Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 17, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BIPARTISANSHIP WATCH....God knows I don't want to get in the middle of the endless squabbling between Andrew Sullivan and National Review, but when the man has a point, the man has a point.

Get this: In yet another example of bipartisan comity, George Bush has just appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. His candidate turns out to be the medical director of an organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as "demeaning to women," and this strikes many people as an odd choice to head up a federal family-planning organization.

Not Kathryn Jean Lopez, though. In fact, she thinks it's inconceivable that anyone would disagree with this view of contraceptives:

Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful to men and women. Tell me I'm crazy.

Degrading and disrespectful? To refrain from lecturing full-grown adults who want to have sex but don't want to have children? Only if you think that all sex outside of marriage is inherently degrading and disrespectful.

Which, of course, is the whole point and it's a good example of why the "keep abortion legal but acknowledge that it's a heart-wrenching choice" school of thought leaves me cold. There's no question that abortion is a heart-wrenching choice for some women, but encouraging that belief means encouraging people to believe that there's something morally culpable about getting accidentally pregnant. Not to mention something morally culpable about not wanting a child in the first place, a decision so profound and personal that I have a hard time imagining anyone thinking they have a right to interfere with it.

Tell me I'm crazy.

Kevin Drum 3:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (207)

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Comments

Check TAPPED, a little later on Jonah DID call her crazy.

Posted by: MNPundit on November 17, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful to men and women. Tell me I'm crazy.

Nope. Not crazy. Extremely crazy. Or, at best, craven.

Posted by: JeffII on November 17, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

K Lo Hanging Fruit.

Posted by: gregor on November 17, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's fine that A Sullivan is making good points about the Republican party being anti-sex outside of marriage, but please: Duncan Black (atrios) and Dan Savage have been making these points for far longer than Sullivan.

Posted by: sheila on November 17, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Degrading and disrespectful?

Of course it is. Passing out contraception is just encouraging women and girls to have sex even though it's immoral and unsafe for them to do so. It's immoral for a unmarried woman to have sex. But it's even worse when liberals are giving women and girls contraception to have sex even if it's immoral. You probably don't realize this, but women are girls are not constantly thinking about having sex. Many want to remain virgins and save themselves for their husband. But by passing out contraception, liberals are sending them the signal they made a wrong decision.

Posted by: Al on November 17, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

They don't just think that all sex outside of marriage is degrading and disrespectful, but any non-procreative sex, including within marriage.

Posted by: BRussell on November 17, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

You are crazy, but this is a time when it's crazy to be sane and vice versa

Posted by: QrazyQat on November 17, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK
Only if you think that all sex outside of marriage is inherently degrading and disrespectful.

Um, that's all sex outside of sex for the express purpose of procreation, not just all sex outside of marriage.

Married people use contraception too, believe it or not.

Posted by: blah on November 17, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Nope, you're not crazy; you're rational. They're crazy. Or mean. Or stupid. Or any combination of the three.

Posted by: latts on November 17, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

You're crazy Kevin. But it's not you, it's the time; we live in an age where women are allowed to kill their babies. That is true madness.

In the future, we'll look back and wonder how the state glorified infanticide... or we'll be at the point where it's okay to smash a two year old against a rock and be immune to prosecution due to 'privacy'. I honestly don't know which. It's scary.

Posted by: American Hawk on November 17, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Of course she isn't crazy. Nosy, morals-nazi and absolutely intolerantly over-reaching, that's more like it.

Posted by: POed Lib on November 17, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

so... if i buy some rubbers down at the 7-11, is it "degrading and disrespectful" that there isn't a counselor on-duty to lecture me about how, when, why and with whom i should use my pickle-wrappers ?

fucka dat shit

Posted by: cleek on November 17, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

In the Ministry of Joy, we must ensure that all discussions of sex are directed at ensuring that the war against Oceania has enough members of the People's Army to defeat the minions of Oceania. Because, remember, that when we defeat Oceania, a country that we have always been at war with, we will need to then finish our war with New Europe.

Posted by: Erich Blair on November 17, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops, it was J-Pod, not Jonah who called her crazy.

Posted by: MNPundit on November 17, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK
Tell me I'm crazy.

You read "The Corner". QED.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 17, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Al is just trying to make a virtue out of a necessity, rationalizing his inability to get laid.

Posted by: CJColucci on November 17, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Playing with your navel while typing at NRO, without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful to men and women.

Posted by: Robert on November 17, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK
It's fine that A Sullivan is making good points about the Republican party being anti-sex outside of marriage, but please: Duncan Black (atrios) and Dan Savage have been making these points for far longer than Sullivan.

For a bigger "but,= please...", liberals have been making that point about the modern Republican Party since before the WWW was invented.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 17, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Dubya's incompetence, while legendary, has hit a new stride, of late.

Appointing a MAN to be chief of a family planning division is bad enough, but a man obsessed with the sexual behavior of ALL OTHER PEOPLE is really over the top.

Didn't this guy proclaim that too much sex can cause "brain damage?" Is it related to that behavior that causes blindness (masturbation)?

What's next, condoms causing cancer of the uterus?

To see the abstinence-obsessed in all their glory:
http://www.abstinence.net/

Where does Bush find these people?

Posted by: Ranger Jay on November 17, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Dole pushing Viagra, now that's what I call crazy.

Posted by: David W. on November 17, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I get laid plenty! Especially now that "Art" Haggard has lots more free time on his hands...

Posted by: Al on November 17, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

If you get accidentally pregnant, does that generally mean you accidentally had sex?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 17, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

"There's no question that abortion is a heart-wrenching choice for some women, but encouraging that belief means encouraging people to believe that there's something morally culpable about getting accidentally pregnant."

Okay, I'm sure I'm being a bit slow here, but if there's no question that something is true, why not encourage people to believe it?

Do we really want to say you have no moral culpability if you engage in practices that might put you in a heart-wrenching situation? (I'm not talkiing rape, incest, abuse, etc.) Are all women who get accidentally pregnant morally innocent? Insert your own alcohol-induced moment of stupidity here.

"Not to mention something morally culpable about not wanting a child in the first place, a decision so profound and personal that I have a hard time imagining anyone thinking they have a right to interfere with it."

Look, I get the rhetoric on both sides of the abortion debate. I also get that the pro-choice crowd has gotten very sophisticated lately with this line of argument. But I don't buy it. Abortion IS and should be legal, and as you admit it IS a heart-wrenching choice for most women. But just because the Ms. Lopez's of the world are using those truths to advantage I don't think that means we need to try to negate those truths. What we need to do is work to make sure that men and women get education about these issues from non-ideologues who do not have a specific agenda on either side of the debate.

"Tell me I'm crazy."

I don't think you're crazy. I think you're over-reaching. Of course Ms. Lopez' statement is idiotic, but you're using it as an opportunity to hit back against her subtext, in a way that twists the reality that she herself is twisting. Which is one of the reasons the abortion debate never gets anywhere.

Posted by: Mark on November 17, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

"K-Lo": Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful to men and women. Tell me I'm crazy.

Okay, you're crazy.

Kevin: What cmdicely said at 3:58 PM.

Posted by: Gregory on November 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't we just get it over with. We need to petition the President to use his war powers to suspend the establishment clause.

We can then turn over all reproductive questions to the Holy See. I am sure those holier than thou "celibate" pedophiles would love to make all of our reproductive decisions for us.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative Christians generally would approve of non-procreative sex within marraige; you may be thinking of the Catholic church, which frowns on contraception of any kind.

The conservative Christian's library probably has a book or two in it regarding God's plan for sexual fulfillment ("after all, God invented sex!") within marraige, whether it's procreative or not.

Posted by: gkoutnik on November 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

K-Lo is against contraception. That's why she has 13 kids.

What do you mean she doesn't?

Posted by: steve s on November 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Mark,

Very good comment at 4:11.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 17, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Selling alcohol without any deeper context or conversation is also degrading and disrespectful to teetotallers and drunks. Or something like that. (Maybe I should have gone with a sports safety equipment analogy.)

Posted by: RSA on November 17, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Well written Mark.

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 17, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

But..but..but aren't women supposed to get pregnant and stay pregnant.

Hasn't society gone to hell since the good old days when married women popped out babies at a rapid clip until they eventually died during child birth.

Posted by: Keith G on November 17, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that Al was leaving.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 17, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

But it's not you, it's the time; we live in an age where women are allowed to kill their babies. That is true madness.

It is. But there is even more madness abroad in our age.

Spilling spermatozoans on the bedsheets is an act of malicious hatred so vile and repugnant to all right thinking men that, I can not understand why our civilization has not already been incinerated in righteous fury.

I am in favor of all men being forced to sleep with their cocks in a funnel leading to a large container suitable for storing and preserving semen. That way, should there be any nocturnal emissions, the blessed spermatozoans may be preserved and, perhaps, joined one day with a holy egg.

