Friday, February 24, 2012

The Perversity of Extremism Tends Toward The Maximum

The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion

Sir Arthur C. Clarke

“Credo,” Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! Collected Essays, 1934-1998, 1999

I need a word.

And I’m pretty sure that word is “boggle.”


Let’s review, shall we?

Here we have a political party who believes that while corporations are people, and therefore imbued with unlimited and inalienable rights, women are not – not people and not imbued with the same rights as men or corporations. 

Paradoxically, and for no reason that I can fathom – other than perhaps either brainwashing or a staggering level of self loathing – there are actually women who share this belief.

Now, these are the same folks who have proclaimed themselves champions of personal liberty here in the United States of America and are opposed to any regulation on business even when the conduct of that business poses a real and immediate threat to the security and welfare to the entire nation, indeed the entire world, but who see nothing wrong with regulating the hell out of a uterus.  Men have rights. Corporations have rights. Churches have rights. Uteruses have rights. Fetuses have rights. Women have rights only so long as they don’t impinge on the previously mentioned rights.

These are the people who claim to revere the concept of personal responsibility, of self determination, of freedom –  and supposedly the consequences thereof – except when it comes to a woman’s right to decide what is right for herself and her aforementioned uterus.  These people believe that any woman who chooses to accept personal responsibility for her own decision, must not be allowed to make that decision if it conflicts with their religious beliefs – even if the woman in question isn’t an adherent of their religion. 

These are the folks who hysterically scream“fascism!” and “death panels!” and demand the right to decide their own medical decisions for themselves without interference from either their neighbors or the government or anybody else’s church, but somehow believe that God told them to legislate a woman’s healthcare options, and most especially that aforementioned uterus.

These are the folks who think laws governing healthcare that come from the federal government are “communism,” but the exact same directives issued at the state and local level somehow are not.

These are the folks who decry supposed social engineering by their political opposition, but see nothing wrong with attempting to manipulate the population by implementing laws and practices whose only purpose is to publically shame and humiliate any woman who avails herself of a legal medical procedure. Doubtless these are the kind of people who if they had ever read The Scarlet Letter, would see themselves as the smugly self righteous Puritans – but in reality they are the self-hating hypocrite, Reverend Dimmesdale, piously preaching God’s morality and waving the Bible, and with their holy robes carefully clutched over their own shameful brand.

These are the kind of people who hold governmental hearings on women’s healthcare, and don’t allow a single woman to participate on the panel.

These are folks who rage loud and hysterically demand new laws to prevent the bronze age edicts of Middle Eastern religions from being imposed upon the women of America, despite absolutely no evidence in any way shape or form of that happening and Constitutional prohibitions specifically preventing it in the first place, but then vehemently protest and threaten violence when they aren’t allowed to impose the medieval misogyny of a religion from another part of the Middle East upon those very same women while they simultaneously denounce those very same Constitutional protections. 

These are the folks who demand that their own religious icons be posted in American courthouses, and yet somehow completely and blindly fail to understand that if they actually did get their way and American law really was indeed based upon those very same Biblical directives, they would be some of the very first criminals stoned to death in the town square and outside the city gates, Jehovah didn’t differentiate between Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative. There was a time when this land was governed by such laws, note the previously mentioned Nathaniel Hawthorne novel, somehow I seriously doubt many of these people really want to return to that world, most especially including a certain former Speaker of the House, presidential candidate, and serial adulterer – but I digress.

These are the people who actually think that abstinence is a workable form of birth control despite millennia of contrary examples, despite being supposed experts in the human condition, despite the fact their own priests and politicians can’t remain celibate, despite the staggering pandemic numbers of unwanted and unintended pregnancies, and despite the fact that they themselves (and their children) keep coming up pregnant – which probably goes a long way toward explaining why so many of them use birth control, including hormonal birth control, despite their hypocritical call for others to abstain.

These are the folks who would kill, who have killed, to defend a fertilized human egg that has neither divided nor implanted in the uterine wall, but abdicate any and all responsibility for the same child once it’s born. For them, life begins at conception and ends at birth.

These people adamantly reject sexual, marital, and reproductive healthcare recommendations from degreed and accredited American medical experts backed up by literally centuries of scientific advancement and experience, and embrace the palsied iron age godly “wisdom” of an 80-year old holy man in a pointy hat who holds no medical degree, has never entered into any long term sexual relationship let alone marriage and indeed may never have actually had sex with anybody, has never produced children, has never raised a family, lives a privileged and secluded life that has no resemblance to the average American in any way whatsoever, and who claims the moral and ethical high ground despite helming an organization that repeatedly and continually fails to acknowledge or take responsibility for countless heinous acts of systemic abuse of its own children, a man who only last week promoted to senior positions clergy who were directly responsible for perpetuating and enabling and covering up those very same acts, and a man too damned busy with the mote in everybody else’s eye to see the three hundred foot long, thirty foot in diameter, five hundred ton redwood tree lodged up to the rootball in his own eye socket.  Whenever I witness these pointy hat wearing sons of bitches questioning the president’s morality, it makes me want to vomit and I sincerely hope that there is an actual hell of brimstone and ice waiting for these vile fuckers, but I digress yet again.  I also spit on the ground at their feet.

These are the same silly sons of bitches who think that pregnancy resulting from rape is a gift from God.

These are the very same red faced blowhards who, at every single opportunity since the Lyndon Johnson administration, pontificate with relentless fervor against the welfare queens who supposedly do nothing but indiscriminately welp out an endless parade of crack-babies on the taxpayer dole, but now suddenly they’re against birth control.

These are the folks who hold women in utter contempt as fallen sinful creatures, as purveyors of some bullshit made-up concept of original sin, as less than man, as less than corporations, as weak and willful and unclean, but then are afraid that if a couple finds out that the sex of their fetus is female, well, heck they might abort.

And, yes, these are very same folks who think that the government has no authority to require insurance companies to pay for prenatal care or optional ultrasounds in order to ensure the health of a fetus intended to be carried to term, but do think the government should mandate the very same procedure for abortions (Seems to me that if you’re a  Texan, or a Virginian say, and want an expensive ultrasound analysis of your pregnancy for free, even if you’re uninsured (or your insurance company refuses to pay for it), all you have to do is say you’d like an abortion, then “change” your mind after the exam and “decide” do keep the baby – oh well, look at that blurry little blob, you’ve convinced me, Jesus! Be sure to ask for a hardcopy of the picture first, and maybe a video to keep you on the straight and narrow, and maybe some complimentary copies for grandpa and grandma, also how about a cup of coffee and some of those blueberry muffins? Otherwise I might just have to terminate this little bastard. Thanks, cream in the coffee, no sugar. But, as I’m sure you’ve already noted, I digress).

Yes, boggle.

It just boggles my mind.

It boggles my mind that anybody, let alone a woman, would actually propose a law that would require a doctor to jam an ultrasound probe into a woman’s vagina and force her watch video of a blob of tissue that by definition is so underdeveloped that it can’t even be detected by other means, that is so unlike a human being that it requires a specialist to interpret the various parts of the image. It boggles my mind that there is actually a woman on this planet who would actually think for one second that violating any other woman, let alone a traumatized woman who was impregnated through rape or against her will, was in any way whatsoever a moral or ethical or human thing to do.  The horrifying level of gender-hatred and self-loathing it must take to be that woman boggles my mind.

It boggles my mind that a governor, a supposedly educated man charged with the representation of all the citizens of his state – not just the ones with external plumbing or letters of incorporation – would actually even consider signing such an abomination.  And it boggles my mind that anybody, any American, would consider such a man for any elected office, let alone the office of Vice President.

No matter how many times these silly pinched-faced sons of bitches get shot down, they keep coming back. They keep trying to impose their bullshit on the rest of us.

They want us to believe that it isn’t about denying women the right to self-determination.

They want us to believe that it is about the children.

They want us to believe that it isn’t about their religion.

They want us to believe that it’s about the right to life.

Fair enough.

If it’s really about life, about the sanctity of life, if jamming a probe into a woman’s vagina and forcing her to look at her insides in order to exercise her constitutional right under the law is about life,if it’s about that, well then I propose a few amendments.

How about we say that any man attempting to exercise his right to access certain medications, say like Viagra, should have to undergo a thorough and complete medical review to ensure he is healthy enough for extended sexual activity, after all, the natural order of such things, i.e. God’s will, says that he’s not, otherwise he wouldn’t need the man enhancer in the first place would he?  The exam should include an invasive internal ultrasound of his prostrate. Sure jamming a probe up his ass is a completely unnecessary medical procedure, but we can never be too careful when it comes to life, now can we? A man should have to look his prostate in the eye so that he knows what he’s getting into, right?  And, since we’re talking about life here, he should also be tested for all known venereal diseases to ensure the safety of his partner and his potential offspring’s life.  Since certain venereal diseases may be dormant and may take time to manifest and become detectable, there might have to be a lengthy waiting period to ensure total safety of any potential life.

While we’re waiting for the test results, we can require a complete credit check of any man contemplating chemical man enhancement.  After all, should a child result from such artificial congress, the man will have to provide for it – because this is about life and certainly any man who creates life won’t mind if we mandate that he be responsible for it. In fact, this should be a law, knock up a woman and you’re responsible by law, forever, period.  You marry her and you stay married. Period. The cool part is that’s in the Bible.  Hard to argue with the old bible, eh?  Now because this is such a big responsibility, perhaps any man contemplating any activity that might result in life should be forced to view several hours worth of pictures of children, of diapers, of two AM feedings, of chicken pox, and braces, and driving lessons, and last but not least a spread sheet showing the cost to raise a child from implantation to college. 

If a woman must be made aware of the consequences of her own actions, then too should a man. Surely we can all agree to that?

After all, we’re talking about life here, right?

But why stop there?

Life is just getting starting at conception, isn’t it?

And life is sacred. Therefore:

Contemplating a steak? We should make you review a slide show of colorectal cancer and visit a slaughterhouse.  After all, you get sick from eating meat, we might have to pick up your medical bill, that makes your business our business – besides, who’s going to watch out for those kids you made? Better order a salad. Want a drink with your dinner?  Let’s visit an AA meeting first with a side trip to the morgue so that you fully understand the consequences of over indulgence.  Smoke?  No problem, right after you review these microscope slides of diseased lung tissue and visit a couple of emphysema patients.

Want a gun?  Well, then, since this is about the safety of children, of life, you’ll need to review cases of firearm related deaths that happen in the US each year. Now for simplicity’s sake, let’s say you will be only be required to look at a picture of every single child killed by gun violence for the previous twelve months, that’s actual real live children who have been born and are actual living breathing human beings – in 2007, for example, that was three thousand and forty two so you’d better get started.  You’ll need to do that for each weapon you intend to purchase. Because, damn it, this is about protecting life.  For a each additional gun, you can also look at pictures of the doctors shot down by folks who believe in the right to life.

Want to wage war? No problem, first you’ll need to serve in the military on the frontlines, let’s say twelve months in Afghanistan, next you can review pictures of battlefield casualties and dead civilians, and then we’ll be taking a trip to Dover so you can help carry the coffins of returning soldiers down the cargo ramp of the C-17’s, then you can start writing letters to their wives and sweethearts and parents and their children.  Oh, and as long as we’re talking about war, let’s review what you’re going to need to do to use those “enhanced” interrogation techniques…

And finally,

Before attending your next Sunday service, you’ll need to review the church’s history of genocide, complicity in the Holocaust, pedophilia, molestation, and rape. 

Since we’re talking about the children, I mean.


