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Friday, May 26, 2006

Liberals and Hendrix

I recently wrote a post in which I said, "...you will see the normal interplay between conservatives who know what they are talking about and liberals who do not = business as usual." This stirred things up a bit in the comment threads, but I want to clear a few things up.

Liberals are often very intelligent. Dan S, IAMB and Creeper are examples of liberal posters to this blog who are obviously intelligent and have a good amount of education under their belts. There is no lack of brainpower available on the left.

Yet, I still say that more often than not they do not seem to know what they are talking about, often because they refuse to see facts right before their eyes, or to let a dead idea go. I drive by on the highway of the blogosphere and see liberal after liberal by the side of the road beating dead horses.

I am beginning to think there is some kind of "get it" quotient involved that precludes a typical liberal from breaking free from the indoctrination of CBS/NBC/ABC/BBC/CNN/NYTimes/LATimes/Associated Press. The drumbeat of the left-leaning major news media have been indoctrinating people ardently for at least fifty years. The result is a generation of liberals who can think critically and brilliantly about almost any subject as long as the discussion stays on their side of the political line. Any facts that seem to agree with conservative positions are effectively filtered out so only liberal ideas remain.

It is kind of like listening to Jimi Hendrix. Jimi is Jimi, a shooting star on the popular music scene who died an untimely drug-and-alcohol related death in 1970 when he was at the zenith of his career. Some people believe that he is the greatest or at least the most creative guitarist of his generation or beyond.

The music of Jimi Hendrix is based in rock and blues and soul and lots of drugs. He was something of a neon-electric Bob Dylan, a psychedelic pioneer following up on the British Invasion with something a bit different.

But to some, he is a loud, cacophonous drug-addled purveyor of meaningless lyrics and music that was neither rock nor blues. Some just consider him loud and annoying noise. Those people undoubtably included many of the parents of my generation. My generation raced to the music store to get the latest Hendrix or Clapton offering and sat insulated in our rooms, often with friends, grooving to the newest thing while being buffeted by adults pounding on the door telling us to "turn that stuff down!"

Ah, the good old days!

In any event, I am certainly not going to say that conservatives love Hendrix and liberals hate him. The love or hate or even the bored dismissal of Hendrix cuts across political lines. So no one miss the point. No, I am just saying something that some of you may even dislike more: That liberals just don't get it!

In the world of the American liberal, Bush lied even though we know that he did not. Liberal politicians now turn 180 degrees from warlike statements they made before the Iraqi conflict and pretend they were never said. They conveniently forget the intelligence reports that proclaimed that Saddam definitely had weapons of mass destruction.

WMD's have been found in abundance in Iraq, plus the plans and facilities to begin manufacturing more once the UN got tired of rattling it's chains. We have pictures of all sorts of large trucks carrying big cargoes across the Syrian border before the Coalition forces arrived and probably Syria still has a good amount of the WMD's Saddam once owned. But liberals say that there were no WMD's.

Saddam provided training, monies and support for many terrorist groups, including Al Queda. Al Queda has a huge presence in Iraq today (the better to kill them, my dear) but liberals claim that 9/11 has no link to the War Against Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Liberals see Iraq and say "quagmire!" Conservatives see Iraq as a terrible price to pay for a democracy in the middle of our avowed enemies and yet the key to freedom not only for that region in the near future but for us down the road. Liberals want to duck their heads and their enemies until those enemies hit us here on our own soil. I for one don't want to be one of the last 2-3 countries standing that has not been conquered by Islamofascists. Why do you think terrorists from all parts of the world are congregating in Iraq? They realize that this particular front on the War Against Terror could be the most crucial of all. If 9/11 was the Pearl Harbor, then Iraq is the Midway, the El Alamein, the Stalingrad, the D-Day of the War Against Terror. If Iraq stands, then Islamofascism has failed on the big stage and the momentum towards freedom, begun in Afghanistan may then bring Iran and others out of the medieval, repressive rule of Sharia law and into a new world of democracy.

Liberals decry the NSA wiretapping that has helped us avoid another 9/11. They are angry about a conversation being monitored when one side is with a terrorist!

Liberals decry the "Republican scandal" involving people like Jack Abramoff. Yet right now the score of politicos being booted for intransigencies is Democrats 3, Republicans 2. Harry Reid, one of the biggest of big mouths, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of monies from Abramoff clients!

Liberals just love macroevolution and are unwilling to admit that it is an unproven hypothesis. They want it to be "accepted truth" and turn a blind eye to any evidences that point a different direction.

Liberals try to rip the Bible to pieces or add strange texts that were rejected back in the days of the early church fathers. They look to discount the Bible by calling into question authorships that were accepted back in the days the actual texts were available for perusal. Yeah, they are going to be pretty accurate 2,000 years or so later, with no originals or even copies of originals available to them.

Liberals deny the Biblical influences involved in the making of the United States. They try diligently to remove religion from society, which is not the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

Liberals try to destroy the mores of our society by pushing the murder of babies but protesting the execution of serial killers. They work hard to change the nature of marriage by including homosexuals and in doing so bring about the marriage of children to adults and who knows what else.

Liberals want illegal aliens to pour into our country unchecked and make full use of all social services and facilities at taxpayer expense. They even want to change the country to be more like the country or countries the aliens have come from.

Liberals, in fact, seem to hate the USA and want to turn us into Sweden, or The Netherlands or a similar society. They want lots of expensive social programs, the breakdown of sexual barriers, preeminence of a World Court and of course, the dominance of the UN (Ungodly Nitwits).

Liberals love the UN. This is one of the most unbelievable of stances to me. The UN was exposed in the "Oil For Food Scandal" as an inept and corrupt organization. Saddam was using the UN to help him pay off UN officials, the officials of other countries and the other countries as an entity to avoid being invaded and keep on keeping on with his oppressive regime. The UN establishes a committee to watch over Human Rights and puts some of the worst violators in charge. They put wacko countries arming themselves to the teeth in charge of disarmament. The UN rattles their collective saber at countries like Iraq and then accomplish absolutely nothing. Notice how much good they are doing in Darfur? Wonder how much money Sudan is lining people's pockets with right now?

To me, it seems as if liberals are unable to understand the realities of today's world. They just don't get it! Conversely, I just don't get them. I consider it my duty to come against the things they believe and defend the things I believe in, for I fear that my society and my nation will be destroyed if all good men and women do not work hard to preserve it, just as so many liberals truly believe they must work just as hard in the attempt to change it.

That's how I see it, this day in 2006. If you are going away for a long weekend, have a great time and remember those who have served and died to keep you free and safe!

50 comments:

highboy said...

As I said over on my blog: McCarthy was right.

"I am beginning to think there is some kind of "get it" quotient involved that precludes a typical liberal from breaking free from the indoctrination of CBS/NBC/ABC/BBC/CNN/NYTimes/LATimes/Associated Press."

What is even more amusing is that any media that seems even slightly balanced at all, or even has one conservative pundit broadcasted, it becomes labled as a right-wing echo chamber. Like Fox News for example, who shows an equal amount of time for liberals and conservatives alike, who is the only news station that will NOT only interview one opinion without another from the opposing side. All of those stations you have listed radar, you'll almost never see a debate on. You have to go to Fox News for that. But because they allow debate, that automatically makes them conservative in the eyes of a liberal. Heck, liberals compare me to O'Reilly all the time, and O'Reilly isn't even conservative! He's about 50/50 all the time, but that may as well mean he's conservative.

"In the world of the American liberal, Bush lied even though we know that he did not. Liberal politicians now turn 180 degrees from warlike statements they made before the Iraqi conflict and pretend they were never said. They conveniently forget the intelligence reports that proclaimed that Saddam definitely had weapons of mass destruction."

Oh, they get around that with the mantra that they only got to see the intelligence provided by Bush, though evidence has shown that the intelligence came from all over the world, not just America.

"WMD's have been found in abundance in Iraq, plus the plans and facilities to begin manufacturing more once the UN got tired of rattling it's chains. We have pictures of all sorts of large trucks carrying big cargoes across the Syrian border before the Coalition forces arrived and probably Syria still has a good amount of the WMD's Saddam once owned. But liberals say that there were no WMD's."

Don't forget the numerous radio traffic with things like, "Hurry up and move them" all over the air waves. But that was a big conspiracy cooked up by the administration. *removes tin foil hat*

"Saddam provided training, monies and support for many terrorist groups"

Don't forget the money exchanged directly between Bin Laden and Hussein.

"Liberals decry the "Republican scandal" involving people like Jack Abramoff. Yet right now the score of politicos being booted for intransigencies is Democrats 3, Republicans 2. Harry Reid, one of the biggest of big mouths, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of monies from Abramoff clients!"

That one always cracks me up, especially when these are the same Dems who supported Clinton during pardongate, Whitewater, and how could we ever forget the perjury? They still hail this guy, on top of all of that, as the icon of the Democratic Party! No wonder they can't get elected.

"They look to discount the Bible by calling into question authorships that were accepted back in the days the actual texts were available for perusal. Yeah, they are going to be pretty accurate 2,000 years or so later, with no originals or even copies of originals available to them."

But in the end the Gospel still stands. I personally love it when the Bible is challenged, because the Gospel always ends up affirmed further.

"Liberals deny the Biblical influences involved in the making of the United States. They try diligently to remove religion from society, which is not the intent of the framers of the Constitution."

And if this country was NOT founded on Biblical influence, why are liberals currently stomping out all of the blatant endorsements of Christianity by the government that have been around since day 1? If the Bible was not involved, why were they there to begin with?

"Liberals try to destroy the mores of our society by pushing the murder of babies but protesting the execution of serial killers."

That one makes me angrier than anything. They whine about the death of 2500 troops who VOLUNTEER to serve their country all the while allowing the death of around 1.3 million babies a year.

"Liberals love the UN. This is one of the most unbelievable of stances to me. The UN was exposed in the "Oil For Food Scandal" as an inept and corrupt organization. Saddam was using the UN to help him pay off UN officials, the officials of other countries and the other countries as an entity to avoid being invaded and keep on keeping on with his oppressive regime. The UN establishes a committee to watch over Human Rights and puts some of the worst violators in charge."

Don't forget the gang rape. But hey, they feed the sick here and there so that makes all of their crooked straight. And who cares if they blow all of the international disaster aid relief funding provided by the half the world? They can always beg for more when a tsunami hits.

But don't sweat it Radar. Regardless of the orgasms liberals are currently having over the polls, it is meaningless. America may not be happy with the GOP, but they're not exactly thrilled with Dems either, especially since it is they who keep pushing amnesty. In the end, the Dems will have shot themselves in the foot and we'll be back in business. I just hope the GOP does what I vote for them to do instead of just bask in the victory this time.

