March 6, 2012

Have you heard about the Online Underground-high-speed Railroad System or OURS and the Fugitive Non-Human Commodity Act?

If so, you've been reading the Isthmus forum discussion that began with Jason Joyce asking what Rick Santorum could have meant by the "grave moral wrong" of birth control. Kenneth Burns responded with the conventional snark: "It's that every sperm is sacred." Meade said:
How do you define "birth control", Jason? Does abortion qualify as birth control? How about late-term abortion? (You can google "late term abortion" and watch a video of one if you don't know what that is.)
That was inflammatory and distracting, but it highlighted the limit built into the term "contraception" that's missing from "birth control."

Attacks on Meade follow, including some weird sexism. Somebody calls him "Lawrence Elizabeth Meade." That commenter drags me in — even though I've never commented at Isthmus: "What's Mrs. Althouse's medical history on the subject?" (Note the sexism of using "Mrs." on a woman who has kept her maiden name.)

It's really hard to get people to focus on the question, which demands that people who don't agree with Santorum put themselves inside his head and understand how he experiences the idea that birth control is gravely wrong. It's especially hard when you introduce the actual policy question of whether people who believe it's a grave moral wrong should pay into an insurance fund that reimburses people who use it. Does the involvement in moral wrong carry over to that indirect connection to it? I would have said no, but Meade made the analogy to slavery:
Suppose Congress, in 1850, passed a law mandating every American citizen purchase group insurance to cover the loss of cargo ships. Including slave ships. Would you have been down with that?
Of course, people rankled at the analogy to slavery. Meade invited people to point out the flaws in the analogy, which they hadn't done, and said, "it's actually a very good analogy""
In fact, working with my slavery analogy, here is a hypothetical that might help. Jason with his struggle to understand why some people consider some acts to be "grave moral wrongs" while others do not:

Let's say that sometime in the future, northern states pass laws removing all restrictions on abortion while southern states strictly limit legal abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Technological innovations and advances have made it possible to save the lives of aborted fetuses - 20 weeks and older - and to bring them to term.

There develops a covert system of collecting the aborted fetuses from the northern states' clinics and safely transporting them to the south where pro-life activists in southern states then incubate, "birth", and raise those children to then have pro-life values. The network becomes known as the Online Underground-high-speed Railroad System or OURS. Pro-life activists who covertly rescue the fetuses from northern clinics become known as COWs, short for "Catchers Of the Wry".

It turns out that, in northern states, the biological parents of the fetuses learn of OURS and object to what they consider to be an infringement on their constitutional property rights and they want their property/progeny returned. With their political power, the northern states pass through Congress, as part of what is known as the Compromise of 2050, an act requiring the southern states to return the aborted (now) free-born children, declaring that all rescued fetuses be brought back to their masters... I mean, parents... I mean, pro-choice proprietary DNA-owning provider owners.

The act is called the Fugitive Non-Human Commodity Act.

Which side are you on? The North? Or the South?

124 comments:

Scott M said...

I would move to Kansas or Missouri and sell all property anywhere in the vicinity of zip code 29482.

Lyssa said...

This is such a weird blog.

Scott M said...

This is such a weird blog.

Am not.

mariner said...

I think you have a very smart husband, and he's done an excellent job with his extended analogy.

Give 'em hell, Larry!

Meade said...

This is such a weird blog.

Am not.

Were so.

Surfed said...

Importation of slaves into the United States was illegal in 1850. It was outlawed in 1807.

Pastafarian said...

"Catchers of the Wry." I think people just outside of my office wonder what the hell I'm doing in here during lunch, laughing like a lunatic.

dbp said...

Mead's analogy can be drawn further and likened the the Dred Scott decision if the children brought North under the Fugitive Non-Human Commodity Act are given post-term abortions.

Meade said...

Surfed said...
"Importation of slaves into the United States was illegal in 1850. It was outlawed in 1807."

Yes. Good point. Let's call it the Affordable Cargo Care Act of 1807.

rhhardin said...

Slavery ended when it could no longer be justified.

It had been to the victors go the spoils of war, now no longer economically advantageous, and so it made little sense.

The arguments for it had to move to places where they made not much sense, like inherent slave inferiority, and so they eventually lost.

The moral argument arose in that void.

Coleridge wrote, of hypothetical moral cases, that they serve to dull the moral sense; meaning that the moral sense arises from everyday life. Hypotheticals avoid that, supposing principles must be at work; which is not true.

Lyssa said...

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if it would be useful to have a national policy debate on birth control. Not whether it is wrong or right, but just the actual effects of it.

I've been on birth control (for the usual reasons - I'm not trying to claim some illness or *need*) for the great majority of my reproductively mature life. I'm not complaining about that at all. While on birth control, I've been able to plot out a pretty good life. I've had over 10 years of wonderful marriage, I've gotten a B.S. and a J.D., both with honors, I've purchased houses much nicer than anything my parents owned, I've taken some great trips, and I look fantastic in a bikini.

Are those things worth it? Sure. Does that mean that there haven't been any negatives, or that there aren't negatives for women who haven't been as lucky/deliberate/mature/smart/etc.?

Does it mean that my health status is not changed because of it? I don't know, though I know that, as I transition off of contraception, I'm far out of touch with my natural, and pretty weird, cycle, and I wish I understood it better. I'm also kind of interested in this theory that it gets into the water supply.

Are there social negatives (again, not neccessarily ones that outweigh the positives)? I think so - women in my peer group are pressured to achieve during our 20's and early 30's, and not think about motherhood. I know a lot of women who practiced birth control until everything was "just right" to stop, then suddenly found that it was edging on too late. Add to that the permissiveness that can take away the specialness of sex.

But we can't have that discussion. If you so much as suggest that birth control may have some drawbacks, it is interpreted in most circles as if you want to prohibit it for everyone. You can't just ask questions; people are just too sensitive.

Not that I'm defending Santorum here. There's a place for that discussion, but that place is NOT an presidental election.

wdnelson93 said...

Go Meade!

The parallels are abundant, not the least of which is the "non-person" status of slaves and infants - born and pre-born. People are debating whether infants are persons with the same rights as adults. If the rights of personhood are taken from infants (including the unborn) who have only the potential to become persons (in the opinion of the Left) what rights do the Alzheimers-affected elderly, who by that definition are rapidly losing their personhood, have? And what about the mentally disabled? Who decides where the lines should be drawn?

This is a hot issue right now in Oklahoma. Google "anti-personhood campaign" and OK is all over it.

Scott M said...

Coleridge wrote, of hypothetical moral cases, that they serve to dull the moral sense; meaning that the moral sense arises from everyday life. Hypotheticals avoid that, supposing principles must be at work; which is not true.

Am not.

traditionalguy said...

Cogent discussion...like high speed ping pong.

The "Humans as Commodities" is the base assumption that infects Liberal's computer models and it gets them to the wrong result every time they run facts through it.

Meade nicely diagnosed that problem.

Like ancient Athens, they Madison locals love discussing a new idea they never heard of before.

phx said...

It's really hard to get people to focus on the question, which demands that people who don't agree with Santorum put themselves inside his head and understand how he experiences the idea that birth control is gravely wrong.

That wouldn't be hard for Santorum to explain would it? He could find a willing forum undoubtedly. I think it's a gesture of good faith for any candidate to explain not just what but the how and why of their thinking.

phx said...

Gesture of "good faith". Ha. More like good will though.

Surfed said...

It would have caused an international tift. Most of the insurance business of the world was run through London at the time. Specifically maritime insurance. The British outlawed slavery in 1803 and sent warships to patrol the coast of west Afrika. This was several years before the United States followed suit. So we would have London insurers providing coverage for Yankee bottoms that delivered slaves to the south potentially stopped by Admiralty gunboats and insurance claims forwith from... Pretzel logic. Analogies can only be carried so far and I've let a good one get away from me here.

Crimso said...

'Note the sexism of using "Mrs." on a woman who has kept her maiden name.'

"maiden?"

"they want their property/progeny returned"

Dredful.

Meade said...

"But we can't have that discussion. If you so much as suggest that birth control may have some drawbacks, it is interpreted in most circles as if you want to prohibit it for everyone. You can't just ask questions; people are just too sensitive.

Not that I'm defending Santorum here. There's a place for that discussion, but that place is NOT an presidental election."

Lyssa, is it possible that perhaps it might just be, you know... that time of month for you?

Surfed said...

Regardless. That's a fine piece of original thinking Mr. Mead. Fine indeed. I shall use soon in conversation. Thank you ever so much.

Meade said...

Trusting Lyssa appreciates my edgy humor. Don't want to end up like El Rushbo. (Oh please oh please oh please!)

Henry said...

O brave new world that has such non-people in it.

Crimso said...

"I think it's a gesture of good faith for any candidate to explain not just what but the how and why of their thinking."

Except Obama, of course. Fairness is not an adequate "how and why" for either increasing capital gains taxes or spreading the wealth around. I'd bet that if he were to give a detailed and full accounting of his underlying thought processes, many people who thought he was swell (including many coeds) would finally see that he is some derivative form of Marxist. And note that I doubt he is a true Marxist, just enamored of many of the same ideas.

Brennan said...

Rick Santorum lacks boobs. Being a boob is insufficient. One must have them, or have had them, to claim the moral high ground to properly define what is and isn't contraception.

Meade said...

Surfed said...
"Analogies can only be carried so far and I've let a good one get away from me here."

No no - thanks for your contributions. And for everyone's. Much appreciated.

Nathan Alexander said...

Slavery ended when it could no longer be justified.

It had been to the victors go the spoils of war, now no longer economically advantageous, and so it made little sense.

The arguments for it had to move to places where they made not much sense, like inherent slave inferiority, and so they eventually lost.

The moral argument arose in that void.


