Re: Grostesque

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Anti-choicers discovered our winery so they protested a recent wine festival we had. Parents and children lined up along a busy highway with large pictures. Most of the people who came to the festival told me that the signs turned them off of that position.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 4:35 AM
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And while I'm out of the state on vacation, the assholes that run our General Assembly are busy turning The Handmaid's Tale into legislation. I could seriously throttle my brother-in-law who voted for McCrory because "it's time we had a governor from the western half of the state."

http://www.wral.com/senate-tacks-sweeping-abortion-legislation-onto-sharia-law-bill/12621503/


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 4:53 AM
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Is your winery particularly abortion-friendly, will? I know I've said before that there were anti-abortion picketers at my HS graduation, but Lee's brother wins for having Fred Phelps at his (straight) wedding to shame him for having gay friends and maybe for being a minister of music, which is practically gay anyhow.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:34 AM
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2: Abortion Restrictions Added to Anti-Sharia Bill. We are living The Onion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:38 AM
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Someone should tell them that under Sharia, all abortion is outlawed after 16-18 weeks. And before that only to save the life of the mother.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:57 AM
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5: Really? I'd think before ensoulment (I think at 4 months or so, but I don't actually know how it's counted) any kind of abortion is permissible according to most jurists. There are certainly a lot of medieval Islamic texts that discuss abortions non-judgmentally.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:03 AM
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(5 based on a quick look at a single source on current Iranian law. Not intended as legal advice.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:06 AM
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7: Oh, yeah, I was thinking Sunni and I don't actually expect all countries' sharia plans to be identical or anything. I was just surprised it was so harsh, because I'd expect it not to be.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:08 AM
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1 - Why the hell are anti-choicers protesting a wine festival? Is the wine laced with RU-486 or something? Or does this just fall under the general conservative fear that someone, somewhere might be having a good time?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:21 AM
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At the risk of stating the obvious, abortion restrictions don't have much of anything to do with religious beliefs about fetuses. They have to do with beliefs about women.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:26 AM
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9 -- This belongs in the other thread, I suppose, but it's always interesting to see how not everyone knows details that others of us know about things off-blog.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:35 AM
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I drove near Dover AFB the other day and they were protesting the undertakers. Seriously, their press release has chapter and verse, literally, about how God hates those rituals.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:45 AM
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12: God hates toe tags?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:48 AM
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I actually don't agree entirely with 10.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:49 AM
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11 - I respect the sanctity of off-blog communications so much, I don't have off-blog communications.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:54 AM
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At the risk of stating the obvious, abortion restrictions don't have much of anything to do with religious beliefs about fetuses. They have to do with beliefs about women.

I'm with heebie in not agreeing with this. People are pretty darned serious about fetuses. While the privileging of fetuses over women certainly has to do with beliefs about women, it doesn't *not* have to do with fetuses.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:02 AM
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abortion restrictions don't have much of anything to do with religious beliefs about fetuses. They have to do with beliefs about women.

They have to do with both, actually; the underlying belief is that the primary purpose of women is to incubate fetuses.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:06 AM
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Even "primary purpose" is obviously overstating it. The primary purpose of women (as with men) is to glorify God. Incubating fetuses is just one way that can be done.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:14 AM
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There's an awful lot of abortion-related bullshit linked to female sexuality (birth control pills are "abortifacients", etc.) that has nothing to do with fetuses.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:16 AM
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There's the passage in Exodus and the point about Evangelicals mobllizing politically to protect Bob Jones U.'s tax status. Fundies didn't care about abortion until the eighties.

I think that fundamentalists religious beliefs have lots of flexible details. They could be this worked up about electric cars, vegetarians, or Yoga mats, but those causes are political losers for their leaders.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:17 AM
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19 is true. Though also a lot of that is simple scientific illiteracy.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:20 AM
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19 is true. IME, that's when it becomes about controlling women and making them live out God's vision that women should be domestic slaves.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:21 AM
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14, 16, 17. I mean, sure, abortion is about fetuses, just as keeping women out of the workplace is about the welfare of children. Nobody wants to say what's underneath this stuff, but that doesn't change what these things are really about.

"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." That's a bit of hyperbole, as was my comment in 10, but only a bit.

And note that I was specifically talking about the religious tradition. Admittedly, I can't actually speak to the Koranic tradition; I'm just assuming it's similar to the Biblical one.

The Bible's discussion of fetuses is pretty straight-up: They ain't people.

Moreover, if you look at how the argument is carried out in the real world today, very few people are saying, for example, that women ought to be convicted of murder if they abort - despite the very direct claim that abortion is murder. Even among the anti-abortion types, very few really believe that embryos are morally indistinguishable from an adult human being - despite the fact that this is what they say.

