but only up to a certain point and in certain circumstances I accept the fact that not everyone agrees with me. But also as someone who is secure in my beliefs I’m not particularly persuaded by a different perspective.

    In many states already Planned Parenthood has virtually been driven out of existence and I suppose all I can say is I’m glad I don’t live in one of those states. When a young woman suddenly realizes she’s missed a period and her world is turned upside down, I’d like to think she has somewhere she can go for advice, especially if her family is unapproachable. If that counsel and her conscience leads to a safe and legal abortion very early in the pregnancy, I don’t feel the need to judge her decision. I’m not an advocate for abortion and I tend to lean toward a very early window of opportunity as a matter of my own conscience.

    When I grew up, abortion was illegal still, so I’ve seen the other side of the lack of choice. Planned Parenthood provides safe access but that 90% of their other work is just as, if not more important. All of my girls and most of their friends have been there for birth control or other exams as at different points in their life they’ve either been uninsured or unsure. I think the benefits of access far outweigh the perceived importance placed on the 10%. Of special importance to me is the services provided to low income women, many of whom struggle with finding and affording adequate reproductive services and products.

    As far as the war on choice, while it may be a bit of a misnomer in that some of us feel there’s something going on beyond just a war on the legal right to abortion, no one can doubt it’s an ongoing battle. As far as other battles being waged against what some of us see as more innocuous rights all you really have to consider is issues such as Initiative 26 in Mississippi to realize that there are certainly extremists in the pro-life movement. How much success they will have is anyone’s guess but I don’t think, as a woman who supports both choice and access, I should let down my guard just because it’s “Mississippi”.

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  30. Scott:

    think we agree that humans possess certain natural rights.

    Yes, we do.

    Coming to possess these rights is what I mean when I refer to human rights inhering in a newly created life.

    And you have previously defined life as beginning at the moment of conception. That is where we have our very basic disagreement, which means I don’t think we can even have this conversation in a meaningful way–I don’t agree that a fertilized egg is a human life. You’re asking me to stipulate (from your POV) that I’m killing a baby, and from my POV I’m not. From my POV I’m asking you to stipulate that a woman has a right to decide whether or not the zygote/fetus inside her can be removed up to a certain point, and from you POV–as I understand it–that point does not exist. So where do we agree to disagree?

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    • Mich:

      You’re asking me to stipulate (from your POV) that I’m killing a baby, and from my POV I’m not.

      Not at all. I am asking you to simply stipulate that, whenever rights do inhere in a human being, whether it is at conception, or at 12 weeks, or at when brain waves start, or when the heart starts pumping, or when it takes its first breath of air, or not until it graduates from law school (an old Jewish joke) – whenever that point is, that is the point at which destroying it becomes morally wrong. We can argue over when that point is…indeed, I think that is undoubtedly the crux of our disagreement…but that is where the argument belongs.

      Our disagreement, I believe, is not over what rights women have. Our disagreement is over what rights the thing being aborted has. Perhaps I am wrong however. Perhaps you do believe that even if the thing possesses human rights, it can still be rightfully destroyed. If that is the case, then our disagreement is actually over the nature of a human right. But if you are willing to stipulate that the thing, once it possesses rights (whenever that may come to pass), cannot be rightfully destroyed, then we agree about the meaning of rights, and disagree only on when a thing comes to possess them.

      From my POV I’m asking you to stipulate that a woman has a right to decide whether or not the zygote/fetus inside her can be removed up to a certain point, and from you POV–as I understand it–that point does not exist.

      You clearly misunderstand me. I absolutely am willing to stipulate what you want. A woman has a right to decide to destroy the thing inside her up until a certain point.

      Do you stipulate that a woman has no such right after a certain point? I think you are willing to do so. So then the question becomes, what is that point?

      I think it is the point at which human rights inhere in the thing inside her. Do you agree with this?

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      • KW:

        As far as I’m concerned, life begins when the kid finally moves out of the house (and you’re not having to pay their rent somewhere)?

        Dammit…will this corking never cease?

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  31. MG: For men, maybe. Not for women.

    Then why are men and women’s opinions on abortion so similar? Indeed, depending on how the question is worded, more men than women my say they favor legal abortion.

    If gender was the dividing point on the legality of abortion and when life begins, why is there such general agreement? And how would having the legality of abortion settled on a state-by-state basis change that?

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  32. MG: And you have previously defined life as beginning at the moment of conception.

    Has he? My memory isn’t that good. 😉

    As far as I’m concerned, life begins when the kid finally moves out of the house (and you’re not having to pay their rent somewhere).

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  33. You’re asking me to stipulate (from your POV) that I’m killing a baby

    I think he was asking you to stipulate that the rights of a living human being arrive at some point, presumably before birth. After that, an abortion would be killing a baby, but before that, probably not.

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  34. Kevin:

    Has he? My memory isn’t that good

    Only because you weren’t involved in that discussion. I dropped out after the first 24 hours, Mike kept it up for at least another 24. Indefatigable, thy name is Bolder. 🙂

    As far as the state-by-state thing goes, I’ll repeat my analogy. Did state-by-state work for civil rights for blacks in the 50s/60s?

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  35. but I don’t think, as a woman who supports both choice and access, I should let down my guard just because it’s “Mississippi”

    No, you definitely don’t want to let your guard down in Mississippi. 😉

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  36. OK, going into drive-by mode now–have to get actual work done for a bit!

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  37. As far as the state-by-state thing goes, I’ll repeat my analogy. Did state-by-state work for civil rights for blacks in the 50s/60s?

    No. Jim Crow laws and separate but equal were, as a whole, unconstitutional, and certainly in violation of the founding principles established in the Declaration of Independence (as was slavery). I’m not sure the right to abortion is quite the same thing, nor am I convinced that state-by-state decisions, where people are involved and got to participate in the process, would not have ended up with abortion being generally both legal and less controversial than it is now, but it’s never going to become a state-by-state legislative issue, so I don’t think much going to change. It’s going to remain largely legally, restricted and liberalized at the edges, and continue to be fought about, mostly by proxy, ala Komen and Planned Parenthood.

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  38. Scott:

    I absolutely am willing to stipulate what you want. A woman has a right to decide to destroy the thing inside her up until a certain point.

    Do you stipulate that a woman has no such right after a certain point?

    So stipulated.

    Heaven help me, let the jousting begin!

    (Although I still have to be a bit in drive-by mode for a few hours–work does beckon to a point!)

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  39. Kevin:

    but it’s never going to become a state-by-state legislative issue

    It already has, with states such as Kansas (and Utah) making it effectively impossible to get an abortion within the state. Hence why we (okie, lms and I) see this as an issue which is absolutely whittling away at womens’ rights, and why it is so important to push back.

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  40. It already has, with states such as Kansas (and Utah) making it effectively impossible to get an abortion within the state.

    Strategies to limit access can be advanced in individual states, but it’s still federal law.

    There are still, it looks like, plenty of places to get abortions in Utah. And Planned Parenthood recently opened there $8 billion dollar Abortionplex in Kansas. Does seem there are much fewer places to get an abortion in Kansas, actually. I would have thought Utah would have won that fight.

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  41. That’s pretty funny Kevin. It seems some people either don’t understand or appreciate satire or irony. I read a couple of the exchanges at the PL this morning, why are you apologizing, jeeze. Your sense of timing is one of your most endearing qualities afaic.

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  42. posted in morning report …. FYI … SGK just caved and will continue to fund PP

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  43. Apologizing is a chosen strategy. While I don’t want to say it’s insincere (it’s not, but if an apology for doing something truly boneheaded that I deeply regret is 100%, my apology in those sorts of interactions is a 2% apology), it’s also not my first reaction. But I think about it, and decide to do something that the other person will not do, in my estimation, and judge their reaction thusly. People rarely come up with an unqualified apology. So it’s interesting to see what the reaction is. And, with a few exceptions (Ethan2010) it serves to defuse the misunderstanding. And they almost never apologize for their own role (be it overreaction or just having too-thin a skin), so I can smile with a certain smugness, and nobody would ever know, except for my ill-considered admission of it here. 🙂

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  44. NoVA:

    SGK just caved and will continue to fund PP

    Hadn’t seen this yet–nice to be right every once in a while! 🙂

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  45. Is it safe?

    I have a view on abortion and I’m ambivalent about the fight over it for I see the fight as wrongly coached.

    I gave Kevin my background on the PL so I will not give it here.

    For the longest time the birthing process was dangerous for women. More often then not mothers died in childbirth. Midwives eventually started to learn and their involvement made the process a bit safer. The fear of this process was no minor thing at all. Women could choose to have or not have the child and when it came to rape or incest there was an easy call. All they had to do was claim “plugged tubes” prior to “quickening” and the process for the Doctor was basically an abortion.

    Soon men started to get involved and the states brought Doctors into the situation which had always bothered them. They knew in many cases they were aborting a fetus and the husband had no say over the matter. “Quickening” was the clear evidence of pregnancy in that time.

    Long story-short women lost control of the argument over having or not having a child. This was in an era when the process still dangerous. It was made more so for the midwives were swept aside in favour of not-so-well-trained doctors. So women really lost control for now the mid-wives were out other than serving as nurses and they had no control over whether having the child or not.

    Then abortions became a business. Usually the rich had no issues for they could get the service and the best kind. Always. It would be the poorer sort who would have to deal with the various state laws and go where it could be had. If it was very expensive or difficult they would be the mangled and the dead in the battle over abortions. The rich . . . would never really be concerned.

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