Reason Roundup

'Heartbeat Bills' Banning Almost All Abortions Are Back

Plus: Parsing competing paid-leave proposals, wisdom from Justin Amash, and Pete Buttigieg on Chick-fil-A.

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2019 so far has seen a flurry of states pass or consider so-called "fetal heartbeat laws." They require women who want to end a pregnancy to decide on, schedule, and carry it out within about two weeks of missing their period. After that, abortion would be off-limits and come with criminal penalties for those who disobey.

These measures—passed recently by legislatures in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio and considered in several others—make abortion illegal if in-utero cardiac activity can be detected. With recent technological advances, that's around 5 1/2 to six weeks pregnancy (or, to put it another way, about one month post-conception and two weeks post-implantation in the uterus), when the embryo is somewhere between the size of an apple seed and a small pea.

Mississippi's governor last week approved a law to "prohibit an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable heartbeat." It includes exceptions only if the mother's life is endangered or her health is at extreme risk.

A Georgia bill (H.B. 481) includes an exception only when a woman's life is in danger. It also includes language declaring all fertilized eggs to be citizens with equal rights to their counterparts with fully formed bodies and the ability to exist outside another human being. H.B. 481 passed the Senate last Friday, with changes that must be approved by the House. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said he will sign it.

Jim Galloway at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that neither the words fetus nor embryo appear in the heartbeat bill. "There is only the 'unborn child,' who would receive 'full legal recognition' under Georgia law as 'a natural person.'" And while "some consequences [of that] have been considered," many have not:

Under HB 481, parents would be able to consider the unborn as dependents, and thus deductible when figuring out how much state income tax they owe. Fathers, to a limited extent, would have to pony up child support, beginning six weeks after conception. State censuses, though not federal ones, would include womb counts.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established birthright citizenship in the United States. HB 481 is silent on whether conception or six weeks in utero might confer citizenship, at least on a state level.

In an impassioned statehouse speech last Friday, state Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) chastised Republican colleagues who had introduced the bill. "I didn't run for office to fight the culture wars around choice," Jordan said in a speech on the Senate floor. "Our state currently has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in this country, yet abortion is safe and legal and this uneasy truce that we've had on this issue in recent years should have held." But the new law would "effectively ban all abortions—before an embryo or fetus is viable outside of a uterus and before a woman or girl knows that she is pregnant."

Jordan also criticized the science behind the heartbeat rationale:

Counter to all medical experts, the law also attempts to establish that a zygote, an embryo, a fertilized egg at 5.5 weeks has a beating heart. This is simply not true. At the earliest stages of pregnancy, certain embryonic cardiac activity can be detected with a trans-vaginal ultrasound. I don't think any of the men that spoke today have ever had a transvaginal ultrasound. I have. And it is not pleasant.

Every physician has said that the fetal cardiac activity present early in pregnancies is not a beating heart—and no matter how many times you say it, no matter what you call this bill—it does not make it so.

Conservatives in state legislatures have been at this a while. And each time, judges tell them that pre-viability abortion bans are illegal. Under Supreme Court precedent set in Roe v. Wade and affirmed in subsequent decisions, abortion must be legal until the point of fetal viability outside the womb (about 24 weeks, though this is shifting slightly with advancing technology).

So far this year, heartbeat bills passed by lawmakers in Kentucky and in Iowa have been halted by courts. Iowa lawmakers passed their bill last year; it was blocked by a judge in January. The judge cited the Iowa Supreme Court, which held in a case last year that "a woman's right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy is a fundamental right under the Iowa Constitution."

Politicians must know the measures won't pass legal muster. But they still get credit from constituents for trying, and the extremely slim chance that some federal judge may decide differently—which would provide an opportunity to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

This was explicitly the goal of those pushing an unconstitutional Ohio abortion ban that passed the state's legislature in December. It was vetoed by outgoing Gov. John Kasich, who also vetoed similar legislation in 2016. But new Gov. Mike Dewine said he'll "absolutely" sign similar legislation into law if it passes again. And earlier this month, the state's Senate did just that, passing Senate Bill 23.

Only Tennessee senators seem to have any sense here. After a heartbeat bill passed the state's House of Representatives, senators have been declining to take up the bill. They're still backing another anti-abortion measure, this one saying that abortion would automatically be banned in Tennessee if SCOTUS overturns Roe. But Lt. Gov. Randy McNally told reporters: "We're trying to construct a law that won't get us into court on the losing side."

Missouri politicians, meanwhile, are going for both a "heartbeat bill" and another measure declaring abortion totally banned if Roe is struck down. Legislatures in Florida and South Carolina are also considering heartbeat bills.

FREE MINDS

Kumbaya, my friends:

FREE MARKETS

Economist Dan Mitchell looks at the implications of federal paid leave programs. "I've already explained why the federal government shouldn't have a policy on parental leave, but the topic isn't going away so let's look at the issue again," Mitchell writes. "The first thing to realize is that the fight over 'parental leave' involves several competing options." These are:

  • A plan from the left to make parental leave an entitlement financed by payroll taxes.
  • A plan from the left to mandate that employers provide paid leave.
  • The libertarian notion that it's none of the government's business.

Whole thing here.

ELECTION 2020

NEXT: Trump's Hotheadedness Was His Saving Vice

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  1. Buttigieg on Chick Fil A: “I do not approve of their politics but I kind of approve of their chicken. Maybe, if nothing else, I can build that bridge.” https://t.co/bPgkIBLKHg
    ? Dan Merica (@merica) March 26, 2019

    Free advertising is something you just can’t buy.

    1. Hello.

      It’s kinda sad it’s happening in San Antonio, TX. Sounds like faux-virtue signalling bull shit is messing with Texas.

      My daughter loves going to Chick-Fil A. Service is always fast, courteous and professional.

