Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekly News Headline and Debate Topic Forum - 3/25/13

Another week down, and another one is beginning with new, relevant topics. 

Out with the old: 

- What do you make of Obama's trip to Israel? The media seems to be fawning over his trip while claiming it was a success. What do you think?
- Harry Reid shutters the assault weapons ban, and the liberal media's head explodes...

In with the new: 

- The Supreme Court hears gay marriage arguments. Should this be maintained as a states' rights issue, or should it be a federally-protected right? Vote in our poll on the left side of the blog.
- Furlough notices are beginning to go out to federal employees. What impact will this have?

As always, share any and all relevant opinions, rants, positions, etc. below. Thank you!


  1. Hi All : )

    First off, Obama refused to address the Kinessett (sp) which would be the same as if Bibi dissed our Congress if invited to speak.

    Secondly, the 'speech' he made to the college students in Israel was eerily similar to the one he made in Egypt ('09?) which touched off the 'Arab Spring' less than a year later.

    While 0 tossed Israel under the bus (again) Mr. Ketchup was making nice-nice with one of the biggest two-faced thieves on the planet - Karsai (sp) AFTER 'promising' another half Billion taxpayer dollars to the anti-Semite Muslim Brotherhood Sharia Law Beast Morsi...

    ...and Plugs Shoot 'Em Through the Door Biden romped around Paris - spending $600M taxpayer dollars (last count) on a one night stand in some fancy hotel.

    Meanwhile, back in the good ol' U.S.A. places like Montana are rounding up their OWN money to get the Natl. Parks open on time (good for them!) BUT the GOV is closing Air Traffic Control towers - because 'we can't afford them'...?

    Apparently we CAN afford ANOTHER expensive, exotic vacation for Mrs. 0 and the kiddies???? ...the I.R.S. CAN afford to spend $4M a year on its OWN movie studio???

    Fascist Bloomberg spent a bazzillion dollars bribing/threatening Dimocrat CO legislators to ram through HIS gun grab agenda - and NOW he's taking that party nationwide. He actually SAID on MTP Sunday morning: "There are times 'we' need to infringe on people's rights."

    You know, because We The People are too ignorant to 'know what's good for us' and fascist, totalitarian filthy rich apes like Bloomy feel the need to 'take charge' 'for our own good'... and the Lame Stream Media IGNORED it.

    We already have ALL the gun laws we need... including background checks. This 'expansion' is the doorway to confiscation. Don't believe me? Ask a Canadian... THEY started with 'expanded' background checks, which morphed into a Natl. Registry, which THEN morphed into confiscation!

    Instead of wasting time and money passing 'new' laws that will ONLY affect LAW ABIDING gun owners - and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop criminals from getting WHATEVER weapons and ammo they WANT, the federal government NEEDS to do their job - and ENFORCE THE LAWS WE HAVE.

    1. As I've said all along... marriage is a States rights issue, but the radical gay 'activists' refuse to take NO for an answer at the state level.

      A SCOTUS 'decision' is exactly how we ended up with 'abortion on demand' nationwide... and that's worked out just hunky-dory (600 million DEAD American babies)- right???

      Oh, yeah. Dingy Harry Reid is nothing but a senile old fossil... but this time - he was right. Aside from Feinstein's 'new' law being insane AND UnConstitutional - too many Dim Senators are up for re-election. They KNOW an 'assault' weapon ban (which includes MANY popular SEMI-automatic weapons) won't fly with their constituents AND they ONLY care about their J.O.B.S.

      Hey, how 'bout that Cyprus?? They sure FORCED those e-e-evil rich to 'pay their fair share'! Can't get 'em to pay up? No problem... just TAKE what you (govt) want - and leave the rest (maybe). Q: Since when did $130,000 (in dollars) make one 'wealthy'?

    2. Good morning Dara & everyone, hope all has been well!

      I'm curious, where does that 600m figure come from?

      And further, a part of this conversation that is a very real concern but often seems to be ignored: what do you think the implications would be of another additional 600m+ people living in the United States? Or well, in reality, if your 600m figure is accurate that would even probably be more like another 1+ billion (if 1/3 of those 600m had just one kid by now, we’d be over 1bil).

