Saturday Links

Saturday, July 16th, 2011
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104 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  Dave | 

    “There’s no word why she touched the agent.” Really?

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Now a prison union leader is predicting riots in Connecticut’s prisons — and much worse — in a similar clumsy, thuggish attempt to roll back big layoffs.”

    Ah, a story as old as time ;) Since the 60’s police departments around the country have used the “long hot summer” (in the ghetto) line to avert layoffs or to thwart police corruption probes. Now DOC is in on the action.

  3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

    I will say that I don’t think we should circumcise infants. If you want your foreskin removed, that’s for a consenting adult to decide.

  4. #4 |  Acksiom | 

    Circumcision is wrong by default, for the same basic reasons that the amputation of any normal, healthy, functional human body part is wrong.

    It is not the responsibility of intactivists to invalidate it; circumcision is invalid by default, according to the laws governing all amputations.

    It is the responsibility of circumcisers to prove that they should be granted a special, unique, and extraordinarily privileged exception to the normal standards of law.

    So far they have completely and utterly failed to do this.

    Circumcision is wrong by default. It continues solely because of ignorant sexist bigotry, and performing it, praising it, or condoning it is ignorant sexist bigotry as well. This is not because of particular opposition to female genital cutting, but because of the fundamental opposition to amputating any healthy, normal, functional human body part.

  5. #5 |  Jeff Akston | 

    Hard Ticket to Hawaii: You can find numerous clips on Youtube. It’s brilliant.

  6. #6 |  EH | 

    No word on how prison guards use politics to cause riots and violence between prisoners?

  7. #7 |  wt | 

    re; the lemonaide stand, our local kids figured this one out several years ago; FREE LEMONAIDE; with donation, bureaucrats couldn’t do a thing, no law about giving stuff away

  8. #8 |  Dan | 

    In noticed Foreskin man looks very Aryan while the villains have a more Semitic “terrorist” appearance. Looks like something Joseph Goebbels would come up with; Foreskin Man protecting Aryan boy babies from the vile practices of world Jewry.

  9. #9 |  Dan | 

    That’s “I noticed” not “in noticed’. Sorry

  10. #10 |  BoscoH | 

    If they outlaw circumcision, only outlaws will have, errrrr, won’t have, awfuckit, this analogy is too confusing here.

  11. #11 |  Stephen | 

    Hmmm… prison riots huh? Who gets hurt in prison riots? Guards and prisoners, that’s who. Let the riots begin.

  12. #12 |  Stephen | 

    Oh, and if the cops aren’t going to do their job, why keep any of them?

  13. #13 |  Pete | 

    I’m circumsized, and not for religious reasons. I don’t know why my mother chose to have it done.

    And I don’t care. Sex is pleasurable. I don’t have any problems resulting from the procedure. I don’t see what the big deal is, really.

  14. #14 |  elcid1390 | 

    The comments below the Pima county and Police/Prison guard union pieces are encouraging (a few transparent union shills on the latter notwithstanding). A first in Agitator history?

  15. #15 |  Stephen | 

    I’ve also been circumcised and I do have a minor problem with it and wish it had not been done to me.

  16. #16 |  Zefram Marks | 

    Wouldn’t the proper libertarian position to circumcision be to NOT let parents perform a completely unnecessary procedure that does lower sexual pleasure on children that can’t consent?

  17. #17 |  Highway | 

    I’m also in the camp where I think circumcisions should not be done to any infant. I was in an argument with some (far more religious) relatives who were trying to frame it as a religious freedom thing. They just couldn’t understand that I thought that every person’s sovereignty of their own body trumped the ‘religious freedom’ of parents to irrevocably mutilate their child.

    I do think it’s pretty reprehensible that it’s anti-jews that are really behind the ban in San Francisco, because I think it is a message that more parents should get. Many children die from complications of infant circumcisions (estimates of 100+ per year), and it’s just unnecessary and morally wrong. No, it’s not the same kind of morally wrong as racial or religious or gender discrimination, but I do think it does violate a parent’s responsibility to raise their child and, in essence, ‘deliver’ an adult.

  18. #18 |  Anthony | 

    Highway,
    I’ve been debating for years with my wife about circumcision. Do you have a source for the death estimates?

  19. #19 |  Bobby | 

    “City residents, he said, ‘are going to have to start arming themselves, defend themselves and do whatever they can to protect their property and themselves.'”

    I don’t see the problem.

  20. #20 |  Dan | 

    As far as the sovereignty of infants over their own bodies in re: to circumcision, that same logic doesn’t seem to apply to male babies prior to birth, when a woman decides to end his life without his consent. And that’s a much more destructive, dangerous, and painful proceedure for the child and the mother. Prior to birth a child has no rights that an adult is bound to respect. Now I think that’s morally wrong. From what I’ve read the old libertarian position on abortion was not to take an official position. There was room for both sides; And there are still many libertarians I know who think the child is a separate being, even within the womb, with human qualities that need to be respected. The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should apply to the pre-born in my opinion. I know everyone here would disagree, but I think circumcision is nothing compared to the termination of a pregancy for whatever reason.

  21. #21 |  supercat | 

    If one took the extreme position of saying that children were the absolute chattels of their parents until they reach the age of majority, what is the worst that could happen? Some parents would really mess up their children, but the children of parents who care for them would thrive relative to those whose parents didn’t, and so the harm done to overall society by parents who don’t care for their children would be limited.

    The opposite extreme position, that children are chattels of the state, is far more dangerous, since there is a significant likelihood that children whose parents care for them would not receive an advantage over those children whose parents don’t, and the net effect would be a society in which parents generally don’t especially care for their children.

    While it unlikely that society would actually go as far down the latter path as it might go down the former path, I would posit that there’s a much greater danger of going so far down the latter path as to permanently damage society (indeed, I would posit that to some degree we’re already well past the point of causing damage, though hopefully not yet to the point where the damage will prove ultimately fatal).

  22. #22 |  Highway | 

    Anthony, you can find a study here, although it’s more of a ‘let’s take a bunch of other stuff and see if we can estimate it’ study.

    Google Search for ‘infant deaths circumcision’

    Of course, there’s argument about it, and likely some of it is valid argument.

    The thing I just don’t understand about it, tho, is why people argue *for* circumcision. It’s not like if someone decides they want it done when they’ve grown up that they couldn’t get it done. And while I agree that people should practice the religion they want to, I think that it’s pretty unconscionable for any religion to require any permanent mutilation of children. And the ‘Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it’ is really a crappy argument all the time, plus there are plenty of other areas of the world where it hasn’t ‘always been done’.

