Saturday Morning Open Thread: Elections Matter

And I found this useful: The Washington Post on the parameters for the Democratic debates — when, how, who’s in or not (at the moment).








Friday Evening Open Thread: Cruise Ship of Certified Fools

Fortunately for the crew — and boy howdy do I feel sorry for those poor folk! — Beck’s target audience is almost certainly old enough to be outside the measles-susceptible anti-vaxxer demographic. Unlike the wretched Scientologists on the Seastead earlier this year…








Thursday Morning Open Thread: Here We Go Again

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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I’m old enough I can remember being thrilled when Roe v Wade passed. At the time, my teenage self couldn’t imagine that we’d have to fight the same battles against ignorance, hypocrisy, and misogyny all over again… but the older I got, the more it became clear it would happen, sooner or later.








Beating The War Drums

National Security Advisor John Bolton still thinks that the Iraq war was a good idea. He has never met a war he didn’t like or a treaty that he did. Now, as Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, he has a great deal of power to make war against Iran. Bolton has given speeches for the MEK, a cultish organization that wants regime change in Iran.

Trump pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, Iran deal) a year ago, under the fiction that his great deal-making skills and “maximum pressure” would force Iran into a deal where they would change their government, stop supporting Hamas, end all nuclear work, and, probably, build a Trump Tower Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has listed twelve points that Iran must meet to become a good world citizen in his eyes. Presumably, as in the case of North Korea, Iran must meet all those points before sanctions will be removed.

The JCPOA covers the possibility of Iran’s making nuclear weapons in full detail. Iran is complying with the agreement. But that’s not enough for a faction in the United States and Israel who opposed the JCPOA from the beginning and have continued to agitate for withdrawal from it. Read more








Keeping Women Barefoot And Pregnant

The Georgia legislature passed a law making abortion after six weeks of pregnancy illegal. I won’t go into all the details of the law. The theory is that a fetal heartbeat can be detected at that time. This is nonsense, because the embryo (it isn’t a fetus until nine weeks after conception) doesn’t have a heart at that point, although it does have a group of cells that, with luck, will become a heart and pulse together.

Pregnancies are defined from the last period, so six weeks is about when a period is late enough (for most women) that the woman starts thinking that maybe she’s pregnant. So the law bans all abortions. It also, and I haven’t dug into these details, makes it likely that women who have miscarriages can be convicted and imprisoned. Some asshole also said that it applies to ectopic pregnancies too, because the embryo/fetus should be removed from its unfortunate implantation outside the uterus and gently placed into that uterus. This is also nonsense – no such procedure has been developed.

Ohio wants to ban insurance coverage for abortion and most types of contraception. (Thanks, debbie!)

Alabama has also indulged in some sort of fuckery around a forced pregnancy law, but they haven’t gotten to voting on it yet.

The ACLU and others are challenging the Georgia law. At least two movie production companies are withdrawing from making movies in Georgia.

The responses on Twitter have been great. Here are some.

Great thread here – women will identify, and men should think about this.

At six weeks, the embryo is microscopic. A late and difficult period may well be an early miscarriage. Will the legislators want to examine menstrual fluid for those microscopic people?

You can donate to Planned Parenthood here. (thanks joel haines)

I think it’s cool that so many women are talking so candidly about menstruation and related matters.

Over to you all.