Abortion, Let’s Talk: Mathius Speaks

Abortion.

Here, I think, is the fundamental problem with the abortion debate: “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are not having the same conversation.

Everyone seems to think it’s a debate over whether a woman has the right to remove and therefore “kill” a fetus. But this is not correct. This is why you never get anywhere in your arguments.

You see, the decision to have an abortion is actually two decisions, not one: (1) to remove the fetus from the mother’s womb and (2) to terminate the fetus.

If that seems like a subtle and absurd distinction, I promise you it’s not. And if you think that’s obvious, well, you’re the first person I’ve ever spoken to who thought so.

For early term abortions, these are, necessarily, one and the same. That is, removing a fetus kills it. Done.

So for early term abortions, the “pro-life” side is arguing the primacy of point (2).. that is, you don’t have the right to kill the fetus, while ignoring point (1) entirely.. that is, it completely ignores the right of the mother to primacy over her own body. The “pro-choice” side does the opposite, arguing the primacy of point (1).. that is, you can’t make a woman keep something in her body she doesn’t want there, while completely ignoring point (2).. that is, that there is a fetus which is (may be) alive and will be killed.

Because both sides are arguing their own point and because both sides’ points are, more or less, true, they never get anywhere. And, because they both conveniently ignore the other side’s point, they both think the other side is dense for not seeing the obvious. Or worse, “baby-killers” or “anti-women.”

So, again, in an early term abortion, the pro-choice side argues point (1) is dominant while the pro-life argues point (2). And it’s a toss-up of who is right.. there’s no clear winner, no affirmatively right answer. For an early term abortion, (1) she does have the right to remove the fetus and (2) she does not have the right to terminate the fetus – but you can’t have both… one side has to give.

I lean toward side (1), others toward side (2), and it’s sticky mess trying to weigh two absolutely correct and perfectly valid rights against each other and pick a winner. And this is only further muddied when you factor in the question of whether a mother used birth control or was raped or if the child is a product of incest. This is, of course, to say nothing of gender-selective abortions (almost unheard of in America, but common in places like India) or genetic-disease-selection (ie, Downs, etc) abortions.

We’ve had this argument before, we’ll have it again. But we’re never going to get anywhere on it because there is. no. right. answer. Both sides are right and both sides are wrong because both sides are backing an absolute right and both sides are overriding and ignoring an absolute right.

But, where this gets interesting is here: late term abortions.

In a post-viability abortion, there are, again, two choices being made – not one. The die-hard staunch “pro-choice” side will tell you that an abortion at this stage is still a question of the primacy of the woman’s right over her own body. But this is not really the whole story. And it’s not that they’re lying about it, they just don’t realize that it’s two really questions. Meanwhile, the pro-life side backs them into a corner by stubbornly refusing to acknowledge any right of the woman over her own body. Again, they are (1) remove fetus and (2) terminate fetus.

But, because this is after the point of viability, these are no longer unseverable questions. When, for example, an Intact Dilation and Extraction (D&E), or “partial birth abortion” is performed, it is treated as “the mother’s choice” to do so since she has the right to remove things from her body (and she does!). But this ignores that she is making two choices, only one of which she actually has a right to make: (1) She does have the right to remove things from her body but (2) she does not have the right to terminate the life of the fetus.

To be fair, the general consensus amongst pro-choice is that an abortion after the point of viability is no longer acceptable, but it serves to illustrate a point. All but the most extreme have long since ceded this ground to the pro-life factions.

For a late-term pregnancy, it is no longer a question of which is dominant, point (1) or point (2), but rather we’ve reached a stage at which both sides can be satisfied to the fullest extent of their moral standing. At this point, the woman does have the right to have the fetus removed, but does not have the right to terminate it – by extension, the obligation of the hospital is to do whatever is necessary to keep the fetus baby alive. Thus, the mother can have the primacy of her body and the fetus can not be terminated.

The entire abortion debate has a built-in obsolescence:

As technology pushes back the age of viability further and further, the whole abortion “debate” becomes irrelevant – an “abortion” in the future will consist of a fetus being safely extracted from a mother and carried to term in either an artificial womb or a surrogate – already, the advances in pre-natal and neo-natal care have been staggering, and there is no reason to expect that they will not continue into the foreseeable future. This will respect the right of the mother to (point 1) remove her unwanted fetus but not (point 2) to terminate a fetus. Everyone wins.

The most logical end-result of an unwanted pregnancy is not a terminated fetus, but a formerly-pregnant woman not being forced to share her body and a wanted baby in a loving family. Someday this will be the reality for every unwanted pregnancy. Someday, people will look back and say “well of course that’s how this should work out.. what were they thinking”? Unfortunately, we don’t yet live in that world, but my guess is that it isn’t that far away – maybe 20-30 years.

The utopian future:

I can look into my crystal ball and see a future wherein a mother wishes to abort, but a father still wants the child. So the fetus is removed from the mother, gestated artificially to term, and given to the father’s sole custody. This is so much better than today where a father (or grandparents!) has exactly zero say in the matter. Today, someone else has the right to terminate MY fetus regardless of my opinions/feedback/parental-rights – and beyond this, they don’t even ever have to tell me.

I can see a future wherein the state claims a vested interest in the safety and well-being of future citizens and bans termination of fetuses while still permitting their (safe) extraction to a surrogate of artificial womb. Today, the state claims a vested interest in children, but this will likely extend backward, perhaps even to the moment of conception. And it will do so without trampling the rights women.

The dystopian future:

This will, no doubt, create a host of new problems – what happens with the unwanted children? Will we generate hundreds of thousands of new orphans every year? Right now, the adoption wait for newborns in America is extremely daunting – no doubt this would more-than suffice to cover the shortfall in supply. But what about the rest? To the work-houses? Medical experimentation for the lot them? We’ll have to figure that out, and it won’t be easy.

And, additionally, though technology will eventually catch up, premature babies are prone to a host of health and learning issues – how will we deal with this? What are the societal costs? Who will foot that bill? How will we take care of them? The societal cost of children with special needs is staggering and that’s today – what happens when you start introducing hundreds of thousands more each year? How do you keep the system from collapsing under its own weight?

And finally, I would suggest that, eventually, artificial wombs will outperform humans in terms of benefits to the child and safety for the mother. It will be safer, have fewer complications, and will probably result in healthier and better formed infants. What will happen when (as is inevitable) it is considered child endangerment to bear a child to term the old fashioned way? Just some food for thought.

Mathius.

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Comments

  1. Black Flag® says:

    It may (or may not) be true that the abortion question may be mitigated by technology in the future.

    That does not, however, make the mass murder of babies today any more moral.

    • Mathius says:

      Well well.. look who crawled out of the woodwork..

    • Mathius says:

      It may (or may not) be true that the abortion question may be mitigated by technology in the future.

      Of course it’s true.

      Making a human being is a recipe. Combine ingredients, supply energy/nutrition/hormones, cook at 98 degrees for approximately 9 months, remove from oven.

      Women’s bodies know how to do this. We don’t. But to think that we won’t figure it out is nonsense. Of course we will.

      And then the real fun will start when we figure out how to make improvements.. “oh, if we tweak this, they come out with stronger immune systems” and “if we tweak that, they won’t develop Aspergers or ADD” and “if we tweak this other thing, they won’t come out as a mule-headed arch-libertarian.” These will just be developmental changes. It’s going to get even more interesting when we start messing with our own genetics and giving everyone 180 IQ’s, perfect health, and long lives. My guess on that is 50 years, tops.

      • You mean that I can clone more D13’s? Cool.

      • It is not true as it has not happened. Be careful with your “truth”

        • Mathius™ says:

          Allow me to ask you: Do you have any evidence that this is impossible so much as just “something we haven’t yet figured out”?

          Maybe you know something I don’t know.

          • Of all your contentions, this topic of abortion is where you trip and fall the most – and it is your consistent field of battle, though you are hopeless.

            I did not say “impossible”. I said “truth”. Note, the spelling and concepts of these words is unique.

            You are producing an argument based on something that does not exist as if it did, that is, you are pretending a truth out of not true, under your false color of truth, you are making terrible declarations.

            No, sir, your declarations are not truth. Period.

            • Mathius™ says:

              You are producing an argument based on something that does not exist as if it did,

              Negative.

              I am producing an argument based on two basic TRUTHS:
              (1) A unborn baby fetus has a right to life.
              (2) A woman has the right to control her own body.

              Do you assert that, as state, either of these are false?

              The rest is just crystal ball gazing, but this is the core of my article: Point 1 and Point 2.

              • You are producing an argument based on something that does not exist as if it did,

                You asserted some magic technology, and based on that magic promised in the future, you pretend it justifies the slaughter of innocent life today. THAT IS YOUR ARGUMENT. The rest of your missive is just crap pushed through a fan.

                “I am producing an argument based on two basic TRUTHS:
                (1) A unborn baby fetus has a right to life.”

                No such right exists, so right out of the gate, you are mired in shit.

                “(2) A woman has the right to control her own body.”
                And as such she has to accept 100% of the consequences of her actions if she holds to such a right.

                If she controls her body, and chooses to do “this” and “this” creates “that” consequence, she is responsible – and no one else – for that consequence. To pretend to mitigate such a consequence one is solely responsible for by murdering an innocent person is pure evil.

              • Mathius™ says:

                you pretend it justifies the slaughter of innocent life today.

                I did no such thing.

                I neither condemned nor condoned abortion. I merely present an alternative perspective from which to view it.

              • Such perspective is bull shit. It is fantasy and Peter Pan. When that day happens – it is just might not as well – then you can state an argument.

                But…

                The reason you presented this was to justify the killing RIGHT NOW – since that is exactly what you have been doing.

              • Mathius™ says:

                The reason you presented this was to justify the killing RIGHT NOW

                You presume to know my reasoning?

                I tell you the reason was to offer an alternative way of viewing the “debate” plus offering some speculative color on what may be coming.

                I am just fine with (early) abortion because MY view of it is that a clump of cells with a negligible brain have no rights (similar to a brain-dead coma patient). But that is not what I argued here. I argued that the decision to have an abortion is, in fact, two decisions (remove, kill) and that the failure to understand this is one of the things destroying the ability people to have a rational debate – that is, they’re “talking past each other” rather than “to each other” because they’re ignoring the other side’s correct position.

              • I presume nothing.
                I read your posts! Are now blind too?

                That is ALL you are arguing here, Mathius!
                You believe your stupid-sly maneuver to offer Peter Pan – which will “end the dialogue” – makes your position RIGHT NOW more moral by appealing to the future!

                Your post – that maybe in the future babies don’t need wombs – is an interesting, but hypothetical – posit. You further suggested that it may satisfy the champions of mass murder by saving the baby whilst mitigating the consequences that are due to the responsible.

                But here’s a thought: it probably won’t then either. The mindset that feel they can kill innocent human life to solve the problems they caused themselves will not disappear.

              • Mathius™ says:

                But here’s a thought: it probably won’t then either. The mindset that feel they can kill innocent human life to solve the problems they caused themselves will not disappear.

                Well there’s an interesting position.

                Care to elaborate on this?

                I would certainly agree that some will always favor murder. But when the standard, safe, easy, cheap answer avoids any (potential) murder* with no additional cost to the pregnant woman, it strikes me as unreasonable to assume that more than a tiny minority would still opt to terminate the fetus, ceterus paribus. That’s a pretty dark view of humanity, no?

                *positing that such technology will one day exist.

              • “I would certainly agree that some will always favor murder. But when the standard, safe, easy, cheap answer avoids any (potential) murder* with no additional cost to the pregnant woman, it strikes me as unreasonable to assume that more than a tiny minority would still opt to terminate the fetus, ceterus paribus. That’s a pretty dark view of humanity, no?”

                No.

                In a society where the science has absolutely determined that sex makes babies….
                …where medicine based on science has created mitigation of the consequences of sex (babies), including absolute sterilization…
                …where there is no mystery, and there are a massive plethora of choices (including the most bizarre, it seems … just say “NO”)

                …. people STILL act in such a manner – that is, they are more then willing to accept the consequences (though, in their mind, not that probable).

                But because the mitigation of their consequence has no real -immediate (but long term psychological, though this is never accounted for in the immediate)- their choice easily included murder.

                If such an easy mitigation allows common people to select murder, there is no big stretch to extend this to other “non” humans… see history.

