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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Tell Jake to sleep on the roof."

If you took Human Sexuality in college, that line may sound familiar to you.

I want to clarify a small part of my last post.  As I was going through my list of examples of social progress that the Conservatives had instinctively fought against and/or sought to undo, I mentioned "Reproductive Freedom."  And based on the ascending chronology of the items in the list, it would be reasonable to conclude that I intended that as no more than a euphemism for "Abortion."  Well... yes and no.  Sadly, YES, Abortion is part of what I'm talking about.  And admittedly it's curious thing to consider as "social progress" and to defend as such. However, while I feel that Abortion is a sin and a tragedy to use as a mere form of Contraception, it must be considered is part of the overarching issue of Contraceptive Rights, and the right of a woman to have a say in whether or not she will bear one man's children, or indeed ANY children.  Take away abortion, and what you've got left is something that was beautifully, and rather appropriately, characterized by Keith Olbermann as "The Rapist's Bill of Rights."  (Note: I'm sorry - I cannot find a proper attribution of that epithet. I first heard it from Olbermann, but it may well have been first said by someone else.)

No before we get sidetracked or a discussion about Abortion alone, I would like you to read the following exert from the autobiography of Margret Sanger - a feminist, nurse, reproductive rights pioneer and founder of Planned ParenthoodMore of it can be found here. I read this in college, and remembered it clearly, because it just about destroyed me.  THIS is the world that the other side of the slippery slope - the one that would limit a woman's reproductive freedom - leads to:

Then one stifling mid-July day of 1912 I was summoned to a Grand Street tenement. My patient was a small, slight Russian Jewess, about twenty-eight years old, of the special cast of feature to which suffering lends a madonna-like expression. The cramped three-room apartment was in a sorry state of turmoil. Jake Sachs, a truck driver scarcely older than his wife, had come home to find the three children crying and her unconscious from the effects of a self-induced abortion. He had called the nearest doctor, who in turn had sent for me. Jake's earnings were trifling, and most of them had gone to keep the none-too-strong children clean and properly fed. But his wife's ingenuity had helped them to save a little, and this he was glad to spend on a nurse rather than have her go to a hospital.

The doctor and I settled ourselves to the task of fighting the septicemia. Never had I worked so fast, never so concentratedly.

Jake was more kind and thoughtful than many of the husbands I had encountered. He loved his children, and had always helped his wife wash and dress them. He had brought water up and carried garbage down before he left in the morning, and did as much as he could for me while he anxiously watched her progress.

After a fortnight Mrs. Sachs' recovery was in sight. As I was preparing to leave the fragile patient to take up her difficult life once more, she finally voiced her fears, "Another baby will finish me, I suppose?"

"It's too early to talk about that," I temporized.

But when the doctor came to make his last call, I drew him aside. "Mrs. Sachs is terribly worried about having another baby."

"She well may be," replied the doctor, and then he stood before her and said, "Any more such capers, young woman, and there'll be no need to send for me."

"I know, doctor," she replied timidly, "but," and she hesitated as though it took all her courage to say it, "what can I do to prevent it?"

The doctor was a kindly man, and he had worked hard to save her, but such incidents had become so familiar to him that he-had long since lost whatever delicacy he might once have had. He laughed good-naturedly. "You want to have your cake and eat it too, do you? Well, it can't be done."

Then picking up his hat and bag to depart he said, "Tell Jake to sleep on the roof."

I glanced quickly to Mrs. Sachs. Even through my sudden tears I could see stamped on her face an expression of absolute despair. We simply looked at each other, saying no word until the door had closed behind the doctor. Then she lifted her thin, blue-veined hands and clasped them beseechingly. "He can't understand. He's only a man. But you do, don't you? Please tell me the secret, and I'll never breathe it to a soul. Please!"

These were not the words of someone trying to get a job, or borrow something from a friend, or asking the bank for a few more days to make their payment.  This was a mother, wife and human being who was looking for a way NOT TO DIE.

"Tell Jake to sleep on the roof."

And while you're mulling that over, consider that this took place in 1912: A time when 1% of women - 1 in 100 - still died in childbirth in the U.S. (Roughly 100x as many as today's rate of 11 in 100,000).  And Condoms and Diaphragms? The only existing forms of contraception, which had been around for thousands of years in one form or another? WERE ILLEGAL. And they remained illegal until Sanger "won" a court battle in 1918, appealing her 1917 Conviction for disseminating information (!) about birth control. I say "won" because her Conviction was upheld (!!) but the court issued a ruling that finally allowed Doctors to prescribe contraception.

Think about that.  So strong was the movement AGAINST this basic tenet of Woman's Right's that it took a COURT CASE to allow even DOCTOR'S to prescribe it!  (Meaning that, even in the case of LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL NEED, they had previously been barred from doing so!)

Remember: "Tell Jake to sleep on the roof."

That was their answer.  That was society's answer. 

And before anyone tries to explain to this humble blogger that the modern Conservative movement has nothing against Contraception (as long as teenagers never get a hold it, anyway *facepalm*, *shakes head*) and only one modern Church (the bass-ackwards and psychotic Catholic Church, which I am sorry to say I was raised in) opposes it's use, remember that I said that it was not ONLY about abortion.  Just as the modern (Republican) church opposes abortion, who do you think it was that lead the crusade against contraception before and at the turn of the century?

Why, who else? That great bastion of Conservatism, the MOTHERFUCKING CHURCH!  (Who, at the time, also considered it a sin for a wife not to avail herself to the sexual advances of her lawful husband, don't forget!)

