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« Costs and Benefits of Liberty | Main | Violence, Sustenance, and Faith - Civil Society and Social Cohesion - (Ernest Gellner) (1/4) »



Straw men arguments?? Really?? And silly straw men to boot.

What are the odds "that a majority of the people in Nebraska wanted legalized abortion, for any reason whatsoever, up to the 30th week of pregnancy" or that they would support legislation "which required the euthanasia of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's"? Somewhere between vanishingly small and non-existent ... C'mon, Laura - you're better than that. If you have a position, then present/support it honestly (which you were doing - right up to the goofy abortion & euthanasia statements) - not by resorting to tawdry logical gyrations.

I don't have much concern either way in the death penalty brouhaha, but I sure expect better than cheap pol-speak from the folks who represent the citizenry.

Dear Ed, aren't you a bit uncharitable?

To me, Laura isn't over-egging the pudding.

My ears don't hear "cheap pol-speak."

She is making a point of principle, which weighs more heavily in my judgement than your stricture which addresses a lower level of concern: presentation and style.

But that's just a view in a spectrum of views some of which may be closer to your objection.

Be this as it may, I'm glad you're showing up again here at RSE, where your input used to strike me as an enrichment that I've missed in the past months.


No intent to be mean to Laura ... as I hope you know, I am a fan. Perhaps my sin is one of expecting too much. I have the sense that Laura spent much of her first session getting the lay of the land, and that is commendable, as long as it does not presage a debilitating timidity.

I have a great respect for principle (a quality in which the senator abounds), and maybe that is why I was disappointed when she resorted to what I saw as an old debating ruse of setting up faux situations and then knocking them down in an attempt to bolster one's point of view. I believe that Laura genuinely disapproves of the DP, both for reasons of conscience as well as trying to fairly represent her constituency. All I'm saying is I wish she would have simply let it go at that.

Also, let me state that I have never left RSE - I read virtually every post, but I don't comment much. My writing has taken a back seat to several other activities over the past several months - such is the nature of ... ahem ... geezerdom - but please know that I am here, reading and enjoying.

Ed: I am overjoyed to learn that you keep following RSE.

You are absolutely right to set a high standard for a person of Laura's integrity and capabilities.

If I happen to attach more value to other aspects than you do, concerning any particular issue on which Laura is making a pronouncement, that does not at all mean that what you express interest in in your commentary is not equally admissible to the debate or is not of a nature that makes us think and possibly draw a lesson from.

I have always found it worth my while to pause to ponder when I come across your writing, either here or in A View from the Middle Border.

Quite naturally, you, I, and other folks will challenge Laura from different perspectives and with different priorities; indeed, it makes me admire and support Laura to think that she keeps exposing herself to such challenges, especially since they are certainly not always made in a suitably qualified, friendly, and constructive spirit as your and my comments, I think, are.

Good to know, you're around, Ed. I wish you fun and success with your ongoing projects and happy gestation with the dormant ones.

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