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Debate Night Open Thread

If anyone wants to talk about the debates, or anything else vaguely political, have at it here!

Also, I’m not exactly sure why someone wanted to make wax Romney and Obama heads, but I figured I’d put these up in case any of you were ever wondering what that would look like.

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ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
9 years ago

I was going to reply to this guy and counter some of his points.. I think I might eat some pine cones instead. Or my desk.

I mean, sometimes replying to these people is fun even though you know they aren’t going to get it. This, not so much. Anyone else getting that, or is it just me?

blitzgal
9 years ago

I agree, Shade. Kiddo is in high school forensics here, creaming his pants because he just discovered Ayn Rand and OHMYGODSHEISSOBRILLIANT. Meanwhile everyone else is rolling their eyes over what a self-involved douche he is and he doesn’t notice because he thinks he has seen THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORLD.

Myoo
Myoo
9 years ago

I honestly believe that the average poor person would be better off because a richer society could provide more for them.

The average poor person might be better off because they would have access to better scraps, but if wealth was properly divided, people wouldn’t have to eat scraps.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
9 years ago

But don’t complain to me when the government blows up kids in another country because I wasn’t the one who supported statism.

So if I support “big government” in the form of social programs, I also support our bloated military and the bombing of civilians? Interesting leap of logic there.

If someone wants to take their life, what right do we have to stop them? They own themselves.

You’re aware that a person trying to harm or kill themselves due to depression or psychosis is not in their right mind, yes? There’s a reason we hold people less responsible for their crimes if they are non compos mentis. There’s a reason we prefer people to be “of sound mind” when they enter into contracts. And there’s a reason we try to keep people in the throes of a mental illness episode from doing something as irrevocable as ending their own life. And as someone who struggles with a mental illness, I say “thank god for that”.

I saw you ask earlier how a person who was that sick could consent to treatment. It’s a fair question. But if they’re too sick to consent to treatment, they’re also too sick to consent to die. And I, for one, would much prefer our doctors to err on the side of keeping me alive. Wouldn’t you?

pecunium
9 years ago

Some illustration of how things look in the modern “soft libertarian” enclaves.

The Plutocratic Insurgency

captainbathrobe
9 years ago

Diogenes,

I see. So the psychotic guy who plucked out his own eye…he was just exercising his freedom? Does that present a moral dilemma? Because it really doesn’t for me. Someone who is causing grievous harm to himself due to a mental illnesses needs to be prevented from taking out his other eye. Someone who is that psychotic isn’t making a free and informed decision. I’m sorry if this presents a moral dilemma for you, but for those of us who deal with the real world, the answer is pretty obvious.

In any event, such a person doesn’t just get locked away forever without recourse. Quite the contrary. It’s extraordinarily difficult to have someone involuntarily hospitalized for more than a few days, in part because of the scarcity of bed space, and in part due to the burden of proof required to commit someone involuntarily for any length of time. Typically, every effort is made to maintain chronically mentally ill people in the community, where, unfortunately, services are often woefully inadequate.

See, this why I think libertarianism is a piss poor philosophy for dealing with the real world, which is really more complex than most libertarians imagine.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
9 years ago

Typically, every effort is made to maintain chronically mentally ill people in the community, where, unfortunately, services are often woefully inadequate.

And then they end up homeless. Which is much better than being institutionalized, if only because it doesn’t cost Diogenes anything.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

That’s a very short-term (and simplistic) view of morality you have there, Diogynes. If a person is going through a psychotic episode, then they’re not capable of making rational decisions. If you don’t understand why maybe you should look up the clinical definition of “psychotic”. If someone who’s having a psychotic episode ends up being temporarily committed, and they later recover to the point where they’re capable of making rational decisions, how likely do you think they are to still feel like taking out their remaining eye?

Given your statements so far it’s pretty obvious that you don’t know very much about either psychology or psychiatry. Luckily there is a partial solution to this problem! Any good bookstore should have a psychology section. Start there. If you can get access to a university library, even better. Read every scholarly work on psychosis and depression that you can find (please note that what psychiatrists call depression is not what most laypeople mean when they talk about depression). After you’ve completed this homework assignment (and if you try to skip it there are enough people here who have a background in psychology that we’ll be able to tell if you skipped it, or just skimmed) then we will happily engage you in a discussion about how societies can and should deal with people who’re suffering from severe mental illness.

Until then, this is like trying to discuss calculus with a toddler.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

@emilygoddess

I kind of want to drag him down to the Tenderloin in San Francisco and make him attempt to explain to people who’re homeless mostly due to lack of mental health services why he doesn’t think society owes them any help. The only reason I wouldn’t actually do it is that it would be unkind to the people he’d be talking to – they have enough crap to deal with already without adding frustrating conversations with clueless libertarians to the list.

pecunium
9 years ago

Guys, we have to remember that Diogenes is a real one for thinking things through. Don’t forget his brilliant analysis of the MRA.

f MRA’s are advocating rape (and I don’t know if they are or aren’t, but you say they are) then I disagree with them because that removes personal autonomy from the woman (or man) being raped. The reason I’m skeptical about them advocating rape is that I haven’t looked into it myself, haven’t seen concrete proof, and would initially think that no one would say something that stupid. Dumb positions like that are hard to believe.

So the MRM doesn’t have any high profile people who advocate rape (or, one supposes, violence) because that would be stupid. So stupid that The Naïf doesn’t need to bother with checking.

Even if he does check, well it’s too incredible to accept.

Well, thank you. Reading that was frightening as it was enlightening. He says that to troll though, right? Its not serious stuff I assume.

Facts? What matter facts? Our little intellectual hero has reasoned it out, and it’s just not possible that people who say disgusting things might mean them. So all those pesky people who say they don’t care about the poor? The ones (like Paul Weyrich, and the brothers Koch) who say they want to prevent people from voting; so they can pursue a more extreme agenda than the one they are pushing through now…

They can’t really mean it, or they wouldn’t talk about it.

It just stands to reason.

That is the way he approaches things. That’s the level of insight he is applying to economics, and political theory.

How can we argue with such a mind?

captainbathrobe
9 years ago

FWIW, I’m in favor of terminally ill people being allowed to make end-of-life decisions, including dying with dignity. There’s big difference between that and allowing a person who is not in their right mind to harm themselves. The vast majority of people who are prevented from committing suicide are grateful for having been prevented from doing so. If someone’s up on a ledge, I’m going to try to get them down, and I won’t waste any time wringing my hands over hypothetical moral dilemmas. But that’s just me.

pecunium
9 years ago

CB: Are you saying context matters? Shocking.

Gametime
9 years ago

Diogenes, your Latin fuck-up was amusing but not really the point. The bigger issue is that you apparently don’t think the reinforcement of racist institutions and power structures is an example of racism.

(Oh, and I forgot to mention this before, but you want to be all “anti-statist” and shit, Jill Stein’s got Chomsky’s endorsement. This is because Noam Chomsky is a much smarter anti-authoritarian than you or any libertarian could possibly hope to be.)

katz
9 years ago

Honestly, I think we should give Diogenes credit for having the ability to be embarrassed about what he says. Now he just has to apply that ability correctly.

pecunium
9 years ago

katz:

Well, this is embarassing.

The fact that you misspelled “embarrassing?”

More that he tried to pass off misuse of a term as a mistake in translation.

Lechatchila is a Hebrew word (לכתחילה) and while it does mean, in direct translation, “to begin with” it’s more specifically used to mean “meets the minimum requirement of ritual”, and as a term of art; in the subject of mitzvot to mean “ideally”

So it would be at least as out of place as a priori was.

pecunium
9 years ago

I mention this, not because in modern Hebrew the word isn’t used to mean, “to start with,”, or, “as a beginning”, but because to introduce a word/phrase from another language has connotative effect, just as “ab initio”, or “ex nihilo” have contextual meanings, as does “hoi polloi”, so too dragging in a phrase which has a legalistic use (as לכתחילה does) into a discussion is going to drag those legalistic aspects in.

Because the other people won’t have any other context for it.

pecunium
9 years ago

Looking at it some more, I see I was reading it backwards. If I assume (from the limited data available) he is a native speaker of Hebrew, then he probably meant to say, “”you are starting from the premise”, and I misread it as he was thinking of using “lechatchila” where he used a priori.

So it’s not as egregious a fail as I first thought.

