September 14, 2009

Editor's Note from The Moderate Voice: "The title and URL for this post has been changed from the original."

Ha ha ha. I've got to go after the so-called Moderate Voice again. (Click on the tag below for past dustups.)

Among my many Google alerts — used to turn up bloggable things — is the phrase "freedom from religion." Sorting through my email this morning, I find a hit from The Moderate Voice, with the squib:
In my mind, this says that “freedom from religion” is a more important freedom than “freedom of religion”. Therefore I doubt that the Supreme Court will ...
I click over and see "New title: 'Anti-Abortion Group Gets Organized in Florida'":
"The title and URL for this post has been changed from the original."
Oh, what was the old title? Aha! It will be in that gmail. I click back. Ah ha ha ha ha: "The American Taliban Is Coming to Florida."

Moderate Voice. Calling pro-lifers "American Taliban."

It's a crap post too, by one Kathy Kattenburg. It's 1 sentence of original writing followed by a dump of an entire 349-word Orlando Sentinel news article. From the Sentinel:
A nationwide anti-abortion group launched an effort in Florida Friday to outlaw all abortions and certain types of birth control, including oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill.

The religion-infused movement, called “Personhood Florida,” would define conception in Florida’s constitution at the “biological beginnings,” supporters said — when the sperm meets the egg....
Religion-infused... So now, when activists have a religious motivation for the political change they want — even though they aren't trying to force anyone to follow a religion but are only seeing secular laws that accord with their religious beliefs — they are "religion-infused," and a blog that self-approvingly deems itself the Moderate Voice will call them "Taliban"?

You realize that by that standard — if it were applied neutrally — Martin Luther King, Jr. would have to be called "Taliban." But, of course, I don't think TMV would apply the standard neutrally. Which is an additional reason why "moderate" is a deceptive label.

***

By the way, who is Kathy Kattenburg? And why is she a Moderate Voice author? I don't know. And I looked on the TMV About the Authors page. She's not there. Doesn't someone have to have a moderate voice or a commitment to couching her opinions in a moderate voice to be given access to posting on The Moderate Voice? Oh, it all comes back to me now. There's some concept over there that a mix of extreme voices on difference sides averages out to moderate. If that's "moderate," then the most viciously fought debates are moderate. Sigh.

195 comments:

phosphorious said...

How is wanting to ban contraception in any way secular?

Seriously. . . minus the idea of "every sperm is sacred", what purely secular rationale can be constructed here?

Whereas MLK was not pulling civil rights out of the bible; he was joining a christian notion of human brotherhood to a legal history of individual rights.

Is there really no difference between these?

Freeman Hunt said...

Because they believe that in some cases oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill cause abortions.

Ann Althouse said...

"How is wanting to ban contraception in any way secular?"

It's very socially conservative, but it's not limited to religion. People who want to control sexuality do that.

MLK was a Christian minister who preached his vision.

Jason (the commenter) said...

There's no way that's fair use, quoting almost the entire article.

Also, I just noticed that the icon for the The Moderate Voice looks like the TV-Mature symbol. It's fitting that a symbol which equates "mature" with "sex" is used by a site that equates "moderate" with "balanced extremism".

Freeman Hunt said...

Notice it's only certain contraceptives. It's only the ones they think cause abortions.

Maguro said...

I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for all this...that Tyrone guy should be by in a few minutes to lay it all out for us.

Maybe they had a "Guest URL-titler" working that day.

If so - Don't you know the difference between a guest-titler and an authentic The Moderate Voice titler? Get with the program, Althouse, you crazy Limbaugh-infused wingnut.

traditionalguy said...

The moderate voice now moderately calls for outlawing "Religiously Infused" thoughts. That sure is taking the gloves off. American culture for over 300 years has been Religion Infused. The Progressives will need to dig an awfully big memory hole to get away with outlawing American culture, not that are not trying pretty hard. Again I thank God that Justice Sotomayor was confirmed. She remembers the love and dedication that came to her from a Relgiously Infused mother.

phosphorious said...

"MLK was a Christian minister who preached his vision."

. . . and took pains to link it to a sexular heritage, no?

former law student said...

Sounds like some Moderater moderated the immoderate headline.

Joan said...

would define conception in Florida's constitution at the "biological beginnings," supporters said -- when the sperm meets the egg.

This is just stupid. The definition of conception is when the sperm meets the egg. What the Sentinel writer probably meant to say, but didn't, was that "personhood" begins at conception.

It is also a biological fact that a new, genetically human, entity is created at conception. Futzing with the timeline to determine when that entity should be considered a "person" is just splitting hairs IMO. Intellectual honesty would demand that everyone recognize this, but we're all so accustomed to living with cognitive dissonance these days I'm not expecting a change on this issue any time soon.

Shanna said...

Notice it's only certain contraceptives. It's only the ones they think cause abortions.

I was thinking morning after pill, but that was mentioned? Unless this is a catholic group, I'm not sure which contraceptives they are talking about.

phosphorious said...

"It is also a biological fact that a new, genetically human, entity is created at conception. Futzing with the timeline to determine when that entity should be considered a "person" is just splitting hairs IMO."

This is simply untrue. A fertilized egg is not equivalent to a human being, since a single human may contain genetic material from more than one zygote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_%28genetics%29

There is no SECULAR reason for treating a fertilized egg as a human being.

Paul Zrimsek said...

For future reference, "secular" is not a synonym for "valid".

Pogo said...

Phospho, don't be a dullard. That point has been beaten into the ground. Who gives a rip?

"In my mind, this says that “freedom from religion” is a more important freedom than “freedom of religion”. "

Not that's a heaping helping of intolerance.

mccullough said...

I'm always amused that a lot of people, especially in the media, refer to Martin Luther King, Jr. as "Dr. King." He had a Phd in theology, so it's not inaccurate, but given that he was a minister and that his religious beliefs infused his pushing for civil rights, "Rev. King" seems more appropriate. It's not like he was a university professor.

The Drill SGT said...

Well I'm not a big fan of Kathy's viewpoints after googling these to quotes:

I don't hate the military. I hate war. The world being what it is, militaries are necessary evils. We have to work toward the day when that evil will no longer be necessary.

and

The Army's Rape Rooms

Several months ago, I read an account in Colby Buzzell's book, My War, about a female soldier in his unit who was raped in the outdoor latrine by a fellow soldier. Now, Marjorie Cohn at AlterNet writes about new evidence that women in the U.S. military are dying from dehydration in their attempt to avoid being raped.


Moderate in everything, plus a big poster on Health Care reform

phosphorious said...

"For future reference, "secular" is not a synonym for "valid"."

Of course not. In this context it means "not based on religion". There is no reason, that is not based on religion, for treating a fertilized egg as if it were a human being.

Especially since what we are talking about is outlawing certain forms of contraception because they may cause the abortion of a fertilized egg.

That's the extreme view, no? Whereas the idea that a person should be able to use contarceptives if they want is the moderate. . . dare I say "conservative". . . view. Right?

Or am I missing something?

former law student said...

"Rev. King" seems more appropriate.

But it would be ungrammatical. Correct usage would be the Reverend Dr. King, or Mr. King, or Martin Luther King. "Dr. King" escapes all that. It would be like calling Congressman Addison Graves Wilson "Hon. Wilson."

Florida said...

I'll believe the Taliban have arrived when I see the freshly severed head of a writer for the Moderate Voice dripping blood all over the floor.

And not until.

Obama's religious partisans are "faith-based organizers" while Rethuglican's are turning themselves into Al Queda.

So much for the reality-based community.

John Lynch said...

Might as well repeat: actual enemies of the United States are not talking points. They are real and trying to kill us.

US domestic politics is not the end all and be all.

paul a'barge said...

Here is Kathy

ooh-dah! That will break a water glass.

oh look ... one of her friends is Oliver Wills.

Moderate? Not.

Triangle Man said...

when activists have a religious motivation for the political change they want

Calling them Taliban seems to be clear hyperbole, especially if they are focused on one issue. However the definition Althouse provides of religious motivation does not adequately capture what the Taliban is about. Moreover, the application to Martin Luther King Jr., an individual, is a stretch. A comparison to an anti-capital punishment group would seem to be more apt.

phosphorious said...

The Drill Sgt,

"Well I'm not a big fan of Kathy's viewpoints after googling these to quotes:

I don't hate the military. I hate war. The world being what it is, militaries are necessary evils. We have to work toward the day when that evil will no longer be necessary.
"

You are going to have to explain to me why this quote is so distasteful.

Unless you like war?

Triangle Man said...

Might as well repeat: actual enemies of the United States are not talking points. They are real and trying to kill us.

Before they were our enemies by harboring Bin Laden, they were enemies of civilization.

blake said...

paul,

lol

Glen Greenwald, Jane Hamsher...

I get it! She's like Obama: She only hangs out with the far left while being personally moderate herself.

Triangle Man said...

You are going to have to explain to me why this quote is so distasteful.

Because the military is not evil, it is a collection of citizens who work to provide for the common defense.

Freeman Hunt said...

I was thinking morning after pill, but that was mentioned? Unless this is a catholic group, I'm not sure which contraceptives they are talking about.

They're talking about all oral contraceptives and probably some other hormone based ones. All the ones that they believe can cause abortion in some cases. I know lots of people who share this view.

It's not about sexuality, as hard as that is for some people to believe, it's about abortion.

miller said...

phos:
"Or am I missing something?"

Truer words were never spoken.

traditionalguy said...

