Censorship

'Pornography Advocate at DOJ': One of the Bright Spots in the Obama Administration

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This column by Janet M. LaRue, general counsel at Concerned Women for America, aims to alarm us about David Ogden, President Obama's choice for deputy attorney general. Instead it makes Ogden sound like a vigorous defender of the First Amendment and one of Obama's best nominees. Here are the particulars of LaRue's indictment:

Opposed the Children's Internet Protection Act, which required federally-funded libraries to utilize Internet filters.

Challenged the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988 and the Child Protection Restoration and Penalties Enhancement Act of 1990. Ogden argued that requiring porn producers to personally verify that their models were over age 18 would "burden too heavily and infringe too deeply on the right to produce First Amendment-protected material."

1988: a challenge to Puerto Rico's decision to ban obscene content from cable

1986: sought an order forcing the Library of Congress to use taxpayer funds to print Playboy Magazine's articles in Braille against the express wishes of Congress

1990: sought an injunction against the inclusion of Playboy in a list of adult magazines that would potentially be included in the Meese Commission report

PHE, Inc. & Adam & Eve (1990): represented one of the biggest producers of hard-core videos against a multidistrict prosecution strategy by the DOJ.

Amicus (friend-of-the court) briefs in support of obscenity and child porn cases:
Fort Wayne Books Inc. v. Indiana (1989) (on behalf of PHE against charging federal RICO laws in a state obscenity case).

Virginia v. American Booksellers Association (1988) (on behalf of Freedom to Read Foundation against a "Harmful to Minors" law)

Pope v. Illinois (1987): (on behalf of the ACLU and PHE Inc. in an obscenity case).

Knox v. U.S. (1993) videos titled, "Little Girl Bottoms (Underside)" and "Little Blondes": Ogden argued that the videos weren't child porn unless "the genitals or pubic area exhibited" were "somewhat visible or discernible through the child's clothing."

These all seem to me like marks in Ogden's favor, even that last case. I assume he was arguing for an objective definition of child pornography, as opposed to one that can transform harmless, unobjectionable images into proscribable material based on the thoughts of the people viewing them. 

At his confirmation hearing last week, Ogden distinguished between his role as an advocate for clients such as Playboy and his role as a Justice Department official, saying he would not hesitate to enforce laws that have been upheld by the courts even if he had challenged their constitutionality as a lawyer. He acknowledged the legitimacy of laws aimed at pornography involving minors and apologized for mocking social conservatives in a memo he wrote as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. But he did not repudiate his opposition to policies that impinge on the First Amendment rights of adults in the name of protecting children.

Last fall I considered the pornography record of Ogden's new boss, Eric Holder. In the February issue of Reason, I drew parallels between obscenity and drug paraphernalia prosecutions and predicted that neither would be a big priority in the Obama administration.

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  1. Ogden “apologized for mocking social conservatives”?

    Well, he is not yet perfect anyway.

  2. Just as long as they don’t censor my girl, Eva Angelina . . .

  3. Why on Earth would there be a back lash against braille Playboy? I mean, those productions would clearly be used for reading the articles.

  4. Seer,

    Maybe they need the rights to read out loud?

  5. PHE, Inc. & Adam & Eve (1990): represented one of the biggest producers of hard-core videos against a multidistrict prosecution strategy by the DOJ.

    This is actually a great story featuring and told by a genuine libertarian hero
    The Government Vs. Erotica:

  6. After the liberalitarian posts yesterday, I was trying to remember what Limbaugh had said in his one minute segment earlier that morning that pissed me off. This post reminded me. He was spouting off on how Obama was appointing a ‘pornography advocate’ to justice. It was among several other obviously ‘red meat’ characterizations of various appointments, but I was thinking for most of them, ‘that’s a point in their favor’.

  7. Obama appears to have this one right. There are far more important things to do than chase after porn producers selling entertainment to willing aduklt buyers.

    Some of the Bush DOJ neanderthals would criminalize some of my H&R comments if they could have.

    Just giving credit where it’s due.

  8. Don’t you people get it? By hiring this guy at Justice, they remove one of the best people defending pornographers, clearing the way for mo’ betta’ anti-porn lawsuits.

    /ODS.

    OK, seriously, this moved Obama on porn into the wait and see column.

  9. Wow. Some of the people commenting on that LaRue woman’s article seriously need to get laid.

    Puritanism is far less of a problem in the USA than socialism these days, but it’s still a problem.

    -jcr

  10. The Concerned Women for America can blow me.

  11. Puritanism is far less of a problem in the USA than socialism these days

    But in your simplistic view of the world, the Peanut Corp’s president is a capitalist while the FDA regulations and legal team that will punish him are “socialist”.

    Don’t mean to single you out – many conservatives suffer from this delusion.

  12. Wow, yeah the comments are pretty amazing. Apparently, we are losing our freedom by being allowed to look at pornography, and pornography makes suburban neighborhoods dangerous.

  13. You really need to check out Radley’s blog to see how nutty some of Ogden’s Republican opponents are.

    theagitator.com/2009/02/10/the-illinois-rlc-gets-fightin-mad

    http://www.theagitator.com/2009/02/10/radley-balko-exposed

    http://www.theagitator.com/2009/02/10/more-laughs-from-the-illinois-rlc/#comments

  14. Those women sure are concerned.

  15. What is really shocking is not that the lunatic Right is having hysterics about this matter but that the Republican Liberty Caucus, on one of their blogs, is sounding as batty as Phyllis Shitfly. They were the ones who false smeared Radley (hmmm, maybe he’ll understand how Mary Ruwart feels now). They claimed he forged his credentials by claiming he wrote for Fox News.

    To prove he didn’t write for Fox News they searched for his name at Forbes.com. That is totally daft. But if you read what this allegedly “libertarian” group was saying you’d know they are just social conservatives. What gets me about “social conservatives” is that are so unsocial.

  16. What gets me about “social conservatives” is that are so unsocial.

    Hehehehe – tell that to Larry Craig.

  17. It’s obvious to me that I appreciate Little Girl Bottoms at a much deeper level than the rest of you…

  18. shrike,

    Puritanism and socialism are equally bad. They require force to make everyone comply.

    I don’t think most libertarians would argue that a law against mass-producing diseased food is all that egregious, but the fact they failed to prevent it goes to show the FDA’s inefficiencies.

    As for the punishment, most of us would probably accept a legal team going after the offending company and the person who made the decision to sell the bad peanut butter knowing it was tainted, although the anarcho-capitalist would want it settled either through agreed-upon arbitration, punitive lawsuits, and the court of public opinion.

  19. “Puritanism and socialism are equally bad. They require force to make everyone comply.”

    So telling perverts that they can’t jack-off to pictures of under-aged girls in public libraries is just as bad as murdering tens of millions of people in Communist death camps. It’s that kind of thinking that will forever more consign Libertarians to the lunatic fringe of politics.

  20. Socialism is a subset of puritanism in which the puritan’s sexual repression is turned against economic behaviors that are analogously licentious.

    Sometimes.

  21. “Socialism is a subset of puritanism in which the puritan’s sexual repression is turned against economic behaviors that are analogously licentious.”

    Oh, Brother! Talk about your twisted logic.

  22. But in your simplistic view of the world

    Go fuck yourself, sunshine. Now that we have exchanged the formalities…

    the Peanut Corp’s president is a capitalist while the FDA regulations and legal team that will punish him are “socialist”.

    See, the problem with trying to put words in other people’s mouths is that you will frequently make an ass of yourself. I said nothing of the kind, and I do in fact support punishing anyone who injures others by selling them a defective product.

    That’s what the law is for; to punish those who do wrong. Socialism is the practice of punishing those who haven’t done wrong, simply because they’ve obtained more wealth than the next guy.

    -jcr

  23. anon,

    There are degrees of socialism and puritanism. At their most extreme, both have been motives for mass murder.

