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Michigan Late-term Abortion Ban Passes, Veto-Proof

11. June 2004 • Scott Trudeau
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From the Detroit News: Late-term abortions banned: Legislature vote bypasses governor’s veto; court challenge is promised by opponents

  1. A major victory for mankind. The sooner we outlaw baby mutilations, the better off we are as a society.

    Have your opinion on abortion, that’s fine. But there’s NO WAY TO JUSTIFY late term baby murders.

    When the baby is fully formed, to the point where they have to pull the baby out and crush and/or puncture its skull to kill it, it’s a baby and it’s murder. Period. It’s filthy and horrible.
       —T.J.    Jun. 11 '04 - 01:03AM    #
  2. Even if the mother will die in childbirth? As Gandalf said, “Think things through before you make another idiot statement.”
       —Eric Goldberg    Jun. 11 '04 - 02:26AM    #
  3. If the mother would die during childbirth, then give her a c-section. There is no justifying the sadistic mutilation of babies.

    This is your fourth and final warning about the childish insults. There’s no need for that, I have never said a cross word to you in my life.
       —T.J.    Jun. 11 '04 - 05:02AM    #
  4. This is your fourth and final warning about the childish insults.

    Speaking of childishness…

    Can’t we all just get along.
       —Mark    Jun. 11 '04 - 12:18PM    #
  5. And for those who feel a wee bit more compassionate about the issue MARAL
       —Mark    Jun. 11 '04 - 12:22PM    #
  6. The law is idiotic, hence I don’t know if it’s too far to call its supports idiots.

    While I’m totally pro-choice, the issue here isn’t the whole abortion debate, fine we all stand where we may on that. The issues is the Law here in Michigan, it has many flaws.

    first- the idea of having in the law a clause to protect the mothers life. If a mother will die during childbirth, and it does happen, then there needs to be a clause to protect that mother’s life, over the baby. It’s not just a “give her a c-section” kinda of thing T.J. Now, this law may not survive the courts due to this omission alone. Please respond to this question T.J;

    “if there is a near 100% chance that the mother will die during delivery, do you still prefer she not abort the child to save her life?”, no c-section cop outs, simply the mother WILL die, how do you handle the T.J., specially if your law makes a life saving procedure for the mother illegal?

    second – there is no such thing as “partial-birth abortion”, it is a term made up by the anti-abortion crowd. There is no medical procedure with that title. It is a tactic used by them to get the generally ignorant masses to rally around something. There is a lot of mis-education from the anti-abortion community, may have something to do with that whole we believe in god, forget about science attitude, the whole bush admin is big on that, make science suit your needs kinda thing.
       —Just a Voice    Jun. 11 '04 - 12:24PM    #
  7. When will the legislators learn that without the clause to protect the mother’s health, the law is unconstitutional (already been to the Supreme Court, won’t stand), and with that clause the law is unnecessary because THOSE ARE ALREADY THE GUIDELINES.
    Christ. It’s another PR victory for the right that allows them to dupe the TJs of the world.
       —js    Jun. 11 '04 - 12:36PM    #
  8. t.j.,
    the last time i argued with you, the only arguement you could give was something about armpit porn (i don’t even know if that exists) who are YOU to talk about childishness…

    then eric made a perfectly sound argument about the health of the mother, and then you denounced it as a childish insult…either argue respectively or i don’t know what…

    you were saying something about responding to steele with steinbeck???

    -ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jun. 11 '04 - 01:23PM    #
  9. They crush the baby’s skull and/or puncture it to kill the baby. Then, when they yank the dead baby out, they put it in what is essentially a tiny little woodchipper to grind the baby up into tiny little unrecognizeable chunks before tossing it into a dumpster.

    If we’re going to allow that, then we should start executing death row prisoners the same way. Oh, but you whacked out, sadistic baby mutilators would throw such a fit if that were to happen. THAT would be “inhumane”...

    I literally laughed out loud when Mark referred to people who are in favor of the sadistic mutilation of innocent life as “more compassionate.”

    I now completely understand why pro-life people bring those giant billboards to campus. And I understand why you subhuman filth throw such a fit about it. It’s because you don’t want to see what they do to these babies. It’s so much easier to argue for this whacked out, unhuman ritual slaughter when you don’t have to see what they are actually doing. It’s easier to say “there is no such thing as late term abortion” when you don’t have to see the results of it.

    I am thoroughly disgusted to share an alma mater with filth like you.
       —T.J.    Jun. 11 '04 - 02:05PM    #
  10. That’s great logic, Teej. “If it’s gross or disgusting, it should be illegal.” Well, I have news for you- open-heart surgery and organ transplants are fricking gross. Should they be illegal, too?