      Also keeping in mind that, particularly as of recent, the average abortion is by a young single women (teenage or 20s) below the poverty line (40% + of them and growing). In fact, recent statistics show that 70% of all abortions are by women classified as economically disadvantaged (within 200% of poverty line).

      So, we’d have, at the very least… 3-5x the population we do now, with 7-14x the number of people born into poverty, and a 200-300% increase in the share of the total population that is in poverty.

      Of course, it’s all hypothetical and based on current statistics, and there’s no way to tell for sure what the actual numbers would be… But I think this is a part of the conversation here that is often ignored.

      Point being, there has to be some sort of control factor here. And we already know that abstinence does not work, and simply subsidizing the choice to pop out kids you can’t afford (as we do now) is surely not a sustainable answer either.

      I, personally, can't imagine any reasonable solution to this part of the problem that completely takes away abortion as an option. I don't have a problem with some limits and regulations (ex: how late in the pregnancy), but banning it outright? Without even getting into the other aspects of this debate, I can't see it working.

    3. " I don't have a problem with some limits and regulations (ex: how late in the pregnancy)"

      What's your take on the new abortion law in Minnesota? It states that once a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, that fetus cannot be aborted. In all honesty, that seems very fair (and I'm a strong catholic.)

      The other thing I find odd, though it's a reasonable question, is your assertion that abortion is a form of population control. Is that really why it should exist? Still a fair question though.

      Long time no chat, y'all. I miss you guys. I hope we can keep more debates going! I loved being able to come here and discuss the issues with smart people. One day, I'll suck it up and write something for debate as a post. I know Mike said he has a new job and can never write, and I miss that. Maybe I'll kick something in ;-).

      Have a good day!

    4. I have NO IDEA why I said Minnesota. The new abortion law was enacted in North Dakota. Sorry about that.

    5. RKen, good morning.

      I believe Dara's "600M" was meant to be $600K. Biden stayed in a 5 star hotel for one night with a cost of (approximately) $565,000 in Paris. He stayed in London (I think) the night before at a cost of nearly $450,000. Both stories were on the Drudge Report, so you can search the Recent Headlines at Drudge to find those.

      If abortion is an acceptable form of population control could not the same be said of capital punishment? At least those people deserve what they get. If population control is necessary, why do we keep trying to find cures for terminal illnesses and diseases?

      You said, "And we already know that abstinence does not work,". Could you please give a couple of examples of women that have ABSTAINED from sex that turned up pregnant. I don't think it is so much that abstinence does not work, it just isn't practiced. Huge difference.

      MN4Rick, wow, long time no see. Good to see you. I didn't know "y'all" was a word used much in your part of the country. I thought that word was mostly used by us southerners (rednecks, hillbillies, whatever floats your boat).

      Good day to all.

    6. Hey all, been quite a while indeed!

      MN 4 Rick: I think the Minnesota law is OK in concept (establishing a limit to how late you can abort), but too ambiguous and too limited.

      A 'beat' can be detected as soon as 3 weeks after conception, depending on how you define it (cardiac contraction?) and what caliber of instruments you use (Doppler, ultrasound, stethoscope?). At that limit, it’s way past being ridiculous as an expectation. Many people don't even realize or know that they're pregnant at that point (pregnancy tests aren’t even completely accurate until 3-5+ weeks), and ironically enough, many doctors don't even perform an abortion that early either.

      A law like that effectively does ban abortion, which is why it is so controversial. It sounds good on paper, but in practice it’s unrealistic.

      On the original topic: I wasn’t really attempting to divert this subject into a population control debate, but I guess that it essentially is very similar.

      My point is more that taking the choice out of the equation here has very real oft-unaddressed ramifications beyond just the “pro-life vs pro-choice” simplification; and it always is swept aside in these discussions. Truth is, I know exactly why, because there is NO popular measure or way to address it (and political suicide if you tried). It’s the elephant in the room, for that debate.

      Whether or not it’s cringe-worthy to say “population control” and “abortion” in the same sentence, does not change that they are directly and absolutely related; however bad it does sound. Though, still different in this context. “Population control” comes across more as a forced method of “controlling” the population (and taking choice away), but that isn’t really the case here.

      But, yes, as statistics and studies on the matter tend to show, the ability to have that choice has inadvertently greatly reduced the population and stresses on our system, as well as the number of people born into poverty, and the number of people thrown into poverty through financial struggles. So if that choice was taken away, how would we balance this? That is my question.

      Slim32: Good morning to you too!

      I’m referring to abstinence, as in as an educational or political policy. Asking young adults (much less, the entire population) to only ever have sex when they attend to reproduce, is not realistic or effective. Very little evidence has shown up to support it as an effective policy, and in fact most studies seem to point to it being counter-productive.

      Capital punishment would be another debate in itself, shortened to 'it depends.'

    7. RKen - as I have said, this is a very fair discussion.

      Really quick - it was North Dakota. I do ask, however, how do you not know that those things you brought up weren't weighed into the equation? What if they were. I'm all for a compromise on this, establishing thresholds that find a balance between not killing a potential child and allowing someone to have the ability to control their health needs. If those things you mentioned were discussed, analyzed, and agreed upon by experts, such as - this is the hard and fast threshold, without ambiguity, as to when you can determine the heartbeat of a child, or when an abortion can be performed in general, would you then go along with it?

      Okay, new topic. The whole gay marriage issue. It's a big one, but I gotta say, this comment on CNN, I think, is absolutely perfect:

      "People who abhor gay marriage nearly always do so for religious reasons, they see marriage as an act of God, not the state. OK, then how about this... give unto God what is God's and give unto the State what is the State's to give.

      The law could be this:

      To receive any legal benefits, you must receive a civil union certificate; such certificate provides 100% of the state and federal benefits currently received by married people. No State may deny a civil union between any two consenting adults (who are not too closely related by blood).

      Those who view their unions as a religious event should be free to have their own ceremony in their own church. That ceremony can be called a "marriage" but it derives no secular (State or Federal) benefits. Each church is free to deny a marriage ceremony to any couple since this is strictly a religious, not State, concern.

      God can oversee and bless the "marriage" ceremony while the State will oversee and bless (through financial and legal benefits) the civil ceremony. Each side gets what it needs."

      I know Dara won't like it :-( but I think it absolutely perfectly describes how this should be handled LEGALLY (personal views aside) with respect to this issue. What do you all say?

    8. Argh, yeah, I meant North Dakota too lol, your typo messed me up!

      Whether or not those factors were weighed into the equation, the law itself as I’ve seen it written and described does not clarify it (which is part of my gripe in it being ambiguous). If they did seek to establish a more concrete standard that was agreed upon as a compromise, I’d certainly be open to considering whatever that idea may be.

      But, in any case, I can’t see anything less than 7-8 weeks even being realistic for this discussion (pregnancy tests aren’t 95%+ reliable until around this point). Setting a time limit that can cross over with how long it would take some people to even be able to find out whether they’re pregnant or not is pretty unfair of a ‘compromise’ to me.

      As far as the gay marriage issue, I can agree with that as well.

  2. Hi Rick : ) While my personal belief is in traditional (one man and one woman) marriage, I've always said that marriage - of any flavor - is a STATES rights issue. It's NOT enumerated in the Constitution - so it belongs to the states. (BTW I feel the exact same way about D.O.M.A.)

    Think about it: The marriage license fee is nothing but a tax - collected NOT by the Feds - but by the states. 'Age of consent' for marriage varies from state to state. Some states require blood tests, others don't. I believe there are some states where marriage between second cousins is legal.

    The problem with national legalization of gay marriage is this: They won't stop there. One of the Justices brought that up yesterday... Gay marriage? Okay how about polygamy? How about incest? Another equated this issue with the (bad) decision to REMOVE the abortion conversation from the states and make it national.

    And if you don't believe that they won't stop with gay marriage see Canada. They legalized same-sex marriage nationally in '06. Last year the gay activists sought to bring legislation to LOWER the legal age for sodomy to 14! They're now before their Supreme Court fighting against a Natl. MANDATE that ALL children including those Home-Schooled or in Parochial schools be taught that same-sex unions are 'o.k' and 'normal'.. no matter WHAT their PARENTS believe.

