February 23, 2011

"None of this is about budgets. It’s about crushing enemies. Unions. Government programs. The social safety net. Abortion. Contraception."

Gail Collins gets stream-of-consciousness-y.

420 comments:

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Toad Trend said...

@Fen

"Do I get any superpowers from being slime mold?"

Have to admit I nearly spit out my Sam Adams when I read some of Ritmo's posts last nite, he was on a roll, but, wrong per usual.

He makes some very specious 'arguments', rather, a circular argument that very conveniently fits his cynical worldview.

Of course, Fen, you are infinitely more intelligent than the slime mold Ritmo assigns. He's such a dick.

jr565 said...

And finally Ritmo, the law of biogenesis says that all life comes from preceding life and produces that of it's own kind. So then what else would an embryo be but a human if it's in a human woman's uterus? It's simply a human at a certain stage of development. Just as a toddler is a human at a certain stage of development. Just as a teenager is that same human at a different stage of development.
And note, I haven't once used any religious arguments to justify that a fetus is living. Despite your scientific ratioanale all you can say is that a fetus is simply a clump of cells not even human. Is that really what science says? I think not.

Martin said...

Jeremy said...
...
* The Bible contains over 600 laws governing everything from fabrics to how to cut a beard yet contains no law prohibiting abortion. Jesus never mentioned it. As the Oxford Companion to the Bible notes:
...
2/23/11 3:03 PM

How 'bout this one.
Exodus 21:22-23
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

Took me 5 minutes to find

Martin

former law student said...

Gail Collins gets stream-of-consciousness-y.

By listing bullet points from the GOP platform? Puh-leez.

Revenant said...

By listing bullet points from the GOP platform? Puh-leez.

FLS gets stream-of-consciousness-y.

Revenant said...

And Rev, the argument you were making downthread was that the *people* involved in slavery were inherently evil, not just the institution.

I said nothing of the kind. They were evil because of their thoughts and deeds, not inherently.

Thomas Jefferson? Evil Incarnate.

Now you're just being dumb. Jefferson thought slavery was evil, too. He was legally restricted from freeing his slaves.

Which puts him in quite a different boat from the traitors who rebelled against their country so they could keep theirs.

Nichevo said...

Ritmo - excuse me, C4BDH (tiresome, m'lad; just entre nous) - a few questions if you'll stand for 'em:

1) Your age 18-25, 26-35, 36-50, over 50?

2) Married/committed to a woman?

3) Interested in kids? Now? Some day?

4) Ever been party to an abortion? (Don't answer that.) Prepared to be? Readily or reluctantly?

4a) Ever known a man or woman who was? For how long? How'd they feel about it?

5) Hypothetical:

a) if your woman, with your baby in her belly, were to suffer say an abdominal trauma sufficient to induce miscarriage/spontaneous abortion, would you regard it as inconsequential, a minor annoyance, a blow equal to losing a favored pet, or something far worse, like losing a child?



b) if your woman was about to suffer abdominal trauma, say you annoyed me and I came to punch her in the stomach, would your reaction be on the level of Whew dodged a bullet, Oh bother, Hey don't do that, You're gonna pay for the D&C and any other medical bills afterwards, Help police, You wanna hit her you're gonna have to go through me first, or just Ripping out my throat with your teeth?

b1) Would your reaction differ if she were not pregnant with your child? How so?




Now, C4BDH (good heavens, not to confuse you with C4!), you can snark or crap on me all you want, but I would be interested to know your genuine responses as far as you wish to disclose them. I'm pretty sure you can see where all that leads, so snark and evasion may work best for you.

Oh and

6) If you are wiling to compromise at some point like 'first brain cell' does that mean abortion would be murder at that point and you would oppose it? How about if it's at 3 weeks as someone above linked?

7) Just so you can call me crazy, a Gedankenexperiment:

1.3m abortions/yr...that's pretty close to the whole US prison population. Well about half - forgive Wiki use:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

As of June 2009[update], 2,297,400 were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails.[2][5]

So about half.

So would we be better off continuing with unlimited abortions, or with emptying out the jails every two years?

Which would be the greater wrong?