Posted by: Meiosis on November 17, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Mark wrote: "Abortion IS and should be legal, and as you admit it IS a heart-wrenching choice for most women."

The assertion that abortion "IS a heart-wrenching choice for most women" is an empirical claim, subject to proof or disproof by empirical evidence.

What is your evidence that abortion is a "heart-wrenching" choice for "most women"?

For example, can you cite any surveys of women who have had abortions that found that a majority (i.e. "most") of women who have had abortions found that the decision to do so was "heart-wrenching" (e.g. caused severe emotional distress)? How about surveys of women who considered having abortions but in the end chose not to? How about any evidence at all?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

as you admit it IS a heart-wrenching choice for most women.

Cite? Where is the scientifically conducted polling data on this? I feel that quotes like this are quite possibly a mind fuck meant to manipulate the temperament of the debate and not based on any demonstrable truth.

Posted by: Keith G on November 17, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I have a checklist that my wife and I go through before we get busy. It covers all of the consequences of engaging in coital relations. From unwanted pregnancy to how the sound of our "relations" will effect the ability of our neighbors to enjoy Seinfeld re-runs, it's all there.

Needless to say, we rarely get through the list before giving up. Thank you Republicans for teaching us how to be responsible.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Down goes Frazier, there's no prize for being the silliest troll here. quit trying so hard!

Posted by: cleek on November 17, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

I usually tend to agree with you generally. But this is the one subject upon which I find you both most outside the Democratic consensus -- and the most correct.

Lords know, I can't found this argument in some unequivocal way to convince others. There will always be people out there who view "sexual irresponsibility" in the sort of social context that requires action from interlocutors -- and especially many liberals who wish to minimize and educate people about all sorts of personal harm we bring upon ourselves ...

But god dammit, abortion is an issue of female reproductive autonomy. It ain't my body -- it's hers.

Even though I can't philosophically ground this position, I feel it quite deeply.

Thanks for stating the matter so unequivocally. Stronger liberals might call you a moderate apologist on any number of other issues -- but not here. Your position is straight-no-chaser 70s sexual libertarianism. Stop patronizing women and let them make their own goddamn choices already.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, as many have said, you forgot to tell KJL that she's crazy.

Of course the doctor is a crackpot for more than one reason. He also has advanced the theory that too much sex leads to depletion of precious hormones... a claim for which he provides NO evidence, and flies in the face of most understanding of hormones in general.

Posted by: plunge on November 17, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, you're sort of crazy, and I'm speaking as a rabidly pro-choice female. I just don't see that stating that abortion is a heart-wrenching choice implies any sort of moral culpability for the pregnancy, accidental or otherwise. I was never in the position to have to make the decision, due to intelligent parents who gave me good information about reproductive health and access to birth control, and lucky enough to not have interference from antibiotics, etc. but if I had been, I would have done it, no question. Would I have had bad feelings about it? No question. You're making it sound like anyone who doesn't throw her girlfriend a "Yay I just had an abortion!" party is somehow saying it was a bad decision, rather than a bad decision to have to make.

Which is why Bill Clinton's "Safe, legal and rare" resonated with so many people.

I agree with your overall point that conservatives are obsessed with controlling women's sexuality, of course. Yes, it's degrading and disrespectful to men, but about 90% of the time, it's all about the pussy-- how to get more of it for yourself and keep other guys from getting any. Not you PERSONALLY of course, Kevin. Besides, you're one of those new men that reactionary Republicans are trying to keep from getting any. Can't be spreadin' those progressive genes around.

When more women stop sleeping with old white guys with plenty of money and power (are you hearin' me Newt and Hammer?) the world will change. Probably not too much before, unfortunately. Sexual selection is a powerful force.

Posted by: bluewave on November 17, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I can assure K LO that the converse is assuredly false--not giving women contraception without some conversation, such like "How do you intend to use your uterus, young lady"--is quite demeaning.

Posted by: PseudoNoise on November 17, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

We can then turn over all reproductive questions to the Holy See. I am sure those holier than thou "celibate" pedophiles would love to make all of our reproductive decisions for us.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM |

Most, if not all conservatives would be happy if these questions were simply left to the voters to decide.

Posted by: Chicounsel on November 17, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I can't speak from experience, but I like you, Kevin, I imagine the decision to have an abortion is incredibly hard. At the same time, who doesn't realize this and goes into it with the same sort of lightheartedness that they would buying clothes? I believe that people just acknowledge the difficulty of the decision because it could at least open up the eyes and ears of those who are on the fence about abortion to the pro-choice argument.

Posted by: Brian on November 17, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel:

Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Are self-evident natural rights ever truly subject to veto by plesbiscite?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Most, if not all conservatives would be happy if these questions were simply left to the voters to decide. Posted by: Chicounsel

Hardly, as they know that 2/3 of Americans have long favored keeping abortion legal.

Posted by: JeffII on November 17, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

conservatives yammer about the guilt which absolutely MUST be associated with abortion primarily because it is a choice that is (and remains) a woman's, and as such, threatens their patriarchal view of the natural order.

... or because they have small penises. one or the other.

Posted by: Nads on November 17, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK
Which, of course, is the whole point and it's a good example of why the "keep abortion legal but acknowledge that it's a heart-wrenching choice" school of thought leaves me cold. There's no question that abortion is a heart-wrenching choice for some women, but encouraging that belief means encouraging people to believe that there's something morally culpable about getting accidentally pregnant.

Arguing that we should avoid acknowledging manifest reality because it might reinforce memes that are ideologically unattractive is, well, utterly repugnant; its also, in this case, wrongheaded for other reasons, I would say: you don't do anyone any good to ignore the reality. The "Safe, legal, and rare" approach (of which the "Keep abortion legal but acknowledge that it is a wrenching choice" is the somewhat muddled, less forceful offspring) is about empowering people (particularly, though not exclusively, women) in reproductive choices and rests on the understanding that while preserving the choice of abortion is necessary, empowering people with the tools, both technical and social, to avoid unwanted pregnancy is a necessary an indispensable part of that empowerment.

Not even acknowledging that having to be put in the position to consider abortion is generally undesirable, which seems to be your preferred course, helps no one.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 17, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

This is fun!

Might I point out that none of these women and girls would get pregnant without the "help" of a man or boy?

So may I assume that all Republicans like American Hawk, Al and the others are still virgins unless theyre married? That might explain their frustrations. :)

Posted by: Detlef on November 17, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we told you so that if they managed to re-criminalize abortion they'd next go after contraception.

Looks like they've given up trying to get the big A outlawed and are now going after the big C.

Way to really piss off a lot of women, Repubs. AND a lot of guys who won't be getting any from their girlfriends/wives if this goes down.

Posted by: grumpy realist on November 17, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's point is abortion is a private matter. Whether it's heartwrenching or not we (whomever "we" is) shouldn't go out of our way to fashion the one and only acceptable meme regarding it- precisely because it's personal. I agree. Either it's a personal matter and it's nobody's business or we open the door for psychos like american hawk to start writing laws based upon their fever-dreams.

Posted by: The Tim on November 17, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Degrading and disrespectful? To refrain from lecturing full-grown adults who want to have sex but don't want to have children? Only if you think that all sex outside of marriage is inherently degrading and disrespectful."

You are wrong. This is true only if you think ALL sex is degrading and disrespectful. Lots of people use contraception inside of marriages as well. Or maybe would like to, if they had it available.

Posted by: Chuck on November 17, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm totally psyched about this abortion!

Posted by: Chukuriuk on November 17, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

The government is crazy to allow people to have children without having a thorough examination to establish their nurturing capabilities. Contraceptives should be mandatory for all sexually mature citizens until the fertility board determines they can have children.

Having children one is incapable of providing for is crazy and anyone who thinks otherwise is absolutely insane. The government and society should do everything in their power to ensure no unwanted or uncared for children are born. Bringing unwanted and uncared for children into the world is the ultimate expression of disrespect and degradation for humanity.

Posted by: e7 on November 17, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Here's your answer. Experimentally verified even!

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

There are also these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_media_effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error

Together they are the warp and weft of any good blogger's craft.


Posted by: Adam on November 17, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

"You know what this is for, right? It's for s. e. x. Do you know that the AIDS virus is smaller than the holes in the latex?* You should. Contemporary society celebrates s. e. x, but throughout history societies have found ways of controlling it. Those that succeeded prospered, those that did not failed. The feelings you're having - they're natural. But God gives us the ability to overcome our natural feelings.

Just wanted to converse with you about the deeper context of what you're doing here."

*AIDS sentence actual quote that Christian neighbor once said to me in hopes that I would not use condoms.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on November 17, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, how I long for a deep, soul-searching, god-invoking, tender and sincere post by Amy Sullivan on this topic.
She'll make me feel good about hating those sluts who have sex before marriage, and convince me that a vote for Strom Thurmond was a vote for racial equality too!

Posted by: Marky on November 17, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's that age old GOP/wingnut/christian conservative mantra...

