Author Topic: Trump, The Reality Show  (Read 92563 times)

D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #150 on: March 21, 2016, 10:42:55 AM »
The female label to insult a man is another good argument that I think, in this case, misses it's mark entirely.

As to, "don't insult people", we got a long way to go before people get over that personality quirk.  It beats punching people in the face.  Baby steps Pyr.  (And no, that was not an attempt to infantalize you in an insulting manner.)

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #151 on: March 21, 2016, 10:54:03 AM »
Sure, but the only way steps will be taken at all is if people who see the benefit of a given path keep pointing the way to it.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #152 on: March 21, 2016, 11:54:08 AM »

Who was rounded up here?

Please show where the protesters offered to set up an alternate route for the people in cars to go while the roadblock was in effect. If they had no intent to trap anyone on a road then surely they created an alternate path for them, correct?

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Again, I imagine that there are already legal penalties for actually forcibly abducting peopel, if you want to add that, as well as detaining them against their will.

A complete dodge. Whether there happen to be legal consequences for their action has no bearing on whether you think their action should be condoned or condemned. You seem to be making it clear so far that you will not criticize or even recognize criticism of protesters for anything they do short of, perhaps, murder or mayhem.

Maybe you'd like to go on record and say specifically whether what they did here was ok, and whether it should be considered fair play or off-limits to physically stop people and disallow them going to a political rally?

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #153 on: March 21, 2016, 12:16:39 PM »

Who was rounded up here?

Please show where the protesters offered to set up an alternate route for the people in cars to go while the roadblock was in effect. If they had no intent to trap anyone on a road then surely they created an alternate path for them, correct?
Rounding up would suggest taht the protestors forced them to be on the road in the first place. They impeded traffic, they did not force anyone to be in traffic. There are definitely negative ramifications for doing so outside the context of the message they were attempting to communicate, and hey should be held accountable for those.

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Again, I imagine that there are already legal penalties for actually forcibly abducting peopel, if you want to add that, as well as detaining them against their will.

A complete dodge. Whether there happen to be legal consequences for their action has no bearing on whether you think their action should be condoned or condemned. You seem to be making it clear so far that you will not criticize or even recognize criticism of protesters for anything they do short of, perhaps, murder or mayhem.
Because it's not for me to pass such judgments; that would be de facto suppressive, since it would be dismissing the message based on my completely irrelevant personal opinion of the messenger. Whether I support or oppose their action has no bearing on anything and is is a complete distraction from any meaningful conversation.

We have the law to handle putting a price on actions if they come at a public cost. If they violated such, then they should be held accountable for that cost. Pay the debt to society that they incurred by acting, as it were. It's fair to talk about the costs vs penalties for the actions that they took without regard to their message, if we want to talk about whether the penalty for traffic obstruction is not high enough. It's also fair to talk about the message without regard to the way it was delivered, but conflating the two discussions would be suppressive- using the accessibility of their action as an excuse to ignore the message behind it.

In fact, the less I condone the method of the message, the more important it is for me to figure out what they're trying to say and how to give them a less distasteful way to engage so taht they're not drive to such lengths in the future because they're ignored if they try and use existing avenues.
Maybe you'd like to go on record and say specifically whether what they did here was ok, and whether it should be considered fair play or off-limits to physically stop people and disallow them going to a political rally?
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D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #154 on: March 21, 2016, 12:24:12 PM »
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Because it's not for me to pass such judgments; that would be de facto suppressive, since it would be dismissing the message based on my completely irrelevant personal opinion of the messenger. Whether I support or oppose their action has no bearing on anything and is is a complete distraction from any meaningful conversation.
Doesn't this sentiment directly contradict the concept of protesting wrongdoing?  How can one wash their hands of law enforcement in one situation yet claim that protest, even disruptive protests which break laws, is necessary to conform law enforcement to represent the people and work justly? 

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #155 on: March 21, 2016, 12:30:53 PM »
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Because it's not for me to pass such judgments; that would be de facto suppressive, since it would be dismissing the message based on my completely irrelevant personal opinion of the messenger. Whether I support or oppose their action has no bearing on anything and is is a complete distraction from any meaningful conversation.
Doesn't this sentiment directly contradict the concept of protesting wrongdoing?  How can one wash their hands of law enforcement in one situation yet claim that protest, even disruptive protests which break laws, is necessary to conform law enforcement to represent the people and work justly?
How is challenging the abuses of law enforcement equivalent to washing one's hands of it? I don't think many people are meaningfully protesting the fundamental concept of laws or their enforcement- most protests focus on the ways taht the system is being applied unjustly and in biased manners.

Again- there is plenty of room to discuss whether a given law or system of enforcement is just, but it becomes even more important in those situations to distinguish between the method of protest and the message of the protest. (Especially for law enforcement officers, who can very easily end up underscoring the point if they react abusively)

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #156 on: March 21, 2016, 12:44:13 PM »
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Who was rounded up here?

Please show where the protesters offered to set up an alternate route for the people in cars to go while the roadblock was in effect. If they had no intent to trap anyone on a road then surely they created an alternate path for them, correct?
Rounding up would suggest taht the protestors forced them to be on the road in the first place. They impeded traffic, they did not force anyone to be in traffic. There are definitely negative ramifications for doing so outside the context of the message they were attempting to communicate, and hey should be held accountable for those.

I'm trying pretty hard to read this into this reply something other than trolling. Give me some time, maybe I'll come up with something.

D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #157 on: March 21, 2016, 01:06:48 PM »
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How is challenging the abuses of law enforcement equivalent to washing one's hands of it?
It doesn’t.  That was my point.  You cannot say, “I do not concern myself with the legality of the protester’s methods”, implying that concern lies with law enforcement, and be a proponent of protest against abuse of authority (which I am assuming you are). 

I am suggesting you MUST have an opinion.  It can be either that the laws of permissible protests are wrong, or correct or on how those laws should be enforced.  By washing your hands of all concern for it, you are granting others the power to abuse authority or manipulate you.  Maybe it’s not even abuse, since you gave them consent through your lack of concern.

By voting, by protest, by verbal or written criticism and suggestions we attempt to shape society.  If you focus only on the message and ignore law enforcement cracks down you put yourself in danger and may miss that the corruption of law enforcement is a graver threat than the message which drew them to act.  If proponents of a cause choose a method that vilifies them in the eyes of the majority they can do grievous damage to their cause.  Does the average citizen care about your cause if you murdered 10’s or 100’s to get the attention; or do they just see a terrorist and ignore the message?

The method of protest IS the message (or at least a large part of it).  It speaks volumes and colors the entire message you attempt to convey.  If you ignore the method you fail to grasp the message at all. 

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #158 on: March 21, 2016, 01:11:15 PM »
If proponents of a cause choose a method that vilifies them in the eyes of the majority they can do grievous damage to their cause.  Does the average citizen care about your cause if you murdered 10’s or 100’s to get the attention; or do they just see a terrorist and ignore the message?

The method of protest IS the message (or at least a large part of it).  It speaks volumes and colors the entire message you attempt to convey.  If you ignore the method you fail to grasp the message at all.

This is a great point. I'm reminded of the Unabomber right now, who had a coherent point to make about technological society but who not only tarnished his position by employing violence to get the message out, but also made it fairly clear that part of his message was that violence ought to be used in opposition to certain trends in society. Reading his written statement without regard to how he delivered it would be a serious mistake.

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #159 on: March 21, 2016, 05:17:03 PM »
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It doesn’t.  That was my point.  You cannot say, “I do not concern myself with the legality of the protester’s methods”, implying that concern lies with law enforcement, and be a proponent of protest against abuse of authority (which I am assuming you are). 
TO some degree, sure. But one can easily say "That's a separate conversation." When it's being used as an active distraction from a conversation about the content of the message. And also that conversation has to cover more that jsut the fact of its legality, because, in many cases, the action should, under normal circumstances, be illegal because of the need to not only put a cost on the behavior, but toad value and impact to its being engaged in as a protest action.

Again- there are good reasons to make obstructing traffic illegal that have nothing to to do with protest actions. I'm sure I'd be unhappy if someone obstructed traffic when I was trying to get somewhere. But that illegality, that discomfort - they're things that actually give it value as a protest action. Without it being against the law, there'd be no value or voice in engaging in it as way to raise consciousness of a given issue.

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I am suggesting you MUST have an opinion.  It can be either that the laws of permissible protests are wrong, or correct or on how those laws should be enforced.  By washing your hands of all concern for it, you are granting others the power to abuse authority or manipulate you.  Maybe it’s not even abuse, since you gave them consent through your lack of concern.
And I gave it-= in this case I do think laws about obstructing traffic are reasonable. But I also point out that that has no relevance to the message of the protestors in this case, especially because they're not staging the protest here to contest traffic laws, so we're not even dealing with the corner case of staging protest actions to push on the laws or enforcement practices that are being protested. This is a completely different issue and trying to pretend that ever protest must be judged on anything but it's own message (never mind based on every possible injustice that might be protested) is and absurd degree of concern trolling.

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  If you focus only on the message and ignore law enforcement cracks down you put yourself in danger and may miss that the corruption of law enforcement is a graver threat than the message which drew them to act.
Which is why it's important to protest against abuses by law enforcement when it occurs, or laws taht are abusive. But taht doesn't mean that all law enforcement and laws are abusive, or that one should opposen them when they're reasonable and allied in the context of a protest that's violating them in order to communicate its message.

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If proponents of a cause choose a method that vilifies them in the eyes of the majority they can do grievous damage to their cause.  Does the average citizen care about your cause if you murdered 10’s or 100’s to get the attention; or do they just see a terrorist and ignore the message?
This only matters when the protest is intended to evoke the direct sympathy of the average citizen, rather than to reach out to those that are actually receptive and perhaps able to take action in regards to the content of the message. Particularly when protesting supremacy- tyranny of the majority/majorian group- is part of the point of the protest. How is does it even make sense to tell someone who is objecting to being oppressed by the majority that they should only do so by bowing down to that majority and doing things to make it happy?

Our system of governance has systems and safeguards built in so that it's not simple majority rule- so that a group that is right can press its case and be protected _even if_ the majority doesn't like them. So hat they're not forced to subserviently bow down to oppression in order to gain respect. Protests are actions that put pressure on those systems to to their job, they're not marketing campaigns for majority approval.

If something is unjust, does it become less unjust because you've behaved poorly as well? THe validity of a complaint about an unjust system has nothing at all to do with the behavior of the messenger, though the extremes they have to go to in order to be heard can say a lot about the degree of suppression or denial of their message within a given system.

(And this does not mean that all messages are equally valid. Not all messages actually highlight an injustice, just the nominal perception of it by the person trying to speak. But against, that validity has noting to do with the tolls used to express it; dismissing it because of them rather than based on the independent merits of the message is suppressive and exactly the kind of behavior that leas to an escalation in the extremity of protest actions.

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The method of protest IS the message (or at least a large part of it).
Only when it's explicitly meant to be.  Otherwise it's not. It's an indication of the degree of action the speakers felt was necessary to be heard, but the validity of the message itself has inherent relevance to the tolls used communicate it. Slavery is not more unjust is I write a sternly worded letter to the editor about it, it's not less unjust if I lead rebellion against it; it's injustice is an independent feature of the system, not a variable based on how polite I am when I make my objections.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #160 on: March 21, 2016, 05:30:22 PM »
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    The method of protest IS the message (or at least a large part of it).

Only when it's explicitly meant to be.  Otherwise it's not.

Protest is a form of uninvited participation done to override exclusion for the purpose of delivering a message that otherwise would not be heard or heeded.  It's not always disruptive, which is what I think saying it "IS the message" implies, but is almost tautologically an interruption of whatever activity wants to exclude it.  Protest can be both the delivery of a message and a disruption, as well. In this case the protesters disrupted the rally to deliver a message, but I wouldn't say the disruption *was* the message.

D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #161 on: March 21, 2016, 08:57:40 PM »
The nature of the disruption tells you a lot about the desperation of the messenger(s).  It can tell you if they are angry or somewhat annoyed or just trying to educate you.  Are they just telling people who are receptive and willing to listen or are they forcing you to pay attention?  Is the "act" of disruption the message itself?  It can be. 

Holding up a sign across the street from an Apple store to protest the negative impact technology has on our country is different from blowing up buildings.
Telling someone that our foreign policy is inciting violence over seas and ruining lives is different than opening fire on complacent civilians. 
Marching in a large group to draw attention to a cause is different than a riot.
Taking up arms and defending your country or an ally is different than writing an editorial condemning a hostile government.

All messages can change meanings depending upon how you relay the information.  Some corrupt the message in the eyes of others.  Some dilute the urgency or import of the message.  Some inform you about the messenger.  Some are necessary if anything is to change.   

I wasn't trying to criticize protest.  I was criticizing the notion that the stated goal can excuse the methods used in the name of conveying it.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #162 on: March 22, 2016, 06:23:17 AM »
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I wasn't trying to criticize protest.  I was criticizing the notion that the stated goal can excuse the methods used in the name of conveying it.
I was trying to say something similar but I managed to bury my message in the way I presented it :).

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #163 on: March 23, 2016, 10:56:22 AM »
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  I was criticizing the notion that the stated goal can excuse the methods used in the name of conveying it.
That's not a point anyone has tried to argue. Just the opposite- I pointed out taht they should be held culpable for those methods without regard to the message.

The problem is saying that the methods chosen have any bearing on the message itself and should be used as an excuse to shut down or derail discussion of the message. There's a huge difference between saying that the methods should not be used to dismiss the message and saying taht the message should somehow make the methods legal in its own right. The message needs in either case, to be judged on its own merits, as does the legality of the methods used. As noted, the methods can speak to the desperation of the person speaking,  but desperation isn't a direct indicator of validity of the content, though it can be a commentary on the degree to which people feel taht their voice is not being heard and suggest an additional discussion on how to make even peopel who happen to be wrong, feel like their messages are being heard and given consideration, even if that consideration does not, ultimately go their way.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #164 on: March 23, 2016, 11:18:50 AM »
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I just want to add one thought, disruption is not a legitimate form of protest.  Political speech is actually intended to be the most protected from of speech we have, and deliberately disrupting a political rally to the point that you prevent it from occurring should be condemned by all parties.  I have no doubt, that nearly everyone supporting the protestors, who are clearly engaged in disruption, not protest, would completely flip their position if it were disruptors at a Bernie convention or disruptors at a "safe space" and that represents a fundamental flaw in your comprehension of what free speech actually means.

Seriati, I 100% endorse the first part of your comment that disruption is wrong.  I disagree with your certainty that nearly everyone supporting their position would clearly flip their position if the action were at a Sanders rally.  I would have a stronger level of certainty based on past actions that Trump himself would be the more hypocritical on this issue were the tables turned

D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #165 on: March 23, 2016, 11:22:47 AM »
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The message needs in either case, to be judged on its own merits, as does the legality of the methods used.
Couldn't disagree more strongly.  The first part for reasons I already described.  The second part because illegal acts should have their motives investigated rather than simply actions punished.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #166 on: March 30, 2016, 11:15:14 AM »
And for today's event, Trump has reneged on his promise to support the eventual Republican nominee, because he had been treated "unfairly."

Which opens him up to actively oppose the nominee if he isn't it.  Which opens him up to run his own, third-party campaign if he decides to.  Which opens him up to thoroughly sca-roo the Republican party by siphoning away votes.

Stay tuned, folks, for the next exciting episode. :)

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #167 on: March 30, 2016, 11:26:42 AM »
Definitely less predictable and more fun than watching Demolition Derby.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #168 on: April 01, 2016, 10:27:37 AM »
So, here is the transcript of Trump discussion abortion rights and laws with Chris Matthews.  This morning he said that he may have misspoken...

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QUESTION: Hello. I am (inaudible) and have a question on, what is your stance on women’s rights and their right to choose in their own reproductive health?
 
TRUMP: OK, well look, I mean, as you know, I’m pro-life. Right, I think you know that, and I -- with exceptions, with the three exceptions. But pretty much, that’s my stance. Is that OK? You understand?
 
MATTHEWS: What should the law be on abortion?
 
TRUMP: Well, I have been pro-life.
 
MATTHEWS: I know, what should the law -- I know your principle, that’s a good value. But what should be the law?
 
TRUMP: Well, you know, they’ve set the law and frankly the judges -- I mean, you’re going to have a very big election coming up for that reason, because you have judges where it’s a real tipping point.
 
MATTHEWS: I know.
 
TRUMP: And with the loss of (Supreme Court Justice Antonin) Scalia, who was a very strong conservative...
 
MATTHEWS: I understand.
 
TRUMP: ... this presidential election is going to be very important, because when you say, "what’s the law, nobody knows what the law’s going to be. It depends on who gets elected, because somebody is going to appoint conservative judges and somebody is going to appoint liberal judges, depending on who wins.
 
MATTHEWS: I know. I never understood the pro-life position.
 
TRUMP: Well, a lot of people do understand.
 
MATTHEWS: I never understood it. Because I understand the principle, it’s human life as people see it.
 
TRUMP: Which it is.
 
MATTHEWS: But what crime is it?
 
TRUMP: Well, it’s human life.
 
MATTHEWS: No, should the woman be punished for having an abortion?
 
TRUMP: Look...
 
MATTHEWS: This is not something you can dodge.
 
TRUMP: It’s a -- no, no...
 
MATTHEWS: If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under law. Should abortion be punished?
 
TRUMP: Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party and conservative Republicans would say, "yes, they should be punished."
 
MATTHEWS: How about you?
 
TRUMP: I would say that it’s a very serious problem. And it’s a problem that we have to decide on. It’s very hard.
 
MATTHEWS: But you’re for banning it?
 
TRUMP: I’m going to say -- well, wait. Are you going to say, put them in jail? Are you -- is that the (inaudible) you’re talking about?
 
MATTHEWS: Well, no, I’m asking you because you say you want to ban it. What’s that mean?
 
TRUMP: I would -- I am against -- I am pro-life, yes.
 
MATTHEWS: What is ban -- how do you ban abortion? How do you actually do it?
 
TRUMP: Well, you know, you go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places --
 
MATTHEWS: Yeah.
 
TRUMP: But you have to ban it.
 
MATTHEWS: You banning, they go to somebody who flunked out of medical school.
 
TRUMP: Are you Catholic?
 
MATTHEWS: Yes. I think...
 
TRUMP: And how do you feel about the Catholic Church’s position?
 
MATTHEWS: Well, I accept the teaching authority of my church on moral issues.
 
TRUMP: I know, but do you know their position on abortion?
 
MATTHEWS: Yes, I do.
 
TRUMP: And do you concur with that position?
 
MATTHEWS: I concur with their moral position but legally, I get to the question -- here’s my problem with it...
 
(Laughter in the audience.)
 
TRUMP: No, no, but let me ask you, but what do you say about your Church?
 
MATTHEWS: It’s not funny.
 
TRUMP: Yes, it’s really not funny. What do you say about your church? They’re very, very strong.
 
MATTHEWS: They’re allowed to -- but the churches make their moral judgments. But you running for president of the United States will be chief executive of the United States. Do you believe...
 
TRUMP: No, but...
 
MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?
 
TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
 
MATTHEWS: For the woman.
 
TRUMP: Yeah, there has to be some form.
 
MATTHEWS: Ten cents? Ten years? What?
 
TRUMP: I don’t know. That I don’t know. That I don’t know.
 
MATTHEWS: Why not?
 
TRUMP: I don’t know.
 
MATTHEWS: You take positions on everything else.
 
TRUMP: Because I don’t want to -- I frankly, I do take positions on everything else. It’s a very complicated position.
 
MATTHEWS: But you say, one, that you’re pro-life, meaning you want to ban it.
 
TRUMP: But wait a minute, wait a minute. But the Catholic Church is pro-life.
 
MATTHEWS: No, let’s not talk about my religion.
 
TRUMP: No, no, I am talking about your religion. Your religion -- I mean, you say you’re a very good Catholic. Your religion is your life. Let me ask you this.
 
MATTHEWS: I didn’t say very good. I said I’m Catholic. And secondly, I’m asking -- you’re running for president.
 
TRUMP: No, no...
 
MATTHEWS: I’m not.
 
TRUMP: Chris -- Chris.
 
MATTHEWS: I’m asking you, what should a woman face if she chooses to have an abortion?
 
TRUMP: I’m not going to do that.
 
MATTHEWS: Why not?
 
TRUMP: I’m not going to play that game.
 
MATTHEWS: Game?
 
TRUMP: You have...
 
MATTHEWS: You said you’re pro-life.
 
TRUMP: I am pro-life.
 
MATTHEWS: That means banning abortion.
 
TRUMP: And so is the Catholic Church pro-life.
 
MATTHEWS: But they don’t control the -- this isn’t Spain, the church doesn’t control the government.
 
TRUMP: What is the punishment under the Catholic Church? What is the...
 
MATTHEWS: Let me give something from the New Testament, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s." Don’t ask me about my religion.
 
TRUMP: No, no...
 
MATTHEWS: I’m asking you. You want to be president of the United States.
 
TRUMP: You told me that...
 
MATTHEWS: You tell me what the law should be.
 
TRUMP: I have -- I have not determined...
 
MATTHEWS: Just tell me what the law should be. You say you’re pro-life.
 
TRUMP: I am pro-life.
 
MATTHEWS: What’s that mean?
 
TRUMP: With exceptions. I am pro-life. I have not determined what the punishment would be.
 
MATTHEWS: Why not?
 
TRUMP: Because I haven’t determined it.
 
MATTHEWS: When you decide to be pro-life, you should have thought of it. Because...
 
TRUMP: No, you could ask anybody who is pro-life...
 
MATTHEWS: OK, here’s the problem -- here’s my problem with this. If you don’t have a punishment for abortion -- I don’t believe in it, of course -- people are going to find a way to have an abortion.
 
TRUMP: You don’t believe in what?
 
MATTHEWS: I don’t believe in punishing anybody for having an abortion.
 
TRUMP: OK, fine. OK.
 
MATTHEWS: Of course not. I think it’s a woman’s choice.
 
TRUMP: So you’re against the teachings of your church?
 
MATTHEWS: I have a view -- and a moral view.  But I believe we live in a free country, and I don’t want to live in a country so fascistic that it could stop a person from making that decision.
 
TRUMP: But then you are...
 
MATTHEWS: That would be so invasive...
TRUMP: I know, but I’ve heard you speaking...
 
MATTHEWS: So determined of a society that I wouldn’t be able -- one we are familiar with. And Donald Trump, you wouldn’t be familiar with.
 
TRUMP: But I’ve heard you speaking so highly about your religion and your church.
 
MATTHEWS: Yeah.
 
TRUMP: Your church is very, very strongly, as you know, pro-life.
 
MATTHEWS: I know.
 
TRUMP: What do you say to your church?
 
MATTHEWS: I say, I accept your moral authority. In the United States, the people make the decision, the courts rule on what’s in the Constitution, and we live by that. That’s why I say.
 
TRUMP: Yes, but you don’t live by it because you don’t accept it. You can’t accept it. You can’t accept it. You can’t accept it.
 
MATTHEWS: Can we go back to matters of the law and running for president because matters of the law, what I’m talking about, and this is the difficult situation you’ve placed yourself in.
 
By saying you’re pro-life, you mean you want to ban abortion. How do you ban abortion without some kind of sanction? Then you get in that very tricky question of a sanction, a fine on human life, which you call murder?
 
TRUMP: It will have to be determined.
 
MATTHEWS: A fine, imprisonment for a young woman who finds herself pregnant?
 
TRUMP: It will have to be determined.
 
MATTHEWS: What about the guy that gets her pregnant? Is he responsible under the law for these abortions? Or is he not responsible for an abortion?
 
TRUMP: Well, it hasn’t -- it hasn’t -- different feelings, different people. I would say no.
 
MATTHEWS: Well, they’re usually involved.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #169 on: April 01, 2016, 11:15:40 AM »
I watched this segment yesterday. As far as I'm concerned Trump humiliated Matthews on this subject, as the question is not only a trap (Trump calls it a "game") but Matthews is, indeed, espousing a hypocritical position. You cannot literally think that abortion is murder and that said murder should be perfectly legal. Trump is right that Matthews isn't taking his own stated moral position seriously. That doesn't mean, mind you, that Trump's position is consistent either, but I think Trump did a fine job of keeping control of the conversation and showing how underhanded the questions were. They were a cheap attempt to get a sound bite indicting Trump in the eyes of all women, and even though Trump wouldn't play ball I still saw trending 'viral' BS quoting "there has to be some kind of punishment," with the dishonest headlines reading "Trumps wants women punished for having abortions." But of course that's not what he said, what he said is that it should be punished IF they become illegal, the status of which he says (and Matthews even agreed on) could be determined by the next Supreme Court assignment. Well duh, of course if something is illegal it should be punished, what the heck other conclusion could one draw? And likewise if it's legal there should be no punishment, which is another reason why the questioning is pathetic.

It's one thing for a religious person to accept separation of Church and state and to believe that moral dogma should never become law; of course that's true. But that doesn't mean that moral principles should never inform legal decisions! That is a preposterous argument. Swearing on the Bible shouldn't be a legal requirement; believing in God shouldn't be required; cursing in God's name shouldn't be banned; all of this is true. But then you'd have to be an idiot to say that stealing should be legal because since "Thou shalt not steal" is one of the ten commandments having a law against theft would breach the division between Church and state - that's just ridiculous. Likewise is it idiotic to claim that murder should be legal since it's religion that says it's murder. It's entirely possible, first of all, for a non-religious person to think it's murder, and second of all, the notion that something is murder just because the religion says so isn't a reason to ignore that proposition, it just means the proposition shouldn't be accepted right away either.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 11:18:06 AM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #170 on: April 01, 2016, 11:27:38 AM »
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I watched this segment yesterday. As far as I'm concerned Trump humiliated Matthews on this subject, as the question is not only a trap (Trump calls it a "game") but Matthews is, indeed, espousing a hypocritical position. You cannot literally think that abortion is murder and that said murder should be perfectly legal.
You're saying that he can't challenge Trump to say what he thinks because he may or may not believe that the position of his Church should apply to everyone?  I don't understand how you can seriously say that.  As far as I'm concerned, Trump completely bumbled his responses, which he kept repeating.  When he ran out of runway he started attacking the interviewer.  How was that even relevant?

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But of course that's not what he said, what he said is that it should be punished IF they become illegal,...
But, of course abortions *are* illegal in many places except under certain conditions.  So it's not a hypothetical.  Trump expanded the scope to include a broader hypothetical, but illegal is illegal, and Trump said the woman should be punished if she has an illegal abortion.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #171 on: April 01, 2016, 11:40:13 AM »
You're saying that he can't challenge Trump to say what he thinks because he may or may not believe that the position of his Church should apply to everyone?

Of course he can. If he had wanted to rationally discuss Trump's views on abortion he could have done so, but it sounded even to me (no less to Trump) that he was trying to catch Trump out in saying something that would get him flamed in the press. As far as I could tell Trump was trying to expose this maneuver by showing that Matthews believed the same thing as him regarding abortion. Once it was established they both agreed on the moral position they could then discuss amongst themselves what to do about that position, rather than have the subject discussed in an adversarial context as if they were on artificially opposite sides on the issue. What Trump did make clear is that it's very hard to tell someone who believes something is murder that the law has no place enforcing that.

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But, of course abortions *are* illegal in many places except under certain conditions.  So it's not a hypothetical.  Trump expanded the scope to include a broader hypothetical, but illegal is illegal, and Trump said the woman should be punished if she has an illegal abortion.

Explain how something illegal shouldn't be punished? How do you define 'legal', as a mere suggestion?

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #172 on: April 01, 2016, 12:26:23 PM »
I'll just say that you're showing remarkable sympathy for the candidate and a lot less for the interviewer.  Which one of their opinions matters more?  Matthews is a dogged interviewer, often frustrating his "guests", so if Trump didn't want to be challenged, why did he agree to participate?

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #173 on: April 01, 2016, 12:34:29 PM »
Actually, I thought Matthews nicely humiliated Trump by showing that Trump really didn't have a position on abortion, no matter how often he declared he was "pro-life."

Because there are different types of "pro-life."  From the discussion, it appears that Matthews may be pro-life (adhering to the position of the Catholic Church), but he is not willing to impose his beliefs on others by advocating that abortions are declared illegal in practically all cases.  This would be called "pro-abortion" by certain pro-lifers.

Trump would not clarify if he wanted to go that far, and instead tried to turn it around on Matthews and make him say it.  But, as Chris pointed out, it doesn't matter what Chris thinks, since he's not running for President.  He wanted to know what Trump thinks.  And Trump tried to weasel out.

It's this double standard--taking a position but not wanting to take a position--and blaming it on the media instead of taking responsibility himself, is one of the reasons Trump is so annoying.

D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #174 on: April 01, 2016, 01:41:14 PM »
The disconnect of, "If illegal you don't punish the woman doing the illegal thing" has always struck me as horribly calculated political cowardice. 

So you criminalize abortion and prosecute medical professionals who provide them.  Then you prosecute unlicensed people who provide them.  All of which already punish the woman, yet she bears no responsibility for the act?  How does that do anything but make abortions less safe? 

The "demand" for abortions will not vanish.  It doesn't work for the sex trade nor the drug trade.  Why should it work for a life altering decision on whether to have a child or not?  Your morality has no diminishing impact on the (by your view) immoral behavior of others. 

Trump was right to call BS on illegal but unpunished.  Even if he stumbled into it.  Him backtracking the position to the less sensible "mainstream" conservative view was the real embarrassment though.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #175 on: April 01, 2016, 01:55:32 PM »
Trump was right to call BS on illegal but unpunished.  Even if he stumbled into it.  Him backtracking the position to the less sensible "mainstream" conservative view was the real embarrassment though.

I agree that Trump's position is not rock solid on this, but my main point was that Matthews came off as more sleazy to me in the clip than Trump did.

Just to clarify, what exactly do you mean about Trump backtracking?

beefprime

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #176 on: April 01, 2016, 02:03:56 PM »
Matthews is, indeed, espousing a hypocritical position. You cannot literally think that abortion is murder and that said murder should be perfectly legal. Trump is right that Matthews isn't taking his own stated moral position seriously.

Murder is unlawful killing, if abortion is currently legal then it is by definition not murder, even if you consider it killing. If you consider it killing (which is probably what they mean here), then you can easily recognize that our society accepts killing people in some situations. In the event of self defense, state condoned killing via execution, and some other instances which currently include abortion with some restrictions.

There's no hypocrisy between not wanting to kill someone yourself and not making it illegal for everyone. Its comparable to being unwilling to kill in self defense but not being willing to make self defense killing illegal across the board.

If you read Matthew's position in legalese: its not hypocritical, its just nonsensical. You cant have legal murder, its an oxymoron if you know the legal definition of murder. I would assume for the sake of actual dialog and understanding that he means killing.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #177 on: April 01, 2016, 02:09:36 PM »
For the sake of dialogue assume that "abortion is murder" should be read as "abortion ought to be considered as murder." It is obviously killing, that's not what's in dispute. As an analogy to "abortion should be considered as murder" and concordantly should be illegal, consider the position of someone in a society that employs ritual child sacrifice. That person might claim that it's wrong to murder children for any reason, and as you might imagine the defence that "it's not murder because it's legal" would be missing the point entirely.

beefprime

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #178 on: April 01, 2016, 02:30:56 PM »
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For the sake of dialogue assume that "abortion is murder" should be read as "abortion ought to be considered as murder."

Except that doesnt make sense at all, if you think abortion should be considered murder, then you by definition want to make abortion illegal, which is directly contradicted by matthew's statement. Killing makes sense in the context of the conversation, murder does not.

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As an analogy to "abortion should be considered as murder" and concordantly should be illegal, consider the position of someone in a society that employs ritual child sacrifice. That person might claim that it's wrong to murder children for any reason, and as you might imagine the defence that "it's not murder because it's legal" would be missing the point entirely.

Of course that would only be an accurate analogy if 1. child sacrifice was currently legal (aka it is 'only' killing) and 2. the person who is against sacrificing children in his own life is also against making it illegal for everyone. Only when those two cases are met would Chris Matthew's stated views on abortion match a sacrifice analogy, and AGAIN only if you assume murder means killing.

What if we're in a society that truly believes if they dont sacrifice children they will be destroyed by some vengeful god, its entirely reasonable to assume at that point that child sacrifice, while clearly KILLING children, would also not be considered MURDER, which would convey illegality and potential punishment for the sacrificer. While Achcuatli Matthews, famous news reporter in this somewhat theologically dystopian society, would not sacrifice a child on his own, he understands that to please Megaqoatl and prevent the destruction of their civilization, some people will choose to sacrifice children, and that that should be up to them to decide and should not a decision forced on them by the state one way or another.

There is no analogy or situation where taking their usage of murder here to literally mean the legal meaning of murder (aka unlawful killing) makes sense, since he is saying it should be considered murder but not be illegal. The only meaningful way you can interpret this is "killing" unless your intent is to smear instead of understand.

D.W.

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #179 on: April 01, 2016, 03:16:05 PM »
Just to clarify, what exactly do you mean about Trump backtracking?
[/quote]
The complete 180 from this:
MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?
 
TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
 
MATTHEWS: For the woman.
 
TRUMP: Yeah, there has to be some form.


To his statement within 24hrs saying that the woman shouldn't be punished.  I do agree that Matthews came off as more sleazy.  Almost badgering until he got the sound bite he wanted.  That said, a politician should be ready for this and Trump wasn't.  I'd say part of why it comes off as more sleazy than the norm is, with Trump, it will work.

Meaning you will get the sound bite.  Not to say that it will be particularly damaging to Trump.  :P

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #180 on: April 01, 2016, 03:40:13 PM »
Cool, I get what you meant now, DW. I originally thought you meant he backtracked within the context of this interview.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #181 on: April 01, 2016, 03:49:53 PM »
For the sake of dialogue assume that "abortion is murder" should be read as "abortion ought to be considered as murder." It is obviously killing, that's not what's in dispute. As an analogy to "abortion should be considered as murder" and concordantly should be illegal, consider the position of someone in a society that employs ritual child sacrifice. That person might claim that it's wrong to murder children for any reason, and as you might imagine the defence that "it's not murder because it's legal" would be missing the point entirely.

One can believe that abortion is wrong and still not consider it murder.  It all depends on how "sure" you are that it is wrong.

Consider Matthew's position.  He acknowledges that the Catholic Church considers abortion murder, and he is a practicing Catholic.  So he probably believes it is wrong.

But does he expect everyone else to abide by his church's judgment?  Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, and from having to follow religious precepts that one doesn't agree with.

So Matthews can believe that abortion is wrong, just like he believes eating meat on Friday used to be wrong (until the Church changed its stance), or that divorce is wrong, and still not require that those things become illegal.

So until he is convinced that abortion is wrong on a basis more firm than religion, he can believe it is wrong and still not require it to be "murder."  Because if his belief is primarily driven by his religious beliefs, then he has no right to impose it on other people.

So, again, what is Trump's stance on this?  Does he believe it should be illegal (in almost all circumstances), and if so, shouldn't then the woman who has an abortion (and thus participating in an unlawful killing) be punished?

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #182 on: April 01, 2016, 04:06:45 PM »
But does he expect everyone else to abide by his church's judgment?

This is always the argument made, and I don't get it. What does 'abiding by' his opinion have anything to do with it? Law is a collective agreement based on mutual understanding of what is best and what is bad. If a person thinks a thing is bad, and another person thinks it's good, they are at a stalemate in terms of values. But if the majority of people believe a thing is bad and agree to ban it for the sake of the greater good, then that's the end of it. It's not that they 'expect' anyone to 'abide by' their values, it's the majority desired position. If the minority belief doesn't have its way then so be it. 'Expecting' others to agree is irrelevant; you weigh the issue and, to grossly state the matter, you vote and that's that. Declining to put forward your opinion as relevant because you don't expect others to abide by your opinion is just a silly notion. You may as well say that people ought to never fight for their beliefs on anything since it would just cause them to 'expect others to abide by them.'

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Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, and from having to follow religious precepts that one doesn't agree with.

Where did you get this idea from? It's wrong. Freedom of religion means the state cannot make a religion mandatory, or exclude by fiat some religion. It does not mean that people of a religious conviction should not have their opinion weighed in the balance. What you're saying is that if someone's opinion comes from religion they should keep it to themselves and not try to employ it in the public sphere, and this makes the classic error of thinking that a religious belief can somehow be divorced by 'non-religious' aspects of life. There is no non-religious aspect of life for a religious person. Their belief is their belief, it doesn't matter where it came from.

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So until he is convinced that abortion is wrong on a basis more firm than religion, he can believe it is wrong and still not require it to be "murder."  Because if his belief is primarily driven by his religious beliefs, then he has no right to impose it on other people.

Again you suppose that fighting for your belief means imposing something on others. Actually it just means saying your piece and allowing others to do the same. Your idea that an idea being a religious one disqualifies it as being a legitimate idea in some sense is quite bizarre. It's pretty hair-brained, if you ask me, to consider killing a person to be 'wrong' in the abstract but to be ok with other people doing it, as if it's a sexual preference or something.

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #183 on: April 01, 2016, 04:12:53 PM »
That interview was gold fro Trump. He got the context for a completely outrageous comment, without regard for context that got help a surge of free media. At the same time, that quote appealed directly to his core audience, showing that he's wiling to say exactly what they're thinking, without pulling any punches. THen, once the frenzy is well and up, he backpedals with a wink to the more conventional position, forcing other pro-life advocates to have to try to talk about him a lot to try to explain how he just doesn't get it. But all the while, he's got the original technicalities of the context- what should happen _if
_ it were illegal that he can, when he needs to, point to later when he's got to grab the general electorate and suggest taht he wasn't actually advocating illegality, but rather helping point out the disastrous results of making it illegal.

Lots of outrage, lots of free media, and enough wiggle room to completely turn his position inside out when he needs to. (With tons of free media, outrage, and winks at different desired constituents all around)

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #184 on: April 01, 2016, 04:19:39 PM »
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Law is a collective agreement based on mutual understanding of what is best and what is bad.
No- law is a collective agreement on what actions have a material cost to society or do harm to others than the community needs to take action to try to protect others from or compensate people who have been affected for.

THere are plenty of good or bad things that should have nothing to do with law, but simply be a matter of personal judgment, because it's not the business of the community to formally intercede.

"It's wrong" or "it's bad" aren't justification to make something illegal. "Others are hurt by this and need to turn to the community for resource" is the baseline standard.

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #185 on: April 01, 2016, 04:23:13 PM »
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Where did you get this idea from? It's wrong. Freedom of religion means the state cannot make a religion mandatory, or exclude by fiat some religion. It does not mean that people of a religious conviction should not have their opinion weighed in the balance. What you're saying is that if someone's opinion comes from religion they should keep it to themselves and not try to employ it in the public sphere, and this makes the classic error of thinking that a religious belief can somehow be divorced by 'non-religious' aspects of life. There is no non-religious aspect of life for a religious person. Their belief is their belief, it doesn't matter where it came from.
Sure, but if they try to use state power to enforce it on the basis of the fact that that its their religious dictate, then they are making their religion mandatory. The state can only act when there is a compelling _non-religuos_ justification. You seem to be trying to take the argument that something should not be put into law _solely_ on religious justifications and miscasting it as people trying to say that any coincidental parallel to religion disqualifies it.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 04:29:08 PM by Pyrtolin »

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #186 on: April 01, 2016, 04:40:31 PM »
Sure, but if they try to use state power to enforce it on the basis of the fact that that its their religious dictate, then they are making their religion mandatory.

I would agree with you if this was about something esoteric and irrelevant to secular life that religious people were trying to push on others, like mandatory prayer. There is no issue of how to conduct prayer in secular life and therefore the issue of how to mediate prayer in secular life is irrelevant; any attempt to legislate about prayer would inevitably be an attempt to introduce prayer into secular life, which is a different kettle of fish entirely than what I'm discussing. Here we're talking about issues that are already part of secular life - killing and personal autonomy. These issues do need to be mediated and agreed upon, and various people have various beliefs about them. As an analogy, some people think it's wrong to spy on citizens for any reason, other think it's ok as long as it increases national security. Each side will try to have its opinion put into law, and ideally the majority will have its way (as opposed to a small but powerful minority). In the case of certain kinds of killing - and this can include wars of various types, regime change, drone attacks, suicide, euthanasia, etc. etc. - a decision has to be made about what kind of killing is ok and what kind isn't. Someone can base their opinion on this on science, on religion, on their fairy godmother; it doesn't actually matter. Democracy is about all voices being heard, not only 'correct' voices. In an area that already must be deliberated on, such as killing, everyone is entitled to (actually should be encouraged to) voice their opinion and try to make what they see as right become the law of the land.

The idea that because an opinion on this comes from religion means that adopting it would be mandating religion - that's just incorrect. The law should basically reflect majority values, wherever those come from, within certain parameters that don't violate the constitution. If people are against stealing because of their faith in the Bible, that doesn't mean that outlawing theft is mandating of religion. The one really has nothing to do with the other. In the case of abortion it is really a red herring to write off a pro-life position based on it being potentially religious; its metaphysical foundation is irrelevant. A person doesn't even need a metaphysical foundation to say they think it's right or wrong.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 04:42:53 PM by Fenring »

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #187 on: April 01, 2016, 04:57:59 PM »
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If people are against stealing because of their faith in the Bible, that doesn't mean that outlawing theft is mandating of religion.
Only because there is non-religious justification for the laws. If they only reason they're against it is because of their religion, then their input on whether or not it should be illegal is not useful. They have to bring reasoning to the table that's not grounded in religious assumptions, or else they are simply mandating religion. There's no problem with secular law paralleling religion, but at no point can religion be the core argument for a given law.

(That's different from saying that religion can be what motivates you to find a secular justification for a given law. There's a difference between religion being why _you_ chose to do something and being what you decide to try to make others do through legal force.)

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #188 on: April 01, 2016, 05:01:03 PM »
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I would agree with you if this was about something esoteric and irrelevant to secular life that religious people were trying to push on others, like mandatory prayer.

But who decides if something is "esoteric and irrelevant to secular life?"  The adherents of the religion?  Or the minority who are not adherents?

If a town is 51 percent Hindu, does that mean they can ban the slaughtering and eating of beef because the majority decides that it is wrong, and relevant to secular life?  After all, it's a cow's life... ;)

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #189 on: April 01, 2016, 06:38:53 PM »
There's no problem with secular law paralleling religion, but at no point can religion be the core argument for a given law.

What I'm discussing is the law mirroring public sentiment, which has nothing to do with what the justification is for such a law. For example, the decision to first allow and then completely open up the door to gay marriage is not based on any metaphysical justification or new fact that was learned that overturned previous understanding of what it would mean for two people of the same sex to marry. The long and short of it is that public opinion had come to the point where a majority (or very close to it) of people were clamoring for the law to change, and the law accorded itself with the public's wishes. I know you will say that the decision was really made because of human rights or natural law or whatever, but let's get real - the truth is that the law turned when the will of the people turned, and that's fine. That's the way it should be. If a person in favor of gay marriage was using logic bound in science, in political philosophy, in religion, or even based in nonsense, none of that matters. What mattered was that many people began to think allowing it would be the right thing to do, and that's what happened. Again, there are parameters within which the will of the people can be accepted into law, but in this case the will of the people didn't violate the constitution or the criminal code and so it was totally fair play.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #190 on: April 01, 2016, 06:50:54 PM »
But who decides if something is "esoteric and irrelevant to secular life?"  The adherents of the religion?  Or the minority who are not adherents?

If a town is 51 percent Hindu, does that mean they can ban the slaughtering and eating of beef because the majority decides that it is wrong, and relevant to secular life?  After all, it's a cow's life... ;)

I see what you're saying, but your objection doesn't quite touch on exactly what I'm talking about. The issue is not about the majority deciding which issues matter and which don't, or whether to ban beef or not. The issue is about whether a given activity or area of concern is necessarily part of public life or isn't. Whether a person should have to pray or not, or say Hail Mary's, is only part of public discourse if people have chosen to do those things. It is not the case that any given society has to manage or deliberate on how to legally effect a correct Hail Mary or when to pray. Some societies might, but that would be a particular attribute of that culture rather than a basic necessity of any culture. The issue, however, of whether a given action is illegal, and more specifically, murder, is necessary for any culture whatsoever to address and tackle. For every single conceivable action it must be established whether or not that action is murder, theft, or whatever else. You can't have an act that is nebulously neither murder nor not murder, and this would be true for any culture that employs rule of law. Therefore the issue of discussing which actions should count as murder and which should not is not in any way in imposition of a religion, as for example the forced deliberation on how best to say the name of God would be. Rather, it is an absolute requirement to discuss in detail what constitutes murder, and within the confines of this necessary discussion various people might have different ideas about what should count and what shouldn't count. You seem to be saying that only people whose opinion is 'secular' should be able to contribute to this discussion, and I see no basis for that assumption at all. No one is talking about a minority of people forcing their view on anyone, but rather just people with opinions putting them forward and saying their piece. If the majority believe X action should count as murder then that's their opinion; maybe the law will eventually come to reflect that, maybe not if sentiment changes. It's not for you to dictate which rationale a person may use to back up their opinion on the subject; that would actually constitute outlawing religion for all intents and purposes, because what you'd really be doing is disenfranchising anyone whose convictions in life are religious. You'd be saying that they can't vote on issues or affect public policy because their views are 'tainted' by religious undertones in some sense.

What I'm saying is that religious people have a right to participate in and inform public policy just as much as anyone else. They don't have the right to dominate it a priori just as atheists don't. I can say I believe X should count as murder whether I base my belief on the man in the moon's say-so or whatever other reason I want. My voice counts as 'one vote' (so to speak, since it doesn't directly work like that) and nothing more or less than that. I am not imposing anything on anyone but putting that in as my vote. Unless, of course, you are going to take the position that democracy is actually just organized violence and that any vote for anything is employing a small quantum of force on everyone else and that the most forceful position wins in the end. There would be merit to this position however somehow I don't think this is the argument you're making.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #191 on: April 01, 2016, 07:03:14 PM »
WS, just to make it more clear how my explanation pertains to your example of banning beef, think about what a beef ban on moral grounds would mean. It would have to be stated that it's wrong to eat cows, for example. Now if this sentiment came from Hindu roots, for instance, you might not like it due to its religious significance for them, however consider at the same time that certain foods are illegal to eat in the U.S. to the best of my knowledge. It is legal to slaughter and eat dogs and cats? If not, why not? Is there some moral imperative protecting cute animals? Then why not rabbits? It is pretty easy to see that these decisions are based in tradition and public sentiment, and if you think a ban on slaughtering dogs for food is ok then I don't see how you can rightly be against a similar ban on beef for similar reasons if that's actually what the majority of the public supports. You may not like their reasons, but that's also not really your concern. You don't have to like the reasons of people who disagree with you, so long as what they're asking for isn't a violation of your rights. You don't have a right to eat beef or dog meat, so taking away the ability to do that isn't an unconstitutional thing. If, however, the majority of people decided to enslave you then that would not be a legitimate thing to want since it violates other laws and rights you are guaranteed.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #192 on: April 02, 2016, 08:52:05 AM »
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The disconnect of, "If illegal you don't punish the woman doing the illegal thing" has always struck me as horribly calculated political cowardice. 
I can't find any self-declared activist on either side of the abortion issue who wants women to be punished for violating abortion laws.  Frankly, I would find it disgusting and cruel to punish the woman, because doing so not only claims that your right to deny her the abortion takes precedence over hers to have it, but even more because it explicitly ignores whatever personal situation led her to make that choice.

Arthur Miller's play The Crucible is suddenly seen as relevant in this election.  Every major candidate has at least one article written about them with the word "Crucible" in the title.  It's not all that surprising, I think, given that Trump and Cruz would be tagged with that label because of their avowedly unfriendly rubrics against all sorts of different groups of people.  Cutting closer to the heart of the matter, both of them in particular demonize (like witches once were) members of those groups, which include Mexicans, blacks and Muslims most prominently.

It's a little different when the label is applied to Clinton or Sanders.  For them the intent is more like the traditional meaning of a trial by fire, where if you lose that test you die.  That's appropriate when thinking about them having to "conquer" people's negative perceptions of them in debates and on the campaign trail.  I don't think the email investigation carries quite that connotation, but instead she is being pursued by a pack of hyenas on the GOP side and a pack of hound dogs on the FBI side (117 of whose agents are assigned to the investigation -- so far).

Of course you can make the argument that the mother should have the baby and give it up for adoption, but statistics say that adoption rates are far short of the need (only 50% of those waiting are eventually adopted between 2005-2014), and foster care parenting is failing even worse with a precipitous drop recently (25% between 2002-2012 overall and almost 50% for black children - but only 2% for Hispanic children).  Where's the love?

And last, a surprisingly open-minded article from The Federalist on the importance of individuality in a culture of mass-market ideas.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 09:03:51 AM by AI Wessex »

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #193 on: April 02, 2016, 12:01:43 PM »
Frankly, I would find it disgusting and cruel to punish the woman, because doing so not only claims that your right to deny her the abortion takes precedence over hers to have it, but even more because it explicitly ignores whatever personal situation led her to make that choice.

You may as well argue that it's disgusting and cruel to punish poor people who steal because they don't have money. Maybe on some humane level that's coherent, but it completely disregards the purpose of law. If not enforced a law is actually not a law at all. If you're going to allow illegal behavior without punishment then that would indeed be a disgrace, and the law should be changed. But if you're going to keep the law then it needs to be taken seriously.

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Of course you can make the argument that the mother should have the baby and give it up for adoption, but statistics say that adoption rates are far short of the need

I don't know what statistics you've read but from what I know there is a massive supply shortage of children up for adoption, to the point where if you want to adopt you not only need to look to Asia to do so, but you'll face years of waiting time even if you do. A friend of mine recently adopted a child from China, and the waiting time even over there was so long he was obliged to adopt a special needs child (from a service specializing in that) just so that he could expedite these years of waiting down to around one year.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #194 on: April 02, 2016, 01:46:07 PM »
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You may as well argue that it's disgusting and cruel to punish poor people who steal because they don't have money. Maybe on some humane level that's coherent, but it completely disregards the purpose of law. If not enforced a law is actually not a law at all. If you're going to allow illegal behavior without punishment then that would indeed be a disgrace, and the law should be changed. But if you're going to keep the law then it needs to be taken seriously.
So, you're actually looking to impose penalties on women where there are none now.  What would the crime be? 

If the unborn fetus is a person, it's first-degree murder, since it is done with pre-meditation and malice.  There's no way for the woman to talk herself out of that jam, since she clearly knows what she did and did it anyway.  In most states that gets a very long prison term.  Would you sentence a woman to 20 years to life for having an abortion?

It's hard to make the crime less severe if you believe the fetus is a person, so we should consider what the penalty would be if the fetus is *not* legally a person.  That creates a whole different set of issues, since if the fetus isn't actually a person, then how can you argue that the mother doesn't have control over it because it's an extension of her own body.  In other words, I don't see how it's a crime at all.

But pretend the fetus is not a person but it's still a crime.  If you want to go in the direction of originalism, which you have to do because you are rejecting the argument that abortion is a right women are entitled to exercise, then you have to consider what abortion meant in the era of the country's founding.

Back then it was looked at and handled pretty similarly in every one of the original 13 states.  That is, it wasn't a crime at all if the abortion (or miscarriage) happened before "quickening".  After that stage, which presumably would have to be checked by someone before the abortion took place, the punishments varied from state to state.   But it still wasn't a crime until the first abortion laws appeared (circa 1821), after which legal penalties for the woman or doctor were exceedingly rare.  When the woman suffered because she had the abortion, it was mostly at the hands of the Church she belonged to.

Most abortions through the first half of the 19th Century were for middle- or upper-class women.  The earliest laws (as far as I can tell) were enacted because the popular method of the times were medical/chemical ingestion rather than by surgical extraction and the medicines taken killed many women by poisoning.  So, most abortions were done by the woman herself, sometimes with either a midwife or doctor attending.  Keep in mind that doctors weren't the high-minded scientifically oriented surgeons they are today and mostly dispensed advice and "tonics" to their patients.  Anybody with a saw or an elixir could hang out a shingle until the early part of the 20th Century.

Other laws were enacted because the rate of abortion among US citizens was much higher than the rate among immigrants, and isolationists were worried that the country was going to be taken over by "aliens".  Another important driver for promulgating laws was differences between religious groups; Protestants were afraid that Catholic laws prohibiting abortion would cause the number of Catholics to rise in proportion to the Protestant ranks. It continued to be rare for a physician to be penalized for performing an abortion, and even more rare for the woman to suffer legal consequences.

You can see that almost none of that was based on particularly moral grounds.  I've read that the rate of abortions around 1900 was 5-10 times higher than any time since Roe v. Wade was made the law of the land.

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I don't know what statistics you've read but...
I provided a reference in my post, and there are many others out there.  You can (and should) do your own reading, since the research on 19th and 20th Century laws and restrictions on abortion haven't been studied systematically enough that all of the articles say quite the same things.  For instance, you'll find that religious groups with a strong "pro-life" bias emphasize (and exaggerate) the prohibitions without providing reliable statistics.  That's a characteristic of lots of different religious arguments based on so-called moral grounds that are intended to prevent people who don't share their beliefs from behaving differently than they do.

The bottom line is that you are fighting against 240 years of US history, and longer if you reach back into colonial American times, if you want to insist that "it only makes sense" for the woman to be punished for having an abortion, whether it is legal or not.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 01:49:39 PM by AI Wessex »

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #195 on: April 02, 2016, 02:07:01 PM »
So, you're actually looking to impose penalties on women where there are none now.  What would the crime be?

I'm not looking to do anything. I never said anything about whether it should be a crime. Why is doing something illegal necessarily a crime? But let's say it is, in fact, to be treated as a crime in all circumstances (i.e. disregarding abortion law). Does it not follow that committing a crime should have some penalty? This is a general proposition rather than a specific comment about abortion. Again, if you think it is unjust to have any penalty for disregarding abortion law then what you are really saying is that the law should be disobeyed with impunity, which I suppose is an argument for civil disobedience here. Maybe there's something to that, but as a matter of enforcement it seems hypocritical to me to have a law and yet wink and nod when it's broken and do nothing about it.

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If the unborn fetus is a person, it's first-degree murder, since it is done with pre-meditation and malice.  There's no way for the woman to talk herself out of that jam, since she clearly knows what she did and did it anyway.  In most states that gets a very long prison term.  Would you sentence a woman to 20 years to life for having an abortion?

Who said if it's a crime that the crime must be murder? Why can't it be violation of that specific law prohibiting abortion in certain cases? Maybe that would be a misdemeanor; I really don't know. For it to be murder I think more laws would have to be passed than merely a ban on abortion in those cases. You'd most likely have to have to have a Supreme Court ruling specifying that human rights apply to fetuses, at the very least. Maybe even an amendment.

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It's hard to make the crime less severe if you believe the fetus is a person, so we should consider what the penalty would be if the fetus is *not* legally a person.  That creates a whole different set of issues, since if the fetus isn't actually a person, then how can you argue that the mother doesn't have control over it because it's an extension of her own body.  In other words, I don't see how it's a crime at all.

People-killing isn't the only option as a designation for such a crime. There's no reason a law can't enforce protection of 'nearly people' or something to that effect. The idea that only 'real persons' can be protected under the law seems to me a made-up premise. Heck, laws in various places even protect pets and farm animals even though they're not legal persons. Pretty much anything can be given protection under the law without violation of that law necessarily being murder, which is defined only as killing of persons.

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I provided a reference in my post, and there are many others out there.  You can (and should) do your own reading, since the research on 19th and 20th Century laws and restrictions on abortion haven't been studied systematically enough that all of the articles say quite the same things.  For instance, you'll find that religious groups with a strong "pro-life" bias emphasize (and exaggerate) the prohibitions without providing reliable statistics.  That's a characteristic of lots of different religious arguments based on so-called moral grounds that are intended to prevent people who don't share their beliefs from behaving differently than they do.

The bottom line is that you are fighting against 240 years of US history, and longer if you reach back into colonial American times, if you want to insist that "it only makes sense" for the woman to be punished for having an abortion, whether it is legal or not.

I honestly have no idea what you're talking about here. Your reply seems not to be an actual response to what I said. I was talking about adoption and you're mentioning things about abortions.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 02:09:12 PM by Fenring »

Pyrtolin

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #196 on: April 04, 2016, 11:22:06 AM »
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You may as well argue that it's disgusting and cruel to punish poor people who steal because they don't have money.
It absolutely is and that's why its actively unjust to punish someone in that state instead of helping them find a way to make restitution and providing them with the necessary support to not be put in that situation again.

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Maybe on some humane level that's coherent, but it completely disregards the purpose of law.
No, blindly punishing people without regard for circumstances disregards the purpose of the law. The purpose is to give people public protection from theft and recourse to get restitution when it does occur instead of needing to provide such enforcement out of their personal resources. It's purpose is not, in any way, to inflict further harm on desperate people.

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If not enforced a law is actually not a law at all.
Sure, but that doesn't mean that we should be blindly vindictive, just that we should seek to provide justice to both parties when the law has been violated. Restitution the the person hurt, protection to society from repeat violations here that might be likely, and, if relevant, resources to the person who violated the law so that they aren't put in a situation where they feel they have no other choice in the future.

Blindly punish people without regard to the justice a given law is supposed to provide and you encourage people to show it the same disregard that you show them. It's only when people feel taht tehy law is there to help them, not oppress and punish them that they respect it.

 If you're going to allow illegal behavior without punishment then that would indeed be a disgrace, and the law should be changed. But if you're going to keep the law then it needs to be taken seriously.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #197 on: April 04, 2016, 11:56:14 AM »
No, blindly punishing people without regard for circumstances disregards the purpose of the law. The purpose is to give people public protection from theft and recourse to get restitution when it does occur instead of needing to provide such enforcement out of their personal resources. It's purpose is not, in any way, to inflict further harm on desperate people.

Pyr, you're not really disputing what I said, but rather seem to be making a case for changing the law. If you think at present it serves to enforce a vindictive agenda much of the time then I'll probably agree with you, and that would be a good reason to try to evolve certain laws. However, that doesn't speak to whether the law as it stands at present should be obeyed or not, and whether it should be enforced. If you think the law is only a suggestion for most people and that those for whom it would be unfair to apply should be able to ignore it without impunity - well, I won't agree with you on that.

The issue you're raising here is a bad analogy anyhow; I find your analogies tend to distract from rather than illuminate discussions in general. In your example a law against theft, which protects the majority of people but hurts those few who are so poor that they must steal, we'd be talking about a fringe case where the law is improperly tuned in the case of a small group of people who are an exception. In the case of abortion, however, when certain types of abortion are illegal and a woman goes out precisely to have that type of abortion, that's not a fringe case but rather the exact case the law was meant to address. Maybe the law is bad or unfair, but saying that is different from arguing that the law is not meant to be enforced. Selective enforcement of law is a tool employed by oligarchs and plutocrats, and I see only danger coming from a philosophy of injustice (literally employing the law unevenly depending on who you are).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 11:58:24 AM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #198 on: April 04, 2016, 12:51:35 PM »
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I find your analogies tend to distract from rather than illuminate discussions in general.
A telling comment in a way that you didn't consider.  When someone gives an analogy that doesn't fit your argument they're offering their own view of the scenario under discussion.  My view is that this analogy is a better fit to the circumstances than what you have offered.  You are arguing that the law provides punishment and so must be respected, but Pyrtolin is talking about what the purpose of having laws is.  The US punishes far more people than any other country in the world (i.e., the highest incarceration rate in the world).  In the US the states with the highest incarceration rates are all in the south, closely correlated with the states with the highest rates of poverty and the highest rates of non-white residents.  Incarceration rates rose by 7x between 1970-2005, while crime rates rose by 33% during that period but were the same in the beginning and ending years.

Incarceration in the US is punitive rather than rehabilitative.  That's what the laws prescribe, but not what the legal system was supposed to provide.

Fenring

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Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« Reply #199 on: April 04, 2016, 03:20:09 PM »
When someone gives an analogy that doesn't fit your argument they're offering their own view of the scenario under discussion.

I explained exactly why the analogy doesn't apply. I understood his argument, but the analogy didn't help it. To be fair I felt a bit bad after the fact of telling him this, since now that I think about it most of the analogies offered in these threads tend to derail into arguing about the applicability of the analogy rather than helping elucidate the arguments being made. Many of us are probably guilty of offering unhelpful analogies in this sense. Since we're all pretty smart here it it seems to me we do better when we just stick to discussing the actual facts rather than trying to explain them using an imaginary set of facts.

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You are arguing that the law provides punishment and so must be respected, but Pyrtolin is talking about what the purpose of having laws is.

Yes, and philosophy of law has nothing to do with executing a given set of laws. The philosophy behind the purpose of laws is a matter for jurisprudence and legislation to consider, not enforcement. Choosing not to enforce a law because you personally don't like it is not the proper legal avenue for a dispute with the law as it stands, with the exception of civil disobedience on the part of citizens. But law enforcement should not selectively pick and choose which laws to enforce even if it's based on some moral idea. From what I've seen selective enforcement is usually a symptom of corruption and abuse rather than enlightened mercy.

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The US punishes far more people than any other country in the world (i.e., the highest incarceration rate in the world).  In the US the states with the highest incarceration rates are all in the south, closely correlated with the states with the highest rates of poverty and the highest rates of non-white residents.  Incarceration rates rose by 7x between 1970-2005, while crime rates rose by 33% during that period but were the same in the beginning and ending years.

Again, you are arguing for a reform of the criminal justice system. Guess what? I'm on board with that. But that has nothing to do with arguing that illegal acts should be ignored because some people think they shouldn't be illegal. That's not how law ought to work. In a broken system it probably does work like that some of the time, and if so that's another part of the problem. You don't fix one problem in the system by exacerbating another problem in it. Requiring lawful behavior on the part of law enforcement is part and parcel of why it's so important for the police to have body cams, and the last thing we want right now is to indicate to the law enforcement community that it's ok to pick and choose which crimes are really crimes, and which laws to enforce.