Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #056: Oh, Yeah. It’s For The Children. Sure.

Damn near every time the self-appointed, self-righteous so-called morality mavens are opposed to some significant change in our social structure, they proclaim they’re stopping it “for the children.” If you oppose their efforts, therefore, you must hate children and unless you’re W.C. Fields that means you are evil.

To this, I loudly and profoundly call bullshit. Little kids who can barely read have been marching around carrying placards saying, “I’m sure glad my mother didn’t abort me!” for so long they’re putting those signs in the hands of their own little kids.

Yeah, sure. It’s okay to traumatize little kids in the name of shoving your religion down some stranger’s throat, because telling little kids that people who do not share their parents’ worldview are evil is good and appropriate.

Every time I hear some hysterical loser hide their agendas in unknown babies’ diapers, my Spidey-Sense goes off like a foghorn in an old British movie. They might have a decent premise somewhere in their argument, but when you stop to think about it – if you do stop to think about it – they pull the rug out from under their own argument by implying causation links that do not exist.

Let’s take smoking tobacco, which is a regular target of such activity. On the face of it, I agree with the concept of not smoking and the immorality of encouraging people to smoke tobacco. I tried my one and only cigarette shortly after my Bar Mitzvah, so my ox isn’t being gored here. But smoking tobacco in acceptable non-public venues is completely legal and if it doesn’t significantly inconvenience others that is their right.

If you want to think less of them for smoking, fine. There are plenty of impolitely judgmental folks out there, so you are not alone. But that doesn’t make you right, and that doesn’t mean you are something other than an asshole who likes to force people to march to their own tune.

I’m a baby boomer and about three-quarters of everybody with whom I went to school smoked tobacco at one time or another, and usually prior to their turning 18 … or 21; your state mileage may vary. I’d say that today over 90% of these people have stopped doing that. The tobacco industry always has marketed their wares to kids. Baseball cards were created to entice kids to sample their products.

Even today, two-thirds of a century after the surgeon general’s report, many parents smoke in their homes and their cars – in the latter case, after strapping their youngest into backwards-facing safety seats in order to protect their health. Yeah, irony. Gotta love it.

Now we’ve got flavored tobacco in vape cartridges, and damn near every non-tobacco producing state is tripping over their peers to ban the stuff. Well, marketing St. Joseph’s Orange-Flavored Tobacco For Children wouldn’t sell me because I think the base element sucks. Hell, I wouldn’t even try barbecue-flavored vape pens. But as our traditional conservative friends (sadly, this is no longer a redundancy) would say, these new laws are completely unnecessary.

And they’d be right. It already is illegal for an underaged human to buy nicotine products. It already is illegal for retailers to sell nicotine products to underaged humans. Still another law isn’t going to stop kids from smoking tobacco, and we’ve got at least 143 years of marketing history to prove that. There is no reason to restrict the choices of smokers of legal age.

Do you smoke menthol? Sorry, under these proposed laws you’re shit out of luck. The internet tells me (so it must be true) that people of color are the major market for menthol cigarettes, and back when billboard advertising of that stuff was acceptable most neighborhoods of color contained an abundance of such promotion. So… is this still another means to shit on minorities?

Think about that before you jerk your knee.

18 thoughts on “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #056: Oh, Yeah. It’s For The Children. Sure.

  1. “The internet tells me (so it must be true) that people of color are the major market for menthol cigarettes, and back when billboard advertising of that stuff was acceptable most neighborhoods of color contained an abundance of such promotion. So… is this still another means to shit on minorities?”

    If it is, so is this:

    Most Planned Parenthood facilities are in minority neighborhoods. 36.0% of all abortions in the U.S. in 2014 were performed on Black women, however, only about 13.3% of the total population is Black, so Blacks are being disproportionately aborted. Kind of a bigger issue than smoking.


  2. Well, George, as you know you and I are never going to agree on abortion, and most people seem to be pretty well dug in on this issue. There are reasons why the proportion of black woman seeking abortions may be twice as high as white women (you don’t site your source) is because it’s far easier for, on average, white women to afford and get birth control than it is for black women. Similarly, you don’t site a source for the locations of Planned Parenthood clinics — their headquarters is in what is now a very high rent neighborhood that is pretty well integrated. I don’t know if your statistic only reflects PPP clinics (it seems that way from your context) or if hospital abortions are included in your numberor even if hospitals are compelled to report these numbers. Certainly, white women have greater access to private hospitals than black women, by and large. PPP tends to establish clinics where they are most needed, when they are not blocked by zealots.

    But comparing abortion statistics to smoking statistics is a wonderful example of apples and oranges. I don’t think the folks at Viacom billboards used to think “oh, shit, we can’t advertise menthol cigarettes any more so let’s go sell us some abortions.” They are two completely different things (do black smokers have more abortions then white smokers — and, if so, what’s the difference anyway. However, I did ask — emphasis added here — “is this STILL another means to shit on minorities?”

    And, as you know, there are many other minorities than just black people. According to the most recent statistics I could find from H.H.S., women of fetus-bearing age who are capable of bearing fetuses are indeed a “minority.” If you do not belong to at least one or two minorities, you probably aren’t an American.

  3. OK, some sources:
    https://www.guttmacher.org/infographic/2017/abortion-rates-race-and-ethnicity

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/planned-parenthood-minority-targeting-goes-into-overdrive
    “Minority groups have complained for decades that Planned Parenthood has been targeting their communities, and Life Issues Institute’s research substantiated that claim with clear evidence. Unfortunately, the effect of these abortion facilities in minority neighborhoods has been both cultural and lasting.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/01/planned-parenthoods-annual-report-disproves-its-own-lies/
    “Planned Parenthood president, Cecile Richards, has inadvertently underscored the group’s repeated attempts to downplay its commitment to abortion. Richards met with Ivanka Trump last year to discuss the group’s future, and Trump suggested that Planned Parenthood split into two financially distinct groups, one of which offered no abortion, allowing it to receive government money without compromising taxpayers’ consciences. Richards refused, calling it naïve and saying that Trump failed to understand how central abortion is to Planned Parenthood’s mission.”

    And finally. I find it discouraging that you say. ” it’s far easier for, on average, white women to afford and get birth control than it is for black women.” If affordability is the issue, how much more does an abortion cost than birth control?

    1. Well, I neither endorse your sources nor to I believe in their impartiality, and they’re pretty dated. But I said we were unlikely to agree on abortion; you don’t want it safe and legal, and I do. So there.

      And, as for your final statement, I understand why you’re discouraged but it is quite possible for disadvantaged women to get a low-cost or even free abortion, while birth control is pretty expensive when it’s not covered by the same people who cover boner bills.

    2. George getting an abortion means needing a certain amount of money at a specific time, which anyone on a budget will tell you can be a crisis. Think about being on fixed income and you suddenly need new brakes
      So even if a woman spends only a little more than $200 over the year for her birth control it’s usually a monthly or quarterly expense that can be planned for. Abortions for the most part are for unplanned pregnancies so assuming that a person can come up with both the time and money required is the problem. I messed up taking my birth control and found myself pregnant. So there was a month where I had to pay for both my regular monthly birth control pills AND a medical abortion. Not every woman, of any race, can just come up with any extra amount of money in a few days.

      As for PP being in “black” neighborhoods perhaps we should look at this as a two fold issue: they are servicing an under-serviced community. Middle Class and up women tend to have and go to their regular ob/gyn for the services PP provides. But also how easy do you think it is to get the approval to put a PP clinic in a swankier neighborhood? NIMBY comes into play and being a nonprofit means you have to put your clinic in a an area where you can afford to run said clinic. Oddly the rents are often cheaper on the darker side of town…

    3. George you don’t have a uterus so your opinion on abortions is really moot. Should I get a say on what you do with your body?? I don’t know why on an article about a stupid e-cig ban & the marketing of tobacco to children, you turn it into an abortion debate.
      The whataboutism is ridiculous.
      Please stop it.
      I’m saying this in my official capacity.

      1. A line in the movie “Unplanned” was. “Non-profit is a tax status, not a business model.”

        Planned Parenthood’s annual report lists their assets at 1.8 billion dollars and their profits at 1.3 billion dollars.

        These numbers come from Planned Parenthoods 2016 Annual Report.

        My lack of a uterus does not mitigate my right to an opinion about the sanctity of life.
        Besides, many people with uteruses are Pro-Life, so their opinion cannot be moot.

        And Mike opened the door about abortion in his second paragraph.

        1. And I will engage with the women who don’t want me to have antinomy over my body I will not put up with it from a man. Full stop.

            1. “Full stop” is a nautical reference; it means bring this big wet sucker to a halt. I would never, ever speak for HBIC, but I believe she was speaking only for herself.

              To me — and I’m not telling you what to do here — we’ve entered the Infinite Loop of the abortion discussion. Sides come onto the field with both feet firmly planted and, as much as I hate to admit it because I loves me a good argument, after all these years I have yet to see any middle ground. That’s valid, albeit regretful.

