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7 hours ago, Dennis Edwall, quoting from Compassion and Choices said:

Judge Gorsuch opposes medical aid in dying and wrote The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia (2006), heralded as “the most comprehensive argument against their legalization--ever published."

I hadn't heard of the book, nor the Colorado judge until this week.  Here's an excerpt from an article appearing in the Atlantic today: from a review of several books contributing to the debates about assisted suicide and 'the beautiful death.'  It appeared at the Atlantic today.  He holds a doctorate in philosophy ...

Quote

The most remarkable thing about the book is its measuredness. Gorsuch is a Jesuit-educated Episcopalian, but he does not rely on theology to make his argument. In fact, he takes pains to ground his work in “secular moral theory,” laying out a careful case based on the writings of thinkers from Aquinas and Epicurus to contemporary scholars Peter Singer and Ronald Dworkin. His work reads more like a philosophy paper than a legal brief, which is appropriate given his background: He holds a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford.

[...]

Gorsuch dismisses the “reasoned judgement” on abortion out of hand. The Casey decision contains a section which the late Justice Antonin Scalia derided as the “famed sweet-mystery-of-life passage”:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under the compulsion of the State.

Gorsuch does not find this compelling. It’s “unclear whether Casey’s ‘mystery of life’ passage is properly understood as a persuasive but non-binding dictum or an exception-less holding,” he writes. He argues that a number of activities—including polygamy, dueling, prostitution, and drug use—would have to be allowable if this “right to define one’s own concept of existence” really exists. He thinks Casey is much more compelling as a decision based on settled legal precedents than the groundwork for new legal rights, including the right to die.

But neither does he come out as a clear abortion opponent. He gives some deference to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s opinion that abortion is a “unique” issue, noting that the Court found in Roe that a fetus does not have the rights of a “person” for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment. This is why he’s so fascinated by the question of assisted suicide. According to the Supreme Court, “only one person’s autonomy interest at risk in the abortion context: the woman’s,” he writes. But in places where assisted suicide is legal, he writes, two different kinds of autonomy are at stake: that of people who want to control their death, and that of people “whose lives may be taken without their consent due to mistake, abuse, or pressure.” While Trump promised on the campaign trail to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, and pro-life groups have praised Gorsuch’s nomination, Matt Ford reports that he has never written a major decision on abortion. His book doesn’t suggest a clear position one way or the other.

Assisted suicide might seem like an odd area of focus for a rising legal star. But if Gorsuch is confirmed, it’s as likely as not that he’ll hear a case on the subject during his time on the Court. Colorado voters just approved a ballot measure on assisted suicide in November, and California’s law allowing the procedure took effect just months before that. D.C. is currently wrestling with Congress over its “death with dignity measure,” which was recently approved by the city council and then signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser in December. Other states, including Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, already allow assisted suicide, and a 2009 Montana Supreme Court decision set a precedent for the procedure in that state.

OL readers who follow the SCOTUSblog will find a good in-depth article on the nominee and the history of his legal work and ethos, from a couple of weeks ago: Potential nominee profile: Neil Gorsuch (links at original).

Quote

Finally, there is administrative law—the one area that seems to demonstrate some real distance between Scalia and Gorsuch. Last August, Gorsuch made real waves in the normally sleepy world of administrative law by advocating the end of a doctrine that has been tied closely to the functioning of the administrative state and the executive branch since the mid-1980s — a doctrine called Chevron deference. The basic idea behind Chevron is that, when Congress enacts a broadly worded statute whose precise contours are ambiguous, the courts should permit the federal agencies that are charged with administering the statute to enforce it in any manner that is not clearly forbidden. Scalia was a judge on the D.C. Circuit (which does more agency review than any other court), and he was a strong advocate for Chevron’s basic take on agency review and the flexibility that it preserved in the administrative state: He often warned that the consequences of efforts to limit or tinker with its model could be severe. Gorsuch’s recent opinions in Gutierrez-Brizuela — he wrote both the majority opinion and a concurrence to his own opinion to express his personal views on the doctrine — expressly urge: “We managed to live with the administrative state before Chevron. We could do it again.” Ironically, Gorsuch’s chief complaint about Chevron doctrine was something that would have been close to Scalia’s heart — namely, that it empowers agencies to take the power of statutory interpretation away from courts, and subjects judicial decision-making to administrative review, rather than the other way around.

