Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. When Mr Bush was President and today little policy change, big change however in the volume of criticism. Hmmm, and that’s likely one example among many.
  2. Climate. And some words on the snowy winter we’re having.
  3. Yet another elephant in the room, which is not unlike the childhood obesity elephant.
  4. What? He’s going to just fold? Riiiight.
  5. Coptic images.
  6. Democracy and the kayak.
  7. Communications and self-censorship.
  8. Cutting to the heart of the problem with liberal notions of the welfare state, “A movement whose main promise is the relief from responsibility cannot but be antimoral in its effect, however lofty the ideals to which it owes its birth.”
  9. A failure of imagination. So many times “if X then Y” does not follow. Liberal multiculturalism likes to tout the notion that there are many ways to think about things … except apparently when they argue.
  10. Measuring an uprising.
  11. Fun with maths.
  12. What normally doesn’t happen when you fall 1,000 feet off a sheer cliff.
  13. Bully in transit, and I think it helped that the person assisting with the bully was taller.
  14. Well, at least political rhetoric laced with military images  haven’t (yet) been blamed.

8 responses to “Monday Highlights

  1. Cutting to the heart of the problem with liberal notions of the welfare state, “A movement whose main promise is the relief from responsibility cannot but be antimoral in its effect, however lofty the ideals to which it owes its birth.”

    Are all elements of the welfare state about ‘relief from responsibility’? Or to rephrase that slightly are all victims of the market people who deserved to ‘get it’ in one way or the other? Are the only poor people lazy people? Are the only people who get laid off goofing off at work? Are the only ones who arrive at 65 without enough to retire those who deserve to live their last years in poverty?

    A failure of imagination. So many times “if X then Y” does not follow. Liberal multiculturalism likes to tout the notion that there are many ways to think about things … except apparently when they argue.

    I’m not sure what the link about Republican attempts to define a ‘Rape-lite’ into the law regarding abortion has to do with this……is this perhaps the wrong link?

  2. Boonton,
    Your question didn’t logically follow … responsibility for your welfare does not depend on deserving to get it. That is, in the “New England Yankee” version of self reliance, misfortune is handled self (or family) irrespective of whether the misfortune was deserved or not.

    And no. It’s not the wrong link. I’m not angling at the “rape-lite” discussion as it is likely unfruitful. However, as is often the case here as well as elsewhere, people often use a (real or pretended) lack of imagination is turned into a rhetorical advantage. Mr Schraub for example states “If the idea is that the unborn child is innocent, then the idea of a rape exception makes no sense.” and ” If the idea is that rape renders the mother innocent, then it does — but that just goes back to the notion of abortion regulation being about judging women for having sex.” Those two statements are evidence of Mr Schraub’s (real or imagined) lack of imagination. What he mean (in the second example but the first is the same) ” If the idea is that rape renders the mother innocent, then it does — but that (as far as my short list of reasons for the former would imply) just goes back to the notion of abortion regulation being about judging women for having sex.” There may be reasons why rape changes the perspective of rape which, in this case render the mother innocent but which are not in fact about “judging the women for having sex.” I suspect you could, on a moments reflection, come up with several reasons for making such a claim … and if you have one however implausible that leads you directly to my point. That lack of imagination is a poor rhetorical technique even if common.

    I’ve chided you for similar sorts of things, in different contexts. Where you offer objections to my speculative ideas you often fail to consider those objections in the light of finding ways around them yourself. And I don’t mean to pick on you for that. It’s a common sort of failing. JA gets disgruntled at me when I take what seems to me the logical consequence of something he states as the thing which he stated.

  3. I think you need to try phrasing that again, I’m not really getting it. I get the logical issue with permitting abortion in terms of rape. You’re basically saying that the state is going to madate childbirth on women who become pregnant. In terms of rape, the state may refrain from the mandate not because the unborn children of rapists are not human but because the burden on women is unjust. (A little bit like the premise of Saving Private Ryan….it was too much to ask a family to loose all their sons in war hence the military decided to pull Ryan out of harms way in Europe).

    It seems to me trying to create a spectrum of different rapes is unhelpful. If you want to take the pro-life position that rape is not sufficient to justify abortion then do so. If you want to allow abortion in cases of rape for the above reasons then do so as well. Trying to set rape victims against each other (you got seduced by your teacher when you were 12 years old, no abortion for you….your sister got clubbed on the back of the head in an alley by a sex fiend, she can have one) is just a very poor idea IMO for the Republicans.

    Your question didn’t logically follow … responsibility for your welfare does not depend on deserving to get it.

    Let’s note for the record that the quote comes from Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which is about collective planning. In other words its a strawman from the beginning as it addresses something no one has seriously advocated for a half century or more.

    The quote is presented, though, with the implication that the welfare state is set up to help people ‘dodge responsibility’. Presumably the mechanism it does that by is protecting people from reaping the consquences of their irresponsibility. This then leads to the question are those who benefit from the welfare state irresponsible to begin with?

    Probably the first act of the welfare state in history was the institution of public schools to make education universal. It was welfare since children were the primary ones who benefitted and they were not asked for payment. Yet it doesn’t seem to make sense to say a 6 yr old can’t read or write because they were lazy or irresponsible. Likewise other welfare acts, unemployment insurance, social security, general welfare etc. all seem to me like programs that *may* benefit those who are irresponsible but unless you want to argue in some form of Calvinist predestination doesn’t seem to imply that only the irresponsible benefit.

  4. Boonton,
    I’m not actually talking about rape or consequences but logic and rhetorical practice. Where Mr Schraub argues “therefore it’s about punishing women for sex” he assumes (via the lack of imagination rhetorical trick) that there can be (or are no) other ways to get to the statement noted except via a need to punish women. I’m making not talking pro-life or not but making instead a stand against limited imagination as a rhetorical ploy.

    The quote admits a moral hazard created by helping those in need. Why is that so difficult?

  5. Ok then what exactly is the purpose of the ‘therefore’? Why would there be a different set of rules regarding abortion for cases of ‘forceable rape’ versus ‘other types of rape’?

    The quote admits a moral hazard created by helping those in need. Why is that so difficult?

    The quote is about a regime whose ‘premised’ on avoiding responsibility, not simply a side effect. Fire insurance may result in some people torching their buildings for the payout but it’s hardly ‘premised’ on that.

  6. Boonton,

    Why would there be a different set of rules regarding abortion for cases of ‘forceable rape’ versus ‘other types of rape’?

    Why is this question coming up? Are you implying that “punishing women for sex” is the only logical reason for that? Really?

  7. It’s a good hypothesis. Another hypothesis is that some pro-lifers think they can do a ‘slice and dice’ job on a rape exemption to limit abotion as much as possible.

    This keeps the problem alive of seeming to set rape victims against each other implying that non-foceable victims are somehow less ‘pure’ than force victims. If the GOP really wants to go down that road they better articulate their thinking now rather than play this coy game of ‘guess our possible motivations’.

  8. Boonton,
    I think we’re talking at cross purposes here. I offered no opinion at all on the particular Congresscritter’s move on abortion but was remarking on rhetorical practices.

    Guessing motivations (as you well know) is standard in law and our penal system. Why you pretend it’s impossible here is beyond me. For example in murder trials “intent” and “possible motivations” figure prominently in deciding what is the charge and penalty.

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