    In awe of your impeccable logic,
       —Eric Goldberg    Jun. 11 '04 - 02:48PM    #
  11. Why is it that pro-lifers are SO concerned about the life and well-being of unborn children, yet at the same time accuse single mothers on welfare trying to support their children that they didn’t abort (not to say they would have) of being “welfare queens” and giving millions of dollars to multinational corporations to try and kick them off?

    Is a baby’s life only important when a woman is in charge of it? After that, who gives a damn?

    In my honest opinion, I don’t think its about the baby’s life, or “barbaric ritual slaughters.” Its about controlling women, their bodies, and their rights.
       —Jared Golderg    Jun. 11 '04 - 04:12PM    #
  12. Jared,

    That is what I am speaking of as compassionate. Thank you for your words. I think Thomas is disgusted to share the same planet as well.
       —Mark    Jun. 11 '04 - 05:00PM    #
  13. Jared,

    Your inability to see the pro-life side as it sees itself and portray their mindset in a fair manner is clear. Why do you pro-choicers have that problem? You’re just as bad as the pro-lifers who call anyone who’s not pro-life a “baby killer”—even if you’re right, what’ve you accomplished by name-calling?

    At any rate, is it not consistent with the conservative stance on abortion that they also wouldn’t support “welfare queens” bilking the system? Doesn’t the pro-life position revolve around both the idea that that baby is a human life (a point you NEVER handled in your post, probably because it would’ve made you treat the pro-life agenda as if it’s rational rather than being run by a bunch of mongrels) AND the concept of personal responsibility, which says that, in having sex, she made a choice for which one logical consequence is pregnancy, and now she has to live with that choice? And why do you act as if every woman who wants to have a baby is stuck taking care of it? A woman could easily

    I suppose none of this matters, though, since not even Roe v. Wade permits abortion-on-demand (save the case of a woman whose life is endangered, does anyone honestly think that abortions in the third term should be permitted? be honest).

    Good to see you on the blog, Jared, but if you can’t do better than to poison the well by painting the pro life position out as a bunch of crazy people trying to take a woman’s rights away (the right to murder her unborn child?), I’ll not be continuing this conversation.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 11 '04 - 10:59PM    #
  14. Oh, and Jared, I do hope you weren’t saying that all pro-lifers feel the same way about welfare, welfare queens, or the appropriate amount of aid/assistance the government should extend to a woman with children. You weren’t, were you?

    By the way, Jared, how do you feel about seatbelt laws?
       —James Dickson    Jun. 11 '04 - 11:03PM    #
  15. James,

    If it really were about personal responsibility, you would have a point. But, most of the people who are pro-life and are anti-welfare support corporations over people and compassion.

    It wasn’t a pro-choicer who lobbied to give Exxon Valdez $300 million in tax credits after they hired a drunk captain to run a tanker into Alaska and spill millions of gallons of oil into an already delicate and sensitive ecosystem.

    I thought the argument was that it was a “brutal” procedure; not personal responsibility.

    Its a rather convenient argument you have:

    “You need to carry that baby to term. Its your personal responsibility. YOU had sex so therefore YOU must suffer the consequences. Of course, we’re not going to give you any money to help support you or the baby we forced you to have. YOU had sex so therefore YOU must suffer the consequences. Even if that means that baby has to starve to death because you can’t afford food, then so be it.” Rather convenient for rich and powerful people if you ask me. They get to enforce their religious views on other people while at the same time to keep all their taxes and not spend it on “welfare queens.”

    I’ll tell you who the real welfare queens are; big corporations. The amount of corporate welfare given out dwarfs any amount given to poor, single mothers and other low-income families. Corporations who have poor labor practices can get tax breaks and welfare. Corporations who make faulty products can get welfare. Funny, where’s the talk about personal responsibility? Our Supreme Court ruled over a hundred years ago that a corporation has the same rights as a person. Shouldn’t a corporation have “personal responsibility”?

    I didn’t skirt around the issue of a baby being a human life. It is. I’ll never deny that. I argued that because that life is biologically dependent on the mother, then the mother should have the final word on what life grows in her body, and not the government.

    Roe v. Wade doesn’t really “permit” anything; it establishes the right of privacy as implied by other rights in the constitution. You DID NOT even mention this issue in your argument. Very few pro-lifers ever do. Is it because you believe a man has a right of privacy and a woman does not or because, as you so eloquently put it, it would’ve made you treat the pro-choice agenda as if it’s rational rather than being run by a bunch of mongrels?

