Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We've Got a Live One Here

So I was in the car today and happened to be listening to a CD when I thought... you know what, I'll bet Laura's just coming back from a commercial break.

And so she was, and wouldn't you know it, her guest was one Duncan Hunter, candidate for President of these United States. You can read about Duncan's positions here, and by golly, this seems like I guy I might be able to vote for.

Please take a look and see if anything doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I'm going to do the same. Folks, I haven't read every key-stroke of his site, but from a quick once-over, this might be my guy.


michael hargis said...

1) If a 15 year old girl got raped by her father and became pregnant, and it further developed that giving birth posed a significant risk to her life, it seems Hunter would force her to roll the dice and take her chances.

2) It isn't clear whether Hunter is for or against gun control of some sort, nor is it clear how free he thinks people should be to carry guns.

3) He seems to want to expand the federal government's role as morality police by increased federal regulation of TV and radio broadcasts, as well as the internet. All done, of course, to protect our children. A perfect setup for a false dilemma: Either you favor this, or you want our children to become victims. My TV has a channel changer as well as an off button. So does my computer.

4) Given his attitude toward internet regulation, his attitude toward gambling isn't surprising. We can't be treated like adults.

5) "I also believe in ending the one-way street on trade." What, if anything, does that mean?

6) "Further, America’s one-way-street trade relationship with China and other nations has reduced manufacturing jobs severely in the U.S. I would change the one-way-street into a two-way-street by putting the same charges on foreign goods that they put on ours." Oh. That's what it means. If I spend $100 at the grocery, my capital account goes down by $100 and my goods account goes up by the same amount. The grocer's goods account goes down by $100 and his capital account goes up by the same amount. Thus is balance achieved. Any first year economics student could tell him that, and also tell him that it applies at the international level as well as the local level.

I see nothing that makes him drastically different from anyone else who wants to be the most powerful person in the world: The same vague way of stating certain of his positions, and the same fuzzy logic to justify them.

Call Me Mom said...

I think it is not the baby's fault that it was conceived in an abominable way, so it is not right to kill such a child.

I also believe that if a pregnancy has significantly more chance of resulting in a woman's death than normal (because realistically, pregnancy has risks no matter how healthy the mother), that is a choice that should be made by the mother and no one else.

Call Me Mom said...

And, since he's so keen on amending the constitution, why doesn't he propose to add an amendment protecting parent's rights instead of just vague legislation?

I'm envisioning something along the lines of:

"Parents shall have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children."

Clean, simple and, in these perilous times, necessary

Call Me Mom said...

Tom Tancredo's stands on the issues are here:


Ron Paul:


Sam Brownback:


John Cox:


Jim Gilmore:


Tommy Thompson:


Then , of course there are the might yet runs:
Newt Gingrich, Chuck Hagel,George Pataki and Fred Thompson, (Not to mention our own AH if he gets the requisite number of e-mails.). I know I left off Romney, McCain and Guiliani, but we already know what there positions are.

Call Me Mom said...

Oops, Please excuse my spelling.

The Monarchist said...

1) If I shoot and kill an intruder in my home who is menacing my family with an axe, I have taken a person's life. Should killing people be legalized?

2) He's got a 100 rating from the NRA on another part of his website. The question isn't is he better than you or I on gun control, but is he worse than any of the other candidates?

3) I may have some genetic deficiency from a reason standpoint, but I cannot fathom an argument that protects as "speech" something as awful and harmful to all of society as child pornography, for example. You aren't making that argument, but I want to take it to that conclusion.

4) I personally find gambling stupid, but I'm with you here. As long as the government isn't endorsing it, I don't care much about it.

5) I figured that one'd stick in your craw. I guess I'd argue that if American businesses didn't have to be hamstrung by unions, government regulations and welfare, there'd be a lot more people willing to work at "competitive" wages and we wouldn't have to worry about whether or not we were trading on an even playing field with our largest trading partner.

If you're an athlete in the Tour De France and you're clean, and there's another athlete in the race who is on major roids - this is well-known and he will not be disciplined - is it unreasonable to find this situation unjust?

