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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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179 Responses

  1. mh
    mh March 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm |

    I am in a really, really frustrating debate on FB with a bunch of men on this issue. I wrote to a Limbaugh’s sponsors and explained that I would purchase their product after they withdrew sponsorship (and they did, and I will.)

    However, the (entirely male) response I’m getting: we disagree with Limbaugh, but nobody should take steps to stop him because it’s a free speech issue. I responded that this rant crossed the line into hate speech, and hate speech should not be free.

    Isn’t the quote “So, if we’re gonna sit here, and if we’re gonna have a part in this, then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke: And that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we are getting for our money.” hate speech? Beyond the whole I’m-gonna-call-you-a-slut-if-you-don’t-shut-up-so-you’re-discredited thing, doesn’t this statement imply sexual violence?

  2. Emolee
    Emolee March 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    This whole thing has made me sick, angry, and full of despair.

    He hasn’t actually apologized (yes yes I realize it’s being reported that he has, but read his actual words and tell me that’s anywhere in the universe of a real apology)

    Exactly. His “apology” was arguably just as bad as his original statements- maybe not as toward Ms. Fluke individually, but as to the issue of reproductive rights. He said:

    I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.

    Nevermind that Ms. Fluke testified about contraceptives used to prevent ovarian cysts, which I can tell you from personal experience are anything but “recreational.” He then compared contraceptives to running shoes. Please. As if avoiding unwanted pregnancy is just a hobby for the silly ladies. His “apology” was extremely insulting to women.

  3. Emolee
    Emolee March 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

    And Gingrich thinks it’s beneath him to comment on it when there are “real” political issues to contend with,

    Longer comment in moderation, but this argument of “reproductive health is not a real or important issue” is such an insulting, insidious, dangerous position. I find it so, so infuriating. More so than straightforward anti-choice positions.

    Limbaugh uses this “not an important issue” stance his non-apology.

  4. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

    I actually disagree. This is an unpopular view ’round these parts, but even hate speech should be free (and is generally protected under the First Amendment).

    I think this is a moot point in Limbaugh’s case because as long as the United States political climate is the way it is, he is never going to get censored by the government, First Amendment or not. Republicans can’t even bring themselves to criticize a single thing he says. . .in what sort of universe would our government ever actually censor him?

    However, the (entirely male) response I’m getting: we disagree with Limbaugh, but nobody should take steps to stop him because it’s a free speech issue. I responded that this rant crossed the line into hate speech, and hate speech should not be free.

    That’s horrible. To offer another male response, what Limbaugh said about Ms. Fluke is despicable; everything he has ever said in his entire career has been hate speech; you’re right to pressure his corporate sponsors to pull their sponsorship. I despise Rush Limbaugh with the fire of a million suns, and I hope he loses his radio show and all his money, and his only outlet for expressing his hideous views becomes drunkenly ranting in bars to random strangers who after 90 seconds say, “hey, excuse me, I have to use the restroom” and then never come back.

  5. amazedmouse
    amazedmouse March 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

    wow, for the first time in my life I agree with JIll 100%.

    +1 Jill

  6. amazedmouse
    amazedmouse March 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

    sry for 2x post… that’s agree with the response, not the post itself ;)

  7. f.
    f. March 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm |

    @mh, it doesn’t have to be hate speech, and you don’t have to say hate speech must be banned, for you to go after Limbaugh’s sponsors. Sure, Limbaugh exercised his right to free speech, he said something absolutely vile, and now you are using your right to free speech in order to advocate that his advertisers drop him.

    Everybody gets to have free speech, but they don’t have a right to unopposed free speech. In other words your interlocutors are being jerks about this.

  8. Dank
    Dank March 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    Given some of the things he’s said in the past, I’m actually a little surprised that this has become such a big deal. It’s not the worst of his rants, but hopefully it’s the last. About time people started calling him on this shit.

  9. Seth Eag
    Seth Eag March 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm |

    @1

    I don’t know what the exact context or tone of the Facebook debate was, and I’m certainly not going to get very worked up defending Rush Limbaugh (who, speaking of hate speech, used to play Dionne Warwick songs to celebrate the deaths of AIDS victims) but I also am sometimes uncomfortable with the “boycott the advertisers” thing. In terms of free speech, there’s only a handful of companies who can now give someone a public voice in a major forum, so I think we should be increasingly aware that corporate power is, in some sense, a form of governance.

    That being said, I think the other part of the OP, about wanting to know where political figures, particularly those who are know running for president, stand on this is very important. David Frum (lord help me) actually had a good piece on CNN.com today about the inordinate amount of influence Limbaugh has on the Republican party, versus say Maddow or Olbermann on the Dems. If anyone running for office thinks these comments are okay, or that the person who made them should be considered an important political voice, I’d sure like to know about it.

  10. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

    Yeah, of course. I’m not under the impression that the government is going to censor Limbaugh. But free speech vs. hate speech was mh’s argument. So I responded to it.

    Okay, fair enough. I guess I just didn’t interpret what mh was saying as an argument for government censorship, but maybe it was. I mean, we all seem to agree here that it’s great for people to take “steps to stop” Limbaugh from spreading his views, like trying to get his radio show off the air. I would also add that I’d be happy to see him get punished by the government, too, not because of any principle, but just because I’d be happy if almost negative thing were to befall him, excepting really, really horrible things. But yeah. It’s moot and never gonna happen because sexist people like Limbaugh are the people who run the government (even Democrats–re: Obama and his “your parents should be proud” comment about a 30 year old law student who is a longtime, committed political activist and not a little girl.)

  11. emily
    emily March 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm |

    @mh

    To your friends, you can tell them this is not a question of free speech. Free speech means that the government cannot tell us what we can and can’t say. Free speech does not mean that everyone should get paid for whatever comes out of his or her mouth and that we as individuals and consumers should support with our money and stand behind whatever anyone has to say. I haven’t heard anyone say that Limbaugh should be arrested for what he said.

  12. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    I don’t know…slut has a nice modern ring to it. I expect a strumpet would wear pantaloons. I just don’t cotton to pantaloons. (Ha! Clearly my brain has melted.)

  13. Julia
    Julia March 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    If money is speech as we so often hear nowadays, then mh should be perfectly right in choosing where to spend hers and with urging others to do the same. It seems to me you are fighting free speech with more free speech.

  14. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm |

    OK Jill, I get what you’re saying now. Thanks for clarifying. And you’re right, her friends are 100% wrong about free speech. I don’t know how all these idiots got the idea that free speech means a person can say whatever they want and not get criticized for it or that a person has a right to host a radio show or TV show or whatever. I hear people saying things like this all the time, sometimes in defense of themselves, sometimes in defense of their favorite asshat in the media, and it boggles my mind.

  15. Fiona
    Fiona March 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm |

    I think the point of mentioning the parents (at least by what Obama said, I haven’t heard what the others said) was to counter the fact that Rush started his rant with ‘Imagine what her parents must feel’ – implying that they should be disgusted with her and ashamed of her. Obama’s response was that they should be proud of her.

    I have heard others talking about how they’d feel if it were their daughter, which I think is a different matter and quite paternalistic, although at least is still positive. I guess I see a difference between a rebuttal to Rush’s comments about her parents and bringing them up in a different, irrelevant way.

  16. mh
    mh March 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

    I guess I didn’t mean “free speech” in terms of government intervention in this particular instance, so, yes…but I do have to say, I don’t know that I’m comfortable with the idea that all speech should be free, even hate speech.

    There are limits to free speech; I agree they shouldn’t be defined by taste, or by core values, but there should be limits. For an unrelated example: couldn’t someone use the free speech argument to violate another person’s privacy? We don’t consider a doctor’s disclosure of medical records free speech, but I darn sure want protection to keep those private.

  17. mh
    mh March 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

    I guess I didn’t mean “free speech” in terms of government intervention in this particular instance, so, yes…but I do have to say, I don’t know that I’m comfortable with the idea that all speech should be free, even hate speech.

    There are limits to free speech; I agree they shouldn’t be defined by taste, or by core values, but there should be limits. For an unrelated example: couldn’t someone use the free speech argument to violate another person’s privacy? We don’t consider a doctor’s disclosure of medical records free speech, but I darn sure want protection to keep those private.

  18. Dahlia Balir
    Dahlia Balir March 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

    mh – Males not “getting it” on FB re: Limbaugh. Perhaps it’s time to get new friends?

  19. igglanova
    igglanova March 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

    The mere fact that Limbaugh was ever an important figure ought to shatter any young’n’s faith in American meritocracy to pieces. The most appalling thing about him is not the fact that he’s a puffed up hate-filled moronic blowhard who couldn’t be more wrong about, oh, everything, but that so many people listen to him and think ‘RIGHT ON!’

    Let’s hope this finally sinks him and his rock bottom radio show.

  20. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm |

    However, the (entirely male) response I’m getting: we disagree with Limbaugh, but nobody should take steps to stop him because it’s a free speech issue. I responded that this rant crossed the line into hate speech, and hate speech should not be free.

    You’re making the wrong argument. Pulling advertising is an action with no connection to free speech rights whatsoever; they are two totally different, unconnected things. You can criticize someone for their speech, and refuse to fund it, without infringing on their 1st Amendment protections, which are about what Congress (and more broadly, the government in general) can do; this is the same mistake Sarah Palin constantly makes when she complains about the ‘liberal media’ violating her right to free speech.

    In addition, the idea that ‘hate speech’ shouldn’t be free is wrong, but even if it wasn’t, it still wouldn’t be the way the law works; there is no ‘hate speech’ exemption to the 1st Amendment.

  21. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm |

    I guess I didn’t mean “free speech” in terms of government intervention in this particular instance, so, yes…but I do have to say, I don’t know that I’m comfortable with the idea that all speech should be free, even hate speech.

    Tell me, who should define which speech is hateful and which isn’t? An elected panel? When the GOP is in power, will you accept that calling right-wingers crazies, racist, or stupid is hate speech? How about atheists who want to call Christians ignorant? Or when the Democracts hold office, how will you feel if you’re told you can’t criticize patriarchal Islamic practices? Where, exactly, is the line which makes ‘slut’ hate speech but all the things written on Feministe about whatever patriarchal practice is being discussed that day unquestionably on the side of good and right?

    My point is not that I believe the two things are, in fact, equal; of course I consider calling people ‘slut’ bad and feminism good. But feminists won’t run the hate-speech-determination commission, at least not on a permanent basis. Once the government starts deciding which types of ideas are ok to express and which aren’t, that’s the ball game. Inevitably, it will be radicals of all stripes who find their rights the most curtailed- and that will include many feminists.

    There are limits to free speech; I agree they shouldn’t be defined by taste, or by core values, but there should be limits. For an unrelated example: couldn’t someone use the free speech argument to violate another person’s privacy? We don’t consider a doctor’s disclosure of medical records free speech, but I darn sure want protection to keep those private.

    Right, because a doctor has a contractual obligation not to release your records. That’s a totally different set of principles at work; the doctor voluntarily surrendered the ability to talk about your medical records in exchange for being a doctor (and your money). If some random person happened to see your medical records, they could talk about it all they want (so long as they didn’t lie about them, in most cases).

  22. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm |

    Hi Jill. Rush Limbaugh was out of line. His language was inappropriate and should never have been used to describe any woman. He has apologized. I know you don’t believe his apology was sincere or valid, so I would like you to construct and publish an apology that Rush should have used and that would be acceptable to you and the millions and millions of women who have be devastated by his remarks.

    I believe Ms. Fluke’s behavior and testimony were concocted and much of both were both lies and a ruse. Ms. Fluke was acting as a pro-abortion and contraception activist (who also believes in taxpayer funded sex change surgery and support programs) when she testified. Many of her claims are unfounded and anecdotal. Most did not deserve public airing, much less position in Congressional testimony.

    My position is that Roe was bad law, that as a taxpayer I should not be forced to pay for abortion, contraception, sex change procedures or anything else I believe to be intrinsically evil. Much to the protestations of the left, no one that I know of, is advocating for the outlawing of contraception…not even the Roman Catholic Church. The Church does teach that artificial contraception is wrong and forbids singles and marrieds from utilizing any form of it. Unfortunately the clergy has dropped the ball in teaching that to the laity for about the past 50 years and is paying a significant price in declining attendance. Much against their protestations, people don’t like ‘mushy’ religion and/or morality.

    I believe your advocacy as well as that of Ms. Fluke, condons and promotes and requires acceptance by all, of a morality that is repugnant to the majority, degrades women and their humanity, and creates a ‘slippery slope’ from which, so far, we haven’t shown a capability to recover from.

    I look forward to your response and others’ comments.

  23. LC
    LC March 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm |

    To ignore the comment thread for a moment and riff off the title, I’ve always liked “draggletail”.

  24. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm |

    I believe your advocacy as well as that of Ms. Fluke, condons and promotes and requires acceptance by all, of a morality that is repugnant to the majority, degrades women and their humanity, and creates a ‘slippery slope’ from which, so far, we haven’t shown a capability to recover from.

    I sincerely hope that we never develop the “capability to recover” the type of society that you want to exist. A dittohead, a forced birther, a transphobe, and a religious fanatic. BINGO!!!

  25. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm |

    I believe Ms. Fluke’s behavior and testimony were concocted and much of both were both lies and a ruse.

    That’s quite an accusation. I look forward to seeing your evidence thereof.

    My position is that Roe was bad law, that as a taxpayer I should not be forced to pay for abortion, contraception, sex change procedures or anything else I believe to be intrinsically evil.

    I don’t like how big our military is- do I get to not pay taxes? If we really can’t have any program any given American doesn’t approve of, I don’t see much getting done.

    Incidentally, I agree with you about Roe; it was awful law. But that doesn’t have anything to do with your taxpayer argument, and it also has nothing to do with the ethics of abortion.

    I believe your advocacy as well as that of Ms. Fluke, condons and promotes and requires acceptance by all

    You don’t have to accept any morality. You do, however, have to pay taxes. I don’t get to veto programs I don’t like, either- I know, it’s rough.

    of a morality that is repugnant to the majority

    Well, no; 98% of Catholic women, plus over 99% of all other women, use contraception at some point. Vast majorities of Americans support legal birth control.

    degrades women and their humanity

    Using a pill which keeps you from becoming pregnant is degrading how, exactly? Condoms are inhuman in what way?

  26. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm |

    Ms. Fluke was acting as a pro-abortion and contraception activist (who also believes in taxpayer funded sex change surgery and support programs) when she testified

    OH NOES! You mean she supports allowing people to make medical decisions about their own bodies! How dare she! Why its almost as if she thinks that all people are equal and should be supported in making decisions about their own bodies without interference from moralizing gasbags.

  27. Cécile
    Cécile March 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

    He has apologized.

    He said words that mimicked the form and content of ‘apology.’

    I know you don’t believe his apology was sincere or valid, so I would like you to construct and publish an apology that Rush should have used and that would be acceptable to you and the millions and millions of women who have be devastated by his remarks.

    construct Ummm, does sincerity have a ‘form’?

    He has to understand, and especially to care, why his language and demeanor were wrong. It was an empty apology; it was an apology-ish-type thing for appearance’s sake. Surely you understand why that doesn’t satisfy a lot of people, and, in fact, deepens the offense?

    He has to renounce all of his privileges as a straight, upper-class, able-bodied, white, Christian male and stop using these privileges to profit off of verbally stomping upon and mangling all the people who don’t fit this profile, in order to brutishly advance the visions of his political party.

    There, I humored you. I hope it’s not actually that difficult to understand.

  28. EG
    EG March 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm |

    as a taxpayer I should not be forced to pay for abortion, contraception, sex change procedures or anything else I believe to be intrinsically evil.

    I agree. To that end, I don’t want my money going toward any of the various wars this country is prosecuting, or toward any faith-based initiatives, or any sex ed promoting abstinence, or to the war on drugs.

    Seriously, where did you get the idea that you get to pick and choose?

    I believe Ms. Fluke’s behavior and testimony were concocted and much of both were both lies and a ruse. Ms. Fluke was acting as a pro-abortion and contraception activist (who also believes in taxpayer funded sex change surgery and support programs) when she testified.

    Do you actually have any evidence for this belief, or do you just feel it in your bones? And you know, supporting trans people and providing them with what they need to live freely and truly doesn’t actually discredit anybody in my eyes, so you’re going to have to come up with some actual evidence that her testimony was a lie. I’m not sure what you mean by her behavior being “concocted.”

    I believe your advocacy as well as that of Ms. Fluke, condons and promotes and requires acceptance by all, of a morality that is repugnant to the majority, degrades women and their humanity, and creates a ‘slippery slope’ from which, so far, we haven’t shown a capability to recover from.

    Evidence that giving women control over our reproductive lives and futures degrades us? How, precisely? And degrades our “humanity”? You know, an awful lot of mammals are at the mercy of their reproductive biology with no way of controlling it. Contraception and abortion allow us to fully exercise our humanity, and further distinguishes us from animals. Why you want to reduce us to the level of beasts at the mercy of nature is beyond me.

    The Church does teach that artificial contraception is wrong and forbids singles and marrieds from utilizing any form of it. Unfortunately the clergy has dropped the ball in teaching that to the laity for about the past 50 years

    Heh, no. I’ve never met a Catholic who is unaware that the church espouses that absurd point of view. The clergy is doing a fine job of teaching it. The laity just don’t agree with it, and they’re voting with their…actions.

  29. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm |

    I actually agree that contraception is a strange thing to require insurance companies provide; it’s a predictable expenditure, not an unforeseeable medical condition. You don’t get electricity insurance for paying your bills every month. If people are saving money on regular, foreseeable purchases with insurance, that is effectively a cash transfer from people who don’t buy contraception to those who do. At that point, if there is a compelling public interest in providing cheap contraception (and I would argue there is), it would be more fair to simply subsidize the cost at the register, because that would draw funds from general tax revenue, as opposed to dividing the costs among other insured people equally (which is, in fact, regressive tax policy).

    But the point isn’t all that; it’s the absurdly misogynistic way that this issue has been approached by vast numbers of conservatives.

  30. Jadey
    Jadey March 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm |

    I actually agree that contraception is a strange thing to require insurance companies provide; it’s a predictable expenditure, not an unforeseeable medical condition.

    I may be misinformed, but I was under the impression that it is not uncommon for insurance to cover medication chronic medical conditions? That would also be a predictable expenditure.

    It’s not as though every uterus-havin’ person knows when they are going to need contraception. I have a uterus, but I do not currently take BC pills because I am not planning on having vaginal-penal sex any time soon and therefore it would be unnecessary for me. But I may at some point in the unforeseeable future have this medical need.

  31. EG
    EG March 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm |

    it’s a predictable expenditure, not an unforeseeable medical condition.

    Predictable expenditures to deal with chronic conditions are exactly what many, many of us need medical insurance for.

  32. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm |

    Predictable expenditures to deal with chronic conditions are exactly what many, many of us need medical insurance for.

    But those typically aren’t ‘conditions’ which more than half the population will ‘have’ at some point (and, if we’re talking contraception more broadly than BC pills, nearly 98% of the population). The whole point of insurance is to distribute risk; what covering a ‘condition that nearly everyone will have at some point does is effect a wealth transfer from the fraction people who won’t to the majority who will. And, since it does that evenly, it means poor people do the subsidizing to the same degree the wealthy do.

    Please understand- I am not arguing the government shouldn’t support contraceptive use. I’m simply saying that economically, the additional cost of contraceptives would be distributed more cheaply, efficiently, and effectively with a direct subsidy than trying to use insurance mandates as a go-between. This simply isn’t what insurance is for.

  33. Seth Eag
    Seth Eag March 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm |

    I might be wrong, but I would imagine no one needs to force insurance companies to cover contraception. I think “the market” would take care of that as having a baby can be a rather expensive endeavour and something I think they’d be happy to avoid paying for. I think the issue is more about whether religious employers who employ people of other faiths (or no faiths) are allowed to bar it from being covered. Right?

  34. EG
    EG March 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm |

    But those typically aren’t ‘conditions’ which more than half the population will ‘have’ at some point (and, if we’re talking contraception more broadly than BC pills, nearly 98% of the population).

    But almost everybody, if they live long enough, will have something, so what’s the difference? And we can’t talk contraception more broadly than BC pills, because plenty of us who use contraception don’t use prescription methods.

  35. mh
    mh March 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm |

    For the record, since we’re talking about contraception and the Catholic church now: both my parents are devout Catholics and professors who spend a lot of time studying Catholicism.

    While I’m now what I call a “practicing agnostic.” I recently had a medical procedure (an ablation) which makes pregnancy a potentially fatal condition for me. Normally, the procedure is combined with a tubal ligation to address the possibility of pregnancy, but my gyno’s surgery was in a local Catholic hospital: even though it could be considered medically necessary, they would not allow her to perform the ligation.

    This actually goes against the teachings of the Catholic church, which allow abortions, etc. if they are performed to save the life of the mother. I am amazed at how this is conveniently forgotten in this debate – and also at the hospital.

    In the end, my husband stepped up and addressed permanent birth control, and I’m proud and grateful to be married to a man who didn’t hesitate in that regard. The fact remains that someone else’s ideology about contraception put my life – and the lives of any fetuses I may have produced – at risk.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm |

      Was a Catholic based hospital the only option?

  36. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

    Please understand- I am not arguing the government shouldn’t support contraceptive use. I’m simply saying that economically, the additional cost of contraceptives would be distributed more cheaply, efficiently, and effectively with a direct subsidy than trying to use insurance mandates as a go-between. This simply isn’t what insurance is for.

    Well, sure, I agree with that. I’d like to see all products and services that fulfill basic human needs be free for everybody: groceries, rent, higher education, and yes, contraception. In the current political climate, though, the way forward is to get religiously affliated insurance programs to provide contraception to people who need it. So that’s OK for now.

