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Some Personal Thoughts

2012 November 11
by Ian Welsh

Recently I had a day where I burned out on anger.  Oh  yes, when it comes to public affairs I’ve been angry for years, though I think rage is the more applicable word.  I don’t think this rage was misplaced, and I still get spasms of it.

The reason for the rage is simple enough: we’re killing and making a lot of people suffer who don’t need to with our political policies, economic policies just being a subset of politics.  The financial collapse was forseen by many, myself included and we told the powers that be what to do to avoid it.  The rise of economic inequality, which is correlated with pretty much every bad thing you can imagine, from heart attacks to infant mortality to bad performance in school and crime (read the Spirit Level if you need this proved in tedious detail), has been going on since the mid 70s at the latest, and was clearly visible by the mid eighties.  It was, and is a clear policy choice.  It was chosen in response to a real problem, the end of cheap oil and the rise of the oilarchy rich, but it was a choice, there were other ways of dealing with the problem available.  First the Brits, then the Americans, then the Canadians and then various other nations chose the policy option which would lead to increased inequality.  This was combined with a concerted assault on civil liberties, in this case I believe starting in America with the War on Drugs.  Society became more totalitarian, whatever the trappings, and less free, not just in government, but in every part of our lives.  I find the way we treat our children today, with virtually no freedom, particularly odious (no your precious children are not in more danger than children in the 60s and 70s who were allowed to run free).  Police in schools are routine now, we imprison people in stunningly cruel prisons for minor crimes and so on.  Visiting Britain was like visiting a starter project for Orwell’s 1984, with CCTV cameras everywhere.

Our response to the financial crisis, a totally optional crisis which was based almost entirely on fraud, was to make the poor and the middle class pay through austerity, while bailing out the rich with trillions and trillions of dollars.  We gutted property rights completely so that banks could easily foreclose on homeowners and four years in, the economy, for ordinary people, has never recovered.  We are now in a depression, and if it’s not yet a Great Depression, it’s bad enough.  Now when I say pay, I mean suffer.  People died, wives and children were beaten, people became homeless, lost their jobs, their health and their self respect because of a completely optional crisis and the criminals who caused the crisis were not just let off, they were rewarded with a huge bailout.

This was done in a bipartisan manner, but it could not have happened in the form it did without Obama.  To give just one example, TARP was going to not pass the House.  Nancy Pelosi was going to let it fail if the Republicans wouldn’t vote for it in equal proportion to Democrats.  This is a fact, I was following it closely at the time as it was my job to do so.  Calls were running between a 100:1 to 1200:1 against TARP.  Obama got down and dirty and twisted arms, and I do mean twisted.  Serious threats were made.  TARP would not have passed without Obama.  This policy of bailing out criminals who caused death and suffering continued throughout Obama’s reign.

Meanwhile there is the drone program.  The drone program is not the worst thing Obama has ever done, not even close.  What it is is completely unnecessary and counterproductive evil.  Bombing weddings and funerals and killing innocent civilians, including women and children, is not making America safe, it is doing the exact opposite.  The next great terrorist attack on the US, and there will be one, will be done by someone outraged by the wanton murder of the drone program.

We could go on and on, the point is simple enough.  Evil has been done, and it is unnecessary evil. There were other options, I’ve written of them many times, and I’m not going to bother going over it again.  Obama and Dems in Congress could have instituted different policies if that’s what they wanted to do.  They didn’t.  Bush and his Congress could have if they wanted to, they didn’t.  Clinton, well, you get the idea.

Ok then, enough about politicians.  They are what they are, and with the amount of money they stand to earn in their post-political career from carrying financial interests water it would take significant incentives to change their actions.  Those incentives would be primarily social, and I believe they could be applied if Americans, or Brits, or Canadians really wanted to, but that’s neither here nor there, and not the subject of this post.

The people who sadden me are left-wingers who carried Obama’s water, who I know know better.  I know they know his record.  I know they know where this is all leading.  I know because I was a professional blogger for years.  I’ve met these people in person, I have corresponded with them, and I have talked to many of them.  I have worked with many of them.

They know what Obama is, and they lied about him.

I know of only one rule of writing, which is that you tell the truth as  you know it.  I may be wrong, I may be full of shit (many people think so), but I tell the truth as I know it at the time I write to my readers.

