Rand Paul Warns that Science, Abortion Leads to Eugenics

Rand PaulGage Skidmore: wikimedia“Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?," asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) while stumping for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli during a campaign event at Liberty University in Lynchburg according to the Associated Press. Specifically, Paul appeared concerned about the implications of new genetic testing: 

“In your lifetime, much of your potential — or lack thereof — can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek."

Presumably if someone has a cheek to swab, they are well past the point of being able to be aborted. Setting that aside, the critical question should be: who decides who gets to be born? Parents or politicians?

As I earlier noted in a column on sex selection, I think Australian bioethicist Julian Savulescu is right when he reminds us, "The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people's reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority. Not offering selection for nondisease genes would indirectly interfere (by denying choice) to promote social ideals such as equality or 'population welfare.' There is no relevant difference between direct and indirect eugenics. The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking."

Fortunately, there is a real libertarian running for governor in Virginia, Robert Sarvis. With regard to abortion Sarvis' campaign website observes:

I believe abortion is a politically intractable issue because we are divided not just on the political issue but on the metaphysical issue. Given that, I find it counterproductive to try to settle the matter through the coercive power of the state. Trying to do so has ruined our political discourse and radicalized our political parties.

As Governor of Virginia (and of all Virginians, including those on both sides of the issue), I will ask those on both sides of the issue to spend the next four years using moral suasion in their private lives to change others' opinions.

For more background see Reason TV's debate among libertarians on the issue of abortion below:

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rand Paul cautions you. Such men dare take what they want.

  • Will Nonya||

    Those men went on to tame a continent, Mr. Paul. Can you tame a party?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Have you ever read my father's newsletters, Captain?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?

    I know I am. Bring on the (entirely coercion-free) selective abortion! May only the best be born!

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    It's nice to know that in 200 years, the human population will consist of a small clan of geniuses with movie star looks and an enormous seething horde of Duggars.

  • BardMetal||

    entirely coercion-free? I didn't know someone could consent to being aborted.

    and if someone honestly believes they are genetically inferior (very unlikely) then they're better ways to prevent them from breeding then abortion.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Those things can't consent at all. That's why they aren't people.

  • Will Nonya||

    I imagine a similar statement being made in an NSA office recently.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    So up until a newborn can verbally communicate he can be disposed of at any time?

  • LynchPin1477||

    OK Cyto, I can understand your commitment to the logical path you put yourself on, but at some point you need to step back and do a gut check.

  • Homple||

    So, Cyto, you seem to know when "those things" aren't people. Could you let us know how you decide when they are people?

  • plusafdotcom||

    and you, too? There might be a good chance of getting a bunch of people to agree that "life begins" at conception, but you're going to have a LOT of trouble getting a lot of people to agree on when "personhood begins."

    Virtually every part of THAT argument will be based on belief and "agreement" because there's no other foundation to base it on.

    Wanna try?

  • GamerFromJump||

    In someone's opinion, everyone has some "imperfection". Woe betide the targets when those people take power.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Slouching towards Gattaca?

  • ||

    You spelled Galactica wrong.

  • Killazontherun||

    -1 for your inferior preferences.

  • Afflicted||

    facepalm

  • Chmee||

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Slouching towards Gattaca?"

    More like racing.

  • John||

    I believe abortion is a politically intractable issue because we are divided not just on the political issue but on the metaphysical issue. Given that, I find it counterproductive to try to settle the matter through the coercive power of the state. Trying to do so has ruined our political discourse and radicalized our political parties.

    So the Libertarian position is "that is above my pay grade"?

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: You may want to view the video.

  • John||

    The problem is Ron that science has advanced to the point that it is impossible to make a scientific case for late term abortion. At some point you have a fetus that is at one moment totally without legal protection and then in the next moment, due to a trip down the birth canal, something that in no way changes whatever consciousness it has, is now a full fledged human entitled to full human rights and protection under the law. WTF? Birth is is an utterly immoral and arbitrary line. Early term abortions fit the description given here. But late term ones do not. And I somehow doubt this guy is willing to outlaw those.

  • Cytotoxic||

    science has advanced to the point that it is impossible to make a scientific case for late term abortion.

    SoCons: as lazy and scientifically wrong as ever.

  • John||

    Would you like to make such a case? What happens during the actual process of birth that makes a fetus more or less of a person? It would seem to me that what makes a person is some measure of consciousness and mental cognition. And none of that changes immediately before or after birth. So why is "birth" the line?

    How about making an argument rather than giving unsupported insults?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Nothing, which is why I'm reluctant to grant personhood to an infant.

  • John||

    Which makes you a nut. No one would deny that an infant is a human.

  • Chmee||

    It would appear that Cytoxic denies it. I have to worry about people like that.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The NAP becomes rather useless when you can decide other human beings are nonpersons.

  • Hopfiend||

    and my kid just read over my shoulder, "Who is Mickey Rat". At least a comment from "Hillary's Clitdong" wasn't on the screen.

  • Homple||

    So, Cyto, at what age or state of development would you vouchsafe to grant personhood to one of those things?

  • Tony||

    Any line drawn is pretty much arbitrary, yours included.

  • John||

    REally Tony? Any line? So if we decide gays are not humans and can be killed that will just be an arbitrary line and no worse than any other line?

    You might want to reconsider that statement.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Keep in mind that Tony is a Nazi waiting for his Hitler and he makes perfect sense.

  • ||

    Tony is waiting for Gay Hitler.

  • Tony||

    I believe the topic was abortion.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The topic is abortion as a tool of eugenics.

  • plusafdotcom||

    I agree completely and will keep pointing it out... "defining" when "personhood begins" and any legalities associated with it are PURELY matters of "agreement," because there is NO "scientific basis" for "personhood" at all. Any claim to the contrary that is NOT based fundamentally on "agreement" is false.

    As for John's "if we decide gays are not humans" remark, NOBODY here is talking about "human versus non-human," and I'll be dipped in shit if anyone can prove or provide ANY rationale that could come CLOSE to even arguing that gays aren't "Human." Go,... try....

  • Rasilio||

    Not a SoCon nor anti abortion but I can't see where John is wrong here.

    Also not a Doctor but I am reasonably informed and I can think of no circumstance in which an abortion at say 32 weeks of gestation would be required.

    Even extreme Preeclampsia could be resolved at that point by an emergency C-section.

    There might just be a handful of medical emergencies requiring immediate treatment which would kill the fetus if applied and kill the mother if not applied but you would be hard pressed to show that it was an abortion since the doctor would basically be saying "I can save the baby or the mother, someone tell me which to save".

    Realistically anything past ~28 weeks the only justification for an abortion would be financial (the cost of keeping an unwanted baby alive in the NICU)

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    You kids can't decide when a fetus becomes a person. Half of you will say conception, the other half birth. Some of you even make fairly good arguments...some of you.

    Allow me to play the part of King Solomon.

    The average human gestation period is 280.6 days. A fetus becomes a person at 140.3 days.

    It is settled, we can finally move on and live together in harmony. So say we all.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Ah, another misogynist pro-life extremist!

    Don't you that it is utterly evil to oppose government funded abortions past birth?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    John, Professor Walter Block has a speech or two on that. A position that "eviction" is okay, but killing is bad.

  • John||

    Eviction is just a euphemism for killing. That is a pretty sorry answer to the problem.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    No John, it is a phrase for removing the baby at a point when it can survive outside of a human body and grow up alive without killing it.

  • ||

    That's obviously a bit more specific than in your previous post. Of course if the child is at or beyond the point of viability then the situation is different. But that wouldn't, I think, qualify as abortion, it would be a premature birth.

  • ||

    That's like saying it wouldn't be murder to kick a person out of a plane while in midair. "I didn't kill him, I just evicted him into an environment he couldn't survive in!"

  • Metazoan||

    Yeah, but what if the host never consented to the presence of the fetus? She is required to provide for it anyway?

  • ||

    What if I never consented to the man on my plane? I'm required not to kick him out in midair?

  • Metazoan||

    A better analogy would be that someone, say, lacking a liver, came up to you, attached some machine such that your body would perform the liver functions for him, and insisted that you couldn't disconnect it until he received a transplant 9 months later.

  • Banjos||

    Considering that virgin conceptions don't exist, an even more apt analogy would be if you voluntarily placed your name into a lottery where that person could attach that machine to you. Don't pretend that pregnancies just magically happen to unsuspecting women and that they are all victims.

  • Metazoan||

    Rape? I know everyone hates this example, but it often makes a mess of the anti-abortion side.

  • Banjos||

    The case of rape would be someone placing your name in the lottery against your will.

  • Metazoan||

    Ok, but now what? Someone placed your name in the lottery against your will. Now you need to suffer the consequences?

  • Banjos||

    Should that person die because some asshole fucked you over?

  • Metazoan||

    Should a woman be forced to carry baby to term, with all the attendant risks and psychological consequences of a rape-baby, just because some asshole fucked her over?

  • Metazoan||

    The thing is that the person had no claim on you to begin with.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Yes. The lack of context in some of the comments is surprising. When we have sex, we might make babies!!!! We choose to have sex (rape and incest aside); we choose to use or not use contraception.

    At some point we need to be responsible for our choices.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yeah, conception just happens randomly by involuntary parthogenesis like the aliens in "Enemy Mine". There's absolutely no conscious choices involved on the part of the parents.

  • Mickey Rat||

    There's also the problem is this guy without a liver is not choosing to attach himself, he's attached by the conscious actions of others

  • Metazoan||

    Regardless, it's not the host's fault (I'm talking about rape).

  • Mickey Rat||

    Neither is it the child's.

  • Metazoan||

    My point here is to say that it's not so clear-cut. There is a rights-conflict. And the rights of a person with actual thoughts and dreams take precedence.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Your second sentence contradicts the first.

  • entropy||

    And the rights of a person with actual thoughts and dreams take precedence.

    I think actual REM sleep begins at around 20 weeks. So if you want to restrict abortion to before that, that puts you right in line with Texas socon fundamentalists.

  • Metazoan||

    Overly literal reading. I mean aspirations.

  • entropy||

    Quantify aspirations.

    That thing is dreaming about something.

    They seem to get quite loud when they aspire to be fed.

  • Metazoan||

    They seem to get quite loud when they aspire to be fed.


    They make that much noise through the amniotic fluid? Creepy.