Phosphorious...You are correct in definition of secular. The confusion pops up when only Christian the other two Abrahamic religious traditions are defined as Religious Thought. Hindu, Budhist, and pagan tribal fertility gods from all over the world also have their culture taught to their children. The family and the Priest set the acceptable thoughts within all of these. Freedom of speech and thought is only welcomed within the Jewish and the Christian religious traditions, which are therefore not hostile to secular reasoning. IMO it is the rebellion from sexual restraints of any kind since 1962 birth control pill revolution that has caused some secular thinkers to launch pre-emptive attacks on Christians and Jews, but the two camps really have no reason to fear each other.

Pogo said...

"The American Taliban Is Coming to Florida."

The left's use of this hyperbole no longer has any impact at all. "American Taliban"? Yawn.

That's the problem with over-the-top writing. Once you've done it, there's nothing left to say.

No, really, this time we mean it. It's really really bad this time, not like the last end-of-times announcement we made, They're all Nazi imperialist pedophile NRA country singers driving pick-ups. Much, much uch worse than that, we promise.

phosphorious said...

"Because the military is not evil, it is a collection of citizens who work to provide for the common defense."

She said she didn't hate the military. . . she hated war.

And Congress is a collection of individuals who work to provide for the common defense. . . but if I called government a "necessary evil", I don't imagine I'd hear any complaints.

miller said...

I suspect that "Jeremy" is back on his lithium again so he can teach, but he still bangs the same old tired shaman drum.

phosphorious said...

"The left's use of this hyperbole no longer has any impact at all. "American Taliban"? Yawn.

That's the problem with over-the-top writing. Once you've done it, there's nothing left to say.
"

Something to keep in mind for the right.

All Obama has to do now is NOT kill your grandparents, and the "death panel" stuff will seem even sillier than it does now.

I'm impressed that he hasn't actually killed any babies, or handed the country over to our muslim enemies. . . both of which the right promised me he would do.

Go Obama! Exceeding expectations!

victoria said...

Banning contraception is wrong.

Triangle Man said...

She said she didn't hate the military. . . she hated war.

...but she said the military is evil. That is the distasteful part to me.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh yeah, and IUDs.

Here is a link explaining the kinds of contraception these people are probably talking about.

phosphorious said...

"...but she said the military is evil. That is the distasteful part to me."

A necessary evil. You don't see the difference?

Pogo said...

"All Obama has to do now is NOT kill your grandparents, and the "death panel" stuff will seem even sillier than it does now."

The UK NHS can't seem to avoid killing off grandparents, so I don't see how a US single payer could avoid it.

Triangle Man said...

A necessary evil. You don't see the difference?

Is a necessary evil actually a good or still something to be reviled? You asked for an explanation about what is distasteful and I provided it. Perhaps someone else will have a different perspective.

Triangle Man said...

It's not about sexuality, as hard as that is for some people to believe, it's about abortion.

Fornication is no longer a sin?

Christopher said...

phosphorious wrote:

"You are going to have to explain to me why this quote is so distasteful.

"Unless you like war?"

The position that it will be possible to render the military unnecessary by somehow eliminating or abolishing war is a fairly idiotic one, but not necessarily distasteful.

Maybe The Drill SGT simply isn't a fan of idiotic viewpoints.

phosphorious said...

"Is a necessary evil actually a good or still something to be reviled? "

A necessary evil is something that earns a grudging respect. It's not ideal, but we can't see how to do without it.

Do you really insist that everybody LOVE the military and everything it does?

Should we not prefer diplomacy and soft power to military intervention?

And how about government, period? Would you call it a necessary evil?

Paul Zrimsek said...

There is no reason, that is not based on religion, for treating a fertilized egg as if it were a human being.

What? Of course there are secular reasons for doing that. They're not necessarily very good reasons, but, again, that's not what we're talking about. Indeed, the hard part is finding a truly religious reason for treating a fertilized egg as a human being-- holy books being generally silent on the subject of zygotes and such. Aren't most of what pass for religious reasons really secular reasons, which religious people's sense of right and wrong has caused them to read into their religions?

Alex said...

A necessary evil. You don't see the difference?

This in a nutshell is what the left is all about. They view the military as "necessary evil".

Freeman Hunt said...

Fornication is no longer a sin?

We're talking about the law being proposed and why it is being proposed. You can believe fornication is a sin while also believing that it shouldn't be against the law. You can at the same time believe that murder is a sin, abortion is murder, and that therefore abortion should be outlawed. You could even believe abortion is murder and should be outlawed without the sin part in there at all.

phosphorious said...

"The position that it will be possible to render the military unnecessary by somehow eliminating or abolishing war is a fairly idiotic one, but not necessarily distasteful."

I agree. Idiotic.

But of course, neither I nor the original speaker said anything like that. She said she hated war. . . NOT the military.

Someone found the quote objectionable. I assume they didn't object to her NOT hating the military.

Ergo (and I'm sure you bright bulbs will check my logic on this) the objection must have been to her hatred of war.

Really simple, unless your a republican apparently.

traditionalguy said...

Phosphorious...You argue skillfully, and you also use strawmen well. The country and the grand mothers are not yet killed off or turned over to anyone.The predictions may well be as false as fearing Japanese invasion of California in December 1941 until October 1942. But the intentions of the Japanese then and Obama now are easy to see. The engagements of brave men starting at Midway in June 1942 and at ending Guadacanal in August-October 1942 saved California and made the fears seem unreal, but they had never been unreal.The brave men and women fighting since June, into August, and thru October 2009will be all that makes the right wing fears unreal. Use your good mind to help the Religiously Infused side and we will be grateful to you.

phosphorious said...

"
This in a nutshell is what the left is all about. They view the military as "necessary evil".


And the right believes the opposite I presume?

Which would be what exactly? there are several options. Does the right believe:

1) The military is an unnecessary evil

2) The military is a necessary good

3) the military is an unnecessary good

1) is just stupid. Do you believe that? 2) flies in the face of libertarianism, which is predicated on non-coercion. It might not be practicable, but libertarians dream of a world without violence, based on voluntary trade.

3) is the only viable option for the Althousians, it seems to me.

It is a principle I am perfectly happy to reject.

Triangle Man said...


Do you really insist that everybody LOVE the military and everything it does?

Should we not prefer diplomacy and soft power to military intervention?

And how about government, period? Would you call it a necessary evil?


I don't insist anything about the military. Kathy can view the military as a necessary evil and I can find it distasteful.

Rather than calling government a necessary evil, I would just call it necessary.

ricpic said...

...religion infused...

What is this, a cooking class?

phosphorious said...

traditionalguy,

"But the intentions of the Japanese then and Obama now are easy to see. "

I could say somethign snarky here, but I detect a genuine attempt at persuaion. So I will say this:

the rhetoric from the right is exactly as hysterical as it was duting the civil rights era, and the new deal, and even the Civil war. And in each of these cases the "bad guys" (that is the federal government) WON.

Thank god.

The right's MO seems to be to frame every change as THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED. . . and then fifty years later admit that the changes weren't so bad after all.

This is more of the same as far as I can tell.

Of course, the death panels await to make me rue my naivete. . . but this is a chance I am willing to take.

Shanna said...

The UK NHS can't seem to avoid killing off grandparents, so I don't see how a US single payer could avoid it.

Yet, according to the brit on the VMA’s last night, American’s let people DIE IN THE STREETS while they have free healthcare for everyone! (never mind that there is no such thing as “free” healthcare, considering that somebody has to pay for it). What was that about Republican hyperbole?

stutefish said...

Whereas MLK was not pulling civil rights out of the bible; he was joining a christian notion of human brotherhood to a legal history of individual rights.

... Whereas pro-lifers are not pulling prenatal rights out of the bible; they are joining a christian notion of the value of human life to a legal history of individual rights.

Does that about cover it, phosphorious?

Christopher said...

phosphorious wrote:

"But of course, neither I nor the original speaker said anything like that. She said she hated war. . . NOT the military."

You must have me confused with someone else. I simply rephrased what she wrote in morally neutral terms. I said nothing about hatred or evil.

"Someone found the quote objectionable. I assume they didn't object to her NOT hating the military."

That someone was The Drill SGT. He said that he wasn't a big fan of Kattenburg's positions, although he didn't cite any specific reasons. (Exact quote: "Well I'm not a big fan of Kathy's viewpoints after googling these to quotes:")

"Ergo (and I'm sure you bright bulbs will check my logic on this) the objection must have been to her hatred of war."

There's no need to check your "logic", because you've presented none. You simply keep asserting, with no evidence, that The Drill SGT said something that he didn't.

"Really simple, unless your a republican apparently"

I'm not a Republican. (Shhhhhhhhh! Don't tell the Althouse Hillbillies. I've seen deliverance, I know what their kind do! I'm tellin' ya, if I hear one bar of "Dueling Banjos", I'm outta here!)

bagoh20 said...

Do you have to be religious to understand that conception changes things. I'm not religious and I don't know when life begins, but conception is just a scientific fact that some people have decided is a more substantial thing than others accept. Even without religion the question is worthy of consideration and would likely be very contentious anyway.

If one side wants to claim religious reasons for their position then they can be argued, but the very existence of a religious reason does not win nor lose the argument.

phosphorious said...

Triangleman,

"
Rather than calling government a necessary evil, I would just call it necessary.
"

But, as a conservative, you would also claim that the government is never to be trusted, and should be constantly criticized, and resisted when it oversteps, as it inevitably does, right?

Something that you only put up with because you can't do without, but is otherwise a source of trouble and strife is called a necessary evil.

Government is one such, and I would say the military, as an instrument of the government, is another.

I realize that you are only used to calling liberals evil, but you need to expand your mind.

phosphorious said...

"... Whereas pro-lifers are not pulling prenatal rights out of the bible; they are joining a christian notion of the value of human life to a legal history of individual rights."

