Saturday, April 02, 2005

BLOGGER.COM BLUES have been very erratic this week. One day it took me four hours before I could get this blog up. And others have had worse experiences. Hopefully have now got on top of whatever problem they had but I guess this is a good time to remind readers to bookmark one of my mirror sites (here and here) for times when this blog does not seem to have been updated at the usual time. I update it each and every morning my time -- which translates to some time in the afternoon of the "next" day for American readers (Brisbane time is 18 hours ahead of California time). At the foot of each day's postings I also give links to mirrors for five of my other blogs as well. It only takes me a couple of minutes per day to put up a mirror site but there is no point in my doing it unless people use it occasionally. So if there have been no recent updates here, the fault lies with, not with me and the mirror sites should always be up to date.



This morning President Bush offered his condolences to the family of Terri Schiavo:

The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life.

"The strong have a duty to protect the weak": Didn't that use to be a liberal sentiment? To be sure, some prominent left-liberals--Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Sen. Tom Harkin--joined the effort to save Mrs. Schiavo, and 47 House Democrats out of 100 voted in favor of the law that would have done so had the courts not defied it. But it seems clear that liberalism is not as compassionate as it once was.....

In a fascinating essay for The Weekly Standard, Eric Cohen argues that what went wrong in the Schiavo case was that "procedural liberalism"--the respect for Mrs. Schiavo's right to make her own decisions--gave way to "ideological liberalism"--the presumption that because she was unable to make such decisions, her life was worthless:

Treating autonomy as an absolute makes a person's dignity turn entirely on his or her capacity to act autonomously. It leads to the view that only those with the ability to express their will possess any dignity at all--everyone else is "life unworthy of life."

This is what ideological liberalism now seems to believe--whether in regard to early human embryos, or late-stage dementia patients, or fetuses with Down's syndrome. And in the end, the Schiavo case is just one more act in modern liberalism's betrayal of the vulnerable people it once claimed to speak for.

Opinion on the Schiavo case did not split along traditional left-right lines, of course; libertarian-leaning conservatives tended to side with those who wished to pull her feeding tube. Autonomy and compassion are both important values, and there are dangers in overvaluing either at the expense of the other.

It does seem, though, that the "religious right," for better or worse, has supplanted the liberal left as the political faction that most strongly and consistently advocates compassion in social policy.

(Above post excerpted from Taranto. The Leftist claim to compassion always was a con job. Look at the millions killed by Communism -- and back in the USA look at the thousands killed as a result of Leftist support for eugenics prior to 1945)


No comments: