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Abortion Extremists: Is It Time to Bump Some Heads Together? 

June 1, 2019

The ability to see both sides of an issue is the moderate’s peculiar gift and curse. We simply can’t understand why the partisans at both ends are unable (or more likely, unwilling) to look beyond their team’s accepted dogma, examine the evidence, and draw rational conclusions in the manner of our own much-maligned and marginalized tribe.

Take abortion, one of the most divisive issues of our time, and one that refuses to go away. A good moderate will readily acknowledge that a fertilized egg cell contains the blueprint for a human life. Given nine months to incubate and develop, the finished product will pop into the world as a bona fide baby. At the same time, we might question whether a five-week-old embryo, a shapeless organism the size of a sesame seed, is actually a human being.

The pro-life faction is adamant: that little sesame seed is indeed fully human, endowed with all the rights and privileges appertaining to that exalted status. To abort it at any moment after conception is murder, they tell us.

Meanwhile, the pro-choice team refuses to recognize the humanity of a five-month fetus that can make voluntary movements, suck its thumb, open and close its eyes, and drift off to sleep at regular intervals. They frame their argument as a simplistic feminist talking point — “Hands off my body!” –- which conveniently overlooks the fact that a second (and genetically distinct) body is rapidly growing inside that body. Does the second body have any rights as a developing human? Apparently not.

The abortion extremists tell us there’s no middle ground, and on that score they’re technically correct: either a developing baby is aborted or it isn’t. But the extremists show us the middle ground by default.

For example, forcing a rape victim to carry a baby to full term, as recently mandated by the benighted legislatures of half a dozen mostly-red states, is an extreme imposition on a victim who is already scarred for life. It enables the rapist to inject his unwholesome DNA into the population and, in some cases, even sue for custody rights. 

But it gets worse: in Georgia, for example, a woman can now be charged with second-degree murder for having a miscarriage; she’d have to prove in court that the miscarriage was natural and not the result of drug abuse or deliberate sabotage. Not to be outdone, Texas was considering a bill that could actually impose the death penalty on women who have abortions -– along with the doctors who perform them.

That’s one extreme. The other is the no-compromise abortion-on-demand whooping of the pro-choice faction. Illinois has cleared the way for murderous partial-birth abortions, and New York also approved a bill allowing abortions up to the moment of birth; aborted babies who somehow survived the procedure could be left to expire on the operating table. Granted, these last-minute abortions are rare, and most would be prompted by potentially fatal deformities or a maternal health crisis. (Of course, the “crisis” could simply be defined as the potential for “emotional distress” on an unprepared mother-to-be.) 

But here’s what sent a chill through my bones: pro-choicers in New York took to the streets to celebrate their state’s decision, and even the Empire State Building lit up in solidarity with the victors. Call me an old white male reactionary, but celebrating the right to abort a full-term baby -– or even a six-month fetus — strikes me as ghoulish and perverse. 

It seems obvious, at least to a moderate, that a viable middle ground on abortion lies somewhere between the two extremes. In fact, Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that finally legalized abortion back in 1973, wisely took a moderate stance on the issue by permitting abortions after the first trimester only in exceptional cases. (That window was later extended to five months, the approximate point at which a fetus becomes viable outside the womb.)

So why can’t America live with the reasonable terms of Roe v. Wade? Simple: the pro-life faction won’t back down from its insistence that human life begins at conception, and the pro-choice movement won’t accept any restrictions on a woman’s right to abort (um, “choose”) at any time during her pregnancy –- especially by male authority figures.

In short, neither faction will surrender any turf in this ongoing war. The hostilities could rage on until America crumbles or our species goes extinct -– whichever comes first. And if neither faction will compromise, we moderates need to start bumping some heads together

Here’s what I’d tell the pro-lifers: a first-trimester fetus bears only a remote resemblance to a human being. The genetic material is there, but it has barely begun to express itself. A potential human life at three months isn’t yet a human life, even with a heartbeat. (Salamanders have heartbeats, too.) A first-trimester fetus feels no pain, but a young woman forced to carry a rapist’s child will feel pain for the rest of her life

I’d urge the pro-choice contingent to remember that abortion isn’t like an appendectomy. Simply using sanitized slogans like “reproductive rights” or “my body, my choice” doesn’t obscure my impression that they’re a little too zealous about asserting their rights over those of a developing baby. Abortion should only be an absolute last resort in cases that don’t involve rape, incest or maternal health complications. Putting an unwanted baby up for adoption is preferable to killing it; birth control is even better.

How do we ultimately satisfy both factions after we’ve bumped their heads together? After all, a compromise is a solution in which neither party gets what it wants. But sometimes that’s the only solution

Let’s agree that a first-trimester fetus is not yet fully human. Let’s also agree that a viable third-trimester fetus is fully human. That leaves the second trimester as our gray zone, the no-man’s land upon which more battles are likely to be fought.

Any cutoff point we impose would have to be arbitrary, but so be it. Here’s my imperfect (yet eminently reasonable) moderate solution: cut the second trimester (and the pregnancy) neatly in half, with no abortions allowed after 20 weeks except in cases of severe health complications for either the mother or the unborn child. All other abortions would be performed before the 20-week cutoff point — and preferably during the first trimester.

Yes, I’m a man. I have no uterus to speak of, and therefore I’ll be chastised by feminists who would stifle my right to an opinion on this sensitive matter. I’ll also be threatened with hellfire and damnation by those who believe that a fertilized egg is sacred. 

But don’t worry about me. As a diehard moderate, I’m used to being caught in the crossfire. In fact, sometimes I think I enjoy it a little too much.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three collections of darkly humorous essays are available for $2.99 each on Amazon. (Just look under “Rick Bayan.”)

All material in The New Moderate copyright 2009-2019 by Rick Bayan.

169 Comments leave one →
  1. Jay permalink
    June 1, 2019 7:45 pm

    I agree 100% with your assessment, Rick.
    We will see no chance of lawmakers pursuing that middle ground.

  2. Ron P permalink
    June 1, 2019 8:02 pm

    As long as previous SCOTUS decisions can be reviewed by future, and politically opposite, supreme court justices, abortion will never be settled. Roe v Wade should have settled this issue, but now with a conservative court, Roe v Wade could be reversed. And in the future, with a political court aligned with the more liberal positions, Roe v Wade might become law once again, under a different name. And a more “moderate” court with more Kennedy’s, O’Connor’s and (blocked) Garland’s leading to your moderate positions are now dinosaurs after Reid removed the 60 vote requirement that is now applied to most all senate votes. This, and the fact the political parties dont want it settled. It energizes their bases more than any other issue other than defeating Trump. Once Trump is gone, its #1 in priority once again!

  3. June 1, 2019 8:14 pm

    Ron, you raised an intriguing point (and Jay, you implied it): that our politicians don’t WANT to help settle ongoing disputes over matters like abortion. The discord does exactly what they want it to do: anger (and therefore energize) their base. It’s all about the base these days, and never about the good of the country. I wish moderates had a base that could be energized, but most of us aren’t angry enough yet.

    • Jay permalink
      June 1, 2019 8:41 pm

      No Rick, I’m a REALLY ANGRY moderate.

      Angry because it’s futile to try to persuade those who have already committed to extreme positions THEY think are moderate they are wrong.

      Only catastrophic events bring about a wider consensus opinion – like the Depression and WWII did. But those periods of consensus are temporary. Cultural and political bias is weed-like persistent: chop them down, the soon grow back.

      • June 1, 2019 10:14 pm

        Jay “Cultural and political bias is weed-like persistent: chop them down, the soon grow back.”
        While a few years ago ppre Obama, the “weeds” were no worse than dandelion.
        Today those weeds are kudzu!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2019 10:29 am

        Jay, you are the extremist you accuse others of being.

        You PRESUME that you have a right to successfully persuade others – while having the same dogmatic certainty that you are right as those you attack as extremists.

        There is no “moral” difference created by the label “extremist” or the label “moderate”.

        Some issues call for compromise – there are no moral principles involved, and despite differentiating views there is no absolute right or wrong.

        Immigration comes immediately to mind. There are legitimate issues involving immigration regarding what laws and positions will actually work, but there is not some fundamental moral principles in conflict.

        But every issue is NOT absent fundimental moral conflicts.
        Abortion being a clear example.

        In many instances I am not clear what you beleive. But it is crystal clear to me that you are as angry and as dogmatic, and as certain that you are right about it as everyone you disparage.

        There is nothing wrong with being angry, nor is being certain you are right inherently evil. But attacking others for your own attributes is hypocritical.

        You have the right to speak, not the right to be heard, much less the right to persuade.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2019 10:41 am

        The concensus resulting from catastrophe nearly always leads to BAD results.

        The depression resulted in a massive expansion of the power of govenrment with ABSOLUTELY NO BENEFIT.

        FDR did not end the great depression – in fact it lasted longer in the US than anywhere else, and like the more recent great recession its duration correlates most strongly to the degree of govenrment efforts to mitigate it.

        WWII brought us FDR’s decision to inter US citizens of Japanese ancestry.

        The sinking o f the Lusitania brought us into WWI,

        The Terrorist attack on the world Trade Center resulted in wars in the mideast, the patriot act, mass surveilance, …..

        Catastrophe near universally results in BAD consensus and BAD law.
        And unfortunately the consequences are not temporary.

        And yes the “war” metaphor is incredibly appealing to tyrants.

        People do come together in times of crisis. Further we briefly support expansions of government power.

        War is an existential threat – not merely to the country, but to everyone’s liberty. We are tolerant of small infringements in return for preserving liberty as a whole.
        War temporarily organizes nearly everything into a clear heirarchy – victory in war being the prime goal to which everything else is subordinate.

        This is why politicians left and right attempt to frame all their political objectives as “war”.

        The war on poverty
        the war on terror,
        the war on drugs,
        the war on illiteracy.

        War justifies the use of force towards a single objective.

        Ultimately we are NOT ants.

        We do not share a single goal.
        We are not unified in our desires.

        and we are each free to chase our own wants as we wish short of using force against others.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2019 10:02 am

      Something we can agree on.

      Though I would challenge your formulation.

      It was not necessary to “settle” the abortion issue.
      Had the left, left the issue alone and the right continued its decades long efforts to whittle away at abortion, nothing would have been “settled”, nor would it be burning like a wildfire.

      What most americans want is what Bill Clinton expressed – for abortion to be “safe legal and rare”

      Abortion is rising in the public because both parties think increased conflict over abortion is in their political interests.

      I am not sure how it will play out politically. Republicans are in serious political danger if democrats are successful in persuading voters that republicans are going to ban abortion entirely.

      Conversely democrats are completely wrong in beleiving that voters – even women actually support unlimited abortions. The Trend has been in the OPPOSITE direction.
      People are increasingly unhappy with late abortions, and increasingly willing to expand the period of time that is “late”

  4. Priscilla permalink
    June 2, 2019 8:19 am

    The problem is that, from a constitutional standpoint, Roe vs. Wade was a terrible decision, and has divided people in a way that will never be resolved, until that decision is overturned and replaced by one that is consistent with the US Constitution. Like the Dred Scott decision, Roe cannot stand.

    It allows abortion at any point in a woman’s pregnancy, and it does not respect the constitutional right of the states to regulate abortion, nor does it acknowledge that there comes a time when an abortion is not a question of a woman’s “reproductive rights,” rather it is likely the killing of a perfectly health baby. Babies are not parasites, yet that is essentially how pro-abortion extremists treat them.

    Those who support Roe do so only for one of 2 reasons: 1) it’s been on the books for 50 years, so it is legal precedent (stare decisis) and/or 2) they want to protect the non-existent “right” of a woman to kill her unborn child at any time. Actually, in come states, notably NY, a woman can now “abort” her child after birth, by withholding medical treatment from a baby who has survived the procedure.

    So why, when we have overturned bad decisions like Dred Scott, Plessy Vs. Ferguson, and many others, replacing them with decisions that actually respect the Constitution, can we not do the same with Roe? Well, mostly because agitating for and against Roe has become a great fundraising and voter turnout strategy,

    It needs to be overturned. Note, I am NOT advocating for the abolition of abortion. I support a woman’s right to choose up until the end of the first trimester. But Roe does not acknowledge the humanity of the millions of babies that have been killed in the womb, nor the right of states to regulate the procedure.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2019 10:13 am

      I agree with you that Rowe was horribly decided.

      But I doubt we agree on what is both constitutional and legally/morally correct.

      The most fundimental problem is that the courts have mis-stated what the rights involved are.

      A woman has an absolute right to control of her own body – at all times, through to birth.

      The “fetus” is NOT here body. Whether it is human or has rights, it is still a separate entity.

      It is “dependent” on the woman.

      Essentially a woman has the absolute right to not be pregnant – even if the excercise of that right MIGHT result in the death of the fetus which is dependant on her body.

      But the absolute right to not be pregnant is NOT the same as a right to kill the fetus.

      I am not obligated to give you my kidney even if you will die without it.
      But I an not free to murder you, because you will die without my kidney.

      What the court SHOULD have decided, is that a woman has an absolute right to control her own body, that she is free to choose to have a pregnancy removed from her body at any time up to birth. But that the state MAY choose to require that removal be performed to increase the chances that the fetus will survive – so long as that does not increase the risk to the woman.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      June 2, 2019 2:29 pm

      Priscilla, I could swear that Roe v. Wade originally permitted abortion only in the first trimester. Later court cases jiggered the rules a bit, but I thought the original decision was pretty sound. Am I missing something?

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 2, 2019 3:21 pm

        Rick, that is what most people believe, but is not the case. This is a good, brief summary- admittedly from a pro-life site, but it’s pretty straightforward on the legalities.

        Click to access Summary-of-Roe-v-Wade-and-Other-Key-Abortion-Cases.pdf

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 2, 2019 3:30 pm

        So essentially, as long as the mother’s health ~ physical, mental, emotional, familial, financial, or otherwise ~ is the reason for seeking an abortion, the right stands, regardless of trimester.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2019 7:12 pm

        “So essentially, as long as the mother’s health ~ physical, mental, emotional, familial, financial, or otherwise ~ is the reason for seeking an abortion, the right stands, regardless of trimester.”

        More reasons that Rowe is an abysmal decision.

        If – as those pro-life claim – a fetus is a human.
        You can not kill another human because of your physical, mental, emotional, familial or financial state.

        Conversely if the fetus is not a human, you need very little if any justification

        Rowe is the kind of mess we end up with when we do not stick to the constitution and law and actual rights.

        A woman has an absolute right to control of her body.
        That right is NOT Trumped even if the fetus is human.
        You can not force one person to use their body (or their property) to sustain the life of another person. You can not force people to donate kidneys – even if people will die.

        But abortion is more than a woman withdrawing from the fetus the use of her body,
        the purpose of an abortion is to kill the fetus, not return to the woman full control of her body.
        While she has the absolute right to the latter, she does not have the right to the former.

        I would note that should the court get the rights analysis correct, it would eliminate much of the artificial legal distinctions between men and women after conception.

        One a man has conceived a child – they have no right to not end up the parent of that child,

        Today a woman has the ability to “not” end up being a parent, because she has the right to control her body. But that ability is NOT a right for her, anymore than the man.
        The woman’s right is to control her body – even if the excercise of that control leads to the death of another human. But the right is to control of her body, not to post conception control over whether she becomes a parent.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2019 6:52 pm

        Rowe is a mess. It is inherently “legislating from the bench”,
        The entire trimester concoction has no foundation in law. It is primarily the Court majority’s view of science, which is nuts – SCOTUS can no more decide science than the pope could 500 years ago.

        A proper supreme court decision regarding abortion requires determining what the various rights are – what are the ACTUAL rights of the woman, and what are the actual rights of the fetus.

        Regardless the “trimester” scheme was inherently rooted in “viability”

        That is actually the core of Rowe – and a part of why Rowe is failing.

        Rowe divided pregnancy into 3 trimesters based on “viability”.
        Rowe decided that the state had a clear interest after viability and could regulate or even ban abortion after viability.
        At the opposite end in the first trimester when a fetus was not even identifiable as human, the woman could do pretty much what she pleased and the state had no interest.
        The 2nd trimester was the legal “battle ground” – and mostly has been for 40 years.

        And the entire framework of Rowe is collapsing not just because the trimester system was nonsense and outside the scope of SCOTUS, but because “viability” is not merely shifting backwards toward conception, but will inevitably become a meaningless concept.

        We are a few decades at most from having the entire process from conception to birth take place completely without a woman’s body.
        That make viability as defined by SCOTUS the moment of conception.

  5. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2019 8:52 am

    Kudos for being willing to touch a third rail of politics.

    You claim moderates have some unique abilities because they are better able to accurately perceive the positions of either side.


    The pro-life position is trivially understandable, and it is a position from which compromise is not possible.

    If the premises of the pro-life position are correct – then their position is correct, and all other positions are wrong,

    If you wish to get anywhere with someone who is pro-life you must successfully persuade them that one of their premises is wrong.

    One of the fallacies of your formulation of moderation is this FALSE presumption that there is ALWAYS a middle way and that middle way is ALWAYS superior.

    That is trivial to disprove. That formulation of moderation would not merely encourage but require compromising with NAZI’s over the numbers of jews to be gassed.

    Like it or not some questions are absolute.

    I am not personally pro-life.
    But I recognize that someone for whom abortion is murder is unlikely to compromise, and that compromise is NOT always the answer.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      June 2, 2019 2:32 pm

      Dave, I’d never claim that the middle way is always superior, just that it pays to look at both sides of an issue instead of reflexively siding with one’s tribe. As for compromise … if both parties are equally unhappy, then the compromise is a fair one. 😉

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2019 6:31 pm

        I am challenging your assertion that you can “look at both sides”.

        Frankly, I do not see much difference in your ability to “see both sides” and those of either the pro-life or pro-choice perspectives.

        All that I see that distinguishes you, is that you are from a “third tribe”.

        I do not think that you reflexively think the “middle way is always superior”.
        But you are strongly of the “tribe of the middle way”.

        I do not understand as an example why compromise on immigration is not possible. Neither side is taking a position based on principle.

        But abortion is an issue where both sides have staked out positions based on moral principles. That is pretty much the definition of a problem that can not be solve by compromise.

        Rowe was essentially an attempt by SCOTUS at compromise.
        That was a mistake – because that is NOT the role of the supreme court.

        We have spent 50 years chaffing at that compromise – and little has changed.
        Those on one side who want abortion absolutely banned in all forms across the country are as committed as ever. Those on the other are pushing for abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy if anything more vigorously than ever before.

        Compromise on abortion has gotten us nowhere.

        The details of your “third way” are not important. Nor am I criticising it as “unreasonable”, But it rejects as valid the moral principles of each of the other sides, and it is no less a “tribal” position.

        I do not think it is possible to resolve the abortion issue – meaning establish the correctness of any of the positions.

        But I do beleive it is possible to resolve the legal, constitutional and rights issues regarding abortion, and if the court abandons its stupid fixation with science and returns to law and an actual analysis of rights, that it can find that resolution.

        But I was not trying to push an answer, or even to disagree with your positions.

        But I am directly challenging your assertion that you “see both sides”

        I think it is pretty clear you do not. Pushing a “third way” whether that is routed in compromise or arrived at some entirely different way does not AUTOMATICALLY make you more reasonable, or less tribal.

        There are times for compromise – and where compromise is actually appropriate, it is the truly “moderate” position. But compromise is NOT always appropriate, sometimes one side or the other is right, or more right,
        or sometimes an actual third way is right.

        But a third way is still another tribal position, and regardless, it must prevail in the market place of ideas just as the purportedly left and right extremes.

        Nor is a “third way” inherently “moderate”, Coming up with solutions different from those of the right or the left neither makes you inherently moderate or inherently right – otherwise libertarian and moderate with by synonyms.

  6. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2019 9:03 am


    The following statement is a MASSIVE self contradiction.

    “The ability to see both sides of an issue is the moderate’s peculiar gift and curse. We simply can’t understand why the partisans at both ends are unable (or more likely, unwilling) to look beyond their team’s accepted dogma, examine the evidence, and draw rational conclusions in the manner of our own much-maligned and marginalized tribe.”

    If you can actually see both sides, then you would understand that within the framework of their values, each side IS examining the evidence and drawing rational conclusions.

    You claim that “rape and incest” are obvious extremes. WHY ?

    If abortion is murder – why would it not be murder if rape or incest was involved.

    If the parent of a born living child free to kill that child merely because the child was conceived as a result of rape or incest ?

    All you are demonstrating is that YOUR form of moderation is emotional rather than rational.

    The bedrock of the prolife position are two premises.
    That from the moment of conception the union of a sperm and an egg is a human with human rights, and that killing it is murder.

    While there are arguments against those premises, you do not overcome them by appeals to emotion.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      June 2, 2019 2:40 pm

      There’s a consistency to the pro-life position, but it’s based on the premise that a fertilized egg is a human being. In my column I was trying to disabuse them of that premise. I was surprised to learn that at five weeks (close to the six-week “fetal heartbeat” cutoff point passed by half a dozen states), a human embryo is the size of a sesame seed. If they won’t back down from the assertion that the “sesame seed” is a human being with rights, then there’s no hope for any compromise on abortion.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2019 5:46 pm

        My point is that you can not claim to “see both sides” or even one side, if you do not accept that those on that side hold often dearly to THEIR premises.

        You can challenge the premise that a fertilized egg is a human being – I do not accept that either. But those holding prolife views DO.

        You can not expect those who hold a position based on THEIR moral principles to “back down”, because you disagree.

        If you want to make headway you must persuade them that their position is incorrect.

        That is likely to be damn near impossible. There is no objective criteria for when human life begins.

        BTW the premise that life begins at conception is near universal in ALL the worlds religions.

        But I will give you an argument that has SOME weight for christians – particularly christian evangelicals.

        The old testament does NOT deal with abortion, but it does deal with the responsibility of 3rd parties for miscarraiges.

        Prior to “quickening” – the first movements, at about 5 months, the old testament requires no compensation if a third party has caused a miscarraige, while after quickening but before birth a payment I beleive a goat is required. Put simply the god of the christian old testament did NOT think that the value of a fetus was very high, likely why Jews are not strongly pro-life.

