About Five Minutes

Dinesh D’Souza makes an original point on abortion that I never thought of.  Tell me what you think.

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30 Responses to About Five Minutes

  1. 10 Cents10 Cents says:

    I like Dinesh because he responds in interesting ways. He goes to colleges and fields the tough questions.

  2. EThompson says:

    I’m pro-choice and pro-contraception but I despise Planned Parenthood for suggesting these personal decisions should be subsidized by taxpayers.

  3. drlorentzdrlorentz says:

    He makes a good point about negative rights: now abortion is a negative right like all the others in the Bill of Rights. The Left is all about expanding or creating positive rights.

    However, the idea that Republicans are against ‘regulation’ and yet try to regulate abortion is absurd. Almost everyone would support government ‘regulations’ against robbery, murder, fraud, and a host of other crimes. Laws against criminal activity are not normally categorized as regulations. The word has a meaning distinct from the prohibition of acts that have long been considered immoral acts.

    Perhaps the distinction is not sharp (ctlaw, help me here) but I think everyone understand the difference between laws against violent or property crimes versus regulations like zoning. It may be illegal to build a second story on your house but it’s hardly immoral.

    D’Souza’s point is correct but it is not the primary reason abortion is opposed. His reasoning suffers from the valid complaint that efforts to regulate abortion are animated by the desire to eliminate it altogether. If abortion were like any other positive right that the Left is trying to create (like healthcare or any entitlement) then there would not be the intense conflict that has persisted for decades. Pro-life folks don’t just oppose federally-funded abortions, they believe abortion is immoral, as murder. That is a very different kind of opposition than being opposed to the expansion of an entitlement.

  4. 10 Cents10 Cents says:

    My view is people should be aware of consequences. As Thomas Sowell teaches that there are always trade offs. What I despise is the infantilizing of people. Risks and downsides are not explained or more often explained away.

  5. EThompson says:

    “Pro-life folks don’t just oppose federally-funded abortions, they believe abortion is immoral, as murder. That is a very different kind of opposition than being opposed to the expansion of an entitlement.”

    I understand this and many pro-choicers have complete respect for the moral objections of pro-lifers. Par exemple, one of the Rico members I most admired was Jennifer Johnson (JJ) because she stood her ground on many such issues (SSM as well) even though I might have taken a more relaxed attitude than she did.

    As for abortion, most pro-choicers do believe in rules: first trimester only and are horrified at the thought of partial birth.

  6. 10 Cents10 Cents says:

    I don’t want to get bogged down in repeating arguments. We have to bring up the better options.

  7. EThompson says:

    “He makes a good point about negative rights: now abortion is a negative right like all the others in the Bill of Rights. The Left is all about expanding or creating positive rights.”

    @drlorenz: You are quoting Thomas Sowell almost verbatim. He said:

    “There is no such thing as a positive right. The Constitution was written precisely to protect citizens from such.

    You can’t steal, you can’t murder, you can’t commit fraud, you can’t forbid people from voting, you can’t infringe on personal property rights.”

    In other words, you just “can’t!”

    Great comment doc.

    • drlorentzdrlorentz says:

      Tom Sowell may be right that there *should* be no such thing as positive rights but the reality is that there are positive rights in the minds of most people. Entitlements are positive rights, and boy oh boy do people think of them as rights! Just try to take away Social Security and see what happens.

      “I have a right to an old-age pension.”
      “I have a right to affordable health care.”
      “I have a right to a living wage.” [whatever that means]

      These socialist ideas are givens for many, if not a majority (yet). Milton Friedman once observed that most of the points of a Socialist Party platform of the early 20th century had already been adopted by the 1970s.

      • EThompson says:

        “Just try to take away Social Security and see what happens.”

        I do believe I deserve to get my money back. I agreed to give away 15% of my paycheck when I could easily have invested it more wisely and taken care of myself with no help from D.C.

        The govt broke a contract. This is a legal matter.

        • EThompson says:

          An addendum; I abhor the redistribution of wealth. If I don’t receive my 15% back, then that is simply the reality.

        • drlorentzdrlorentz says:

          I take your point about Social Security. My point was that all attempts to reform Social Security going forward will meet with entrenched resistance, as it has in the past. We have witnessed the same in attempts to reform public employee pensions. Privatize Social Security? NO! Raise the retirement age in the future? NO! Change public pension arrangements for new hires? NO!

          None of these things is sustainable and *will* be reformed but people feel entitled to their entitlements.

          • EThompson says:

            I hear this. George W tried to allow citizens to manage a mere 2% of their Social Security and that created an outcry I could not believe. Obviously, many citizens are demented enough to abdicate personal control believing that if people are using more of their own money as they see fit, the less there is for the irresponsible. (Again, financial redistribution.)

            And as you note, the whole program is going to collapse in my lifetime so I am seriously considering taking ss payments by the time I’m 65 in an effort to recoup some of my losses. I surely wanted to wait until I was 72, but that might be too late.

