How to Be a Self-Defeating Conservative

As I’m struggling not to succumb to the yearly “end-of-academic-year” bout of sickness, I want to share the following hilarious table with you.

And here is my own list of instructions on how to defeat one’s own political cause as a Conservative:

  • combine jingoism with complete disregard for the rules of the English language by using expressions like “American processes,” “individual dreams as a path to leading,” and “create less and simpler taxes.”
  • come up with the most useless statement ever like “to compete for happiness” and use it proudly, in spite of its utter meaninglessness. You have to be a very disturbed and pathetic human being to believe that you can win happiness at some competition. I don’t want to believe that this miserable little thing uses the word “happiness” to refer to money. That would be too bizarre even for the creator of this table.
  • defy logic by suggesting that honoring something and treating it as a living document are contradictory, instead of complimentary, attitudes. Apparently, the weird author of this silly table thinks that you could only respect things and people who are already dead. Hence, his unhealthy desire to wage as many wars. Creating a mountain of dead bodies seems to be the only way for him to experience any respect for others.
  • refuse to see that if just one person is added to “the lower income 50%”, it is only fair that this majority should decide what happens in the country.
  • conveniently forget that, in the most recent 30 years, the Presidents who created huge budget deficits were on the right. And the only President who created a surplus was on the Left. Which surplus was then frittered away by a debt-loving President on the right.

The sad thing is that the pathetic fool who came up with this unintelligent table is getting quoted massively. Of course, people who quote it can neither conjugate nor see the difference between a chart and a table: “The chart below highlight some key differences in right and left-wing philosophies.” I haven’t read any posts by the gentleman who created this nearly meaningless sentence but something tells me he has a few posts here and there on the bad, mean college professors who pervert the innocent American kids and make him laugh at the grievously ignorant folks like himself.

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57 comments on “How to Be a Self-Defeating Conservative

  1. If you define “viewing the constitution as a living document” as “accepting unenumerated rights” (rights not explicitly listed) then almost no one rejects the idea of a “living document”. There are plenty of rights nowhere in the US Constitution that are (AFAIK) not seriously attacked. For example, the right to a presumption of innocence and the right to freedom of association are nowhere explicitly mentioned in the US constitution; but no one has attacked them, and a court case upholding a wholesale rejection of them would be pretty much universally condemned. Unenumerated rights only become an issue when it concerns ones conservatives disagree with, which in these times is hot-button cultural issues (abortion, contraception, marriage equality). Hence, as far as this goes, those people are hopelessly incoherent. If they were consistent in their rejection of unenumerated rights, they would also reject and object to any (constitutional) right to a presumption of innocence, freedom of association, etc. I consider it uncontroversial that everyone here would find such views utterly appalling (to put it mildly).

    As a sorta aside, the purpose of the US Ninth Amendment is to protect unenumerated rights.

    In addition, pretty much all government spending reduces the wealth of someone and increases the wealth of someone else (Ignoring multiplier effects, this is redistribution of wealth). Every single penny. After all, keeping fighting away from our shores involves spending taxpayer money (taking it from one group) and paying soldiers, munitions manufacturers, etc (giving it no another). And that meets the redistribution of wealth.

    Indeed, polls of economists reveal that a strong majority of them agree that redistribution is a legitimate role of government. To succinctly summarize and handwave over the details, such redistribution saves capitalism.

    • “Unenumerated rights only become an issue when it concerns ones conservatives disagree with, which in these times is hot-button cultural issues (abortion, contraception, marriage equality). Hence, as far as this goes, those people are hopelessly incoherent. If they were consistent in their rejection of unenumerated rights, they would also reject and object to any (constitutional) right to a presumption of innocence, freedom of association, etc. I consider it uncontroversial that everyone here would find such views utterly appalling (to put it mildly).”

      Freedom of association is very clearly in the Constitution (1st Amendment). Presumption of innocence is also quite clearly in the Constitution (5th Amendment). Abortion is not at all in the Constitution and if you read Roe v Wade, it was decided in a really haphazard manner as well (they argued that because abortion was more the norm in the past, that it should be legal now….okay, well slavery and oppression of women were also the norm in the past, should they also be allowed now as well? It was lousy reasoning. This isn’t to argue over the issue of abortion itself, just whether it is in the Constitution). Now if a formal amendment was made the Constitution saying a woman has a right to an abortion, then the conservative justices would have to go along with that whether they like it or not.

      “In addition, pretty much all government spending reduces the wealth of someone and increases the wealth of someone else (Ignoring multiplier effects, this is redistribution of wealth). Every single penny. After all, keeping fighting away from our shores involves spending taxpayer money (taking it from one group) and paying soldiers, munitions manufacturers, etc (giving it no another). And that meets the redistribution of wealth.

      Indeed, polls of economists reveal that a strong majority of them agree that redistribution is a legitimate role of government. To succinctly summarize and handwave over the details, such redistribution saves capitalism.”

