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14 October 2012

Comments

MikeL

Maybe the convicted murderer Scott Peterson has a valid reason, according to the Pro-Choice crowd, for his second degree murder conviction to be overturned. Scott was convicted of 2nd degree murder for the death of the fetus known as Conner.

George Rebane

MikeL 653am - Valid point. Our legal system is badly broken along many dimensions. The conviction of people guilty of murdering a fetus in one case makes no impact on the pro-abortion crowd that promotes it wholesale across the land. Their logic is fractured to the core, which damage is further visible when they argue volitional abortion on the basis of such things 'woman's right to healthcare', and a 'woman's right to choose' (bringing liberty into the question). If there are two bodies there, then she has only the right to her own as long as it does not damage the other. Is that not the way we interpret most other 'rights'?

billy T

I won't discuss the legal issues, nor the clinically, philosophically, nor religious issues. What I wish to touch one is the important physiological issues and the damage many women feel post-abortion on their moral fiber.

In my youth I paid for two abortions with two different girls. Young ladies if you prefer. Ran into one 30 years later. Within minutes of small chat and catching up, the abortion came up. She told me of years of therapy and how it affected her life, her relationships. It seemed like the thing to do at the time, but she (we) never foresaw the long term regret and mental anguish. The other young lady was the same story. If you ever received a phone call in the middle of the night with a vaguely remembered voice crying hysterically into the phone "we killed our baby, our beautiful baby" years later, then you catch my drift.

As I mentioned before, the word fetus is Latin which translated is Unborn Child. Can't think of any other issue or argument where the English word has been reverted back to Latin. Takes the regret and moral implications out of the equation I suppose. BTW, I have been with ladies that have had miscarriages and one tubal pregnancy. There were no long term haunting soul wrenching effects afterwards and the topic never came up. Just my experiences.

Ryan Mount

I appreciate you trying to elevate the discussion to more abstract plains, but this is clearly an issue that demands some honest and specific prescriptions.

So, So before we can discuss your exit question, we need to get down in the weeds: what is your specific policy prescription George*? That's where all the acrimony comes from. It's a fair question to ask, I'm thinking.

There is a single proposition one might take away from your post above (please clarify if I'm incorrect):

1) The government should not subsidize nor outright fund abortions (even that seems unspecific). I'm assuming, irrespective of your moral convictions, that you would have little or no objections for private funding, private insurance for example.

Anything beyond that would be putting words in your mouth.


* very specifics like: Never? When is an abortion acceptable if at all? If they baby is grossly malformed? No heartbeat? Within the first trimester? Rape? If the baby not male? What? Whimsically on-demand?

Todd Juvinall

The American people have moved over the 50% mark on the issue. They now support life over death. Romney and Ryan both are in the camp of life and their exceptions reflect the majority and the democrats are considered the Kevorkians of infanticide now. Ghouls Frankenstein would shudder at.

It does boggle the mind on a mos parts of the issue, moral, ethical, legal etc. In California, a women can either kill the baby or keep it. If she is poor and wants to keep it most of the cost is born by the taxpayers for the childs birth and life's support. The husband or impregnator has no legal right to interfere except that he will be required to pay support. If the mother kills the fetus, the father or impregnator does not have any say in that as well as the parents if the mther is under 18. The world is upside down.

Ryan Mount

> They now support life over death.

Specifics please, other wise it's just empty rhetoric. At conception? 48.3 hours after sex? 9 weeks? If you have private insurance? A State's issue? details. details. details.

Again, I would highly recommend that the GOP stay away from this issue as if was nuclear waste. If you want to lose the election, please, keep bringing it to the front.

And just when the GOP was gaining traction with the independents and pulling in front of Obama. Alexrod and company are begging that the GOP raises this issue.

Steven Frisch

6,000,000 of 38,000,000 Californians live below the poverty level. 1,480,000 Californians receive welfare payments, down from 2.670,000 in 1995. Of those 1.48 million 1.143 million are children.

Consequently Todd's comment, "If she is poor and wants to keep it most of the cost is born by the taxpayers for the childs birth and life's support." is total bullshyte. 76% of poor people struggle to raise their children with little or no help from the government.

Yes, the world is upside down. Those whose code calls for them to care for the sick, the poor and the indigent, wrap their philosophy of leaving them out in the cold in the shroud of morality.

