Washington’s stoners celebrate the triumph of dishonest debate and public misinformation

A lot of people who showed up at the polls this past November actually had very parochial concerns.  They weren’t worried about the economy, or national security, or illegal immigration.  Blacks were concerned with racial solidarity, unions were concerned about union strength (and to hell with the economy on which that strength feeds), gays and other Progressives wanted gay marriage, and young people and stoners were concerned about getting stoned.  Almost all of these parochial issue voters also support Obama.

The stoner vote for Obama was a bit ironic, because it ignored the fact that the Obama administration has a nasty record when it comes to marijuana prosecutions.  As far as stoners were concerned, Obama is young, hip, and was once a stoner himself.

In Washington, having successfully made marijuana legal at a state level (although it’s still illegal under federal law), those who supported this new policy had a smoke-infused party:

The crowds of happy people lighting joints under Seattle’s Space Needle early Thursday morning with nary a police officer in sight bespoke the new reality: Marijuana is legal under Washington state law.

Hundreds gathered at Seattle Center for a New Year‘s Eve-style countdown to 12 a.m., when the legalization measure passed by voters last month took effect. When the clock struck, they cheered and sparked up in unison.

A few dozen people gathered on a sidewalk outside the north Seattle headquarters of the annual Hempfest celebration and did the same, offering joints to reporters and blowing smoke into television news cameras.

“I feel like a kid in a candy store!” shouted Hempfest volunteer Darby Hageman. “It’s all becoming real now!”

[snip]

“This is a big day because all our lives we’ve been living under the iron curtain of prohibition,” said Hempfest director Vivian McPeak. “The whole world sees that prohibition just took a body blow.”

My personal suspicion is that this must have been the world’s most boring celebration.  Stoners are not known for being able to muster a vast amount of enthusiasm for anything.  Being stoned equals being boring.

In keeping with my small government philosophy, I support legalizing marijuana for adult use.  I strongly agree, though, with Steve Crowder that the public debate about marijuana is predicated on a vast amount of misinformation and outright lies.  Marijuana is a dangerous and damaging drug, one that interferes with adolescent brain development and contributes to myriad ills in adults who use it regularly. In other words, Americans’ increasingly strong support for its legalization doesn’t result from a belief in a free society and individualism but, instead, from massive amounts of magical thinking about the drug’s supposed harmlessness.

Of course, the fundamental nature of our supposedly “information rich” society is dishonest debate.  My pet peeve is the debate about abortion, which the Left approaches as if we’re still in a pre-Roe v. Wade world, one in which single motherhood would result in a woman being ostracized, bastardy would taint a child’s life forever, and birth control options were limited to nil.  Americans can have an honest debate about abortion only if we recognize that the world didn’t stop in 1955.  The same holds true for the gun debate, with the MSM (which still controls the loudest bully pulpit in America) pretending that guns have no useful purpose and regularly recycling the canard that America is the most deadly society in the Western world.

It is ironic that, as Americans have more information available to them than ever before in human history, they are prone to believing fallacies as people ever were.  Proof is irrelevant when people are happy with their belief system.

Found it on Facebook: Voting with those “lady parts”

This keeps cropping up on Facebook and every time I see it, I find it irritating.

There’s something horribly medieval about reducing women to their sexual organs.  After all, when you think about it, the only thing that Obama has done for women is to order employers to provide insurance that covers birth control — which is a very limited expense.  That’s the difference between Obama’s approach to women and Bush’s.

In all likelihood, notwithstanding the fact that both Romney and Ryan are pro-Life, the only change under a Romney presidency is that we’ll go back to having women pay for their own birth control.  (And men, I’m sorry, but you should pay for your own Viagra.)

The Supreme Court is not going to reverse Roe v. Wade.  If it does, the matter goes to the states and, if enough people want it, a constitutional amendment.

As Michelle Malkin says, I’m voting with my lady smarts, not my lady parts.

Found it on Facebook: Jon Stewart and the problem with modern political discourse *UPDATED*

Matthew Continetti garnered some much deserved praise for his article about the way that sarcasm and insult took over the Democrat party, replacing anything of substance.  It all started with the attacks against Bush:

The criticism of Bush, of Bush Republicans, and of the war took on a specific character. The spokesmen of movement progressivism—Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert—spoke in tones of irony, sarcasm, knowing disbelief, glibness, and snark. Liberal bloggers and op-ed writers used the same voice. A television clip of a conservative would be played, a quotation cited, and the liberal would mug for his audience, whether on screen or on the page. Their basic attitude was: Can you believe this? These people don’t even believe in science! The fools! Derisive and smug laughter would ensue. The war was not going well, America seemed in decline, and it was obvious to liberals that conservatives and Republicans were to blame. The punch lines were a signal. If you laughed, you differentiated yourself from the fundamentalist prigs running the country. You established your superiority.

Obama brought precisely that attitude to the third debate, with his sarcastic, condescending, and remarkably ignorant statements about the American Navy:

You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. It’s not a game of battleship where we’re counting ships, it’s ‘What are our capabilities?’

Others have debunked the President’s ignorance about the armed forces he commands, so I won’t do it here. Suffice to say that, while Americans appreciate gentle zingers (“There you go again”), the level of disrespect that Obama showed only makes the Jon Stewart acolytes happy. Others (including thoughtful liberals) wonder what happened to the dignity of the presidency.

The problem with snark is that, although it can be amusing, it displaces serious political discussion.  Nowhere is this more obvious than with the way in which abortion has come roaring to the fore at the same time the President is struggling to keep the Benghazi cover-up under wraps.  Even as thoughtful people who pay attention to national security and facts are grappling with the immensity of al Qaeda’s resurgence and the President’s lies, the snark shows are keeping liberals in a state of perpetual outrage about abortion.

I wrote last week that abortion is a defining issue for many people on the Left.  Some of you (very intelligently and politely, of course) disagreed with me.  Politely (and, I hope, intelligently) I have to disagree right back.  The proof of abortion’s centrality is the way in which the snark Left is using the abortion dog whistle to terrify wavering liberals into voting for Obama, regardless of the fact that Obama has put our national security and our economy at serious risk.  The dog whistle is so powerful to liberal ears that they’d rather focus on a woman’s right to abortion than on the fact that al Qaeda would like to commit post-birth abortions against all Americans.

Part of the reason the dog whistle works is because the Left so assiduously avoids any serious discussion about life’s beginnings.  A case in point is a Jon Stewart shtick that made the rounds amongst my liberal friends, all of whom posted it on Facebook along with myriad warnings that Romney will turn back the female clock to 1950 (see the cartoon, above).  Here’s the Jon Stewart shtick, one that is high on hysteria and word play, but low on analysis:

Ooooh! Mourdock is evil because he thinks rape is a gift from God, and Romney is more evil because he supports Mourdock. Never mind that what Mourdock said is thoughtful and logically consistent, even if one doesn’t agree with the premise. The premise is that life begins at conception. The logical corollary is that, once a life begins, and most certainly when that life is helpless, civilized people owe it protection.  It is not the fetus’s fault that it was conceived out of violence, pain, and shame. Mourdock quite obviously doesn’t lack compassion for the rape victim.  It’s just that he recognizes that the life that the act of violence created is an innocent one.  Now, one may not agree with Mourdock, but it is, if you will, an honorable position that starts with a humanistic premise.

While Jon Stewart fears to delve deeply into what Mourdock is saying, and who simply rolls with superficial conclusions, sarcasm and insult, Andrew Klavan, has a very thoughtful take on Mourdock’s words, and one that allows for disagreement:

Let’s do a mind experiment. Pretend you are yourself. Now pretend your mother comes to you and tells you that, even though she and your father raised you as if you were the product of their union, in fact she was horribly, brutally raped and it was in that rape that you were conceived. Painful as it was for her — and only she and God know how painful it was — she decided to go through with the pregnancy and give you life.

Have you now lost your right to live? Can you be legally exterminated because of the way you were conceived?

My point here is not — not — that there should be laws against abortion in cases of rape. My point is only that the question of abortion is essentially the question of whether a fetus is human. If an unborn child is a human being, the fact that it resides within its mother is no more relevant than the fact of where you reside. If (and a person of good will can honorably make this argument) there is some point at which a fetus is not yet a human being, then it seems to me you can morally abort it because it’s sick or annoying or female or has failed to have blond hair and blue eyes.

Now anyone with a mind and heart can see that there are vexed moral questions here, filled with grey areas. No feminist blather and no ruling from the pope in Rome can turn those areas to black and white. For a rape victim to bring a baby to term would be, to my mind, an act of moral heroism equivalent to running into a burning building to save a child. I’m not convinced that laws should be passed requiring that sort of elevated action from people. And yet I do believe the child conceived in that horror story is a child indeed and that a minister, say, could, in good conscience, counsel the mother to strive toward the heroic, if the minister felt she might be able.

As everyone knows (since the media has covered it more often than Fast and Furious and Benghazi-gate put together), Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock recently answered a debate question about abortion and rape: “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Mourdock later clarified the comment and apologized for his poor phrasing — as was proper — but come on, we all know what he was trying to say. He doesn’t think rape is intended by God. He thinks a baby conceived by rape remains a baby with a right to life.

Please read the rest here.

Klavan’s approach, of course, is the way we should be discussing a fraught issue such as abortion.  It is the embodiment of Dennis Prager’s wise statement that we should prefer clarity to agreement.  Clarity enables us to have meaningful discussions about vexing issues and, quite possibly, to work towards solutions.  Stewart’s piecemeal, shallow, insulting analysis makes intelligent discussion impossible.  If you disagree with Stewart, you support rapists.  End of story.  (Incidentally, the Jon Stewart segment embodies the state of mind Jonah Goldberg describes in The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.)

