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August 12, 2002
So, What's on Your Bumper?

I saw a bumper sticker this weekend that you've probably seen before:

"If you are against abortion, don't have one."

This brought to mind some alternatives that rely on the same logic:

"If you are against slavery, don't own one."
"If you are against rape, don't do it."
"If you are against concentration camps, don't live in one."

I wrote an op-ed years ago discussing the mentality on display here, which I called "visceral liberalism." It relies on simplistic reasoning in the service of one's tribal instincts: if you don't like gun violence, ban guns. If you feel bad for the poor, raise the minimum wage.

The fact that the world is filled with complexity, and therefore unanticipated consequences, is not a hindrance to the visceral liberal -- unintended consequences represent merely more opportunities to improve the world. It's what annoying business guys in red suspenders call "a win-win."

The culmination of visceral liberalism is the bumper sticker; it's no coincidence that the left has all the best slogans (along with most of the singers and actors -- people who emote rather than think). Of course there is visceral conservatism, and visceral libertarians as well. Despite these potential competitors, however, the left retains a monopoly on the catchy bumper sticker market.

With this in mind, I think we need to develop some bumper stickers that play off the lefty slogans that have proven especially popular. We right-thinking people can't fit our own philosophies into slogans, but we can certainly raise the blood pressure of our ideological antagonists in just a few words (and honestly, isn't that more fun than winning them over?).

Here are some samples of what I've come up with so far:

Meat is Murder, But The Animals Have It Coming

Visualize World Peace Visualize World Domination

Practice Random Acts of Kindness... Practice Random Acts of Violence and Senseless Acts of Cruelty

Celebrate Diversity Celebrate Monotheistic Intolerance

Bikes / Cars: Same Roads, Same Laws Let the Laws of Physics Decide Who Gets the Roads

Subvert the dominant paradigm Dominate the subversive parasite

Property is theft Property may be theft, but I'm packing a loaded .357 and I lust commie blood.

End racism. And while you're at it, make me ten years younger and 40 pounds lighter.

The Right Is Wrong, But They Have The Hottest Chicks

It Will Be A Great Day When Our Schools Get All The Money They Need and The Air Force Has to Hold a Bake Sale To Buy A Bomber It Will Be A Great Day When The Air Force Bombs Our Schools

Think Globally - Act Locally - Be the Self-Righteous Pedant Everyone Avoids at Parties

And while we're on the subject of bumper stickers, I suppose you've seen the ones many schools hand out to parents, of the "My child is an honor student at . . ." variety. You've probably also seen the response sticker: "My child beat up your honor student." Funny, yes, but if you're like me you have a secret desire to see the car bearing such a sticker get creamed by a semi at the intersection.

Now I'm noticing a new response sticker diffusing among the population, which goes something like this: "ALL children are honored at Fulston Middle School." If you close your eyes and let that sentence kick around in your head, you can conjure up the voice of the person speaking it. So very earnest, so very full of indignant egalitarian righteousness.

Fortunately, though the implied tone of the bumper sticker is irritating, it serves the purpose of truthful advertising. It might as well read: "Fulston Middle School: Where Your Little Darling Will Be Free From Standards."

And that is, ultimately, the beauty of the bumper sticker. No matter what it says, in one way or another it reveals a truth, either about the world, its owner, or both.

Posted by Woodlief on August 12, 2002 at 02:00 PM


Hey, we need more than that! My Gas-chugging, exhaust-spewing SUV could hold at least twice that many stickers on Its bumper. (Which is of course conveniently placed at a height to decapitate Geo Metro drivers.)

A few meager suggestions for more...

Biodiversity through Genetic Engineering!

Former fetus on board!

Proud member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy!

Posted by: Tony Hooker at August 12, 2002 3:57 PM

Hey, this is fun! How about "The reason I'm driving so funny is because I'm hungry and looking for a deer in a crossing."?

Posted by: Charles Mitchell at August 12, 2002 5:18 PM

All the children at Fulston Middle School are above average.

Posted by: Dean Douthat at August 12, 2002 5:34 PM

Why not try to come up with multi-aspect bumper stickers? Like: Nuke the Commie Gay Whales for Jesus!

Posted by: Rick W. at August 12, 2002 7:06 PM

Dominate the subversive parasite.

This one, you should pardon the word, rocks! May I use it?

My Fave "alternative" bumper sticker was placed on a lot of SUVs in San Francisco without the owners' support. I'm changing global weather patterns: ask me how. Of course, it's silly, simplistic and abusive, but what do you expect of absentee slogans?

