Georgia anti-abortion bill strikes at heart of personal liberty

Georgia state legislators seem likely to pass a bill that would outlaw almost all abortions once a pregnancy has advanced beyond 20 weeks. (The current legal limit is 26 weeks). The rationale behind the bill is scientifically fraudulent, and its potential impact is tragic.

Let’s deal first and quickly with the ungrounded premise behind House Bill 954, which claims that “by 20 weeks after fertilization there is substantial evidence that an unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain.”

No, there isn’t.

Although a relative handful of scientists claim otherwise — and many of those scientists are pro-life activists — the overwhelming scientific consensus is that the neural connections needed to feel pain do not exist in a fetus until at least 24 weeks into gestation and even beyond that. A 2010 review of all research in that area by Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists makes the science behind the question quite clear.

Now, let’s talk about the practical impact of such a bill.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, nine out of 10 abortions performed in the United States occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Most of those are unplanned, unwanted pregnancies that the mother chooses to terminate.

However, the small fraction of abortions that occur after the proposed 20-week deadline are a very different matter. Many if not most such abortions occur not because the pregnancy is unwanted, but because prenatal testing has discovered serious or even fatal abnormalities in the development of the fetus.

However, rather than create an exemption for such tragic cases, HB 954 cruelly and callously forbids it. In fact, they are the target of the bill. Abortions beyond the 20-week limit would be allowed only to save the life of the mother or “to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” which is a very high standard for a “health of the mother” exception. There is no provision regarding severe impairment of the fetus.

Georgia is not alone in considering such legislation. To the contrary, HB 954 is part of a nationwide crusade to pass such laws. In the handful of states where it has passed, it’s already having an impact.

For example, in Nebraska last year, Danielle Deaver suffered a serious setback 22 weeks into a planned pregnancy when her water broke prematurely. Her doctors told her that her fetus’ lung and limb development had ceased as a result, and that even if carried to term, the baby would be born unable to breathe. But under a newly passed state law almost identical to that under consideration here in Georgia, Deaver was denied the right to end that pregnancy.

When she finally went into premature labor, the child died 15 minutes after birth. This was considered humane, moral and proper by Nebraska legislators.

In Washington, D.C., congressional Republicans are trying to pass a bill imposing similar restrictions on residents of the District of Columbia. At a press conference this week, Christy Zink, a D.C. resident and mother of two, recalled the impact that such a law would have had on her own tragic case.

Twenty-two weeks into her pregnancy, tests determined that if carried to term, Zink’s fetus would be born with half of its brain missing and other structures compromised as well. Shocked by the news, she and her husband made the difficult choice to end the pregnancy. Under the so-called “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” however, she would have been denied the right to do so.

“Its very premise — that it prevents pain — is a lie,” Zink said of the bill. “If this bill had been passed before my pregnancy, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby whom the doctors concurred had no chance of a life and would have experienced near-constant pain.”

Here’s Zink’s statement. Watch it, and as you do, remember that in the eyes of many this mother of two is a murderer because of the difficult decision that she and her husband were forced to make, a deeply personal decision that members of Congress and Georgia legislators want to strip from citizens of this country because as elected representatives, they believe themselves to be more qualified.

These decisions are not easy. Several years ago, Rick Santorum and his wife Karen faced a similar dilemma and took a very different course, as he often describes in very moving terms. They decided to see their pregnancy through to term, even knowing that the child would certainly die once it left the womb. Just as their doctors warned them, their son, Gabriel, died two hours after his birth.

No one should question the decision that the Santorums made. It was their personal struggle, and they handled it on the basis of their own values, thoughts and faith. It is the essence of freedom to be able to make such decisions yourself, free of government dictate.

Likewise, however, I also do not believe it within the purview of the Santorums or Georgia legislators or members of Congress to question or most of all overrule the decisions that other Americans might make in that same situation. It is, or ought to be, unthinkable.

– Jay Bookman

494 comments Add your comment

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
3:53 pm

“Irrelevant and specious. Adam’s being difficult about it, but he’s repeatedly poking holes in your argument. The Founders said nothing about homosexuality, air travel, telecommunications, pornography and a host of other things, but that hasn’t stopped the courts from ruling on them when Congress and the states try to infringe on them too broadly and deeply.”

Oh oh…here come the smiley faces – a sure sign that a liberal is no longer reasoning. So are you prepared to claim that the SCOTUS is infallible and hasn’t made horrendously bad decisions (please, PLEASE, do so)? Since you mention pornography, why don’t you explain to all of us how that practice was encompassed in the framers meaning of “free speech”? Please provide historical evidence. And, good luck with that.

Generation$crewed

February 22nd, 2012
3:53 pm

Why then can I not smoke weed, snort a lil coke, or shoot some heroin?

It is my body after all and the laws should have no impact as to what i put in or take out of my body. Right? Or is it only when a fetus is what is being removed?

Paul

February 22nd, 2012
3:54 pm

Afternoon, Bosch

“If you are going to argue that you are agaist abortion based on your idea of sanctity of life and such, then there should be no exceptions if you are going to be consistent. ”

I regularly ask that question. So far, I’ve had one blogger state he’s against any abortion, period, and he’s a Methodist, not Catholic.

One of our blogger friends, a Marine from about 40 years ago, justified killing the baby because it’s self defense for the mother. uh-huh-

The rest of the bloggers dodge the issue or remain silent.

So I guess a lot of them do realize their position is inconsistent. But rather than admit it, they keep doubling down.

Bosch

February 22nd, 2012
3:54 pm

“Why then can I not smoke weed, snort a lil coke, or shoot some heroin?”

GS, in my opinion, you should be able to. :)

Later guys!

Hey Paul!!

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
3:55 pm

“Wrong. You don’t have any right to inject yourself and your opinions into any individual abortion decision where you aren’t personally involved.”

Says who? You?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
3:56 pm

Billings — “Viable schmiable? As long as the left leaves me free to decide who can and cannot make it on their own in society. Those that can’t aren’t my concern. Let them die for want of a better life. I’ve decided that is fair.”

Here’s your compromise. You can make that decision for *yourself* only. The same way abortion works.

Paul

February 22nd, 2012
3:57 pm

Peadawg

“If a fetus ISN’T a human being, how can someone be charged double homicide for killing a pregnant woman.”

If it’s similar to a recently-publicized case, it’s because the fetus was practically to term. Viable. Past the point of legal abortion everywhere I know of without extraordinary circumstances. No late-term abortions, it’s already against the law, remember?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
3:58 pm

(ir)Rational — “Just because we disagree on this issue, doesn’t mean I’m a moonbat or anything else you could try and call a liberal. I come at this issue strictly from my conservative/libertarian rationale that says I don’t want to allow the government any type of access to my body, or anyone else’s body.”

We have spoken many times, and I would say this is an accurate assessment. You seem conservative on fiscal matters, and quite libertarian on social ones. Hardly a shrieking moonbat by anyone’s measure.

Fred ™

February 22nd, 2012
3:58 pm

Billings

February 22nd, 2012
3:49 pm

Viable schmiable? As long as the left leaves me free to decide who can and cannot make it on their own in society. Those that can’t aren’t my concern. Let them die for want of a better life.

I’ve decided that is fair.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sweet, so we can do away with corporate welfare and pull the plug on AIG and the banks that got the buyouts?

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
3:59 pm

Towncrier – You have every right to interject your personal beliefs and opinions into the debate as it pertains to politics and policies. And technically, you have every right to stand outside any place that preforms abortions (although, I bet you would be surprised at the number of places that do) and protest that too, but one would hope you would have the decency to not interject your personal beliefs and opinions into a private discussion between a couple or family and make what is already a hard decision harder by being an asshat.

Generation$crewed

February 22nd, 2012
3:59 pm

Bosch

February 22nd, 2012
3:54 pm

So if its a human rights issue why are those things not ever brought up along with a woman’s right to abort her fetus.

Would it also not stand to reason that it is not only Republicans who want to tell others what to do with their body but it is democrats and republicans.

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

JHM – I blame my wife. Before her, I was a-political.

Peadawg - Yasmin Neal is one craaazy b*ch

February 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

“practically” – But it wasn’t outside the mother’s womb. So it’s still an abortion. Nice try buddy. Abortion is abortion. Consistency baby!!!

Aquagirl

February 22nd, 2012
4:01 pm

Those that can’t aren’t my concern. Let them die for want of a better life. I’ve decided that is fair.