  1. Jim, I too am boggled by women who don't get it. But, I'm downright exhilarated when I hear a man who does get it. Thanks for the happy shot of adrenalin.

    Just sign me - an uppity woman who thinks her uterus belongs to her own damn self and no one else.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. But of course, abstinence isn't really the choice of the woman either...she can say "no" but her husband is head of the house and what he says is law....the misogyny runs deep.

  3. There is some commenting weirdness going on tonight.

    I'm too tired to trouble shoot it. If you're having trouble commenting, or seeing your comment after posting, wait a bit and we'll see if blogger clears it up. Otherwise I fool with it tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for the breath of fresh air. Now it's back to ramming my head against the Dominionist wall.....

    1. Don't hit things with your head, that's what tools are for.

    2. Never been here before, but I have to say I like your style. Thanks.

    3. Buckler, me too.

      Jim, I'm a new fan. You sir are brilliant. That has to be the best piece ever written on the subject.

      Printing and filing in bookmarks.

      Thank you

  5. I recently saw a new word that I love: Uterati. We are the Uterati. Gives us women a way to stand in solidarity with each other. After we get over being boggled, of course.

    1. Uterati sounds like a celebrity photographer who specializes in ... ur, never mind.

    2. Oooh! I like that new word. Mind if I steal it?

    3. Umm, "uterati" would be a masculine plural noun. Would you settle for "uteratae"?

    4. "The uterus (from Latin "uterus", plural uteri or "uteruses") or womb is a major female hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ of most mammals including ..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uterus

      which shows us this has been going on for a long long time since Rome traditionally was founded in 753 BC.

    5. Sheila, who is not lurking todayFebruary 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      I like "Uterati" too! As if women were part of some super-secret conspiracy.

      It may be that some men believe there is a conspiracy among women because of the way most women naturally empathize and help other women -- as opposed to the way that men tend to overtly compete with one another.

      When I see a man carrying his daughter on his shoulders, I smile at the girl and give her a thumbs-up and say, "Way to go, honey -- you're getting him trained!" I say it just to be funny, but the men invariably look very worried. They never laugh.

      There certainly have been conspiracies among men over the years to try to limit the rights and privileges of women. Perhaps some men fear that if women have power and control, then the female majority will be in a better position to limit the rights of men. Not that we would ever do such a thing, but it may not keep these guys from worrying. Freedom and power are zero-sum games to these guys -- and if women gain power, they lose power.

    6. I love the Uteratae/Uterati conspiracy but alas, see it being equated with that of the Illuminati, the Rosicrucians and so on. What would happen to the world if women had the same rights as corporations? Even more frightening, what if we were given the same control over our bodies given to men.
      Lysistrata anyone?

    7. @Sheila
      Great Article, as usual. I hate to have my first comment be on something unrelated, but Sheila needs to stop talking to other people's children. It's not your family, and not your therapy bill. If I were to make the comment "you're getting her trained!" to a boy on his mother's shoulders, that would be very irresponsible. That worried look on the men's faces is them wondering if their father-daughter relationship will ever be the same again. Disrupting familial harmony for the fun of it is taboo.

    8. Still funny tho'. I am a man, well trained!

  6. I almost always click the box labeled, "You are my God." If I had never clicked that box before, this post would have made me do it. It hits home, not only because I have been doing my best to edu-mi-cate my friends and family about the way the "right" has been working to systematically strip women of their dominion over their own bodies, but because a friend of mine had been assaulted today and her attacker told her it was her fault because of the way she was dressed.

    Reading that today broke my heart. Reading this, and knowing that here's someone who is pretty damned good at getting his voice heard is also thoroughly disgusted with what's going on... Well, that gives me a little hope.

    So, here's hoping things can get better and we can turn the tide around on this horse-shit.

    Wait, I don't want to insult horse-shit...

    1. Her *attacker*? Well, he *would* say that, wouldn't he?

      (notice I'm assuming I know the gender of the criminal...)

  7. Dear Jim

    I'm one of the women who get it. I think by November about 80% of women will get it - and hopefully those married to anyone who supports this bullshit won't get it.

    I really only have one correction - this statement

    "These are the folks who would kill to defend a fertilized human egg that has neither divided nor implanted in the uterine wall, but abdicate any and all responsibility for the same child once it’s born. For them, life begins at conception and ends at birth."

    should read
    "These are the folks who have killed to defend ....."

    saying "Bless you" is inappropriate - but you know what I mean

    1. I don't think I got that first sentence right - viz.

      Hopefully any man who supports this unreal legislation won't get it. Got to be the only way to sort this lot out. Feels like the suffragettes back in the early 1900s - jeeeeeeze

    2. Have killed. Pointed taken. I will amend the article. Thanks//Jim

  8. Thanks for this post, Jim. As usual, you've written what I would say if I had the talent for putting the words together.

    And I would like to add, that in addition for the privilege to get Viagra (or any other male enhancement drug), I support the legislator from, I believe, North Carolina who has written a bill requiring that no man can get a vasectomy without statements for his doctor showing such a procedure is necessary for his health or life and with an agreement from his wife. If we add to that, the law proposed in Oklahoma (or maybe it was Kansas), that a man cannot "spill his seed upon the ground" and must deposit it into the vagina of a woman of child-bearing age. Perhaps we can set up panels in every state to come up with lists of approved women for such deposits. After all, isn't every sperm sacred?

    I'd laugh at how ridiculous the whole thing is but maybe it's the only way to get through to these weird people how far out in right field they really are. (And I'm going to skip any comments on those women out there supporting all these measures against women. I am horrified almost beyond belief that any woman would support such treatment of another woman.)

  9. Jim, thanks for another thoughtful post.

    Your Alaskan readers should check out SB 191, co-sponsored by the Valley's own Senator Huggins. There's something very wrong when a veteran is pushing a bill that won't even give me freedom to the end of my own nose.

    The full text is here: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_fulltext.asp?session=27&bill=SB191

    There are a great many tragic facts and circumstances that might lead a woman to contemplate an abortion, few, if any of which have been considered by those who wish to pass legislation on such matters. I have never had to make that choice, but know women who have, after considering all the facts, made different choices. In each case, they made the best choice for all concerned.

  10. Thank you for saying so eloquently what I could not. And for getting it.
    And I would also like to add, that men would have to pay for their own ER visit when said erectile dysfunction medication gives them an erection that lasts for more then 4 hours.
    Yep, what a waste of 4 hours, especially with no birth control to CYA

  11. Marvelous post only very minimally damaged by a mental image of soldiers sitting around adjusting their musical instruments :-)

    Yes, I know you mean "returning", but it seems odd to grin even slightly in the middle of all this awesome.


    1. Yeah, bad typo, bad. I type very fast, about 120WPM, and I have significant nerve damage in my left hand. All of which means that I tend to miss certain letters on the left side of the keyboard, like "r."

      Unfortunately, when those typos turn out to be real words, like retuning vice returning, the spellchecker doesn't catch it. Sometimes it's funny, most times it's not.

      It's fixed.

  12. I absolutely believe you have outdone yourself! This is spot on in every way!

    I am encouraged, though, by the polls that show that over 50% of republican women support the Afforadable Healthcare Act. We know 97% of sexually active Catholics are using contraception. And when the old men get through pissing off the women of America, and those women go vote--watch out!

    Thank you for this most excellent post! You are my hero!

    1. Here's the problem, Edith. While 50% of conservative woman may support Obamacare, they'll still vote against it. Just as Catholics continue to rail against birth control, even through themselves use it.

      They're living in a state of denial. They think they're are special, that it's not hypocrisy for them to use Affordable Healthcare or Birth Control or get an Abortion, it's just wrong for everybody else.

      Hence the title of this article, the perversity of extremism tends toward the maximum. So does the hypocrisy.

    2. "They're living in a state of denial. They think they're are special, that it's not hypocrisy for them to use Affordable Healthcare or Birth Control or get an Abortion, it's just wrong for everybody else."

      That. That exactly! My father rails against the state helping the poor and against Medicaid and Medicare. Yet, he still counts down the days till he gets his social security. Also, since I have become, hrm... let's say "less than well" he has fully advocated for me to apply for social security disability benefits as well as see if I can get Medicaid. He even *tried* to explain it as it can be "good for you, but not the rest of the lazy people."

      What. The... ?!?!

  13. On the Bill Maher show last night, it was suggested that the Obama administration intentionally elevated the mandated birth control coverage discussion; laying it out there like red meat. I don't know if I give them that much credit, but it sure has been interesting watching these candidates make fools of themselves on the topic.

  14. Sheila, who is not lurking todayFebruary 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    And then I saw this story: "David Albo, Virginia Lawmaker, Says Wife Wouldn't Have Sex Because Of Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill"


    If some of the women who are married to these tools in the legislature (apologies for insulting your useful, high-quality woodworking instruments) would deny their husbands for daring to support these draconian bills (with apologies to Komodo dragons), I think we would see a quick end to such measures.

    My Kiwi husband is baffled by these efforts. He keeps asking me why GOP men hate women so much. And I don't know what to tell him, beyond pointing out that some people hate what they do not understand.

    1. I'm guessing the answer to your spouse's question has something to do with revenge of the scorned. Honestly, what woman in her right mind would have anything to do with the knuckle-draggers?

    2. They don't just hate women, they hate everyone, starting with themselves. They believe they are miserable sinners who deserve the fires of hell, and desperately hope they've gotten the attention of the Big Guy's son, enough that he'll put in a good word.

      Hating yourself, without letting yourself *know* you hate yourself, is where it's at for these folks.

  15. BBCOMN!
    (breakfast beer coming out my nose!)
    (throws fistfuls of confetti, shredded medical insurance bills and delicious ham and cheese croisants at the parade below)

  16. You gnayled it-a WOMAN proposed this legislation. Did she consider her mother, sisters, daughters,
    female cousins, neighbors who would be affected by this? no. I agree with you, men should have to go through that and more-when they babble on about religious freedom, they should be forced to watch testimony of child molestation trials, preferably with children who are the same sex and age as their own.

    Asshats. Every one of 'em.



  17. I've been pissed all week because of a very intelligent professional man who I've known for years, who I just found out is Catholic, telling me he doesn't "believe" in evolution. He's not so sure about some "science". How can these people be so disconnected from the reality of life around them? Here is a man who serves the natives of Alaska in his capacity of a mental health practitioner, who deals with the devastating aftermath of generational child molestation from members of the Russian Orthodox Church. But he loves himself the Pope. This person asked me "why am I getting so angry about it". Why? Hmmm, look at the state of this country and that will tell you why! By denying that which is proven because it conflicts with that which you believe, is to cut the nose of your face, and that of society as a whole.

    Alaska is right on the heels of Virginia, Texas and Wisconsin. Just check out some of the legislation (woman should know their place) Dyson and Geasil (sp?)- the weasel (now there's one of those women you mention above) have introduced. They've been trying to keep it low profile, out of the papers, but our Republican legislators and Gov are trying take Alaska down that same path.

    I agree with the poster who said the President played this out and made the Republicans own this. Oh yeah. Just wait. You thought the 2008 election was a landslide, this one is going to be an avalanche of Denali proportions. The Republicans just seem to going out of their way to piss off every major group in this country. Gays, Protestants, women, veterans, senior citizens, union workers, etc. etc. Oh, yeah, its going to be an interesting summer if this keeps up!

  18. The bill as it now stands (it's being debated on the floor) here in Virginia requires an external ultrasound; this is the big compromise the Repubs made when the howls went up. However, in the early stages of pregnancy an external ultrasound doesn't visualize the embryo so a transvaginal ultrasound may still be required. So the bill isn't any better; it's just weasel-worded.