    Rowe v. Wade supposedly allowed abortion to be 'safe, legal and RARE. The initial 'guideline' was FIRST trimester ONLY. That's three months and as I've said before, I didn't like it, but was 'somewhat' okay with that. Now we have a monster on trial - for the murder of at least TEN viable, late term babies - one was a child that he joked 'was big enough to walk me to the bus stop'... Partial birth abortions where the 'doctor' inserts a sharpened probe into the cranium into a late term BABY and scrambles his/her brain... THAT's what has 'evolved' from safe, legal and rare abortion.

    @RKen...Yes sorry, I misspoke - the kill rate to date from abortion is 60K. How very Margaret Sanger of you to equate abortion to control of the population and attach it to poverty rates as well. Her plan was to 'rid' the Earth of UnDesirables (in HER opinion)... her preferred target was BLACKS who she considered to be not much above animals. Poor women, she felt, would do their children 'a favor' by killing them. She felt the same way about a child born handicapped - or one who's development wasn't 'up to snuff'. Just. Kill. It.

    And now-days we have some high-brow scholars 'debating' on 'when' a child 'becomes a person' - AFTER birth! As I said - they don't stop - ever!

    You MIGHT want to read up on the Fabian Socialists and Hitler. They too sought to remove (exterminate) those who THEY felt would/could 'not contribute to the common good'; those they 'felt' were imperfect: The poor, the old, the infirm, in addition to the Jews.

    On a side note: Something to think about: Maybe - the incidents of our young people killing others, seemingly without remorse, MIGHT have something to do with the FACT they're been raised in a culture where killing the innocent is viewed and PROMOTED as a 'right'?

    Gay 'marriage' is NOT a 'religious' issue. Even if you believe you evolved from a worm who crawled out of the sea - think about this: IF humans had not evolved to be willing and able to breed - with two DIFFERENT physically compatible genders, and hormones that promoted desirability; IF humans were MEANT to instead develop homosexually in the NORMAL order of things - would ANY of us even be AROUND to be discussing this?

    My point: Heterosexuality as the 'norm' w-a-y PREDATES ALL organized religion. It's one of those 'if the shoe fits (and smells nice) - wear it' things. : )

    1. Dara, drawing lines between implications I didn’t make. :P

      Giving people the option of having abortion isn't equivalent to genocide; much less the actions of those like Hitler and the like.

      And I'm not 'attaching' abortion to poverty, or anything. The fact of the matter here is that the people who decide on abortion the most, are those that are in or close to poverty (this shouldn't be all that much of a surprise, considering that children are a major financial burden and people who can't afford them are less likely to want to have them). There's a difference between stating the obvious and/or what the statistics tell you, and trying to simply make a fabricated point fit some hidden ‘Fabian socialist Hitler’ agenda.

      I'd even go as far to say that the real injustice to the poor here would be ignoring those facts and trying to say that there does not need to be a discussion in how those in poverty would deal with this situation if we took the choice of abortion away.

      As far as gay marriage, our evolution has nothing to do with whether or not people have a right to spend their lives with whomever they wish (and enjoy the state-granted rights of such a commitment). None of this is about how it is ‘evolutionarily meant to be’; I’ve never even seen anyone try to imply as much. And well, ironically enough, if you’re looking to nature for answers on this discussion you would also find that homosexuality is frequent in nature as well.

    2. Margaret Sanger is the mother of our 'modern' abortion 'rights' movement. Her main GOAL was strictly genocidal ie: to REMOVE those who she and her ilk deemed undesirable with an endgame of restricting them from reproducing LIVE children and expanding their population.

      She didn't have a problem with killing living children either, claiming that IF a mother had a child who was disabled - or slow - or ? she'd be doing the child - and society - 'a favor' by smothering it.

      Before promoting abortion as an acceptable means of birth and/or population control you might want to READ what this woman actually believed and SAID. Her speeches and writings STINK of the same 'master race' mentality that Hitler espoused.

      **Note: The birth rate in America dropped to the lowest point EVER last year. To put this in perspective - the BEGINNING of the Greek fiasco was their LOW BIRTH RATE. With their Nanny State system, there were simply not enough young people to support the older. WE are headed in the SAME direction.

      There's a reason the abortion promoters FOUGHT the use of ultra-sound PRIOR to the 'procedure'. I believe they KNOW the 'fetus' is MORE than 'just a clump of cells'. MOST women would change their minds IF they actually SAW and heard their moving, living child.

