Tag: Texas

Texas Massacre

A few thoughts on yesterday morning’s awfulness in Sutherland Springs.

  • It is hard to overstate how devastating this is to that community. About 1 in 14 people who live in the town are dead this morning, murdered because they were going to church. There are no words for this kind of devastation.
  • I can not comprehend the kind of evil that goes into this kind of act. Murdering for money or out of anger or something is vile enough. But how evil do you have to be to just go into a church and start shooting people, including children?
  • A lot has been made of the fact that three of the five deadliest shootings in American history have taken place in the last few years. A few points on that: first, that only applies to since the mid-20th century. Before then, you will find many shooting massacres that were deadlier. We just called them “race riots” because that was a more convenient term than “white people murdering a bunch of black people because reasons”.
  • That having been said, I do wonder if these mass shooters are refining their methods. We know the Sandy Hook shooter was fascinated by earlier shootings. We are seeing a pattern: multiple guns, rapid-fire guns, tightly-packed crowds, places where there will be little to no armed resistance.
  • I don’t know if we can do anything about that. But maybe not giving these shooters the post-mortem fame they crave would help.
  • This shooting appears to have been made less deadly by the intervention of an armed citizen. While this is the first time that’s applied to this level of massacre, we have seen many shooting stopped by armed citizens either before anyone was killed or after minimal loss of life.
  • The angry Left-Wing response to “thoughts and prayers” seems badly misguided. In the face of incomprehensible tragedy, many people pray. That’s the way religion works.
  • And frankly, given that the immediate response to this sort of thing is a demand for gun control, I would argue that the Left is praying too. They’re just praying to a different god: the tin-plated one of government power.

Events are still unfolding. We’ll hear a lot about the shooter. But my only interest in him is in what we can learn to prevent future incidents. What I really want to hear about is the victims. They’re the ones we should be talking about, not the dirtbag who killed them.

Texas Deluge

I’ll have more to say on the situation unfolding in Texas. There are still a lot of rumors flying, as there were with Katrina, so we’ll wait to see. It’s a disaster of unprecedented proportions.

However, I did want to note how moved I am to see thousands of people — cops and civilians — doing what they can to help. It seems that every time I turn on the TV or fire up Twitter, I’m presented with images of cops rescuing people from rooftops, civilians in boats rescuing people, trucks driving into the region with supplies or houses of worship opening to anyone who needs shelter. Most without being asked. Most without being paid. All without beating their chests about how heroic they are.

This is who we are. And no politician or political group will change that. As long as I see Americans looking for out for each other, I will maintain my hope for this country.


WhT on Earth?

When Ahmed Mohamed went to his high school in Irving, Texas, Monday, he was so excited. A teenager with dreams of becoming an engineer, he wanted to show his teacher the digital clock he’d made from a pencil case.

The 14-year-old’s day ended not with praise, but punishment, after the school called police and he was arrested. A photo shows Ahmed, wearing a NASA T-shirt, looking confused and upset as he’s being led out of school in handcuffs.

“They arrested me and they told me that I committed the crime of a hoax bomb, a fake bomb,” the freshman later explained to WFAA after authorities released him.

Irving Police spokesman Officer James McLellan told the station, “We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only tell us that it was a clock.”

The teenager did that because, well, it was a clock, he said.

On Wednesday, police announced that the teen will not be charged.

Chief Larry Boyd said that Ahmed should have been “forthcoming” by going beyond the description that what he made was a clock. But Boyd said that authorities determined that the teenager did not intend to alarm anyone and the device, which the chief called “a homemade experiment,” was innocuous.

I will be as fair as I can here. It was entirely appropriate for a teacher, seeing a student with a strange electronic device, to ask about it, no matter what color he was or what his name was. However, once it became clear it was a clock — and it’s pretty clear it was a clock — that should have been it. At most, they should have told him to not bring home projects in without telling anyone. That should have been it.

But our schools have become reflexive about calling the police. They call the police when one kid kisses a girl on a dare. They call the police when a girl plays around with some chemicals to make a rocket. They call the police when kids write violent stories.