I feel very strongly that, in my little corner of the world, there are thousands of people who are yearning for Romney’s strength on national security and the economy, but who are being scared away from voting for him because they buy completely into the imaginary War on Women that the Stewarts, Maddows, Colberts, and Obama’s of this world sell as intelligent political discourse.  This is too bad, not just because it bodes poorly for the elections, but also because it bespeaks an America whose educated class can no longer grapple with serious ideas.

UPDATE:  And right on time, Tom Friedman blows hard on the abortion dog whistle.  Here’s the key paragraph:

But judging from the unscientific — borderline crazy — statements opposing abortion that we’re hearing lately, there is reason to believe that this delicate balance could be threatened if Mitt Romney and Representative Paul Ryan, and their even more extreme allies, get elected. So to those who want to protect a woman’s right to control what happens with her own body, let me offer just one piece of advice: to name something is to own it. If you can name an issue, you can own the issue. And we must stop letting Republicans name themselves “pro-life” and Democrats as “pro-choice.” It is a huge distortion.

Get it?  If Romney and Ryan win, women will be dying in back alleys with coat hangers between their legs.

It’s time to acknowledge that we’re not in the 50s anymore:  Single motherhood, though economically foolish, is culturally cool; birth control is freely, and cheaply, available; and pregnancy is relatively risk free.  There are still credible arguments for abortions, but pretending it’s still the 1950s isn’t one of those arguments.

The central issue in American politics today

If I had to pick the central issue in American politics today, it wouldn’t be the economy, it wouldn’t be national security, it wouldn’t be immigration, it wouldn’t be environmental concerns, and it wouldn’t be gay marriage.  The single most divisive issue is abortion.  I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve heard say “Well, I agree with so and so on this and that, but I can’t vote for him because of his position on abortion.”  I’ve never heard anyone say, “Well, I agree with so and so on this and that, but I can’t vote for him because of his position on national security.”  Everything, it seems, is forgivable except being pro-Life or pro-Abortion.

Roe v. Wade is the central issue in American politics today.  It’s like a knife in the wound that’s slowly killing us — and we know that, if we pull the knife out, we can still die.

Biden explains when it’s okay to impose his religious views on others

Nobody ever accused Joe Biden of being coherent.  Peter Heck, however, realized more quickly than I did that Biden was being exceptionally incoherent — or hypocritical or held tightly in the grip of cognitive dissonance — when he was asked to explain the relationship between his faith and his politics.  I’ll give you Heck’s summary, but you should read the whole thing to find out how he got there:

It’s an interesting worldview, isn’t it?  Government-sponsored theft is legitimate on moral grounds, but government protection of innocent, defenseless life is unreasonable.  That’s the modern Democrat Party.

Democrats and Republicans do indeed have very differing views of the future

The day after Mitt Romney gave his speech, Jon Stewart went to town. It was a typical Jon Stewart exercise, replete with out-of-context snippets, juvenile sarcasm, and endlessly bleeped obscenities. One part of it, though, the very first part, stayed with me. If you watch just the first couple of minutes of the video below, you’ll see Stewart make fun of Romney’s statement about the way American people have traditionally looked to the future:

Romney:  “We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.”

Stewart:  “Yes, yes, yes.  We Americans, uniquely among Earth’s people, move forward in time.”

Nothing could more perfectly illustrate the differing ways the two parties think about the future.

I understood exactly what Romney meant.  Americans feel a special kinship with the future because they believe that their current actions will affect the future and make it better.  And indeed, the American trajectory has proven this believe to be a truism.  Through vigor and innovation, we’ve achieved measurable improvements in food production, health car, mobility, shelter, clothing, entertainment, communications, etc.  And that’s not just comparing us to American life one hundred or two hundred years ago.  You’ll get the same result — continuous quality-of-life improvement — by comparing us to American life just twenty years ago.  We work hard, we think creatively, and we make life better.

This sense of possibilities has been part of the American mental landscape forever, although it wasn’t until modern media that we were able to capture this optimistic sense of the future.  Nothing was unthinkable or un-doable.

Americans imagined a fashion future:

They saw exciting travel possibilities:

And they envisioned clean, comfortable, labor-saving homes:

That last clip was a Disney clip, and this is no coincidence. More than any figure in popular culture, Walt Disney believed that America was on a continued upward trajectory, one that saw our lives getting better and better. He didn’t see rich plutocrats living high on the hog, while the poor provided the necessary Soylent Green. Instead, Disney believed that, in his own lifetime, Everyman’s and Everywoman’s life had improved in a way never before seen in history, and he further believed that the American personality was such that nothing could stop this trend.

Disney put these core beliefs together in his Carousel of Progress — which for me, as a child, was the absolute best part of Disneyland, even better than the rides. I too believed that things could only get better:

And lest you think everyone looks to the future in this way, think again. The Egyptians were perfectly happy to live a relatively unchanged life for 3,000 years: same clothes, same food, same agricultural economy, same housing, same form of worship. There were, of course, small changes over the centuries, but nothing that resembled the changes America has experienced since 1776.

This holds true for large parts of the third world. People live as their ancestors lived for hundreds of years before. We go and, with our modern 21st century digital cameras take pictures — they are so picturesque — and then we return gratefully to our air-conditioned cars and hotel rooms, our hot running water, our washers and dryers, and our clean, healthy food.  Even Europe can be stultifying for the American traveler.  Because it raises money by looking old, nothing can change.

So yes, Mitt is right that Americans have traditionally believed that the future isn’t just the day after tomorrow, and then the day after that, ad infinitum. Instead, to Americans, the future is a real place, one that builds on the past, but that offers infinitely more.

The Democrats also have a vision of the future, but it’s not a greater future, it’s a lesser future. On the one hand, there is the coming Apocalypse, one that will see half of the earth under water and the other half a parched, Sahara-like desert. Billions of the world’s citizens will crowd this desert, choked by filthy air from factories and cigarettes, and desperately trying to force genetically modified Frankenstein-plants to grow in the barren land. That, they believe, is the American trajectory.

The other hand offers the only way to stop this Apocalypse:  Americans must turn their back on the future and revert to the past: a past with limited transportation abilities; primitive food production, free of scientific or mechanical intervention; no air-conditioning; no modern medicine; no defensive weaponry; and, most importantly, no people.

So, while Mitt Romney spoke explicitly to Republicans about the Republican view of the future, Democrats, with their abortion-fest, are offering an implicit vision of their future. It’s one that sees American thriving by subtraction not addition — and the fastest form of subtraction available is abortion.  To Democrats, children aren’t the promise of the future; they are, instead, the promise that the future will be destroyed.

Perhaps I’m irresponsible, but I like the optimism that characterizes the conservative belief in the future.  Looking at the world through Democrat eyes and seeing a future that is a barren rock or primitive hard place, makes life meaningless.  Honestly, the best thing you can do is go out and kill yourself, so that your intellectual superiors can delicately seed an empty land with their own progeny.

The Democrats’ focus on reproductive rights is ill-timed

You all have probably noticed what I’ve noticed:  while the Democrat party gets support from young voters, it doesn’t have many young politicians.  (And maybe the young voters would like to think about that one for a while.)  Obama, at 51, is one of the youngest of the Democrat leaders.  This may help explain why the upcoming Democrat convention has such a pathetic line-up.  There are no young lions exciting the crowd.  There are only ragged old Lefties — which may explain the Democrats’ decision to use the Akin kerfuffle to make their DNC about reproductive rights.

The Democrats are dragging out one woman after another to demand that the government pay for her, and everyone else’s, birth control, abortions and Gawd knows whatever other stuff they can put under the heading of reproductive rights.  This tactic differs mightily from the RNC approach, which repeated 1992′s successful (for Clinton) mantra:  “It’s the economy, stupid!”

The Republicans are the ones on the correct path.  Reproductive rights are a luxury for flush times.  During poor times, someone who hasn’t worked for two years (and might have been too depressed to have sexual relations in that same time), isn’t going to get excited about seeing government money poured into birth control pills and free sterilization.  It’s simply not a winning point outside the base.

 

Maybe Akin’s revolting stubbornness is part of a deep, Machiavellian plot *UPDATED*

Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri is refusing to step down, despite the fact that everyone in the Republican/conservative establishment, from the RNC, to Rush, to Mark Levin, to Ann Coulter, to every major blog known to conservativism, is hollering that he must leave.

Akin’s arrogance and selfishness is depressing.  Or is it?

Maybe, just maybe, this is part of some deep-dyed Machiavellian plot.  I know I’m reaching here, but bear with me.

Once Akin went stupid, the inevitable happened, which was the Dems capitalized on what he said to tie his remarks to abortion and the alleged Republican war on women.  We know that stupid faux-biology about impregnation during rape has nothing to do with the question when life begins or when it becomes entitled to legal protections.  But the media is frothing at the mouth with excitement, convinced that a gaffe by a 32-nd rate Congressman can be used to define an entire political party.

You know, therefore, that if Akin had vanished immediately, the media frothing would have continued unabated.  That is, what he said is out there, and there’s nothing conservatives can do to stop it.