And, Mom! Look at all of those links! Now I've got some homework to do!


michael hargis said...

1) No. But Hunter seems to be of the opinion that ALL abortions should be illegal, and while I agree with Mom that the circumstances of the baby's conception are not the baby's fault, that's a decision I can't bring myself to force on anyone. Of course, if we're talking abortion as birth control that's a different story.

2) The NRA definitely carries some weight with me, but I'm still unclear as to what his position is.

3) Deregulating the airlines didn't mean that pilots were suddenly allowed to fly drunk.

4) Same here. Amy and I once went to dinner at Caesar's Casino over in Indiana. They have a fantastic seafood buffet. We never set foot in the casino, however, nor did it occur to us to do so.

5) I really don't understand the concept of a level playing field here. Can you elaborate?

The Monarchist said...

1) Isn't all killing illegal, or shouldn't it be? Enforcement of those laws then are up to individual cases, and even then wouldn't someone have their day in court, where self-defense remains a valid defense? It's the difference between endorsing something and not endorsing it.

3) No, but deregulation also didn't put mini-bars in the cockpit. Let's just use pornography in general, even the "wholesome" kind - at what point does the harm it does to society outweigh individual freedom to engage in it? Isn't this one of those that-which-is-not-seen issues?

5) Our trading partner/competition uses prison and slave labor, in some cases, and manipulates its currency to maintain a trade advantage over us. I think this is what people mean when they talk about a one-way street or "unfair" trade practices: we play by the rules; they don't. With the amount of government interference in American business, it's like having both hands tied behind your back, in other words.


michael hargis said...

1) Yeah, good point. I see what you mean. I read somewhere that the FBI insists that all homicides be counted as murders regardless of how the case is decided in court, whereas in England they only count it as a murder if there is a conviction. That's one reason our murder rate always comes out higher than many other countries.

3) Another good point. The Quiet Beatle, George Harrison, who supposedly has one of the world's greatest (?) collections of pornography, once said that everything that can be published should be published. He should have thought that over before speaking. My initial reaction would be to say that as long as everyone involved is an adult and no one is coerced into doing anything, then have at it. Upon reflection, that just opens the door a little too wide. That-which-is-not-seen, eh? BTW, I've never seen "pornography" and "wholesome" in the same sentence before. ;)

5) If one nation denies its citizens basic freedoms and rights regarding trade, is the proper response from our government to do similar things to us? I realize that that question glosses over an awful lot, and the difference in the degree of restriction is huge, but I can't help thinking that that is the fundamental problem here.

Call Me Mom said...

" at what point does the harm it does to society outweigh individual freedom to engage in it?"

I think Mr. Hamilton, that this is an example of the role that personal responsibility plays (or should play) in our society.

For example, I don't think we have a drug problem in this country, what we have is a people problem. People with little to zero self-control. Particularly those who have used whatever publicity they may have been granted by the press to normalize their self-destructive behaviors.

If we are to have freedoms, we must not neglect the responsibilities that go along with those freedoms, and that is where we are failing as a nation. Parents who were raised in the "if it feels good , do it" generation have failed, (for the most part) to instill this sense of responsibility in their children. Moral relativity has become mainstream and no one feels responsible to report their neighbor's drug problem because-"Well he's not hurting anybody else".
It's as though they think that friend or neighbor has their own personal drug dealer who only comes to town to sell to that neighbor and no one else.

There is a level of personal responsibility involved in our form of government and that is one of the risks we take as a people when we decide to let people have responsibility for their own choices, we may not like the decisions they make.

As for pornography, that is clearly an indicator of how much individual self-control we impose upon ourselves as a nation. Let me just ask you, What need would someone from the 50's have to go out an buy pornography in secret were he suddenly transported to today?

Even our so called "family programming" Everybody Loves Raymond, That 70's show, The Simpsons, are so laced with sexual innuendo and drug references that it is increasingly difficult to watch television if you wish to avoid polluting your mind with such garbage. Even commercials are so pornographic in nature that one wishes to avoid watching even the news. Don't even get me started on drama's or soap operas.