Is there any reason you felt like spontaneously reiterating the GOP worldview? Or was that some kind of verbal tic?

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
4:01 pm

“So long as the neighbors can’t see him and he’s not hurting anyone else, why does Congress need to sign off on it?”

What constitutes harm is the question. People dismiss some moral arguments on the basis that “no one is getting hurt.” Well, let’s consider adultery. It used to be illegal. It does, fact, do a lot of harm. The harm may not always be tangible, but it will manifest itself in some fashion. I would submit everything we do affects others in some way, that we are not living in vacuums. At least be honest about that and leave off the lame “it isn’t hurting anyone” platitude.

TGT

February 22nd, 2012
4:04 pm

Georgia anti-abortion bill strikes at heart of personal liberty

Yeah, and abortion strikes at the heart of an unborn child.

Dr. K.S. Anand, a pediatrician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said: “There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that pain occurs in the fetus.”

For example, he said, tiny premature babies, as young as 23 or 24 weeks, cry when their heels are stuck for blood tests and quickly become conditioned to cry whenever anyone comes near their feet.”In the first trimester there is very likely no pain perception,” Dr. Anand said. “By the second trimester, all bets are off and I would argue that in the absence of absolute proof we should give the fetus the benefit of the doubt if we are going to call ourselves compassionate and humane physicians.” But despite his view, Dr. Anand did not recommend trying to anesthetize fetuses during abortions. “It is premature at this point to say we should do this or not do it,” he said. “As a scientist, I’m not sure we have the best methods.”

Dr. Anand said he did not oppose abortion, but had testified that fetuses feel pain at hearings called by legislators seeking to ban late-term abortions.

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
4:05 pm

“…but one would hope you would have the decency to not interject your personal beliefs and opinions into a private discussion between a couple or family and make what is already a hard decision harder by being an asshat.”

We are all of us our bother’s keeper. I have every right and perhaps the obligation to say something (at least once) in this case- to speak my mind in a non-judgmental way. I do NOT have the right to try to control or coerce a decision that is legally theirs to make. God doesn’t do it, why should I?

DawgDad

February 22nd, 2012
4:08 pm

“As a woman, it’s always fun to sit back and watch men legislate things that affect women’s health”

Then PLEASE stop all the WOMEN from having a say in MY health care! Think Sebilius, Hillary, Pelosi, and all the other women in government, and women voters. We ALL have a say politically because the only qualification is being registered to vote. Throwing the sex card makes you a HYPOCRITE!

JOE Cool-Republicans Call Him MESSIAH, I Just Call Him Mr. President

February 22nd, 2012
4:10 pm

“I have every right and perhaps the obligation to say something”

Freedom of speech has consequences……

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:11 pm

Towncrier — “Oh oh…here come the smiley faces – a sure sign that a liberal is no longer reasoning.”

One of us isn’t reasoning, but it’s not me. (laughing) :D

“So are you prepared to claim that the SCOTUS is infallible and hasn’t made horrendously bad decisions (please, PLEASE, do so)?”

I’ve never said or thought any such thing. Maybe *you’re* prepared to claim that Congress is infallible and hasn’t made horrendously bad decisions?

“Since you mention pornography, why don’t you explain to all of us how that practice was encompassed in the framers meaning of “free speech”? Please provide historical evidence. And, good luck with that.”

Pornography’s not normally a matter of Federal law. It’s almost exclusively dealt with at the state and local level. It’s been about 20 years since I sat in a First Amendment Law class, but I remember the topic well enough to explain that to you. *Obscenity* is more commonly the topic of Federal action, but not often, and cases dealing with it are somewhat uncommon.

Fact of the matter is, Towncrier, there’s ample historical and legal precedent for things being done the way I’m explaining them — whereas you’re arguing for an entire paradigm shift in the way individual rights are viewed and asserted in this country. Again, if you want to live your life in accordance with some sort of spelled-out list of what’s permissible, then knock yourself out. However, I’m more interested in liberty, and I’m not going to go ask for Congress’ permission whenever I want to exercise a right or freedom that’s not spelled out in detail in the Constitution.

Midori

February 22nd, 2012
4:11 pm

Her womb is so polluted, she can’t even have a baby with me — Thomas Jefferson

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:12 pm

G$ — “Why then can I not smoke weed, snort a lil coke, or shoot some heroin?”

I think you’ll find yourself prosecuted under state or local law for doing that, not Federal.

Darwin

February 22nd, 2012
4:13 pm

It’s reported today that Santorum has not yet seen a loss of women voters. If women continue to not care about their reproductive rights, they will lose them.

Adam

February 22nd, 2012
4:13 pm

Towncrier: What about pr0n is NOT freedom of expression?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:13 pm

Towncrier — “Says who? You?”

Who says you *have* the right to interfere in medical decisions where you’re not personally involved?

You?

Generation$crewed

February 22nd, 2012
4:14 pm

Has anyone ever stopped to think if the next Einstein was aborted, maybe Bobby Fischer, Galileo? Who Knows

What is even more what if the fetus that contained the DNA code to cure cancer was aborted, AIDS, alzheimer’s….

Not really making a call for or against abortion, just kinda thought of it and it did stop me and make me think…….

How many of the worlds problems would have been solved if not for abortion?

Adam

February 22nd, 2012
4:15 pm

JHM: Actually I’m pretty sure the drug laws are federal

Midori

February 22nd, 2012
4:15 pm

It’s reported today that Santorum has not yet seen a loss of women voters. If women continue to not care about their reproductive rights, they will lose them.

those are not women. those are freaks.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:16 pm

(ir)Rational — “And technically, you have every right to stand outside any place that preforms abortions (although, I bet you would be surprised at the number of places that do) and protest that too, but one would hope you would have the decency to not interject your personal beliefs and opinions into a private discussion between a couple or family and make what is already a hard decision harder by being an asshat.”

Actually. some asshattish behavior in this regard is now against the law.

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

Generation$crewed

February 22nd, 2012
4:16 pm

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:12 pm

Isn’t the topic of this about a state government’s decision or possible decision?

Federals usually only enter the picture if you have moved well beyond the consumption level of product on hand…..

Billings

February 22nd, 2012
4:20 pm

JHM, “Here’s your compromise. You can make that decision for *yourself* only. The same way abortion works”

The woman isn’t in this alone. Marx once said labor is a means to life. Libs want me to labor on someone elses behalf but don’t expect the same from women.

I am determined to enjoy the fruits of my labor by voting out every demwit I can.

From each according to his ability to each according to his need my a$$.

td

February 22nd, 2012
4:22 pm

Jay,

Please explain where in the Constitution that we can give one subgroup (women) a specified right (to murder a child) and not give it to all groups?

Why is it that a woman can kill a baby and it be called an abortion but if the same pregnant woman was pushed down the stairs by an abusive husband and the unborn child died it would be called homicide?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:26 pm

Towncrier — “What constitutes harm is the question.”

Not preemptively, it’s not. To preemptively halt someone’s behavior, you’re have to make a showing in court and get an injunction. If you can’t convincingly show that actual harm will be done by the action you’re trying to prevent, you’re not going to get that injunction.

“People dismiss some moral arguments on the basis that “no one is getting hurt.” Well, let’s consider adultery. It used to be illegal.”

It *still is* illegal in a lot of jurisdictions; it’s just not prosecuted very often any more. You can be court-martialed for it in the military, and it’s a felony in some states. Maybe you should read up on it.

“It does, fact, do a lot of harm. The harm may not always be tangible, but it will manifest itself in some fashion. I would submit everything we do affects others in some way, that we are not living in vacuums.”

Explain to me how the man capering beneath the full moon (see my earlier example) is ‘affecting others in some way.’ And go read up on the discredited legal concept of “weakest minds.”

“At least be honest about that and leave off the lame “it isn’t hurting anyone” platitude.”

I think it’s quite unreasonable of you to try to create a linkage between a man capering under the full moon on his own land and the crime of adultery, and then accuse *me* of dishonesty. Further, I’m not an attorney, but you seem *notably* uninformed about some of the legal items you yourself bring up. I don’t begrudge you your opinion, but I think we’d both benefit if you were better informed about some of the legal concepts and points you’re raising.

AmVet - You cons have got to ask yourself one question: Do we feel lucky? Well, do ya, punks?

February 22nd, 2012
4:26 pm

Billings, is your favorite Republican if all time, Joseph McCarthy? Because you sure do seem stuck in that same 1950s mindset…

LOL…

Inconceivable! ~Thomas Jefferson in a speech to the Danbury baptists, regarding outlawing abortions

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
4:28 pm

“Fact of the matter is, Towncrier, there’s ample historical and legal precedent for things being done the way I’m explaining them — whereas you’re arguing for an entire paradigm shift in the way individual rights are viewed and asserted in this country. ”

“Historical and legal precedent” don’t mean right, necessarily. Even you should know that. Fact is, that the rapid expansion of “rights” in many cases has proceeded through the judicial branch. Why? Because that is a much easier path than through the legislative branch. You can make law without making law that way. I would suggest to you that the SCOTUS is no better an arbiter of our rights than are you or me. I would much prefer that rights be secured through a democratic process than an undemocratic one. For example, I think pornography (as with a lot of sexual misconduct) is very harmful to a society. It degrades women, puts them in competition with an image, can ruin marriages and the like. This can hardly be denied. Yet many people want to claim it as a right – a right they would not be able to claim but for the sagacity of the SCOTUS.

td

February 22nd, 2012
4:29 pm

Where is the mans rights when it comes to children. Why does not the man have the right to state that they do not want an unplanned pregnancy? Why do we have a state law that says if a child is born then two parents are responsible for that child? I man can protest all they want to but they will pay 18 years of child support if the woman chooses to bring the pregnancy to term.

Again this is an example of women having special rights as a sub group.

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:29 pm

td – Please explain where in the Constitution it mentions murder in any shape form or fashion.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:30 pm

G$ — “Has anyone ever stopped to think if the next Einstein was aborted, maybe Bobby Fischer, Galileo? Who Knows”

That argument cuts both ways. What if Hitler had been aborted?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:31 pm

G$ — “Federals usually only enter the picture if you have moved well beyond the consumption level of product on hand…..”

That’s what I was getting at, yes. If you’re pulled over and the cop finds a little bit of dope and paraphernalia on you, you’re not going up on Federal charges for that.

Not like I’d know from experience. The only drugs I take come with a prescription and I get them at Walgreens. :D

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:33 pm

td – Well, see the thing is, until it pops out, that fetus is the sole property of the mother. Sure the dad had a hand in making it, after all, they don’t just appear out of thin air, but the man has absolutely no responsibility to take care of the woman, even though she is pregnant, or after she has the child. After she has the child, if only one parent takes care of it, the other parent is typically required to pay child support, but last I checked, if the dad had custody of the child, the mother had to pay child support, so the reality isn’t exactly how you spelled it out.

td

February 22nd, 2012
4:33 pm

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:29 pm

td – Please explain where in the Constitution it mentions murder in any shape form or fashion.

Is it or is it not true that if a man or woman for that matter causes a child to die inside the womb before birth then that person will be charged with murder? The only exception is if the woman carrying the child decides to kill the child then it is called an abortion and that person is not prosecuted?

AmVet - You cons have got to ask yourself one question: Do we feel lucky? Well, do ya, punks?

February 22nd, 2012
4:33 pm

(ir), oh no!

Is this gonna open up the great 9th Amendment debate again???

Only in Republibonics is abortion synonymous with murder.

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
4:34 pm

“Who says you *have* the right to interfere in medical decisions where you’re not personally involved?”

Who said anything about interfering? Is offering your thought for consideration interference? If so, you have a strange notion of life. As I said, no of us has the right to try to control others.

Bruno

February 22nd, 2012
4:36 pm

Yeah Bruno, but you are in the definite MINORITY of pubs who will toss a tax hike in with the spending cuts. Most seem we can cut everydamnthing in order to pay for the two unfunded wars and not raise any taxes.

I won’t call you an asshat like you called me, Fred, but you really do need to take a look around before automatically labeling every conservative a “Rushbot”. On many issues, I think the official Republican party line is whack. But, on balance, my views are conservative, so I most often align with the Repubs. Which is different from not thinking for myself.

John Birch

February 22nd, 2012
4:36 pm

Don’t half those chromosomes come from the father? What happened to his rights?

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:36 pm

JHM – Yeah, cause your Walgreen’s prescriptions are the reason you get stopped at airport security. ;) Me, it’s because my family has friends in the Middle East that we speak with a good bit, at least that is what I believe. Either that, or I’m the most benign looking white person they can find, so they figure they better pull me out so all the non-whites that get pulled out can’t say they were being profiled. Cause that time I was talking about earlier when I was leaving London – I am about as close to Aryan (in looks) as you can get, was 17 at the time, weighed maybe 145 or 150, and dressed like a kid from prep-school, down to the tie. Can’t say that I looked like too much of a threat.

Peadawg - Yasmin Neal is one craaazy b*ch

February 22nd, 2012
4:38 pm

“Only in Republibonics is abortion synonymous with murder.”

No honey, the law says it too. But only in special cases.

Where’s the consistency?

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
4:38 pm

“Not preemptively, it’s not. To preemptively halt someone’s behavior, you’re have to make a showing in court and get an injunction. If you can’t convincingly show that actual harm will be done by the action you’re trying to prevent, you’re not going to get that injunction.”

Granted, if the behavior is novel and cannot be known through past experience. But harm isn’t even considered in many cases, even when it is known (as with adultery). And see my other post on pornography.

td

February 22nd, 2012
4:39 pm

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:33 pm

td – Well, see the thing is, until it pops out, that fetus is the sole property of the mother.

I thought human beings could not be considered “property” any longer?

So you are saying a life made by two human beings is the property of only one human being until birth because it resides in one human being?

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:40 pm

td – You asked for a specific example from the Constitution. I just asked you to tell me where the Constitution mentioned murder. I realize what you meant was the United States Code, but then you would lose again because it does have it in there that one is legal and the other not.

John Birch – The law is pretty clear on this one, the father doesn’t have any rights before birth, unless he wants to go to the trouble of suing for them, and even then it is going to be a fight.

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
4:44 pm

“Further, I’m not an attorney, but you seem *notably* uninformed about some of the legal items you yourself bring up. I don’t begrudge you your opinion, but I think we’d both benefit if you were better informed about some of the legal concepts and points you’re raising.”

Well I am certainly not one. But don’t see myself as having to argue things strictly within the legal framework (which is a patently imperfect human system). I much prefer to argue on the basis of principles and ideas (which underpin the legal or any other system).

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:44 pm

td – I believe that is how it works. Especially at that stage when it is just a fetus. It is the property of the mother, considering it resides in the mother, and could not survive without her. If you figure out some way to move the fetus from the mother into the father, then I think he would have sole proprietary rights over the fetus until it was born. Good luck with that though, cause I’m fairly certain that would be medically impossible.

Bruno

February 22nd, 2012
4:45 pm

Please explain where in the Constitution that we can give one subgroup (women) a specified right (to murder a child) and not give it to all groups?

td–It is an American value to treat everyone equally under the law. In the case of reproduction, however, it isn’t possible because the woman, and the woman alone carries the child. That doesn’t mean that women are given permission to operate outside of the law or that men can’t have input into creating the laws, as the Lib women here seem to be demanding. What it does mean is that other established legal principles have to be carefully considered and adapted to fit this unique situation.

I have no doubt that abortion ends a life. At the same time, due to the unique situation by which a woman has to surrender full control over her own body during pregnancy, it’s not a cut-and-dried legal decision. My own opinion is that abortion should remain legal, but with reasonable restrictions.

td

February 22nd, 2012
4:45 pm

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:40 pm

I am making the case that under the “equal protection clause” then one can not be charged with murder if the other is not charged with murder. Also, under the same clause, then it is very difficult for me to understand how a woman has the right to choose death or birth and a man only choice is to pay if the child is born.

AmVet - You cons have got to ask yourself one question: Do we feel lucky? Well, do ya, punks?

February 22nd, 2012
4:45 pm

But only in special cases.

Yeah, right, Perry Mason.

Leave these discussions to the adults, attention wh*re…

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:45 pm

Towncrier — “Historical and legal precedent” don’t mean right, necessarily. Even you should know that.”

I don’t know what sort of “right” you’re getting at, but when it comes to the Federal courts, precedent carries a *lot* of weight. Go read up on the topic of “stare decisis.”

“Fact is, that the rapid expansion of “rights” in many cases has proceeded through the judicial branch. Why? Because that is a much easier path than through the legislative branch.”

No, because the judicial branch is the *guarantor* of our Constitutional rights. Part of their job is *restraining* the other two branches and preventing them from actions which would be violative of our rights. Sometimes they do a good job at that. Sometimes they don’t.

“You can make law without making law that way. I would suggest to you that the SCOTUS is no better an arbiter of our rights than are you or me.”

Well, if this is what you think, then there’s not much more reason for us to discuss this topic.

“I would much prefer that rights be secured through a democratic process than an undemocratic one.”

I disagree. I don’t think that my rights, or yours, or DawgDad’s, or (ir)Rational’s, should be subject to some sort of public referendum or approval process. There’s a concept called ‘the tyranny of the majority’ that holds that in pure democracies, a majority can impose unconscionable burdens on a minority by abrogating rights and freedoms. I don’t want *anyone’s* rights subject to a vote. If DawgDad wants to go to church seven days a week and twice on Sunday, he should be able to do it. If (ir)Rational wants to move to Alaska and build his dream shack on the tundra and live in it, he should be able to do it (provided he’s not squatting on someone else’s land).

“For example, I think pornography (as with a lot of sexual misconduct) is very harmful to a society. It degrades women, puts them in competition with an image, can ruin marriages and the like. This can hardly be denied.”

It can be, but I’m not going to argue this point with you; there’s evidence on both sides, and both sides have been known to play fast and loose with their methodology. If you’re opposed to pron, then don’t partake. But if my wife and I happen to dig it, you need to butt out of our usage of it. Simple as that.

“Yet many people want to claim it as a right – a right they would not be able to claim but for the sagacity of the SCOTUS.”

Again, go read up on the largely discredited legal concept of “weakest minds.” In short, it used to hold that things could be banned or made illegal (most often, this meant pron) because of the harm they could do to the most vulnerable members of society, e.g. children and the mentally disabled. The concept is no longer considered a legal justification, and has largely been discredited. One of the major reasons for its rejection was that it constrained the freedom of a majority of adult Americans to freely use or not use pron as they saw fit. Protecting those weak minds was a function of parents or guardians, not of government.

md

February 22nd, 2012
4:45 pm

(ir),

My sons were always pulled to the side……as I understand it, the profile is “young male with malleable mind possible troublemaker”……………

Peadawg - Yasmin Neal is one craaazy b*ch

February 22nd, 2012
4:47 pm

“Yeah, right, Perry Mason.

Leave these discussions to the adults, attention wh*re…”

You must have not paid attention in class at all today. Kids table that way ->.

md

February 22nd, 2012
4:50 pm

“If you figure out some way to move the fetus from the mother into the father, then I think he would have sole proprietary rights over the fetus until it was born. Good luck with that though, cause I’m fairly certain that would be medically impossible.”

As I mentioned earlier, we are already growing body parts in a lab……next logical step??

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:53 pm

md – I got searched 9 times to get on one plane. I feel certain that if my dad had of been there, the last one would have been a cavity search. I’m talking chemical swabs, being pulled into a room to go through my checked luggage, pat downs, stripped to the layer above underwear, everything besides cavity (luckily I was a minor travelling with a group from school). If it had of just been that time, I would have thought it was just a bad day, but it has been every time I’ve ever gotten on an airplane, except when I was flying them myself. That was the worst day though. Most of the rest of the time, I just get pat downs and my luggage checked.

td

February 22nd, 2012
4:53 pm

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:44 pm

So once that child pops out of the mother then the state can tell the mother what to do with the child? The court has the “best interest of the child” standard the minute the child comes out of the womb but has no rights to protect the child inside the womb? Oh no that can not be the case because Judges lock up pregnant women everyday that are drug abuser so that they do not harm the unborn child. How can that be since that unborn baby is the property of the mother?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:53 pm

Towncrier — “Who said anything about interfering?”

You did. You said that you wanted some sort of societal imprimatur on individual rights before they could be exercised.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:55 pm

(ir)Rational — “JHM – Yeah, cause your Walgreen’s prescriptions are the reason you get stopped at airport security.”

Nah, it’s my Hispanic wife with an attitude. :D

(ir)Rational

February 22nd, 2012
4:55 pm

td – To paraphrase someone else from today, I’m not sure if you’re being intentionally dense or if you actually are dense, but it is difficult to tell. Also, I’m done, and going home, I’m tired of arguing with people that refuse to open their mind to the truth. Whether you like that truth or not, it is the truth.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
4:56 pm

Towncrier — “But harm isn’t even considered in many cases, even when it is known (as with adultery).”

Actually, in fault states, adultery can make a big difference in divorce proceedings. You should probably read up on it.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
5:00 pm

(ir)Rational — “md – I got searched 9 times to get on one plane. I feel certain that if my dad had of been there, the last one would have been a cavity search. I’m talking chemical swabs, being pulled into a room to go through my checked luggage, pat downs, stripped to the layer above underwear, everything besides cavity (luckily I was a minor travelling with a group from school). If it had of just been that time, I would have thought it was just a bad day, but it has been every time I’ve ever gotten on an airplane, except when I was flying them myself.”

Jebus, you *must* be on a bad list.

I was a Delta Platinum Medallion for several years, back when Plat was the top level, and a United Premier Executive (mid-level elite) and I *never* got treated like that. I flew back and forth between Washington for a couple of years between 9/11 and coming off the road, and I never once got that kind of treatment.

I think you’re right; someone must have you on some kind of suspicious ppl list.

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
5:02 pm

“I don’t know what sort of “right” you’re getting at, but when it comes to the Federal courts, precedent carries a *lot* of weight. Go read up on the topic of “stare decisis.”

Agreed. But therein lies the rub form me. Because if you base a decision more upon precedent rather than principle, there is the very real danger that, by degrees, in the path of one mistaken precedent upon another, you wind up far afield of where you should or wanted to be.

“I don’t think that my rights, or yours, or DawgDad’s, or (ir)Rational’s, should be subject to some sort of public referendum or approval process. There’s a concept called ‘the tyranny of the majority’ that holds that in pure democracies, a majority can impose unconscionable burdens on a minority by abrogating rights and freedoms. I don’t want *anyone’s* rights subject to a vote.

“One of the major reasons for its rejection was that it constrained the freedom of a majority of adult Americans to freely use or not use pron as they saw fit. Protecting those weak minds was a function of parents or guardians, not of government”

And that is the root disagreement between us. I feel that some of the rights that are now granted (such as allowing pornography) is placing an undue burden upon me, my family and others of like mind. I mean, it’s to the point that you can’t allow a child to get on the Internet or to watch cable television without being supervised. That, my friend, is an imposition. Geez, I can remember as a 6th grader getting into a girlie show (I was tall for my age) at the state fair and seeing a dancing nude woman playing to the men. If it’s there, and there is no supervision or constraints…guess what happens? I care not a wit that the “weakest minds” has been discredited. The judgements of the SC are, in my view, often very wrong on major issues (segregation being the most notable). So why should I constrain myself to arguments to the boundaries of a system I distrust to a large extent? That is what you are missing in your assessment of my arguments.

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
5:04 pm

“You did. You said that you wanted some sort of societal imprimatur on individual rights before they could be exercised.”

That wasn’t the context of my statement and you know it. Be honest and fair.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
5:16 pm

“Agreed. But therein lies the rub form me. Because if you base a decision more upon precedent rather than principle, there is the very real danger that, by degrees, in the path of one mistaken precedent upon another, you wind up far afield of where you should or wanted to be.”

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

Stare decisis doesn’t say that you *can’t* overturn prior precedent; just that a court must have a , very compelling reason to do so.

“And that is the root disagreement between us. I feel that some of the rights that are now granted (such as allowing pornography) is placing an undue burden upon me, my family and others of like mind. I mean, it’s to the point that you can’t allow a child to get on the Internet or to watch cable television without being supervised. That, my friend, is an imposition.”

No, that’s a *responsibility.* You choice to have kids doesn’t oblige anyone else to change their lives in order to facilitate your parenting.

There are tools you can use to restrict your kids’ internet use, and tools you can use to control what they watch on TV. If you don’t avail yourself of them, that doesn’t create some sort of obligation on anyone else’s part to censor or bowdlerize their lives and business just because you don’t want to exercise the requisite amount of responsibility.

While I’m at it, let’s see you show me where the right to use pron was “granted.” I think you misunderstand the dynamic at work there.

