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History of Abortion

The following is an excerpt from the “Abortion” chapter of Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century

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HISTORY OF ABORTION

Over several centuries and in different cultures, there is a rich history of women helping each other to abort. Until the late 1800s, women healers in Western Europe and the U.S. provided abortions and trained other women to do so, without legal prohibitions.

The State didn’t prohibit abortion until the 19th century, nor did the Church lead in this new repression. In 1803, Britain first passed antiabortion laws, which then became stricter throughout the century. The U.S. followed as individual states began to outlaw abortion. By 1880, most abortions were illegal in the U.S., except those “necessary to save the life of the woman.” But the tradition of women’s right to early abortion was rooted in U.S. society by then; abortionists continued to practice openly with public support, and juries refused to convict them.

Abortion became a crime and a sin for several reasons. A trend of humanitarian reform in the mid-19th century broadened liberal support for criminalization, because at that time abortion was a dangerous procedure done with crude methods, few antiseptics, and high mortality rates. But this alone cannot explain the attack on abortion. For instance, other risky surgical techniques were considered necessary for people’s health and welfare and were not prohibited. “Protecting” women from the dangers of abortion was actually meant to control them and restrict them to their traditional child-bearing role. Antiabortion legislation was part of an antifeminist backlash to the growing movements for suffrage, voluntary motherhood, and other women’s rights in the 19th century. *For more information, see Linda Gordon’s Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right, rev. ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 1990).

At the same time, male doctors were tightening their control over the medical profession. Doctors considered midwives, who attended births and performed abortions as part of their regular practice, a threat to their own economic and social power. The medical establishment actively took up the antiabortion cause in the second half of the 19th century as part of its effort to eliminate midwives.

Finally, with the declining birth rate among whites in the late 1800s, the U.S. government and the eugenics movement warned against the danger of “race suicide” and urged white, native-born women to reproduce. Budding industrial capitalism relied on women to be unpaid household workers, low-paid menial workers, reproducers, and socializers of the next generation of workers. Without legal abortion, women found it more difficult to resist the limitations of these roles.

Then, as now, making abortion illegal neither eliminated the need for abortion nor prevented its practice. In the 1890s, doctors estimated that there were two million abortions a year in the U.S. (compared with one and a half million today). Women who are determined not to carry an unwanted pregnancy have always found some way to try to abort. All too often, they have resorted to dangerous, sometimes deadly methods, such as inserting knitting needles or coat hangers into the vagina and uterus, douching with dangerous solutions like lye, or swallowing strong drugs or chemicals. The coat hanger has become a symbol of the desperation of millions of women who have risked death to end a pregnancy. When these attempts harmed them, it was hard for women to obtain medical treatment; when these methods failed, women still had to find an abortionist.

Illegal Abortion

Many of us do not know what it was like to need an abortion before legalization. Women who could afford to pay skilled doctors or go to another country had the safest and easiest abortions. Most women found it difficult if not impossible to arrange and pay for abortions in medical settings.

With one exception, the doctors whom I asked for an abortion treated me with contempt, their attitudes ranging from hostile to insulting. One said to me, “You tramps like to break the rules, but when you get caught you all come crawling for help in the same way.”

The secret world of illegal abortion was mostly frightening and expensive. Although there were skilled and dedicated laywomen and doctors who performed safe, illegal abortions, most illegal abortionists, doctors, and those who claimed to be doctors cared only about being well rewarded for their trouble. In the 1960s, abortionists often turned women away if they could not pay $1,000 or more in cash. Some male abortionists insisted on having sexual relations before the abortion.

Abortionists emphasized speed and their own protection. They often didn’t use anesthesia because it took too long for women to recover, and they wanted women out of the office as quickly as possible. Some abortionists were rough and sadistic. Almost no one took adequate precautions against hemorrhage or infection.

Typically, the abortionist would forbid the woman to contact him or her again. Often she wouldn’t know his or her real name. If a complication occurred, harassment by the law was a frightening possibility. The need for secrecy isolated women having abortions and those providing them.

In the 1950s, about a million illegal abortions a year were performed in the U.S., and over a thousand women died each year as a result. Women who were victims of botched or unsanitary abortions came in desperation to hospital emergency wards, where some died of widespread abdominal infections. Many women who recovered from such infections found themselves sterile or chronically and painfully ill. The enormous emotional stress often lasted a long time.

Poor women and women of color ran the greatest risks with illegal abortions. In 1969, 75% of the women who died from abortions (most of them illegal) were women of color. Of all legal abortions in that year, 90% were performed on white private patients.

The Push for Legal Abortion

In the 1960s, inspired by the civil rights and antiwar movements, women began to fight more actively for their rights. The fast-growing women’s movement took the taboo subject of abortion to the public. Rage, pain, and fear burst out in demonstrations and speakouts as women burdened by years of secrecy got up in front of strangers to talk about their illegal abortions. Women marched and rallied and lobbied for abortion on demand. Civil liberties groups and liberal clergy joined in these efforts to support women.

Reform came gradually. A few states liberalized abortion laws, allowing women abortions in certain circumstances (e.g., pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, being under 15 years of age) but leaving the decision up to doctors and hospitals. Costs were still high and few women actually benefited.

In 1970, New York State went further, with a law that allowed abortion on demand through the 24th week from the LMP if it was done in a medical facility by a doctor. A few other states passed similar laws. Women who could afford it flocked to the few places where abortions were legal. Feminist networks offered support, loans, and referrals and fought to keep prices down. But for every woman who managed to get to New York, many others with limited financial resources or mobility did not. Illegal abortion was still common. The fight continued; several cases before the Supreme Court urged the repeal of all restrictive state laws.

On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the famous Roe v. Wadedecision, stated that the “right of privacy…founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” The Court held that through the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, only a pregnant woman and her doctor have the legal right to make the decision about an abortion. States can restrict second-trimester abortions only in the interest of the woman’s safety. Protection of a “viable fetus” (able to survive outside the womb) is allowed only during the third trimester. If a pregnant woman’s life or health is endangered, she cannot be forced to continue the pregnancy.

