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Member since: 2001
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When I was a kid, we used to laugh at something called...

..."the National Legion of Decency".

That was okay, even in retrospect, because that organization was worthy of ridicule and laughter in its narrow-minded quest to keep "pure young minds" from being polluted by anything even vaguely suggestive of sex (and, with much less fervor, crime and violence) in movies.

That organization co-opted the term "decency" to redefine it in relation solely to anti-prurience and pro-prudery. They were the source of decades of married couples being portrayed as having "Hollywood beds" in their bedroom- matching twin beds, of course, because any suggestion- even a purely visual allusion to the possibility, of married people sharing a bed was anathema to the legion.

So for years "decency" was a term degraded and pretty much relegated to discussions of Church Lady types.

But "decency" has been making a comeback, in the last few decades. Slowly, mostly under the radar, it's been rehabilitated. It's poised on the brink of being the go-to term to describe people whose actions exemplify things like conscience, compassion, integrity, honesty, kindness, and commitment to the well-being of others, even strangers. Even people who are diverse in appearance, gender, religion, national origin, etc.

Now, like the term "wholesome", decency has taken on a whole new and even slightly subversive tone of "opposition to corrupt, debased, greedy, skeevy, hateful ideas that are trying to become cultural norms".

In other words, the anti-GOP, the alternative alt-right, the counter-sleazy.

And so, after last night's town halls, and after weeks of scrutiny of the field of Democratic Primary candidates, I should like to propose a new collective noun for that cadre:

The New Legion of Decency

By and large the women and men running for President as Democrats are as variable a bunch as you could assemble- diverse in race/ethnicity, in gender, religion, economic and social background, regional identification, etc.

But one of the things they seem to have in common is that they are almost all outstanding as decent human beings. Not just posturing baby-kissing and charity-supporting and 'take a note and get constituent support staff on that person's problem' looking good for the camera. But real, honest-to-goodness attention to the humanity of the people they run across, and commitment to helping in the simplest, most essentially human ways.

This is the most striking difference, today, between Democrats and GOPpies running for office.

When I was a lot younger you could find a good many decent human beings among GOPpies running for, and elected to, public offices. Their ideology and policies may have stunk but they were respectful of the humanity of everyone, even those who differed in opinion and party affiliation. The fixed and settled policy of the GOP was not "to dehumanize our opponents, break apart their families, crush their will to resist, and kick them to the gutter."

As it is now.

So, to oppose this, Democrats have assembled a New Legion of Decency, and I believe that decency WILL prevail.


And Again, Putin is Enjoying Himself

To Pootie-Poot, it doesn't actually matter if his stoogepoodle is getting kicked up one side and down the other by the Mueller report.

What matters to Pootie-Poot is what has always mattered to Pootie-Poot: Perdition, Distraction, Disinformation, and Division.

His goal has never really been to have any one particular stooge take power in America, or in Britain, or in the EU, or in any of the nations he regards as enemies.

He doesn't actually want any of them to collapse entirely OR to degenerate into an autocratic dictatorship. Russia isn't in a position to take advantage of any such outcomes.

He just wants to keep all of the nations he regards as enemies (and has regarded as enemies since back when he was liaising with the Stasi in East Germany and scheming his way up the ladder at the KGB) as weak, chaotic, and divided as possible.

His endgame isn't to eliminate democracy but to degrade democracy into a sham and a shadow. To discredit it slowly and manipulate it into poisoning itself from within.

His weapons aren't elaborate conspiracies and carefully-planned domino chains of specific subversions and events, but pervasive and subtle manipulation and propaganda. Social media was the ultimate gift for him to help his enemies damage themselves.

I don't believe there will EVER be a big "aha!" reveal of elaborate Russian operations and witting American stooges to subvert our government.

He is not that clumsy. He doesn't NEED to run hands-on operations that can be traced back as direct attacks.

He just needs to spread a lot of money around in iffy ways, through layers and layers of knowing and unknowing intermediaries, and keep running his social media provocation campaigns of the dumbest, greediest, meanest, most destructive human elements in each target nation, and let the results play out for themselves.