  2. I’ll never understand why the abortion debate never includes the fact that the two people were irresponsible to begin with. By separating the problem into two problems you give an easy escape route to the parents who then get to run scott free from the problem they created. There is a law out there already..a Command..the sixth..Though shall not kill. which leads to… let your conscience be your guide. You may be able to get away with it for now but we’ll see who wins in the end.

    I do like your solution though..much better than abortion.

    • Mathius says:

      I’ll never understand why the abortion debate never includes the fact that the two people were irresponsible to begin with.

      They weren’t always irresponsible.

      Sometimes the woman had no choice.

      Sometimes, the couple used protection and it failed.

      And so on, and so forth.

    • Mathius says:

      By separating the problem into two problems you give an easy escape route

      I give them nothing. I did not create this situation, nor do they need me to provide their “escape route.”

      It simply is what it is.

    • Mathius says:

      Command..the sixth..Though shall not kill.

      There is some debate over this translation.

      A better translation might read: Though shalt not murder.

    • Mathius says:

      I do like your solution though..much better than abortion.

      It’s not MY solution.

      I did not create the situation, nor the solution.

      I merely separated out the components and then gazed into my crystal ball to see how they shake out in the future.

      • In every case, the baby has done nothing wrong. That is the hitch in the “pro-choice” argument. They ignore the life of the child and that child’s right to choose to live.

        Ever notice that everyone that is “pro-choice” already survived someone else’s choice?

        • Mathius says:

          You are exactly showcasing my point.

          The left ignores that there is an innocent child fetus.

          The right ignores that a woman has a right to not have things in her body against her will.

          I, personally, do not view a clump of cells with a “brain” the size of a flea’s to be a “human” in any important sense of the word, nor do I, again, personally, consider it to have any “right” to life. But this is just my view. And, obviously, as the fetus develops, it takes on more and more “humanity” and, with it, more and more rights.

          But that’s not really what I wanted to get at with this article. Let’s stipulate for the time being that an unborn baby fetus has an absolute and total moral Right To Life. Let’s give you that. Would you agree that, even if it is subordinate to the right of the fetus to live, that the mother still has a Right to control her body?

          That is, IN ADDITION to the “right of the fetus,” does the mother also have a right to evict it? Now, presumably, when these conflict, you side with the fetus, but that’s not what I’m getting at: do you acknowledge that there IS a conflict of basic rights here in the first place?

          Regardless of the actions of the mother, whether she was rape or whether she’s a “slut” who refuses to use birth control, does she have a right to evict foreign biological entities from her body?

          • Mathius, I have to issue you a caution as I did JAC…you must quit being logical…it makes people’s head explode. That said, I will admit that this old Colonel has changed his mind considerably in view of that so called doctor up north somewhere that was severing spinal cords etc……I have changed from purely pro choice to somewhere in between.

            War is so much easier. Just shoot the enemy and walk past his dead, bullet riddled body to the next enemy. What ever happened to normal killing? Sigh…..

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            Here is a very serious flaw in your “logic”.

            “The right ignores that a woman has a right to not have things in her body against her will.”

            Before you can argue that there exist two opposing “rights” you must prove that the one above is in fact a “right”.

            This requires that you prove a living human is the same as a foreign object, among other things.

            • A human being (who is not yourself) is a foreign object almost by definition.

              If I (a living human) jumped on your back and demanded you carry me around for the next 9 months, you’d have every right to refuse. Wouldn’t you?

              • Under SYG, Matt, you can shoot the SOB for jumping on your back! 🙂

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                Your example is seriously flawed as well.

                You constantly try to ignore HUMAN REPRODUCTION per the LAWS OF NATURE by creating strange and false analogies that make babies something they are not. Like parasites, for example.

                You are correct in that a human within the womb of the mother is a separate human.

                Now do you realize this destroys your argument about having a “right” to remove this human from the womb?? Because you cannot remove it without killing it.

                You are correct that the two sides are arguing from a different base and that is why there is no “compromise” possible. However, it is not because BOTH are correct. One has to be wrong.

                Because the ONLY valid issue is whether the unborn is a living “person”. One side has to say NO while the other has to say YES.

              • Now do you realize this destroys your argument about having a “right” to remove this human from the womb?? Because you cannot remove it without killing it.

                JAC, JAC, JAC…

                Plllleeeeaaaaassssseee go reread my article and what I follow it up with.

                You are arguing that the rights of a fetus “destroy” the rights of the mother.

                That’s fine. Argue that if you want.

                But at least acknowledge that the mother had those rights to begin with. Even if they’ve been overridden by the fetus’s rights, they’re still there, just subsumed.

              • Because the ONLY valid issue is whether the unborn is a living “person”. One side has to say NO while the other has to say YES.

                I happen to think that a fetus (well, an early state fetus, anyway) is not a person in any meaningful sense of the word, but that’s neither here nor there.

                Neither side needs to believe that a fetus is not a person. A pro-choice advocate can believe a fetus is a person, but still believe that the mother has the right to evict it from her body, and if that kills the fetus, that’s unfortunate. You are trying to force a dichotomy where none needs to exist.

                That’s the whole point of the article: That there are two severable questions – right to life AND right to evict.

              • But the baby did not jump.
                By your OWN ACTION, you put him there, and now you want to kill it.

                As usual, your specious examples are fallacies and you avoid to the edge of irrationality the true circumstance of the subject.

              • Mathius™ says:

                By your OWN ACTION, you put him there, and now you want to kill it.

                GONG!!!

                But that’s just it.

                I don’t want to kill it.

                I would prefer it lived.

                What I want is to EVICT it.

                And, for now, anyway, and for early term abortions, those are one and the same.

                But not for late term abortions. And (probably) not for early term abortions either much longer. Which, AGAIN, was the whole point of writing this.

              • Again, you pretend to claim some magic that does not exist is enough to justify murdering an innocent.

  3. gmanfortruth says:

    🙂

  4. Colonel,

    I will admit that this old Colonel has changed his mind considerably in view of that so called doctor up north somewhere that was severing spinal cords etc……I have changed from purely pro choice to somewhere in between.

    Seems to me that someone like that would never be in business if it weren’t from pretty from the pro-life crowd. They slut-shame at entrances, they legislate medically false data be given to the mother, they mandate unnecessary ultrasounds, they require unnecessary hospital-like conditions and admitting rights, they mandate that a heartbeat be listened to or an ultrasound be viewed. And so on and so on.

    It seems to me that this kind of thing drives women to back alley “doctors” like the one to whom you refer. The left has long maintained that they’d like abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare,” but when the right tries to make them illegal, they also make them less safe.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Mathius

      Only one little problem, none of those things pushed by the “pro-life” crowd were in effect or had anything to do with this guys operations.

      Please stop trying to rationalize the abhorrent behavior of that man.

      • I don’t rationalize his behavior. He deserves what he gets.

        All I suggest is that there’s a reason someone would go to a guy like that.. and it’s not the left’s fault.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          And it is NOT the right’s fault either.

          • Did I say it was?

            • Just A Citizen says:

              That certainly seemed to be what you were implying. That women were using this guy, and others like him, because of all the right wing efforts to impose restrictions.

              Yet his business existed independently of these efforts.

              Therefore, claiming that further efforts to restrict will increase the use of quacks like this is equally flawed.

              • The “Doctor” who performed those acts was convicted of murder and a host of other charges and will die in prison (rightly so). That said, here’s the grand jury report.

                Pennsylvania, like other states, permits legal abortion within a regulatory framework. Physicians must, for example, provide counseling about the nature of the procedure. Minors must have parental or judicial consent. All women must wait 24 hours after first visiting the facility, in order to fully consider their decision. But Gosnell’s compliance with such requirements was casual at best. At the Women’s Medical Society, the only question that really mattered was whether you had the cash. Too young? No problem. Didn’t want to wait? Gosnell provided same-day service.

                You see, the even such slight restrictions as parental consent and the waiting period (and repeat visits) are enough to drive people away from legitimate clinics into places like this.

                This has nothing to do with the abortion debate other than being a clear example of why abortion needs to MORE readily accessible and laws like the waiting period need to be repealed.

                But, again, this is really irrelevant to the topic at hand: the conflict of two fundamental rights.

  5. Once a woman says she wants an abortion, medical standards and norms change. If the process of getting informed consent involves making the unknown, known, the process in the abortion industry is all about unknowing.

    When I regrettably and wrongly had an abortion many years ago, no one at Planned Parenthood explained anything to me — and I mean nothing — about my baby’s development. No one even showed me a picture of a 3-month old baby in the womb. No one said or did anything to help make my baby real to me. Nor did anyone explain precisely and honestly what would happen to my baby during the abortion procedure. This lack of information helped keep reality at bay.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/07/abortion_and_informed_consent.html#ixzz2adM00KVd

  6. Much of the abortion debate is about controlling the language. If properly framed, you win the argument before the first words are spoken.

    “A woman’s RIGHT TO CHOOSE” on the left, murdering babies on the right. It starts to fall apart if you look closely. The left is always shouting that the right to choose comes from the few cases involving rape, incest or possible birth defects. These represent a small fraction of the abortions preformed in the US. If the left wants to champion the right to choose, let them be honest and admit they are talking about birth control. They have defended cutting a spinal cord of a baby still in the mother to get around the few legal restrictions on late term abortions…

    Look at the battles over restriction abortion after 20 weeks, would they apply in cases of rape, incest or medical need? Ultrasound requirements are invasive? Are the abortion procedures not also equally invasive? I cannot understand the lefts logic on this at all, they want to take a “moral” stand on a woman’s right. How can you defend the morals of keeping or making the taking of a human life easier? Any truly moral stand would have to side with life first.

  7. Chelsea Clinton is sad her great grandmother didn’t have Planned Parenthood
    Jun. 21, 2013 10:51am Meredith Jessup

    Chelsea Clinton is sad her great grandmother didnt have Planned Parenthood

    Isn’t this basically like saying you’re sad to be alive today?

    From the stage at the recent Women Deliver conference, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea revealed that her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.”

    Chelsea’s grandmother was born of an unintended pregnancy. And new research shows that her family is not alone in treasuring a person who – if Planned Parenthood had been successful – would not have been born.

  8. Judy Sabatini says:

    You all know where I stand on the abortion issue, but, not once, do I read or hear what the baby feels during an abortion during discussions here only what the mother wants. Yes, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a baby, a living human being growing, waiting to be born & to be able to start it’s life. Watch the video Silent Scream & see what a baby goes through during an abortion. It was done in the 80’s, but, none the less, it’s still killing a human life. Just my opinion & I don’t wish to argue with anybody here on what is right or what is wrong, just stating how I feel, that’s all.

    • Hi Judy,

      I don’t consider a bundle of cells to be a human, but that’s not the point of this article.

      The point, if I may restate it, yet again, is this: regardless of whether a fetus is just a small person with the right to life (and feeling of pain if aborted murdered), there is ALSO a right of the pregnant woman to expel unwanted foreign objects from her body.

      Now, those are two fundamental rights: Fetus’s right to live, mother’s right to control her body.

      And we can argue about what happens and should happen when they conflict.

      But will you agree that the second right ALSO exists? And that, further, it’s existence does not necessarily override any rights which the fetus may have?

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi Matt

        Sorry, but, I believe that a baby has every right to a life, & yes, I’m well aware of the rights to the mother also, but,let me ask you this. Since you’re a father now & congratulations by the way, how would you have felt if your wife decided to have an abortion? Not, that there was anything wrong, but, decided 1/2 way through, she just didn’t want it anymore & decided to get rid of it? Would you have gone along with her decision? Would you have gone with her to get that said abortion? I mean,, deep down inside you, how would you have felt & handled it?

        • I would have been deeply upset. I wanted a baby – I always have – she was planned and wanted. We waited until we were ready and fully intended to have her. My wife feels and felt the exact same way. I would have fought it with every tool at my disposal because it was MY fetus as well, and whether she wanted it or not, I sure as hell did. But this is really separate from the issue at hand. I would have done or said anything, but I don’t think I would have believed that the fetus had a right to life (maybe, depending on when she wanted to terminate) or that she (my wife) did not have a right to the abortion (it is still her body) – I might have tried arguing these in an effort to keep get the baby I wanted, but that’s really irrelevant.

          The issue at hand is not one of how people feel, but rather what rights and moral obligations exist with regard to a pregnant woman and her fetus.

          I’m well aware of the rights to the mother also

          You say you’re aware of the rights of the mother – great. So, even if her rights take a back seat to the right of the fetus to live, you agree that such right exists. Correct?

