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  • The Republican party is generally doing enough to make itself look "anti-women."
  • xenomouse said:

    ^Out of curiosity, if there was a more comprehensive social safety net (e.g. - a decent, affordable, universal healthcare system and various other forms of assistance), would you be more comfortable with this type of push to reduce abortions?

    I think it would make anti-abortion advocates more consistent, certainly. Still, I don't see the great moral or social benefit in pretending that a pre-term fetus is a Real Person. If you ignore any middle ground and instead look at two options in a vacuum, to wit, the banning of all abortions, period, forever vs. a Peter Singer style post-birth abortion option, I'd be more inclined to support the latter. If your kid is going to be miserable its whole life, and you can only find out 3-4 years into its existence, I don't see the immorality of putting it down like you'd put down a cat that's been hit by a car but not quite killed, like you'd put down a dog slowly dying of heart disease. Is it less humane when the thing being put to sleep is a human and not an animal? The slippery slope fears begin to kick in, of course: if you can say X human is exempt from certain protections, is distinct from the broader group for rights analysis, etc., then what's to stop people from saying Y human or Z human is similarly exempt? What if I'm in Z group? Now I'm quaking. None of this stuff yields easy, comfortable answers. That life includes suffering, regardless of its provenance, regardless of others' intentions, seems as ineluctable as our mortality's quiet yielding under the pressure of time.

    To more directly respond to your question, I would be more comfortable, but still not comfortable, as I think there are yet further factors to consider beyond the well-being of the child. As someone who's planning to get a vasectomy in the near future, I'm probably a bit biased, but I will say this: I value the lives of the parents over the lives of the kids in almost every circumstance. Children represent a void into which we throw money and time, and there is no promise of any positive return on investment. Enough of us have to reproduce to keep our species alive, sure. But currently, there's too damn many of us to sustain a high quality of life for everyone, so until we can manage that, we should probably cool it on the breeding and figure out how cancer works/how to not throw explosives at one another over parcels of land. We're dumb, and we're armed to the teeth. Man is simultaneously noble and foul.
  • I don't think you actually believe that putting down a 3 or 4 year old child is an acceptable action.
  • The last part bit there made me think of the first few minutes of Idiocracy and now I'm scared.
  • edited March 2012
    I want to believe you, @God, but in talking with too many Republicans the truth seems to be that they really do hate women. And minorities. And the unlanded. And the educated.

    Even the Republicans who belong to those classes demonstrate a shocking amount of self-loathing and cognitive dissonance.
  • edited March 2012
    xenomouse said:

    I don't think you actually believe that putting down a 3 or 4 year old child is an acceptable action.

    I believe you can argue successfully that, in some situations, the humane thing to do is to end someone's life instead of prolonging it. With adults, the question is often much easier: assisted suicide involves consent, which negates any opposition to the action. (That people wish to prevent others from willingly ending their own lives under controlled circumstances is reprehensible, and even after years of trying, I can find no room in my heart to empathize with that view.) With children and the mentally infirm, consent doesn't really work, so you have to have a caretaker make the judgement call. If, for example, the woman in the article Dave linked had been forced to bring her child to term, I would not judge her actions deplorable if she killed the miserable one-year-old (choosing an arbitrary age within the first few years after birth--sooner, of course, would be better, presuming proper understanding of the child's situation could be mustered in that time) instead of subjecting it to decades of constant misery. That mercy can employ such terrible means does not per se invalidate it.

    Would I ever want to make this sort of decision? No. I am very weak.
  • GodGod
    edited March 2012
    Jason said:

    I want to believe you, @God, but......


    I'm just sick of the forced dichotomy that we have in our political system. Everytime I read a story like that, I just feel this preasure of hatred and frustration building up in my head. Times like these make me really envy the current political and social ignorance that I see often in my peers.


    The second part is good for a chuckle
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/osama-bin-laden-thought-j_n_1353922.html
  • Jason said:

    I want to believe you, @God, but in talking with too many Republicans the truth seems to be that they really do hate women. And minorities. And the unlanded. And the educated.

