April 14, 2008

"He has the unique skills to try to lower the temperature and foster a sense of common ground."

So says Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., the antiabortion Democrat from Pennsylvania, about Barack Obama, who has never voted for a restriction on abortion. Is Casey's support so surprising? He has to pick one Democrat or the other, and now is the time to use the power of his endorsement.
Casey's endorsement is particularly important because Obama's ability to reach these voters is even more in question in light of the controversy provoked by his description of small-town Pennsylvania voters as driven by bitterness over their economic situation and looking for ways "to explain their frustrations."..

Obama did not mention abortion in his controversial remarks, made last week at a fundraiser in California, though he noted other divisive social issues. But last week in Indiana, he said that both sides of the abortion debate are guilty of hyperbole.

"The mistake pro-choice forces have sometimes made in the past, and this is a generalization . . . has been to not acknowledge the wrenching moral issues involved," he said. "And so the debate got so polarized that both sides tended to exaggerate the other side's positions. Most Americans, I think, recognize that what we want to do is avoid, or help people avoid, making this difficult choice. That nobody is pro-abortion -- abortions are never a good thing."

Asked last night at a nationally televised forum on religious and moral values if there can be "common ground" on abortion, Obama said that "people of good will can exist on both sides." With Casey watching from the audience at Messiah College outside Harrisburg, Pa., he added that while there will always be irreconcilable differences between opponents and supporters of abortion rights, "we can take some of the edge off the debate."

136 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...

Abortion is just one issue, so I don't think it is a problem for Casey to be supporting him. However, if Obama pretends to usew Casey for his abortion credentials, then it would be a scam.

They should ask Casey if he agrees with Obama about looking down on people who like guns and religion and pro-life. If he says no, then maybe people will start to wonder why Casey is supporting Obama after all.

vet66 said...

I doubt it will happen. Any deviation from the party line regarding pro-choice advocates is blasphemy and will not happen.

To question abortion rights drives a stake into the heart of liberals who seek domination in their secular lifestyle.

Abortion is not just a plank in the two opposing platforms. It is the plank that focuses activities like Annie Oakley shooting on the run.

J said...

I can't believe a lifelong politician like Casey thinks Obama is electable. Do you think he and other senior Democrat pols really think that, or do they simply think Obama will do less damage to the party in the long run? I know what the polls say, but I also know our pollsters have no actual experience correcting for Bradley Effect in a presidential race.

herbp01 said...

Can someone point us to any vote at all where Obama voted against the party line to foster a sense of common ground, at least with McCain you can point to many votes even to the exasperation of conservatives.

Zeb Quinn said...

"He has the unique skills to try to lower the temperature and foster a sense of common ground..."

That's the illusion and that's the hook. The more he opens his mouth and talks he pokes holes into it, causing it to dissipate a little bit more day by day. What's interesting is watching those who blindly jumped on board his train a few months ago now do gymnastics with their logic and ethical code to continue supporting him because he is, after all, The Healer and The Savior.

AlphaLiberal said...

The fact is that abortions decrease under Democratic policies and increase under Republican policies.

We've seen how that works recently. Republican policies focus on withholding reproductive education and simply instructing people not to have sex.

The ignorance-first policies have led to things like teens thinking smoking more pot leads to less pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is up.

Surprise. People have sex. Without reproductive ed, they have more unwanted pregnancies.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ alphaliberal

1. "The fact is that abortions decrease under Democratic policies and increase under Republican policies."

Provide proof.

And that's actual proof not BS offered up by a liberal website.

2. *shrug* How many times has Obama had an opportunity to vote on abortion? We're not talking about someone with decades of experience here.

AlphaLiberal said...

memomachine:

"Provide proof."

I'm not your reference librarian. You've got the whole internet at your disposal. Go nuts.

Sloanasaurus said...

The fact is that abortions decrease under Democratic policies and increase under Republican policies.

Abortion has drastically increased since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Decision, a major Democratic policy.

Salamandyr said...

You know, it's kind of sad for Casey that his entire raison d'etre is to be the "pro-life Democrat", as if he has no other significant qualifier upon which to judge him.

The fact that Casey, a Democrat who agrees with his compatriots on every thing else should pick a Democrat to endorse over a Conservative with whom he disagrees with everything but abortion doesn't really say much of anything about the pro-life credentials of anyone.

Roger J. said...

Re number of abortions--if we assume that Jimmy Carter was a republican, then he is correct. Here is the CDC data:
http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5109a1.htm#tab1

I havent bothered to look up the data since 2000.

Roger J. said...

And when reviewing statements like "abortions did so and so," please make sure you distinguish between total number of abortions versus rate per 100,000. (I think there is some evidence that total abortions have actually declined since 2000, but no comprehensive study has been done since 2000: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4000608.pdf)

TMink said...

Alphaliberal wrote: "I'm not your reference librarian."

You are missing an opportunity here AL. A true Alpha liberal would provide facts to back up their statements. Otherwise, they would be the sweeping exagerations, baseless statements, or out right lies of your common beta liberal.

Refusing to provide the data makes people think you just make stuff up to suit your agenda, another beta liberal trait.

Trey

vet66 said...

I wonder if there exist any statistics on the number of abortions each year after spring break and the ritual filming of a "Girls Gone Wild" segment?

Alfie" it is tough, outside a religious experience, to get pregnant without having sex. You must be particularly thrilled to have the Pope visiting and casting aspersions on your beliefs.

It should be comforting to you to know that you will have your own bleacher section in the cheap seats during your visit to purgatory.

Roger J. said...

For those who use google for health statistics, it is not a very complete data base. The best data base for medical and economic/medical data is on pub med here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

As Sloan points out that in general the rate of abortions increased dramatically after Roe v Wade, which made them legally available. The political affiliation of the incumbent president does not appear to be much a factor. Socioeconomic factors are much more important.

AlphaLiberal said...

You sure are an insulting and lazy bunch.

The CDC has reported on abortion rates for a long time, although they seem to have cut back on their reporting over the last 4 years. The last year I can find is 2004. (Bush doesn't believe in public information, in general.)


The Clinton Administration provides the best test case for Dem policies. As you can see from the chart at this page, Dem policies brought the greatest decline.

BTW, "ignorance-first" does not only describe Republican reproductive policies. It also applies to the Republican approach to science more generally.

And, I know, facts won't affect the opinions of any conservatives. This has been well-established here and elsewhere.

Henry said...

He's not running for sociologist-in-chief, he's running for somnabulist-in-chief.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You sure are an insulting and lazy bunch.

Sorry, but when you make a sweeping claim and then refuse to back it up with any facts, links or other evidence. As the "claim maker" it is incumbent on you to "put up or shut up" as we say in our bitter backwoods part of Middle America. I don't give a rip about this particular argument (the level of abortions under which political party). However, this tendency to throw out made up facts and then get offended when asked to substantiate them is extremely irritating. The more people refuse to substantiate, the more I assume they are dissembling (making shit up)

Unfortunately, this tendency is more prevalent on the "left" and the fake righteous indignation when caught with your pants down is more pitiful than irritating.

Wurly said...

Getting back to skill sets and lower temperatures...

Let's all look back to summer 2000, when one of arguments made in favor of Bush for President was that he could move the country closer together after the divisive Clinton years. Bush (unlike Obama) had a record of bipartisanship as Governor of Texas. During the GOP convention, one of the key speeches was given by a Democrat, who explained how Bush worked across party lines in Texas.

One of Bush's first acts was to renonimate for the federal bench to judges, first nominated by Clinton, whose nominations had not been acted upon by the Senate.

The temperature will not be lowered by Obama - don't believe the hype.

vet66 said...

Alfie;

Only you and people like you could point at those statistics wit pride and ignore the fact that the majority of those receiving abortions were teenagers.

In addition, the fact that we are discussing anywhere from 1.4 million fetuses to 800,000 fetuses were summarily removed from a uterus is just a statistic? Pesky details to be sure.

These statistics fail to mention the psychological damage to the women terminating a pregnancy and the physical damage to the viability of the reproductive organs after D and C. Both are huge details that haunt the victims for a lifetime.