              Now… about global warming…

            2. “And I will engage with the women who don’t want me to have antinomy over my body I will not put up with it from a man.”

              I can only say that Adriane is lucky that Pro-Life women have more important things to do than read this website.

              1. No one makes you read it either George. Your opinion has been made very clear. I still maintain you are entitled to said opinion but not my engagement with you nor do I have to give it any weight whatsoever.
                I also don’t have to entertain your opinion on my website at all if I don’t want to. I make the rules here, you can abide by them or you can be made unable to comment at all. The choice is yours. I’ve told you to stop with the abortion commenting, please do so go forward. I really don’t appreciate the veiled threats.

                Between your constant dragging the same dead horse out for no other reason than to share your opinion with people you are very well aware will not be swayed by your opinions any more than you will be swayed by ours AND your admiration of Comicsgate & Richard Meyer I think I can say with very little doubt: POP CULTURE SQYAD IS NOT FOR YOU GEORGE. Just accept it and stop trying to be the lone voice of conservative subversion here. All you’re doing is making me dread seeing your name in my alerts.

                1. Veiled threats? I don’t know how you’ve been threatened, unlike “you can be made unable to comment at all.”

                  I understand that I am not going to change your mind or Mike’s, but not everyone who reads this column comments. It is possible that my points may never have been considered by some unknown reader and they will have a change of heart. That’s enough for me.

                  And while I may be the “lone voice of conservative subversion” (Ha! Interesting perspective.), there are others. They just don’t need the grief. As for Pop Culture Squad not being for me, I followed Mike here from Michael Davis World, where I had similar debates with Martha Thomases and Mindy Newell. They didn’t like my opinions either but I was never threatened with censorship there.

                  1. Veiled threat of how “lucky” I am your female pro-birth maniacs don’t read my website. Like if they knew they’d be here raging me & my views and my website into digital dust or something?

                    Neither Mindy nor Martha ran the website you mentioned, there’s the rub. I control the content and tenure of this site. Just because you could pull this crap elsewhere where Mike had a column doesn’t mean you are entitled to it here.
                    And it is not censorship. I’m not preventing you from spewing your shit anywhere but here. You want to get your ridiculously archaic and sexist views out to a wider audience? Start your own frigging website. Share the article on Facebook or whatever hatespace you subscribe and whinge to your heart’s delight.

                    I’m all for discourse that can be productive. You do not provide that, you shill for comicsgate and the pro-birth agenda. You propagate dubious sourced information. You think you’re possibly providing some sort view a fellow reader may not have encountered? Why are you so important that you feel the need to educate these invisible hordes? I’m pretty sure it has a shit-ton to do with your white male privilege. Especially since, in the case of this post in particular, you pull the focus of the post to what YOU want to rage about. You don’t actually converse, you bombard with “what about, what about what about?” and dance from point to point. Jesus fucking Christ I was actually expecting you to drag Margaret Sanger’s eugenics loving corpse out to try and prove the opinion that you didn’t have the actual balls to straight up say with your “why are PP clinics in black & brown & poor neighborhoods?” innuendo of bullshit.

                    You are in MY house. Sit down and be quiet for a little bit. Actually digest something without acting on your desire to interject. Just because you WANT to comment doesn’t always mean you should.

                    I’m not having it here. I asked you stop.
                    You’re making it clear you won’t.

                    So what are my options as Editor in Chief and Publisher of Pop Culture Squad?
                    I can halt all commenting sitewide but since I’m trying to foster productive and positive conversations that would be a dumb move.
                    I can tell my writers not make even the slightest reference to abortion, but that’s of no interest to me as I am passionate about women maintaining autonomy over their bodies and lives.
                    I can cancel WSITGM, but benevolent self-interest tells me that’s a shit idea that might make family dinners awkward. Besides that is kind of tossing the baby with the bath water.
                    I can ask you to cut the shit and let everything continue as it has for the last 15 months hoping you actually might honor my request. You have made it clear you won’t as you continue to reply after my repeated requests to please stop.
                    So the easy math is to simply remove the burr in my side is it not? So going forward you’re no longer white-listed, your comments will have to be manually approved by staff.

                    1. Ms. Nash.
                      I have no expectation that this will be posted but perhaps you will read it and that is enough.

                      I can assure you I intended no threat, veiled or otherwise, with my comment about you being lucky that no Pro-Life women read this website.