  37. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

    I might be wrong, but I would imagine no one needs to force insurance companies to cover contraception. I think “the market” would take care of that as having a baby can be a rather expensive endeavour and something I think they’d be happy to avoid paying for. I think the issue is more about whether religious employers who employ people of other faiths (or no faiths) are allowed to bar it from being covered. Right?

    Part of the Obamacare law includes a mandate to cover contraception. If insurance companies want to do so, that’s fine, but the mandate suggests a number don’t. I think that part is bad public policy, that’s all.

  38. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm |

    In the current political climate, though, the way forward is to get religiously affliated insurance programs to provide contraception to people who need it. So that’s OK for now.

    No argument from me (we can debate about free food and rent later :) ).

  39. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

    Wait? Who said that 98% of people use birth control? Last time I checked they haven’t created one for people without a uterus. Plus risk sharing for the individual is not the only reason for insurance. There’s also the externalities that inure to the group when unintended pregnancies are prevented. Health care is a public good remember?

  40. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 5, 2012 at 11:19 pm |

    I think that part is bad public policy, that’s all.

    Why is it bad public policy to make it harder for religious fanatics to force their beliefs on the people at the schools and workplaces that those said religious fanatics dominate?

    Or am I misunderstanding you? Are you just saying that the mandate is not ideal, or you saying that it should be actually scrapped in favor of the status quo prior to the mandate?

  41. EG
    EG March 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm |

    Part of the Obamacare law includes a mandate to cover contraception. If insurance companies want to do so, that’s fine, but the mandate suggests a number don’t.

    Insurance companies have no problem with it; self-righteous religious employers do.

  42. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm |

    Was a Catholic based hospital the only option?

    Hahahahahahahaha…*breath*…Hahahahahahaha…

    I should link to this comment as an example of *exactly* what I was talking about in the other thread. Special rules for religious organizations and then expand religious organizations until there are no alternatives.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 5, 2012 at 11:38 pm |

      Are we a little sensitive today? It was a simple question. Or maybe you think you can read minds.

  43. Dominique
    Dominique March 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm |

    How does this ignorant man even have a job? How did he ever manage to get hired? I know so many intelligent, educated people, both women and men, who could do so much better than this piece of human garbage. He should be fired, then fined for inciting not only hatred, but stupidity on an epic scale.

  44. Dominique
    Dominique March 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm |

    How does this ignorant man even have a job? How did Limbaugh ever manage to get hired anywhere? I know so many intelligent, educated people, both women and men, who could do so much better than this piece of human garbage. He should be fired, then fined for inciting not only hatred, but stupidity on an epic scale.

  45. Yonah
    Yonah March 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm |

    This actually goes against the teachings of the Catholic church, which allow abortions, etc. if they are performed to save the life of the mother.

    mh: No, they don’t.

  46. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 5, 2012 at 11:51 pm |

    Are we a little sensitive today? It was a simple question. Or maybe you think you can read minds.

    Oh, Chuckles…you don’t mind if I call you Chuckles do you? You are just full of misogynistic goodness.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 12:29 am |

      Hell no! “Chuckles” is sort of nice. A lot nicer than the terms used by both the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ to describe women of the opposition.

  47. Yonah
    Yonah March 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm |

    Never mind, I was wrong! When the guy in the article said “abortions are never okay” it turned out to be part of some BS rhetoric that allows him to say that they’re sometimes okay. Although I wonder what it means if the “official” position is that abortions can be done to save the life of the mother, but many clergy and hospitals are against this such that women are denied the procedures. Check out the last paragraph:

    It is interesting to observe that the Roman Catholic Church recently honored with canonical beatification a woman who died in 1962 in consequence of choosing not to undergo the surgical procedure just mentioned. Even though she knew that it would result in her death…

    Values. :(

  48. anony
    anony March 6, 2012 at 12:02 am |

    Are we a little sensitive today?

    wtf?? (“what the fuck??”)

    Have you been following the guest series Kristen J. has been posting on the Evangelical Christian Movement? She’s not being ‘sensitive,’ there are a series of live discussions threads centering upon the exact question you asked.

    By the way Christopher J Rankin, I love thinking that, in your quest to venture here to dispel us of the ‘repugnant moralities’ that lurk about, you actually discover that ‘feminisms’ make profound sense to you, and you walk away unalterably touched by the rationalities and insights you discover here! “how curiously civilized! a revelation!”

    Christopher J Rankin, future Pro-Feminist(e) *casts spell, mutters incantation*

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

      I find truth everywhere…

  49. Jasmin
    Jasmin March 6, 2012 at 12:04 am |

    My pastor preached his sermon on this yesterday. It was awesome.

  50. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 6, 2012 at 12:06 am |

    Are we a little sensitive today? It was a simple question. Or maybe you think you can read minds.

    We? Hmmm. Well, you’re a little sensitive today, based off this response, at least. Kristen seems relatively unflappable right now, however.

    And, by the way, all of us here actually do have psychic mind-reading powers, which we obtained through the pact we signed with Satan during our induction ceremony into the Feminazi Conspiracy at Bohemian Grove, California. I’d run away quickly while your soul is still unpossessed.

  51. Natalie
    Natalie March 6, 2012 at 12:10 am |

    I second calling him Chuckles.

    BTW the catholic church has been seeing less and less attendance because of those rules against contraception and gay marriage. Speaking as a former Catholic here I would love to have a religion, I really would, but I can not be part of an organization that directly contradicts Jesus’ teachings them calls themselves holy. Your position seems to be lets deny basic healthcare to those who can’t afford it… because that’s what Jesus would do right? And yes I do mean birth control and abortion is basic healthcare for women.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 12:18 am |

      Hi Natalie,
      I haven’t been keeping close tabs on the thread. Am I taking a lot of abuse? I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on every aspect of your comment. Contraception is FREE throughout this country.

  52. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers March 6, 2012 at 12:11 am |

    Are we a little sensitive today? It was a simple question. Or maybe you think you can read minds.

    It was actually a dumbassed question, that’s why people mocked you for it.

    Catholic hospitals have been merging with secular hospitals for cost reasons all over the country, and the end result is invariably a Catholic hospital. Secular hospitals are not perceived as having a specific “moral” teaching they must abide by; Catholic hospitals do, so when they merge, they end up following Catholic rules, which actually *do* violate numerous moral tenets that doctors in general hold dear, such as saving their patients’ lives and protecting them from illness and injury. When a woman cannot get a tubal ligation from a hospital as part of a procedure that, once performed, will make pregnancy potentially fatal for her, that’s actually in violation of most doctors’ moral beliefs; but Catholic hospitals have the full force and weight of the Catholic Church behind them, and individual doctors don’t.

    So there are many places in the country where you *can’t* get away from a Catholic hospital. Or where the best qualified doctor, or the doctor your HMO will let you see, or the doctor you’ve been seeing for ten years and you trust, has admitting privileges only at Catholic hospitals, because Catholic hospitals have taken over so many other hospitals in mergers. In other cases, the proper standard of care is so obvious that the patient simply doesn’t question whether or not the hospital will *let* her get the care until she is committed, and then she finds out that a normal and obvious part of her care simply will not be done. For example, most women will assume, when they choose an ob/gyn, that the hospital that the ob/gyn practices at will let her get an abortion if she is dying from eclampsia during a pregnancy gone horribly wrong (abortion being the one and only cure for eclampsia if the fetus is not advanced enough to be born yet, and eclampsia being pretty much 100% fatal if not treated), but there are Catholic hospitals that won’t do this. (Most at least have doctors who will send the eclampsic patient out to a hospital that can perform the procedure, but when you’re dying, you really don’t want a delay of an hour and a half before you can get life-saving treatment.)

    Women who aren’t active feminists often have no idea how far the Catholic Church will go to stand in the way of their health and safety if it contradicts their rigid “moral” stance. Most actual Catholics are perfectly reasonable people, and most people know Catholicism through knowing actual Catholics, not from reading papal encyclicals; even Catholics are more likely to assume that a Catholic hospital will behave in a way consistent with a hospital (provide necessary care for the health and welfare of the patient) rather than a Catholic institution (adhere to beliefs about abortion and contraception even in the face of the potential death of or serious harm to the patient), because they’re familiar with the Catholic Church as *Catholics*, not as the church hierarchy. So few women actually know that if they go to a Catholic hospital, they will be denied certain basic standards of care if they need it (and also, most women with wanted pregnancies simply don’t think about “what if I end up needing an emergency abortion because my baby is killing me”, because that’s horrible and no one wants to think about that during a wanted pregnancy.)

    It’s not just women, of course. People dying in agony have been unable to get Catholic hospitals to withdraw their own feeding tubes, even though they are alive, rational, and able to request that, because the Catholic prohibition on suicide prevents some Catholic hospitals from withdrawing life-saving care from patients even if the patients request it. But, again, no one goes into the hospital thinking “but what if I don’t recover and I end up in such terrible agony that I want to die?” It’s not widely publicized that Catholic hospitals deny patients care when the care violates their moral beliefs, so there hasn’t been much outcry against Catholic hospitals taking over secular ones.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |

      Alara…your careful and considered response is much appreciated and I don’t know all the answers but at least you (maybe unknowingly) validated the my question and proved it wasn’t a ‘dumbassed’ one. Thanks. Chuckles the troll…

  53. KarenX
    KarenX March 6, 2012 at 12:35 am |

    Contraception is FREE throughout this country.

    Please expand on this. What contraception, how free, what entails “throughout,” and which country? It’s a very vague statement.

  54. Jadey
    Jadey March 6, 2012 at 12:54 am |

    Please expand on this. What contraception, how free, what entails “throughout,” and which country? It’s a very vague statement.

    Calling it now: his conception of free contraceptives is “abstinence”.

    Or possibly prayer.

  55. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 12:58 am |

    I’m sorry, it just came to my attention that Limbaugh was doing an Ed Schultz and a Bill Maher except that his target was Ms. Fluke instead of Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin. I just wish I could have seen this blog when those occurred. I imagine the rhetoric was just as shrill. Right?

  56. shfree
    shfree March 6, 2012 at 1:04 am |

    Contraception is FREE throughout this country.

    I’m guessing he’s talking abstinence, because his posts thus far have That Tone to them, I can smell the passive aggressive through my computer.

  57. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:07 am |

    What contraception? (The pill). Throughout this country? (75% of all U.S. counties…public health clinics offer for free…the remaining 25% are so sparsely populated, they don’t have a clinic or people to use it). Also, the pill is available for about $8/mo and up. You have to spend a long time in law school to run up $3000+ in pill expense. (a little over 31 years). If you know Ms. Fluke’s testimony, you’ll understand the significance of her lies.

  58. Anon21
    Anon21 March 6, 2012 at 1:09 am |

    But those typically aren’t ‘conditions’ which more than half the population will ‘have’ at some point (and, if we’re talking contraception more broadly than BC pills, nearly 98% of the population). The whole point of insurance is to distribute risk; what covering a ‘condition that nearly everyone will have at some point does is effect a wealth transfer from the fraction people who won’t to the majority who will. And, since it does that evenly, it means poor people do the subsidizing to the same degree the wealthy do.