Innocent lives taken diminish and haunt us all. Such are the costs associated with an accountability for inconvenient pregnancies.

Roger J. said...

Alpha: I would be interested in which Democratic policies had the effect you claim--the CDC did no correlational studies which, at a minimum, would be necessary to infer some (non causal) relationship. I think the best that could be said is that rates went up until 1990 and have declined since then. Does Bush one get the credit? He was president in 1990; Clinton not taking office until 1993.

This was your assertion: "The fact is that abortions decrease under Democratic policies and increase under Republican policies." Clearly that is not the case.

vet66 said...

DustBunny;

Great point. The chart I studied minimized the impact of the statistics by;

1. Using the numeral 1.4 with millions in small print to the left of the number of abortions;

2. Failure to break the numbers down into parental notification vs non-notification;

Bill Clinton certainly did his best to set a good example of sexual promiscuity through his dalliance with Monica.

Zeb Quinn said...

You sure are an insulting and lazy bunch.

The CDC has reported on abortion rates for a long time, although they seem to have cut back on their reporting over the last 4 years. (Bush doesn't believe in public information, in general.)


Hey, we aren't talking about political push polls here. There is always a lag of several years when analyzing epidemiological data, usually merely just reporting on it. It takes that long to properly compile it. Think about it. How could they possibly have accurate data on abortions performed throughout the US in an overnight fashion? Every facility in every city, town, burg, and wide spot on the road in all 50 states? Instantly? It takes a complete tool to read political motives into that time component, and doing it depending on who is in the office.

AlphaLiberal said...

vet66:

Got it. You don't like abortion. And statistics don't reveal emotional stories behind the numbers. Thanks for the newsflash.

You seem to be opposed to reproductive education and just want the government to enforce your moral views on everyone else.

See, you don't really believe in freedom. Because you want people having sex on your terms and that is profoundly anti-freedom.

Republicans, getting government off the back of business and into our bedrooms.

Synova said...

But, but...

People have SEX and they do it whenever they WANT to. And they WILL do it no matter what, too, and they'll do it when they WANT to when they're married or not married for the rest of their lives whenever the feeling hits them, because WANTING to have SEX is human nature, don't cha know, and if your spouse is not available, pregnant, sick or fat, and you WANT to have sex with someone it's like a MANDATE or something because humans MUST OBEY THEIR GONADS, YO.

AJ Lynch said...

Senator Casey's father (the late Governor) would be ashamed of his opportunist and lightweight son.

The Senator has 4 daughters and he has said one of the big reasons he supports Obama is because his girls are so agog about Obama's candidacy. How will Obama unite the country when the Democratic senator (Casey) and Democratis governor (Rendell) despise each other?

Synova said...

Democrats, enabling irresponsible behavior and feeling good about it.

AlphaLiberal said...

"I would be interested in which Democratic policies had the effect you claim--the CDC did no correlational studies which, at a minimum, would be necessary to infer some (non causal) relationship"

Reproductive education. Tell kids how babies are made, tell people about ways to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

You know, teach people about birth control. The right wing opposes teaching people about birth control and just wants to tell people not to have sex. They call it "abstinence only"), which often misleads teens.

Well, it's a fact of life that people, even Republican people, have sex.

Insisting on ignorance in birth control education leads to more unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to more abortions.

Synova said...

Alpha, it's like this.

We KNOW that certain behaviors are damaging, dangerous, and quite likely to result in negative personal impact.

You say that saying this and trying to discourage that behavior is anti-freedom.

*I* say that I am not responsible for someone else's freedom to make poor choices or the consequences of those choices and see no reason *whatsoever* that I am responsible for REMOVING the negative consequences of those free choices.

MadisonMan said...

when the Democratic senator (Casey) and Democratic governor (Rendell) despise each other?

Maybe Casey is popular because most everyone hates Rendell. Casey is just representing his constituency very well!

rhhardin said...

There's a rather large right wing segment that's pro choice.

The lefty programs they're against are the ones that are counterproductive, which is most of them.

Synova said...

And frankly, the idea that kids today can not find and are not exposed to more accurate and ubiquitous sex education including contraceptive education than ever before is moronic.

They don't get stupid ideas about birth control because they are denied information. They get stupid ideas about birth control because they are stupid kids.

AlphaLiberal said...

synova, unlike you I'm not passing judgment about other peoples' sex lives.

I give my own counsel to the young people in my life to keep it special and, basically, not to sleep around.
But I do not consider the government's job to be to promote reproductive ignorance and a narrow and sex-obsessed morality.

You, vet66 and the other narrow-minded people here are being disingenuous to take support for reproductive education and make that into support for a wild, slutty sex life.

Really, it's a stupid and dishonest argument from people who pose as moral.

Roger J. said...

Zeb is right--usually a three year lag in compiling data from the states--and four states, including California, do not provide data on Abortion.

I would suggest a much better indicator for risky sex (having unprotected sex) is the number of sexually transmitted diseases. There are lots of bad outcomes from having unprotected sex including unwanted pregnancy. Here are some historic figures for STD rate: Please note they generally track with abortion data. http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/tables/table1.htm

Again, I don't see any particular coorelation to which political administration is in power.

rhhardin said...

The argument a girlfriend (1975, NOW member) used to offer was that birth control doesn't always work, and abortion is not a great method of primary birth control and she wasn't certain why it was portrayed that way.

I imagine it will be an eternal argument until it can be decided by an actual vote, and then the losing side will shut up, at least if it's the overwhelming loss I think it would be. I'm imagining that pro choice would win handily.

That needs overturning Roe vs Wade, however.

garage mahal said...

Maybe Casey is popular because most everyone hates Rendell. Casey is just representing his constituency very well!

Not true, Rendell is actually very popular in PA. In fact he started his second term at an all time high of 61% approval rating according to Quinnipiac. Poll here

Pastor_Jeff said...

nobody is pro-abortion

Would that it were true.

Still, it's a rather breathtakingly dishonest statement, even for a Democratic politician. I know pols have to say things to get elected, but is this guy capable of telling the truth about anything that matters?

Synova said...

Geez, Alpha. How much "education" does it take to say... you ought not have sex but IF YOU DO you should use a condom all the time no matter what for both vaginal or anal sex so you don't get or pass on a venereal disease, which really sucks, and if it's AIDS can kill you. But you must ALSO be sure to use some other form of birth control, such as the "pill" because, guess what?, Condoms have a high failure rate, and while the "pill" doesn't save you from sexually transmitted diseases if the condom fails, it will protect you from getting pregnant.

Oh, and follow the directions on the box carefully.

Add a diagram... this is a vagina, this is a penis... that's where it goes. There's the womb that you don't want a baby in. And we're set. No?

Or by "education" do you mean some sort of further indoctrination such as a few weeks of classes saying, No, we REALLY MEAN IT, use a condom. REALLY. Every time! With a bunch of values clarification feel goodery included.

AlphaLiberal said...

More examples of dishonesty (and religious pork barrelling) from the right wing in reproductive education:

Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," a congressional staff analysis has found.

Those and other assertions are examples of the "false, misleading, or distorted information" in the programs' teaching materials, said the analysis, released yesterday, which reviewed the curricula of more than a dozen projects aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

In providing nearly $170 million next year to fund groups that teach abstinence only, the Bush administration, with backing from the Republican Congress, is investing heavily in a just-say-no strategy for teenagers and sex. But youngsters taking the courses frequently receive medically inaccurate or misleading information, often in direct contradiction to the findings of government scientists, said the report, by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), a critic of the administration who has long argued for comprehensive sex education.


From Wash Post article linked to above.

dbp said...

rhhardin: "I'm imagining that pro choice would win handily." I agree with you on this, if the question was all or nothing. That won't be the nature of the question if it comes to a ballot. There would be things like bans on late-term abortions, parental notification etc. That is, if left to the democratic process, we would get a moderate outcome rather than the extreme (up to the moment before birth) situation we now enjoy.

Roger J. said...

Alpha: in other words, you really have no idea other than an article in the Nation and your own particular view that sexual behaviors are a function of which political party is in the white house.

