TDS, a Living Mental Disorder

tdsTime for a new thread.  Thought I would also share some pictures taken Sunday Morning in our backyard.  I have a deer feeder that I put corn in to feed the deer, squirrels, racoons, birds, etc.  Every now and then we get a special visitor, this is the 4th time I have had to fix the feeder after a visit of this kind this year.  Hope you enjoy.

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Comments

  1. I estimate the bear is a 3 year old male, around 250 to 275 lbs. For reference, the feeder stand is 6 feet across and the bottom of feeder motor is five feet high. He was eating for 55 minutes or so before he was full and moved on. At one point, on the right side, a doe had walked in and was watching from the wood line.

    It’s a rare thing to watch a black bear in the wild for a long period of time. Most sightings are quick and they are on the move. Usually, due to their smelling abilities, they are long gone before seeing them. Fun stuff, even better than pulling Mathius’s chain 😀

    • Ahhhh, No, as soon as bears started showing up that feeder would be history. 😳

      • Black bears do not attack people, other than a momma protecting her young. They just ramble off if they see people.

  2. Nice pics, G! My kinda back yard.

  3. My neighbors you tube page. He has the farm with the field in pics.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWTP4RxGyAegMtCpdQrJ9nA

  4. Reading articles that they’re almost ready to decide whether or not to indict McCabe. I take this to mean, they are not going to, but they want us to know they worked real hard before coming to this conclusion.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      V.H.

      I think you will be found correct. Not a single one of those involved in all this will ever be charged with anything. Unless they can pin something on the janitor.

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      Told you folks like every “heist” movie I’ve seen since the 1960’s!

      • My sister in law, who’s a teacher, did say after working for the government for 40 years where everything is constantly broken, there’s still a chance he killed himself.

        • Uh huh…

          High value, high profile prisoner..
          Failed attempt just a week before..
          Mysteriously removed from suicide watch..
          Has a lot of dirt to offer up on a lot of powerful people..
          The faulty camera..

          Riiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhhhttttttt….

          • At first, I thought maybe he was killed or maybe they just cleared the way, So he could kill himself( which to my mind is basically the same thing). Now, someone killed him seems like the only remaining options.

            • Look, I’m no conspiracy theorist… Generally speaking, 99 times out of 100, the obvious answer is going to be the right one.

              Maybe I’ve just read far too many Ludlum novels, but if there is such a thing as a real-world conspiracy, this is as prime of a candidate as I’ve seen in my lifetime. Too many people with far too much power stood to lose everything if this guy kept breathing… and then a bunch of anomalies… it’s just so… convenient, isn’t it?

              I joke about my certainty that that it was definitely a murder.. but if I had to answer seriously, had to put money on it..? I’d lay even odds.

              He certainly had plenty of incentive to kill himself, but he should never have been able to. How many people had to “fall asleep at the switch” for this to happen? It strains credibility. This would never have happened – EVER – under Warden Mathius.

    • Whatever. Since you love your analogies, here’s one fer ya.

      Imagine you took over a failing business. What are you gonna do to make that business prosperous? Ya hafta spend some cash, right? Right? Just wait til after he wins next year. You know, after Nancy calms down from her hissy fit…cause we know Trump already told her once to calm down before they could talk about infrastructure…he’s gonna tack on another trillion or 2 for that project. But my crystal ball says that Trump’s focus will shift to shrinking the size of government in his last term. I have nothing to back that up except a gut feeling….legacy, and GOAT, and all that!

    • You have a perfect right to call us out on this. I’m taking what I can get, which is more than I’ve seen in years.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      It is really going to be something to watch this next go round. The R’s all screaming about how they will Repeal Obama Care and Balance the Budget, because that DEBT THANG is killing us.

  5. Just A Citizen says:
    • One of the world’s most annoying and frustrating experiences is having someone who is on your side of an issue for the wrong reasons, and then argues it badly.

      Only a TOTAL ABSOLUTE MORON would argue that the right to an abortion is “all about” her desire to “be herself” and have the “great joys of her life.”

      That some people… alright, “many” people.. on “my side” of this debate think that way is…. well, it’s a good reason to encourage them not to have children….

      It really is the worst.

      The REASON why abortion is a right is because the right of the mother to bodily autonomy trumps any (debatable) rights of a fetus.

      Now, you can, and we have, argue statement until you’re blue in the face, but that’s the fundamental core of the only – ONLY – viable argument in favor of a right to abortion access.

      This woman is a moron, and I wish she’d keep her stupid mouth shut. She’s just giving fodder to the Pro-Life side to use her as a straw man against those of us who do have more than two brain cells to rub together.

      • And all the body autonomy argument is, when attached to abortion, is an excuse, a Loop Hole, a small moment in time, to allow people to convince themselves using arguments like Allyssa ‘s that it’s okay to kill a baby in the womb.

        • V.. we’ve talked about this a lot.. do you think this is MY position? That I’m exploiting a “loop hole” to give myself a window when it’s ok to “kill a baby”?

          Do you REALLY think that’s my view?

          ME. MATHIUS.

          Not “my side,” not “others,” not “them.” Me.

          Do you think that I – personally – am just using the bodily autonomy argument this way.. as cover?

  6. Per JAC’s post which I can’t seem to find anymore re a court ruling that you have a constitutional right to harbor illegal immigrants.. article

    It also means a single, lower court judge is once again dictating their whims on the entire country

    This is bullshit.

    The lower court is binding in its jurisdiction. It may be applicable as case-law elsewhere – that is, other courts may “adopt” the ruling, but it is emphatically NOT “dictated” to the “entire country.

    FURTHER, the ruling will certainly be reviewed by a higher court up to and including SCOTUS – any one of which can overturn the ruling.

    the law prohibiting someone from “encouraging” or “inducing” illegal immigration, is an unconstitutional infringement upon the First Amendment.

    This seems very valid.

    I absolutely DO have the right to encourage or induce illegal immigration under the 1st Amendment.

    What I DON’T have is the right to actively violate the law, say by employing illegal immigrants.

    By this judge’s logic, you can go encourage and induce anyone to commit any crime and it’s not illegal. Want your husband killed? Just ask someone else to do it and you aren’t liable because it’s just free speech, right?

    Ok, this is a good point.

    Do you have the right to encourage someone to commit a crime…. hmm…

    Well, let’s hop in the Way Back Machine all the way to 1969.. in 1969, the Supreme Court ruled in Brandenburg v. Ohio that incitement of events in the indefinite future was protected, but encouragement of “imminent” illegal acts was not protected.

    Seems reasonable.. as I have other things going on in my life and don’t feel like digging too deeply into this, I’m going to interpret that as a question of “am I encouraging a specific imminent violation, or am I just generally speaking out that “they” should violate this law.” Put another way, am I saying “hey, you, go kill my wife” or am I saying “boy, I wish someone would kill my wife”? As the later isn’t tied to a specific act that’s going to necessarily ever happen, it’s legal whereas the former would not be.

    I guess.

    I need to mull it further, but I’m thinking as I type, and that means you get a stream of consciousness type answer. I hope you’re enjoying it.

    —-

    Look, your link is obviously very biased. It has a point of view and is hammering away at it. It’s an OPINION piece rather than actual “reporting” per say. But it doesn’t exactly give me comfort that what I’m reading is the whole story.

    THAT SAID, without digging deeper, this ruling looks like it’s going to be overturned the instant it hits a higher court.

    As it should be.

    BUT, just to reiterate, there is absolutely no way to interpret this ruling as any kind of binding interpretation that the whole country has a 1st Amendment right to violate immigration law.

    —-

    THAT SAID, if I’m going to contort myself to find a “right” to employ and house illegal immigrants, wouldn’t Assembly be a better choice? I choose to “assemble with illegal immigrants”! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  7. “One of the cutting-edge advances in fallacy-ology has been the weak man, a terribly-named cousin of the straw man. The straw man is a terrible argument nobody really holds, which was only invented so your side had something easy to defeat. The weak man is a terrible argument that only a few unrepresentative people hold, which was only brought to prominence so your side had something easy to defeat.” – Some random person on the internet named Scott Alexander

    A-friggin’-men.

    Now, Mr. JAC points out above a comment my Alyssa Millano which, if not exactly “representative” of the pro-choice crowd is hardly fringe.

    So I’m going to take a bit of liberty with Mr. Alexander’s beautiful assertion and tweak just a bit…

    “One of the cutting-edge advances in fallacy-ology has been the weak man, a terribly-named cousin of the straw man. The straw man is a terrible argument nobody really holds, which was only invented so your side had something easy to defeat. The weak man is a terrible argument that only a few unrepresentative people hold is easily defeated, which was only brought to prominence used by your side so that your side had something easy to defeat.” – Some random person on the internet named Scott Alexander as modified by some random person on the internet named Mathius of SUFA

    ——-

    Now! What can we take from this and apply to JAC’s linked article re Allysa Millano and her opinion that the right to abortion is “all about” her right to live a “great life”?

  8. Now you write that in a way where it I say yes, I’m insulting you. So let me be clear, I think you are mixing up why some judges decided to allow women to kill babies in the womb with why women actually have abortions. They don’t have them because they have bodily autonomy. They have them for reasons like Alyssa’s. They use that so called right to take advantage of a Loop Hole that allows killing of babies for a short period of time. Something they would consider murder if done at any other time. The fact that the baby is inside their womb doesn’t change the fact they are killing a baby. So yes, bodily autonomy is a cover, or in my opinion, a Loop Hole that allows people to kill.

    • Now you write that in a way where it I say yes, I’m insulting you.

      Only if you tell me that think I’m being fundamentally dishonest about my beliefs.

      I think you are mixing up why some judges decided to allow women to kill babies in the womb with why women actually have abortions.

      Not at all!

      I think it’s entirely possible to be right for the wrong reasons.

      I claim that the Pythagorean Theorem is true. You demand I prove it. A thousand of us all submit our proofs, and 999 of them are laughably wrong. But not me. I’m right. And it doesn’t matter that their proofs are wrong – if they try to use A2+B2=C2, they’re going to get the right answer. Sure, they’re morons. But the fact that their reasoning is flawed does not necessarily prove that their conclusion is wrong.

      It doesn’t matter WHY they’re right so long as they are. And as long as -I- am right, then they get to ride on my coat tails.

      They could be the worst, most horrible people alive, doing it for the worst, most selfish reasons… but if I can prove (or, perhaps, you can’t disprove me) that it’s morally allowable for MY reasons, then it’s morally allowable.

      Put another way, you don’t have to defeat THEIR arguments. You have to defeat MINE.

      This is why I posted (above) about the “weak man” argument. It’s much easier to argue against the bad arguments from a side while ignoring the good ones. It doesn’t matter how many bad/wrong/stupid arguments you knock down. You have to win against the GOOD arguments in order to be right.

      The fact that the baby is inside their womb doesn’t change the fact they are killing a baby.

      You can play with definitions all you want, but it’s not a baby until it’s a baby.

      It’s an egg, an embryo, a fetus. THEN it’s a baby.

      And, for what it’s worth, -I- would argue that it has a right to life well before it’s a “baby.”

      So yes, bodily autonomy is a cover, or in my opinion, a Loop Hole that allows people to kill.

      But, again, do you think that -I- am using it as a cover?

      Or are MY beliefs just what I’ve posited them to be? And, if so, have you proven me wrong?

      • Ummm, so basically, you want to argue that if I can’t convince you, that you are wrong, then you are right. Does this not work in the reverse. I understand the idea that one has to prove the best argument wrong but I think I’ve done that many times. The fact that you don’t agree does not make me wrong or right. It also doesn’t make you right or wrong. But there is a right and the end result of right isn’t a dead baby, fetus, or embryo, which are all just words for a developing human.

        • Nice post , V. It can also be applied to most issues, which is why we (people in general) never get anywhere. We’re always just stuck in the process.

        • Ummm, so basically, you want to argue that if I can’t convince you, that you are wrong, then you are right.

          Not quite.

          What I’m saying is that if you can’t prove me wrong, then you can’t prove they’re doing anything wrong.

          They might be right for the wrong reasons.

          I understand the idea that one has to prove the best argument wrong but I think I’ve done that many times.

          You think you’ve proven me wrong?

          I honesty don’t think you’ve done that.

          I don’t think anyone has ever given a satisfactory answer to “what makes humans so special” that isn’t either “their minds” or something wishy-washy hand-wavey.

          My argument is pretty simple: IF humans have some special right to life that is NOT present in other animals and/or in various sub-components of humans (eg, a tumor), THEN there must be something distinct about humans which is a necessary condition to having such rights.

          This seems self-evident. If Object A has a different attribute than Object B, there must be a difference between A and B which causes this difference.

          I posit that this must be our minds, as there is literally nothing else that is special about humans in terms of the animal kingdom. As such, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that, when no “human mind” is present, then no human rights are present either.

          This is corroborated by the idea (not accepted by everyone, though) that it is not murder to unplug a brain dead coma patient. The brain dead coma patient had an absolute right to life previously. What happened? What is the difference?

          This is further corroborated by the idea that we can perfectly morally excise tumors, cells, or other genetic material which “kills” it. Why? Why can I “kill” this clump of cells but not a bigger clump of cells called “JAC”?

          It’s a simple enough question: why can I kill and eat a cow, but I cannot kill and eat you? “Because I’m human” is a tautology*. What ABOUT being human means I cannot morally kill and eat you?

