Thursday, May 24, 2018

A different feminism?

So is this really a thing?

Or a tiny minority within the feminist movement as a whole?

Open your eyes, pro-life feminists are everywhere

When I began working in the pro-life movement in the late 1980s, while the "boots on the ground" were often female, the C-suites of organizations like the National Right to Life and Americans United for Life were occupied by men. 

Today, hands-down, the most visible voices and leaders in the movement are women -- at the National Right to Life Committee, at Students for Life, at Live Action, at Americans United for Life, and at the March for Life.

In recent years, too, women have begun to spearhead many pro-life groups with explicitly pro-women agendas, which articulate how women's rights are co-extensive with children's rights: Feminists for Life, the Susan B. Anthony List, New Wave Feminists (with the inimitable slogan: Badass.ProLife.Feminist.), Rehumanize International ("Working to make aggressive violence a thing of the past through education, discourse, and action"), the Sisters of Life (a contemplative order dedicated to the "protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life" and providing ongoing support for mothers) and my own organization, Women Speak for Themselves (Empowering.Local.Voices).

If you're paying attention, it's impossible to miss the trend.

I'm a feminist against abortion. Why exclude me from a march for women?

I did not vote for President-Elect Donald Trump and continue to question his fitness to serve. 

Thus I am unsurprised that hundreds of thousands of women would want to protest his election this coming Saturday, the day after the inauguration. 

I am surprised, however, that the leaders of the Women's March on Washington—and most feminists today—are so unwilling to listen to an alternative feminist perspective, one with deep roots in feminist history and a good deal to offer to women today.

As a pro-choice activist who helped lead my college's Women's Center in the 1990s, and now, decades later, as a pro-life feminist, I too have looked forward to the day when a strong and accomplished woman would lead our nation. 

But however strong and accomplished, Secretary Clinton was not the woman for me. 

To me she represents all the contradictions of abortion rights feminism, contradictions also conspicuous in the guiding principles of the Women's March. 

In my view, an authentic women's movement—one that properly extols human dignity, care, and non-violence—must be unabashedly pro-life.

Note the rather archaic misandry of this author, which sounds, oddly, rather Catholic to me.

That and her wholesale criticism of the sexual revolution makes me suspect a strong dose of social conservatism extending well beyond this single question of the right to kill the unborn.

Or maybe it's a dash of old-fashioned sociobiology.

If I could say just one thing to those at the Women's March, it would be this: the constitutional right to abortion has only made men like Trump worse.

Contraception fails. It just does. 

But constitutionalizing the right to abortion as Roe did in January 1973 hasn't relieved women of the consequences of sex or the vulnerabilities of pregnancy. 

Rather it has detached men even further from sex's procreative potential and, for the poor in particular, increased the vulnerability of both women and children. 

That is, easy abortion empowers the male illusion that sex can finally be completely consequence-free. 

For men, anyway.

The ascendancy of abortion rights feminism over the last fifty years has failed to remedy the sort of objectification of women on particular display by our president-elect in the unearthed Access Hollywood video and beyond. 

As pro-life feminists have long argued, the undisciplined testosterone-driven male libido, interested in no-strings-attached sex, benefits most from an abortion-permissive culture. 

And when male sexuality goes undisciplined, bereft of the deep emotional bonds once demanded by self-respecting women, sex is sought for pleasure alone. 

For the most callous of men, women become mere pleasure-providers, the objects of the male libido's aggressive demands.

And more, and worth the reading.

Rosenstein allows GOP assholes to view documents about Russiagate

Rosenstein caved to all Bozo's utter bullshit about the FBI spying on his campaign, massively bullhorned by the right wing echo-chamber.

President Donald Trump has branded his latest attempt to discredit the special counsel's Russia investigation as "spygate," part of a newly invigorated strategy embraced by his Republican colleagues to raise suspicions about the probe that has dogged his presidency since the start.

Trump now is zeroing in on — and at times embellishing — reports that a longtime U.S. government informant approached members of his 2016 campaign during the presidential election in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election. 

He tweeted Wednesday morning that the FBI has been caught in a "major SPY scandal."

Trump's dense cloud of bullshit portrays as a "major spy scandal" the FBI doing its job.

He has been peddling this lie for over a year.

