Reason Roundup

Abortion Ban in Alabama Designed 'To Directly Challenge Roe v. Wade'

Plus: Twitter team pushes back against Devin Nunes lawsuit, candidates stumble on Medicare for All, and more...

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"It is important that we pass this statewide abortion ban legislation and begin a long overdue effort to directly challenge Roe v. Wade," Alabama Lieutenant Gov. Will Ainsworth said last week. A vote on the measure had been temporarily tabled after the state Senate broke out in "chaos" debating an amendment to make exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

That bill passed the Alabama Senate 25-6 yesterday, without the rape/incest exceptions (which failed 21-11).

It not only bans abortion at any point in pregnancy but also makes it a felony for doctors to perform them, with exceptions only when the mother's life is in danger. It's now headed to a sympathetic state leader, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey (though Ivey said yesterday that she would "withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed").

Bill sponsor Sen. Clyde Chambliss, a Republican, specified that the law would not prohibit the destruction of fertilized eggs used for in-vitro fertilization, only those conceived within a woman's body. "The egg in the lab doesn't apply. It's not in a woman. She's not pregnant," Chambliss said, in floor debate with Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman.

"Alabama paid nearly $4 million to ACLU since 2013, after losing or settling lawsuits on gay marriage, immigration and yes, abortion," noted Alabama Media Group reporter Anna Claire Vollers yesterday, calling the latest legislation "another costly test case."

But that's the point, as Alabama's lieutenant governor directly said in the quote up top.

And it's the point in other states—Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi—where legislatures have also passed near-total bans on abortion (though unlike in Alabama, these have allowed it up to six weeks gestational age).

"While these 6-week abortion bans may not ever take effect, anti-abortion advocates believe they can use them to ban abortion nationwide," writes Ema O'Connor at Buzzfeed. "The anti-abortion movement sees this current court as the most friendly in decades, and they hope getting these laws in front of it will result in them overturning Roe v. Wade."

Yesterday, Reason Editor-in-Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward, Managing Editor Stephanie Slade, and I talked about the abortion ban that recently passed in Georgia and libertarian debate around abortion more generally. You can listen here.


FREE MINDS

The Twitter team pushes back against would-be censorship from Devin Nunes. Twitter and political consultant Liz Mair filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.) filed against them in federal court in March. Their objection is on procedural grounds, not the (rather ridiculous) content of Nunes' lawsuit. The May 9 motion "takes issue with where the lawsuit was filed," reports The Sacramento Bee. "Twitter contends Nunes does not have standing to file the lawsuit in Virginia. Twitter is based in California, Nunes is from California and the work his complaint says was impacted occurred in Washington, D.C., the motion argues." More here.

Related—Jane Coaston corrects a common misunderstanding about Section 230:


FREE MARKETS

"In theory, Medicare for All is more popular than ever," writes Reason Features Editor Peter Suderman, in a post about Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) eluding specifics when asked about her support for the idea. "Medicare for All," the brainchild of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), refers to a single-payer system of delivering health care with the government footing the bill. "Polls show that a majority of the country favors" it and "some surveys have even found that a surprisingly large percentage of Republicans are open to the idea," notes Suderman. But:

Those same surveys consistently reveal that support for Medicare for All falls apart as soon people hear that it would raise taxes, result in delays for care, and eliminate private insurance—all of which are likely outcomes of a transition to single-payer. The public, in other words, favors the non-specific, cost-free idea of Medicare for All, but not the practical reality and the many trade-offs that it would necessarily entail.

More here.


QUICK HITS

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198 responses to “Abortion Ban in Alabama Designed 'To Directly Challenge Roe v. Wade'

  1. Are you secretly a millennial?

    Are millennials secret about anything?

    1. Hello.

      Dumb questions but I’m safely Gen X.

      The coolest generation.

      1. +10000

        I think that I will have a Pepsi.

        1. I think that I will have a Pepsi.

          What if your mom won’t bring you one?

          1. I will have your mom bring me one and suck my dick while I drink it.

            1. If you were actually a Gen-X-er you would have caught the reference. Sad.

              1. If you weren’t annoying, you would get the hint.

                1. you would get the hint.

                  What – that you would prefer I go away?

                  Oh, you poor boy.

              2. It doesn’t matter, I’ll probably get hit by a car anyway.

                1. ^ Real Gen-X-er.

          2. She may end up face down in the sewer? I wonder how much he’ll have to pay to get his mother killed in such a bloody way.

      2. “The coolest generation.”

        Fail. No true Gen X’er would ever say that about themselves.

        1. DID I SAY I WAS COOL?

          I said Gen X.

      3. The coolest generation.
        Call me cynical.

        1. Call me cynical.

          I would, but what’s the point?

      1. “All right, then. Keep your secrets.”

        1. If I know exactly which gif/meme is associated with this, does that mean I’m secretly a millennial?

    2. Are you secretly a millennial?

      No, I’m not a collectivist.

  2. San Francisco just banned the use of facial recognition and surveillance technology by local police and government officials, making it the first city in the country to do so.

    How are they going to identify those plastic bag carriers?

    1. With SF devolving into a third world cesspit, are their policing policies really something to celebrate? On the merits of the issue on it’s own, but SF is not a good endorsement.

  3. The Justice Department says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to regulate lethal injection drugs.

    Bureaucrat fight!

    1. Konstitutional Krisis!!!

  4. “While these 6-week abortion bans may not ever take effect, anti-abortion advocates believe they can use them to ban abortion nationwide,” writes Ema O’Connor at Buzzfeed.

    Abortion is never going to be banned nationwide.

    1. These bills are basically a direct response to the ones in New York, Vermont, and Virginia that allow abortion of full-term babies. Even most pro-abortion advocates support some restrictions on it, but the proglydytes in those states went full exceptional, so now the fundies are going to pass their own extreme versions.

      In one sense, this could actually end up being a positive development, since it will force a discussion on when exactly a baby is a baby, using I Fucking Love Science! as the framework, and deserves to be protected rather than aborted for any reason other than one that threatens the life of the mother.

      1. The “fact check” sites are all listing the “allow abortion up until delivery” meme as a lie. They are all in lock-step, saying that you didn’t hear what you heard.

        Now, there’s some room for added nuance in the actual context, but you can’t say with any degree of integrity that it is a lie to say that the laws and legislatures in question did indeed talk about making abortion legal right up until delivery.

        1. https://www.factcheck.org/2019/02/addressing-new-yorks-new-abortion-law/

          This one actually says that the NY law does allow abortion up until delivery, but it would have to be only ones in which “there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health”, and that determination would have to be made by a doctor; it wouldn’t be up to the woman’s sole discretion.

          Of course one can read this law cynically and claim that it’s really no different than an elective abortion regime since a woman can potentially find an unethical doctor to perform an abortion based on a claim of “mental health problems” and the unethical doctor will happily agree to kill a healthy fetus. If that’s the case, then the problem isn’t the law per se, but the unethical practices of the doctor more generally. If a law grants permission to professionals to act in their professional capacity, regardless of the subject matter, then the presumption is that the professionals are acting morally and ethically. The problem of unethical behavior is not to take away the professionals’ judgment, but to punish the unethical behavior.

          1. They did mention Doe v Bolton, which is the reason unethical abortionists don’t have to worry about having their licenses yanked if they lie about medical necessity. You can’t, by Supreme court decree, punish this particular category of unethical behavior. It is categorically beyond review.

            As a result, many abortionists don’t regard it as unethical to lie about medical necessity, but instead regard it as their moral duty to do so in order to convert a nominally restrictive regime into flatly elective.

            1. That’s not true. Doe v. Bolton doesn’t say lying doctors can’t be punished. It says that the effects of a pregnancy on a woman’s health is something that is to be decided by medical science, not by legislators. If a doctor is *lying* about the state of a woman’s health in order to justify an abortion, then the law does not shield the doctor.

              I am totally okay with yanking the medical licenses, and even perhaps throwing in jail, doctors who lie or are unethical in their practice, REGARDLESS if it’s about abortion or not.

              But the argument that no doctor’s professional judgment can be trusted at all, because some of them might lie, is both (a) absurd, and (b) has nothing to do with abortion itself.

        2. The “fact check” sites are all listing the “allow abortion up until delivery” meme as a lie. They are all in lock-step, saying that you didn’t hear what you heard.

          In other words, they’re gaslighting.

          1. Yes we know. Fact checkers are just Democrat plants and operatives. I know this because Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs told me so.

            1. Stop being so easily triggered by criticism of your left-wing boos.

          2. Fact checking sites are mostly propaganda sites like the media that they are trying to back up.

            If you get the facts that show the media for the propaganda whores that they are, you might be on an objective fact-checker website. Most of the objective fact-checkers dont call themselves that because that is a Lefty term.

            Some objective fact revealers here on the Reason comment section, for sure.

            1. Democrat on CNN says the sun rises every day in the West = Mostly True. It does rise every day. There is some minor discrepancy in the direction, but most underprivileged and marginalized people lack access to free devices to determine geospatial orientation.

              Republican on Fox says the sun rises every morning in the East = Mostly False. The sun is stationary relative to the Earth, and the Earth’s rotation creates the illusion of the sun rising. The very idea of the sun rising is a relic of the pre-scientific age when the Catholic Church and conservative slave holders repressed climate science.

            2. You are so right. Fact checking is a Lefty progtard propaganda trick!

              1. What you Lefties call fact-checking sure is.

                Its Lefty lies backing up Lefty lies.

          1. Funny how you left off the immediately preceding sentences to his comments.

            https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-northam-abortion-execute/

            There are — you know when we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of, obviously, the mother, with the consent of the physicians, more than one physician by the way. And it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that’s non-viable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

            He was not at all discussing executing healthy babies after birth, which is what Trump and most of the right wing claims he was talking about. He was discussing the specific case of what to do when you have horribly deformed or essentially stillborn infants.

            And yes I think “a conversation” at least is appropriate. Don’t you?

            1. The added sentences don’t make it any better.

            2. Who added the healthy qualifier? The quote is a governor saying abortion past delivery is allowed, which the fact checkers say is a lie.

              1. That is how a third trimester abortion works. It is not D&X because the fetus is too big at that point.

                The difference is, a woman deciding “I want an abortion for my third trimester fetus”, and then the doctor performing this abortion, one step of which is the act of giving birth itself; and, a woman giving birth normally, and then deciding after the fact “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want the baby after all”, and the doctor then deciding to kill the baby. These two situations are ethically very different, but the demagogues on the right want to treat them as exactly the same.

