Secular Pro-Life’s Abortion Quackery

This was a piece I offered to do for The True Pooka, for those who are unaware? True Pooka and Lilandra have both been dealing with the nature of Secular Pro-Life and actively  engaging in analysing their beliefs. So far from my contact? I think their entire argument is purely philosophical and exists purely in the idealised world of academia. Bereft of real world experience and rationalisations, secular pro-life lacks any real spine except a forceful conviction that philosophy sans real world application is valid and possibly the notion that babies are cute, how can you not want one? [Read more...]

Masimo Pigliucci – Abortion ethics without the experiences of real life is just inadequate

I thought the debate was over. Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life? We sit and debate ethics in the ivory tower when we should base our ethics on real world outcomes. It is for this reason we have recently clashed with Secular Pro-Lifers and the rather puzzling stance.

In every case they don’t think women or doctors should be punished either criminally or monetarily for abortions but they want abortions as a practice to stop. They have offered no real world solutions to the issues and the real world solutions if any are frankly magical and require people to work like the hypothetical humans in their world. Masimo Pigliucci weighed in with two articles on the topic.

Philosophy is great, but we shouldn’t decide how we behave solely on philosophy without looking at the real world consequences of the action.  [Read more...]

A Taste of Things to Come – Rise of the Backstreet Abortionist

American women have lost a great deal of freedom in the past few weeks. All across the USA various states are planning to either reduce funding to bodies such as Planned Parenthood or to try and make abortions more difficult to perform and obtain. South Dakota has passed laws to reduce the period of abortion to just 20 weeks. Women have to undergo a series of unnecessary and traumatic procedures just to decide what to do with their own bodies. Recently we have seen the rise of “stealth” pro-life and the shutting down of clinics by making other laws hard to abide by.

[warning]TW – Abortion/Experiences[/warning]

The most recent one being Texas. After the epic filibuster by Wendy Davis, hopes were up that women in Texas would be safe but it was not to be. Rick Perry pushed the bill through. Women in Texas are not allowed to get proper basic healthcare any more.

That’s right. Abortions are considered BASIC Obstetric and Gynaecology. The right to one is basic control over reproduction. Many of my patients have BETTER (read it and weep America) access to contraceptives, real honest sex education, family planning and abortion than Texan women.  [Read more...]

You will know them by their love

Wendy Davis has become a house hold name for her epic filibuster.

On Friday, Senators convened to debate the Texas Abortion Bill. But one thing missing? The objections this time were simply ignored.

The Texas Abortion bill is a religious bill. I don’t think anyone is a fan of abortion. It is a medical procedure. Most sensible humans aren’t having one for “lolz”. Yes there are some people who abuse it but frankly there are people who abuse chocolate and we don’t legislate that and chocolate is infinitely deadlier than abortions (People die from diabetes and cardio-vascular issues more regularly than abortions after all). [Read more...]

Rick Perry – What if Your Mother Aborted You

“It is just unfortunate, that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.” – Rick Perry

Rick Perry said that at the National Right to Life Conference (I wonder if the National Right to Life Conference is anti-death penalty?) about Senator Wendy Davis after her marathon 13 hour stall for time (AKA a filibuster) last week.

At the core of this argument is an idea of “What if you never existed? WHAT IF YOU WERE THAT BABY!” [Read more...]

Uteruses Do Not Work That Way

Swanson: I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

Peeples: We’ve actually heard on both sides of that. We’re researching that and want to make sure we speak correctly to that in our second film. But we have medical advice on both sides of the table there, so we want to make sure that we communicate that properly.

Swanson: It would seem, and I realize that people are a little split on what are all the effects of the birth control pill, but it would seem that there’s a tremendous risk in the use of it for the life of children.

(Courtesy of Right Wing Watch)

The only thing you should do at this statement is cackle because Swanson clearly has no idea how the uterus functions or how foetuses look like.

Taking the OCP doesn’t turn your uterus into the blob. It stops you from ovulating. There are no fertilised eggs reaching the uterus to do anything. In fact if you were pro-life the OCP would be PERFECT as contraception since no zygotes die.