      The disagreement is should government redistribute wealth because some people think others have too much of it and others have too little, and that thus the government’s job is to take some of the wealth earned by some and give it to others, out of some arbitrary notion of “fairness.” On this, I’d say no. Government is needed for things like infrastructure, fire, police, national defense, social safety nets, etc…but otherwise, the goal should not be to make everyone equal in the end (equality of outcome).

      • This is the text of the US Fifth Amendment:

        No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime,
        unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising
        in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time
        of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense
        to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any
        criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
        liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be
        taken for public use, without just compensation.

        It makes no mention of any right to a presumption of innocence (nor, for that matter, to be convicted based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt).

        And again, nowhere in the US First Amendment does it say anything about the right to freedom of association. What it does mention is the right to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances, which is not the same thing.

      • “This is the text of the US Fifth Amendment:

        It makes no mention of any right to a presumption of innocence (nor, for that matter, to be convicted based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt).”

        “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”

        This statement of the 5th Amendment is what I was referring to, as from my understanding it shows the presumption of innocence, through the right to remain silent and due process of law (right to remain silent is what I was thinking of when I said it “clearly” shows presumption of innocence). However, due process of law includes presuming the person innocent and the state having to prove the person guilty. This has been a fundamental part of the English common law long before the Constitution was written.

        “And again, nowhere in the US First Amendment does it say anything about the right to freedom of association. What it does mention is the right to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances, which is not the same thing.”

        Hmm…upon researching it some more, some consider the right to assemble and the right to freedom of association as interchangeable, however not all, so in that sense, it isn’t clearly protected. However, the right to freedom of association is found in the right to free speech protected by the First Amendment according to the SCOTUS, because it is considered that the only way people can oftentimes engage in effective speech is by joining together.

      • In Canada’s constitution freedom of association is stated explicitly. (So is habeas corpus. Now that’s a constitution!)

        I’m not sure what exactly “freedom of association” means. I’d like to think it would render illegal commettee hearings in which people are asked questions in the form “are you now or have you ever been a member of _________”

        Conservatives often appeal to freedom of association in defense of the discriminatory practices of “private clubs” such as the Boy Scouts or Augusta National. In keeping with their fetishization of “negative liberty” they say “freedom of association” when what they mean is “freedom of non-association.” I think private clubs should be free absolutely free of all restrictions, but I define a private club as a club whose existence is not public knowledge.

      • Freedom of association should defend unions. It should also defend me from having to testify that I never belonged to the Communist Party on my residency application. But it doesn’t.

    • “To succinctly summarize and handwave over the details, such redistribution saves capitalism.”

      – Exactly. Capitalism, like the US Constitution, is also a living system that cannot be frozen in the same state it was in the early XIXth century. Conservatives, people who, by definition, are terrified by any form of a change, cannot accept that.

      • “Exactly. Capitalism, like the US Constitution, is also a living system that cannot be frozen in the same state it was in the early XIXth century.”

        Very true, but that’s the point. No one is saying it should. The point is how does one interpret change to it? The proper way is to formally amend it. Engaging in interpretation where one reads into it things that probably aren’t really there or where one just decides to flat-out disregard things the Constitution says that one doesn’t like, can be dangerous in the long-term.

        “Conservatives, people who, by definition, are terrified by any form of a change, cannot accept that.”

        That’s an over-simplified definition of conservatives. What constitutes a conservative in the United States is not generally what constitutes a conservative in say Europe. Conservatives in the United States, in terms of their economic philosophy, are adherents to liberalism (another mis-used definition–here I am referring to the classical definition of liberalism, not the modern definition that refers to people who like big government). If you go to France for example and say, “I’m a liberal,” people will look at you as being what in America is a right-winger.

        In their being very (economically) liberal, conservatives like the change brought about capitalism. Where conservatives tend to be actually conservative is in adherence to traditional values and also fiscally (limited government). Many conservatives are antiliberal on the social side while being very liberal on the economic side. The Left are often the opposite: very liberal on the social side, but anti-liberal on the economic side.

        Conservatives have no problem with the Constitution changing, so long as it is changed by the proper means. The way many on the Left want to interpret it essentially renders it worthless, because if you can disregard certain parts of it you don’t like or find things in it that really aren’t there, then what’s the point of even having a Constitution in the first place?

      • But the word means what it means. Being completely opposed to any form of change is its only meaning. Conservatives are people who, by definition, are terrified of modernity and want to go back to some mythical prelapsarian past. That past never existed, of course, so their plan is to get us all to a place that is not and never even has been in existence.

        This is why conservatism is doomed by default.

      • Legislating from the bench (which I don’t refer to as “judicial activism” as I have no desire to insult activists) is undertaken far more often (and far more egregiously) by conserative jurists than liberal ones.