        In fact prior to the 1830’s even the catholic church did not place enormous value on a pregnancy.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 3, 2019 8:49 am

        Rick, I believe that many ~ even most~ pro-lifers accept the idea that abortion in the early, “sesame seed” stages of abortion, is something that they can support ~ or, at least tolerate. That is not nearly enough for the pro-abortion movement.

        As I’ve said, I support that, and I consider myself moderately pro-choice, although most extreme pro-choice advocates would reject my position. Because they are not really pro-choice, they are merely pro-abortion.

        My position is, to a certain degree, inconsistent with the idea that life begins at conception, but, as you point out, the potential life that is ended in a first trimester abortion is not sentient…at least, not as far as we know now.

        If Roe were to be overturned, and the states were free to regulate abortion as they saw fit, there would likely be a few states that would ban it entirely, but t think that most states would put in place a system that allowed for legal abortion up to 20 weeks or so. Extremists on both sides would be unhappy with this, but why are we catering to extremists??!

        As it is now, we are literally executing ~ in many cases, brutally executing ~ tiny, helpless, sentient human beings. Often this is because the mothers have found out that those children will be “deficient” in some way…suffering from a severe birth defect, or, perhaps, being of the “wrong” sex. As our ability to predict genetic features during the pre-natal stages increases, there will be other reasons for mothers to rid themselves of the baby that they don’t want.

        Many have accepted the extreme pro-abortion position as if it is just a matter of a woman’s choice, ignoring science, ignoring the men who are the fathers of these children, ignoring the fact that premature babies, some as young as 23-24 weeks, are surviving and thriving. To those, like me, who think that this is horrifically immoral, that extreme of the abortion argument is unacceptable.

        It negates the whole idea (which, of course, liberals falsely profess to believe) that all are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It opens the door to eugenics and euthanasia. It is inimical to the judeo-christian ideals and enlightened philosophies that informed the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 3, 2019 8:50 am

        ‘ “sesame seed” stages of abortion’

        Should have read ‘ “sesame seed” stages of pregnancy’

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2019 2:52 pm

        Contra the claims of the pro-choice movement – from Gutmacher’s (used to be part of PP) own statistics nearly all abortions – including later term abortions are for convenience.

        In a world where PP will provide any woman the pill cheap, and the poor can get it free, where condoms are readily available, where the morning after pill is available and cheap, where first trimester abortions are readily available and cheap or nearly free to the poor, where 2nd trimester abortions are afordable, late dangerous expensive abortions occur primarily because the woman just did not do anything until it was almost too late.

        These are not the victims of rape and incest, these are not children who will not survive
        Later term abortions are expensive, dangerous and kill fetus’s that are healthy and could easily have survived had they been born prematurely.

        And that Data comes from Pro-Choice sources.

        But If you have trouble with that – then look into gosnell, very very few of the thousands of late term abortions he performed were anything but abortions of convenience.
        He was butchering practically infants, and not particularly treating the women very well, to end the pregancies of women who could not be bothered with birth control, or any other less radical approach. I have zero doubt that if the law permitted it – these women would give birth and then murder their infants – because it was convenient.

  7. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2019 9:21 am

    While I am not “pro-life”. Rowe was CRAP, and is the reason for the enduring conflict.

    Rowe made a fundimental mistake by pretending that the law is somehow about science.
    In the short term that seemed like a reasonable compromise, but ultimately it is one that favors pro-life.

    In 1973 the survival rate of premature births was extremely low. Now it is routine for a 7 month premature birth to not merely survive but do so without life long disabilities.

    Rowe’s trimester scheme was aribitrary – and rested on “viability”.
    Viability is essentially a technological standard, not one that rests in immutable moral or physical facts.

    I was surprised that the pro-life movement move to “shoot the moon” recently with near total abortion bans. I had fully expected more of these 20 week laws – that are arguably consistent with Rowe and the changing state of technology.

    My point being that Rowe by resting on science – and particularly on medical technology was ultimately going to lead to a near total ban on abortion.

    Law is ultimately about MORALITY – not science, not technology.

    WE have decided that stealing and murder are MORALLY wrong.
    It is not acceptable – if you can do so humanely. There is no science involved.

    Law is about morality. It is about when communal moral standards can be imposed by force, and when they can not. Those distinctions are determined by PRINCIPLES – not science, nor the will of the majority.

  8. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2019 9:46 am

    Democrats and republicans have both CHOSEN to make abortion a battle ground for 2020,
    Each appearing to believe that there is some political gain from their position,

    at the same time people are LESS divided over abortion than ever.

    While I am NOT a proponet of compromise over moral issues,
    Rowe’s technology foundations has MOSTLY favored pro-life.

    Both the cost and availability of contraceptives has radically improved since 1973 – and will continue to do so. Further we have “morning after” pills that are also affordable and effective.
    Early abortions are simple and cheap.

    There are increasingly less and less credible reasons for late term abortion.

    And that is where the public as a whole has gone.

    Politically it was a huge mistake for NY and VA to propose or worse pass essentially limitless abortion bills.

    It was nearly as large a political mistake for republicans to pass laws that are near bans of abortion.

    It is likely that the future supreme court will be receptive to slowly increasing the power of states to limit abortions, without permitting an outright ban,

    This is consistent with the slow shifts in peoples views driven by the technology that Rowe chose to rest its decision on.

    Abortion is a hot button issue for the hyper political.
    But it is not for most americans.

  9. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2019 9:51 am

    The bitter divisions in this country today are narrowly constrained to GOVERNMENT.

    Where we are bitterly divided is exclusively about the use of govenrment force to compel all of us to conform to the wishes of some of us.

    We are not fighting over what color shirts we should wear.

  10. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2019 11:16 am

    Some pretty apt criticism of both parties by reason.

  11. Savannah Jordan permalink
    June 2, 2019 9:48 pm

    I agree with you, Rick, except that I would say limit abortions to 13 weeks except in cases of gross fetal deformity or when the life of the mother is in danger and of course, a rape victim should never be forced to bear the child of a rape, but she should know by 13 weeks if she is pregnant.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 3, 2019 9:00 am

      Why 13 weeks ?

      Abortion – for all sides is a moral issue.
      Further it is an issue of rights – those of the woman and those of the fetus.

      So why is a a fertilized egg not human, but a 13 week fetus is ?

      I am not disagreeing with you. Just noting that whatever we impose regarding abortion must have a basis.
      If we limit the rights of the woman – we must justify doing so.
      if we assert that the fetus has few or no rights – we must support that claim.

      Why is deformity an exception ?
      Normal fetus’s have rights, but deformed ones do not ?

      You are not being “forced” to do something, when your ability to end a pregnancy is the result of modern technology that did not exist 100 years ago.

      I am highly sympathetic to the plight of those who are victims of rape or incest.
      But again the rights of a woman are not increased by rape, nor are those of the fetus – whatever they are decreased.

      Rape and incest – and even deformity are powerful emotional arguments – but they are still emotional arguments not reasoned ones.

      I(f a woman has the right to an abortion for compelling reasons – then she has the right to one for no reason – that is how rights work. If a right is conditional – then it is not a right.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 7, 2019 7:43 am

        The right to kill someone is conditional. If you don’t like someone, you don’t have a right to kill them. If they attack you, you have the right to retaliate with deadly force. If a baby is crossing a road and in order to avoid it you must swerve and fall 200 ft into a ravine and kill yourself and your family, you have a right to hit the child. If a baby is crossing a road, and your swerving to miss it will merely place you in the hospital with non-threatening conditions, you do NOT have the right to hit the baby. Rights are not inviolable but must be adjusted to the circumstances. The Catholic Church’s original position on abortion was much more lenient than it is today. They struggled with when does a fetus have personhood. Instead of attempting to define when a human is human they chose the absolute of at conception, actually even before conception. According to them, we don’t have the right to prevent to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Rights are conditional and are tempered by the conditions.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 3:15 pm

        There is no “right to kill someone”.

        There is no such thing as a “conditional right”.

        There is a right to “self defense” – that is an absolute right.
        You are never obligated to allow another to physically pummel you.

        Your ABSOLUTE right to defend yourself – does not include a “right to kill someone” – that is not a right. But you CAN kill someone excercising your right to defend yourself – the “conditions” are not on the right to defend yourself – that is absolute. They apply to how far that right extends. You may kill someone in self defense – if it is necescary to defend yourself. Again the right to self defense is absolute, but it does not justify actions beyond what is necescary to defend yourself.

        Exactly the same is true of abortion.

        The woman (or anyone) has an absolute right to control of THEIR body.
        That right includes completely ending any use of their body for any purpose by any other.

        The woman has an absolute right to have the fetus removed from her body.

        But there is no right to kill the fetus.

        But just like your right to self defense – the right to control of YOUR body is absolute.
        All rights are absolute or near absolute. that is pretty much the definition of a right.

        But the right to self defense and the right to control of your body – allow if necescary results that include killing others.
        If the death of the fetus is the inevitable result of an abortion – at any time during pregnancy – the state can not prevent the abortion – the right to control of your body is absolute.

        But the state CAN insist that the removal of the fetus from your body be done in a fashion that is least likely to result in the death of the fetus – so long as that does not increase the risk to you.

        Further if the fetus survives the State can hold you responsible to provide support for it, just as it can the male.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 3:22 pm

        Absolutely the Cathlolic churches position has changed over time.

        Hidden in the abortion debate is a centuries old conflict between doctors and midwives.
        Hidden is centuries of accusations of witchcraft, and a male/female conflict.

        I think the old testament got it “right”. This was before doctors, at a time when women had no rights, but from conception through birth controlled their own bodies completely to the state that technology of the time allowed – which was not much.

        At that time the “child/fetus” was the property of the husband. And men had rights regarding harm to that property from third parties. And the adjudication of that harm was rather small – a reflection of the fact that pregnancy is fraught with uncertainty.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 3:27 pm

        Rights are absolute – they are not conditional.

        You are conflating the fact that a right is not sufficient to justify ANYTHING, with the fact that a right is always sufficient to justify whatever is necescary to accomplish the right – but ONLY what is necescary to accomplish the right.

        The death of the fetus is allowable – if it is unavoidable, just as killing an assailant is allowable if it is unavoidable in self defense.

        But acts justified by a right are limited to ONLY what is necescary to protect the right.

        The woman has the right to control her body.
        That right is absolute, but it only extends to what is necescary to control HER body.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 3, 2019 9:00 am


      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        June 7, 2019 5:41 pm

        The woman has the right to control her body – so if society sends her to prison for say embezzlement can she say no because she has a right to control her body and she does not want her body in prison. The law overrides our rights to control our bodies’ in a multitude of ways.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 6:05 pm


        When we infringe on the actual rights of others, government may legitimately punish us for doing so.

        That is the social contract. It is the primary and only sufficient justification for government.

        You lose some of your rights when you use force to infringe on the rights of others.

        If government is infringing on your right to control of your body, and you have NOT forceably infringed on the rights of others – then our government is LAWLESS, and illegitimate.

        Government is about the use of force. Anything that can be accomplished without force, does not require government.

        Government must be limited – because the use of force against others is only rarely justifiable.

        BTW the right to control your body is NOT the same as the right to control the location of your body.

        I can want to be on the moon – I do not have the means to make that so.

        I can want to be in your livingroom. My right to control my own body is limited to my body.
        It does not extend to infringing on the rights of others.

        Rights are absolute – or very nearly so.
        But they are not broad. Control of your body is limited to YOUR BODY.

        My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.

        We do not OVERRIDE rights – atleast not absent proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you have infringed on the rights of others.

        WE ABSOLUTELY limit them – A right does NOT assure you the means of accomplishing it.
        Nor does a right permit you to use means that infringe on the actual rights of others.

        It is incredibly important to get the language of rights accurate.

        When were blur what is and is not a right. when we pretend that actual rights are not very near inviolable, when we expand a right beyond its actual scope, or when we pretend that a right to something includes the entitlement to the means to accomplish it, we end up with a confusing mess.

      • June 7, 2019 6:06 pm

        Savannah. I am one that supports your position of limited abortions based on gestation. I have been one that although I would argue against anything past 20 weeks, why do you pick 13 weeks. My 20 weeks is due to my daughter being a NICU nurse and many at 24 weeks have survived where she works, as well as fewer weeks that occasionally makes the news.

        I am not srgueing, debating or questioning because I disagree like we see so much lately on this site. I question only to know why 13 weeks is your choice. Is it a medical basis or one that the woman should know after missing three periods something is not normsl.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 7:14 pm

        The bomb Blackmum planted in Rowe was the reliance on science.

        Several decades ago 24 week premies DIED.

        As time moves forward our ability to ensure the survival and even thriving of every younger fetus’s increases.

        You say 20weeks. That is probably the outer age TODAY.
        But do you doubt that in a decade ? Two ? we will be able to ensure the survival of a 13W fetus ?

        Ultimately it is only a question of time before we are able to take a fertilized egg and bring it all the way to “birth” without a human.

        You can not rest questions of rights and law on science.

  12. June 3, 2019 10:59 am

    Reading Ricks article, comments here and discusions elsewhere, there are many comments concerning rape, pregnancy and abortion. So I looked at some data because I questioned why there would be enough rape pregnancies to get so much discussion.
    1. 5% of rapes result in a pregnancy.
    2, It is estimated that up to 6 out of 10 rapes go unreported to police. So in these cases, there is no exam by medical staff and no recommendations for RU486 or other medication to prevent a pregnancy.
    3. Less than 1% of pregnancies from rape end in abortions.

    If less than 1% pf abortions are due to rape, is this really a central subject for discussion? If yes , then maybe there needs to be more education and emphasis contucted for police to handle rapes in a different manner, DA’s to find better ways or handling cases of rape and victims to feel less threatened, attacked and humiliated after reporting a rape.

    This will not solve this problem completely, but it might mitigate one need for abortion by increasing those receiving care and preventing the pregancy in the first place.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 3, 2019 3:27 pm

      Plan B is available to women over 18 OTC. You do not need to see a doctor, or get a referal from a hospital after you have been raped.

      I will be very happy to hold women who have been raped to a much lower standard than other women. They did not make a choice, and they are traumatized.
      From personal experience – the impact of a rape lasts forever, it never goes away.

      The entire first 18months after my wife was raped was a gray numb fog – and that is what I experienced. Obviously the effects on my wife were much greater.

      But the horror of the experience does not change the fact that morning after pills are readily available.

      I can completely understand that few woman would want to give birth to a child conceived through rape or incest.

      But those intense feeling do not change the rights of the fetus.
      Whatever rights you think that a fetus from consensual sex has, they are no different for one produced by rape or incest.

      The crime that caused the conception does not change the rights or innocence of the fetus.

      I do not personally accept that at conception all the rights of a human belong to a fertilized egg. Oddly I think the old testament got it pretty well right. Prior to “quickening” so many things can go wrong and do naturally, that it is nonsense to make much of early abortions.

      I would greatly prefer that people acted sooner rather than later – when both the actual cost and the emotional issues are less.

      The likelyhood of Plan B being made illegal are near zero no matter who Trump puts on the court – and if it is – we have the internet.
      I am sure you will be able to buy it cheap from europe or china.

      I think that early abortions should be legal and readily available – but if some states completely slammed the door on any abortions short of Plan B, I would grumble, even oppose. It offends my libertarian values. But the world would not come to an end.

      But I am deeply troubled by late abortions.

      I would very much like the courts to completely pitch Rowe, and replace it with something with a solid foundation in the law and constitution, With a few nuances, I think the effect would be nearly the same as Rowe. But the logic and law would be better and more defensable, and it would not be “legislating from the bench”.

      The legal resolution is quite simple.

      The right of a woman to control of her own body is ABSOLUTE.
      She has an absolute right – at any moment through birth to demand that her body not be used against her will to sustain the life of another.

      But the right to control of HER body does NOT mean the right to control of the body of the fetus.

      We will have a legal question – which the states can resolve on their own as to when the fetus is sufficiently human to have a right to not be killed. We do not allow people to kill pets willy nilly so I can see that point being fairly early.

      But no matter where that point is determined to be – the right of the woman to control her own body always comes FIRST. But the state can dictate – where that does not increase the risk to the woman, that extrodinary efforts must be taken to preseve the life of the fetus.

      Which brings us to the next problem – assuming the woman ends her preganancy – but not the life of the fetus – who is obligated to care for it ?

      And we already have law on that. A man is obligated to provide support to a child he conceives from the moment of conception forward, and has no voice in whether that child is born or not. If a woman waits to have an abortion until the fetus can survive – then she like the father remains responsible for it.

      If you do not want responsiblity – act sooner.

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        June 10, 2019 7:49 am

        This is in reply to your comment to me regarding why I chose 13 weeks. First, by this time the woman should know she is pregnant, but more importantly by this time the fetus has a brain, a heart, a liver, a well-formed face, limbs, and defined genitalia. It has the form of a human.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:37 am

        Thank you for your reply.

        I was curious as to your reasoning.

        For the most part I do not think it matters much.

        One human does not have the right to force another human to sustain its life.

        A woman has an absolute right to withdraw the support of her body for a fetus at any time – right up to birth.
        But chosing to end the dependence of the fetus on her body, is not a right to kill the fetus.

  13. dhlii permalink
    June 3, 2019 3:01 pm

    Turley craps all over Mueller – and he deserves it.

    You can beleive Mueller is partisan, or not, but it is pretty much impossible at this point to beleive he is the scrupulous hard nosed, no nonsense by the book person nearly all claimed he was.

    This does not surprise me at all. Mueller past history having nothing to do with Trump strongly suggested pretty much this outcome.

    He want hunting big game and came back empty handed because the facts and the law from the begining dictated that was going to be the outcome, but his failure to “Bag Trump” must be someone else’s fault – such as OLC.

    Mueller did not claim Trump committed crimes for exactly he same reason Barr found he did not, because the law does not support that. Frankly he has been warping the law – not just in this investigation, but through his entire life.

    Mueller is little more than a more dour St. James Comey – everyone else is a crook, and I am the white knight saving everything.

  14. dhlii permalink
    June 4, 2019 12:41 am

    Apparently we now have atleast one instance of highly deceptive editing in the Mueller report.

    One of Mueller’s claims of obstruction is based on a phone call between Trump attorney Dowd and Flynn’s attorney’s.

    Dowd has been claiming that the call was misrepresented as soon as the Mueller report was released.

    But on May 31, the Transcript of the call was made public pursuant to Judge Sullivan’s order.

    The transcript reveals that the quotes from the Mueller report are HIGHLY deceptively edited.

    This is significant. It is near certain that it is an ethical violation.

    In law prosecutors have an obligation to provide exculpatory evidence where it exists.
    This is particularly so when they do not provide the opportunity for rebutal.
    The SC law makes the Mueller report essentially an “ex parte” communication, and therefore it is subject to a high standard requiring the inclusion of anything that MIGHT be exculpatory.

    Editing a transcript to REMOVE material that is exculpatory and that makes it appear that portions of the communications that are unrelated are directly connected is deceptive and improper.

    Dowd contacted Flynn’s attorney after Flynn withdrew from a joint defense agreement.

    Dowd was OBLIGATED to contact Flynn’s attorney. And he was OBLIGATED to assert STRONGLY that material shared during the JDA was PRIVILEDGED.

    In portions of the transcript that Mueller edited out, Dowd makes clear that while he hopes that Flynn’s attorney can continue to share information with Dowd. that he understands that exchanges with Mueller are confidential and can not be shared.

    BTW that is a TWO WAYS STREET. Flynn’s attorney’s were NOT permitted to share many anything from Dowd with Mueller.

    Mueller was aparently relying on the crime fraud exception to priviledge – but that requires an actual crime, and several prominent Lawyers have noted that not only was Down’d exchange with Flynn’s attorney’s – as reflected int eh full transcript proper, but most of what was said was REQUIRED – Dowd would have committed Malpractice had he NOT called Flynn’s attorney’s and clarified several things both related to the past and moving forward.

    I would note that thought we do not have transcripts of that McGahn has claimed that the Mueller report mis-represents his communications with Mueller.

    Several other Whitehouse Witnesses have claimed that quotes from them in the Mueller report are innaccurate.

    It is normal for the prosecutor to get the benefit of the doubt that the information that they provide is both correct and is accurate in the full context of what was said.
    Part of the reason for that high deference is because the prosecutor is OBLIGATED not to “spin” his representations – particularly when they are made in a context they are not subject to challenge or cross examination.

    The Mueller report is NOT the same as Strzok and Page’s texts.
    Just as the expectation is that the prosecutors representations are correct is the norm,
    The standard the prosecutor must live up to is much higher than some stupid texts by investigators.

    Integrity is not something that you can get back easily.

    “Isn’t it ironic that this man who kept indicting and prosecuting people for process crimes committed a false statement in his own report?” Dowd said. “By taking out half my words,” he added that they changed the “tenor and the contents” of his conversation with Flynn’s lawyer.

    Addressing some specific’s:

    Dowd called in response to a news story that Flynn was cooperating.
    Dowd had NOT been informed by Flynn or Flynn’s lawyer that was the case.
    Absent flynn withdrawling from the Joint Defense Agreement, even Mueller’s distorted version of Dowd’s remarks would be proper. Regardless, while it is never reasonable for an attorney to presume that a leak in the media constitutes legal notice, it is particularly true of this investigation where bogus leaks are the rule.

    Mueller removed Dowd’s legal justification for his requests, removed, Dowd’s statement that he was not seeking confidential information, and removed several remarks that separated two distinct parts of the conversation quoting Dowd as if they were related and implying that one was a threat which in the actual transcript it is clear they are not.

  15. Priscilla permalink
    June 5, 2019 8:30 am

    So, Dave, I guess it’s just you and me for now ~ the others seem to have gone elsewhere.

    I’m curious about your position on euthanasia. It seems to me that, once we have cheapened the idea of protecting life, and given ourselves a “constitutional right” to take the lives of full term infants, euthanasia for damaged and unwanted people ~ disabled, elderly, emotionally and mentally disturbed ~ is a fairly consistent and simple next step….