Unlike those filthy murderous copper Ts (they stop zygote implantation).

Toddsplainin

Trigger Warning – Content that follows the jump contains a discussion of Rape and indeed Todd Akin’s comments…

I don’t think I need to repeat what everyone else thinks about Todd Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” comment, but needless to say it’s quite possibly one of the most idiotic things said by someone in a position of authority this year.

Needless to say that this has attracted a lot of flak, not just for the sheer callousness of such a statement but because it is a trigger to the countless people who have been raped and demonstrates the kind of thinking many rape victims have to face from people who literally have no idea about rape.

Now, most of us men aren’t subject to sexual assault. Many women however have. So we don’t know what women feel towards the event. Many people are forever traumatised by it and any statement such as the one made by Akins causes a negative reaction. And here is the thing why we write “trigger warning” and the like on posts. Because it warns those who suffered about the content within a post and that they are continuing knowing what the contents are.

The reaction of people who were raped to a trigger is perfectly legitimate because the people traumatised by the event can respond to a trigger by different and unique methods. You cannot tell a combat PTSD sufferer that his fear of balloons is idiotic and then pop balloons at him. Likewise you cannot tell a rape survivor (and PTSD sufferer) that their reaction (no matter how ludicrous it seems to you) is incorrect. Because you don’t see what the person sees.

Unfortunately Mark Goldbatt from Patheos doesn’t seem to grasp that when he tries to explain why the Eve Ensler’s statement – “as if to imply there was such a thing as ‘illegitimate’ rape. Let me try to explain to you what that does to the minds, hearts and souls of the millions of women on this planet who experience rape. It is a form of re-rape.” is wrong. He calls it a “Pathetic” letter. Again I must point out that Mark indulges in some pretty vile moves so Trigger Warnings galore…

This is the first I’ve heard about “re-rape.” Maybe it’s an elusive concept, and maybe only rape survivors like yourself can grasp it; I know I’ve mulled it over for several days, but I still can’t fathom how a two-bit politician putting his foot in his mouth is the psychic equivalent of your own description of the original act: “I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you are on your bed or up against a wall or locked in a small suffocating space. Imagine being tied up there and imagine some aggressive, indifferent, insane stranger friend or relative ripping off your clothes and entering your body—the most personal, sacred, private part of your body—and violently, hatefully forcing themselves into you so that you are ripped apart. Then imagine that stranger’s sperm shooting into you and filling you and you can’t get it out.”

Well, I think I grasp the idea since Eve explains it in her article. That at its core the Akins comment makes women feel like the only way that their rape is legitimised is at the behest of a man who arbitrarily determines what isn’t and is rape. That there is a concept where rape is acceptable or a part of reality (How many women are told that they were raped because of the clothes they wear or because of alcohol?).

It’s not “putting his foot in his mouth”, it’s a serious error of character where a man with no grasp of human biology and psychology has deemed it fit to make a statement about those two issues and this is a man in power who has routinely made it a sticking point to argue about women’s health rights and champion a reduction in the rights of women to access basic gynaecological healthcare.

So I’m sitting here weighing those two things—a congressman saying something stupid versus a crazed attacker violently penetrating my body—and for some reason I can’t get the scales to balance. Still, I know there must be something to what you’re saying because, well, you’re Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, and because I’ve read enough feminist theory to know that men don’t “get” certain things . . . even though, of course, believing that women don’t “get” certain things is grounds for a lawsuit.

It’s not stupid. It’s a cruel and callous statement made thoughtlessly by a man who genuinely believed that women’s uteruses are magic. This is a man who has fought relentlessly to prevent access to abortions and whose argument in context was made to exclude women who were raped from having abortions by claiming that the women who got pregnant from rape “weren’t really raped”.