    Also--get ready to boggle some more--the woman must PAY for the ultrasound. Seriously.

    1. You really have to admire the double-think. These people, specifically folks like Virginia's Attorney General think forcing Americans to buy health insurance which they need is communism, but forcing a woman to buy an ultrasound that she doesn't need isn't.

      This is exactly my point.

    2. They are morons. Just simply morons. Incapable of ration and sane thinking. Like amoebas. And rocks.

  19. I don't need contraception anymore, partly because I'm an old broad, but also because my husband got snipped after we had our second child. But here's the thing: most women who use contraception are not using it solely as birth control. That's right, most women use hormonal contraception to deal with a host of other medical issues, such as endometriosis, PCOS, early-onset menopause, and all sort of other things that go wrong with our plumbing.

    I risked my life to have my kids, and it's sort of amazing that we all made it through pregnancy okay. That, to me, is what choice is about. I got to choose whether or not I put myself in danger (very high) of dying for the privilege of having children. I'll be goddamned if anyone else gets the right to tell me or any other woman that we have to risk our health, wealth, sanity, or very life, simply because someone else thinks we should.

    Also, the Bible says fuck all about abortion. Not a single bloody word. Go figure.

    1. Well, if you want to get technical about it, God kills quite a few babies in the bible. And children. Sometimes just to make a point. He could have waved his big magic God hand and freed the Israelites, instead he killed all the first born of Egypt. Boom.

      But I digress.

    2. But, at that point, they were already *babies.* These people are talking about *fetuses* (feti? Maybe I just have a fetish for having plural -i sounds. Like, I know the plural of penis is penes, but I like saying peni. It's more fun that way, but I digress.). We must save all the Feti for the God-hand to come down and smite so that all the gay poly sinners fucking monkeys can see the error of their ways, or something.


    3. Actually, the Bible does have something to say about abortion. God tells Moses that it's ok if it is suspected that a woman has committed adultery. He even gives instructions on how it is to be induced. It is in Numbers, chapter 5, verse 11-15.


      Honestly, when ever someone starts spouting that women should be forced to go through a pregnancy, even in the case of rape and incest because it is God's will, should have this passage pointed out to them.

      I want to know when people who want to legislate using the Bible has a guide, will actually begin to read the damn thing, and not just take what they are spoon-fed from the pulpit.

    4. YIkes. I had not read that passage before.

  20. I also can't wrap my head around the idea that any woman believes in this line of BS. (some must, but I cannot understand it. Perhaps the real problem is, I don't WANT to.) I also wonder, have you seen the latest BS being spread about PP? (A corporation, I believe, but apparently it's feminine enough to fall under the whole "women aren't human" umbrella, even though they provide some services for men, too.) There's a video, but it just makes me sick, so I won't even try to link it.

    I'm glad I don't live in Oklahoma, (close, but no cigar) with their brand spanking new personhood law, but for all the things I find wrong about it, there IS one thing almost right--if a man is guilty of impregnating a woman against her will, he's responsible for financially supporting that child to the age of 21, owes the state twenty-five grand, and can be required to get a vasectomy. Sounds almost great on the surface, but unfortunately, I can easily envision even that going so Very wrong. (For the record, if he is an actual rapist, I think that's way too gentle of a way to deal with him. But if he's wrongly accused? And who gets to decide what dollar figure is "supporting" a child? Is there going to be a government-run jobs fair to make sure rapists get good-paying jobs???) I need to stop rolling my eyes, it's making me queasy.

    One of these days I guess I'll have to get some sort of blogger account, but for now I'm just
    Gretchen in KS

    1. Er... am I missing something here? They have to know who the rapist was to enforce the law. If they know who he was, doesn't the law require that he be tried? If not convicted, then they obviously can't prove he was the rapist. If he is convicted, he is sent to jail. He can't pay child support from there.

      What good is it for a rapist to get a vasectomy? They don't rape in order to impregnate. It would work in his favor if he raped again because the woman would not get pregnant and he would have no child support problems.

      The fact that rapists occasionally make children is not a major problem. The fact that they rape, torture, kill and repeat is. That law would not address the main problem with rape. If a rapist is not deterred by the penalties already in place, why would a threat of saddling him with child support, which he will probably never pay, deter him?

      Not that there is any logic to any of this. It is all based on fear and emotions run wild.

      Jeanne in WV

    2. The law is to address the fact that you can't get an abortion, even if it was rape. It also outlaws several sorts of birth control (no "plan B" pills, and I'm betting they'll make a case against IUD's and anything else that merely prevents implantation, rather than preventing fertilization) but it at least claims that it can't be used to bring a woman up on charges merely for having a miscarriage.

      I think the rule about the man having to pay is aimed at otherwise consenting cases when the condom breaks, or they didn't get the rhythm timed right, or he said he'd pull out and didn't--but I'm glad you see the idiocy. Personally, I think jail is too good for most rapists, and dead men pay no child support.

      I am pretty sure most of this hype is to get votes, and for their target audience this might work. Since I'm not their target demographic, it merely solidifies my opinions that these nuts should not be in power.

      Gretchen in KS

  21. Thank you. I chuckled a lot while reading this. You ROCK.

  22. Thank you for another great piece of writing! Nails must certainly fear you as you always hit them right on the head!

    Women should be the ONLY voice regarding all things female. We are "pure", we are XX, we are female and only female. Men, being XY, and therefore genetically only half female, should really have no say in female health and reproductive matters. That being said, if women are purely female and men are half-female, then how in the heck could Eve have been created from Adam's rib? Wouldn't we be XY then (part male/part female) and males would be YY? I know, the field of genetics was still in its' infancy when the Bible was written, and genetic testing labs were few and far between, but really, that creation tale couldn't be further from the truth, now could it? I have a sneaky suspicion that Adam actually was created from Eve's toenail clippings but that the story was changed to create a more patriarchal-leaning society. I think someone knew that men were actually part female and they deliberately turned the tables to instead give man credit for the genesis of woman. I think that it is time to turn them back.


  23. Um, let's do this one better. For the viagra prescription for these fuckers I disapproved of the use of an ultrasound prostate exam as it shows absolutely nothing. However, there are several types of prostate exam already in use. There's the general "hmm, okay, doesn't seem enlarged" version. There's also the extra special version which requires massage of the prostate for a few minutes which checks to make sure all the of the plumbing is working. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, massage of the prostate provokes ejaculation. After all, if you're going for viagra, we should know that everything works beforehand. After all, the other erectile disfunction is the inability to ejaculate. Viagra doesn't fix that.

    Or, if the men are too worried about having their doctor probing up there for so long, there is a quick version. It involves stimulating the prostate electrically (a procedure commonly used in animal husbandry). I suggest using a cattle prod to do the deed.

    And this should be done every time the prescription is updated (by law, prescriptions expire a year after they're written).

    I believe that would be a much more analogous procedure.

    1. I think I saw the electrical version done in a club once. It was short but theatrical!

  24. Home schooling.
    Train them at home to be obedient to the Will of their husband and the church. And _they_ scream about such horrors as arranged marriages and Sharia Law.

  25. There are many forces in play affecting the recent rise in insanity, especially on the far right. Logic and reasoning are not involved. We are dealing with people who feel the very foundations are crumbling beneath them and they are scared shitless. They are right. The old way of thinking is slipping away, leaving them with no resources to support them.

    That contributes to the abortion hysteria, but is not enough to account for the absolutely ridiculous heights to which it has risen.

    Yes, they do want to oppress women, other races, other religions and anybody who is “other” anything and that contributes to their right to life ideas. However, there is one big factor contributing to the abortion issue.

    The (fundamentalist) Christian worships an All Present, All Seeing, All Powerful and All Knowing God, who also happens to be capricious, jealous, mean, demanding and generally nasty. He has few redeeming qualities. They are worshiping the Old Testament God. Most of that love stuff is in the New Testament.

    In their view (not that they would admit it) they are at the mercy of a God who has absolute control over their lives, can kill them on a moments notice for any reason or no reason at all or just make them miserable. There is no recourse. They can beg, plead, pray and make sacrifices and promises, but in the end it is God's decision and his alone.

    The fetus is in a similar situation. Their life is utterly dependent on someone who can decide to end it for reasons of her own. The fetus has no recourse, no voice. The Christian identifies with the fetus. Since he or she cannot do anything about the fact the he or she is at the mercy of a capricious God, they project their anger and fear toward God onto the mother. They don't dare say, or even think, that they have a pretty raw deal from God, so they direct this anger at a safe substitute.

    This is why women are supporting some of the extreme laws and ideas that have been put forth recently. It also explains why the anti-abortionists lose interest in the little bastard once he is born. He made it, he escaped, so now he is on his own.

    God, however, is not pro-life. He ends 50% of all pregnancies in miscarriage or natural abortion.

    Jeanne in WV

  26. Jim

    Outstanding article, as always.

    One question for you: have you ever considered podcasting these? It's great to read it (and in my head, you're going at it in the style of R. Lee Ermey in the opening of Full Metal Jacket).

    At the same time, I wonder what you actually sound like when you go off all foamy and ranting like (I was about to say, "frothy" but I didn't want to invoke Santor... never mind)

    In any case, keep up the great work!

  27. Jim people have an uncanny ability to believe shit that comes in many forms. Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions, so they somehow feel that something is kind of screwy with the world but usually just tamp it down...wayyyyy down so they don't have to deal with it. Then of course there are all those unfortunates who have been raised in households where the brainwashing just keeps going. Those people have a real fight on their hands, it is pretty difficult to give up the belief in Santa when you know he brings all the presents. If I quit believing I won't get to go and play harps in the clouds.

    I believe Kirkegaard said, "people are just fucked up most days." Well maybe I'm just paraphrasing.

  28. You've been "greenlit" on FARK.com. Expect to see (well-deserved) heavy traffic to your blog.

  29. Hi Jim, You've been linked on FARK, that's where I'm coming from.

    Overall, you and I agree on pro-choice, and this trans-vaginal probe.

    But I never like arguments of the form: I can't believe a woman would vote against abortion... I can't believe a black man would be a Republican, I can't believe there are gay Republicans, ... All of those arguments are very objectifying, condescending, stereotypical, and downright patronizing and disrespectful.

    The truth is there are millions of Republican women, gays, blacks, .... get over yourself, that you do not understand why does not mean they are not rational and intelligent and informed, as intelligent and rational and informed as you are.

    That form of argument speaks more directly to your own arrogance and ignorance then to theirs.

    Anyway, I am pro-choice, and certainly anti-trans-vaginal ultrasounds.

    1. There are not millions of gays and blacks who are Republican.

  30. Tom

    Also linked over from Fark. To 'Jay': I think you need to look up 'cognitive dissonance' & then re-read your post. Just sayin...

    1. Mmm. Let's extend Jay's logic out to its extremes. Jewish Nazis? Suuure, why not? "You just don't understand, maaaaan!"


    2. Look up Oskar Stohr, one-half of a famous case study regarding twins. Granted, he didn't know he was Jewish.

  31. To Anonymous,

    Sorry, but I don't understand your point re cognitive dissonance. We have a long history now of various successful, conservative African Americans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_Republicans and yet, I still here all the time that it's ridiculous for an African American to vote Republican, same with gays, same with women.

    And yet, if you stay in the reality based community, is clear there are millions in each group.

    So Occam's Razor, who is being ridiculous, millions of women, gays, and blacks, or the people who make the claim that there is no reason for them to vote this way.

    I think it's disrespectful at the least, and self-defeating and sexist and bigoted at worse.