And isn't that exactly why liberals and Planned Parenthood objected to VA requiring an ultrasound before being able to schedule an abortion?

Because seeing a baby in the ultrasound image makes the argument move to a place where "surgical procedure to remove a lump of cells" no longer makes sense, and the argument for abortion being a "right" of the pregnant woman no longer makes sense.

And from there, it is an extremely short step to widespread acceptance of the moral argument that "life and right to life begins at conception" filling the void...

Therefore (liberals have obviously concluded) that line of argument must be aborted before it implants and grows...

Lyssa said...

Oh, fuck off, Lawrence Elizabeth Meade.

(:

Mary Martha said...

I have found that using the slavery comparison to abortion is very, very solid... and generally ignored by those who support legalized abortion.

When someone says to me "Don't like abortion? Then don't have one!" like they are some sort of genius I respond "Don't like slavery? Then don't own one!". I have never gotten quite as far into the weeds as Meade did there... but I am impressed.

History shows us again and again and again that whenever a group is defined as 'sub-human' and treated accordingly it is *eventually* recognized as very, very wrong.

Henry said...

I can't find a link right now, but I'm pretty sure one of my socialist friends used U.S. mandated maritime insurance in the Jeffersonian era as support for Obama's health insurance mandate.

I wonder if Meade was knowingly riffing on that.

I wish I had thought of the slave ship rejoinder.

Lyssa said...

(Note the sexism of using "Mrs." on a woman who has kept her maiden name.)

It seems a lot more sexist that they a) insult Meade by calling him a woman's name, and b) insult Meade and Althouse for not having a relationship with traditional (1950's sitcom) sex roles.

phx said...

History shows us again and again and again that whenever a group is defined as 'sub-human' and treated accordingly it is *eventually* recognized as very, very wrong.

I'm not trying to be disingenuous. I think this particular argument however sooner or later opens the door to animal rights advocacy.

Would that be a bad thing?

Coketown said...

The British outlawed slavery in 1803 and sent warships to patrol the coast of west Afrika.

Correction/clarification: They outlawed the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807. Slavery remained legal until 1833.

I know he's a big flaming lefty, but Adam Hochschild wrote a fantastic history of the abolition movement with "Bury the Chains." He emphasizes, rightly, the Christian nature of the movement and keeps the snarky parallels between the slave trade and modern American injustices to a minimum--but he's a liberal so of course there are a few sprinkled throughout.

Most fascinating, though, are the parallels between the abolition movement and the pro-life movement of today. Particularly interesting is how visual media (the Brookes slave ship plan vs. photos of aborted babies) evoke a visceral response from both sides of the debate. Pro-slavery groups protested as intensely and in much the same language against the Brookes image being passed around in pamphlets as pro-choice groups today protest against images of aborted babies. I guess the truth is a little too real for some people.

Surfed said...

And a metaphorical Charleston Harbour of Apri, 2061? Where's the flashpoint. Along or across what geographical faultline? Or would it be an election as opposed to a place? Or an election in/of a place? There is potential for a novel here...non withstanding the allusion to 'Catcher of the Wry'.

Henry said...

I have found that using the slavery comparison to abortion is very, very solid... and generally ignored by those who support legalized abortion.

I think it's in the ball park. But I also think the same analogy applies to eating meat.

In some future society in which certain behaviors have been made so unnecessary as to be archaic, what will seem most barbaric to them about us?

Surfed said...

@Coketown - I stand corrected sir. Thank you.

shiloh said...

"Trusting Lyssa appreciates my edgy humor"

Please define edgy? Rep humor being such an undefined concept. :-P

Meade said...

LOLALULLCB!

(Laughing Out Loud At Lyssa's Un Lady Like Come Back)

Meade said...

Shiloh, edgy, in this instance, is used as in "take one more step in that direction, buster, and you will be off the edge and into the pit of political correctness hell."

Nathan Alexander said...

@Henry and phx,
One problem: treating humans as sub-/non-humans is eventually recognized as very, very wrong.

Treating non-humans as non-humans is normal, natural, and logical.

So it only applies to eating meat in the idea that cannibalism is wrong.

Treating pets as sub-human is charity/generosity, and is a big advantage (i.e., species survival "strategy") of domestication.

shiloh said...

Please define hell? :D

btw, getting to hell can be half the fun!

Sigivald said...

I have noted in general debate, and especially here, that people often make no attempt at all (or, if they do, are utterly incapable of managing it) to actually understand the other side's viewpoint.

Which has the negative (from the point of view of someone trying to actually convince anyone) side effect of making it impossible for them to ever change the other guy's mind.

(To quote Chesterton, "Without understanding his case and his merits, we cannot even hurt him."

You can't even effectually attack something you have to misrepresent even to yourself - whether deliberately as a tactic, or because you can't or won't understand it.)

Paul said...

jjoyce wrote: Religion must be relevant and conversant with modern society.