George Rebane

RyanM 1052am - I here try to communicate the notion that none of the questions that surround abortion can be reasonably discussed without first settling the matter of how many bodies are considered in the conversation. All of the subsequent issues of 'heartbeat', 'first trimester', 'a woman's rights',... become relevant only after we decide whether we are talking about two human beings, or just one with an inconvenient growth. Or is it an inconvenient growth that somewhere along the way becomes a human being? Social policies follow those determinations, with questions of who pays for what coming in last.

I submit this form of inquiry because all of the others have not worked for the simple reason that they start too high up in the causal chain that gets embedded into the various logics that people then apply to the problem, from which they finally derive 'prescriptions'.

BTW, anyone who thinks it is the Republicans who first wave the 'right to life' flag is grossly mistaken. The argument always starts with the liberals demanding a 'woman's right to choose' that they then highlight the religionists' troglodyte mentality and go on to the claim of the Republicans' blanket denial of healthcare for women.

Conservatives eschew the topic for the reason that I have here raised it. As I've made plain in RR, liberals don't argue social policy from first principles, but take seemingly arbitrary "issues activist" positions. Were they to define first principles, their game would be up in these United States. Conservatives' fetish for first principles force them to answer questions like I have posed here and elsewhere before diving into a subsequent social policy that serves.

Todd Juvinall

I see the Frisch still has trouble understanding other people points. He seems to think his analysis of the "numbers" somehow backs up his ludicrous point. 76% of black children are born out of wedlock. I suppose the Frisch sends those poor mothers aged 14 up a personal check to get by? Oops, maybe the taxpayers do. Frisch is so full of it his eyes are turning brown. He does not address any other points so I would say he is unable to grasp the logic.

Also, he uses the typical liberal monotonous point of if a conservative even asks a question of the issue, he must be antiwhatever, so once again the Frisch is out of his league. Sorry to smack down your sorry butt Frisch, but won't be the last time.

Todd Juvinall

Ryan, why do you think the issue is nuclear for anyone who believes in life over death for a child?

Ryan Mount

First off, please pardon my absence. I was up at the Columbia School House this afternoon participating in the Autumn Shindig. Lots of nice people (Doug, where were you?). I think everyone was stoned to the bejesus. Surprised? I hope not. I did get a chance to try out my pitching arm on the dunk booth and I fed my boy some delicious, yet oddly expensive Tamales. My girl wanted a hot dog.

Anyhow, before I begin, I want to make it unequivocally clear that I think abortion is the last resort and the worst form of birth control on planet earth. I believe that is not an unreasonable position.

George, as I mentioned above I wanted to to thank you for attempting to take a more abstract (that's not a bad thing) route here. And I appreciate and understand your intent here. My point is that it will always come down to a policy issue with specific, for lack of a better term, rules. Of course such judgements will be fraught with argument. For me, as an adopted son of two loving parents, it's an easy equation: if the fetus can survive outside the woman's body, then I'm pretty much against it.

Todd, I want to acknowledge in good faith your misgivings about abortion. I just want want to hear the specifics. And by specifics, I literally mean time, place and manner considerations around an abortion. Think of it as the same restrictions we have around the 1st Amendment.

Regarding it as a political lever, I think almost every reasonable person regards abortion as something that should not be considered casually. Whether it involves the State or not, is a matter of Law. The 10th Amendment comes to mind.

So with that in mind, if the GOP wants to woo the independent swing vote, they're gonna need court the moderate vote. And the moderate vote is one that viscerally recoils from any kind of borderline politicking. I thought, given Romney march to the center during the last debate, that they figured that out. Which is why Axelrod was so freaked out. And, given my casual gleaning from right-wing talk radio, that the conservatives were OK with that. Something like this:

"Romney's swing towards the middle. But that's OK. We can fix him after he's in office."

Ian Random

I can't get over the my body my choice while the father has no choice. I guess the father's wallet is a much a container as a woman's uterus.

Billy T brings up a point that I don't hear discussed much. Supposedly NPR had a call in about women who had abortions and moderator was blown away by all the women who regretted it. I personally think in a 100 years it won't matter. I hope that embryo transfers like what we do with horses will work and maybe some artificial womb will work for later weeks. Only then will it truly be an issue of killing a child because there will be an alternative to her "burden" and the father's wallet "burden."

George Rebane

RyanM 659pm - I know that you want to leap to policy in a single bound. But whatever the offered policy that involves killing the fetus, can we not, at least in preamble, identify that killed as another living body distinct from its mother, or an inconvenient lump that must be removed? Why must we tiptoe past identifying that which we excise, instead of courageously giving it a name before commencing our deadly yet staunchly vindicated assault?

George Rebane

IanR 741pm - "I guess the father's wallet is a much a container as a woman's uterus." Remarkable; by what line of reasoning does a "father's wallet" even apply to the 'Two Bodies Problem', which at this stage of inquiry has nothing yet to do with abortion??

Ryan Mount

> Why must we tiptoe past identifying that which we excise

In the spirit of discourse, I humbly agree with you. Although I think I provided my opinion on the mother/child/two body thing above. But I'll repeat: when the child can survive on it's own, that's where I draw the hard line. Regarding abortions as a right? That's really a question that aims squarely at poor people who can't afford them (see Freakonomics comment below). More affluent people have never had the trouble of getting an abortion. Never.

Anyhow, it gets increasingly more comfortable for me below 24 (or less) weeks. I feel less comfortable with an 18 week abortion than I do a 12 week one, for example. And as I said above, as a personal and what I believe to be a significant anecdote, being an adopted child, I am generally against abortion unless there are significantly compelling circumstances.

BTW, is the thread familiar with the Freakonomics chapter on Abortion and the reduction of crime since the early 90s? In a nutshell for the initiated, they conclude that the dramatic reduction in crime since the 1990s was due not to increased police, nor neighborhood watches, nor education and certainly not booming economies (all things politicians readily take credit for...jerks), but rather from Roe V. Wade, which accounted for over 50% of the reduction. Less unwanted kids = less crime. Faustian deal?

George Rebane

RyanM 826pm - OK, you've given a fuzzy discriminant (in the formal sense) for deciding when the lump becomes a second body. But more is needed to define what 'surviving on its own' means - and, of course, we all agree that whatever the definition, advancing technology is going to push the age of that fetus back toward conception.

But in any case, human life always has had a finite and determinable value - at least to people of good will. Only fools, naifs, and scoundrels claim not to be able to put a value on a human life when the world has obviously done so for millenia.

You have cited the Freakonomics claim that facile abortion for the poor has saved American society a calculable amount through its programs of removing lumps and killing second bodies. Maybe with a little noodling, we can even come up with an expected cost reduction per sanctioned killing that can serve as a policy threshold. Doing that, we can perhaps skip over the pesky Two Bodies question which I have asked.

But something tells me that we will not allow such blatant and explicit use of reason in the making of a broadly acceptable abortion policy - its manufacture shall remain on par with that of sausages. Does that make us more or less civilized?

billy T

If we let science decide when life begins, the answer would create a firestorm. Simple DNA molecules and microbiology should tell us that. But, nooooo. Kinda like the Harvard Dean of Mathematics who said the chances of us arising according to the Theory of Evolution are less that 1 to the 26th, i.e., mathematically impossible, but "to teach so would be unpalatable."

That lump has a 50/50 chance of having a dong. A penis growing in a woman's body with little fingernails and appendages is not her body. It is in her body. Suppose the metaphysical leaners would say "life passes through the womb, but is not from the womb."

Dr. Rebane, no one will answer your question. When does life begin and is that life really a life or a lump/non life. Without the proper foundation being laid, the rest is just blowing smoke. Pro life or Pro choice? Cough, cough. Excuse me, smoke just got in my eyes.

Steven Frisch

I guess Todd just can't see that his statement, "most of the cost is born by the taxpayer" is a crock of sh*#.

Wayne Hullett

I had already made up my mind when I sat down to watch the VP debate; I was watching mainly for the entertainment value, until the question about how the candidates' religion had affected their positions. Ryan made it clear that his position was religiously motivated. I interpret his response as wanting to bring the entire power of the government, guns and all, to enforce his religious beliefs -- presumably all of them -- why would he stop at what "religion informs him" about abortion. It is a slippery slope. We have an historical example of what life is like when religion controls government, because it has happened before. It lasted a thousand years and is called the dark ages. Ryan is an adherent of the belief system that brought us the crusades, torturing people to get them to "confess" that they do not share the same belief system as their torturers, and burning at the stake those who did so "confess". Biden is also a Catholic, but he clearly stated that he does not believe in forcing his belief system on others. By the end of the debate I had switched from a decided voter to an undecided. Until then, I could not have imagined that I would ever consider voting for Obama's further destruction of our once great country. I find myself leaning toward the view that with Obama it is only four years, while with Romney/Ryan it could be as long as sixteen years. It is a Hobson's choice: fiscal irresponsibility leading to the destruction of America vs. state enforced religious intolerance (Iran anyone?).

But this does not address George's exit question. The example in George's link to the Indiana case of a pregnant woman charged with murder and facing life imprisonment because her failed suicide attempt resulted in the death of her unborn foetus is stark example of how life in this country could become with a governmental ban against abortion.

George's question focuses on the rightness or wrongness of the act of killing an unborn foetus. People are divided on this issue, and each individual's answer to this moral question is opinion. I suggest that the decision not be made on which side constitutes the majority in the tabulation of the rightness or wrongness opinions, but rather more pragmatically on whether we want to live in the kind of police state that is depicted in the Indiana example, including the obvious extensions thereof. The killing of an unborn foetus can be labelled murder, but as a society we might choose to allow that kind of murder as the lesser of two evils (just like the upcoming election). I am not yet certain how I personally feel on the question, but I have absolutely no doubt that I do not want a return to the dark ages with a state sponsored religion.

Ryan Mount

> you've given a fuzzy discriminant (in the formal sense) for deciding when the lump becomes a second body

Admittedly I have. But I see no other way around it. But I'm close[r], like a game of horseshoes.

> human life always has had a finite and determinable value

Yes. And that's the "in the weeds question": when does "human life begin?" All this makes my proposal even more attractive, even though it's mutable and certainly somewhat(I'm choosing my words carefully here) relative to a woman's and unborn child's biology.

And regarding the Freakonomics observations, I concluded my discussion with a rhetorical question: Faustian deal? The Freakonomics authors take a "don't shoot the messenger" perspective on this. We report, you decide. It's another uncomfortable data point that supports my assertion above that Roe v Wade, as an example, is for poor people; the affluent can have abortions on-demand. Less poor people, less crime. There, I said it.

And I believe, as you are implying George, that the general public would find this statistic (I believe it to be true, BTW), abhorrent on a number of levels notwithstanding using this for policy decisions. That is, if we can shake the cage of the general public into paying attention. Unlikely.

George Rebane

WayneH 1116pm - My puzzlement about your well stated concern about religion and governance is the perception of a "slippery slope" toward a theocracy in the US. I don't see the possibility of such a slippery slope given today's multi-cultural America and its Constitution. Can you construct a plausible causal beam to such a theocracy?

On the other hand, I do see, and we all have witnessed here and in Europe, the slippery slope of collectivism toward totalitarianism. And in the 20th century collectivist governments have killed more of their own people in civil actions than all the wars combined.

RyanM 823am - How would you feel about having us answer the Two Bodies problem with some robust discriminant, like detectable fetal heartbeat? It's a lump before that and another body after heartbeat is detected. Then we can proceed to if/how/when we can have it killed; and then go on to who has to pay for the killing.

Todd Juvinall

Looks like the Frisch just can't shake his ignorance on this topic. My guess is he may not have created a life so perhaps just plain ignorance of its value?

Ryan, I recall when I was informed by the pregnancy test that my wife was carrying our (as it turned out) son and the joy of knowing a new human was in the oven to come out a few months later. I totally thought that fetus was a human for the git-go. So did my wife. Sure, we have as a country allowed a bogus SCOTUS decision to determine abortion is a federal issue and that Uncle Sam is inside each woman to allow the termination of another American. Most conservatives I know have decided that rape, incest or the life of the mother are the exceptions and yet the "pro abortion" folks want it all the way into the brain sucking "partial birth abortion" moments. Sorry, if I lose the election over one issue and it is found to be this one then so be it.

Steven Frisch

Typical Toddism; one must have fathered a child to to understand the issue. And I notice that you did not address the SOLE point I made; that your statement that "most of the cost [of poor children] is born by the taxpayer" is a lie. It is simply a demonstrably false statement. That is what facts do Todd. They demonstrate IGNORANCE, in this case yours.

Ryan Mount

George-

I've already made my position clear. I am generally against abortion for a number of reasons. And I think abortion as a form of birth control is a notably moral hazard. Rape, incest and other exceptions are reasonable exceptions for that.

My position on where to draw the line is a pragmatic one given the mood of the electorate, but also due to the fact that there are still numerous conditions that need to be considered which are way above my pay grade. For example, what is a family to do if they discover in the 22 week of gestation, that their child's brain is significantly malformed or his/her heart stopped beating?

If we'd like to draw the line at a beating heart, for example (and good luck with that), how could we possibly account to the myriad of other complications that might occur later during the pregnancy? Seems to me to be a power argument for letting professionals make these determinations, like a Medical Doctor.

This is why I'm pragmatic about this issue. I err on the assumption that no one wants an abortion, and it's a last resort. I have never known anyone who's had one, and been happy about it, for example. I am also convinced that more affluent people don't have to worry about abortions, only poor people do. And then there's that well-worn specter of back alley abortions: women will continue to have them regardless of whether they are legal or not.

My suggestion for moral/religious conservatives is to stay out of political activism, and focus on getting your message out on the street.

Todd Juvinall

The Frisch still can't answer any of my points on this but whines I don't address his bogus numbers regarding welfare (and his analysis of what they mean). I do appreciate his admittance he has never experienced a child he created. Very telling. Easy to have a opinion against life (or should I say death) of a fetus when you have never experienced the process of life.

One thing for sure though, it does not matter what the topic is, the Frisch is a self proclaimed expert. What a hoot!

Ryan, please don't make the mistake that abortion of a life is strictly a "electorate" issue. At the very east it is a moral and ethical one contained in the heart of each person. Also, if the fetus is brain dead and/or will be born still-born, then the question is answered that the child is already dead of natural causes.

Ryan Mount

Todd, I recognize your convictions on this matter. I am not making the mistake of conflating electorate politics with ethics and morality. As a matter of fact, I see them as distinct, and at times contrary, propositions.

Above I was trying to explicate the potential ambiguities that might arise from complications from a single pregnancy. But more to my quasi-Libertarian concerns, I'm trying to imagine what the laws and regulations might look like after every special interest group gets their hands on it.

It's one thing to say one shall not kill/murder, for example; it's another thing to codify it into frightening legalese:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1111

Evoking this during the last 3 weeks of the election will smell of radical politicking to swing state independents. Hard-line moral issues like this will lose the election. However if this is indeed what you (Todd and others) believe to be this nation's most pressing issue, please exercise your right to elevate into the nation's consciousness.

George Rebane

RyanM 931am - I do understand the desiderata of your abortion policy. It is way clear enough for the present discussion. What I've been trying to drag you back to is the path to policy that must needs address the cost and conscious decision to allow human beings (the 'second bodies') to be killed - not whether they should or not be killed. And admittedly, I have not been able to construct that path well enough for you to understand.

My beliefs about abortion still have a huge fuzzy area in the center that I am trying to resolve (I don't have a calcified set of tenets here that I'm trying to advocate surreptitiously), and one of the reasons for and pleasures of RR is that I can find other thinkers who can help shape or 'edit' my own credo in these areas. And in so doing, perhaps contribute something to other credos.

Steven Frisch

Jesus H. Christ Todd, the point I am making is that your statement was false. The facts are the facts...they are from the United States census, US Bureau of Labor Statistics and California Department of Finance. They are not "bogus figures". One does not have to be an expert to do research, and discover that you big mouthed morons don;t know WTF you are talking about.

Todd Juvinall

SteveF, you have lost the argument here, go back to bed. Taking the Lord's name in vain shows you are a simply a pagan. Thanks.

George Rebane

SteveF 1013am - can you help us out here on the bogosity (new word?) of ToddJ's assertion that "If she is poor and wants to keep it most of the cost is born by the taxpayers for the child's birth and life's support."

How did you assemble the data, starting with the set of 'poor' Americans and including a time horizon for expenditures, that gives lie to the above statement?

Ryan Mount

I don't think there is anything fuzzy about any of this. I attempted to provide some distinct lines: live outside the "body," then no abortions unless there are some extraordinary and frankly very rare exceptions.

