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Five Hypocrites and One Bad Plan

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Posted on Mar 29, 2012
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

By Robert Scheer

The Supreme Court is so full of it. The entire institution, as well as its sanctimonious judges themselves, reeks of a time-honored hypocrisy steeped in the arrogance that justice is served by unaccountable elitism.

My problem is not with the Republicans who dominate the court questioning the obviously flawed individual mandate for the purchasing of private-sector health insurance but rather with their zeal to limit federal power only when it threatens to help the most vulnerable. The laughter noted in the court transcription that greeted the prospect of millions of the uninsured suddenly being deprived of already extended protection under the now threatened law was unconscionable. The Republican justices seem determined to strike down not only the mandate but also the entire package of accompanying health care rights because of the likelihood that, without an individual mandate, tax revenue will be needed to extend insurance coverage to those who cannot afford it.

The conservative justices, in their eagerness to reject all of this much needed reform, offer the deeply cynical justification that a new Congress will easily come up with a better plan—despite decades of congressional failure to address what is arguably the nation’s most pressing issue. In their passion to embarrass this president, the self-proclaimed constitutional purists on the court went so far as to equate a mandate to obtain health care coverage with an unconstitutional deprivation of freedom; to make the connection they cited the spirit of a document that once condoned slavery.

These purists have no trouble finding in that same sacred text a license for the federal government to order the young to wage undeclared wars abroad, to gut due process and First Amendment protections, and embrace torture, rendition and assassination, even of U.S. citizens.

Now they hide behind the commerce clause of the Constitution to argue that the federal government cannot regulate health care coverage because that violates the sacrosanct principle of states’ rights. If the right-wingers on the high court consistently had a narrow interpretation of federal power over the economy, there would be logic to the position expressed by the Republican justices during the last three days of questioning. Of course, the court’s apparent majority on this has shown no such consistency and has intervened aggressively, as did the justices’ ideological predecessors, to deny the states the power to protect consumers, workers and homeowners against the greed of large corporations.

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We would not be in the midst of the most severe economic meltdown since the Great Depression had the courts not interpreted the commerce clause as protecting powerful national corporations from accountability to state governments. Just look at the difficulty that a coalition of state attorneys general has faced in attempting to hold the largest banks responsible for their avarice in the housing disaster.

The modern Supreme Court has allowed the federal government to pre-empt the states’ power to protect homeowners, whose mortgage agreements were traditionally a matter of local regulation and registration. The court has no problem accepting Congress’ grant of a legal exemption in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 that allows the bundling of home mortgages into unregulated derivatives.

The court has vitiated the power of the states to control interest rates, even though quite a few had explicit provisions in their constitutions banning usury. The result is that loan-sharking by banks that can claim to be engaged in interstate commerce is constitutionally protected, which is why there are no limits on mortgage, credit card or personal loan interest rates.

The sad truth is that President Obama and the Democrats brought this potential judicial disaster upon themselves. In light of what has been said this week in the Supreme Court, it seems inevitable that the linchpin of the 2010 reform—mandated coverage—will be thrown out, probably along with the crucial accompanying reforms. Forget coverage for the young and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The Democrats will protect themselves from this reversal by arguing that all they did was copy the program that this year’s prospective Republican presidential candidate implemented when he was the governor of Massachusetts.  Mitt Romney’s plan included the dreaded mandate that he and the Republican justices condemn.

How ironic that Barack Obama’s health care agenda would be in a far stronger legal position had the president stuck by his earlier support of a public option. Clearly, our federal government has the judicially affirmed power under our Constitution to use public revenues to provide a needed public service, be it education, national security, retirement insurance or health care. Obama’s health care reform should have simply extended Medicare and Medicaid coverage to all who wanted and needed it—no individual mandate—while allowing others to opt out for private insurance coverage. That’s an obvious constitutional solution that even those die-hard Republican justices would have a difficult time overturning.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 13, 2012 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

I have no business commenting, but at 8 months, perhaps it could be an adoption.  But as I said, not my business, it’s the woman’s domain.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

gotta agree with you that the mother is the only one with a choice. the other party
surely doesn’t.

@ 8 months there’s only one fully human choice for the mother to make.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 13, 2012 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 13 at 6:40 am - you call it what you want
I will call it what I want.  I call it an abortion by choice of the only
one who has the choice, the pregnant woman.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

She—- perhaps both of us need some more research…....and maybe a tad better
understanding of stuff.


an 8th month abortion of a healthy fetus is nothing other than the killing of a
human .... no matter what you call it.


and the reason that they don’t survive the abortion is that they’re not allowed to
do so…..which is sorta the point of the thing.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 13, 2012 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

If one is to define murder, I would say several people here are homicidal maniacs towards logic and rape seems to be reserved for buggering common sense!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 13, 2012 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 12 at 7:21 pm - No, I would call it an
abortion.  There could be reasons to abort a “healthy” fetus at
8 months if the woman’s health was in danger.  But it is her choice
and only her choice.  But most likely if the fetus were “healthy” it
would survive an abortion anyway.  Fetuses can survive at seven
months.  You might do more research on this topic.

Report this

By Ed Romano, April 13, 2012 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Shen. Nice dodge,Toots. You cared enough about what I thought to issue a pontifical statement about it,  and use my post as a base to present your overblown   opinion as fact. You’re the one who tried to use me as a whipping boy for your illusion. But,in the end, I don’t really care what you “think” either. So if you leave me out of your posts I’ll gladly do the same for you.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

She—- I’m aware that you don’t call it murder.

——

“There is never a time when an abortion at the choice of the mother can
be considered murder.  Fully sane people know this.”

———-

you called it “never-murder” and not sane to consider that it might be.
——

as I said, murder is a legal term, but I found it rather hard to agree with that
“NEVER”

you would really think it insane to call a woman who aborted a healthy fetus @8
months because her husband left her a murderess ?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic - Republicans call abortion murder, not I.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

As a matter of fact Ed Romano, I couldn’t care less what you think
about anything.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

She—- murder is a legal term. not a scientific one…....... and again, the only
difference between a premie newborn and a 7 month fetus is whether it’s out of
the womb and breathing or is still not visible.

either way, it’s hard to describe them as different things.

at seven months it’s not contestable that unless the fetus is determined to be
malformed to the point of not being viable, that a woman who chooses to abort is
ending the life of a human.

Report this

By Ed Romano, April 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Shen. You are about as off putting and smug as it’s possible for a person to be. “Ed Romano is almost right”. Who the hell are you to go around pronouncing who is right and who is wrong? Are you some kind of Pope ? I DIDN’T say the fetus was a full human being. I said it was a potential human being, and that to abort it is to prevent a human being from entering into existence. I don’t care what you want to call it… a zygloroonie or a poilwog. By saying it is not a human it allows the aborter to deny that they have not eliminated a potential person. If some of them say it may be a human or it may not be but, personally, I don’t give a shit…hooray for them. At least, they are not trying to hide behind a boat load of nonsensical verbiage….. As to your other dodge… about an infant being a human once it no longer has to rely on its mother’s body for survival…. Two things. How the hell do you know it isn’t a human being two minutes before it pokes its head out…or two months earlier ?...Many fetuses survive when they are taken from their mother’s wombs at the age of six or seven months. This means that,at least by that age, they are not entirely dependent on the mother and have the possibility of surviving without exploiting her body, any more than they are three of four hours after they’re born ...You seem to have trouble with the concept of a fetus exploiting the mother’s body, but this is the method Nature has determined to bring people into this world. Therefore, logically, to champion abnortion rights is to champion the unnatural. 
  Our past run ins revealed that you have no trouble with people being exploited once they are born. This is the reverse of the Roman Catholic idea .... inasmuch as the Church champions the rights of a fetus ....then throws the human being onto the mercy of the state once it is born, but this is beside the point as far as this discussion is concerned….. Finally, what difference does it make that the potential human being can’t survive without the mother while still in the womb? It can’t survive on it’s own OUTSIDE the womb for quite a long time either.Should we say that it’s not entitled to life until…..say , when it can earn or gather it’s own food? How about retroactive abortion… say up to the age of sixteen in case the offspring turns out to be one of these modern teen agers ? 
  There are no simple answers here. To say that the fetus is not a viable human being while it remains in the mother is as unprovable as it is to say the opposite. It is simply what you think based on the information you have gathered. But you come on with these pronouncements as if they were given to you from on high….The fetus becomes a human being when it no longer depends on the mother’s body to continue living? Really ?  How the hell do you know this is when it becomes a human being ? To say what you’ve said is merely a mental construction built on a preconceived illusion. It is not a scientific fact   even if you exhaust the dictionary trying to prove it. Fully sane people ( there is no such thing ) know this.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 12 at 6:08 am – “if you’re not a human
being until the moment you’re born, then what ?the heck are you?” 
Potentially a human being.  Ed Romano is almost right, but does
not see his logic to its full conclusion. 

No one is arguing the fetus is not a potential human being.  I would
argue strenuously that is exactly what a fetus is.  A potential human
being.

No one is saying that the one-celled zygote is a “nothing.”  Does
everyone even know what a zygote is?

In my opinion the choice to abort is not one to take lightly.  To abort or not
to abort is a debatable issue some of it practical some of it moral, and there
will be those on the two sides of a definite dividing line. I am of the opinion
that the choice is absolutely the choice of the pregnant woman.  No one else.

It is not true that those who favor the right to abortion refuse to admit
the fetus is anything more than a blob of tissue and organs.  We admit
it copiously. 

The fetus is not a person until it is born.  It is only a potential person up
to that point.  A single-cell zygote is pretty much a, how did you call it Ed
Romano? a blob of tissue.  It does not have organs at that stage.  Within 72
hours, it goes from a tiny ball of eight cells that divides until it contains about
100 cells. It still does not have organs or a vascular system.  Then it becomes
known as a blastocyst, which becomes the embryo three to four weeks later. 
Since it has no nerves it will feel no pain and won’t for until the 12th week,
or three months pregnancy.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20008829-10391704.html

At about week 8, the embryo becomes fetus and remains a fetus up to
its birth.  Never in this time period is this group of cells a human being.
Upon birth when it no longer absolutely depends on the mother’s body
to continue living, it becomes a human being. 

There is never a time when an abortion at the choice of the mother can
be considered murder.  Fully sane people know this.

Report this

By Ed Romano, April 12, 2012 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

John, I think I posted something like this somwhere recently: The right wingers and their political agents in the Republican Party ( and the Democratic Party to a lesser degree perhaps ) represent the interests of a minority of very wealthy individuals and corporate interests. They strive to use the treasury of the governemnt for their own interests - against the interests of the majority and strive mightly to have that majority foot the bill. The historical examples of this are so numerous that people who argue against the idea are not worth wasting our time with….. The point is that since the Republicans represent such a narrow portion of the population they must fool a good number of people, who are not their natural constituency, into supporting them. Since they can’t do this economically they appeal to issues like gay rights and abortion to swell their ranks with single issue voters. To imagine that billionaires give a rat’s ass whether or not some women in the South Bronx have abortions or not is to be truly deluded. If they don’t care about the deterioration of the social safety net that has protected medical care for children,expanded medical care for all Americans, equality in education, and a host of other fractured progams…. why would anyone think they care about abortions? The fact that this smoke and mirrors game has so often worked for them is ,at the very least, disheartening, and at the most makes you wonder if demcracy is not over rated as a political philosophy.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2012 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Ed, this might, or might not be the place to move this particular thread of discussion: 
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/youre_on_your_own_kids_20120412/?ln

I say ‘might not’ because those ‘justices’ on the court have been legislating in such a way as to protect the bastards I mention in the bottom of that last post, who, are stealing from the common-wealth, thus making it damn tough to provide for the existing generation.  Additionally, they are letting those same bastards get away with the diversion of attention (from their theft) that this issue (womens rights) causes.  This ‘right to life/choice’ issue cannot be ignored, and those misogynistic fundamentalist men who assist the 0.1% ‘bastards’ are helping to create a diversion for their theivery.  So, this particular issue really pisses me off, and the SCOTUS shows what a bunch of shills they are by not stamping these issues firmly into the ground. 

The bottom line here is we have a bunch of parasites in this society who do not pull their weight, From Wall St, and the sanctuaries of privilege down.  These kinds of issues are fired up and kept burning by absolute morons on the right.

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By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

JB—-If we are not going to provide a society which guarantees a woman can take
care of her baby, to standards she chooses, and without making her life hell, then,
we have no right to say a god-damn thing about the issue.  We have no right to
even think we have a right to think about the issue.  Period.——-


nah, that doesn’t sound sexist, just shallow and unwise.

life doesn’t come with a guarantee….

Report this

By Ed Romano, April 12, 2012 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Oh John, Are we on some similar solar wave length?...
A few decades back I was a member of an archdiocesan Peace and Justice Commission of the east coast. Since the members were all Roman Catholics the subject of abortion came up from time to time with most of the members discussing what they might do to help abolish or diminish abortion on demand. When it was my turn to add fuel to the fire I always tweaked their tails by saying that until we were ready to go into ....perhaps a housing project where some poor, single mothern was stuggling to raise a couple of kids and had a few drinks on a Saturday night trying to forget her misery and found herself pregnant….until we were willing to go into that project and put our lives and well being on the line for that woman…we should keep our mouths shut and mind our own business…It is not possible for me to agree more with you….. The job is not to stop women from having abortions, but to build a society where such choices are rare because the well being of living, human beings is our number one priority.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2012 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

OK Men, listen up. 

If we are not going to provide a society which guarantees a woman can take care of her baby, to standards she chooses, and without making her life hell, then, we have no right to say a god-damn thing about the issue.  We have no right to even think we have a right to think about the issue.  Period.

We have it easy…..we plant the sperm and we have options.  Think about the womans options?  What if she just decides she already is having a tough time with a pre-existing kid, and the economy is not looking too damn rosey? 

Women have been aborting unwanted pregnancies for millenia, and the kids who survived are our ancestors.  Likely we wouldn’t be having this discussion had we taken women s rights to make these judgment calls away from them. 

So, now, just because we have a certain amount of medical and law enforcement technology we think we can take this away from women?  And then to saddle them with the consequences of our decisions?  Bullshit. 

Now men, go do the stuff we’re supposed to do, which is to provide.  Let’s stop bickering about what is none of our business and concentrate on suppressing those rogue men who have been raiding the common wealth.  Those who are stealing opportunity from the kids that are already here to be counted is the sort of battle we should be fighting.

If that sounded sexist…....tough shit.

Report this

By Ed Romano, April 12, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Good Morning Again Comrades, When I woke up this morning I was thinking that, even though the nation is in dire need of a drastic rennovation, there are some wonderful, even fantastic, things that have happened in my lifetime that didn’t happen anywhere else but right here in the US. ....My first thought was of Alley Oop. I wasn’t so much a fan of his, but Oh, wasn’t his girl friend was prime. Then there was Smokey Stover and Smilin’ Jack, Laurel and Hardy, Humphrey Bogart, Billie Holiday and Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sandy Koufax and Joe Dimaggio, Joe Louis and Beau Jack,actresses like Piper Laurie… so beautiful as to make your heart crack….movies like How Green Was My Valley, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and The Treasure Of Sierra Madre….. and with all these wonderful things going on it was hard to notice that some very greedy bastards were slowly dismantleing the nation that gave birth to them….Still,I consider myself a lucky man to have been alive when all these wonderful things were happening. Onward.

Report this

By Ed Romano, April 12, 2012 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Good Morning Comrades, And it is a good, bright morning. But if I could perhaps add my insignificant voice to this abortion go-round….I’d like to say that, while I agree with the right of a woman to the sanctity of her own body, and the right to choose how that body is going to be used…...it would be a mental abberation to argue that a fetus is not a potential human being, and to step into that situation so as to thwart the birth of a potential human being is not to be on the side of life. You can’t have it both ways. What is more important…  the right of the individual to choose for themselves, or the right of the unborn to make it into existence? It is not a choice to be made lightly, but you can’t get around it by claiming the creature is absolutely nothing until its head pops out of the mother’s womb. I come down on the side of a woman’s right. This is because of the philosophy I have concerning human life, but it’s very difficult for me intellectually.  Naturally,most of those who favor the right to abortion refuse to admit the fetus is anything more than a blob of tissue and organs. To admit the opposite is to put yourself in the category of advocating something like murder. Half way sane people ( there are no totally sane )  have difficuty sleeping at night thinking that they have taken a stand in favor of killing a potential child. The only way out of that dilemna is for them to deny that the fetus is a potential human being…..Don’t be too hard on them. It’s a tough world.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

She- I believe that if a
pregnant woman’s life was in danger from continuing a pregnancy, her
life comes first, regardless where in the pregnancy she is.——


——
I pretty much agree with that, with one slight exception that I’ll reserve, and with
one major exceptions that I’ll advance.

If a woman’s life was in danger (and I’ll assume you mean a greater than 50%
likelihood of death)  then I would say that the mother might have the right to
decide which life comes first.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

She———- if you’re not a human being until the moment you’re born, then what
the heck are you?

you think there’s a metamorphosis ?

you think that id pregnant woman were see-through that a baby would look any
different , or be in any significant way different, a month or more earlier than the
day it pops out?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 12, 2012 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 11 at 1:10 pm – “maybe abortions sometimes
do take human lives.”  Indeed, sometimes women lose their lives. 
Possibly you can explain the “flawed understanding of the law in this
country and of the common law in general.”  Are you arguing that an
8-month fetus is a human being?  What is your rationale?  And I have a
dear cousin in his late 50s who was born at 30 weeks from a failed
abortion, so don’t assume I am promoting late term abortions.  I would
say that he was not a human being until he was born.  I believe that if a
pregnant woman’s life was in danger from continuing a pregnancy, her
life comes first, regardless where in the pregnancy she is.

Sodium-Na, April 11 at 11:56 am – You are generous.  While I am more
of a realist, I do dream too.  Your post was thoughtful, as always.  I think
you have made valid observations about the essential features of the
personalities that participate on these forums.  Your point about the
Supreme Court is I think an intelligent one. 

So the matter turns for any point of view on what is moral?  I know
the morality of abortion is not a simple matter.  But what is considered
moral is not uniform in thought.  Or, what is moral is moral by degrees.
There are essentially three distinct positions to justifying or not justify-
ing abortion.  There is the liberal, conservative, and moderate.  We might
spend some time discussing each of these views.  Morals must be based
on universal values.  But it is not straightforward exactly what universal
values are.  Morality changes over time.  As already noted, what was
once for a millennia thought moral, slavery became immoral in the
middle of the 19th century although it has always been immoral it didn’t
become socially conventional until late in human history.  The question
of abortion is a dichotomy between what freedom means and historic
authoritarianism.  The moral issue is the question of who has the right
to force a woman to bear a child she doesn’t want.  Is it moral for a
woman’s freedom to be superseded by the rights of others. The facts
are that the life of women who are forced to continue an unwanted
pregnancy are endangered and demeaned as human beings.  If a
woman does not have control over her own body, her own reproduction,
or is restrained to decide whether and when to become a mother, she
has no more freedom than a slave.

Report this

By - bill, April 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

The discussion has taken an interesting turn, and one which may tend to illustrate my earlier observation that both progressives and conservatives hide considerably more complexity under their superficial labels than many seem to understand.

The beauty of Roe v. Wsde was its pragmatism in balancing the rights of a woman against the rights of a developing fetus.  Rather than take some absolutist position (‘humanity begins at conception’ or ‘humanity begins at birth’) on the question of when a fetus acquires rights it recognized that AT SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT a small group of cells has developed into something whose rights must be recognized and that even if we cannot precisely define when that point occurs we need to try to approximate it rather than just throw up our hands and sidestep that very awkward decision.

The observations that said point may vary with time as medical science progresses and that the killing of a late-term pregnant women can be legally considered a double homicide were good ones, but that’s not what extremists on both sides of the issue are shouting about.  The majority of (but far from all) women, with great justification, fear the complete loss of the right to abortion, and some of them react by demanding that right under all circumstances for the entire duration of a pregnancy.  On the other side, legitimate concern exists that leaving such a life-and-death decision up solely to just one of the two vitally-concerned parties in a significant (even if still relatively small) number of cases may result in violation of the spirit of even such a balanced approach as Roe v. Wade, and some of them react by demanding that the decision be taken out of women’s hands entirely.

The problem with both such groups of extremists is that they recognize no middle ground (that being the nature of extremism), and - worse - they tend to drag along others with them who share similar ideologies but who might in the absence of such tribal influences be less dogmatic and dismissive of different viewpoints (that being the nature of polarization even without the active encouragement which both major political parties lend to it).

I’m not generally in favor of maintaining the status quo, but (especially in the current political environment) in some cases I can’t help considering it the safest and likely least damaging approach available to us.  Roe v. Wade is one such case, our somewhat regressive but still extremely useful Social Security system is another:  both may need minor tweaks to maintain their existing level of effectiveness, but I’d rather see no changes at all than anything major.

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By Sodium-Na, April 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

For OzarkMichael:

My dear Ozark,

I have no intent to get involved with you and others in an endless argument that may serves no purpose and at the end will lead no where. I have no energy for that,any more,as it was in the good ol’ days. I feel,however,that I must remind you of the following points:

* Your approach has not changed a little bit in your attempt to belittle a strong presentation as Shenon has presented and as I specifically quoted in my earlier post addressed to all debaters on this thread. Although I do not agree with such an old approach of yours,I do respect the fact that you have full right to adhere to it,from here till eternity or “the end of time”,as some of your peers prefer to describe it. 

* You know damn well neither Shenon nor I will ever let the legality claims,concerning slavery to pass-by unchallenged. The sad fact in your last post is that you have considered slavery as abortion. Two different abstract words,each word stands up for a completely different thing. Your unconstructive comparison is like comparing apples with oranges. Sorry,Ozark,each one of them must be confined to its own merits or rather characteristics,in all aspects,including legality or illegality. Mixing them-up to support your position on abortion will solve nothing. It only adds confusion to an already much confusion the issue of abortion has suffered

* Appreciating and supporting a legally impressive presentation does not mean,in the slightest way,I approve abortion regardless of the circumstances the pregnant women may find themselves in-perhaps most agonizing and soul searching situations or perhaps not so. Each case must be treated seperately and in the final analysis,the decision should be left to the woman and her physician,not may be to a homosexual priest or to a wierd and totally con preacher,Rabbi or Imam,doing their dirty works under the cover of the New Testament,Old Testament or the cover of the Qur’an,respectively. I must be clear on this point: not all Preahers,(my son is an Ordained Preacher),Rabbis and Imams do such con and dirty works. Most of them risk their own lives to help others who need help,but some of them,unfortunately,do evil things. How about watching an old movie entitled “Elmer Gentry”,with leading actor Burt Lancester and leading acress (Jane?)Simons. It is highly entertaining. You may find it in your local library. It may help spell out what I am trying to convey,here,to you,Ozark. The evil side of the human nature can be devastating,even to a well-engrossed person in his Holy Bible,like yourself.

* I have no quarrel with you personally,Ozark. Only disagreement with your belittling approaches and misinterpretations to what I and some other posters write;that may be incompatible with your religious upbringings and belief which I also have no quarel with either. How about: “live and let live”?

Your wishing me a recovery from my issues with my troubled heart has been most appreciated. I know you meant it. I only can say to you,thank you and no need to allow hard feeling to develop because of incompatibility of thoughts and ideas. Remember that we are supposed to be grown-up(s)!!
Are we?

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

the comment—-The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. A
fetus is not yet a citizen but a pregnant woman is, therefore the government has
the responsibilty to protect pregnant women.

shows a flawed understanding of the law in this country and of the common law in
general.

the law doesn’t forbid the killing only of citizens….but of all humans…...otherwise
there’s not a person here who would be able to say that we couldn’t simply snuff
everyone imprisoned in Camp XRay in Guantanamo.

it’s also traditionally been a double homicide to kill a woman in her eighth month.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, April 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. A fetus is not yet a citizen but a pregnant woman is, therefore the government has the responsibilty to protect pregnant women

Sodium opined: “To say that the above quoted comment is OUTSTANDING,SUPERB AND LEGALLY BINDING does not really give the comment the profound meaning the comment carries within its own words. Because of its profound meaning I must raise the following question:

Are there still some posters who still believe, or think,that they can challenge such an unagressive and legally constructive comment in the Court of Law?”

In summ, Sodium was most impressed with the statement by Shenonymous and wondered if there is any possible challenge to it. It was so momentous that his praise was not enough to describe it, so here I will provide it again:

The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. A fetus is not yet a citizen but a pregnant woman is, therefore the government has the responsibilty to protect pregnant women

Allow me to run a parallel statement:

The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. A slave is not yet a citizen but a white man is, therefore the government has the responsibilty to protect the white man’s freedom to own slaves.

There were people in history who applauded such nonsense. Although yes as a matter of fact… legally they were perfectly right. The people who applauded the inhumane practice of holding slaves certainly had their day when they were able to make such OUTSTANDING,SUPERB AND LEGALLY BINDING proclaimations. So legally, yes, it was a crushing argument for a long time. The abolitionists didnt have a legal leg to stand on. But lets be honest, even when it was perfectly legal… slavery was never morally right. 

That is what Shenonymous has done today with abortion by merely stating the law. Sodium raves about how OUTSTANDING,SUPERB AND LEGALLY BINDING her words are, but all I hear from both of them are echoes of the slaveholders rejoicing together in their legal right to do as they please with their ‘property’.

Now lets be honest. Like slavery, abortion has been perfectly legal for a long time… but this does not prove that abortion is morally right.

So now Sodium’s challenge has been answered, and it was done with the same polite but firm realism with which he wrote his post. Also, his expectation that I am not going to change has probably been confirmed. And finally, I sincerely hope his time of bedrest is efficacious and temporary.

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By Sodium-Na, April 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano,

Rest assured,I have not taken it personally. My last post to you has come out from my troubled heart,in an attempt to explain to you and others where I really stand on issues of interest to me. Nothing more and nothing else.

Cheers to you,again,Ed Romano. I like your full name,in fact,very much. It sounds so real,not a phony screen name like mine,(Sodium-Na),unless,of course,I am mistaken. I was mistaken before. Nothing would really be new to me.

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Sodium and that other one,  My remark was a general one. What I had to say could fit about 80 % of the people who post here. Sodium, If you took it personally, forgive me. That other ding bat can go have a hetero sexual relationship with himself.

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By Sodium-Na, April 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano,


You are new to this website. I must alert you to the main reasons I post here,whenever my circumstances allow me to do so:

~ To help in every way I know how. I detest arguments and I try to avoid getting involved in one.

~ If my post is not complimantary to a good post I have much appreciated reading,then it is to call attention to adhere firmly to objectivity the best I know how a call must be made

~ My last post was not meant to you or any particular poster. Not at all. Rest assured,I meant to say it not only to the posters who posted here but to every one who followed what the Supreme Court had been doing,whether in positive or negative manner to our lives,as good and law abiding citizens. My intent has always been the common good for the American people and all other human beings every where. Got it?

Cheers to you and every one else who has similar thoughts as you have.

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By Leefeller, April 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Ed, my disagreement with other posters may stem from many things, from their approach to what they may be attempting to say just as as much as what they are saying.  Far as I know ED, I have never called you a liar a cretin nor an agent of the devil, but I have conjured up a few other amusing title names in my mind for you, but in the name of politeness I will keep them to myself, by the way if my recollection is untainted of the past, I may have refereed to you as a whiner and if I have forgotten anything else, please let me know!  OH, ED you do place a bulls eye on your forehead!

By the way, your last post seemed to be something I agree with, even if it sounded like whining?

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

She——-Abortion is not morally wrong! It is not the taking of a human life! The
well-being of a woman is much more important than the protection
of a protoplasmic globule, and that is really all it is, no more, no less!——


when Roe was written fetal viability was thought to be 7 months…....it’s now closer
to 5.


maybe abortions sometimes do take human lives.

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Apropos of nothing in particular…..have you ever noticed that when someone posts something that agrees with what we already believe they are suddenly elevated into intellectual heaven while, if they post something in direct opposition to our illusion they become liars, cretins and agents of the devil ? Just a thought,comrades. Onward.

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By Sodium-Na, April 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Subject:Dreamers and Realists.

From my bed and the help of a lap top,I have followed your debate from beginning till now. Altough it is a good effort,I have found myself compelled to make the following comments:

~If all of you debators think that your posts,here,are going to make a single dent in the Supreme Court’s decisions,you are living in the realm of wishful thinking of your own making.

~You can entertain yourselves in a debate,even if it is a constructive one,and regardless how good your intent may be,the fact remains nothing will change in the foreseeable future,until the whole country finds its way to unity,or at least much less desisiveness.I see no delivery probable, or even possible,from the trench of disunity from which the whole nation is sadly suffering.
 
What’s then for the realists? Fair question:

*The Atheist will remain an Atheist,(Shenon).

*The Reborn Again Christian Evangelical will remain so too,(Ozark).

*The hard core Republican will remain a hard core Republican.Several of you,here,are.in fact,they are real right wingers,with phony progressive clothing. That is why I respect Ozark because of his honesty.That is a real realism:the honesty he adheres to about his religious belief.

*The hard core Democrat will remain a Democrat. Many of you who post here are.

* The hard core third partier remain so,regardless of the fact that some of the Supreme Court’s Justices,most likely,will retire soon and the legal direction of the country will be determined by the simple majority of five,as it happened in giving the Presidency to George W. Bush after the confusion resulting from votes counting in Florida,in 2000. Or the decision that was made by the Supreme Court that “A CORPORATION IS A PERSON!!” A Question to the five justices who made such a horrible decision to undermind the lives of the majority of Americans and to provide the ruling class in America with more powerful clubs to make the lives of the 99 percent of the population more painful:

In order for a corporation to be a person,it must have eyes,ears,hands,legs,a stomuch,intestines,a penis or a vagina etc… and above all a heart and a soul. Does a corporation have these human or even a mammalian assets to be considered a person or even a mammalian animal? Some reporter,I cannot remember his name quoted Justice Clerance Thomas saying immediately after such a horrible decision,“this is only the beginning.” One may wonder how is the next decision or end going to be!!

* In short,whether you posters like it or not,the ruling classes,across the globe,will continue to be the real power that determines the legal direction as how all of you are going to live and be controlled by,unless every culture in every country in the globe rejects,en masse,that part of their culture that allows the ruling class remains a ruling class in each country. The ruling classes cooperate with one another in unwritten accord,while the majority of the human race sadly is kept busy for winning its daily bread.

*I must admit,however,that I have been highly impressed by the following realistic comment made by Shenonymous,in one of her many posts on this thread:

“The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. A fetus is not yet a citizen but a pregnant woman is, therefore the government has the responsibilty to protect pregnant women”

To say that the above quoted comment is OUTSTANDING,SUPERB AND LEGALLY BINDING does not really give the comment the profound meaning the comment carries within its own words. Because of its profound meaning I must raise the following question:

Are there still some posters who still believe, or think,that they can challenge such an unagressive and legally constructive comment in the Court of Law?

Shenon,

Yoy have found a positive and persuasive way to enlighten the unenlighted,including myself,about the legal aspect of the debate concerning abortion. Keep it up…And thank you.

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

Oh, dear, Leef - it seems that, difficult as it is, I’ve overestimated you yet again.  I skimmed your drivel too quickly to notice your passing swipe at Paul as having suggested that “if a person cannot afford health insurance, they just have to die or walk it off.”

I guess that’s what comes from getting all your political information from comic books (or whatever equivalent source you may use).  Had you actually LISTENED to the debate in which that suggestion occurred you would have understood (or perhaps you wouldn’t:  your powers of comprehension seem at best selective, to put the best face I can on them) that

1.  the question related not to someone who could not afford health insurance (whom Paul believe should receive the assistance they need in that area) but to someone who COULD afford it and simply decided not to purchase it, and

2.  even then it was not Paul who suggested that “they just have to die or walk it off” (in fact, he explicitly rejected the idea) but someone in the audience who shouted their approval of it.

As best I understand Paul’s position on that question, it’s that someone who can afford insurance but declines to purchase it should only have recourse to emergency and/or charitable facilities for health care rather than the extended panoply that those covered by insurance have access to.  You may have difficulty wrapping what passes for your brain around that, but others here might find it more illuminating.

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

Maybe you should try a few fewer shots, Leef:  once again the connection between your brain and your eyes seems to be broken.

Just as with tic, your abysmal lack of comprehension of the particulars of the discussion I’m attempting to have with Shen makes your own comments (as his were) unworthy of even the few words you wasted on them.  Let’s see if the peanut gallery can shut up (a novel idea, I admit - but, as the saying goes, ‘change is good’) and let Shen address this herself (if she doesn’t wish to admit by default that there are conservatives with decidedly liberal positions in some areas).

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

Once again Bill twisting logic to exclusive limits now as a dangling decipherable of Ron Pauls, (Finally Bill has come out of the closet,  revelations be real)

Right leaning results of Lincolns attending a play, one could assume all plays lead to assassinations, so tis small governments job it would require strip searches for all play goers, supporting conservative urological reasoning.

Not as good as Hetros post, but I had fun with it anyway!

Geez, have I missed something? Ron Paul a liberal? The guy who says ‘if a person cannot afford health insurance, they just have to die or walk it off’... That Ron Paul?

Damn Bill, maybe you should try a few shots of Tequila?

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

I see I didn’t quite finish my thought!  Duh!  This is his personal view,
and my personal view is that it is not an act of ?aggression since there
is nothing there to aggress toward.

But while I’m here I’ll say a few more words…The fact that abortion is so
frequent might be seen as putting more value, more moral value, being
placed on parenting instead of haphazardly giving birth to unwanted
children.  It is possible people feel that they ought to posi-tively commit
to the idea of having children rather than become an unwanted parent
just because a condom slipped!

Abortion is not morally wrong! It is not the taking of a human life! The
well-being of a woman is much more important than the protection
of a protoplasmic globule, and that is really all it is, no more, no less! 
No woman should ever be made to feel guilty for choosing to have an
abortion!  And no man should ever have a say in whether a woman
gets an abortion.  It is her body and her choice, and whatever she
chooses is the right, and not parenthetically, it is a moral choice!
No level of government should have a thing to say about a woman’s
decision to have an abortion!

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Dear me, Shen - two more posts (though mercifully not as long as your previous ones) which are completely irrelevant to the challenge which I posed in response to your claim that you “do not know any conservatives who could be said to have any liberal leanings.”

The first of these seems to have confused my implicit claim in that challenge to be one that Paul was some kind of closet liberal.  It was nothing of the sort:  it was simply the observation that Paul’s positions (or ‘leanings’, to use your word) in several areas are not only significantly to the left of Obama’s but downright liberal in nature (in a few cases in VERY close accord with some of Kangas’s definitions - your own reference which you seem to find reasonable in its delineation of liberal positions).

What you think of Paul in other contexts such as abortion is of little interest to me and does not constitute any kind of response (you did say you’d provide one, you know).  For that matter, I only brought Paul up because he seems to be a clear counter-example to your observation that you “do not know any conservatives who could be said to have any liberal leanings” (the easiest example I could come up with, not knowing or caring much about the rest of the Republican establishment).  If you would like to implicitly withdraw that observation that’s OK with me; otherwise, please defend it by demonstrating exactly why you believe Paul’s positions which I listed do not qualify as liberal in nature.

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

Frankly Scarlett –bill, I will respond as I choose.  You can interpret
however you like.  I’ve already indicated my opinion that Paul’s views
are libertarian not liberal.  And maybe he isn’t even that!  But that is
enough for now.  Perhaps later if I feel like it, I will elaborate.  But for
now, I’m more interested in his views on abortion and contraception.

Quite right.  Quite right.  One must read the words or listen to the
speech of Ron Paul to be fair.  Though I did post his words on some
of these references, I don’t feel too too bad.  If anyone is interested,
it is all there on the ‘net.  One only has so much time.  I will deal with
anything challenged that is for sure, as I always do!  I will provide Dr.
Paul’s own words on his position that is decidedly against women.

But I will give my views on abortion first since my views are just as
valid as his.  Let’s see now, the argument presented against abortion
would be abortion in a late trimester and I would agree but not
completely. I definitely disagree if the life of the mother is at stake
and would without a blink give up the fetus (or baby if you prefer)
whatever point in the pregnancy is the case.  There is a reason the
pregnant woan wants to have an abortion.  Talking it over seems a
good idea since it is a major physical event where complications could
occur.  But whatever is the mother’s decision, it is hers and hers alone.

Those who believe life is one of the highest of values, any decision
to abort can be decisively tortuous emotionally for the moralist, but
undoubtedly emotionally and physically for the woman.  Who could
forget the scene of the abortion in the movie, Alfie?  Whatever
choice one makes is sure to be painful and deeply personal.  And
whatever the personal decision is, it is not worth taking the life of a
doctor who performs late-term abortions and that is unquestionably
immoral in my opinion.  There are many reasons why a woman would
want an abortion at any stage of the pregnancy.  The Family Planning
Perspectives article on “Reasons why many women chose to have
abortions” may be found
athttp://www.holysmoke.org/fem/fem0543.htm

It is always good to confront criticism, as much more information very
often is made available for those who want to be more informed.  For
instance, the legal status of abortions worldwide can be found in a
downloadable pdf document at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2405698.pdf

Reasons for late term abortion are many, not simply capriciousness. 
Many times women with an unwanted pregnancy may not know a
physician willing to risk prosecution or even death as did Dr. Tiller,
to do the operation.  If there are complications, say with a spontaneous
abortion, or taking over from the attempt at an unsafe procedure, both
of which are possible, the doctors may fear prosecution.  The fact is that
where abortion is legalized, the morbidity (the likelihood to die) and
mortality (actual rate of death) of the mother is lower because the
abortions performed are by professional medical persons, who
takes proper care and takes appropriate care of the woman.

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

Quite right.  Quite right.  One ought to at least read the words of, his
books, or listen to his speeches to give Ron Paul proper respect.  So,
yes indeed, let us look at the ersatz liberal Ron Paul in his own words at
least on abortion for now, but Lawrence O’Donnell’s assessment that Ron
Paul is also an anti-libertarian is something I also agree with.  BTW:
O’Donnell’s article does give several quotes right out of Ron Paul’s own
mouth.

Ron Paul says “he believes that human life starts at conception, and
that casual elimination of the unborn leads to a careless attitude toward
all life.” (ronpaul.com website)  I do not agree that human life starts at
conception and while I do not have a casual attitude towards pregnancy,
I do not agree that abortion necessarily leads to a careless attitude
toward ALL life.  He has no more reason to think as he does as I do of
what I do.  We each have an opinion and one has no more priority than
the other, therefore I do not have to agree in the least with Ron Paul. His
stand on abortion is anti-liberal towards the natural rights of women’s
personhood.

He thinks “life begins at conception and that any woman who chooses to
abort a fetus commits some form of manslaughter, murder, or engaged
in a criminal conspiracy to commit same.”  I think he is a preposterous
patronistic psychopath.  Why should his opinions weigh more than mine? 
They don’t.

Ron Paul said, “I am strongly pro-life. I think one of the most
disastrous rulings of this century was Roe versus Wade… Abortion
leads to euthanasia. I believe that.” (from his Congressional speech,
October 1999)  Again, I think he is a madman.  I think he is one of the
most disastrous and dangerous thinkers of this century.  Abortion does
not lead to euthanasia.  He will have to prove one leads to the other. 
As an ersatz-liberal he hs no pro-life feelings for the pregnant woman.

Also, during a May 15, 2007, appearance on the Fox News talk show
Hannity and Colmes, Ron Paul argued that his pro-life position was
consistent with his libertarian values, asking, “If you can’t protect life
then how can you protect liberty?”  Moreover, he said that since he
believes “libertarians support non-aggression, libertarians should
oppose abortion because abortion is “an act of aggression” against a
fetus.  http://www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/abortion/  This is
his personal view, and my personal view is that it is not an act of
aggression since there is nothing there which

“The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of
it,” says Ron Paul.  “We don’t need a federal abortion police. That’s
the last thing that we need. There has to be a criminal penalty for the
person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist.
As for the punishment, I don’t think that should be up to the president
to decide.”  (see the GOP YouTube debate, Nov 2007)  While I agree
none of this should be up to a President to decide, I think Ron Paul’s
views are criminal and leads to violence against living people.  I do
not believe an unborn baby or fetus is a living person.  The job of the
federal government is to protect its citizens. A fetus is not yet a citizen
but a pregnant woman is, therefore the government has the responsi-
bility to protect pregnant women.

Having much to do in terms of work and regular non-bloglife, further
coment about the anti-liberal Ron Paul will have to wait until tomorrow
evening when I will reply to you, –bill, with more on why he is no liberal
in answer to your three questions and possibly even more!  And who is
quite unacceptable as a candidate for President to a fundamentalist
liberal when I will deal further with specific views on social issues.

BTW:  Mrs. Lincoln enjoyed the play up to a point.

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By Leefeller, April 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Nice one Hetro!

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Since you clearly don’t understand how the Paul discussion began, tic, your opinions on the subject aren’t worth even the few words which you wasted on them.  Besides, my question was posed to Shen, not to you.

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By heterochromatic, April 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

bill—- your insistence on that She tailor a response to the illusion that Paul holds
any positions that are a product of his liberality is akin to demanding that Mrs
Lincoln discuss whether she enjoyed the play.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

OM, two questions…..
1. Does a rape victim have the right to an abortion in the first tri-mester? 

2. Are you willing to pay for the children that arise from unterminated and yet unwanted pregnancies?

woof.

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

I’m afraid that you’re reverting to one of your more conspicuous bad habits, Shen:  completely refusing to engage on the points of detail which you were challenged to substantiate.

I really couldn’t care less right now about what you think of Paul’s OTHER positions:  what I very specifically asked you to do (three separate times in two separate posts) was comment on the relatively liberal positions of Paul’s which I listed (after you had claimed that you didn’t know of any conservatives who held any such positions).

Care to try again?

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By OzarkMichael, April 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

It is strange to judge Ron Paul by what Lawrence O’Donnell says, but some people cannot approach a question directly. Some people cannot approach a moral question directly either. Like abortion. Around and around, up and down… but ‘round and round’ is not the same thing as getting to the bottom line. Here is Ron Paul speaking about abortion, from the link She provided:

In the 1960s when abortion was still illegal, I witnessed, as an OB/GYN resident, the abortion of a fetus that weighed approximately 2 pounds. It was placed in a bucket, crying and struggling to breathe, and the medical personnel pretended not to notice.

Soon the crying stopped.

This harrowing event forced me to think more seriously about this important issue. That same day in the OB suite, an early delivery occurred and the infant boy was only slightly larger than the one that was just aborted. But in this room everybody did everything conceivable to save this child’s life. My conclusion that day was that we were overstepping the bounds of morality by picking and choosing who should live and who should die.

There was no consistent moral basis to the value of life under these circumstances. Some people believe that being pro-choice is being on the side of freedom. I’ve never understood how killing a human being, albeit a small one in a special place, is portrayed as a precious right.

If you want to evaluate someone or something, get to the bottom line. Get to it even at the hazard of risking your worldview. Listen to the person that you wish to evaluate instead of someone else’s opinion of the person. It turns out that on this issue Ron Paul had something important to say from a rather intelligent, and informed viewpoint.

And if you wish to evaluate an event, think about the event yourself. In this case, think about what abortion really is. If you dont know(and most people dont) then go see the scalded red skin of baby from a saline abortion(who could have lived if she was simply delivered the day before!), or the dismembered but otherwise perfect little hands and other parts being suctioned out from yet another type of abortion, or the child’s arms and legs writhing in pain from a different type of abortion.

The ignorance of the average atheist will only be an excuse for so long. I think future generations will judge against them on this issue, much like we judge the Christianity of slaveholders from 200 years ago; “How could their worldview allow them do that to another human being?”

But I could be wrong. Perhaps we will all sink ever deeper while we maintain the pretense that we are “evolving” up and up. In that case, since ‘liberty’ and ‘choice’ mean killing an innocent human being today, what will the atheists think ‘freedom’ means tomorrow?

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Sorry about the double post, but it does emphasize the problems
I see with Ron Paul.  The following will give more reasons why he
is not acceptable as President of the United States.

And at the risk of getting e-thrashed thoroughly by –bill for not
kissing Ron Paul’s scrawny ___ (whatever), it is no secret his effort is
to abolish the successful Federal Reserve bank, which is as bananas
as any Banana Republic.  The Fed has saved this country ten thousand
times over the years.  Government regulation is the lifeblood of the
economy because the people’s asses are saved. More regulations are
needed to stop the Wall Street gargoyles!  As a possessor of much gold,
worth millions, it is no wonder Ron Paul is promoting the gold standard,
which for the rest of Americans is ridiculous who have no gold and would
not be able to get any because it is of limited quantity in the world and is
already owned by the already rich.

His foreign policy ideas are è pazzo. The classic and biblical idea of “
do unto others as you would have them do unto you ” would have made
the US far less safe if the US military muscle in the Middle East had not
and is not exercised. The list of attacks is not 9/11 only.  I would agree
that the US should disengage in war, as the only just war is defensive
and certainly not pre-emptive, but to withdraw the military from all the
bases in the world invites disaster.  Mainly because the others did do
unto us with many acts of terrorism. That is not to say the Middle
Easterners who do not want the US in their territory are wrong.  They
have the right to their own life. I fully support the Palestinians right to a
country of their own, but I do not know if a one state or two state is the
solution.  That should be decided by those affected.  Not Americans! 
The Americans do not have to show anyone they are the invincible
bosses.  Each country has their own integrity.  American is part of the
world and should have as much say about what to do about aggressors,
but that should be a full coalition agreed to by the United Nations. Ron
Paul should have to prove his views.  Otherwise he just speaks
sophistical rhetoric.

The CPAC 2010 and 2011 straw polls went to Ron Paul.  It is suspected
even by Republicans who were in the 2011 campaign that the vote was
rigged by his Campaign For Liberty organization. What makes it suspect
is that Paul does not get more than one digit percentage of votes in
almost every election.  There is a reason why!  He is not attractive for
many reasons to the conservative electorate.  The fact that the results
of the straw poll were booed loudly proves he is not popular, and he is
not popular because of his views.  2012 Romney won CPAC, Santorum
second, Gingrich third, and Paul fourth.  And Romney won 2007, 2008,
and 2009.  It is often said by pundits that Paul isn’t really expecting to
win but wants to secure a berth for his son in Congress.  So much for
nepotism.  Say what?

Paul has shown himself to be an anti-Semite, he wants to cut off foreign
aid to every and all countries.  Israel is a country that couldn’t possibly
defend itself even with a small stockpile of nuclear bombs.  It is highly
unlikely anyone in the Middle East would set off a nuclear weapon, even
Iran.  That part of the world would be radiated and eradicated.  And
people would suffer for decades as they still do in Japan from WWII! 
But that does not mean someone insane with nationalism would not
try to set off an N-Bomb in the Western and Northern Hemisphere!
Paul shows himself also to be racist from his long history of hate
speeches following the public exposure of some newsletters written
by, he claims, someone else 25 years ago. His racism is so pervasive
from any one of his speeches in Congress and the bigotry is glaring.
One called “Government and Racism“ can be watched at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3EADdr-5AY

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

More on Ron Paul:
At the Presidential Candidates Debates: 
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=75913#ixzz1reYWLM45

One of Rep. Paul’s answers: “I would like to believe that if we had a freer society,
it would take care of Blacks and whites and everybody equally because we’re all
individuals. To me, that is so important. But if we had equal justice under the law,
I think it would be a big improvement. If we had probably a repeal of most of the
federal laws on drugs and the unfairness on how Blacks are treated with these
drugs laws, it would be a tremendous improvement.

Ron Paul would do away with minimum wage so that people could be exploited even
more than they now are by nefarious employers who notoriously work their employees
to death if they can get away with it.

His stated anti-liberal pro-libertarian view on welfare: He sees “the immigration
problem as a consequence of our welfare state. Welfare because we encourage
people not to work here, but the welfare we offer the people who come - they get
free medical care. They get free education. They bankrupt our hospitals. Our hospitals
are closing. And it shouldn’t be rewarded. That means that if you don’t round them up,
you don’t reward them, you don’t give them citizenship. At the same time, you can’t
solve this problem until you have - you get rid of the welfare state, because in a healthy
economy, immigrants wouldn’t be a threat to us. There would probably be a desire for
more, because we would be starved for workers.”

I completely disagree.  We need a regulated welfare state.  However, my view is that
Mexico is one of the most covertly wealthy countries in the western hemisphere that
keeps their people poor so that Mexico becomes subsidized by their poor hazarding
death to come to the US to eke out a living, laying all their economic woes on the US
to keep their wealthy from having to provide a decent life for their own citizens. That
is most egregious and heinous of Mexico.  Surely these illegal immigrants are not
wealthy!  Surely they are still among the poorest on earth else they would stay in
Mexico were their government made sure they had a decent opportunity to live a
modest life.  But since they are here and working for slave wages and not having
any decent opportunities for health care and education, etc., they take it as they
can and we have to pay for it and like it!  Tough luck Mr. Paul!

And the cherry on top (pun intended) is his stated views on women and their right to
their own bodies and abortion and or contraceptives.  I completely agree with Lawrence
O’Donnell’s evaluation at
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/msnbcs-odonnell-rips-fake-libertarian-ron-paul-over-contraception-abortion/

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

More on Ron Paul:
At the Presidential Candidates Debates: 
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=75913#ixzz1reYWLM45

One of Rep. Paul’s answers: “I would like to believe that if we had a freer
society, it would take care of Blacks and whites and everybody equally
because we’re all individuals. To me, that is so important. But if we had
equal justice under the law, I think it would be a big improvement. If
we had probably a repeal of most of the federal laws on drugs and the
unfairness on how Blacks are treated with these drugs laws, it would be
a tremendous improvement.” The fact is we don’t have equal justice under
the law, or under anything!  The libertarian view is delusional.  It is deceptive
in that it mouths liberal values but really values the individual more than any
oppressed group.  Libertarians refuse to accept there are oppressed groups!

Ron Paul would do away with minimum wage so that people could be exploited even more
than they now are by nefarious employers who notoriously work their employees to death
if they can get away with it.

His stated anti-liberal pro-libertarian view on welfare: He sees “the immigration problem as
a consequence of our welfare state. Welfare because we encourage people not to work here,
but the welfare we offer the people who come—they get free medical care. They get free
education. They bankrupt our hospitals. Our hospitals are closing. And it shouldn’t be
rewarded. That means that if you don’t round them up, you don’t reward them, you don’t
give them citizenship. At the same time, you can’t solve this problem until you have—you
get rid of the welfare state, because in a healthy economy, immigrants wouldn’t be a threat
to us. There would probably be a desire for more, because we would be starved for workers.” 
I completely disagree.  My view is that Mexico one of the most covertly wealthiest countries in
the western hemisphere keeps their people poor so that Mexico becomes subsidized by their
poor hazarding death to come to the US to eek out a living.  Surely these illegal immigrants are
not wealthy!  Surely they are still among the poorest on earth else they would stay in Mexico
were their government made sure they had a decent opportunity to live a modest life.

And the cherry on top (pun intended) is his stated views on women and their right to their
own bodies and abortion and or contraceptives. I completely agree with Lawrence O’Donnell’s
evaluation at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/msnbcs-odonnell-rips-fake-libertarian-ron-paul-over-contraception-
abortion/

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By heterochromatic, April 10, 2012 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

just the worst system possible ...except

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By Leefeller, April 9, 2012 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Yes Hetro, integrity and accountability both seem convivially prevalent in the reality of a jaundiced interpretation, so much lessor then those of most any common person.

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By heterochromatic, April 9, 2012 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Lee—the members of the Supreme Court are not required to recuse themselves
from having a normal life, they’re required to decide cases as fairly as their
abilities permit or not participate if they think that fairness is not theirs to render.

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By Leefeller, April 9, 2012 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Me attempt to be apologetic to Robert Sheer for my previous indiscretion towards ED and my normal deviations from reality.

“How ironic that Barack Obama’s health care agenda would be in a far stronger legal position had the president stuck by his earlier support of a public option.”

Yes a point many of us have pondered.

Robert Sheer is correct the Supremo Court is a text book definition of the word; Hypocrisy, when the spouse of a justice can lobby for politic ideals and special privileges for wealthy friends, me thinks the court is not only tainted, but stinks to high heaven, well if high or low heaven even exists.

It has never been my ignorant opinion, the Supreme Courts job was to interrupt the Constitution and make sure things where good old boy kosher, but my opinions are like cockroach Lobbiests running the halls of Congress, only difference mine are never heard.

The Supreme Court Strip Search Cartoon is so right on and says it all! What is it with this constant insipid moronic Conservative argument and illogical imbicilic point they keep throwing up like we are all attending a Santorum barf fest, reminds me of monkeys at the zoo, throwing dirt at the people ...“because it may happen we must do something about it before it may.”

Now in two incidences I have heard this same conservative dullard point, one from a Florida nit wit State Voter Registration clown and now the Surprise court.  If we make laws on potential views from a few peoples if wgat ‘may happen’  usually these few, seeminly always some conservative moron, I am starting to agree with another nitwit Newt the slug Gangrapes point,  we should send Federal Marshals in and arrest the Surprmos just so they can test the law for it potential ineffectiveness and give them a good old anal probe,... you know, to test the waters. Who knows maybe it will continue to prevent something tolerable from happening?

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Gee Lee, If you don’t know who you are I hope you don’t expect me to figure it out. But if you feel compelled to address statements that you consider foolish…well, you must have a lot of time on your hands. That’s probably a good place to start your search,but I’m pretty sure you won’t like what you find.

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By Leefeller, April 9, 2012 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Left handed Bill, not very nice ED!

Yeah, who am I to question what you say ED, except I find glaring faults in some of what you say and I will call your attention to them, but you don’t have to answer ED, I suspect some of us are adults here?

Usually whenever I see glaring generalities, stereotypes and opinions fostered as absolutist certainty I am compelled to address them, unless of course they are presented by me!

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

Bill, Or should I say Your Holiness…Please forgive me for casting a shadow on your infallability. Do your wear your pointy hat while pontificating ?

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By - bill, April 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Sorry to hear about your ceiling, Shen - but I don’t expect instant responses even when crises DON’T interfere (we all have other things to do as well as talk here).

While I’m sure you have plenty of “choice words about Dr. Paul”, I’m more interested in your reaction to the specific positions of his which I laid out.  I consider many of them to be fairly liberal in character and thus counter-examples to your statement that you “do not know any conservatives who could be said to have any liberal leanings” - but then it’s possible that you meant that statement in a different manner than I interpreted it.

A major difference between Paul and most conservatives is that by virtue of running for office he actually has to put his positions out for evaluation rather than keep them to himself.  Enough other conservatives seem to be supportive of him that I suspect it provides at least some confirmation of my own experience that underneath the veneer of conservative ideology a lot of conservatives have a considerably more nuanced world-view (as I believe liberals do as well).

Another obviously major difference between Paul and the other Republican primary contenders is that he needs to make his differences with them clear, since the rest are running either on their Republican establishment appeal and assumed ‘electability’ (Romney) or pandering to the religious right (Santorum and Gingrich) to try to prevail despite the influence of said establishment.

The great thing about Paul’s continuing presence is that he’s making Republicans THINK more than they usually have to.  Even though most of them are being ‘practical’ and thus siding with Romney (save for the Santorum/Gingrich crowd, some of whom actually believe in their crap and others of whom just don’t trust Romney), wherever Romney’s victory seems assured a lot of them (FAR more than would consider themselves actual ‘libertarians’) are thinking outside their normal box and voting for Paul.

I wish someone of at least modest stature had chosen to primary Obama to give Democrats a similar opportunity to think outside their own box.  As it is, though, having to look to the Republican party to find an interesting candidate is itself an enlightening experience.

But, as I said at the start, my main interest is in whether you consider the positions of Paul’s which I described to be at least moderately liberal, and, if not, why not.  If you can address that before considering my far more nebulous meanderings above I’d appreciate it.

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By Shenonymous, April 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

I’m not ignoring you -bill. But my dining room ceiling just fell down,
literally!  Life happens.  Son-in-law will come to fix it, but much clean
up to do!  Yikes And I work tomorrow so no blogging for tonight.  I do
have some choice words about Dr. Paul.  But they will have to wait for
life to calm down and get back in some semblance of order.  Ciao!

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By heterochromatic, April 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

The fact that Paul also holds some hard-core Libertarian views that I strongly
disagree with (I’m also aware of allegations of past racism which would trouble
me more if they were 1) more recent, 2) more blatant, and 3) more clearly his
own words) does not blind me to the fact that SOME of his positions are
considerably to the left of Obama’s.  So:  what do you think—-

many of the words in those newsletters were written by a guy who was long -
time a top member of Rep. Paul’s staff.


more than that, he is absolutely an isolationist and a crazy-assed one at that.


he’s a guy who called foreign aid to fight AIDS in Africa as “unconstitutional” as
well as ..... a waste of money .

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By - bill, April 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

So you “do not know any conservatives who could be said to have any liberal leanings”, Shen?  This may be fun, if you’re willing to take it seriously.

Ron Paul is by any reasonable definition of the term a conservative (AND very Libertarian in outlook as well, of course).  Contrary to many who would dismiss him as a throwback in ALL his aspects, however, his opposition to our military adventurism is by no means based on ‘isolationism’ or even cost (though he certainly considers the latter to be relevant) but is heavily influenced by his ability to understand and sympathize with how our ‘shock and awe’ approach to getting our own way impacts (literally) those on the receiving end of it and can thereby become counter-productive (at least to the war’s ALLEGED goals).

This view corresponds very closely to Kangas’ description of ‘liberal beliefs about national defense’ at the end of his ‘short FAQ’.

When it comes to the ‘war on drugs’, Paul considers drug abuse to be a medical rather than a criminal issue and personally opposes prohibition at any governmental level; he also believes that drug prosecutions are applied very unequally and hence should be discouraged in any event.  See Kangas’ “What do liberals believe about drugs?” (again in his short FAQ).

A quick look didn’t reveal a section specifically on ‘civil liberties’ at huppi.com, but Paul was one of the few to oppose both the original Patriot Act and its extensions and he opposes a national identification number or card for citizens, warrantless domestic surveillance, ANY surveillance of peaceful First Amendment activites, federal use of torture, circumventing the requirements of habeas corpus, presidential assassination of “people who he thinks are bad”, and “Don’t ask, don’t tell” - where he would have preferred regulations simply prohibiting disruptive sexual conduct in the military regardless of sexual orientation.  Do you consider any of these positions to qualify as ‘liberal’?  I know many people who would.

While Paul considers it a states-rights matter, he is personally opposed to the death penalty because it is applied so unequally (whether he might also oppose it on purely moral grounds he doesn’t say).  Whether that’s quintessentially ‘liberal’ or not I don’t know, but I certainly approve of it.

He also supports prosecuting those responsible for the vast financial fraud that led up to our now-on-going financial crisis.  I consider that to be noticeably to the left in at least practical terms of Obama’s “let bygones be bygones” attitude, though, again, whether it’s actually a liberal rather than just a reasonable position I couldn’t say.

He considers whistle-blowers like Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning to be political heroes (Obama, by contrast, has at least permitted if not encouraged treatment of Manning that arguably constitutes torture - at least Amnesty International thinks it may).

He promotes ballot access and election law reform (e.g., he spoke out against attempts to keep Nader off ballots and introduced a bill to make ballot access for federal offices uniform and easy).

He’s opposed to ‘corporate welfare’.

A great many liberals I know are very concerned that the U.S. is far too supportive of Israel’s continuing oppression of the population of its ‘occupied territories’ (an occupation which is in several respects illegal under U.N. law).  If you fall into that camp you’d probably appreciate Paul’s more even-handed approach to the situation; if not, never mind.

The fact that Paul also holds some hard-core Libertarian views that I strongly disagree with (I’m also aware of allegations of past racism which would trouble me more if they were 1) more recent, 2) more blatant, and 3) more clearly his own words) does not blind me to the fact that SOME of his positions are considerably to the left of Obama’s.  So:  what do you think?

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By - bill, April 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Wow, Ed, if you considered that a ‘left-handed’ blessing you really should work on extracting that bug:  it’s clearly seriously affecting your ability to understand what you read.

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By Ed Romano, April 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Bill, Thanks for the left handed blessing, but one Pope in the world at a time is more than enough.

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By Ed Romano, April 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Lee, I have to explain myself to you ? Who the hell are you that I should be summoned to answer your
interrogation?

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By Shenonymous, April 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

You are intuitive -bill, I intentionally put in the online descriptions
of human rights from the Human Rights Center located in Iceland
because it gave an in depth account of the history of rights.  It also
provides several links to other human rights resources listed in the
column on the left.  It doesn’t hurt to be well read and informed
about the conceptual basis on which most authoritative discussion
has some legitimacy. It was not intended to be an offer of a philosoph-
ical treatise but to provide the meat for the potatoes of philosophical
inquiry or visa versa depending on how one likes their meal of discourse. 

I was informing No_Man’s_Land that rights indeed do exist and as
the Rights Center reveals in its Human Rights Instruments section, there
are “More than a hundred instruments” that were included in that edition
of the Center’s source of information.  The instruments included are the
most important general standards such as the International Bill of Human
Rights, the main regional conventions and the eight major ILO conven-
tions.  But other documented tools are also included.  A reading of each
of the subtopics listed one could wind up well-versed in what the world
generally means by human rights. 

For the more rational investigation of the truths and principles, which
is what philosophy is about, in this case, human rights, I thought the
not-a-professional philosopher, Steve Kangas’ philosophical essays on
various topics were thoughtful and provoking, which is what philosophy
ought to do.  Not that he isn’t educated.  There are a couple of personal
webpages on the guy.  One of my undergraduate degrees is in philo-
sophy and I have read and studied most of the major thinkers the world
has had in it since ancient times to contemporary time, some more,
others less.  Kangas struck me as a clear thinker and able writer and I
also find an affinity with his views.  If you appreciated his essay on
rights, you might find other topics interesting at
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/LiberalFAQ.htm#Backrights 
For a more “traditional” treatment of human rights, check out
Serbian Marxist philosopher, Mihalilo Markovic’s 1981 essay on the
Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, see
http://www.marxists.org/archive/markovic/1981/human-rights.htm and
http://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/m/a.htm#markovic-mihailo
for his credentials, or the essay by Andrew Heard, Associate Professor,
Political Science Dept., Simon Fraser University, Human Rights:
Chimeras In Sheep’s Clothing?
http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/intro.html

You might be on to something about scratching liberals and
conservatives beyond skin deep.  I am a died-in-the-wool liberal,
but I think one cannot be fiscally irresponsible and government’s
spending out of control.  But that does not mean I would not fund
most liberal social programs.  I’d be more inclined to cut military
spending than anything else! But there are other absurd expenditures
the government funds that need justified better.  I do not know any
conservatives who could be said to have any liberal leanings.

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By - bill, April 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Leef, while Ed may have been a bit hyperbolic in claiming that Obama campaigned as “the exact opposite of what he’s turned out to be” (I’m not sure what WOULD be the ‘exact’ opposite’ of the person he campaigned as but I suspect that someone like Mussolini would be pretty close, and while Obama has some pretty obvious tendencies in that direction he’s nowhere nearly there yet), the essence of his statement was correct and substantiable.

(By the way, you need to sharpen up your reading comprehension a bit.  Ed in no way claimed that HE had been bamboozled by Obama, just that a great many of those who supported Obama had been.)

Obama beyond any shadow of a doubt bamboozled the public by emphasizing “change we can believe in” and “an end to business as usual” during his campaign, considering that ‘business as usual’ has been the hallmark of his administation:  back-room deals (with Big Pharma and the insurance and hospital industries during the health-care ‘reform’ fiasco which were in direct contradiction to his own campaign positions in that area), perpetuation and extension of the Bush erosions of civil liberties (something else he claimed to oppose while campaigning), continuing military adventurism combined with serious foot-dragging in his promised withdrawal from Iraq (he even got the Iraqi government to cancel a scheduled referendum that would have forced our withdrawal sooner), the greatest crack-down on government whistle-blowers in recent history (with the most aggressive use of 1917’s Espionage Act in ALL our history) and his proclivity for classifying embarrassing but otherwise not sensitive documents/pictures (as contrasted with his expressed desire for far greater ‘transparency in government’ during his campaign) - the list goes on and on, and those compiling it rather than just providing examples off the tops of their heads (as I’m doing here) got it well into 3 figures before he had been in office even 18 months (I haven’t checked since to see where the count may be now).

Why else do you suppose so many of his supporters just stayed home during the 2010 elections rather than support the party which they felt (largely based on Obama’s lofty rhetoric) had earned their support in 2008?

I voted for Nader in 2008 because I found Obama’s positions to be too center-right to be worth supporting, but I AT LEAST expected him to try to honor them once elected rather than ignore or in several cases actively turn against them.  So I (like Ed) wasn’t bamboozled in the sense that so many of his supporters were, but I’m still mad as hell - and justifiably so.

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By Leefeller, April 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Feeling Bamboozled vs not getting the job done according to expectations, seem like two difference things to me ED? So now Ed stating you got what you expected, but your original post made it sound as if you where Bamboozled, which was it? 

Just for reference sake I found it somewhat disappointing in the fact Obama did not get everything done he stated he would attempt, but being a realist, I suspect life is sort of like that just in my own life and I do not have an obstruction called Congress to contend with, except in a way we all have received the Congresses inaction indirectly.

Damn Obama should have been a White Christian born in the good old USA, none of this would ever have gone down like it turned out, Congress would have been much more receptive and you ED would have been wrong?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Whatever Ed.  You’re playing into their game.  By thinking you have something that you don’t, you stop short of having it truly secured in enforceable law, backed by the will to enforce.  Now those are rights.

Try saying ‘We have the Right.’  as opposed to ‘We have the Right.  Then contrast with this quote from Shen, “They exist necessarily, inhere in every individual, and can’t be taken away. For example, it has been argued that humans have a natural right to life. They’re sometimes called moral rights or inalienable rights.”

To that I would say that if indeed they are abused, ignored, subverted, withheld on a daily basis, then sure enough, we thought we had the right, but when it comes down to it, we didn’t.  As I’m saying for the third time now, we are born with only one right, the right to die. 

And along those lines, I am telling you that our society and the state reflected from it, is moving not toward affirming any right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the opposite.  It is the erosion of civil rights in law which are in reality have made it legal to ‘deny your rights’?  No.  Stop right there. 

Look at some particular recent change in civil rights.  How about something we thought was inalienable, like the limits of what constitutes probable cause, and unreasonable search and seizure.  Recently, some law was passed that allows American citizens on our soil to be arrested by the military if they are suspected of supporting terrorism.  Well, previously, we thought we had a right to a certain legal procedure, burdens of proof, trial by civil authority, etc.  Well, apparently we don;t have that right.  Did we think (before it was gone) that it was inalienable?  Probably.  Now the question…..has our ‘natural right’ been denied?  I say no.  These ‘nautral rights’ are like believing in fairies, or if you’re an atheist, it’s like believing in God.  They can be taken away easily, therefore they were not inalienable. 

But I’ll meet you halfway Ed, as Heterochromatic reminds me, we should use the term ‘legal rights, never ‘rights’ alone.  And when we use the term ‘inalienable rights’, or ‘natural rights’, we should take it with a grain of salt, as if they didn;t exist, because without them being codified in law they are just ‘feel-good’ ‘rights’. 

So, perhaps we should say, “We agree we have a moral obligation to provide all citizenry with full enforceable legal rights to health-care’.

Having taken that step, there’s still the nagging question somebody asked weeks ago, does that mean you can walk into a doctors office and demand treatment?

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By - bill, April 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Your statement about where ‘rights’ come from (“We make them”), Shen, seems consistent with my own opinion in this area.  However, your first link (I suspect wisely) has almost nothing to say on this subject and effectively confines itself the the LEGAL evolution of defined ‘human rights’.

By contrast, your second citation addresses the origin of ‘rights’ in its first 2 sentences, and is something I could have written myself save for its claim to represent the consensus of “most (modern) philosophers”, which I have no way of verifying since the author provides no citation for that claim.

I find it encouraging that philosophy seems to have become more sophisticated in this area over the past couple of centuries, though hardly IMO decisive:  I’ve always felt free to challenge any philosophy that lacked credible evidentiary backing (as I did with Locke’s beliefs in this area a bit earlier in the discussion).

One of the amusing aspects of that discussion was its observation that appealing to some ‘higher’ authority (such as ‘natural law’) for the origin of certain ‘rights’ tended to be a conservative rather than a liberal position - since the two main proponents of the idea of ‘natural rights’ in this thread I suspect would consider themselves to be more liberal than those of us who don’t believe in them.

On the other hand, my own experience has been that when you scratch a liberal you’re apt to find some seriously conservative viewpoints underneath, while when you scratch a conservative you’re apt to find some surprisingly liberal ideas lurking in there - in both cases normally being obscured by their superficial dedication to what they see as their political ideology.  In fact, this to me seems one of the few possible sources of hope in what it otherwise a pretty dismal outlook for our future.

huppi.com is a very interesting site which I had never previously encountered.  I have no idea how authoritative Kangas’ ideas about what constitutes modern liberalism are, but they are expressed very clearly and I find those which I have quickly skimmed to be very much in accord with my own views.  Thanks for introducing me to them.

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By Ed Romano, April 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Lee, I suppose you know what you’re talking about….Was that supposed to mean that I was taken in by Obama and now I’m disappointed?But I am not a believer in thise political system,Lee.To me it is farcical.  When Obama was running for the brass ring and everybody,including some in my own family, was touting him as the next FDR, I told them that they most they would ever get out of him was a little tinkering with the system…. he is not going to be an agent of change.  Therefore, I am not at all surprised by his song and dance act…...expect perhaps a bit taken back by the depth of his bold faced hypocrisy. He certainly has a big set of brass ones.

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By Leefeller, April 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

“This is the same Barack Obama who bamboozled the American electorate into thinking he was the exact opposite of what he’s turned out to be.” A point of view Ed, touted as fact do you realize the difference ED? Expecting something and getting it are two different things, most people grow up and figure this out obviously some people have delusions of grandeur, might have something to do with the high divorce rate I suppose. I want my cake and eat too!

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By Ed Romano, April 8, 2012 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Since the theme of this forum has to do with hypocrisy I thought it would be a good place to post a book review I recieved this week in the Washington Spectator….. The book -The World America Made - by Robert Kagan - The review -Glib Gangster Strikes Again,by Chase Madar  
  Kagan is a veteran of the Reagan State Department, a long time advocate of the right wing agenda in this country and and a leading instigator of Obama’s Afghanistan policy.  Here is part of the review, ” It would be comforting to laugh this off ( Kagan’s right wing mush )as the lingering bad breath of the Bush-Cheney debacle. Boy, would that be wrong. For Robert Kagan has the ear of the prince now more than ever. A cover story in the neo liberal New Republic ( the go to rag for hawkish Democrats with fancy law degrees) brought Kagan’s triumphal ode to the attention of one Barack Obama, who’s been gushing about it to reporters and even worked it into his January State of The Union message.”......
  This is the same Barack Obama who bamboozled the American electorate into thinking he was the exact opposite of what he’s turned out to be. ...And still we are being bombarded by so called liberals and/or progressives trying to make us believe that he is a man of the people…. But the truth is thata few years ago he would have fit very nicely into the category of semi moderate Republican…..I have seen America conned politically many times in my lifetime, but this man is in a class by himself. He seems to have no core at all- his sole concern being to get himself reelected.

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By Ed Romano, April 8, 2012 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

John. I have seen people squirm magnificently to avoid facing the obvious, but your squirm is in a class by itself,. I don’t know if you actually believe the dodge you’re delivering or if you just think everybody is stupid… I’m not even going to try to unravel the obvious flaws in your presentation. You’ve convinced me that it would not do a bit of good.

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By Shenonymous, April 8, 2012 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

-bill April 6 6:25am – on the whole, a cogent argument. To speak to
your parenthetical comment “(via Constitutional amendment if we
don’t trust our lawmakers not to subvert it later on).”  This is true,
except there is a Congress already in power and their subversion is
already in operation and is more or less unassailable save for elec-
tions to replace some regularly but occasionally.  The entire body is
never replaced completely.  The composition of the Congress is what
will determine either satisfying what you think society wants, or deny-
ing it.

NML April 6 at 8:47 am– “Rights are not inherent; we don’t really
know what they are, where they ?come from, or if they exist but we
do know that we prefer not to define the ?healthcare issue in terms of
them.” 

Yes we do have rights.  The Bill of Rights, the United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention
and declaration for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, the European Convention on Human Rights,
the European Court of Human Rights, the findings and declaration of the
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe…  Just to name a
few.  We make them, we the people in various societies say and create
the rights we have.

Are rights natural or inherent seems to be the bone of contention
responsible for many many comments on this forum? 

Seems to me that Locke’s rights from his theory of “the state of nature”
as governed by the law or laws of nature that can be discovered through
reasoning and might be the most natural that can be found since it finds
what prehistoric humans had in their most natural habitat. They would
be naturally free, each equal to any other human being, and independent
since we are born as separate entities. However, this is mitigated by the
fact that no individual is born unto itself outside of a population of like
beings, hence there is a “natural” society.  But that is neither here nor
there, as it is the way I see natural rights, if they indeed exist.

The meaning of the word right through its etymology moves to the
word law.  Natural rights, if they exist, are rights which are “natural”
meaning “not artificial, not man-made,” as in rights deriving from a
concern about obligation, permission, from human nature, or from
the edicts of a god. They are universal; that is, they apply to all people,
and do not derive from the laws of any specific society. They exist
necessarily, inhere in every individual, and can’t be taken away. For
example, it has been argued that humans have a natural right to life.
They’re sometimes called moral rights or inalienable rights.  There are
several Human Rights Reference Handbooks.

There has been an incredible floundering around to find agreement on
what rights mean.
 
For a definitive explanation of all types of rights, the Icelandic Human
Rights Center has published an extensive analysis.  This should put to
rest most if not all questions about rights. Click here

Another essay on human rights, what they are and of what kind they are:
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-rights.htm

History cannot be abandoned regardless of how human behavior can
be shown to have been tarnished.  It is what it is.  Perhaps it is the only
truth there is.  For the reality we have today is a result of all of history. 
It seems remarkably naive to think any religion promotes freedom. 
Religion is one of the most restricting institutions of human thinking
that humans ever invented.  A comprehensive study of the history of
religion, each in all their glory, particularly the three Abrahamic religions,
would reveal that under the authority of religion, freedom of thought, the
freedom to question particularly its authority is not permitted, and often
this has been under the hazard of torture and death.

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By - bill, April 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Not that it matters, John, but in the interests of accuracy I did ‘check back’, since while my memory is pretty good it’s hardly infallible.

I began discussing the topic of what (if anything) might constitute ‘natural rights’ very actively around mid-day on April 2nd.  AFAICT you jumped into the conversation about 48 hours later (in fact, I recall thinking at the time that you seemed to be at least somewhat in accord with what I had been saying, though if you hadn’t been paying much attention until then - you did contribute a post VERY early-on that had nothing to do with the question of ‘rights’ - that may have been coincidental).

I do confess that I can’t understand why you single out ‘the right to die’ as apparently the SOLE ‘natural right’ that you believe exists.  It’s certainly something that will eventually and inevitably occur, and one can usually (though not always) CHOOSE to hasten it, but exactly how that might differ from all the other behavioral choices one is (usually) able to make eludes me.

Our current society (at least on the federal level) clearly does not recognize any such innate ‘right to die’ any more than it recognizes any innate ‘right to live’ (the idea of the latter is present in our founding documents but not in a manner that is considered to be forcing upon our law):  rather, it leaves such questions up to the individual states (e.g., ‘right to die’, suicide, and capital punishment legislation).  So that ‘right’ would not seem to meet the criteria (both explicitly defined AND honored in practice) that you believe any ‘right’ must.

That single ‘right’ possibly aside, we both seem to believe that it is not reasonable to claim that a ‘right’ exists solely on the basis of one’s personal belief system - even of a lot of other people share that belief system, and possibly even if NEARLY EVERYONE ON EARTH shares it (though I’d be willing to bend somewhat to pragmatism in that last case).  I.e., that some tangible EVIDENCE (a legal contract is my preferred form of this) must exist to claim something is a ‘right’.

You seem to go beyond this and require that a ‘right’ not only be explicit but be honored to be considered a ‘right’.  I have problems with that requirement:

1.  If it’s honored in some cases but not in others, is it still a ‘right’?

2.  What, exactly, is the utility of the concept if it only exists when it is honored?

My feeling is that a ‘right’ is a very value-laden and potentially powerful concept that should be carefully defined if its value and power is not to be debased.  My own inclination, therefore, is to choose a definition that protects that value and power rather than dilutes it (as I believe both using the term as promiscuously as some would like to and defining it so narrowly that it ceases to be a potential rallying point tend to do).

I readily admit that this preference is utilitarian more than it is philosophical.  But given that the subject under discussion here is how to achieve universal access to health care, I submit that utilitarian viewpoints may be appropriate.

In sum, I don’t think you and I are very far apart on this, and I did like your observation that the reactions of some others here may in part be based upon confusing ‘right’ as in ‘right and wrong’ with ‘right’ as in ‘the Bill of Rights’ (not that the latter is the only example of the latter use).  It has been an interesting discussion, but whether any progress is still occurring is not clear to me (though I’d love to see something new brought in even at this late date).

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

or “enforceable rights”

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

JB—i see your point….......  we used to simply say “legal rights”

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

nobody reads the WSJ ...as it’s expensive and not worth shit unless you’re an
invester or far to the irresponsible right of the spectrum…...

but it did pop up on the search and the article wasn’t “subscription-only”.


glad to have been of some small help…. I spent years, in former lives, arguing with
positivists.  don’t want to find such shit popping up from people who would call
themselves progressive….

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

hetero, with regard to, “....however, is not really a great position to take. denying the existence of these
rights because of they’re so often violated…....”  I’m not denying that we should stand for ‘something’, but you see my point in using the word two ways? 

I’d say rather than protest a ‘natural right’ to something like, let’s say, health-care,  it might be better to just protest that we won’t tolerate the specific maladies that a lack of health care causes.  Again, I offer that the concept of ‘natural rights’ enters into a debate which has become a playing field with unfair rules, and is somewhat tangent to the objective.  I’d suggest that when health-care is legally secured and practically enforceable through the courts, then and only then we would triumphantly claim ‘We have the Right’.

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Hetero, I don’t read the journal. It wasn’t in the Globe…didn’t see any reports on tv…so thanks.
Thanks also for that post about rights. I was beginni ng to wonder if I had tuned into a nut house.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

You’re still caught up in the semantic trap Ed.  I just gave it up myself a few days ago. 

I know of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and think of it this way, if he did have the ‘right’, what good are any ‘rights’?  Also, the situation is proof that he had no ‘rights’ in that system.  And, I would say since the Nazi’s were a legal government, no, he did not have any rights.  The government, as lousy as it was, excercized their right to hang him.  I prefer, and am suggesting the Nazi’s did engage in an immoral act in killing him, but they were within their rights. 

I know this is weird.  We have more damn words in English than any other language I think, but this ‘smearing’ of multiple subtle definitions on to one word makes us think we have more than we do.  Let that one sink in a bit, the word ‘rights’ is a perfect example.  Yo know what I mean by ‘doublespeak’, correct? (I almost asked ‘right?)  We are mixing ‘right’ (as opposed to ‘wrong’, with ‘right’ as a sort of ‘legal claim which is possessed’, or at least which can not be stopped from being possessed.  And it is perhaps sad, but one must have might, perhaps through their government, to secure rights. 

By the way, as I stated previously, we have no right to life.  Once born, we only have the right to die, because no-one can take that away from us.  That might be useful…..if something is perceived as a ‘‘right’, yet, it can be taken away…..it was not a right at all, we had merely been duped into thinking it was a ‘right’. 

Keep in mind, what I am suggesting is that this is a more useful way to define the word ‘right’.  I am not saying this way of defining ‘rights’ is the common parlance, I am saying the common parlance is too sloppy to secure real rights, and we should tighten up our speech.  This will help avoid political double-speak.   

What I am saying is we need to think of the ‘right’ to various forms of health-care as something we are going to have, not something we already posses. 

-bill, if you check back, I think I started this discussion of the limited worth of the word ‘rights’ when I questioned the notion of ‘natural rights’.  So, it is I who am glad to see you have gotten with the program.  And along those lines, indeed, do you have a ‘right’ (or is that what is a worthwhile meaning of the word) if a ‘right’ is on the books, but yo can’t claim the benefit of that right by using the force of your government?  In for a penny, in for a pound.