People are trying to make this about race. And that appears to have played a role, based on what Achmed says the police said to him. But I really don’t think it’s the defining factor here. Our schools have become increasingly paranoid about … well, anything. Doug Mataconis:

Ever since the Columbine shooting in 1999 and everything that has followed it, schools have increasingly adopted so-called “zero tolerance” policies aimed at anything that even remotely suggests the idea of violence. This has led to extreme absurdities that have been reported in the media over the years, such as schoolchildren being disciplined for playing a schoolyard game and using their fingers as simulated guns, and even a child who was reprimanded for shaping a Pop-Tart into something allegedly resembling a gun. In almost none of these cases have these policies ever actually prevented a violent attack or uncovered a threat that authorities otherwise would not have been aware of. Indeed, most of the successful attacks in schools that have occurred have been situations where there had been no warning at all that the perpetrator would become violent. Additionally, statistics make clear that schools are actually safer today than they ever have been in that reported violence or attempted violence is at an all-time low compared to other times in the past. Proponents of the “Zero Tolerance” policies will claim, obviously, that the increase in school safety is attributable to those policies, but there’s simply no evidence to support that. More importantly, notwithstanding the fact that schools are safer, the rhetoric from school districts, law enforcement, and the media leads one to believe that they are in fact more dangerous than ever before. This leads to paranoia on all fronts, and precisely the kind of absurd situations that would have been dismissed as nothing to worry about decades ago. In this case, it led to a 9th grader with an interest in robotics being treated as a criminal and a terrorist even though there was no evidence that the device he had in his backpack was anything other than what he claimed it would be.

We encourage this. Our media encourage this when they give non-stop attention to every incident of violence. Gun controllers encourage this when they falsely claim we’ve had an explosion of school shootings. Politicians encourage this when they pretend our children are in constant danger to advance whatever agenda they want.

This is more than just dumbass school officials. This is a dumbass culture of paranoia, zero tolerance, panic-mongering and a psychotic need to call in the authorities for everything.

Friday Quick Hits

A few stories I haven’t gotten time for full blog posts on:

  • I kind of like Bernie Sanders as a candidate. Not because I agree with him on anything — I don’t. And not because I’d vote for him — I wouldn’t. I like him out there because at least he’s honest about what he thinks. I prefer an honest socialist over whatever dumbed down pap Clinton is selling while pretending to be our friend. This week, someone dug up a 1972 article he wrote about how men fantasize about abusing women and women fantasize about being raped. The conservative critics are right: this would be a *huge* deal is a Republican had written it. On the other hand, it was written 43 years ago and is so incoherent, I have to believe that Sanders wrote it on a roll of toilet paper while writhing on a bathroom floor in the midst of a bad LSD trip.
  • Texas has been on the receiving end of some terrible rains and floods recently. The cause, according to the media, is global warming. This was the same global warming that was causing droughts three years ago. Look, I accept that global warming is real, but this is getting ridiculous. Not everything is a result of global warming. I’m pretty sure we had weather before global warming. And I’m pretty sure we’ll continue to have it after global warming is solved. Maybe global warming will make torrential rains more likely, but if so it will mean something like a few extra floods a decade.
  • Nebraska became the first red state to abolish the death penalty, overriding the governor’s veto. While I’m not quite anti-capital punishment, I’m fine with this. The death penalty isn’t worth the trouble and expense. And Nebraska hasn’t executed anyone in 18 years anyway.
  • Dennis Hastert is being prosecuted for structuring and lying to investigators as he was paying hush money to someone. You can read Ken White about how these charges are basically made up. It’s likely being pursued because the statute of limitations has run out on what he did do. Illegal leaks indicate he sexually abused a student while he was a wrestling coach. I deplore the fed’s tendency to make up crimes. That doesn’t change Haster’s status as a scumbag if these allegations are true.
  • This week’s must-read is from Laura Kipnis a liberal feminist professor who found herself at the center of a Title IX inquisition because she had the temerity to question the narrative the sexual paranoia our college campuses are caving into.