    1. Jay, there is very little that irritates me more than commenters who a) attempt to put words into my mouth, and b) then argue with that strawman in an attempt to hijack the conversation on Stonekettle Station onto their own little pet bugaboo.

      Regarding your first comment, you might have a point, if I'd actually made an attempt at such an argument, which I didn't.

      I didn't say, "I can't believe..." or "republican women have no right to believe such things..." What I actually said was, "it boggles my mind..." and "for no reason that I can fathom" (i.e. I do not understand people who think this way) both about Virginia state senate delegate Kathy J. Byron and Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. Note that one is female, the other is male. It boggles my mind that any human being, male or female, could think this way, but it especially boggles my mind that a woman would. Boggles, as in I find such viewpoints perplexing. This is my perception of the situation. Note the disclaimer on the upper right-hand side of the blog, these are my observations and opinions. Also, note the extended commenting rules, I am not, nor do I claim to be, a dispassionate news agency. That's not why people come here. I'm a blogger, I'm a writer. I'm an observer of the human condition. These are my opinions and observations on the world.

      So far a bit more than 20,000 people have viewed this article today, you seem to be the only one who has reading comprehension issues.

      Now, as to your second comment, pay attention: You will not, repeat not, turn this comment thread into a discussion of race. The post is not about that. And it pisses me off that you are attempting to do so. This is your one and only warning. Engage in any further assholery, and you will be deleted.

      Now, If you find that arrogant, well, you're entirely welcome to fuck right off back to wherever it is that you came from.

    2. Fine Jim, you've learned well how to disrespect people who are trying to have a conversation and engaging in good faith with you, but who disagree with you.

      Go fuck yourself then, warmonger.

    3. Warmonger?

      Hysterical. Thanks for the laugh. And thanks for exactly the kind of response that I'd expect. You really have no idea who you're talking to, do you? You're a smug little twerp who drifted in here, engaged in immediate stereotyping, and thought to lecture us poor uncivilized rubes without bothering to read anything about me at all.

      As to conversation, when you lead with "That form of argument speaks more directly to your own arrogance and ignorance then to theirs, you're not engaged in conversation, you're just being a condescending asshole.

      You're now done here, Jay. Any further postings from you will be deleted without comment.

    4. There simply arent MILLIONS of black folk or gays who are Republicans. Why isnt anyone refuting this comment?!

  32. Jim, you're about to find out that you are now UNBELIEVABLY SEXY to rational women. That's a lot of us. Prepare for the onslaught... and men, take note! Women dig men who think like this!

  33. As a female mammal, I am truly glad to find your posting. The idea that someone other than myself has the right to tell me what I MUST be doing with and to my uterus is abhorrent. This is why I have been trying (since the age of 16, currently 33) to find a doctor willing to perform a partial hysterectomy without an underlying medical condition. Needless to say, I have been unsuccessful. I am glad of my choice to never bring another human life onto this planet. It is the kindest thing I could think of doing.

  34. After reading this, I wanted to hit my head against the wall. Sometimes, it seems that the division between the left and the right is too hard to surmont, but I keep trying for some strange reason. As a person who is on the right I do believe that I am person and I am capable of making rational decision. I don't know anyone that has tried to tell me otherwise (maybe I lucked out) except for people on the left who like to tell me that I am delusional and I am not equal. As a female and human I know I have rights to do what I want as long as it does not interfere with someone elses' rights. And I do think that the corporations have some rights because they are made up of people and churches too. It is funny that when we disagree with something those things become faceless monsters. And what we need to learn to do is balance those rights out so that no ones' rights gets trampled. I don't believe in abortion. I understand why in some cases it might be necessary. But I won't do it. I even told my ex that if something were to happen while I was having my baby that he should save the baby. For me it is a life, an innocent life, and should not be judged by the sins of the parents. While I feel this way I don't agree with the way some republicans are going about trying to prevent it. I agree that education is more important tool to stopping abortions.

    1. I don't believe in abortion. I understand why in some cases it might be necessary. But I won't do it. I even told my ex that if something were to happen while I was having my baby that he should save the baby.

      And this is most certainly your right. And I admire that you would place the life of another over yourself. As someone who has spent the majority of my life in the military and who has served through two wars, I completely understand putting another life before your own. As a parent and a husband, I completely understand. And I understand that sometimes, whether you like it or not, whether others like it or not, you have to make certain life or death decisions. Sometimes, whether you want or not, you may be forced to choose.

      Where I have a problem is when anyone, left or right, church, government, or individual, attempts to force that very personal decision upon another. And that's exactly what the GOP is doing when they attempt to pass laws of this nature.

      You have a right to choose. So does everybody else. And if they choose differently then that is their inalienable right. That's where the GOP and I part company, right there. And that is the point of this post. The very point.

      Freedom means that sometimes other people are going to choose differently than you, and you are just going to have to damned well live with it.

    2. I understand completely what freedom means. And while I can accept abortion under certain circumstances, it grudging acceptance. To me, it is still killing of an innocent life, regardless of the circumstance. And some people like you said "are just going to have to damned well live with it."
      I also realize that this argument is not just over abortion, but its about women's reproductive rights. As a female, I do believe that I have control over body up to a point. As a intelligent person I realize what may happen when I have sex. And if I become pregnant because I had sex that's where I feel my rights end because to me there is a new life that has been created. And to me that life has just as much of a right to live as I do.

    3. I didn't mean to imply that you didn't know what freedom meant. If you took it that way, then I apologize for not being more clear in my meaning.

      Again, I concur with you position. I admire your conviction. I believe that you are fully entitled to believe as you do and act accordingly. So long as you don't attempt to force your viewpoint on others (and I am not saying that you are, I'm simply trying to be clear for everybody else who reads this)

  35. Also came from FARK.

    One thing to add to your rant:

    These are the people who rail against socialism and stealing money from the wealthy but who have themselves benefited from their parents, grandparents and disabled family members taking advantage of Medicare and Medicaid. I want to ask them if when their parents got old and disabled they would move them into their home, take time off to drive them to the doctors appointments and pay for all their prescriptions without taking 1 cent of government help.

  36. If reproduction and freedom of religion are still the divisive topic de jour come Sunday before Super Tuesday It may not be a bad idea to bring a taper recorder to services at any church/temple/synagogue you know or suspects is involving itself in politics where it should not be. I wouldn't mind seeing the ones that over step their charter in to the political arena lose their tax exempt status. The ones that know their place, well God bless em'.

    1. One correction, while of course we couldn't say with certainty whether rabbis preach politics to their congregations, the two major sects of Judaism - Reform and Conservative (making up the majority of Jews in the US) - through Union of Reform Judaism and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism(USCJ) support contraception use and a woman's right to choose. This issue has nothing to do with Judaism and everything to do with Christianity. You do not see Jews pushing religious dogma onto the public sector, via anti-choice laws, prayer in school, school vouchers, etc. Jews are in fact some of the strongest proponents of separation of church and state issues. Just sayin.

  37. As a woman who grew up in Alaska, I can't tell you how grateful I am to read something written by an Alaskan that clearly breaks it down--and reminds the rest of the world that Alaska doesn't just produce Sarah Palins. Thank you.

  38. I like to think I'm a halfway decent blogger. I bow to my superior. Absolutely outstanding.

    Also, count another Farker.

  39. An interesting paradox has always been that the Pro-Lifers are usually pro-death penalty while the Pro-Choicers are frequently anti-death penalty. There is no consistency in terms of killing in these positions-the only material difference is whether it's a fetus or a criminal.

    My own view of abortion is conflicted-I support a woman's right to control what happens to and with her own body but I am not comfortable killing unborn children
    unless one or more of the disclaimers of rape, incest and mother's health apply.
    My view of the death penalty is also conflicted-it eliminates repeat offensive crimes by the person convicted but leaves no margin for error if you discover later the corpse was innocent or guilty of a lesser crime.

    1. I am pro-choice myself but I can understand most of your position. I can certainly understand that if you believe that a fetus is a human being from conception you would hold the views that you do. I can see why you would make an exception for the mother's health. After all, if she dies during the pregnancy, the fetus is not going to make it either, so continuing the pregnancy is pointless.

      You state that you are uncomfortable killing unborn children unless their father was a rapist or was related to the mother. Say what? Why is their life not as valuable and as sacred as a child whose father was not a criminal? Why do you allow the children of a murderer to live, but not those of a rapist? I presume you would not approve of an abortion on the grounds that father was a serial killer.

      Why is it ok to abort a fetus whose father was related? Incestuous relations do not generally result in defective babies. Since you did not mention it was ok to kill an unborn who had a condition, such as Downe's, apparently the health of the child is not your concern anyway.

      I too am puzzled by the pro-life, pro death penalty people. Apparently, once the child is born, it is a whole new ball game. The pro-choice, anti death penalty people are easier to understand. They do not believe that human life begins at conception, so up to a point, the fetus is simply a vessel waiting to acquire it's humanity (or soul)so disposing of the vessel is not murder. The soul can just catch the next body that comes by.

      Being anti-death penalty is not conflicting with this view. They do not approve of murder at any time. They are also generally anti-war and value cooperation over coercion.

      I am still wondering how you can justify killing an unborn baby for the sins of it's father. Personally, I don't consider it killing. I am just interested in the convolutions of your reasoning.

      Jeanne in WV

    2. Regarding abortion in cases of rape or incest, I see it as being an issue of whether or not the mother, who wasn't a voluntary participant in the creation of the fetus and is thus innocent, should be forced to bear the physical risks of the pregnancy, the emotional trauma of having to deal with the constant reminder of the attack for at least nine months, and the financial burden. That doesn't even begin to address the complicated issues that can arise if she already has a spouse and/or children, or opts not to place the child for adoption.

      Allowing abortion in these cases is making sure we don't further victimize victims who can't get on board with the Santorum directive to see a pregnancy resulting from rape as a gift from God.

      There is also the matter of having a child that may grow up to discover they were a product of such a union and of such a father.

      One of my stepchildren had an awful time dealing with the concept of being the product of a biological dad who chose not to be a parent and was an alcoholic, a druggie, a thief, and in and out of jail until he died. Reminding your kids as you watch tears stream down their cheeks that they can be whoever they want to be, that their biology does not determine their destiny, and that they are loved and wanted by you helps, but it isn't enough to take away all the pain. (No, I don't know how my child found out the truth.) I can't imagine that child finding out that dad was a rapist and that they really weren't wanted by either parent.

      Nobody likes abortion, but I believe those most affected should be allowed to decide what's best for them without government interference.

    3. So what you are saying is that it is not the sanctity of life that motivates you. Some unborn babies can be killed if their existence is inconvenient enough. So why are severely defective babies not eligible for abortion? They are one hell of a financial burden, they are often very traumatic for the entire family and they don't have much quality of life.

      The difference is whether the woman was willing. If she was willing, then we would punish her for having sex by making her carry the child to term, right? You can't really say that abortion is murder and murder is wrong, EXCEPT in cases where the mother was "innocent".

      If a woman went on a date with a man and he slipped her a date rape drug and raped her and she became pregnant, she could have an abortion. If she went on a date with a man and had consensual sex and became pregnant, she could not have an abortion. Same father, same mother, same unborn baby. The only difference is that in the second case, mama had consensual sex. I don't see any concern at all for the fetus or the sanctity of life, but on reviewing your posts, I don't think you really ever said that was a factor. The only factor you consider is whether the mother was guilty of having sex.

      "Nobody likes abortion, but I believe those most affected should be allowed to decide what's best for them without government interference." Um... are you pro abortion or anti abortion? Or some where in the middle? When you mentioned that you are conflicted, I guess you weren't kidding.

      Here's a thought that may help you out. Since your only concern about abortion is whether the woman had consensual sex and you are not really concerned about the fate of the unborn, you might consider that whether a woman wishes to terminate a pregnancy or not is none of your business. Since you are not likely to ever become pregnant, your opinion on abortion is not relevant. You are certainly entitled to it, but it has no bearing on other people. My opinion is not relevant, either, because I am, thankfully, way past my childbearing years.

      Jeanne in WV

    4. @Jeanne in WV- My uncomfortable position vis a vis "not being comfortable killing unborn children unless one or more of the disclaimers of rape, incest and mother's health apply" is simpler perhaps than my writing would imply, and I can see why you would ask the questions you did. My position has evolved over the years to the rights of the mother to terminate an unwanted pregnancy for those reasons has precedence over the right of the government to outlaw an action that otherwise would/might be defined as murder.

    5. Jeanne, since you opted to mix and match Anon's comments with mine, I'm not sure whether you intended to address Anon, myself, or both, or whether you even realize we aren't the same person.

      For the record, my post was only to address your last paragraph, regarding why some who would not consider abortion acceptable in other cases might in the case of rape or incest. It isn't about punishing the child for the sins of the father, it's about not further victimizing a victim.

      I am not conflicted in my views on this issue. I am pro-prevention of unwanted pregnancy, since no one, including myself, is pro-abortion. Sadly, though, unwanted pregnancies do happen, and not every pregnancy can or should be carried to term. I respect the life of the mother, and the lives of those who love her, so as I said, "I believe those most affected should be allowed to decide what's best for them without government interference." That puts me solidly in the pro-choice camp.

      You may not find my opinion relevant, even though I am a woman of child-bearing age with all my female anatomy in good working order, but as long as there are men out there who think they have the right to make even the most intimate decisions about my life and my health, and that of other women, I'm going to continue to express it.

    6. There is no real paradox in the pro-life, pro-death penalty stance viewed within it's own internal logic-the seeming paradox comes when viewed from a distance.
      From within the logic , innocence, in the form of the untouched, unexperienced child deserves all our attention and support. Loss of innocence, in the form of sin, deserves all our efforts to cast it (and the sinner )out.
      Currently, a lot of attention is on when -is -a- collection- of -cells -a -child-? but the argument is really on the loss of innocence presumed of women and presumed all too often to be sin.
      Where we live , really live, is another kind of loss of innocence, a rich tapestry of growing experience and judgment. Would that we appreciate that normal loss of childish innocence instead of reviling ourselves!
      And reviling women in general sorts of ways - can we just be done with the Madonna and the whore dealie ? And all it's permutations?

    7. Anon@6:04--The problem with your argument re: pro-death penalty is that several of the people on death row have been found to be not guilty later on. Mistakes can be made in our judicial system. It is rarely certain that the convicted person is truly guilty.

    8. Sorry, Diane, I did not realize we had changed horses in mid-stream, so to speak. I thought the second post was coming from a different place than the first one. Actually, I think we all have a right to our opinions and to express them. However, trying to force others to abide by them is not ok. No one has the right to tell a woman she cannot have an abortion and no one has the right to tell her she must have one.

      When I was speaking of the relevancy of opinions, I thought I was still talking to Anonymous (one of many) who is a guy. I really should be more careful about reading the heading on the posts.

      Anonymous the second: Logic and reason are not a part of the average fundamentalist outlook. The semblance of logic is twisted to cover whatever the person wishes to believe. They pick and choose from the Old Testament rules with no apparent rhyme or reason. God abhors gays, so they must. Two verses down, he also abhors fishes without scales, but I don't see Christians boycotting Red Lobster. At the rate they have been going lately, I would not be surprised if someone (Santorum?) came out for the stoning of witches.

      You have hit the heart of the matter, which is that people who do not feel good about themselves tend to think it terribly important to be right, so they try to prove their rightness by forcing their way of thinking on others. Babies are born with what we call innocence and then they are taught that the world is not such a nice place and they must be wary.

      A baby is born with the knowledge that they are perfect, the world is perfect and it is grand to be a human. We all knew that at one time. Alas, we lost it. We can regain that knowledge, and many people have. The energy behind those beliefs is pushing out the old energy of hate, competition, selfishness, coercion, etc. As it pushes is out the old energy people become more and more panicked, and abandoning any semblance of reasoning, start trying to force the world back into what it used to be, what they are comfortable with.

      Have no fear, the ideas of sin will become irrelevant soon and the whole mindset of the human race will change. It is interesting times that we live in. By "soon" I am not speaking geologically, but it won't be tomorrow, either.

      Jeanne in WV

  40. The Planned Parenthood offices here in VA routinely perform external ulrasound testing on abortion seeking women but not the transvaginal assault version.

    Perhaps more insidious than that bill was the Personhood one. It would make a law stating that life begins at conception so the Legislature could piggy back future further legislation allowing them to charge anyone having or performing an abortion with murder. Any Pro-choice supporters will be glad this has been sent back until next year while any Pro-life supporters will not. The significance of this attempt is that the length of time a fetus has to be in the womb to be able to survive a premature delivery has shortened significantly from what it was when Roe vs Wade was heard by the Supreme Court. There will at the very least be further efforts from the Pro-lifers to make state laws allowing abortions reflect this shorter period.

  41. Thank you for putting into print (ahem) outstanding counter-arguments for what the religious people of this country want to force into my agnostic throat (or other orifices).

  42. Whenever I see a pro-life billboard, it _always_ has a blond haired blue eyed baby - never a black baby or any baby of color.

    Why is that?

    1. google 'planned parenthood against blacks' they exist.

  43. I am pro-choice as you are but I think you're looking at the issue in the wrong way. To the prolifers it has nothing to do with women's rights. Prolifers genuinely think it's murder to abort an unborn fetus. If guys had fetuses they'd still be against it.

    I don't agree that it's murder, and abortion doesn't really bother me - it's going to happen whether it's legal or not, so I'd rather it be done legally in a safe environment as opposed to a coat hanger in an alleyway somewhere.

    But back to the point, these people do believe in freedom but they also believe in protecting life. Their logic is sound, it's just a different viewpoint. I believe in protecting life too, but something that isn't born yet doesn't really register on my radar. To me it's kind of like arguing that every time I jerk off into a kleenex, I'm denying thousands of lives the chance to live.

    I believe there is logic behind everything, even if it doesn't make sense at first. Right now your mind is boggled but I think if you really try to make sense of the other side, you'll see there is a genuine belief system just like yours or mine, just on the other side.

    At the end of the day, nothing is going to change. Abortion is going to be legal for years and years to come. This is one of the biggest distraction issues of our time and the ones who get the most upset about it (on both sides) are the ones getting trolled hardcore by the politicians.

    Take a deep breath and go get some fresh air.

    1. The stance against abortion is in the last 30-40 years. http://hnn.us/articles/61975.html

    2. There are some very sincere pro-life people out there, and they have my respect.

      Unfortunately, most of the so-called "pro-life" people I've met are really just "pro-birth". They have never adopted a child, taken in foster children, or provided significant amounts of funding or other support to organizations that help struggling women who wish to keep their babies. Nor do they support public funding to help feed, house, clothe and educate underprivileged children. They're not logical, they're hypocritical.

      Either way, what they seek is an infringement on women's rights.

  44. I am with the state senator in Florida that suggested that women incorporate their uterai. One sure way to deregulate it. I'd take it one step further, incorporate the whole woman. All that time raising the kids could be deducted as a loss.

    1. Interesting. So if corporations are people, are people corporations? Why does someone else have a right to tell me how to run my corporation?

  45. This "rant" of yours is outstanding and right on the money! Bravo!!!

    This woman humbly thanks you!

  46. Yesterday, (Saturday) in our local Lima, Ohio newspaper the ultra-conservative editorial page columnist Thomas J. Lucente Jr. wrote that the 'charges of 'state mandated rape' are nonsense. What followed was so offensive that today I sent him the following e-mail recommending that he read Jim's blog.

    "Mr. Lucente, words fail me to describe how offensive your column was to any woman. To think that any law would force a woman to accept anything inserted into her vagina, even a piece of medical diagnostic equipment without her express consent is an insult to all women. Would you willingly accept and abide by a law that forced you to accept any instrument into your penis or rectum without your consent? Furthermore, if you did not hold to the same religious beliefs as those making the law would you willingly acquiesce?

    I suggest you take some time to get acquainted with the writer of the blog Stonekettle Station. http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/02/perversity-of-extremism-tends-toward.html

    While I may dislike his profanity I think he makes a lot more sense than your 'enlightened' viewpoint.
    Jane Myers"

    My blood is still boiling!

    1. My blood is still boiling!

      You know what's good for that? Profanity.


    2. Thanks Jane, for calling out the columnist.

    3. Bravo Zulu to you Jane! (Well done!)

  47. Thanks for that. -- Linked to your blog from FARK and added your RSS feed to my feed reader.

  48. If we stopped requiring employers to provide health insurance this wouldn't be a problem.

    1. Or we could just kill all the uppity women.

    2. Perhaps taking you seriously was a misteak.

    3. Perhaps.

      That's probably why I didn't make the same mistake with your comment.

    4. I have yet to hear any compelling argument as to why any company should be required to provide health insurance to its employees rather than just paying them for their efforts and letting them shop for it themselves as they do with everything else they want or need.

      The forced participation in the healthcare industry results in a huge amount of wasted money that could be better spent by people actually purchasing quality health care and/or health care coverage.

      Once the coerced participation in the funding of other peoples' choices is stopped, folks can be free to make whatever reproductive choices they desire w/o the need to listen to other people whine about having to help pay for them.

    5. I am going to assume Anon meant if we switched to single-payer (i.e., government supplied) healthcare, it wouldn't be a problem. Considering the current political climate, even if we could get universal healthcare, some people would still fight to make sure I have no control over my reproductive capabilities. The investment in this has very little to do with "life" and very much to do with control.

      It would be so much easier if these folks would just admit to their kink and find like-minded people to act it out. Honestly, there are whole communities that would welcome them...

    6. Government-supplied healthcare is almost exactly the opposite of what I meant.

    7. The compelling argument, Anon, is that nobody can afford to buy healthcare on their own. Otherwise they would. So, here's the problem, if employers don't provide affordable healthcare, who does? Insurance companies out of the goodness of their flinty black capitalist hearts? The Taxpayer? Government? Who?

      We could have had a single payer, national healthcare program like civilized countries, but people like anonymous, and employers, didn't want that either and started screaming "socialism" and "fascism!" and "OMFG! Nazis!"

      So the solution is to just not provide healthcare that poor or middle class can actually afford. Seriously? What people like anonymous really want is healthcare for themselves and everybody else can go get fucked.

    8. Health coverage would be much less expensive if it were subject to the same kind of market competitiveness as any other business.

      The assumption that "nobody can afford to buy healthcare on their own" is ridiculous on its face. Plenty of folks buy their own healthcare on their own NOW even though it it extremely expensive.

      As we've seen with the insane level of inflation of college education cause primarily by the easy availability of government money, so has the cost of health care and health insurance gone way up because of it's over-regulated and over-subsidized "governmentalization".

      Leaving the health insurance companies to succeed or fail based on their own pricing and service will result in the best coverage, best affordability and least cost for everyone.

      "What people like anonymous really want is healthcare for themselves and everybody else can go get fucked."

      You mentioned in a post above that one of the things you hate the most is people putting words in your mouth. I'll thank you not to put your strawman's words in mine.

    9. Ah yes, the magical free market solution. Capitalism will fix everything!

      I figured that's where you were going with this.

