“Pro-Life” is a fascist hate cult

evolve

There is no way to justify the position described as “pro-life”. Any political idea of freedom starts with the human body. The notion that citizens proxy away the freedom to decide what to do within their own bodies is abhorrent to all cognitive people. There is no philosophical basis for moral cooperation (“politics”) without acknowledging the sovereignty of the human body. The system that lacks this fundamental basis is called “slavery”.

Equally unconvincing is the notion that the rights of unborn progeny supersede the rights of their progenitors. Those that breed have always decided the fate of the bred, before there were notions such as government, church or self-righteousness. They were the ones who were rewarded or penalized, by the courtroom of survival, for their decisions.

There is also no way to justify the so-called pro-life movement through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Devote people who have studied the Bible with a predisposition to its divinity will point out its many contradictions and absurdities. Taken as the word of God it must be interpreted, contemplated and debated to even to begin to understand. The teachings of Christ in the New Testament, by comparison, are fairly straightforward. For example, here are some of his greatest hits:

  • “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.”
  • “The greatest of these is love.”
  • “Judge not, that you be not judged.
  • “the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you”

I am an atheist, I don’t believe in any spirituality or gods. But I admire the teachings of Jesus because he was a radical who was disgusted by the violence and close-mindedness of the status quo and was trying to empower people to throw off these chains. Love first! Don’t judge! Put others before yourself! He very much preached what we now call compassion and understanding. “The greatest of these is love.”

The person in the abortion situation that needs love and compassion is the woman. Not the single cell. Not God, Jesus or the Bible. Not the Supreme Court or the State Trooper. The woman. If you call yourself a Christian (and I used to, for the record) you have to put love first. You don’t get to pick and choose where the love is deserved. You love first. The person who needs that compassion and understanding is the woman facing this decision. She has been lied to by rich men her whole life, told that she is going to hell if she has an abortion. She is being peer-pressured by hypocrites with no understanding of biology or theology who relish an opportunity to look superior. In some states she is being treated as a suspected criminal, with a mob of confederate bullies ready to strap her to a bed for nine months out of a deep respect for the preciousness of life. She is marketed to on billboards paid for by groups of respectable people who can’t bear to think about the horror of baby killing except when it involves American bombs dropped on foreign brown Muslim babies. Jesus, you see, would want them bombed, too. Not aborted, mind you. Murdered. Murdered for disagreeing with American foreign policy, or for being too near someone who does

You might think I’m starting to slide off into partisan bickering here but I’m not. The pro-life movement is made up of two groups. There is a small group who want to protect little future maybe-babies with our laws, even when the parents of some of those maybe-babies don’t want their unsolicited action. They have compassion in there somewhere but mainly it is just horror at the thought of medically-terminated pregnancies. The other group are authoritarian fascists who are on a mission to enact What God Wants.  The have no uncertainty about What God Wants. They tell each other all the time exactly What God Wants. They decide if any particular datum is true or false based on pre-conceived truths of What God Wants. They are psychopaths and sociopaths that have been brainwashed and are in the process of brainwashing others. They don’t want to debate any of this and they feel no responsibility to explain, justify or discuss this with hell rats such as myself or Obama. It’s done already. It’s God first, dumb dumb.

I don’t care why or how you reject the so-called pro-life movement. But the time has come to throw it out of the politics of the United States of American forever. We managed to do it with slavery (although it is still a sore spot for some, apparently). We have to do it again with this flagrantly unconstitutional, sexist and idiotic idea that we should criminalize abortion. It can’t happen, it shouldn’t happen and it won’t happen.

We have evolved cognitive abilities and empathy for our fellow human beings. We have succeed because we have cooperated. Our abilities, empathy and success have created a secular morality in our DNA, which is nothing more than the understanding that we all do better when we all do better. This morality is anti-correlated with religion, which is an authoritarian structure designed to consolidate power and steal  productivity using the biggest stick ever invented: What God Wants. Religion is a bane and blight on humanity that will take centuries more to exorcise, much to the sadness of us all.