          They’re just – in your opinion – not as powerful / important as the right to life?

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Thanks for your honest answer, I was just curious. Doesn’t matter what I believe, women are going to do what they want regardless when it comes to abortion. I just happen to believe in that right to life.

      • “I do not consider a bundle of cells to be human”

        Then, sir, you have excluded yourself – as you are, truly, merely a bundle of cells.

        That’s another root problem – you pretend you hold some objective measure of human while at the same time actually exclude the only true objective measure of human and end up with utter nonsense as your exclaim.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Human is more than human DNA.

          Human is a human mind with human thoughts and human experiences.

          If I methodically replaced your entire body with computer hardware. Switched out your biological neurons with computer chips (probably not that big of a stretch in your case). So that there was not a since cell of Black Flag left, yet you thought the same way, felt the same way, had all the same memories and experiences, loved and hated the same way. Would you not still be you? Would you not still be human?

          • No, its not.
            It is EXACTLY defined by DNA. Period.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Tell me, what does a human strand of DNA look like?

              My understanding is that there isn’t a single gene on the entire thing shared by every single human being alive.

              Is it a confidence level? < 0.0005% difference from my gene sequence?

              What if you vary by 0.00051% from Charlie? Does that mean one of you isn't human? (Spoiler: it's probably you).

              If I took my old Atari and gave it organic components with human DNA, would that mean it's now a human being with all the attendant rights?

              If you have a pig valve in your heart, does that make you less than human?

          • PS: Stop with the bullshit hypothetical nonsense. Your fantasies demonstrate and prove nothing.

    • Hi Judy…read carefully Mathius’ reasoning…..he is not advocating right or wrong, he is trying to find a common denominator. It has nothing to do with a fetus feeling pain or anything else…..he is only pointing out, and I think correctly, the fact that two rights exist. Now, my question to him is where do we go from this point….if two rights exist, how do we proceed.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        If his assertion is true then our entire system and understanding of RIGHTS collapses.

        Two “RIGHTS” diametrically opposed in the same circumstance are not possible.

        • Mathius says:

          Sure they are. I explained why above.

          Unintentionally and unknowingly, the fetus has violated the mother’s rights by trespassing and stealing from her against her will. This is the original sin which sets up the whole conflict. This is why you can have two rights in opposition.

          Imagine that it’s freezing outside, so I barge into your house and snuggle up next to your dog by fire. Well now, I sure have an absolute right to life (and going outside will kill me). And you have an absolute right to evict me. Same circumstances, diametrically opposed rights.

          Because of my original violation.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            You are never going to win one of these nor make your point with ridiculous examples that are unrelated.

            Me coming into your house is NOT THE SAME as a baby in the womb.

            That is such an absurd comparison on so many levels.

            By the way, in your example you have a right to life but no right to barge into my house. You could certainly ask for help to keep from freezing to death. Your right to life does NOT conflict with my right to my own property.

            In your abortion example you are saying that these rights conflict and necessarily require a choice. In the home invasion there are a multitude of other choices that are not driven by the Rights of life or property.

            • Mathius says:

              Me coming into your house is NOT THE SAME as a baby in the womb.

              You coming into my house is exactly the same as a baby in the womb.

              You are on my property. Without my permission. Using my resources. Without my permission.

              It is trespassing.

              By the way, in your example you have a right to life but no right to barge into my house.

              EXACTLY!

              Assuming the fetus has a right to life, it still has no right to take up residence in your uterus without your permission.

              Doing so is trespassing.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                You have accurately identified why there is not going to be any rational discussion by both sides.

                If you insist that a baby in the womb is just a trespassing parasite then there is no RATIONAL discussion to be had with you.

                The baby did not “take up residence” in the womb.

                The act of sex or the agreement to implantation was that of two adults. The baby is the result of their action.

                As I said, from that point your entire argument REALLY rests on the premise that the baby/fetus/whatever is NOT A PERSON.

                This in itself eliminates your supposed conflict in Rights. The fetus has NO RIGHTS unless it is a person.

              • Utterly untrue.

                You have “invited” the baby – the baby did not show up by its own will – it was the direct action of the parents that did this, including the “owner” of the womb.

                To make such a specious claim that there was no invite when by such direct action made the situation and then to blame the most innocent to be fault is an extreme level of evil

              • Mathius™ says:

                How are you, Pirate? I’ve missed you!

                Utterly untrue.

                You have “invited” the baby – the baby did not show up by its own will – it was the direct action of the parents that did this, including the “owner” of the womb.

                So we’re just going to ignore rape here. Ok, fine.

                Take my example from earlier. Say it’s freezing out and you invite me to warm up at your fire. Then, once you find out I’m an annoying liberal, you try to kick me out, but I refuse on the grounds that I will die in the cold. I will leave when spring comes in 9 months (I guess we’re living in Minsk).

                You’ve invited me in. And now I am completely dependent on living in your property. Have you thus forfeited your right to eject me?

                To make such a specious claim that there was no invite when by such direct action made the situation and then to blame the most innocent to be fault is an extreme level of evil

                In this scenario, using birth control might be considered equivalent to putting up a fence around your property. But, oops, it didn’t work.

                And, again, I’ll just remind you that not every woman “invited” the sperm in..

                How have you been? What’s going on in PirateLand?

              • Yes we ignore rape and every other of the 0.2% of cases since 99.8% are voluntary. Prescribing a principle based on 0.2% is stupid when it overrules the 99.8%.

                Work on the most massive component first to describe a root, then adjust as necessary to accept exceptions. Don’t start with exceptions and pretend they apply to the majority.

                I have absolutely zero interest in your hypothetical nonsense.

                The fact: the baby did not decide its existence. It is a consequence. It is also a human life. It is utterly blameless for the condition it finds itself, yet, you blame it and condemn it to death so to avoid placing consequences on the real actors and creators of the situation – its parents. Such a thing is utterly evil

              • Mathius™ says:

                I think, perhaps, you should re-read my assertions here.

                I suggest that a baby FETUS has a right to existence which is merely opposed to the right of the woman to excise it.

                I make no claim (here, anyway) as to whether it does or should supersede her right, only that her right still exists.

              • She has no such right.
                She -by her own action- manifested this consequence.

                There is no right to discharge a consequence of your own action!

                You did this, you got that!

        • Exactly.

          There is no human right which contradicts a human right.

          If such a thing, posited as a right, contradicts another, one (or both) are not real human rights.

  9. Just A Citizen says:

    Mathius

    True Rights, as in those Natural Rights we like to argue over do NOT conflict with themselves.

    My Right to property does not conflict with your Right to property.

    If the fetus is a person and has a right to live then the mother has no right to expel it when its death is certain. Which of course means it is not a “foreign” object. It is a human which is part of her during its early development.

    Your argument that a woman has a RIGHT to remove the fetus from her body rests on the necessary conclusion that the fetus is NOT a person.

    So once you get to that point the rest falls away. Later term abortions are no different than early term.

    But most humans disagree.

    So where is the flaw??

    Is it that perhaps the fetus is a person all along? Or could it be that neither the fetus nor the mother have RIGHTS in this situation. That is Rights under the Natural Rights theory, not Govt rights.

    Could it be that this is an area where the concept RIGHTS simply don’t apply. Perhaps it is an area of Normative Ethics based on more fundamental Rights and Moral principles.

    • Is it that perhaps the fetus is a person all along? Or could it be that neither the fetus nor the mother have RIGHTS in this situation. That is Rights under the Natural Rights theory, not Govt rights.

      I have more and more trouble with this … I believe it is a living human being from inception … but I hate the idea of telling a woman what to do with her body/her baby. I remain conflicted, although VH really did make me rethink this a few hundred times of late. I’d have to say I would encourage those within my sphere of influence not to do so, but … it remains within their heart to do what they think is right. If that makes me okay with murder (and I do believe it is killing/murder), than I am guilty.

      Now, taking money from the 1% and redistributing it? Can’t wait!

  10. @Mathius:

    I always laugh when people try to use Latin words to mask the truth. Calling a baby a fetus is like speaking spanglish, mixing languages to hide plain truth. The Latin word fetus is translated as offspring, or to describe the young while in the womb.

    So using a foreign language during a discussion in English only exposes your guilty conscience. A baby in the womb, no matter what language you use, is still a living person.

    • Matt, you too are evil? I’m not sharing that with you, my half-left friend … no way!

    • It’s a medical term for a cluster of cells which are in the process of gestating into a child.

      Whether is it or is not a “baby” is in dispute, thus the use of the connotatively neutral medical terminology.

      I will not cede this important point to you just because you demand it. A cluster of cells with a brain smaller than a flea’s is no more a human – in my opinion – than a cell culture in a petri dish.

      HOWEVER, that’s moot with regards to the argument I present. I am just trying to get people to see the question of “abortion” in terms of two legitimate, yet conflicting, absolute rights.

      • A cluster of cells with a brain smaller than a flea’s is no more a human – in my opinion – than a cell culture in a petri dish.

        Wow, charlie are you going take that? He just said you are “no more human than a cell culture in a petri dish”.

        • Excuse me, FLP … my dish would be quite big … probably a very big bowl … probably big enough for all the Cheerios on a grocery shelf.

          The questions is, are you going to take it? 🙂

  11. @ JAC……”Your argument that a woman has a RIGHT to remove the fetus from her body rests on the necessary conclusion that the fetus is NOT a person.”

    Somehow, I do not read it nor interpret it the same way. A question for you…..without me having to reread things….does viability carry any weight with you?

    • The reason that I am asking is that I used to be solidly in the camp of a woman’s right to choose. I have changed my mind as I stated….that demented doctor has had an impact on my thinking on abortions…but I am not in the life begins at conception mode either. That is why the question of viability.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      d13

      Yes, viability does mean something to me personally. But I am not making MY argument here with Matt.

      I am trying to show the flaw in his argument with respect to the issue of RIGHTS.

      I recognized long ago that all discussions of Rights, Freedoms, morals and ethics can be constructed quite cleanly on all issues EXCEPT abortion.

      So there has to be some serious flaws in the arguments some where.

      • Interesting point and well taken….I can see the argument.

      • Mathius says:

        JAC,

        I will tell you why your logical framework isn’t clean with regards to abortion.

        Let us imagine that you neglected to fence up your property, or that someone else drove a truck through it and you hadn’t been able to fix it in time, or perhaps, you built your fence and maintained it, but a freak accident caused it to fall down just as I showed up. I then wander onto your property and set up camp. I eat from your land. I do not know that it is owned land and so I do not know that I am trespassing or stealing. HOWEVER, trespassing and stealing is exactly what I am doing.

        What I am doing is violating your right. My ignorance is no defense. Further, your actions which may have led up to my presence (whether your negligence, a third party’s crime, or a chance failing of your precautions) does not change the fact that I, ignorantly, have wandered in and am now happily, if obliviously, trespassing and stealing from you. My lack of bad intent does not change things.

        THAT is the violation of rights from which your messy conflict arises. It is MY crime against you which sets up a condition wherein my absolute rights are in opposition to your absolute rights. If I hadn’t violated your property and stolen from you, you would never be in a position to have to choose whether to kill me or let me stay.

        • Shit, Matt … JAC’ll kill you for bumping into him, never mind parasiting off his land! He was a very tough ombre when he was a littl’in, you know …

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Mathius

          You confuse your state of ignorance with rights. You also confuse ACTION with Rights.

          You have no right to trespass or steal my food. We as humans have devised different punishments for those who trespass. And your knowledge of my property location does in fact influence those punishments. The test is reasonableness and actions of both parties.

          So there is no conflict of fundamental rights in your example. I have a right to my property. That does not conflict with your right to your property. It does not affect your right to dispose, divide or otherwise sell your property to another.

          By the way, are you familiar with “prescriptive rights”??

          Violating someone’s RIGHTS is an ACT it does not negate the RIGHT itself nor does it create some diametrically opposed Right.

          Your argument is that BOTH are rights and that BOTH have equal standing as FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. Both deal with the same subject, carrying a child.

          So once again your example does not address the question.

  12. Mathius…I applaud your effort here….it is a valiant effort but I think that there is not going to be a solution. I applied your question to three different females…..all of which are die hard anti abortion. I asked them if they could concede that there are two rights involved….one of a woman’s body and one of an unborn fetus….baby…

    The looks that I got were very perplexed. They all agreed that both had rights but then said, one right has to supercede the other….so I asked the question….which one…..I have had no answer yet.

    • one right has to supercede the other

      Yes. Yes it does.

      For early term abortions.

      For now.

      You can’t satisfy both conditions. However eventually, you will.

      And that is when we stop debating abortion.

      I think that there is not going to be a solution

      I don’t think this is a solution – I’m not proposing anything here. I just want to alter the debate a little bit and offer a somewhat different perspective than the usual take.

      Besides, I don’t have to offer a solution – this is going to resolve itself in a few decades with or without my help.

      • Yeah… but this is a cool perspective because it requires one to think without emotion. It requires conscious thought and like I said….it threw a curve ball to those ladies (all close friends and my sig other).

        the sig other just looked at me and said.asked if I had pointed ears,

        • asked if I had pointed ears,

          That’s what happens when you wear your ten gallon hat indoors.. the wife can’t see your ears.

  13. JAC….another question, which may be moot…….if viability is not an option and the life begins at conception becomes the norm..and a woman’s right to her own body is superceded, where would it stop?

    From the science end of it (and this may have already been argued) if a sperm and egg can be fertilized in a test tube or artificial environment…..what argument would be presented at this point? Or is conception only going to be defined as a human intimacy act vs lab?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      d13

      OK, my view with respect to your question and based on certain assumptions.

      1. Assuming that a human being exists from the point of conception.

      2. Assuming we then eliminated abortion on this basis.

      3. This does not negate the woman’s supposed right to her body. Her body is not sacrificed nor given to another. The restriction is on her ability to HARM the OTHER PERSON who resides within her.

      This is an important distinction lost in the political rhetoric. And I believe deliberately so. We all believe we have a right to our own body, but the issue of pregnancy is more than an issue of our body. BF suggested it was an issue of guardianship. Another interesting perspective to say the least. I think his approach would address many of the other issues arising during a pregnancy. Like the sudden threat to the mother’s life itself.

      4. Test tube babies would be the same restrictions. Once a human life exists it has the same rights as all other humans. Thus the life in the test tube should be protected. The degree of effort again goes to guardianship responsibilities.

      5. No telling where others will take the arguments, but if we use science and some rational thinking I think conception will be limited to just that. Joining of sperm and egg.

      6. As for how far does control over the woman go?? Again, using reason there should be no going any farther with respect to a woman’s right to dictate her own life and control over her body. Nothing else involves the direct impact to another living person.

      Notice that once the child is born we have clearly established rules on guardianship and the responsibilities that go with it.

      And before I forget my manners.

      A hearty Good morning to you sir.

  14. Just A Citizen says:

    Mathius

    re: “That’s the whole point of the article: That there are two severable questions – right to life AND right to evict”

    I UNDERSTAND your proposition. I disagree.

    You need to develop a defense of your premise that BOTH are fundamental Rights.

    We all know that the two camps have different views. But you are claiming both are correct. That both are fundamental but “opposing” rights.

    You need to try and prove this claim. I have given you some argument to the contrary.

    Can you find any other “fundamental right” that is in conflict with another “fundamental right” as it relates to the same subject?

    Either they are both NOT Rights or ONE of them is a fundamental Right and the other is not.

    But both cannot be fundamental rights because they are in fact OPPOSED to each other.

  15. Just A Citizen says:

    Mathius

    Have you seen the new Superman movie??

    • Mathius says:

      No.. it’s in my netflix queue, why?

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        There is a new and interesting take on the Krypton story. They eliminated natural conception and child birth.

        It explores the consequences to their “humanity”.

        Nuff said until you get a chance to watch and think about it. It happens to fit nicely into your article.

        • Mathius says:

          Their “humanity”… but, um.. they aren’t human…

          They eliminated natural conception and child birth.

          Sounds like a good idea.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Turns out it was not so good.

            And yes, those on Krypton had “humanity” once upon a time.

            • BUT IT’S A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Not a very good one either.

              • Mathius says:

                Clearly, a movie about a super-strong flying alien with his underpants on the outside should be the guiding foundation for our understanding of complex moral questions such as the nature of genetic predetermination. 😉

  16. Life is the fundamental right that everyone is given. Our country was founded on the principle of the three inalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. No one has the right to deny anyone else of their right to life.

    Before charlie starts yelling “CAPITOL PUNISHMENT”, let me point out one thing. Those sentenced to death by capitol punishment chose to forfeit their right to life by knowingly committing a crime determined to be severe enough. If the baby has killed someone knowingly then we can discuss abortion as a capitol punishment.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      FLP

      There is one flaw in your argument. The same flaw used by all right to life folks. As well as some others, depending on their favorite issue de jour.

      The Right to “LIFE” described in the Dec of Indep was not the Right to LIVE.

      It was the right to control your own life. As opposed to being subjugated by others.

      Consider this. If we had a Right to LIVE then would that not be a positive right? Would not others be obligated to do everything necessary to keep us ALIVE??

      • The Right to “LIFE” described in the Dec of Indep was not the Right to LIVE.
        YOu may have to explain that more, I was educated by a government school in NY.

        Consider this. If we had a Right to LIVE then would that not be a positive right? Would not others be obligated to do everything necessary to keep us ALIVE??
        As a society we do have an obligation to support someones right to live, as long as it is not against their will.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          FLP

          The writings on “natural rights” and the references to a Right to Life were constructed in response to the history of Monarchy and the absolute and tyrannical rule of some over the lives of others.

          So it is inaccurate to take the phrase “right to life” and construe its original meaning as a Right to LIVE or one’s own life essence itself. Now obviously the latter is necessary to control ones life over time.

          Our founders were believers in NEGATIVE Rights. Which means that the Right to life place a negative obligation on others. I am obligated to NOT ACT in a way that violates your life.

          This means the Govt cannot act in a way that violates your right to run your life. Thus Liberty.

          If we have a Positive Right to live then that means I have an obligation to make sure you do live and/or that your life is what you wish.

          This means that Govt MUST ACT to make your life what you want it to be. As you can see, Positive Rights are the foundation of all the Socialist forms of Govt.

    • What’s with picking on Charlie again? 🙂

      Hey, I’m all for capital punishment … but ONLY when absolute guilt can be proven absolutely … Hell, I’m for putting someone through a meatgrinder at a VERY slow speed (i.e., the guy in Cleveland who held those women for 10 years) …

      But I do take issue with this: “Life is the fundamental right that everyone is given.”

      Who is giving us that right? If you say God, I have to hit the buzzer: ehhhhhhhhhh. If you say we as individuals “should have that right” … I’d say Right On, brother! But bringing in the founding fathers and all that jazz, well … why not skip that hogwash (i love that word since JAC taught it to me) … and try for something more universal … like “Human rights” …

      • And another thing … if we’re going to INSIST on life (No abortions) … are we going to help the little tots along their route or just spill them out (as is their right) and let them fend for themselves?

        Now, you know that I know what your answers really are … lest they be parasites!

        • And another thing … if we’re going to INSIST on life (No abortions) … are we going to help the little tots along their route or just spill them out (as is their right) and let them fend for themselves?
          Americans have a responsibility to ensure everyone is given a chance to life, unless they willingly forfeit that life. If I saw you dieing on the side of the road I would do everything I could to help save your life, and the same goes with a baby removed prematurely from the womb or still in the womb. The women has a responsibility to do everything possible to help that baby survive, as long as it does not cost her her own life against her will.

        • Mathius says:

          Shhhh… they don’t like it when people point this out…

          The inmates will get uppity…

          • Just A Citizen says:

            It should have NOTHING to do with the argument you are making.

            It should have NOTHING to do with an argument over the immorality of killing innocent lives.

            To raise this as a legitimate issue moves the entire discussion to another set of principles.

            • it has EVERYTHING to do with the argument he’s making … well, maybe not, but it has to do with right to lifers argument about the SANCTITY OF LIFE … really? Let them live in poverty? Let some die from sickness because they can’t afford health care? Let some fend for turn to crime and prostitution and handing out Romney in 2016 posters?

            • Mathius says:

              It does have nothing to do with the issues I raise.. still an interesting off-topic issue in its own right:

              If “pro-life” individuals are so keen on keeping every fetus alive until its a baby, why are so many of them so opposed to things like affordable pre-school, head start, subsidized lunch, prenatal care, et cetera?

              But, I agree, it is off-topic.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Because many of us recognize the difference between allowing a living entity to continue being alive as opposed to creating a “lifestyle” based on somebody else’ criteria.

                Do you two realize that “conservatives” who oppose abortion are large contributors to charities for children?? That many give of their time and others adopt when the STATE allows it.

              • Because preventing murder is very different then funding scofflaws.

      • Sorry charlie (man, its hard to say that and not crave tunafish), I used you as the example of a typical left winger when making the capitol punishment argument. I was not making a statement of your stance as I did not know what it was. Not picking on you in this case, I was in the petri dish comment all though in jest and with good humor.

      • Who is giving us that right?
        We are endowed by our creator with those rights.

        You may wish to believe differently, but THAT is what America was founded on and until we write a new declaration of independence, that is what America stands for.

        • But does it apply to those who do not believe in a creator? Why should we be saddled with the beliefs of others? Is this not the land of the free?

          The other thing … some of us are more “endowed” than others … the traditional meaning has to do with the size of one’s shvanzel … you see what I’m saying? It’s too damn vague.

          • You are free to believe what ever you want, but that does not change the ideas used in founding America.

            It’s too damn vague.
            It’s only vague if you are trying to jam in ideas that were not intended.

            @Mathius: The created can not take the place of the creator. If you can create life out of nothing (using none of the current creator’s materials), then you are a creator and will have the power to endow what ever rights you want on your creation, until then “Nature’s God” is the one with the power to endow rights in America, as described in the Declaration of Independence.

            As I said before, you can try and right a new declaration and form a new country but until then the ideas of our current one are easy to understand and still valid today.

            • Mathius says:

              Just out of curiosity, what if I cook up a human in a lab. Not a fertility treatment, not even cloning Charlie (god forbid!).

              But what if I use chemicals to cook up a brand new strand of “human” DNA from code I worked out on the back of a napkin, then I form a cell, insert it, and gestate it in an artificial womb? How is this NOT being a creator?

              Does God have an amazing patent attorney who was able to claim ownership of all derivative works?

              • In your example you are only rearranging cells already in existence. You are not creating anything.

              • Mathius says:

                That’s like saying God created cars because he created the metal from which they are made. No. Man created cars because he figured out how to put the basic blocks together in a new way.

                No man has ever created art because god created the pigments in his paint?

                No man has ever created music because god created the air through which sound propagates?

            • “The created can not take the place of the creator. If you can create life out of nothing (using none of the current creator’s materials), then you are a creator and will have the power to endow what ever rights you want on your creation, until then “Nature’s God” is the one with the power to endow rights in America, as described in the Declaration of Independence.”

              FLP … this is where you lose me … and Ayn Rand (for which I’ll go to hell if there is a creator because that broad was as evil as they get) … it is a demand that I adhere to something I do not accept as fact. And it’s silly.

              • Prove it’s not a fact.

              • Mathius says:

                You can’t prove a negative. The obligation is on you to prove the affirmative case.

                Prove it’s not a fact that the universe exists because it was sneezed out of the left nostril of a giant space walrus.

                All hail the Giant Space Walrus!

              • @Mathius
                Surprised you didn’t go for praising the flying spaghetti monster. This is a tired old argument and this is not the place for that debate. Go check out http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/ and pose your questions to the staff there, they would be more than happy to discuss that topic with you.

              • Mathius™ says:

                The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a blasphemy to the followers of the Giant Space Walrus.

                Besides, Spaghetti doesn’t last long around Charlie..

        • Mathius says:

          We are endowed by our creator with those rights.

          Well now.. I’d argue that the “creator” of a given person is their biological parents.

          Therefore, it seems perfectly logical that a parent could opt not to endow you with such rights or could revoke them when you become a snot-nosed teenager.

  17. Back at you JAC…a hearty good day…

    Now…..and this is really fun…..you said ” 1. Assuming that a human being exists from the point of conception.

    Ok I will assume that……( it is a stretch for me but I will assume that )……how would viability fit in with this concept in your world?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      d13

      Under the assumptions abortion would most likely be illegal except in the case of necessary to save the mother. Dead mother and you get dead kid anyway.