Texas Shooting

Now that the facts are out, I have a a few random thoughts about Sunday’s shooting in Texas, which apparently involved two wannabe jihadis trying to shoot up a meeting where people would draw images of Muhammed.

First, I have no use for Pamela Geller and her compadres. They spew anti-Islamic invective whenever they can, are frequently factually challenged and hold events like this to be deliberately provocative.

That having been said, the blame for this is totally on the shooters and their vile religious beliefs. Every religion has its critics and its mockers. But you don’t see Christians, even fundamentalist ones, shooting up meetings of atheists or trying to murder Richard Dawkins. As Amy Alkon reminds us, there is no free speech in fundamentalist Islam. The radicals regard murdering “blasphemers” as their duty. We can never forget that.

Second, this event is protected speech no matter how much the pantywaists and thought-controllers try to pretend it isn’t. Our commitment to free speech is most tested with provocative or even insulting speech. And our commitment should stay strong even in the face of gunfire.

Third, according to Mother Jones, this was not a mass shooting stopped by someone with a gun. As I’ve noted many times, they require four people to be killed before it counts as a mass shooting or an attempted one.

And finally … Texas? Seriously? You guys thought you were going to win a shootout in Texas? When I lived down there, I was the least-armed person in my carpool lane.

The Davis Campaign Implodes

I haven’t been paying much attention to the Texas gubernatorial race because it’s been clear for a while that Greg Abbott was going to win. Not only is Texas a red state and Abbott clearly qualified, but Davis’ main qualification was filibustering an abortion law, which I didn’t see carrying much water outside of Austin. And, indeed, Abbott has maintained a double digit lead all year.

Enter desperation:

From the Department of Actual Facts, we find out that Greg Abbott was put in a wheelchair when he was struck by a tree branch while jogging. His lawsuit covered actual damages and medical costs, costs still allowed under Texas’s tort reform statues. We also find out that, in the three cases mentioned:

1) In the disability case, Abbot argued that she was not eligible for a discrimination claim because her prosthesis allowed her to continue to work. She eventually lost her ADA case.

2) In the rape case, Abbot dissented from a majority that found a company liable when one of their door-to-door salesmen raped a woman. Abbot argued that the distributor, not the manufacturer, was liable.

3) In the doctor case, Abbot argued that Baylore Regional Medical Center was not liable for a doctor who allegedly maimed patients.

Any of these might be a poor argument but none of them are outside the boundaries of standard legal argumentation. I have long despised the tactic of running ads against lawyers because of the clients they have represented. Representing clients — even accused terrorist and child-molesters — is what lawyers do. And representing them zealously within the bounds of the law is their job description. I have cited this many times, but it’s always worth mentioning: John Adams defended the soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre and called it “one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.” Arguments over who exactly is financially responsible for the failure to run a background check isn’t even close to what President Adams took immense and deserved pride in.

Naturally, people reacting to Davis using Abbott’s disability as a campaign wedge. Naturally, liberals are jumping to her defense. But it didn’t rise to the level of high comedy until today (emphasis mine):

At an event attended by several disabled supporters, Wendy Davis on Monday brushed aside criticism of her controversial “wheelchair ad” and repeatedly blasted her Republican challenger as a “hypocrite.”

“In 1984, Greg Abbott sought out and received justice following a horrible injury, rightly so…receiving millions of dollars. And I’m glad, he deserved justice for the terrible tragedy that he endured,” Davis said at her Fort Worth, Texas, field office. “But then he turned around and built his career working to deny the very same justice that he received to his fellow Texans rightly seeking it for themselves.”

Seriously, Ms. Davis? You’re pulling the “some of my best friends are disabled” defense?

People often talk about the Republicans living in a bubble of “epistemic closure” where they only hear their own voices and are unaware of anyone who dissents from them. But the Davis campaign is a perfect illustration of the Democrats living in such a world. They thought that because they liked Davis’ stand on abortion, everyone else would. That since she was their hero, she would be Texas’ too. And now they think that trying to leverage someone’s disability into political gain isn’t going to be noticed because … reasons.