    ” The Guardian piece is lengthy but worth reading in full — particularly the end, which describes growing support within the government for what’s delicately described as a “completed life” pill for anyone over the age of 70. A suicide pill, in other words, which patients could take on their own to spare doctors from the emotional ordeal of having to act as killers rather than life-savers.”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2019 9:26 am

      I am libertarian. Individuals have the right to do with their own bodies whatever they want, no matter how stupid that might be.

      There is no “right” to take the life of another human.
      There are circumstances under which it is justifiable.

      My position on abortion is NOT that you may kill a fetus, it is that the woman has the right to have the fetus removed from her body. That is her ONLY right regarding the fetus.
      If the excercise of that right inevitiably results in death – so be it.
      None of us may legitimately impose an obligation on another to affirmatively do anything positive for another – that includes keeping them alive.
      Affirmative moral duties are NOT the business of government.
      They are the domain of religion.

      I beleive that we often have affirmative moral duties to others,
      To feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the prisoner,
      that if there is a god, that is likely how we will be judged – on our actions, and particularly with respect to how we met our affirmative moral obligations to others.

      But that is god’s domain, not ceasar’s.

      The same is true of assorted vices, as well as suicide.

      We have the right to make BAD choices regarding ourselves.

      Euthanasia – as distinct from suicide ?

      You have the right to take your own life.

      You have the right to assist another in taking their own life.

      Absent justifications – such as self defense no one has the right to take the life of another without permission.

      With respect to the article you linked:

      I do not think Children have the same rights as adults.

      There are many choices that are the right of adults that are not legitimate for Children.

      I would make all drugs legal – right down to eliminating the FDA and the requirement for perscriptions. That does not mean I would allow selling heroin to teenagers.

      Issues involving children will always be horribly complex.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 6, 2019 8:08 am

        Dave, I discovered that the article about the Dutch teenager being euthanized was inaccurate. Fake news. She starved herself, after being denied the ability to commit legal suicide. So, at least the Netherlands is still in agreement that the state should not condone or encourage the euthanization of troubled teenagers.

        Regarding suicide, I think that it’s extremely dangerous, and wrong, to give the government the power to determine whether or not anyone can be legally killed. Once it had that power, we have essentially turned over, to people like Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump (I’ll be bipartisan here) the power of life and death over us.

        I don’t think it matters whether we’re talking about suicide, assisted suicide or “compassionate” euthanasia. It’s the ultimate power over our lives, being entrusted to the worst possible institution.

      • Ron P permalink
        June 6, 2019 11:16 am

        Well I have been quite for awhile, but will comment on this. We already have choice in “suicide”. Its called “advanced directives”. Once filed, end of life treatment that continues life can not be continued. So in some form, the first step, is already in place.

        Why shouldn’t a person suffering from something as awful as ALS have a w ay to end life before machines keep them alive? Wouldn’t that be more humane than for them to suffer if they make the decision that they would not be connected to a ventilator and they end up sufficating?

        ” It’s the ultimate power over our lives, being entrusted to the worst possible institution.”

        This goes to my belief that no one trusts government and neither do I. But cant we write legislation to give power back to the people. Right now government has complete legal control, even though I can blow my brains out with a gun and make a mess for someone to clean up illegally.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 1:41 pm

        The scheme that you refer to – often works.

        In my father’s instance it FAILED HORRIBLY.

        The fatal flaw is that the govenrment is STILL the ultimate arbiter.

        And you can not write laws that will not frequently have that result.

        I argue RIGHTS, because when you recognize that something is a RIGHT, you no longer need laws, and you are better (unfortunately not perfectly) able to thwart govenrment doing as it pleases.

        Regardless, one thing that we should be learning from the entirety of our politics at the moment is that our system of law has FAILED.

        Whether you are on the right or the left – both sides are arguing that the law is not being followed.

        While I think it is clear which side is more wrong about that. Even my oppinion on that is unimportant.

        What should be clear is that our system of laws and govenrment – while it need not (and can not) make everyone happy,. at the very least needs to be as close as possible to universal agreement on what it IS.

        We can disagree over what the law SHOULD BE, but it should be possible, and in fact is REQUIRED, that we are ALL able to KNOW what it is.

        When what is a crime depends on whim or “interpretation” – we are in trouble.

        To the greatest extent possible – almost to absolute certainty. we MUST have a system of law and govenrment that we know what it IS. Our ideological fights can not be about what the law IS without being lawless. What the law IS can not be a matter of whim or opinion.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2019 2:28 pm

        To a large extent we are on the same page.

        Governments power over life or death should be extremely limited
        Government power should generally be limited.

        Where I THINK we disagree, is I am not looking to give government any power over life and death.

        I am looking to TAKE AWAY power.

        Eliminating laws prohibiting suicide does not give government power,
        it takes it away.

        I am absolutely opposed to 3rd parties deciding whether you live or die.
        Whether those third parties are government, or even family.

        That does not mean I am not sympathetic, but the rule MUST be the right to choose rests with the individual. If they are unable or unwilling to choose, others can not make that choice for them – even for compasionate reasons.

        But I am willing to separate the right to choose from the power to make that choice reality.

        If a competent person unable to effectuate their own death chooses to die, I do not have a problem with their depending on the assistance of others.

        Nor do I have a problem with people who are competent and able deciding that they want to have others end their lives when they are no longer competent and able.

        I would further note that I am not proposing something radical, nor specific to suicide or assisted suicide.

        We allow people who are competent to make all kinds of decisions regarding their own care.
        We also allow them to put those decisions in writing – in DNR’s or POLST’s or Living Will’s or Medical Powers of attorney. And we try to follow those directions even after the person is no longer competent.

        I have personally seen what happens when we do not – and it is very bad.

        My Father did pretty much everything the law allowed to while competent dictate his care when he became incompetent – he had many problems – one of which was vascular dimensia, so he KNEW ahead of time he would not be able to make decisions in the future.

        As is typical of older people – they have MANY problems, often controlable problems.
        But often treatment of those problems conflicts with treatment for other problems.

        My father CHOSE to bias his own care towards minimizing the frequency of strokes.
        He chose to increase the risk that he would die from other causes – causes that otherwise would not have killed him, to decrease the damage caused by vascular dimensia.

        I understand that choice completely, but even if I did not, it was still his choice to make.

        A bit more than a month before he died he had a massive bleed that nearly killed him.
        Because he had crones disease – all of his life, and he deliberately chose treatment that would make his crones worse to reduce his risk of strokes.

        Other members of the family disagreed with that choice. They lied to the local office of aging.
        Which “investigated” – in otherwords they did almost nothing. They did not check with his doctors, they did not check his medical records – even though they were given all of the information, OofA went to court on an emergency “ex parte” bases – that means there was no one actually representing my father, They lied to the court, which voided all his own medical choices – without even bothering to read them, appointed third parties to replace those my father had chosen to impliment his decisions regarding his care.
        They removed him from his home – BY FORCE, despite again his well documented choice to live and die there – and he had the resources to do so.
        Despite all of this – the hospitals and Hospice essentially defied the courts, and continued to follow the medical directions that were on file. So he court appointed caregivers had to transfer him half way accross the county to find a nursing home that would follow the courts directions and ignore the directions my father had placed in his own medical records.

        And despite all of this nonsense he died 30 days later – of pneumonia, contracted at the nursing home. He was going to die no matter what. but even though he chose how he wanted to die, and even though he had the resources to permit that. he was denied the choices he made.

        Essentially the fear that you have that people like Pelosi would get to make those choices became his reality.

        But he lost his power to make his own decisions – in part because lots of people in govenrment behaved lawlessly, but also because the govenrment has too much power to override the choices people make for themselves “for their own good”.

        Some People given the freedom to do so, make bad choices for themselvse

        But we do not get better when we deprive individuals of the right to make their own choices.
        Government is just as capable of overriding the good choices of individuals and substituting bad ones, as individuals are of doing so themselves.

        I am very reluctant EVER to give government the power to make choices for individuals that they are able to do for themselves.

        But even if I were, it would be an absolute requirement that govenrment ACTUALLY do much better. It is NOT good enough that giving govenrment more power results in fewer people making stupid choices for themselves. It must also be true that this does NOT result in govenrment making worse choices for people who on their own did NOT make bad choices.

        It is NOT enough that government intervention reduce one bad outcome, if in the process it creates new bad outcomes.

        This is true whether we are talking about individuals right to choose to die, or whether we are talking about pollution or gun control, We forget that even in the rare instances where government actually produces some positive good that it claims it can, it must ALSO not make things worse elsewhere.

        It is not enough to do some good, it is a REQUIREMENT that the NET outcome is significantly better than without govenrment, and that is rarely true.

        One of the most egregious statistics I learned was that children who are sexually abused in the home are MORE likely to be sexually abused if they are removed from the home and put into the “system” then if they are left with their abuser.

        If government can not manage to do better for a child than a sexually abusive parent can, that is pretty bad.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 7, 2019 8:33 am

        Ron, I do believe that advance directives are necessary in situations where a person becomes unable to communicate his/her wishes regarding medical treatment. And, I support the idea that an adult, who no longer wishes to undergo treatment for a painful and incurable disease, should have the right to end treatment and opt for hospice care.

        In cases where a person has not indicated any advance directive, I don’t believe that anyone else should be able to make the decision for him, unless, as is the case now, those others go through a legal process to establish that right.

        Suicide often results from treatable mental illness. In addition, suicide has far ranging impacts on those other than the person who decides to die. Pain and suffering are part of the human condition. If we make pain a legitimate reason for people to obtain life ending drugs, then what is to stop the government from encouraging ~ or even mandating~ suicide over treatment?

      • June 7, 2019 12:00 pm

        “If we make pain a legitimate reason for people to obtain life ending drugs, then what is to stop the government from encouraging ~ or even mandating~ suicide over treatment?”

        Government should not be involved with anyones personal decisions! Right now government mandates treatment for painful, end of life situations unless previously stated by individual.

        Only if ones decision impacts another should government be involved to eliminate that impact.

        How about an opt in situation instead of an opt out if you are going to have government involved. Government regulations would state end of life situations will be considered DNR’s and no extraordinary life support unless specifically instructed to be used by the individual previous to inability to communcate desires.

        I have said many times people dont trust government, but we allow government into all aspects of our lives. The left does not trust government as they believe any sensible abortion legislation will end up overturning Roe v Wade. The right does not trust government because they believe any sensible gun legislation will repeal the second amendment without a repeal vote. List any issue and a significant percentage of the population will say they dont trust government.

        If I am in a situation like ALS, terminal cancer or any other painful terminal illness, I should have the right and access to a way to end my life in a humane way. Government should not have any say in that issue!

        From as insignificant as seat belt usage ( yes, kids should be required to be in proper restraints), helmet laws for motorcycle riders to forced health insurance purchase and forced life support in terminal situations, government should not be involved.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 5:50 pm

        I am opposed to giving government any role whatsoever in deciding in the choices a person can make regarding themselves.

        I do not want others – not government, not anyone to have the power to decide what choices are reasonable and which are not.

        If others can preclude my killing myself because I am depressed, then they can do so when I am terminally ill and in great pain.

        To the extent there is any role for government, it is in adjudicating the implimentation of decisions I made when I was competent, when I am not.

        I would strong strongly favor following the prior directions of a previously competent person to the letter, It is always dangerous when we pretend that someone else can determine what someone else would do if they were able to choose today.

        One of the dangers of not following a persons directives is that failing to do so requires them to act while they are competent but BEFORE they otherwise need to.

        If as an example I am told I am developing vascular dimensia – I would make much the same choices as my father did – to stay alive while I can, but to risk dying over increased mental loss.

        But because my Father did not get to have what he clearly chose, I would be strongly inclined to kill myself while I was still able to, rather than to trust that my directions would be followed when I am not.

        While I beleive that taking ones own life is a RIGHT – that we can argue that people should not, but we can not use force to prevent them from killing themselves, at the same time, we should recognize that whether it is a right or not, it is not something that we can prevent.

        If someone actually wishes to kill themselves – we can not stop it.

        And if we threaten to preclude people from implimenting the choices they want later we leave them to solve that problem by killing themselves sooner.

        There is no role for government in the choices a competent person makes with regard to themselves.
        Whether that is when to die, whether to wear a safety belt or whether to drink a 64oz sugary drink.

        Except with regard to honoring the prior directives of subsequently incompetent people,
        dealing with the incompetent is more difficult, and unfortunately includes atleast a limited role for government.

        I would strongly err in favor of the choices of parents and family with regard to the choices of the incompetent – rather than government.
        But a role for government in determinations about children and the elderly and mentally handicapped is unavoidable.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 3:46 pm

        Just as a woman has the right to control her own body with respect to abortions,

        So do the rest of us.

        I would greatly prefer that those ending their own lives had good reasons for doing so – such as needless pain and suffering.

        But I do not get to judge another persons reasons for acts regarding their own body.

        Absolutely there is an emotional impact of suicide on others – often devestating.
        But emotional impacts are NOT ever a justification for the use of force – law, government.

        WE are spewing nonsense about this all over today with regard to crap like “safe spaces”. or “verbal violence”.

        There is no acceptable justification for the use of force – government to restrict the free speech of others. Not even the most offensive speach.

        Hate speech should NEVER be a crime – no matter how vile, or emotionally harmful.

        We have other ways of dealing with hate speech.

        We are seeing some of this now as we watch Social Media banning voices like Alex Jones, Louis Loomer and now Steven Crowder.

        I find our standards today quite odd.

        It is OK to call a conservative a racist – you can not get banned from anywhere for that.
        But it is not OK to call a person who identifies as “queer”, “queer”.
        We are supposed to call people by their prefered names – in fact we are seeking to criminalize using the wrong pronouns, but it is not OK to call someone by the name they call themselves ?

        Social media is not government. So I do not mostly care what rules it choses.

        I think that conservatives should just understand that FaceBook, Google, etc. have become hostile to them and leave. It will only take a small migration to bring social media to its knees. these are businesses, they can not afford to lose 1% of their customer base, much less 25%.

        But there is other nonsense in this that should be addressed.
        Social Media has special protections as part of the DMCA, from claims of defamation.
        Protections that are NOT afforded the rest of us – not even journalists.
        In return for those protections they are supposed to provide a neutral platform.

        I think that Google and FB can have whatever rules they want.
        But I do not think they should be entitled to special protection.

        It is my understanding that the DMCA protections afforded Twitter, YouTube, and FaceBook are worth about 10B/year in reduced legal costs.

        Government may not participate in the regulation of speech by proxy.
        If Social Media has special protections, it may NOT have viewpoint related terms of service, nor may it enforce terms of service in a viewpoint specific fashion.

        Crowder’s purported “victim” is worse that Crowder himself. He is an apologist for Antifa and he has no problems defaming people he does not like. The only way his speech is different from Crowder’s is that it is not funny – ever. Crowder is a comedian and sometimes funny.

        All this uber PC has been the near death of comedy.

        You can not insult any group – unless you are a member of that group.

        So white Male Comics are barred from making jokes about anyone but white males.

        Only latino’s can joke about latino’s, only blacks about blacks, only women, about women.

        This is the death of humor.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2019 3:53 pm

        What is to prevent government from mandating even encouraging ….. ?

        Limited government.

        Government should not speak on anything that is not its business.
        It should not make laws that have no foundation in the constitution.

        Proper limited government would make nearly all government PSA’s unconstitutional.

        Here is Stossel at reason on Breakfast.

        Apparently nearly everything that you have been told about breakfast is not supported by facts.

        If we are going to have people lie to us about food and nutrition – isn’t it preferable to be lied to by Kellogs – who we have good reason to question, rather than the FDA who we are confused into beleiving we can trust ?

        I am opposed to government research (outside of defense which is a legitimate government role). I am opposed to government in anyway outside the narrow scopes I have mentioned repeatedly.

        The punishment of the use of actual force by others.
        The enforcement of agreements,
        The enforcement of compensation for actual harms.

        That is it, the rest is our business.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 8, 2019 9:22 am

        So, I am, in general and in theory, in agreement with both of you, that all sorts of personal decisions should be left entirely up to the individual. My concerns spring from the high likelihood that this will never happen, at least not as long as we live under our current political and social institutions.

        This brings me full circle, back to the abortion debate, which, in theory, at least, is about a woman’s right to choose what should happen to her own body. But, when does that right impose on the right of another, unborn, human being to his or her life? Well, we don’t know, exactly…

        What we do know is that the left has decided that a woman’s right to choose extends right up to, and, now, even beyond, birth. Abortion is “healthcare,” because it is a woman’s “reproductive right” (seems more to me like it’s her right NOT to reproduce, even after she has).

        So, I’m thinking that the ability to decide whether or not to affirmatively end one’s life~ the “right” to end one’s life, so to speak ~ is going to be subject to the same debate. Note, that I am speaking here of the right to obtain a legal cocktail of lethal drugs, which will, in theory, make one’s passing much less violent and traumatic to themselves and to those around them.

        It will also be much cheaper than, say, finding a cure for ALS or pancreatic cancer, so it will be in the interests of those looking to ration healthcare to encourage suicide as a viable and preferred option to continued suffering. And, in some cases, it is. Others, not so much.

        But, I’m not sure I want that debate, because I think that it will be at least as bitter and divisive as the abortion debate has been. I’d prefer to stick with the traditional view that life is sacred, and we should not advocate its end, except in certain, extreme cases.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2019 10:12 am

        The right to control of your body is not unique to women.

        It is merely the right of interest in the issue of abortion.

        It does not matter whether the “fetus” is fully human or not.

        I would further note there is a difference between the morality of law and government – negative morality, also often refered to as negative rights or negative law, and positive morality.

        Thou Shalt not Kill
        is negative law.
        It is also negative morality, and negative rights.
        It tells you what your rights are NOT, and what is NOT moral, and NOT legal.

        Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
        is positive morality.

        You can not incorporate positive morality into law.
        Positive morality is aspirational.
        It is not actually possible.
        I can not feed the hungry, cloth the naked, ….
        I can feed SOME of the hungry ….

        You can assert that abortion at anytime during pregnancy is morally wrong.
        But you are dealing with a positive rights, positive morality, positive law arrangement that is NOT legitimate for government.

        It is beyond the legitimate scope of government to force one person to sustain the life of another against their will.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2019 10:22 am

        The fact that we will not get the government that I want.
        The only government that is moral, does not alter the importance of the libertarian perspective – which is ultimately a MORAL perspective.

        In fact ultimately the ONLY moral perspective consistent with free will.
        And no one – right or life is arguing for a scheme that does not include free will.

        We may not be able to move the US government back to that moral foundation – one that is very nearly written into the US constitution, but we can still understand it.

        And it is important because it helps understand when, where and how to compromise.

        It is as an example why I can tolerate Trump.

        While there is alot about Trump that is offensive. His actions – both privately and as president run afoul of respecting the free will of other FAR less than any president since Reagan.

        Nearly all of what Trump does that is offensive runs afoul of POSITIVE morality.
        And as noted, positive morality is NOT the business of law, or government.

      • June 8, 2019 10:26 am

        “And it is important because it helps understand when, where and how to compromise.”

        Far too few in government do not understand the constitution and that is one reason for the lack of compromise by politicians. And few require the politicians to understand the constitution because few know anything about it themselves.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2019 2:08 pm

        I do not think it si a lack of understanding.
        I think it is a lack of caring.

        Politics and self government are designed to bring out the worst in people.

        Absolutely everything people worry about in business is a far more serious concern in government.

      • June 8, 2019 10:23 am

        It comes down two issues. Laws made on christian beliefs in a country where Christianity is declining and becoming more secular, leading to more beliefs contrary to that thinking and a country where fewer trust government to be restricted instead of restrictive. We can have a country where individual choice supersedes government controls, but those writing laws will not write laws that do not infringe on the individuals right to choose. Most of us agree that government can not be trusted. As I said earlier, the left believes any abortion laws will lead to elimination of all abortions, the right believes that any gun laws will lead to elimination of the right to own a gun. And in my way of thinking they are both correct.

        But that all leads to issues where a “moderate” democrat in a purple state like NC vetoes legislation that requires abortion doctors to provide emergency medical care to babies born alive during a botched abortion. There is no moderate positions anymore, even in “moderate” states.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2019 10:42 am

        Nearly every significant religion has some prohibition against abortion.

        While I think you touch on an important point, it is more of a point about “the west”, than christianity – sort of.

        The libertarian perspective I offer is the culmination of millenia of development of the understanding of law, philosophy, morality, free will.
        That development has occured throughout the world, but the apogee has been in different places are different times.

        To this point the pinnacle was reached in “the west” – starting in Italy in the Rennesaince and advancing through to people like JS Mill, or Thoreaux, or Nozick in the past two centuries.

        There is a conflict between religion – including christianity and that moral philosophy.

        The conflict is because no religion distinguishes between positive and negative morality.

        Positive morality is apsirational – it is NOT attainable. If incorporated into law, it is actually destructive – because we CAN NOT feed the poor, cloth the naked, …. contra to the religions of the world we MUST look after ourselves first.

        Socialism BTW while claiming not to be a religion, ultimately is. It is a POSITIVE moral system, and when incorporated into law and govenrment FAILS.

        ALL positive moral systems when incorporated into law and government FAIL.
        They do so predictably – because positive moral systems are aspirational, they are not attainable, and they are also at odds with human nature.

        Just to be clear a positive moral system is distinguishable from a negative system, because a positive system imposes duties to act.

        It is not about framing laws or values in positive or negative language.

        The prohibition against abortion SEEMS like negative law. Like “thou shalt not kill”.

        But the prohibition against abortion is more accurately expressed as “thou shalt sustain the life of a fetus until birth”.

        That is a positive aspiration – one that I hold personally. But it is NOT one that can be imposed legitimately by law or govenrment.

        I can beg and plead with you not to violate my positive moral precepts.
        I can condemn you to hell, but I can not morally send you to jail, for violating them.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2019 9:34 am

      They will come back – or they wont.

      Free choice.

      I suspect all of us are a bit burned out.

      Much of the discussion has become tedious and repetitive.

      Further few here or anyway actually want to look at any issue substanitively.

      Much of the expression – particularly the political expression is just outrage and chest thumping. It is not substance.