Abortion After Legalization

Though Roe v. Wade left a lot of power to doctors and to government, it was an important victory for women. Although the decision did not guarantee that women would be able to get abortions when they wanted to, legalization and the growing consciousness of women’s needs brought better, safer abortion services. For the women who had access to legal abortions, severe infections, fever, and hemorrhaging from illegal or self- induced abortions became a thing of the past. Women health care workers improved their abortion techniques. Some commercial clinics hired feminist abortion activists to do counseling. Local women’s groups set up public referral services, and women in some areas organized women-controlled nonprofit abortion facilities. These efforts turned out to be just the beginning of a longer struggle to preserve legal abortion and to make it accessible to all women.

Although legalization greatly lowered the cost of abortion, it still left millions of women in the U.S., especially women of color and young, rural women, and/or women with low incomes, without access to safe, affordable abortions. State regulations and funding have varied widely, and second-trimester abortions are costly. Even when federal Medicaid funds paid for abortions, fewer than 20% of all public county and city hospitals actually provided them. This meant that about 40% of U.S. women never benefited from liberalized abortion laws.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, feminist health centers around the country provided low-cost abortions that emphasized quality of care, and they maintained political involvement in the reproductive rights movement. Competition from other abortion providers, harassment by the IRS, and a profit- oriented economy made their survival difficult. By the early 1990s, only 20 to 30 of these centers remained.

Eroding Abortion Rights: After Roe v. Wade

When the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, the antiabortion forces, led initially by the Catholic Church hierarchy, began a serious mobilization using a variety of political tactics including pastoral plans, political lobbying, campaigning, public relations, papal encyclicals, and picketing abortion clinics. The Church hierarchy does not truly represent the views of U.S. Catholics on this issue or the practice of Catholic women, who have abortions at a rate slightly higher than the national average for all women.

Other religious groups, like the Mormons and some representatives of Jewish orthodoxy, have traditionally opposed abortion. In the 1980s, rapidly growing fundamentalist Christian groups, which overlap with the New Right and “right- to-life” organizations, were among the most visible boosters of the antiabortion movement. These antiabortion groups talk as if all truly religious and moral people disapprove of abortion. This is not true now and never has been.

The long-range goal of the antiabortion movement is to outlaw abortion. Their short-range strategy has been to attack access to abortion, and they have had successes. The most vulnerable women–young women; women with low incomes, of whom a disproportionate number are women of color; all women who depend on the government for their health care–have borne the brunt of these attacks on abortion rights.

The antiabortion movement’s first victory, a major setback to abortion rights, came in July 1976, when Congress passed the Hyde Amendment banning Medicaid funding for abortion unless a woman’s life was in danger. Following the federal government, many states stopped funding “medically unnecessary” abortions. The result was immediate in terms of harm and discrimination against women living in poverty. In October 1977, Rosie Jimeaanez, a Texas woman, died from an illegal abortion in Mexico, after Texas stopped funding Medicaid abortions.

It is impossible to count the number of women who have been harmed by the Hyde Amendment, but before Hyde, one-third of all abortions were Medicaid funded: 294,000 women per year. (Another 133,000 Medicaid-eligible women who needed abortions were unable to gain access to public funding for the procedure.) Without state funding, many women with unwanted pregnancies are forced to have babies, be sterilized, or have abortions using money needed for food, rent, clothing, and other necessities.

Although a broad spectrum of groups fought against the Hyde Amendment, countering this attack on women who lack financial resources was not a priority of the pro-choice movement. There was no mass mobilization or public outcry. In the long run, this hurt the pro-choice movement, as the attack on Medicaid funding was the first victory in the antiabortion movement’s campaign to deny access to abortion for all women.

Young women’s rights have been a particular target of the antiabortion movement. About 40% of the one million teens who become pregnant annually choose abortion. Parental involvement laws, requiring that minors seeking abortions either notify their parents or receive parental consent, affect millions of young women. As of early 1997, 35 states have these laws; 23 states enforce them. In some states, a physician is required to notify at least one parent either in person, by phone, or in writing. Health care providers face loss of license and sometimes criminal penalties for failure to comply.

Antiabortion forces have also used illegal and increasingly violent tactics, including harassment, terrorism, violence, and murder. Since the early 1980s, clinics and providers have been targets of violence. Over 80% of all abortion providers have been picketed or seriously harassed. Doctors and other workers have been the object of death threats, and clinics have been subject to chemical attacks (for example, butyric acid), arson, bomb threats, invasions, and blockades. In the late 1980s, a group called Operation Rescue initiated a strategy of civil disobedience by blockading clinic entrances and getting arrested. There were thousands of arrests nationwide as clinics increasingly became political battlefields.

In the 1990s, antiabortionists increasingly turned to harassment of individual doctors and their families, picketing their homes, following them, and circulating “Wanted” posters. Over 200 clinics have been bombed. After 1992, the violence became deadly. The murder of two doctors and an escort at a clinic in Pensacola, Florida, was followed by the murder of two women receptionists at clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts. A health care provider spoke about the impact of the violence:

The fear of violence has become part of the lives of every abortion provider in the country. As doctors, we are being warned not to open big envelopes with no return addresses in case a mail bomb is enclosed. I know colleagues who have had their homes picketed and their children threatened. Some wear bullet-proof vests and have remote starters for their cars. Even going to work and facing the disapproving looks from co-workers–isolation and marginalization from colleagues is part of it.

The antiabortion movement continues to mount new campaigns on many fronts. Most recently, it has aggressively put out the idea that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. In January 1997, the results of a Danish study, the largest to date (involving one and a half million women), showed that there is no connection.s3 Unlike previous studies, this one did not rely on interviews and women’s reports but instead used data obtained from population registries about both abortion and breast cancer. Despite the lack of medical evidence and the fact that the scientific community does not recognize any link, the antiabortion movement continues to stir up fears about abortion and breast cancer.

Legal but Out of Reach for Many Women

We have learned that legalization is not enough to ensure that abortions will be available to all women who want and need them. In addition to a lack of facilities and trained providers, burdensome legal restrictions, including parental consent or notification laws for minors and mandatory waiting periods, create significant obstacles. A minor who has been refused consent by a parent may have to go through an intimidating and time-consuming judicial hearing. Mandatory waiting periods may require a woman to miss extra days of work because she must go to the clinic not once, but twice, to obtain an abortion. If travel is required, this can make the whole procedure unaffordable. In other words, for millions of women, youth, race, and economic circumstances together with the lack of accessible services–especially for later abortions–translate into daunting barriers, forcing some women to resort to unsafe and illegal abortions and self-abortions.