    And I think I’d probably have the same argument as Anthony about it with my wife, based on short conversations we’ve had. And that I can’t figure out either: why does a mother care? I mean, the only thing I can guess at is “ick, a foreskin”.

  23. #23 |  Highway | 

    lol, I messed that link up pretty good. But it’s just a google search for that term.

  24. #24 |  Banzel | 

    Call the Feds to make sure those girls are coughing up payroll taxes on their self-employed income!!

  25. #25 |  hamburglar007 | 

    Don’t tread on my foreskin.

  26. #26 |  croaker | 

    Glad to see that there are no murders, rapes, assaults or armed robbery in Midway, GA…

  27. #27 |  Dan | 

    Highway, the reason for circumcision of the non-religious variety was that in the mid 20th century the medical estab. believed that it would help prevent illnesses and infections of various kinds stemming from personal hygiene issues. Most people went along with it and still do, though I would guess most people have no clue as to the original justification for it.

  28. #28 |  Mattocracy | 

    Watch Penn and Tellers Bullshit episode about circumcision. Seriously, do it.

  29. #29 |  Bot | 

    But do we really need yet another law for all this circumcision business? No matter how well intentioned, laws are ultimately enforced at the end of a barrel of a gun. As far as I know it has been a generally accepted practice for at least 10, 100, 1000 years maybe. So we need another law to conform everyone’s behavior in the matter. No thanks.

  30. #30 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Threats?

    “without a doubt, we will have a riot by the end of the year in these prisons”

    Oh come off it, that’s a FAR cry from “oh defend your own homes”. Because it can and does happen all the time. It happened in the UK this year, even, and prison staffing policy in the US is generally at extremely low levels…slashing it IS pretty much asking for riots.

  31. #31 |  croaker | 

    Obama(lamadingdong) calls shuttle astronauts pizza delivery specialists.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXzkdYVzlcc&feature=player_embedded

    This is what the White House calls “class”. George Jefferson had more class than this maroon.

  32. #32 |  Henry Cuttlefish | 

    Circumcision is wrong, whether it’s done to boys or girls. Why should infant genital mutilation be permitted by the state? To quote Philip Larkin… “They fuck you up, your mum and dad…”

  33. #33 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I think non-medically necessary circumcision should be outlawed too. Children are not chattel property of their parents and have a right not to have their bodies mutilated without their consent.

  34. #34 |  Les | 

    @31, I loathe Obama as much as the next rational individualist, but he just made a joke about calling out for pizza and getting the space station. Just like it wasn’t necessary to photoshop Bush holding the phone upside down to prove he was an idiot, you don’t have to make stuff up to prove that Obama is a clown in his own right.

  35. #35 |  Rune | 

    @30 Leon Wolfson

    Did you read the article? It seems to me you didn’t, because then you would have read this as well:

    The prison system should be able to absorb the transfer of 1,300 inmates from the soon-to-be-closed Enfield and Bergin correctional institutions because the prison population has declined by about 2,300 inmates since 2008. There can be a smaller staff if there are fewer inmates.

    You would also have read this pearl:

    In February, New Haven police union president Louis Cavaliere irresponsibly raised the specter of lawlessness when New Haven Mayor John DeStefano laid off 16 police officers to balance the city budget. Police might not answer certain calls, Mr. Cavaliere threatened, because “we are not going to jeopardize ourselves.”

    City residents, he said, “are going to have to start arming themselves, defend themselves and do whatever they can to protect their property and themselves.”

    See? Two people coming with two different threats because their respictive fields of work, policing and corrections, are going to have staff cuts. Read the article, don’t just respond to the headline and comments.

  36. #36 |  Rune | 

    Silly me, I forgot the quote from the prison rep. threatening riots.

    Luke Leone, president of one prison union local, said in a recent interview with the Associated Press that “without a doubt, we will have a riot by the end of the year in these prisons” because of alleged overcrowding and too few staff members.

    Just read this and then look at the first quote about prison population again.

  37. #37 |  JS | 

    We had a kid in my PE class that wasn’t circumsized and everybody teased him unmercifully. Even now people around town still call him skindick. I was so glad I was circumsized.

  38. #38 |  Jason | 

    Circumcision will never be widely outlawed in a (nominally) Christian nation.

  39. #39 |  Dan | 

    Good luck with telling Muslims why they can’t circumcise their boys. Someone might wind up losing more than a foreskin. Nazi Germany is the only country I’m aware of that banned circumcision. They did that destroy the Jewish faith, which depends on that ritual as a central tenet. I don’t understand why people are so up in arms about a minor issue like circumsicion. It should be the parents right to do this in my opinion. We make choices for kids all the time in terms of what values to teach, religous instruction, even to kill them by terminating pregnancies. Apprently circumcision is a bridge too far.

  40. #40 |  Kristen | 

    The “Koch family dog” made me guffaw so loud, my own dog bolted!

  41. #41 |  Stephen | 

    #39 | Dan |

    Definitely a “bridge too far” for me. I wish I had had a choice in the matter and I AM angry with my parents.

  42. #42 |  PeeDub | 

    @41

    My bet is they fucked up more than that if you’re that angry about it.

  43. #43 |  Leah | 

    Acksiom and Highway, et al – +1

    Regarding circumcision and abortion – a baby’s penis infringes on no one else. If you don’t want to care for a baby, you can give it to someone else to raise. A pregnancy infringes heavily on a woman’s health and well-being, and you can’t outsource a pregnancy onto someone else. Therefore there are more issues to weigh against each other than when choosing to avoid pointless surgery on a baby.

  44. #44 |  FTP | 

    #37 Maybe you shouldn’t have teased him. I hear the “locker room” argument a lot, and while it may not be the case with you, JS, I suspect that most of the folks making this argument the loudest were the ones doing the teasing the loudest back in the day. I also suspect many people wildly exxagerate the past. I went through gym class, like everyone else, but I don’t remember any kids with intact penises getting made fun of (and there must have been a few in my class); it’s not like the boys are all made to run a gauntlet, with each kid’s dick inspected and commented upon by others. I’m not even sure what your point in sharing your experience was. I’m glad that you’re glad you’re circumcised. Just understand that a lot of men are unhappy about being circumcised, and would have prefered to have been given a chance to decide for themselves.

  45. #45 |  André | 

    I argue “let the kid make his own decision if he wants to do it when he’s 18; there’s no rush to do a medically-unnecessary procedure that has a low but still present risk and costs extra money.

