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Kat:

It was the satire line of the night. Rush Limbaugh used it yesterday afternoon, also.

I like Johnson and he certainly is a long shot. His speaking style needs a lot more energy! It is interesting because I have heard him on radio interviews and he comes across much better.

It looks like the cameras and the magnitude of the event were a bit much for him last night. Hopefully, he will loosen up in the next round. One commentator/pundit called him a libertarian Michael Dukakis.

Adam

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Kat and Adam,

Unlike Ron Paul who has been fighting a lonely battle in the Congress for almost a quarter of a Century, Gary Johnson has built a successful business and was re elected in a Blue state serving two terms as governor of New Mexico where he vetoed over 700 bills. Did I hear him say something about the necessity of having a balanced budget now instead of many years from now?

He is a libertarian and is pro choice on the abortion issue which might make him appealing to the vast majority of voters nationwide who remain pro choice and would not vote for traditional Republican candidates because of their opposition to the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy for reasons of her own.

He is not a Mormon which is a plus, but i don't know if there is any downside to being a Lutheran in politics nowadays!

Edited by gulch8
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Kat and Adam,

Unlike Ron Paul who has been fighting a lonely battle in the Congress for almost a quarter of a Century, Gary Johnson has built a successful business and was re elected in a Blue state serving two terms as governor of New Mexico where he vetoed over 700 bills. Did I hear him say something about the necessity of having a balanced budget now instead of many years from now?

He is a libertarian and is pro choice on the abortion issue which might make him appealing to the vast majority of voters nationwide who remain pro choice and would not vote for traditional Republican candidates because of their opposition to the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy for reasons of her own.

He is not a Mormon which is a plus, but i don't know if there is any downside to being a Lutheran in politics nowadays!

Gulch:

His governorship terms, are, as you know, major pluses because he can point to a record.

Second, his executive skills as a business owner, and governor, are major criteria for fulfilling the powers of a Constitutional executive in my judgment.

Finally, he needs to develop a field force and election day operation for the early primaries. The current political class establishment of the Republican Party is pushing to anoint a candidate right now and prevent the "tea party," libertarian and Constitutional conservative elements of America from having any control of the party apparatus.

This will probably mean Romney, or Huntsman, both of whom I have major problems with, but both of whom would be better than the marxist in the White House now.

Adam

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Kat and William,

I saw pro-choice, and immediately I thought: Wow, finally a non-Democratic candidate I could vote for. Then I learned that although Gov. Johnson counts himself as pro-choice concerning legality of early-term abortions, he would appoint Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.

I take the acid test of a candidate’s support for legality of elective abortions to be support for Roe. The Roman Catholic Church had been able to outlaw abortion in all states until that case, as I recall. My impression has been that that situation with the State houses has not really changed since then. Even in the years when citizen support for the position of Roe was 3-1 in favor, the attempts at chipping away in the State houses seemed to never stop. After the 2010 election, I doubt the situation has improved in those institutions.

So I never voted for Ron Paul as Libertarian candidate, because he, like Johnson, said he would appoint Justices who would remove the question of individual rights decided by Roe from settlement under US constitutional jurisdiction, remove it to the States.

The opponents of any and all legal elective abortions, whose support any Republican candidate would require, seem always content with the prospect of having the issue settled by slugging it out in the States (once they get enough votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe). They have fair reason to expect that to work out to their ethical and metaphysical position written into criminal codes.

Here I see some notes on the attempts at chipping away in recent years. Once Roe with the protection it affords by the US Constitution is out, the legislation ratified by the States will not be this small-chipping stuff.

I don’t mean to insinuate that pro-choice citizens should necessarily not vote for opponents of Roe. That is only my own decades-standing principle. But I realize that sometimes pro-choice people vote for anti-Roe candidates in order to oppose another candidate who is wrong on an issue(s) even more important to the voter, with the hope that their preferred candidate, if elected, will fail in advancing the anti-Roe agenda.

Edited by Stephen Boydstun
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Stephen,

Thanks for pointing out the Roe v Wade issue. I am surprised that someone posing as pro choice would endeavor to reverse Roe via Supreme Court appointees.

The first trimester will be the last barricade. But there are women who for one good reason or another have to make a decision further along in their pregnancy. It might be a matter of life and death for the mother in the last trimester rather than that her boyfriend left her or the like. I imagine it would be hard to find a doctor to perform a late term abortion for a less than profound reason. Philosophically the woman's whim is sufficient in the matter. What I am driving at is that maintaining Roe as the law of the land keeps the legal option open for a woman in a dire situation. i shudder to think what would happen if Roe were overturned.

Sadder still would be if judges were appointed by someone we elected because of his adherence to the Constitution and advocacy of the Austrian free market solutions. That such a candidate exists is readily apparent, even evident in the persons of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

Ron Paul has proposed legislation to declare a fertilized ovum as a person with rights. A microscopic single celled person!

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Ron Paul has proposed legislation to declare a fertilized ovum as a person with rights. A microscopic single celled person!

Gulch:

You know that eventually, possibly right now, that single celled "extant:" can be placed in either a host womb, or an artificial womb, and become a person entitled to rights.

If the argument is one of mere technology, what will be the ethical, moral or legal position then?

Adam

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Dr. Cohen has additional knowledge, beyond what is in the following text, but since I had the reply to Adam's question up on the web elsewhere* and it is so easy to add it here, here goes:

Individual rights are not only principles of justice in the sense of treating persons as the kind of persons they are, but principles of social coordination. Milestones such as conception, attachment of the blastomere, quickening, viability, and birth need to be assessed along both of those dimensions for their significance in a correct determination of just legal rights.

Viability and birth are points having significance both for the biological individuality of the animal and for the social coordination among the adults in the community. Prior to viability, other adults cannot become guardians of the fetus without impressing the mother into their service. That is why this point is such an important turn for the situation of rights among the adults concerning the fetus.