Yes, clever branding is indeed a strong tonic for mortal dread. Let's all crack open a New Coke and embrace the void!

Henry said...

@Nathan - You're providing a normative explanation. We currently think a certain way, so that is the way people must think "eventually".

I posit a more pragmatic scenario. If a people's normal experience does not include something (eating meat), that people's historians will treat us meat eaters as barbarians. Ethical behavior starts with the resources to act ethically.

I also offer you a personal anecdote. In the early 1900s my grandfather spent several years in Europe. This son of Utah farmers was appalled by the way the peasant farmers treated animals.

I wonder what he would think of modern feed lots.

We live in a culture in which a rich, famous man is sent to prison for dog fighting. In the same culture we remove the beaks from chickens so they won't injure themselves in the tiny cages they live in to lay eggs for us to eat.

There may be an ethical "eventually" but it isn't now.

Scott M said...

There may be an ethical "eventually" but it isn't now.

There will never be "an" ethical, in the singular sense, as long as there are three humans.

Henry said...

Hi Scott,

I was using "ethical" as an adjective to modify "eventually" as a noun. I could have used "ethical eventuality" to be grammatically correct, but I wanted to reference Nathan's use of "eventually". Thus the quotes.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

shiloh,

Please define edgy? Rep humor being such an undefined concept. :-P

Spoken like one who's never read P. J. O'Rourke, Florence King, or Mark Steyn. (Or even George Will in his frisky 70's days. His review of The Joy of Sex was priceless.)

Bob_R said...

If a law is necessary and good then religious exemptions don't make sense. Contrapositive: if religious exemptions make sense then the law was unnecessary and dumb in the first place. Religious exemptions to human sacrifice don't make sense, religious exemptions to Obamacare and the ACCA 1807 do. (I'm pondering over which law is dumber: Obamacare or the Affordable Cargo Care Act of 1807.) In principle I'm against religious exemptions - just repeal the dumb law.

Rusty said...

Lyssa said...
This is such a weird blog.


Well. 'Protien Wisdom' makes this look tame MOST of the time, then there's this shit.

Lem said...

The network becomes known as the Online Underground-high-speed Railroad System or OURS.

Way to go Meade.. putting libs in a bind, having to say no to a sacred COW, a high-speed railroad.

Titus said...

Lyssa needs to post pic in bikini.

tits.

Bender said...

If you so much as suggest that birth control may have some drawbacks, it is interpreted in most circles as if you want to prohibit it for everyone.

You mean there might be some drawbacks? You mean that contraception might not be the HIGHEST AND SUPREME GOOD that it is made out to be?

Do you mean that there might be something, a little something wrong with so many men adovcating that women be chemically subjugated, enslaved to powerful hormones coursing through their veins, just so that men, like dogs, can continue to treat women like spayed bitches, being able to hump them without consequences?

There is something wrong with men trying to hold women down like that?

shiloh said...

"Spoken like one who's never read P. J. O'Rourke

3/6/12 12:54 PM"

hmm, I just posted about P.J. at another blog lol.

And this blog is on CST, so my post was about (3) minutes before yours.

And yes, P.J. is funny 'cause he doesn't take himself too seriously, unlike the many conservative comedic wannabes here.

>

btw, it's really hard to be funny when you have to deal w/WV. :-P

wyo sis said...

This thing is just rife with weird sexism. And weirdness in general.

Meade's analogy is pretty good though, I may use it, but without the later references to time of the month, which is so far out there it has it's own atmosphere.

ken in sc said...

My wife of 25 years, still uses her maiden name. I find it amusing that she thinks her father's last name is more feminist than my father's last name.

Brennan said...

I have noted in general debate, and especially here, that people often make no attempt at all (or, if they do, are utterly incapable of managing it) to actually understand the other side's viewpoint.

Yep. Can that be turned into a lyric for a song? It needs to be.

In fact, Rick Santorum had a pretty good exchange with Barbara Boxer about when a bunch of cells becomes a baby. "Feet wiggly" is I believe where Boxer accepts a definition.

My starting point when engaging in this debate is to admit and recognize that Planned Parenthood is the most successful organization in all of human history at propagating mythology to otherwise well accredited intellectuals. How that trickles down to the culture warriors is debate devouring tornado.

They have constructed an excellent temple with a systematic expulsion of heretics. Norma McCorvey never saw it coming.

Scott M said...

My wife of 25 years, still uses her maiden name. I find it amusing that she thinks her father's last name is more feminist than my father's last name.

Ziiiiing. Well-crafted, sir.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

shiloh,

And yes, P.J. is funny 'cause he doesn't take himself too seriously, unlike the many conservative comedic wannabes here.

Hey, if you like O'Rourke, seriously (!) you ought to read King and Steyn. King is retired now, but The Florence King Reader is just indispensable. For When Sisterhood Was In Flower if nothing else. I love Saki and Wodehouse, but no other book ever made me laugh out loud as often as that one.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

ken in sc,

My wife of 25 years, still uses her maiden name. I find it amusing that she thinks her father's last name is more feminist than my father's last name.

