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DirkGently

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Orlando
Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 10,804

Journal Archives

Calling a woman in need of an abortion a "murderer" is demonizing.

That is a false and insanely slanderous premise than cannot come from an honest place.

And yes, every one of the people who would call a woman in that position a murderer would save the hat. And all of them hate women to say or think or claim to believe that. It is not possible to equate this thing that women have dealt with, by necessity, forever, with killing someone.

It is not possible to suggest women should be forced to give birth under any circumstances, or placed under criminal investigation, trial, or imprisonment over whether their miscarriage might be have been "on purpose" without an utter disregard for the humanity of women.

They may tell themselves differently, but if it were their child pregnant by a molesting relative; their wife or mother or daughter about to die like that woman in Ireland, they would turn on a dime. They would insist on the abortion and think nothing of their stunning hypocrisy. They take the fake moral stance they claim only because they assume they will never be in a position in which it really matters.

I give pregnant women the benefit of the doubt. I think when they and their doctors determine they need this procedure, they should have it, and no one else has a single thing to say about it, period.

To any who suggest we should strap women to gurneys and force them to give birth, or throw them in jail for dealing with their own bodies as they see fit, I give none.

Do you have a take on what motivates "trophy hunting?"

I don't think there's that much confusion at this point between eating meat, which requires killing an animal, and slaughtering something, particularly a rare species, for entertainment. Most of us, hunters or not, get that.

Clearly we all used to feel differently about hunting for "sport." Teddy Roosevelt was and probably still is considered a great early conservationist, but his idea of appreciating wild animals included killing them for sport. I think there was a time when people were less secure in their dominance over nature, and felt like bringing down a large or fierce animal was a test of some kind. Of courage? Skill? At some point, maybe as a species we needed to take some kind of joy or pride in being able to "fight" animals.

But now? With modern weapons, vehicles, tracking devices? What is there left to prove regarding our ability to effortlessly kill anything that walks, flys, swims or crawls?

What chills me most is not the act of killing an animal by itself. I eat meat, and I acknowledge that industrial farms need reform and are likely far more cruel to the pigs and chickens and cows that we eat than a hunter's bullet. I wouldn't for a second contemplate that shooting a deer to eat was somehow inhumane.

It's the attitude of trophy or "canned hunting" I don't understand. The grinning pose next to a rhinoceros or a leopard -- the apparent sense of ... accomplishment? With modern equipment, guides, and hunting preserves, what kind of *person* takes pleasure in just shooting something to death? I can grasp the sense of accomplishment in getting food. I know it's not easy to "get" a deer in the woods. But to just have someone drive you to where a rhino or zebra or lion is, and kill it?

It feels to me like the very worst of humanity. People consumed with a sickening mix of insecurity and a sense of entitlement to "take" what others cannot, or what we have collectively decided we should not. That's even the word they use -- "take."

I grew up with a person who is now a fairly high-ranking federal law enforcement officer. Looking him up one day, I found pictures of him, grinning next to a dead zebra in Africa, guide and gun by his side. A relative married into a rich family that owns a "hunting preserve" in Texas. I get to hear "funny" stories like one about one of the in-laws, a woman with no skill at all with a weapon, having quail or partridge literally tossed in the air in front of her shotgun so that she could manage to kill them. She was apparently delighted.

It bothers me in a way I cannot completely explain that people with privilege, rank, wealth, and authority appear to take their amusement in slaughtering a beautiful animal just to show they can.

I care about the animals. But it is the people that bother me here.

Do you have any insight into where they're coming from? Have they displaced the sense of accomplishment one might feel by being in nature and working hard to gain something useful for your family under difficult circumstances with this empty, talentless process of just blowing holes in living things for amusement?

Are these not among the worst, most depraved people in our society? And why do they also seem to be the same ones most determined to seek out power and authority, and of course, firearms?

Thinking maybe we should force women to give birth is "facile at best."

It's not a moral quandary as to whether you have the right to order a woman to give birth or not.

There are kinds of willful stupidity that are okay, and then there are the ones where people want a woman to perhaps die giving birth birth to a rapist's child.

If you find yourself sitting around contemplating whether, as anti-abortionists propose, we should conduct a criminal investigation to see whether a woman's miscarriage may have been "murder," or that a 12-yr-old just may have to die giving birth to the spawn of a child molester, you do not have "deep concerns." You (the hypothetical "you," not you the poster) are a dangerous fool with a distorted idea of your rights vis a vis other people's lives.

Edit: Look, this topic makes me angry. I am incredibly tired of the great levels of respect accorded to people who are pushing an agenda that would quite literally kill women. I have had it with the idea that, if we don't carefully watch them, women will "abort" a fully developed child moments from being born. That "abortionists" sell fetal body parts and trick women into making "a terrible mistake."

I understand that some -- and I would say less than the majority -- of those seeking to limit or ban abortion believe their ideas are in good faith; that there is a serious moral hazard to women making the same decisions they have been forced to make for all of history.

But they are beyond wrong, and every time we have acceded to this idea of good-faith "concerns," we find a new cheat. A new ban. A new demand for a new restriction. First it was "partial birth abortions," a dishonest name for a rare procedure typically employed only to save a woman's life. We gave them the benefit of the doubt that even though that entire notion is ridiculous, they "meant well."

So now look where we are. Forced counseling, with scripts for doctors to parrot. Forced ultrasounds. A nationwide push for shorter and shorter windows for abortion. An unending river of lies and pseudo-science, and no particular outcry when the lunatics on the fringe of this thinking -- and it's quite a broad fringe -- stalk, harass, and kill people over it.

I am beyond giving the benefit of the doubt at this point. I'm taking it and giving it to the women.

And I stand by my statement they hate women, period.

Put any of these people in a burning building with the choice of saving 70,000 frozen embryos in a cooler or their favorite hat, and only the hat would make it out alive.

To the extent people have convinced themselves that abortion is "killing a baby," or for one second placed the rights, safety, or health of a fetus above that of a pregnant woman, they have willfully rationalized a reprehensible urge to control women's sexuality into a nonexistent ethical question issue about "when life begins."

There are levels of things. Operation Rescue types and the various murderous fanatics they enable are full-on hateful misogynists. In the same boat are mainstream Republican politicians like Mike Huckabee and Paul Ryan, who calmly assert that there are circumstances under which a woman, regardless of whether a child has been impregnated by an abusive adult, or a woman has been raped, or a pregnant woman may die, may need to be subject to some kind of criminal consequences, depending on whether an abortion is "permissible."

And there are those who simply cannot be bothered to analyze their unsupportable belief that for one second they have the right to command a woman to carry a pregnancy to term, and so have wound themselves up to believe that there is some analogy between abortion and "killing a person."

People are responsible for the positions they take and the reasons they give for them. It is not possible to believe that women's bodies are subject to their approval, disapproval, or punishment out of a rationale that does not include the idea that women may be subjugated and abused as a result of having a reproductive system. Religion is not an excuse. "That's just how I feel" is insufficient. If you purport to punish and damage and inflict suffering on people, you need a reason. "Abortion is kind of like killing someone" is not a reason.

It's an excuse.

As far as "demonizing" anyone, the second you tell a woman that dealing with her own reproductive system as she needs is tantamount to "killing" someone, you've opened that can of worms yourself. If they want a polite conversation in which their motives are not impugned, they can quit calling medical procedures that are absolutely none of their business "murder."

8. No more "no-knock warrants" without MAJOR cause.

I don't think we're going to get rid of S.W.A.T. type weapons and tactics entirely. One reminder about bullet-proof vest-wearing bank robbers with AK-47s will nix that. But, wow, yes, have they ever gone overboard with the APCs and heavy weapons and over-the-top entries.

The paramilitary approach has become standard. An infant was badly burned recently when cops announced their presence by flinging "flash-bang" grenades through the windows before bursting in with weapons drawn. No drugs were found. "Wrong house."

Oops. And it's not that uncommon. An anonymous tip can lead to a full-on action-movie assault, complete with explosions and guns to foreheads. If the residents get scared of black-garbed attackers breaking in and hesitate or resist, they are shot to death immediately.

The Constitution requires protection against unreasonable search and seizure. "No-knock warrants" began during one of the country's anti-drug freakouts, and were supposed to keep dealers from flushing all of the evidence before the police could enter, and to provide some extra protection from heavily armed criminals.

It's become just the way it's done. People and pets are shot when offering no threat; dangerous flash-bangs can cripple or kill. All so the police aren't inconvenienced by some flushed drugs or the smallest possibility of resistance.

If there isn't some kind of solid evidence that a suspect is armed and resistant, the police can knock and announce themselves. They can wait a short period of time to be admitted to the premises. They can refrain from throwing bombs through the windows.

They can find out if they're even at the right freaking house.

Great post. Progressivism isn't identity politics.