  46. #46 |  André | 

    And my previous post should have ended with a quotation mark.”

  47. #47 |  BSK | 

    A lot of the conversation here has surrounded the rights of the child and the rights of the parent, with many arguing that the parent has no right to make this decision for the child. But parents are not only entrusted but required to make many, far larger decisions for their child (at least when they are young). What they eat and drink, what vaccines they get, how they handle medical issues, corrective plastic surgery, how to address special needs… on and on. Parents actions or inaction on these and other issues have far-reaching impact on the children. And many parents make decisions that many of us disagree with or might even find abhorrent. Yet we respect their right to do so. To those who argue that circumcision should be illegal, do you accept that parents have the right to make decisions in all these other areas? Where do we draw the line? And if parents aren’t making the decision, who is? The government?

  48. #48 |  John Q. Galt | 

    Hard Ticket to Hawaii on pirated cable is what the late 80s/ early 90s offered us teens in lieu of the FiOS network porn tubes.

  49. #49 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    @BSK:

    Where do you draw the line? Do you think the government should ignore physical or sexual abuse as long as the parent is okay with it? Can parents decide to cut off any part of their children they like? Can parents force their children to marry someone?

  50. #50 |  Rojo | 

    I’m not sure I should touch this circumcision issue with a ten-inch (*ahem*), but as someone that would have preferred to have the parents leave it up to me, which they didn’t, but isn’t particularly upset about it, and as an atheist who generally scoffs at religion, I still think I would fall on the side of rejecting an attempt to ban circumcision, ESPECIALLY in cases of religion, because it just seems to be too much a part of religious identity among some groups. If you ban it, you then probably wind up with a significant group of non-circumcised individuals who feel unfairly estranged from their culture by the force of law.

  51. #51 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    First, just want to say, Yukari Mihamae, you’re a hero and a patriot.

  52. #52 |  shecky | 

    Sorry, Stormy Dragon. Circumcision isn’t physical or sexual abuse. Arguing so is stupidity.

  53. #53 |  Rune | 

    @shecky

    Seeing that Stormy did not state that, you are reading into Stormy’s post. Following the same reading, Stormy is also arguing that circumcision is arranged marriage. Circumcision isn’t arranged marriage. Arguing so is stupidity.

  54. #54 |  Leah | 

    @BSK, I think that’s a very valid argument, and it’s why I generally am not a wholehearted supporter of banning the procedure. I’m a fervent opponent of DOING it, but banning it does bring in all the other typical issues you see with bans. That said, I think unless there are some far more successful studies than we’ve seen in the past, circumcision doesn’t really fall in line with the other comparisons you used. This is a good read regarding how it applies to medical ethics in general: http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/info-medicalethics.html

    It is also interesting to note that girls are protected from any genital cutting at all, even a ritual pinprick. That has the same religious implications, just with a smaller and less powerful religion, so our culture is fine with banning it. Even in situations such as this one (warning, pdf http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?47+Duke+L.+J.+717+pdf ) where the ritual drawing of blood prevented girls from getting sent back to their home country to have it done there. This is one of the things that gives me pause when it comes to banning it, certainly, but I do think it’s ridiculous for us as a culture to be so horrified by a tiny ritual drawing of blood on a girl while we routinely cut a substantial portion of skin off of a baby boy’s penis.

  55. #55 |  BSK | 

    Stormy-

    What about circumcision makes it abuse? I’m not trying to be snarky. Are we going to ban ear piercing as well?

  56. #56 |  BSK | 

    But Rune, he put it on the same side of the line as abuse and arranged marriage without offering a reason. Not much of an argument put forth.

  57. #57 |  Rune | 

    @BSK

    Did anyone talk about a ban on circumcision? No, a ban on parents’ ability to make the choice for their baby to be circumcised is what is being discussed.

    You are right, Stormy didn’t put much of an argument forth. Stormy didn’t put any argument forth. Stormy also did not put circumcision on the same side as abuse and arranges marriage, YOU did that. Stormy asked YOU where YOU would draw the line and gave a couple of examples, just as you did. How come you are unwilling to answer yourself the question you want others to answer?

    To my mind you seem to be either very poor at reading and responding only to what is written without reading into it your own interpretation or being disingenuous.

    I’m still unsure on your position, so let me paraphrase you, I’m only trying to be slightly snarky. Are we going to accept all kinds of body modification done on children by parents?

  58. #58 |  o'mama | 

    Ok. First comment on these here inter webs ever! Circumcision education has driven me to it. We are mostly talking about routine infant circumcision of minors here. Debate the value of a ban all you want…but until we have full informed consent from parents of what they are choosing from a yes or no questionnaire at the hospital, then measures like a ban or attempted ban might start some questioning. And intermingled with a religious component too? Well, religion is the reason given for cutting off parts of female sex organs…if that is so appalling, what are some more justifiable reasons for cutting off parts of a male baby/child’s sex organ? I have found that once people learn more about something rarely talked about in this country…the intact penis…they can’t stomach the idea of amputation of this healthy functioning organ from a human rights standpoint. I have links attached regarding the biological function of the penis:

    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
    http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/fleiss.html

  59. #59 |  JimBob | 

    Circumcision can, in certain situations, be medically necessary. My mother chose not to have me circumcised as an infant, but by the time I was ten years old, I was having chronic UTIs– despite good hygiene and other factors (diet, etc.). After a lot of back and forth, the doctor recommended circumcision, and I was circumcised– and I haven’t had a UTI since. It’s a rare case when the foreskin causes this much trouble, but it happens.

    Was I old enough to consent to the operation? Nope. But I was, at least, old enough to understand, and the doctors had reason to believe it would be helpful in my case. Plus, I was given a general anesthetic for the procedure– infants aren’t granted THAT mercy.

    Do I think circumcision of boys– for valid medical reasons– ought to be outlawed? No. Do I think circumcision of consenting adults ought to be outlawed? Nope.

    Do I think *routine* circumcision of non-consenting infant boys ought to be outlawed? Goddamn straight. You’re mutilating a newborn’s genitalia without his consent, often for reasons no more developed than “Well, isn’t that just how things go?”

    If Americans chopped off the right pinky finger of every newborn boy– without anesthetic– as part of a “custom”, nobody would hesitate to call it barbaric and move to have the custom outlawed. Parents would be up in arms about the custom and tradition, I’m sure. “What about the parents’ rights? We don’t want our son to NOT FIT IN because he’s different! Kids will laugh at him for having his right pinkie– they’ll say he’s not really a man!”

