Eliminating GIGO

When I wrote:

…I think I got the most volume and some of the most varied feedback I’ve ever gotten for any post I’d ever written before. It ran the gamut from “this is easy to do and Facebook can’t seem to do it, so they must not care” or “Facebook is in bed with X group, their behavior demonstrates this.” to “Any attempt to moderate speech violates my freedom of speech.” When I queued up this episode, one of the first things that the guest says on mic is that she figured that the Facebook Supreme Court was just a way to get Facebook out of the crosshairs for making the decisions that need to be made, content-wise:

Radiolab – Facebook’s Supreme Court – February 12, 2021

…and by the end of the episode I was where Jad was “we have to ban Facebook, don’t we?” But then I thought some more about the varied responses to the tests that were put forward to illustrate just how hard it is to make judgements about what is or isn’t acceptable on social media, and I started to realize that what Facebook will ultimately achieve, if it succeeds, is some form of internet protocol for allowing the greatest amount of speech possible without misleading the populace or allowing for the targeting of segments of the population. I wish them luck with their supreme court experiment. Hope it all works out.

Tangentially, there were two more episodes later in my podcast feed that dealt with the same conundrum. Speech, the freedom and limitations of:

Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick – First Amendment Fallacies – Feb 27, 2021
What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law – Deplatforming and Section 230 – 02.27.21

If I were to craft a tweet for this episode of Trumpconlaw, as I have tried to do for it’s 49 brothers (failed at a few) It would run something like “Section 230 allows your internet to serve you the porn you want on demand, it does not enable Facebook to silence your god-king, no matter what he says about it.” The #MAGA remain MAGA no matter how many times they mash their faces against the screens, though.

…which reminds me. While #48 about pardons was largely a rehash of the previous pardon episodes of Trumpconlaw, #49 speaks explicitly to the title of this article because:

What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law – Incitement – 01.30.21

Incitement is by definition GIGO that should be eliminated. “Trump’s behavior since the November election proves that his intention was to incite violence on January 6th. He would have caused more violence on January 20th if he had not been deplatformed.”

What Trump Can Teach Us About Constitutional Law

For any #MAGA out there. You know who you are.

Trumpconlaw is another podcast hosted by Roman Mars of 99% Invisible fame. When the show first started, I started tweeting out my own version of promos for each episode. The series of them can be found under the tag TrumpConLaw on this blog. This post should appear as the header for that series of tweets. As a consequence of this, it will move forward in time as new episodes are released. Here is the introductory episode of the series.

Intro to What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law – 06.07.17

So we’re going to learn the constitution together. Because of Trump. Because I need something to hold onto, and the constitution is the liferaft that our forefathers gave us. And dammit, I’m going to learn how it works.

Roman Mars

Here is the tweet that started it all,

Twitter

On a tangential track (or set of tracks) I am slowly working my way through the 99% Invisible archive. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever make it all the way through, but hope springs eternal. 99% Invisible is undoubtedly one of the best designed websites in existence. All Roman Mars podcasts and the podcasts that are presented through his distribution group, Radiotopia, are among the few podcasts out there that are easily shareable; easily shareable because the link to the hosting website is actually referenced in the feed address for the podcast you are listening to. I remain baffled as to why more podcasts do not design their feeds to be easily accessible in this way. In any case, give some of these podcasts a listen. It will take your mind off of the impending doom looming over the US today.


TED2015 Roman Mars Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

09/22/19. I added the link to the introduction episode, the inspirational tweet, and Roman’s quote from that episode. 04/13/20. Moved to March 19th subsequent to the last episode at the time. Moved to November 11th when I found I had been missing episodes all summer.

Lame Duck

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If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

TrumpConLawLame Duck EP. 47 – 1.26.20

Donald Trump and every Republican lap dog for Trump is out and about trying to drum up a belief that the election was rigged in some fashion. They are actively working to undermine belief in cherished American institutions. Cherished institutions, like the democratic process itself. The very same process that confirms their authority as members of the legislature or governors of their own states. This cannot be allowed to continue, and the power to make it stop is in the hands of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate that will be seated next January.