      1. Parasitic lefties destroy cities and then need to find a new host

    2. There are several posts on Quora by gay men saying we don’t need you to be offended by Chik-Fil-A on our behalf, we actually like eating there and it’s OK for the family to have their religious views. But our society does a lot of being offended by things on other people’s behalf.

      1. Exactly. Thank you. Chick Fillet should be hated for their shitty chicken, not for the views of their owners.

  2. These measures?passed recently by legislatures in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio and considered in several others?make abortion illegal if fetal cardiac activity can be detected. With recent technological advances, that’s around 5 1/2 to six weeks pregnancy…

    It will be interesting to see everyone’s stance when technology advances to the point that you know it will eventually get to.

    1. I like to see the technology to make these law marker financially responsible for all the babies they save. I am sure they are big advocates of personal responsibility and personal choice. Except when they don’t like the women decision. if they don’t like the women decision, let them pay for and raise the child.

      1. There are WAY MORE couples waiting for infant* adoption than there are infants there are to adopt. If all aborted babies weren’t, there would be people willing to adopt them.

        *Infant is the important word. There is much less demand to adopt a child the parents/state has already screwed up.

  3. Fifty Women Say Salesforce Helped Sex Traffickers Exploit Them

    Fifty women who describe themselves as survivors of sex trafficking on the now-defunct Backpage.com web portal accuse Salesforce.com Inc. of profiting off each ad.

    The women sued Salesforce Tuesday in San Francisco state court, claiming billionaire Marc Benioff’s company knowingly supported Backpage by providing customized database tools to market and remarket prostitutes to “pimps, johns and traffickers who had been underusing its trafficking services.”

    “Salesforce knew the scourge of sex trafficking because it sought publicity for trying to stop it,” according to the complaint. “But at the same time, this publicly traded company was, in actuality, among the vilest of rogue companies, concerned only with their bottom line.”

    Salesforce said it takes the allegations seriously, but declined to comment on the lawsuit. “We are deeply committed to the ethical and humane use of our products,” a Salesforce spokeswoman said in a statement.

    CRM? More like Cum In Them, am I right?

    1. It makes me wonder…. how precisely are you supposed to prove harm in this case? I know, it isn’t exactly something that the courts have been requiring of late (baby powder, roundup..)

      But you walk into court and say “I was human trafficked”. And then what? The court just takes you at your word? How do you go about building that case?

      It ain’t like you are going to get your pimp to come in to court and say that he forced you to have sex for money and he used Salesforce.com tools to advertise on backpage.com for her services.

    2. That’s how they paid for that big, phallic-looking skyscraper in San Francisco.

  4. This is what happens when you use Lefty’s pen and phone to institute laws.

    A person like Trump and the GOP comes along with a new pen and phone to change the laws.

    1. What happens when you use a Righty’s (allegedly) pen and phone to build walls and/or implement tariffs?

  5. It’s not necessary?and certainly not helpful to public discourse?to take a gratuitous swipe at the other side almost every time you share your political perspective. Maybe your view isn’t that great if it can’t stand on its own.
    ? Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 25, 2019

    Amash has been a frequent offender in this area. He never could seem to grasp the Rand Paul art of Trumpian disagreements.

    1. What is Amash trying to do here? Shut down our comments section? What a freaking LINO, RINO, leftitst scumbag.

      1. I am liking Amash more and more. Especially because he triggers the yokels!

  6. The libertarian notion that it’s none of the government’s business.

    THIS IS WHAT LIBERTARIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE.

    1. If only they believed that about abortion, we’d have a unified party.

  7. Smollett get light sentence in plea bargain.

    1. Not plea bargain.

      No plea. Just bargain.

      1. More like a pay bargain.

  8. Guns drawn, parents cuffed, cake smashed: Lawsuit claims Chicago police raided wrong home during boy’s 4th birthday party

    The raid was supposed to target a man allegedly possessing the drug ecstasy. But officers had an old address and barged into an apartment where 15 people, four of them children, were gathered with a birthday cake, according to Bures’ attorney, Al Hofeld Jr.

    Hofeld said about 17 officers, all dressed in plainclothes, entered the apartment with their weapons drawn and shouted, “Get your (expletive) hands up!” and “We are doing a (expletive) raid.”

    he suit accuses the officers of ignoring numerous requests to show residents the search warrant, handcuffing several adults in front of the children even though no one disobeyed orders and ransacking the family’s home. Officers took a door off its hinges, pried open wall panels, flipped mattresses, threw a TV to the floor, doused the presents with hydrogen peroxide and poured vodka over clothes, according to the lawsuit.

    They also tossed the birthday cake to the floor, Hofeld said. It had sat uncut inside a box on a dining table, but by the end of the raid it had been thrown off the table, landing upside-down on the floor. One of the officers then stuck a number “4” candle in the middle of the smashed cake.

    1. Prediction: this will be whitewashed.

      1. Prediction: this will be whitewashed.

        Your precognitive abilities are off, you shoulda predicted this yesterday when Reason posted it.

        1. Yeah, Crusty, this is what happens when you take the day off.

    2. “They also tossed the birthday cake to the floor, Hofeld said. It had sat uncut inside a box on a dining table, but by the end of the raid it had been thrown off the table, landing upside-down on the floor. One of the officers then stuck a number “4” candle in the middle of the smashed cake.”

      I don’t want to take the side of the cops here, but finally someone had the guts to do this. Birthday cake sucks

      1. especially if it was funfetti or yellow cake with chocolate frosting

      2. Only the retarded want cake.

      3. opposing view: no cake sucks.

      4. Birthday cake sucks

        I’ve been a birthday pie and coffee man for about 20 yrs. now. I wish my birthday were more seasonally appropriate for berry pies.

        1. Having a pi day birthday has its benefits!

      5. Should bakers be forced to make a cake for a SWAT raid?

    3. Officers took a door off its hinges, pried open wall panels, flipped mattresses, threw a TV to the floor, doused the presents with hydrogen peroxide and poured vodka over clothes, according to the lawsuit.