                The latter case is definitely murder, but the former case is more of a gray area, because it depends strongly on the state of the fetus itself. It COULD be murder, if the fetus is a normal healthy fetus. But if the fetus is, for example, *already dead*, then there is no
                implication of murder at all. So what about all of the difficult cases in between? Such as, for example, a fetus which is anencephalic? Basically, this type of fetus has almost no brain, and will die shortly after birth with 100% certainty. Is abortion justified in this case? If so, is it murder? I think this is frankly very much a gray area and I am not interested in leaving the choice on what to do within these gray areas up to politicians. The most politicians ought to do IMO is to define the contours of the gray areas, but permit individual choice within those contours, provided professional codes of ethics are followed.

                So when most sane people talk about third-trimester abortion, this is the type of moral dilemma they are referring to. Not about killing healthy born infants out of convenience.

                1. So you agree that the fact checkers are wrong.

            3. He was not at all discussing executing healthy babies after birth

              You don’t seen to get that it’s the ‘after birth’ part that matters.

              After birth all those excuses about clumps of cells and ‘potential’ people go out the window.

              1. Dunno, if my lady gave birth to some super deformed or incredibly sickly child, I might like the option of being able to put it out of its misery. I’m not sure that if this day and age you would need to wait until after birth to know your potential baby was that fucked up, though. If u knew before birth, it would obviously be better to do it then, I assume.

                1. Dunno, if my lady gave birth to some super deformed or incredibly sickly child, I might like the option of being able to put it out of its misery

                  You don’t get to kill people because they’re disabled.

                  1. Eh, I could see some specific circumstance where I might not find it immoral. Chemjeff describes such a scenario below. However, they are most assuredly extremely rare.

                    I am generally of the opinion that in matters of extreme suffering, extreme measures may be necessary. I just don’t think things are always completely black and white. Regardless, these types of decisions should not be taken lightly, nor is there likely a one size fits all solution.

                    Carry on with your moral posturing, everyone. Lol

              2. Look, the pro-life argument has been, for years now, that the act of birth does not itself bestow a special moral status on the fetus; that the baby is just as much of a living human being one minute after birth as it was one minute before birth.

                If that is your argument, then this argument cuts *both ways*. For example, if the fetus dies in the womb, then the act of birth does not make the fetus any more alive. It’s still dead.

                If the fetus is so horribly deformed, in agony and in pain, so much so that if that fetus were a born infant you might consider the merciful option of ending that poor suffering baby’s pain, then the act of giving birth to that infant doesn’t change the pain and suffering of that infant either. In this case, aborting the fetus might better be called “euthanasia”, but it is the same moral idea, and whether the fetus is killed inside the womb or outside the womb makes no moral difference. It just so happens that, after a certain point, killing a fetus inside the womb may no longer be possible, so the act of birth must be used in order to carry out the mercy killing.

    2. Women refuse to compromise to drive to a state where abortion is 100% legal.

      Women like ENB want taxpayers to pay for all women’s needs and want want no state-to-state difference on abortion policy even though abortion is not a constitutionally protected right and was not legal at the time of the Founding.

      1. Women refuse to compromise to drive to a state where abortion is 100% legal.

        +1,000

        If abortion is illegal anywhere, it’s illegal everywhere.

      2. When did ENB say she wants taxpayers to pay for all women’s needs and wants?

        1. The flawed-truth-table thinking of the resident morons is as follows:
          1. Abortion = Progs
          2. Progs = Socialists
          3. Socialists = Bad

          Ergo Abortion = Bad. Sprinkle in some INCEL from LC and its a helluva logical ride they’re on.

          1. How about Abortion = chopped up baby = dead person = evil?

            1. I suppose if you equate any and all fertilized eggs as a “person” then sure.
              The crux for most of us where to draw the line between potential-person and person. And then when is it appropriate to use force upon another person to prevent them from exercising agency over their own body.

              1. The only difference between a ‘potential person’ and a ‘person’ is that you only add ‘potential’ after you’ve decided to kill them and deny them any real potential.

                1. Personhood status post-conception is a great idea for trial lawyers and prison wardens.

            2. How about “that type of binary black/white thinking is inappropriate for such a complex topic such as abortion”?

          2. Resident Incel eric all butthurt.

            These troll socks are hilarious.

          3. Then how about we just ask everyone to take some god damn responsibility for their actions? If you don’t want a baby, then don’t conceive one. Is that logical enough?

    3. I would be careful with the statements like that. It wouldn’t be the first time a highly immoral practice was overturned through violent revolution in our nation’s history.

    4. Abortion wasn’t banned before Roe either.

      You’d think pro-abortion zealots would have some semblance of knowledge about history.

      1. A rational person would expect so. But that’s asking too much.

  5. Social Conservatives learned from Lefties and their strategies with unconstitutional legislation.

    By the time the courts resolve or strike down the law, some of the law will stick.

    I think this payback is hilarious.

    1. eh, I’m pro-life, but making it a felony for a woman who got raped to try to abort? Morality aside, (and I don’t believe that can be considered moral), if there was one issue that could help put the Republicans on the same level of crazy coming from the left’s presidential candidates this last month or so, this is it. All this is gonna accomplish is to piss off/scare a huge chunk of voters nationwide.

