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March 14, 2017

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15+ years on and the world's most powerful country still can't defeat the terrorust organization that attacked us on 9/11. Perpetual war.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/13/pentagon-military-commanders-temporary-battlefields-white-house

Meant to include this on lifting restrictions on avoiding civilian casualties in the post.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/12/us/politics/trump-loosen-counterterrorism-rules.html?referer=https://t.co/wkkigKkZrI">https://t.co/wkkigKkZrI">https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/12/us/politics/trump-loosen-counterterrorism-rules.html?referer=https://t.co/wkkigKkZrI

Intended destruction of the EPA and repeal of the Endangered Species Act.
Rumblings about withdrawing from the climate accords.

It's what a lot of people want. Or at least were willing to vote for.

We'll see if they like it in real life.

Maybe they will.

It's what a lot of people want. Or at least were willing to vote for.

The Donald's entire Presidential campaign was a successful troll, in the fishing sense. One flashy overstimulating lure followed another, until the subjects lunged for it.

But the reality is full of big ugly treble hooks.

My sister listened to the "American carnage" inauguration speech.

She thought it sounded hopeful and optimistic.

I am seriously curious to see how people who supported Trump respond to his presidency. My guess is that a lot of them are going to think it's great.

Where we go from there, I have no idea.

I am seriously curious to see how people who supported Trump respond to his presidency.

because nothing fascinates NPR like the Trump Voter, they've been doing stories about them for a year now. this week, they're going back to people they've previously interviewed to see what they think of Trump's Presidency thus far.

i have no idea what the responses are because there are few things i care less about than the delusions of people dumb enough to vote for that lying, daughter-lusting, pussy-grabbing, bankruptcy-addicted fraud.

This is an interesting take on J.D. Vance, speaking of the fascination with Trump voters.

NPR, NYT, a few thousand bloggers, and all the rest gotta blabber, I guess. (Including me/us. :)

I speak particularly of the fascination with Trump voters. It was, IIRC, Tony P. who pointed out here a while back that the biggest predictor for who voted for whom was still (probably as always?) the party designation. I have seen people talk about people who voted for Obama and then Trump, but when pressed they could only point to county-level data, not any polling of individual voters, i.e. these counties went for Obama before, and Trump now. That tells us nothing about individual voters.

If someone votes for an R or a D every time regardless (or perhaps stays home if s/he can't be bothered for any given election), then I'm not sure what the point is of piling up all this pretend evidence about who they were and why they did it.

because nothing fascinates NPR like the Trump Voter, they've been doing stories about them for a year now

I'm waiting for the Viking River tour of the Ohio valley. Pittsburgh to Cairo! See them in their natural habitat. Learn their colorful folkways.

And no, I'm not picking on the "hillbillies", I'm making fun of all of the liberal elite totebaggers - you know, people like me! - who are suddenly fascinated with all of those worthy hardscrabble heartlanders.

At least we mean well, mostly.

There's a business opportunity there, someone should jump on it.

If someone votes for an R or a D every time regardless (or perhaps stays home if s/he can't be bothered for any given election), then I'm not sure what the point is of piling up all this pretend evidence about who they were and why they did it.

It's true that there isn't much point in looking at those voters. But there might be a lot of reason to look at the folks who, for example, voted for Obama (twice, even), and then voted for Trump. Understanding why they made the choice that they did could be important in winning in 2020. And even for winning Congressional (and state!0 elections in 2018.

I while back I gave wj some crap about D's "learning more about conservative concerns".

My apologies to wj, it's not his fault. It was 100% reaction to all the "think pieces" about D's understanding the Trump Voter. And yet zero such pieces about Trump Voters understanding "coastal elite D's".

Not his fault, nor our fault. I blame the "liberal" media.

And yet zero such pieces about Trump Voters understanding "coastal elite D's".

we need a great American Team Building Exercise!

ok everyone, gather in groups of ten. now everybody shake hands with the person to your left!

the folks who, for example, voted for Obama (twice, even), and then voted for Trump.

In Iowa, which swung 10 points from Obama to Trump, the open Supreme Court seat was a big motivator.

Iowa has many single-issue anti-abortion voters -- religious people whose churches have been telling them for decades that abortion is murder, full stop. When abortion's not really on the ballot, they don't all vote together, but I know a couple otherwise rational Iowans, who voted at least onece for Obama, for whom this one chance to overturn Roe outweighed all other considerations.

I think that is one of under-discussed influences on the recent regrettable outcome.

And yet zero such pieces about Trump Voters understanding "coastal elite D's".

A couple of things. First, we don't exactly have a plethora of Trump Voters here. So not much point in suggesting they need to build some understanding. They're not here to hear it.

Second, I'm not entirely sure how to motivate them to such an understanding. The Democrats have an obvious motivation: winning the next election cycle. (Specifically, winning the offices, not just the total votes.) But the only way I see to motivate the Trump Voters kind of depends on them getting hurt enough by Trump's actions to break thru their information bubble.

everyone, gather in groups of ten. now everybody shake hands with the person to your left!

Why does this sound like preparation for a circular firing squad?

I think that is one of under-discussed influences on the recent regrettable outcome.

I know that some people can't tolerate Roe v. Wade. But does that really have anything to do with abortion, which is at record lows? If they really cared about abortion, rather than the right of a woman to decide whether to have an abortion, it seems like it wouldn't be that much of an issue anymore.

Misogyny prevails. I contend that this election was based on misogyny more than anything else.

First, we don't exactly have a plethora of Trump Voters here.

I think it's more a matter of pieces in the media at large.

wj: It's more than "Trump voters" or "Trump voters on ObWi".

I was hearing the same thing from 2008 to 2016, over and over. "D's need to understand heartland conservatives". Never the other way. But perhaps I'm just not immersed in the correct media. Does Limbaugh exhort his listeners to 'understand liberals better', and I just missed it?

Now, one could just say "those heartland conservatives? Their ignorance is impregnable!" and leave it at that. But that does seem rather insulting and talking down to them, which I hear is deplorable.

But hey, perhaps heartland conservatives have PERFECT INNATE knowledge of everything in the minds of 'coastal elites' (they sure act like it sometimes), so no education about 'the others' is needed!

Forming a circle and shaking hands to the left sounds like something you do in a scout troop.

But the only way I see to motivate the Trump Voters kind of depends on them getting hurt enough by Trump's actions to break thru their information bubble.

I think the pain is probably on its way.

Breaking through the bubble will require seeing that Trump is, in some way, actually responsible for what happens while he's POTUS.

Don't know if that will happen. There are too many other folks to blame it on.

If they really cared about abortion, rather than the right of a woman to decide whether to have an abortion, it seems like it wouldn't be that much of an issue anymore.

IF they really cared about abortion, they would be banging the drums for free contraceptives in every high school. For free contraceptives in every insurance plan. Because nothing cuts down on abortions like contraception.

But somehow they seem to be almost as opposed to contraception as to abortion -- especially for teenagers. Not quite, but almost.

Snarki, fair enough. I'd say that perhaps (perhaps!) the Trump Voters could be convinced by the same route as the "liberal coastal elites", i.e. Democrats): lose elections and figure out that they need to get back to Reagan's Big Tent approach.

Again, the problem is going to be motivation. Until you have a motivation, saying "You need to reach out, to try to understand the other guys" is going to fall on deaf ears.

Don't know if that [blaming Trump for the pain caused by the AHCA] will happen. There are too many other folks to blame it on.

I note that Breitbart is already referring to the Republican House plan as "Ryancare". It appears that the White House is trying to shut off the "Trumpcare" label.

Haha!

Like I said...

I have some other family members who were discussing Trump, and how he has given up his billionaire lifestyle to assume the humble office of POTUS.

Only a man who truly loved his country would do such a thing, said my brother in law.

A lot of folks really, really, really love the guy. He wasn't joking about the shooting somebody on 5th Ave thing.

But does that really have anything to do with abortion, which is at record lows?

Oh, I agree that deep down it's about misogyny and slut-shaming.

I think it's unlikely that such attitudes can be changed, and that's not the story those people tell when asked.

At the level of narrative and rationalization, they think their religion calls on them to vote against legalized abortion bedcause it's murder.

I'm trying to explain the shift in the vote (Obama -> Trump); I not intending to analyze the psycho-cultural roots of opposition to abortion (a topic on which non-religious liberals tend to agree loudly and at length)

"Oh, I agree that deep down it's about misogyny and slut-shaming."

This is why we don't communicate. it cant be about what they say it is about, it has to be something we can label them with so we can dismiss them.

It was 100% reaction to all the "think pieces" about D's understanding the Trump Voter.

Yep. I must have missed all those stories about how rural voters would need to come to "understand" and "empathize" liberals if they wanted to ever win the presidency again back when Obama squeaked through in 2012.

Those were the days.

it has to be something we can label them with so we can dismiss them.

This is tiresome. Which side labels the other side as "murderers"? But yeah, labels.

... it cant be about what they say it is about, it has to be something we can label them with so we can dismiss them.

No. It can't be about what they say it is about, because what they say it is about isn't consistent with their other positions.

"... it cant be about what they say it is about, it has to be something we can label them with so we can dismiss them."

Yes it can. First consistency is not a requirement for humans, it is not even normal. Second, the equivalency I would infer from your statement is not accurate.

So no, you don't have to be a misogynist and slut-shamer to object to abortion. All you really need is to believe that life begins at conception or quickening or anywhere prior to the abortion.

Marty :

I am arguing

1. Politically, publicly, we should take anti-abortion activists at their word about their motivations. That's more or less the thrust of my comments in this thread.

2. Privately, in an effort to understand deep motivations, liberals should notice that other expressed policy preferences of at least some of the most-vocal opponents of legal abortion, concerning contraception, rape, women who are sexually active outside marriage, sexual harrassment, war, and the death penalty, tend not to support those "sanctity of life" explanations.

I have no doubt that you are sincere in your convictions.

However, I personally know several fervent abortion opponents who will say out loud that unwanted pregnancy is the appropriate "punishment" for women who have sex without intending to get pregnant.

As I didn't really want to derail this "what can we do? / how can we explain?" thread into yet another chapter of the abortion flamewar, I will now stifle.
Have the last word if you like.

This is why we don't communicate

One of 1,000 reasons.

You have a point, so do bobbyp and wj.

I don't have an issue with people who have religious objection to abortion.

I have a problem with people who insist on, for instance, cutting off all public money to Planned Parenthood, even though only a tiny amount of their budget, and none of the federal money, goes to providing abortions.

I have a problem with people who refuse to contribute to health insurance for their employees if the policy includes coverage for abortion. I'm hard pressed to even trace the connection from their pocket to the medical procedure.

Everybody likes having clean hands. It's nice to have your preferences indulged. Too bad it's not available to everyone.

There is a conversation to be had about this topic. And, we've been having it for 40 freaking years. I'm not seeing a lot of progress.

Whose fault is that? Damned if I know.

All you really need is to believe that life begins at conception or quickening or anywhere prior to the abortion.

That is surely so.

And among the things that prevents a useful conversation from happening is the inability of folks who do believe that to accept that not everyone shares that belief.

"Misogyny prevails. I contend that this election was based on misogyny more than anything else."

My brother in law, who lives in Des Moines and has lots of evangelical relatives, said kind of unprompted that the "Hillary hate was just too strong." Which in my mind means the 25 year campaign to destroy the Clintons finally worked, albeit just barely and with a lot of other help and luck.

Anyway, we will see how the GOP vision for America works out, for better or worse.

Thanks, Ugh. Yeah. I just hope that I live long enough to see them gone.

And among the things that prevents a useful conversation from happening is the inability of folks who do believe that to accept that not everyone shares that belief.

I'm pretty sure that they accept that not everyone shares their belief.

What they cannot accept is that it's OK for others to not share their beliefs. Certainly not to act on another basis. On this or any other issue. It looks to me like an absolutely binary worldview: my way or evil (probably deliberately evil) -- no other option.

I think life begins before conception, but I'm still pro-choice.

hsh, you are not alone

--TP

Lots of people have objections to abortion that are not close to religious, simply because they believe taking that life is wrong. There are those who don't accept others can believe differently, but lots of people who understand that people can and do.

None of which changes the point that just generically declaring everyone that is anti abortion is really just a misogynist slut shamer is not calling them names for what they believe. It is calling them names that mostly don't apply to dismiss them as a more universally accepted evil.

Marty,

I whole-heartedly believe in your sincerity, but calling the stance you describe "non-religious" is only confusing things. If you hold the belief "killing is wrong", and the stance that a fetus is within such a prohibition, you have two metaphysical, ethical statements that are impossible to prove without using similarly unprovable axioms. Such stance (and its counterstance) are a matter of non-rational ethics, and cannot really be considered different from religious beliefs.

In practical life, though, people tend to hold a set of beliefs that is compatible with their social "tribe". As such, anti-abortion stance is usually linked to a set of disgusting conservative and racist ideas, and you can, with good faith, assume that a person opposing abortion is usually also a racist, a Republican and against social justice.

generically declaring everyone that is anti abortion is really just a misogynist slut shamer is not calling them names for what they believe.

People can believe what they want without being misogynist slut shamers. The misogyny comes into it when they don't allow women's beliefs and needs to determine their own fate.

I may be pro-choice, but I'm anti-abortion. I don't think very many people actually like abortions. Hell, I'm pro-life. I'm even alive, myself!

"As such, anti-abortion stance is usually linked to a set of disgusting conservative and racist ideas, and you can, with good faith, assume that a person opposing abortion is usually also a racist, a Republican and against social justice."

You can assume anything, but not remotely acting in good faith.

I don't disagree wih Marty's point here.

That said, as a practical matter, if you want to engage in conversation with people who disagree with you, you are probably going to have to live with name calling and unfair generalizations and characterizations.

That's the starting point. Especially online, even in places like ObWi.

It's not an impediment to conversation, it's the opening position.

Of course 28% of Democrats are not pro-choice. And not necessarily on religious grounds.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.refinery29.com/amp/2017/01/138071/march-for-life-2017-anti-abortion-democrats

So no, you don't have to be a misogynist and slut-shamer to object to abortion. All you really need is to believe that life begins at conception or quickening or anywhere prior to the abortion.

I think that's what you *think* you need to believe, but I think it's more complicated than that.

You also need to believe that it's more important to prioritize the life of that blastocyst->fetus above the well-being of the mother. I am quite happy to believe that "life begins at conception" (or at least at fertilization) -- but I don't think that that life is as important as the mother's choice of whether to bring a life into the world at that point.

You know that most people who have abortions already have at least one child? You'd think they were in a pretty good position to judge if having another one would be a good idea for them and the baby.

I think people want there to be bright lines in this debate. Really, there aren't.

It would be easier to accept the claim that "pro-life" is about life if the "pro-lifers" showed any care for any life other than fetal.

But they don't.

They generally tend to also be pro-gun, pro-war, pro-pollution, and pro-death penalty, while being against things like funding pre-natal care, maternity care, pediatric care, housing, and food assistance.

IOW, IMO, "pro-life" is idolatry, with The Fetus as the worship object.

It's easy to worship fetuses. They have no personality, no character traits, no agency, no opinions, no ideas, not even much of an appearance. They're not messy bundles of contradictions, like actual people are. It's easy to project onto them any ideals you want.

But it has nothing to do with life.

and i'd have a much easier time believing in the deep faith-based opposition to abortion if 80+% of evangelicals didn't vote for the lying, lecherous, quasi-incestual, fraud-perpetrating, chicken-hawk bankruptcy addict.

If you hold the belief "killing is wrong", and the stance that a fetus is within such a prohibition, you have two metaphysical, ethical statements that are impossible to prove without using similarly unprovable axioms.

Ok, I'll bite: killing is perfectly fine and anyone who disagrees is imposing their metaphysical, religious views on the rest of us, which we can assume, in good faith, is being done in bad faith by the religious bigot.

Make sense?

Or, we can say 'the unjustified taking of a human life is morally wrong'. Then we can ask, is the unborn child/fetus a life? Yes or no. If no, then no conflict with the basic premise. If yes, then, balancing the interests of the woman and the unborn child/fetus, can abortion be justified under some or all circumstances? If no, then *that* conversation is over. If yes, then we progress to: under what circumstances is abortion justified? For all of the talk about pro-choice and pro-life, this is grond zero for the vast majority of people on both sides of the issue. Few argue that abortion is fine anytime, anyway and at any point in the pregnancy. That is an outlier view.

My views are: (1) the right to abortion is not enshrined in the Constitution and is therefore defaulted to the states; (2) if I were permitted to vote on the question, my vote would be to allow abortion in the cases of rape, incest and an identifiable medical threat to the mother's health (pregnancy per se is not a sufficient threat to health among the general population of pregnant women to justify abortion, although it is a medical certainty that some women are sufficiently at risk of material, adverse health affects to make abortion medically necessary); and (3) I do not favor a constitutional amendment either way on the issue.

I don't view disallowing abortion for reasons of economics, convenience, timing, social/economic hardship a sufficient basis for overcoming the unborn child's right to life. I believed that back when I was rolling the dice in the back seat of my car in high school, and I've believed it all of my life. Our first child was born while we were undergraduates 7 months after we got married. While I am not indifferent to what women--or men, for that matter--do with their bodies (whether it's slamming one's head into someone else's head as a spectator sport or letting social/sexual pressure force an undesired sexual act or any of 100's of other examples), I respect the freedom of any adult to live as they choose. It happens that women get pregnant and men don't. That's biology and can't be fixed. If biology is unfair, that unfairness is not corrected at the cost of another human's life. I'm with with and actively encourage birth control and even sterilization (if that is what someone wants).

I also believe the father has a moral and economic duty to not only the child but to the mother. If there was a way to legislate good parenting and parental responsibility by the father that wasn't riskier than the father's defaulting on his obligations, I'd be in favor of that. It is legislatively feasible to compel support payments up to and including a permanent levy on the father's earnings. I'm fine with that. Make men pay--it's not their "fair" share, women get the shaft in this deal, but it's not nothing either--and they will be a lot more careful about how they deploy Mr. Friendly. Right now, there is no downside at all, as a practical matter.

How do I know that a pregnant woman is carrying a human life?

Ultrasound. It's visual and pretty straightforward.

But they don't.

The mind reading ability of the SJW class is truly amazing. As is their capacity for reasoned analysis and engagement.

That's my racist, anti-social justice take on things. Deplort me.

Deplort. I like that. It's like deplore and deport at the same time. Very apropos these days.

"I think people want there to be bright lines in this debate. Really, there aren't."

I don't think there are any bright lines. I am not even espousing where my vague lines are. I am simply saying that dismissing people who are anti abortion because you've(general you) decided they are pro-gun, pro-war, pro-pollution, pro-death penalty, misogynistic slut shamers precludes finding any point of agreement. It is a way to demonize them, by your assumption not by their position.

I'm going to put this out there one more time: I'm pro-choice, pro-life, and anti-abortion. How is that?