Ongoing pot-stirring from behind the veil of social media and fellow-travelling "news" and other media stooges is all that is required to keep the vicious cycle going.

And as long as we're fixated on "finding" or "exposing" a culprit or culprits to pin the blame on, in the hopeful but misguided belief that there are a few high-level, high-profile villains that can be caught and prosecuted and taken down and that will bring the trouble to an end, he keeps winning. Because while there are hundreds, even thousands, of his stooges at all levels of the GOP, they're not part of some intentional "conspiracy", they're just the dumbest, greediest, meanest elements acting on their natural impulses, enabled by a clever but formless propaganda operation and supported by the vast numbers of stooges and dupes of that same operation in the American electorate.

Until we focus, not on targeting and enacting retribution on some powerful and knowing villains within our own ranks, but on the overall strategy being applied, we'll keep falling into the same trap, and keep tearing ourselves apart.

The foofooraw about the Mueller Report is perfect for him. It's all about who did what to whom among America's Griftiest, not about how Putin played us, and is still playing us, on a grand scale, and how to stop that.


This Believer's Choice: Spiritual Discipline versus Doctrinal Orthodoxy

I believe there exists a power, spiritual in nature, greater than my sensorium enables me to fully comprehend or even describe, and this Power I choose to call Divine.

The most interesting, important, and fulfilling aspect of my life is exploring the nature of this Power through every means I can employ, and consciously making myself into the image and expression of this Power as my understanding evolves.

I think that's about the only thing I, as a believer, have in common with those who profess various religious faiths: We all desire to express That Which is Divine in how we live, how we act, and the choices we make.

The differences begin where doctrinal orthodoxy stands.

I cannot believe that the Divine Source, as I understand a Power invested in a creation vast and complex beyond the ability of human comprehension, gives a rat's ass what I wear.

Or what I eat.

Or what words I use in my attempts to connect with Divinity.

Or even what I call it- Divinity, Power Greater, Presence, etc.

Or who I marry.

One of the hardest challenges for me over the years, as I've sought to explore the nature of the Divine, has been finding ways to integrate understanding of the Infinite into a finite awareness. It's all very well to say that the Divine is All, and All is Divine, etc., but acknowledging the infinity of the divine landscape still leaves me, as an individual believer with the question of just how much, and in which directions, I can map that landscape.

For me, the response to that challenge has come in the form of spiritual disciplines- self-imposed requirements and boundaries that reveal smaller areas of the landscape in greater detail. And, incidentally, act a bit like physical disciplines in terms of building skills and strengths.

Some of these disciplines have been part of my life for decades. Others have been embraced for a period, then discarded. I try to find new and deeper ways to map the divine landscape and expand my understanding on a regular basis.

I am not describing any of them. They work for me, or not. It's an individual thing. A personal thing between me and the divine Source of my being. Some of them would look quite orthodox to a person who professes one or another religious doctrine.

But I don't practice those disciplines because of any doctrine, nor yet because I believe the Power Greater than my comprehension "wants" me to practice them.

I practice them because they increase my sense of connection with the Divine, and/or they help me express That Which is Divine in my own life. No other reason or purpose. And only I, and my awareness of, and love for, the Power Greater that moves me, can judge the success of my efforts.

This is frustrating. There is no human spiritual authority that can validate my efforts, and sometimes I wish there was.

Sometimes I wish the Divine came with an instruction manual, and all I need to do is follow it.

But my understanding is that there are as many instruction manuals as there are believers who share my striving towards Divine expression, and while some parts of every other instruction manual may illuminate my quest, none of them is "my" instruction manual. I, and my Divine Source, have the lifelong task of compiling my own, by every means we can.

Which means study of, and borrowings from, others' manuals, including testing of what does and doesn't work in each one examined, in the context of my understanding and my circumstances in connection with That Which is divine. And the embrace of various practices of spiritual discipline. And the constant review of what we've already compiled, with constant amendments, reworkings, and glosses.