What I have seen, from many lefties, bloggers and non-bloggers, is that they have become compromised.  One needs the Supreme Court to stay as it is for his career, another works for a union think tank, and the policy is to carry Obama’s water, so he carries their water.  Another got the words on gay rights he wanted, so he carries Obama’s water as he did in 2008, acting as Obama’s outlet for rumors they couldn’t plant in the media directly.  A few are honest sellouts, admitting why they are carrying the water, others aren’t.  Some make the lesser evil argument honestly, most don’t.

And what I realized one sad day is that most of them are limited.  I am a left winger, and what academic training I have is in sociology.  I believe that people are, largely, a product of their environment.  If we want better people, we need a better environment.  To blame the poor as a group for their own travails is stupid, if they had richer parents, they would have different outcomes and be different people  The same is true of the rich, the middle class, and so on.  They are products of their environment, and most people are little more than that. Nothing is more pathetic than people acclaiming their identity through the TV shows they consume, the branded clothes they wear and so on.  They are simply choosing from a menu created by others.  They are limited people, products of their environment, claiming they are something more.

I thought many of my ex-colleagues were more.  I really did.  I believed that they had some ability to stand outside society, even a little bit, and see it for what it was, and that in that detachment they could find honesty and an ability to see the world beyond the lens of their own place and their own needs.  Upton Sinclair’s comment, “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” is the perfect description of a limited person, intellectually and morally.  If we cannot see beyond our own self-interest, or beyond our own need to feel good about ourselves, then we will never seen the world with anything even approaching clarity.  If we cannot separate our interests from the interests of other people and from the interests of society, we are not fit to play any role in running society or commenting on it.

The error, in the end, was mine, I realize.  I thought certain people were more than a product of their environment, more than a base need to do whatever it took to pay their bills and believe themselves still good people while doing so.  I was wrong.  The number is far fewer than I thought.  Far, far fewer.

The consequence of a debased class of influentials, which is what we are talking about, is a debased understanding of the world.  The more incorrect peoples understanding of the world, the more they will make incorrect decisions about what to do, and the more they do that the worse off they, and society, will be.  When even people who know Obama’s record lie for him, when even people who understand the glide path that America is on pretend Obama is going to fix that, Americans live in a world of delusion.  Of course they don’t make correct decisions, they are getting constant incorrect information.  This isn’t just about what used to be called the MSM, this about the alternatives, the people who are the outliers.

I was part of political blogging when it was new, and a big deal, and intellectually exciting.  When bloggers thought that their job was to tell truth both to power and to the masses.  That world is gone, and the people who remain, with a few exceptions, no longer do that, no longer even believe in doing that.

Some will say this is a very self-congratulatory post, and that I’m patting myself on the back as truth teller, and oh, there are so few of us.  Whatever.  This is the world I see, and it is a world I lived in, worked in, was a senior member of.  And this is not about self-congratulation, it is about sadness.  I am saddened at the way people I knew, people I had respect for, have debased themselves for so very, very little.

If society is to function again for the benefit of all a lot of things need to be done.  One of them is to fix the world of influentials, of whom bloggers are very minor members.  To be an influential should be to be an intellectual, and to be an intellectual is to be able to stand outside ones own society, to see it through the dual eyes of an outsider and a member, then report the truth of what one sees.

One must be, then, more than product of one’s circumstances, more than a function of one’s personal interests.

Perhaps there is no place for such people in society today, perhaps the audience doesn’t want those people.  But I don’t believe that, because I personally never had any problem generating traffic.  The problem is that at a certain point, in blogging, traffic stopped paying, because the amount advertisers paid to the content creators on the web dropped through the floor, in large part because Google figured out how be the middle man and take almost all the money.  So if you want to make money online you either need to exploit your contributors (not pay most of them) or you need to sell out.

But I’ve moved away from my main point.  People respond to incentives like Pavlov’s dogs.  If you want to be more than a dog, you have to train yourself to overcome your conditioning.  It’s hard, and you won’t be able to do it all the time (and if you did, you’d be thrown in an insane asylum or be so non functional in society you’d be ostracized), but it is what is required to be an honest, useful influential.  But knowing and believing something is only one part of it, you must then tell it.