  • entropy||

    Well, at about 24-30 weeks they aren't necessarily in amniotic fluid. That is entering the range of viability. So yes.

    At 20 weeks, I don't know that any of them have ever lived outside the womb.

    But if they have REM sleep, what the hell are they dreaming about? There is some research that suggests they can recognize voices in the womb and distinguish their mother from others, starting at 16 weeks, so they have some kind of memory and some consciousness it would seem to do that.

  • Metazoan||

    If there is a line to draw, that is at least much more reasonable than the conception argument, which fails in being the most absurd definition of "human" that one can devise.

  • 2Sirius||

    I'm pretty sure that 21 weeks is the youngest surviving premature infant.

  • marshaul||

    Analogy fail. Instead of a plane, let's try a shuttle between planets, the flight lasting 9 months (with no way to land prematurely), and the man's a stowaway (trespasser) whose presence, should you fail to evict him, threatens the productivity of the mission (possibly even the lives of the crew) by consuming valuable, limited resources.

    If you really wanted to make analogy to a train or plane (or spaceship), you'd end up with: you may evict, but if eviction does not necessarily entail death, then you may not kill merely to evict. Or, a viable fetus may be evicted but not killed, an nonviable fetus may be evicted and killed.

    Actually, I like this analogy, once actual thought is applied to it.

  • Banjos||

    "whose presence, should you fail to evict him, threatens the productivity of the mission (possibly even the lives of the crew) by consuming valuable, limited resources."

    That would mean that 100% of pregnancies are high risk. Have you ever seen the show "I didn't know I was pregnant"?

  • entropy||

    Can you throw stowaways off airplanes then cuz property rights?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    How about "the federal government has no Constitutional authority to regulate in-state medical procedures"?

  • John||

    Good answer. But it doesn't apply to a governor's race.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Good argument - why not address it to the Supreme Court?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Why would I need to do that. I already got it in writing.

  • ||

    If that's actually your interpretation of Roe v Wade, I've got some terrible news for you.

  • Rasilio||

    UM, we'd be a hell of a lot better off if more politicians realized they were BELOW the people they served and not ABOVE the people they ruled over and therefore considered a whole host of issues "above their pay grade" leaving them in the hands of their masters, the people to decide for themselves

  • Mickey Rat||

    No, it is more judicial precedent is on my side so: fuck you, that's why.

    It is a politically intractable issue which has poisoned politics precisely because SCOTUS has arrogantly put it beyond normal political decision making. A mutually acceptable (or even unacceptable) compromise based on science, metaphysics and ethics is impossible

  • marshaul||

    Right, because there's no way that it could ever be a "compromise" without allowing SOMEBODY to ban SOMETHING.

  • Mickey Rat||

    What we are talking about banning is killing a human creature.

  • MJGreen||

    Yes, that is the libertarian position on just about everything.

    "As a politician, that is above my pay grade."

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So the Libertarian position is "that is above my pay grade"?

    Yes.

  • Robert||

    It may be counterproductive to try to "settle" the abortion matter, in the sense of surmounting controversy, thru the coercive power of the state, but, as with marriage issues, it is silly to pretend the state can be neutral on the matter, unless you think abortion could be an entirely anarchic legal zone where it's illegal neither to have one and defend oneself against interference nor to interfere forcibly with one's attempt to have one. In the latter vision, abortion clinics would be legal war zones, with people allowed to, for instance, shoot it out in the operating room without legal consequences.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking."

    If you something to selectively abort then reproduction has already occurred. Abortion is a post-reproduction action and therefore is not a reproductive decision.

  • Dan Clore||

    Empirically, a foetus simply cannot be considered a person. They do not show any signs of sapience.

    I cannot see how it can be considered "libertarian" to force people to act as if empirically false claims were true.

    (A foetus may develope into a person eventually, but the question at hand is whether pregnant women should be allowed to prevent this from happening.)

  • ||

    How can you "empirically" define personhood?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Empirically, a foetus simply cannot be considered a person. They do not show any signs of sapience.

    So by your soi-disant empirical definition, the severely mentally retarded are non-persons as well. Do you want to bite that bullet?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    And the comatose/persons in vegetative states.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Or someone who is asleep.

  • ||

    What's 'any sign of sapience?'

    Scratching my balls?

  • Metazoan||

    Scientific definitions of personhood are difficult and strike me as odd at best. Certainly crying that it has a human genome is silly; likewise, claiming that birth makes someone a person is arbitrary. I would imagine the definition would have to include some neurological evidence, if it's to include science at all, as that is what makes the whole humanity aspect worthwhile, no?

  • ||

    Scientific definitions of personhood are difficult and strike me as odd at best.

    Ultimately, science can't determine what a person is, because we can't even agree on what a person is.

    Certainly crying that it has a human genome is silly; likewise, claiming that birth makes someone a person is arbitrary. I would imagine the definition would have to include some neurological evidence, if it's to include science at all, as that is what makes the whole humanity aspect worthwhile, no?

    This is pretty much my position as well. The criteria for personhood is not based in genetics or viability. I believe it's rooted in the mind, which is part of the brain. So if anything, that would determine when in a pregnancy abortion would be permissible.

  • Rasilio||

    "Empirically, a foetus simply cannot be considered a person. They do not show any signs of sapience."

    Incorrect, you are presuming that the only test for personhood is sapience and that this test is universally accepted as being the sole valid criteria.

    Others hold other criteria among them genetics, a Soul, or even simply being biologically alive as being the defining criteria of personhood ergo it is not empirically anything.

    Furthermore a 6 week old baby similarly lacks any form of sapience, do you argue that parents should be able to retroactively abort them? Dogs and several other species exhibit levels of sapience that overlap with humans of up to 5 years in age shall we consider them persons with civil rights or are 4 year olds not persons with civil rights.

    Note: I am pro abortion (not just pro choice in some cases I believe abortion is the only correct action albeit one which should never be compelled) so it is not like I think those who believe genetics or a soul are right but your simplistic breakdown of the issue is just wrong and counterproductive.

  • John||

    If you are going to measure life by cognition, you are left with the problem I describe above. Cognition doesn't change during the birth process. So whatever the line between life and not life is, it can't be birth. It has to be some point before then.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Or after.

  • BardMetal||

    Which means that a fetus either obtains sapience while still inside the womb, or that a newborn baby isn't sapient right after it's born.

  • John||

    But no one is going to claim the latter. So it has to be the former.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But no one is going to claim the latter.

    See, you say things like that, but always forget that Pete Singer is still alive.

  • BardMetal||

    I think John meant no sane person would ever claim the latter.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fair enough.

  • ||

    No one saying it does not make it untrue.

    Anyway if one disregards the implications..ie killing babies...it is pretty easy to see that babies have no cognition.

    This is probably why Cognition should not be the way we measure a person as being a person.

    Hell everyone loses cognition every day...we call it sleep. Is it OK to kill people in their sleep because they are not cognint?

  • John||

    All good points Corning. In the end, I think the only line you can draw is does this thing come from two human beings and have a full set of DNA. I believe life begins at conception for that reason. But it is pointless to make that argument with most people. But asking them what the hell is so magical about the birth process at least gets them to move a little bit.

  • Will Nonya||

    John, interesting debate but ultimately useless. Regardless of which point you choose to draw the line none of us have the right to end another life.

    Or to use the terminology of the constitution "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". When it comes to abortion the due process requirement has been completely ignored. It seems clear that only a judge or other recognized authority can grant permission for an abortion.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -It seems clear that only a judge or other recognized authority can grant permission for an abortion.

    If you beg the very question at stake, then yes.

  • Metazoan||

    All good points Corning. In the end, I think the only line you can draw is does this thing come from two human beings and have a full set of DNA. I believe life begins at conception for that reason.

    John, with all due respect, I have no idea why that argument makes any sense. All of my cells have a full compliment of human DNA, save mature spermatozoa. I see very little human about, say, a single cell, whether it's a neuron or a zygote or a T-lymphocyte.

  • Mickey Rat||

    A neuron and a lymphocyte are not a complete creature, a zygote is. The DNA argument is that it is not a member of a species that can be killed with impunity, but one that is intrinsically rights bearing.

  • Metazoan||

    A neuron and a lymphocyte are not a complete creature, a zygote is.

    Yeah, that is my problem. How is that correct? I don't agree with you here at all.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Then you don't agree with basic biological definitions and are just making up stuff to fit your worldview.

  • Metazoan||

    Huh? what are you even talking about? Anyway, I am a biologist, I'm aware of definitions. Are developmental biologists pro-life?

  • Mickey Rat||

    You are claiming to be confused by the idea that a zygote is complete individual of the species it belongs to. Comparing a zygote to individual component cells from a larger organism is a category error. Since you say you are a biologist, you should know that, so it is not ignorance but dishonest argumentation.

    "Are developmental biologists pro-life?"

    Not necessarily, but should above misrepresenting terms.

  • plusafdotcom||

    You are claiming to be confused by the idea that a zygote is complete individual of the species it belongs to.

    ??

    Without even providing YOUR "definition" of "complete individual"???

    C'mon...

  • Mickey Rat||

    A complete individual organism, that is not part of another. Is it really that difficult to wrap your mind around?

  • Metazoan||

    Then your definition is bad, since it leads to the absurd result that a single cell can be morally equivalent to an adult human. Let me phrase this differently, then: what is it about humans that makes us morally special? I mean, why do we even have right, etc.? Surely it's not simply the sequence of bases in our genomes!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -I believe life begins at conception for that reason.

    I could have sworn you explicitly said you did not. Did not you say you would find a 20 week ban to be an acceptable compromise? That is diabolical if you really believe what you just stated.

  • entropy||

    Actually I think you can draw a compelling line at the point when the number of fetuses are determined. Because early on they are indeterminate.

    It's not just the cases of 0 babies (failed to attach or whatever and she never even knew), or 1 baby. There are also instances where 1 zygote can become 2 or 3 babies (twins) or 11 babies (fertility treatment) or 2 zygotes will merge and become 1 baby (chimerism - probably rare but it happens).

    So at some point, for instance 1 week after conception, it seems a stretch to me to say that the zygote is equivalent to a baby because 1 zygote may become 0, 1, 2, or .5 babies, and 1 is not equivalent to a series of 0, 1, 2, or 0.5 with statistical weighting.

  • Mickey Rat||

    You do realize that "fetus" is a somewhat undefined term from about the 9th week of pregnancy until birth. And the child does respond to what stimuli are available to it in that stage. The idea that there is no sign of sapience during fetal development is ignorant and wishful thinking.

  • Rasilio||

    Responding to stimulus != sapience

    sapience is understanding which requires abstract reasoning abilities.

    Amoeba's respond to stimuli no one would call them sapient.

    Fact is abstract reasoning and self awareness do not really begin to develop in humans until about 6 months AFTER birth

  • Mickey Rat||

    If memory serves, I recall some studies indicating that a fetal child can recognize music and the sounds of people's voices. A little more sophisticated responses than an amoeba's.

  • Rasilio||

    ", I recall some studies indicating that a fetal child can recognize music and the sounds of people's voices. A little more sophisticated responses than an amoeba's."

    First, those are talking about Fetuses in the mid to late 3rd trimester, a huge difference from 9 weeks of gestation.

    Second, and more importantly so can my cat does that mean it has civil rights?

  • Mickey Rat||

    The original post was talking about "fetuses" period, they made no distinction about trimesters. That post also made an absolute statement about the complete lack of cognitive function. The fine distinctions you are arguing simply do not apply.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Second, and more importantly so can my cat does that mean it has civil rights?

    It might not possess all the rights that a human does, but it might possess some subset of them.

  • entropy||

    First, those are talking about Fetuses in the mid to late 3rd trimester, a huge difference from 9 weeks of gestation.

    Nope.

    mid to late 2nd trimester.

  • plusafdotcom||

    ... and your proof of "abstract reasoning abilities" was what, again?

    Recognizing sounds?

    Hmmmmm........

  • Will Nonya||

    Hell half of the people commenting on this article aren't showing signs of sapience.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Please, indulge us by defining a newborn such that her five-minute old self is intrinsically a person where five minutes ago she was a collection of cells. I, for one, would love to empirically understand the incredible process by which passage through the birth canal imbues a human with personhood.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Potential taxes.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I seem to recall some research that suggested that before birth the fetus is essentially 'asleep' and after it is awake. This strikes me as some support for the traditional idea that birth is a meaningful line of demarcation.

    http://www.rcog.org.uk/news/rc.....s-guidance

  • Protagoronus||

    You do not have to define a newborn as an intrinsic person to believe that its parents have rights embodied in said newborn. You could think person-hood begins at age 4 and still protect the lives of newborns because of a non-aggression principle in regards to the parent(s).

    The arguments that person-hood begins at conception are far more troubling to me. That would mean that to protect lives, the state would have to completely invade the privacy of every woman, just to be sure it is not missing any citizens being oppressed. That is where the hard-core pro life arguments lead whether they admit it or not.

    Better to develop a personal morality imho

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That would mean that to protect lives, the state would have to completely invade the privacy of every woman, just to be sure it is not missing any citizens being oppressed. That is where the hard-core pro life arguments lead whether they admit it or not.

    No, it is not. Laws against murder do not imply ultimate security for every citizen; we do not post a policeman in every house to prevent murder anymore than pro-life countries invade the privacy of every woman to prevent abortion.

    Pro-life laws attempt to deliver justice to those unborn children who can be meaningfully ascertained to have been denied such -- this is the extension of the same promise made to all members of society.

  • Protagoronus||

    Fair and good points.

    I guess I just find it personally troubling to grant full rights to undeveloped fetuses over the women carrying them and the argument always comes down to that continuum of life.

    Most arguments for immediate post-conception person-hood seem to be rooted in a belief of a soul, which I find unconvincing. Also, miscarriages - does the government get to intervene? How does it find out?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I guess I just find it personally troubling to grant full rights to undeveloped fetuses over the women carrying them

    That's fine, but it's a different issue.

    I personally do not hold to conception as the marker for personhood, though I understand why others do (that reason being that it's the most inclusive of sets for determining meaningful, individual human beings). My line is somewhere around the 7-9 weeks onwards, the earliest points at which meaningful markers of cognitive development have been observed. (Not to imply that this is when brain development starts; that is around the 4th week.)

    I would suggest that anyone curious check out a book -- or even read an internet article -- on embryonic and fetal development, a science which is well-documented and helps to ground discussion of the topic.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Er, for *meaningfully* determining individual human beings.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It would have to lead to routine investigations of miscarriages I should think.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It has not led to such as a routine practice in the developed countries where abortion is criminalized. (Countries in Africa and Central America are a different story -- but their laws and enforcement shouldn't really be used as a positive example for much of anything.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If it is murder it seems strange to know of a person dying and not have at least a cursory investigation to ensure there was no 'foul play' (here, abortion).

  • entropy||

    That would mean that to protect lives, the state would have to completely invade the privacy of every woman, just to be sure it is not missing any citizens being oppressed.

    This is total crap.

    No one is denying that I am a person. The state does not have to (and in fact, better fucking not) invade the privacy of my home looking for me just to be sure I haven't gone missing.

    Who are you, Obama? No, it does NOT mean mandatory minority report statism.

    The state acts when it has evidence that a crime has been committed. It does not act in a precautionary way to make sure crimes are not possible.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If you went missing for days you do not think there would be an investigation? And that is not even analogous to a known miscarriage. It would be as if your neighbor told everyone their son died and no one bothered to investigate the circumstances. If a fetus is truly akin to a child then it would seem awful strange for authorities not to do an investigation when one is reported dead.

  • entropy||

    In a way.

    Are those investigations normally all that investigative without a clear sign of foul play?

    I can go missing forever, they will never look for me unless someone actually reports me missing.

    If they find me dead in my house and it looks like the fridge fell on me, unless they have a clear reason to suspect murder they will probably do a 15 second 'investigation', declare it accidental and go back to the donut shop.

    It's a goddamn far cry from suggesting that it would mandate ankle bracelets and federal monitoring for pregnant women because they might kill someone. That strikes me as in line with the people predicting liberal gun laws will result in shootouts over parking spaces.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I can not say how extensive they would be, but again, if someone tells their neighbor their 'child' has died then do you not think there is going to be some investigation?

  • ||

    In point of fact, law enforcement routinely does not perform any investigation when a natural-cause death occurs (like a miscarriage). The overseeing physician and/or coroner and/or ME can usually vouch for it.

  • Free Society||

    I just wish that there were some sort of natural selection to prevent irresponsibly stupid people from reproducing. The welfare state's perverse incentives and moral hazards are creating a race of malleable tax cattle.

  • Rasilio||

    There used to be, unfortunately wealth and technology have conspired to make it harder for stupid people to kill themselves off before breeding.

  • John||

    "The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people's reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority. Not offering selection for nondisease genes would indirectly interfere (by denying choice) to promote social ideals such as equality or 'population welfare.' There is no relevant difference between direct and indirect eugenics. The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking."

    That is the most laughably stupid thing I have read in a while Ron. Come on Ron. Really? Just because the government is not doing it doesn't mean that it is not really harmful. Imagine two hypothetical

    1. The evil Nazis take over the government and force people to abort anyone that doesn't fit the ideal.

    2. Due to the dictates of culture, religion or fashion, society as a whole decides on its own to abort anyone who doesn't fit the ideal.

    Sure the second one makes you feel better I guess. But the resulting evil and problems are identical in both cases. Collective, voluntary action is a huge problem for Libertarianism. Freedom is fabulous until the society itself takes leave of its senses, which is known to happen. Just pretending "well as long as the government isn't involved, it is totally okay" is not really answer to the problem.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The second one can lead to excellent outcomes if society is rational ie aborting fetuses because they are biologically inferior. This will help lead us to a future of better genetic stock and should be a cause for hope not Godwinning.

  • John||

    The second one can lead to excellent outcomes if society is rational ie aborting fetuses because they are biologically inferior.

    So you are going to let society decide who is "inferior" and who isn't? Good luck with that.

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: Not "society" deciding, instead parent should decide.

  • John||

    And that makes it better Ron? And society as a collective does decide in some cases. What if 90% of parents decide that having a male child is the only child worth having? What if they decide that only children who meet a certain criteria are worth having? The effects are not different.

    You are just hiding behind "well it is okay as long as the government doesn't do it". That is just begging the question. The problem is, what do you do when society of their own free will decides to start doing very evil and destructive things? That is the question that ought keep libertarians awake at night because it calls into question their entire ideology. You owe yourself a better answer than "as long as it is a choice it can never be wrong". Yeah, it can be wrong and it can be wrong writ large in some cases.

  • prolefeed||

    What if 90% of parents decide that having a male child is the only child worth having?

    Then those 10% of parents who had the common sense to have girls will find their offspring in reaaaaally high demand.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "...instead parent should decide."

    In Roman times the Patriarch of the family owned his children and could kill them with impunity if he decided they were unworthy of the family well into what we would consider adulthood. At some point, western civilization decided that a parent should not have that kind of power. A parent does get to end an inferior child's life after they are born, it is questionable ethically why they get to do so before they are born.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "A parent does not get..."

    Damn my proofreading.

  • ||

  • ||

    The link is to Richard Latimer.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, he's charged with murder.

  • Will Nonya||

    A parent is going to decide their own child is genetically inferior? People can't even admit that they're bad drivers or have poor penmanship and you expect them to contemplate their child's potential contribution to the gene pool?

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: Not "society" deciding, instead parent should decide.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Define "biologically inferior". There are different biological characteristics which are superior for survival in one environment that are inferior in another. Not to mention that the environment changes. Why remove from the collective gene pool its most powerful tool for adaptability?

  • Nazdrakke||

    Forget it, HM, it's Cytotown.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Hm, I'll admit that's not a bad point, but not every defect is sickle-cell disease. Huntington's and Parkinson's and chromosomal aneuploidies are never positive.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But with Klinefelter's you get the best of both worlds!

  • Mickey Rat||

    Unless you happen to carry those things it is your life which is deemed unworthy of life.

  • BardMetal||

    I guess if we were able to find the gene in an unborn Steven Hawkings that gave him muscular dystrophy you would have aborted for being "genetically inferior".

  • BardMetal||

    As someone who works with the developmentally disabled I find your statement to be the most fucked up thing I have read in a long while.

  • ||

    This will help lead us to a future of better genetic stock and should be a cause for hope not Godwinning.

    Less genetic diversity rarely if ever leads to a "future of better genetic stock". And if you don't want to be Godwinned, perhaps consider not holding repugnant viewpoints that are associated primarily with Nazis and various other 20th century crackpots that science and philosophy rightly relegated to the dustbin of history.