    Ah-heh. "In talking with too many Democrats the truth seems to be that they really do hate children. And manual laborers. And people who live outside cities."

    I think that I'd rather see someone have an abortion than have an unwanted child. I also think that more should be done to encourage people to not think of abortion as ex post facto contraception; and I think that any time someone expresses that concern they're immediately labeled as "anti-woman". I think that if society thinks that contraception (in the form of birth-control pills) should be made available to all women, then society should create centers to provide it free of charge, no questions asked beyond the medically-necessary ones, to anyone who walks in. (And I'd happily vote for that if it turned up on a ballot, and support it if a legislator introduced it.)
  • In other news, the guy who wrote the story about awful conditions at Foxconn was accused of making most of it up, and his answer was "I'm a storyteller, not a journalist"

    "This American Life" has retracted the story it did based on his work, and will devote a future show to discussing everything that was found to be untrue.
  • I think that I'd rather see someone have an abortion than have an unwanted child. I also think that more should be done to encourage people to not think of abortion as ex post facto contraception; and I think that any time someone expresses that concern they're immediately labeled as "anti-woman". I think that if society thinks that contraception (in the form of birth-control pills) should be made available to all women, then society should create centers to provide it free of charge, no questions asked beyond the medically-necessary ones, to anyone who walks in. (And I'd happily vote for that if it turned up on a ballot, and support it if a legislator introduced it.)

    You just described a reasonable position that is unfortunately far to the center of the kind of stuff law-makers are currently trying to push at the state and federal level. I also think there's a huge difference between "encouraging people to not think of abortion as ex post facto contraception" and mandating needless medical procedures for no other reason than to shame women or to place the price of the operation out of their reach. I think we're seeing the latter, not the former, through a concentrated attack on not just abortion but contraception and sex education as well.
  • It's also a concentrated attack on women in general.
  • Jason said:

    I want to believe you, @God, but in talking with too many Republicans the truth seems to be that they really do hate women. And minorities. And the unlanded. And the educated.

    Ah-heh. "In talking with too many Democrats the truth seems to be that they really do hate children. And manual laborers. And people who live outside cities."
    </blockquote

    Those are facts. Hating Oklahomans is why Democrats want to enforce gun laws and stop my friends from getting automatic rifles they clearly wanted and needed. It's in fact the motivation for every policy. Liberals who want welfare state and not just police state don't have souls, they just hate people who don't live in cities, children and manual laborers. It's ok, because hating women, minorities, the unlanded and educated is behind every Conservative's motivations. Liberals actually hate those groups too, but just have different priorities.

    So y'all know, everyone is a butthole, pretending like anyone is not a butthole is just being a self-righteous ass. The only people who aren't buttholes are Mormons. Remember, only Mormons can go to heaven. Romney 2012.
  • In other news, the guy who wrote the story about awful conditions at Foxconn was accused of making most of it up, and his answer was "I'm a storyteller, not a journalist"

    "This American Life" has retracted the story it did based on his work, and will devote a future show to discussing everything that was found to be untrue.

    Yeah, makes you wonder what other lies the west propagate against China. I'd say just stick with your first world problems, rather than commenting on others.
  • Can they fine you if someone is mooching off your internet and you don't know.
  • I'm pretty sure it's always been, "Your network, your fault."
  • And when the news starts running stories about 95 year old grandmas being fined because they had no idea that you could put a password on your wifi?
  • That has happened tons of times already.
  • So the thing about the This American Life story is that yes that guy was a liar, but there are still tons of OTHER reports of abuses by Foxconn, from actual journalists.

