From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Defending the "indefensible" -- taxes, lawyers, gays and abortion

November 30, 2004 1:37 PM

Howard Fineman in an article on Karl Rove:

On domestic policy, Rove has a theme at the ready: "the ownership society" he says the president wants to build. It's a bland phrase, but the ideas behind it are hardly status quo. One is to consider abolishing the income-tax system, replacing "progressive" (meaning graduated) rates with a flat tax or even a national sales tax or value-added tax. Another is to rechannel massive flows of tax money from Social Security to private savings accounts and into expanded medical savings accounts. Yet another is a crusade Bush and Rove have been pursuing since Texas: a national cap on damage awards in lawsuits.

In all cases, Rove wants to force Democrats to defend taxes and lawyers.

Fineman continues...

In the next term, Rove said, Bush will push -- hard -- for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of man and woman, and for "strict constructionist" judges. "Voters like the president because he doesn't blink and he doesn't waver," says Rove, "and he isn't going to start. He says he values life, and he means it."

The cold calculus: force Democrats to defend gay rights and unfettered access to abortion.

1. A flat tax sounds great. As long as everyone, and I mean everyone, has to pay the exact same tax rate -- that includes corporations, millionaires, and billionaires too.

2. Doctors kill close to 100,000 people a year, mostly because of poor corporate management, outdated computer systems, etc. HMOs should be punished enough to force them to fix these systemic problems, not doctors.

3. My church says I can marry whomever I want. Are you going to deny my religious freedom?

4. If outlawing guns won't prevent gun deaths, then why would outlawing abortion result in fewer dead babies? How will refusing to teach safe sex to our children result in fewer unwanted pregnancies? Fewer job prospects, and inadequate health care force families to make a lesser-of-two-evils decision. Bush must answer for the babies his policies are killing.

More from the archive in Civil Liberties, Health, Politics, Religion.

Defending the "indefensible" -- taxes, lawyers, gays and abortion (11.30.2004)

Next Entry: Forcing Republicans to defend the indefensible (11.30.2004)
Previous Entry: Five Years of Blogging (11.30.2004)

Read the 20 comments.

Left Wing Robby:

Wait a minute! Jim you gave me an Idea! I have a great idea that we progressives can use to solve the Iraq children malnutrition problem that Bush has created and we are all so outraged by. We can solve the issue of the starving children in Iraq by just killing them all before they are born. That would be just fine with us progressives. After all, a baby is better off dead then without vitamin b12. Lesser of 2 evils.

We should have killed the children when we had the chance.

One problem, we couldn’t use fancy language like "the babies (Bush's) policies are killing." Oh wait, no. We can just say that Bush forced us to kill them all because a baby is better off dead, then living in a world with "fewer job prospects."

Tue Nov 30 2004 2:29 PM

Jim Gilliam:

It really is pretty fucked up, but that's the decision point families are facing. Immoral? You betcha. But it's also reality-based, and that's where most of us live.

Tue Nov 30 2004 2:33 PM


"We can solve the issue of the starving children in Iraq by just killing them all before they are born."

That doesn't sound very progressive to me.

Tue Nov 30 2004 5:44 PM


Radical theocrats (AKA "sex police"):
+ FOR recommending abstinence for teenagers.
+ AGAINST teaching youth how to avoid STD's.
+ AGAINST teaching youth how to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
+ FOR forcing women to bring unwanted pregnancies to term.

+ FOR recommending abstinence for teenagers.
+ FOR teaching youth how to avoid STD's.
+ FOR teaching youth how to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
+ AGAINST forcing women to bring unwanted pregnancies to term.

The result of the twittering sex police refusing to teach our kids what they need to know is "kids having kids". This is the phrase which we should be hammering on. "Kids having kids" is the direct result of the sex police teaching abstinence as the only method of birth control and disease prevention.

Abstinence-only is an abysmal failure. It causes "kids having kids".