What they do believe is that women ought to be punished for sex, and babies are an appropriate punishment.

As someone raised Catholic - as someone who could sincerely articulate the antiabortion argument as a supporter - I fully understand how anti-abortion indoctrination focuses on fetuses. What I'm trying to distinguish here is the indoctrination from the reason for the indoctrination.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:21 AM
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The thing is, if men's gametes are all potential lives, then so are women's, and that means every month a woman is ovulating and isn't pregnant is the moral equivalent of an abortion, doesn't it? A little science is a dangerous thing, in the wrong hands.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:23 AM
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There are multiple things going on here--desire to control women and female sexuality, desire to protect fetuses, lack of education. Each specific anti-choice/conservative policy is going to be the effect of different combinations of those inputs.

Fundies didn't care about abortion until the eighties.

However it's always (for some large value of 'always') been a concern of the Catholic Church. Strange bedfellows.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:24 AM
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We've all seen those movies about servant girls in the nineteenth century who went to the witchy woman to get some kind of remedy. Presumably they had to be persuaded not to do that even back then.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:26 AM
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Moreover, if you look at how the argument is carried out in the real world today, very few people are saying, for example, that women ought to be convicted of murder if they abort - despite the very direct claim that abortion is murder.

That's strikes me as the strongest argument against the sincerity of anti-choicers. I suspect many people really do think that way but don't speak up about it because they think it's too politically out there. But if they really believe that the current number of abortions are worse then the Holocaust, why aren't they, say, forming armed resistance movements?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:28 AM
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27: Huh? Some are.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:32 AM
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Although it's true that the modern anti-abortion movement is recent, and that historically many christian churches were not opposed to very early abortions, it's also worth noting that opposition to abortion also has very old precedents going all the way back to one of our first christian documents from the 1st century.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:32 AM
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Lot of people were convinced that slavery was the greatest wrong of their time, but most didn't go the full John Brown.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:32 AM
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30 to 27.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:33 AM
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I've never found the absence of desire to punish women who've had abortions to be particularly damning. There are lots of things that I think are wrong, where I'm also ambivalent about punishing people involved in them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:34 AM
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Anyway, "If you really cared, you'd shoot somebody," doesn't seem like the kind of argument I want to gain in popularity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:36 AM
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20: Evangelicals were pretty much neutral on abortion until the 1970s, when a bunch of them lead by (IIRC) Paul Weyrich picked abortion as a good polarizing issue around which to rally the faithful. They actually rewrote a troublesome passage in the bible to make it seem not to describe an induced miscarriage specifically because it's hard to reconcile with the position that life begins at conception. Digging around a bit I found it: Exodus 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. (King James Version) IOW it's a property crime, not murder. In translations of the bible favored by evangelicals the passage was changed to explicitly say premature birth of an otherwise healthy baby rather than miscarriage.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:37 AM
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Related, there's an article teaser on NYT that says, "is the Obama administration really the sort of oppressive government that needs to be overthrown?" Um, what?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:37 AM
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27: Some are, but it's a very small number. While the violence that has happened against abortion providers has had horrible chilling effects, there hasn't been much of it. But I'll concede I'm probably under-informed on this.

30: But there was a massive underground mostly non-violent slave-transporting resistance movement. And most of the abolitionists didn't live in the slave states. And the "full John Brown"--raiding a federal armory--is a lot more than, to my knowledge, any anti-choice organization has done.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:40 AM
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Evangelicals were pretty much neutral on abortion until the 1970s

Of course, abortion was pretty much illegal until the 1970s.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:42 AM
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32: The problem is, there's an answer to that, too: You're a liberal so you would think that wouldn't you, or else, you're describing the way our liberal government has to work and not punish everything that's a sin but some of us can still adhere to a higher standard. If you've got free-floating guilt to deal with, you can make women feel guilty for spending entire decades not pregnant, whether or not there's going to be any real-world punishment for them.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:43 AM
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36.2: Both have shot people in Kansas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:45 AM
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33: No, of course. Perhaps this just says something more about human behavior: if you're living in a comfortable enough society, and you believe (but know that not everyone believes) that your own government is committing some unspeakable evil at a scale never before seen, that puts all previous evil empires to shame, it's not worth fighting over because...you'll ruin what you have? Rhetoric and the political system are sufficient, despite "losing" for the past forty years?

Yeah, I guess I just don't understand the mindset.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:46 AM
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I've never found the absence of desire to punish women who've had abortions to be particularly damning. There are lots of things that I think are wrong, where I'm also ambivalent about punishing people involved in them.

