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No More Free Prostitution
March 30, 2006 4:38 PM   Subscribe

It's Time To Get Back To The Basics In Missouri: "A year after Republicans took control of state government, conservative lawmakers are promoting a wide range of social legislation designed to rein in sex and unshackle the Bible." One proposed bill, for example, would recognize a Christian God as the deity for most Missourians. Other bills deny alimony to ex-spouses who live with a boyfriend or girlfriend, ban all abortions, allow pharmacists, insurance companies, doctors and hospitals to deny treatment if the procedure or medication offends their moral values, and require sex education classes to teach that life begins at fertilization and that an unborn child has “sensory awareness” long before birth. Rep. Cynthia Davis, Republican and sponsor of several bills, said conservatives are tired of an overly permissive society in which high school students are taught how to use condoms. "...if the state starts paying for contraceptives we will have more babies than if we just teach people to not expect free prostitution from poor people. "
posted by Secret Life of Gravy (73 comments total)

 
Free prostitution?
posted by rxrfrx at 4:41 PM on March 30, 2006


Yeah, no shit, they have free prostitution in Missouri? ROAD TRIP.
posted by billysumday at 4:43 PM on March 30, 2006


From the second link:
When I was listening to the debate last week I wondered what kind of man would want to enjoy free sex and then expect her to provide for her own contraceptives? These are the kind of men who want free whores.
So Ladies, if you are providing the contraceptive, you are a cheap whore.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:44 PM on March 30, 2006


As a recent graduate of a public school district in this fine state, I'm actually quite pleased at the sex ed I received, which was nowhere near abstinence-only and was indeed quite comprehensive on contraceptives. Not sure how it got to be that way, especially in the conservative exurbs in which I lived, but I hope they can hold up. This state as a whole makes me sad. Now, many miles farther south I am even further in the bible belt, but thankfully tucked in a college campus, which provides a little occasional sanity.
posted by luftmensch at 4:45 PM on March 30, 2006


The only bit that sounds (possibly) reasonable is denying alimony to people with a new live-in partner. I presume that this means 'taking into account the fact that the ex now has someone else's income to rely on', and it would seem like a flaw if that is currently ignored. (Also if it were implemented as a blanket denial of alimony when the new live-in is a poor unemployed artist, of course).
posted by jacalata at 4:50 PM on March 30, 2006


Is much (if not all) of this crazy? Yep. But I gotta respect them for putting their cards on the table, and as a hedonist liberal I hope more of them are upfront about their social intentions.
posted by blefr at 4:50 PM on March 30, 2006


What's wrong with cutting off alimony to ex-spouses who shack up with their latest flame? And what's wrong with allowing doctors to choose what procedures they perform (with patient consent, of course)?
posted by Kwantsar at 4:51 PM on March 30, 2006


In Missouri, people like this have been fouling the legislative process for years with meaningless morality bills, but they consistently fail to the address the lack of healthcare, proper education, and living conditions throughout the poorest of Missouri's counties. Instead of providing meaningful jobs and industry to its citizens, these jackasses are stoking the fear mongering. Take a trip through the bootheel (SE Missouri) and you'll be amazing at how bad it can get in the US.
posted by rabbitsnake at 4:54 PM on March 30, 2006


The Republicans want poor nonwhites to all die of AIDS. If a lot of poor whites get knocked out in that too, well, they were poor after all. It's no big deal to them.
posted by luriete at 4:58 PM on March 30, 2006


Shows what too much crank will do.
posted by telstar at 4:59 PM on March 30, 2006


What are the moral values of a health insurance company? Prexisting conditions are abominations before the Lord our God? Thou shalt not obtain psychological treatment without prior authorization?
posted by Feral at 5:01 PM on March 30, 2006


In Missouri, people like this have been fouling the legislative process for years with meaningless morality bills, but they consistently fail to the address the lack of healthcare, proper education, and living conditions throughout the poorest of Missouri's counties.

That's because MODOT needs funding, silly.
posted by eriko at 5:13 PM on March 30, 2006


I'm tired of people getting away with rambling non sequitur arguments and poor spelling and not having to face up to the consequences of their actions. Cheap logic whores.
posted by bcveen at 5:16 PM on March 30, 2006


Time to move to Missouri!
posted by fraxil at 5:16 PM on March 30, 2006


Just more of the same litmus bills, so the godbotherers can point fingers and fling poo at any legislator with a spine and three brain cells to rub together who stands up and calls this idiotic tripe what it is. They've been making noises like this for a long time here. I seriously think they're ginning up this crapola so they can complain about how oppressed they are.

Fortunately, I live in one of the few oases of relative sanity (or, at least, a different kind of nuttiness) in MO.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 5:28 PM on March 30, 2006


And what's wrong with allowing doctors to choose what procedures they perform (with patient consent, of course)?

That's the way the law is now, of course. The change allows the state to be helpful and provide names and addresses to helpful, pro-life sidewalk counselors, who represent true Republican values.
posted by swell at 5:29 PM on March 30, 2006


Dear The South,

So sorry about the recent unpleasantness. That Lincoln was a loose cannon, you know, what could we do? No, no, Northern aggression, absolutely, you're right, couldn't agree more. But we take it back. No, really. You can go now. You're free!

Goddammnit, RISE AGAIN, FUCKERS!

Love,
The USA
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:31 PM on March 30, 2006


The only bit that sounds (possibly) reasonable is denying alimony to people with a new live-in partner. I presume that this means 'taking into account the fact that the ex now has someone else's income to rely on', and it would seem like a flaw if that is currently ignored. (Also if it were implemented as a blanket denial of alimony when the new live-in is a poor unemployed artist, of course).
posted by jacalata at 7:50 PM EST on March 30

Alimony has nothing to do with 'taking into account the fact that the ex now has someone else's income to rely on.' Alimony is usually awarded to the stay at home partner who has worked as the housekeeper, nanny, errand boy, etc. so that the working partner can keep working. When the marriage is ended alimony is in recognition of unpaid services rendered.

So for example, if a docotor divorces his wife of 20 years so he can marry his cute young nurse the judge might award the ex-wife some portion of his salary. After all the wife has not learned any valuable skills staying at home other than how to mop a floor, while the husband has continued to advance in his field. So you think it is reasonable that he can live with the nurse but if the ex-wife moves in with a new boyfriend her alimony should stop?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:34 PM on March 30, 2006


And what's wrong with allowing doctors to choose what procedures they perform?

Usually, that kind of law comes with a provision that you can't be fired for refusing to do your job. In this case, it looks to me more like a smokescreen to hide the "We won't treat/insure/prescribe to the gays (and the whores, don't forget the free whores)" parade.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:41 PM on March 30, 2006


Around 1998 there was a statewide referendum on allowing concealed weapons which was rejected. A yr or two ago the legislature went ahead and passed a law which was vetoed and then overidden to allow concealed weapons.

I like it here but I don't like the results of republicans taking over the state gov.
posted by wrapper at 5:52 PM on March 30, 2006


I think despite any legislation either way, Missouri would still blow chunks.
posted by cellphone at 5:54 PM on March 30, 2006


And what's wrong with allowing doctors to choose what procedures they perform?

The way I see it, it seems to be a conflict of rights. The supporters of the bill may argue that it's a doctor's right to refuse to perform proceedures, etc., that he/she finds morally objectionable-- but if every doctor in the area refuses to treat a certain patient, for instance, then that's interfering with the patient's right to medical care. It's a matter of which takes precedence.

(That's what a whole thirty seconds' thought leads me to believe, anyway. I could be utterly wrong.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:11 PM on March 30, 2006


I remember in '93, my senior year in a public high school, a memo was sent out to all the teachers in the district forbidding them from so much as mentioning contraception in school (and this in supposedly liberal California).

I had this young but cantankerous English teacher who said something to the effect, "I just received this memo that says I'm forbidden to tell you about contraception. I'm not allowed to tell you that sex is a perfectly natural activity. I'm not allowed to tell you that a condom can help prevent unwanted pregnancy. I'm not allowed to tell you that a condom can help protect you from HIV ..."

And basically told us everything he was forbidden to say. One of the best damn teachers I ever had.
posted by bcveen at 6:18 PM on March 30, 2006


From the letter linked above:
I learned this from teaching my own children: Natural consequences is usually the best teacher.

Oh, IS they? Too bad literacy isn't higher on her agenda.
posted by ColdChef at 6:25 PM on March 30, 2006


"And what's wrong with allowing doctors to choose what procedures they perform (with patient consent, of course)?"

What's wrong with this question as posed?
(C'mon, Kwantsar, you're better than that.)

Just remember, MO, that people get the government they deserve. Time to move the fuck out of MO or get active if you don't like the laws.
posted by klangklangston at 6:34 PM on March 30, 2006


Okay, let's go over this again: In November we vote for even a yellow dog if it's a Democrat.

So, say a yellow dog runs for dogcatcher and this dog is a Democrat. That dog has a new job. Got it?

We drive the evil Republicans from office. With control of state houses and congress, we then impeach and imprison. Ta Da!
posted by BillyElmore at 6:36 PM on March 30, 2006


(Though I will grant that state legislatures, especially through the recent rounds of gerrymandering, have tended to misrepresent their constituencies as backwards demogogues and sputtering morons. In our state, though the vast vast vast majority of people live in urban areas, rural districts make up the bulk of the reps and the Republicans get all sorts of retarded shit passed around the legislature, including a current bill that would ban state money from supporting, even indirectly, movies that feature tampons, because some state rep saw an art film that he didn't like).
posted by klangklangston at 6:37 PM on March 30, 2006


Natural consequeces will follow willful ignorace.
posted by longsleeves at 6:38 PM on March 30, 2006


Bottom line: publicly funded contraception will create additional moral squaller (sic) and works against the Republican principle of encouraging personal responsibility.

It's true, babies are pretty loud and all....
posted by jokeefe at 6:52 PM on March 30, 2006


Just remember, MO, that people get the government they deserve.

You forget -- we voted for the dead guy, and look what happened.
posted by eriko at 7:12 PM on March 30, 2006


Wait a second, which party represents the nanny state again?
posted by fungible at 7:44 PM on March 30, 2006


wrapper: I don't know what you're getting at, other than it seems like an underhanded dig on the concealed weapons law. Here is the MO state statute regarding concealed weapons. Read it, you might be very surprised to see that you actually have to prove to the Sheriff that you're a competent & responsible firearm owner.
posted by drstein at 8:28 PM on March 30, 2006


I've got a lot of kin in Missouri. I was visiting them one time and the big joke was that "Iowa" stands for "Idiots Out Wandering Around." I thought it was funny; then I thought, "Uh, you live in Missouri."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:30 PM on March 30, 2006


Eriko, look on the bright side at least Ashcroft wasn't bad enough to get a second term in Bush's demeritocracy.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:38 PM on March 30, 2006


Dear The South, ...

Uh, Missouri was not part of the South (It was a "Border State" that never seceeded from the Union, although it suffered from some internal unrest). Maybe you are thinking of Mississippi.

It is the "show me" state, though. I wonder if that has anything to do with the free prostitution.
posted by moonbiter at 9:00 PM on March 30, 2006


And just because he hasn't gotten em yet, props to billysumday for this.

I laughed for about a minute and a half.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:09 PM on March 30, 2006


FWIW Cynthia Davis is a nutcase who doesn't even have any respect among the Repubs. She introduces a few reasonable looking a a few nutty bills every year but I've yet to see any of them (reasonable or nutty) go anywhere. Pls wake me up when one does . . .
posted by flug at 9:29 PM on March 30, 2006


Other bills deny alimony to ex-spouses who live with a boyfriend or girlfriend

What's wrong with that?
posted by delmoi at 9:47 PM on March 30, 2006


Incidentally reading the letter written by Cynthia Davis (linked above) is exactly like talking to here in person. That is to say, there are moments of lucidity, but they're just that--moments.

For hours (Ok, well, moments anyway) of entertainment, don't miss the articles on Davis's web site.
posted by flug at 9:47 PM on March 30, 2006


...if the state starts paying for contraceptives we will have more babies than if we just teach people to not expect free prostitution from poor people. "

I'm sure you're aware of this, but while that sentance parses, that's about it. It makes no sense at all.
posted by delmoi at 9:49 PM on March 30, 2006


Okay, let's go over this again: In November we vote for even a yellow dog if it's a Democrat.

So, say a yellow dog runs for dogcatcher and this dog is a Democrat. That dog has a new job. Got it?


Is that what "Yellow Dog Democrat" means?

I once heard Jane Fonda on CNN talking about how women needed to go out and vote, in order to be independent. Then she said she couldn't vote republican because her dad was a "yellow dog" democrat.

Way to be independent...
posted by delmoi at 9:57 PM on March 30, 2006


"What's wrong with cutting off alimony to ex-spouses who shack up with their latest flame?"

Because living together doesn't automatically imply any particular financial arrangement? I've co-habitated with my SO without providing support or being supported. I realize that may be a hard concept for a backwards-ass hillbilly dickhead to understand, but it's the 21st goddamned century already. Come join us, won't you?
posted by 2sheets at 10:40 PM on March 30, 2006


What's wrong with cutting off alimony to ex-spouses who shack up with their latest flame? And what's wrong with allowing doctors to choose what procedures they perform (with patient consent, of course)?

I would argue what is right with alimony to being with, when the beneficiary isn't a minor. She/He may shag whatever, that's not relevant. About the doctors, obviously they wouldn't listen to your consent expression, because they have a special thang with Jesus
they speak with him like Bush, so why bother listening to you pathetic sinnner swine wishes !

When the marriage is ended alimony is in recognition of unpaid services rendered.
OK then register the houseworking wife/husband as such and pay him/her a monthly income/health/retirement, if your income allows to do so. Or if the income doesn't allow monetization, then one should recognize a credit in value guaranteed by some solid good like an house which would be mandatorily sold in the event of divorce. Point being I don't see why I should have a right to a portion of your future income , considering also that it could become close to zero and not because of my fault, but because you become a slacker or a sick person that can't work.

Another point is if you are poor there is no entry cost in marriage, but there could be many in exiting. It's a kind of a trap.

What are the moral values of a health insurance company?
Companies are virtual entities, they don't have morals. ANY morals. People who run them have morals tho, maximization of profit at expense of masses rings something ?

Thou shalt not obtain psychological treatment without prior authorization?
Thou shalt not ! God forbid you realize sky-gods are world most common and dangerous delusion, God forbid somebody realize priests of any kind derive their authority from selling your a sky god will fry you in hell or give you 70 virgins !
posted by elpapacito at 10:48 PM on March 30, 2006


I realize that may be a hard concept for a backwards-ass hillbilly dickhead to understand, but it's the 21st goddamned century already. Come join us, won't you?

yeah, it's really funny how our resident sexist pigs are usually betrayed by their own "arguments" -- they try to play "nice" and "reasonable" and all and then they just assume that, really, sharing a home means that one party (the Man, of course) is financially supporting the other (the greedy bitch). just like that "Martin Luther Coon" radio guy, sometimes their instincts just prevail their tactical "good manners".


*adds 2sheets as a contact*
posted by matteo at 11:27 PM on March 30, 2006


matteo, I find it amusing that the assumptions you're so contemptous of were actually made by Secret Life of Gravy while she argued the same side as you are. As to the 'resident sexist pig' etc, I happen to be female, and to cohabit with my boyfriend without any financial support from him.

Perhaps my position would be better stated as: given that alimony cuts off once the ex has remarried, it does not sound unreasonable for it to cut off once she/he/IT for god's sake, has entered any new relationship where someone else is supporting her useless trophy wife ass (to paraphrase Secret Life of Gravy).

Here in Australia, living together seems to be treated more like marriage over in the US - after a year of cohabitation, you count (roughly) the same as married for welfare and tax and so on. So it seems that it's more of a radical idea in the US than it would be here. (To me, of course, it seems far more backwards to assume that there is no real relationship without marriage, but each hillbilly to his own).
posted by jacalata at 12:26 AM on March 31, 2006


No, no, jacalata. You are a hillbilly dickhead and a sexist pig.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:47 AM on March 31, 2006


How many people actually get alimony anymore? Isn't it just limited to rich folks breakups?
posted by haikuku at 5:50 AM on March 31, 2006


while that sentance parses, that's about it. It makes no sense at all.

It's a step up from the recent bill barring colorless green ideas from sleeping furiously anywhere in the state.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:53 AM on March 31, 2006


has entered any new relationship where someone else is supporting her useless trophy wife ass (to paraphrase Secret Life of Gravy).
WTF!
Who is talking about a "useless trophy wife" you jackass? Who says that moving in with someone means the ex is now being "supported."Congratulations on your failure to read and comprehend basic English.

Do I think Alimony laws should change? Yes, when the institution of Marriage changes ( it is slowly evolving.) But as it stands now the "traditional" stay-at-home wife/mother (or sometimes husband) that Republicans are so frequently pushing for means one partner stays at home and does all the grunt work without gaining any new skills, racking up seniority, or acquiring a pension.

So the marriage ends. The stay-at-home person now has no job, no insurance, no benefits, no work history, and no retirement plan. If he or she has been married long enough-- say 20 or 30 years-- there may be no chance of developing these things at all and alimony awarded by a judge takes that into account. What lovers this person takes, what cost-cutting measures this person should choose (such as sharing living quarters) should be nobody's business.

If you really want Alimony to end then you have to be prepared for each person entering a marriage to be equally devoted to both the children and the career. That means the couple take turns taking a day off when little Johnny stays home from school sick, or when the service man/woman is expected to come fix the furnace. That means arranging schedules for picking up children, making dinner, taking the dog to the vet, etc. should be doled out fairly. One person cannot put in all the late nights and weekends at the office while the other watches the children because that will end up in unfairly advancing one person's career.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:56 AM on March 31, 2006


So... if they were in a fight with Iran who would win?
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on March 31, 2006


Now you know why my sister moved back to the Chicago area from St. Louis.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:34 AM on March 31, 2006


I'm not sure I like the idea of ending stay at home spouses. Not to say that people shouldn't be able to arrange their lives however they want, but since when must people take on the burden of career? Since when does that enter the calculus? Some people are suited to be homemakers; they enjoy being at home, doing the chores, making dinner regardless of their sex. Should they not? Should they have to take on a career no matter what?

Although I don't believe our present alimony system is best, I wouldn't want to take it away all together, else we don't see the value of the homemaker, the childraiser. All we see are the dollar signs for the career.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2006


Geez, who here is getting alimony? Seems like a much touchier subject than I ever would have guessed.

The comment 'useless trophy wife' was a bit of a troll. Sorry.

The statement 'new relationship where she is being supported' was NOT equated directly with 'moving in', however I then stated that I thought it fairly backward to assume that there is no support unless the couple is married. I then told you guys that where I am, cohabitation is treated as a legal relationship (including implied support), which skewed my initial response.

I now realise that part of the problem here is that I already absolutely expect equality within a marriage. I'm never going to be a housewife who can't read a technical journal. I don't know anyone my age who does expect to be a 'housewife', except the weird religious kids. So I can't imagine ever being a helpless discarded wife who was willing to depend on her former partner, and I find it grotesquely unfair to imagine supporting a former spouse who has since moved on, made her own life and can support herself (either in her new job or with her new partner or with manna from heaven, whatever).

I also find it kind of weird that you present the idea of expecting equality as though it were some fantastically out-there proposal that is meant to make me go 'well, I wouldn't go THAT far!'. I sort of thought it was normal to expect it.
posted by jacalata at 8:18 AM on March 31, 2006


I wonder when the non-fundie folks that help enable Republicans (folks like my dad, and Kwantsar, and dios, and ParisParamus) are going to wake up to the theocratic, medievalist Frankenstein they helped create?

I mean really, you guys have screwed up big time. On the one hand, you have fundie theocrats that reject the last 300 years, and on the other you have corrupt thieves pulling the strings.

On the bad days I really do think we're heading for fascism, theocracy, or civil war.

Nice job. And all for what? To support those that stoked an irrational fear of a vague and shifting notion of leftism.
posted by teece at 8:28 AM on March 31, 2006


Fuck it. If this is what the people of Missouri want, let the people of Missouri have it. Anyone who doesn't like it can leave, and those who can't afford to leave, well, get to voting.

Any Missouri women who turn up in neighboring states for an abortion should be turned away. Sorry, no, you're from that "moral" state so you can't possibly be interested in this procedure anyway, go back and sin no more.

Meanwhile, while Missouri's all gittin' good with God, the other issues will go unaddressed, and the state as a whole will fall further behind.

Virtually every economic development type you talk to anywhere will tell you that the future depends largely upon "knowledge-based" jobs and industry. Lemme tell ya, high-tech firms that, say, do research on stem cells will find somewhere besides Missouri to go; the young, highly-educated demographic that communities crave are unlikely to want to live in a community so dead-set on going back to the future.

This is how Missouri - and this is how America - stops dead in its tracks, stops progressing, permits other nations to pass us in terms of quality of life, in terms of scientific research, perhaps ultimately in terms of economic vibrancy.

But at least we be moral!
posted by kgasmart at 8:29 AM on March 31, 2006


For hours (Ok, well, moments anyway) of entertainment, don't miss the articles on Davis's web site.
posted by flug


I thought I'd pick up some quotes and lay into the Honorable Mule; but, the second document got me shaking my head and thinking, "Is a 2x4 going to be enough?" and "Only in Missouri." Then I realized...nope not only in Missouri. Then I lost all taste for Ms. Davis' nonsense.

This'll have to do. Sex ed belongs where? Home? Doctor's office? Church? "Since sex is only for married people and since children in the public schools are not married, why should this mandate be on all Missouri schools?"

Sex education belongs primarily in the home. Since it involves the body, the physical part belongs in a medical doctor’s office. Since it involves morals, the spiritual part belongs in churches. Most public schools offer sex education because they have lost
confidence that children will be properly informed by their parents. Our state law says that all sex education must also include a presentation of all forms of contraception. Since sex is only for married people and since children in the public schools are not married, why should this mandate be on all Missouri schools? What if you have a school district where the parents would rather save the contraception discussion for the privacy of their homes?

The main reason why this bill failed was because there was no “grass roots” support for it.


http://www.cynthiadavis.net/pdf/article_sex_education.pdf

Yellow dog, Blue dog
What'cha gonna' do dog?

posted by taosbat at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2006


This is how Missouri - and this is how America - stops dead in its tracks, stops progressing, permits other nations to pass us in terms of quality of life, in terms of scientific research, perhaps ultimately in terms of economic vibrancy.

At one time, the Islamic world was the perhaps the primary center of science and developed culture on earth.

The fundmentalist Islamic movements (Wahabists, Salafists) are not holdovers from medieval times, they arose in reaction to the perceived threat of modernism.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:42 AM on March 31, 2006


Fuck it. If this is what the people of Missouri want, let the people of Missouri have it. Anyone who doesn't like it can leave, and those who can't afford to leave, well, get to voting.

Get to running or get to voting? You can run but you can't hide. Best get to organizing.
posted by taosbat at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2006


The fundmentalist Islamic movements (Wahabists, Salafists) are not holdovers from medieval times, they arose in reaction to the perceived threat of modernism.

And isn't the fundamentalist movement in this country a reaction to the very same thing?

Is it any coincidence that at a time when history seems to be moving faster as a result of technology, at a time when science is making tremendous strides, when the world is changing at a dizzying pace that there is a subset of society that seeks a mooring in this storm?

That's a charitable way to put it. But what galls me most about the fundagelicals is they seem to believe that legislation can change men's (and women's) hearts; and as they invest their legislative energies in this, what needs to unaddressed? Health care? Fuck it; we've got to get God back in school.

And so getting God back in school actively impoverishes the citizenry. I sometimes wonder if this isn't exactly how those reactionary Islamist societies got that way.
posted by kgasmart at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2006


"And isn't the fundamentalist movement in this country a reaction to the very same thing?"

Yes. As was Fascism in Germany, Italy and Spain (and France, frankly).
Though you could argue that it's even more a backlash against post-modernism, which is the ambiguity that Enlightenment individualism and Modernist industrialization built.

(But sonofsamiam's point was a good one.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:00 AM on March 31, 2006


I wonder when the non-fundie folks that help enable Republicans (folks like my dad, and Kwantsar, and dios, and ParisParamus) are going to wake up to the theocratic, medievalist Frankenstein they helped create?

For the record, I've never voted for a Republican in a national election, so I don't know that I've really "enabled" much of anything, teece, but I find theocracy and corporatism just slightly (no sarcasm) less objectionable than collectivism and identity politics.

When people on your side of the aisle get serious about, oh, say, ending the war on drugs, curtailing police abuse, paying attention to the fifth amendment, promoting free trade, ending the cigarette cartel, intellectual property reform, privacy rights, or corporate welfare, I'll start enabling them instead.

In other words, there are plenty of things that a portion of the modern-day left stands for that I find palatable, but I've got a hunch that I'll never see them do anything about it as long as "free markets are slavery" is the number one message coming out of the camp.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2006


And isn't the fundamentalist movement in this country a reaction to the very same thing?

Yeah, that's what I was getting at.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2006


"When people on your side of the aisle get serious about, oh, say, ending the war on drugs, curtailing police abuse, paying attention to the fifth amendment, promoting free trade, ending the cigarette cartel, intellectual property reform, privacy rights, or corporate welfare, I'll start enabling them instead."

Psst... Kwantsar... Aside from the "free trade" bit (which means too many things to too many people), that's what most liberals are for. The problem is finding politicians like that and getting them elected.
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 AM on March 31, 2006


(But maybe I'm just biased because my general support of globalization was one of the things that led a girlfriend to dump me...)
posted by klangklangston at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2006


And isn't the fundamentalist movement in this country a reaction to the very same thing?

Yeah, that's what I was getting at.


But then the question becomes, how do you get past this - or DO you get past it?

What I think is going to happen in this country - and particulary once Roe v. Wade is overturned and it goes back to the individual states - is this:

Some states will go the way of Missouri, or South Dakota. They may, in fact, become expressly Christian states; at any rate they will ban abortion and stem cell research entirely, reintroduce the Bible into school - and teachers/administrators will evangelize. And who knows, maybe some go even further. Maybe condoms are banned not only in schools, but from the shelves of stores; perhaps possession of pornography becomes a felony. Those might be the "next wave" of moralism, once the first wave has been put into legislation.

Meanwhile, there will be other states that won't go this route; New York, California, Massachusetts... really, you might be able to pick which ones will and which won't from the red and blue map of the 2004 election.

But ultimately I believe the "red" states will reap the whirlwind from this, for the reasons I've outlined in the posts above. As their manufacturing base continues to crumble, they'll do nothing about it, and as they pass progressively harsher, more restrictive legislation, they will find it difficult to attract tech industries, they will find that their brain drain intensifies. All of it will have a manifest effect, all of it will make the red states poorer still.

The blue states, on the other hand, won't have those problems. Oh, they'll be beset by all the problems of "morality" they have now (though murder rates will likely remain higher in the red states, as will divorce rates and all those other indicators). But their economies will have a better chance of flourishing in a less-restrictive environment. More and better investment will come; the demographics of their work forces will be significantly younger, better educated and ultimately more affluent. The blue states will be better off.

And boy, isn't that going to spark all KINDS of resentment from those uber-moral red states.

It's the recipe for another civil war, maybe. The historians out there can tell me how some permutation of this was an underlying factor behind the last one.

But in any event, I see this nation becoming two, distinct Americas. And I sure as hell know which one I choose to live in.
posted by kgasmart at 9:24 AM on March 31, 2006


How do you get past it? Natural disaster. Depression. Catastrophe. Large scale war.

Liberals get complacent and greedy, and people don't think about anything larger than themselves until they have to. Long needed reforms in this country only happened because of the Depression and world wars. Basically, the country has to get into a deep enough hole (usually involving disparity of wealth, but not always) that it forces people to act. Otherwise, well, try to influence local politics. You can do a lot more there than you know.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 AM on March 31, 2006


Psst... Kwantsar... Aside from the "free trade" bit (which means too many things to too many people), that's what most liberals are for. The problem is finding politicians like that and getting them elected.

And most conservatives are for reducing the size of the government, (approximately) balanced budgets, means-testing of Medicare and SS, and property rights. The problem is finding politicians who practice what they preach. Nonetheless, I am but a tool, a patsy, if you will, while teece is a paragon of reasoned enlightenment.

And of course, the left has FDR to thank for fusionism.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:53 AM on March 31, 2006


As a lifelong resident of Missouri, even though I'm Unitarian, I think it would be a mighty step in the right direction were the state to become officially Christian. I

With 17 flavors of Baptist Episcopal Methodist Covenents in any given neighborhood, getting an entire state to agree upon one kind of Christianity to practice would be impossible, so it would have to be based entirely on undisputed portions of Jesus's moral teaching.

Then our boy governor, Matt Blunt, couldn't take healthcare away from babies, or cut off our elderly from the Medicaid rolls like so many gangrenous arms. He couldn't give our public lands to private interests.

Matt Blunt and his Congressional cohorts would have to take their role as public servant to heart, serving the public as opposed to the corporate highest good. They would spend part of each day on the steps of the capitol building, washing the feet of the least among us.

Of course, this current crop of Republican moral absolutists would have to look upon their fellows and love them and care for them. Anyone condemning another would have to earn their right to cast stones, and few could.

Every child born in the state would bask in the glow of a community of loving people, tending each other in selfless and meaningful ways.

Everyone would have the healthcare they need to be as productive or comfortable as they can be.

Campaign contributions from defense contractors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, the NRA, tobacco companies, etc., would have to be returned graciously.

Minimum wage would be a living one, no one could be made to endure the discomfort of being evangelized by the narrow-minded, pinched imaginations of those who could actually read the bible and see a work of absolute non-fiction.

Our children would be taught to turn the other cheek in school and have respect for those who are different. They would never be hungry. They would always be able to get the medical help they deserve.

Generous pensions would be a fact of life for retirees. Anyone could go to college. All children would be treated like the gems they are and loved accordingly. Brotherly love would be the prevailing attitude, not greed, judgment and scorn.

People like John Ashcroft would become so uncomfortable, they would charter planes to other continents to live out their days in ignoble oblivion.

Something tells me that's not what they have in mind.
posted by wordswinker at 10:00 AM on March 31, 2006


wordswinker, I think you're mistaking actual Christianity for Right Wing Apocalyptic Do-As-We-Say-Not-As-We-Do Daddy State Holy Sword of The Lord Will Cut Joo, Sinner Christianity.

I appreciate your imaginative foray, but really what's going on is an attempt to forcibly dominate a population, using "Christianity" as a smokescreen. It's worked before, so they're trying it again.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:32 AM on March 31, 2006


Kwantsar, I didn't think you voted for a Republican. But, alas, we live in a two party state. Hating the enemy of the Republicans is, at the end of the day, almost as effective as loving Republicans. Which is part of the problem of a two party system, but that is what we are stuck with.

It is in that respect that I suspect one can enable in an oblique fashion. How? Well, by choosing to ignore the odious things Davis wants to implement, and instead carp on those that oppose her because, in opposing her, they also oppose something less innocuous (but badly motivated) in her proposal. Methinks that is not an isolated incident, and it amounts to a kind of weak support for Republican ideas.

But mostly, I was antagonizing you a bit, because it's fun ;-)

(And I think your understanding of liberal positions is pretty superficial, but that's an argument for another day).
posted by teece at 1:01 PM on March 31, 2006


Hating the enemy of the Republicans is, at the end of the day, almost as effective as loving Republicans.

Who is the Republican's enemy supposed to be again? Warmonger H Clinton?

I'll probably vote Dem just to protest against the Reps this year, but they've been on board with nearly all of these terrible policies, putting up only the most perfunctory protests.

See: NSA spying. 95% of Democrats care more about looking tough on terrists than the Constitution.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:15 PM on March 31, 2006


Zoogleplex wrote:

wordswinker, I think you're mistaking actual Christianity for Right Wing Apocalyptic Do-As-We-Say-Not-As-We-Do Daddy State Holy Sword of The Lord Will Cut Joo, Sinner Christianity.

No, in fact the opposite is true. I was being ironic. The fact is that the kind of Christianity I described exists more powerfully in my imagination than in anything exhibited by the religious right. Their behavior could not be less influenced by the truly radical Christian theology of grace, forgiveness, redemption and love.

They're angry, powerful, rich-- not the characteristics of a population in possession of a rich spiritual life. They display no working knowledge of the concept of turning the other cheek. Their compassion is for themselves and their notion of "doing unto others" has no second clause.


In the meantime, good Christians who take their faith seriously, who go around in quiet ways, making the world a nicer place to be, get maligned with the same tar as the religious right.

There's much more to Christianity than is imagined within the right wing's world view, and much of what they call "morality" is just homemade sin tarted up to look like like it belongs in church.
posted by wordswinker at 1:59 PM on March 31, 2006


See: NSA spying. 95% of Democrats care more about looking tough on terrists than the Constitution.

Sadly true. But that is not even remotely the same thing as saying that Democrats would be doing the same thing, or even a similar thing, were they in power. Think carefully about the distinction.

Democrats are hopelessly ineffectual right now. They're lost, they have cowards and dopes in leadership positions, etc. They've been scared by Republicans into thinking if they oppose them they will be destroyed. As a result, they've been amazingly bad at opposing some really, really bad politicians over the last 10 years.

But, in the last 26 years, during the 8 years in which a Democrat was in office as President, the damage done to the country has been remarkably less than those other 18 years. Ditto the change in 1994 that brought Republicans into the Congress (although the Rs did have a few OK years in the mid 90s before they went to shit).

At some point, you have to bite the bullet and realize you've been taken for a ride by hucksters in bed with a bunch of frightening religious zealots. That's essentially what has happened to the Republican party.

Want change? You have two choices. Reform the Republican party from the inside, or vote Democrat (and hopefully work on reforming that party from the inside, too). Many independents, liberal-haters, and conservative-haters do not get this simple fact of American electoral politics.
posted by teece at 2:16 PM on March 31, 2006


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