    I’m not sure what you mean by your second comment. Rephrase? And I haven’t thought about seatbelt laws. What is your argument there?
       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 12 '04 - 01:03AM    #
  16. Tj- “Subhuman filth”? Please remember this the next time you’re standing on top of your chair, screaming “I won’t reply to your childish insults!”
    James- Welfare queens driving Cadillacs were a Reagan rhetorical invention. Personal responsibility comes with personal liberty. If people are to be responsible for their choices, and a method of mitigating that choice exists, it is their right to choose it. If you are truly for personal liberty, you must stand as pro-choice. Otherwise you simply another neo-con manque without the intellectual rigor to think through your own arguments.
       —js    Jun. 12 '04 - 03:34PM    #
  17. Jared,

    As you know, there are circles in the conservative community who view Roe v. Wade and the “right to privacy”-a phrase which does not exist in the Constitution-as judicial fiat for the most part; why do you act as if all pro-lifers are irrational, mean-spirited people? And why do you assume that all pro-lifers feel the same way about welfare (e.g., “welfare queens”)?

    And, how do you feel about seatbelt laws?

    Lastly, I think JS is the last person on this blog I feel the need to prove my intellectual rigor to, so I’ll continue to not respond to his posts directly.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 12 '04 - 09:07PM    #
  18. James –

    I’d be interested in your completion of this idea:

    At any rate, is it not consistent with the conservative stance on abortion that they also wouldn’t support “welfare queens” bilking the system? Doesn’t the pro-life position revolve around both the idea that that baby is a human life (a point you NEVER handled in your post, probably because it would’ve made you treat the pro-life agenda as if it’s rational rather than being run by a bunch of mongrels) AND the concept of personal responsibility, which says that, in having sex, she made a choice for which one logical consequence is pregnancy, and now she has to live with that choice? And why do you act as if every woman who wants to have a baby is stuck taking care of it? A woman could easily
       —Ellen    Jun. 14 '04 - 10:48AM    #
  19. Oh, right. Sorry about that botched sentence, my mind goes a mile a minute sometimes when I’m responding to a post.

    To complete the thought, there are choices for women if they don’t want to keep the child around. They can: give it to the father, give it to their family, or even leave it with a Catholic Church and they will take care of it. But the idea that someone NEEDS to have an abortion unless their life is threatened, or the idea that anyone would need a late-term abortion except for very rare health reasons simply is not true.

    You want choices? You have plenty of them—I just don’t think abortion should be one of them, that’s all.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 14 '04 - 11:21AM    #
  20. I’d agree with you James, except often times, women do not have these choices. For example, their family may not be able to care for the baby, the father may not be around and the time, access to a lawyer and/or legal fees required to track him down to pay child support often aren’t available to many women. Furthermore, the foster-care system is often disastrous.

    Until there’s adequate sex and sexual health education, affordable contraceptives and medical care available to all women in America, abortion must remain an option. Believe me, it’s a last-choice thing, and a serious one, something that’s not taken lightly. But the fact that it’s the most common outpatient surgery in the United States speaks for the need for proper sex education and available birth control for all women.
       —Ellen    Jun. 14 '04 - 01:39PM    #
  21. I have a question: What if someone is not Christian? What if the fetus doesn’t have a soul? If I had a tape worm, or blood parasites, I could have those removed from me without anyone objecting. I don’t believe in a soul, so I think that a fetus is a parasitic organism.

    What is your response to that? If an atheist has an abortion, can’t you just pray for the fetus’s soul, if you believe in such a thing? Just a few ideas.. I would appreciate your response to this.

    Sex is a natural part of human existence. The complexity of the modern world, however, doesn’t make it so convenient to add another child to the hunter-gatherer community, though. Financial restraints, health care, careers, and individual liberties are all relatively new things in the human experience, evolutionarily speaking. So, I see abortion as a fine and ethical way of meeting the needs of modern society, while satisfying the urges and instincts of the human body.