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

gents, legal rights offer recourse to law.

moral, natural or human rights are not always enforced or secured by force of
law or any other way.


however, is not really a great position to take. denying the existence of these
rights because of they’re so often violated…....


the “good” of the claim to rights that are denied by force of law…......is
demonstrated by every person who supported the civil disobedience
movements ....and is again demonstrated by every person who (mistakenly)
cries Free Bradley Manning.

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Ed—-reports of the dumping was pretty extensive. Even the Wall Street Journal
carried it.

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Well this poor schmo says that just because somebody can stop yopu from excercising a right doesn’t mean that the right is not intrinsically yours. What you are saying is that you don’t have any rights until you can force the ruling class to accept your claim. The world being what it is….we often have to fight for our rights….to believe that we don’t have any until we fight is like rumbling around on the upper floors of a building without any foundation.
  A German Christian named Bonhoffer was exectuted by the nazis for opposing them. Because he did not possess the might to overcpome them does that mean he didn’t have RIGHT to life ?

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By - bill, April 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

At least you seem to have a clue about what I’ve been saying, John.

tic is confusing a ‘right’ with the patent ability to object, on personal moral or whatever grounds and with whatever available means one sees fit to use, to some situation.  One can (and I hope most would, though recent experience in this country may suggest otherwise) thus object to ‘death camps’ without having to appeal to the concept of ‘rights’ to do so:  it’s just an innate ABILITY (and many would consider a personal RESPONSIBILITY) that comes with free will.

I haven’t gone as far as you have (suggesting that perhaps no rights exist unless they’re being honored) because I DO find the idea of ‘rights’ (even if they’re not being honored) to be useful as long as they are encoded in an EXPLICIT contract that society has made with its members (and can thus be used to prove that society is not honoring that contract and needs to be fixed, if necessary using means that themselves are not part of the contract:  once the contract has been broken, then if the breaking party is not willing to fix things one can argue with at least some justification that ‘anything goes’).

Or to put it another way, I find the idea of well-defined ‘rights’ to be an ADDITIONAL potentially persuasive argument that one can use (when it’s applicable) to raise objections against situations which one feels should be rectified, and thus would prefer not to debase the concept of ‘rights’ to something more like ‘personal morals’ (which are ALREADY available as an argument but in my opinion perhaps less persuasive given how much they can vary across the population).

Within the limits protecting minorities (which represent ‘rights’ explicitly coded into the document) our Constitution makes it possible to create laws defining additional ‘rights’ (whether or not that term is used).  If we want to try to ensure the continued existence of those rights against future erosion we have a process for adding them to the Constitution itself (that too is no absolute guarantee as the repeal of Prohibition demonstrated - though Prohibition was more a restriction than any form of ‘right’ and this likely contributed to its repeal).  But in any event, while any such ‘right’ is on the books it represents a powerful rallying point for those who feel that it is not being honored - IF they have the inclination to so rally.

And (as you just noted in a succeeding post), if a ‘right’ is on the books as law then even if it’s not being honored our system DOES provide mechanisms other than taking to the streets to try to GET it honored:  the court system.  God knows that’s itself debased these days, but it still SOMETIMES functions as it should.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

I disagree Ed.  If the people have might, a strong government that represents the people, not the few, but the general well-being of the people, then and only then do we have the might to oppose those private parties who would deny the rights we claim.  Without the might to secure rights, you don’t have anything, just feel-good slogans.

Some poor schmo can scream they have the natural god given right to equal opportunity till they are blue in the face, but until they can sue the government for something like perhaps GI benefits, or some legal means to secure ‘equal opportunity’, what do they have? nada.  They have something to proclaim that they can’t secure.

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

John, We may have to fight to protect a right, but this doesn’t mean that rights grow out of might. Might can stop us from excercising a right but it can’t be the parent of a right. Governments can force us to do many things…pay taxes,fight in wars, support measures we despise…. but governments are not the source of rights. One of the few things this government ever got right was when the old timers said that certain rights are part of our being born human. If we are weak….they can be taken away by the strong. If we are not vigilant they can be slowly eroded ( as if happening now ), but they are not the gift of force, coercion and might.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 7 at 5:27, ‘moral rights’, (death-camps), as opposed to legal rights.  I there an illusion of rights going on here?  PErhaps this is why -bill makes the claim he does, and I’ve made it too.  I think semantics are more to ‘mere’. 

I would say that death camps happened, or Guantanamo bay, shows the prisoners perhaps had some moral consensus, some recognition, but without the might, is there really a right, and most importantly, do we de-base the word ‘rights’ when we apply them in situations where there is not only the legal backing, but the general willpower to assure legal rights are backed up with the full force of the government. 

I’ll take that step.  I’ haven’t read to see how far -bill went, but I’m saying the word ‘right’ becomes dangerous if both the law and willpower of the executive branch (the police) is missing.  That is, what good is even having a ‘right’ on the books as a lew unless it is going to be backed up?  It might make people feel good, and that is dangerous. 

Consider one who is ‘rounded up’ for a concentration camp…...they might proclaim to their oppressor that the oppressor does not have the right to arrest, detain, etc.  And the oppressed party might indeed claim they have the right to be left alone, or to due process, even if they technically do have these rights on the books, isn’t it a terribly dangerous false sense of confidence these sorts of ‘hollow rights’ provide?

So yes, I am making a case for looking closely at the semantics of the words, and not giving multiple levels of meaning to a single word.  This gets us in trouble many times…....it is the essence of doublespeak, and this is very dangerous.

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Hetero, I checked it out…it is 12 metric TONS not 12 million….still significant but not as eye popping…However, story says this is not the first leak that’s been reported. Researchers at Dartmouith College reported the finding of radioactive iodine in the waters off New Hampshire…

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Hetero, You might be right. I got the figure from my brother in Florida. He gets Democracy Now on TV. I can only access it on the net. You can check to see if it’s up on the net site…..12 million does seem like a lot, but even 12 thousand tons is close to being a crime against humanity.And it must have been substantial if iot’s showing up here.  Where did you hear of this ?

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Ed—- could you post a link to that, please?

The mainstream media is reporting that Japan was dumping slightly less than 12
THOUSAND tons of contaminated water and waste.

I hadn’t seen that it was millions of tons.

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Good afternoon comrades, If you haven’t already heard this I suggest you sit down while reading it….
Democracy now is reporting that the Japanese have dumped 12,000,000 TONS of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean. It has been reported that some of this radioactivity is showing up on the shores of New Hampshire…. I haven’t heard a word about this on the mainstream media….perhaps because Obama has recently signed on to building new nuclear power plants in this country ???? This moldern world is beginning to resemble a sci-fi horror show.

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By Ed Romano, April 7, 2012 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

I am not in the habit of putting words on the operating table and disecting them in order to put them back together in a manner that fits more neatly into what I already believe. And no amount of verbal ju jitsu is going to make me believe that,for eaxmple, black is white or that a wild skunk makes a good house pet.

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By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

bill——you’re the one with the confusion. your insistence that there are no rights
other than legal ones….removes the basis for complaint against death camps.


what reason would people have to complain about the existence and
administration of the camps ?

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By - bill, April 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

I’m not responsible for your problems with reading comprehension, Ed.  Are you EVER going to get that bug out of your ass and start trying to contribute something useful again?

You’re confusing the idea of ‘rights’ with the ability of individuals to stand up for what they personally believe in, tic.  People CAN unquestionably object to the existence of death camps regardless of whether the society in which they reside defines such objection to be a ‘right’ or not - and if enough of them object with sufficient vigor the society WILL be changed (perhaps by defining some additional ‘rights’ in addition to closing the camps and holding those responsible for the camps accountable).

Likewise, people can choose to demand universal access to health care whether or not the society in which they reside defines such access as a right - and if enough of them do so in a democracy this will become at least a de facto (and possibly a de jure) right (at least within the limits of the society to satisfy it).

It’s certainly tempting to define such attempts to change society into something more consistent with one’s personal beliefs as a fundamental (‘natural’) right, but once you do something like that the question becomes what ISN’T a fundamental right (as you yourself seem to have raised with respect to universal access to health care).

Better in my opinion to keep metaphysics out of the discussion of ‘rights’ and simply observe that people have free will and the ability to try to exercise it regardless of what society may define in the way of ‘rights’, thus limiting the definition of ‘rights’ to matters of verifiable fact.

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By heterochromatic, April 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

end about as appetizing.


when it’s reduced to no rights, then you’re stuck with laws that are grounding in
nothing but sovereign proclamation….and nothing is wrong save what is illegal
and nothing is illegal unless it’s malum prohibitum.

when it’s not illegal to send them to the death camps, there’s no grounds for
objection….other then practical considerations of expense and utility.


(the utility addemdum was for dear She)

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By Ed Romano, April 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

.....About as clear as mud.

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By - bill, April 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

NML, the REASON that “we are no closer to defining, understanding, resolving or reaching consensus on this issue” is because you chose to CHANGE the issue of how we should go about obtaining access to health care for everyone in this country into the issue of whether some kind of innate ‘natural’ rights in this area already exist.  Had we put that philosophical point aside (as I suggested at least twice) and tried merely to reach agreement that we SHOULD have universal access to health care in this country we would have reached agreement in no time (well, I’m not sure whether tic would have been on board, but even he might have been after a bit of back-and-forth clarification).

Had we had that discussion, you would likely also have had far less difficulty understanding that no one actively participating here (again, possibly excepting tic) considers such guaranteed access to health care merely a ‘nice to have’:  we consider it something well worth demanding, but some of us balk at trying to define it as some kind of already-existing right rather than something we should demand to be DEFINED as a NEW right.

Furthermore, you’d have had less difficulty understanding that people ALREADY HAVE put forth very specific reasons why people SHOULD have such access (e.g., better overall efficiency in providing health care given that the current situation steers the un- and under-insured to highly cost-INeffective emergency room services, fiscal infeasbility of providing health care - even not quite to everyone - using the private insurance mechanism, better quality of life for both the currently un- or under-insured and those who care about them).  You really seem to have been focusing so narrowly on the issue of ‘natural rights’ that you haven’t managed to hear much of what others were saying.

The reason I suggested that you set your philosophical point aside was precisely to try to avoid the problems inherent in attempting to herd cats.  Many people are pretty comfortable in their own skin and resist being told that their approach to life is cock-eyed - so it makes a hell of lot more sense to try find a way that the policies you want to enact can be viewed as CONSISTENT with their existing personal philosophy.  This turns the problem of trying to herd cats into the non-problem of getting cats to converge upon a treat that you’ve put out for them.


tic asked, “what more would you have us establish to be rightfully ours?” - not an unreasonable question, though I would have thought the answer was obvious.  Given that emergency-room treatment is the LEAST cost-effective way to handle medical needs, and given that it’s also the LEAST effective way to minimize the total need for care, I think it makes sense for society (ESPECIALLY a society that DOES otherwise mandate that emergency care will be given) to instead provide for earlier, preventive care to everyone to minimize the total burden of medical care upon the society and (not incidentally) obtain the other societal benefits that a healthier population confers.


Perhaps the babble about the existence or non-existence of ‘rights’ in general was merely an awkward attempt at humor, but just in case:

No one here seems to deny the existence of rights.  Some of us, however, deny the existence of mystical rights beyond those that society has elected to DEFINE as rights (sometimes at the behest of its citizen who may DEMAND this).  Clear now?

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By Ed Romano, April 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

,,,,Not “rightly”. NO. He wouldn’t allow that I’m afraid.

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By heterochromatic, April 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

ya mean ....speak to him direct?......

 


can we rightly demand that?

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