          (Because I always feel I have to put this is in, let me disclaim: I do not in any way shape or form want to position myself as the arbiter of “how smart is necessary to be human.” That way lies genocide and eugenics. I – personally – draw the line extraordinarily conservatively at “has a brain which can be medically identified” – which occurs around the 5 week mark, which is to say a cluster of cells smaller than a grain of rice. But, because I could never hope to quantify the dividing line between “human mind” and “not human mind,” I err on the side of what is almost certainly waaay too early.)

          *A thing that is true because it is defined as true within the logical structure. You cannot assert that “humans have special rights” then support that with “they have special rights because they are human.” It’s just saying the same thing twice, stated differently and using them to support each other.

          The fact that you don’t agree does not make me wrong or right. It also doesn’t make you right or wrong.

          Completely true.

          But, by extension, if you can’t convince me that -I’M- wrong, then you can’t convince me that -THEY- are wrong (in terms of their actions, not their reasoning which, again, I stipulate is moronic).

          But there is a right and the end result of right isn’t a dead baby, fetus, or embryo

          Lots of things are sad, but not immoral.

          I have argued this repeatedly noting that there are two rights in conflict, not one. The right of the mother to biological autonomy and the right of the fetus to life, and of the two, only the former is firmly established.

          This is arguing from consequences. I don’t like the result, therefore the argument must be wrong.

          […], which are all just words for a developing human.

          Sure.. but what it MEANS to be a “developing human” is important to my argument.

          If – IF – there is something special and unique about “human” which means we have this great “right to life,” then the $64,000 question is: “is it present during the development phase”? And, to answer that, you have to tell me what “it” is.

          • “What I’m saying is that if you can’t prove me wrong, then you can’t prove they’re doing anything wrong.

            They might be right for the wrong reasons.”

            Well, I might agree that someone doing something for the wrong reasons doesn’t negate their right to do it, but it doesn’t make what they did right.

            I don’t know what humans having special rights have to do with abortion. Humans are special to other humans because they are us, they’er our mothe rs, fathers, brothers, sisters, etc. We identify with other humans because we recognize our shared humanity and
            connections. If a lion kills a human, I don’t claim he’s immoral, if a human kills another human, he best have a really good self defense argument.

            The word dead in brain dead should be answer enough.

            Because tumors, cells, etc. Do not a human make.

            I think my above answers covers your other examples.

            Two competing rights, that are absolutely contradictory. If one has the right to abortion based on autonomy the fetus has no rights. You might notice that your argument isn’t based on autonomy, you agree with me that that baby or fetus if you prefer has rights, screw autonomy, you just don’t know when those rights start.

            Yes, I brought up consequences, which I agree isn’t always proof that what you did was wrong but it’s certainly a legitimate factor, I’d say the biggest factor in this debate.

            Humans are important to other humans because they are us.

            • Humans are important to other humans because they are us.

              See, this is a problem.

              It’s not an “answer.”

              It’s all about rights, not some sense of “importantness” or else I could just kill people I don’t find important. Maybe I don’t think Asians are “us” since I’m white? Maybe women aren’t “us” since I’m male? Can I kill them? Why draw the line at the species? Seems somewhat arbitrary, no? Are chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys not “us” in a very real sense? Why can we kill them?

              It’s not an “answer.”

              Suppose an alien came down from space. A little green man, fully sentient, able to communicate in plain English, intelligent, peaceful. His name is Glorp. He has kids and brought them along for a sightseeing tour of the funny blue planet with its silly primate inhabitants. He’s looking forward to a trip to the Grand Canyon.

              Is it ethical to kill him?

              He’s not “us.”

              Can he kill you?

              You’re not “us” to him.

              I would argue that, for both, the answer is a hard no.

              Would you disagree?

              The reason a lion can kill you and not Glorp is that lions are amoral creatures because they cannot countenance theories of morality and rights and ethics. But Glorp can. And you can. And I can. And that’s why we’re bound by the rules of ethics.

              If you don’t have the right to kill Glorp the Alien, why not? What is it about Glorp that gives him the right not to be killed by you? He’s definitely not “us,” so that’s not it. What special traits does Glorp share with the humans which might account for why both sets are entitled to special sets of rights not enjoyed by squirrels and lemurs?

              I once spent several hours trying to pin Black Flag, the undisputed world-champion of obfuscation, down on this point, asking him about a sentient cow, made intelligent by a freak genetic mutation. The cow is aware, thinking, has aspirations and desires, wants to live, understands her situation, has read Kant and Loche and Nietzche. She’s in the slaughter yards. She’s next in line. She’s pleading with you. Begging you. You’re holding the bolt gun. She knows what it is. She’s staring at you with big round pleading eyes. You place the gun to her temple, your finger on the trigger. Is it ethical for you to pull that trigger?

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                There is NO RIGHT that a woman has regarding autonomy that then allows her to kill another human, just because it is temporarily housed in her womb. You are correct that this is the central issue. However, you just assume the woman has a right because you are unwilling to recognize the fetus as an individual. It is not a parasite, it is a fetus, and unborn child.

                As for the “right reason” let me remind you that killing a human is considered moral or immoral based on the REASON the killing occurred. My right to self defense, that is to kill another to protect myself, does not allow me to kill someone because I think they might be a threat, someday in the future, maybe but really just because I don’t like them.

                Also let me remind you that killing the fetus of another person will get you charged with murder of the fetus. Murder of an INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEING. So how can you be charged with murder but the mother is exempt because it is in her body???

                A woman has the absolute right to make her own choices when it comes to HER and her alone. If her choices lead to pregnancy well then she now has a problem, so to speak. Her choice now dictates a responsibility for her actions. That being the care of the unborn child she participated in creating.

                Finally, MORALITY is not flexible based on intent. Note here that the immorality of killing is called murder. Murder is described as an offensive act, a “deliberate” offensive act.

              • There is NO RIGHT that a woman has regarding autonomy that then allows her to kill another human, just because it is temporarily housed in her womb. You are correct that this is the central issue. However, you just assume the woman has a right because you are unwilling to recognize the fetus as an individual. It is not a parasite, it is a fetus, and unborn child.

                Even if we were to stipulate that it was a full fledged human being, it wouldn’t negate a woman’s RIGHT to bodily autonomy.

                Consider: a woman has a child with a medical condition. He needs blood transfusions from the mother to the child (due to close biological match there are no alternative options) or he will die. Does the mother have the right to refuse to give her blood?

                Consider: a person is in your house during a storm. You want them out, but kicking them out will mean their death in the storm. Do you have a right to kick them out anyway?

                As for the “right reason” let me remind you that killing a human is considered moral or immoral based on the REASON the killing occurred.

                Generally agreed.

                Or, perhaps, more accurately, whether the person was within their rights when they did so.

                My right to self defense, that is to kill another to protect myself, does not allow me to kill someone because I think they might be a threat, someday in the future, maybe but really just because I don’t like them.

                Agreed.

                But I’m not seeing the relevance.

                Also let me remind you that killing the fetus of another person will get you charged with murder of the fetus.

                ABSOLUTELY! And it should.

                The reason a mother has the “right” to kill a fetus is because killing it is necessary in the assertion of her own rights. She doesn’t have the right, per say, to kill it.. it’s just a thing that has to happen in order for her to do something that she has the right to do. To kill it unnecessarily (eg, late term) is, as I say, murder.

                Consider: a trespasser is in your home. It’s YOUR home and you have the absolute right to defend it. If, in trying to get him to leave, you are forced to kill him, you have done nothing wrong. If he is willingly leaving and you just shoot him, you’ve committed murder. Why? Because in the former, you are acting within your rights while in the later you are not. Same “act” (you kill him), but different because of whether you had the right to do it.

                By the same token, no one other than the mother has the right to HER bodily autonomy. Her body is HERS, not someone else’s. As such, SHE is the only one with the right to EVICT a fetus, causing its death. Note that she doesn’t have the right to KILL a fetus (no one does.. after week 5, anyway), just that it’s a consequence of her “defense” of her body. For someone else to kill the fetus cannot be within their rights to do as they are not exercising THEIR bodily autonomy and thus have no rights to behave in such a manner.

                A woman has the absolute right to make her own choices when it comes to HER and her alone.

                Sure.

                I guess.

                Just like you have a right to make choices when it comes to YOUR home. But if someone else is trespassing on it, you have the right to tell them to get out, even if that means they die or that you have to kill them in order to make them leave. Why? Because it’s your RIGHT to defend your rights.

                If her choices lead to pregnancy well then she now has a problem, so to speak. Her choice now dictates a responsibility for her actions. That being the care of the unborn child she participated in creating.

                I think you have to support this assertion better.

                If you somehow accidentally invite someone into your home, does that mean you have to let them stay for months? Even if there’s that storm outside and kicking them out will mean death, do you have to let them stay?

                I find you rather absolutist about rights in general, except when it comes to this issue. Here, somehow, a one night stand can translate to sacrificing control over your body for months. Give me another scenario where something similar happens to encumber your control over your property in such a manner. Where you can accidentally void your rights in such a way.

                Finally, MORALITY is not flexible based on intent. Note here that the immorality of killing is called murder. Murder is described as an offensive act, a “deliberate” offensive act.

                Sure.

                But, again, is it “murder” when you kill someone in the course of forcing them to leave your home? Why so when you kill someone in the course of forcing them to leave your body?

  9. Mathius,

    Question- you seem to have settled on bodily autonomy as the reason that makes abortion a right. So how does this stack up with your former arguments that the new laws that allow abortion up to birth are wrong.

    • you seem to have settled on bodily autonomy as the reason that makes abortion a right.

      There are TWO rights, and they are in direct conflict.

      The first: bodily autonomy.
      The second: right not to be killed.

      The problem with the later is that it is no firmly established to exist in the first trimester. That I personally draw the line so early does not make it factually so. To me, it is just an abundance of caution.

      So how does this stack up with your former [current] arguments that the new laws that allow abortion up to birth are wrong.

      The thing about a late term “abortion” (read: murder) is that the rights which in early terms are necessarily intertwined have become severable.

      In early periods, removing the fetus kills the fetus. Period. So exercising a RIGHT to bodily autonomy necessarily kills the fetus. Furthermore, it is not so firmly established whether the fetus has any right not to be killed in the first place.

      But not so in late term. In late term that is a fetus only because it’s inside the womb, but in every way which counts, it’s a baby. Like magma versus lava, it’s a distinction without a difference. It’s waaay past the point when you can reasonably assert that it doesn’t have a “human mind.” That thing absolutely has a right to not be killed.

      BUT – but, you still have a right to bodily autonomy, don’t you? Don’t you? Sure you do!

      But your right to KICK INTRUDERS OUT is no longer necessarily equivalent to KILL THE INTRUDER.

      In late term, you can exercise your right to kick the intruder out without violating its right to life by killing it. You can just have it removed. And it gets to live and you get to keep your body. Easy peasy.

      To be abundantly clear: you have the right to remove it.. it’s your body.. and if it dies, that’s just a shitty consequence.. but you’re still within your rights. What you don’t have is the right to go beyond your rights to ensure that it dies. That’s just called murder. (you can defend your home from an intruder, and if he dies, he dies, so be it, you were within your rights, and lousy consequences are what they are. But if he’s running away, no longer a threat, you can’t shoot him in the back. That’s no longer a moral right to self-defense. That’s no longer a question of exercising your rights. That’s just murder.)

      To kill when doing so is not absolutely necessary in the course of exercising your own rights is simply murder.

      And, in late term, killing the fetus is NOT necessary. Thus it is NOT required in order to exercise your right to bodily autonomy. Thus you are going beyond your rights in order to kill a person. And that, again, is just murder.

      ————–

      The REAL sticky wicket in my mind is the late-1st and the 2nd trimesters… it’s pretty firm in my mind that the fetus has a right to life by this point, but evicting it still means death.. the two rights are still in opposition and still conjoined.

      In my head, this translates more into a question of tacit consent and adverse possession.

      Imagine a guy barges into your home in the middle of a snow storm, seeking shelter. You could kick him out, but if you do, he’ll die.

      If you kick him out immediately, you really haven’t done anything wrong – it’s YOUR house after all. Sure he’ll die, but that’s not really your problem. You are allowed to deny him to access to YOUR home because it’s YOURS.

      But if you let him stay a while… and you know the storm will break soon… at some point you’ve kind of made a deal to let him stay until it’s safe for him to go. In contract law, in property law, these would have longer duration and/or require affirmative action on your part, but in this kind of construct, I’d argue that your failure to evict in a timely fashion is a tacit granting of permission to stay until it’s safe to leave. It’s wishy-washy, sure.. but as the embryo/fetus is becoming more and more clearly defined as having human rights each day, your failure to nip it in the bud is effectively an action to make the later violation of its rights worse… so, to me, it’s kind of a “speak now or forever hold your peace” kind of deal. ::shrug::

      The truth is that this might be motivated reasoning on my part. I could see the case to say abortion is still morally permissible up to the point of viability. I also can see the case to say no abortion after week 5, period, full stop. I just… this feels like the better answer even if it’s muddier.

      But the first (approx) month and last (approx) trimester really are pretty cut and dry. The former is a clump of cells with no rights and the later is just plain murder.

      • I’ve been reading along, nice chat today 🙂 But I do have a question about how the law seems to be biased against the fathers of these aborted babies. In our current world, if a woman gets pregnant (in a willing way, not rape etc) then has the baby, she can go to court and force the father to pay support for that child…even if he wanted her to get an abortion. Yet, the woman’s choice to get an abortion never includes (legally) the father. Seem’s like male bias to me, what say you?

        • No.. not really.. but I do see where you’re coming from.

          In our current world, if a woman gets pregnant (in a willing way, not rape etc) then has the baby, she can go to court and force the father to pay support for that child

          The decision to abort or not is premised on the rights of a woman’s body not her rights as parent. Were it the later, then late trimester or even post-birth “abortion” might be “ethical.” (that’s not to say that I’m necessarily against aborting certain teenagers)

          As such, the choice to abort or keep rests entirely with the person whose rights permit that choice: the woman whose body is being “violated.”

          The fact of child support is an obligation of the parents regardless of circumstances. Once a child is born, its parents must provide for it. You’ll note parents must provide for it. Under the law, the father has just as much right to that child as the mother – it’s just as plausible that she might owe him child support and/or that he gains custody. Courts used to be really biased in this regards, favoring mothers over fathers, and to an extent, this is still the case*

          The two issues are separate and only seemingly biased. If the father were to somehow bear the child, the roles would be reversed. When, in the future, medical technology permits the removal of fetuses into artificial wombs, the father’s rights and obligations will be exactly equal to the mother’s.

          You just have to avoid conflating the two issues: (A) the decision to abort (B) the obligations of parents toward their children.

          What’s really cruel is when a father might want to keep a fetus but the mother aborts unilaterally.

          ——–

          * a good friend of mine was very much victimized by an all-too-friendly-to-mothers court in his divorce/custody case.. in a just world, he would have full custody, but we don’t (yet) live in such a world. He had an extremely uphill battle when he was by far the more fit parent. We’ve very sadly drifted apart in recent years, and I miss him very much. But I remember how tough it was for him – he always has to be extraordinarily careful to cover himself because any little thing might allow the mother to run back to a biased court. As a father, he was… well it was awful.

      • First of all, that baby has a brain from the moment of conception. That brain is growing and developing just like it is supposed to for a human at that point of development. So let’s talk about the right of bodily autonomy. You say there are two competing rights. I disagree but let’s pretend I dont. Isn’t your argument backwards. Shouldn’t the right to life override the right of autonomy in the first part of pregnancy where removing the fetus would immediately kill the child, instead of the later months when it might not.

        • First of all, that baby has a brain from the moment of conception.

          This is only the case if you want to argue it has a brain in the same sense as an amoeba has a brain.. at this part of its journey, there are no neurons, let alone a network capable of any kind of thinking or human experience.

          I draw the line ridiculously early at the point when we can just “find” the “brain” on a scan.. but it’s assuredly not really processing at this point.

          So let’s talk about the right of bodily autonomy. You say there are two competing rights. I disagree

          You don’t agree that you have a right to bodily autonomy? If I need a kidney, can I demand you give me one?

          Isn’t your argument backwards.

          Always a distinct possibility for me.

          Shouldn’t the right to life override the right of autonomy in the first part of pregnancy where removing the fetus would immediately kill the child, instead of the later months when it might not.

          The “right to life” in my view is predicated on being not just “alive” but sentient. Chickens are alive and we don’t think they have any “right to life.” But humans are special. We are sentient with our special brains. This is literally the only special feature of human beings in the animal kingdom. Thus if “something” is going to explain the reason why humans have special rights over other animals, it’s this.

          With that in mind, during the first part of a pregnancy, the embryo has no rights whatsoever because it does not have this special human brain. At this point is it a clump of cells. Cells do not have a right to life. So the only right at play at this time is the right of the woman to evict cells she doesn’t want in her body.

          After that, it gets fuzzy for a while… She still has the right to evict but the cells have cross the divide where -I- can no longer say they aren’t meaningfully human (which is to say they have our special brains). So now the rights are in direct opposition since exercising one negates the other. My opinion, previously stated, and which I freely admit is probably motivated reasoning, is that the woman’s failure to act in a timely manner amounts to tacit consent and/or adverse possession depending on whether you want to root in contract law or property law… either way, Cletus the Fetus gets to stay until it’s safe to leave.

          The third phase comes when the RIGHT of eviction and the RIGHT of life are no longer in conflict… you can evict without killing. And, at this point she may do so. Now.. there are some hickups here which you’ve pointed out.. why does she have to allow a birth since this will violate her autonomy rather than a D&E.. and one you didn’t point out which is that an early delivery may produce a living/viable baby, but not one as healthy as full term… so there’s a lot to flesh out here.

          But the upshot is:
          Phase one: only the mom has rights she can do what she wants.
          Phase two: both have rights, but mom kinda agreed to the situation through inaction.
          Phase three: eviction ok; murder not ok.

          • No offense here but the upshot is a convoluted mess. First you can outright kill the baby, next you can’t, then you can endanger the babies life. All based on autonomy and a supposed right to life. A right to life in this instance that will straight up kill you, are will most likely kill you.

            • No offense taken. Life is a convoluted mess.

              It’s a simple enough premise, but the consequences of following it to its logical conclusions are.. messy.

              First you can outright kill the baby

              … because the baby embryo is just a clump of mindless cells and has no rights…

              next you can’t

              Maybe… again, I freely admit that this may be motivated reasoning. It may be that the bodily autonomy still trumps the right to life. After all, no one can demand you give them a blood transfusion, even if your refusal means their death. If your right to your sovereignty over your body is so absolute there, why not here?

              then you can endanger the babies life.

              .. yea.. it’s messy, what can I say..?

              But can I kick a house-guest out into a storm, even if doing so endangers their life? I think I can. I might be a terrible person for doing so, but if it’s MY house, then it is MINE, and I alone can unilaterally determine who gets to stay.

              All based on autonomy and a supposed right to life.

              Supposed? Do you not accept a “right to life.” Or, I suppose a “right not to be killed”?

              A right to life in this instance that will straight up kill you, are will most likely kill you.

              Could you rephrase that?

            • And yes, the “are” being there hurts my ears too.

          • Just an interesting bit of information. I read yesterday that some researcher think that a baby is born with a less developed brain because : They found that although brain size was highly heritable in both species, the organization of the cerebral cortex—especially in areas involved in higher-order cognition functions—was much less genetically controlled in humans than in chimps. One potential explanation for this difference, according to the researchers, is that because our brains are less developed than those of our primate cousins at birth, it creates a longer period during which we can be molded by our surroundings.

            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-makes-our-brains-special/

            • Very interesting. There are also probably physiological aspects of this – namely that we are upright whereas they are not, which necessitated changes to the pelvis and thus a comparatively larger head would be a big problem for us, but not for chimps. Before modern medicine, I could easily see this exerting evolutionary pressure.

  10. ATLANTA, GA—CNN has apologized to Stalin and Mao after a guest compared the brutal dictators to Donald Trump.

    “I am so sorry to all of Stalin and Mao’s brave supporters,” said Brian Stelter in an on-air apology Tuesday morning. “We never meant to associate these great men with Donald Trump. We did not intend to disparage communism in that way.”
    “Sometimes, you really need to make the point that Trump is a totalitarian tyrant,” said Stelter. “But dragging Stalin and Mao’s names through the mud in the process is not the right way to go about that. There are good ways to criticize the president and bad ways, and we’re sorry for the way this one came across.”
    The CNN host committed to only comparing Trump to Hitler, Genghis Khan, and serial killers like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer going forward.
    The apology was followed by a 2-hour-long tribute to the “great communist men who changed the world for the better.”

    • ATLANTA, GA—CNN host Brian Stelter blamed President Trump for the network’s falling ratings Sunday, accusing the president of killing millions upon millions of people that otherwise might have tuned into CNN.

      “If Trump weren’t killing off most of America by the millions, we’d still have a pretty solid viewer base,” Stelter bellowed at the three viewers watching Reliable Sources. “Airports, lobbies, waiting rooms, and gas station pumps are now playing CNN to absolutely no one, since Trump has killed them all.”
      A guest on Stelter’s show suggested that Trump has killed more people than Hitler, Mao, and Stalin put together, and Stelter had to agree. “I’d probably put his death count at somewhere near 7.7 billion,” he said after doing some simple math on one of those giant novelty calculators he keeps handy for such an occasion. “We can’t overstate the damage this president has done to this once-great news station.”
      After the segment blaming Trump for the deaths of millions and CNN’s subsequent decline, the station continued to air 24/7 Trump coverage, which mostly consisted of the hosts screaming at the sky.

  11. Sorry has gotta be fast, gotta go. Question- Who are you to tell a woman with bodily autonomy what she can do with her body and anything residing within her body? If she decides she wants to have an abortion instead of go through labor or have a c-section?

    • If she decides she wants to have an abortion instead of go through labor or have a c-section?

      Great question!

      I struggle with this.

      I think the answer goes something like this: you had a visitor in your house, but now you want him to leave. It’s your house and you own it – absolutely. There’s no question. If you want him out, he has to go.

      But, for some reason, you’ve decided not to let him use the front door. You’ve decided that the way he has to go is to be fed into a wood chipper and spewed out of the upstairs window.

      Maybe your house only has the two exits (a very poor design indeed!), and maybe you just remodeled the entryway and don’t want him to use it for fear of damage. Sure, I get that. But is it “reasonable” to demand he die in this circumstance?

      I keep picturing Judge Judy presiding over the question and giving that look before demanding “are you crazy”?

      I guess it comes down to “least harm,” which I know is a utilitarian argument loathed by the denizens of these parts… but the question is pretty simple “two absolute rights are conflicting, so one is going to have to give: kill a ‘baby’ or hurt an adult”… especially given that that adult had plenty of opportunity to avoid that very situation and voluntarily did the actions which crated the situation in the first place.. just seems like there’s two lousy options, but one is far, far worse.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        This is the problem with your arguments from the very beginning. Failure to recognize that the relationship between mother and fetus is SPECIAL. It is NOT COMPARABLE to any other scenario, no matter how many analogies you try to create.

        A fetus is not a visitor in your house. It is not a parasite. It is a human which must spend its first nine months in the mothers womb. Then it must spend several years being further cared for until it can make it on its own.

        • It is NOT COMPARABLE to any other scenario, no matter how many analogies you try to create.

          Translated: I have decided the outcome I want, so I’ll willfully ignore and void any comparison to or use of the logical framework I use literally everything else in my life and use a special framework just for this one scenario.

          A fetus is not a visitor in your house.

          Sure it is.

          My body is MY property every bit as much as my house. The fetus is occupying space in my property. That it’s my body an not bricks and dry wall doesn’t change anything.

          It is not a parasite.

          Sure it is.

          It’s sucking up my nutrients without my permission, injecting its own hormones into my bloodstream, causing physiological changes advantageous to it, not me, forcing me to filter its waste with my kidneys…. seems pretty parasitical to me.

          NOW… if it’s a wanted fetus, then this is a symbiotic relationship because, in addition to everything above, I get something out of it that I want, too. That being a child. In that case, we both win.

          But if I don’t want it, then I get nothing. It just takes and takes and takes… all against my will.

          That’s a parasite every bit as much as a tapeworm.

          That it’s biologically human doesn’t mean it can’t be a parasite, too. If you doubt this, I’d be happy to introduce you to both of my parasitical brothers.

          It is a human which must spend its first nine months in the mothers womb.

          It’s actually pretty material to my position that this is emphatically not true.

          It only needs to spend the first.. 7 or 8-ish months in the womb.

          It’s better if it gets the full 9, but it can live just fine (in most cases) with a bit less. Thus why “late term” is murder.. because it’s NOT necessary to kill in order to evict… you can evict (your right) without killing (not a necessary consequence). Thus choosing to kill is outside of the scope of your exercise of your rights and is, therefore, just murder.

          That said…

          It is a human which must spend its first nine months in the mothers womb.

          So? Plenty of parasites need to spend the first part of their lives incubating in a human host. I’m not going to google that for examples because.. eww.. but we both know they exist.

          What is the MORAL significance of the fact that it needs to leech off you in order to survive? That it’ll die otherwise? So what? I get that that outcome sucks, but I fail to understand why that means you have to sacrifice YOUR body, YOUR property to help it.

          Then it must spend several years being further cared for until it can make it on its own.

          Again, so?

          What possible bearing does it’s future dependence on you have to do with your right to EVICT it from your body?

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            “Translated: I have decided the outcome I want, so I’ll willfully ignore and void any comparison to or use of the logical framework I use literally everything else in my life and use a special framework just for this one scenario.”

            YES, that is what you seem to be doing. And you do in fact do this with other issues. In one instance you claim Rights are absolute, then the next they are malleable, determined by Society’s or Governments demands.

            Your body is not “property” by definition. A classic argument of the “L”ibertarian which has to distort the meaning of property. YOUR BODY IS SIMPLY YOUR BODY. IT IS YOU.

            Rights, morality etc have no place in a society where everything boils down to property. Because you only need ONE RULE for property. That is not how complex humans actually think or interact.

            Fetus is simple on part of human existence. From inception to death, and possibly beyond, it is a CONTINUUM of existence. Any attempt to draw a line at any given point to justify some political objective or view point is pretty much arbitrary. Even your brainwave presence is arbitrary in that the day the brainwave manifests itself is simply one more step following all the others that led to that moment. It does create a convenient point from which to argue about the Soul of the person, however. Of course there are millions in the world who would tell you that the body is just a vessel which contains the Soul.

            One last time on parasites. By DEFINITION a fetus is not a parasite. It is the SAME ORGANISM as the mother.

            • YES, that is what you seem to be doing. And you do in fact do this with other issues. In one instance you claim Rights are absolute, then the next they are malleable, determined by Society’s or Governments demands.

              I am consistently inconsistent. 🙂

              Apparently, you are, too.

              I believe that Rights are Rights are Rights and, while they are absolute, they can nonetheless be overridden in service of a Greater Good.

              To that end, it is quite easy to make the case that (after week 5), the Greater Good is served by forcing the woman to bear the fetus until it can be safely removed. It might also justify the demand that she suffer labor or a C-Section rather than a D&E “abortion.”

              Your body is not “property” by definition. A classic argument of the “L”ibertarian which has to distort the meaning of property. YOUR BODY IS SIMPLY YOUR BODY. IT IS YOU.

              No. I am my brain.

              2lbs of meat sitting between my ears. That’s me.

              And you know how I know this? Because if I cut off a limb, that’s just a thing that’s mine, but it’s not me. “Me” stays wherever my brain is. If I am somehow magically switched with someone else’s body, that body they’re occupying is still mine – they can’t, say, get a tattoo on it without my permission – it’s not theirs. But “me” is no longer located there. “Me” is housed in that other body.

              “Body” is just a bunch of cells – really an elaborate life-support system for your brain designed to keep “you” alive so that you can perpetuate your genes. “You” are your consciousness and nothing more, and even that is just a thin veneer on what is really just a powerful computer designed to best perpetuate your genetics into the future. If we transferred your mind into a computer, “you” would be that uploaded mind. The body sans brain would just be a thing you owned.

              Rights, morality etc have no place in a society where everything boils down to property. Because you only need ONE RULE for property. That is not how complex humans actually think or interact.

              And what IS that one rule? “What’s mine is mine”?

              Rights, morality etc have no place in a society where everything boils down to property. Because you only need ONE RULE for property. That is not how complex humans actually think or interact.

              So what are those complex rules?

              Fetus is simple on part of human existence. From inception to death, and possibly beyond, it is a CONTINUUM of existence.

              Sure… egg/sperm.. embryo.. fetus.. baby.. child.. teen.. insufferable immature lefty.. mature conservative… old entitled fart… worm food…

              Any attempt to draw a line at any given point to justify some political objective or view point is pretty much arbitrary.

              And yet, you still REFUSE to address my question: Why can I unplug grandpa after brain death? Why isn’t that murder?

              Even your brainwave presence is arbitrary in that the day the brainwave manifests itself is simply one more step following all the others that led to that moment.

              Except that I don’t think this IS arbitrary.

              If I can unplug grandpa when his brain is gone, then there’s something DIFFERENT between here and there. There’s something DIFFERENT between “unplugging him is murder” and “unplugging him is acceptable.” And that DIFFERENCE is only just the cessation of brain function. If that’s the case, then no brain function necessarily means no human rights.

              And if I can pin that down for old farts, I can use it for clumps of cells which, likewise, do not have functioning brains.

              It does create a convenient point from which to argue about the Soul of the person, however.

              I will not subject myself to debate about souls. There is exactly zero evidence that such a thing has ever existed. That which can be asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence.

              “Souls” have no bearing on this conversation and are simply further hand-waving to try to justify an irrational position. I might just a readily suggest that, sure, we’re soul-vessels, but the souls hate being trapped in our fleshy prisons, so the morally right thing to do is kill as many people as possible so that the souls may be released and float up to heaven for eternal happiness. I have just as much evidence as they do, and so my opinion is equally valid.

              Of course there are millions in the world who would tell you that the body is just a vessel which contains the Soul.

              Maybe they would.

              And maybe they’re even right.

              But without any evidence whatsoever, I can just as credibly assert that the body is just a vessel for pixies.

              What we DO have evidence for is that the body is a vessel for DNA, which uses the processing power of the human brain as its primary tool for evolutionary fitness. What we DO have is evidence that the human brain is special in terms of the animal kingdom and a complete absence of any evidence whatsoever that there is literally anything at all special about us in any other regard.

              One last time on parasites. By DEFINITION a fetus is not a parasite. It is the SAME ORGANISM as the mother.

              If it’s the same organism, then she should have the right to excise it just as readily as she can a limb that is causing medical issues. Surely it’s not murder to cut off your own arm (weird, sure, but not “evil”).

              One last time on parasites. By DEFINITION a fetus is not a parasite. It is the SAME ORGANISM as the mother.

              Perhaps you mean same species? Upon some Googling, the word “parasite” appears to be specifically written to exclude same-species parasitism. As the fetus and mother are the same species, it would not qualify under a strict reading.

              That said, there’s a second definition : “a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.” This might be more read as “a societal parasite” rather than a “biological parasite.” I think that’s fair, and by this definition, I’d hold that an unwanted fetus is still technically a parasite.

              And, regardless, you still have the right to evict either kind of parasite from you PROPERTY.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                “I believe that Rights are Rights are Rights and, while they are absolute, they can nonetheless be overridden in service of a Greater Good.”

                Then all the rest you post is just nonsensical. Or more accurately, a waste of time.

                A right is ABSOLUTE, except when its not. Good grief.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                “To that end, it is quite easy to make the case that (after week 5), the Greater Good is served by forcing the woman to bear the fetus until it can be safely removed. It might also justify the demand that she suffer labor or a C-Section rather than a D&E “abortion.””

                Greater Good………….. given the over population of the world and its contribution to AGW and extinction of other beings/creatures then all fetuses MUST be killed in the womb beginning in the year 2020. It is after all, for the GREATER GOOD.

  12. HANWELL, MO—New parents everywhere rejoice! Montana-based manufacturer AttaBabe has created a new infant’s car seat that has solved one of the most frustrating things about transporting tots: Car seats are nearly impossible to get into cars.

    “While previous models could take hours of sweaty-browed, teeth-clenched finagling to get the seat securely locked in place, often ending in defeat or death, our new model can be placed in the car easily with minimal struggling. Only 30-45 minutes of strenuous fiddling, and that’s a guarantee,” said AttaBabe CEO Carla Winkler.
    The new car seat is also easy to buckle in. As soon as your child is in the seat and ready, only five to fifteen minutes of puttering and fidgeting with straps, trying to untwist them and find the little buckle-thingies is required. “This is a huge step forward considering old models often could not be buckled in properly and would usually just be a bunch of twisted straps barely holding the child in place after hours of twiddling, tinkering, and fiddle-faddling.”
    The new car seat comes with a “30-45 minutes of strenuous fiddling guarantee.” Winkler added, “If you spend one minute more strenuously fiddling with this chair, we will give you a coupon for three free pacifiers and an AttaBabe window sticker.”

    • I must be the only person in the world who has no issue with car seats…. just put down the mat to protect the seat, loosen the straps so you have plenty of play, connect the far side, thread the top over the seat as appropriate, connect the close side, tighten, tighten, tighten, sit on it to push it down and tighten more, done. 5 minutes tops.

      Buckling is easy enough, too, but god what a game-changer when they can buckle themselves and you don’t have to do it anymore… almost as liberating as when they get out of diapers!

  13. U.S.—Local high school student Pedro Sanchez has announced his 2020 run on a platform of offering the nation his protection and making everyone’s wildest dreams come true.

    Sanchez’s campaign manager, Mr. Dynamite, pointed out that he has a sweet bike, is really good at hooking up with chicks, and has a mustache. He also said everyone who votes for Pedro will be given a lanyard, signifying they are under the protection of Pedro. The candidate is also the only one running for president who has come out in favor of bringing more Holy Santos into the country to guard the nation and bring us good luck.
    “If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true,” Pedro said, causing wild cheers to erupt from Democrats gathered in the high school auditorium where he announced his campaign. “Thank you.”
    Democratic frontrunners quickly fired back, with Bernie Sanders saying he will make even your wildest dream to have 3 houses come true and Beto saying he was more authentically Hispanic than Sanchez.
    “Only I can make your wildest dreams come true,” said Elizabeth Warren, hitting back. “Sanchez may have the Holy Santos and the support of the FFA, but I’m a Native American.” She then performed an Indian rain dance, though it was quickly eclipsed by Dynamite’s own dance routine, which received a standing ovation.
    Joe Biden would have responded to Sanchez’s announcement but wasn’t sure where he was or what year it was.

  14. Question open to anyone, not just V.:

    I once spent several hours trying to pin Black Flag, the undisputed world-champion of obfuscation, down on this point, asking him about a sentient cow, made intelligent by a freak genetic mutation. The cow is aware, thinking, has aspirations and desires, wants to live, dreams of being a ballerina, understands her situation, has read Kant and Loche and Nietzche. She’s in the slaughter yards. She’s next in line. She’s pleading with you. Begging you. You’re holding the bolt gun. She knows what it is. She knows what it means. She’s staring at you with big round pleading eyes. You place the gun to her temple, your finger on the trigger. Is it ethical for you to pull that trigger?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Mathius

      YES, but it would be stupid to do so. You know how much money you could make with a sentient talking cow?? My God man, the revenue would be enough to buy Rib Eye steaks from stupid cows for every meal.

      Is it ethical for a Lion to kill a sentient human being?

      • YES

        Absolutely not.

        I guess if this is your answer, then we’re talking at cross purposes.

        I cannot fathom how you can believe it’s ethical to murder a highly intelligent sentient creature just because it’s not human.

        This is the argument of vegans, of course, though they draw the line at a ridiculously low bar. But in the scenario I’ve given.. it’s inconceivable to me that you could pull that trigger and not be committing murder.

        but it would be stupid to do so. You know how much money you could make with a sentient talking cow??

        I grew up watching Mr. Ed. Just because the cow can talk doesn’t mean it will do so on command. And sometimes it’ll make phone calls that get me into trouble (though why I’d leave a working phone in the garage is beyond me).

        But Wilbur could not kill Ed either because that would have been murder.

        Is it ethical for a Lion to kill a sentient human being?

        Yes. Or, at least, it’s not UNethical.

        A lion is an amoral creature. It is not bound by such questions.

        It has no morals because it lacks the very concept of morality. It cannot countenance the idea of right and wrong.

        YOU can.

        YOU understand right and wrong and therefore YOU are have a moral dimension. You are not amoral. You can be moral or immoral by your choices.

        Is it ethical for a Lion to kill a sentient human being?

        Let me turn that around on you a bit.

        A man with severe mental disabilities kills his caretaker. He has no understanding of his situation, of any question of rights, or anything else. He just.. acted.

        Was his behavior unethical? In very much the same way as the lion, given that he cannot have understood the implication in a moral dimension, that he cannot understand or consider ideas of right and wrong, he cannot have done anything ethically or morally wrong. He, like the lion, is amoral.

        So that begs the question: if the severely disabled man and the lion both can kill you without being evil, but I can’t, what is the difference between the two sets?

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Ethics and Morals are not determined by ones mental capacity. “Understanding” right from wrong is an area in the field of legal action or compensation for violating the ethics and morals.

          You need to pick a side of the fence. You jump back and forth depending on your issue and some day you might find your self “hung up” on the top wire.

          Natural Rights or Not Natural Rights, that is the question.

          IF Natural Rights, then just how far do these go……… naturally.

          • I make no pretense of being fully consistent. I do what I can, but I have competing heuristics and the water gets muddy sometimes. C’est la vie.

            IF Natural Rights, then just how far do these go

            If we asked John Locke, he might tell you these rights are Life, Liberty, and Property.

            He might even go, perhaps, a step deeper into the Mathius camp…

            … I always knew I liked that guy… much better than all that crap about staring into voids…

        • Just A Citizen says:

          P.S. To your original question and now your position.

          Please explain HOW you know such an ethic, not killing another sentient being, exists? WHERE does this ethic come from?

          By the way, the reason BF never answered your question is because it is a stupid hypothetical. Cows are not and will not become sentient beings in the sense you are describing. I will add, that if they did they would not be cows anymore.

  15. Canine Weapon says:

    Read this years ago… Great book.. bring kleenex.

  16. Dale A Albrecht says:
  17. Just A Citizen says:

    Is there a meteor going to hit earth this weekend? A super volcano? What is going on? Something is up cause this is for sure a harbinger of the end of the world. Or at least a cold day in hell!

    “MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday backed away from his previous night’s reporting on alleged financial ties between President Trump and Russian oligarchs, saying he had made “an error in judgment” and that he had been wrong to report the story.”

  18. https://www.westernjournal.com/msnbcs-odonnell-issues-humiliating-apology-trump-send-lawyer-deal-malicious-report-financial-docs/

    This is just another example why the Liberal media have zero credibility, but sadly, idiots who watch this crap will repeat it like its gospel. I can see why Mathius wonders about that broad brush thing, because it has a life that keeps on going.

    • Which is way I’m not talking a lot about the investigation of the investigation. We’ve had enough of the “someone told me” BS, to last me a life time.

  19. U.S.—According to sources across the country, the nation’s progressives woke up this morning and checked the news to see just what it is they’re supposed to be boycotting today.

