Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ironic Quote

"If you want to know the difference between the Republican and Democratic party, the democrats do not see it as a... a call to festivity when you start talking about killing people."
-Chris Matthews, 2011-09-07

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Troubling Pattern in Rape Discussions

EDIT: This post has been moved to my new blog, Combo Breaker, to keep this blog to its original purpose of providing a place to post comments that are longer than a site will allow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Howdy thar.

This is totally unrelated to the normal posts on this blog, but I've noticed that this diagram is nowhere to be found online.

Images are from the September 2010 Apple keynote.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So tell me, which babies should I kill?

From Grey's Anatomy, Season 2 Episode 10 "Much Too Much". I just love this scene.

(Cut to Izzie alone with Dorie in her hospital room. Izzie is looking at the heart readings for the quintuplets)

DORIE: How’s it look?

IZZIE: Not bad.

DORIE: Not bad?

IZZIE: Not bad is pretty good when you have 5 babies in your uterus.

(Dorie makes a slight sigh of pain. Izzie looks at her)

DORIE: Ah. It’s Kate. She kicks me so hard. It’s like a belly burn every time.

IZZIE (raises her eyebrows but looking at Dorie’s patient file): You’ve named them already?

DORIE: I know you think I’m crazy. Or maybe just a little bit stupid?

IZZIE: Mrs. Russell, I’m sorry if I’ve done something to offend you.

DORIE: The only thing that will offend me is if you pretend that you haven’t been judging me since the minute we met. (Izzie is silent) We’re gonna be spending a lot of time together so we may as well be honest, right?

IZZIE: If you had reduced the fetuses, even by two, the other three could’ve been carried longer, been more developed and born healthier.

DORIE: And you’re about the 16th doctor that’s told me that.

(Izzie is quite. Dorie reaches out and grabs Izzie’s arm. She places Izzie’s hand on her stomach)

DORIE: This one up here. This is Charlotte. She’s the stubborn one. Lodged into my rib cage. Won’t budge.

(She moves Izzie hand to another part of her stomach)

DORIE: Now over here, Lucy. She’s a bad ass. If she gets kicked, she kicks back.

(She moves Izzie’s hand again. Izzie is smiling)

DORIE: Emily. She has the hiccups almost everyday.

(Again moves Izzie’s hand)

DORIE: And over here is Julie. She’s pretty mellow. Every once in a while she just turns over. (Again moves Izzie’s hand) Which brings us back to Kate.

IZZIE: Who gives you belly burn.

DORIE (grinning): Every time she kicks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Let me make something perfectly clear. Abortion is NOT simply "terminating a pregnancy" or "expulsion" or "denying consent for the use of your body". It is not at all "refusing to save a life". It is the deliberate and purposeful killing of one human being by another. The unborn child is killed, and this is the intent of the procedure. This is the part that pro-lifers object to. From Wikipedia's article on feticide:

Use during legal abortion

In abortions after 20 weeks, an injection of digoxin or potassium chloride to stop the fetal heart can be used to achieve feticide.[12][13] Less commonly, urea may be injected into the amniotic sac,[14][15] or the umbilical cord may be cut, resulting in the fetus bleeding to death.[15][16] Fetal death causes the tissues to soften, making removal of fetal parts in a dilation and evacuation procedure easier.[15] In the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that a legal ban on intact dilation and extraction procedures does not apply if feticide is completed before surgery starts.[13] When used before labor induction, feticide prevents the possible complication of live birth.[17] The possibility of unsuccessful feticide—resulting in birth of a live infant—is a malpractice concern.[18]

The most common method of selective reduction—a procedure to reduce the number of fetuses in a multifetus pregnancy—is feticide via a chemical injection into the selected fetus or fetuses. The reduction procedure is usually performed during the first trimester of pregnancy.[19] It often follows detection of a congenital defect in the selected fetus or fetuses, but can also reduce the risks of carrying more than three fetuses to term.[20]

Anyone claiming differently is being disingenuous at best.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What can we learn from the polls?

Note: Images may be cut off due to excessive width. Click them to view them entirely.

You're probably very familiar with this graph by now. Many have been declaring this a success, and in early 2009 with a statistically significant (outside the margin of error) majority it appeared it was. The trend we're seeing in youth is very promising.

In 2010, however, we've dropped to a tenuous and statistically insignificant plurality. However, from other polls we can learn what types of outreach we should focus our attention on.*

As you can see, 3% fewer people identify as "pro-life" than consider abortion to be "morally wrong". This is within the margin of error, but with the drop being from 50% to 47%, I think it's worth outreach to those "personally opposed" to abortion. is already doing some of this by its mere existence, as many religious people are unaware of the secular reasons to be pro-life, and are thus pro-choice due to their beliefs on the separation of church and state. There is also probably significant concern about back-alley abortions, and we definitely need to devote attention to the statistical and philosophical reasons why this is not a good reason to be pro-choice.

What I find more interesting is that 7% more people identify as "pro-choice" than consider abortion to be "morally acceptable". At most, 3% of this difference can be accounted for by the "personally opposed" crowd, meaning at least 4% of the 12% morally undecided/neutral crowd consider themselves "pro-choice". I think this means people don't understand that the benefit of the doubt should go to life.

The demographic differences are less interesting. There is only a 5% gender gap, for instance, on the morality of abortion (women being more against it), but very slightly (1%) less likely to identify as "pro-life". In addition, Republicans and Democrats have become more pro-life and pro-choice, respectively, but it's hard to know if this is an actual change in anyone's opinions or just a result of pro-life liberals feeling not welcome in the Democratic party.

What I find most interesting is the role education plays in the legality polls, with graduating from college (especially among women) being correlated to support for the "legal under all circumstances" view of legality. By emphasizing the scientific/biological and philosophical arguments against abortion, also helps address this issue.

In summary, if we take the current 47% pro-life plurality, and manage to get people to vote their consciences (+3%) and give the benefit of the doubt to life (+12%), we should get a sizable (62%) pro-life majority without actually having to change anyone's mind on the morality of abortion!

As demonstrated by this graph, those who view abortion as morally acceptable have been consistently in the minority. Even when those who view abortion as morally wrong were below 50% (2001, 2006, & 2008) or at 50% (2004 & 2010), everyone against abortion voting their consciences and everyone with no opinion giving the benefit of the doubt to life would bring a sufficient majority to protect the rights of the unborn.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The flag of the USSN

A 1-pixel border has been added to make it easier to make out on a white background.

The green bar represent's Esperanto, the de facto national language of the United Socialist States of Nulono, and the language from which the name is derived, and it also serves as a vinculum. The white represents 1, and the black 0, thus one over zero.

The rest is covered here.