Remember: "Tell Jake to sleep on the roof."

And in case you are wondering? There IS more to the story, and it does not end well...

The telephone rang one evening three months later, and Jake Sachs' agitated voice begged me to come at once; his wife was sick again and from the same cause. For a wild moment I thought of sending someone else, but actually, of course, I hurried into my uniform, caught up my bag, and started out. All the way I longed for a subway wreck, an explosion, anything to keep me from having to enter that home again. But nothing happened, even to delay me. I turned into the dingy doorway and climbed the familiar stairs once more. The children were there, young little things.

Mrs. Sachs was in a coma and died within ten minutes. I folded,her still hands across her breast, remembering how they had pleaded with me, begging so humbly for the knowledge which was her right. I drew a sheet over her pallid face. Jake was sobbing, running his hands through his hair and pulling it out like an insane person. Over and over again he wailed, "My God! My God! My God!"

So let me rephrase the sentiment that I was trying to express in my lats post:

At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past.

Or, to put in a less artificially politically-neutral way:
At every crossroads on the path that leads to the social progress, tradition has placed 10,000 Conservatives to hinder it.

And remember the statement on the Bumper sticker that led to the whole rant:

Evil flourishes when good men doing nothing.

Well... If anyone still has issues with my labelling of "Reproductive Freedom" as a great and defensible milestone of profound social progress, or for that matter any of you Right Wing Pricks who would spread all manner of lies about Planned Parenthood, and even Sanger herself, just to score cheap political points from the abortion (*see below) issue, please, by all means, come on over here a second so I CAN HIT YOU IN THE HEAD WITH A BRICK!

Do you see what's been written on the back of it?

"Tell Jake to sleep on the roof."

(And... uh... I think I also wrote "Fuck You" on the other side...)


*It is worth noting that Sanger herself was opposed to abortion:

...we explained simply what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way — no matter how early it was performed it was taking a life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way — it took a little time, a little trouble, but was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, in An Autobiography, 1938

So, really, all you people who are out there (on the 'Net, or in the Media) lying about Sanger?
I've got a brick here with your name on one of the remaining sides!

More on Margret SangerMore. And more.


  1. Well done, Eddie. I read just a few months ago about a 10 year old Brazilian girl, raped by her father, who conceived. She was too small to survive a pregnancy, so a nurse in a Catholic hospital (actually a nun, I believe) performed an early abortion. The local bishop excommunicated her.
    William F. Buckley would agree with your characterization of the 10,000. He once described a Conservative as, "One who stands athwart the path of history, crying "STOP!"
    I'm not sure, actually, whether he said "history" or "progress," but I know he said "athwart."

  2. If we cared, those of us against abortion, we would do all we could to first prevent pregnancy and then to lovingly and selflessly help a woman to choose life. It is the hypocrisy of the right that sticks so in my throat for, although I agree that abortion is morally reprehensible, I think that we need to work with those who are pro choice to do the best that we can to minimize it. We should provide education, real sex education to children. We should provide birth control and we should provide adoption alternatives that do not stigmatize the mothers. I truly believe that partial birth abortion should never be performed. It is a gruesome, bloody, disgusting procedure and since the child is actually delivered it cannot be argued that it is performed to save the life of the mother. The right has staked out ground far to the right of this but the left in turn has staked out ground far to the left refusing even to compromise on partial birth...the one thing we should all agree on. It is heartbreaking to me. I straddle a divide between my liberal companeros and my religious convictions. To be honest my left wing friends are far more insulting and emotional about my abortion stance than any of my conservative friends are about any of my left wing opinions. It is like my conservative friends honor me for my abortion stance even though disagreeing with me on most other issues but my liberal friends will accuse me of drinking the kool aid and being ignorant and hating women and to hell with my support of social issues or my 40 years of voting Democratic. I really have had the crap kicked out of me for being pro life. No one cares that I am for sex education, contraception or humane and supportive help for potential mothers. I mean in all honesty I think Republicans are a bunch of asses but they have never treated me like a leper for my views the way the left has. We need to tone down the harsh rhetoric. I love all y'all liberals but you can be pretty mean to me! LOL!

  3. @Conchobhar - I remember that case. That Bishop deserved to be stoned for that. It made me sick. IIRC, Bob Carroll's "What's the harm" section of skepdic.com highlighted that one. As for the quote... I couldn't find an attribute for the original version, so I may have well just been misquoting Buckley. I like my more partisan alternative better though. LOL

    @Jlarue - First: I agree with you 100%. (How often do you hear THAT with abortion?) At least, I agree with you POST, so assuming you stated your position fully and I interpreted it correctly, anyway. But I can't actually reply adequately in the comments, so... my next post!!!

    Thanks for your comments!

  4. Don't make it sound as if this is some sort of ancient concern, Eddie. It's definitely an ongoing issue. One could get the impression from your blog, for example, that the birth-control issue was settled in 1918. Actually, the Supreme Court only got around to sweeping away state laws against birth control in 1965 (Griswold v. Connecticut). The latest fascist scam (to call it for what it is) are the "personhood" amendments being introduced in various states. The latest is in Mississippi, and it would define a "person" as "every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof." Among other things, this would ban IUDs and birth-control pills (used by practically everyone at some point), and set up a legal framework wherein authorities could be required to launch a murder investigation upon every suspected use of them, and of every reported miscarriage. It would, in effect, make in vitro fertilization illegal. And Mississippi will pass this amendment.