    I imagine it’s better than the most common alternative, infanticide, which has persisted from millions of years ago until a few centuries ago in Western countries (or even currently, in a lot of countries).
       —Eric Goldberg    Jun. 14 '04 - 02:02PM    #
  22. Eric, I do not agree with what you’ve posted; please read the e-mail that I’ve sent.
       —Liana    Jun. 14 '04 - 06:11PM    #
  23. Liana,

    I’ve read and responded to your email, and it showed me that I should clarify at least one point – the “urges and instincts of the human body” part refers to the act of sex, not to the act of abortion. My god, what terrible wording! Of course, you’re free to disagree or call me out on anything else I say, but that glaring oversight of mine ought to be corrected.
       —Eric Goldberg    Jun. 14 '04 - 06:35PM    #
  24. I read it correctly, thank you, and I continue to disagree.
       —Liana    Jun. 14 '04 - 06:38PM    #
  25. James: I am sorry that you cannot seem to address a single point head-on. While your diffidence may be because of my tone, I can’t accept that as the single reason for your inability to reply except with conservative talking points long rebuked in the public dialogue.
    The right to privacy has both a long common law precedent, and is contained in both the 9th and 14th ammendments (reserved rights for citizens and due process), as you would know if you had read Roe V. Wade. While you may argue that it was a “judicial fiat,” the easiest answer is that individuals do not have to have their rights ennumerated in the constitution; rather the constitution exists to limit the rights of government. Surely, by now, you’ve heard the quote from the Georgian delegation to the convention, where they voted against the Bill of Rights under the thought that if they were so enshrined “Some fools would think that those were the only rights worth protecting.”
       —js    Jun. 14 '04 - 07:06PM    #
  26. The word privacy does not appear in the Constitution and prior to the 1960s no such thing as the “right to privacy” existed. These are facts.

    JS, let me ask you this—do you believe that there can be a such thing as judicial fiat?
       —James Dickson    Jun. 14 '04 - 08:44PM    #
  27. James:

    It doesn’t say, “right to have 50 automatic rifles” either. Actually, if you read the second amendment carefully, you’ll also see that “right to bear arms” corresponds to forming a militia that helps to maintain good security for the country. But of course, in our modern “interpretations” of the second amendment, we assume that means people can own whatever guns they want.

    But, I digress. The point of that little spiel there is to show you that there are interpretations of the Constitution. Just because the Constitution doesn’t “say” something, doesn’t mean that a right does or does not exist. The people who have the right (the only people) to make interpretations of the Constitution that have power are the justices of the Supreme Court.

    And they ruled in 1973 that although it is not explicitly stated, the Constitution has an IMPLIED right of privacy. Disagree with it if you will, but it was their ruling.

    As such, any kind of measures to restrict a woman’s right to privacy goes against this court ruling, and is thus illegal.

    You call the “right of privacy” is a legal fiat. Would you consider it to be a “fiat” if the government wanted to restrict your right to privacy concerning how much money you can make? How much you can give to taxes? It’s funny, conservatives talk all the time about no right to privacy, but scream bloody murder when the government raises taxes for social programs. Apparently the only “right to privacy” that should exist is their right to privacy over their own taxes and what should be taken out.
       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 15 '04 - 02:17AM    #
  28. here’s an american history lesson for jd:

    james, since the griswold case, the court established a right to privacy embedded within many written rights within the bill of rights, and this was alloud by the ninth’s enumeration clause…

    your ‘original intent logic’ is self-defeating…many conservatives still hold that the constitution should be viewed today the way to the forefathers would have…the funny thing is, is that the forefathers DIDN’T want this to happen…so if you view the constitution with orginial intent, you would have to not use orginial intent…

    furthermore, if you used orginial intent logic, the only guns you have a right to would be a one-shot musket…

    bang bang,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jun. 15 '04 - 10:17AM    #
  29. Well,

    Since you guys seem to have all the answers, why don’t I change the question and ask: if one believes that abortion is murder, DOES IT MATTER whether or not a Constitutional right to privacy exists, since murder is still not permitted by a right to privacy? It seems we’re arguing two different things entirely.

    One could argue that the right to privacy is irrelevant in this case. How would you respond to that?

    And how do you feel about seatbelt laws?

    And Ari, the logic of original intent DOES NOT suggest that we should “do what the founders would have done,” but that we should operate within the framework established by the Constitution they wrote. It’s as arguable that the Founding Fathers would laugh off the idea that gun rights entitle one to own a firearm as it is that they would find it silly to suggest that an implied right to privacy would lead to abortion, or that the First Amendment would lead to lawsuits over things like publically-displayed nativity scenes. As I’ve argued on the Review blog, it’s pretty messy business trying to decide ‘based on what I know about [a Founding Father], how would he feel about [an issue], and it’s best to avoid that debate entirely.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 15 '04 - 11:05AM    #
  30. Oh, and also:

    Jared—nice try. It’s certainly NOT an issue of privacy that causes conservatives to come out against the government for taking overly high taxes (and very few people are arguing that there should be NO taxes, mind you), but one of freedom and choice.