Gorsuch’s opinion — in which he stakes out ground that few have sought to defend — is a very compelling read, and it is unfair to try to summarize it in a few sentences. But it seems quite clear that: (1) Gorsuch’s views on administrative law are meaningfully different from Scalia’s in a way that could be described as even more conservative; and yet (2) the difference is not as profound as one might think. Unlike Scalia, Gorsuch really does want to apply the basic Gorsuch/Scalia take on ordinary statutes to administrative statutes as well. He believes even these broadly worded enforcement statutes have objective meanings that can be understood from their texts; that it is the job of the courts to say what those laws mean and to tell agencies when they do not have the best reading; and that if the agency disagrees, the only proper recourse is for Congress to change the law or the Supreme Court to correct the error. Scalia, on the other hand, wanted to limit courts to the role of reviewing agency implementations of these kinds of statutes for clear error in order to prevent “ossification,” recognizing that the understanding of these kinds of laws might need to change from time to time to accommodate changing priorities among presidents and changing conditions on the ground.

 

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Edited by william.scherk
Grrrrrrammar

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Good one, Michael.   :)

 

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First Obama came out basically saying President Trump is violating "American values" over the 90 day suspension of entry from several terrorism-related countries until new screening arrangements are made.

The following speaks for itself.

I guess the semi-truce is over.

:)

Michael

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Donald Trump and the Sky

Here comes an analogy -- people’s views of Donald Trump compared to a daytime sky. While such views could be assigned along a spectrum with very optimistic at one end and very pessimistic at the other, I believe the daytime sky affords a more colorful and nuanced scale.

At one end a person views Trump like an ominous sky. None of the sky is blue, there are dark clouds all around, lightning and funnel clouds. At the other end a person views Trump like a sunny, clear blue sky without a cloud in sight. One less optimistic view sees the sky as sunny but partly cloudy, with the clouds being the pillowy kind and mostly white. In this analogy such clouds can represent a lack of clarity. One less pessimistic view sees a very hazy sky, but not an ominous one.

My personal view is between the two extremes. It’s much closer to the clear, blue sky than the ominous one. The sky is partly cloudy, and a few of the distant clouds are rather dark gray. Of course, the weather may change that in the future. Time will tell. It’s very clear to me where MSK’s view fits, and I doubt that will ever change. After all, he views Donald Trump as a mix of Hank Rearden and Francisco D'Anconia (link). :)

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3 hours ago, merjet said:

Donald Trump and the Sky

My personal view is between the two extremes. It’s much closer to the clear, blue sky than the ominous one. The sky is partly cloudy, and a few of the distant clouds are rather dark gray. Of course, the weather may change that in the future. Time will tell. It’s very clear to me where MSK’s view fits, and I doubt that will ever change. After all, he views Donald Trump as a mix of Hank Rearden and Francisco D'Anconia (link). :)

Trump is an intuitive business man,  but he has little grasp of science and technology.  My guess is that Trump is a scientific ignoramus.  He probably would not know a differential equation if it came up and bit him in the ass.  Some people have a primordial and intuitive genius for Doing the Deal.  I think Trump is one of those.

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16 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

In compensation, President Obama didn't mind killing you.

He was happy for the government to be of aid, even if you didn't want it.

:)

Michael

MIchael:

You seem to forget:  President Obama only killed US citizens without due process when it seemed like a good idea.  So we always had that safeguard in place...

Wasn't it amazing when all the left-wingers were out protesting (sans pussy hats, mind you) the drone-killings of US citizens by executive fiat?   Made me proud to be an American. 

Their patriotism was on display for all the world to see,* and their commitment to constitutional principle brought tears to my eyes.  I remember the wall-to-wall coverage of the protests like it was yesterday...**

*Note to Baal--I'm being sarcastic.  None of these things ever happened.