How many things do you think are pre-meditated murder where you also feel ambivalent about punishment?

And Moby, I don't think we're suggesting that people need to go all John Brown for the sake of moral consistency. But if you tell me that killing Jews is both murder and shouldn't be punished, well, I'm going to question your philo-semitic bonafides.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:51 AM
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Lots of Christian churches consider killing in most or all wars to be murder but do not want to punish soldiers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:54 AM
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Lots of Christian churches consider killing in most or all wars to be murder but do not want to punish soldiers.

They also make a distinction between punishment via the secular state-run legal system and punishment in the "you know, God is going to send your ass straight to Hell for this" sense.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:05 AM
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make women feel guilty for spending entire decades not pregnant,

Conversely, I get a lot of community affirmation when I'm out with all three kids. It's impossible to tease apart, because most of it is just because kids are cute. But now and then I wonder if I'm being praised for being a (white, affluent) baby mill.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:11 AM
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I only have a pepper mill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:13 AM
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How many things do you think are pre-meditated murder where you also feel ambivalent about punishment?

Very abusive spouses comes to mind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:15 AM
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Moby's example of soldiers is also good.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:15 AM
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48

I don't exactly understand what's being debated here, but it does seem to me that the obsessive focus on abortion in (especially the evangelical but also the Catholic) churches is a quite recent phenomenon, and has to do largely with an attempt to rebrand those churches as being specifically a bulwark against feminism and the sexual revolution. While there have been strains of anti-abortionism in Christianity for a long time, the absolute obsessive focus on the issue by American evangelicals and Catholics (to the point of abandoning the one absolutely unambiguous command of Christianity, which is to help the poor) is pretty clearly an attempt to shore up religious authority by making the dominant theme of Christianity opposition to feminism and sexual freedom. It's pretty disgusting, frankly.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:16 AM
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Yes to 48. Man, who knew that all Halford needed was one good day of saltines and stuffed animals to get back to fighting form?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:19 AM
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42: Is there really a church out there - any church - that makes no moral distinction between, say, a soldier in a war and a serial killer? Because the dominant anti-abortion line is abortion=murder.

I suppose there are anti-abortion people who claim that women always get abortions under extenuating circumstances - that they are, for instance, typically acting under duress, or they lack the ability to make informed judgments. But I don't think that citing such arguments helps make the case that the anti-abortion movement isn't, at root, motivated by an opposition to female agency.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:28 AM
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The parallel would be that the woman having abortion and the soldier fighting are both being deluded that their actions are not murder by those in political power.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:31 AM
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50:
Isn't the more interesting question whether there's a church that places obedience to existing institutions above dissent as a matter of conscience (at least for certain groups, given certain preconditions)?


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:36 AM
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...the absolute obsessive focus on the issue by American evangelicals and Catholics (to the point of abandoning the one absolutely unambiguous command of Christianity, which is to help the poor)...

A few years ago I came across an interview with one of the public spokespeople for the new brand of ultra conservative Catholicism. Asked how he would respond if the church were to reverse it's stance on contraception he responded "I'm outta here".

That was especially rich coming from the representative of a group that likes to scorn "cafeteria Catholics".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:36 AM
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Here's the classic Alas, a blog post, with a handy chart, about how right-wing policy proposals square with the belief that abortion is murder, and with the belief that women's sexual activity ought to be regulated.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:39 AM
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The winery has not taken an official position on abortion. The family has.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:47 AM
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apo: a bunch of friends went to NC today. I was wondering whether your co-worker would be there.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:47 AM
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Heebie and Moby get it right here, though so does Halford in 47.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:48 AM
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That was especially rich coming from the representative of a group that likes to scorn "cafeteria Catholics".

I don't think that's inconsistent. Your ultra-conservative Catholic is correct in believing that one can resolve the complaint about cafeteria Catholicism either by rejecting the cafeteria approach, or by rejecting Catholicism. (Mind you, he's going to have a different problem with folks who do the latter.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:51 AM
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Because Ohio's new "heartbeat bill" isn't enough for some people, there's going to be a graphic Jumbotron abortion video event. Awesome.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:52 AM
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They could be this worked up about . . . Yoga mats

They are.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:52 AM
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"If you really cared, you'd shoot somebody," doesn't seem like the kind of argument I want to gain in popularity.

I agree with Moby. Don't feed the crazy.

I had hoped that common ground could be founded on reducing unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, the anti-choicers often are opposed to science-based education, access to contraception, and post-birth support.