Regarding your original question: "So then, when does 'a woman’s right to healthcare' turn into fetal homicide or simply pre-meditated murder?" The question has some issues with it, not unlike our very own Bill of Rights. (the 2nd Amendment comes to mind).

'a woman's [R]ight to healthcare'

and

'fetal homicide'.

Those seem to be be complimentary but not necessarily mutually inclusive. I have generally have issues with conflating "rights" with "entitlements." If by rights to healthcare, you are inferring that the government should provide heath care, specifically abortions, as I've said above that's really an issue for underprivileged poor people. And generally I'm against that unless it affects public health. Think vaccinations, however the Freakonomics observation is telling with regards to this nation's poor.

Regarding whether it's homicide or not to abort a viable fetus, my personal belief that is it sure seems like it. But a 8-12 week (1 trimester) fetus when most people discover that they're pregnant? I have less an issue with that. Although you'll find me generally not in favor of abortions.

George Rebane

RyanM 1031am - I think you may be defending a hill not attacked. I claim that MY beliefs about abortion are fuzzy (not yours), and in that claim it only takes one to tango - you have no say in how I assess my beliefs. That said, here's my fuzzy part.

To me, the notion of when Body2 (baby/fetus) can "live outside" Body1 (mother) is a fuzzy definition in the formal sense; much more so than a detectable heartbeat.

In general, your views about the entire issue of abortion are agreeable with my own views, fuzzy aspects included. While not having the forebodings of WayneH's 1116pm, I do think that federal government's funding of sexual activities, procreation, child rearing, and even education is something to be admitted only after very careful study and deliberation. And IF governments are to be involved, let it be on as local of a basis as possible. In a multi-cultural nation, governments should keep a distance from familial affairs.

Bottom line - if Body2 is to be killed, my tendency is to let the parent(s) make that decision without government entering into the compact - a kind of a biblical interpretation if you will.

Wayne Hullett

George, you asked for a causal beam that would connect todays society to a theocracy. I will never forget that SOB Ashcroft's attack on Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. Fortunately it was stopped, but only at the Supreme Court level, with a 6-3 vote. In other words, it came down to the votes of only 2 unelected people in the entire country. Only those two stopped the administration from overriding the will of an overwhelming majority of the (multicultural) population, and imposing Bush's & Ashcroft's religious beliefs on the country. It is expected that Romney will be able to make at least 2 appointments to the Supremem Court during his term...

And then if Ryan is elected in 2020 we are definitely headed down that slippery slope. Religion is an incredibly persistent meme. Every time I turn around another fundamentalist group is trying to get creationism taught in publicly funded schools. It requires constant vigilance to keep these nut jobs from getting their noses into the tent.

You raise an excellent point, which history bears out, that the abuses of a totalitarian society are at least as bad a those of a theocracy. It seems to be the lot of mankind to drift in the direction of giving up its freedoms (cf. Hayek -- The Road to Serfdom). (Not to mention the reelection of Moonbeam in California).

It seems to me that the problems increase when there is too great a concentration of power in the hands of too few. Perhaps the partisan bickering in Congress is actually a blessing in disguise. The thought has occured to me more than once in my life that perhaps America is safer if not all three of the Presidency, Senate and House are controlled by the same party. Since politicians cannot seem to do anything right, perhaps getting almost nothing done is better than a headlong rush in the wrong direction.

George Rebane

WayneH 320pm - fully agree on the concentration of power in any one party's hands running a government, an institution with intrinsic tendencies for inefficiency, incompetence, corruption, and insatiable growth. Have long maintained a different measure of legislative productivity than that commonly promoted. A legislature is productive not in the number of new laws that it passes, but the number of old ones that it withdraws or those of which the scope is reduced and made current.

But the fundamental solution comes only when you starve the beast no matter who is in charge - it is its unlimited ability to garner tribute and debase the currency that ultimately gives it the power to destroy ("fundamentally transform") society.

Wayne Hullett

George 339pm: Agreed, although I have to wonder about the efficacy of a measure that is indistinguisable from zero for every legislature that I have ever heard of. Perhaps you have a non-zero example?

And is the fundamental solution attainable with the fox guarding the hen house?