    Leftists from coast to coast confirmed they don’t know which businesses they’re supposed to boycott until they check Twitter’s trending hashtags, Vice, Vox, Slate, and The Huffington Post for confirmation.
    “Olive Garden? Cool. Down with Olive Garden!” one man in Portland said after checking the news and seeing that Olive Garden supposedly supports the Trump reelection campaign. “SoulCycle? Are we still boycotting SoulCycle? Great. I don’t exercise anyway.” The man then learned he was supposed to boycott Amazon, Chick-fil-A, Walmart, Uber, and the upcoming remake of Mulan for various reasons.
    He then angrily tweeted about each of these companies, copy-pasting the reasons he now hates them from an article he read on Jezebel. “If you support these companies that I didn’t care about at all yesterday, you are CANCELED,” he posted.

  20. This is hilarious 😀 😀

    video/1

    Bernie gets popped by speed bag.

    • The other funny thing for today is the CBP telling Dem’s that since they can’t behave like adults, they can’t come to visit.

  21. The hurricane hype is in full gear and gonna last awhile. The good news about this is that it means less Liz Warren hype, despite her possible Presidency being far worse than any hurricane. Not to mention her voice is seriously annoying 😀

  22. V.H.

    Maybe we need to simplify: does anyone have a RIGHT to demand you donate blood, even if doing so is necessary to saving their life?

    • No they do not. But, big old but, I think that road is going backward to a place we’ve been many times. Let’s at least admit, pregnancy is a normal human process that is unique from other situations involving autonomy. That at some point in this process we both agree a babies life trumps autonomy. Mine from the beginning and yours, well, I don’t think your arguments can pin point an exact time.

      Have you ever contemplated the idea that you have to work really hard and jump all kinds of hurdles to justify killing a baby in the womb.I don’t think your hearts really in it.

      • No they do not.

        Great!

        Then the next question is just a riff on that.. why does that “big old but” get put in place when it’s a fetus, but in literally no other situation? Why is this right which is so absolute suddenly forfeit in just this one situation?

        Let’s at least admit, pregnancy is a normal human process

        Sure.

        that is unique from other situations

        Sure.

        that is unique from other situations involving autonomy.

        Isn’t every situation unique though?

        I read recently about a guy whose blood treats Rhesus Disease in newborns. Once he found that out, he donated blood every month, like clockwork, for decades and is estimated to have saved 2.4 million lives.

        Take the specifics with a grain of salt, but let’s just accept that for now.

        The guy’s blood saved 2.4mm infants.. human beings.

        BUT, what if he didn’t want to donate? Could we force him to? I mean, surely, surely, surely 2.4mm people are more important that annoying the guy for a few minutes each month, right?

        I would suggest that if you can argue that a fetus has the right to demand nutrients from its mother, then there is no reason those 2.4 million kids couldn’t demand the same of this guy.

        That at some point in this process we both agree a babies life trumps autonomy.

        Fetus… that a fetus trumps autonomy.

        But, again, and I really do want to emphasize this.. I think I’ve decided the answer I want to reach on this point (Phase 2) and worked backward to justify it. I think this might be motivated reasoning and is, therefore highly suspect.

        But during Phase 1 and Phase 3, the two aren’t really in conflict, which is my entire position.

        Mine from the beginning and yours, well, I don’t think your arguments can pin point an exact time.

        No, I can’t.

        That’s why I deliberately draw the line at the earliest reasonable point: when you can “find” a brain. It doesn’t matter that it’s the size of a poppy seed, or less, just that there’s no denial of the existence of a brain that is human. The truth, again, is almost assuredly much later. Honestly, given some teens I’ve know, it may not even been until their mid-twenties. But I don’t want to be in the business of deciding who is “too stupid to live,” and I certainly don’t want to open that door for anyone else. So… yea.. I don’t have a pinpointed exact time… just a somewhat arbitrary, but conservative, estimate.

        The arbitrary nature of my cutoff and its extreme conservatism is part of the reason why I do not believe I have the right to try to foist my opinion on others. If I could say with conviction that “this is when it has human rights,” then I would have no qualms advocating for that as law. But since it’s just “my opinion” and “on the safe side,” who am I to tell anyone else what they can and cannot do with their bodies?

        Have you ever contemplated the idea that you have to work really hard and jump all kinds of hurdles to justify killing a baby in the womb.

        I really don’t see it as that much of work. Maybe convincing others is, but to see it in my head…? It’s just pretty obvious to me.

        If humans have some special rights then it must be tied to some special attributes and the only special attribute is our brain. No brain = no rights. Thus we can “kill” brain-dead grandpa and “no-brain” embryo. Everything else just kind of follows from there.

        I don’t think your hearts really in it.

        It’s really not.

        I really, really, really would rather hold the comfortable and satisfying position of “life begins at conception” and “human = human rights” and marry the two for the simple answer of “abortion = murder.”

        I really, really, wish I could.

        Its one of the reasons my “Phase 2” reasoning is so wishy-washy. I suspect I have the wrong answer and am just not letting myself accept the right one because it’s not what I want to believe. What I feel is the right answer.

        Remember, my wife had three abortions due to non-viable pregnancies while we were trying to have children. Two of those self-aborted, but still had to be removed. The other one though, it was a good embryo that could have turned into a good fetus and a good baby and a good child… it was a male… I would have had a son. But it implanted in the wrong place and could not have survived to term. Just shit luck. We had to go to the doctor and kill this embryo. This thing that my wife and I wanted more than anything in the world.
        This thing that was healthy and growing, but ultimately doomed. And there wasn’t a goddamned thing either of us could do about it because it would die either way, and to leave it could have killed my wife, either way. And I KNOW there was no choice, and I KNOW we did nothing wrong. But it’s been ~5 years, and I STILL feel like I murdered my child.

        So, yea… my heart and my brain don’t get along too well on this topic.

        • I am truly sorry, you and your wife have been hurt so badly. It is human nature to blame ourselves when it is not in any way our fault.

          • Thanks.. yea.. it’s.. we had planned on naming him Jack… the wife wants a third child.. to try to have a boy… to name him Jack, just like we’d planned… and the truth of it is that I am absolutely fucking terrified to go through that again. I just can’t stomach the risk. I just… can’t. I never got to hold him. I never got to even see him with my own eyes. It was flesh of my flesh and I condoned removing it like a tumor and disposing of it like medical waste.

            I know it’s irrational to blame myself. I know it’s irrational to think this way. And I know I had no choice in the matter anyway. But my feelings don’t seem to care about that fact.

            The point is just this: I feel that that fetus was my son. I FEEL that. I FEEL that I participated in killing that son, even if there was nothing I could do. Like he’d been given a terminal diagnosis and rather than fight the hopeless fight, I just killed him instead. That’s what my emotions tell me happened.

            But the fact that I feel this way doesn’t change the fact that I can’t support it logically. And I HAVE TO side with logic where I can. He.. it… wasn’t a child.. it was a cluster of cells that never even got the chance to develop a mind of any sort… that mind would have been my son… not the cells, the mind… and since that mind never existed, neither did that “child.” It was just a cluster of cells with the potential to be more that it never got the change to fulfill.

            But it doesn’t matter what I KNOW… the only thing that seems to matter is what I FEEL.

            And it sucks.

            • I know there is nothing I can say to make you feel better. The sadness will never go away completely but it will lessen with time. Which doesn’t help either but it is at least true.

              I do want to ask a question, don’t answer if it’s out of line of me to ask. Did you allow yourself to grieve or did your belief that he wasn’t really your son yet, keep you from doing so, of admitting that you suffered a great loss?

              • I’m not really a.. “griever,” per say. Obviously, this has stuck with me quite a bit.

                At the time, 99% of it was keeping a brave face for my wife who was absolutely devastated emotionally and physically (she lost an ovary in the process).

                These days.. what does it even mean to “grieve”…? Build him a little tombstone and bury a stuffed animal I never got to give him? Viking funeral out on the lake? Gather the family and sit shiva? No.. there’s no answer there.. all I can do is just carry on and, yes, it gets less… but I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling responsible, however irrational that may be.

              • It is important to grieve Mathius. There is a difference in feeling the loss and knowing you are justified in feeling the loss.

              • It is important to grieve Mathius. There is a difference in feeling the loss and knowing you are justified in feeling the loss.

                I am not justified in feeling the loss.

                There was no “child”.. just a clump of mindless cells that would have been my child. What I “lost” was potential.. a dream for a child I never had and never will.

                My feelings be damned, there was no “loss” any more than dead skin cells flaking off my arm. It’s my fault for attaching too much meaning, too much care to that little clump of cells before it ever became my child.

                And I will not allow my emotions to dictate in that manner.

            • Just A Citizen says:

              Yes, and all of what you feel, felt and thought is why that period of human development which occurs from inception to birth is DIFFERENT. Why you cannot use hypotheticals and analogies based on “born” humans or the arrival of aliens.

              Your son Jack was doomed as you say. But the reality was that his doom would also doom your wife. So thank God or humans, whichever you prefer, for modern medicine. As primitive as it is.

              Morality and ethics are devised to guide human actions toward a supposedly better place. Good vs. Evil, civilized vs. barbarian. It is used to guide the “general” and sometimes cannot fit all specific examples. The unborn is such a situation. Not always, as in a normal pregnancy, but sometimes, as in the case of ectopic pregnancy or other maladies.

              So why was this an exception? Because of the symbiotic relationship between mother and fetus. One absolutely depends on the other. The Other could have her life end due to complications. So how do you deal with the moral/ethical dilemma? You address the anomalies, the exceptions. Just as we do with born humans who’s brains don’t work correctly.

              Which kind of takes me back to where we were a couple days ago. It is not always about “rights”. Ethics probably comes more into play. Which include a person’s “responsibilities” caused by their actions. AND, the dependent/guardian role that exists in nature between parent and child, whether born or not born.

              • Yes, and all of what you feel, felt and thought is why that period of human development which occurs from inception to birth is DIFFERENT. Why you cannot use hypotheticals and analogies based on “born” humans or the arrival of aliens.

                This paragraph boils down to “it’s so emotionally loaded that we can’t apply logic.”

                I will never accept that.

                Your son Jack was doomed as you say.

                My “son, Jack,” never existed and never will.

                That I feel otherwise changes nothing about empirical reality.

                I feel the loss, the responsibility of something that never even was.

                My daughters are not “their bodies.” They are not “their cells.” If their brains were removed from their skulls and put into vats and hooked up to computers. The vat-brains would be my children and their abandoned bodies would be “just cells.” The EMBRYO in question did not have a brain. The brain it would have formed would have been my son, Jack. But Jack never got the chance to exist.

                He. Did. Not. Exist.

                So why was this an exception? Because of the symbiotic relationship between mother and fetus. One absolutely depends on the other.

                As previously discussed, due to technicalities in the primary definition, I am prohibited form calling this a parasitical relationship.

                But in the case of unwanted pregnancies, it is far closer to parasitism than symbiosis.

                Which kind of takes me back to where we were a couple days ago. It is not always about “rights”.

                It’s always about rights.

                It has to be.

                Gornisht mit gornisht… nothing from nothing.

                (by the way, that Yiddish “gornisht” is the origin of the word “garnish” as in what you’d put on your plate.. it’s a little “nothing”)

                All ethical reasoning, all moral reasoning, all of it must be derivable from solid fundamental principles, or all of it is meaningless and arbitrary. That I abjectly fail at this is a failure of my intelligence, creativity, education, and emotional-reasoning. That everyone else fails as well is mostly due to the same causes.

                Ethics probably comes more into play. Which include a person’s “responsibilities” caused by their actions.

                I use this as the basis to argue that failing to abort a clump of cells constitutes tacit consent (or adverse possession) for the fetus to take up residency until such time as it can safely be removed.

                This is why I opine that during “phase 2,” you cannot abort the fetus. Because you let it get to the point where it now has rights and your actions (or inaction) willfully created the situation, so you bear responsibility.

                But, when I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that that feels an awful lot like motivated reasoning to get to the answer I want to get rather than the answer I think is right which is: You still have the right to do it.. you’re just a terrible person if you do (situationally dependent, of course).

              • On my god! No one should be ruled by pure emotion, nor should one be ruled by pure logic without the compassion of emotion weaved within it . You will never achieve Right without both. Where do you think your emotions come from, they come from the mind.

              • On my god! No one should be ruled by pure emotion, nor should one be ruled by pure logic without the compassion of emotion weaved within it.

                You will never achieve Right without both.

                It is only through logic that Right can be found.

                Where do you think your emotions come from, they come from the mind.

                They came from evolution giving me drivers that preceded rational thought by eons.

                They exist to bind the family unit to ensure better surviving offspring. To guard my property to preserve my security that I may procreate in the future. To encourage me to breed. To help me select a superior mate. To out-compete others that my genetic material may flourish. To assist others with similar genetics (first family, then tribe, then macro-tribe, then species.. all in order to ensure longevity of my genes and those most-similar). Emotions exist to help me do one thing, the only thing that DNA cares about: make more DNA.

                Survival of the fittest. That’s it.

                Some emotions… many.. are no doubt emergent properties of complex systems for which evolution has selected neither for nor against. Simply random noise in the machine.

                But, while, of course, they come from the brain as the seat of all such things, they are animalistic, primal drivers set deep into the base code of life. But they are not who you are. They are simply winds of a storm through which you sail your craft. Perhaps they are from behind you and help speed your journey. Perhaps they are ahead and hinder. But it is YOU who much captain the ship.

                There are many voices in your head. But only one YOU. I call the distinction my “brain” and my “mind.” I am my mind. My brain is there to serve me. My brain thinks the relationship goes the other way, and the truth is that it’s probably correct. There is a small mountain of science to back this up. The emotional parts of the brain routinely “shut off” the logic centers when they are inconvenience.. turning down your conscious mind in favor of instinct. It’s a great survival tool… all the better to keep you alive to breed (and thereafter to support your offspring and grand-offspring that they may breed yet further).