    I think you’re taking “insurance” a little too literally here. The products that companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Kaiser offer behave like insurance in some ways, but like discount cards in others. Thus, if you have health insurance, you don’t pay the full cost of a routine medical checkup, but rather only the co-pay. The same goes for prescription drugs such as hormonal birth control.

    Now, as to whether or not, as a matter of public policy, federal law should require private insurers to cover birth control…well, yes. Clearly. It’s an important form of preventative care, and preventative care is way more cost effective than just waiting until some condition (in this case, pregnancy) crops up and then managing the symptoms. The only legitimate objection I can see to the contraception mandate is that, why should the government tell insurers what to cover in any case? The answer, of course, is that the ACA’s kludgy structure has basically co-opted private insurers as public utilities, meaning now the government has to make sure they’re adopting best practices in a variety of areas. Obviously, it’d be better to just offer FedCare and get rid of Kaiser and the rest, and then have FedCare offer free contraception. Until we get there, though, there aren’t any good arguments against regulating private insurers to mandate free contraceptive coverage.

  59. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:10 am |

    Hey Natalie, once a Catholic, always a Catholic…right?

  60. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:13 am |

    Anon21…I heard that some people think of pregnancy as a disease…

  61. Lisa A.
    Lisa A. March 6, 2012 at 1:13 am |

    I imagine the rhetoric was just as shrill. Right?

    I don’t usually comment, but I’ve got to ask: what’s with the low quality trolls lately? I mean “shrill”? Seriously?

    What a bore.

  62. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:13 am |

    Chuckles is not passive aggressive!

  63. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:15 am |

    Hey Lisa…just old school…shrill is one of the few words I can spell…

  64. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:17 am |

    shfree…not abstinence…rhythm

  65. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:23 am |

    I’ve noticed a common theme throughout this thread. If someone disagrees with what you want, just get ‘Uncle’ to force them.

  66. matlun
    matlun March 6, 2012 at 1:44 am |

    I actually agree that contraception is a strange thing to require insurance companies provide; it’s a predictable expenditure, not an unforeseeable medical condition. You don’t get electricity insurance for paying your bills every month.

    Justamblingalong has a point. BC does not really fit in the “insurance” paradigm of health care (ie pooling of risk). It only makes sense if you instead consider basic health care as something that should be available to all from a social justice perspective.

    IMO the BC mandate is not really a good fit in the current US system, but since I consider that system massively screwed up I think it is still a good thing.

  67. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 2:41 am |

    Wait? Who said that 98% of people use birth control? Last time I checked they haven’t created one for people without a uterus.

    Condemns are, in fact, a type of contraceptive. 99% of women use, have used, or will use BC pills, 98(ish)% of people have used some form of contraceptive.

    Why is it bad public policy to make it harder for religious fanatics to force their beliefs on the people at the schools and workplaces that those said religious fanatics dominate?

    This can’t possibly be a good faith reading of what I said. In general, requiring insurance companies cover things insurance is not well suited for is bad economics, though we also both agreed that in the current political climate, it might be the best possible solution. I don’t *think* we’re too far apart on this one.

    Plus risk sharing for the individual is not the only reason for insurance. There’s also the externalities that inure to the group when unintended pregnancies are prevented.

    Yeah, and the point is that insurance is not an efficient way of addressing those externalities.

    Or am I misunderstanding you? Are you just saying that the mandate is not ideal, or you saying that it should be actually scrapped in favor of the status quo prior to the mandate?

    The former.

    Health care is a public good remember?

    I think you’re confusing public good with ‘should be provided publicly.’ Health care is both rival and excludable.

  68. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 6, 2012 at 5:17 am |

    The former.

    OK justamblingalong. . .thanks for clearing that up. You’re right; we’re not too far apart on this one.

  69. nas
    nas March 6, 2012 at 6:43 am |

    I went to GULC and it is quite wild to see this long-time pet issue of the student body there being addressed by the president and the national media. While it would be nice to have BC covered no students were forced to attend GULC nor were they forced to buy the rather expensive insurance plan that was offered.

    I think it is true that abortion should be subsidized where it is unaffordable on the market. Why such an old drug is still so expensive I can only surmise. I currently live in a foreign country where medications are much cheaper and abortion is illegal formally but provided by doctors anyway at a low price without fear of prosecution. Probably not without a moralizing lecture in some cases, however.

    I am sympathetic to the claim that this whole debate is a political sideshow. People who are already insured are unlikely to be unable to afford BC whether it is covered or not. This policy doesnt appear to address access for the needy. I think the whole health care reform law is corporatist and regressive.

    I think the Dems are doing a great job with this as a wedge issue. I do believe there are more pressing matters before the body politic, such as AG Holder’s appalling recent speech on targeted assassination.

  70. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date March 6, 2012 at 6:57 am |

    @Justamblingalong

    99% of women use, have used, or will use BC pills,

    Wait what? Citation please.

    @LC

    To ignore the comment thread for a moment and riff off the title, I’ve always liked “draggletail”.

    I am fond of “trollop”.

  71. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 6, 2012 at 8:20 am |

    Condemns are, in fact, a type of contraceptive. 99% of women use, have used, or will use BC pills, 98(ish)% of people have used some form of contraceptive.

    “Obamacare” doesn’t include coverage for condoms.

    Yeah, and the point is that insurance is not an efficient way of addressing those externalities.

    Why not? If we all benefit why shouldn’t we all share the costs?

    I think you’re confusing public good with ‘should be provided publicly.’ Health care is both rival and excludable.

    But healthfulness is not.

  72. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated March 6, 2012 at 8:41 am |

    Contraceptives are utilized to prevent an insured medical expense called pregnancy. Statins are utilized to prevent an insured medical expense called myocardial infarction, an expense y’all know as heart attack. Inhaled steroids are used to prevent status asthmaticus hospitalizations and deaths. Dimbaugh is too stupid to comprehend that insurance companies pay for most medications because the small expense of prevention ultimately saves them from catastrophic expenses which ultimately are paid by the policyholder. The exception: Dimbaugh’s Viagra, which is an affirmative action entitlement program for men, and contraceptive coverage, which was denied for years because corporate boards feared the wrath of a church where priests believe that getting little boys in the hiney is neither adultery, fornication, nor birth prevention.
    Obama recognized that taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill for uninsured pregnancies and the upkeep of the resulting children, should provide this minimal coverage against a maximal expense.
    Dimbaugh slut-shamed a woman who brought his conservarive-excoriated welfarism into the debate. Mittens and company are evading or redirecting the issue to take the spotlight off the blue pill.

  73. EG
    EG March 6, 2012 at 8:53 am |

    I am fond of “trollop”.

    Myself, I have an affection for “floozy,” partially because it almost always is preceded by “drunken.”

    99% of women use, have used, or will use BC pills

    I’d like a citation on this as well. It seems very unlikely to me.

    What contraception? (The pill). Throughout this country? (75% of all U.S. counties…public health clinics offer for free

    Oh, really? Citation on this bullshit, please.

    Regardless, though, I wasn’t aware that health insurance shouldn’t have to cover anything one could get through a public health clinic (and by “public,” I’m assuming you mean “not for profit”). That will be a burden off insurers’ minds and pockets.

  74. matlun
    matlun March 6, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    99% of women use, have used, or will use BC pills

    This is incorrect, surely?

    For example here, they reference the statistic “Virtually all women (more than 99%) aged 15–44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.” (which is a very different claim).

    That site also states “Sixty-three percent of reproductive-age women who practice contraception use nonpermanent methods, including hormonal methods (such as the pill, patch, implant, injectable and vaginal ring), the IUD and condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.”

  75. Emily WK
    Emily WK March 6, 2012 at 10:03 am |

    Aren’t the stats of $8/month referring to a generic, and a particular type? I get that understanding how the Pill works is hard enough for most dudebros (hence the “she’s having so much sex!” argument) but let’s try to remember that not all of us are doctors and even if some of us are, we aren’t every woman in America’s doctor. Different pill types have different side effects, etc. Not everyone can take the cheapie one at Target. (or can shop at Target.)

  76. Adaquinn
    Adaquinn March 6, 2012 at 10:09 am |

    Personally, I think a man who uses a medication for the sole purpose of making his pecker hard has absolutely no right to publically lambast anyone on their sex life.

    Yes, Rush has said horrible things in the past. He has used his 15 hours a week to spew vile hatred over the air-waves. I think that it’s wonderful that people are starting to call him out for it. I’m overjoyed that his pocket book is now being punished for his cruelty. Now that we’ve started, I hope every bit of venom he spits lands in his eyes and makes him lose another advertiser.

  77. EG
    EG March 6, 2012 at 10:13 am |

    And that hormonal methods of birth control aren’t the only kind that insurance covers–the IUD, for instance, requires over a thousand up front, and I don’t know anybody who can afford that.

  78. mh
    mh March 6, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    Christopher, in my case, I’d developed a relationship with a doctor and didn’t know the baggage it came with: my doctor was not Catholic, and I didn’t know about the tubal ligation issue until we were set up for surgery. At that point I was so sick that starting over with a new doctor who had surgical privileges at the other, non-Catholic hospital in town (assuming I could find one that took my insurance) wasn’t reasonable.

    Even Catholics at the highest levels don’t necessarily agree on what the rules are for abortion and contraception; my parents were heavily involved in that debate. It is interesting, however, that the standard response of a Catholic institution is to err on the side of “submission to the Church’s teaching” and not on the lives of women and fetuses.

    I’ve also found it very interesting that the Church has nothing at all to say about all the various “unnatural” reproductive or anti-reproductive strategies employed by farmers to produce meat, milk, eggs and zoo animals (did you know hormonal implants are used on lions?) Apparently contraception as a sin against nature (as is so often proclaimed) is not really a problem.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |

      Thank you MH for your patient and (seriously) heartfelt response. I can never understand the pain and emotions that you endured during this episode in your life. I am not a doctor and not a very good amateur theologian. I do know the rules of the Catholic Church better than most average Catholics but would never presume to judge any others’ actions based on that knowledge. My simple mind needs the black and white and tries to avoid the gray. You, like every other person commenting, are a precious child of God, whom He loves dearly. I fancy myself as an amateur advocate for life first and for the humane treatment of all God’s creatures, second. I, honestly, don’t know the Church’s official views and policies on the treatment of farm animals beyond that we are to treat all of God’s creatures with respect and kindness (ie: St. Francis). I’m sure that abuse takes place just from my experience with domesticated pets. I believe that we are all subject to the baser side of our human nature and that we have to conscientionly rise above it on a daily basis to serve as good stewards of God’s gifts. The will of society is a very strong force and I grow concerned when that will begins to run contrary to the will of our God. Anyway, thank you again for your patient response.