Anonymous said...

" Like Fox News for example, who shows an equal amount of time for liberals and conservatives alike . . . All of those stations you have listed radar, you'll almost never see a debate on."

Darn it, highboy, you made me spray soda all over my computer!

(In other words, ha ha HA HA HA snort snort HA Ha ha ha giggle giggle catch breath start giggling again).

Ok, not the most reasoned, rational, or convincing reply, but (starts giggling again) . . .

Do you really want me to hunt down all the figures and such?

" and O'Reilly isn't even conservative!"

I'll agree with that. In fact, most media and political conservatives aren't conservative, in any meaningful sense - many of them are reactionaries, to varying degrees of radical-ness, others are other kinds of radicals, some are good ol' unreconstructed bigots, and a lot of others - well , I dunno what they are. I remember O'Reilly as an odd mixture of right wing wackiness interspersed (decreasingly so, I get the impression, I dunno) with moments of moderate-y pseudopopulism - but I haven't paid much attention lately.

I think Dave Neiwert tends to view O'Reilly (and Rush, and Malkin, etc.) as transmitters, people who take ideas from the right wing fringe and inject them into the mainstream.

Did you know radical liberals and the New York Times want to take down the White Christian power structure and replace it with a multicultural rainbow coalition? O'Reilly said so (or so I hear).

And like all good lies, it has some truth in it. Liberals do want opportunities across the board - even at the top - open up to people of all creeds and colors.

Horrible, isn't it?

"Don't forget the money exchanged directly between Bin Laden and Hussein."

Really? When? I haven't heard of this.

""Liberals decry the "Republican scandal" involving people like Jack Abramoff. . . .[etc]"

The corruption related to Abramoff, the K Street project, etc., is overwhelmingly - not exclusively, but overwhemingly - a Republican issue. That's just thet way it is. I'll go back this up later, if you insist - have to go now . . .

Which in no way gives Democrats a pass - but really, right now, when it comes to large-scale, organized corruption, the GOPs where it's at. Part of this is that they're the guys in power (why bother to bribe folks who can't deliver?!), part of it has to do with certain people and ideas within the party . . . etc.

"Whitewater,"
Um, that wasn't really a scandal. Except in terms of the amount of time, taxpayer money, and newspaper column inches involved.

(By the way, you know that liberals aren't slavishly devoted to any and all Democratic politicians, right? In fact, especially out in the blogosphere, there's a lot of annoyance at a number of them.)

"And if this country was NOT founded on Biblical influence, why are liberals currently stomping out all of the blatant endorsements of Christianity by the government that have been around since day 1?"

Like the Pledge ("under God" added in 1954)? And the oath of office, which in the Constitution has nothing to do with God or Bibles, and doesn't even have to be an oath but an affirmation? And . . .?
How come the Constitution doesn't talk about God, except in forbidding any religious tests for office?

Which isn't to say that the country doesn't have a vast Christian and Biblical influence (just looking at place names could tell you that - I mean, I'm not really all that far from Bethlehem, PA - but the government, the State, is a different matter/

"And who cares if they blow all of the international disaster aid relief funding provided by the half the world? "
Huh? Hadn't heard of this. Links?
I can see some getting wasted, but all?

"In the end, the Dems will have shot themselves in the foot and we'll be back in business."

I don't know about this. We certainly seem to have a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but I really don't know about this. We'll see this November. Going by polls, you guy are in real trouble, and while polls are, well, polls, they're showing major gaps.

" I just hope the GOP does what I vote for them to do instead of just bask in the victory this time."
Good luck with that!
There's a school of thought that, given the way the modern Republican Party's put together, and the general political landscape, on many issues they're never going to do what you vote for them to do - indeed, that they're kinda a big tease, keeping you in a constant state of cultural -war agitation, providing you an outlet to express your frustration, but never quite delivering on what they promise, since that wouldn't serve th business elite or is politically unrealistic.

But that's a pretty big simplification or even misrepresentation- see Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas if you're interested.

For example, I presume you would like you to see the Republicans be responsible for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, if not the outright banning of abortion (although I might be wrong). Now, this one is probably going to happen, and it will be very interesting to see what goes down when they actually come through. The general prediction is that this would be the Republican Ragnarök (although we seem to have global warming rather than Fimbulwinter . . .). We'll see.

- Dan S.

highboy said...

"Do you really want me to hunt down all the figures and such?"

Yes. Especially since I don't know what it is you're going to argue. Which part did you take issue with?

"Did you know radical liberals and the New York Times want to take down the White Christian power structure and replace it with a multicultural rainbow coalition? O'Reilly said so (or so I hear)."

I can believe that. I saw a headline form the NY Times that read "12 Illegals With No Where To Go." How about back to their own damn country? I'll try and find some links.

"And like all good lies, it has some truth in it. Liberals do want opportunities across the board"

So do conservatives. Conservatives just don't agree with making rich people pay for it all, like some socialist nation. Liberal politicians are actually some of the most racist in the world, as it is THEY who continue to dice different ethnic groups up instead of treating everyone like Americans. There is no race in our country that has less opportunity than another. Not for a long time.

"Like the Pledge ("under God" added in 1954)? And the oath of office, which in the Constitution has nothing to do with God or Bibles, and doesn't even have to be an oath but an affirmation? And . . .?
How come the Constitution doesn't talk about God,"

Yes. You keep harping that the oath on the Bible isn't required, which proves nothing. The mere fact that they do it is a clear endorsement of religion, and clear evidence that this country was founded on Biblical principles. That does not make it a theocracy, like the liberal reactionaries like to hyper-ventilate about, especially since the freedom to worship what/who we desire is a Biblical principle. Jesus doesn't force Himself on those that don't want Him, we don't either.

"How come the Constitution doesn't talk about God, except in forbidding any religious tests for office?"

What does that prove? The Decleration of Independance, (you know July 4th, the birthday of our country?) certainly does.

"And who cares if they blow all of the international disaster aid relief funding provided by the half the world? "

"Huh? Hadn't heard of this. Links?
I can see some getting wasted, but all?"

Here is a start. Why would the U.N even need pledges? Where did all of the BILLIONS go that the U.S. and others give for international natural disasters go?

"In the end, the Dems will have shot themselves in the foot and we'll be back in business."

"I don't know about this. We certainly seem to have a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but I really don't know about this. We'll see this November. Going by polls, you guy are in real trouble, and while polls are, well, polls, they're showing major gaps."

I do. Trust me, conservatives are sending loud and clear messages to their representatives, as we have just done here in PA. We just had an important primary, my brother the campaign manager of one of the victors, John Eichleberger. (You may have heard about the race, it made national news.)We have incumbents (had I should say)who thought that if they rejected their base and moderated themselves (as all too many Republicans have done this last term) they'd still be in office. Wrong. We vote for conservatives who act like conservatives, and if they don't, we vote them out. Eichleberger won in one of the biggest upsets in history, voting out a Republican who had served for more than 30 years, and was a projected lock to win. It was a very important race that Congress as a whole paid attention to as the test to see voter outrage. Trust me, the GOP is going to get its head out of its butt real soon. They know they are on the clock. Besides, people's support for the GOP may have waned, but if they agreed with Dem ideology the GOP wouldn't be in power to begin with. For crying out loud, the leader of your party is a head case. (Dean)

"For example, I presume you would like you to see the Republicans be responsible for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, if not the outright banning of abortion (although I might be wrong)."

You are %100 right.

"...Republican Ragnarök"

Why does the word "Ragnarök" sound so familiar?

Anonymous said...

"hy do you think terrorists from all parts of the world are congregating in Iraq? They realize that this particular front on the War Against Terror could be the most crucial of all. If 9/11 was the Pearl Harbor, then Iraq is the Midway, the El Alamein, the Stalingrad, the D-Day of the War Against Terror. If Iraq stands, then Islamofascism has failed on the big stage and the momentum towards freedom, begun in Afghanistan may then bring Iran and others out of the medieval, repressive rule of Sharia law and into a new world of democracy."

Do you actually believe this? I mean, it's basically crap on a cracker, and not even a fancy cracker, but one of those stale sawdust-tasting Family Pantry brand dollar a box welfare crackers . . .

I mean, nice story, rousing, even, but it doesn't seem to have any connection to ascertainable reality. If Iraq is actually a front in the War on Terror™, we're arming the other side.

I'm too tired to add anything more coherent. Here's a link to Not a Purely U.S. Military Solution” at the mahablog (title taken from a quote by General John Abizaid):
"In defending the war, righties like to point to the alleged high-minded goals. What is it about bringing democracy to the Middle East you don’t like? they sneer. And, y’know, I’m fine with democracy in the Middle East. I’m sure that Condi and Dick and crew are right that if Iraq and other nations of the Middle East were to become stable and democratic the whole world would benefit. The catch is that this is not the sort of goal that lends itself to a purely military solution. If, indeed, one nation could lead another nation — a nation on the other side of the world with a hugely different culture — to democracy, I suspect the way to do it is through the slow, patient work of cultural, economic, and political diplomacy. But the Bushies figured they could do the job a lot quicker through a purely military solution. All they had to do was invade and destroy the current government, and the Iraqis naturally would revert to the universal default form of government, democracy."

And, unfortunately,
"Military investigators probing the deaths last November of about two dozen Iraqi civilians have evidence that points toward unprovoked murders by Marines, a senior defense official said Friday.

-Dan S.

radar said...

"The corruption related to Abramoff, the K Street project, etc., is overwhelmingly - not exclusively, but overwhemingly - a Republican issue. That's just thet way it is. I'll go back this up later, if you insist - have to go now . . ."

No you won't, if you are honest, and I do respect your honesty, Dan. Once you do the research you will see that dozens of congressmen on both sides of the aisle had ties with Abramoff. It is not a Republican scandal, it is a Washington scandal. The bad guys on both sides deserve the heave-ho!

"And like all good lies, it has some truth in it. Liberals do want opportunities across the board - even at the top - open up to people of all creeds and colors."

No, conservatives want opportunities for all people without even considering their race or gender. Liberals try to rig the game with racial quotas and affirmative action policies that just keep the old race card in play. Gag me! Allow the free market to work in a free society and the best and brightest of all kinds will prevail.

"For example, I presume you would like you to see the Republicans be responsible for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, if not the outright banning of abortion (although I might be wrong). Now, this one is probably going to happen, and it will be very interesting to see what goes down when they actually come through. The general prediction is that this would be the Republican Ragnarök (although we seem to have global warming rather than Fimbulwinter . . .). We'll see."

Okay, so you equate ending the murder of innocent children with the end of the world???? Wow.

highboy said...