WEAKENING THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION FOR ABORTION

When in 1980 the Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, it began eroding the constitutional protection for abortion rights. Since then, there have been other severe blows. In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), the Court opened the door to new state restrictions on abortion. In Hodgson v. Minnesota (1990), the Court upheld one of the strictest parental notification laws in the country.

These trends were further codified in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 decision upholding a highly restrictive Pennsylvania law that included mandatory waiting periods and mandatory biased counseling. Two frightening themes emerged in the Casey decision. First, the Court sanctioned the view that government may regulate the health care of pregnant women to protect fetal life from the moment of conception so long as it does not “unduly burden” access to an abortion. Second, the Court showed little concern for the severe impact of state restrictions on women with few financial resources.

In the aftermath of Casey, many states have passed similar restrictions, which have the effect of limiting access to abortion, especially for women with low incomes, teenage women, and women of color.

These infringements on abortion access have curtailed the abortion rights of millions of women. In the face of the unrelenting efforts of the antiabortion movement, those of us who believe that women should make their own reproductive decisions will have to become involved in the ongoing struggle to preserve and expand abortion rights.

REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM VS. POPULATION CONTROL

While most women’s health groups see the fight for abortion rights in the context of defending the rights of all women to make their own decisions about reproduction, not all advocates of abortion rights share this understanding. Some view legal abortion and contraception as tools of population control.

Advocates of population control blame overpopulation for a range of problems, from global poverty to ethnic conflict and environmental degradation. Historically, this type of thinking has led to a range of coercive fertility control policies that target Third World women. These include sterilization without a woman’s knowledge or consent; the use of economic incentives to “encourage” sterilization, a practice that undermines the very notion of reproductive choice; the distribution and sometimes coercive or unsafe use of contraceptive methods, often without appropriate information; the denial of abortion services; and sometimes coercive abortion. For example, HIV-positive women in the U.S. (who are overwhelmingly women of color) are often pressured to have abortions, though only 20 to 25% of their children will be HIV-positive and new treatments during pregnancy have reduced the likelihood even further.

Women with few economic resources, especially women of color in the U.S. and throughout the world, have been the primary targets of population control policies. For example, although abortion has become increasingly less accessible in the U.S., sterilization remains all too available for women of color. The federal government stopped funding abortions in 1977, but it continues to pay for sterilizations. During the 1970s, women’s health activists exposed various forms of sterilization abuse (see section on sterilization in chapter 13, Birth Control). Since the 1980s, advocates have fought against new policies that coerce women with low incomes into using Norplant, a long-term hormonal contraceptive.

In the Third World, in addition to the widespread unavailability of desired contraceptives, there is a long history of coercive fertility control, primarily funded and inspired by developed countries, especially the U.S. (see chapter 26, The Global Politics of Women and Health, for the international dimensions of population control).

The right to abortion is part of every woman’s right to control her reproductive choices and her own life. We must reject all efforts to coerce women’s reproductive decisions. The goals of reproductive rights activists must encompass the right to have children as well as the right not to.

ABORTION ACCESS IN THE U.S.

  • It is conservatively estimated that one in five Medicaid-eligible women who want an abortion cannot obtain one.
  • In the U.S., 84% of all counties have no abortion services; of rural counties, 95% have no services.
  • Nine in ten abortion providers are located in metropolitan areas.
  • Only 17 states fund abortions.
  • Only 12% of OB/GYN residency programs train in first-trimester abortions; only 7% in second-trimester abortions.
  • Abortion is the most common OB/GYN surgical procedure; yet, almost half of graduating OB/GYN residents have never performed a first-trimester abortion.
  • Thirty-nine states have parental involvement laws requiring minors to notify and/or obtain the consent of their parents in order to obtain an abortion.
  • Twenty-one states require state-directed counseling before a woman may obtain an abortion. (This is often called “informed consent”; some critics call it a “biased information requirement.”)
  • Many states require women seeking abortions to receive scripted lectures on fetal development, prenatal care, and adoption.
  • Twelve states currently enforce mandatory waiting periods following state- directed counseling; this can result in long delays and higher costs.
  • (Seven more states have delay laws which are enjoined–i.e., not enforced due to court action at the federal or state level.)

Note: for sources on these statistics, please consult the book’s notes at the end of this chapter.

ABORTION WORLDWIDE 

Unsafe abortion is a major cause of death and health complications for women of child-bearing age. Whether or not an abortion is safe is determined in part by the legal status and restrictions, but also by medical practice, administrative requirements, the availability of trained practitioners, and facilities, funding, and public attitudes.

While it is difficult to get reliable data on illegal and unsafe abortion, several well-known organizations and researchers, including the World Health Organization, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and Family Health International, make the following estimates:

  • Worldwide, 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually. This equals one unsafe abortion for every ten pregnancies and one unsafe abortion for every seven births.
  • Ninety percent of unsafe abortions are in developing countries.
  • One-third of all abortions worldwide are illegal. More than two-thirds of countries in the Southern Hemisphere have no access to safe, legal abortion.
  • Estimates of the number of women who die worldwide from unsafe abortions each year range from 70,000 to 200,000. This means that between 13 and 20% of all maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortion–in some areas of the world, half of all maternal deaths. Of these deaths, 99% are in the developing world, and most are preventable.
  • Half of all abortions take place outside the health care system.
  • One-third of women seeking care for abortion complications are under the age of 20.
  • About 40% of the world’s population has access to legal abortion (almost all in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and North America), although laws often require the consent of parents, state committees, or physicians.
  • Worldwide, 21% of women may obtain legal abortions for social or economic reasons.
  • Sixteen percent of women have access only when a woman’s health is at risk or in cases of rape, incest, or fetal defects.
  • Five percent have access only in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.
  • Eighteen percent have access only for life endangerment.
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Capital Dome restoration c. 1960

 

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In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.

