In my post on the new spate of heartbeat laws, I also didn’t take a position on the issue. I did take issue with the misrepresentations and outright lies about how these laws deal with women seeking abortion. Also, I want to add a comment on the Georgia law. It does not say that women will be prosecuted. It does redefine when life, and thus full legal personhood, begins. This is unique to Georgia.
Georgia is granting ‘person’ status to an 8 week old fetus. That opens the door to prosecution. Prosecution is not explicitly stated, but may be inferred. If that is the unspoked intent, then yes, leaving the state for an abortion will be a chargeable offense. Georgia would view that as no different than travelling out of state to kill your sibling.
And that opens one to federal charges of crossing state lines in the commission of a felony. That would be an interesting case to read. But that’s not the point of the post.
And one last aside, the Wikipedia article on heartbeat laws does not link to the Georgia law. Others, yes, but not Georgia. They only use secondary sources.
I have been saying for years that if you have a valid position or cause, but lie about it, you harm the cause. You give the opposition the ability to throw that lie in your face endlessly. You undermine the very issue you want to highlight. Abortion is one of the most dishonestly discussed topics out there, and it’s back in the spotlight.
The new abortion law in Alabama is one of these things. It is about 1800 words long, a nicely compact piece of legislation. Have ANY of the people sounding off about it read it?
Nope. They haven’t bothered to educate themselves.
The law is available for anyone to read: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/searchableinstruments/2019RS/bills/SB211.htm
What is DOES NOT DO is hold a woman legally liable for having an abortion. In fact, it addresses that specifically:
Section 5. No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable. Furthermore, no physician confirming the serious health risk to the child’s mother shall be criminally or civilly liable for those actions.
Huh. Not just nothing mandating prosecution, but language specifically and explicitly blocking such charges. The law also specifically states that in the event of legal challenge, it is not in effect, and the previous laws apply.
Section 8. The construction of existing statutes and regulations that regulate or recognize abortion in Alabama that are in conflict with or antagonistic to this act shall be repealed as null and void and shall recognize the prohibition of abortion as provided in this act. If this act is challenged and enjoined pending a final judicial decision, the existing statutes and regulations that regulate or recognize abortion shall remain in effect during that time.
VP candidate Elizabeth Warren is making a lot of noise about forgiving some student loans. Mostly for households earning less than $100,000 per year.
Needless to say, this is very popular with a lot of people, mostly those with ‘__ Studies’ degrees. From the right comes rejection beyond the usual ‘a Democrat proposed it’. That is centered around the idea that many, many people took loans, and paid them, so why can’t everyone do the same. It is a decent enough argument, if you ignore the deep flaws. Some of the thinkers on the right see the flaw. Due to loans being extended to everyone who wants one, the cost of college bloated, benefiting the universities. That at the expense of the students. They propose that the colleges bear the burden of ensuring that they can justify their expense, and then cover the loans when the degree they confer is worthless.
The problem with not doing this as a full-time thing (or with a collection of co-bloggers to pick up slack) is that sometimes reality is so far out of alignment that it takes too long to synthesize a post. By the time it’s ready, some other nonsense has happened, and it’s time to start over.
I saw this endorsement of direct democracy on Facebook, and had to, in the finest conservative tradition, pounce. Here is the image again:
Ok, let’s unpack that. Using the kind of self-serve kiosks that you see in newer McDonalds is funny, admittedly. Using them in the meme got me thinking. We are closer to national direct democracy than we have ever been.
And that is not a good thing. There are advantages to the republican form of government, not the least of which is a shield against mob rule. And make no mistake, that is exactly what direct democracy is – the rule of the mob. And no one wants that in their lives.
Liberal readers, consider that in direct democracy, if county X in state Y decides to outlaw homosexuals or illegal aliens, that’s the new law. Direct democracy for the win!
Conservative readers, consider that in direct democracy, if county X in state Y decides to outlaw fossil fuels, that’s the new law. Direct democracy for the win! And don’t laugh – see the Green New Deal and the inexplicably allowed to continue Juliana v. United States suit that seeks to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
But that’s just the tip of the direct democracy iceberg
How do you enforce one citizen / one vote rules that direct democracy requires? With modern technology it’s pretty easy, actually. Just offer up a fingerprint or rental scan, then vote. Well, easy except for the infrastructure to actually do it, which isn’t the iceberg I’m referring to.
Anyway, no, the iceberg in this analogy is the question ‘who owns the data’.
Didn’t think of that one, did you? Who owns all that juicy biometric data needed to prevent vote fraud? The government? Google? Apple? Who do you trust to keep it secret, keep it safe?
I don’t trust the government. They left my personal data open to whomever (read: China) wanted it in the OPM hack. Others in the bureaucracy have been leaking anything to the press they think can harm the President for a few years now. No, I can’t actually trust the government to keep vital personal data safe.
Equifax is out – same reason. Google is out. They have too much data on us already, and as a private company must not be trusted to run an election. Which also kicks out Apple, and every other company in the world.
So who do you trust with your data?
And no, it won’t just be the biometrics to secure the vote
In order to function as a direct democracy, each voter needs to be registered to a state, county, township (if used), municipality, ward (if used), etc. That information includes your name and address, of course – it has that now. When you patch in the needed information to vote – a biometric scan of some form – you enter into a scenario where the risk of identity theft becomes greatly heightened. If I have your name, address, and fingerprint, I can unlock your phone or computer, and gain direct access to your deepest personal data. Easily.
But why use biometrics, why not use a smart ID card, like Homeland Security uses? First, of course, is cost. Second, how do you vote without it? We have people hieing unto their fainting couches at the mere thought of requiring easily-obtained ID, which is also needed for almost every other governmental, financial, business, or employment function. How do you think they would respond to requiring a fancy new ID?
Also, if you can loose it, it isn’t secure. Full stop.
So, to recap – direct democracy is technologically possible in a nation of 300+ million people. Direct democracy needs to have a secure and unbeatable way of verifying votes in real time, and that requires infrastructure that does not exist, and a level of network security that the US government has proven incapable of providing. This would also represent an expansion of the government, even if a logical one, and resisting expansion is one of our foundational beliefs.
In other words, direct democracy isn’t an actual option.
It began as a joke – something so obvious even a blind lemur could see it. The Democrats seem canine-centric (Blue Dog, Yellow Dog), so I figured we on the right could use a fun animal, and frankly, lemurs are all the rage! So I hear. Kinda. Anyway, after deciding that the leadership is so inept that a blind lemur could lead better, I decided to create this movement. And perhaps even spin it off into the real world. Stranger things have happened.