Here's a point of agreement: No one who doesn't want an abortion is required to get one.

That means, in the continuing discussion, you are pro-choice.

The public argument is about the extent and in what manner government should play a role in the decision.

Being pro-choice and anti-abortion is a common stance.

The public argument is about the extent and in what manner government should play a role in the decision.

Thank you.

I am simply saying that dismissing people who are anti abortion because you've(general you) decided they are ... precludes finding any point of agreement.

I think this is a fair point.

I'm with with and actively encourage birth control and even sterilization (if that is what someone wants).

I'm down with and actively . . .

The public argument is about the extent and in what manner government should play a role in the decision.

how about: "none"?

in most things, "conservatives" are all about "none".

take your win.

In other news, the President of the United States "hits back at Snoop Dogg."

The leader of the Grand Old Party, the free world, and the most powerful person on earth, ladies and gentlemen.

take your win.

Compelling argument. I'm sold. Marty?

I would like McKinney to answer the following questions:
1) Do you have the "right" to donate one of your kidneys?
2) If yes, where do you find it in the Constitution?
3) If no, are you okay with the State of Texas deciding the question?
Note that I am asking McKinney about "rights", not about "life".

--TP

I would like McKinney to answer the following questions:
1) Do you have the "right" to donate one of your kidneys?

I don't have a constitutional right to donate my kidney's.

2) If yes, where do you find it in the Constitution?

N/A.

3) If no, are you okay with the State of Texas deciding the question?

As long as I'm getting to vote on who makes that decision and to vote them out if I feel strongly enough about it. Your question can be seen in at least two ways. First, am I ok with the state having the police power to regulate organ donations? Yes, I am, provided the regulation is reasonable. Second, am I ok with a specific statutory prohibition on making a voluntary kidney donation to my wife or a friend? No, I am not ok with that.

But, unlike Roe v Wade, I get a vote.

Note that I am asking McKinney about "rights", not about "life".

I got that.

On another topic, seriously, WTF?

I think we need a perennial open thread, dedicated to stuff like this, entitled "Trump trolls America".

My views are: (1) the right to abortion is not enshrined in the Constitution and is therefore defaulted to the states

McKinney, how does the 9th Amendment weigh in this? That is, what would qualify as an unenumerated right which is, however, not left to the states? Seriously, I'm not a lawyer and would like to understand where the line is.

McKinney, how does the 9th Amendment weigh in this? That is, what would qualify as an unenumerated right which is, however, not left to the states? Seriously, I'm not a lawyer and would like to understand where the line is.

The IX, given its plain text, simply means the failure to enumerate a right doesn't mean the right doesn't exist. It does not mean: any 'right' anyone can conjure up has constitutional dignity. The Constitution does not address assault, rape, robbery or murder, but that failure doesn't create a right to commit those crimes by inference.

The 10th Amendment is clearer: what isn't specifically reserved to the Feds or specifically prohibited to the states, is reserved to the states, or to the people. It seems pretty clear to me that the 10th encompasses a whole range of items not within the Federal regime that are appropriate for state action, one of them being abortion. Now, a lot of things seem clear to me in my day-to-day law practice that my opposition finds to be the opposite of clear, or clearly the opposite of what I think is clear, so my 'clear' and yours likely are not the same.

McKinney's positions on contraception and sterilization are more consistent with being anti-abortion (and, by extension, anti-choice, I guess) than are most anti-choice people's. That's great, but he is the exception.

If we really want to get into the weeds, we could start by discussing things like Plan B and very precisely when "life" begins. (I thought it began a really long time ago when lightning hit a pond full of organic compounds or something.)

My views are: (1) the right to abortion is not enshrined in the Constitution

What does this mean? That "women have the right to an abortion" or nearly identical language is not written into the text of the Constitution? That a right to an abortion is not clearly subsumed into or a sub-category of some other right? What?

The 10th Amendment is clearer: what isn't specifically reserved to the Feds or specifically prohibited to the states, is reserved to the states, or to the people. It seems pretty clear to me that the 10th encompasses a whole range of items not within the Federal regime that are appropriate for state action, one of them being abortion.

But not personal action, as in "to the people." And who keeps the states from acting on what should be reserved for the people to decide for themselves?

McTX: I don't have a constitutional right to donate my kidney's.

Your kidney's what? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

But, unlike Roe v Wade, I get a vote.

You have had "a vote" for 40+ years since Roe. So have I. So have most of us on the shady side of 60. We all continue to have "a vote" (except those of us who are targeted by "voter ID" laws, but let that pass) as long as we continue to have elections. I would have thought that you, as a lawyer, understand that courts including the Supreme one, are an essential part of our system of self-government.

What would it take to satisfy your "process" objection? A national referendum, a la Brexit? Maybe we should do that sort of thing; I take no position on that point.