Michael Koppelman

 

“Pro-Life” is a fascist hate cult

There is no pie

I reject the notion that our beliefs are beyond critique. I firmly believe, of course, that we all should be free to believe whatever we want. But why do we believe it? Are we correct to believe it? Does believing in it help or hurt our own lives and the lives around us?

Religion is in the realm of the unprovable. We can generally prove that certain prominent historical figures really did exist, but we can’t prove miracles or divinity or other religious doctrine such as the resurrection or the parting of the Red Sea. People of faith see faith (in this sense, meaning believing the unprovable as an act of devotion) as a Good Thing™. Within the conceptual or physical walls of their religion, that’s fine. But when it becomes part of a secular, civic debate, it is untenable. Most religious people realize they can’t expect the rest of the world to legislate their belief system. Neither can atheist neo-buddhists like myself. Society requires compromise to function.

Politics is not the realm of the unprovable. Like astronomy, you can’t set up experiments and run them over and over but you can observe “experiments” in progress and “science the shit” out of them to figure out correlations, theories and best practices for a given outcome. Politics is what we call it when we combine our resources and our talents and try to solve problems together. We can’t solve all problems so we work on things that affect us all. We disagree about tactics and even strategies but in theory, when it comes to American politics, we have the same goal: we want to live in a free, fair, prosperous and peaceful country (and world).

Thus, when it comes to things like taxes, the environment, Syria, Russia, jobs, minimum wage, health care and other things you think are important, we can’t think of it like a football game. There is no “our team” and “their team”. There is only one team. You don’t get points for getting your way and being wrong. When we do things like elect the next President of the United States, we should think of it like we own a company and are hiring a CEO. That is to say, it is imperative we make the right choice! Working against each other is cutting off our nose to beat our face.

When arbitrary opinions become off-the-table for discussion, as if they were religion, and facts are dismissed as subjective (and in this case I mean actual facts like “Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State”), we’ve lost the ability to agree on things. The two teams playing Monday Night Football can’t agree to call it a tie and go have a beer instead of playing the game. Competition doesn’t allow for agreement. When we turn a job interview into a contest, we do a worse job. When we consider our opinions to be above scrutiny, we ensure that we are wrong.

In the 2016 Presidential election what “fooled” the media and some on the Left was that we assumed rationale was going to be part of the calculus. There is no rationale that can justify choosing a xenophobic, misogynistic, narcissist, rich, white liar over the most qualified person we’ve seen for President in our lifetimes. This woman-hating culture is the same one that hated gays until it became untenable to do so. They also hate(d) blacks, latinos, immigrants and intellectual longhairs like myself. The aren’t trying to help pick the best person, they are trying to get a little bigger piece of the pie by pushing others away from the table.

First of all, there is no pie. There is a mistaken notion that there is some gravy train that everyone is on except ourselves. That is false. No extra money will be heading towards Trump voters as a result of their vote. Being logical and compassionate towards immigrants (for example) does not take money out of the pocket of your average American. Far more damaging is The Big Short -style theft that goes on daily due to the “less regulation” that people unjustifiably say we need.

Competition is a great model if you can afford to have winners and losers. When you want everyone to win you need to cooperate. In the case of elections for public office, all that means is honest debate of the issues, awareness of data and its implications and a willingness to leave open in your thinking that you still have things you can learn.

I will never understand how intelligent people could make the choice they made. My only theory is that they were trying to “win”. They wanted payback for 8 years with President Obama. They forgot that George W. Bush left the economy in free fall, that the worst recession since the Great Depression was handed to Obama on his first day and he fixed it! He fixed the economy, reduced unemployment, paid down the debt and got us out of the disastrous foreign policy mistakes that Bush made. He also got rid of health insurance denials for pre-existing conditions, among other necessary things in the Affordable Care Act. And the Right wanted payback for that.