      And I'll stand by my statement: I didn't put words in your mouth, you did. Your solution is exactly that, neither government nor employer provide access to healthcare so therefor only those that can afford it get it. That's what a capitalistic solution is. And the problem with your free market solution is that by definition, it only works for those who can afford to buy it. And 50 million Americans can not afford to buy their own health insurance. A hell of a lot of them knew it already, and with the recent economic downturn a hell of a lot more are pointedly coming to understand that very stark fact as well.

      You know what the difference is between a conservative and a liberal is? Between a capitalist and a socialist?


      Loose your ability to afford healthcare for yourself, for your family, for your aged and infirm parents, for your children, and have no employer or government backstop, and get back to me.

    10. " it only works for those who can afford to buy it. And 50 million Americans can not afford to buy their own health insurance. "

      THIS is what will be changed, for the better, once a much freer market is working in the industry.

      Will rich people be able to afford better health care than poor people? Of course. But many many more people will be able to afford some kind of care of coverage than can afford it now because it will be cheaper, more efficiently delivered and much less wastefully administered than it is currently.

      Inequality of rich and poor will always be with us. Not even single-payer gets rid of that. What I wish to avoid is the tyranny of group-governed decision making that a government solution requires. Overall, care and health and service will suffer across the board the more the government and the regulation thereof controls the industry.

      Much (MUCH) more than circumstance divides capitalist and socialist. It is the difference between the idealism of freedom and self-determination and that of systematic control and institutionalized equality of misery.

      Stand by your statement all you like, it is still erroneously presumptive. Capitalism won't fix everything. It just fixes things much better than socialism does. Making everyone pay for everyone else at gunpoint will never deliver care as well.

    11. I fail to see how women having their own insurance will mollify those who refuse to let women make their own decisions about healthcare.

      However regarding insurance, the rates paid per employee by small businesses for similar plans with different companies in my area are not the same. The rates paid for the same individual with the same risk factors at different companies can be several hundred dollars a month different. Please explain how regulations require that to be the case, and how regulations make the lowest price for a single non-smoker in good health with no family history of disease nearly half the amount of my monthly house payment.

      Employees with access to insurance have dropped it due to cost (with premiums for a couple approximating the mortgage payment, who can blame them), and some employers have had to drop their plans. (More employers are likely to drop coverage when the new provisions hit in 2014, since the fines will be less than the cost of providing the insurance for many employers, but I digress.)

      So, we have more uninsured people skipping preventative and early treatment that saves cost, and more using expensive emergency care, because the emergency room has to take them, and other providers don't, and we get to pay more to cover for those who can't pay at all.

      My own insurance company was willing to pay for care I didn't need and in full for grossly over-priced items, but wouldn't pay for routine care at standard prices that I did need. I couldn't find providers that wouldn't charge more than what they considered "reasonable and customary." When I had surgery, my bills went back and forth between two of their offices, twice. I had to contact each of my care providers and have them send them their bills a third time to a particular individual before they got paid.

      So, I do not share your faith that insurance companies without regulation will magically decide to pay their executives less, stop maximizing profits, and become efficient, cost-effective, cost-competitive organizations offering health insurance at reasonable prices.

      Insurance companies add bureaucracy and cost without providing the benefit of better health care, so why not cut them out completely and concentrate on providing better health care for less, like so many other countries do?

    12. Oh for crying out loud, Anonymous. You're another Ayn Rand zealot, aren't you? A Ron Paul groupie who breathed the free market magic fairy dust.

      Anonymous, we lived in your free-market utopia once upon a time, right here in America. Instead of universal access for everybody, what we got was a handful of ruthless rich bastards who ended up owning everything, and everybody else got to pay them for the privilege of eating out of their garbage cans. Prices didn't come down. There was no middle class. And unlike an elected government, it turns out that the free market doesn't, in point of fact, answer to citizens (And sure, the government isn't particularly responsive either, but it could be if people actually voted in their best instead of for magic fairy dust).

      But yeah, let's go back to 1920. Let's do that.

    13. Now you're breaking your own rules and being a dick. zealot? fairy dust?

      Your description of the early 1900's is another inaccurate straw man, though with how poorly run government health care is likely to be, I can't say I blame you for resorting to it. And please don't try to convince us that government's over-reach into our economic lives is what has caused a middle class; it's laughable.

      I can believe that, after the health care industry is aloud to largely fix itself without government control and interference, there will still be a need for charitable health care for the very poor. However, the overall costs will be SO much lower and the whole system will be SO much more efficient, that we can help the actually-needy much more cheaply (that is, with many fewer tax dollars) than will a whole-population, government provided "free" health care system.

      There's a lot of talk about how the rest of the "civilized world" provides health care with tax dollars. I close look at those systems reveal that they are both delivering poorer quality care and bankrupting the countries that are attempting to fund them.

    14. Am I wrong? The free market will fix healthcare, why it'll fix everything, even though after more than two hundred years it hasn't. Charities will pick up the slack. Government overreach. You're paraphrasing Ron Paul right out of the Ayn Rand playbook.

      There's no strawman in my 1920 comment, though I don't expect you to do anything except continue to move the goal posts further and further from the topic of this post.

    15. You know what, Anon? The government did not provide any sort of healthcare for poor, single women without children in the 1980s. Sure, it was available to buy, but I was making $7 an hour (way over minimum wage - woo hoo!) and barely supporting myself, so there was no way I could afford to buy healthcare and pay rent and utilities at the same time, much less purchase food and my public transportation pass.

      So, for eight years in a "free market," I went without healthcare. When I found out I was a hair's breadth away from having cervical cancer, I sold everything I owned, broke my lease, moved in with my parents, worked 60-80 hour weeks, and borrowed money from my friends in order to scrape up just enough money to have surgery. I was lucky, because I was healthy enough to work crazy hours.

      I found a teaching hospital that was willing to give me a lower rate on the procedure if I'd let dozens of medical students poke around in my vagina. I figured it was better than dying. Now, I'm a pretty well educated woman who lived in a big city, so I had all the tools and advantages that allowed me to patch together a way to get surgery. It took everything I had. Also, it left my landlord in the lurch, destroyed my credit, beggared my friends, and put a burden on my family that they really could not afford. Imagine how much harder it would have been if I was destitute in a rural area, or too sick to work, or without the resources to search out a facility that would work with me and negotiate a price I could afford.

      Your free market solution is akin to "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" Or, if you prefer, "Let them eat cake." Neither of those work out too well for the poor.

    16. Every time an industry gets deregulated in the fashion you're suggesting, horrible shit ends up happening.

      The BP oil spill, anyone? That was the result of massive deregulation of the oil industry. Safety standards got eviscerated, disaster happened, and now BP is arguing in court that we, the American Taxpayers, have to pay for cleaning up their mess.

      Or how about the numerous examples of companies being given the power to police themselves and then turning around and declaring themselves innocent for human rights and environmental violations?

      What on GOD's Green earth makes you think that free-market competitiveness in Health Care is going to be ANYTHING but another race to the bottom in order to maximize profits?

      It always astounds me that people are so distrustful of the group that's actually accountable to the taxpayers (the government), but want to put blind trust in totalitarian organizations that by their very nature only answer to private interests. >.<

  49. I think people have the right to have sex or not, and I would hope they understand what may happen if the CHOOSE to do so. See, THAT is where the "choice" comes in, BEFORE a pregnancy occurs. Yes, I know, rape victims...but statistically rapes account for less then 3% of unwanted pregnancies. Women absolutely have the right to make choices for their uterus, but if that choice is to have sex and by chance become pregnant, then they are now responsible for that fetus' rights as well. No one says anyone HAS to have intercourse, THAT is a CHOICE!

    1. And we're back to punishing women for having sex.

      As I said in the post, women are free to choose, just so long as they choose in an approved manner.

      Some days there just isn't a facepalm big enough.

    2. Will this one work?


    3. What about the woman who was asleep when her husband got home, because they work different shifts to make sure someone can be with the baby, because they can't afford daycare, so they hardly ever see each other, and when he gets home she's so beautiful and warm in the bed that he figures "why not?" and she doesn't wake up until they're already going at it, at which point it's too late to prevent the pregnancy that occurs? Is that woman - the one whose first pregnancy was so high risk the doctors told her she should be extremely careful, especially the first couple years after her first kid, who was born only 9 months ago - required to risk her life and leave her husband without his wife and their baby without a mother? She didn't CHOOSE to have sex. She was asleep at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning in January. And she had a very, very difficult decision to make - risk her life or terminate an unplanned and dangerous pregnancy. That is where choice comes in.

      My fifteen year old (second) son joins me in saying a hearty fuck you if you think you get to make that decision for my husband and me. He honestly thinks I was nuts to have him, but he's damned grateful I made the CHOICE.

    4. Anon –

      If we evaluated this whole post further, we would determine that since so few unwanted pregnancies are the result of a crime, and we know that statistically hormonal birth control has very low failure rate, we could reasonably opine that most unwanted pregnancies occur from lack of condom use or incorrect usage of the condom (put on incorrectly). Since it is men who wear condoms, and men who have always been 100% in control of whether they get someone pregnant or not since they control where they ejaculate (not the woman), then most of the blame for unwanted pregnancies is actually on men. Because they CHOOSE not to wear condoms.

    5. Anonymous, I know someone who asked her fiancee (man she had been with for years and trusted) to use a condom one night and right in front of her, he applied it. Then during the course of having sex, without her knowledge, he removed it because "it was getting dried out". He admitted this in a most unapologetic manner after she informed him she had become pregnant. I suppose that was all HER fault that she became pregnant and HE decided he didn't want to be bothered with his baby (because he was "not ready") huh?

      I don't believe that she made her decision to have sex lightly nor did she make it irresponsibly. If you cannot trust your fiancee then can she ever reasonably trust any man? And if she does an he betrays her is it all her fault? I think not.

      This pregnancy ended in an abortion. Her decision was based on the fact, that daddy dearest was not interested and asked to terminate, she had no health insurance and a lousy $8 per hour job. She was totally unable and unprepared to raise a child on her own. Now you can sit there on you high horse and say "but she knew that before she had sex" but guess what, SO DID HER fiancee and he's the one who opted out of the condom.

      I'm tired of hearing about how women "get themselves pregnant" and that the only responsible thing to do after it happens is to have a baby and suck it up. Sometimes the most responsible thing to do, after a betrayal or even contraceptive failure is to NOT have a baby. Just because you may not agree does not make people who choose this option bad, wrong or lacking in the responsibility department. Choosing to have sex in no way obligates a woman to accept a baby as her just dessert for daring to spread her legs, especially when daddy gets to walk away any time he chooses.

      To quote another poster, "RAWR"!

  50. I can't hold myself back from asking this one question: How do you REALLY feel about the pope, Jim? ;-)

    Great post, as usual. You nailed it again.

    1. I'm still waiting for him to take responsibility for his organization and clean house.

      Instead, he keeps telling the rest of us how to live our lives and who to vote for. Fuck him.

  51. Dude,
    You're not deluding yourself with respect to dream of being a writer....that's some amazing writing. Thanks for putting "pen to paper" to articulate so clearly my own feelings on the subject. Your rant has eased my mind because it exposes the hypocrisy (and in many cases the stupidty) of those trying to shove their religion down my throat (or up my uterus).

    1. That's an old bio. I should probably update it.

  52. Found you through Fark.com politico page.

    Well said.

    Corporations have more freedom that a woman's uterus.

    It should be on a bumper sticker.

