Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Death certificates for abortions in Tennessee

As reported by Rook at DailyKos, legislation has been introduced in the Tennessee legislature that would mandate the creation of death certificates for aborted fetuses. They're saying it's just a way of keeping track of the number of abortions in the state--even though the number of abortions in the state is already a matter of public record. But truth never really influenced Republicans before, so why should it start now?

Clearly, the idea is to imply that abortion is murder while still not infringing on any rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. Legalized murder, if you will. But since death certificates are a matter of public record, this legislation would also have the chilling effect of eliminating the privacy of women who choose to get abortions.

But beyond those obvious conclusions, here are some questions I have:

Shouldn't we see about getting paternity tests done on the aborted fetuses so we can correctly identify the father of the deceased? It takes two to create a fetus, after all. If we're going to start violating privacy (and potentially HIPAA laws as well) to make women think twice about getting abortions, we shouldn't let the other partner off the hook so easily.

And in addition, since I would imagine that the Republicans sponsoring this bill are pro-lifers who believe that life begins at conception, I would like to ask them why we ought to maintaining death certificates for abortions, but not for, say, miscarriages as well. We don't keep death certificates just for murder victims, after all--so why should be keep death certificates only for pre-born humans whose existence was intentionally terminated? If a woman has a miscarriage, she should be marched straight down to the coroner's office! Why not?

Of course, since 50% of fertilized eggs fail to implant in the uterus anyway, there are other, further complications. By that logic, we really ought to have every couple who is trying to conceive head down to the coroner's office every month the woman fails to get pregnant--just on the off-chance that her partner fertilized an egg and created a human being who unfortunately failed to implant and ended up in the waste basket.

We wouldn't want to lose out on any statistics, would we?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rattling a broken sabre

I don't really understand--I guess it's some sort of logical disconnect.

The L.A. Times pointed out that the administration is publicly blaming Iran for a recent attack in Iraq without any concrete evidence.

clammyc wants a pledge from our officials that if the neocons bomb Iran, they'll be removed from office. I agree there.

thereisnospoon can't understand why the hell they would want attack Iran to in the first place. I understand that as well.

But among all the confusion and worry about the possibilitity of invading Iran, there's one thing that simply boggles the mind about: supporting an invasion of Iran requires a disconnect from reality so large it should be grounds for an insanity plea. And honestly, I'm asking myself if the administration really expects the public to believe what they're selling.

I love everything clammyc writes, so I'd also like to have you read his piece on trust--and why we shouldn't believe the administration when it says, hints, intimates, asserts or gives any other semblance of credence to the veracity of the idea that Iran is behind attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

I agree wholeheartedly with this plan of attack, given the administration's history of abuse of intelligence. But this cannot be our only narrative.

If we argue merely on the grounds that the we cannot trust the administration to tell us the truth, we have automatically conceded the point that any Iranian involvement in attacks on U.S. soldiers justifies an invasion--and it's this that I must take issue with.

Seriously, let's examine the administration's logic on this one for a little bit. Look at what they're saying:

We invaded Iraq. Our occupation is failing. Part of the reason it's failing is that Iran, a much bigger country with a more powerful army, is apparently helping the resistance in Iraq. Therefore, we should invade Iran because it's the only way to stabilize Iraq.

The logic in question is frankly insane. They have not even begun to question the wisdom or aftereffects of invading sovereign nations in the Middle East. Instead, they accept as unquestioned truth the idea that invasion is the only foreign policy option, regardless of previous failures or extrapolations of future difficulties.

No, I'd like to shift the discussion to a different stasis. Here's my message to the administration I don't care if Stephen Hadley's serial numbers give you conclusive proof that Iranian assets may have aided in a missile launch against a helicoptere--it STILL doesn't give you permission to invade anyone.

And the reason it doesn't isn't so much because you've spent so much time lying to us before. See, the fact that you lied your way into implementing your policy really doesn't bother me nearly as much right now as the simple fact that your policy sucks. I mean, honestly. It didn't work the first time, did it? And now you want to do it again, with a bigger country with a bigger army when our military is already bogged down with the first country you decided to invade?

Seriously, guys. You're going to occupy Iran? You and what army? You and what treasury?

We can debate trust until we're blue in the face. We can debate serial numbers and other "evidence" even longer. But I don't care, because the debate is about more than that. We can't act as though we need to disprove their accusations about Iran to prevent an invasion. We need to repeat loud and clear that even if their accusations are true, it's still a stupid idea.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Continuing on the global warming theme

A prominent young Republican at UCLA wrote an editorial in the Daily Bruin in light of the IPCC report trying to deny the consensus and implications contained therein. Unfortunately for him, his editorial was so full of intellectual dishonesty and a complete disregard for fact that it defies belief.

I sent in an email to the editorial board in some sort of attempt to counterbalance the obvious untruths contained therein. Turns out they published a redacted version of my response in the form of an LTE.

I'm not complaining that they didn't publish the full version--it was likely too long and included links to charts and what not. What bothers me more is that the Republican in question has any more permission to publish editorials in the paper after such a shameless sacrifice to the altar of bald-faced lying.

Are we really this desperate for intelligent, young conservative viewpoints? Just another one in the sad line of Ben Ferguson, Ben Domenech and likely so many others. Can't they do better than that?