Enjoy election night, Ms. Davis. I know millions of Texans will enjoy it because it will be the end of your absurd campaign.

Someone Messed With Texas

If you were awake late last night, you saw something pretty extraordinary unfold down in Texas. The legislature was attempting to pass a bill on the last day of the session that would have restricted abortion by (1) limiting it to 20 weeks; (2) requiring that clinics meet medical clinic standards; (3) requiring that abortion providers have hospital admission privileges. Opponents said the latter two would shut down all but five clinics in the state.

A building protest caught spark when Wendy Davis began a 13-hour filibuster to try to prevent a vote. When she was ruled to have broken the rules a third time — once for getting a back brace adjustment and twice for talking about topics deemed irrelevant — her filibuster was ended. What followed was two hours of parliamentary debate. At 11:45, the gallery erupted, shouting down the legislature. They voted for the legislation. But this morning, the Lt. Governor ruled that it had passed after the midnight deadline. For the moment, the bill is dead.

Many thoughts and I’ll have to go with bullet points that sum up much of what I said on Twitter.

  • Once again, the MSM fell flat on its face. Twitter, Facebook and blogs had copious coverage of what was going on. At the precise moment the vote was happening, CNN was highlighting … the calorie content of muffins. I’m calling it: 2013 is the year the MSM died. Almost all the big news — the IRS scandal, the NSA, last night in Texas — emerged from outside the MSM. And their typical reaction has been to either dismiss it or be snide about it, culminating in David Gregory pondering if Glenn Greenwald should be prosecuted for breaking the law (note to Gregory: I don’t think journalists breaking the law is a can of worms to you want to open, asshole). The MSM is still relevant, a little, for foreign news. Or at least they could be. Some journalists, like the ones who exposed the abuse in Bell, California, still fill a role. But the big news houses are nothing but fluff.
  • Probably the most amazing, if unsurprising thing, was the complete reversal of people’s attitudes on the particulars. Liberals who had spent years denouncing the filibuster suddenly thought it was the most awesome thing ever. People who had denounced peaceful Tea Party protests as display of thuggery and racism suddenly decided that shouting down the legislature was good citizen participation.
  • Me? Even though I’m mixed on the abortion issue and prefer the more dignified, restrained and lawful tactics used by the Tea Party, I am encouraged when I see citizens paying attention to what their legislatures are doing. I am always impressed by real filibusters not the bogus “we’re pretending to talk” kind.
  • The law itself, however, is not the most ridiculous thing. As pointed out, many countries have more restrictive abortion laws than Texas tried to pass, including western European ones. France, for example, only allows abortion on demand through 12 weeks, with exceptions for health of the mother or fetal illness. I really think, after the Gosnell horror, abortion clinics should be held to higher standards. And now that we’ve had fetuses survive after being born at 21 weeks, the push to move viability back was not unreasonable. However, the GOP has been winning legislative victory after legislative victory on the abortion issue. Something like last night was inevitable.
  • The victory abortion proponents scored last night may be temporary. There is no force on Earth that can stop Rick Perry from calling a special legislative session today to pass SB5. However, I suspect that the law is dead for now. The GOP, if they are wise … stop that snickering … will take their wins on abortion law and wait for passions to cool.
  • In the end, despite the extremely boring parliamentary debate that pushed SB5 past midnight, I found last night kind of riveting. Not because I am particularly sympathetic to the protesters, but because I am sympathetic to anyone pushing back on government. I want people protesting, calling legislators and getting involved because so many of us have fallen asleep at the switch. Our Republic only functions if we hold our leaders responsible for the decisions that they make and the laws that they pass.

    So my challenge to those who participated last night, even it was just a “StandWithWendy” hashtag is this: are you willing to keep this up? Are you willing to push back on NSA abuses, even when it is the eeevil libertarians raising awareness? Are you willing to protest the IRS targeting groups based on their politics, even when it’s groups you don’t like? In short, are you going to stay involved when it’s not your pet issue? When it doesn’t involve aborting fetuses?