  53. Jim.... You silver-tongued rascal, you! B...R...A...V...O.....

    The irony is those sanctimonious, self-righteous, piss-brained oxymor"a"ns have no concept of how incredibly inconsistent the verbal compost that comes out of their mouths is. But many thanks for pointing it out so eloquently.

  54. I followed your advice and read your extended version of the rules so I wouldn't accidently release the badgers. Not that I'm afeared of badgers. I just want to know if I should use the fanged dentures with extra adhesive Polygrip or just go without because they would get knocked out regardless. I'm almost tempted to go for the snide remark just so you would come after me and I could meet you in person. Then buy you a beer.

    I always use my name because if you got something to say, stand by it and make your case. If proven wrong then you've gained new insight.

    This subject covers so much ground it's hard to know where to start. Religion, Families, Politics, History, Law, ad infinitum. Without birth there is nothing.

    The intense reactions and polarization start at the very core of who we are.

    Keep that in mind when your mind boggles. It's the string to find your way back when you spelunk the cave of an opposing viewpoint. To understand the other it's neccessary to walk in their shoes. Or the entire wardrobe if need be.

    Even if their clothes stink.

    Many of the comments here show why the Hard Right look at this as a holy mission. The whole abortion as a method of birth control is what really set them off against Planned Parenthood. No one here advocated this to my knowledge, but it is assumed. While also being to some degree correct.

    Now it's a zero-sum death match.

    My family is Hard Core Catholic. My cousin is a priest. They all voted Nixon. Twice. K-12 Catholic schools and summer camp at the seminary. Priests have always given me the creeps. No scandal issues but they are simply strange.

    Love the faith, despise the religion.

    The confirmation name I chose in the second grade was Thomas. The Doubter. Believe me that didn't go over well at all.

    The Church says we were made by God. While the Bible says we are of God.

    Big differnce in one simple word.

    God is, Gaia, Life, The everything and no we cannot understand it. It's the force Luke. Mathew, Mark John and Magdelin. The 13th apostle. In the Moses story or 4000yr old fable, take your pick. The burning bush says, "If I appeared to you in my true form your head would explode".

    Exaclty, put your head into a reactor compartment and see what is left in 30 seconds.

    Navy 79-84 E-4 NDT inspector Snipe USS Holland AS32 Polaris Refit facility Holy Loch Scotland.

    Then Tall-Ships. Two Hurricanes at sea, but this might get long.

    I always tell Athiests when they try to belittle my belief that there is a God. They smirk. I Pause. Look'em square in the eye and say, "We have pictures."

    When they are back on their heels a bit. I hit'em with the knockout blow.

    Google Hubble Space Telescope. It's from the inside looking out.

    Quantum theory is hypothosizing multiple infinite universes. People who prefer to keep it simple call it heaven and hell.

    Purgatory was created by the Church as a control mechanism and to make mega coin by selling dispensations. A big one was Pope Julius trying to raise cash to finish St Pauls' Basillica which pissed off Martin Luther.

    Whoa Buddy, that was a mistake.

    The Church isn't about saving souls. It's about saving it's own A$$.

    I am against abortion. But it's not up to me. A pregnancy and birth are a covenant between the mother and God. The father has an opinion but that is all. Only in that context can the decision be made. It's the mother's decision. No one and nothing else has a GodDamn thing to say about it.

    My own opinion, or anyone else for that matter, is as relevant as my stature in the universe.

    Zip, Nada, Ziltch.

    I apologize for the verbosity. I hope it wasn't a rule I missed. If so and the badgers are coming, please, let me know so I can get my Kevlar underwear. It's the only thing I care about. The rest is pretty chewed up anyway.

    Godspeed and good job Chief.

    1. You wield a pretty mean pen yourself Sir Scribe.

    2. You might find the story of Anatoli Bugorski to be an interesting one, though I doubt he left his head in the path of the beam for 30 seconds.

      Also, a friendly word of warning: be very, very careful with quantum mechanics. It's very easy to get wrong. I could help you with the math, if you'd like, but it's L2 spaces -- a little algebra, a little calculus, a little functional analysis. The alternate dimensions aren't so much heaven and hell, as different slices of the probability space pie, universes where history played out differently. And that's assuming that interpretation is correct.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. In this agnostic's opinion, you have a very beautiful point of view. =D

    5. sorry for the previous double post resulting in one being removed.

      minor browser glitch on my part.

    6. Greg... While I disagree with some of your opinions, you make me proud to stand by the statement, "I disagree with what you say, but I'll fight like hell for your right to say it." :D

  55. If you could see me right now, you'd see a grown man, standing up in his home office, clapping my hands and holding back my tears. Truly amazingly written.

  56. This article is so fucking annoying. Almost as annoying as pro-life zealots. I don't believe life begins at conception nor do I believe it begins at birth. We have these things inside our skulls called brains and they (combined with life experiences) define who we are in a fundamental sense. Can we cut the bullshit and all admit that we become individuals somewhere between conception and birth and strive SCIENTIFICALLY to understand when that point is? We may never receive a satisfying answer but why can't we ask the question and SEEK the answer. It pisses me off so much that this issue is divided between "life" and "choice" because both sides are so fucking stupid and unscientific. The question is when do we become human, when do we become individuals. If you think this happens at birth or at conception then you need a fucking biology lesson.

    1. This article is so fucking annoying

      And yet you felt the need to read it and then comment. And still managed to completely miss the point of the post.

    2. (I think I re-created my post, I too am a proficient typist =)

      Anon -

      “Can we cut the bullshit and all admit that we become individuals somewhere between conception and birth and strive SCIENTIFICALLY to understand when that point is?”

      Why would we admit to something that is not true? Firstly, I don’t understand why you believe a fetus would ever be considered an individual when it doesn’t even have consciousness. Secondly, when life begins, which is really what you mean by using the term “individual,” is a philosophical and/or religious debate which has no place in determining public policy or when/when not a medical procedure should be legal. Thirdly, your first sentence or two is in direct conflict with the question above. Obviously, once we are born there is life, that is why killing a baby can be murder but terminating a fetus is not, because words have meaning.

      Regardless, the issue is and always has been the ability to control one’s own reproductive system (ie body autonomy), something men have always enjoyed and thus take for granted. The ability of the anti-choice movement to co-opt this issue and attempt to make it about life is specious at best and only results in ridiculous inflammatory language like the term “partial birth abortion” being used as real and relevant medical terminology in a SCOTUS opinion, depressing.

      In truth, there is no such thing as pro-life because no one is anti-life, that is why they are anti-choice. Further, there is no such thing as pro-abortion, and if anything, pro-choicers are more anti-abortion than anti-choicers will ever be because pro-choicers seek real and practical solutions to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. That is all.

  57. To the point of that "educated man" comment: make no mistake- his so-called education is from a building that pumps out religiously indoctrinated, brain-washed automatons sent forth to spew the rhetoric of an insane, bigoted, hate-filled idiot attempting to make this country a theocracy. No, "educated" is so far from the truth, it's not even wrong!

  58. But I LOVE your style, man. Bulls-eye every.time.

  59. GOP has come after women in other ways as well. Wisconsin just repealed the Equal Pay Act. Introduced by Glen Grothman of the protesters are a bunch of "Slobs" fame.

  60. I'm hoping that the larger point of all this galling behavior is that it exposes the depths of the rot. Got to lance that thing before it can be cleared away and healed. The economic picture is beginning to improve and they have to highlight some other argument, but they're so insane about it, I'm hoping it really does break everything open and show, very publicly, how unacceptable and vile these views toward women are. Then maybe there will be change.

    I do think that something is already shifting. I have seen more positive attitudes and egalitarian views so far this year than in several previous years combined. That's excepting the Republican presidential candidates, but elsewhere it's true. I don't think the attitudes are necessarily new, but they are finally becoming audible, and hopefully they are pushing out the rot.

    The image I hold is that these are the (albeit very noisy) death throes of some very antiquated views, and not just about women. It will probably take a good while yet until the final gasp, but I'm starting to be hopeful. Just a little bit, at least.

    Thanks for speaking up, always.

  61. I can't quite shake off the worrying notion that the only line of reasoning where this catastrophically divisive kind of behavior makes sense is when they're not worried at all about the long term consequences because they sincerely believe there won't be any...

  62. Fantastic! :)
    I like when guys get it.

  63. Great article - sad that the (unfortunately unsurprising reaction sh*tstorm) forces you to waste time deleting the drivel you're now getting.

    talking about drivel, I find it amazing that some participants in the healthcare debate still argue that the completely free market can possibly deliver the best healthcare. What the? Any of you guys reading this, explain to me why the argument against government intrusion is not enough for you, and instead you feel a need to enter terrain where the facts simply aren't on your side? See the same, btw, for any debate on climate change...

    In any case, I found the following article on Slate to be an interesting entry into the discussion:

  64. I would argue that you don't get it. Innocent/ Dead/ No Choice in the matter. Everyone seems to forget that there's two human beings here, even if one doesn't look like a person, yet.

    1. I get it just fine, anonymous, what I don't get is why it should matter. Innocent? So? so what? The world is full of innocent kids. Thousands of them die from neglect and hunger and lack of affordable medical care and gang violence and war every single fucking day, here and abroad, and you right to life assholes never give them a second thought. What the hell difference does another couple of cells matter? if you fuckers actually cared about kids, well then you'd be a liberal, won't you?

      Don't ever try to tell me I don't get it, I've walked among the dead children you hypocrital bastards waged war on. Fuck you, anonymous, don't comment here again.

    2. My father served in North Africa, crossing the Atlantic beaches. He left a religious man, he came back a man who would not worship a god who permitted that to happen to children.

    3. It isn't that we forget, it is that a fetus' rights never should supersede those of the woman carrying it. It really is that simple. The govt has no interest in forcing women to have children, not on a state or federal level. Personhood amendments are unconstititutional on their face(s).

    4. @enhancedvibes - and forcing women to have children can, in some cases, be considered "cruel and unusual punishment", yes?

      I keep thinking about the way women's rights are going in the US and pondering what I remember hearing of Ceaucescu's Romania...

      Not to mention The Handmaid's Tale...

  65. Consider the source. Neurological atrophy is a disease. While we're all passing judgement on one group or another's poor decisions and pathological philosophies, we should treat the diseases that cause them.

  66. @enhancedVibes, I accidentally deleted one of your comments. The one were you were replying to Anonymous "cut the bullshit" guy. Tablet finger malfunction. Apologies.

  67. Well said. I agree with everything you said, except maybe you were a bit hard on Reverend Dimmesdale.

  68. Doh! Oh well, c'est la vie.

    I am not sure if you are familiar with the recent study on conservatism that came out, posted on Alternet. I provided a link below. Reading it reminded me of Moral Foundations Theory , the brainchild of Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia. I provided a link for that as well, and the study referenced to in the Alternet article.

    Knowledge of this theory has brought me better understanding as to how some conservatives (especially social conservatives)think and thus how they vote or are able to lack consistency in their beliefs. If you have a chance to check out the theory, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Moral Foundations Theory:


    Alternet article:


    Study referenced in Alternet article - link to full study to the right of the abstract on this page:


  69. The religious zealots have been insisting for decades that it wasn't about whether women should have sex, and it wasn't about whether women should be avoiding pregnancy with birth control, it was only about the horrors of abortion and the innocent babies.

    Now that abortion is increasingly difficult to obtain, they have spread their net wider and while continuing to claim that it isn't about whether women should have sex, or about forcing women to be pregnant, now it's supposedly about *responsibility* and how some types of birth control are *equivalent* to the horrors of abortion.

