23 April 2011

So what does abortion have to do with government fiscal responsibility?

Margaret Sanger, Founder , in 1916, of Planned Parenthood
(image via Wikipedia)
Other than possibly reducing the number of dependents upon the state who have been born into circumstances where they hardly have a chance at making decent lives for themselves, the two have little to do with each other. Yet this is a priority for people who claim to be crusading for liberty and ... no, not justice for all, but rather, freedom from the oppression of justice for all (and taxes).

For a group of people who hate the government’s involvement in their private lives, especially their finances, it is very surprising to me that they would want to involve the government in the goings on inside women’s wombs. The same people who believe so strongly in individual liberty and personal responsibility don’t extend this liberty to pregnant women nor trust in women to make their own responsible decisions. What’s up with that?

As I wrote in a blog post just after the US elections last November,

...the Tea Party movement is more about social and cultural issues than they will ever admit, while the corporate mentality that upholds the enormous income gap between CEOs and employees doesn’t seem to figure into their calculations about how to limit Big Government.

I was right to have suspected the motives of Ron Johnson and his fellow Tea Party members. I was not exactly right, however, to have claimed that all of South America was going in the opposite direction.

see: Forbes, Rick Unger, The Policy Page: Senator Ron Johnson’s WSJ Op-Ed Revives Death Panels And Misleads On Health Reform

President Rousseff
(via Wikipedia)
Brazil, yes – and I just wrote an article chiding investors in the United States who were fretting over – gasp! – the Brazilian government’s “meddling” in the affairs of Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, a company that was not that long ago privatized by that government, but only partially so, as the government still holds a majority stake in the company’s controlling shareholder, Valepar, indirectly, through state pension funds and the state development bank, BNDES. This is exactly what I was talking about concerning the opposite directions. Brazilians are more or less putting away their polarizing differences, shelving the idea that private and public cannot work together as successful partners, and coming together in new ways to develop their country into a what will be a real world superpower, based on its pure size, with the help of its immense biological and cultural pizzazz.

President Chavez
(via Wikipedia)
But Venezuela, no. In fact, the subversion of democracy that has taken place in Wisconsin as well as Ohio by their governors is a bizarre funhouse mirror image of what Hugo Chavéz and his outgoing majority in the assembly did in December by instating Rule by Decree as an “emergency measure” ostensibly to deal with problems caused by the disastrous floods that had occurred in Venezuela. But unlike the election of Chávez, and even though he had himself changed the constitution in order that he could run for another term, the legitimacy of the wins by the Tea Party candidates have come into question, at least in my mind, since the very suspicious occurrences in the recent election of the State Supreme Court Justice, where the woman in charge of counting the votes in her county was also a political operative closely tied to the candidate for whom her sudden procurement of 14,000 more votes two days after the ballots had closed that she had “forgotten to save” in her computer – huh?

Now, not too many people seem to know about the story of the 2004 presidential elections that brought George W. Bush into office for his second term, but there were shenanigans that went on with the computer system SmarTech, which was owned by a partisan whose entire goal in life was to make sure that women no longer have the right to abortions. IT expert, Mike Connell called his cheating, or at least knowing of cheating that was being done in US elections, “zeal for the unborn.”

But I knew of this story when I had my own encounter with some unknown computer tech who also had the same zeal. This zeal causes people to do all kinds of crazy stuff, from subverting democracy, to scaring people with exaggerations and untruths, to silencing the voice of reason, to killing human beings... all in the name of their zeal for a larger cause.

My little encounter took place on the website, Helium.com, where I had posted an argument for the debate question, Should a woman have the right to choose abortion? I was very proud of my long thought-out argument, which looks at many different aspects of the issues surrounding pregnancy and why a woman should be able to decide for herself whether or not to carry the pregnancy forward. I had written emails pointing people to the article, because it had risen through the ranks to become the #1 out of 427 articles that all argued for a woman’s right to choose abortion.

I was so proud that I got a little cocky. I had noticed that the debates had become difficult to access, as the buttons that were supposed to open up the “most popular” debate categories had stopped functioning, the abortion debate being by far the most popular in terms of the number of articles written for both sides of the argument. This glitch persisted for several months, and it seemed to me that it should be very easy to fix, so I finally sent an angry email to the website, accusing them of purposefully obscuring the debate because of the embarrassing fact that the many arguments for a woman’s right to choose abortion were so superior in quality, not to mention quantity and diversity, to those against, pointing out how people’s zeal for the unborn often causes them to partake in deceitful activities and asking them to please fix the glitch. It was shortly thereafter when my article plunged from #1 to #44 out of 428.

I submitted a slightly improved version, as writers are encouraged to do in order to raise their rankings, but it was rejected, so I stopped pointing people to the site and gave up on it for over a year, until recently, when an email that was sent out to all users motivated me to check on the status of my article, which had been slowly moving back up through the ranks, and lo and behold, as of the time that I am posting this article, it is back at #1 again, this time out of 453 articles.