Which would be better by objective utilitarian measures e.g on the economy, deterrence, net crime?

What if we just kill half of 'em every year? Or what if we just do it once?

Would you prefer the selection be done at random, in order of objectively ranked descending evil (e.g., murderers and rapists first, potsmokers and jaywalkers last), or would you prefer to have the choosing yourself or in the hands of your political allies?

Would you need there to be affirmative action in the reckoning?

Would you feel better if we put all the money saved on incarceration into social programs for the non-aborted children?


...

Now that's ridiculous, but no more so than your jabber about brain cells and starfish. So explore it if you like. You can blame me.

jr565 said...

Nichevo wrote:
If you are wiling to compromise at some point like 'first brain cell' does that mean abortion would be murder at that point and you would oppose it? How about if it's at 3 weeks as someone above linked?


Obviously, since the brain begins developing so early he can't use brain function as a sign of life (even though lack of brain function equals death) and since the heart starts beating so early in the process he can't use a beathing heart as the definition of life, He settled on the nervous system, which develops, I believe, around the 5th month. Yet there are still 3-4 months of development yet. If only babies that are fully developed (whatever that means) are living then that would mean that according to Ritmo even babies born prematurely who need a ventilator to survive are not in fact alive, even though they exhibit all other signs of life. To Ritmo, I guess until they are fully developed they are simply a random clump of cells no different than a starfish. I had no idea that scientists were so clueless about developing life forms. apparenly they look at clumps of cells and think, "it could be a starfish, or it could be a human embryo, we're not too sure". What an idiot Ritmo is.

Also, I'd add to your hypothetical. Suppose Ritmo's gf was pregnant and Ritmo discovered that his gf was drinking, smoking cigs and crack. Would he - say,"Hey no big deal there's nothing in her belly but a clump of cells,let me buy you a shot honey, it's certainly not alive", or "What the hell are you doing woman, don't you know you have a developing child in your uterus?" or something in between.

Phil 314 said...

As reliable as the sun rising in the east, if an Althouse thread is over 300 you can bet Ritmo's been there in the game late to "stir things up".

Unknown said...

Jeremy,

Men have had babies.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3628860.ece

What say you. Also, why aren't you talking about the corruption of the WEA's insurance company?

Unknown said...

Jeremy,

Men have had babies. Unless of course you don't agree that someone can't change their sex.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3628860.ece

Nichevo said...

Crickets. Possibly his best option.

C4BDH, if you don't see what I am getting at (of course you do, but let me be utterly clear), I would like to level the Swiss army knife of liberal accusations at you, hypocrisy.

To wit, I assume that if it were your 'fetus,' you would not consider it as an incompetent billiards player but as your embryonic son or daughter, therefore, obviously, a person in every significant way.

I also asked the earlier questions to support my hypothesis that you are a callow youth who has never been personally involved or close to an abortion scenario. I don't think you realize how really sad and unfortunate it is to be in that place.

A common liberal cry is, "If you don't like abortions, don't have one." I would reply, "If you have one, you won't want another." I think there would be fewer if they didn't get such good press, as it were.

Especially with modern mores not to mention social programs - what's the worst that can happen? Marry an unsuitable woman/man? Have a bastard? Drop out of school? Be embarrassed at your social club?

God forbid, be incented to choose partners (and/or sexual practices) more carefully, to be more dilligent about contraception?

OMG you had a baby!!!eleven! How __________ is that?

Nichevo said...

To be even more clear, it is hypocrisy to say that a baby, or fetus if it eases you and cools you to call it so, is human or a person when you want it, and not human or a person when you don't want it.

Kinda like when the US is challenged for supporting "our SOBs" but not "their SOBs," etc., etc., etc.

I think incidentally that this hypocrisy-phobia is responsible for some of the weird positions liberals find themselves in. It must be very conflicting to say "Abortion is arguably the taking of a human life" and in the next breath "Abortion must be protected at all costs."

The solution of course is doublethink, which is one of their core competencies.*

But I digress...anyway, the basic conflict is that women can never be interfered with in any way, I guess because they're women, so if they want to kill what's inside them, then what's inside them is fair game and that's the end of it. Or so it seems.

