Just Links, Plus Some Commentary

Jessica has a YouTube snippet from CBS Evening News’ Free Speech segment, which makes me doubt the wisdom of freedom of expression for a bit. The person manages to include every fundamentalist talking point in a sixty-second segment about Columbine: evolution is responsible to the world’s evils, abortion makes human life less valuable, schools teach moral relativism, etc.

I like quoting Mark Rosenfelder on this: “Not trying to be diplomatic: “moral relativism” is propaganda; it’s the invention of people who don’t understand and don’t want to understand that people can disagree on morality. Differing moralities consider each other immoral. Why is this hard to understand? It’s not that liberals or Marxists (these are, please note, two different creatures) want to erase moral distinctions. They are absolutely brimming with moral judgments of their own. They simply don’t agree with some of the moral judgments of conservatives.”

Lindsay writes about one of the released IM conversations between Mark Foley and the teen he harassed. The conversation demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that Foley is destroying this generation. Why, you ask – because he sexually abused a 16-year-old? No. Because he encouraged the 16-year-old to drink? Again, no. Because he said, “your [sic] not old enough to drink.”

This sort of thing makes me understand one of the running themes on The West Wing, wherein the White House senior staff would poke fun at other people’s poor grammar or spelling. At one point, Press Secretary C. J. Cregg remarks about one horribly-phrased statement, “I’m more and more in favor of English being the national language.”

Amanda documents yet another example showing that the leading anti-choice politicians don’t give a damn about reducing the number of abortions.

In other words, Ryan’s “allies”, when they realized that he was serious about a pragmatic program to reduce the abortion rate, flipped shit and started taking out the very things that will be effective, from sex education so that women know how not to get pregnant in the first place to actual female-controlled contraception.

There are fewer abortions per capita in Canada than in the United States (but the difference is only about 10%), despite the lack of regulations and the state funding of abortions. On the other hand, the United States’ rate of teen pregnancy is still off the rest of the developed world’s charts despite dramatically decreasing in the last fifteen years.

Susie Bright confronts people with the harsh truth: Foley’s sex scandal is nothing compared to the legalization of torture and the rubber-stamping of arresting people without charge.

Sex sells, and Susie Bright will be the first person to recognize it, of course. In 1998, everyone worried about the Lewinsky scandal while Clinton was bombing civilians in Serbia and Iraq; even in Israel the media was plastered with pundits explaining the American impeachment process and speculating about whether Clinton would admit he had oral sex with Lewinsky. But in the real world, warrantless wiretapping – a category that includes wiretapping with no review but for a secret court’s rubberstamp – is far more chilling, and far more destructive.

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