                Emotions are the yoke DNA places upon our shoulders and the whips it uses to drive us. Its goal is singular and amoral. But it is blind and stupid and can lead us to evil. Logic, rationality is the only salvation from this slavery.

        • Mathius
          “I read recently about a guy whose blood treats Rhesus Disease in newborns. Once he found that out, he donated blood every month, like clockwork, for decades and is estimated to have saved 2.4 million lives.”

          You can not force him to give blood for the greater good but you can force individuals to get vaccinated for the greater good? Seems hypocritical to me.

          • You can not force him to give blood for the greater good but you can force individuals to get vaccinated for the greater good? Seems hypocritical to me.

            Actually, you can’t.

            Gman says:
            If the my body, my choice rule is going to apply, it should apply to all things, vaccinations, drugs etc.

            Mathius says:
            I’m on board with this for everything except vaccines.

            Why? Because your actions are a threat to me.

            I’d argue you have a right to fire your gun. But I’d argue you don’t have a right to fire your gun in the air near a population center. Your rights end where they start to infringe on the rights of others.

            THAT SAID, I do take this issue rather strictly, and I cannot get on board with the idea of forced vaccinations. [emphasis added] BUT, I can get on board with enforced quarantine, denial of access to public locations/facilities/schools/etc. I can get on board with “that’s fine that you don’t want to vaccinate, but you don’t get to leave the house until you do.”

            And, yes, I understand the can of worms this opens. What vaccines, how many, what if I can’t get the shot due to autoimmune disease, what about religious objections, blah blah blah. Just take it for what it’s worth and leave it there.

      • Think about your question, No we can’t force another human to give us blood or a kidney or anything else, even to save that person’s life. But in this case you will force a woman to continue to carry the baby at some point. So you tell me, what’s the difference?

        • But in this case you will force a woman to continue to carry the baby at some point. So you tell me, what’s the difference?

          That’s the question, isn’t it?

          I have to contort myself to infer some kind of tacit consent or adverse possession argument in order to justify not allowing abortion at this point. By rights and logic, I think, the answer should be that “tough shit, it’s MY body, and you leave when I say you leave regardless of consequences.” And that would make abortion permissible until viability, at which point she’d still have the right to evict, just as she always did, but causing its death is no longer a necessity in the course of exercising her rights and, therefore, is no longer permitted.

          Reminder: killing when not exercising your rights is called murder.

          Soooooo…. yea….. before it has a brain, it has no rights to violate. Once it’s viable, it is no longer necessary to violate its rights in order to defend your own, so doing so is just murder, not “self-defense”… and in between….? Well… is a gray area. And just because I can’t adequately and confidently describe every moral aspect of a pregnancy doesn’t invalidate my position on the points I can describe.

          • Actually it does, Within that Gray area , using your arguments, you would be allowing murder.

            • Actually… no… in that gray zone, I’m erring on the side of NOT permitting abortion… ergo, I’m permitting the violation of the woman’s right to bodily autonomy…

              To Recap again:
              Phase 1: Abortion ok (embryo has no rights to violate)
              Phase 2: [motivated reasoning] No abortion
              Phase 3: Removal ok, killing not ok

              • Actual!y yes, you don’t know when any of this stuff really starts, it’s all based on guessing.
                And the reality is that when you support abortion, society isn’t using your best guess.

            • And that viability thing, you don’t really know when that starts either.

              • Nope, I surely don’t.

                Yet another reason why “theoretical ethical framework” is not the same thing as “law.”

                As before, -I- would err on the side of safety saying “just carry the damned thing to term!,” but it is pretty well established that a week or two early won’t hurt.. and a month or even two, with proper care might not hurt. Is it “evil” to have a doctor induce you a week early? I wouldn’t think so. What about two weeks? Still probably ok. What about two months? Now it’s pretty murky and I lean toward ‘no’. But how can I objectively support that? I can’t. And not only that, but what might be ok for this fetus might not be for that fetus, and how could I possibly claim to know which is which. I can’t!

                I’m not trying to argue policy here. I don’t want to set down explicit rules and laws and say here, this is where we draw this line, and if you do this after that line, you’re evil and should be arrested and the doctor should be tried for murder. Etc. It’s just too murky with too many variables, too many questions still unanswered.

                All I can say is that killing a viable fetus is not necessary to protect the mother’s rights and is, therefore, murder. And before an embryo has a brain, it’s just a clump of cells and clumps of cells don’t have rights. Everything between here and there..? I don’t claim to have all the answers.

                But the great news is this: medical care is always advancing and eventually it’s going to reach the point where it’s actually safer for the embryo to be removed and incubated externally than carried to term. At that point, there will never be a viable reason to “kill” an embryo/fetus. At that point, the ethical option will always be extract and incubate externally. I give it 30 years. And then we will have no more abortions.

                If you want me to make laws, here are the laws I’m prepared to make:
                1. Abortion (intentionally killing the fetus) is illegal within two weeks of full-term and shall be prosecuted as murder and conspiracy to commit murder by all participants including and especially the mother.
                2. Abortion is legal either (A) for two weeks after discovery of pregnancy or (B) up to the point at which a brain can be identified on a medical scan, whichever comes first.
                3. I have other “opinions,” but nothing I’m confident enough in to make into “law.” Everything else, I leave up to someone smarter than me.

  23. Canine Weapon says:

  24. Just A Citizen says:

    Interesting use of words in a book I am now reading, with regard to how humans came to be able to organize themselves in groups larger than 150 people. That 150 number is supposedly the number of folks, based on scientific analysis, that can operate and function well as a group to achieve shared goals. Think maximum Tribe size.

    In order for larger groups to function we invented “myths” to bind people together. Clans into tribes, tribes into clans, clans into nations. You get the idea.

    The author listed several examples of such myths. Religion being an obvious one but also such things as “limited liability companies/corporations” and even “nations” themselves.

    Which leads me to this: Rights are nothing but a MYTH. A concept which does not exist in nature separate from human beings. We INVENTED them to help bind “societies” together. Small groups, of less than 150, don’t need such things.

    • Rights are nothing but a MYTH. A concept which does not exist in nature separate from human beings. We INVENTED them to help bind “societies” together. Small groups, of less than 150, don’t need such things.

      Rights are a discoverable notion much like “math.”

      Without humans, the world would know nothing of “math,” yet it is there, laying in wait, secretly present behind all things. Just waiting for someone smart enough to draw it out and process its implications.

      If sentient cows had evolved instead of humans, sooner or later, they would develop a notion of rights which is not so different than ours.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Rights are not even close to Math.

        Math once developed is irrefutable, not subject to interpretation. It explains things consistently.

        Rights are within the realm of Philosophy. Certainly not something that can be described as concrete as math.

  25. Query: Suppose a mad scientist removed your brain from your body and placed it in a vat (which provided life-support and a means of sensing / communicating with the outside), which one are “you”?

    (A) the body without a brain or
    (B) the brain without a body?

    Followup 1: If the body is subsequently incinerated, are you dead?

    Followup 2: If the brain is subsequently incinerated, are you dead?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      I do not know and nobody knows for sure. You assume that thing which is you, your soul, is only your brain. But your brain is connected to your , including linkage of DNA, etc.

      I would lean towards brain being the identity but that is not enough either. The brain must fully function per its original blue print. Which of course is inherited via the other body functions.

      So for now I will say that mind AND body make YOU.

      • You assume that thing which is you, your soul, is only your brain.

        Objection! You have no evidence for a thing called a “soul,” as such, I void your use of the term.

        You assume that thing which is you, your soul, is only your brain.

        I over-simplified. Guilty as charged.

        The brain is, of course, the core, but it is only one component in a complex system of nerves and hormones. These include the brain stem, the spinal column, even secretions by gut bacteria. I am using “brain” as short-hand for this system.

        The brain is necessary but not necessarily sufficient for a sentience. For a “human mind.”

        But while I over-simplified, you deliberately mistook my question. You know damned well what I’m asking. Replace “brain” in my question with “consciousness.” We can assert perfectly well what I’m asking. Remove the brain conscious mind from your body and put it in a vat and which one are you: the body without a mind or the mind without a body?

        You’re not your foot. You can lose your foot and still be me. Are you your left arm? Are you your hair? Are you your spleen? Are you your ass? Are you your left nipple? No. You – “YOU” – are your mind. And your mind is housed in your brain with support and input from the massively complicated life support system that is your body. But no brain = no “you.”

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Remove my soul (you lack the right or authority to negate my use of the term) and put it in a vat……….. I am now dead.

          It is possible that a NEW THING will be created as a result. But it will not be me.

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      “donovan’s Brain”. Early SF.

      • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

        Then there is “Robo Cop” but that was more than a brain. Say, did anyone know that the actor who played Robo Cop, Peter Weller is also a Professor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University? An Army Brat growing up, Peter,most recently seen in the TV miniseries “the Last Ship” is a true Renaissance man.

  26. Stephen K. Trynosky says:

    “Which leads me to this: Rights are nothing but a MYTH. A concept which does not exist in nature separate from human beings. We INVENTED them to help bind “societies” together. Small groups, of less than 150, don’t need such things.”

    Presumption A. There is NO Creator

    Presumption B. There is no soul

    Presumption C. Man is nothing better than an animal of higher order

    Which leads to…..

    Result A. Nazi Germany

    Result B. Stalin’s Soviet Union

    Result C. Mao’s China

    • Just A Citizen says:

      SK

      Where do your presumptions come from. Because they do not flow from the statement I posted.

      • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

        You are confusing me again!

        I fall back on Jefferson’s view that we are endowed by our Creator with “rights”. After decades of thinking about it, I decided we were not just higher order animals but in fact are here for a reason. I will never pretend that I understand any of it. Far beyond my pay grade.

    • SKT,

      Presumption A. There is NO Creator There is zero evidence for this “Creator.” As such, you cannot use it as the basis for a logical construct or, rather, I may dismiss it without evidence.

      Presumption B. There is no soul There is zero evidence for this “soul.” As such, you cannot use it as the basis for a logical construct or, rather, I may dismiss it without evidence.

      Presumption C. Man is nothing better than an animal of higher order There is zero evidence that man is anything other than an animal with a larger brain. We evolved from the animals (supported by a mountain of evidence) and there is no evidence to support any assertion other than natural evolution. Unsettling as the thought my be, we are just smart apes because the bigger brains gave us an evolutionary advantage (greater evolutionary fitness) and evolution simply selected for this trait.

      Which leads to… absurd conclusions on your part.

      That Mao and the USSR were non-religious is not a strike against non-religiousness, nor a point favor of religion. Whether the Nazis were non-religious or were, in fact, deeply couched in Christianity is a point of some contention, but is similarly irrelevant.

      If you’re going to hold the USSR and Mao against atheism, then I get to hold radical Islam, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials (just to name a few) against religion. Wanna play a game and see who can come up with more examples?

      See how this works? The belief that there is a creator leads to burning women at the stake. The belief that there is a soul leads to people crashing planes into buildings.

      Actually, you know, I kind of see the argument there…….

      But I digress.

      The problem with Mao, the USSR, and Hitler wasn’t that they weren’t religious or didn’t believe in a soul, or didn’t believe in some unsupportable notion of Man’s specialness. It’s that they were evil dictatorships. It really is that simple.

      • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

        So, there you go! You are talking your language and I am talking mine. In this case, never the twain shall meet!

        The only argument I would make is that people a lot smarter than me have, for several thousand years, presumed A, B and C. With NO proof you would accept.

        • The only argument I would make is that people a lot smarter than me have, for several thousand years, presumed A, B and C. With NO proof you would accept.

          Have you ever noticed that miracles are getting smaller?

          A few thousand years ago, god was creating the universe
          then he was flooding entire planet
          then he was smiting all the first born of Egypt
          then he was handing out manna from heaven
          then he issued commandments from mountain tops
          then he was turning water into wine
          then he was raising the dead and walking on water
          then he was speaking to a few people here and there
          these days he likes to appear on burnt toast

          You ever think about that?

          What the difference is?

          Is God just getting more subtle?

  27. Stephen K. Trynosky says:

    Yesterday, someone had posted on facebook a little piece on Rep. Omar’s affair with her PR guy. The wife of Mr. PR clims Omar broke up her marriage.

    I then had some fun and posted the following……..

    I believe that Islamic Law, Sharia, has severe punishments for things like adultery not to mention marrying one’s brother. I believe it calls for stoning! Let’s adopt Sharia!

    Facebook let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I was, yet again, violatng their norms.

  28. Stephen K. Trynosky says:

    Having gotten a bit tired of having a friend constantly throw at me tales of the evils of slavery and Jim Crow which really are not plesant. I started looking for some more stories on slavery, slaves and results thereof that had NOTHING to do with the US.

    Tripped over this this morning….WOW! We may be bad but there were worse….Tell your friends about real genocide!

    https://afropunk.com/2018/07/argentinas-black-population-has-been-systematically-erased-removed-in-whitewashing-effort/

  29. I would argue that there are such things as natural rights. All animals fight to preserve their lives, hence the right to life is natural and not granted by man. If caged or chained, you will naturally fight to free yourself, thus you have a natural right to liberty. You will also fight to protect your food supply thus a right to property. This can be extended to protecting your hunting ground from others. We have codified these rights in our civilized world but that makes them none-the-less natural rights. The right to pursue happiness is also part of our instinctual makeup.