I use my maiden and married names (cf. "Hillary Rodham Clinton") because I'm my parents' only surviving child, and am childless myself, and I want my parents to know that I honor them. Also, a lot of my documents are still in my maiden name. I'm surnamed "Dulak" in some contexts, "Thomson" in others, but I do not leave out the "Dulak."

Fr Martin Fox said...

As someone else noted, with a lot of folks it's impossible to have a conversation about contraception that doesn't turn into "you want to ban it."

Note how the current public-policy discussion is taking that very turn.

I'm not a Jehovah's Witness, and I don't agree with the no-transfusions thing. But I am pretty sure I could manage to try to get into the head/heart of such a person to see why s/he feels so strongly.

Why it's so hard for so many to take the effort to see why many people object to contraception, bears some reflection.

Also: does it not seem to anyone else that we're perilously close to saying that a faithful Catholic is disqualified for the presidency--because he might actually believe contraception is a bad thing?

Disclaimer: I'm not for Santorum. But something is deeply wrong in this country if that's where we've arrived.

And it's remarkably ironic to have this new attitude of exclusion--if it's really there--emanating from the "liberal" camp.

It does remind me of a point C.S. Lewis used to make (my paraphrase): don't be so snooty about looking down on the prejudices of the past; you have your own that a future generation will find just as repulsive, and rightly so.

Fr Martin Fox said...

About distinctions...

It strikes me as odd that people offer as a serious point that when you make certain distinctions--such as before or after conception, or that you object to distinctions as arbitrary--such as the distinction between a baby/fetus born vs. unborn, that the discussion goes down the road of, what about animal rights, etc.

It's back to getting into the mindset of others: is it really that hard to understand why a lot of people (not just Catholics) make a wide distinction between a sperm or egg cell, on the one hand, and a newly conceived embryo on the other?

I fully understand that people will argue that a fetus or newborn has greater moral claim than an embryo, because I hear them explain their basis. And I disagree with it, for reasons I can explain if they're not clear.

But some folks are either dishonest or dim, in how they approach these matters.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Folks can blame Santorum for contraception being thrust upon us all as a quasi-public-policy topic, but not really.

It seems to me Obama deserves the credit or blame.

Someone post the legislation that's been proposed to restrict the sale of, or access to, contraceptives.

This became a public policy issue because of the HHS mandate.

Matthew said...

"He could find a willing forum undoubtedly."

-- Wasn't he booed and shouted down for 15 minutes straight when he tried to speak over the weekend?

It's almost like even at willing forums, people try to shut him up. And this is coming from a not-Santorum supporter.

Jane said...

On the actual topic at hand, contraception: it's undeniable that the availability of ever-more effective drugs and devices has not reduced abortion rates; perhaps it's even had the opposite effect. It goes like this: in the Olden Days, one might use a condom to avoid pregnancy, but would never imagine that it's foolproof, and, as such, women generally only put out for men they expected would be prevailed upon to marry and support any resulting children. Now, the high rates of effectiveness produce a mindset that effectiveness is guaranteed, and, hence, abortion is almost a moral right because of the "right" to never be pregnant, no matter what.

So if one is pro-life, contraception is a real mixed bag. (Of course, someone who is OK with abortion will just uncomprehendingly say, "but I do have an absolute legal and moral right to never be pregnant, no matter what.")

We've also now gotten ourselvs into a situation in which family planning is 100% the woman's responsibility, now even more so with the new mandate. "Ask Amy" and her advice column colleagues have published untold numbers of letters from men (or their parents or siblings) whose girlfriends (or even wives) got pregnant unintentionally, and it's always blamed as "her fault" for trying to "trick" him into becoming a father. Even though a man has no legal right to refuse to support a child he's fathered, even if unintentionally, men often -- as a result of the promise of birth control -- feel they have a moral right to do so ("hey, I offered to pay for an abortion, so it's her responsbility now).

I'm not saying that women should leave the matter up to chance, but, as a society, contraception has had some mixed results.

Seriously.

phx said...

I'm somewhat to the left of Lyssa and Fr Martin Fox. I'd respond to what they both said here first by saying that I agree that many of the ideas they propose to bring into the discussion are worthwhile for all of us to consider.

It's extremely hard for people to hear what is being said from one side, if someone on that same side suddenly introduces highly charged fallacies or namecalling into the discussion. Suddenly nobody can hear what others are trying to discuss in good faith. All they hear are the names. That's human nature, it can be overcome but it takes work and patience.

To pretend it's only a problem with one or the other side is one of the things that break down the conversation. Right now, with "slut" ringing in the air and all the attendant nonsense from both sides that followed, it's difficult to get back on track. Not saying it's impossible.

If you believe we can all go forward in the discussion, then you have to acknowledge the challenges I think.

phx said...

Matthew maybe an interview is the better place for a detailed, uninterrupted discussion of your controversial religious beliefs.

Matthew said...

"Why it's so hard for so many to take the effort to see why many people object to contraception, bears some reflection"

-- The same reason people find it hard to understand any objection or acceptance they don't share. Different is different, and therefore odd.

phx said...

I meant of Santorum's controversial beliefs.

shiloh said...

"Hey, if you like O'Rourke, seriously (!) you ought to read King and Steyn."

Michelle, I'll take it under advisement, seriously. :)

And on behalf of all late night comics, I'd also like to thank Romney/Santorum for their "comic relief" the past couple mos.

Lyssa said...

Phx at12: 27, I think you're absolutely right, and thats why Rush blew this one. (Not that that in any way excuses the rank hypocrisy on the left on this one, of course.)

galdosiana said...

Could Meade turn this into a novel? Because I would seriously read it.

maj said...

Yes, Meade, a novel, you should!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

shiloh,

Michelle, I'll take it under advisement, seriously. :)

You won't regret it. Steyn's After America is certainly the most hilarious "the world is ending and we're all gonna DIE" book ever written. And King is just nonpareil.

And on behalf of all late night comics, I'd also like to thank Romney/Santorum for their "comic relief" the past couple mos.

If you get up at 5 a.m., you don't get much of the late night comics, alas. The week's zingers used to show up on ABC's "This Week," but not since George Stephanopoulos took it back over last month. Anyway, has Romney really provided much comic relief?

David said...

First of all, in 2050 I am dead. But if via another technological advance I am living and competent at the time, I think this is what it would take to get me to move to Canada.

wildswan said...

The Novel

The reason the Northern parents want their slaves - oops - children - oops, commodities returned would be that the birth rate had fallen so far that the UN was going to take over the northern states because they were a failed society. All subsidies including Social Security were going to be cut off and a fence run along the border and no one would go there anymore till the riots and destruction were over. But some one had worked it out that if the children were returned then the birth rate would be high enough to keep the subsidies. But the North was only going to count the "Jellyblobs" as 2/5ths of a person.

David said...

Here's one for the lefties to chew on.

Legalized Abortion Made George W. Bush President!!

A significant number of the aborted black non persons (in the lefty view) from Florida would have been of voting age in the year 2000 had they ever been born. If they followed the normal pattern and voted 95% for Gore, Gore would have won the election. Thus the nation would have been saved.

Rusty said...

Isn't there some salvage law in play here?
After all one party considered it garbage and killed it and then threw it away.
Along comes somebody else and picks it up and uses it. Indeed cherishes it.
What claim does the original owner have on the child once it was thrown away?

Smilin' Jack said...

It's back to getting into the mindset of others: is it really that hard to understand why a lot of people (not just Catholics) make a wide distinction between a sperm or egg cell, on the one hand, and a newly conceived embryo on the other?

I fully understand that people will argue that a fetus or newborn has greater moral claim than an embryo, because I hear them explain their basis. And I disagree with it, for reasons I can explain if they're not clear.


Oh, please do. We have so much to learn from the long and glorious tradition of Catholic moral reasoning. Besides, if we don't learn it you'll burn us at the stake as heretics, right? Or has your God, like, evolved beyond that these days, or something?

YoungHegelian said...

Do you know hat public figure early on in his public career publicly made the analogy between slavery and abortion?

Jesse Jackson.

He got smacked around for it so hard by the liberal establishment that he never wandered off the reservation again.

I wonder what he really thinks of it in his heart of hearts.

Fen said...

Smilin Jack: We have so much to learn from the long and glorious tradition of Catholic moral reasoning.

Our code of law is based on such judeo-christian moral reasoning. Or didn't you know that?

Besides, if we don't learn it you'll burn us at the stake as heretics, right?

No, thats what liberals do. And is probrably why you've embraced their "brand" without reflection. You're a coward afraid the "cool kids" won't let you play with them if you question liberal canon.

Now go back to supplicating yourself to Gaia and Obama.

YoungHegelian said...

@smiling jack,

Actually, shithead, you do have a lot to learn from Catholic moral tradition, because it is one of the best developed moral traditions in the world, both at the level of moral philosophy and at the level of moral cases (casuistry).

The Christians are the people who bring natural right morality into the modern world from the ancient Greeks and Romans. So, you want to throw out Aristotle, Plato, and the Stoics out with that bathwater, too?

Only someone who has never, ever, had any training in moral philosophy could make a comment that stupid.

Fen said...

Hey Jack, is Murder wrong? Should society allow it? Why not?

Show your work. We'd like to see if you can actually think for yourself.

Fen said...

Only someone who has never, ever, had any training in moral philosophy could make a comment that stupid.

Oh, I'm sure it was part of his liberal arts path. Moral Philosophy 101: Bush Lied, Troops Died. Or somesuch nonsense.

Nathan Alexander said...

@phx,
You seem to want to try and sound reasonable, but your "reason" is a poisoned well.

You don't even realize it.