Conservatives (including a sad few in our own party) cynically think of a candidate's cultural identity (if other than white and male) as a kind of stunt calculated to get votes. Wrapped up in there somewhere is the backwards notion that it's actually some kind of advantage to be part of any minority or marginalized cultural identity.

I read a spin piece recently, arguing that a woman seeking a statewide office in my area would be an "immoral" choice, because another (very conservative, Republican voting) Democratic man with a Latin surname is also running. No qualitative argument; no comparison of policy or principle -- just a crass calculation that Hispanic voters will pull the lever based on a name.

We're better than that.

Remember this?

Ms. Ferraro, the former congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, told The Daily Breeze, a newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/us/politics/12campaign.html?_r=0

Ferraro exited Hillary's 2008 campaign quickly after that. Ferraro had some strange and unpleasant ideas about how cultural identity works in this country.

I like Bernie too, but Hillary's value as a candidate, however it all shakes out, will be in her polices and her abilities and the strength of her campaign. As a woman, she will have to fight prejudice just as Obama did to succeed, but true progressives likewise won't back her based on her identity alone.

She is a candidate, not a demographic.

That bankruptcy law (BAPCPA) stole from the poor;

gave to credit card companies and no one else.

It was widely claimed by advocates of BAPCPA that its passage would reduce losses to creditors such as credit card companies, and that those creditors would then pass on the savings to other borrowers in the form of lower interest rates. These claims turned out to be false. After BAPCPA passed, although credit card company losses decreased, prices charged to customers increased, and credit card company profits soared

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy_Abuse_Prevention_and_Consumer_Protection_Act

I remember seeing one of the bill's sponsors, an annoying Florida Republican named McCollum, address a group of bankruptcy lawyers about the bill. The debtors' lawyers tried to ask questions, at which point it became clear McCollum had a few talking points from the banks, and zero understanding of bankruptcy law.

It was a nearly pure example of how monied interests concoct schemes to put money in their pockets at ordinary peoples' expense. They even crafted in political cover -- it would reduce "fraud" in bankruptcy, which was not an issue on the scale suggested, nor were the suggested reforms a cure. And it was shot through with the premise that people who file bankruptcy must be irresponsible idiots. To this day, bankrupt people have to attend nonsense "financial counseling" in order to get relief from the crushing debt that is typically caused by a failed business or huge medical expenses.

This is a worry with Hillary. How can she stand against policy like that, when the financial industry gives her so much support? She may want to; she may intend to.

But those millions don't come with no strings attached.

Doors do open by degrees.


We didn't talk about gay marriage when we were still arguing about interracial marriage.

I don't know that polygamy is something with the power to move the culture, or whether it even should, but I can recognize people talking in good faith about something and not lump everything in with the goats and toasters the rightwingers blather about.

Moreover, we ought to be having a full-on, secular examination of what marriage -- the non-religious, government granted interpersonal contract -- should really be.

We're talking about a big, inconsistent web of legal rights and privileges all over the country. It's a mess because it was a essentially a codification of religious ideas, mixed with secular rights over time.

We don't have to just correct the biggest problems with traditional structures once they reach critical mass. We can actually discuss them intelligently and determine how we should be doing things and why.

Sports fandom in particular harbors insane ugliness.

Twitter seems to have rejuvenated some of the darkest corners of our culture.

I remember that guy a while back tweeting sexually threatening comments about some retired baseball player's (Curt Schilling?) daughter.

What struck me was not just that it was so overtly horrific and demeaning, but the sense that the guy didn't even think twice about it. Like he was hunched over his keyboard somewhere like that troll cartoon, drooling and waiting for a chance to come up with the most disturbing things to say to show how strong his sports partisanship was. Because Schilling played for the "enemy team" back in the day, apparently.

I lived across from the university baseball stadium for a while in school. Games were free, and it was two-minute walk away. I went over one day and watched part of the game, and people were sitting a few steps behind the batters, SCREAMING insults and taunts, nonstop, at the top of their lungs. Nasty stuff. They thought they were "helping" their team, I guess, and it was all you could hear in the relatively small and quiet stadium.

I know sports fandom can be healthy and fun, but there is a weird level of acceptance of absolutely despicable behavior that ought to go away sooner rather than later. People are clearly acting out scenes from their childhood, or fantasizing about some power they lack in the real world. You see these 50-yr-old lawyers with floor seats in the NBA, snarling epithets at players like they want to kill them.

"Fan" is short for "fanatic." Maybe no one should be a "fan" of anything. Support, cheer, encourage, sure.