    Other so called rights are constructed by society to improve the harmony of the community. This include the Bill of Rights and others. However, the fundamental natural rights are instinctual and practiced by every animal on the planet. These do not come from government.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      T-Ray

      Here is my problem with your argument. A problem I have spent much time thinking about.

      That is the “nature” of Rights. Fighting to get free or to preserve one’ s life is a very natural thing. I assume we can all agree with that.

      But a “Right” when considered in the context that term is always used, has a nature that is different than simply reacting for preservation. It creates an “obligation” on others. That is the nature of “Rights”.

      So in your example, there is no obligation placed on anyone other than the actor being threatened. Is he/she “obligated” to act because of a “Right”? Or do they just react to save their own life?

      Well, “Rights” are also used to describe interactions between people, not with ones self. So we can not be obligated due to a “Right”, so to speak.

      Now this conflict or “problem” as I call it is partly created by our interpretation of the actions of humans combined with the use of words to describe it. Therefore, our issue could be driven by our choice of words as well as how we interpret human action.

      I mean, what do you call the innate desire to live? That all organisms will strive to survive to the extent possible.

      Our natural instinct to survive and the demand by nature that we use our brain to do so, are not really “Rights”. I now think it is a mistake to try and assign these “traits”, or the “nature of man”, as “Rights” per se’. Because “Rights” really describe the rules of engagement between humans, not our instinctive or natural tendencies.

      A good example is the one you posed. The pursuit of survival, whether protection from predators or seeking food. If this has evolved to a “Right” then it is in conflict with other “Rights” such as property. If your desire and effort to seek food is a “Right” then I should not be able to stop you from finding your food on my property. That old maxim of allowing the poor to glean your fields seems to have sprung from this conflict in interests.

      For “Rigths” to be considered “natural” we have to find a Metaphysical defense of them. Since there is none I have found, most ancient philosophers relied on religious beliefs to establish them. Hence we get the “endowed by our creator” explanation.

  30. NEW YORK, NY—After Lawrence O’Donnell admitted to publishing a sensational, world-altering, but also totally fake story about Trump’s finances and Russia, MSNBC confessed that it simply makes up all its reports about Trump using the patented Mad Libs system of making up random words and sticking them in blanks in pre-written sentences.

    The station’s reporters sit around a conference table with a big Mad Libs story displayed on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. Then they all take turns shouting out funny verbs, adjectives, people, places, and adverbs in order to make up a story about Donald Trump to air.
    “TRUMP went on a picnic with RUSSIA and NUKED a HURRICANE with his big HAIR,” one MSNBC exec read off the board after a brainstorming session with other execs, writers, and editors. “Perfect. Get copy on my desk by noon!”
    Using this system, MSNBC was able to produce a fake letter Trump sent to Putin while on summer vacation:
    Dear PUTIN,

    I am having a(n) TREASONOUS time at camp. The counselour is INSANE and the food is SINISTER. I met MIKE PENCE and we became ORANGE friends. Unfortunately, TRUMP is BAD and I TREASONED my COMBOVER so we couldn`t go BETRAYING like everybody else. I need more RUSSIAN BOTS and a HURRICANE sharpener, so please DISASTROUSLY NUKE more when you COLLUDE back.

    Your PUPPET,
    TRUMP
    After this letter was found to be fake, MSNBC said they were “deeply sorry but also not sorry.”

  31. Back from my walk about……will catch up on reading.

    • Back from being AWOL, you mean. I don’t recall giving you permission to leave your post.

      • I beg to differ, my liege……I recall having been given full autonomy as long as I did not go beyond the scope of the intructions of repayment in accordance with the acquisition of land in the amount of damages.

        Other than that….I have full autonomy. So, I went on a walk about…..perhaps it was for fun or perhaps it was a recon for future expansion, sire.

        So……………Me liege, ye ‘ave given me full autonomy t’ be me owns self….even th’ greatest o’ generals needs rest ‘n fun…so, get off me back, sire. Or I shall chastise ye a second time. Yer mother be a hamster ‘n yer cap’n smells o’ Elderberry wine…I fart in yer general direction.

    • Hoo boy….after reading this past week…I need to go on another walk about……

      As to the cow scenario…….Pull the trigger…make hamburgers.

      • He he he, Now, I definitely wouldn’t eat the cow. I also wouldn’t make it okay to eat the cow when it was a calf because it wasn’t able to talk until adulthood. If a non sentient animal
        becomes sentient, He might not be a human but he would no longer be an animal. A different ethnicity, maybe. My special brain would allow me to see the connection.

        • VH…..question for you….using the cow example. Everyone throws this word of “sentient” around…..in other words, able to perceive or feel things. A cow is a cow…a person is a person..a bird is a bird…a horse is a horse…a dog is a dog.

          Every example that I have given here….every single one of them is a sentient life form. A person can reason and communicate. A cow can reason and communicate. A bird can reason and communicate. A horse can reason and communicate. A dog can reason and communicate….

          Each one of my examples can feel pain, recognize danger, react to danger, react to weather…each one of my examples needs to eat, breathe air, poop, see, hear, react to touch….

          So, just where does it come into focus on which is greater or lesser? Each one of you that has a regular dog (not a canine weapon that is an anomaly….probably from some nuclear experiement that went wrong) but a regular dog. He barks…he barks to get attention, he barks to get fed, he barks or whines in pain…..he/she communicates. You understand……so it is fair to say, that the dog has found a way to communicate to each of you that own one. Your dog does not speak English….your dog speaks….dog. Your dog, I am betting, can reason. You dog knows exaclty how to play to your emotions. Your dog knows how to get what it wants.

          So, does the fact that an animal/human/ alien cannot speak in any language you understand, make it any less important? I submit…no. Just because a cow cannot make a rocket ship or solve complex mathematical equations ( none of us can ) make it any less a satient life form?

          That said, do we now fall into the law of nature of survival of the fittest. Then those of us that are “smarter” have the benefit of defining morals and ethics does it not? So, just because a cow, suddenly develops the ability to read and write and converse in English make it something that it is not? It is still a cow…..we have relegated, under the natural law of survival, a food chain…..and a cow is in the food chain, as we, as humans, have dictated because we are “smarter”.

          Those of us that are hunters know full well that there are species out there that communicate quite well. They communicate our presence to others of the same species. A doe will snort a warning. An Elk will bugle a warning to others……birds become conspicuously silent when humans approach….that silence is a warning. Turkeys post sentries and guards. Wolves and coyoyes hunt in packs and communicate constanly. Even their tone changes depending upon the situation.

          So……..who is right and who is wrong……

          • Canine Weapon says:

            (not a canine weapon that is an anomaly….probably from some nuclear experiement that went wrong)

          • Yes, sentient probably isn’t the best word but it is the one used most often to denote superior cognitive ability, so it’ll do.

            I think you are right, there are many things that I see in animals that I identify as human characteristics and the more there are, the less likely I would feel comfortable killing them. But if those connections reach a level where I can communicate and reason with them and they with me. Killing them would not just make me feel bad, it would make me immoral.

              • While your celebrating, you might keep in mind that newborn babies and for several months after birth might have the cognitive ability of a full grown dog. Course there is a difference, the baby hasn’t reached its potential, yet.

              • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

                VH, the interesting part of the argument is the world we would be living in if humans are just another animal. We came from nowhere, we are going nowhere and for no reason. Don’t know about you but that thought is frightening to me and an excellent argument for any type of sybaritic self-destruction.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Colonel

        Well you didn’t show up on my door step so you couldn’t have walked to far!!

  32. U.S.—After some confusion was expressed by casual observers of apparent hypocrisy in their denunciation of Dave Chappelle’s most recent comedy special, liberals from around the country clarified that they only want black voices to be heard when those voices are saying liberal-approved things.

    The offended white progressives asked black comedian Dave Chappelle to “keep it down” and “maybe not talk so much” after his comments made them feel uncomfortable, sources confirmed Thursday.
    “Yeah, we’re glad you’re a minority and we’re happy that your black voice is being heard,” said Zender Mollison, 32, Portland, he/him, in an open letter to Chappelle. “But you’re not saying the right things.” Mollison then offered to send Chappelle a list of the things that are OK for black people to say, such as that white people are evil, that everyone should be canceled for literally anything they tweeted a decade ago, and that Donald Trump is Hitler.
    “When black people agree with me, I very much want their voices to be heard,” said Helga Bannerman, 28, Portland, she/they/her/xen. “When they don’t agree with me, they’re pretty much just not black anymore. They’re basically an evil white person like me at that point. And the last thing we need on this planet is more white people like Dave Chappelle.”

  33. Random thoughts:

    Comey is a loser and will pay. He’s gloating now, but there is more to come concerning the FISA warrants. He’ll be crying soon, along with a few others, or there will be a push to disband the FBI.

    I think Mathius has been kidnapped and Glorp is pretending to be him. 😀

    It’s hurricane season, and naturally, the Climate Change nuts come out and make all kinds of stupid claims, like hurricanes are caused by Climate Change.

    AOC is an idiot, cute, but damn stupid.

    Nice summer, but I remember hotter. Snow in October? It’s happened here.

    Have a great Labor Day weekend and be safe!!!

  34. Football tomorrow. PSU vs Idaho

    • Yep! Ready and waiting. MSU v Tulsa tonight. I’m back to old school listening on radio…cut the cable in April…haven’t missed it one single bit…until now. Ugh.

      • Sign up for Hulu.. I’m told they have live sports.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Anita

        We use Sling. It includes ESPN and for about $40 per month you can get some extra sports channels as well.

        Turn it on now and cancel it after the NCAA basketball championships.

        • I tried Sling a few years back and hated it… has it improved recently?

          The interface was terrible.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Mathius

            Don’t have anything to compare it to. We have Hulu also, or could have it on the new TV.

            Our problem is internet speed. It sucks, as does consistency in service. So I have to suffer a lot of “buffering” during shows or games on The Internet thing.

            My regular TV is via modern rabbit ears. It isn’t much better than the internet in terms of reliability.

            But all that is going to change pretty soon, supposedly. A mid western, errr I should say mid eastern, company is moving in and promising Fiber Optic cable hookups right to your house. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the world has been living like all this time.

            • I remember the days of AOL and Prodigy.

              I remember having you yell at people to stay off the line or they’d break your connection and you’d have to start all over with the modem screeching at you. I remember setting up my downloads so they’d run overnight and, if I was lucky, I’d have the full song pirated (y’aaarrrgh!) by the time I woke up the next day (and hopefully it was the right version and not a virus, because there was no way to tell in advance).

              I have 940 MBPS down and 880 up now.

              I literally have no idea what to do with that kind of bandwidth. The other day, I downloaded an ultra HD movie in approximately 20 seconds.

              It’s so fast that my top-end router can’t actually give me the full throughput over wi-fi, so I “only” get around 400 mbps on my wireless devices (which is everything except for the desktop computer).

              My phone, and iPhone X, can’t even handle that and reports only around 200 mpbs. What’s a guy to do with all that bandwidth…?

            • Its works for streaming and computer speeds are much better. I spend 60 bucks a month on best offered, but i do use it, compared to satellite, which was horrible and costly. No problems streaming Netflix or vids. I do need to upgrade router, lots of medical stuff getting sent out on WIFI. Only one tv can stream netflix at a time.

              • You could try an AppleTv.. it plugs into your tv (HDMI) and turns it into a “smart TV” with a pretty clean interface.. works for everything.. netflix, hulu, all those random streaming services… all in one nice neat place.

                I’d tell you it’s easy, and that even my 4 year old can work it, but you’re an old fart, so I can just imagine how you are with technology… I bet you still have a rotary phone in your kitchen, don’t you?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      T-Ray

      As much as I WISH it were not true, that game should be decided in the first 10 minutes of the game. Hint: It aint’ goin to be in Idaho’s favor.

      The more interesting game will be Boise State vs. Florida State on Saturday afternoon. Boise has not been the same since Coach Pete left. But they have a good recruiting class. I am hoping they can stick with FSU for at least the first half.

  35. (2nd attempt because Gman is a censoring fascist)

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Mathius

      Black Flag “evidence” of God. Nothing can create itself. Therefore, the Universe could not have created itself. Not in its combined form nor in its earlier dissolved state.

  36. Equine Weapon says:

  37. Equine Weapon says:

    (2nd attempt because Gman is a censoring fascist)

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      The F-35 is turning into the biggest disaster since the F-111!

      • Dale A Albrecht says:

        13 previously undisclosed problems that seem pretty serious. Like they have to limit its speed, which us already slow compared to previous generation planes. Parts come off and stress in the airframe. Can’have only limited bursts of supersonic speeds on intercept missions. Wild changes in cockpit pressure causing pilot issues, just to name a couple.

        A one size to fit all missions with slight variations make it useless.

        How is this delicate plane to survive aircraft carrier operations it won’t

  38. Just A Citizen says:

    S.K.

    I would like to address this disjointed argument of yours. I say disjointed because there is no connection between your cause and affect. It is really noting but a declaration without defense.

    “VH, the interesting part of the argument is the world we would be living in if humans are just another animal. We came from nowhere, we are going nowhere and for no reason. Don’t know about you but that thought is frightening to me and an excellent argument for any type of sybaritic self-destruction.”

