Ben Carson says abortion is like slavery, advocates automatic weapons, suppression of free speech at colleges, etc., etc. etc.

Ben Carson is simply a horrible man, but his odious views are belied by his calm—almost tranquilized—demeanor. The video below shows this morning’s interview of Ben Carson by Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press”.

Even though most readers here probably despise the man, you owe it to yourself to listen to the nineteen minutes of religiously-inspired hate from someone who might be next year’s Republican candidate for President. Carson’s numbers are rising above Trump’s in the polls, and Jeb Bush is in trouble. God help us all: the Republicans may go for Carson in 2016. And if they do, he’ll lose—but he’ll still get rich and renowned. Remember Sarah Palin, an equally moronic candidate? It’s a huge embarrassment to America that this man, as was Palin, is taken seriously as a politican, and as a potential leader of this nation.

At 2:30, Carson defends his frequent use of Nazi/Holocaust tropes for Obama’s policies, and says that he’s heard approval from Jewish people for such statements (who are they?). He adds that had Jews been armed in the 1940s, the Holocaust would have been averted.

At about 5:30, he argues that there should be few limitations on American’s “Second Amendment right” to have whatever weapons they need to protect themselves, and that we should be able to have automatic weapons.

And, about 6 minutes in, he begins talking about abortion, saying things like this (transcripts via PuffHo):

“During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it — during slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do. And, you know, what if the abolitionist had said, you know, ‘I don’t believe in slavery. I think it’s wrong. But you guys do whatever you want to do’?  Where would we be?”

What the bloody hell is he talking about here? The argument for slavery is by no means comparable to the argument for abortion, and Carson’s simply using one hot-button issue to arouse emotion about another. Is he really making an analogy between a slaveholder having a slave and a woman having a fetus in her womb? If so, that’s even dumber.

Carson goes on—read the following carefully:

CHUCK TODD: Okay.  Do you want to see Roe v. Wade overturned?

DR. BEN CARSON: Ultimately, I would love to see it overturned.

CHUCK TODD: And that means all abortions illegal?  Or is there still an exception that you would have?

DR. BEN CARSON: I’m a reasonable person. And if people can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they would like to kill a baby, I’ll listen.

CHUCK TODD: Life and health of the mother?

DR. BEN CARSON: Again, that’s a extraordinarily rare situation. But if in that very rare situation it occurred, I believe there’s room to discuss that.

CHUCK TODD: Rape and incest?

DR. BEN CARSON: Rape and incest, I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way. And all you have to do is go and look up the many stories of people who have led very useful lives who were the result of rape or incest.

Seriously, a “reasonable person” would make no exceptions to forcing a woman to have a child conceived by rape or incest? That, of course, comes from his religion—his view that life begins at conception and that a dependent fetus is equivalent to a free-living adult. This man (a creationist Jehovah’s Witness) is a theocrat.

Finally, at 14:10 Caron discusses his views on how the government should monitor colleges for incorrect speech, which he calls “propaganda” and “indoctrination”. Todd properly calls him out by saying that Carson’s “propaganda” is someone else’s free speech. Carson’s response is lame.

Can there be anybody more wrong on all the issues? I count 100% divergence between his views and mine.

237 Comments

  1. Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    This rant doesn’t help anybody. Dr. Carson is highly intelligent and his views should be given the respect they deserve. He may know very little about the Constitution or its origin but this lack should be taken as an opportunity rather than obstacle.

    • mordacious1
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure I understand what it is you’re saying.

      • nightgaunt49
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        The only slavery analogy are the White male Christians over women and girls who are pregnant and force them to term which means that those females cannot control their own bodies which means someone else is—-exactly what slavery is. Now if we could just stop the perniciousness of the (some) Drug War for the same reasons. But then Dr. Carson is such a soft spoken wannabe theocratic dictator we would ever have. Nice quite and deadly.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I found Carson’s analogy ironically in support of the right to choose if he was indeed suggesting that the pregnant woman is the slave owner and the fetus/zygote the slave.

          If anything he is the slave owner and American women are the slaves. Wow, I be that would chap his ass if he heard that!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I found Carson’s analogy ironically in support of the right to choose if he was indeed suggesting that the pregnant woman is the slave owner and the fetus/zygote the slave.

          If anything he is the slave owner and American women are the slaves. Wow, I be that would chap his ass if he heard that!

    • J K Smith
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Evidence from what he says is severely limited.

      Either he’s pandering to the GOP faithful (either way of reading applies!), or he’s as dumb as a box of frogs.

      • gluonspring
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Third option: the amazing ability people have of compartmentalizing their brains.

    • Jeffrey Jones
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      “Dr. Carson is highly intelligent and his views should be given the respect they deserve.”
      He may be highly educated in the field of medicine. As for him being highly intelligent, that is certainly debatable.
      His moronic views on subjects outside of medicine deserve no respect.

      • nightgaunt49
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Worse he is not pandering or dumb, he is deadly serious. He has many characteristics one would find with the Crusaders, Inquisition, Nazis of the old school and other dictatorships all came from the same kind of thinking.

    • Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      A Presidential candidate ignorant of the constitution is deserving of contempt, not the benefit of the doubt. No matter your IQ, if you’re running for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world and you’re this ignorant of the foundational law of the land, you’re a blithering idiot.

      b&

      • charitablemafioso
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        +1

        • nightgaunt49
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Ideology trumps education and IQ. In his case he isn’t for the Constitution or Bill of Rights, both not found in the Bible.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Yup!

      • Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Yes, except for the “blithering idiot”. The point was why doesn’t someone give him some information like the percenrage of lawyers and the educated at the constitutional convention. Or how the Constitution is based on the philosophy of Locke and Montesquieu and maybe that he has a scientist’s view of philosophy? There are lots of things that could be said rather than name calling. A review of his biography would show any reasonable person that he deserves respect.

        • Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          The gentleness you propose would be reasonable were he a private citizen whom you were addressing in an informal setting.

          But he’s waaaaaay past that now.

          You don’t throw your hat into the ring until you’re ready to step into the Oval Office. By definition, anybody who declares candidacy without such preparation is an idiot and completely undeserving of respect. Any prior respect that person might have earned was entirely undone by that bit of boneheadery.

          b&

        • Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          And riffing off of Ben’s point, why on earth would you be so tolerant of ignorance in a presidential candidate? Why would you assume that although there are blatant gaps in a candidate’s knowledge of basic governing principles, he’ll get his act together later when he’s in office?

          I’d vote for the candidate who already has his or her act together.

          • Posted October 25, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Because tolerance is for things you don’t like. I may not like to hear that the Constitution is just Common Sense when I know it as a brilliant document of law and political philosophy, but that’s what tolerance is for. I’m not saying there are not limit cases but this doesn’t seem to be one.

            • Posted October 25, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

              Where could the limits of tolerance possibly be if not at insisting that the people you allow to govern your country know what’s what when it comes to matters of law and governance? Not to mention that they be generally rational and sane as well. I wouldn’t tolerate having my house built by a contractor who’s ignorant of current specifications and codes. I wouldn’t tolerate being referred to an ENT for treatment of prostate cancer. I wouldn’t tolerate a leader who’s hopelessly ignorant of the constitution.

              Your eagerness to give Carson’s ignorance a pass is mystifying, given the gravity of the position he’s vying for.

              • Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

                I didn’t give him a pass. I said stop the name calling.It doesn’t add anything to the argument. Tolerance means at least respecting a person’s humanity while disagreeing with him.

              • Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

                You also seem to be saying (apologies if I’m misinterpreting) that instead of simply concluding that Carson’s ignorance and worldview make him an unfit candidate we should withhold judgment on the off-chance that he’ll come to his senses. Relying on off-chances is not what I’d consider tolerable when it comes to governing a country.

              • Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

                Of course, we all have a right to evaluate a candidate for office. It’s his job to make his credentials attractive.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        A Presidential candidate ignorant of the constitution is deserving of contempt, not the benefit of the doubt. No matter your IQ, if you’re running for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world and you’re this ignorant of the foundational law of the land, you’re a blithering idiot.

        When Hitler used the German constitution to legally take over the government of what aspired to be the most powerful country in the world, he probably knew the German constitution perfectly well. He may have had no intention of following it, but that is a separate issue to understanding it.
        It’s the same logic as PCCE having not long ago read the whole BuyBull (the other one, not the semen-by post business’ catalogue) cover to cover : know thine enema.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I think Jerry gave Carson the respect he deserves.

      I.e. none.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Oops, sorry. His _views_.

        Oh well, it comes to the same here. Having those views subtracts all other respect he could have earned as a surgeon et cetera.

        • nightgaunt49
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          Someone, I can’t recall who, wrote about the phenomena of smart people turning this way when they become Reich Wingers. The ideology just puts dangerous sincere stupidity and venality into them. They have the ethics of Inquisitors.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            I think it is more the tendency toward totalitarianism that blinkers them. Their right wingedness is a co-enabler.