      People care about stuff that can directly affect them. I’d say that most women would say this shit directly affects them.

      1. Yeah, that’s back to the loser side of the argument. It is as if they have no ability to recall the recent past. This issue was already litigated in the court of public opinion in the 70’s and 80’s. That’s why the anti-abortion crowd went to “partial birth abortions” for their edge-case examples. It put the other side on the defensive.

        Passing laws that throw a woman and her doctor in jail for aborting an anencephalic fetus who was the result of familial rape of a 13 year old girl is not going to win friends and influence people.

        1. But what about the other 99% of abortions out there?

          We could simply put up pictures of Gosnell’s Baby Boy A as an abortion that abortionists want legal.

          I mention that because you can easily Google pictures of Gosnell Baby Boy A to see how much of a fetus that aborted fetus was…

        2. Is this example actually representative of most abortions in this country? Or are you cherry picking in order to create an emotional appeal?

      2. This is why liberals win. Fucking idiots by their interpretation of the laws. The abortion law is 3 pages dumbass. The felony goes on the doctor, not the mother.

    2. Social conservatism is a mental illness

      1. Only when applied to government. If you want to live your life by those principles, I’m all for it. Just don’t try to use force to make everyone else live by your code.

      2. You should see the mental illness that Lefties have.

        Its debilitating for them.

      3. Yeah, who needs personal responsibility? Overrated

  6. Totally discredited #TrumpRussia denialist Michael Tracey continues to spew nonsense.

    Howard Stern claims he has inside information from people who “orchestrated” Trump’s 2016 campaign that he never actually wanted to be president

    Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Drumpf wanted to win so badly that he colluded with a hostile foreign power that hacked our election.

    #ItsMuellerTime
    #Impeach

    1. IT WAS HER TURN!

    2. “Howard Stern claims to have inside information that everyone else already knows”

    3. Dude, this is old news. Stern was saying this way back when Trump’s term started, but anyone who’s watched him over his time in the media spotlight knows that Trump has been thinking about running for President for decades. He just wasn’t as nakedly thirsty for it as Hillary was when Bill Clinton first ran for the office.

      1. There’s a difference between thinking about running for President for decades and wanting to actually *win* the Presidential race.

        1. Well, sure, but the assertion that Trump didn’t actually want to win is likely more wishful thinking on Stern’s part than reality.

  7. Democratic Socialists are totally not Communists:

    AFL-CIO OPENLY CALLS FOR MARXIST REVOLUTION: ‘SEIZE THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION’
    He claimed that the “middle class” label is a myth designed to lull people who have achieved some relative financial stability and success into contentment, and that in reality there were only two classes: those who owned the means of production and those who sold their labor to the owners, the working class.

    “Viewing class in its proper context allows us to present the argument that the middle class frequently alluded to in conventional media and politics is a fiction that deliberately obscures the relationship between workers and the owners of society,” he explained.

    He then went on to argue that the idea of making it to the middle class would somehow lift people out of that conflict was that lie that capitalism wanted people to believe, promoted by the rich and the media to keep the “middle class” from identifying themselves as workers, which would necessarily lead them to dissatisfaction with the overall system.

    1. Seizing the means of production is easy, buy stock in the company.

      1. I was just going to comment this.

      2. Exactly.
        Why has no one researched the percentage of companies “owned” by the percentage of their stock now in the pension funds and 401k accounts of employed Americans?
        Oh, wait. there was that book ‘The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund Socialism Came to America’, wasn’t there?
        But then he was an old white guy, so never mind – – – – – –

    2. This is just stupid. The AFL-CIO has had no political power since the 80s, and even Democrats have been arguing in recent years that blue-collar industries shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore, because most of the economy has migrated to a white-collar/service/gig framework since then. The type of economy that exists now has no “means of production” to seize, unless they want to drag Steyer and Soros to the guillotine and empty their bank accounts.

      Talk about wanting to turn back the clock, let’s promote an apocalyptic ideology that was crafted in reaction to the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution.

    3. As someone who works a middle-class job in the service sector, what is the “means of production” that I should be seizing?

      1. Those $300 laptops we arm the workforce with?

      2. Fricken jackasses, even the retarded roofer in the video doesn’t realize the abundance of capital he is sitting on, that he has the means of production for half a hundred jobs. A car, a skillsaw, a hammer, measuring tapes, even those fancy pants white coveralls he wore during the making of the video.
        The stupid, it burns.

    4. I told them to go start their own company where the workers owned everything and compete with those evil capitalists. Once they could demonstrate the superiority of such a scheme, everyone would follow suit and socialism would win! Hooray!

      Fucking commies.

  8. Apparently it’s not only the US, but the entire planet that’s turning into The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Third of Female Lawyers Have Been Sexually Harassed, Report Finds

    Clearly law schools need to hire more administrative staff to lead mandatory anti-harassment seminars. Then they wouldn’t be graduating so many misogynistic lawyers.

  9. Gen Z continues acting like edgelords as leftism becomes the conventional wisdom.

    The young YouTube star known as ‘Soph’, a 14-year-old high school freshman from the Bay Area, became the center of debate after a highly critical Buzzfeed article was published on Monday.

    The article highlights a crude video called ‘Be Not Afraid,’ in which Soph dresses in a chador and explains sarcastically that she has become ‘devout follower of the Prophet Muhammad’ and laments that she gets ‘raped by my 40-year-old husband every so often’.

    Subverting Progressivism is now the counter-culture.

    1. I love hearing this stuff.

      Gen Zers are not following orders of the Socialists who thought that they won the culture war.

      The Lefty tears are so sweet. yesterday, I cracked open a vintage barrel of Lefty tears, circa 2016.

      1. Note that this type of potty-mouthed “Fuck you, dad” attitude is considered kosher if practiced by drag kids like Lactatia or Desmond is Amazing, or promoted by gay activists like the FKH8 crew.

    2. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for.

    3. The kids are alright

    4. “Soph dresses in a chador and explains sarcastically that she has become ‘devout follower of the Prophet Muhammad’ and laments that she gets ‘raped by my 40-year-old husband every so often’.”

      Ugh. That’s not funny.

      #LibertariansAgainstIslamophobia

  10. “The [fertilized] egg [ie the living human being, right?] in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant,” Chambliss said, in floor debate with Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman.

    Test tube lives don’t matter.

    1. Science!

    2. What’s the point of punishing a test tube in order to serve God?

  11. There’s a spoon in there…

    A Rusty spoon. Ever heard of aggravated tetanus?

    1. The the future, all knives will be spoons.

      1. All Spoons will have tracking devices to keep track of dangerous weapons.

          1. GPS track fat people.

            Problem solved!

      2. I can see you’ve played knifey-spoony before

    2. “Because it hurts more, you idiot!”

  12. You owned Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” (or anything) on a “cassingle,” a.k.a. cassette single.

    My girlfriend at the time did – does that count?

  13. One of my pet peeves is people who try to make libertarianism palatable for the masses by papering over our warts and moles. Wouldn’t it be great if criminals never used guns for crimes, never used their association rights to discriminate, never used their free speech rights to say terrible things, etc.? It’s a tougher but more effective strategy to try to persuade the heathen that freedom is worth it–despite the downsides.

    Case in point:

    “In some areas, the attackers arrived by bus and local Buddhists pointed out Muslim homes and businesses to strike, the witnesses said. Muslim organizations said the violence appeared to be organized. Among the arrests made by police Tuesday was the leader of an extreme Buddhist group previously blamed for spreading hate speech against Muslims.”

    “Buddhist Mobs Target Muslims in Sri Lanka Following Deadly Easter Bombings”

    —-May 14, 2019

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/buddhist-mobs-target-muslims-in-sri-lanka-11557854344

    Libertarians went after Sri Lanka for shutting down Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, YouTube, and other social media outlets after the Easter bombing there in the hope that it might lower the risk of mob violence against Muslims. We could argue that there was mob violence anyway, so violating free speech was ineffective, but for all we know, shutting down social media may have preempted violence there would have been otherwise. Is violating the rights of hate speech spewing idiots acceptable if it prevents violence?

    I don’t think so. I think freedom is worth it. I think we should own that. I’d also risk another 9/11 rather than flush the Fourth and Eighth Amendments. I’d rather keep the Second Amendment even IF IF IF it did mean more violent crime. And, yeah, I’d rather keep the First Amendment even if people use their speech to awful effect. I guess that’s a big part of what makes me a libertarian.

    Freedom can be ugly. So what?

    Fuck you.

    1. Phrased that way, it is easy to see how libertarianism just devolves into smug fatalistic laziness. don’t need to offer any ideas about actual problems in the real world. Don’t even need to think about them. All our problems were solved 250 years with a constitution/amendments. All we need to do is read that text, apply the correct gnosis to it, and be suitably grateful to dead people long ago that they did all the heavy lifting necessary. Who cares that the entire next generation is now learning permanent lockdown (which is far more extensive/intensive fearmongering than duck-and-cover ever was) in schools or maybe they’re learning ‘if everyone is locked and loaded, then the good guy’s bullets travel truer’. Or a ton of other things called ‘life ain’t so fucking easy’. We can remain uninvolved and pure. Secure in the knowledge that one day they too will uncover a dusty text and see the 2nd amendment and the heavens will open up and unicorns will fart pots of gold at the end of every rainbow.

      1. “don’t need to offer any ideas about actual problems in the real world.”

        Actually, accepting freedom despite its warts and moles isn’t the alternative to hyping the upsides at all. Pretending there won’t be any warts or moles, on the other hand, is self-defeating. It makes it seem like we’re trying to put lipstick on a pig.

    1. 68% of Americans support at least some restrictions on abortion, a number that hasn’t changed substantially in over 40 years.

        1. It shows that abortion absolutists are actually in the minority and have been for decades. Like it or not, these tend to drive laws and social norms, which someone who isn’t an autistic sperg would understand.

          1. 43 states HAVE restrictions on abortion. Whether those restrictions are a too big/small/medium bowl of porridge for those who live there, they ARE restrictions. And they are restrictions that came into place because ‘most Americans support some restrictions on abortion’.

            What R’s are about to find out is that there is a big difference between restrictions that apply to ‘someone else’ (eg 3rd trimester, or any restrictions as viewed by the post-menopausal) v restriction that are taken personally (eg 1st trimester, or any restrictions as viewed by pre-menopausal). There is a point where perpetually doubling down on the intergenerational warfare is really gonna backfire on the R’s.

            1. No it won’t.

              The Culture War is on like Donkey Kong.

            2. And they are restrictions that came into place because ‘most Americans support some restrictions on abortion’.

              I didn’t claim otherwise.

    2. I had an embryoblast this morning at Smoothie King.

    3. This is a great day for all the helpless baby blastocysts!

      Why? Blastocysts are only around through the first week–you all still get to slaughter them with impunity

  14. That bill passed the Alabama Senate 25-6 yesterday, without the rape/incest exceptions…

    The exceptions could never be justified anyway, by either side.

    1. #AlwaysBelieveTheAccuser

      #AlwaysBelieveWomen

      Too much at stake.

    2. Indeed, it’s not like the baby is guilty of the rape.

  15. Those same surveys consistently reveal that support for Medicare for All falls apart as soon people hear that it would raise taxes, result in delays for care, and eliminate private insurance…

    Which is why you don’t inform voters about consequences. The Obama administration understood this with PPACA.

    1. Total bullshit. If you put more resources (raise a new tax) into funding medical services there will be more services because you buying more of the product. Apparently the American people could spend a couple trillion less in the next quarter century if we go to single payer and rid ourselves of the insurance profit skimming. Whether we do this or not in the future the insurance companies will be glorified computer programs anyway same as the banks. I guarantee AI could do the job of actuaries with practically no need for human employment.

      1. Then start your own insurance company and make billions!

      2. Nope. Pay cash for minor medical stuff and have catastrophic health insurance for major medical stuff.

      3. Because government policies never have price tags exponentially higher than originally expected…

  16. Molly Jong-Fast: “How Twitter became my sacred space.”

    “Urbanite provincial trades insular social bubble for insular internet bubble, continues to show no personal growth or character development as she desperately seeks online validation and asspats to give meaning to her empty life.”

    1. Yeah, I went to see if that article was going to be as bad as I envisioned it. The reality was way worse than my imagination. It also confirmed that holding a prejudice against anyone residing on the upper east side is completely justified.

      1. There’s really no difference between her and the “desperate housewives” stereotype she and her class of Le Enlightened Feminists have been mocking for decades.

        1. To me it’s “Sex and the City” but for ugly people with less money, less sex, and more man hating…. lots more man hating

          Why ENB continues to promote that wretch is beyond me

    2. That article needs to double in size so that the proper conclusions could be discussed.

      1. She’s got too much time and not enough responsibility
      2. She takes it out on people who aren’t in her woke bubble
      3. Her woke bubble is an overly dramatic, toxic space built for dopamine hits and does nothing productive for the causes she outrages over

      Back to work…. Molly, you should do the same and finish the article

      1. That’s what makes it so funny. It’s basically a blog post with no real introspection at all, just the random Deep Thoughts of a progressive neurotic.

        Although I have to give her credit, it’s impressive that she actually found someone to give her a paycheck for such sad content.

  17. We knew the guy was heavily involved in real estate, but who knew he could develop property by remote control?

    “Trump’s election has boosted Israeli settlement construction”
    […]
    “…Both supporters and detractors of the settlement movement have previously referred to a “Trump effect,” claiming the president’s friendlier approach to the settlements is leading to additional West Bank construction….”
    https://www.newsday.com/news/world/data-shows-israeli-settlements-boosted-after-trump-election-1.31045808

  18. “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant”

    Yeah, what’s the point of protecting innocent life if it doesn’t violate the right of a woman to make choices for herself?

    Is that what I’m supposed to think?

    I remain persuaded that elective abortion is immoral, that because women don’t consent in cases of rape, they have neither a moral nor legal obligation to carry a fetus to term, and that using the coercive power of government to force any woman to carry a fetus to term against her will is fundamentally authoritarian.

    1. If you are 100 miles out to sea and find a kidnapped person on board, tied up and gagged, is it murder to throw them off the boat?

      1. Are my choices responsible for the very creation of the bound and gagged person?

        If they aren’t, that’s a bad analogy.

        We willingly accept the moral responsibility for our actions when we willfully choose to engage in activity that might result in the creation of a person.

        1. Whether it should be legal for the government to force a woman to carry a fetus to term against her will is another question entirely.

          1. Well, that really is the ultimate question, isn’t it? At what point is it considered simply a “clump of cells” versus a baby, deserving of legal protections?

            The problem is that the answer isn’t so cut-and-dried, however the issues undercutting that larger question are often cases at the margins. What are the ethics or legalities of allowing a last-trimester abortion in the case of non-incest rape, when children are currently being kept viable in NICUs long before their due date, or a late-term abortion where you find out that it might have some sort of physical abnormality that doesn’t threaten the mother’s life or health, but will cause the child to be an emotional and financial burden on the parents, and ultimately as wards of the state, for the rest of their lives (and if they are born severely deformed, is it ethical and should it be legal to post-birth abort them for the same reasons)?

            “My body, my choice” makes for a good political slogan, and when we didn’t fully understand the science of prenatal development and preemie care as well as we do now, it was far more relevant. But when parents end up choosing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to keep their babies alive in a NICU for weeks, and hundreds of thousands in lifetime care for those that end up with severe developmental disabilities as a result of that early birth, the question of whether abortion falls under the same level of social acceptance at that point suddenly becomes a lot more complex. It’s even further complicated by the ethics of someone who might simply decide out of the blue at 38 weeks that they no longer want an otherwise healthy baby, but don’t want to wait the extra 2 weeks or so to give the baby up for adoption.