      So viability would only be an issue if there is need to terminate the pregnancy to save the mother. In that case viability would determine the proper action by the doctors to save the child AND the mother.

      Viability really only matters where we use a different assumption, such as a person exists not at conception but sometime before birth. Thus where some type of abortion is legalized for reasons beyond saving the mother’s life.

  18. Just A Citizen says:

    Mathus

    I reject you argument that both rights are fundamental and equal in their nature.

    You have yet to prove the mother has the RIGHT you claim she has. It is your assertion so you should have to provide some rational argument to support it. So far all I see is you claiming it is true because you said so.

    • Mathius says:

      I claim it is true because it is fundamental.

      How can it not be fundamentally true that your body is your own to share or not share as you wish?

      If you cannot accept this, I cannot help you.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        Because NATURE designed humans, like all mammals, to carry the unborn inside the female for a given period of time. That relationships is REQUIRED for the young to survive.

        Thus two lives are NECESSARILY intertwined. One cannot exist separately of the other during this time period. If you cannot accept this then the discussion will continue to be a bunch of ridiculous analogies, one after the other.

        Thus the supposed separate but equal rights you claim are in fact NOT equal. One must hold over the other.

        Life is the CORE Right of all Rights. It cannot be subverted to other “rights”. Not unless you want to construct an entirely different world of new “rights”.

        So your claim that a woman has a right to expel a fetus rests on the fetus NOT being a human person. It is that simple. This is the conflict which you are trying to avoid with your two equal but separate rights argument.

        Trying to compare a fetus with a trespassing parasite is not going to prove your argument.

        • Mathius says:

          Because NATURE designed humans, like all mammals, to carry the unborn inside the female for a given period of time.

          Tell that to the duckbill platypus and a handful of echidnas.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            OK then lets just leave it to humans. Now deal with that part as best you can.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Did you know that the duckbill platypus (only the female, go figure) has a poisonous spine on its rear heal? It’s the only venomous mammal. The toxin is a neurotoxin so powerful that the standard treatment is to place the victim in a medically induced coma for two-three weeks until the pain has dissipated. There is no anti-venom. Morphine won’t even take the edge off. It’s that bad. Suicide is not an uncommon response to the pain if you cannot acquire medical attention immediately.

              —–

              That is how I sometimes feel when I am talking to you.

              Nature did not “design” squat.

              A bundle of organic compounds randomly clumped together one day a few billion years ago.

              Then there were bigger and bigger clumps.

              Then they started competing for resources.

              So some evolved a TACTIC of sexual reproduction which introduced greater variance into their gene-pool and thus an adaptive advantage.

              ::fast forward::

              Of those, some evolved the TACTIC of internal gestation which protected the soon-to-be offspring and provided another adaptive advantage.

              ——-

              These are Darwinian mechanisms for increased probability of suitability of offspring. Nature didn’t design this – that would imply that nature has some sort of goal or sentience or deliberate aim – these things just happened. And it sure as hell doesn’t de facto imply any sort of “natural right.”

              We could just as easily have evolved to be egg laying.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                Do you feel better now? I hope so because all of that was sure a bunch of crap. Hope the pressure in your lower intestine is now gone.

                Whether nature designed us, God designed us or shit just happened, does NOT change the reality of what we are.

                Good grief.

              • Mathius™ says:

                shit just happened

                Shit just happened.

                And the important thing to remember is this: shit just happening does not confer natural rights. Moral reasoning is not derived from the accumulation of billions of years of random events.

                Moral reasoning is derived from logical structure.

                Because something is “Natural” does not make it right. It is natural for a parasite to live in your intestines – this does not mean it has a natural right to be there.

  19. @jac … “Do you two realize that “conservatives” who oppose abortion are large contributors to charities for children?? That many give of their time and others adopt when the STATE allows it.”

    And others require dynamite to open their wallets … come on Ayn Rand wannabe … you don’t get to make believe you want to help others … altruism … yucky-poo!

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Charlie

      Stop confusing “altruism” with charity. They are NOT the same thing.

  20. “That is how I sometimes feel when I am talking to you.”

    ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO …

    and I’m kind of in agreement with BF regarding abortion … like shit, it sometimes happens) … but still: ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO, ECHO,

    I was laughing out loud at work when I read this (after the platypus, etc.) … GREAT LINE, MATT. In fact, this could be the best of the year …

  21. Speaking of Peter Pan … anarchism & free markets … yep, absolute fantasy. 🙂

  22. Bottom Line says:

    Flag,

    ” She has no such right.
    She -by her own action- manifested this consequence.

    There is no right to discharge a consequence of your own action!

    You did this, you got that! ”

    Before I say anything, I will state that I think killing babies is fundamentally wrong. Also, what is wrong is using coercion/violence to dictate breeding practices.

    If it is her body/womb, her DNA, her actions, why is she not rightful authority of the decision over anyone …other than the father?

    • “You did this, you got that! ”

      Unless, of course, she was raped … then she didn’t do this and got that, did she?

      • Bottom Line says:

        Who said anything about rape? I am talking about two people willingly engaging in intercourse.

        Rape is forced pregnancy, thus she is not not responsible, therefore not ‘correcting’ her own actions, but rather her victimization, …if she decides to kill it.

        We can discuss extenuating circumstances forever. What is your point?

      • Do not pretend you have any insight to the fringes of possibility to the question when you are totally incapable of reasoned position on the 99.8%

        You are like the man who cannot understand arithmetic trying to grade a PhD in Mathematics his work in calculus.

    • Curious-based on your words-her body, etc.-why the exception for the father?

      • Bottom Line says:

        Because other than her, he is the only one with a competing claim of rights/responsibility.

        He has a stake in it too.

        It is his DNA and actions too. His sperm, her egg, their action together. The difference is the womb/pregnancy.

        She carries while he nurtures and protects her and the baby.

        If she becomes the threat, does he still have a right/responsibility to protect his child?

      • No exception at all – other than his physical involvement is moot. His consequences are indirect, the mother are direct. He has no physical change or imposition after the choices, she does.

        Nature has chosen that the woman bear the responsibility of the consequences of sex. Only man-law makes the man share this.

        • Bottom Line says:

          If nature has chosen that the woman bear the responsibility of the consequences of sex, then it stands to reason that the right in how to manage said pregnancy is also included.

          And if the man has a right and responsibility in protecting a fetus, then what happens if she decides to kill it?

          Does her decision trump his because it is her womb? Does he have a right to stop her as he would someone trying to kick her in the womb?

          • You bring up a good point BL. How can someone be charged with a double murder when killing a woman and her unborn child? Another contradiction by our idiot lawmakers, I assume!

          • “If nature has chosen that the woman bear the responsibility of the consequences of sex, then it stands to reason that the right in how to manage said pregnancy is also included.”

            Yes, with in the rights of both mother and child. There is no right to kill another innocent life.

            “And if the man has a right and responsibility in protecting a fetus, then what happens if she decides to kill it?”

            Trouble.

            “Does her decision trump his because it is her womb? Does he have a right to stop her as he would someone trying to kick her in the womb?”

            No, no right contradicts another right – if so, you know one (or both) cannot be rights.

    • She has absolute right to use her body in whatever manner she wishes as long as she does no violence to anyone else.

      She made such a choice. She had sex.
      The consequence, however, was another human being.

      Now, she wishes to discharge that consequence of her free action by using an act of utmost violence -murder- upon another human being.

      • Bottom Line says:

        No one has a right to murder, of course. But in order for your logic to fit, abortion must be defined as murder…which includes defining when life begins, personal beliefs, etc.

        It still boils down to a personal judgement call on the part of the mother. Ultimately, it is her definitions involving her beliefs, body, DNA, and actions.

        I don’t disagree with you in regard to it being murder, ..I am just curious as to your reasoning.

        How is she violating something that is literally part of her body? Her and baby are one until the umbilical cord is severed. How is it different than deciding to remove an eye or something?

        • This is what makes abortion such a tough issue for me, BL. I agree (or believe) that life begins at inception. VH has kind of turned me closer to pro-life exclusively … but I’m still not there. I hate the idea of forcing a woman to have a baby she doesn’t want (for whatever reason). It’s very tough stuff across the board … and I’m not willing to jail somebody for that kind of a decision.

          • Thanks Charlie-you just made my day! 🙂

          • Bottom Line says:

            I agree, Charlie.

            It is always an interesting discussion though. It is somewhat of a challenge, and causes people to dig deep in search of their core values.

            • VH really did make me rethink it … all props due to her.

              That said, seeing BF’s cocksureness … well, that’s what I fear (for women) … very tough decision.

        • The moment of life is absolutely, equivocally, defined by science; conception

          None of this has anything to do with “beliefs” or any other whimsical notions.

          It is NOT part of her body; it is IN her body. It is completely separate, it grows at a rates and forms different from her body, etc.

          If you, by a medical procedure, attach a tube from my arm to yours so you can get a blood transfusion to save your life, would you say “you are part of my body”?

          • Mathius™ says:

            If it’s a separate body, then it seems that it should have to be held accountable for its own actions, even if the brain isn’t formed enough for it to know that it’s making said actions.

            • But it does not act by its own accord.

              If a man hits you in the stomach, and as a consequence the force of the blow makes you spit on him, do you argue that the man had, thus, a right to hit you because you spit?

              • Mathius™ says:

                So here’s a question then: at what point does a baby fetus begin “acting of its own accord?

                Because, if the attachment to a uterus is a direct consequence (and this is a solid point), then you could easily argue that the growth which follows is also a direct consequence (sure it is!). Therefore, birth is also a consequence. And then, because you created this fetus baby, and you then went on to teach the baby, the way it grows up is a direct consequence. And then, when he robs a liquor store for money to feed his meth habit at the age of 36, that’s on you.

                Obviously, some reducto ad absurdum here, but the question stands: Where is the cutoff from “your actions make you responsible for X” to “it’s / his actions are his now own”?

              • “So here’s a question then: at what point does a baby fetus begin “acting of its own accord?”

                Around 6 months or so, it begins to make decisions and choices. Prior it rests on instinct.

                “And then, when he robs a liquor store for money to feed his meth habit at the age of 36, that’s on you.”

                No. Your leaps are fantasy and do not provide such a “link”.

                “Where is the cutoff from “your actions make you responsible for X” to “it’s / his actions are his now own”?”

                The point where the consequence of your actions can be mitigated (or repaired) with no harm to the innocent.

                If you break my window, you are no longer responsible for that broken window when you have repaired (or made better) it back to its prior state. Then you are relieved of the consequence of you throwing that rock.

              • …or being the subject of your action, I say you are relieved of it (you broke my window, and do your best to repair, but can’t do it all – but I for my own reason say “It’s ok, Mathius, that’s good enough…”

  23. More fun from capitalism gone wild! America, the land of opportunity … you too can ear less and less while corporate profits soar to record highs each and every day! What a country!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/sunday-review/fighting-back-against-wretched-wages.html?_r=2&

  24. Time for a chuckle.

  25. I’m confused-who wrote this article-Mathius or Gman. Nice to hear from all you guys-Hi Mathius, Buck and BF. Missed you guys 🙂

  26. Just A Citizen says:

    Sorry I had to run this afternoon and miss the fun. Looks like it didn’t take long for the “harsh” Flag to come out.

    Mathius……………while I disagree with your argument I appreciate your effort and your willingness to put it out there for debate. Especially hanging around for the discussion. Taking time to read and respond while trying to work can be hard. So Thanks.

    Now lets try to refocus a bit. Back to definitions since those are critical to any discussion. So lets start with the definition of ABORTION itself. From WIKI

    “Abortion is the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability.[note 1] An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced. The term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy.”

    Now please notice that by definition Abortion refers to the termination of pregnancy PRIOR to viability. So any discussion of “abortion” that does not kill the unborn is in error. I realize this use of the term for late term has become more widespread. But these are medical terms which have been developed over time for reasons. Maybe we should try and stick with them. Or maybe not!!

    Of course this begs the question “What is the deliberate termination of pregnancy AFTER viability called if not an abortion?”

    Now for the other part:

    “Spontaneous

    Main article: Miscarriage

    Spontaneous abortion, also known as miscarriage, is the unintentional expulsion of an embryo or fetus before the 24th week of gestation.[14] A pregnancy that ends before 37 weeks of gestation resulting in a live-born infant is known as a “premature birth” or a “preterm birth”.[15] When a fetus dies in utero after viability, or during delivery, it is usually termed “stillborn”.[16] Premature births and stillbirths are generally not considered to be miscarriages although usage of these terms can sometimes overlap.[17]”

  27. Just A Citizen says:

    Black Flag

    You made a comment today I would like you to explain.