      I do not like Trump, I did not vote for him. It is unlikely I will vote for him in 2020.
      But most of the reasons I do not like Trump have nothing to do with Trump as president.
      I disagree with some of his policies. But I agree with MORE than any president since Reagan. Regardless, you do not impeach someone over political differences.
      The resolution to every single reason I do not like Trump is in the ballot box.

      Obama’s conduct as president was less constitutional and more lawless.
      And yet almost no one was talking about impeaching him.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2019 1:42 pm


      You have the right to take your own life.

      You have the right to assist another in taking their own life.

      Absent justifications – such as self defense no one has the right to take the life of another without permission.

  16. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2019 9:56 am

    I disagree with parts of this – the pretense that some of the questions that need to be asked are somehow just the wishes of one party.

    But much of this is pretty good.

    I do not accept Mueller’s conclusions even on Russia. I do not think he actuallly investigated Russian involvement in the election very well.

    I do not think the evidence that exists reaches a “more likely than not” standard regarding Russian involvement in the DNC email mess. More importantly there is no indication that Mueller ever did anymore than take the information provided by the FBI, which was the information provided by CrowdStrike and assume it was correct.

    Mueller appears to have doggedly set about trying to prove every single allegation in the Steele Dossier – and ultimately failed.

    But he treats the Dossier as tablets given by god to Noah. He absolutely never looks into them, or their origens. This is despite the fact that his mandate was to examine Russian election interferance and it is not even secret that many of the steele dossier allegations came from RUSSIA.

    A few days ago I posted how stupid it was to claim that the DOJ/FBI might be protecting some Russian Mole close to Putin. Mostly that analysis is correct, but I did miss one possibility, one that is increasingly appearing to be correct, and that was there is a(two) real russian sources for many of the Steele Dossier allegations, if fact the identity of those sources is pretty close to an “open secret”. The FACT that those sources remain close to Putin and have experienced no ill consequences suggests that CONTRA the dominant narative, Putin was aiding CLINTON, and fed her the Steele Dossier.

  17. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2019 10:00 am

    While I oppose Trade wars. I have ZERO problems with REQUIREMENTS that the US military make every possible effort to source Military goods from the US – even if that is more expensive. While that does not resolve all possibility of Fraud, or national defense should not depend on foreign sourced goods.

    Consumers should always be free to buy what they want from whoever they want.
    The military should not.

  18. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2019 10:17 am

    Excellent review of the House Legal Actions against Trump. by Turley.

    I would note that:

    Obama has the worst record of any president in court challenges to his unilateral actions as president.

    Thus far Trump has an excellent record. Though he typically loses in lower courts, he is typically winning at the appelate level or at SCOTUS.

    I beleive he has lost int he Supreme court twice thus far.
    Once was over a challenge that was started by Obama, that it is beleived that Trump deliberately sought to lose. The other is on a close call – 5:4 on an issue that I think Trump was wrong over. Obama has more unanimous supreme court losses that all prior presidents combined.

    I do beleive Trump’s decision to stonewall congress on absolutely everything is incorrect legally, though it may prove politically valuable.

    But Turley is absolutely correct, that house democrats are shooting congress in the foot.

    The courts are highly unlikely to find for congress on an issue where congress has the power to accomplish what it seeks on its own. As in this example, the courts are not going to say that the president may not spend money consistent with existing law, when congress has the power to reject that spending on its own but refuses to do so.

  19. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2019 10:29 am

    While Republicans are certain that voter fraud is Massive – and are likely wrong about that, Democrats are not only certain it is non-existant – and absolutely wrong about that but actively seek to thwart any effort to forestall efforts to determine the scale of the problem.

    No matter what numerous important elections have been determined by tiny numbers of voters, ANY level of fraud would have been sufficient to alter those outcomes.

  20. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2019 10:38 am

    Warren is litterally selling Trump’s economic program.

  21. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2019 1:49 pm

    There remains to this day NOTHING that meets the 4th amendment’s requirement of probable cause regarding the entire Trump/Russia “witch hunt”.

    And yet the author below documents the actions of Mueller After a more than year long FBI investigation that found NOTHING.

    If this is how DA’s prosecutors, FBI and law enforcement investigate We have a serious problem.
    If it is NOT how investigations are conducted – we have a serious problem.

    And Nadler wants to continue this nonsense ?

    Does anyone not understand why these people would NOT want to be grilled AGAIN by House democrats ?

    There is one witness that needs to appear in front of the house right now.

    Mueller. He needs to answer questions about how he conducted his investigation,.
    About the strong arm tactics, about the basis for warrants, about the threats to witnesses,
    About attempts to use dead laws to prosecute, about the efforts to get witnesses to lie, about the leaks of Grand Jury material.

    One of the more interesting aspects of this is the effort Mueller went to, to prevent anyone being investigated from going to the press.

  22. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2019 1:56 pm

    How is it that most everyone associated with the Trump campaign was threatened with FARA and Logan Act Violations but this is legal ?

    Whatever the law is, it is the same for all. Either John Kerry and Obama aides are free to conduct their own diplomacy aimed are thwarting the official diplomacy of our government, AND nothing that Manafort, Flynn, Papapdoulis, Page, etc did was remotely illegal, or
    ALL should be in jail now.

    There is no one law for Obama surrogates and another for Trump surrogates.

  23. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2019 2:07 pm

    John Solomon is not some crackpot.

    This may not get much coverage but it is pretty damning.

    Kliminick and Misfud are the only real people who are purported links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    It is near certain that Mifud is an MI-6 operative and probably a source for the CIA and FBI.
    If he is actually a Russian agent – then the US and UK intelligence agencies have been penetrated at extremely high levels, because Misfuds ties to MI6, FBI and CIA are extensive.

    Now we find Kliminick – who for the past two years has been painted as a known Russian operative that Manafort was unwisely working with for years, is actually a US intelligence source.

    This is almost like discovering that Assange was on the DNC payroll.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2019 3:04 pm

      Sorry, Solomon’s article makes another important point.

      That is that Mueller’s report is “political”.

      Dowd has established with absolute certainty that the passage in the Mueller report about his communications with Flynn’s attorney’s is incomplete in a way that is misleading.

      Solomon establishes the same problem regarding Mueller’s references to Kliminick.

      This is very important. We can pretend to excuse Mueller’s over zealous methods. We can pretend that the bad cop/bad cop approach he used threatening witnesses is just an effort to use pressure to get at the truth – not evidence of bias within the investigation,

      But the Mueller report is something completely different.

      The law and professional ethics requires that it reflects the TRUTH. that it is not “political” that it is not “spun”.

      Mueller’s report is the product of an “ex parte” process. The report itself is “ex parte”.

      Ex Parte – means those targeted did not get the opportunity to respond.

      In the law and legal ethics when only one party is represented the standards for what is presented are extremely high. “spin” is not allowed, Politics is not allowed, Creative editing is not allowed. Any claim made not only must be fully supported but all Exculpatory evidence must be provided.

      In this context it is unethical and often illegal to tell only part of the story.

  24. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2019 2:17 pm

    In an earlier post I strongly asserted that there was NO intelligence source behind the Steele Dossier that had to be protected.

    I made that claim based on the logic that even the hint that such a source existed would result in that sources demise. That Putin already has reason to be tearing into the lives of those close to him Mueller style and has no past compunction about murdering people who cross him.

    But I missed one alternative, and that alternative appears to be the truth.
    That alternative is that the information that Rusians provided to Steele was done so INTENTIONALLY either with Putins permission or atleast with his knowledge.

    There are purportedly two, possibly three sources for much of what is in the Steele Dossier.
    Those sources have actually been identified with near certainty. They are ranking members of Putin’s government. They are people who would be dead if the information they provided to Steele was done contrary to Putin’s wishes.

    This is important because it completely undermines a major leg of democrats claims regarding 2016.
    The claim that Putin wanted to help Trump get elected.

    There is zero doubt that Russia actively involved itself int he 2016 (and prior) elections.
    While that involvement is mostly stuff the US does all the time, and mostly miniscule in scale, what is made absolutely certain by the ranking Russian sources for Steele’s Dossier is that Russia did as much or more to help Clinton as Trump.

    Put simply Russia’s ONLY objective – was exactly what they got. To undermine the credibility of US elections. It was not to elect Trump or Clinton.

    If Putin favored Trump – Steele’s sources would be dead now.

  25. Pat Riot permalink
    June 8, 2019 11:55 am

    This is a test to see if I can comment at TNM.

    Rick, your post regarding abortion is a fair summary, including the bummer that extremists at both ends often drive the debates in our culture. Oy.

    • June 8, 2019 12:24 pm

      Pat, when you say “extremists”, in todays political environment they are no longer extremist in their own party. The 35% of the voters that identify as “base” voters, when identified by party become more than a majority within their party. And the base voters are now what moderates defined as extreme before.

      Gone are the days of Blue Dog Democrats or Rockefeller Republicans. Those like Manchin are dinosaurs and hold little power, no matter which party they belong. No longer is compromise a tool to achieve a desired outcome. Unlike Reagan who would compromise to get 75%-80% of what he wanted, the current leaders block anything that does not achieve almost 100%, resulting in moderate positions being eliminated. And should anyone do anything to cross leadership, they are assured of being primaried.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2019 2:32 pm

        Alex Jones – possibly the most significant extreme figure on the right,

        Is to the LEFT of Pat Buchannon, or Jerry Falwell, or Oral Roberts,
        Or Jessie Helms.

        I find the “extremist” claims OFFENSIVE.

        There is a ludicrous presumptiuon that the truth lies in the middle.
        Sometimes it does – but NOT often.

        At different times or on different issues, either the left or the right could be more likely to be correct on an issue.

        Frankly, on the whole the left is more often correct but for TWO things.

        First, the left is more willing to resort to force – sometimes through government, and sometimes directly to get their way.

        Second the left does not understand that good ends do not justify bed means.

        Regardless, my point is that given an issue, the TRUTH is more likely to be found at an extreme, than in the middle. But knowing that does NOT tell us which extreme.

        Ranting about extremism – meaning deviation from the center, is just nonsense.

        There is an implication that extreme is synonymous with wrong.
        That implication is FALSE. The odds are greater that some extreme posistion will be right than that a centrist one will be.

      • June 8, 2019 5:19 pm

        Well Dave, I would considef your positions extreme, so therefore an extremist. The left extreme wants abortion up and until the day of normal delivefy. They want those aborted to not receive care to save a life. The right extreme wants all abortions of any kind banned, includingvrape and the womans life. The extreme right wants all guns legal, while the extreme left wNts all guns destroyed. These are just two extremes. One can look at the bill of rights and find where one side or the other would ignore it complete!y, while the other side would allow no law that banned anythin associated with it, like yelling “fire” in a large audtorium or promoting terrorist activity through ” free speech”.

        So when you say “There is a ludicrous presumptiuon that the truth lies in the middle.” , that is extreme. Just look at immigration and the harm that it is causing today. Neither side will move off their “extreme” positions, so we have the mess we have today.

        Most everything in life is a compromise. A happy marriage is a compromise. Accepting others positions to make things work. Sometimes in healthcare a course of action is a compromise, medicine instead.of an operation.

        I could.list many things that are a total screwed up mess because of a lack of compromise and instead of accepting positions from the right and left, resulting in something ” center” or “moderated”, we either have a crappy regulation ( ie PPACA) or we have nothing .

        But your extreme libertarian no govefnment positions supports “nothing” and many times “nothing is not the right answer for those not of the same thinking ( ie Me)

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2019 8:49 pm

        My point which you seem to miss – is that the label “extremist” is stupid.
        There is an implication that extreme also means wrong.
        There is a strong implication that if you can call the other side “extreme”,
        then you do not have to address there arguments.

        I am sorry that TNM does not at this moment have people commenting from all persepectives – as Robby, DD and Jay have left or are atleast quiet we are devoid of their perpective. But I do not mostly miss them. Because they do not offer actual arguments. They do not effectively state the position of the left. Most of what they did when they were posting was rant about people. That is not argument. Calling others extreme as a means of ignoring them is not argument.
        It does not matter whether you are calling Alex Jones Extreme or Bernie Sanders.

        You said I am “extreme” – I do not care and what does that even mean ?

        What I care about is am I right or am I wrong ?

        What I want from you (or Robby or DD, or Jay or …) is your best criticism of my arguments.
        as well as the best arguments you can make for your positions.

        I do not care whether they are left, right, libertarian, reactionary, nazi, extreme, or whatever other adjective you wish to employ.

        .”Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice no virtue”.

        At the same time

      • June 9, 2019 10:29 pm

        OK, here is my position or thinking on “extreme”. I define one being extreme as holding positions on either political spectrum far from those held by most holding those positions. These individuals refuse to accept any compromise of their desired outcomes, allowing for no action compared to achieving most of their desired outcomes. In these cases, negotiation never happens because others know up front there will be no give and take.

        In addition, those that refuse to accept any regulations, allowing harm to occur to many, with the recourse being fines and imprisonment are “extreme”. Understanding that no regulation can stop all harm is required, but accepting that some regulation will significantly reduce harm is also required is a moderated position from the extreme.

        The problem for me is trust in government. I do not believe givernment willbstop once their foot is in the door for many issue. I do accept the lefts position that there is a very good chance SCOTUS will overturn Roe and any abortion may become illegal. Likewise, if any gun control is legislated, any future weapon used in a mass killing will become part of that ban. Both positions are valid because those being elected today are much more left and right of moderate today than previous elected congress members.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:12 am


        I do not care much how you define “extreme”.

        There is no definition of extreme that inherently means wrong.

        I beleive that it is arguable that the extreme left is nearly always wrong, and the extreme right is frequently wrong. But they are not wrong because they are extreme,

        I have some interest in where ones ideas fall on the political spectrum – because retread socialism, is still socialism and we have enormous bodies of theoretical, philospohical and practical data to tell us that socialism fails, and a retread version in unlikely to do better.

        But the problem with the views of the extreme left is not that they are extreme – but that they are wrong.

        I keep refering to Alex Jones – not because I like or support him. but because he is iconically extreme right today. Yet very little of what he says would not have been moderate 5 decades ago. What is “moderate” today will be extreme in a few decades.

        Alan Derschowitz was on the EXTREME left 60 years ago – defending the right of nazi’s to march at skokie. The ”reasonable” thing to do was to bar the march.

        Today Alan Derschowitz is being accused of being on the “extreme right”. But Derschowitz has not moved a jot. The left has.

        Extreme does not provide us with much information.

        I would prefer not to be labeled the same as Alex Jones, or AOC, but I am not uncomfortable being compared to Barry Goldwater.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:30 am

        “In addition, those that refuse to accept any regulations, allowing harm to occur to many, with the recourse being fines and imprisonment are “extreme”. Understanding that no regulation can stop all harm is required, but accepting that some regulation will significantly reduce harm is also required is a moderated position from the extreme.”

        Why ?

        Doesn’t a regulation at the minimum have to be effective ?

        The enforcement of all regulation is a posteriori.

        The fundimental difference between regulation and legitimate law – is that law punishes the outcome – actual harm. While regulation a posteriori – after the fact punishes specific means whether there is harm or not.

        Isn’t it “extreme” to punish those who have done no actual harm because of your fear that they MIGHT do harm ?

        How can your argue that Regulation is more effective in prevention that law that punishes actual harm. The disincentive of law is clear – harm another and you will be punished.

        There is zero difference in the mechanism by which regulation and law work.
        They both attempt to prevent harm, through the fear of punishment.

        But which do you think is a stronger disincentive – the fear of near certain punishment for causing actual harm. Or the fear of typically weaker punishment for acts that may or may not cause harm ?

        I do not accept that some regulation will significantly reduce harm – because that is a naked assertion without actual evidence to support it.

        That is not a “moderate” positions – I think it is an “extreme” position.

        I think the entire concept of regulation is logical nonsense.

        Legitimate law – law that punishes actual harm, is crystal clear.

        Actually harm others and you will be punished.

        There is not a lot of room for ambiguity. If you harm others you will be punished.
        The standard is clear – cause harm you will be punished.
        We all know exactly what to not do – harm others.

        Regulations punish people for acts that some beleive might harm others.
        There is no requirement that actual harm has occured, the incentive they introduce is NOT to avoid doing harm, but to avoid offending the views of those who concocted the regulation.

        We do not need regulation because law punishing actual harm is far more efficient, simple and clear. Regulation is inefficient, redundant and unclear.
        It substitutes someone’s oppinion regarding probabilities for actual fact.

      • June 11, 2019 10:59 am

        OK, here is an example of a “minor” regulation you and I probably don’t agree. I would bet you say we dont need this.

        Resturant inspections and grading with score visible for customers. These inspections review food safety, cleanliness of kitchen and other safety issues.

        You will say, most likely, that I can choose to go to a resturant or not. True!

        But I cant go back to the kitchen to see if rats are running around crapping on food and preparation tables. I cant take a thermometer and place it in food to insure it is kept at the proper hot temp. I cant check the refrigerator to see food is cold enough. And I cant look to make sure hand soap is available for food preparers after leaving the kitchen for some reason. And there are many more things I cant see that an inspector can see.

        But I can see that a restaurant received a grade less than “A”. And I can make the decision to eat there based on that grade unlike just using the cleanliness of the dining area as a gauge.

        Now you will argue these regulations did nothing to stop the problema at Chipotles. That is true, but nothing is 100% effective if created by man. There are too many variables to be 100%, but controlling 80%-90% of the variable is better, in my mind, than not controlling any of those.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:58 pm

        Gave you ever heard of Yelp ?
        Food critics ?
        Newspaper reviews ?

        Do you check the resturaunt you go to for a current and valid license etc ?

        If you do, you are the only person who knows who does.

        When I chose a resturaunt I absolutely look for reviews, both on the web, and on the walls of the resturaunt.

        When I choose a doctor – I check for certifications and lawsuits against them.

        But I do not check for city licenses or things like that.

        With respect to inspections – whether it is the city or the FDA or USDA – they do not and we can not afford government that does have the resources to actually check these places with a frequency that would be meaningful.

        Whether you grasp that or not – the quality and safety of your food is ALREADY in the hands of the business owner.

        No inspector is going to send home the employee who comes to work sick.
        Or who fails to wash their hands.

        The day to day important business of assuring that your food is healthy falls to the owners and always has.

        Almost all resturaunt inspections are driven by complaints.

        So instead of complaining to the city – complain to Yelp or something like that.

        Reputation matters alot.

        While you have a point regarding inspections and visible scores.

        We all want that, and we WILL get that with or without government.

        The entire regulation nonsense presumes that GOVERNMENT is necescary to meet our wishes.

        It is NOT, and it is just about the worst way to do so.

        If you read private resturaunt reviews or reputation score systems like Yelp,
        YOU get to go through LOTS of reviews and YOU get to decide whether what the reviews say matters to you.

        And the resturaunt will get rated privately on an assortment of criteria that patrons think are important – not those govenrment thinks is important.

        When I am looking for a restuaunt I am after much more than food that will not kill me.
        I have an assortment of preferences – spicy, not, quiet, romantic, secluded, or close to some landmark. or ….

        Government gives you one bit of information – that is typically years old.
        Nor can you tell the extent corruption or competence played in that “review”.

        I can weigh the reviews of food critics or Yelp reviewers. or word of mouth.
        I know the extent to which I can trust my friends oppinions.

        I have said this repeatedly – among other reasons because it applies to Trump.

        In business TRUST is everything. NO ONE is obligated to buy from you.
        If you want people to do so, you must persuade them to trust you.
        And you must do so in the way THEY require.

        When government makes these choices – it is some guy in a city job, who could not get a better job.

        The FACT – which covers the ass of all these regulators you love, is that THEY know that the businesses they are regulating are screwed if they Fup. So mostly they do a pretty cursory job. That is why most “inspections” that result in action are driven by complaints, not periodic reviews.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 1:23 pm

        According to CDC 148M americans get foodborne illnesses each year.

        less than 1/3 of those are aquired by americans in the US.

        Most of these are unserious and are little more than a belly ache – if even that.

        Total deaths in the us are about 3,000 a year.

        Almost all of these are from food eaten at home.

        If 2 or 3 people get sick at a resturaunt anywhere in the US – today it makes the national news.

        Do I know all the things you ask about a resturaunt – nope.
        At best the inspector knows those things – on the one day every few years he visits.

        Regardless you are mostly worried about nothing – you are free to do so, but you are not free to restrict my choices because of your fears.

        I like meat – and most of my foods, “undercooked” I eat them that way at resturaunts, and at home. I like Steak Tartar and Tuna Tartar, I like rare meat – cool purple center.

        The likelyhood that much of what I eat – anywhere is cooked according to the regulations you are fixated on is ZILCHE.

        Do you know what the temps are in your fridge or freezer ? Do you know that the temps are when you cook your food ? On a stove I doubt you have a clue.

        My wife is big on cooking – we have 3 ovens – the temps are off 50+F from one to the next.

        So how is it that you think this inspector who shows up every couple of years and rates the place based on one moment in time – has made you safe the remaining days of the next two+ years ?

        And BTW why is it that you are sure that a dozen health inspectors are all rating resturaunts consistently ? One guy may be a hard ass, the other just counting days to retirement, a third may go to church with the resturaunt owner.

        What assurance do you have that your A rating on the wall of Resturant A means the same thing as the same rating on a resturaunt on the other side of town ?

        And just as there are reasons for false positives – there are reasons for false negatives.
        The inspector does not like Hindu’s or Chinese, or ….

        So why do you have some special reason for trusting govenrment inspections ?

        I have far more health issues with allergies than improperly prepared food.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 1:45 pm

        Government inspections are like the TSA at the airport – Security Theater, mostly ineffective measures that make you feel better.

        Government inspections are neither frequent enough, consistent enough or thorough enough to have any meaningful effect.

        I deal with buildings not food – but the issues are the same. the assorted laws, regulations and inspections are an impediment to my doing my job.

        As an architect when a building is being built – if ANYTHING goes wrong – I am getting sued.
        Of the building is not designed safely – I get sued, if it is not built safely – I get sued.
        If a carpenter falls and breaks a leg – I get sued. If after the building is built some one slips and falls in an aisle – I get sued.

        I do not need laws an regulations to know that I must go to great lengths to make sure things are safe.

        Further – what I can be successfully sued for, and how buildings are built has changed over my lifetime. Completely independent of regulations.