"Okay, so you equate ending the murder of innocent children with the end of the world???? Wow."

That's where I heard "Ragnarok" before.

creeper said...

I guess Liberal just means someone who disagrees with you. Wanting to see everything as "us vs. them" may have a visceral appeal to you, but it's not very conducive in terms of either advancing an argument or your own personal development.

I've kept my political persuasion out of this as much as possible, and will continue to focus on issues one at a time. The evolution debate on this blog has the highest entertainment value for me.

Having said that, this particular entry seems to me a pretty strong case of "he said, she said". Please spend some time with Luke 6:27-42, with a special emphasis on Luke 6:41-42.

But anyway:

"Liberals just love macroevolution and are unwilling to admit that it is an unproven hypothesis. They want it to be "accepted truth" and turn a blind eye to any evidences that point a different direction."

The existence of macroevolution - basically common descent - is far more than an unproven hypothesis, which should be clear to you once you've removed this mote from your eye. It is so well supported by evidence that scientists that study in this field do indeed consider it as good as an "accepted truth" - though I don't know if "truth" is the best word choice here (along with "proven", which is often dragged into this discussion).

So your statement that "Liberals just love macroevolution and are unwilling to admit that it is an unproven hypothesis" is either an out-and-out lie or rests on a misunderstanding of the very words you use. I don't want to think of you as a liar, but you have made statements along these lines before, and the meanings of these words have also been made clear. You were unable to defend yourself at that point, and now here you are, repeating the same erroneous statement. Do you just not get it, or what's the story here?

As long as you play games like this, of purposely ignoring counter-arguments, you're in no position to lambaste the other side for "not getting it". For that, you yourself have to be completely above board. "All ye without sin" and all that.

You commonly conflate the nigh-certainty of the existence of macroevolution (i.e. that it did take place, by whatever mechanism) with the debate over the mechanisms behind macroevolution, which is a completely different thing. Apart from sheer stupidity and ignorance (of which I am certain you are guilty of neither), the only reason I can surmise for you conflating them (which is not particularly conducive to honest debate, I might add, but then again maybe what is hampering you here is that you just don't get it) is because the mere existence of common descent disproves the YEC scenario.

There is debate over the mechanisms of macroevolution - natural selection, genetic drift, gene mutation - and exactly to what extent they are responsible for the phenomena we observe. Whether they have any impact at all is not commonly questioned.

To a very minor extent there is also a debate as to whether these mechanisms suffice to explain the variety of organisms around us, or whether the addition of an undefined supernatural agent is necessary, but this has been mostly religiously motivated.

highboy said...

Before I forget again, during my last political rant on this thread I forgot to add that our economy is good. Real good.

creeper said...

"Once you do the research you will see that dozens of congressmen on both sides of the aisle had ties with Abramoff. It is not a Republican scandal, it is a Washington scandal."

Could you (or anyone here) point me to a reliable summary of the Abramoff scandals that backs up this assertion?

"The bad guys on both sides deserve the heave-ho!"

Well of course. At a first glance that appears to impact the Republicans far more than the Democrats, but feel free to show how that ain't so.

A Hermit said...

"The drumbeat of the left-leaning major news media have been indoctrinating people ardently for at least fifty years."

Actually they've been repoting the facts, with varying degrees of success. But the facts seem to have a liberal bias, whichis why conservatives need their own, dedicated news sources to create alternative "factesque" reporting like all that nonsense about WMD's being shipped to Syria. Two problems with that story on th eface of it; 1) logistically impossble to trapnsport th equantities of material alleged in so short a time considering the infrastructure available and
2) If it were true then the whole invasion was a colossal failure, since the whole excuse was to keep those mythical weapons out of the hands of the terrorists. If they had existed, and were somehow magically escorted out of the country why haven't they turned up elsewhere used by terrorists or by Iraqi insurgents?

Highboy keeps linking to one story about UN peacekeepers in the Congo commiting crimes as if that discredits everything that the UN does and stands for, but the right wingers pretend that Abu Ghraib didn't matter and that Murtha is a "traitor" for pointing out that American Marines have commited crimes in Iraq.

It's funny how much the right wing fanatics remind me of the Marxists I used to argue with in my college days; same devotion to their dear Leaders, same dismissal of any inconvenient fact, same reliance on "alternative" news sources, same contempt for dissenters, same anger when challenged.

Well, you've been good little Party Members, but the party's nearly over. A wise man once said you can fool all the people some of the time, dn some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

More and more people inAmerica are finally wakin gup, letting go of their fear and refusing to be fooled any longer. Couldn't happen soon enough...

A Relieved Hermit

A Hermit said...

(Note to self; rember to chek spieling befour postin g commennts...)

A Grammatical Hermit

Anonymous said...

I'm just mad that some people think Hendrix is noise. Who are these people?

Greatest. Guitarist. Ever.

-Scohen

highboy said...

"Actually they've been repoting the facts,"

Of course you'd say that. They agree with you.

"1) logistically impossble to trapnsport th equantities of material alleged in so short a time considering the infrastructure available and"

Theory.

"Highboy keeps linking to one story about UN peacekeepers in the Congo commiting crimes as if that discredits everything that the UN does and stands for,"

I gave numerous reasons that the U.N. is a waste of oxygen. Not just one.

"that Murtha is a "traitor" for pointing out that American Marines have commited crimes in Iraq."

Allegedly. I don't know about Canada, but in America you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. Murtha is a joke. Check his voting record, which is one of the reasons my state is kicking all of the liberals out now.

"It's funny how much the right wing fanatics remind me of the Marxists I used to argue with in my college days;"

Liberals and Marxists are synonymous.

"More and more people inAmerica are finally wakin gup, letting go of their fear and refusing to be fooled any longer. Couldn't happen soon enough..."

You're right, which is why my state just gave a couple liberal incumbents the boot, and want to export Philadelphia to New Jersey where it will fit in better. You crack me up when you assume the Dems are going to take back Congress. Libs have said that in every election since 1998 and have got their butts handed to them every time. Bush's poll numbers may be low, but until the Dems get better icons than headcases like Dean, Kennedy, and Kerry, they will never be trusted. I look forward to saying "I told you so" in November. I'm especially proud that my brother Jason will have a part to play in that as well, when he gets a pro-life senator elected in PA. Jason is 2-0 so far since he became a political consultant last year and started managing campaigns.

"Greatest. Guitarist. Ever."

Close, by I have to go with Duane Allman. Slide guitar is one of the hardest instruments to play.

highboy said...

"Actually they've been repoting the facts,"

Of course you'd say that. They agree with you.

"1) logistically impossble to trapnsport th equantities of material alleged in so short a time considering the infrastructure available and"

Theory.

"Highboy keeps linking to one story about UN peacekeepers in the Congo commiting crimes as if that discredits everything that the UN does and stands for,"

I gave numerous reasons that the U.N. is a waste of oxygen. Not just one.

"that Murtha is a "traitor" for pointing out that American Marines have commited crimes in Iraq."

Allegedly. I don't know about Canada, but in America you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. Murtha is a joke. Check his voting record, which is one of the reasons my state is kicking all of the liberals out now.

"It's funny how much the right wing fanatics remind me of the Marxists I used to argue with in my college days;"

Liberals and Marxists are synonymous.

"More and more people inAmerica are finally wakin gup, letting go of their fear and refusing to be fooled any longer. Couldn't happen soon enough..."

You're right, which is why my state just gave a couple liberal incumbents the boot, and want to export Philadelphia to New Jersey where it will fit in better. You crack me up when you assume the Dems are going to take back Congress. Libs have said that in every election since 1998 and have got their butts handed to them every time. Bush's poll numbers may be low, but until the Dems get better icons than headcases like Dean, Kennedy, and Kerry, they will never be trusted. I look forward to saying "I told you so" in November. I'm especially proud that my brother Jason will have a part to play in that as well, when he gets a pro-life senator elected in PA. Jason is 2-0 so far since he became a political consultant last year and started managing campaigns.

"Greatest. Guitarist. Ever."

Close, by I have to go with Duane Allman. Slide guitar is one of the hardest instruments to play.

loboinok said...

"Could you (or anyone here) point me to a reliable summary of the Abramoff scandals that backs up this assertion?"

I don't know if you will consider it reliable but...

http://www.nrsc.org/newsdesk/document.aspx?ID=1362

loboinok said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"I'm just mad that some people think Hendrix is noise. Who are these people?"

I don't know, but obviously they hate our freedoms.


"Here is a start. Why would the U.N even need pledges? Where did all of the BILLIONS go that the U.S. and others give for international natural disasters go?"

Maybe I'm missing your point? The article you link to talks about concern that the generous pledges made to help the victims of the tsunami are not going to be followed through with anything like the actual amount. These concerns are based on past history, - pledges that weren't followed up in anything like the full amounts, UN appeals for relief aid that were consistently and significantly underfunded, etc. There is also a discussion of "the U.N. target of 0.7 percent of gross national product (GNP) as official development assistance (ODA) to the world's poorer nations," noting that "Only five countries have consistently met-- and gone beyond-- the 0.7 target . . . Denmark (1.06 percent), Netherlands (0.82 percent), Sweden (0.81 percent), Norway (0.80 percent) and Luxembourg (0.7 percent). " Besides Luxembourg, which is just weird, we're talking about the countries that Radar fears that liberals want the US to resemble, plus two other eeeevil Scandinavian countries. Maybe we should be like them - percentage-wise, they're being more generous than us ("Today, the percentage of U.S. income going to poor countries remains at 0.14 percent, Britain's is at 0.34 percent and France 0.41 percent").

The impression this gives is that the UN is in fact constantly and consistently being underfunded in terms of humanitarian aid - and presumably it's obvious that a immense disaster like the tsunami requires enormous quanities of money in aid. One could argue that the money is being squandered to an unusual degree (I'm taking for granted that, like in every other institution, there is a baseline level of inefficiency and waste - but that's not evident from the article.

"Okay, so you equate ending the murder of innocent children with the end of the world???? Wow."
No, no no - although in a way it would be the end of one world - the current one - and the return of an earlier one, the one of coathangers and women left scarred, infertile, or dead due to back-alley or self-inflicted abortions, of women from well-off families making expensive trips to private hushhush clinics while their sisters face the risks above or are left raising unwanted children, often in suboptimal or outright poor conditions that - had they had the choice - they could have escaped, often going on to have kids once they could decently provide for them.

(However, now that we have DNA testing, expect an explosion in paternity cases).

No, what I was referring to was the idea that once the GOP gets Roe vs. Wade overturned, the substantial majority of Americans that are moderate to liberal on abortion will abandon the party.