On the one hand, abortions should not be allowed under ANY circumstances.

On the other hand, any programs which provide birth control or promte its usage outside of marriage are immoral and evil, resulting in pregnancy anyway, regardless of whether you wanted it and.....see previous paragraph.

We WILL make sure you get pregnant AND have the baby, regardless of whether you planned or wanted it....and you will like it.

Posted by: dweb on November 17, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "...encouraging women and girls to have sex even though it's immoral..."

Ah, the cry of a man who hasn't had any since, well, 1984. (And that was when he worked for Foley.)

Posted by: Kenji on November 17, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Al is convinced women don't want to have sex just because they all turn him down.

Maybe they just aren't in to you buddy.

Posted by: trifecta on November 17, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

From Jimmy Swaggart through Ted Haggard, the lesson for these New Puritans is clear: the more you publicly rave about the depravity of other people's sex lives, the sooner the depravity of your own is exposed.

I am reminded of David Hager, bush's appointed chair of a committee on women's health, who as an ob-gyn refused to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.

His dismissal of contraceptives was explained the next year when his wife revealed that for years he anally raped her then claimed he hit the wrong hole.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on November 17, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it is degrading to K-Lo. Nobody wants to have sex with her.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 17, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Most, if not all conservatives would be happy if these questions were simply left to the voters to decide.

The South Dakota members of the culture of rape disagree. They lost their vote to outlaw abortion and they are very unhappy and unwilling to accept the voters' decision.

From http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/6689.article:

Leslee Unruh, campaign manager for Vote Yes for Life on Six, however, described the measure as a state's right issue.

"I didn't put it in to challenge Roe v. Wade," said Unruh, founder of South Dakota's largest crisis pregnancy center. "That became the story for the national and international press that was here, which is why Planned Parenthood put all their guns on this issue."
[cut]
Despite the setback, Unruh believes Vote Yes for Life succeeded in changing the public's rhetoric by emphasizing how abortion harms women. She expects similar campaigns against abortion in West Virginia and Texas.

"If you could have been there [Tuesday] night and seen the fervor in the room, these women aren't going away," Unruh said. "We're stronger than ever. I'm more committed to this than I've ever been.

"Women came from all over the country to work the phones. They're going back to their states with the message that abortion hurts women. We need to prove to women we're the ones with love and compassion."

Shorter Unruh: Love, compassion and authority are what women need.

When I was in HS, the football coach's daughter, a student, became pregnant. Their last name was Unruh.

Posted by: Hostile on November 17, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

>Where does Bush find these people?

Find them? He grows and cares for them! He coddles them. He hugs them and squeezes them and when they're ripe, he appoints them to positions where they can do the most harm...or is it the other way 'round? And they call me 'confused'?!

Posted by: parrot on November 17, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

There is family planning, and there are single women, almost none of them get vaginal orgasms.

So, I am some poor women, single, getting contraceptive and what is one to think? I am milking some jackass who has no notion of female orgasms.

Posted by: Matt on November 17, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Against my better judgment, I clicked the link and wandered over to The Corner.

And I was reminded again: God, what a vapid, intellectual wasteland that place is. Jonah Goldberg, John Podhoretz, Kathryn Jean Lopez ... it's like peering in at a monkey cage.

Crass as it may be, I can't help but note the irony of K-Lo, the quintessential Eternal GOP Virgin, opining on the subject of contraception.

These people just fill me with contempt.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on November 17, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

The fact of whether abortion is a "heart-wrenching decision" is immaterial. Should we query at the abortion clinic whether the patient is sufficiently remorseful before allowing her to continue? This just feeds into conservative propaganda, making women feel bad for the choices they make.

The bottom line is, as Bob much more eloquently puts it, it's the woman's body, nobody but she can decide what to do with it.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 17, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

"If you get accidentally pregnant, does that generally mean you accidentally had sex?"

If you get in a car accident, does that generally mean you accidently drove your car?

Posted by: EmmaAnne on November 17, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

K-Lo is against contraception. That's why she has 13 kids. What do you mean she doesn't?

Have you ever seen K-Lo? She is her own contraception.

Posted by: Disputo on November 17, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

"If you get accidentally pregnant, does that generally mean you accidentally had sex?" If you get in a car accident, does that generally mean you accidently drove your car? Posted by: EmmaAnne

I must concur. There is no such thing as an "accident." Carelessness and negligence, yes. It may have been a "mistake" to sleep with a certain person. But "accidental" sex resulting in accidental pregnancy, no.

Posted by: JeffII on November 17, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Have you ever seen K-Lo? She is her own contraception.
Posted by: Disputo

OK, Disputo, you win. Your line's better than mine.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 17, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

If you read more of K-Lo's thoughts and her links to an old article she wrote on this issue, you find that she is indeed against contraceptives being used outside marriage AND by married couples. The reason? Because it's: a) the position of the Catholic Church (even though the vast majority of Catholics ignore it) and b) she believes Natural Family Planning is a better way for married couples to be intimate and communicate. It's the same weak argument I had to listen to when my wife and I did pre-cana classes to be married in the Church. In that lecture, it was by a 70+ year old woman who was totally against contraceptives because of how it destroyed relationships and wasn't part of the natural process. The irony is that she hadn't had sex in ages and K-Lo, assuming she follows Church teachings faithfully, has never had sex. It's the odd situation where those who don't get laid try to set up the rules and regulations for those who do get laid.

Posted by: Schnauzer on November 17, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Most, if not all conservatives would be happy if these questions were simply left to the voters to decide.

LOL. Yeah, just like most, if not all conservatives were happy the morning of Nov 8th.

Posted by: Disputo on November 17, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that Disputo got in the best line here. But why should I let that stop me from piling on? If you've ever seen a picture of K-Lo, you'll know she probably was never invited to the junior prom or senior ball, for that matter. I think she's jealous that she's never been laid, and therefore wants to spoil everyone else's fun.

Posted by: coffeequeen on November 17, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's the odd situation where those who don't get laid try to set up the rules and regulations for those who do get laid.

Odd? I'd say that that is the *usual* situation.

I say that those of us who are attractive and get laid on a regular bass fight back and pass laws that require ugly frigid people to start having sex with each other.

Posted by: Disputo on November 17, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

that should be "regular BASIS"; I'm not advocating interspecies sex, as much as Santorum would like that.

Posted by: Disputo on November 17, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Most, if not all conservatives would be happy if these questions were simply left to the voters to decide."

Posted by: Chicounsel

Left to the "voters." Are they opposed to leaving such decisions to individuals?

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 17, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

Well, provided it's a full 24" scale and not one of those goddamn short-neck six-string basses that are just an electric guitar tuned down an octave and sound like the opening line in the theme to Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin did not argue "that we should avoid acknowledging the manifest reality" that abortion is heart-wrenching for some women (and I would emphasize the "some"). He explicitly acknowledged that reality. So your response is a total strawman.

The problem in the "safe, legal and rare" formulation of government policy on abortion is the "rare" part. Even if one were to agree that abortion is "generally undesirable" and that preventing unwanted pregnancy is generally preferable to terminating unwanted pregnancy, it would not thereby follow that abortion should be "rare," or that the government should be promoting the view that abortion should be rare.

Posted by: tracee on November 17, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

The women I know that have had abortions were relieved to have the procedure. Having the baby was generally considered undesirable, not having the abortion. These were girls I know from my church teen group. But that was in better/freer times - the Seventies, when bras were burned.

Posted by: Hostile on November 17, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: "Well, provided it's a full 24" scale and not one of those goddamn short-neck six-string basses that are just an electric guitar tuned down an octave and sound like the opening line in the theme to Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse ..."

A full-scale bass such as a Fender Precision is 34" not 24".

Have you ever listened to the great Jack Casady playing a short-scale (30") Guild Starfire III semi-hollowbody bass on the Jefferson Airplane's 1968 live album Bless Its Pointed Little Head? Good lord, it's one of the most outrageous, snarling, aggressive, yet extremely musical and expressive bass sounds ever. And then he turned around and played the same instrument on the first Hot Tuna acoustic duo live album and it sounded like Jaco (the bass solo on Mann's Fate).

And then of course there was Jack Bruce with his Gibson EB3 short scale bass through two Marshall 8x12 stacks in Cream, which sounded more like Godzilla than Mighty Mouse or whatever ...

Although both of them now play full-scale 34" basses -- Casady plays his Epiphone Jack Casady Signature Bass (which he modeled on a Gibson Les Paul semi-hollow body bass, with a humbucking pickup that he designed) and Jack Bruce plays a Warwick Jack Bruce Signature fretless bass.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

>means encouraging people to believe that there's something morally culpable about getting accidentally pregnant.

Well, yeah. You're morally culpable for every risk you assume. That's life.

Posted by: VRWC on November 17, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe she just thinks it's demeaning to assume women can't afford their own.