        The definition of liberals (in the American sense) as “people who like big government” is a conservative definition, and is something of a straw critter. I don’t speak for American liberals (being a left-wing radical myself) but I perceive American liberals as people who, like American conservatives, believe in limited government, but prioritize limiting the authority of government over limiting the size of government. It should be noted that the most prominent Democrats in American politics are centrists not liberals, and unfortunately tend to support authoritarian policies such as the Patriot Act, and NDAA. Conservatives tend to say “less government” when what they mean is “less civilian public sector,” conveniently forgetting that sacred cows such as the Pentagon and the CIA are part of the government. This may be one reason Democratic administrations have had a much better fiscal track record than their Republican counterparts in recent decades.

      • Remember though that the literal meaning of a word versus what that word refers to in politics can be very different. The word “conservative” may have its own individual meaning, but in terms of politics, the people it applies to are not per se conservative (just as the people the term “liberal” is applied to are not necessarilly liberal). The 19th century definition of a conservative in Europe, for example, meant precisely as you say it does: people who were against change, who wanted to cling to the old aristocratic forms of government. The 20th and 21st century definition of conservative though is a lot different and refers to people who can be conservative in some ways, while being very liberal in other ways (such as economics).

      • “Legislating from the bench (which I don’t refer to as “judicial activism” as I have no desire to insult activists) is undertaken far more often (and far more egregiously) by conserative jurists than liberal ones.”

        That depends on what you consider legislating from the bench.

        “The definition of liberals (in the American sense) as “people who like big government” is a conservative definition, and is something of a straw critter. I don’t speak for American liberals (being a left-wing radical myself) but I perceive American liberals as people who, like American conservatives, believe in limited government, but prioritize limiting the authority of government over limiting the size of government.”

        Conservatives see it (not saying this is right or wrong) that if you increase the size of the government, you will also increase its authority.

        “It should be noted that the most prominent Democrats in American politics are centrists not liberals, and unfortunately tend to support authoritarian policies such as the Patriot Act, and NDAA.”

        I would hardly equate the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid as being centrists. What is a centrist depends on how far right or left one is. What you consider a “centrist” to me could easily be a leftist. I could make an argument that George W. Bush was a centrist too if you look at many of his policies :D

        “Conservatives tend to say “less government” when what they mean is “less civilian public sector,” conveniently forgetting that sacred cows such as the Pentagon and the CIA are part of the government. This may be one reason Democratic administrations have had a much better fiscal track record than their Republican counterparts in recent decades.”

        Conservatives understand this fully, which is why they are for less government, not no government. The Clinton administration had a good track record because of the Dot Com bubble and a Republican Congress that at the time was fiscally conservative.

      • “I am yet to meet a Conservative who did not advocate for a return to a mythical past.”

        There are some conservatives who are like this, who think the past was some wonderful magical time of limited government and all was great, but these people are the ones with an over-simplified view of the subject.

      • “Legislating from the bench” is basically meaningless rhetoric. Under a common law system, as is most of the English-speaking world (including every US state except Louisiana) the entirety of laws are (as an idealization) made by judges (this is case law). The case law creates precedent, which guides and/or bounds future decisions. If the situation at hand is fundamentally different, new precedent is created. Hence, under a common law system, judges create law (ie legislate from the bench) because they are supposed to; that is how common law systems work. And even where there is explicit statutory legislation, certain areas (like antitrust law) are so vague that judges are left to sort out the details from the initial statutory beginnings, making an area of the law de facto judge-made even if it technically remains statutory.

        Likewise, “judicial activism” is also basically meaningless rhetoric. Whenever the punditocracy uses it, it can be almost always be interpreted as a pejorative way of saying that you disagreed with the court decision. Atrios is right. A charge of “Judicial activism” really does mean “Judgifying I don’t like”.

      • “Likewise, “judicial activism” is also basically meaningless rhetoric. Whenever the punditocracy uses it, it can be almost always be interpreted as a pejorative way of saying that you disagreed with the court decision. Atrios is right. A charge of “Judicial activism” really does mean “Judgifying I don’t like”.”

        – I agree completely.

      • ““Legislating from the bench” is basically meaningless rhetoric. Under a common law system, as is most of the English-speaking world (including every US state except Louisiana) the entirety of laws are (as an idealization) made by judges (this is case law). The case law creates precedent, which guides and/or bounds future decisions. If the situation at hand is fundamentally different, new precedent is created. Hence, under a common law system, judges create law (ie legislate from the bench) because they are supposed to; that is how common law systems work. And even where there is explicit statutory legislation, certain areas (like antitrust law) are so vague that judges are left to sort out the details from the initial statutory beginnings, making an area of the law de facto judge-made even if it technically remains statutory.

        Likewise, “judicial activism” is also basically meaningless rhetoric. Whenever the punditocracy uses it, it can be almost always be interpreted as a pejorative way of saying that you disagreed with the court decision. Atrios is right. A charge of “Judicial activism” really does mean “Judgifying I don’t like”.”

