By now, I have to assume that most Americans have heard at least a smidgen about Rep. Todd Akin’s theory that:
. . . women were not likely to get pregnant because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Statements like that have a tendency to make sane people curious so, it’s no surprise that several journalists have uncovered evidence that this bit of anti-abortion pseudo-science has its roots way back in Nazi death camp medical experiments. Because, well, they were real doctors . . .
While U.S. Rep. Todd Akin cited only “doctors” as his source of information about the rarity of pregnancy resulting from rape, it is two pages, from Mecklenburg’s 1972 article, “The Indications for Induced Abortion: A Physician’s Perspective,” that have influenced two generations of anti-abortion activists hoping to build a medical case to ban all abortions without exception.
In his original article, Mecklenburg stated that, for various reasons, pregnancy resulting from rape “is extremely rare.” One of those reasons was Todd Akin’s now-famous theory that “a woman exposed to the trauma of rape will not ovulate even if she is ‘scheduled’ to.” Mecklenburg’s article was one of 19 in a book called, “Abortion and Social Justice,” published a year before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
In supporting his claim about trauma and ovulation, Mecklenburg cited experiments conducted in Nazi death camps.
The Nazis tested this hypothesis “by selecting women who were about to ovulate and sending them to the gas chambers, only to bring them back after their realistic mock-killing, to see what the effect this had on their ovulatory patterns. An extremely high percentage of these women did not ovulate.”
Mecklenburg’s article, and the statistics cited in it, have been used again and again in the decades since by Right to Life activists.
In 1988, Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind told a radio interviewer that the odds of a woman becoming pregnant after being raped “are one in millions and millions and millions.” The trauma of the rape, Freind explained, causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion, which has a tendency to kill sperm.” Freind’s source—a “Dr. Mecklenburg.”
In 1995, North Carolina state Rep. Henry Aldridge told the state House appropriations committee that when women are “truly raped ... the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant.”
Christian websites such as Physicians for Life and Christian Life Resources also have posted a 1999 article by J.C. Willke, a physician who was president of the National Right to Life Committee in the 1980s. “There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape,” Willke wrote. “This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization and implantation.
The Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its longtime policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders. The decision, announced on Tuesday, came after what the organization described as a wide-ranging internal review, and despite public protests.
Apparently the decision came down from a super-seekrit committee formed in 2010 for, presumably, the purpose of trying to figure out how to keep the antiquated policy alive in a matter that they could justify. Since obviously it cannot be justified they just told the American public to FOAD, we’re sticking with our own version of DADT. And this is despite the fact that the Girl Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs and even the frackin 4-H clubs* all have anti-discrimination policies.
Well, voting with your wallet always helps. Do not support the Boy Scouts financially and do not buy their popcorn (or whatever it is they’re selling these days). And seriously consider if this is an organization you want your kids affiliated with.
* I am not a 4-H hater by any means. My only point is this is an organization that operates primarily in rural areas that you would expect to lean red and they are even more liberal than the Boy Scouts.
Michele Bachmann thinks Hillary Clinton’s aide’s dead father’s supporter’s NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe circa 1970-1990 is evidence that the US government has been infiltrated by radical Islamists.
For the love of god, Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District: You have the opportunity to give this braying ninny the hook every two years, and you keep returning her to Congress. Why do you hate America?
If I were an up-and-coming young Republican, I’d rather be arrested for burning a cross on an exorcist’s forehead while spitting green pea soup out of my cranial orifices than be caught dead trying to make sense out of Mitt Friggin’ Romney for president. He’s either a Rockefeller Republican Willy Wonka in a Big Government Candyland, or a small government theocratic zealot, where, surprise, the theocracy is Mormon! Which every Fundegelical is probably too enthused about to even….speak. Except. In tongues, About. And not always favorably.
If I’m wrong about the ethos here, I’m sure I’ll get told..
So, via Huffington Post, there’s a side-by-side comparison of the video released by Live Action purporting to reveal Planned Parenthood personnel “encouraging” gender selection abortion and the full, unedited version:
There’s something especially tedious about this kind of exercise, in that, even if honest people concerned with what really took place try to parse each moment and what was said—the video was released as showing Planned Parenthood encouraging sex selective abortion, and that is by-God what people already convinced that abortion is a sin will see. They will be be persuaded, not by “factual statements”, but by confirmation bias. It won’t matter that the person requesting an abortion of a fetus based on sex was acting—they saw the possibility, however remote, that this is a thing that could happen.
