In one breath, Forbes contributor Chitra Sundaram bemoans how “no real discussion occurs online or offline” when it comes to abortion policy. In the next, she unwittingly betrays her own culpability in the sad state of our national dialogue with a tirade about pro-lifers’ alleged heartlessness:
The silent masses, much as Margaret Sanger, a pioneer in Women’s reproductive rights and one of the founders of Planned Parenthood found during her travails, remain ignored. They live and die on the fringes of society, in pockets of dire poverty and inner city tenements, even in an ultra-rich country like ours. Yet they might as well not exist as far as politicians, and commentators are concerned. If poor women get pregnant, it must be because they are sluts. And the fact that they can’t afford to have a child simply means that they shouldn’t have sex! And the possibility that they might be living in overtly or covertly abusive situations matters little to the ideological pundit. Finally, if the unwanted child is to be forced upon a woman or family, the State of Arizona, facing similar budget deficits to other states has cut into the very programs that might help ease the financial strain on such families.Much could be said about how pro-choice states actually don’t do better than pro-life ones in reducing abortion rates or preventing unintended pregnancy, or which social programs actually help the needy and which ones simply waste money and foster dependence on government. Here, though, let’s focus on the author’s visceral aversion to frank discussion about sexual responsibility.Hyperbolic “slut” descriptor aside, the underlying point – that poor women (other than rape victims) get pregnant because they knowingly chose to do something that potentially results in pregnancy – is self-evidently true, as is the commonsense advice that not having sex is the only foolproof way to avoid pregnancy.
The worst part of the obsession with sluthood? The harm to women. For starters, one in five women currently have herpes. Rates of chlamydia among women have also skyrocketed, with almost three times as many women infected as men. HPV, a disease which can cause cancer, is so prevalent now that at least half of all sexually active adults have been diagnosed with it at some point. According to the CDC, of the 12,000 women who get cervical cancer each year, almost all of them are HPV-related. The effects are even worse on younger girls. Sixty-three percent of teens who have sex wish they didn’t. The Heritage Foundation did a study and found that 8,000 teenagers are infected with an STD daily.As a woman, how is it better to close our eyes and bleat “empowerment!” about women being sluts? It’s harmful, degrading, and even the feminists advocating for sluthood admit to feeling used, cheap, and worthless. It may seem harsher to call someone a slut, but far better for us to stop glorifying sluthood as if it’s some kind of acceptable lifestyle than to praise women for it. What’s the better choice in the long run for women? To lie to them about the greatness of being a whore, or to be honest and call sluts what they are? Believe it or not, slut-shaming serves a purpose.
My latest Live Action post:
Pro-abortion, anti-liberty zealot Rep. Nancy Pelosi has inadvertently done the pro-life cause a favor. On Monday the House Minority Leader held a congressional hearing on the cost of birth control, and the testimony of her witness, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, put the narcissism and disingenuousness of her cause on full display.
Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy. One told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn’t covered, and had to walk away because she couldn’t afford it. Students like her have no choice but to go without contraception.Craig Bannister at CNSNews.com did the math and found that “At a dollar a condom if she shops at CVS pharmacy’s website, that $3,000 would buy her 3,000 condoms – or, 1,000 a year.” Divide 1,000 by 365, and it seems Ms. Fluke wants us to believe Georgetown girls are “having sex 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years.” Considering that my friends and I (male and female alike) managed to survive four years of college without having any sex, I don’t think the Georgetown kids cutting down a little is too much to ask.
Read the rest at Live Action.
Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to the city’s non-injection drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at engaging crack cocaine smokers and reducing the transmission of disease such as hepatitis C.The program, part of Vancouver’s harm reduction strategy, is expected to start in October and run for six months to a year, said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health.The intent is to connect health care workers with crack cocaine smokers to evaluate how many of the drug users are in the city and what equipment they need to lower their risk of catching diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV and even respiratory illnesses.A kit with a clean, unused pipe, mouthpiece, filter and condoms will be handed out to the participants, Gustafson said. It’s not known at this time how many drug users will take part in the pilot, which is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $60,000.“There’s been a shift to crack cocaine smoking and we want to make sure the services we provide are the services they need … if we’re providing syringes and what we need are pipes, we’re not serving them,” Gustafson said […] “It’s just understanding and knowing the health consequences of crack cocaine smoking.”
The reason they want to get clean needles and crack pipes out on the street is because 95% of addicts don’t keep theirs clean, of course. However, once you’ve passed out a clean pipe or clean needle, **it’s only sterile for that first use**. From then on it’s dirty and stays that way. It will be used again. And again, and again, and again.But Henry, they’ll teach them all about the importance of sterile works! They have a program and everything! And the addicts will ignore them. Such education programs have been common for over forty years. I’ve been working with addicts since 1986. There is a uniquely evil kind of ignorance that tells would-be do-gooders that the addict who won’t change his behaviors despite the likelihood of death by gunshot, overdose, AIDS, organic damage, mugging, and a thousand others ways an addict manages to die, will for some reason see the light and change out of fear of contracting hepatitis. If you want to kill an addict, give him uncut heroin or a government health department social worker. They are equally deadly.So now, thanks to Vancouver Coastal Health, there will be many, many thousands more dirty pipes infected with hepatitis and other nasties out there in the addict community than there were before. Same number of addicts, just several thousand extra infected crack pipes, so the individual chance of infection is significantly raised.But, but, but.. we give them pamphlets!Arrrgh.
You want the booze parallel? It’s that conservatives grasp the difference between having a beer in the backyard and getting face-in-the-toilet drunk. The left’s attitude toward government, by contrast, is that if one vodka-and-tonic is good … hey, can we get this stuff in two-liter bottles? And get that guy in a suit to pay for it?
Gurda does not grasp that conservatives have been saying for years — really loudly these past two — that there is a logical stopping point when shrinking government, and that is the outline put forth in the constitution. This is perhaps because liberals, and Gurda I gather is one, do not admit to any logical stopping point in the other direction. If some government is good, more is better — always. They think the constitution allows so little government, it amounts to “civic suicide,” as Gurda puts it. But what, then, is the upper limit?
Not that we’d reach it. Recall what started all this: Unions weren’t demanding that the governor offer more schooling or parks. To the contrary, Walker said, repeatedly, that he wants to preserve schools, parks, aid for the poor and so on even as the state copes with a $3.5 billion deficit, and the only way to do that in a state that’s already the fourth-hardest taxed in the country is to get the same amount of labor at a more reasonable cost. Walker suggested unions’ absurd benefits take a haircut and the mechanism that permitted the absurdity to begin with, collective bargaining, be reined in.
That’s what this is about. It’s not about nicer education or better services but about unions holding on to their power. Education and services will be much costlier to provide, if they have their way. Which, if you think about it, is the modern approach to prohibition: add taxes to jack up the cost to the point no one can afford much — what? tobacco? gas? booze? You name it, but it’s a lot more subtle than axing rum barrels.
My latest NewsRealBlog Post:
The smug certainty with which leftists insist that they’re better people than conservatives has always been an interesting phenomenon. We’re asked to believe that our opponents are more moral, more responsible, more enlightened, and more sensitive than we are one minute…and one of our betters turns around and asks what the big deal is about some outrageous case of moral degeneracy the next.
Such is the case of the latest pontifications from The View co-host Joy Behar. In a discussion of Skins, the new MTV show which might have broken child pornography laws by filming actors as young as 15 performing explicit simulated sexual acts, Behar suggested that the only reason people are getting worked up is because of the channel it’s on:
“I think it’s because it’s MTV, because on HBO as you pointed out, I believe ‘Oz’ was on there and they’re all doing some crazy stuff … and ‘Sex in the City’ was on HBO,” Behar said. “What’s the difference if you’re watching all these grown-ups talking about all of these — anal sex, etc., or young people? What’s the difference?”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure laws against producing child pornography don’t say, “nobody can do this except for HBO.”
Whoopi Goldberg dismissed concern as a mere construct of America’s more Puritan sensibilities:
[T]he English have a whole different relationship to how young people are dealt with. I mean, that’s just the way it is. It is a different thing and sex does not have the same bizarre-ness that it carries in the U.S.
America must be weird for having a problem with this; English standards couldn’t possibly be wrong! Gotta love cultural relativism.
Barbara Walters, however, managed to explain the difference to her colleague:
“There’s two differences,” Walters said. “One – it’s targeting kids. It’s a huge difference. And the other is that they’re also saying is it is underage kids that are doing this.”
Walters is right as far as she goes, but she doesn’t go nearly far enough. The main answer is that the controversy isn’t merely about minors “talking about” sex. It’s about minors performing suggested sex acts on screen. Does Behar have any conception of why child pornography is illegal? (I’d do more research into whether or not she’s opined on the issue in the past, but the prospect of Googling a combination of the terms “joy behar” and “porn” is too terrifying to contemplate.)
Bill Clinton. Keith Olbermann. Chris Matthews. Dick Durbin. Scott Feldstein. Jay Bullock. David Frum. Paul Krugman. The New York Times. Jonathan Alter. Bob Kerrey. James Clyburn. Joan Walsh. Robert Brady. Jon Justice, Jane Fonda, Michael Moore, Patton Oswald, Elizabeth Banks, Roger Ebert, John Legend, Josh Groban. Markos Moulitsas. Stuart Shapiro. Patrick Kennedy. Chris Liebenthal. John Kerry. Ed Schultz and Bill Press. Clarence Dupnik. Aaron Mehta.