    And, as the Constitution itself as well as the 16th Amendment so clearly establish, the government absolutely has the right to take income tax, but most arguments hinge around the idea that it should not take more than 1/3 of anyone’s income between state, local, and federal taxes, and that’s a viewpoint I agree with. Basically, when people start making their own money and have ideas about how to best use, or, hell, save, that money, it really pisses them off when the government comes in and takes so much of it.

    In my candidate research this summer for GOPAC, an argument made by a lot of the candidates is that the reason why people think the government needs to collect such high taxes for “social programs” for the poor and unemployed is precisely because taxes are so high and there are so many regulations that it’s hard for small businesses to hire workers, so they don’t.

    There’s also the issue of elitism which I won’t get into at the moment, but the point is, there are several arguments against tax-and-spend liberalism, and privacy is one of the rarest and weakest ones, so much so that I’d say it’s almost a strawman. So, again, nice try, but you’ll have to understand conservatism better before attempting to explain to one why we argue what we argue, and on what grounds.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 15 '04 - 11:19AM    #
  31. James:

    The argument I was making is that conservatives embrace “privacy” when it benefits them. I used taxes as an example because I’ve heard many conservatives argue, “It’s money I make, so why should I give it to some welfare mom on drugs?” Their argument is that their wages is their own private wages, and the government has no right to tax them.

    But, that’s not the point. Conservatives argue that a fetus is alive and the mother doesn’t have the right to kill it. A fetus is alive, but when it comes down to it, whose life is more important, the unborn child’s or the mother’s? If a child’s life is SO precious, why don’t we see more pro-life organizations out to help single mothers? And I mean REALLY help, as in giving money to support both child and mother, decent education, etc.

    A) That’s where the whole welfare argument creeps in again and

    B) That’s why I believe it’s not about life. Pro-lifers who use the “abortion is murder” argument aren’t really for life. Otherwise, they’d be spending just as much time sustaining a child’s life AFTER it is born as they do before it was born. It’s about telling a woman what her place is in society and telling her that while a man can have privacy over his body, a woman can’t.
       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 16 '04 - 01:59AM    #
  32. Jared,

    the anti-tax argument hardly hinges on the issue of privacy, and when it touches upon it it’s certainly not a focal point like the pro-choice movement makes the entire issue of abortion out to be.

    And everyone suits everything when it suits them best (tell me it’s not more reasonable that Israel murders Palestinians than it is that Palestinians kill Israelis), so what’s your point?

    Lastly, your attempt to play both judge and jury on the issue of abortion and acceptable levels of aid to the parent of the child is duely noted. You absolutely can NOT frame this as an issue of aid to the parents when the real issue to pro-lifers is the life of the child. You cannot say that they don’t really care about the life of the child because they don’t believe the government should give as much aid to the child’s family as Jared Goldberg believes it should, which is basically what you have attempted to do. “They don’t want the government to take taxes from them and give it to single mothers, so they MUST NOT really care about the child’s life—their agenda is REALLY to subjugate women and steal their choice.”

    What you have, Mr. Goldberg, is little more than an ill-developed, ill-evidenced conspiracy theory that I won’t further respond to unless you show me why yours is a particularly interesting or informative way to view the topic. If you’re mad because all pro-lifers don’t believe in Life As Jared Goldberg Sees It, well, too bad. And if that really is your issue then you’re no better than the allegedly close-minded pro-life camp.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 16 '04 - 03:06AM    #
  33. James: I do believe that judicial fiats occur, but probably not to the degree that those who whine about activist judges do. Fiats occur when the judiciary limits rights without adequate law behind them, not when they extend the protection of rights we already enjoy.
    As for the murder question, that’s a straw man. It’s not for others to decide whether they believe killing a fetus is murder, it’s for the mother to decide. Anyone else lacks standing to determine that question. Because of…. (drumroll) a right to privacy.
    If you believe abortion is murder, don’t have one.
    If you believe meat is murder, don’t eat it.
       —js    Jun. 16 '04 - 01:43PM    #
  34. James:

    I’m not quite getting your Israel analogy nor do I think it is appropriate here.

    A) The anti-tax argument was just stuff I had heard other conservatives say. If you have a problem with, go sound out the horn and tell them. I’m just repeating what I’ve heard.