Some basic facts that have existed since the dawn of time:
1. people have sex.
2. women get pregnant.
3. women attempt to terminate those pregnancies.

Those three facts are never going to change.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:55 AM
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In Va, Crisis Pregnancy Centers get money from gov't and lie to women: http://www.naralva.org/what-is-choice/cpc/revealed.shtml


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 9:00 AM
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While the privileging of fetuses over women certainly has to do with beliefs about women, it doesn't *not* have to do with fetuses.

I think Blume catches the heart of our disagreement. Yes, I know that people take fetuses very seriously, but the ones who do mostly don't understand why they do.

I'm making a false consciousness argument. Such arguments are inherently condescending, and the nice folks of Unfogged are reluctant to label sincere people as dupes. Nonetheless, I think if it weren't women getting pregnant, then society's relationship with abortion would be entirely different. As the lady said, "If men got pregnant ..."

Sure, one could imagine that there would still be Christians who thought of abortion as murder, but they would be just as marginal in society as Moby's pacifist Christians. And even then, I think most of them would believe that women ought to be prosecuted for abortions.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 9:36 AM
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||
So, uh, how bout this whole Egypt thing, huh?
|>


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 9:40 AM
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63.3: That's more or less my perspective. "False consciousness" is a good term for it. I also don't think presenting that contradiction "feeds the crazy" (which is no more respectful than calling people dupes)--it presupposes both that an argument among liberals would be listened to, and followed to that extreme.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 9:48 AM
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65:

The "Why don't you kill doctors?" isn't just a liberal argument. There is a steady drum beat from the right who demonize doctors and clinic as child-killers. They do it on tv. They do it outside the clinics. Liberals shouldn't pick up the theme and say "Yea, if you really believed that, you should kill them!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 10:00 AM
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66: That's not my argument at all. My argument is, if people sincerely believe abortion is murder, why isn't there organized revolutionary violence to overthrow the state, which allows this supposed catastrophe to continue? Is there any case of a state in the last hundred years that murdered--or allowed the murder of--hundreds of thousands of its people every year that did not inspire serious attempted revolutions or coups?

Much the same can be said about those who believe Obama is the antichrist or runs death panels or whatever.

Obviously I don't think that should happen. And yes, there is both violence and threats against doctors and it's horrible. I'm not tying to egg anyone on, which should be clear given my intended audience is the denizens of Unfogged. No, I probably wouldn't make this argument to a massive and conservative audience.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 10:27 AM
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67: On the one hand, even though there may not be much actual "organized revolutionary violence to overthrow the state", you do get a lot of people at Tea Party rallies nodding their heads in agreement when the speakers talk about "Second Amendment" remedies. I'll bet that in reality most of them would be horrified if they ever saw anything resembling the violence and chaos of an actual armed revolution in the United States, but that doesn't stop them from fantasizing about it.

On the other hand, at this point in the discussion, as part of the liberal desire to understand those who disagree with us, we're looking for an underlying consistency and logic to the anti-choice arguments that frankly just isn't there. And so what? We humans are good at managing cognitive dissonance, and liberals believe plenty of contradictory things too when it suits us.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 10:39 AM
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||

64:So, uh, how bout this whole Egypt thing, huh?

3-14 million Egyptians hit the streets to end religious oppression.

2-300 Americans hit the streets of Austin to protest religious oppression.

Says it all. America remains a nation of willing slaves...to the law.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 10:40 AM
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By the way, "Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood" is I believe the classic study defending (basically) the view Halford puts forward in 48. And even though this is a reaction against feminism and sexual freedom, for many of the female pro-life activists (and many if not most are women), it's a bit complicated--feminism and the sexual revolution are perceived as threatening their self-conception as wives and mothers. IOW, it's not as simple as "men feel threatened by uppity bitches"; it's also "[some] women feel threatened, too".


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:10 AM
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The "Why don't you kill doctors?" isn't just a liberal argument. There is a steady drum beat from the right who demonize doctors and clinic as child-killers.

In fact, it's not at all a liberal argument. I've never heard a liberal state it, and I'll venture to guess that neither have you.

The abortion-is-murder argument is loathsome precisely because it denies the humanity of women and doctors. You can ignore this if you like, but it is what it is.

Sure, truth isn't all it's cracked up to be, but any argument that takes the form "We shouldn't reflect on whether this is true or not" ought to be treated as inherently suspicious.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:22 AM
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Because the dominant anti-abortion line is abortion=murder.

Abortion is also currently legal, and while anti-abortion ideologues may think it's morally equivalent to murder, the fact that it's legal matters.