    -jcr

  24. The lead-in to Tom Lehrer’s SMUT.

    I do have a cause though. It is obscenity. I’m for it. Unfortunately the civil liberties types who are fighting this issue have to fight it owing to the nature of the laws as a matter of freedom of speech and stifling of free expression and so on but we know what’s really involved: dirty books are fun. That’s all there is to it. But you can’t get up in a court and say that I suppose. It’s simply a matter of freedom of pleasure, a right which is not guaranteed by the Constitution unfortunately.

  25. See, the problem with trying to put words in other people’s mouths is that you will frequently make an ass of yourself. I said nothing of the kind, and I do in fact support punishing anyone who injures others by selling them a defective product.

    You make an exception for cases when the injured party is an informed consenting adult who knowingly assumed the risk right? For example, with smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol.

  26. So telling perverts that they can’t jack-off to pictures of under-aged girls in public libraries is just as bad as murdering tens of millions of people in Communist death camps. It’s that kind of thinking that will forever more consign Libertarians to the lunatic fringe of politics.

    John C. Randolph made one of my main points in his 4:50 comment. (For example, some would argue that countries like Sweden or Venezuela are “socialist”, but those countries certainly aren’t on the same plain as the USSR under Stalin.)

    I would also note that the right to view an image in a public library doesn’t necessarily imply a right to jerk off while out in the open in such a library. And I think it might be useful here to reiterate that the only “pictures of under-aged girls” discussed in this post were clothed, non-pornographic pictures.

  27. JCR –

    Its assholes like yourself that make political terms meaningless.

    I am a Jefferson/Ayn Rand classic “liberal” who voted for Obama – yet you call us “socialists”.

    As long as you do – you will get a fucking strong kick in your little Bush Fascist simple mind.

    (Yes, I resorted to the simplistic labeling I accused JCR of).

  28. Just as long as they don’t censor my girl, Eva Angelina . . .

    Can’t agree with you there…I’m all for banning fake boobs.

    That, and jail time for producers who include girls who’ve been in the industry for five years in “teen” videos.

  29. I don’t think most libertarians would argue that a law against mass-producing diseased food is all that egregious, but the fact they failed to prevent it goes to show the FDA’s inefficiencies.

    Or the fact that they failed to prevent it proves that the regulators are too fucking cozy with those who they are regulating and that the regulators seem to put the priorities and health of the companies they are regulating above the health of the general public?

    Maybe the problem is that when free marketeers who don’t believe in regulations fill the ranks of regulators with like-minded anti-regulation people the system is going to fail since those tasked with running the system are sabotaging it every chance they get?

    Maybe there should be personal liability for the regulators who fail to enforce regulations ?

    and I do in fact support punishing anyone who injures others by selling them a defective product.

    Wow really? You support holding people accountable when their actions cause harm to others? That’s so controversial!!@ What a crap-tastic answer.

    The real question that should be addressed is why don’t most libertarians support a system that tries to prevent (or minimize the odds) or limit the ability of people from selling tainted or defective products in the first place?

    For this example, the standard libertarian position would be that the company in question (PCA) has an incentive to not make people sick and not go venue shopping looking for a testing facility that will produced the desired results rather than the actual results. Yet that is exactly what this company did.
    It seems rather illogical but here we are. Can some libertarian explain to me why PCA acted in the manner they did and knowing exposed their company and their customers to these risks?

    So maybe the standard libertarian position is wrong-headed and a bit naive?? Maybe people do need regulations and rules to force them to be good actors and we need some body to make sure actors are compliant with the rules??

  30. Great stuff, Chicago Tom.

    The Libertarian Movement is strangling in its own vomit rather than eating its own fruit.

  31. NO PICTURES? KATHERINE MANGU-WARD WOULD HAVE INCLUDED PICTURES.

  32. I love Concerned Women for America. Their deeply furrowed brows will hold a full bukake load without dripping.

  33. Can some libertarian explain to me why PCA acted in the manner they did and knowing exposed their company and their customers to these risks?

    Why do people drink and drive?

    Why do people rob banks?

    Why do people kill their kids or their spouse?

    Peanut dude’s evil. And didn’t think he would get caught.