Posted by: Huw at August 12, 2002 9:00 PM

Your first is pretty good, but reminds me of an even better one I've seen (quoted from memory):

"If God didn't want us to eat animals, He wouldn't have made them out of meat."

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at August 12, 2002 9:13 PM

Guns is funs.

That way, they can get upset about your politics and your grammar.

Posted by: hbchrist at August 12, 2002 9:50 PM

This isn't really rightwing, but meat _is_ kind of involved: "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup." Hmmm...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 12, 2002 10:04 PM

That's not mine, by the way -- I saw it on a car.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 12, 2002 10:05 PM

Alright, I've gone ahead and added a category on my blog just for the posts that are inspired by the things you discuss here. It's going to ruin the whole dumb girl blogger image I was cultivating, but what the hell. ;)

Posted by: Cis at August 12, 2002 11:14 PM

If you don't like guns, don't buy one.

Posted by: Timekeeper at August 13, 2002 12:12 AM

If I add to the mix...

Ted Kennedy Killed More People With His Car Than I Have With My Handgun

Gun Control: Simple Solutions For Simple Minds

It's The Criminals - Stupid

Help Criminals - Ban Guns

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Democrats

Posted by: Brent at August 13, 2002 12:36 AM

It's obsolete now, but I always liked "55: It's not a good idea, it's just the law".

It was not only funny (and true), but you could actually make one with a little (physical) cut-n-paste.

Posted by: John "Akatsukami" Braue at August 13, 2002 1:15 AM

I've always loved tee-shirts and bumper stickers. One that I read and have loved is neither. It was from an article in Heterodoxy and in anti-Rousseau-ian fashion said, "Flowers, born free, everywhere are potted."
This bumper sticker I used to see in Juneau Ak (prob an elementary school teacher) said, "Imagination is greater than knowledge." To which I always muttered, "Do you KNOW that to be true or do you merely IMAGINE it."
This was not a tee-shirt or bumper sticker but was really funny. I worked at a correctional institution and it was the superintendents idea to improve cleanliness that he would inspect the living quarters each Friday. That dorm found to be the cleanest was given pastries from downtown. One wag made a sign and posted it on the booking window which read: "My son won donuts of the week at _____ correctional center," It wasn,t posted for long.

Posted by: tom scott at August 13, 2002 1:17 AM

On my SUV...

Visualize No Liberals / Ted Kennedy's Car has killed more people than my gun / Fight Crime Shoot Back / Rush is Right / Hanoi-release our POW's / Hanoi Jane Urinal Target (has a likeness of Hanoi Jane with hammer and sicle tatoo on her cheek in a target - yes, I have used it) / Annoy a Liberal - Work hard, Be happy / The opposite of PROgress is CONgress / Stop Global Whining


My SUV pollutes less than your sports car / UAV - Urban Assault Vehicle, get out of my way whiner / When it absolutely has to be destroyed overnight, vote for a Demoncrat / If you aren't liberal when you're young you have no heart - If you aren't conservative when you mature, you have no brain /

Posted by: Mario at August 13, 2002 1:43 AM

Fred Flintstone's SUV killed the Dinosaurs
It is called Right for a good reason folks
You are either right wing or chicken wing

Posted by: Mario at August 13, 2002 1:47 AM

"Hanoi Jane Urinal Target (has a likeness of Hanoi Jane with hammer and sicle tatoo on her cheek in a target - yes, I have used it)"

Did you just say you've peed on your car? Ewww.

Posted by: Cis at August 13, 2002 2:07 AM

An actual bumpersticker:

Visualize Whirled Peas

Posted by: Bill Woods at August 13, 2002 3:21 AM

This wouldn't be complete without:

"No cukes. Give peas a chance."

Posted by: David Perron at August 13, 2002 6:32 AM

"Save the Cows, Eat A Vegetarian"
"I'm Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe"
"Earth First! We'll Fuck Up the Other Planets Later!"

I have about two dozen more on my old car but I don't remember all of them...

Posted by: Dave Worley at August 13, 2002 8:32 AM


I know you and I differ on the substantive question of the moral permissibility of abortion. But set that aside. Here I'd only like to point out a misstep in the logic of your criticism. (But I can't take full credit for noticing this; my better half spotted this and was ranting about it. She's preoccupied with our pet rhinoceros, though, and so cannot come to the computer now.)

"If you are against abortion, don't have one."

Is the original slogan.

You reply:

"This brought to mind some alternatives that rely on the same logic:

"'If you are against slavery, don't own one.'"

So far so good. This is analogous on the supposition that slavery is just as much a violation of human rights as abortion is. Of course, the original slogan begged important moral questions, and this retort begs questions in the other direction. But that's not my gripe; a slogan isn't an argument, and you agree.

"If you are against rape, don't do it."

Ditto. This works only on the supposition that rape is analogous to abortion. Still (logically) on a par with the original.

"If you are against concentration camps, don't live in one."

But this doesn't work. The original slogan was an admonition not to *perform* a seemingly objectionable action. This slogan is an admonition not to be put in a position of victimization (i.e., not to be the one on whom the action is performed).

What you want is:

"If you are against concentration camps, don't build one."


"If you are against concentration camps, don't work in one."

But there's another problem, and it moves beyond the logical point into the substantive merits of the analogy. This reformulated slogan speaks of a program of deliberate, massive slaughter of a target population. Abortion, even if it is impermissible, doesn't have that ideological and political dimension. Rarely do women have abortions to make political statements or as part of a concerted effort to wipe out an entire race of persons. More often, I'd suppose, women have abortions after much painstaking, considered reflection during an especially difficult time in their lives. And so even this reformulated slogan ultimately fails to be a good analogue for substantive reasons. Notice that the "considered reflection" doesn't suffice to justify abortion; it merely points out a difference between abortion and genocide. Both might still be unjustified.

Some feminist philosophers regard rape as a terrorist institution. I'm not sure about this; for now I'll suppose it's false. So take the rape slogan. To capture a proper substantive analogue, what you'd want is something like this:

"If you don't like rape, then--after much emotional turmoil, and after much considered reflection on the merits of performing a potentially dangerous rape, and after due consideration of whether the failure to rape will lead to at least nine months of demands on your time, health, and money in ways that may unjustifiably impair your ability to care for yourself and for those who depend upon you--then do not rape someone."

That slogan is both substantively and logically analogous to the original abortion slogan. But you'd need a big sticker.

Doubtless many folks have abortions for reasons we'd consider impetuous to the point of vice. Even defenders of abortion rights grant that. But rights protect the space to make occasionally vicious decisions. Of course there's the crucial question as to whether a fetus has rights, and how those figure against the rights of the mother. But to sort all this out, we'd have to move away from bumper stickers and start doing ethics, and I suspect we'd both welcome that shift.

Andrew Cohen

Posted by: Andrew Cohen at August 13, 2002 9:30 AM

I think the concentration camp is valid as stated because the women who have abortions are victims.

Society puts this terrible "choice" into our hands. Pro-abortionists, who would never have one themselves or allow their daughters to have one, encourage us to have abortions without a thought to the psychological, emotional and often physical repercussions.

With smoke and mirrors and propaganda slogans about "choice", abortionists selfishly lead women to their concentration camp. They call it a paradise free from guilt and responsibility; and most wonderful of all, we only have to kill our own child to buy admittance.

But then, I'm probably missing the point. The question of abortion, of women's rights and children's lives is as always, just a semantic one and reducing it to a bumper sticker (no matter which side of the argument you are on) is so very clever.

Posted by: Cis at August 13, 2002 9:47 AM

Erm, sorry Andrew, that came out a tad more bitter than I intended. I'm afraid you hit a nerve I hadn't realized was still so raw until I started to post.

I did read and find interesting your comment, despite the tone of my own quickly written response.

Posted by: Cis at August 13, 2002 9:49 AM

You say:
"Abortion, even if it is impermissible, doesn't have that ideological and political dimension. Rarely do women have abortions to make political statements or as part of a concerted effort to wipe out an entire race of persons. More often, I'd suppose, women have abortions after much painstaking, considered reflection during an especially difficult time in their lives."

Hmmm. How about the women who have abortions because someone *coerced* them? See http://www.washtimes.com/metro/20020813-96501784.htm for ONE example. There are oodles more, especially if you go talk to the victims of the ChiComs' "One Family, One Child" policy.

Posted by: Roy Jacobsen at August 13, 2002 9:53 AM

In the neighborhood just over the freeway, there is a car with a bumper sticker on it that says "War is Terrorism". As the Timekeeper could attest, this is par for the course for Seattle. Nevertheless, I keep trying to think of something to do to these brainless twits. All I have come up with so far is

(1)Sit outside their house blasting "The Angry American" on my car stereo but eventually that would get on my nerves or
(2) Paste the word "peace" over "terrorism" and see if anybody gets it.

Posted by: Carol at August 13, 2002 9:55 AM

"Practice Random Acts of Kindness... "

Practice Random Acts of Intelligence and Unpredictable Acts of Logic

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at August 13, 2002 10:38 AM

Saw a homemade billboard while driving across MO to St Louis last wknd which could be generalized as follows:


Posted by: Jay Manifold at August 13, 2002 11:03 AM

"Vegetables Aren't Food--Vegetables Are What Food Eats."

And my favorites:

"Dyslexics Untie!"

"If You're Not Part Of The Solution, You're Part Of The Precipitate." (Old chemistry joke)

Posted by: Rand Simberg at August 13, 2002 11:03 AM

On a friend's vehicle.

"Reunite Gondwanaland"

He's a geologist.

Posted by: Joe Wood at August 13, 2002 11:13 AM

My favorite was one I saw in 1982.

I live in in Texas, and at that time there were a number of companies relocating from the NorthEast.

Needless to say, there was a bit of culture clash going on.

The bumper sticker that caught my eye was 'We don't care how you done it up North'

Posted by: aelfheld at August 13, 2002 11:14 AM

To borrow from Florence King (this is a Rebel bumper sticker): 'If at first you don't secede, try, try again'

Posted by: aelfheld at August 13, 2002 11:16 AM

Last suggestion: 'Eschew obfuscation'

Posted by: aelfheld at August 13, 2002 11:22 AM


Thoughtful, as always. I like both of your concentration camp alternatives to my own, but I don't think my formulation rises to the level of a logical error (which I don't think you implied), but merely a break in form.

I'm afraid I disagree with your reasoning on the second point. Let's go with your definition of a concentration camp as "a program of deliberate, massive slaughter of a target population," which I think captures my original point. Now, suppose this program were not a concentration camp, but instead a process of individual terrorization of a target population, like the pogroms, only less organized. It would still hold closely enough, I suspect, to your characterization of the function of a concentration camp. It would also, I believe, hold closely to what I believe abortion amounts to: a program of deliberate, massive (albeit at the individual level, i.e., not largely coordinated) slaughter of a target population. We disagree, of course, about the rights held by the members of that target population, but that is, as you observe, as separate dispute.

Now, perhaps you are right that abortion in practice by mothers (as opposed to the abortionists and their supporters) doesn't have the ideological and political dimension of the concentration camp. But this doesn't seem to refute my analogy. Abortion doesn't have the racial dimension that slavery held either, but this is peripheral to the analogy, which is about the abuse of one group by a second, the members of which believe those in the first group have no rights worthy of recognition.

You argue further that an important difference between abortion and genocide is "considered reflection." You note that this in itself doesn't justify the former, but your taking note of it suggests that you believe it should be a mitigating factor. I disagree. Were we to learn that the perpetrators of genocide in the Third Reich, or the U.S.S.R., or Cambodia had engaged in considered reflection before taking up the knife, I don't think we would judge their actions one wit less reprehensible. Nor would their actions be less reprehensible if they had a long list of legitimate costs created for them by their victims. As proof, observe that nobody attacks the engineers of the Holocaust by arguing that Jews really weren't an unpatriotic economic burden on Germany, and that therefore the Nazis were unjustified. To do so is to imply that had they in fact been unpatriotic and an economic burden, killing them would have been justified. In short, I see no separate principle in either the considered reflection or the burden-justifies-termination arguments; both remain intimately related to the point of dispute, namely, whether the child in the womb has the right not to be traumatized and extracted after death.

Your note raises another interesting question for me. I realize that I have much compassion for a woman who aborts her child, but none have for the hypothetical thoughtful murderers discussed above. Perhaps this is because I know a woman who aborts her child must be either ignorant of what she is really doing, or operating under a firm conviction that it is right, while it is impossible to imagine a genocidal murderer coming to his conclusion to act with a conscience so clear. Or perhaps it is simply that the murderer kills others, while a woman who aborts kills her own flesh, which deserves the deepest pity.

Posted by: Tony at August 13, 2002 11:32 AM

Seen on an Ann Arbor liberal's car:

"Peace is Patriotic"

It's amazing how 3 little words would require volumes and volumes of unwinding of fallacious assumptions, disingenuous worldviews, and utter ignorance of history, until you just want to use it for Hanoi Jane-style target practice instead.

Posted by: Brian Jones at August 13, 2002 11:45 AM

Earth first: make Mars our bitch!

(from "King of the Hill")

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2002 11:55 AM

"Down with Gravity!"

Posted by: Patrick Phillips at August 13, 2002 11:57 AM


I stand corrected on two counts:

(a) Appealing to “considered reflection” for any women who choose abortion is indeed beside the point, for, as you note, murderers (in any uncontroversial sense of “murder”) can be quite considered in their deeds. Indeed, if an act is impermissible, considered reflection might only heighten its vice. (Hence greater penalties for first- over second-degree murders.)

(b) Appeals to costs and benefits before performing an act are beside the point if the contemplated act is impermissible. And so, we’d need to sort out whether the act really is impermissible (independently of the consequences), which requires doing ethics, which requires another discussion entirely, which, though it would be engaging for quite some time, would ultimately culminate in our shrugging our shoulders in welcome frustration and deciding to knock back some Wild Turkey on the porch.


There still seems to be a problem with drawing an analogy between abortion and, say, genocide. (This is a substantive, not a logical point.) Abortion is not an act performed for the purpose of terrorizing some target population. Now, even if fetuses are meaningfully capable of being “terrorized” (and the data on this are quite disputable), the women who undergo abortions aren’t terminating their pregnancies in order to terrorize their fetuses and all the other fetuses. Contrast this with Kristallnacht, where windows were shattered and rights were violated specifically for the purposes of violating rights and sending a clear message to the Jews (and to any dissenters). Abortion might have the effect of (and amount to) violating rights, but rarely is it performed for that purpose.

There’s one caveat here: we might say that folks who defend abortion rights sometimes do intend to intimidate those who oppose abortion rights. On the view of such activists, every successful abortion strikes fear into the hearts of those who oppose abortion. So, you might argue that abortion does have an indirect Kristallnacht-esque tone to it.

Well, maybe.

But I’m focusing not on the activists, but on the women who, typically (though not always) must agonize over this decision. But now your remarks make me wonder: how can those who defend abortion rights commend agonizing over the decision to terminate a pregnancy? Is a woman justified in having an abortion if she does not give the decision due reflection? (Note that this question is different from whether she has a “right” to terminate her pregnancy.)

Hmm. There clearly is a difference, and maybe even a moral difference, between, say, cutting toenails and having an abortion. But: that a fetus has some moral significance (however we explain that) does not entail that it has some *indefeasible* moral significance. And so we’ve got to figure out just what moral standing, if any, fetuses have, and how such standing measures up against that of the mother. And even when that’s all done, there’s the important political dimension of whether it’s best to make this a subject for legislation in the first place. After all, reasonable, decent people disagree vehemently about this topic. Perhaps this disagreement is not subject to resolution in our lifetimes. Or ever. And so we’ve got to figure out what to do in the meantime. Should we blow up abortion clinics? (Certainly nothing you say suggests this.) I think persuasion is a better route, and I bet you’d agree. In the meantime, maybe allow communities to decide for themselves what sorts of legislation (if any) they’ll have on this. This has certain moral and political costs and benefits. But all this is also a whole different discussion, which requires doing political theory, sociology, social psychology, and other stuff that thoughtful folks do when not gazing uncritically at other drivers’ bumpers.

Hey, how about this for a sticker: “My honors student beat up your dumb kid.”



Posted by: Andrew Cohen at August 13, 2002 12:38 PM

I once saw "Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty" altered to read "Practice Random and Senseless Acts".

A few that I composed myself, SFAIK:

"You mean, you pay _money_? To watch _television_!?!"
decorated with guffawing faces.

"Welcome to the South. Now stop complaining!"

A variant on the "Look twice, save a life--motorcycles are everywhere"
"Look twice, save YOUR life--SUVs are everywhere!"

Sheeple shouldn't vote.

Just wait til they violate a part of the Constitution *you* care about!

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at August 13, 2002 1:19 PM

Two I've seen floating around Oklahoma:

"If you're going to act like a turd, go lay [sic] in the yard"


"Screw the whales. Save me."

Posted by: CGHill at August 13, 2002 1:52 PM

Andrew, I didn't mean for you to ignore my comment that entirely. :)

Not only is abortion an act against fetuses but it is an act against women. The woman is not the Nazi in the metaphor, the woman is the Jew.

You say abortion is a woman's right to choose, it's her body, her choice. I say men have set abortion up that way because they don't want to be the ones agonizing over the "decision" and undergoing an operation that despite it's modern push as the equivalent to a dental visit (oh it's just a different cavity) is a serious procedure.

Children having their tonsils removed are treated more delicately than a woman having a fetus vacuumed out of her womb. Why? Because there isn't a need to mass market tonsillectomies, because it makes the entire process so clinical, so simple. The woman gets pregnant, it's the woman's body, the woman agonizes, the woman aborts or doesn't, and the poor comforting, sensitive man just stands in the corner, nodding supportively.

Oh no, women aren't being terrorized at all. There is no clear message that is being sent to women about the value of our bodies, our mental and physical health. Breast cancer, uterine cancer, it's okay, ignore the risks, have the abortion. Possible sterlization, longterm depression, it's okay, you're not ready to be a mother, it's best for you and the baby.

Why stop the sticker at "If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one"? What, did they run out of room? Didn't they mean to add that If I do believe in abortion I should go out and have two or three? And Hell, why not, if it's just a fetus, go ahead and implant them, let 'em grow until they've produced enough usable "tissue" and then abort the buggers. I mean, the woman's body is just a vessel anyway right?

Posted by: Cis at August 13, 2002 2:15 PM

And my all time favorite...NOT!

I "heart" my wife.

Well, duuuuuuh!

Posted by: Scott at August 13, 2002 2:37 PM

How about a whole series of stickers all with the same tagline: " -- For the Sake of the Children"

For example:
"Cut Taxes -- For the Sake of the Children"
"Drill ANWR -- For the Sake of the Children"
"Nuclear Power Now -- F t S o t C"
"SUV's for all families -- "
Abolish Dept. of Education -- F t S o t C"

and on and on ad infinitum.

Posted by: Zeke at August 13, 2002 2:47 PM

Back during (one of) the Jocelyn Elders flap(s), a friend of mine suggested:


Posted by: Jay Manifold at August 13, 2002 3:11 PM

Cis says:

“Not only is abortion an act against fetuses but it is an act against women. The woman is not the Nazi in the metaphor, the woman is the Jew.”

Since we’re dealing in metaphor, I can imagine abortion-rights proponents responding, “laws restricting abortion treat women as incubators” (or “breeding sows” or “sperm depositories” or some other sufficiently dehumanizing metaphor).

I do not minimize the seriousness of abortion, neither morally nor medically. It’s an invasive surgical procedure of at least some moral consequence. And the responsible male should be on hand to provide all the support he can and should. And, ideally, people don’t engage in breeding behaviors unless they’re prepared for the consequences. So, the absent or insensitive male is not an argument against abortion; it’s an argument against insensitivity, and it’s an argument for picking better human beings as lovers. And that some abortions happen in impersonal and degrading circumstances is not necessarily an argument against abortion but an argument against bad medical practice.

Certainly there are the crucial empirical questions: does abortion have long-term health consequences? Cis gestures to data suggesting that women who have had abortions have higher rates of certain cancers and other medical problems. There have been some compelling studies about this. But, appeals to such data argue neither that abortion is immoral nor that abortion terrorizes women. At best such data suggest that women (and, ideally, their mates) should think long(er) and hard(er) about terminating a pregnancy. It also suggests the need to bring in more data about this, so the scientists need to do their studies and submit them to peer-reviewed journals. (Beware the ninnies in white coats who hold press conferences before getting published.) And, of course, there are still all those nagging moral questions… In the meantime, let’s head to the porch for a drink.


Posted by: Andrew Cohen at August 13, 2002 3:11 PM

"Practice Deliberate Acts of Kindness and Sensible Beauty"

A few from email sigs:
I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants.
Pardon my driving, I am reloading.
Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Posted by: Roy Jacobsen at August 13, 2002 3:35 PM


I disagree with one thing you say. In effect, you redefine "genocide" to mean "an act performed for the purpose of terrorizing some target population." But genocide doesn't mean this; it means to exterminate a target population (with some defining characteristics depending on one's definition, i.e., race, ethnicity, religion, etc.) In your own example, Kristallnacht is treated as genocide, but surely it was a precursor to genocide. Genocide may indeed be terrifying, but terror is not the definitive end of genocide, death is.