____________

Anyway, one can't help but be impressed by old-time Norse religion in this case. Having an end of the world scenario is one thing, but having one where it is inexorably, unchangably preordained that the gods and heroes are going to lose utterly, yet with everyone still going bravely and defiantly forward, beyond any hope or consolation - that's pretty hardcore. I always imagine it as one of those movie battle scenes where it switches to slo-mo, and sad, elagiac music plays as all around, one sees Freyr killed by the fire giant Surtr, Thor defeating Jörmungandr, the great world serpent, only to stagger and collapse, poisoned by its venom, Odin falling to the giant wolf Fenrir and being devoured . . .

It's interesting that the old home of this idea - where ancient warriors' reward for a valiant death in battle was to fight besides the gods in their final defeat, the home of the Vikings that once terrorized much of Europe, traveled as far east as Russia and Turkey, colonized the North Atlantic in, basically, big wooden rowboats, and reached the Americas centuries before Columbus - happen to be among the modern day countries that give the highest % of GDP for helping poor countries, and are famous (or notorious) for lavish social programs, generous maternity leave, etc., etc.

Things that make you go -

-Dan S., hmming.

Incidentally, anybody read Neil Gaiman's American Gods?

Anonymous said...

"Liberals and Marxists are synonymous."

Are you being funny here? Usually I appreciate your off-the-wall great bits of humor, but . . . I mean, you do know they're not, right?

" . . . and want to export Philadelphia to New Jersey where it will fit in better."
Hey, I know that the rest of PA -esp. the fellows over in Harrisburg* - tends to dislike and resent Philadelphia (sure, three major universities, all sorts of business, art, and culture, a whole medical/life sciences industry, the frickin' historical birthplace of our frickin' nation, for goodness sakes! - but it's a - ugh - city . . .with all those people, those urban people, you know what I mean . . .) but do you have to remind me?

Great, so they're going to drive us into (and across) the Delaware River. Y'know, my neighborhood tends to get mentioned over and over again as one of the several best working examples of racially integrated neighborhoods in America . . . but I guess we don't quite fit in, in this vision of Pennsylvania.

I'm not sure it's one ol' Billy Penn would recognize - y'know, the fellow who founded a colony that welcomed all kinds of religious and political misfits, the people who didn't necessarily fit in . . .

* for years the state gov't kept telling Philly - 'stop
whining about needing more money for education, you big BABIES! After all, you're a lot better funded than your nearby suburbs - you just waste it all, losers!' Finally, after a major study of education spending in the region, they had to admit, 'oh, er, well, yeah, um, we were just counting total spending, I guess breaking it down per capita, since the Philly school district is vastly larger than any of the surrounding ones, might have made some sense . . .'

"You're right, which is why my state just gave a couple liberal incumbents the boot . . ."

A restrained congrats to your brother, btw! - but while I didn't follow the details of all (ok, hardly any) of the primary races, I thought one of the big issues involved in all those incumbents getting booted - including Republicans, right? - was the pay raise fiasco?

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

" per capita,"
per student, I should say . . .

-Dan S.

creeper said...

Hermit: "Actually they've been repoting the facts,"

Highboy: "Of course you'd say that. They agree with you."


Surely if we're talking about "facts", some kind of objective standard comes into play.

"I don't know about Canada, but in America you are innocent until PROVEN guilty."

That would be the American legal system, which is not synonymous with "America".

"Liberals and Marxists are synonymous."

Between that and Radar's diatribe above, it's easy to see why the moniker 'Liberal' is utterly useless. "Marxists" love "macroevolution" etc. - it's primitive "us and them" thinking taken to a ludicrous extreme. Or just another reason not to take Tim all that seriously.

On the off-chance that you thought this through, please define "Liberal" and "Marxist".

creeper said...

Lobo,

"I don't know if you will consider it reliable but..."

Will I consider it a reliable summary?

Lobo, are you seriously willing to assert that the Abramoff scandal consisted of 40 Democratic senators, and nobody else?

Surely it is clear to you that you can not make such an assertion on an objective basis.

At least I would hope so.


But what the heck, I'll ask again:

"Could you (or anyone here) point me to a reliable summary of the Abramoff scandals that backs up this assertion?"

loboinok said...

"Lobo, are you seriously willing to assert that the Abramoff scandal consisted of 40 Democratic senators, and nobody else?"

ROFLMBO, absolutely not!

Actually the summary part went right over my head. I was just showing that Democrats were involved as well.

highboy said...

"Incidentally, anybody read Neil Gaiman's American Gods?"

I met him once at at comic convention. He is my favorite author, and his Sandman comics the best of all time and my inspiration in writing. (Did you know I use to write for a comic locally? Of course you didn't, so why am I bragging?) He is also the only comic writer to ever win the World Fantasy Award. (which usually goes to people like Stephen King or Anne Rice.) But no, I haven't read that book you mentioned. You would absolutley love his book Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies Of Agnes Nutter. Hilarious.

"Or just another reason not to take Tim all that seriously."

Good. You weren't suppose to. You can't tell by now when I'm kidding and when I'm not? Though many liberals in our country could be accurately compared to communists...

"A restrained congrats to your brother, btw! - but while I didn't follow the details of all (ok, hardly any) of the primary races, I thought one of the big issues involved in all those incumbents getting booted - including Republicans, right? - was the pay raise fiasco?"

Oh yeah. That and abortion. Actually, abortion proved to be the deciding factor. The "Remember The Pay Raise" line did't really get that much pull since Booby Jooby spent thousands of dollars on fliers that accused Eich of voting himself a pay raise on the county level.

"Y'know, my neighborhood tends to get mentioned over and over again as one of the several best working examples of racially integrated neighborhoods in America . . . but I guess we don't quite fit in, in this vision of Pennsylvania."

It has nothing to do with race, and has everything to do with how liberal the city is compared to the rest of the country. Plus, Fast Eddy came from Philly.

So now I have to interupt this political debate to ask you the most important question on my mind right now: If you are from Philly, you are an Eagles fan, yes? I have been an Eagles fan since I was 4 years old believe it or not. I even grew up in Pittsburgh, but there is not a team I hate more than the Steelers. (Stole the last Super Bowl, and blatantly.) I've thought of starting my NFL blog again. The last one wasn't very popular but then I didn't push it very hard.

Anonymous said...

"No you won't, if you are honest, and I do respect your honesty, Dan. Once you do the research you will see that dozens of congressmen on both sides of the aisle had ties with Abramoff. It is not a Republican scandal, it is a Washington scandal. The bad guys on both sides deserve the heave-ho!"

Well, I agree with heave-hoing bad guys, and I appreciate the compliment re: honesty, but given my understanding of the scandal, I can't agree.

First off, for a brief and balanced-sounding overview of the issue, one might want to start with wikipedia's general Abramoff entry and its entry on the Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal and go from there.

One constant, constant claim across much of the media - including places like NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, as well as Fox News, O'Reilly, etc., was that (to quote NPR's Mara Liasson, mentioned in the following link) ""it's Democrats, not just Republicans, taking money from Abramoff." [but] In fact, as Media Matters has documented repeatedly, Democrats received contributions from Abramoff's clients and associates, but none from Abramoff directly."

Well, that's just a matter of pointless pedantic detail, you might add. Ok, so Abramoff didn't directly hand them the money, but funneled it through other sources.

Well, there's one obvious difference. Media Matters, again:
"New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut falsely stated that Democrats accepted campaign contributions from indicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (here and here), only Republicans received contributions directly from Abramoff.
. . .
Although Kornblut amended her statement to claim that Abramoff "had his clients donate to Democrats," her comment falsely suggests that Republicans and Democrats are equally enmeshed in the scandal surrounding Abramoff. In fact, while Democrats have received contributions from Abramoff's lobbying groups and his clients, Kornblut's statement ignores the difference between accepting contributions from groups linked to Abramoff, which is legal and proper, and taking contributions in exchange for official actions, which is illegal, and which is at the heart of the ongoing investigations.

And in fact, that becomes a very important in terms of a specific media allegation:

"The AP article [cited by Tim Russert on Meet the Press] noted that [Senator Henry] Reid [D-Nevada] opposed legislation to approve a Michigan casino for an American Indian tribe that would have rivaled a casino owned by a tribe represented by Abramoff, and suggested that Reid coordinated with Abramoff to oppose legislation that would have raised the minimum wage in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory represented by Abramoff . But, as Media Matters for America documented, the AP left out key facts that undermined its reporting: Reid said at the time that he opposed the legislation approving the Michigan casino because it would create a "very dangerous precedent" for the spread of off-reservation gambling -- something Reid had opposed for nearly a decade; and Reid was a co-sponsor of the minimum wage legislation and spoke on the Senate floor in favor of its passage."

Now, it's certainly possible one might be dubious about the reason re: casino legislation given by the senator at the time - even backed up by a history of holding that position - but co-sponsoring and arguing for the very legislation he's supposedly being paid to oppose . . . .that just doesn't fly. If this was supposed to be a case of taking money in exchange for official actions, Tom DeLay certainly did not get his money's worth using Abramoff - in terms of Democrat Reid's actions, at least.

Now this is a particularly sordid affair. As Fox News pointed out last year (just grabbing things off Yahoo here),
"Tom DeLay (search) and his top aides were often in daily contact with lobbyist Jack Abramoff (search) during the mid-1990s as the lobbyist made campaign contributions and arranged travel for the House leader while seeking legislative help for a multimillion-dollar client, according to law firm records made public for the first time.

DeLay's office kept Abramoff, now under criminal investigation, routinely apprised of congressional efforts to block new regulations on his client, theNorthern Mariana Islands(search).

Abramoff's firm reported it drafted legislative materials for DeLay, and Abramoff boasted to island leaders he could use his close ties to Republican leaders to block legislation from receiving a House vote.

"Getting the bill off the schedule for next week, however, should enable us to use our connections within the Leadership to ensure that ... it will not come to the floor," Abramoff wrote the islands in September 1996.

. . .[Records] provide a day-by-day account of the lobbyist's campaign of fundraising, trip-providing and schmoozing with lawmakers in both parties aimed at getting Congress to block Clinton administration efforts to regulate alleged "sweatshop" garment factories in the Northern Marianas. Those rules were never enacted."

. . . He credited the numerous trips he arranged to the islands for fending off the new labor rules and other federal oversight that the Clinton administration and some congressional Democrats were seeking.

"There is no doubt that trips to the CNMI (islands) are one of the most effective ways to build permanent friends on the Hill and among policymakers in Washington," the firm wrote the island government in a lobbying plan in February 1998."

The whole Mariana Islands mess is pretty bad - here's Mark Shields on "The real scandal of Tom DeLay"

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Creators Syndicate) -- Forget the freebie trips across the Atlantic and the Pacific. Forget the casinos and the allegedly illicit contributions -- they represent only degrees of avarice.

