Botanical Wednesday: That thing looks ridiculous »« TZT

What they call “salt of the earth” in Georgia is something we wipe off our shoes in Minnesota

State Representative Terry England of Georgia was defending a bill that would completely outlaw all abortions after 20 weeks — even those in which the fetus was already dead, or was so congenitally deformed that it had no hope of living after birth. I can’t quite imagine the logic behind forcing someone you love to go through labor to deliver a corpse, but England tries — and mainly convinces me that dumbass uneducated farmers ought to be barred from positions of responsibility in government.

His argument is this: he’s worked on a farm, and cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets — the mares and sows just have to buck up and deliver it. It’s a life experience, don’t you know. And what is a human woman but a breeder sow, hey?

To top it off, he tells a charming little story about a man who indulges in cock-fighting — “salt of the earth”, he says — who offers to give up his flock of fighting birds if only those women could be compelled to have babies.

Think of the sacrifice that man is making, ladies! Think of the chickens! Surely you’ll let such a noble gentleman fill up your bellies with babies, living and dead, and you’ll gladly bear them for him, won’t you?

Comments

  1. unbound says

    I’m sure his wife is probably flattered to be though of so highly. He probably used to tell her that she was only as good as the mud the pigs wallowed in…

  2. lizdamnit says

    Ok, I have to stop reading blogs over dinner. Just finished some chicken pot pie, so I suppose I’m an evil cannibal feminazi. Evil never tasted so good….

    But anyway – Notice the hush that accompanied his “Salt of the earth” story? I suppose it’d backfire quickly, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone in that roomful of well-heeled reps called “bullshit!” on that? Just once, once, drop the polite facade – dude just compared women to livestock – did no one raise an eyebrow in there?

    Oh, for the empathy gun from Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

  3. llewelly says

    This is the sort of behavior I think of when people try to tell me the debate is about whether “babies” are people.

  4. orchestrator says

    Next bill will be one which require all women to get pregnant from age 16 up, and continue to have babies until their bodies give up. That ought to really bring back those old memories from the farm!

  5. lizdamnit says

    Let’s have a read-in of the Handmaid’s Tale, Vindication of the Rights of Women, and similar things. I’d say right there on the steps of the building, but that’d end horribly.

  6. scorpy1 says

    I grew up on a farm and when livestock didn’t produce expected offspring it didn’t “break our hearts” because of the preciousness of life: it was a matter of an investment, property, not baring out.

    Both his stories, then, are about men controlling their possessions, but something tells me that England isn’t in touch with his sub-conscious.

  7. says

    It’s sweet of that guy to give up his fighting chickens. I mean, just imagine a world where he was arrested for having fighting chickens and this lunkhead salt-of-the-earthed into a cell next to him as an accessory. That would imply some sort of legal system applied to politicians.

  8. gragra says

    Why does this shit seem to be increasing when there’s a supposedly liberal administration in the White House? (I did say “supposedly”.) There wasn’t all of this going on when Bush was in power.

  9. AussieMike says

    @unbound-“I’m sure his wife is probably flattered….”

    He probably only married her because she came with a decent tractor. She perhaps realised too late she was just farm stock like the rest of them.

  10. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    It’s little consolation, but it seems like these fucking asswads are shooting themselves in the foot.

    From 1992 to 2008, Democrats won the overall women’s vote in every presidential election.

    But in the 2010 midterm election, women swung to the Republicans. Now there are signs of another shift: in a New York Times/CBS News poll last month, the president finished ahead of Mr. Romney among all women by 57 percent to 37 percent. He held much the same advantage over Mr. Santorum.

    The question is: How much more havoc can they wreak before the next election?

    [Via Wonkette.]

  11. spamamander, hellmart survivor says

    @ Jadehawk:

    Do we get to use the rubber-band bloodless castrators, or just go all nasty like factory farms do with young piglets, ie. knife and no anesthetic?

  12. catnip67 says

    Or they could be just bitten off, the way they do it to sheep (and no doubt other animals) in some parts of the world….

  13. hypatiasdaughter says

    What a sick fucker! Makes me want to go to the GA state legislature with gelding shears and ask England if he wants to be treated like sheep, pigs or cattle.
    I only hope that the antics of England, Limpballs & Santorum are finally breaking through the dull wits of those wishy washy conservative idiots (& I know a few) who think the religious right infesting the Repub party are just a few, irrelevant extremists.
    And all those who have been suckered by the anti-choice rhetoric into thinking abortion is “sorta” wrong, and should be restricted – but, of course, not for cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s health. They wouldn’t be outlawing it in those cases! That would be wrong!
    Time to wake up, idiots. That is precisely what they want to do – followed by outlawing birth control.

  14. catnip67 says

    unbound @3

    I’m sure his wife is probably flattered to be though of so highly. He probably used to tell her that she was only as good as the mud the pigs wallowed in…

    I’m sure it was the mud his prize pigs wallowed in though

  15. sailor1031 says

    I wish for Terry England the total pain, the utter bewilderment felt by every mammal mother whose babies are born dead. Maybe you have to see it and maybe this utterly wretched piece of shit has never seen it. But, tell you what, he ain’t no farmer – he’s just a piece of religiot ordure!

  16. kraut says

    “Do we get to use the rubber-band bloodless castrators, or just go all nasty like factory farms do with young piglets, ie. knife and no anesthetic?”

    No, those rings are nasty even for a piece of shit like T. England.
    I like the knife, it is so much faster and very little pain during and afterwards. The piglets I did castrate never even squealed.
    But someone like him should be prevented from breeding. His attitude is wrong and will spoil the gene pool. Unforgivable to let someone like him have offspring.
    10 seconds and done..

  17. kemist says

    His argument is this: he’s worked on a farm, and cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets — the mares and sows just have to buck up and deliver it. It’s a life experience, don’t you know.

    Then he shouldn’t object to the treatment reserved for old and useless farm animals then. Or to superfluous males in a milking cow herd.

    Anyone has recipes for long pig ? I’m bored with babies.

  18. says

    I raise chickens, and turkeys, and goats. The other day, one of my turkeys decided he wanted to take off straight up, inside the coop. He knocked himself unconscious and apparently cracked his skull. Once we realized he wasn’t going to recover, we cut off his head, plucked him, gutted him, stuffed him with wild rice and apples, and ate him for dinner.

    He was delicious. He was also a more worthwhile being than the creature giving this speech, as he actually served a useful purpose. And yet his passing still goes unmourned.

    These creatures are raised for food. They claim it breaks their heart when they die, but they are raising them for the express purpose of killing them. To give milk, a cow must give birth. 50/50 on the results being male or female. Males are slaughtered pretty close to birth unless they go for meat (or the rare one in 100-1000 that goes for stud), in which case they are slaughtered as soon as they reach their full growth or more likely a little sooner. Chickens are better, they don’t need a male around at all to do their egg-laying job. The males that hatch from the egg laying hens are usually killed day of hatch since there isn’t enough meat on them at full growth to make it worth raising them.

    Also, I raise chickens. And turkeys. And goats. I have a nice orchard, and plant a massive garden every year. By his ‘standards’, I am the salt of the earth.

    And I want these shit-spewing pickle-fuckers to keep their nasty little minds out of my uterus.

  19. says

    Also, I have called the vet in when a goat miscarried and had him perform what would be considered an ‘abortion’. I’ve also called the vet in when a very small female goat was pregnant with four and had him induce a miscarriage since her odds of surviving delivery where pretty close to none. Hell, busy season for the vets is the breeding season, even idiots who have never seen a blade of real grass or watched an hour of animal planet know that little factoid.

    So, I repeat, the dude is full of shit and is lying about this ‘life experience’ he supposedly possesses.

  20. says

    wut

    I’m writing something right now tangentially about cockfighting. (My brief search suggests that it’s a felony in Georgia, though owning the birds and implements and being a spectator is still legal, apparently. So it sounds like this guy was kind of admitting committing a felony, and England is admitting support for this.)

    So much for the argument that we have to focus on treating other humans well before we can even talk about other animals. Not only does nonhuman animal abuse and exploitation coincide with the abuse and exploitation of humans, but it’s a lowest common denominator of callous acting and thinking that then plays out with humans.

  21. truthspeaker says

    WithinThisMind, it sounds like this guy isn’t a farmer at all or is the kind of farmer who’s too much of a cheapskate to call a vet when one of his animals is pregnant and in distress.

    But let’s go with it. Let’s gather up Terry England’s kids and poke holes in there ears so we can insert a numbered ID tag. As other commenters have mentioned, we’ll castrate most or all of the males. We’ll put them in an enclosure that’s big enough so they don’t have to stand in their own feces if they choose not to, feed them twice a day, and then load them all onto a truck and drive them down to the processing plant.

    Terry England shouldn’t have a problem with that, right?

  22. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    he’s worked on a farm, and cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets

    In one of his books veterinarian James Harriot describes having to cut up a dead calf inside the cow’s womb during a bovine abortion. Of course that was in 1930s Britain. They probably do things differently in Rep. England’s present day farm.

  23. woodyemanuel says

    An Ohio State senator has an answer to that:

    “NinaTurner, Ohio State Senator, Introduces Viagra Bill To Counter Anti-Contraception Legislation”

    “We should show the same attention and love to men’s reproductive health as we do to women’s,” Turner told HuffPost. “And my bill does that.”

    “Specifically, Turner’s bill would require men to receive psychological counseling to verify that they have a medical reason for taking erectile dysfunction medications, such as Viagra, before they can legally obtain a prescription for it. It would also require doctors to inform men, in writing, about the potential risks of drugs like Viagra.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/nina-turner-viagra-contraception-bills_n_1341642.html?ref=mostpopular

  24. carlie says

    I am honestly scared at the amount of actual hatred of women that seems to be welling up in all of these “debates”. It isn’t just concern for “the baby” the way it was through the 90s; they are now bold enough to just straight-up say terrible things about women as not even being equivalent to people and know that society will let them get away with it. It’s not just this one issue; it’s a deep, ugly resentment of everything bad in life that is getting laid at women’s feet as scapegoats or something.

  25. janine says

    It is so good to know that my mother learned some valuable life lessons when she had one stillborn birth and a miscarriage in which she almost bleed out. Sad but oh so necessary.

  26. janine says

    Carlie, it is not women that these people hate; it is all the sluts who insist on having sex outside of marriage and daring to not have a baby.

    If only some of those sluts would just have to carry a dead fetus for nine months, all of these sluts might learn a valuable lesson from cows and learn to embrace having sex only with their husband.

    Or would that be artificially inseminated with semen from a stud human male?

  27. starsend42 says

    Thinking…

    A theory:

    OCD and other similar disorders are frequently brought on by a sense of not being in control of ones life or circumstances (stressors). (obviously there are other reasons too {genetics, etc}, but stay with me here…)

    Perhaps the current situation (anti-woman, anti-gay, etc) is being brought about by the men of the republican right perceiving that they are under some sort of stress. (war, market,loss of power, etc.) and so seek to control (and blame) who/what they can.

    Just trying to undertstand where all their vitrol is coming from. Any other ideas?

  28. says

    Not only does he advocate treating women like farm animals, he finds the idea of causing farm animals to suffer for entertainment purposes to be perfectly fine.
    I don’t have the words in my vocabulary to describe such evil. And I have a pretty good vocabulary.
    They’re not even pretending anymore.

  29. John Morales says

    starsend42:

    Just trying to undertstand where all their vitrol is coming from. Any other ideas?

    It ain’t vitriol, it what they think is moral.

    (So it’s worse by far)

  30. janine says

    Just trying to undertstand where all their vitrol is coming from. Any other ideas?

    The vitriol has always been there. It is just that somehow, they think that this will somehow advance their agenda.

  31. starsend42 says

    John Morales~

    I really have a hard time understanding such evil thinking. I guess I feel there has to be SOME explanation for their vile behavior and beliefs. Although belief in religion could be the explanation I am looking for.

  32. jerthebarbarian says

    You know, as little as 5 years ago if I’d stated an anti-abortion argument like that one, anyone I was arguing with would insist that I was stating the anti-abortion opinion in bad faith and that I was setting up a straw man to argue against.

    And yet here we are.

    Of course, Terry England appears to be arguing with a head full of straw, so maybe it still is a straw man argument.

    (No offense to any scarecrows out there in Oz, I should add…)

  33. robro says

    OK, get Rod Serling. Queue the weird music. Lights! Camera! Role the tape. We’ve entered another dimension. We are not in control of our TV sets. Area 51 really is a UFO base. Alien morons have taken over the government and are bent on using us for food.

  34. starsend42 says

    “OK, get Rod Serling. Queue the weird music. Lights! Camera! Role the tape. We’ve entered another dimension. We are not in control of our TV sets. Area 51 really is a UFO base. Alien morons have taken over the government and are bent on using us for food.”

    Ok, now THAT I believe! :)

    (I know, I know, block quote fail!)

  35. says

    Gragra: It’s partly that this shit has been building for years now, and they’ve gotten bold enough to not even bother to hide the misogyny Carlie mentions at #31. It’s partly that Obama’s presidency has released the kraken of far-right wingnut RHAEG.

    Spamamander and Kraut: We use a burdizzo. Snip, snip!

    Catnip67: I wouldn’t put my mouth anywhere near those scum, let alone their private bits.

    Hypatiasdaughter:

    Makes me want to go to the GA state legislature with gelding shears and ask England if he wants to be treated like sheep, pigs or cattle.

    I SO. want to see someone try that.

    WithinThisMind: So, basically, a strictly Southern version of a cubicle-dwelling douchebag in a cowboy hat whose pickup truck has never gone off-road.

    Janine, goddamnit, I already went to YouTube and hunted that link down! /grumbles

    Starsend42: War wouldn’t be a factor. They thrive on war. They’re definitely responding to the loss of their privilege. Obama’s election was not only offensive to them on its face but a harbinger of greater future power for people of color in the U.S.

    But, also, these are just naturally hateful people. The last time they/their predecessors frothed like that was in the late 1960s. Belief in religion certainly helps inculcate it, but … really, some people are just no damn good. That’s not “eliminationism” or “dehumanization.” That’s basic observation. If the psychologists and psychiatrists want to do studies on sociopaths and the like for research purposes, that’s great. I can’t be bothered; I just want those fuckers to leave me and mine alone.

  36. janine says

    Although belief in religion could be the explanation I am looking for.

    I think that they use their faith in a bronze age patriarch to justify their opinion of what women should be.

    Because someone has to give birth to their heirs and take care of the household. These men have higher aspirations.

  37. starsend42 says

    So where does the behavior/thinking by these men start? Culture? The way they were riased? Entitlement? Religion? Or has it always been this way? I am trying to get a handle on the origins of the problem.

  38. StevoR says

    We need a facebook “dislike but people need to know this shit” button here.

    What a fucken douchebag that England tool is.

  39. dianne says

    Alien morons have taken over the government and are bent on using us for food.

    Shortly thereafter, said species dies out of a tragic combination of diabetes, arterial vascular disease, and kuru.

  40. catnip67 says

    Ms Daisy Cutter
    <blockquote.Catnip67: I wouldn’t put my mouth anywhere near those scum, let alone their private bits.

    That’s because you have sensibilities!

  41. fireweaver says

    This whole “he man women haters club” shtick the rethugs are doing is just too fucked up for words. Does anybody else here thing Obama might get a second term? I sure hope so. Even better would be getting as many of these douchecanoes out of statehouses and congress as we can.

    I really think candidates for office should undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being allowed to run for office.

  42. StevoR says

    @33. janine says:

    Carlie, it is not women that these people hate; it is all the sluts who insist on having sex outside of marriage and daring to not have a baby. If only some of those sluts would just have to carry a dead fetus for nine months, all of these sluts might learn a valuable lesson from cows and learn to embrace having sex only with their husband.

    Which reminds me of the not-so-charming Biblical “lesson” in how supposedly God punished King David & Bathsheba for their adultury by killing their new-born baby.

    Sorry if this is a tangeant too far but babies used a smoral tools -property – rather than living beings with their own potential. Huge ‘yuck’ factor there.

    As someoen else noted & I’ll second – you’d think this repulsive “pigmanure of the earth’s” England’s comments were a strawman coathanger lobby position NOT something anyone on that side would actually be stupid enough to vomit out. Although knowing a (very?) little bit about the coathanger lobby maybe it isn’t so much of a stretch after all..

  43. StevoR says

    Does Rep “Pig-Manure-o’th’Earth” England have any living female relatives – wife, daughter, aunts, nieces, etc .. and, if so, have they said anything or expressed their views in response to him seeing them as farm animals? Anyone know?

  44. jaycee says

    First of all, today I am ashamed to say that I live in Georgia.

    Second, those wondering where the vitriol comes from: most of these people are evangelical christians, who cherish a ‘biblical worldview’. The Old Testament has quite a lot to say about women’s reproductive, sexual, legal rights (=none), e.g., Exodus, Deutoronomy, Leviticus. Maybe that’s where some of it comes from?

    Wait a minute, I actually know a lot of these people (living in Georgia) and most evangelicals don’t actually read the bible, so they probably don’t know what it really says. They read devotionals and focus on one or two verses a day, taken out of context, and skip over the (most) unpleasant parts. Preachers rarely cover all the brutal things the bible has to say about women (slaves, those with disabilities, basically any minority group….).

  45. jaycee says

    BTW, the O.T. rights of women are somewhere between dirt and farm animals, so maybe this is where it comes from. The 10th commandment, thy shall not cover your neighbor’s ox, ass, woman…all in the same list.

  46. StevoR says

    Argh! Thet typos, the typos :

    Corrections from # 53: adultury -> adultery

    ..babies used as moral tools -property – rather than living beings with their own potential. Huge ‘yuck’ factor there.

    Plus I’ll add how revealing about how its NOT really about the sanctity of life and protecting the unborn after all is that? If the unborn are already undead .. but they still demand women birth the corpses, well, ye-non-existent-gods what does that imply about the Coathanger lobbies real motivations and feelings!

    @52. fireweaver :

    This whole “he man women haters club” shtick the rethugs are doing is just too fucked up for words. Does anybody else here thing Obama might get a second term? I sure hope so. Even better would be getting as many of these douchecanoes out of statehouses and congress as we can.

    I’m actually pretty confident Obama will have a convincing victory over the Republicans for teh 2012 election at this point. My certainty level of that outcome keeps increasing too.

    It will be quite a relief when it happens and is all over.

    I really think candidates for office should undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being allowed to run for office.

    Yes indeed. They should also have to pass an IQ test!

    Or more seriously pass a test that shows they understand basic science, maths , economics and understanding of the political and constitutional system they’re running for – and this should be applied globally to all politicians. Maybe to voters too.

  47. jaycee says

    Just so no one has to fix my typo, I’ll acknowledge it.
    Deutoronomy –> Deuteronomy

  48. DLC says

    Aquaria @1: let’s not insult pond scum there, it has a place in the ecosystem, unlike Mr England, who does not. He’s not even a symbiote, he’s a parasite.

    I keep wondering, where in the Constitution does it say the Jesus-ites have the right to impose their religion on the rest of us ?

  49. says

    I have never been more ashamed of being from Georgia since the last time I heard Newt speak.

    Glad I’m out of there, though.

  50. navigator says

    ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Well, my sister graduated from veterinary school in Minnesota in the 1980’s, and one of the procedures she had to complete before graduating was cutting up a dead calf, inside the uterus, with what she described as a “sharp wire”, and then pulling it ALL out. So cows are entitled to late-term abortions, but not humans.

  51. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    So where does the behavior/thinking by these men start? Culture? The way they were riased? Entitlement? Religion? Or has it always been this way? I am trying to get a handle on the origins of the problem.

    The thinking and behavior have always been there. The whole society has wallowed in it from birth. What’s different—Ms. Daisy Cutter is correct—is that these fuckers are, for the first time in their lives, aware that their privilege is seriously and inevitably on the way out. They don’t get to treat women as “their women” without protest. They don’t get to casually drop homo/transphobic jokes (yes, yes, I know, to greater and lesser degrees, and yes, the phobia is still a problem) in mixed company without pushback. They can see gay marriage is going to become national law—perhaps in their lifetimes—and they’re scared fucking shitless.

    You have to understand that this is not the province of some sociopathic minority. This is ordinary people that you talk to every day. This is what happens to “otherwise good and decent people”, ordinary people, people you don’t want to believe could act this way, when they soak in undeserved, unquestioned cultural supremacy their entire lives. Read some Hannah Arendt (“The Banality of Evil”)—it’s depressing but enlightening.

    It’s really really really really really Super Fucking Important for people like you (and many of us) to get over the idea that this is somehow abnormal behavior practiced only by a fundamentally ill and broken minority of psychopaths. This naivete is what catches liberals flat footed every goddamned time.

    This is the human condition, and it’s a fuckton uglier than you thought it was. But knowing that is crucial to changing society. Stop casting about for excuses and esoteric theories. There’s no “deviance” here. These are your neighbors. They’re probably your family, too.

  52. robro says

    Why DLC, didn’t you hear Sarah 4 years ago? It’s right there in the 1st Amendment. All that business about the “establishment” clause separating church and state is a misinterpretation cooked up by them meddling liberal atheist communists. The Founding Fathers, they just assumed Christianity. It never occurred to them that Amur’ka wouldn’t be for Jeebus.

    It was a dark and stormy night here in California, and Rick the Scumbagtorum took Mississippi and Alabama.

    StevoR — I don’t know the answer to your question, but surely he has women around. However, as an alien he can’t really understand human speech without his decoder turned on, so he probably just hears clucking noises and thinks about his next meal.

  53. jaycee says

    Josh: I have to say that I agree with you. This is something ingrained in the human condition for millenia (or more). These are the people all around us, in the stores, at school, at church (if you go), and, unfortunately, state and US senators and representatives. They are feeling threatened and backed into a corner ever since Obama was elected, and now their apocalyptic fervor – fears of losing control of “the culture” – is boiling over. The election period is the perfect time for this to be expressed – so expect to see more of it.

  54. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Josh: I have to say that I agree with you.

    That’s wise of you considering that I’m right. :)))

    Seriously, this irks me no end. Someone upstream asked why there was hushed silence instead of screaming protest when this fuckwad told his cockadoodle story. It’s because the reasonable people in that room were thinking the same thing that Starsend42 is thinking (Starsend, I’m not trying to pick on you, honest I’m not. But it’s an important illustration and it’s something I didn’t get for a long time.): that these are “nutters” who “everyone” recognizes as such.

    By that silence, collectively, we perversely legitimize them and allow them to do their evil deeds. That room of silent “respectful” onlookers? That’s us. Every goddamned one of us who sits quietly rolling our eyes assuming “everyone” knows what a nutbag this guy is and no one will take him seriously. Well, if that’s so, how the fuck is he going to be Not Taken Seriously if it’s always someone else who’s supposed to be doing the not-taking-seriously?

    We have to publicly act out our disapproval or no social sanction is levied and the behavior is accepted as normal.

    Essential reading (the original, not just the Wiki summary): Banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.

  55. starsend42 says

    Josh you are right. My father is one too. Grew up with it, but really hoped it wasn’t permeating the whole US and beyond. I always looked at the thing intellectually. However, emotion seems to play in to this quite intensely. I try to understand where these people are coming from to A.) help find a way to slow or stop their creation and B.) find a better way to stop them/change their thinnking once they exist. Maybe I am thinking too much here? Maybe this is more of an emotional thing?

  56. consciousness razor says

    This is the human condition, and it’s a fuckton uglier than you thought it was.

    I beg to differ. It is at least three fucktons uglier than you could ever possibly imagine, even after being told of this fact.

  57. starsend42 says

    BTW, Josh, I don’t feel picked on. I only de-cloke here when I want to be educated! :)

  58. Pteryxx says

    We have to publicly act out our disapproval or no social sanction is levied and the behavior is accepted as normal.

    I’m reading that as a call for ridicule as a moral imperative.

    …Hey, I’m cool with that.

  59. says

    The thinking and behavior have always been there. The whole society has wallowed in it from birth. What’s different—Ms. Daisy Cutter is correct—is that these fuckers are, for the first time in their lives, aware that their privilege is seriously and inevitably on the way out. They don’t get to treat women as “their women” without protest. They don’t get to casually drop homo/transphobic jokes (yes, yes, I know, to greater and lesser degrees, and yes, the phobia is still a problem) in mixed company without pushback. They can see gay marriage is going to become national law—perhaps in their lifetimes—and they’re scared fucking shitless.

    You have to understand that this is not the province of some sociopathic minority. This is ordinary people that you talk to every day. This is what happens to “otherwise good and decent people”, ordinary people, people you don’t want to believe could act this way, when they soak in undeserved, unquestioned cultural supremacy their entire lives. Read some Hannah Arendt (“The Banality of Evil”)—it’s depressing but enlightening.

    It’s really really really really really Super Fucking Important for people like you (and many of us) to get over the idea that this is somehow abnormal behavior practiced only by a fundamentally ill and broken minority of psychopaths. This naivete is what catches liberals flat footed every goddamned time.

    This is the human condition, and it’s a fuckton uglier than you thought it was. But knowing that is crucial to changing society. Stop casting about for excuses and esoteric theories. There’s no “deviance” here. These are your neighbors. They’re probably your family, too.

    (Yes, I know it must be obvious that I am happy to have mastered the blockquote function but…..) Q.F.F.T! Josh!

    And that goes double for “get over the idea that this is somehow abnormal behavior…” These attitudes go right down to the marrow – right to the innermost sludgy recesses of the reptilian brain. And it isn’t just men who will support this thinking – women will, too. Women who have assessed the situation, realized that they have more to gain in the short term by supporting this repulsive misogyny (thus being the token “women who are against feminism”). This is going to continue to be a long fight (ask the suffragettes – oh wait, yeah) and unfortunately most human beings opt for short term gain over long term principle every time. :( (for a male example, look no further than the president)

  60. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Thanks for letting me know you don’t feel picked on, Starsend42—it was important to me that I not come off that way!

    Yes, it’s emotion. It’s emotion intertwined with. . .a species of thinking.

    The only way to counter this is to speak up. Privately with family, when you can, and in ways that you hope will work. Publicly, as often as possible, and with as much rhetorical oomph as is called for. Example: saying “I find comparing women to veterinary abortions troubling and inappropriate” is NOT acceptable, nor will it help. The correct response is “What in bleeding hell are you talking about? Are you people listening to what this man is saying? Bullshit!” At a minimum.

  61. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Niftyatheist:

    And it isn’t just men who will support this thinking – women will, too. Women who have assessed the situation, realized that they have more to gain in the short term by supporting this repulsive misogyny (thus being the token “women who are against feminism”)

    Yes, just so. Oppressed people will always find ways to escape the worst of their lot by finding positions of relative power within the structure that oppresses them. It’s a survival tactic.

    But it makes them enablers and amplifiers of the oppression. Uncle Toms. Uncle Marys. Concerned Women of America. Log Cabin Republicans. Clarence Fucking Thomas.

    I try hard not to blame victims for trying to climb up at least one rung of the ladder, but then I remember that rung is actually one of their compatriots’ heads. And I just think they’re Kapos.

  62. DLC says

    robro @66 : Would that be the Sarah who had the debate with then-Senator O’Biden ? The one who was “Gotcha’ed” by Katie Couric over what newspapers she reads ?

    Holy Zombie but that woman’s a vacuum-head.

  63. says

    His argument is this: he’s worked on a farm, and cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets — the mares and sows just have to buck up and deliver it. It’s a life experience, don’t you know.

    That is just incorrect.

    I grew up on a farm with large animals, and I also worked on my sister’s large dairy farm during my teen years.

    Cows and other farm animals are too valuable to let them become toxic and die if a calf has died in utero. The fetus would be aborted as soon as possible, preferably by inducing labor chemically (with oxytocin). Either he is lying or he is a very poor farmer, and should not be allowed to own animals if he cannot care for them properly.

    Would he allow his wife, daughter, neice, friend, or sister to die in similar circumstances? That would be a nasty, nasty way to die.

    Come to think of it, what ethical doctor would knowlingly allow a women with a dead embryo or fetus inside her to remain untreated?

    Everything about this is just WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    [preview function was not working at the time I wrote this – I apologize for any formatting errors]

  64. Agent Smith says

    There needs to be more salt in the earth where that fucking slug goes crawling.

    Invariably, people eager to frame a traumatic experience as valuable “life learning” are those the human species wouldn’t miss. Of course, he’s fine with it being women suffering the trauma – after all, they have a higher pain tolerance than men. Given how England’s repulsive ideas alone are enough to make the dolorimeter explode, that tolerance is needed.

  65. autumn says

    The Banality of Evil references reminded me of the other night in my local pub. A semi-regular customer who I had met a few years ago kind of recognized me. He shakes my hand and says “you’re not a fucking skinhead, are you? I can’t stand those motherfuckers.”

    “No, I’m not a skinhead.”

    “Well good. But you hate niggers, right?”

    The idea that skinheads were extremists to be hated, but having the same ideas was accepted by the community at large is terrifying.

  66. flakko says

    This video cuts off before England’s second part in which he quotes the bible, “life’s instruction manual”.

  67. bcskeptic says

    Normally I’m rolling on the floor pissing myself in laughter at some of the stuff PZ posts showing how stupid and ignorant people can be.

    This is not funny at all. When are people going to stop electing half-wit dumb-fucks like this? Maybe there should be a psychological and a basic education test to screen people before they run for office. You know, to screen out sociopaths, and idiots like this who want women to suffer and who lack any sort of sense of basic human rights and compassion.

    Why do these right-wing wingnuts hate women so much? This guy should be charged with hate speech against women.

  68. catnip67 says

    Josh @75

    Yes, it’s emotion. It’s emotion intertwined with. . .a species of thinking.

    The only way to counter this is to speak up. Privately with family, when you can, and in ways that you hope will work. Publicly, as often as possible, and with as much rhetorical oomph as is called for. Example: saying “I find comparing women to veterinary abortions troubling and inappropriate” is NOT acceptable, nor will it help. The correct response is “What in bleeding hell are you talking about? Are you people listening to what this man is saying? Bullshit!” At a minimum.

    You are absolutely correct. I have begun doing this sort of thing over the last 6months or so (since I became a regular reader of PZ & the commenters here) and I have discovered that not only do regular people often not get that dung bags like this clown are actually wrong, but also that by talking about these issues and presenting the human side, it is possible to influence people to change their views. I might add, that reading the opinions and views of those who contribute here has prepared me to do this. I have arguments at my fingertips & can back up statements with citations. (thanks to everyone who contributes). I also have a much better sense that I am part of a wider group of intelligent thinkers, not being alone in a world view makes a huge difference.
    Nothing beats talking and communicating to change the world

  69. raven says

    Rick Santorum’s wife had an induced abortion to expell a dying fetus. It’s standard medical practice.

    Rick Santorum just won in the state of Alabama, beating Romney.

    The fundies get to demonstrate their hate, ignorance, and hypocrisy all at once. A three-for.

  70. Aquaria says

    His argument is this: he’s worked on a farm, and cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets — the mares and sows just have to buck up and deliver it. It’s a life experience, don’t you know.

    Bull fucking shit.

    I can’t think of a single rancher who has ever ignored a dead fetus in a breeding female. A dead fetus means that a rancher is going to be ballin’ the jack for at least a month. First, you don’t put a breeding female, whether a heifer, a sow, a mare or a ewe/dam of septic pregnancy. You abort that, to prevent a loss of your investment and your livelihood.

    Second, a dead fetus is frequently a red fucking flag that something is probably terribly wrong: infectious disease or parasites that could infect your entire herd, or had already infected it. You didn’t sit there and do nothing. Your entire herd could be wiped out if you did that, and that could bankrupt you!

    What a fucking moron.

  71. pensnest says

    Josh @65 and thereafter: you are *SO* right. I wanted to stand up and cheer when I read your comment. Then I wanted to hide under the bedclothes and never come out.

    The shallowness of what passes for thinking among most people is quite terrifying, and we do, absolutely, have to speak out against it.

  72. Louis says

    Honestly, claiming women are as valuable as useful livestock. This is offensive to livestock. Teach The Controversy! Livestock Rights! Republicans for Forced Birth of Bacon Pigs!

    Or something.

    I can’t even satirise these people any more. They are vomitously disgusting beyond the boundaries of Poes, satire, mockery or even simply pointing and laughing. When I saw that video my jaw hit the floor and I did the classic cartoon “WhuuuUUUUUH?!”.

    Ohhhhhhh how I wish I weren’t ideologically and intellectually a pacifist sometimes.*

    Louis

    * Because I assure you I am not a pacifist by inclination or desire. I start thinking very naughty things about chaps like this.

  73. davidrichardson says

    There’s an old (apparently) real Personal ad from a Swedish paper that read:

    Farmer looking for a woman with a tractor for a long-term relationship.

    Please send a photo of the tractor.

  74. says

    Durin g my second pregnancy, on of the worst times of my life was when the threat of “Potter syndrome” hung over our head.
    For those of you lucky enough not to know what that is, Potter syndrome occurs when the fetus doesn’t develop (functioning) kidneys.
    Now, that’s not a problem for the blood washing of the fetus. that job is done by mummy’s kidneys via the placenta.
    The fetal kidneys’ job is to produce amionic fluid. The amionic fluid is “breathed” by the fetus, it is what makes the lungs develop and “unfold”.
    Babies born with Potter syndrome don’t die of their lack of kidneys, they suffocate after birth. That’s quite a cruel death to die, to try and breath but not being able to because your lungs are still a lump inside your breast instead of a fine net.
    It is also something that you can only notice quite late in pregnancy, so usually women have an abortion some time after week 20.
    So, this cruel asshole would want women to carry that fetus for some four more month, taking on all the additional risks of pregnancy and birth, go through the dangerous process of birth for a baby who will then live for a few cruel minutes while mother, father and doctors have to watch a rosy baby desperately try to catch a breath, turn blue and limp and die without being able to help.
    Yes, that sounds very “pro-life” to me.

    BTW I’m wondering that the MRAs haven’t turn up yet to complain about the things people here offered for England in case that we’Re going to live by the rules of lifestock.
    Is it because:
    -they would have to admit that their friends actually do see women as nothing but rightless animals?
    -they would need to acknowledge that this would only hapen if men were treated the same as women?
    -they just want to quotemine afterwards?
    -are afraid of getting a severe flogging here?

  75. keenacat says

    Josh,

    let me just tell you that if you didn’t have a Molly already, you’d certainly deserve one for what you wrote in this thread alone.
    I wish I was half as eloquent and concise as you are and I am thankful for you being an ally to women.
    But more than that, you clearly articulated what has been bugging me since forever, the downplaying of inhumane and downright abusive actions as the work of “a nut” or “lunatic”, as “insane” or “mad”.

    People avoid dealing with shit by throwing it off as insane and thus by dehumanizing those who suffer from psychiatric illnesses.
    If everyone I know is normal, they can’t be evil, right? Wrong.
    I bet there is no psychiatric diagnosis to be had for most of those people. They are normal and they hate other people. On the other hand, most mentally ill do not hate other people like this. In addition to being mentally ill myself (recurring depression) I’ve had contact with a host of patients. Besides a few personality disorders where antisocial behaviour is part of the problem, they expressed a wide range of empathy and social behaviour just like healthy people do.
    We are not subhuman and we don’t want to be guilty by association with hateful assholes.

  76. says

    So this guy is a state rep and he admitted on the floor of the legislature that he knows of someone who engages in cockfighting? Why is he not in jail?

  77. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    Josh:

    Your eloquence and anger are a pleasure to read. How the fuck do remain so coherant in the face of such utter and total evil?

    =========

    In one of Herblock’s books (no, I do not know which one. I thought that I had it but looked through my collection last night and couldn’t find it.) he opens with a fable (trust me, I really am going somewhere relevant with this).

    A primitive tribe, somewhere in the world, worships a particular set of rocks which represent gods. Each day, at least once a day, each man, woman and child bowed before the rocks. The tribe, under the light hand of their leader, was happy and productive.

    A young man decided that he wanted to be leader. Though he had nothing to offer the tribe, he wanted power. So he, and his friends, began bowing lower before the rock. They also began berating the liberals for not bowing far enough.

    Soon, in order to get the annoying little git to shut up, everyone was bowing much lower than ever before in the memory of the tribe. And the power-hungry man realized that he had power — not the leadership of the tribe, but power nonetheless. So he, and his minions, began bowing two, three, even four times a day before the rocks. And they berated and insulted those who were only bowing once a day.

    Soon everyone was bowing four times a day. After all, it was easier to let the little shit have his way than disrupt the tribe. When the little shit began actually pounding his head on the flat rocks that lay on the ground before the idol, the others in the tribe began to object that this had gone too far, but by now he had enough support to insist that either everyone in the tribe pound their heads on the rocks before the big rock or his henchmen would pound their heads with rocks.

    The GOP began, many decades ago, bowing before the idol of ‘morality’ — abortion, gays, prayer in school, etc. And it worked. It convinced many poor and middle class voters to cast votes for politicians who would screw them over.

    The GOP had the best of both worlds. Tame voters who would vote for ‘morality’ and politicians who would vote for economically regressive policies. Until someone figured out that they could, from a non-leadership position, insist that everyone bow lower.

    Now the GOP is filled with ‘morality’ conservatives who insist that everyone toe their line. If they don’t pound their heads into the rocks of ‘morality’, they get the political equivalent of stoning — a loss in the primary. Any negotiation with a non-conservative, any equivocation on gay or women’s rights, any approach to a sane immigration policy, any step over the arbitrary moving line of new conservatism and the politician is gone.

    Politicians like Terry England, and Rick Santorum, are not the cause of the GOP’s idiocy. They are the ones who have gotten the message — bow lower than anyone else to prove fealty or you will be gone. When it comes to reproductive rights, if you appear more liberal than any conservative politician, your political future is at risk.

    I think this helps to explain, along with Josh’s brilliance regarding loss of privilege, why the GOP has turned so virulently against health care, reproductive rights, and human rights. Not only are they afraid of losing the privileged position of the Great White Male, but they are also desperately afraid of not appearing zealous enough.

    This does not, in any way, excuse such behaviour, but it helps me to understand it.

    Sorry for the long comment. I was trying to wrap my mind around such idiocy.

  78. dianne says

    Among numerous other problems, it is notable that England apparently doesn’t know crap about farming. Or at least proper farming. As a number of people have pointed out, cows and pigs do get the benefit of abortion if they need it and they are on a farm with a competent manager and vet. England either has experience only on very poorly managed farms which should be shut down for cruelty or he simply made up the claim about working on a farm. Either way, the farmers of rural Georgia are hopefully laughing their butts off about that, no matter how much they may agree with him about abortion or women.

  79. julietdefarge says

    There is a worse possibility, and that’s that the fetus does not expel naturally, or does not expel before infection sets in. This can happen before 20 weeks, of course, and carries a high risk of maternal death.

    I’ve looked into the various common complications of pregnancy, and a national “personhood” amendment could cause the deaths of over 60,000 women per year. That’s twenty 9/11s.

  80. hypatiasdaughter says

    #64 navigator
    Centuries ago, before surgery as safe and common, cutting up and removing a foetus, dead or alive, was SOP to save the life of the mother. It was most often used if labor wasn’t progressing (the foetus was “stuck” and the long labor threatened to kill the woman; or if the baby was dead).
    The Catholic church did not consider it a sin – it was the moral equivalent of killing someone in self-defense; and they considered a woman’s right to life took precedence over the foetus’ right to life. (And that was a BIG concession for the RCC, as the baby would die unbaptized and baptism was the only way you could make it into heaven.)
    How times have changed.

  81. says

    Hell, there are so many fantastic posts this morning, I hardly know where to begin!

    Josh, yes – again yes to all you wrote. Thank you for putting things into words so clearly! And yes- this – is exactly how I feel:

    I try hard not to blame victims for trying to climb up at least one rung of the ladder, but then I remember that rung is actually one of their compatriots’ heads. And I just think they’re Kapos.

    For too long, I kept justifying and explaining this behavior away – well how could you blame them? But not anymore, by Hera. I have daughters and sons who will have to deal with this garbage. Time to speak up, indeed.

  82. Gregory Greenwood says

    carlie @ 31;

    I am honestly scared at the amount of actual hatred of women that seems to be welling up in all of these “debates”. It isn’t just concern for “the baby” the way it was through the 90s; they are now bold enough to just straight-up say terrible things about women as not even being equivalent to people and know that society will let them get away with it. It’s not just this one issue; it’s a deep, ugly resentment of everything bad in life that is getting laid at women’s feet as scapegoats or something.

    When I first saw this video, I initially thought something along the lines of “This idiot is a State Representative? I am surprised that he is even smart enough to be able to remember to breathe. Democracies probably need some kind of basic education and intelligence requirement for elected officials – like being able to pass the Turing Test, something this cretin would doubtless struggle with…”

    But the more I thought about it, the more I moved to the same conclusion as that which you express in your post – this isn’t anything so benign as straightforward idiocy, for all England’s appearance of ‘salt of the earth’ stupidity. This is calculated evil, the casual dismissal of the fundamental humanity of women by comparing them directly to farmyard animals. And the sacriest part? As mentioned upthread, it was the thunderous silence. Not a single person at that venue stood up and called England on his jaw dropping, dehumanising misogyny. He directly denied the humanity of women, and the Overton Window has clearly lurched so far into crazy town in Georgia that no one saw it as objectionable or even worthy of comment – just a self-evident, motherhood-and-apple-pie ‘truth’ of modern American life.

    That is nothing short of terrifying.

  83. Gregory Greenwood says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 65;

    Definite +1 on your entire post. These attitudes are not the preserve of some kind of psychotic fringe group or of a subset of the sadly mentally afflicted – they are pervasive, and the more genuinely ethical people fight to break up unearned patriarchal privilege, the more of this kind of pushback we will see.

    I know it is an awful cliche, but I really do believe that at this point in time society is at a crossroads. In the longstanding struggle between science and irrational delusions, and between progressive humanist ethics and retrograde, dehumanising religious pseudo-morality, the gloves are off and the knives have come out in earnest.

    Humanity is still in many ways in its social infancy, but it is no longer in its technological one, and we can no longer afford to have our society ruled by such poisonous ideology that is so obviously constructed for the sole purpose of maintaining the unearned privilege of the Terry Englands of this world. If creatures like England are able to maintain their grip on power, then they will drive our civilisation onto the rocks sooner rather than later.

  84. says

    Ing:

    If only he promised us a moon base

    Snerk.

    Josh:

    This is the human condition, and it’s a fuckton uglier than you thought it was.

    Yes. I should have this made clearer in my comment, which in retrospect seems as if I’m othering such people as monsters. They may indeed be monstrous, but they are completely human and, in the vast majority of cases, extremely ordinary.

    Every goddamned one of us who sits quietly rolling our eyes assuming “everyone” knows what a nutbag this guy is and no one will take him seriously.

    “That guy, Reagan? He’s crazy. Nobody will ever vote for him.”

    However, and not to take away from your excellent comments, have you noted this section of the WP page on “The Banality of Evil”?

    Reicher and Haslam have challenged Arendt’s idea of the banality of evil. They agree that ordinary people can commit evil actions, but they assert that it is not simply a matter of “blind people following orders.” They point to historical and psychological evidence that suggest that ordinary people become evil when they identify with evil ideology.

    To quote Gregory Greenwood above:

    This is calculated evil, the casual dismissal of the fundamental humanity of women by comparing them directly to farmyard animals.

    From Haslam and Reicher’s 2008 article in The Psychologist:

    On the historical side, a number of new studies – notably David Cesarani’s (2004) meticulous examination of Eichmann’s life and crimes – have suggested that Arendt’s analysis was, at best, naive. Not least, this was because she only attended the start of his trial. In this, Eichmann worked hard to undermine the charge that he was a dangerous fanatic by presenting himself as an inoffensive pen-pusher. Arendt then left. Had she stayed, though, she (and we) would have discovered a very different Eichmann: a man who identified strongly with anti-semitism and Nazi ideology; a man who did not simply follow orders but who pioneered creative new policies; a man who was well aware of what he was doing and was proud of his murderous ‘achievements’.

    Reicher and Haslam write that the Nazi system was “so dynamic” due to the ideological commitment of its most powerful members and to the discretion to act that they were given. They also point out that in experiments such as Milgram’s, the subjects demonstrated marked agency in determining for themselves whether to administer “shocks” and varied considerably in their levels of obedience.

    Interesting datum: People at Yale seemed more willing to deliver “shocks” than people in the working-class city of Bridgeport. “This suggests that whether we listen to authorities or support victims depends upon the extent to which we perceive ourselves to share social identification with them (Turner, 1991).”

    The whole thing is worth reading.

    Example: saying “I find comparing women to veterinary abortions troubling and inappropriate” is NOT acceptable, nor will it help. The correct response is “What in bleeding hell are you talking about? Are you people listening to what this man is saying? Bullshit!” At a minimum.

    OMFSM, yes. “Civility” doesn’t cut it here, not one damn bit. In our current political discourse, “civility,” quite frankly, has more to do with enforcing conservative white upper-middle-class sensibilities than it does with etiquette or respect.

    Autumn: Did you ever see the movie Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas? It’s got some seriously racist scenes, but the producers have the protagonist kill a neo-Nazi. You know, just to show that he’s “the good guy.”

  85. truthspeaker says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay says:
    13 March 2012 at 10:41 pm

    It’s really really really really really Super Fucking Important for people like you (and many of us) to get over the idea that this is somehow abnormal behavior practiced only by a fundamentally ill and broken minority of psychopaths. This naivete is what catches liberals flat footed every goddamned time.

    This is the human condition, and it’s a fuckton uglier than you thought it was. But knowing that is crucial to changing society. Stop casting about for excuses and esoteric theories. There’s no “deviance” here. These are your neighbors. They’re probably your family, too.

    This this this a thousand times this.

  86. Dhorvath, OM says

    Daisy Cutter,
    It was never my apprehension that Michael Douglas’ character was the ‘good guy’ in that movie, even he comes to realize that he is the ‘bad guy’ near the end.

  87. truthspeaker says

    Essential reading (the original, not just the Wiki summary): “Banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.”

    I don’t remember when I had that insight, or when I first heard the phrase “banality of evil”. It was a long time ago. I need to thank my parents for taking me to the Jewish Community Center for swimming lessons. Not only did I learn to swim, I learned a hell of a lot about the Holocaust.

    And yet so many people haven’t gotten that insight. Time and again I’ve been in conversations with people who try to excuse the actions of, say, George W. Bush by saying “But he didn’t intend to cause harm.” So what? How is his intent even relevant?

  88. Azkyroth says

    In our current political discourse, “civility,” quite frankly, has more to do with enforcing conservative white upper-middle-class sensibilities than it does with etiquette or respect.

    Are you saying it’s ever been different?

  89. truthspeaker says

    Dhorvath, OM says:
    14 March 2012 at 10:03 am

    Daisy Cutter,
    It was never my apprehension that Michael Douglas’ character was the ‘good guy’ in that movie, even he comes to realize that he is the ‘bad guy’ near the end.

    I thought the key part of the film was when he said, incredulously, “I’m the bad guy?”

    I thought it was a metaphor to that generation of people who grew up and went to work to make America great and beat the Russkies and never quite figured out that they were working for the bad guys.

  90. Dhorvath, OM says

    I see what you are getting at then. Sorry, I just find that character chilling and horrifying, so to hear him referred to as the good guy seemed odd.

  91. Brownian says

    but … really, some people are just no damn good. That’s not “eliminationism” or “dehumanization.” That’s basic observation. If the psychologists and psychiatrists want to do studies on sociopaths and the like for research purposes, that’s great. I can’t be bothered; I just want those fuckers to leave me and mine alone.

    There’s nothing I could write that wouldn’t be a muddled and uninteresting footnote to Josh’s comments, so I want to highlight this. There’s an ideal that we’re all the same; we’re all special, valuable members of society, no worse and no less than any other. If we consider that whatever unit of value a single person has, two people have more, then it cannot be true that everyone has equal utility in the grand scheme of an interconnected society in which the things we do impact others.