Posted by: B on November 17, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

A cautionary tale,

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=technologyNews&storyid=2006-11-17T152625Z_01_L17720855_RTRUKOC_0_US-BRITAIN-WEBRAGE.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

A British man convicted of what has been described as the country's first "web-rage" attack, was jailed for 2-1/2 years on Friday for assaulting a man he had exchanged insults with over the Internet.

Paul Gibbons, 47, from south London, admitted he had attacked John Jones in December 2005 after months of exchanging abuse with him via an Internet chatroom dedicated to discussing Islam.


And get a load of his photo. I guarantee I'm prettier than this guy.

Posted by: cld on November 17, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Is K-Lo crazy? She follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. It's a rhetorical question.

Posted by: Robert on November 17, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

"... means encouraging people to believe that there's something morally culpable about getting accidentally pregnant ..."

What does "morally culpable" mean?

I don't think it really means anything. Most phrases containing the word "morally" don't.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

K-Lo never met a donut that her ass wouldn't swallow.

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 17, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and don't talk about 'aggression' on the bass without tipping your hat to Primus, okay?

4-string basses are so quaint...

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 17, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

This is where the Republican Small Government Flier collides head on with the Republican Family Values Express. They can have my prophyactics when they can pry my dead fingers from them.

Posted by: CT on November 17, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush isn't morally culpable! Hooray!

Posted by: cleek on November 17, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well, yeah. You're morally culpable for every risk you assume. That's life.

I saw Dawn of the Dead (the remake) on the Sci-Fi channel last night. Every single bloody scene was left intact, while every bad word and every scene with sexual content was bleep or blurred.

That is a direct result of 12 years of Republican rule. Republicans have a big problem with sex. Why they need to involve the rest of the country in their problem is beyond me.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

This is where the Republican Less-Government Flier collides head-on with the Republican Family Values Express. They can have my prophyactics when they pry my cold, dead fingers from them.

Posted by: CT on November 17, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sean of the Dead was quite funny.

I cannot understand how the gov't can fine someone like Stern hundreds of thousands of dollars, while wrestling is free to escalate violence and misogeny without comment.

Posted by: Hostile on November 17, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

want to make a bet that this guy also rails against welfare queens? Bet K-Lo has too.

Posted by: lou on November 17, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

I try to be a well-rounded guy and not just read all the liberal blogs and magazine. I rarely agree with what I read in the New Criterion or Commentary, but they have intelligent people who can use logic and history to make their points. Every time I read the National Review, I feel like I'm sitting with a bunch of drunken rednecks who've learned how to say "paradigm" and "ex post facto." Example: Jay Nordlinger has called Rush Limbaugh "the Great One" in his column. How can you take somebody like that seriously? Example: any two adjacent words in a piece by Jonah Goldberg. And look through their history: their publications in the 50s and 60s are downright shameful, talking about how the negroes need to be more patient since everybody knows they're not ready for full citizenship yet.

All of us need to be more open to differing viewpoints. The internet is either a screaming match or an echo chamber, and neither gets us anywhere. But I've given the National Review about as many chances as they're going to get.

Posted by: wally on November 17, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow this thread turned from the 'bipartisan' implications of Bush's most recent political appointment to the pros and cons of the abortion debate which is one that can go on forever. Instead let us focus for a minute on what this appointment means as far as Bush's olive branch for bipartisanship goes. Ain't gonna happen, plain and simple. He seems to be going out of his way to appoint people who are idealogues rather than mainstream simply because he can. He's showing the democrats that he's still in the driver's seat, or so he thinks. Come January, things might change, but this next congress is not going to be a love fest--W and company will not change.

Posted by: sparky on November 17, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, Mark, bluewave: "Tell me I'm crazy" was Kathryn Lopez's line, not Kevin's.

Posted by: Pay Attention, Please on November 17, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Pay Attention, Please: cmdicely, Mark, bluewave: "Tell me I'm crazy" was Kathryn Lopez's line, not Kevin's.

But Kevin repeated it, presumably sarcastically, as the last line of his post.

Posted by: Pay Better Attention, Please on November 17, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Your own sexual response is something you can't control, which is why it makes Republicans hysterical and why they try to demonize it wherever they can as a useful tool for bullying, which only makes it more hysteria-engendering and more vulnerable to bullying, blackmail and mob violence.

Republicans are all for violence in movies since it keeps people in mind of how injured they might be if they step out of line.

Posted by: cld on November 17, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK
cmdicely, Mark, bluewave: "Tell me I'm crazy" was Kathryn Lopez's line, not Kevin's.

Actually, its both the last line the excerpt from K-Lo's post that Kevin presents and the last line of Kevin's post.

Of course, yes, Kevin was playing around a bit by ending his post that way, just as I was playing (well, in the "ha ha, only serious" way) back with the jab about reading the Corner.

All of that is, I would think, fairly obvious.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 17, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

>What does "morally culpable" mean?

It means the moral accountability. In the specific context, if pregnancy is the risk of having sex and pregnancy results, it's still the partners' fault regardless what precautions they took to avoid pregnancy and it's still their responsibility to deal with the situation. "Culpable" isn't the best word to use since it generally attaches to a notion of disapproval, and there's nothing inherently wrong with pregnancy. Where the issue of culpability truly enters is with the determination of the fate of the biological human life, and the philosophical issues attendant thereto.

Posted by: VRWC on November 17, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

mercury_man_242: 4-string basses are so quaint...

Then so are 4-string Stradivarius violins, I suppose.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I don't quite get the trouble with admitting that something is a "heart-wrenching decision", Kevin. I can't speak to the issue "most women", not having scientific polling data, but it is undeniably true for some women - and some men as well, including myself. Neither my partner or I want children, and in the case of an accidental pregnancy we would be faced with a decision I know would be difficult and painful for me.

What I don't understand is why admitting that fact is a concern. The simple fact of a decision being difficult or having emotional consequences is by no means an a priori reason for the government to be involved in said decision.

Humans make difficult decisions every day without the government stepping in to hold their hand. This is no different. Admitting the nature of the question does no harm.

Posted by: IdahoEv on November 17, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that K-Lo gets not just her own morality, but her instructions for social policy, from a foreign pervert gang, tells me everything I need to know about her.

Posted by: Wallace T. on November 17, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I would note that many of the high-end 5-string and 6-string basses that I have seen are 35" scale, longer than the standard 34" scale 4-string bass (e.g. the Fender Precision or Jazz Bass), not short-scale basses which rmck1 complained about.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Right you are, Pay Better Attention, Please and cmdicely.

Posted by: I Suck on November 17, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

>Your own sexual response is something you can't control,

Yes, you can. Otherwise virtually all men (at least) would be rapists. Self-control (your ability to restrain yourself from following instincts on the pure strength of intellectual and moral judgement) is what separates you from animals. Or maybe in your case, it doesn't.

Posted by: VRWC on November 17, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
The fact of whether abortion is a "heart-wrenching decision" is immaterial.

I'd say that depends, like most statements of what is "material" or not, on the context. Its certainly material to the desirability of expending efforts to empower people to avoid unwanted pregnancy in the first place (so, contra K-Lo, underlines why distributing contraceptives is the opposite of disrespectful, especially to women).

Its also material to whether or not women should be grilled before being allowed an abortion, though it ways on the opposite side of the side you suggest it would be weighed on if it were considered material. That it is, on its own, a wrenching decision adds weight to the argument that others should leave it to the women, not conduct an inquisition.

There are certainly many contexts, of course, in which it is immaterial.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 17, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think there should be more abortions. Youre not crazy.

Posted by: Jonesy on November 17, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

But Kevin repeated it, presumably sarcastically, as the last line of his post.

Well, it could be sarcastic or literal in his case.

In Lopez's case, I don't know when anyone has ever asked such a self-deluded question setting themselves up for an answer they don't want to hear.

They really think sex is dirty and nasty and should never be mentioned, outside of whispers.
And what about married women who don't want children or any more children, I'd like to know?
Is it "demeaning" to mention birth control to them? Or a life-saver?

God, these people are scary.

And too young and/or incurious to know anything outside their little, tiny box of a world.

Posted by: Start Making Sense on November 17, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

"But Kevin repeated it ..."

Repeating K-Lo's line does not make it Kevin's line.

Posted by: Take Your Own Advice, Asshole on November 17, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

I wrote: What does "morally culpable" mean?

VRWC wrote: It means the moral accountability

I understand what "culpable" means and I understand what "accountable" means. What I don't understand is what the modifier "morally" adds in either case.

How is "morally culpable" different from "culpable"? How is "morally accountable" different from "accountable"?

If they aren't really different, then isn't "morally" just a noise word?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Have you seen Kathryn Jean Lopez? It makes sense then.

Posted by: Jonesy on November 17, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

"What I don't understand is what the modifier "morally" adds in either case."

Morally
1. in a moral manner.
2. from a moral point of view: morally reprehensible.
3. virtuously.
4. virtually; practically.