    IT’S STILL A VIOLATION OF THE CHILD’S RIGHTS.

    Prove to me that parents OUGHT to have the right to chop off part of their son’s penis for reasons they often can’t articulate. For bonus points, prove it to me without also justifying a variety of barbaric procedure performed on girls in certain areas of the world, because the “we want him to look like the other boys” and “it just looks nicer” arguments can work just as well for female genital mutilation.

  60. #60 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Rune – Yes, and after ten minutes of reading up on the prisons involved, and the relative staff levels? No, it’s a statement from a man who’s afraid of a riot.

    JimBob – FGM causes loss of function. Removing the Foreskin? Doesn’t. Not comparable.

  61. #61 |  Anon | 

    I had my genitals ritually mutilated as an infant. Did it have a negative effect? You bet. It takes me over an hour to orgasm, something both I and my wife find very frustrating (you might think women would like to have sex with a guy that can last an hour or more, but trust me, they don’t; they get sore well before the 30 minute mark). Thanks, Mom & Dad; I know you did it out of ignorance – ummm, I mean love! Done poorly, the scar tissue created by the procedure can make a man extremely insensitive, and in some cases, unable to orgasm at all. This is what parents risk on behalf of their sons when they engage in this barbaric ritualized genital mutilation (yeah, I know, I should say what I really think). And the final thing I don’t get: if god finds foreskins offensive, why did he give them to us?

    That’s one bad thing that can happen. Here’s another, that is probably not as common now as it used to be. My maternal grandmother, who died in 2,000 at the age of 85, (I insert this to give you an idea of when this incident happened), and was the oldest of 13 children, only 9 of which survived past puberty (again, inserted to remind the readers of the time in question, and the relatively poor medical capabilities available when compared to now), told me the story of watching one of her infant brothers bleed to death on the kitchen table as a result of his circumcision. Not only would that be horrible to watch, imagine having to eat at that same table every day afterwords (indeed, when she told me this, we were at her father’s house – who was still alive at the time, and her exact words were “That very table”, her dad still had the table in his kitchen).

    And if uncircumcised kids are being teased in the locker room at their school, fire the teachers, principal, and staff, and get ones that prevent teasing (of any kind). It’s up to the adults at the school to provide a safe and comfortable environment for learning. If the ones you’ve got now won’t do it, get ones who will. Of course, that’s a lot easier at a private school, but that’s a different topic.

  62. #62 |  Tony | 

    Non-therapeutic genital cutting on a non-consenting person is wrong. Given that existing (California) law protects the rights of female minors from any cutting, even that which is less damaging than male circumcision, the comparison is valid. It’s a comparison of kind rather than degree from the typical outcome. Either all children have rights or no children have rights. The latter is monstrous. It’s hardly better to declare that females have rights, while males have only a subset of those rights because of one ridiculous (non-)distinction.

    It’s not debatable that male circumcision causes a loss of function, inferred to mean “harm”. Removing healthy skin and nerves does that. All surgery causes some form of harm, unless we’re to believe that there can be a free lunch. The circumcision equation is not possible benefits and no possible negatives.

    But we can assume for debate that it doesn’t. There is no question that circumcision changes the penis. It removes the functions of the foreskin, regardless of the value an individual puts on that loss versus the trade-offs. As shown by this thread, how the individual responds to being circumcised may differ. All tastes and preferences are subjective. There is no valid reason the permanent infliction of objective harm for the subjective preference(s) of parents should be permitted on healthy children, males included.

  63. #63 |  Leah | 

    Leon Wolfeson – FGM is not all the same. Some types are far LESS harmful than a typical US circumcision, such as the ritual pinprick in the article I linked above. All are outlawed, though, permanent harm or no. And circumcision does cause loss of function. Being able to ejaculate is not the only function of the penis. When intact it is also self-lubricating (helpful for masturbation, which is a big reason circumcision came into vogue in the first place, as well as helpful for intercourse) and prevents eventual loss of feeling through keratinization of the glans by protecting it against friction from clothing.

    That said, however, this post http://www.adriancolesberry.com/life/?p=554 is probably the best one I’ve read on how one can be opposed to routine infant circumcision without having to convince people that their genitals don’t work. If what you have works for you? Awesome, rock on. But don’t make that decision for other people or campaign to make infant/non-consenting individual body modification a cultural norm.

  64. #64 |  Dan | 

    Stephen, there is such a thing as uncircumcision that can restore your foreskin. There is a procedure called “”juden pondum” which goes back to Roman times. Juden Pondum was a funnel shaped copper tube that was placed on the penal shaft. The heavy copper then pulled and stretched the shaft skin foreward, to cover the glans. The stretched skin would eventually stay in place and recreate a new foreskin. There are modern variations of the juden pondum that are more effective. In the reign of Antiochus IV Ephiphanes, the Seleucid Emperor who ruled Judea, all Jewish rituals were banned including circumcision. In fact, some Jews were forcibly uncircumcised by having a new foreskin sewed on. I don’t know what they used as a new foreskin. The good news is that there is hope for men like you who want a foreskin. Perhaps your doctor can advise you in this matter.

  65. #65 |  Stephen | 

    #63 | Dan |

    I don’t really care about the foreskin so much. I just wish I had a little more skin. The skin that is left stretches so much that I can end up bleeding. Condoms help. I think the doctor kind of overdid it on me.

  66. #66 |  Acksiom | 

    Aaaaaand as usual, as always, not one of you supporting this mutilation is actually addressing my actual points as actually made.

    So againn: circumcision is wrong by default, for the same basic reasons that any amputation of normal, healthy, functional human body parts is wrong by default.

    It’s just that simple.

    Practicing it, promoting it, or even just condoning it is ignorant sexist bigotry. Not because of any particular comparison to female genital cutting, but because of the general comparison to any other normal, healthy, functional human body part.

    The practice, promotion, or even just condoning of routine and ritual male circumcision is ignorant sexist bigotry.

    The practice, promotion, or even just condoning of routine and ritual male circumcision is ignorant sexist bigotry.

    The practice, promotion, or even just condoning of routine and ritual male circumcision is ignorant sexist bigotry.

    It really is just that simple.

    And you tacitly but inherently admit it by your complete and utter refusal to address my argument. You refuse to address it because you know, at least on some level, that you can’t defend your position against it. But you don’t exert even just the basic adult intellectual integrity needed to admit that, either, so instead you just play stupid and pretend it doesn’t exist.