    There are individuals, non-sociopaths even, who will damage and damage and damage and damage and damage everyone they encounter until they drop dead. They may not be knowingly malicious. In many cases, they probably think of themselves as good people. Hell, in certain circumstances they’ll blow you away with unselfish acts of kindness. It’s just that, in general, they’re incredibly self-centred individuals whose petty concerns and irritants outweigh every other human’s needs, and by holding this attitude they cause orders of magnitude more hurt than help. These are people who will threaten a sick child with physical violence if he doesn’t stop coughing because the game is on (an incident from my personal past, in case you were wondering about the oddly specific situation.)

    Now, I’m not saying such people are irredeemable. I’m sure they are, with the right therapy. But they don’t know they’re sick, and so they won’t seek treatment. And until that happens, they are going to continue to poison everyone around them.

    But we need to stop bending and reaching and puzzling to understand their motives in the best possible light. Sometimes, they’re just selfish, narcissistic assholes who’ll start a fight in a Chinese restaurant because the person ahead of them in the buffet line took the last wonton and hey, the restaurant is only owned by Chinese immigrants so who gives a fuck? (Why yes, another personal anecdote. How did you guess?)

    We saw this kind of excuse-making with Breitbart. We see this with every public asshole. Searching for explanations for their behaviour is worthwhile. But it doesn’t excuse such a person’s behaviour, and it especially does not obligate us to give such people a seat at the political table. Sometimes, the other persons point of view is not worth considering, other than—as Ms. Daisy Cutter notes—a datapoint for a study, and we need to stop supporting a culture which quietly sighs and puts up with their kind of bullshit in the name of giving everyone a voice.

  92. says

    Azkyroth: “Are you saying it’s ever been different?” Good point. But it does seem to me that as the class gap in the U.S. has widened, the range of rhetoric and emotion permitted in “serious” discussion has narrowed.

    Truthspeaker:

    Though the Michael Douglas character in Falling Down, D-FENS, parallels Travis Bickle, he is presented as a joke from the outset, an unattractive Dilbert, avenging the nerds. D-FENS is Bickle in politically correct times, underscored by a scene where the only purpose is to distance D-FENS from the real bad guys, the white supremacists. Reminiscent of the disclaimer in the Polish version of The Getaway, it seems before the film could be placed before the jejune eyes of the American public, we had to know D-FENS, despite being a middle-aged white male, was us. And that it was okay to hate crime and be mad as hell and not want to take it anymore: “Don’t worry, Joe Six-pack, the world sucks, you can say it, and it doesn’t make you a racist bastard. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the catharsis.”

    Also, while I realize that dumb reviews on Amazon prove nothing…

    Really really like this movie. Michael Douglas is superb in his portrayal as a man frustrated and angry with the world and all the stupid people in it.

    There’s another fan who didn’t get that D-FENS is the bad guy.

  93. w00dview says

    Example: saying “I find comparing women to veterinary abortions troubling and inappropriate” is NOT acceptable, nor will it help. The correct response is “What in bleeding hell are you talking about? Are you people listening to what this man is saying? Bullshit!” At a minimum.

    This really needs to happen far more often. For far too long in American politics wingnuts spew lies, ignorance, fear and hate and it just goes fucking unchallenged. Josh has it right, they should have raked him over the coals for his blatant misogyny but they don’t, they just sit there in silence. Won’t Democrats and Moderate Republicans (which are so rare nowadays they should be protected by the Endangered Species Act) develop a fucking spine and say “You know what? Shut the fuck up and let the adults talk.”

  94. Brownian says

    I thought the key part of the film was when he said, incredulously, “I’m the bad guy?”

    I thought it was a metaphor to that generation of people who grew up and went to work to make America great and beat the Russkies and never quite figured out that they were working for the bad guys.

    That was my interpretation, as well.

  95. says

    Humanity is still in many ways in its social infancy, but it is no longer in its technological one, and we can no longer afford to have our society ruled by such poisonous ideology that is so obviously constructed for the sole purpose of maintaining the unearned privilege of the Terry Englands of this world. If creatures like England are able to maintain their grip on power, then they will drive our civilisation onto the rocks sooner rather than later.

    Gregory Greenwood, I won’t quote everything, but yes to all you said and that goes double for the above. I hope your writing is very widely read!

    Brownian, bald well-written truth, as usual. (bows)

    I cannot believe we are actually discussing something like this. It is surreal!

  96. Brownian says

    There’s another fan who didn’t get that D-FENS is the bad guy.

    Right. I see that point.

    I’d hazard a guess that minus the neo-Nazi scene and there wouldn’t be such confusion, but then I remember how many people didn’t realise that All In The Family was satire as well.

  97. says

    Sorry, I just find that character chilling and horrifying, so to hear him referred to as the good guy seemed odd.

    Even more horrifying is the idea that many of us could become him under the right circumstances. That’s what made that movie scary to me. That unanswerable question, “Could that be me?”

  98. Brownian says

    Even more horrifying is the idea that many of us could become him under the right circumstances. That’s what made that movie scary to me. That unanswerable question, “Could that be me?”

    I remember hating films about Nazis when I was young. They always seemed to be portrayed as these aliens who snuck in, conspired to steal the power from Good People™, were defeated, and left in their spaceships for whatever distant star they came from (or Argentina).

    Such films never cause you to ask the question, “Could that be me?” (an easily answerable question, in my mind), nor do they ever ask its far more interesting sibling, “What would it take for that to be me?”

  99. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform @ 100;

    OMFSM, yes. “Civility” doesn’t cut it here, not one damn bit. In our current political discourse, “civility,” quite frankly, has more to do with enforcing conservative white upper-middle-class sensibilities than it does with etiquette or respect.

    Ah, yes – ‘civility’, that most treacherous chimera. It is very useful to the champions of the status quo because the concept is so flexible. Naturally, any post containing *clutches pearls* profanity can be ignored irrespective of its actual substance because it is ‘offensive’, but it actually goes far further than that – merely dicomforting the smug, arrogant complacency of the privileged has been defined in some quarters as ‘uncivil’, and that is the most insidious aspect of the concept. Most people see worth in ‘civility'; it is (wrongfully) seen as the mark of considered, thoughtful discourse and of a serious mind engaging with a serious topic – it is the ultimate expression of form over content, style over substance.

    This mentality is so deeply rooted in the popular consciousness that it can lead to interesting cases of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias in its own right. Some of the regulars here may be aware that I myself tend to avoid the use of expletives in my posts – it is a simple matter of personal choice and aesthetic, nothing more, and has no bearing on the substantive content of my comments. However, I have often in the past been accused of being ‘rude’, ‘shrill’ and ‘offensive’ by the mere fact of not agreeing with the position adopted by some of the more self-righteous theists that sometimes pop up around these parts.

    This has gone so far that I have even been accused of using profane and grossly insulting and demeaning language when I haven’t actually used the phrases and terms attributed to me – the very fact that this uppity atheist had the gall to speak back to them and not accept their poor and incoherent arguments for bigotry means that they feel that they must have been insulted, and so the use of ‘uncivil’ language is edited in after the fact to conform to their constructed version of events.

    And I am far from alone in this; the same thing regularly happens to other commenters, either targeted at individuals or applied to the Horde as a whole when some angry visitor to the blog claims that something terribly offensive and deliberately demeaning (to the extent that it would be considered out of bounds for being discriminatory, even in the notoriously rough-and-tumble envoirons of Pharyngula) has been addressed to them, and yet they provide no actual post number or quote to show who it was that abused them so. Often this is simple lying in a bid for sympathy, but sometimes I think that the supposedly aggreived party actually thinks that they must have been insulted in such a fashion purely because they have such difficulty accepting the fact that these awful atheists have the chutzpah to not fall in awe before their ill thought out and irrational arguments. I has occured to me that this mindset may be a microcosm of the same process by which some christians continue to insist that they are ‘persecuted’ in the US despite forming the single most politically powerful religious group in that society.

    And, of course, it is also perfectly possible to avoid any use of ‘offensive’ language and yet still express the most toxic, hateful and genuinely offensive concepts in a given statement, as Terry England did in his speech – denying the humanity of women without an expletive in sight.

    The popular fixation on civility twists discourse and obstructs clear communication. What matters – all that truly matters – is the content, and the over-emphasis on ‘civil’ discourse is more often than not employed simply as a means of deflecting attention away form the substantive issues.

  100. Azkyroth says

    There are individuals, non-sociopaths even, who will damage and damage and damage and damage and damage everyone they encounter until they drop dead. They may not be knowingly malicious. In many cases, they probably think of themselves as good people. Hell, in certain circumstances they’ll blow you away with unselfish acts of kindness. It’s just that, in general, they’re incredibly self-centred individuals whose petty concerns and irritants outweigh every other human’s needs, and by holding this attitude they cause orders of magnitude more hurt than help.

    You’ve met my ex, huh?

  101. Gregory Greenwood says

    niftyatheist @ 114;

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I don’t think that anyone outside the Horde ever reads my inane scribblings.

    I cannot believe we are actually discussing something like this. It is surreal!

    I keep closing my eyes, pinching myself, and repeating over and over; There’s no place like home It is the Twenty First Century, the age of science and reason”, and yet when I open my eyes it is always the Dark Ages, except with internal combustion engines, aircraft and the internet…

  102. says

    Gregory: Terrific and eminently quotable comment.

    merely dicomforting the smug, arrogant complacency of the privileged has been defined in some quarters as ‘uncivil’

    How many of us have been called “rude” or “buzzkills” or another epithet for calling out bigotry in our personal lives? And, in this day and age, sites such as Facebook count as “in our personal lives.”

  103. Pteryxx says

    Re the veterinary angle: Lots of folks have already pointed out that valuable livestock DO get dead or nonviable fetuses removed. IIRC, such treatment is necessary veterinary care, meaning it’s a violation of animal cruelty laws for an animal’s owner to leave it to suffer as this Georgia state rep describes. I’m surprised vets aren’t up in arms over this.

    But these people actually hate women so much that they’re willing to criminally mistreat female animals just because their femaleness makes them tainted by association with women. What is this I don’t even.

  104. Happiestsadist says

    I actually know someone who was forced to deliver at least one dead fetus. Back in the days before abortion was legal in Canada (or accessible in my province, which came later), after having a fetus die at six months, she was made to keep carrying it, while not-so-close friends and strangers asked if she’d picked out names, or, in one case, asked her to give back the shower gifts so they could get a refund. And then to come back from the hospital after delivery with her husband and incredible depression and horror.

  105. David Marjanović says

    oh well if we’re going to make reproductive healthcare based on veterinary/ranching practices, I suggest gelding certain individuals unfit for breeding purposes…

    …I think that’s the perfect answer, and I’m aware of what “perfect” means.

    Why does this shit seem to be increasing when there’s a supposedly liberal administration in the White House? (I did say “supposedly”.) There wasn’t all of this going on when Bush was in power.

    It’s a reaction to that supposedly liberal administration. It’s an attempt to stave off the liberal apocalypse – and/or hasten the conservative one.

    the way they do it to sheep (and no doubt other animals)

    Reindeer. *nodnod*

    Carlie, it is not women that these people hate; it is all the sluts who insist on having sex outside of marriage and daring to not have a baby.

    Nah. They hate all women except the Virgin Mary. There’s no exception for marriage in the bill.

    I really have a hard time understanding such evil thinking. I guess I feel there has to be SOME explanation for their vile behavior and beliefs.

    I’m with comment 65, 67 and 68.

    They’re scared shitless about any change away from the 1950s-as-shown-on-TV, including the ones that have already happened. They’re scared shitless of Jadehawk and hypatiasdaughter coming after them with the gelding shears, and they have recurring nightmares of catnip67’s teeth. (Just the teeth, not anything being done with them – that’s all repressed!)

    Ultimately, they’re scared shitless of being treated the way they treat women – the way they’d treat “other” livestock if they had any. Paradoxically, it’s their last vestige of conscience that makes them go on the offensive.

    RHAEG

    ?

    Or more seriously pass a test that shows they understand basic science, maths , economics and understanding of the political and constitutional system they’re running for –

    “I will appoint THRRR TEEN Republican senators” – Sarah Palin.

    Aquaria @1: let’s not insult pond scum there, it has a place in the ecosystem, unlike Mr England, who does not. He’s not even a symbiote, he’s a parasite.

    I hate to say it, but parasites commonly have important places in ecosystems, much like predators.

    I’m reading that as a call for ridicule as a moral imperative.

    …Hey, I’m cool with that.

    Seconded!!!

    These attitudes go right down to the marrow – right to the innermost sludgy recesses of the reptilian brain.

    As an unrepentant pedant, I must insist you drop this metaphor. First, the “reptilian complex”, the “paleomammalian complex” and the “neomammalian complex” are not physically nested within each other, they’re all distributed rather randomly all over the place; second, all three names are grave misnomers based on 1960s-or-earlier knowledge of comparative anatomy – the limbic system, the “paleomammalian complex”, occurs all the long way to amphioxus. The whole idea “holds little favor in current neuroscience.”

    Example: saying “I find comparing women to veterinary abortions troubling and inappropriate” is NOT acceptable, nor will it help. The correct response is “What in bleeding hell are you talking about? Are you people listening to what this man is saying? Bullshit!” At a minimum.

    QFT.

    There needs to be more salt in the earth where that fucking slug goes crawling.

    X-D X-D X-D X-D X-D

    That’s what somebody in the audience should have said right after the speech!

    So this guy is a state rep and he admitted on the floor of the legislature that he knows of someone who engages in cockfighting? Why is he not in jail?

    Parliamentary immunity?

    And that was a BIG concession for the RCC, as the baby would die unbaptized and baptism was the only way you could make it into heaven.

    Wait, wait. Emergency baptism, which every Catholic is authorized to perform, was commonly given as soon as the baby’s head was at all accessible to a wet thumb (or perhaps other finger).

    And the sacriest part?

    Freudian typo of the month.

    Reicher and Haslam have challenged Arendt’s idea of the banality of evil. They agree that ordinary people can commit evil actions, but they assert that it is not simply a matter of “blind people following orders.” They point to historical and psychological evidence that suggest that ordinary people become evil when they identify with evil ideology.

    The belief that orders are to be followed unquestioningly is an evil ideology that lots of people have identified with.

    the producers have the protagonist kill a neo-Nazi. You know, just to show that he’s “the good guy.”

    *facepalm*

  106. lizdamnit says

    Pteryxx, on your post, “But these people actually hate women so much that they’re willing to criminally mistreat female animals just because their femaleness makes them tainted by association with women. What is this I don’t even.”

    It’s a pet theory of mine that misogyny is a disease. It has to stem from some fundamental fuckup somewhere – something had to have gone horribly wring *somewhere* to produce this attitude. A meme that damaging that survived this long (see the “bronze age patriarchs” upstream somewhere) reminds me of a horrible virus. Which sounds fanciful, but that’s how it seems to act – gets in everywhere, poisons what it touches, and seems to propagate faster than rabbits. What it doesn’t explain is why it’s so popular, but I think Josh covered that fully :)

    This doesn’t let people like Terry “Life Experience” England off the hook- they have a brain in there (???) and there’s an extra obligation to use it, especially as an elected official – you’re supposed to do your job, not thump your bible, damnit! (But that’s me having a daydream of common sense). Is it sadism? Stupidity? I’m boggled, too.

    Is it that he and his ilk hate females so much that they want them to suffer and die, or is it that they hate females making choices for themselves? My money’s on the latter, since they seem to value some women, eg nice, submissive automatons. So for my money it’s not the woman per se but the basic recognition of her personhood, dignity, and having to have even a moment of empathy, even for someone you may not know or even like.

    It’s too bad none us can ask someone like him in private, no cameras, no sound bites, no nothing, just human to human “what is so scary to you about thinking of me as a person?”. I’m morbidly fascinated with the convoluted blob of bigotry and talking points that passes for a “rational” opinion in this person’s head. How does he get thru every day being that disconnected…wife? maid? assistant? yes-persons?

    Sidenote and comment fangirling: Amazing contributions from the Pharyngulites, tho. I’m looking at you, Josh, Ms. Daisy, and Ogvorbis! :D Yay, more working brainmeats!

  107. lizdamnit says

    And PS – I’ve been reading every other/every couple of comments, in a research-induced haze, so sorry if I retreaded some ground, anyone.

  108. David Marjanović says

    IIRC, such treatment is necessary veterinary care, meaning it’s a violation of animal cruelty laws for an animal’s owner to leave it to suffer as this Georgia state rep describes.

    That needs to be made a lot more public.

    Together with the cockfighting.

  109. says

    Gregory, it was sincerely meant – you are a terrific writer! It helps that everything you’ve written is exactly what I was thinking about this whole thing but too filled with white hot rage/despair to articulate.

    I remember hating films about Nazis when I was young. They always seemed to be portrayed as these aliens who snuck in, conspired to steal the power from Good People™, were defeated, and left in their spaceships for whatever distant star they came from (or Argentina).

    Such films never cause you to ask the question, “Could that be me?” (an easily answerable question, in my mind), nor do they ever ask its far more interesting sibling, “What would it take for that to be me?”

    Oh Brownian…this is it, isn’t it? This is the stupid thing that is done over and over in popular media (even to current “even-handed” news coverage UGH!). Your second point is something to talk about more, IMO. Maybe people should be challenging the people around them to give that some thought…

    I am sure many here already do – but it is so hard between the no true scotsman defense and the “LALALA We don’t hear you” deflections. Someone said “Men don’t get it” – I would say that some (many?) men don’t WANT to get it, and sadly many women, too.

  110. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform @ 121;

    How many of us have been called “rude” or “buzzkills” or another epithet for calling out bigotry in our personal lives? And, in this day and age, sites such as Facebook count as “in our personal lives.”

    It is an occupational hazard of being a progressive. It never ceases to amaze me that a bigot can spew the most vile, hateful statements clearly designed to emotionally wound and deny the humanity of other people, and yet still has the obliviousness to complain long and loud about the awful rudeness of people who simply call them out on their bigotry. Then again, no one likes to publicly claim the status of victim more than a bigot…

    —————————————————————-

    David Marjanović @ 125;

    Freudian typo of the month.

    *Sigh* Just my daily offering to mighty Typos…

  111. says

    As bad as these assholes are, WTF are with our democrats in office where they are not loudly condemning and shit slinging on this? More of their fetish of “playing fair”? Because this is something you should hammer someone to the wall for. I mean when Conservatives don’t get good reasons from their enemies they go and make them up! “I overcame racism because I am dedicated to helping people” becomes “I am a racist” and they gleefully nail people on that. And the Democrats and Media seem happy to hold the target in place for them. Why don’t the democrats feel any need to challenge this? Do they not realize or not care how scary this is?

    People like England and this remind me of the Daleks on Doctor Who. They are a miserable, pathetic creation whose entire experience is one of blinding rage and pain. They are a product of the abuse and pitiful. But we can’t waste time caring anymore about WHY they are this way. They have the egg whisker aimed at innocent people now, so whoever is at fault in the long chain in abuse is a moot point, it has to stop now. I’m sorry that they’re the poor bastards that have to wind up being held responsible for the collective sins of their parents and culture that groomed them into being the monsters they are, but we have no choice…they are the ones who are here now and the ones we have to address.

  112. Gregory Greenwood says

    niftyatheist @ 130;

    It helps that everything you’ve written is exactly what I was thinking about this whole thing but too filled with white hot rage/despair to articulate.

    I think we all know that feeling – the tight ball of disbelieving horror in your chest, the bubbling, volcanic rage at the stupidity and/or casual cruelty of a substantial proportion of your fellow human beings – yup, I’ve been there many a time.

    There are days when I feel that the social inertia is so great that things will never really improve. There have been nasty, oppressive bigots throughout history, it seems to be a curse that has always afflicted our species. Things are bad, and they aren’t improving as quickly as they could, but the very fact that types like Terry England are working so hard to spread their toxic ideology may be a cause for hope – they seem to know that their formerly unassailable ivory tower of privilege is under siege, and this is a desperate attempt to clamp down hard while they still have the means to do so, and so preserve the unearned power and authority that until only a few years ago they took for granted as something that could never be wrested from them.

    There is certainly a long way to go, but I think we have them on the run…

  113. Skatje Myers says

    The bill does not outlaw all abortion after 20 weeks. It still allows for abortion in order to “Avert the death of the pregnant woman or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

    Carry on then.

  114. says

    The bill does not outlaw all abortion after 20 weeks. It still allows for abortion in order to “Avert the death of the pregnant woman or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

    Carry on then.

    Respectfully as possible: Thank you. That made a huge difference and didn’t at all ignore the core substance of discussion.

  115. Skatje Myers says

    Actually, looking into this, I can’t see how this bill prohibits abortions when the fetus is dead.

    Here is the bill.

    Here is the code that defines “abortion”, as referenced by the bill.

    ‘Abortion’ means the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device with the intent to terminate the pregnancy of a female known to be pregnant. The term ‘abortion’ shall not include the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device employed solely to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion. The term ‘abortion’ also shall not include the prescription or use of contraceptives.

    The video posted was just about aborting a fetus with no brain. Is there any evidence to support the claim that this bill prohibits removing stillborn fetuses? Did I miss something?

  116. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    How disappoint and infuriating that your views on abortion haven’t evolved, Skatje. Don’t worry—we’ll have your back if it ever comes down to the wire for your rights, even if you won’t.

  117. lizdamnit says

    “When they quit killing babies, they can have every chicken I got”.

    Hmm…Granted, this *was* a clip and there *was* more to the session, but I did not see England calmly communicating the content of the bill, or talking about provisions contained therein about fetal deaths. What is preserved is rhetorical strategies designed to 1) present faux-sympathy over miscarriages/problematic pregnancies of livestock 2) place abortion rights of humans in the same context as animal husbandry, and 3) tell a faux-folksy story (for “salt of the earth” credibility) to underscore the importance of not “killing babies”. The use of the phrase “killing babies” is key, since it’s designed to conjure up nightmarish images of dismembered fetuses, violence, blood, savagery, and any emotional response to that.

    “Babies” are politically useful – the reality of fetuses is not. Fetuses are not cuddly and cute, especially in the early stages. The words matter a lot, and clue us into the substance of England’s stance, which is what I’m pissed off about. People do make decisions (about others, often) based on facts, rational examinations, and all that good stuff, but just as often they are swayed by rhetoric. Words matter a lot, especially with an issue like this. So in a way, the content of the bill doesn’t “matter” as much as the sound bites around it, since that’s what feeds the beast.

  118. lizdamnit says

    “what is preserved” – strike that, read “what are preserved” – jeepers.

  119. janine says

    Skatje, who calls a dead fetus a dead unborn child? The words alone should tell you who they are and what they mean.

    Also, it is part of the pattern of the last couple of years where state Republicans across the US are trying to pass laws that restricts access to abortion facilities and to contraception.

    Or are you so tried to your own anti-abortion view that you are willing to overlook thhe actions of all of these people who are trying to dictate our actions.

    Yes. Your actions as well as mine.

  120. Skatje Myers says

    I’m not telling you to quit raging about the other points. I just thought that there might be other people interested in knowing the particulars — especially if they’re contrary to what the blog’s author just posted. I didn’t expect people to get pissy at me for trying to correct misinformation. Whatever.

  121. says

    . I didn’t expect people to get pissy at me for trying to correct misinformation. Whatever.

    I know this may surprise you, but some people actually strongly care about said issue and might be upset at someone who seems to be trying to minimize. Especially as even with your ‘corrections’ it really doesn’t change much anything. You still have the justification that women==live stock and passing a bill that is at best pointless and adds more legalistic frustration to reproductive rights. Even if it’s a brainless fetus you’re ok with forcing someone to deliver that?

  122. janine says

    You really are missing the over all actions from the last thirty years of these people trying to end abortions and birth control.

    You are also missing all of the bills and laws that have been proposed and/or passed since 2010 to restrict access.

    You are also missing the buzzwords. When a person calls abortions “killing babies”, they do not have your best interest in mind.

    You are missing the over all objective.

    But, whatever.

  123. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    I didn’t expect people to get pissy at me for trying to correct misinformation.

    Please note that the comments on this thread are about the speaker, what he said, and how his comments fit into the misogyny of the current conservative movement, not the specifics of this bill which is designed to, even more so, limit a woman’s right to bodily autonomy (though that is an important discussion). Did you even watch the video? If you did, you would understand just where the removal of a dead foetus from a female human is part of the conversation.

  124. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Take your fancy facts to somebody that cares, you turncoat! Git!

    OK, that is kinda funny.:)

    Skatje is right that the bill doesn’t ban extracting a dead fetus.

    But it really, really isn’t the important point.

  125. says

    Late to the party, as usual.

    A comment on my own experiences with the banality of evil: what blows my mind is not so much that humans are capable of evil, but that they see themselves as good, or innocent, while accomplishing it.

    I have seen people beat their children unmercifully, I have known many women who, despite their pleading with the custody system and evidence that their previous partner was raping their child, have been forced to send the child back, because fathers have the ‘right’ to see their children and because the system was too overloaded to do a prompt exam to gather evidence of the rape. I could fill this comment box with incidents which make me want to retreat from humanity and live in a cave in the hills. I believe in the evil which can be a part of human nature–the vicious, overwhelming, uncaring tide of cruelty.

    What kills me is that in each of these cases, someone looked at the pain and suffering of another person, saw their tears and their terror, and felt no tug on their conscience, no compulsion to stop. They just kept going.

    I’ve had a chance to talk to some of these people: many times, they respond (when asked about their actions), with offended innocence. They think I don’t understand them, or couldn’t possibly understand the situation and how justified their actions were. They were tired, the kid wouldn’t shut up, they were frustrated, they were too busy to do anything about it, the system is too overloaded, the woman will just go back to her abuser, it’s only human nature….

    When confronted by how casual evil can be, I think about myself and hope that I am not engaged, in innocence, in anything of the sort. One of my students once asked me what hope for change any of us have in the sort of world he was experiencing.

    I said that I couldn’t change the world, but I could try to be fair in the little pocket I was in. It wasn’t a satisfying answer for either of us, but it’s better that pessimism and succumbing to that tide.

  126. Pteryxx says

    lizdamnit:

    I keep trying to make sense of this, but I’m not sure misogyny itself is the disease. The undetected serial rapist stats in “Meet the Predators” indicate that some 6-10% of men are already predators, and that number’s more than sufficient to produce the groundswell of support we’re seeing, when combined with the common presumption of good faith and willingness to believe bullshit arguments that pass cursory examination. But this fraction of people who are predators were also responsible for more violence, more abuse of partners and of children.

    I also keep seeing forms of bigotry co-localize: the same jackasses that hate women generally are also racist, homophobic, classist, anti-immigrant, “tough on crime”, intolerant of other religions, etc etc. In my mind they’re all blurring into a melange of “predator” or “hater”.

    Is it that he and his ilk hate females so much that they want them to suffer and die, or is it that they hate females making choices for themselves? My money’s on the latter, since they seem to value some women, eg nice, submissive automatons.

    Thus, I don’t read this as a contradiction. It’s not that nice, submissive women have value and uppity ones don’t; that’s assuming these haters DO value women as long as they’re the right kind. I don’t think that’s what “value” means. They USE women, all women, and submissive ones are just more convenient than uppity ones. Being submissive doesn’t gain you any rights or inherent value from a hater; it just means your usefulness outweighs the trouble (or pleasure) of destroying you.

    It’s too bad none us can ask someone like him in private, no cameras, no sound bites, no nothing, just human to human “what is so scary to you about thinking of me as a person?”.

    Just being alone in a room with one of them wouldn’t be enough. The hater would also have to be stripped of financial and social power, such that they know their posse can’t help them, they can’t bribe their way out, there’s no wealthy white lawyers or complaisant judges waiting to believe their spin on how unjustly they were treated by those nasty “others”. They’d have to believe they would leave that little room and step into a world where all those women and queers and POCs and disabled and poors are freely living their lives and might cross paths with the hater at any moment, and the hater would just have to take it. That’d be the only way to get an honest answer out.

    …Which means, I guess, that we’re right now in the process of finding out what these people would say to us.

  127. says

    Thus, I don’t read this as a contradiction. It’s not that nice, submissive women have value and uppity ones don’t; that’s assuming these haters DO value women as long as they’re the right kind.

    To paraphrase Doctor Who, petty acts of small mercy are how monstrous people live with themselves. Well that one was nice so we cut her a break, or we let that one go because they have a family, or oh how cute they have freckles we can look the other way. Tiny little stuff that doesn’t at all make up for anything or sway the balance and just acts to assure the person that they’re not bad.

  128. kylehughart says

    Hitler was responsible for genocide, and was also a ghost. Those who disagree are missing the central point, and defending genocide.

  129. ChasCPeterson says

    I didn’t expect people to get pissy at me for trying to correct misinformation.

    Nobody expects the Hordish Inquisition.
    Well, except those of us who have learned by experience.

    Facts and accuracy are irrelevant to people who have Strong Feelings about an Issue. It doesn’t matter exactly what’s being talked about exactly as long as Strong Feelings can be shared.

    Oh, and the discussion is about what Ing sez it’s about not, I don’t know, the OP or anything like that. If there is blatantly incorrect information stated as fact in the OP* so what?! Pointing that out might be construed as minimizing the Strong Feelings being expressed by others here.

    Pharyngula is now officially a Safe Space for being Wrong.

    *(which will never ever be corrected, if the past is a clue)

  130. kylehughart says

    @ChasCPeterson

    You’re like 2 capital letters away from being accused of calling atheism a religion. RUN!

  131. says

    Oh, and the discussion is about what Ing sez it’s about not, I don’t know, the OP or anything like that. If there is blatantly incorrect information stated as fact in the OP* so what?! Pointing that out might be construed as minimizing the Strong Feelings being expressed by others here.

    Except I was talking about the OP. Tell me is there any topic you’d actually care enough about to not want to use it to attack me? Turtles maybe?

  132. Pteryxx says

    …I recognized the quote that Skatje posted from this Georgia bill, because it’s almost identical to the one I grammatically analyzed a few weeks ago:

    This bill:

    ‘Abortion’ means the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device with the intent to terminate the pregnancy of a female known to be pregnant. The term ‘abortion’ shall not include the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device employed solely to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion. The term ‘abortion’ also shall not include the prescription or use of contraceptives.

    Definition of abortion from the Alabama forced-ultrasound bill:

    The intentional use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or devise or method to terminate the life of an unborn child, to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to produce a live birth and preserve the life and health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    Note that while the Georgia bill is grammatically clearer, it still precludes abortion to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead fetus that died from any other cause than “spontaneous abortion” whatever THAT is defined as. Not one word about preserving the life or health of the pregnant woman.

  133. KG says

    The video posted was just about aborting a fetus with no brain. Is there any evidence to support the claim that this bill prohibits removing stillborn fetuses? Did I miss something? – Skatje Myers

    Yes. Yes, you did. In fact, you missed absolutely everything of importance. Better luck next time.

  134. truthspeaker says

    or to remove a dead fetus that died from any other cause than “spontaneous abortion”

    It’s nonsensical. “Spontaneous abortion” is usually used to mean miscarriage, and in that case the dead fetus would have already been expelled from the body. So, contrary to what Skatje claimed, the law does indeed make it illegal to remove a dead fetus.

  135. dianne says

    The term ‘abortion’ shall not include the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device employed…to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion.

    So the fetus can be removed if it died as a result of a spontaneous abortion. What if it died as a result of some other problem? Death due to genetic or teratogenic defect, maternal ill health, trauma, etc…forget it, just have to keep gestating the dead tissue until it is born or you die, whichever comes first. (A dead fetus is always a risk to the mother.) Apparently then it must be carried to term. Or an anencephalic fetus. An anencephalic baby is considered dead as in the parents are asked if they’d like to donate the organs level dead. Yet it must be carried to term and delivered if the defect is discovered at 21 weeks? What sort of sense is that?

    Skatje (or anyone else), if you feel my understanding of the bill is in error and wish to correct it, I can’t promise I won’t be snippy, but I will try my best to be fair and admit any errors I made.

  136. dianne says

    “Spontaneous abortion” is usually used to mean miscarriage, and in that case the dead fetus would have already been expelled from the body.

    There is such a thing as an incomplete or missed abortion, so the bill is, in fact, allowing abortion in certain situations where the pregnancy will inevitably end badly but the fetus is not yet expelled.

  137. Just_A_Lurker says

    There is such a thing as an incomplete or missed abortion, so the bill is, in fact, allowing abortion in certain situations where the pregnancy will inevitably end badly but the fetus is not yet expelled.

