Saturday, March 11, 2006

South Dakota declares cells life!


'the discrimination is over'

by Satire News Service

In response to an all-out lobbying effort by the Blastocyst Alive group, South Dakota has passed the most stringent anti-abortion law in the nation. "No more will these cells be segregated," said Gov. Mike Rounds, at the signing ceremony. To show his belief in the idea that undifferentiated masses of dividing cells are as alive as anyone, he announced plans to appoint one Secretary of Pre-Birth Safety, demanding that all uterusi be given yearly inspections for safety and comfort.

South Dakota had long taken the lead in taking away abortions. There is only one clinic in the state that performs the act, there is a mandatory twenty-four waiting period and counseling required to discourage the act, and a parental notification act is in effect that requires people under the age of 57 to tell their parents before an abortion can occur. Should the parents of the abortion seeker (called Hellbound Murderous Slut Harlot Heathen in court papers) be dead, the state appoints parents as a stand-in.

Blastocysts Alive spokesman Division 43 says, "We knew South Dakota was the place for us - but it just wasn't quite perfect. We organized a mass mailing campaign for this bill with a difference, where instead of letters, we mailed ourselves to the legislators. Since about 500,000 of us can fit in a space the size of a period, it was very economical and effective."

One state senator, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was very moved by the letter stating that over 17,649, 856,314,152 blastocysts were right there, on the letter, begging him to save their lives. The male senator, who to date has not carried a child to term, immediately pledged his support for the bill and states it doesn't go far enough, saying next term he will enact a commission to see if sperm and egg cells deserve a similar recognition. Lobbying groups Onanists Anonymous and All The Eggs in one Basket did not have a comment at press time. The state senator, however, admits he did kill all the blastocysts in the letter when he threw it away.

The anti-abortion law passed forbids all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother's health, exceptions usually seen as acceptable by most non-blastocysts. The only possible acceptable abortion by the Hellbound Murderous Slut Harlot Heathen would be in case of danger to the mother's life. Bill Napoli, a state senator, offers one such scenario:

"BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."

Rape? What Rape?, another lobbying group involved in the passing of this bill, said in a statement, "We are glad to see that Senator Napoli sees a difference between the physical and psychological effects of a really bad rape and just your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill rape. We salute Senator Napoli." Senator Napoli has plans to require churches to document attendance figures to confirm any claims from a raped woman of religiousness and OB-GYNs to sign documents of virginity at yearly checkups as well to keep any Hellbound Murderous Slut Harlot Heathens (hereafter HMSHH) from trying to procure an abortion after a rape that was not as bad as it could possibly have been. "No loopholes here," he proudly proclaimed.

The bill, which states that life begins at conception, tackles some other issues as well:

If an blastocyst, fetus, or embryo spontaneously aborts, the woman can be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Any rape that is bad enough to warrant an abortion makes the blastocyst, fetus or embryo into a new category, "Not really alive", and therefore abortion is allowable. "By changing the definition, all moral quandaries are eliminated," stated one Wally Thurman-Smythe Hendley. Also, the rapist will be charged additionally for murder, but the woman, who was raped as badly as one can imagine, will not be. "Nope, no double standards at all, why?" asked Wally.

Women can now be arrested for child abuse if they fail to provide adequate safety and security to the now-alive cells. Signed affidavits of pre-natal vitamin doses and exercise will be periodically required.

One thorny issue is the idea of child sexual abuse. Defined as a "sex act involving a child", the blastocyst, fetus or embryo is now given the status of a child at conception, so therefore sex between a man and a pregnant woman is now an act of abuse as well, no matter how far along the woman is. In fact, it is now possible to be arrested for child sexual abuse immediately following the conception, since at the moment of conception the child is alive and therefore involved in the sex act. In a corresponding law, any depiction of any sex act involving vaginal sex is now forbidden in South Dakota under the "Catch-All Child Pornography Act", just in case the woman partner was pregnant or became pregnant during the act itself. This issue will have to work itself out in the courts, although already some people are asking questions like, "So, now a rape can become child sexual abuse as well, yet if the rape isn't bad enough to warrant an abortion it's not a bad rape but still child sexual abuse, and the mother can be charged with child abuse if after a rape that wasn't as bad as it could have been she doesn't take care of the child, or if she wasn't religious, or..." There was a lot more to that question, but our batteries died about the second hour of it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Congress's Saturday Night Massacre?