The thing that needs to happen is that any Senator or Representative that questions the validity of the vote should have their credentials from their state rejected until their states can verify that they did indeed win their seats. Recounts, voter checks, whatever it takes. However long that process takes. They cannot be seated until their questions about voter fraud are answered to their satisfaction and the satisfaction of their constituents.

…or these very same Senators and Congressmen can shut up about the results of the presidential race and retract all their statements undermining the validity of the vote.

Both the House and the Senate have the right to determine who they will accept as members of their governing bodies, and seating someone who thinks the whole process is a farce undermines their work. So those people should simply not be seated until their reservations about the system are answered or revealed to be false. Plain and simple.

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Featured image is a screencap from trumpconlaw.com.

Counting Votes

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Counting Votes EP. 46 – 10.31.20
TrumpConLaw – Counting Votes EP. 46 – 10.31.20

Facebook – RBReich

…7 million more votes for Biden don’t matter. That is the crime here. I don’t have any condolences to the losers mourning Trump’s loss today because they crowed victory when three million more votes for Hillary didn’t mean that she won. The struggle over the next four years will be to make sure that Donald Trump is the LAST president to hold the office without ever earning the support of the majority of Americans. No other political task is as important as this one goal. Destroying minority rule in the United States FOREVER.

Amicus – The American Contest – OCT 24, 2020 (Heather Cox Richardson)

one of the things that that has happened at least three times in American history is we go from a period where there is a focus on equality and on rights. And when that happens, when people, ordinary people start to have political power, they do, in fact, guarantee that they retain more of the value that they produce. And they want they want what they have done. They don’t want what anybody else has done, but they actually want what they have produced. And when that happens, the people who have tended to be able to accumulate wealth into their own hands start to worry that they are going to lose that power.

slate.com

When Mitch McConnell says we can’t call out Caudito Trump’s tantrums for what they are, he is pretending that other leaders in US history acted as he did. That is simply not the case.

Both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton should have been president. That didn’t stop them from graciously conceding the races they were deemed to have lost by legal fiat. Contrast Al Gore’s performance with Donald Trump’s, as was done in the above referenced episode of What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law. Or you could just watch this video of Obama graciously explaining how Americans were just going to have to lie back and accept Donald Trump as president for four years.

Facebook (Obama’s announcement of coordination with the Trump Administration)

Ask any woman who is told that they have to “lie back and take it” about how well that suggestion goes over for them. If you survive the experience you will be able to appreciate the kind of hell that is waiting for Donald Trump and his Republicans as soon as they are no longer in power.

There are many out there who think that Trump is engaged in yet another con, when it comes to his shenanigans concerning the counting of votes, and on some level I imagine that Trump thinks this too. This doesn’t change the fact that he will do everything in his power to wreck the office that he will be kicked out of in January because he doesn’t care about anyone other than himself.

I don’t know if his destructiveness will lead him to try to call out the military to kill people directly. He is a pathological liar and a narcissist that could easily qualify as confinable by court ruling if he was brought before the court in a competency hearing. But he hasn’t shown himself to be capable of killing people on his direct order yet. One might actually say that he has tried to keep his hands clean so far, understanding that being seen to be a murderer would alienate the people who love him, no matter what he says about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.

It is one thing to shoot someone that the crowd encourages you to shoot. It is another thing entirely to shoot someone that the crowd is sympathetic to. That would be a game changer in the true sense of the phrase.

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I would never have agreed to run a stand-up campaign against Donald Trump and his merry band of felons-in-waiting. This is the difference between me and Joe Biden. Me and the press. Me and the Democratic party. To my mind, there is nothing legitimate about Donald Trump or his presidency. There never has been anything legitimate about it. I would never have stooped to covering his Tweets or his press conferences. I would never have assigned a reporter to the White House. I would never have agreed to debate Donald Trump on stage.

I expected either or both of the candidates to sabotage the debates simply because the debates were going to be shitshows no matter what. Either Biden would mop the floor with a clueless Trump or Trump would be allowed to bully Biden. In any case, I wasn’t going to watch because I can’t stand to listen to Donald Trump utter three words consecutively.

…I said this all five years ago. Donald Trump should have been hauled off in handcuffs the first time he told someone to rough up a protester at one of his events. He should have been hauled into tax court in 1980 when it was clear he was cheating on his taxes. Had the law been enforced then, we wouldn’t be here now.

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Strangely, the evangelicals started abandoning Donald Trump after he contracted the coronavirus. I think I need to get one of them to explain to me why he can’t be god’s chosen one after he was diagnosed with the disease. I’ve also heard that the Qdrops are saying that he didn’t really catch it, it’s all part of the plan to surprise and start arresting those baby-eating sex fiends that run the Democratic party. I think they’ve all been mainlining whatever that is he puts on his face. That might explain everything.

(This trend reversed before the date of the election. I remain puzzled as to why it started and why it reversed. Looking forward to reading that research someday. -ed.)

It is most infuriating that so much of this Trump bullshit is still topical, and it is still topical because they are still doing the stupid stuff that failed to gain them victories in the midterms. There is landslide turnout across the country. Landslide turnout.

Now, you can ask, are Democrats the only ones that vote early? (many have asked that) and my response to that question is to ask a few questions of my own. Do you really think that this president is inspiring landslide turnout in favor of killing an additional four million Americans with COVID? Or do you think that this collapsed economy is the reason that people have turned out in record numbers in support of Donald Trump? Which is it?

…of course it is people who are dissatisfied who are voting. Stormtrumpers are defensive about voting for him in 2016, and fewer of them will be voting for him now. That is not the characterization of what most of us would think of as “winning.”

He can still cheat his way into a stalemate, and I expect that he will come very close to doing that. It won’t matter in the end. With no clear victory in the election, the military will simply hand the nuclear codes to the Speaker of the House (most likely Nancy Pelosi) on January 20, and we’ll just continue on from there. I’m good with that outcome too.

This is how Trump treats America. Trump doesn’t listen. Trump is a bully. Trump talks over the experts, the courts, congress, and every citizen. You’re looking right at it. How he treats Biden is how he treats YOU. 

Stonekettle
Same Old – Samuel L. Jackson

TrumpConLaw 43-45

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TrumpConLawThe Trump SCOTUS Term EP. 43 – 07.31.20

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TrumpConLawThe Hatch Act and The Election EP. 44 – 08.28.20

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TrumpConLawSCOTUS without RBG EP. 45 – 09.25.20

trumpconlaw.com

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

Editor’s Note

The destruction of political, legal and constitutional norms that is the Trump presidency almost defies description. The SCOTUS has a right to be cowardly when faced with a president like Trump. Much like Andrew Jackson, Trump wouldn’t even acknowledge a ruling by the court because he wouldn’t understand what his willingness to defy the court would mean when the next president came along.

Trump’s willingness to defy the Hatch act, his outright intention to ignore it by destaffing the office and leaving it empty for his term. He knew exactly what he was planning to do in 2016 and he didn’t want anyone getting in his way with legal arguments that he wouldn’t accept.

As for the third episode, I wrote articles about RBG and Roe. Hell, I rewrote the article about Roe three times before I finally got it right.

The article about RBG is more personal.

Now that I’ve had time to reflect on what the loss of RBG meant, the thing I am left with is that the woman who had to have an abortion when we both were teenagers only had one immediate observation about the article,

How dare you call our President the Orange Hate-Monkey!

So I took out the reference, and started the process of genericising the references to Trump in all the other MAGA-tagged articles. If I want his supporters to read them, I can’t be turning them off by labeling a spade a spade. They’ll still be here needing educating long after Trump is gone.

When pressed she seemed completely unaffected by the death and didn’t think RBG did anything that warranted my being upset at about her dying. She has been trying to adopt an anti-abortion stance for at least a decade now, because she thinks that is the morally right thing to do. I don’t think she understands what that makes of her life now.

TrumpConLaw 40-42

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TrumpConLawJacobson and COVID EP. 40 – 04.24.20

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TrumpConLawThe Socially Distanced SCOTUS EP. 41 – 05.29.20

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TrumpConLawPolice, Race, and Federalism EP. 42 – 06.27.20

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

Editor’s note.