By seeking to limit individual rights based on some tenuous notion that a fertilized egg is a full fledged human being?

If you say so, I guess.

phosphorious said...

Christopher,

There's no need to check your "logic", because you've presented none. You simply keep asserting, with no evidence, that The Drill SGT said something that he didn't.

Soemone was quoted as saying she didn't hate the military, she hated war.

The Drill Sgt objected to this. I couldn't figure out why.

I'm not sure what you remarks add to that discussion.

Chip Ahoy said...

Call the apostrophe police!

Your is possessive, you're is second person present indicative. This is easy enough unless perhaps you're a hasty partisan Democrat.

Never mind. Simple oversight, I know you know better. Just spare us the partisanship please, it's wearisome.

phosphorious said...

bagoh20

"I'm not religious and I don't know when life begins, but conception is just a scientific fact that some people have decided is a more substantial thing than others accept. Even without religion the question is worthy of consideration and would likely be very contentious anyway."

But the religious conservatives want to end the contention by legal fiat. They are arguing that the question has such an OBVIOUS answer, that we can safely encode into law, end of story.

That is an extreme position. The Moderate Voice is absolutelt right to object to it.

The Drill SGT said...

phosphorious said...
The Drill Sgt,

You are going to have to explain to me why this quote is so distasteful.

Unless you like war?

in other words, "support the troops, oppose all wars and the evil but necessary rape machine?"

The short answer is that I can read those 2 posts and see a thinly disguised disgust at the "rough men and women" that protect our liberties.

phosphorious said...

"in other words, "support the troops, oppose all wars and the evil but necessary rape machine?"

No. Not at all.

Yes, support the troops, and oppose all wars. But where does she oppose the "evil rape machine?"

When she points out that in fact some female soldiers were raped?

This is the value of calling the military a "necessary evil": we can't do without it, and it performs a vital service. . . but it is not for that reason beyond criticism.

Again: the conservative attitude towards government is the liberal attitude towards the military.

I really don't see the problem with her original statement.

unless you think that war is an unqualified good.

Triangle Man said...

But, as a conservative, you would also claim that the government is never to be trusted, and should be constantly criticized, and resisted when it oversteps, as it inevitably does, right?

I think those features describe curmudgeons or paranoids rather than conservatives per se, and they don't really fit me, no.

Your inferences about me are increasingly unreliable as you stray from our initial engagement about what might be distasteful in the statement Drill Sgt. quoted. I see now that you were focused on the war versus military aspect, whereas I saw that portion of the quote as an effort to sugar coat a otherwise distasteful view of the military in general.

You are welcome to the last word on this, I have some things to do.

Christopher said...

phosphorious wrote:

"Soemone was quoted as saying she didn't hate the military, she hated war."

She was quoted as saying more than that. Specifically:

"I don't hate the military. I hate war. The world being what it is, militaries are necessary evils. We have to work toward the day when that evil will no longer be necessary."

"The Drill Sgt objected to this. I couldn't figure out why."

I'm not clear on precisely why your inability to read plain English should be of anyone else's concern.

"I'm not sure what you remarks add to that discussion."

They were intended, initially, to increase your understanding. At first you said, basically, if you object to this quote, then it's for this reason that I have pulled out of my ass, which means that you like war! I pointed out that there were other ways to object to the quote.

Now I see clearly that you're not here to have a "discussion", you're a partisan troll out to win points in a rousing and entertaining game of Internets.

I'm down with that, because I, too, enjoy a relaxing game of Internets.

bagoh20 said...

The question of the military being a necessary evil is silly. Is a hammer evil, a knife , a gun?

In the real world, a military is a simple necessary for existential reasons. It is a tool, a dangerous one, but extremely useful one. Neither basically good or evil. We must reserve those labels for ourselves and how we use it.

As long as the world has nails, hammers will be necessary. As long as the world has life, it will be in conflict. Most forms of life battle for resources, even the rocks on this orb are in battle with the water and wind. Get over it. It's our very nature.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Extreme" is no more an antonym for "secular" than "valid" is a synonym for it. You don't have to believe that life begins at conception (any more than I do), but it's time to drop the untenable claim that it's a religious position.

traditionalguy said...

Phosphorious...The Federal Government was not a Bad Guy in the three examples that you used. And we want to get it back that way in the 2010 election. FYI The Democrats were the only Political Party in Georgia until 1980. So good ideas and good men are where you find them. It took a Georgian named King to drag the Kennedys into the civil rights struggle kicking and screaming, for fear of what Joe would say. The Zell Miller / Sam Nunn/ Carl Vinson Georgia style of Democrat is no longer permitted inside today's Democrat Party of Soros and Pelossi. But even those two cannot control how President Obama will use the fascist powers that they plan to see enacted for him. There is a brand new set of international forces working together against America's hegemony, and for some reason Obama want and his Democrats want to befriend all of them.

Shanna said...

By seeking to limit individual rights based on some tenuous notion that a fertilized egg is a full fledged human being?

A fertilized egg is the beginning of a whole new person. If things proceed in the most normal way, baring miscarriage or human action, that egg will become a person. It is not crazy to believe life begins at this conception because it does. If life does not began at conception, you have a more difficult question of when it begins...when the baby is born? When it could live outside of it’s mother’s womb (which is getting earlier and earlier as science progresses)? When it has lungs, fingers, toes, a heart, can feel pain? This is not a simple question.

The “individual right” you are talking about limiting, is the right to stop this conception from developing, as it would naturally, into a new human being.

Shanna said...

But the religious conservatives want to end the contention by legal fiat.

Was it better to have ended by judicial fiat 30 years ago?

Bill said...

The military is no more evil than a hammer.

I would say that making a blanket statement about war being evil is going too far as well. If all war were evil, could we ever have a just war?

When groups of people go about perpetrating evil on their fellow man, is it not *good* to go to war to prevent further evil from being done?

It seems to me that even something like war is just another tool for use in the interactions between nations, and can be no more evil than a hammer or a saw.

MadisonMan said...

I think good and bad are the wrong words to use when describing war. Just and unjust are better. Saying Was is bad is very lazy.

Pogo said...

But surely we can agree that War is Bad for Children and Other Living Things, right, man?
Dig.
What it is.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Armies may be a necessary evil in the same way that governments are, but I've a shrewd hunch that Kathy Kattenburg isn't working toward the day when government is no longer necessary.

phosphorious said...

taditionalguy

"The Federal Government was not a Bad Guy in the three examples that you used. "

I was speaking ironically. . . but certainly the conservatives of the time would have, and in fact did, violently disagree. "States' rights" has been the battle cry of more than one reactionary movement.

My point is that Obama is simply not the threat conservatives seem to think he is. . . and that we have gone through this all before.

The Drill SGT said...

Paul,

LOL

phosphorious said...

Shanna,

"A fertilized egg is the beginning of a whole new person. If things proceed in the most normal way, baring miscarriage or human action, that egg will become a person."

Or maybe two people, or three, or none. And two fertilized eggs may turn out a single person.

Either way, there is enough legitimate uncertainty to head off any legal conclusion.

Again: the pro-life movement is the one who wants to simply end this discussion through the blunt instrument of the law. That is the extreme position.

If you think a fertilized egg is a full blown human, great: don't get an abortion.

But do you find it necessary to force other women not to?

That's extreme and unreasonable.

phosphorious said...

"Armies may be a necessary evil in the same way that governments are, but I've a shrewd hunch that Kathy Kattenburg isn't working toward the day when government is no longer necessary."

And yet conservatives, who are constantly on guard against federal overstep. . . have absolutely nothing bad to say about the military.

They can easily call the government a "necessary evil". . . but simply CANNOT call an agent of that government the same thing.

I suppose the conservative idal is no federal government at all. . . and a huge fucking military.

Yeah. great idea.

Synova said...

I don't think that Tasmanians are human.

OOPS!

No Tasmanians are left. Someone else already killed them all.

Revenant said...

And yet conservatives, who are constantly on guard against federal overstep. . . have absolutely nothing bad to say about the military.

Even if it is true that conservatives never criticize the military (and of course it isn't true at all), the military doesn't overstep its authority to any significant degree. The civilian government tells it what to buy, where to go, and who to fight, and it does these things. It doesn't meddle in domestic affairs the way most other militaries do.

If the military suddenly decided it had the power to grant medical coverage to all Americans or seize private American land and give it to the generals' friends -- well, then you'd see some criticism. :)

Maguro said...

And yet conservatives, who are constantly on guard against federal overstep. . . have absolutely nothing bad to say about the military.

Because providing for national defense is an an enumerated power of the federal government in the constitution.

Unlike running the healthcare industry or the auto industry or whatever.

phosphorious said...

"the military doesn't overstep its authority to any significant degree. "

So the military is that magical part of the government that never goes astray.

And any reports of soldiers being raped is to be ignored.

Understood.

Dogwood said...

If the military suddenly decided it had the power to grant medical coverage to all Americans or seize private American land and give it to the generals' friends -- well, then you'd see some criticism. :)

The military also would be criticized if it implemented real-time access to our bank accounts, and required all of our medical records to be digitized and accessible to it, all without probable cause or warrants.

Then yeah, we would criticize it quite vocally.

Dogwood said...

And any reports of soldiers being raped is to be ignored.

Stupid strawman.

No one is defending illegal behavior.

phosphorious said...

"Because providing for national defense is an an enumerated power of the federal government in the constitution.

Unlike running the healthcare industry or the auto industry or whatever.
"

Ahhh. . . the subtle change in argument.

To reiterate: Soemone said the military is a necessary evil. The usual conservative hissyfit ensued.

I asked how it is possible to be so suspicious of the government and so trusting of the military.

The usual conservative blather ensued.

Wuzzadem said...