Now I will agree that sex education is about the only real weapon we as a nation have in our arsenal, as the human sex drive is a pretty powerful thing and doesnt respond to politics--esp in young people. I think the issue for some people is where and by whom sex education is taught. There are those who dont want sex education in the public sector--I dont agree with that personally and as a public health person. I think you have oversimplified a very complex problem involving a lot of issues that arent amenable to political solutions.

Synova said...

The thing about young people is that they evaluate risk differently than older adults. Take what I wrote about condom failure. The LOGICAL teen aged reaction to that would be... if they fail, why bother?

Giving young people tacit permission to do risky things and then trying to tell them how not to be risky about it completely fails to understand the teen aged understanding of risk.

When young people have far more and far more accurate information than they have ever had before the *problem* is probably not a lack of information.

AlphaLiberal said...

your own particular view that sexual behaviors are a function of which political party is in the white house

Didn't. say. that.

I said that abortions decline under Dem Presidents.

And I said that reproductive education is more effect give than spending millions telling kids not to have sex and giving them misleading and false education.

But you're a dishonest bunch that routinely distorts what people say. Probably not worthy of my time.

Roger J. said...

Alpha--you statement that abortion rates decline under democratic presidents is flat out wrong--Re: Jimmy Carter on the democratic side when abortion rates went up, and George HW Bush and George W Bush when abortion rates declined. You are misreading your own data!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Alphaliberal saidI'm not your reference librarian. You've got the whole internet at your disposal. Go nuts.

Allow me to translate:

I just make statements of fact without offering one shred of evidence to support it and then apply the burden of proof to you to show I'm wrong.

That must be a liberal tenant of debating.

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
memomachine:

"Provide proof."

I'm not your reference librarian. You've got the whole internet at your disposal. Go nuts.




From the person(?) who demands everone else provide proof and links and whole libraries or he calls them a liar. Sooooooo, I guess you are now the liar!!!!!!!1

Rich B said...

I read the Washington Post article that the angry liberal referred to and it's just a summary of a report by one of Henry Waxman's staffers - no way of checking how accurate it is. I'll bet they could find a lot more misleading information in two or three of Maxine Waters' press conferences.

Middle Class Guy said...

Aside from abortion, Hillary Clinton told another big lie and no one called her on it- she stated she supports the Second Amendment. Since when? The whole Democratic Party is against the Second Amendment. Hillary and Bill are and have been gun grabbers their whole lives. This woman is shameless.

MadisonMan said...

Rendell is actually very popular in PA.

Well, I admit my views on him are through a prism controlled by the cynical viewpoints of my parents, who live in PA.

My Mom actually is one of many who has changed her registration, from (R) to (D) so she can vote next Monday. My natal county, Centre, now boasts more registered Democrats than Republicans, for the first time ever, so Dad says. I've yet to ask Mom who she will vote for -- but I cannot imagine her supporting Hillary.

vet66 said...

Alfie;

The problem as I see it, my wife having been a vice principal and I am a substitute teacher, is the mandates that come down from leftist leaning school boards and spineless principals.

There is a conspiracy to teach liberal ideals in the classroom such as johnnie/jennie has two moms/dads, sex is free expression even though it is against the law in most states under a certain age, statutory rape charges are possible, and very little discussion about STD's. This is agenda driven on the part of entrenched liberals in positions of authority. All hail the 60's!

There is very little in the way of academic teaching anymore. That parochial idea has been eclipsed in most institutions of learning by liberals intent on establishing a secular society free of that burdensome being held accountable thing and consequences stemming from a failure to teach history, integrity, morals, and values.

Michael_H said...

Alpha said: "You seem to be opposed to reproductive education and just want the government to enforce your moral views on everyone else."

Um, actually it is you (and people like you) who want to enforce your views of sex education onto other peoples' children.

And those views are basically:

Go ahead and fuck. Have all the sex you want.

Fuck in a boat, fuck with a goat. Fuck with Sue, fuck with Stew. Fuck with both if that's what you want to do. Mom and Dad can't tell you no, so off with your clothes, there you go.

Use pills and rubbers every time you try. Stop in at Planned Parenthood and they'll give you a supply.

Oral, anal, vaginal, it's all good. Now go ahead and fuck, you know you should.

Don't worry if Mr. Menses is late, we'll get you an abortion, without wait. Tell your Mom? Boo! Tell your Dad, don't ever do! We'll set it up, just the judge and you.

Now fuckaway, fuckaway, fuckaway do, because the boys all like a girl who'll screw.

FGFM said...

Condoms have a high failure rate

Actually, condoms are highly effective with around a 2% pregnancy rate for sexually active couples when used consistently.

FGFM said...

Fuck in a boat, fuck with a goat. Fuck with Sue, fuck with Stew. Fuck with both if that's what you want to do. Mom and Dad can't tell you no, so off with your clothes, there you go.

Aside from Dr Seuss rolling in his grave, the guys explicitly said that "I give my own counsel to the young people in my life to keep it special and, basically, not to sleep around." Did you not see that the first time?

garage mahal said...

MM
Just heard on the radio somewhere that PA has 4.2 million registered Democrats this as of right now. That's pretty impressive if I heard that right.

AJ Lynch said...

Hey Madison:

I changed registrations too to vote for Hillary (per Rush's urging).

I don't like Rendell much (your Mom must be smart) but Garage is correct, he is popular with the majority of state residents.

I predict by the end of his second term, he will have increased the state budget by 70-80% and then we will be broke and hating him.

FGFM said...

Abortion has drastically increased since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Decision, a major Democratic policy.

I was under the impression that Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court decision that was supported by Nixon appointees Burger & Blackmun and not by JFK appointee White.

MadisonMan said...

Tell your Mom? Boo! Tell your Dad, don't ever do!

I really do not want to know the particulars of my children's sex lives. Ever. Way too much micromanagement.

By the time they might be sexually active -- not yet, I don't think, but I do have a 9th-grader -- I don't think I'm gonna be able to sway their views one way or another. That barn door is shut as far as parental influence is concerned, but I think I've done a good job of communicating my feelings on the matter so they know what I expect. And certainly I take obvious steps to reinforce my views on them, even now. But asking them about positions and with whom? Eeeew. That is just so wrong on so many levels as far as parenting is concerned.

My opinion is that parents who insist on abstinence only education as far as sex ed is concerned don't want to talk about sex period. Well, too bad -- it's a big part of your kids' life in high school. Denial doesn't change that. Saying Don't do it might work for some kids. I'd rather not work with might workss though when it comes to the health of my kids. Complete knowledge is much better for them.

UWS guy said...

Ok fellow conservatives. Kids shouldn't have sex? What about young adults? 30 something singles?

nobody says "wait till marriage". None of you did, I dare any of you to say you've only had manual/oral/vaginal sex with the person you married and after you married them.

Are the majority of abortions really had by 14 year old girls? Or are the majority done by women in their 20's-30's who want a career?
------

There was a time when girls got married when they started bleeding 13-17 was not an uncommon age of matrimony for the last 1000 years.

This whole rigamarole is religious types not being able to marry their daughters off like cattle while babies yet still trying to keep them as virgins for the man the sell them to.

garage mahal said...

AJ
So you can switch back over and register Repub in Nov. in PA ?

Joe said...

Since when is "foster[ing] a sense of common ground" good leadership?

UWS guy said...

garage marhal...why would it matter to switch back to republican in Nov.?...

Anti-abortion/teen-sex advocates are missing the boat. They need to push teen marriage, not teen abstinance.

But it's control they want, not responsibility.

TMink said...

A little data can be wonderfully clarifying. Here is the skinny on abortion and party afiliation of the president:

http://www.factcheck.org/article330.html

Bottom line, abortion rates continued to decline under president Bush. Thank God.

Anyone interested in the facts of the matter, as well as an interesting report on the history of the lie, should check out the link.

If we want to live in reality, facts are our friend!

Trey

Joe said...

..."wait till marriage". None of you did, I dare any of you to say you've only had manual/oral/vaginal sex with the person you married and after you married them.