Still, I have to tell you, Eve—do you mind if I call you Eve? I don’t want to misspeak and inflict still more horrific violence upon you—there’s something, well, disproportionate about your response to Akin’s buffoonery, something that goes beyond a standard election-season gotcha, beyond even your attempt to tar Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan with Akin’s remarks on the grounds that the two of them were among 227 co-sponsors of a May 2011 bill called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” That bill included the phrase “forcible rape”—which the FBI has been using for decades, and which Akin now says he meant rather than “legitimate rape”—in order to distinguish rape involving physical violence, or the threat of physical violence, from rape in which the victim may express outward consent—such as cases of statutory rape when, for example, a 19-year-old boy has sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend.

It then takes on this really creepy tone where he tries to treat Eve not as someone who has made an argument but as someone who literally is so fragile and thin skinned about rape that she brooks no discussion whatsoever.

And the legitimate rape isn’t as much as a faux pas as many people think. What the problem is its combination with the notion that in cases of “legitimate rape” the woman can shut down a pregnancy (possibly though magic). That’s what was crazy, because he was flogging the notion that women who were raped and have children due to that were pregnant because they on a small level were to blame. That they are LIARS. That’s why they are pregnant. You can explain “Legitimate vs. Forcible” and try and weasel your way out of that but the female body doesn’t have any way to shut down forcible rape any more than it has the ability to fly.

Statutory rape is an entirely different beast and there is date rape or rape through the use of coercion where consent may be given out of a lack of choice.

The bill’s sponsors say they were attempting to address a loophole in the Hyde Amendment that bans the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions. Under current law, Medicaid funds can cover abortion costs when the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest. By including the phrase “forcible rape,” the sponsors wanted to prevent the use of Medicaid to pay for abortions for minors whose outwardly consensual sex nonetheless met the legal definition of statutory rape.

Oh! That make
s it completely acceptable! #Sarcasm

It just means that the people involved were planning to throw rape victims under a bus if they weren’t threatened or if they were under age. Minors cannot give consent, which is the entire fucking point of statutory rape; you cannot say that statutory rape is not technically rape.

Other outwardly consensual sex? Date Rape, Consensual Sex That Goes out of Control, Coercion and Altered State of Mind Rape. Those aren’t “legitimate rape” right?

Whatever you think of the wisdom of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” its intent was clearly to strengthen the Hyde Amendment. . . . Oh, I’m sorry; you don’t think so, Eve? You read it as something more sinister, something akin (no pun intended) to the way “rapists played with us in the act of being raped—intimidating us, threatening us, muting us. Your playing with words like ‘forcible’ and ‘legitimate’ is playing with our souls which have been shattered by unwanted penises shoving into us, ripping our flesh, our vaginas, our consciousness, our confidence, our pride, our futures.”

Yes it is. The Hyde Amendment is a shocking piece of legislation akin to saying “Fuck Women’s Health”. It was put into power by a bunch of men who think a block of cells is the same as a human being. It’s a pointless piece of legislation designed to harm women’s health while claiming to be moral. Even if we ignore that for the most part it reduces the reproductive choice of women while placing monetary penalties on one gender primarily for the act of sex, it also forces raped women to pay for abortions (or rely on charity or state level programs which may or may not be available) which is a dick move. Yes, you may not agree with giving women money to have abortions. But if you think women ENJOY having abortions then you probably think that people enjoy having their teeth pulled.

(As an aside, Eve, I notice that you keep referring to women’s “souls,” which you specifically differentiate from their minds and hearts. If a woman’s “soul” is distinct from her mind and heart, what does it consist of? Where does it come from? Oh, and when does it arrive? You see where this is going, don’t you?)

She is using the romantic version of a soul. The idea of a combined personality that makes Eve who she is that explains her state of mind and personality. It’s a poetic construct, when she uses it. It means that rape damages who she is. And that it has changed her for the worse. And it’s high lunacy for an Evangelical Christian to doubt this statement considering Mark Goldbatt believes in an actual physical soul that can be affected by his deity of choice and that will be rewarded with stuff if he believes in Jesus and doesn’t believe in science, gays and women’s health. To mock someone else’s idea of a soul is hypocrisy. 

Likewise, you hear a more sinister subtext in Akin’s mindboggling suggestion that women rarely become pregnant as a result of rape because, as he explained, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Generations of female slaves and their biracial children might beg to differ, of course. But I keep hearing that as mere biological ignorance. You, on the other hand, noticed something else in Akin’s words: “It would seem you were saying that getting pregnant after a rape would indicate it was not a ‘legitimate’ rape.”

The biological ignorance means that Akin should not be allowed to make any decisions with regards to women’s healthcare at all. It’s not biological ignorance so much as a massive failing of the education system. It can happen in third world nations, but this is fucking America. If you are willing to elect men who are clearly morons to power then your country is going to be run by morons. This is basic goddamn high school biology indicating that Todd Akin requires basic biology and sex education of the proper kind. Generations of Female Slaves? That’s where you are getting your answer from? Not the wide variety of women who have become pregnant from rape?

No, Eve heard right, that’s what it implies. That a man who was setting out to reduce the rights of women to access healthcare and believed that they shouldn’t receive that healthcare because their vaginas and uteruses functioned through magic. That this was a man who legitimised rape if you got pregnant. It is a horrific thing to hear from a man who is planning to run for office.

That can’t be strictly what he meant since he said cases of conception from rape are “really rare” (not “nonexistent”) because the female body will “try to” (not “always”) shut down the fertilization process. But isn’t there another, more (how shall I say this?) charitable way to look at it? Isn’t it at least possible that Akin, like many pro-life advocates, struggles with the consistency of his beliefs in the agonizing case of pregnancies resulting from rape and incest? That he struggles so much he’ll grasp at any explanatory straw, trust any nugget of pseudo-science, telling him that such cases are exceedingly rare, that women’s bodies somehow mystically repel evil sperm.

Because rapists only hit menstruating women? Conception from rape is not common in the west due to access to condoms (many rapists have used them) and because women have access to the morning after pill and the like which they do use post rape.

However if one pays ANY attention to Africa or any other place where rape is widespread or used as a weapon then one notices an inordinate amount of children born to women who are raped.If he is a pro-lifer then he has demonstrated a completely idiotic grasp of women’s reproductive health and should not have any say in the healthcare of women because he is a fucking moron. He is demonstrating pro-life idiocy and actively spoke out loud things that are being told to young children across America in lieu of proper sex education. This attitude is not one that’s new, but it is not one you wish to hear from someone at that high a level of government.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Eve, the most intellectually consistent pro-life position doesn’t allow exceptions for rape or incest . . . and forcing pro-life advocates to admit this fact is always a good way to score political points. But must we seize every opportunity to score political points? Aren’t we all emotional, as well as intellectual, creatures? Don’t we all struggle with hard cases? Don’t we all occasionally grasp at straws hoping the hard cases will just go away?

Really? This is like shouting “Barrack Obama is a Nigger” then trying to claim that the ensuing labelling of yourself as a racist is an attempt to score political points. The mildest complaint about Todd Akin that I can think of is that he doesn’t have an internal filter that stops him from saying idiotic things. And that’s the MILDEST.

This isn’t a hard case. This isn’t even a case at all. This is like banning hysterectomies for women with cervical cancer because it will ruin their reproductive organs. It’s a medical procedure to prevent an event that may ruin a woman’s life.

Grasping at straws? It’s not grasping at straws, at its best its a testament to the idiocy of pro-choice and its worse its an attempt to legitimise the notion that pregnancy through rape means a woman wasn’t really raped.

Is it really necessary for me to point out that pro-choice advocates face their own problem of consistency in the case of partial birth abortions? To point out that the most intellectually consistent pro-choice position permits the killing of b
abies—not just miniscule embryos, not just tadpole-like fetuses, but hand-squeezing, eye-blinking, air-sucking babies? Isn’t the most consistent pro-choice position that sentient, medically viable babies can, at the request of the mother, be killed until the moment of their delivery, and arguably until the cutting of their umbilical cords? Don’t pro-choice advocates agonize over consistency, and occasionally grasp at straws, when it comes to the hard case of partial birth abortions?