Democrats probably account for most abortions in this country, so I'm all for abortion in whatever form.

The Drill SGT said...

Maguro said...
Because providing for national defense is an an enumerated power of the federal government in the constitution.


What he said...

Conservatives have no problem with Defense, Customs, Border patrol, building roads, collecting taxes (well sometimes :)....

Those things that private citizens can NOT do through private enterprise. Obtaining health care is not one of the things the government MUST run for us.

Pogo said...

What a shock. Phosphosada deliberately misreads the statement "the military doesn't overstep its authority to any significant degree." to read

"...the military ...never goes astray".

It's a cute little game you play.

This isn't Gene Olson.
Cyrus Pinkerton has returned.

phosphorious said...

Christopher,

This was the line you objected to:

"We have to work toward the day when that evil will no longer be necessary."

I really don't see how this changes the argument one bit.

The day when the military will be unnecessary is the day when there is no war.

You may think it naive to work for such a day. . . but it's not objectionable is it?

A world without war is a good thing, no? even if it's unlikely to happen?

But this is all noise and comotion: the original point was that conservatives, who do not hesitate to criticize the government, will simply not allow the military to be criticized in their presence.

Bizarre that, since the military is simply the instrument of the government.

Christopher said...

phosphorious wrote:

"Yeah. great idea."

So is having a "discussion" with a toolbox who demonstrates time and time again that he is unable to read and has an unwillingness to make shit up and insist that it's what people he doesn't like really believe.

Eventually, everyone's going to figure that out, they'll ignore you, and you'll join the chorus of douchebags who serve no other purpose but farting out obnoxious comments in the threads.

The whole time, of course, you will imagine yourself to be winning at... um... something... while you continue to fail spectacularly at life.

Have fun with that.

Synova said...

I mean, seriously...

There isn't clear evidence (how do YOU know that Tasmanians have a soul?) so therefore the law is restrained from making a judgment?

The law limits all sorts of things in a purely arbitrary way... is 55 miles an hour *really* not an arbitrarily decided point at which a car is now "speeding?"

If someone suggests that they care AT ALL about what point a fetus "counts" or not the rational approach to that unknowable moment is to err on the side of caution. Better to accidentally save some fetuses that don't "count" and include all of those that *do* than to sacrifice those that *do* in favor of not accidentally saving any who don't.

The law can do this and does. There is no legal principle that prevents us from protecting the human rights of *marginal* people for fear that we might accidentally attribute those human and civil rights to someone who doesn't quite deserve them.

phosphorious said...

"Democrats probably account for most abortions in this country, so I'm all for abortion in whatever form."

Snark aside, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. No one is in favor of forcing people to have abortions. Let women choose. If you think it's wrong, then, it is thankfully something you can avoid.

The moderate position is for choice in this matter. The extreme position is to forbid it altogether.

I really don't understand why conservatives don't get this.

phosphorious said...

"Better to accidentally save some fetuses that don't "count" and include all of those that *do* than to sacrifice those that *do* in favor of not accidentally saving any who don't."

You are acting as if this "error on the side of caution" never comes with a cost: the health and even life of the mother may be at risk.

And when you extend the ban on abortion to include a ban on contraception as well. . . because some forms may abort a fertilized egg. . . then you have legal overstep, no?

the biological evidence can be interpeted either way. Let each individual consult her conscience. Why must the law decide here?

phosphorious said...

"I don't think that Tasmanians are human."

You really think that the humanity of tasmanians is as open a question as the humanity of a fertilized egg?

Seriously?

Maguro said...

I asked how it is possible to be so suspicious of the government and so trusting of the military.

Well, I was responding to your reference to "federal overstep" and the military.

You can think that the military is screwing up in Afghanistan, or is wasteful or whatever, but since defense is a job the feds are supposed to be doing, it's not really federal overstep. It's just the government doing its job badly.

Federal overstep is when the feds take on responsibilities they're not supposed to have, like taking over GM or the healthcare industry.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Not believing that X is evil is pretty much the same thing as placing blind trust in X, isn't it?

Christopher said...

I wrote:

"...has an unwillingness to make shit up and insist that it's what people he doesn't like really believe."

That should be "willingness" there, not "unwillingness". Although, "apparent compulsion" would be far more accurate.

Pogo said...

Cyrus Pinkerton and phosophorius, one and the same.

phosphorious said...

"Stupid strawman.

No one is defending illegal behavior."


technically not true, if you follow this arguemnt back to the beginning.

Two quotes, by the same woman, were found objectionable by a poster here; one calling the military a "necessary evil", the other pointing out that some female soldiers were raped.

Why would you object to a factual claim concerning the treatment of some soldiers? To object to such a statement. . . to claim, as was done, that it could only have been motivated by an irrational hatred of the military. . . is a defacto defense of the behvaior, no?

And then later (speaking of strawmen) the quote was caharcterized as her calling the military a "rape machine". She did not say that.

The objectuon to her fact-based statement was objected to. . . because conservatives DO NOT criticize the military. Period.

If a few soldiers get raped, big deal, apparently.

Synova said...

"And any reports of soldiers being raped is to be ignored."

What reports are these?

The disgusting Karpinski was going around claiming that female soldiers had been raped and also that they were dying of dehydration in Iraq for fear of going to the bathroom at night.

Of course, as a GENERAL she was helpless to do anything about this until after she was disgraced and demoted and retired against her will.

The truth is that the cause of death of every female service member in Iraq is known and none died because they were afraid to pee at night.

And while soldiers commit crimes like any other citizen they also carry a very strict judicial system and jurisdiction around the world with them, police force analogies and FBI analogies and a prison system as well. And you really, really, do not want to get involved in that system because there is no GIVE to it.

There is no "ignore" as part of that system.

Pogo said...

He will cede no ground Synova.
It's endless argument in bad faith, and a waste of time.

Shanna said...

No one is defending illegal behavior.

Indeed. Also, “the military” isn’t raping anyone. Bad individuals do those things and they should be punished for it, but it’s not “the military”.

Because providing for national defense is an an enumerated power of the federal government in the constitution.

What he said...

Conservatives have no problem with Defense, Customs, Border patrol, building roads, collecting taxes (well sometimes :)....


Indeed. Which liberals really don’t understand about us (and liberatarians). It’s also the reason the “we spent Xbillion dollars on the military that could have been spent on healthcare” type arguments don’t work with us.

Christopher said...

phosphorious wrote:

"But this is all noise and comotion: the original point was that conservatives, who do not hesitate to criticize the government, will simply not allow the military to be criticized in their presence."

You're off the Republican kick, I see. Now you're talking about "conservatives" thinking that you'll somehow get my goat with that.

I'm not a conservative, either. I'm a flaming social liberal who's fiscally uncommitted and vaguely hawkish on national defense.

This is why a "discussion" with you is completely worthless except as some kind of game where I make fun of you and call you names and other then other people chuckle when they read them.

You're not here to actually "discuss" anything, despite your claims. You're here to tell people you don't like what they believe, making unwarranted assumptions or simply pulling shit out of your ass in the process if they don't play along.

Revenant said...

the military doesn't overstep its authority to any significant degree.

So the military is that magical part of the government that never goes astray

I can see how a sufficiently unintelligent person might think I'd written that. You apparently think the only way a government agency can go astray is by overstepping its authority. But then again you're a leftist, so naturally all authorized uses of state power are de facto good in your eyes. :)

What I wrote, of course, is that the military doesn't overstep its authority to any significant degree. That doesn't mean it never does anything bad, only that the bad things it as an institution does are generally within the scope of its authority.

For example, the Left likes to whine about the invasion of Iraq. But the military didn't overstep its authority by invading, because the Congress authorized the invasion and the civilian commander in chief, George Bush, ordered it. That doesn't mean the invasion was right, but it does mean that the invasion was within the scope of the military's authority.

In contrast, nothing gives Congress the authority to implement a national health care system. It isn't among the enumerated powers of either Congress or of the Presidency. It is just one more example of the federal government seizing power it has no right to seize.

And any reports of soldiers being raped is to be ignored.

You're not making any sense. Is it your claim that the military authorized the rape of soldiers? The cited article claimed that women were being raped by their fellow soldiers, not that the military sanctioned it. When Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broderick, was that an example of the Democratic Party overstepping its authority, or just an example of criminal activity by someone who happened to be a Democrat?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I guess whether "working for the day when the evil military will no longer be necessary" is pernicious or merely a waste of time depends on how you react when the day fails to arrive. $20 on Kathy Kattenburg to act as though it has.

phosphorious said...

"You're not making any sense. Is it your claim that the military authorized the rape of soldiers? "

No, I am claiming that when someone mentions that soldiers have been raped by other soldiers, conservatives get defensive. They could say something like "Well, a few soldiers don't represent the whole army." or better yet, "Those poor women, i hope they get justice." But conservatives didn't, not on this thread. Instead they "objected" to the statement, and cast aspersions on the wowman who made it, claiming that she was motivated by a hatred of the military.

To do otherwise would have been to criticize the military, which conservatives, and apparently some "flaming social liberals", don't do. Period.

phosphorious said...

Christopher,

"I'm not a conservative, either. I'm a flaming social liberal who's fiscally uncommitted and vaguely hawkish on national defense.

It's funny, you are outraged that I would classify you as a conservative, and that I would dare to say "waht all conservatives think."

But I have checked several times now, and I notice you never registered your outrage at the many conservatives here who feel free to discourse upon what all liberals think.

Being half a liberal yourself, you must find this maddening. . . but as I say, Ican't find where you register your outrage.

You must be one of those free-thinking, independents who only criticizes liberals.

There's a lot of you guys these days.

Synova said...