      Apparently Sanger's propaganda worked as the BULK of abortions are of black children followed closely by the children of Hispanics... and people like you view that as 'okay' 'because they're poor' or 'uneducated' or otherwise 'undesirable' so it's 'acceptable' to murder THEIR offspring. 'All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.'

      In case you didn't know - Hilter's murderous, genocidal maniacs used many ideas and means developed and created by 'leading scientific minds' - in AMERICA.

      I could care less who people 'spend their lives with'... it's not a normal state, but it's none of my business. The point is marriage - which has been one man and one woman since LONG BEFORE organized religion ever came into being.

      Civil unions are available in most states and give the recipients the same rights and privileges of married male/female couples... in states where that's NOT the case, those laws can and should be changed. Problem solved... but wait. That won't work because the 'gay' activists are NOT about 'equality'... their endgame goal is to destroy the institution of marriage - for all.

      All that said: Marriage is a states rights issue. Personally, I vote against it, but if it should pass in my state, I don't feel strongly enough about it to move away because of it. On the other hand - I CAN see the HAVOC Nationally promoted gay marriage is creating in Canada and HOPE it does NOT happen here.

      As with abortion - when 'we' give an inch - 'they' soon demand a mile.

    3. Margaret, Hitler, and any of their policies or goals are both a strawman and reductio ad absurdum to this conversation, as far as I'm concerned. No one here is discussing post-birth abortions, genocide, or ‘cleansing of a class/group’, or even anything close to any of that.

      Birth-rates have always been closely linked to points of recession and points of great GDP growth (see: baby boomers, or any study on the matter).

      Once again, having kids is expensive, and this is widely known and agreed upon. Those that have less money are less inclined to have kids. When more people have less money (recession), less people have kids. Crazy!

      Again, you find that exact same commonality I pointed out earlier in the demographic statistics of abortions.

      Civil unions do not grant the same rights and privileges of male/female couples, and that is the issue. In most cases, a civil union does not enjoy all of the exact same federal/state/legal benefits as a marriage (family benefit plans, tax situation, death benefits, visitation rights, pension/social security survivor benefits, etc).

      That is exactly the major part of the issue here. I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that the above is untrue.

    4. Have to correct myself on how I phrased one part:
      "Those that have less money are less inclined to have kids."

      While true, this has quickly reversed with the involvement of government programs that essentially subsidize (and almost 'reward') the decision to pop out kids beyond your budget at very low incomes. Entire different discussion there though!

      My point is probably better phrased for this discussion as:
      "When you have less money, you're less likely to take on big financial hardships."

      (ignoring willingness to accept government involvement here, for simplicity and keeping this on one topic)

  3. @RKen You've obviously chosen to a) ignore world history and b) bury your head in 'liberal/progressive ideology'.

    Children ARE the DIRECT RESULT of an ACTION engaged in BY THE MOTHER (and father). THEY ARE NOT simply a 'financial hardship' to be offloaded like so much trash - if the mother decides she'd rather do 'something else' with herself.

    Sex is NOT a 'necessity' like eating or going to the bathroom... it is an activity that we enjoy... like playing basketball or going to the movies. Unlike basketball or the movies there IS a quite possible repercussion from sexual activity... babies.

    BEFORE there was 'abortion on demand' women at ALL LEVELS of education and income bore and RAISED their children to be fine, upstanding, PRODUCTIVE citizens - with MORALS and values WITHOUT this 'new' Nanny State society that people like YOU promote and defend.

    What changed was the 'Womens Liberation' movement 'brainwashed' women to THINK it's all good that they should be engaging the same sort unconscionable, rutting, pig-like behavior that *some* MEN were prone to. 'If if feels good, do it.'

    The results of this irresponsible 'lifestyle' was *solved* by Rowe v. Wade... problem solved babies DEAD - killed by their own mothers promoted as a 'woman's right'.

    You MISS the MUCH BIGGER ISSUE and NOW immediate 'financial burden' on the Nanny State Programs of SS and MC as a Direct Result of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of would be TAXPAYING citizens LOST TO ABORTION.

    EVERY action has an EQUAL but OPPOSITE REACTION...