It's not easy.

And I'm not very good at it.

In fact, I'm pretty lousy at it.

But that awareness helps me understand the choice of believers who embrace doctrinal orthodoxy. It's a bit like addiction treatment and successful recovery-- some things seem to work pretty well for many if not most of those who aspire thereto, and that may be enough.

Me, I keep trying.

In the faith that whether at some point the "I" who is me here and now ever gets to step back and see a bigger part of the Divine Landscape or not, it's still worth doing.

And in the certainty that I am not alone.


Dear Terrified White Dudes: Your Strategy Needs an Update

I know it's hard to climb out of that barge on the ol' Egyptian river, but seriously, denial ain't gonna help. Start with this: The demographic Point of No Return was passed many, many years ago.

No matter how hard you try to keep any NEW brown people from entering the country, at some point within the next couple of generations, there will be more brown people than white people here.

One more important thing to note: Trying to hang onto all the power, all the wealth, and all the control when you're a diminishing minority in the greater population hasn't worked out awfully well over the last few centuries. Starting with France in the 18th Century, and most recently in South Africa, one way or another the majority will tip the balance back, and you'll have to cope.

If you're lucky, the model will be much more like South Africa and much less like 18th-Century France.

So here's a suggestion for a new strategy:

When you're about to become a minority, maybe... just maybe... ensuring that the rights of minorities are vigorously protected in law and economic practice would be a hella smart strategy!

Think about it, white dudes.

Instead of trying to deny minorities the right to vote, you might want to ensure strong protections for everyone's access to the ballot, because one day, it might be YOUR neighborhoods that get left off the "where we put polling places" map.

Instead of trying to restrict access to the best educational opportunities, you might want to guarantee that the admissions process can't be gamed by privilege.

Instead of making it easy for economic predators to practice usury, extortion, and confiscation in minority communities, you might want to codify economic justice for all, now while you still can.

Instead of allowing industrial polluters a free pass to make places where minorities live as toxic and unlivable as possible, you might want to give the notion of environmental justice a little support.

You want to ensure a better future for your children and grandchildren when they are a minority in America? Then make America a place where minorities have the fullest possible equity.

I can think of no better, more effective, more powerful strategy to secure the existence of white people and a future for white children, than by securing the existence of ALL minorities and the future of ALL children.

Just sayin'...


Determined Not To Decide Yet Because of YOU!

Dear Fellow-DUers-

Yes, I'm still undecided. I'm planning on staying that way for a long time. You know why?

Because a good many of my fellow DUers are NOT undecided. And y'all are in here in this forum telling me and everyone on a daily basis why your candidate has your commitment, and what doubts you have about other candidates, and who else you like and might support if your first choice doesn't go all the way.



I know what I think, and what I feel. I know what appeals to me. I look at each candidate in turn and think, "I really like this/that/the other about this candidate. Not so keen on this other thing about this candidate. Keep watching."

And I know this: I am totally NOT a bellwether or an indicator or a Key Demographic-type voter. What I like, and what I think early on during an election cycle is almost NEVER what actually happens. I'm rarely, if ever, correct about what other Democrats are going to respond to in large numbers. I have the opposite of Prognosticatorial Accuracy.

So it's you that I watch.

I know why I like Kamala Harris. There's some overlap with what others like about her, but not exactly a complete correspondence. And the things I dislike about her rarely resonate with large numbers of other people who do like her.

I know why I like Bernie Sanders. There's some overlap with what others like about him, but not exactly a complete correspondence. And the things I dislike about him rarely resonate with large numbers of other people who do like him.

I know why I like Amy Klobuchar. There's some overlap with what others like about her, but not exactly a complete correspondence. And the things I dislike about her rarely resonate with large numbers of other people who do like her.

I know why I like Pete Buttigieg. There's some overlap with what others like about him, but not exactly a complete correspondence. And the things I dislike about him rarely resonate with large numbers of other people who do like him.

And so on, and so on for pretty much all the candidates.