"The disgusting Karpinski was going around claiming that female soldiers had been raped and also that they were dying of dehydration in Iraq for fear of going to the bathroom at night."

I should mention that Karpinski claimed personal knowledge of this so it is taken by truth by many.

As *truth* however, it means that Karpinski is a douche bag of epic proportions, the sort of officer that can not and should not ever be trusted, because if her claims were *true* then they exist in the context that she did not take any action to protect the troops... which is EXPLICITLY her job. It is her JOB to take action even to destroying her own career over it. That's the MINIMUM level of service that warrants trust from those enlisted in her care EVEN if it was someone elses command that was falling apart into lawlessness and not her own. (It *was* her own, but that's another story.)

There is some credible reports of civilian contractors being raped by other civilian contractors and there being no *jurisdiction* to prosecute the rapist. A serious problem that requires a legal solution, but for now jurisdictions are geographically defined (with the exception of UCMJ). This is a huge "crack" for victims to fall through. The military can not try and convict a civilian overseas and throw him in Leavenworth.

Pogo said...

"But conservatives didn't, not on this thread. "

Do you expect that every non sequitur and troll bait you place will be answered?

That's just weird.

Revenant said...

They could say something like "Well, a few soldiers don't represent the whole army." or better yet, "Those poor women, i hope they get justice."

Or they could say "I'd like to see some evidence before I believe these charges". Because they, unlike you, don't assume that soldiers are guilty until proven innocent. :)

Donna B. said...

Phosphoriosis: If you really want to hear complaints about the military, ask a soldier. It's something they all learn in boot camp and spend the rest of their service perfecting, right along with their marksmanship.

phosphorious said...

FINALLY. . . conservatives get around to disputing the facts of the case. This is the first time "Karpinski" had been mentioned.

If the facts are other than has been claimed, that is a different story. . . I apologize to all the men and women in uniform who i hurt with my bthoughtless remarks.

But why the hell didn't you bring up the FACTS sooner?

This argument started because someone (Drill SGT?) "objected" to a woman who said that some female soldiers were raped. He DID NOT DISPUTE THE FACT, nor did any follow up poster, he simply objected to the statement, claiming that it was evidence of an anti-military positon.

So now. . . we are arguing the facts of the case. What makes you think that your spurce is better than the original quote that started all this?

phosphorious said...

"Or they could say "I'd like to see some evidence before I believe these charges". Because they, unlike you, don't assume that soldiers are guilty until proven innocent. :)"

But of course, they didn't say that either, did they? And by "they" I mean everyone involved in this thread. What they said was "She criticized the military, and said that some soldiers were raped by other soldiers?? She must be a crazy "lib"! No other explanation!"

It is, however, good to know that, when all elee fails, a conservative can be counted on to go to the facts.

Inspiring, that is.

Synova said...

Wow, Phos...

We used to have a "blotter" on the back of the base newspaper. One of the more spectacular stories was of a guy who hired his girl-friend's family to murder his wife for the life insurance after begging her to come back, and cut up the floppy disk with pinking shears (this was a few years ago) to hide evidence.

The OSI (FBI analogy) put the case together, their lab in DC reconstructed the floppy disk fragments, and got the guy for a serious pre-meditated murder.

So... at what point is it NOT slanderous to state that *soldiers* (or airmen) murder their wives?

All branches of the military maintain an investigative organization outside of other chains of command. All bases, like all cities, maintain a "police" force and a "jail."

Mostly they give out speeding tickets for going faster than 5 mph past the day care or for DWI... just like any other police force. They respond to domestic disturbances. Sometimes they investigate a rape or murder or prostitution ring or make a drug bust.

When someone mentions that soldiers have been raped by other soldiers they are making a POINT and the point they are making is ILLEGITIMATE. If they were not making a POINT about soldiers in general or about war in general, if they were not making a general charge about the larger picture they would never have brought it up.

And they deserve a push back for it.

We might as well say in a *significant* manner... "Black men rape women" and not expect everyone to react exactly the way they do to this. Some would nod sagely and say that *of course* that is true and maybe make an excuse. Other people would become angry at the blatant attempt to smear an entire group... and they'd be right.

According to YOU the best response would be, "Oh, those poor women. I hope they get justice."

The Drill SGT said...

No, I am claiming that when someone mentions that soldiers have been raped by other soldiers, conservatives get defensive. They could say something like "Well, a few soldiers don't represent the whole army." or better yet, "Those poor women, i hope they get justice."

One last time for others. You're a waste of time.

Fewer rapes occur in a FOB per capita than happen in the same size college campus. And the conviction rate is higher, and the punishment is much more severe.

The military takes real rape charges seriously.

And yes, I respect women soldiers and have an idea about what I speak about. My wife is a NG JAG Colonel and I have served in combat zones. Your expertise is?

Synova said...

"I apologize to all the men and women in uniform who i hurt with my bthoughtless remarks."

Apology refused, asshole.

former law student said...

he still bangs the same old tired shaman drum.

that old tired Shaman Drum bookshop in Ann Arbor closed at the end of June, after 29 years in business.

phosphorious said...

"So... at what point is it NOT slanderous to state that *soldiers* (or airmen) murder their wives?"

But doesn't the analogy work both ways?

Suppose a conservative had said that a black man raped a white woman, and the police didn't take the charge seriously. And then suppose that a liberal responded "You're just saying that because you hate black people!"

I would hope that the conservative response would have been have as vehement as mine.

I am absolutely flabbergasted that allegations of extreme misconduct and official mishandling of that misconduct, is simply brushed off by the right.

It is the one aspect of the government, apparently, that deserves our implicit trust, and any criticism can only be motivated by anti-Americanism.

freaking biazarre, i tell you.

Christopher said...

phosphorious wrote:

"This argument started because someone (Drill SGT?) "objected" to a woman who said that some female soldiers were raped. He DID NOT DISPUTE THE FACT, nor did any follow up poster, he simply objected to the statement, claiming that it was evidence of an anti-military positon."

Here, let me fix that for you:

"This argument started because someone (Phosphorious?) began trolling the threads, thinking that he could goad other people into paying attention to him. HE DID NOT LOOK UP OR READ THE ARTICLES THAT THE DRILL SGT QUOTED, he just argued from a position of ignorance like the fuckwit he is, making shit up along the way and attributing absurd positions to his opponents like a gin-you-wine fucktard."

(WV: "scooted" -- Oh, shit, that's an actual word! I don't know what to do.)

phosphorious said...

Drill SGT:

The military takes real rape charges seriously.

Again. . . couldn't you have brought up these FACTS earlier?

You "objected" to those statements, and it was not at all obvious that they were objectionable.

If you had objected because she misrepresented the military's response to rape. . . then you should have said it then.

Or did you think that your mere sayso could end the discussion?

Synova said...

I'll complain about the military...

The largest single event resulting in the death of female soldiers occurred as a direct result of policies in place to prevent rape.

It was Gawd Awful Stupidity and women are dead who did not need to die.

phosphorious said...

"Apology refused, asshole."

An asshole. . . for taking the side of some soldiers rather than others.

Good one.

phosphorious said...

"The largest single event resulting in the death of female soldiers occurred as a direct result of policies in place to prevent rape."

I don't suppose you're going to elaborate on that?

Or will your smugness prevent you from educating a hapless "lib".

Synova said...

"An asshole. . . for taking the side of some soldiers rather than others."

Oh, right. You were taking the side of "girl" soldiers.

(checks)

Get off my side.

phosphorious said...

"get off my side"

This si still unbelievable. the mere suggestion that rapes in the military are not handled correctly is met with really harsh opposition.

Why is the military the only part of the government that conservatives will simply not cririticize?

If I said "Politician X raped a girl, and his party covered it up" would any of you doubt it, without even knowing which party it was?

Of course not: politicians are crooks and liars, not to be trusted for a second.

Military personell, however, are saints among men, and to criticize or doubt them is to show your evil intent.

You get more and more bizarre.

Synova said...

"I don't suppose you're going to elaborate on that?"

I'm sure you could find it, if you're looking into rape and dehydration deaths in Iraq.

In a nutshell (for the lib) female soldiers are used to search women at check-points and have done so heroically. But even during the worst of the unrest in the earliest part of the occupation when it was too dangerous to transport male soldiers manning check points back to the FOB the women were picked up, gathered together in a bus, and returned to the FOB because regulations insisted that they NOT NOT NOT bunk with men.

So something too dangerous for the male soldiers was a daily routine for women soldiers. Shockingly (not!) a routine is the most dangerous thing to maintain and a bus of these women was blown up.

Stupid and entirely unnecessary and directly related to a rape-prevention and privacy policy.

Steven said...

Contraceptives prevent conception. The items for which the ban is being sought are contragestives, which prevent implantation of the blastocyst rather than preventing conception. The deliberate abuse of "contraceptive" to refer to contragestives is an effort to make it impossible to intelligently discuss the clear biological differences between preventing conception and preventing implantation.

And the secular reason to oppose contragestives is the goal of preventing murder of a human person. If that is our goal, we both want a definitively measurable point at which personhood is legally conferred, and we want to set that early enough that there is no risk that it was set too late and persons get murdered.

There is no point after conception where the measurable biological transformation is as unambiguous as the moment of conception, and there is no point earlier where it is plausible that a human person might be being killed. It accordingly makes a very attractive cutoff point.

There are plenty of practical, scientific, and ethical reasons to argue we should set the legal cutoff later, but the point of conception is neither irrational nor indefensible.

Freeman Hunt said...

Steven explained it better than me.

former law student said...

regulations insisted that they NOT NOT NOT bunk with men.

Women bunking with men happens in youth hostels all over Europe, without rape being a problem. Wouldn't the presence of other women deter rape? Or is that theory that all the men would attempt to rape all the women?

phosphorious said...