I was nearly as obsessed with this issue as those who cheat and lie and kill are, except that I had spent many hours during several years working out a truly meaningful philosophical argument for why a woman should have the right to choose an abortion, but I was never compelled to cheat or lie or kill anyone for my higher cause, which is to free women of the burden of having to accept the belief that abortion is the killing of a human being when they are weighing life choices that should be up to them, their medical advisors, and no-one else (yeah – that’s right, not even the men who impregnate them, the possible future fathers to be). I trust women, and they should be able to trust themselves and their own intuitions about bringing new life to bear upon the planet.

My focus in writing the essay was to elucidate a legitimate argument for why termination of a pregnancy can be perceived to be something other than the killing of a human being, touching on the subject of what a thinking person might believe it means to be a human being, and arguing that the perceived loss that makes so many people so zealous about the idea of the rights of the unborn is based on nothing other than a thought experiment about the lives of possible future human beings – which is precisely what religious ideology is – a thought experiment.

I have been thinking, of late, that it all comes down to a matter of power. Women possess the godlike Power of Creation, and men, throughout the ages, have sought to control this power, just as they have sought to control every other kind of power conceivable: the Power of Passion (through religion), the Power of Death (through fossil fuels), the Power of the Sun (through nuclear energy), the Power of Knowledge, the Power of Wealth, the Power of The People, the Power of the Internet...

Irshad Manji
In lieu of being able to control women’s Power of Creation, women, themselves, have been subjected to their control, not through religion itself, but through religious ideology. This is a distinction that has been made by Irshad Manji, an amazing woman whose zeal for life has driven her to speak, out as a Muslim, against violence and human rights abuses in the name of God. In support of the French ban on the wearing of veils by women in public, she said that fundamentalist Muslim ideology is basically a tribal thought system that confers all responsibility for immoral actions upon women, leaving the men to be free to act without any self-governance. It is a very immature interpretation of Islam and by no means the only one, and it has no place in modern society. So rather than the French law restricting personal choice, as women claim that they choose to wear the veil, it is the religious code that is restrictive, and now, these women will be forced to unveil this blaming of the victim of repression and the men will have to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions.

...And this brings me back around to where I started, with the idea of personal responsibility, and how hypocritical it is to be an adamant supporter of personal responsibility, with all that nonsense about taxation being an infringement on liberty and an affront to the idea of personal responsibility, while not actually believing in liberty and personal responsibility for everybody in society (i.e. women, gay and lesbian people, people of color – you know, all the usual suspects – but also including the poor, the middle class, and anyone else who has compassion for anyone besides wealthy white males and their precious unborn). But it goes beyond hypocrisy into the realm of pure Lust for Power, which brings out not just a zeal that drives lies and deceit in the name of some noble higher cause, but there is a fundamentalist capitalist belief system that is much like Muslim fundamentalism, which confers all responsibility for immoral acts upon those who do not hold the Power of Wealth, and lying and deceit and the attempt to control “the message” has become a fine-tuned art.

Van Jones at Power Shift 2011
(image via Wikipedia)
The amazing thing is how this is all so interrelated: power, the control of power, the means of controlling power (that is, by an means possible)...

see also:

From Power Shift 2011:

On Election Fraud:

update, Monday 25 April:

Here it is again - cheating in the name of stopping abortions. What is it with these people, that this issue is more important even that upholding democracy? This time, it is Kathy Nickolaus, the woman who suddenly came up with all those votes in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice race, who doesn't get that the ends do not justify the means, that without democracy, she might not have the freedom to practice her belief system in her own life, and that the highest cause is democracy itself, not religious ideology that is not shared by everyone in society.

Here is the quote from today's edition of The Brad Blog, dealing with partisan misconduct in Wisconsin:

What struck me though about Kathy was that she was exceptionally partisan. This was supposed to be a non-partisan agency…Kathy was the kind of person, it didn’t matter what you said to her, ah I would say 'I’m going down the street to get a muffin, you want one?' and she would say, 'We have to stop abortions!'


Walt Long said...

outstanding article, Julie. All of your points are well taken, but I'm afraid the irony of government by decree as a means of preserving freedom will be lost on the tea party. I read your piece on helium.com and it only saddens me that the mindless rebuttal posted alongside also ranked #1.

Julie R Butler said...

Thank you Walt!

I think it is instructive for people to look at the arguments on Helium, as they expose the level of intelligence (or lack thereof) that is behind the two opposing arguments. I understand that people have strong feelings, but if the only argument that they can come up with in a debate is that "I believe..." then it must be made clear that other beliefs that are not harmful to anyone must also be respected in a democracy that must be fought for against the Chamber of Commmerce and their allies before their attempted coup is completed.

Thanks for reading.

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