March 3, 2009 | 32 Comments
Is the consumption of kumquats politically driven? There’s really no way of knowing whether it’s a “red” or “blue” thing. Statistically speaking, the variation in consumption from state to state is insignficant: just 0.2% of households ate them in the lowest-consuming state and just 0.5% did in the highest consuming state. So even though it turns out that many of the biggest kumquat-eating states are technically “red” — Utah being No.1 — consumption in those states isn’t much different than in the “blue” ones.
More importantly, there are no statistics on the political leanings of the particular individuals who actually eat kumquats within each state. Thus, while Utah is 63% “red,” the 0.5% of households that ate kumquats in that state could be completely contained within the 37% “blue” population. So no scientifically-minded person would conclude from this data that “conservatives and are the biggest consumers of kumquats.”
In fact, the data cited above relates to online pornography rather than kumquats. Yet based upon it, ABC News in promoting story entitled Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest consumers. Its source is a study by Benjamin Edelman of the Harvard Business School, who pompously concludes that “Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by.”
Get Religion and Newsbusters have good take-downs of this Harvard/ABC nonsense. However, if you prefer an uncritical regurgitation of the story, go to the American Atheists blog, Professor PZ Myers of Pharyngula, Think Atheist, God is for Suckers, Luke the Atheist or skeptic Ed Brayton.
February 26, 2009 | 104 Comments
Commenter Pro-choicer chides me for misreading Amanda Marcotte:
It would certainly be irrational to assert that [child-rapist Roman] Polanski’s defenders are “presumably pro-life.” But that’s not what Amanda said. Nor did she say that all rape apologists are pro-life or that all pro-lifers are rape apologists.
What she says is that the attitudes of rape apologists and anti-choicers “stem from the same misogynist place.” THAT is the point that Raving Theist should have responded to, instead of reading ridiculous things into Amanda’s post and implying that she said them.
I agree with Amanda, by the way. Anti-choicers and people who wink at rape have things in common. They do not respect women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. They do not value a woman’s consent regarding what happens to her body. They believe that it is okay for women’s bodies to be (in Amanda’s words) “commandeered for others to their own ends.”
Very well. As long as we agree that the actual rape defenders are pro-choice, which was the larger point of my post. And now let’s turn to a related question. Not about rape defenders or rape apologists, but the rapists themselves. Are most rapists pro-choice? Or is it just that their attitudes stem from the same liberal place?
I’m not asking this just because most violent criminals are card-carrying liberals. What makes me ponder the question is what appears to be going in America’s hottest hotbed of liberalism, the college campus. Consider this recent post in Feministe about “Anti-Rape Resources for Men.” In response to an e-mail from a female college student who wants “to do some education awareness on campus to make men aware that rape is not a women’s issue, that it will continue until men step in and educate themselves,” the blog readers are invited to suggest resources. And they do, recommending Men Can Stop Rape , SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape) and MEMPSA (Men Educating Men on the Prevention of Sexual Assault).
At first I thought these organizations were all about college safety patrols, martial arts training, and coordinating with law enforcement to protect women from campus intruders. But in reality, it turns that they’re all about teaching liberal college men how not to commit rape themselves! In fact, the very first comment links to a heartwarming success story at a post about Battling Sexual Assault by Focusing on Men:
“Hey, see that girl over there?” Jones recalled an acquaintance asking, nodding toward a woman he wanted to take home. “She’s almost drunk. Not quite drunk enough. … What shot should I buy her?” There was a time, Jones says, when he might have laughed off the remark. Not anymore.
“You want to buy her something really strong to like, basically knock her out?” Jones, a University of Minnesota senior, recalled saying. “Man, that’s not right. That’s rape. That’s sexual assault.”
The acquaintance looked stunned. “Whatever,” he mumbled, and walked away.
Don’t try to tell me that the people who attend the SAFER/MEMPSA/MCSR seminars are conservatives from the Young American for Freedom or the college Republican or Christian club. Those sorts don’t go to feminist-sponsored seminars. No, the attendees are all a bunch of hardcore liberals guys caught up in the hook-up culture, who somehow reached adulthood without realizing it’s a bad thing to drug, kidnap and rape women. Liberal pro-choicers, I’m guessing.
Now let’s looks at the ultimate pro-choicers, abortion doctors. And I’m not just talking about their role in covering up child rape. If you peruse the archives of RealChoice, you’ll find a gallery of abortionist/perverts like this guy. I’m just guessing again, but I don’t think you’ll find all that many similar stories about doctors who devote their lives to delivery babies or performing delicate fetal surgery.