    There's TONS of this shit. Here's a little. Feel free to Google for way more.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/22/2815654/abc-nightline-apple-foxconn-factories
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
    This last one cites a bunch of Chinese newspapers and crap, so it's not just westerners calling Foxconn's practices abusive: http://sacom.hk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/20110924-islave-behind-the-iphone.pdf

    Also Codger, you're a fucking asshole. Americans paying almost nothing to foreigners to do their work since our own laws make it illegal to pay Americans that low a wage should be illegal, and that's even ignoring the other flagrant abuses. You think those factory workers all committed suicide because they were having a fun time? This IS a first world problem: the first world is abusing the shit out of the third world.
  • Codger, if you like China so much, why don't you MARRY it?
  • I'm the arsehole?! Welcome to the real world karaokeninja, in economic terms it's called a competitive advantage. I would say the developed world are arseholes, they have such double standards. They want their goods cheap and want the moral high ground when they find out where it comes from. Simply solution, vote with your wallets and stop giving companies like apple massive profits.

    Did america have a super power threaten with trade sanctions or lawsuits when it was still using slaves or poor wages/work conditions during the industrial revolution? No, they had time to change, so why not give the same to China.

    Rbx5, you can't marry a country. But you can always hold it in a special place in your heart.
  • edited March 2012
    " Simply solution, vote with your wallets and stop giving companies like apple massive profits."

    I think that someone with $400 spare cash lying around to buy a new iPhone on the release day would be willing to pay $500 if that meant the people who built it weren't killing themselves over failing to meet production quotas.

    "Did america have a super power threaten with trade sanctions or lawsuits when it was still using slaves or poor wages/work conditions during the industrial revolution? No, they had time to change, so why not give the same to China."

    Thing is, the "change" was actually an evolutionary improvement, not a learning-and-growing process. We do not declare that societies need "time to change" to figure out that, e.g., they should dump sewage downstream.
  • So... America (and other developed countries) can "evolve", but poor nations digging their way out of poverty need to adhere to those arbitrary standards immediately (even when they don't have the economic means to do so)? What a farce.

    As for paying more because it's made in america, doesn't work other then gaining some good PR. Another thing is are the companies willing to take a margin cut to be moral... I don't think so. Had that here in Australia with garment manufacturer Bonds shifting production to South East Asia. Because it's not economically viable.

    And isn't america the land of the bottom dollar, where pure capitalism reigns supreme!
  • edited March 2012
    Humane treatment of workers isn't something you have to learn yourself despite seeing the example of places that have worked it out. Existence is not some RTS where you don't get to have good quality of life until you research Tier III Industrial Technology.
  • Can I just point out that it seems pretty ironic that we have a libertarian pointing out the importance of humane treatment of workers to someone who is expressing support for a communist government?
  • I'm curious about why someone with a vaguely libertarian political philosophy would not consider worker treatment important. No libertarian would look at, say, a meat-packing plant staffed by illegal immigrants and think "this is an appropriate use of labor that doesn't involve any morally transgressive exploitation of power imbalances at all". Libertarian philosophy isn't "pro-business" any more than the concept of reasonable doubt is "pro-criminal".

    I dunno, though, maybe one of the first things you learn in lawyer school is that "libertarian" equals "all that bad stuff I don't like".
  • I don't know, RB. I've talked to a lot of armchair libertarians, and all of them so far have been in favor of things like abolishing the minimum wage, getting rid of environmental and worker safety regulations, etc. in the name of that illusive beast, the Free Market.
  • Child health is important.

    That's why any household with an income less than $100,000 a year should have its children taken away and placed in foster care, because households with less income than that can't reliably provide for the children's health.

    "That's ridiculous," you say.

    "Why do you hate children?" I reply. "Because only someone who hated children would think that the government shouldn't put in place regulations to ensure their health."

    (looking forward to the reply of WE AREN'T TALKING ABOUT CHILDREN STOP CRITICIZING ARGUMENTS NOBODY IS MAKING. Bonus points if someone decides to tangent off into a cost-of-health-care argument.)
  • edited March 2012
    Again, I fail to see the point you're making. I know you think you're making a brilliant argument with these weird, hyberbolic examples you love to interject, but they always leave me wondering what exactly it is you're trying to say.