    B) You obviously didn’t read my comment very well regarding supporting single mothers. What I said was is why do pro-lifers always talk about the “life” of an unborn child but don’t give a rat’s ass about the life of a born child? Where are all the pro-life social organizations that help single mothers and/or low income families assist in making sure that the life of that born child is secure? Is a fetus more entitled to protection under the law than a living child? Does an unborn fetus have a greater right to life than a born child?

    The logic of that argument (or, rather, the lack thereof) is what makes me believe that it’s not really about life. It’s about something else, and I’m guessing it’s about what certain people, mainly fundamentalist types, think a woman’s place in society is.

    James, if you can please indicate to me why pro-lifers care all about unborn fetuses but don’t do anything about babies that are already born please do so. Otherwise, you’re proving me right.

    By labelling my ideas as ill-developed, ill-evidenced conspiracy theories that you won’t further respond to, you are just cowering away from the issue. Not only does that show to me your level of maturity on the matter, but also the fact that you know I’m right when you won’t even continue to debate this topic to me.

    In the words of js,
    “If you believe abortion is murder, don’t have one.
    If you believe meat is murder, don’t eat it.”
       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 16 '04 - 02:18PM    #
  35. I agree with Jared and JS regarding whether you think it’s murder or not. If you think someone is making a mistake by getting an abortion, it is your free speech right (though not very polite) to try to convince them of it. I just don’t think (for the reasons stated above) that there should even be a question of legally banning it.

    And yeah, meat is murder, so don’t eat it. ;-p
       —Eric Goldberg    Jun. 16 '04 - 02:32PM    #
  36. Jared,

    First – just answer the questions; you’ll see how they tie in later.

    Second – if pro-lifers are primarily of the Christian right, as you have argued in the past, you’re simply wrong when you say that the pro-life movement does nothing to ensure the life of the born child. Many churches offer cheap day-care and classes on finance and getting one’s life back on track. That you do not know this indicates that your knowledge of any facet of the right beyond liberal, twisted characterizations of it, is very limited, if there is any knowledge to speak of.

    And let’s not act like there’s a ton of babies starving every day in America when the biggest preventable killer in our country is obesity. Your argument is terrible here because unless these pro-life organizations serve women in the way you believe they should, they’re not doing enough, which means that they “don’t care” about the life of the born child, which means that the real agenda is to control women. If that’s not an ill-developed, ill-conceived conspiracy theory, there aren’t any.

    Third – You have still failed to prove that the pro-life movement does not care about the life of the born child for ANY other reason than that they don’t believe the government should extend as much aid to the mothers of those children as you believe they should.

    Fourth – It is not my job or anyone else’s to attempt to correct your preconceived notions of conservatives and conservatism, and I’d appreciate if you stopped making that my responsibility.

    I can understand the rationale behind your side just fine but because you believe conservatives want to impose themselves on the world, you think that gives you a free pass to not understand the conservative side. It does not. And your continued inability to understand conservatives (we’ve been having the same discussions since senior year of high school, and you still see the world like it’s a fucking Howard Zinn book, with the good guys – the poor, women, minorities, whomever else is your victim of the week – on one side and the monolithic conservative movement, the bad guys, on the other) at this point in your college career is disappointing, but not surprising, as liberal opinions are so rarely challenged at Michigan that many liberals have a well-developed sense of self-righteousness.

    Fifth – “if you think abortion is murder, don’t have one” is the single shittiest argument I have ever heard in my life (“if you think genocide is wrong, don’t do it”).
       —James Dickson    Jun. 16 '04 - 02:51PM    #
  37. From the 2002 US census:

    -The official poverty rate = 12.1%
    -People below the official poverty thresholds = 34.6 million
    -16.7% poverty rate for children = 12.1 million
    -7.2 million families (9.6%) were in poverty.

    USDA: “The number of children living in households classified as “food insecure with hunger among children” was 567,000.”

    one ton = 2000 pounds
    1 pound = one child
    567,000/2000 = 283.5 tons of children live with constant hunger
       —Ellen    Jun. 16 '04 - 04:09PM    #
  38. Ellen,

       —James Dickson    Jun. 16 '04 - 08:41PM    #
  39. ellen,
    i’m usually rude to you, but in this case: rock out with the census data!!!

    -ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jun. 17 '04 - 12:01AM    #
  40. thanks, ari. that’s really touching.
       —ellen    Jun. 17 '04 - 01:21PM    #
  41. James- The analogy of murder/abortion/meat holds solid, whereas the argument of genocide falls into the hole of false analogy. Abortion is a contested choice made by an individual which some disagree with. As it does no harm to other humans (a fetus is not a human, it is the potential for a human), it can be condemned but not banned by force of state or private coersion, just as one can seek converts for their religion but cannot use force to coerce members into the pews.
    And, to bring this back to the topic of the post, late-term abortion is a matter of self-defense. It is a horrible choice to make whether to kill another or live yourself, but most people would choose the latter and society would not unduly condemn them. Not only would you seek to remove a protection that even Locke, that father of Enlightenment conservatism, would preserve, but also you would endorse a regressive act that would encourage a vision of the world where mothers routinely died in childbirth. I have no desire to live in a third-world country, and reject that vision of the future, no matter how screechingly it is contended by yourself and other members of the right. You may disagree with me on any number of religious points, but those cannot be used as an authority in a secular society.
    I don’t believe that you have anything else to say that can form either a cogent argument or even attempt to convince me, so I advise that you desist before you look foolish again (though I do admire your diction).
       —js    Jun. 17 '04 - 04:43PM    #
  42. JS,

    My point with the analogy was more that ‘if you don’t like it, don’t do it’ is a terrible argument because, as I’m sure you yourself can admit to, not doing wrong isn’t quite enough – we’re all progressives in our own way, and we each have a rough sketch of what we think society should look like, and my perfect one is one without abortions, and certainly without late-term abortions (except in the case of a woman who’d die).
       —James Dickson    Jun. 17 '04 - 06:51PM    #
  43. James:

    A) Day care and “financial planning classes” aren’t what keep born babies alive. Health care, food, housing, you know. The biggies. If you could point me out pro-life organizations who do that on a large scale, and I mean large enough where thousands of women can turn to it, then it might be a viable alternative.

    Churches and other religious organizations don’t provide services like that so women don’t get abortions; they provide them because most religious organizations are philanthropic. They will offer services whether or not abortion is legal.

    B) Apparently I underestimated your conservative/structural functionalist thinking. And maybe that is where we differ. Apparently to you, if one baby has to starve just so you could make money, then you’ll let it starve. I’m not suggesting this is the scenario. But, the point of all social welfare programs is to help out the ONE starving child.

    One starving child is already too much, at least in my opinion. Of course, you think otherwise. As long as YOU’RE not starving, who cares?

    C) It’s not a conspiracy theory. I don’t see pro-lifers sitting around a table plotting how to take women’s rights away simply because they hate women or whatever. You either misunderstood or are just choosing to misrepresent my views.

    What I argue is that conservatives have the “as long as I’m not starving it’s ok” argument, which to me doesn’t coincide with the “a baby’s life is precious” argument.

    It’s not an ill conceived argument. If you can please explain to me how it’s all about “life,” juxtaposed with other conservative attitudes toward social justice (ie welfare etc.) I would greatly appreciate it. Otherwise, don’t call it irrational. It can’t be irrational if you can’t debunk it.

    And lastly,

    You, too, are sticking with your same arguments from senior year of high school. And you’re wrong. I don’t believe that arch-conservatives are the enemy.

    “And your continued inability to understand conservatives (we’ve been having the same discussions since senior year of high school, and you still see the world like it’s a fucking Howard Zinn book, with the good guys – the poor, women, minorities, whomever else is your victim of the week – on one side and the monolithic conservative movement, the bad guys, on the other) at this point in your college career is disappointing, but not surprising, as liberal opinions are so rarely challenged at Michigan that many liberals have a well-developed sense of self-righteousness.”

    Ok, you’re doing the exact thing you claim I’m doing. You criticize my so-called demonization of conservatives that you’re going right back and demonizing liberals. Conservatives always talk about having “academic diversity” on college campuses. I agree and one opinion should never reign over all. But, you argue not for pluralism, but rather replacing liberal ideals with conservative ones as the dominant ones. Frankly, that makes you a hypocrite.

    Despite what you think, I don’t see things like you do as simple as that. In my world, there is no such thing as good guys and bad guys. Everyone is a little of both. I don’t argue for unrestricted welfare. I call for it to be issued to those that need it. And penalities to those who abuse the system. I always have.