  • pmains||

    So, to recap: Bailey and WaPo provide two essentially acontextual quotations from Paul, then argue by assertion that these quotations mean that he is anti-science. They then move on to assert that virtuous Democrats and Libertarian Sarvis are pro-science. The meta-narrative of progressive science vs ignorant superstition is shored up. Mission accomplished.

    What really annoys me about the WaPo article is how it purports to educate readers about the meaning and history of eugenics. The summary is so woefully incomplete, though, that it doesn't really provide any information. E.g. eugenics was discredited by scientists by the 1970s. How? Which scientists? Discredited in what sense and in the eyes of whom? Did these researchers really manage to bridge the is-aught gap? This seems like a "just so" story dressed up as history.

  • John||

    I don't see how eugenics is "scientifically" discredited. Sure it is horrible and immoral. But human beings are animals aren't they? If you can breed horses for certain characteristics, why can't you breed humans the same way?

  • Ron Bailey||

    p: as you probably well know, state sponsored eugenics was favored by many Progressives back in the day. Libertarians, I hope, are against the state being involved with the private reproductive decisions of individuals.

  • John||

    Of course they are Ron. But being libertarians they assume that everyone and is just like them. So the idea that people might in large numbers make decisions that have all of the same effects as state sponsored eugenics, never occurs to them.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -So the idea that people might in large numbers make decisions that have all of the same effects as state sponsored eugenics, never occurs to them.

    We respect people's decisions, yes. Sorry if that bothers you so!

  • entropy||

    We respect people's decisions to a point. That's why the NAP is important. We won't respect your decision to shoot up a preschool.

  • ||

    By the time you are considering an abortion you have already reproduced.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If you abort it it is not 'produced,' right?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Wrong, it was destroyed after being produced.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Depends on what you mean by produced.

  • Mickey Rat||

    No, it does not.

    A new organism was produced, then it was destroyed. There is nothing to hang a "depends" on.

    I didn't realize Bill Clinton posted here.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Produced might mean born, as it did for most of human history.

  • Mickey Rat||

    And our understanding of how reproduction works is better today. Born is not the beginning of the life cycle, so it does not mean "produced".

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So when a woman gives birth it is wrong to say she produced the baby? What happened there?

  • ||

    So when a woman gives birth it is wrong to say she produced the baby?

    She "produced" the baby several months prior. She delivered the product when she gave birth.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is wrong to say that was no baby before the birth.

  • ||

    As Mickey said, using terms like reproductive rights or reproductive decisions is just a rhetorical technique to try to avoid the actual debate. Which is silly, I don't know why so many people on both sides of the argument try so hard to avoid the personhood debate.

  • ||

    What do you mean "back in the day?"

    Wouldn't surprise me one bit they still do in some form.

    True story: I had to write an essay on Eugenics in Canada in University. It's there I started to loathe progressives as the regressive nutjobs they are.

  • prolefeed||

    What do you mean by "society as a whole"?

    Society is a social construct without actual existence. Only individuals exist, and I can assure you that you are not going to get unanimous consent by all 7 billion or so people on ANY topic.

    If you mean "we'll hold elections and majority rules, no matter what rights get trampled on in the process", that is decidedly not society as a whole.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey an abortion thread! This should be a productive discussion.

  • Nazdrakke||

    I was thinking that wouldn't it be just awesome if they make this the last post of the night.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Rasilio||

    Lets talk about sex baby

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    The real debate is do we circumcise our new genetically superior supermen?

    Was Khan Noonien Singh circumcised?

  • Juice||

    Don't you mean "Will he be"?

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is kicked by Bailey's warped ethical viewpoint, so of course not.

  • ||

    As far as zany abortion threads and conversations go, this one is easy to follow.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Rand needs to ease off on appealing to the SoCons. Keep a strong focus on the economy. If anyone asks about religious or Kultur War issues, just say that aqua buddha forbids discussing such things.

  • John||

    Everyone loves the culture war. Most of the people voting L in Virginia are voting so because of Cuccinili is viewed as a SOCON. If America didn't like to vote on the culture war, the political class might have to solve a few problems. And no one wants taht.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Spot on. If ti wasn't for the culture wars, Sarvis would have much fewer votes.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Here is what Sarvis said:

    I believe abortion is a politically intractable issue[...] I find it counterproductive to try to settle the matter through the coercive power of the state. Trying to do so has ruined our political discourse and radicalized our political parties.

    I don't think anyone who has a sincere, thought out position on abortion could possibly have grounds to argue that fixing "political discourse" and "radicalized" politics are worth the costs of getting our answer to the abortion question wrong.

    Indeed, is not the very basis of political debate the fact that some issues are worth debating over, even to the point of disagreement?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, and it's a funny position for a libertarian anyway. To the MSM, limiting the State is a divisive issue - promoted by extremists who poison our political discourse. Is that really a meme Sarvis wants to encourage?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Let me defend Sarvis here.

    Abortion may be about 'high stakes,' but it is an issue that is very, very far from obvious and which does not have some easy empirical answer. Why would not a libertarian say 'since both sides could be wrong about this, let us keep the state out of it and let reasonable people follow their own conscience?' More on point to his comment, both sides, in their attempt to get the state to enforce their view on the significant number of people who reasonably and in good faith disagree, resort to some of the worst, most deceptive, radicalized debate and tactics. Since in a democracy this issue will not be definitively settled until one side honestly convinces a great number of the other side, why do not they just accept that unless a 'culture of life*' or 'culture of choice' becomes more widespread via persuasion neither side is going to get anything except angry.

    * This was one of Bush's more sensible positions. I think it would be hard to argue he was not honestly and sincerely pro-life, but he argued that until a 'culture of life' could be more firmly in place pro-lifers should not push for dramatic change in that area.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "let us keep the state out of it"

    Declaring a category of human beings outside the protection of the law *is* state involvement.

    "[Bush] argued that until a 'culture of life' could be more firmly in place pro-lifers should not push for dramatic change in that area"

    That's the position of the mainstream prolife movement, too. Why do you think the current prolife push on abortion is about limiting abortions after 20 weeks, requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors, requiring parental consent if the mother is a minor, etc?

    A minority of prolifers - the personhood movement - are pushing for "dramatic change," that is, going the whole hog right away and recognizing full personhood rights. Many prolife Congressmen (like Rand) make symbolic gestures by introducing personhood bills. But the real battles are over such things as whether your abortionist should have admitting privileges at the local hospital, whether abortion mill corridors should be wide enough to accomodate EMTS in those cases where the mother needs to be brought to the hospital, etc. People who regard these measures as extreme are themselves extremists.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Declaring a category of human beings outside the protection of the law *is* state involvement.

    By that logic, not enacting protections for animals is 'state involvement.'

    -Why do you think the current prolife push on abortion is about limiting abortions after 20 weeks, requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors, requiring parental consent if the mother is a minor, etc?

    To avoid judicial intervention. Simple. Pro-lifers are actually quite honest about this at times.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So I'm confused - you're admitting that most prolifers are *not* promoting "dramatic change" at present? Or is it dramatic change to require that abortion clinic hallways be wide enough to accomodate gurneys if EMTs have to be called in, and that abortionists should have admitting privileges at their local hospitals?

    Outlawry has been recognized as state action for centuries, and arbitrary outlawry has been forbidden since Magna Carta. The barons at Runnymede thought outlawry was state action when they limited King John's ability to resort to that sanction.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Most pro-lifers want dramatic action, but most pro-life legislators realize courts would smack that down, so they feed them a steady diet of Casey appropriate measures, though not infrequently they send up things like the personhood bills which the base love.

    Your 'outlawry' story is nice but not responsive to my response.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You seem to be acknowledging that mainstream prolifers are doing exactly what you credit Bush with doing - avoiding "dramatic change" until public opinion grows more enlightened. Bush signed a ban on partial-birth abortion, he signed a Republican-sponsored bill affirming the personhood of all human beings born alive (even after botched abortions), limited embryonic-destructive research, and you seem to be conceding these were not "dramatic change[s]." How, then, have mainstream prolifers departed from the example of your role model GW Bush?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    For the state to declare a category of human beings outside the protection of the law *is* state action. 13th century barons may have been ignorant of deodorant and modern plumbing, but at least they could see this point, which seems to escape some 21st century libertarians.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Magna Carta, Article 29:

    "No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free tenement or of his liberties or free customs, or *outlawed* [emphasis added] or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go against such a man or send against him save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell or deny of delay right or justice."

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibi.....ation.html

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute or kill them. Outlawry was thus one of the harshest penalties in the legal system....

    "In the common law of England, a judgment of (criminal) outlawry was one of the harshest penalties in the legal system, since the outlaw could not use the legal system to protect them if needed, e.g. from mob justice. To be declared an outlaw was to suffer a form of civil or social death."

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

  • SIV||

    Interesting. I recall in the early 1970s some fugitive in Georgia was old school common-law outlawed. There was a reward on him and essentially anyone was empowered to kill him (I think he surrendered then the cops shot him "while trying to escape"). I've never heard of it happening since. No mention on the wiki.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You still are not responding to my comment. Do you consider not enacting protections for animals to be 'state action' in that area?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    State action *can* be given the credit/blame (whichever you prefer) for the legal status of animals. I happen to agree with the laws of all U.S. jurisdictions to the extent that they recognize broader rights in postnatal human beings than in animals, and I disagree with those laws to the extent that they give more protection to animals than to unborn humans. But, yes, state action is involved.

    Let me ask *you* a question - if the sheriff gets word that a lynch mob is going to kill a racial minority but he decides not to intervene because he (the sheriff) is a racist, is state action involved?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Eduard

    I think omissions to acting are not action, it is a pretty fundamental distinction in libertarian thought.

    Do you think, for example, that not buying health insurance is a health care action?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No.

    But you haven't answered my question - "if the sheriff gets word that a lynch mob is going to kill a racial minority but he decides not to intervene because he (the sheriff) is a racist, is state action involved?"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think that is state inaction.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -"Nothing in the language of the Due Process Clause itself requires the State to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens against invasion by private actors."3 Generally, the Due Process Clause does not provide an affirmative right to government aid, "even where such aid may be necessary to secure life, liberty, or property"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I think that is state inaction."