    Every time you people post defending routine circumcision without directly and unequivocably address my argument is a tacit admission that I’m right and you’re wrong.

    I’m right and you’re wrong, I win and you lose, and you prove that over and over again every single time you post without proving that anybody should be granted such a special, unique, and extraordinarily privileged exception to the normal standards of law.

    Again, as usual and as always, you have completely and utterly failed to do this. You haven’t even tried.

    And that’s why I’m right and you’re wrong, and I win and you lose.

    And each every time you post something in favor of the practice, without even trying to prove that anybody should be granted such a special, unique, and extraordinarily privileged exception to the normal standards of law, you merely demonstrate that over and over again.

  67. #67 |  Rune | 

    @Leon Wolfeson

    In your post you conflated the statements of the two different people warning about cuts in their respective fields, ie. “without a doubt, we will have a riot by the end of the year in these prisons” and “oh defend your own homes.” I hope you understand that from that, I was not able to surmise that you had spent time reading up on the prisons involved, and the relative staff levels.

    Maybe you should try using more words? Makes your point more concrete. Seeing that you have spent ten minutes looking up stats on the prisons in question using that to underpin your comment would be… I don’t know, a proper debate? Also, not conflating quotes tends to help.

  68. #68 |  GaryM | 

    But the US isn’t seeking regime change. We have Obama’s word for that.

  69. #69 |  Stephen | 

    I don’t quite understand it. My son is uncircumsized precisely because of the problems I had. The other day the subject came up in conversation with my neighbor and he acted horrified and almost angry that my son wasn’t circumsized.

  70. #70 |  Dan | 

    I’m not promoting circumcision, and I really could care less about it. I just think banning it brings government intervention into what should be a parental or individual decision. Why can’t all of us just agree to disagree; the circumcised and those with foreskins intact can hold hands and embrace our diversity and the wonderful differences in the appearance of our male organs. Maybe we can even have a parade exhibiting our wonderful variety of lengths and appearances of our foreskins [or lack thereof] to raise public awareness of these important issues.

  71. #71 |  Rune | 

    @69 Dan

    I’d like to ask you if that position extends to all body modifications? If not, why is circumcision exempt? This in regards to a parents right to do so to their child, the personal choice of the individual to choose what to do with their own body is of course sacrosanct.

  72. #72 |  Acksiom | 

    No, Dan; the State already regulates all amputations, and correctly so. You have it backwards; allowing circumcision is an example of the State’s wrongful discrimination. Circumcision is just like every other normal, healthy, functional human body part; the normal rules and regulations governing amputations apply to it just as equally.

    So this is not an example of the State limiting freedom; the acceptance of circumcision is instead an example of allowing certain people a special, unique, extraordinarily privileged exception to the standards of law. That’s what you need to be concerned about from a liberty standpoint: agents of the State being allowed to ignore the laws governing their responsibilities.

    That being said, though, you’re behaving as though you’re deliberately and intentionally trying to not understand. You appear to be deliberately and intentionally refusing to comprehend.

    So I think you’re trolling.

    And BTW, you just proved me right and you wrong again. You just made me the winner and yourself the loser again.

  73. #73 |  Dan | 

    What other body modifications did you have in mind? I don’t support forced female circumcision which in many tribal and traditional societies is performed in the teen age years. But I cannot impose my beliefs on them. They can’t impose their beliefs on me. As far as giving a baby tattoos, piercings, why would anyone want to? But there may be some who would do that. Should tribal initiation rites where boys become men, which can include tattoing and ritual scarrification be banned? I see a significant disconnect in logic where something like abortion, which most everybody here supports reflexively, actually kills a life with little regard to the sancrosanct sovereingty of the indiviual. In comparison to that kind of trauma, circumcision is nothing. Should the child have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to live or die? Our society has decided that the child does not have this right. I’m talking in general terms here, not in the case of complications in pregnancy. The pre-born, we are told, are just a lump of tissue; but you could say the same thing about any living human being or creature who has been born.
    I just think abortion is a far more devastating violation of the child’s sancrosanct sovereignty over their own bodies than the elimination of the foreskin.

  74. #74 |  Rune | 

    @Dan

    It’s irrelevant why or even if any parent would tattoo or pierce their babies, aren’t you copping out on my question? Also, I take it you live in the US, or at least not in a tribal or traditional community, so what happens there is really not relevant either. Then you write about abortion, where did that ever come into the picture? That’s like saying we shouldn’t care about asset forfeiture because the Wall Street bail-outs to Madoff and Bernanke cronies is so much worse or saying that Libya is trivial when we have Iraq and Afghanistan or something similarly nonsensical.

    To answer your question, I am thinking of ALL body modifications: tattoos, elf ears, split tongue, piercings, scarification etc. Now, please answer. It’s a simple question, answering it should be equally simple. Once again, does your position extends to all body modifications? If not, why is circumcision exempt?

    If you can manage that, I will even address why I believe there is no disconnect in being for abortions and against circumcision

  75. #75 |  Rune | 

    @Dan

    Just a little addendum, in my part of the world we would say: As far as circumcising a baby boy, why would anyone want to?

  76. #76 |  Dan | 

    Rune, I appreciate this discussion. Thank you for stating your position in a calm and rational manner. And thanks for explaining your case in a way I can better appreciate. This is an issue we will never agree on and as far as I am concerned that is fine. Thanks again.

  77. #77 |  Acksiom | 

    So, Dan, in other words, I am right in every particular.

    You know I’m right, and you’re just trying to preserve your inaccurate self-image of yourself as a good and decent person by pretending you didn’t just get served for your ignorant sexist bigotry.

    That’s why you’re opting out. Because you know on some level that we’re right and you’re wrong, but you just won’t behave like an adult and admit you can’t defend your position against our arguments. So instead you try to turn it around and make it about other people’s behavior.

    But you displayed the ignorant sexist bigotry first. So it’s about your behavior. And your behavior is ignorant sexist bigotry.

    And you can’t defend it, and you know that you can’t defend it, but you’re just not willing to exert the minimal amount of intellectual integrity needed to admit that.

    So instead you try to make it about other people’s behavior.

    It’s not healthy to run away from self-introspection like that, Dan. You should stick around and gut your way through the process to truth. We’re concerned about your best interests too, you know; we’re just trying to help you.

  78. #78 |  Dan | 

    thanks for your comments and insults. Calling people names is not going to win you any friends in life. If you can’t write rationally its not worth reading.

