June 30, 2011

Definitions and their discontents

An interview of Public Discourse editorial board member, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, Robert P. George, by NRO’s Kathryn Lopez that seeks to put “the NY same-sex marriage issue in a historical and philosophical context.”

Read and discuss.

****
update: Oh, and before you begin: Sarah Palin. BOO!

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:00pm
222 comments | Trackback

Comments (222)

  1. gay marriage is cool!

  2. I still wonder whether it isn’t ultimately an outgrowth of or derivative from another revolution:

    But, it being my intention to write a thing which shall be useful to him who apprehends it, it appears to me more appropriate to follow up the real truth of a matter than the imagination of it; for many have pictured republics and principalities which in fact have never been known or seen, because how one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.

  3. gay marriage is cool!

    The voice of experience?

  4. It is worth noting that what has happened in New York will have at least one significant good terrible effect for the pro-marriage fiscal sanity cause. It will re-nationalize the marriage issue and propel it into the 2012 presidential primaries and general election.

    Nothing makes me so happy as having the most important issue of our time diluted and subsumed by old Culture War battles. Let’s get our grandkids out of indentured servitude first, guys; afterwards, we can argue about who they’re allowed to marry.

  5. And the erosion of these beliefs (and practices in line with them) will further wound our communities — especially mothers, children, and the poor.

    that’s like 100% of the population!

  6. How do you feel about bisexuals being banished from a gay gay gay softball league what’s gay, hf?

  7. how is that not funny?

  8. It is funny. But mostly because once a guy has sucked a cock, he’s always and forever a cocksucker.

  9. Nothing makes me so happy as having the most important issue of our time diluted and subsumed by old Culture War battles. Let’s get our grandkids out of indentured servitude first, guys; afterwards, we can argue about who they’re allowed to marry.

    Given that the the Left’s war on sexual standards has had so much to do with escalating crime costs, health care costs, and public assistance costs, might we note that this is more often than not the same thing?

    Remember your good old Venn Diagrams from school. The more who turn out to defeat the Demunists and crush the Commiecrats, the better.

  10. It’s true, Abe. I think the Neville Brothers even did a song about it.

    Or maybe it was Dice Clay. Tomato / tomah-to…

  11. yon pauper what happened that such miseries have been visited upon your wretched self?

    twas the gay marriage m’lord … it wounds us all so

    yes it’s dreadfully challenging I must agree – but the good lord never gives us a cross but that he doesn’t also give us the strength to bear does he not my wretchedly poor friend?

    indeed, m’lord! Indeed!

  12. The more who turn out to defeat the Demunists and crush the Commiecrats, the better.

    Provided that they all vote for the same guy, this is fine. Else, well, may I introduce you to Governor Hides-Under-His-Desk?

  13. Provided that they all vote for the same guy, this is fine. Else, well, may I introduce you to Governor Hides-Under-His-Desk?

    The union of the subset of “those who do not believe in the Rule Of The Anus” and the subset of “those who do not believe in profligate pinkoes” outnumbers the intersection of “those who *do* believe in the Rule Of The Anus” and “those who do not believe in profligate pinkoes”

    There may not be a 1 to 1 correspondence between “those who do not believe in the Rule Of The Anus” and “those who do not believe in profligate pinkoes”, but the relation between them is a function.

    (Wow, math in the 1970’s and early 1980’s junior high was sure freaky–I actually remember problems that had that sort of gobbledygook words)

  14. Y’all are nothing but cogs in the social machine –to be assembled, arranged, disassembled, reassembled, and rearranged at the design or the whim of the social managers –for your own good and the greater glory of the social utopia!

    But in the meantime –fuck proudly.

  15. I don’t mind habitual masterbators;
    I just don’t want to shake their hands…

  16. That’s fine, Curmudgeon. Just understand that people like me are not going to work especially hard for a candidate who obsesses over the purity of our bodily fluids. My energy and resources will go to candidates who will help me get my kids out of hock.

  17. Part of the reason your kids and mine are in hock (soon to be debt servitude) is because all the social engineering–and the concomitant re-engineering, bypasses and work-arounds– that have been foisted on us over the past fifty plus years.

    This notion that there are candidates obessing over the purity of our bodily fluids or seeking to place cameras in everybody’s bedrooms is a leftist characature intended to keep us divided amongst ourselves and marginalized in the public eye.

  18. #17 has it. More often than not, those who want the Rule Of The Anus are also out to butt-rape the pocketbooks.

  19. This notion that there are candidates obessing over the purity of our bodily fluids or seeking to place cameras in everybody’s bedrooms is a leftist characature intended to keep us divided amongst ourselves and marginalized in the public eye.

    It is a caricature that some enable more thoroughly than others do. I mean, remind me again why social conservatives find it so necessary to put an opposition to abortion including in cases of rape, incest, etc. in the party platform every four years. The left is rather good at softening their edges with the aid of the media and the tacit understanding of their base during elections, but, unfortunately, conservatives are too dense to do likewise. Too many stupid and insular people who think making statements and proclamations are every bit as important as having actual power.

  20. I mean, remind me again why social conservatives find it so necessary to put an opposition to abortion including in cases of rape, incest, etc. in the party platform every four years.

    Because they actually believe in the sanctity of life, is my guess.

    But I could be wrong. Could be something to do with wanting to get everybody to pray to JESUS.

  21. rape babies are cute! Plus you get see what your rapist looked like as a widdle kid!

  22. I mean, remind me again why social conservatives find it so necessary to put an opposition to abortion including in cases of rape, incest, etc. in the party platform every four years.

    Because it’s not the baby’s fault how the baby was concieved, and therefore the baby has a right to be born, if you want to take an absolutist position on the right to life, which some do. But even here, that’s another example of a leftist characature promoted by the media in order to divide and marginalize. I don’t think it’s been all that hard to write a rape/incest/life of the mother exception into a platform plank calling for the end to Roe v. Wade authorized abortion on demand.

  23. Because they actually believe in the sanctity of life, is my guess.

    And Barack Obama is probably against gay marriage.

  24. And to be judgementally judgey what so we can look down our noses at snotty little pikachus and take away their yummy cupcakes, Jeff.

  25. I wasn’t looking for an explanation, Ernst. I was wondering how that makes it easier to fight caricatures, win elections and get conservative justices on the bench who will overturn Roe. But I’m one of those ethically challenged “Mad Men,” so I don’t mind playing the same games that the left does.

  26. This notion that there are candidates obessing over the purity of our bodily fluids or seeking to place cameras in everybody’s bedrooms is a leftist characature intended to keep us divided amongst ourselves and marginalized in the public eye.

    A caricature made all the more effective when supporters of such candidates go on at length about “The Rule Of The Anus,” Ernst.

    I honestly thought the whole Tea Party thing was a spontaneous grass-roots effort to shrink the size and scope of the government, without all the divisive distractions of the culture war we’ve been fighting for generations. I honestly thought the 2010 election was a massive demonstration that fiscal sanity was a winning platform. I honestly thought that fiscal conservatives could put abortion, school prayer, gay marriage, drug legalization, Intelligent Design and the like on the back burner as issues that A) were of secondary importance to the looming economic meltdown, and B) would become less urgent as the State drew back to its foundational limits.

    I guess it’s just the rebirth of the Moral Majority. How wrong I was.

  27. A caricature made all the more effective when supporters of such candidates go on at length about “The Rule Of The Anus,” Ernst.

    If you can’t admit and understand that the Left has been forcing affirmation of homosexuality and not mere tolerance upon us, then I don’t know what to tell you. Sorry if my blunt truth hurts.

  28. I honestly thought the whole Tea Party thing was a spontaneous grass-roots effort to shrink the size and scope of the government, without all the divisive distractions of the culture war we’ve been fighting for generations.

    And some of us are going to tell you, again and again, that the culture war has economic chickens and they have come home to roost. This explains why the schools cost more and more yet they educate less and less.

  29. I smell sex and candy

    here

  30. Sometimes when I’m really hung over I wonder if there isn’t something to that whole “purity of our precious bodily fluids” thingamajob.

  31. When curmedgeon becomes the spokescritter for a candidate for public office, we’ll talk, Squid.

  32. Now we all have our line drawings. I myself, coming from a state that went abortion on demand six years before Roe, under then Governor Reagan no less, am willing to let abortion go. See also Oregon with respect to assisted suicide.

    But those of you who say “don’t fight the culture wars”, I have four responses:
    1. The cultural issues have real economic impacts.
    2. The cultural issues have real liberty impacts. Guns, anyone? Can you defend yourself as a citizen, or are you a nanny-state subject?
    3. Add 1 and 2 above. The Left IS waging a culture war with the underlying intent to destroy your economy and your liberty, and you had better wise up to the Left endgame. Capitulation is not an option.
    4. Even when our side of the culture war is the majority? Don’t buy the Leftmedia crap; more often than not it is.

  33. And some of us are going to tell you, again and again, that the culture war has economic chickens and they have come home to roost. This explains why the schools cost more and more yet they educate less and less.

    And some of us will keep repeating that focusing on shrinking the revenues and the reach of government will automagically address a lot of social issues.

    Sorry if my blunt truth hurts.

    Your blunt truth would be a lot more persuasive if you recognized the existence of homosexuals who just wanted to be left alone in peace and dignity. Not every gay is part of The Left; when you realize this, we might have a chance to regain control over our government.

  34. I don’t think the TEA Party is the rebirth of the Moral Majority, although I don’t doubt that there are folks who would like to make it so –just as their are folks that would like to make it just another adjunct of the Establican organizational and fundraising structure.

    I do believe that the way to go is to argue that restoring fiscal sanity and shrinking government back to something resembling a limited scope is the way to move forward on abortion, school prayer, gay marriage and intelligent design, and thereby get culture warriors on board the TEA Party Express.

  35. The other thing to remember about the Culture Wars is that, like the Crusades, they’re defensive in nature –a response to aggressors, and, like the Crusades, they’re characatured as the exact opposite.

  36. The Left IS waging a culture war with the underlying intent to destroy your economy and your liberty, and you had better wise up to the Left endgame.

    And I am waging an economic war with the underlying intent to destroy their cultural influence. When school choice lets parents shield their kids from socialist proselytizing, the Left loses a major, major weapon. When the regulatory bureaucracies are scaled way the Hell back (where they’re not disbanded completely), the Left loses more weapons. When the “social safety net” is returned to private charities to execute, the Left loses whole blocs of dependencies.

    I have no love for the statist Left. I just think that focusing on fiscal matters gets us to the goal a lot quicker, and also lets us claim the mushy middlers who remain uncomfortable fighting against the gays and the feminists. Building relationships with our low-information neighbors now will make it that much easier to deprogram them in the future.

  37. And some of us will keep repeating that focusing on shrinking the revenues and the reach of government will automagically address a lot of social issues.

    Except that it won’t. The Commiecrats will cry about program cuts to all the impoverished children, that they caused with their family breakup. And the mushyheads will swallow the codswallop.

    Fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, foreign policy conservatives. Three legs of a stool. Heck add libertarian conservatives for a fourth leg. No leg can be too long, but no leg can be too short either. We can dicker about the leg length, but we can’t write off any one.

    Your blunt truth would be a lot more persuasive if you recognized the existence of homosexuals who just wanted to be left alone in peace and dignity.

    Like I said, tolerance vs. affirmation.

    Not every gay is part of The Left;

    But I believe nine out of every ten activists are, and I am inclined to look closely in the case of the tenth. See happyfeet.

    when you realize this, we might have a chance to regain control over our government.

    Who outnumbers whom? Remember when their pseudo-science claimed that they were 10%? Now young adults surveyed believe they are 25%.

  38. I’m all in favor of peace and dignity. The sisterhood of the perpetually aggreived dragqueens is in favor of neither. And I think my family is entitled to some peace and dignity as well.

    I’ll concede my point may be orthogonal to yours, Squid.

  39. And I am waging an economic war with the underlying intent to destroy their cultural influence.

    Good luck. But I will tell you, the next economic boom, as our sensible conservative fiscal policies inevitably cause, leads to their caterwauling about giving them a slice of the pie. While the underlying social rot still goes on.

    When school choice lets parents shield their kids from socialist proselytizing,the Left loses a major, major weapon.

    Except when the government issues the voucher, it controls the curriculum.

    When the regulatory bureaucracies are scaled way the Hell back (where they’re not disbanded completely), the Left loses more weapons.

    Except when their social rot justifies the need for the regulatory bureaucracy. And this happens *all* the time.

    When the “social safety net” is returned to private charities to execute, the Left loses whole blocs of dependencies.

    Except when their social rot causes too many needy, addicted, broken home dependents, and not enough faithful people to staff said private charity to boot!!!

    Are you getting how the Left operates yet?

  40. marriage is like a 5-legged stool Mr. curmudgeon where you have the traditional marriage as one leg and then you have the gay marriage and then you have the cupcakes and then the fourth leg is the electric slide and then you have run run rudolph sarah save the christmas! And it doesn’t matter what size the legs are cause it’s open bar the first two hours!

  41. I would like to make a toast

  42. here is the story about how China builds awesome cool bridges and America can’t afford to cause of America is suck-ass poor

  43. Sorry if my blunt truth hurts.

    Are you getting how the Left operates yet?

    Where did you get this idea that Squid is some sort of dummy? He isn’t.

    Perhaps you simply disagree with what should be done.

  44. As a member in good standing of the social conservatives, I like that the party platform as it relates to abortion. Here it is:

    Maintaining The Sanctity and
    Dignity of Human Life

    Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendments protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.

    We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy.

    At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

    Respect for life requires efforts to include persons with disabilities in education, employment, the justice system, and civic participation. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the nonconsensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide,
    which endanger especially those on the margins of society. Because government should set a positive standard in hiring and contracting for the services of persons with disabilities, we need to update the statutory authority for the AbilityOne program, the main avenue by which those productive members of
    our society can offer high quality services at the best possible value.

    I guess I’m not sure what about it is offensive.

  45. Where did you get this idea that Squid is some sort of dummy? He isn’t.

    Of course he isn’t. But he has this idea that I just wants to bash me some gays, when frankly I just wish that “the love that dare not speak its name” would put down the bullhorn.

  46. Fair enough, C.

    Let’s hereby stipulate that a) you have no desire to bash gays and b) Squid isn’t under any illusion regarding the left.

    And c) it’s time to go grill some chicken and have a beer.

  47. Under a rubric of Definitions and their discontents let me assert my discontent with cursory political definitions — or we could even call them “identity” politics — as somehow or other beneath us as human beings. But that’s the way I identify.

    Hey! Look at the bunny!

  48. I guess I’m not sure what about it is offensive.

    I guess I’m not sure what part of winning elections by any means necessary and then appointing conservative judges to the bench is confusing. It’s difficult when you have the likes of FOF and NRO’s dopey fat Mexican lady holding everyone’s feet to the fire for heavy-handed declarations of fidelity to the cause, but a little coordinated disingenuousness would take the bite out of the left’s caricatures and aid immensely in closing the gender gap which kills us in any number of states.

  49. Team R is all ate up with the identity politics anymore. It’s kinda disheartening.

  50. closing the gender gap which kills us in any number of states.

    The gender gap is a marriage gap. Married women actually vote quite rightly.

  51. Team R is all ate up with the identity politics anymore. It’s kinda disheartening.

    fighting fire with fire and all that.

  52. The gender gap is a marriage gap. Married women actually vote quite rightly.

    What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Math is math.

  53. story about how China builds awesome cool bridges

    Which they can’t afford either along with their wonderful housing policies. Misallocation of capital resources are one big featured bug of centrally planned economies. Their economy is more fragile than we seem to think, much like Japan Inc. of the 80s.

  54. Here’s a thing Leo Strauss said (in 1965), about an aspect of the difference between the Ancients and Moderns, all of whom, in the final analysis, are human beings:

    Before I go on I would like to read to you a remark of Hegel which is very helpful for clarifying the difference between the Ancients and the Moderns. Now this sentence reads as follows — and you must listen carefully because Hegel’s sentences are quite complicated and even the English translation which I have made has given the Hegelian sentences the simplicity of sentences of Edison.

    “The manner of study in ancient times is distinct from that of modern times, in that the former, the study in ancient times consisted in the veritable training and perfecting of the natural consciousness.”

    Natural consciousness means here the primary consciousness and the not yet specialized.

    “Trying its powers at each part of its life severally, and philosophizing about everything it came across …”

    In other words proceeding in a very unsystematic manner.

    ” … the natural consciousness transformed itself into a universality of abstract understanding which was active in every matter and in every respect. “

    Although it was unsystematic it was universal. There were no questions which it didn’t address.

    “In modern times however, the individual finds the abstract form ready-made.”

    And this, rightly understood, is very true.

    What happened in philosophy, especially classical philosophy, is the primary acquisition of concepts — let us say of philosophic or scientific concepts — as distinguished from the use of concepts already acquired. Not to say the transformation of concepts already acquired. This is I think the — the peculiar charm which everyone experiences when reading a Platonic dialogue but I think also when reading very important parts at any rate of the Aristotelian writing. This way — which is not systematic, methodical in our sense, and yet very open-minded and starting from scratch. Regarding classical political philosophy in particular we must say that is therefore, for the reason indicated by Hegel, closer to political life than modern political philosophy. This may seem — sound strange, given the utopianism of the classics and the realism of the moderns, but you have only to make one simple experiment. The most realistic and tough studies of political bosses — and any other kind of unsavory things — these are written, of course, in a certain language — I’m not speaking now of what somebody in a political campaign does, these are not scientific studies — but you must have, you have read such studies and this language is surely not the language of the political arena. Whereas the Platonic Aristotelian analysis, however far away they might lead from what everyone in the political arena knows and admits, are written in a language which is fundamentally that of everyday life.

    One can say that there is not a single technical term in the properly political writings and parts of writings of Plato and Aristotle. Whereas in — surely in modern times, to some extent already in the pre-modern tradition but surely in modern times a scientific or philosophic language takes over.

  55. And Barack Obama is probably against gay marriage.

    That’s what he tells the brothers.

    Of course, he’s a liar. I guess some people don’t like to lie, either.

  56. I know you’re right Mr. geoff it’s just I wish we could have nice things

  57. I guess some people don’t like to lie, either.

    Yep. And I’m suggesting that they get over it.

  58. we need a decanter Mr. sdferr

  59. We’ve thrown some lees over the centuries, sure nuff.

  60. We do have nice things. Here’s one.

  61. I guess. We need one just like that except for landing spaceships on and it can be defended by a giant robot called Ameritron and also laser beams would be involved and dirigibles.

  62. Yep. And I’m suggesting that they get over it.

    I think that’s clear. But the question is, why? It’s not like the abortion portion of the GOP platform is what loses them elections. In fact, most Americans favor some abortion restrictions.

    What bothers you, as a marketer, is that you hate the way it’s spun. Okay. So spin back. Opposing abortion doesn’t make one a Bible-thumping neanderthal — particularly when the REAL political choice is between restrictions and abortion on demand all the way through the process.

  63. I’m not so comfortable with lying. Not because I’m a saint but because I think it’s a short term solution that brings problems. Better to try and campaign on issues and earn a mandate. Where necessary, emphasize some things and let other things remain in the background.

    But, that said, I don’t really want to campaign and earn a mandate on all social issues. Because I don’t agree with it all.

    It leaves us at an impasse of sorts. It’s normally resolved by the simple fact that I care much less about the social issues where I fall outside the conservative norm and more about that big chunk of social con votes that might put us over the top on issues I care much more about. So, they win. (And I’m “they” on about half these things.)

    But, if I’m reading Abe correctly, he’s sorta saying (“math is math”) that if we’re going to fudge a personal issue here or there, it’s only rational when it brings in that greater chunk of votes.

  64. As to rhetorical aims, it shouldn’t be too difficult to link the first right, the right to life, from which all the other rights are derived, theoretically speaking, since we’re a rights oriented political bunch we Americans, on grounds that aren’t owning to revealed religion in any event. Hobbes didn’t have the slightest problem there, nor should we.

  65. Argggh, “owning” should be “owing”.

  66. rather we make the most of freedom and of pleasure nothing ever lasts forever I think

  67. That makes perfect sense to me, sdferr. Of course, I think that natural rights were puzzled over, figured out and declared. Not granted… outside of Ric’s “we’re all ants before God so that’s how we’re going to pitch equality with a straight face” sort of way.

  68. plus you can’t ban abortion – you can’t do ought but hide it

    and more and more and more we’re an underground society already

  69. Yeah, pitching the Hobbesian “everybody can kill everybody else and that’s why they’re all equal” probably wouldn’t go over so well, it having been left so far behind no-one seems to remember it nowadays. We can just say that when someone pulls out a gun and shoots, people instinctively duck or something like that.

  70. exhortative politics are sorta banal anyways especially when your failshit loser little country has the moral authority of ass

  71. the important thing is Mr. Beck still has his soul

  72. Outside of you and three or four people in a study group almost twenty years ago, no one ever makes that pitch, sdferr. Even though, yeah, that’s actually how it came about.

    Teaching and learning. Learning and teaching. Only long term solution.

  73. and more and more and more we’re an underground society already

    Whereas those dead babies I think remain above ground, in plastic bags and then specially marked hospital dumpsters.

    Until they hit the landfill, I mean.

  74. or whatever

  75. By ban you mean that the law can’t stop it all so then the only solution is…legalize? The law can’t stop any activity completely, murder theft?. What is does is set a marker that says, “this is something we, as a society find to be an activity that should not be engaged in and so we will heavily discourage it.

    As I have stated before a society of humans needs to define when a human begins and when they crease to be. These definitions must be ones so that the line set can be easily discerned and agreed to by the general population in a democratic system. What we have is not that, hasn’t been since Roe, and so the fight continues.

  76. this Team R idea that we have to be in a state of constant consternation that other Americans are doing Shit We Don’t Like is really not a lot different than most dirty socialist ideas I don’t think

  77. What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Math is math.

    Everything. If more women were married, there wouldn’t be a “gender gap” that you argue must be appeased. In other words, the culture war issues *do* matter.

  78. As I have stated before a society of humans needs to define when a human begins and when they crease to be. These definitions must be ones so that the line set can be easily discerned and agreed to by the general population in a democratic system. What we have is not that, hasn’t been since Roe, and so the fight continues.

    Exactly. I remember feminists arguing that the fetus was “an unviable tissue mass”. Except for those pesky late term abortions, where it definitely is. Meanwhile, doctors sometimes scramble to help premature babies born in the same trimester. Does anyone really not see a problem there?

  79. “this Team R idea that we have to be in a state of constant consternation that other Americans are doing Shit We Don’t Like is really not a lot different than most dirty socialist ideas I don’t think”

    yea because banning tom edison’s light bulbs(upton you effin’ rethuglican a hole) is just like killing babies in the tummy.

  80. rather we make the most of freedom and of pleasure nothing ever lasts forever I think

    The Cause…..

    exhortative politics are sorta banal anyways especially when your failshit loser little country has the moral authority of ass

    The Effect….

    The latter statement also insures the serious questioning of your bona fides, too.

  81. I think that’s clear. But the question is, why? It’s not like the abortion portion of the GOP platform is what loses them elections. In fact, most Americans favor some abortion restrictions.

    What bothers you, as a marketer, is that you hate the way it’s spun. Okay. So spin back. Opposing abortion doesn’t make one a Bible-thumping neanderthal — particularly when the REAL political choice is between restrictions and abortion on demand all the way through the process.

    Given the conservative argument about the role and nature of the federal government, it would seem to be more consistent – and palatable – to approach things by noting the sheer stupidity of Roe and laws arrived at in a like manner. It kind of contradicts the hyperbolic stealth argument I was making. But, really, there’s something to be said for an argument which throws an olive branch to people in states more likely to impose harsh restrictions while enabling women (and others) in swing states who are not abortion rights absolutists and couldn’t care less if a Kansas girl has to drive to Illinois to get an abortion to breathe easier.

    Is that dishonest in terms of what many social cons have as their ultimate aim? Sort of. But it’s certainly packaging the issue in a manner which is more consistent with an argument about the nature of the federal government which I think we can more easily sell. Much like having the sense to get out in front on civil unions would have, it serves to give off a different non-fanatical vibe.

  82. People, and here I am speaking of the typical leftists, often believe things for no other reason than because it pleases them to do so. The left spins the right as evil incarnate because they wish to believe that they are on the side of the angels, and that continuing to be in that place requires no more than to continue to be on the left. The positions and how they are framed mean very, very little to that math. If the GOP was to change one of the “evil” planks of the platform, like abortion or gay marriage, I have serious doubts that it would have any effect at all on attracting the sort of people who believe the spin in the first place.

    I could be wrong.

  83. Why am I picturing Daffy Duck with machine gun?

  84. The latter statement also insures the serious questioning of your bona fides, too.

    Insert Curmudgeon’s quote in my post above.

    Thanks.

  85. Meh, Norman. If you want Daffy, ask feets.

  86. and more and more and more we’re an underground society already

    You could look at it this way, or you could look at it as the nature of compromise. You should be able to get as drunk, or stoned, as you want to but should you be able to do so in a public place?

  87. I don’t see abortion restrictions as being very compromisey in intent – the government – especially our sad confuzzled one – simply can’t be allowed to make a decision for someone about whether or not they’re gonna be a mom – womens should get to chart their own course in life just like everybody else.

    And by and large a lot of people wouldn’t take such a government terribly seriously. Nope. The government governs best what governs least, and our government already can’t govern its sorry ass out of a paper bag.

  88. – the government – especially our sad confuzzled one – simply can’t be allowed to make a decision for someone about whether or not they’re gonna be a mom

    The government doesn’t. The baby does.

    How long they’re going to be a mom is a different question.

  89. yes let us hit the demonrats on their history :

    Andrew Klavan: Why Do Blacks Vote for Democrats?

  90. Given the conservative argument about the role and nature of the federal government, it would seem to be more consistent – and palatable – to approach things by noting the sheer stupidity of Roe and laws arrived at in a like manner.

    Which has been going on since the ruling.

    Abortion with reasonable restrictions likely would have been law in nearly every state by now, passed by the states, had the SCOTUS not decided to make shit up and then expect us to accept their bullshit as gospel.

  91. I do not understand

    the baby does what? The baby in this scenario is dead cause of it was unwanted. A cruel fate to be sure. But you have to remember that you don’t for the most part know any of these people and you never even knew they were pregnant and it’s not like they don’t have their own support systems what helped them work through their thinkings and their decidings.

  92. “womens should get to chart their own course in life just like everybody else.”

    stop having sex problem solved.

  93. “The baby in this scenario is dead cause of it was unwanted. ”

    you are an evil person like spooky dude and john holdren.

  94. I do not understand

    the baby does what?

    The baby decides when the mother is going to be a mother, not the government. The baby decides by coming into being, by some definitions, and almost certainly after a few months time, when one can see it trying to get away from probes and such coming to suck it’s brains out.

    At that point mommy is killing the baby. Which works for her, because she didn’t want to be a mommy. But she was, albeit briefly — until the government gave her the okay to kill the kid.

  95. people get to make their own choices Mr. newrouter – sure sometimes they make evil ones, but that’s between them and God

  96. so freedom means you’re free to do that which the government gives you “the okay” to do?

    I don’t think that’s the goal.

  97. “people get to make their own choices Mr. newrouter – sure sometimes they make evil ones, but that’s between them and God”

    so if i shoot you in the head tomorrow after a swiss cake roll it is between “them and God”?

  98. why would you do that?

  99. “so freedom means you’re free to do that which the government gives you “the okay” to do?”

    jeez anarchist cupcake

  100. why would you do that?

    I assume that’s a rhetorical question.

  101. “why would you do that?”

    how leftoid of you to change the subject of the inquiry

  102. so freedom means you’re free to do that which the government gives you “the okay” to do?

    I don’t think that’s the goal.

    Most people are O.K. with Uncle Sam stepping in and dissuading folks from murder.

  103. I think most people think the nannystate is large enough already Mr. Leamas.

  104. I think most people think the nannystate is large enough already Mr. Leamas.

    If I could get some vacation time I would definitely visit your glittery pre-political paradise. Hope you like it there.

  105. To state the sorta obvious, talking about shooting one another in the head is not an avenue likely to yield a fruitful discussion. I’m pretty sure that’s a thing.

    (Yeah, if you wanted to say that ‘feets often chooses the unfruitful path himself, we’ve had that talk already.
    Fair enough. He recommended I have some sort of soda from the wall of awesome, I think. And I probably laughed. That’s how these things work if no one shoots nobody else in the head.)

  106. To state the sorta obvious, talking about shooting one another in the head is not an avenue likely to yield a fruitful discussion. I’m pretty sure that’s a thing.

    Center mass only, people.

  107. Heh, Alec. See, the jokes are very nice. They soothe these troubled waters.

    Yay, jokes.

  108. abortion and gay marriage are same same in this respect: they both exist cause of there’s a market for them

    there’s no market for randomly blamming people in the head with your gun really

  109. On she charged, raging, with her fetal fists poised so as to strike: I’d no choice but to touch her neck attempting to ward off the blows. But damn officer, I didn’t choke her.

    But oh no, Jared gets the good stuff.

  110. Jared gets the tasteless 6-inch ones with no cheese or mayo.

  111. there’s no market for randomly blamming people in the head with your gun really

    Heh. There’s even a marketing arm for it called “rap music.”

    Or he really is that naive.

  112. The other Jared.

  113. McCotter is a card check whore Mr. Leamas!

    but now he says it was an accident

    U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter told me Friday his vote for union payoff legislation was a mistake and that if he were going to vote on “card check” legislation again, he would vote no.

    “It was all because of Wisconsin,” he said in reference to what prompted him to change his mind about supporting legislation that would allow unions to forgo that pesky little detail called democracy (card check allows unions to be established in a work place with signatures on cards instead of secret ballot elections). “As a Federalist, what happened in Wisconsin made me realize that EFCA (the Employee Free Choice Act) was something that should be decided on the state level.”

    oh my goodness I don’t even know what to say to that

  114. so freedom means you’re free to do that which the government gives you “the okay” to do?

    I don’t think that’s the goal.

    Oops, you’re right. The goal is anarchy. Kill whatever you want. It’s your unalienable right.

  115. McCotter is a card check whore Mr. Leamas!

    I watched more for the zany antics of those Sweathogs.

  116. Oops, you’re right. The goal is anarchy. Kill whatever you want. It’s your unalienable right.

    I assume happytits will join forces for me in defense of my love of veal. I find that the cruelty locks in the flavor.

  117. The flip side of that market is an expanded view of marriage that society on whole doesn’t want and a rod puncturing the brain of a child, sucking the brain out and then delivering the aborted, dead thing, where it’s disposed of in a bin that looks like the drum used by a member of the Cosby Kids.

    I’m sure if the dead children could pay not to have their brains sucked out, most of them would gladly enter into that competing marketplace.

  118. maximal freedom is not anarchy ohnoes it’s a far more difficult high-wire act than merely loosing mere anarchy upon the world – one has to have the courage and the strength of character to abide. To abide people doing stuff what your mama deeply impressed upon you is Wrong and Unnatural. You just gots to say to yourself Lord have mercy on their souls and then what you do is you gaze off into the middle-distance for a moment looking pensive.

    That my friend is Freedom. That my friend is America.

  119. “abortion and gay marriage are same same in this respect: they both exist cause of there’s a market for them”

    there’s a market for offing bugs bunny when it eats swiss cake rolls. FREEDOM says the communist dupe or the van jones joneser.

  120. Mr. Leamas you remindered me Animal has veal brains on their latest sample menu!

  121. To abide people doing stuff what your mama deeply impressed upon you is Wrong and Unnatural.

    Just to be clear, by “stuff” here you mean killing a child in the womb with a metal spike.

    Okay, continue.

  122. you make it sound dirty

  123. “one has to have the courage and the strength of character to abide.”

    i don’t think murdering someone with a swiss cake roll is abiding but otherwise your my favorite muppet:

    Definition of ABIDE
    transitive verb
    1
    : to wait for : await
    2
    a : to endure without yielding : withstand b : to bear patiently : tolerate
    3
    : to accept without objection

  124. and you make it sound like choosing a movie at the Blockbuster kiosk.

  125. damn. I was kinda hoping Fox would give the 5 o’clock hour to Harvey, to do whatever he wanted to with. Instead they limp lamely into suckland.

  126. no I make it sound like someone else choosing a movie at the Blockbuster kiosk

    this is key

  127. “Just to be clear, by “stuff” here you mean killing a child in the womb with a metal spike.

    Okay, continue.”

    why aren’t you on prager’s show?

  128. no I make it sound like someone else choosing a movie at the Blockbuster kiosk

    Sometimes your wife goes to the kiosk alone and chooses without you and you wind up with Seventeen Again.

    That’s why we have to have balance. I’ll compromise and maybe watch something with Goldie Hawn’s kid, but Zac Efron? Fuck that.

  129. I have to go run on my treadmill now. Despite my working out on average 4 hours a day, I still have a ring around my midsection. And while I’ll never get rid of it, I can keep it from growing worse, I think.

    I am Sisyphus. Backfat is my boulder.

  130. have you tried the Amazon Unbox thing? I used it the other day it was ok I did the download option and then I had to reboot though cause of the audio was out of synch but then it was fine. Except for the movie sucked.

  131. “I’ll compromise and maybe watch something with Goldie Hawn’s kid, but Zac Efron? Fuck that.”

    you klavan, prager and gutfeld. mocking the leftards. what fun. pwtv.com.

  132. I am pro-choosing

  133. Backfat is my boulder.

    You can’t just say that. It so strongly tempts me to write 800 comments that no one cares about.

  134. I hit 205 today, and the doctor took my boot away. 35 pounds since January. 10 more to go.

  135. I am pro-bootlessness

  136. “I am pro-choosing”

    let us kill: the snail darter, the minnow in the central valley, canada geese, turtles in nyc, coyotes, leftards, kinzu, stink bugs, and clowns like the demonrat party.

  137. I choose the minnow

  138. JD is a legend. Anyone who loses weight with a boot on is a damn legend.

    It’s a rule now. Wasn’t before but no one ever did it before.

  139. Not a legend, just a highly motivate fool. 1 mile swims help.

  140. [R]ather we make the most of freedom and of pleasure nothing ever lasts forever I think[.]

    Here’s where Hobbbes goes off the rails, as is amply demonstrated if you care to follow the trail of Pikachu scat.

  141. That comment is like #54, Ernst.

    Requires pacing along the hallway. And maybe another beer.

  142. Not because I’m a saint but because I think it’s a short term solution that brings problems.

    I think that’s exactly the same reason why saints don’t so much like lying either.

    plus you can’t ban abortion – you can’t do ought but hide it

    Which makes abortion totally different from stuff like theft and murder and embezzlement and Mary Jane, which go away entirely when they’re banned. People what make the “but it will just go underground” argument don’t have a problem with the proposed crime in the first place.

    On the other hand, not too many people are advocating that sewers not be underground, but there’s plenty of places where it runs free, totally above ground, and then you find out real fast why some of the things that people inevitably do belong waaaay underground.

    other Americans are doing Shit We Don’t Like

    That’s a caricature. There’s plenty of stuff I don’t like that other people do such as riding noisy ATVs through the mountains and scaring off the birds I’m trying to identify, or putting tacky lawn ornaments in their garden, or talking aloud in church or movies instead of whispering, or installing 10-foot woofers in their stupid cars and making my windows vibrate from a half-mile off.

    Or pronouncing “afghan” as “af-a-gan” or confusing “come” and “came.”

    Don’t even get me started with apostrophe-S abuse.

    Also, those who don’t understand the point of an institution are the last people who ought to “reform” it.

    make a decision for someone about whether or not they’re gonna be a mom

    Do they get to decide at what stage it’s ethical to terminate individual human life?

    sometimes they make evil ones, but that’s between them and God

    You only say that about things you don’t think are wrong, not about things that you think are evil. The Nazis chose evil and yes they have an awful lot of ‘splainin to do to God, but I’m pretty sure it’s not very judgy of me to say Nazis are evil and shouldn’t be allowed to carry out their wishes.

    Thereby invoking Godwin. FIRST!

  143. It just occurred to me that we’re the ones actually killing Jeff on those web rankings. Well, not me. You guys. With your nerd this and let’s-think-about-it that.

    Me? I could link celebrity smut. I could. Just need a better handle.

    What was that paper that Ellroy used as the gossip rag in White Jazz?

    We can do this thing.

  144. Nazis are the worst

  145. I heard that there’s like five rules to increase your blog traffic.

    Five.

    Like the As in RAAAAACIST.

  146. Nazis are the worst

    Look how hatey and judgmental you are! Ima heap all manner of invective upon you because you so obviously deserve it.

  147. dicentra you are clearly biased towards the lifeydoodle side of the debate you realize this, yes? It’s like you don’t even try to hide it.

  148. Sorry bh, I’m playing catch-up.

  149. Yes, feets, I’m so biased it hurts. Biased because of this:

    the unborn can feel pain at 20 weeks

    And because I have known exactly and precisely the answer to “Do I want to be a mom?” during every minute of my life, and I’ve known exactly how to either be a mom or not during most of that time, and I’m pretty sure that same knowledge is present in every woman who lives in the Western world.

    I’ve managed to control whether I become pregnant for almost five decades: what’s everyone else’s excuse?

  150. I think she’s mainly trying to crack me up sometimes.

  151. Don’t even get me started with apostrophe-S abuse.

    I will try harder.

  152. That might be the worst late comment ever. 151 was for 148 in reference to 146 and 147.

    Not 150.

    Stupid forward progression of time. Stupid intervening events.

  153. what’s everyone else’s excuse?

    malfunctioning girl parts

  154. Just need a better handle.

    Go back to “Blowhard” then link the smut and it takes on a whole new and X rated meaning. So win-win.

  155. Hell, I’m downright bigoted when it comes to some of this stuff.

  156. malfunctioning girl parts

    I thought pregnancy meant the girl parts were working as the Laws of Nature and of Nature ‘s God intended them.

  157. well sure,ernst,that’s why I don’t have children. Anyhoo, have a lot of friends that have adopted

  158. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a tale about Mr. Kitty, Maggie.

    Got one?

    I’m hoping that he’s now riding a tiny motorcycle and has crafted some sort of crude switchblade made out of Popsicle sticks.

  159. that and i hate babies. not enough to kill them of course, but we leave each other alone for the most part.

  160. I have not heard about Mr. Kitty for a while now,I think he may be retired.

    Instead,now, I have “terrorist” dogs.

  161. Wow…This is one heck of a thread; as usual.

    I’d weigh in, but for a few reasons.
    1) I’m in Ocean City visiting my elderly parents, with my neice, by marriage, and her three young children. A yearly event my parents have come to look forward to.

    2) I’m very biased towards the “lifeydoodle” POV, for many of the reasons mentioned in this thread, but also for one more special one…

    My wife and I have suffered many miscarriages in the 5 years of our marriage, two hands required to count the confirmed ones. But as He did with Abraham and Sara, God has had mercy on His servants and He has bestowed the blessing of a child upon us. His will be done.

    Baby is due on or about August 23rd. I use that generic term because, there being few real surprises left in life, we’ve chosen to not avail ourself of the knowledge beforehand; our only preference is happy, healthy, and whole. All is well thus far, and for those of you so inclined to pray I’d ask that you remember my wife, our coming child, and myself in your intentions. Thanks be to God for this blessing…

    So you can see why I can’t really understand it when folks willfully snuff out a newly created life in the making. And, respectfully, while I don’t wish to infringe on their liberty, I certainly want no part in the abhorrent pactice-via my tax dollars in any form. And I think that it’s an utterly false argument, when stressing the rights of the mother, not to consider for even a moment the rights of the unborn child.