"So something too dangerous for the male soldiers was a daily routine for women soldiers. Shockingly (not!) a routine is the most dangerous thing to maintain and a bus of these women was blown up.

Stupid and entirely unnecessary and directly related to a rape-prevention and privacy policy.
"

Entirely unnecessary. I agree. But you blame those who cried rape?

Isn't this merely proof that the military doesn't have a good way of preventing rape? Or that they see the problem as being entirely on the woman's side? Why couldn't the men have been so transported? Because they didn't make waves?

This really isn't the resounding defense of the military you seem to think it is.

Synova said...

"The military takes real rape charges seriously."

Phos: "Again. . . couldn't you have brought up these FACTS earlier?"

The fact that the military takes rape seriously?

Why should someone even have to SAY that? Why is that not assumed? And if it is NOT assumed then how is that not a blatant insult?

Christopher said...

phosphorious sputtered and farted:

"But you blame those who cried rape?"

No, she didn't. You're making shit up again. Also, you're still a fucktard.

phosphorious said...

"There is no point after conception where the measurable biological transformation is as unambiguous as the moment of conception, and there is no point earlier where it is plausible that a human person might be being killed. It accordingly makes a very attractive cutoff point."

This is simply not true. Again look at tis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_%28genetics%29

A single human may have genetic material from two separate zygotes. This can only mean that a zygte is not a human being. . . not yet.

At the very least, there is no conclusive reason for thinking that conception is the magic point. The person that eventually results was not obviously present at all stages of the development of the zygote.

Conception is a convenient point, as you say, but not the only convenient point.

And once again: why do we need the law to settle this matter? Why can't individuals decide for themselves?

Synova said...

"This really isn't the resounding defense of the military you seem to think it is."

And what part of my explicitly stating that I was going to say something BAD about the military escaped you?

phosphorious said...

"Why should someone even have to SAY that? Why is that not assumed? And if it is NOT assumed then how is that not a blatant insult?"

Yes, an insult. . . directed at a government agency!

Again: why is the military the one part of the government that conservatives refuse to criticize in any way?

They will gladly assume the worst of senators and presidents and congressmen of either party. . . but NOT the military.

Yes: I insulted the government. Shouldn't conservatives be wearing my T-shirst by now?

Synova said...

"And once again: why do we need the law to settle this matter? Why can't individuals decide for themselves?"

And once again: I don't believe that Tasmanians have souls. Why is the law necessary to decide this matter? Why can't individuals decide for themselves? If you think that Tasmanians DO have souls, well then, just don't go hunt them.

Christopher said...

Synova wrote:

"And what part of my explicitly stating that I was going to say something BAD about the military escaped you?"

See, he already made up his mind that people who don't agree with his (non-reading) of Kattenburg must think that the military is above criticism. So your criticism can't be a criticism, it must be a defense, which means that somehow you must be blaming rape victims for what happened.

In his mind, this is because you are a Republican/conservative/on the other side.

In reality, however, it's because he's a disingenuous scumbag.

phosphorious said...

"
And what part of my explicitly stating that I was going to say something BAD about the military escaped you?
"

I saw that. . . but then I couldn't help notice that your criticism was that they did TOO MUCH to prevent rape, and concluded that your real criticism was at the crazy libs who insist on taking rape seriously. If we had simply ignored the cries of rspe, those soldiers wouldn't have died.

Sorry if I misunderstood you.

But I really don't think I did misunderstand you.

phosphorious said...

"
And once again: I don't believe that Tasmanians have souls. Why is the law necessary to decide this matter? Why can't individuals decide for themselves? If you think that Tasmanians DO have souls, well then, just don't go hunt them.
"

Certainly our human rights don't depend on our being able to prove that we have souls, does it?

If so, we're screwed, because I don't see how we could prove such a thing.

As for your claim that Tasmanians aren't humna. . . that doesn't really stand up to criticism.

But the claim that a single cell organism isn;t a human is a bit more plausible.

it may become a human, but then so amy an ova and some sperm. . . but using a spermicide is not murder is it?

Pogo said...

yep, he's Cyrus Pinkerton all right.

Gak.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS said...Women bunking with men happens in youth hostels all over Europe, without rape being a problem.

The reason for the basic rule is that unlike your average Hostel in say Paris, there are 10 times the number of men than women in say FOB Rescorla. When you get numbers of 20 y/o's together, you get sex, unless you put tough rules in place. When the ratios are that bad, you get hard feelings, not rape. Discontent over A sleeping with B, and C/D/E/F/G/H/I/J isn't getting any is bad for morale. Army personnel policies are all about maximizing morale. Hence, the NOBODY sleeps with NOBODY rules. These rules have been applied to spouses in theater at various times.

and OBTW, when you get soldiers who aren't getting any, in contact with women that are giving it to somebody, just not them, you increase the odds of rape.

In my day, before enlisted women, there were HUGE morale negative impacts because of female officers dating male officers in theater, as well as Red Cross Donut Dolly's that were treated like officers. Haves and have nots. That is what these General Orders are designed to avoid

This her (synova's) story wasn't abour rape reduction directly, it was about attempting to enforce rules about sex in theater.

miller said...

Anyone else finding this interesting? Because it's just like reading an ELIZA transcript.

"I'm sad"

"Why are you sad?"

"Because it's Monday"

"Why does Monday make you sad?"

"Because I have to go to school."

"Why does going to school make you sad?"

"Because I have so much work to do."

"I see. Tell me about your father."

and so on.

Is there a Turing test for spam bots we can apply here?

phosphorious said...

Also: no one is going to FORCE you to have an abortion, right?

So I really don't see the problem.

Some state allow parents to refuse basic medical care to their children, even if it results in their deaths.

Where's the outrage there?

Roger J. said...

Re female soldiers dying of dehydration--anyone got any stats on that? sounds bogus to me--but I am amenable to a recitation of the statistics

Roger J. said...

since drill sgt and I are of the same generation of soldiers, I can assure you that the integration of women into the army has increased our supervisory and morale problems.

I don't object to women serving--but I can tell you that is makes the army a more complex entity that I enlisted in 1961 and served 25 years.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Re female soldiers dying of dehydration--anyone got any stats on that? sounds bogus to me--but I am amenable to a recitation of the statistics

I agree. The story sounds bogus.

Anyone knows that 'real' women would take a buddy or two to the latrine. Women usually go to the bathroom in groups anyway, or so it seemed to me in high school or when out bar hopping in my misspent youth.

Roger J. said...

DBQ--I am sure I speak for inumerable males who celebrated your misspent youth

The Drill SGT said...

Roger J. said...
since drill sgt and I are of the same generation of soldiers, I can assure you that the integration of women into the army has increased our supervisory and morale problems.


I remember being in a BDE HQ Compay in 77 or so. They were just starting to assign enlisted women at BDE and above combat units (3ID). Our Colonel, (who by the way had a wife who had served in Nam as a DAC, and who later outranked him (him a BG, she an SES 3) (so he wasn't a complete trogodyte) refused to accept a solitary woman into the BDE until they had the density to send 3 plus a SGT E-5. He could foresee that with 4, the 1SGT had a managable displinary situation. 1 would be a nightmare.

And of course I married a soldier, or at least a JAG so I see no issues...

Freeman Hunt said...

Also: no one is going to FORCE you to have an abortion, right?

So I really don't see the problem.


The problem comes up because the baby you're aborting is forced to be killed.

Some state allow parents to refuse basic medical care to their children, even if it results in their deaths.

Where's the outrage there?


Right here. I find it outrageous.

bagoh20 said...

"The moderate position is for choice in this matter. The extreme position is to forbid it altogether.

I really don't understand why conservatives don't get this."


Because the baby does not get a choice about it's own life. The mother decides to execute it.

I'm down the middle on this, but I can understand that.

Phos, are you actually thinking this through for the first time? Have you never discussed this with anybody that disagrees before? Isn't that a basic part (1/2) of the argument.

Michael McNeil said...

A fertilized egg is the beginning of a whole new person. If things proceed in the most normal way, baring miscarriage or human action, that egg will become a person. It is not crazy to believe life begins at this conception because it does. If life does not began at conception, you have a more difficult question of when it begins...when the baby is born? When it could live outside of it’s mother’s womb (which is getting earlier and earlier as science progresses)? When it has lungs, fingers, toes, a heart, can feel pain? This is not a simple question.

The answer is that life per se never begins. The parents are alive, their egg and sperm are alive, and the union of the two is just as alive. Life extends back in a continuous chain, generation unto generation, back into the mists of time when it originated more than three billion years ago.

The origin of a human life contrariwise depends on that organ on which all of the characteristics that we regard as human and not animal depend: the brain. Just as we now sensibly as well as legally regard the ending of human life — death — as occurring upon the ceasing of all higher activity in the brain, so in my view the beginning of human life should be regarded as taking place no earlier than the onset of the brain itself; and there is not the shadowiest trace of a brain and central nervous system in the developing embryo before approximately the start of the fourth week of gestation. Furthermore, the wiring on which the functional activity of the brain depends — those cells known as neurons — first come into existence around the beginning of the second month.

This conception of human life (pun intended) provides a sharp dividing line nearly as clear as conception itself, and a much better indicator of the first moment when it's sensible to talk about the beginnings of human as opposed to purely animal life.

Philip M said...

A previous post by Ms. Kattenburg on TMV Moderately titled, The Fix Is In

Regarding Obama's failure (in the author's opinion) to sufficiently punish Bush administration officials for their war crimes.

That is pretty moderate, isn't it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ--I am sure I speak for inumerable males who celebrated your misspent youth

Thanks. It was all worth it too :-D

LOL

vw = hyper

I think the word verification thingy is psychic.

bagoh20 said...