    That an unborn child/fetus DOES NOT have a right to life.

    It seems that this argument depends on a different meaning of “rights” than most of us consider valid. Maybe not.

    Does the DOES NOT apply equally to those who are BORN or do the Born have this Right to life?

    • Bottom Line says:

      He’s going to tell you that …if the universe guaranteed a ‘right to life’, we would all be immortal, that we would never die.

      You have a right to defense of your life, but not a guaranteed right to live.

      …or something like that.

    • Additionally, how do reconcile self-defense, if you hold “right to life”? The killer has a right to life so you have no right to defend yourself if that meant you would need to kill him to stop him?

      No, you have a right to defend your life – as he does too.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        BF

        OK, we are using DIFFERENT definitions. Mine is more of the one used by the Founding Era thinkers.

        It goes to control of one’s life, of personal decisions and actions.

        Thus a fetus has that right by virtue of its existence. It cannot act on that right due to its condition. Same as any born person who is seriously disabled mentally. In the latter case a “guardian” is responsible for their protection and care.

        We have a right to live………. that is to pursue our continued existence according to our nature. The right to defend our life is a secondary right to the core right of living.

        There is another option available that was mentioned by someone above. Your Rights or at least your freedom to exercise that right is forfeit by certain laws that violate societies sensibility The constraints on rights come via moral and ethical standards.

        Thus your right to life can be forfeit if you are attacking someone violently.

        It seems to me that if we apply your meaning then all rights we consider rights become NOT rights. My right to property is eliminated if someone steals my property.

        Lets try something different. Please provide YOUR definition of RIGHTS. And do you see differing types/levels of rights or just the one “fundamental level”?

  28. Judy Sabatini says:

    Look at this picture Matt or anybody & tell me it’s nothing but a clump of cells & mass tissue, & do read the article too if you will.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2013/07/29/seeing-a-baby-on-ultrasound-made-abortionist-quit-become-pro-life/

  29. Bottom Line says:

    Students Sign Petition to Legalize 4th Trimester Abortion

  30. I have been reading along while not weighing in on the subject at hand. Let me say that I’m excluding rape and incest, that’s a different animal all together.

    A woman’s right to choose is very important. Does she have the right to choose what is inside her body? Yes, and that folks is how the little baby was made. The woman exercised her right of choice, game over, now it’s time to deal with the results of that choice. Decisions have repercussions. Now, I’m on the fence on the morning after pill. Is that acceptable to those who are totally against abortion? I would say it’s OK for rape and incest, but not for birth control.

    Life carries responsibilities with it. Why are women given special consideration over their responsibilities in life to make smart decisions? Their are plenty of cheap birth control products, for both men and women, both should be held accountable for a pregnancy.

    Here’s a solution that will never go over, but what the heck. Women who get an abortion are given a permanate but reversible tubal ligation, that, when a women shows that she can be reponsible, can be reversed to allow pregnancy. The father, where it can be proven, must pay for the initial surgery and abortion, including the funeral of the now dead baby. Note: I say this to promote discussion, not because I totally advocate it.

    The example above is just an off the wall idea to try and demand responsibility from those who refuse to accept it for themselves.

  31. @ Mathius…….after taking part and reading all of the differing approaches to abortion…..your article has proven one thing….I doubt very seriously that you will ever have a consensus to a common denominator. Everyone thinks they are correct and no one will agree on a common starting place.

    • Mathius™ says:

      I have to admit.. I was shocked to find so much disagreement on such a basic point.

      I wasn’t seeking to “solve” the debate, per say, though I was accused repeatedly of condoning that Philly “doctor” and/or mass-murder, et cetera.

      It just seemed so fundamental to me that the debate would be well served by trying to separate out the real questions instead of conflating them. I think some of the people – like you – who keep a more open mind were able to see this and (hopefully) gain some new insight. Others.. not so much, I guess.

      Still, if it helped at all, then I guess this was worth it.

      Everyone thinks they are correct and no one will agree on a common starting place.

      Here’s the thing – I don’t think I’m “correct.” I just think hope that I’m “less wrong.” I don’t know the right answer and I’m willing to look at the issue from multiple angles.. but it annoys me that other people are so damn certain of themselves.

      • but it annoys me that other people are so damn certain of themselves.
        And it is that annoyed feeling that I find drives many to accept an opposing idea, even without any rational reason to do so.

        There is absolute truth in this world and it is right to stand on that truth and refuse to compromise. “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” (Malcolm X)

        • Mathius™ says:

          I think there probably is such a thing as an “absolute truth.” I’m just not so convinced of what that might be.

          And it is that annoyed feeling that I find drives many to accept an opposing idea, even without any rational reason to do so.

          So you’re saying here that people are pro-choice because pro-lifers are so annoying?

          • So you’re saying here that people are pro-choice because pro-lifers are so annoying?
            Not at all. What I said was that I think it drives “many”, not all. That’s why I enjoy talking with you, you present well thought out arguments and are willing to listen to the same in response.

            • Mathius™ says:

              That’s why I enjoy talking with you, you present well thought out arguments and are willing to listen to the same in response.

              I try.. thank you.

        • You do realize, FLP, that the queen of rational thought (The Evil Ayn Rand), did NOT believe in a creator .. she believed in social security 🙂

          • Why do you think Ayn Rand is the “queen of rational thought”? You seam to hold her in very high esteem for a socialist.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Charlie

            She did NOT believe in Social Security either.

            If you want to attack Ayn Rand then at least try to be truthful and do it from REASON rather than distortions and emotion.

            • Excuse me, she didn’t “believe” in it, but she sure and shit accepted it …

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Charlie

                Yes she did. And she set the criteria for accepting it long before she did so.

                So why not take on her argument rather than simply try to assassinate her character?

              • I think social security is a waste of time and money for America, but seeing as how I have been forced to pay into it I will definitely take out as much of my money as is still left when I am eligible. I would opt out today if given the option.

              • Thus, FLP, we see the Public Choice option at work as examples by your hands, and why the situation of government and its destruction to society increases and does not decrease.

                But there are those that steal from you today, you see it as a ‘right’ to steal in the future.

                You are not putting money into a system for you to withdraw in the future. It is not a bank account.

                Your money is being spent now. In the future, you will be taking someone elses money, under the same guise it is being stolen today, but then you will accept it.

                The system continues and grows until all is lost. The option: refuse the money in the future so to save the future – is not held by most people.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I loathe Social Security. The very idea of it is anathema to me.

                If you CANNOT work and are on the verse of starvation, of course, of course, I think we – as a society – have an obligation to help you.

                But just because you’re OLD does not give you the right to a chunk of my paycheck.

                As always, the distinction is this: Those who cannot work should get help, those who choose not to work should starve to death in the streets.

              • The option: refuse the money in the future so to save the future – is not held by most people.

                BF, I would not be heart broken if it is not around when I am eligible, in fact I conduct my life with no plan to ever receive SS. I am under no illusion that my money is being saved for me, even though that is how the system was sold to the sheeple.

                All I am saying is that if they are taking my money now and offer me some of it back, paid by someone other poor slave of the state, I will not turn it down. I would relinquish any claim on future payments if I had the option to not pay in now, but the Washington DC slave masters would never give us that option.

              • “All I am saying is that if they are taking my money now and offer me some of it back, paid by someone other poor slave of the state, I will not turn it down.”

                And that is my point, sir.

                You KNOW it is theft from another, but now, you are the receipt of it.

                Angry when you have to pay the thief, willingly accept when the thief pays you off — that is way the evil grows, not shrinks.

                I do not condemn you – it is merely the observation to why government always grows regardless of those that argue against it, ….

                …because most of those that argue against the government change sides when government benefits them.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I think issue here is that FLP is treating money in this situation as though it were perfectly fungible.

                That is, he’s not really taking “someone else’s money,” he’s getting “his own money” back. That is because the Government took it, and then The Government gave some money (which might just as well have been his own) back.

                At least, I think that’s the way he’s seeing it..

                And if that were the case (it’s not), then there would be no issue with accepting the money back because, hey, it’s your money in the first place.

                “All I am saying is that if they are taking my money now and offer me some of it back, paid by someone other poor slave of the state, I will not turn it down.”

                A thief steal your tv, pawns it, and snorts the proceeds. You track him down, demand your tv back. He tells you he doesn’t have it. So you say “then go steal someone else’s and give me that one.”

              • “So you say “then go steal someone else’s and give me that one.”

                Exactly

              • Mathius™ says:

                Careful.. that almost looked like praise..

        • “but it annoys me that other people are so damn certain of themselves.”

          Yep, that’s my issue with most of yous wingies here … not the ones missing teeth (that’s empty suit stuff) … I’m talking the intelligent arguments that ultimately turn into: I’m right, you’re wrong; black vs. white; the universe, etc. … you’ll notice the left isn’t demanding their positions are absolute and correct here … yet the right (for the most part–not all) insist on their superiority of thought and position … which, as I always say, “the more somebody is sure of themsleves, the more likely they are to get it wrong.”

          • said the guy who is the MOST certain of his position. 😉

          • Just A Citizen says:

            A great rationalization for don’t think and for heaven’s sake don’t have any convictions:

            “the more somebody is sure of themsleves, the more likely they are to get it wrong.”

            • Mathius™ says:

              It actually sounds pretty good to me. Someone who is DEAD SET CERTAIN of a complicated and nuanced issue is (generally) someone who has not given it much thought, or someone who exercises strongly biased reasoning. Again, generally speaking.

              You’ll notice that I am rarely certain of anything. I have lots of opinions and ideas, but not many certainties. Maybe it’s a personal failing, but generally, I try to look at everything from every angle I can. And, the more I do, the less it seems I know for sure.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Or someone who has applied rigorous thinking and logic to reach a rational conclusion.

                Apparently you two define rationality by the degree of complexity. Per you complexity precludes a rational answer.

              • Mathius™ says:

                “generally”.. there’s a reason I said generally. Sometimes the person is right, or has a solid case. GENERALLY, their opinion is just an unfounded kneejerk reaction of which they are (somehow) absolutely certain.

                As a RULE OF THUMB, I would agree that people claiming to be absolutely certain of complex issues is someone who doesn’t know their head from their a$$.

            • Sure I have convictions, sir JAC … in the greater good and the Buffalo Bills … one I’m sure is right and the other I’m sure will have another shitty season.

              • Mathius™ says:

                That’s probably true… The Greater Good probably will have another shitty season..

      • Correct.

        The real question is: “Does another have the right to murder an innocent so to avoid the consequences of their own decisions?”

        No amount of technology changes the question, Mathius.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        You are a great supporter of reason and use of logic. If some of us don’t accept your premise it is because you have failed to provide a reasoned argument in support of it.

        You did not respond to counter arguments with other logical arguments. Instead you create examples that are fallacies in themselves. Like your parasite example.

        You should also not confuse my personal disagreement with your proposition with my personal beliefs on the issue of abortion itself.

        Frankly, I thought your previous arguments on abortion far more valid than this one. When you were arguing that “personhood” can be defined scientifically and thus we can identify IF a baby has reached “personhood” status.

        Notice that your prior argument actually fits the debate and the consensus on late term you mentioned above. That is among the general population. Neither of the two extremes will ever give way on the fundamentals.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Frankly, I thought your previous arguments on abortion far more valid than this one. When you were arguing that “personhood” can be defined scientifically and thus we can identify IF a baby has reached “personhood” status.

          That is my PERSONAL opinion on “personhood” – that is, a “human being” (or a computer!) becomes a “person” with all the attendant rights when they reach a certain level of mental capacity – I don’t set this bar high, nor do I dare to try to define it myself (that way evil lies), but I do suggest that it must exist. When you had only a dozen neurons, you couldn’t possibly have been able to think or feel or experience in any sense that matters. There was nothing “sacred” about your right to live/life that I can ground in logic any more than the right a caterpillar might have to live/life.

          But that’s me, and that’s NOT what I was trying to get at with this.

          For this article, I just wanted to offer up another way to look at the “question of abortion.”

          your prior argument actually fits the debate and the consensus on late term you mentioned above. That is among the general population. Neither of the two extremes will ever give way on the fundamentals.