      Ain’t no party like a LEO party!

    4. “We are doing a (expletive) raid.”

      Probably “We’re doing a (expletive) raid.” Perhaps “We doing a (expletive) raid.”

      1. Either way, super professional.

        1. “Fuck, yeah!”

  9. It’s not necessary?and certainly not helpful to public discourse?to take a gratuitous swipe at the other side almost every time you share your political perspective. Maybe your view isn’t that great if it can’t stand on its own.

    Keep him away from the Reason comment section, he’ll have a heart attack

    1. lol the flylover Nazi can’t take the heat!

      1. I hate flies! this time you’ve gone too far, sir

  10. Everybody here needs to vote Democrat in 2020 because otherwise Republicans will literally turn this country into The Handmaid’s Tale by banning access to abortion care.

    #SaveRoe
    #SUPER-PRECEDENT
    #StandWithPP

  11. M?tley Cr?e Is Terrible, and ‘The Dirt’ Is the Biopic They Deserve

    The film celebrates a band ? and an era ? in which artistry and originality played second-fiddle to an entitled belief that any dumb, horny white dude deserved his 15 minutes of rock ‘n’ roll stardom. The movie sucks because the band sucks because the era sucked.

    The War on White Men continues.

    1. IS SNORTING ANTS A THING?

      Hint: Formic acid.

    2. As a true 80’s kid, (graduated HS ’85) I liked the Crue, I liked the era, and I enjoyed the movie. Is it great art? Hell no, but the concerts were awesome, and the chances of getting laid were 2-3X compared to say, a Depeche Mode show.

      1. I liked the Crue, I liked the era, and I enjoyed the movie.

        My God.

        I just listen to Morrissey both because I have a heart and want to experience life as a Mexican-American.

      2. >>>but the concerts were awesome

        yes.

        >>>and the chances of getting laid were…

        next to 100% … good times

      3. the chances of getting laid were 2-3X compared to say, a Depeche Mode show.

        Only if you insisted on a girl.

    3. I read the book on a flight. Doubt it needed a movie, but the read was entertaining enough.

  12. HB 481 is silent on whether conception or six weeks in utero might confer citizenship, at least on a state level.

    Or we just don’t have the technology yet to detect that.

  13. Anyone still think the wage gap is a “myth”?

    Gender pay gap is set to remain until 2070 despite some progress

    Put simply, women in the U.S. will earn $0.79 for every $1.00 men earn in 2019.

    Totally unacceptable.

    1. The workplace death gap will take decades to fix too.

      1. When will they even begin to address the incarceration gap?

        1. Right after the prostate cancer gap.

    2. Glassdoor’s findings are based on unadjusted figures, meaning that don’t take into account statistical controls, such as worker age, education, years of experience, occupation, industry, location, year, company and job title.

      OK……

      1. we wont rest until fashion magazine interns make the same as plumbers

      2. Has anyone run the study that asks the subject their gender and then asked them to write down a number?

        At this point it kinda seems like people who identify as female just have an slight innate bias against writing down big numbers.

        I wonder if you polled asking; “How big is your salary? (Select One) A, B, C, D, DD, DDD” if the disparity might disappear.

    3. How will any man get a job, what with women undercutting their wages?

      1. Bingo. If it were true that female employees were available for four fifths of what male employees cost, the female unemployment rate would be next to zero and the male rate would be much higher.

  14. “”2019 so far has seen a flurry of states pass or consider so-called “fetal heartbeat laws.” “”

    Well, I’ve been told rights are not absolute.

    1. “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” isn’t a right. Penumbras are. Sex is your only freedom.

      1. Freedom is slavery.

        1. Also… in that case, would you like to have freedom with me?

      2. In that case, would you like to have freedom with me?

  15. Not surprising to see the GOP still has their Aborto-Freak on.

    1. Predictable, isn’t it?

      By the way, do you have any Stormy Daniels updates today?

  16. Rashida Tlaib posts picture of ‘hateful’ note left on office door

    “Stop your disgusting Jew hatred,” the blue sticky note reads. “Your sign says ‘Justice for all’ that means Jews too.”

    The note concludes with: “Your Jihad against the Jews will fail. Am Yisrael Chai!,” referring a Jewish song title that translates to “The nation of Israel lives.”

    The Palestinian-American congresswoman blasted the note as hateful and “bullying.”

    “Stop the fear mongering & blatant lies,” Tlaib tweeted. “Come here w/ the value that all beings deserve human rights, including Palestinians.”

    The hateful note is hilarious.

    1. The hateful note is hilarious.

      Indeed. The only things it lacks are “i”s dotted with hearts and a final smiley face.

    2. That’s a hate note crime and should be reported to the proper hate crime authorities.

    3. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they wrote it with their non-dominant hand

    4. Did the Jew charge her for the paper and ink?

    5. all beings deserve human rights

      WTF? I’m not against a broad proliferation of human rights, but I’m not even 100% sure all humans deserve human rights. It may make me racist, but I’ll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I extend human rights to the Hooloovoo.

  17. “They require women who want to end a pregnancy to decide on, schedule, and carry it out within about two weeks of missing their period.”

    See, that’s where abortion opponents are missing the point. You don’t have to persuade me or most of American that elective abortions are unethical. Very few people brag about having had an abortion–it’s not seen as something to be proud of.

    What you have to do is persuade us that abortion should be illegal. Standing up Grandma for Thanksgiving after saying you would be there is unethical. Cheating on your spouse with your spouse’s best friend is unethical. Whether those things should be illegal is another question entirely.

    Don’t waste energy telling us about how it’s unethical. Let’s just assume it is.
    Using the coercive power of government to force a woman to carry a baby to term against her will is a tough sell, but that’s the case you need to make.