        • Ken Daniels
          Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          +1

    • docbill1351
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      No, Dr. Carson is not highly intelligent. He’s a complete moron who’s good with his hands. Carson has demonstrated no understanding of science, no understanding of history, no understanding of government nor civics, even at a 5th grade level.

      Carson is completely delusional, unable to distinguish his fantasy world from reality and is quite possibly insane.

      Yes, his “views” should be given the respect they deserve which is none. Carson should be derided, ridiculed and laughed off the national stage.

      Certainly, it doesn’t say much for the educational level of Carson’s ‘base’ that his bafflegabbery is given a second thought.

      I’ll post my real feelings later!

      • nightgaunt49
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        One can be highly intelligent and still pick cruel things to support their own biases. It isn’t a factor of intelligence here. It is ethics and empathy that should be spoken about. Too many have the wrong idea about intelligence. It is put in service of what the person accepts as reality for them. Not an automatic good thing. Even ethics can be bent that way. Calling people morons is wrong and harkens back to the bad old time of Eugenics where that intelligence designation came from and is no longer in use.

        • docbill1351
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          To be clear, I meant “moron” as an insult, not a clinical term. In the interests of Carson’s vaunted political correctness henceforth I shall refer to him as a “maroon.” Although, that might confuse him as a Texas Aggie, oh, wait …

          (Go Longhorns)

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            That’s “Hook ’em, ‘Horns!”, pardner.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            Nothing wrong with ‘moron’ as an insult, IMO. Or ‘idiot’, ‘loony’ or any other of the pejorative terms that were – once – applied to identifiable conditions.

            I think it’s enough that we no longer use them for the sufferers of those conditions. It’s far too onerous and restrictive of language that we should be expected to abjure them for any other use.

            cr

            • Filippo
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

              I trust that I am not too presumptuous to wonder whether Dr. C might care to clarify whether these terms constitute ad hominem name calling and a violation of Da Roolz.

              • Anonymous
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

                I suspect only in violation if used ad hominem towards another poster on this site. Just like other terms of condemnation, I think it’s free speech and open season towards public figures.

                Umm, PCC called Sarah Palin ‘moronic’ in his original post.

                So I think your supposition is incorrect.

                cr

              • Filippo
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

                “Umm, PCC called Sarah Palin ‘moronic’ in his original post.”

                Well, I congenially acknowledge that it’s his site, and as a private person it is his prerogative to say – as the captain of the USN ship to which I was assigned said to me – “It’s my bat, my ball, my ballpark. I win.”

                “Just like other terms of condemnation, I think it’s free speech and open season towards public figures.”

                Hmm, seems like a “carrot” to prompt one to strive to remain a “private” figure and not strive for (high) public office. (But let an employee criticize the demigod CEO tyrant and see what happens.)

                Everything else being equal, the more inclined one is to name-call, the more likely one enjoys it. Or so it seems to me. I could be wrong. It could be that there are those who very frequently name-call, but feel very excruciating psychic pain when doing so. (Of course, masochists enjoy pain.) A la the parent to the child, “This hurts me more than it does you.”

              • Dermot C
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

                Yup, cr, who I think is infinite… – damn this wordpress glitch – ad hominem is fine if you are almost certain that your interlocutor is dishonest. Take CJ He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. If he consciously misrepresents your ideas in order to get internet hits and yo dude new Atheists are fascists webwide choruses, then not only is he factually wrong, he is also demonstrably lying. And demonstrating his complete disregard for intellectual debate and any interest in what is actually true.

                You can argue against his ideas but that also implies that he deserves the compliment of rational opposition, as Jane Austen wrote. He doesn’t. And for that reason, you can go to ad hominem. If a man is a liar, that is what he is: and any epithet you use to describe him after that depends on the width and wit of your vocabulary. x

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

                Hi Dermot, infinite-cr here

                There are 2 points that risk getting entangled.

                One is nightgaunt’s claim that ‘moron’ should not be used since it originated as a term for mentally defective persons. I say it’s just as legitimate as any other term of condemnation. I don’t think da Roolz have anything to say about that, either way.

                The other was Filippo’s query whether the use of such terms constituted ad hom name calling. I think da Roolz forbid ad homs against other posters, regardless of the actual words used, but have nothing to say about ad homs directed against other parties (such as Sarah Palin, Ben Carson or the Pope).
                I seem to recall a fair few ad homs on this site directed, for example, at Donald Trump’s hair.

                Whether some third parties do richly deserve ad homs, such as Mother Bloody Teresa**, or whether ad homs do indeed devalue ones argument, are quite other issues and I don’t really want to debate those.

                (**Just carrying on the knock-Mother-T-off-her-pedestal campaign)

                cr

            • Cindy
              Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

              Some folks on a SJW blog will threaten commenters with banning should they use “idiot” as an insult (in general), since the term was a “bad word” 100+ years ago.

              Apparently language never changes. And if it does, we should always stick with the original meanings if we have a social justice axe to grind.

              -CIndy

              P.S. crazy is also considered ableist, even if one is simply saying “that new grape fizzy drink is crazy good” etc

              • Anonymous
                Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

                My view is that most of those words have perfectly good meanings. ‘Idiotic’ for example.

                Interesting odd factoid I just tripped over – ‘cretin’ (which even I would be very cautious about using) is believed to stem from ‘Christian’ (french ‘chretien’). Originally used sympathetically to refer to sufferers of iodine deficiency (thyroidism) in the Alps, to signify that, though the sufferers looked like Boris Karloff after a hard days’ monstering, they were still ‘christian’ i.e. human.
                I never knew that.

                cr

      • Diane G.
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        After all, today robots can and do perform a lot of surgery!

        • Filippo
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          Yea, verily. But they do not program themselves.

          • rickflick
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            No. Of course not. They are left waiting for instructions from the administrative robot in the next room.

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            Nor do surgeons. They are programmed by med schools.

            • Anonymous
              Posted October 26, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

              ^^^ That was me, Diane G.

    • Roan Ridgeway
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Dr. Carson, may be highly intelligent but if he is, it is odd that he has been speaking unintelligently: Prisons change heterosexuals in homosexuals? The Big Bang theory is a fairy tale? Darwin’s Origin of Species is the work of the devil?

      If all we had to go on are the things he has said since he began his campaign, the ineluctable conclusion would be that one: he is ignorant of American history, foreign relations and unforgivably (given that he is an MD)ignorant of science and two: that he is unintelligent considering some of the conclusions he has drawn.

      Perhaps a deteriorating mind has left him less intelligent than he once was or maybe you can offer another explanation for the incongruity between the intelligence you say he possesses (and that evidenced by the fact that he became a successful neurosurgeon) and the rubbish he has been saying of late.

      • Posted October 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        It may be a matter of him using a different paradigm. Most philosophers concede following Kuhn that one cannot refure a different paradigm with facts since it is the paradigms function to interpret the facts. Of course, it gets complicated but that’s the impression I’m getting from his scientific background and his ethical and political remarks.

        • Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          …and people wonder why so many have no respect at all for philosophy….

          Reality is that which persists despite all your protestations to the contrary.

          b&

        • Filippo
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          What is your own position on evolution? How do you yourself explain the path taken by the recurrent laryngeal nerve? What do you say is the age of the Earth and the universe, and on what basis? Do you hold that, per The Book, women should subordinate themselves to men?

          • Posted October 25, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

            My favorite book on the complicated topic of evolution is “Making sense of evolution” by Pigliucci and Kaplan.

        • Roan Ridgeway
          Posted October 26, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          In that case, it may also be that no one insisting the world is flat is in denial or insane, they are merely applying a different worldview underlying the theories and methodology of geology.

          Your argument that Dr. Carson is highly intelligent but seems to speak unintelligently because he might be using a different “paradigm” isn’t the least bit persuasive. If I’ve misstated your argument, please correct me.

          • Cindy
            Posted October 26, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            I read an article the other day in which it was stated that critical/analytical thinking are not related to intelligence. That intelligence is just pure computational power, nothing more. So it is OK if you are wrong about everything, provided you have a high IQ.

          • Posted October 26, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            Well, yes. An isolated tribe in New Guinea may consider the world to be flat yet be considered quite successful and sane due to its worldview. I don’t think you’re misinterpreting but perhaps not understanding how cognitively pervasive a paradigm can be– like wearing blue shades and concluding that everything is blue or taking a Rorschach test and insisting there is a butterfly on the paper.

            • Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

              Somebody from an isolated Pacific island tribe who retains tribal superstitions running for President of the US would be a joke, right? And a rather bad one, no?

              Carson’s superstitions are every bit as primitive and absurd as those of any marginal cult, and his ignorance of the US legal and political system is equally lacking. So how does that not make him a rather bad joke?

              b&

              • Posted October 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

                See the recent post from Rachel Maddow which polls Republicans on Carson’s attractiveness.