    They insist, 'It's not true that *contraception* is being banned because there's Natural Family Planning and that's a form of contraception!' (New sciencey name to disguise the fact they're referring to the same old useless Periodic Abstinence/ Rhythm Method with a "typical use failure rate" of 25%).

    For the past 14 years in the Philippines, the Catholic Church has been threatening to excommunicate politicians and to organize its minions to replace the government unless condoms are made illegal because ut really truly is about how nobody, NOBODY should be having sex, and how women who aren't *pure* should be punished by having children they don't want inflicted on them as a *consequence*. A theme which traditionally been harder on the children than on anyone else, but then, that's part of the design.

    The Catholic Church apparently believes that people who suffer are closer to God, and so they consistently come down on the side of laws that will promote those circumstances which increase the amount of suffering in the world. The more ignorant and wretched, orphaned or abandoned, starving, sickly and in pain people are generally, the more fulfilled the Church seems to feel, because the heirarchy sincerely believe the seas of suffering their policies create around them are pleasing to God.

  70. Thanks for this article, Jim. My wife and I both enjoyed it.

    The thing I'm struggling with here is that all the arguments against reproductive choice seem to be faith-based at heart. (If I have that wrong -- and even if I don't -- I'm sure someone will correct me.) But I don't buy the idea that morality is faith-based, and I haven't heard a "pro-life" argument yet that didn't use somebody's religious book as a major weight-bearing foundation. It would be interesting to see the attempt made.

    Arthur C. Clarke said, "The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion." And Carl Sagan said something I find even more interesting: "Faith is belief without evidence, and why would you want to believe something if there's no evidence for it?" And how did faith get a reputation as a virtue, anyway?

    I don't see that the assertion "life begins at conception" is supported by the available scientific evidence. Nobody even seems to be trying to make that case. I wonder why?

    1. well, I think it was Saletan at Slate who argued that there is some point between conception and birth at which we can speak of "personhood;" it's that point at which I am willing to concede to pro-lifers that abortion should be subject to regulation/prohibition.*

      Of course that would require a rational and honest debate, and Jim makes a good point in showing how the far right's screaming is neither honest/consistent, nor rational.**

      *and it seems as if most societies have accepted that such a point exists, and that it is where the law makes a difference between an abortion that happened before and one that happened after.
      **especially since there is a suspiciously strong correlation between knowledge about, and access to, contraception, and lower abortion rates. And if the life of unborn babies is so important, then surely, any means to get fewer abortions would be good?

  71. Jim, another well written post, thank you!

    My wife and I have agreed for many years that pro-life is an incorrect title for their beliefs, or they would be much more concerned about welfare of children in all parts of the globe. I appears that their concern seems to be limited to the period between conception and birth. Thanks for pointing out the inconsistencies in their arguments. I really want to say more, but it seems a good bit of it has already been said.

    1. I have heard it said that the anti-abortion people "love the fetus and hate the child".

      I would also add that the people in question also hate women, seeing as it seems obvious to me that they are for making safe abortions illegal to the point where some of them even thing that women who die of back-alley abortion complications "deserve it".

  72. to paraphrase George Carlin (Merica's best comedic philosopher) conservatives care about life from conception to birth, then not again until military service is possible...

  73. D. En says it pretty well, but I'd like to add that I think no one is making the case against "life begins at conception" because, well, it's not true. An embryo is composed of living cells, even though it is not capable of independent life until about the last trimester. Most of the pro-choice people I know who comprehend science would not want to lie to bolster their positions.

    I guess the point you were trying to make is about independent life, not simply active cellular metabolism? That demarcation point for independent life has shifted over the years due to advances in neonatal care. Pro-choice people *have* used that fact, which is why it is much harder to get an abortion after X-many weeks. (I'm not a physician, so I'm not sure of the "X" value. It may even be different in different states- often due to politics, not medical care.)

    Most anti-choice people would not want to admit facts like this into the discussion; I think since it would look too much like compromise. As you stated, this is about their faith- beliefs not facts. The hard-core anti-choice people can be classified as "Liars for Jesus", the ones who want to mandate invasive sonograms where they cannot get away with outright abortion bans. Facts would just get in the way of their talking points. (The *really* hard-core anti-choice fanatics are terrorists who murder abortion providers, with whom therapy, not discussion, should take place in prisons for the mentally insane. Has one of these murderers ever faced the death penalty, or does that sentence only apply to people conservatives do not like?)

    1. Well Jerry, some folks don't think life begins at conception. You seem to be a Genesis believer, remember the part about God breathing life into Adam? Some folks (like Jews) think life starts when breathing starts. You seem to have a different interpretation of Genesis.

      Coincidentally, in today's What's New Bob Park says: "...in Virginia, the State Senate voted to suspend consideration of a bill defining life as beginning at conception, which is the position of to the Roman Catholic Church. The law would instantly create millions of one-celled persons. Perhaps they would be granted souls by heaven, citizenship by the state, and be counted in the census along with millions of frozen embryos? Or would the frozen embryos have to wait till they thaw? Based on a different reading of Genesis, a Jewish zygote wouldn't be a person for another nine months."

      The whole article will eventually show up in his archives here.

    2. timb111:
      What are you talking about? Did you even read any of the words that I wrote? I am a research biochemist, not a Genesis believing young Earth IDiot. Maybe there is some secret code word that I am not privy to that makes "life" mean something other than "living", but an embryo is living tissue, by any scientific textbook definition. It is not a human being, just has the potential for becoming one. That does not mean I think it should have legal protection to the point that it over-rides the rights of its mother. That does not mean I agree with the proposed anti-abortion legislation, AND I never said so. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I said the exact opposite of your accusation. So why in the name of sanity did you hit me with this pro-Genesis garbage?

    3. Sorry to misunderstand you Jerry. In re-reading your post I see I missed your point.

    4. I have to note one thing as well- there really are secret codes. I naively did not know that the anti-choice brigade misuses the specific phrase "life begins at conception" as a code to imply that an unformed ball of cells is exactly the same as a human being. (Scientists and physicians know that at least half of these balls of cells never survive for many natural reasons, with no sign to the woman at all.) Many of the Liars for Jesus deliberately do not distinguish between a day old ball-o-cells, versus a blastocyst ready for implantation, versus an 8.99 month old fetus during birth. I can see how some of my wording could have been confused for their nonsense if someone was not reading carefully.

  74. Wow. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this entire discussion, not to mention the wonderful original blog. I knew there was a reason I had your blog here on my favorites list ... just hadn't been here in a while!

    I agree with so much here, and so does my husband, but he thinks I'm becoming an alarmist when I worry about it (even though I'm beyond childbearing age). It's not just about my uterus. It's about a whole segment of people being treated like non-entities, or property. I live in one of the states that actually never ratified the ERA, and sometimes that scares me. However, I've never felt I was being oppressed, really. That doesn't mean I can't see it around me or see the trends.

    I appreciate rational discussion, and abhor the frothing-at-the-mouth fanatics ... on both sides. I try to see every angle, and am a bit ambivalent on many subjects. Yet because I fear for our future, I'm an alarmist *sigh*

    Thanks for a well written article and for keeping the discussion from getting out of hand!

  75. "A man should have to look his prostate in the eye....".......Wow. Thanks Jim. That's gonna stick as an image.

    Won't make any difference to the "Zygote Brigade". They've got their heads up their asses all the time anyway. And the national leadership of these mouth breathing, genetic failures are all assholes anyway.

    I agree with your sentiment completely. Hard to say what turns this social experiment will take. If it comes down to armed camps defending the rights of the fetus vs the rights of women, I still recall the old rifle range mantra. These cretins are also scared to death of gun control. They should be.

  76. Love ya Jim...you are da man! Welcome to the sisterhood honey.


  77. There is an interesting thought experiment for the pro-birth types... Imagine you are visiting a fertility clinic. you are alone in a room with doors on opposite walls. Beside the left door is a stroller with 9 month old twins, beside the right door is a tank containing 1000 4 cell embryos frozen in liquid nitrogen. A tank of chlorine gas begins to leak, every living thing in the room will die, you can go out either door and save whatever you grab. Which way do you go?

    1. I'm going out the window and taking the hot nurse with me.

    2. @Jim - (and I will note that I'm being very silly with this) Even if said hot nurse is a man? ;)

    3. That depends, does he have a sister?

  78. well said good sir, but as we know, it's like banging our heads against a wall, a friend of mine was trying to figure out these folks attitudes, and I told him, I had just about stopped trying, yes I will take them in, and then move on, I told it's no use trying to understand a non fact based belief system masquerading (jeeze hope I espelled that right!) as a political party. That when I think of these folk, I imagine (no threat here) hitting them on the back of the head with a baseball bat. They are willfully ignorant, don't believe in science (except when it works for them, like their laundry machines or cars) tools just tools

  79. Really Jim. Please write a book. I will be one of the first people in line to buy it. Hell, I'll even pre-order the bitch on Amazon. Once you have a book published, we can see about getting you a guest spot on The Daily Show. Then... WORLD DOMINATION! ;)

  80. Maybe if the Virginia bill had passed, more women would realize that a 7 week old fetus looks like a cross between a naked mole rat and a chestburster from Alien. Rather than engendering some extra maternal instinct like the sponsers planned, it will lead women who are not completely sure if they want to go through the abortion to yell "GET THAT THING OUT OF ME BEFORE IT STARTS CHEWING!!!!!!"

  81. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    I live in Virginia and readers here should be aware that in addition to our governor, McDonnell, our attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, also aspires to national political office. And he is more extreme than McDonnell.

    The women who will be required to have an ultrasound will have to pay for it themselves. The legislation does not require the state to cover the cost of a test it mandates. Sonograms are expensive and women who don't have insurance or have deductibles, copays and coinsurance will have to cover the expense.

    Another scary thing about Virginia: the state is home to Patrick Henry College, a school founded to educate future conservative Republican politicians and activists, and mostly attended by young people who were home schooled. The college is in the county in which I reside, and these young people show up on my doorstep occasionally during election cycles. I've tried to talk to them reasonably about points of view other than their own and to say they are not receptive is an understatement.

    I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but if McDonnell or Cuccinelli show up in the national political arena get out the vote and send them packing. The voters in Virginia are apparently predominantly morons so it's up to the rest of the country to save us.

  82. Wow! As I read this article, all I could think was "YES".... Finally someone telling it like it and blasting away at all the right wing hypocrisy. Thanks for that breath of fresh air.

  83. Ended up here through Crooks & Liars. Well said sir, well said.

  84. A commenter on Margaret and Helen's blog linked to the "Absurdity of Rush Limbaugh" post. I have since spent a few hours reading other articles and the commenting rules etc. I will decidedly have no problems with the commenting rules.

    I ended up on this post and just had to comment. If I had the ability to write this well or with so much passion, this would be the article I would write on this subject. Barring that I will just have to return on a regular basis and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Thank you Jim.

    1. I agree, started out with the absurdity Aof rush and ended up here. At least there is some sanity here. You have said everything I've thought but can't articulate. Thanks so much. Oh just so you know Alabama has now jumped on the McDonnel and Kookinelli bandwagon. I live in VA and I am in Alabama to help my family care for my father who is in the process of dying and on top of that I have to deal with this republican drivel.

    2. I to started with the absurdity of rush and ended up here. I have been relieved to discover I am not alone. Thank you Jim your blog said most everything I think but am unable to articulate. Just so you and your readerss are aware Alabama is proposing the same legislation that Kookinelli and McChumpell are proposing in VA. I live in VA and I am in Alabama to help care for my dying Father. On top of all that I have to deal with the republican assault on women and all the attendant drivel that goes with it. Again thank you so much for your support.

    3. sorry for the duplicate post.


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