Partial birth abortion is an abortion of last resort usually done to prevent the birth of congenitally defective children or terminate a pregnancy that has exceeded statutes on women who are not going to be benefitted from the pregnancy. It’s a horrific procedure for everyone involved and necessary for women who have to deal with either the birth of a child that is going to be horrifically damaged and in pain or if the pregnancy actively threatens the life of the mother. And it’s a choice. No one is FORCING you to have a late term abortion. And yes many of the partial birth abortions are products of incest and rape where traumatised women are afraid to come forward because of arseholes like Todd Akin requiring a late term abortion at least for the woman’s sanity.

95% of all abortions take place in the first 12 weeks of conception. The remainder after 20 to 24 weeks (20 weeks is the well baby ultrasound visit that can detect congenital anomalies). The few that occur after 24 weeks are rare. Like less than 1% rare. Mark Goldblatt doesn’t grasp what choice means. At the request of the mother? It’s not done at the request of the mother. It’s done under medical circumstances. The rules with regards to late term therapeutic abortion generally require a doctor’s recommendation. A healthy mother with a child will be encouraged to tough it out for 8 more weeks and deliver at term and most such Obs/Gynae who do the procedure do not do it on women who just “want one”. And most women don’t want one, they want the option being there should the need to use it arise. No one WANTS to terminate a late term foetus, they HAVE to.

A choice means that you can decide. It’s simple, there are two ice creams. Vanilla and Chocolate. You can pick which you want. No one is forcing you to abort your baby; it’s just a choice that is available. You can risk your own life and carry to term. Yes you can walk around feeling smug and superior that you survived a risky pregnancy without terminating your child. You can even attribute it to your imaginary friend of choice and feel superior to all the women who didn’t make your choice.

But what you cannot do is take that choice away from women.

What I’m asking, Eve, is whether the debate over abortion—which is how we got here, remember?—must always be fought over the most agonizing cases. Must it always be couched in overwrought rhetoric and larded with purple prose? Must it always be “the Republican war on women” versus “the Democratic war on the unborn”? Must the sides forever see one another as “those people who want to force rape victims to bear their rapist’s child” and “these people who want to permit the killing of living, feeling babies”?

No it need not. It can be fought with economic and common sense reasons. However the problem is there is no common sense option from pro-life. It’s a movement entrenched in fantasy and ignorance. There is literally no sane argument for a movement that thinks that pro-choice means compulsory abortion.

Don’t we all just need to take a deep breath now and then and let nonsense speak for itself?

By which you mean that we shouldn’t criticise idiots.

This is high hypocrisy! Mark Goldblatt clearly thinks that Eve Ensler’s article is nonsense. Shouldn’t he follow his own advice?

Here is some advice, don’t defend Todd Akin. Don’t tell rape victims that they are being stupid for “feeling angry or hurt or uncomfortable around people who make such a remark”. Don’t reduce the choice of women to access healthcare.

Above all. Engage your brain and think about your actions not in terms of whether a 2000 year old book written by bronze age shepherds and compiled by a Roman Emperor agrees with you; but how your actions affect other people. Otherwise you end up trying to defend a terrible viewpoint based on the notion that it’s what a bunch of people who didn’t know how a woman’s reproductive system function would have wanted. 

