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Above my pay grade

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Obama
WARREN: That was a freebie. That was a gimme. That was a gimme, OK? Now, let's deal with abortion; 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. As a pastor, I have to deal with this all of the time, all of the pain and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very complex issue. Forty million abortions, at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?

OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.

But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion, because this is something obviously the country wrestles with. One thing that I'm absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue. And so I think anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue, I think, is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.

But point number two, I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe v. Wade, and I come to that conclusion not because I'm pro-abortion, but because, ultimately, I don't think women make these decisions casually. I think they -- they wrestle with these things in profound ways, in consultation with their pastors or their spouses or their doctors or their family members. And so, for me, the goal right now should be -- and this is where I think we can find common ground. And by the way, I've now inserted this into the Democratic party platform, is how do we reduce the number of abortions? The fact is that although we have had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down and that is something we have to address.




McCain

WARREN: Let's deal with abortion. I, as a pastor, have to deal with this all the time, every different angle, every different pain, all of the decisions and all of that. Forty million abortions since Roe v. Wade. Some people, people who believe that life begins at conception, believe that's a holocaust for many people. What point is a baby entitled to human rights?

MCCAIN: At the moment of conception. (APPLAUSE). I have a 25- year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate. And as president of the United States, I will be a pro-life president. And this presidency will have pro-life policies. That's my commitment. That's my commitment to you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have just found out "I voted for the war before I voted against it" for this political season.

When you opponent is running ad after ad noting that you are a celebrity, an empty suit and when people from your own party are begging you to finally define HOPE, the last thing you do is deflect true answers away by noting they are "Above your pay grade" and the ignore the question while claiming you are speaking to it "generally."

There are moral and ethical elements to this question. Clearly those moral and ethical elements are "above your pay grade." You want to lower the number of abortions but can't say why since that is "above your pay grade."

Quote:
Mr. Obama has run for the last 18 months as the candidate of hope. Yet party leaders while enthusiastic about Mr. Obama and his state-by-state campaign operations say he must do more to convince the many undecided Democrats and independents that he would address their financial anxieties rather than run, by and large, as an agent of change given that change, they note, is not an issue.

I particularly hope he strengthens his economic message even Senator Obama can speak more clearly and specifically about the kitchen-table, bread-and-butter issues like high energy costs, said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. Its fine to tell people about hope and change, but you have to have plenty of concrete, pragmatic ideas that bring hope and change to life.

Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives.

Maybe Obama ought to go visit the dairy aisle for a bit.

Perhaps Obama will find some answers to these questions, and not just those his campaign posts on his website or that he reads off a teleprompter, but those that come out of his mouth when asked questions by others.

Unless answering those is above his pay grade.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 116
That wasn't a bullshit answer at all. It seems simple enough but in reality the science behind the life of a baby in the womb is complicated and not straight forward. No one really knows when a baby is human enough to have rights... after 4 months? When it gets a heart beat? When they think it can feel pain? Shit, maybe even before the semen reaches the egg.

Obama is a problem solver not a scientist. if he was a world renowned doctor and specialized in birth and the womb he would be able to answer.

Secondly, I believe this was from the televised "Civic Forum of Faith" last night? I didn't watch it.

Why? Because a pastor (of a conservative, evangelical, Baptist church) got to decide on the participants, chose the questions, and pack the audience with supporters. In short, he got to set the agenda for America's political discussion and got two hours of free air time to boost his dog-and-pony "miracles" show to go along with it.

Remember, this entire event was created and managed by, not just Christians, but Evangelical, Baptist, Christians. Is there a special night for Jews? For Buddhists? For Agnostics? For Mormons? For Catholics?

CNN can do what every they (and I guess, Jesus) want to do.

But I don't want to make that much of a big deal of it. It's over (imo) and now they can both breath a sigh of relief and move on.

But I know it isn't over here or in the media. So let the ping-ball match of morals, faith and the usual continuous debate begin.

post #3 of 116
So the argument here seems to be the following: Obama claims to be the messiah, but then says he doesn't know the answer to a difficult philosophical/moral question? What a hypocrite!
post #4 of 116
The question in question (no pun intended) is complex and doesn't have one right answer. From a scientific standpoint, one could argue that a fetus in the womb more resembles a fish (fetuses grow gills during their development) than a human. From a theological standpoint, that fetus is a budding human being that could flourish and grow.

One fact, however, is that unwanted children are far more likely to grow up in circumstance that lead to crime. The precipitous drop of crime in the early to mid 90s that no one anticipated was due to Roe v. Wade around 18 years earlier. Does this mean I favor abortion? Absolutely not. But we need to significantly decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and decrease the world population. I'm in favor of proactive methods, for example, comprehensive sex ed, but when that isn't being done, or doesn't work, we're left with abortion.
post #5 of 116
Quote:
..., at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?

Quote:
What point is a baby entitled to human rights?

This is known as a loaded question.

Of course, the answer to this loaded question is simple and straight forward: When a baby is a baby.

Last time I checked fetus != baby.
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post #6 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

The precipitous drop of crime in the early to mid 90s that no one anticipated was due to Roe v. Wade around 18 years earlier.

I think that should be qualified as "partially" due to Roe v. Wade. Obviously, the Clinton Economy also had a lot to do with it.
post #7 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

The question in question (no pun intended) is complex and doesn't have one right answer. From a scientific standpoint, one could argue that a fetus in the womb more resembles a fish (fetuses grow gills during their development) than a human. From a theological standpoint, that fetus is a budding human being that could flourish and grow.

I don't think that anyone has contended that all would be in agreement on "one right answer." The point was that Obama didn't answer at all and he does this often. Then when he is forced to take a position, he will turn and claim that the earlier position wasn't his and you just hadn't gotten to know him well enough.

Quote:
One fact, however, is that unwanted children are far more likely to grow up in circumstance that lead to crime. The precipitous drop of crime in the early to mid 90s that no one anticipated was due to Roe v. Wade around 18 years earlier. Does this mean I favor abortion? Absolutely not. But we need to significantly decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and decrease the world population. I'm in favor of proactive methods, for example, comprehensive sex ed, but when that isn't being done, or doesn't work, we're left with abortion.

I've read Freakonomics and other folks that put this theory forward as well. A competing theory is simply that the large boomer generation moved out of their years of prime criminality and became grumpy old men. They are a demographically huge generation and it isn't hard to understand why a 25 year old criminal has hopefully stopped being that when he is 50-60.

Nice side point and again, I'm sure we can have fun discussing what we all think the answer should be. The issue though is that Obama doesn't have or wouldn't state an answer. It is "above his pay grade."

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #8 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The issue though is that Obama doesn't have or wouldn't state an answer. It is "above his pay grade."

"above his pay grade."

Our IT's guys take on it...(paraphrasing)

He thinks it means that your not qualified to make the determination.

He believes it comes from a line in Battlestar Galactica...

Unless they got it from someone else. That is where he first heard it and began to adopt it and use it.

In his case he would use it like this:

a User: "Hey.. your saying I have to use this expensive and inferior software, but that doesn't make any sense."

IT guy: "Yeah so?"

User:
"Well.. that doesn't make any sense."

IT guy: "Business as usual, it's above my paygrade, take it up with the bosses."


Myself? Again...

I actually liked his answer. To me it comes across as one of the saner ways to point out that some things are just outside of human kin.

The thing is trumptman, he's not answering the well enough for you. You have high standards, that's evident, but most people are not going to listen or agree if it doesn't suit there ideals.
post #9 of 116
Perhaps belief in religion, morality etc., is a personal thing, answerable in the end by the deity you happen to believe in.

As an aside, how do those that are on the anti abortion side feel about those religious types that won't allow medical intervention to save a life? Premature birth that could be saved by incubation etc.
post #10 of 116
He answered the question: He's Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion.

He is for the right for a woman to choose but feel that abortion is bad. That's a position I can support. Of course, I am not a conservative, evangelical nutjob so I can have moderate opinions like that. I'm just a normal sort of Christian who renders unto ceasar...
post #11 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

He answered the question: He's Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion.

He is for the right for a woman to choose but feel that abortion is bad. That's a position I can support. Of course, I am not a conservative, evangelical nutjob so I can have moderate opinions like that. I'm just a normal sort of Christian who renders unto ceasar...