  79. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil March 6, 2012 at 10:27 am |

    But those typically aren’t ‘conditions’ which more than half the population will ‘have’ at some point (and, if we’re talking contraception more broadly than BC pills, nearly 98% of the population). The whole point of insurance is to distribute risk; what covering a ‘condition that nearly everyone will have at some point does is effect a wealth transfer from the fraction people who won’t to the majority who will. And, since it does that evenly, it means poor people do the subsidizing to the same degree the wealthy do.

    Health insurance is not like auto or homeowner’s insurance. The problem with not covering preventive care and having a high deductible (not taking HSAs into account), is that people cut back on both necessary and unnecessary care. So, if a diabetic skips foot or eye exams because they can’t afford the routine care, they’re more likely to end up needing an amputation or going blind. Paying for preventive care helps people prioritize the care that will (hopefully) prevent or minimize long-term complications. Paying for birth control is cheaper than paying for obstetrical care. There are also other health benefits associated with birth control, including controlling symptoms from endometriosis, and spacing births. It’s not really as simple as “insurance is for spreading risk.”

  80. LC
    LC March 6, 2012 at 10:42 am |

    Myself, I have an affection for “floozy,” partially because it almost always is preceded by “drunken.”

    “Floozy” is good, but does seem to carry the whole “drunken party girl” vibe.

    “Trollop”, “slattern”, and “strumpet” are classics. I just like “draggletail” because most people haven’t even heard it.

  81. Alcharisi
    Alcharisi March 6, 2012 at 10:55 am |

    Personally, I’m fond of “harlot.”

  82. Athenia
    Athenia March 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    I just got into a facebook fight with some family members over this.

    The number of people who think birth control shouldn’t be widely accessible astounds me.

    But I think this just gets into this whole healthcare issue in general–Americans want the best healthcare in the world and they would throw millions of Americans under the bus so that we don’t have to “ration” it.

  83. chingona
    chingona March 6, 2012 at 11:03 am |

    This actually goes against the teachings of the Catholic church, which allow abortions, etc. if they are performed to save the life of the mother. I am amazed at how this is conveniently forgotten in this debate – and also at the hospital.

    They’ve excommunicated people who were involved in providing life-saving abortions, so I don’t think this is correct.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985072

  84. chingona
    chingona March 6, 2012 at 11:04 am |

    Here’s the money quote from the above story: “She consented in the murder of an unborn child,” says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

  85. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    But healthfulness is not.

    Healthfulness is a state of existence, not an economic good. You can’t buy or sell healthfulness, you can buy or sell healthcare or medicine or public service announcements about health. I think the problem is that you’re using a technical term- public good- which has a very specific meaning, without intending to. Unless I’m missing your point?

  86. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    This is incorrect, surely?

    For example here, they reference the statistic “Virtually all women (more than 99%) aged 15–44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.” (which is a very different claim).

    I’m sorry, that was sloppy of me. Yes.

  87. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |

    “Obamacare” doesn’t include coverage for condoms.

    You said that there was no such thing as contraceptives for people without a uterus. I replied that condoms fit that description. So I’m unclear as to why what you just said is relevant.

  88. debbie
    debbie March 6, 2012 at 11:13 am |

    My simple mind needs the black and white and tries to avoid the gray. You, like every other person commenting, are a precious child of God, whom He loves dearly.

    Seriously, dude. Fuck off.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

      seriously debbie…I’ll pray for you…

  89. evil fizz
    evil fizz March 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | *

    I’m sorry, it just came to my attention that Limbaugh was doing an Ed Schultz and a Bill Maher except that his target was Ms. Fluke instead of Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin. I just wish I could have seen this blog when those occurred. I imagine the rhetoric was just as shrill. Right?

    Yes, nobody here has ever defended Michele Bachmann from sexist media coverage. Or said that the Sarah Palin pregnancy bullshit was just that Or Christine O’Donnell. And we have certainly never criticized Bill Maher.

    It’s called the search function, Chuckles.

  90. evil fizz
    evil fizz March 6, 2012 at 11:16 am | *

    I fancy myself as an amateur advocate for life first and for the humane treatment of all God’s creatures, second.

    Because adult women don’t constitute lives?

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

      to evil fizz…wtf?

  91. Emolee
    Emolee March 6, 2012 at 11:35 am |

    Many of her claims are unfounded and anecdotal.

    I’m not sure what you mean here, but if you are referring to the women who use hormonal contraception for medical conditions other than preventing pregnancy, such as ovarian cysts, which are extremely painful and potentially fatal by the way, these women are more than “anecdotes” and “outliers” and “exceptions.”

    the pill is available for about $8/mo and up

    There are many versions of “the pill” and not all are created equal. Some actually contain different drugs, and other s different levels of the drugs, different cyclying of the levels of the drugs, etc. Different women need different versions, due to a variety of factors, such as regularity/irregularity of cycles, weight, hormonal levels. A member of my family has to take a VERY expensive version of “the pill” to prevent ovarian cysts, which have almost cost her an ovary (she has had two surgeries to remove huge cysts).
    But, oh I forgot, contraception isn’t complex- it’s just candy for sluts.

    I recently had a medical procedure (an ablation) which makes pregnancy a potentially fatal condition for me. Normally, the procedure is combined with a tubal ligation to address the possibility of pregnancy, but my gyno’s surgery was in a local Catholic hospital: even though it could be considered medically necessary, they would not allow her to perform the ligation.

    Oh my God. This shocks me even though I know it shouldn’t. I am so sorry.

    “Trollop”, “slattern”, and “strumpet” are classics. I just like “draggletail” because most people haven’t even heard it.

    I personally like “tart.” Probably because I’m a fatty.

  92. Natalie
    Natalie March 6, 2012 at 11:35 am |

    What contraception? (The pill). Throughout this country? (75% of all U.S. counties…public health clinics offer for free…the remaining 25% are so sparsely populated, they don’t have a clinic or people to use it). Also, the pill is available for about $8/mo and up. You have to spend a long time in law school to run up $3000+ in pill expense. (a little over 31 years). If you know Ms. Fluke’s testimony, you’ll understand the significance of her lies.

    Dear Chuckles,

    Sorry for waiting so long for a response.. organic chemistry mid-term this morning kinda sucked up all my time for dealing with trolls. ANYWAYS my serious response to your questions

    No, not once a catholic always a catholic… I went to catholic school for 6 years, I’ve done my time thank you very much, I don’t feel the need to be told by a bunch of old white virgins how to live myself anymore.

    Also there is more than one type of hormonal contraception. The contraception I am on (NuvaRing if anyone is interested) costs around $100 a month out of pocket. Also your 75% of US counties stat? Do you have a citation for that? I live in North Dakota, there is one provider I can think of that would provide free birth control pills (Planned Parenthood) and that is in Fargo, and contrary to popular belief not everyone in North Dakota lives in Fargo.

  93. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 6, 2012 at 11:38 am |

    @Justamblingalong,

    Yeah, after you said that “Obamacare” was risk sharing something that 90 some odd percent of people would need. I assumed you were wrong about using covered products rather than using misleading statistics to make your point.

  94. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat March 6, 2012 at 11:38 am |

    I just like “draggletail” because most people haven’t even heard it.

    *laughs uproariously* “Draggletail” is GREAT! Thank you SO MUCH for adding to my vocabulary! I need to know the etymology behind this one like whoa.

    75% of all U.S. counties…public health clinics offer for free…the remaining 25% are so sparsely populated, they don’t have a clinic or people to use it. Also, the pill is available for about $8/mo and up.

    Where exactly are you getting these “facts”? Nowhere I’ve lived in the US has a county public clinic that offers free oral contraceptives on a monthly basis. It’s a prescription medication. You’re going to pay for it somewhere along the line.

    And given my own experiences paying for the pill, that $8/mo you’re quoting is most likely a copay for a generic medication through pretty good insurance coverage. If a pill that cheap existed for the un-/underinsured, I’m fairly sure masses of American women would be taking it.

  95. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am |

    Wow…this just dawned on me…if 98% or 99% of women have used, are using or will use birth control…then it must be readily accessible and affordable. So…two things…why are we talking about it and why has this administration made these moves now? This whole thing must be election year political showmanship. Regardless, Limbaugh, used inexcuseable language to address Ms. Fluke’s actions (in the same vein as Ed Schultz on MSNBC regarding Laura Ingraham and Bill Maher on HBO, regarding Sarah Palin (Schultz was suspended for two weeks and Maher went on unscathed). I don’t listen to Limbaugh (no access at my location) but the market will deal with him, and I expect he will not only survive but continue to thrive.

  96. Natalie
    Natalie March 6, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    and apparently i cant figure out how the block quote works. my bad guys

  97. matlun
    matlun March 6, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    I just like “draggletail” because most people haven’t even heard it.

    I hadn’t. I have now also learned about the word “roundheels” during this debate (though I can not find it on the thread above…). Some very useful additions to my English vocabulary to be sure ;)

  98. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

    Natalie, Chuckles the troll here. Who are you mad at? Hope you did well on your final. Those were the days! I’m citing stats from a variety of sources including CNN and (omg) FNC. I visited our grocery store pharmacy yesterday afternoon to question the pharmicist about low cost contraceptives. She was extremely nice but imagine she thought I was an odd duck with all my strange questions…me being an old white fart. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic…is just an old saying Catholic saying…that I’ve always found to be true. Those that object, in my experience, are mad about something, or have been hurt by their experiences. I believe very much in the precepts of the Catholic Church. But I differentiate between the divine element of the Church and the human element. I believe the failings of the Church are from the human element. The clergy and the layity of Church are human, subject to human nature, (original sin) and have to work to live up to the expectations of the Divine. Have you ever been baptized? I imagine you have being that someone loved you enough to try and make sure you had the opportunity to receive a better education. Anyway, baptism (a little acknowledged fact) bestows upon the obligation to spend our lives evangelizing, spreading the ‘good news’, the Gospel, that we are all precious children of God who He wants to spend eternity in the company of. Pretty simple, but of course, we humans have to gum it up with all sorts of caveats. Catholicism and Nature require a discipline to be followed. That is, to some degree, against our (human) nature. Enough…I just wish I was better at walking the talk. For more, you might be inclined to check out Thomas Aquinas…very smart guy…probably smarter than our beloved President. Natalie, you and everyone else here have great gifts, better not to abuse them. All my best, Chuckles

  99. EG
    EG March 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    if 98% or 99% of women have used, are using or will use birth control…then it must be readily accessible and affordable.

    Don’t be absurd. Having access to birth control at one period of your life does not mean you have access to it throughout your life–that stat includes any woman who ever uses birth control. Nor does it mean that you have access to the method that’s best for you. You can have insurance at your job, use birth control pills, and then get laid off or dropped down to part-time, losing your insurance. You can use condoms because that’s what you can afford, but have to go through a big argument every time because your man objects to them, until finally you skip it every so often. You can be forced to use lousy generic pills because that’s what you can afford, even though they make you cry for a week straight.

  100. matlun
    matlun March 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

    Wow…this just dawned on me…if 98% or 99% of women have used, are using or will use birth control…then it must be readily accessible and affordable.