I waited, so did my wife, my brother, and many, many friends and acquaintances. I've also been faithful to my wife and she to me. My siblings and parents and siblings-in-law have also remained faithful to their spouses.

My oldest son is waiting--he may not last until marriage, but he's still a virgin at 17.

There was a time when girls got married when they started bleeding 13-17 was not an uncommon age of matrimony for the last 1000 years.

Simply not true. The average age of first marriage was remarkably consistent until recently, when it's shot up.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage:

Yep - though no need to "rush" no pun intended- just will do it before the next primary in 2009 or 2010.

Folks like me and Madison's Mom helped the Dems crow about the increase in Dem registrants.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Republicans calling Democrats Marxist elitists is the argument Democrats want to have. Because they aren't Marxist elitists, and it opens up the opportunity for them to prove it. The only reason Hillary is running as a centrist, pro-gun churchgoer is because she's actually a Marxist elitist, and that's why most Democrats have rejected her.

EnigmatiCore said...

"That nobody is pro-abortion -- abortions are never a good thing."

This strikes me as untrue. I think there are a considerable number of people, perhaps even a majority of Americans, who think that there are circumstances where an abortion is the right choice.

I am thinking of circumstances such as conception via rape or incest. But I think there are other people who think it is the right choice in other cases-- such as when tests indicate a severe birth defect, or when the mother is dirt poor, too young, and there is no father on the scene. While I bet there is little agreement on what circumstances make it the right decision, I have little doubt that a tremendously large percentage of people think there are such circumstances.

Maybe someone wants to argue that thinking something is the right choice is different than thinking it is a good thing, but I disagree. If it is the 'right choice' in a situation, then it is a good thing in that situation.

In fact, I would go so far as to bet there is a substantial minority in the country that thinks abortion is a good thing in many circumstances.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Debating aboriton is like debating illegal immigration. It's been happening for hundreds of years in this country and will never stop. It's morally horrific, irresponsible (except in cases of rape or danger to the mother's life), and sad.

If a woman if dead set on killing her baby, she'll find a way to do it, legally or illegally. Whether or not the government is involved is irrelevant.

mdis29a said...

Ok fellow conservatives. Kids shouldn't have sex? What about young adults? 30 something singles?

As I understand it, yeah, that's basically their position, only they don't like to talk about it because shielding 20 and 30-something singles from sex isn't nearly as viable politically as exploiting parents' fears about their children's sexuality with the claim that, you know, their preteen daughter will be turned into a slut by her public school sex ed class.

Synova said...

Because, you know, kids are *just like* adults. And we NEVER ever try to set up different rules for children and adults. Booze, cigarettes, sex... it's all good.

This is also why it makes perfect sense to advocate rules where children who can't take over the counter meds without parental permission *must* be facilitated to get abortions without their parents permission.

Because there is nothing legitimately different about being a kid.

garage mahal said...

The only reason Hillary is running as a centrist, pro-gun churchgoer is because she's actually a Marxist elitist, and that's why most Democrats have rejected her.

Interesting theory aside from the fact that "most" Democrats have not rejected her. But your theory is premised on her voters being dumb like Obama seems to think. We'll see how that plays out in PA, IN, and WV.

Synova said...

It's just, you know, the political viability.

*sheesh*


Christian morality is simple... no sex outside of marriage. Few people expect *other* people to manage that. But adults get to make those decisions about their lives. And adults get to take responsibility for the choices and decisions they make in their lives.

It doesn't take being a Christian or agreeing with their version of sexual morality to feel that children and teenagers are supposed to be protected and that it's right that they follow different rules. We don't let them drive just because they're tall enough, we put an age on it. We don't let them buy alcohol or drink it, or smoke, just because adults can do those things.

We don't let them enter into legal contracts on their own authority.

And while so many push to accept sex at younger and younger ages, the age for "adulthood" is getting pushed the other direction as more and more people are not comfortable with the idea that an 18 year old should be considered an adult, treated as an adult, or subject to adult responsibility or consequences.

And that's certainly not something pushed by conservatives over liberals.

Sir Archy said...

To Professor Althouse.

Madam,

It may be held as a Commonplace that all Politicks is Artifice, resembling nothing so much as one of those risible Italian Masquerades so much in vogue in my Day; yet Artifice ever has its Price.  As the Slip of a Mask would shame the Reveler, so should it embarrass the Politician.

That Sen. Obama is a Gentleman of fine Education and Mien can admit of no Doubt.  As a Publick Man, nevertheless he would of needs put on a False Face; for all who would have successful Business in the World take Pains never to appear quite as they are.

Sen. Obama, however, has chosen to wear a very odd Habit to the current Masquerade: that of a tabla rasa, upon which the Publick may inscribe their Hopes.  That his Mask has slipp'd, and the Electors are now writing their Fears, would not surprise him, had he less Pride and more Sense.

As the Ghost of a Gentleman dead these 250 Years and more, I have seen many a Candidate say & do foolish things.  'Tis a Piece of receiv'd Wisdom that any who would stand for Parliament should never be seen to condescend to the Electors.  In my Day, Electors all count'd Themselves as substantial Gentlemen of Property, who would never countenance impertinent Pity from someone who thought Himself their Better.  Thus, in the Election of the Year 1722, several Whigs almost overturn'd Tory Members who, because of Rank & Fortune, had grown accustom'd to look down upon the Country Gentlemen, their Electors, as Bumpkins.

By way of closing, I should observe that, in my Lifetime, only Gentlemen worth more than £100 per anum were allow'd to hunt.  Sen. Obama seems to have given Offence by imputing that Hunting & Religion were the natural Refuge of Tenants & Crofters; whilst in my Day they were the Avocation & manifest Duty of well-to-do Country Gentlemen.

Observing again how the World remains the same, yet is turn'd upside down, I remain,

Madam,

Your most humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

UWS guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UWS guy said...

It's not "christian" morality, it's old testament, just like shell fish and stonings.

Jesus hung out with prostitutes. Christianity is about redemption, forgiving, and doing-unto-others.

Moral is being kind to your neighbor, moral is helping people, there's nothing moral about not sticking your penis into a vagina. You may think young adults not doing so is a good idea and in their self-interest. But it is not morality.

prove me wrong.

UWS guy said...

Synova I would agree with you that children have no rights in this regard. Parents who want their 14 year old daughter to take a baby to term are within their rights I would think.

The young adults recourse is to emancipate herself from her parents through the courts and then do with her body as she wills.

But, back to my orr. point. I would guess that the majority of abortions are done for women of majority.

nansealinks said...

Nothing to do with abortion, but..Take note:

How a jewish kid from jersey can sing to a crowd in Sioux City Iowa even if he is an old man, now. Eloquently.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2X64xT63R8

“He has the unique skills to try to lower the temperature and foster a sense of common ground.”

EnigmatiCore said...

And for what it is worth, I would much prefer a candidate who fosters common ground, than one who fosters a sense of common ground.

Obama might be the latter, but he sure as shit isn't the former. None of the candidates, unfortunately, is.

Eli Blake said...

As far as abortion is concerned, I believe that liberals and conservatives could find a lot of common ground as long as we don't keep fighting the same battles trying to ban it.

If we use tobacco as a guideline, nobody has suggested that we ban tobacco. But we've cut the smoking rate in half, especially among young people by a combination of aggressive tobacco education programs in the schools, funding smoking cessation programs, making the whole image 'uncool' and by raising tobacco taxes.

I'm pro-choice but I wouldn't have a problem with taking a similar approach towards abortion-- aggressively push for 'safe haven' laws, refocus on education about birth control and educate girls while they are in school about all the alternatives that are available, and I wouldn't have a problem with placing a tax on abortion if it went to make other alternatives more affordable-- especially to help fund the cost of hospital deliveries for women who are uninsured and can't afford the bill for a hospital delivery. After all, if you tax something then you are explicitly acknowleging its legality.

There are ways to steer society in a particular direction without restricting anyone's choice (and tobacco is a prime example of where we've done that.)

John K. said...