            Now don’t get me started on Medicare …

  8. drlorentzdrlorentz says:

    I wasn’t advocating for any position on abortion or trying to re-litigate the issues. My point was simply this: a leftist would say that making it harder for women to obtain abortions by not subsidizing it or by regulating it is just the thin end of the wedge to banning abortion. And the truth is, that is the agenda of the pro-life movement: make it as difficult as possible on the road to ending abortion. There would never be pro-life marches in Washington if it were just about entitlement reform.

    That’s why D’Souza’s argument, while correct, is unconvincing. He’s just preaching to the choir. I don’t need to be persuaded that adding a new entitlement is a bad thing but the lefty girl who asked the question will be unmoved by the negative vs. positive rights argument. So will anyone else who is pro-choice.

    I’ll take it a step further. As Scott Adams and Daniel Kahneman have explained, rational arguments such as D’Souza made have almost zero persuasive value. This is especially true of the kinds of very abstract reasoning he used. Stories and narratives are much more effective. Anyone who wants to succeed in the political realm must learn this lesson. The Left is great at stories and rarely uses D’Souza-like arguments. And they usually win.

    • drlorentzdrlorentz says:

      One more thing: Scott Adams has also pointed out that analogies are terrible persuasion. There are parallels between healthcare and food but there are plenty of differences too. The opposition will dwell on those differences and the flaws in the analogy, thereby avoiding the substantive issues.

    • Xennady says:

      “My point was simply this: a leftist would say that making it harder for women to obtain abortions by not subsidizing it or by regulating it is just the thin end of the wedge to banning abortion.”

      True, but it has always seemed to me that the proper response from an anti-abortion activist is to point out just how lucrative the baby-killing racket is for the abortionists. They should be sure to mention that planned parenthood butcher babies for parts and most of their sites don’t offer anything other than baby-killing.

      I want to see abortionists defend that ground instead of getting to bleat about back-alley abortions, etc.

      Plus I’ve always wondered why the left is so interested in killing babies when they work soooo hard to save the lives of convicted murderers and rapists.

      I think I’ve figured it out- leftists are evil scum- but I’d like to hear an answer from their own worm-tongues.

  9. EThompson says:

    “Stories and narratives are much more effective. Anyone who wants to succeed in the political realm must learn this lesson. The Left is great at stories and rarely uses D’Souza-like arguments. And they usually win.”

    Totally agree. Many of my friends and family find me annoying because I insist on discussing the facts but Trump broke through this aversion when he bluntly declared, “We don’t win anymore.”

    I think this is refreshing to hear among all of the truthies!

  10. 10 Cents10 Cents says:

    I think facts matter but I agree that rational arguments are not as good as a good narrative. The left tells a better story.

    • EThompson says:

      Except that the brutally blunt and rational Trump won!

      • 10 Cents10 Cents says:

        Trump won on image. His jet helped him a lot. He knew how to counter punch and take down his opponents.

        • EThompson says:

          What image? Even I admit his hairdo is goofy and his personal life has been less than stellar.

          But he is simply the most aggressive, tenacious, and savvy individual to run for the presidency in a long time. I truly believe his ego and his business acumen will not allow him to back down from anyone or anything.

          That’s all I ask.

          • EThompson says:

            And not to sound like my usually elitist self, he’s from Queens and his accent reflects just that. He also uses incorrect grammar at times, but let me just say this:

            I don’t care! And in fact, those “image-destroying” issues helped him to win the election.

            • 10 Cents10 Cents says:

              I see his Queens accent and some of his off the cuff things as part of his image. It got his opponents off his game. The accents work because he is more than just the accent. The 2016 campaign is in many ways the person who thought they were the smartest person in the room was not very bright.

              • EThompson says:

                Call me a Philistine, then. Anyone who took a multi-million dollar inheritance and used it to become a multi-billionaire is no dummy. Even my beloved Romney couldn’t pull that one off.

                He fights dirty and tough and I genuinely believe he wants what is in the best interests of this country.

                He is a Patriot and many of us forgot that making policy as a globalist means exactly the opposite.

  11. 10 Cents10 Cents says:

    I think the way ahead is to weaken the Left’s arguments. That is how they did it with ours. The Japanese proverb is “A little dust over time becomes a mountain.” If Z is the goal we move them from A to B to C.

  12. 10 Cents10 Cents says:

    Maybe the pro side should just flood the other side with baby pictures or grandmothers with loving children thanking them for their sacrifices. I don’t think we get ahead by going the murder route. We should take back the word choice and use it to its full affect.

    • EThompson says:

      Maybe we should drop the subject entirely because the decision was made from the wrong branch of govt. Roe v. Wade should have been voted upon in the legislative branch and that is exactly why it remains an issue 44 years later!

      • NandaNanda says:

        Yes! Legislating from the bench has brought forward all sorts of grief and the quest for victimhood with reference to ‘positive rights’, indeed. Wasn’t one draft of the DoI’s wording, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Property”, anyway?

        • drlorentzdrlorentz says:

          Well, there’s the Fifth Amendment, in part:
          “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

        • Xennady says:

          I take your point, but that ship has sailed, and sank.

          If you want to eliminate rule by the decree of unelected lawyers the left needs to feel the sting as well as the right.

          Alas, the gop is either unwilling or incapable of teaching that lesson.

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