Roundup

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I'm afraid I've found myself once again with a bunch of stuff I feel like linking to but without the time to say much about them, so it's time for another roundup.

A politically-motivated policy (and I would argue one of ill will, since 'pro-choice' is at least as much of a euphemism as 'pro-life') has led a copy editor on the Los Angeles Times to replace 'pro-life' with 'anti-abortion' when the opera being described was, quite literally, pro-life and not about abortion at all.

La Shawn Barber has some nice balance to the Memogate charges. Her conclusion? They're all deceitful snoops on both sides, and this is just about one person who got caught. This was a dishonest crime that found out the culprits anyway, and why isn't that being investigated?

The new Spare Change (formerly Clarity Amidst Chaos) has a comparison of John Kerry before and after in a nice chart. Some of these are legitimate changes of mind on the issues, but I have a hard time believing this many serious differences could be from that. As I think I've said before, I think he's in the upper class of the Democratic party, voting according to the current political wind to retain the lower elements of the party and not caring as much about the issues. (See this post for more on the class structure of the parties.)

I never knew that John Kerry had once realized the negative consequences of affirmative action for the very underrepresented minorities it's supposed to be helping. I wonder how many liberal politicians know this but won't admit to believing it due to their desire to maintain control over black voters (also in the above-linked political party class structure post). For those who want arguments for my view on affirmative action, you'll have to wait until I come to it after I finish my posts on separatism and anti-intellectualism, which I will get around to soon but have been putting off.

On the topic of the Democratic enslavement of the black vote, Baldilocks has two posts, one on her frustrations of being assumed to be a Democrat by voting officials simply because she's black and another on the issue that may cost the Democrats their loyal slaves. (This is probably one reason John Kerry, who condescendingly wants to be considered the second black president, as if there has already been one, won't say anything on the issue.)

Instapundit has a large amount of information (unusual for him) on the people complaining about Bush's commercials. Lots of interesting stuff.

Biblical scholar Ben Witherington and John Dominic Crossan (who is something else but says he's a biblical scholar -- I think he's more of speculative fiction writer about historical matters -- he seems to think Jesus was just a political revolutionary whose death was later reinterpreted to have spiritual significance and whose followers concocted most of the teachings we have from him to fit this theory instead of continuing the revolution he started and would have wanted them to continue) have a discussion about The Passion of the Christ. I give Crossan credit for giving the most serious real criticism of the film I've seen yet (though he said it for all the wrong reasons) about how people would misunderstand the cross without the context of the rest of the gospels, though I don't think that's a problem in itself. One focal point of Witherington's response to Crossan is Crossan's repetition of concerns I've pointed out before raised by Andrew Sullivan that in fact reveal a prejudice against an orthodox Christian theology of the cross. They also consider whether Mel Gibson did enough to remove the anti-Semitism objections. At the end Witherington lists some unhistoricalities that bothered him. I should say that Crossan's final comment about how Mulsims respond is just stupid. Muslims won't use this movie to blame Jews for the death of a prophet that the Qu'ran says didn't die (because prophets can't die, according to Islam).

Adrian Warnock has challenged my claim in this post that, despite the fall, humanity still has anything at all good before being redeemed. I think it's quite obvious from the biblical picture that the image of God gets twisted in the fall but not removed, but one person in the comments section of his blog seems highly resistant to this idea. Adrian also has a whole bunch of posts from the last few days responding to objections against "the church" (although I somehow get the feeling they aren't using that term as the biblical writers used 'ekklesia' for the gathering of believers).

Disney is backing the first Narnia movie. So much for that one.

2 Comments

My 4th most recent blog post mentions Baldilocks' entry about her experience while voting.

That post of mine also links to this entry of California conservative blogger 'The Angry Clam' - the Clam's entry has ballot recommendations, which include a recommendation for writing in the great U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) for President in the GOP primary (against George W. Bush). I would have to agree with that type of sentiment.

I'm not sure what this comment had to do with the post, but I should indicate my strong distate for protest votes when the two main candidates are less than perfect but one is far better than the other (even if on a few issues the other is better than the one), as I believe is true in 2004.

The protest vote in that situation is morally justified only in a state that most obviously will go to the worse of the two candidates with virtually no chance of your vote making a difference. Even in a case where it looks extremely likely that the better candidate will win, I don't think a protest vote is a good idea, since you're in a sitution somewhat akin to the prisoner's dilemma. You don't know how many other people will reason the way you have. If they do that in the state strongly supporting the worse candidate, the worse candidate will simply get a larger majority but the same number of electoral votes. If they do it in a state supporting the better candidate, then the worse candidate might win.

So one of two conditions would need to be true for me to submit a protest vote. First, Bush would need to be no better or not much better than Kerry, and I'm not even close to thinking that. Second, I'd need to be in a state that would overwhelmingly go for Kerry even if all the Republicans and independents voted for Bush. I'm not sure if even New York is that strongly Democratic, but it might be. Even so, the first condition fails. A vote for Tom Tancredo (or simply not voting) is equivalent to half a vote for Kerry in comparison to what would happen if you voted for Bush. This is one of those things I could never bring myself to do.

The bottom line is this. When it's clear that only two people have a chance of winning an election, and the stakes are fairly high, it's morally wrong to vote for a third party candidate unless there's no clear difference between the two candidates (which is certainly not the case here) and your vote has virtually no chance of being important in any way, which the 2000 election showed is far less common than might have been thought. If you think Bush is better than Kerry to some degree on most or many issues, and you vote for a third party, and if Kerry wins, then your vote was partially responsible for it, and I would consider you morally negligent.

I would say that this goes also for Nader votes if you think Kerry is enough better than Bush to make a difference, though I don't want to encourage that, since I want Nader to steal votes from Kerry. I think the vote for Kerry is morally wrong for other reasons, though, so maybe I can still encourage the Nader vote from true liberals without inconsistency with my stance on protest votes.

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