AlphaLiberal said: "But I do not consider the government's job to be to promote reproductive ignorance and a narrow and sex-obsessed morality."

Government (including public schools) should just STFU about sex period, except maybe in biology class. But I gather that, to the contrary, AlphaLiberal does believe that government has an important job to do when it comes to informing or deforming sex-related values.

John Stodder said...

I say this in sorrow, not anger: Obama is a dead man walking.

Sir Archy is completely correct in saying Sen. Obama, however, has chosen to wear a very odd Habit to the current Masquerade: that of a tabla rasa, upon which the Publick may inscribe their Hopes. That his Mask has slipp'd, and the Electors are now writing their Fears, would not surprise him, had he less Pride and more Sense.

I was one of those who inscribed my political hopes on the Obama tabula rasa. But it is simply evident now that he is

a. unqualified based on lack of experience in life as well as politics;

b. the easiest target for the Republican Hate Machine since George McGovern. In fact, if the Republicans want to give the Hate Machine a rest, they can probably beat him by taking an earlier model out of mothballs;

c. a dangerously foolish man who ought not be president at this stage of his life.

Oh well.

Chatter all you want. Either Hillary or Gore gets the nomination and makes it a contest, or Obama gets it and wins 36 percent. The Democrats have a huge mess on their hands and the intellectual focus should be on how to fix it, not on how to pretend it isn't there.

AlphaLiberal said...

FGFM pointed out:


Aside from Dr Seuss rolling in his grave, the guys explicitly said that "I give my own counsel to the young people in my life to keep it special and, basically, not to sleep around." Did you not see that the first time?


Thanks for that defense. The mendacity from moral posers is appalling and it's certainly not Christian!

Salamandyr said...

You know, when I see words like "Republican Hate Machine" I can tell I'm looking at someone who isn't so much interested in lowering temperature, as getting his own "hate machine" elected.

AlphaLiberal said...

The Democrats have a huge mess on their hands and the intellectual focus should be on how to fix it, not on how to pretend it isn't there.

Well, when an American President admits he supported his top staff approving of, and planning in detail for, torture and the media ignores the story in favor of freaking out over the word "bitter". Yeesh,where are the adults?..

Well, it's not an encouraging sign for this country and Obama can't fix that. In a decent country, there would be legal consequences to a President breaking the law.

Revenant said...

It's not "christian" morality, it's old testament, just like shell fish and stonings. Jesus hung out with prostitutes. Christianity is about redemption, forgiving, and doing-unto-others.

Talk about missing the point! Didn't you stop to ask yourself why, if Christianity doesn't believe there's anything wrong with sleeping around, those prostitutes NEEDED redemption?

Both Jesus and other New Testament writers spoke out against fornication. They believed sex outside of marriage was a sin, end of story, full stop. The reason Jesus "hung out with" prostitutes, moneylenders, and other such sinners is that his society considered those people beyond redemption -- they were the lowest of the low. He didn't do it because he thought their behavior was morally acceptable; he did it because they were the ones most in need of saving.

John K. said...

I'm not so much "pro-life" or "pro-choice" as I am anti-coercion and anti-violence. I'm against slaughtering pre-born babies in the womb, but I'm also against opening the door to criminal investigations of women who have miscarriages or to locking up pregnant women who might have an abortion or to imprisoning women who have first and foremost sinned against themselves by having an abortion, and I'm also against creating incentives for women to falsely claim that their pregnancy was a result of rape.

This is where middle ground is to be found: in recognizing the stupidity and selfishness that inheres in virtually all abortions, but also in adhering to a presumption against the use of coercion and punishment that is difficult to overcome when important values such as respect for life and respect for individual autonomy are in apparent conflict.

A commenter on Hit & Run put forth a worthy formula: Legalize and stigmatize.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "The reason Jesus 'hung out with' prostitutes, moneylenders, and other such sinners is that his society considered those people beyond redemption -- they were the lowest of the low."

Don't forget tax collectors.

Revenant said...

Well, when an American President admits he supported his top staff approving of, and planning in detail for, torture and the media ignores the story in favor of freaking out over the word "bitter". Yeesh,where are the adults?..

The adults have known for the last four years that the Bush Administration authorized so-called "torture" of captured terrorists. I'm sorry that you think that's the only story any of us should care about, but, well -- tough cookies. :)

AlphaLiberal said...

Revenant claims:
Both Jesus and other New Testament writers spoke out against fornication.

Which did Jesus speak to more, against "fornication" or in helping those in need?

Contrast with the priorities those who claim to speak for Jesus in our body politic. They would have us believe Jesus demanded punishment for gays, weapons for all and tax breaks for the rich.

This statement was apparently removed from the Bibles of right wingers:
"It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

Revenant said...

[Obama is] the easiest target for the Republican Hate Machine since George McGovern.

"Hate Machine"?

Let's do a quick summary here -- Obama belongs to a religion that hates America and white people; most recently he's let slip the fact that he views middle America with contempt.

Republicans don't need to get their hate on. They can slaughter Obama by simply presenting the man's own words and actions without further commentary. People don't need to be convinced to dislike a man who hates their race, their faith, and their nation.

AlphaLiberal said...

Revenant rushes to the defense of torture:

The adults have known for the last four years that the Bush Administration authorized so-called "torture" of captured terrorists.

Really?? I remember something about a "few bad apples" at Abu Ghraib. Why were only grunts prosecuted if we know the orders came down from the very top of the Chain of Command.

Excuses, excuses. Torture is bad, evil, wrong, immoral. You claim to be a Christian person but then you defend evils acts.

And, when did Jesus support torture, exactly?

AlphaLiberal said...

Revenant:
Obama belongs to a religion that hates America and white people; most recently he's let slip the fact that he views middle America with contempt.

False. Obama is a Christian and there's no reason to say Christian ity hates America or white people.

False. There was nothing expressing "contempt" in his comments, only in the mischaracterizations that followed.

This is why it's called a hate machine. The Republicans' first instinct is to lie and divide, as Revenant does here.

John K. said...

"You claim to be a Christian person..."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. He's a filthy atheist, and will disabuse you of your misconception directly.

Triangle Man said...

I am really disappointed that Althouse tees up "He has the unique skills to try and lower the temperature", and no one came up with a decent Al Gore / global warming joke. Abortion and torture comments on this thread? Feh!

Joe said...

Wasn't the saying really:

"It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a man to watch Kingdom of Heaven."

Revenant said...

Which did Jesus speak to more, against "fornication" or in helping those in need?

I was simply pointing out that Jesus did, in fact, think sex outside of marriage was bad; an earlier posted had claimed that was outdated "Old Testament" morality.

Contrast with the priorities those who claim to speak for Jesus in our body politic. They would have us believe Jesus demanded punishment for gays, weapons for all and tax breaks for the rich.

Republicans give more to charity than Democrats do. The Democratic position on helping those in need is "force somebody ELSE to help them". That was, to put it mildly, NOT the message Jesus promoted. :)

UWS guy said...

revenent you couldn't be more wrong.

Jesus didn't hang out with the prostitutes and moneylenders et al because they were the "most" in need of salvation, but that if they accepted jesus as the savior they too would enter the kingdom of heaven. full. stop.

They weren't "beyond" redemption because no one was granted redemption before Jesus; revenant you talking ignorance.

Jesus hung out with them to prove to the people who wished to stone them that there was nothing wrong with them that wasn't wrong with anyone else.

Jesus didn't ask the prostitute to stop prostituting, he just asked her to accept him as her savior. That's all it takes to enter heaven.

I'm sure some prostitutes are devout christians, and believe quite strongly that they are going to heaven. Including the prostitutes that knew jesus personally.

AlphaLiberal said...

Revenant (atheist or Christian?) insists:
I was simply pointing out that Jesus did, in fact, think sex outside of marriage was bad; an earlier posted had claimed that was outdated "Old Testament" morality.

I can't recall the words Jesus used in denouncing fornication. Please elaborate, with a scriptural reference. (After all, I provided links on abortion rates).

AlphaLiberal said...

Modern Republicans have much more in common with the crowd gathered, stones in hand, than to the Word of Jesus.