    Because if you’re not willing to stay involved; if you’re going to bash the Tea Party when they do something like this; if you’re going to decry the filibuster when Rand Paul uses it, then you are not a participant, a protester, a citizen, a revolutionary, a patriot or someone who “stands” with anything.

    You’re just a partisan.

    The Sex Avengers

    You know, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing:

    A Texas father who said he witnessed his 4-year-old daughter being molested beat her alleged attacker to death with repeated punches to the head, police said Monday.

    A relative of the 23-year-old father, who was not identified by local reports, said he was later remorseful for killing the suspected predator, who was also not named pending notification of his death to his family.

    “It was an accident,” the young girl’s grandfather told the Victoria Advocate newspaper.

    Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said he doesn’t expect the father to be arrested in Saturday’s incident, and that no evidence so far has led investigators to doubt his version of events.

    The entire story has yet to come out. But if this version of events is correct, I can not imagine a Texas grand jury handing down an indictment or a Texas jury convicting him of anything. Maybe littering if he left the body blocking a public road. I’m not saying vigilante justice is awesome, as you’ll see below. I’m saying that any dad who caught someone molesting his 4-year-old daughter would hit the rapist until he stopped moving. No man can exercise restraint in that situation. No man should.

    On the flip side, however, you have this illustration of why sex offender registries have gone too far.

    A Washington man accused of fatally shooting two convicted sex offenders on the Olympic Peninsula indicated he did not plan to stop with two, a prosecutor told a judge on Monday.

    Patrick Drum, 34, of Sequim, remained jailed without bail after a Clallam County Superior Court hearing.

    A signed note Drum left in a rental car said he hated sex offenders and ‘it had to be done,’ the county sheriff said Monday.

    So what these two monsters do? Was it as bad as what happened in Texas? One was guilty of third degree rape. I’ve read the statute but I’m still not clear on what that means. The other was convicted of child rape. But according to his wife, this meant he had consensual sex with his freshman girlfriend when he was a senior in high school. Neither of those things should be legal (I’m in favor of Romeo-Juliet exemptions, but four years is beyond the limit of most). But did either of them deserve to have a big bullseye painted on their homes? This is not the first time this has happened. Sex offenders — including those convicted based on public urination, prostitution, consensual sex with slightly younger partners, accidental exposure — have often been threatened, assaulted and even murdered. The system does not discriminate between the fiend that just got what he deserved in Texas and the two men who got something completely undeserved in Washington.

    The murderer does appear to have mental and behavioral issues. But did the government really need to dangle a red flag in front of him? And what was accomplished? Read this article from the economist:

    Georgia has more than 17,000 registered sex offenders. Some are highly dangerous. But many are not. And it is fiendishly hard for anyone browsing the registry to tell the one from the other. The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board, an official body, assessed a sample of offenders on the registry last year and concluded that 65% of them posed little threat. Another 30% were potentially threatening, and 5% were clearly dangerous. The board recommended that the first group be allowed to live and work wherever they liked. The second group could reasonably be barred from living or working in certain places, said the board, and the third group should be subject to tight restrictions and a lifetime of monitoring. A very small number “just over 100” are classified as “predators”, which means they have a compulsion to commit sex offences. When not in jail, predators must wear ankle bracelets that track where they are.

    Recidivism rates for sex offenders are low, mostly because, according to Georgia, at least two-thirds of them are not really dangerous to begin with. And children are far more likely to be molested by someone who is not on a registry than someone who is. We’ll see what facts come out about the Texas case, but I would be very surprised if the … victim? … of the beating was registered.

    The middle ground is obvious. For the 65% that pose little threat, remove them from the registry. For the 30% that are potential threats, track and monitor. For the 5% who are dangerous, put them back in jail. We can toss out a few pot smokers to make room. Or maybe send them to the nice warm permanent cell some would-be-rapist is now in.