    (also, I’m not that read up with the case so I unfamiliar with their venue shopping. All I know is that they got positive results for the salmonella or whatever and ignored it. Like I said, simple evil. Ain’t no amount of law or regulation you can do to stop evil and still maintain a free society)

  34. I am a Jefferson/Ayn Rand classic “liberal” who voted for Obama – yet you call us “socialists”.

    Did you hear about the $800 billion pork bill? It made all the papers. I call Obama a socialist because he is, and I call you a socialist because you voted for him. You must have heard his clever little remark about wanting to “spread the wealth” before you did so.

    your little Bush Fascist simple mind.

    Rather simple minded of you to presume that if I oppose your brand of collectivism, that I must be a supporter of the other.

    -jcr

  35. I’m all for banning fake boobs.

    I’m not for banning them, even though I find them repulsive. It’s rather like my take on recreational drugs: not for me, but I wouldn’t presume to override anyone else’s choice on the matter.

    -jcr

  36. Wow really? You support holding people accountable when their actions cause harm to others?

    Shrike implied that I didn’t; I disabused him of his baseless claim. Got a problem with that?

    -jcr

  37. why don’t most libertarians support a system that tries to prevent (or minimize the odds) or limit the ability of people from selling tainted or defective products in the first place?

    Who says we don’t?

    UL is a great example of how to do exactly that. Compare it to a government agency which is likely to get more funding if they fuck up and get people killed.

    -jcr

  38. ‘Challenged the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988 and the Child Protection Restoration and Penalties Enhancement Act of 1990. Ogden argued that requiring porn producers to personally verify that their models were over age 18 would “burden too heavily and infringe too deeply on the right to produce First Amendment-protected material.”‘

    It would be terribly burdensome for pornographers to have to certify that no children were used in their work. It’s like the intolerable burdens incurred by filmmakers in getting certification that no animals were harmed during the making of their film.

    To be sure, the Humane Society certification is not a legal requirement, although the film industry is subject to animal-cruelty laws. It’s not unduly burdensome for them to comply with voluntary certification with the Humane Society, but it’s too burdensome to certify that they’re not exploiting children.

  39. Mad Max,

    American Humane Association is not the Humane Society.

    Dedicated to protecting both children and animals, American Humane is not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that promotes the protection of animals. Nor is American Humane a parent organization of local “humane societies” and SPCAs, which are locally based, independent agencies that operate animal shelters and provide animal care and control services to their communities.

    I don’t think they support cockfighting but they aren’t an “animal rights” organization.

  40. apologized for mocking social conservatives

    Well, there goes my endorsement. That just isn’t something you should ever apologize for.

  41. SIV,

    oops, my bad.

  42. Shrike:

    Does your cesspool have a bottom? The problem with the Left is they have no right or wrong. Anything goes, and when it all goes bad they call for more government control and trampling on individual rights.

    I cannot wait for Obama to nominate other perverts to his government. Its pretty clear from his associations with Wright, Ayers, Sorros, that his moral compass is more or less the same as yours.

    Obama and his bots deonstrate the unfortunate confluence of ignorance and arrogance. And we wonder how Rome fell.

  43. It’s not unduly burdensome for them to comply with voluntary certification with the Humane Society, but it’s too burdensome to certify that they’re not exploiting children.

    Proving the actual age of a 16 year-old who says she’s 18 is significantly more difficult than preventing three Yorkshire terriers from being killed by a Doberman Pinscher, a car, and a falling safe, particularly on a pornographer’s budget. If the amount of planning that went into a porno had to consist of more than just making up a terrible pun based on a movie’s title, the porn industry would cease to exist outside of drunk people and their home videos.

  44. Juis:

    But remember you have my endorsement and the Cali cartel too. I wouldn’t worry about your loss of endorsements.

    You’ll always have Barney Frank to go home to.

  45. Penalties Enhancement

    Heh. Heh-heh.

  46. Cunnivore, you fool! You’ll wreck the entire porn industry plunging us all into a Dark Age from which we as society may never recover! Anarchy will reign! Chaos will be it’s currency!

  47. JCR:

    You don’t understand the people here. They celebrate drugs, they celebrate people who exploit others in perverse ways. This is described as freedom.