Micheal M.,

There is a distinct difference between an adult brain dying and a fetus brain. We consider brain death because, we have no ability to restart a brain, if we could, that standard would end. The dead brain of the adult means their "person" cannot be brought back.

The fetus brain contains nothing of the person yet, no memories or knowledge or training to be lost. It is a potential person at all stages of development and even after birth has no personality for some time.

Your suggestion is an interesting one, but it is still not a clear point of delineation in the fetus. The development of the brain is a continuum with no clear point when we are a person - only milestones of development on a road that continues on after birth. I fear there simply is no easy answer. We are forced to make arbitrary lines.

For me:
First trimester = abortion legal for any reason
Second trimester: only if severe handicap in the child.
Third trimester: Only to save the mother from severe and high probability health risk from giving birth

All others should be forced by jail time or fines to deliver to term. Adoption services should be involved to help mothers find their child a family before the birth.

Of course there are complications in the details, but in general this best meets my conflicted values.

BJM said...

I refuse to return to the days of back alley abortions or women forced to carry a dead fetus until their life was in peril as my mother was in the 50's. However, that said, 36 million abortions is a horrifying statistic by any measure.

That Phos, is the definition of a necessary evil.

Obviously those at the Moderate Voice do not see the irony in calling for banning religious thoughts like, you know, the actual Taliban?

Asshats. Keep digging.

Philip M said...

Should have finished looking before posting, she has a blog. With one moderate post.

Scattered Leaves, although leaf looks like it mighta been more apropos.

But--even better--she has history with you Ann :) I'm sure she'll love the shout out from your blog, she is apparently a reader. Here is a link to your previous exchange with a voice of moderation.

Shanna said...

The origin of a human life contrariwise depends on that organ on which all of the characteristics that we regard as human and not animal depend: the brain.

That is certainly a defensible position. I think you can argue many things on this point, but I think conception is just as defensible. I just don't think it's a simple question and I think true human life begans much earlier than birth.

Shanna said...

women forced to carry a dead fetus until their life was in peril as my mother was in the 50's.

Some people are still required, for medical reasons (I suppose it's safer, not an expert), to carry a dead baby to term, or something near it. That seems like it would be the most horrible sort of miscarriage imaginable.

blake said...

The fetus brain contains nothing of the person yet, no memories or knowledge or training to be lost. It is a potential person at all stages of development and even after birth has no personality for some time

bagoh clearly has never had children.

blake said...

lol@miller

We were discussing YOU, not ME.

Dogwood said...

It is a potential person at all stages of development and even after birth has no personality for some time.

We could tell immediately that our youngest had a completely different personality than our oldest.

How they cry. When they cry. Why they cry. The volume & intensity & pitch in which they cry.

Oh yeah, personality is present at birth, no doubt about it.

Other than that, I think your position is well reasoned and thoughtful.

bagoh20 said...

"bagoh clearly has never had children."

Busted!, but I have raised two, and I've never been pregnant either.

But, there clearly is a difference between a 30 year old mother and her newborn. The difference is clear when you imagine each dying and consider the relative effects it would have on their family and friends. An infant ,while amazing and wonderful, is it seems, somehow less of a person to us and becomes more of one quickly, but not instantly upon birth.

Freeman Hunt said...

I refuse to return to the days of back alley abortions or women forced to carry a dead fetus until their life was in peril as my mother was in the 50's. However, that said, 36 million abortions is a horrifying statistic by any measure.

That Phos, is the definition of a necessary evil.


Necessary? Even if you accept that outlawing abortion would mean that some women would have to carry dead babies, something I don't really accept at all, that's worth killing 36 million babies? I don't think I agree with that calculus.

Freeman Hunt said...

And all this real person, not a person, less a person, more a person talk sure sounds a lot like how people have talked about slaves, invalids, insane people, and others. There's good reason to draw a bright line for personhood.

blake said...

bagoh,

Dunno about that. I've seen Leftists come in here and say "nobody has a funeral for a fetus," for example.

But they do. And some couples never recover from a miscarriage. Even the common, early ones can be devastating.

Penny said...

"Some people are still required, for medical reasons (I suppose it's safer, not an expert), to carry a dead baby to term, or something near it. That seems like it would be the most horrible sort of miscarriage imaginable."

This happened to a childhood friend, and after the burial service, she had a full blown nervous breakdown. It was really tragic.

I haven't heard of this happening, since her, and that was so long ago, I assumed they had come up with more humane solutions.

miller said...

blake - I do what I can.

bagoh20 said...

I know Freeman, it sounds terrible to discuss whether or not someone is a person, but that is the nature of the question. Because we are discussing relative rights and one of the parties is somewhere between a single cell and a full term child. We both know if we had to decide and only one could survive, the cell or the child, it would be pretty straight forward for anyyone. At least I hope so. That proves they are not the same.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

phosphorious said...

Some state allow parents to refuse basic medical care to their children, even if it results in their deaths.

Where's the outrage there?


And for every child that has died in that way, there are how many abortions? 1 million? 10 million? More?

Maybe the outrage is focused where it is most needed.

Shanna said...

I haven't heard of this happening, since her, and that was so long ago, I assumed they had come up with more humane solutions.

Hopefully so. As I said I'm not an expert, but I don't think it had anything to do with abortion being legal. I think that's one of those things that's so horrid to imagine it just sticks with you.

As for the whole personhood debate, miscarriages can be devestating, even when they are very early on. We had one in the family recently.

bagoh20 said...

I don't remember the figure, but I remember reading once that a large percentage of conceptions spontaneously abort during the first menstruation following fertilization.

I know that miscarriages can be devastating, but these are happening by the millions all the time.

I don't know what my point is, but there you have some kind of perspective.

Freeman Hunt said...

We both know if we had to decide and only one could survive, the cell or the child, it would be pretty straight forward for anyyone. At least I hope so. That proves they are not the same.

No, it doesn't. If we had to decide and only one could survive, an eighty year old woman or her twenty-five year old granddaughter, that would be pretty straight forward for anyone too, but in no way would that make the grandmother less of a person and less deserving of human rights.

former law student said...

The tide has turned against parents who withhold medical treatment from their children for religious reasons because the relevant beliefs are the children's, not the parents'. Further, the children in these cases are (typically) considered not old enough to make their own informed decisions. The idea is to let the kids live long enough to decide for themselves.

bagoh20 said...

Freeman, I know we don't like the way it sounds, but what do you call it when we decide to terminate one and not the other. The loser certainly does not have equal rights.

blake said...

Actually, you take away human rights once you decide that you get to decide who lives and who dies.

Er, that wasn't meant to be a statement on health care "reform".

bagoh20 said...

"Actually, you take away human rights once you decide that you get to decide who lives and who dies."

When someone must die such as a pregnancy that will kill the mother, then we are forced to take away someone's right to life. The only question is who's.

In war, this decision is made wholesale and often with great fanfare.

In fact, we make these decisions all the time. Even when we don't decide we are often still deciding someone's fate.

Revenant said...

The loser certainly does not have equal rights.

In the case of the grandmother and granddaughter you're deciding which person's rights to violate. The choice made is to commit the violation which hurts less. It is the same choice we make in deciding to make people who earn more money pay more taxes -- takings violate the rights of the rich as much as they would the rights of the poor, but the rich feel less pain.

But it doesn't change the underlying rights. Everybody has a right not to be killed, and a right to retain the fruit of their labors. But since we know we need to violate some of those rights, we make a utilitarian decision on which ones to violate.

Michael McNeil said...

And all this real person, not a person, less a person, more a person talk sure sounds a lot like how people have talked about slaves, invalids, insane people, and others. There's good reason to draw a bright line for personhood.

There's a big difference, at least with regard to early-term embryos: “slaves, invalids, insane people, and others” all have brains — and hence minds and personalities. Embryos before the beginning of the second month of gestation, and no doubt for a considerable period afterwards, do not.

Cedarford said...

Freeman Hunt said...
We both know if we had to decide and only one could survive, the cell or the child, it would be pretty straight forward for anyyone. At least I hope so. That proves they are not the same.

No, it doesn't. If we had to decide and only one could survive, an eighty year old woman or her twenty-five year old granddaughter, that would be pretty straight forward for anyone too, but in no way would that make the grandmother less of a person and less deserving of human rights.


NO, not really.

The core problem is some Fundies and Catholics are theologically unable to distinguish between a fertilized egg and a baby human, because they have bought into a recent (relatively) religious argument made by a 19th Century Pope that ensoulment, and thus life, must begin at conception. This was to explain away the logical inconsistencies of the Immaculate Conception. To be immaculate, Jesus must have had a soul at the moment he was conceived inside the Virgin Mary.

This was added to earlier Christian theology that just because the soul was immortal, it had a right to reside in a body as long as possible, unless the life was sinful and condemned....Because life was critical for nurturing development of the soul as long as possible.
Otherwise, Christian theology would have concluded that each life was discardable and didn't matter because only the soul did.

Then various Right to Life Fanatics bundled in various human rights legal concepts developed in the 60s and later ...to try and convince others that a fertilized egg was indistinguishable from any baby, teen, adult. And should have full legal human rights...thus ending all abortion.

It's a pretty bad argument, ungrounded in logic or common sense.

Consider the following scenario:

A fire breaks out at a fertility clinic. The owner, a physician says that he has 380 embyos stored in 3 small tanks in a room near the fire, that the owners of the embryos paid a lot of money to produce.
The firefighters see the blaze is out of control and agree to get the embryo tanks and two computer drives in the same room containing records relating owners to test tube numbers and the doctors billings. If time permits, because they only have one rescue squad and 10 minutes - given the fire is consuming a fuel oil tank and the blaze is out of control.