However, because Akin hasn’t stepped down, the one thing Republicans can do, with ever-increasing volume, is to disavow him and demand that he step down.  Those continued cries for his withdrawal should count as headline material.  In Akin’s absence, no one would care that the Republicans were saying “Aw, come on, MSM.  We don’t agree with him….”  However, in his presence, maybe someone will notice all the Republicans screaming at Akin, “Leave now, you unmitigated idiot.”

Okay.  I know nobody plotted for Akin to appear intransigent in order to improve Republican headlines.  Akin is refusing to leave because he is, in fact, an unmitigated idiot.  His known unmitigated idiocy is why, in Missouri’s open primaries, the Dems spent $1.5 million to get him elected (perfectly proving my ongoing point about the evils of open primaries, which deny parties the opportunity and the right to make their own, best choices about candidates).

Still, even though my theory amounts to pie-in-the-sky retrofitting of painful events, it still has merit.  We should make much of the fact that, unlike Dems who rally around their crooks and pedophiles, Republicans react ferociously when someone uses the Republican platform to engage in acts or make statements that are beyond the pale of reason or morality.

UPDATE:  The plot just thickened, because the Dems couldn’t restrain themselves and are now preparing for the Abortion Convention . . . er, Democrat Party Convention.  My sense is that even those Americans who identify as pro-Choice start feeling sickened by a three day orgy celebrating fetal death.

I’m a horrible child! I ruined your life! — Turning the abortion debate into the punchline to a silly joke

One of my favorite silly jokes goes as follows:

A man runs into a friend.  “Oh, my God!” he says.  “I just made the most terrible Freudian slip.”

His friend asks “What did you do?”

The man answers, “Well, I was having lunch with my mother.  I meant to saying ‘Mom, please pass the peas,” but what I actually said was ‘You horrible woman!  You’ve ruined my life!’”

I don’t know why I find this joke so funny — beyond the obvious point that what the man said was not a Freudian slip — but I just do.  It makes me laugh every time.

As is always the case, though, Progressives manage to go one better than any joke, but they invariably ruin the punch line.  The latest example comes from Britian’s Guardian, a reliably Left wing publication.  The article is entitled — no kidding — “I wish my mother had aborted me.”  The author, Lynn Beisner, assures us that she’s not one of those sad-sacks who has a miserable life and, therefore, wishes she’d never been born.  Instead, she explains, she wrote the article as a counter to those ridiculous emotional pro-Life stories that revolve around a woman who contemplated abortion, decide not to do it, and raised a child very grateful to be alive.  How disgustingly bathetic, Beisner says:

What makes these stories so infuriating to me is that they are emotional blackmail. As readers or listeners, we are almost forced by these anti-choice versions of A Wonderful Life to say, “Oh, I am so glad you were born.” And then by extension, we are soon forced into saying, “Yes, of course, every blastula of cells should be allowed to develop into a human being.”

Beisner is going to counter this horrible narrative — by pitching an emotional story about how her birth stunted, not her own, but her mother’s life:

An abortion would have absolutely been better for my mother. An abortion would have made it more likely that she would finish high school and get a college education. At college in the late 1960s, it seems likely she would have found feminism or psychology or something that would have helped her overcome her childhood trauma and pick better partners. She would have been better prepared when she had children. If nothing else, getting an abortion would have saved her from plunging into poverty. She likely would have stayed in the same socioeconomic strata as her parents and grandparents who were professors. I wish she had aborted me because I love her and want what is best for her.

Or, to use fewer words:  “I’m a horrible child!  I ruined your life.”

What Beisner doesn’t realize is that she’s not breaking new ground here.  She’s treading the old, hard-packed pro-abortion ground, only in a way that’s more silly than usual.  Because the pro-abortion crowd has always and only focused on the woman (“It’s a woman’s choice”), the issue always has been that the woman gets to ask herself “Will this baby ruin my life?” and then to abort if her answer is “Yes, probably.”

Well, I’ve got news for Beisner.  Babies always ruin a woman’s life.  That is, they ruin the life she knew before babies came along.  Goodbye, lithesome figure!  Goodbye, sleeping through the night!  Goodbye, privacy!  Goodbye, eating a meal without interruptions!  Goodbye, ready money!  Goodbye, dancing all night (at least, without bouncing a crying baby in your arms)!  Goodbye, spontaneity!  It’s all over.  Everything that made for your youthful existence is gone.

What Beisner misses, though, is the “Whenever God closes a door, he opens a window” aspect of having children.  For every goodbye, there’s a hello  Hello, bidding farewell to your immature self and saying welcome to the you that is a fully realized adult!  Hello, to a little one entwining himself or herself around your neck and saying ‘Mommy, I wuv you so much’ — and meaning it!  Hello, to having an incredibly rich social life, one that doesn’t revolve around the drunken hook-up scene, but one that involves other parents who are so glad to welcome you into the Parent Club!  Hello, feeling connected to your country, because it’s not just yours anymore, it’s also your children’s and your grandchildren’s.

Some people are going to be horribly damaged by their inability to turn their backs upon giddy youth in favor of responsible maturity.  But for every one of those people, there’s going to be someone grateful for the love, stability, and meaning that parenthood brings.

The only thing that Beisner gets right (although she fails to live up to her own standards) is that emotional pitches are meaningless, because different people have different emotional responses.  What she When emotions are meaningless, the only thing that matters is principle:  Do you believe that (a) life begins at conception and (b) that this life is immediately entitled to full respect?  If yes, you must be pro-Life; if not, well, then pro-abortion is a reasonable position for you.  But don’t try dressing it up with sob stories about living children or unhappy mothers.

In the pages of the NYT, Prof. Shari Motro fully realizes the gibberish of Leftism

I left a trail of hostile professors in my wake when I graduated from UC Berkeley.  I didn’t do that intentionally.  I never set out to be obnoxious or disruptive.  Back in the day, I marched in ideological lock-step with my professors.  (Although even then I couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy of the Berkeley professors prating on about class warfare while making under-the-table payments to Mexican women to clean their houses and Japanese men to groom their gardens.)

The problem I had at Berkeley is that then, as now, I have a great reverence for the English language and, more than that, I’m a complete nincompoop when it comes to learning other languages.  This means that I never mastered Marxist cant, which is as foreign a language to the good English speaker as are Chinese and French.

My inability to comprehend Marxism at a linguistic level meant that, when my history professor made some statement about “the alienation of the medieval peasant as resulting from the hegemony of the feudal infrastructure that dominated the commodification for the agricultural economy despite the destructive rise of the proto-petite bourgeoisie,” I didn’t nod sagely and scribble frantic notes as did the rest of my classmates.  Instead, assuming that my class had some number fewer than 1,000 students, I raised my hand and said, “Excuse me, Professor Whatsit.  I don’t understand.  Can you please explain?”

This seemingly innocent question would result in another shower of Marxist gibble-gabble.  At which point I, supremely confident in my mastery of the English language and therefore unfazed by my inability to understand, would repeat, “I’m sorry, I still don’t understand.”  Eventually, parrot-like, I was able to repeat this nonsense with sufficient facility to garner a magna cum laude degree, but I never did internalize all this babble.  And, as I said, many professors weren’t very fond of me.

In retrospect, I suspect that the professors looked askance at me because I played the role of the little boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” effectively pointing out that what they were saying had no meaning — at least with regard to the feudal, agrarian culture that existed in medieval Europe.  Likewise, there was simply no Marxist way to make sense of Jane Austen.  I must say, though, that my suitably Marxist English literature professor managed to do what many might have thought was impossible:  he made Jane Austen dull.

I’m politically more astute now, but have just as little patience for Leftist gibble-gabble.  That’s why, despite attempts to read Shari Motro’s NYT’s Op-Ed about “Preglimony,” I still can’t make sense of what she’s saying.  Motro seems to argue that men will be less likely to get women pregnant if they had to pay for her . . . what? . . . pain and suffering or clothes or something during pregnancy.  Heck, they might even be forced to help to pay the cost of killing their baby (emphasis mine).  At least, I think that’s what Ms. Motro . . . or, should I say, Professor Motro, because this incoherent ideologue is a professor of law at the University of Richmond in Virginia.  See what you make of this:

Since the 1970s it has been possible to genetically link a father and his baby with increasing levels of accuracy. Then, a test using amniotic fluid let us test a baby’s DNA before birth, but the procedure increased the risk of miscarriage. Now a prenatal blood test has made the process far easier. Since a small amount of fetal DNA is present in a pregnant woman’s blood, the pregnancy can be genetically linked to her partner through a simple blood draw from the woman’s arm.

One of the potential ramifications is that men might be called upon to help support their pregnant lovers before birth, even if the pregnancy is ultimately terminated or ends in miscarriage. They might be asked to chip in for medical bills, birthing classes and maternity clothes, to help to cover the loss of income that often comes with pregnancy, or to contribute to the cost of an abortion.

Frankly, I don’t see why pregnancy support would be any more of a deterrent than child-support.  Having drifted away from her shopping list (clothes, medical bills, killing baby), Prof. Motro gets abstract, and I do mean abstract:

Rather than focusing on the relationship between the man and a hypothetical child, the new technology invites us to change the way we think about the relationship between unmarried lovers who conceive. Both partners had a role in the conception; it’s only fair that they should both take responsibility for its economic consequences.

Former spouses are often required to pay alimony; former cohabiting partners may have to pay palimony; why not ask men who conceive with a woman to whom they are not married to pay “preglimony”? Alternatively, we might simply encourage preglimony through the tax code, by allowing pregnancy-support payments to be deductible (which is how alimony is treated).

Huh?  An entire high-exposure op-ed to say that men who can’t be counted on for child support might pay for maternity clothes?

Despite having encouraged men to pay to abort their DNA (apparently yet another way to encourage them not to get women pregnant in the first place), Prof. Motro feels compelled to assure New York Times readers that her whole “preglimony” idea isn’t just a backdoor argument against abortion.  After all, some might say that, if you’re arguing that both biological parents’ obligation to the fetus begins in utero — or, at least, that the obligation to make sure Mama is stylishly attired begins in utero –  maybe you’re also arguing that the fetus has legal rights, including the right not to be aborted.  Not so.  In a paragraph that I still haven’t completely deciphered, Motro assures pregnant women that, even though men have an obligation to the fetus that bears their DNA, abortion is unlimited.  Or at least that’s what I think she’s saying:

The most frequent objection I hear to this idea is that it will give men a say over abortion. A woman’s right to choose is sometimes eclipsed by an abusive partner who pressures her into terminating or continuing a pregnancy against her will, and preglimony could exacerbate this dynamic. But the existence of bullies shouldn’t dictate the rules that govern all of society. In the name of protecting the most vulnerable, it sets the bar too low for the mainstream, casting lovers as strangers and pregnancy as only a woman’s problem.

It’s also possible that preglimony could deter a different form of abuse by making men who pressure their partners into unprotected sex, on the assumption that the woman will terminate an unwanted pregnancy, financially liable for the potential result.

To which I again ask huh?  Feel free to translate.  I don’t know what she’s saying, except that Motro thinks a right to choose eclipses all other legal and moral rights.

This isn’t Motro’s only foray into incomprehensibility.  Back in 2008, right before the election, Motro wrote a masterfully incoherent love letter to Obama’s promise as a healer.  In it, Motro dissed her native Israel for being a hate-filled, racist land, rhapsodized the American South for its love-level, and vomited up the usual charges against Bush.  Keep in mind as you read these excerpts that this woman is a product of higher education and that she teaches the next generation of leaders:

I grew up in Israel, and during my last visit there I felt the interconnectedness of the violence of that place in a way I never had before. I felt the hatred and the heartbreak and the hopelessness seeping like sap from everywhere, from the ambient near-fistfight atmosphere in every interaction. I felt it in the venom with which a minibus driver shouted at a migrant worker who didn’t want to pay for her five year old son “Go back to Africa,” and from the look on the boy’s face as he watched their shouting match quietly, resignedly, understanding that this is the world, a battle. I felt the poison walking on the beach in Tel Aviv – beautiful, sunny, blue skied Tel Aviv – because I knew that my mere presence there is so offensive to some people they want to kill me, want to kill themselves in order to kill me. And it hit me in Jerusalem, walking through bucolic, placid streets where Jews live in Arab houses, houses in which people who are still alive have memories.

[snip]

Flying back from Tel Aviv to Richmond was, as always, soothing. Richmond, where you get to a four-way stop sign and everybody stops. And marching through campus with students and faculty on MLK day, I thought: these American feel-good gestures, which the Israeli in me rolls her eyes at, there’s something to them. These Americans, and the Richmonders I’ve met in particular, they get something right. With good will and gentleness, they are working hard, imperfectly, but working hard nevertheless at healing this bloody, bloody history which here in Richmond is so recent.

And what a gift it would be if we had a president who would stoke this flame.

And what a shame these past seven years.

Abu Ghraib and leaving the bodies of Katrina victims to rot in the streets while Brownie did a heck of a job and reading My Pet Goat as firefighters climbed up against the tide of fleers to rescue as many as possible.

How have seven years of Bush affected our hearts?

Imagine 9/11 with Obama at the helm?

The woman is a walking-talking and, sadly, teaching, spouter of Leftist platitudes and hypocrisy, untethered to either fact or logic.  No wonder our children aren’t learning.  With teachers such as Ms. Motro, they don’t have a fighting chance.

Obama’s peculiar devotion to abortion

The Anchoress examines Obama’s peculiar devotion to abortion, one that sees him put it ahead of all other policy considerations and that allows him to violate freely the consciences of others.

As I’ve said here repeatedly, while I have not yet made the journey to being whole-heartedly pro-Life, after a lifetime of being pro-Choice, the Left’s fealty to abortion, one that transcends even garden-variety morality, logic, and basic Constitutionalism, is pretty good at driving me ever further into the pro-Life camp.

Article Advocating ‘After-Birth Abortion’ Mugs Liberals with Reality

American Thinker was kind enough to publish some of my thoughts about usefulness of the after-birth abortion article:

Conservatives were horrified when the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article advocating “after-birth abortion” for handicapped, or just inconvenient, babies.  They are correct that it is a disgusting piece of amoral analysis, but that is its virtue.  As much as conservatives hate it, progressives hate it more.  Many are convinced that it’s a plant by the pro-life crowd.  What progressives cannot articulate, but intuitively understand, is that by applying a reductio ad absurdum approach to the notion of abortion, the article forces pro-abortion people to confront the Big Lie that underpins their willingness to terminate a pregnancy, even an advanced one.

Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini have advanced a very simple proposition, which is that only “a person” deserves to live:

The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.

[snip]

Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life.’

In the authors’ lexicon, to be a “person” deserving of life, one has to have a cognitive sense of self, akin to Descartes’ proposition that “I think, therefore I am”:

We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.

Because babies lack a higher existential sense, they have no greater right to life than other biological entities without an existential sense of self — say, for example, a cockroach or chicken.  Downgrading a baby’s status from “person” to something equivalent to a cockroach leads to the next step in the analysis, which is that adults have the absolute right to terminate this living, breathing non-person’s existence:

[W]hat we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

We’ve been down this path before.  It ended in Auschwitz.

Read the rest here.

Molock rising

Long ago, in ancient Phoenicia, arose a religion reviled in Biblical as well as in Greek and Roman lore, that worshiped a deity most commonly known as Molock, Moloch or Moleck. To this deity, parents sacrificed their infant children by cremating them alive in the bronze hands of a bull-shaped statue of the deity (the golden calf all grown up?).

The religion generated revulsion among the Jews, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and other Mediterranean peoples of that ancient time. In Judaic and Biblical lore, Molock was associated with demonology and Satan’s reign. The Romans purportedly destroyed the last vestiges of this religion in the rubble of Carthage, destroying and scattering every structure down to the last brick, so that it could never ever spring back anew. However, this rationalization for infanticide, just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, makes me wonder if  Molock isn’t stirring anew in the ebb-tide of the Judeo-Christian West.

http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.abstract

In my lifetime, I have been witness to the normalization of promiscuous sex, throw-away children, abortion, partial birth abortion, euthanasia, and now, the open rationalization of infanticide should parents change their mind about a living baby. This is the end game of secular humanism, where there is nothing more transcendent about human beings than simple utilitarian sacks of meat. It was observed by G.K. Chesterton that when cultures (or cults) begin to kill their weakest members, their old and their children, such cultures are in the final stage of collapse.

I came to my Christianity relatively late in life. My faith in my faith is absolute. The existence and/or nature of a force for evil in the world, however, has been a more difficult concept to grasp, as there are so many other ways to rationalize evil behavior – e.g., bad upbringing, mean parents, schoolyard bullying, chemical imbalances, mental illness, hubris, etc. Now, though, I am coming to the conclusion that evil is a palpably real force in the world. Either that, or a violently real, contagious, psychic virus!

Ann Coulter’s most recent book, “Demonic”, relates the proclivity of the secular Left (Democrats) for mob violence and bloodshed, tracing its bloody trail from the French Revolution through the Nazi and Communist abominations of the 20th Century, to the social-justice proclaiming Liberal/Left movements of today (oh, heck, let’s throw in the Marxist Jim Jones Cult for good measure). The violence that our society increasingly wreaks on our weakest members is all part of the same disease and I fear that it is going to get much, much worse.

For me, it’s simple: babies are for loving, not killing — I know, I know…others disagree! The publication of such an article under the guise of “medical ethics” tells me that something truly wicked this way comes. Today, the secular Left may feign indignation at the thought that their revolution will ultimately involve killing those that do not fit their Utopian ideals, but we can see how easily they are getting comfortable with the concept over time. It will be what it will be. I hope that I don’t live to see it. But, as the New Age of Molock establishes itself, I certainly will resist it to the end. I know that you will, too.

 

*** UPDATE

And, now, in support of the Secular Humanist view of human kind as utilitarian pieces of meat, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius shares her policy perspective that abortion and contraception means fewer babies, ergo fewer government expenditures. Human reproduction becomes a simple government-mandated budget line item.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/sebelius-decrease-human-beings-will-cover-cost-contraception-mandate

One would have to be a total fool not to recognize that this is Government asserting its sovereignty over reproductive rights and life and death decisions.

 

 

The “ultrasound = rape” meme on the Left is part of a larger movement to discredit Republicans with a Big Lie

I will never forget my first ultrasound, when I was pregnant with my first child.  I was not an enthusiastic pregnant woman.  It was my husband, not I, who wanted children.  I had them only (a) because when I married my husband I felt I owed him a family and (b) because, when I was growing up, those of our family friends who were childless were unpleasant, rigid, unimaginative people, something I attributed to their childless state.  I figured that, like ‘em or not, having children was an inextricable part of growing up.  So there I was pregnant and, starting just one week into the pregnancy, vomiting 24/7.    I therefore did not view the ultrasound with any particular enthusiasm.