Which wouldn't be such a big deal if they weren't claiming to be acting on Jesus's behalf.

Hypocrites.

Middle Class Guy said...

Synova said...
Geez, Alpha. How much "education" does it take to say... you ought not have sex but IF YOU DO you should use a condom all the time no matter what for both vaginal or anal sex so you don't get or pass on a venereal disease, which really sucks, and if it's AIDS can kill you.




There is no federal or state money for common sense. There is only federal and state money for programs.

Revenant said...

Really?? I remember something about a "few bad apples" at Abu Ghraib. Why were only grunts prosecuted if we know the orders came down from the very top of the Chain of Command.

Because what happened at Abu Ghraib wasn't authorized by the White House, of course. I'm confident that there are people being "tortured" on White House orders, but it doesn't follow that Abu Ghraib must have been such a case. Abu Ghraib was clearly just an example of what typically happens when guards are poorly supervised; the phenomenon has been documented over and over throughout the world.

Excuses, excuses. Torture is bad, evil, wrong, immoral

Obviously I don't agree that it is always "bad, evil, wrong, and immoral". It often is, but sometimes it is morally necessary.

You claim to be a Christian person but then you defend evils acts.

Heh! You need to practice your trolling skills, Alpha. I'm possibly the most vocal atheist here.

Revenant said...

False. Obama is a Christian

So are Fred Phelps and David Duke.

and there's no reason to say Christian ity hates America or white people.

The nutty branch of Christianity that Obama belongs to does. Assuming you consider it a true branch of Christianity, since I rather doubt Jesus would have been on board with its racist doctrines.

MadisonMan said...

The nutty branch of Christianity that Obama belongs to does.

Christianity doesn't hate anything. People who allege to be Christian do.

(I hated to write that :) )

John K. said...

Way up-thread AlphaLiberal said: "BTW, 'ignorance-first' does not only describe Republican reproductive policies. It also applies to the Republican approach to science more generally." [hyperlink to one-sided rant deleted]

Republicans aren't the only ones who abuse science to suit their own purposes. Following is an excerpt from an appellate brief describing expert testimony in a trial having to do with the abortion-breast cancer link:

6. One of the studies which Dr. Palmer counts as a "null" study is the 1997 Melbye study. Dr. Palmer considers this study "the reason that [she] now feel[s] certain" that recall bias is significant in other epidemiological studies on the issue of induced abortion and breast cancer [the hypothesis that healthy women are more likely than women with breast cancer to deny having an abortion they've in fact had, leading to the positive association between abortion and breast cancer in case-control studies], because it was immune by virtue of its methodology from any possibility of recall bias and reported no overall association. T. 458-59. If anything, however, the findings of this study provide evidence against the recall bias hypothesis and in favor of the causal hypothesis.

7. Although the study reported an overall relative risk of 1.00, it also reported that "with each one week increase in the gestational age of the fetus there was a 3 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer," a trend which was statistically significant. T. 549:13-22. The study reported a biologically-inexplicable reduced relative risk of 0.81 associated with abortions performed before 8 weeks, while abortions after 18 weeks were associated with a statistically significant 1.89 relative risk. T. 469:15-20, 549:22-23. These statistically significant positive findings cannot possibly be explained by recall bias, and are evidence against the hypothesis that recall bias could be behind the positive associations found in other studies.

8. Dr. Brind testified that the trend of increasing risk with gestational age of the fetus reported in the Melbye study

would be the best evidence really of a dose affect which is one of the criteria that epidemiologists also use to infer causation. That is to say well if one abortion increases your risk of breast cancer, some level, shouldn't two abortions increase it more. It's difficult however to find that in lots of studies. In the literature some studies show it, some don't, because an abortion is not really a very good direct measure of exposure to estrogen. But gestational age is a better measure.

T. 184:8-18.

9. Dr. Palmer, on the other hand, professes agnosticism on this point: "We don't know that an induced abortion is a surrogate for estrogen exposure. If it were, if we knew that was a really close surrogate, you might be able to say" that the duration of exposure to pregnancy estrogens is a more appropriate measure of a dose-response effect than number of abortions. T. 552:2-8.

10. The Melbye study itself describes its own findings as follows:

Induced abortion had no overall affect on the risk of breast cancer but we found a statistically significant increase in risk among women with a history of second trimester abortion. . . . The increased risk among women who had had second trimester abortions finds biologic support in experiments in rats and is in line with the hypothesis of Russo and Russo. . . . We cannot explain why a very early induced abortion was associated with a slight although insignificant decrease in risk.

T. 552-53.

11. Dr. Brind testified that the Melbye study's calculation of an overall 1.00 relative risk is explained by several serious methodological problems in the study, and that the real overall relative risk in this study population is probably somewhere between 2.0 and 3.0. T. 160-61, 182-83. Although Dr. Palmer disputed Dr. Brind's criticisms, a review article moved into evidence by the Clinic and characterized by Dr. Palmer as a "very good review" acknowledged that the 1997 Melbye study has "several [methodological] limitations," and is "not definitive." T. 500:21; Def. Exh. No. 26, 4-5.

12. Other studies cited by Dr. Palmer as support for the recall bias hypothesis also call into question her objectivity and credibility. She describes as "evidence" of recall bias the fact that her 1997 study and Dr. Newcomb's 1996 study found a slightly stronger association for women who had pre versus post 1973 abortions, a difference which was not statistically significant. T. 540-41. When asked whether she could think of any explanation other than recall bias for why those points might be different, she offered "chance" as an explanation. T. 546. Dr. Palmer was then referred to the following statement on the last page of Dr. Newcomb's 1996 study: "Compared with spontaneous abortion the duration of pregnancies electively terminated has decreased since 1972 with the majority now performed at less than 8 weeks gestation. If longer gestation is associated with greater mammary cell proliferation induced terminations in past decades might be associated with greater risk." T. 546. When asked whether this was a plausible explanation for why women who have abortions prior to 1972 might wind up with a higher risk of breast cancer, Dr. Palmer replied, "I don't know how plausible it is but it's a possible explanation." T. 547. This explanation, of course, is also the explanation for why the statistically significant trend of increasing risk with gestational age in the Melbye study constitutes evidence of a dose-response relationship.

13. Dr. Palmer also offered as evidence of recall bias a 1991 study by Lindefors-Harris, in which the investigators were able to compare what women reported in an interview about their abortion history to abortion registry records. T. 460-61. The authors calculated from discrepancies they found between the interviews and the records a spurious 50 percent increase in risk, a figure cited in an affidavit filed by Dr. Palmer in this case and in her direct testimony at trial. T. 461, 558. When Dr. Palmer was asked on cross-examination whether this figure was based on the observation that a number of women had "over reported" abortions of which the registry had no record, coupled with the assumption that the registry was correct and these women had made up abortions they in fact did not have (as opposed, for example, to having had the abortions outside the country), Dr. Palmer answered: "Well, I read the Lindefors-Harris and they don't actually say that it was based on over reporting. Dr. Daling says it here but when I looked at that they ­ I couldn't find in their original paper that they talk about over reporting." T. 559. However, when Dr. Palmer was asked to read the very first page of the Lindefors-Harris paper, which actually uses the word "over-reporting," she admitted that the authors had indeed in calculating the 50 percent figure made the unreasonable assumption that a number of women made up abortions they had never had, and that she herself "would never make that assumption." T. 580. This study, based on an absurd assumption, was also cited by both the 1996 and 1999 NCI fact sheets on abortion and breast cancer as support for the recall bias hypothesis. Pl. Exh. Nos. 4, 5.

14. Dr. Palmer testified on cross-examination that she knew of only one study that provides evidence against the recall bias hypothesis ­ the 2000 study by Tang et al., published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by scientists whom Dr. Palmer knows and respects, which directly examined the issue and found no evidence of recall bias. T. 562-64. However, a number of other studies, including the Melbye study discussed above, also provide evidence against the recall bias hypothesis. See cross-examination of Dr. Palmer concerning the 1989 Howe study, T. 567-68; the 1995 Bu study, T. 576-77; the 1995 Lipworth study, T. 569-574; and the 1994 Daling study, T. 564-567. All of these studies reported statistically significant positive associations even though recall bias was either impossible or highly unlikely because of the studies' methodology or population.