                      You wrote, “Veiled threat of how ‘lucky’ I am your female pro-birth maniacs don’t read my website. Like if they knew they’d be here raging me & my views and my website into digital dust or something?”

                      Exactly! There was no way that was going to happen. You said you would engage with women but not with me. You clearly do not want to engage with Pro-Life women so my point was that you wouldn’t have to, and that was lucky because it would be annoying.

                      Your original objection to my post, about bringing up abortion in a column that was about e-cigarettes, i admit, has some merit. I am very Pro-Life for a variety of personal reasons. Mike used an example of little kids with placards saying “I’m sure glad my mother didn’t abort me!” It seemed to be an unnecessary example, so I was compelled to comment. Things escalated from there.

                      Back when Steve Ditko died, Mike wrote about his interactions with the artist, (July 6, 2018), who was known to have political views that were very strident. Mike said, “Like I said: we didn’t talk politics.”

                      I replied, “Many is the time I wished I hadn’t talked politics. But silence is acceptance and sometimes I can’t be silent. It’s a curse.”

                      I was indirectly referring to all the debates I was part of at Michael Davis World. I like to think Mike got that. So since I think silence is acceptance, I decided to comment. Like I said, it’s a curse.

                      You mentioned that I admired Richard Meyer. I have brought him up twice in posts at Pop Culture Squad. Did you have to research that or were those posts automatically red-flagged? Both of those posts were pointing out that Meyer and Mike were in agreement. One was a review of “Man and Superman” by Marv Wolfman and the other was about the difference between Marvel and Warners movie-making decisions. Mike wrote: “Warner Bros, check this out. Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige has a game plan that is completely based upon knowledge and respect for what has made Marvel Comics work. It’s not a secret; indeed, it is so blatant that Stevie Wonder could see it while still wearing his gloves.”

                      I responded with something Meyer said that was very similar.

                      “Regarding your comparison of the DC and Marvel movie universes, I was reminded of this comment from Richard Meyer:

                      “ ‘Marvel Studios has Kevin Feige. Kevin Feige plans things out like Norman Schwarzkopf. They have plans five,,, six years out. And then there’s Warner Brothers, who jumps out of an airplane and then gets on their phone and orders a parachute from Amazon.’ ”


                      I find it funny that you think my posting, “has a shit-ton to do with your white male privilege.” Yes, I am white and male. That doesn’t automatically translate to privilege. I grew up on a hog farm in rural Missouri. My childhood was spent baling hay, picking strawberries, feeding the pigs and shoveling out the pig pen. Not too glamorous.

                      I see you have listed , “What We Believe” in an Overdue Introductions post, that I suspect was prompted by this thread. You may be amused to learn that I agree with 13 of the positions listed. Hey, that’s more than 50%!

                      Sincerely.
                      George Haberberger

                    2. And just like that you proved you don’t know what white male privilege even means.
                      It doesn’t mean you didn’t have difficulties in your life it means your race, your gender or your orientation were not ADDITIONAL burdens. It means you had social advantages just by being male and white.

                      You have no clue what I want or do not want; what I can and cannot handle. Hence you were making a threat- that I couldn’t handle taking on your pro-birth hags if they were to appear here. Like I don’t take them on in other forums. Just because they’re not here trying to pull the shit you pull doesn’t mean I’m cowering here in this corner of the internet trying to stay out of their way.

                      You behavior on another website holds zero bearing in how I wish for you to behave here. It holds no bearing how I will allow you to behave here.
                      You have mentioned Meyer more than twice, yes I fucking checked. You twice dropped links to his YouTube shit & that galls me but I let it stand.

                      I have this website and all it’s guts at my fingertips almost 24/7. You don’t have to cite yourself like I don’t know or couldn’t check. You’re so self absorbed you repeatedly quoted yourself and yet you couldn’t even bother to get the name of MY column right and instead pulled a title from a graphic that ran with it.
                      You know what the NORMAL reaction to thinking a writer went too far with his imagery is? To comment that you thought that was a little bit of a fucking stretch not to drag out your favorite dead horse and beat it while insisting we answer your whataboutisms.

                      Can you do me a favor and focus on the 13 tenets that you can get behind for a while? Because something tells me the ones you have a problem with are the really important ones. Or we can go the I pull your ability to comment. Ok?

  4. ”Hence you were making a threat- that I couldn’t handle taking on your pro-birth hags if they were to appear here.”

    Uhhh… no. I was not implying you couldn’t handle it. I’m sure you could. I was saying you didn’t have to handle it, that it would be something you’d rather not deal with. Just like me.

Thoughts?