During the work, workmen using special pneumatic hammers removed paint from the iron, which was then sandblasted. Since bare iron rusts quickly it had to be treated with a red protective rust inhibiting coating within five hours of paint removal. Corroded and cracked metal was repaired or replaced where necessary, loose bolts were tightened, and missing bolts replaced. New bronze window frames were installed in the tholus and the interior bracing in the Statue of Freedom was reinforced. Repairs were made to the drainage system and flashing, and the Dome was completely inspected and repaired using stainless tell wherever extra strength was needed. The work also put in additional lightning and bird protection.

More: www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/capitol-dome

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used the photographic credit line should read “Architect of the Capitol.” These images may not be used in any way that would imply endorsement by the Architect of the Capitol or the United States Congress of a product, service or point of view. For more information visit www.aoc.gov.


WHY DO PEOPLE VOTE AGAINST THEIR OWN SELF INTEREST?

There are several reasons, lack of education, racial intolerance, racial resentment, and a gullibility that borders on arrogance, I know this will probably piss off some people, but there are truths that are self evident, these folks have been sold an illusion called the American dream, and they buy it because they can see how wealthy their GOP masters have become, and they lack the education to work out that this dream can only work for the few and not the many. This ties into the bullshit notion of American exceptional-ism which only reinforces feelings of superiority over what they regard as not real Americans. Generations of these folks have been brought up on a diet of fear and lies about illegal immigrants and lazy colored people living on government handouts which will come out of their taxes if the ever reach that threshold. To these people modern democracy and progressive social policies are interpreted as welfare for non white Americans, so it is no surprise that every time the government tries to introduce things like social security, medicare, etc, the right wing screams communist, and the gullible echo, it is also a sad and regrettable fact that a lot of these people resent the passing of the civil rights act. Therefore instead of showing gratitude to the party that has ensured them some quality of life, they blindly vote GOP and dream of Beverley hillbillies and that elusive American dream.


Why don’t people realize that we rise and fall as a unified society?

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I think the main problem at large is that people have forgotten (or simply don’t realize) that by living as part of a society you inherently sign a social contract. Everyone born into any given social community is opted in automatically without choice or consent. What this means is that you are, by right, part of the community, you benefit from the community’s gains, and you are protected by that community. Now, you can opt out; only if you remove yourself from the social structure and stop taking the benefits provided (i.e. stop paying taxes, move to a different country with a different social structure, become a cave hermit in the remote wilderness) But if you don’t, then you have taken on a set of rules and a responsibility that coincide with the right to all due benefits (the chief responsibility of our society being the stupidly cliché and simplistic “golden rule.”) If every member of the community is eligible, then every member must be responsible to ensure the benefits’ continuous availability. (Although it partly is, this is not solely about money; also respect, security, safety, happiness, and human-rights etc…) This is where the misunderstanding comes in. You aren’t being an ‘evil-commie-socialist’ by giving back to society. It is required of you by the contract, but it’s also in your best interest.

The principle is not based on actual or perceived need, but on potential need. Obviously, there are people that need a lot, as well as people who need for nothing. The important point, though, is that everyone has roughly the same potential to end up in need. Anyone could get sick, anyone could get robbed or cheated, everyone needs access to get an education, everyone will die, anyone could be oppressed. That is the point of the contract; it’s why we have formed our society like this and not a cannibalistic anarchy. By ensuring none of these things could happen to the whole community you are ensuring they can’t ever happen to yourself. No matter how safe and sound you feel, no matter how impermeable or untouchable you think you are, no matter what your station in life may currently be; things change, and tragedy can strike anyone anywhere at anytime.

I’m not talking about a utopia, seriously, just a completely attainable place where people finally understand what it means to live in a community. Just play your part and pay in your share for the society that got you to where you are (You didn’t get there alone, be honest. Everything from your school, down to the road worker and garbage man are deserving of your respect and a return for their labor.) Just imagine, for a minute, a millionaire (whether his money comes from a company he built, his parents, the lottery, or back-breaking work,) he could only have accomplished it on the shoulders of the investors, engineers, teachers, gamblers, doctors or neighbors. That person would not be a millionaire if other people hadn’t held him up; If a doctor hadn’t delivered him or immunized him, if his neighbor didn’t respect or trust him, if a stranger hadn’t lost everything thereby making an opening or an opportunity, if there were no roads or trash collectors or farmers. With out the support of a society in people’s lives, it would be impossible for them to be “successful” in the way most people imagine it to be. There is too much work to be done and too much at stake to try and survive on your own. You can’t have an empire without resources, you can’t run a bank without customers, you can’t be a star without fans. When treating everyone else as less important than yourself, you convince them they aren’t needed and they will start to treat you the same.

Another thought, part of the problem with some of these people is that they haven’t really thought through their priorities. Some of them tie up their happiness in the pursuit of money. If you achieve gaining more money than you need, but you still need to gain more because that’s what makes you happy, isn’t the never ending cycle obvious? It will never be enough, so you will never be happy. Once you’ve gotten to the point that you’ve made so much money that you and each of your children could never spend all of in your lifetimes (and it’s still not “enough”) you should probably try and find something that would actually bring you meaning and happiness (how about instead of living for the profit, you live for the happiness your product brings, or the adventure of scientific discovery?) Wanting money and being rich aren’t inherently bad things, at all. But it is bad doing so for no other reason than selfishness. Not saying you should give all your money away (unless you want to…?) But don’t continue to make a sport of making money at the expense of your community without ensuring other people the same protection and support you had. To those who aren’t millionaires but still have plenty to be comfortable; I’m not saying you didn’t earn your comfort, but as I said before, it wasn’t only you that paid for it. Make sure you aren’t denying others the chance to have your level of health, happiness, comfort, or respect. Tomorrow your house could burn down, your bank could collapse, you could be diagnosed with a brain tumor, an earthquake could destroy your city, a silent majority could try and put you beneath them, or you could be ripped-off, raped or beaten. Where would you be then if society at large wasn’t a force to enable you to stand back up and fix the broken pieces.

A lot of these feelings of overestimated strength, egotistical independence, selfishness, and indifference, are products of an earlier era where these were needed. It was a time where only the strongest or most cunning genes would survive. But it is no longer beneficial to behave this way, we have vastly evolved from the small social groups requiring militant selfishness and ruthlessness. To behave like this now sets you apart from the “new” shift in social structure, which is based on strength in numbers. It damages your relationship with the community, leaving you vulnerable if you alienate yourself. Just because it was/is justifiable on the basis of animal instinct, doesn’t mean that we have to accept it. We have evolved a consciousness that is able to decide to not behave like animals. We can do the right thing for the sake of it being right, not just because it benefits us (which it ends up doing in this case anyway) In all honesty one person wont make or break it. Whether you decide to play along or not, you will still be enjoying all of the rights and privileges that the community tries to make sure everyone has. Until you’re not. If enough people decided to play the game on their own then society will fail. Not for some distant stranger, but for you. In that case, good luck. You’ll need it.

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I think Elizabeth Warren expressed my opinion on the social contract very well:


Is It Hypocritical To Be Against “Socialism” But Accept Social Security And Medicare Benefits?

I certainly don’t care that people who are eligible receive Social Security and Medicare, but I think it is highly hypocritical to protest social programs while receiving benefits from social programs.

The Republicans and Tea Baggers favorite chant is how much they are against socialism and big government. And they love to be against any federal Program regardless to who the program helps or how much good the particular program does.

Many of the states with the worst unemployment situations and where peoples unemployment benefits are low or have run out are in the rural south, states like Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Arkansas, and those are the very states that are most in need of the cash assistance, food stamps, medical and housing assistance provided by the Federal government yet they tend to vote Republican year after year.

I have always wondered why that is? I think maybe it is the shame from having been on welfare or maybe it’s a reverse psychological thing, where those people know they will get it anyway despite having voted against it.

But for what ever reason they do vote Republican and they do take all of the handouts that the Federal Government provides.

To me they are nothing but hypocrites, who talk down the government as well as the programs that provide a little cash assistance to help provide food for many of their families, housing assistance to keep a roof over their families heads, as well as medical assistance which enables them to be cared for when they are sick or their child gets injured.

I don’t begrudge any Republican or their family that is down on their luck, and who in these tough times may have lost their jobs or had their family income severely reduced, the help that only the Federal Government is able to provide. Especially those Republicans who even in the best of times live in our poorest states , and to whom life on the public dole has become a way of life leading to a form of dependence on the Federal Government that last from generation to generation.

But what I do resent is that they act like all the help that they get from the government is something sinful, and what I don’t understand is if they hate it so much why do they take it at all?

I think I must be different than Republicans, because if I hated something as bad as they want us to believe they hate welfare and government ran social programs why are so many of the recipients of the benefits of those programs located in the so called Republican Red States?

…We should seriously look at where and why the resentment for the Federal Government social programs is really coming from. It is evident t hat the same people who complain about the cost to the American Tax payers are also some of the biggest users and recipients of food stamps and federal housing assistance. I think that instead of them carrying around racist posters and complaining about the government that a lot of so called Tea Baggers and Republicans simply need to get on the phone and call their case workers and get off welfare…It would be just that simple, and there really is no need for them to argue, march, or protest the government. Just give up those farm subsidies, tobacco subsidies, milk subsidies, get off welfare, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security and work till you are dead or unable.


It’s simple. Fear trumps Reason.

There are solid scientific reasons for why fear is such a motivator in politics. The parts of our brain that control fear and reason evolved in different ways and are connected in different ways that give fear the upper hand.

The human brain’s fear center is the amygdala, an almond-shaped bundle of neurons near the brain’s center. In the course of evolution, the amygdala’s fear circuitry got a head start on the neocortex, the seat of conscious awareness. The amygdala is simply more evolved.

It’s tough to overcome our fears because of the way the two sites are connected to the rest of the brain. The amygdala has a one-way pipeline to the neocortex, but there’s no return feed, meaning that the logical, thoughtful cortex can be overrun by the brain’s fear machine. It takes a lot of persistence and concentration to make things work the other way around, but it’s doable.

What makes fearing socialism a potent political tactic is the possibility that for some people the amygdala and the neocortex might actually be in sync on this topic.

If you truly believe that Democrats are moving toward socialism — and if you genuinely fear whatever you think socialism is — your logical neocortex has no reason to control the fear impulse. The amygdala goes wild, especially at Tea Parties.

The trouble for Democrats is that appealing to reason to assuage the fearful just won’t work in this case. Unless they want to try acknowledging that they are drifting toward socialism, and that it’s not really so scary.


This is how “Conservatives” view “Liberals”:

Liberal

 

President Barack Obamaadvocates the use of unsuccessful Keynesian economic concepts. He is considered by many to be the worst president ever.

liberal is someone who favors increased government spending, power, and control, as in ObamaCare, as well as censorship of Christianity. Increasingly, liberals side with the homosexual agenda, including supporting homosexual “marriage”. Many liberals favor a welfare state where people receive endless entitlements without working. Liberals are often anti-Christian, or otherwise disagree with moral or social principles held by many American Christians. They prefer atheism over the Christian faith, as atheism has no objective morality to hinder their big government plans. The liberal ideology has worsened over the years and degenerated into economically unsound views and intolerant ideology. Some liberals simply support, in knee-jerk fashion, the opposite ofconservative principles without having any meaningful values of their own.

Polling data has consistently shown that a increasingly large percentage of Americans identify as conservative, rather than as liberal, currently by 38% to 21%.[1]

A liberal supports many of the following political positions and practices:

  • Spending money on government programs (the significant economic problems in the Eurozone due to government debt will no doubt increasingly discredit this aspect of liberal ideology and make things more difficult for advocates of liberal economic ideologies)
  • Government’s ability to solve economic problems[2]
  • The belief that terrorism is not a huge threat, and that the main reason for Muslim extremists’ hostility towards America is because of bad foreign policy [3]
  • Taxpayer-funded and/or legalized abortion
  • Cessation of teacher-led prayer in classrooms and school/state-sponsored religious events.
  • Gun control
  • Anti-Americanism
  • Affirmative action[4]
  • Opposition to government regulation or restriction of obscenity, pornography and violence in video games as a First Amendment right[5]
  • Government-funded medical care, such as Obamacare
  • Belief in evolution
  • Destroying the Christian foundations on which America was built on.
  • Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled public education
  • Placement of men and women in the same jobs in the military
  • Legalized same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption
  • Tax and spend economics
  • Economic sector regulations[6]
  • Spreading of political correctness
  • Destroying liberty
  • Ending Western morality
  • Non-syndicalist labor unions
  • Encouraging promiscuity through sexual education (the teaching of safe sex) rather than teaching abstinence from premarital sex[7]
  • A “living Constitution” that is reinterpreted as liberals prefer, rather than how it is thought to have been intended.
  • Government programs to rehabilitate criminals
  • Abolition of the death penalty
  • Environmentalism[8]
  • Globalism
  • Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
  • Opposition to full private property rights.[9]
  • Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine
  • Opposition to domestic wire-tapping as authorized in the Patriot Act
  • Opposition of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a major part of the War on Terrorism
  • Opposition to the War on Terrorism and the War in Iraq
  • Regulation of business rather than a laissez-faire capitalist economy
  • Opposition to the Constitution. Liberals seek to expand federal power at the expense of local government and silence the conservatives who hold them back, violating the 10th and 1st Amendments respectively.
  • Denial of traditional gender roles
  • Support of financially irresponsible policies
  • Advocating policies which are proven to be incorrect
  • Encouragement of global warming alarmism
  • Persecution of Christianity with deference to other religions, such as Islam.

Liberals currently use two Clauses of the Constitution to try to expand their power: the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause. The General Welfare Clause mentions “promoting the general welfare”. This to a liberal means taxing the rich at increased rates and redistributing that money. The Commerce Clause, on the other hand, says that Congress has the power to regulate trade with foreign nations, between the states and with the Indian tribes. Since the days of FDR this Clause has been interpreted very loosely and has resulted in the federal government expanding its power. The latest example is The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better know as Obamacare. In the ACA, the liberals justify the individual mandate by saying it regulates commerce between the states.

The decline in liberal principles can be illustrated by how Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed and condemned public sector unions, stating that the idea of collective bargaining can’t be transferred from the private to the public sector, as that would result in the government being unable to carry out its duties. Yet today, decades later, Democrats and liberals are in lock-step with public sector unions, as they “donate” money to the reelection campaign in exchange for more taxpayer money in their wallets and fluffed up pensions.

Current dictionaries describe the liberal ideology by pretending that a liberal is “a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties” or “a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets,”[10] or “open-minded or tolerant, especially free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.” or “favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.”[11] In practical usage, the term “liberal” is more closely synonymous with “radical,” “immoral,” “anti-freedom,” or “bad.”

Contents

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Liberals and Uncharitableness

American Liberals have been observed to give less to charity than American conservatives.[12]In addition, per capita atheists andagnostics in the United States give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.[5][6][7]

For more information please seeLiberals and uncharitableness and Atheism and charity

In March of 2008, George Will wrote at RealClearPolitics concerning the United States:

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives….

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

— Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

— Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.[13]

Atheists and agnostics often reject Biblical morality (and therefore conservative Christianity ) and hold to moral relativism.[14] Therefore, it is not surprising that per capita atheists and agnostics inAmerica give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.[8][9][10]

Liberal politicians and uncharitableness

The political magazine the American Spectator featured an article which focused on liberal politicians and uncharitableness exposing the hypocrisy of the liberal politicians it featured.[15]

In addition, Barack Obama has been criticized concerning his lack of charitable giving.

Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity

See also: Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity and Liberal Christianity

According to a 2007 study reported in the Journal of Family Issues, adherents of liberal Christianity are more likely to engage in marital infidelity than theologically conservative Christians.[16]

As noted above, liberals are more likely to adhere to evolutionary belief than conservatives. A study conducted by the Australian National University, revealed that belief in evolution is associated with moral permissiveness.[17]

Liberalism and bestiality

See also: Liberalism and bestiality

The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia). Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University.[18] See: Atheism and bestiality

Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide andeuthanasia)[19]. Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University (Princeton University is a very liberal school – see: Liberalism and bestiality).[20] Peter Singer was installed as the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University in 1999 and in 2006 it was reported that he still worked part-time in that capacity. [21] In 2006, it was also reported that Singer worked part-time as Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics since 2005.[22]

Joe Carter’s First Things article entitled The Dangerous Mind declares concerning Peter Singer declared:

Singer has spent a lifetime justifying the unjustifiable. He is the founding father of the animal liberation movement and advocates ending “the present speciesist bias against taking seriously the interests of nonhuman animals.” He is also a defender of killing the aged (if they have dementia), newborns (for almost any reason until they are two years old), necrophilia (assuming it’s consensual), and bestiality (also assuming it’s consensual).[23]

On October 5, 2011, the British newspaper The Telegraph wrote an article which discussed how homosexuality “rights” have emboldened individuals to ask for so called bestiality “rights” (see: Homosexuality and bestiality).[24]

In 2010, the liberal state of Washington has the highest number of reported cases of bestiality in the United States even though it was merely the 13th most populous state according to the 2010 United States census. (for more information please see: Washington state and bestiality).[25][26][27]

In 2005, four legislators in the liberal state of Massachusetts tried to soften its bestiality laws.[28]

LifeSiteNews reported:”In 46 hours of programming, NBC contained only one reference to marital sex, but 11 references to non-marital sex and one reference to adultery were made. References to incest, pedophilia, partner swapping, prostitution, threesomes, transsexuals/transvestites, bestiality, and necrophilia combined outnumbered references to sex in marriage on NBC by a ratio of 27 to 1.[29] See also:Liberalism and bestiality

The Bible says that bestiality is a perversion and, under the Old Testament Jewish Law, punishable by death (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23, Leviticus 20:15 and Deuteronomy 27:21). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception).

A study found that “Psychiatric patients were found to have a statistically significant higher prevalence rate (55%) of bestiality than the control groups (10% and 15% respectively).”[30]The atheist population has a higher suicide rate and lower marriage rates than the general population (see: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and marriageability and Atheism and health).

For more information please see:

Occupy Wall Street and bestiality chant

See also: Occupy Wall Street and bestiality chant

Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. A crowd at Occupy Wall Street was led to repeat various chants which included a chant involving bestiality and the incident was videotaped.[31]

Below is an excerpt of the chant:

Everything seems to be possible. [Crowd Parrot Chant] You can travel to the moon. [CPC] You can become immortal [CPC] by biogenetics. You can have sex with animals, or whatever. [CPC].[32]

Liberals and Superstition

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The Wall Street Journal reported: “A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology[33]

Also, in September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:

The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won’t create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that’s not a conclusion to take on faith — it’s what the empirical data tell us.

“What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience, such as evolution than evangelical Christians….

This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book “The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener,” skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.[34]

Liberalism in the United States Today

Smear merchants.jpg

Democrats and most media outlets in the U.S. are blatantly liberal.[35] Liberalism in North America today practices three primary tactics to attack the Republican Party, and sometimes to attack American values in general. These three liberal tactics can be pronounced using the following acronym: SIN. Liberals (1) shift the subject, they (2) ignore the facts, and they (3) name call.[36][37]

  • Liberals typically support a “mixed” economy, a policy similar to that of fascism[38]
There’s another goal, from my point of view, which is to try to lay the groundwork for a radical political force which would conceive of itself as distinctly to the left of moderate, reformist American liberals. And that has two aspects. One is to try to change that liberalism, to transform it by analysis, critique, and activism; the second is to build a radical movement which would be an autonomous force in its own right, which would be distinct from the traditional American liberal consensus. This radical part of the program involves not simply supporting the liberal students against conservative students and conservative professors, but trying to act on them, to push them to the left. It also involves trying to find and support, even trying to help create, networks of radical students in law school and of radical professors around the country — students and teachers who see themselves as wanting to go a lot further than most people want to go. [39]

Liberal Rankings of Congress Members

The National Journal compiles the votes of each congress member each year and uses the information to create rankings[40] of how liberal each member of the United States Congress is. In addition to showing the voting records of each member and given an overall all ranking of liberalness, the National Journal also ranks congress members by liberalness in the areas of social, economic, and foreign policy.

American liberalism, demographics and expected tipping point in the decline of American liberalism

See also: American atheism and Decline of atheism and Global atheism

Due to the explosive growth of global Christianity in traditional cultures and their influence on Western Christianity and the higher birth rate of conservative Christians and religious conservatives, social conservatism is expected to rise.

The Birkbeck College, University of London professor Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning America:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the ‘Redeemer Nation’ to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[41]

Liberalism in Europe today

In Europe, on the other hand, parties that call themselves liberal are moderate in outlook, ranging from centre-left to centre-right, promote typically economic and business freedom. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe[42] is a party of the European Parliament that represents most liberal parties from European countries. Similar policies are promoted by many liberal parties throughout the world,[43] such as the Liberal Party of Australia.[44]

Trade unions and socialist parties often criticize politicians for promoting lower taxes on business, or more flexible hiring and firing laws, by calling them “liberals” or neoliberals. Thus, just as in the US, “liberal” may occasionally be used as a term of abuse. But when someone is called “liberal” in Europe, it has an entirely different meaning than in the US. In fact, the US meaning of liberal is more similar to the politics of European socialist or social democraticparties.[45]

Historical Liberalism

In history, the word “liberal” has meant different things at different times, and was associated with individual liberty in prior centuries. In the postwar period, liberals supported government intervention in the economy and welfare state policies, as well as peaceful coexistence with the communist block, which are not liberal policies in the sense of classical liberalism. After the end of the cold war, with the demise of socialism and communism, many liberals embraced some ideas from economic neo-liberalism, and coined it the “Third Way”. In the area of national security and foreign policy liberals in the U.S. failed to define a consistent stance, even after the events of 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Iraq. Liberals generally support affirmative action, gay marriage, and abortion.[46]

Original meaning: Classical Liberalism

Liberalism is a political philosophy with freedom as its core value. The term was originally applied to supporters of individual liberties and equal rights, but, in America, the term has come to represent a movement of social change that often conflicts with conservative values such as moral values and traditions derived from Northern European Protestantism.

See Classical Liberalism. Compare Libertarianism.

Notable liberal “intellects”

See also: Infamous liberals

Liberal Organizations of thought

Source: The Politix Group

Quotes on Liberals

“I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It’s liberals and Americans.” -James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan

References

  1.  http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1042/winds-of-political-change-havent–shifted-publics-ideology-balance
  2.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  3.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  4.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  5.  The Warren Court, led by liberal Justices William O. DouglasHugo BlackAbe FortasWilliam Brennan and Chief Justice Earl Warren issued 36 decisions granting First Amendment rights to obscenity and pornography. These decisions remain fully supported by liberals today.
  6.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  7.  Democrats Aim To Kill Abstinence-Only Program FundingFox News, Monday, June 25, 2007
  8.  and environmental organizations, for example Greenpeace
  9.  For example, the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court issued the 5-4 Kelo v. City of New London decision authorizing the taking of private property by government in order to give the property to another private entity rather than convert it to a public use.
  10.  http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=liberal&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o7=&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h=00
  11.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal
  12.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
  13.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
  14.  http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=152
  15.  http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1c5_1238044128&c=1
  16.  Are There Religious Variations in Marital Infidelity?
  17.  Morals decline linked to evolution
  18.  The Basis of a Christian Worldview
  19.  The Basis of a Christian Worldview
  20.  The Dangerous Mind by Joe Carter, First Things
  21.  The dark side of sexual freedom: American ‘zoophiles’ take on the language of equality – October 5, 2011 – The Telegraph
  22.  Pet Abuse -2010
  23.  2010 United States Census data
  24.  2011 Political map – CNN
  25.  [Massachusetts bill to repeal fornication, adultery, and blasphemy, and to soften bestiality laws]
  26.  Study Finds TV Treats Marital Sex as Burdensome, Adultery as Positive
  27.  A prevalence study of bestiality (zoophilia) in psychiatric in-patients, medical in-patients, and psychiatric staff – Int J Psychosom. 1991;38(1-4):45-7.
  28.  The 10 Greatest Moments From The Occupy Wall Street Protests So Far
  29.  The 10 Greatest Moments From The Occupy Wall Street Protests So Far
  30.  [1]
  31.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html
  32.  Media Bias basics. Media Research Center.
  33.  Scott Baker. Did Herman Cain Give the ‘Don’t Miss’ Speech at CPAC?The Blaze, February 12, 2011.
  34.  YouTubeHerman Cain: “Stupid People Are Ruining America”, February 11, 2011.
  35.  Video discussion about how modern liberalism is actually fascist by author Jonah Goldberg..
  36.  Liberal Values in Legal Education Duncan Kennedy (professor at Harvard Law School)
  37.  http://nationaljournal.com/voteratings/index.htm
  38.  Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  39.  http://www.alde.eu
  40.  http://www.liberal-international.org/
  41.  [2]
  42.  [3]
  43.  “Political liberals tend, for whatever reason, to be ardent supporters of both gay rights and pro-choice programs.” Greenberg and Bailey [4]
  44.  http://s151.photobucket.com/albums/s151/candypop_02/Serial%20Killers/John%20Wayne%20Gacy/?action=view&current=SERIAL_KILLER_John_Wayne_Gacy_In-1.mp4
  45.  http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/45527