Uniquely and Singularly Dangerous

Oh bombs! They are so entertaining!
Can’t you see how happy he is!
Ah, Animal liberation nutters are at it again, with Camille really crossing the line from vapid lunatic to dangerous vapid lunatic again. Not only offering such lovely educational material as this device to make a firebomb (and also by happy coincidence a real bomb) which she claims is also for entertainment. (Coming up Next! Avicenna’s handy torture guide! For you edutainment!)
She hosts literature from the Straight Edge Vegan criminal, Walter Bond who is in jail for arson. You know, that crime where you set stuff on fire causing property damage and potentially killing someone with fire?
This work is pure straight edge philosophy which is fine if you keep it to yourself. If you start preaching a straight edge philosophy, then you come off as a dick. And it doesn’t help that the movement is filled with people who suffer from what I like to call “holier than thou” syndrome. It’s where you refer to other people as less than you simply because they have made a choice. Sure in the grand scheme of things some decisions are patently idiotic (Anti-Vaccine/Anti-Medicine/Creationism/Animal Liberation) and should be treated as idiotic stances but you never stop treating the individuals who follow these flawed ideas as human beings.
And Walter Bond fails miserably here. Co-opting pro-life literature to assault women’s rights as if a foetus were equal to a fully developed human beings, he not only denigrates the actual struggles of women across the world that are fighting and indeed dying to get abortions but also fails to realise that human cells does not equate to a human being. It’s not a right of convenience and pleasure, for many women it’s a right to care for children in an appropriate fashion. For the first 20 to 24 weeks of life the foetus is incapable of independence and even after that the foetus is heavily reliant on medical technology (which Walter Bond is against) to live. A testament to medical technology is that at 24 weeks the survival rate of pre-term infants is 96%. In most third world nations it’s around 25 to 40% depending on availability of technology. To put it in perspective the actual survival rate of all infants in India is 96% (ours in western nations is around 99.6%).
At what point is a foetus sentient? Babies certainly are not when they are just born. Sentience and self awareness can arguably be considered to develop post birth since due to the nature of our giant craniums we as human beings are not born fully developed. (it’s one of the reasons why we have such a phenomenal infant mortality rate without medical technology compared to other animals considering how phenomenally tough and survivable we are). Our weak and incompletely developed babies undergo a series of developmental milestones that include identification of self and response to names… and even then they aren’t as fully developed as the young of other animals. The consciousness of the foetus isn’t used as a determinant on abortion; it is the viability of the foetus outside the mother. To medics, the lungs are more important than the brain. The 24 week limit is due to the developmental milestone of lungs. Prior to 20 weeks the foetus has no lungs to speak of and cannot survive. In short, even if born it cannot be a viable entity. In most western nations it’s 24 weeks because we can save a baby with partially developed lungs. Most nations consider personhood to begin at 28 weeks for the same reason.
So… Cannibalism? 
But Walter Bond obviously considers anyone who aborts a foetus to be equal to an animal murderer (which is anyone who eats meat or does research on one) and equal to a real murderer. Which is a step above the crazy of most pro-lifers, and we know Mr. Bond is capable of dangerous acts. Endorsing this vile human being is no different from the people who endorse the actions of Scott Roeder and Camille doesn’t disappoint in sinking to such depths.
And is it surprising at all considering literature from such individuals as the Animal Liberation Front’s Dr. Steve Best (a Ph.D. in philosophy rather than someone you would call in an emergency. Well in a real emergency, I suppose you call him if you have an existential crisis.) regularly features on her site?
His idea of Peace and Justice is like the ranting of Osama Bin Laden, if Osama Bin Laden were a Dr. Seuss fan. And if this is indeed his work then I would suggest that the University of Texas reconsiders their relationship with him. Because this is nothing short of a statement of the encouragement of terrorism and should be taken seriously. Lest we have another George Tiller incident. 
Let’s just say that if we did what he wanted we wouldn’t have any farmers nor would we live in a society free of disease and vermin. I assume alongside his Ph.D. in philosophy, he knows how to till the land and produce food on a scale that can feed people reliably. 
It’s pretty much this…
We wouldn’t have animal rehabilitation programs and we would lose animals to the scourge of poaching and people just not doing anything. If people have been paying attention, the only hope for the Western Black Rhino to ever return to the wild is captive breeding programs in zoos.  One notices that animal liberation aren’t out there having gun battles with poachers to protect tigers, rhinos
, elephants and thousands of other endangered creatures, in fact they actively attack the people who engage in these activities.
We wouldn’t have any meat, because everyone vegan lives a rich healthy life with their tiny inefficient farms. What Walter wants is a Cultural Revolution, much like Mao. Only instead of attempting to force an entire country to make a Great Leap Forwards, he wants a Great Leap Backwards.

He obviously doesn’t want any medical experimentation, or products there off. He specifically mentions antibiotics and steroids being present in meat (yet not one single mention of steroids being present in Vitamin D tablets. Vitamin D is a steroid.) without realising that cooking would destroy most of these things. Possibly he assumes that carnivores like myself prefer to eat our food alive.
He doesn’t want shelters, he would rather us spend money on animals getting nice homes when we can barely ensure our humans live in nice homes. Because heaven forbid we try and do something about homeless people and poverty before the kitties.
In specific he advocates that the biggest ecologists on the planets (AKA biologists) be tortured and killed (brutally no less, because professors of philosophy seem to have a lot of time to think up inventive ways of killing people) for daring to experiment on animals. I have a friend who has worked on research involving Von Gierke’s disease by testing in dogs. Apparently this friend deserves torture simply for trying to alleviate suffering by understanding the world. And I am classified under this since I am in medicine and by extension my entire field and lifestyle is built on suffering both of the animals experiment on and indeed of the patients who receive relief from their suffering. Oh and like Camille Marino’s earlier outbreak I assume he intends to target those selfish patients who chose to utilise the technology derived from animal experimentation to save their lives and those of their loved ones rather than die.
For someone whose existence is practically guaranteed through technology, he is awfully luddite about it. Does he really think the internet will run in his utopia of no technology or that people would indeed keep feeding him for philosophical discourse? Surely this is an individual who ranks amongst the least likely to survive outside the constraints of civilisation?

I suppose a response to this rant is in order. After all, someone needs to call him out on the nonsense he purveys.

Dear Stephen Best 

I disagree with everything you stand for, you are an odious human being, a chancre on humanity. You stand against everything that is good and right with this world. You bandy a world view that encourages suffering and pain for actual human beings while being safe in a delusion from the suffering and pain you inflict because you yourself don’t get your hands dirty. To me you are no different from those mullahs who fire their devotees up with rhetoric and faith and send these young men to kill and die for their twisted ideology while you remain safe to spread your poison. 

Go stand in front of the families of those dying due to disease and tell them that their loved ones deserve to die rather than some animals. Tell them that their children, their brothers and their lovers are less valuable than a mouse in your eyes. You say we are without compassion? I suggest you see how we treat human beings. Pain, Suffering, Starvation, Disability, Poverty are all facts of life for some people, and your philosophy would only increase that. I find it a shocking betrayal of educational ethics that you would be even allowed to lecture at a university for advocating terrorism particularly with your association with Camille Marino who actively threatens students with death.

You are a parasite, no different from Camille and indeed Walter Bond. Individuals who have benefited from modern society which tolerates their nonsense because we are a society filled with excess. I shall assume that like Camille, should you require the aid of “medical care derived from animal experimentation” you too will show the same sort of fortitude and double standards that she has. I shall assume you have never been to a country where there is no concerted effort to keep animals off the streets and keep pest populations down so don’t know what it’s like dealing with rat borne diseases. In short I shall assume (quite rightly so) that you are a privileged hypocrite.

I am not a good man, I never claimed to be. I try my best to do what is right and believe me what is right is standing up for those who you torment and threaten as many of them cannot. Because some of them are my friends, some of them are my family. The others are people who rely on us for a cessation of suffering. Yes, you may slander my character and call me a torturer and hundreds of other things but ultimately the people who I meet tend to not think so. 

The ultimate irony is the biggest reduction of use of animals in experimentation is not by the actions of your luddite breed but by the actions of the very people you attack. The biggest protectors of animal life isn’t the placard waving celebrities PETA acquires to flog their viewpoint or terrorists like Walter Bond, but people who know how animals work and who experiment on them and learn.

I would call you vultures but vultures form a useful part of the ecological chain. There is no animal as patently useless as you are. And to prove that I am just as good as rhetoric as you are… Your movement is a disease and you are nothing more than cyst to be lanced with education and understanding. Throughout history men have stood in the way of humanity and progress. All have fallen before education and knowledge. Do you think you are any different from them? 

What you need is a Doctor. 