This is but a partial list of politicians, journalists, bloggers, and celebrities who have chosen to use the horrific shooting in Tucson – which left six people dead, including a little girl, and a Congresswoman fighting for her life – as an opportunity to condemn conservatives and Republicans for allegedly inflammatory rhetoric. Some explicitly claim figures such as Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin are culpable for Jared Loughner’s actions, while others insinuate they are dangerously cultivating the sort of hatred and fear that could trigger similar acts in the future. *
Never mind that the perpetrator’s mentally-disturbed, violent tendencies are unrelated to politics. Never mind that the political indicators in his record, if anything, suggest hostility to God and an affinity for radical leftism. Never mind that his hatred of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had nothing to do with her or her party’s policies.
Jared Loughner thinks in gibberish, processes what he sees and hears in gibberish, and acts on gibberish. Yet we’re asked to hang our heads in shame about an alleged cause-effect relationship that leads from Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin straight to Loughner’s trigger finger?
Bull. I get the intent behind respectfully critiquing this line of attack as Allahpundit does, but doing so misses the point. The point is: this record has already been played time and time again. It’s broken. The people using this to smear conservatives know better. Some of the more shameless ones, like Frum and Feldstein, admit as much—they acknowledge Loughner’s real motives yet proceed to say we should use the opportunity to bash the Right’s “dangerous, irresponsible rhetoric” anyway.
None of this is sincere. We know because these leftist lies about conservatives are nothing new. When a Communist circulated Obama-as-Hitler posters, conservatives were blamed. MSNBC ran selective footage of a black man with a gun, to characterize him as a potentially trigger-happy white supremacist. Leftists have publicly advocated impersonating Tea Partiers. The media misrepresents polls to defame Tea Partiers. Phony quotes attributed to prominent conservatives are disseminated without hesitation.
We know because we have a decade’s worth of hatred, terrorism, anger, bigotry, dishonesty, and violence-inciting from scores of left-wing activists, celebrities, journalists, and public officials on the record. We have violence committed by leftists against conservatives, and violence committed by radical Islamists, for which leftists have a different standard. The online savagery of leftist commenters is the stuff of legend.
If any of these lying, two-faced, murder-exploiting bastards were even remotely concerned about the “tone” of American politics, they would have piped up when it was their side—their fellow travelers, their elected leaders, their favored media personalities—doing the “coarsening.” But with rare exception, they either ignore it outright, make excuses for it, or tell bald-faced lies about their side’s filth coming from “marginalized, unimportant people whose voices don’t carry too far.”
Sure. “Marginalized, unimportant people” like prominent MSNBC commentators Schultz and Olbermann. Like Rep. Alan Grayson, who Obama has showered with praise. Like the current Senate Majority Leader. Like Sen. Dick Durbin. Like Sen. Robert Byrd. Like Rep. Keith Ellison. Like the late Ted Kennedy. Like former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe and numerous other Democrat officeholders. Like former President Jimmy Carter. Like current President Barack Obama. Nah, those “voices don’t carry too far” at all…
You want to know why America’s got problems? Why our political discourse seems so degraded, so futile? Re-read the names comprising the first paragraph, and you’ll have one of the biggest answers. The answer isn’t that we don’t scrupulously follow arbitrary rules of decorum. The answer is that the conduct of bad people in government, in the media, and in the blogosphere has gone unchallenged for far too long. We criticize their misconduct one day, yet we smile at them and act as if it never happened the next. We’re so eager to demonstrate our reasonableness, our maturity that we keep reaching out to the other side, no matter what they do. It never seems to occur to us that they might be giving us a glimpse at their souls.
But these cretins—so consumed by hatred and bias, so devoid of morality, that they’ll exploit murder to hurt their political enemies—bring shame upon their professions and upon our country. Treating these smears like they’re sincere concerns legitimizes them, and guarantees that we’ll see more of this defamation in the future.
Enough. It’s time to stop pretending the participants of this smear campaign are decent people who’re simply misguided. It’s time to stop extending olive branches. To stop pretending it’s respectable to cast votes for them. To stop giving their blogs and publications our attention and business.
And given the topic, let me be perfectly clear, to preempt anyone who would consider twisting my words against me: this is not a call to violence. The only just response to even evil speech is to exercise your own freedoms of speech and free association. To respond with physical force would be a failure of our human capacity for self-control, a violation of our foes’ God-given, unalienable rights, a betrayal of our respect for the rule of law as citizens in a free society, and a vote of no confidence in our ability to solve our problems through the public discourse and the democratic process.