        We tolerate far less workplace safety problems on job sites today than 50 years ago.
        Even ignoring the lawsuits the cost – lost work, and the like are such that keeping sites safe is a much higher priority than 5 decades ago – and no laws have changed.

        Everything I have ever done must comply with OSHA – I have never seen an OSHA inspector in 50 years. I am pretty unfamiliar with OSHA regulations. I do not care about them.
        I do care about workplace safety. My OWN rules are more serious than OSHA’s and I am not alone in that.

        And yes there are even “racial” elements in some of this.
        I worked in a factory that employed 50 mostly white mostly middle class people – and the workplace safety expectations were very high.

        My family owned a factory that employed 5-6 people, mostly ex-cons and people with drug and alcohol problems. Workplace accidents were much more common. Some of our employees Deliberately had accidents when they learned things like that Workers comp would pay them 10K for a lost finger.

        Workplace safety for low skilled immigrants tends to be much worse.
        Though it is far higher than in their country of origen.

        But all of it is greater than government requires.

        When govenrment inspectors show up at my projects – they are a drag.
        Most do not know what they are doing, they know little about construction.
        They do not know their own regulations. and they frequently impose regulations that do not exist or do not say what they claim. But we have to give them whatever they ask for – not because we could not fight them and “win”, but because there is no winning.
        By far the greatest “cost” on a construction project is delay. The best contractors work closely with architects and engineers to keep a project on or ahead of schedule.
        Giving a building inspector some stupid and outside the law demand is just a cost of doing business. Fighting them costs more even if you win. losing 5 days on a major project could be the difference between profits and bankruptcy.

        Regardless, I have never seen a government building inspection that had any value.

        That does not mean that construction projects are not inspected.
        The owner inspects projects, the architect inspects them, engineers inspect them, the contracts typically require outside inspectors, and both inside and outside testing.
        IF we as architects did not require this – the bonding companies would.

        The very first fire codes in the world – were from insurance companies.

        And to be clear I have ZERO problems with “private” regulation – with insurance company rules, or the requirements of architects, engineers etc.

        I have no problem with people who have “skin in the game” protecting their own skin.
        They have to weight the costs and benefits of their demands.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:32 am

        If you do not trust govenrment – how can you possibly trust regulation ?

        I do not need to trust govenrment much to trust law.

        Murder someone – and you will be punished.
        I know exactly how I stand with respect to you, and with respect to government should it fail to punish you.

      • June 11, 2019 11:10 am

        This “trust” issue is getting deep into things hard to repond to without a 500+ word answer. So I will say the trust line is basically at the rights in the constitution. And those basically stated in the bill of rights.

        And I trust local government more than state, and state more than feds.The feds can impact more than the others.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 1:51 pm

        The constitution guarantees you that government will NOT interfere with your private contacts. That RIGHT is in the body of the constitution – not the bill of rights.

        It is a guarantee that there will be no guovernment regulation of the economy – and that was its intent.

        The commerce clause gave control of commerce to the Federal govenrment – not to regulate – but to prevent regulation by the states. Our founders were quite aware of the harms of economic regulation – 250+ years ago.

        They were well aware that the british used regulation as a means to fuck them over, to disadvantage them. Read the actual complaints against George III in the declaration.

        I do not really trust govenrment with that tiny job that is theirs legitimately.
        They are just the lessor evil with respect to that.

        I certainly do not want them messing with those things where I not only have far greater trust of private actors – but where I can choose myself who to trust and how much risk I wish to take.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 1:54 pm

        I am a firm beleiver in the use of the three layers of govenrment as checks against each other. As a rule the federal govenrment is more honest, less corrupt, usually more reasonable. But it is also less efficient and more expensive.

        I do not trust state, local or federal govenrment and I want each as a check on the other.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 2:24 pm

        The linked video is about “the knowledge problem” or “why socialism fails”.
        But the knowledge problem is not limited to prices or socialism.
        It applies to most everything govenrment does – including regulate.

        Put simply – govenrment can not know what it truly needs to know to manage the economy in any form – and that includes to actually figure our how to a priori reduce harm.

        One thing the video barely touched on is that all of this is dynamic. Regulations are not.

        No regulator can know for certain that the harm that he MIGHT be preventing right now, is greater or less than a future benefit he might be precluding that no one has even conceived of – and will never conceive of because he has regulated it out of the realm of possibility.

        But beyond clear harms is harm prevention. During WWII and for several years afterwords US pollution massively spiked. Defeating Japan and German was the priority. We did not have the environmental laws then we have today – but prior to the war producers just did not pollute nearly as much as they did during the war – why ? Because there was an intuitive understanding that polution is a harm. And if owners did not grasp that – their consumers would remind them.

        But lets presume that by the time of WWII the US had the clean air and water acts.
        The country could have abided by those regulations – and risked losing the war, or it could have done as it did and massively increased polution to win the war.
        We can not predict for certain whether following the regulations would have lost the war.
        But it is trivial to understand that it would have decreased the odds of winning.

        Regulations have no mechanism – and no possible mechanism for dealing with problems like this.

        And my example may seem unusual – but everyday on much smaller scale similar choices exist in the real world – we often get to choose one harm (or benefit) over another.

        Alot of the time we will choose to do the very same thing we would if some regulatory scheme were in place – inarguably land water and air pollition were LOWER before WWII that during – by massive amounts. that reflexted the calues of producers and consumers.

        But absent regulation – producers on a day to day basis could choose between real world alternatives and pick what was the best for this particular moment.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2019 8:57 pm

        The problem with what the left wants is not that it is “extreme”, it is that it is WRONG.
        The problem with what the right wants is not that it is “extreme”, it is that it is WRONG.

        During the hollocaust the Jews held the “extreme” position that no jews should be gassed.

        The truth is RARELY at the center.

        Life is NOT actually mostly compromise.

        Much or what happens, occurs because someone does the work to make it happen, and they MOSTLY get what they want.

        Those of us who were unwilling to do the work get very little voice.

        That is MOSTLY how things work.

        Compromise – to the extent it occurs generally takes one of two forms.

        It occurs when two people what are BOTH motivated to make things happen but heads, and neitehr can overcome the other.

        Or when two people who do NOT really make much happen agree to a meaningless compromise just to get along.

        As an example – if you and I agree to compromise on Trade or abortion – what does that even mean ? Neither of us have much power with respect to trade or abortion.
        Our compromise merely means we agree to stop arguing about something we have very little voice in. It is like agreeing not to talk politics at thanksgiving dinner.

        It allows us to get along and live together, but it actually changes nothing in the real world – except our enjoyment of the turkey.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2019 12:25 pm

        With respect to the long list of issues you list, most of those issues actually have a legally, constitutionally, and morally right answer.

        And that is the correct answer.
        That answer MIGHT be extreme. Thought that is irrelevant.

        With respect to guns – there is a reason that the court decided as it did in Heller.
        The actual words of the constitution – using the normal means of reading them, grant a right to bear arms. The militia clause is an explanation, it is NOT a limitation.
        Beyond that the authors of the 14th amendement were ABSOLUTELY CLEAR – even if our founders were not. The priviledges and immunities of citizens – including newly freed blacks ABSOLUTELY included the right to GUNS.

        The priviledges and immunities langues was deliberate – it was intended not merely to guarantee the right to guns, it was meant not merely to require the states to respect the bill of rights, It was deliberately intended to reverse a serious of bad SCOTUS decisions from 1787 through 1865 that read the constitution as only guaranteeing ENUMERATED rights and ONLY protecting them from the federal government.

        The text of the 14th amendment basically says FU to those SCOTUS decisions.
        It says that “the priviledges and immunities of citizens” – words that at the time meant MORE than just rights, MAY NOT BE INFRINGED by either the states of the federal govenrment.

        If it is “extreme” to say that the constitution means what it says. And PARTICULARLY that the 14th amendment MEANS WHAT IT SAYS, then – I am an extremist.

        I am also right. And that is what I care about.

        You continuously talk about the “harm of immigration”.

        I have one concern about immigration as it currently is – and that is the moral hazard.
        If you give people an entitlement to something at no cost, that is moral hazzard and there will be abuse.

        That is what medicare did to healthcare – by making healthcare for seniors nearly free, there was a massive increase in the use of healthcare by seniors and as there is no such thing as truly free someone must pay.

        I do not care about the effect of immigration on most of the things you worry about.

        If a good or service can be provided cheaper – it will be.
        If you bar the employment of cheap immigrant labor in the US to preclude displacing better paid US workers – either the job will automate or it will move to a foreign country.

        Just as it is not sustainable to allow mass immigration AND entitle those immigrants to all kinds of govenrment services free, it is not sustainable to try to control the market so that people who are highly paid to do a job that does not require highly paid workers.

        Is compromise sometimes part of life – absolutely.

        But every example you provide it is a choice.

        I can choose to compromise with my wife – or get divorced.
        I can choose to make compromises over my medical care – or die.

        The first word is the most important “I”.
        I get to choose whether I compromise and exactly how I compromise.
        “I”, Not my neighbor, not senators, or representatives, not the president.

        Government decisions are RADICALLY different than those of individuals.
        Pretending otherwise is extremely disingenuous.

      • June 10, 2019 1:28 pm

        Dave, I understand completely your thoughts and positions. If I thought that banning multiple clip magazines for semi auto rifles and SCOTUS upheld that ban without congress taking the next step to ban semi auto rifles, I might support that. But does anyone think Ginsberg and her merry gang of liberal judges would not “interpret” the constitution so it did not gaurentee owning all current guns? And what happens when Thomas leaves and Biden replaces him?

        As for immigration, I also have said many times we need to open the borders and eliminate all walls because what we have is not working. Jay bitched about Trump and him policies, but almost had a cow when my propsal would have opened the California border. I support your position for open immigration without government assistence for anything, just like what we had when our relatives came to America years earlier. But do you REALLY think we can open up now and do away with support programs. Just today California announced a 98 million per year medical assistence program for 90,000 additional illegals.

        You can argue until you blue in the face about your immigration policies, and all the bleeding heart liberals in states like CA will just call you a libertarian nut case. Your taxes will go to medicaid to pay for these people. Your immigration policy the early 1900’s because there was no free lunch for anyone. Not today!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:45 am

        Any law that is unenforceable is stupid.

        Long ago the NTHSA set speed limits by measuring the speeds at which people traveled on a road without marked speed limits. They set the speed limit at the speed at which only 5% of people exceeded. Today speed limits have nothing to do with the rate at which a road can be traveled safely or with the willingness of people to conform to them.

        Laws that are routinely violated by large numbers of people – are bad laws, they UNDERMINE the rule of law.

        Prohibition, prostitution laws, drug laws, and laws regulating the size of magazines are all the same.

        You can download the plans for a high capacity magazine and print several with a 3d printer.
        With an inexpensive CNC machine you can make a colt 1911, or an AR-15. My guess is that you can make and M16 if you want.

        When you make law that makes criminals of people who are not going to do harm – you undermine law.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:52 am

        We “can” have open immigration and the pre-requisites for it.

        But we will not.

        Given the the political realities. I am prepared to “compromise”, and arrangements that will work.

        Walls – in conjunction with other measures and as part of a dynamic process that adapts as those trying to get in adapt – can and do work. They do not end drug trafficing or illegal immigration – but they greatly reduce it.

        Equally important I want all – left and right to face up to making tough decisions.

        If those on the left want to favor central americans – over asians, I can live with that.

        But step up and be open about that.

        I am not interested in chickenshit that we can and should have laws that we do not enforce.

        Left or right – speak up. Say what you really want, and let us vote for or against you on that basis.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2019 12:40 pm

        “I could.list many things that are a total screwed up mess because of a lack of compromise ”

        Please do. I do not think we would agree.

        Rowe v. Wade as an compromise – and it has left us fighting for decades.

        Doing nothing would have been a significant improvement over PPACA.

        In fact doing nothing is NEARLY ALWAYS the best choice for GOVERNMENT.

        Frankly it is SOMETIMES the best choice for individuals.

        Many many many problems are either not all that significant, or go away entirely on their own, or get fixed by ordinary people acting on their own in the own lives.

        Every day billions of problems great and small get solved.
        The vast majority of those problems are solved WITHOUT compromise.

        Even in our relations with our spouses – an area where I will agree we you that compromise is often vital. Even there, the majority of problems are solved WITHOUT COMPROMISE.

        My wife makes choices for the two of us everyday, often without consulting me at all.
        Many of these she choses differently than I would. but she does what she wants, there is no compromise, and we do fine. And BTW I do the same. The only “compromise” is that each of us accepts that even if we do not have control of every decision that we are better off together. That quite frankly for the vast majority of these decisions our differences do not matter at all. Does it matter exactly what toilet paper we purchase or how much ?
        We do not “compromise”, my wife does as she pleases, and I live with it, because it is not that important. Because even compromising has a higher cost than just letting her (or me) make many decisions the both of us.

        There is a place for compromise, but you vastly overstate both the frequency the necescity and the benefit.

        One of the reasons for limited govenrment is that what is not done by govenrment, is not something that we either have to compromise – or more accurately our leaders have to compromise for us.

        What government does not do for us – we do for ourselves,. and WE decide.
        Nor are we each required to decide the same – I can have what I want – to the extent I am able to provide it for myself, and you can have what you want.
        No compromise necescary.

        THAT is the norm of decision making – not compromise.

        Compromise is a tool, It is not a principle.

        The first question – before any compromise is even discussed should always be:

        Is this something that MUST be done jointly ?
        Because if it is not, no compromise is needed at all.
        You do your thing, and I do mine.

        And there are very very few things we should ever be obligated to do together.

        Working together with others as in marraige is a CHOICE.

      • June 10, 2019 1:47 pm

        Dave, not going to get into the weeds on this one except two short comments.
        1. PPACA was not a compromise. Obama told McCain in their ” bipartisan” meeting on healthcare when McCain made a suggestion ” John the election is over…… ” and ignored anything the GOP members proposed. The dems had to buy votes to get it passed.
        2. The constitution, and bill of rights being added was a compromise document of manybdifferent positions.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:55 am

        I did not intend to imply PPACA was a compromise – atleast not one between the left and right.

        PPACA was merely proof that you can make things overall worse and more expensive while trying to “fix” something that does not work as well as you hope.

        For some people PPACA is better, for many it is worse, for all it is more expensive.
        On net it is worse.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 12:57 am

        Most of the compromises in the constitution have been historic disasters.

        I understand that without those compromises it would have taken longer to create this country.

        At the same time almost 500K people died in a war to undo just one of those stupid compromises.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2019 12:49 pm

        When two of us can not agree, FORCE is rarely a legitimate means to resolve the conflict.

        99.99% of the time the best resolution is for each of us to go our own way. To each do as we wish on our own and within our own lives.

        What you call my extremist libertarain position is merely asserting that if I am not willing to do as you ask, you are RARELY entitled to FORCE me.

        I do not think that is in the least “extreme”. To me that is the “moderate” position, and anything else is extreme.

        I would further note that when we act through govenrment it is not you and me. it is you, me, and 330M other people. It is not typically a choice between two alternatives – left and right, but a choice between 330m alternatives.

        The odds of a successful compromise between any two people – where neither gets what they want, but each gets enough to VOLUNTARILY agree, is quite high. But those odds decrease exponentially with the number of people involved.
        Government compromises are not entirely volunatary.

        When I compromise with you – or my wife, I have the option of walking away.
        And sometimes each of us does.

        But none of us can walk away from the compromises government makes for us.

        They are done by force.

  26. Pat Riot permalink
    June 8, 2019 12:20 pm

    The abortion issue is such an obvious compromise issue. It could be, and should be, an historic victory for reasonable Moderates…

    Priscilla, I think you said above (correct me if I’m wrong) something to the effect that very few people want to force rape victims to carry full term and deliver. I went through 12 years of Roman Catholic education, then to a Jesuit college, and, from 732 discussions that I’ve witnessed or participated in regarding abortion, even most devout priests accept the rape exception to a pro-life stance, despite whatever dogmatic lines have been scribed in the sand. Rape is such an obvious compromise point.

    Ron P, I think you said above (correct me if I’m wrong) that the special circumstances of abortion cases are a low percentage. I’m paraphrasing instead of scrolling up and checking. I’ve seen similar statistics. I agree. So how in the wide world do we let the low percentage factors and outliers dominate the discussions these days, to the point that we get extreme legislation? Oy.

    • June 8, 2019 1:16 pm

      “So how in the wide world do we let the low percentage factors and outliers dominate the discussions these days, to the point that we get extreme legislation?”

      There are a few obvious reasons. One, in both liberal. and conservative states, gerrymandering has created much more left and right extremes. I know NC has had districts overturnec by courts and I believe MD has also been in court. Two, Leadership insures support or they insure a more liberal or conservative primary candidate. Three, witness Joe Biden. He is considered “moderate” when they discuss democrat candidates. If his positions on forced healthcare insurace coverage, zero CO2 output by 2050, taxes, etc, then you can call me Einstein. That is not moderate! Last, again the trust issue. How many believe if we make exceptions that they wont become the norm?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2019 2:48 pm

        Gerrymandering is an entirely different debate.

        Regardless, the claim that it has caused us to be more extreme is false.

        The modern – past decade, polarization is almost entirely caused by the left shifting further left. By those on the left destroying their own moderates.

        The pew data for the past 50 years has small shifts left and right, but to a very large extent the bell curve of the views of the right and that of the views of the left substantially overlapped. such that the center of the left and the center of the right were not all that far from the political center of the country.

        Today that is not true. Starting about 2004 – but mostly after 2008, the left is no longer a bell curve, it is a wedge with the center of mass moving ever further left,
        Changes to the right are far less significant.

        We talk alot about PC. But it is really about intolerance. Further these changes were inevitable and are rooted in the core ideology that underpins the modern left.

        Youtube just purged Steven Crowder – but missing from the uproar is that the purged almost 1000 other creators – and most were NOT on the right. many were on the left.

        the left is often more vigorous at policing its own.

        Harvard just purged a liberal black law school professor for representing Harvey Weinstein.
        Civil Rights used to be a value of the left.

        Dave Rubin gets death threats – because how dare a gay guy be libertarian ?
        Or worse, how dare he talk to people on the right.

        One of the major issues of the moment – not just the last few days – but the last decade, is the left’s efforts to SILENCE disagreement.

        It does not matter whether it is feminists who do not think that Biological Males should be allowed to compete in women’s sports, or Steven Crowder, or Dave Rubin.

        The objective of the left is NOT to debate the issues – debate is not allowed.
        No debate has occured but the left knows the answers and there is nothing to discuss.

        That is our fundimental problem today.

        TNM claims to value compromise.

        For all his other attributes – Trump is an incredible compromisor.
        While he negotiates hard and attempts to stack the deck in his favor, in the end he will nearly always come to an agreement – if the otherside is able to do so.

        He will try to get the agreement most favorable to him, But Trump is pretty much anti-ideology. All of his bluster and insults and the chaos he creates are all about trying to create the conditions for compromise that is most favorable to him.

        And yet with one of the greatest compromisors as president we have ever had, compromise is not possible.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 8, 2019 2:23 pm

      Maybe devout priests accept it. But the church does not.

      Because there is no moral foundation for such an exception.

      If abortion is murder, it is still murder if the fetus is the product of rape or incest.

      As much as I can sympathize, The rape incest exceptions are emotion substituting as logic.
      They may have strong emotional appeal, but emotion has no place in law.

      I broadly find abortion immoral. But that does not mean it should be illegal.

      I do not think we need to “compromise”.

      I just think we need to get the law right.

      The one issue Rowe got half right is viability matters.
      But not in the way Rowe used it.

      The right answer is to understand there is an unlimited right to have an abortion – to remove the preganancy from your body.

      But there is not any right to specifically direct its death.
      If it dies because it is not “viable” – so be it.

      That would also alter the incentives regarding abortion.

      The gutmacher data – and gutmacher used to be part of PP,

      strongly indicates that nearly all abortions are about convenience.
      Late abortions are about convenience.

      Abortions do not occur because birth control failed – well except the failure of humans to use it properly.

      Late term abortions are not mostly because doctors have determined that the child can not survive.

      Gosnell’s abortions were about convenience.
      PP’s abortions are about convenience.

      It is ALWAYS better to be proactive.
      Birth control is cheaper and safer than morning after pills, which are much cheaper and safer than early abortions, which are much cheaper and safer than later abortions.

      If you set the law straight – so that a woman can have an abortion at any time,
      but that the state can require efforts to save the life of a fetus that is aborted,
      And that just as men can be held responsible for the child so can women,

      The incentives will be to act earlier.

      BTW the current rise in interest regarding abortion is primarily because Rowe’s reliance on science ensured that increasingly early restrictions on abortion would ultimately occur.

      Rowe was a compromise – a bad one.
      And it has failed.

  27. Pat Riot permalink
    June 9, 2019 1:59 pm

    A longer version of this didn’t post. Ignore the long one if it eventually shows. I desired to respond at least once. Here is an edited, less-contentious version, chopped up:

    Against my better judgment, and perhaps for “old time’s sake,” despite hearing Ian and Jay’s voices saying, “no, don’t do it,” I will attempt to see if I can compel you, at long last, to be reasonable!

    You seem to understand and employ the word “extreme” rather lightly. When you say:

    “Regardless, my point is that given an issue, the TRUTH is more likely to be found at an extreme, than in the middle…”

    …It seems you employ the word “extreme” as almost synonymous with “not in the middle” or almost synonymous with merely “out at the left, or out at the right”. I believe most people use the words “extreme” and “extremist” in political discussion to mean “too far out” and “fanatically and radically out of reasonable boundaries,” and the like.

    to be continued….

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 1:13 pm

      With respect to “extreme”.

      I would prefer not to use the term at all, or at most rarely.

      It has very little informational value and a great deal of emotional baggage.

      I am not an Alex Jones fan, but as I noted – he is pretty much the “extreme” right today.

      Yet, he is to the left of most significant “moderate” conservatives 5 decades ago.

      I think he is WRONG much of the time, but how is he extreme for holding views that a majority of people held 50 years ago ?

      Regardless, the use of the label “extreme” tells me nothing about whether a position is correct or not.