A lot more people are going to suffer and die due to policies which are evil.  Part of what makes that happen are the people who know better and lie, part of that is due to the people who convince themselves that evil is necessary because it is in their interests.  They are not the most responsible, no.  But they are responsible.

And I really did think better of so many of them.

Become more than your background, more than a function of the incentives placed in front of you.  See the evil you yourself do, your society does, and stop needing to feel good about yourself.

Stop being someone else’s dog.

125 Responses
  1. November 13, 2012

    BlizzardOfOz,

    And I love how, even here, we’re having this discussion while pretending that the Democrats give a shit about women’s rights. Abortion is effectively banned in large parts of the country due to right-wing vigilante terrorists, and Democrats won’t lift a finger to stop it.

    What I find remarkable is that it’s not even called terrorism.

    But I guess I can’t be too surprised when a guy can tie up his wife and daughter in their house, set it on fire, get in his private plane and crash it into an IRS building, killing himself and an IRS employee, leave behind a long detailed anti-government rant and folks debate!!!!?! whether or not to call his act a terrorist act, and him a terrorist, simply because he wasn’t Muslim.

  2. November 13, 2012

    jcapan,

    And that’s what ID politics accomplishes as well, division. Unless we’re united by what Lambert calls the “key log” of class war, waged against an oligarchy that’s been beating our ass for over 30 years now, we are a divided and easily conquerable enemy.

    I hear you though, imo, the oligarchy has been beating our asses for closer to 300 years than 30. The class war has been and is being waged, mostly by them against us, and they’ve mostly been winning. But still, resist we must.

  3. November 13, 2012

    “Men who have jobs, and especially good jobs, also don’t beat their wives nearly as often.”

    I wasn’t going to say anything about this at first, because I did not want to drag this discussion into a tangent, but then it popped up again and again so I don’t want to hold back, and this thread is all about intellectual honesty anyway. So here goes: The more social scientists study domestic violence, the more they find that men are victimized by it more often than women. Example:

    “The most recent large-scale study of domestic violence was conducted by Harvard researchers and published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, which surveyed 11,000 men and women, found that, according to both men’s and women’s accounts, 50 percent of the violence in their relationships was reciprocal (involving both parties). In those cases, the women were more likely to have been the first to strike. Moreover, when the violence was one-sided, both women and men said women were the perpetrators about 70 percent of the time.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/14/a-domestic-violence-victim/

    I expect people to have a hard time believing this, because I had a hard time believing it at first. But the more you look, the harder this conclusion is to ignore. For another perspective, Google the story of Erin Pizzey, who opened the first domestic violence shelter in England.

    This is one major reason why I have no patience for identity politics anymore–so many of the people who preach it don’t even have their basic facts right. I’m not talking about Ian Welsh (I think I can understand why he would think of a man when conjuring an image of a domestic abuser) but about the “I voted for Obama because I wanted to protect abortion rights” crowd. Oh, you might have a harder time getting a pap smear if Romney won, eh? Hey, who has a longer life expectancy, men or women?

    I love the quote above about “once you’re locked up in Gitmo I hope you have all the abortion access you want.” That pretty much says it all, as does the Ted Rall cartoon linked to. Of course, Obama’s abortion rights record is much worse than his voters think anyway.

    “Abortion Rights Groups Wary About Sonia Sotomayor’s Views”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/SoniaSotomayor/story?id=7699191&page=1#.UKLdQ1ESw2z

    It seems like every justification I hear for voting Obama boils down to “sure, he locks up people forever without a trial, and blows up people he has no reason to believe are guilty of anything, and started a war without Congressional approval for no particularly good reason, but he gave ME ________ so it’s alright.” And that absolutely INFURIATES me.

    Enjoy those abortions. Hundreds of innocent people in Pakistan and Yemen and Afghanistan died horribly to bring them to you.

  4. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    November 13, 2012

    @Mandos

    I don’t even really blame people back in 2000 for voting for Nader. Everything is worth trying once, they couldn’t have known how it would really turn out.

    I just hope people recognize how truly insane this line of reasoning is, especially if you’re as self-styled *progressive* — and yet it’s rampant on the left.

    * You can’t take any actions unless you prove beforehand that they’ll lead to good results; and the only way you can infer future results is to look at what happened 5 minutes ago.
    * No one is allowed to vote for a party other than the Democrats until the other party already has a majority of the vote.