            1. “Well, that really is the ultimate question, isn’t it? At what point is it considered simply a “clump of cells” versus a baby, deserving of legal protections?”

              I don’t see that as the question at all. I think that’s a tempting diversion.

              One question is whether people are morally responsible for the obligations they willingly accept when they willingly choose to do something that might create a person. Rape victims are not given the choice. Men who willingly engage in an activity that might create a child are morally responsible for providing for that child–because they willingly engaged in an activity that might create a child. It’s the same way for women. Yes, you are morally responsible to other people for the things you do to them willingly.

              The other question is legal. Can the government force women to carry a child to term against their will in a free society? The answer is “no”, but that doesn’t speak at all to the question of whether terminating an elective pregnancy is moral.

              P.S. Cheating on your spouse and lying about it is also immoral. Whether the government can throw people in prison for it in a free society is another question entirely–and the answer is “no”.

              1. I don’t see that as the question at all. I think that’s a tempting diversion.

                How so? What makes a 40-week baby any different than a 4-week one zygote, under this assumption?

                1. If that’s a concern from a moral perspective at all, it’s secondary to to the question of whether the person who willingly engaged in the activity that created that life and whether willingly doing so means they have a moral obligation to carry that life to term.

                  And that whole moral question is separate from the legal question of whether government can force women to carry a fetus to term against their will in a free society. That legal question has even less to do with the age of the fetus than the moral question. The fetus will be about nine months old when the mother delivers. Whether the government should force women to go through labor against their will or not does not balance on the age of the fetus.

                  1. If that’s a concern from a moral perspective at all, it’s secondary to to the question of whether the person who willingly engaged in the activity that created that life and whether willingly doing so means they have a moral obligation to carry that life to term.

                    Arguing they aren’t linked is a pretty exceptional take.

                    1. Clearly seeing the difference between morality and legality is certainly a fundamentally libertarian take, and the exceptions to anti-abortion laws for rape and incest are typical.

                      Some people may see those exceptions as a mercy rule. I see them both as a function of respect for the agency of the mother. If she was raped, she didn’t consent to an activity that might create a child. That’s like a self-defense plea in a murder case–we don’t hold people responsible for murder if they didn’t really have a choice.

                      It’s the same thing with incest. Girls who are molested by the fathers that are supposed to love them and be their guardians may not really have a choice either–if the alternative was to run away from home. We generally don’t hold children responsible for the contracts they sign because they’re too young to make those kinds of choices.

                      Again, these exceptions of rape and incest are typical rather than exceptional. It’s almost as if people are saying, “Yeah, killing a fetus is immoral, but that doesn’t mean it should be illegal in cases x, y, and z. The health of the mother is another exception to the immorality that should make it legal. People acknowledge that the law shouldn’t compel women to choose death.

                      The there should be legal exceptions to the moral rule is typically understood. If there’s anything different about my take, it’s that I’m generalizing the question of whether the government forcing women to go through labor against their will is cruel. I’m not sure that’s an exceptional argument either. A lot of people think that’s unjust.

                    2. Ken, if someone does something really bad to you, can you kill an innocent person (living human) who didn’t do it?

                      If someone kills your wife, can you kill a random other person because of it?

              2. I agree that that question is basically a diversion for a philosophy class. There is certainly a medical question that arises at viability. But even that question hinges on the reality that viability as an independent being depends on both the woman and the baby undergoing a safe delivery and is thus then entirely dependent on a broader community.

                I don’t see how that choice can be made by anyone other than the woman with info from her doctor. If the broader community wants to buy credibility into that decision, well then it can. BUY that credibility. But that means a shitload of money (which those folks never want to pony up) – and covered under equal protection laws (so that means poor mothers and brown babies get that same post-viability ‘promise’ as rich mothers and white babies).

                Funny enough. That’s usually when everyone loses interest in the public piety – and goes straight to the Jezebel ranting.

                1. I will pony up. I’m trying to adopt right now.

                  Did you know that there are way more people waiting to adopt an infant than are aborted in the US? It’s not even really close.

                  Is an infant “viable”? Is if murder to leave your infant out on a cliff who then dies of exposure? Why or why not?

                  Can I throw you off my boat if I find you tied up in it 100 miles out to sea? Yes or no.

        2. Your point was about rape, and this would be a very close approximation of that, in that the boat owner didn’t create the person they found.

          And if murder isn’t the realm of government (the state), then why should government exist?

      2. Only if the boat is a woman.

        1. Property rights are an extension of the rights of the individual. My boat IS my body, in a very real way.

  19. That bill passed the Alabama Senate 25-6 yesterday, without the rape/incest exceptions…

    Cersei Lannister approves.

  20. “We made it to our 20s without Facebook or cellphones, but then when cellphones and Facebook were popularized…”

    Not all of us lived in log cabins before Facebook and iPhones showed up to the scene. I had the nokia brick when I was 18 or 19 and we used MySpace and messenger before Facebook.

    1. Everyone knows that there was nothing before Facebook and that Facebook will last forever.

      1. Is that like saying Sir Paul was in some other band before Wings?

        1. That used to be a joke, back when people knew who McCartney was, who the Beatles were and what Wings is.

          I used to make the same joke about Steve Martin – You know, he used to be a comedian before he was an actor…

          Now I’ve just turned the whole phenomenon into a commentary on being old. You know you are old when you watch the grammy awards and you’ve never even heard of any of the old has-been artists that they get as presenters.

          (note: these days the presenters largely had hits in the 2000’s, or maybe even the early 20-teens. If “your music” includes McCartney, Madonna, Zappa, Jackson or even Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Chili Peppers, Greenday… you are old. Those guys aren’t even the presenters any more… too old)

          1. i’ll never admit to being old. peaches en regalia.

      2. and conservatives and liberals can both agree: government should control the content of Facebook. That’s obvious.

    2. I had the nokia brick when I was 18 or 19 and we used MySpace and messenger before Facebook.

      I was 33 when I got my first cell phone, a POS Motorolla flip phone. LOL

  21. “President Trump is expected this week to sign another executive order, this time banning U.S. companies from using equipment manufactured by Chinese company Huawei.”

    How is something like this remotely constitutional? WTF

    1. I think this one comes under “national security”.

      Apparently Huawei is completely under the thumb of the Chinese intelligence agency and has back-doors in all of their components for the government to exploit for spying purposes.

      So if that were the case, banning their products would be within the realm of possible actions. And banning US companies from using them would be of particular interest, because you can’t tell who made the internal components of the devices you own.

      1. Yup, “national security” is the executive’s version of the “commerce clause” for the legislature. There isn’t anything that falls outside of its contours.

      2. Progressives will no now argue that American companies should be forced to use Huawei components because Trump hates immigrants and sexually assaults women.

      3. These companies complain to the FBI and other federal agencies when they have corporate espionage steal their tech, so this is an attempt to save taxpayers money by preventing a known threat.

        Banning seems a bit harsh as you can simply tell companies that if they use Huawei phones and they have crimes relating to that happen, the FBI wont help.

    1. *never* thought I’d say I had enough Alyssa Milano, but here we are.

      1. I wish that I lived in the GA 6th Congressional District during the 2017 Special Election.

        Alyssa Milano was giving rides to voters.
        Alyssa Milano Will Drive You To The Polls | All In | MSNBC

        I would have informed her that I was voting Libertarian or GOP but definitely not Democrat and see what happened. After chatting her up sexually, of course.

  22. >>>The anti-abortion movement sees this current court as the most friendly in decades

    wouldn’t be so sure …

    1. Yeah. Close only counts with horseshoes, hand grenades, and darts.

  23. I’m curious how Twitter explains shutting down AOC accounts specifically listed as parody accounts but NOT Nunes parody accounts.

    Is it too much to expect them to abide by the terms of the agreement THEY THEMSELVES DREW UP?

    1. Empirically, yes. Yes, it is too much to expect of them.

      Normatively, no.

  24. Here’s the text of the bill, so you don’t have to take anyone’s word on what it’s provisions are.

    Seriously, linking to twitter to relate the terms of the law? That’s a new journalistic low.

    1. I don’t get that. On another site this morning, when I wanted to see a public document referred to in an article, I had to click through to a newspaper, then to a twitter feed, and finally to the document itself. Why not just link to the damn document in the first place? Is this some kind of “hand washes hand” click-count backscratching?

  25. Up next – banning pregnant women from crossing state lines to seek an abortion?

    1. “Alabama posts state troopers at state line to search cars for pregnant women attempting to leave state to get abortions.”

      1. Why anyone would ever stop for checkpoints is beyond me.

        Every cop in the USA needs probable cause to stop you or search you. As per the 4A.

    2. crossing state lines to seek an abortion

      Interstate commerce. Lock ’em up!*

      *them fetus kids and their mama felons

  26. Former Senator Frothy Santorum was joking around on Anderson Cooper’s show a few minutes ago, calling blastocysts and embryos “children.” I laughed. Because those multi-cell blobs have “rights,” according to the thumpers, but actual women don’t. Some Republicans in the 21st century still believe this. I am not making this up.

  27. Anyway…

    “Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.”

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/abortion.html

  28. Well, I took the dumb quiz and came out a Gen Xer even though I’m a few years into millennial… I’ve long said that the original date changes were better. They were gonna do something like 75/78 to 90 or so and call us Gen Y… This makes more sense. I grew up similarly to people born in the late 70s through maybe late 80s… The younger millennials are a TOTALLY different breed.

    As far as the abortion thing. Roe V Wade needs to go. Not because I care about abortion either way, but because it’s BS and states should decide.

  29. The Buffalo Party and Libertarian Party championed individual rights for pregnant women in 1970 and 1972. The Equal Rights Amendment soon passed the Senate, then stalled. The LP could erase the infiltrator planks added in 2017 and add a call for reviving the ERA. Until it passes, nationalsocialist physician-killers will keep funneling boodle into force amendments the way their precursors did to pass the Marxist income tax and make beer a felony.

  30. […] will still face court challenges. It’s still likely that Roe V. Wade could stand; even though the stated purpose of these bills is to directly challenge it. But it is not at all likely that this movement against women’s freedom and rights will end, and […]

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