He committed to naked and direct interference on Monday, when he dragged the FBI director and Rosenstein into the woodshed to pressure the hell out of them to give his most rabid Congressional supporters the access to highly classified and sensitive information about investigation of Russian interference in the election of 2016 they have been demanding in a private meeting between them and his GOP supporters.

And then all this was made public by the White House.

The Democrats first protested this violation of long-time and normal procedure and then insisted if it was to happen at all it had to be bipartisan.

President Trump’s unprecedented meeting on Monday with the FBI director and deputy attorney general regarding a case in which he is directly involved may turn out to be the defining moment of his presidency and for his party.

. . . .

Naturally, Democrats protested vehemently. 

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a forceful letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray declaring that the meeting “is completely improper in its proposed form and would set a damaging precedent for your institutions and the rule of law.” 

They warned, “We can think of no legitimate oversight justification for the ex parte dissemination – at the direction of the president – of investigative information to the president’s staunchest defenders in Congress and, ultimately, to the president’s legal defense team.” 

However, they wrote, if Rosenstein and Wray think the meeting is necessary to prevent things from “devolving into an outright constitutional crisis,” then the only proper body to receive information was the so-called Gang of Eight (the majority and minority leaders of both houses and the chairmen and ranking members of the House Intelligence Committee).

Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also called on Rosenstein to revisit his decision “to release highly sensitive, highly classified information to members of Congress who have indicated that they intend to use it to undermine an ongoing investigation and federal law enforcement.” 

They urged him to “cancel any plan to release this information until its disclosure will avoid putting the Special Counsel’s work at risk.”

The meeting itself was demanded by Bozo's most mendacious supporters in Congress, led by Sam Nunez.

It is now said that Trump's chief of staff will be there, too.

The Gang of Eight meeting is to occur today.

Of course, the GOP insisted they alone have a pre-meeting from which the Dems would be excluded, but Adam Schiff showed up and demanded, and was given, admission.

This is leading Trumpists and Bozo himself openly interfering with - obstructing - an ongoing FBI investigation.

Art of the deal?

Trump Pulls Out of North Korea Summit Meeting with Kim Jong-un

President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their much-anticipated meeting to discuss steps toward denuclearization and peace because of recent “tremendous anger and open hostility” by Pyongyang toward members of his administration.

. . . .

Mr. Trump’s reference to anger and hostility followed comments from a North Korean official who described Vice President Mike Pence as “ignorant and stupid.”

Mr. Pence had said that relations with North Korea “will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.” 

He made the comments in an interview on Monday with Fox News.

But in front of the cameras just now Bozo was not angry and instead was persistently optimistic about how it will all work out, insisting Kim and the North Koreans still want to "do the right thing".

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Too hot an issue for the news

This is the closest I have come to finding a straight news account of the impending Irish referendum on repeal of a feature of the Irish constitution that insists the unborn child has a right to life equal to that of the mother, the 8th Amendment.

Everyone in Ireland, including courts and lawyers and politicians, agrees it effectively prohibits any and all abortions, except in some cases where the life of the mother is at stake.

Most of the big media coverage is highly editorial, highly partisan, and mostly fiercely supportive of repeal.

Even CNN has a hard time sticking to neutral coverage.

The young Americans trying to stop Ireland from voting Yes to abortion

And we get the usual mendacious behavior from the usual suspects.

Facebook Tips the Scales in Ireland’s Abortion Referendum

Says Father Marcel de la Cruz in WSJ,

[T]he Irish government and many in the traditional media have grown concerned that voters will reject their push for legalized abortion. 

Social media is one of the few avenues of public outreach left to those who oppose repeal of the Irish Constitution’s pro-life Eighth Amendment, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 1983. 

An independent member of the Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s lower house of Parliament, accused Prime Minister Leo Varadkar last week of lobbying Facebook to ban advertising related to the referendum on abortion. 

Legislator Mattie McGrath said the ban was “preventing campaigns that have done nothing illegal from campaigning in a perfectly legal matter.”

. . . .

As a co-founder of, a website that has published articles in support of the Eighth Amendment, I have seen firsthand how Facebook puts its thumb on the scale. 

