Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

ABC News reports that Republicans are attempting to squelch any investigation into the President's illegal wiretapping and other surveillance programs. That's not surprising. Congress has given up showing any sort of independence. With poll numbers showing Bush with very low ratings, I had a slight hope that someone running for re-election might break with ranks on this topic. The port ordeal has provided that cover for that, though, and we're not likely to find out the ugly nature of this until the Democrats take either the White House or Congress. News leaks are going to be harder to come by as the Justice Department has been ordered to aggressively pursue sources of leaks for prosecution. The irony being, of course, that the White House leaks all of the time (Plame, for instance). They just want to control what is leaked.

Wonkette reports that the military filters out news sources for the troops in Iraq. Boing Boing found out recently that they were filtered out by several countries in the Middle East due to nudity on their site. Civil libertarians were outraged on Boing Boing's behalf. Can we expect similar outrage on Wonkette's behalf? We'll see. In the meantime, check out the interesting pattern to the blockage of sites from the military:
Wonkette: blocked
Bill O'Reilly: OK
Air America: blocked
Rush Limbaugh: OK
ABC News "The Note": OK
Al Franken Show: blocked
G. Gordon Liddy: OK
Don and Mike Show: blocked
Lots of discussion about South Dakota's governor signing a law that basically outlaws abortion in the state. The Daily Kos does a good job calling John McCain to the mat for supporting the measure. Keep this in mind when you consider him as your next President:
A spokesperson said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would have signed the South Dakota legislation, "but [he] would also take the appropriate steps under state law -- in whatever state -- to ensure that the exceptions of rape, incest or life of the mother were included."
Of course, the South Dakota measure does not do this. Rape and incest are not exceptions in that state as Digby notes so eloquently. Firedoglake brings up an interesting thought exercise on the issue.

I support abortion rights. I support the comments made by these bloggers and others. I support abortion rights for several reasons. Among those reasons are that I don't think the state should have a say in what a woman does with her body. The fetus should not be awarded the same protections as a child that has been born. There are also scientific arguments to be made such as the number of fertilized eggs that are flushed out naturally during menstruation. Or the number of miscarriages which, as I point out to religious folks, is just God's method of abortion.

None of this will matter to those who are religious fundamentalists. Playing these types of arguments really plays into the hands of those folks and it misses part of the point that we've forgotten in the decades since the Roe v. Wade decision. The fact of the matter is that abortions will still take place in South Dakota even with the passage of this ban. Just as they have for thousands of years, abortions will continue to be practiced. Women and men will turn to friends, neighbors, and the Internet for information on having abortions. Some of that information will be correct and some of it incorrect. Most of it will be dangerous and very often harmful to the life of the woman as well as the fetus. One of the major questions is, if given a choice of having an abortion in a clean, safe environment or having a dangerous, possibly lethal procedure in a setting that is not clean or safe, which would you prefer your wife/daughter/sister to have?

Abortion became a hot issue for many women and men not merely because of birth control. Nor was it merely because women should not have to suffer after a vicious crime. The fact is that abortions have taken place throughout history. Often times those abortions were performed by scary people using scary techniques. Women were maimed and or died during those abortions. Providing access to clinics and doctors and letting women make their private choices with their physicians has prevented thousands of deaths and even more traumatic experiences.

Sure, the thought games, religious discussions, and so forth are intriguing, infuriating, fun, and interesting. However, behind that is the very real issue of women dying because, for whatever reason, they felt that an abortion was appropriate. That's the real tragedy. South Dakota is hoping to bring it back and they're celebrating about it. Remind them of that when they pompously tell you that they are the real culture of life, because they aren't. They are the culture of ignorance, of state power, and of female subservience and they celebrate death when they pass such laws. They just want the right to choose whose death and they know better than you.

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