I suspect that if abortion were illegal, you'd see more support for jailing women who obtained abortions.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:24 AM
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As a lot of you might recall I'm sort of personally (i.e. for myself) anti-abortion while politically pro-choice, and I was politically pro-choice until well into my teens, and very squickily neutral well into my 20s. It was, actually, an unfogged thread somewhere that provided me with the conceptual metaphor that made me more enthusiastically politically pro-choice. (I'm not going to link to it b/c I think I wasn't pseudonymous in those days.). And I would say that my notions of restricting abortion, past and even present, are all totally fetus-centric. If there was a way to painlessly and unintrusively teleport and emancipate unwanted fetuses into artificial womb chambers, I would support that technology.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:27 AM
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If there was a way to painlessly and unintrusively teleport and emancipate unwanted fetuses into artificial womb chambers, I would support that technology.

Possibly related: I've always assumed that in the Harry Potter world, birth is accomplished by a midwife who simply uses side-along apparition. As soon as she can lay a finger on the baby, she just apparates three feet back.

Not really related: I've also assumed that "accio sperm" is used as emergency contraception.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:32 AM
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27 to 71


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:34 AM
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74: You seem to have a much more specific and technical grasp of Potter magic than I do, so I'll assume your assumption is correct.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:37 AM
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73: woops, that should read "poltiically pro-life untill well into my teens."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:40 AM
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64: On the, uh, whole Egypt thing, I was surprised by this Goldberg column, which I expected to find chauvinistic (Why is it about US?), but includes information I hadn't seen before about U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, who has been, according to Goldberg, overly supportive of Mursi and insufficiently attentive to dissent, behavior which has soured Egyptians -- very noticeably! -- on the seriousness of U.S. support.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:54 AM
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And I would say that my notions of restricting abortion, past and even present, are all totally fetus-centric

I certainly accept that people of your description exist entirely separately from false consciousness.

Speaking from my own experience: I was anti-abortion long after I had abandoned Catholicism and Christianity, and found it absurd when people said that my Catholic background accounted for my beliefs. I was, of course, wrong.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:56 AM
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Otherwise on the whole Egypt thing, an Egyptian friend, now US citizen, notes that skeptics, who might have thought that reform in the middle east away from theocratic rule was a non-starter, should probably STFU.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 11:56 AM
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75: 67 clarifies what I meant in 27. I think it's a substantial difference from what will and politicalfootball were referring to.

79: Your .last also describes me to a tee.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:03 PM
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67.1: You're taking a completely materialist view of what the catastrophe is (i.e. the murdered fetuses) and not the religious (or at least publicly-articulated Catholic view) of what the catastrophe is (i.e. a society that has rejected the God's call to protect human life). A coup or revolution, as least a violent one, would be counter-productive from the latter point of view.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:15 PM
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Sure, truth isn't all it's cracked up to be, but any argument that takes the form "We shouldn't reflect on whether this is true or not" ought to be treated as inherently suspicious.

I've recently learned that this* is the original meaning of "derpy" or derp.

* This being "We shouldn't reflect on whether this is true or not". That's derpy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:17 PM
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84

My sense is that the Goldberg you linked to is about as reliable a guide to the Middle East as 'Liberal Fascism' Goldberg. We're talking about this embassy, remember.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:20 PM
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Forgive me: back on topic, I've just caught up with the thread and read 67 and previous:

My argument is, if people sincerely believe abortion is murder, why isn't there organized revolutionary violence to overthrow the state, which allows this supposed catastrophe to continue?

Honestly, I'd say it's because we (the U.S.) have a strong belief in the rule of law. Thank god. The Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is legal. End of story.

Efforts to change the law are frequent and many just for this reason. We don't go for organized revolutionary violence subverting the rule of law.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:26 PM
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86

We do disorganized non-revolutionary violence so well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:28 PM
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87

While the violence that has happened against abortion providers has had horrible chilling effects

The generalized violence is the reason the hospital close to home couldn't do the termination for my 32 week son with hydrocephalus, so we could sleep in our own beds as we mourned. The specific assassination of George Tiller is the reason the clinic in our state closed, forcing us to fly to Albuquerque instead of staying with family. Besides the burden of traveling at the worst days of ours lives, it cost us and additional several thousand dollars.

As an aside, we've submitted our story for Wendy Davis's next filibuster, with a long explanation of why we cannot know earlier than 20 weeks whether our fetuses have hydrocephalus.


Posted by: Anon for this one | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:30 PM
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we've submitted our story for Wendy Davis's next filibuster

Thank you, anon, for choosing to be honest about such horrible pain here and now more publicly, because it does and will help people but must be so tough for you. I am grateful whenever I get to hear your updates and think of your story often.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:33 PM
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I am sorry, Anon. Stories like your story really piss me off. Anti-abortion legislation is often cruel and sadistic.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:38 PM
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Concur with 88 and 89.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:40 PM
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I've told this story before, but I was at the US Supreme Court arguments in the late-term abortion cases when Paul Clement was asked "So this isn't going to stop the abortion, but will only prohibit the doctor from doing it in a method that he or she believes is safest for the mother."

"Correct. Congress [against 99 percent of medical testimony] has determined that this method should be banned."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:40 PM
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84: Huh, I remember that now. It's true Jeffrey Goldberg reports things that can be difficult to corroborate, though I don't think it's fair to compare him to Jonah Goldberg.

In this case, there's this informative and detailed report on Anne Patterson from the Atlantic Council's EgyptSource. Complaints against Patterson are outlined.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:41 PM
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The inherent pain from the situation is remarkably bad, but discussing it (in any context) doesn't make it worse. It is also nearly all of what I think about, so it can be nice to discuss it.

Anti-abortion legislation is very cruel, but you don't know it will land on you until the day it does.


Posted by: Anon for this one | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:44 PM
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82/85: Those both sound like they're part of the explanation for what I was trying to understand. Thank you for the responses. I feel that I'm unintentionally antagonizing some here, so I'll drop it.

87: I'm sorry to hear that. That's a horrific experience to go through and it's shameful that you were treated so poorly in such a hard time.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:44 PM
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I concur with 90.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:48 PM
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94.1: I didn't see any antagonism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:50 PM
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And my sympathies to anon. That's horrible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:51 PM
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No antagonism here either, dalriata.

To anon: so glad you're strong enough to share your story, and to forward it to Wendy Davis.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 12:58 PM
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No antagonism intended on my part, either. Just another day at the argument clinic.

And to Anon, thank you for sharing your story.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 1:10 PM
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87. Is it possible any more to say, un-ironically, that someone is a Great American? I think by sharing your story with Davis, you're doing a real service for your country.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 1:19 PM
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Yes, with everyone, thank you, anon. Truly.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 1:30 PM
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Thanks. My "I am unintentionally acting trollishly" sense is apparently broken, and I suppose I'm not used to community norms yet.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 2:39 PM
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For reference, the link in 54 has many, many ways one can try to illuminate the false consciousness at issue without having to say anything that could possibly be construed as supporting or making more likely acts of terrorism.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 3:07 PM
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85,86: Speak for yourself, parsimon. You are not the royal "we."

86: Egypt was probably less organized than it looks. Organization is too easy to penetrate and subvert.

Just think looking at Egypt, if we had the freedom, I mean were not servile craven subjects of our internalized authoritarianism, George W Bush might not have ever become President.

Last week I came up with:

"Republicans want to rule, Democrats want to obey."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 3:54 PM
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Evangelicals were pretty much neutral on abortion until the 1970s, when a bunch of them lead by (IIRC) Paul Weyrich picked abortion as a good polarizing issue around which to rally the faithful make common cause with conservative Catholics on right-wing political activism, building bridges to a group that Evangelicals traditionally and in those days still commonly believed to be allied to the Antichrist.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:21 PM
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The stupid Egyptians are being stupid and therefore won't put me in charge, but Egypt would be such a good test case for Halfordismo. Halfordismo is both anti-Islamist AND anti-democratic, so what could be better. I could even take the name Ptolemy XVI Halford for dynastic continuity.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:26 PM
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@ 106

But would you commit incest for dynastic continuity (ideally with a sister)?


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:29 PM
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I was thinking more an endless series of clones or even better clone-quadcopter hybrids, because HEY GET THAT INCEST OUT OF MY FANTASY.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:32 PM
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I like this modernist approach of Halfordismo. I think the Egyptians will too.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 5:35 PM
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64: My former Egyptian officemate seems pretty happy about it, for whatever that's worth.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:19 PM
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Erm, whatever word order that should have had.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:19 PM
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How does he feel about incest?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:22 PM
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I'm not sure how to raise that question.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:48 PM
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Comment at Juan Cole

I have no sympathy for the Islamists or Morsi, but elections have consequences. Those who do not turnout and vote, don't have the right to show up a day later to the party and throw a temper tantrums.

I was there in Cairo during the constitutional referendum and the young Egyptians did not care at all. They were sipping tea and playing dominos. I asked several of them (all over the old Cairo and the new one) if they voted and all of them said they didn't and they didn't care about the referendum. When i asked "why? It's the constitution?" They replied, almost in unison, "Hadihi Masser Ya Akhy, no one cares about the constitution and it's a document with out value."