To grasp the moral bankruptcy of the public Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, you only have to know about Frank Murkowski and Saipan.

Today, Frank Murkowki is the governor of Alaska, but from 1980 to 2002, he was a conservative Republican senator from Alaska.

How conservative? His voting record earned him zero ratings from organized labor's AFL-CIO and the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, and perfect 100s from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Conservative Union.

But as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Frank Murkowski became furious at the abusive sweatshop conditions endured by workers, overwhelmingly immigrants, in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, of which Saipan is the capital.

Because they were produced in a territory of the United States, garments traveled tariff-free and quota-free to the profitable U.S. market and were entitled to display the coveted "Made in the USA" label.

Among the manufacturers that had profited from the un-free labor market on the island were Tommy Hilfiger USA, Gap, Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne.

Moved by the sworn testimony of U.S. officials and human-rights advocates that the 91 percent of the workforce who were immigrants -- from China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- were being paid barely half the U.S. minimum hourly wage and were forced to live behind barbed wire in squalid shacks minus plumbing, work 12 hours a day, often seven days a week, without any of the legal protections U.S. workers are guaranteed, Murkowski wrote a bill to extend the protection of U.S. labor and minimum-wage laws to the workers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas.

So compelling was the case for change the Alaska Republican marshaled that in early 2000, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Murkowski worker reform bill.

But one man primarily stopped the U.S. House from even considering that worker-reform bill: then-House Republican Whip Tom DeLay.

According to law firm records recently made public, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, paid millions to stop reform and keep the status quo, met personally at least two dozen times with DeLay on the subject in one two-year period. The DeLay staff was often in daily contact with Abramoff.

DeLay traveled with his family and staff over New Year's of 1997 on an Abramoff scholarship endowed by his client, the government of the territory, to the Marianas, where golf and snorkeling were enjoyed.

DeLay fully approved of the working and living conditions. The Texan's salute to the owners and Abramoff's government clients was recorded by ABC-TV News: "You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system"

Later, DeLay would tell The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin that the low-wage, anti-union conditions of the Marianas constituted "a perfect petri dish of capitalism. It's like my Galapagos Island."

Contrast that with what then-Sen. Murkowski told me in a 1998 interview: "The last time we heard a justification that economic advances would be jeopardized if workers were treated properly was shortly before Appomattox."

The "Made in the USA" label means standards of quality and standards of conduct.

But more important than how a product is made is how the people who make that product are treated -- as human beings with innate dignity -- who are free to organize and entitled to a living wage.

Did somebody say something about moral values?


And incidentally, as the wikipedia link above mentions, "Brian Ross at ABC News for 20/20 on March 13, 1998 pointed out that factories in Saipan [Nothern Mariana Island] have forced their workers to have abortions in order to keep their jobs."

But I digress. We were talking about the the false claim that Abramoff had given money to any Democrats, and asking, well, so, he just funneled it through his clients, same diff, right?

Well, no.

"Mr. Corddry's [Daily Show] parody of journalists who believe they must be "balanced" even when the truth isn't balanced continues, alas, to ring true. The most recent example is the peculiar determination of some news organizations to cast the scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff as "bipartisan."

Let's review who Mr. Abramoff is and what he did.

Here's how a 2004 Washington Post article described Mr. Abramoff's background: "Abramoff's conservative-movement credentials date back more than two decades to his days as a national leader of the College Republicans." In the 1990's, reports the article, he found his "niche" as a lobbyist "with entree to the conservatives who were taking control of Congress. He enjoys a close bond with [Tom] DeLay."

Mr. Abramoff hit the jackpot after Republicans took control of the White House as well as Congress. He persuaded several Indian tribes with gambling interests that they needed to pay vast sums for his services and those of Michael Scanlon, a former DeLay aide. From the same Washington Post article: "Under Abramoff's guidance, the four tribes ... have also become major political donors. They have loosened their traditional ties to the Democratic Party, giving Republicans two-thirds of the $2.9 million they have donated to federal candidates since 2001, records show."

So Mr. Abramoff is a movement conservative whose lobbying career was based on his connections with other movement conservatives. His big coup was persuading gullible Indian tribes to hire him as an adviser; his advice was to give less money to Democrats and more to Republicans. There's nothing bipartisan about this tale, which is all about the use and abuse of Republican connections.

Yet over the past few weeks a number of journalists, ranging from The Washington Post's ombudsman to the "Today" show's Katie Couric, have declared that Mr. Abramoff gave money to both parties. In each case the journalists or their news organization, when challenged, grudgingly conceded that Mr. Abramoff himself hasn't given a penny to Democrats. But in each case they claimed that this is only a technical point, because Mr. Abramoff's clients -- those Indian tribes -- gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans, money the news organizations say he "directed" to Democrats.

But the tribes were already giving money to Democrats before Mr. Abramoff entered the picture; he persuaded them to reduce those Democratic donations, while giving much more money to Republicans. A study commissioned by The American Prospect shows that the tribes' donations to Democrats fell by 9 percent after they hired Mr. Abramoff, while their contributions to Republicans more than doubled. So in any normal sense of the word "directed," Mr. Abramoff directed funds away from Democrats, not toward them.

True, some Democrats who received tribal donations before Mr. Abramoff's entrance continued to receive donations after his arrival. How, exactly, does this implicate them in Mr. Abramoff's machinations? Bear in mind that no Democrat has been indicted or is rumored to be facing indictment in the Abramoff scandal, nor has any Democrat been credibly accused of doing Mr. Abramoff questionable favors.

There have been both bipartisan and purely Democratic scandals in the past. Based on everything we know so far, however, the Abramoff affair is a purely Republican scandal.


Why does the insistence of some journalists on calling this one-party scandal bipartisan matter? For one thing, the public is led to believe that the Abramoff affair is just Washington business as usual, which it isn't. The scale of the scandals now coming to light, of which the Abramoff affair is just a part, dwarfs anything in living memory.

More important, this kind of misreporting makes the public feel helpless. Voters who are told, falsely, that both parties were drawn into Mr. Abramoff's web are likely to become passive and shrug their shoulders instead of demanding reform.
"

Based on all this, it seems ridiculous to me to say that l'affaire Abramoff was a bipartisan scandal. It raises an interesting question, though. Why are the very media outlets one hears condemned as liberal propaganda-mongers making such (false) claims about Democrats?

One possibility is that they're not actually, meaningfully false, and I'm just taken in by Dem. propaganda. But note in the piece above (and do a search at mediamatters.org for "Abramoff Democrats") that there were numerous documented instances of these media outlets recanting -oops, we mispoke!' This seems to weigh against such an explanation (along with other documented facts).

Another, referenced in the piece above, is the media striving for the appearance of objectivity and balance, even, it turns out, when the facts don't fit. It gets even odder, though, because while the sheer evil of Abramoff apparently caused Democrats to become corrupted just by receiving donations from long-term donors who became Abramoff clients (and then started given them a good bit less money, in prefence of Republicans), certain Republicans were apparently immune:

In covering the federal corruption scandal surrounding former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, many in the media have focused attention on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs -- which is investigating the Abramoff matter -- and who has introduced, in light of Abramoff's abuses, legislation to regulate lobbying activities. Media coverage has largely cast McCain as "untainted" by the Abramoff scandal, while at the same time, implying that lawmakers who received legal campaign contributions from Abramoff or his American Indian clients are not. Some commentators have argued that the Abramoff scandal is good news for McCain: They assert that McCain has no connection to Abramoff and could therefore benefit politically from being cast as a reformer.


But a January 5 Associated Press article reported that Mark Salter, McCain's chief of staff, confirmed that McCain received "at least two donations from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians while Abramoff was their lobbyist." The AP reported that Salter said he expects McCain will give this money back. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that McCain received $5,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw while Abramoff was their lobbyist: $1,000 during the 2000 election cycle and $4,000 during the 2004 election cycle. In addition to those who have overlooked these contributions while focusing positive attention on McCain, CNN congressional correspondent Ed Henry drew attention to campaign contributions Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) -- the Democratic vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs -- received from Abramoff's clients but did not inform viewers of the contributions McCain received from the lobbyist's tribal clients.


While simply receiving campaign contributions from Abramoff clients is not an indication of corruption, news reports have portrayed such contributions as "tainting" lawmakers -- lawmakers other than McCain, that is.


And follow that link for the media sources involved, including CNN.

One factor is clever spin, story-pushing, and playing the ref. As the Washington paper The Hill reported back in December:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is planning a public-relations offensive tying leading Democrats to lobbyist Jack Abramoff in an effort to neutralize accusations that Republicans have been embroiled in a “culture of corruption.”

The campaign will zero in on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Michigan Democrats; and the Democratic Senatorial Committee (DSCC), among others, for taking money from Abramoff’s former clients.

Stabenow is up for reelection next year; Reid and Levin are not. With the entry of Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard (R) into the Senate race in Michigan, many leading Republicans believe they have a reasonable chance of unseating the first-term senator.

Republicans have spent months trying to blunt Democratic ethics charges. But the new communications blitz — which will include disseminating talking points to Capitol Hill Republicans and flooding local media with information linking Democrats to Abramoff — marks a more coordinated effort to halt the anti-GOP tide."


You know that famous song "Turn Turn Turn," written by Pete Seeger (his memory is going, but he's still a very understatedly awesome guy), based on a bit of Ecclesiastes? This is the modern version - For everything/Spin Spin Sin . . ."

"Fears of a rout of Republicans next year, members of both parties say, have metastasized in recent months, as White House officials and congressional Republicans have been ensnarled in a series of investigations, court hearings and, in some cases, bribery charges, including White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and former vice president Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas), former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (Calif.) and Rep. Bob Ney (Ohio).

“Now that the Republicans have gotten their hand caught in the cookie jar, they are doing whatever they can to divert attention from the corruption that has become the defining characteristic of the GOP majority,” DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said. “It’s not going to work.”


A Democratic aide in Washington said the ethics charges Democrats have lodged against Republicans could tip the balance in other key Senate battlegrounds: In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum (R) has faced criticism for his alleged role in the K Street Project, which aimed to purge Democratic lobbyists from Washington.

Jay Reiff, who is managing Democratic state Treasurer Bob Casey’s campaign against Santorum, noted that Casey recently issued an ethics plan that would end the K Street Project and slow the “revolving door” between Capitol Hill and lobbying shops, among other provisions. Santorum’s media consultant, John Brabender, said Casey is trying to deflect charges lodged against the Democrat involving a fundraiser he held in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In Florida, meanwhile, Rep. Katherine Harris (R) has been attacked for receiving $51,000 from two defense companies, MZM Inc. and ADCS Inc., associated with Cunningham, who resigned from Congress earlier this month after pleading guilty to bribery.

