Tuesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. So … if you hear (or gasp, repeat) that 98% of Catholic women use birth control … just remember to support that statement you have to be a liar or just plain dumb.
  2. Braaaaap.
  3. Mr Lin basketball phenom?
  4. Democrats … against democracy?
  5. How Mr Obama approaches the budget deficit … make it as big as possible as fast as possible?
  6. Inconvenient fact for the anti-piracy crowd.
  7. I overheard this from an airport news TV … One fact struck me, apparently the Justice was robbed for $1k in cash at knifepoint. Who carries $1k in cash as walking around money? That seems just a bit excessive.
  8. Credit ratings.
  9. Of Mr Nixon and Mr Reagan.
  10. eSchool.
  11. A principled man.
  12. Free market supporter he is not.
  13. Mr Obama and South America?

One response to “Tuesday Highlights

  1. 1.So … if you hear (or gasp, repeat) that 98% of Catholic women use birth control … just remember to support that statement you have to be a liar or just plain dumb.

    The figure seems to be accurate but you have to read it closely (I suggest perusing the 3rd comment on the page). About 98% of sexually active Catholic women who don’t want to become pregnant use contraception. As the human mind often goes bonkers when percentages are involved, it is easy to drop the “active…don’t want to be pregnant” traits and turn it into 98% of Catholic women. Clearly, though, that’s silly. After all, why would 70 yr old Catholic women use contraception? Even if they thought it was ok to use?

    But here’s the rub, the non-sexually active population is of no interest, the non-fertile populatin is of no interest. What is of interest is how Catholic women who want to avoid pregnancy do it. Do they follow the Church’s demand of using natural family planning or do they use contraception and t he answer is they use contraception. Well not all of them but a huge portion of them and that is of interest because there’s two issues at debate here. The first is the issue of whether religious liberty means the gov’t can’t set a uniform health coverage policy that applies to mostly secular institutions that just happen to be affiliate with a church (churches themselves are totally exempt). The second is the fact that the Catholic Bishops want to engage in social engineering, they know the contraceptive prohibition is widely ignored and they naturally want to reverse that trend. One possible way to try to do it would be to make contraceptives ‘not the norm’.

    Naturally those arguing for them will pretend that the first issue is 100% of their concern while the second is more like 0%, but this is, of course, irrational. Why wouldn’t those who believe in the Church’s policy on contraceptives (and if the Bishops don’t then I don’t know who would!) want to support social engineering policies that discourage contraceptive use? The answer is there is no reason they wouldn’t so the argument can’t all be about the religious liberty angle, but game theory says the best strategy is to pretend it is.

    Why? Well the Catholic Church is free to advocate social engineering that’s anti-contraceptive. But in a democratic society that is a losing proposition. The majority of Americans are non-Catholics and most non-Catholic denominations are ok to one degree or another with contraception. As the stat gets right, most Catholics themselves are ok with it too. While it’s theoretically possible for anti-contraceptive policies to win (and I’m not talking about direct bans, just ‘nudge policies’), it’s pragmatically impossible in the US in this time period. So the best way to get such a policy would be the Trojan way, not the condom but the hoarse…sneak it in under the guise of something else. Hence ‘religious liberty’, which most people like and would support in general.

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