Posted by: English Teacher on November 17, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Where the issue of culpability truly enters is...

Right, but culpable in whose eyes? That is the problem. Our society has determined that is it just to allow people to correct their reproductive mistakes.

There is nothing that says people cannot, nor that they are required, to feel bad about this. Sanctimonious, hypocritical pricks have every right to be outraged by this fact. But those that seek to correct their mistakes, and those that support the right of others to do so, are not required to feel anything but contempt for said pricks.

I know there are plenty of people that are honestly opposed to abortion. But I doubt very much that they are nearly as vocal as the hypocrites that make up the anti-abortion minority.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

I saw Dawn of the Dead (the remake) on the Sci-Fi channel last night. Every single bloody scene was left intact, while every bad word and every scene with sexual content was bleep or blurred.
Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly - I'm more comfortable with my kids seeing violent scenes than sex scenes. As a parent - having to provide parental guidance, it's a lot easier explaining the violence. Kids understand anger, frustration, and acting out - and they understand special effects, and fakery. But the emotions that often drive sex (especially including dramatized sex) are often a lot more complex. Now that's not to say that I am against bare boobies, but the social standard has been set, and so then a parent would have to explain the double-standard (which is also a complex issue - which is why parents don't swear in front of their kids - because then you have to explain the difference between public and private behavior, and expect them to always get it right).

On it's surface, the sex/violence dichotomy seems pretty shallow. But when you look at it more deeply, it's not as simple as it seems.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on November 17, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

VRWC wrote: "Self-control (your ability to restrain yourself from following instincts on the pure strength of intellectual and moral judgement) is what separates you from animals."

Intellectual and moral judgement are just as "instinctive" and deeply based in biology as sexual behaviour and are exhibited by non-human animals as well as by human animals. They certainly don't "separate" humans from other animals.

Do you imagine that you are something other than an animal? A plant, or a mineral perhaps?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Extradite Rumsfeld wrote: "Kids understand anger, frustration, and acting out - and they understand special effects, and fakery."

Most of the sex in movies is fake, so it's OK for kids to watch it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 17, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Acknowledging abortion as a heart-wrenching choice is common sense. Questions of morality or religion aside, attachment to fetal life is a biologic imperative that crosses species and is basic and instinctual. Trying to deny this is stupid. This is why the safe, legal and RARE statement makes sense to most people. It may make intellectual sense to some to equate the moral decision to abort with the decision to have a body piercing or tattoo but it will alienate and anger the majority of the population.

Posted by: Chrissy on November 17, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

They really think sex is dirty and nasty...

Which it is.

If you're doing it right, of course.

Posted by: Stefan on November 17, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

If you're doing it right, of course.

Very Niiice. High Five!

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy,
Your "common sense" is contradicted by the experience of real women.

Posted by: Celine on November 17, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Your "common sense" is contradicted by the experience of real women.

The two most important women in my life have both had abortions. For both of them it was a heart-wrenching decision. At the same time, neither of them feel guilty about making it.

The two feelings are not mutually exclusive. But hey, that's just anecdotal evidence.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

kevin, i almost NEVER comment because i'm usually in near-total agreement with you, but i just don't think there's anything wrong with saying that, yes, in an age of extremely effective birth control, there IS something wrong with getting accidentally pregnant. i'm 100% pro-choice but come on- in the hypothetical US posited by "abortion should be legal but happen as infrequently as possible", where the position is coupled with cheap- if not free- birth control and sex ed, is there anything wrong with simply saying, "well, you were drunk, ignored the signs, didn't have your headlights on, and weren't wearing your seatbelt- you made a big mistake."?

Posted by: jim on November 17, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful to men and women. Tell me I'm crazy."


All right. You're crazy. Family planning can involve using contraception-at least, for many families. Especially poor and middle class families.

Just another example of King George and his idea of bipartisanship.

Posted by: Susan on November 17, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

yes, in an age of extremely effective birth control, there IS something wrong with getting accidentally pregnant.

extemely effective and 100% effective are not the same thing.

Posted by: Edo on November 17, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

VRWC, >Your own sexual response is something you can't control,

Yes, you can. Otherwise virtually all men (at least) would be rapists.


Rape is an action, not a response and it isn't sexual, it's about power and abuse.

A response is the great idea you get which sets off a chain of theorizing about possible actions.

Posted by: cld on November 17, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

While the GOP this week wrestled with its new status as minority party, leading lights Trent Lott and Mitt Romney showed the Republicans' attitude towards minorities remains unchanged.

For the details, see:
"Lott, Romney Revive Republican Race Card."

Posted by: AngryOne on November 17, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

A response is the great idea you get which sets off a chain of theorizing about possible actions, none of them rape.

Posted by: cld on November 17, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Betty Croker have so many children? Because she was always moist and easy.

All seriousness aside, the only point to life is to pass on the DNA. That means having sex. And to do it correctly when the the Moon is in conjunction with Uranus, you need to practice before hand. No wonder the wingnuts beget wingnuts, they don't practice enough.

Posted by: Mr. Wu on November 17, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

All right. You're crazy. Family planning can involve using contraception-at least, for many families. Especially poor and middle class families. Posted by: Susan

Fitzgerald - "The rich are different than you and me."

Hemingway - "Yes. They, apparently (according to Susan), somehow get (or avoid getting) pregnant in a different way."

Posted by: JeffII on November 17, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

What's interesting about reading the comments in this thread is the absolute allegience to two unprovable assumptions:

1. No sex outside of marriage is an unreasonable and laughable standard.

2. An embryo is not different than a part of a woman's body so she should have absolute control of it.

Now I don't expect to change any minds on this thread but it seems that it is awfully arrogant to hold these assumptions with the absolute surety I see on this thread.

Whether the human has a soul or not is a matter of faith - it can not be proven by "scientific" method. Whether sexual activity impacts this soul is also a matter of faith. It is a subjective judgment by each person. But judging from observations of culture it seems that complete "sexual freedom" is not only not optimum it is not desirable. The subjective conclusions are sex has more psychological implications than other activities. Blatantly assuming that those "psychological implications" of sex are some false constraint put on society by the big bad Christian right or some other authoritarian body impresses me as immature and shallow thinking.

Sex obviously means more than just recreation. I find this to be evidence for the soul.

Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their sexual activity to the confines of marriage?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 17, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their insane ramblings to the confines of their puny minds?

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho -

Did you offer that inane comment to prove you have a puny mind?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 17, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: "Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their sexual activity to the confines of marriage?"

The world would be a better place if Republicans restricted their sexual activity to the confines of masturbation.

Posted by: Death To All Republicans on November 17, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's crazy to think that practically everyone is going to have sex sometime in their lives.All kids reach that age and all get the itch and all scratch it when they can. It is crazy to not promote safe sex. Our society promotes sex on TV, radio, and every kind of advertisement there is.Come out of the dark ages. Anything to protect my children and grandchildren from their own ignorance is good. I don't want my kids to have kids or STD's. Every bit of prevention we can do is good. I'm a christian but also a realist. Just because it's morally wrong, chastiseing people won't protect them. I don't beleive in abortion either but I remember all the young girls killing theirselves trying to abort unwanted babies with coat hangers. Sometimes the lessor of two evils is the best answer until a better one comes along.

Posted by: Daryl on November 17, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

That sex is about more than recreation is "evidence" to you that human beings have a soul? That's one of the silliest things I've ever heard. So silly, in fact, that you contradict it directly above by stating that the existence of human souls is a matter of faith. If it's a matter of faith to you, then "evidence" has nothing to do with.

Sheesh, John -- I know you're a serious guy who tries to make rational, non-combative arguments with people who are your political opposites -- but come on. You can't expect to say stuff like that and not be the target of snarky rejoinders.

Look, it's silly to argue in normatives. Should people behave with more sexual responsibility? Of course, just like they should drive more carefully, drink more moderately, avoid getting into pointless and nasty arguments on the internet, eat their vegetables, don't smoke and keep themselves regular with fiber in their diets.

By saying this you've said ... what, exactly?

Sex happens. Call it what you will; violence also happens. The question is -- what do we do about it as a society?

I'm personally in favor of letting it remain a matter between consenting adults. I really don't think I need to hear the words of some stranger lecturing me about proper sexual morality when I go to the drugstore to buy a pack of condoms.

Nor should a woman have to hear about it, either.

We're not talking sex ed for teenagers here.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK
All seriousness aside, the only point to life is to pass on the DNA.

No, the only point to passing on the DNA is life.

You've got it all backwards.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 17, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

to do with = to do with it.

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen,

Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their sexual activity to the confines of marriage?

Can you consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people had unrestricted access to comprehensive sex education and contraceptives?