    I didn’t always agree with Howard Zinn. But, I see your problem is that you always disagreed with him, no matter what he said. Unconditional agreement is bad, but so is unconditional disagreement.
       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 17 '04 - 08:29PM    #
  44. No, James, the “If you don’t like it, don’t do it” is adequate for abortion because, and say it with me here, it’s a personal choice. You may even cajole women out of making that choice, but the coercive power of the state cannot be brought to bear.
    And as far as late-term abortions, our views are almost entirely the same. I also want to see a world where late-term abortions are not used except in cases where the mother’s life is threatened, or when there is a serious threat to her long-term health. Which is, strikingly enough, what the law already was. The argument that these legislators have put forth (and one that has already been rejected by the Supreme Court) is that the long-term health provision is not required. It is. If the mother wants to choose to abort rather than live life as a cripple, that is her right just as much as it is her right to defend herself should another adult threaten grevious bodily harm.
    If you want fiscal conservatism, vote these bums out because they’re wasting all of our money with unnecessary laws, court challenges and ultimate repeal of these fundementally flawed laws.
       —js    Jun. 18 '04 - 10:22AM    #
  45. Jared,

    First, I provided a response already about services that pro-life Christians already offer mothers, and let me put together the entire conservative position as I see it so that I’m not misunderstood and don’t keep having to answer the same exact question.

    1) conservatives believe in personal responsibility
    2)conservatives do not believe in handouts, but aid to people who will use it to improve the economy
    3)conservatives believe that some forms of aid really do more to create independence on the part of the beneficiary rather than increase it
    4) baby-sitting and finance classes, then, are acceptable forms of aid because they “teach a woman to fish” rather than giving her a fish, or a house, just because she had a kid she couldn’t support. They’re aid which increases one’s ability to take care of one’s self and one’s family rather than permanently rely on charity or government aid.

    That, in our minds, is much more noble and helpful, and, yes, even humane, than handouts.

    Second, I made no arguments either for or against academic diversity. My point was that liberal opinions tend to not be challenged as much as conservative ones at Michigan, and I think that it’s liberals who get the raw deal out of that arrangement to tell you the truth. My point is that everyone should have their views challenged, regardless of what they are or what the sympathies of the teacher may be.

    Thirdly, and I know this will hurt to hear, it’s not my responsibility to take care of anyone’s child, and me seeing a little more of the paycheck I earn every month isn’t taking food out of that child’s mouth. My parents never made it anyone else’s job to feed me, and I fear for the child whose parents don’t have the self-respect to feed their children, or those who would expect our Robin Hood government to give other peoples’ money to them.

    Lastly, Howard Zinn did not have a whole lot to say. Re-writing American history from the perspective of a socialist is an interesting project, and he’s a great writer, but I found a lot of what he wrote to be unfair and unhistorical, in that Zinn applied a framework to American history that its own political leaders never ascribed to themselves, and that anything that was outside the pale of his socialist agenda was portrayed as “anti-people” and, therefore, wrong.

    And who tries to cover all of American history in one book?
       —James Dickson    Jun. 18 '04 - 10:59AM    #
  46. James:

    I think we’re going over the same things over and over again. You say conservatives believe in personal responsibility, yet let corporations run rumshot over worker’s rights and the environment. (Lassez-faire, right?)

    It’s legitimate to not believe in handouts; I guess this is where we truly differ. I believe aid should be that, aid. It needs to be provided to help eliminate poverty. But, you believe aid should only be delved out in amounts that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice much, and in such a way you ultimately benefit (ie bettering the economy). We see aid in two different ways, and I can accept that.

    While baby sitting and financial planning classes may sound great, and I’m not saying eliminate them, they’re certainly NOT solving the problem of poverty.

    On a personal level, you’re right that you don’t have to take care of anyone’s child. But, we initiated welfare for the purpose of helping the poor. You may not be personally responsible, but you pay taxes. That’s where your responsibility comes in.

    Our taxes are not robbing from the rich to give to the poor. To tell you the truth, it is big corporations who exploit their workers. In effect, it is the rich who steal from the poor.

    If you don’t believe in welfare, that’s a completely legitimate position. But, don’t start lecturing me that conservatives care about “life” in the abortion argument, but then reject giving money, their tax dollars, to those that need it. To me that just doesn’t make sense.

    I disagree about Howard Zinn. He wasn’t re-writing American history; he was telling stories you didn’t hear in your social studies class. Stuff like the genocide of the native populations of the Caribbean by Columbus. That did happen, so to call it revisionist is to deny history. Those people didn’t make a magical journey into the Atlantic so they could live underwater. And they didn’t voluntarily leave either. They were butchered. He told about war-profiteering during World War I (War Is The Health of the State) and about how people made money from the Great Depression. While terribly one-sided, he did give another story.

    Oh, and who tries to cover all of American history in one book? Every American history textbook. Remember our textbook for A.P. History? Started out with pre-historic cultures in the Americas and ended with the Clinton Administration (the beginning of it anyway).
       —Jared Goldberg    Jun. 18 '04 - 01:49PM    #