This much is true: American political discourse is sick. How we react to the murder-exploiters among us will reveal whether or not we’re finally serious about healing it.
* UPDATE: The second paragraph has been modified from its original version to more accurately reflect the caveats made by some of those named. In the comments, Scott Feldstein requests that I remove his name entirely. That’s not going to happen, but his complaint did convince me that this change was in order, because I value truth and accuracy regardless of which political agendas they advance or hinder.
Robert Stacy McCain uses an astonishingly-stupid remark by Katie Couric as a springboard for some great remarks on the value of Bill Cosby’s hit sitcom:
As a professional comedian and actor, of course, Cosby’s first consideration was to produce successful entertainment. Insofar as Cosby had any notion of racial consciousness-raising, however, I’m pretty sure his primary idea was to exemplify a model of bourgeois decency for the black community.
Here was a top-quality program by black people, about black people, for black people — an weekly show that held out to black Americans the same kind of corny old-fashioned middle-class family ideal once emboided by shows like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver.
The Huxtables weren’t living in the projects and they weren’t speaking ghetto-inflected jive-talk. In fact, although this is sometimes forgotten, many liberals at the time criticized The Cosby Show as inauthentic and insufficiently relevant in addressing Serious Social Problems.
Yet the Huxtable family were about something very different than the kind of didactic issues-based “relevance” beloved by intellectuals. The Huxtables were reflecting the basic American values that Cosby cherishes, values that he dearly wants other black people to embrace, so as to get their own share of the American dream.
The fact that the show instantly became a mass-market success is, first and foremost, a tribute to Bill Cosby’s genius. But that success in itself undermines the idea that white people’s attitudes toward black people were, in 1984, the principle hindrance to black success. If white people were so ignorant and bigoted, why were they tuning in by the millions each week to watch Cosby?
Beyond the comedic brilliance of Cosby himself, some of the best parts of The Cosby Show were his periodic struggles — especially with son Theo — to get his kids to stay on the right path, and not to be lured into the “street” culture by peer pressure or trying to be “cool.”
This was, and remains, a particular problem that black parents have to deal with. Even though all parents have to deal with rebellious teens getting into trouble, the white suburban middle-class parent does not live in a world where the “troubled teen” routinely goes to prison or ends up shot dead. But these possibilities are a serious worry for many black parents. (To quote a black friend, concerned about gang activity in small-town schools: “We got out of the ghetto and we’re not going back. We sure as hell don’t want the ghetto coming here to get us.”)
In the continuing battle over Scott Feldstein’s political character assassination masquerading as thought, Boots & Sabers commenter A Son of Liberty has provided this effective summary of liberalism’s folly, and how conservatism answers it:
Liberals have politics that are often based on feeling while conservatives base their beliefs on the reality of the situation. If you are naive in regard to the results of the policies you support, then of course you feel that the folks who point out the problems will seem mean to you.
Welfare, food stamps, public housing, free health care… all programs that are the backbone of the modern liberal social net. It just feels good to vote for them and then sit back with a smug feeling that you have helped the poor… you’ve made things better and punished those bad rich people at the same time. After all, they don’t deserve the wealth… the poor gave it to them… you are just doing what is right. Yay.
The problem there is that the cradle to grave care that you so generously offer from the pockets of others has turned into a new king of slavery… slavery of the spirit. People have the basics of life… but there is no way to climb out of the nest. Get a job and we cut you off…. why work for the same pay that you get for free? That system has resulted in millions of citizens who have no connection to the concept of self sufficiency and the pride that comes from paying your own way and working to better yourself. Families were also attacked through the liberal application of policies that penalized families with two parents. Ridiculous? Yes, but it was all done with the best intentions.
Modern slavery put people in a position that they see no hope of working their way out of. Politicians, teachers, media, neighbors… everyone points out that they can never get ahead… so they don’t. Some of our inner city kids actually believe that education is a bad thing…. it marks you as one of “them” … it’s actually looked down upon by some groups. Ridiculous? Yes, but it’s a natural human instinct to justify your actions… and so they do. I can’t get ahead because “they” won’t let me. I’m poor, black, Hispanic, female, a single mom… insert whatever class of victim you like into the excuse matrix…. the result is the same. Generational slavery on the governments farm… at the hands of people who claim to want to help you.
Learned helplessness legislated and enforced by the state.
Yeah, that is what being naive got us…. and then, to protect the system, the power brokers have labeled the realists as uncaring, hateful, racist, sexist, bigoted … whatever works to maintain the system.
That is where Scott’s original definition of conservative traces it’s etymology… and that is why we are so offended by the malicious character assassination contained within. No more dancing around the truth.