    Maybe we need to start talking about epistemology, and the fact that yours is empiricism. Like a good empiricist, you don’t recognize the existence of anything too complex to measure — and paper over the difference with shit you made up.

    Not only do you fail to recognize that history is nonlinear, you reduce it to the simplest equation imaginable: Vote third party = bad stuff happened. That’s your idea of a universal law of nature. Somehow, mysteriously, you don’t make a similar inference from Vote for Democrats = bad stuff happened.

  5. November 13, 2012

    Mandos, we all have the option of rejecting a pattern of behavior. By rejecting abusive authority we become free to make our own choices, which is a postition of strength and power. We are no longer compelled to seek the approval of of an authority, whether that authority is an abusive, controlling parent, God or priest, president or someone else. It is this mostly unconscious desire to please and obey in exchange for belonging, love, approval, etc., that makes us weak and therefore easily controlled and obedient. The obedient are powerless.

    I did not see people make rational assessments of the environment in this election. I saw them ignore the facts they did not like and spin the facts they could not ignore. I saw them say that drones are fine because we are in danger from Pakistani terrorists and Obama is keeping us safe. I saw them ignore the fact that 87% of US counties have no abortion facilities and Obama ignored the enormous rise in abortion restrictions. I saw them ignore the rise in income inequality under Obama. And I saw them attack the few people who did not join in the praising of and enthusiasm for Obama. Most of all I saw them ask me over and over and over and over why I said they should not vote for Obama, which I never said.

    It was utterly fascinating. The denial, the self-delusion, the tribal cheering, the tribal border policing–the venemous attacks on anyone who threatend the cohesiveness and uniformity of the group. The willful blindness and deliberate misinterpretations. It was like seeing an Alice Miller book come to life, a Stanley Milgrim experiment on a national scale. And yet there was nothing they could do to shut me down. They were helpless. They had no power over me because I did not need their approval and didn’t care if I was cast out of the group or not.

    You’re right; I don’t need to consider their point of view. I make up my own mind and don’t need anyone else to tell me what to think, or what is moral or immoral.

  6. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 13, 2012

    I don’t know the male/female split on domestic violence, but when it gets serious, I’d be surprised if the women didn’t get the worst of it most often: like it or not, on average, most men have a lot more upper body muscle. Nonetheless, it doesn’t change the broader point, even if true, poverty causes violence, and people suffer, including women.

  7. Celsius 233 permalink
    November 13, 2012

    Susan of Texas
    November 13, 2012
    You’re right; I don’t need to consider their point of view. I make up my own mind and don’t need anyone else to tell me what to think, or what is moral or immoral.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nice. I, likewise, keep my own council. Ultimate responsibility…

  8. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    November 14, 2012

    @ Susan of Texas

    Your:

    Mandos, we all have the option of rejecting a pattern of behavior. By rejecting abusive authority we become free to make our own choices, which is a postition of strength and power. We are no longer compelled to seek the approval of of an authority, whether that authority is an abusive, controlling parent, God or priest, president or someone else. It is this mostly unconscious desire to please and obey in exchange for belonging, love, approval, etc., that makes us weak and therefore easily controlled and obedient. The obedient are powerless.

    is the best definition of Withdraw Consent I have seen. Kudos

  9. November 14, 2012

    Susan:

    And yet there was nothing they could do to shut me down. They were helpless. They had no power over me because I did not need their approval and didn’t care if I was cast out of the group or not.

    As I said in the pre-election thread, if this were all it was, well, then I don’t disagree particularly strongly with you. If it’s the case that you view your choice of whether or for whom to vote as the potential ratification or rejection of a set of principles, and that it is important for you to do this in full moral autonomy, then I certainly won’t advise you to do otherwise.

    What I do disagree with is any sort of claim that that alone will have some sort of grander positive political influence on the world. The whole meaningless “withdrawing consent” nostrum—a left-wing fortune cookie, meaningless as an act on its own.

    The reasons for that are neatly exemplified by the remainder of your post. I simply disagree that there was no underlying rationality to the behaviour many of the people you decry, and so I disagree with the psychologizing, the use of “abuse” as a metaphor, and so on and so forth. I’ve expounded on the reasons recently enough that I won’t repeat them here.