The definition of viability I rely on includes the likelihood that the point of viability gets earlier as medical science and technology advance. Viability is reached when there is a reasonable chance of the fetus' "sustained survival outside the womb, with or without artificial support" (Colautti v. Franklin 1978). The fact that zygotes might someday be artificially viable does not mean that anyone would have a moral duty or obligation to bring about their development into human infants.

As of the early 80s, when I was studying this issue, viability was usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) and in some cases as early as 24 weeks. (Perhaps someone here could update us on the point of viability in current practice.) The attending physician judges viability by considering the gestational age of the fetus, the approximate fetal weight, the woman's general health and nutrition, and the quality of the available medical facilities. The US Supreme Court has required that the statutory definitions of viability be flexible to allow the attending physician "the room he needs to make his best medical judgment" (Doe v. Bolton 1973).

Prior to the point of viability, would-be guardians not the mother cannot bring the development of the fetus forward without the service of the mother. After the point of viability, they can. The preceding two sentences are only stating causal facts. As far as properly enforceable rights go, I say the situation is this:

Prior to viability, would-be guardians not the mother have no right to prevent termination of the pregnancy. They must not impress the mother into their service. They must pursue their projects in life without impressing anyone into their service.

After viability, would-be guardians not the mother have a limited right to require (and provide for) transfer of the fetus without harm. My conception of the basis of any such right at all was as follows (as I expressed it in my 1984 Nomos essay "Innocent Threats and Abortion").

Consider two persons presently incapable of interaction. Material liberty between two persons is the extent of what each can in fact do independently of the other. What A can do independently of B might very well be much greater or less than what B can do independently of A. In addition, the material liberty of each may vary over time. Nonetheless, there is always formal equality of liberty in the sense that each is always fully and only at liberty to do what he can do independently of the other.

There is a sense in which these persons could come to interact while preserving the full formal liberty of non-interaction, thus securing individual autonomy. They might affect each other only in ways that do not entail a loss of material liberty to either party. If we go further and assert that (except in defense of his own material liberty against others) it ought to be the case that each be capable of reducing only his own material liberty, then each is the bearer of a claim-right to full formal liberty.

When should a member of our species be accorded the rights a person has against another? What rights ought to be accorded between a human fetus (embro, blastocyst) and its mother? Pass over the idea that pregnant women have tacitly agreed (with anyone) to provide maternal care for potential persons that might arise within them. A more promising vantage point is this: The mother, like the fetus, is where she is because that is the world line of spacetime on which she came into being. Neither the mother nor the fetus is in breach of a duty to the other to refrain from coming to be there.

It is not possible to reduce the material liberty of the pre-viable fetus with respect to its mother. The extent of what the pre-viable fetus can do independently of the mother, even if aided by a new guardian, is nil.

Now suppose the time of viability has arrived. The mother, like the infant, is where she is because that is the world line on which she came into being. Neither a new guardian nor the mother is in breach of a duty to the other to avoid such a coincidence. Furthermore, the material liberty, with respect to its mother, of the viable infant aided by new guardians is now not zero. And it is at this stage possible for new guardians to conduct their guardianship without impressment of the mother into their service.

The original 1984 article lays out the implications of claim-rights in tort and criminal law in general. It goes on to discuss permissible harms of mutually innocent threats as well as their application in abortion contexts. If anyone would like a copy of this essay, simply contact me through the service of this site.

Concerning abortion law in the US (in my 1984 understanding), the US Supreme Court has barred the States from prohibiting abortion during the first trimester. By the end of that interval, the brain of the fetus is recognizable as a mammalian brain, but does not yet have the structural features of a primate brain. The lower brain of the human fetal brain at this stage has begun to have indications of neuronal maturity, although the higher brain at this stage has not. The fetus during the first trimester lacks an adequate neural foundation for minimal subjective experience.

The Court has allowed the States to proscribe elective abortions beginning with the second trimester. (Reader, please step in and correct me if I get any of this wrong.) Viability will be reached towards the end of this second trimester. In my State, a fetus judged to be viable must not be aborted unless it is medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother. The same professional care must be given to the viable fetus as to any fetus intended to be born; if an abortion is needed to preserve the life or health of the mother, measures for life support must be available and utilized if there is any clearly visible evidence of viability. Violation of these requirements is a Class 2 felony, which is the level of voluntary manslaughter. Anyone intentionally taking the life of a premature infant aborted alive commits a Class 1 felony, which is the level of attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping.

I am unsure whether elective, non-therapeutic abortions in the second trimester yet prior to a reasonable medical certainty of viability is proscribed or only regulated under current law. Proscription in this interval would be squarely at odds with the theory concerning rights surrounding abortion that I have outlined in my 1984 essay. In practical effect, there is evidently no difference in possible outcomes, because physicians are simply unwilling to perform elective, non-therapeutic abortions in this interval anyway. Given that social circumstance, I'm not sure there is any reason to try to revise any off-the-mark law covering this interval.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My analysis above (from 1984) was in an “even if” way of argument. It was arguing the legality issue with the preamble “even if the potential human were accorded the rights of an individual, here is what follows where law is determined by proper rights among individuals.” The analysis, so far as it went, neglects the sensible reservation that a mere zygote in a woman’s body is not sensibly the business of would-be guardians who are not in a contract with the woman.

Edited by Stephen Boydstun
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Wow is it the Macy's Thanksgiving parade already?

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.

There are some new world-wide data on numbers of abortions here.

The Libertarian Party national convention is at the end of May in Orlando. Their principles and policies are these.

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New photo is Yosemite Firefall - sunset on a waterfall.

 

Yosemite Firefall.jpg

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