    If you're implying there are perfectly reasonable rationales for wanting to eliminate the minimum wage, environmental regulations, and safety regulations from a libertarian perspective, I'd love to hear them. I've never once heard a libertarian talk about "power imbalances" with regards to hiring illegal immigrants, although I know plenty of people that claim that a minimum wage is detrimental to running a business.

    Oddly, a lot of the libertarians I've talked to (especially the Ron Paul variety) seem to be in favor of stricter immigration controls, border fences, deploying the National Guard, etc. which seems to me at cross purposes with the idea of an unregulated labor market where the Invisible Hand holds free rein.
  • edited March 2012
    My only point was that the importance of the worker is you know pretty central to communist ideology...
    That wasnt meant as a snipe at you RB
  • edited March 2012
    Really good summary of all the insane attempts to strip women of their rights and dignity in the US government lately: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/womens-reproductive-rights_b_1345214.html
  • Again, I fail to see the point you're making.

    That's because you hate children.

    If something is important, then that doesn't automatically mean that government regulation is the way to achieve it, or that the government regulation will always be the best idea, have the desired result, or even be implemented properly. The Department of Justice recently declared that any publicly-accessible pool without an elevator is in violation of the ADA, that it's up to the DoJ (and the courts) as to whether installing an elevator is feasible for any given pool, and that "we don't have the money to install an elevator" is no excuse. This will cause millions of municipal pools in lower-income towns across America to either close or live in fear of a lawsuit (when a town hasn't got the money to pay police officers, putting an elevator in the pool is probably not going to be a priority.)

    I very much doubt that the people who wrote the ADA intended that poor people not be allowed to have a pool. And yet here we are.
    If you're implying there are perfectly reasonable rationales for wanting to eliminate the minimum wage, environmental regulations, and safety regulations from a libertarian perspective, I'd love to hear them.
    In an ideally-libertarian world (which, admittedly, doesn't exist) workers would be free to move from place to place to find a job that suited them, and employers who refused to provide for their employees would find that they couldn't get anyone to work for them. (Unions--in their original "collective bargaining" meaning--are in no way incompatible with libertarian theory.) Note all these stories about employers who want to pay half the market salary to work in the middle of nowhere, and they complain that nobody wants to work for them. That's

    Environmental regulations would be handled through the tort system (which is, again, dependent on a theoretically perfect world). If you want to protect the coral reefs from dynamite fishing, then buy a stretch of coral reef and sue the people who dynamite-fish. If you think that global warming is causing specific harm to you and many other people, and that it's caused by a large group of polluters, then you and those many other people form a class and conduct a class-action lawsuit against that group of polluters.
    I've never once heard a libertarian talk about "power imbalances" with regards to hiring illegal immigrants...
    You might want to stop talking to the libertarians who only live in your head.

    A libertarian would say is that the reason illegal immigrants get hired is that employers won't report them as employees, which means that nobody's going to inspect the employers to ensure they're complying with worker-safety regulations. Citizens could complain about it and get the government involved, but illegals obviously can't do that. And the illegals are often in financial situations that prevent them leaving, meaning that they can't threaten to quit as an effort to force the employer to improve working conditions. Hence the exploitation. Again, I point to the articles about "jobs Americans just won't do", and you always seem to find out that the job in question is "spend ten hours a day in the sun repeatedly bending and twisting at the waist, and you don't get bathroom breaks". That's not just a hard job, that's an illegal job, and yet these employers can get away with it.
    Oddly, a lot of the libertarians I've talked to (especially the Ron Paul variety) seem to be in favor of stricter immigration controls, border fences, deploying the National Guard, etc. which seems to me at cross purposes with the idea of an unregulated labor market where the Invisible Hand holds free rein.
    "holds free rein" isn't a phrase that has any meaning at all, either in reference to the original aphorism or as you've presented it here. It contradicts itself.