There are several things that I should explain in this editor’s note. One thing that I should explain is that I have changed phones and carriers multiple times over the last year, and consequently some of my podcast feeds got lost. Trumpconlaw was one of those feeds. I had wondered why there hadn’t been new episodes of the podcast over the summer. Radiotopia could well have tried to deliver me new episodes and the reply would have been “new phone, who dis?”

The second thing I should explain is my complete dissatisfaction with the way WordPress is dealing with embeds these days. The new functionality is apparently intentional and not a bug. This conclusion leads me to believe that I have no alternative but to get rid of the Gutenberg/Jetpack add ons for WordPress and fly solo, because I want to be able to craft the HTML code to my liking on my blog. I’ll have to ponder what direction represents forward from here.

I have modified all the previous audio links for TrumpConLaw now. Modified all the audio links and updated the articles, and am finishing up the last of the Trump articles before moving on to new things. I’m doing what everyone should do as the new year approaches.

Roe v. Wade Was a Conservative Decision

The Republicans are poised to reverse Roe v. Wade! How can you be so cavalier about this?

A question I posed to myself in 2006

My response in 2006 went something like “Republicans have no intention of reversing Roe v. Wade. They would be fools if they did reverse it.” I’m beginning to suspect that I overestimated their intelligence on this particular subject. There has been a veritable deluge of attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade in the last decade, not to mention the war that conservatives are waging on Planned Parenthood in the mistaken belief that Planned Parenthood is where all abortions occur in the United States.

As the writing appears on the wall in this final gasp of American conservatism, the soon to be disempowered Republican party continues to slice parts of itself off in an orgy of self-congratulation. It seems that throwing all their morals out the window and voting for a confirmed con-artist, philanderer and pathological liar requires them to double down on their debunked claims to a moral high ground. They are convinced that if they only pass one more law they’ll finally be able to get rid of the medical procedure, abortion, by overturning Roe. They also seem to think that they’ll stop women from using birth control or morning after pills. I think they should stop while they are ahead.

Ahead you ask? How are they ahead? The answer is as demonstrable as the the lack of a moral high ground was in the previous paragraph. Roe was a conservative decision based on science and the law back when it was decided in 1973. It was and is conservative because it represented a partial step towards granting women the same bodily autonomy that men enjoy, before there was a detectable change in the woman’s body, while protecting the state’s interest in making sure that the maximal number of new citizens is born to each new generation of women. The state’s interest is expressed in those terms and in only those terms.

Abortion wasn’t even a hot button issue back in 1973 when Roe was decided. Several churches and leaders of the time signed on to allowing abortion to spread across the nation as a legitimate medical procedure back then. It wasn’t until the birth of the Moral Majority in response to the changes in the American family and the threat to the subjugation of women that the Equal Rights Amendment represented that Abortion became the focal point of American conservatism. American conservatism that was being used like a sock puppet by the Christianist right.

Throughline – Apocalypse Now – June 13, 2019

That episode of NPR’s Throughline covers how abortion was turned into the issue that it is today by Jerry Falwell and his merry band of Moral Majority pranksters. This article isn’t about Christianists and Christianism and why the rest of us who live in the United States should be opposed to everything that Christianists want to do to our country. They are important issues, but this article is about a medical procedure, abortion, and what banning that procedure does to the citizenry in general and women in particle. Why we as average citizens should be opposed to the banning of abortion that modern American conservatism is based on.

Access to healthcare is a woman’s right. There really isn’t any question about this because access to healthcare, a combined investment by the society at large as well as individuals caught up in the various healthcare systems across the globe, is every human’s right. This right is established through the fact that each person born came from someone who in some way contributed to the current status of medical knowledge and the existing medical infrastructure. People come from somewhere, and that somewhere is from other people. People created the healthcare system over generations, and this basic fact grants later generations access to the combined knowledge of their forebears on what should be an equal basis. An equality that is currently being denied to most people living today, but that observation is also a digression from the specific point I’m trying to make with this article.