    It's exactly what the Magna Carta was supposed to prevent. Illiterate noblemen with fleas in their beards understood this, why can't modern libertarians?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You quote the Magna Carta, I quote the SCOTUS.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The same SCOTUS which says the Constitution, of its own force, outlaws human beings in the womb? Sounds like you're begging the question.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am quoting them on a different issue than abortion.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Abortion may be about 'high stakes,' but it is an issue that is very, very far from obvious and which does not have some easy empirical answer. Why would not a libertarian say 'since both sides could be wrong about this, let us keep the state out of it and let reasonable people follow their own conscience?'

    Agnosticism about when "personhood" begins is no more or less valid than agnosticism about "personhood" as a valid category, "rights" as a category, "property" as a clearly-defined and defensible construct, and many other foundational aspects of classical liberal thought. Deferring a ruling on one of those foundations relies on the same logic as deferring a ruling on any of the others, given that they are all non-refutable concepts lacking final empirical answers.

    There are practical reasons for why one might not support a given candidate or policy despite deviation from one's principles on abortion, but the logic of favoring "political discourse" over pursuing a correct answer on abortion is lacking.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you think there is as much of a fundamental split among Americans as to 'property' akin to 'personhood?'

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'll answer that - yes, there is a serious division on property rights.

    "You didn't build that" - "government is the things we do together" - low taxes as subsidies for the rich - "the 1%" - would you deny that there's a fundamental disagreement on the meaning and scope of property rights in this country?

    Perhaps, to avoid political divisiveness, we should simply not have the state intervene to protect the property of the 1% against thieves and robbers, because after all, there's a difference of opinion on whether the 1% deserve so much property. Just turn a blind eye as criminals break into mansions and steal rich peoples' stuff - I mean, these criminals vote, don't they? Why by divisive by arresting and punishing them and restoring the property to the so-called "rightful owners?"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not see what you describe as a split as significant and pressing as over personhood. Property law from state to state differs around the margins. With personhood you have states that would likely undo Roe tomorrow if they could, and ones where even Casey styled restrictions would not come close to passing, and that is not around the margins but two ends of a pretty wide continuum (with personhood at conception at one end and partial birth abortion at the other).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You have states where the right to drive people from one location to another is subject to licensing. You have states which claim the power to take your property and give it to some company which is better-connected politically. You have a government which tells you not to buy insurance against catastrophic diseases and accidents unless you add other features you don't want, and want you to pay a penaltax if you don't buy a service from the state's preferred providers.

    Isn't there a controversy over property rights?

  • Juice||

    Yeah, why isn't Rand stumping for Sarvis instead of Coochy?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The best reason I have heard is that if he did not it would hurt him badly in any future Presidential run. Not ideal, but an understandable long game.

  • ||

    Also, why tie himself down to a sinking socon ship in Cuccinili. Should have just stayed out of this one.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    He needs to show he's a Team player. Plus Cooch, for all his faults, has said some positive things about marijuana legalization and mandatory minimums.

    I don't think he's nearly as bad the McAuffie.

  • John||

    I don't think he's nearly as bad the McAuffie.

    He is if you are culture war voter like Ron.,

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: In Sarvis I don't have pick between culture war and economics.

  • John||

    But if Cuccinilli were not seen as a SOCON, would you be voting for him to stop McCulliffe? If so, then you are a culture war voter Ron.

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: In Sarvis I don't have pick between culture war and economics.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Seems teh skwrlz don't play favorites.

  • entropy||

    I think he screwed up a bit here if he's trying to pimp Cucinelli to socons.

    Cucinelli ought to already motivate the socons.

    What Rand should have done was go talk to Libertarians if he really wanted to impact Cucinelli's chances. But maybe he just wants to bolster his GOP potus primary voting base with VA socons.

  • Tony||

    Pretty funny coming from a guy who pals around with white supremacists.

  • John||

    Whatever gets you through the night Tony. But I give you credit. Unlike Shreek, you at least know how to properly put the lies out.

  • Tony||

    So Obama's alleged connection to Bill Ayers, whatever that was, constitutes palling around, but Rand Paul employing a vocal and prominent white supremacist doesn't?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Rand Paul can no more repudiate the Confederate Avenger than he could repudiate his own white grandmother. The Confederate Avenger was just a guy who lived in Paul's neighborhood.

  • Tony||

    If by that you mean he was a paid staffer until he was sacked for being a white supremacist, yeah he "lived in Paul's neighborhood."

  • ||

    Oblivious troll is oblivious.

  • Nazdrakke||

    It's true, I saw him at Chuck E Cheeses with the at least 20 skinheads just yesterday.

  • Austrian Anarchy||


    "The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people's reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority. Not offering selection for nondisease genes would indirectly interfere (by denying choice) to promote social ideals such as equality or 'population welfare.'

    It was not just the Nazis, it was all over the place. Everywhere where Leftists roamed, there was this sort of twisted thinking. BTW, anybody who does not think Hitler and Mussolini were Leftists, show some policy of theirs that was not Leftist.

  • Nazdrakke||

    When you are convinced that you can create the perfect society and the perfect people required for it your ideas will embrace every possible evil.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Just like the Weathermen and R.I.S.E. Others too.

  • ||

    Mussolini was definitely influenced by leftist ideology as his father was a hard core socialist. However, he attempted to fashion Fascism into something that was neither 'right or left' but I tend to agree that Hitler and Mussolini were "more" left-wing than right-wing as seems to be believed in some circles.

  • Juice||

    Why do the wings matter anyway? So what if Hitler was right wing or left wing?

  • marshaul||

    I agree. What does it even mean? Of what consequence is it?

    Statism is statism. Authoritarianism is authoritarianism.

  • widget||

    I live in an affluent Los Angeles suburb. On Halloween parents from other areas drop their kids off here to trick-or-treat. My wife bought $50 worth of candy from CostCo to hand out. I said "We should hand out birth control pills instead." The wife does not respond to stuff like that.

  • ||

    I'm from an affluent part of Montreal and my wife liked that remark, widget.

    Then again, for all her conservatism (and lemme tell ya she scares me sometimes) she has a twisted sense of humor.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Ah, so you grew up in the mansions in Westmount?

  • ||

    Westmount isn't the only affluent place in Mtl. There's Outremont which is more French-Canadian. There's also the West Island which comprises towns like Kirkland and Beaconsfield - again, like Westmount largely Anglo (including Irish, Italian, Jewish etc.)

    I grew up in a suburb of Montreal.

  • lap83||

    Pro choicers ask why abortion is such a big deal to those against it. I have to wonder why someone would want so badly for a baby not to be born.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Setting that aside, the critical question should be: who decides who gets to be born? Parents or politicians?

    Fatuous bullshit. The question is -- the question has always been -- when is an individual human being a person? The conclusions of the pro-life and pro-choice movement -- and many other debates of that nature -- have validity contingent on the answer to this question.

    Historically, classical liberals and their predecessors have tended to favor a "broad view" of humanity with non-arbitrary rights -- that is to say, the view favored tended to be that anything identifiable as human and alive had rights which had to be respected. Others have favored "narrow" views of humanity, choosing to create either taxonomies and gradations of personhood contingent on race, ethnicity, gender, social status, religion, intelligence, physical deformities, etc -- or choosing to label some in those groups as not being persons at all. The pro-choice side is arguing for a narrower view of personhood than their opponents -- whatever the merits of that argument, this is not an unfair or uncharitable interpretation of their position.

    This narrow construction of humanity is going to piss some people off, for all of the right reasons. If pro-choicers want to keep pretending that pro-lifers are all a bunch of misogynists, religious nuts, or statists then they have missed the point entirely and should re-assess the integrity of their POV.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Well said.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    When your idea of personhood becomes so broad that it includes single cell embryos it has entered the land of the absurd. By your logic animal rights advocates that get upset about violating the rights of flies have the 'broadest' view of what has rights we must respect, and therefore can use your argument right back at you (by drawing the line at the genetically human you join those who drew the line at skin color, gender, etc.).

    -the view favored tended to be that anything identifiable as human and alive had rights which had to be respected

    I do not think people started to argue that, say, embryo's were human persons with rights until recent biological ideas about DNA and such came to light. Common law and early statutory prohibitions on abortion did not treat it as murder, rather it was included along with provisions restricting a wide variety of 'procreative crimes' (such as using contraception).

  • Metazoan||

    When your idea of personhood becomes so broad that it includes single cell embryos it has entered the land of the absurd.

    Gonna have to agree with you here, Bo. I can't see how this is anything but absurd.

  • Mickey Rat||

    And, again, there's where SCOTUS poisoned the political through Roe.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    By your logic animal rights advocates that get upset about violating the rights of flies have the 'broadest' view of what has rights we must respect

    Correct. Don't agree with that view myself but it has a certain validity and internal consistency to it which shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

    therefore can use your argument

    That wasn't an argument, it was an observation written as part of an explanation for why Bailey's question and framing are bullshit. The relevant question on which libertarian arguments should be predicated relates to what criterion are sufficient for personhood, and whether an embryo or a fetus satisfies those criterion.

    I do not think people started to argue that, say, embryo's were human persons with rights until recent biological ideas about DNA and such came to light. Common law and early statutory prohibitions on abortion did not treat it as murder

    Incorrect. The 1861 Offenses Against the Person Act in England, and similar laws in the US, followed medical inquiry as to the fetus (which became of interest as a result of studies in evolutionary biology). England and Wales, as well as most of the northern US states, established post-quickening abortions (quickening being the most advanced way to determine pregnancy) as felonies with life imprisonment. (Aiding a woman seeking an abortion was also established as a felony.)

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The Offenses Against the Person Act in England had a penalty of death for murder, but life for abortion. Does that not demonstrate my point?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No, since your point is that abortion was treated like contraceptives. That was only true prior to the 1800s (especially the late 1800s). Abortion and infanticide were treated as equivalent following this legislation. Infanticide continues to be treated differently from first-degree murder, just as first-degree murder is distinguished from second-degree murder is differentiated from manslaughter -- and just as all forms of NAP-violating deprivations of life are treated differently from one another.

    Or do you wish to argue against the concept of differentiating between different violations of NAP?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -since your point is that abortion was treated like contraceptives

    I did not say it was treated like contraceptives, but that it was 'it was included along with provisions restricting a wide variety of 'procreative crimes,'' by which I meant that they were grouped together in statutory codes and enforced by the same agencies. For example, Comstock laws targeted abortion and contraception.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Comstock Laws were federal laws enacted after nearly every state had already criminalized abortion as felonies. They were un-Constitutional in nature and were absurd destructions of the federal system produced by an obsessed latter-day witch-hunter acting far outside his Constitutional mandate. They are not reflective of the normal situation of anti-abortion laws enacted in republics with the general police power.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Where were early abortion statutes grouped in state codes?