The MSM is answerable to a large extent for this one. They may claim that they are only showing this garbage because that's what sells, but I believe that recent statistics on which movies do well at the box office give lie to this claim.

But even so, we are the ones who have a responsibility to change the channel, turn off the TV or write the networks when we don't want to see this in our homes.

The Monarchist said...

Mike, I love ya, man.

5) I don't know. You make some pretty good points that I can't quite articulate responses to.

Mom, yes, you're right: the obligation is ours, ultimately, to change the channel, as it were.

Nonetheless, given what we know about human nature, part of me can't help but think that there should be some limit to the amount of destructive material we "let" people engage in.

Suppose "average Joe" likes reading Playboys. Nobody getting hurt there, right? But suppose Joe begins to see women not as people but as objects. Suppose he begins to seek out more explicit materials. Suppose it damages his marriage and he divorces. His kids grow up with either a poor role model for a man or none at all. We all know the effects that father-less homes can have on children (not all, of course, but just playing the averages). Think of the costs to society, that which is not seen. I don't have the answer to this dilemma. Clearly, people should be free to live their lives as they wish. It's only when their lack of self-government begins to ruin society and take money from my pocket that I wonder to what degree we should allow people to engage in self-destructive behavior... I hope someone smarter than me will figure this one out.


Call Me Mom said...

"Suppose "average Joe" likes reading Playboys. Nobody getting hurt there, right?"


I believe it is inherently harmful to the young women who pose for such publications. I believe it is harmful as well to their immediate families and potential families.

I believe that "average Joe" is also harmed by looking at these magazines because that changes his expectations of his wife or future wife. I believe that it is harmful to his marriage and to his children. Having these magazines in his house for his children to find teaches the daughters that they are not good looking enough for a man like their father if they don't look like those retouched and airbrushed models. (Consider please that a father is a child's model of God and see what that will do to his daughter in this context.) It teaches his sons that they should judge a future wife more on looks than those more valuable traits in a wife such as being a hard worker, a good mother or a woman of sound doctrine and quiet intelligence.

Yes, you must assume that your children will find those magazines no matter where you hide them. It is better to not have them and to concentrate your affections on your wife.

The Monarchist said...


That was my point exactly.


michael hargis said...


I won't dispute the idea that porn can have a negative effect on family life, even relatively mild porn such as Playboy magazine. I will dispute that such effects necessarily follow.

Such a "slippery slope" argument is falacious in that plenty of examples can be shown both to support the argument and to at least render the subject open to controversy. If our average Joe likes looking at pictures of naked women, it's safe to say that it isn't an appreciation of the beauty of the human form which is foremost on his mind. But it's equally true that artistic representations of nudity can elicit the same base emotions.

What we have to do, I think, is to establish causation: Does porn cause these things? The answer may seem obviously "yes," but one of the rules of causation is that if A causes B, then every time A is observed, B should follow. If B does not always follow A, then A may be a corresponding factor, but it is unlikely to be the cause.

Call Me Mom said...

Mr. Hargis,
I do not believe that the portrayal of nudity is the cause, but rather that it is the flaws in all of us that lead us to fall down that slippery slope.

The human body, being "imago dei", is and should be regarded as, a work of art. I believe our own flaws render us unable (for the most part) to appreciate it without falling into the other traps of human nature to which we are prone.

Daniel Webster said...


Is it just me or do I detect a slight...unassuredness?...in your argument?...

Certain things you say, or, rather, the way in which you say them leads me to conclude that you don't really believe half of what you're saying -at least not as these very principles apply to yourself.

It's fine to seek to square every thought with logic if that's what you wanna do. But in the meantime families ARE being destroyed from within via pornographic materials. If the fundamental unit of society is indeed being destroyed in this way and via this source, then it follows that the nation itself is experiencing the same effects via the same source. And let's not fool ourselves here - "pornography," "nudity," and "artistic representations" of either/or, are different terms with different meanings altogether. They may well elicit the same base emotions in some folks, but they're not the same things, nor are they intended for the same purposes, and we all know it. I mean, a person can be nude yet not pornographically so. Whereas a person can be fully clothed and pornographic at the same moment. Therefore I must conclude that people who experience the same base emotions from looking at nude bodies in these contrasting forms are experiencing some kind of sickness of the mind. But to imply that they are the same things due to this...weird factor (which I don't deny, btw) is to essentially give license to push the limits to a point in which virtually anything can be normalized and sanctioned.

