Aug. 22nd, 2012

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There's a very good article by Ilyse Hogue in The Nation this week called "The Danger of Laughing at Todd Akin."

Akin, as we all know, is the GOP Senate candidate who advanced the medically imbecilic notion that the bodies of women who're being "legitimately" (i.e., "forcibly") raped have a way of shutting down the possibility of conception; if, in other words, a rape victim finds herself pregnant, it's probably because, despite her protestations, she was enjoying herself during the act.

He claimed that he'd been told this "scientific fact" by doctors.

Yep. Right.

The trouble for the GOP is that this miserable distinction between "real" rape, where the victim has the shit beaten out of her or her throat cut and is then raped, and "consensual" rape, where the woman decides to skip the preliminaries, is one that only morons or habitual watchers of snuff movies could posit. Everyone else knows that, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a rape is a rape is a rape. (Yes, of course there are grey areas. But these are exactly what friend Akin isn't talking about.)

Another problem for the GOP is that the cosponsor with Akin for a bill in the House maintaining the distinction between "forcible" rape and all the other rapes was, oops, Paul Ryan.

The folk in Missouri apparently think Akin's sole fault was to mischoose his words. That is, of course, nonsense -- a sign of how far our corrupted "news" media have dumbed people down. The problem's not Akin's wording, not even his misogyny, but his arrogant lying about the science of the matter.

No doctor outside a straitjacket will tell you the female body has a way of shutting out rapist sperm, yet Akin felt free to tell this lie because he was doing so within a GOP milieu of telling flat lies about scientific conclusions.

It's generally accepted in the developed world that (a) climate change is real and (b) it's our carbon emissions that are causing it. Climate scientists are more in agreement about this than biologists are about evolution; the consensus is that strong.

Yet, according to the GOP and significant segments of the US public whose minds have been polluted by the big-bux campaigns of Exxon and Koch Industries, among others, the science of global warming is still dubious. It may even be a hoax mounted by climate scientists who, clever as they are, reject the vast sums they could earn for doing nothing as shills for the Heartland Institute, etc., in favor of the far lesser grants they can get out of the US and other governments for doing actual research.

The rejection of climate science by the GOP was something that was started in the loonie fringes, traveled inward via demagogues like the moronic Rush Limbaugh, and has now reached the stage that no GOP presidential candidate can tell the truth on the issue.

What will almost certainly happen over the next few years is that Akin's scientifically baloney notion will, likewise, be absorbed into the mainstream discussion by lazy journalists.

Most Americans I know get their news from the BBC, who by and large reject this crap, rather than from CNN, who think they should give equal time to bullshit as "balance".

Is this situation not faintly . . . embarrassing?

March 2013

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