“Geez, I can remember as a 6th grader getting into a girlie show (I was tall for my age) at the state fair and seeing a dancing nude woman playing to the men. If it’s there, and there is no supervision or constraints…guess what happens? I care not a wit that the “weakest minds” has been discredited.”

Shrug. That’s the legal argument you’re making, and you won’t get far with it in court these days.

“The judgements of the SC are, in my view, often very wrong on major issues (segregation being the most notable). So why should I constrain myself to arguments to the boundaries of a system I distrust to a large extent?”

I’d say you haven’t got a choice in the matter.

“That is what you are missing in your assessment of my arguments.”

I didn’t miss it. I just don’t see where you have a choice.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 22nd, 2012
5:19 pm

Towncrier — “That wasn’t the context of my statement and you know it.”

No, I don’t “know it.” Don’t be so quick to assume bad faith on others’ parts. I can’t read your mind, and it’s unreasonable of you to assume that your meaning is automatically crystal clear to others. Expend some effort clarifying yourself instead of making accusations; we might both benefit from it.

“Be honest and fair.”

Be more honest and fair yourself. Instead of being insulting and jerky, take advantage of the opportunity to be more clear and collegial.

Joseph

February 22nd, 2012
6:23 pm

There is certainly a clear difference between Republicans and democrats on this issue. Dems think its ok to kill babies whenever a mother choses. Repubs don’t… there that simple…

Joseph

February 22nd, 2012
6:25 pm

By the way Jaybird… Who the hell cares what Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists thinks… We are on top of the food chain so we’ll make our own decisions… Troting out a European thought.. You libbys are hillarious….

Jym Allyn

February 22nd, 2012
6:25 pm

Any law that restrict abortion that does not come from “medical authorities” is purely a reflection of specific religious teachings. As such ALL “anti-abortion” laws violate the US Constitutional separation of church and state because they are purely an imposition of (fraudulent) religious convictions under the guise of legal “authority.”

Jym Allyn

February 22nd, 2012
6:26 pm

Any law that restricts abortion that does not come from “medical authorities” is purely a reflection of specific religious teachings. As such ALL “anti-abortion” laws violate the US Constitutional separation of church and state because they are purely an imposition of (fraudulent) religious convictions under the guise of legal “authority.”

(Grammatical correction.)

Business Man

February 22nd, 2012
6:28 pm

This has never happened, I completely agree with you on this one Jay. That said, I am still voting for Santorum.

Jym Allyn

February 22nd, 2012
6:29 pm

Santorum’s MOTHER is the one who should have had the abortion.

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
6:41 pm

“Stare decisis doesn’t say that you *can’t* overturn prior precedent; just that a court must have a , very compelling reason to do so.”

Right. And so we had the “precedent” of Plessy v. Ferguson being followed for nearly 60 years to the great harm of our black citizens. There is no way to sugar this. The ends are not justified by the means.

“Shrug. That’s the legal argument you’re making, and you won’t get far with it in court these days.”

I don’t expect or hope to without a constitutional revision. And that’s not on the perceivable horizon given the almost evenly divided beliefs on core issues in America.

“No, that’s a *responsibility.* You choice to have kids doesn’t oblige anyone else to change their lives in order to facilitate your parenting. There are tools you can use to restrict your kids’ internet use, and tools you can use to control what they watch on TV. If you don’t avail yourself of them, that doesn’t create some sort of obligation on anyone else’s part to censor or bowdlerize their lives and business just because you don’t want to exercise the requisite amount of responsibility.”

Sorry. We disagree. I should not have to bend over backwards to prevent children from exposure to that sort of thing. One did not have to do that decades ago or at the time the Constitution was enacted. The exercise of that “right” should at the very least be more constrained – as it is with nude beaches and strip clubs. Consigning all pornography on the net to one domain (.xxx for instance) would be a step in the right direction. And not intermingling adult with family content on television would be a corrective.

“While I’m at it, let’s see you show me where the right to use porn was “granted.” I think you misunderstand the dynamic at work there.”

Implicitly and gradually, through the introduction and then redefinition of concept of obscenity (one the classes of unprotected speech). The SCOTUS has done this. Why not limit the first amendment (as the founders surly meant) to speech alone – either by voice or in writing? Images, gestures are literally not speech. In my view, they may be allowed if a state wishes, but there should be no constitutionally protected right to make use of them. Again, I understand that you would see this as an unenumerated right. But what if harm from pornography – “smut for smut’s sake” – could be unequivocally established? Would you then concede your right to view it?

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
6:49 pm

“Any law that restricts abortion that does not come from “medical authorities” is purely a reflection of specific religious teachings. As such ALL “anti-abortion” laws violate the US Constitutional separation of church and state because they are purely an imposition of (fraudulent) religious convictions under the guise of legal “authority.”

I’m guessing you imagine the esteemed “medical authorities” are never wrong. You also imagine the separation clause has force and meaning the founders never intended (since they themselves introduced their religious beliefs everywhere). Just because the SCOTUS has ruled one way, doesn’t make them right (can you say Plessy v. Ferguson?).

Towncrier

February 22nd, 2012
7:03 pm

“Be more honest and fair yourself. Instead of being insulting and jerky, take advantage of the opportunity to be more clear and collegial.”

My apologies. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed you had read the post to which I was responding. You did take my response out of context nonetheless. There is almost always the context of me responding to others posts in any of my own, just so you know. ;-) I rarely make statements otherwise.

In any case, JHM, thanks for the extended dialogue. Hopefully we both gained something from the exchange (which is what the first amendment is really about in my opinion – the “marketplace of ideas”).

philosopher

February 22nd, 2012
9:59 pm

I don’t care what anybody says, I don’t care if Santorum is a crazy egomaniac. I don’t care if he has delusions of grandeur and would gladly infringe on my personal, private, and sexual freedoms. I don’t even care that he believes that sex is only for procreating. I don’t care if he thinks God put us here on earth as little demigods to to use and abuse the earth as we please. I don’t care if he did put his dog up on the roof while he drove for hours at 70+ miles and hour (which besides being cruel, was illegal in the state in which he was governor) …I’m voting for him, anyway!

Joe Hussein Mama

February 23rd, 2012
9:42 am

Towncrier — “Right. And so we had the “precedent” of Plessy v. Ferguson being followed for nearly 60 years to the great harm of our black citizens. There is no way to sugar this. The ends are not justified by the means.”

Sorry, but you’re engaging in multiple logical fallacies there, and I don’t suffer logical fallacies lightly. Here are the fallacies you’re committing with that:

Hasty Generalization
Begging The Question
False Dilemma
Fallacy of the Single Cause
Perfect Solution Fallacy

You’re probably also engaging in Suppressed Correlative and Special Pleading, but I’d have to check on that.

But again, I’ve never claimed that SCOTUS was error-free and you’re implicitly claiming that Congress *is.* Quite simply, you’re trying to redefine my position into one I’ve clearly claimed I do not hold. Perhaps you should adjust your argument.

“I don’t expect or hope to without a constitutional revision. And that’s not on the perceivable horizon given the almost evenly divided beliefs on core issues in America.”

Good.

“Sorry. We disagree. I should not have to bend over backwards to prevent children from exposure to that sort of thing.”

Yes, you should, particularly if you’re expecting others to conduct *their* lives in a manner that makes *your* job as a parent less difficult and demanding. If you didn’t want the work that comes along with being a parent, then you shouldn’t have made the choice to have kids.

“One did not have to do that decades ago or at the time the Constitution was enacted.”

Irrelevant.

“The exercise of that “right” should at the very least be more constrained – as it is with nude beaches and strip clubs. Consigning all pornography on the net to one domain (.xxx for instance) would be a step in the right direction.”

Taking responsibility for what your kids do on the Internet would be, a step in the right direction, too. When you give your kids the keys to the car, you don’t have the benefit of a special set of kiddie roads that they have to drive on; they get on real roads with other real drivers, and if they screw up and have an accident, you bear the burden of that. Same thing with the Internet.

If you don’t want to accept the risk of your kids getting in a car crash, then don’t give them your car keys. And if you don’t want to accept the risk that your kids might see nekkid b00bies on the Internet, then don’t let them surf the web unsupervised. Simple as that.

“And not intermingling adult with family content on television would be a corrective.”

