The Brutal Truth About Poverty (and Other Thoughts)

The Brutal Truth About Poverty

At a recent RNC meeting, former (and soon to be?) presidential candidate, Mitt Romney said:

THE ONLY POLICIES THAT WILL REACH INTO THE HEARTS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE AND PULL PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY AND BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY ARE REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLES, CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES … AND WE’RE GONNA BRING THEM TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND FINALLY END THE SCOURGE OF POVERTY IN THIS GREAT LAND.

Pardon my French but, in a word, bullshit. It’s not that conservative principles can’t “end the scourge of poverty”. It’s that nothing can. You see, it’s all about the human condition.

On paper, socialism is the only economic model that wipes out poverty (and extreme wealth as well). The problem is that socialism is antithetical to human nature. Socialism makes no room for selfishness.

Capitalism, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to human nature. Unfortunately, like the balance sheets that document its progress, capitalism is a zero sum game. There are winners and losers, assets and liabilities, whole swaths (of people) that must be written off.

Anyone who tells you his ideology will wipe out poverty is lying to you. If you don’t want to be poor, the only way out is to work your ass off. No system is going to save you. And since there will always be those unwilling or unable to work their ass off, there will always be poor people. Poverty is here to stay.

Was She REALLY Raped – Part 1

Between yesterday and today the GOP-run House watered down an anti-abortion bill which originally allowed for rape exceptions if the rape had been reported to the police. Republican women objected and demanded the police report requirement be excised.

Folks, this is one area where the PC talk needs to end. In what fantasy land are women incapable of lying about being raped? If I don’t pay my bills with the reason that my bank account was hacked and emptied, my billers are going to want proof. Did I file a claim? Did I report the loss to any authority? Why is the charge of rape (a deadly serious crime) the only one that can be levied carte blanche with no proof whatsoever? Forget proof – with NO ATTEMPT to seek justice?

In the world of insults to humanity, abortion ranks right up there with rape. If we are going to use a crime (rape) as a reason for the drastic step of terminating a pregnancy, then there ought to be some evidence that the woman treated the crime like a crime and reported it.

Was She REALLY Raped – Part 2, the Cosby Edition

I have little doubt that in the course of a long marriage, Bill Cosby was unfaithful, probably more than once. Many men think with the wrong head and this applies double to famous men.

But the MORE women who come forth with drug-cum-rape charges against Cosby the LESS I believe it. It starts to go into Ripley’s Believe it or Not territory. A half dozen women? Yeah I could have bought that. But more than two dozen?

Why would there be a rush for the rape bandwagon? I have a theory. Bill Cosby was one of the few brave black men to pull the covers off the “black community” and tell young black men and women to get their act together. Blacks hate nothing more than one of our own airing our dirty laundry and calling us to task in public.

And in a community dominated by single mothers, who will take the most offense at failures in child rearing? On Larry Wilmore’s new Comedy Central show, “The Nightly Show”, an editor of Ebony magazine, Jamilah Lemieux, could not help but mention Cosby’s lecturing. Besides his former co-star Phylicia Rashad, you don’t see many black women (or women in general) coming to his defense.

Cosby broke the “rule” that you NEVER suggest black folk have any accountability for their own situation. Now he’s paying for it big time.

What do you think? The bar is open.

Akin’s Comment Doesn’t Begin or End with Akin

Today I offer a quick shout-out to Missouri Representative Todd Akin for single-handedly exploding the Republican Party. For the uninitiated, Akin’s comments did not come out of the blue.

They are part of a long tradition of GOP medical gobbledygook regarding rape and pregnancy as detailed by Rachel Maddow.

For those who don’t want to sit through Rachel’s 20 minute presentation, here is a summary of Republicans being stupid:

James Leon Holmes — 1980 — Pregnancy from rape as frequent as snowfall in Miami.
Stephen Freind  — 1988 — Female secretions stop rape related pregnancies.
Clayton Williams — 1990 — Rape is like the weather, relax and enjoy it.
Henry Aldridge — 1995 — Juices don’t flow — it takes cooperation to get pregnant.
Fay Boozman — 1998 — Fear triggers hormonal changes that prevent pregnancy.

So Akin is another in a long line of GOP operatives spouting biological nonsense about rape. Akin is receiving enormous pressure to withdraw from his race against sitting Senator Claire McCaskill. If Republicans think Akin’s exit from the national stage will end the debate, they’ve got some more thinking to do. Akin’s brother in anti-abortion thought is none other than VP candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan and Akin co-sponsored HR3 (an abortion funding bill) that attempted, in its first draft, to refine the term rape to “forcible rape“. Sounds a bit like Akin’s “legitimate rape” doesn’t it? Despite the Romney campaign’s repudiation of Akin’s comment, Paul Ryan has Akin hanging around his neck and if Democrats are smart, that will remain the case regardless of Akin’s future.

While many women believe the life of the unborn takes top priority and forces the decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, there is also a sizable number of women who want complete reproductive freedom, and at the very least, believe that rape and incest are valid reasons for an abortion. Any hopes the GOP might have had to bury Paul Ryan’s record on this subject have just blown up in their faces. Only pro-life absolutist women will stick with Romney/Ryan. The rest could be a lost cause for the ticket.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Except in the Case of Rape and Incest

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As we approach the midterm election, my friends on the left are particularly disturbed by some in the current crop of nutjob GOP candidates who are pro-life and do not make the exception for rape and incest. Sharron Angle is one such candidate. Well, I hate to disappoint my liberal friends but this is about the only issue where Sharron Angle is right on the money.

No, I haven’t switched from pro-choice to pro-life but I know an inconsistent argument when I see one. Calling oneself pro-life and then tossing in the rape/incest caveat completely implodes the position. Let’s examine why the exception gets discussed and why supposedly pro-life people should be called on the carpet for it.

Fundamental Premise

The fundamental premise of a pro-life stance must be zygote/embryo/fetus centric. That is the “life” we are talking about when we say pro-life. So the rape/incest exception must be viewed from a zygote/embryo/fetus perspective.

Rape

Rape is an horrific trauma to the female victim. I know of no scientific study that says a developing fetus is negatively effected by having been conceived by rape. A pro-life stance places our priority on the new life, not the psychological situation of the mother. No child chooses a rapist for his father. Why should any child’s life be terminated because of it? Is that not the very essence of visiting the sins of the father upon the child? The argument that the presence of the child in the mother’s life will forever remind her of her rape is compelling but is answered by adoption. The cold hard fact is rape is no excuse for abortion.

Incest

First we need to define our terms very carefully. Intercourse between unwilling partners is rape. So incest between non-consenting partners is rape. See above argument. So now we get to the much stickier situation of consensual incest. This of course is the ultimate taboo in Western culture. I argue that few people are really concerned about the medical implications of “in-breeding” when they make incest an abortion exception. The truth is they are disgusted by the circumstances of the birth and are visiting that disgust upon the developing fetus. Once again, abortion is not the answer. No one asks for their uncle to be their daddy. So why should their life be snuffed out because of it?

If you are truly pro-life, then the only exception that I can fathom is distinct physical risk to the mother that might result in her death. Then you’ve got a real dilemma in balancing the welfare of the baby against that of the mother. From what I’ve heard, Sharron Angle has not advocated mother’s risking probable death to go full term.

So what this comes down to is that the rape/incest exception ipso facto makes you pro-choice. The only difference is that you have self righteously declared your set of choices more worthy than the choices other women might wrestle with.

I may be pro-choice and Sharron Angle may be as nutty as a holiday fruitcake but I applaud her and others like her for being truly pro-life. The rest of you so-called pro-lifers are pretenders to the throne.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance