Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia equates homosexuality, gay marriage, with murder. He’s using the time old slippery slope argument. Personally, I believe that Scalia is wrong. If homosexuality and gay marriage were that much an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, Jesus would’ve railed on it. He didn’t. If the Lord believed that that was such an abomination, there would be an 11th commandment. There isn’t.

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Once again, union workers, this time in Michigan, are facing having their collective bargaining rights removed. The one big difference that I would point out between Scott Walker’s move two years ago and this move is that there’s no attempt at open discussion. There’s no attempt at trying to use the normal legislative process. Instead, I get the clear feeling that they’re trying to do as much as they can behind closed doors. In my opinion, “right to work” basically insures the right to work for lower wages. A recent study from the University of Notre Dame found that right to work states have higher poverty rates and lower rates of healthcare coverage. This finding is a no-brainer. One thing is clear. The prosperity that we enjoyed in the United States from the 1950s through the mid-1970s was in part due to wide unionization. Unions guaranteed that middle-class Americans received a living wage.

Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina) is on a roll. He spent most of the last several weeks bashing ambassador Susan Rice for reading talking points that the intelligence community gave her to read. Now he’s attacking the president over Medicare cuts. I have no problem with your criticizing the president if you disagree with him. This is cool. I have a huge problem when you say, “How about manning up here, Mister President, and use your mandate to bring this country together and stop us from becoming Greece?” Manning up? So Lindsey Graham is saying that the president does not have enough masculinity to do the right thing? Whatever?!?!?

There are many reasons that I’m happy that Senator Sherrod Brown was reelected. He is smart, thoughtful and doesn’t back down under conservative scrutiny. On Morning Joe, Senator Brown was being pressed on raising the eligibility age for Social Security and making cuts in Medicare to make the program “more sustainable.” Brown replied, “I don’t buy that they’re not sustainable any more than the defense budget is not sustainable. We owe billions of dollars down the line, of course. We can fix these things with changes at the margins without radical surgery.” He is exactly right. Let’s look again at what is driving the deficit. (See graph)

Current deficits are being driven by the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which were never paid for. Conservatives continue to point out that Obama has been in charge of the economy/government for four years. When is he going to take responsibility for his government spending? Look at the graph. The economic recovery measures are in there. What Obama should own up to is not repealing the Bush tax cuts when he had an opportunity – oh yeah, he did own up to that.

4 Responses

  1. It’s disappointing that Princeton students can’t get simple syllogistic logic.  Scalia seems to be responding to an argument made by opponents of his vote in  the Lawrence decision. Opponents against the anti-sodomy laws and now pro p 8 argue that such laws are promoting morality or based on moral feelings. They conclude that morality cannot be a basis for law. Scalia merely used a simple syllogism to construct the argument:
    A. Legislators should not base any law on moral feelings.
    B. Banning same sex marriage or sodomy  is based on moral feelings.
    C. Therefore, same sex marriage should not be banned.
    Scalia pointed out pointed out that if the premise is expanded to other areas then we reach a conclusions which are absurd, i.e  “reductio absurdum” a term that the people at Think Progress seem to believe that Scalia invented. Scalia illustrates this with the following syllogism.
    A. Legislators should not base any law on moral feelings.
    B. Banning murder [stealing, tax evasion, dog fighting] etc] is based on moral feelings.
    C. Therefore murder [stealing, tax evasion, dog fighting] should not be banned.
    No one would agree with the conclusion [C]. People do have moral feelings about murder, tax evasion, dog fighting and most laws[B]
    Therefore, the premise i.e the argument by Scalia’s opponents on Lawrence [and current opponents of Prop 8] that legislators can’t have moral feelings about laws must be wrong.
    This is not a slippery. Scalia is not predicting that if we allow the recognition of same sex unions will lead to murder (or tax evasion or dog fighting). Scalia is being Scalia, using bold examples to illustrate absurdity.

  2. In cae you’re still confused. Scalia did not compare homosexuality to murder, he compared people’s feelings, noting that people have moral feelings about both.

  3. Right to Work does not remove any collective bargaining rights. Unions will still exist. They can still bargain. They just won’t have the added benefit of government coercion.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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