Hard News by Russell Brown

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  • Steve Parks,

    Re: Karl du Fresne's rant, to save people having to read through his other twaddle, here's the relevant part from the end:

    United States President Barack Obama condemned the murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller as a heinous act of violence, which it undoubtedly was.

    But since we're talking about heinous acts of violence, what about the barbaric third-trimester abortions that Dr Tiller specialised in?

    Even if you believe abortion is wrong in almost any circumstances, there is something specially repulsive about the way Dr Tiller made his living.

    A third-trimester abortion is one that is carried out when the baby has been growing for 27 weeks or more. At 27 weeks many babies are capable, with the right medical care, of surviving outside the womb. Winston Churchill and the great ballerina Anna Pavlova weren't much older than that when they were born.

    At that stage of its development a typical baby is 36 centimetres long and weighs nearly a kilogram.

    It is blinking its eyes, kicking and developing physical co-ordination. It is not just a lump of tissue, which is how abortion advocates like to characterise most aborted babies.

    It's one of the great ironies of modern medicine that, while dedicated neonatologists are performing miracles in successfully delivering babies as early as 22 weeks, others like Dr Tiller are killing them.

    I left a comment on stuff linking to the example of a late term abortion Russell used in his original blog entry, fwiw.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Re du Fresne: being a professional curmudgeon is one thing: being plain ignorant is another.

    I'd say he was endorsing extrajudicial execution, were it not for the fact that Tiller never even committed an offence.

    A few late-term abortions are carried out here every year too. Is du Fresne suggesting that it'd be okay for vigilantes to off the doctors involved?

    I'm sorry, but what an idiot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Heinous violence, but = I'm not a racist, but. Or No offence, but.

    When Russell says "I'm sorry, but what an idiot" everyone knows he's not all that sorry. That's the correct and honest use of that particular construction, which would be entirely undermined if an argument over it started and he said "look, I said I was sorry".

    It would be nice if the heinous violence buttheads had a little bit of self-awareness on how that works.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I am genuinely sorry Karl du Fresne is such an idiot. Better?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Well, so am I. The world would be better if that wasn't the case. However.

    The syntax is [conventionally polite and acceptable mouthings], but [what I really think is more important but am a little nervous about transgressing good taste to say]. So long as you don't expect people to take the first part seriously, it's ok.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Thus 'all due respect' generally means 'no respect at all'.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Even if you believe abortion is wrong in almost any circumstances, there is something specially repulsive about the way Dr Tiller made his living.

    That sentence is not only idiotic, it makes no sense whatsoever. If you believe abortion is wrong in "almost any circumstances", surely you'd find performing any abortions at all "specially repulsive"?

    What I find specially repulsive are people who claim to believe in the "sanctity of life" -- just not the lives of people you hate. Oh, and don't get me started on people who oppose legal abortion but are rather keen on state-sanctioned murder of convicted criminals. There's cognitive dissonance, and there's doublethink that would leave Orwell himself goggle-eyed in disbelief.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Danielle, I use it a lot and when I say "all due respect" I really do mean 'all due respect'. It is just that usually the amount of respect they are due approximates zero.

    It's kinda mealy-mouthed but it generally works when dealing with officaldom in most of its guises.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That sentence is not only idiotic, it makes no sense whatsoever. If you believe abortion is wrong in "almost any circumstances", surely you'd find performing any abortions at all "specially repulsive"?

    The other point there is that du Fresne is so clearly (wilfully?) ignorant of how Tiller actually did "make his living".

    Anyone who cared would have been able to find out that Tiller's clinic provided a range of care services for women, including maternal and neonatal. His patients seem to go out of their way to emphasise how caring he was.

    There's a very informative statement along those lines here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    There's a very informative statement along those lines here.

    Yikes... could someone fit Randall Terry with a muzzle until can spend five minutes in a row exhibiting a shred of common decency?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    What I find specially repulsive are people who claim to believe in the "sanctity of life" -- just not the lives of people you hate. Oh, and don't get me started on people who oppose legal abortion but are rather keen on state-sanctioned murder of convicted criminals. There's cognitive dissonance, and there's doublethink that would leave Orwell himself goggle-eyed in disbelief.

    As previously mentioned, it's political murder at best. The anti-abortion/pro-death penalty mix sounds contradictory at first - then again, contradiction and hypocrisy aren't words in the Dictionary of Hyper-Theocracy.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    DeepRed - It's not contradictory at all, once you realise it's not the real issue. The Real Issue is conservatism vs liberalism and/or feminism. Banning abortion punishes loose women by inflicting consequences on them for having Teh Secs. It doesn't matter if abortions just go underground, because there's inherent punishment in having an unsafe illegal backstreet abortion - see Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days. Conservatism necessitates punishment for acting out of the old-school roles.

    All of the sideline debates over which abortions are deserving skirts around the elephant in the room. Many pro-lifers oppose birth control that would bring the abortion rate crashing down. Our half-hearted legislation allows only health exceptions to abortion, although it's broadly interpreted in practice. There are opponents even of health exceptions - McCain's horrible airquotes around "the mother's health" when he discussed in during the US campaign - some argue that ectopic pregnancy is the only justifiable health exception, while their more obstetrically ignorant fellows dispute even that. Some people say abortion is ok, but not when it's used as birth control. Goodness knows how that could be enforced. None of those positions work logically except based on the assumption that women can't be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies, that future generations need to be protected from their wilful ways, that sluttitude must be punished, and that where nature deals a cruel blow, that it's better that blow falls upon the woman than the tenuous scrap of life growing inside her.

    The whole every life is sacred thing would be a lot more convincing and consistent if the people arguing about it focussed less on teh secs and more on infant mortality, maternal mental health, preventing miscarriage (Mother Nature's the world's biggest abortionist) and preventing unwanted pregnancy in the first place.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    McCain's horrible airquotes around "the mother's health" when he discussed in during the US campaign

    I don't remember which female activist said at the time that in that moment he lost "the election", but it was fun to watch it happen anyhow.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    McCain's horrible airquotes around "the mother's health" when he discussed in during the US campaign

    Oh MAN. I had blocked that out but it's all coming back to me now.

    Didn't Jon Stewart call those air quotes 'dick fingers'? Heh.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • complacenta,

    to what extent though is the idea that it be better that "the blow falls upon the woman" rather than that "tenuous scrap of life growing inside her" inconsistent somehow with the enormous social emphasis, from left right & god knows where else as well, put on the sentiment that children must always be saved first, rather than more developed, experientially, contributionally, and even existentially-rich humans?

    Since Jun 2009 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Look who's back.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • complacenta,

    you're back, mickificki, and without a single thing to say

    Since Jun 2009 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    -and so quick on the attack tooooo-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's being grey and soggy in Wellington, but warm.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    It's being grey and soggy in Wellington, but warm.

    Isn't that nice? So good to have little comforts in trying times, like warmth on a wet day, or the hope of an incoming permanent IP ban.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Extremely wet here (over 2cm an hour) but I too am looking forward to a change.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • complacenta,

    then i repeat my query

    to what extent though is the idea that it be better that "the blow falls upon the woman" rather than that "tenuous scrap of life growing inside her" inconsistent somehow with the enormous social emphasis, from left right & god knows where else as well, put on the sentiment that it is children who must always be saved first, rather than more developed, experientially/contributionally, and even existentially-rich humans?

    am i to BLAME for wondering about this????

    Since Jun 2009 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • complacenta,

    IS IT more exciting for you then to play this plainly puerile little game of round up and catch lil' p's outlaw ass if you can, rather than attempt to engage with with what she SAYS?

    Since Jun 2009 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    The saying used to be "*women* and children first" - in certain circumstances.

    Human instincts being what they are, there is a very strong imperative to help children in emergency circumstances - but it isnt overwhelming in all circumstances.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • complacenta,

    NOW you're talking

    abortion is obviously an emergency circumstance
    unfortunately, 'humans' are creatures not of instinct
    (although we are not of course yet devoid of it)
    but creatures-of-representation of what it is that we do and how that is seen by others and maybe eventually even by whatever may turn out to actually be 'ourselves'..

    instinct sure as hell does not motivate this blog!
    i think you can agree that little children as such, way before any mere over-shadowing woman, occupy a preposessing place in the hierarchy of our present sacral structure!

    and that is the inconsistency of affects that i am, however clumsily, trying to get at with my query

    Since Jun 2009 • 26 posts Report Reply

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