Apparently RU-486 prevents the formation of breast tumors in mice. I’m sure all of the members of the forced pregnancy lobby who support criminalization out of a alleged desire to protect women’s health will be revising their positions about the availability of the drug accordingly…
Another thing worth mentioning about the increasing efficacy of abortion drugs makes the usual American anti-choice position that abortion should be illegal but women who obtain them shouldn’t face any legal sanctions (which, therefore, makes self-abortions legal) even more incoherent than it is on its face. There obviously isn’t the slightest moral or ethical difference between a self-abortion or paying someone to perform one. And with information being much easier to disseminate and improvements in technology, criminalization would have even less effect on overall abortion rates than it did before 1967 (although women would still bear some potentially severe health risks for no good reason.) And because some women would have much greater access to black markets in abortion pills than others, the class inequities in the risks women face would be further exacerbated.
…Ann has much more.
Friday Cat Blogging… Nelson
It will astonish no one to learn that the latest VDH column constitutes a pig’s breakfast of logical fallacies — a messy trough of appeals to belief, appeals to tradition, hasty generalizations and fallacies of composition among others. Even more striking, though, is the sophisticated rhetorical move that probably has a precise name I’ve never actually heard of. The short version is that Hanson — like Pogo — has seen the enemy and he is us. Or, to be more precise, the enemy is “us,” if we define “us” to exclude the following groups:
(1) Americans (not leftists or social democrats, who are really Europeans anyway);
(2) people who appreciate the danger currently facing the “eternal thin veneer of civilization”;
(2a) people who use the word “veneer” in two consecutive paragraphs;
(3) Winston Churchill;
(4) artists who dare to offend Muslims;
(5) the economic non-elites who read the Wall Street Journal;
(6) people who refuse on principle to mock Wal-Mart and fast food restaurants;
In practice, the argument looks something like this:
But our loss of faith in ourselves is now more nihilistic than sarcastic or skeptical, once the restraints of family, religion, popular culture, and public shame disappear. Ever more insulated by our material things from danger, we lack all appreciation of the eternal thin veneer of civilization.
We especially ignore among us those who work each day to keep nature and the darker angels of our own nature at bay. This new obtuseness revolves around a certain mocking by elites of why we have what we have. Instead of appreciating that millions get up at 5 a.m., work at rote jobs, and live proverbial lives of quiet desperation, we tend to laugh at the schlock of Wal-Mart, not admire its amazing ability to bring the veneer of real material prosperity to the poor.
There’s no sense beating up on Hanson for his Green Lanternist absurdities. My question is more technical:
What’s the name of this rhetorical gesture?
If it doesn’t have a name, I’d like to give it one in honor of VDH, because he uses this mode quite a bit in his writings. But I can’t decide on whether it should be called “The Hanson” or “The Victor.” Or maybe it should have another name entirely. And maybe it already does.
I always find stories like this one interesting. For every broken treasure ship at the bottom of the ocean, there were dozens, even hundreds of sailors, soldiers, and merchants who went down when a storm got rough, or a pirate got too close, or something went wrong with the hull or the steering. Every ship had a financier on either side who had, quite possibly, risked his or her entire fortune on the success of the voyage. On each ship there was a hierarchy of expertise, from the captain to the master to the veteran sailors to the landsmen to the passengers, each with his or her own role to play in the disaster that ensued. Finally, there were people left on land who lost their loved ones without ever receiving even a forensic understanding of what had gone wrong.
Happy 171st to Samuel Clemens, who offered the following oft-quoted words in the New York Herald on 15 October 1900:
I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.
I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.
In recognition of Clemens and his outstanding literary achievements under the pseudonym “Mark Twain,” President Bush today delivered the following impersonation of William McKinley:
We want the people of Iraq to live in a free society. It’s in our interests. In my judgment, if we were to leave before the job is done, it would only embolden terrorists, it would only embolden the extremists. It would dash the hopes of millions of people who want to live in a free society, just like the 12 million people who voted in the Iraqi election. They want to live in a free society. And we support this government, because the government understands it was elected by the people. And Prime Minister Maliki is working hard to overcome the many obstacles in the way to a peaceful Iraq, and we want to help him.
Let’s have a cheer for the Ohio Bobcats, favorite of frequent commenter JRD and tonight playing for their first MAC championship since 1968…
Try to tell the difference between Althouse and Altmouse. No fair peeking at the top before you scroll down!
If you are looking for grants for women and haven’t had any luck check us out to find free money for you and your relatives using existing programs in place for govt. grants and funding. Although it may seem complicated at times to find funding for women it is possible. Even find money for retirement with us.
As we ponder the most recent example of hackery from George Will, let’s recall my personal favorite. That would have to be when he claimed that judicial filibusters were “unconstitutional” during the Estrada nomination controversy–after having argued the (correct) position that the Senate can conduct votes by whatever procedures it chooses while Clinton was in the White House. Hacktacular!
…more amusing commentary from Dave Weigel: “We went from “George Bush is a regular guy you can have a beer with” to “I’m George Bush, bitch!” in pretty short order.”
As readers of this blog know, when it comes to the 2008 primary I’m a strong Gore supporter. But I can see cases for two of the major candidates who are currently being discussed (leaving potential runs by various lesser-known governors out of it for now.) Edwards is interesting and has some advantages, but for me the pro-war vote (not because I think he would have initiated the war as President, but because it make it much more difficult to take advantage of what should be an albatross for the Republican candidate) and his lack of executive experience are serious drawbacks. The other interesting one is Wes Clark. About his 2004 primary campaign, I think Ezra is right. I think a good argument could be made that Clark was the best candidate on paper. The Great Unanswered Question of the 2004 campaign is whether Clark’s abysmal performance as a candidate was exclusively the product of the fact that he was greener than the felt on a new pool table, or because he just lacks the skills. I think this question is, as of now, unanswerable. If he runs again, we’ll find out.
As of now, though, I would have to rank him behind Gore. I’m inclined to think Gore would be a better President on the merits, and he’s literally electable. Also, while I’m not sure that much can be inferred from Clark’s campaigning per se I do think that the choice to enter the race so late itself raises serious questions about his acumen as a candidate; it’s not clear what the hell he was doing. I’m open-minded, but as of now I’m skeptical about his candidacy.
Speaking of Majikthise, I note that she wrote the cover story in this week’s New York Press.
I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while, but acting on a tip from Lindsay and A White Bear I was sent a free bottle of the 2004 Amelie by the Mankas Hills Vineyards. (It didn’t come with any obligation to write about it.) I also decided to pick up a bottle of the 2002 Contado Cab, for which I paid full retail (New Yorkers can get ‘em both at Sherry-Lehman.) I lack the chops to be wine critic–trying to communicate the quality of wine immediately makes me think “OK? Now, stick your nose in it. Don’t be shy, really get your nose in there. Mmm… a little citrus… maybe some strawberry…and, oh, there’s just like the faintest soupçon of like asparagus and just a flutter of a, like a, nutty Edam cheese…are you chewing gum?” But I can say that both have become part of my wine rotation. I prefer the cab slightly to the Amelie (which is a cab/merlot blend), but perhaps by less of a margin than I was expecting. I rarely taste purported hints of mocha in a wine, but in the Amelie I did; it was quite complex for the genre. I had a half bottle tonight with a ziti a la bolognese and a spinach/chick pea salad, and it complemented it very well. When it comes to west coast wines I try cabs almost exclusively, and I thought the complex but very fruity straight cab measured up well to others in its price range. I would definitely recommend either if you like the varietals in question–it’s good wine for the price.
In addition, the Times has a good article about American-made rye (as opposed to Canadian) whiskey today. I’ve only sampled two–the Van Winkle is terrific, and the Rittenhouse is a bargain; and thanks to a friend with a PhD in mixology I can testify that it makes an excellent Manhattan.
By popular demand — that is, at the request of one commenter — here’s the quiz I was going to give my students tonight if the Hand of Providence had not offered me the chance to spend the day shoveling snow and drinking beer instead.
The following titles are either (a) books written by “neoconservative intellectuals” or (b) films of such high quality that they were only made available on videocassette or DVD. Can you guess which is which?
1. Savage Wars of Peace
2. Finding the Target
3. Ultimate Avengers
4. Dangerous Nation
5. Black Dawn
6. The Savage Wars of Peace
7. Out for a Kill
8. The Foreigner
9. Hard Line
10. Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story
No cheating, OK?