Tuesday, April 25, 2017


On Objective Principles and Subjective Circumstances Where Citing Sources Are Concerned...

[Prefatory Note: This was originally published to Facebook on June 12, 2012. -ISM]

This material is taken from a status posted by a friend of mine circa June 10, 2012. Here is said status for the sake of contextualizing what is said below -all names removed to eliminate the possibility of anyone taking this personally as my concern here is the principles involved, not the parties themselves. Without further ado...

‎"In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail." ---The U.S. Supreme Court, in "Planned Parenthood v Casey" [1992]

And here are the words of my original comment on the thread:

I am presuming that you got that quote from someone and did not get it from the case itself. Because that quote above appears nowhere in the case texts. Here are the actual quotes:

"The Roe rule's limitation on state power could not be repudiated without serious inequity to people who, for two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives. The Constitution serves human values, and while the effect of reliance on Roe cannot be exactly measured, neither can the certain costs of overruling Roe for people who have ordered their thinking and living around that case be dismissed. Pp. 855-856.

...

It should be recognized, moreover, that in some critical respects, the abortion decision is of the same character as the decision to use contraception, to which Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstadt v. Baird, and Carey v. Population Services International afford constitutional protection. We have no doubt as to the correctness of those decisions.

I should add here that the two parts above which were prooftexted for the manufactured quote in this status were from the members of the court that UPHELD Roe vs. Wade in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey!

The above words on my part got the following response on the thread which will be in bolded font. My response to them will be in regular font.

Shawn, the manufactured quote above takes a bit from the second paragraph you cite and the rest from the first. I don't think that is so bad.

I have a serious problem with playing fast and loose with citations.

The court did say both things.

That is an egregious butchering of what the Court said both in terms of ripping the statements from context as well as how they are presented. 

And I am quite sure XXXXXXX is aware that what he cites is from the rationale for upholding Roe v. Wade.

It is quite possible XXXXXXX got the citation from a pro-life website without checking it. I have learned over the years that pro-life websites are roughly as prone to miscite sources as anti-life sources are. That is why I said what I did where XXXXXXX is concerned: I cannot believe he would knowingly cite a quote in the manner above -it is highly unscholarly and blatantly disingenuous. XXXXXXX is from everything I know about him both scholarly as well as ethical. 

He isn't quoting it to approve of it, but rather to lay bare the way these folks think, and what they think is of more value than human life.

And how does this help matters when someone goes back to find the citation and discovers the unscholarly hack job that the above quote represents viz. what the Court actually said? This is not even a case of citing two things in sequence with an ellipse between the different parts -that would be ok. This is reformulating what was said and making it say something that the Court did not say for the sake of political agenda. 

Which is, to be explicit, the right to have sex without having to be prepared to raise children. Which they think is good and we think is bad.

By way of example, what would you say if someone did this with your last comment?:

"Which is, to be explicit, the right to have sex without having to be prepared to raise children. Which we think is good." 

Before you object, you did say all of that yourself in your last comment on the thread prior to mine. Heck, there is not a word in that sentence that you did not say. So by your rationale, you would have no right to take offense at someone misrepresenting your words like that. But you would take offense at it because that is not what you actually said as anyone who checks the comment you made can readily see. How is that any different than the quote above objectively speaking?

Look, I have blistered my adversaries over the years when I have caught them doing such things with sources they cite. For that reason, I cannot in the interest of both ethics and rational consistency turn a blind eye to my allies when they do the very same thing. It is a matter of objective truth insofar as such things are not right or okay when "the good guys" do it and wrong, deplorable or to be condemned when "the bad guys" do it. The subjective nobility of the cause is not the determining factor of the objective rightness or wrongness of the conduct undertaken but instead, said conduct is objectively wrong, period.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Points to Ponder:

It would seem that in the vacuum of our modern lives has morphed what we construe to be mistakes and “failures.” When we are able to live life without the atrocities and sacrifices of war, we somehow feel as though that our comfort should be juxtaposed onto war itself. Yet, Mr. Hanson paints a vivid landscape of what would be these same expectations during World War II. It is quite illuminating to see such a historian critique an era from the perspective of modern eyes and expectations foisting upon the “Greatest Generation” our ideas of mistakes and “failures.” ["Publius" (circa late May 2006)]

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