Abortion is a medical procedure, no if’s and’s or but’s about it. As a medical procedure, abortion should be available to anyone who wants one, end of story. Or rather, it would be the end of the story if men had to carry the next generation in their bodies in the same way women do. But that isn’t how nature set procreation up. Nature put the bearing of young on women’s backs, not men’s backs. This left the women at home while the men formed hunting parties. It left them at home caring for children while the men created the first governments. It left the women at home changing and washing diapers while men learned professions and took jobs outside the house. Because of these historical facts, men today vy for access to a women’s reproductive organs, by violence if necessary, and then try to keep their unwanted progyny in the woman’s body by force of law since they, the men, set up that law through their control of government.

Men do not face the kinds of obstructions that women do in life. There is no litmus test for young men like there is for young women. No one asks men if they are planning to have children. No one hiring a man for work worries about the man getting pregnant and having to be absent from work. Women are by default subjected to these kinds of stigma because they are the ones that keep Homo Sapiens Sapiens a going concern. Without them there would be no future humans to buy all the stuff that H.S. Sapiens is obsessed with producing.

No one expects men to reveal whether they’ve had a vasectomy. No one wants to hold men accountable for wasting potential life every time they masturbate (no one who is sane does, anyway) their privacy is respected, even when it comes to making decisions about whether they will have children or not. This is not true of women.

Women’s health is fraught with demands to know things about their physical being that a man would never, ever, put up with. “She’s on the rag.” “You look fat.” “your tits are too small.” “When are you due?” the intrusions into their personal privacy defy any attempt at comparison to the way men are treated in public. The next time a man loses his shit in public, ask him if he’s played with himself recently. Go ahead, I dare you.

Female hysteria was once a common medical diagnosis for women, which was described as exhibiting a wide array of symptoms, including anxietyshortness of breathfainting, nervousness, sexual desireinsomniafluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, irritabilityloss of appetite for food or sex, (paradoxically) sexually forward behaviour, and a “tendency to cause trouble for others”. It is no longer recognized by medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for hundreds of years in Western Europe.

In Western medicine hysteria was considered both common and chronic among women. The American Psychiatric Association dropped the term hysteria in 1952. Even though it was categorized as a disease, hysteria’s symptoms were synonymous with normal functioning female sexuality. In extreme cases, the woman may have been forced to enter an insane asylum or to have undergone surgical hysterectomy.

Wikipedia.org

There is a right to privacy in the constitution, and the reason this right exists even though it isn’t enumerated is itself a function of constitutional jurisprudence. Political pundits talk about how abortion is a litmus test for potential Supreme Court justices. If there really were a litmus test when it comes to abortion, it ought to be the constitution that forms it since the constitution is what they swear to uphold. The test could be formed of a single question with two possible answers. What is the meaning of the ninth and tenth amendments to the constitution? The answer to this question could be either unenumerated personal rights and/or limited government power. Any potential judge that does not concede the existence of a right to privacy, of a limit to state power, does not have a place on the bench within the US court system. They demonstrably do not understand the document that they will be sworn to protect.

Roe v. Wade utilizes the right to privacy found in previous jurisprudence. The findings of all of the cases that involve privacy since that case rely on the findings of Roe for their justification. The court will have to find some other basis for privacy as a right in any form if they hope to preserve privacy after reversing Roe. Yes, the prospect of reversal of that judicial precedent is that far-reaching. To reverse it is to make us all wards of the state and to make all claims to privacy by persons, including the multi-national corporations null and void. Pick one. Outlaw abortion or lose your ability to talk to your doctor or attorney in confidence.

Evidence for life

Proving something in court requires that you produce evidence for your claims. First you have to prove that there is a life, a life with a conscious mind, a will to live, and not just autonomic responses. Breath is the baseline for determining whether human life is present. Without breath there is no voice to speak up in protest. Without breath there is no human life that medicine or science can document. Without breath there isn’t a soul, as your own religious document states.

Normal brain activity is another baseline piece of evidence. Normal brain activity which isn’t possible without a functioning set of lungs for each brain. Going into all of the vagaries of what life is and when it begins or ends is the subject of this just published article of mine EPHN: A Right to Life? and the long article I wrote on the subject of abortion five years ago, Abortion: As Natural as Life Itself. Abortion and its detractors are a frequent subject on the blog. Far, far too frequently for my taste and probably for many of my reader’s tastes.