UPDATE: Commenter Prochoicer asks: They [the pro-choice liberal men who attend anti-rape seminars] are obviously concerned with discussing the issue and clarifying boundaries (which sadly are not clear to many people) in order to reduce rape. So your point is . . . ?
My point is that a college student who needs a seminar to figure out what a rape is, and that it includes sexual intercourse with a drugged woman, has more than just “boundary” problems. He’s mentally deranged. And very liberal.
February 23, 2009 | 65 Comments
“Anti-choice sentiment is part of the rape culture, of course, because like rape apologists, anti-choicers view women as subhuman and our bodies as eligible for being commandeered for others to their own ends,” says Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon. In this case, the occasion of her outrage against pro-lifers is director Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13-year old girl in 1977 and is now trying to return to the U.S. after three decades as a fugitive. The post prattles on almost endlessly, but the upshot is that Marcotte is angry that “Polanski’s defenders,” presumably pro-life, “clearly romanticize him as a masculine rebel.”
Marcotte doesn’t name any of these “defenders.” But I think it’s a stretch to conclude that they’re all pro-life. A really big stretch. To begin with, Polanski’s primary defender is himself, and Marcotte herself acknowleges that his Rosemary’s Baby is one of the most “feminist” (i.e. pro-choice) films she’s seen — “it reads like a tale where the patriarchy is literally Satanic.”
Furthermore, Polanski was a part of Hollywood culture, not a particularly pro-life culture. While he was in exile for child rape, Hollywood bestowed upon him its highest honor, an Academy Award. The award was accepted on his behalf by his good friend, Harrison Ford. Now, I can’t say for certain that Ford isn’t pro-life, but he’s identified his religion as “Democrat,” contributed heavily to Barack Obama, and is engaged to Calista Flockhardt, an official celebrity endorser of Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood hasn’t issued an offical statement about Polanski. I don’t know if they romanticize him as a masculine rebel, but one thing is clear. They’re one of the world’s biggest defenders of child rapists.
February 20, 2009 | 97 Comments
Today I have colonized The Dawn Patrol. Go there for my daily post.
Speaking of the Patrol, I’ve realized that many of the posts that I contributed to that blog over the years as The Raving Atheist were not cross-posted here. Accordingly, for those of you who have read through the entire archives of this blog and might be hungry for more, below is the list. Note that many of them were posted under the pseudonym “Henrietta G. Tavish” (an anagram of “The Raving Atheist”).
New Legislation Targets Elder Fraud (Satire)
License to Kill (Pro-Life license plates)
Out of Gas (Pro-Life License Plates)
Womenvchoice (Pro-choice difficulties with pro-life women)
Fake Story about Fake Clinic? (Planned Parenthood Hoax about Crisis Pregnancy Clinic)
Truthiness and Consequences (Planned Parenthood Hoax about Crisis Pregnancy Clinic – Update)
Planned Parenthood promotes debunked Palin rape-kit smear (Self-explanatory)
No Comment (Blog Censorship)
The Right to Lie (Undercover Investigation of Planned Parenthood)
Don’t Ask, Don’t Care (Critique of Volunteersfor Late-Term Abortion Clinic)
One Hand Slapping (Defining the “need” for abortion)
NARAL: Pro-Choice, Anti-Speech (Self-explanatory)
Aurora Roaring (Protests Against Illinois Abortion Clinic)
Killing Delayed is Killing Denied (Illinois Abortion Clinic Ligitation)
Let Freedom Ring (Verizon Censors NARAL’s Text Messages)
Second Opinion (Critiquing Physician’s Letter to New York Times on Partial Birth Abortion Decision)
Who Cares? (NARAL’s Abortion Report Card)
Choice 9/11 (Planned Parenthood’s Reaction to 9/11)
Thou Shalt Not Kill (Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Task Force)
No Argument (The Pro-Choice refusal to debate)
No Respect (Embryonic Stem Cell research)
Choosing Life, Consistently (Abortion and the death penalty)
Food for Thought (Chesterton vs John Stuart Mill)
February 19, 2009 | 25 Comments
Abortion industry shill Amy Sullivan tries to lull pro-lifers to sleep in her latest Time Magazine piece, “The Catholic Crusade Against a Mythical Abortion Bill.” As the title suggests, her thesis is that the killing of the unborn is just some Krazy Katholic issue, and that the Khurch is engaged in paranoid rabble-rousing against a toothless and imaginary bill known as the Freedom of Choice Act. “At a time when the United States is gripped by economic uncertainty and faces serious challenges in hot spots around the globe, some American Catholics are finding it both curious and troubling that their church has launched a major campaign against a piece of legislation that doesn’t exist and wouldn’t have much chance of becoming law even if it did,” writes Sullivan. The essay is accompanied by a photograph of a lone male pro-life protestor on a deserted Catholic university campus, apparently the only picture available in Time’s archives despite the recent March for Life.