    Also,

    -enacted after nearly every state had already criminalized abortion as felonies.

    Nearly every state classified it as a felony before 1873?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Nearly every state classified it as a felony before 1873?

    By the time the 1861 Offense Against the Persons Act was passed in England, 36 of 38 US states had passed laws criminalizing abortion. (This excludes states classifying it as a misdemeanor.) Every state but one had it classified as a felony by the 1900s.

    Source: the extremely right-wing Feminism101

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Interesting. I have to wonder how many may have been 'anti-poisoning' laws, but I will concede that Comstock followed these laws (actually, the source seems to imply it was shortly later part of the same 'wave,' which bolsters my view).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Infanticide continues to be treated differently from first-degree murder

    Is not that odd if a fetus and infant are fully deserving of human rights? Should not it be a matter of intent? What does it say that this 'class of living humans' as you might put it gets less protection?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    What does it say that this 'class of living humans' as you might put it gets less protection?

    Less protection than what? Life in prison was the proscribed punishment for manslaughter as well -- are we to say that the victims are manslaughter are being devalued or left unprotected? Abortion is differentiated from murder by the mental and physical strains of pregnancy, lack of malicious intent, and a lack of general knowledge among the populace about the level of development of a fetus. This justifies a lower level of punishment than a first-degree, premeditated murder.

    At any rate, I have more than satisfied the proof needed to show that as a rule, laws against abortion were clearly classed as violent, life-depriving felonies rather than as laws against contraceptives.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -lack of malicious intent

    What? The mother and abortionists pre-meditatively and purposely abort the child.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In the state of North Carolina, for example, the law against abortion (in effect since 1881 and, though largely unenforceable since Roe, was re-adopted over and over) makes abortion a Class H felony. As you can probably guess, the classes of felonies goes alphabetically from most to least serious. H is pretty low for a law meant to protect a human life with full human rights, no?

    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/En....._14-44.pdf

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agreed wrt the abortionist, disagree on the mother. The typical profile of an abortion-seeking mother is that of a very young woman (often a minor) lacking a support network, financial resources, and knowledge who vacillates on making a decision -- often until 24 hours within choosing to seek an abortion, often under duress. This is a profile which describes many of the women I have come into contact with who sought an abortion, and is one reason why 24, 48, and 72 hour waiting period laws (as well as informed consent laws) have been so effective at reducing the abortion rate in Europe and the US.

    In addition to the general state of pregnancy, many of these factors muddy the waters as to how premeditated and purposeful abortion is for the mother. These concerns are only the tip of the iceberg vis a vis differences between 1-st degree murder and abortion. Given that the two main purposes of criminal law are justice/restitution and rehabilitation (as well as the practical effect of such laws), I believe that there are many reasons to consider lesser (or even no) penalties for women participating in abortions. Poland for example seems to do very well prosecuting only the abortionists and not the mother.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Abortion laws in the South pre-R v W were traditionally much weaker than those in the Northeastern US and England -- and as you acknowledge, it was still classed as a felony.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -it was still classed as a felony.

    A class H felony! This is the penalty for purposely killing another person? I submit to you this is evidence that even those who claim to be certain about this being the 'killing of a person' are not ready to accept where that logic leads. Their lived experience, 'common sense' or what have you rebels against it. It is almost as if it is one of those issues that is so far from being clear that perhaps state coercion should not be introduced to address it...

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    In the South, apparently so -- shocking, considering Reconstruction-era Southerners' concern as to the rights of others.

    At any rate, not in the category of law governing contraceptives which (as has been stated several times) was the point of this discussion since you erroneously stated that common law dictated American norms vis a vis abortion until the discovery of DNA. You can figure out the implications of the South's far weaker protections for the unborn by yourself...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The typical profile of an abortion-seeking mother is that of a very young woman (often a minor)

    That does not seem to be correct.

    -Women aged 20–24 have the highest abortion rate of any age-group

    http://www.guttmacher.org/in-t.....stics.html

    -24, 48, and 72 hour waiting period laws (as well as informed consent laws)

    Perhaps they produce that effect, but they are certainly patronizing laws that libertarians would not accept in other areas.

    Overall though, I still see no convincing argument regarding prosecution of the women. A grown adult knows what they are doing. They certainly premeditate the matter in the legal sense of the word. Their actions are certainly purposive. That they are in a 'tight spot' does not put other people who purposely and pre-meditatively kill another person.

    Look at the position your unwillingness to follow the logic of your position leads you to. A waiting period may be appropriate for the young woman seeking abortion, but the same young woman who purposely and premeditatively follows through with what you think is murder should perhaps receive 'no' punishment. You actually are more willing to use coercion against the woman considering the abortion than one who has, in your view, killed someone else.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    14-24 year olds comprise 3/4s of those seeking abortions. That's damned young -- hell, most of those ladies are going to be covered by their parents' health insurance long after they've undergone perhaps the most significant elective procedure of their young lives!

    they are certainly patronizing laws that libertarians would not accept in other areas.

    They certainly are, which is why I strongly prefer laws criminalizing abortion. In either case, it's neither here nor there since my point is that they provide evidence for the claim that a substantial number of abortions are made more or less "on the spot".

    A waiting period may be appropriate

    I don't support waiting periods; I simply noted their efficacy. I don't support stop-and-frisk laws either, but they also seem to have been effective.

    what you think is murder should perhaps receive 'no' punishment

    I would characterize abortion as being more similar to voluntary manslaughter than murder in terms of intent and context, and would prefer to treat it as such. (My position on legal penalties for manslaughter are about the same as my position on legal penalties for abortion.) Abortionists -- who have more knowledge of the biology of an unborn child and are not encumbered by a lack of experience or the effects which accompany a pregnancy -- should be held to a higher standard.

  • Tony||

    Come now. If an unborn child has full personhood rights, then the mother has to be charged with murder 1. I don't see how you can avoid that. And there can be no exception for rape, of course.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, abortion of early pregnancy was legal under common law. Abortions were illegal only after "quickening," the point at which a pregnant woman could feel the movements of the fetus (approximately the fourth month of pregnancy). Indeed, the term abortion referred only to the miscarriages of later pregnancies, after quickening.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pas.....bortex.htm

    Blackstone denounces abortion as a 'heinous misdemeanor' at common law.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    "eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries"

    =/=

    "especially the late 1800s"

    Offenses Against the Person Act, 1861

  • Robert||

    The question is -- the question has always been -- when is an individual human being a person?


    No, it's not. The question is, what things is it OK to kill? Sometimes it's OK to kill a person, sometimes not.

  • widget||

    Others have favored "narrow" views of humanity, choosing to create either taxonomies and gradations of personhood contingent on race, ethnicity, gender, social status, religion, intelligence, physical deformities, etc -- or choosing to label some in those groups as not being persons at all.

    Age is important too. You are eligible to obtain a drivers license at 16 or so, but not at 5. You have the right to trial by jury at age 18, but not so much at 16. I'm not up for an argument on this but the age caveat is part of both side's arguments.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's fair, but all of those restrictions (in principle, anyways) are rooted in the notion that minors have rights while lacking the autonomy/development to properly assert and defend those rights. Arguably this is bullshit in some cases (drinking age would be a good example), and perhaps the entire dichotomy of minor/not-minor is one without basis. That is a different discussion altogether from claiming that your claim to obtaining what you want trumps another person's right to life/liberty/happiness by dint of their lesser status in the taxonomy of personhood.

  • Metazoan||

    “In your lifetime, much of your potential — or lack thereof — can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek."

    um, no.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Some people believe that. And the people who would be OK with parents voluntarily choosing eugenics are implicitly agreeing to that point of view.

  • Metazoan||

    Yeah, well, as someone who does bioinformatics, although genetics is a very valuable tool, that's a stupid belief (unless you are talking about very obvious genetic defects, which is assuredly not the majority of the population).

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm not saying I agree, or that it is mainstream, but I have definitely heard people who argue that genetic testing can tell you who is predisposed to what sort of behavior. Whether that is realized is a different story. But the people who would be OK with eugenics under any circumstances are basically arguing that you can judge the value of a human life using a DNA test.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "The Nazis sought to interfere directly in people's reproductive decisions (by forcing them to be sterilized) to promote social ideals, particularly around racial superiority. Not offering selection for nondisease genes would indirectly interfere (by denying choice) to promote social ideals such as equality or 'population welfare.' There is no relevant difference between direct and indirect eugenics. The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking."

    This is hilarious. "Forbidding genetically modified/selected embryos is eugenics because eugenics is Greek for 'equality' ... or something like that."

  • Juice||

    Why was he bringing this up? Oh, to pander to religious wackos.

    Does anyone think that forced sterilization is going to make a serious comeback? I mean besides the occasional modest proposal that gets nowhere.

    And WTF is Rand Paul doing supporting Ken Coochinator?

    This sort of shit is why I don't support Rand Paul.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Does anyone think that forced sterilization is going to make a serious comeback?

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? As you read this, forced sterilization is a fact of life for women in many parts of the world.

    At any rate forced sterilization is not addressed by Paul; "voluntary" eugenics by way of abortion are.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "voluntary" eugenics by way of abortion are.

    Not in Europe. Something like 90% of detected Down's pregnancies are terminated.

  • Metazoan||

    I guess I don't really see anything right or wrong about that.

  • Sidd Finch||

    agreed

  • ||

    forced sterilization is a fact of life for women in many parts of the world.

    Yeah i thought of that also after i clicked submit in my post below.

    Forced sterilization does still go on outside the US....and in some cases our foreign aid goes to pay for it....invariably we give money to some two bit tyrant for women's health, birth control and family planning and then that two bit tyrant uses the money to serialize women of some undesired minority group.

  • Juice||

    Uh, so if Rand is against abortion for reasons of violating the rights of the unborn, that's one thing, but I doubt he would still oppose abortion for ONLY the reason that he thinks it's some form of eugenics.

  • ||

    Does anyone think that forced sterilization is going to make a serious comeback?

    Nope.

    Forced birth control on the other hand...

    Yes I fear that is very possible and I am an atheist.