        They aren’t meaningless rhetoric. Judges are supposed to keep in line with the Constitution in making their decisions and establishing precedent. “Legislating from the bench” or “judicial activism” refers to making decisions by finding the Constitution to say things that it really doesn’t or disregarding certain aspects of it that one doesn’t like. That can be very dangerous.

  2. Here are a few things I disagree with you on:

    [quote]■combine jingoism with complete disregard for the rules of the English language by using expressions like “American processes,” “individual dreams as a path to leading,” and “create less and simpler taxes.”[/quote]

    True, but I think they were purposely writing in simplified English just to get their idea across.

    [quote]■defy logic by suggesting that honoring something and treating it as a living document are contradictory, instead of complimentary, attitudes. Apparently, the weird author of this silly table thinks that you could only respect things and people who are already dead.[/quote]

    I think you are misunderstanding his point here. The Left tend to see the Constitution as a “living document” in that you can basically interpret it to say things that it technically doesn’t, in order to adapt with the times (as they see it). Conservatives say that you have to interpret the Constitution as it is written. Which when you think about it, makes sense. It would be rather silly for the Constitution, a document that creates the government of the United States and protects the rights of the citizens, to be a document that the government and the Supreme Court could essentially interpret to mean whatever they want it to.

    Now that said, the Constitution IS a living document, but in the sense of it has a provision called the amendment clause that lets us amend it. Which we as a nation have done multiple times throughout history, for example to outlaw slavery (13th Amendment) or to protect a woman’s right to vote (19th Amendment). The first ten amendments of course are the Bill of Rights.

    Roe v. Wade, the historic abortion decision by the Supreme Court, is an example of judicial activism, in which the Court interpreted the Constitution to say something it most likely doesn’t. Now I’m not saying a woman has no right to an abortion, BUT that doesn’t mean the Constitution says it (hence why we’ve had to amend the Constitution throughout history). And as such, because of this, whether or not a woman’s right to an abortion can ever be overturned literally rests with a few justices on the Supreme Court as opposed to a formal amendment. If slavery had been overturned via judicial activism, the same danger would be there.

    But with the Constitution formally amended, you interpret it as is. The Constitution, interpreted as written, says slavery is illegal. Interpreted as written, it says no one can be denied the right to vote based on sex. If we find that the framers got something wrong with the Constitution or flat-out forgot something or that some part is now just out-dated, then the process to modfiy it is through a formal amendment. Judicial activism is dangerous. That is simply the point of the author.

    Now this argument gets more complex if you delve deeper into it because many on the Left argue that the conservative Supreme Court justices themselves are also activist as well, just in a conservative manner.

    [quote]■refuse to see that if just one person is added to “the lower income 50%”, it is only fair that this majority should decide what happens in the country.[/quote]

    Not necessarilly. The United States is not a democracy, it is a republic. It is designed to protect the majority from the minority and the minority from the majority.

    [quote]■conveniently forget that, in the most recent 30 years, the Presidents who created huge budget deficits were on the right. And the only President who created a surplus was on the Left. Which surplus was then frittered away by a debt-loving President on the right.[/quote]

    This is more complex. Ronald Reagan saw the deficit blowup during his presidency for a few reasons:

    1) The Federal Reserve sharply raised interest rates at the time, in order to kill the double-digit inflation the country was under-going. This had the nasty side effect of tanking the economy into the (then) worst economy since the Great Depression. So the recession unto itself caused a sharp decline in revenues to the government.

    2) The inflation declined, which unto itself will cause a reduction in tax revenues (and this was in combination with the drop-off in revenues from the recession).

    3) The Congress promised Reagan that if he signed a tax increase, they would reduce spending by three dollars for every dollar of tax revenue. Reagan fell for it and signed the tax increase. Congress then reneged on its promise and passed an appropriations bill that increased spending. Reagan vetoed the bill, and Congress over-rode his veto.

    4) Reagan pushed for an increase in the defense budget to re-build the U.S. military, which was in a rather bad state at the time.

    5) The tax cuts Reagan pushed for, initially at least, caused a reduction in tax revenue, but aided in stimulating the economy at the time.

    Around 1986 however, the deficit began reversing under Reagan. In some senses, Reagan did what many on the Left say we should do now (i.e. spend money to stimulate the economy).

    After Reagan, George H. W. Bush became President. Bush tried to fix the deficit by agreeing to sign a large tax increase, in which (again) Congress promised they would reduce spending. Upon signing the increase, Congress did no such thing and the deficit was not fixed.

    After Bush, Clinton became President. But Clinton did not exactly govern as a left-wing Democrat, not economically anyway. And in 1994, the Congress switched to being under Republican control. The reasons why the budget surplus occurred under Clinton were:

    1) A reduction in the military budget that had occurred under President Bush (as the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States no longer needed such a large military anymore)

    2) Clinton signed a tax increase, but spending was under more control now

    3) The Dot Com bubble, in which the stock market began soaring

    4) Clinton signed a capital-gains tax rate cut, which led to an increase in revenues (cutting the capital gains tax will tend to increase revenues, at least in the short-term anyway).

    5) Clinton signed welfare reform

    So in 1998, the budget was balanced. In 2000, however, in President Bush’s first year, the budget, which was technically Clinton’s (as when a President first enters office, the budget they are dealing with is from the last president), went back into deficit, this due to an economic slowdown from the Dot Com bubble having burst. President Bush and the Republicans pushed through tax cuts meant to stimulate the economy (tax cuts that were for everybody, not just the rich as the Left often claim), but these in hindsight were probably a bad idea. Spending was increased because of the War on Terrorism and also you are correct in that the Republicans turned into huge spenders. As they say, they went to Washington to drain the swamp and instead made friends with the alligators! Many conservatives did not like President Bush and the Republicans for all this spending at the time, as it deviated from the “philosophy of the right” that the author is referring to.

    Nevertheless, the budget actually began reducing in size under Bush and might well have turned into a surplus, but then in 2007, the housing bubble burst, and then in 2008, the financial system crashed.

    Currently, President Obama has overseen a massive increase in the size of the debt under his administration. Part of this is due to the recession and resultant declines in revenue, but the other reason is himself and large spending policies. What is rather amazing is that this President and the Democratic party have proposed absolutely nothing to deal with the issue of the nation’s debt or deficit thus far. Mitch Daniels, in his response to President Obama’s last State of the Union, spent more time in a ten to fifteen minute response addressing the issue of the debt then the President did in his entire speech.

    What’s also odd is how all the Leftwing commentators who lambasted the Republicans for excessive spending and deficits and debt creation during the Reagan and Bush years, now have completely gone in the opposite and are saying that all the concern from the Right over the size of the deficit and debt is way overblown and nothing to worry about.

    Such is politics…(the Right are guilty of such things too)

    • I used the “[quote]” boxes as I thought it would create quote sections, but it didn’t, next time I will use quotation marks.

    • “The United States is not a democracy, it is a republic”

      – You do realize that this is a completely meaningless mantra? I feel kind of vicariously ashamed for anybody who rolls it out completely seriously.

      “True, but I think they were purposely writing in simplified English just to get their idea across.”

      – Simplified is not a synonym of incorrect and meaningless.

      • “You do realize that this is a completely meaningless mantra? I feel kind of vicariously ashamed for anybody who rolls it out completely seriously.”

        No it isn’t. There is a distinct difference between a democracy and a republic. Democracy is impractical beyond the limits of a town, because it is rule by the majority. It is one group voting to oppress another group because they outnumber them. A republic is a system that prevents one group with a majority from oppressing another.

      • What you’re describing is mobocracy, not democracy. Democracy, especially the representational kind we have in the west, has systems to stop that kind of stuff happening too. I don’t think anyone’s ever tried out or even suggested what you think democracy is. :P

        Still, I’m not sure where you’re getting your warped view of what a “republic” is. A republic is antithetical of a monarchy, like democracy is anthithetical of totalitarianism.

      • By “republic,” I mean the modern definition created by James Madison in which a country is indirectly controlled by the people, as opposed to a direct democracy. This is not the definition that has always been used for the word republic, and thus a whole lot of “republics” throughout history are not what the modern definition would define as a republic.

      • Yes, there have been states that have been republics without democracy.

        On of the most notable examples in recent times was the USSR — 15 republics, and not a democracy among them.

    • ” Now I’m not saying a woman has no right to an abortion, BUT that doesn’t mean the Constitution says it”

      – Sure it does. The part about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” says it all to me. There is no “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” if one doesn’t even have a right to one’s own body.

      • “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” one could argue applies to the life inside of the womb (which is technically human life, even if not a person). That was one of the conundrums the Supreme Court had to deal with when it decided Roe v. Wade. In fact, if you read Justice Blackmun’s majority decision, he points out that if you go solely by the “life, liberty, pursuit of happiness” part, that it completely outlaws abortion!

        However, I agree with you saying that liberty is infringed if one doesn’t have a right to one’s own body as well. The question is if you are infringing on the rights of another in the process and whose right is superior.

      • The idea that the purpose of abortion prohibition is to protect the “unborn” is a recent invention. For a much longer period of time its purpose was to enforce the time-honored social institution called the “shotgun wedding.” The Thorn Birds effect—pregnancy as “gotcha.”

      • I would look much kinder on an honest woman-hater who would admit sincerely that women terrify him and he wants to deny them the right to their own bodies because that’s the only way he can think of to keep them subjected.