Harris, who is the GOP front-runner to take on Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in 2006, announced Friday she would donate the $51,000 to charity.


[And this is all old stuff - there's no shortage of new stuff, but I already feel like I need to take a shower, from all the sliminess . . .]

"Nick, the NRSC spokesman, said there are mounds of evidence linking Democrats to Abramoff. He cited a $6,000 contribution from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, an Abramoff client, to Stabenow; $322,000 from Abramoff clients to the DSCC; and $66,000 from Abramoff clients to Reid, among other contributions.
[In other words, same old, same old. As we've seen, when he involved himself in his poor clients' political donations, some money continued to reach Democrats, if usually rather less than before - suggesting plain ol' lobbying more than anything. I'm not insisting that Democrats couldn't be involved in Abramoff-related corruption (and certainly Jefferson sounds very guilty of being involved in his own pitiful little patch of unorganized, unsystematic, un-far-reaching corruption) . But, as the saying goes, where's the beef? Meanwhile, the Abramoff scandal has already taken out DeLay, the Republican House Majority Leader and a major, major player.

In terms of the media question, it seems to be a complicated issue, involving a culture of (meaninglessly false) objectivity, seemingly fixed media narratives, skilled ref-playing, and who knows what. I certainly wouldn't claim it as evidence of a specifically anti-liberal bias in the mainstream media. What it does, pretty much inadverdently, is undermine claims of a rabidly partisan mainstream media.

Now if we were talking about The Nation, ok. But how many people read that, 6,000?

Sometimes, it's really just that the facts have a liberal bias.


-Dan S., sorry for the giant blocks of quotage, but dashing this off, no time to decide what's most pertinent . . .

Anonymous said...

See also GOP.com on "What Is An "Abramoff Democrat"?: A Democrat Who Is Hypocritical Enough To Think Jack Abramoff Isn't A Democrat Problem". Again, nothing actually from Abramoff went to Democrats, and the majority of money involved was directed to Republicans:
"About two-thirds of the more than $4.4 million in political donations from Abramoff, his clients and associates since 1998 went to Republicans, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign-finance watchdog group. A search of Federal Election Commission records since 1998 found no personal donations from Abramoff to Democrats." source
and
"FEC records show that Abramoff gave $172,933 for Republican candidates, $88,985 to Republican causes and nothing to Democratic candidates or organizations . . . Some of the most prominent who have received such contributions and who may have other connections to Abramoff include:
President George W Bush (R) . . .
U.S. Rep. & Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) . . .
U.S. Rep. & Former Chairman of the House Administration Committee Bob Ney (R-OH) . . .
U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, III (R-FL); . . .
U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) . . .
U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) . . .
U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) . . .
U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) . . .
U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) . . .
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) . . .
New Jersey State Senator William Gormley (R-Atlantic, NJ) . . .
U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) . . .
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) . . ."
(source)

Again, "Of the approximately $85 million in tribal money entrusted to Abramoff, his employers, or his related organizations, over $4.4 million were directed to Congressional politicians, primarily Republicans in leadership positions or on relevant committees and Democrats with standing connections to Native American interests (in a 2-1 GOP ratio). While some of these lawmakers received contributions from these organizations before the organizations hired Abramoff, under Abramoff a higher percentage of funds were contributed to Republicans, suggesting Abramoff actually directed contributions away from Democrats and toward Republicans. Jack Abramoff himself never contributed to any Democrat nor any Democratic organization." (source)

Pretty much all that the GOP is able to point to is that among the mess o' Republicans directly involved and implicated in the multi-part scandal - from Grover Norquist to Tom DeLay - is that some Democrats received money from groups, such as various Indian tribes, that had become Abramoff clients - often groups that had already been giving them money! (Ok, and the GOP site blares that two Democratic senators (amind how many Republicans) used Abramoff's skybox for fundraisers! The horror, the horror!) One keeps hearing about how clients *and associates* of Abramoff (if not the man himself) gave Dems money, but I can't actually find any details - just the clients.

Look, I'm not opposed to the idea that there were Democrats meaningfully involved in the Abramoff scandals (last I looked, everyone who had gone down/away for it was (R), but I haven't been paying attention, so here's your chance to make me look really dumb, if that's no longer the case). For example, if we have Democrats whose behavior changed in favor of the clients following receipt of money from Abramoff clients, that would be suggestive. So in that case, a massively Republican scandal, in which major Republican figures were directly involved - not just being bribed, but a knowing and vital part of the obscene defrauding of Abramoff's hapless clients, the influence peddling, the behind the scenes dirty tricks - including Abramoff and an associate "secretly orchestrat[ing] lobbying against their own clients in order to force them to pay for lobbying services," the misdirecting of money meant for charitable or specific purposes for political or personal gain (including - can't find a good link - the Christian groups who got scammed into thinking they were donating towards anti-gambling efforts only to have that money used to . . . I can't remember, either to lobby against legislation banning internet gambling, or to fight the efforts of one tribe to build a casino in order to help another tribe's casino . . . anybody remember?

_______________


HIghboy, that is very cool. Something we agree on, the awesomeness of Neil Gaiman . . . Brief Lives is simply, frighteningly perfect - incidentally, I had a friend back in high school who I swear was Delirium . . . . and yes, Good Omens is marvelous. (and if you haven't, read other stuff by Terry Pratchett, too) - Also Neil's new one, Anansi Boys - although I'm biased, being raised on tales of the African spider-man trickster - and Neverwhere also exists as BBC miniseries - with typical BBC production values, granted, but once you start watching it's easy to forget (in part because of the luminous Laura Fraser, one might say) . . .

Eagles fan, of course! And I'm not even much into football - it's just a part of being in Philly, maybe even more so than the sentence "Yo, youse guys, lets go get some hoagies and woder ice, yo."

Remember, Philly may be liberal, but it also will have septa buses going around blinking 'Go Eagles' in the destination bit . . .

-Dan S.

creeper said...

Highboy and Dan,

May I take it you're aware of Neil Gaiman's blog?

highboy said...

Dan: Have you ever read any of Neil's Sandman comics? Even if you're not into comics its some of the best writing ever, not to mention the masterful artwork.

"Remember, Philly may be liberal, but it also will have septa buses going around blinking 'Go Eagles' in the destination bit . . ."

Before I die, I want to see an Eagles game in Philly while chowing down on one of those heart attack inducing Philly cheesesteaks. I'm trying to get tickets to the Philly Dallas game so I can throw pennies at T.O.

Speaking of Terry Prachet, I use to play a video game of his that made me laugh my butt off, but can't remember the name.

"May I take it you're aware of Neil Gaiman's blog?"

No, I wasn't, but I'm off right now to check it out. Thanks!

highboy said...

creeper: Neil has a great blog. I have to stay away from the forums though, and stick to viewing. If I start commenting on his blog forums I'll never stop. He's no Og Mandino, but he's good.

A Hermit said...

Neil Gaiman's a pretty smart guy...

From his blog:

"Given some of the recent silliness in the news about the Catholic Church and the DaVinci Code movie, I was pleased to read this article about Brother Guy Consolmagno, the Vatican's Astronomer, being sensible on other issues -- http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=674042006. "

Links to an article entitled Creationism dismissed as 'a kind of paganism' by Vatican's astronomer

radar said...

No, Brother Guy Consolmagno is a pretty dumb guy. Doesn't he see the hypocrisy of trying to be a believer who accepts evolution? It is in violation of the teachings of his church, so he should get out of the organization and be intellectually and spiritually honest.

radar said...

My favorite comic artist was, and is, Frank Frazetta. Kind of the Jimi Hendrix of comic illustrators, to my mind.

radar said...

"No, no no - although in a way it would be the end of one world - the current one - and the return of an earlier one, the one of coathangers and women left scarred, infertile, or dead due to back-alley or self-inflicted abortions, of women from well-off families making expensive trips to private hushhush clinics while their sisters face the risks above or are left raising unwanted children, often in suboptimal or outright poor conditions that - had they had the choice - they could have escaped, often going on to have kids once they could decently provide for them."

Wow, the above isn't worthy of you, Dan S. Don't you know that more women die of abortion now than before Roe v. Wade? That a large percentage of the "backstreet" abortionists were doctors who simply put out the shingle officially when Roe went into effect? That many times aborted babies still live and that those babies are placed on a cart or table and given no nutrition or medical care until they die? That partial birth abortion is actually a form of birth in which the baby is murdered as he/she exits the womb? You haven't done your research even though in the past I have pointed a lot of this out. You could start with this:

http://www.abort73.com/index.html

A Hermit said...

Here's the test on late term abortions:

Your daughter is pregnant, in her seventh month. She begins having complications. Her doctors determine that without an abortion she will almost certainly die, and the fetus will likely live no more than a week if at all.

Should she be able to have an abortion, or not?

A Hermit in the Real World

IAMB said...

Greatest. Guitarist. Ever.

Not even close. The guy was mediocre at best. Great stage presence, but Stevie Ray could play him under the table... as well as Yngwie, Steve Vai, Satriani, Nuno Bettencourt... and we can't forget Segovia either.

Jimi's strength was his presence and showmanship... not his technical abilities. Kind of like Slash: not really that good, but the guy had one the the best sounds ever.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, the above isn't worthy of you, Dan S. Don't you know that more women die of abortion now than before Roe v. Wade? "

No, I didn't, because it almost certainly isn't true. At first glance I started wondering if maybe it was an issue of legal abortion (now) being much safer, but also more widespread, but after looking at CDC data from 1999 (first thing I found, and I'm rushing), the number of legal-abortion related deaths reported to the CDC has hovered between 4 and 16 since 1980 - that is 0.3 - 1.2 deaths per 100,00 reported legal abortions (the first few years had significantly higher numbers - high 20s and 4.1 -3.4/100,000, suggesting that all those supposedly perfectly fine doctors putting out the shingle officially maybe needed some practice).

I've seen anti - women's rights to their own body websites point out that Alaska, New Hampshire, and California are not required to report abortion-related deaths to the CDC, therefore the data is all wrong, but that's misleading - it should be four states (Oklahoma), and that only started in 1998

In 1972 the number of illegal abortion related deaths reported to the CDC was 39. If we make the equally unlikely assumption that all deaths related to this then mostly illegal and often shameful procedure were accurately reported, than in no year since Roe v. Wade has the number of deaths linked to legal abortions even come close - the highest was 29, in 1975 - let alone equaled or surpassed this.