But seriously, as a rule I don't think the frescos on the Cistine ceiling, or certain of Michealangelo's sculptures are to be equated with the "artistic expressions" in Playboy magazine, do you? More to the point, I highly doubt that the articles in Playboy can be equated with, say, the articles in National Geographic.

But I'm with Mom on this'n, I don't believe pornography, or the desire for it is the cause, but an external expression of an internal problem that these people have. Much in the same way that certain individuals are enticed to gamble. Speaking of which, though the thought never entered your mind to gamble while at Caesar's (which I don't doubt for a moment), which do you think the more likely scenario:

a. that Caesar's is in business to attract people like you to eat their seafood buffet, or,

b. that the seafood buffet exists primarily as a service to the casino's customer base?...seafood lovers??? LOL

michael hargis said...

Playboy has articles?

Joshing, joshing...

Perhaps Congress should fund a 10 year study on the correlation between the desire to gamble and a hankering for steamed crab legs. ;)

Honestly, Webster, I'm not sure what my point was. Logic is a lot of fun but taken to the limit it only bogs down the conversation. I do realize that, believe it or not. I know that somewhere in the middle of all these trees there's a forest.

Of course porn and art aren't the same. Anyone seeking porn isn't likely to go to an art museum, and anyone seeking art isn't likely to go to an adult bookstore. And I agree that anyone who views, say, the Venus de Milo and thinks to himself "Whoa, get a load of..." at the very least has an underdeveloped aesthetic sense. I also find it interesting that female sexuality is used to sell to men and women alike, in a way and to a degree that isn't true for male sexuality. It probably has more to do with human nature than Madison Avenue.

Anyway, what was my point? Oh yeah: I don't remember.

Help me out here.

Daniel Webster said...

LOL, I shoulda called 'em, what, "seafood lovin' blackjackers?"

*rubbing top of machine with steaming crab leg* "c'mon baby, gimme a good one this time!"

I've heard some stories, man, lemme tell ya. But seriously I shouldn't be poking fun at someone else's unfortunate problem. And by the way, any of you folks that happen along to read that last line, and you find it representative of something you've been known to do yourself...the great likelihood is that you do have a problem. Seek help!

Your point?...

I think mainly that you find it wise to step back a moment and consider that which may not be obvious to a lot of us before we go to placing government restrictions on different kinds of media, particulary the federal kind. Nothing wrong with that at all. I'd much rather have a full discussion on it than to go off half cocked regulating anything and everything that seems inescapably offensive to some.

As you said before, my computer has an off button. So does my tv. On the other hand, before I installed (correction, before my son installed) our latest filter on the computer we were being bombarded with all kinds of trash. But the fact is that even since I still receive the same kind of trash, just not near as much of it. Of course the address from whence it is sent usually says it all so I simply delete it and move on.

I guess my point is that a person running around naked in a public market will very likely be picked up and charged with "indecent exposure." A man and woman engaged in a sex act on a park bench in open daylight will most likely incur the additional charge of "lude conduct." Personally I see nothing wrong with governing folks in that way when they can't seem to govern themselves. Some folks just need to be governed, what can I say?

If we're governing in a way (and this is where it gets a little tricky) that protects the innocent from the guilty; that is aimed at lawbreakers, not decent lawful citizens, then we're probably at least in the right ballpark.

But I agree with you in the very best Elmer Fudd impression I can muster at the moment:

"Be veowy veowy caowfuw, dat waskowy wabbit is a swippowy one....duhu duhu duhu."


michael hargis said...

Yeah, that's about right. A thing can be offensive without being criminal, and there is frequently reason to doubt whether the thing is question is offensive in and of itself, or just because we perceive it to be so. One man's trash is another man's treasure.