But I DON'T always know why other people like/dislike the candidates. And the more I learn about that, the better a sense it gives me of where my own blind spots are, how my own biases affect my feelings about who "should" be the candidate, and why I should be flexible, stay interested, and keep learning.

My beliefs on issues cross the spectrum from fairly conservative to very progressive. And it's hard for me to see past what I "know" is "correct" or necessary or best for the Party or best for the country to what other Democrats equally passionately but differently believe.

This forum, and the vigorous discussion and advocacy for our candidates, including doubts freely expressed and hopes fiercely championed, is an important resource to me. I want to thank ALL of you who participate here regularly.

So far I think we're doing a pretty good job of keeping the discussion in this forum informative, lively, and constructive. As the primaries continue and the field expands and, eventually, contracts, it's going to be a challenge to keep it that way. Feelings run high. Disappointment and frustration can turn negative. I really hope we can transcend the impulse to let a powerfully desired end justify negative methods of advancing that end- at the expense of other candidates or other DUers.

I make a choice of who I like best every day. The thing is, it's different almost every day. And that's going to continue for a long time, partly because of how much I learn here about your favorite candidate, about your worries about other candidates, about what you think makes someone a good or bad choice.

I like it that way.

I'm not in a hurry.

A little over a year from now, I'll know a lot more. And I'll be able to make a better choice.

But even if my favorite doesn't become the nominee, I'll be delighted to vote for whoever IS the nominee, because I'll know how many of my fellow DUers trust that candidate and why they've been supporting her/him all along.

Thanks, y'all.


The Leaders I'm Trusting for the Future: Women of Color

Standard disclaimer about this being my opinion which no one else is required to agree with, share, etc. Things I assert as facts, unless linked to references, are the facts as I experience them, so please save your reams of factual refutal, but you're welcome to express your differences in the same terms.

The longer I live, combined with the more attention I pay to what's going on in the world, the more I'm convinced that the root of most of humanity's collective problems is our stubborn reliance on hierarchies of privilege*. This is partly because of the festering anger and resentment they breed: In the excluded and oppressed, while the hierarchies hold unquestioned sway, and in those who benefit from privilege when the hierarchy is challenged and/or change is demanded.

But the other damage done by the hierarchies of privilege is one of lost resources and foregone benefits: How many creative thinkers, geniuses, dedicated public servants, brilliant ideas, innovations, and solved problems have we missed because of those excluded from full participation in our culture and our economy?

The hierarchies of privilege that affect Americans most ubiquitously and most powerfully are racism and misogyny. Based on physiological differences that are generally obvious, they're hard to escape. They've been around virtually forever- certainly since before the founding of the Republic. They shape and pervade all of our economic and social systems.

You can diagram the experience of these two hierarchies pretty simply in four squares: On one axis is gender: Cis male, and everyone else. On the other axis is skin color: White, and everyone else.

The square that includes white males is the square of exclusive privilege. (This is not to say that white males experience no oppression: they certainly do-- homophobia, class discrimination, religious bigotry -among many forms of exclusion- can all apply to white males. But with rare exceptions, they have no experience of living without the assumptions and privileges their gender and skin color bestows.)

Two squares, men of color and white women, live the experience of privilege AND the experience of oppression. We have a broader experience than white men, and a wide variety of options in how we will respond to our own privilege and our own oppression, and how we will use them in connection with others different than ourselves.

Then there is the fourth square, devoid of any privilege at all: Women of color. Their experience and understanding is entirely based in being excluded, being "other", being "not default" or, more simply, struggling against oppression. And that experience is uniquely valuable in a culture that must dismantle two powerful hierarchies of privilege if we are to survive.

I'm not idealizing all women of color as Perfect Warriors in the fight against privilege. The wide variance in life experience, ability, character, exposure to influences, that is a human norm applies to women of color also.

But women of color did not get us into this mess, and their stake in perpetuating it is as minimal as it gets. Their stake in change is greater, accounting for individual variance. And we have finally pried loose enough structural cracks in the system for women of color to wedge their own experience into.

