Is it the Y chromosome?

Honestly, I know enough biology to know that it can’t be. It just can’t. And yet how else to explain the sudden ignorance of a guy as sharp as Bob Somerby? He’s talking about Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow beating up on Stupak for tribalistic, Village reasons.
Somerby finds that inappropriate.

For ourselves, we think pro-choice groups have every right to bail on the bill if they decide it ends up affecting choice in unacceptable ways. But then, we also think that anti-abortion groups have the right to make the same sort of decision. That is, to jump ahead just a bit: We assume that different people, acting in good faith, may judge the morality of a measure in different ways.

Leaving Olbermann and Maddow aside, this is the first time I’ve seen Somerby completely miss a question of right and wrong.

What if the amendment read, “Hair straightening is unnatural and immoral. No medical costs associated with complications can be paid for using any Federal tax dollars.” Would he be as tolerant of that viewpoint? Male circumcision is an unnecessary procedure whose only health benefit comes from compensating for poor hygiene (or, in the case of AIDS, from the unnaturally thickened skin of the glans). Would he be as quick to understand people with moral objections to the deformation of men? (Note to the humor-challenged: I’m paralleling anti-abortion attitudes, not actually arguing for a specific kind of anatomy.) If I felt it was immoral and harmful to everyone to overpopulate the planet, and attached an amendment saying that no Federal money should ever be spent on pregnancy, childbirth, or infants after the second child, would he sagely say my morality could become law if I had the votes?

I could have all the morals I want about these things. As soon as I tried to make anyone else live according to them, I would be wrong.

Stupak and Pitts deserve disgrace for trying to take away our rights. It has nothing to do with morals, Stupak’s, mine, or the man in the moon’s. Rights. The right to control our own medical procedures. The right to control our bodies. Rights. Get it?

So, no, “different people, acting in good faith” may not judge a law about rights in different ways. Not even when it’s a law about women’s medical rights.

What is so hard to understand about this? Even with the handicap of a Y chromosome?

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Debate Club: The use of animals for testing

catcochlear

I must admit, I love debates; and the caliber of those in our community make this forum an excellent opportunity to hone our chops in this area.  We previously held an excellent debate discussion here at TC on the issue of parental rights versus responsibility regarding medical treatments for their children.  Therefore, I’d love to have another go.  We could all use a distraction from the hostile-to-women environment our current Democratic leaders are fomenting.  Join in if only out of love for the ‘art of the argument.’

The debate topic I’ve chosen is the use of animals for testing.  It’s well known that animals are used for testing in several areas including medical and consumer products.  Much of the testing inflicts great pain other testing is considered more humane.  But pain infliction is not the core question I’ll be asking for a debate on.  It is the question of right or obligation relative to our species’ actions towards another.  I’m sure the scientists in our group will certainly have a few things to say about this and I think it should make for an interesting and lively conversation.

The New York Times profiled a research effort at the Salk Institute this week that I thought might provide an excellent platform for a good old fashioned debate. In the following article: Salk institute Scientists Research how Animals Regenerate Body Parts, they profile the efforts used by these researchers to determine the potentiality for human limb regeneration by studying the biological processes that create this phenomenom in the animal world.

So, the questions are:

question-mark-button-thumb3049747Do we as a species have the right to use another species for this purpose? if so, where do we derive that right?

Or in the converse, Do we have an obligation to use other species for this purpose?; and if so, how does this obligation supercede the rights of the other species?

Finally, if we have the right and/or obligation, what lines should be drawn, if any?

Some ground rules:

1) No personal attacks, ad hominems, or name-calling — you WILL be moderated

2) Rely on logical arguments to the greatest degree possible

3) Use facts, questions, statistics, etc

4) Respond in point-counterpoint fashion throughout by use of our nesting feature

What do you think?  (full disclosure: I believe in animal rights, but I am conflicted or not fully committed in this area; however, I do have issues about inflicting pain upon another species for our species’ benefit. — I anxiously await the discussion.)
This debate is purely for the enjoyment of the art.  Have at it. — and remember rule #1:  don’t take disagreement personally, take it as a challenge.  Enjoy!

Saturday Morning Open Thread

funny pictures of cats with captions


Fred is obviously an Obot.

 

What are you doing this morning?

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