What Feminists Really Think about Abortion

Ran across this post at Pandagon on Feminists for Life. Amanda likes to take statements from FFL like this:

Women aren’t stupid. We know it’s a baby that is growing just like we did in our mother’s wombs. That is why most women who feel they have emotional and financial support don’t have abortions.

and answer them like this:

It’s true. Women aren’t stupid and the reason they get abortions is because they know what’s growing inside them will turn into a baby one day. And they don’t want to have one, a possibility that FFL denies outright with their attempts to claim that abortions are primarily caused by lack of emotional or financial support. My feeling is they invoke the hazy notion of “emotional support” to explain away why so many women like me have the financial means to have a baby but simply won’t do it—the reasoning then would be that I don’t have the “emotional support”, i.e., if my man was more patriarchal and patronizingly took care of me in exchange for subservience, I would suddenly have a light go on in my head and want babies. But that’s just my guess. Maybe they’ll clarify this in future installments.

I despise what Pandagon calls feminism because it tends to be selfish self-centered BS focused entirely on personal pleasure versus what used to be known as caring about family and society. I think it’s very telling when someone says that they want an abortion (but presumably didn’t mind the process of creating a baby) because they just don’t want kids. It definitely flies in the face of the way NARAL and NOW describe women facing abortion:

While it’s critical to promote policies that help prevent unintended pregnancies and make abortion less necessary, NARAL Pro-Choice America also fights to protect the right to safe, legal abortion.

It’s a nice, sanitized way of saying what was repeated on Pandagon’s site. Here’s a few examples in the comments:

CourtneyMD: What the fundies fail to realize is that all abortions are obtained for the exact same reason: because the woman chooses not to carry the pregnancy.

Everything else is merely a circumstance: a circumstance of conception (rape, incest, birth control failure); a circumstance of finances, future plans, relationship, personal health, family completion, etc; a circumstance of embryonic health/viability. A circumstance is merely a set of attendant conditions. Circumstances change, but the basic motivational driver does not: this particular pregnancy is simply not worth the risks and burdens.

Cycles: In the charts above, I don’t see a category for “I don’t like kids.” Oh the horror. I don’t like kids. I’m not “Not ready for a(nother) child/the timing is wrong.” I’ll never be “ready.” The “timing” will always be wrong.

I also don’t see a category for “There are already too many damn kids on the planet.”

Patricia: Or, even worse, be happy about it. Trust me, there’s even some who call themselves pro-choicers who will get uncomfortable if a woman is happy about getting an abortion. Many otherwise well-meaning people (*cough*hillaryclinton*cough*) will say that abortion is a “tragedy that no woman wants to experience.” No, it’s a twenty-minute surgical procedure* that saves someone from a lifetime of misery.

*Or two days, if one goes the medical route.

ks: Hell, even those of use who already have kids that we planned and adore get told that we’ll ‘change our minds’ when we say that we don’t want more. It’s plain infuriating. People (even family) actually believe that I must not love the kids I have (and had on purpose, at that) because I absolutely will not have another child and I’m quite open about it. I’ve even been told that ‘accidents happen and we’re sure you’ll love that one as well.’ Well, accidents may happen, but if something unplanned does, my husband will be driving me over to the clinic as soon as I see two lines on the stick. Because I will not have more.

So, there you have it. The next time someone tells you that the pro-choice movement is actually about “freedom of choice,” think about these women and what they think “freedom of choice” is all about.

Cross-posted on Gold-Plated Witch on Wheels.

We can always find a good reason to spend money.

I’ve written previously (here and here and here) about the never-ending demands for taxpayer money in the City of Brotherly Love — and, once again, here comes SEPTA (the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority), needing more money.

SEPTA struggles with deficit
By Larry King, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Last summer, SEPTA said it didn’t want to cry wolf, yet again, to its crisis-weary riders.

So when the transit agency’s board approved an operating budget with a $50.3 million deficit, no plans were announced for filling the hole through higher fares or scaled-back service.

That was a switch from previous years, when SEPTA threatened such measures, only to get final-hour state bailouts.

Now the wolf is at the door.

The projected deficit has shrunk since July to $37 million, but SEPTA still must wrestle it down before the fiscal year ends June 30.

Officials remain reluctant, however, to concede that fare hikes are inevitable, or to guess how high they might go.

“We want to look at different options before we look at putting it on the backs of riders,” said Joseph Casey, SEPTA’s chief financial officer.

Uhhh, why? After all, the riders are the ones who use SEPTA; why shouldn’t they be the ones to pay for it?

Continue reading ‘We can always find a good reason to spend money.’ »

Reinstating the Draft

Charles Rangel, D-NY, has decided there’s just not enough fairness in an all-volunteer army, so he plans to introduce a bill to bring back the draft.

“There’s no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm’s way,” Rangel said.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

It’s too bad Rangel doesn’t give what evidence he’s using to jump to his conclusions about the war in Iraq, nor why an all-volunteer army isn’t better morale-wise than drafting people who don’t want to go. And Rangel’s assertion that the all-volunteer military puts a disproportionate burden on minorities and lower-income families (read: less educated) isn’t true. According to Fred Kaplan at Slate,

In 2002 (the most recent year for which official data have been compiled), 182,000 people enlisted in the U.S. military. Of these recruits, 16 percent were African-American. By comparison, blacks constituted 14 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. population overall. In other words, black young men and women are only slightly over-represented among new enlistees. Hispanics, for their part, are under-represented, comprising just 11 percent of recruits, compared with 16 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds.

Looking at the military as a whole, not just at those who signed up in a single year, blacks do represent a disproportionate share—22 percent of all U.S. armed forces. By comparison, they make up 13 percent of 18-to-44-year-old civilians. The difference is that blacks re-enlist at a higher rate than whites.

In other words, blacks are deciding that the military is a good career choice for them. Voluntarily.

Kaplan also points out that the average recruit is, in fact, better educated than the average American citizen:

The average recruit has an 11th-grade reading level; the average civilian can read at a 10th-grade level. Nearly all recruits—97 percent of female, 94 percent of male—graduated from high school; 79 percent of civilians have high-school diplomas. Officers are better-educated still: All are now required to have college degrees.

In short, today’s armed forces are not the downtrodden, ethnically lopsided social rejects that they tended to be after the Vietnam War, when the all-volunteer military came into being.

Obviously, there’s more to Rangel’s proposal than just military preparedness. He’s really not interested in that. Just like other quota systems, he wants to make sure the military is fair. Only in this instance, he thinks fairness is a Phi Beta Kappa peeling potatoes and marching 10 miles because his number came up. Is that good for troop morale? I doubt it. Rangel is stuck in a Vietnam-era mentality in which many people did what they could to avoid the draft. But today’s military doesn’t have that same problem.

Kaplan explains:

There is a still more basic question: What is the purpose of a military? Is it to spread the social burden—or to fight and win wars? The U.S. active-duty armed forces are more professional and disciplined than at any time in decades, perhaps ever. This is so because they are composed of people who passed comparatively stringent entrance exams—and, more important, people who want to be there or, if they no longer want to be there, know that they chose to be there in the first place. An Army of draftees would include many bright, capable, dedicated people; but it would also include many dumb, incompetent malcontents, who would wind up getting more of their fellow soldiers killed.

I realize we dare not question Rangel’s patriotism, but the idea that our military would contain more anti-military personnel seems to be at least part of what drives Rangel’s perennial “bring back the draft” legislation.

At a time when some lawmakers are urging the military to send more troops to Iraq, “I don’t see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft,” said Rangel, who also proposed a draft in January 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “I think to do so is hypocritical.”

I think proposing a draft when we neither need one nor want one (seven in 10 Americans oppose a draft) is politics as usual. And disgusting.

Cross-posted at Gold-Plated Witch on Wheels.

Russ Feingold lies to us

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is one of the most liberal members of that august body, and the senator the “progressives” seem to like the most.

A Way Out Of Iraq
Sen. Russ Feingold
November 16, 2006

On Election Day, the American people weighed in at the ballot box: They want to get our troops out of Iraq. Voters rejected the president’s failed Iraq policy, putting Democrats in charge of Congress and responsible for setting a new direction for Iraq, and, most importantly, for our national security.

Democrats agree that we should begin redeploying troops, but some do not want to set a target deadline for the majority of troops to be withdrawn. That is a mistake. Without a target date, redeployment could drag on indefinitely. The president consistently refused to set a target date for withdrawal, and Democrats shouldn’t follow in his footsteps. Democrats should move forward with a new Iraq policy that includes a target date for the redeployment of U.S. troops so that we can refocus on defeating global terrorist networks.

On Tuesday, I introduced legislation requiring U.S. forces to redeploy from Iraq by July 1, 2007. My legislation recognizes that a target date for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq will help pressure the Iraqis to get their political house in order. Simply announcing when we will begin redeployment, without any end date, is unlikely to put adequate pressure on the Iraqis.

A target date isn’t just critical to our Iraq policy, it is essential for our national security policy. We cannot adequately focus on the pressing national security challenges we face around the globe when so many of our brave troops are in Iraq, and so many billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent there. A timetable ensures that we can refocus our resources on fighting terrorist networks and on addressing trouble spots around the world that threaten our national security.

This is just political bovine feces, a fig leaf of cover (sort of similar to “Peace with Honor” from a different generation) for the cut-and-run-redeploy policy that our Democratic friends have advocated — and which, unfortunately, the American people voted a couple of weeks ago. If after 3½ years of occupation and attempts to get the Iraqi democracy and government set up and working smoothly, we haven’t succeeded, there is no chance we will somehow succeed in the 7½ months between now and Mr Feingold’s withdrawal date — and Mr Feingold knows that, and knew it when he wrote those words. Setting a specific withdrawal date, whether July 1 or some other date, simply reinforces the anti-democratic forces, telling them for how long they need to be able to hold out to achieve the largest part of their goal.

Because problems in Iraq won’t dry up overnight, my legislation would allow for a minimal level of U.S. forces to remain in Iraq for targeted counterterrorism activities, training of Iraqi security forces, and the protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel.

What a ridiculous thing to write! If 150,000 American troops have been unable to train the Iraqi security forces and take care of “targeted counterterrorism activities,” the idea that a “minimal level” of troops could do so is uterly laughable. Such provides the worst of both worlds: it engages in a nearly total abandonment of the democratic Iraqis, exposing them to far greater danger from the rebels, while maintaining enough of an American presence in Iraq for the terrorists to use as a propaganda point. Senator Feingold knows that such won’t work, and as one of the Democrats leading “doves,” he is proposing such solely for political cover.

But our current Iraq policy is making the United States weaker, not stronger. The president has continually refused to change our current approach in Iraq, despite a growing number of policymakers and experts, including many Republicans, advocating for a change of course. Voters responded to his failed policies by putting Democrats in control of Congress. They want to change course, and they have given Democrats the chance to finally put our national security policy right by proposing a timetable for redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq.

The president’s policy has us in Iraq with no end in sight. But the Iraqis need an end in sight to get their political house in order, and we need an end in sight so we can get back to fighting terrorist networks. Our disproportionate focus on Iraq has undermined our ability to confront the terrorist threat around the globe. Now Democrats can start to turn these wrong-headed policies around. But we won’t do that by continuing our open-ended commitment of troops on Iraq. And we won’t do it with tepid or muddled policies of our own. We will do it by setting a target date for redeployment, so that we can direct our resources to defeating the terrorist organizations that seek to harm this country.

Sorry, but handing the terrorists a huge victory in Iraq certainly does nothing to “(defeat) the terrorist organizations that seek to harm this country.” What it does is to tell them that the American people do not have the cojones to engage in a long battle, to fight a protracted war.

But, of course, the terrorists do not need Senator Feingold to tell them that; the voters spoke that message, loudly and clearly, on election day. If we’re not going to stay and finish the job, if the American people want us to cut-and-redeploy, then I say we ought to go ahead and do so, completely; it makes no sense to keep a fig leaf of troops in Iraq as a target for the terrorists, and it makes no sense to keep just enough American troops in Iraq to provide more propaganda for the Islamists, when doing so cannot provide a victory.

