Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Friday, February 10, 2006
DEAR GOD!!! Crat, don't eat meat in Plovdiv! In fact, maybe don't eat any meat while you're outside of the jurisdiction of the USDA.

posted by Rachel 2/10/2006
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This is an extremely
dangerous time. Watch. Read. Remember. This is a buildup to another world war. It's going to be very important to keep the plot. The truth will eventually be widely known. Best not to be too embarrassed when that day comes. If you don't say thanks for the First Amendment every day, well look what you take for granted.

posted by Rachel 2/10/2006
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Sigh. Incompetent pandering. This is going to hurt your cause guys. Well, considering that I doubt there are a million people in either of the Dakotas, the practical effect of this will probably be pretty slight. I can't imagine there are many abortion providers there now.

And really, unless you're going to make every woman ever travelling to or from the state's jurisdiction, pee on a stick, you're not actually preventing abortion you're just moving it and possibly making the hurdle too high for the poorest and least equipped anyway. You'd also have to get the state into the business of adjucating every miscarriage as natural-causes or homicide. Do you want a woman who's just lost a wanted pregnancy to sit and wait for treatment while the state determines if her womb should be treated like a murder scene? If not, then you're saying that you'll allow hundreds of possible murders to go unquestioned because of some notion of privacy or sensitivity. hmmm

Women from all over the US used to fly to New York to have abortions pre Roe v Wade. I guarantee that you know someone who did exactly that back then, though you may not know it. Women who want to be free of an unwanted preganacy, who have the means to obtain one, will get abortions. It may mean 'falling down the stairs,' or a back alley, or picking some weeds, or it may mean flying to a different continent. The abortionist is the second oldest profession. Remember also that the distinctions between contraception, birth control, abortion, and infantacide have not always been so clear as science has made them today. Many herbal formulas promised to 'bring on delayed menstruation.'

Even today the strictest fundamentalists treat the creation of a new unique DNA pattern to be the defining moment of life. (Conception= fertilization= egg and sperm fuse, not implantation into the wall of the womb which can happen up to 48 hours later.) That's a philosophically tidy position to take, but it gets messy in the real world. Because if that egg+sperm=human, then acting to prevent the implantation of that zygote becomes active murder. If it's alive and a bearer of a full set of human rights, (by virtue of possesion of a complete set of choromosomes at that point,) and you change the environment so that it dies, you're a murderer. So birth control pills, Depo, the patch, the ring, an IUD, emergency contraception, all of these are murder under the 'life begins at conception' framework. (This is also overlooking the basic biological fact that more than half of such conceived but not implanted pregnancies spontaneously abort in the form of a 'normal' period.)

Of course in such a conceptual framework, the only ethical reason for murder is self-defense. Thus the pregnancy resulting from a rape is a person whose rights supercede those of the woman forced to carry and nourish her rapist's child for 9 months. The state is essentially saying that they value the rights of the nameless faceless fetus over the rights of the rape victim. If not, if you do allow an exception in the case of rape, what do the actions of the rapist have to do with the fetus? That's being executed for someone else's crime.

Unless of course it's simply an ethical and pragmatic position to say that you cannot have two bearers of a full set of rights living within one body. One set of rights will always have to take precedence depending on the situation. Considering that the woman already has a name and a face and relationships, and the other party here (at the most extreme, immediately following conception) is a single cell. Cartainly during the period at which the vast majority of abortions are performed, the other party does not have recognizable brainwaves. (If we can unplug someone with no brainwaves, why can't we abort someone with no brainwaves?)

I'm 90% certain that this will get smacked out of the lower courts and 80% certain that the supremes would boot it for the reasons cited above. It's a long drive to the cities from here. Driving from the Dakotas would be a looong day in the car for a major medical procedure, and probably include the cost of a hotel room. Who's that hurdle really there for?

posted by Rachel 2/10/2006
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Heh. A kickass water filter can be had for $150-300. I'm talking a 3rd-world ditch-water filter, not just a Britta pitcher. Such a filter has a useful working life of 2 years per $50 filter. That plus a nalgene bottle (if you're cool with the whole faint traces of mutagens, not that disposable plastic bottles aren't leaching too,) will provide a cheaper and much more environmentally friendly source of bottled water, plus you can use the water to cook with, you can put the filter on the edge of the sink and fill it with the sprayer as needed, and you don't have to deal with half a dozen 5 gallon water jugs on your porch.

posted by Rachel 2/10/2006
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