After you do that you still aren’t done. You still have to show how you will preserve that life without harming the life of the mother-to-be, and by harm I mean economic as well as physical or emotional harm. If you did all of that, you might have a telling argument. Failing to do any one of those things will put you back at where we started this entire fiasco. Individual choice. The woman decides if she will have a child, and that means right up to the day before delivery as far as legal arguments are concerned.

Keeping abortion legal does protect the life of the real, live woman whose body you want to use as a government-mandated incubator. Women die during pregnancy and childbirth, all the time. Savita Halappanavar died an unnecessary death in horrible pain due to Ireland’s (since repealed) ban on all abortions. This will happen here too if abortion is banned. Underaged girls get pregnant. Rape and incest figure into these pregnancies. Will you inflict further harm on girls who have already been violated by someone close to them by forcing them to carry those pregnancies to term? Some of them will die during pregnancy and childbirth. Just exactly what limits will you set in your pursuit of protecting the life of the unborn? How many women will die because of your crusade? It should be your job to count them all. All of those lost lives will be the blood on your hands. May you have better luck than Pontius Pilate had in removing that blood.

Anti-abortionists are now attempting to change the basis for evidence in legal arguments through their promotion of judges to higher seats on the bench in the United States. Judges who are just fine with not forcing claimants to prove that there is a human life being taken with every abortion. This is far, far more dangerous a move than just reversing Roe would be. That way lies inquisition and its many, many victims as Christianists look to destroy the impure in their midst, the impure that probably don’t even exist. If we want to maintain courts as the bastion of common decency that they are in the United States today, we cannot allow them to weaken evidentiary rules.

SpotifyConLaw – A Jurisprudence of Doubt – EP. 59 | 12.17.21 

The stage is set for the final act of this farce. The farce that started when the Moral Majority decided to make America a christian country and set about forcing their beliefs about the nature of existence on the rest of us. The problem for them remains the same problem that the United States Supreme Court faced back in 1973. Namely, if they force women to carry every pregnancy to term, who pays for that? Who pays for those children’s futures? Who makes sure that they have equal access to the benefits of society right alongside every wealthy, wanted child?

Who Pays? Well, We All Will

Your taxes will be raised to cover those costs. Don’t bother to try to disagree, this is written into the constitution. Brown v. Board of Education outlines the bare bones of what will be required of the general public if women are forced to carry every pregnancy to term. Equal schools for all those children. Equal access to healthcare. Equal access to the courts will ensure that this prediction will play out as I describe. Trillions will be spent.

Not just on schools and medical facilities, things we should probably be investing in anyway, but also on police and investigative capacity. Every woman will have to be registered as soon as they have their first period. They will have to be registered as a potential mother so that they can be properly tracked. Don’t say this won’t happen, it has already happened in Missouri and in Donald Trump’s concentration camps. Sexual activity will have to be monitored to make sure that no one attempts to prevent a pregnancy. This task will require a police force the likes of which has never been seen before in history. The Handmaid’s Tale only hints at the depths of depravity that will be required to insure that no pregnancy is terminated, ever.

That is what reversing Roe will entail. But it only begins there. The current thinking for who will pick up the tab for all these new children amounts to making the men who father them pay for them. As if men are made of money and all you have to do is tap them like a Maple tree and they’ll ooze more money than any number of children will require. Most men are too shiftless to be willing to work to support the results of every orgasm they experience. Considering the thousands of times the average male masturbates in a given lifetime, this is understandable. Most men are unwilling to devote themselves to raising children through their own direct effort. This has been my experience as a dad who spent two years at home raising his second child. Most men that I have revealed this fact to have been incredulous that I would waste my time in that fashion. As if crafting the minds and bodies of the next generation of humans was work that wasn’t of prime importance to every currently living person.

Equality will not be achieved by enslaving the men unlucky enough to be caught fathering children. They will never produce enough to pay the costs of raising those children properly. The failure to produce funds to guarantee equality will result in the taxpayer having to fund the shortfall. This means your taxes will go up, and up, and up…

…if you ban abortion. Someone has to pay for these children, and the full faith and credit of the US government will require that the taxpayer eventually pays that bill.

Should men carry their share of the weight? Certainly. Should we leave children in the hands of women who don’t believe they are people and don’t want them? No. Should we force the fathers to share the poverty with these women and their unwanted children? No. Shall we then confiscate children from parents that cannot raise them? Make them wards of the state and then task the state with making sure they have the best life possible? Seems to me we probably shouldn’t even begin to head down that road, the road that is labeled banning abortion. That’s the point that I’ve been trying to make since this subject was forced into my personal space as a teenager, witnessing the misfortune of people who didn’t pay attention in health class. Someone will pay for the stupidity, eventually.

If, on the other hand, I were trying to craft political positions for the movers and shakers on the issue of abortion. If I were asked to advise them on the subject of whether to support this or that bill limiting women’s access to healthcare (as far-fetched as that notion would be) I would tell them to insist on a quid pro quo arrangement.

“Fine, I’ll support your interference in the health and family decisions of the average woman in exchange for legislation that guarantees that there will be no homeless children in our state. Legislation that insures no children go without meals or beds to sleep in or whatever level of education they prove themselves capable of working towards. Either we agree on this equal exchange, or I will torpedo your bill with every legislative trick that I can muster.”

That would be my advice. Anti-abortionists claim to be pro-life. It should be beholden on them to prove that they really are pro-life by making every child a wanted child, every child a child with a home, every child a child who is not hungry. Either that, or they can just admit that abortion is sometimes necessary and give up the whole idea of interfering in a woman’s right to choose. They are, after all, the shiftless men I’m talking about.

Punishment is where the entire roller coaster ride of anti-abortion sentiment goes off the rails. The moment that anti-abortionists decided to punish women for their promiscuity with forcing them to raise children they don’t want, they crossed an unforgivable line in the sand. Children are not punishment, and we cannot afford to treat them as punishment. Infants become adults, people with rights they can assert for themselves, and those people will take their dissatisfaction with their unwanted lives out on the rest of us.

This experiment has been tried in recent history and the results are known. Ask Nicolae Ceaușescu how well that worked out for him (another dictator that Trump would have loved) You can’t, because all those unwanted children dragged him out of office and killed him. That is what has happened before when an authoritarian government attempted to make women raise children they didn’t want. If avoiding that fate means abortion is legal for the full term of a woman’s pregnancy then so be it.

All of the alternatives to the decision handed down in Roe v. Wade will be far less satisfying for anti-abortionists and Christianists than the status quo is right now. Over and over, looking at possible outcomes from reversing Roe, making abortion illegal, reveals that the current arrangement is most likely the best deal that those people can hope for because the chances that women will stop having abortions and stop having sex are almost nil, and that in itself represents a nightmare than men wake up screaming from anyway. Roe v. Wade was a conservative decision, far more conservative than what the status quo will be after the precedent is reversed, no matter which way the country goes after that. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The common refrain when abortion on demand became the law of the land was that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. The question that has never been answered has always been “what is the number that is rare?” I say let women decide. For themselves. For the Christianists out there in the audience: settle for the limited control you have now or potentially lose everything you currently cherish about American life. Because after women take back their rights to their own bodies, they are going to come after your other religious beliefs one by one, and people like me will encourage them to do so. Stop while you’re ahead.

You demand this life be born to appease you miserable vengeful god, but you then abdicate any responsibility for it whatsoever. Life begins at conception and ends at birth, well, at least society’s responsibility for it. To you, “sacred” means life must be born, no matter the consequences, and then it can die in the dirt and it’s not your problem. You would force life into the world, but shrug off any responsibility to build a better world for it.

Stonekettle Station

Case history

George Carlin: Pro Life, Abortion, And The Sanctity Of Life

They aren’t pro-life, they are anti-woman.

George Carlin

Featured image: Norma McCorvey and her lawyer in front of the supreme court building, from Roe v. Wade, explained

Afterword

Portions of this article were previously published by me on bulletin boards across the internet (the Abortion thread on the DCBBS) for the last thirty years, and were also published previously on the blog here. I have reassembled my thoughts here simply to have one article to point to when people want to argue with me about Roe versus Wade and it’s impacts. I have added references and adjusted poorly worded language since this article’s publication. If this bothers you on subsequent reading, I apologize.