Well, the constitution was ratified. 30% turnout is not Morsi's fault. 30% turnout is the opposition's fault for not being able to mobilize their base and voters and get them out to vote down this constitution. So, they don't have any sympathy from me about their weak mobilizing and organizing powers

Liberalism has failed, in both is old and its neo- incarnations. Representative Politics is dead.

So they hit the streets and bring the gov't down. Six months from now they can hit the streets again and bring the next gov't down.

Ain't nothing but neoliberals out there to be in charge, A Warren-Krugman presidency would suck up to the vampire squids. Hell, zombie Lenin would. It cannot kill itself. I won't link to Brad Plumer interviewing a liberal economist about Egypt ("growing" at 6% with 25% youth unemployment), "restructuring," cutting gov't jobs, and how to trick the people into approving their own impoverishment.

So just hit the streets and bring the gov'ts down until neoliberalism is dead. More like Egypt please. And less voting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:48 PM
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105: What were Weyrich's non-abortion right-wing objectives via that tactic?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:56 PM
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Incest?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:59 PM
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Yay! Not at all afraid of ruins!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 6:59 PM
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Egypt seems awfully grain-based for Halfordismo.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:01 PM
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He can encourage the eating of crocodiles -- "the bison of the Nile"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:03 PM
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On Egypt in general, I'm standing by my previous interpretation that it seems to be turning into Turkey.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:14 PM
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Jodi Dean discusses a negative review of her book

And, even as he is completely pessimistic regarding any potential for democracy now (he says under conditions of neoliberal hegemony, I'd say under the assumption that capitalism is the only game in town), he nevertheless continues to insist on it in. His defense seems to be that, well, we know that social democracy has no program, and no chance of doing anything against the reign of capital, nonetheless we have to stick to it. What kind of politics is that? Sticking to a rule of the people that one has already says is hopeless? I would call it a melancholic attachment to failure.
...Jodi Dean

She really gives him an extended quote without much comment, just so we can see his palpable despair and nostalgic grasp of the ghost of social democracy.

(and damn, am I watching a good movie. Osaka no yado 1954, by the old commie Gosho Heinosuke. Wasn't all Kurosawa and Mizoguchi.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 7:43 PM
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120: In what way?

It's weird to see fireworks in Tahrir Square (on the BBC's site).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:26 PM
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122: Theoretically democratic, but with the military seeing itself as the guardian of the state and stepping in to overthrow elected governments whenever they cross certain lines.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:29 PM
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That's certainly consistent with what's happened so far. Let's see when elections are actually held.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 3-13 8:47 PM
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Efforts to change the law are frequent and many just for this reason. We don't go for organized revolutionary violence subverting the rule of law.

The KKK and their allies may not have done it "well", but they did it for a very long time, killed and terrorised a lot of people.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 4-13 6:49 AM
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125:Only until they were able to write the law.

I know one thing, I certainly would never tell these worshipers of law about the runaway slave in my basement or Anne Frank in my attic. They cannot be trusted.

Radicals on the far left or even far right follow their conscience, however twisted it might be. Liberals follow the leader, and follow the rules.

The law is an ass. Not a fool, but a servant and tool, not a master.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 4-13 9:54 AM
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115: What were Weyrich's non-abortion right-wing objectives via that tactic?

I don't know the history specifically -- though there's a great deal of information about Weyrich on the internets -- but I know him chiefly as the inspiration behind ALEC. Also a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, I see. I tend to be able to do the math on what his objectives were.

This very brief segment on voter suppression from a conservative conference some decades ago is really worth reviewing. 39 seconds long. A despicable man.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 4-13 11:36 AM
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So they hit the streets and bring the gov't down. Six months from now they can hit the streets again and bring the next gov't down....So just hit the streets and bring the gov'ts down until neoliberalism is dead. More like Egypt please.

Bob, this might be the dumbest thing I have ever seen you post. You do get that Egypt was a military coup, right? That it was the army, not the protesters, that brought the government down, right? And that they are now engaged in rounding up and imprisoning the leadership of the majority political party?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 12:12 PM
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115: 127 has it pretty much. Weyrich is an old school small government theocracy conservative. He's a small government authoritarian type (how one squares that circle is past me, but it's not my ideology, so). Building the religious right coalition is a means to an end that's mostly about taking the reigns off capitalism, but to an extent it's also an end in itself as a bulwark against DFHs and the corruption of our precious bodily fluids.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 12:36 PM
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128: surely this does not exceed the 'nuke Japan to save it from a nuclear reaction' or 'nuke the seabed to plug a leak'? (paraphrases, obviously).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 12:53 PM
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To be fair, Truman nuked Japan and it doesn't seem to have hurt his reputation by very much (at least outside of Japan).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 12:56 PM
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128: The people, or at least the non-Mb part, do not act like their will was usurped.