    If you insist on regulations that put a floor on the cost of labor (safety regulations, minimum wage, etcetera) then you need to ensure that those who purchase labor aren't illegally going below that floor. One way to ensure it is by going after those who use illegal labor, which we already do. Another is by acting to increase the price of that illegal labor by restricting the supply, which is what strong border security does. Personally, I think that the border-security thing is only going to cause evolution in the means by which people cross the border; better to just hand out green cards at the Tijuana border stop, and then increase enforcement of worker-safety regulations and tax regulations.
  • I knew you would latch onto that particular poetic flourish. I actually rather like the contradiction; it's my way of saying perfectly free markets ruled by the Invisible Hand do not exist. Pardon my indulgence.


    Environmental regulations would be handled through the tort system (which is, again, dependent on a theoretically perfect world). If you want to protect the coral reefs from dynamite fishing, then buy a stretch of coral reef and sue the people who dynamite-fish. If you think that global warming is causing specific harm to you and many other people, and that it's caused by a large group of polluters, then you and those many other people form a class and conduct a class-action lawsuit against that group of polluters.

    That is a horrible idea.
    You might want to stop talking to the libertarians who only live in your head.
    Go fuck yourself. You don't speak for all libertarians, and you have no business implying the numerous arguments I've had with my friend Ken Nabe and his libertarian buddies on Facebook are some figment of my imagination. I've made an effort to be civil, but from henceforth the gloves are off.
  • edited March 2012
    God said:

    I think there's a limit when it comes to discouraging the use of abortions and these bills are just too much. I believe that for most women that the choice whether to have an abortion done is not a choice that is taken lightly. I can't say I'm against one 24 hour waiting period because I'm sure that there are some women who might rush into a decision. But the sonograms and the rest of that sutff is bullshit.

    xenomouse said:

    It looks like the Republicans in question are opposing the Violence Against Women Act because......


    Republicans are against anything that illegal immigrant relatedthat can be used against them in primaries and the Democrats want to make the Republicans look anti-women by pushing inclusions that they know the Republicans will be against. It's political shit chess of an issue that is too important to play shit chess with and that justp pisses me off.
    It's just a bit unfair to put Democrats in the same boat, when the domestic violence bill was one Republicans were previously supportive of. If you're suggesting Democrats fully knew Republicans would suddenly be more anti-immigrant and anti-gay than they were pro-women...at that point shining light on the situation is the best thing possible for women's rights. Not making a big deal of it isn't. The only reason Republicans are starting to back off of these social issues is because their asses were held to the fire for it. Take off the heat, and it's back to these horrible laws passing under the radar.

    And for the record, I would fucking hope that all my conservative friends, despite being against gay marriages and illegal immigration, would at the very least want to protect gay people and illegal immigrants from being beaten to death by their partners. That's not a democratic or a republican thing, that's a human decency thing. And one that I have every confidence that even the Republican party of ten years ago would have passed.

    Also, pure libertarianism is a lot like pure communism in that they both rely on us living in a place similar to Candide's "best of all possible worlds" in order for the ideas to work without causing immediate and horrific injustices to be committed. Ultimately, there's some nice sentiments in both that will probably never be realized in any practical world.
  • Humane treatment of workers isn't something you have to learn yourself despite seeing the example of places that have worked it out. Existence is not some RTS where you don't get to have good quality of life until you research Tier III Industrial Technology.

    Yeah, well having the moral high ground and pointing it out. Isn't going to magically provide the capital available to make it happen. Unless developed nations and it's citizens are willing to do something about it, put up and shut up.

    Might I remind you companies like apple specifically go to places like China for their exploited workforce/cheap labour. So if anything, it's exactly as karaokeninja said it's your problem.
    grumps said:

    My only point was that the importance of the worker is you know pretty central to communist ideology...
    That wasnt meant as a snipe at you RB

    Yeah and taking individualism to the extreme like america has is SO much better...

  • illusive beast, the Free Market.

    Not sure if on purpose...


    If you insist on regulations that put a floor on the cost of labor (safety regulations, minimum wage, etcetera) then you need to ensure that those who purchase labor aren't illegally going below that floor.