I do predict that "abortion" will recede as an issue as we boomers stagger nearer to the grave. Sex and pregnancy are fun to discuss, but death affects more people, more and more of who will, in coming years, face the final question: do I have the right to die? Now that's a question about "life".

--TP

For the most part I'd agree with McKT here (as expressed in his 10:38 AM). And differences in detail would be open to reasonable negotiation. The problem is not in that general view but in the reality on the ground. When I still went to school this was in essence the legal situation in Germany, but in Southern Germany (Bavaria in particular) this meant a de facto ban on abortions while in the North it was no restrictions in the first trimester, conditioned in the second and emergency-only in the third. So, the spirit of the law got violated everywhere in both directions. In the end we got the dubious compromise of 'illegal but not prosecuted' with the Northern way as the default mitigated by a mandatory councelling. But unlike the situation in the US the German Supreme Court made it clear that it would not tolerate any shenanigans by the Southern governments (and Germany is a wee bit smaller and public transportation more or less universally available, so few out-of-reach problems).
Fortunately we lack the organized 'pro-lifers' that don't shy away from arson&murder, and even the RCC has by now made clear that violence gets no support from it (some silent sympathizers among the high clerus are not among us anymore).

than are most anti-choice people's. That's great, but he is the exception.

I don't think this is correct. Other than outliers and the Catholic Church (with millions of practicing dissenters), what identifiable group opposes birth control?

That a right to an abortion is not clearly subsumed into or a sub-category of some other right? What?

That other than compelling a woman, at the risk of her life, i.e. deprivation of life without due process, there is nothing in the Constitution that expresses or implies the right to terminate a pregnancy, whether one favors or disfavors the Roe formulation.

But not personal action, as in "to the people." And who keeps the states from acting on what should be reserved for the people to decide for themselves?

A fair question. First, the people, over time, can change their minds and, though the franchise, change the law in their state. So, that's one limit. That said, the people have made some bad laws, which has compelled SCOTUS to find certain elements of fundamental liberty that are either inferred from the Constitution or implied in a system of ordered liberties, e.g. the right to marry, to travel freely on public roads, and others. I concede there is gray area in the 10th. That gray area, however, isn't so non-gray that it is apparent that the right to terminate a pregnancy was conferred on the people, but not the states.

That said, the people have made some bad laws, which has compelled SCOTUS to find certain elements of fundamental liberty that are either inferred from the Constitution or implied in a system of ordered liberties, e.g. the right to marry, to travel freely on public roads, and others.

One of those others being the right of a woman to choose to end a pregnancy.

In doing so, the court restored something resembling the Common Law at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and based the right on something most men take for granted, the right to make medical decisions for themselves.

I don't think this is correct.

Maybe you're right (warning: liberal media villain, Slate). That would be great, especially if it meant that people wouldn't advocate defunding Planned Parenthood or object to health coverage that included contraception or push for abstinence-only education.

First, the people, over time, can change their minds and, though the franchise, change the law in their state. So, that's one limit. That said, the people have made some bad laws, which has compelled SCOTUS to find certain elements of fundamental liberty that are either inferred from the Constitution or implied in a system of ordered liberties, e.g. the right to marry, to travel freely on public roads, and others.

I really don't get this. The people can't pass laws without the government at whatever level coming into play. They can only regulate their own personal conduct within the bounds of whatever legal prohibitions may be relevant.

I concede there is gray area in the 10th. That gray area, however, isn't so non-gray that it is apparent that the right to terminate a pregnancy was conferred on the people, but not the states.

Given what you wrote before this, I'm not sure whether you mean the people get to decide for themselves whether a right exists generally or if it is left to them to choose whether or not to exercise whatever right as individuals.

I guess another way of putting would be that Roe didn't say restrictions on abortion beyond a certain point could only be enacted by referendum and not by legislation. It left individuals to make their own decisions (within certain allowable boundaries that could be established by the states).

In doing so, the court restored something resembling the Common Law at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and based the right on something most men take for granted, the right to make medical decisions for themselves.

Are you saying the common law circa 1789 allowed abortion? Or, that the common law recognized a right to abortion?


If abortion were nothing other than a medical procedure that had no impact on a third person, there would be no debate. Your position elides the core issue: balancing one person's rights against another's, assuming one concedes the fetus is a human being.

The people can't pass laws without the government at whatever level coming into play.

Correct: every law involves action by the people, through their representatives.

I'm not sure whether you mean the people get to decide for themselves whether a right exists generally or if it is left to them to choose whether or not to exercise whatever right as individuals

What I mean is that it is not clear which powers (not "rights" but "powers") are reserved to the state and which to the people such that the state cannot infringe on those powers reserved to the people.

