Abortion Divide

Point: Kathi Wolf in the Washington Blade:

[I]n January the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services proposed a rule that would allow health care providers to refuse to provide abortion and other health care services to women and transgender people if it went against their religious beliefs. Also, in January … HHS created a new agency called the Conscience & Religious Freedom Division to help enforce laws created to protect religious freedom. … The misogynistic and anti-queer HHS proposed rule and new division are a pathway to discrimination and injustice – a threat to the freedom and health of women and transgender people.

Counterpoint: Michael Walsh writes at PJ Media:

Pace Baudelaire, but the Devil’s greatest trick was not to persuade us he didn’t exist, but to convince women to kill their own children and feel good about it.

But Aren’t Hollywood Liberals Superior to the Rest of Us?

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Plus, a twitter feed roundup.

Time for Some Counter Views

Courting controversy, from Stacey McCain, a generally rightwing blogger:

The destruction of Kevin Spacey’s career for what he did (or allegedly attempted to do) in 1986 must be put in context of this pervasive decadence. How many 14-year-old hookers were turning tricks in New York in 1986? …

Far be it from me to defend the (alleged) behavior of Kevin Spacey, a Hollywood liberal and close personal friend of Bill Clinton. Nor is it my intention to endorse moral relativism as a defense of (alleged) behavior that was so clearly wrong. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to denounce Kevin Spacey and demand that he be banished from polite society, at a minimum, and perhaps prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But before the mob seizes Spacey — tall tree, short rope, some assembly required — I must ask, why should this one man be made to suffer grievously for his alleged wrongdoing, when so many other wrongdoers have gotten off scot-free? Because he is famous?

Because he is rich? Because he is “privileged”? Because we are experiencing belated remorse about the Sexual Revolution? Because the Harvey Weinstein scandal has reminded us of other rich, famous men who got away with worse than what Kevin Spacey allegedly did?

And from this blog’s comments, “Bryan” writes, pulling no punches:

Perhaps the teenage Anthony Rapp shouldn’t have attended an adult actor’s party, stayed behind after all the other guests left, and been found sitting on Spacey’s bed when the actor walked into his bedroom post-party and somewhat drunk.
And perhaps, since no sexual act took place (Spacey rolled over onto him and Rapp got up and left), maybe Rapp shouldn’t be publicizing this (and, himself) 30 years later when his career is dormant.
And maybe GLAAD and all the others who took Harvey Weinstein’s money shouldn’t be virtue-signaling now by helping to destroy Spacey’s life and career.

Finally, Joseph Fischel at Slate:

Let me be as clear as possible that Spacey’s alleged conduct, imposing himself unwanted on a 14-year-old boy, is in no way defensible, nor is closeted queerness an excuse that authorizes bad behavior. (Spacey’s statement doesn’t dispute either of these points.) However, we can condemn the alleged events of Rapp’s story without falling into the trap of fueling moral panic around the specter of the pedophile. And in its pitchfork-and-torches response, that’s exactly what the gay community is doing. It used to be straights who “pedophiled” gays to deny them civil rights and social inclusion. Now we apparently pedophile our own for moral purification and self-satisfaction.

Victimless Crime

Absent evidence of sexual trafficking, coercion, forced servitude or abuse of minors, I’ve never thought adult consensual prostitution (sex work) should be criminalized. That you can pay people to have sex if you film them and sell the resulting product (porn), but can’t pay them to have commercial sex that isn’t filmed for sale, seems absurd.

Charges against the owner of rentboy.com were originally brought in August 2015. The New York Times reported at that time on the odd circumstances behind the investigation, which was conducted by the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security in league with Kelly T. Currie, at the time the acting U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn:

It’s somewhat baffling, though, that taking down a website that operated in plain sight for nearly two decades suddenly became an investigative priority for the Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

I guess there wasn’t enough on the terrorism front to keep DHS busy. Publicity seeking all round, particularly by Currie, who landed as a partner at NYC law firm Crowell & Moring.

More. Huffington Post noted that:

Germany legalized prostitution in 2001. A decade later, trafficking had decreased by 10 percent. New Zealand legalized it in 2003, and after five years a report found zero incidents of trafficking. But they did find that sex workers were more likely to report violence when it occurred.

After Canada legalized prostitution, sex workers experienced fewer homicides — and according to some reports, law enforcement harassment has made sex work more dangerous.