The American people betrayed themselves on November 8th, 2016 and we will all pay the price for it. When you consider your opinions to be unassailable religious doctrine you make shitty decisions. It’s time to put religion and politics back on the list of things we talk about!

There is no pie

The Lolife Podcast No. 79: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

In the wake of the Orlando mass murder, a crime enabled by the murderer’s legal purchase of an AR-15, high-capacity clips and ammunition, we would be idiotic not to debate what we should do, as a nation, to prevent future mass murders with guns.

In this podcast I explore the idea that the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution is no longer relevant and in fact creates a fictional rallying cry for people who think that guns offer protection. In fact, guns are a hazard that kill more people in the US than automobiles. The world of automobiles is highly regulated. The world of guns is less regulated than Sudafed™. This is due to a culture that ignores the realities of 21st century America and puts fictional hero scenarios above the reality that accidents, suicides and homicides are a thousand times more common than life-saving actions by armed citizenry.

A post-2nd Amendment world could still allow for hunters, target shooters, collectors and people who truly require personal protection to have guns. We would simply restrict gun ownership to people who demonstrate they are responsible, trained and have the aptitude and background to own, handle and store guns safely. We would only “take guns away” from people who cannot demonstrate these attributes. Law-abiding gun owners should have no problem with a highly regulated gun market and should agree with the goal of reducing the availability of guns to people without the training and aptitude we collectively require.

The notion that you can defend yourself against the US Government is demonstrably false. The notion that guns protect you is false. The people you love are the most likely victims of the gun you own, through accidents, suicide, domestic violence and homicide. The least likely thing your gun will do is protect you.

Can we put away the failed strategies of inaction and rhetoric? Let’s look at the facts and meaningfully address a senseless hazard made ubiquitous by a bankrupt ideology of the Old West.

Listen now: No. 79: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

More podcasts: The Lolife Podcast

 

The Lolife Podcast No. 79: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

Cooperation over competition

In another thread I am having a conversation with “carter”, who seems to be a smart and thoughtful person, and a fellow rocketeer, by the look of it. The following is a response to one of his comments that I felt deserved the spotlight of its own post, especially considering how rare I blog these days.

He said, among other things:

I’ll admit there is a sweet spot for taxation and regulation.

How should we figure out where the sweet spot is? This is perhaps my prime problem with the “small government” rhetoric of the Right. It would be lovely if we could set a certain policy, run the experiment and then rewind, use a different policy, run the experiment again, etc. and really truly find out the right amount of taxes and regulation to make for the strongest economy. We can’t do that.

So instead, like astronomers, we have to observe different experiments in action and then try to normalize them somehow and get our insights that way. What are the other experiments? They are the other countries that are also experimenting with varying degrees of taxes and regulations.

The odd part about this is that the US is an anomaly. There is no Westernized country more conservative than us. There are none with lower taxes. When you look at the other thriving economies of the world they all, every one of them, have more taxes and regulation.

The Right likes to point to this and say “See! We are on to something here in the USA! Less taxes and less regulation make for a stronger economy.” Unfortunately that is a statistically insignificant sample of one. There are a lot of other factors that have contributed to the strength of the American economy besides the conservatism of the last few decades.

So I’m glad we agree “there is a sweet spot for the level of taxes and regulation.” You think we have erred in one direction and me the other. I really try to imagine your view as correct. I do trust people to look after their own best interest. I do see how the government screws some things up.

The reason I end up disagreeing with you is this: homo sapiens rose above the bloody fray of survival of the fittest and started cooperating in larger and larger groups. While the law of the jungle certainly applies, a stronger “law” has led to the great success of our species: cooperation. We all do better when we all do better. I can’t escape this ideology and economists have been unable to prove me wrong. I think we should put our efforts into making government better (for we are the government, after all) rather than trying to dismantle it.