      So to be clear, I am not arguing for some specific personal definition of “extreme”.

      I am arguing that almost no matter what “extreme” means, it is not useful information.

      Even in the context you are attributing to me.

      I do not beleive there is a fixed left, right and middle.

      As noted Alex Jones would be the “moderate” if you go back far enough in time.

      What constitutes the far left, right or center shifts all over the place over time.

      During my lifetime this country has shifted very significantly to the LEFT.

      But MOSTLY (not completely) it has done so in a very “libertarian” way.
      And MOSTLY I think that left shift has been a GOOD thing.

      MOSTLY what I disagree with the left on is the MEANS by which they seek to accomplish things.

      I have zero problems with gay marraige.
      I think that christian bakers SHOULD bake cakes for anyone who wants a cake from them.
      But SHOULD can only RARELY become MUST.

      Over 50 years I have seen christians soften hardline positions on issue after issue.
      When I was young homosexuality was a crime. Now refusing to sell a cake to a homosexual is a crime.

      That great left shift in my lifetime has been GOOD, FANTASTiC, to the extent it has been voluntary – the result of shifting attitudes. To the extent govenrment has been involved – the elimination of laws restricting the freedom of homosexuals or others has been GOOD,

      But the entire shift has NOT been good. When we try to FORCE change though government, when instead of eliminating bad past restriction on freedom we impose new ones for some purportedly good cause. That portion of the left shift has been BAD.

      We fight here. WE spray each other with opions, viewpoints, and occaisonally valid arguments. We seem to be getting nowhere. And yet the attitudes of people HAVE shifted – and fairly radically over my lifetime. Those attitudes shifted as a consequence of both the public debate – just like what we are doing here, and because of public behavior.

      The tiny initial steps of groups like homosexuals did not result in the sudden moral collapse of society. Of 50 somethings raping 10 year olds.

      The role of govenrment in the GOOD parts of the left shift of this country has been non-existant. The role of government in the bad parts has been huge.

      Regardless, the point is that extreme is an almost meaningless term.

      What was moderate 50 years ago is extreme today.
      What was extreme 50 years ago is moderate today.

      The label moderate/extreme provides zero information regarding the correctness of a position.

      At best is tells us the relationship of that position to the concensus of the current moment in time.

      Any presumption that truth and consensus coincide should be trivially destroyed by even a small part of our history.

      So the terms “moderate” and “extremist” are at best chalk marks on an elastic measure that is constantly moving. They tell us very little and even that only about this moment.

  28. Pat Riot permalink
    June 9, 2019 2:01 pm

    Extremists grab hold of an idea (such as “all abortion is murder” or “nobody has the right to tell me what to do with my body” or “Allah is great” or “there is no such thing as fair”) and they refuse to allow the idea to be modified and stretched or altered to fit the contours, contexts, and imperfections of real life.

    Extremists tend to think in terms of abstract absolutes, in categorical vacuums, shutting out the many other messy factors impinging from real life. They hold to a clean statement they perceive as “Truth” like a pit-bull with its jaw clamped on a bone.

    Such things as “reasonableness” and “fairness’ do exist, despite your past mockery of the word “fair” here at TNM. Reasonableness and fairness do exist, not as abstract absolutes where no flaws can be imagined, but in the messy, tangled real world of practicality.

    Saying “all abortion is murder” is a statement that is an abstract absolute.

    You’ve already allowed, many times here at TNM, that killing in self-defense is permissible, moral, and legal.

    Similarly, a pregnancy that results from a violent crime (rape) is permitted to be terminated by reasonable people. Allowing rape victims to terminate pregnancy is a reasonable compromise understood by most thinking humans.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 1:24 pm

      “Extremists grab hold of an idea”

      Absolutely. Everything is about ideas. The entire point of discussion is to impliment the marketplace of ideas.

      Maybe “all abortion is murder” ? Regardless, that is a valid idea – one we should examine on its merits and accept, reject or modify based on its merits, not because of its relationship to the middle.

      “nobody has the right to tell me what to do with my body” another idea, and again one that should be tested.

      “Allah is great” also an idea.

      “there is no such thing as fair” and another idea.

      “They refuse to allow the idea to be modified and stretched or altered to fit the contours, contexts, and imperfections of real life”

      So you say. And yet as I pointed out in the prior post – over time WE have changed.

      SOME of those “extreme” ideas, have without modification, stretching or altering, become our TRUTH today. Some have been modified a bit, and some have been completely rejected.

      There is no rote approach that assures given any idea, what its future will be.

      You are RIGHT – SOMETIMES ideas have to adapt, or sometimes they don’t have to but still do. BUT sometimes ideas are just accepted, and others they are rejected.

      BTW it is MUCH more common that an idea is either accpeted or rejected than that it is significantly altered. Alteration typically occurs when ideas FAIL.

      The postmodernism of todays left is the consequence of the FAILURE of prior marxism and socialism. It is the reconstitution of an old idea that failed in the past, in the hope that it might succeed in a new form.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 1:39 pm

      “Reasonableness'” and “fairness” are even more nebulous than “moderate” and “extreme”

      I have near zero interest in re-opening that debate.

      Not only is it unlikely that you and I will agree on what is reasonable or fair, but as I have noted many times. Given 10 people you will get atleast 11 definitions of “fair”.

      Thoughts, ideas MATTER, Your fixation on “fair” is an idea with a long long history.

      “fair” is ineqtricably linked to “equality” – “egalitaire”, To the french revolution, to guilotines and blood in the street, to communism and socialism. To fascism.

      Every bloody regime in modern history has moved forward under the banner of “fairness”

      You piss over “ideas” – and yet, fairness is an idea – a vague and undefinable one, but an idea none the less.

      But I do not run from ideas. The advance of the human condition is about ideas.

      I have proposed “free will” as the foundation for human morality.
      I am BTW not alone in that. We have been moving towards that for all of recorded history.

      Not only do ideas matter, but the debate, the testing, the accepting and rejecting, and refining of ideas matters. It is slow work. But it is the core of humanity.

      I specifically referenced “human morality”.

      With few exceptions we do not make moral judgements of other animals.

      A wolf who steals or kills is not incarcertated by wolf society. They may even climb a Dominance ladder.

      Morality is a human attribute. It rests on the fact that humans much more so than any other animal have free will.

      All of that is IDEAS. Ideas that shaped history, that define us as humans.

      If those ideas did not exist – we would not be having this converstation.
      We would be living in caves in tribes and killing each others.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 1:53 pm

      You conflate the fact that some ideas are wrong, with this argument that all ideas that are not maleable are wrong.

      Murder is WRONG – ALWAYS. There are no execeptions.

      All KILLING is not murder. Self defense MIGHT result in killing. If it results in MURDER it is actually wrong. If you conspire to get your enemy into a fight where you can kill them while defending yourself – that is likely murder.

      Abortion is killing. It is always killing, It may or may not be murder.

      The problem with the argument “abortion is murder” is not that it is absolute, it is that it is wrong.

      Just to be clear I am NOT arguing that all abortion is murder. That is not my position.

      But I am arguing that whether an abortion is moral or legal (and those are SEPARATE THINGS), that the fact that the preganancy resulted from rape or incest DOES NOT ALTER the legality or morality.

      The rape victim has a right of self defense with respect to the rapist – not the fetus.

      There is absolutely no moral distinction between killing a fetus created as a part of a loving relationship and one created by a rape. The killing is either moral or it is not. To the extent that there are factors that determine whether it is moral or not – and there are. Rape or incest are NOT among them. If any Fetus has the right not to be killed, then the fetus conceived as a result of a rape has that right too.

      What you call “fair” or “reasonable” – if all it is – as in this case is “appeal to emotion” is worse than useless, it is positively harmful.

      I would further note, that as far as I am concerned you are arguing over a pointless distraction.

      We can determine whether abortion is legal without considering rape or incest at all.
      And having done so – no matter what your result – rape or incest should not change that result.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 2:19 pm

      “Allowing rape victims to terminate pregnancy is a reasonable compromise understood by most thinking humans.”

      Unsubstantiated assertion.

      First the last clause is critically wrong. That determination as absolutely nothing to do with “thinking”. There is no argument for the legality or morality of the killing of a fetus conceived as a result of rape. The entire basis is EMOTION, not thought, logic, reason.

      I am going to tie this to other arguments I have made related to our current political mess.

      WHY someone acts rarely if ever determines whether that at is legal or not.

      If abortion is properly illegal – Abortion for emotionally powerful reasons is STILL illegal, and no less illegal than abortion for no reason at all.
      If abortion is properly legal – again the reasons do not matter.

      If Trump can legally do something – why he chose to do it, does not change whether it is legal. Either the president can fire the FBI director, or he can not. Either you can ask about citizenship on the census or you can not. Either you have probable cause or you do not. Either you can ask voters for ID or you can not.

      It might be disturbing that you think some people wish to do legal things for bad reasons.
      It might even be more disturbing if some of them admit to that.
      But an act is legal or it is not.

      As I have said repeatedly – even GOD judges our acts, not our intentions. Matthew 25:31-46.

      “legal” is a subset of moral,

      good intentions do NOT justify by deeds.
      Bad intentions do not criminalize legal acts.

      Feelings, emotions our judgments of the motives of others are all legitimate reasons for our own personal choices in our own lives.

      They are not EVER a justification for the use of force – and that means they are NEVER a sufficient basis for law or government.

      There is no more merit in the claim that rape or incest justifies abortion, than the conflation of killing and murder in the claim that “all abortion is murder”

  29. Pat Riot permalink
    June 9, 2019 2:06 pm

    Now, with hundreds of millions of passionate and militant pro-lifers in the real world, and hundreds of millions of passionate and militant pro-choice humans in the real world, what should lawmakers do? Search for some elusive, abstract absolute that will be challenged indefinitely, or find a reasonable compromise?

    What good does it do to establish a strict/extreme law prohibiting all abortions if it incites large numbers of people to violent opposition and potentially leads to a civil war? What lives are being saved if and when a civil war is provoked?

    Or we could go in the other direction, as a couple U.S. states have recently done by legalizing abortion right up until delivery and beyond. What good does such a permissive law bring about if it mobilizes pro-lifers to march against it, to bomb abortion clinics, and further divide the country?

    It’s not about arguing forever about what is the absolute truth. It’s about finding what can work reasonably for the greater number of people, based on as much truth as is feasible, and based on likely consequences. In real life, a 90% solution, implemented, is usually better than a 100% solution that never materializes.

    • June 9, 2019 2:57 pm

      PatRiot, I have said and others have said here that neither party wants a solution. But I will say I think the federal government should support, through legislation and eventually a SCOTUS ruling based on the 10th amendment that it is up to the states to determine what will be the law concerning abortion. If New York wants to approve abortion up to the day of delivery, then that will be the choice of the people in NY. If Georgia wants to ban abortion completely, then that should be the choice of the people of GA.

      If a woman in GA wants an abortion, there will be options across the liberal states for that to happen. Traveling today is a monor inconvenience to get to a state that permits them.

      What I dont want to see is extreme legislation in states where medical treatment is not required to be provided to an infant that survives an abortion. Our “moderate” governor just vetoed, and the democrats in the state legislature supported his veto, of legislation that required abortion medical personnel to provide medical treatment for a “born alive” abortion. And that is in a state considered purple.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        June 9, 2019 3:15 pm

        Ron, I agree about the states determining what is law within their borders. The idea that states can be laboratories for various policies has some merit. Hopefully less-extreme and more reasonable mindsets will prevail.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2019 11:55 pm

        You continue these assertions about “extreme” and reasonable – is if you have established them as both meaningful and as fact.

        I have addressed “extreme” before – it has no meaning that has weight regarding anything we are debating.

        The temperatures at the surface of the sun are ‘extreme’ – they are still the temperatures at the surface of the sun regardless of any desire for more “moderate” ones.

        1+1 = 2 – no matter how much I wish it to be 3.

        An “extreme” position is not inherently true. Nor is it inherently false.

        What is true – or what is most probably true – to avoid your predictable fixation on absolutes – which is essentially the same fallacy as your claims regarding “extreme” is true independent of whether it is extreme or not.

        Put simply calling a position extreme is not an argument.

        Reasonable is defined as “Governed by or being in accordance with reason”

        i.e. LOGIC. Logic leads us where it will, regardless of the adjectives you slather on its destination.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2019 11:44 pm

        Why does everyone – left and right keep seeking to duck the consequences of and the examination of the actual issues and rights involved in abortion ?

        You offer legislation – legislation can not trump the constitution, nor can it significantly infringe on rights. Ultimately you are obligated to directly confront the actual rights involved.

        And unless you can accurately define what is an actual right, and what is not, you will ultimately come to a false – and contradictory conclusion.

        You want SCOTUS to resolve the issue based on the 10th amendment,
        but they claim to have already done so based on the 4th.
        Why the 10th ? why not the 9th ?

        The most fundimental problems with both the left and the right, is that their formulations of what constitutes an actual right are inaccurate and therefore lead to bad law and the appearance of conflicts of rights.

        There is no right to life.
        There is a near absolute right to control of your own body,
        but a fetus is NOT “your body”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 2:32 pm

      What should lawmakers do ?

      What they should ALWAYS do.

      1). Do not make laws that are not necessary.
      When in doubt, do nothing.

      2). Assure before you do anthing that you have cleared the mud and muck and false assumptions from your language, that you have identified the ACTUAL rights involved, that you are not making overly broad claims of rights that do not exist.

      When anyone claims that some legal matter is about resolving rights in conflict – always or nearly always, they have misstated the rights.

      There is no “right to life” There is a right not to have other humans attempt to kill without justification. You could be struck by lightning or a stroke or fatal heart attack tomorow.

      There is a right to control of your own body – to the extent that it is possible to do so.

      The fetus is an independent creature, essentially a parasite. It does not have a right to the use of the body of another person.
      The right to deprive the fetus of the use of your body, is NOT the same as a right to kill it.

      Just as the right to preclude a homeless person from sleeping in your living room, is not the same as the right to kill them.

      You can force the homeless person sleeping in your livingroom to leave your home, even if that means going outside in 40below zero weather where absent the asistance of someone else they will certainly die.

      It is not all that hard to determine what government may and may not do based on a clear expression of the ACTUAL rights involved.

      The vast majority of the mess we have comes from using vague language and over broad statements of the actual rights involved.

      Being accurate is not moderate. being inaccurate is not inherently extremist.

      We are not required to be precise an accurate in our language – or anything else – in our own lives. but when we wish to use force – AKA government, we may not do so without being precise.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 7:02 pm

      You bandy about an assortment of positons as if we are free through government to do whatever we damn well please. Was slavery moral – should it have ever been legal here or anywhere – just because it existed as a choice – particularly when with alot of political support ? Slavers made far more compelling (though still wrong) arguments for slavery than this emotional claim that rape and incest justify killing.

      Rather than pretend that all viewpoints are someone equal, why can’t we look at each, strip away the error and see whether there is anything of merit left ?

      New York long before the recent abortion law, has had laws that allow charging someone with murder for killing a fetus – outside the context of abortion.

      If as an example you murder a woman who is pregnant with an 8 month fetus – in NY that is a double homocide.

      NY’s new abortion law is in conflict with its existing law. Even if there is no legal conflict – which there near certainly is, at the very least the two laws are logically, morally, at odds.
      One or both are wrong. That is what logical contradiction ALWAYS means.

      Again we are allowed to make wrong choices in our own lives, but we may not make wrong choices involving the use of force against others.

      Facts, logic, reason can not solve every problem in existance. But they can solve every problem involving the use of force by govenrment. The legitimate use of force is a very small problem domain. That is the foundation of limited government – it is a LOGICAL foundation, not merely an ideological one.

      put simply I do not accept your premise that when we discuss law making, that we have infinite choices.

      The entirety of recorded human history is about defining and narrowing the domain in which govenrment may use force against citizens.
      That is what Hamurabi’s code is about that is what roman law is about, that is what Plato and the republic are about, that is what Roman law was about, that is what the magna carte was about, that is what the american revolution and the constitution are about.

      What is the legitimate domain of govenrment ?

      BTW ultimately that is also what all philosophy is about.

      Much of the discussion here starts with the presumption that we can ignore all of that in its entirety.

      Though I think that Ron’s constitutionalism deifies the constitution itself without properly understanding that even the constitution rests on a foundation – one that is better expressed in the declaration. Regardless my point is that the merit of the constitution is NOT fealty to its words. it is conformance to the principles that underpin it. Principles that we have spent 150,000 years developing.

      Much of what is wrong with the modern left is that they seek to destroy that entire 150,000 years of human development and pretend we can re-litigate 150,000 years of human thought.

      Much of your post accepts that premise.

      You want to claim that we can reject all these “unreasonable” positions because they are extreme – and just go with some centrist compromise.

      In recorded history – can you identify what dominant philosophy that reflects ? What are the underlying principles ? How does that actually work ?

      In about 7+ thousand years of humain history do you think that idea has never been thought of before ? Advocated ? operated under ? Found lacking ?

      One of the foundations of conservatism – one of the things it gets most right, is that the burden is ALWAYS on those seeking to deviate from the past to prove the superiority of their new idea.

      It does not matter what the issue is the presumption is that a new idea, MUST prove its superiority over that of the past.

      All ideas and approaches are NOT entitled to equal treatment.

      There are many criteria for ranking and evaluating ideas.

      Labeling an idea – especially one that has a history of past success as “extreme” as a means of discounting is is among the least important criteria for evaluating ideas.

      We do not throw out the entirety of history and start over on a whim.
      Which is what the modern left essentially argues for.

      If you can demand that whatever the popular left wing nut idea of the moment be given significant and equal consideration – despite the fact that most of these are just rehashes of past failed ideas, to what has to this point worked, however flawed, then we are equally able to ditch any values – we can advocate for the return of slavery, peodophilia, genocide,

      Put simply all ideas are NOT equal. Compromise. moderation or whatever you are selling is NOT a particularly relevant approach when weighing new vs. old or something that mostly works vs, something unproven.

      Wilson fought hard to discard the shackles of the past. FDR exploited a “crisis” to replace what mostly worked with unproven wishes that mostly failed often miserably, and since we have increasingly been shackled with this nonsensical concept that if things are not perfect government should just try things that “feel” like they might work, and if they fail ? Expand them.

      We wasted an enormous amount of political effort on PPACA.
      Which took an arangement that while itself vastly inferior to what preceded it, and replaced gobs of it. Absolutely some things are better with PPACA, and many many things are worse,
      The net is a loss, and beyond that a loss for which we have to pay.

      If that is success – we can not afford more success.
      And yet we can not kill it for much the same reason we never should have been able to create it in the first place. Because we should not disrupt what is lightly.

      The process of evaluating ideas has many facets. Your fixation on centrism and compromise if it has any value at all, is among the least important criteria.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2019 1:01 am

      Welcome back.

  30. Pat Riot permalink
    June 9, 2019 2:14 pm

    The needed compromise for abortion, after all these years of debate, is somewhat obvious for reasonable folks:
    As you correctly point out, Dhlii, there are CHOICES before conception. I’ll expand that to say there are an infinite number of alternatives to sex,
    then there are varieties of “safe sex,” natural and artificial, including “protected sex”.
    Then there are natural hindrances to pregnancy for some people.
    Then there are the “morning after” type pills.
    Then, if pregnancy still occurs, and the choice of abortion is desired by the mother, GET IT DONE EARLY, before the “poppy seed” begins to resemble a human being. I’ll let the experts decide during what week of the first trimester the line should be drawn per reasons of heartbeat or other factors.
    Then there are the special case caveats or exceptions, such as rape and doctor-verified danger to the mother’s life. We must draw lines all the time in real life.

    In this compromise there are a number of choices for the pro-choice folks. Waiting until a fetus has developed to abort is irresponsible, lazy, and immoral. With this compromise, the pro-lifers have saved the many fetuses beyond the point designated in the first trimester. Additionally, pro-lifers can opt to NEVER have an abortion if they so choose. It’s not perfect nor absolute. It doesn’t give pro-lifers everything they want. It doesn’t give pro-choicers everything they want. It’s a reasonable compromise based on existing factors.

    The laws of humans are aimed at creating workable, usable, reasonable guidelines to fit current and near future realities, based on best estimated consequences, and not based on circumspect philosophical “certainties”. Laws are more “practical wisdom” than “absolute truth.” Of course “the systems” of humanity have their flaws, don’t they? You have some experience with law and courts, so you know this. Knowing the flaws and imperfections of life, why do you expect humans to find and agree to absolute truths?

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 10, 2019 7:30 pm

      Helloooo Pat! Nice to see you here!

      I actually think that the current abortion controversy has become so polarized and devoid of moderate thinking and common sense, that it’s starting to turn the tide back to something that might resemble moderate thinking and common sense.

      NJ’s esteemed Senator Booker has been running around Iowa, insisting that “Abortion is healthcare!” ( He also insists that the Hyde Amendment is racist) It strikes me that this is simply a mantra for lefties, who talk as if pregnancy is a disease, and abortion is the cure. Pre-natal care is healthcare. Elective abortion is not healthcare, any more than cosmetic surgery is healthcare…and after a certain point, it is the killing of a baby, which is the antithesis of healthcare.

      As you say, there are cases in which the choice to abort is tied to the continued health and/or survival of the mother. I can’t even imagine how agonizing it must be to have to make that choice. And, in cases of rape and incest, agonizing choices need to be made, as well.

      But, insisting that elective abortion, at any stage of pregnancy, is healthcare, is just BS.

      Not to mention irresponsible, lazy, and immoral…..

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2019 1:00 am

        I find it hillarious that oppossing various different policies and laws that were litterally born on overtly racist foundations is now racist.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 9:07 pm

      Your advice on abortion is excellent, and it is what I would recomend to most anyone.

      We differ, because you wish to make good advice into law.

      There is no limit – none, to the constraints “reasonable people” are capable of imposing on others. If you fail to grasp that – read history – any history of most any time.

      Then Nazi’s thought is was reasonable to exterminate jews. Most of germany went along.
      While the Holocaust is shocking because a liberal modern western nation so easily sold itself as “reasonable” something that we thought the entire liberal developed west had rejected, at the same time the only unusual aspect was the industrial efficiency with which it was pursued. The Khmer Rouge killed about 1/3 as many people but out of a population a tiny fraction of europes, The Hutu killed 1/6 as many in 90 days using machettes.
      There are myriads of other examples.

