September 9, 2010

The new lawn guardian angel.



David said...

Titus, is that you?

1775OGG said...

Is that tail "forked?"

Lynne said...

I have a statue of just about that size and shape, only it's a baby Gargoyle sucking his thumb.

I keep it near my desk to remind me how childish I can be on bad days. And how ineffective my little tantrums can be.

reader_iam said...

What, no flies? (You have to follow the link at the link. Really, you do. Well, not HAVE to, but it's wonderfully weird and oddly fascinating.)


AlphaLiberal said...

I just saw this funny takedown of Althouse's very dishonest patron Glenn Reynolds and had to share.

"Sadly, No! The passages the Perfesser alludes to were selectively mined from a survey of population control methods that had been used in the past, with Holdren and his two co-authors concluding that they supported only “non-coercive” methods. "

And here is the science article showing how Glenn Reynold "Loses Argument With His Own Strawman."

"But wait, you may be wondering: How do I know that the Ehrlichs are right about the their 1977 text, and not the conservatives? Well, because I walked over to the Engineering Library on the Princeton University campus, where I’m located, and got the book. And I can see how one could misread a text this old—from such a different time. But nevertheless, the criticism of Holdren today on this basis is exceedingly thin and stretched. The book is three decades old; Holdren isn’t its first author; it takes a stance against such policies; and neither Holdren nor the Ehrlichs support these policies today, either. Couldn’t we talk about something that’s actually important and contemporary?"

Glenn Reynolds, you suck at lying.

Ann Althouse said...

@Alpha: I'm not seeing the whole text, so I don't get the strong conclusions. The quote I see is "A far better choice, in our view, is to expand the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences." What exactly did the authors say about the less good choice? That it was completely unacceptable? That is was extreme but possibly necessary if milder methods don't work? I have no idea. The skimpiness of the quote makes me suspicious.

Clyde said...

AL, did you read the comments to that article by the political scientist (in both senses of the phrase) that you quoted at length? A lot of other people who read it didn't agree with the author's opinion. And that's the key word, "opinion."

lemondog said...

I've got 2 Buddhas and a multi-color windmill along with a couple of pinwheels stuck in various flower pots.

Lem said...

I finally gave in to the temptation and bought an Ipod touch..

My only complaint thus far - turning it off is a bit of a chore.

John henry said...

That lawn looks kind of patchy.

Better tell the guardian angel to get cracking and spruce it up.

John Henry

AllenS said...

The barn swallows left either last night or early this morning. Just noticed about 20 night hawks heading south. Man, is the time ever flying by.

Ann Althouse said...

*taps foot*

*looks at watch*

AllenS said...

Get out there and mow that lawn!


Ann Althouse said...

"Several coercive proposals deserve discussion, mainly because some countries may ultimately have to resort to them unless current trends are rapidly reversed to other means."

That is an endorsement of sorts. Who believes the rapid reversal will come everywhere? If not, coercive methods will "have" to be resorted to. Sorry, it's in the book.

"Some involuntary measures could be less repressive of discriminatory, in fact, than some of the socioeconomic measures suggested."

Next is a discussion of a proposal in India for forced vasectomies on fathers of 3 or more children. Then: "There is too little time left to experiment further with educational programs and hope that social change will generate a spontaneous fertility decline, and most of the Indian population is too poor for direct economic pressures... to be effective."

There's discussion of forced sterilization of women and "unfortunately" it's not practical in the poorer countries.

There is discussion of a "sterilant to drinking water or staple foods," which "seems to horrify people" more than other involuntary proposals. The authors say it could be acceptable if it were safe and effective. The concern expressed is about whether society would accept these measures:

"Compulsory control of family size is an unpalatable idea, but the alternatives may be much more horrifying. As those alternatives become clearer to an increasing number of people in the 1980s, they may begin *demanding* such control."

Here follows the "far better choice" that the article Alpha linked lifted from context. It continues this way:

"A far better choice, in our view, is to expand the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences, while redoubling efforts to ensure that the means of birth control, including abortion and existing institutions; there is neither the time nor the leadership to dismantle them completely and replace them with others. Today's institutions must be bent and reshaped but not destroyed.

"No one is more acutely aware than we are of the difficulties and hazards of trying to criticize and comment constructively on such broad areas as religion, education, economics, legal and political systems, and the psychology of individuals and societies. We believe, however, that in order for people to translate into effective and constructive political action what is now known about the roots of the crisis, new, far-reaching and positive programs must be undertaken *immediately.*"

Jason (the commenter) said...

I hope that angel is securely fastened; wouldn't want it to become a fallen angel.

Ann Althouse said...

Continuing, my reading...

"... we are making the assumption that many reforms are essential..."

skipping ahead to page 837, which discusses law, there is the assertion that there is power under the Constitution to enact "effective population-control programs.

"Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficient severe to endanger the society. Few today consider the situation in the United States serious enough to justify compulsion, however."

I note that they don't say they don't think it is.

"To provide a high quality of life for all, there must be fewer people. But there are other sound reasons to support the use of law to regulate reproduction."

The next paragraph said that it is easy to legally restrict the right to have "more than a given number of children" based on "the needs of the first children." They say that a mother could be forced to protect her existing children with the requirement that she have no more children.

"A legal restriction on the right to have children could also be based on a right not to be disadvantaged by excessive numbers of children produced by others. Differing rates of reproduction among groups could give rise to serious social problems."

They're talking about groups that have too many children, throwing off the racial and religious balance of a place. Oh, my lord, at this point they support different requirements for different racial and religious groups, based on a "compelling" interest for race discrimination, based on the propensity to bear more children!

Next, they address the notion that there is a right to bear children. That's not in the Constitution, they say, and the UN Charter refers to the "right *responsibly* to choose" to have children. They note the US constitutional "right to choose whether or not to have children," but state that the right is "not unlimited."

"Where the society has a 'compelling, subordinating interest' in regulating population size, the right of the individual may be curtailed." They compare it to the power to draft men into the military. Society to save itself could take away a woman's right to bear children.

They say the Constitution would only require that the laws be "reasonably designed to meet real problems" and not be "arbitrary."

Alpha, do you really want to defend this? I'm not being selective. I'm reading the whole section.

Chip Ahoy said...

Garden angel meets Jesus.

kentuckyliz said...

Mandatory sterilization has already been ruled unconstitutional, so I don't see how the government can force a mandatory sterilization or contraception scheme.

Abortion rights are tied to a late 20th century newfangled idea of privacy....Griswold v. Conneticut.

So, if we have the right to privacy, what's good for the chopped up bloody pieces of undesired tissue is good for the beloved baby.

In other words, keep your policy wonks off my ovaries.

Christopher said...

Yay Chip!

Paco Wové said...

The day passes, α-lib lays his comment-turd, but the Althouse thread moves on.

Christy said...

Wouldn't evolutionary biology say that those producing children in the face of hardship are the most successful and worthy parents?

Benjamin Franklin, 15th child, 10th son.

Hancey said...

If the New Lawn grasses can cope up with the stress, it will be healthy and dense and will be able to resist disease. Sometime the disease may spread and it becomes out of any control. However, the disease resistant cultivars can be implemented to avoid future problems.