**Note to Greg--yes, everybody gets what they deserve, every single moment of every single day in every single circumstance, and anybody who doubts this is a liberal, feminized weenie....   

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21 hours ago, Dennis Edwall said:

Except he is opposed to aid in dying:

Dennis,

On a more serious note, President Trump himself has taken an interest in a parallel concern. I tried to look for the video, but it is too complicated for my patience at this moment. So I'll just explain it. This happened within the last couple of days or so.

When a terminally ill person has been judged by doctors to have a short time left to live, he is denied treatment with unapproved drugs that are still being tested because, in the wise understanding of the government, they might harm him. He'll be dead soon, but the government doesn't want him to run any risks.

President Trump wants to get rid of this restriction and allow terminally ill people to be able to choose to have a last shot at living, even if the odds are not great. Even if it means they are knowingly choosing to be a human guinea pig.

That's commendable in my view.

Michael

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38 minutes ago, PDS said:

President Obama only killed US citizens without due process when it seemed like a good idea

I am unclear on the concept: is this to be understood as a reference to assassination squads (in the USA) or is it in reference to targeted drone killings (primarily in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen)?  Perhaps this has been discussed in detail elsewhere on OL.

How to compare the drone killings/black ops of the last Administration to those under the current Administration?

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Finally we agree on something.

I believe there is a lot more, but agreements don't prompt discussions as much as disagreements do.

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3 hours ago, PDS said:

Wasn't it amazing when all the left-wingers were out protesting (sans pussy hats, mind you) the drone-killings of US citizens by executive fiat?   Made me proud to be an American. 

The drone programme and targeted killings did not arouse the ire of rent-a-crowds, but left-wing protest or disagreement or concern need not only be demonstrated by a bunch of shouty and sometimes stupid anarchist-freaks (hi, Berkeley). I mean left-wing media was engaged with the implications of the Obama doctrine in this area. That the American Awlaki was blotted into carbon by drone strike  ... that was news.  That was ACLU time, and every bleeding heart was finding it outrageous that extra-judicial execution by bomb was unable to be supervised by any body other than the executive. 

I can see a connection between protests, demonstrations, rallies, marches, riots -- and left-wingers. I can also see a connection with opposition or criticism to executive practice. That massive or less massive or stupid or less stupid 'demonstrations-with-riot-in-varying-proportion are one thing under Trump and another thing under Obama, makes sense. 

But if the issue is an Objectivish, objective take on -- and critical deconstruction of -- Obama-era extra-judicial killings, the record shows opposition if not riot from The Left, the Them. I don't know what any firm Objectivish stands are on the central notion that it is up to one man to 'green-light'  these foreign attacks, be they by CIA drone, by JSOC special forces, by SEALS -- when the aim is assassination of terrorist leaders.

So, when al-Awlaki the senior was crisped in Yemen, where did the critical deconstruction take place -- an American citizen dead by presidential order!? When the American-born Awlaki fifteen-year old son was crisped in Yemen in turn, who was crazy with reaction to this?

I ask because one of those kill plans had recently crossed Obama's desk and been rejected, presumably (if you believe the leftish reporting) because it could not be certain not to carbonize civilians.  That same or revised kill plan crossed President Trump's desk. He did not hesitate, with Bannon and Miller in attendance, to sign that order to kill.

So, now we learn through the transparency of Obama's design that another Awlaki child is dead in Yemen, an eight-year old girl (along with the targeted agents of terror), and as yet unspecified by CENTCOM numbers of other civilians. As well as one dead American serviceman. Trump's first kill.

-- in this context, then, I have to examine my own appreciation of anti-terror death-dealing actions that require presidential approval. Perhaps for a Trump supporter and maybe for a Trump skeptic, but probably for a Trump hater, it remains to be seen.  I haven't worked it out in my mind. As far as I understand the wages of death, the balance of national security interests must be difficult. If there is a 'blowback' (yes, just imagine the thrill in Yemen and region over the the inevitable pictures of a smiling pig-tailed little charmer), then blowback there will be, either by riot-rallies in public or a calculation in a mind.  More enemies for America, or less.  It's a difficult math problem at least ... 

That signature, then,  can do awesome  things.

