Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Huh? Fairness Doctrine vs. ABC "Infomercial"

Compare this and this. Which is it?

Does Iran = USSR?

Recently, a number of GOP leaders, most significantly Senator John McCain, have argued that Obama has been too quiet in his support of the Iranian protesters. A common meme is that Obama should speak out against the Iranian regime and for the protesters in the way that Ronald Reagan spoke out against the Soviets and for revolutionaries in Poland. [Note - McCain also credited Reagan with speaking out against the USSR and for the revolutionaries in Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring in 1968. Of course, Reagan was still early in his first term as California governor in 1968. Clearly the solution to the Iranian crisis is for Arnold Schwarzenegger to say something]. Do these people not understand the difference between foreign occupation and internal revolution? Oh wait. Well, anyway, in case it needs to be spelled for them: The Soviet Union dominated Eastern Europe from without (regardless of what Gerald Ford said). The Iranians were originally not fighting for the ouster of a regime. They were originally fighting for a "fair" vote (to the extent a vote can be fair when hundreds of potential candidates cannot run because of an oligarchical decision). They only started yelling "Down with Khameni" after it became clear the regime was engaging in a coup. Obama then came out for the safety of the people, and a fair resolution, and against the regime's actions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pessimism on Iran

Well, I have no idea what's going on in Iran. But I don't think we should be optimistic, even if Mousavi eventually becomes President. Two reasons spring to mind. First, a recent poll put support for Iran's nuclear program at about 84% among Iranians. Second, while Mousavi might be (and who really knows) more of a "reformer" than Ahmadinjead, he was still allowed by the Mullahs to run for President - one of four. The Mullahs vetoed the right of many others to run. So, while I hope the Iranians get honest results from their limited republic, I don't expect too much of a quick change even if they do.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I have thought for years that a significant problem in the abortion debate is that the two sides are arguing two very different issues. The Pro-Choice side argues that a woman has the right to do with her body as she sees fit. That is a "bodily integrity," "free will" debate. The Anti-Abortion side argues that you can't kill an innocent life. To them, it is a debate about murder. Each side makes assumptions the other would never agree with.

A good example of this can be found at Bench Memos, a blog at National Review, where Matthew J. Franck responds to a young Medical student who explains her journey from anti-abortion to pro-choice. He wonders:

whether this future obstetrician has learned from her embryology textbooks that every fetus, every embryo, is a unique, distinct, self-directing, living member of the human species. Any rights that our young med student has by virtue purely of her humanity today, she had from the moment of her conception.
Franck assumes that it is self-evident that life begins at conception, and that an embryology textbook should obviously make that point. But not everyone agrees, and unless Franck sees that, and realizes the reasonableness of the disagreement, there will never be a solution. Similarly, if Pro-Choice advocates (which I am) don't understand that Franck's position regarding when life begins is also reasonable, we will never get anywhere. My suggestion? No clue at the moment. Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hello Again!

After a rousing response at Facebook, I have returned. Not quite as triumphant as MacArthur, but a blog ain't exactly the Phillipines. Any way, here goes:

Over at the Corner, their recent economic "expert," Veronique de Rugy posted on the plight of the Boston Globe. First she noted that the members of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the paper's union, had rejected the most recent contract 277-265, which puts the paper at risk. She then said:

What are these guys thinking? To me, this just goes to show the incredible stupidity of organized labor.

I'm at a loss how a Union voting against a contract shows anything about organized labor in general. Should the Guild members have voted to accept the contract? Perhaps. But a Union chose, in a democratic way, to reject a deal. Would de Rugy prefer that the Union leadership simply agree to the deal without input from the members - a power grab of the sort the conservatives like to accuse them of anyway? How elitist! But I guess that's what I should expect from a woman named Veronique de Rugy.