The ultrasound experience wasn’t particularly congenial.  I lost my clothes from the waist down, and had to lie on a cold, hard table.  The nurse smeared this nasty, cold, jelly stuff on my still flat belly.  (I really miss that flat belly.)  I shuddered.  She then started rolling a cold, hard device across my stomach.  I shuddered more.  And then I turned my head, and saw a string of pearls appear on the monitor.  That string of pearls was my child’s spine.  Everything else on the screen was kind of vague and fuzzy, but I could see clearly that perfectly formed little spinal column.

I never did get reconciled to the vomiting I experienced during my entire pregnancy, and I still miss the relative hedonism of a life without children (sleeping in, eating ice cream without getting fat, having a tidy house), but that string of pearls transformed me.  There was a human being in there.  I never lost sight of that fact.  And when I look at my blooming teen and tween, both fully realized, interesting, intelligent, and vital people, I remember those pearls.

One thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that, if I had gone to the doctor’s office for an abortion, I would have bitterly resented that ultrasound.  Instead, of thinking of the fetus as a “thing,” I would have been forced to recognize its humanity.  Instead of disposing of a “thing,” I would have been killing a “person,” with a spine like a string of pearls.  That is a serious disincentive to abortion.  This is so because, even if one sees photos in high school biology class of a fetus, it’s quite different when that fetus is inside you.

Both pro-Life and pro-Abortion people understand the emotional resonance of scans.  That is why the Virginia legislature has passed a bill mandating scans before abortion, and why Progressive commentators are likening these same scans to rape.  Here is Dahlia Lithwick, whose post advocating this rape position is currently the most prominent:

Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.

Before touching on true purpose behind this manic, and ugly, hyperbole, let’s get the facts straight.  It’s entirely untrue that all ultrasounds performed during the first three months of pregnancy are done using a transvaginal procedure.  In fact, there’s only a very small window of time during which the transvaginal procedure is the only way to perform the scan:

Abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds are both effective at early stages of pregnancy. This fact is acknowledged in this “continuing medical education” module produced by the National Abortion Foundation (tag line: “A Provider’s Guide to Medical Abortion”):

Transabdominal ultrasound cannot reliably diagnose pregnancies that are < 6 weeks’ gestation. Transvaginal ultrasound, by contrast, can detect pregnancies earlier, at approximately 4 ½ to 5 weeks’ gestation. Prompt diagnosis made possible by TVU can, therefore, result in earlier treatment.

So, yes, transvaginal is more reliable for detecting pregnancies for a period of about seven days. Please note the Orwellian use of the word “treatment” for “killing of the baby.” How does this require a woman to have a transvaginal ultrasound? Short answer: it doesn’t.

Here’s another fact that Lithwick ignores — or maybe Lithwick has never been to any of my OB-Gyns.  (Guys, feel free to ignore this paragraph if it makes you uncomfortable.)  My OB-Gyns have always followed a consistent pattern in their dealings with the women who appear in their offices:  take your clothes off, stick your feet in the stirrups, and have the nurse or doctor poke around inside of you, both with digital manipulation and with that truly nasty speculum.  When you’re at the OB-Gyn, penetration is pretty much the name of the game.  (For those guys who are still with me, this is why women never express the proper amount of sympathy when you complain about having your prostate checked.)  If you show up for an abortion during that one week during which a transvaginal ultrasound is more reliable than a transabdominal ultrasound, the ultrasound is just one among many penetrations.  (Abortion, too, requires penetration.  Just sayin’.)

There’s a reason for Lithwick’s hyperbole, though, and it’s not because she’s upset about the Virginia law.  Or at least, that’s only the smallest part.  My sister, who is as uninterested in politics as can be, called me today outraged that Republicans generally, and Santorum specifically, are making contraception illegal.  She was completely taken aback when I explained that Republicans are only trying to preserve a status quo that has been in place since 1965; namely, that contraceptives and abortifacients are freely available everywhere in the U.S., but that churches don’t have to pay for them.

The Democrats are not making contraceptives even more available than they’ve been before, which is an impossibility given their current unlimited availability.  Instead, they are seeking to shift costs onto employers, including religious organizations and individuals who are doctrinally opposed to contraceptives and abortifacients.

My sister was receptive to the truth, and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to explain to her the entire story.  She got that she was the victim of a Big Lie.  Most voters, however, aren’t my open-minded sister and, even worse, they don’t have me sitting there walking them through the lies and smears.  Instead, they’re begin manipulated into believing that Republicans and conservatives are depriving women of all access to contraceptives and then, once they’re pregnant, raping them.  That’s the Big Lie, and that’s what Democrats think will win them the election in 2012.

Many commentators have shuddered at the way in which Republican candidates are stupidly making this election about women’s sexual rights.  What they miss is that the whole abortion/contraception issue is a tar baby* that Democrats placed squarely in the Republicans’ path, so that it was impossible for Republicans to avoid.

What might happen, though, and what we must hope will happen, is that the Democrats will prove too clever by half, so that this whole thing backfires.  Remember that, in the tar baby tale, despite the tar baby’s initial success in capturing Br’er Rabbit, the rabbit’s own cleverness, and the Fox and the Bear’s hubris, meant that the tar baby ultimately failed.  As Americans realize that the smelly, sticky lies about abortion and contraceptives originated with the Democrats, it might be s the Republicans who head off laughing into the briar patch, leaving the Democrats holding nothing at all.

_____________________

*I recognize the possibility that ill-informed Progressives will assume that, by referring to a tar baby, I am making some sort of racist remark about President Obama.  I’m not.  I am referring instead to an African folktale that came to America with the slave trade, and was preserved in the Southern black oral tradition.

Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear, in their endless quest to trap and eat the small, but clever, Br’er Rabbit, create a tar baby — a doll-like figure covered with sticky tar — in order to trap Br’er Rabbit.  Sure enough, when Br’er Rabbit cheerily greets the tar baby, believing it to be a real person, he is offended by the tar baby’s failure to respond.  Br’er Rabbit eventually strikes the tar baby, and quickly finds himself trapped by the sticky stuff.  (This is why we say that a particular subject or idea is a tar baby, because a hapless victim quickly finds himself stuck to and overwhelmed by the issue.)

Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear pluck Br’er Rabbit from the tar and debate the best ways to kill him.  Br’er Rabbit agrees to each proposed idea, but asks repeatedly “Please, please, don’t throw me in the briar patch.”  Convinced that the briar patch is Br’er Rabbit’s greatest fear,  are Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear, ignoring their own self-interest in keeping that edible little body near them, throw Br’er Rabbit into the patch — the same patch in which he was born and raised.  Br’er Rabbit happily runs away, while Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear are left kicking themselves. It is not a racist tale. It’s a humanist tale about greed, cleverness, and hubris.

The Obama administration engages in full-out war against pro-Life people *UPDATED*

As others have commented, the Catholic Church is making the loudest noises about the new Obama Care mandate regarding birth control, abortifacients, and sterilization, but the policy is really a strike against everyone who is pro-Life in America.  If you’re a pro-Life employer, you have to pay for your employees’ abortion pills.  If you’re a pro-Life health insurance company (or health insurance company employee) you must write policies that cover every woman’s birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients.  If you are a health insurance consumer (as we all must be in Obama’s America), you will pay for abortions.

Anybody with a pro-Life conscience, even if that person has arrived at that position without benefit of organized religion, is in the line of fire.

But if you’re thinking that Obama is hostile to religion, you’re right about that too.  Check out the first update to the Anchoress’ post about the health care mandate, and you’ll see that Obama is starting to put the squeeze on in other areas when it comes to people of faith.

I’m hoping that hubris is driving the administration’s unpopular decisions now, in an election year.  To date, though, the administration has shown itself to be sufficiently Machiavellian that I wonder if it knows something about the upcoming elections that the rest of us don’t know.

UPDATE:  Oh, and for the pointedly humorous take on Obama’s policy stand, I know you’ll enjoy this.  I’ve come to the conclusion that we live in a very peculiar world, one that sees me, a loosey-goosey theist (sort of), deeply offended by the federal executive’s full force attacks on religious freedom in America.

(And please sign the petition.)

The Obama administration’s “compromise” re the Health Care mandate is a scam

You guys are all too smart to fall for the fake compromise the Obama administration offered to organizations that do not want to pay for women’s birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients.  Just in case you missed the story, though, let me quote from Ace, who drills into the heart of the deceit behind this offer:

All Obama’s doing is mandating that employers enter into a contract with insurers in which both parties pretend that the base cost of the service is higher than it is, and that abortifacient coverage now costs zero dollars.

Obama’s mandate solution is now just to force the conscience-objectors to lie about it.

The old mandate was just to provide abortifacents. The “solution” just adds a new mandate on top of that one: That you lie about that fact in a legal contract.

Read the rest here.

The Anchoress has assembled a list of posts on this subject.  So far, no one, including the Bishops, seems to be fooled.

Fisking three dishonest Democrat senators on the subject of ObamaCare’s birth control mandate

The last two times I fisked, I was attacking solo acts.  This time, I get a triumvirate, as the three most liberal women in the United States Senate, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, and Jeanne Shaheen, have joined together to write an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, justifying ObamaCare’s intrusion into the realm of religion.  I cannot resist the fisk.

It was a historic victory for women’s health when the Obama administration changed the law to require private health plans to provide preventive services including breast exams, HIV screening and contraception for free. This new policy will help millions of women get the affordable care they need.

[This is simply ideology blah-blah.  Women get free stuff.  Men don't.  It hardly seems fair to me.]