Yes, what a horrible country this was back in those evil old days when you couldn't just go to Dr. Gosnell and have your baby's spinal cord snipped, er, have an abortion at will without any regulation or other troublesome interference.

*or you can just turn the pro-kill dial to 10, like Pres. Obama, who as Sen. Obama voted to kill even babies who had slipped through the abortionist's grasp and mistakenly been born.

One must wonder...does he just see the killing of the innocent as an absolute good? I would absolutely not be surprised for a government whose ambitions extend to and exceed ObamaCare to eventually come to mandate abortions in cases where 'interstate commerce' or 'the greater good' might be implicated.

Ahh...rambling...but Burroughs wrote about these guys who want to jump down into your stomach and help you digest the food....it's too much. Just too much.

Fen said...

Rev: [Slave owners] were evil because of their thoughts and deeds, not inherently.

Jefferson thought slavery was evil... He was legally restricted from freeing his slaves.

Which puts him in quite a different boat from the traitors who rebelled against their country so they could keep theirs.


Today I learned that Jefferson was forced to own slaves. All 180 of them....


Rev: "[Slave owners] were evil because of their thoughts and deeds, not inherently."

So why do you give Jefferson a pass?

/via wiki
According to historian Stephen Ambrose: "Jefferson, like all slaveholders and many other white members of American society, regarded Negroes as inferior, childlike, untrustworthy and, of course, as property."

In Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson wrote that blacks were inferior to whites "in the endowments both of body and mind." He believed they were inferior to whites in reasoning, mathematical comprehension, and imagination. Jefferson claimed these "differences" were "fixed in nature" and was not dependent on their freedom or education.

One possibility Jefferson discussed was that blacks were a "separate species located beneath humans, but above orang-ootans." These alleged "differences" of the "innate inferiority of Blacks compared to Whites", was part of his rationalization for enslaving them, and Magnis says of his writings: "This is the essence of racial bias."



Rev: "Jefferson thought slavery was evil"

In August 1814 Edward Coles and Jefferson corresponded about Coles' ideas on emancipation. Jefferson urged Coles not to free his slaves


Rev: "Which puts him in quite a different boat from the traitors who rebelled against their country so they could keep theirs."

King George disagrees.

blake said...

Fen,

From Jefferson's draft of the D of I:

"[King George] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them to slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportations thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain determining to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold this excrable commerce and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distiguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

Something like 95% of the population of Virginia was slaves? It's easy to have moral clarity after the fact, but a lot of advice, commentary and decision-making about slaves may have been more about preserving a fragile union--maybe including Jefferson's advice to Coles.

former law student said...

To be even more clear, it is hypocrisy to say that a baby, or fetus if it eases you and cools you to call it so, is human or a person when you want it, and not human or a person when you don't want it.

A fetus is human, unless it's bovine or ovine, or canine, or feline. Is it a human being when it's merely a fertilized egg? What makes it human beyond a collection of human gametes? Would you feel satisfied if the chicken dinner you ordered turned out to be merely a hard boiled egg? Probably not.

The other issue is something you should grasp: the difference between having something taken from you and giving something up. Someone stealing your car and wrecking it is not the same as giving your car to the junkyard to be crushed.

A fetus is potential human life, and that's all you can say about it. Should someone who assaults a woman be charged with homicide if he kills her fetus? Rationally, perhaps not for previable fetuses. But who and how would we determine if the fetus was viable once it had been killed?

Nichevo said...

Picking up the cudgels, former law student said @ 2/25/11 10:11 AM...

>> To be even more clear, it is hypocrisy to say that a baby, or fetus if it eases you and cools you to call it so, is human or a person when you want it, and not human or a person when you don't want it.

> A fetus is human, unless it's bovine or ovine, or canine, or feline.

See, here begins the sophistry. Slippery as an eel. Obviously you like "fetus" precisely because it allows you to say such absurd things in the guise of wit.

> Is it a human being when it's merely a fertilized egg?

Were you?

> What makes it human beyond a collection of human gametes?

