At the beginning of May, Kentucky proposed a ban on tattooing over scars. The state health department made vague references to cleanliness and sanitation. But the suggested rules left Kentucky’s inkers clueless as to what the proposed law would entail. The only reason offered for this rewrite is that the rules hadn’t been updated in 15 years. 

I am not aware of any health issues created by tattooing over a scar. There are some technical and aesthetic difficulties which reputable tattoo artists should discuss with their clients. But on the whole, it is an unremarkable procedure. The state’s need to weigh in on the issue can be attributed to nothing more than mission creep by bureaucrats.

Which brings us to a woman’s right to choose — an issue with profound ramifications for pregnant women. It is not the purpose of this diary to enumerate all the reasons why a women’s right to choose should be inviolate. But let me point out one thing. The anti-abortionists couch their bigotry in moral and religious tones. 

That is an argument made from whole cloth. The Bible is virtually silent on the subject. The custom of most religions is that ‘personhood’ wasn’t established until the ‘quickening’ or some defined period after conception. The Catholic Church historically saw abortion as a sin because it covered up evidence of adultery or fornication. But no crime was involved – and the fetus itself, before it was imbued with a soul, had no bearing on the matter

Conservative evangelicals have less interest in the moral outcome of their crusade against choice than in establishing governmental legal domination over women. An extreme example of mission creep if you will. 

But these two ends of the same spectrum aren’t the only examples of an assault on American liberty. The second amendment may be held sacrosanct by the gun-wielding constitutionalist – but these same barroom lawyers casually dismiss the first. 

Paradoxically, on the one hand, they believe that the answer to gun violence is more guns —  but on the other, that the best defense against ‘FAKE MEDIA’ is no media (except theirs). The ‘liberty’ wing of the far right even scorns Fox News for suggesting that Trump is not spotless.

Worse, Trump makes common cause with this rabid horde in an attempt to dismantle the protections of a free press. Is it working? It is. The organization ‘Reporters without Borders’ ranks the US #48 in press freedom, sandwiched between Romania and Senegal. We are 25 slots behind Namibia (or Nambia in Trump’s Adderall-addled imaginings) of all places.

We do better in economic freedoms, but still don’t crack the top 10 in the Heritage ranking. The United Arab Emirates has us beaten. Libertarians blame our lower position — #12 — on our social programs, saying that Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Welfare and unemployment work as an anchor on the economy. 

Try telling that to New Zealand #3, Australia #4, Ireland #5, Switzerland #6, the United Kingdom #7 and Canada #8.

It gets worse.

On the Freedom House ranking of countries by overall freedom — an index that measures civil rights and political liberties —  the US comes in 53rd. This time our immediate neighbors are Belize and Croatia. We are behind the Scandinavian countries, the rest of Western Europe, all  English-speaking countries, the Baltic republics, and the other first-world countries.

Experts can attest to why the US received such abominable grades. But I suggest that voting restrictions, gerrymandering, voter IDs laws, and disenfranchised ex-felons go a long way to explaining our restricted political freedoms. Add to that, our arcane parliamentary rules and an antiquated system of selecting the chief executive — as well as the disproportionate representation of small states — and you have freighted American politics with the tyranny of the minority.

It is an American irony that the country’s Constitution — which enumerated our freedoms — is pressed into service to restrict those freedoms. Conservatives say the document is as written and that the Founding Fathers intended the text to be interpreted literally. Then they tell you their opinion and claim that is what the Framers meant.

They do the same with the Bible.

And that leaves us with a country founded in soaring liberty and freedom from religion bound by religious doctrine and the shabby constraints of power-grubbing politicians — facilitated by a political party whose interest is not in keeping America great. They would rather sacrifice liberty on the altar of ambition to enable their bullying ways.


The Supreme Court Stays a Louisiana Abortion Law. It Is Likely a Brief Reprieve for Choice.

February 9, 2019

On Thursday the Supreme Court voted to stay a Louisiana law that would have required abortion clinics in the state to have admitting rights at a hospital within 30 miles. Pro-choice advocates argued this would have left the state with one abortion clinic. The good news may be only temporary for women in the Pelican State. The Court did not […]

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Twelve Things Conservatives Believe About Liberals That Are Just Not True.

October 27, 2018

The conservative echo chamber resonates with claims made about what liberals believe and stand for. As you might expect, there is no factual basis for what they say. Let’s analyze their top dozen mischaracterizations: 1. Liberals want open borders, where anyone, for any reason, can come to America at any time. Liberals do not believe […]

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‘Christian’ Lawmaker Celebrates Kavanaugh Confirmation by Telling Women to Get their Hangers Ready

October 21, 2018

In West Virginia, Parkersburg City Councilman, Eric Barber, celebrated the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by posting a ‘celebratory’ message to Facebook: “Better get you’re [sic] coathangers ready liberals.” Barber had made a big show of leaving the Democratic party a year ago because it was “anti-Christian” so it is no surprise that he is […]

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Friday Was a Good Day for Those Who Care About Women’s Rights.

May 27, 2018

The arrest of Harvey Weinstein does not signal the end of the women’s civil rights movement. Nor did the Irish voting, overwhelmingly, for abortion freedoms. Differences between the sexes are still stark in pay, parenthood, and senior management. No woman has ascended to the top political job in America —  which puts us behind Pakistan, India, Senegal, Liberia, […]

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An Anti-abortionist Apologia. How Kevin Williamson Disguises His Zealotry.

April 27, 2018

Kevin Williamson was hired by The Atlantic to provide conservative commentary. He was fired a few days later when an old tweet and podcast revealed he thought women should be hanged for getting an abortion. Now Williamson has written an opinion piece in the Washington Post ‘clarifying’ his stance on abortion. Let’s have a look. He diminishes his […]

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What Effect Do Anti-Choice Laws Have on Abortion Rates? It’s not what you think.

March 19, 2018

In Mississippi, an abortion bill is working its way through the state legislature. It would restrict abortions to the first fifteen weeks of pregnancy. Pro-lifers celebrate this as one more step towards the total abolition of the procedure. Pro-choicers bemoan this as yet one more measure that will shackle women to their biology and reduce them to potentially […]

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A Satanist Argues that a Government-Free Abortion Is Her God-Granted Right.

October 9, 2017

The loudest voices for ‘freedom of religion’ in the US are white conservative Christians. Typically, these same folks also claim that America was founded as a Judeo/Christian nation. Revealing that  ‘freedom’ is not their object  —  establishing a Christianity theocracy is. Which makes the case of a Missouri Satanic Temple member so compelling. Here’s a woman, known only as […]

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Donald Trump Campaigns To Be Sadist In Chief.

March 30, 2016

“The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.’ – Carl Jung Donald Trump’s campaign has taken a turn for the worse – and who knew there was a worse? He is now threatening to ban all abortions and punish women who get one. It is a frightening […]

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