Now, sadly, there is an aggressive and misleading campaign to deny this benefit to women. It is being waged in the name of religious liberty. But the real forces behind it are the same ones that sought to shut down the federal government last year over funding for women’s health care. They are the same forces that just tried to pressure the Susan G. Komen Foundation into cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood for breast-cancer screenings. Once again, they are trying to force their politics on women’s personal health-care decisions.

[The above is an impressively misleading paragraph, conflating core constitutional rights with marketplace pressures.  The ObamaCare fight is a war of religious liberty, insofar as the Obama administration, contrary to the limitation that the First Amendment imposes upon the federal government, is trying to force religious organizations to engage in practices that directly contradict core doctrinal matters.  The other fight arose from the fact that a privately funded charity wanted to stop providing money to an organization that (a) is being investigated for corruption; (b) receives massive amounts of federal dollars; (c) is one of the largest abortion providers in the country; and (d) does almost no "breast-cancer screenings" but, instead, simply refers women to other providers.  Having the facts kind of makes a mockery out the triumvirate's claim that those opposed to the ObamaCare mandate "are trying to force their politics on women's personal health-care decisions."]

We are very glad that the president has stood up to these forces while protecting religious freedom on all sides. His administration should be commended, not criticized.

[There's that new-speak again -- the president "protects" religious freedom by imposing doctrinal mandates on religious organizations.]

Contraception was included as a required preventive service on the recommendation of the independent, nonprofit Institute of Medicine and other medical experts because it is essential to the health of women and families. Access to birth control is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality, can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, and is linked to overall good health outcomes. Nationwide, 1.5 million women use contraceptives only as treatment for serious medical conditions. Most importantly, broadening access to birth control will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, a goal we all should share.

[Been here, done that.  This is the big lie at the heart of the Obama administration's attack on traditional religious institutions.  These harpies constantly conflate the availability of birth control with funding for birth control.  They are not the same.  Women in America can get birth control.  The government can fund organizations -- indeed, it already does with the monies that go to Planned Parenthood -- that provide all these birth control options.  Forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control, sterilization and abortifacients, however, both exceeds the government's power and contravenes the limitations the Bill of Rights imposes on government.  This is not about whether women should have birth control; it's about with the government can force churches to pay for it.]

Proper family planning through birth control results in healthier mothers and children, which benefits all of us. It saves us money too: The National Business Group on Health—a nonprofit whose members are primarily Fortune 500 companies and large public-sector employers—estimated that it costs 15% to 17% more for employers to exclude birth-control coverage, both because other medical costs rise and because of lost productivity.

[See above.  Apples and oranges.  Even accepting as true every single statement in the above paragraph, that still doesn't give the administration the right or power to force churches to fund birth control, sterilization and abortifacients.]

Contraception is not a controversial issue for the vast majority of Americans. Some 99% of women in the U.S. who are or have been sexually active at some point in their lives have used birth control, including 98% of Catholic women, according to the Guttmacher Institute. A recent survey by Hart Research shows 71% of American voters, including 77% of Catholic women voters, supported this provision broadening access to birth control.

[Ditto.]

Consistent with other federal policies, churches and other groups dedicated to teaching religious doctrine are exempted from providing this coverage under a “conscience clause.” But the law does include institutions that have historic religious ties but also have a broader mission, such as hospitals and universities. That’s also consistent with federal policy—and with laws that already exist in many states.

[Boot strapping argument here.  The second sentence assumes that the law is allowed to include institutions that aren't dedicated solely to religious activity, and staffed solely by core religious employees, and then says that, because the law includes them, therefore the inclusion is consistent with federal policy.  And, as did Sebelius, these gals wrongly look to state law, as if the states' acts give the federal government powers denied it under the Constitution.]

Those now attacking the new health-coverage requirement claim it is an assault on religious liberty, but the opposite is true. Religious freedom means that Catholic women who want to follow their church’s doctrine can do so, avoiding the use of contraception in any form. But the millions of American women who choose to use contraception should not be forced to follow religious doctrine, whether Catholic or non-Catholic.

[Nothing now prevents church employees from buying and using contraception.  They've been able to do so freely, in all 50 states, since the Griswold case in 1965.  What does exist now is a Big Rule saying that the government cannot force religious organizations to engage in acts that violate doctrine.  The First Amendment is explicit:  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."  Right now, there are no laws prohibiting Catholic women from doing whatever the heck they please regarding their health care and contraceptive choices.  The only difference now is that never before has the federal government had the temerity to make laws, rules, and regulations that directly implicate an establishment of religion, prohibiting it from freely exercising its faith.]

Catholic hospitals and charities are woven into the fabric of our broader society. They serve the public, receive government funds, and get special tax benefits. We have a long history of asking these institutions to play by the same rules as all our other public institutions.

[Rhetorical sleight of hand.  When it comes to playing by workplace rules, the previous rules didn't attack doctrine.  This here is a different type of rule.]

So let’s remember who this controversy is really about—the women of America. Already too many women struggle to pay for birth control. According to the Hart Research survey cited above, more than one-third of women have reported having difficulty affording birth control. It can cost $600 a year for prescription contraceptives. That’s a lot of money for a mother working as a medical technician in a Catholic hospital, or a teacher in a private religious school.

[And we're right back to the cost-shifting argument.  See my discussion, above.]

Improving access to birth control is good health policy and good economic policy. It will mean healthier women, healthier children and healthier families. It will save money for businesses and consumers. We should hold to the promise we made women and provide this access broadly. Our nation will be better for it.

[Ditto.]

I was going to wrap this up by saying I’ve seldom seen a more ignorant and dishonest piece of advocacy writing. I’ve decided, though, that it’s not ignorant. These gals know what they’re doing and what game they are playing. This is simply dishonest.  It is, however, a fine piece of writing coming from acolytes of the Constitutional law professor who now discovers, seemly for the first time in his intellectual life, that the Founders wisely wanted to limit a nascent dictator’s power:

[T]his week Barack Obama proved himself once again the perfect epigone of Woodrow Wilson—the first president to criticize the Constitution and the principles of the American Founding—with his remarks to NBC’s Matt Lauer that one reason he hasn’t succeeded in fulfilling his campaign promises to transform the world is that “it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.”  It turns out?  He’s just discovering this now?  (Well, one thing that “turns out” is that the only constitutional law Obama actually taught at the University of Chicago was the equal protection clause.  Apparently he skipped over that whole “separation of powers” stuff.)

That Planned Parenthood video I posted earlier is the real deal

Last week, I posted a Planned Parenthood of San Francisco video that was so extreme and biased, I raised the possibility that it was a fake, intended to discredit PP.  The inestimable Zombie, bless his (or her) heart, did the leg work for me and discovered that it is the real deal.  Here are the links Zombie sent me establishing that fact:

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character

Dionysus, God of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood’s Most Recent Gaffe

Inside Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s Building Design

Double Standard : There’s The Left, And Then There’s The Rest Of Us

Your tax dollars at work: Planned Parenthood video from San Francisco *UPDATED*

Given the current kerfuffle about Planned Parenthood, it seemed worthwhile to remind people that Planned Parenthood isn’t just about abortions. It’s also about advancing an agenda antithetical, not only to Christians, whom it attacks very directly, but to any parents who worry about their children’s safety and morality.

Also, as you watch this circa 2005 video from a San Francisco Planned Parenthood Chapter (i.e., a pre-Obama video), please keep in mind that you, the taxpayer, heavily subsidize Planned Parenthood. This video’s crude propaganda is still shocking — and is a reminder about where your tax dollars go:

(I have to admit, watching this video, that I really wonder whether it isn’t a head fake. It’s hard to believe that, even in the San Francisco chapter, someone would come out with propaganda this crude. Does anyone know more about this video’s provenance?)

Hat tip:  shirleyelizabeth

UPDATE: The inestimable Zombie, bless his (or her) heart, did the leg work for me and discovered that this video is the real deal. Here are the links Zombie sent me establishing that fact:

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character

Dionysus, God of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood’s Most Recent Gaffe

Inside Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s Building Design

Double Standard : There’s The Left, And Then There’s The Rest Of Us

How dare a private organization spend its money the way it wants to? Liberals opine about ObamaCare and the Susan G. Komen Foundation

In the past week, two decisions came out regarding the way in which private organizations spend their money.  The first decision was the Obama administration’s announcement that businesses in America must provide their employees with insurance that covers birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients.  The only exception was for businesses that had no employees other than those dedicated to a core religious mission (i.e., a convent that doesn’t employ any janitorial or gardening staff, but only nuns, who serve in all capacities, both religious and non-religious).

One year from now, by government diktat, religious organizations that are doctrinally opposed to any forms of birth control, abortion, or sterilization must nevertheless fund these activities.  This will affect every religiously run school, health care center, or other charity in America, of which there are many.  It will also affect most parishes, to the extent that the only employees aren’t priests and nuns.

The other decision that hit the news regarding the way in which private entities can spend their money came, not from the government, but from an actual private entity.  The Susan G. Komen foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer, announced that it will cut its ties to Planned Parenthood.  As an aside, Susan G. Komen is privately funded; Planned Parenthood, of course, receives substantial monies from the government.

Komen claimed that it cut funding because Planned Parenthood is running afoul of Congress, a problem that makes it impossible for Komen, under its charter, to provide funding.  Planned Parenthood claims that Komen, under the leadership of one of Sarah Palin’s friends, is punishing Planned Parenthood for providing abortions and abortion counseling.

In the conservative world view, those stories are bass ackward.  When it comes to the Church, the government should not be telling religious institutions to spend their money on activities antithetical to their core doctrines.  And with regard to business, conservatives believe that private foundations have the perfect right to withhold funds from organizations that engage in activities they find offensive.  It’s very different in liberal land.

My insight into liberal land comes through my “real me” Facebook account.  Because I’ve spent most of my life in the Bay Area, I’d say that roughly 90% of my Facebook friends are liberal leaning.  I therefore get to see what energizes them (and why), as well as what they ignore completely.

I can tell you that what my friends ignored completely was the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom.  Not a single person I know commented upon the fact that the Catholic Church is outraged, and on the move, because of the requirement that it fund birth control and abortions.  As far as my friends were concerned, this was a non-issue.

Liberal pundits are equally unable to see why this matters.  Megan McArdle hones in on the liberal argument supporting the administration’s mandate, which is that if religious institutions are going to go into business (i.e., healthcare or education, both of which are activities in which they’ve engaged for millennia), they need to play by big boy rules, which translates to bowing down to government diktats that touch upon doctrinal issues.  If they don’t want to play by those rules, they shouldn’t be doing anything more than administering the sacrament:

[From the liberal viewpoint] the regulations seem to have nothing to do with whether the Catholic hospitals or other charities take public money; rather, it’s the fact that they provide services to the public, rather than having an explicitly religious mission.

I’ve seen several versions of Kevin’s complaint on the interwebs, and everyone makes it seems to assume that we’re doing the Catholic Church a big old favor by allowing them to provide health care and other social services to a needy public.  Why, we’re really coddling them, and it’s about time they started acting a little grateful for everything we’ve done for them!

McArdle shreds this argument with a little real world logic:

In the universe where I live, some of the best charity care is provided by religious groups–in part because they have extremely strong fundraising capabilities, in part because they often have access to an extremely deep and motivated pool of volunteers, and in part because they are often able to generate significant returns to scale and longevity. And of course, the comparative discretion and decentralization of private charity, religious or secular, makes it much more effective in many (not all ways) than government entitlements.

In this world, I had been under the impression that we were providing Catholic charities with federal funds mostly because this was the most cost-effective way of delivering services to needy groups.

Simply put, the religious organizations that run charitable programs are doing the government a favor, not vice versa.  Nevertheless, the Obama government has just decided to bite the hand that feeds it — not that my Facebook friends care.

What my Facebook friends do care about, deeply, is Komen’s decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.  They are outraged and are furiously sharing Facebook links from Planned Parenthood and other pro-Choice advocacy groups that find it morally wrong that a private entity, offended by Planned Parenthood’s approach to a core moral issue, might have rethought its charitable outreach.  Some examples:

Tell the board of Susan G. Komen: Don’t throw Planned Parenthood under the bus!
act.credoaction.com
The Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood is working — but if we take action now we may be able to stop the latest attack on women’s right to health care. It was just announced that Susan G. Komen for a Cure will no longer fund free or low-cost breast cancer screenings for millions of women.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Don’t Succumb to Right Wing Attacks. Restore Planned Parenthood Relatio
signon.org
I just signed a petition to Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Stand firm for women and restore your relationship with Planned Parenthood immediately.

Women’s lives vs. politics
pol.moveon.org
Susan G. Komen for the Cure just bowed to anti-choice pressure and eliminated breast health funding for Planned Parenthood, even though this means thousands of women could be denied the screening and early detection that saves lives. Tell them to put women’s lives ahead of politics.

Most of my Facebook friends, in posting these links, announce that they’ll never give money to Komen again, but are at that very minute cutting a check to Planned Parenthood.  In other words, they understand how the marketplace works; they just don’t like it.

What I especially love about all the comments I’ve seen is the moralizing:  “Breast cancer isn’t pro-choice or anti-choice.”  “It’s immoral to stop funding breast cancer research.”  “How can Komen put politics ahead of morality?”  In making these arguments, my friends are oblivious to two pertinent points.

First of all, Komen isn’t stopping its funding for breast cancer research.  It’s simply finding a new partner with which to work, either because its current partner is corrupt and in trouble with Congress (the official Komen line) or because its current partner engages in acts that the Komen organization finds morally wrong.  By making breast cancer screening available through a morally corrupt entity, Komen understands that it is essentially funding that corruption, a nuance that eludes the liberals.

Second, it’s the Komen Foundation’s own money.  Last I heard, and despite the Obama administration’s most recent assault on the Church, in America people (and corporations) have a Constitutional right to spend their money (or not spend their money) as they please.

People should think long and hard about the pairing of the ObamaCare/Catholic Church battle, and the Planned Parenthood/Komen battle, because these two fights perfectly represent two sides of the same coin:  namely, the liberal belief that there is nothing, including the Constitution, to stop the government and the liberal elites from dictating how individuals and private entities should spend their money.

ObamaCare, the Catholic Church, and mandatory abortion payments

In the halcyon pre-Obama days, when Prop. 8 meant that gay marriage was a hot blogging issue, I argued that religion organizations, not the state, should be allowed to define what constitutes a “marriage,” with states confined to authorizing “civil unions.”  In that context, I commented upon the religious implications of the government mandating that a church engage in something that touches upon a core doctrinal belief:

The second problem right now with the emphasis on changing state definitions of marriage, rather than religious definitions, is the risk that there will be direct challenges between church and state. A lawyer I know assured me that this couldn’t happen because, for example, the Catholic church does not get sued because it opposes abortion.  That was facile reasoning.  While abortions may be a civil right, the Catholic church does not provide abortions.  What the Catholic church provides is communion, which is not a civil right, so the church can withhold it at will.  What happens, though, when the church provides something which is both a core doctrinal belief (marriage) and a state right (marriage)?  It’s a head-on collision, and I can guarantee you that the courts will get involved and that some activist judge will state that the Catholic Church is constitutionally required to marry gay couples.  (Emphasis added.)

I was prescient.  Mandating that the Catholic Church provide abortions is precisely what the Obama administration is doing.  Institutions such as the Catholic Church, which considers the right to life one of its core beliefs, must nevertheless fund abortions by providing insurance that makes abortion drugs available to all women on demand.  Funding an act is tantamount to committing that act yourself.

Whether you support a woman’s right to have an abortion or not, surely anyone who is intellectually honest must see that it is morally wrong to make a religious institution fund it.  To use an extreme analogy, this is the beginning of a continuum that ends with Jews being forced to dig their own mass burial pits before being lined upon along the edge of those pit and shot.

I assume that those who are celebrating this mandate will contend that, throughout the Bush years, they were forced to see their tax dollars go to fund a war they did not support, one that saw thousands of people die.  Likewise, those who oppose the death penalty must nevertheless pay taxes that fund the judicial and prison system.  That argument is a red herring.  The Constitution explicitly authorizes both war and capital punishment, which are legitimate government powers.  Those who don’t like that reality are welcome to try a Constitutional amendment to wipe out the government’s war powers and do away with capital punishment.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

There is nothing in the Constitution, however, that authorizes the Federal government (and, by extension through the 14th Amendment, any state government) to mandate that a religious institution be complicit in an act it believes constitutes murder.  More to the point, the Constitutional grant of religious freedom, by which the government agrees to stay out of managing a religious institutions affairs, either practical or doctrinal, should prohibit such conduct entirely.  This is one more example, as if we needed it, of the Obama administration’s fundamental lawlessness.

 

Media commits fraud by continuing to ignore the conservative movement in America

A few days ago, writing with regard to the media’s decision to ignore the standing ovations Newt received during the last South Carolina debate, I asked “If the Press Ignores an Event, Does It Exist?“  The press, it turns out, wants to take that experiment in ignoring facts as far as it can go.

Today, I present you with an even more egregious example, one that sees that media ignore several hundred thousand people walking down the streets of Washington, D.C.  The event, of course, was the March For Life, something the media would prefer not to acknowledge.  As the Anchoress says:

You want the truth? You think you deserve it? The press can’t handle the truth; they can’t bring it to you.

That’s why 250 people camping out in a park gets thousands of stories, while half-a-million marching on Washington does not get reported at all, or if it does, the pictures are cropped; the attendees are caricatured, mis-named and under-represented while their opponents are over-represented.

You should, of course, read her entire post.

As I often say, I’m not yet fully recovered from my years in the Pro-Choice camp, so I won’t be marching any time soon with the Pro-Life people, even though I admire them more than my former fellow travelers.  I am, though, very much pro-truth.  And as I lawyer, I can tell you that, as a matter of law, selective omission is just as much a fraud is deliberately deceptive affirmative statements.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist warns city’s rational thinkers not to roll in the mud with one specific fringe group

Here’s the lede:

The great thing about living in San Francisco is that it is socially and culturally responsible. The bad thing is, a city that is so socially and culturally responsible can’t resist taking the bait when a fringe group tries to provoke a reaction.

In a non-Bizarro world, one might think that the columnist, C.W. Nevius, is advising San Franciscans to ignore the OWSers camped out along the Embarcadero.  What better way to avoid the drugs, feces and vomit?  Except that can’t be right take on that lede because even San Francisco, with its seemingly endless tolerance for all things Progressive, cleared out the OWS camp a couple of months ago because it was a public health hazard.

Or maybe Nevius is advising San Franciscans to avoid the antisemitic/anti-American hate fest that occurs whenever the Progressive crowd takes to the streets of San Francisco to oppose the wars the U.S. is fighting against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  Nope.  Can’t be that.  Those protests ended when Obama took the White House, even though it took another three years for one war to wrap up and the other is still going strong.

Hmm.  Maybe Nevius is telling San Franciscans to stay away from the annual Up Your Alley Fair, an open air celebration of pretty much unlimited debauchery.  Or the annual Folsom Street Fair, which features less nudity, but more whips and chains.

I mean, frankly, when it comes to “fringe groups” that are trying “to provoke a reaction,” San Francisco certain has more than its fair share.

This being San Francisco, however, Nevius had something even more fringey in mind, something so horrifying that even San Francisco’s usual crew of protesters, the ones who will take off their clothes to protest anything, including their right to take off their clothes, are being warned away lest they get damaged by contact with this extremist organization.  What is this diabolical gathering, the one so out there that San Franciscans need to hide in their homes rather than validate it with confrontation?

The 8th Annual Walk For Life, which will be held on January 21, 2012, in San Francisco.  Last year, this “fringe” group managed to gather around 40,000 people, all of whom frightened ordinary San Franciscans by wearing normal clothes, walking peaceably, and carrying signs that support life.  (Zombie has an illustrative photo essay from the 2010 walk.)

Nevius, who sometimes distinguishes himself by being amongst the more sensible columnists by San Francisco Chronicle standards, embraces San Francisco’s amorality, however, when he says that the City, en masse, should ignore this pro-Life plague:

The best approach, of course, would be to let them [the pro-Life walkers] have their moment, ignore them, and then go back to real life in San Francisco. That’s the approach that will be taken by the local chapter of Planned Parenthood.

[snip]

Naturally, not everyone feels that way, and we can just about count on clashes between the two groups. There will be disagreements about the size of the crowds – protesters claim that the walk organizers overestimate the size of the march, and members of the walk claim that the number of protesters decreases every year.

At the end of the day, it comes down to a classic example of sound and fury signifying nothing. When the walk concludes Saturday, you can bet that no one will have changed his or her position, although everyone will be congratulating himself or herself for standing up for the cause.

I’ve done enough abortion posts for you guys to know that I’m conflicted on this subject.  I grew up totally pro-Choice, focused entirely on the woman’s needs and convenience.  As I’ve aged — and had children — I’ve no longer been able to deny that there is another life involved.  I want to deny it.  If, God forbid, my daughter shows up pregnant at 15, I want to say “Oh, never mind, darling!  I’ll just take you to the doctor and that’ll be that,” but I don’t think I can anymore.  It’s not a woman’s convenience versus a cell’s existence.  It’s a life versus a life.

So when C.W. Nevius says “[w]hen the walk concludes Saturday, you can bet that no one will have changed his or her position,” he’s plain wrong.  The walk may be the last link in the chain for someone who is struggling, as I struggle, with making a u-turn in a profound belief system, one that forces us to confront who we are and what value we place upon ourselves.

Pro-abortion group manipulates truth to qualify for banners on San Francisco’s main drag

(Market Street, by Alfonso Jiminez)

Market Street is San Francisco’s main drag.  There are other major streets in the City, but Market Street the one that starts just below Twin Peaks and travels diagonally northeast all the way to the Ferry Building.  It traverses the Castro District, the outer fringes of the Mission District, the Civic Center area and the financial district.  It is a street with stature.

Under the Municipal Code, the City will hang banners on major thoroughfares, including Market Street, if the banners promote an “event or series of events of interest to a significant portion of the residents of San Francisco.”  The event promoters must therefore make a credible showing that they “reasonably expect an in-person attendance of 500 or more people for a single event or 1,000 or more people for a series of events.”  Parades, concerts, etc., have all been bannerized at one time or another.

Most recently, a new series of banners went up on Market Street, paid for by a group called “OurSilverRibbon.org.”  The banners have an unabashedly pro-abortion messages:

U.S. Out Of My Uterus

Her Decision, Her Choice

San Francisco is Pro-Choice

Interestingly, none of these pro-abortion banners, all of which appear on City property, happen to mention an actual event.  Or maybe not so interestingly.  As the Life Legal Defense Foundation discovered when it investigated the banners, the City’s Department of Public Works issued the banners in conjunction with a promised “Walk for Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign” event that was supposed to take the form of a parade on Market Street this coming Friday.  At the same time the group applied for a parade permit for this coming Saturday morning.

Except that, as the SF Chronicle itself acknowledges, it “[T]urns out, none of that’s quite right“:

The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women’s website has long said to come back for more information about an upcoming event. Today, it released the specifics: Its Walk for Choice SF – billed as “an event to commemorate and admire the pro-choice banners on Market Street” will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. in Justin Herman Plaza. So the banners are promoting an event to admire the banners. And they’re not for the day or time listed on the event permits. Oh, and the campaign is expecting “a couple hundred people,” at the event, according to Ellen Shaffer, co-founder of the campaign.

In other words, rather than spending money to buy commercial billboard space, a pro-abortion organization lied in order to have the City of San Francisco fund its pro-abortion advertising.  Regardless of how one feels about the abortion issue, this is sleazy, fraudulent behavior.

Some city residents are apparently less than thrilled with this little game:  “[O]f the original 72 banners, just 45 remain flying. Apparently vandals have ripped down the rest.”

 

Which agenda really serves women’s rights?

Republican voters, struggling to decide which candidate will best handle the myriad problems facing America under the Obama regime — problems that include a stagnant economy, a collapsing Europe, a boiling Middle East, etc. — were treated to a New Hampshire debate that focused on . . . birth control.  A post-debate NYT op-ed establishes why this was such a driving topic for the moderators — the Left is going to make this election about abortion.  Because Obama is rapidly losing any semblance of support on issues that matter for the future of this country, the Left is hoping to agitate women with visions of Bible-wielding sex police storming into people’s houses, arresting them for owning condoms:

But the message from Iowa was crystal clear: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman Jr., Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry all stand ready to restrict a woman’s right to make her own childbearing decisions and deny essential health care to millions of women.

The Republican field is united in its determination to overturn Roe v. Wade; to appoint Supreme Court justices supportive of that goal; and to end government payments to Planned Parenthood for family planning services, cancer screening and other vital health services provided to low-income women. The candidates also want to reinstate the global gag rule that barred family planning groups abroad receiving federal money from even talking about abortion.

The op-ed goes on for several more fevered paragraphs, all urging women to rise up and say “Keep the Republicans out of my uterus.” The liberal women on my “real me” Facebook page are responding with appropriate panic.

There is no doubt but that the Republican candidates, even formerly pro-Choice Mitt Romney, are now or have become disenchanted with the Leftist obsession with abortion and “reproductive rights.”  I too have come disenchanted with a culture that is obsessed with infant death and, worse, that celebrates random, rampant and dangerous youth sexuality.  Here are a few random thoughts on the subject:

Contrary to the New York Times‘ fears, I’m not worried that the egg will be totally unscrambled, with the world reverting to a repressive era characterized by back alley abortions.  Too many things have changed in the past few decades.  Unwed motherhood and birth control are an integral part of our culture now.  Without the easy option of abortion, women and men may be more zealous about birth control.  And if a pregnancy happens, the likelihood of coat hangers or social death are certainly smaller.

Also, if Roe v. Wade, a singularly badly thought-out decision, is reversed, all that will happen is that the abortion debate will revert to the state level.  The big urban states will keep abortion; the smaller rural/Southern states will not.  Then, there will be a few years as people get to examine these experiments in progress and see what works best for women and children.

In my role as a parent, I wouldn’t mind at all having a more repressive culture.  Yesterday, a teenager I know said, “Our principal just discovered that twelve-year olds are sexually active, and now she’s bringing people into the school to teach them how to do it right.”  Since I was driving a carpool at the time, I was so shocked, I almost ran a red light when I heard this one. I immediately launched into my tried and true lecture that, just because kids have the physical maturity to do something doesn’t mean they should do something, although with data about pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, depression, self-loathing, and the failure to connect well in adult relationships.

I know, though, that I’m fighting a rear guard action.  These kids are inundated by sexually charged movies, TV shows, songs (especially songs, lately), plus, as this boy said, detailed instructions from their schools.  Hollywood is setting the agenda, and it’s one that lacks any sense of decency or morality.  I think it would be a good thing if rampant sexuality became more difficult.

I’m also willing to bet that, if one could get all the liberal mamas and papas in my world to figure out that unfettered everything is putting their kids at risk, simply because it means that sex is always “in the air,” they too might agree that putting the brakes on things is a good idea — especially if they could be brought to understand that putting the brakes on things is not the same thing as reverting to a 1620′s ethos.

Specifically regarding chemical birth control, whether it means giving girls the pill or unfettered access to the morning after pill, I’m really opposed to that.  The pill isn’t just a contraceptive.  It is an incredibly potent chemical cocktail that manipulates a woman’s, or more disturbingly, a growing girl’s body.  All women know that from the moment you take your first pill, you not only stop getting pregnant, you gain weight, you have mood swings, you go for baby-faced men, your skin breaks out, you risk blood clots (a friend of mine almost died that way), and sex becomes less enjoyable.  Also, if you’re unlucky, it makes you vomit.

What’s ironic is that the same liberals who spend a fortune on organic milk and grass-fed beef, or who refuse to vaccinate their kids because of the risk, embrace the idea of exposing their still-maturing daughters to this stuff.  Irony is probably the wrong word.  Our culture is so insane we’ve moved into a post-ironic era were nothing should surprise us anymore.

So I’ll end this post with a question:  As between the Democrats who push relentless for unfettered abortion and birth control access for tweens and teens, and the Republicans, who would like to make abortion a state matter and stop having the federal government fund it, which party do you think better serves women’s needs?