See Also

Further Information

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v • d • e

Liberal Characteristics and Traits

 
Ideology
 
Policy
 
Tools
 
Traits
Arrogance • Bias • Bigotry • Bullying • Class warfare • Cronyism • Deceit • Double standard • Denial • Hypocrisy • Journalistic malpractice • Propaganda • Race baiting • Stupidity • Style • Troll • Uncharitableness • Whining
 
Other

Link

More Awesome from Harry Reid:

Pete Sessions is the Republican who told Obama he can’t stand to look at him, according to … Harry Reid

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Harry Reid is spreading gossip and I could not love him more. He’s been ratted out as the gossip starter behind the rumor that Rep. Pete Sessions told Barack Obama, to his face, in the White House, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”

But why do I believe Harry Reid? Besides because “I want to”?

ReidRomneyRemember back in the campaign when Harry Reid was all like : “A little bird told me Mitt Romney never paid a tax in his life, why doesn’t Mitt release his tax returns and prove me wrong?” and everyone was all like YOU ARE A LIAR HARRY REID until the day the RNC accidentally confirmed he’d been right all along? Good times.

So Harry Reid says he was told about Sessions’ Southern Gentleman act by a White House aide who was at the meeting with the GOP leadership and the President. And then Harry Reid got on a threeway call with his whole Democratic caucus about it. And then they told two friends, and they told two friends, and Dick Durbin put it on his facebook and the rest is history. The history of Harry Reid being an awesome gossip with excellent sources, the end.

Harry-Reid-Scott-J.-Ferrell-Congressional-Quarterly-Getty-Images(I hope Barry Obama writes one scortcher of a book when he’s out of office, when he doesn’t have to take this crap anymore, and tells the truth about these CRAZY ASSHOLES that he has been dealing with him for the past 8 years. But instead, he’ll probably take the high road, which he has done all his life. Ugh! Maybe he can get Biden to ghost-write it, in which case it’ll just be the word “FUCK” repeated for 400 pages.)

Joe Biden


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Dont let Obama taek away are gunz

THIS IS THE ONLY TRULY DEMOCRATIC SPACE LEFT IN THIS ONCE GREAT NATION.

 

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Shutdownghazi Day 14 (Oct. 14th)

Shutdownghazi Day 14 (Oct. 14th)

This meaningless shutdown of the United States Federal Government has entered day 14 and we are still careening towards this coming Thursday’s economic default. So I guess I’ll keep annotating this international embarrassment of a continuing crisis in our government:

Thursday is not the day we hit the debt ceiling. That day, when treasury cannot authorize any additional debt, has already passed. Starting on Thursday, the treasury department can no longer guarantee that they can pay out all incoming bills.

See, for all the complaining about the government not acting like a business…it is actually surprisingly close in terms of accounting. Businesses have accounts receivable (money coming in), just like the government does with its tax revenues, and businesses have accounts payable, and so does the government with its obligations to pay interest on its debt, pay social security, federal workers paychecks, etc…

When a business has more money to pay out then it has coming in, it has three choices: 1. Take on debt to pay the difference 2. Renegotiate the debts/cut its spending 3. Go into default.

Where the business/government comparison splits is in how much easier it is for the government to choose option one or two over option three. Because a business might not be able to take out more debt (if the market doesn’t think it is credit worthy), and negotiating over its outstanding debt is incredibly difficult given the advantages creditors have in bankruptcy proceedings. Cutting spending as a business is also hard because market forces tend to make businesses run as lean as possible to begin with, so there isn’t much “fat” to cut.

The government, on the other hand, has complete control over how much it has to spend. Even if they are “legally” obligated to pay things like social security or medicare, they are also the ones who get to define what they are legally obligated to pay. So in short, if they passed a law saying they no longer have to pay social security checks…then they don’t have to pay that debt anymore.

And as far as issuing debt goes…if you are a country (like the United States) that controls its own currency…you can (short of a law saying you cant) ALWAYS take on more debt to pay your bills. The Federal reserve is obligated by law to buy whatever debt the gov’t sells it even if there is no other commercial buyers. And the Fed is able to do this because they have infinite money…ie they are the ones who “create cash”.

Both of these facts have, up until the past couple years, made US debt the absolute safest place on earth to put your money. Because if you control what you owe, and you control the money supply, then theoretically you should never have to go with option three…ie Default. And with a recessed global economy where there is more of an emphasis on a return “of” capital rather than a return “to” capital…ALOT of people/mutual funds/banks/government put their cash in US debt.

Let me insert another key concept that markets and economics depends on…the concept of the rational actor. It says that, all else being equal…people/companies/markets/governments aren’t stupid. They will choose what is best for them over other worse options. This key concept makes markets stable, because it makes all of the actions of actors in that market more predictable.

We know that Goldman Sachs wont light all of their cash on fire…because that’s bad for Goldman Sachs. We know that Toyota won’t intentionally make an exploding car…because that would be bad for Toyota.

And up until Thursday, the market knows that the US government wont intentionally not pay its bills when the penalty for doing so is so much more severe than the other options presented to it. The penalty for cutting spending is political, the penalty for issuing debt is economic but manageable (given a long list of time tested tools we have to control inflation)….the penalty for outright refusing to pay your debts are catastrophic.

So in short, what happens on Thursday when the US declares that it wont/cant honor its debts? I don’t know…what happens when Goldman Sachs decides to liquidate all of its assets and burn, literally light on fire, all of its cash?

But whatever it is….we know its not good.