    1. Presuming an evolutionary past does not eliminate the fact that humans came from somewhere, and something for that matter. It is actually the immaculate conception of man/ per Genesis, which means man came from nowhere. God made us appear out of thin air, and dirt. I almost forgot the dirt.

    2. Where we came from, or how we were created does not negate or create a primary that we are going nowhere. We are in fact going some where, both in time and space.

    3. As for a reason, how about SURVIVAL. How about LONG TERM SURVIVAL and lets even add FLOURISHING. Are those not a “purpose”.

    Self immolation, or destruction, does not come from lack of divine intervention. It comes from lack of survival instincts. Nothing in nature, whether you insert God or not, suffers such a thing. You can only find such a malady at the individual level, not with populations or species.

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      Ho boy!

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      Survive for what reason? Survival?

      • Just A Citizen says:

        SK

        That is the PRIME DIRECTIVE. Directly from God, Nature, The Universe, how ever you wish to describe it.

        • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

          See, this could go on for months, years. If the prime directive is survival for the individual human, then all bets are off on morality. But, they obviously are not. Why?

          The animal kingdom exhibits no pity on anything getting in its way. We do.

          • Just A Citizen says:

            SK

            Why do you keep ignoring the unique nature of humans in your argument?

            You claim Living will result in immorality yet you admit that humans have developed morality.

            Guess what? RELIGION did not create that morality. The morality led to religion.

            • So if I’m understanding you correctly, you aren’t talking about self preservation. You are saying simply living life will require or involve fulfilling a purpose.

              • Errrr, I need to buy a new tablet, this one has started jumping around at inopportune moments. Here it landed, so here it stays. You will figure it out. 😀

            • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

              Come on now. You assume that I am saying everyone will live immorally. No I won’t but what I am saying is that a whole lot will and those who do not value your life hava a distinct survival advantage over you.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Your argument is irrational, that of the heathen barbarians.

                If LIVING is the purpose then it must apply to all. Combined with our oversized brain results in ideas like “thou shalt not murder”.

              • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

                Jeez JAC, don’t you ever read a newspaper? How about Texas yesterday or two weeks ago or Ohio two weeks ago. Something is MISSING in those folks.

                Back in High School, I would be perfectly willing to accept the premise that , “Mankind invented God and the Ten Commandments and Hell and Heaven” just to prevent people from killing each other over who has the best bottom land!.

        • Self preservation is definitely a very strong instinct and it’s kinda necessary to achieve most any purpose. But is it the actual purpose?

          • Just A Citizen says:

            V.H.

            The purpose of life is to LIVE.

            “Go forth and multiply.” (that period location was for Mathius 🙂 )

            SK is playing games with this by trying to boil that down to “anything goes for the individual human”. The propagation, as in continuation, of the human race (prime directive) is not the same as “purpose” for each individual life. But the context of each person’s purpose in life is the larger purpose of LIVING.

            From this directive come moral/ethical principles such as no murder/killing, including no suicide. It is also, in my view, where standards arose regarding marriage and homosexuality.

            • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

              I do not play games. I have a much darker view of “Human Nature” than you do!

              Still trying to understand how you make concentration camp guards out of “normal” people. Or the NKVD guys who shots tens and tens of thousands in the back of the head at the Lyubankia or the Tutsi’s and Hutu’s or Pol Pot’s people or any number of things where “life” turned out not to mean so much to those who took it.

  39. Just A Citizen says:

    Mathius

    A little something for you to think about on a FRIDAY afternoon. Hopefully it will keep you chuckling over the weekend.

    Just IMAGINE…………….. Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump. Head to head debate.

    Just ask one question: “Please tell us why you should be POTUS?” Then sit back with a Red Buzzer Light that goes off each time they tell a whopper.

    Make it even better by getting them to talk back and forth at each other. The goal is to see which one has the most inflated story of their life by the time the clock runs out.

    • Make it a drinking game… that way I’ll be dead before I have to vote for either of them.

  40. Just A Citizen says:

    OK, I am going to say it. I think that some of the criticism of AOC is …………. PETTY!

    I also think that her babbling is partly to blame, as it often provides some “good point” mixed with a whole lot of hooey. Which the R’s then react to the hooey and off we go again.

    Now while Red State is having fun with this, I would like to make an actual counter point. The most “informed” and probably “educated” generation of Americans was the First. At the time of the nations founding most people understood the law and could converse or even write their own contracts. As a “percentage” of the population, excluding slaves of course, the truly educated was quite high.

    What we really have today with the millennial population is a whole lot of people who have gone to college. Not necessarily more informed nor educated. Just more with pedigrees.

    https://www.redstate.com/sister-toldjah/2019/08/30/scott-walker-gives-aoc-history-lesson-suggests-bada-millennials-greatest-generation/

    • I was thinking of mailing off to one of those diploma farms.. getting myself a doctorate for a few hundred bucks based on “life experience.” Might be a nice thing to add to the ol’ resume.

      Whaddaya think?

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Sounds good. You could get one for the life experience of each of your alter egos. What are you up to now, four?

        • I’m sure I don’t know what you mean by that…

          • Just A Citizen says:

            Canine Weapon: PhD in Liberal Arts, study of Comedy and Satire.

            Equine Weapon: PhD in Veterinary science, AND English

            DPM: PhD in Philosophy and Political Science. Perhaps another in geography.

            Mathius: PhD in Counter Intelligence.

      • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

        I vote yes! Tell us how it goes. Always been partial to a doctorate in humane letters.

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      AOC, like the current hurricane is a phenomena. It still remains to be seen if she can survive in the absense of her “Svengali” like Campaign director/Chief of Staff. I think she is slipping already.

      Now the founders, by the nature of founding a successful enterprise demonstrated their smarts beyond any doubt.

      Just for the heck of it, let’s remember that JFK quote when the White House hosted a dinner for Nobel winners…

      ———–“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

  41. U.S.—Now that the ten candidates have been finalized for the next Democratic presidential debate, the ground rules for the debate are being decided. One early rule is to ban all use of facts and logic from the debate, as they’ve increasingly been a tool of far-right extremists and have fallen out of favor with the Democrats’ progressive base.

    “This feels like a good decision,” said Elizabeth Warren, who, in the spirit of the new rules, does not plan to think about it very hard. Warren has often called Trump’s labeling her “Pocahontas” racist, a charge that only really works if you don’t use facts and logic to analyze it much.
    While facts and logic have not been a favored tool of President Trump, they have been frequently used by violent right-wing extremists like Ben Shapiro and are seen by most of the left as outright hostile acts. Some candidates, like Bernie Sanders, have long railed against logic — especially math, a subset of logic — as it is mainly used to poke holes in their large-scale government plans. “We’re trying to help people, which just seems so right,” Sanders explained at a rally, “and you want to scare people with your logic of why it won’t work? That’s violence.” The attendees at the rally nodded at this logic-free assertion.
    With this new rule and the narrower field, viewers can expect a spirited, emotional debate. One topic the candidates are expected to cover is the minimum wage, with the candidates throwing out numbers of what it should be until one just feels right.

  42. https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/08/24/britains-strictest-headmistress-rule

    Seems a mite strict, can’t argue with the results, but is it, maybe a little too strict? But the attitude, the striving to succeed is wonderful. Opinions?

    • Just A Citizen says:

      V. Not so sure it is a “mite” strict. We judge through the modern prism, modified by our conservative nature, so it is hard to say.

      I think the judge should be the combination of the test scores, results, ALONG WITH the attitudes displayed by the students. They seemed genuinely happy in the short video.

      There is also the fact that more and more “studies” show the need for discipline and structure in children’s lives. These are also teens, not young kids. I always think back to the fact that teens were adults in centuries past. We to often treat them like children because of this mythology that kids should get to be kids “as long as possible”. Maybe we should be teaching them how to be productive and well rounded adults instead. This requires practice.

  43. Dale A Albrecht says:

    I was planning on going to Charledtin SC for a brief visit next week.

    Change of plans, just like hurricane tracks do so I’ll spent tomorrow and Monday, preparing for the worst, just in case. House is secure but it’s my supplies for a week minimum on hand. Plus cash as the labor day vacationers clear out, and those away come back. Window of opportunity.

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      Been saying it for years. Used to use a Time lime in teaching Citizenship badges for Scouts a three foot long thick purple line called “Slavery” representing the last 7,000 years or so and a one inch green line called “No Slavery”.

  44. Just A Citizen says:

    SK

    I went back through your comments to my post about creating myths. Frankly they make no sense. I am not sure I can even tell what you are arguing.

    • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

      Too hard eh?

      We’ve danced this dance before and I have said it is not worth the time nor effort. You have a position of the wonderfulness of man all on his own. I have one that says not by himself he’s not.

      Spent days elsewhere once starting from the assumption that all religion and the notion of God was a fraud perpetrated by man for the sole purpose of keeping everyone in line. The fellow I was arguing with would not even accept that! No, no he said “we” could have been just the way we are had religion or “God” never been invented.

      I could not even get to first base saying that everything he considered to be “morality” came from, religious sources originally. Moses could well have been up there with a chisel and hammer knocking out the ten commandments but, when he came down off that mountain it was NOT because Moses said it but because Yahwey provided the enforcement mechanism.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        SK

        No Sir, not to hard. The premise presented was that humans developed “myths” that allowed expansion of cooperation between human groups in excess of the normal 150 person limit, for such cooperation. That number is based on actual research of human interaction. Take it for what you will.

        These “myths” created a connection of some kind between groups, religion being but one form of such connection, which allowed them to come together at times to deal with bigger problems. One effect, the ability to wage war or invade and take territory. The result being that modern man displaced all the other human branches, taking over the world.

        Now what do your comments about the good or evil nature of man and whether such traits apply to man “alone” or otherwise have to do with that premise?

        • Stephen K. Trynosky says:

          Cain and Abel…..Two people from a group of less than 150! (smiley face winking)!

          Ever study the history of the Israeli kibbutz? Almost none left yet when I was a kid this was going to be the wave of the cooperative future for all mankind. Heck! My Dad even commented it was the only true “communism” that could exist.

          Now I have spoken to many Israeli’s about the collapse of the movement and their general view was that not everybody cooperated. There were those who worked their butts off for the group and those who took the collective’s Ford Station Wagon for the weekend without asking. Eventually the hard workers walked away. And belonging to a Kibbutz was not altruistic at all. It was based on the theory that my life could be better, wealthier, more fulfilling if we all worked towards common goals. That is a premise I can agree with completely

          If you or I took 50 people who we liked, admired and trusted and formed a little commune of our own, by the time the next generation rolled around, it would collapse perhaps even before. Human Nature! Comes down to us not being a “hive” and being endowed with free will which allows one, even in a small Cain/Abel group, to be a total asshole.

          I do not really know what the argument is anymore. As a societal group we establish a set of rules that govern our behavior for survival. The only question I have ever had is where did these rules come from and how were they enforced. I think your 150 figure is an upper limit and would probably work in places like Monastaries. Though, in my enforced study of church history, in my youth, cracks occurred everywhere and if you watch the life cycle of many Jewish congregations, they start, grow and split when conflicts (like renewing the Rabbi’s contract) occur!

          • Just A Citizen says:

            SK

            As I said, the 150 number is an “upper limit”. Since it is nothing more it does not address the fact that you can have bad apples among the 150.

            That is just the upper limit where people will interact regularly, allowing some kind of personal connection which then leads to types of cooperation. Think Family groups, clans, small bands/tribes.

            It is my theory that all these rules/myths developed over time by trial and error. Humans kept the ideas which seemed to make things better. Of course they also became hardened to new ideas, thus some would suffer from their unwillingness to embrace the new ideas.

  45. How interesting…….the Straight Pride Parade in Boston was met with jeers and hatred. AOC says that any counter protest to LGBT or Gay Pride is racist and should not be allowed. She goes on to say that any march that upholds the military, the Government as it is, and any holidays that reference patriotism should be determined as hate speech.

    “These types of holidays”, she said, ” are not inclusive and discriminate against those who chose not to go to war or choose not to support this type of government. The military is fascist and supports oppressive government of the people.”

    So, this is the face of the Progressive party…..So, now, I am a deplorable, racist homophobe…and a fascist………………….ok, I can live with that.

  46. Donald Trump was born in 1946. He is of the age were he must take Social Security. Not only that he has an underage son who can receive benefits until he is 18.

  47. Re: the 3/5ths compromise. The 3/5ths compromise was included in the Constitution so that slaves could not be used for the south to pack the House of Representatives. The 3/5ths applied to slaves of any color. Freemen were counted as whole regardless of color. In the south, slaves were not considered citizens hence counting slaves at all was a gift to the south.

    We often view the 3/5ths rule as a negative against the principles of our founding. One however could look it as a positive. It was a positive incentive to abolish slavery and gain additional representation in the federal government. Slavery was legal in many northern states. They all eventually outlawed it thus were not subject to the 3/5ths rule.

    The Founders also placed a clause in the Constitution that would allow Congress to stop importation of new slaves. This clause was implemented in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson, a slave holder.

    • What is not mentioned in the archives very often……..when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proc……the NOrth did not abide by it until 1867….well after the civil war had ended. They continued to have their slaves……the EP only affected what was called slave states……funny how Illinois and Michigan were not regarded as slaves states even though the largest slave owner….a black man living in Michigan, owned over 300 of them.

    • Remember that the 3/5ths rule was not a SOuthern thing…..It was the North that did not want the South to suddenly have whole people be considered in the electoral make up.

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