"Military coup" is the MSM and administration/village line, and from the confused left who can't understand that the Army could ever act on behalf of the people. Or liberals dismay over extra-legal activities, according to them always illegitimate.

Juan Cole I will just link to the front page, apparently as usual the crowd here have been reading David Brooks

Fourth of July Comes Early In Cairo ...video of the celebrations


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:11 PM
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And that they are now engaged in rounding up and imprisoning the leadership of the majority political party?

Well, some enforcement portion of one popular government rounded up some nobles, then rounded up some girondists, then rounded up some Jacobins. Social revolutions can get messy, almost always contain self-contradictions, and will not be understood or approved by process liberals.
They are different from bourgeois revolutions.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:17 PM
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You know what isn't different? A military coup in a country that's been ruled by military governments for decades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:26 PM
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Also, frozen yoghurt isn't different. They're just trying to sell more of it by getting you to dump candy in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:27 PM
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And this is the kind of event that separates bourgeois authoritarians from radicals.

They attacked the studio and took al jazeera off the air?

For me the outrage just depends of who is doing it, why, to what end.

It will likely turn out to be a bourgeois revolution, but this is very complicated, and we will not know until long after the turmoil is settled.

"Labor" is not closely involved this time, but our period isn't all that like the last Gilded Age and the nostalgic unionists may be ignored. The Revolutionary forces will be different this time, and will create and reveal themselves in the process of Revolution.

Watch and learn instead clucking tongues.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:29 PM
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One thing that is useful to understand about Egypt is that the military is deeply embedded in the Egyptian economy on two levels because of all the US aid for generations. Like Pakistan, The military and ex-military own much of the economy.

The top level officers, like Mubarek and his sons, are capitalists and neoliberals. They are inviting in Wal-mart and Archer-Daniels-Midlands.

The lower level officers, majors and colonels and captains are petty bourgeois:small hotels, restaurants, local shops. The grunt soldiers get nice jobs with these places after retirement.

And none of these are internal security.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:46 PM
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I'm not a big MB supporter, but it's really hard to see the Egyptian military as an agent of progressive change, period. Isn't basically the one thing that almost everyone agrees upon that the military's perogatives and autonomy (and in particular, economic autonomy) need to be curbed? Hard to see that happening now.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:47 PM
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Fucking prerogatives, how do they get spelled?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:47 PM
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I think 137.2 is best read as saying that Mubarek's sons retired to become greeters at a WalMart.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:52 PM
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Oh damnit, there is an Egypt conversation after all. I just didn't check enough threads.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:55 PM
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Some of my best friends are petite bourgeoisie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 1:59 PM
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The people, or at least the non-Mb part, do not act like their will was usurped.

The bob program invariably involves declaring certain folks to be non-persons.

One hopes it'll all work out for the best, but surely there's no question that this was a coup and not, as bob would have it, a "revolution."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 2:00 PM
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Actually, nearly everybody I know is petite bourgeoisie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 2:10 PM
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Aaaah. The petite bourgeoisie are coming from inside the house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 2:11 PM
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My friends and I used to be petit bourgeoisie, but with the passage of time, lack of exercise and too much fried food, we've become gros bourgeoisie.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 2:24 PM
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Speaking of the middle class in Muslim counties, do the women wear diamond engagement rings on their right hands? I ask because a young woman on the bus had a diamond solitaire ring on her right hand and what I guess are moderate-Muslim clothing (hair covered by giant cloth, only face and hands exposed, but wearing jeans and a close-fitting top).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 3:14 PM
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Is there any case of a state in the last hundred years that murdered--or allowed the murder of--hundreds of thousands of its people every year that did not inspire serious attempted revolutions or coups?

Yes, almost all of them. No serious attempted revolutions or coups, as far as I know, in Stalin's Russia or Democratic Kampuchea. I'd even argue Nazi Germany because the coup attempt wasn't really much to do with the mass murders; it was to do with getting rid of this lunatic who was going to get Germany overrun by Bolsheviks. Rwanda had the RPF coup. Bosnia was a bit of an exception because there was a civil war going on already. But the Serbs didn't rise against Milosevic because he was murdering Muslims; they rose against him because his government was corrupt.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 5-13 4:58 PM
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