But diid Trump make a mistake in ordering the action, encouraged to do so by the 'weak' Obama's refusal? I don't think so, but I don't know. America having abandoned Yemen in particular (via temporary halt in visas, refugees, visitors), what difference does it make that another little person dies. As with Syria, those numbers have always been disgustingly high, and the level of war crimes is precisely what attracts the 'surgical' operations, be they to behead the monster ISIS by carbonizing its leadership or to support the Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS in materiel, drones, surveillance, bombing, intelligence, training.

I mean if anyone has seen the evil of the Damascus Sarin attack, seen the serried ranks of infants and children choked to death by their own government ... and if one is in the mood to consider the concept war crime, then what the President does in anti-terror semi-secret special categories can seem trifling in comparison to some eyes.

I think I would generally support cutting off the heads of the snake. I will never be in a room where death is dealt in this way, so I remain on the fence. I sure hope Mr Trump can remind foreign leaders about the greatness of America. The Western alliance is vulnerable to dissension because of the openness of its institutions and society. I would hate to see in four years an angrier and more bitter Islamic world contra the USA, a resumption of authoritarian stability in those suffering lands of the Middle East, a hostile wing within the Western alliance ...

Anyway, I seem to remember, as if from a dream, a candidate talking about torture and the killing of families of terrorists. Take out their families. Be half as harsh and merciless as ISIS.  It kind of revolted the usual suspects, the pussy hats, in my dream, but thrilled those who want a strong America, a powerful and feared and respected America. 

Endless war?  Endless 'surgical' operations. Endless photos of bombed, gassed or carbonized children?  My biggest hope is the Trump, in reversing some aspects of Obama's failed policy in Syria, can help bring that conflict to an end.  The end might not result in justice for the war criminals at the Hague. It might result in a consolidation of Iranian-Russian control in Syria proper, but one can hope.  Justice is one of those great American ideals that packs a punch. If Trump helps send Assad to the Hague, I will illegally vote for him in 2020.

3 hours ago, PDS said:

Their patriotism was on display for all the world to see,*

Yup.

3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

When a terminally ill person has been judged by doctors to have a short time left to live, he is denied treatment with unapproved drugs that are still being tested because, in the wise understanding of the government, they might harm him. He'll be dead soon, but the government doesn't want him to run any risks.

We struggle with this in Canada, because it is under the small national mandate here, rather than a purely provincial matter (healthcare is administered by each province or territory). It seems not quite libertarian to enable legislation that effectively forces a third-party to give access to a treatment or drug under development, but if that compulsion results in good outcomes, one could Objectivishly argue for it  ...

Here is a bit from a Calgary Herald article on the 'right to try' movement in Canada:

The idea behind “right-to-try” seems like a no-brainer. Surely only the hardest of hearts would deny a dying person one last shot at a longer or more comfortable life. In the United States, 32 states have already passed right-to-try legislation. Now, the movement appears to be picking up steam in Canada.

-- from the same story, the other side, and a broader context for the debate up here:

But opponents argue it would be a mistake to legislate right-to-try in Canada.

“Right-to-try has been very emotional. Why not give these people a chance? Because what happens to these people doesn’t affect just these people, but thousands of other faceless downstream patients,” says Alison Bateman-House, a bioethicst at New York University who has been keeping an eye on the movement in the U.S.

“It’s very scary to see that there is a movement to roll back protections that are there for a reason.”

First, pharmaceutical companies have no obligation to provide access to unapproved treatments, even if right-to-try legislation is passed, Bateman-House says. “You can’t make a private business provide a product in development, even in the case of a national emergency.”

She says she doesn’t believe there is a need to liberalize existing regimes to offer access.

Pharmaceutical companies are already often quite willing to make drugs in development available to patients on a compassionate basis, as long as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada requirements have been fulfilled. It is usually a matter of days or hours for a patient to learn whether they will have access to an unapproved drug, she says.

When a drug is at the end of its clinical testing — and there is a good supply of the drug, which is not always the case — companies are often quite willing to allow access.

“It’s good word-of-mouth, and a boost for marketing.”