We even know how legal prostitution works in the US, since some Nevada counties regulate brothels. Researchers from the University of Nevada found brothels enforce monthly STI checks, mandatory condom usage and panic buttons in every room. Compare that to the NYPD, which has accused women of prostitution for carrying condoms.

Twixt Left and Right

Hatefulness gussied up as moral superiority can be found among conservatives and progressives. Ideologues, one and all.

Bad anti-LGBT conservatives:

Bad LGBT leftists:

As others have pointed out, these “useful idiots” (in Lenin’s famed words) wouldn’t last long on the streets of Gaza City or Ramallah. But no one would care in Tel Aviv.

Gee, maybe these aren’t just “isolated incidents”?

Some sanity:

Gay Jerks Who Are Oh-So Proud of Themselves

Via the New York Post, Passenger thrown off flight after confronting Ivanka Trump:

JetBlue kicked a Brooklyn lawyer and his Hunter College professor husband off a plane at JFK on Thursday morning — after he accosted fellow passenger and future first daughter Ivanka Trump right before takeoff.

“Your father is ruining the country!” lefty lawyer and avowed Hillary Clinton supporter Dan Goldstein shouted at Trump, as she sat with her husband, Jared Kushner, and their three kids in the main cabin, TMZ reported.

Totally obnoxious virtue-signaling by the gay guys, but I’m sure they’ll be celebrated by their fellow progressives as heroes. Incivility has become a defining value of progressivism.

More. Instapundit links to a roundup of tweets about this ugly incident, including this:

Naturally, all of this would have been presented and received differently had the harassment been directed at a famous liberal woman. However, wealthy liberals don’t fly coach. They prefer to sit in first class and discuss what’s best for average Americans.

A tweet from the Daily Mail, with a retweet from the perp’s husband: “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them.” (No mention of the small children sitting next to their parents.)

A comprehensive roudup of the incident, here.

As I’ve noted before, a Clinton staffer tasked with monitoring campaign polling wrote, post-election, in the Boston Globe, Understanding the undecided voters:

There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. … the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” All hell broke loose.

Clinton’s support among hard-pressed working- and lower-middle class people, in the rust belt and elsewhere, took a big hit afterward. That speech occurred, to wild applause, at an LGBT fundraiser in Manhattan where the ticket prices ranged from $1,200 to $250,000, and with many paying $50,000, according to reports.

Why do privileged LGBT progressives think that public displays of their contempt is helpful to either progressivism or to public perceptions of, you know, privileged LGBT progressives?

The Fear that Someone, Somewhere, Might Be Aroused

Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary is Andy Puzder, the successful CEO of CKE Restaurants, which operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Puzder is a smart critic of Obama’s reign of regulatory terror against American businesses over the past eight years, which is a big reason for the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.

But what our progressive friends seem most upset about concerning Puzder’s nomination is that, as Vox declares:

Like Trump, Puzder is very open about how much he enjoys objectifying women, and how he likes to use that objectification as a business strategy. … For the last decade or so, Carl’s Jr. has been known for running controversial TV ads featuring models eating hamburgers in various gross, oversexed ways.

Vox’s link is to the progressive feminist site Jezebel, which also has a big problem with images of beautiful women eating hamburgers. And ThinkProgress assumes a clear connection between using alluring women in an advertising campaign and opening the floodgates to systemic pay discrimination against working women.

I’m not the first to point out that all this anger and angst on the left is eerily similar to criticism from the Christian right during the 1980s over jiggly women on network sitcoms. Today’s progressives sound as shocked and appalled over the prospect that American men might become (gasp) aroused as the American Family Association and the Moral Majority were back then.

Which really shouldn’t be surprising. In today’s progressivism, feminist prudery and censoriousness (think campus fainting couches and safe spaces) extends to demands that erotic expressiveness be strictly controlled and regulated—or, if that’s not yet possible, treated with contempt—at least when its focus is heterosexuality and especially with regard to the working classes. This is evidenced by the scorn evoked by sexy waitresses at the restaurant chain Hooters. (If erotic imagery undermines heteronormality, it gets a pass.)

Female radio host Dana Loesch, author of the book “Hands Off My Gun,” blogged in defense of Puzder:

Are the ads modest? No. Are they sexist and exploitative? Well, that depends on whom is being exploited. … Were not the women in the ads paid? Were they unaware that they filmed a commercial? The audience for whom this commercial was made are the ones being exploited, exploited by a company, to part with their dollars.

To the left, however, marketing and commercialism are perhaps the gravest sins of all.