From Roe itself (my emphasis)*:

3. The common law. It is undisputed that, at common law, abortion performed before "quickening" -- the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy [n20] -- was not an indictable offense. [n21] The absence [p133] of a common law crime for pre-quickening abortion appears to have developed from a confluence of earlier philosophical, theological, and civil and canon law concepts of when life begins. These disciplines variously approached the question in terms of the point at which the embryo or fetus became "formed" or recognizably human, or in terms of when a "person" came into being, that is, infused with a "soul" or "animated." A loose consensus evolved in early English law that these events occurred at some point between conception and live birth. [n22] This was "mediate animation." Although [p134] Christian theology and the canon law came to fix the point of animation at 40 days for a male and 80 days for a female, a view that persisted until the 19th century, there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation. There was agreement, however, that, prior to this point, the fetus was to be regarded as part of the mother, and its destruction, therefore, was not homicide. Due to continued uncertainty about the precise time when animation occurred, to the lack of any empirical basis for the 40-80-day view, and perhaps to Aquinas' definition of movement as one of the two first principles of life, Bracton focused upon quickening as the critical point. The significance of quickening was echoed by later common law scholars, and found its way into the received common law in this country.

*with the caveat that judges are not historians, despite what Scalia and his still living band of "originalists" would have you believe.

Just for curiosity, McKinney or hairshirt: are you aware of any prosecutions of abortionists ca 1789? Or of statutes pertaining to abortion back then?

I have no reason to believe -- or doubt -- that abortion was even possible in the late 18th century. So maybe it never arose as a legal question any more than kidney donation or even electricity regulation did.

--TP

people have known how to induce abortion since ... forever.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion#Natural_abortifacients

these pre-medical methods tended to kill women.

You can be damn sure that abortion was "possible" (although horrifically risky) then and for many many centuries before then, for as long as desperate women in desperate situations needed a way out. It was probably a mainstay of various witches'/wise women's practices, presumably procured mainly by herbal means. Although violent men have also traditionally tried the "kick them in the stomach" route too, probably going back just as far.

Cross-posted with cleek.

Thanks, Ugh, for doing the work!

Your position elides the core issue: balancing one person's rights against another's, assuming one concedes the fetus is a human being.

No, my position doesn't do that. The court in Roe discussed that balancing act extensively, which is why it held that as a pregnancy goes further along, the state's interest in protecting the life of the fetus becomes more compelling. But it never becomes more important than the duty to protect the life or health of the mother.

Basically, most of the controversy is about protecting embryos. Millions of embryos live in cold storage all over the country, but I don't see anti-abortion people adopting them and having them implanted. Then, the issue is mostly about abortion in the case of severe birth defects.

I realize that changing people's mind on this is unlikely to happen, but please don't pretend that "pro-life" has some kind of originalist Constitutional foundation, or that the fetuses have Constitutional rights.

Ugh, there *is* a difference between abortion being a right and it being an indictable offense, yes?

Just for curiosity, McKinney or hairshirt: are you aware of any prosecutions of abortionists ca 1789? Or of statutes pertaining to abortion back then?

Not in any particular sense other than abortion has generally been a crime; although I'm not sure how it was defined back in the day.

these pre-medical methods tended to kill women.

And the modern version is invariably fatal to the unborn child.

And the modern version is invariably fatal to the unborn child.

How many children are aborted?

What I mean is that it is not clear which powers (not "rights" but "powers") are reserved to the state and which to the people such that the state cannot infringe on those powers reserved to the people.

I guess I don't know what a power is when it comes to the people. Or, at least, I don't know how the people can have a power without thereby having a right.

How many children are aborted?

Depends on whether an unborn child is a child. If the answer is yes, then nearly 60 million so far in the US.

Correct: every law involves action by the people, through their representatives.

This is, I don't know, cute, I guess. It makes me wonder what all the to-do is about in the constitution in distinguishing between the federal government, the states, and the people. If every law involves action by the people, through their representatives, then the people are doing everything regardless of whether a law is enacted by a state or federal government.

Yeah ... by which I mean no.

Ugh, there *is* a difference between abortion being a right and it being an indictable offense, yes?

Under a strict common law system? I'm not sure there is.

Depends on whether an unborn child is a child.

I guess it must be if you're calling it a child, even with a modifier. I suppose I'm a living corpse.

And the modern version is invariably fatal to the unborn child.

But since desperate women have always tried, and will always try, when abortion is illegal you most often get what I believe you Americans call a "twofer".

Sorry to be so flip, but since we all understand that abortion involves the destruction of the fetus, what is your point?

And the modern version is invariably fatal to the unborn child.

so, how many years should the woman get for a miscarriage ? or, is it something that should be handled with a fine and some re-education ?

Q: "Just for curiosity, McKinney or hairshirt: are you aware of any prosecutions of abortionists ca 1789? Or of statutes pertaining to abortion back then?"

McTx: Not in any particular sense other than abortion has generally been a crime; although I'm not sure how it was defined back in the day.

Except for abortion was not generally a crime, or at least not early in pregnancy. A large part of Blackmun's opinion consists of canvassing the history of abortion to show that it was NOT generally a crime.