Earlier this month Facebook’s ad service denied our attempts to promote two op-eds by journalist Bruce Arnold of the Irish Independent, Ireland’s most popular daily newspaper. 

It also blocked our attempts to promote a letter signed by more than 100 Irish lawyers defending the Eighth Amendment.

Last week Facebook’s Dublin lawyers rejected our request to restore’s ability to inform the Irish public on issues regarding the referendum. 

It isn’t too late for the company to admit its mistake and reverse its decision. 

That would truly serve the interest of freedom, fairness and transparency.

Full disclosure: I do not accept that Russian propaganda activity in support of Trump ought per se to be regarded as scandalous, and neither do I regard criminalization of it as a good thing.

In any case it is certainly a marvel of hypocrisy, considering our own government's long tradition of extensive "interference" in other people's elections using just such, and other less savory, means.

And I am no more supportive of facebook trying to censor its users in a government-coerced effort to suppress fake news than I am of the government doing it directly.

First Amendment, free expression, don't you know.

And that is not an amendment we should repeal.

A lot of this is pure anti-Trump excess doing damage that will outlast him.

Update. Repeal of the 8th passed.

Nevada moving toward criminalizing prostitution?

The churches support it.

Feminists support it.

Some leading Democrats support it.

The campaign to shut down Nevada's old west brothels

Prohibition of prostitution is even stupider than prohibition of alcohol.

Or, for that matter, recreational use of marijuana.

Shed a tear for them? Maybe not.

Iowa: will America's strictest abortion law drive female voters to the left?

A new Iowa law passed in May that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually at about six weeks. 

That is before most women know they are pregnant. 

The law, Madison [a Trump voting, ex-Democrat white woman in her sixties] said, is “awful”.

“We’re going to see a lot more clothes hangers used and women dying,” Madison said. 

“I just don’t go along with it.” 

The law won’t affect her, or her children, but she said she hoped her granddaughters would “have the choice”.

I have no doubt her attitude towards laws prohibiting abortion is about the same as that of most people toward the Volstead Act, and of many people toward laws criminalizing recreational use of marijuana.

And that explains her blaming, for women dying from use of clothes hangers, not the women for killing themselves in an attempt to kill their own children, but the law that forbids them to do that, or the people who made that law.

But supporters of such laws place the blame squarely on the women and the back-alley abortionists from whom they seek help.

Their attitude towards these women?

Well, consider most people's attitude toward terrorist bomb-makers who blow themselves up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Not so fast

Pope Reportedly Tells Gay Man 'God Made You Like This And Loves You'

Frances Langum at C&L writes, under that headline,

Is even the Catholic Church evolving on this issue? It appears so.

She quotes CNN:
A victim of clerical sexual abuse has said that Pope Francis told him that God made him gay and that his sexuality "does not matter." 
Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse, spent three days with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, in which he discussed his sexuality and the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Chilean priest. 
Describing his encounter with the Pope to CNN, Cruz said: "You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say."
The traditional Catholic position is that while what we do is up to us, what we want to do is not.

And that God loves us all.

And that morally we must not fulfill some desires.

Nothing the Pope said - or reportedly said - conflicts with or departs from any of that.

I'll think he's really revising the traditional Christian and Catholic moral view when he says homosexual activity is not wrong.

Or, for that matter, any sexual activity at all apart from intercourse with one's spouse of the opposite sex making no use of birth control measures other than the rhythm method.

Wait for that.

Don't hold your breath.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Journal of the Plague Year

I have abandoned this book out of boredom and irritation at the narrator's annoying, though entirely believable and appropriate to the time and place, rather Calvinist Protestant Christian piety.

I have turned to a volume of Dickens, whose books, Pickwick Papers aside, have never bored me and whose first person narrators have never displayed annoying forms of piety.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cannot stand those huge, obtrusive, and intrusive google-ads

So I dropped my online subscription to the New York Times.

Why the hell should I pay for that?

The Royal Wedding

The Times has a fine slideshow.

The weather and people and costumes were gorgeous.

And the whole affair was a studied affront not only to sociocon morality (divorce! remarriage!) and monarchic traditionalism (an American and a commoner!) but also, and more significantly, to white Nativism, nationalism, and racism.

She was beautiful, alert, and visibly happy.

He was hung over, it seemed.