  79. #79 |  Acksiom | 

    I’m not posting here to win friends in life. I’m posting here to publicly identify and castigate ignorant sexist bigotry, such as yours. Punitive condemnatory language is an appropriate response to ignorant sexist bigotry, Dan. You’re supposed to be criticized and shamed for what you did.

    If you don’t like that, then you should stop pouting and whining about it and just admit you were wrong.

    Because, remember, you just proved me right yet again by refusing any discussion of my actual arguments as actually made. You just want to talk about my behavior. But, oops, oh no, I’ve took the sanction of the victim away from you by pointing out that it’s your own ignorant sexist bigotry that is the original offense here. It’s your behavior that is unacceptable and needs correcting. So you’re really not in any kind of position to be criticizing others about their civility. You have apologizing and honest self-reflection to do, and you should stop trying to weasel out of them like a spoiled child.

    I’m not trying to convince you or anybody else of the wrongness of circumcision. I’ve learned over the years that people either get it right away or they almost never do. The miniscule number of people who can be reasoned over time into sanity on this is too small to be worth the time and effort pursuing.

    So I’m more than happy enough to just call people like you out on your ignorant sexist bigotry, and pointing out over and over again how you’re never, ever willing to actually discuss my actual arguments as actually made.

    All you can do is whine and pout about being called out for your ignorant sexist bigotry.

    You’re not even trying to defend it because you know you can’t.

    And every time you post without addressing my arguments, you admit again that I’m right and you’re wrong, that I’m the winner and you’re the loser.

    Every time you post without addressing my arguments, you’re conceding that they’re right.

    Every singletime.

    So by all means, keep telling me I’m right. Keep pouting and whining about other people’s behavior.

    Works for me.

    Although, of course, your coming back for more suggests to me that deep down, you also want to find a resolution to your cognitive dissonance.

    And the best first step for that would of course be to actually address my actual arguments as actually made. . .instead of just pouting and whining some more about your proper and deserved punishment in an attempt to evade your normal adult responsibilities.

  80. #80 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @62 – Studies disagree with you. So, basically, it’s an emotional response into which you’re trying to shove junk science. Thanks for that, but Fox News is ——————-> way.

    @65 – Doctors are *expected* to remove a percentage of healthy appendixes, as one example. There are good reasons for that.

    @66 – What? I was the one pointing out they’re different. Given you clearly can’t be bothered to read my posts, I’m ignoring you in the rest of this thread now.

  81. #81 |  ClubMedSux | 

    “Studies disagree with you. So, basically, it’s an emotional response into which you’re trying to shove junk science.”

    Wow, that’s a pretty convincing argument there, what with the unidentified studies that clearly refute the identified junk science that Leah is supposedly shoving. I love Road House as much as the next guy (probably more), but you’re gonna have to do better than Dalton-level logic–even if he did have a PhD in philosophy.

    On a side note, I chose not to circumcise my son but don’t believe it should be illegal. Also, if circumcision is supposed to reduce the urge to masturbate, I’m very thankful that I was circumcised since otherwise I probably wouldn’t have left the house since I was 13.

  82. #82 |  BSK | 

    Rune-

    I know many people who get their baby’s ears pierced. Do you think this should be illegal? Honestly, I’m not trying to be snarky. I’m actually quite convinced that circumcision likely does fall on the “not okay” side of the line regarding decisions we leave up to parents on behalf of their kids. I think that my initial hesitation regarding the ban was rooted in entropy… circumcision is the generally accepted norm and I wrongly submitted to this. So, yea, I’m very comfortable saying that circumcision (when performed on a child and is not medically necessary) is probably wrong and close to saying it is absolutely wrong (I want to read some of the links offered here for more info before doing so).

    But, does that rule out all body modifications? Is ear piercing out? Nose piercing? Does the fact that circumcision involves the genitals change matters? Does clipping a child’s tongue to improve articulation cross the line (some would argue this is medically necessary but is generally done for aesthetic purposes)? Again, not trying to be snarky…

    Acksiom-

    You have yet to substantiate why circumcision is evidence of sexist bigotry. As noted, I’m prepared to accept the argument that circumcision is wrong, but I’m not sure I see how its practice is sexist. And your tact is just boorish. It’s not about winning. Grow up.

  83. #83 |  Leah | 

    BSK, I’d probably draw some comparisons like – can you vaccinate your kids? Yes, there is a clear benefit right now to keeping them from harm. Can you amputate a pinky toe or give them a tattoo? No. The murky possible benefits of circumcising generally don’t really come into play until at least the teen years, so you can wait until they can provide input. Can you spank your kid? Yes. Can you beat the shit out of your kid with a belt? No. There are a lot of difficult situations when parenting, but it seems pretty clear to me that having a clear and current need is different from cosmetic surgery. Ear piercing is a bit of a gray area for me, mine were pierced as a toddler then grew back over then I got them repierced probably 4 or 5 times because I didn’t keep earrings in them. So to me, something that grows back is a bit different? I don’t think it’s a good cultural practice really, but it doesn’t horrify me. I’d probably compare circumcising to removing an entire earlobe.

    Tongue tie is a completely different thing – tongue tie doesn’t just cause potential speaking issues, it also ruins many breastfeeding relationships which is a health issue in itself. But you’d be shocked how many doctors are happy to circumcise but won’t clip a tongue tie (that has actual immediate benefits for the baby’s ability to breastfeed without causing the mother severe pain). Our culture thinks bottles and formula are good enough to avoid any mild pain and penises are not good enough to keep from hurting a baby – it’s really strange.

    This thread is a bit odd for me – I am arguing in favor of a law I don’t actually support. I think circumcision is wrong, but I think banning it will cause people to dig in their heels and support it more fervently than they would otherwise. I think the next generation of kids is going to most likely go the way of Canada, Australia, and Europe and stop circumcising babies as a matter of routine. The current generation is probably the tipping point if the stats and personal experience hold true. So, while I am very much anti-circumcision, I don’t think laws are the way to change minds.

  84. #84 |  BSK | 

    Leah-

    I’ve had students as old as 5-years-old get their tongues clipped. I don’t know if they had a true “tongue tie” or simply a really bad lisp or other speech impediment. But clearly the surgery was not undertaken for breast feeding reasons.

