Class Warfare Blog

March 20, 2013

And I Thought Rand Paul was a Libertarian

Rand Paul, junior Senator from Kentucky, recently submitted a bill for Senate consideration that would define life as beginning at conception, a so-called “personhood” bill. Now, as I understand it, libertarians are staunch advocates for personal liberty and against government interference in citizen’s lives. I guess we can scratch Rand Paul’s name off of that list.

I do believe in personal liberty and freedom of (and from) religion. That leads me to the idea that government should have no position on abortion other than whether to expend public funds for the medical procedures involved for those who cannot afford them. Having an abortion is an immensely personal issue and should be left to those directly involved to decide. Counsel from doctors and, yes, even clergy (although I can’t understand how they would have any personal or even scriptural experience bearing on the topic), and immediate family members are all that is required. I don’t see why I, through my government, should have any say whatsoever in the matter.

In this I am more of a libertarian than Rand Paul. He, like so many other “small government” hypocrites only believe in small government on other people’s issues. On their own pet theories, they want the government 100% involved.

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18 Comments »

  1. Oh crap… I’ve just been having this out with a Republican (catholic) pro-lifer. Would you like to join the festivities

    Comment by john zande — March 20, 2013 @ 8:45 am | Reply

    • You seem to be beating the guy up pretty well and it isn’t polite to pile on.

      I think you should have stuck to the “life begins at conception” point. There is no scriptural support for this, it is just an invention created by the anti-abortionists to further their agenda. If one goes around the world, you will find all kinds of definitions of when life begins but most center on birth, because as primitive people we didn’t have technology to keep defective babies alive, so they had to be able to do fairly well with a minimum of assistance. At one point the japanese didn’t even name their babies for seven days because they might not “live.” So, are nonviable fetuses alive? The law says no. Common sense says no. Only anti-abortionists say yes and they have an axe to grind.

      These fucking Christians have, in the past, taken the position that medicine is evil because it interferes with God’s will. If that is so, then a baby needs to be able to survive with at best a wet nurse’s help if you want it defined as being alive. If it can’t, then we are interfering with God’s will that the little critters die (and burn in Hell, the Pope finally admitted that “Limbo” was bullshit). So, if it is God’s will that a barely born infant dies, was it really alive? Could it have exercised free will to make it punishable? No, but the little bastard was sinful none the less and deserves to burn in Hell. Christians not only brought us eternal life (heaven or hell, your choice) but they also invented sin. Before them, it didn’t exist. So, how come all of those folks who died before they invented sin, died for their sins?

      Arguing with these fucked-up people can be fun, but the fun runs out pretty quickly.

      I like the grandpa who answers his grandkid’s question of “Where do we go when we die?” with “into the ground.” Simple, neat and afirming of the cycle of life. I don’t need my atoms anymore, maybe something else can use them.

      Comment by stephenpruis — March 20, 2013 @ 9:41 am | Reply

      • Oh, I really didn’t intend to get into a rolling exchange with him. I honestly thought he’d ignore opposing viewpoints. If you read that tossers About he’s a rabid conservative who believes government should stay the fuck out of peoples affairs…. go figure! I have a sneaking suspicion this topic is going to keep resurfacing now that assclown Francis has a microphone.

        Comment by john zande — March 20, 2013 @ 10:03 am | Reply

        • If you’ve seen my latest, I would bet that he, like Rand Paul is for government staying out of everyone’s affairs … except the issues he finds precious, like definitions of when life occurs (this is a task of government?), and corporate welfare, and low taxes for the rich only, etc.

          Comment by stephenpruis — March 20, 2013 @ 10:08 am | Reply

          • I feel for you guys up there having to deal with this shit on a daily basis. What’s the saying, pass the sublime and into the ridiculous…

            Comment by john zande — March 20, 2013 @ 10:16 am | Reply

            • It is also a case of the tail wagging the dog. The “tea party” Republicans constitute less than 20% of Americans, but are a majority of Republicans and a super majority of those who come out for primary elections (primary elections are those that select the candidates for the general elections; turnout for these is quite a bit lower than for general elections). We would do well to dump the primaries and just have runoffs for those who don’t get over 50% of the votes cast. Federally the senate was created to avoid the tyranny of the majority. Thus we have a state with two Senators but only one Representative (which are apportioned by population). And since the Constitution allows the Senate to amke its own rules, the filibuster rule allows a minority of senators, representing fewer people than live in California to block anything from happening.