Yes. That's Obama's position on abortion, and he expressed that clearly. Obama's "above my pay grade" comment refers specifically to question about when a fetus gets human rights. He basically said that he doesn't feel he's qualified to make that determination. That is perfectly reasonable.
post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

That's a position I can support. Of course, I am not a conservative, evangelical nutjob so I can have moderate opinions like that. I'm just a normal sort of Christian who renders unto ceasar...

Clever what you just did there.

You took people that arrive at a different answer than you do perhaps for different reasons than yours and marginalized them as abnormal nutjobs.

How's that working for you in terms of winning friends and influencing people?
post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Yes. That's Obama's position on abortion, and he expressed that clearly. Obama's "above my pay grade" comment refers specifically to question about when a fetus gets human rights.

True.

Of course he's seeking a job (and "pay grade") wherein he may be involved with making decisions (or selecting others who will be making decisions) related to the human rights of fetuses (and, maybe, others).

I find it interesting that he didn't choose to take the position that since he doesn't really know (i.e., "above my pay grade") that it might be wise and prudent for our society to take a more cautious approach in terms of terminating/killing these "things" ofwhich we're unsure of their rights.
post #14 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

True.

Of course he's seeking a job (and "pay grade") wherein he may be involved with making decisions (or selecting others who will be making decisions) related to the human rights of fetuses (and, maybe, others).

I find it interesting that he didn't choose to take the position that since he doesn't really know (i.e., "above my pay grade") that it might be wise and prudent for our society to take a more cautious approach in terms of terminating/killing these "things" ofwhich we're unsure of their rights.

Because by securing the rights of someone who "might" have rights as a life (the embryo/fetus), he'd be taking away the rights of someone who DOES have rights as a life (the woman).
post #15 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Clever what you just did there.

You took people that arrive at a different answer than you do perhaps for different reasons than yours and marginalized them as abnormal nutjobs.

How's that working for you in terms of winning friends and influencing people?

Because, you see, those types of people are not the norm.
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post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I think that should be qualified as "partially" due to Roe v. Wade. Obviously, the Clinton Economy also had a lot to do with it.

Perhaps the Clinton Economy played a very small part, but the effect of the Clinton Economy would definitely not be the major factor. There is very little evidence that directly correlates the economy to the level of crime. For example, one could argue the reserve: that the economy in the 90s was better because crime was lower as crime tends to damage the economy.



In addition, if the crime rate was directly correlated with the economy, the crime rate would have spiked in recent years with the weakened economy, but it has not.
post #17 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

True.

Of course he's seeking a job (and "pay grade") wherein he may be involved with making decisions (or selecting others who will be making decisions) related to the human rights of fetuses (and, maybe, others).

I find it interesting that he didn't choose to take the position that since he doesn't really know (i.e., "above my pay grade") that it might be wise and prudent for our society to take a more cautious approach in terms of terminating/killing these "things" ofwhich we're unsure of their rights.

Seeing as you don't agree with personal choice in this instance, when should the law, government, decide a fetus is a person with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Would you be willing to redistribute your wealth to raise and in some instances, care for life, the children that aren't wanted?
post #18 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Perhaps the Clinton Economy played a very small part, but the effect of the Clinton Economy would definitely not be the major factor. There is very little evidence that directly correlates the economy to the level of crime. For example, one could argue the reserve: that the economy in the 90s was better because crime was lower as crime tends to damage the economy.



In addition, if the crime rate was directly correlated with the economy, the crime rate would have spiked in recent years with the weakened economy, but it has not.

... I'd present scholarly works (PDF files) that show unambiguously that legal abortion has been one of the two biggest causal reasons for the lowering of crime rates in the 1990's.

However, this alone should not be a reason for choosing for legal abortions. Any method of birth control is acceptable as long as it terminates an unwanted pregnancy in a timely manner.

And what exactly constitutes "a timely manner" is a question above my pay grade.
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post #19 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

"above his pay grade."

Our IT's guys take on it...(paraphrasing)

He thinks it means that your not qualified to make the determination.

He believes it comes from a line in Battlestar Galactica...

Unless they got it from someone else. That is where he first heard it and began to adopt it and use it.

In his case he would use it like this:

a User: "Hey.. your saying I have to use this expensive and inferior software, but that doesn't make any sense."

IT guy: "Yeah so?"

User:
"Well.. that doesn't make any sense."

IT guy: "Business as usual, it's above my paygrade, take it up with the bosses."


Myself? Again...

I'm not going to claim to know the entire origin of the phrase (that would probably be midwinter's department) but I know I have heard it much further back than that.

Quote:
I actually liked his answer. To me it comes across as one of the saner ways to point out that some things are just outside of human kin.

The thing is trumptman, he's not answering the well enough for you. You have high standards, that's evident, but most people are not going to listen or agree if it doesn't suit there ideals.

My problem with it hits right on your anecdote there. The phrase is usually tossed about to mean that even if it is something you can't sort out, you are just acting on orders from the boss.

This just doesn't sit well when you are running to be the boss. The guy is running for president. You don't sweat the conversation you noted above when it is happening with your IT guy. I think you would be checking your resume twice and sending it out if you were having that conversation with your CEO though.

User: Holy crap, this dude just said the decision is above his pay grade and his job is to make the decision. I gotta get the hell out of here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

... I'd present scholarly works (PDF files) that show unambiguously that legal abortion has been one of the two biggest causal reasons for the lowering of crime rates in the 1990's.

However, this alone should not be a reason for choosing for legal abortions. Any method of birth control is acceptable as long as it terminates an unwanted pregnancy in a timely manner.

And what exactly constitutes "a timely manner" is a question above my pay grade.

So what is the other one Frank?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #20 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I'm not going to claim to know the entire origin of the phrase (that would probably be midwinter's department) but I know I have heard it much further back than that.



My problem with it hits right on your anecdote there. The phrase is usually tossed about to mean that even if it is something you can't sort out, you are just acting on orders from the boss.

This just doesn't sit well when you are running to be the boss. The guy is running for president. You don't sweat the conversation you noted above when it is happening with your IT guy. I think you would be checking your resume twice and sending it out if you were having that conversation with your CEO though.

User: Holy crap, this dude just said the decision is above his pay grade and his job is to make the decision. I gotta get the hell out of here.

So what is the other one Frank?

See Levitt's 2004 paper "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors That Explain the Decline and Six That Do Not." located on his webpage.

As to the pay grade argument, it is a most appropriate answrer, simply because it is a personal decision and one that should not be divined by others. QED.
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post #21 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I'm not going to claim to know the entire origin of the phrase (that would probably be midwinter's department) but I know I have heard it much further back than that.

Wiktionary...

Quote:
beyond one's pay grade

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Etymology

Possibly from the correspondence of pay grade to level of authority in U.S. w:Civil Service and in the U.S. armed forces.

Phrase

beyond one's pay grade (adjective or adverb)

1. (idiomatic) Beyond one's level of authority.
* 1971, Testimony before U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services,

Sir, I think that is a policy decision only the President can make. That is beyond my pay grade.

2. (idiomatic) Beyond one's capability.
* 2007, Los Angeles Times,

Figuring out how it would work logistically is above and beyond my pay grade and my brain power.

As far as I can see, this can be seen as a major gaffe for Obama. But as far as I'm concerned, with the audience that was involved, you can skirt the issue...just as long as your opponent doesn't take the easy (and obvious) answer for these proceedings.
post #22 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

But as far as I'm concerned, with the audience that was involved, you can skirt the issue...

Why is that?
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Why is that?

Because one can "skirt" a loaded question. Always. Besides he didn't even skirt the question, he answered in kind.

If you want a direct answer ask a direct question. Like, "Are you pro-choice or pro-life?" To which the answer is, "Both."
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post #24 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Why is that?

Uh, they're evangelical. Please. I am not going to call them all nut-jobs, because some are not. But you can either lie, tell the truth or follow the leader.

McCain chose to follow their leader, God = Conception for the Win!

This "Civil Forum" was gamed from the beginning. It's similar to the AIPAC groveling every candidate has to endure. You cross them and you can be toast.

Will Obama's gaffe hurt him? Tune into CBN or the AM talk show circuit and find out.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Why is that?

What, you got me on ignore?
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Uh, they're evangelical.

Are you saying it's fine to "skirt the issue" (e.g., be less than fully truthful or even lie) based on who your audience is? Because maybe they're not real people (and not worthy of a truthful un-nuanced answer)? Because maybe they don't really count (and not worthy of a truthful un-nuanced answer)? Because maybe they're just extremists (and not worthy of a truthful un-nuanced answer)?
post #27 of 116
People who say the above, or hold that opinion, are extremists.
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post #28 of 116
Anyone that raises their hands and goes into some kind of rapture praising some unseen, unproven
being is so unhinged to the point of nuttiness.

If you believe, why this extreme?

I guess some just have a need to prostrate themselves to an idol, rock star, politician.
Not me.
post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Are you saying it's fine to "skirt the issue" (e.g., be less than fully truthful or even lie) based on who your audience is? Because maybe they're not real people (and not worthy of a truthful un-nuanced answer)? Because maybe they don't really count (and not worthy of a truthful un-nuanced answer)? Because maybe they're just extremists (and not worthy of a truthful un-nuanced answer)?

Go ahead, try to insert this attack on my opinion if you will. But you may need this...



Because if I try to explain my personal reasons for this opinion. It will "skirt" the real issue.

And that is religion should be light years away from political issues. Period.

See my first post.
post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The point was that Obama didn't answer at all and he does this often. Then when he is forced to take a position, he will turn and claim that the earlier position wasn't his and you just hadn't gotten to know him well enough.


Obama's Blueprint for Change (.pdf; pg. 35)

Quote:
Obama has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving a womens right to choose under Roe v. Wade a priority as president. Obama also supports expanded access to contraception, health information and preventive services to reduce unintended pregnancies.

His position on the legality of abortion is quite clear; his position on the tough moral and philosophical questions is not. If that's important for you as a voter, then fine. But for me, just knowing that he would preserve a woman's right to choose is enough.
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Obama's Blueprint for Change (.pdf; pg. 35)



His position on the legality of abortion is quite clear; his position on the tough moral and philosophical questions is not. If that's important for you as a voter, then fine. But for me, just knowing that he would preserve a woman's right to choose is enough.

Ditto.
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post #32 of 116
Does anyone anywhere actually believe that it is not above a president's pay grade to make a determination as to when, exactly, a fetus becomes a human life worthy of all legal protection?

I think some people (not point any fingers at people here) think we elect some kind of ideological emperor and not a president.
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post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Does anyone anywhere actually believe that it is not above a president's pay grade to make a determination as to when, exactly, a fetus becomes a human life worthy of all legal protection?

The question was: "at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?" also sometimes phrased "in your opinion?" or "at what point do you believe a baby get human rights?"

He wasn't asking a definitive question of fact, he was asking for his opinion on the question.
post #34 of 116
And a perfectly reasonable way to answer that is to say that one cannot be in a position to make that determination.

I think that's the only reasonable answer, actually.
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post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

The question was: "at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?" also sometimes phrased "in your opinion?" or "at what point do you believe a baby get human rights?"

He wasn't asking a definitive question of fact, he was asking for his opinion on the question.

So then, it was meant as a rhetorical question? As a non sequitur?

Because a living/breathing/kicking/screaming individual baby has the same right to life as any other living/breathing/kicking/screaming individual person. D'oh!

After all, McStain will defeat evil, completely, forever, permanently, and without question, and in his first term even. America's POW hero. There will be no evil under a McStain presidency.
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post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

The question was: "at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?" also sometimes phrased "in your opinion?" or "at what point do you believe a baby get human rights?"

He wasn't asking a definitive question of fact, he was asking for his opinion on the question.

The interesting assumption behind this post is that opinions are not expected to be based on facts.
post #37 of 116
McCain took that tack, obviously, and it resonated emotionally with a lot of people.

Of course, the very problem with this issue is that millions have eagerly allowed emotion to cloud their reason.
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post #38 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

McCain took that tack, obviously, and it resonated emotionally with a lot of people.

Of course, the very problem with this issue is that millions have eagerly allowed emotion to cloud their reason.

Yep. And some theories suggest that the majority of voters base their political beliefs primarily on emotions, group identity, and trends. That most people are actually incapable of having their own belief set, or at the very least are inept at expressing their beliefs accurately.
post #39 of 116
Apparently, outright lying isn't above Obama's current pay grade.
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post #40 of 116
Apparently "analysis" is above the "Baby Killer!" Brigade's pay grade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Apparently, outright lying isn't above Obama's current pay grade.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Major differences.

1. The state version contained language that could have been used to challenge Roe v. Wade.

2. No neutrality clause.

3. Duplicates existing law.
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