Companies may also be willing to make drugs available if they have proved to be successful against a variety of conditions — for example, an anti-viral that has been proven for a number of viruses, and the manufacturer believes it will also be successful in other cases. It gives the company anecdotal evidence that the drug will work in another class of viruses.

But the opposite can also happen and it makes sense that drug companies want to be cautious.

“If they give out a drug and it doesn’t work, then that word gets out,” said Bateman-House. “It also has to be reported to regulators. Drug companies spend millions of dollars and 10-plus- years developing a drug. Why risk having a black mark against the drug?”

She said she can see why patients get frustrated. Drug companies have no uniform rules when it comes to providing drugs on a compassionate basis. Some allow access under transparent policies, some deny access. Some change their practices under public pressure. It can vary depending on the drug.

It’s not unfathomable that right-to-try will come to Canada, says Timothy Caulfield, the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a professor in law and public health at the University of Alberta. That said, it’s not a step he would like to see.

What Caulfield finds most concerning is that right-to-try campaigns work on the underlying idea that the regulatory framework is withholding useful therapies.

“The steps needed to get something to clinical trials are treated as bureaucratic hurdles, not steps in a scientific process. Once something is on the market, it’s hard to get it off the market,” he says. “It’s one thing to access a treatment with no scientific basis. It’s another thing to create a regulatory framework that allows it.”

Caulfield argues there isn’t any scientific evidence to back up the idea that efficacious treatments are being withheld from people who would benefit from them.

“Exciting stuff is happening in stem-cell research. But there are few treatments that are ready for clinical applications. They’re just not ready yet.”

The list of stem cells therapies that are available now is very short: bone marrow treatments for some types of cancer; skin grafting and some eye treatments, he says. “That’s about it. There’s exciting stuff going on in multiple sclerosis, but it’s not ready yet.”

Many desperate patients will nonetheless leave the country to access clinics that offer unproven treatments. He points to the example of the now-discredited “liberation therapy,” a treatment for multiple sclerosis patients. Driven by the power of testimonials, dozens of Canadians left the country to be treated.

“Unfortunately, pressure from interest groups can trump science,” says Caulfield, who has studied the effect celebrity health trends have had on ordinary health consumers.

“A lot of these clinics offer false hope. Therapies are expensive, and there’s no evidence to suggest they’re effective,” he says. “Patients aren’t the only ones who will lose out. There’s also harm to the legitimacy of the science.”

As I understand it, there are around 35 states that already have enabled legislation forcing the hand of pharmaceutical companies. I will look for an example of such legislation and see what groups are pushing for federal legislation. I'll also try to find a Trump opinion on 'right to try.'

 

 

Edited by william.scherk
Added link to Google search

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1 minute ago, william.scherk said:

I'll also try to find a Trump opinion on 'right to try.'

William,

He recently had a meeting with the big pharma folks. It's probably there.

btw - The real issue, I believe, that causes problems with this is not moral. It's legal exposure to lawsuits by the families. Even with all due waivers signed, a horrible side-effect with lots of pain and suffering before death could be grounds for a suit by the family.

Michael

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4 hours ago, william.scherk said:

I am unclear on the concept: is this to be understood as a reference to assassination squads (in the USA) or is it in reference to targeted drone killings (primarily in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen)?  Perhaps this has been discussed in detail elsewhere on OL.

How to compare the drone killings/black ops of the last Administration to those under the current Administration?

 

No, I'm talking about the drone killings. 

The same people who had fits over waterboarding have been largely silent about the drone killings.  Same for the women's marchers.  

One example:  one of my law partners is a really cool, outstanding attorney, who happens to be a lesbian.   She was out marching a couple weekends ago to protest Trump.   She knows I am not a fan of Trump, but she also knows I'm pretty libertarianish/conservative.   I saw her at the office as she was preparing to go march away.   I asked her very kindly why I had never noticed her marching against Obama's drone strikes against American citizens.   This was the first time I have ever seen her speechless.  No words. I almost felt sorry for her.

