Some Musings From the Culture Wars

Some general observations in the seemingly never-ending culture wars:

Scott Walker, ultrasounds and the media:  I know others here have written entries on the obvious false characterization of remarks made by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker regarding ultrasounds, and more recently rape and incest.  There is no need to recount the details.  Instead, there is still a steady chorus in the liberal media that despite putting the comments in context, he is still branded as being in the wrong.  That is, the media admits their mistake (they did not include the whole quote or put it in context), but it does not matter because (1) there is a hidden message there, (2) the fact the media misunderstood the comment means Walker is at fault, or (3) Walker really meant _______.

The requirement of ultrasounds are necessary to determine the gestational age of the human about to be aborted.  Courts have ruled that this is an acceptable medical procedure as long as the requirement is not used as an inducement to influence the mother’s choice.  But doesn’t the mere fact that seeing an ultrasound may change a woman’s mind defeat their underlying argument that the developing fetus is not a human and should not be afforded a basic human right like life?

This was followed up by a statement Walker made regarding a ban on abortion after 20 weeks.  I am not sure of the proposed Wisconsin law, but I believe it leaves out the standard rape/incest exception.  Twenty weeks is 5 months.  Five months places the gestational age squarely in the middle of the second trimester framework of Roe vs. Wade, the period where a state’s interest takes on added importance.  In fact, its closer to the third trimester than the first trimester.  If a woman is a victim of rape or incest and becomes pregnant as a result (a very rare occurrence: the CDC estimates that at most 2% of all abortions are for these reasons), why would they wait 4-5 months to seek an abortion?  We are not only talking about a very small percentage of abortions, but a defiance of logic and reality in the liberal criticism of Walker’s statement of fact.

The House and marijuana:  In what has to be a small victory for potheads everywhere, in amendments to a spending bill that involves the DEA, there was generally bipartisan agreement. Several million dollars were diverted from the DEA budget to other items like purchasing rape kits (a serious problem in many areas), drug abuse education, and body cameras for police forces.  Some of these were Republican amendments and some were Democratic, but all had several co-sponsors from the opposite party and all these amendments passed with bipartisan support.

Most interesting, the House also passed an amendment directing the DEA to lay off states that had approved and implemented medical marijuana programs.  Justice Department and DEA ambiguities over enforcement has delayed implementation in many states where medical marijuana was approved.  Regarding recreational marijuana use and DEA enforcement, an amendment to reign that agency back in states like Colorado failed to pass 222-206, or falling just 16 votes short.  The (high) times they certainly are-a-changin’.

Alabama gets original with marriage:  In an effort to get the state out of the marriage license business, the Alabama state senate passed a bill 22-3 which would eliminate state-issued licenses.  Instead, the “license” would be converted to a legal contract between two individuals witnessed by a clergy member, notary public, or attorney.  The contract would then be filed with the Probate Court for a $20 fee in order for the contract to be legally binding.  Nothing changes the state requirements like age, nor would it change the “in limbo” ban on gay marriage pending an outcome in the Supreme Court.

It is an original idea that is not really that original. State-issued marriage licenses, although present in Colonial America (Massachusetts issued them in 1639), did not become commonplace until the mid-19th century.  Designed as a means to get the state out of the lives of residents (the stated reason), this may be an interesting way to get around the gay marriage business.  In effect, a same sex couple would have to “shop” for someone to “marry” (execute the contract) them rather than have that task forced upon judges by a court.  The probate and copying fees are expected to raise $780,000 for the state. It will, if implemented and if gay marriage is the law of the land, likely limit the number of same sex contractual relationships in Alabama as clergy would avoid such things on religious belief grounds.  I would then like to see the LGBT Nazis come after religion and reveal their true colors.

Bruce…call me Caitlyn…Jenner:  The news is aflutter about the Vanity Fair photos of Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner and his transformation.  Maybe it is just me, but I just don’t get it.  Substitute teaching one day, two students ( a boy and girl, or so I thought) were fooling around and I told the one student not to hit girls.  I was met with a chorus of “He is a girl!”  There is something inherently wrong in that statement.  And quite frankly, I do not see beauty (no matter how defined) in the Vanity Fair cover.  If a grown man wants to dress and act like a woman, so be it, but it is hardly something worthy of celebration.

But, the reaction right up to the White House is what is disturbing.  We were told it took courage while other outlets claimed it was “life affirming” and a host of other accolades.  It is now life affirming and courageous for a man to dress like a woman and be photographed?  Caitlyn Jenner is a man.  His sexual organs remain and every cell in his body contains an X and a Y chromosome.  As others have said, this “transformation” does not lessen his worth as a human being, but neither does it change a fundamental biological fact.  But woe(!) to those who state this fact.  You will be pilloried and ostracized and looked upon as some subhuman species of mankind.

Crazes come and go and no one is immune to being caught up in them.  Right now there is the transgender craze.  To me, given his past, this is less a courageous, life affirming transformation and more a publicity stunt to land his next reality series on E! or TLC.  The “E!” stands for entertainment while the “L” in TLC stands for “learning.”  This whole thing is certainly more entertaining than it is educational, and to the effect it is “educational” then woe to society as a whole.