AlphaLiberal said...

More tortured excuses for torture from Revenant:
Because what happened at Abu Ghraib wasn't authorized by the White House, of course.

Really? How do you know that?

They brought one of the torturers from Gitmo over there and then repeated many of the acts known to be used at Gitmo.

108 people, at least, have died under US detention. 108.

So you're an atheist. I still expect you to back up your claim Jesus spoke against fornication. What did he say?

Revenant said...

I can't recall the words Jesus used in denouncing fornication. Please elaborate, with a scriptural reference.

Perhaps the clearest example comes from fornication's inclusion on a list of sins which "defile" mankind:

Matthew 15:19-20:
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man

From Mark 7:21-23, a different version of the same lesson:
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

You can't get any clearer than that -- the supposed "son of God" has fornication listed right there next to "murder" and "theft" on the list o' bad things.

Joe said...

He also has it next to "an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness."

So are murder and foolishness comparable sins?

Revenant said...

Really? How do you know that?

They had no reason to, and there is no evidence that they did. Torturing information out of captured terrorists makes sense; posing them in a human pyramid so your white-trash girlfriend can pose next to them, not so much. :)

They brought one of the torturers from Gitmo over there and then repeated many of the acts known to be used at Gitmo.

That's an interesting claim, but what acts are you referring to and what's your primary source? Is symmetrical prisoner-stacking among the activities at Gitmo, for example?

108 people, at least, have died under US detention. 108.

I'm surprised the number is that low. It makes me suspect we're being much too nice to the people we capture.

Revenant said...

So are murder and foolishness comparable sins?

The point, joe, is not that they are equivalent, but that they are all things which "defile" a person. I don't know if Jesus thought they were all equally bad or not; it is sufficient that it thought they were bad.

Unless, of course, you want to join UWS in arguing that Jesus' position was, apparently, "fornication defiles you, but go ahead and do it anyway if you like". While I find most of the Bible ridiculous, that particular reading strains credibility. :)

FGFM said...

I'm surprised the number is that low. It makes me suspect we're being much too nice to the people we capture.

So much for due process.

Joe said...

And my point is that Jesus preached that some stuff was bad that isn't to any rational human being. Unfortunately, like most religions, Christians (of which I was one once) tend to pick and choose the parts of the Bible they like, disregarding the rest.

(I don't think you need to even resort to Jesus. Fornication can be bad for practical reasons; sexual transmitted diseases, creating the illusion of "love" and attachment and yes, pregnancy--my oldest daughter has at least one acquaintance, I think two, who lied to their boyfriends about being on birth control. No surprise that one is already getting a divorce and she's not yet twenty.)

Sir Archy said...

To Mr. Stodder.

Sir,

You have quoted my Words to good Effect, and written on them better than I had done.  I thank you for that, and for silently correcting my wayward Latin Orthography.

As You know, English admits of a varied Spelling, or at least it once did in my Day.  Thus, I could properly spell the Action of the Mask as, "slipped," "slipp'd," or, "slipt."  I fear that the word, "tabula," like most of its Latin Brethren admits of only one spelling; and that my Orthography was as wayward as the Atheists' Theology I see now expounded on this Topick.

With the highest Regard for You and your Writing, I am,

Sir,

Your humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

Synova said...

"Really?? I remember something about a "few bad apples" at Abu Ghraib. Why were only grunts prosecuted if we know the orders came down from the very top of the Chain of Command."

Mostly because you haven't got a clue and you're talking out your *ss.

You haven't a clue about what we "know" and you haven't got a clue who's been prosecuted.

What we *know* is that our government approved of and water boarded three (?) high profile prisoners.

dbp said...

UWS Guy, you could not be more wrong: "Jesus didn't ask the prostitute to stop prostituting, he just asked her to accept him as her savior. That's all it takes to enter heaven."

After the whole "let he who has not sinned cast the first stone" bit--which in itself implies that the prostitute has sinned. Jesus tells the prostitute to "go, and sin no more".

FGFM said...

You haven't a clue about what we "know" and you haven't got a clue who's been prosecuted.

Well, I would hope that if anyone has been prosecuted that there would be a record of it. I'm sure that you wouldn't approve of keeping those sort of things secret.

Bruce Hayden said...

What is amazing to me is how much AL's debating skills have dropped over the last year or so. I read his diatribe and "facts" about torture, and it is obvious from them that he is living in a liberal echo chamber that has little if any relationship with reality.

As for Abu Ghraib, it turns out that we now know more about what happened there than we probably want to. And that was, as noted above, and ignoring all sorts of liberal fantasies about conspiracies, that some untrained and under supervised kids got out of hand, did stuff that is not technically and legally considered torture, and ended up in prison for it. And, the officers in charge all the way up to the BG, were disciplined (she was apparently demoted and forcibly retired). It is plain silly blaming this on the Administration, and Bush and Cheney in particular. Anyone blaming them for the actions of 1% of 1% of the troops on the ground there shows more BDS than logic skills.

As for torture in general, I seriously doubt that AL has read the Yoo memos, and if he has, I can pretty well guarantee that he didn't do so critically. Many have done so (Belkin, Kerr @ Volokh, etc.), but 98% of the heat I see or hear about them is pure BDS.

Besides, what does this have to do with Casey and Obama in the first place, except trying to change the subject from Ann's original point?

Bruce Hayden said...

I somewhat understand Casey's point maybe that Obama has the sort of personality that tends towards compromise and making everyone happy.

The problem though is that he has no track record of using that in real life, or, rather, in the Senate. He has a record of being probably the most liberal Democrat there. And he is presumably running against a Republican Senator who really does have a history of reaching across the aisle.

In short, Obama is running on being able to reach across the aisle, but has no history of doing so. McCain has that history. More so than most on the right would like.

Revenant said...

So much for due process.

The standard process when capturing an enemy combatant fighting out of uniform is interrogation, followed by a hearing before a military tribunal, followed by a firing squad.

I share your disappointment that we aren't following that due process. :)

Synova said...

Other than the fact that Graner was hardly anything near a "kid" and was a civilian prison guard (or so I heard), that's pretty much it.

The *thing* as it were about secret memos is that they're secret. They don't get "passed down" through the ranks until someone tells an NCO that they're supposed to mistreat prisoners who are not suspected of being anything other than run of the mill criminals.

Disorder and a lack of discipline and a failure to make clear expectations of treatment and behavior is not a *mystery*.

Revenant said...

And my point is that Jesus preached that some stuff was bad that isn't to any rational human being.

It's a religion. Obviously it isn't designed to appeal to reason.

But I'd be curious to hear what items on that list you think *aren't* bad things. The mildest thing on the list is "foolishness", which last I checked is considered to be a bad thing even if it isn't considered sinful.

Unfortunately, like most religions, Christians (of which I was one once) tend to pick and choose the parts of the Bible they like, disregarding the rest.

I'm not sure which parts are being "disregarded" here. Jesus never said anything which could be construed as "sleeping around is ok". The reason Jesus didn't spend a lot of time explicitly talking about fornication, and simply included it in lists of sins now and then, is the same reason he had for not spending a lot of time discussing the morality of murder or theft: nobody was arguing that those things were moral. Jesus' teaching centered on the things he thought needed to be changed. For example, when he caught the crowd of people stoning the adulteress he didn't say "there's nothing wrong with adultery". He didn't even say "adulteresses don't deserve to die". He said (indirectly) that the people stoning her weren't fit to judge her, because they were all sinners. It wasn't that adultery didn't merit punishment, but that humans weren't morally fit to administer such punishment.

FGFM said...

The standard process when capturing an enemy combatant fighting out of uniform is interrogation, followed by a hearing before a military tribunal, followed by a firing squad.

"'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'"

I share your disappointment that we aren't following that due process. :)

What you described is a summary execution.

FGFM said...