Bill Frist, he of the "nuclear option", is at it again. When the rules don't do what you want, change the rules! This appears to be a mantra for the Republican President Enablers in Congress (remember the arm-twisting hours added on to the MediDebacle bill?), who seem to feel that rules are for suckers.

This is one reason I'm against much of the Republican's current agenda - when they can't find ways to get it done through the rules, they ignore the rules. Like it or not, guys, it's a two-party system, and the minority Democrats don't even put up that much of a fight in the first place, but even the feeble and unusual times they do manage to get some backbone, you just switch around the rules so it doesn't matter. Democracy? They've heard of it, mainly along the "one-man-one-vote" idea, which they're ALL for - as long as they get to pick the man that gets that vote.

If Frist is going to follow the suspected plan of removing those Republicans who dare to follow the rules and replace them with more pliant, limber moraled people, it's going to look at lot like the Saturday Night Massacre. Just the kind of image needed.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Female Frey

James Frey's fictional autobiography - call it Munchasen, Interrupted - was bad for so many reasons, but one of the more awful ones, to me, was when he rewrote the death of a girl in his school to make himself seem "badder". Hard to sink much lower than changing the facts to give yourself a better angle for a book...

...or a TV series.

First Impressions, You Know What They Say

As more and more comes out about Katrina, it seems clear that Michael Brown - who I disparaged and called for his firing - was actually much more involved than he seemed to be. It evens seems that he was doing his damnedest to get stuff done, going over Chertoff's head to the White House direct, and saying he would take the blame.

That he did, and there was much blame to go around. He came in for a whole lot of it, and now he deserves some praise for what we now know.

So, Michael Brown, I was too hard on you. You were much more involved than I thought, you did more than I thought, and you deserved much less crap from me.

I apologize.


The original poster that supposedly blamed myself and other critics of the war has an update and a follow-up. His argument is now that he never was saying people who criticized the war were at fault for the problems; it was people who use false information while criticizing the war that are the problem. That's a position that very few sane people would argue with, of course, and it should be the standard for the pro-war side as well - they should condemn misleading statements like these.

Well, far be it for me to condemn badly thought out prose, as my original blog entry on this very subject had to be edited itself; see below.

But reading the original entry and the follow-up, the confusion was more than understandable. Look at these sections from the original post that started the fire:

"But why be glib? One of the important points made in this excerpt (the entire piece is available to subscribers only) is that a goodly portion of our success or failure in Iraq has ultimately to do with how we react in terms of either lending our support or leveling our criticisms against the campaign.
And this is (and has been) a crucial component of the war—one that many on the anti-war side are loathe to admit: that their constant naysaying, though it is well within their right to voice, has objectively hurt the war effort, particularly when the criticism incorporates carefully-crafted falsehoods many of the war’s critics
know for a fact to be objectively untrue" (italics added)

And then from his update:

"First, my essay doesn’t concede that we’ve “lost the war”—and in fact, by offering a counter to Buckley, it argues precisely the opposite. Second, it doesn’t “whine” about how some folks didn’t clap hard enough; instead, it makes the observation that relentness naysaying beyond initial disagreement—particularly when those daily critiques involve knowingly perpetuating falsehoods as part of a strategy to undermine the war effort—is objectively damaging, as it meets one of our enemies’ stated goals of dividing the American electorate." (boldface added, italics in original)