    Maybe the mullahs are right about the nature of American society when such perversity can be embraced and celebrated by this sector of society. The next step for such a society is bondage and slavery.

  48. Ah, so this is what my dad was talking about the other day during one of his semi-coherent anti-Obama rants (“his attorney general is a porn star!!”).

    I wish I could blame it on senility, but he’s otherwise pretty intelligent.

  49. ‘Proving the actual age of a 16 year-old who says she’s 18 is significantly more difficult than preventing three Yorkshire terriers from being killed by a Doberman Pinscher, a car, and a falling safe, particularly on a pornographer’s budget.’

    I’m not so sure about that, but in any case, I suspect that the adult film industry has more to fear from the competition of the Internet and computer graphics than it does from compulsory certifications.

  50. Maybe the mullahs are right about the nature of American society when such perversity can be embraced and celebrated by this sector of society.

    I’m not terribly concerned about the moral opinions of ignorant old men who convince eight year olds to blow themselves up (and take a bunch of other innocent people with them) and encourage the rape of young girls who violate Sharia law.

    Everyone everywhere of every religion and race is a horny MFer. While there are undoubtedly a few religious people who actually practice what they preach, it’s a good rule of thumb to assume the more vocal someone is about sexual morality, the more rotten to the core their own sexual behavior is.

  51. The latest issue of Braille Playboy was hot. Bumps in all the right places.

  52. ‘it’s a good rule of thumb to assume the more vocal someone is about sexual morality, the more rotten to the core their own sexual behavior is.’

    Let us tease out the logical implications here.

    The more vocal someone is about freedom, the more he demonstrates that he is actually a secret Socialist who supports burdensome regulations, taxing and spending, and government control over the banking sector.

    The more vocal someone is in praising free love, ‘honest and open adult relationships,’ ‘safer sex’ and condom use, the more likely he is to be guilt-ridden and neurotic in his sexual relationships and to resent using a condom.

    To be sure, there are professed sexual puritans who are actually adulterers, perverts or sadists, just as there are professed ‘limited government’ supporters who want a meddling federal government which locks up dope smokers and regulates the economy into the ground, and just as there are those who preach the beauty and honesty of ‘honest and nonexclusive sexual relationships’ while their own romantic relationships are sordid, dishonest, and tangled in all sorts of jealousy.

    But in the case of the socialist who professes libertarianism, and the person with a sordid and squalid sex life who professes dedication to sexual liberation, you would not claim that liberty itself is bad because statist politicians hypocritically praise it, or that free love is bad because bad people insincerely praise it.

  53. I don’t think chastity is bad, Max. If it works for you, go for it. My point is that the vast majority of people trying to foist it on other people are either hypocritical or redirecting their pent-up sexual energy towards even more perverse ends.

    And to be honest, I feel much the same way as you do about “free love” devotees. I have no illusions about sex being a beautiful thing. If aliens landed and watched people having sex they would probably puke. I feel about it the same way I feel about defecation: necessary for well-being, but not something to shout from the rooftops about.

  54. cunnivore,

    I was responding to the idea that anyone who says sexual morality is a good thing – not only for particular individuals (“works for you”) but for the community – has sexual behavior which is ‘rotten to the core.’ I don’t think this is any more true than the examples I gave. It suggests that sexual morality is a bad thing advocated by bad people. The same ‘reasoning’ could be used (*has* been used) to ‘refute’ libertarianism – ‘look at all those Republicans who talk about the importance of economic freedom! They actually support big government. This shows that economic freedom is wrong!’ The suggestion is that libertarianism is false, and that *everyone* who advocates it has some sinister hidden agenda (or maybe trying to unnaturally suppress their true Socialist nature).

    Hypocrisy has been described (by a Frenchman, I think) as ‘the tribute that vice pays to virtue.’ Just as some Republicans have sought to mask their hard-on for statism by pretending to be libertarians, so have some adulterers and pervs sought to mask their behavior by claiming to be supporters of sexual morality. This at least shows that they’re paying ‘tribute to virtue,’ if only for the strategic purpose of being better able to promote vice.

  55. As noted in this memo from the organization Fidelis, Ogden has served as counsel in various abortion cases in the U.S. Supreme Court – often in amicus briefs, on behalf of a variety of clients, and always on the pro-abortion side. This is not the case of lawyer who was assigned a client who *happened* to have an interest in promoting abortion – this is a lawyer who seems to have put himself forward in representing the abortion interests. I doubt that he got paid as much by these pro-abortion clients as he could have been paid from normal business clients, so the presumption arises that he did this for the sake of ideology, not for the sake of money. It had been better if he was just in it for the cash, but this is worse than defending abortion for money – this is defending abortion from *conviction.*

    In an amicus brief submitted for the American Psychological Association in the *Casey* case (which upheld *Roe*), Ogden explained (among other things) why it was unconstitutional to require that, before getting an abortion, a woman be told about the availability of government assistance and child-support orders if she wanted to keep the baby, Ogden said that such information ‘may be irrelevant to a woman for whom an abortion is required as a life-preserving measure or for genetic reasons.’

    Genetic reasons? I thought that progressive types had repented in sackcloth and ashes for their role in the eugenics movement (or blamed eugenics on other people, which comes to the same thing for them). Now it seems that Ogden, at least, is trying to bring eugenics back, like Freddy in all the movie sequels.

  56. Eugenics is the organized and systemic promotion or elimination of particular genotypes from the human population. An individual aborting a fetus as a result of not wanting to pass along a genetic disease is hardly the same thing as mass eugenics. Once again, anti-abortionists are really reaching.

  57. ‘Eugenics is the organized and systemic promotion or elimination of particular genotypes from the human population.’

    So, if the vast majority of unborn babies diagnosed with, say, Down Syndrome (a genetic condition) were aborted, that would be eugenics, eh?

    Here you go.

    You may support the eugenic abortion of disabled children, just don’t tell this mother what you’re up to – she might get upset.

  58. Iamcuriousblue,

    If folks like me are ‘antiabortionists,’ then what word describes members of your faction?

  59. Max, by your standard, if there were a treatment available to cure Down’s Syndrome, you would consider performing that to be “eugenics” and thus anathema.

    I can understand your position that unborns have the right to life. Stick with that, rather than trying to drag in every inflammatory buzzword that looks like it half-fits.

  60. Or to put it this way: do you consider it a greater sin/crime to abort a Down’s syndrome fetus than to abort a healthy fetus? If not, your cries of “eugenics!” are just red herrings.

  61. Can’t agree with you there…I’m all for banning fake boobs.

    I can’t decide if they are attractive or not.

    Or to put it this way: do you consider it a greater sin/crime to abort a Down’s syndrome fetus than to abort a healthy fetus?

    Cunnivore, you do know who you’re talking to right? This is Mad Max, any fertilized (or implanted?) egg is a life to him, regardless of health. Know thy opponent!

  62. And to be honest, I feel much the same way as you do about “free love” devotees. I have no illusions about sex being a beautiful thing. If aliens landed and watched people having sex they would probably puke.

    I gotta disagree with you here. And who cares what some aliens think? (I’m assuming you mean space aliens.)

  63. BG,

    You must be new to Earth. Apparently, aliens are into anal. Anything else to them seems superfluous.

  64. cunnivore,

    Perhaps you missed my point. The point of my comment is that Ogden’s legal brief brought in eugenic rationales for abortion. He was not advocating for genetic surgery to cure the disease while letting the baby live – he was in favor of *aborting* babies for genetic reasons.

    The significance of this is that some of the pro-aborts seem to be making eugenic arguments respectable again, although modern ‘progressives’ denounce the eugenics movement of the earlier ‘Progressives’ and want us to believe that eugenics is a horror from the bad old days.

    The older Progressive advocacy of eugenics was about sterilizing people and limiting their right to marry, not about using healing skills to cure genetic maladies. In technical terms, the old Progressives were all about ‘negative eugenics’ – forcibly interfering with people who had (or were believed to have) genetic maladies.

    But let us at least give the old Progressives their due – they may have sterilized the ‘genetically unfit’ and stopped them from marrying, but at least they didn’t want to *kill* them for genetic reasons. That particular frontier in horror wasn’t crossed (at least in America) until the wonders of abortion began to be celebrated.