You have an interesting point, however, when you note that "the women who undergo abortions aren’t terminating their pregnancies in order to terrorize their fetuses and all the other fetuses." Change "terrorize" to "exterminate" in order to make it consistent with the accepted usage of "genocide," and you've given me something to struggle with. My contention that abortion is akin to concentration camps turns on our willingness to concede that it makes little substantive difference, where the outcome is the same (millions killed), whether the butchering takes place via a centralized hierarchy, or as a consequence of millions of individual decisions. To contend otherwise, I think, would be to suggest that genocide has an organizational component. Not an outlandish idea, but if one believes this, I would merely push to develop another word to describe slaughter that arises out of spontaneous order spawned by poorly defined rights, as opposed to slaughter that arises out of totalitarianism.

But there is still a large difference, in the form of intent. A woman who chooses to abort her child doesn't choose to join in a movement of abortion for the sake of exterminating children, she chooses it because of her own personal circumstances. Thus, while the consequence may be the same (millions dead), the intentions are very different; a relatively small number of Holocaust engineers set out to exterminate millions of strangers, whereas a relatively large number of abortion partakers set out to exterminate one child a piece.

So I should not and do not mean to imply that women who have abortions have the moral standing of genocidists. They are like the rest of us, some relatively good, some relatively evil, all, I believe, misguided and scared and terribly alone, or at least without the help of people who love them enough to help care for their children.

With that said, I'll stick by your modified concentration camp bumper sticker, because I think it applies quite well to abortionists. They are the commandants of places built to destroy life. Whatever we may believe about the moral standing of the unborn child, it is undeniable that someone who daily punctures, asphyxiates, or pulls apart dozens of live, wiggling children in the womb is twisted and, I believe, evil.

I like your suggestion that we let communities decide, by the way, and I appreciate your intellectually honest approach, especially your recognition (which I didn't catch, until you pointed it out) that you were for some reason attaching moral weight to a woman's thinking through the abortion decision. And as for reasoning through all of this, I refer everyone to Toren's site -- he's done quite a bit of thinking on this topic.

Posted by: Tony at August 13, 2002 3:53 PM

One that I haven't seen listed yet that makes fun of the lefties is "Visualize Whirled Peas."

Posted by: Mark Byron at August 13, 2002 6:21 PM

Great Blog. I read it an hour ago and I am still chuckling.

Posted by: RightWingTexan at August 13, 2002 11:37 PM

My personal favorite, seem often around these parts, is "Driver Only Carries $20 in Ammunition."

Posted by: Evan McElravy at August 14, 2002 8:56 AM

Gun Control: Two hands and a steady aim.

Posted by: M.L. Cook at August 14, 2002 9:07 AM

"It Will Be A Great Day When The Air Force Bombs Our Schools"

Hell, I've already seen:

"It Will Be A Great Day When The Public Schools Teach Our Kids as Well as the Air Force Bombs Iraq"

Posted by: Joseph at August 14, 2002 10:50 AM

Okay, this whole discussion causes me to recall my all-time favorite political graffiti:

Don't switch Dicks in the middle of a screw
Vote for Nixon in '72.

Posted by: William Sulik at August 14, 2002 12:50 PM

Gun Control: Keeping Your Homes Safe For Burglars, Murderers & Rapists

Self Defense Is A Hate Crime - NACA (National Association for Criminal AmericanS)

Posted by: Martin Knight at August 14, 2002 8:05 PM

You can't hug your child with nuclear arms, but you can with small arms. (Albeit carefully.)


I read with interest the series of exchanges among you, Andrew, and Cis. I agree and disagree with all of you on various points. I suspect that the discussion has pretty much run its course, so I won't burden your site with a point-by-point rebuttal.

While I would never characterize the woman who aborts as a participant in a genocide, I must admit that the doctors who perform these operations (often to the exclusion of any other medical treatment) do seem to exhibit a Nazi-like zeal for killing human beings.

The previous sentence is clearly a value-laden statement, not because of the hyperbole (abortionists are like Nazis), but because I refer to fetuses as human beings.

The fact is that the fetus is not regarded as a human being in the eyes of the law. The Roe decision turned on a right to privacy, giving a woman the right to do whatever to her own body. Her own body in this context obviously includes the fetus, for if the fetus were regarded as a separate human being, such a decision could never have been made. (Imagine being permitted to kill one's toddler or an aged parent on the basis of a right to privacy.) The fetus is, in effect, the legal equivalent of a cyst or an appendix. Having such a status established by the highest court can only have contributed to the further dehumanization of the unborn.

Oddly, many of the arguments of pro-abortionists seem to acknowledge the incipient humanity of the fetus, although it is its very incipience that makes it eminently killable. Better to kill an incipient human being than a fully gestated one. In fact, better to kill an incipient human being than put one more unloved "child" on the welfare rolls, bring one more "child" into an overpopulated world, etc., etc.

Still, the feminists have their work cut out for them, despite their legal victories. The depression and other consequences attested to by Cis indicate that the job of fully dehumanizing the fetus is not yet done. After all, who would get depressed from having a cyst removed?

Posted by: jim at August 15, 2002 12:14 AM

My bumper sticker says "I'm not shy, I'm just watching my prey"

Come out n play LOL!!!

Choose Life, your mother did.

Posted by: Stacey at August 15, 2002 11:21 AM

Some good stuff here...interesting ...
On a lighter note...my fave bumpersticker ever said;

Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket??


It is my opinion that no matter what side of the fence you may sit on, yah gotta admit that this world is really going to hell...

Posted by: jen at August 15, 2002 11:27 AM

I'm still envious of the fellow I saw ahead of me one time in DC traffic with a bumper sticker that said, "Proud Member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy".

I noticed that he didn't have it on his bumper, either - it was taped onto the inside of his back windshield. At first, I thought it was because he wanted it to be at eye-level, and more power to him. But as I thought about it, I realized - lotsa lefties are poor students willing to slap immovable, crappy stickers all over their bumpers and windows. Those of us with new cars (that WE paid for ourselves) are less likely to want to do this.

Also, I figure lefties love bumper stickers more because it's a way of stating their viewpoints that is:
(1) mindless - they didn't write it, they just bought it,
(2) high-impact, cut&dried, simplistic, and
(3) allows for no argument from bystanders, and they don't have to defend the point in argument.

Perfect for lefties, as I said.


Posted by: Kimberly at August 15, 2002 5:46 PM

My favorite: "Gravity -- It's not just a good idea. It's the law"

I once saw a bumper sticker that said: "Albert Einstein was a vegetarian." I longed to drive along side and yell, "So was Adolf Hitler." But I'm too darned responsible to try that on the freeway in rush hour.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at August 18, 2002 3:26 AM

I saw this one several years ago and have been searching for it since:

Peace--Through Superior Firepower

Posted by: Alex Bensky at August 18, 2002 2:13 PM

I remember this one from the 70's:
"Remember when sex was dirty and the air was clean?"

And my favorite lefty bumpersticker is:
"One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.."

Posted by: Hunter McDaniel at August 18, 2002 9:55 PM

Actual Bumper sticker:

[Various smileys with misc deformities]
Discourage inbreeding, ban country music

Posted by: dinasour at August 23, 2002 2:41 PM

France - Invinceable in Peace, Invisible in War

Posted by: Martha at February 14, 2003 12:24 PM

I had this one custom made for me:

This bumper isn't BIG ENOUGH
for what I'VE got to say!

Posted by: Kevin Baker at February 17, 2003 10:50 PM

I like this purple t-shirt--> "I *AM* a random act of senseless beauty."

Posted by: July at April 4, 2003 12:46 AM

These are some t-shirts at Comic-news.com

"I'm a drug-free kid (but Mom's on Prozac & Dad takes Viagra)"

"I love Eugene- the bleeding heart of the Northwest" (If you know Eugene, you know what I'm talking about!:)

Some of you may appreciate the t-shirt with tons of different slogans on it that has in bold print at the top "The All-purpose social slogan t-shirt"

Posted by: July at April 4, 2003 12:54 AM

I saw one yesterday that was clever and not so obnoxious "isn't it hypocritical to support abortion when you've already been born?"

Posted by: Monika at September 12, 2003 2:36 PM

These are great. My fav's are that go along with the "I (heart) New York" theme.

I (club) my wife

I (spade) my dog

Posted by: Ron at May 1, 2004 5:44 PM

I liked this one I saw today: Abortion doesn't make you UNpregnant, it just makes you the mother of a dead baby!

Posted by: peppermintpatti at May 18, 2004 5:51 PM

Some favorite potential bumper sticker statements:

1."Gun Control - A firm grip and a steady eye"

2.(Confederate Flag) - "Just call it freedom of expression in a culturally diverse society"

3. "Execute Criminals - Not Babies
Love Babies - Not Criminals"

Posted by: John at July 15, 2004 11:53 PM

On my new Ford Excursion, "Hey liberal, is this big enough for you?"

Posted by: John at September 14, 2004 12:10 PM

On my new Ford Excursion, "Hey liberal, is this big enough for you?"

Posted by: John at September 14, 2004 12:10 PM