    Or possibly that women just consider it important enough that they will make a real effort to acquire it?

    That 100% of all people globally have eaten food does not prove that there are never problems with access to food.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

      C’mon…don’t you think that women should make a ‘real’ effort to acquire this preventative. And we’re talking about here in the U.S….Not the entire world. This isn’t and never will be Utopia. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

  101. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date March 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

    Wow…this just dawned on me…if 98% or 99% of women have used, are using or will use birth control…then it must be readily accessible and affordable.

    Well, sure! Withdrawal, for example, is a birth control method that requires neither special equipment nor a cash outlay! And it’s even kind of effective, under certain special circumstances! So obviously access to affordable birth control is a trivial non-problem!

    (Yes, the Guttmacher Institute includes withdrawal as a method of contraception.)

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

      Wow…I finally get to say this: you got stats to back up the frequency of withdrawal? What about oral, anal, hands, breasts, vibrators, dildos and every other conceivable form of stimulation. Why bother with vaginal anyway. If all you want is a ‘nut’, and not a baby, why bother with vaginal…doesn’t work for the woman half the time anyway.

  102. David
    David March 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    As a (gay) man, I find Limbaugh’s comments vile and deplorable. Both of my younger sisters were on birth control as teenagers, and neither of them were raging nymphomaniacs, which is precisely what these misogynists are implying. You’re quite right to point out that male politicians can support products for male sexual enhancement (and even appear in commercials with their dogs), but the moment that we bring up anything other than women getting pregnant the tone in the room becomes uncomfortably hushed.

    As someone whose sexuality is discussed in the negative by the same people who equate birth control with a license to promiscuity, I wholeheartedly say that it’s None Of Their Damned Business. That’s what it comes down to. Provided that no one is being hurt, what any of us choose to do in our private lives is nobody’s business.

    Regarding Romney though, I’m not terribly surprised that he didn’t speak up, considering his personal religion and its views towards women as essentially baby factories (not to put too fine a point on it). That’s something you don’t hear too much about…

  103. Adaquinn
    Adaquinn March 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    C’mon…don’t you think that women should make a ‘real’ effort to acquire this preventative. And we’re talking about here in the U.S….Not the entire world. This isn’t and never will be Utopia. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

    You think they aren’t? You don’t think that women are going without other neccessities to have the birth control they NEED?

    Also, I hate to tell you but people in America go hungry. They skip meals they can’t pay for. They have water turned off because they can’t afford it. They get kicked out of there homes when they lose their jobs. Water, Food and Housing are all basic human needs that some people don’t always have access too because of money.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |

      Adaquinn…the poorest of the poor in the U.S. can’t hold a poverty candle to the ‘really poor’ in Haiti, much of Asia, and most of Africa. Save your tears for the really poor.

  104. librarygoose
    librarygoose March 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    C’mon…don’t you think that women should make a ‘real’ effort to acquire this preventative.

    Don’t you think more people should make “real” effort not to get cancer?

    Oh wait…we’re not implying that people who can’t get access to all the medical coverage they need are terrible and irresponsible?

    Only women? Oh. Okay then.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

      Library Goose…agree…

  105. Seth Eag
    Seth Eag March 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    Wow…I finally get to say this: you got stats to back up the frequency of withdrawal? What about oral, anal, hands, breasts, vibrators, dildos and every other conceivable form of stimulation. Why bother with vaginal anyway. If all you want is a ‘nut’, and not a baby, why bother with vaginal…doesn’t work for the woman half the time anyway.

    I posted a comment last night somewhere around #11. I don’t what’s gone on since then…but I love it.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

      Thanks Seth…me too!

  106. Other Miriam
    Other Miriam March 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    That 100% of all people globally have eaten food does not prove that there are never problems with access to food.

    Thank you. I so love a good analogy.

    It bodes well to remember that “birth control” covers methods from withdrawal, to the birth control pill (in its myriad forms), to NuvaRing, to condoms, to IUDs, and hormonal implants. We’re not just talking about the pill.

  107. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date March 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

    Wow…I finally get to say this: you got stats to back up the frequency of withdrawal? What about oral, anal, hands, breasts, vibrators, dildos and every other conceivable form of stimulation. Why bother with vaginal anyway. If all you want is a ‘nut’, and not a baby, why bother with vaginal…doesn’t work for the woman half the time anyway.

    What about aspirin between the knees?* Huh? Why isn’t the Guttmacher Institute tracking that? Because

    Withdrawal: a contraceptive method.
    All the other stuff: not contraceptive methods.

    It does seem to me that an understanding of basic biology would be helpful in this discussion.

    (Also not a contraceptive method: telling other people that, in your opinion, PIV sex is not all that much fun anyway.)

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

      Dear ‘Past…’ Didn’t say that did I ?

  108. Other Miriam
    Other Miriam March 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

    Wow…I finally get to say this: you got stats to back up the frequency of withdrawal? What about oral, anal, hands, breasts, vibrators, dildos and every other conceivable form of stimulation. Why bother with vaginal anyway. If all you want is a ‘nut’, and not a baby, why bother with vaginal…doesn’t work for the woman half the time anyway.

    Christopher and Glenda Rankin only have sex when you want a baby. Please confirm, Chuckles.

    1. Christopher J Rankin
      Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

      Other Miriam…you’ve been peeking….

  109. Emolee
    Emolee March 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Wow…I finally get to say this: you got stats to back up the frequency of withdrawal? What about oral, anal, hands, breasts, vibrators, dildos and every other conceivable form of stimulation. Why bother with vaginal anyway. If all you want is a ‘nut’, and not a baby, why bother with vaginal…doesn’t work for the woman half the time anyway.

    I’m not sure what exactly you are arguing here. If you are saying that sex encompasses more than a penis penetrating a vagina, then great, I completely agree.

    But if you are arguing that women should just have “other kinds of sex” instead of PIV instead of whining about birth control, then that’s misogynistic. Maybe in a world where birth control did not exist, this would be good advice. But since it does exist, why should women have to give up PIV sex? Many women do greatly enjoy it, by the way, either along with or instead of the other options you listed.

    This just sounds like a more hip version of the conservative argument to just be celibate if you don’t want to get pregnant. Why should women be forced to make that choice?

  110. librarygoose
    librarygoose March 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

    This:

    I believe that we are all subject to the baser side of our human nature and that we have to conscientionly rise above it on a daily basis to serve as good stewards of God’s gifts.

    With this :

    What about oral, anal, hands, breasts, vibrators, dildos and every other conceivable form of stimulation. Why bother with vaginal anyway. If all you want is a ‘nut’, and not a baby, why bother with vaginal…doesn’t work for the woman half the time anyway.

    I think you’ve lost your stewarding a bit.

    Also,

    The will of society is a very strong force and I grow concerned when that will begins to run contrary to the will of our God.

    YOUR GOD. Not mine.

  111. Natalie
    Natalie March 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    i feel like saying PIV sucks for women is kinda just cock-blocking yourself. so that might technically count as birth control for Chuckles…

  112. Donna L
    Donna L March 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

    I suppose that after all these years I should be used to it when allegedly compassionate, loving religious people label something that was medically necessary for me to have any hope of salvaging my life, and did only good, not harm, to me or anyone else, as “intrinsically evil.” But it’s still hard to listen to; the hypocrisy and irony — and intrinsic cruelty — are entirely too much.

    By the way, lest anyone think otherwise, tax dollars don’t pay for “sex change procedures” (whatever that means) — even though under a universal health care system they should be covered on the same basis as any other necessary medical procedure. To the extent that the cost of such procedures, if not covered by insurance (which it usually isn’t, entirely by reason of transphobia and cowardice) is tax deductible — as the Tax Court recently and properly ruled — it’s also because of medical necessity, again like any other medical procedure. Religious opinions, crackpot or otherwise, should have no basis in the determination of medical necessity.

    In any event, if tax deductibility is what Mr. Rankin is criticizing, well, he’s hardly in a position to do so given how many people think that the actions of institutions he supports, which themselves receive tax-deductible dollars, are “intrinsically evil.”

  113. matlun
    matlun March 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    C’mon…don’t you think that women should make a ‘real’ effort to acquire this preventative.

    Actually, I don’t think they should have to. As someone from Sweden I kind of like our evil socialized medicine. A decent society as rich as the US should be able to make basic health care generally available from a pure social justice perspective.

    And we’re talking about here in the U.S….Not the entire world.

    My reference to the global food situation was just an illustration of the utter idiocy of your original argument.

  114. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

    Yeah, after you said that “Obamacare” was risk sharing something that 90 some odd percent of people would need. I assumed you were wrong about using covered products rather than using misleading statistics to make your point.

    Indeed. My apologies for the error. In related news: I’m curious about the reasons for covering BC and not condoms. They work together, plus STDs are every bit as much a public health issue as unintended pregnancy.

  115. Christopher J Rankin
    Christopher J Rankin March 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    Just noticed this column headline on Townhall Finance…Daniel J. Mitchell:
    I’ll Stay Out of Your Bedroom, Ms. Fluke, if You Stay Out of My Wallet

    I like that. If you want to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick…then just do it…but do it as individuals or as private groups. Don’t try to solve all the world’s problems through the most ineffective and inefficient device known the man…The Federal Government.

  116. Emolee
    Emolee March 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

    I’m curious about the reasons for covering BC and not condoms.

    Because condoms are over the counter, not prescription. Insurance doesn’t cover advil or nyquil or vitamins either, for example. Most insurance won’t cover drugs sold over the counter even if the doctor writes a prescription for them. Whether or not this should be the case is a different argument, though.

  117. Emolee
    Emolee March 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

    If you want to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick…then just do it…but do it as individuals or as private groups. Don’t try to solve all the world’s problems through the most ineffective and inefficient device known the man…The Federal Government.

    Do it with what? Most individuals don’t have the resources to end hunger in this country. The federal government does. I agree that the government is inefficient, but not that it has to be.

    Also, if we leave feeding the hungry to “private groups,” as you suggest, what if they don’t do it? Do you really want to live in a society where people starve unnecessarily? Really?

  118. Alexandra
    Alexandra March 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    I must admit, I’m a bit nonplussed about why Mr. Rankin is devoting so much time to this comments thread. Mr. Rankin, do you believe you are doing God’s work by ministering to the heathens? Are you here to proselytize, or to lead us to the Lord by showing us what a fine Christian man you are? Then again, you’re Catholic, and I suppose it’s the evangelicals who are big into missionary work. So what gives?

  119. Other Miriam
    Other Miriam March 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

    Other Miriam…you’ve been peeking….

    Peeking, indeed. You’re trying to make the case that sex is only for baby-making, knowing full well as a grown-ass man with, presumably, a carnal knowledge of your wife that exists independently of baby-making. If you’re titillated by the idea of young co-eds doin’ it without consequences, that’s your Catholic bag o’ repression to carry, not mine and not anyone else’s.

    If you want to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick…then just do it…but do it as individuals or as private groups. Don’t try to solve all the world’s problems through the most ineffective and inefficient device known the man…The Federal Government.