          It doesn’t matter that neither side will give way. “Your side” will win in the end. And I am happy to say that that is the case. Technology, as I posit, will obviate the whole situation. The long-term outcome is much better.

          In the meantime, well, we’ll all just continue to fight it out as “your side” continues to push the deadline back and back until someone eventually notices that the fight is pointless because both sides have “won.”

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            “My side”???? You continue to baffle me. Logical and rational one minute and confused the next.

            I never claimed you were trying to argue personhood or rationalize abortion or not. I fully understood what you were trying to do.

            I simply disagree with your underlying premise that the issue is the conflict of two fundamental rights which are in opposition to each other.

            Given the meaning of fundamental rights such a conflict is irrational.

            The core disagreement over abortion centers on one issue and one alone. WHEN does a human being first exist. You can make it different for you but that is the fundamental dispute between the two sides.

            Everyone who claims some grey in this dispute is not looking deeper into the implications of their arguments.

            Oh, the other source of conflict is the serious diversity of opinions about what RIGHTS are in the first place.

            • Mathius™ says:

              “your side”.. I put this in quotes for a reason.. just in the general sense that you’re against abortion

  32. Mathius™ says:

    Is it just me or does the SUFA homepage tell you to “lick here for more” at the bottom of my article-blurb?

    I don’t really want to have to lick my screen for more.. even by this place’s standards, that’s just odd.

  33. He’s not kidding, FLP:

    http://charliestella.net/Blurbs.html

  34. Just A Citizen says:

    Time to kick up the headache factor. This is largely why there is so much disagreement over so many key issues in America today. At one time the American people had a more unified understanding of what the terms Rights and Liberties meant. And for the record, that is my “opinion” and not a claim of absolute “certainty”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right

  35. Just A Citizen says:

    Black Flag

    If your Rights are actions and not a state of existence, then HOW do you know they are discovered Natural Rights as opposed to human invented rights?

    • By an action, if undertaken, does not impose upon another human.

      Invented rights fundamentally require such imposition. Voting for example; by a vote, I can steal your car. Voting is not a natural right, but a legal right.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        BF

        So lets look at property rights and right of movement.

        Does not my claim to property affect your ability to move around as you wish? Have I not imposed upon you by owning said property?

        • No, because the right to control the use of property merely extends to my property, not yours.

          You have the right of movement on your property. My right of property does not impact that.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Flag, happy to hear from you again! I hope all is well with you and the family. I have thought of you often but chose to leave you to your world. Glad your back, stick around! 🙂

      • Just A Citizen says:

        BF

        And does not my action of self defense impose upon another human?

        • The imposition is the other in his attack, not in your response.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            BF

            It seems to me your answer is no different than the one you used against the right to life.

            If it is a right then it is not conditional.

            So what is the source of the right to self defense? Is there not a more fundamental right that supports this?

            • There is no condition at all.

              Action is a reality, not an illusion.

              Private property entitles its owner to discriminate: to exclude or include others from his property and to determine the conditions of entry and inclusion. This right does not -at all- involve any concept of “freedom of movement”. That is independent concept.

              Indeed, there is but one human right from which all other things you have noted actually derive. Those other things are not the Right itself but an expression of the consequence of the Right in action.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                BF

                The Right in action? In action or “to act”? And then of course “to act” according to some “constraint”. Namely “not to impose”. So is the constraint part of the Right or is it a separate ethical constraint?

                On the property issue, you used the phrase controlling the property. The right we usually think of is the Right to OWN said property. And here I mean Real Estate.

                My act of ownership obviously constrains others ability to own the same land. So am I not imposing upon them?

              • Mathius™ says:
              • Just A Citizen says:

                BF

                I think I misread what your “in action” meant.

                So let me ask the real question.

                WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT from which all the others are derived???

  36. Just A Citizen says:
  37. “So why not take on her argument rather than simply try to assassinate her character?”

    Nobody can assassinate that lunatic’s character more than the lunatic herself. A self-righteous, phony, whackjob control freak who threw fits when she couldn’t get her way … just loved the movie based on one of her former protégées the other day “The Passion of Ayn Rand” … she treated her husband the way the greedy rich treat the poor …
    and she was nuts. 🙂

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Didn’t you understand my question??

      I did not ask how or why to attack her character or if her character had flaws.

      I asked you why not attack the argument directly instead.

      • What argument is that, JAC? Her disbelief in a higher being? Her whackjob objectivism? I agree with the first and refute any attempt to dissociate reality from what humans feel emotionally or otherwise. I have no problem with obtaining one’s happiness … so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of others … and capitalism, my friend, cannot do one with doing the other.

        • Mathius™ says:

          obtaining one’s happiness … so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of others … and capitalism, my friend, cannot do one with doing the other.

          Of course it can.

          It often doesn’t, but it sure as hell can.

          Capitalism is NOT a zero sum game. Sometimes 99.9999% lose and 0.0001% win huge. Ok, that does seem to happen a lot. But sometimes, everyone wins.

          • It is absolutely NOT a zero sum game – ever.

            When men trade voluntarily, either both leave with more than they came with (the trade occurs) or both men leave with exactly what they came with (no trade occurs).

            This is no zero sum. It is either win/win or no-lose/no-lose.

  38. “But just because you’re OLD does not give you the right to a chunk of my paycheck.

    As always, the distinction is this: Those who cannot work should get help, those who choose not to work should starve to death in the streets.”

    Oy vey … he doesn’t really mean that … the streets would be too cluttered and then the Hedge Fun Mgrs woujld expect someone else to clean them. No, whagt he means is, those who refuse to work can move to Texas where at least their wages (what they might’ve earned — minimum wage) is closer to what they aren’t earning anyway.

    • Mathius™ says:

      he doesn’t really mean that [those who choose not to work should starve to death in the streets.]

      He meant what he said and he said what he meant.

      He who does not* work, neither shall he eat.

      —-
      *The Greek phrase “οὐ θέλει ἐργάζεσθαι” means “is not willing to work.” However, this is the common English translation, so I went with it anyway even though it could be confused** for meaning “is not able to work.”

      —-
      **This is a mistake some politicians conveniently make. I won’t name names, however, because she scares me poop out of me.

  39. Just A Citizen says:

    Contrarian thought of the day.

    Now that we see the elite and our Govt leadership siding with the Egyptian Military, maybe we should consider that the Muslim Brotherhood really weren’t the bad guys we thought.

    • They weren’t.

      It is always the measure of “who controls the guns?”
      They didn’t.

      • But they will…and when they do….the result will be the same.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Want to end strife in the ME? Two solutions: Turn the place into a sea of glass or.. err.. hmm… ok, I guess that’s it, actually.. oh well.

          Kidding aside: it won’t create insta-peace, but it wouldn’t hurt if we could stop buying their oil.. just saying..

          • Egypt does not have much oil to sell

            • Mathius™ says:

              I meant the whole region, not just Egypt specifically.

              We’ve messed with the region so much for the last century plus. We mess with countries which don’t even have oil because they give us influence on the countries which do, or they abut vital waterways *cough* suez *cough*. We radicalize groups when it suits us and cry foul when radicalized groups act against our interests. We prop up tin-pot dictators, and drone strike anyone who looks like a terrorist*. Of course it’s going to be a violent chaotic mess.

              Take away our economic interest in the region, and the US government will stop messing with them… or at least it won’t mess with them so much.***

              *note that this is pretty much, by definition, everyone.**

              **Also note that the government defines “terrorist” to mean anyone opposing US forces, say, in Iraq. But, crazy-ole-me, I tend to thing that people fighting against a military occupation of their own country aren’t terrorists except where they apply those tactics (ie, roadside bombs are a “guerrilla warfare” military tactic to counteract our superior force.. suicide bombing civilians in a restaurant is “total war” terrorism)

              *** Of course, Israel is still in the area, and the Jews and evangelical Christians still have a lot of power in the government.. so yea, things won’t completely calm down over there. But it would still be better.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                Our supposed “economic interest” in the region is not the real issue, in my humble opinion.

                It may have been at one time but today those interests are linked to Global Interests not just the region. It is the “indirect” affect that is of concern.

                The real issues stem from two causes. One was T. Roosevelt taking us into an “activist” role in global politics. Even “imperialistic” to a great extent. The second was the world’s willingness to us the USA as the global police force after WW II. They want us to manipulate and take the fire, but then they love to condemn us for doing it.

                We also need to realize that any involvement is almost certainly doomed in a volatile region. Which is most of the world. If we are invited to be in a country and asked for help, there will always be someone else who views that as supporting the “enemy of the people”.

                The alternative is to provide ZERO assistance to any country that does not have settled and stable democratic type govts in place.

              • Mathius™ says:

                JAC, though we do, occasionally act as “world-police” in places we have little-to-no economic interest in, it is far more common that we mess with places which are important to our financial well-being.

                Oil is almost certainly the reason we’re in Iraq and not, say, the the Congo or Somalia. We’re not there because we, as a country DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYONE EXCEPT OURSELVES. And the Congo and Somalia are not right next door to Big Oil and do not have the Suez Canal. Therefore, let them have their dictators and “ethic cleansing,” and civil unrest – the US government won’t raise an eyebrow 99% of the time.. but when there’s something going on in the ME that threatens our oil supply/price? Time to bring the hammer down.

                If not our economic interests, how do you explain the disparity in “our” actions?

              • The economic interest in the region is more than oil.
                Strategically, the Suez Canal, the Dardanelles, and traditionally the gateway to Asia

                It has been fought over for centuries, and oil is merely the latest excuse.

          • Wouldn’t it be better if the US would just mind our own business and leave the ME alone. Get all our troops home, setup some fair trade agreements with each country and let’s start taking care of those that need it here. We can get our own oil and natural gas.

        • Empty assertion

  40. Just A Citizen says:

    Black Flag……….response to FLP

    “All I am saying is that if they are taking my money now and offer me some of it back, paid by someone other poor slave of the state, I will not turn it down.”

    And that is my point, sir.

    You KNOW it is theft from another, but now, you are the receipt of it.

    Angry when you have to pay the thief, willingly accept when the thief pays you off — that is way the evil grows, not shrinks.

    I do not condemn you – it is merely the observation to why government always grows regardless of those that argue against it, ….

    …because most of those that argue against the government change sides when government benefits them

    ME:

    Oh Lord, I feel so DIRTY and PARTY to a crime.

    • LoL: old friend.

      But that is the rub. When good, moral people can be drawn into accept the proceeds of theft, what hope is there that evil will be diminished?

      The evil entangles the good by such a sticky web.

      It provides a benefit that few can refuse – indeed, many good men take that benefit because otherwise the cost on their bodies and lives is harsh.

      Evil is crafty.

      It spreads the cost over large masses – where by measure, a single man loses but a dollar every hour – but every hour of his life. He calculates at the moment… “It is only a dollar now” – and does not calculate the total loss – “it is $8000 a year” or “it is $250,000 over my life’s work” – because he has not, yet, lost $250,000 RIGHT NOW.

      He cannot see the loss because it is taken so small over time.

      So when his benefit comes due, he receives more than a dollar “now”, without regard that he has lost so much more…. and in his exclaim “I win!” actually inflicts a great loss upon his children.

      • Mathius™ says:

        I don’t think JAC is claiming that he won.. maybe just doing what he can to feel like he “lost less.”

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Mathius

          Actually I was lamenting my recent role in the crime BF is describing.

          Specifically the accessing of Govt AID for my youngest. As his guardian, one of them, the pressure was unbelievable to get him enrolled in the various Govt programs. This access is not having an affect on where I am going to live after my term in purgatory is over.

          In a small way it reflects the impact of such programs on our daily thinking, behavior and values of what is or is not acceptable.

          If I use Ayn Rand’s argument I can justify it. If I use my own, which is closer to BF’s, then I can not justify it but can only “rationalize” it.

          In either case, It leaves a foul taste in my mouth.

  41. Lynn Safford … Movie Reviews … Vincent E. Green … Momma Stella … Charlie’s World …
    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2013/08/lynn-safford-movie-reviews-vincent-e.html

  42. “we, as a country DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYONE EXCEPT OURSELVES. ”

    Which, according to Ayn Rand, is EXACTLY what we should be doing …

    Another reason almost everyone hates us … and why some of us aren’t as enamored with us as others wish 🙂

    • Buuuullll Shit! Where do they go knocking when an earthquake or tsunami hits..good ole USA.

      Haters gon’ hate.