    But if the fetus is dead but not spontaneous aborted (complete or otherwise) then you have to carry it to term at the mother’s own needless risk.

    Yeah. That’s much better.

  138. says

    David M: “RHAEG” is just a facetious internet misspelling of “rage.”

    Also:

    Ultimately, they’re scared shitless of being treated the way they treat women – the way they’d treat “other” livestock if they had any. Paradoxically, it’s their last vestige of conscience that makes them go on the offensive.

    Did you hear about the fear voiced in 2008 by certain racists — that if Obama won, black people would be pushing them off the sidewalks as they walked by them? It sounds singularly bizarre and paranoid, until you consider that in the days of slavery and then Jim Crow, “insufficient” deference to a white person included not stepping off the sidewalk when they passed you.

    Parliamentary immunity?

    Quite possibly. More likely has to do with a lack of political will to prosecute cockfighting cases. The South is piss-poor on animal welfare. (So is the West, outside of certain progressive enclaves.)

    The belief that orders are to be followed unquestioningly is an evil ideology that lots of people have identified with.

    What R&H are saying is that the people in question were not following orders unquestioningly. They were taking the initiative to be evil. The results may be the same, but the social strategies for mitigating this phenomenon will be different.

    Lizdamnit: Thanks! :) I’ve heard it said that misogyny is rooted in the need to differentiate oneself from one’s mother, who more than likely did most of one’s raising. (Would truly equal childraising offset this?) Others correlate it with the rise of agriculture, because the male muscle required for ancient plowing meant that men were now supplying nearly all the calories for the community; women’s gathering efforts became superfluous.

    Personally, I think it persists because it suits the needs of the men who run society. We know that power and wealth correlate with assholery, and that sociopathic behavior is good for your career. The elites lack empathy (and many of them sexualize that lack), and of course they realize how handy a tool bigotry is to keep one’s “inferiors” divided.

  139. dianne says

    @166: If I read the bill correctly, it would allow abortion in the case of an incomplete abortion where the fetus was dead (though, apparently, not if the fetus is alive, even if its death is inevitable.) However, it is so ambiguous that my guess is that the average doctor and/or hospital counsel reading it will decide that they’d best not perform an abortion in 99% of potential scenarios because they MIGHT be charged with violating the law and FSM knows what kind of trouble they’d get into.

  140. says

    /looks up

    That’s what I get for not refreshing the page before commenting.

    Ing, #132: The Democrats and the Republicans are paid by the same corporate masters, who are all too happy for there to be desperately poor surplus labor.

    Gregory, #133:

    I think we all know that feeling – the tight ball of disbelieving horror in your chest, the bubbling, volcanic rage at the stupidity and/or casual cruelty of a substantial proportion of your fellow human beings – yup, I’ve been there many a time.

    It actually takes a singularly awful event, like the Tiller murder, or a rapid volley of awful events, like the anti-choice assaults of just the last few weeks, to induce that in me. But, yes.

    There are days when I feel that the social inertia is so great that things will never really improve.

    I really have to hand it to actual activists who manage to stay the course without burning out. There are days I don’t have the morale to sign every online petition or make a necessary call to my congresscritters (who will hopefully be GONE in November).

    Skatje, do you have any fucking empathy or appreciation for context whatsoever, or have you been taking lessons from Chas?

    Kylehughart, glad to see that women’s lives are just pawns in a game of “Gotcha!” to you, too. Go fuck yourself with a leprous porcupine marinated in urushiol.

    Lizdamnit:

    Fetuses are not cuddly and cute, especially in the early stages.

    The meat is tenderer, though. Kind of like veal, in my experience. If only someone figured out a way to substitute garlic and olive oil for amniotic fluid…

  141. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    If only someone figured out a way to substitute garlic and olive oil for amniotic fluid…

    Don’t bother trying to swap it out, just thicken with corn starch. Be sure to deglaze the pan to get all the gribbly bits into the sauce. That’s where the flavor is.

  142. says

    What R&H are saying is that the people in question were not following orders unquestioningly. They were taking the initiative to be evil. The results may be the same, but the social strategies for mitigating this phenomenon will be different.

    One could make the argument that they were obeying a standing or unspoken order. But I don’t think it makes too much of a difference at that point.

  143. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Ms Daisy Cutter:

    The meat is tenderer, though.

    Because there’s so little meat, preparing pan-seared fetus just isn’t worth my time anymore.

    There’s some decent frozen entrees, though– I buy mine directly from my local Abortionplex™.

  144. says

    I think “spontaneous abortion” is the medical term for what we call “miscarriage”. IN other words, the expelling of a fetus from the womb. It seems to me if there was a spontaneous abortion, then there would be no need for a therapeutic abortion.
    Therefore, it looks to me like this wording does not, in fact, allow for the removal of a dead fetus from a woman’s uterus, unless it is expelled by the body without external intervention.
    Bloody awful.

    I have been struggling all day to write a blog post on this topic with absolutely no progress made; how the hell do people manage to clear the red and blue haze of anger and despair enough to write about what is happening to women? I am so glad for FTBers and others who write about theseissues, but I feel the urgency that Josh referred to above – we need to speak up and speak up loudly and insistently!

    But OMFSM, does anyone else feel as paralyzed as I do right now?

    BTW Gregory Greenwood – I hope you are right when you say you think “we have them on the run”!

  145. says

    I should have realized that you were being rhetorical, but a n00b could have read you as asking in earnest. FSM knows I’ve seen enough people genuinely wonder why the Democrats aren’t standing up for us.

    Though it might be more than just corporate interests. The White Man Who Married And Had Kids managed to get the liberal media and Obama to do his work for him. There’s some different response mechanism in play.

  146. says

    Ms. Daisy #169 Oops, I should have refreshed before posting – you had already said what I was thinking. Burnout. That is it…you can only read/listen to this garbage for so long and then you just have to curl up in a ball and weep.

    Or not. Or fucking NOT!

  147. Pteryxx says

    niftyatheist: Yes, definitely. This is the first day I’ve been commenting after being curled up in a ball of OMFSMWTF for a while after the WBC thread.

  148. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Ms Daisy Cutter:

    Audley, it depends on the trimester. Wait late enough and you can get yourself an 8-, 9-, or even 12-pounder.

    Oh. I feel the younger, the better. I won’t eat anything past 12 weeks, but it’s a pain in the ass to prepare that many fetuses for a simple dinner for two.

    Yes, I am a fetus recipe snob.

    You have a local Abortionplex™? I had no idea they were franchising now. What kind of flair do the servers wear?

    The last time I was in for my monthly abortion*, they were all decked out for Mardi Gras– silly hats, beads, the whole nine. Some of the nurses were even going topless.

    The doctor even threw some green and gold beads at me after she was all done. It was so festive!

    *’Cos, you know, I’m just an irresponsible slut who just can’t keep her legs together! Whoopsie!

  149. Brownian says

    Chas you are free to go and stop reading if your bizarre obsession will allow it.

    Every time he posts, he reminds us that Pharyngula isn’t the place he once liked, was entertained by, and felt secure and comfortable.

    +1.

  150. says

    Well, Skatje, I think we can safely conclude that you’re able to read, but not to watch a youtube video.
    Funny, usually it’s the other way round.
    Because that’s what England talks about: The fact that he apparently doesn’t care enough for his lifestock to have a beneficial medical procedure performed on them and then thinks that human women should be treated the same and not have dead fetuses removed from their bodies.
    Now you don’t have to watch the video at all!

    So, yeah, the fetus with no kidneys, the fetus with no brain, they’re all staying in there. Just torture the women who are in almost all cases losing a wanted and loved child some more.

  151. FilthyHuman says

    @niftyatheist
    #177

    I think “spontaneous abortion” is the medical term for what we call “miscarriage”. IN other words, the expelling of a fetus from the womb. It seems to me if there was a spontaneous abortion, then there would be no need for a therapeutic abortion.
    Therefore, it looks to me like this wording does not, in fact, allow for the removal of a dead fetus from a woman’s uterus, unless it is expelled by the body without external intervention.
    Bloody awful.

    I would consider that as the legislature being idiotic and not understanding that “spontaneous abortion” has a specific meaning (namely, miscarriage). I believe that the phrasing is intended to prevent doctor from killing the fetus first before removing it (in short, the fetus has to be dead BEFORE the abortion operation).

    Given that… still one putrid bill.

  152. dianne says

    I think “spontaneous abortion” is the medical term for what we call “miscarriage”. IN other words, the expelling of a fetus from the womb. It seems to me if there was a spontaneous abortion, then there would be no need for a therapeutic abortion.

    To be fair, there are missed abortions (basically a spontaneous abortion where the fetus isn’t expelled even though contractions occur and the cervix dilates) and partial abortions (some bits come out, but there are still products of conception in the uterus, perhaps only bits of placenta), so there are situations where a spontaneous abortion has occurred (sort of) but a further procedure is needed to remove, well, dead tissue.

    However, I can just imagine how this would play out in real life: A woman comes in after she has had bleeding for 3 days. Her cervix is 8 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and half the placenta has abrupted and appears to be missing. The fetus is dead. The OB looks at her and says, “This is clearly a partial spontaneous abortion and she needs a D & C to remove the remaining products of conception. Yet if someone complains, I’ll have to try to explain to a jury of 12 Georgians why this is not an abortion and my continued livelihood and/or freedom will depend on their understanding that distinction.” Sure. S/he’ll be willing to perform the procedure. Right.

  153. lizdamnit says

    Last hurrah before diving back into work:

    Miss Daisy Cutter – you may be onto something with the “suits the needs of the powerful” idea. If one distills misogyny, homophobia, racism, etc. (As Pteryxx points out) the shared quality is a failure of empathy on the part of someone who, for whatever reason, finds themselves on the top of the heap.

    Pteryxx – what you said! it shifted my thinking a bit, especially the ultimate lack of contradiction between devaluing women/valuing Stepford Wives more – and it’s more a question of use than value.

    Either way, at this point, I’m still disgusted, still stunned. As I said before it’s the rhetoric that counts here, since so many people base their behavior on skillfully placed phrases and words. The silence in that video “spoke volumes” – I wonder how many people might be swayed by the image of livestock or the cockfighting dude, shoring up their minds against actual encounters with dissenting opinions and actual facts.

    And I’m all out of braised fetus jokes to join in the silliness subthread, so thus concludes my spiel :P

  154. dianne says

    So, yeah, the fetus with no kidneys, the fetus with no brain, they’re all staying in there. Just torture the women who are in almost all cases losing a wanted and loved child some more.

    This is why I simply wasn’t willing to get pregnant until I lived somewhere with liberal abortion laws. Because I didn’t want to get caught in a situation where I was carrying a doomed fetus or was going to die from a pregnancy and couldn’t do anything about it. If I had become pregnant, I would have aborted as soon as possible to avoid that fear, even after my partner and I decided that we would try for a baby. It’s just not worth the risk.

  155. says

    To be fair, there are missed abortions (basically a spontaneous abortion where the fetus isn’t expelled even though contractions occur and the cervix dilates) and partial abortions (some bits come out, but there are still products of conception in the uterus, perhaps only bits of placenta), so there are situations where a spontaneous abortion has occurred (sort of) but a further procedure is needed to remove, well, dead tissue.

    I hope they never ever get to hear the story of a friend of mine, who had a missed abortion, decided, with consent and under the care of her OB/Gyn, to wait until the dead tissue would be expulsed by her body by itself, which happened after some weeks, and who discovered some 2 months later that she was still pregnant with the undetected twin of the aborted fetus.

    This is why I simply wasn’t willing to get pregnant until I lived somewhere with liberal abortion laws. Because I didn’t want to get caught in a situation where I was carrying a doomed fetus or was going to die from a pregnancy and couldn’t do anything about it.

    You know, I live in a country with fucked-up abortion laws. I cannot legally obtain a first trimester abortion unless for rape or medical reasons. I can only get an illegal one and not be prosecuted for it. I could not have fertilized eggs frozen, only eggs and sperm at the moment before they merge.
    But still women who are in this heartbreaking situation to carry a fetus that is doomed already have access to specialized services and they are treated with care and compassion and not picketed and called “murderer” at the worst day of their life.

  156. dianne says

    I cannot legally obtain a first trimester abortion unless for rape or medical reasons. I can only get an illegal one and not be prosecuted for it.

    Doesn’t Germany also have a law requiring counseling designed to try to talk you out of the abortion before it’s allowed? I’ve always imagined that the character in Nina Hagen’s Unbeschreiblich Weiblich was talking to such a counselor.

  157. dianne says

    I hope they never ever get to hear the story of a friend of mine, who had a missed abortion, decided, with consent and under the care of her OB/Gyn, to wait until the dead tissue would be expulsed by her body by itself, which happened after some weeks, and who discovered some 2 months later that she was still pregnant with the undetected twin of the aborted fetus.

    When a twin pregnancy is detected and one twin dies, that is usually considered an indication for the D & X procedure most commonly referenced as a “partial birth abortion” because it has the highest chance of leaving the living twin in good health and with an intact placenta and amniotic sac. I’m glad things worked out for your friend, but the expulsion of the dead tissue could easily lead to the loss of the still living twin as well. It’s one of those things that depend on the situation and is best left to the patient and her doctor, not the legislature, to decide the best course of action.

  158. pipenta says

    The thing about sociopaths, narcissists and other cluster B’s is, sure, they think there is a “good” kind of woman and a “bad” kind of woman. And they might just value someone they think of as the good kind, until she is a minute too late in fluttering her eyelashes at him, or until she wears the wrong color blouse, or until whatever the hell else causes a blip in the short-circuited mess that is his behavioral program. And then that good woman is a bad woman and she is in trouble, because one way or another he’ll control and punish her. If she’s lucky, she’ll escape, if not…

    Don’t think it is any picnic to be the wife or daughter of someone like this. Even if this pig farmer says he values his female relatives, he does not. And pity most of all the female children of creeps like this. Because daddy can decide you are one of those “bad” women pretty early on, say when you are seven years old.

    And, interestingly enough, being the daughter of a man like that is a pretty good way to discover atheism at a very young age. Because when the avenging father in the house and the one in the heavens behave the exact some way, even a tot can figure out that they’re sickos worthy of neither love nor worship.

    What’s more, it’s no damn fun to be the son of a guy like this either. This is a loathsome man, plain and simple.

  159. kylehughart says

    Kylehughart, glad to see that women’s lives are just pawns in a game of “Gotcha!” to you, too.

    You’ve seen right through me.
    Quadriplegics are my bishops.

  160. carlie says

    The problem is that it doesn’t matter whether all of the legislators meant to prohibit removal of a dead rotting septic fetus (apart from England, who clearly did), the language they’re approving does exactly that. The intent doesn’t matter; the language of the bill itself does. This is just another in the hundreds of data points that legislators shouldn’t fucking make legislation that they don’t thoroughly understand. It makes me so mad – they have ONE JOB, to pass legislation. Just the one. So shouldn’t they do more than a half-assed job of it? If the language can be this heavily debated as to what it will do when it goes into effect, then it’s a shitty bill regardless of what it says. I personally think that anyone who writes or votes on a bill without adequate background study and knowledge ought to be removed from office for doing a crappy job.

  161. says

    Doesn’t Germany also have a law requiring counseling designed to try to talk you out of the abortion before it’s allowed?

    No, you’re totally wrong here: I have to go to somebody who talks me out of it so they can give me a certificate of being an irresponsible slut before I can have an illegal abortion without being prosecuted for it.

    I’m glad things worked out for your friend, but the expulsion of the dead tissue could easily lead to the loss of the still living twin as well. It’s one of those things that depend on the situation and is best left to the patient and her doctor, not the legislature, to decide the best course of action.

    That’s it: Not having a D&C was a decission between her and her doctor. Had she had it they’d have removed the twin and she’d have never known. Had the twin been expulsed as well, she’d never have known.
    I had a missed abortion as well. If there was a twin hiding in a corner I will never know and it is absolutely irrelevant.
    But it’s the logical next step for the forced birthers: Make her wait until things happen naturally because there could be a twin.
    And from that on, yeah. Remember that horrible fantastic short story that made it’s way round the web a few weeks ago?