  • Metazoan||

    Forced birth control on the other hand...

    Why? Where? I mean, I guess anything is possible, but I would assign this a relatively low probability compared to other tyrannical things.

  • ||

    Go read comments of left wing progressives...as I mentioned before Tony was advocating for this very thing here only a few months ago.

  • Metazoan||

    Fair enough. I don't know if that means it's actually likely to happen, though.

  • Mickey Rat||

    China, North Carolina and other states in the last century...

  • LynchPin1477||

    The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking

    The lesson I learned from eugenics is that other people shouldn't be in the business of judging the value of a human life, especially before it has even been lived.

    And as John, Immaculate Trouser, and Mickey Rat stated nicely above, for those of us who believe life begins somewhere before birth, eugenics (coerced or not) does exactly that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's no reason to back Paul on any of this.

    He's playing for the social conservatives that nominate Republican candidates for president.

    More power to him!

    I'll look forward to when it's no longer necessary for him to say this stuff anymore.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Washington Post, as noted above, spun a just-so story about the history of eugenics laws.

    "Some states ran eugenics programs that sterilized those considered defective in the 1900s, though all were abandoned by the 1970s after scientists discredited the idea."

    This leaves the impression - is intended to leave the impression - that eugenics was given up because some scientists were in their lab and said, "whoops, eugenics is wrong," and public policy makers went and said, "OK, then let's abolish it."

    In the real world, eugenics and its promoters (such as Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes) claimed that theirs was the scientific position. Many scientists backed them up - with bad research, to be sure, but being a bad scientist doesn't mean you're not a scientist. Anyway, science doesn't justify violating fundamental human values.

    The Catholic Church fought a noble rear-guard action against the eugenicists. The Catholic position was that the family is prior to the state and has an independent existence that the state cannot violate - and that the individual human being has inherent dignity.

    Then the national socialists came along and helped discredit eugenics for many secular people. But the policy continued in many state until the civil rights movement got the remaining laws repealed.

    But, yeah, it was scientists who were the heroes.

  • Metazoan||

    What is with your insistence that scientists are amoral and evil? Yes, there are bad ones. Do you think this is some kind of successful argument against science?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    My remark about "many" "bad scientists" translates into an attack on all science...how, exactly?

  • Metazoan||

    It's a pattern. You tend to bring up teh evul scientist whenever someone uses science to justify something.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would love for you to give some examples of this. If you can't do this, I call BS.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Many scientists backed them up - with bad research, to be sure

    examples of bad research?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "examples of bad research?"

    Here ya go:

    "Between 1910 and 1940, the [Cold Spring Harbor] laboratory [in NY] was the base of the Eugenics Record Office of biologist Charles B. Davenport and his assistant Harry H. Laughlin, two prominent American eugenicists of the period. In 1935 the Carnegie Institution sent a team to review their work, and as a result the ERO was ordered to stop all work. In 1939 the Institute withdrew funding for the ERO entirely, leading to its closure. Their reports, articles, charts, and pedigrees were considered scientific "facts" in their day, but have since been discredited. However, this closure came 15 years after its findings were incorporated into the National Origins Act (Immigration Act of 1924), which severely reduced the number of immigrants to America from southern and eastern Europe who, Harry Laughlin testified, were racially inferior to the Nordic immigrants from England and Germany. Charles Davenport was also the founder and the first director of the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations in 1925."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....ry#History

  • Sidd Finch||

    Where's the "bad research"? (I'm assuming by "bad" you don't mean "morally bad")

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I refer to the bad research which a review team found to be bad.

  • Sidd Finch||

    That unsourced paragraph doesn't say why Carnegie pulled the funding, and the ERO wiki says that UMinn took all the records when it closed.

    This is hardly evidence that "bad research" was systemic among eugenics.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    see below

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So eugenic research was discredited as early as 1939, not in the Enlightened Seventies as the Washington Post claims. Note, though, that the bad science had already done its work and remained codified in federal [and state] law for decades.

  • Sidd Finch||

    There's no cite that anything at CSHL was actually discredited.

    Even the Wiki writer only claims that it was later discredited, not that it was discredited in 1939.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    First off, the case against eugenics doesn't depend on whether the Cold Spring guys were right about East Europeans and other alleged undesirables passing on bad genes to their offspring. The case against eugenics depends on the dignity of human beings, the integrity of the family as an institution prior and superior to the state, even if the family is East European or otherwise dysgenic.

    Second off, check this summary of research casting doubt on eugenic assumptions. Here's a sample:

    "A review panel, convened by the Carnegie Institution in 1935 [see above - EvH], concluded that the vast majority of work sponsored by the Eugenics Record Office was without scientific merit and recommended a halt to its propagandising for eugenic social programs, such as sterilization and immigration restriction. In retrospect, it is easy to recount these lines of evidence that refuted key eugenic tenets."

    http://www.eugenicsarchive.org.....l?theme=26

  • Metazoan||

    The case against eugenics depends on the dignity of human beings

    In a very important way, yes, but don't exclude the fact that eugenics often doesn't work.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Indeed, that was my back-up argument.

  • Sidd Finch||

    That link is all bullshit and half-truths. (e.g. Who doesn't understand the Hardy-Weinberg Principle: that author or RA Fisher?)

    For the rest of your comment, you're just placing all the things you don't like into a naughty bin called "eugenics". An infertile woman selects sperm from the bank that will most likely give her children traits she favors. That's literally eugenes (good stock), but you and Bailey and Bailey's batty bioethicist don't consider that eugenics. Why? The only reason I can see is that it's not a Bad Thing.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Feel free to reword that example sensibly.

  • Killazontherun||

    "Some states ran eugenics programs that sterilized those considered defective in the 1900s, though all were abandoned by the 1970s after scientists discredited the idea."

    Haven't you heard the story? Around 1977-78 thereabouts, a group of biologist, researchers in human intelligence at the University of Chicago were enjoying lunch at a small park near the campus. A group of black kids were playing the dozens with such skill and verbal repertoire that the entire group of researchers had the sudden revelation of the limits in intelligence testing. Rushed back to their school, got the governor on the phone to immediately halt Illinois' eugenics program.

  • Phaenius||

    I am a bit confused here, is this a Libertarian site...the one that reason puports to rule?

    Just out of curiosity, how do you rank John Locke among your thinking?

  • Metazoan||

    For a site called Reason...

  • Mickey Rat||

    Peter's a sociopath.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Nice job Ron! Can you ask Rand what kind of pizza he likes?

  • ||

    Obviously deep dish. Duh!

  • DMH001||

    Sarvis is a real libertarian? Are you sure about that? http://thefederalist.com/2013/.....te-survey/

  • Metazoan||

    needz moar purity!!11!

  • DMH001||

    Sarvis supports Medicaid expansion and VA transportation tax. Seems like opposition to these positions would be the very least you expect from a libertarian. Perhaps you can defend him, since he will not do so himself.

  • Nixonfan||

    The "libertarian" message seems to be that (a) if you are a woman, the state should decide whether and when you must bring your baby to term; and (b) if you privately contract with a physician for an unapproved abortion, both you and he should go to jail. If this is libertarian, give me statism. Pro-life is pro-state and is really the imposition of a state religion.

  • ||

    Filthy statist cunts won't let you contract privately with a legitimate businessman to have your husband whacked if you find out he's having an affair either. SLAVERS!

    For pro-life people who actually think that a fetus is entitled to the full gamut of human rights, there's no distinction between the two, and I think you'd be very hard pressed to find a single libertarian who supports a right to private contract-killing.

  • SoyIsMurder||

    The sudden drop in crime observed in the early 1990's can be partially traced to a sharp reduction in the number of unwanted children that began shortly after Roe V. Wade. If that qualifies as eugenics, sign me up.

    How does Rand Paul get credited with being a libertarian when he clearly believes that his personal religious beliefs are more important than other people's freedom to choose.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Executions for the pre-criminal! Huzzah!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Notice that even if we assume this thesis is true, be achieve the drop in crime only by excluding abortion from the crime statistics. Which begs the question.

    At least in that movie about the Department of Pre-Crime, a panel of psychics had to ascertain, *as to each victim,* that the person would commit a crime in the future. Abortionists run no such tests when they kill off the unborn.

  • Metazoan||

    Notice that even if we assume this thesis is true, be achieve the drop in crime only by excluding abortion from the crime statistics. Which begs the question.

    It does if we're talking about this as a reason to keep abortion legal (and I think it would be a stupid reason, for if you are right it's no justification). But if we are talking about the effects of abortion on criminal behavior in society then it's not begging the question

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would factor abortion in with the criminal statistics. So even if, out of 100 aborted children, one-fifth would have gone on to commit criminal homicides (which I doubt), that means you've committed criminal homicide against 100 human beings in order to avoid criminal homicides against 20 human beings.

    Or as Tom Baker would put it:

    http://iandsharman.tumblr.com/.....gether-and

  • Sidd Finch||

    A similar point is made in this review of The Better Angels.

  • Sidd Finch||

    There isn't a strong geographical correlation between decreasing crime and increasing abortions. The theory makes sense, there just isn't much in the way of support.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The theory makes sense, there just isn't much in the way of support."

    Then it would be a hypothesis at best, not a theory.

  • Sidd Finch||

    What would you call Catholicism?

  • ||

    A religion?

  • Mickey Rat||

    So it is not only an awful ethical justification for abortion, it probably is not even correct.

  • BambiB||

  • BambiB||

  • OldMexican||

    Re: BambiB,

    Abortion reduces crime.


    That would mean that what ails Chicago is its woefully low abortion rates. Right?

    See, that what happens when you have faux economists mistaking correlation with causation. Freakanomics is full with such bad correlations.

  • Sidd Finch||

    That would mean that what ails Chicago is its woefully low abortion rates. Right?

    See, that what happens when you have faux economists mistaking correlation with causation.

    amazing

  • Sidd Finch||

    If some economist has a half-baked theory that's so genetic determinist that Sailer sees obvious problems, go with Sailer.

    http://www.economist.com/node/5246700

  • OldMexican||

    Setting that aside, the critical question should be: who decides who gets to be born? Parents or politicians?


    Say, kids! Do you know what time it is?
    It's false dichotomy time!

    It's false dichotomy time!
    It's false dichotomy time!
    Ron Bailey and false dichotomy
    say hi there to thee!

    How about NO ONE deciding who gets to be born, Ron? And please, no equivocation: I don't mean conceived, I mean born.