              Amazingly stupid. The institution designed to prevent the tyranny of the majority becomes a tyranny of the minority.

              We Americans are soooo inventive!

              Comment by stephenpruis — March 20, 2013 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

              • The institution designed to prevent the tyranny of the majority becomes a tyranny of the minority… what a great line!

                Oh, I think your founding fathers were quite brilliant. I have particularly enjoyed reading the letters between Jefferson and Adams. Australian politics is (perhaps thankfully) quite dull… just public servants doing their job for the most part. No room for personalities.

                There does however appear an unwillingness in the States to understand that a Constitution is an organic document.

                Comment by john zande — March 20, 2013 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

                • Which is shocking as the founding fathers satted very clearly that they didn’t want to tie the hands of future generations. And which is why they provided a mechanism to make changes in the Constitution. And a number of the FFs immediately amended the Constitute to make 10 changes; count them … ten (The Bill of Rights!) … which obviously could not get enough votes in committee to be instituted with the original draft! The document was designed to be flexible.

                  I also suspect that the FFs would severely criticize the Senate’s current leadership for allowing this situation to hold sway. In the old days (pre-1980) in order to conduct a filibuster, a senator would have to continuously hold the floor and nothing ellse could be address while he did so. Current rules allow “two tracks” essentially a “passing lane” for filibusters and senators aren’t required to hold the floor for a filibuster. Consequently there is no pressure to release a filibuster one placed and current rules allow just one senator an unlimited number of such “objections.” There are many ways you could fix this. Go back to the old filibuster rules. Limit the number of filibusters any senator could make. Etc.

                  Comment by stephenpruis — March 20, 2013 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  2. Here’s the link to the circus:

    http://quinersdiner.com/2013/03/16/hard-words-from-the-new-pope/

    Comment by john zande — March 20, 2013 @ 8:46 am | Reply

    • And I kept wondering what was the discussion people kept referring to on your latest post. I remember this blogger. I once got in somewhat extensive argument with him, unsuccessfully trying to get him to name even one tax loophole his favorite Ryan budget plan actually wants to close.

      Comment by List of X — March 20, 2013 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  3. Steve, to play devil’s advocate for a minute, you could actually make an argument that a libertarian who assumes that life begins at conception, would want to protect that life from government making laws allowing that life to be aborted. Of course, since I am pro-choice, I won’t be convinced by that argument myself. 🙂 But since when Republican arguments have to be convincing? 🙂

    Comment by List of X — March 20, 2013 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

    • He’s a doctor! The only reason to believe life begins at conception is … ? It is not religious, it is baldly political.

      Comment by stephenpruis — March 20, 2013 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

      • I don’t know what was his real reasons, but with those personhood bills, it’s really hard to separate religious reasons from political.

        Comment by List of X — March 20, 2013 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

      • I don’t know what was his real reasons, but with those personhood bills, it’s really hard to separate religious reasons from political.

        Comment by List of X — March 20, 2013 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  4. Stephen,

    You do understand that one needn’t be religious to oppose things like murder, rape, theft (to name a few). And it is absolutely the government’s job to define exactly who are the victims of such crimes (persons). And they need not invoke the word of any deity to do so.

    It’s pretty lazy to say, “Since I disagree with Christians on when life begins, their assertion must be solely based on their Christian beliefs”, and be done with it. You then go on to attack their belief in hell, natural sin, and the like, as if this proves your stance on just exactly when life begins. Also lazy. I guess it’s easier to call other people crazy than to make a scientific assertion of your own on the subject.