  162. Brownian says

    And, interestingly enough, being the daughter of a man like that is a pretty good way to discover atheism at a very young age. Because when the avenging father in the house and the one in the heavens behave the exact some way, even a tot can figure out that they’re sickos worthy of neither love nor worship.

    What’s more, it’s no damn fun to be the son of a guy like this either. This is a loathsome man, plain and simple.

    I think we may be siblings.

  163. catnip67 says

    Such films never cause you to ask the question, “Could that be me?” (an easily answerable question, in my mind), nor do they ever ask its far more interesting sibling, “What would it take for that to be me?”

    I have often looked at those sorts of films & tried putting myself in the shoes of the “bad guy” to ask myself that very question. It is scary, and no doubt why hollywood does not portray the bad guys realistically, because I often could not answer satisfactorily. I can certainly remember joining in the group (failure to) think and going along with bad behaviour (in the days before I learned to think for myself).

    I have seen people beat their children unmercifully, I have known many women who, despite their pleading with the custody system and evidence that their previous partner was raping their child, have been forced to send the child back, because fathers have the ‘right’ to see their children and because the system was too overloaded to do a prompt exam to gather evidence of the rape. I could fill this comment box with incidents which make me want to retreat from humanity and live in a cave in the hills. I believe in the evil which can be a part of human nature–the vicious, overwhelming, uncaring tide of cruelty

    on a positive note, under Australian law, children are not seen as chattels that parents have “rights” over. In fact it is the other way around, where the child’s rights are protected without the parent’s “rights” considered. The term “custody” does not get used anymore, as this suggests ownership. That’s the ideal, & I’m sure there are cases where it doesn’t work so well. It does however, force parents to think more about how the children are affected, and encourages them to come to a compromise which focusses on the children’s best interest, thus leaving the courts more free to deal with cases like that described by mouthyb. {/digression}

    They have the egg whisker aimed at innocent people now,

    That rasied a smile.

    kylehughart says:

    Hitler was responsible for genocide, and was also a ghost. Those who disagree are missing the central point, and defending genocide.

    Ummm, What?

    This is why I simply wasn’t willing to get pregnant until I lived somewhere with liberal abortion laws. Because I didn’t want to get caught in a situation where I was carrying a doomed fetus or was going to die from a pregnancy and couldn’t do anything about it

    Come live in Victoria, the fundies are very much in retreat here & abortion laws are starting to approach what they should be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Australia

    But it’s the logical next step for the forced birthers: Make her wait until things happen naturally because there could be a twin

    You’re absolutely right. Allowing them an inch will lead them to taking your arm off. Arguing that it is about removing dead tissue is simply not enough. It must be that the woman can make an informed decision about her own body. Nothing else is sufficient, and nothing else should be part of the debate.

  164. dianne says

    I have to go to somebody who talks me out of it so they can give me a certificate of being an irresponsible slut before I can have an illegal abortion without being prosecuted for it.

    On the plus side, I think you can reach the Netherlands within a day by train from anywhere in Germany…of course, this only works if you’re over 18, have money…

  165. says

    Women have a right to medical care. Women have a right to privacy. Women have a right to abortion. Women have a right to freedom of religion. Woman have a civil right to insured birth control pills if insurance covers prescription drugs.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if one of the cost-saving measures for legislatures ran proposed bills through constitutional review and dropped those that ran counter to existing rights?

  166. says

    Since a woman’s health insurance claims go straight to an insurance company, discussing her medical conditions with the employer is a straight-up violation of the Heath Insurance Privacy Act. Ditto if the busybody isn’t even an employer but a school that you attend, as is the case for students at Georgetown University such as Sandra Fluke. Why do schools and corporations get religious freedom but not PEOPLE???? Am I missing something about your Constitution?

  167. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Markita:

    Am I missing something about your Constitution?

    Nope, but you are missing 150+ years of Supreme Court decisions granting corporations more and more rights (the latest being Citizens United, but trust me, this shit goes waaaaaay back).

  168. says

    Jaycee @57

    BTW, the O.T. rights of women are somewhere between dirt and farm animals, so maybe this is where it comes from. The 10th commandment, thy shall not cover your neighbor’s ox, ass, woman…all in the same list.

    Hey, wait a minute! That means the Ten Commandments aren’t addressed to women! Only men have to follow them. Besides, they don’t say anything about not castrating misogynistic legislators.

  169. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    I mean, hell, if corporations (through super PACs) have the right to completely finance entire campaigns, why shouldn’t they get “religious freedom”*?

    *Maybe my reading of the Constitution is a bit off, but I assumed that the First Amendment did not allow discrimination based on religion or the legal authority to shove your views down everyone else’s throat.

    (One has to wonder how these assholes would have reacted if it was (say) a Muslim organization that wanted to limit access to birth control for its non-married female employees.)

  170. catnip67 says

    And apparently you can covet your neighbour’s husband (but still do it covertly)

  171. says

    Santorum Frothy-feces winning two states is probably a good thing, in the long run. It doesn’t say anything good about the voters in those states but he’s probably the least electable candidate. Newt has a brain of sorts and Mitt looks OK as long as he keeps his mouth shot. Santorum is the kind of frothing idiocy that sends intelligent, humane voters, especially women, screaming into the Democratic camp.

  172. HidariMak says

    Before seeing England’s argument, I was for birth control and abortion. Now I find myself wishing it could be retroactive.

  173. says

    This bill makes “sense” because most late-term abortions are done when ultrasound examinations detect something like a fetus with no kidneys, is going to die shortly after birth but is sustained by the mother’s body until then. This is a way of stopping late-term abortions, because to some people they are all bad.

  174. says

    In the bad old days, which aren’t looking so bad now, you could learn to act like someone with severe depression so the hospital committee, which passed judgement on which women got their requested abortions without ever seeing or talking to them, would grant permission based on your doctor’s diagnosis of medical harm in continuing the pregnancy.

    Women who aren’t keeping close track could easily not realize they’re pregnant until “12 weeks” (i.e. 10-week-old fetus) and bump up against this deadline and the more runarounds and delays legislation adds the more it will happen. The real way to prevent late abortion is to perform early abortions for those who want them.

  175. says

    With more and more sensitive pregnancy tests, if you can afford them, you can find out as soon as you miss a period. “Your baby at 22 days (5 weeks pregnant)” is 3 mm long.

    Reasons for late pregnancy: acardius.

    Since the fertile period is about two weeks before the next period, women with regular periods may just start taking an over-the-counter morning-after pill about three days after estimated ovulation — what do you think?

  176. says

    Markita,

    I still worry… About some nasty October surprise or the something happens to Obama, and bam, Santorum is on course to win the Presidency… Though Romney would probably only be marginally better..

  177. says

    You’re right; there’s no provision in the Alabama law to save the woman’s life. You know, I really hope that thousands of women in Alabama gave notice at their apartments and jobs today, or put their houses up for sale, on the grounds that they’re leaving the state.

    What gives the motives of the lawmakers away is the occasional exception for rape. If the fertilized egg or fetus is a person, it wouldn’t matter whether the incubator enjoyed its conception. The exception for rape tells you it’s about punishing women who voluntarily have sex.

  178. w00dview says

    One has to wonder how these assholes would have reacted if it was (say) a Muslim organization that wanted to limit access to birth control for its non-married female employees.

    Publicly, screaming about Islamofascism and how it is all part of Obama’s plan to kill off poor whitey. Secretly, jealous they did not think of it first.

  179. says

    Catnip67:

    It is scary, and no doubt why hollywood does not portray the bad guys realistically, because I often could not answer satisfactorily

    Escapism and catharsis sell better than shades of moral gray and unanswered questions. Their therapeutic nature makes it hard to simply blame audiences for being intellectually lazy (though, of course, that’s a factor too).

    And apparently you can covet your neighbour’s husband (but still do it covertly)

    What about your neighbour’s husband’s ass? Especially while he’s shoveling snow or chopping firewood?

    HidariMak:

    Before seeing England’s argument, I was for birth control and abortion. Now I find myself wishing it could be retroactive.

    I’m all for this 186th-trimester abortion.

  180. catnip67 says

    What about your neighbour’s husband’s ass? Especially while he’s shoveling snow or chopping firewood?

    Knock yourself out! ;-)

  181. Pteryxx says

    I came across Denialism Blog’s coverage, which included this useful article on the health benefits of D&E when a fetus is dead:

    The risks of carrying a non-viable fetus are the higher complication rate of delivery versus dilation and extraction, as well as a very high risk to the mother of complications like disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) if the amniotic sac is ruptured and she is exposed to the dying tissue. For stillbirth or nonviable pregnancies, dilation and extraction is far safer and more effective with 24% of patients undergoing labor experiencing complications compared to 3% for D&E.

    Quote from Denialism: Source

    The article itself is paywalled but the abstract is here:

    Second-Trimester Abortion for Fetal Anomalies

    Obstetrics & Gynecology:
    April 2011 – Volume 117 – Issue 4 – pp 788-792
    doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820c3d26
    Original Research

    Second-Trimester Abortion for Fetal Anomalies or Fetal Death: Labor Induction Compared With Dilation and Evacuation

    Bryant, Amy G. MD; Grimes, David A. MD; Garrett, Joanne M. PhD; Stuart, Gretchen S. MD, MPHTM

  182. Azkyroth says

    But more than that, you clearly articulated what has been bugging me since forever, the downplaying of inhumane and downright abusive actions as the work of “a nut” or “lunatic”, as “insane” or “mad”.

    To say nothing of scapegoating people with actual psychiatric issues by association.

  183. KG says

    I still worry… About some nasty October surprise or the something happens to Obama, and bam, Santorum is on course to win the Presidency – pelamun

    It doesn’t even need an October surprise. Obama should be toast, given the state of the economy (even though this isn’t his fault and even though there is some apparent improvement) and a continuing unpopular war (which is his fault). We can’t assume the Rethugs will continue campaigning for his re-election as enthusiastically as they have been: once they have a candidate, they will probably unite behind him to eject Obama.

  184. says

    On the plus side, I think you can reach the Netherlands within a day by train from anywhere in Germany… Of course, this only works if you’re over 18, have money…

    Which is exactly what happened before abortion was made “still illegal but not punished”.
    This is the cover of the German news magazine STern in which 374 women declared that they had had an illegal abortion.
    Before it was “not legalized”, many doctors would do abortions secretly or make ample use of the 3rd exception provided by law: social indication. Due to our history there is no exception made for malformation of the fetus. The term “unwertes Leben” sticks too hard. So all abortions that are done because of diseases and malformations are allowed because to carry on the pregnancy would be an undue burden on the woman.

    Nowadays, the reproductive healthcare tourism still goes to the Netherland for the exact opposite reason: In Germany we’re not only not able to make good decissions when not to have a child, we also can’t make good decissions when to have a child if we don’t have a man to help us with this. So, sperm donations for single women where the man is officially out of the picture are not possible. If people decide to go for it, he’s at risk for having to pay child support, she’s at risk of him insisting on his paternal status.
    And our legislators also think it’s much better to have late term abortions than embryotic testing after IVF (that is about to change, but only for consitions that would be present at birth. So, if you’re a carrier of Chorea Huntington you still better just don’t have any children at all)

  185. Azkyroth says

    I didn’t expect people to get pissy at me for trying to correct misinformation.

    Except, see, you didn’t just correct one particular point of misinformation. You also, by bringing it up, implicitly asserted that the minor point of legal detail in question is comparably important to the fact that one of the bill’s sponsors(?) fucking came out and compared women to fucking livestock.

  186. Azkyroth says

    If one distills misogyny, homophobia, racism, etc. (As Pteryxx points out) the shared quality is a failure of empathy on the part of someone who, for whatever reason, finds themselves on the top of the heap.

    But it’s also found in people who aren’t particularly close to the top of the heap (IE, white, male, able, religious, and neurotypical privilege, but fuck-all for class, education, and wealth privilege). Of course, they usually imagine they’re on top, or would be if the Other weren’t in their way…

  187. dianne says

    @221: Charming. Is there any movement to rationalize the laws? Or, for that matter, to make them worse? I don’t see so much about Abtreibung on my occasional reading of Der Spiegel, and that mostly about the controversy in the US, so I’m guessing that it’s not a major active issue in Germany, but might just be missing it.

    Can you get pre-conception testing? That is, if you go to a doctor and say, “I’m thinking of starting a family but am concerned because my second cousin had Huntington’s (or whatever) and want to know if I’m a carrier” will they test you or give you a lecture on the beauty of life and importance of not being prejudiced against those with handicaps?

  188. dobbshead says

    dumbass uneducated farmers

    I don’t think his being a farmer has anything to do with why he shouldn’t be in office. We have dumbass uneducated lawyers and dumbass uneducated businesspeople in government proposing the same dumbass laws.

  189. says

    dianne,

    this is what some people describe as consensus sauce. Certain issueshave been compromised about by the left and the right, and trying to change things will just be rocking the boat. Of course the minorities affected might not be happy about this, but who cares…

    – no gay marriage but a civil union
    – keep abortion illegal but not prosecutable
    – accept widespread secularisation of society, but let the churches retain their privileges

    and recently (as many segments of the Left now seem to gravitate towards this, unlike previously)

    – expect immigrants to assimilate but don’t provide any sufficient funding for their education needs.

  190. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I don’t think his being a farmer has anything to do with why he shouldn’t be in office. We have dumbass uneducated lawyers and dumbass uneducated businesspeople in government proposing the same dumbass laws.

    Hell, we have dumbass educated lawyers and dumbass educated business people in government proposing the same dumbass laws.

  191. says

    nigel, yeah only the motivations are different.

    The right is just against foreigners. The left is worried about jobs for union workers.

    Even the abolition of the death penalty was driven by different sets of motives (though this is a historical discussion no longer relevant today). The right did not want a repetition of the “Nuremberg victor’s justice” and the left wanted to abolish it out of humanitarian concerns.

    You could call it “Grand Coalition Syndrome”. When the two big parties come together, minorities’ rights are often crushed in the middle.

  192. says

    Didn’t want to read through 230 comments to see if anyone else corrected this, but…

    “…cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets — the mares and sows just have to buck up and deliver it.”

    Female cattle = cows. Possibly a heifer, if it’s her first pregnancy. Female horses = mares.

  193. says

    This bill makes “sense” because most late-term abortions are done when ultrasound examinations detect something like a fetus with no kidneys, is going to die shortly after birth but is sustained by the mother’s body until then. This is a way of stopping late-term abortions, because to some people they are all bad.

    Which is why I honestly what Skatje and others to answer whether they are ok or support these sorts of laws to limit abortion?

  194. David Marjanović says

    Did you hear about the fear voiced in 2008 by certain racists — that if Obama won, black people would be pushing them off the sidewalks as they walked by them?

    No, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least, and didn’t even before I read your next sentence (about the historical background which I didn’t know).

    I’ve heard it said that misogyny is rooted in the need to differentiate oneself from one’s mother, who more than likely did most of one’s raising.

    ~:-| WTF. I dislike plenty of things about my mother, who, yes, did most of my raising, but I never so much as got the idea that women in general, you know, the Great Female Monolith®, might be like that.

    (…though… everything I dislike about her is either orthogonal to or the direct opposite of any misogynist prejudice I’ve ever encountered.)

    No, I think misogyny is like all other prejudices about groups: a result of a deeply stupid inability to perceive and imagine people as individuals. It’s exactly like how the Nazis were fond of using “the German”, “the enemy”, “the Russian” and “the Jew” in the singular, meaning not merely “all of them”, but “The Monolith®”.

    One could make the argument that they were obeying a standing or unspoken order.

    The concept of “preemptive/anticipated obedience” (vorauseilender Gehorsam).

    I would consider that as the legislature being idiotic and not understanding that “spontaneous abortion” has a specific meaning (namely, miscarriage).

    I agree.

    Which means that people make a law about an issue they don’t fucking understand. That and the truth of comments 185 and 193 are enough to give privileged little me some of the rage so many others have mentioned.

    And, interestingly enough, being the daughter of a man like that is a pretty good way to discover atheism at a very young age. Because when the avenging father in the house and the one in the heavens behave the exact some way, even a tot can figure out that they’re sickos worthy of neither love nor worship.