For background on this topic and the crocodile tears of those who think Trump's every move is an act of Great Tyranny:  see Kevin Williamson's National Review article here--but here is the money quote:    "Strange, that. But then, who complained when the Obama administration announced its policy of assassinating U.S. citizens as part of the so-called war on terror? A few libertarians, Glenn Greenwald, and one right-winger at National Review. So, to review: Stripping away the actual constitutional rights of U.S. citizens without due process through a secret military-intelligence process without appeal, trial, or representation? Hunky-dory. Ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens because one of them is, in your considered view, “the Osama bin Laden of Facebook”? Kill away. But telling a few Iranians that they are welcome to travel anywhere in the world they like except the United States?"  

You know the answer...


 

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3 hours ago, PDS said:

I asked her very kindly why I had never noticed her marching against Obama's drone strikes against American citizens.  

Presumably she had never known you observed her attendance at marches.

3 hours ago, PDS said:

For background on this topic and the crocodile tears of those who think Trump's every move is an act of Great Tyranny:  see Kevin Williamson's National Review article here--but here is the money quote:    "Strange, that. But then, who complained when the Obama administration announced its policy of assassinating U.S. citizens as part of the so-called war on terror? A few libertarians, Glenn Greenwald, and one right-winger at National Review. So, to review: Stripping away the actual constitutional rights of U.S. citizens without due process through a secret military-intelligence process without appeal, trial, or representation? Hunky-dory. Ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens because one of them is, in your considered view, “the Osama bin Laden of Facebook”? Kill away.

I don't find the NR argument convincing in this excerpt. Who complained (when?) -- a few libertarians, etc. My brief researches found plenty of left-wing complaints indeed. It is not accurate to portray a supine or silent "Left." Maybe this is a silo effect.

I think one can conflate a few things:  the pussy-riot Women's March (an annual, not perfectly a protest against Trump), the outrage of civil libertarians at the botched roll-out of temporary bans as they unfolded at entry points, the generalized pearl-clutching and/or hysterical outrage of the left-wing at Trump, the black corps bent on violence and disorder in Berkeley.  

Professing opposition to the killing by drone of American citizens is through various means of communications  ...  march-rally-demonstration among them. 

Perhaps the otherwise nice colleague was nonplussed at the demands of the question: that she compare her attendance at March X, with her lack of attendance at hypothetical March Y.  She might have been silent at the implied very kind charge of hypocrisy. Sometimes people don't always say what is on their minds. If I were her I probably would say something like ... 'you know the answer.'

From another angle,  "marching against Trump's executive kill orders" is not a perfect corollary to what she was getting up to. Particularizing to an issue of signal importance to you did not invite conversation.  In other words, a linguistic kill shot.

Anyway, those minor points to one side, is there a defensible Objectivish position that would be outraged at executive kill orders by Obama, yet not those by Trump?

 

-- to the general hubbub surrounding Trump's early days moves, in a huge polity like the United States, you are going to find the most extremes due to the political freedoms inherent to your republic.  There will be nuts and radicals of all stripes. I think those who are presently shouting themselves hoarse on some chilly sidewalk in dispute with Trump should take a long view. Will your fireworks and supplies last till week four?

From a "right wing" or conservative or Randian or Trumpian point of view, the quicker the Left and its wackos blows its wad on showy public manifestations, and the quicker opposition to Trump is equated with the burning-with-stupid fringes, in the expectation that fatigue will overtake both the public at large and those remaining hoarse voices, the better.  I think that the White House takes the positive credit from negative manifestations. In other words, he consolidates support as the opposition discredits itself with showy public whoopee and dumbshow left-radical-black-bloc destruction and intimidation.  I figure Bannon has a strategy to effectively sideline all such manifestations as un-American, whether tainted by black-bloc or not.

 

Striking out on a fresh trail, I thought the highlight of the last few days was the overseas hoopla over Trump's truncated phone call with the prime minister of Australia. A slam-dunk opportunity to consolidate support from this essential Pacific ally.  Instead, the president went angrily off-script, and reverberations continue in Australia. 

Back momentarily to Williamson.

Quote

But telling a few Iranians that they are welcome to travel anywhere in the world they like except the United States?"  