            • Roan Ridgeway
              Posted October 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

              You appear to be missing my point that you are merely rationalizing by saying Dr. Carson’s absurd statements only seem absurd because of differing paradigms and that this paradigm business of yours can be used to rationalize just about anything.

              If a New Guinea tribe believes the world to be flat, it is out of ignorance – excusable ignorance. Dr. Carson’s ignorance and lack of understanding given his education and access to factual data, is indefensible.

              • Posted October 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

                Yes it is the paradigm business which, unfortunately, isn’t mine. If your interested “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn is the main reference.😃

        • Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          “Most philosophers concede”? Do you have any evidence that most philosophers are strong-Kuhnians?

          • Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            Sorry. I qualified my statement in a number of ways to avoid that interpretation. Where did you get the “strong” from?

        • peepuk
          Posted October 27, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          If Carson says that “Darwin’s Origin of Species is the work of the devil” or “The big bang is a fairy tale” he is just making things up. Do you really think this is a competing scientific view?

          Kuhn did not consider the concept of paradigm as appropriate for the social sciences, let alone for this kind of nonsense. It’s in the preface of “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”.

          Kuhn wasn’t the idiot you seem to think he was.

          • peepuk
            Posted October 27, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            Above is a reply to jbonnicerenoreg :), and his Kuhn stuff.

      • Chewy
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        I had successfully avoided watching a video of Carson or listening to him until today. What a sorry character! He sounds dumb in the few minutes of that interview I could tolerate. How can anyone be impressed by him? Moron? At least. If someone here overawed by triggers and political correct speech is offended by the use of moron, wake up. This guy sounds brain damaged. I don’t mind soft-spoken, and in fact prefer it, even though it can be an affectation. But Carson sounds just plain stupid. I’m astonished that I have highly educated friends who claim to have admired Carson’s little nastytalk to Obama some months (year?) ago. I thought, reading it, it was crap, but then, that’s politics. But there must be some underlying engine that makes the Reep denizens of the Music Man State pick this empty suit.

    • Gabriel
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      This rant doesn’t help anybody (Certainly not to Carson’s reputation). Dr. Carson is highly intelligent and his views should be given the respect they deserve (That is: none. Respect to x should be given according to the merits of that x, not according to how intelligent, or stupid, you are). He may know very little about the Constitution or its origin but this lack should be taken as an opportunity rather than obstacle (Why? What a preposterous kind of reasoning. The real world doesn’t work that way. “My physics teacher doesn’t know what e=mc2 means, that should be taken as an opportunity rather than an obstacle”).

    • estraven
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Really? His lack of knowledge about the Constitution–the founding document of our government–shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle? As far as his views, they deserve no respect whatsoever. He may be a neurosurgeon, but he’s an ignoramus on most topics.

  2. Randy Schenck
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that some want to question – How can a brain surgeon be as stupid as this guy? It is religion and likely that is the only thing that makes it so. SDA is just as crazy as any of the other “new age” religions and they are a total load of crap. I have seen enough of it as an observer to find nothing strange about the guy’s behavior.

    The really big surprise is that, here you have an african-american guy, in the republican party that is a full blow SDA member. This only tells us that the republican party is going over the cliff and they will buy just about anything offered.

    • docbill1351
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I can answer that question with one data point: my friend who is an outstanding heart surgeon, chief of medicine and all that stuff. He knows his medicine but he’s not up to speed on much else. Unlike Carson, my friend likes to learn new things and we have great scientific conversation.

      He told me once that you don’t have to be smart or particularly knowledgeable to be a good heart surgeon. The one skill you need, though, is the ability to improvise because every surgery is different, stuff happens and you have to be able to conjure up an executable plan on the fly.

      The difference with Carson is that he’s been spouting his god-soaked fantasies for years and years. It’s not pandering. He’s not some kind of cunning political genius. He’s just nuts.

      There is NO WAY the RNC will allow this fool to get the nomination. They’ll go with the Biggest Loser alternative, Jeb! because, well because, they don’t have any alternative.

      • Diane G.
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        And because the real power brokers–the Koch brothers, et al–probably actually do have some brains.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        “my friend likes to learn new things and we have great scientific conversation.”

        This amounts to a personality trait known as openness – meaning intellectual openness – which is curiosity and enthusiasm for new ideas and experiences. “Intelligence” is often used, I think, in a fairly general way including many personality traits, but I think it helps understanding people like Carson to define it specifically as the ability manipulate symbolic information and to find patterns in a given domain quickly. These and other personality traits are often independent. If we separate these different aspects we can see that Carson may actually be intelligent enough to learn to perform surgery but at the same time lack traits that would make him open to anything other than his base (from childhood) world view.

  3. Marion
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist, not a Jehovah’s Witness.

    • nightgaunt49
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Some of his tenants and stances directly contradict his claim to Seventh-day Adventism.
      As said by others high in the SDA.

      • John Nunes
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes, as one who was brought up sda, the organizations “official” position (if there is one) is sort of neutral.

        I have been very far away from that sub-culture milieu (think you very much!) for many decades, so it might be changing, but back in the day, an sda running for political office was generally frowned on members.

        I got out for a very common reason: Barriers to intellectual freedom.

        • John Nunes
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I meant to say the organizations “position” on abortion is sort of neutral.

          A lot of the comments here about sdaism are ignorant about the unique and peculiar weirdness of it.

          • nightgaunt49
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            I am not much of a joiner and chafe at those who would stifle my freedoms. Which is why I like coming here.

            • John Nunes
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

              I did not join sdaism. I never was baptized. I was shoehorned and got stuck in it in my youth by my own peculiar family situation. Getting out was hard and full of associated and implied stigma.

          • Randy Schenck
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            How about the statements from Carson about evolution? They sound to me as if right out of the SDA playbook. Some of us would consider that ignorant. And especially considering the guy is a doctor?

            • Anonymous
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

              Speaking of the SDA playbook, I am still waiting to hear him asked how he will “Keep Sabbath” per the 4th commandment while President.

            • John Nunes
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

              Yes, his statements on evolution/creationism are sda.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

              I suppose a brain surgeon doesn’t actually need to know anything at all about evolution.

              Any more than he needs to know what Australia is.

              A political candidate, on the other hand…

              cr

      • El Diablo Robotico
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        While the Jehovah’s Witnesses are descended from the Seventh-day Adventists via a couple of megalomaniacal mutations (C.T. Russel/J.F.Rutherford), I don’t see how Carson could be a JW since they disfellowship (excommunicate) anyone who has anything to do with politics whatsoever, including voting.

  4. Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Halfway through, and not sure I can take much more!

    b&

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      After yesterday’s exchange, I’m hearing you say this in the voice of Star Trek’s Scotty.

      • Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Damnit, Jon — I’m a musician, not a brain surgeon! This is all highly illogical.

        b&

        • nightgaunt49
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Even Dr. McCoy tried brain surgery and nearly failed if it weren’t for Spock helping toward the end…

          • Filippo
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            But in the beginning, he uttered, “Child’s play!”

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Are you saying that there are Klingons on the Starboard (i.e. right, when travelling forwards) Wing? Well there’s a surprise. Not.

  5. Gordon Hill
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    We are in the Herman Cain/Michele Bachmann time warp.

    • Filippo
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I’d like to have been a fly on the wall over the years whenever the honorable Mr. Cain’s wife dressed him down.

  6. Historian
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Carson is making a false analogy between slavery and abortion. But, for him, both slavery and abortion are great moral evils. Just as abolitionists spoke out against the great evil of slavery and demanded its abolition, people today should speak out against abortion and demand that it be ended. For the fundamentalist base of the Republican Party, this argument has great appeal as specious as it may be. If you accept, as fundamentalists do, that all abortion is murder, then his argument is consistently logical.

    • Randy Schenck
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Moral evils they may be but he is ignorant of history as well. The way he talks about the abolitionists you would think they rose up and defeated slavery. He said at one point – oh, what if they had said it’s bad but you go ahead and do what you want with your slave. That is just stupid, I can’t describe it any other way.

      Next he will be saying we went to war with the evil slave holders and the abolitionist won the day. If he knows anything about history please educate me.

      Lincoln did not go to war with the south over slavery and this black guy does not seem to know it. Lincoln was not an abolitionist either.

      • nightgaunt49
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        His stance against abortion and birth control is like the slaver so he is contradicting himself in using the analogy he fits so well.
        Irony just gushing out like blood from mortal wounds.

      • Historian
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        It is true that at the beginning of the Civil War that the aim of the Lincoln administration was to preserve the Union, not end slavery. But, with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, abolition became a de facto war aim as well. This is why Lincoln vigorously supported passage of the 13th amendment to constitutionally abolish slavery. For an era in which polls did not exist, it is impossible to state with certainty the influence of 30 years or more of abolitionist agitation had on turning the war into one for abolition as well as restoration of the Union. Still, it is eminently reasonable to say that such influence probably had great impact on the North. In other words, as the war dragged on probably most northerners viewed slavery as a moral evil and its abolition was a moral good as well as a means to punish the South.

        • Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          Can we please stop pretending that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, even at the beginning?

          b&

          • Historian
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it is unquestionably true that the South seceded because it felt that the Lincoln administration threatened the existence of slavery. But, the abolition of slavery was not a war aim of the North when the war started. As Lincoln said in his first inaugural:

            —————–

            “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
            Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:
            Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
            I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—as cheerfully to one section as to another.”

            ——————

            If the North had defeated the South early on, the seceded states would have been back in the Union with slavery intact. It probably would have continued to exist for many decades. Did Lincoln hate slavery? Of course. He said many times that he believed slavery would eventually disappear if it were not allowed to expand into the territories. But, for Lincoln, preservation of the Union took precedence over immediate abolition. As the war dragged on, he saw and took the opportunity to both preserve the Union and end slavery immediately. The South took a big gamble in seceding and lost.

            • colnago80
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

              Actually, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, in part, to prevent Great Britain from intervening in the Civil War. There was considerable sentiment there for doing so there. It should be noted that among the opponents of such intervention were Charles Darwin and his influential Wedgwood inlaws.

          • Randy Schenck
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            What the Historian explains is true. He did not get the name for nothing. I was sure some would not like it when I said Lincoln did not go to war over slavery but it is true. Lincoln was first and foremost a lawyer and pretty good at reading. He knew the constitution allowed slavery and there was little he could do about that. But bailing out of the Union was another thing and he believed that was a no,no.

            If you say the south went to war because of slavery then the answer is yes.

            If you take a look at the Emancipation Proclamation that he wrote – it is written by a lawyer, Lincoln. He was using war time powers to free the slaves in the states that bailed but not in other states. It was only the 13th amendment that made it final after the war was over. I hope this will help with the confusion.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

              Interesting. If I read that aright, the states that seceded (at least in part in order to perpetuate slavery) were the ones that gave Lincoln the pretext he needed to abolish slavery – in just those states.

              I must say that appeals to my sense of irony.

              cr

              • Randy Schenck
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

                If you read much on Lincoln, and there is a ton of stuff on him, you will find that more often than not – he was the smartest guy in the room.

                He wanted to add more to the war than just the saving the Union part and slavery, as he knew would do that. He waited until they finally had a good outcome in battle and then did it.

            • Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

              But your own description is self-refuting!

              The South seceded to preserve their rights to keep slaves, as you just wrote. The North fought to prevent the South from seceding. Even if the North was willing to concede the question of slavery in the South as a matter of expediency, the South made it plain that that wasn’t enough for the South; the South would only agree if the North actively participated in slavery.

              Even if Lincoln wasn’t initially interested in freeing Southern slaves, he sure as Hell wasn’t going to let the South demand recapture of slaves that escaped to the North or permit Southerners who moved to the North to keep their slaves — and, yet, those were the terms the South was demanding else they’d secede.

              The West Point professor has it absolutely right. The Civil War was, from the beginning, entirely about slavery. Not necessarily initially about freeing Southern slaves, but most emphatically about slavery in America.

              b&

              • Historian
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

                I do not usually like to split hairs, but in this case I will. To say that the Civil War was “about” slavery is true, but “about” is a rather ambiguous term. I prefer to be a little more precise and focus on what “caused” the war. War implies armed conflict between two or more parties. If Lincoln had chosen not to use force (as many in the North would have supported), the war would not have taken place. The South would have gone its own way. Thus, the secession of the South over its fears for the future of slavery was a necessary, but not sufficient, cause of the war. Lincoln’s decision to fight was the sufficient element.

              • Posted October 25, 2015 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

                I’m sorry, but I really don’t get why you’re trying so hard to stretch the facts to paint this as a war of Northern aggression that had so little to do with slavery.

                You’ve admitted that the South was attempting to expand slavery into the North, was insisting upon such expansion as a condition that they remained in the Union, that they primary reason for their secession was slavery, and you’ve just admitted that they, in fact, actually started the war.

                …and yet the war was Lincoln’s fault and it had nothing to do with slavery until the very end?

                No. Blaming Lincoln for the war and denying the primary role of slavery is bullshit Confederate apologetics, and I’ll have nothing to do with such nonsense.

                b&

              • Randy Schenck
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

                In History study and getting it right, you must understand and learn the detail, the timing and what was being done by who at the time. Please go over all the lead up to the civil war in the 1850s and even before. The south lived in a paranoia most of the time, always pushing for whatever would preserve their system. The Nebraska/Kansas Act, the 1850 Compromise, The Dred Scott and more had them thinking they were going to get screwed. So when Lincoln won the election, they blew it. If they had done nothing, then nothing would have happened but they were so sure that Lincoln was going to wipe slavery away, they bailed. It was the leaving that got Lincoln’s attention, not the slavery. As I said before, Lincoln knew the law and he had no intention of starting a war with the south or doing a damn thing about slavery before he was elected. If you can show something besides a speech from someone about the general reason for the civil war, please let me know.

                Hell, he even made sure the war would not start until the south actually started it. First the bailed out and then they attacked a federal fort in South Carolina. Only then did Lincoln act and asked the states to call up some men. He went to war to preserve the Union and if you missed that part of history, I can only suggest you go back and look again.

              • Filippo
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

                “First the[y] bailed out and then they attacked a federal fort in South Carolina.”

                Above from Randy S. to Historian.

                Historian, do you agree that the South fired the first shot? Would it not have been easy enough to refrain from doing that?

                Who held a gun to their head to make them do that? (Re: the sheriff in “Blazing Saddles.”)

              • Historian
                Posted October 25, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

                To Ben Goren:

                Your lack of understanding and knowledge of this historical period is truly astounding. To say that I am taking a Confederate view of the war or denying the centrality of slavery to the conflict (which I previously stated was central) or that I view the war as one of northern aggression is as absurd as when you referred to me in another post as having “blood lust” when I defended the role of the United States in the Korean War.

                In fact, my interpretation of the coming of the Civil War is very conventional. It is held by virtually all academic historians of the period. I have presented evidence for my views. You have presented none. In fact, you have said nothing except making a vague statement that it was about slavery. Let me try to present my views once more in the simplest terms possible. If there were no slavery, there would have been no secession and thus no war. Once secession took place, Lincoln’s aim was to restore the Union and by force when the South initiated hostilities at Fort Sumter. In a relatively short time (less than two years), the war also became one to end slavery.

                The lecture by the West Point professor is fully consistent with what I have said. By the way, just so you know, the neo-confederate interpretation of the Civil War is that the reason the South seceded had nothing to do with slavery, but rather to oppose northern tyranny. This, of course, is complete rubbish. Also, although some in the South might have wished to see slavery legalized in the northern states, the political battles of the 1850s overwhelmingly revolved around the extension of slavery into the territories, not the northern states. By the way, four slave states did not secede: Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware. Read up on the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 and its aftermath to get a sense of what was going on in the 1850s. Read a biography of Lincoln to understand what he thought both before and during the war. He was a very oomplex figure.

          • Historian
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            To Filippo:

            Yes, the South fired the first shot on April 12, 1861 on Fort Sumter, a federal fort sitting on an island in Charleston Harbor. The fort was under the command of U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson, who had refused to surrender the fort to the Confederate authorities. The Confederates considered it an affront that the United States (now considered a foreign nation by the Confederacy) would occupy their territory. There is historical debate as to whether Lincoln tricked the Confederates into firing the shot, thereby throwing on them the onus for starting actual hostilities.

            If you want more details, I suggest you read the Wikipedia article entitled “Battle of Fort Sumter.” Of course, there are many books that go into great detail about the incident at Fort Sumter.

            • Filippo
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

              “The Confederates considered it an affront that the United States (now considered a foreign nation by the Confederacy) would occupy their territory.”

              Well, the Confederates appear to have been quite easily affronted/offended. They were certainly offended that not all fellow citizens were inclined to abide by the Fugitive Slave Act. On what rational basis did the Confederacy hold the United States to be a “foreign nation”?

              “There is historical debate as to whether Lincoln tricked the Confederates into firing the shot, thereby throwing on them the onus for starting actual hostilities.”

              I would be glad to examine the evidence for Lincoln’s tricking the Confederates. (In my view, were it at all possible for the Confederates to make that claim, they would surely do so.) It seems that he was in fact a brilliant, crafty and shrewd fellow.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      +1. Logic doesn’t require true premises, only valid argument formats. Whether we like it or not, someone who’s dead wrong can still be logical.

    • Posted October 25, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Abortion is slavery. Obamacare is slavery. Everything is slavery with this guy. Everything is sex for the rest of us.

    • Cindy
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      According to Carson_ the ACA is a great moral evil that is worse than slavery.

      And Obama is Hitler.

      -Cindy

  7. Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    “I am sure that some want to question – How can a brain surgeon be as stupid as this guy?”

    My father used to say that some of the most ignorant people he knew were doctors, particularly surgeons. His argument was that because they had to spend so much time just keeping up with the literature in their field they had little time to learn, or seriously think about anything else.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know about surgeons, but that reminded me of something I read on diagnoses within psychology. [Um, Wikipedia? I was checking up on the status of psychology as a science.]

      If I remember correctly, always an iffy issue, they have seen that professional psychologists do not learn, in the sense that they do not make better diagnoses with time. It was not specifically literature that was the problem, but working in a complex environment.

      Which is pretty much how Carson behaves by the way, maybe it is amenable to generalization. Jon below notes how he seems to look at the world through a broken view.

      Exactly as the vagaries of a complex work environment would make him do! Maybe Carson thinks it is what everyone tend to do, that it is common and even [shivers]_natural_[/shivers].

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      “How can a brain surgeon be as stupid as this guy?”

      Not exactly rocket science, is it?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Hilarious skit that.

        I do have to say, not having taken in your spoiler caption there, I was waiting for the rocket scientist to walk in. But sometimes foreseeing the punchline just makes it funnier.

        cr

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted October 27, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

          Yes, the audience see it coming too, and I think David Mitchell’s timing of the punchline milks this to perfection.

  8. Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I laughed at “I’m a reasonable person.” Would an unreasonable person know that he’s an unreasonable person?

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    While Ronald Reagan was often accused of looking at America through rose-colored glasses, I think Ben Carson is looking at American through this

    BTW, he’s a Seventh-Day Adventist, not a Jehovah’s Witness. Weirdly, although both groups are way out in leftright field, both groups have a good score card normally on church-state separation. BC’s views on this are quite out of step with his denomination.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, other members of the Chauncey Gardiner School of Semi-Anaesthetized Zen Pols: Jeremy Corbyn, Justin Trudeau, the Human Toothbrush; it’s a trend, I tell you. x

    • DermotC
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Oops, cock-up posting-wise. Sorry. x

  11. Lowen Gartner
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    How can a religious person who believes that abortion is murder carve out exceptions for rape, incest or even to save the mother’s life.

    In this mindset, God decides who lives and dies, not people. Otherwise we would kill people save others. If it is murder, what is the difference between aborting a fetus to save the mother and killing a child for an organ to save the mother?

    So as much as I despise this man I find his position more logically consistent than those who who believe abortion is murder, but have carve outs.

    Of course this same lot like the death penalty

  12. Dermot C
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, other members of the Chauncey Gardiner School of Semi-Anaesthetized Zen Pols: Jeremy Corbyn, Justin Trudeau, The Human Toothbrush; it’s a trend, I tell you. x

    • Lowen Gartner
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I wish they would merely be satisfied with being there

  13. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Ben Carson is just an olympic grade troll, inserted into the Republican race by Democrats to win the Republican nomination so the Republicans won’t be in the White House for another 8 years. *puts on tinfoil hat*

  14. EvolvedDutchie
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Ben Carson is just an olympic grade troll, inserted into the Republican race by Democrats to win the Republican nomination so the Republicans won’t be in the White House for another 8 years. *puts on tinfoil hat*

    • Randy Schenck
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Your joking right? The Democrats inserted Carson? Besides, you can insert any of these republican candidates in and get the same results.

      • Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        That just shows how broad the conspiracy is!

      • EvolvedDutchie
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it was joke. It seems to me that the USA as a whole is heading towards more liberalism. The GOP must adapt to demographic changes if they want to win the White House. Either that or the Democrats have to screw up on an epic scale.

        • Randy Schenckr
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          On the presidential question I believe you are correct…the democrats will win. The old white guys as they say are out numbered. But down below that at congressional level, it’s not so good.

  15. Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Where do you find the time to do this blog????? Don’t you work for a living? LOL

    Reading your cogent book on evolution. Even I, a 61 year old, half-demented right brained artist can understand it and explain it to others. THANK YOU!!!!!

    • nightgaunt49
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      News just in, the whole Right brain, Left brain seems to be a media creation, not reality.

  16. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    if people can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they would like to kill a baby,

    If anti-abortionists can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they call abortion of a fetus “kill a baby” when it is biologically neither, we could have such a discussion.

    By the way, how is Carson’s biology? It seems in need of some brain surgery.

    • nightgaunt49
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Then I counter with calling them and us “Post-born fetuses” just to rattle their brains.

    • Filippo
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Martin Luther on women and childbirth: “Let them die of it; that is what they are for.”

      May one hope that an interviewer will quote that to Carson and pin him down on whether he agrees?

      I don’t know of any woman who puts up with pregnancy in order to cheerily sacrifice herself in order to accommodate the good doctor’s opinions. I can’t imagine that that’s a “carrot” to any woman.

  17. Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    You will flay me alive for saying this, I know, but Carson is not relating slavery to abortion itself etc but to the role of , the power of, the state to dictate to us. So people who disapprove of abortion in principle, their tax money is used to fund abortions. It violates their moral sentiments. That is what he is, I think, trying to express, perhaps quoted out of context, or he assumed an intelligent and informed audience about the fearsome power of the State. I would not vote for Dr. Carson, but he deserves to be heard with respect and in context, like any other human being putting themselves out there in that crazy political arena.

    • nightgaunt49
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Flay you, why? Only religionists do that.

      Also the slave analogy is quite real and it is people like Carson who wants to enslave all females to control their bodies which is the very definition of slavery. So it itsn’t even an analogym but a sick reality.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I disapprove of the morality of my taxes funding religious organisations. In your country (and mine), those billions are funding churches that are hate groups that get away with their viciousness towards, for example, LGBT people, by invoking their god.

      Carson is, as you say, perfectly entitled to his belief that abortion is murder because life begins at conception. He is also entitled to advocate for that belief. What he is not entitled to do is use political office, if he obtains it, to force that view on others.

      The idea that life begins at conception because that’s when God adds the soul is a religious one. It is not held by all people, including all religious people. (Some believe the soul isn’t added until 60-90 days after birth for example, and deaths before that are inconsequential.)

      • nightgaunt49
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Funding religious things by govt is against the Constitution/Bill of Rights. Hasn’t stopped any of them yet…

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          I think there’s no doubt anyone who suggested stopping tax exemptions for religious organisations would be committing political suicide. I think even Sweden still has it.

    • tomh
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      theadjacentpossible wrote:
      “So people who disapprove of abortion in principle, their tax money is used to fund abortions.”

      Except that it’s not, except in very limited cases. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976 and amended several times since, prohibits health care services provided to low-income people by the federal government through Medicaid from funding abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. The original amendment only included the life of the mother, but it was expanded in 2014 to include rape and incest. Additional provisions adopted by Congress further burden access to abortion services for Medicaid recipients. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, for example, permits HMOs serving Medicaid recipients to refuse to cover counseling or referral for services, such as abortion, to which the HMO objects on religious grounds. Further restrictions are constantly being proposed at both federal and state levels.

      By the way, abortion is the only medical procedure barred from funding by Medicaid.

      • Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        It’s also worth noting that tax money pays for blood transfusions that Jehovah’s Witlesses find abhorrent, mental health treatment that the Scientologists consider unconscionable, and chemotherapy that the alt med woo crowd thinks is poison.

        There’s no medical reason to force poor women to pay out of pocket for reproductive health care but not for any other form of health care. The only reasons are religious — and the Constitution should have made such discrimination impossible.

        b&

        • tomh
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          And in their egalitarian way, by the 1980s Congress had passed restrictions similar to the Hyde Amendment, that covered Native Americans, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, low-income residents of Washington, DC, federal prisoners, military personnel and their dependents, and disabled women who rely on Medicare. And, of course, they’re not done. For instance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a program providing expanded health insurance for children aged 19 or younger, includes a ban on the use of federal funds for abortions unless the pregnancy endangers the teenager’s life or results from rape or incest.

        • John Nunes
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Actually chemotherapy is poison. It’s just that the alternative is almost always worse.

          I just went through a bone marrow transplant. At the appointment with my oncologist just before being admitted to hospital, he joked: “OK, I’m going to prescribe you some poison and I’ll see you afterwards.”

          Fortunately, we have a good relationship.

          • Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

            But all medicine is poison. You do not want to overdose on Tylenol! There’s not a single medicine you want to take save when there’s no better alternative, and you always want to get the dosage just right — not too much and not too little. Chemotherapy just has side effects a bit more dramatic than the stuff you get over the counter, is all.

            b&

            • John Nunes
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

              Point well taken.

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Sometime after my heart operation (valve repair), I was discussing defibrillation with my heart specialist. It seems the shock doesn’t re-start the heart, it stops it (in that instance from twitching wildly) and the heart then restarts all by itself. It *wants* to start.
            So it occurred to me, if the heart is so mad keen to start, how do they stop it long enough for an operation? My specialist said “We poison it” (he has a way with words).