    1. Additionally, they need to be clear about how such a thing could ever really be enforced. As well as whether this would open up miscarriages to criminal investigations.

      1. And the historical lesson that the US and nearly every country in the world has learned about the negative consequences of making abortion illegal.

        It may not be an argument from first principles, but it is pretty clear that the specter of “back alley abortions” played a very large role in changing the laws on abortion, whether by court decree, legislative action or dictator’s pen.

    2. Why can’t we just stop funding it? Why must it always come to an argument of legality?

      1. Uh…. we don’t do that. Stopping funding for things isn’t really what our government is built for.

        We fund more. That’s what we do.

      2. I don’t see why the government needs to fund it either, but that’s not the question under consideration. Various states are pushing fetal heart bills that give women a seriously small window to determine whether they’re late because they’re pregnant or because they’re stressed out. If they miss that window, then they’re forced to carry a baby to term against their will under threat of criminal prosecution? That isn’t about funding.

        1. Not to mention the unintended consequence of a panicked woman facing the need to make a rash decision on abortion lest her options become fewer in a week or two. Seems like that might lead to more early term abortions, because the woman doesn’t have time to research other options, talk to family/friends, etc.

          This whole thing seems like an emotional response to rile up the electorate, and not anything that has been rationally thought through by the legislators.

          1. This whole thing seems like an emotional response to rile up the electorate, and not anything that has been rationally thought through by the legislators.

            You’ve just described about 99% of what legislators do. Look at the Dems accusing Mitch of staging a political stunt by calling a vote on support for the Green New Deal. Of course it’s a political stunt – a political stunt designed to draw attention to the fact that the Green New Deal itself is nothing but a political stunt. Nobody is serious about actually doing anything, even – or especially – the ones who decry the doing of nothing, they’re only interested in posturing and virtue-signaling and issuing talking points. Talk is cheap and actually doing anything makes you liable to be held responsible for the consequences of your actions and who needs that headache?

          2. or drive to another state

        2. Or drive an hour to another state

      3. Because the “funding” question is a red herring?

        Simply put, for most abortion opponents, it’s “murder”. And murder is wrong and unjust whether it’s state-sponsored or not.

        That said, unless you deny common fiscal practices used by accountants all across the US, the federal government (and most state governments) already don’t fund abortion. To get there, you have to basically argue “guilt by association”: they happen in the same building, so paying the insurance claim on that pap smear is actually paying for some woman’s Plan B.

        But as I said, that doesn’t actually matter. Funding is a red herring to most opponents, a target of opportunity at most, and not something that sincerely concerns them.

        1. and not something that sincerely concerns them.

          It’s not an issue that’s worth shutting down the government, that’s for sure.

    3. Also need to sell me on why it is important for me to care about it.

      1. I care about justice and liberty.

        I suppose I believe in the “broken windows” theory of law enforcement when it comes to the arbitrarily use of the coercive power of government. Tolerate a little injustice here or there, and pretty soon, the whole neighborhood goes to pot.

        1. More laws won’t create more liberty.

    4. “You don’t have to persuade me or most of American that elective abortions are unethical. Very few people brag about having had an abortion–it’s not seen as something to be proud of.”

      Give it time.

      “Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.”

      https://shoutyourabortion.com/

      “Abortion is very common, and people have abortions for many different reasons. Only you know what’s best for you, but good information and support can really help you make the decision that is best for your own health and well-being….

      “Everyone has their own unique and valid reasons for having an abortion. Some of the many different reasons people decide to end a pregnancy include:

      “They want to be the best parent possible to the kids they already have.
      They’re not ready to be a parent yet.
      It’s not a good time in their life to have a baby.
      They want to finish school, focus on work, or achieve other goals before having a baby.
      They’re not in a relationship with someone they want to have a baby with.
      They’re in an abusive relationship or were sexually assaulted.
      The pregnancy is dangerous or bad for their health.
      The fetus won’t survive the pregnancy or will suffer after birth.
      They just don’t want to be a parent.”

      https://bit.ly/2yzEUkH

      1. Yeah, I’m sure they’d love to project an image of it as not something to be ashamed of, but I’m not sure how many people are buying it–fairly or unfairly, people still see it as evidence of bad judgement at the very least. If you’d kept your pants on, . . .

        Incidentally, isn’t that what this song is about?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4dx42YzQCE

    5. It seems that every law has people advocating shortcuts and violations of the presumption of innocence – rape, for example. We’ve seen plenty of “innocence is no defense” shortcuts proposed for rape convictions. That’s hardly an argument for legalizing rape, it’s an argument for defending due process and the presumption of innocence regardless of the seriousness of the offense.

      Likewise with the 4th Amendment issues you hypothesize. We already have advocates of arbitrary searches and seizures – especially for drugs but also in pursuing violent-crime suspects. In other words, the search and seizure dystopia has already arrived, I don’t see how the 4th Amendment will be further sullied by adding another violent crime to the list of banned things.

      Anyway, I’d love to see some moderates, eschewing extremists like me, come up with “reasonable” abortion restrictions on their own, without waiting for my fellow “extremists” to propose something – if, as we seem to agree, the status quo is tilted too heavily in the pro-abortion direction.

    6. Abortion is the cessation of a human life. Anyone who denies that is just not being intellectually honest. But during pregnancy the relationship between mother and child is parasitic. It is not a violation of the NAP to purge a parasite from your body. It would have to be established that there is a contractual obligation for a mother to deliver the child to prove harm to another and I don’t see how that can be established in a secular way.

      And for fuck’s sake, we need to quit debating the ridiculous shitstorm that is abortion rights. The technology already exists to transplant fetuses and will clearly exist in the near-future to grow a child outside the womb. Abortion laws, in light of modern technology, are purely to punish women for having sex without intent to procreate. It is puritanical religious virtue signalling.

      And it deserves to mocked.

      1. “The technology already exists to transplant fetuses and will clearly exist in the near-future to grow a child outside the womb.”