    The question here is whether or not privately-held insurance should require birth control coverage as a matter of course. Privately-held. Private.

    But the ellipses do give your …drama …extra flourish.

  120. librarygoose
    librarygoose March 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

    agree…

    With?

  121. librarygoose
    librarygoose March 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

    the poorest of the poor in the U.S. can’t hold a poverty candle to the ‘really poor’ in Haiti, much of Asia, and most of Africa. Save your tears for the really poor.

    So there. No more helping hungry children. No more clothing the poor, no more winter coats for cold little bodies. They’re not the real poor. Whew. Thanks for making that clear Chis. Otherwise I might care about people in this country too.

  122. suspect class
    suspect class March 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

    I suppose that after all these years I should be used to it when allegedly compassionate, loving religious people label something that was medically necessary for me to have any hope of salvaging my life, and did only good, not harm, to me or anyone else, as “intrinsically evil.” But it’s still hard to listen to; the hypocrisy and irony — and intrinsic cruelty — are entirely too much.

    Co-sign. I left the Catholic Church because I disagree with Catholic theology. I definitely don’t want Catholic dogma to dictate policy allowing my employer to pick and choose what medically necessary care my insurance will or will not cover.

  123. EG
    EG March 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

    the poorest of the poor in the U.S. can’t hold a poverty candle to the ‘really poor’ in Haiti, much of Asia, and most of Africa. Save your tears for the really poor.

    I don’t have tears. I have anger. And I have enough of it to go around. Does being religious limit the amount of sympathy and compassion and righteous rage you have access to, or something? If so, try not wasting any of it on long-dead ancients and see if that frees any up to use on real people in the here and now who are suffering.

    Having a broken leg may not be as bad as having two broken legs and a broken arm and leprosy, but that broken leg still hurts like hell and needs medical attention.

  124. igglanova
    igglanova March 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    Can we just ban these stupid fucks already? They’re seriously weighing down the discourse.

  125. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

    Because condoms are over the counter, not prescription. Insurance doesn’t cover advil or nyquil or vitamins either, for example. Most insurance won’t cover drugs sold over the counter even if the doctor writes a prescription for them. Whether or not this should be the case is a different argument, though.

    Again, I get the political and institutional reality; I’m talking about the underlying policy rationale. The health care system is such a mess it’s hard to get a grip on what exactly the problems are, but this seems like one of many built-in inefficiencies. That’s all.

  126. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

    I like that. If you want to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick…then just do it…but do it as individuals or as private groups. Don’t try to solve all the world’s problems through the most ineffective and inefficient device known the man…The Federal Government.

    Chuckles. . .OMG!. . .I actually agree with you on something. Sort of. As an anarchist I’ll say, yes, by all means, let’s try to stop solving the world’s problems with the federal government! But I have a few conditions. We’ll have to get rid of the federal government entirely, including the military. OK? And also we’ll need to get rid of all the state and local governments, too, including every police department. And part of the deal is we also get rid of your precious Catholic Church. And every other church (OK, there might be a few Buddhist temples or Reform Jewish synagogues that make the cut). We also have to get rid of every single corporation in existence. And every other form of wage labor. And the monetary system. And the nuclear family as a normative institution. OK? Fair? Great!

    And, yes, if all this were to happen, I think we, as individuals and private groups working together, could solve problems like people having no health care or people being hungry and so on and so forth much more effectively than the federal government is currently doing. Until then, I’ll be pragamatic and evaluate things on a case by case basis. And the Democrat’s mandate to religious employers to provide birth control benefits women and gives them more control over their lives, so I support it for now.

  127. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

    Oh, one last thing. I was sorta thinking in overly limited and overly economic terms. More generally, we’ll also have to get rid of patriarchy, white supremacy, heteronormativity, transphobia, ableism, speciesism, and ageism. I’m looking forward to seeing whether you agree with this program, Chuckles. If so, there will finally no more Big Government reaching its hand into your wallet! YAY!

  128. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

    And also we’ll need to get rid of all the state and local governments, too, including every police department.

    I look forward to living in a society where rape and murder don’t have any consequences.

    And part of the deal is we also get rid of your precious Catholic Church. And every other church (OK, there might be a few Buddhist temples or Reform Jewish synagogues that make the cut).

    I didn’t realize there was such a thin line between anarchism and totalitarianism! Or am I missing something about how you’d like to accomplish those goals?

    We also have to get rid of every single corporation in existence.

    God forbid a couple people get together to create a new product.

    And every other form of wage labor.

    Yay for mass starvation!

    And the monetary system.

    Ditto, except now, since there’s no way for people to exchange goods outside of barter, you can say goodbye to every single non-agriculture or heavy industry job out there. Actually, with no corporations allowed, no security, and no government to enforce basic rights, you can say goodbye to most of those, too; congratulations, we now have the middle ages back.

    LotusBen, for all the problems in the world, we live in a time of unprecedented security and prosperity. Homelessness, disease, starvation, and violence are all at record lows. That’s not to deny the massive problems that still exist, but rather to put them in context, which is that there has never been an age with less human suffering than this one. Please, let’s not lose sight of the huge strides the world has made, which are nearly all thanks to the forces of economic development- which is thanks, in large part, to the security provided by nation-states, monetary currency, and the ability to organize large amounts of capital.

  129. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

    By the way, lest anyone think otherwise, tax dollars don’t pay for “sex change procedures” (whatever that means) — even though under a universal health care system they should be covered on the same basis as any other necessary medical procedure. To the extent that the cost of such procedures, if not covered by insurance (which it usually isn’t, entirely by reason of transphobia and cowardice) is tax deductible — as the Tax Court recently and properly ruled — it’s also because of medical necessity, again like any other medical procedure.

    Thanks for the information Donna. I wonder if Christopher would support public funding for “faith-based” programs to re-educate trans people to accept the gender society says they are. Probably.

    In addition to being a self-righteous transphobic asshole, this seems to be part of a larger pattern with him. I bet he probably supports abstinence-only instead of comprehensive sex education as well. For him, procedures and programs that are empirically demonstrated to have positive medical and social outcomes cannot get public funding. But unscientific bullshit treatments and programs purely motivated by rigid moral delusions should definitely get public funding.

    If Christopher is going to be against public funding for health-related stuff, I’d appreciate if he were actually against public funding for all health-related stuff, not merely against funding for the stuff that, you know, actually works and improves people’s lives.

  130. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

    I look forward to living in a society where rape and murder don’t have any consequences.

    I don’t. I’d prefer to live in a society where there are no longer institutions decidated to murdering, assaulting, and kidnapping people (the police) or to enslaving and raping people (prisons). So I’m going to keep looking for ways we can address the serious problems of murder and rape without supporting the murder and rape of additional people–especially because those additional victims are disproportionately racial minorities, poor, or trans*.

    I didn’t realize there was such a thin line between anarchism and totalitarianism! Or am I missing something about how you’d like to accomplish those goals?

    I’m against adults using physical and emotional violence and other forms of coercion to indoctrinate children into holding certain religious beliefs. Any religion that manages to continue to exist without abusing children is fine with me, but I imagine most churches would see dramatically reduced attendance after a few decades.

    Please, let’s not lose sight of the huge strides the world has made, which are nearly all thanks to the forces of economic development- which is thanks, in large part, to the security provided by nation-states, monetary currency, and the ability to organize large amounts of capital.

    Yes, huge strides forward in human welfare have been made in some areas, but huge strides backwards have been made in other areas (the degree of isolation and alienation from others that individuals experience in the contemporary West, for example, is worse than it’s been at most times and places in history. Or the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa: people are not physically healthier there than they were prior to colonialism.)

    Anyway, history is largely random, and it doesn’t have an overall direction. There will always be suffering in this world. The things that have ameloriated that suffering have included the compassion that people have shown each other, the courage the oppressed have needed to fight back against injustice, the open and free pursuit of intellectual and scientific discovery, the emotional honesty and artistic self-expression that can imbue life with beauty and meaning–those sorts of things. The nation state, money, and capitalism have been nothing but a drain that has only benefited a tiny minority of the population (like Rush Limbaugh–see this isn’t a derail, after all!), and has even benefited them only in relative, not absolute, terms.

  131. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 7, 2012 at 4:00 am |

    Yes, huge strides forward in human welfare have been made in some areas, but huge strides backwards have been made in other areas (the degree of isolation and alienation from others that individuals experience in the contemporary West, for example, is worse than it’s been at most times and places in history).

    Right, and maternal/infant mortality have both decreased by more than 99%. People don’t routinely lose half their children before their teenage years. War, famine, and epidemic disease are not gone, but they are more rare than ever before in human history, and become more rare every year. Even women’s suffrage is directly attributable to economic growth. In nearly every measurable way, human existence is vastly more comfortable and equitable in nearly all parts of the world than it was even a hundred ago, let alone five hundred.

    Or the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa: people are not physically healthier there than they were prior to colonialism.

    Life expectancy, infant mortality, and most other measures of health are far better in Sub-Saharan Africa than they were in 1800. Even ignoring that, though, I have no doubt you can find specific examples of people who are not better off than they were two centuries or maybe even ten centuries ago; you’re smart enough to understand why that’s not a rebuttal to the fact that humanity as a whole has never been as secure, well-fed, and healthy as is it 2012.

    The things that have ameloriated that suffering have included the compassion that people have shown each other, the courage the oppressed have needed to fight back against injustice, the open and free pursuit of intellectual and scientific discovery, the emotional honesty and artistic self-expression that can imbue life with beauty and meaning–those sorts of things.

    I’m sorry, but that’s BS. The reason that we live in the most peaceful time in human history is not artistic expression or compassion, which have always existed, but global communications networks, high-speed travel, widespread democratic governance, and a highly interconnected transnational economy. And, incidentally, the reason our society is able to produce so much art is because we are rich, and can afford to spend a lot of money on music and literature. In fact, the cheap and easy availability of huge amounts of art to the working classes is itself a largely modern phenomenon.

    As for scientific discovery- know how much modern anti-AIDS drugs cost to research? Somewhere on the order of a billion dollars. Imagine your world- no corporations, no money, no government. How, exactly, do you plan on coordinating the thousands of people involved in that research, and compensating them? By trading pills for chickens? A world without corporations, nations, or money is a world which will never go to the moon- or find a cure for cancer.

    The nation state, money, and capitalism have been nothing but a drain that has only benefited a tiny minority of the population (like Rush Limbaugh–see this isn’t a derail, after all!), and has even benefited them only in relative, not absolute, terms.

    That’s a great soundbyte which has nothing to do with reality. Modern medicine has done more to improve the human condition than perhaps anything else, and it would be impossible without the things listed above. Money is the reason it’s possible to work in any industry where you can’t immediately trade your goods for food.

  132. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 7, 2012 at 4:13 am |

    Seriously, if you only respond to one thing above, I want to hear how your nationless, corporationless, money-less world is going to research new pharmaceuticals. Take a relatively short ten-year development process. Who’s going to feed the researchers? They have no money, and no product yet to barter with. Will people simply give them food because they hope maybe they’ll someday get a pill for a disease they have a one-in-a-million chance of getting? What’s the exchange rate of chickens to pills?