    As sdferr noted, our fundamental right is to life. The unborn child is alive.

    My Regards to all

  162. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a tale about Mr. Kitty.

    I killed a cat on Saturday.

    Well, not directly; I ordered that she be killed. I’d had enough of her leaving little presents under the computer desk when the cat box wasn’t pristine enough for Her Majesty’s taste. So I took her to the vet and left her there.

    Well, after they diagnosed her with an abdominal tumor, which was causing anemia and lethargy and my other cat would come in singing elaborate anguish songs every night, and she’d stopped eating and she was 15 years old and despite her long hair she looked bony and wasted away.

    Not like this at all.

    Even so, I’m very happy to not deal with a litter box anymore (the other cat always uses the outdoors), and the elaborate anguish songs stopped when I came home without her.

  163. I apologize if that was impertinent Maggie.

    That was an inside joke. Back in the pre-kinder days, Frau Schreiber once bitched about the fact that insurance would cover Viagra, but wouldn’t cover birth-control. My night on the couch earning quip was: sure, because if I can’t get it up, that means it’s not working like it should, whereas if you get pregnant….

  164. Baby is due on or about August 23rd.

    Yay baby!

    I will certainly shoot as many prayer waves skyward as I can. May you have as many such blessings as you can handle.

  165. Then I’m just going to imagine that he’s doing all sorts of crazy things, Maggie.

    We need heroes.

    (I’m sorry to hear about that, di.)

  166. God bless Bob.

  167. Wow, Bob. That’s really big news.

    Congrats and good luck.

  168. I’m sorry to hear about that, di.

    No tears, please: I’m in a much better place.

  169. Hey! Congrats Bob. And hope you won’t mind if I root for a 27th birthday for an entirely selfish cause.

  170. not at all ernst.

    You do that bh,it’s just Mr. Kitty’s gotta be at least 13 years old,which is good for an outdoor cat. He’s tough.

  171. congratulations Mr. Bob! And Mrs. Bob too! I already prayed for you cause of I guessed the news the other day! But I can pray again I hardly ever reach my quota.

  172. we had joy we had fun we had kitty now she’s done

  173. Congratulations Bob!

  174. Assuming that I missed the sarcasm in Maggie’s original comment, and I think we can all agree, like the earnest Kraut I am, (Thank you Maggie for not responding no shit sherlock!) that I certainly did, I still insist on playing the straight man long enough to point out the notion that sexual intercourse which results in pregnancy means something went wrong is in fact widespread, and of relatively recent origin. I’ll also add that it proves my point about Hobbes going off the rails: our freedom to pursue pleasure is inhibited when that pursuit results in a baby’s conception. Abortion rights therefore must remain sacrosanct, so A.M. can continue to fuck for her orgasm.

    Yay freedom

    Sorry if that was preachy.

  175. Thank you all for your congratulations, and for sharing our joy :) I’ll update as more news becomes available.

    dicentra-Sorry about your Kitty. We have a few that are getting along in years as well, but still seem spry.

    sdferr-What anniversary would that be? The anniversary of Reagan’s speech at the 1984 Republican convention? Or is it something better?

  176. Awesome, Señor Reed.

  177. It’s LBJ’s birthday Bob. And Krakatoa blew that day. And mine.

  178. Awesome news, Bob, and CONGRATS!

  179. Oh, I get it sdferr. But the 27th part? That led me think of 1984. I’ve always been under the impression that you were chronologically older than 27 :)

    Unless, you know, time travel…

  180. Gawdammit sdferr! Another guy I was sure was older than me, an now I find out your younger than my wife’s baby brother (to say nothing of my own baby bro)?

    Fuck I’m getting old.

  181. double damn you’re your confusion. Now di will be coming for me with a ruler.

  182. Ernst, catch how I neatly left Hegel out? But Stevie Ray died on the 27th, so not so good. On the other hand, oil was discovered in Titusville Pa. that day, so maybe it’s a wash.

  183. One interesting thing about becoming a father in your early 50s; later, when the kid referrs to me as, “my old man”, it will be both literal and figurative :)

    OK y’all, I’ve got to call BINGO and hit the rack, becuase my neice’s chillunz will have me up early to hit the beach.

    So thanks again to all, and good night.

  184. Okay, I went back and checked what I thought was the source for an item I remember reading about something A.M. said, which I in turn paraphrased in the link in 177. Unfortunately it’t not there, and I can’t find it, so I retract the comment. I regret the error and apologize for the aspersions I’ve cast on A.M.

  185. Aaaaawesome News Bob Reeeed!!!!!

    (complimentary extra vowels;)

  186. And I probably laughed

    “You’re a better man than I am,” bh.

  187. Many blessings, Bob!

  188. Congrats, Bob!

  189. Honest to god, I don’t care what you do. Just don’t ask me to subsidize it. And don’t lay your crappy decisions on my doorstep.

    You got a viable fertilized egg. Which attaches itself to the uterine wall and begins to divide. Unless the mother spontaneously aborts, it ain’t a giraffe that’s comin out. That cluster of cells has all the DNA to be a complete unique human being.

    Gay marriage is an oxymoron.

  190. of course fetuses have people dna they’re tiny wee little babies

    but the vast majority of them are in the wombs of people the cowardly and failshit US government has no business bossing around

  191. Great news, Bob!

  192. Great. We’ve now dumbed down the idea of liberty to “you’re not the boss of me!”

  193. that’s exactly what the sort of limited government Team R pays lip service to means Mr. Ernst

  194. Which has been going on since the ruling.

    Abortion with reasonable restrictions likely would have been law in nearly every state by now, passed by the states, had the SCOTUS not decided to make shit up and then expect us to accept their bullshit as gospel.

    Right. But there’s an opportunity – if people must tackle this issue – in acknowledging what a massive circle jerk the idea of abortions ever being completely outlawed is. It also puts attacks on the left’s fringe positions in a different light. The right is perfectly comfortable in being evasive and too cute by half in order to get through confirmation proceedings, yet somehow this does not extend to campaigning.

    It’s perfectly conceivable that none of this matters. The very places where these things play a prominent role – the suburbs that rim cities in swing states – were formerly reliably Republican districts until the memory of Carter’s incompetence faded. We can certainly hope that Obama revealing himself to be a hapless punk-ass bitch and the obvious decline in these peoples’ quality of life renders cultural differences somewhat irrelevant.

  195. Team R is all ate up with the identity politics anymore. It’s kinda disheartening.

    I think feets is maxed out on the unselfaware stat. What with hoochies and cumsluts and such.

  196. You’re right, feets. People should be able to dispose of their property as they see fit without gubmint interference.

  197. Great. We’ve now dumbed down the idea of liberty to “you’re not the boss of me!”

    Works for me.

  198. You’re right, feets. People should be able to dispose of their property as they see fit without gubmint interference.