The Inconvenient Truth which Sullivan manages to avoid until well over half-way through the article is that “[i]n some respects, President Obama only has himself to blame for the current controversy.” In “some” respects, indeed. As a candidate, he stood above a pit of abortion-hungry velociraptors and dangled the rhetorical equivalent of a sack of Planned Parenthood medical waste: “The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”
Perhaps Sullivan has a point here: Obama’s lips were moving during that speech, a usually reliable sign that he is lying. The Catholic paranoia could be based on the mythical assumption that he sometimes means a word he says. But this analysis ignores that the one constant in Obama’s otherwise paper-thin legislative record was a slavish devotion to the culture of death. The lies he tells with respect to abortion are limited to those which cover-up his actual advocacy for the killing.
Not to worry, says Sullivan. Catholics are still being paranoid because all FOCA would do is “essentially codify the Roe v. Wade decision by saying the government can’t place limits on abortions performed before viability.” Not exactly. FOCA would nullify hundreds of restrictions, effective at all stages of pregnancy, meant to discourage abortion and promote childbirth.
Not to worry, says Sullivan again. The reason she called FOCA “mythical” is that it never previously gained traction (under the pro-life Bush administration) and has yet to be reintroduced in Congress (in the month-old pro-abortion Obama administration). Quoting a pro-abortion “Catholic” George Soros puppet, her article declares that “right-wing organizations are deliberately misleading people in order to stoke the culture war.”
To what misleading right-wing information is she referring? The claim, originally made by Obama, that FOCA would be signed in the opening days of his administration. And what right-wing organization was stoking this yet-unrealized fear? “A chain e-mail of unknown origin.” Although the one pro-life group she actually identifies, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gets smeared in the first sentence as running “a well-oiled lobbying campaign,” Sullivan concedes in the penultimate paragraph that “USCCB’s literature about FOCA has been generally accurate.”
So Sullivan’s entire paranoia thesis is built upon an anonymous e-mail which erroneously claimed that FOCA would be signed in late January. And because it wasn’t signed, pro-lifers are supposedly unreasonable to make a fuss about it now. Even though Obama did sign, within days of taking office, and executive order meant to fund abortions worldwide (“but so did Bill Clinton,” notes Sullivan ridiculously).
Ms. Sullivan needs a little primer in the American political process. The best time to make a ruckus about any legislation is generally before it is introduced and passed and signed. For example, just a couple of weeks ago the adminstration was talking about something it called the “Stimulus Bill.” It, too, was “mythical” until it was introduced in its final form just a few days ago. But it was signed rather quickly, laden with social legislation having nothing to do with stimulus, and before a single member of Congress had time to read it.
Obama will likely attempt the same trick with FOCA when he thinks no one is watching. He will declare a national healthcare “emergency,” thunder about the “fierce urgency of now,” and railroad through a thousand-page bill with FOCA hidden in a footnote. The only reason he hasn’t tried that yet is because those who value the unborn — and not just Catholics — are watching very carefully. If “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” it is also the price of life.
February 18, 2009 | 10 Comments
A move to remove anti-atheist language from the Arkansas state constitution is gathering steam. The provision states that “[n]o person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.” Because of 1961 Supreme Court decision declaring such clauses unenforceable, the proposed bill is largely symbolic.
Ed Brayton predicts that the legislature will refuse to pass the law, and that if it’s put on the ballot the voters will reject it. And thus yet another law that nobody ever read (like the Stimulus Bill) will remain on the books, gathering dust until someone re-discovers it and gets re-offended by it.
The publicity stunt does raise some interesting questions. Is it worth the effort to go around looking for obsolete laws to repeal? A special law in Florida, for example, prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sundays. Now, enforcement would obviously be impossible insofar as the law promotes discrimination based on gender, marital status and possibly religion, but I don’t see the value in expending tax dollars to reaffirm that point.
I am also wondering that if push ever comes to shove on the unrepealed anti-atheist Consitution, who would have standing to object to the unenforceable provision. Notably, its language only excludes atheists who affirmatively deny the existence of a God. Merely lacking a belief in God (the most traditional and inclusive definition of atheism) would not be enough. And I’m not sure if merely believing that God does not exist would be sufficient, to the extent that “denying” God’s existence could be interpreted as requiring the stronger affirmation that God’s non-existence can be proven. Note that in the Supreme Court case linked above, the Constitutional provision required “a declaration of belief in the existence of God” — something that no atheist of any stripe could truthfully announce.
In view of these vexing legal technicalities, I hereby disband the previously-convened committee to draft a blog-comments constitution.
February 17, 2009 | 7 Comments
Steven Crowder is a stand-up comedian who’s standing up for life:
February 17, 2009 | 11 Comments
From the Coshocton Tribune (Ohio), February 17, 1964:
The “right to conduct atheist propaganda” mentioned above was set forth in Article 124 of the 1936 Soviet Constitution (also known as the “Stalin” Constitution”). Although it is true that the religious were not given a specific right to proselytize like atheists in that section, Article 125 remedied this omission through a general grant of “free speech” so that any citizen who desired to show Stalin the error of his ways could do so with impunity. Also, note that the atheists were permitted only to propagandize in article 124, without the corresponding right to “worship” or otherwise act out on their worldview, other than by running the government.
That Constitution was next revised in 1977. Article 52 of that document pretty much preserved the status quo, except that believers also enjoyed a right “against “[i]ncitement of hostility or hatred on religious grounds.”
I think the comment section here at TRT needs a Constitution. MK, Lily, Pikemann, Jolly and their designated agents are hereby appointed to the drafting committee.
February 16, 2009 | 77 Comments
Since the inauguration, the mainstream media outlets have run numerous stories about children offering political opinions and helpful advice to the new president. It’s unlikely, however, that this 12 year old girl’s words will reach his ears:
Searching around, I haven’t found much commentary about this widely-circulated video in the feminist and liberal blogosphere. Nor has Planned Parenthood yet found a similarly-articulate seventh grader to offer a rebuttal video. Why so quiet?
February 13, 2009 | 106 Comments
The two carefree young women in the bar were roommates. One of them was pregnant. The condition was temporary. In a few days her late-summer drinking companion would drive her to a clinic for an abortion, just as she had driven so many other friends to “get theirs.” That appointment made way for a relaxing evening, for the aversion the pregnant woman briefly felt towards alcohol was relieved by a sensible reminder.
“You are going to kill it anyway.”
Her friend was indifferent to who heard this remark (and many did) because the observation was so ordinary. It was like explaining why it didn’t matter if paint splattered on a pair of worn, soon-to-be discarded shoes. After another round of drinks and cheerful conversation, the comment would be forgotten.
It would also be remembered, some 18 years later. The pregnant woman was Carla, whose cheer that night masked an anguish I related here. The occasion of the memory was the realization, early last month, that her long-lost bar friend (known here as “Jean”) had discovered her profile on Facebook.
“You are going to kill it anyway.” And they did, and moved on. But now Carla’s whole profile is about abortion and its consequences, and she felt “weird” that her old roommate might be puzzling over it. Puzzling over it because Carla had hidden her feelings so well back then, on that night in the bar that they drank, and on that day in the clinic that they killed Aubrey.
What would Jean think? People do not happen upon old friends on Facebook by accident. They are searching for some name, for some reason. Jean may have been seeking some pleasant reminiscences, only to find a changed and strangely haunted woman. Haunted for a reason Jean could not imagine, having forgotten the events of what was — at least to her — such an ordinary September afternoon.
But the e-mail Carla received on January 7 showed that Jean was haunted too:
It’s Jean. I was just on your Outcry Wisconsin website and watched your story.
My God! I never knew that was so hard for you. I was so young and completely oblivious to the ramifications of what was going on, but I have to tell you that the events of that day are carved in my brain and I have never forgotten it. I too remember that girl that was very pregnant and having to go home because she could not have the procedure until she was dilated more, and watching that stupid movie and how non-emotional all of the staff were. It affected me whether I wanted to believe it or not at the time. I have always tried to comfort myself with the false beliefs that it was the best thing for you at the time and that it did not matter that much to you. You covered it so well and we never really talked about what happened, we just came home and went on with life. I was so caught up in my own selfishness to notice the pain you were going through. I am sorry I was not a better friend to you at that time. Thank God Pat came along and was there for you.
Since having my own children I have definitely changed my attitude on abortion issues. I have gone from a liberal attitude to a very conservative one. My husband helped me understand what I was really feeling all along.
Anyway I can see how very important this issue is for you and I wanted you to know that I feel the same way. You are doing a wonderful thing by educating those that think this is not a big deal because it is a big deal and it’s wrong.
Keep on fighting!