      All these people thought what they were doing was “reasonable”.

      Prohibition was perfectly “reasonable”, the war on drugs is perfectly “reasonable”
      Just about every person who is not a drug addict has a pretty good understanding of why significant consumption of heroin, meth, …. is a bad idea.

      But our efforts to impose “reasonable” constraints on others, have gone extremely badly for ALL of us.

      The gulf between what you can advise other people and what you can force on them is near infinite.

      Almost no one thinks what they wish to force on others is “unreasonable”.

      The concepts of free will and individual liberty exist because we absolutely can not trust “reasonable people” to determine what is best for us. That always ends badly.

      Rights are the stone wall that tells “reasonable people” – you can try to persuade, but you can not use force.

      I absolutely agree with you that there is no necescity to a late term abortion. I have little problems casting moral aspersions on those that are incapable of using birth control or morning after pills or …. to avoid late term abortions.

      But complaining about the “unreasonable” conduct of others is NOT the same as a right to take control of their lives.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 10, 2019 11:36 pm

      “The laws of humans are aimed at creating workable, usable, reasonable guidelines to fit current and near future realities, based on best estimated consequences”


      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ”

      The purpose of law is to protect our rights. That is it.
      What you wrote is sufficiently ambiguous to justify anything.
      It dangerously rests on the presumption that some of us know how to direct the lives of others and are entitled to do so – by force.

      “and not based on circumspect philosophical “certainties”.”

      Again wrong. Law absolutely rests on philosophy. Again read the declaration of independence.

      It does not argue “practical wisdom” it argues Philosophical certianties.

      “We hold these truths to be self evident”

      I am not arguing “absolute truth”.

      Why do you keep making up arguments I am not offering ?
      Straw man fallacy.

      But law must be absolute – or as near so as humans are capable of.

      Law is about the justification for the use of force by government against individuals.
      We can not do so ambiguously. We can not do so because of moderate probabilities.

      Absolute may not be acheivable – but “beyond a reasonable doubt” is.

      Regardless, the absence of absolutes does NOT make everything equal.

      The overwhelming majority of ideas are demonstrably – ABSOLUTELY false.

      Of those that remain we are capable of weighing the relative probability of truth of each.

      It is pretty trivial to understand that if we have two competing claims, neither of which is on its face false. and one of those claims is consistent with alot of other things that have a high probability of being true, and the other is at odds with many things with a high probability of being true, the probability is very high that the former is much more probably true than the later.

      You eschew “philosophy” as irrelevant and removed, but infact not merely philosophy but numerous interconnected areas of knowledge are all extremely relevant.

      I focus repeatedly on free will. There are only 4 possibilities related to the existance and significance of free will. All of which have their own immutable consequences.

      Put simply – we do not have choices that do not exist. We must pick from the choices that do exist, that are consistent with the world as we know it.

      Accepting the existance of free will comes with consequences. If free will exists – it is the foundation of morality, of law, of government. You can reject that – but not without rejecting the existance of free will itself and not without accepting that the structure of human existance, of morality, is completely different if free will does not exist.

      The moon exists, but it is NOT made of green cheese. While humans have infinite possibilities. Absolutely everything is NOT possible, in fact MOST things are NOT POSSIBLE – the moon is NOT made of green cheese.

      We do not get to pick and choose among the truths that appeal to us the most.

      The absence of absolute truth does NOT make anything a legitimate claim to truth.

      We do not just get to make up the rules as we go along.

      You offered a “philosophy” of law – and that is what it was – whether you like that word of not.
      What you offered might be pleasant sounding, but it is unworkable. Familiarity with history and philosophy would provide you a basis for understanding what has worked and what can work.

      You do not get to reject philosophy as a concept while offering your own at the same time.

      “Knowing the flaws and imperfections of life, why do you expect humans to find and agree to absolute truths?”

      First lets strike the word absolute – because it is irrelevant.

      Humans MUST have some common near universal agreement no matter how small, absent that we have chaos – anarchy.
      Inarguably what we are likely to be able to near universally agree on will be limited.

      That small kernel of near universal agreement is the foundation and scope of govenrment.
      It is only within that domain of near universal agreement that we are justified in using force.

      “we hold these truths to be self-evident”

  31. Anonymous permalink
    June 12, 2019 1:11 pm

    Hello Moderates…dhii & I actually seem to agree on this one.

    I wish all these “pro-lifers” were as concerned with born children as they are with the fetus. If you remember I’ve been a high school teacher and foster parent in the ghetto of a big city and in rural Appalachia. There are never enough foster parents out there. People are not talking about the PREVENTION of pregnancy in the first place, only outlawing abortion. Go to “pro-life” sites and most of them have little information on birth control. Many right wingers I talk to seem to think teenagers know all about birth control…I promise you plenty of them are clueless, and this is since I was a teen in the 70s.

    All the late term abortions are only 1% of abortions…and I got news for you; you cannot find accurate statistics on them…because NO ONE is keeping that information. I would bet good money almost none of them are on “perfectly” healthy fetuses. This is another NON-ISSUE brought to you by corrupt Republicans while they fleece the wallets of the working class.

    Until these “pro-lifers” show some good sense and preach PREVENTION instead of outlawing… when they start forcing all young people to take family classes so teenagers start learning why parents are important, why having babies as teens and without being married is a bad idea…

    Until they start being concerned with things that make life easier for everyone like good living wages, healthcare for all, safety rules for working people…you know all those things conservatives are against.

    We need to take care of the thousands if not millions of abused and neglected children we already have, and PREVENT unplanned pregnancies in the first place. Stop believing that all young people grow up with great role models for parents and are learning all these things at home. Half of them aren’t.

    • June 12, 2019 1:12 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2019 7:15 pm

        Welcome back.

        You said we had some common ground.

        I have no doubt that all of us have LOTS of common ground.

        We do not fight over whether murder’s should be prosecuted.

        However divisive you think our politics is it is confined to those things we DO NOT aggree on.

        I am not sure what you think our common ground is on abortion. But I would love to hear what you think we agree on and what you think we do not.

        I suspect that we greatly agree on what SHOULD be.
        I suspect we significantly disagree on how to get there.

        But I hope to be surprised.

        If you can find a copy I would recomend “weeping in the playtime of others” to you. It is decades old – but little has changed.

        It is a horrific account of what happens to the children in this country that do not have loving families. It will tear your heart out. I do not think it offers a political perspective – but if it does, it is much more friendly to the left.

        But it was one of the early jolts to me towards libertarianism – because GOVERNMENT had so horribly performed a task that at the time I beleived was a legitimate government task.

        Charles Manson was a product of our govenrment run child welfare system.

        A child who is sexually abused by a family member is more likely to experience further sexual abuse if when the conduct is reported, they are put in foster care or institutionalized than if they are left in the care of the parent that abused them. That should be damning. When our govenrment can not do better for the victims of child sexual abuse than their abusers that is really bad.

        And almost no one beyond us “extreme” libertarians, thinks that the care of sexually abused children is not a role for the state.

        Weeping was written decades ago. Little has changed.

        I can step off my hard core extremist libertarian soap box prepared to compromise with you, prepared to let government into domains that I oppose philosophically and intellectually any role for government.

        But if you can not tell me that when government takes a child away from a sexually abusive parent, that child will be significantly safer than left with their abuser – you fail.

    • Jay permalink
      June 12, 2019 2:51 pm


    • June 12, 2019 4:05 pm

      Moogie, wonderful to see you back! Stick around!! We need voices other than the far right ultra Libertarian positions,(which some will say I fall).

      You mention many left positions in your comments, but I will keep this response short to avoid excess words and just a delete like I do most often with long comments. I agree with most everything you say concerning education, knowledge about sex and late term abortions for the most part.

      But how does government solve the destruction of the family structure that has occurred since the late 1960’s. Government seems to have been working on this issue for years and it only gets worse. And why does it seem like many of these issues are worse in San Francisco, Chicago, NYC and not as prevalent in the midwest? I dont know. I dont have answers. But it does seem like anyone does, from Pelosi to McConnell.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 12, 2019 6:34 pm

      Frankly, those on both sides of the issue do not seem to give a damn about anything but their own intellectual position.

      I want to be clear about distinguishing my personal judgement of peoples conduct, from what the LAW/Government may do.

      I can criticise the choices of women who get late abortions.
      But the fact that I think someone else is making bad choices, does not mean I can FORCE them to make other choices.

      I have focused on a clarifying the actual rights of women particularly, NOT what I consider good conduct.

      A woman’s right to control of her own body is absolute – and it is unaltered by pregnancy or birth. That right included the removal of a fetus – even if that removal might result in its death. It DOES NOT include the right to kill the fetus. The woman’s right to her body is absolute WITH RESPECT TO HER BODY,. The Fetus is NOT her Body.
      In the case of a pregnancy is it more like an unwanted tenant.

      Landlords have the right to evict uninvited strangers from their buildings. They do not have the right to murder them.
      I think a landlord who removes a homeless person from their building into below zero february day with the possible result of the death of the homeless person is morally repugnant. But NO ONE is legally obligated to make personal sacrifices for others.

      There is a difference between positive moralities – our uncomitted positive duties to others.,
      and negative morality – actions we may NOT take which harm others. Only the latter is the domain of government.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 12, 2019 6:46 pm

      I am highly uncomfortable making broad claims about groups without data.

      I do not agree with either pro-lifers or pro-choicers.

      But most of the pro-lifers I know give a damn about life after birth.

      The same catholics that protest at abortion clinics protest at state executions.

      The majority of adoption agencies in this country are atleast nominallly religiously affiliated, and even more would be but for the fact that more and more government has taken over adoption and that constrains religious organizations.

      Separation of church and state was supposed to keep government out of churches.
      It was not supposed to bar the religious from living their values.

      Adoption and foster care in this country used to be almost entirely a function of private and usually religious charity. Hospitals used to be primarily the domain of religious groups.

      While Little Sisters of the Poor fought – and won at SCOTUS PPACA accomidation of their religion, during the same time catholic hospitals accross the country are being sold.
      It is likely that PPACA will almost eliminate churches from healthcare.

      I would further suggest that was intentional.
      In fact the left generally seeks to have goivernment take over all charity and to exclude religion from it. The argument that modern leftism is a RELIGION has a great deal of validity.

      The Atheist just lost in the supreme court – seeking to remove “in god we trust” from our money. Ignoring the merits of the case one of their arguments – and a correct one, is that Atheism is a RELIGION that government can not infringe on.

      Belief in GOD is NOT a requirement for something to be a religion.

      The absence of a beleif in god does NOT make the incorporation of your RELIGIOUS values into government any less a violation of separation of church and state.

      Charity is the domain of religion NOT the state.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 12, 2019 6:56 pm

      You see “we need to” alot – and I probably agree with you completely.

      We each and every one of us, as individuals, through our churches and civic groups, through charities, in whatever voluntary arrangements we can need to do exactly what you are saying.

      Entirely privately.

      There is no role for govenrment in “we need to” – unless what “we need to” has a justifiable requirement for the use of force.

      “We need to take care of the thousands if not millions of abused and neglected children we already have”
      Absolutely – you and I and anyone we can persuade to assist.
      Ourselves – with our own labor, and our own money.

      What we may NOT do is use force AKA government to compel others to do those “needed” things.

      I do not know the data on the role that abortion has played in the destruction of minority – particularly black families in the US. Though the data that the “great society” programs as a whole resulted in the destruction of black families was understood even by
      liberal lions, like Sen. Daniel Patrick Moniyhan in the 70’s.

      What the left – with hopefully good intentions has done to minorities – particularly blacks is near genocide.

      I would note that whether the data shows that abortion contributed to the destruction of black families, if you actually read Margret Sanger and early progressives – that was their intention.

  32. Priscilla permalink
    June 13, 2019 10:21 am

    “Stop believing that all young people grow up with great role models for parents and are learning all these things at home. Half of them aren’t.”

    And, who, exactly, believes this? Certainly not the “right wingers” that you detest so much.

    40% of all American children grow up without fathers in the home ~ many of those children have no present fathers at all.

    In the African -American community, the percentage of children raised without present fathers is 70%.

    Poor black women have, by far, the highest ratio of reported abortions. Hispanic women are next. The majority of women seeking abortion are poor, unmarried twentysomethings.

    Internationally, the US is one of the outlier nations that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks. Only 6 other countries do: China, North Korea, Canada (24 weeks), VietNam,Singapore(24 weeks), and the Netherlands.

    The abortion controversy has nothing to do with who cares about children and who does not. If the liberal politicians who profess to care so much about women’s health or the welfare of children actually did care about those things, they would concentrate their efforts on public health, public safety, education, job training, affordable housing for families,support for local charities that provide services for poor women and children, mentoring programs, adoption services, etc……

    My point is that political blather about who “cares” about women and children, is just that ~ political blather.

    • June 13, 2019 12:01 pm

      Priscilla/Moogie.. As I said a few comments ago, neither side wants this fixed, just as any hot button item like immigration. Its a base energizer for elections. Why doesnt the left address the concerns that abortion is a racist act. Abortion ends more black lives than most all other actions. ” More than crime. More than accidents. More than cancer, heart disease and AIDS. Abortion has taken more Black American lives than every other cause of death combined since 1973. In the United States, the abortion rate for Black women is almost 4 times that of White women. On average, 900 Black babies are aborted every day in the United States. This tragedy continues to impact the population levels of African Americans in the United States.”

      While those on the left like AOC promote congressional pay raises and talk about how it is hard to make ends meet without COLA’s, they do nothing to address issues that will reduce the number of abortions.

      Both sides are useless! They do nothing to solve issues other than to severely divide America and waste money. The only thing they can agree on is spending money.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 13, 2019 12:52 pm

        I want the pay of congress critters cut to zero.

        It is public service. It is NOT a job. If you are unable to serve the country undistracted by issues such as how much money you are being paid – then you do not belong in congress.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 13, 2019 12:49 pm

      “Caring” is not what you say.
      It is not what you vote for.

      It is what YOU do.

      In my book the hasidic slum lord from NYC who was murdered a few years back for providing shithole places to live for $100/month to drug addicts and the homeless cares much more than your average politiciian of either stripe.

      Matthew 6:2
      “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

      Positive moral obligations are individual not societal.

  33. dhlii permalink
    June 14, 2019 5:09 pm

    I good video on Public choice – basicallt why govenrment is likely to fail – because of human nature.

  34. June 15, 2019 12:15 am

    You nailed it again, Rick.

  35. Dave permalink
    June 17, 2019 11:35 am


    I believe you (and many others) leave out an important facet of the abortion debate. Namely, that women who do not wish to become pregnant, but nonetheless do become pregnant, are largely left to care for the child and the man who has equal culpability in the creation of this new life can leave, scot-free. That is the inherent asymmetry and imbalance in this situation.

    Speaking as a man, unless we hold the male part of this couple equally culpable in terms of financial, time, and other support, we as a society cannot dictate to the female what her duties are. So, if you want to make abortion effectively illiegal, then you should make impregnation without financial and child rearing support by males to be illegal. This would make it automatic that the child’s paternity would be identified and the father located and required to pay for birth expenses, child support, and if he is unwilling to actually spend time with the child, to pay for appropriate foster or day care services. This asymmetry in male vs female responsibilities and expectations by society does represent if not outright misogyny then at least blindness to the fact that men have just as much to do with unwanted births as women do.

    As others have pointed out, however, the “culture of life” reasoning espoused by anti-abortion advocates must be extended to other parts of life including healthcare for the child, education, and support. Even creating a strong adoption system in the United States (speaking as an adoptive parent–there really isn’t one). This should be an equal part of the discussion as well but I didn’t bring that up as that has been addressed elsewhere.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 20, 2019 8:31 pm

      There is also the issue of the father’s choice. Despite the fact that he doesn’t carry the child in his body, I think that the decision to abort a viable fetus, aka a baby, should consider the wishes of a father who wants to care for the child.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2019 10:25 am

        One of the reasons that the legal reasoning I have offered has a high probability of being correct is that the only difference between the rights/obligations of the woman/man is that the woman has absolute control over her body. She can have the pregnancy removed from it.

        But neither she nor the man has a right to kill it. And should it survive both are equally responsible to provide for it,.

        Men also have the absolute right to control of their body. It is just not typical that other living things are dependent on the man’s body.

  36. dhlii permalink
    June 23, 2019 10:36 am

    Many republicans – and even a few democrats are criticizing Trump for not retaliating with force to the IRGC destruction of a US Drone.

    While much of the country is breathing a sigh of relief that we did not end up in a war with Iran.

    You can disagree with President Trump’s choice not to retailiate with military force.

    But I would challenge you to find a way to characterize Trump’s response as “extreme” or “reckless”.

    Things regarding Iran remain tense. We can hope for specific outcomes – but we only control our own choices.

    It is my hope, and beleif that if we do not actively undermine it, ultimately the Iranian people will toss the tyrants that rule them. Maybe now.

    But that will not occurr if we choose to step in. Nothing will unify Iran behind the Mulah’s more than Outside US actions – even warranted ones.

    We have a role in protecting freedom of navigation in the gulf. NOT determining who should rule Iran.

    • June 23, 2019 10:57 am

      Military response is not the answer. That is what Iran wants to solidify civilian hate for USA.

      Increased effectiveness of sanctions through Europe following USA lead is better. Create more problems internally for Iranian leaders.

      Regime will not be removed in any forceable future. Most every pundent projected Venezuela to remove its leader months ago and now its not even in the news. Same thing would happen in Iran.

      Those that oppose military action and oppose Trump would almost shift military position to avoid agreeing with anything Trump does.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2019 2:30 pm

        I am hard pressed to think of any instance where a foreign military power removed the native leaders of a country – even when they were tyrants and hated by their own people, that did not backfire.

        I am not the fan of government sanctions that you are – though I would note at the moment that it is PRIVATE sanctions that are hurting Iran. While the US re-imposed sanctions the EU did not, however most European businesses decided not to deal with Iran for the moment.

        The regimes in Venezuela and Iran will be removed when the people in Venezuela and Iran decide to remove them.

        One of the great crimes of the Obama administration is that in return for the nuclear Deal they sold out the “green revolution” in Iran. the Mulah’s needed that deal to remain in power and Obama gave it to them.

        SO MUCH of the current mess is actually tied to that Iranian deal.

        Alot of the early targeting of Trump was over his oposition to the Iran deal.
        Rhodes, Powers and others who targeted Flynn were all doing so over the Iran deal.
        We have had Kerry running private diplomancy with Iran – to save that deal – in opposition to the current policy of the current govenrment. And in violation of the Logan act.

        I oppose the Logan act – but it was the Logan act that was used against Flynn and Manafort.

        BTW, did you see the news that Klimke – the “Russian Agent” that Manafort was purportedly dealing with – is probably a US/FBI Asset – a “double” agent.

        So Manafort’s great crime was providing polling information to a russian agent who was actually an FBI agent ?

        Though I find it interesting that campaign polling data has become a matter of national security.

        Logic does not matter if you are on the left today. If you are on the left, you, not the law, get to decide what is a crime and when it is a crime.

        There is also a youtube video of Ghomert talking about Mueller.

        I am not quite prepared to take anything Ghomert says as inherently true.
        But Ghomert provided about 3 times as much past misconduct on the part of Mueller than what I am aware of, and I know that some of what he said is true, and there is nothing he said I know is false.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 23, 2019 6:04 pm

        I had to laugh after Nancy P. slammed Trump for what she thought was going to be a military strike on Iran, and then had to slam him, the very next day, for NOT launching a military strike on Iran.

        It was obvious that the idea of a “Trump’s War” was very exciting to her ~ rightfully so, since a military strike, especially one that resulted in civilian casualties, would likely have caused millions of Trump supporters to abandon him.

        But she obviously thought that the civilian casualties were worth it, if they helped the Democrats politically. I would not be at all surprised if the provocations that we’ve been seeing from the Iranians are for the purpose of baiting Trump into war. John Kerry has been meeting for months with the mullahs, and may have told them that some bloodshed would help move the political needle in Iran’s favor.

      • June 23, 2019 7:05 pm

        Well the boisterous way that Trump communicates will never speak of Kerry baiting the Iranians into thinking a military shot would help defeat Trump.

        This is something I could see one of the Bush’s saying in a calm and coherent manner during some kind of communication between them and someone in the media.

        Trump is incapable of saying anything other than in a way that arouses his base and calm and coherent is not one of them.

        I also heard today that Trump is gung ho on his current trajectory on keeping his base energized and has told insiders he is not worried about the moderates in the middle voting for him. His plan is to attack the left, make them look unacceptable and to hold down the turnout so his base exceeds the democrats base.

        All I have to say about that strategy is he deserves what he gets when he and the democrats are both dismissing 40% of the population in this country. Each party has about 30% or so, leaving 35%-40% swing voters that Reagan so adeptly capitalized on. Thats the different between a genius and an idiot.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2019 9:06 pm

        I thought I linked a video on public choice.

        If not here

        Somewhere about 10m in is an explanation of exactly why Trump is playing to his base – and democrats are playing to theirs.

        As well as an explanation of why the middle is quite often WRONG.

        This is a point we are at odds on frequently.
        For any given problem – often the answer IS at one extreme or the other

        Even public oppinion – sometimes distributes along a bell curve with the majority in the middle, but quite often it distributes on an inverse bell curve with lumps at either extreme and few in the middle.

        I do not think that public oppinion determines what is right, but I do think it is wrong to presume that because you are in the middle that you are either right or even in the majority.

        Is Trump trying to get his base to vote and trying to discourage democrats ?
        Absolutely as has nearly every politician since the first elections.

        Obama won in the midwest in 2012 primarily by discouraging republican voters.

        Is it only wrong for politicians to try to dissuade voters on the left ?

        I ACTIVELY want to make it harder for everyone to vote.

        But again watch the video. voting generally has all kinds of problems.
        The entire way that majoritarian voting works pretty much guarantees bad outcomes.

        Finally I will say that if voters in 2020 vote on Trump’s record, the economy ….
        He will win in a landslide – like Reagan.