Posted by: Edo on November 17, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Republican sexual activity,


Mike Tyson to be male prostitute,

http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2006/11/16/mike_tyson_to_be_a_prostitute

Posted by: cld on November 17, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

To Cleek:

If one is a man, it is okay to purchase condoms without counseling. However, if onw is a woman. . . BTW, don't all forms of female contraception require consultation with a doctor or nurse? Seriously, apart from abstinence, the vaunted (ha Rhythm Method or other "natural" (as in non-spotaneous) family planning method (e.g., Billings and Creighton) the guy pulling out (coitus interruptus),what form of female contraception is free of medical or allied health personnel involvement? Even the morning after pill must be purchased from a drug store and must be dispensed by a pharmacist.

So, what's the degrading no context part? Don't women patronize family planning clinics of their own free will? What is the suggestion here? Women are accosted by clinic employees and pushed into receiving services?

When I walk to the camera section of a store, I expect the salesperson to atttempt to sell me a camera. Or is he/she being presumptive?

Posted by: Allen on November 17, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Did you offer that inane comment to prove you have a puny mind?

Your failed attempt at flowery language aside, the argument you put forward is insulting and deserving of a pithy, inane response.

To expect people to base their life choices on your definition of morality is arrogant in the extreme. Most people would agree that the accepted norms of our society are beneficial. They don't need to subjigate themselves to your view to be moral people.

Not all are lost until they are saved. Not all are saved until they are lost.

See, I can write arrogant swill too!


Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

"No, the only point to passing on the DNA is life. You've got it all backwards."

Au contraire, it's all about the selfish genes. Life is just the vehicle DNA created to replicate itself.

Posted by: cleek on November 17, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

I know you know a lot about what "faith" is so I won't be silly and try to define it. But saying that there is evidence that points to a faith position is not s silly statement.

Now concerning the argument near the end of my post. I leave a lot of connecting arguments out in the interest of time. You prompted me - so trying to be brief as possible and yet make more sense...

-Sex seems to mean a lot more to people than other forms of recreation.
-It is inherently relational ( other than masturbation ).
-It seems to greatly change the relationship between two people.
-I think this change in relationship occurs because the soul is effected by the inherent openness and sharing of ones self that occurs in the sexual act.
- All this may occur simply because of the adjumstment of chemical signals and the changes in hormone levels, but it seems much more plausible that permanent effects happen to some personality that is the soul.

To me this adds evidence to the argument for the soul. This however was not the main point of my post.

Now as for the other issues - I know we are not talking about teenagers here, but some people will take their guidance from the government. I don't think the government should be put in the position of fostering the idea that abortion really doesn't matter.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 17, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

"No, the only point to passing on the DNA is life."

No, it is to determine the hierarchy of relationships. Someone has to sleep on the wet spot.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

That's what I believe anyway. Now everyone act accordingly. Otherwise you are morally-inferior.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Allen:

The contraceptive sponge. The female condom. Spermicidal cream (to be used with a diaphragm which, granted, must be fitted by a doctor). The dental dam (not birth control, but a prophylactic device for STD protection during cunnilingus). And, very soon, in some states the morning-after pill.

You can get any of these (aside, perhaps, the dental dam) on the OTC shelves of any well-stocked pharmacy.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

To expect people to base their life choices on your definition of morality is arrogant in the extreme. Most people would agree that the accepted norms of our society are beneficial. They don't need to subjigate themselves to your view to be moral people.

I went back and read my post. Nowhere did I say that anyone should base his life choices on my morality. The point was that there was an echo chamber effect going on in this thread because of the basic assumptions that people were making. I wanted to introduce some doubt for these assumptions into the discussion.

And BTW - I wish I had a more simple, succinct style of writing. Maybe if I did Will Allen would not pick on me with superb parodies.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 17, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

One other comment Bob. I thought we were discussing what a governement agency should be doing - not what a private pharmacy should be doing in selling condoms.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 17, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Not trying to argue Bob, but Plan B is very difficult to get, at least at the moment. In L.A., there are only two pharmacies that provide it, and the woman is required to submit to counseling before it is given out. Translate that to a city of 8 million people and you are talking about waiting in line for hours. Not so easy when you are on a 72 hr clock.

Right now, there is very little recourse for a mistake, other than abortion. All because people this sex is icky. what a waste.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

>Right, but culpable in whose eyes? That is the problem. Our society has determined that is it just to allow people to correct their reproductive mistakes.

>There is nothing that says people cannot, nor that they are required, to feel bad about this.

It doesn't matter in whose eyes, or what society permits. A person can only be the guardian of his own moral standards. If something is morally wrong, a personal decision or a majority vote can't change the wrongness - it merely means the person or the majority has decided to accept the wrongness, perhaps in exchange for something else such as personal pleasure or convenience. Either you're willing to do something to another person that you wouldn't want done to yourself, or you're not. Either you're willing to acknowledge another as a being worthy of respect, or you're not. Unless there's a higher authority, you can't be held to moral account by anything except your own sense of reciprocity.

Posted by: VRWC on November 17, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

Well okay then, point taken. Substitute "evidence" for "empirical evidence," though, and my point still stands. All of those are arguments which lead you to believe that a soul exists, but as you yourself suggest, there are other plausible explanations.

And riddle me this, John. Why are there gay penguins?

You heard me right -- gay penguins. You think I'm pulling your leg, don't you?

Well, not at all. I read about this in the NYT yesterday. Seems there's a children's book about it that caused quite a stink in some Midwestern state, after the Mom got to the page where it said that the two male penguins who would care for donated female eggs, incubate them and raise the chicks -- "must be in love."

"They must be in love," John. Did you read that? Our public school monies are going to fund the availiablity of a book about cute flightless birds that little children adore because they're so pudgy and bowling-pin like -- and make a *value judgement* about the relationship between *two male birds*.

"They must be in love," John. Have you ever heard anything *quite* so obscene -- these liberal school districts using the cuteness of penguins to push the homosexual agenda.

Really. Trying to establish the legitimacy of gayness with ethological studies of penguins, penguins -- of all God's creatures! Penguins that your little Debby or Johnny would find utterly adorable!

The best argument for home schooling I've seen this week.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

>A response is the great idea you get which sets off a chain of theorizing about possible actions.

However you prefer to characterize it, the point is that one is responsible for one's actions and the possible outcomes. If a pregnancy truly is just a biological inconvenience to someone, then no problem - she arranges to have it flushed, and the moral culpability never arises because she lacks a consciousness of it. If a pregnancy is otherwise to her, she deals with the consequences either rightly or wrongly in her own moral sense. It's not for others to make her decision for her, nor can her or their rationalizations of a choice she holds to be wrong ever amount to more than empty attempts to assuage guilt.

Posted by: VRWC on November 17, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Gay penguins - and the point is?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 17, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is a JEW.

How many folk think that the Jews censoring the 30 or so pictures of GW Bush, and cohorts, having fun with rabbis, etc, in the article:

Bush is a Jew.

are evidence that Jews are embarrassed by their great leader Bush, being a Jew.

Why do you think the Jews had to shutdown the entire site http://linux.coconia.net?

Were Jews embarrassed by their great leader Bush, wearing a Yarmulke (skullcap), while praying at the Wailing Wall, or were Jews embarrassed by the pictures of Putin wearing a skullcap, or Jeb Bush dancing with Rabbis,... or of John Howard, or what?

Posted by: linux.coconia.net shutdown on November 17, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Nice. I'm just waiting for 成人小说 to say something really insightful before I call it a day.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 17, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are so right on! Thank you!!

Posted by: tis pitty on November 17, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think *you're* a Jew. Yes, a secret, shameful self-hating Jew you are. That's obviously why you enjoy pointing the finger so much, isn't it -- because it takes your Hebraic mind for thirty microseconds off the corruscating REALITY of your own JEWITUDE.

JEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEWJEW.

That's what you see in the mirror every day as you try to Brylcreem those sidelocks into Elvis sideburns.

Despite all your best efforts, It looks FUNNY, doesn't it.

Jew Jew Jew Jewy Jew J-E-W you are.

Jewy Jew.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

Well, by gay penguins (there apparently is such a thing; pairs of male penguins who hatch eggs, raise chicks and are bonded for life), I think I was pretty obviously satirizing the whole notion of some sort of ordained "natural" pattern of sexuality -- especially in birds, which more clearly than other types of animals otherwise elicit human-like patterns of courtship and pair-bonding behavior.

Hence the idea that sex is connected to reproduction is no more nor less than an epiphenomonemon of biology.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

I simply cant help myself on this one.When did it become the Governments Job to Plan Families?What the Hell is the deal with that? Are we Chinese? French?What is suppose to be Bipartisn about handing out The Pill or Comdoms to poor people?It is a shame we have come to this.And you Liberals Whine like little Drowning pups if anyone threatens the Holy Grail of Baby Killing,I'm sorry Fetus Termination.Remember this,it is only Bipartisn when The Dems get to gloat.Dont look for much of it the next two years.Maybe you should ask the Dead Babies what they think about Family Planning.Ask them about Bipartison Political wrangling and Bull.Most of them would just be Grateful if they could take a Breath,think about that.

Posted by: Glyn Lockhart on November 17, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Glyn Lockhart:

I thought they'd be plenty grateful for going straight up to Heaven.

Doesn't the Enfamil there come down off the clouds?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Thanks for the info. I forgot about the sponge. Do many women use that? It seems to be a pain in the a--, er, inconvenient, compared to the diaphram or oral and injectable contraceptives.

P.S. I meant to use "presumptuous" and not "presumptive" in my last post. Rushing to take a jog. . .

Posted by: Allen on November 17, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

epiphenomenon

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Allen:

Well the point is that there's nothing really different about male and female contraception in principle. In fact, considering the responsibility that men bear in engaging in sex, any sort of "strings attatched" information should be handed out with each pack of condoms to guys -- if you want to go that route.

But condoms are often available in vending machines in bars ...


Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

--->Thanks for the info. I forgot about the sponge. Do many women use that? It seems to be a pain in the a--, er, inconvenient, compared to the diaphram or oral and injectable contraceptives.

They also have this ring thing they put on their cooter--I've seen that thing and it looks pretty uncomfortable. Don't know how the gals use that thing.

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 17, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

--->The dental dam (not birth control, but a prophylactic device for STD protection during cunnilingus). And, very soon, in some states the morning-after pill.

My dentist is a hottie--now you got my blood boiling.

Woof woof woof!

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 17, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

There's no question that abortion is a heart-wrenching choice for some women, but encouraging that belief means encouraging people to believe that there's something morally culpable about getting accidentally pregnant.

There IS something morally culpable about getting pregnant. It's a potential consequence of having unprotected sex, which any adult must be aware of and prepared for before they engage in such behavior. Whether someone wants the baby or not is irrelevant to the morality of the situtation - lots of parents feel, after the birth of a child, that they don't want it from time to time - but that doesn't give them a right to precipitously get rid of it. An unborn fetus isn't a child, true - but to most people it's something more than just a clump of cells, and regardless of what you want to say, scientifically it is very difficult to draw a distinct line delineating when it becomes human. This sort of "abortion=birth control" attitude turns off a lot of people. Most people are pro-choice, but a great number of pro-choice people feel queasy allying themselves with people whose attitude about the subject is so blithe.

Posted by: Antiabortion Prochoicer on November 17, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Amtiabortion Prochoicer:

What about women who don't feel that having an abortion is traumatic at all? What about women who experience the growth of a fetus to be equatable to a parasite that takes over their bodies -- and who, after an abortion, experience no other emotion so much than they're glad to be rid of it?

Anecdotally, this apparently is not all that uncommon.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 17, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

A fetus is no more a parasite than pregnancy is an illness.

Posted by: VRWC on November 17, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

And how many of the commentators here are male and leave the whole thing about birth control up to the female?

Face it, guys, if you want to blether on about "responsibility" and sexual activity, go get yourselves snipped.

Posted by: grumpy realist on November 17, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Highly doubt K-lo would ever need an abortion. I don't know what I would do quicker--throw her out the door after sex or scrub her stink off me.

You gotta be in a real slump to roll in place with a hog like that.

oink oink oink!

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 17, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

I just skimmed this, but I can't believe there are 170+ comments and none of them are from Charlie. My Dog, this thread was made for him to poop all over!

He must be on his greeting shift at WalMart.

Posted by: craigie on November 17, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

What about women who don't feel that having an abortion is traumatic at all? What about women who experience the growth of a fetus to be equatable to a parasite that takes over their bodies -- and who, after an abortion, experience no other emotion so much than they're glad to be rid of it?

Anecdotally, this apparently is not all that uncommon.

I find that attitude callous, detached, and morally repugnant. Nevertheless, such women have a right to an abortion, which is and should be legal. They do not, however, have a right not to be judged or disapproved of. What I'm saying is that arch pro-choice people could make a lot more headway in defusing the abortion wedge issue if they were willing to make a relatively meaningless semantic concession and and talk up their willingness to pursue policies which would lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies (which most want to do anyway) by underscoring the point that such policies would help minimize the number of abortions that occur. But many pro-choice people seem to hold a dogmatic belief that aboriton is solely a question of woman's reproductive autonomy, which brooks no compromise. This belief itself is problematic - is a woman who drinks and takes narcotics during her pregnancy not morally responsible for the resultant birth defects? It is, after all, her body by this logic, at least up to the point (wherever it is) that the fetus becomes a person. It's fine and good to talk up the "freedom = good" part of libertarian philosophy - but you also need to acknowledge the "with freedom comes responsibility" part.

Posted by: Antiabortion Prochoicer on November 17, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

--->And how many of the commentators here are male and leave the whole thing about birth control up to the female?

Hell no--half the time, they can't work their own damned devices.

True story--had a gal who could't work the female condom at all. Even tried to ROLL IT UP HER LEG.

Short night for me, needless to say. *Stupid* bitch, what good is it gonna do on your leg???

mm242

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 17, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, and Secular,

You guys offer yet more proof that liberals appeal to everyone's bassist instincts. I'm no deFender of your ideas, and I can't speak with Precision, but all this Jazz about premarital sex suggests you need a sound thumping, or at least some popping where it hurtson the bottom (so the dancers just can't hide).

Posted by: Kenji on November 17, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Jewy Jew."

Bob, you are going to look really silly when Kevin removes the antisemite's comment and leaves yours. :-)

Posted by: EmmaAnne on November 17, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

I find that attitude callous, detached, and morally repugnant.

Not for the victim of a sex crime, rape, or the adult child of sexual abuse whose psyche has been shattered because she has been indoctrinated as a thing, not a person, who suffers from dissociative disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, a lack of well-developed boundaries as a victim of abuse, poor self-image and self-loathing, etc.

There are millions of female victims of sex crimes at various levels of recovery from violence and some never recover fully from unspeakable acts committed against them as girls. I have no judgment for a woman who might view a fetus as a parasite. For example, I can easily understand and feel compassion for a woman who has been raped and I don't think it's callous, detached or morally repugnant for her to think her rapist's sperm, now an invader lodged in her womb, is an unwanted parasite. Psychologically, I imagine it would be a common repulsion, spoken or not.

When is this country going to wake up to its dirty little secret about America's rampant sexual violence and the war against women?

The misogyny expressed by K-Lo is chilling.

Posted by: dagger on November 18, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen: Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their sexual activity to the confines of marriage?

I have considered the possibility.

And, upon consideration, have rejected it.

Next?

Posted by: Stefan on November 18, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Now as for the other issues - I know we are not talking about teenagers here, but some people will take their guidance from the government. I don't think the government should be put in the position of fostering the idea that abortion really doesn't matter.

Do you think the government should be put in the position of fostering the idea that having and raising children you don't want really doesn't matter?

Posted by: Stefan on November 18, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their sexual activity to the confines of marriage?

Let me fix this for you:

"Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if other people restricted their sexual activity?"

There, now it makes sense. Sort of.

Posted by: craigie on November 18, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

or we'll be at the point where it's okay to smash a two year old against a rock
posted by: Un-American Chicken Squawk

"Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!"
--Psalm 137:9

Read your bible, asshole. You'll be amazed at how bloodthirsty your god can be.

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on November 18, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

HHS recently "clarified" to states that they can spend the $50 million provided for abstinence-until-marriage to target folks up to age 29:

The revised guidelines specify that states seeking grants are "to identify groups ... most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range." Previous guidelines didn't mention targeting of an age group.

"We wanted to remind states they could use these funds not only to target adolescents," Horn said. "It's a reminder."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-10-30-abstinence-message_x.htm

This is nuts. Pure and simply.

Posted by: joe on November 18, 2006 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

Not for the victim of a sex crime, rape, or the adult child of sexual abuse whose psyche has been shattered because she has been indoctrinated as a thing, not a person, who suffers from dissociative disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, a lack of well-developed boundaries as a victim of abuse, poor self-image and self-loathing, etc.

There are millions of female victims of sex crimes at various levels of recovery from violence and some never recover fully from unspeakable acts committed against them as girls. I have no judgment for a woman who might view a fetus as a parasite. For example, I can easily understand and feel compassion for a woman who has been raped and I don't think it's callous, detached or morally repugnant for her to think her rapist's sperm, now an invader lodged in her womb, is an unwanted parasite. Psychologically, I imagine it would be a common repulsion, spoken or not.

In a situation involving rape, sexual abuse, etc. the calculus is obviously different. I *WOULD NOT* label such women nearly so harshly - in fact, I agree with you that they deserve compassion. But the distinction is clear - they are victims, not responsible for their situation, and it is compounding the cruelty of the rape to force them a bear the child they don't want who will be a lifelong reminder of their victimization. This is one of those cases when the evil of bringing the pregnancy to term outweighs the evil of abortion in my opinion. Normal women who willfully, carelessly have unprotected sex and get pregnant as a result? Completely different. They're responsible. They can have their abortions, but they don't have a right to complain about pro-lifers denouncing them or shouting at them outside the clinic, or people in general looking down on them. They need to own the choice they've made. So, incidentally, do the men who impregnated them - if a woman decides to have a child, I'm all in-favor of strict child support laws to force the father to take responsibility for his seed. It's not about womens' prerogatives, nor is it about the human rights of a blatocyst. It is, quite simply, about accepting the consequences of your actions.