      • I might be mistaking, Anita, my love, but … I think more private charities helped out in places like the Sudan (those Hollywood liberals, et al) than did the government … I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we $”Care”$ more about places that serve our interests than we do vs. those we regard as a burden … we were after all, the supporters of the following (just up to 2005). I doubt the people who lived under their rule were big fans.

        Africa
        MOBUTU SESE SEKO
        Dictator of Zaire 1965-1997
        MOHAMMED SIAD BARRE
        President/Dictator of Somalia 1969-1991
        GEN. IBRAHIM BABANGIDA
        Military Dictator/President of Nigeria 1985-1993
        GEN. SANI ABACHA
        Dictator of Nigeria 1993-1998
        HASTINGS KAMUZU BANDA
        Dictator of Malawi 1966-1994
        LAURENT-DÉSIRÉ KABILA
        President/Dictator of the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1997-2001
        GNASSINGBE ETIENNE EYADEMA
        Dictator of Togo 1967-2005
        FELIX HOUPHOUET-BOIGNY
        Dictator/President of the Ivory Coast 1960-1993
        HASSAN II
        King of Morocco 1961-1999
        TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO
        President/Dictator of Equatorial Guinea 1979-present
        ZINE EL ABIDINE BEN ALI
        President-Prime Minister/Dictator of Tunisia 1987-2011
        ANWAR EL-SADAT
        President/Dictator of Egypt 1970-1981
        HOSNI MUBARAK
        President/Dictator of Egypt 1981-present
        IAN SMITH
        Prime Minister of Rhodesia (white minority regime) 1965-1979
        PIETER WILLEM BOTHA
        Prime Minister of South Africa (white minority regime) 1978-1984, President 1984-1989
        DANIEL ARAP MOI
        President/Dictator of Kenya 1978-2002
        HAILE SELASSIE (RAS TAFARI)
        Emperor of Ethiopia 1928-1974
        WILLIAM J. S. TUBMAN
        President/Dictator of Liberia 1944-1971
        SAMUEL KANYON DOE
        Dictator of Liberia 1980-1990

        Asia
        MOHAMED SUHARTO
        Dictator of Indonesia 1966-1998
        NGO DINH DIEM
        President/Dictator of South Vietnam 1955-1963
        GEN. NGUYEN KHANH
        Dictator of South Vietnam 1964-1965
        NGUYEN CAO KY
        Dictator of South Vietnam 1965-1967
        GEN. NGUYEN VAN THIEU
        President/Dictator of South Vietnam 1967-1975
        TRAN THIEM KHIEM
        Prime Minister of South Vietnam 1969-75
        BAO DAI
        Emperor of Vietnam 1926-1945, chief of state 1949-1955
        LEE KUAN YEW
        Prime Minister/Dictator of Singapore 1959-1990; behind-the scenes ruler since then.
        EMOMALI RAHMONOV
        President/Dictator of Tajikistan 1992-present
        NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV
        President of Kazakhstan 1990-present
        ISLAM A. KARIMOV
        President/Dictator of Uzbekistan 1990-present
        SAPARMURAD ATAYEVICH NIYAZOV
        President/Dictator of Turkmenistan 1990-2006
        MARSHAL LUANG PIBUL SONGGRAM
        Dictator of Thailand 1948-1957
        FIELD MARSHAL THANOM KITTIKACHORN
        Prime Minister/Dictator of Thailand 1957-58, 1963-1973
        CHIANG KAI-SHEK
        President/Dictator (Nationalist) of China 1928-1949
        President/Dictator of Taiwan 1949-1975
        CHIANG CHING-KUO
        President/Dicator of Taiwan 1978-1988; Prime Minister 1972-1978
        DENG XIAOPING
        De facto ruler of China from circa 1978 to the early 1990s
        FERDINAND MARCOS
        President/Dictator of the Philippines 1965-1986
        SYNGMAN RHEE
        President/Dictator of South Korea 1948-1960
        GEN. PARK CHUNG HEE
        President/Dictator of South Korea 1962-1979
        GEN. CHUN DOO HWAN
        President/Dictator of South Korea 1980-1988
        SIR MUDA HASSANAL BOLKIAH
        Sultan of Brunei 1967-present
        GEN. LON NOL
        Prime Minister/Dictator of Cambodia 1970-1975
        POL POT
        Dictator of Cambodia 1975-1979
        MAJ. GEN. SITIVENI RABUKA
        Dictator of Fiji 1987-1999
        ASKAR AKAYEV
        President of Kyrgyzstan 10/27/1990-2005

        Europe
        FRANCISCO FRANCO
        Dictator of Spain 1939-1975
        ANTONIO SALAZAR DE OLIVEIRA
        Dictator of Portugal 1928-1968
        COL. GEORGIOS PAPADOPOULOS
        Prime Minister/President/Dictator of Greece 1967-1973

        Latin America
        ANASTASIO SOMOZA GARCIA
        Dictator of Nicaragua 1937-1947, 1950-1956
        ANASTASIO “TACHITO” SOMOZA DEBAYLE
        Dictator of Nicaragua 1967-1972, 1974-1979
        MANUEL ESTRADA CABRERA
        Dictator of Guatemala 1898-1920
        GEN. JORGE UBICO CASTANEDA
        Dictator of Guatemala 1931-1944
        COL. CARLOS ENRIQUE CASTILLO ARMAS
        Dictator of Guatemala 1954-1957
        GEN. JOSE MIGUEL YDIGORAS FUENTES
        President/Dictator of Guatemala 1958-1963
        COL. ENRIQUE PERALTA AZURDIA
        Military Junta, Guatemala 1963-1966
        COL.CARLOS ARANA OSORIO
        Dictator of Guatemala 1970-1974
        GEN. FERNANDO ROMEO LUCAS GARCIA
        Dictator of Guatemala 1978-1982
        GEN. JOSE EFRAIN RIOS MONTT
        Dictator of Guatemala 1982-1983
        MARCO VINICIO CEREZO ARÉVALO
        President/Dictator of Guatemala 1986-1991
        MAXIMILIANO HERNANDEZ MARTINEZ
        Dictator of El Salvador 1931-1944
        COL. OSMIN AGUIRRE Y SALINAS
        Dictator of El Salvador 1944-1945
        CIVILIAN-MILITARY JUNTA, EL SALVADOR
        1961-1962
        COL. ARTURO ARMANDO MOLINA BARRAZA
        Dictator of El Salvador 1972-1977
        JUNTA, EL SALVADOR
        1979-1982
        ALFREDO FÉLIX CRISTIANI BUKARD
        President/Dictator of El Salvador 1989-1994
        TIBURCIO CARIAS ANDINO
        Dictator of Honduras 1932-1948
        COL. OSWALDO LOPEZ ARELLANO
        Dictator of Honduras 1963-1975
        ROBERTO SUAZO CORDOVA
        President/Dictator of Honduras 1982-1986
        GEN. OMAR HERRERA-TORRIJOS
        Dictator of Panama 1969-1981
        GEN. MANUEL ANTONIO MORENA NORIEGA
        Dictator of Panama 1982-1989
        AUGUSTO PINOCHET UGARTE
        Dictator of Chile 1973-1990
        GEN. JORGE RAFAEL VIDELA
        Dictator of Argentina 1976-1981
        COL. MARCOS PEREZ JIMENEZ
        Dictator of Venezuela 1950-1958
        GEN. ALFREDO STROESSNER
        Dictator of Paraguay 1954-1989
        ALBERTO FUJIMORI
        Dictator of Peru 1990-2000
        FRANCOIS “PAPA DOC” DUVALIER
        Dictator of Haiti 1957-1971
        JEAN-CLAUDE “BABY DOC” DUVALIER
        Dictator of Haiti 1971-1986
        MILITARY JUNTA / LT. GEN. RAOUL CEDRAS, GEN. PHILIPPE BIAMBY and LT. COL. MICHEL-JOSEPH FRANCO
        Haiti 1991-1994
        GEN. RENE BARRIENTOS ORTUNO
        President/Dictator of Bolivia 1964-1969
        GEN. HUGO BANZER SUAREZ
        Dictator of Bolivia 1971-1978
        DR. GETULIO VARGAS
        Dictator of Brazil 1930-1945, 1951-1954
        GEN. HUMBERTO DE ALENCAR CASTELLO BRANCO
        Dictator of Brazil 1964-1967
        CARLOS PRIO SOCARRAS
        Dictator of Cuba 1948-1952
        FULGENCIO BATISTA
        Dictator of Cuba 1933-44, 1952-1959
        GERARDO MACHADO MORALES
        Dictator of Cuba 1925-1933
        RAFAEL LEONIDAS TRUJILLO
        Dictator of the Dominican Republic 1930-1961

        Middle East
        MOHAMMED REZA PAHLAVI
        Shah of Iran 1941-1979
        SADDAM HUSSEIN
        Dictator of Iraq 1969 (1979)-2003
        GEN. MOHAMMED AYUB KHAN
        President/Dictator of Pakistan 1958-1969
        GEN. AGHA MUHAMMAD YAHYA KHAN
        President/Dictator of Pakistan 1969-1971
        GEN. MOHAMMAD ZIA UL-HAQ
        President/Dictator of Pakistan 1977-1988
        PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
        Dictator of Pakistan 1999-2008
        ABDUL IBN HUSSEIN I
        King of Jordan 1952-1999
        TURGUT ÖZAL
        Prime Minister of Turkey 1983-1989, President 1989-1993
        SHEIK JABIR AL-AHMAD AL SABAH
        Emir of Kuwait 1977-2006
        Prime Minister of Kuwait 1962-1963, 1965-1978
        FAHD IBN ABDUL-AZIZ AL SAUD
        King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia 1982-2005

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Charlie

      You are WRONG again regarding Rand’s views.

      You can’t grasp that rational self interest does NOT preclude caring for others or acting in a charitable fashion towards others.

      You mix up “individual self interest” with “national” interest or the actions of a “country”.

      In her view the role of Govt was to protect our rights and prosecute criminals. So her lack of support for “foreign aid” was not due to “only we matter” but that it was NOT THE PROPER ROLE OF GOVT to take your money and send it to someone else on the other side of the planet when you as a person cannot judge them worthy.

      • Keep trying, JAC … “You can’t grasp that rational self interest does NOT preclude caring for others or acting in a charitable fashion towards others.”

        Nobody said it “precluded” anything … it’s her advice that ME, ME, ME come first … and capitalism needs THEM, THEM, THEM to grow … so therefore, by rational logical deduction (you dunce, you :)) WE, WE, WE, use THEM, THEM, THEM for OUR, OUR, OUR self interest. Or should I draw you pictures? 🙂

  43. Just A Citizen says:

    Mathius

    “If not our economic interests, how do you explain the disparity in “our” actions?”

    1. Do not assume that because you don’t see the USA we are not there meddling in things. We are EVERYWHERE.

    2. As the Big Oil execs said in testimony to Congress, when the Dems held hearings to chastise them over profits, “if not for the Govts’ meddling in the Middle East we could buy all the oil we need at affordable prices”.

    3. The economic interests in the Middle East are primarily those of Europe and China. WE are there to protect the flow for everyone else. Although I am still not convinced it is really about protecting the flow to anyone.

    4. I do not believe we went to Iraq for oil. There is no real evidence of that having been the reason. We could have purchased oil from Saddam just as easily as everyone else. It had much more to do with who he was getting friendly with and of course that Iran is right next door.

    5. Our involvement in the middle east may be linked to resources indirectly, but it is because we are the selected representative in a game of geo politics. This game only marginally involves Africa, although that will certainly increase as China’s influence in the region continues to grow.

    Thus you see our visible involvement more in the middle east and SE Asia. But again, we are EVERYWHERE.

    There is one other factor which I think comes to play. My opinion on this is based on pieces within the many books and articles on foreign policy. The “neo Cons”, which exist in both parties, think the US should be an active player is “steering” events in the world. They believe we should “spread democracy” to an extent. From what I can tell I think they actually believed there was a chance for this to work in the middle east. Iraq in particular.

    Somalia and other places in Africa show little chance of success. Resources play a role here but not in our interest but the ability of nation to be built after we “helped them”.

    Now with all that said, the US obviously has economic interests around the world. This makes it hard to separate or distinguish those actions that are directly about economic interest and those that are more ideological or political in nature.

  44. Mathius™ says:

    All I could think of was Charlie when I saw this… 😉

    This guy is wiping the rain off his face.. with a 50 (euro).

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