    Note that Ogden wasn’t dealing with a law forbidding abortions absolutely, but with a law requiring the abortionist to inform women of certain non-abortion options. Ogden argued that even requiring this sort of informed consent was an unconstitutional limit on the right to abortion, especially when the child had genetic abnormalities. Why even *bother* to inform a woman of her non-abortion options if the kid has a genetic malady and obviously has to die?

  65. Here’s an interesting link. It’s about a Brave New World technique of screening *in vitro* embryos to see if there’s a genetic predisposition to certain cancers. If there is, the embryo gets killed. An enthusiastic medical man says: ‘The parents will have been spared the risk of inflicting this disease on their daughter. The lasting legacy is the eradication of the transmission of this form of cancer that has blighted these families for generations.’

    Do you get it? Kill someone now to avoid the risk that they will get cancer in the future, and so as to ‘eradicate’ bad gene strains.

    Speaking of eradication, annihilation and extermination, here is another description of this marvelous new medical technique.

  66. Mad Max, so when Josef Mengele was injecting blue dye into Brazilian kids’ eyes in an attempt to make them into Aryans, that wasn’t eugenics? He wasn’t killing or sterilizing them.

  67. BG, Aliens : sex :: Americans : soccer.

    And I think Americans are right about soccer.

  68. cunnivore,

    You’d have to ask the Brazilians. I was talking about negative eugenics. If there is such a thing as positive eugenics, then I’ve made clear that’s not what I’m discussing for present purposes.

  69. To be clear, are you saying that injecting blue dye into someone’s eyes affects their genes? If not, then how could it be eugenics. It is torture, to be sure, but torture isn’t automatically eugenics.

    In other words, WTF are you trying to say?

  70. I’m sure glad no one’s telling some pregnant woman how she can live on the dole and steal from others because she isn’t responsible enough to take care of her child herself.

  71. zoltan,

    I’m sure that’s what David Ogden meant – he’s such a hard-core libertarian that he is morally appalled at the idea of the government taking tax money from the people (born and unborn) in order to finance social-welfare schemes. It is for the purpose of advancing such a libertarian agenda, no doubt, that Ogden wants a job in the Obama administration.

  72. You must be new to Earth. Apparently, aliens are into anal. Anything else to them seems superfluous.

    Well, to each his own I guess (or her own, or it’s own in the case of aliens).

    BG, Aliens : sex :: Americans : soccer.

    And I think Americans are right about soccer.

    I’m am American. While its true that I am not as enthusiastic about soccer as most non-Americans, I also don’t puke or have any other adverse reaction to soccer.

    Playing soccer is fun; but in my experience, sex is a lot more fun.

  73. Max, everyone knows that your problem with Ogden has nothing to do with alleged eugenic tendencies. If he were only advocating abortion of healthy fetuses you would still be up in arms.

  74. BG, I believe that my judgement is more objective during the refractory period than during the foreplay. So I’m going to err on the side of “sex, yuck” being the more objective attitude.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but then again I enjoy eating a Big Mac too, even though I would puke if I could see what was going on inside my body afterwards. Then I would puke in disgust at what goes on in my body while puking, and so on forever until my body was totally drained of fluids and I died of dehydration. So don’t go there.

  75. BG, I believe that my judgement is more objective during the refractory period than during the foreplay. So I’m going to err on the side of “sex, yuck” being the more objective attitude.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but then again I enjoy eating a Big Mac too, even though I would puke if I could see what was going on inside my body afterwards. Then I would puke in disgust at what goes on in my body while puking, and so on forever until my body was totally drained of fluids and I died of dehydration. So don’t go there.

    I see. I guess we just have different ways of thinking about it. Even during the refractory period, my judgement about the act I just engaged in is very different than “sex, yuck”.

    As for the “what is going on inside the person’s body” perspective, I can’t offer a very informed opinion on that. The closest thing I’ve done to observing that phenomenon is looking at close-up shots of women masterbating (which reinforced my favorable opinion).