        Would you then support laws to prohibit abortions if an artificial womb is available?

        1. Would you then support laws to prohibit abortions if an artificial womb is available?

          No. It doesn’t change the fact that it is not a violation of the NAP to purge a parasite. But pregnant women might choose to transfer a viable fetus to an artificial womb as an alternative to abortion. More choice is better is better for everyone. Pro-life charities could be spending their money to research the technology rather than padding the pockets of statist puritanical politicians. Those assholes hate it when people have choices.

    7. Don’t waste energy telling us about how it’s unethical. Let’s just assume it is.

      Not to wholeheartedly defend these laws, but ethics is only part of it. Basal reasoning is another part. Standing Grandma up for Thanksgiving after saying you would be there is unethical. Standing up Grandma for Thanksgiving because you couldn’t find a place to eat is unreasonable (on the presumption that everybodys Grandma puts out an acceptable spread).

      Condoms, birth control, and the rhythm method make it simple to avoid pregnancy and, even if that fails, ***Plan B*** is available OTC and can be sitting on your shelf at home. Women spent decades suffering unwanted pregnancies (voluntary and involuntary) and fighting for civil/reproductive rights, fearing The Handmaid’s Tale scenarios where their bodies would effectively be turned into breeding reactors only to have subsequent feminists say that not only is it a woman’s right to choose to be a breeding chamber, but it’s in hers or women’s best interests that they choose whether those reactors bear fruit or not and, more complicatedly, without the consent of the people supporting this ‘hollow reactor’ lifestyle.

    8. If a woman wants to screw ~400 men and abort ~400 babies it’s her prerogative and no one else’s. Not only do the ~400 babies not get a say so, but the ~400 men *who actively and potentially unwittingly participated* don’t either. It’s not just the ethics of the single decision but the morality and sensibility of the whole chain of decisions and the people involved. Having/aborting a baby isn’t standing Grandma up for Thanksgiving.

    9. That’s really what it comes down to, even in the near 50/50 world of libertarians on abortion. We know prohibition doesn’t work.

    1. In the endless parade of denial and goalpost shifting that has been the response to the Barr letter, one particularly interesting take came from Steven Novella of the New England Sceptical Society and the Skeptics Guide to The Universe. His reaction was to take issue with the use of the term “Witch Hunt”, which he says this probe cannot be – by definition – because they found him to be not guilty of collusion. A “Witch Hunt” would never reach such a conclusion, because the inquisitor will ignore all contrary evidence in pursuit of the witch. (plus, his definition of witch hunt requires that no such thing can possibly exist, like a witch).

      Had he bothered to even read his own comments section, I think he would have noted that almost nobody on the left is accepting the conclusion that Trump is not a witch. In fact, they are doubling and tripling down on the notion. And for some reason those partisan blinders keep people from seeing that creating process crimes and holding life in prison over people’s heads in order to get them to incriminate your target is quite analogous to the forced confessions of witch hunts.

      1. It is interesting how obstensively nonpartisan organizations like the New England Sceptical Society have gotten caught up in this and destroyed their credibility. Lawfare blog is another one. They were one of the worst pushers of the hoax and now have shot the credibility of the entire organization. The worst part is that whatever your opinion of Russia and Trump, it has nothing to do with the mission of the organization. Lawfare blog had no business getting involved in a partisan dispute in the first place. But, they have an exectutive director who came over from Brookings and like all Progressives, has coopted the organization into a weapon to advance leftist politics. And that is a real shame becaus they were doing some fairly important work.

        1. The NESS case is particularly interesting, because they pride them selves on their objectivity and rational thought processes. So they are quite satisfied with themselves that they are not partisan and they don’t take positions because of partisan reasons.

          I suppose it is a form of hubris. Because they are very good at skepticism and attempting to form a rational position.

          Except this involves politics. And if you bother to look at other people’s politics, you’ll notice that their politics are stupid. Always. Just look around at anyone who’s politics don’t align with yours. Stupid, right?

          Now, here’s the tricky bit that their hubris allowed them to miss. Everyone else is looking at your politics the exact same way. Because your politics are stupid. Always. Because politics is stupid.

          Libertarians are uniquely positioned to see this, since nobody agrees with us. Even all those other people who say they are libertarians – but really aren’t true libertarians.

  18. Man claims giant penis killed woman during sex sparking police probe

    Nedi Sito found his daughter Jumantri dead in her bed at their home in Probolinggo, Indonesia.

    The 55-year-old accused her husband Barsah of killing her during sex due to the size of his penis.

    He successfully rallied the local police to inspect his son-in-laws genitals.

    Authorities had ruled her death to be caused by an epileptic fit during the night.

    Detectives however called in Barsah to get a look at his penis as part of the probe.

    Why won’t the cucks at Reason cover this!

    1. Cops however concluded that his penis was not the blame ? and stuck with official story of a fatal fit.

      Probolinggo Police Crime Investigation Unit Head Riyanto told Detik Today: “After seeing directly the genitalia that was thought to be oversized, it turned out to be of the standard Asian size.

      “So right there and then the father-in-law dropped the report [against Barsah] and they apologised to each other.”

      1. No one was ever harmed by a standard-sized Asian weenie.

        1. How about the one attached to Pol Pot?

      2. Women won’t be truly safe until all men’s penises are limited to 6 or less inches

      3. You said unit head.

    2. Detectives however called in Barsah to get a look at his penis as part of the probe.

      Emphasis added. Sheesh, what else did Barsah have *in* there?

    3. I need to go to Indonesia to service their women.

      “It won’t kill you, lady.”

  19. The abortion debate is still a nonstarter – either you believe life begins at conception or you don’t. Pretending that science is on your side is just plain silly. It will never be on your side, no matter which side you pick. From the moment of conception a genetically unique individual organism is created. It will develop into an adult human being if the conditions are right. This is what the science says. Picking any moment along that path and declaring that it is or is not the moment that human life begins is an opinion, and cannot be scientifically confirmed or refuted.