All other variables being equal: Four people born into middle class families in a mid-size American city, bright and motivated enough to acquire good educations, avoid major pitfalls, with similar resume's and holding generally similar ideological preferences, and oriented toward leadership. One from each square.

My first inclination (hey, it's human nature) is to support and trust the one "most like me". The one who shares my experiences. My natural bias is toward believing that she would be the one most likely to 'understand' my needs and define 'what's best for America' in the terms most similar to how I instinctively think of it.

I'm not automatically going with my first inclination anymore. Because it's shaped not only by my lifelong experience of misogyny, but by my lifelong experience of white privilege. That gives me a helluva blind spot. I do my best to stay aware of that privilege, to counter it wherever possible, but I can't turn it off. It defines everything about me as surely as my experience of misogyny.

The disunity and policy chaos of America's current 'culture wars' is toxic enough to make me fear for my grandson's survival. If we can't re-prioritize and innovate radical new social and economic structures for a nation rapidly approaching 400 million very diverse people, everyone's grandchildren are at risk.

We got here because of the blind spots inherent in three squares on that four-square diagram. So, given relative similarities in other variables, I'm inclined to look for leaders who don't have the blind spots of a life of either type of privilege- gender or skin color. I'm inclined to trust their experience in the ways it differs from mine, as well as the ways it is similar to mine.

And therein lies a tremendous opportunity: Women of color share some type of experience with everyone who isn't a white male. Not all, but some. So I'm re-working my screens and re-weighting my filters. I'm looking at women of color who are applying for jobs, opening businesses, reporting the news, creating media, running for office, and above all, sharing their experience of life in America with attention.

I don't want to make demands or load expectations on women of color-- I expect they've had a bellyful of that shit. The expectations are on ME.

This is going in my Journal, because sometimes I think more clearly when I write things out. That's what this is. Me clarifying my own thinking. If you're moved to respond, I'm grateful for the opportunity to "think further on" in the process. But even if no one responds at all, I'm holding myself accountable for not stopping here.


*Hierarchies of privilege (my definition) are those created based on characteristics over which humans have little or no control, such as skin color, gender, place of birth and its attendant language or culture, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, etc. Religion is still included as many religions are associated with ethnic and cultural identity that transcends doctrine or practice. There are other hierarchies- I think of them as "Hierarchies of merit" that are established based on performance and cultural values for specific talents and achievements. They have their own functional value and inherent problems but they're not what I'm talking about here.

When Sex Isn't Sex

It's a good thing our species is programmed to enjoy sex. However you want to describe it, the physiological mechanism of more than one human sharing stimulation that results in orgasmic release is one of the things that keeps our species going.

And not just in terms of reproduction. If you look at our closest relatives, the bonobos, you can see how sexual enjoyment serves a social species by weaving a bonding fabric holding groups together and allowing the formation of complex linkages. Much more functional than the strictly hierarchical dominance mechanisms of other species, mutual sharing of pleasure and the resulting interpersonal and social bonds both enables and requires the development of versatile tools for communication and interaction.

Also, of course, it's fun.

Or at least, it should be.

Sadly, we seem to have made a right hash of things when it comes to sex.

Patriarchal culture and the religious constructs developed to enable and perpetuate its economic and social structures have freighted sex with so much baggage it's hard to tell whether we're even enjoying ourselves, much of the time.

Most sex seems less about having fun with someone else we'd like to form a social or personal bond with, and more about the gratification inherent in either affirming culture-bestowed status and/or privilege or transgressing cultural norms and expectations.

Which is just an overly-sociological way of saying that we have sex to prove how successful we are, or we have sex to prove we can succeed in spite of rules we don't agree with. The physiological pleasure is a nice adjunct, but there's so much more to it than that.

A potpourri of concepts to illustrate this:

The "pickup artist" is an extreme example of the whole "you can tell what an important powerful person I am by the number of people I have sex with. And by their perceived status."

Then there's the "I'm so hot, no one can resist me" person whose self-worth is deeply tied into their perceived sexual attractiveness.