George Rebane

WayneH 428pm - The proposed measure would be effective if the electorate understood the damage that unfettered legislating causes. The only way to proceed from my suggestion is to allow the measure to have both positive and negative signs, the latter being based on the 'amount' of legislation passed which would bring it into negative territory. It would also illustrate the point you (and Mark Twain) raised about the times your wallet is safe is only when the legislature is either not in session or is deadlocked.

But with today's endrunning of elected legislatures, the measure would have to include the regulatory side of any administration. Sunsetting regulations is positive, adding them would swing the needle to negative.

No, the 'fundamental solution' is not attainable with the electoral dumbth that is now pandemic. We are past the tipping point (as I've maintained for several years now), and the dollar has to be destroyed and/or the Luddites march before we have a new beginning, the direction of which is not guaranteed. Neither party has described a plausible alternative to that scenario - I most certainly don't have one.

Ben Emery

Abortion falls into a class warfare issue. The fact of the matter is make abortions illegal and poor women will die. Women with means will always be able to seek a safe procedure somewhere. The number one reason behind women terminating a pregnancy is economic. As a society we should have day care, head start like programs, after school programs, health care for all system, and higher education available for all who qualify. If we had these policies in place abortions would reduce exponentially. You guys here at RR don't want these policies but rather blame the poor.

Here is another one everyone here will like. No man other than the father and the doctor if a man should have any say in women's reproductive health.

George Rebane

BenE 859am - I notice that you either totally misread the post, or wish to discuss divert the discussion to something based on your misunderstanding of what your ideological opposites believe.

As further evidence of the liberal mind in operation, your "No man other than the father and the doctor if a man should have any say in women's reproductive health." fits neatly into what I first described in these pages about liberal argumentation. Fashion a weak/laughable strawman, attribute it to conservatives, demolish it, and declare total victory.

Ben Emery

George,
I wanted to switch the debate to what it is really about. The premise to your post is to move the actual issue towards something that has very little to do with the decision to end a pregnancy or not.

What makes you think that you should have a say on my daughter's reproductive health/ rights?

Abortion has primarily to do with economics. Love the fetus and abandon the child/ person seems to be the conservative position. Do you feel any personal responsibility to the health of our society, would the policies I listed in my prior comment promote a healthier more stable society?

Ben Emery

George,
If your true goal was to reduce or eliminate abortions then you would support the policies I listed above. I think you can agree that janitors, mechanics, laborers in general are needed in our economy and society. Yet you do not want them to have the economic means to afford to raise children with the accessibility to the better services that would allow them to have more options as working adults. I find you position more about power and control and less about the issue of abortion or the rights of the unborn. What has been passing as debate about the issues for many decades now is a charade. The real debate is what type of society we want to live in. One that allows the super wealthy to rig the system in their favor or one that promotes a healthy functional society where it allows for entrepreneurship and innovation to occur or a completely controlled market by a small few entities.

You promote the small few rigging the system not in your rhetoric but in your practice. It was the main form of governance of "civil" societies for thousand years. It failed and it is time to move away from those ideas.

My side has won this debate but haven't found a way to remove the ability of the oligarchs to control our government, once that has happened your ancient ideas will be buried six feet under for good.

Have a good day.

George Rebane

BenE 1047am - I was not aware of making any claims on your "daughter's reproductive health/rights". Again your logic in this exchange continues to baffle. BTW, what are your daughter's rights in this matter?

Re your 1137am - I recall a gentleman by the name of Nikita who garnered some attention with his shoe and promised to bury our "ancient ideas"

Wayne Hullett

We can continue the endless quibbling about the moral rightness or wrongness of abortion, and trying to split hairs about when life should be defined as beginning, but at the same time we should also consider the rightness or wrongness of one group of people imposing their (often religious) belief system on another group. If one is opposed to abortion, I can suggest three courses of action: 1. Do not get one yourself, 2. Do not perform one, and 3. Rather than trying to get government to force your belief system on others, put you money where your beliefs are -- establish and fund a charity and an adoption agency that would provide (financial?) incentives for women to not get abortions.

George Rebane

WayneH 303pm - While having not yet progressed to the "rightness or wrongness" stage - still trying to understand who the involved parties (bodies?) are - I fully agree with your three courses of action regardless of how the body count turns out. Bravo!

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