I've been watching Trump's personal and job approval numbers. They are essentially flat, currently both pegged at 44-50 against in the Huffington Post averages. They've been there with only negligible fluctuations since about a week into February--when Trump was inaugurated, a few Democrats gave him the benefit of the doubt for a couple of weeks, but that's gone.

It's all polarization. Conservatives mostly like him, nobody else does, and that's the long and the short of it. I suspect these numbers are going to be hard to budge even by catastrophe.

Not in any particular sense other than abortion has generally been a crime; although I'm not sure how it was defined back in the day.

What does "abortion has generally been a crime" mean?

It was criminalized by state statutes in the 19th century, and when those were finally scrutinized by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, they were held to be unconstitutional.

The court in Roe discussed that balancing act extensively, which is why it held that as a pregnancy goes further along, the state's interest in protecting the life of the fetus becomes more compelling.

I agree, this is the Court's 'balancing act'.


But it never becomes more important than the duty to protect the life or health of the mother.

I agree with this statement, assuming that by 'health', you don't conflate pregnancy itself with a material threat to a mother's health.

Basically, most of the controversy is about protecting embryos.

This is argument by assertion and unfounded argument at that.

Then, the issue is mostly about abortion in the case of severe birth defects.

I agree this is a very difficult question.

If every law involves action by the people, through their representatives, then the people are doing everything regardless of whether a law is enacted by a state or federal government.

Yeah ... by which I mean no.

Then I must have missed your point. The 10th is unclear in several ways, not the least of which is that reserving a power to the people may be synonymous or mostly congruent with, reserving power to the states, the idea being that the state acts through the people.

I'm not saying that is how life works in reality, I'm construing, or offering constructions, of the 10th amendment. We are the opposite of the 10th; we are farther and farther from our government and the laws that are passed everyday.

As for inalienable but un-enumerated powers/rights, I think there are a lot of them, we just take them for granted because they are so mundane, e.g. the right to attend any college that will admit you, the right to watch whatever you want on television, etc.

The 10th is unclear in several ways, not the least of which is that reserving a power to the people may be synonymous or mostly congruent with, reserving power to the states, the idea being that the state acts through the people.

I guess I'll leave it to the lawyers to fight this one out. I always took it to be a distinction between the states and the people, not making them more or less synonymous.

Now I'm imagining Saul Goodman's reading of the 10th in his usual manner of speech as follows:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively ... or, you know, to the people. Whatever - same thing, more or less. I mean, who's to say, right? C'mon...

Except for abortion was not generally a crime, or at least not early in pregnancy.

Hence, my comment about how abortion was defined as a crime.

Carnage. At some point there's going to be a confrontation between federal ICE agents and a very unhappy state judge.

2 years?
10 years?
20 years?

what should the sentence be for women who miscarry and kill the "unborn child" ?

Trump agrees there should be a penalty. what should the GOP put in their bill ?

Me: Basically, most of the controversy is about protecting embryos.

McKinney: This is argument by assertion and unfounded argument at that.

"Embryo: an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development, in particular a human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization (after which it is usually termed a fetus)."

In fact,

"In 2008, most (62.8%) abortions were performed at ≤8 weeks' gestation, and 91.4% were performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation. Few abortions (7.3%) were performed at 14--20 weeks' gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks' gestation. During 1999--2008, the percentage of abortions performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation remained stable, whereas abortions performed at ≥16 weeks' gestation decreased 13%--17%. Moreover, among the abortions performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation, the distribution shifted toward earlier gestational ages, with the percentage of abortions performed at ≤6 weeks' gestation increasing 53%."

Most abortions are of embryos. An overwhelming number are first trimester (slightly past embryo stage). Why isn't there a large movement to support the rights of frozen embryos? Is it because we support people's choice to have fertility treatments even when some of the embryos are discarded? Why the double standard? I'm sure not everyone has this kind of double standard, but I personally know some "anti-choice" people who have not used all of the embryos from a fertility treatment.

Some states require insurance to pay for IVF.

what should the sentence be for women who miscarry and kill the "unborn child"?

Simple symmetry/justice suggests that the penalty should be 18 years at hard labor plus $250,000 -- the current estimated cost to raise a child to age 18 (according to the US Department of Agriculture, and not including allowance for inflation). Plus whatever additional penalty it would take to discourage the potential miscreants.

McTX: The 10th is unclear in several ways, not the least of which is that reserving a power to the people may be synonymous or mostly congruent with, reserving power to the states, the idea being that the state acts through the people.

Is that bolded bit the right way around? I would have thought the correct formulation is that The People act through The State.

Also, I have always thought that people have rights while governments have powers. To the extent we take Tom Jefferson at face value, men are not endowed by their Creator with certain "powers", unalienable or otherwise.

--TP

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