    I guess my issue comes down to this: those arguing in favor of the law do so based on the premise that parents do not have a right to make a decision that is physically detrimental to the child. I can get on board with that. But, I repeat, where do we draw the line? Are the risks associated with circumcision worse than the risks associated with a diet consisting primarily of junk food (I’m not talking about a burger here and a bag of chips there, but kids who literally eat nothing but shit and it shows)? I don’t know. Is the harm of circumcision greater than the harm of not getting vaccinated? Or of getting vaccinated, if you are a member of the vaccines=autism camp?

    I’m not equating circumcision with these acts. But many seem to be operating under the assumption that parents who circumcise their children do so out of some morbid fascination with genital mutilation. Many do it because they believe it to be beneficial for their health. Others do it out of strict adherence to religious customs. Some do it out of passive acceptance of cultural norms. To assume that parents who do it out of maliciousness would be the same as assuming that parents who don’t vaccinate their kids do it because they want them to get sick and die. The overwhelming majority of parents want what is best for their kids. They will make numerous decisions that work directly counter to this. Are we going to criminalize every one of these acts because we focus solely on the end result and not on the intent?

  85. #85 |  Leah | 

    Hmm. I get where you’re coming from with the maliciousness thing, but I’ll just throw out there that I don’t think that is where most people are coming from. I would guess it may be where most people on internet comment sections are coming from, but that is also where you learn about things like Radley Balko hating poor people and libertarians hating roads, etc. In my experience people go down that “you are mutilating your kid” road when they’re frustrated at the inertia of our culture and that the medical establishment has bought into it entirely. It’s unhelpful and pointless but hey, people make mistakes like that a lot. I think the extremism isn’t useful but I can’t make it go away, so here we are.

    (Sidebar on the tongue tie thing – most people who have it never find out that it hampers breastfeeding, they are told to switch to formula for other reasons like not effectively transferring milk, not making enough milk, too much pain, etc. It’s not well-diagnosed in babies because breastfeeding hasn’t been that important of a goal for most of the 20th century to now, so people thought it was their fault when often it’s a mouth mechanics issue.)

  86. #86 |  BSK | 

    Leah-

    Indeed. I was referring to the tone of conversation here. I think a campaign of information and education is the way to go.

    (Re: tongue tie; I’m sure that is the case. But shouldn’t a 5-year-old be done breast feeding?)

  87. #87 |  ThinkAnarchy | 

    I’m against laws, but a ban on mutilating the genitals of babies is not one I would protest. It is a sick, barbaric, and anti-libertarian practice. The fact it is accepted in our society repulses me.

  88. #88 |  Rune | 

    BSK

    Ideally, no person should alter another persons body without their consent. Practically, no, I would not advocate making ear/nose piercings on small children illegal, but purely form a standpoint that I am weary of having gov enforcing such regulation. Piercings can get infected and infections are a bad thing in a small child, there is also the growing in of the piercings and then repiercing that Leah writes of. Each ingrown piercing leaves a bit of cartilage in the earlobe giving minor cauliflower ear, for what? A parent’s vanity.

    Circumcision is an unnecessary and with 100% certainty damaging procedure in how it decreases the sensitivity of the glans. There are also several other negative outcomes that can stem from circumcision, some described as testimonials here in the comments plus there is a small risk of death due to complications, once again from a medically unnecessary procedure.

    With regards to Acksiom’s claim of sexist bigotry, I can see where they are coming from, as female circumcision is not tolerated, only male. Therein lies the sexism.

  89. #89 |  BSK | 

    Rune-

    Good points all around. As I said to Leah, I think the best tact is an education/information campaign.

    As for the sexism… I do realize that there is an obvious difference between the response to male and female circumcision, but I think it is for reasons other than sexism. First, male circumcision is practiced by predominant Western religions; female circumcision is practiced by non-Western religions. It is much harder to rally opposition to something that is so ingrained in a culture. Secondly, opponents of female circumcision have launched a much more successful campaign to bring attention its danger. I’ve seen multiple specials on 20-20/Dateline/Primetime/etc. on female circumcision but none on male circumcision. Third, accurate or not, our mental images of female circumcision usually conjure up African medicine men slicing and dicing young girls; our mental images of male circumcision conjure up doctors or rabbis snipping the tips of babies. The former generates far more outrage.

    I can’t say objectively whether the damages/risks of female circumcision are worse than those of male circumcision, but that seems to be the general perception. I think, ultimately, that is a much bigger cause of the difference in our response to the two than sexism.

  90. #90 |  2nd of 3 | 

    I’ve heard that circumcision reduces the odds of transmission of HIV. Googling it shows a number of conflicting studies. Some show little to no effect, while some of the more recent reports say they do. The CDC website seems to come down on the side that it does. While I’m reflexily against body mutilation on a non-consenting person (I won’t allow my child to get piercings until much older), here I think a parent that wants to cicumsize their infant be allowed to do so. I guess you could argue that the decision should wait until they are old enough to have a say, but I wonder if that can be made a social norm? Perhaps a rite of entry into manhood kind of thing?

  91. #91 |  Rune | 

    2nd of 3

    The HIV defence is a sop that keep kids from using condoms, the only true protection against HIV. As you write, the data on this is even conflicting, but if it has that effect, it’s a by-product of the desensitisation of the glans by making the skin thicker and thus a little less susceptible to small scratches. It’s insanity to advocate this instead of condoms when having sex with someone you are not exclusive with.

  92. #92 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “It’s insanity to advocate this instead of condoms when having sex with someone you are not exclusive with.”

    Strawman. Neither I, nor anyone else here, has advocated that.

  93. #93 |  fwb | 

    About the video:

    Cops shoot first because they all have the smallest penises in the universe.

    About circumcision:

    Everyone seems to think that because the current concept is a ban, it’s good because it leaves things up to the individual.

    Turn it around. What if the government decides everyone HAS to have a circumcision. If you allow the intrusion in one direction, do not get up on your high horse if it goes in an opposite direction. You agreed with the first position allowing the government to control personal decisions.

  94. #94 |  Rune | 

    2nd of 3

    You are correct, that was most shoddily said of me. I didn’t mean to imply that you or any other here advocated that.

    That said, bringing up how circumcision reduces the odds of contracting HIV, you implicitly advocate it as protection, why else bring it up? It’s a gripe I have with using it as an argument for circumcision, not with you bringing it up. I hope you understand what I’m trying to convey, I do try to avoid straw men and admit to them if I inadvertently do and am called out on it.

  95. #95 |  William | 

    For the reasons that #63 has already stated I believe that infant male circumcision should be outlawed. The freedom of religion does not give parents the authority or right to mutilate their children. I have had life-long complications from my own circumcision. I wasn’t given a choice.