  76. Interesting. My refractory period feeling is more like a “well that was a waste of time, on to something else” thing. I always thought the purpose of that was to prevent guys from constantly having sex and starving to death.

  77. Apparently, aliens are into anal. Anything else to them seems superfluous.

    I never could understand guys who like anal. It’s like, you would never stick your member into a full toilet bowl, so why would you want to stick it in THAT?

  78. OK guys, I know you enjoy talking about graphic depictions of sex, but let’s try to get back to the topic of the thread.

  79. Can anyone explain to me what’s wrong with eugenics? Not what’s wrong with particular eugenic practices that aren’t inherent in eugenics itself, but eugenics per se?

  80. ‘If he were only advocating abortion of healthy fetuses you would still be up in arms.’

    He does, and I am. But I enjoy pointing out his attempts at reviving the doctrine of eugenics, which (we are solemnly informed by many pro-aborts) is an outdated and oppressive policy of right-wing origin which pro-abort progressives would never, ever support.

    ‘Can anyone explain to me what’s wrong with eugenics? Not what’s wrong with particular eugenic practices that aren’t inherent in eugenics itself, but eugenics per se?’

    You mean positive eugenics (assuming it exists)? My concern is with the revival of the bad kind of eugenics, ‘negative eugenics,’ the sort of eugenics which progressive pro-abort types believe to be evil and would never, ever endorse except when they do.

  81. Choosing not to carry a grossly deformed, doomed fetus to term is not eugenics.

    This is one of those really obvious points that you have to work hard not to get.

  82. What is interesting is that the forces of pro-choicism insist that pregnancies resulting from rape, incest, or resulting in five-legged offspring with hair on their noses, must be the litmus test for whether abortion should be legal.

    Never mind that 99% of abortions involve none of those things. And then they accuse US of playing to people’s emotions.

  83. Yet Mad Max is in histrionics about aborting trisomy 21 sufferers and the like. Emotional, indeed.

  84. To be fair, I must say that the “it’s deformed, kill it!” argument is more emotionally based than the opposing pro-life one.

    If you think about it, you’re basically saying that a deformed child (let alone one with Down’s syndrome) is better off dead than alive. If you truly believe that, perhaps you should schedule a visit to your local Ronald McDonald House and share that wisdom with its residents.

  85. My own take on the abortion issue is that it’s an extremely complicated and muddy one, yet people on both sides pretend that it’s obvious that their side is right.

    With it being so unclear which rights must prevail, I think it should remain legal…but at the same time I must acknowledge that aborting a fetus that didn’t result from rape and doesn’t threaten the life of the mother is an extremely selfish decision. Those who think that a human life that they consented to bring into existence is less important than their economic or social well-being deserve to be ostracized from society.

    And this goes double for the would-be fathers who push their mates into an abortion decision.

  86. cunnivore,

    Thank you for grappling with the complexities of the issue.

    Do you think *all* abortions should be legal? Are there any circumstances in which the law should intervene?

    ‘Those who think that a human life that they consented to bring into existence is less important than their economic or social well-being deserve to be ostracized from society.’

    I’m not sure I’d go that far. To be sure, they should be prosecuted with due process of law (together with their doctor-accomplices), with the sentence being more or less lenient depending on such things as recidivism and degree of remorse. But I’m not sure I’d go in for ostracism in every case. There are plenty of people who commit crimes but then turn their lives around, repent and reform.

    Pro-lifers offer resources for post-abortion healing, such as Project Rachel.

  87. Choosing not to carry a grossly deformed, doomed fetus to term is not eugenics.

    Of course, for certain values of grossly deformed/doomed, this defines eugenics right out of existence.

    Plenty of people with Downs syndrome children would take issue with your characterization of them as grossly deformed and doomed.

    As would disability rights organizations everywhere.

    And I say this as someone who is willing to allow abortion in the first trimester, for any reason.

  88. Fertilizing a number of eggs in a test tube, testing several of them and selecting one to implant which doesn’t have a congenital disease is simply made of win. If the parents are intending to only implant a single embryo, this testing and selection process doesn’t decrease the number of children born — so where’s the harm?

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