Tue Nov 30 2004 6:23 PM


So what do you want to teach them - use a condom? Ask any doctor and he'll laugh in your face, people using condoms are called parents.

Sex education has been common in schools for well over 20 years - even in ultra conservative Kansas it was been part of basic education since the mid 70s. Despite all the "condom drives" and "wrap it drives" STDs are still common, AIDs continues to spread, teen births are down slightly but abortion is up. Maybe teaching kids that having sex will result in babies, abortion, and STDs (you know what really happens) is the route to go.

Wed Dec 1 2004 6:13 AM

Jim Gilliam:

"Maybe teaching kids that having sex will result in babies, abortion, and STDs (you know what really happens) is the route to go."

It's not an either/or. Absolutely teach them that AND teach them how to do it safely (you know, for when they get married).

Wed Dec 1 2004 8:19 AM

Dave E.:

Exactly. Again, we see the hobson's choice put forth by the narrow-minded. Some people focus less on proactive ways to solve a problem and more on lock-step conformity at the expense of good ideas.

Kids have sex. How can we bombard them with the ubiquitous, commercially institutionalized images and messages of sex to sell every product under the sun and then expect them to exercise sexual restraint. We need to firstly take responsibility for the atmosphere this culture creates and then recognize that we've placed our youth in an untenable position. Target market them to death with sex, but expect them to act like saints. They're gonna be getting busy, one way or another.

The moral superiors have a tough time arguing this one because Bush's "ownership society" makes so much money off the youth market sector. They play hide the pickle on this one.

I say teach them everything. If commercial industry is gonna do the sex kamikaze thing, we need to start equipping our kids accordingly, as adults. We're already selling shit to them like adults. Condoms, AIDS, abstinance, homosexuality, STD's, sexual harassment, et cetera, et cetera.

Wed Dec 1 2004 11:15 AM


...lots of opinion here, but what about scientific fact?

abstinence-only teaching has not proved effective and groups like the American Psychiatirc Association (that would consist of the doctor that would "laugh in your face) is against abstinece teaching (and so many more groups that are nonpartisan)

this sums it upwell too:

The National Institutes of Health's Consensus Panel on AIDS said in February 1997 that the abstinence-only approach to sexuality education "places policy in direct conflict with science and ignores overwhelming evidence that other programs (are) effective


Wed Dec 1 2004 11:30 AM


"So what do you want to teach them - use a condom? Ask any doctor and he'll laugh in your face, people using condoms are called parents."

That is a bald-faced lie. Condoms are widely considered by medical professionals to be one of the most effective methods of birth control. Abstinence is considered to be one of the least effective methods.

"Despite all the "condom drives" and "wrap it drives" STDs are still common, AIDs continues to spread, teen births are down slightly but abortion is up."

Most communities do not have condom drives. Also, condom drives are not a replacement for proper sex education. Proper sex education informs teenagers how pregnancy occurs, how easy it is to get pregnant, the ramifications of unwanted pregnancy, the ramifications of STD's, etc. This is the information which the prissy sex police want to keep away from young adults.

The prissy sex police think that young adults are unable to handle information about their bodies. This results in unwanted pregnancies and STD's.

Wed Dec 1 2004 11:34 AM

Right Wing Robby:

"That is a bald-faced lie. Condoms are widely considered by medical professionals to be one of the most effective methods of birth control. Abstinence is considered to be one of the least effective methods."

I agree. I know a female that isnt having sex with anyone and she is very worried she is going to get pregnant or get an STD. I keep telling her to have sex and use a condom to lower her chances of this, but she just wont listen and remains abstinent. Bottom line, its only a matter of time before she is pregnant. The hard part will be figuring out who the dad is.

Wed Dec 1 2004 1:52 PM


Concerning the the condom drives I was speaking of the ones on college campuses - you know the most enlightened and educated portion of the population. Ever look up the pregnancy, abortion and STD rates for college campuses? Much higher then the general population and in most cases they have free access to birth control of all kinds.