I have written elsewhere on this blog why I think progressive taxation is fair and smart. Moving from taxes to fees is regressive. For certain things, I think it is viable and useful. But our government is so more than a service provider.

I also agree that Amy’s child safety law had ridiculous unintended consequences.

Thanks for the great conversation.

Cooperation over competition

Geithner nails it

How short the memories of the electorate.

When the president took office, the American economy, the envy of the world, was falling off the cliff. Growth was declining at an annual rate of about 6 percent. We were losing three-quarters-of-a-million jobs every month. The American financial system was in freefall.

People were wondering whether they should keep their money in banks, whether they should buy treasuries, the first time since the Great Depression that happened. That was the reality when this president came into office. And there was no way out of that, except for the president, working with the Fed and the Congress, to go take aggressive, strong, bold actions to arrest the freefall and start the economy growing again. And that’s what he did, and that’s what’s happened.

From PBS.

Geithner nails it

A rejection of extremes

It is an amazing thing to watch your generation take over the world. The President of the United States is 4 years older than me. The positions of power in industry, government and culture are being occupied by people my age. It makes you think — what are our responsibilities to future generations. What are our responsibilities to ourselves? What will our legacy be?

My hope is that we get rid of these policies of extremes: zero tolerance, no negotiation, maximum return, lowest cost. We seem to value even ridiculous extremes at times.

With this is the rejection of false either-or’s. Conservative or liberal, the environment or industry, socialism or capitalism. These turn debate into contests instead of a process of discovering the truth. What if the government enacted (or repealed) some thing that made a big positive difference to everyone involved. Would you care which ideological category it belonged in? These bi-polar arguments are contrived and unproductive.

My hope is that our generation puts aside some of this pointless vitriol and tries to actually solve problems. Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic.

A rejection of extremes

The hysteria on the Right is manufactured

(This was going to be a comment on this post.)

What if, and I realize it is a big if, Obama’s health insurance reforms work. What if we all do measurably better under a cooperative approach legislated by the Democrats. Would conservatives be OK with it?

I deplore double-standards and I ask myself — what if we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that tax cuts for the rich, for example, was the best approach to raise the median standard of living. What if conservatives were right and tax rates are north of the sweet spot for the best return into the US Treasury. I would be DELIGHTED. What if the Bush approach to Iraq had succeeded in 6 months, like they hoped. DELIGHTED. My goal is not that the Left “wins”. My goal is that we get better at government so that we get the most bang for the buck on our shared interests such as national security, the economy, health care and education.

I’ve said this before, but some people think: the Left was mean to Bush so we can be as mean as we want to Obama. You have to remember that we were all hopeful for Bush in the early days. He ran on the compassionate conservative thing and I honestly hoped he’d be successful. He was immediately deeply partisan in every single thing he did. Many of us were shocked. Bush earned our hatred. He really did. He earned it day after day for 8 years.

It is completely possible that Obama justly earns people’s hatred. If he is highly unsuccessful in measurable ways like Bush was, he’ll have earned our disapproval. If he is highly political, highly partisan, shady, obtuse and, accordingly to some, criminal like Bush was, he’ll have earned our hate. But he hasn’t been any of these things. The jury is still out on most of his policies, but he has not been a bait and switch like Bush and he has been an honest broken on the issues. I realize that Left and Right disagree on the prescriptions but even fuckwits like Glen Beck should be able to see that Obama is a straight shooter.

The hysteria on the Right is manufactured and they’ve done so because “it worked” that we all hated Bush. Even the Right hated Bush by the end. But the ideologues are jumping the gun on Obama and they are losing their credibility as a result, except to the extent that they preach to their own little retarded choir.

But frankly, if Obama can’t do this job well, I am seriously worried for us. He is as smart and as well-informed as individual we have seen in that office. He is no raging liberal. I think the vitriol we are seeing 9 months into his term is unfounded.

The hysteria on the Right is manufactured