            Of course, like all cardiac patients, I was on rat poison for some months after my op.

            cr

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Best wishes, John! I’m rooting for the science–it seems to keep getting better and better!

            • Diane G.
              Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

              That post was mine. Sigh.

    • Filippo
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      I think most if not all of us here are in agreement with you re: the fearsome power of The State. What is your position on the fearsome power of that alleged “person,” The Corporation? (Re: the Koch Bros.)

      Every time “The State” is mentioned I also want to hear about “The Corporation.”

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Hyde Amendment.

      Tax dollars are NOT used to fund abortion. That is illegal. Tax dollars cannot even be spent on abortions for rape victims in the military.

      And forced gestation *is* the state compelling childbirth and depriving women of their Constitutional rights.

      -Cindy

    • Cindy
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Tax dollars do not pay for abortion. Hyde Amendment.

      In fact, women who are raped in the military have to pay for their own abortions.

      As for state sanctioned slavery, well, the state has no business compelling childbirth. Women are people with Constitutional rights. Forced childbirth deprives them of those rights.

      -Cindy

      • tomh
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        “women who are raped in the military have to pay for their own abortions.”

        That was changed with the Shaheen Amendment which went into effect when President Obama signed the Defense bill at the end of 2011.

        • tomh
          Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Sorry, 2012, in effect beginning 2013.

  18. Boris
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    It appears Ben Carson has done a frontal lobotomy on himself. I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Just sayin……

    • docbill1351
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I’ll drink to that!

  19. Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Steve Jobs might have been aborted. Aren’t you glad he wasn’t?

    • Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Adolf Hitler might have been aborted. Don’t you wish he had been?

      b&

      • nightgaunt49
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Stalin & Mao were far far worse and successful, Hitler was a piker failure.

        • John Nunes
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Hitler probably had the fastest murder rate, but due to the openly forthright murderous philosophy of Nazism he couldn’t remain in power as long as the murderous communists Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, and et al, whose actions were cloaked in sleight of hand, lofty humanitarian rhetoric.

    • David
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Here is a wonderful response by Richard Dawkins to arguments like your Steve Jobs abortion argument. Dawkins

      [The following is what passes for logic in the Tebow mind. His mother was advised by doctors to abort him, but she refused, which is why Tim is here. So abortion is a bad thing. Masterful conclusion.

      It is a version of what, following the great Nobel-Prizewinning biologist Peter Medawar, I have called the Great Beethoven Fallacy…

      …“About the terminating of pregnancy, I want your opinion. The father was syphilitic. The mother tuberculous. Of the four children born, the first was blind, the second died, the third was deaf and dumb, the fourth was also tuberculous. What would you have done?”

      “I would have terminated the pregnancy.”

      “Then you would have murdered Beethoven.”

      It is amazing how many people are bamboozled by this spectacularly stupid argument…As Peter Medawar, writing with his wife, Jean Medawar, said,

      “The reasoning behind this odious little argument is breathtakingly fallacious . . . the world is no more likely to be deprived of a Beethoven by abortion than by chaste absence from intercourse.”

      If you follow the ‘pro-life’ logic to its conclusion, a fertile woman is guilty of something equivalent to murder every time she refuses an offer of copulation…

      …The sperm that conceived Tim Tebow was part of an ejaculate of (at an average estimate) 40 million. If any one of them had won the race to Mrs Tebow’s ovum instead of the one that did, Tim would not have been born, somebody else would. Probably not such a good quarterback but – we can but hope – a better logician, who might have survived the home schooling and broken free. That is not the point. The point is that every single one of us is lucky to be alive against hyper-astronomical odds. Tim Tebow owes his existence not just to his mother’s refusal to have an abortion. He owes his existence to the fact that his parents had intercourse precisely when they did, not a minute sooner or later. Then before that they had to meet and decide to marry. The same is true of all four of his grandparents, all eight of his great grandparents, and so on back.

      Religious apologists are unimpressed by this kind of argument because, they say, there is a distinction between snuffing out a life that is already in existence (as in abortion) and failure to bring life into existence in the first place. It’s not a distinction that survives analytical thought, however. Look at it from the point of view of Tim’s unborn sister (let us say), who would have been conceived two months later if only Tim had been aborted. Admittedly, she is not in a position to complain of her non-existence. But then nor would Tim have been in a position to complain of his non-existence, if he had been aborted. You need a functioning nervous system in order to complain, or regret, or feel wistful, or feel pain, or miss the life that you could have had. Unconceived babies don’t have a nervous system. Nor do aborted fetuses. As far as anything that matters is concerned, an aborted fetus has exactly the same mental and moral status as any of the countless trillions of unconceived babies. At least, that is true of early abortions, which means the vast majority.]
      http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2010/02/03/the-great-tim-tebow-fallacy/1993

      • Cindy
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        And what if pregnancy keep kills the incubator, I mean woman? What if she was destined to cure cancer?

        But they never mention the woman. She is worthless because she had sex or has the gall to be a victim of rape

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Speaking as a confirmed non-Apple-user, no.

      (I assume we’re both being facetious).

      cr

    • Filippo
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      For sure, I’m glad Steve Wozniak wasn’t.

  20. Les Robertshaw
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Ben Carson is scary enough but the really frightening fact is just how many Americans support him.

    • Jeffery
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      I like to remind people that, “49% of the American populace is of below-average intelligence”; what that means is, pick out a person you know who epitomizes what you perceive as, of “average” intellect- then realize that almost half the population is dumber than he is!

      “Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks.

      This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope.'”

      -George Carlin

      • Filippo
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Yup, Amuricun Exceptionalism. (It’s interesting that “Exceptionalism” is not accepted as a word.)

  21. Heather Hastie
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just written about this idiot again yesterday too. He was on a Christian show this week explaining how God “opened the doors” for him to run. “People,” he said, “just don’t understand the power of God.” So he’s seriously deluded, or a liar.

    As a foreigner, my biggest concern is with his complete ignorance of, and untenable positions on, foreign policy. Add those positions to his belief we’re in the End Times, and we’d be better off with Cheney back in the White House.

    • nightgaunt49
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      So he hasn’t been converted to the Dominionist version that has no end times. They just have to subjugate all the peoples of the Earth before their Nordic-Aryan Savior will return to fill those empty thrones they have waiting.
      Not any better really since they want to use the might of the largest military machine every built and fielded on the planet in its known history. They want the kind of religion that is being used by the ISIL and Salafi etc. Hard line militarist conversion, or slavery or death. Or all three.

  22. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s odd that there were not dystopian fictions that had the United States over-run by stupid people. If there had been, perhaps we would have seen it coming!

    • nightgaunt49
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      “The Handmaid’s Tale” taken over by essentially Dominionist fascists turning what was the USA into a nightmare dictatorship. If they can take over they are not stupid. They are dangerous.

      Also “Marc of the Morons” and “Idiocracy” should fit the bill for you Diana.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Not sure this qualifies as ‘overrun’, more like ‘originally populated’. But definitely dystopian.

      http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Golgafrincham

    • Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” comes close, though the stupidity is enforced.

    • Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” comes close, though the stupidity is enforced.

  23. Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that the Jews would not have suffered the nazis had a psychotic idiologue not been allowed to usurp power. The Ben Carsons of the world are the future Hitlers. When will people learn.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      DAESH, the Taliban, al-Qaeda etc want a Muslim theocracy. The far-right wants a Christian one. The values of the two are different only in degree and enforcement.

      In the fundamentalist Christian world you don’t get thrown off a building for being born gay, you just get such a sh*t life that you’re several times more likely to commit suicide.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        … as long as you’re able-bodied. But if you’re dying in pain, then nobody will help you end it, you can just suffer. Ask Mother Sodding Teresa why.

        cr

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Yeah. And when someone comes out and says those conditions are really, really rare, they believe them too.

  24. Roan Ridgeway
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Chuck Todd asked Ben Carson if he believed life begins at conception. To ask such a question is to exhibit a lack of understanding. Life began long before conception as the ovum and sperm are alive prior to their fusion.

    Perhaps the intended question was, when does a cell or group of cells attain humanness? If so, I wish Chuck had asked the question properly as it would have required a more involved, and possibly more revealing, answer.

    • Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, life began a few billion years ago…and even the moment of conception isn’t a clear dividing line for an individual — as evidenced by identical twins, chimeras, and the like. The theological fantasy of ensoulment is simply incompatible with reality — and laughably idiotic, to boot.

      b&

      • Roan Ridgeway
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Your point about twins is an interesting one. Mirror twins are the result of a division occurring nine two twelve days after conception.

        • Jeffery
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          I read an intriguing theory postulating that left-handed people are the result of only one of a set of “mirror-image” twins surviving; the other was re-absorbed early on.