Expending some effort to figure out what you’re going to be watching would *also* be a corrective, and TV program ratings have been a standard for several years. If you can’t be bothered to check the TV listings and figure out that a given program has Adult Language, Adult Situations and Partial Nudity (and then ensure that your kids don’t watch it), then I don’t see why anyone else has to be inconvenienced. If you won’t take the initiative to protect your own kids from what you see as harmful influences, then why should anyone else lift a finger to?

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

“Implicitly and gradually, through the introduction and then redefinition of concept of obscenity (one the classes of unprotected speech). The SCOTUS has done this. Why not limit the first amendment (as the founders surly meant) to speech alone – either by voice or in writing? Images, gestures are literally not speech.”

SCOTUS has long held the view that *expression* is the pivotal issue, not verbal speech. Many types of expression are nonverbal, and SCOTUS has found that there’s no compelling state interest in treating verbal expression and nonverbal expression differently.

“In my view, they may be allowed if a state wishes, but there should be no constitutionally protected right to make use of them. Again, I understand that you would see this as an unenumerated right. But what if harm from pornography – “smut for smut’s sake” – could be unequivocally established? Would you then concede your right to view it?”

No. Our long legal history has clearly established that Federal laws and regulations can only constrain and limit the exercise of rights as narrowly and as specifically as necessary to achieve the express aim of the legislation. If you can establish that porn does *specific* harm to a *specific* population (e.g. children under 18), then SCOTUS would be obliged to strike down laws with farther-reaching effects. This is partly why SCOTUS has rarely ruled on matters of obscenity, and why it has largely left the matter determined by states and communities, who then apply the “community standards” test.

You certainly have the right to move to a locale that has “community standards” congruent with your own, if you feel that expression you find indecent or obscene is tolerated where you live.

“My apologies. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed you had read the post to which I was responding.”

How RUDE. :mad:

I *did* read it. Reading what you say does not in any way imply that the reader will agree with you or automatically ‘get’ your point. There’s nothing so perfect about any writer that anything he or she writes will automatically be understood with 100% intended clarity by all readers.

“You did take my response out of context nonetheless.”

I don’t reject the possibility that I did. I *do* reject your contention that I did so intentionally and/or maliciously.

“There is almost always the context of me responding to others posts in any of my own, just so you know. I rarely make statements otherwise.”

I can’t speak for what you do or don’t do on a routine basis any more than you can speak for what I do or don’t do on a routine basis.

“In any case, JHM, thanks for the extended dialogue. Hopefully we both gained something from the exchange (which is what the first amendment is really about in my opinion – the “marketplace of ideas”).”

You’re welcome, and thank you.

Towncrier

February 23rd, 2012
12:10 pm

“Sorry, but you’re engaging in multiple logical fallacies there, and I don’t suffer logical fallacies lightly. Here are the fallacies you’re committing with that:”

Unsubstantiated, pompous and stupid. How often do you make use of your Logic 101 glossary, BTW?

“You’re probably also engaging in Suppressed Correlative and Special Pleading, but I’d have to check on that.”

Don’t let me hold you back.

“But again, I’ve never claimed that SCOTUS was error-free and you’re implicitly claiming that Congress *is.*”

Completely incorrect. Where have I ever intimated that? I resent your even making such an absurd claim. But let me spell out for you here exactly what I think: since both branches are prone to error, and only one is really democratic, I prefer the people and the Congress to determine what rights we have so that we do not have a tyranny of the minority. So we are on opposite end of the spectrum on this.

“Yes, you should, particularly if you’re expecting others to conduct *their* lives in a manner that makes *your* job as a parent less difficult and demanding. If you didn’t want the work that comes along with being a parent, then you shouldn’t have made the choice to have kids.”

Don’t presume to tell me how to parent, please.

“SCOTUS has long held the view that *expression* is the pivotal issue, not verbal speech. Many types of expression are nonverbal, and SCOTUS has found that there’s no compelling state interest in treating verbal expression and nonverbal expression differently.”

Exactly the problem.

“I *did* read it. Reading what you say does not in any way imply that the reader will agree with you or automatically ‘get’ your point. There’s nothing so perfect about any writer that anything he or she writes will automatically be understood with 100% intended clarity by all readers.

Then I overestimated your reading comprehension skills.

EV

February 23rd, 2012
12:47 pm

I didn’t know it was okay to kill someone if they don’t experience pain. Hmm. I guess this would be a great defense at a murder trial.

EV

February 23rd, 2012
12:48 pm

But forcing someone to buy health insurance isn’t an affront to personal liberty?

EV

February 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

You are sounding awfully Libertarian today Jay. So you agree that the government should get out of our personal lives?

EV

February 23rd, 2012
12:55 pm

I love how you use the 9th amendment when it is convenient for you….

Joe Hussein Mama

February 23rd, 2012
1:09 pm

“Unsubstantiated, pompous and stupid.”

*You* cited a single SCOTUS case as *your* support for a wholesale rewriting of our system of government. If that’s not a Hasty Generalization, then I don’t know what is. Your single-case ‘evidence’ is much more emblematic of something unsubstantiated, pompous and stupid.

“How often do you make use of your Logic 101 glossary, BTW?”

Don’t need one. You, on the other hand, could apparently use a couple of semesters of basic logic courses at the college level.

“Don’t let me hold you back.”

If I thought you were at all amenable to learning something from it, I probably would.

“Completely incorrect. Where have I ever intimated that? I resent your even making such an absurd claim.”

Over the last three pages of discussion is where you’ve intimated it. You’ve argued for preempting SCOTUS of its power of interpreting the Constitution w/r/t unenumerated rights. You’ve argued for requiring some sort of legislative imprimatur before unenumerated rights can be asserted and practiced, a scheme that’s nowhere in the Constitution. Your asserted justification for removing SCOTUS’ power in this regard is the level of ‘error’ or ‘imperfection’ you feel has been exhibited by SCOTUS. Yet you seem completely unmoved by the exhibited ‘errors’ and ‘imperfections’ of Congress, and seek to give Congress a power that is actually *forbidden* to it by the Constitution.

If I’m misreading you, I’m open to correction, but I think I’m paying a lot closer attention to what you’re saying than *you* are.

“But let me spell out for you here exactly what I think: since both branches are prone to error, and only one is really democratic, I prefer the people and the Congress to determine what rights we have so that we do not have a tyranny of the minority. So we are on opposite end of the spectrum on this.”

Fortunately, the Founders were wise enough to cut Congress out of that equation entirely. I don’t want you voting on my rights, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want me voting on yours. Since we conduct our affairs in accordance with the Constitution, I’m afraid you’re going to have to suffer under the unconscionable and intolerant system our Founders decided to burden you with.

“Don’t presume to tell me how to parent, please.”

Don’t presume to tell me how I have to conduct my life in order to make YOUR job of parenting easier.

Furthermore, I didn’t in any way tell you how to parent. I said that if you don’t want to do the work that comes along with being a parent, then don’t make the choice to have kids.

“Exactly the problem.”

I see no problem there. I see your personal discomfort with others’ freedoms, and a desire on your part to constrain their freedoms resulting from that discomfort.

“Then I overestimated your reading comprehension skills.”

Don’t bother trying to insult me on that score. I assure you, I am quite immune to insults and slights along that line. (laughing) :D

If you’re not coming across clearly to your audience, then be an adult and look to yourself before blaming others. That advice worked well for my students at the university level 20 years ago, and I suspect it will work well for you today.

EV

February 23rd, 2012
1:15 pm

Dems and repubs arguing over personal liberty is hilarious.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 23rd, 2012
1:52 pm

Glad to be of entertainment value, EV.

EV

February 23rd, 2012
1:59 pm

I understand where both of you stand. I think both sides agree that the government, be it Federal or State, affronts our personal liberty all of the time. We can simply pick and choose which issue we want to hang our hat on. We cannot say that an anti-abortion bill affronts personal liberty and then say that an individual mandate doesn’t. (Mandate btw)

Towncrier

February 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

“*You* cited a single SCOTUS case as *your* support for a wholesale rewriting of our system of government. If that’s not a Hasty Generalization, then I don’t know what is. Your single-case ‘evidence’ is much more emblematic of something unsubstantiated, pompous and stupid.”

I cited the most egregious and obvious case. I didn’t think I needed to compile a list for you. Or do your really think that was the only “mistake” (as you put it) the SCOTUS has made through the years? I cited that example because it is a cautionary tale of epic proportions. You and I can only imagine how deleterious it was to our black citizens.