    That being said, the “that isn’t a heartbeat” meme is a straight-up loser. I don’t care if you get ten million physicians to line up and swear a blood oath that the clump of heart tissue that you see on that monitor isn’t actually a heartbeat, that dog ain’t gonna hunt. For normal human beings, if you can see the heart tissue beating, it is a beating heart. Trying to claim that what you see isn’t actually a heart and it isn’t actually beating is not going to work. Arguing from authority isn’t going to push that on over the goal line, it is just going to wreck your authority.

    1. Yeh, when my wife saw the heartbeat of our kid during an ultra-sound she teared up.

      Try and tell me it’s not a heartbeat. It’s a degenerate position to take if you ask us.

      The second conception happens, science and faith merge for that miraculous split second.

      1. “Yeh, when my wife saw the heartbeat of our kid during an ultra-sound she teared up”

        Very early in my wife’s first pregnancy, there were some things happening that might have indicated that there were problems and we weren’t sure that the pregnancy was going to hold. Somewhere around the 5th week we did a sonogram – an external one. Right there in the middle of the little form that would eventually become our first child was a little flashing light. The doctor said “That’s the heartbeat. We’re good”. My wife was so relieved she broke down.

        And the Georgia state rep who said “Every physician has said that the fetal cardiac activity present early in pregnancies is not a beating heart”, well, that’s just more bullshit from the Party of Science. I witnessed a physician say exactly the opposite almost 30 years ago.

        1. Like I said, it’s depraved.

          It’s without humanity.

    2. As a purely intellectual matter, I agree with you about any point between conception and birth being arbitrary. Science isn’t going to answer that question because the answer depends on what you define as “life” and that is a subjective statement that science will offer no insight into.

      That being said, ethics are practical as well as theoretical. If it were just a question of coming up with a intellectual set of consistent ethical rules, there wouldn’t be any ethical debates much less ethical dilemas. As a practical matter, declaring something to be fully human the moment it has a beating heart and human DNA is a compromise that everyone except the fanatics on both sides could live with. At this point in time with the state of birth control and the availability of morning after pills, I don’t see how any woman can claim to be harmed by being required to decide if she wants to keep a pregnancy after 12 weeks.

      1. I’m just saying you can’t pretend it is science, either way. And the summary by ENB pretends that it is science that tells us that the beating heart we see isn’t really a beating heart… therefore it is science that says this isn’t the moment of “life”.

        As you say, it ain’t science. Either way. It is ethics. It is religion. It is a pragmatic response to public health concerns. It is even just a gut reaction, as Rufus points out.

        Claiming “but science!” as your talisman of authority to validate your arguments is dishonest. Because it ain’t science.

        1. It’s more bio-ethical than science.

          1. Ever notice that bio-ethicists are nearly always the worst human beings on earth who end up justifying genocide and euthenasia and every parade of horrible you can imagine?

            1. I dunno about that… but you stick the prefix “bio” on it, and you still have ethics, which ain’t science.

              1. It is strictly my observation, but I can’t remember a single example of a self proclaimed “professional ethicist” in the media doing anything but providing rationalizations for something horrible. See e.g. Peter Singer, who is in academic circles one of the world’s premier ethicists and a complete monster.

                1. Singer became famous over “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, written back in 1971. It’s essential argument is that buying things like new shoes you don’t really need (we might say iPhones today) is immoral when there are people starving to death in places like Bangladesh and China.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..d_Morality

                  I was taught this by a socialist philosophy professor in college. It’s the only time I’ve ever made a professor lose his temper in front of a whole auditorium. He was literally spitting all over himself while he was yelling at me. I guess he’d found Singer’s argument personally persuasive to the point that it gave his life meaning. His purpose in life, apparently, became teaching college students that they were morally compelled to share their wealth with the poor.

                  I pointed out that things had changed since 1971, and if the people of China and Bangladesh are no longer in danger of starving to death, it’s specifically because Americans buy things like shoes and electronic devices that we don’t really need, and if that’s the case, then Singer is the most unethical person on the planet–using his own logic–if he isn’t buying things that he doesn’t really need.

                  Singer’s arguments on abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide might seem worse, but are they really?

                2. It is strictly my observation, but I can’t remember a single example of a self proclaimed “professional ethicist” in the media doing anything but providing rationalizations for something horrible.

                  I do presume there to be a bit of selection bias in place here. The good bio-ethicists stumble across an experiment and say “Hey guys, this sounds like a bad idea. Doing this has a pretty good chance of killing everyone in the room, if not the building.” and the researchers go “Oh Shit! You’re right.” and the plans get taken back to the drawing board, nobody gets famous, and none of the rest of us hear about it.

                  Also, some ethicists go by different names. At one point, major media outlets were staffed by people called editors who were sort of ethicists of publishing.

            2. I’ve observed that too.

        2. I agree with you. That is bullshit. Science says “its not a beating heart” because they define a beating heart to mean something different than the ordinary meaning of the term. And as you correctly point out, that isn’t going to convince anyone who isn’t already convinced.

          1. What it means likely is that the heart is not fully formed at that stage, but the heart muscles have started to form and are contracting.

        3. “And the summary by ENB pretends that it is science that tells us that the beating heart we see isn’t really a beating heart… therefore it is science that says this isn’t the moment of “life”.”

          There is no “moment of life”. Conception occurs when a living cell from a male merges with a living cell from a female. Life doesn’t stop, then restart. It’s a continuous process.

          I’m not pounding the anti-choice drum here, but we’re not arguing life vs not-life. We’re arguing the right of a woman to control the inside of her body against the right of an unborn human being. It’s a clash of rights. It’d be goddam nice if we could actually be honest about the parameters of the argument.

          1. No you aren’t. You are saying that other people are wrong when they say an unborn child is a moral being with a right to life. You shift the argument away, to an argument about self-ownership.

            So it is 100% an argument about when does a human being become a human being.

            In most practical conversation we talk about the moment of birth. Which doesn’t really work in this context.

            But nobody can even in theory provide a definitive answer.

            So claiming that the argument is not about life vs. not-life is being dishonest about the parameters. Claiming that the argument can only be about a woman’s right to choose is trying to game the parameters to choose an argument you can win.

            It might be be an important argument from a pragmatic point of view…. but if you believe life begins at conception, claiming that it is against the rules to consider the rights of an unborn human because that is not within the parameters of the argument is simply a non-starter.

            1. “You are saying that other people are wrong when they say an unborn child is a moral being with a right to life.”

              No, I’m not. I thought I was saying the opposite, but I guess I wasn’t clear.

              I find the abortion argument to be irresolvable. So does the rest of society, apparently. But the pro-life side is more honest about their position than the pro-choice side. An abortion terminates the life of a human being. Period. I wish we could be honest about that.

              1. Unless you don’t agree that it is the life of a human. In which case it doesn’t.

                Hence the unresolvable nature of the argument.

                1. Saying that it is unresolvable has the effect of making the entire question of what humans are right bearing entities open and unresolvable. You cannot isolate this particular case.

      2. I don’t see how any woman can claim to be harmed by being required to decide if she wants to keep a pregnancy after 12 weeks.

        What does 12 weeks have to do with anything? Fetal “heartbeat” laws would require women to have an abortion within two weeks of their first missed period, at 5 to 6 weeks pregnancy.

        Oh wait, it’s you, and you’re full of shit again.

        1. >>>require women to have an abortion within two weeks of their first missed period, at 5 to 6 weeks pregnancy.

          oh no?

        2. Arguing “it is only 5 or 6 weeks” with someone who believes that all life is sacred and life begins at conception isn’t really a winner.

          It is identical to arguing “he’s only 5 years old”. If you believe life begins at conception, and all life is sacred, then 2 weeks, 2 years, 20 years, 88 years… all still human and deserving of protection.

          If you don’t, you don’t. And then restrictions seem arbitrary, intrusive and even cruel.

          That’s why this debate isn’t a debate. Because there is no room for compromise on killing babies. If you think it is a baby, you aren’t gonna be persuaded by pragmatic compromises. Likewise, if you don’t think it is a baby, you aren’t gonna be persuaded by pragmatic compromises.

          1. What does any of that have to do with John lying about what fetal heartbeat bills would actually require?

            1. You are arguing about things that are irrelevant to a “life begins at conception” person.

              Ooh… huge difference!!! You LIED!!! It says 6 weeks instead of 12!!!

              The other side is “Kill a human being”. Doesn’t matter whether you allow murder for 1 week, 6 weeks, 6 months… .they just see murder. So being pedantic about the number of weeks is like arguing about what song was on the radio in the car that ran over a bunch of orphans. You’ll have to forgive them for not thinking that a week or two one way or the other is worth remembering.

              Hence the inane nature of these arguments. Nobody can agree on first principles, therefore there can be no argument.

              You want to argue about the rights of the mother. A life at conception person never gets to that part, because they already got to a hard no when their beliefs lead them to a murder being committed.

              1. I haven’t said anything at all about the rights of the mother. Keep trying to defend John’s bullshit. He might fuck you I guess.

        3. Oh wait, it’s you, and you’re full of shit again.

          Just because you’ve got shit for brains doesn’t mean John is full of it too.

          You do realize that, in the context of birth control and plan B, he could’ve chose any number of weeks? You can make the decision not to get pregnant at all costs 5, 6, 12, 144, or even 360 weeks in advance.

          John may’ve maliciously inserted 12 weeks, it may’ve been a typo. I’m not sure which side you’re on, but I’m sure you’ve done your part to earn them a ‘dangerously stupid’ label.

          1. Yes, the person who doesn’t lie and only calls out lies is “dangerously stupid.” Or maybe just dangerous for liars.

            1. the person who doesn’t lie and only calls out lies

              You’re going to have to be more clear. We aren’t all familiar with all the different people who exist in your imagination.

      3. >>>a compromise that everyone except the fanatics on both sides could live with

        they’re the clickbait. issue will never die.

        1. issue will never die.

          Let’s just abort the debate. No arguments on any side seem viable to me.

          1. was bored like 1843 trimesters ago.

    3. either you believe life begins at conception or you don’t

      Life began 3-4 billion years ago and is a continuous process. It doesn’t begin at conception. You may say that a genetically distinct organism is formed at conception, but does that newly formed zygote possess basic human rights once all its DNA is wound into chromosomes and it starts synthesizing proteins and undergoing mytosis?

      1. But what the choice side is defending is that full term child is fair game for killing until it get entirely out of the birth canal with some undefined grace period afterward.

  20. Alaska moose-hunter can ‘rev up’ his hovercraft, court rules

    The National Park Service improperly banned an Alaska moose hunter from using a hovercraft on a river through a national preserve, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a unanimous decision.

    The court limited the National Park Service’s authority to enforce laws and regulations on state-owned rivers in Alaska. Justices rejected the agency’s argument that the river was “public land” for regulatory authority and that the agency’s water rights interest gave it rule-making authority.

    The outcome was a victory for moose hunter John Sturgeon of Anchorage, who had sued and lost in lower court rulings.

    “We reverse the decision below and wish Sturgeon good hunting,” Justice Elena Kagan said in reading a summary of the decision.

    Sturgeon called it “a huge win for Alaska.”

    It’s a huge win for America, because we are reminded that the likes of Trump and AOC can’t destroy the true fabric of this great nation.

    1. We reverse the decision below and wish Sturgeon good hunting,” Justice Elena Kagan said in reading a summary of the decision.