Paul - ask your doctor...never mind - first you need to have sex with someone (900 calls don't count).

The packages state 98% effective - but that is per instance. On average 14% of women a YEAR become pregnant when using condoms for birth control. If students believed condoms would keep them safe from becoming pregnant during highschool it will result in over half of the females being pregnant by graduation. That's a great idea.

Compound that statistic by the FACT that women are only fertile one or two days a month - there are a lot of leaky condoms to hit those days just right. In the mean time one must realize that STDs are passed on any day of the month and suddenly Paul's condom idea doesn't sound so good. Ever wonder why AIDs keeps spreading in the US even after 25 years of telling people that using a condom will make you safe and not using a condom could kill you?

Actually teaching kids what happens when you have sex is the basis of any abstinence program. Nothing like showing a rotted penis or a distraught 14 year old having an abortion to drive home the fact that teen sex has real consequences. These are the very images that most "sex education" courses avoid, or claim could be avoided if you just follow a few important steps to protect yourself.

Wed Dec 1 2004 2:21 PM


Good one Robby.

Wed Dec 1 2004 2:25 PM


Could we be seeing condom lawsuits on the horizon similar to the tobacco lawsuits? Greedy corporations using falsified advertising to push a product that resulted in BILLIONS of medical expenses should be sued out of existance.

Wed Dec 1 2004 2:42 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Robby... maybe she's just telling you she doesn't have sex, cause.....well...

Wed Dec 1 2004 4:33 PM

Dave E.:


Wed Dec 1 2004 5:22 PM


Some Abstinence Programs Mislead Teens, Report Says

"Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," a congressional staff analysis has found.

Those and other assertions are examples of the "false, misleading, or distorted information" in the programs' teaching materials, said the analysis, released yesterday, which reviewed the curricula of more than a dozen projects aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

In providing nearly $170 million next year to fund groups that teach abstinence only, the Bush administration, with backing from the Republican Congress, is investing heavily in a just-say-no strategy for teenagers and sex. But youngsters taking the courses frequently receive medically inaccurate or misleading information, often in direct contradiction to the findings of government scientists, said the report, by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), a critic of the administration who has long argued for comprehensive sex education."

Wed Dec 1 2004 11:28 PM


More from that article...

" Among the misconceptions cited by Waxman's investigators:

• A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."

• HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

• Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.


When used properly and consistently, condoms fail to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) less than 3 percent of the time, federal researchers say, and it is not known how many gay teenagers are HIV-positive. The assertion regarding gay teenagers may be a misinterpretation of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found that 59 percent of HIV-infected males ages 13 to 19 contracted the virus through homosexual relations."

Wed Dec 1 2004 11:30 PM


Go read the Planned Parenthood site - for a source of facts from "your" side of the fence. If condoms are used perfectly (whatever in the Hell that means) they get the 3% number. Condoms as used (no sterile test lab environment) result in a 15% pregnancy rate - per year.

Thu Dec 2 2004 6:05 AM


While I believe that abstinence is the only 100% way of preventing STDs (at least through sexual activity) and pregnancy, I believe that people are going to have sex anyway, and not educating them about the possible methods of prevention is more dangerous. These people need to know the different methods and the rates at which they prevent STDs and pregnancy, and emphasize that NO METHOD IS 100% EFFECTIVE. But practicing safe sex is a much better alternative than no protection at all. If they are being reckless, well they pretty much reap what they sow. It's surprising how much of the youth today doesn't know about practicing safe sex, and we all know how dangerous ignorance is.

Thu Dec 2 2004 10:35 AM


Why do condom manufacturers claim a 97% effective rate in preventing pregnancy when they are actually only 85% effective? Because they can.

As read on a condom machine: For refund insert baby.

Fri Dec 3 2004 5:52 AM

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