Delighting Customers for Christ
Downsizing the Devil with Jesus
Paradigm Shift to Salvation
Getting Granular in Gethsemane
Synergy, Not Sin
I feel certain I’m overlooking low-hanging fruit and that y’all will push the envelope with value-added propositions.
In other news, I’m starting to feel like Tippi Hedren: In addition to dealing with the chickens, now I have a pair of turtle doves to contend with. They took up residence in a hanging basket under the overhang of our tiki bar.
“The tweets have been addressed with Heather and she understands this was a mistake.” – Michael Clemente, Fox News senior vice president for news
Don’t bother looking for Childers’ tweets now unless you’re an old pal or family:
@heatherchilders’s account is protected.
Only confirmed followers have access to @heatherchilders’s Tweets and complete profile. Click the “Follow” button to send a follow request.
Yeah, Hannity et al. have the knack of coloring just inside the lines in their question-mark-punctuated musings about the President’s legitimacy and nefariousness, but since Beck went the way of all bloated flesh, speculating in public whether Obama is a mafioso mofo who can out-Vince Foster the Clintons is beyond the pale. Funny old country you got there: Those closer to Obama’s political views think he’s a wimp who caves in a puff of wind; those diametrically opposed think he’s a cross between Stalin and Dick Cheney.
Most of the media focus in this kerfuffle has been on Childers and Fox News, but what of Godfather Politics, a new kid on the block to me in the overcrowded depths of truth-challenged RW crazy? Since it seems so keen to attract attention, who am I to decline?
Well, I think an atheist can live a moral life, because most of the standards of society—as encompassed in our laws and in our American constitution and other laws around the world—are based in religious faith, and I don’t think that those laws are much different between Christianity and Judaism, for instance, or Islam, and [long pause in which the listener has no choice but to mentally insert audio of Reverend Lovejoy saying “and miscellaneous!” -ed.] Hinduism. y’know, they all have basic principles as far as moral values are concerned. For instance peace, we worship Jesus as the prince of peace, and it would be good if everybody did comply with that mandate to resolve differences among ourselves peacefully. We’ve already mentioned some of the others, like humility and service to others, the alleviation of suffering… but I think that moral values can be applicable to an atheist who looks at Christian values and says “I don’t believe in those, but I adopt the basic principles that Christ espoused.” Whether they say that or not, I think that’s what they’re doing.
I actually transcribed that myself, which means I was annoyed enough to work for free. Now, I trust that you, the reader, are akin to my family, friends, coworkers, and anyone within a ten-yard radius of me when church bells sound in that you’d rather not hear me launch into a diatribe about how religion has, among many odious tendencies, a penchant for gathering up everything good in the world and claiming credit, so I won’t launch into that diatribe. It is, however, available upon request (or a two-second lull in the conversation), and it’s diatribe 16C if you’ve purchased a copy of my collected diatribes, The Hejustgoesonandonicon.
Anyway, apparently teaching the Republicans how to mobilize Evangelicals as a voting bloc in the late 70s wasn’t enough, now history’s greatest monster wants to provide the GOP further assistance! No, sorry, he wants to help the Democrats, which is, of course, the only reason anybody would agree to appear on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. His quiescence as she repeatedly refers to it as “the Democrat party” is some sort of rope-a-dope, surely.
Back in December 2010, the UK’s Daily Telegraphreported some unusual goings-on at the tiny southwestern France village of Bugarach, nestling in the shadow of the Pyrenean mountain the Pic de Bugarach:
... in the past few months, the quiet village has been inundated by groups of esoteric outsiders who believe the peak is an “alien garage”.
According to them, extraterrestrials are quietly waiting in a massive cavity beneath the rock for the world to end, at which point they will leave, taking, it is hoped, a lucky few humans with them.
Most believe Armageddon will take place on December 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Maya calendar, at which point they predict human civilisation will come to an end. Another favourite date mentioned is 12, December, 2012. They see Bugarach as one of perhaps several “sacred mountains” sheltered from the cataclysm.
If this all sounds a little “Close Encounters,” well, that’s no surprise, as the mountain and the historic myths and mysteries that surround it were reputedly the inspiration for Spielberg’s epic film. Over the centuries, the mountain’s odd shape (one theory is that when an ancient volcano blew its top, it neatly flipped the summit upside down) and reports of strange lights, apparitions, UFOs, aircraft instrument anomalies and historical intrigues involving everyone from the Albigensians to the Nazis have fueled the mystery, and so it continues in its 21st-century form.
By Gil Mann, Men’s Health Editor (would prefer to be just “Health Editor,” but lady parts, amirite, guys? God knows what’s goin’ on down there)
So after three months you’ve decided it’s time to make good on one of your New Year’s resolutions: a thinner you! That’s great, but in today’s fast-paced world we’re all looking for shortcuts, and it can be tempting to go for a short-term victory instead of doing what’s best for you in the long run.
The key to losing weight is to do so gradually. A precipitous drop in body-mass can result in heart disease and other organ failure; even if such drastic results don’t occur, there are other negative ramifications to consider. By starving yourself you’re putting your entire being into “fight or flight” mode, basically teaching your body to stockpile calories, making it all the more likely that you’ll put the pounds back on, and quickly. This is fairly common knowledge; less well-known are the adverse psychological effects of rapid weight loss.
L-R: Huckabee in 2003, Kevin Spacey in 2010 “Huckabonkers!” SNL skit
A Buckinghamshire town is due to hold what is thought to be the world’s oldest pancake race later.
The race in Olney dates back to 1445 and is believed to have begun with a towns woman arriving late for the Shriving service at the parish church.
The 24 female competitors will run the race wearing aprons and headscarves and carrying a frying pan with a pancake.
The winner, on crossing the line, is greeted by the verger with the traditional kiss of peace.
“Ladies from the town race from the Market Square to the church in memory of a town cook,” race organiser Ian Ford said.
“The story goes that on hearing the shriving bell, calling everyone to the church service, she ran out of the house clutching her frying pan and still wearing her apron.”
Pancakes. Domestic drudgery. Prescriptive gender roles. Cosiplay. Sexual subjugation by religious authority figures. Shriving. All human life is here. You thought Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a comedy show? It was a documentary.
James Poulos cranked a particularly stinky nugget into Tucker Carlson’s cat box Thursday, a column entitled “What Are Women For?” that was at once so offensive, pretentious, incoherent, clueless and just plain dumb that it attracted hoots of derision from every corner of the internet. Balloon Juice commenter Clark Stooksbury summed it up pithily as follows:
I think that English is his second language, and perhaps Earth is his second planet.
Yup. Stung by the “wave of anger and condemnation” occasioned by his column, Poulos apparently decided to spend Friday afternoon masticating and swallowing an unabridged thesaurus along with a freshman introduction to philosophy textbook and wash it down with a liter of Everclear. The resulting geyser of vomit was pixelated into a dripping rebuttal to his critics that contains half-digested chunks such as this:
It’s not very controversial to point out that sex and gender are foundational to the culture wars. But it is apparently extremely controversial to claim that we can’t make sense of how and why they’re foundational without acknowledging that the root of the battle is over reaching — and enforcing — a consensus about the relationship between what women do and who women are.
The same [Meh, never mind; it doesn’t really matter what is allegedly “the same”—ed.] is true for the meaning of the relationship between women as sovereign individuals and as beings with female bodies.
But its conclusion may contain a kernel of truth that the incredulous and exasperated reader espies with wonder similar to that of a janitor engaged in mopping up a binge drinker’s pool of sick upon finding a single kernel of undigested corn, whole and recognizable, in the barf on the frat lounge floor:
Difference doesn’t presume or ordain inequality. I’m not alone in thinking that women are uniquely able to help humanity avoid becoming enthralled to the more sterile cultural creations of men. But this sort of insight is far more circumspect and modest than the central principles of virtually all social conservatives. If my claim is doomed to be met with an avalanche of contempt, it seems likely that in our lifetimes social conservatism as we know it will be mocked, despised, and shamed right out of existence. You might be deeply uncomfortable with that even if you do hope to see an America without a social conservative movement.
I think he means “Après moi, le déluge” or something. But I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be “deeply uncomfortable” with the extinction of social conservativism that Poulos’ blogular rogering is supposed to portend. Say bye-bye to all-male panels of sanctimonious, god-bothering pricks deciding women’s healthcare issues? Bring it on, I say.
Take a gander (har) at this all-male line-up of jollies assembled by Darrell Issa for his hearing on contraceptive coverage, which, Republicans are ludicrously insisting, has nothing to do with women per se, so why should any women testify? No, it’s all about religious freedom, which would seem to apply only to male church leaders and not their employees, male or female.
Meanwhile, watch Andrea Mitchell nearly swallow her tongue as Rick Santorum’s Mr. Moneybags, Foster Friess, slut-shames the majority of women in the nation who have made the choice to limit the size of their families: in his day, girls just put an aspirin between their knees!
Swell advice, Foster. In tribute, I’ve applied a little of your sauce to the ganders above, and see how well it’s working. You might want to consider holding an aspirin yourself~~between your lips.