But if people can't enjoy it without losing their goddamn minds to the point where racist gibberish or rape threats seem like a logical response, they need to find something else to do for fun.

Headline: ...The Duggar Discipline Method: "They Have a Rod"


But there’s another accusation in the police report that the Duggars have not addressed. In a police interview with an unnamed Duggar child, the child admits to an investigator that the Duggar parents spank their children, and that “they have a rod.”


(snip)

“Deal with them” could mean a lot of things; the key word in Michelle’s statement, however, is “training.” According to The Duggar Family Blog—the most trusted and thorough fan-maintained resource regarding the Duggars—Michelle practices “blanket training” with her children when they are toddlers.

Blanket training is a parenting method that comes from the dangerous, backwards, evangelical parenting book To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. The Pearl method relies on corporal punishment to teach children total obedience, and it’s terrifying—at least three child deaths have been linked to the teachings in the book.

Blanket training is the Pearls’ first step to molding obedient children: starting in infancy, parents put their baby on a blanket and flick them with a flexible ruler or other instrument if the baby tries to roll or crawl off. Eventually, the baby is “trained” to ignore his or her natural curiosity and stay on the blanket, because he or she is scared.


More on the Quiverfull "training" from a commenter:

Here is a selection of quotes from the main Quiverfull child-rearing manual:

The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a few months old on their bare skin. They describe whipping their own 4 month old daughter (p.9). They recommend whipping the bare skin of “every child” (p.2) for “Christians and non-Christians” (p.5) and for “every transgression” (p.1). Parents who don’t whip their babies into complete submission are portrayed as indifferent, lazy, careless and neglectful (p.19) and are “creating a Nazi” (p.45).

On p.60 they recommend whipping babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them “to get up.” On p.61 they recommend whipping a 12 month old girl for crying. On p.79 they recommend whipping a 7 month old for screaming.

On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15 month old she is babysitting, 10 separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with. On p.56 Debi Pearl hits a 2 year old so hard “a karate chop like wheeze came from somewhere deep inside.”

On p.44 they say not to let the child’s crying while being hit to “cause you to lighten up on the intensity or duration of the spanking.” On p.59 they recommend whipping a 3 year old until he is “totally broken.”


http://defamer.gawker.com/police-report-reveals-the-duggar-discipline-method-th-1707154965


So, the goal of this religious sect is to psychologically “break” a child. Not for any defensible purpose mind you; just to fully crush the will of another human being in order to take full control of them. This was the goal, we'll recall, of the Bush / Cheney torture regime. To reduce a person to a softly whimpering ball of fear and obedience, so as not to have to argue with a rational, functioning human being who might dare to disagree with you.

Brainwashing. Nothing more or less.

Some people say these stories about the Duggars are gleeful “bashing” of a famous family; or some kind schadenfreude on the part of people who don’t share their “beliefs.” I don’t think so.

I had not heard of them that I recall before the news of the son having molested his siblings and others, but I don't think it's a cruel coincidence that this family of religious extremists obsessed with the sexual conduct of others found a disturbed sexual predator within their family.

I think they made him that way.

It’s good to have a chance to examine and talk about exactly where the people who want to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies are coming from. THIS is where. Baby whipping and incestuous rape. Insanity, cruelty; ignorance. It’s not ironic that a fanatically puritanical family would turn out to be steeped in depravity and abuse. And above all, an endless capacity for hypocrisy, pointing and screaming about the supposed improprieties of others, while nurturing and sheltering the worst of human depravity in their own ranks.

It's not a coincidence. It's cause and effect.

THIS is where all of that thinking comes from, and where it leads. Terrified repression of sexuality, of choice, even to the point of trying to terrify an infant into total subjugation.

And yet people stand before our legislators and, with their enthusiastic cooperation, pretend that it's just a natural, perhaps even pious, way of thinking that perhaps a woman or even a child, raped or subject to incest, should be physically forced to give birth.

When they can, they also suggest that maybe a grown woman has no business even using birth control, based on these religious convictions regarding how sexuality and reproduction should work.

These are not the people who should be setting the national agenda on how we deal with reproductive freedom, or health insurance, or, frankly, anything. Their point of view proceeds from a toxic obsession with, and fear of, normal human relations, freedom of choice, and life without shame over our own biology.

These are child molesters and rapists, arguing for laws that would make women carry the children of child molesters and rapists. They are sexual scolds not because sex is evil, but because their own crazed thoughts about sex are evil. They are projecting their sickness onto everyone else, and yet we listen to them as though they might have a point.

Enough.
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