        But these hypocritical creepazoids who want to take away contraception and abortion with the one hand and destroy food stamps for the children of the poor with the other hand are so irredeemably vile that I have no words for them. I think anybody who has not dedicated their lives to bringing up unwanted, abandoned children, yet dares to screech a single word against abortion rights is subhuman. These creatures are the vilest of the vile, the lowest of the low. They are worse than insects.

      • “I would look much kinder on an honest woman-hater who would admit sincerely that women terrify him and he wants to deny them the right to their own bodies because that’s the only way he can think of to keep them subjected.”

        I have no hatred of women, I actually love them, and think they have every right to their own bodies. I just also understand that when there is a life growing on the inside of the bodies, it complicates the issue after a certain point. Remember, a baby can be born at the start of the third trimester. So it is a baby while in the womb for a certain period of time.

        “But these hypocritical creepazoids who want to take away contraception and abortion with the one hand and destroy food stamps for the children of the poor with the other hand are so irredeemably vile that I have no words for them. I think anybody who has not dedicated their lives to bringing up unwanted, abandoned children, yet dares to screech a single word against abortion rights is subhuman. These creatures are the vilest of the vile, the lowest of the low. They are worse than insects.”

        I’m not arguing for any of those things.

      • “I have no hatred of women, I actually love them”

        – I didn’t mean you when I referred to woman-haters.

        ” I just also understand that when there is a life growing on the inside of the bodies, it complicates the issue after a certain point”

        – The only “life inside” a woman’s body is the life of that woman. Everything else is body parts.

        “So it is a baby while in the womb for a certain period of time”

        – Really? And it gets a birth certificate while in the womb? Until it’s born, it isn’t a baby. It’s a body part.

        “I’m not arguing for any of those things.”

        – I’m sorry if it sounded like I was ranting against you. I was ranting against freakazoids but since I’m very sick today, the answers come out all confusing.

        I apologize for the confusion.

      • “The only “life inside” a woman’s body is the life of that woman. Everything else is body parts.”

        Well you have a separate lifeform growing inside. Understand though that acknowledging there is a seperate human life growing inside does not mean that a woman has no right over her own body (if that’s what you think I am saying). It just means the issue isn’t as cut-and-dried as some think.

        “- Really? And it gets a birth certificate while in the womb? Until it’s born, it isn’t a baby. It’s a body part.”

        It doesn’t magically transform into a baby when born though. Babies can be born as early as 28 weeks, the start of the third trimester (most born this early survive fine thanks to modern medicine). They can actually be born as early as 24 weeks even, although that’s really pushing it and asking for problems. Once you hit the third trimester, the baby is basically fully developed. It’s just a matter of it growing a bit larger and gaining some more mass. With modern medicine, this can be accomplished outside of the womb. But what this means is that you essentially, by the third trimester, have an actual baby inside of the womb.

        “- I’m sorry if it sounded like I was ranting against you. I was ranting against freakazoids but since I’m very sick today, the answers come out all confusing.

        I apologize for the confusion.”

        Coolbeans, no worries :D

      • “It just means the issue isn’t as cut-and-dried as some think.”

        – It is 100% cut and dried for me. People’s bodies are inviolable. What happens inside them is nobody’s business. I honestly don’t see why anybody should be preoccupied about what happens inside a person unless one is that person’s attending physician.

        “Babies can be born as early as 28 weeks, the start of the third trimester (most born this early survive fine thanks to modern medicine). They can actually be born as early as 24 weeks even, although that’s really pushing it and asking for problems.”

        – Hypothetically, my “spare” kidney could save a person’s life. So could yours. And so can parts of our self-restoring livers. This means that everybody with a liver carries a hypothetical bunch of lives inside. Should people be grabbed and forced to donate parts of their livers against their will? If the answer here is an unequivocal no, then so is the answer on abortion. What a body part might hypothetically possibly or even probably turn into is beyond the point. While it’s part of a person’s body, it’s not a life, it’s not a baby, it’s nothing but a body part. Its potentiality is meaningless.

      • “It is 100% cut and dried for me. People’s bodies are inviolable. What happens inside them is nobody’s business. I honestly don’t see why anybody should be preoccupied about what happens inside a person unless one is that person’s attending physician.”

        The issue is the protection of what is seen as the human life inside of the body. The question is when is it an actual human.

        “Hypothetically, my “spare” kidney could save a person’s life. So could yours. And so can parts of our self-restoring livers. This means that everybody with a liver carries a hypothetical bunch of lives inside. Should people be grabbed and forced to donate parts of their livers against their will? If the answer here is an unequivocal no, then so is the answer on abortion. What a body part might hypothetically possibly or even probably turn into is beyond the point. While it’s part of a person’s body, it’s not a life, it’s not a baby, it’s nothing but a body part. Its potentiality is meaningless.”

        A kidney is a literal body part. It’s an organ. It isn’t a separate life growing inside, that has its own internal organs. I find it a strange logic that the baby is a “body part” while inside of the womb but then suddenly a human when it comes outside of the womb. It doesn’t just turn on like a toy or something when it comes out of the womb. It develops into a human while inside of the womb. That it’s attached to the woman doesn’t make it a body part, no more than if someone has a tapeworm inside of them, is that a body part (most people would want to have the tapeworm removed because it is NOT a body part, but a separate life form).

      • “The issue is the protection of what is seen as the human life inside of the body. The question is when is it an actual human.”

        – The only human life inside a woman’s body is that of the woman. The only people who want to see a woman as inhabited by other individuals are those who can’t accept the basic humanity of women.

        “A kidney is a literal body part. It’s an organ.”

        – So is a fetus.

        ” It isn’t a separate life growing inside, that has its own internal organs.”

        – As i explained at length, it could be equal to “a separate life.” Just like a fetus. A liver can be equal to many separate lives, which is a lot more than a fetus.

        “I find it a strange logic that the baby is a “body part” while inside of the womb but then suddenly a human when it comes outside of the womb”

        – If you find the most normal thing in the world to be “strange”, then let’s accept that this is your limitation.

        “It doesn’t just turn on like a toy or something when it comes out of the womb.”

        – Not like “a toy.” Like a human. Are you not aware that in every country in the world people only are given birth certificates after they are born?

        ” That it’s attached to the woman doesn’t make it a body part,”

        – Why is it that anti-abortionists always speak the exact same language? Do you know how many times I’ve heard all of these feeble, impotent arguments, worded in this very poor English language? The fetus isn’t “attached to the woman.” It is located INSIDE a woman. The difference is huge.

        ” no more than if someone has a tapeworm inside of them, is that a body part ”

        – Your desire to reduce women to the level of the subhuman makes you forget that your system of thinking needs to have at least some logic. First, you insisted that a fetus is a human. Now you are insisting it’s a parasite. The tapeworm and the tumor analogy is also the favorite analogy of anti-abortionists. You, folks, are so boring and predictable.

        Finally, a bit of advice: in order to stop caring what women you have never even met are doing with their bodies, try having a sex life. I can absolutely guarantee that a happy, fulfilling sex act per day will remove any obsession with other people’s uteri.

      • “- The only human life inside a woman’s body is that of the woman. The only people who want to see a woman as inhabited by other individuals are those who can’t accept the basic humanity of women.”

        This is simply not true. It goes against science. As said, a baby doesn’t suddenly “turn on” into a human being upon being born. That occurs while in the womb.

        “- So is a fetus.”

        A fetus is not an organ. It is a separate lifeform altogether, one with its own internal organs.

        ” It isn’t a separate life growing inside, that has its own internal organs.”

        “- As i explained at length, it could be equal to “a separate life.” Just like a fetus. A liver can be equal to many separate lives, which is a lot more than a fetus.”

        A liver is a liver. If the State came in and forced you to give up some of your liver, it could perhaps save an already existing life . A fetus is a wholly new life.

        “- If you find the most normal thing in the world to be “strange”, then let’s accept that this is your limitation.”

        But it’s not the most normal thing in the world. Not even remotely close. There is nothing scientific about the claim that the fetus suddenly becomes a human upon being born. That’s just a way to ignore the science aspect (something the abortion advocates traditionally claim to be for).

        Also, the claim that something is normal and therefore correct is bad logic. Racism used to be normal. Oppression of women used to be normal (still is in much of the world!). That doesn’t make either right. So even if it was the norm to not consider a fetus a human until birth, that doesn’t at all mean it’s correct.

        “- Not like “a toy.” Like a human. Are you not aware that in every country in the world people only are given birth certificates after they are born?”

        So what? They’re given a birth certificate. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a human prior to being born.

        “- Why is it that anti-abortionists always speak the exact same language? Do you know how many times I’ve heard all of these feeble, impotent arguments, worded in this very poor English language? The fetus isn’t “attached to the woman.” It is located INSIDE a woman. The difference is huge.”

        I’m not anti-abortion. Also, that something is inside of the woman means nothing on its own. It’s that it is inside and attached to her, biologically. It feeds off of her system. This point if anything would help your argument more I’d think, because by being attached to the woman, one can argue it is a part of her. If not attached, but just inside, then that only argues that it’s a separate lifeform inside of her. As it is, it is a separate human life (although not necessarilly a person yet during the pregnancy) that is attached and inside the woman.

        ” – Your desire to reduce women to the level of the subhuman makes you forget that your system of thinking needs to have at least some logic. First, you insisted that a fetus is a human. Now you are insisting it’s a parasite. The tapeworm and the tumor analogy is also the favorite analogy of anti-abortionists. You, folks, are so boring and predictable.”