Posted by: Antiabortion Prochoicer on November 18, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if they won't let me take out Teheran, at least give me the coordinates for Tierra del Fuego - I'll nuke those "gay" penquins.

Let me be a "Culture Warrior" for Christ and Bill O'.

Posted by: General Bomber "Crazy" Harris on November 18, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

>>appeal to everyone's bassist instincts.

Why does Kenji hate bass players?

Posted by: CFShep on November 18, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'd point out for the record that I personally have percussionist instincts.

"I got rhythm. I got music.' I. Gershwin

Posted by: CFShep on November 18, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Next thing you know, Bush will appoint a cannibal to head the Department of Vegetarian Affairs. What a doorknob. Impeach him NOW!!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 18, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Impeach him NOW!!!
Posted by: The Conservative Deflator

Be like, oh, putting mining lobbyists in charge of Interior...oh, wait...

Amen. If not now, when?

Posted by: CFShep on November 18, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Back to the topic...

Bush evidently plans to keep on keeping on. I certainly didn't expect him to have a sudden change of heart about his decisions following the election.

He is hell bent on furthering HIS agenda. That means never admitting error, spending money that this nation does not have, wrecking entire nations halfway across the world that have little or nothing to do with our "security," and appointing dipshits into positions of power (power = ability to delegate funds) when there are plenty of other, qualified candidates capable of doing a much better job.

Abstinence-only education does not work. This is a proven fact. If people want to pursue that approach, I don't have a problem with it, other than my viewpoint that it is not an effective wellness approach to contraception, procreation, or avoidance of STDs. Key word = effective.

Family planning entails many disciplines, with many short-term and long-term goals. Placing a person who is fanatical about abstinence in this particular position is not a sound decision.

My point? Bush has not, will not, and is in fact incapable of making sound decisions. The guy is incompetent.

Back to cartoons...

Posted by: Ranger Jay on November 18, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Back to cartoons...
Posted by: Ranger Jay

But but but...it's time for College Gameday!

I'm outta here tout suite.

CFS

Posted by: CFShep on November 18, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Aw, right! Just what we need, another Goddess of the Marimba - Move over Nancy Zeltsman.

Buddy

Posted by: A Guy Named Rich on November 18, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

A Guy Named Rich:

Hey, never forget Ruth Underwood :)

Ladies and gentlemen
Watch Ruth
All through this film, Ruth has been thinking
What can I possibly do
That will amaze everyone
I think she's come up with the answer, just keep your eye on her ...

--Frank Zappa

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 18, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: dsdft on November 18, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

"epiphenomenon"

Bob, isn't that what happens when you can't afford a real Gibson?

Posted by: Kenji on November 18, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji:

LOL ! Indeed it would be :) An epiphenomenon of my lack of budget for the Real McCoy.

I love the Gibson humbucking sound. It pretty much put the compressed, cleanly fuzzed, sustaining lead sound on the map that was so important to progrock bands (that, and the pinkie-twiddle maneouver on the volume control for a violin-like envelope). I think of Phil Miller's lead sound in Hatfield & the North and National Health (although later it began to evolve into something more jazzlike as he began to play semi-hollow bodies).

And of course, there's always Angus Young of AC/DC, who just liked the solid body Gibson because the symmetrical cutaways reminded him of devil's horns :)

Zappa loved the standard solid-body Gibson, too. The Les Paul has a warmer, more expressive sound, more characteristic of an electric guitar. But there's something about that disembodied sustain ...

Secular was right, of course. 34" is the standard long scale for the Jazz and P-bass. And he his points about bass legends playing short-scales is well-taken, too (especially in '68, before amplifying and mixing technology got sophisticated enough to really capture an electric bass sound either on record or live). And newer custom 5 and 6 string basses do use longer scales. I was thinking of the standard-issue 6-string bass used in commercials and studio work by guitarists. I saw one 5-string with a low B instead of a high C. Sweet 'n' lo, baby :)

And to think all this off-topic musical blather started because I merely, umm, riffed on Disputo's typo of bass for base ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 18, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Degrading and disrespectful?

Of course it is. wearing a seatbelt is just encouraging women and girls to drive recklessly though it's immoral and unsafe for them to do so. It's immoral for a unmarried woman to drive. But it's even worse when liberals are giving women and girls contraception to drive even if it's immoral. You probably don't realize this, but women are girls are not constantly thinking about driving. Many want to remain virgins and save themselves for their BMW. But by passing out contraception, liberals are sending them the signal they made a wrong decision.

You vice-enabling Devils!

Posted by: Jet Tredmont on November 18, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

In my mind, Bob, the Les Paul Standard (non-SG version) will always be the ultimate rock machine. The combo of PAF humbuckers, as you said, with solid-body sustain and the carved-top aesthetic, harking back to the early jazz age, is a permanent killer.

How then to explain the appeal of the knife-edge sound of the Telecaster's bridge pickupespecially when the lower strings are plucked with the treble turned way up? If you're at all serious, you have to go both ways on that one. (And I'm still not sure about the Strat as a compromise instrument, but warming to it. Globally.)

Sure, this is OT, but Karl Rove has no opinion on it, so Al doesn't know what the hell to think. (Lee Atwater knew about this stuff, but that's another story. Didn't he have a deathbed conversion, by the way?)

Posted by: Kenji on November 18, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Can't some of you at least consider the possibility that the world might be a better place if people restricted their sexual activity to the confines of marriage?

Mmmm, not so much after seeing what a bloody failure that no-sex thing was under Oliver Cromwell.

But that's where we're headed as a society, right? Cromwellian virtue? Where sex and its expressions are the ultimate evil but torture and the sacking of foreign nations are godly tools of the state?

I know, I know -- Cromwell wasn't a true conservative and he bungled the implementation of some brilliant policies. Been hearing that a lot lately.

Posted by: trex on November 18, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji:

Yeah, ol' Lee did, as a matter of fact. My Dad met him at a party once (a social gathering through his business connections; my Dad gets more flamingly radical-leftist every year; he makes me look like goddamned Kevin Drum), when he was terribly ill with his inoperable brain tumor. He looked horrible. But he did apologize to all and sundry at that party for the Willie Horton ad.

As for the Tele -- funny you bring that up along with the Les Paul. Gary Green -- not the world's most innovative guitarist but one of my goddamn teenage favorites in Gentle Giant -- the guy played a mean-ass rockin' blues guitar for improvised leads, along with all the insanely overcomplicated arrangements in that band -- used to alternate between a Les Paul for leads and a Tele for scratchy rhythm in concert (aside from the acoustic for acoustic guitar duets with the bassist and a descant recorder; those guys played everything).

The have a couple really good video clips from their best period on YouTube; you should check them out.

A Tele is not like a Stratocaster, it's so very true. And without the humbuckers, they're not really the best for melodious, stingingly fuzzed leads. A Stratocaster will always sound like an electric guitar -- though it's a good utility instrument for both lead and rhythm as you say.

A Tele has a more specialized application -- chunky, twangy, crunchy chords -- and it's unmistakable when played clean. Great for reggae and funk, and the ONLY really idiomatic surf music guitar ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 18, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

And let's not forget the whole Nashville Cats thing. I've been told, however, that many of those iconic Fender sounds in country and country-pop, a la "I Walk the Line", are actually SubSonics not Teles, sometimes even tuned down a step or two.

Posted by: Kenji on November 18, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji:

What is a SubSonic?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 19, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, sorry I missed this earlier. I guess it's a baritone electric, nostly used for those trebly Fender bass notes and surf sounds. Not sure about the tuning, but I think it's the normal setup.

Posted by: Kenji on November 19, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

The word is heart-RENDING, not heart-wrenching.

Posted by: uno on November 19, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji:

Hmmm. Interesting. The SubSonic sounds precisely like the sort of old-school 6-string bass I referred to in my original message -- essentially a guitar tuned down an octave (with obvious allowances made for string gauge, although it's still short-scale compared to a P-bass).

I've heard of baritone guitars (Allan Holdsworth plays one on Hard Hat Area, which I have yet to hear), but it's kind of a misnomer, because a normal guitar covers the baritone range. The low E on a guitar is the E one ledger line below the bass clef.

The bass guitar (like a tuba, which I also used to play) reads the same, transposed down an octave. So a 6-string bass tuned like a guitar but an octave down would cover the bottom range of a standard 4-string electric bass.

Transposing down an octave is why they call the bass violin (on which the bass guitar is modeled) a "double bass."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 20, 2006 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Poker on November 20, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

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