If we leave without the mission being completed, as the Democrats would have us do, Iraq will remain embroiled in a bloody civil war. Well, if that’s going to happen, and if the American people would rather that we pulled out than continued on to victory, then we ought to pull out just as soon as such can be mobilized logistically. At least then the civil war can proceed to its gruesome conclusion more quickly, and if that means a lot more Iraqis will die, well at least by getting on with it, one side or the other will win sooner rather than later, and the killing will end sooner rather than later.

That isn’t much of a benefit, but if we are not going to continue toward the achievement of a free and democratic Iraq by fighting and defeating the rebel forces, it’s about the only thing left.
Cross posted on Red State.

Culture of Corruption?

Civil Service reform was an effort to end a perceived culture of corruption in the Federal Government and the reform took place during the accidental presidency of Chester Alan Arthur, a man once dismissed from a post because of alleged corruption. Note that the use of patronage to reward the faithful was officially proclaimed by Democrat Andrew Jackson.

Placement of the faithful followers of successful candidates in government posts after each election was not inherently corrupt but provided a climate where corruption could flourish. Reform was far from total and some cabinet appointees have gained from improper activity. Perhaps the worse was the Teapot Dome scandal in which oil sources set aside for Navy use were made available to oil companies. This style of high-level corruption is rare and the money tends to be made at the local and state level.

Continue reading ‘Culture of Corruption?’ »

Some Animadversions on the Madness of Crowds

The popular (and sometimes violent) lunacy demonstrated by the recently released video game device fits in well with the election results.

Why should anyone stand in line and pay a premium price for a toy that will soon be widely available and offered at a discount? Is the thrill of being first worth the cost? Is patience no longer a highly prized virtue? Will machines with a low serial number command a high price among collectors in some future secondary market or will the machines end up in landfills (in spite of exhortations to recycle) in less than a decade?

The world should not wonder.

Continue reading ‘Some Animadversions on the Madness of Crowds’ »

I’ll bet that the irony never even occurred to them!

I found this in a story about raccoons attacking domesticated pets in Venice Canals:

    Raccoons Invade Los Angeles Neighborhood

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 17) — One balmy summer night, Larna Hartnack awoke to the cries of her dog Charlie and, to her horror, found the Dalmatian in a battle for her life — pinned by a gang of raccoons that tore into her flesh and nearly gnawed off her tail.

    Charlie survived. But recurring raccoon attacks on dogs and other creatures have unnerved people along the Venice Canals, a funky, well-to-do beach neighborhood packed with ardent dog lovers, many of whom are now afraid to walk their pets at night or leave them alone in the back yard.

    Communities around the country are plagued by destructive or aggressive raccoons, and many of them routinely trap, remove and even kill the animals. But this being California, the city’s animal-control agency is instead urging people to try to get along with the raccoons — a notion that strikes some as political correctness gone wild.

    “What we’re trying to inculcate in the L.A. community is a reverence for life. If we have more reverence for life, it translates into all our programs — for women and infants, the elderly and everybody in our community,” said Ed Boks, the head of Los Angeles Animal Services.

    “As we develop these programs that demonstrate our compassion for creatures completely at our mercy, it makes for a more compassionate society all the way around.”

Unless, of course, we’re talking about unborn children, someone certainly completely at the mercy of another person. One wonders of Mr Boks thinks that Los Angeles will really “have more reverence for life” when it is pointed out that such must include the unborn.

A Champion Died

Economist Milton Friedman died this week.

He had a long and productive life and those who love liberty should mourn his passing but celebrate his contributions. He was an academic who cherished freedom and believed that a free economy was an essential part of the fabric of liberty. His teachings and books will provide a heritage and afford an element of immortality to his brilliant ideas.

As an academic, he was a giant among so many moral pygmies who grovel before the false gods of political correctness and confiscatory socialism.

Regrettably, while some elected and appointed officials (primarily Republican) paid some attention to his advice, few had the wisdom and courage to go all the way.

His memory stands tall in the pantheon of freedom, along with the likes of vonMises and Mill. His kind is all too rare.