The evidence is you post your opinion as if it were fact:'

I meant of Santorum's controversial beliefs.

Who says Santorum's beliefs are controversial?

You?

Does that make them controversial?

Of course not.

If one of your values really *was* reason, reason would inform you that the left's Culture of Death is controversial, and even more of a controversy in that you have been cocooned by the liberal media to think it is mainstream.

Because the future belongs only to those who are present to greet it. It is not reasonable to sacrifice the future for the pleasures of the present...which is exactly what all of liberal ideology promotes. (With the possible exception of measures in response to AGW, but the liberal elite always exempt themselves from the sacrifices, so it probably still doesn't really count)

Bender said...

We have so much to learn from the long and glorious tradition of Catholic moral reasoning.

Like most all of Western Civilization, from universities to science academies to hospitals to social welfare organizations to legal systems.

You're welcome.

Fen said...

And don't forget the Church's courageous stand against the Soviet Union. 2nd only to Reagan.

I think that's a source of liberal contempt - the little marxists will never forgive the Church for their role in vanquishing The Party.

Paddy O said...

Given the majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court, we actually do have a lot to learn from Catholic moral reasoning, which then carries with it the force of law.

Curiously for the present analogy, I think Roger Taney was the first Catholic on the Supreme Court.

Bender said...

And don't forget the Church's courageous stand against the Soviet Union

As I mentioned before, were it not for the Catholic Church, all of Europe would have been conquered by the armies of Islam and you all would be Muslim right now. From Charles Martel to Pope Urban to Queen Isabella to Jan III Sobieski, they all deserve our thanks.

phx said...

Who's Catholic on the SC now?

Paddy O said...

"Who's Catholic on the SC now?"

Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Roberts
Alito
Sotomayor

Penny said...

There's no "me" in "l-i-s-t-e-n".

And you wonder why there's so little of it?

phx said...

SIX Catholics!? Wow!

Penny said...

Some think this "It's all about ME!" happens when a society is saturated with narcissists.

ME? I think it's a sign that people still feel threatened about their survival.

shiloh said...

Yea Catholics!

Michelangelo ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Oh wait! :D

A CPO friend of mine in the navy uttered that probably all priests are gay. At my first political blog, we used to argue the Catholic church child molestation subject religiously ;) er ad nauseam and it was determined that 30% of priests were/are gay, whereas nationally it's 10/15%.

That was (10) years ago and again YMMV.

But I will say going to grade school at a parochial school in the '60s had to be ever so much more "entertaining" than going to a public school.

btw, most of the nuns liked me! :) and the feeling was mutual ... usually.

I still know all of the state capitals and most of the world capitals, name changes the past 30/40 years notwithstanding.

Penny said...

Damn shame that neither science nor religion can ease our minds about that.

Penny said...

So... in the meantime?

Carry on!

Fight! Have fun!

SURVIVE!

phx said...

I'm good with Catholics. I'm sure they'll be happy to hear that.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

phx,

SIX Catholics!? Wow!

What, you only just noticed? Golly.

[WV: "reganty fatestio." That really by rights ought to mean something.]

Nathan Alexander said...

@Henry,
Humans = humans.
That's it. Nothing else equals humans except humans.

Stop eating meat because you think animals = humans (there are other valid reasons to not eat meat, however)? This is where you eventually end up:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VThQr8fDiLA#!

Fr Martin Fox said...

RE: Six Catholics on the Supreme Court...

By the way, I think you'd be hard-pressed to show where we Catholics sought that outcome.

Yes, at one time we'd have sought to be represented there, but that was a long time before any of these folks got there.

These six got there through four presidents of two parties. Two were ethnic panders (Scalia, Sotomayor).

One was race (and Thomas wasn't actually Catholic at that moment; he'd left, and was Episcopalian when nominated; he came back later).

Kennedy was a "who's left?" choice after two others were shot down--Bork is the one we remember (NB: and he's Catholic now, but he was, I think, an atheist at that time).

Finally, I honestly don't know if Roberts or Alito were chosen for their faith; could be, because it might have been how Bush tried to make sure they were pro-life--if he actually cared about that; or at least it might have been he did it so that he could use the "Nobody got fired for buying IBM" defense later if they went sour.

I am actually uncomfortable with six Catholics on the Court. But I can't do anything about it.

Rusty said...

I am actually uncomfortable with six Catholics on the Court. But I can't do anything about it.


Why?
Afraid they'll give you jesus?
And not a one of them can force you to go to church.
Got anything against Jews?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Fr Martin Fox,

Scalia was an ethnic pander nomination? That's the first time I've heard that. Italian-Americans aren't really a large enough or organized enough bloc to bother with in that way. Not now, anyway. Eighty years ago, possibly.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Rusty,

You do realize you're responding to a Catholic priest, right?

Henry said...

@Nathan -- People used to care whether or not animals had souls. Your humans = humans is thin gruel besides a question like that.

Part of being human is thinking about how non-human organisms -- and things should be treated.