    How will the drugs be mass produced? Who’s going to operate the machines that produce them- who will be feeding them? How about the machines themselves; what will the pharmaceutical company exchange for them? Oh wait, no companies either, so who exactly will commission the machines to be built? The researchers? The people with the disease? Ok, so now they’re trading… what, exactly, to the mechanics to build the machine? Chickens? Do they gather 10,000 chickens to trade for the construction of the factory (oh wait, now you have currency again!)? If not, how do the construction workers plan on eating? How about the plane to take the pills to other parts of the world? The pilot? The thousands of people who never touch the product but are required for quality assurance, testing, and distribution?

    And if, at the end of all of this work, someone walks in and steals the entire supply of drugs (perhaps to barter for chickens), who’s going to track him down with no police? And if they catch up to the robber, since there’s no law, how exactly do they plan on forcing him to return the goods?

    Seriously, I’m curious. Your utopia seems like it will be home mainly to the starving, sick, and constantly afraid; no rule of law, only the rule of the strong. No coordination, only what people can make for themselves or trade for. No long-term projects, only what puts food in your belly immediately. No medicine, no food, no shelter, not much of a world to live in.

  133. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong March 7, 2012 at 4:14 am |

    (PS: evidently my comment 155 is awaiting moderation, which is why I refer to something which doesn’t appear).

  134. DragonBreath
    DragonBreath March 7, 2012 at 4:18 am |

    Rush limberger is a misogynist racist male chauvinist pig among other things. I think I just insulted pigs.

    Lotus Ben; seconded.

    Chuckles i am not laughing. I am also Ex catholic, once a catholic always a catholic? Oh and yes i am angry. The misogynist attitude of the church is one of the reasons i left the church before the 7th grade. I just could not figure out why Eve got all the blame, not to mention the sin sin sin man is evil garbage and also the catholic church is the one true church B.S. I was forced to go to church till H.S. Two things I remember, I did listen sometimes; Judge not lest you in turn be judged. Here it comes the I am not judging response. This is the one you and my misogynist racist late father + my holier than thou misogynist brothers should be really concerned with; “Not all who cry lord lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Since I am an Agnostic I am not worried about your heaven or hell.

  135. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 7, 2012 at 4:47 am |

    Justamblingalong. . .I’m quite interested in this conversation. . .but on reflection I don’t think it contributes to this particular thread, and I don’t think it’s something most people reading this will be interested in. If you’d like to discuss it with me, however, you could forward your comments to lotusben@riseup.net, and I’ll respond to you via email. Or if you don’t care enough we can just forget it. But I’m happy to engage, although I don’t think here’s the best place.

  136. Kara
    Kara March 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    I haven’t read through all of the responses yet (apologies for having only limited time) so I don’t know if anyone else has said this yet…

    ahem.

    I think that Sandra Fluke should sue Rush Limbaugh for slander. If his entire hate-filled rant against her wasn’t slanderous, then I don’t know what is.

    (And I also think that the “apology” that Rush half-heartedly offered was forced on him by the station’s lawyers, in an attempt to try to avoid such a lawsuit.)

  137. Emolee
    Emolee March 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

    @ Kara- If I remember correctly from my bar review a few years ago, there are still some jurisdictions where untrue statements concerning the “unchasity of a woman” is slander per se. Of course, laws like these are deeply problematic in their own right.

  138. Chiara
    Chiara March 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

    Yes we have a similar law in my country though I do not think it is still used today. Personally I find it a little offensive and stuff. I do not need protection from statements concerning my chastity or whatever.

  139. Donna L
    Donna L March 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

    ^
    I believe there are. The courts in some of those same states still follow, equally problematically, the rule that untrue accusations of homosexuality are similarly so horrifying and horrendous that they constitute slander per se — which simply means, as a practical matter, that the plaintiff is not required to plead, unlike for ordinary claims of defamation, “special damages,” i.e., specific, quantifiable, and provable damages to his or her business or reputation, in the complaint.

  140. Kara
    Kara March 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    @ Emolee, Chiara, and Donna L

    I am going by the dictionary definition of slander here…

    1.defamation; calumny: “rumors full of slander”.
    2.a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: “a slander against his good name”.
    3.Law . defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

    … I wasn’t thinking in particular about “unchastity” or trying to protect her chastity or anything like that…

    I just happen to think that everything that Rush said was slander, and I would love to see someone hit him between the eyes with a lawsuit over it.

  141. Kara
    Kara March 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm |

    what happened to the bolding in my blockquote…? The second item was supposed to be bolded, not the first and third items…..

  142. Chiara
    Chiara March 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

    Well stuff in a block quote is already bold so maybe putting bold stuff in block quote makes it not bold?

    Anyway personally I don’t really see why there should be possibility of sew people for slander — it goes against freedom of speech. Also this is generally used by big peeps to stomp on the little guy. In my country, for example, there was someone putting up some info about the dangers of an artificial sugar thing on the internet, and then a company that made the artificial sugar got it removed. Even though it was scientifically legit.

  143. EG
    EG March 8, 2012 at 8:37 am |

    Anyway personally I don’t really see why there should be possibility of sew people for slander — it goes against freedom of speech.

    Because spreading malicious lies against somebody can cause them significant material harm. See, for instance, Breitbart and O’Keeffe.

    Also this is generally used by big peeps to stomp on the little guy.

    Most laws are. That has to do with who has the most weight to throw around, not the law.

  144. Chiara
    Chiara March 8, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    See, for instance, Breitbart and O’Keeffe.

    I can’t figure out what this means.

    Anyways, I think some laws is quite neutral for rich vs poor people. Like murder. If a rich person murders a poor person, they are going to jail or whatever. If a poor person murders a rich person, they are going to jail or whatever.

    However if a poor person tried to slander-sew a rich person then they’d just get laughed at, at least in my country, because the slander law is just intended for protecting the petty-borguesseu.

  145. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date March 8, 2012 at 9:49 am |

    Anyways, I think some laws is quite neutral for rich vs poor people. Like murder. If a rich person murders a poor person, they are going to jail or whatever. If a poor person murders a rich person, they are going to jail or whatever.

    Chiara, that’s not quite how it works in the US. Which country do you live in?

  146. EG
    EG March 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |

    Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keeffe, the right-wing scumbags who are always filming liberal people and organizations and then recutting and editing the film to make it look as if the people and organizations are saying precisely the opposite of what they actually were. They’ve gotten people fired and organizations destroyed through slander.

  147. Jadey
    Jadey March 8, 2012 at 10:47 am |

    sew: attaching textiles and objects with needle and thread

    sue: to bring a civil action against someone

    (Just clarifying terms, not trying to be an asshole. Homophones are a pain in the ass anyway.)

    Also, there’s a difference between how a law operates in theory and how it operates in practice. I’ve never heard of a country where rich people, by virtue of their social status and financial power, weren’t able to more successfully resist criminal and civil prosecution for any charge and where the convicted population wasn’t disproportionately poor. (Note: “disproportionately” means more than you would expect based on the proportion of people in the total population – even if a society is 70% poor people, 1% rich people, it would be disproportionate if the convicted population of murderers was 99% poor people, 0.0000001% rich people, although poor people would make the majority either way).

  148. Donna L
    Donna L March 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    Chiara, technically speaking, defamation (the overall term; libel is written defamation and slander is oral defamation) isn’t protected by the First Amendment: it isn’t considered protected “speech,” just like, say, plagiarism and trademark and copyright violation aren’t considered protected speech. Nobody is supposed to be “free” to libel someone else; nobody is supposed to be free to steal someone else’s intellectual property or protected work product. On the other hand, sometimes “expressive conduct” not involving words is considered speech subject to First Amendment protections, as with, say, flag burning.

    And lawsuits for defamation certainly aren’t always the big guy suing the little guy. Sometimes the plaintiff is a “little guy” private citizen who’s been viciously libeled in a newspaper or on the radio who sues the “big guy” newspaper or magazine or whatever. And sometimes it’s two big guys, as when Ariel Sharon sued Time magazine many years ago. And even two little guys, in cases you simply don’t hear about — “my neighbor is a horse thief.” Etc.

  149. Emolee
    Emolee March 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

    @Kara- I didn’t mean to imply that you were thinking about a suit under “unchastity” statutes; your comment just made me think of those laws. There are definitely other theories of slander to go on here, although I am skeptical that they would work because I’m not sure she could show economic harm, which is what courts typically look for in these cases.The other side would likely argue that this has helped her career because of the publicity. It would be an interesting case.

  150. Chiara
    Chiara March 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

    And lawsuits for defamation certainly aren’t always the big guy suing the little guy. Sometimes the plaintiff is a “little guy” private citizen who’s been viciously libeled in a newspaper or on the radio who sues the “big guy” newspaper or magazine or whatever. And sometimes it’s two big guys, as when Ariel Sharon sued Time magazine many years ago. And even two little guys, in cases you simply don’t hear about — “my neighbor is a horse thief.” Etc.

    I see what you’re saying — but I’m really not convinced that government should be interfering in these sorts of things.

    It’s a little like at school when someone was spreading something about me (sometimes it was true, but meh) or being mean. I had two options: complain to a teacher (i.e. the government in this analogy) or prove myself in a proper way. If I complained I’d just get even worse stuff done to me even though the original girl would get in some trouble. So it’s really a lose-lose situation. But, if I proved myself in a proper way I could get people’s respect again or just punch her.

    Although I can see why sueing would be a good thing for little people to do to big. Perhaps the law would be more effective if it specified that the person doing to slander-sue must be less well-off than the person getting slander-sued?

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  152. suspect class
    suspect class March 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    I see what you’re saying — but I’m really not convinced that government should be interfering in these sorts of things.

    First, suing someone privately is not the same as involving direct government action. Second, society does not work like high school in many other ways, so the “tattling” as suing analogy doesn’t work very well. In the U.S., suing someone is one of the few ways private parties have of defending themselves. And in the U.S. at least, you wouldn’t be able to make a law about court access that specifically applies differently to the wealthy and the poor without a very good reason.

  153. EG
    EG March 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    And in the U.S. at least, you wouldn’t be able to make a law about court access that specifically applies differently to the wealthy and the poor without a very good reason.

    i.e., a reason acceptable to rich people.

    (I’m not disputing, I’m just elaborating.)

  154. maggiemay
    maggiemay March 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    i think the sentence i like best in the entire comments section is “random strangers passing judgment”—-thats the entire problem in a nutshell right there—random strangers passing judgment, and random strangers who have way 2 much control over my life—so what do we do about it?

  155. LC
    LC March 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm |

    I need to know the etymology behind this one like whoa.

    My understanding is that it was the kind of woman who would let her petticoats drag in the mud, if you know what I mean.

    And roundheels is a good one, too. (Although I actually heard that for the first time in an old movie about a boxer.)

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