For someone who take umbrage at others jumping to conclusions, you sure do a lot of jumping!

“You, on the other hand, could apparently use a couple of semesters of basic logic courses at the college level.”

Funny, I was thinking the same about you.

“If I thought you were at all amenable to learning something from it, I probably would.”

I am amenable to learning, but I always consider the source.

“Over the last three pages of discussion is where you’ve intimated it. You’ve argued for preempting SCOTUS of its power of interpreting the Constitution w/r/t unenumerated rights. You’ve argued for requiring some sort of legislative imprimatur before unenumerated rights can be asserted and practiced, a scheme that’s nowhere in the Constitution. Your asserted justification for removing SCOTUS’ power in this regard is the level of ‘error’ or ‘imperfection’ you feel has been exhibited by SCOTUS. Yet you seem completely unmoved by the exhibited ‘errors’ and ‘imperfections’ of Congress, and seek to give Congress a power that is actually *forbidden* to it by the Constitution.”

Adding to the Bill of Rights is not “forbidden.” What are you smoking? Again, your reading comprehension skills are deficit. I didn’t imply that Congress was incapable of error, you inferred that I did, Go back and read your primer on logic. I want rights to be established democratically and you don’t. It’s just that simple.

“If I’m misreading you, I’m open to correction, but I think I’m paying a lot closer attention to what you’re saying than *you* are.”

And this from a guy telling others to gain humility?

“Don’t presume to tell me how I have to conduct my life in order to make YOUR job of parenting easier.”

Don’t presume to tell me how I to parent in order for your to do whatever you please.

“Furthermore, I didn’t in any way tell you how to parent. I said that if you don’t want to do the work that comes along with being a parent, then don’t make the choice to have kids.”

I think you should pay closer attention to what you yourself are saying

“I see no problem there.”

That’s obvious.

“If you’re not coming across clearly to your audience, then be an adult and look to yourself before blaming others. That advice worked well for my students at the university level 20 years ago, and I suspect it will work well for you today.”

You would do well to heed this counsel.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 23rd, 2012
4:45 pm

Towncrier — “I cited the most egregious and obvious case. I didn’t think I needed to compile a list for you.”

You do if you’re going to espouse a wholesale rewriting of our system of government, to include giving powers to Congress that it wasn’t granted in the Constitution, yes.

“Or do your really think that was the only “mistake” (as you put it) the SCOTUS has made through the years?”

The notion of mistakes and flaws in our system being justification for a wholesale revision of it is all yours, Towncrier. That concept’s *all* your baby.

“I cited that example because it is a cautionary tale of epic proportions. You and I can only imagine how deleterious it was to our black citizens.”

And it’s irrelevant to the discussion we were having. I clearly stated that stare decisis doesn’t mean that SCOTUS *never* revisits or overturns itself, simply that there’s a high standard for it. You apparently think that the solution to occasional mistakes and errors of judgment is to throw the judicial baby out with the bathwater.

“For someone who take umbrage at others jumping to conclusions, you sure do a lot of jumping!”

I’ve been quite polite with you in asking you to be more clear. You’ve responded to those requests with rudeness and insults.

“Funny, I was thinking the same about you.”

I’m not the one tossing out logical fallacies and representing them as some sort of principled, coherent argument.

“I am amenable to learning, but I always consider the source.”

Be careful that dictum doesn’t get directed at you.

“Adding to the Bill of Rights is not “forbidden. What are you smoking?”

I didn’t say or suggest that it was. But you have *clearly* argued for Congress to act *before* individuals can assert and use unenumerated rights. That is *clearly* different and distinct from “(a)dding to the Bill of Rights.”

“Again, your reading comprehension skills are deficit.”

Incorrect. I’m paying *extremely* close attention to what you’re saying. I don’t think *you* are paying close attention to what you’re saying. Either that, or I don’t think you’ve thought your position out very thoroughly.

“I didn’t imply that Congress was incapable of error, you inferred that I did”

Logic FAIL. If you’re going to argue that SCOTUS is flawed and that its power to determine whether or not people can exercise unenumerated rights should be taken away from it and given instead to Congress DESPITE Congress being flawed as well, then your position is weaker than I had thought it was.

“Go back and read your primer on logic. I want rights to be established democratically and you don’t. It’s just that simple.”

Go back and read yours, as well as your Constitution. Congress’ powers are given to it by We The People, and We The People gave ourselves our own rights. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to determine what rights we have, and I frankly find your position offensive. Again, I don’t want you voting on my rights, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want me voting on yours.

“And this from a guy telling others to gain humility?”

Yes. You’re quite rude and insulting, in addition to being quite presumptuous.

“Don’t presume to tell me how I to parent in order for your to do whatever you please.”

Once again, for the slower participants in this conversation, I haven’t *once* told you how to parent. You can go parent however you please. But the moment you presume to tell me how to *live* in order to make your job of parenting easier, well, you can go take a flying leap. You are free to conduct your own life and to raise your children however you like. But when you come into my life and demand that my behaviors and activities change to suit you and your job of parenting, I will not meet that demand with politeness, acquiescence or compliance.

“I think you should pay closer attention to what you yourself are saying”

I think *you* should pay closer attention to what I’m saying, and moreover, I challenge you to demonstrate where I have *once* told you how to parent your children.

“That’s obvious.”

Yawn.

“You would do well to heed this counsel.”

I am heeding it. I share it with you for the benefit of both of us.

When you don’t seem to understand or follow what I’m saying, I explain in greater detail. When I don’t seem to understand or follow what you’re saying, you let loose with insults. Grow up, sir.

Towncrier

February 23rd, 2012
9:30 pm

“You do if you’re going to espouse a wholesale rewriting of our system of government, to include giving powers to Congress that it wasn’t granted in the Constitution, yes.”

What wholesale rewriting of our system? What are you thinking.my good man? I am simply suggesting that rights we as a democratic wish to secure from the encroachment of governmental power be added, as already established by precedent, to the Bill of Rights. I really am at a loss to understand how you, in your own mind, have inferred things I have never said and then want to lay the burden of this error upon my by claiming I implied it. Such a thing was NEVER in my mind. You can choose to not believe that if you wish; I cannot control that. You are content to let the SCOTUS secure these rights; I am not. The reason is very simple. At least with the Congress, I have some say in what rights are secured. That doesn’t sit well with you. Fine. You’ve said as much. We disagree (though I really would be surprised if you would be amenable to any and every right another citizen might claim). You see, someone has to decide what rights are to be secured. I prefer that citizens did (since they after all are said to be the residium of those rights) rather than the SCOTUS. And the issue of securing rights need never come up if there is never any governmental encroachment to begin with. But if it does, I feel it could be handled just as expeditiously via a referendum as it might be through the judiciary.

“The notion of mistakes and flaws in our system being justification for a wholesale revision of it is all yours, Towncrier. That concept’s *all* your baby.”

See my response above.

“And it’s irrelevant to the discussion we were having. I clearly stated that stare decisis doesn’t mean that SCOTUS *never* revisits or overturns itself, simply that there’s a high standard for it. You apparently think that the solution to occasional mistakes and errors of judgment is to throw the judicial baby out with the bathwater.”

It’s not irrelevant because it was not simply an error of judgement. That “error” may have cost a number of poor black people their lives. It certainly retarded their development as an ethnic group and has filled a lot of them with seething hatred. Go tell the survivors of lynchings that your are sorry for the SCOTUS’ mistake. You see, the people of the land could do nothing about that “mistake: for 58 years. That is why I am loathe to have the SCOTUS decide such things, because we can’t vote to change their decisions. That is when the US becomes an oligarchy.

“I’ve been quite polite with you in asking you to be more clear. ”

Really? Why don’t you re-read some of your posts. You have been insulting without doubt. If you want to deny that, then I really think you are dishonest. I can admit I was insulting, because it would be the truth.

“I’m not the one tossing out logical fallacies and representing them as some sort of principled, coherent argument.”

This is not the venue for a dissertation, my friend. It is a blog on which people are entering text in a HTML textarea field, text that can’t be edited once it is posted (unlike Jay’s). Here you need to read between the lines a little. I don’t recall anyone accusing me of being illogical in general (we are all that way from time to time, in this statement or the other), so if that’s what you are doing, you are the first.

“I didn’t say or suggest that it was. But you have *clearly* argued for Congress to act *before* individuals can assert and use unenumerated rights. That is *clearly* different and distinct from “(a)dding to the Bill of Rights.”