1) The fact that they're MY human gametes! (And my mate's)

2) What else is necessary? I don't know what answer would satisfy you - a soul? a lineage from healthy, virtuous, high IQ parents? a prenatal commitment to vote Democrat? What makes you or me human? Teeth? Chest hair? Language skills?

> Would you feel satisfied if the chicken dinner you ordered turned out to be merely a hard boiled egg? Probably not.

I would feel cheated if I ordered a fryer-broiler and got a stewing hen. Again what is the point? A three year old colt is not the same as a two year old. One can run in races that the other can't. But one is not a horse?

In Judaism - I don't mean to be irrelevant; questions have been asked about religious orientation of this issue - one is, in fact, not even supposed to eat a fertilized chicken egg. Such is the respect for life - not even human life, if you like - intended to be embodied therein. So yeah, if you like, an ovum is meat - but a fertilized ovum is, yes, an embryonic baby.

This of course is to make the error of dignifying your analogies. A human is not a chicken dinner.


> The other issue is something you should grasp: the difference between having something taken from you and giving something up. Someone stealing your car and wrecking it is not the same as giving your car to the junkyard to be crushed.

If I understand you - you may kill your baby, but I may not kill your baby. It is your property. (So what kind of car do I have to give you in turn for your unborn son or daughter? A Prius? A Chevy Volt? A Bentley? A moon rover?)

You would have us back to Roman times and mores, wherein the paterfamilias could murder his children if they displease him? Just imagine how much social effort is then wasted on preventing child abuse! Would you feel entitled to molest that fetus, or beat it with a whip, or feed it dirt, s long as you arrogate the power of life and death? There is of course the less preposterous case (as jr565 mentions) of pregnant women engaging in risky activities - exertion, drug and alcohol use, etc.

...

Nichevo said...

...



> A fetus is potential human life, and that's all you can say about it.

Really, any minor, really, anybody is "potential human life" insofar as they have further to develop, if you don't draw a defensible line somewhere.

> Should someone who assaults a woman be charged with homicide if he kills her fetus? Rationally, perhaps not for previable fetuses.


So you're, rationally, indifferent to the power of police protection for your unborn child?

> But who and how would we determine if the fetus was viable once it had been killed?

Perhaps, if you feel this is a defense, the burden should be on the killer. If anything this is an argument against trying to split the hair as you are.

Look at it another way - may you defend a human fetus with deadly force? Ordinarily I'm not sure you can shoot someone who merely wishes to strike your wife in the stomach.

How would you, personally, FEEL? Even after a miscarriage for no reason, aren't you likely to feel that you had lost something great?

Rationally, as you say, I am still trying to find a rationale for my conscience to allow methods that (evidently) work by preventing implantation, like IUDs or the morning-after pill.

Certainly life, unique, genetically differentiated human (or other) life begins at conception. That is the only honest, logical way to view it. However since many fertilized eggs do not implant of their own, it may through some casuistry be reasonable to allow methods such as the IUD.

But I am foggy at this point. You could work with this and then stretch it forward to say that since God, or nature, induces miscarriages at various times for no apparent reason, why can't we?

...Naw, that sounds like weak tea, don't you think? I mean, you might get over legally, but really...you'd know.

See, you need meat - oops let me turn The Doors off - you need, for your politics or your personal convenience, for your embryo to be meat. I need, for my personal convenience, for my hypothetical mimi-me to have every protection that can be had.

These interests conflict - there is no way a law can, say, permit to me the institution of slavery but not to you.

Likewise, there is no way, ultimately, that ObamaCare or its future variants can be denied the power to order the abortion of my unborn child if it is merely a clump of cells, should it seem in some utilitarian interest to do so (e.g., maybe my wife's illness will heal faster if she aborts, or maybe my family history is one of ill-health, crime or low achievement).

The only protection for the unborn human is for it to be recognized as human.

Nichevo said...

Take your time, take your time...thinking of serious replies cannot be easy.

"Keep silent; so has it come up in thought before Me." (Menachot 29b)

I also thank Ritmo for staying away - he has the goodness to realize that I don't want a scat-throwing contest, and does not offer me one.

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