      Good on Kagan. Let it never be said she didn’t get at least one thing right or doesn’t have a sense of humor.

  21. McAfee, despite having a $25 million judgement filed against him in the murder case that made him flee Belize (they allege McAfee killed the guy for poisoning his dogs), despite being a tax exile from the USA because the IRS is supposedly out to get him,

    http://lawandcrime.com/high-pr…..-11-years/

    . . . and despite tweets like this:

    “God … .. I love business spats. Ok then .. here’s the real story: Synth (founder and CEO of Skycoin) feels strongly that human/whale intimate relations are non consensual for the whale and therefore represents sexual abuse. I disagree strongly”

    —-officialmcafee

    http://twitter.com/officialmca…..4159087617

    . . . John McAfee is still seeking the 2020 Libertarian nomination for President of the United States

    If our choices end up being between Trump, a Democratic socialist, or someone who may be, in reality, even nuttier than the TDS media makes Trump out to be, I might have to vote for Trump.

    1. He’s crazy, but the Libertarian party could and will probably do worse. I still think he was the best in that debate.

  22. http://www.washingtonexaminer……bilitating

    Trump gets the government to finally start doing something about EMP attack. I do not think that an EMP attack is as good of a weapon as people claim. The problem with it is that while it does all kinds of damage potentially, it doesn’t nothing to reduce the US’s ability to retaliate and it would be a nuclear attack that would spark a full nuclear retaliation on the US’s part. This is why it was less of an issue during the cold war. The US saw the danger, hardened it nuclear and military infurstructure against it and called it a day. Doing that rendered EMP useless as a first strike capability since it would not affect our ability to retaliate. Any nation with nuclear weapons today faces the same problem. Sure, North Korea could conduct an EMP attack against us, if they are suicidal.

    That said, another Carrington event is certain to happen at some point in the future. It is insanity not to harden our infurstructure against that certainty.

  23. ENB,

    “includes language declaring all fertilized eggs to be citizens”

    I checked the latest version of the bill and didn’t find such language; all I found was language declaring unborn children to be persons:

    https://bit.ly/2HUOvrb

    1. Does it define “unborn child”? If it doesn’t, then the language is so vauge as to be almost meaningless. What is an “unborn child”?

      1. A suffering hapless waif cruelly barred from knowing their one chance at life and true happiness?
        No wait, that was from an NPR segment on immigration

      2. In the version I linked, the definition is “a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.”

      3. everybody not here yet.

    2. I would like ENB to explain how nothing else other than getting completely out of the womb (with a five second rule, according to Virginia’s governor) conveys citizenship?

  24. you suck, Amash.

  25. “Meet San Francisco’s new, giant, smoothie-making robot”
    […]
    “Chef B works around the clock, remembers everyone’s smoothie preferences and needs only about two minutes to blend a 12-ounce order of mango, kefir, agave and coconut water.
    Chef B doesn’t take lunch breaks. Or talk. For Chef B, as you may have guessed, is a robot….”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/foo…..ate-result

    Not a word about minimum wage, but it’s the Chron.

    1. So, how does Blendid stand apart from the crowd? Affordability is one way. All of the 12-ounce blends cost $6.

      Words have meaning.

  26. I looked through this whole thread, and I didn’t see one comment about the most important issue facing our nation today–which is obstruction of justice by the president and collusion with the Russians to steal the 2016 election.

    In all seriousness, I thought we’d have to wait until next Monday before the Mueller Report became old news, but it’s starting to feel like it’s news from two years ago already. There’s only one mention of it on the landing page of the New York Times.

    It’s almost like . . . nobody gives a shit anymore.

    1. I’m sure the ACLU will pipe up and suggest that Trump’s treatment in 2016 was a symptom of the surveillance state getting out of control. After all, the ACLU defended the rights of National Socialists, they would be happy to defend Trump’s rights too…

      hahahahahahhaha

      Darn, I almost got through that paragraph without laughing.

    2. Oh, they care…..

      They are just waiting until the news cycle turns in their favor.

      We don’t need to report on “Things the media did wrong over the last 3 years”. Neither do we need to do any reporting on “things the Obama administration did to use the surveillance state for political purposes”. So we’ll wait around and report on the House investigations, thank you very much.

  27. “This was explicitly the goal of those pushing an unconstitutional…”

    Uh, I mean, if you want the Supreme Court to be the sole arbiter of what is “Constitutional”.

    Korematsu, Dred Scott, Wikkard v Filburn, Plessy v Ferguson, Obamacare, Major League Baseball, US v Miller…

    That’s just off the top of my head.

    Look, the Supremes figure out the answer they want and only THEN do they come up with their “Constitutional” arguments. Why pretend differently?

    1. The legal reasoning for Roe was pulled out of Blackmun’s nether regions as something he designed to fit the conclusion he wanted. The Courts have been using extra constitutional logic and the strength of established precedent ever since. The US has one of the most radically permissive abortion laws in the world and most people disagree with the law as it stands (though also disagree with the full pro life position). You are never going to get these people to stop pushing in the face of what they consider a violation of basic rights.

    2. This should be required reading for all high school civics classes:
      Link

      1. That is the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life. Yeah, the law is flexible and often in the eye of the beholder. That is because reality is really complex and it is impossible to have a simple set of rules that easily and consistently apply in every circumstance. If we could have that, there would never be any disputes about the law.

        There is not enough time or characters allowed at reason to explain why that article is idiotic. I hate things that sound high minded but in reality are completely idiotic.

        1. “Don’t initiate force. Examples: Theft, assault, murder, rape.”

          Really complicated, John.

          1. I guess we’d better outlaw hammers then.

      2. Interesting take. Once the author got on to why the state’s monopoly on “law” necessitated this ridiculousness, it really shined.

  28. Oddly, a person’s age has always been measured from the date of their birth. I wonder why, if they are a person months before that.

  29. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

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