Fitzy
Fitzy
9 years ago

@Diogenes – I don’t know if what we have is only a communication failure. However, since we’re on the topic, there is one Libertarian who does communicate pretty effectively with this liberal at least. If you’ve never heard of Joel Salatin, you might want to check out his work (“Folks, This Ain’t Normal” is his most recent and policy-driven book). He’s a self-described “Christian Libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic.” He’s an advocate for greater food choices, environmental stewardship, and farmers’ (and entrepreneurs’) rights. He also champions a return to the community-based society. I don’t agree with half of what he says, but he does get me thinking about social issues as well as policy and its greater-reaching affects.

I’d say that the real area of conflict between Libertarians and liberals is values. Libertarians believe that the most amoral thing a government can do restrict the freedom of an upstanding individual. Liberals believe that the most amoral thing a government can do is ignore the needs of its citizens. We seem to have some areas of overlap – marriage and gender equality, freedom of expression – but where we diverge, boy howdy. What we liberals cherish as essential to human dignity – like access to health care – Libertarians tend to see as the smothering overreach of the nanny state. What Libertarians see as reasonably demanding people be accountable for their choices, liberals see as callous indifference to people in hardship. We each believe passionately in our version of right. And since my good is your evil, and vice versa, there is going to be conflict.

Systematically applied reason may be another stumbling block. Rational thought sees black and white. I see a lot of gray in the world, though. captainbathrobe’s case about the self-harming psychotic is an example. How can you apply reason to a person who is far beyond a rational state of mind? If he sat down and wrote a detailed list of why it’s a good idea to pull out his own eye, that’s one thing. However, the man’s brain chemistry went haywire, and he had the impulse to mutilate himself. Your body is your property no matter what your state of mind. But is it bad for someone to help you protect it from harm in a vulnerable moment, even if the harmer is the owner himself? You can apply black-and-white logic until the cats come home, but the gray of it is that a man’s greatest asset – his own body – was saved from greater harm by intervention, and that intervention came from people in a government agency. If you want to call that an attack on personal liberty and property, then attack mine in a similar fashion any day of the week.

Can there be any middle ground between us? Probably. I, for example, think it’s great that you promote charity and community building. I admire the drive and the optimism. I do volunteer work myself and donate as much as our budget will allow. But I will never think that it’s a great idea to cut the government safety net on the hopes that others will choose to be generous to the less fortunate. I studied globalization for my senior thesis in college, and I doubt that free trade will be the thing to raise the masses out of poverty. I don’t believe that markets can effortlessly police themselves (shoot, even Alan Greenspan has admitted that markets don’t self-regulate very well*). And I will always believe that a sick person should be healed because they are a person, not because they have an insurance card or a fat wallet.

So that’s my last word on the subject. Good luck to you!

* http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/business/economy/24panel.html?_r=0

princessbonbon
9 years ago

So today the jobs report came out. And apparently since it was not 800,000 jobs in the negative (like at the start of the President’s term), it is proof that apparently the Bureau of Labor Statistics is in this grand conspiracy that well I will let Rep. Allen West show his lack of logic:

“Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book ‘Rules for Radicals.’”

Because you know, President Obama-the most cautious person in Washington-is a radical from that living in the same city that some other radical lived in. And that means he is somehow using the Rules For Radicals despite it not matching them at all. Nor could it be considered Orwellian because they just came out, and is not to show adoration of the leader or any of the other things that show something is Orwellian.

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/job-truthers-jack-welch-bls.php?ref=fpa

captainbathrobe
9 years ago

@Pecunium,

THERE IS NO CONTEXT!!!

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Ha, look what I found in a random search on Hark, A Vagrant – seems apt for this thread’s resident troll:

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=181

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

To follow up on the discussion about psychosis and self-harm, it’s not the we’re arguing that nobody should ever be allowed to choose to drastically alter their own body, or at least I’m not. We’re just saying that the middle of a psychotic episode is not the time to be making those kinds of decisions. There are people who choose to have limbs removed, for example, and although responses within the psych community are varied nobody reacts to those people making their case for why they want to, say, have their leg amputated in the same way they do to the person in CBs story, because those people tend to present as fairly rational. There’s definitely some grey area here, but person-is-clearly-psychotic-and-hurting-themselves is not part of that grey area.

inurashii
inurashii
9 years ago

Ok! Sorry! This is the one that I meant to bring back to life. Anybody else watching the veep debate tonight?

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