  96. #96 |  BSK | 

    Rune-

    What I’ve seen demonstrates that circumcision has only been proven to be truly effective in areas with high incidence of HIV/AIDs and with limited access to other means of protection and only in protecting men from contracting it from female partners, which is already one of the more rarer forms of transmission. So, if circumcision works to prevent HIV/AIDs, it could possibly be effective in Africa, but not in the US. And is far less effective than condoms. That argument holds little weight in a conversation regarding US laws, though is a point worth investigating further for its possible impact elsewhere.

  97. #97 |  Tony | 

    BSK,

    You ask where do we draw the line at laws restricting what parents may do. It’s a valid question, and one that doesn’t have a simple answer. The problem, I think, is that a common libertarian response to children, parents, and the state is lacking. It would be foolish to pretend that parents aren’t the best judge, usually. As you point out, most parents act with the best intentions. Some against circumcision may reject that. I don’t.

    But you’re correct to assess the divide at outcome outweighing intent. That’s how I see the rough answer to where we draw the line. We have to weigh objective outcomes to children from parental decisions. Non-therapeutic circumcision causes objective, permanent harm to the child, without an objective pursuit to balance it. Yes, potential benefits exist, but they are merely potential and often prevented or resolved with lesser methods. Most other parental acts commonly cited don’t meet that criteria. Vaccinations cause minor harm, but it’s permanent and/or severe in only a few cases, for example.

  98. #98 |  BSK | 

    Tony-

    Great comment. I just made a similar (though not as good) post on the poppy-seed thread, since it seemed to circle back to similar questions.

    Regarding vaccinations, I was thinking the alternate route: parents who refuse to vaccinate their child. Is that acceptable? What risk do they impost on their child? I suppose it is still only a potential threat, though a complete lack of vaccinations has a high likelihood of consequence and very severe consequences in many cases. Yet, it’s hard to legislate against inaction. (This ignores the free-riding those non-vaccinated folks do on the backs of vaccinated folks; I assume there would be fewer of the former if there was more of the former… if that makes any sense…?).

    So, yea, circumcision should be outlawed. I think we also need to look at gradations. Do we lock up every parent who grabs a Happy Meal for her kid after a long day at work? No. Do we consider taking action against a parent who hasn’t fed their child anything even remotely healthy in months? Maybe. I dunno. Such a difficult conversation. Ideally, we would address most of these issues with education and information rather than prosecution but, alas, there isn’t much money or opportunities to power trip in the former…

  99. #99 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @81 – Studies *do* disagree. I’m taking the peer-reviewed study over some random person in a comments thread who is spewing lies.

    There’s no debate possible when one side is arguing from grounds which are nonsense. If you have a personal problem with it, fine, but from grounds saying that it’s equivalent with something which DOES reduce function is, quite simply, noise. And I will ignore it.

    If you’re offended, that’s your problem. The study has been done over and over, the evidence is quite clear.

    Many types of society practice measures which others find uncomfortable. The moment you start outlawing those practices, you’re moving rapidly away from a society which is tolerant (and I’m willing to go to great lengths for tolerance) in favour of a moral code being imposed by the super-majority. Anyone else in this thread not a member of white, small-c christian culture?

  100. #100 |  Rune | 

    @Leon

    What? You pointed out they were different? By implying (via no sourcing) that one was a follow-up to the other? Bravo, mr. logic wiz. I’m in doubt as to whether you are showing supreme ignorance or supreme arrogance, but in any case, just go ahead and continue to ignore me, you are probably happier in Leon Wolfeson World, where you are always right and everybody else is wrong.

  101. #101 |  Tony | 

    Leon,

    You didn’t prove those grounds are nonsense. You said “No”, and let that stand as your argument. In comment #61, I offered the argument about loss of function. I’m interested in a rebuttal, but so far you haven’t offered one.

    If one is merely offended, yes, that’s the person’s problem. We’re not talking about offending sensibilities. Circumcision in this context is non-therapeutic surgery, which involves imposing permanent harm. (Even if you pretend that there is no loss of function.) Children have rights, so society has a legitimate role in setting limits on parents. We should define those limits as clearly as possible, of course, but sharing DNA doesn’t grant parents plenary control to do whatever they want because they deserve “tolerance” from the rest of us. Teaching your child your beliefs, however ridiculous others might find them, is legitimate. No intervention is justifiable. But purposely and permanently harming your child, even with the good intent I assume parents have, is not acceptable.

  102. #102 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Tony, I need to prove nothing. The evidence, in peer-reviewed papers proves it. The rest of your maundering is screaming to the stars the the evidence doesn’t MATTER. You’d make a good cop.

  103. #103 |  Tony | 

    Leon,

    You’re still doing nothing more than saying “no”, without support. If you don’t need to prove anything, you at least need to offer a rebuttal when your position’s (fatal) flaws have been exposed. Pointing to peer-reviewed papers, and only the ones you prefer, is just an argument to authority. I’m unimpressed with logical fallacies.

    What’s interesting in the context here is that I haven’t said the evidence doesn’t matter. (Or MATTER, if caps implies something different.) All of those peer-reviewed studies? Despite various flaws, I’m willing to grant you any and every possible benefit found in those studies. Decreased risk of UTI in the first year of life? Yep. Decreased risk of female-to-male transmission of HIV in high-risk populations? Check. (Note that the HIV studies were conducted on adult volunteers, not non-consenting children.) Name another study and I’ll probably acknowledge it, as well. So? None of that proves that it may be imposed on a healthy child. Ethics are a part of science.

    What I have said is that circumcision inflicts objective harm on the recipient. Where it is non-therapeutic, there is no justification for allowing one person to impose that on a non-consenting person. You are saying that some evidence doesn’t matter, since the first relevant piece of evidence involved in proxy consent is the individual’s health and lack of need for intervention. You ignore that, and the resulting harm inflicted. You’re pretending that circumcision is a free lunch of possible benefits without negatives.

  104. #104 |  strat | 

    That movie clip is from “Hard Ticket to Hawaii” one in a series of films by Andy Sidaris, along with “Savage Beach,”Picasso Trigger”, and several others.

    Mr. Sidaris’ films are characterized by modest budgets, beautiful tropical locations (along with the occasional trip to LA or Las Vegas), utterly gratuitous explosions from grandiose weaponry, and more than a handful of former Playboy Playmates.

    They usually decompress after a hard day by hanging out in their (undercover) friend’s bar, a hot tub, or both.

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