    Update: More details have come out and it seems like one of the dead men had sex with a disabled girl when they were both 17, hence the third degree rape charge. The other, however, did, in fact, rape young children. My point stands. Under a sensible system, these two men would not be treated equally.

    Texas Style Justice

    It is no surprise that certain well funded organizations have allied themselves with the Democratic Party as a means of feathering their nest and facilitating the dissemination of their beliefs, most notably, the NTA, the NEA, big labor, and trial lawyers. Tort costs have always been a bone of contention with any real discussion on reform as it is no surprise how costly and damaging to the justice system frivolous lawsuits can be. In this area, there has been many individual state legislative pushes to adopt The English Rule, whereby loser pays the attorney’s fees of all involved as well as whatever court fees incurred.

    I’ve mentioned Rick Perry in other threads as a possible GOP contender for the presidential race. Perry is the governor for the state of Texas. Although Perry has a budget problem (join the club) he is making his state much more business friendly. And tort reform was next on his “to do” list:

    By a unanimous vote, the Texas Senate has just given final approval to a once-controversial “loser pays” bill designed to make it easier to get meritless lawsuits tossed out of court.

    Passage of the measure had been one of the goals of Gov. Rick Perry and GOP conservative groups. But as recently as a week ago, approval of the new law remained in doubt, as various groups continued to battle over its provisions.

    Then, after several days of closed-door talks, a surprise deal was announced Saturday on House Bill 274 that allowed for today’s vote.

    The Senate vote came after almost no debate.

    The popular argument against “loser pays” has always been that it would make valid suits  brought by poor people prohibitive because they would not want to risk losing and lawyers would be hesitant to accept these types of cases with no readily visible cash cow. Larger corporations would be less likely to settle when they can transfer all their legal fees to the claimant. But the Texas law accounts for this, it provides an extra hurdle. “Loser pays” will require plaintiff’s to foot the bill of the winning party’s legal costs if a judge finds the case to be groundless, anything with merit (and in today’s courts this would be an easy test to pass) would not be held to this provision,seems fair to me. I think we can all agree that this sort of nonsense has to stop.

    A court Thursday rejected an appeal filed by a former administrative law judge who sued a dry cleaners for $54 million over a missing pair of pants.

    Other states, notably Oklahoma next door, South Carolina, and Penn. have similar bills in the works.

    And with the removal of frivolous lawsuits, mal practice insurance for anyone that incurs liability (doctors, lawyers, municipalities that hire cops and firemen) will most certainly go down.

    Before the reform, Texas was a kind of holy place on the tort bar pilgrimage. Now it’s a Mecca for doctors, especially the emergency physicians, obstetricians and surgical specialists who elsewhere can face blue-sky malpractice premiums. Liability rates have fallen by 27.5% on average since 2003. The number of doctors applying to practice in Texas has increased 60%, even as the overall population grew by 14%.

    All of this is helping to end an acute Lone Star physicians shortage, especially in rural areas. Twenty-three counties now have their first E.R. doctor, 10 their first OB-GYN. Hospitals are reinvesting the malpractice savings in scarce services like neurosurgery and neonatal units and expanding access to care. This Texas success has opened eyes in nearby Oklahoma, where even Democrats have been forced to agree to some legal reforms.

    I read articles all the time in my local paper how businesses are moving from my state (notice that chart I posted earlier or business friendly states, and where is California?). Many of these businesses are moving to Texas. And all this does is provide feathers for the cap of one Rick Perry, ya think is is getting in? Oh yeah.

    The Sounds of Texas

    You know, just when the Texas Legislature is winning me over with an anti-groping law that has provoke the Feds into threatening to cancel flights, they go and do something like this:

    Texas Governor Rick Perry on Thursday signed into law a measure requiring women seeking an abortion in the state to first get a sonogram.

    Texas is one of several U.S. states with strong Republican legislative majorities proposing new restrictions on abortion this year. The Republican governor had designated the bill as an emergency legislative priority, putting it on a fast track.