    Logically and scientifically, human lives begin at conseption/fertilization. It’s the precise moment without which, no other stage of development can occur. Pretty simple stuff.

    What are we, if not “clumps of cells” at various points on our way from cradle to grave? And what scientific evidence would identify any clump of living human cells as one specific individual? DNA, right? Why then, would we not say that that individual’s life began when its DNA came into existence and BEGAN to grow into an older clump of cells?

    Because it relies on its mother’s biological functions to survive? So, this means it’s not “fully” alive? Is a parasite fully alive?

    Forget relying on the mother’s bodily functions directly (in the way a parasite relies on its host’s bodily functions). How about a six-month-old? It relies on someone being alive to care for it, doesn’t it? If not its mother, then someone else, even if that someone happens to be a pack of kindly wolves. Without someone being alive and expending a portion of its life force in the care of the six-month-old, it would surely die, “unable to sustain itself outside the womb”. Are we to say that a six-month-old human is not “fully alive”? Not a person?

    It’s clear that a fetus is an individual living human being in the only way one can define it. It is also clear that not to call it a person is only an application of arbitrary criteria on a group of human beings, in order to deny them their right to live. It’s setting of the bar just out of reach. We may just as well say that personhood requires walking upright, since that’s a defining quality of human beings.

    How is the act of murder any different than abortion, except that we don’t legally recognize a certain class of human beings’ rights? Is not murder the intentional permanent cessation of a human being’s bodily functions some time after fertilization?

    Comment by conservative2cents — March 21, 2013 @ 1:49 am | Reply

    • Okay, if you wish to take a scientific approach, you say life begins at conception. Are you aware that over half of the female and about two thirds of the male zygotes spontaneously expire shortly after conception? What of these lives? Is the mother responsible for their deaths? Is the father responsible for supplying nonviable sperm? Do you really want the government, meaning all of us, deciding for each of us in each and every situation what we should do regarding life threatening situations? If the fetus is nonviable and carrying it to a natural stillbirth or a spontaneous abortion would permanently harm the mother, do you want the government involved in the decision? Here fill out these forms in triplicate and wait six months and we may have a decision for you. Medicine is not an exact science and doctors do make mistakes, are they criminally responsible for their mistakes? This is a big question.

      Also, what stake does the government, meaning all of us, have in any one of our lives? Why should the government have a say in what we eat or do, unless there is a vested interest it serves. If one had a communicable disease, like Typhoid Mary did or had AIDS, and goes around infecting other people with a fatal disease there is a clear case for government intervention. But once you grant government the power to “protect” us, we are all doomed. The police enforce the law, they do not protect us. The military fights our “enemies” and only protects us secondarily (and often our “enemies” are defined by business interests). If government is to protect us, then it will have the authority to take over our lives.

      In this I am libertarian.

      Comment by stephenpruis — March 21, 2013 @ 7:54 am | Reply

      • 1- Zygotes die. Infants die. The question is not one of responsibility. Have the infants’ lives begun? Yes. So have the zygotes’.

        2- I struggle with the life of the mother exception. I may be wrong, but I personally would allow it, especially if it was very likely that the baby would not live, as in your example. That is not to say that the baby’s life had not actually begun. Only that saving as many lives as possible in a given situation is preferable to losing all of them.

        3- The government has the exact same stake in abortion as it has in murder, IF the unborn are recognized as what they are: living human beings.

        4- Do laws against murder protect individuals? Not really, except that most people want to avoid the punishment. Obviously, people get murdered, despite there being a law against it. Either way, I doubt that you’d be for abolishing laws against murder.

        5- Doing what I want is none of the government’s business, unless another person who would be affected is involved. You and I disagree on another person being involved in an abortion, but if I’m right, it’s not a matter of government seeking to protect us from ourselves. Not at all like outlawing certain types or quantities of food, for example.

        I notice that you haven’t tried to refute what I’ve said about the point at which a human’s life actually begins. Have you given up on that?

        Comment by conservative2cents — March 21, 2013 @ 11:45 am | Reply


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