Accurate statistics on deaths related to illegal abortion - esp., one would think, pre-1973 - are obviously hard at best to come by. I think it's safe to assume, unfortunately, that there were more than 39/year. Additionally, beyond deaths, one has to consider harmful but not fatal complications

"That a large percentage of the "backstreet" abortionists were doctors who simply put out the shingle officially when Roe went into effect? "

Of course, for quite some time before Roe v. Wade one could arrange a professional abortion for one's wife or daughter (perhaps even oneself), if one had the money, the connections, possibly the transportation, and the willingness to do so. This was spectacularly unhelpful for women who lacked these resources, where the options started at difficult (transportation to a state where abortion was legal, towards the end) and went downhill from there, towards the real horror stories. Along with back-alley abortions we also need to consider self-induced abortions, involving people who very rarely went on to become doctors, and certainly were not at the time.

Imagine any medical procedure that was largely illegal, yet also something that - as thousands of years of history teach us - people would attempt in large numbers anyway. Simply by virtue of being undocumented and unregulated, even if always&across the board practiced by competent doctors in appropriate settings, it would be more risky than its a legal counterpart. Given that we know - and we do know : ( - that this was not the case . . . : (

"That many times aborted babies still live and that those babies are placed on a cart or table and given no nutrition or medical care until they die."

That's heart-wrenching. I mean, it is, no debate about it. Do you have figures for this? More information? What is its relevence to the larger debate? Would they be able to live if given medical attention? (if yes, than since almost 90% of abortions occur during the first trimester, another chunk at or before 16 weeks, and at this point you start talking about cases involving serious problems, one way or the other, . . . well, what's the point, you want them aborted humanely?)

The really depressing thing is that no one thinks abortion is a positive good in and of itself - honestly, women aren't getting together for abortion parties, it being all fun and exciting and all . . . Theoretically, pro-life and pro-choice people alike would be able to work together in the common goal of reducing the number of abortions by supporting policies that led to fewer unwanted pregnancies - more support, better childcare, better education, etc. . . . That's what Christina Paige thought when she and pro-life activist and feminist - Amanda Peterman - co-wrote a NY Times op-ed The Right To Agree. As she recounts in her book How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Sex, Virtue and the Way we Live Now, Amanda was completely ostracized by the pro-life movement she had fought for.
(Interview with Page abd associated exerpt-article here, good reading . . . her book deals with two main topics - 1) how the pro-choice movement basically created the world we live in today (one we often take for granted) and 2 (something that is just tricking into the mainstream media, I'll dig up the recent NY Times article if anyone wants), how much of the pro-life movement today actually is anti-choice - that is, the choice to use contraception, the choice to have sex without a decent (as opposed to very, very small) possibility of the woman involved getting pregnant. For at least some people in the movement, actually reducing the number of abortions appears, in this view, to be less important than the horrifying idea that people are getting to roll around in bed without consequences. As a result, some of the policies they seek seem to actually make matters worse.

From the interview linked above:
" We're only beginning to take stock of what this means for us as a country and who we are. We look around and see how different our lives are from those who lived in the '50s, and people really need to understand that it is in large part due to family planning. The fact is, we cut poverty in half in just 35-40 years. This is because of these shifting trends in which people have access to education; men [as well as women] have more choice in their jobs now because they're no longer the primary and sole contributor to the family; they can leave a bad job, an abusive environment. They can spend more time with their kids, and they are. All this data shows that children are benefiting wildly from this. Those are investments that we can't truly understand the total of.

    We need to make having a family easier for people. There are many women who are having abortions simply because they can't afford to have a child. If that's the case, then there are solutions. Maybe it's making child care more affordable and of better quality. Take the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is cherished by the American people. The American public doesn't understand that 90 percent of the opposition to the FMLA was from pro-lifers. The Children's Defense Fund made a list of the worst legislators for children in this country, the people who are making it harder to have a family and to raise a child by stripping Americans of their health-insurance benefits, their unemployment benefits, basically pulling the rug out from under families. A hundred percent of the people who are listed as the worst are pro-life.

    [When I was researching this book,] I was happy to make distinctions and say, Well, we do have evidence that there's a wing of the pro-life movement that supports child care. But [what I found is that] there is no wing. And the opposition that we're facing to these issues is from these pro-life groups. An alarming pattern emerges: Not only do they want to take away legal and safe abortion, they want to stop people from having access to contraception. Coupling with that, they want to strip people of opportunities to put their children - whether they wanted them or not or can afford them or not - into child care.

    Where does this lead? What is the point of this? How can you be against child care if you're against helping people plan their families? If you don't want to help people have limited numbers of children, why are you stripping them of the very things that make that possible? The only conclusion that this path leads to is one: The modern family is deeply offensive to the Christian right. The family structures in which we are living today, in which both parents are equal and they both bring home a living, they get to choose the number of children they have to what they can support and want - that is offensive to the pro-life establishment. The whole reason why none of their programs are leading to fewer abortions is because that's simply not the point. The point isn't about abortion, it's about the family. It's about what the family looks like, it's about who's in it, who's leading it, who has the power, and who's the spiritual head."


I'd love this not to be true.
Accompanying article-excerpt: The pro-life paradox: "Pro-life tactics have actually helped encourage abortions and have led to riskier sex, especially among teens."

Hermit, on your litmus test (which I I say of course, yes, she should!) - I've heard numerous anecdotes about clinic staff who've had women come in who they not only recognized as someone they'd repeatedly seen protesting in front - which, hey, things happen - but in many cases will insist - to the staff or in front of the other women - that they aren't like those other women, their case is special, they actually need an abortion, they're not just sluts doing it for fun or whatever (there does seem to be a significant chunk - certainly not all - of anti-choice opinion which appears convinced that there are all these women having abortions left and right so they can afford a bigscreen tv , etc.)

Whatever, the plural of anecdote, as the saying goes, isn't data, and you don't need a Ph.D. to see why such an account, regardless of truth value, would be repeated, but it does touch on an important point.

-Dan S., impressed by the t-shirt that says 'My mom had an abortion' - since that is the truth for a lot of moms . . .

Anonymous said...

forgot to finish a sentence!

"Additionally, beyond deaths, one has to consider harmful but not fatal complications . . ."

Which will obviously be more of an issue in cladestine, illegal, unregulated circumstances.

-Dan S.

radar said...

You know, murder would be much safer if we just made it legal. Bank robbery, too. Without the possibility of high-speed chases, shootouts and kidnapped hostages the process would be a LOT safer. Let's legalize that, too!

I bet few people went to that abortion site and did not see all the information, nor can I compel them to go. So be it. But the problem with abortion remains that it is wrong and it is murder, so if women choose to do it illegally, they are murderous criminals.

Abortion should only be for medical emergencies. In the case of a woman whose life is endangered by pregnancy then it would be normal medical procedure - save the mother! Every other reason is just an excuse to take an innocent life.

highboy said...

"but Stevie Ray could play him under the table... as well as Yngwie, Steve Vai, Satriani,"

I taught Vai everything he knows.

"Imagine any medical procedure that was largely illegal, yet also something that - as thousands of years of history teach us - people would attempt in large numbers anyway."

This is typical liberal garbage Dan. This argument that "they are going to do it anyway, so lets make it safe for them" is nonsense. Why have laws? That is one of the many stupid arguments presented to legalize prostitution and drugs.

"Theoretically, pro-life and pro-choice people alike would be able to work together in the common goal of reducing the number of abortions by supporting policies that led to fewer unwanted pregnancies - more support, better childcare, better education, etc."

Theoretically, but I'll ask you the same question I always ask in this debate: Why do pro-choicers oppose regulations such as showing the woman a sonogram and informing them of any fetal pain? Why? The fact that they oppose those regulations says to those with common sense that they are NOT pro choice, they are pro-abortion. Why? Ask them. All I know is that by opposing simple regulations like those they are saying that they would rather NOT have a women as informed as possible before going through with the procedure. Many argue because it is merely a guilt trip, but what does that say about the morality of abortion? If giving a woman all of the facts induces guilt, that says something about abortion doesn't it?

""Pro-life tactics have actually helped encourage abortions and have led to riskier sex, especially among teens."

Theory.

"Abortion should only be for medical emergencies. In the case of a woman whose life is endangered by pregnancy then it would be normal medical procedure - save the mother! Every other reason is just an excuse to take an innocent life."

Absolutely correct. But then of course what happens there is that "medical emergency" becomes entirely subjective. And for the record: I don't care if a mother was raped. Sound harsh? Good. I counsel rape victims at the rape and crisis center, and I'll tell the blogosphere the same thing I tell everyone else: We don't kill human beings because their presence cause emotional distress.

Now, I have a question of my own: When is a life a life? Pro-choicer's stance seems to be that a child is only alive when it is completely out of the womb. What kind of brain activity is required? What kind of organ development? Does it have to have fully develeped lungs before we call it murder? Does it have to have a certain heart rate before we call it murder? What does the brain wave activity have to be before pro-choicers consider it murder of an innocent life? Is there no standard? Or do we just stick to the line "Its in my womb, its in my body, so its my choice"? Lets consider fathers as well. For example, in PA here a woman can have an abortion without even NOTIFYING her husband. Again, "my body, my choice". Is this ethical too? Other than "medical emergencies" why can't women have the baby and give it up for adoption? Why can't people take responsibilty? Are we going to come up with a pill or procedure that will eliminate ALL consequences from life? And I'll say one more time that by opposing regulations like the one's listed above, the pro-choice movement has exposed itself for what it is: pro-abortion. This may sound ridiculous, but give me a LOGICAL explanation as to not inform a woman as much as possible before having an abortion and I'll listen.

"You know, murder would be much safer if we just made it legal. Bank robbery, too. Without the possibility of high-speed chases, shootouts and kidnapped hostages the process would be a LOT safer. Let's legalize that, too!"

Sure. You're being sarcastic Radar, but that is exactly liberal argument, and on a number of issues. Prostitution: They'll do it anyway, so make it legal, tax it, and keep people safe. Drugs: People do it anyway, so lets legalize it, tax it, and keep people safe.

highboy said...

Forgot to ask the obvious question: If a fetus is not a living human organism, then why does it feel pain?

radar said...

Think of lead guitar work as art. You don't judge art so much by the technical accuracy of strokes or nuances of color unless you are an art student doing a project or an art teacher trying to point out techniques. No, you take in the completed work.

Could Vaughn play Hendrix under the table technically? Sure. Could Phil Keaggy play Vaughn under the table. No doubt. Then there is Segovia...

But Hendrix was an artist, and his creativity went well beyond his technical expertise. In my opinion he did things with his guitar that were more wondrous and beautiful than Segovia, Keaggy, Vaughn or anyone else I have heard.

~

Tim, like you I have been involved in counseling. It blows my mind that organizations like Planned Parenthood fight against ultrasounds and full knowledge of what abortion entails. I have dealt with several women who have had abortions and then had major depression problems stemming from guilt. Part of this is because the abortion mills make it so easy to have abortions and have less legal mandate to fully disclose the process than lenders have when a client wishes to buy a couch on credit!

Abortion is a multi-multi million dollar industry in this country. For the abortion clinics, it's not about the choice, it's about the money! Duh!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I agree with radar. *shock*

Technical proficiency does not a great guitarist make. I don't think Vaughan can play Hendrix under the table, but Vai sure could. Does that make Vai's music listenable? Unfortunately, it does not (I can't *stand* vai. Satch is another matter). I understand that this is another discussion that has no end, but it's worth noting that Vai chose Hendrix as the best ever.

By the way, bravo for including Bettencourt in there. Nuno and Extreme never really got the recognition they deserved. Every time Cynical F*ck comes up on my iPod, I get a big smile. Same for Dream Theater's takedown of the music industry 'Just Let Me Breathe'.

-scohen (trying in vain to polish his chops)

IAMB said...

Forgot to ask the obvious question: If a fetus is not a living human organism, then why does it feel pain?

Interesting, but I note that all of the sources are a bit on the old side (early 80s and such), and neurobiology has come a long way in the last couple decades. We now know that sensory perception is far more involved than simply having the basic parts in place (in this case, the thalamus and nerves). Basically, the hardware to feel pain is in place by 8 weeks, but the thalamus can't interperet the signals and feel anything at all until at least 23 weeks, and that's still only reflexive perception. Actual pain-awareness doesn't come into play until after birth, according to the latest data.

Just because a fetus pulls away from a needle (since your link used this several times) doesn't mean it feels anything at all. If you know how reflexes work you'll know why. If not: it's because the spine sends a return signal to the point of stimulus before the original pain signal even gets to the brain. That return signal from the spine causes the reflex. Pay attention the next time you burn yourself and reflexively pull away: if it's a true reflex, your hand will be away from the stimulus before you feel the burn.

This reflexive response is all the fetus has. It doesn't matter at all that the thalamus and spinal cord are there for quite a while: the programming isn't there at all. It's kind of like a computer that hasn't had all it's software installed yet.

Keep in mind: I'm not arguing one way or another on the abortion debate. I'm just trying to correct the misinformation from your link.

I, of course, fully expect you to accuse me of liberal bias because of the information I've given you, but do think about it.

radar said...

Matt, it will be hard to prove, the matter of fetuses and pain. There is nothing about the birth process that would suddenly cause the fetus to feel, is there? Because I guarantee you they feel pain the minute they are out of the womb. It makes more sense to me that they do feel pain not long after all the hardware is fully in place, as you say. Babies kick and grab and twins even interact in the womb long before birth. They respond to the voice of their parents. Pain is yet another part of development that seems likely to come along with the system as grown. In fact, especially in the case of twins, being able to feel pain is worthwhile in the womb, so a child will move to avoid a warped position that cuts off circulation or move a finger out of the mouth of the twin. If babies in the womb feel no pain, what would cause them to move out of bad positions? Pain is a safety feature for human beings, as you know, witness leprosy.

Anonymous said...

" For example, in PA here a woman can have an abortion without even NOTIFYING her husband. Again, "my body, my choice"."

What would you think of a law that required you to notify your wife before having a vasectomy? I mean, sure, ideally this is a decision a couple would discuss together, but rememeber, we're not talking about a vague sentiment that this would be nice, but binding law - go to the doctor for some snippity-snip without telling the wife, and *clang* - you're off to the slammer.
(I mean, what penalty would you want for women who imagine that their bodies - and anything that needs to use said body as an incubator for nine months, regardless of where some of its genes come from - actually are their business?)

(And yes, it's not exactly parallel, but given human biology it's the best I can do. After all, you'd be depriving her of any potential offspring (without extraordinary measures)).

And consider, also, that women who chose not to inform their husbands might have good reason not to. After all, this very choice suggests pretty strongly the possibility that things aren't going so well . . .

" I don't care if a mother was raped. Sound harsh? Good . . . and I'll tell the blogosphere the same thing I tell everyone else . . ."

I often wish that people within the anti-choice camp with this view would be as vocal as possible about it. That would be a tremendous boon for the pro-choice movement.

-Dan S.

IAMB said...

About the first part: some actually think that, while it is certain that a fetus can feel pain by week 23 (or at most by 25), it "doesn't really count" because the mechanism to remember it doesn't actually work until well after birth (months to be more specific). However, the "doesn't remember so didn't happen" approach gives me some not-so-good feelings. Even if they can't remember, pain trauma can have residual side effects.

If I remember correctly, there have been studies where a patient is injected with something that will cause amnesia, but will feel pain while under the influence yet never remember it. These drugs are an alternative to anesthesia used only in extreme circumstances, but were popular for a while (too many complications during surgery because of pain awareness in the patients). Anyway, in these studies doctors would do things like shake the patient's hand and shock them at the same time (we're talking painful jolt here... not minor stimulus). When the drug wore off, the doctor would offer to shake (the patient would not remember the doctor consciously) and the patient, in most cases, would refuse without knowing why.

But I'm wandering off-topic...

So the short answer is that they can feel it but won't remember it. Before 23 weeks, though, the only response to pain is reflexive and the thalamus can't process the information at all into a feeling.

You're right to say that they feel not long after the hardware is in place, but there are many different levels of hardware. Until the thalamus is fully functional, the only awarness comes from the peripheral systems (reflexive) and there is no actual feeling at all. Like I said earlier: pay careful attention next time you burn yourself. You won't feel a thing until after you've already moved because the signal to move gets there before your brain gets the original pain signal.

As far as interutarine interactions, that's not really my specialty at all (nor is this... I just have a friend in the neuro field down in Texas who specializes in pain/pleasure stimulus and associated neural activity). You may be spot-on about the importance of perception in positioning, though, but basic moves and repositioning can be accomplished by the peripheral nervous system without the need for higher brain function. After all, you don't need your brain to pull your hand off of the hot plate. Your spinal cord does that on its own, and that is, as you would say, "moving out of a bad position" for certain.

That's about all I have for you at the moment. Happy to answer anything else that I can.

radar said...

Matt, so many in the field don't think fetuses feel pain? Hmmm. I guess that would be pretty hard to nail down, since you can't ask them. I'm not being facetious, just practical. I wonder but certainly I am not well-versed in this field and really am at a loss to know whether to believe one way or the other.

IAMB said...

No, you've got it slightly wrong. The science says that they don't before a certain point, but that they do and won't ever remember the pain for quite a while after that point. The controversy here is that some (minority for sure) don't think it really counts as pain if they wouldn't remember it (tree falling in the woods and all).

No way in hell do I side with those guys. Actually, even PZ Myers thinks that's taking things too far, and you should all know how liberal he is. The line for me is at the point where the brain becomes capable of processing pain and becomes aware of it. There's a three week (or close) window there where the ability develops. After that, the fetus will feel everything that happens.

Anyway, it's not that people think that fetuses don't feel pain up to that magic week... it's that there's no ability for the brain to feel pain because it's not that far along in development yet. No thinking about it, nor is it much a matter of opinion.

Whether you think unfelt pain is right or wrong is up to you personally. I'm just trying to lay out the facts in development here. Like I said: I'm not getting into the taking sides thing here. The debate over abortion often makes for some pretty hard feelings, even between friends, so I stay out when possible.

highboy said...

"Actual pain-awareness doesn't come into play until after birth, according to the latest data."

If that were the case, courts wouldn't be requiring doctors to inform women of such pain.

" If not: it's because the spine sends a return signal to the point of stimulus before the original pain signal even gets to the brain. That return signal from the spine causes the reflex."

I fail to see how this shows that the fetus didn't feel the prick.

"Actual pain-awareness doesn't come into play until after birth, according to the latest data."

So its impossible for a baby to feel pain while in the womb? Are you serious?

"(And yes, it's not exactly parallel, but given human biology it's the best I can do."

Yeah, its pretty weak. Because a fetus was made by wife AND me. My wife did not make my penis. The fetus, while inside the mother's womb, does not give her exclusive rights to it in an ethical society.

"I often wish that people within the anti-choice camp with this view would be as vocal as possible about it. That would be a tremendous boon for the pro-choice movement"

It would, except you didn't finish the quote. I also said the reason I don't care is that we don't kill human beings because their presence is emotionally stressful. That is selfishness at its highest, and I have seen the ugliness of rape. A rape victim can still give the baby up for adoption. I also have yet to hear an answer to my other questions, in regard to when a life is a life, and what the exact standard is, what kind of brain activity...

It seems to me liberals agree that killing a baby after birth is murder, but as long as the baby is still in the womb its fair game. So all we are really talking about is geographic location determining whether or not someone is considered a living human. Ubsurd. Then there is the argument that a developing human is not a human. So children should actually be fair game for abortion right up until puberty, by that logic. I have yet to hear a solid case for abortion. Its murder, any way you cut it.

highboy said...

"Its murder, any way you cut it."

That just came out all wrong...

IAMB said...

If that were the case, courts wouldn't be requiring doctors to inform women of such pain.

You aren't listening. I'll say this again: pain-awareness and pain itself are two different animals. Yes, they will feel pain after 23-25 weeks, but they won't ever remember it at all. That does not mean it didn't happen. I think I've made my point about that. Another reason for the court requirements (where applicable) is that many are using the same information that you linked to earlier (which is mostly older than you are)... information given to them by the pro-life movement. Nobody wants to look at what all the recent data says, because the topic is uncomfortable. It is, even for me, in fact. Unfortunately, facts don't give a rip whether you like them or not. It's that thing called "reality rears its ugly head".

I fail to see how this shows that the fetus didn't feel the prick.

Again: reflexive response and "feeling the prick" aren't in the same boat. A reflex happens without the brain actually feeling a damn thing. You could still have a reflexive retraction of an appendage even without a brain. Only the peripheral systems feel the prick at all, and "feeling" isn't really the right term. "Sensing" would be more like it.

So its impossible for a baby to feel pain while in the womb? Are you serious?

Last time: read my posts before you ask the same question again. I've already answered more than once. Of course, if you don't feel like absorbing the information I've given you, here's the short version: before 23 weeks, they don't feel a thing. After that point, they do. Clear enough?

Again: not taking sides here... just presenting data. My actual views toward abortion are irrelevant when we're simply discussing facts. Be careful about jumping to conclusions based soley on what I've presented here. I'm only discussing fetal pain, and not morals, ethics, etc.