Then a woman rushes out the other side of the building, caughing and in hysteria. Her two year old son is trapped in a room on the other side of the clinic, and smoke drover her back from rescuing him.

Who do the firefighters rescue...the 380 embryos that RTL fanatics insist are fully ensouled human beings with full human rights..or just one kid?

Does anyone seriously believe anyone, save possibly the fertility clinic owner, would have even the slightest hesitation in abandoning the valuable emroyo tanks and records rescue to immediately divert to trying to save the kid???

That suggests to me that we instinctively hold the rights and value of a fertilized egg quite different than bona fide human life.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And all this real person, not a person, less a person, more a person talk sure sounds a lot like how people have talked about slaves, invalids, insane people, and others. There's good reason to draw a bright line for personhood

Amen!!

and very astute.

JAL said...

even after birth has no personality for some time.

Hahahahahahaha

wv = disses
Kanye disses
Phos Phos disses
Lotsod disses in this thread

JAL said...

That was "lots of disses"

wv nuckgers
worse than disses?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't remember the figure, but I remember reading once that a large percentage of conceptions spontaneously abort during the first menstruation following fertilization

I think that the distinction is between "spontaneous" and "deliberate".

Spontaneous termination of pregnancy is a natural process that is meant to eliminate 'mistakes' or 'anomalies'. Evolution and natural selection in process

Abortion is unnatural and perverted. Killing viable living human beings for convenience and at human whim.

One is natural. The other is depraved and evil.

Joan said...

This was to explain away the logical inconsistencies of the Immaculate Conception. To be immaculate, Jesus must have had a soul at the moment he was conceived inside the Virgin Mary.

Cedarford, you have this so very wrong it isn't even funny. The Immaculate Conception was the conception of Mary free of original sin. The thinking goes like this: Mary was immaculately conceived, that is conceived without original sin, so that she could be the vessel who would bear God within her. God could not reside in a sinful body. Marion dogmas are relatively late additions to the faith, but they are entirely consistent with what came before.

Mary's conception of Jesus is referred to as the Virgin Birth. People get this wrong all the time, but I'm surprised at you.

Ensoulment is too significant an issue to explicate here. I refer you to this excellent article for the rational behind "abandoning" the idea of delayed ensoulment.

But hey, thanks for giving me the opportunity to review these doctrines again.

bagoh20 said...

Well all this talk of personhood is really just me. It seems to hit a nerve, but I'm not making a judgment about how much of a person any entity is - the word is just a placeholder for how much of our human rights we give them. I really can't think of a better word. I'm just trying to learn where I stand. Believe it or not, this commenter might not have a stone hard opinion to stuff down everyones gullet. I really don't.

Seems to me that the central question is: When do we get our right to live (our personhood). At that point, nobody, including our mother carrying us, has the right to take our life for convenience.

As we have discussed here, even the full person's life can be taken in order to save another. Or is that not agreed?

Cedarford said...

DBQ - "Spontaneous termination of pregnancy is a natural process that is meant to eliminate 'mistakes' or 'anomalies'. Evolution and natural selection in process

Abortion is unnatural and perverted. Killing viable living human beings for convenience and at human whim.

One is natural. The other is depraved and evil."

Not really. Reproduction is sloppy. And full of errors.

Many fertilized eggs simply fail to lodge and implant in the uterus. What women do, what they eat, what medications thay take can shift odds. God, if he exists, doesn't seem to care much that he designed it so that only one in a thousand fertilized frog eggs survives to become a frog, or that 30% of fertilized human eggs fail to implant and end their lives on a discarded tampon or a trip down the septic pipes.

For the genetically defective, God or evolution gave female mammals - with limited years of fertility - the partial ability to weed out the genetically unfit. Better for species survival if valuable gestational time is not wasted on defective offspring.

And if the "natural abortion clinic" in a woman misses a bad seed, I see no reason why a backup to weed out the unfit done by medical people is somehow "perverse".

Or if Gods wonderful creation threatens to kill the mother or gravely impede her health or ability to have further offspring.

The argument that each human egg is "precious new life, genetically distinct from it's ancestor life" and for that reason should be allowed to grow and flourish can also be applied to cancer cells.

====================
Joan - I'm not a catholic. But what I know about this was told to me by Catholics. I do know the Pope that lived in the 19th Century that ruled on Immaculate Conception also declared - partially based on his theories on that, that Jesus had a full soul at conception and that because all ensoulment must happen at conception, previous Papal rulings defining life and ensoulment as beginning with the quickening were wrong. And henceforth, all abortion was a mortal sin..

former law student said...

Pius IX, but the doctrine of Immaculate Conception (Mary alone of all ordinary human beings since Adam and Eve escaped the taint of original sin) has not much to do with when human beings get their souls.

BJM said...

@Freeman, you're skewing my words, I did not say 36 million aborted fetuses were worth the trade off for the right to make a medical decision to terminate a pregnancy when the fetus is dead.

Fortunately, I've not been in a position that I've had to make that decision, but do I want to take the right from other women?

No.

As a nation we are about to be asked to decide end of life rights as numbers of the elderly increase dramatically.

My answer is the same; that law/the government should not interfere in end of life decisions either.

Revenant said...

And all this real person, not a person, less a person, more a person talk sure sounds a lot like how people have talked about slaves, invalids, insane people, and others.

It also sounds like how people talk about rocks, dogs, trees, and birds. Refusing to distinguish between people and non-people doesn't make you thoughtful, moral, or cautious. It just makes you incapable of drawing reasoned distinctions between categories of being.

Joan said...

Joan - I'm not a catholic. But what I know about this was told to me by Catholics.

Cedarford. Dude. I know you're not Catholic like I know how you feel about the Jews. I did not arrive chez Althouse yesterday or even last year.

You might consider that what you were told by those Catholics you know was inaccurate or poorly reasoned, or that you have misremembered. You might consider checking those links I included in my last reply if you want to know what the Catholic doctrine really is.

I completely understand if you're not up for that, but if that's the case, do yourself a favor and don't talk about the Immaculate Conception, because you don't know what you're talking about.

blake said...

I'm pretty sure if the only question were whether a woman could get an abortion to save her life or not, this wouldn't be much of a hot button.

Shanna said...

And if the "natural abortion clinic" in a woman misses a bad seed, I see no reason why a backup to weed out the unfit done by medical people is somehow "perverse".

Because we're not talking about "bad seeds" we're talking about people who can't be bothered with birth control who just go out and get an abortion because they don't feel like having a baby. You may consider that defensible (and I can certainly see first trimester arguments as valid) but it's not the same thing.

former law student said...

I'm pretty sure if the only question were whether a woman could get an abortion to save her life or not, this wouldn't be much of a hot button.

Read Packer & Gampell, Therapeutic Abortion: A Problem in Law and Medicine, 11 Stan. L. Rev. 417 (1959), and think again.

At that time, (the 50s) physician review boards decided whether your life was at risk, such that you deserved a therapeutic abortion. But in practice the standard for "life at risk" was much lower.

Packer was a big name law professor, and Gampell was an ENT doc who was studying law. Per a summary I pulled from the North Carolina Law Review http://www.forerunner.com/fyi/history/nclr060168.htm:

In 1959 Packer and Gampell[77] submitted eleven hypothetical abortion applications to over twenty California hospitals. Of the eleven situations, two clearly required abortion to save the life of the mother and were hence legal. Two others were penumbral,
[78] and seven had been formulated as sensitive instances which were nonetheless clearly illegal.[79] The results showed that each hypothetical case would have been accepted for therapeutic abortion in at least one hospital.

Examples from the footnotes:

[78] Id. In a typical psychiatric-abortion setting the woman was thirty- eight years old and had given birth to six children within ten years. After each of the last three births she had suffered from acute depression. She was then pregnant for a seventh time. Ten of the hospitals approved the ease; twelve rejected it. Id. at 433-34.

[79] Id. The case of rubella (German measles) can hardly be thought to endanger the mother's life. Yet six hospitals approved abortion in this instance. Sixteen rejected it. Id. at 434-35. In New York City alone 329 hospital abortions were performed for rubella during the 1964 epidemic. Hall, Present Abortion Practices in Hospitals of New York State, 23 N.Y. MED. 124, 125 (1967).

Shanna said...

Post partum is no joke, but I can see why that’s a controversial case. I don’t think that’s exactly what most people think of when you are talking about saving the life of the mother.

I don't know what the deal is with the rubella. That might require some googling.

Synova said...

FLS, that's sounds a bit like I'd expect for the 1950's. It sort of sucked to *have* a baby then, too, because the system was extremely patriarchial and doctors were gods.

The old "stolen baby" movie drama of the woman who gives birth and then is told that her baby died wouldn't be credible today, and it was, then.

There were also not reliable and safe contraceptives. Which changes the equation in significant ways. Most of the women then could not have even imagined that their push to make abortion legal (and safe!) would result in anything but the very rare and very desperate abused and probably pregnant-by-rape young woman seeking an abortion.

I don't know how hospitals and doctors decide, today, to perform a medically necessary abortion. I do know a friend who had two (for tubal pregnancies) in military hospitals during a time the military was expressly forbidden to perform abortions. If regular hospitals send patients to abortion clinics for these procedures it's inexcusable.

Synova said...

The post partum depression case makes more sense in the absence of routine tubal litigation or oral contraceptives and also in light of the assumption that the woman wouldn't have adequate assistance in the home.

Doctors didn't keep women for a week after a normal birth in the 1950's because it took that long for her to recover. They did it because if she had small children at home they assumed that she'd be expected to do 100% of the child care the minute she walked in the door.