        You say Trump is fixated on his base. I am NOT his base. But I am also not so stupid that I buy all this argh Trump garbage.

        I can list several good reasons to vote against trump.
        Starting with Trade and Deficits.

        But there is not a single democrat who will do better.

        And I can take any democratic candidate and list many reasons that they would be worse than Trump.

        I can do this from a libertarian perspective, a conservative perspective, and a moderate perspective. I can even do it from a moderate left perspective. The only group that would not “objectively” find Trump better than any democrat would be left true beleivers.

        I am not talking about based on words. I am talking about based on actions and actual policies.

        Most of Trump’s policies should appeal to 2/3 of the country.

        Without discussing his style or persona – what is it about Trump that alienates you as a moderate ?

      • June 24, 2019 12:07 am

        I could give a flying donkeys ass if the moderates are right or wrong. If Trump decides to go with his base and those 200,000(rounded) moderates in PN, WI, MI and some other state dont vote or vote dem, then TRUMP IS WRONG and Bernie, Joe or Elizabeth is president .

        WAS Reagan wrong when he went after the moderates?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2019 8:45 pm

        It does not matter what the issue, or what the action, if it involves Trump – it is wrong.
        So says the left, so says the media, so say so many people.

        Trump is wrong no matter what he does.
        Trump is wrong even when he is doing exactly the same things as Obama did.

        Does anyone doubt that Obama would have attacked Iran (or any other country) that took out a US drone ?

        Trump was deporting people that the courts issued deportation orders for.

        Oh! How evil can he be!!!.

        What kind of vile person would follow the law ?
        Laws that were passed by congress – including democrats.

        He has temporarily backed down to give the democrats time to try to change the law.
        Of course we have been through this all before.
        Does anyone expect that Democrats are capable – or even want to resolve immigration ?

        They are less interested in trying to do anything for whatever immigrant group they are gnashing teeth over, than jumping up and down and screeming “evil Trump”

        I do not like everything Trump does. I would not do most of what Trump does.
        But that is normal. I would not do most of what Bush I, Bush II, Clinton or Obama did.

        But I am not president. And they are not evil because their policies do not exactly match mine.

        Some of the things each of them did were seriously wrong.
        Clinton lying under oath was wrong – evil wrong, not just a poor choice.
        Bush’s premptive war doctrine was wrong – evil wrong.

        Lots of what went on during the Obama administration was political in an evil way.
        I still hope that Pres. Obama was not involved, there was so much, from fast and furious to using the IRS to target political enemies, to spying on reporters and senators – even democrats, to lying about benghazi, to starting a criminal investigation of a political candidate without any basis. Republicans revel about the fact that the Steele Dossier is garbage.
        But they forget that the investigation started BEFORE the Steele Dossier. So what was the basis at the very begining ? Halper was spying on Papadoulis BEFORE the FBI had the Steele Dossier – possibly 5 months before. Strzok talks about the Trump investigation in March of 2016 – and suggests it started in Dec. 2015 and that Obama was being briefed twice a week.

        It is getting harder and harder for me not to accept that “the fish rots starting at the head”.

        There is lots Trump has done I disagree with.

        There is nothing so far that compares with the actual misdeeds of Bush or Clinton or Obama.

        Political disagreement is NOT crime.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 23, 2019 7:43 pm

        Yeah, I’ve read that too, Ron (about appealing only to the base) and it could be true, but I doubt it. He would have to be a lot stupider that I think he is to make that his re-election strategy…then again, he might be that stupid…we’ll have to see.

        I watched his interview with Chuck Todd this morning. It was very interesting, and he did not at all come across as stupid, although he’s not the most well-spoken guy in the room, ever. He acknowledged that he has a lot of national security advisors who want war with Iran, so that we can get rid of the ayatollahs once and for all. But Trump is very clear that he would rather talk than fight, and that he’ll talk to them anytime they’re ready, without pre-conditions. But, he was clear that it’s either continued sanctions or Iran giving up its nuclear program, nothing in between. He says that he’s not prepared to fight a hot war with Iran, unless they attack us…he says that he considers the drone strike a “mistake,” but not an attack, and not worth a war, even a small one.

        I think that pretty much syncs with how the majority of Americans feel, and I think that he’s going to be able to find more and more issues like that, where he can appeal to the mainstream of voters.

        Do you think that Biden will win the Dem nomination? I’m thinking that he’s not going to…..

      • June 23, 2019 8:25 pm

        Hard to say. After the first 5 primaries, I think money will dry up for everyone except Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris and Buttigieg. Right now by March 10 th, the majority of delegates will have been decided. Buttigieg is single and gay. I can not imagine the dems nominating him given his sexuality as well as only being a mayor of a mid sized town. Harris is in the final 5 because CA votes Marcg 3rd, but other than CA her support is weak. That leaves Sanders, Biden and Warren. Sanders and Warren will continue splitting the far left vote and I suspect after the end of March, Sanders has the money to continue agaist Biden. So unless something happens big, I suspect the dems will have a contested convention and who knows what that brings.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 23, 2019 11:07 pm

        I guess a part of what I was saying regarding Trump was that he is very attuned to what the majority of americans want.

        While they may not be happy with him over style, and because they are told to hate him and told that he is something evil they should hate, In terms of his actions he is what the vast majority of people claim they want.

        Whatever the issue is – what Trump is actually doing is usually what most americans want.

        On Trade most americans are like Ron – and Trump is playing hard to them.
        Ron may be wrong, and Trump may be wrong, but he is not doing what I want, he is doing what most americans want.

        He has also delivered a robust economy. It is increasingly hard not to give him credit for that.
        We were headed towards a mild recession in 2016 – and overdue for one. That flipped right after the election. we have wither upper 2 or 3% growth – that is bad for the 20th century, but almost unheard of in the 21st. It is hard to listen to the same democrats who said sub 2% was the new normal and we would have to live with it, tell us that the current growth is really Obama’s legacy. That could be argued – badly in 2017, but not today.

        I think most Americans are tired of the politicization of the courts.
        And I am sorry but judges that follow the law and the constitution where it leads are NOT political. Those who try to massage the constitution into what it would have said if they wrote it are.

        I have been pretty happy with the end of term decisions coming from SCOTUS.

        :ile Thomas I do not like determining discrimination solely based on numbers.
        But rejecting 41 of 42 blacks from a jury is more than just correlation, it is pretty damning evidence of real predjudice.

        I personally want to eliminate pre-emptory challenges to jurors, and only allow “for cause” challenges – and narrow even those – i.e.
        You are mentally incompetent,
        You know someone who is part of the defense or prosecution,
        You are a police officer or prosecutor,
        Stuff like that.

        I would disallow striking a juror who is opposed to the death penalty from a death penatly case. A jury of your peers includes those who might oppose the death penalty and those who support it.

        Regardless, I would get rid of the ability of either the prosecutor or defense to try to game the jury. They get the jury that comes out of the hat.

        Then SCOTUS fixed a major property rights issue. Reversing (not 100) but 40 years of bad precident and providing the same protections for property rights as for other rights,

        SCOTUS should read Locke – Locke derives virtually all rights from property rights.
        Property rights are NOT inferior rights. They are very near the most important rights.

        Locke and many libertarians note that the first property of each person – is their own body.

        What SCOTUS keeps trying to pretend is a “right to privacy” is actually proprty rights in your own body.

        Regardless, when states and municipal governments F’ with your property – you can go to federal court now – just like every other infringement on your rights.
        Shame on those justices that did not agree.

        Kagan is not familiar enough with the role of property rights in the US.

        All the “civil rights” decisions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were decided based on property rights and contracts.

        Prior to the 30’s the courts were hostile to things like zoning – because they were discriminatory. Long before Thurgood Marshall, Blacks were winning landmark cases based on property rights that the left has since obliterated.

        Its also odd – Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have split many times.
        But interestingly – even though they split – one of them was always responsible for making the majority in a case that was decided CORRECTLY.

        Ideologically I like Gorsuch better – but Kavanaugh was right about striking 41/42 black jurors.

        I do not know exactly how many black jurors you have to strike to be compelling evidence of racial predjudice and an unfair trial. But I do know that 41/42 is enough that we are past correlation and into cause.

  37. dhlii permalink
    June 24, 2019 7:16 pm

    Some humor

  38. June 25, 2019 11:29 am

    Interesting, tried going through as usual and received message that this site is no longer active. Decided to try coming in through wordpress and its still here. Just wanted to comment on government and how people think government is good, but situations like this just shows the incompetence of government at all levels. Just wonder if the right wing advocates of gun rights are so ignorant of the incompetence of the florida law enforcement agencies that they would feel no remorse if this woman had been shot by her estranged husband. If law enforcement can pick and choose which laws to enforce locally (ie support ICE or not), then why enforce this when she gave the guns to the police?

  39. dhlii permalink
    June 26, 2019 5:39 pm

    There is a minor storm over democratic judicial appointments brewing.

    Trump made the unprecidented choice to provide a list of prospective SCOTUS nominees as a candidate. He OPENLY outsourced the creation of that list to the federalist society and he has relied on the federalist society for recomendations for appointments of new judges at all levels.

    You may not agree with Trump’s choices.
    You may not like the federalist society.

    But if you vote for Trump you have an excellent idea what you are getting in terms of court apointments.

    Particularly as – like many other campaign promises, this is one that Trump has religiously kept.

    1 in 5 voters said that The supreme court are the determining factor in their 2016 vote.
    That is the highest importance ever placed on the courts in an election.

    In 2020 it is likely to be higher.

    A progressive group – equivalent to the Federalist society is putting together their list of judges if a democrat wins. But they are not sharing it.

    I think it is a great idea, but absent public disclosure it is unhelpful regarding the 2020 election.

    It is not possible nor desireable to force progressives or their candidates to divilge their judicial priorities. Just as it is not possible to force a candidate to disclose their taxes.
    Unlike tax returns judicial philosophy and examples of good candidates are important public policy information for voters.

    Trump’s decisions regarding the courts have been stellar – the choice to go public with a list of judicial candidates was defining. To a large extent it has also take the air out from democrats. There was no secret about Trump’s potential SCOTIS nominees.
    And he did what he said he would do.

    I think Democrats should answer the question who would you put on the courts.
    Trust us – is not good enough.

    Trump has done what he said he would do. I do not always agree with him,
    but that is what Trustworthy means – doing what you say you will.

  40. July 2, 2019 10:24 am

    Great article. Thanks for your courage in making an unpopular argument.

    Taking a nuanced stand on abortion is somewhat akin to looking for middle ground on slavery. Sustainable compromise avoids (or at least defers) a civil war, even though sometimes contorted logic is required to get there. Roe v. Wade is a judicial contortion that has been supported by the majority for decades because it keeps the peace.

    What is ironic is that the pro-life world is analogous to the abolitionists of the 1850s and ’60s (extension of the right to life or liberty to a broader group), and their moral zeal is probably unstoppable in the long run. The Left of course refuses to frame things that way, but it is the truth.

    As a Christian, the concept of any abortion is tragic to me. But Christians can even rationalize wars or the dropping of an atomic bomb on “greater-good” terms, so at least some of us can see that a Roe type solution is better than a civil war (though it would have been better if Roe type solutions were derived by 50 legislatures rather than by a panel of judges). On a planet of 7.7 billion human beings, there is a lot of death for a lot of reasons, and one could decide to be morally offended by any of it.

    Libertarians differ on this matter because we believe the primary purpose of government is to preserve natural rights (life and liberty) … but have differences on when those rights vest.

    While we continue to debate right vs. wrong here, we can at least agree that minimizing the need for abortions is a good thing, so an over-the-counter birth control pill ought to be a no-brainer for everyone. All but an absolutist would be okay with morning-after pills. Just as all but an absolutist would be okay with banning third trimester abortions that do not save a mother’s life. If we can’t eliminate the dilemma, could we at least narrow it?

    A real leader would work to reduce division. Of course, we have no real leaders in America anymore, and the political industrial complex only feeds the extremists with big financial capital. It’s hard to be optimistic when nobody in a position of responsibility wants a collaborative solution.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 2, 2019 11:50 am

      Welcome, and thank you for your courage in commenting on an issue wrought with land mines.

      “Taking a nuanced stand on abortion is somewhat akin to looking for middle ground on slavery.”

      How well did trying to compromise on slavery work ?
      I would suggest that Abortion is not going to work out much better, for many of the same reasons.

      Abortion might be worse. Slave Owners mostly understood they were on the wrong side morally, no matter how much they tried to rationalize. Both sides of the abortion debate are certain they have the moral high ground. People do not compromise over issues of morality.

    • July 8, 2019 4:03 pm

      Thank you, Independenttexan… Sorry for the late reply (I tend to abandon the comments section after the first few days). I appreciate your reasonable approach to the abortion issue. There has to be a middle ground between banning abortion from the moment of conception and celebrating it up to the moment of birth. I’m afraid your last sentence nailed the problem, though: nobody in a position of responsibility seems willing to compromise (probably for fear of losing their “base”).

      • dhlii permalink
        July 9, 2019 11:06 am

        “There has to be a middle ground”

        There is pretty much NEVER a middle ground in MORAL conflicts.

        Nor should there be.

        This is the point I keep making when I attack this moderate fixation that compromise is a principle rather than merely a tool.

        It would clearly NOT be acceptable to have “compromised” with Hitler to reduce the number of jews gassed.

        The BEST you can hope for when there is a moral conflict is to find a rare solution that does not offend the moral values of either party.

        Beyond that you must persuade one party or the other that they are wrong.

        Regardless, moral conflicts are by far the most difficult to resolve.

        And one of the problems today – one that is amplified in MY conflicts with others here to the left, is that the left makes EVERYTHING a moral conflict.

        When you shout “xeonphobic, racist, mysoginist, sexist, bigot” – you are making a moral claim and creating a moral conflict. Even if you are actually right, you have dug everyone in and made resolution impossible.

        When you slur the other side rather than argue the merits of your position, you are not seeking to resolve a conflict you are seeking to destroy the other person.

        This is relatively beautifully exemplified by the current debate on immigration.

        There is no actual moral issue involved in immigration – there is no right to asylum, there is no right to go wherever you wish in the world.

        There is a general desire to help the less fortunate, but unless you are brain dead you understand that you can not possibly help every unfortunate person in the world.

        Put simply this SHOULD be a perfect issue for compromise.
        There is NOT a “right” answer or a “wrong” answer.

        Mostly we just need to avoid doing things that make problems worse.

        You can hate Trump or love Trump, but he has been perfectly clear on immigration – he is going to “build the wall” AND he is going to follow the law as it currently exists.

        But he has been incredibly open to all other forms of compromise.
        He would sell out the entire GOP position on DACA or anything else so long as he can stand in front of voters and say “I built the wall like I promised”.
        BUT he expects that compromise will result in changing the law. Not making things up as he goes like Obama did.

        But the left can not compromise with Trump on anything – not because he is unable or unwilling to compromise, but because they have made Trump into the epitome of evil.

        You can not compromise with racism, or bigotry or ….

        So when you paint those you disagree with as evil, you have not only made them resistant to compromise you make it impossible for you to compromise.

        Compromise is not possible in moral conflicts.
        Some things like abortion ARE moral conflicts.

        But EVERYTHING is not. When you manufacture a moral conflict where there is none, you make everything short of the destruction of one side impossible.

      • July 9, 2019 12:52 pm

        Dave, I agree to a point there are no compromises in moral issues for the most part. But I will use a couple of examples. Killing another person. Always illegal, but has there not even been some compromise in that when we have 1st & 2nd degree murder and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter? You most likely will say no, but killing someone causes death. Why should there be different degrees of killing? Was this a compromise because it was easier to prove manslaughter and not murder. Why should intent be an issue?

        Two, compromise led to the 20-24 week limit in many states. Although the right wants abortion illegal in most all instances and the left wants abortion legal with infants born alive allowed to die after an abortion, the law has worked for most of America and has been accepted by most of America. Those are the “moderates” from center right to center left, more Libertarian thinking individuals that accept people have a right to live as they wish, with some limits. Here, the compromise is the time limit.

        People can be morally against something. I find abortion morally wrong. But I also accept others do not believe as I do, so I accept the 20-24 week limit as it now stands. I also accept that this could change given technology and laws may change when life can be maintained at 18 weeks, for example.

        People are of three minds. (1) Its my way, I am right and I will not accept anything other than my way. (2) I have my positions in an issue, but realize others have their positions also. (3) Say what? I have no idea what your talking about and care less. There are more people in (2) & (3) than in (1). Government should find acceptable solutions for all, not just (1). That is compromise.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 9, 2019 6:28 pm

        First my statement about moral compromise is an observation, not an assertion.

        I am saying we DO NOT compromise over moral conflicts.
        Whether we SHOULD is a different issue. Mostly I do not think we should.

        But my more important point is that WHEN we make a conflict a moral conflict, we make compromise impossible.

        The left can not compromise with Trump – Trump has shown plenty of willingness to compromise with the left. But the left can not compromise with Trump – because they have made HIM a moral issue. Pelosi is taking alot of flack for the border aide bill – because many on the left just can not compromise with Trump at all. I do not like Pelosi, but her decision to go with the Senate Bill was a reasonable one. It is what politicians often and normally do.
        But AOC NEVER would have compromised. Could not have. And Pelosi has diminished herself morally by purportedly compromising with evil.

        Immigration should be trivial to compromise on. There is no actual moral conflict.
        This concentration camp crap is nonsense.

        The Jews did not on their own trapse accross europe to get into Auschwitz.
        We can debate whether these people should be allowed in or not.
        I am infavor of letting the largest numbers in and changing the rest of our system to be able to do so. I am right as a matter of facts, I am right as a matter of self interest.
        But there is NOT a morally right answer.

        I – me personally do not have a natural of moral right to US citizenship.
        I have a LEGAL right. Legal rights can be changed. Natural and moral rights can’t.

        If I do not have some natural or moral right to US citizenship – then how does someone from Honduras ?

        I have strong oppinions about what we SHOULD do. But those are not MORAL oppinions.
        They are not tied to natural rights or anything immutable.
        And therefore I can compromise to get the best outcome.

        Gassing jews is an actual moral issue. I can not compromise on that – nor should anyone else.

        … Murder.

        When we are in broad general agreement on the MORAL issue – murder is evil.

        We can reach compromises on the non moral facets – like what is the correct punishment for a specific murderous act. But the moment one person says nope – Murder is not morally wrong – compromise with them is impossible.

        Just as the moment the left says detaining immigrants crossing the border is morally wrong there is no possibility of compromise.

        My point is the modern left has made EVERYTHING a moral conflict, and therefore compromise is NEVER possible,.

        And that is exactly what we are seeing.

        The abortion compromise you note was NOT made among people who held a strong MORAL position on abortion.

        Your post was about how everything is about emotion – which I agree with.

        MOST of the issues we face today have room for compromise.

        You know very well that I am rigid and inflexible and completely unwilling to compromise on issues of principle – moral issues.

        And yet I am probably more flexible on immigration than anyone on TNM, and 90% of the country. Because immigration is NOT a moral issue. For those who can not compromise – it IS a moral issue.

        And that is my point. I have incredibly strong principles – and I am not compromising on them. But EVERYTHING is not a matter of principle. For most pro-lifers and most pro-choicers – abortion is a moral issue. They are never compromising. NEVER!

        But past abortion one of the huge problems today – primarily with the left is that EVERYTHING is a moral issue.

        some things are moral issues – but it is very very important to get that right.

        You can shout – your wrong, your stupid, …. and still work things out.

        You can not get past “you lie, you hate, your evil, your racist”.
        When you make a moral claim – there is no compromise possible – and there should not be.
        BUT you had better be right.

        I think part of this comes from the lefts (and increasingly the rights) adoption of Alynsky’s methods. They are very effective. But Alynsky was somewhat like Machievelli. his advice was about how to win. It was not about how to decide whether a conflict is moral or not.

        Real moral conflicts are different. Violence is often justified in an actual moral conflict.
        Lots of conduct that is unacceptable in a disagreement is acceptable – even lauded in an actual moral conflict.
        Large portions of the media at this moment are either defending or at the very least turning a blind eye to VIOLENCE against others – if those others are people they can see as “evil”

        We have gone from punching Richard Spensor – which is WRONG regardless of Richard Spensor’s politics, to beating the crap out of Andrew Ngo (and others).
        That is acceptable or we can turn a blind eye to it – because Richard Spensor is “evil”.
        Because Andrew Ngo is “evil”.

        Sorry, everyone who disagrees with us is not evil JUST because they disagree.

        But that is my point – when we can transform a conflict into a moral one, there is no need to contemplate compromise, and many otherwise unacceptable behaviors such as violence are tolerated – even applauded.

        So that I am clear – real moral conflicts MIGHT justify violence.
        But you REALLY REALLY better be right when you decide a conflict is moral.
        Because there is no way to retreat, no way to compromise, and a high probability of violence.

        I am at odds with Rick because there is no consequential “extreme right” – TODAY.

        I disagree with the TP on issues – but if you think the TP is “extreme” – you have diluted the meaning of extreme.

        I am extreme on some issues – nor right or left, but definitely extreme.

        But the TP is not extreme.
        Trump is NOT extreme. Frankly he is hard to distinguish from a prior generation of “blue dog” democrats.

        Trump might be wrong, oafish, …. but he is not extreme.

        Outside of his conduct towards women which is bad, but as of yet, I have not been persuaded actually reaches immoral. Trump is just not “evil”.
        Wrong and Evil are NOT the same.

        My point is that the overwhelming majority of the right today is wrong on many issues,
        but they are not “extreme”, “evil”, racist, ……

        The rhetoric we use justifies our behavior. We can throw milkshakes at evil people. We can kick them punch them pummel them.

        But if we are wrong – WE ARE EVIL – not they.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 9, 2019 6:32 pm

        If an issue is an actual moral issue – and you are in your position 2, or 3 – then you are morally wrong, whether you are in the majority or not.

        It is incredibly important not to be wrong when you decide that something is a moral issue.

        If you really and truly beleive that abortion is morally wrong – murder, then you could not compromise.

        There is a huge gulf between “abortion is wrong” and “abortion is morally wrong”

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