    Right, but the whole notion that such regulation is necessary is not a libertarian viewpoint. Safety regulations are established as the workers themselves see the need for their own self-preservation, and a minimum wage is unnecessary as it interferes with the market establishing the value of a given type of labor. If a libertarian regards worker treatment as important enough to regulate, it is an ideological concession to Marxism, isn't it? From a purely libertarian standpoint, the self-interest of the worker and free market forces should be enough to resolve any of those issues.
  • Well if that's the case, it says a lot that companies outsource and shift production overseas. Because labour and safety standards are worth exactly that much (the bare bare minimum).

    Also, isn't it just a circular way of saying "if you build it, they will come".


  • illusive beast, the Free Market.

    Not sure if on purpose...
    Definitely on purpose. I'd have said "elusive" if I meant "elusive". (Also, I've been playing Mass Effect recently.)
  • edited March 2012
    Well, that is certainly frightening.

    Edit: And curious. It looks like if there's an oil "disruption" it might be used to fast-track some emerging fuel technologies.
  • I wish I understood things better. But I don't.
  • edited March 2012
    Hey guys, I know Republican misogyny is a bit old hat at this point, but here's another one for the pile.

    New Hampshire passes a bill making it MANDATORY for doctors to lie to their patients about abortion leading to an elevated cancer risk.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/15/444995/new-hampshire-house-bill-falsely-claims-abortion-causes-breast-cancer/
    Across the nation, lawmakers are debating several different anti-abortion bills seeking to make it more difficult for women to have an abortion. One tactic is “informed consent” measures that require women to be given information before an abortion — even if they do not want that information or getting it would violate medical guidelines.

    Now, the New Hampshire House has passed a bill that, along with mandating a 24-hour waiting period, requires doctors to give women “informational materials” before an abortion that aren’t even accurate, including that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. Here’s the text of the bill:

    It is scientifically undisputed that full-term pregnancy reduces a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer. It is also undisputed that the earlier a woman has a first full-term pregnancy, the lower her risk of breast cancer becomes, because following a full-term pregnancy the breast tissue exposed to estrogen through the menstrual cycle is more mature and cancer resistant.

    In fact, for each year that a woman’s first full-term pregnancy is delayed, her risk of breast cancer rises 3.5 percent. The theory that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer builds upon this undisputed foundation.


    The problem is that a direct link between abortion and breast cancer is not only disputed, it has also been rejected by multiple health organizations. The National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are a few of the groups who say no such link has been scientifically proven. Even the Susan G. Komen Foundation denies there is a link.

    That has not stopped Republicans, including presidential candidate Rick Santorum, from peddling this theory. Nor is New Hampshire the first state where such a bill has been proposed — Kansas and Oklahoma have both considered legislation with similar provisions. But it is hard to understand how a bill can protect women’s health when it gives them incorrect information.
    See, it's OK to lie to women about their health, because Republican lawmakers know better than doctors. To the point that they have given them shit to read off of a cue card. I guess shaming them isn't enough. If they're having an abortion, they better damn well be terrified of getting cancer as well.
  • Duh, Dreg, we need smaller government and fewer regulations, unless it involves people with different skin tone, reproductive organs, sexual orientation, religion, or language than Santorum.
  • Ugh. For fuck's sake.
  • edited March 2012
    Idaho requiring ultrasound too. Such great people, these republicans.

    This one I care to actually link: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/18/446768/what-everyone-should-know-about-about-trayvon-martin-1995-2012/?mobile=nc
  • edited March 2012
    Ugh. I don't know how people are able to fucking reconcile "I deserve these rights and am willing to fight the status quo for them" and "I do not want this other group to have the exact same rights I am demanding." Sadly, we in the US do not need to look as far as Liberia to observe this phenomenon.
  • But doesn't this stem from the way your democracy was setup?

    I think you should just let big corporations run things at this stage. At least their goals aren't shrouded in ideological BS, they just want the most efficient way of making money.

    And americans love money right?
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