      • colnago80
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Far more to the point, 1/2 of all fertilized eggs fail to implant and some 10% of those that due miscarry. If life really begins at conception, then god is the worlds greatest abortionist.

      • Cindy
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        If a brainless zygote is a person simply because it is alive and human, then so is a parasitic twin aka fetus in fetu…

        By pro life logic, it should be murder to remove a parasitic twin from the autosite.

        • Posted October 26, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          No need to get so esoteric!

          Ever since Dolly the Sheep, we’ve known that every nucleated cell in your body has the potential to become an independent adult human being, just like a fertilized zygote. Gt a bit vigorous with the toothbrush and scrape off some living cells from your gums…and you’ve just murdered more babies than Hitler killed Jews!

          The whole human :: not human / alive :: not alive / etc. divide / debate / whatever is irrelevant. What matters is the personal bodily autonomy of the woman. It’s entirely up to her whether or not she wishes to be pregnant or not. When the fetus is no longer inside her body, then it can have a say or consideration in its destiny; until then, the entire matter is up to the woman.

          b&

          • infinitieimprobabili
            Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            +1 to both Cindy and Ben

            cr

    • gluonspring
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      cells attain humanness

      Even that is a very ambiguously framed question. What we care about is not “humanness”, per se, but something closer sentience. And even that admits to degrees. The one thing we know for sure is that it is going to involve brains, so that it doesn’t matter how many or what type of cells you have if there isn’t a brain involved.

      Discussion of abortion sorely needs better terminology because the language people use (When does life begin? When is a fertilized egg human?) is hopelessly vague and off the mark.

      • Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        If we’re reopening the discussion of abortion…there is exactly one relevant question that needs to be addressed.

        Does a woman have any sort of obligation, moral, legal, or otherwise, to rush into a burning building to rescue her post-birth children from the fire? Would there be a similar obligation for her to donate her organs to a child? Must she sacrifice her own life for that of one of her own children?

        Clearly, no. You might admire those who do and sympathize with those who don’t, but that’s about it.

        Therefore, there can be no similar obligation placed upon the woman before birth.

        b&

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          I would guess most would argue the mother has an obligation to provide her child food and shelter.

          • Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            No, parents can give their children up for adoption; and pregnancy is far more than mere “food and shelter.”

            b&

          • Cindy
            Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            The intimate insides of your body is not mere “food and shelter”

            And we don’t force bio parents to parent. This is why adoption exists.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Well, the fetus freaks (errm, sorry, ‘pro-life’ faction) seem to be doing their best to capture the terminology. ‘Unborn children’ is an oxymoron, as far as I’m concerned, exactly equivalent to ‘unconceived fetuses’.

        (Obligatory link to Every Sperm is Sacred:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk

        The Pythons put it much more cogently and entertainingly than I could)

        cr

  25. gluonspring
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    his view that life begins at conception and that a dependent fetus is equivalent to a free-living adult.

    While many people claim to believe this, I do not think many are sincere. My mom recently posted a Facebook meme that suggested the Holocaust, slavery, and abortion are equivalent. If they were, and my mom REALLY thought that all the abortions that occur are equivalent to legalized murder of an adult, I’d like to think she’d do a little more than just repost Facebook memes about it. I’m pretty sure that’s all she has done about it. If it’s equivalent to the Holocaust, well, where are the anti-abortion Schindler’s? Where are the anti-abortion people lining up outside abortion clinics, lawyers and suitcases of cash in hand, hoping to persuade or bribe at least one person to carry the baby to term and let them adopt that child? Seriously, if you knew that parents were murdering 3rd graders downtown because they didn’t want them any more, would you just appeal to their conscience to keep the child, or would you go down there and beg them to let you take the child? If you believed children were being legally slaughtered, would you just sit around waiting patiently for a change in the supreme court? Wouldn’t there at least be huge marches and things like work strikes (such as the Polish did to resist the communist regime)? Is not an American Holocaust at least as important as what the Polish workers were struggling for?

    So, if they really do believe this, they are moral cowards, unwilling to live out their convictions. That’s possible. More likely, I think, is they really don’t believe it at all. They have some sincere belief about the value of embryos and fetuses, but not the beliefs they claim to have.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point.

    • Cindy
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      There are hundreds of thousands of snowflake babies destined to die in the freezers of ivf clinics.

      If pregnancy is really a minor inconvenience, as pro lifers argue, then why aren’t pro life women rushing out en masse to gestate these unwanted and soon to die embryos?

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, good point.
      There is a reality after all.

  26. Diane G.
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    “…someone who might be next year’s Republican candidate for President.”

    Hundred to one says he isn’t…

    As to pregnancy & slavery, I’ve got news for Carson–the mother is much more the slave to the fetus than vice versa.

    (And even more so after it’s born!)

  27. Wild Ted
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Ben Carson rates so-called common sense far more highly than he should.

    I believe it is contrary to common sense to use common sense in an argument with absolute sense (meaning reason and hard evidence), something he seems to be extraordinarily short of.

    • colnago80
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Well, quantum mechanics defies common sense. To quote Steven Weinberg, quantum mechanics is a preposterous theory which, unfortunately, appears to be correct.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        “quantum mechanics is a preposterous theory which, unfortunately, appears to be correct.”

        Maybe G*d, who as we know has consistently declined to make Himself visible, is actually making all those quantum mechanical impossibilities happen? And waiting for us to realise what he’s doing?

        God of the Subatomic Particles. I think I’ll start a new religion…

        cr

        • Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Chopra beat you to it….

          b&

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            Bugger!

            😦

            cr

          • Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            Except of course that Chopra is an idealist (in the metaphysical sense) and quantons are perfectly material (albeit counterintuitive).

            Of course, his lack of consistency is not surprising.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

              Exactly.

  28. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    He adds that had Jews been armed in the 1940s, the Holocaust would have been averted.

    Didn’t they try that in the Warsaw Ghetto? And several Sonderkommando rebellions? I don’t recall them ending particularly well.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      That is what I thought. They did give it a good try.
      I don’t know if Carson noticed but the German military was pretty good at what it did.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 29, 2015 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        But, but, but, the Germans were the ones in BLACK hats (well, stew pot helmets) so they couldn’t have been any good at ANYthing. I’ve seen movies. I know what the world is like.
        Legends of Teutonic efficiency are … depressingly accurate.

  29. Posted October 25, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    If Carson is really intelligent, and he is spouting this crap, then he must be a devious charlatan.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Probably.

      • Posted October 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        I suspect probably not. He’s been saying outlandish stuff since before he had political aspirations, and I sincerely doubt he’s been playing the long con.

  30. ladyatheist
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Rand Paul has said that children are the property of their parents, and the Christo-fascist attack on children’s rights to medical care, a proper education, and to be reared according to loving principles, seems to bear out the idea that they don’t think children have rights. So why would a fetus have any rights?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Because it’s a way to punish its mother for having had sex, of course.

      If it wasn’t for pregnancy, women would be able to enjoy sex and have it whenever they wanted, with no comebacks. And that would obviously be horribly immoral.

      (I did once encounter a Catholic guy who seriously argued that contraception & abortion was ‘letting women avoid their responsibility’. This guy was a commercial traveller who, in the pub the night before, had been swapping stories about barmaids he’d known. I just had to walk off, I didn’t trust myself to say anything.)

      cr

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        I have just had a long argument on you-tube with someone who, while denying it, was saying something similar.
        That women should be careful or responsible so we don’t have to fund reproductive rights matters.
        He refused to see it but that was exactly what he was saying and he was not an antiabortion nut, just carrying that mentality.
        Which I thought had died out except for the religious but no.

  31. Filippo
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been partaking of the nectar of the gods this evening. But I may need a good drink of likker before I can bear taking in his pearls of wisdom.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Carson has the same, “I’m operating under the direct guidance of God” glassy glitter in his eyes that Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann have….I consider this extremely dangerous, as such an attitude brooks no compromise on anything.
    Were I to HAVE to choose between Carson and Trump, I’d take Trump any day- he’s juvenile, biased, and ignorant, but it’s just possible that he could be reasoned with.

    • Filippo
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Every candidate should be asked if s/he also is “operating under the direct guidance of God.”

  33. Jeffery
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Carson has the same, “I’m operating under the direct guidance of God” glassy glitter in his eyes that Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann have…I consider this attitude extremely dangerous as it brooks no compromise on anything and does not respond to any appeals of reason.
    Were I to HAVE to choose between Carson and Trump, I’d take Trump any day- he’s juvenile, biased, and ignorant, but it just might be possible that he could be reasoned with.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Oh, absolutely. Trump is at least corruptible! 😉

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Trump is just driven by, I think, ego. As such he would want to be regarded as a good president. Not one who, for example, gets US citizens killed in pointless wars. And particularly (contra Carson), not one who is driven by some idea that the future is pre-ordained by some wacko religious prophecies.