"Critics of my essay are free, of course, to misinterpret or refigure my argument any way they’d like (I envision action figure stories or kitty pictures). But it won’t change what I wrote, nor will it alter what are indisputable facts: namely, that the enemy relied on breaking our will, and it relied on doing so by applying the kinds of pressures to which many on the left—already predisposed to disagree with the intervention of US forces—would succumb.
It is also true that, regardless of what we each felt about the wisdom of the intervention, showing a united front against the terrorists (who are now fighting against an elected Iraqi government and the vast majority of those Iraqis who voted for democracy) would weaken the insurgency and show solidarity with a fledgling democracy. Doing so at a time when civil war is possible thanks to the provocations of terrorists is particularly important if our goal is to win the war in Iraq (and not just political control of a future, toothless foreign policy)." (italics added)

In his update, he posts a straw man letter to show the kind of arguments he feels are at fault, which is fair...if he had been much more specific in saying he only meant these kind of Ann-Coulter-on-the-left arguments. But then:

"Whether or not it is appropriate for war critics to criticize the war so vocally and so consistently is for them to decide, ultimately; however, it was my position that the more hyperbolic and vicious critiques—based too often on falsehoods and ideologically-weighted arguments that failed to provide adequate context for their criticisms—were doing damage to troop morale, to the morale of the US electorate, and were helping in the propaganda efforts of the insurgents (who have no legitimate claim in Iraq)—and they were working in this harmful capacity far moreso than they were weakening the President’s resolve or helping the people of Iraq. I suggested that those who were anti-war—having registered their disagreement—are therefore doing no good by working hard to bring about our defeat at this point in the campaign, or by openly crowing for a civil war. But they are making it more difficult for our troops, our State Department, the DoD, and our allies." (italics added)


"What I don’t understand is, why can’t you and your friends on the left who are so quick to (mistakenly, and in my opinion, intentionally) assert that I have laid blame for the failure of the war at the feet of the left take responsibility for what YOUR actions have wrought—even if you believe those actions were justified? The best and worst of (subjective) intentions, after all, have empirical consequences. And to deny that the anti-war campaign, coupled with a media that concentrates on calamity rather than success, hasn’t had a deleterious effect on US will—and a positive effect on the persistance of the insurgency—smacks to me of willful blindness and, frankly, a rather patently obvious defensiveness." (italics added)

The whole essay reads like he can't decide if it's ALL the people against the war, or only those who use false statements in their criticisms, who are causing problems for morale and etc. Yes, he says a few times he only means the hyperbolic people - and then uses the subset while condemning the whole, using words like particularly. If I said stuff like:

And this is (and has been) a crucial component of the war—one that many on the (PRO)-war side are loathe to admit: that their constant (DRUMBEATING), though it is well within their right to voice, has objectively hurt the war effort, particularly when the (SUPPORTING STATEMENTS) incorporates carefully-crafted falsehoods many of the war’s (SUPPORTERS) know for a fact to be objectively untrue

I would understand why people would be confused over who I meant to condemn there - all supporters, or the ones who used false statements in their claims. I'm also troubled by other things, like his questioning if war critics should criticize so often or so vocally (so, less often and more quietly...why?) and the fact that "relentless campaign" has had a deletrious effect on U.S. morale - again, not just the ones using false statements. (I'd also ask how divided is the blame as well - promises of easy victory, less cost, fewer people needed and a short time over there being broken would also cause a loss of morale.)

The relentless naysaying comment is a little confusing as well. Much of the reason I've been pretty constant in my criticisms of the war is because the criticisms haven't been addressed - the lack of planning in the beginning, the failursectarianning Iraqi troops, the secterian conflict we should have seen coming and have yet to figure out how to deal with. When the problems get addressed, then the criticism can be muted.

His comment about showing a united front against the terrorist also gives me pause - why is my criticizing, say, the lack of body armor in Iraq not a united front? Does he only mean the people who want the terrorists to win, and if so, who are they specifically?

As I said, I'm not one to condemn unclear writing. It just seems like this writing may be more clear then intended, with the mixing and matching of problems of false statements and the honest criticisms. Yes, he does say a few times that rational debate is different - and then in the next paragraph includes all war critics as a lump. Perhaps it's just he knows what he means, and the people who are regulars on his site knows what he means...but it doesn't come as a surprise to me that other people don't know.