Texas S.B. 8 is exactly the kind of thing that I was most afraid of as a result of decades of anti-abortion nonsense. It incorporates all the elements of a secret police dedicated to the mission of keeping women barefoot, poor and pregnant that an aggressive police state could muster, without having to pay for the massive investment of time and energy that this kind of surveillance state will require in order to be successful. Other anti-abortion states will go farther given time.

Unless and until they understand what it is they are promoting, poor women will continue to die from a lack of proper medical care. Poverty will increase and crime rates will increase as the volume of unwanted children that result from efforts like this one in Texas also increase.

You cannot assert that the resultant children will not suffer poverty and abuse without a simultaneous investment by the state in foster care systems. Equivalent anti-poverty injections of cash into the lives of the women who will now have to raise these children that have been forced on them by the anti-abortion movement. People are going to die because of this law. Real, breathing, talking people who will get caught up in the insanity that is the anti-abortion movement and its war on this medical procedure.

Wish I could read those articles. Gift subscription to the Atlantic, anyone?

#39 Quarantine Powers

Twitter

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

39- Quarantine Powers
TrumpConLawQuarantine Powers EP. 39 – 03.17.20

I’ve skipped several episodes in this podcast series. I’ve listened to them myself, but I haven’t felt the need to put them on the blog since the treas …er, impeachment trial of Donald John Trump began and then ended. The whole thing has sort of felt meaningless in the face of the treason of the American people by the members of the Senate.

I expected the traitors to act they way they did, but that doesn’t change the shock of what they did in reality do. For once in my life the thing I expected to happen, did happen. No one was more shocked by this than I was.

However, the quarantine subject is something that is probably bothering everyone right now, so I thought it warranted advertisement.

The episodes I missed on the blog (and on Twitter) were:

  • 38 – Prosecutorial DiscretionProsecutors recommended that Roger Stone, an associate of Donald Trump, be given a heavy penalty after being convicted of seven felony counts, including lying to authorities. But after intervention from Attorney General Barr, and tweets from the President, those recommendations were rescinded. What can his case tell us about presidential interference and prosecutorial discretion?
  • 37 – War Powers and Impeachment UpdateAfter Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, many wondered if the two countries were on the brink of a major conflict. This incident is only the latest in the long-standing fight between Congress and the President over who has the power to make war, and if an act of violence against another state can be legitimate without Congressional approval. This episode also includes an update on the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, which began earlier this week.
  • 36 – BriberyBribery is one of the three offenses listed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment. Even though that is attempting to bribe Ukraine is the act that precipitated to Trump’s impeachment, it’s not explicitly listed in the articles of impeachment. Why is that?
  • 35 – Confrontation ClauseSince the beginning of the impeachment proceedings against the President, Donald Trump has insisted he has a right to confront “the whistleblower,” the anonymous member of the intelligence community who set the whole thing in motion. There is a Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which says a defendant in a criminal case has the right to face their accuser. But does this clause apply to the impeachment hearing against a president in Congress?
  • 34 – Foreign AffairsDonald Trump says he should not be impeached as President, since there was ‘no quid pro quo’ on a phone call where he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. But does quid pro quo need to be explicitly stated to be a legal issue? And can private citizens like Rudy Giuliani represent America on foreign policy issues? (This article on the blog #MAGA – Quid Pro Quo or Quod Erat Demonstrandum? was partially inspired by listening to this episode)

All of them contained information that I didn’t know about constitutional law, but none of them made me jump up and say this episode will change everything. Well, the bribery episode almost got me tweeting. Almost. The rest of them made me shrug and say I don’t see how spreading this around changes anything. So I didn’t bother to post them. I reference them here simply to explain the gap between this post and the last Tweet I created for this podcast series.

#33 Obstruction

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

Obstruction EP. 33 – 09.21.19
TrumpConLawObstruction EP. 33 – 09.21.19

#32 Contempt Power

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

Contempt Power EP. 32 – 05.14.19
TrumpConLawContempt Power EP. 32 – 05.14.19