    …How did you get from this dystheism to atheism, then?

    on a positive note, under Australian law, children are not seen as chattels that parents have “rights” over. In fact it is the other way around, where the child’s rights are protected without the parent’s “rights” considered.

    Over here, this goes so far that there are restrictions on what names parents can give to their children.

    What gives the motives of the lawmakers away is the occasional exception for rape. If the fertilized egg or fetus is a person, it wouldn’t matter whether the incubator enjoyed its conception. The exception for rape tells you it’s about punishing women who voluntarily have sex.

    QFT.

    You could call it “Grand Coalition Syndrome”.

    Austria has that in spades. Case in point: like in Germany, abortion is technically illegal before the end of the 3rd month, but available in specialized clinics anyway, because it’s not prosecuted; after the 3rd month, unlike in Germany, there is an exception for malformation/disease which isn’t even defined; abortion is not covered by health insurance (I suppose it is when there are medical reasons, but I don’t know); ever since this was instituted by a Social Democratic-only government in the 1970s during a loud, apparently exhausting discussion, extremely few people have dared rock the boat. On very rare occasions, a (Catholic) bishop will say something like “well, actually, that’s not good”; on similarly rare occasions, the Young Social Democrats and/or the party’s students organization will mention in their campaigns that they want health insurance to cover abortion; that’s it. The right tries to be happy because abortion is technically illegal and not covered by health insurance, the left tries to be happy (and, I think, mostly is) because it’s available.

    This consensus is called Fristenlösung, “term solution”.

  195. David Marjanović says

    Female horses = mares.

    …Yeah. I charitably assumed that was just an attempt to say “and the horses, too” in the middle of a badly prepared emotional speech.

  196. says

    Dianne
    Well, it’s mostly not an issue.
    Since you can have an abortion, most people who are pro choice aren’t willing to put in the effort to change the law.
    The last two instances where the whole complex came up was when an asshole conservative tried to sharpen his “pro-life” profile by going after women with late term abortions by adding red-tape. It wouldn’t have reduced the number of abortions by 1 since those women don’t make that decission in a hurry or out of a whim, but would have added red tape, mandatory waiting periods and shit on the shoulders of women who are devastated already.
    The other time was the discussion about preimplantation diagnoistics which started when some doctors said: fuck that shit, we’re going to help those couples, report ourselves and force them to find a solution.
    Yes, you can sure get testing, but if you have a 25% chance of damning your child with mucoviscidosis or Huntington’s, you can just chose not to have kids or go abroad.

  197. catnip67 says

    Hell, we have dumbass educated lawyers and dumbass educated business people in government proposing the same dumbass laws.

    Education never made a wise person from a fool (something about silk purses out of sows’ ears?)

    Over here, this goes so far that there are restrictions on what names parents can give to their children.

    I’m not sure how far it goes over there, but here, there is the restriction that the child must not be given a name which is patently ridiculous or offensive. I seem to remember the form saying something along the lines of the registrar of births deaths & marriages reserving the right to reject names that didn’t conform to these requirements. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the French restrict the names to (essentially) a list of approved names. I think that would not go down so well here because in the 18th-19th century, the British restricted the names allowed to be used in Ireland, in an attempt to supress the Gaelic culture. Given the strong Irish influence here, such restriction would be seen as over paternalistic.
    It’s good to know that other jurisdictions also focus on children’s rights.

    The right tries to be happy because abortion is technically illegal and not covered by health insurance, the left tries to be happy (and, I think, mostly is) because it’s available.

    I’d be interested to know how the community at large views the issue. In 2008 the then Premier of Victoria, Australia opened up the issue by saying something like: The laws are out of step with community values & the parliament proceeded to change them (for the better).

  198. Azkyroth says

    I’m not sure how far it goes over there, but here, there is the restriction that the child must not be given a name which is patently ridiculous or offensive. I seem to remember the form saying something along the lines of the registrar of births deaths & marriages reserving the right to reject names that didn’t conform to these requirements.

    Having been informed of the existence of a former high school classmate of a current college classmate with the given name of “Gangster” this seems like a wonderful idea. >.>

  199. says

    The term ‘abortion’ shall not include the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device employed (…) to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion.

    I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that’s just their way of closing a perceived loophole, to prevent some sort of ‘two-stage abortion’ — first killing the fetus but leaving it in, then removing it later. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be a realistic procedure, it just has to be realistic in the eyes of those whoever spat out this bill.
    ====

    (…) in a New York Times/CBS News poll last month, the president finished ahead of Mr. Romney among all women by 57 percent to 37 percent. He held much the same advantage over Mr. Santorum.

    Still, some women vote for Santorum.
    ====
    And I’d Q Josh FFT if it hadn’t been done already, so I just want to say to Ogvorbis that there’s no need for apologizing after writing an insightful comment. And don’t you dare apologize for apologizing!

  200. Skatje Myers says

    I guess I’m kinda late responding to people now. I want to say that I did not miss the point about comparing women to cattle, and I did not miss the point about women not being able to abort fetuses that have severe deformities. I would’ve said the exact same thing I did even if I thought a fetus is the equivalent of a tumour. Here’s the thing: I give zero fucks about participating in these sorts of circlejerks.

    Yes, I could post exactly what I thought when I heard this idiot politician relating women to farm animals, and I could describe my horror at the thought of women in Georgia who will have to carry a fetus that they know won’t survive, but I don’t see the point. I don’t need to be patted on the back for rubbing two brain cells together. I don’t care to pat anyone else on the back for doing so either.

    Unfortunately, I overlooked the fact that to contribute something about the original post besides the same shit being repeated over and over, I had to prove that I’m on your side on other points. Anything other than jerking off the feminist pro-choice cock next to me is “minimising” the severity of the things that I didn’t bother to talk about, or even defending them. I shouldn’t have to post my liberal credentials just to point out and cite factual inaccuracies, but I guess I do here, otherwise people start making creative assumptions about my beliefs. Meh.

  201. says

    @Skatje

    Yes, I could post exactly what I thought when I heard this idiot politician relating women to farm animals, and I could describe my horror at the thought of women in Georgia who will have to carry a fetus that they know won’t survive, but I don’t see the point. I don’t need to be patted on the back for rubbing two brain cells together. I don’t care to pat anyone else on the back for doing so either.

    Several things

    a) I’m terribly sorry that nothing but uncritical praise for your correction is acceptable to you. As bad as a ‘circle jerk’ is I know it’s far worse to be lonelyly masturbating in the corner

    b) I wanted to know your thoughts on the bill because I honestly do not know what a pro-choice non-religious person would think. If you think that minimizing abortions should be done with state intervention and if such measures are appropriate. I honestly wanted to know what your response is to “your side” using such short sighted or callous tactics. And frankly I got my response. Despite your assertions that such a bill is horrible and all you say this like this and insult people who are upset. Sorry but that makes it look like you really don’t give two shits. Your behavior that it was important enough to correct a point people weren’t focusing on, which yes

    c) IMO you got a very very kind response, probably in no small part due to familial relation. I feel you are unfairly taking advantage of that with the amount of vitriol and condescending. You may try to remember that some people here have gone through rough situations and care, or can imagine horrible situations like above and might take it seriously. Your frank disdain for this is not appreciated. You want us to appreciate your contribution without criticism or response but do not give the same respect to either one’s emotions or rational argument.

  202. Skatje Myers says

    I’m terribly sorry that nothing but uncritical praise for your correction is acceptable to you.

    I’m fine with criticism — which is why I bothered to ask if I was missing something, because I’m always a little doubtful of myself when I find evidence that a very widely-reported fact is wrong. I don’t want praise, either. I would be completely content with no one remarking about my comment, but for it to simply be somewhere on this page — I really dislike incorrect information being left uncommented upon, though accordingly would expect others to do the same to me.

    I wanted to know your thoughts on the bill because I honestly do not know what a pro-choice non-religious person would think. If you think that minimizing abortions should be done with state intervention and if such measures are appropriate.

    I didn’t come here to discuss my views on abortion, and it irritates me that people insist on bringing it up when it’s irrelevant to what I have said. I appreciate your civility in asking, though, so, in brief: I don’t approve of this bill. Preventing a woman from aborting a fetus that either will not survive, or will only be capable of living a very miserable, sickly life, is shitty and cruel and unacceptable. The number one way the state should minimise abortions is through providing free and easily accessible contraception and proper sex education — outlawing abortion itself is second priority to that and should be done in appropriate scale to it, for the sake of preventing significant numbers of illegal abortions that jeopardise the health and safety of women.

    Your behavior that it was important enough to correct a point people weren’t focusing on, which yes

    I don’t agree that it’s only worth correcting points people are focusing on. Would it not be worth pointing out if he had incorrectly reported what state this is happening in? No one has been focusing on the fact that this is in Georgia, but it would seem wrong to let the misinformation go perpetuating itself.

    You may try to remember that some people here have gone through rough situations and care, or can imagine horrible situations like above and might take it seriously. Your frank disdain for this is not appreciated. You want us to appreciate your contribution without criticism or response but do not give the same respect to either one’s emotions or rational argument.

    Stating the fact that this bill does allow for abortion/removal in a couple circumstances that the author claimed it does not does not mean I do not respect those who have had to deal with abortion in other circumstances that this bill affects. It should not minimise anything more than if I had instead said “Hey, you made a typo, this was in Mississippi, not Georgia. See link here.”

    Other people unjustifiably decided to extrapolate my correction into meaning that I thought it was the only thing of note in this bill. So yes, after that point, I will get cranky and disrespectful. Not at people for having gone through rough situations, and not at people for having different views on abortion than me, but for setting up a strawman in my name.

  203. janine says

    Skatje, you have a history on this blog about your anti-abortion view and many of us remember it. And when you come here to make a statement on the issue, your past while color how many of us will interpret your statements.

    Your first comment on this thread, you said nothing about what you think of this bill. Forgive me for thinking that you looked like you are willing to overlook the very insulting tone of Terry England; it is all to common to see some atheists overlook the religious underpinning of a wackaloon just because is pushing an agenda that the atheist supports. For example, it looks likes the actions of a member of GOProud.

    And one more thing, you moaned about people getting pissy. Some of us remember our past encounters with you, And some of us have read what you had to say about us in Reddit and other places.

  204. consciousness razor says

    The number one way the state should minimise abortions is through providing free and easily accessible contraception and proper sex education — outlawing abortion itself is second priority to that and should be done in appropriate scale to it, for the sake of preventing significant numbers of illegal abortions that jeopardise the health and safety of women.

    Why even consider your second priority, when you don’t justify it? Women should get abortions, if that’s what they or their doctors think is best. The state shouldn’t be involved in minimizing them, as if it were some kind of suspicious criminal activity. It should be providing healthcare, not minimizing it. If you or the state doesn’t understand that abortion is healthcare not murdering babies, it’s your own damn fault. What would really be a fucking crime is if the state took that healthcare away because of people’s religious nonsense.

  205. julian says

    I could describe my horror at the thought of women in Georgia who will have to carry a fetus that they know won’t survive, but I don’t see the point.

    Nah, to easy.

    Would it not be worth pointing out if he had incorrectly reported what state this is happening in?

    To be honest who’s doing the reporting, their history and where do carry a lot of weight especially in the form of implications.

    For example, Bill O’Reilly commenting on, say, Sandra Fluke getting some aspect of hormonal birth control wrong. It may be a small segment but it would be almost impossible to divorce it from a sustained attack on her and her character, not to mention the attempts to discredit her position that contraceptives should be covered by insurance.

    Naturally, with this backdrop in mind, you’d see a ‘Yeah, and? What’s got to do with anything?’ from feminists and those following the discussion. Bill O’Reilly may be ‘right’ but ultimately it would be seen (and in all likelihood by taken by both parties) as an attempt to diminish her credibility and, by extension, the rightness of her position.

    It’s generally a bad idea to divorce statements from their political implications so you’re unlikely to ever be well received when entering into a discussion where others have reason to be suspicious of your motivations. Which is why neutrality is so important.

    Best way to signal neutrality? Write comprehensively and make sure all bases of the issue/controversy are covered. It may be a lot to ask for but it’s no more inconvenient than defending yourself across multiple comments.

  206. KG says

    Skatje Myers@39,

    Yeah. It’s all about Skatje Myers and how badly she’s been treated. That’s what’s really important here.

  207. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    So from what I can see, and correct me if I’m interpreting this wrong, ESL and all that, is:

    Skatje would be fine with the outlaw of abortion as long as it’s done to an appropriate scale with proper sex ed and lots of birth control?

    What, pray tell, would an appropriate scale be when the woman still gets pregnant DESPITE these noble interventions (that I do agree with)? In the world I live, where I have 3 kids and have been on hormonal birth control religiously (lol) since I was 20 and only one sexual partner EVAR and YET still needed 2 abortions for unexpected pregnancies, THAT DOES FUCKING HAPPEN.

    Because here I was, thinking that a woman deciding who the fuck gets to use her body is the ONLY “appropriate” scale, regardless of what you scale it against.

  208. John Morales says

    Skatje:

    The number one way the state should minimise abortions is through providing free and easily accessible contraception and proper sex education — outlawing abortion itself is second priority to that and should be done in appropriate scale to it, for the sake of preventing significant numbers of illegal abortions that jeopardise the health and safety of women.

    So, your first priority is to support contraception so as to prevent abortion, and your second is to outlaw abortion, but only when appropriate — by which you apparently mean outlaw only some abortion — so that it will prevent illegal abortions that jeopardise the health and safety of women.

    (You seem either very confused or equivocal; neither does you credit given your pontifications)

  209. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    (Hit post too soon. Append to previous comment as needed.)

    … It should be clear that the difference between your view, Skatje, and the way this Republican refers to women and the extremism of the bill is just a matter of difference of degree and not principle.

    So I find it really, really hilarious how you refuse to discuss the underlying fundamental issue (i.e. women’s right to unimpeded access safe abortions).

    It’s kind of like trying to have a discussion with someone who never had Biology, not even in high school, not at all, about the more theoretical aspects of evolution, say, how the evolution of something as complex as the eye may/may not be probable, and them saying ” I don’t want to talk about DNA and genes and that sort of sciency things”.

  210. mikmik says

    ℑ 𝔥𝔞𝔳𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔱𝔶𝔭𝔢, 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔫 𝔰𝔢𝔩𝔢𝔠𝔱, 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔫 𝔪𝔬𝔫𝔨𝔢𝔶 𝔠𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔪𝔞𝔯𝔨 𝔉𝔯𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔲𝔯

    Yes, I see. He said, “Let there be 𝔉𝔯𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔲𝔯 , and He saw it, and it was 𝔤𝔲𝔡 .”

  211. nicolemurray says

    You, too, PZ? (actually I’m not really that surprised).

    The bill, if you actually read it, and how it refers to GA abortion laws currently on the books, does NOT force a woman to carry around a dead fetus. The ACTUAL LAW SAYS, not what you THINK it says, that abortion does NOT mean removing “a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous abortion.” Therefor, there is no such thing as an illegal/criminal abortion when the fetus has died.

    The point of this bill is to increase the instances where a supposedly viable fetus could survive to personhood. The problems with that are that it does not take into consideration the psychological effects on the mother, the logistics of taking care of an unwanted baby, etc. The problems with the bill are NOT about carrying a fucking dead fetus.

    England was using the language of farm animals because, get this, he’s a farmer, and was making the point that he simply does not like to see dead babies, of the animal OR people kind. It’s kind of a “my best friend is black” argument, but he absolutely does NOT state anything close to comparing women and how they breed, to cattle. Where do you come up with this stuff?

    I have been consistently dumbfounded and disappointed at the lack of research and journalistic rigor by those I consider on my side of the debate. I would like to say that I’m no longer on that side, because I actually look at the facts and don’t make wild claims about made-up rhetoric. Is it so much to ask that you do the same, PZ?

  212. nicolemurray says

    @carlie
    The language of the bill does no such thing. The legal definition of abortion specifically does NOT apply to removing dead tissue of a stillborn so that a physician can remove the tissue WITHOUT having to worry about being accused of performing an abortion, legal or otherwise. It’s simply not an abortion to remove a dead fetus.

    The new bill does not change the definition of abortion, either. So really, you’re arguing that the current laws would force a woman to carry a dead fetus. And that doesn’t happen because removing a dead fetus is a fine and legal medical procedure in GA.