    So as turnabout is fair play, let me psychologize a bit now: people with Cassandra complexes are nearly incapable of stepping into the shoes of those they disagree with. And until they are, they’ll be as ineffective as they always have been. With the usual caveats that this is relative to electoral politics, etc, etc.

  10. November 14, 2012

    Maybe we need to start talking about epistemology, and the fact that yours is empiricism. Like a good empiricist, you don’t recognize the existence of anything too complex to measure — and paper over the difference with shit you made up.

    ?! Seriously? You’re going to argue rationalism vs. empiricism with me here? The whole point of me mentioning Nader, if you bothered to read further in my post, was to point out exactly that many of you are apparently unwilling to learn many of the lessons of that moment and the period afterwards, and the underlying reasons why.

    Not only do you fail to recognize that history is nonlinear, you reduce it to the simplest equation imaginable: Vote third party = bad stuff happened. That’s your idea of a universal law of nature. Somehow, mysteriously, you don’t make a similar inference from Vote for Democrats = bad stuff happened.

    No, I make this inference, to keep it (far too) simple: vote for Democrats, status quo + decline factor. Vote third party: status quo + accelerated growth of decline factor. Using Ian’s own terms for his assessment of my opinion, why not.

    What you are all attempting to claim—any one of you who is actually claiming that a vote for a third party is not only a declaration of moral autonomy but also salutary in the wider political sphere—is that you of all people have found the process by which voting third party reverses the decline factor.

    I am not at all convinced of this, and my confidence is not improved by the general level of contempt. I’m not saying that there isn’t such a process necessarily…but clearly, you haven’t found it.

  11. November 14, 2012

    What I do disagree with is any sort of claim that that alone will have some sort of grander positive political influence on the world.

    Fortunately I made no such claim.

    The whole meaningless “withdrawing consent” nostrum—a left-wing fortune cookie, meaningless as an act on its own.

    I don’t wait for grand events or mass movements to take a stand or make an ethical choice.

    I simply disagree that there was no underlying rationality to the behaviour many of the people you decry, and so I disagree with the psychologizing, the use of “abuse” as a metaphor, and so on and so forth.

    You persist in fighting claims that nobody is making. Since psychology is the study of the mind and behaviors it is appropriate to apply it to political behavior, not to mention the relationship of parent to child and how it affects political decisions.

    I do not use abuse as a metaphor, I use it literally.

    So as turnabout is fair play, let me psychologize a bit now: people with Cassandra complexes are nearly incapable of stepping into the shoes of those they disagree with. And until they are, they’ll be as ineffective as they always have been.

    People who understand the nature of abuse and authoritarianism and its consequences are fully capable of stepping into others’ shoes. I understand why people vote against their interests and I am sympathetic to their emotional needs. I just refuse to go along with their self- and mass deception.

  12. November 14, 2012

    Fortunately I made no such claim.

    Glad to hear it. If only more of my interlocutors would follow your example.

  13. November 14, 2012

    So as turnabout is fair play, let me psychologize a bit now: people with Cassandra complexes are nearly incapable of stepping into the shoes of those they disagree with.

    This has been a riveting discussion, with little beams of light shining through, variously intentionally and inadvertently, and your contributions have had much to do with this.

    But I would say “back away from the psychologizing,” with this assertion. It is so untrue that I’m surprised that your pre-frontal vetted it.

  14. November 14, 2012

    But I would say “back away from the psychologizing,” with this assertion. It is so untrue that I’m surprised that your pre-frontal vetted it.

    Your advice to back away from the psychologizing is correct, of course. I won’t do it again. :)

    OTOH part of my complaint is about the perhaps over-eager ascription of motives in certain situations.

  15. November 14, 2012

    Susan of Texas,

    People who understand the nature of abuse and authoritarianism and its consequences are fully capable of stepping into others’ shoes. I understand why people vote against their interests and I am sympathetic to their emotional needs. I just refuse to go along with their self- and mass deception.

    But, but, but… the “Cassandra Complex” should have made you “nearly incapable” of that simple understanding. How ever did you overcome it!? Congrats.

  16. November 14, 2012

    But, but, but… the “Cassandra Complex” should have made you “nearly incapable” of that simple understanding. How ever did you overcome it!? Congrats.

    Obviously, I’m not convinced she did, but we can only take her word for it.