Avicenna

(Doctor to be. A real one)

I do seriously wonder what the University of Texas is doing keeping such an individual on their teaching register. Perhaps I can hire Abu Hamza to teach Media Studies.

Yar har, fiddle di dee,
Being a Terrorist is alright to be,
You should really go on a huge murder spree,
You are a terrorist!

Do You Feel Lucky?

Basic math under stress

Well Do You? 


In essence this bill will make it illegal for any physician to enquire about the presence of firearms in a home. 


But why would a doctor wish to know about guns in a house? Well it all started when a doctor refused to provide coverage (a legal right and a necessary one) for a family who refused to answer a question and asked that they find a new paediatrician because they are unwilling to answer questions and indeed let him do his job. No doctor should work around incalcitrant patients, its demeaning and it’s a hassle. Doctors exist to help people and it’s hard to help when people refuse to give you information that you need.


The APA (American Paediatrics Association) states that parents who have guns are advised to get rid of them rather than keep them around children. The doctor in this case merely used to advise parents to keep their guns secure. Most americans with guns do not keep them safe and it tells. According to this complaint about the gag rule, 65 children and teenagers are shot every day in America, and eight of them die; one-third of American homes with children under 18 have a firearms in them; and more than 40 percent of those households store their guns unlocked and a quarter of those homes store them loaded.


You are expected as a medic to question a patient about potential dangers. Parents tend to not realise how dangerous some things are, what is little more than an annoyance to an adult is often lethal to a child. Open containers of bleach, radiator fluid, pools, sunken bathtubs, balloons unlocked bathrooms and cupboards (I myself as a medical student have seen a case where a missing child actually tried to hide inside a trunk when the latch fell and the child suffocated and died only being discovered 3 days later.) 


You ask patients about menstrual history, sexual history and quality of sex, birth pains, behaviour of the child and about child’s genital history and excretion all in the interest of the well being of the child. Yet we suddenly draw a line in the sand at guns? 


The law is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and initially attempted to punish doctors with prison times and/or fines up to $5 million for merely daring to enquire about a child potentially accessing lethal weaponry. The information cannot be given  to insurance companies nor can it be used to take them away on the basis of “Americans would rather shoot their own leg off than give up their guns”. There is no national firearms registry and so there is no way to even check up on the guns bar local registries (and Florida in their plan to be like an episode of Miami Vice do not require registry of firearms) 


The defence of the NRA is that the physicians are harassing patients under political pressure of the Gun Control Lobby and that doctors should not be forced to treat patients differently based on politics. 


Deadlier than a Gun

Which is a laughable statement. In Florida many physicians are forced to show pregnant women unnecessary ultrasounds, give out inaccurate information and unnecessary counselling before providing an abortion. Florida passed 5 bills that actually do insert the state into the constitutionally protected relationship between a woman and her doctor. These bills include forcing a woman to pay for an unnecessary ultrasound pre-abortion even if her doctor decides it is unnecessary. Yet no one of the Florida State Legislature bothered about doctors being forced to dance to a pro-life political tune or that the patient doctor confidentiality is voided there solely because of a political belief rather than the scientific one. Or worse that intimate patient decisions are now state priority. 


If a doctor may not interfere with the idea that an American man’s homestead is his Large European Feudal Defensive Fortification, then surely State Legislators shouldn’t have the ability to determine what a woman does with her own uterus? 


My Doom Fortress
Keep Off The Grass

This piece of legislation is not designed to increase patient’s rights. But to hamstring medical practitioners because people with guns do not like hearing the truth. That guns kill people. That people are capable of mistakes and that children are stupid and when this combination applies to firearms then people learn an important lesson and children stop learning forever. Doctors ask this question and advise against leaving guns open and unprotected to stop kids from dying. Not so they can take your guns away. 


It boggles my mind as an European (where an Englishman’s home is quite often a castle…) that the USA would have a driving license for a car but not one for a gun. That any person who may be paint eating stupid may be packing a lethal weapon and endanger all of us by their inherent stupidity. It’s bad enough with cars but cars are dangerous when used outside their purpose while the sole role of a hand gun is to be deadly to humans.