Thursday Highlights

Good morning.

7 responses to “Thursday Highlights

  1. When I said that terrorist unlike conservative/liberal and socialist/capitalist didn’t have a “common” usage in the same vein … I was wrong.

    Does that mean you agree neither should be used by the candidate to describe the other candidate?

    Abortion in cases of incest and rape.

    Opposing abortion in those cases is consistent with the notion that abortion is murder. After all, it’s not the “baby’s” fault. Most Americans, however, think abortion should be legal in those cases.

    I think that reveals an intuition that fetuses and babies are two different things. I mean, nobody would say that babies should be murdered if they were a result of rape, right?

    So to me, the rape and incest exceptions are evidence that fetuses are not (yet) babies and shouldn’t be treated as such. You can still think abortion is wrong, but this argument that it is morally equivalent to murder is intellectually bankrupt for all but the most conservative of Christians. (Maybe Muslims too, but definitely not Jews. Abortion is not remotely like murder according to the Torah and Talmud, although it is not allowed unless the mother’s life is in danger.)

  2. One more point on the “socialism” discussion. A spectrum if it could even be said to be a spectrum from pure capitalism to pure socialism, where the Republicans and Democrats lie:

    PC ——-Rs-Ds————|————————-PS

    Now how does it makes sense to call Democratic policies (which incidentally were more or less supported and defended by John McCain as recently as four years ago) “socialist?”

  3. Media bias?

    The problem with these studies is that they begin with their own biased assumption, that each candidate is an exactly even mix of positive, negative and neutral. What happens, though, if one candidate does have objectively worse stuff going on than the other? If Mr X is implicated in a murder does the media have to report equally about Mr Y’s unpaid parking ticket from 5 years ago? That’s an extreme case, of course, but it illustrates how absurd it is to imagine some mysterious sociological mechanism will always generate candidates who are exactly equal.

    McCain has run an unfocused campaign with a lot of contradictions (examples, experience matters, experience is for ‘elites’, Obama pals around with terrorists, Obama’s a good decent man with whom I have some disagreements, and so on). His choice of a running mate is becoming clear every day as a diaster and poll after poll gives Obama wins on many subjects. The press, if anything, is not negative enough on McCain. The ancedote that I think illustrates this perfectly was CNN’s ‘experts’ giving McCain a win or draw in the last debate until the first instant polls came back giving Obama the win.

    The second problem is that there is very clearly an active and vocal segment of main stream media rooting for McCain (talk radio and Fox News). Media bias is usually the first scapegoat Republicans turn to when things don’t go their way but today the claim is even less worthy of our respect than it was in the past.

  4. JA,
    Your graph illustrates my point very well, except for there is wide disagreement bout the placing of your vertical bar.

    Some people (you) say:

    PC ——-Rs-Ds————|————————-PS

    Some say

    PC ——————-Rs-|-Ds——————-PS

    Others (me for example)

    PC ——————–|—Rs—Ds——-—-PS

    Common usage of capitalist vs socialist is to refer to where we think a person lies in relation to that vertical bar. It says as much (or more) about the person making the claim, i.e., it places their perception of the bar, as about the target of their remarks.

    Oh, and I’m repeating myself but …

    Does that mean you agree neither should be used by the candidate to describe the other candidate?

    I said that last night. I agree that is not useful to inject into the conversation. My point is that it is etymologically correct, i.e., supported by common usage.

  5. Common usage of capitalist vs socialist is to refer to where we think a person lies in relation to that vertical bar.

    It’s “common usage” to call Democrats “socialists” the way that it is “common usage” to call police officers “pigs.” It doesn’t make it okay.

  6. I don’t remember John McCain ever saying he wanted to take money out of my pocket and give it to people who are even less successful than me, just to make things fair.

    And Obama is not a Democrat just because he says he is, anymore than a wolf is your grandma just because he’s wearing her bonnet.

  7. Jim Treacher:

    I don’t remember John McCain ever saying he wanted to take money out of my pocket and give it to people who are even less successful than me, just to make things fair.

    Audience member: Why is it that someone like my father who goes to school for 13 years gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he’s a doctor?

    John McCain: I think it’s to some degree because we feel obviously that wealthy people can afford more.

    Audience member: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism ‘n stuff?

    McCain: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

    Video.

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