See my response above.

“Incorrect. I’m paying *extremely* close attention to what you’re saying. I don’t think *you* are paying close attention to what you’re saying. Either that, or I don’t think you’ve thought your position out very thoroughly.”

Shrug. I don’t know what to say.

“Logic FAIL. If you’re going to argue that SCOTUS is flawed and that its power to determine whether or not people can exercise unenumerated rights should be taken away from it and given instead to Congress DESPITE Congress being flawed as well, then your position is weaker than I had thought it was.”

See my response above.

“Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to determine what rights we have, and I frankly find your position offensive. Again, I don’t want you voting on my rights, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want me voting on yours.”

Congress may secure certain rights from governmental encroachment via the Bill of Rights. The 9th Amendment, all twenty-one words of it, only states that the enumeration of rights does not thereby disparage or deny unidentified unenumerated rights. It does not imply or indicate what those rights are. There has been much debate over the nature of these rights. It cannot be argued with certainty the referent is natural rights. Because of the vagueness and brevity of this amendment, in contrast to the explicitness found in other amendments, I tend to view this as a disclaimer introduced mainly for political reasons. Bork thought it was an inkblot. In any case, as I’ve said above, previously unenumerated rights have to be identified in order to be protected whenever there is an encroachment upon them. Presently, the SCOTUS does that. I want Congress to do that by adding to the Bill of Rights. One way means a minority can impose its will upon the majority and the other way vice versa.

“You’re quite rude and insulting, in addition to being quite presumptuous.”

In all honestly, and without prejudice, I would say you were equally as guilty.

“Once again, for the slower participants in this conversation…you can go take a flying leap…”

See what I mean?

“Yawn.”

See again? I could easily (if you wanted me to) identify the places I was rude and insulting. Can you do the same?

Well, in any event, I still mean what I said in another post. Sparks have flown, but I have enjoyed the exchange and feel I have benefited from it. It helped me to sharpen and narrow the focus of my argument. But I think you’d agree we have pretty mush fleshed out our positions to each other, so perhaps we can let this go.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 24th, 2012
9:41 am

Towncrier — “What wholesale rewriting of our system?”

Your notion of having Congress determine whether or not specific unenumerated rights are actually exercisable or not. THAT wholesale rewriting of our system.

“What are you thinking.my good man? I am simply suggesting that rights we as a democratic wish to secure from the encroachment of governmental power be added, as already established by precedent, to the Bill of Rights.”

There’s nothing simple about it. The Founders and the Constitution make it clear that *government* is limited, not the rights of individuals.

“I really am at a loss to understand how you, in your own mind, have inferred things I have never said and then want to lay the burden of this error upon my by claiming I implied it. Such a thing was NEVER in my mind.”

You have clearly called for the courts to be stripped of their power to defend the rights of individuals against the encroachment of government power, and have called for government power to be increased so that government has the power to declare unenumerated rights unexercisable by individuals.

“You can choose to not believe that if you wish; I cannot control that. You are content to let the SCOTUS secure these rights; I am not.”

It’s worked quite nicely for over 230 years.

“The reason is very simple. At least with the Congress, I have some say in what rights are secured.”

I don’t want you or anyone else to have any say in anyone else’s rights. You exercise your rights as you see fit, and leave others to do the same. When there are disputes, as there inevitably will be, the courts are empowered to settle them. It has ever been thus, but you’re not happy with it. Shrug.

“That doesn’t sit well with you. Fine. You’ve said as much. We disagree (though I really would be surprised if you would be amenable to any and every right another citizen might claim).”

I’m not. But that’s exactly why you shouldn’t want me voting on your rights, just as I don’t want you voting on mine.

“You see, someone has to decide what rights are to be secured.”

Rejected. Fortunately, the Founders were wise enough to recognize that they couldn’t foresee all possible circumstances.

“I prefer that citizens did (since they after all are said to be the residium of those rights) rather than the SCOTUS. And the issue of securing rights need never come up if there is never any governmental encroachment to begin with. But if it does, I feel it could be handled just as expeditiously via a referendum as it might be through the judiciary.”

Your methodology was what sustained slavery in this country for generations, yet you object to the ‘errors’ of the courts. Methinks thou dost protest too much.

“It’s not irrelevant because it was not simply an error of judgement. That “error” may have cost a number of poor black people their lives. It certainly retarded their development as an ethnic group and has filled a lot of them with seething hatred. Go tell the survivors of lynchings that your are sorry for the SCOTUS’ mistake.”

Go tell Congress and the American citizens of generations past that they were *perfectly justified* in voting to sustain slavery, Jim Crow laws, racial discrimination and the like.

“You see, the people of the land could do nothing about that “mistake: for 58 years. That is why I am loathe to have the SCOTUS decide such things, because we can’t vote to change their decisions. That is when the US becomes an oligarchy.”

Your solution is, IMO and in the view of history, far less perfect. You appear blind to the excesses and ‘mistakes’ committed by legislatures and citizens who were trying to operate under the same system you appear to want to have. And it took the Federal court system to put an end to what YOUR preferred sort of system wrought.

“Really? Why don’t you re-read some of your posts. You have been insulting without doubt. If you want to deny that, then I really think you are dishonest. I can admit I was insulting, because it would be the truth.”

I give what I get, and I don’t have a great deal of patience. If you want a polite conversation with me, then act like it. By my reading, you responded to several of my polite questions and replies with rudeness and intemperance, so that’s what you get in return. I can be collegial and polite, or I can be as big a Richard as you’re being.

It’s quite your choice.

“This is not the venue for a dissertation, my friend. It is a blog on which people are entering text in a HTML textarea field, text that can’t be edited once it is posted (unlike Jay’s). Here you need to read between the lines a little.”

And here you justify the leaping-to of conclusions, while in a previous post you *accused* me of leaping to conclusions. :roll:

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that you operate under a double standard.

“I don’t recall anyone accusing me of being illogical in general (we are all that way from time to time, in this statement or the other), so if that’s what you are doing, you are the first.”

I haven’t accused you of being illogical in general. I’ve accused you of being illogical in a *specific* circumstance. Surely that was not lost on you.

“See my response above.”

“Shrug. I don’t know what to say.”

“See my response above.”

Your concession is noted and accepted.

“Congress may secure certain rights from governmental encroachment via the Bill of Rights. The 9th Amendment, all twenty-one words of it, only states that the enumeration of rights does not thereby disparage or deny unidentified unenumerated rights. It does not imply or indicate what those rights are. There has been much debate over the nature of these rights. It cannot be argued with certainty the referent is natural rights. Because of the vagueness and brevity of this amendment, in contrast to the explicitness found in other amendments, I tend to view this as a disclaimer introduced mainly for political reasons. Bork thought it was an inkblot. In any case, as I’ve said above, previously unenumerated rights have to be identified in order to be protected whenever there is an encroachment upon them. Presently, the SCOTUS does that. I want Congress to do that by adding to the Bill of Rights. One way means a minority can impose its will upon the majority and the other way vice versa.”

There’s nothing that says that Congress can’t add an *enumerated* right to the Constitution. However, I’m not prepared to wait years and years for my rights to be enshrined into law. Fortunately, I have the Constitution and the court system on my side, so I can challenge any infringement on my rights without having to suck it up while waiting for Congress to actually do something about it.

“In all honestly, and without prejudice, I would say you were equally as guilty.”

I freely tell others with whom I enter into discussion here that I give what I get. If you can be polite with me — even if we disagree — I will gladly return the courtesy. There are a few conservative posters here with whom I’m able to do that. OTOH, if you choose to be insulting and don’t adjust yourself even after I *tell* you that I’m taking offense at what you’re saying — as I have done with you — then I feel no further obligation to be polite. Deal with it.

“See what I mean?”

Again, I give what I get and I told you more than once that I was taking offense. Straighten out yourself or deal with it.

See again? I could easily (if you wanted me to) identify the places I was rude and insulting. Can you do the same?

Again, I give what I get and I told you more than once that I was taking offense. Straighten out yourself or deal with it.

“Well, in any event, I still mean what I said in another post. Sparks have flown, but I have enjoyed the exchange and feel I have benefited from it. It helped me to sharpen and narrow the focus of my argument. But I think you’d agree we have pretty mush fleshed out our positions to each other, so perhaps we can let this go.”

Uh huh.