    Under the law, women will have to wait 24 hours after the sonogram before having an abortion, though the waiting time is two hours for those who live more than 100 miles (160 km) from an abortion provider.

    I feel I need to referee some of the hysteria. First off, the reaction to this law is another illustration of why I hate bunking with the pro-choicers. They are right now screaming that this law is going to force doctors to perform “invasive” transvaginal ultrasounds and waving ultrasound probes around like they are Mardi Gras party favors.

    But while I’d be more than happy to jump on the Evil Republicans Want To Jam Probes Into Women’s Twats bandwagon, I can’t. The thing is that pre-abortion ultrasound is pretty much the standard of care — yes, even, in the first 12 weeks, the “invasive” transvaginal version (which is humiliating and uncomfortable, but not any more invasive than a pap smear and certainly less invasive than a fucking abortion). Doctors need to know that a woman is pregnant before they can perform an abortion and they need to know where they’re going before they get in there. So, to repeat — pre-abortion sonogram is standard. Check out Planned Parenthood’s description if you don’t believe me.

    What the Texas law does is change this from a standard to a requirement, put in a waiting period and require that doctors, in most cases, describe the fetus to the woman. Oppressive? Meh.

    I’ve learned the hard way that, while I often agree with the pro-choicers, they can not be relied upon for good facts or reasonable perspective. They frequently decry as “an assault on women’s rights” abortion laws that are popular among pro-choicers such as parental notification laws and partial-birth abortion bans. They are unable to grasp that half of this country — including half of women — are pro-life and more than half of those who are pro-choice are well to the right of the “abortion on demand” crowd. So this is yet another illustration of how their nobel road to defend women’s uteri can be paved with lies.

    I do agree that this bill is unnecessary. As I said, ultrasound is already standard procedure. Moreover, this is unlikely to deter any abortions. Most voluntary abortions take place very early in pregnancy, when a fetus is not very differentiated. Moreover, abortion providers tend not be to be very eager to turn patients away. They are notorious for ignoring rules they don’t like, as Live Action demonstrated with their hidden videos. And as we tragically found out with the Gosnell case, there aren’t exactly a lot of cops on the beat making sure they obey the law.

    I remember when an informed consent law was passed in Minnesota and the first doctor to read it (with the press in attendance) did so sarcastically. I suspect that most providers will simply do their standard ultrasound and say, “there’s a fetus in there”. After all, who’s going to inform on them other than pro-life groups doing sting operations?

    The main thing will be the waiting period. And this is something I actually favor and always have. If nothing else, waiting periods give women who get creeped out by abortion clinics — and they are creepifying — a chance to abandon ship. Women determined to get an abortion won’t change their mind but women on the fence might save themselves from a decision they’ll regret. We do the same thing in medicine with all voluntary procedures. I see no reason why abortion should be treated any differently

    Now the natural question that occurred to me — and I’m sure has occurred to you — is this: why? Why is the Texas GOP, facing a $15 billion budgetary shortfall, screwing around with a pointless abortion law? Why are they burning their political capital on this fight? To the point of the governor designating it as an “emergency”?

    I’ve though about this a lot lately, since we’re seeing this pattern in a lot of state legislatures and even at the federal level. And it comes down to something I tweeted yesterday:

    Dirty secret of budget debate: everyone is hoping to stall long enough for the economy to fix things. Problem: Won’t work.

    A large fraction of our budget problems are cause by a weak economy combined with a top-loaded tax system. This has crashed revenues around the country, especially at the federal level, where our tax base presently consists of about three people and their pet hamster, Bob. If the economy starts booming again, they think, most of the budget problems will go away. So why not stall and debate minor issues while waiting for that to happen, then take credit when it does?

    The problem, of course, is that the economy may not boom for a long time. And in the meantime, we’re spending out the yin-yang and keeping revenues at levels unable to sustain present commitments, let alone future ones. So what this really amounts to if fiddling with the vaginas while Rome burns. That’s preferable to the Left’s preference for more stimulus spending based on the notion that the economic multiplier of government spending is infinity, but it’s not enough.

    Not anymore.