        I have no desire to reduce women to any subhuman level. It is also yourself on this that is ignoring logic as you refuse to acknowledge the total lack of logic in claiming a fetus is not a human until being born. Being born doesn’t make something automatically go from “fetus” to human. Being inside of the woman doesn’t mean it is not a human. If anything, your refusal to acknowledge this almost makes it seem like it is yourself that seeks to reduce what, in the late stage of the pregnancy, are human babies, to a subhuman level, because it goes against a belief you hold.

        Also, I am not saying it’s a parasite. I was responding to your claim that because the fetus is inside of the woman, that it is just a body part. I pointed out that a parasite like a tapeworm will be inside of a person too, but is not a body part.

        “Finally, a bit of advice: in order to stop caring what women you have never even met are doing with their bodies, try having a sex life. I can absolutely guarantee that a happy, fulfilling sex act per day will remove any obsession with other people’s uteri.”

        I have no problem with what women do with their bodies, my point of contention is just that, as I said originally, the issue is not as cut-and-dried as many like to make it out to be. How the State views human life is a very important thing. In the extreme forms, that’s where you end up with people deemed “mentally deficient” being forcibly sterilized or gassed (many women in the United States were forcibly sterilized in the name of eugenics as they were deemed “unfit” to reproduce). The Nazis with the Holocaust were the worst of the extremes. So in having abortions, it is just important that the State really pay attention to what it is doing.

        It is an irony, but the very arguments used in favor of abortion, if taken to an extreme, can be used to oppress women as well, and have been in the past.

      • “I have no desire to reduce women to any subhuman level. It is also yourself on this that is ignoring logic as you refuse to acknowledge the total lack of logic in claiming a fetus is not a human until being born. Being born doesn’t make something automatically go from “fetus” to human. ”

        – You have started using weird verbal constructions and repeating yourself like a parrot. This is a point where I lose interest in a discussion. All I can say is the following: ANY person who does not accept that women have the absolute, incontrovertible right to do ANYTHING they want with their body parts at ANY stage of the pregnancy, is a disgusting vile hater who needs to go get laid as soon as possible.

        The rest is useless verbiage that masks the total unfuckeability of anti-abortionists.

      • No one has a problem with women doing what they want with their body parts during a pregnancy. The problem is the argument that the human life inside is just a body part (in which yourself comes across as repetitive here, no offense). People who argue it’s not a body part you could say are wrong, but they aren’t haters. That’s about as illogical as the anti-abortion people who say all pro-choice people “hate babies.”

      • BTW, don’t assume that because someone disagrees with you on something, that they are “weird” or wrong, it is just a disagreement. Although admittedly, I am a very “weird” person to most people as I have Asperger Syndrome, it is part of how I discovered your blog :)

      • ” I am a very “weird” person to most people as I have Asperger Syndrome, it is part of how I discovered your blog ”

        – You should have said so from the start. The blog often gets visited by crowds of woman-hating conservative folks, so how is one supposed to know?

  3. Competing for happiness? That implies that there is only so much happiness to go round, and that therefore competing for happiness is a zero-sum game — my happiness can only increase at the expense of someone else’s.

    But looking at the other “values” the compiler of the table seems to hold dear, that seems to figure. In order to be happy, it is essential to make someone else miserable.

    • That’s exactly what I find so bizarre about the whole thing.

      I followed the link this post provides at the end and it turned out I was right: it links to some online education thingy. I KNEW that these folks had to be anti-education.

      I’m good.

    • Like so much of the conservative rhetoric out there, it’s code. It’s their way of saying happiness is not an entitlement. In spite of the glaringly obvious fact that it is. :-)

      • Happiness can’t be an entitlement, as no one has any obligation to make you feel happy. You have every right to pursue happiness however. But to actually make you happy could require a lot of stuff, so no one can be literally entitled to it.

      • If you say you require any material goods or services to make you happy. These require other people to produce them, which means to say you have a right to them means ultimately infringing on the rights of others.

      • “Happyness” isn’t a word, unless I am missing a point you’re making here…?

        You had said: “It’s their way of saying happiness is not an entitlement. In spite of the glaringly obvious fact that it is.”

        I said that happiness cannot be an entitlement if it requires goods or services. If no goods or services are required, then you have a right to be as happy as you can!

  4. I love how it characterises any kind of leftism as “central government planning”. Never underestimate an extremist’s ability to exaggerate.

  5. ““Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” one could argue applies to the life inside of the womb (which is technically human life, even if not a person).”

    – When I imagined a fetus pursuing happiness, or pursuing anything, for that matter, I had the best laugh of the week. :-) :-) I also loved the fetus’s right to liberty. If we get technical about it, abortion is the only way to liberate the fetus from the prison of the womb, so it’s all good. :-) :-)

    • Saying abortion liberates the fetus from the womb would be like saying killing a person liberates them, so I don’t think it really applies. Giving birth would be the liberating as the idea is to liberate within this life. Also, the emphasis for the life in the womb at that point would be mostly on the “life” aspect of the phrase. I agree on the liberty and pursuit of happiness being limited for the fetus.

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