And the people who have internalized various religiously-promoted models of sex in the context of socially and theologically sanctioned relationships, and whose sense of fulfillment is tied into how effectively they are actualizing their chosen model.

Those models are the source of a whole array of transgressive models of sexual pleasure: The thrill of "kinky" sex. The drive to get affirmation of potency or attractiveness long gone from a marriage. The power of pornography to take sexual imagination beyond a mundane here and now.

Very little of that is about "Hey, wanna have fun together? We can rub our bits against each other!"

Sex in our culture is all too rarely about mutual enjoyment and/or forming personal bonds.

It's about self-worth and ego gratification. It's about power. It's about competition. It's about fitting in. It's about social hierarchy. And most of all, it's about selling a product, whether that product is soap or stories or actual bodies.

We have commodified sex for the benefit of a patriarchal culture. If it's even a desirable goal to un-commodify sex, it's not a very realistic possibility within the lifetime of those born after 2010, at any rate. So we may want to re-examine whether it's possible to commodify sex in a way that ensures equity in spite of historic inequity. If so, what would that look like?

What forms of social and economic regulation would it require? How could we prevent those who wish to perpetuate inequitable norms and gratify their own culturally-shaped desires from exploiting such a system?

That's a huge discussion. We can't expect it to go smoothly.

But as with every other conversation about redressing historical oppression and inequity, to be effective it requires awareness of privilege, awareness of the complexities of vulnerability, awareness of history, respect for individual agency, and willingness to examine change.


What "Saving Unborn Babies" While Protecting Women's Rights Over Their Bodies Looks Like

So you want to save unborn babies from being aborted. It's a moral bedrock for you, a do-or-die issue that you'll go to the most extreme barrier imaginable (or unimaginable) to accomplish.

It's about the UNBORN BABIES, not about controlling women, not about trying to restrict their rights, nothing to do with limiting their choices over their lives and their bodies. But when it comes to a choice between those rights, and saving the life of an unborn baby, something MUST give way, and to you, that's the already-born woman's autonomy and control over her body and her choices.

Let's start with a basic stipulation:

Even the most complete legal restrictions on abortion possible or imaginable- even dumping the whole Constitution in the shitter and going full-on "Handmaid's Tale" controls, COMBINED WITH unimaginably sophisticated medical technology, will not accomplish the goal of allowing every conceptus to be carried to term.

You can't even ensure that the majority will be carried to term. Somewhere around sixty percent of natural conceptions fail for one reason or another: They don't implant, they fail to develop, they spontaneously miscarry even before the mother has missed a period, etc.

And some unborn babies have such profound damage that even if they get past the implantation and begin to develop, they will spontaneously abort, sometimes in the process killing the mother.

And some mothers have various conditions in which the effects of the pregnancy may kill them before the unborn baby is even viable enough to incubate.

And some mothers will find ways to kill themselves and their unborn baby if forced to carry the pregnancy, no matter what you do. (There is virtually NO way to prevent someone who is determined to do so, from killing themselves.)

And some mothers will find ways to abort their unborn baby even if it means jail or their own execution for the crime.

But those last four contingencies, you'll say, are RARE.

(There is actually room for dispute about the "rarity" in that last case- women who will find ways to abort, no matter what, based on data accumulated during prior periods of history. But for now, we'll stipulate that women can be sufficiently coerced to make such attempts rare.)

We are also stipulating that you don't really want that level of totalitarian, draconian control. You just want women to make the "morally right" choice to carry every pregnancy to term, and want the law to provide some disincentives to keep women from making a "morally wrong" choice to end their pregnancy.

But disincentives are rarely as powerful as incentives. We're looking to assure maximum possible rights for women, minimum possible "murders of unborn babies".

Is it even possible?

Well, actually, it may be.

What would that look like?

First, contraception would be safe, would not interfere with sexual enjoyment, would be no-cost and easily accessible, and would be available equally to men and women. That is, it would almost always be a positive choice, requiring positive action and consent on behalf of both parties, for a conception to even be possible.

While such contraceptive options aren't quite available yet, they are easily within reach of existing medical technology and could almost certainly be brought into reality with a comparatively modest investment.

At that point, almost every intentional conception would be wanted, and the number of abortions would plummet.

There would still be some "terrible regret" pregnancies, perhaps forcibly initiated in criminal circumstances (that would be "RAPE" ), perhaps entered into willingly and then with a change of relationship or financial circumstances, appearing to be unfeasible for various reasons.

If we focused social resources on raising our boys and young men not to be rapists, that would reduce rape-related pregnancies to very near zero.

And by offering complete and unbiased mental health services, ongoing expert counseling, financial and social support, reliable judicial redress, top-quality health care, and generous adoption programs to the few remaining rape victims, it would be easier for the ones who share the socially-demonstrated value for unborn life to act on that value. They would have confidence in the availability of lifelong generous support for their recovery from the trauma of both the rape and the pregnancy.

It won't keep every single rape victim from exercising the option to abort, but it may substantially make a dent in the number who make that choice, and since we've already reduced rape to a rare occurrence, that would make such choices more than rare.

What about those other "regrets"?

Most of those are rooted in a woman's contemplation of the responsibilities of raising a child with the grotesquely inadequate social and financial support available to single mothers in our society. We could tackle that by making high-quality pregnancy and infant parenting support readily accessible at no cost, making quality child care services universally available and accessible, improving the public education system, subsidizing other costs of raising children for women without financial resources, making health care universal, making college tuition free or low-cost, and ensuring the availability of safe, attractive, affordable housing.

Do all that, and you'll get the "regrets" factor down to almost nothing, as well. Add in generous support for adoption options, reduce it further.

So if you're looking for a world where unborn babies are MOST likely to make it out of the womb and the rights of women to autonomy over their bodies are fully respected, try those three things:

1. Universal, safe, free contraception for both genders.

2. Eliminate the patriarchal fostering of rape culture and enabling of rape as a crime.

3. Provide generous and universally-available support for parenting and raising children.


Yes, there will still be some "RARE" issues to address. But once we've saved so many unborn babies, and rejoiced in their lives, we can probably find common ground and positive ways to address those as well, don't you think?

Or is it really just about controlling women's choices and keeping them from having full autonomy and rights over their bodies?

Be honest, now.


I have never listened to a woman's narration of sexual harassment/assault without...

... according her the respect of believing she is narrating the truth of her experience.

On the other hand, I have never been the responsible party conducting a formal investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, without examining every possible circumstance and every possible item of evidence. And doing so from a point of view that assumes no factual conclusion until after the complete collection and review of evidence is accomplished.

There is a real difference between saying "I believe her" or "I believe him" and saying "My belief about the truth of this matter is founded on the examination of a complete array of evidence."

What the impulse to say "I believe her/him" says about your own experience, your biases, and your assumptions will differ greatly from person to person.

Making an assumption about the source of someone else's impulse to say what they say about belief also reveals something about your own experience, biases, etc.

At some point, the signal-to-noise ratio becomes so disproportionate that the only ones who benefit are those who are deliberately attempting to advance a specific agenda.

At that point, justice gets crowdsourced, which serves no one well.


Can anyone tell me why...

The entire Executive Branch of Virginia state government is five-alarm Major Scandal territory and eating news cycle after news cycle because:

The Governor's racist behavior from medical school was highlighted and he responded in an embarrassingly inept way; and

The Lite Goob has been accused of sexual something-or-other by someone and is bitterly denying it and calling for a full investigation to clear himself of the charges and has referred to his accuser in private with opprobrious and arguably sexist epithets; and

The Attorney General called a meeting and released a statement admitting to racist behavior in his past, too.


The entire Executive Branch of the United States government is a reeking sewer of uncountable, well-evidenced and egregious incidents past AND present, demonstrating rampant and unashamed racism, misogyny, corruption, personal greed, contempt for the truth and criminal negligence, and it's, like, ho-hum, so what?

Can anyone tell me that?

'Cause I seriously want to know.

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