  • Tony||

    Women will decide whether they carry their babies to term. If abortion is outlawed, they will decide to do it in an environment of dangerous black market or personal means. You have to balance the moral claim that embryos are persons with the necessarily accompanying moral claim that women who get abortions must be charged with first-degree murder. If you can't admit that is necessary then your heart really isn't in this.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Women will decide whether they carry their babies to term.


    At least you called them "babies" and not "fetuses".

    You have to balance the moral claim that embryos are persons with the necessarily accompanying moral claim that women who get abortions must be charged with first-degree murder.


    The second is not a moral claim but a legal claim. The moral claim that a fetus is a human is not necessarily nor de facto accompanied by the legal claim that women who abort their babies must be charged with murder. Whatever individuals decide to do when facing such women is up to them, like ostracism or shunning, but government force is not the logical conclusion to an anti-abortion stance.

  • Tony||

    If fetuses have the same legal status as crawling babies, then how can the law treat their murders differently?

  • Seamus||

    I believe abortion is a politically intractable issue because we are divided not just on the political issue but on the metaphysical issue. Given that, I find it counterproductive to try to settle the matter through the coercive power of the state. Trying to do so has ruined our political discourse and radicalized our political parties.

    As Governor of Virginia (and of all Virginians, including those on both sides of the issue), I will ask those on both sides of the issue to spend the next four years using moral suasion in their private lives to change others' opinions.

    Think how much trouble could have been avoided if people in Virginia and elsewhere had taken that attitude in 1860 toward the metaphysical issue of whether human beings were the kind of things that could appropriately be held in slavery.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Think how much trouble could have been avoided if people in Virginia and elsewhere had taken that attitude in 1860

    People in Virginia did take that attitude in 1860 -- John Bell (the "pro-choice, anti-Roe v Wade" analogous candidate in the 1860 election) won Virginia and two other Southern states.

  • Gina Luttrell||

    I'm still waiting for a news story on this to give the whole quote where he says this. Otherwise, this just looks like shitty reporting to me...

  • ||

    The lengths to which people will go to kill defenseless babies in the womb are criminal, terroristic and cowardly. Everyone who does so should face an advocate for the baby who will physically fight to stop the crime. 50 million babies killed in their mother’s wombs in America. The slaughter of the innocents. There’s a payday someday!

  • BambiB||

    Yes, of course you're right. Much better that the unwanted offspring of the stupid and lazy grow up to become unwanted adults who rape, and steal, and kill and plunder. Much better that we raise this human flotsam to adulthood - where we can warehouse it in prisons (at an enormous cost to society).

    I'm all for a ban on abortions - as soon as abortion foes will step up and guarantee the financial and educational care of every baby not aborted. That's right, FloydHowardJr, I'm calling on you to put your money where your mouth is. The cost to raise a baby to age 18 is about $350,000. Community college adds another $80K. So as soon as you write a personal check for $430,000, you can stop ONE abortion. Want to stop two? Just come up with $860,000.

    Now if it seems unfair that you should have to bear the burden of raising this bit of dick dribble to adulthood, bear in mind that it's YOUR sensibilities that are offended. You want things your way? Pay for it. And don't expect everyone else to pay for what YOU want. We're already taxed enough to subsidize the worthless segments of society... and you want to add to our burden?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: BambiB,

    Much better that the unwanted offspring of the stupid and lazy grow up to become unwanted adults who rape, and steal, and kill and plunder.


    I am sure you're glad that your mom did not deemed you one "unwanted" offspring because that means, ipso facto, your mom is not part of the "stupid and lazy" which means you're not one either.

    It's an interesting way of being a pedantic asshole, to be sure.

  • TreII28||

    defenseless babies? I wonder if you put up that much of a fuss when tumors are removed or limbs amputated. Sure, a zygote or a first trimester embryo are generally more sophisticated than a tumor, but the attribution of 'baby' is just as inaccurate.

  • BambiB||

    "The lesson we learned from eugenics is that society should be loath to interfere (directly and indirectly) in reproductive decisionmaking."

    Actually, we practice a sort of reverse eugenics now. Rather than leave the less intelligent, non-productive leeches in our society to die of starvation, we subsidize them with food stamps, welfare and midnight basketball. As Rand's father Ron is fond of saying, "If you subsidize something, you get more of it." Well, we've got more stupid people than nature ever would have allowed without the reverse eugenics program.

    How about we turn that around? How about subsidizing the educational opportunities of the most gifted? Why not give them free food and free housing to free them to research and create and innovate?

    Instead, our female-dominated political system caters to the dumbest and least-productive among us, driving up huge debts and pushing us inexorably towards disaster.

    Still, Darwin will not be denied. When the dollar melts down and society comes unhinged, there will be among us those who thought, and foresaw and prepared and are ready. And there will be those who were blinkered and stupid and saw nothing but the empty promises of big government... and they will (hopefully) die out - and take their genetic material with them.

  • Tony||

    If you're a libertarian you should know that you're only supposed to implicitly endorse social Darwinism.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    First, you have no fucking idea of what you're talking about. There's no such thing as social Darwinism. There's no such thing as Darwinisn to begin with. Social Darwinism was a term invented by critics of the natural selection theory on evolution.

    Second, libertarians do not advocate for what you think is "social Darwinism" - we advocate personal freedom as the greatest political goal. That's it, no more.

  • Tony||

    Being condescended to by stupid people is really fucking annoying.

    Yeah you endorse pretty much the narrowest definition of freedom possible (absence of government), and it results in maximum freedom for a lucky few and minimum freedom for everyone else, and you're okay with that because you don't even profess to care about the outcomes.

  • TreII28||

    But Brawndo is what plants crave!
    It has electrolytes!

  • libertarian chic||

    True to form, Rand shows up to campaign for some punk republican against a real Libertarian.

  • libertarian chic||

    90% of abortions occur in the first trimester, 99% occur in the first two trimesters. Prohibition is the statist position. If what happens inside our own skin is not off limits to the state, what is? The world is not perfect, humans and human progress are messy and imperfect. This is not an issue on which people will ever agree. The default position should be liberty, not the force of the state. Do we really need self-righteous goons on the "abortion squad" kicking down doors in the middle of the night over suspicions of a bloody coat hanger? Think it wouldn't happen here? see "drug war" What if a woman fails to turn on a light in the middle at night, falls and has a miscarriage. Is that manslaughter? Those opposed should try education and persuasion as Mr. Sarvis stated, not the force of the state. How about promoting (not via the state) other means of birth control? After all, the surest route to multi-generational poverty is teen child birth coupled with government dependence. Perhaps you should educate on this issue and try to break this cycle that wastes so many lives. The welfare statists and the pro-lifers ought to get along great, given that the state is paying people to have children they are not in a position to financially support, and perpetuating this cycle. These are real problems affecting the lives of those who are already born, not intellectual "how many angels can dance on a pinhead" discussions about exactly when "life" really begins. Try liberty.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: libertarian chich,

    Prohibition is the statist position.


    Prohibition of victimless exchanges and actions is statism. However, prohibition of acts of aggression against the innocent stems from the moral principle of protection of individual rights.

  • ||

    Taking for granted that fetuses are sub-human and entitled to no rights or protections nicely avoids such a conundrum. Now all you have to do is agree.

  • magma2||

    The whole point is that it's not just what happens "in our own skin," but the skin of another. It's certainly not an issue that the fed gov't has any Constitutional role, but that's old news. And, last I checked a miscarriage is about as willful an act as getting struck by lightning. The rest of your rambling unfocused argument is hardly worth the time to respond. However, it's exactly the kind of hackneyed argument that keeps Libertarians in the perpetual periphery.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?"

    Yes.

  • magma2||

    When it comes to the imagined freedom to take a life as long as it is in utero is the irrational libertarian blind spot. Individual rights begin with life, not physical birth. The willful taking of a life, while a choice, is no less murder than putting a gun to someone's head and pulling the trigger.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is not quite irrational because there is a conflict of rights involved. However, the pro-abortion rights libertarians tend to have an irrational stake in the idea the answer is obvious and there can be no argument.

  • Robert||

    What if the living thing in utero doesn't mind being killed?

  • TreII28||

    A strawman and a slippery slope in one feign swoop. Do folks still want to pretend this guy gets it? Sure, he's better than the hardcore progressives, but just like his father, his religion and his dedication to the RNC (but I repeat myself) get in the way of his so-called libertarian ways.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I just finished a stint on the jury of a three-week civil trial, in which the plaintiffs alleged that the birth of a (now happy and otherwise healthy 3 year-old) child who was missing a hand was a DAMAGE to him and his family, which could have been prevented, had the sonographers and OB/GYNS only seen this defect in pre-natal ultrasound photographs and notified the mother, so that she could have exercised her abortion rights just before the midway point in the pregnancy. The plaintiffs wanted around two million dollars to set the boy up with prosthetics for his entire life (not to mention pain and suffering damages for the mother). In other words, the medical providers were being sued, not because any act on their part CAUSED the birth defect, but because a mistake on their part, in failing to recognize the defect early on (or at any time during the pregnancy, to be fair), let an "imperfect" child be born. I came into the trial with an open mind, but looking back on the proceedings, it is hard for me to imagine a greater obscenity than the perversion of law that this suit attempted: "We have a right to sweep away anything that isn't perfect, and if anything you do or don't do prevents us from exercising that right, you must pay." Forget about right to life, or right to choose. In the end, it always comes down to dollars.

  • bloopville@aol.com||

    There is a logical fallacy as a premise, here. That fallacy is that Eugenics is bad because the Nazi's practiced it. I don't know if Eugenics is good or bad. I only know that something is not bad because an evil person practices it. If an evil person practices monogamy, that doesn't make monogamy bad.
    There is also the confusion here between "the thing" (Eugenics), and the way the Nazi's practiced "the thing".
    If you were to tell me that science could breed out a disease that kills, let's say 500,000, and the cost would be 20,000 unborn children, I don't know if I have the tools to evaluate that as a right or wrong societal choice. If you are that smart, I bow to your superior wisdom.

  • Bellbiv||

    Abortion is not a political issue, it is a personal issue, let's move on. I always wonder what the extremely anti-religion Ayn Rand would have to say about Paul's Dominion Theology view of politics...

  • Michael Hihn||

    A shame. Rand Paul committed political suicide. Eugenics is a code word among the American Taliban.

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