    Also, people who complicate your life. Who needs ‘em? Why keep ‘em?

  199. People are highly overrated. It’s best to just kill them off.

  200. Great. We’ve now dumbed down the idea of liberty to “you’re not the boss of me!”

    Works for me.

    Except that it doesn’t, not really.

    Benjamin Wiker, summarizing Alexis De Tocqueville explaining “ordered liberty” by quoting John Winthrop [bold emphases added]:

    Since Americans built their social order from the ground up, their understanding of liberty is quite the opposite of extreme democracy’s view of liberty as the freedom to do whatever one wants. Rather, for Americans, liberty is an achievement, the result of individuals learning to rule themselves; that is, true liberty rests on a solid moral foundation. Liberty is not license, let alone, as modern liberalism would have it, licentiousness. Tocqueville quotes an excerpt of a speech by one John Winthrop approvingly:

    [N]or would I have you to mistake in the point of your own liberty. There is a liberty of corrupt nature, which is affected both by men and beasts, to do what they list; and this liberty is inconsistent with authority, impatient of all restraint; by this liberty, Sumus Omnes Deteriores [we are all inferior] [translation original –I would translate Deteriores as “the worse” E.S.]; ’tis the grand enemy of truth and peace, and all the ordinances of God are bent against it. But there is a civil, a moral, a federal liberty, which is the proper end and object of authority; it is a liberty for that only which is just and good; for this liberty you are to stand with the hazard of your very lives.

    We note, with Tocqueville, that in this conservative account of liberty, it is our nature as rational animals that is being conserved, our better nature that lifts us above the beasts and distinguishes us as moral animals. The religious foundation for the moral order is not imposed arbitrarily, as some would claim today. Rather, the “ordinances of God” are bent against a liberty that is mere license to act as beasts –or, as Aristotle said, worse than beasts, for “without virtue,” man “is the most unholy and the most savage” of all animals. (118-19)

    Somebody somewhere once said something about being able to rule yourself before ruling others. That seems doubly important in a system such as ours, where we consent to rule each other according to majoritarian principles. Adolescent notions that limited government means “you’re not the boss of me!” fail to impress.

  201. That’s fine, Ernst. Just don’t let me catch you being inconsistent when you don’t like what that yields.

  202. Ancient, originary hedonism was strictly speaking a-political. It had nothing to do with the political.

    Identifying the good with the pleasant is still a commonplace and will remain as such I assume. This isn’t to say it’s correct as a truth. (Here Machiavelli might want to squeeze in an opinion. “So what?! Pay attention to what people do in fact, not what they ‘should’ do, you utopian idiots!”) But that’s the ground on which the the battlelines are drawn, I think, and there they will remain.

  203. liberty for only that which the punk-ass and morally dubious United States government has decided is just and good is not really liberty it’s more like joining the army

  204. Identifying the good with the pleasant is still a commonplace and will remain as such I assume.

    That’s why we need a heirarchy of goods, sdferr.

    Just don’t let me catch you being inconsistent

    On the current trajectory, I don’t think either of us has much too worry about regarding my inconsistency Abe.

  205. How do we come by a heirarchy of goods Ernst? I mean, sheesh, for much longer than a century we’ve been instructed not to confuse the is with the ought. And it’s my sense that the foolishness of that position has only recently (mere decades ago) been shown to be unsupportable, and that only in the abstruse sense that the so-called “is” is no more trustworthy than the long ridiculed “ought”.

  206. cupcakes

    kelp noodles with pesto

    air conditioning

    being left alone by your gay-assed government

    wal-mart

    zack snyder movies

    puppies

  207. On the current trajectory, I don’t think either of us has much too worry about regarding my inconsistency Abe.

    I strongly doubt that seeing as the secularist left has a competing moral code and every bit the same propensity for seeking to codify it in law. I think that perhaps you misunderstand me – and maybe happyfeet, though heaven only knows as he’s probably the weirdest person any of us voluntarily associate with – but I’m not speaking in terms of culture, but law.

  208. Exactly. And newrouter and Jared respond with:

    get more government into happyfeet’s gustatory choicemaking

    shoot happyfeet in the head

    hack happyfeet’s head off

    drag happyfeet down the street behind the car

    eat happyfeet’s cirrhotic liver

    What to do?

  209. To paraphrase Anthony Quinn, be glad that when God made you a fool, he inspired you to select a fool’s gravatar happyfeet.

  210. With fava beans and a nice Chianti?

    I’d rather share a beer and pizza with him and just argue the political.

  211. what to do?

    Moral education instead of social education is the short answer. A slightly less short answer is that we need to rediscover the quest for the “good life,” as it’s been philosophically understood, and not focus so exclusively on the quest to build a better material life (to say nothing about wasting time y-studies).

  212. Not that there’s anything wrong with the sciences that have brought us our unparalleled prosperity, just that science itself doesn’t hold all the answers to the Human problem.

  213. beer and pizza sounds nice and we don’t even have to argue the political I hardly ever do that out loud

  214. happyfeet is sorta newrouter’s Mr. Bill I think

  215. Not that there’s anything wrong with the sciences that have brought us our unparalleled prosperity

    Right, though that’s our special problem, that is, the choice was made a long time ago, for us, so to speak: mathematical physics, yay!

    So it’s our special problem to work out the imp- . . . no, wait.

    First to recognize that choice, and to get it into our thick heads that it isn’t the only alternative (which necessitates at least attempting to understand the various alternatives we’ve left by the side of the road).

    Then to work out the implications of the choice we’ve made, and in the case of the US, remember more clearly what’s involved, like say for instance, that the whole deal here was by design an organically integrated commercial enterprise. So that when we start fucking with commerce — as for instance allowing the government to set prices: think Wickard – we’ve intentionally thrown a wrench into our own works, while still pretending we haven’t.

  216. I do not want to eat happyfeets’ cirrhotic liver. No, thank you.

    But I will eat the liver of a morbidly obese goose, with truffles, and gusto.

  217. Also, I think the topless movement is probably composed of women who aren’t even as attractive topless as that old fart down the street what needs a bro. I don’t like him going topless either.

    In retribution, I shall wear a thong, and forego the Brazilian wax treatment.

  218. happyfeet is sorta newrouter’s Mr. Bill I think

    So who is Mr. Hand?

  219. “…mathematical physics, yay!”

    A couple of math formulas to remember:

    Liberty = Freedom – (Accountability + Responsibility)

    (Most) Social Cons ? Social Activists
    (Most) Social Libs = Social Activists

    The Most reliable Social Cons = Fiscal Cons (DeMint and Coburn)

    Social conservatism and Fiscal Consertism enjoy a symbiotic relationship.
    If you loathe the Federal Nanny State don’t trash the traditional family unit cus we don’t need no stinkin welfare.

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