As for Abu Ghraib, it turns out that we now know more about what happened there than we probably want to. And that was, as noted above, and ignoring all sorts of liberal fantasies about conspiracies, that some untrained and under supervised kids got out of hand, did stuff that is not technically and legally considered torture, and ended up in prison for it. And, the officers in charge all the way up to the BG, were disciplined (she was apparently demoted and forcibly retired). It is plain silly blaming this on the Administration, and Bush and Cheney in particular. Anyone blaming them for the actions of 1% of 1% of the troops on the ground there shows more BDS than logic skills.

You appear to be an administration apologist who thinks in clichés.

Revenant said...

"'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'"

You're confusing war with criminal prosecution. In a criminal prosecution, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. In warfare, on the other hand, there has to be a specific reason why killing the person is NOT allowed (e.g., if they are a civilian noncombatant or a regular member of a military force who has surrendered). That's what the tribunal is for -- figuring out what category the person falls into.

Wars are not, have never been, and should never be fought like criminal prosecutions.

What you described is a summary execution.

No, a summary execution wouldn't have a tribunal.

blake said...

Actually, condoms are highly effective with around a 2% pregnancy rate for sexually active couples when used consistently.

So, teens having sex once a day using condoms could count on getting pregnant in two months? (50 acts, 2% chance per act of failure.)

Of course, a female isn't fertile all the time, so let's say pregnant within a year, or two if they're lucky.

I actually don't think it works this way--I suspect birth control failure is visited on the same people repeatedly and some people never have a failure. But I confess I was never impressed by the 98% stat.

And that's just once a day. If teens can find a place to do it once, they can probably find a place to do it 2 or 3 times.

If I'm wrong, and the failure is actually defects in the condoms, a guy could get 20 bad ones a year.

98% is not "highly effective", I'm afraid. For computers, you need to get into several places before you start talking about it, like 99.9999%

Revenant said...

So, teens having sex once a day using condoms could count on getting pregnant in two months? (50 acts, 2% chance per act of failure.)

The 2% figure is the failure rate over the course of one year -- not the chance per sex act. When combined with a secondary method (birth control pills, Depo-Provera, et al), the failure rate drops to something like one in ten thousand over the course of a year, and to an even smaller chance if emergency contraception is used following mishaps.

Of course, a female isn't fertile all the time, so let's say pregnant within a year, or two if they're lucky.

No. A 2% per year chance of failure works out to a 50% chance of becoming pregnant within 35 years. That's if the woman uses to birth control method other than condoms, and uses condoms correctly and regularly.

98% is not "highly effective", I'm afraid. For computers, you need to get into several places before you start talking about it, like 99.9999%

Assuming 100 sex acts per year, 2% failure over the course of a year works out to 99.98% effectiveness per sex act. Combined with birth control pills, that yields a per-session effectiveness of 99.99994%.

John Stodder said...

salamandyr and rev,

I thought my use of the term "Republican Hate Machine" was clearly ironic in context. That phrase is one of the silliest, whiniest tropes in politics today. Its purpose is to persuade gullible people that only Republicans engage in tough campaigning. I laugh whenever I see the phrase, so I was just sorta sharing the fun.

If I was a Republican, I'd embrace it completely. I'd rent out some space to Republican Hate Machine, Inc. I'd insist that its CEO only be interviewed in shadows and with voice distortion, perhaps chewing on a live bunny.

In truth, any political party that had anything to do with that hideous chain-behind-the-truck ad cannot be taken seriously when they pronounce their party and its campaigns as somehow deserving of a decency medal. They'll go as low as they need to go, as will the Republicans, and so it has always been since before George Washington got his first wooden tooth.

I'm still walking on air from the honor of being addressed by Sir Archy directly and in flattering terms. Thank you, sir!

Synova said...

For what it is worth, when I went to the college doctor to get a prescription for the pill when I was getting married and I told her we used condoms she had a COW. But what do doctors know.

(Yes, effective for birth control when added to oral contraceptives but people are told they can rely on condoms to keep them alive. I think that's weird because, which is worse? Dying or having a baby you haven't planned?)

Synova said...

"You appear to be an administration apologist who thinks in clichés."

Or else someone familiar enough with military culture to understand which scenario actually passes a smell test.

The fact that officers were removed from their posts and soldiers were arrested prior to the breaking of the story suggests that mistreating prisoners was not in any way policy. Passed down by secret memos or not.

Revenant said...

Yes, effective for birth control when added to oral contraceptives but people are told they can rely on condoms to keep them alive. I think that's weird because, which is worse? Dying or having a baby you haven't planned?

Well, the latter is a great deal more likely. Health professionals don't like to admit it, but the odds of a man contracting HIV through even *unprotected* heterosexual sex are practically nonexistent, and the odds for a woman aren't all that much higher. You need a vector for infected fluid to enter the bloodstream; unless you've got open sores or are into rough sex that just isn't very likely to happen. Throw in a condom and you're really more likely to die in a car crash on your way to the love motel than you are to contract HIV once you get there.

Synova said...

Really?

Okay, now I'm sort of laughing because I can just *imagine* a school sex education class telling students that you are unlikely to get AIDS from heterosexual sex.

blake said...

Oh, right, Rev, that didn't seem right when I was writing it.

Interestingly enough, according to this site, the actual efficacy is a lot lower.

Vis a vis AIDS, apparently Bush's ABC approach in Africa (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condoms) seems to effective in a way that just condoms weren't.

I expect Alpha Liberal to chime in any second with how much he appreciates Bush's sex ed policies in Africa.

Right after he apologizes to Althouse for jumping down her throat about not covering McCain's "plagiarism scandal".

Salamandyr said...

John Stodder,

I appreciate the clarification. I guess my irony detection meter was on the blink yesterday. I took it to be more literally than you meant it. I agree with you; that term is about the silliest concatenation of words since "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy".

TMink said...

Another reason I like and respect revenant: He knows and understands the words and themes of Jesus better than many of my Christian friends do!

Just to add to the Jesus and fornication brouhaha (ha ha ha)

From Matthew 5, right after the Beatitudes, which are a MUCH nicer read:

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'
28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."

Yikes. I like the "Blessed be"s better. Here Jesus refined the OT by lowering the standard for what is a sin! It is not necessary to engage in sexual activity, it is enough to just want it and look on it. Yikes!

Part of the point is to say that we as human beings are fallen sinners, who all need God's forgiveness through Christ. I think a corollary of that position is that Christians are called into humility, understanding, and grace toward other people who are after all, a sinner just like me.

Fred Phelps missed that. I have often wondered what would be a truly Christian response to Fred, the closest I have come up with yet would be to follow those guys around when they spew their hate, get a group to get on their knees as close to the haters as they can, and pray loud, loving prayers over the haters. No anger, no rejection, just Love. Pray for God to open their hearts, to fill them with miraculous love, to make them instruments of his peace. It would be a most wonderful contrast at the bare minimum.

Trey

Revenant said...

Interestingly enough, according to this site, the actual efficacy is a lot lower.

It helps to understand what "typical use" means.

The studies track birth control techniques by primary usage (i.e., "condom" means "this person relies primarily on condoms for birth control). "Typical use" of condoms, for people you use them as their main source of birth control, includes not always using them. The typical condom user, in other words, sometimes has unprotected sex.

This is why you'll occasionally see statistics saying that abstinence is a less-effective birth control technique than condoms are. That would seem to imply that there are a surprising number of virgin births out there. What it really means, though, is that an awful lot of the people whose primary birth control technique is "avoiding sex" end up having sex anyway -- the "typical use" of abstinence is to have sex, but less often.

blake said...

Int'resting insight.

My favorites, though, are the failure rates for sterilization.

That's gotta cause some excitement.

Fen said...

Alpha: You know, teach people about birth control.

How about: Birth control is not 100% effective. If you CHOOSE to have sex, your are CHOOSING to take that risk. Accept responsibility for it.

Revenant said...

Not to mention the fact that information about birth control is readily available to everyone. It isn't like you need a two-week training course to figure out which part of the body the condom goes on. The boxes even come with little instruction sheets, presumably for the benefit of those people who thought they were buying party balloons.