        In other words, a bit of an asshole, but hopefully a pragmatic and relatively sane one.

        cr

        • tomh
          Posted October 26, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          That’s the most optimistic view of Trump I’ve seen yet.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:05 am | Permalink

            That’s new. I’m not normally accused of being an optimist : )

            What would be your guess about what motivates Trump?

            cr

        • Posted October 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Trump’s egotism is also why he’d be perfectly unable to actually govern or accomplish anything. You need an ego to be a politician, yes…but you also need to compromise often and cut deals all the time. Trump is constitutionally incapable of doing such a thing.

          b&

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            I would suggest that Trump has made lots of deals and that he must have compromised so that the deal was acceptable to both parties.

            • Posted October 27, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

              Trump’s not exactly a successful businessman. And his execrable leadership technique was the subject of one of those reality shows, as I recall. Can you imagine him trying to pull that bullshit with the Joint Chiefs, let alone Congressional leadership?

              b&

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          Oh, much more than a bit of one. 😀

          I agree about the ego of course! Actually, I’d rather see him than any of the tea-party-right candidates, not just Carson.

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 27, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

            ^^ that was me, sigh

  34. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    “Seriously, a “reasonable person” would make no exceptions to forcing a woman to have a child conceived by rape or incest?”

    Bringing up the case of rape or incest in the abortion debate has never struck me as a particularly good argument. It seems powerful because…hey…wouldn’t it just be awful to have to carry the baby of your rapist to term?

    Yes, in one way, obviously.

    But what is this distinction between a “normal” abortion and one in the case of rape or incest really saying? It seems to say “Look, even if you don’t accept regularly available abortion, surely you’d have to accept it in the case of rape or incest!”

    But doesn’t the morality of abortion boil down to whether a mother has more right over her body than the unborn child’s right – or questions of the ‘personhood’ of a fetus – in the first place?

    The rape/incest objection seems to suggest that persons conceived in that manner are less valuable, have less rights, than those conceived in normal circumstances.

    But would we say we can snuff out the life of an already born child, or kid, or adult, because, hey, they were conceived via rape or incest? Surely not. We would regard them with all the rights any other person has.

    Why would this change in the case of a person in the womb? How does how they were conceived change their worth, or rights?

    The pro abortion person making this argument will surely say “but it’s not about the worth of the fetus, it’s about the experience of the mother.” Well, fine, but that presumes at the outset the mother has the right to abort a child. So adding how the child was conceived doesn’t seem to really be the crux of the issue.

    It seems to me either a woman has more right over her body than the unborn fetus has…in ANY case…or not.

    (I’m pro abortion, ultimately, but sometimes I worry about how it’s argued for, and I don’t think it’s as easy an issue as many argue).

    • Vaal
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      ^^^ Sorry, seems to be a posting glitch.
      My post first didn’t show up so I reposted it below, but then my initial post appeared as “anonymous.” Please feel free to delete this one.

  35. Vaal
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    “Seriously, a “reasonable person” would make no exceptions to forcing a woman to have a child conceived by rape or incest?”

    Bringing up the case of rape or incest in the abortion debate has never struck me as a particularly good argument. It seems powerful because…hey…wouldn’t it just be awful to have to carry the baby of your rapist to term?

    Yes, in one way, obviously.

    But what is this distinction between a “normal” abortion and one in the case of rape or incest really saying? It seems to say “Look, even if you don’t accept regularly available abortion, surely you’d have to accept it in the case of rape or incest!”

    But doesn’t the morality of abortion boil down to whether a mother has more right over her body than the unborn child’s right – or questions of the ‘personhood’ of a fetus – in the first place?

    The rape/incest objection seems to suggest that persons conceived in that manner are less valuable, have less rights, than those conceived in normal circumstances.

    But would we say we can snuff out the life of an already born child, or kid, or adult, because, hey, they were conceived via rape or incest? Surely not. We would regard them with all the rights any other person has.

    Why would this change in the case of a person in the womb? How does how they were conceived change their worth, or rights?

    The pro abortion person making this argument will surely say “but it’s not about the worth of the fetus, it’s about the experience of the mother.” Well, fine, but that presumes at the outset the mother has the right to abort a child. So adding how the child was conceived doesn’t seem to really be the crux of the issue.

    It seems to me either a woman has more right over her body than the unborn fetus has…in ANY case…or not.

    (I’m pro abortion, ultimately, but sometimes I worry about how it’s argued for, and I don’t think it’s as easy an issue as many argue).

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      If you regard pregnancy as a punishment for women for having had sex, then it becomes quite obvious why they shouldn’t have to suffer it if they were raped.

      But if they actually, heaven forbid, enjoyed the experience, well then, they deserve everything that’s coming to them.

      (I’m pro abortion, at any stage, for any reason, at the woman’s sole discretion. I don’t think a fetus is a human being.)

      cr

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        I agree with you.

  36. Randy Schenck
    Posted October 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s pretty clear that the people that bring up the rape and incest part are usually looking for something for the pro-life people to stumble over. You know…something to prove how extreme they are on the issue in general.

    My first question to anyone bringing up the abortion issue is – if they are a man, simply ignore them. It’s not really their call. I don’t need to ask, why Mr. do you think that abortion is your call because we already know the answer….Religion. Any male who does believes it his call, his opinion, is really two thing – Religious and arrogant.

    If a woman brings up the issue I would listen and then say – it’s your call.

    • Cindy
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      If they offer a rape exception it is because they oppose abortion out of slut shaming and nothing more.

      If they are for forcing 9yo Braziluan rape victims to gestate then they are just sadistic slavers.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      *Applause* !

      • Diane G.
        Posted October 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Anonymous applause was mine, sigh.

  37. Tom
    Posted October 26, 2015 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    As a J witness Mr Carson represents a tiny religious sect which if ever given real power would attempt to suppress not only secularism but ALL other sects, your very right to BELIEVE would be under threat.
    This is not the person to lead your nation.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 3:37 am | Permalink

      “tiny religious sect”
      I was curious about the number of adherents – they claim 8.2 million, which, I suppose, makes it a relatively tiny sect. By comparison, Mormons come in at about 15 million, Judaism – 14 million.

  38. Mike
    Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I don’t think I have ever come across someone who on the one hand is a Gifted Neuro Surgeon and on the other such an Idiot, it has got to be his crazy Religious beliefs , no other reason for it, unless there are two Ben Carsons occupying the same body and the way he talks that’s not such a crazy assumption.

  39. Cindy
    Posted October 26, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    This might be a bit long and I apologize. Will try to edit as best as I can:

    As Dorothy Roberts writes in Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty, “[t]he essence of Black women’s experience during slavery was the brutal denial of autonomy over reproduction.” Female slaves’ ability to produce more slaves was central to the economic interests of slaveowners and, once the importation of slaves was banned, to the perpetuation of the institution of slavery. A woman’s reproductive capacity figured into her price on the market and was as valuable as labor in the fields. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man on the farm.”

    Slaveowners beat women who did not reproduce or sold them, separating them from their families. Some engaged in slave-breeding, forcing slaves considered “prime stock” to mate in order to produce particularly valuable new slaves for labor or sale. Evidence exists that slaves resisted slaveowners’ demands that they reproduce by using herbal and other makeshift contraceptive and abortive methods. Slaveowners were free to rape slaves with impunity and the children who resulted increased their wealth. A slave women’s child was not her own, but the property of her master. Even prior to conception, a slaveowner held a property interest in a woman’s future children that could be bequeathed by will.

    Slavery separated black women from their future children at the moment of conception, treating the interests of the fetus as separate and conflicting with that of the mother.

    Professor Roberts describes one method of whipping pregnant women that illustrates this early conception of the maternal-fetal conflict. The mother would be forced to lay with her stomach in a hole dug in the ground so the mother could be beaten while the fetus was protected. “It is the most striking metaphor I know for the evils of policies that seek to protect the fetus while disregarding the humanity of the mother,” she writes.

    Forced childbirth *is* slavery, as Professor Koppelman argues:

    the government may not prohibit abortion. To do so would be to require physical service from a woman for the benefit of a fetus

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/22/originalist-argument-abortion-rights-compulsory-childbearing-during-antebellum-sl/

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 26, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Very apt contribution, thanks Cindy.

  40. Kevin
    Posted October 26, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    “During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say”

    ?? Not supposed to use the word slavery?? Of course you goddamn ignorant man, what do you recommend we call it then?

    I propose we call slavery NFL football. Forcing people into gladiator like conditions where they acquire lifelong debilitating health conditions. Seriously, I would not be surprised if Carson privately wishes all [his definition] non-Christians to be crucified.

  41. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I am becoming more and more convinced that doctors, the medical kind, are dumber than peanuts.
    My dealings with GP’s and specialists and this dude and the heaven moron are providing me with mounting evidence that, while they may have good memories, and in the case of surgeons, good dexterity, once things move out of the box of convention and what they learn by rote they are nothing special intelligence wise.

    However, I may be generalizing a tad.


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