I'm not a vegetarian, not even close, but I do think the question of whether to eat meat in a modern society is sincerely challenging.

I also think that you, and Fr. Martin Fox, who I both respect, miss the point of parallel analogies. As animal cruelty is an analogy to slavery, it offers some commonality with abortion as an analogy to slavery. As I said upstream, we live in a culture in which cruelty to a dog is a crime. Why then do we tolerate late term abortions?

AlphaLiberal said...

This is what passes for excitement, eh?

Penny said...

Father?

It's never so much about what you KNOW.

Rather, ALWAYS about what you don't know.

AlphaLiberal said...

And L. Meade is just changing the subject from Republican opposition to contraception to abortion.

Extend the analogy the other way. Half of fertilized eggs don't become zygotes. Therefore, the anti-abortion people are defending a doomed clump of cells half the time, and willing to throw women and doctors in jail over it.

Even when those cells would not have become people.

Well, then, a portion of sperm becomes people. If sperm is spilled for reasons other than well-aimed and -timed procreation, then potential humans will die slow agonizing deaths in kleenex.

Shouldn't those potential humans also deserve protection? Will the Republican Party oppose masturbation next? Is that what that anti-masturbation Christine person who ran for Senate was about?

Join the resistance to the religious state.

Penny said...

That's why we call it LIFE!

No answer to the jiggy of it. Just the motion of the ocean.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Michelle:

RE: Scalia an ethnic pander...

Well, it's been about 25 years, so memories fade; but as I recall, that was an argument made by Reaganites. Also, I am pretty sure he was heralded as the first Italian-American on the court. But it was 25 years ago...

Penny said...

And when you think you just can't handle any more "motion on the ocean", or one more minute of "not knowing"?

Fr Martin Fox said...

By the way, in referring to some of the nominees on the Court as "panders," I am not impugning their qualification for the Court.

I don't have a great deal of respect for Kennedy's reasoning, what I've seen of it, but he wasn't a pander.

Thomas was much derided, but he has won respect among some very thoughtful people who utterly reject his philosophy.

I can't really comment on whether Sotomayor measures up; but we've had some pretty dubious folks named to the court, so I can't say she isn't at least as qualified as they were.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Rusty:

I think Catholics and Jews is all we have on the Supreme Court.

Why there are no Protestants is a very good question, but I'm not touching it.

The one nominee I really wanted was, I'm pretty sure, an Atheist at the time (Robert Bork); he's a Catholic now, I'm pretty sure.

Penny said...

You'd best be sitting on a bench where all are welcomed.

Penny said...

Except Kagan.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I don't like quotas, but with this sort of thing you do get into that.

I'd like to see a mainline Protestant and a couple of Evangelicals.

Heck, throw in a Mormon but Mitt will never put one there.

Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu? I think the Buddhists may be waiting awhile, but a Muslim or a Hindu wouldn't surprise me one of these days.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Penny:

I'm only sort of following you, but I'm OK with that.

That's on me, sometimes I'm dense.

Penny said...

She's special.

Nathan Alexander said...

@Henry,
What about the plants' inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of not getting eaten?!?!

Sorry, there is no comparison. None. Zero.

Animals are animals. Domesticated animals serve a purpose and get treated as sub-humans, and that is a good thing for both sides.

That's as far as it goes.

Animals != humans. No matter how much you try to blur that line.

Deliberate cruelty for no reason is wrong for reasons entirely separate from the mind/awareness of the animal.

The only way to not harm other life in this world is to be dead yourself. So the bright line is human or not human.

...bonus point: the more you try to blur the line between human and animal to not eat meat, the more you assist the pro-choicers in dehumanizing fetuses so they can kill them. Because if animals are deserving of human rights, then what is special about a human? Nothing. So even less special is an unborn human.

You really should consider all the logical conclusions of your theories.

Penny said...

No worries, Father.

I too go to mass.

Penny said...

Different parish for sure.

SeanF said...

AlphaLiberal: "Half of fertilized eggs don't become zygotes."

I don't believe that's true - "fertilized egg" is pretty much the definition of the word "zygote." Did you mean to use another word here?

I'd like to respond to the rest of your argument, but it makes no sense without knowing what you meant to say here (and probably still won't make sense even after knowing).

Fen said...

ALphaLibtard: And Meade is just changing the subject from Republican opposition to contraception to abortion.

Idiot. Republicans don't oppose contraception. We just think you should fund your own sex life, instead of making the Catholic Church go against their religion to pay for it.

You really are stupid.

Fen said...

BTW, what's the point of having a moderation policy if you're going to let Shiloh crap all over every thread?

shiloh said...

Another shout out from my buddy Fen, who is upset edutcher is now my #1 groupie. :D

Rusty said...

Rusty,

You do realize you're responding to a Catholic priest, right?



I do now.


Hi. Father. I'm sorry I was sarcastic with you.
3 our fathers, and 3 hail Marys and we call it good?


BTW I like what you guys are doing for education, college prep.