That seems to imply that opposition or criticism of the botched roll-out or its unintended consequences derive from preferring a "few" Iranians over the US citizens extra-judicially executed by presidential order.

Canada has a healthy population of folks out of Iran, a surge in the immediate aftermath of the Islamic revolution, a steady flow of refugees since. We offer refuge to those who would suffer death or imprisonment for acts or beliefs that in our country are subject to full freedom. So, victims of religious or political persecution, offenders of laws on sexuality, freedom of expression, freedom of worship, we take on a big chunk of those that apply, and we at the same time fight for justice in Iran on behalf of incarcerated Canadians with dual citizenship. At the same time we regularized Iranian family immigration. This keeps open the vital conduit of human intelligence on Iran that we lack without diplomatic espionage and full commercial presence.

All that diversion on Iran to say that you can replace the words Canada with USA and it describes your general approach to two-way traffic in people between the almost-enemy and the USA.  Subject to harsh security scrutiny as advised on both sides of the border, subject to shared intelligence. (in the Americanadian frame, Afghanistan and Iraq are special cases above the torn-to-pieces Syria, Yemen and Somalia. The interpenetration between American military-intelligence and locals such as interpreters and assistants in Afghanistan and Iraq can lead to death for these individual allies. Sifting out the good guys who aided and aid Western interests is an essential entailment of war; abandoning a fellow-fighter is not only cruel but self-defeating of the larger strategic goals. Considering that the USA has an erstwhile ally in the Iraqi government, freezing entry for too long will damage relationships unduly.) 

The USA can be justified in 'pausing' this one corner of the vast refugee programme and its oversight of visa entries from countries of concern. But at the same time I think citizens can also be justified in expressing their opposition to this update.  They can point to the the pointless dislocations and humanitarian impact of the rushed directive.  And whatever else their problem is.

One side-effect of the enormous hoopla in the world over this roll-out was that immigrants will tend to choose Canada if they feel unwelcome in the USA. In a sense our two countries compete in accreting "high value" entrants, those whose economic potential will bloom in free lands. What message "took" in those quarters abroad?

If I had one policy wish for Trump on the immigration/refugee front, it would be that the USA reform its system along Canadian lines, putting much more emphasis on quality, simplicity, transparency, and achieving our higher rate of citizenship take-up among newcomers, our higher rates of economic and social integration.  Recent immigrants and refugees are among the most attached to Canada and its values, values shared with America to the most part.  If these streams become convinced that the USA will treat them less fairly than Canada, who benefits?

 

I wish the new president good counsel on this and all issues. I should  not be surprised if he is knocking a few official heads together to fix the errors in communication and deliberation of the first couple weeks. And I would tacitly encourage the blob Left to continue going snake on every last little thing --  if they want to be seen as outside the consensus emergent under Trump.  

Most new presidents enter the world's toughest job with a general good will from the nation and its international partners. Trump starts with a handicap in popularity, which may be meaningless because of the general voter agreement on policy changes decreed and yet in the pipe. I figure these are all locked in, like 'em or not, no 'battle in the streets' will dissuade a President and Congress determined to reform. That national battle of the agenda will be won by the White House, no question.

Finally, and boringly, more Canadian perspective:

The international 'battles' over trade will begin with Canada and Mexico.  President Trump can withdraw the USA from NAFTA at any time with a signature. Where stands the fullness of goodwill? I really don't know.

Mr Trudeau has been adroit so far in avoiding the least confrontation with the USA or the hint of a tiff with Trump, so I am hopeful.  Our modern relations since the First World War have become ever more integrated across the board. We both have a lot at stake in negotiations, huge volumes of interactions.

The best to come will likely be Trump's first official foreign visit, north to Canada, which I hope is early and made into a state visit.  Can we sweet-talk our best friend in the world to not punish us as much as Mexico will be punished?

 

Americans are basically cousin Canadians without the French Fact but with plenty of un-integrated brown and black folk, and the Mississippi plus nukes. So it is going to be like grappling with a mirror-image when the USA bears down on Canada for a better, free-er, fairer deal.   I am fairly sure we can hypnotize the president into a deal that works for everyone on balance, if not for every interest group. I don't see him undoing the fabric of unity forged by Reagan and Mulroney in the monumental Free Trade Agreement of the 80s.

Outside the circle of high pomp surrounding a state visit, scrupulous respect paid to the head of state in every way, there will be pussy-riot galore, since we too have lemmings and nutters at the fringes.  But deep official respect will dominate.  How else dare we treat the highest office of our closest brother, our enormous brother?

For Canadians, concerns, and an inevitable period of adjustment. We don't yet know what the new North American deal will be. 

naffffffta.png

-- it is nice bouncing ideas off you, PDS. I hope you stick around. As Merlin points out, we are more likely to get a discussion via disagreement. If I have raised fresh disgreements with you, we can have a festival of reason to work them out.

Edited by william.scherk
Spellinx

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Chipping in, a reminder there are still 42 Muslim countries left not (temporarily) restricted. An anti-Islamic policy? Not even close, despite all the moral outrage I hear. Anybody who can be remotely objective (such as a Muslim neighbor) has understood and can admit that the ones picked out, have given some good cause for their treatment by the US. My only reservation is pragmatic, since it only takes one (unbanned) e.g. Indonesian jihadist to slip through. Will the policy be reasonably effective?

You can only feel sympathy for the decent, say, Iranian family who've been painted with the same brush - by their place of birth and repressive, sometimes brutal leadership - and are excluded for now. One would hope they still make it (or head to Canada...). And they especially, would badly want to leave all the fear and uncertainty behind them, not to find any similar sharia conditions or extremists where they finish up, so you'd think they'd come to praise the USA's firm stance. (e.g. France would not be considered an immigration option).

I have to laugh at the internal contradiction of the moralistic objections, boiling down to an infantile demand that America must be 'forced to be free' - obligingly admitting everyone, permanently.

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Michelangelo wrote: President Trump wants to get rid of this restriction and allow terminally ill people to be able to choose to have a last shot at living, even if the odds are not great. Even if it means they are knowingly choosing to be a human guinea pig. That's commendable in my view. end quote  

We make laws to take care of kids. We make laws to take care of the mentally disadvantaged. And I agree that people who are terminally ill are a special case.  If you have nothing to lose, then further medical science and take the pill or potion. So in a sense, the terminally ill, if in their right mind, have an extension added to their individual rights in a sane society.

Our local paper the Salisbury Times had a guest column from Objectivist Michael Kitts Miller about wanting open borders and he quoted Binswanger.

At this point I would prefer Donald J. Trump as President over Obama, Hillary, or Harry Binswanger because I think his accomplishments will be greater in number and better for the country . . . times ten. My rose colored observations are not tainted by a hypothetical grace period.

Peter

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William wrote: I am unclear on the concept: is this to be understood as a reference to assassination squads (in the USA) or is it in reference to targeted drone killings (primarily in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen)?  Perhaps this has been discussed in detail elsewhere on OL. How to compare the drone killings/black ops of the last Administration to those under the current Administration?   . . . . I can see a connection between protests, demonstrations, rallies, marches, riots -- and left-wingers.  end quote

It is a possibility that black shirted, Progressive goon squads are going to create violence on the scale we saw during the Vietnam War. Hollywood elites are certainly trying to fan the flames.

If you throw a rock or a fire bomb expect to be shot. If you loot, expect to be arrested and jailed for a long time. If you peacefully protest, don’t block traffic. If the Progressive Propaganda Machine tries to say this retaliatory use of force is racist or based on class . . . “f” them. Shoot the bastards until peace is restored. No more PC bullshit.

Peter

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18 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Anyway, those minor points to one side, is there a defensible Objectivish position that would be outraged at executive kill orders by Obama, yet not those by Trump?

 

I can't imagine there could be, but I've been surprised on this thread before.  :evil: 

In case it's not obvious, I really don't care whether the Left (or Right) is full of hypocrites.  Most people are hypocrites--especially when they enter the political arena.  

I'm not saying this to sound cynical, but simply stating an undeniable observation. 

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47 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Superbowl parallel:

Brady just did what his friend, Trump, did.

:)

Michael

Get elected President?

--Brant

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