  17. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    November 14, 2012

    EPU-ish encomium – “Some personal thoughts”

    Leaving behind the devolution comments have taken, some thoughts …

    When you look at the current range of emotional skills in the US public, nearly 4/5 ths demonstrated seem to be one form of anger or another, probably 8 to 10%, give or take revolves about some misconception of romantic “love”, and the balance comprise various ill-defined and nebulous miasmas in the emotional spectrum. In all likelihood the state you experienced is not anger at all but a warning that continuing something was not healthy, bodies give such warnings all the time; those warnings are best heeded when they happen.

    Much ado in the comments concerning “seeing” a.k.a. perspective. Education is rich in that ‘vitamin’ as is travel, both classical methods of broadening a person’s horizons. Literature, biography and history all provide doorways to wider worlds of the human experience. But often overlooked is a personal state of development in which the person’s ‘narrative’ reflects the world about themselves in an accurate way. Such people neither lie to themselves nor to others, many times a parallel characteristic has to do with being secure within themselves or having grown and developed into a mature adult, either a rare enough event in itself. One of the best examples of this was Robert Mapelthorpe’s photographic presentation that put the frosting on Jessie Helms’ jollies. Robert’s artistic skill placed the viewer in the position of being a mirror, it was up to the viewer to determine their own level of ability to reflect what was before them. Jessie Helms of course was an abject failure at this ability to transcend the limitations of his being. Another aspect of mirroring comes from fiction (h/t Bram Stoker), the inability of a mirror to reflect Dracula. Curiously, mirrors have never been able to reflect what isn’t there. Likewise someone who has the characteristics of reflecting their world with fidelity will seldom reflect the falsehoods comprising that world for something that isn’t there. So another method is to develop the balance and tranquility of a mirror, reflecting the world as it presents itself, nothing more, nothing less, again a rare skill seldom achieved.

    Thanks not only for walking away when you did, but for returning after that ripple passed, keep reflecting.

  18. November 14, 2012

    Has everybody read The Archdruid’s 5 part story of how the American empire might end? Get your political fix in fictional form. Highly entertaining. http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-it-could-happen-part-one-hubris.html

  19. November 14, 2012

    I second MM’s recommendation. A speculation credible enough to be chilling.

  20. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 14, 2012

    No Mandos, that doesn’t work. But since I can’t explain anything to you, I’m just going to state as a fact that you still don’t understand the core of what I write. Plenty of other people do, so I’m inclined to think the problem is you. Enough.

  21. S Brennan permalink
    November 14, 2012

    Ian,

    I read this post this morning. GREAT POST.

    I’ve been commenting under my own name for a more than a decade, everything you said matches my experience, just one nit…many “bloggers” were ready and willing to sell out…

    …Like whores walking a cold, rainy city street, they couldn’t wait to get in somebody’s car for a little “dry time”. When the Iraq Invasion drove by, they jumped in forgetting to even negotiate the price, then Obama drove by and they knew they had chosen the right profession.

  22. November 15, 2012

    Ian,

    I simply think you’re wrong about this. That, I suppose, is by definition that I “don’t understand.”

  23. Celsius 233 permalink
    November 15, 2012

    …Like whores walking a cold, rainy city street, they couldn’t wait to get in somebody’s car for a little “dry time”.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Now there’s some stuff…

  24. Socrates permalink
    November 16, 2012

    It all does not help. No amount of writing and analysis will make as much as a scratch in their armor.

    What would have made a real change, just as Henry Ford – one of America’s true last entrepreneurs – suggested, would have been the abolishment of interest and interest on interest. That way the power of the financial golems would have been curtailed.

    The wish to do this was, in my opinion, also the single most important reason for the second world war.

  25. mike permalink
    November 18, 2012

    Notorious P.A.T. makes some very good points. To add to the statistics mentioned is the fact that, if you include prison rapes, more men than women are raped in this country. There’s a reason that men have shorter life expectancies than women, higher rates of incarceration, higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse, higher rates of suicide, higher rates of homelessness and so on. I also find it rather frustrating that so many women talk about their right to do what they want with their bodies (which I support) they don’t stand up for the right of people to smoke pot or do other things with their bodies. And that abortion has become the litmus test for Supreme Court nominees when issues such as corporate personhood and the rights of people to do drugs if they choose directly impact more women than restrictions on abortion.

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